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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JimWhiteGNV And with all that hate in her actions, she's pretty much guaranteed hell. https://t.co/WE4bYwSpeD
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emptywheel Reminder; changing the rules of the game is the 3rd stage of Trump grief. http://t.co/J3HAiONyhr
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emptywheel @jamisonfoser Sure, but having worked harder she has skills that, say, Christie and Walker never had to develop.
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emptywheel @onekade Cause Pelican Bay just changed the rules and they can't sell "hardest prison ever" by calling it Pelican Bay 2?
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emptywheel .@DanaHoule Rick Santorum: She used Affirmative Action to get my spot in the debate.
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emptywheel @jamisonfoser As a woman she's had to fight far harder to get powerful positions as a mediocre person?
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emptywheel @oliviaviriya Sole trick he revealed on how to be genius bureaucrat in autobio was to have your person sitting outside Ford's office
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emptywheel @1marlacarmel False. I know they don't transplant hearts from 74 year olds, for example. Ergo I know his heart is younger than he is.
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emptywheel @josephfcox @lorenzoFB ISIS' alleged crack hacker no less.
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emptywheel And then there's Dick Cheney, whose heart is years younger than his age, but colder still. https://t.co/0lp0yq1zFW
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emptywheel RT @mlcalderone: Top Bloomberg editor says company’s purpose is to be the definitive “Chronicle of Capitalism” http://t.co/eXCxPT6JkG
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emptywheel @JimWhiteGNV (s)he follows me on Twitter.
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