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Shortly after the Marine Corps commandant declared, “We're the Mujahideen,” Task & Purpose’s Pentagon correspondent went full Charlie Wilson by calling out the Taliban on Twitter, but Twitter doesn’t seem to care that it is giving a platform to a violent extremist group.
The U.S. government has classified the Afghan Taliban as a “Specifically Designated Terrorist Entity” since 2002, a State Department official told Task & Purpose.
“As a result of the designation, all property subject to U.S. jurisdiction in which the group has any interest is blocked, and U.S. persons are prohibited from engaging in any transactions with them or to their benefit,” the official said in an email.
Yet the Taliban’s chief spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid is on Twitter – with 8,639 followers – and so are several fellow travelers. During a recent Twitter exchange over the commandant’s comments, one Taliban cheerleader suggested that this reporter doesn’t have a penis: “With all these gender movements in the US, I do not know if you actually are a man or some other weird creature.”
Lost in the name calling is a larger question: Why does Twitter allow the Taliban to continue to use its product when the company’s own policy bans “violent extremist groups”?
A company spokeswoman offered little insight, telling Task & Purpose on May 7, “I am unable to comment on individual accounts, for privacy and security reasons.” The spokeswoman referred T&P; to Twitter’s policy on violent extremist group.
According to said policy, Twitter looks for indicators that an account is affiliated with such a group, including: “Stating or suggesting that an account represents or is part of a violent extremist group” and “engaging in or promoting acts for the violent extremist group.”
Zabihullah Mujahid’s home page says it is the “Official Twitter Account of the Spokesman of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.” On May 7, Mujahid tweeted: “Enemy CPs attacked overnight in Aheno, Maidanak & Lalezo areas of Qarabagh #Ghazni, 7 Arbaki militiamen including commander Yaseen killed, 9 wounded. Mujahid also martyred in op & 3 injured.”
Way to go, Twitter.
It looks like the Taliban will be tweeting for the foreseeable future, but your friendly Pentagon correspondent will continue to meet the bully on the middle school playground that is Twitter, reminding Zabihullah Mujahid that, “If I had a dog as ugly as you, I would shave its ass and teach it to walk backwards.”
It didn't take long for a central theme to emerge at the funeral of U.S. Marine Pfc. Joseph Livermore, an event attended by hundreds of area residents Friday at Union Cemetery in Bakersfield.
It's a theme that stems from a widespread local belief that the men and women who have served in the nation's armed forces are held in particularly high esteem here in the southern valley.
"In Bakersfield and Kern County, we celebrate our veterans like no place else on Earth," Bakersfield Chief of Police Lyle Martin told the gathering of mourners.
ROCKFORD — Delta Force sniper Sgt. First Class James P. McMahon's face was so badly battered and cut, "he looked like he was wearing a fright mask" as he stood atop a downed Black Hawk helicopter and pulled free the body of a fellow soldier from the wreckage.
That's the first description of McMahon in the book by journalist Mark Bowden called "Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War." It is a detailed account of the horrific Battle of the Black Sea fought in the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia, in October 1993. It claimed the lives of 18 elite American soldiers.
Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher will retire as a chief petty officer now that President Donald Trump has restored his rank.
"Before the prosecution of Special Warfare Operator First Class Edward Gallagher, he had been selected for promotion to Senior Chief, awarded a Bronze Star with a "V" for valor, and assigned to an important position in the Navy as an instructor," a White House statement said.
"Though ultimately acquitted on all of the most serious charges, he was stripped of these honors as he awaited his trial and its outcome. Given his service to our Nation, a promotion back to the rank and pay grade of Chief Petty Officer is justified."
The announcement that Gallagher is once again an E-7 effectively nullifies the Navy's entire effort to prosecute Gallagher for allegedly committing war crimes. It is also the culmination of Trump's support for the SEAL throughout the legal process.
On July 2, military jurors found Gallagher not guilty of premeditated murder and attempted murder for allegedly stabbing a wounded ISIS fighter to death and opening fire at an old man and a young girl on separate occasions during his 2017 deployment to Iraq.