Sotloff Spokesman Says He Was Sold to ISIS at Border By Moderate Rebel Group

Barak Barfi, the spokesman for Steven Sotloff's family, is angry at the White House and speaking out about how Soltoff was kidnapped. Here's the gist of his interview yesterday with Anderson Cooper of CNN (video available at link, it's worth watching):

"For the first time, we can say Steven was sold at the border. Steven's name was on a list that he had been responsible for the bombing of a hospital," Barak Barfi said on "Anderson Cooper 360." "This was false, activists spread his name around."

"We believe that these so-called moderate rebels that people want our administration to support, one of them sold him probably for something between $25,000 and $50,000 to ISIS, and that was the reason he was captured," Barfi told Cooper.


Barfi credited "sources on the ground" for providing the information, including details of the capture.

"Somebody at the border crossing made a phone call to ISIS and they set up a fake checkpoint with many people and Steven and his people that he went in with could not escape," he said.

Barfi says he was with Sotloff the morning he was kidnapped. Sotloff left for Syria around 7:30 a.m., and called him when he made it inside Syria. A few minutes later he was kidnapped.

Meanwhile, a journalist named Julian Reichert, who was reporting for the German paper BILD at the time, has written this article on the Sotloff kidnapping. He says he was just a few minutes from where Sotloff was kidnapped, doing a story.

We all knew that on the crossing in the Turkish town of Kilis, there were spotters working for ISIS, watching us while we stamped out of Turkey and headed into Syria. We all knew that on the other side, in the town of Azaz, ISIS had established a dangerous presence, roaming the streets in pickup trucks, watching all the strategic intersections one had to pass to drive on to besieged Aleppo.

...The drive through Azaz was nerve-wracking, rife with potential kidnappers — some motivated by money, others by ideology — waiting behind every corner of that sleepy, filthy town...This was where hardened jihadis came to gather, from all over the world. Battle-worn Jordanians who had fought the Americans in Iraq, Chechens with bushy red beards and AKs at the ready. That was what Steven Sotloff stepped into on that day in August. From what I know, he must not have made it past Azaz.

Reichert said his "fixer" was frantic all day after hearing of a kidnapping of a journalist at the border and wanted to leave, but he convinced him to let him do one more story in a nearby town and they stayed another day. He describes the protection the fixer arranged (through the Free Syrian Army (FSA)):

Walking through Minnagh, I was surrounded by three pickup trucks with mounted anti-aircraft guns and a dozen fighters forming a bubble around me. Journalists like Steven and me had been relying on people like this throughout the Syrian uprising: decent, hospitable locals fighting the regime to create a better Syria.

Reichert says the Syrian moderates and ISIS had an "shaky alliance" in Minnagh.

Putting the two stories together, it seems to me Barfi, although he doesn't name the moderate group, is referring to the Free Syrian Army -- the moderates Obama now wants to provide arms and training to in the fight against ISIS -- as the ones who sold him to ISIS. In other words, they are still capable of aligning with ISIS when it suits their needs.

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  • Display: Sort:
    We are getting played, plain and simple (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by ruffian on Tue Sep 09, 2014 at 10:33:35 AM EST

    What heroes these people are (none / 0) (#2)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Sep 09, 2014 at 10:49:58 AM EST
    Can you imagine doing what was described?  I can't.  Thank dog someone has the courage to do it.

    No, I can't imagine it at all (none / 0) (#6)
    by ruffian on Tue Sep 09, 2014 at 11:34:57 AM EST
    Truly a whole other genome than mine. I just wish there was a way to keep them from being pawns in games we can't even understand.

    ISIS Vows Twitter Employee Assassinations, (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by NYShooter on Tue Sep 09, 2014 at 04:05:24 PM EST
    Issues Death Threats.

    An account linked to terrorist group ISIS recently issued threats of assignation to Twitter employees. Members of the extremist account sympathetic to the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq are angered that workers of the social media site have closed their Twitter accounts with bias.

    According to a September 8 Vocativ news report, the ISIS account issued a tweet that named the terror group's first American target. As the propaganda from the extremist group has largely been directed at political figures like Obama and other world leaders, it is quite ironic that ISIS threatens to kill Twitter employees in the United States.


    that was not ISIS it was (none / 0) (#20)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Sep 09, 2014 at 05:42:33 PM EST
    an ISIS supporter. Please try to distinguish between ISIS and its fanboys. Only official ISIS accounts speak for ISIS, and that did not come from an official ISIS account. I also discourage reliance on the site you linked to. They have often been factually inaccurate in my opinion.

    Well, thanks for the head's up (none / 0) (#25)
    by NYShooter on Tue Sep 09, 2014 at 06:35:54 PM EST
    I'm not, purposely, looking for accounts that contradict your feeling that ISIS is not an immediate, or, intermediate threat to the American Homeland. There's been so much written about them, and, their aggressive ways recently that when you say they're not a threat, it just seems contradictory. At this point in the ISIS narrative it's not surprising that "fact" and "fluff" get mixed together. I still think you're wrong, but, I understand that my "thinking" and "reality" may not be the same thing.

    I'll come better prepared from here on out....thanks.


    19 yr. old Colorado Woman Pleads Guilty (none / 0) (#50)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Sep 10, 2014 at 03:34:03 PM EST
    in Federal Court to aiding ISIS, in a weird way.

    A 19-year-old Colorado woman pleaded guilty on Wednesday for conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and a number of al Qaeda affiliates.

    On numerous occasions, secret FBI agents attempted to persuade her not to travel overseas to fight, the DOJ said.

    n.b. I know nothing about this case other than the brief article I've cited above and I make no representations that "The Hill" is left, right, or just plain wrong.


    I've just about decided... (5.00 / 4) (#29)
    by unitron on Wed Sep 10, 2014 at 12:20:50 AM EST
    ...that we, and all the other non-Middle East countries need to withdraw completely from the ME, and tell Saudia Arabia "Hey, you guys have more money than Allah, so get ready to spend some of it--this is all on you now, since it's your neighborhood".

    Two words (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Sep 10, 2014 at 09:35:24 AM EST
    Oil and, well........oil.

    Most Americans (none / 0) (#32)
    by KeysDan on Wed Sep 10, 2014 at 04:21:44 AM EST
    Are likely to join you, in two or so years. But right now, and once again, Lindsey mc Cain  tools for war as the answer will prevail.  And once again, a war without declaration. It would be nice to get the Saudis on board, and even nicer to get Americans involved based on more than doing something in time for the of elections.

    It's (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by lentinel on Wed Sep 10, 2014 at 09:32:20 AM EST
    not enough to blame Lindsay and McCain.

    They can bellow all they want...

    but why does Obama have to listen and cower at their magnificent screeching?


    Barak means lightning in Hebrew, I think. (none / 0) (#3)
    by fishcamp on Tue Sep 09, 2014 at 10:54:55 AM EST

    Answers.com (none / 0) (#7)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Sep 09, 2014 at 11:35:53 AM EST

    Wikipedia Disagrees (none / 0) (#8)
    by squeaky on Tue Sep 09, 2014 at 11:39:54 AM EST
    The first consonantal spelling, B-R-K (Arabic: بارك‎, Bārak, and Hebrew: ברךּ‎ Bārak), is most commonly associated in Arabic with the meaning "blessed" as well as the meanings "to make to kneel down" (said of the camel), "to stoop", and "to cower". In Hebrew, it can be traced from Phoenician, Ugaritic, Aramaic, Akkadian, and Classical Arabic roots having the meanings, "knee", "kneel", "prostrate", "venerate", "bless", "be blessed", and "boon" as well as (camel's, human) "chest" and sometimes "curse" or "blaspheme".

    Also wiki (none / 0) (#9)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Sep 09, 2014 at 11:47:38 AM EST
    The consonantal spelling B-R-Q (Arabic: لبُراق‎, Burāq and Hebrew: ברק‎, Bārāq) is the second form. The meaning of this form in Arabic is "to shine", "to gleam", "to lighten", and "to open widely" (said of the eyes). Similarly, the Hebrew significance is "lightning", "flash", "to give light" and "to be visible".[1]:p.47[2]:p.122

    Free republic (none / 0) (#10)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Sep 09, 2014 at 11:51:18 AM EST
    (Word #) 1299 baraq baw-rak' a primitive root; to lighten (lightning):--cast forth.

    (Word #) 1300 baraq baw-rawk' from 'baraq' (1299); lightning; by analogy, a gleam; concretely, a flashing sword:--bright, glitter(-ing sword), lightning.



    Guess it Means A Few Things (none / 0) (#11)
    by squeaky on Tue Sep 09, 2014 at 12:04:15 PM EST
    But really not much to read into, imo, as both Mubarak, Ehud Barak,
    and Barack Obama, are not characters in literary fiction...

    art may imitate life... but to read into names and meaning is just silly fun..


    Yup, it's a dangerous world over there (none / 0) (#4)
    by Green26 on Tue Sep 09, 2014 at 11:24:55 AM EST
    and the choices are not easy.

    If the US doesn't provide support for moderate rebels and doesn't bomb ISIS in Syria, what will happen?

    What should the US do, if not provide support for moderates or bomb ISIS in Syria?

    Is do-nothing, or little, a good alternative?

    Breaking it apart.... (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by ruffian on Tue Sep 09, 2014 at 11:33:09 AM EST
    No one who governs Syria is in our best interest. They are all mixed blessing/curses. I don't see why we should be playing favorites.

    As far as controlling terrorism, I don't have the answer. I tend to think attacking them just creates more of them. Then again of course I do not want more attacks.


    I say we get the rest of the world (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by jondee on Tue Sep 09, 2014 at 01:26:58 PM EST
    a little more involved in this epicenter of violent instability.

    This "world's policeman" fantasy is completely and utterly delusionary and impossible. Idiotic in fact.

    I think some people just get hot and excited when they see the word "policeman" in print and associated with an institution they admire.


    I don't thing much of the rest of the world (none / 0) (#16)
    by Green26 on Tue Sep 09, 2014 at 02:56:12 PM EST
    or the countries in the region will do much, without the involvement of the US. The US administration is working hard now to put together the coalition, but that apparently hasn't been easy and some of the regional countries are balking and not yet on board.

    If the US hadn't started airstrikes when it did, a major league humanitarian crisis would probably have occurred, more cities in the region would have been taken over by ISIS (with more slaughters of innocent people), the nearby big dam would still be in ISIS' hands, and ISIS would have further consolidated its area of control in northern Iraq (as well as western Iraq).

    I don't think standing still and asking/pushing the regional countries to act is going to get the job done or stop ISIS. Sure, some of the countries will act more aggressively when directly threatened, but that won't constitute a regional strategy.

    I think the US is the only player that may be able to pull together a broader coalition and get the regional countries, or some of them, to get on board.


    We should let the other countries in the region (5.00 / 5) (#14)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Sep 09, 2014 at 01:50:32 PM EST
    handle ISIS and Syria, like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Qatar, Israel and Iran.

    Why send equipment to a group that will end up in ISIS' hands when Isis wins a battle with them?

    ISIS has never expressed an intent to attack the U.S. unless we interfere. Interfering is just putting a target on our back.

    There will always be the danger of lone wolf attacks here by ISIS supporters and supporters of terror groups in that region. Our interference just multiplies the risk. It will also radicalize more people and create more haters of the U.S.

    We should put pressure on Turkey to crack down on the border to Syria since that is how the new recruits get in.

    We shouldn't be relying on the Kurds. The Kurds don't care about defeating ISIS except to get their own autonomy.

    The Syrian moderate rebels don't care about ISIS, they just want to get rid of Bashar. The minute ISIS helps them with that, they'll go back to being friends.

    Helping the Shia militias and the Kurds is not promoting equality for the Sunnis. The Sunnis will see right through our arming and training them.

    Arming and training the tribes is a loser because they switch alliances all the time.

    War and military intervention is a no-win situation for the U.S. Rushing to war against an enemy the Government (particularly Republicans) clearly doesn't understand and counting on fickle rebel groups to assist us is just a recipe for disaster.

    The U.S. can gather intelligence and provide it to the Governments of the other countries. They can do with it what they will. The other countries can conduct air strikes or put boots on the ground if they want to take out ISIS. We should leave it at that and stop the air strikes and not get further involved.


    I (none / 0) (#19)
    by lentinel on Tue Sep 09, 2014 at 05:42:09 PM EST
    couldn't agree more, Jeralyn.

    War and military intervention is a no-win situation for the U.S. Rushing to war against an enemy the Government (particularly Republicans) clearly doesn't understand and counting on fickle rebel groups to assist us is just a recipe for disaster.

    The U.S. can gather intelligence and provide it to the Governments of the other countries. They can do with it what they will. The other countries can conduct air strikes or put boots on the ground if they want to take out ISIS. We should leave it at that and stop the air strikes and not get further involved.

    If I may spin a little:
    It is beyond saddening that what you have expressed seems to be nowhere in the consciousness of the Democratic party.

    We are about, or so it seems, to be committed to one, two, three years of more bleeding of our lives and our economy.

    And for what?

    To protect our interests?
    Our bloated 104 acre Embassy?
    The 15,000 people who staff it?

    Or is there some motive allied to oil interests...

    It is ominous to me that Obama has chosen September 11th for his pronouncement. Tying fear of a new enemy to the attack in 2001. An enemy that has not as yet targeted us, but no doubt will if we pursue this Cheney dream.

    We need less emotion, and more brains.
    We need more compassion for the people of this country.

    It seems evident to me that the election of Obama is proving to be an unmitigated disaster.

    There are many who would say that McCain would be even worse. I can't argue the point because I can't know.

    But I do know what we appear to be stuck with now.


    Actually it's 9/10 (none / 0) (#21)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Sep 09, 2014 at 05:47:04 PM EST
    But I take your meaning.  I think maybe they wanted a little "9/11 feeling" without actually using the day.

    You are correct about the date. (none / 0) (#23)
    by lentinel on Tue Sep 09, 2014 at 05:59:50 PM EST
    It is the tenth, not the eleventh as I wrote.

    Thanks for stating:

    I think maybe they wanted a little "9/11 feeling" without actually using the day.

    Calls um (none / 0) (#24)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Sep 09, 2014 at 06:08:02 PM EST
    As I sees um

    Guess what? (none / 0) (#30)
    by lentinel on Wed Sep 10, 2014 at 03:58:51 AM EST
    The speech is being described by the NYTimes thusly:

    Mr. Obama's speech to the nation, on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks...

    Can't decide what makes me more uncomfortable (5.00 / 4) (#35)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Sep 10, 2014 at 08:50:44 AM EST
    That they may be using the date or that 9/11 now has an "eve" like Christmas.

    Agreed... (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Sep 10, 2014 at 11:50:49 AM EST
    ...it has always rubbed me the wrong way that joyous and tragic events share the same word(s), like eve and anniversary.

    They can just start using foreign words like paparazzi to segregate the celebrity press from main stream press, but they can't find a word to segregate tragic annual events from joyous ones.


    Feels more like (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Sep 10, 2014 at 12:27:19 PM EST
    A brink than an eve.

    Does anyone else find it interesting - (5.00 / 4) (#48)
    by Anne on Wed Sep 10, 2014 at 03:12:38 PM EST
    well, perhaps "interesting" isn't the right word - creepy, maybe? - that this speech has been preceded by a calculated and concerted effort to scare the bejesus out of the public so when he says we're going to start air strikes in Syria, people will be relieved instead of angry?

    I always feel so damn manipulated - I can't stand it.  

    Meanwhile, here in Charm City, the 10-day festival celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner is getting underway, with tall ships and cannons going off, and tomorrow, practice runs over downtown by the Blue Angels.  

    They did this 2 years ago, and let me tell you, it's frightening to have 4 jets swooping and diving and strafing the buildings we work in - it makes me think about the people who live in places where this is not about a celebration, but about killing and death and destruction and fear all the time.

    I'm cranky: got a cold from my grandson, so feel like crap.  There's this festival estimated to bring over a million people into downtown (traffic and parking should be tons of fun!) (please, God - let it be mostly over the weekend!), there's a Ravens game tomorrow night and an Orioles double-header on Friday.  


    And may I just add, completely off-topic: thank God for the Orioles.  At least that's been fun - maybe they can make it deep enough into the post-season that I may eventually be in the mood again for football.

    Sorry for the whining.


    Those two words, themselves... (none / 0) (#64)
    by unitron on Wed Sep 10, 2014 at 09:45:12 PM EST
    ...are neutral.

    Anniversary is just "X number of years ago on this date", and eve is just "the night before".

    If somebody wants special versions of them to attach to holidays and other supposedly pleasant stuff, they need to coin new ones, not hijack those two.


    Can't deny that it's been like Christmas (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Sep 10, 2014 at 12:17:53 PM EST
    for the entire military-industrial-security-paranoia complex.

    Why is ISIS taunting us? (none / 0) (#55)
    by BarnBabe on Wed Sep 10, 2014 at 05:09:45 PM EST
    It is easier for us Americans to turn a blind eye to the horrors that are happening in the Middle East. It is easier to say, this is your land, this is your war and not get involved. It is easier to tell the other countries to take control of their own situation, but they are not. They are not doing what you suggest and that is the problem.

    <ISIS has never expressed an intent to attack the U.S. unless we interfere. Interfering is just putting a target on our back.>

    If this is totally true, why do they continue to behead Americans? Is is not to incense us to act upon seeing these threats? And they are threats because every time we see those images, we feel threatened. Maybe it is to keep us Americans in our red,white, and blue zone. So by killing the Americans and in a barbaric way, they are terrorizing us.  They are involving us. Not the other way around.

    And as far as buying a reporter for $25k, don't you suspect that the first person who is not one of them and raises their hand is not doomed? A spy with $25k in their pocket?

    I do not know the answer. I can see both sides of the issue, but I am also suspect of both sides. I see the ISIS group as a born again Taliban as far as rules and degrading of women. And I see a group that does not realize that they are beheading men who are trying to get the IS message across to the world. This is not a group we can sit down at a table and negotiate. And the neighbors there will continue to take no action.  


    See comment #26 (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Sep 10, 2014 at 05:54:09 PM EST
    The Islamic State called Foley's death a revenge killing for U.S. airstrikes against militants in Iraq, and said other hostages would be slain if the attacks continued.

    Thanks, as always... (none / 0) (#60)
    by BarnBabe on Wed Sep 10, 2014 at 06:28:58 PM EST
    But, I think there is more to that than their statement. They KNOW what sets us off and if 71% of the country want some action, then it worked. They got out attention. So all the suggestions are going by the wayside.Let's hope for the best Captain.

    Yup (none / 0) (#61)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Sep 10, 2014 at 06:31:23 PM EST
    See my comment in the new thread.

    It doesn't (none / 0) (#12)
    by lentinel on Tue Sep 09, 2014 at 01:10:32 PM EST
    seem to occur to anyone in a position of power that this is a regional problem.

    We are on track to make it our problem.

    We need not have to choose between bad and worse.

    And, most importantly, if we are going to ask people to sacrifice and die, we ought to know, 100% what we are doing and why.

    At the moment, it seems as if we are being bombarded with frantic emotion and little else.


    I think your presumptions (none / 0) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 09, 2014 at 02:33:32 PM EST
    At this point are ridiculous Jeralyn.

    careful MT (none / 0) (#22)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Sep 09, 2014 at 05:56:35 PM EST
    you can disagree but if you do it with insults, your comments won't last long.

    How am I insulting Jeralyn? (none / 0) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 09, 2014 at 07:15:25 PM EST
    A completely different country and culture that is in the midst of war. I don't think you can investigate ISIL any more successfully or accurately via the internet than you could Al Qaeda.

    And a single individual in Syria turning in a reporter for a $50,000 reward from ISIS does not a "moderate" Army make.

    The FBI is still investigating what occurred.


    US airstrikes continue in western Iraq (none / 0) (#18)
    by Green26 on Tue Sep 09, 2014 at 04:34:08 PM EST
    in the Anbar province and near Haditha dam. Number of airstrikes now up to 153 since bombing began, on Aug. 8.

    but that group off the hook? (none / 0) (#26)
    by CityLife on Tue Sep 09, 2014 at 06:42:09 PM EST
    So why hasn't the Obama Administration been insisting that we need to bomb the group that sold him off?

    And notice how the media keeps harping on the idea that Obama "has to do something" while ignoring that he already did, he bombed ISIS and that was what the beheadings were a reaction to.

    The media clearly has an agenda to obscure the motive for the beheadings and to give the impression that they came first and that US bombing was only a reaction to it.

    Has anyone else noticed how the motive for the beheadings really wasn't up front in a lot of media coverage, especially on TV? Seems to me people had to sift through media to get the motive. I did find it written in articles but that is because I was searching for it.  I did find this: "In a horrifying act of revenge for U.S. airstrikes in northern Iraq, militants with the Islamic State extremist group have beheaded Foley."

    The past head of the White House task force (none / 0) (#34)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Sep 10, 2014 at 08:38:16 AM EST
    That deals with our captive situations said that she spoke with Barak Barfi before he went the air.  She was genuinely interested in his information.  But he has no particular name or names involved, no particular information.  It is based on a rumor.  There is also another rumor out there that Sotloff's translator worked for ISIS.  At this point that rumor has as much credibility as the Barfi rumor.

    Obama will authorize airstrikes in Syria. (none / 0) (#28)
    by Green26 on Tue Sep 09, 2014 at 11:46:50 PM EST
    Still trying to enlist key countries to assist, i.e. Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

    "President Obama is prepared to authorize airstrikes in Syria, a senior administration official said on Tuesday, taking the military campaign against the Sunni militant group, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, into new and unpredictable terrain."

    "But Mr. Obama is still wrestling with a series of challenges, including how to train and equip a viable ground force to fight ISIS inside Syria, how to intervene without aiding President Bashar al-Assad, and how to enlist potentially reluctant partners like Turkey and Saudi Arabia."

    NY Times article tonight. Couldn't get the link to work. Headline article.

    Ain't (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by lentinel on Wed Sep 10, 2014 at 04:18:14 AM EST
    you supposed to have a coalition, then act - rather than act and then try to form a coalition?

    And what a coalition...

    Canada... Australia... Poland... Denmark... Yeah that's help...

    This whole thing should be financed and staffed by the Saudis.
    That is if they give a flying f..k..

    My conclusion: We are being had by a coalition of Democrats who have forgotten the meaning of the word, Republicans who have forgotten the meaning of the word, and global corporate interests who know exactly what they want and how to get it.


    And that word is (cue Prof. Kingsfield) (5.00 / 2) (#63)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Sep 10, 2014 at 08:28:45 PM EST

    Fat, Juicy, Cost-plus government contracts.


    Big P.R. blunder by ISIS. (none / 0) (#33)
    by lentinel on Wed Sep 10, 2014 at 04:25:32 AM EST
    Instead of beheading people who have not been given the benefit of due process...

    they should follow our example regarding, say, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

    ISIS should have waterboarded their captive 183 times, subjected him to weeks of sleep deprivation and threatened his family. And put him on trial in which, even if he were to be acquitted, he would not be set free.

    Then, when found guilty, instead of showing a beheading (how crude), they should have put him on a gurney, put chemicals in his veins, let him writhe and groan for two hours and put that on tv.

    That's the way civilized white folk do it.

    So you believe an innocent journalist (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Green26 on Wed Sep 10, 2014 at 09:43:04 AM EST
    in the Middle East should be treated the same as the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks, or vice versa? Obviously, neither were treated very well, but one is still alive after more than a decade and the other was executed relatively quickly. One committed a huge act of terrorism; the other did nothing wrong in any respect.

    Briefly, (none / 0) (#39)
    by lentinel on Wed Sep 10, 2014 at 09:52:48 AM EST
    we have denied due process to the accused.
    In addition, we have tortured him for over ten years.

    You have decided, based on whatever you have read somewhere I presume, that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is guilty of being "the principal architect" of the attacks.

    So, who the hell was O.B.L.?

    And what gives you the right to pronounce guilt on someone who has yet to be convicted of anything - and has been imprisoned and tortured for ten years?

    If you believe that denial of due process is wrong - as do I - we should be poster people for its implementation. And we're not.

    I am addressing the issue of selective outrage - both respect to the denial of due process and to methods of execution.


    Don't think your facts are right, Lentinel. (none / 0) (#51)
    by Green26 on Wed Sep 10, 2014 at 03:42:07 PM EST
    The "accused" wasn't tortured for 10 years. The accused has gotten way more due process than most countries would have given him. He's not a US citizen. He's a terrorist and criminal. They don't deserve the Constitutionally guaranteed rights that US citizens get in criminal law matters.

    The 9/11 Commission Report calls him the "principal architect" of the 9/ll attacks. That's good enough for me. And there's no doubt in my mind that he's "guilty". Zero. This is a quote from chapter 5 of the 9/11 report.

    "Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
    No one exemplifies the model of the terrorist entrepreneur more clearly than Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks."


    Yawn... (5.00 / 3) (#53)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Sep 10, 2014 at 04:17:24 PM EST
    ...if the Constitution doesn't cover foreigners, then why in the hell are they giving him a trail, even if it is a show trial ?

    It's that kind mentality that allows otherwise descent human beings to torture, kill, and behead each other.  Like you, they all manage to justify their crimes, or the crimes of others, under the guise of 'we are better than them'.  

    People who commit the same kinds of crimes as their enemies are no better, regardless of the rationalization.  And given the choice, I would rather be beheaded than tortured and the other zillion wretched things we did to KSM.  Who I might add, has not been convicted of anything, much like Steven Sotloff.


    Read this (none / 0) (#56)
    by lentinel on Wed Sep 10, 2014 at 05:15:51 PM EST
    excellent article by Jeralyn.



    How is ISIS different then the Taliban? (none / 0) (#40)
    by Slado on Wed Sep 10, 2014 at 11:43:41 AM EST
    We've been slugging away at the Taliban for 13 years.

    Still there.   They were an Islamic State until we made them scatter in 2001.   Now they have slowly rebuilt, we've dumped a ton of money and bombs and lives into a black hole and in a few months we'll leave and they'll still be there.

    So how can the US have a 3 year plan when it comes to ISIS?   They have even more money then the Taliban.

    This is a road to nowhere and Obama and anyone advising military action better tell me what the end game is.   Unless we plan to occupy the country and kill everyone of these guys then it's never going to end.

    Look no further then the Taliban for evidence.

    Yeah, well... (none / 0) (#42)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Sep 10, 2014 at 12:15:53 PM EST
    the irony is that if we want to "kill everyone of these guys," it's actually easier to not occupy the country, which allows "us" to use the WMDs which our overlords have devoted years and countless billions to perfecting.

    The problem being that if "we" did that we'd be worse than them.  But hey, phrases like "collateral damage" were invented for a reason.


    No we have not (none / 0) (#45)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Sep 10, 2014 at 12:54:51 PM EST
    We have not been slugging away at the Taliban.  Some branches of it General McChrystal immediately began creating alliances with.

    We have been slugging away at the Haqqani network.


    CBS News (none / 0) (#46)
    by Slado on Wed Sep 10, 2014 at 01:34:15 PM EST
    Taliban ready to come back

    As soon as we leave they'll start taking over again.

    13 years after we toppled them Afghanistan will be right back where it started.

    Keep that in mind as we start heading into Syria.

    Also the words of Colin Powell ring true as the president speaks tonight...

    Decisive means and results are always to be preferred, even if they are not always possible. We should always be skeptical when so-called experts suggest that all a particular crisis calls for is a little surgical bombing or a limited attack. When the "surgery" is over and the desired result is not obtained, a new set of experts then comes forward with talk of just a little escalation--more bombs, more men and women, more force. History has not been kind to this approach to war-making. In fact this approach has been tragic -- both for the men and women who are called upon to implement it and for the nation.

    Colin Powell in " Foreign Affairs" winter 1992

    My husband served there under the Obama (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Sep 10, 2014 at 02:07:09 PM EST
    Administration.  CBS can say whatever I guess, but the Taliban was never specifically targeted unless they worked with the Haqqani network in the AfPak region.  There are as many "Taliban" groups in Afghanistan as there are rebel groups in Syria, maybe more.

    There isn't one unified Taliban.

    Under President Obama our troops attempted to stabilize Afghanistan and strengthen the Afghan government.  That was goal #1, not fighting the Taliban.  


    Not sure what you're talking about (none / 0) (#49)
    by Slado on Wed Sep 10, 2014 at 03:31:54 PM EST
    British fight Taliban


    To quote...

    As the Obama administration wound down the war in Iraq, it recommitted the United States to counterinsurgency operations against the Taliban and allied groups in Afghanistan, authorizing a surge that brought peak troop levels to about one hundred thousand in June 2011

    Why did we need 100,000 troops?  To fight who?  

    Not sure what point you're trying to make.

    Either way my point is even after 13 years of drones, bombs and up to 100,000 troops when we leave Afghanistan the Taliban will be back.

    Not sure how we're going to defeat ISIS with a strategy less involved then that.


    Most troops there weren't even allowed to (none / 0) (#52)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Sep 10, 2014 at 03:51:12 PM EST
    Fight.  They were there for stability and if attacked they could respond.  Even then though they were not always permitted to use deadly force.  But they were in place to support the authority of the Afghan government and the legal system of the Afghan government.  Often they were attacked, and they arrested the attackers and put them through the newly minted Afghan court system.  That was the only way to graduate away from war mentality.

    What are we arguing about? (none / 0) (#54)
    by Slado on Wed Sep 10, 2014 at 05:00:19 PM EST
    So OK, we did not use the full might of the American Military against the Taliban.

    Point taken but even if we'd gone after them full boar in Afghanistan that wouldn't have mattered because they fled to Pakistan and we weren't ever going to start a military shooting war there since they have nuclear weapons.

    Point being that the Taliban was in it for the long haul and we simply weren't.

    Just like ISIS is in it for the long haul and Obama is floating a "3 year plan".   Great.   3 Years of bombings, dead babies, targeted killings with drones, maybe some US or coalition troop deaths thrown in and what will be the outcome after 3 years?

    ISIS will still be there and we'll still have a mess on our hands.

    That's what I'm saying   In fact you are almost making my point for me.   We were told we where invading Afghanistan to rid the world Al Qaeda and there buddies the Taliban and build a new Afghanistan because it harbored terrorists.  

    It was the "good war", Obama ordered a surge even to win the war and now we're leaving and the Taliban hasn't gone anywhere.

    So why should we believe this administration or the next one will do anything more then waste a bunch of money and not affect any real change on the ground?

    As Colin Powell says you better plan to do it all the way and win or the whole thing is pointless.


    I actually (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Sep 10, 2014 at 06:17:30 PM EST
    agree with the last sentence you said. Go in with "overwhelming" force and try to deal with the situation.

    However, that being said I do not know if there is any winning strategy for the middle eaast. Even with overwhelming force it could only be a temporary solution as ISIS is destroyed but then another group with another name and similar goals forms and it's the same thing all over again. Whoever thought ISIS would happen when we were talking about Osama Bin Laden? This whole thing is really something that cannot be solved with the military as a whole. Special operations and other solutions probably need to be found.

    I feel like right now Obama is following the beltway stuff but I'm sure he has more information than we do.


    The extremists are going to have to be (none / 0) (#59)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Sep 10, 2014 at 06:28:06 PM EST
    Dealt with, and I believe the President's current approach is the way to go.

    We have significant help from NATO allies.

    The real hope lies in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey taking responsibility.  Jordan will work hard, they already are.

    ISIL is demanding your attention, they are going to get you involved one way or another.  I believe it is better to determine our course of action vs being forced into it when they make attacks on Europe or even the US.  They aren't about to let any of us ignore them.  They have made that twitteringly youtubeably clear.


    I do (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Sep 10, 2014 at 08:02:35 PM EST
    agree that it's better to be proactive than reactive.

    You're right about the Sauds etc. but is it going to take an Act of God for them to do something that's going on in their own backyard or are they afraid of they'll rile up their own citizens. Either way it seems to me that the Saud leaders need to be replaced because apparently they think only of themselves.


    It's hard (none / 0) (#65)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Sep 11, 2014 at 02:14:36 AM EST
    The Sauds are Kings and Queens, born above everyone else.  They have few incentives inspiring them to even care.

    Then we should damn well give (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Sep 11, 2014 at 07:31:59 AM EST
    Them some.   Said once before, really really sick of the Saudis sh!t.

    I really think the Obama Administration (none / 0) (#67)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Sep 11, 2014 at 09:03:59 AM EST
    And the State Department have been giving them hell.  Particularly because the core strength of ISIS was welded together by Bandar Bush gold.

    Turkey has nasty hands too.  They also have been empowering ISIL affiliated militants.  The last thing Turkey wants is a Kurdish state.  And like it or not, because the Kurds respect individuals before religious affiliations and such, left to their own devices they grow strong communities and strong regional economies too.  So Turkey has also been conducting a proxy war in the region.  My husband said this has long been a problem, we knew it was a problem there 12 yrs ago.  And we did our best to leave the Kurds able to protect themselves, but didn't want to leave them so much firepower they would tell the rest of Iraq to go screw itself.  We didn't' want to be singularly responsible for the failure of the Sykes-Picot Iraq.