The Innocence of Abu Zubaydah
The government has never brought any charge against Abu Zubaydah, in either civilian or military court, presumably because it understands that he has committed no crime. Instead, the United States is content that he should be forgotten, out of sight and out of mind.
September 28, 2018
The Kill or Capture Presidency
You’d like your government to tell you the truth, and the government dissembled repeatedly after the raid about what the rules of engagement were. They dissembled because the truth was uncomfortable and because the rules are secret, and they have this deep culture of secrecy in this administration, as in the last couple, about rules of engagement. What it highlights is that the United States does not have a detention regime that works anymore. Anytime it brings terrorists suspects into custody it generated political controversy. And so what you can see is a bias is built up in the system, in which the Obama Administration judges it’s just easier to kill people. That doesn’t create any political controversy.
October 12, 2012
Guantánamo After Bin Laden
Some commentators have optimistically pronounced the killing of Osama bin Laden the beginning of the end of our conflict with al-Qaeda. But having eliminated al-Qaeda’s most inspiring symbol, we persist in offering the group an alternative source of inspiration: the prison camp at Guantánamo Bay.
May 12, 2011
The President’s Crack Team
We do not hear much about the Navy Seals, and with good reason. They are a secret set of special operatives. They are in the news now for their spectacular against-the-odds raid that killed Osama bin Laden. But they have been in the news before, and what they did then was also spectacular.
May 6, 2011
That ‘Sweet Abbottabad Air’
Abbottabad was, from its founding, an important military cantonment where the British stationed part of their Nepalese Ghurka force. Like other Indian hill towns such as Darjeeling, it acquired a British flavor which it still had when I visited it in the fall of 1969.
May 5, 2011