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March 19, 2014
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When Osama bin Laden was discovered to be hiding in a three-story house in the garrison town of Abbottabad, Pakistan — as opposed to the Waziri cave of popular imagination — it was immediately suspected that members of the Pakistani military had been aware of his whereabouts, and had perhaps even helped him evade the U.S.'s wrath. In a new article in The New York Times Magazine, Carlotta Gall, who spent more than a decade reporting from Afghanistan and Pakistan for the Times, presents a pretty powerful case that the military — in particular its powerful spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence — was indeed involved in safehousing bin Laden.

In trying to prove that the ISI knew of Bin Laden’s whereabouts and protected him, I struggled for more than two years to piece together something other than circumstantial evidence and suppositions from sources with no direct knowledge. Only one man, a former ISI chief and retired general, Ziauddin Butt, told me that he thought [former President Pervez] Musharraf had arranged to hide bin Laden in Abbottabad. But he had no proof and, under pressure, claimed in the Pakistani press that he’d been misunderstood. Finally, on a winter evening in 2012, I got the confirmation I was looking for. According to one inside source, the ISI actually ran a special desk assigned to handle Bin Laden. It was operated independently, led by an officer who made his own decisions and did not report to a superior. He handled only one person: bin Laden. I was sitting at an outdoor cafe when I learned this, and I remember gasping, though quietly so as not to draw attention. (Two former senior American officials later told me that the information was consistent with their own conclusions.) This was what Afghans knew, and Taliban fighters had told me, but finally someone on the inside was admitting it. The desk was wholly deniable by virtually everyone at the ISI — such is how supersecret intelligence units operate — but the top military bosses knew about it, I was told. [The New York Times Magazine]

Perhaps it's not what we could call a slam dunk, but there is much more than that, so check out the full article, which is excerpted from Gall's forthcoming book The Wrong Enemy: America in Afghanistan, 2001-2014. Ryu Spaeth

1:00 a.m. ET
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Adm. William F. Moran, vice chief of naval operations, told reporters Thursday that about a dozen sailors who were aboard the USS Fitzgerald when it collided with a container ship June 17 off the coast of Japan, killing seven crew members, will face disciplinary action, including the top two officers and top enlisted sailor.

Moran said most of the punishments will be delivered Friday, and the ship's captain at the time, Cmdr. Bryce Benson; his second-in-command, Cmdr. Sean Babbitt; and senior enlisted sailor for the ship, Command Master Chief Brice A. Baldwin, will be permanently removed as leaders of the ship. He also said the sailors who were on watch in the Fitzgerald's bridge "at some point…lost situational awareness," and are among those facing discipline. The investigation into whether the Fitzgerald crew is solely responsible for the crash is ongoing.

Moran said investigators are still trying to determine exactly what took place right before the collision, when the container ship ripped a huge hole into the smaller Fitzgerald early in the morning. Most of the sailors were asleep when the accident occurred, and a majority of those who died were sleeping closest to where the water came rushing in, The Washington Post reports. Survivors said they had to try to escape as items like mattresses and lockers floated by in the water, and several sailors, trying to keep the ship from sinking, were forced to seal a door with other sailors still inside. Catherine Garcia

12:02 a.m. ET
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Police in Spain say they stopped a major terrorist attack in the coastal city of Cambrils early Friday morning when they killed five suspects who were wearing explosive belts.

The van the suspects were in did drive into a group, police said, wounding seven people, but the vehicle flipped over and when several men jumped out, police fired on them. Their explosive belts were later safely detonated by authorities. This came hours after a van drove into a crowd in Barcelona's Las Ramblas district, killing 13 people and injuring more than 100; the van's driver escaped and is on the run.

Authorities are linking Cambrils and Barcelona to an explosion at a house in Alcanar on Wednesday, which killed one person; police said it appears that people inside the house were "preparing an explosive device," the BBC reports. Catherine Garcia

August 17, 2017

Once-and-future action hero and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) may not be the best person to convince President Trump about the merits of unequivocally condemning neo-Nazis and white supremacists, given their history and especially when he uses a Trump bobble-head, but he gave it a try anyway on Thursday night. "The only way to beat the loud and angry voices of hate is to meet them with louder and more reasonable voices," he said in a video for ATTN, and that includes Trump, who, "as president of this great country," has "a moral responsibility to send an unequivocal that you won't stand for hate and racism." In case Trump was unsure what such a statement would sound like, Schwarzenegger offered him a Republican-specific template.

More interesting was his "blunt" message to "the neo-Nazis and to the white supremacists and to the neo-Confederates," which began: "Your heroes are losers. You are supporting a lost cause. Believe me, I knew the original Nazis." He explained that he was born in Austria in 1947, right after World War II, and growing up he "was surrounded by broken men, men who came home from the war filled with shrapnel and guilt, men who were misled by into a losing ideology. And I can tell you that these ghosts that you idolize spent the rest of their lives living in shame. And right now, they're resting in hell." He said it isn't too late to change course, and he wasn't buying Trump's "fine people" excuse for the Charlottesville marchers.

"If you say 'Arnold, hey, I was just at the march, don't call me a Nazi, I have nothing to do with Nazis at all,'" Schwarzenegger said, "let me help you: Don't hang around people who carry Nazi flags, give Nazi salutes, or shout Nazi slogans. Go home. Or better yet, tell them they are wrong to celebrate an ideology that murdered millions of people. And then go home." Schwarzenegger also had some advice for people who are not Nazis or Nazi sympathizers and think it's best to stay quiet or keep their heads down, and he only used one of his famous movie catchphrases. Peter Weber

August 17, 2017
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He made a name for himself supporting candidate, then nominee, and finally President Donald Trump in articles, television, and radio appearances, and also on his pro-Trump blog and quarterly journal. Now, Julius Krein is writing off Trump's "disgraceful administration," and urging "anyone who once supported him as I did to stop defending the 45th president."

In a New York Times op-ed titled "I Voted for Trump. And I Sorely Regret It," Krein said he was attracted to Trump during the campaign due to his "willingness to move past partisan stalemates" and because he "forthrightly addressed the foreign policy failures of both parties, such as the debacles in Iraq and Libya." Krein admitted he was aware that Trump's statements on immigration were "often needlessly inflammatory" and his "policy positions were poorly defined," but said he gave Trump "the benefit of the doubt."

Seven months into his presidency, and following Trump's remarks on Charlottesville, Krein said it's now clear his "optimism was unfounded" and Trump's "increasingly appalling conduct will continue to repel anyone who might once have been inclined to work with him." By the day, Trump's behavior is growing "only more reprehensible," and his administration has "no significant accomplishments," Krein added. While he pins some of the blame for Trump's disastrous presidency on the media and the Republican Party, "the administration has committed too many unforced errors and deserves most of the blame for its failures." Read Krein's entire op-ed at The New York Times. Catherine Garcia

August 17, 2017
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21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch wrote in a memo Thursday that President Trump's reaction to the violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville last weekend should "concern all of us as Americans and free people," and shared that he and his wife Kathryn will donate $1 million to the Anti-Defamation League.

Murdoch, whose father is conservative media mogul Rupert Murdoch, said he doesn't usually "offer running commentary on current affairs" but was so distressed by the "acts of brutal terrorism and violence perpetrated by a racist mob" that he felt the need to comment. "I can't even believe I have to write this," Murdoch said. "Standing up to Nazis is essential; there are no good Nazis. Or Klansmen, or terrorists. Democrats, Republicans, and others must all agree on this, and it compromises nothing for them to do so." He also urged his colleagues to give to the ADL as well, calling it an "extraordinary force for vigilance and strength in the face of bigotry." Read the entire memo at Variety. Catherine Garcia

August 17, 2017
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A Democratic Missouri state senator who posted, then quickly deleted, a comment on her personal Facebook page saying she hoped President Trump would be assassinated is ignoring calls from her colleagues to resign.

State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal told The Kansas City Star that she made her mistake after posting a statement saying: "I really hate Trump. He's causing trauma and nightmares." Several of her friends left comments, and in response to one, she wrote, "I hope Trump is assassinated!" "It was wrong of me to do that," she said. "But I am not going to shy away from the damage this president is causing." Her page is not visible to the public, and the post was first reported by a conservative St. Louis radio host.

Chappelle-Nadal said she disagrees with Trump's response to the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville last weekend, and that by saying "both sides" were to blame for the violence, Trump "made it easier for racists to be racists. As long as I have a voice, I'm going to talk about the damage [Trump] is creating in this nation." Democrats in her state are not supporting her, with Sen. Claire McCaskill releasing a statement on the comment saying: "I condemn it. It's outrageous. And she should resign." Stephen Webber, chairman of the Missouri Democratic Party, said Chappelle-Nadal's words were "indefensible," and State Senate Minority Leader Gina Walsh said she "should be ashamed of herself.

Chappelle-Nadal told The Kansas City Star she has no plans to step down, since "legislators cheat on their wives or smoke marijuana and are not asked to resign. I'm not resigning over a simple mistake." The Secret Service said it is "looking into the comments." Catherine Garcia

August 17, 2017
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Police in Spain announced early Friday that they shot and killed four people during a counter-terrorism raid in the coastal city of Cambrils.

One additional suspect was injured. The city is south of Barcelona, and it has not been confirmed if the suspects were linked to the van attack that killed at least 13 people Thursday in the Las Ramblas area. Two people were arrested Thursday in connection with the Barcelona attack, but police said neither detainee is suspected of being the van's driver. Catherine Garcia

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