16 words

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.

Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel @JC_Christian Couldn't fit it in. Sorry.
1mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @michaelbkiefer: Nurmi says the court should declare a mistrial now. Stephens denies the request. #jodiarias
1mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @Wolfrum: Sure, the GOP may have been utterly humiliated in the DHS/Immigration battle, but at least they pledged fealty to a foreign le…
1mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @JohnWonderlich Oh, I dunno. I think they might well enjoy the prerogatives of private email sorting.
2mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Boehner is probably having his best day as Speaker ever. He managed to deliver on a promise w/o flubbing vote count, and ... BibiPalooza!!!
3mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @DuaneG Thank you! It's one of those days...
5mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @michaelbkiefer Why need for a modified Allen charge??
5mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @emptywheel Yes, in any case, if the judge goes on a rampage, the defendant can't get more than stacked and maxed. #Journalmalism
6mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Read how Petraeus crimes'd normally be "Free Handjob & iPad Day at Walt Disney World" for prosecutors but weren't. https://t.co/QKYDlWKjor
6mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @Popehat: Updated my Petraeus post with the plea agreement, which makes his deal even sweeter. https://t.co/3UHhCaMIHy
8mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @chriswnews @william_pitts @michaelbkiefer I look forward to more ballpark cuisine reportage! Also, I NEED one of those hot dogs.
9mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel "That means even if federal judge who sentences him goes on a rampage, he can't get > a year in federal prison" https://t.co/QKYDlWsIwT
9mreplyretweetfavorite
March 2015
S M T W T F S
« Feb    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031