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  • And, yes, I know I'm one macabre son of a bitch...

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    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
    Mark Twain

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    • Trump had the chance to kill al-Qaeda's leader but didn't because he didn't recognize the name, report says
      • The al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed by a US drone strike, Biden announced Monday.
      • Then-President Trump had the option to kill al-Zawahiri, but chose not to, NBC reported in 2020.
      • Trump wanted to kill Osama bin Laden's son instead because it was the only name he knew, NBC said.
      Former President Donald Trump had the chance to kill the leader of al-Qaeda but didn't because he didn't recognize the terrorist leader's name, NBC News reported in 2020.

      Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in a US drone strike in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Saturday, President Joe Biden announced on Monday.

      His death, which has been hailed by many world leaders, is the biggest blow to al-Qaeda since its founder, Osama bin Laden, was killed by US Navy SEALs in 2011.

      But plans for al-Zawahiri's execution could have been carried out far earlier, according to an NBC News report published in February 2020.

      Intelligence officials briefed Trump many times about senior terrorist figures the CIA wanted to track down and kill, specifically mentioning al-Zawahiri, NBC News reported.

      But two people familiar with the briefings told NBC News that Trump chose not to pursue al-Zawahiri because he didn't recognize his name, and instead suggested targeting bin Laden's son, Hamza bin Laden.

      "He would say, 'I've never heard of any of these people. What about Hamza bin Laden?'" one unnamed former official told NBC News.


      A Pentagon official also told the news outlet: "That was the only name he knew."

      The Department of Defense and a spokesperson for Trump did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment.

      Even though Bin Laden's son was widely seen as an emerging figure in the terrorist group, he was not believed to be planning any attacks at the time, NBC News reported.

      'The president's preference for a "celebrity" targeted killing'
      Trump confirmed in 2019 that the younger bin Laden had been killed in a US counterterrorism operation earlier on in his presidency.

      "Despite intelligence assessments showing the greater dangers posed by Zawahiri ... and the unlikelihood Hamza was in the immediate line of succession, the president thought differently," the former CIA official Douglas London wrote in Just Security in 2020.

      He added that Trump's "obsession" with bin Laden's son "is one example of the president's preference for a 'celebrity' targeted killing versus prioritizing options that could prove better for US security."

      In his address announcing al-Zawahiri's death, Biden said that after "relentlessly seeking Zawahiri for years under Presidents Bush, Obama, and Trump, our intelligence community located Zawahiri earlier this year."

      "This mission was carefully planned, rigorously minimized the risk of harm to other civilians, and one week ago, after being advised that the conditions were optimal, I gave the final approval to go get him, and the mission was a success."

      Al-Zawahiri helped Osama bin Laden plot the September 11, 2001, attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people.
      _____

      Clearly nobody thought to bring out the crayons and finger paints during the briefing

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      “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

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      • I think this headline sums up al-Zawahiri perfectly in one sentence.

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        “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
        Mark Twain

        Comment


        • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
          Clearly nobody thought to bring out the crayons and finger paints during the briefing
          That was good for my morning laugh.

          As for AR can his Ginzu blade slice my tomato neatly? Ha, and I don't mean puree...

          Comment


          • Originally posted by tbm3fan View Post

            That was good for my morning laugh.

            As for AR can his Ginzu blade slice my tomato neatly? Ha, and I don't mean puree...
            It can slice ALL the tomatoes!
            “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
            Mark Twain

            Comment


            • Trump signed order for immediate 'large-scale troop withdrawals' from Afghanistan after election loss

              After the 2020 election, then-President Trump rushed to sign an immediate withdrawal order to pull troops out of Afghanistan in what a member of the congressional committee investigating Jan. 6, 2021, described as evidence he knew his term was coming to an end.

              “Knowing that he had lost and that he had only weeks left in office, President Trump rushed to complete his unfinished business,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said. “One key example is this: President Trump issued an order for large-scale troop withdrawals.”

              In swiftly signing the order on Nov. 11, 2020, to withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan and Somalia before incoming President Biden’s inauguration, Kinzinger argued, Trump “disregarded concerns about the consequences for fragile governments on the front lines of the fight against ISIS and Al Qaeda terrorists.”

              Military and national security leaders panned the order in recorded interviews with Jan. 6 investigators.

              “It is odd. It is non-standard,” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told the panel. “It is potentially dangerous. I personally thought it was militarily not feasible nor wise.”

              Gen. Keith Kellogg, former Vice President Mike Pence's national security advisor, said he told the White House Presidential Personnel Office and Douglas Macgregor, a former advisor to the Defense secretary, “that if I ever saw anything like that, I would do something physical, because I thought what that was doing was a tremendous disservice to the nation.”

              Kellogg said an “immediate withdrawal” from Afghanistan would’ve been “catastrophic” and a “debacle.”


              During the portion of the committee’s business meeting that Kinzinger led, the panel highlighted interviews and depositions from top Trump administration officials indicating that Trump was fully aware that he had lost the presidential election to Biden and had even conceded as much in private.

              “I remember maybe a week after the election was called, I popped into the Oval [Office] just to, like, give the president the headlines and see how he was doing,” former White House communications director Alyssa Farah told the committee in an interview clip. “And he was looking at the TV and he said, ‘Can you believe I lost to this effing guy?’”
              __________

              “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

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              • German data security group CCC has obtained multiple biometric devices used by the US Army at checkpoints in Afghanistan. By buying them on ebay - and not just one, but six of them. The database included on the devices was not in any way encrypted or secured, and included full biometric data of 2632 local employees of the US Army in Afghanistan, biometric data of two US soldiers and GPS coordinates of all previous sites of usage. A second device had biometric data of US soldiers deployed in Jordan around 2013.

                https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/27/t...ris-scans.html

                After reporting their findings to the US DoD, German MoD and the company that built the devices no reaction occured from either side, nor were any steps taken to prevent such leaks. 3 months later the group was able to obtain a seventh such device via ebay.

                According to the NYT article the devices were bought from multiple commercial sellers (i.e. companies) in the US at least one of which had originally bought it in a government auction.

                see also this article from 2007 warning about such devices in the wrong hands and its repercussions:
                https://www.wired.com/2007/08/also-two-thirds/

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                • Ah crap...
                  “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                  Mark Twain

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