Given Trump’s “speech” on #Baghdadi, I really need to do an extended thread about this issue.
The oft-mentioned "orange jumpsuits" in Trump's #Baghdadi's speech refer to the costumes #ISIS forced their victims to wear.

Guess why.

Those are the same uniforms worn by detainees at Guantanamo and other venues of indefinite detention in the War on Terror.

One reason why British and American hostages (use their NAMES: Jim, Steven, David, Alan, Abdurrahman [Peter]) were grouped according to nationalities was a specific "fuck you" to key partners in the Global War on Terror, and particularly - black sites, torture, rendition, etc.
American and British captives of ISIS were subjected to waterboarding and other forms of torture known from Guantanamo Bay and other US run GWOT sites, such as Camp Bucca, Abu Ghraib, and black sites elsewhere.

Jimmy was waterboarded the most - as the group's morale booster.
When Trump mentions the heinous torture and orange jumpsuits "#Baghdadi and these savage monsters" inflicted on MY FRIENDS, he fails to mention:

#ISIS adopted many techniques of savagery applied to innocent detainees (not just terrorists) from "our" War on Terror.
We know -- FOR A FACT -- from Spanish, French, Italian, and other nationalities released by #ISIS that guards had an explicit dream and plan to create their own "Guantanamo Bay" for American and British captives.

And guess what? They did.
If you want to understand #Baghdadi and the rise of #ISIS, you HAVE to understand the Global War on Terror.

Otherwise, the crucial symbolism behind those executions -- and the staging's psyops significance -- will be entirely lost on you.

All you'll do is emotionally react.
It's not even 4 am, so I need some coffee.

But rest assured, Ms. Entropy ain't nowhere close to finished with this rant.
[as an aside, I highly recommend NOT fucking with me in my mentions during this thread. I do not enjoy discussing this topic, as reliving the nightmare of what my friends faced before their public decapitation murder snuff films gives me ZERO pleasure at all. It's quite personal]
Anyway, I'll come back, post-caffeination, to address why "orange jumpsuits" are so damn significant in terms of ISIS' monstrousness, where they come from, and why "we" damn sure better understand it to better eliminate "them."

No thanks to Trump.

I’ve had a bit more caffeine, so I’ll continue with a few comments now, but this thread will be on-and-off throughout the day.

I’m juggling media today, academic obligations, and university meetings (etc.), so thanks in advance for the patience.
"Sweeps" during the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq detained men (and, indeed, children) in massive numbers -- a great many of whom were innocent.

Several remain detained as "potential security threats" as years of detention "may have radicalized them."

Part of indefinite detention's inherent psychological torture (especially for the vast majority of innocents swept up in indiscriminate arrests) comes from endless uncertainty about one's fate, and utter powerlessness.

How does this play out in ISIS propaganda psyops?
Let me introduce you to ISIS captive and British journalist John Cantlie.

Please don't forget John; he may still be alive.

This is a "banner advertisement" for an ISIS propaganda series (8 episodes, I believe - only 6 of which have been released), entitled "Lend Me Your Ears."
During "Lend Me Your Ears," John wears the familiar orange jumpsuit of Guantanamo Bay -- and is explicitly referred to NOT as a "hostage."

Not as a "captive."

John is referred to, explicitly, as a DETAINEE.
I have no desire to regurgitate the ISIS script here, but John Cantlie repeatedly refers to the fact that he has no ability to effect the outcome, or to know about the likelihood of his fate.

"Maybe I will live, and maybe I will die. But I have nothing left to lose."
John Cantlie is later used as a "journalist" for ISIS' English-language propaganda magazine, Dabiq. Here his jumpsuit is no longer orange, but yellow.

At GWOT detention facilities like Guantanamo, yellow jumpsuits (instead of orange) indicated lower levels of security concerns.
ISIS has also featured non-American and non-British hostages in yellow jumpsuits, which appears to indicate a liminal status -- instead of the orange jumpsuit in explicit mimicry of Guantanamo Bay detainees.

Seen here: Norwegian and Chinese captives "for sale."
(As an aside, ISIS considers 'deviant Muslims' its main target -- Sunni and Shia alike. This is why local Muslims, especially Shia Muslims, often appear in execution videos clad in red jumpsuits prior to execution: the highest "risk" in the uniforms' color hierarchy.)
Back to Jimmy, Steven, Alan, David, and Abdurrahman for a moment - most critically their professions.

Journalists and aid workers -- every single one.

Yes, this matters. It matters a HELL of a lot in the context of the Global War on Terror.
Many innocent men swept up into US rendition and torture facilities of 'indefinite detention?'

Afghan, Pakistani, Arab, Chechen, Uyghur, etc. detainees imprisoned for years (some, to this day) were, like Jim, Steven, Alan, David & Abdurrahman..


And aid workers.
This is one (among many) glaring idiosyncrasies present in the ISIS snuff films that feature the five men's executions.

Most jihadi "execution films" follow a scripted format that I'll describe in the next Tweet.
Typical jihadi execution film:

- captive sits before a panel of judges / executioners
- masked man steps forward, announces charges
- victim 'confesses'
- brutal execution occurs, with victim dehumanized as a pleading, whimpering animal

Not so with ISIS & the five men above.
Jim, Steven, David, Alan, and Abdurrahman are NOT accused of any crimes whatsoever in the ISIS snuff films in which they are murdered.

Not at all.

ISIS explicitly speaks of them as innocents, suffering for the policy decisions of American leaders.

This. Fucking. Matters.
If Trump wants to run his mouth about "monstrous savages" and "orange jumpsuits," he would do well to know the lineage and origin of the torture techniques and symbolic signifiers ISIS uses.

If, that is, he'd like to defeat them.

I sure as hell do.
[Intermission - I have media interviews for the next few hours. Back to this thread around 10 am EST.]
(Aside: Yes, I curse. I fucking hate this subject. I hate talking about it, I hate that it exists in the first place, and I really hate having the knowledge about this mess at all, especially the need to endlessly relive this misery because public awareness of this shit MATTERS.)
I'll be adding to this thread (to recap) throughout the day, and will minimize the expletives as much as possible.
Before I forget, I neglected to mention a very critical point about the orange vs. yellow jumpsuits.
Note the distinctions between jumpsuit color hierarchy and language.

“British” - DETAINEE (orange)
“Norwegian / Chinese” - PRISONER (yellow)

Not. Coincidental. Intentional.


Hating ISIS (even for very personal reasons) and praying for their eradication doesn’t mean you get to ignore the conditions that birthed them in the first place.

Want to get rid of them?

Start with major missteps in the “Global War on Terror.”
Much public discourse surrounding #Baghdadi’s death is overly optimistic, but more critically — dangerously short-sighted in its myopic triumphalism.

We can’t understand or eradicate #ISIS while erasing the geopolitical historical context that birthed it: #Iraq and the #GWOT.
I have a bit of a break right now, so I’m going to fire off a few more Tweets before I brush my teeth and wash my face (yes, I know, I’m repulsive).
The "story of ISIS" does not begin and end with Baghdadi.

There are several interlocking aspects to this mess, and Bashar al-Asad's regime in Syria is 100% not exempt.

[Don't @ me with "REGIME CHANGE!!!" accusations. That's not the damn point, or relevant to the topic.]
During the Iraq war (beginning in 2003) and the broader #GWOT, Asad both hosted CIA black sites for extraordinary rendition (and torture) in Syria -- but also enabled a pipeline of fighters from Syria into Iraq for attacks on U.S. forces.
Sometimes... the jihadi chickens come home to roost.

This is one factor (among MANY others) in the transformation of Syria's 2011 uprising into today's horrifying civil war.
Had the United States NOT invaded Iraq in 2003, there would be no ISIS today.

I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but that's a fact.
I'd also like to remind you that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is NOT the founder of ISIS.

That's an erasure of history, which is straight-up stupid and does absolutely nothing to contextualize the group's rise.
It's a stretch to even connect ISIS with Osama Bin Laden's Al Qaeda (in original incarnation), as Al Qaeda's entry into Iraq -- like a shitty jihadi Field of Dreams "if you build it they will come" sequel -- saw the group transform under the leadership of Abu Musaab al-Zarqawi.
Who was Zarqawi? Well, besides a barely literate thug with a penchant for drugs, petty theft, and rape -- he was, in no small part, a jihadi superstar of the U.S.' own making.

If he didn't exist, we would have had to invent him (and we kind of did):…
Bin Laden and Zarqawi met years before in Afghanistan, but OBL didn't like or trust Zarqawi.

The much-discussed "merger" of 2004 that led to "Al Qaeda in Iraq," helmed by Zarqawi, was a marriage of convenience -- and an asymmetrical one at that.
Bin Laden was in hiding, and needed Iraq for Al Qaeda's name brand recognition to remain relevant.

Zarqawi needed financial backers and a powerful name behind him.

BAM. Al Qaeda in Iraq.
Bin Laden and Zawahiri (2nd in command at AQ HQ) became quite pissed off at Zarqawi for his penchant of brutal executions and targeting of Shia Muslims.

(No, not because #kumbayah - because 'bad PR.')

By that point, though: it was already way too damn late.
Zarqawi's leadership of AQ in Iraq revived the organization, and transformed it in a far more vicious incarnation--one that laid the foundations (but is NOT synonymous) with so-called 'Islamic State.'

Why? OBL's marginalization (see previous Tweets) (
More on the spawns of Zarqawi and how that intersects with the creation and rise of ISIS (as well as entry into Syria's battleground) when I get another break.

In the meantime, I know there are a few different threads on ISIS & Baghdadi on here by me, so I'll link them separately below.
THREAD -- on implications of #Baghdadi's death for #ISIS as an organization, click here -->
THREAD -- for analysis of Trump's speech on #Baghdadi, #ISIS, and the erasure of critical geopolitical and historical contexts (i.e., #GWOT) necessary to understand and eradicate the group, click here -->

To Be Continued.
I'm adding a VERY, VERY long -- and immensely disturbing thread here (from last year), but it remains extremely relevant for understanding ISIS' appeal beyond Baghdadi.

Trigger warnings: all of them.
Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh.

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Keep Current with Ms. Entropy / سيدة الفتنة (Dr. Amanda E. Rogers)

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