During the final few nights of the Democratic National Convention, the politically-minded users of Twitter dot com noticed a phenomenon: Republican commentators openly lamenting that their party’s convention had been surpassed in the category of “patriotic fuckfest” by the Democratic party they had at one point successfully branded as only for anti-war pants-pissers.
After months of bureaucratic wrangling, the Obama administration has disclosed its official count of civilians killed in airstrikes outside of conventional war zones: Somewhere between 64 and 116 since 2009. Strangely enough, the administration chose to release the numbers on the Friday afternoon before a holiday weekend.
Today, The Intercept began the process of making the archive of documents provided by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden available to the wider public, beginning with the first three months of SIDtoday, an internal, top secret agency newsletter that began publishing 11 days after the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The files are available for download here.
Responding quickly to BuzzFeed’s newly uncovered interview in which Donald Trump advocates for invading Iraq, Anderson Cooper asked the man himself if he remembered answering in the affirmative. In response, Trump comes as close to breaking character as we’ve seen him yet. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
At the Republican debate on Saturday, Donald Trump declared, “I’m the only one on this stage that said: ‘Do not go into Iraq. Do not attack Iraq.’ Nobody else on this stage said that. And I said it loud and strong.” This is—as the man himself might say—a big fat lie.
At least three Americans were kidnapped by militants in southern Baghdad on Saturday, according to several American and Iraqi news outlets. An unnamed official of the city’s police force confirmed the group’s disappearance to The Washington Post on Sunday evening, but their precise identities, and why exactly they were kidnapped, were initially unclear:
Ahmed Chalabi, a con artist who spent a decade convincing America’s foreign policy establishment to topple a dictator so the Chalabi family could resume extracting their home nation’s wealth, died of a heart attack today, about 15 years too late. If you haven’t read it in a while (or at all), now is a good time to revisit Jane Mayer’s 2004 account of how long and how hard Chalabi worked to make regime change in Iraq the main foreign policy priority of a bunch of deeply stupid but powerful people, who grew to believe, despite of the overwhelming amount of evidence to the contrary, that the deeply unscrupulous exile could be a credible leader of a secular and democratic Iraq.
Later today, the White House will announce a “shift” in the the U.S. policy against ISIS that will include sending a small group of special operations forces into northern Syria, according to NBC News. The reported announcement will come eight days after an American commando was killed while freeing hostages from ISIS fighters in Iraq.