The Envoy
  • Clinton meets with Syrian opposition

    Citizen video released by Ugarit News of mourners carrying the body of a person during a funeral in the city of Homs, Syria on August 2, 2011. (AP)Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met this morning with members of the U.S.-based Syrian opposition. The meeting came as the United States intensified its condemnation of Bashar al-Assad's continuing crackdown on anti-government unrest.

    The Syrian regime's "assault on civilians" highlights "again the brutality and viciousness of the Assad regime," Clinton said in a statement released by the State Department yesterday.

    "As I have said before, President Assad has lost his legitimacy with the Syrian people," Clinton's statement continued. "Syria will be a better place when a democratic transition goes forward."

    Clinton's meeting at the State Department at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday included Radwan Ziadeh, an analyst based at George Washington University, Mohammad Alabdalla, and others who wished for their names not to be published out of concern over retribution against their families by the Syrian regime.

    The delegation of U.S.-based Syrian opposition members and Syrian-American activists "is scheduled to discuss the ongoing assaults and violations on Syrians, specifically the recent attacks on the cities of Hama, Deir ez-Zor, and other Syrian cities," Ziadeh said in a press release to journalists.

    The U.S. and European allies have struggled to forge an effective international response to the Syrian bloodshed.

    Read More »from Clinton meets with Syrian opposition
  • President Barack Obama with members of the national security team receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the White House Situation Room on May 1, 2011. (Pete Souza/White House/AP)While the whole world knows about the U.S. Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in May, many of the details of the mission have been shrouded in operational secrecy--until now.

    In an astonishingly detailed reconstruction published Monday by the New Yorker, reporter Nicholas Schmidle goes deep inside the planning and execution of the May 1 raid. The scope of specificity and suspense in Schmidle's tick-tock makes for a powerful read. (As just a sampler, see these few lines: "… Nine years, seven months, and twenty days after September 11th, an American was a trigger pull from ending bin Laden's life. The first round, a 5.56-mm. bullet, struck bin Laden in the chest. As he fell backward, the SEAL fired a second round into his head, just above his left eye. On his radio, he reported, 'For God and country—Geronimo, Geronimo, Geronimo.' After a pause, he added, 'Geronimo E.K.I.A.'—'enemy killed in action.'"…)

    While the whole piece is worth your attention, here are five things we learned from the New Yorker's reconstruction of the raid:

    Read More »from Inside the raid that killed Osama bin Laden: “Crankshaft,” DEVGRU and a dog named Cairo


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