I don't own a Tell-lie-vision...
but I happened to be in a restaurant ordering a salmon burger (don't judge me!) and stumbled upon a live broadcast of a briefing to reporters on the state of US counterterrorism in light of the "Underwear Bomber" incident. I looked up in time to see journalist April Ryan (Yep, the same April Ryan who was dissed by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs not long ago.) asking several questions. As her words came tumbling out I got the sense that she was out of her element, that she really didn't know much about international affairs. The longer I listened the more perplexed and concerned I became. Ryan declared that Africa was a "breeding ground" for terrorists and that these African terrorists would eventually invade Europe:
on the Africa issue, some in the national security community are saying that the focus needs to be placed on the continent of Africa. You talked -- the President has talked about Somalia. And there are breeding grounds in Africa where extremists from the Pakistan-Afghanistan border are going to Somalia. And there's a fear that the tentacles will spread from there into Northern Africa, into Europe. Have you or anyone here talked to any of the African leaders? And is AFRICOM appropriate to handle this kind of situation right now after the Christmas attack?She posted a near identical statement on her blog (no mention of AFRICOM).
Meanwhile, Robert Gibbs White House Press Secretary contends the President has not placed calls to African leaders on the Detroit incident. Some countries in Africa are breeding grounds for terror. Some members of Al Qaeda and other extremists are leaving the Afghanistan and Pakistan boarders to flee to Somalia. Some in the National Security field fear the extremists in Somalia will create tentacles throughout the continent, particularly in lawless areas there.
Ryan is wrong about Somalia and other unnamed African nations being strongholds for terrorist plots. But she is not solely to blame for this nonsense. US discussions about "terror" are deeply flawed. The majority of what we call terrorist acts are actually legitimate responses to our dreadful foreign policy.
Read the transcript of the press briefing including Ms. Ryan's statement here and her blog post here. If you have questions for April Ryan, you can leave them at her blog.
Map source: CNN
Naked plane source: trashselector
tags: africom, cuba, method man, Nigeria, war on terror