UN to Investigate US Drone Program

By: Friday October 26, 2012 1:29 pm

The United Nations special rapporteur for counterterrorism will lead an inquiry into civilian deaths from US drone strikes around the world, to determine whether the strikes violate international human rights and humanitarian laws. The announcement was made by Ben Emmerson QC, a UN special rapporteur, in a speech to Harvard law school in which he [...]

Executive Order Could Stifle Dissent Against US Policy in Yemen

By: Wednesday May 16, 2012 1:40 pm

A strange executive order by the White House would seemingly apply to anyone, including US citizens, who in the executive’s view “threatens the peace, security, or stability of Yemen.” The order would seek to freeze the assets of individuals engaged in this behavior. Here’s an excerpt from the EO: All property and interests in property [...]

Syria Cease-Fire Occurring Without the Cease-Fire Part

By: Thursday April 5, 2012 1:37 pm

It is not going to be fun watching Kofi Annan get increasingly exasperated over the next week. Annan, the former UN Secretary-General, delivered a cease-fire agreement in the Syrian uprising, to which the Assad regime signed off. However, ever since the signing, the violence has continued, including today, with renewed assaults by military forces on [...]

One-Candidate Election Ends Saleh’s Presidential Rule in Yemen

By: Tuesday February 21, 2012 10:54 am

The one-candidate Presidential election in Yemen happened today. You’ll never guess who won! Yemenis voted Tuesday to instate their U.S.-backed vice president as the new head of state tasked with steering the country out of a crisis created by an anti-government uprising that has raged for a year. The vote can hardly be called an [...]

Reports Show Terrorism Is An Overblown Issue

By: Wednesday February 8, 2012 12:56 pm

Following up on this item, it’s worth noting that, while an aggressive counter-terrorism policy may be publicly popular, there are indications that it’s completely unnecessary. Kevin Drum has this chart showing that indictments for homegrown support for terrorist attacks have declined significantly. In addition, violent attacks carried out by Muslim-Americans in 2011 were almost non-existent. [...]

Bipartisan Consensus: Democrats Agree with Obama Counter-Terrorism Policies

By: Wednesday February 8, 2012 11:36 am

A new poll shows that the lack of forceful opposition to Administration counter-terrorism policies, especially from Congressional Democrats, has led to them becoming broadly popular. This is true even for controversial policies like the continued presence of the prison at Guantanamo Bay, or drone strikes abroad. A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that Obama, [...]

Obama Speaks About Drone Use in Virtual Town Hall

By: Tuesday January 31, 2012 8:55 am

It’s a sad commentary on our media that the President had to answer questions yesterday about drones for the first time, and the questions didn’t come at a White House press briefing or major print interview, but in a virtual YouTube town hall with members of the public. FDL’s Kevin Gosztola covered this at The [...]

US Poised to Admit Yemen Dictator Saleh to New York for Medical Treatment

By: Tuesday December 27, 2011 8:15 am

The Obama Administration, according to the New York Times, will allow Ali Abdullah Saleh into the country for medical treatment, in a move eerily similar to the Carter Administration allowing the Shah of Iran to seek medical help. A visa has not been submitted for Saleh, and the ultimate outcome is subject to certain conditions. [...]

US Acknowledges Irreparable Rupture in Pakistan Relationship

By: Monday December 26, 2011 6:51 am

I wrote Saturday about the Christmas drone truce, a six-week pause in aerial bombing of suspected terrorists over Pakistan, in reaction to a botched airstrike that killed 24 soldiers. Now it looks like this gesture of goodwill (as if “we won’t bomb your country” should be interpreted that way) will not salvage a robust security [...]

Administration’s New Afghan Strategy Looks Like Joe Biden’s 2009 Afghan Strategy

By: Tuesday November 1, 2011 2:23 pm

The United States has a revised strategy for the war in Afghanistan, one which, according to Spencer Ackerman, is pretty bracingly honest: The Obama administration, as the Washington Post reports, is pursuing a new strategy to end the war, called “Fight, Talk, Build,” in Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s phrase. In essence, it means [...]

The Transformation of Law Enforcement Into Counter-Terrorism

By: Wednesday August 24, 2011 10:15 am

I know this is normally The Dissenter’s beat, but I’ve grown pretty concerned at the shift of all law enforcement organizations into anti-terror operations. We have two more examples of that today. First, Charlie Savage writes that the FBI has stepped up their counter-terror operations. Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation have been more [...]

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