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.

Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Google+0Email to someone

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

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz Okay, CNN International simulcast is great. Just did a report on the scary clown ban in France. Now that is news I can use. #BanClowns
18mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @LegallyErin The report I just saw on CNN looked pretty awesome. Wind and waves onto roads and all kinds of good stuff.
20mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @LegallyErin Bundle up baybee!
26mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @LegallyErin Say, my tee-bee says you have some kind weather thing going on there.
30mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @walterwkatz @gideonstrumpet @ScottGreenfield @LilianaSegura @roomfordebate Yes, that was a nice little touch, no? Jeebus.
55mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @LegallyErin: There's something very sexy about Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal. I always date the worst guys.
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @imraansiddiqi You seemed like such a respectable chap, and now here you are talking about Kardashians. #Shame
3hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @cody_k I went as a Pando journalist blowing shit out of my ass about Greenwald.
4hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @dcbigjohn @erinscafe In or out of the furry costume?
4hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @AntheaButler: Hands up, don't shoot. RT @deray: Superhero protest. #Ferguson http://t.co/ejnhDLq7jv
4hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @JoshuaADouglas @rickhasen @chrislhayes And I ask because that was why I blew off the injunction+contemplated whether were provable damages.
4hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @JoshuaADouglas @rickhasen @chrislhayes Question since you are in state there, is hearing even possible before the injunction would be moot?
4hreplyretweetfavorite
January 2013
S M T W T F S
« Dec   Feb »
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031