Thursday, September 25, 2014


The latest bombing in Syria, which was not authorized by Congress specifically or even under the WUMA Congress approved for President Bush, has been justified because a previously unknown group was in planning stages for an "imminent" attack.

This Orwellian term could be used to attack anyone anywhere on the planet. Below I'm reblogging a piece from

First of all, the U.S. government employs an extremely bizarre definition when using the word imminent. As Trevor Timm noted earlier today in the Guardian:
Take, for example, this definition from a Justice Department white paper, which was leaked last year, intended to justify the killing of Americans overseas:
An “imminent” threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons will take place in the immediate future.
To translate: “imminent” can mean a lot of things … including “not imminent”.
Fascinating, and all this time I thought “imminent” meant “imminent.” Someone should let Merriam-Webster know they’ve got it all wrong.
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The employment of this new definition of imminent was further solidified in my mind after reading an article from the New York Times titled: In Airstrikes, U.S. Targets Militant Cell Said to Plot an Attack Against the West. In it, we learn that:
American military and intelligence analysts were still studying damage reports from the initial air assault, but senior Obama administration officials expressed hope that they had killed Muhsin al-Fadhli, the leader of Khorasan and a onetime confidant of Osama bin Laden. The officials said they had been contemplating military action against Khorasan in recent months, but President Obama’s decision to hit the Islamic State’s forces inside Syria provided a chance to neutralize the other perceived threat.
You’ve got to wonder what other unrelated opportunities the ISIS campaign might allow. But I digress.
 The air campaign against Khorasan and the Islamic State got underway even as Mr. Obama flew to New York to meet with world leaders gathering at the opening session of the United Nations General Assembly. Mr. Obama did not seek United Nations permission for the military campaign, but he presented the strikes as the collaboration of a multinational coalition that included five Arab nations: Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain.
Yeah, well he didn’t seek approval from Congress either. Now here’s the money shot.
 Most officials speaking publicly on Tuesday characterized the Khorasan threat as imminent. Lt. Gen. William C. Mayville Jr., who is in charge of operations for the Pentagon’s Joint Staff, said the terrorist group was nearing “the execution phase of an attack either in Europe or the homeland.”
 But one senior counterterrorism official, who insisted on anonymity to discuss intelligence matters, said the group might not have chosen the target, method or even the timing for a strike. An intelligence official said separately that the group was “reaching a stage where they might be able to do something.”
Wait, come again? An attack is imminent, yet you don’t know which gigantic continent with hundreds of millions of inhabitants straddling opposing sides of the Atlantic ocean they were going to hit?
Furthermore, they “might not have chosen the target, method or even the timing for a strike,” and they are “reaching a stage where they might be able to do something.” Sure sounds imminent to me. Don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining.

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