Interview with Former FBI Agent Ali Soufan: 'We Did Exactly What Al-Qaida Wanted Us to Do' - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International. SPIEGEL: How would you describe the state of the United States 10 years after 9/11, four months after the death of Bin Laden?
Is this the beginning of the end of the story? Soufan: It is the beginning of a new era. I think today, al-Qaida is definitely, significantly damaged. The al-Qaida that attacked us on 9/11 does not exist anymore. Its central command is very, very weak. SPIEGEL: You started investigating against Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida years before 9/11. Soufan: The very first time I heard about him was in an Arabic magazine. SPIEGEL: Your later boss at the FBI, John O' Neill -- who left the service to become head of security at the World Trade Center and who died in the 9/11 attacks -- was also aware of the potential danger of al-Qaida at a very early stage. Soufan: John definitely understood the threat and I never met anyone who knows how to think about and work on a terrorism case in putting it together more than John. Soufan: We always worked together. SPIEGEL: Mr. Obama’s Illegal Assaults.
How once-controversial ‘war on terror’ tactics became the new normal.
What now gives Americans nationalistic purpose is our ability to hunt someone down and riddle their skull with bullets and dump their corpse into the ocean. Barack Obama has continued virtually all of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney’s once-controversial terrorism and civil liberties policies, a fact now recognized across the political spectrum. Even the right wing acknowledges these policies have continued under the Obama presidency, which is interesting, because for decades Republicans have made political hay by accusing Democrats of being weak on national security (or “soft on terrorism” in this age of terror). For example, Jack Goldsmith, a right-wing ideologue and a high-ranking Justice Department official in George W. This premise that the Obama administration has reversed the terror policies is wrong. Disturbing innovations The second of Obama’s innovations is his war on whistle-blowers.
A permanent climate of fear? US detention policy: Exposing the dark side. Days after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Bush administration started making decisions that led to the official authorisation of torture tactics, indefinite incommunicado detention and the denial of habeas corpus for people who would be detained at Guantánamo, Bagram, or "black sites" (secret prisons) run by the CIA, kidnappings, forced disappearances and extraordinary rendition to foreign countries to exploit their torturing services.
While some of those practices were canceled when Barack Obama took office in January 2009, others continue to characterise US detention policy in the "war on terror". Even the canceled policies continue to stain the record because there has been a total failure to hold the intellectual authors of these illegal practices accountable or to provide justice for the victims of American torture and extraordinary rendition. This five-part series traces the detention policy debacle as it has evolved over the last ten years. Cracks and challenges.