Obama accused of selectively quoting bin Laden in anti-terror talk

Washington, May 29 (ANI): US President Barack Obama has been accused of selectively quoting Osama bin Laden, by using a snippet of an anti-America screed to make it sound like Al Qaeda was breaking under the weight of the U.S. drone program.

Obama quoted the Al Qaeda leader during his wide-ranging speech on counterterrorism policy last Thursday in Washington.

As part of his argument in defense of the lethal drone program, Obama suggested bin Laden himself deemed the strikes to be effective, according to a Fox News report.

The strikes have undoubtedly killed key terror leaders, and have changed the way Al Qaeda and its affiliates operate. But the document, one of several bin Laden writings published by West Point's Combating Terrorism Center, showed bin Laden discussing how drones strikes have changed his organization's tactics, not necessarily how they have Al Qaeda on the run.

The document, which refers repeatedly to the "Ummah," or Muslim population, says that the Ummah should put forward some, but enough, forces to fight America, and that the Ummah must keep some of its forces on reserve, which will be used during an appropriate time in the future.

The document goes on to say that the Al-Qaeda still have a powerful force which can organize and prepare for deployment.

Thomas Joscelyn, a senior fellow with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, argued that bin Laden's full quote has a far different meaning than that conveyed by the excerpt Obama cited last week.

Joscelyn wrote in The Weekly Standard that the full quote actually supports the argument that al Qaeda's 'reserves' have been removed from the drones' kill box. It is quite obvious that improvised explosive devices, car bombs, small arms and the like cannot take out unmanned drones. So, Al Qaeda has simply moved some of its forces elsewhere, he said.

Joscelyn said the "selective citation" highlights a broader problem - that the president and his administration only see what they want to see in the fight against Al Qaeda and affiliates groups. (ANI)


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