Thursday, November 03, 2005

"Trusted Lieutenant" Watch....

A few new chapters to add, the first from NBC News:
A key figure in al-Qaida's terror network in Europe is under arrest, U.S. counterterrorism officials tell NBC News.

Two U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, say that the alleged terrorist, Mustafa Setmariam Nasar, also known as Abu Musab al-Suri, was recently arrested in Pakistan. Pakistani government officials say they are not aware of any such arrest.
Unfortunately, it seems that a bit of a revolving door has developed. From Bloomberg:
An alleged top lieutenant of al-Qaeda terrorist group leader Osama bin Laden was among four people who escaped from a detention center near Kabul in July, the U.S. military command in Afghanistan said.

While the escape was announced by the command in July, the identity of the escapee was reported earlier this week during a court-martial of a U.S. army sergeant accused of maltreating prisoners in Afghanistan, the Combined Forces Command Afghanistan said yesterday in a statement on its Web site.

"The reporting in these articles gives the audience the illusion that the escape and subsequent increased security precautions just happened," the command's statement said. "The search for the four escaped detainees continues."

The alleged al-Qaeda operative is Omar al-Farouq, the Associated Press reported, citing unidentified U.S. military officials in Washington as saying yesterday. The U.S. revelations about his escape have sparked anger in Southeast Asia where al-Farouq allegedly operated, AP said.
Don't you just love the statement from the military? Translated: "The escape took place in July, but we tried a mini-coverup and did not tell you his actual name when it happened, so this is really old news at this point."

Is it just me, or is it reasonable to ask why an alleged top lieutenant was held in Afghanistan of all places? I mean, gosh darnit, we went to all that trouble to develop and hide an elaborate global network of secret torture facilities, and we hold a top lieutenant where he's most likely to get outside support for an escape? Why not just leave him unhandcuffed in the backseat of a black-and-white in the middle of Baghdad?


Anonymous Natasha said...


Reasonable people arent running the show anymore. The reasonable people have been or are being run out of their jobs. The only consolation is that this political system was designed with inertia. There's nothing that these boobs can do, that a few years of hard work cannot fix. The founding fathers were alot smarter than we give them credit for.

11/03/2005 9:36 PM  
Blogger 277fia said...

Oh, I don't know. If I don't get excited when the Pentagon catches the top Al Qaeda lieutenant of the month, why should I get excited when one escapes?

Is this the Al Qaeda top lieutenant that "escaped" because he was going to testify about US torture methods? If so, it would seem like the media might be using the top lieutenant term loosely to embarass the Pentagon.

I'm getting a headache thinking about all of it. Seriously, has anyone ever considered that it might simply be easier to not torture people and to put them on trial?

Timothy McVeigh, Terry McNichols, the Unabomber, the Blind Sheik, Wadih el-Hage, their cases were all dispatched to almost everyone's satisfaction. No one I know sits around and complains that they got trials. None of them were tortured as far as I know, either.

11/03/2005 11:29 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

I'll say this much. If you're in Al Qaeda, a promotion to "Trusted Lieutenant" is about as welcome as a kiss from Michael Corleone.

11/04/2005 8:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the four escapees was indeed going to testify against the US Army, according to an interview with Hyder Akbar on the WNYC's Brian Lehrer show yesterday. (Listen here:

It was also suggested on the show that this escape was unlikely to have happened without inside help from either locals or US Army staff. The base was described by a journalist who had visited the facility as a "small city" rather than a "base." Both the journalist and Akbar, who had been to the base as a translator, said getting into the facility involved several layers of security and that getting out would be very difficult if not impossible. For the military to say that the detainees had simply picked their locks and walked into the desert is disingenuous.

Perhaps the cover-up is still in progress? Another suggestion on the show by a caller was that perhaps the detainees were dissappeared...

11/04/2005 9:16 AM  
Anonymous semper fubar said...

"Escaped?" Is that what they're calling it these days? Oh please. Murdered while under interrogation, more likely.

11/04/2005 12:22 PM  
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