16 Words: The New York Times has learned that the US recently sought a drone base in Niger

Ten years ago today, George Bush would lay the ground work for a war with these 16 words.

The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa

Those words were based on a dubious claim that Iraq had tried to purchase yellowcake from Niger.

Today, the NYT reports that the US wants a drone base in northwest Africa, probably Niger.

The United States military command in Africa is preparing plans to establish a drone base in northwest Africa to increase unarmed surveillance missions on the local affiliate of Al Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups that American and other Western officials say pose a growing menace to the region.

For now, officials say they envision flying only unarmed surveillance drones from the base, though they have not ruled out conducting missile strikes at some point if the threat worsens.

If the base is approved, the most likely location for it would be in Niger, a largely desert nation on the eastern border of Mali, where French and Malian troops are now battling Qaeda-backed fighters who control the northern part of that country.

As Micah Zenko just noted on Twitter, this base would provide access to conduct drone strikes all over Northern Africa.

And even as the Administration rolls out another front for its drone way, it refuses (or at least refused, as of a few weeks ago) to tell Congress who it is targeting based on what authorization. As Jack Goldsmith has pointed out, conducting drone strikes under such circumstances is not as legally sound as the Administration’s use of drones to strike core al Qaeda targets.

Ten years ago today, Bush’s 16 words launched us towards an illegal war in Iraq. On this anniversary, we need to ask what kind of illegal wars a base in Niger would lead to.

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3 Responses to 16 Words: The New York Times has learned that the US recently sought a drone base in Niger

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
JimWhiteGNV RT @WHO: A person who has died of #Ebola is still highly infectious and should not be touched http://t.co/uIarcRWKE4
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JimWhiteGNV RT @attackerman: With the signing of the US-Afghanistan deal, Obama will now pass off (at least) two wars to his successor. http://t.co/6cI
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JimWhiteGNV That's Gross. Wait... RT @pdacosta: Not Even Silver? Morningstar Cuts Pimco Flagship Fund Rating To Bronze From Gold http://t.co/P75EAJjEP9
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bmaz @espinsegall @rickhasen @ProfLisaMcElroy Look forward to it. Did see my+ @Dahlialithwick's convo w/Erwin on his book? http://t.co/ex9qgi44Vz
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bmaz RT @MorlockP: Hey @popehat & @freestatenh : any chance of RT-ing this article about the corrupt / stupid PD in Weare NH? http://t.co/GW1fdj
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bmaz RT @JimWhiteGNV: US Air Strikes in Syria Proceeding as Expected: Civilian Deaths Documented, ISIS Recruitment Up http://t.co/Gs3506plVX
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bmaz @armandodkos @KagroX @mikenizza No, it is all "authorized" because it is "not yet authorized". Or something... http://t.co/wL3rsY2PhT
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JimWhiteGNV 10 injured in Bradford school bus crash - http://t.co/AsbZyOkF9Z “not fully clothed” woman ... injured and lying outside the truck
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JimWhiteGNV RT @JT__Orlando: Oh, Florida, don't ever change. "No word as to why the female passenger in the truck was naked." #FloriDUH http://t.co/8de
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JimWhiteGNV Hardly fair unless @emptywheel online. RT @bmaz: @armandodkos @JimWhiteGNV I wouldn't want that. So let's focus on Kiffen to Michigan then!
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bmaz Cops now fear everything, and nothing and citizens are dying as result RT @ScottGreenfield The Slippery Slope of Risk http://t.co/U4QpR0Dm87
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