The UK poison cell allegedly linked to al Qaeda in Iraq was part of the Bush administration’s call for war. (Of course, it was not the only factor. It was an issue, however, that I had first hand knowledge of.)
This alleged London poison cell, infamously said by Colin Powell and the Bush administration to be linked to al Qaeda in Iraq was not an honest mistake. It was a fraud. Period.
And I was the first to write that. I was a consultant to the defense in the London ricin trial for GlobalSecurity.Org
One of the last claims in Colin Powell’s presentation to the UN Security Council on February 5, 2003 blew away like dust in the wind late last week in the Old Bailey, London’s central criminal court.
The trial of the infamous “UK poison cell,” a group portrayed by Secretary of State Powell as al Qaida-associated operatives plotting to launch ricin attacks in the United Kingdom and in league with Muhamad al Zarqawi in Iraq, found nothing of the sort. The jury did find “the UK poison cell,” known as Kamel Bourgass and others (Sidali Faddag, Samir Asli, Mouloud Bouhrama, Mustapha Taleb, Mouloud Sihali, Aissa Kalef), not guilty of conspiracy to murder by plotting ricin attacks and, generally speaking, not guilty of conspiracy to do anything. Kamel Bourgass had been previously convicted of murder of a British policeman in an unpublicized trial.
In addition, the jury found Bourgass (and only him) guilty of conspiring to be a public nuisance with poisons.
A planned subsequent trial of other Muslim men who had been rounded up in the operation which eventually netted Bourgass was then canceled.
There was no UK poison cell. The alleged tip that led to it was obtained by torture, by an informant in the UK who had been tortured in an Algerian prison, and another man who had been tortured in one of the American gulags. (The UK informant later recanted and his information could not be used in the trial precisely because he had been tortured.)
“The ‘detained al Qaida operative’ in the above slide was Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi,” I wrote in 2008. “It is now well-accepted the al-Libi was tortured into a number of admissions, statements made to placate his captors.”
A Senate report from the Select Committee on Intelligence on the subject of Iraq and weapons of mass destruction read:
The other was an Al Qaeda detainee, Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi, who had reportedly been sent to Eqypt by the CIA and tortured and who later recanted the information he had provided. Libi told the CIA in January 2004 that he had ‘decided he would fabricate any information interrogators wanted in order to gain better treatment and avoid being handed over to [a foreign government].’”
“There’s a fable going around now that the intelligence about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction was all cooked by political pressure, that there was a big political conspiracy to lie us into war,” wrote David Brooks yesterday.
The New York Times got rid of Judith Miller. It should lose David Brooks. Stubbornly, it won’t.
C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime’s record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.
In 2005 the US press definitely did not want to hear the London ricin ring was a fraud. And Judith Miller was still working for the Times. (She saw my pieces at GlobalSecurity.)
The US newsmedia declined to cover the results of the trial of the so-called London ricin ring. The verdict came at a time when much of the newsmedia was still toeing the line on the Bush administration’s reasons for war with Iraq …
At Newsweek, Mark Hosenball also got his details from [my] GlobalSecurity posting.
Newsweek’s subsequent article was a disgrace, attempting to spin the verdict as evidence that if accused terrorists were allowed to go to trial in England, a jury would bring in the wrong verdict. Hosenball shoved my name in at the bottom of his article [I was his primary source] in an attempt to bury where the news actually came from. No one wanted to hear or print the real story about a big terror plot that had turned out to be tiny or that innocent men had been found not guilty during a lengthy and fair process.
“A much-touted ricin-plot terrorism case in the United Kingdom ended in a muddled verdict today, raising new questions among U.S. officials about the ability of British authorities to secure convictions against major terrorist suspects,” Hosenball wrote.
The jury had left off guilty men, Newsweek implied. It was a setback in the war on terror.
“The mixed outcome dismayed U.S. counterterror specialists who were convinced that Bourgass and his four codefendants were in fact acting as part of a broader international terror plot,” continued the Newsweek journalist.
Hosenball then roped in a source, Evan Kohlmann, who had nothing to do with the ricin trial.
“This is very disturbing,” Kohlmann, billed as a U.S. government consultant on international terror cases, told the reporter. “These are dangerous people … ”
Muddled verdict. There was nothing muddled about it.
The jury was clear and so was the case. Nobody bought the idea that a mere 20 castor seeds in a jewelry tin on a dresser constituted something in a real plot organized by al Qaeda through Iraq to cause mass death in the United Kingdom.
“The bulk of [our reporters hid behind the morons in our business, people like Tom Friedman and David Brooks and Jeffrey 'I trusted the Germans' Goldberg, frontline pundits who were pushed forward to do the dirty work, the hardcore pom-pom stuff," he continued.
"Many others, particularly the editors, quietly sat by and let lie after lie spill onto their papers' pages ..."
And who's doing the pom-pom work today?
Why, it's Mark Hosenball at Reuters, writing about the alleged trove of information seized at bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad," coincidentally just declassified a week, one whole week [!], after Seymour Hersh’s story that the hit was arranged, bin Laden had been in the custody of Pakistan’s intelligence service, and not much information, if any, was retrieved at all.
If you follow the Reuters link to “bin Laden’s bookshelf” at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence you’ll see it’s another big bag of mostly unimportant nothing: Lots of US-origin public domain materials downloaded from the Internet, some American political books (including one by Bob Woodward), and 100 or so boring and relatively meaningless memos from bin Laden to an small assortment of al Qaeda lackeys.
The constant libertarian assault on the radio, in newspapers, on the television, this drumbeat of anti-government discourse is an old story – but still very important for understanding the anarcho-liberal sensibility. Just tune in to AM radio late on a weekday evening and listen to the anti-government vitriol. It’s sort of wild.
Someone could do an interesting study, Ph.D., in unpacking the cultural history of all this. It is tempting to speculate that deindustrialization, having disempowered and made anxious many huge sections of the working class, opens the way for fantasies of empowerment. The anti-statist, rugged individualist common sense is also always simultaneously a fantasy of empowerment. White men are particularly vulnerable to these fantasies. The classic guy who calls into the batshit crazy, late night, right-wing talk radio show is a middle-aged White man. Listen closely to the rage and you hear fantasies of independence. In this rhetoric, guns and gun rights become an obviously phallic symbol of individual empowerment, agency, self worth, responsibility etc.
We need to drastically restructure the state. We need it mobilized and able to transform the economy.
But most importantly, we have to think about how all of this anti-state ideology is being stirred up with investments from elites.
Delete phrases like “anarcho-liberal sensibility” and it’s a decent encapsulation.
Or, in other words, the tribe and party of Ted Nugent.
Last Thursday, Nugent went on one of his standard pro-gun rants, presenting an illogical comparison as something built on common sense: Swimming pools kill more children than gun accidents. (If you don’t understand why it’s illogical, you’ve no business reading this blog. We haven’t the slightest thing in common.)
As a very young man I ran my town’s swimming pool for two summers and was second-in-command for two more. Ted Nugent is a despicable insult to the good people I worked with.
Without going into details, we occasionally acted quickly and with skill, as lifeguards, to ensure the summer afternoons of young children were safe and never unpleasant, no questions asked. Kids will be kids, you watch over them. And sometimes you fished them out of the water and put them on their towels until they were calmed. You told mom just to keep him or her out of the water for a while.
You lent them an arm so they could pull themselves in and continue playing. Or you stood there on the concrete edge, looking at them, giving them the confidence that just because they’ve suffered a snoot full, you’ve seen it and they’re not in trouble. Because you were there.
And the Pine Grove swimming pool was not a small pond. Half a million gallons with a two-story pump house, exceptional for a town of its size.
What does it have to do with guns?
To see the summer swimming experience fashioned into something worse than gun violence by some very public ninny is beyond hateful. Guns have one function. Killing, putting holes in things. Swimming and water recreation are something for everyone, a pleasure of the human as well as the animal condition.
In Nugent world, might as well write a piece about choking to death on food. Or all the people who die of flu because they aren’t immunized.
All allegedly much worse than accidental death from loose gun handling in the home.
The Big Lie about guns is that innocent kids are being gunned down or are accidentally shooting each other. Compared to drowning, gun-related deaths don’t even register.
The Big Lie is just that – a lie.
Indeed, some kids do die in gun-related deaths, mostly in the president’s old stomping grounds of Chicago. However, very few kids under the age of 10 die or are injured as a result of gun-related accidents.
The vast majority of teenagers who die as a result of guns are involved in gangs. They are punks, thugs and street rats …
Nugent is one of the popular voices of the batshit crazy white guy, now mainstreamed and in control of one political party.
Media Matters immediately pointed out that, as usual, Nugent has no grasp of what he’s ranting about:
According to a project of Everytown for Gun Safety, there have been at least 88 incidents just this year “in which a child 17 or under fired a gun unintentionally and someone was harmed as a result.” In 2013, the group documented at least 100 accidental shooting deaths of children aged 14 or younger. A Mother Jones report that examined the same time period found 84 fatal gun accidents involving children aged 12 and under, 64 of which involved a child pulling the trigger, killing themselves or someone else, which debunks Nugent’s claim that children are not “accidentally shooting each other.”
Indeed, one such shooting captured national headlines when a 5-year-old boy accidentally killed his 2-year-old sister in rural Kentucky with a rifle designed for children.
Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, recently looked at data from 2009 and found that 662 children aged 14 or under were hospitalized after being accidentally shot that year.
There is never a shred of humanity in anything written by Ted Nugent.
If it’s not enough to drag drowning in the summer into an article in defense of gun accidents, the language of Nazi Germany is also employed.
Hitler first wrote about “the big lie” in Mein Kampf. The Nazi leader accused Jews of telling “the big lie” to corrupt “the broad masses,” who he claimed “more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie.” The phrase is also associated with tactics used by chief Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.
It’s hard to argue that accidental gun deaths involving children are not worth calling attention to, let alone that covering such tragedies is comparable to Nazi-style propaganda.
Yeah, it’s hard to argue. Still, it doesn’t matter. We live in a country where half of the political spectrum embraces senseless, patently offensive positions with no basis in reality.
On the other side of the coin, many in the not entirely batshit crazy parts of the country really do detest Ted Nugent. This is minor progress.
Liberals, Obama- and Hillary-lovers, Democrats, gun-controlniks, vegans and, one supposes, Jade Helm 15 operatives, beware: Rock musician/bow hunter/gun advocate/tea party favorite Ted Nugent takes the stage May 25 at the Waco Hippodrome in a solo show …
Funny, funny, funny.
The tickets aren’t selling: “About 180 tickets are left for the May 25 concert, including 12 VIP tickets, with about 140 tickets already sold.”
What do you think is the better deal, even in Waco?
A standard two six packs of cheap beer and a steak or Nugent playing the Star-Spangled Banner and telling people how he got to be a “political animal” for the sake of freedom and liberty?
One of the songs of the corporate dictatorship, specifically the toxic vision of Jesus held by the alleged Christians of the GOP and old Dixie.
Jesus fed the poor with loaves and fishes; he liked the lepers, too.
Then he found the land of liberty; America told him what to do!
Wealthiness, just like Godliness, that’s what Jesus taught.
To tide you over, here’s Chris Hedges on the radio from Boston, talking about the moral imperative for revolt, also the title of his new book.
In the name of balance, the station’s host brings in one of the Clinton corporation’s multi-millionaire money flunkies to insist the system still works.
It’s the best part of the interview because it gives Hedges the opening to vigorously rebut the smug and condescending fellow with a raft of unpleasant facts from the first Clinton administration.
Summed up, the Clinton administration and its obsession with triangulation moved the Democratic Party to the center. This resulted in the GOP moving farther and farther to the right, until it became the insane tribe it is today.
I watched Zero Dark Thirty, Hollywood’s treatment of the hunt for Osama bin Laden and his eventual killing. It was unendurably long. And with so many lies already documented from the war on terror, well over half of it was easy to despise.
In keeping with the character of the nation, Seymour Hersh today writes in the London Review of Books that much of it was bullshit.
Osama bin Laden had been a prisoner of the ISI, Pakistan’s intelligence service, essentially under house arrest in Abbottabad, an invalid being kept as leverage against the Taliban and al Qaeda in AfPak.
Pakistan was given “goodies” so a SEAL team could be sent to the house in Abbottabad to execute him. ISI soldiers were removed from the compound, the electricity turned off, the Pakistani air force stood down.
Pakistani advisors accompanied the SEALs and had even coached the team on how to breach the compound. Bin Laden was unarmed.
In other words, the way was paved for the mission, the ground prepared and they still managed to crash a helicopter, the result being that a new story had to be cooked up.
‘Of course the guys knew the target was bin Laden and he was there under Pakistani control,’ the retired official said. ‘Otherwise, they would not have done the mission without air cover. It was clearly and absolutely a premeditated murder.’ A former Seal commander, who has led and participated in dozens of similar missions over the past decade, assured me that ‘we were not going to keep bin Laden alive – to allow the terrorist to live. By law, we know what we’re doing inside Pakistan is a homicide. We’ve come to grips with that. Each one of us, when we do these missions, say to ourselves, “Let’s face it. We’re going to commit a murder.”
‘They knew where the target was – third floor, second door on the right,’ the retired official said. ‘Go straight there. Osama was cowering and retreated into the bedroom. Two shooters followed him and opened up. Very simple, very straightforward, very professional hit.’ Some of the Seals were appalled later at the White House’s initial insistence that they had shot bin Laden in self-defence, the retired official said. ‘Six of the Seals’ finest, most experienced NCOs, faced with an unarmed elderly civilian, had to kill him in self-defence? The house was shabby and bin Laden was living in a cell with bars on the window and barbed wire on the roof. The rules of engagement were that if bin Laden put up any opposition they were authorised to take lethal action. But if they suspected he might have some means of opposition, like an explosive vest under his robe, they could also kill him. So here’s this guy in a mystery robe and they shot him. It’s not because he was reaching for a weapon. The rules gave them absolute authority to kill the guy.’ The later White House claim that only one or two bullets were fired into his head was ‘bullshit’, the retired official said. ‘The squad came through the door and obliterated him. As the Seals say, “We kicked his ass and took his gas.”’
None of this should really come as a surprise in the corporate dictatorship engaged in forever war.
And it probably won’t displace the official account.
But it again belies the alleged power and expertise of the American military. Much money was spent; they crashed a Black Hawk helicopter, anyway. (And remember all that stuff about stealth? More excrement.)
“Seals cannot live with the fact that they killed bin Laden totally unopposed, and so there has to be an account of their courage in the face of danger,” it reads. “The guys are going to sit around the bar and say it was an easy day? That’s not going to happen.”
There are no good people in Hersh’s account. The only reason different facts have come out in such volume is payback and politics, via at least one source in Pakistan and one who worked the job at the CIA who felt betrayed.
There wasn’t even a burial at sea. Gunfire had torn bin Laden’s body to pieces. His head and what was left were tossed in a body bag. Remnants were thrown out of the helicopter over the mountains, “according to the Seals.”
On top of all of it, the administration and CIA chief Leon Panetta used the bin Laden raid to justify some of the uses of torture.
The Obama administration’s tale and, later, the movie Zero Dark Thirty delivered a story that “enhanced interrogation” had contributed to finding bin Laden when it was, perhaps, a Pakistani official who had given him up.
For reward money, $25 million. Which is, in a matter of fact way, easy to believe.
And in California we’re not free from WhiteManistan, either. It’s just that they don’t run things anymore.
But DC still has Darrell Issa, singing this blog’s favorite tune:
Darrell Issa, the richest man in Congress, said America has made “our poor [are] somewhat the envy of the world.”
Issa’s personal wealth is by far the greatest of any congress member. His net worth in 2013 was $448.4 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, and stems from a car alarm business he built.
Pity the people who are not insane in Texas. They’re trapped in place with the encapsulated delusions of the ruling right and they can’t get out.
The only answer is to run the GOP from political power, as in California. But that’s not an option in Texas.
So this week, many people who wished to not see have been roughly shown that what once was the raving of damaged right wing paranoids is now the way of things.
“You may have issues with the administration … So be it,” said the Special Operations Command public communications officer charged with fruitlessly trying to tell people that Jade Helm 15 was not the start of a big takeover.
The people, wearing T-shirts that said “Come and take it” and “I love Jesus,” were having none of it.
The Baltimore riot, it was said, was just a pretext, a staged diversion to distract what was really going to happen in July: The military imposition of dictatorship and the seizure of all guns in Texas and across the southwest.
My question to the special operations public communications officer would have been:
“Sir, what do you make of what’s happened in your country while you’ve been out fighting endless wars in the Middle East?”
Now, in an interesting case study, we’ve seen what happens when you juxtapose Texas’ reverence for troops against the GOP’s instinct to pander to the furthest reaches of its right wing rump.
Yes, the crazies win.
Mere weeks after a state House committee hearing in which speakers railed against the Union in the Civil War, and called anti-slavery Texans traitors, Gov. Greg Abbott indulged in some naked pandering to those that hold modern US Special Forces in the same contempt. As has been widely reported, he has announced that he is sending the Texas State Guard to monitor the exercise. As a learning opportunity? No, because the right-wing fringe, ginned up by Agenda 21 conspiracy theories, black helicopter phobias, and radio demagogue Alex Jones, has decided that this is the beginning of martial law.
The writer closes with a paragraph that likens the crazy Republican Party with the Terminator. It can’t be reasoned with and it won’t stop, ever.
I have another movie character in mind. Rorschach, from The Watchmen.
“None of you seem to understand. I’m not locked in here with you; you’re locked in here with me!”
“The federal government took over Baltimore, but they won’t take over Bastrop,” Kyle Arrington, a 26-year-old pizza cook said Sunday over a glass of iced tea at Bastrop’s Old Town Bar.
“It would be too big a fight. Texas has more guns than any other state, we can take care of ourselves.”
Arrington said only a small minority of the town’s more than 7,000 residents believe Jade Helm 15 is an attempt by the Obama administration to take over Texas and seize firearms.
“But it wouldn’t be the first time the federal government tried to take over the South,” he added.
The only thing we haven’t seen yet is someone quoting from The Turner Diaries.
You know, leave out the rabid bigot parts about not-white people and race defilement while focusing on the fighting of government forces.
Maybe Texas news men and the not-crazies could ask Ted Nugent for help? No, cross that one off. Nugent has been a regular on Alex Jones.
And Walmart is in on it, with some recently closed stores possibly being used to “house the headquarters of invading troops from China, here to disarm Americans one by one.” And also there are underground tunnels connecting the various Walmarts.
Rant: And screw Jon Stewart and The Daily Show. He’s made a fortune turning lazy video segments on the country’s decline into madness into comedy entertainment. He can’t point to one thing where providing shits and giggles for his upper middle class white bread audience has reversed the trend.
In terms of “art” it’s not much different than YouTube users who post videos of the homeless, crazy, drug-addicted or wounded in backyard mishaps to the net for cheap laughs.
When you get right down to it you don’t even need to employ writers. Daily life, captured on video, unpacks itself and barks at you, no reading of the instructions, assembly or installation of batteries required.
The character of America’s Cult of Electromagnetic Pulse is rock solid kook-ism from the far right. It’s mainstream, an industry as well as a grifter’s paradise. There is good money to be made provisioning it: Advice pamphlets, rotten fiction and non-fiction books, emergency tools, concrete, cinder blocks, fuel, barriers of all types, entrenching shovels that double as bludgeons, dried and canned foods optimized for long-term storage, hundreds of YouTube prepper video channels monetized with Google ads, isolated real estate high in the country away from all those other people, special survival schools, guns, guns, more guns and ammo.
Grifter prepper industry junk bag.
Something you need for the end of civilization? They have it. Just click “Add to cart.”
And a couple weeks ago Chicago magazine set one of its reporters to cover a few of the city’s well-off locals willing to be interviewed on their prepping.
The reporter, Rod O’Connor, did leave one thing out in his interviews. Conspicuous by its omission, the politics of his subjects. You see, there are no libtards, gay people, or non-Christians in the bug out bunkers. And scarcely any non-whites.
Because it’s those other people in the cities who will be unprepared when the pulse occurs, American civilization topples and the rule of law comes to an end. It will be necessary to defend the family, possessions and land from them when they boil out of the urban rat-holes in desperation.
By definition: Preppers are a profoundly anti-democratic group, self-absorbed, peculiar and paranoid on fantasies fed to them through right-wing news and end-times self-published literature. The latter, a kind of romance fiction delivered as stories of social trial and purification encompassing world catastrophe, armed struggle and tragedy. But in the end, the good people, the white heterosexual people with values, faith and salt-of-the-earth savvy, still hanging on to the tattered belief in a real America, survive. Evil does not.
Which is why they really don’t like talking to anyone outside their circle, a fact so noted by the magazine’s reporter.
Soon the conversation progressed from blizzards to the quintessential prepper novel One Second After (detailing the aftermath of an electromagnetic pulse attack; Newt Gingrich, America’s favorite conspiracy theorist, wrote the foreword), which she had recently read. Eleni, who has braces and hipster glasses, asked her parents how prepared they were for a serious disaster such as an EMP.
In addition, one is bugged about fiat money.
“All of a sudden, you have hyperinflation, and you’ll need a wagon of cash for a loaf of bread,” one of the preppers says.
Consistent with the beliefs and world view of most of the paranoids in WhiteManistan, every bad thing that happens is turned around to be about what could happen to them.
When, in point of fact, it’s about stuff that has happened to the other people, you know, them, the people without money, or in foreign countries, in poverty.
With every new epidemic or terrorist attack in the headlines, a new batch of preppers is born, says David Scott, whose Northbrook company, LifeSecure, sells everything from crush-resistant earthquake survival kits to fireproof masks designed for fleeing a bombed-out building. “We think of it like sediment,” he says of the movement that he, of course, has a stake in stoking. “Another headline comes and another layer forms.”
Sediment. Let’s examine the “sediment.”
“Scott started his business in 2005, a few months before Hurricane Katrina, and believes the storm’s aftermath was a wake-up call for thousands of Americans,” the magazine continues.
This “taught” preppers “you could go hungry, thirsty, and even die in the U.S. before the government could save you.”
The people who went hungry and thirsty, or who died or lost everything in New Orleans as a result of Katrina were overwhelmingly African-American and poor, the very opposite of the prepper demographic.
“It was last fall’s Ebola outbreak, in fact, that made [a prepper named Bob Valenti] suddenly feel he was ill-equipped to protect his family if a pandemic disease were to spiral out of control,” reads the feature.
Let’s repeat. Who were the people who died in the Ebola outbreak?
Human beings, specifically black people, in the poor West African nations of Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.
And the first person to die in America, in Texas, of Ebola was?
Let’s leave it to the readers to mull over.
The prepper story points out that Bob Valenti, its first subject, has two homes — one in a wealthy suburb of Chicago, another in the countryside, for escaping to.
“I ask [another prepper named Campbell] if he fears the kind of lawlessness seen in post-Katrina New Orleans or the riots in Ferguson, Missouri,” it continues.
And when you read this, in a story about well-to-do white people possessed by a shared delusion, once again you know you’re in the presence of seriously turned-around bullshit, a world belief totally detached from actual social reality.
“Ammo is a great barter tool … It’s the ultimate commodity item,” the Downers Grove prepper named Bob Valenti tells the reporter.
“God forbid a small nuclear device or an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) bomb in Los Angeles (goes off), that’s where a lot of us are going to survive — up there,” he said. “You want to get out of the cities. There’s going to be mass looting, rioting — just like in Baltimore — only on a bigger scale because people are going to be hungry after a couple of weeks and the markets are out of food — and there’s no water. Now, we have water up there, we have game up there — we have deer, we have bear.”
That’s why scientists who conducted a study of the risks to the nation’s power grid are traveling the country to warn states not to wait on the federal government.
“What differentiates this other blackout type scenarios is the mechanisms can cause long term permanent damage to many assets,” said John Kappenman, an investigator with the Electromagnetic Pulse Commission.
State Rep. Joann Ginal, the sponsor of a bill aimed at protecting Colorado’s power grid, said, “It’s very import in regards to homeland security, security of our citizens in Colorado, and just day-to-day living.”
There is no Electromagnetic Pulse Commission. It’s been defunct for over a decade.
The bill was a request for the state’s Public Utilities Commission to study electromagnetic pulse, find where vulnerabilities are, and determine how to fund mitigation.
Unlike other U.S. military bases around the world, Camp Lemonnier has to use civilian air-traffic controllers hired by the government of Djibouti, the Post said. The base shares its two runways with Djibouti’s only international airport, a French military base and a contingent of Japanese military planes.
As traffic at the base has increased, the controllers’ dangerous habits and dislike for drones have disrupted U.S. military operations and prompted repeated warnings about the risk of a deadly accident, the Post said.
Controllers sometimes punished U.S. flight crews by forcing them to circle overhead until they ran low on fuel, the Post said.
In one case, an observer told an air traffic controller that an unmanned plane he was monitoring was low on fuel. The controller said he did not care because drones “only want to kill Muslims in Yemen and Somalia,” the report said.
They play video games and sleep on the job, too, it says.