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.

Twitter11Reddit0Facebook13Google+2Email

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
emptywheel @ovelarsen I'm of the opinion that as soon as we think of these entities as distinct we stop seeing the big picture. @trevortimm
5mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @MasaccioFDL: What do people in Kansas City think about guns? Could they think they have the right not to be shot by crazies? http://t.c…
5mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @BradMossEsq Also could've used existing UCMJ military system, which also would've been better. But both those options had too much fairness
15mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @JONF34 @AppellateDaily We did by electing idiots!
26mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @J_T_Horowitz: .@SarahKnuckey Lots 2 speculate about Maybe deemed proportionate But that wouldn't follow #Obama rules or explain Y not w…
29mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @JONF34 @AppellateDaily Yes, it has actually been the law for a while. Insane, but there it is.
31mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @walterwkatz @radleybalko And unfortunately, thats exactly how exceptions for, and expansions of, general govt power trickle down to street
33mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @AppellateDaily: 9th Cir.-DUI: It’s a crime to refuse blood test on U.S. land, http://t.co/XwWE6CzDIN
48mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Chief Judge Garland+DC Cir lay down some hurt onDOJ for handling of Slatten Blackwater prosecution http://t.co/jHuoZvyssG h/t @MikeScarcella
51mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz Pieces expensive, broken+don't really fit together RT @fpleitgenCNN They sell @Redskins Russian doll sets in Ukraine! http://t.co/P4xRMIC3p6
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @evanperez @fpleitgenCNN @Redskins If true to form, the pieces are quite expensive and don't really fit together.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @KagroX Always a fine plan. Probably they are confident in the superb oversight of the US Congress.
2hreplyretweetfavorite
January 2013
S M T W T F S
« Dec   Feb »
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031