Cross-posted from The Intercept
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Long before Americans were introduced to the new 9/11 era super-villains called ISIS and Khorasan, senior Obama officials were openly and explicitly stating that America's "war on terror," already 12 years old, would last at least another decade. At first, they injected these decrees only anonymously; in late 2012, The Washington Post -- disclosing the administration's secret creation of a "disposition matrix" to decide who should be killed, imprisoned without charges, or otherwise "disposed" of -- reported these remarkable facts:
"Among senior Obama administration officials, there is a broad consensus that such operations are likely to be extended at least another decade. Given the way al-Qaida continues to metastasize, some officials said no clear end is in sight. ... That timeline suggests that the United States has reached only the midpoint of what was once known as the global war on terrorism."
In May, 2013, the Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing on whether it should revise the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF). A committee member asked a senior Pentagon official, Assistant Secretary Michael Sheehan, how long the war on terror would last; his reply: "At least 10 to 20 years." At least. A Pentagon spokesperson confirmed afterward "that Sheehan meant the conflict is likely to last 10 to 20 more years from today -- atop the 12 years that the conflict has already lasted." As Spencer Ackerman put it: "Welcome to America's Thirty Years War," one which -- by the Obama administration's own reasoning -- has "no geographic limit."