Money Talks: The Mujahideen-e-Khalq Episode as the Fundamental Display of Washington Lobbying Power

By: Sunday September 23, 2012 3:44 pm

If you want to understand how things get done in Washington, perhaps the best lesson of the year comes from the State Department’s decision late Friday to remove the Iranian exile group Mujahideen-e-Khalq from the official list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. The MEK never really lessened the activities that got it listed as a Foreign [...]

Attack at US Embassy in Libya Kills Four, As Romney Tries to Exploit the Tragedy

By: Wednesday September 12, 2012 6:17 am

A tragedy in Libya provoked by a film insulting Islam has turned into an attempt by Mitt Romney to take umbrage with the White House. The US Ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed in Benghazi at an attack on the US consulate, hit by a rocket-propelled grenade as they tried to flee. [...]

Clinton Ignores Hold, Approves Humanitarian Aid for West Bank and Gaza

By: Thursday April 12, 2012 8:55 am

OK, here’s a somewhat better story on a pretty depressing day. The chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, tried to put a hold on foreign aid to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. It was a manifestation of the same old AIPAC-driven politics, where the US acts punitively toward one side [...]

2006 State Department Memo Shows Bush-Era CIA Interrogations Violated Torture Conventions

By: Wednesday April 4, 2012 8:57 am

A recently declassified memo from 2006 shows that Philip Zelikow, then a state department aide on terrorism issues and previously the executive director of the 9/11 commission, dissented from an extreme opinion by the Office of Legal Counsel that CIA interrogations at secret prisons in foreign countries were free from international treaty constraints against torture. [...]

State Department Decides to Deliver All Egyptian Military Aid

By: Friday March 23, 2012 8:15 am

Despite widespread reports of abuse and troubling signs of suppressing dissent, the Egyptian military will get their US funding restored, at least in part. The State Department plans to make the announcement today. The United States supplies Egypt with $1.3 billion in military aid, plus another $250 million in economic assistance. Congress included language in [...]

North Korea Suspends Nuclear Tests, Will Allow Weapons Inspectors to Yongbon

By: Wednesday February 29, 2012 10:59 am

In a reminder that negotiation and diplomacy is a far preferable course to war and belligerence, North Korea, still in flux after the death of Kim Jong-il, has agreed to suspend its nuclear testing and uranium enrichment, as well as an agreement to allow nuclear weapons inspectors back into the country. In exchange, the North [...]

Obama, State Department Officially Block Keystone XL Pipeline

By: Wednesday January 18, 2012 12:57 pm

The official rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline from the President has some interesting framing: “As the State Department made clear last month, the rushed and arbitrary deadline insisted on by Congressional Republicans prevented a full assessment of the pipeline’s impact, especially the health and safety of the American people, as well as our environment,” [...]

State Department Plans Rejection of Keystone XL Pipeline Permit

By: Wednesday January 18, 2012 9:05 am

Before Congress even passed its two-month stopgap payroll tax/UI legislation, the State Department had a warning. The bill included a mandate that the Administration give an up-or-down approval or rejection on a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline within 60 days.  The State Department said flatly that this would force them to reject the permit, [...]

More on the Murder of Iranian Nuclear Scientists

By: Thursday January 12, 2012 1:39 pm

Glenn Greenwald has a follow-up on his story about the murder of Iranian nuclear scientists, and he calls the incidents what they actually are: Terrorism. Part of the problem here is the pretense that Terrorism has some sort of fixed, definitive meaning. It does not. As Professor Remi Brulin has so exhaustively documented, the meaning [...]

Republicans Demand to Kill the Keystone XL Pipeline

By: Friday December 16, 2011 10:54 am

OK, they’re not outwardly advocating this. But that’s the practical effect of demanding that the provision on Keystone XL get included in any end of the year deal to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance. Republicans say they’re not budging on the pipeline. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell “will not support any bill [...]

Payroll Tax Cut Legislation Gets Vote Today

By: Tuesday December 13, 2011 6:20 am

The House will vote on their payroll tax cut bill today, legislation loaded with ideological measures and poison pills.  It’s legislation Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, has already said cannot pass the upper chamber. Like so many times before, the House believes that they can pass message legislation as long as it contains something [...]

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