Two Guantanamo Prisoners Transferred to Algeria While 84 Cleared Prisoners Remain in Detention

By: Thursday August 29, 2013 9:25 am

The Defense Department transferred two prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay prison into the custody of the Algerian government. It was the first repatriation of prisoners since President Barack Obama delivered a speech in May on the need to still close the prison. It also was the first transfer of a prisoner from the base in Cuba in over a year, according to Miami Herald reporter Carol Rosenberg.

Al-Qaeda Office Politics Lead to Rise of Moktar Belmoktar

By: Wednesday May 29, 2013 10:20 am

In a document obtained by the Associated Press the rise of one of the Sahara’s most notorious insurgents, Moktar Belmoktar, is traced back to internal disputes among Al-Qaeda managers. The banality of evil is truly on display as Al-Qaeda managers show frustration with Belmoktar for administrative grievances.

Death Toll Continues to Climb in Algeria

By: Monday January 21, 2013 6:47 am

In what may be a case study on how not to handle a hostage crisis, the death toll from the Algerian government’s raid on the BP natural gas plant has risen.

Lakeside Diner

By: Thursday April 12, 2012 4:45 am

A variety of links to articles/interviews/speeches on current issues that may be of interest.

Countries Put on TSA List after Attempted Christmas Day Bombing Were Angry

By: Wednesday September 7, 2011 6:45 pm

In the aftermath of the attempted bombing of a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day in 2009 by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) moved to increase airport security. Passengers flying “non-stop” to the US were subject to enhanced screenings, including in some cases a full-body pat-down. But, immediately, TSA realized that this placed an “extraordinary burden” on airports and airlines and TSA moved to develop a “regime” that would subject a “reduced pool” of passengers to “enhanced screenings.”

On January 13, 2010, it was announced a list of fourteen countries of interest. The list included: Cuba, Sudan, Syria, Iran (four countries on the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism) and Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen. The new regime meant all passengers traveling from any of the fourteen countries would, regardless of nationality or US citizenship, be subject to increased security and possible violations of privacy.

Newly published cables from WikiLeaks shed light on reactions from leaders of countries on the list.

The Oil Weapon and the Fight for Hegemony of the Middle East

By: Wednesday June 8, 2011 3:01 pm

Saudi Arabia’s efforts to get OPEC to raise production has foundered on opposition, mostly from those on the other side of the fight for hegemony of the Middle East and the world, starting with Iran. The vote came down to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, and UAE against Iran, Iraq (!), Libya, Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, and Venezuela.

Arab Uprising: Snapshots from Around the Region [Updated]

By: Monday February 14, 2011 9:00 am

The Egyptian uprising has not yet ended, and with the military banning labor strikes and workers energized by the spark of revolution not heeding this call and demonstrating for better pay and conditions, we clearly have a long way to go before that country’s affairs are settled. The role of labor in the uprising is unique and fascinating, and deserves more scrutiny. For now, however, let’s spin around the globe.

Egyptian Protests Reflective of a Pan-Arab Uprising

By: Wednesday February 2, 2011 4:00 pm

Looking at this as a pan-Arab uprising changes the calculations dramatically. From the United States’ perspective, it forces policymakers to think about how to properly deal with an entire region seeking to pull off the shackles of monarchies and authoritarian dictatorships, not one rogue protest movement in one country or another. That Arab Spring that George Bush and the neocons would come to the region simply by bombing the bejeezus out of Iraq is here because of completely different factors. It’s clear that our policymakers have no idea how to react. Thinking about this in a regional sense rather than protecting this or that ruling regime may help.

Obama “Stealth Transfer” of Gitmo Prisoner, Algerian Forcibly Repatriated

By: Friday January 7, 2011 5:00 pm

The Obama administration has shown a blatant disregard for international treaties and basic human in its second forcible deportation from Guantánamo of an Algerian national in the last six months. On January 6, the administration secretly and forcibly repatriated 48-year-old Farhi Saeed bin Mohammed to Algeria, which he reportedly fled in the 1990s, trying to escape threats from Islamic extremists. Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) condemned the secret deportation “in the strongest possible terms,” noting that “Mr. Mohammed has long been cleared of any connection with terrorism.”

Congress OK’ed Naji Deportation, Ex-Gitmo Prisoner Charges Drugging, Torture, Coercion to Spy

By: Wednesday August 4, 2010 5:35 pm

The Obama administration had been cleared to effect the deportation of cleared Guantanamo prisoner Abdul Aziz Naji by no less than the Supreme Court, who rejected a lower court order blocking the action. What hasn’t been reported thus far is the role of Congress, who was mandated to have advance notice of the transfer. Meanwhile, in Algeria, Naji told the press about torture and the drugging of prisoners at Guantanamo.

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