This doctrine holds that evidence gathered with the assistance of illegally obtained information must be excluded from trial. Thus, if an illegal interrogation leads to the discovery of physical evidence, both the interrogation and the physical evidence may be excluded, the interrogation because of the exclusionary rule, and the physical evidence because it is the “fruit” of the illegal interrogation.
[ by Charles Cameron — 3 Quarks Daily, Boston Apocalyptic conference, LapidoMedia, World Religions and Spirituality Project, Bellingcat, Loopcast, Pragati, Sembl ]
First, please vote!
. [ Note added: voting is now closed: my story received the fifth highest tally of votes out of 45 entries, and is now up for consideration by the 3QD editors in the next round — many, many thanks! ]
My story, War in Heaven, is in the running for the 3 Quarks Daily Arts & Literature Prize. 3 Quarks Daily is a great aggregator site, I’m honored to have made the cut so far, and would love to make it to the next level. My entry is #33 in the alphabetical list here, and votes can be cast at the bottom of the page. Networking for votes is all part of the game, so I’m hoping you’ll vote — & encourage your friends to go to that page & vote my entry up.
There’s even a Google Hangout video in which Atlantic Council Non-Resident Senior Fellow August Cole, who directs the Art of Future Warfare project, interviews the contest’s winner and finalists, myself included. August’s book, Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War, is in the running for next great Tom Clancy like techno-thriller.
You’ll find plenty of other good entries at the 3QD contest page, and daily at 3QD as well — as I say, it’s excellent in its own right, and one of the richest contributors of varied and interesting posts on my RSS feed.
Then, in no particular order — check ’em all out —
To my way of thinking, the critical thing to know about the Islamic State is its “apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision” as Martin Dempsey put it — and the implications of that statement, both in terms of strategy and of recruitment & morale. That’s what the Boston conference focused on, and that’s why I think it was no less significant for being sparsely attended. In a series of future blogs I hope to go over the videos of the various presentations and spell some of their implications out — Will McCants‘ book, The ISIS Apocalypse, is due out in September, and I’d like to have filled in some background by then.
Here, though, as I’m giving an update on my own doings, is my presentation — an attempt both to tie together some of the strands of the panel I was commenting on (but could barely hear, but that’s a tale or another day), and to express my sense of the importance of apoclyptic thinking, not merely as an intellectual exercise but as an emotional and indeed visceral relaity for those swept up in it:
The other speakers were Richard Landes, WIlliam McCants, Graeme Wood, Timothy Furnish, Cole Bunzel, Jeffrey Bale, David Cook, J.M. Berger, Itamar Marcus, Charles Jacobs, David Redles, Mia Bloom, Charles Strozier, Brenda Brasher and Paul Berman — quite a stellar crew.
My two latest pieces for LapidoMedia, where I’m currently editor:
Justin then gave our discussion a shoutout at The Loopcast —
— the immediate context starts around the 30 min mark, and runs to around 35 — and followed up with a second Bellingcat post, Analyzing Bin Ladin’s Bookshelf Part 2 — in which he quoted me again. Key here is his remark:
a human with domain expertise is always going to be in a better position to make judgement calls than any algorithm
Agreed — & many thanks, Justin!
Bellingcat — definitely an honor to get a shoutout there,
It’s a terrific feeling to see the next runner in a relay race take off from the handover… Cath is getting some high praise for her work on Sembl for the museum world, including the following:
Sembl incredibly succesfully mixes competitive and collaborative play, creativity and expression, and exploration and inspiration. It’s the sort of game you think about when you’re not playing it, and it’s the sort of game that helps you see the world in new ways.
Writer, Game Developer, Lecturer at Unversity of East London
[ by Charles Cameron — on the topic of Nairobi there’s the news — and then there’s Teju Cole ]
Teju Cole, left, Kofi Awoonor, right -- photo credits Teju Cole & Peace FM Online respectively
We’re interested in creativity as well as natsec issues here at Zenpundit, so i thought it might be appropriate to see what a fine writer had to say about the hideous attack and siege of the Westgate mall in Nairobi — and perhaps more importantly, how he chooses to say it.
Teju Cole is a writer (“award winning” and rightly so) whose insightful and skilfully deployed tweets caught my attention some while back, and have only increased my admiration for him over time. I followed his twitterstream along with others while the events in Nairobi were playing out, and today read his New Yorker blog post covering much the same ground in greater detail.
What is striking to me about Cole’s approach — the approach of a fine writer, in Nairobi at the time, a friend and admirer of the Ghanaian poet Kofi Awoonor who died at the mall — is the care he takes to balance death with birdsong, death with poetry. In treating matters this way — and we can be sure he is every bit as deliberate in his use of 140 characters as he is in longer-form writings — he both gives a world of context to the small world of the mall event itself, and offers us hope to balance our despair and disgust.
Cole is reading from his novel Open City at the National Museum at the time the attack on the mall begins:
During the reading, as word of the attack filtered in, people answered their phones and checked their messages, but, onstage and oblivious, I continued taking questions from the audience
Here, then, I have pulled together most of the tweets Cole posted in recent days for your consideration, in the order in which he posted them… Together, they offer us a very different way to encounter tragic events from those presented by journalists or analysts.
Then comes the first of two tweets in which Cole judiciously balances the tragically human and blithely natural worlds, including in his tweet a short soundscape in which those voices are woven together in counterpoint:
Teju Cole has gone from a tweet to a blog post on the New Yorker site in a matter of days. Here’s just a brief taster:
The massacre did not end neatly. It became a siege. In my hotel room, about half a mile from the mall, I was woken in the mornings that followed by the sounds of gunfire, heavy artillery, attack helicopters, and military planes. In counterpoint to these frightening sounds were others: incessant birdsong outside my window, the laughter of children from the daycare next door. I read Awoonor’s poems, and watched a column of black smoke rise from the mall in the distance. The poems’ uncanny prophetic force became inescapable. A section of “Hymn to My Dumb Earth” reads:
What has not happened before?
An animal has caught me,
it has me in its claws
Someone, someone, save
Save me, someone,
for I die.
[ by Charles Cameron — further hints from the HSM Press twitter stream, following on from part 1 on bullet-proofing ]
As of Monday morning 11am California time:
I now think it’s clear that the twitter stream I was commenting on in this post and the first in the series was not an official Shabaab feed, and thus untrustworthy as to its statements — although it’s exact status (fan, mimic, troll, loosely connected?) is undetermined.
I am leaving the post up (a) for the record, and (b) for whatever minor interest it may still have.
I won’t be presenting the rest of these tweets in graphical form, since that would be labor intensive and I’m trying to be conservative about my labor, but there’s one more Sun Tzu quote I noticed in their stream, and we’ll come to it.
In the meantime, HSM Press tweeted on a variety of topics, all of which seem relevant to them:
Let’s note first the importance given to prayer in these tweets:
our mujahideen just prayed salat dhuhr! #westgate #alshabaab #Nairobi
our mujahideen are preparing to pray salat maghrib! #westgate #AlShabaab #Nairobi
The Qur’an is cited:
and kill them wherever you find them! ring a bell? #westgate #AlShabaab
Their Islam is a religion of peace —
yes islam is a religion of peace! thats undebatable. the debate here is who hit first? #westgate #AlShabaab
dont blame islam! islam never told you wage war on another country! #westgate
— but peace comes arms-in-arms with justice.
There are matters of logistics:
we tweeted arrival of 2 squads and they are replacing our first two now. hooo-ah! #Westgate
update: our third mujahideen squad just crossed the border, enroute to #garisa and other undisclosed locations. #Westgate #AlShabaab
Here’s that other Sun Tzu quote, along with a mention of training camps:
the first thing they taught us in training camps: know your enemy! #AlShabaab #Westgate
and there, making a fine DoubleQuote, is Margaret Atwood‘s nifty variant on Clausewitz:
“War is what happens when language fails.” #westgate @nairobi
Now, about those “training camps”?
have we mentioned we trained in this same building months ago! our mujahideen know every corner of this building! #alshabaab #westgate
our mujahideen are all under 25 years old. 7 of them having completed training in black water facility in north california! #Westgate
So they train with Blackwater / Academi and in situ, eh? And they’re all under 25 — when they started naming namesa bit later, they identified at least one 27 year old, but you get the drift — and at least one is a young woman:
our female combatant took out 15 kenyan soldier! what an amazing woman! #Westgate
They count the cost — though unlike AQC in the case of 9/11, they don’t do so to show what a huge ROI they have, just to be glad it wasn’t a flop:
the vast amount of time, money and dedication we contributed to this operation were glad it was carried successfully! #westgate #AlShabaab
They call it an op here, but their view of its size and importance is pretty flexible as to scale…
It’s a game — the “war as game meme” once again!:
lets see how yall enjoy this game! #westgate #alshabaab #Nairobi
They also call it a war:
this is a war and its not going to end well. #westgate #AlShabaab
It’s not a Jihad, though:
#JIHAD is a big word to use for this drill. #kneyans you will know when jihad is happening its unevitable! #westgate #AlShabaab
It’s gonna get worse:
you call few hundred death a deadly attack. well see what a deadly attack is. brace yourselves #lenya #westgate #AlShabaab
— and hey, it looks as though they have their eye on S Africa as a target further down the road:
#southafrica gere we come!!! #Westgate
Those are the tweets I found interesting on a first read. HSM followed up with the names and home cities of three American participants, and then their feed was suspended and I was invited to return to my home timeline…
Credit goes to JM Berger for getting Twitter to be a whole lot quicker in disabling their feeds, but it’s all a bit whack-a-mole, and I suspect they’re probably back up by now, under some variant name or other.
Zenpundit is a blog dedicated to exploring the intersections of foreign policy, history, military theory, national security,strategic thinking, futurism, cognition and a number of other esoteric pursuits.