Despite the weeks of hysterical caterwauling in the US media, we are, for the moment, not going to war in Syria in time for the Labor Day weekend. The fact that the general public was almost universally opposed was really no impediment; after all, bipartisan consensus has long held that public opinion can always be brought along to support a war, any war, once the bombs start falling.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Friday May 31, 2013 12:09 pm|
Journalist Jeremy Scahill’s film, Dirty Wars, is an effort to give Americans a peek at how the United States government is fighting the global war on terrorism in the shadows. It is also a plea to Americans to confront what their government is doing and challenge the justification for operations, which Congress is reluctant to scrutinize and which has at its core this idea that the “world is a battlefield,” an idea the press has been mostly unwilling to question.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Thursday May 23, 2013 5:01 pm|
The speech by President Barack Obama, which touched upon perpetual war, his authority to carry out drone strikes, the efficacy of drones, closing Guantanamo Bay prison, adhering to the rule of law when fighting terrorism and even national security leaks, was wide-ranging and bewildering. It was longer than the “State of the Union” address he gave this year.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Wednesday May 22, 2013 4:01 pm|
Ahead of a major speech on counterterrorism policies tomorrow, the administration of President Barack Obama has officially declassified information related to drone strikes against four American citizens and also acknowledged for the first time that they were killed by the United States.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Thursday May 9, 2013 4:00 pm|
A high court in Pakistan has found that United States drone strikes carried out in Pakistan by the CIA are war crimes, which are “absolutely illegal” and a “blatant violation” of Pakistan’s state sovereignty.
The decision comes in a lawsuit filed by the Foundation for Fundamental Rights (FFR), a legal charity in Islamabad, which sued the Pakistan government for failing to protect its own citizens from US drone strikes.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Tuesday April 23, 2013 7:04 pm|
A Senate subcommittee held a much-anticipated hearing on drones and the United States government’s “targeted killing” policies this afternoon. One of the witnesses called to testify was retired US Air Force colonel, Martha McSally.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Tuesday April 23, 2013 1:05 pm|
A long-awaited Senate hearing on the US government’s use of drone warfare and “targeted killing” policies is taking place this afternoon. The Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, chaired by Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, is hosting the hearing.
Witnesses scheduled to testify include: General James Cartwright, United States Marine Corp (Ret.); Farea Al-Muslimi of Sana’a, Yemen; Peter Bergen, director of the National Security Studies Program at the New America Foundation (NAF); Rosa Brooks, a law professor at the Georgetown University Law Center; Colonel Martha McSally, United States Air Force (Ret.) and Ilya Somin, law professor at George Mason University School of Law.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Tuesday April 23, 2013 11:15 am|
Journalist and national security correspondent for The Nation, Jeremy Scahill, appeared on “Democracy Now!” this morning for the entire program to discuss his project, Dirty Wars, which explores the United States’ global assassination program.
The project consists of a book and film. The book was released today. The film has been screening at film festivals and events around the country and the trailer for the film premiered on “Democracy Now!”.
Scahill spends the hour outlining in detail the life of US-born Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was targeted and assassinated by a US drone strike in September 2011. He also discusses Anwar’s father, Nasser al-Awlaki, who mounted an effort to have evidence for why Anwar was placed on a “kill list” disclosed. Later in the program, he recounts the killng of Anwar’s 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman, who was born in Denver, Colorado, and the justifications and excuses the US government have uttered in relation to their deaths.
|By: Brian Sonenstein Thursday April 18, 2013 8:47 am|
The Obama administration has ignored over 23 requests from Congress for access to memos explaining the Executive’s legal authority to conduct Targeted Killings of ‘suspected terrorists.’ As former FDL’er Marcy Wheeler writes over at emptywheel.net, “Thus far, only the Intelligence Committees and the Senate — but not the House — Judiciary Committees have been able to see the memos, and they’ve not seen much more than the memo authorizing Anwar al-Awlaki’s killing.”
We’re organizing phone calls to members of the House Judiciary Committee in support of the subpoena and their ongoing efforts to obtain more information on this program from the White House. As members of Congress call for transparency on the Targeted Killing program, they need to hear from us and know we stand with them.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Saturday April 13, 2013 9:30 am|
Ten human rights groups have sent a letter to President Barack Obama on “shared concerns” related to the “targeted killing” policies of his administration. The letter also makes recommendations the Obama administration can take to make policies accountable and transparent.
The organizations call for the public disclosure of “targeted killing standards and criteria.” They urge the administration to “ensure that US lethal force operations abroad comply with international law.” They request the administration “enable meaningful congressional oversight and judicial review” and also “ensure effective investigations, tracking and response to civilian harm.”