Detainees captured by SAS and SBS squads subjected to human-rights abuses at detention centre, say British witnesses
However, one peculiarity of the way in which UK forces operated when bringing prisoners to Camp Nama suggests that ministers and senior MoD officials may have had reason to know those detainees were at risk of mistreatment. British soldiers were almost always accompanied by a lone American soldier, who was then recorded as having captured the prisoner. Members of the SAS and SBS were repeatedly briefed on the importance of this measure.
It was an arrangement that enabled the British government to side-step a Geneva convention clause that would have obliged it to demand the return of any prisoner transferred to the US once it became apparent that they were not being treated in accordance with the convention. And it consigned the prisoners to what some lawyers have described as a legal black hole.
TAMPA–The emblem of the U.S. Special Operations Command pointedly illustrates its mission: It shows the tip of a spear. Now SOCOM is expanding this arsenal to create a global network that can project power even as America’s armies withdraw from the battlefields of the last decade.
Adm. William McRaven, the SOCOM commander, has been developing this ambitious new role at his headquarters at MacDill Air Force Base here. McRaven is among the nation’s most celebrated warriors. He planned the operation that killed Osama bin Laden in May 2011; in his office is a small sculpture tagged “Bull Frog,” honoring him as the longest-serving Navy SEAL in uniform.
McRaven’s plan to create a “global SOF network” was endorsed in February by the Pentagon, which gave McRaven direct control over special operations forces around the world. The move appears to have support from other top military commanders, even though it would potentially diminish their authority. But there has been little public discussion of the policy, despite its significant changes. The White House appears to like the concept but has not signed off on final details.
Promoting an official who ran an overseas ‘black site’ is an outrageous idea.
CIA Director John Brennan is reportedly considering promoting an official who ran an overseas “black site” where suspected terrorists were interrogated and who was involved in the decision to destroy videotapes of waterboarding. It’s an outrageous idea. Installing that official as head of the agency’s National Clandestine Service would undermine the Obama administration’s insistence that it has repudiated the abuses of the George W. Bush administration’s war on terror.
The long-serving CIA official, whose name can’t be disclosed because of her covert status, is one of several candidates to head the clandestine service, which is responsible for espionage and operations abroad. The fact that she is being considered, as reported this week by the Washington Post, suggests that Brennan — who has disputed suggestions that he himself was involved in so-called enhanced interrogations during a previous stint in the agency — doesn’t fully appreciate how demoralizing her appointment would be.
Military Times, Wednesday Mar 20, 2013 16:47:54 EDT
The Air Force has relieved a full colonel with an impeccable resume for failing his physical fitness test [Phi Beta Iota: he passed the physical test, it was his waist measurement that was found to be beyond USAF “standards,” such as they are.]
Effective immediately, Col. Tim Bush is no longer in command of the 319th Air Base Wing at Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D., said Maj. Mike Andrews, spokesman for Air Mobility Command, in a statement Wednesday afternoon. The wing’s vice commander, Col. Christopher Mann, will serve as interim commander until a replacement is found.
“Bush was not relieved for alleged misconduct or wrongdoing,” said a news release from Air Mobility Command.
After just over one year in power, North Korea’s novice leader, 30-year old Kim Jong Un, has dashed hopes that he will change course from the brinkmanship-style policies pursued by his late father, Kim Jong Il. For the first time in decades, U.S. intelligence and defense analysts believe the threat of an outbreak of significant hostilities on the Korean peninsula is a distinct possibility. How would a potential conflict play out? While there is little doubt that North Korea would lose, the consequences for the region would be dire, with casualties potentially in the hundreds of thousands, if not more.
Tensions and the risk of conflict have escalated precipitously on the Korean peninsula over the last year. In addition to conducting a successful long-range ballistic missile and a third nuclear test, North Korea has ramped up, even by its own standards, its bellicose rhetoric.
As bad as sequestration is now and is going to be — and that’s much worse than some of you have told me you think — in the interest of truth, everyone should remember that the Chairman, before he was Chairman, before he was even Chief of Staff, Army, was railing, picking up the ADM Mullen line that deficits were the worst threat to national security and that DoD should be a part of deficit reduction. That, IMHO, undercuts his moral authority to do anything other than embrace sequestration, which is having impacts you wouldn’t believe if we were allowed to discuss them with you. Folks, on a day to day basis, every day gets “suckyer” than the previous day. Sequestration is creating monumental diversions of key leader and staff attention from the real business of national defense. Most of the specifics are classified and/or “predecisional.”
Military officials are reassessing the national defense strategy in light of spending cuts that will force the Pentagon to reduce its budget by $500 billion over the next decade, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says.