On Sept. 21, 1970, readers who turned to the last inside page of The Times's main section found something new. The obituaries that normally appeared in that space had been moved, replaced by something called Op-Ed. The vision of John Oakes, the editorial page editor, and Harrison Salisbury, the eminent foreign correspondent, Op-Ed was meant to open the paper to outside voices. It was to be a venue for writers with no institutional affiliation with the paper, people from all walks of life whose views and perspectives would often be at odds with the opinions expressed on the editorial page across the way. (Hence, Op-Ed - Opposite Editorial.)The multimedia the paper has put together for this occasion is pretty good. The following is one of those--more here.
For Op-Ed's 40th anniversary, Ali Soufan, a F.B.I. supervisory special agent from 1997 to 2005, recounted the events that triggered his Op-Ed in April 2009.
In the op-ed, Soufan wrote:
It is surprising, as the eighth anniversary of 9/11 approaches, that none of Al Qaeda’s top leadership is in our custody. One damaging consequence of the harsh interrogation program was that the expert interrogators whose skills were deemed unnecessary to the new methods were forced out.It is a new administration, but I am not sure how much things have changed. Here is an exhibit on the continuation of some of those practices:
Mr. Mohammed knew the location of most, if not all, of the members of Al Qaeda’s leadership council, and possibly of every covert cell around the world. One can only imagine who else we could have captured, or what attacks we might have disrupted, if Mr. Mohammed had been questioned by the experts who knew the most about him.
A lack of knowledge perhaps explains why so many false claims have been made about the program’s alleged successes.
President Barack Obama's administration has invoked the state secret privilege to avoid a lawsuit on behalf of Yemeni-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, whose father charges the US government of targeting him for assassination.Am waiting for that "change" ....
Nasser al-Awlaki last month asked two civil rights groups to sue the White House and the Central Intelligence Agency for placing his son on a list of people targeted for killing.
The younger Awlaki is considered a dangerous terrorist by the US government and is currently believed to be hiding in Yemen.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) filed the court action seeking to force the US government to say how it decides to target US citizens for murder far from any armed conflict without due process.