New York Times national security reporter Eric Schmitt joins us in the studio to discuss his new book, “Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America’s Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda.”

Eric Schmitt, senior writer for The New York Times and co-author of "Counterstrike"

  • Gerald Fnord

    What is the main thrust of the American right-wing, and especially of its strongest and loudest voices?  

    1.) America is at war with Islam.
    2.) Any attack must be responded-to with maximum force.
    3.) American Muslims cannot be trusted, as citizens or sources.

    It’s wonderful how reactionaries the world over work to help each other, certainly a model of mutual advantage by mutual aid.

  • erictremont

    Only in San Francisco would anybody be upset about the killing of Bin Laden.

    • Gerald Fnord

      Assassination is officially illegal.  Anyone who thinks that State power must be restrained by law, and especially lethal State power, should at least be a bit concerned about its extra-legal use.

      Or do you believe that it will always be impossible that _you_ will never be declared an enemy of the State?  It’s happened to many  people, and the more laxly we allow the killing of terrorists the more incentive some will have to label whoever is inconvenient a terrorist.

      My ancestors were a danger to the Reich by virtue of their breathing; Victor Jara was a threat to the State because he sang songs they didn’t like.

      • erictremont

        Actually, it is not illegal under all circumstances.  Federal law basically gives the President the right to order targeted killings when there is a serious threat to national security, that is why Clinton, Bush, and Obama all signed executive orders authorizing the killing of Bin Laden.  I don’t think even Glen Greenwald, who questioned the killing of Bin Laden on policy grounds, doubts the legality of these types of orders.  As for your point about a U.S. leader being declared an enemy of the state, keep in mind that Bin Laden declared Jihad on the U.S. before he was identfied as a terrorist threat. 

        • Gerald Fnord

          Thank-you for your correction; I appreciate it.  As for being declared an enemy of the State, I was not speaking only of leaders—who often have more protection anyway—but was making a slippery-slope argument that in this case I feel is justified, given how many have slipped off the slope in the past centruy.

    • Greg Slater

      Even if you’re a cheering fan of assassination, why wouldn’t we want to take bin Laden alive in order to pump him for intel?  Could there possibly have been a better intel source about al Qaeda than the head of al Qaeda?  And you could have cheered as we water boarded him ten thousand times to get every nugget of priceless intel about ‘credible threats’…. I think we can all agree that Seal Time 6 botched the job horribly.

  • Debbie

    I’m not sure I understand any more what Al Qaeda’s mission actually is? In all of the anti-terrorism coverage, there never seems to be any discussion of why America continues to be a target and what we can do to change that.

  • Greg Slater

    ‘The United States of course is limited in it’s public statements to putting out only truthful information…’  What?  What?  Are you kidding me?  What a hopeless tool this guy is.

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