Though President Obama made a number of absurd and unsupported claims in his address on ISIS, the one that already launched a thousands tweets is his assertion that he had the authority to bomb Syria without seeking congressional approval. In Obama’s distorted view of the constitution he can launch a military campaign against any country in the world with the justification that Al Qaeda – or some group he tries to tie to Al Qaeda like ISIS – operates within it. It is such an expansive view of the imperial presidency that not even George W. Bush and supporters were willing to claim it (at least publicly).
|By: DSWright Friday September 12, 2014 6:44 am|
|By: Kevin Gosztola Thursday August 28, 2014 7:35 am|
A federal district court judge has ruled that the government’s certification to prevent the disclosure of thousands of photos of detainee abuse and torture in Afghanistan and Iraq—including inhumane treatment at Abu Ghraib prison—is “not sufficient to prevent publication.”
The federal judge ordered the government to appear in court on September 8 and produce the photographs or submit additional evidence to support keeping the photos secret.
|By: Peter Van Buren Monday August 25, 2014 1:17 pm|
The 2009 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Obama for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” The Norwegian Nobel Committee announced the award on October 9, 2009, citing Obama’s promotion of nuclear nonproliferation and a “new climate” in international relations fostered by Obama, especially in reaching out to the Muslim world.
In an exclusive interview, for the first time ever the actual Peace Prize, a large, coin-like object, speaks out.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Monday August 11, 2014 11:05 am|
Thousands of Afghan civilians have been killed by United States and NATO military forces since 2001, but, according to Amnesty International, there have been only six cases in which the US military has “criminally prosecuted” officers for “unlawfully killing civilians.”
|By: DSWright Wednesday August 6, 2014 6:45 am|
Yesterday Army Major General Harold Greene was killed in Afghanistan in one of two insider attacks that occurred that day against coalition forces. While touring Marshal Fahim National Defense University, in what a Pentagon spokesman described as a routine visit, Greene was shot and killed by an Afghan soldier firing into a crowd of coalition forces. 15 people were injured including other American soldiers and a German brigadier general.
|By: DSWright Tuesday August 5, 2014 9:59 am|
In a press conference that started today at 12:30 eastern standard time a spokesman for the Department of Defense, Rear Admiral John Kirby, confirmed that a US general was killed today in Afghanistan. The gunman, now dead, is believed to have been an Afghan soldier with Kirby noting the “pernicious” threat of insider attacks. The general was conducting a “routine site visit” of a training school for the Afghan government’s military.
|By: Peter Van Buren Wednesday July 30, 2014 8:55 am|
The Chinese Army roared through the small town in Northern Virginia.
The initial troops were tough veterans of the fighting outside DC, and a lot of people were killed by early shelling and mortar attacks. A tank battle near the Arlington Hospital destroyed much of the building and faulty intelligence that weapons were being stored inside the Thomas Jefferson elementary school led to the horrific air attack that killed 50 children with a “smart bomb.” The Chinese initially denied it all, until Eastern media broadcast cell phone photos. That prompted the Chinese to claim local residents actually blew up the school either by accidentally mis-aiming their crude mortars, or as a propaganda ploy. A gang rape of a young woman was never reported on the Chinese news even though it was common knowledge among residents.
|By: DSWright Friday July 4, 2014 1:45 pm|
While publicly lamenting wasteful spending, Washington gets high blowing cash on the drug war. In the case of Afghanistan and the fight against heroin, the US government spent $7 billion to eradicate poppy cultivation with no discernible effect. In fact, according to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime Opium Survey, opium production is hitting records in Afghanistan with “estimates that 209,000 hectares are under opium-poppy cultivation, an all-time high and a 36% increase from 2012.”
|By: Juan Cole Sunday June 22, 2014 1:59 pm|
Anand Gopal’s No Good Men Among the Living is a deconstruction of the American “War on Terror” as it pertained to Afghanistan. It is an argument that the US military allowed itself to fall into chasing phantoms, put up to search and destroy missions by tribal allies mainly interested in using the Americans to settle feuds and deflect rivals. They got drawn into what anthropologists call the segmentary lineage political system of rural Afghanistan.
In short, as Gopal tells the story, there was no Taliban activity in Afghanistan to speak of by 2002, but the US military machine required an enemy.
|By: Peter Van Buren Tuesday June 17, 2014 12:17 pm|
Our government classifies a lot of documents, some 92 million in 2011 alone.
The ostensible point of all that classification is protect the nation’s secrets. Some of it even makes sense. Troop movements, nuclear things, identities of spies, traditional stuff you want to keep from your enemies. The purpose of classification is not to hide government mistakes or prevent embarrassing things from coming into daylight.