U.N. Torture Convention

Commentary on Syria and the response of the West

Latest News Reports and Commentary Aus Deutschland (1) Stefan Kornelius (Kommentar), Obama spürt die Kraft der zwei Mahlsteine, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 7. September 2013 (9:34 Uhr)….


Moral cowardice in Europe and elsewhere: Bad-faith arguments on Syria by Germany and other countries lacking the courage to act

(Developing article) Following are the statements and ways German and other European and world leaders use to disguise the moral cowardice of nations that give…


Obama’s failure to justify military action against Syria under international law, and its pernicious impact

President Barack Obama has so far failed to offer a well-developed justification under international law for taking military action against Syria. While not a “slam…


Extraordinary rendition in Italy: Inside details revealed in 2003 CIA Milan abduction of Osama Mustapha Hassan Nasr

See Jonathan S. Landay (McClatchy Washington Bureau), “U.S. allowed Italian kidnap prosecution to shield higher-ups, ex-CIA officer says,” McClatchy, July 27, 2013. Greg Miller, “Ex-CIA…


“The Disposition Matrix”: Is Obama laying the foundations of a future totalitarian state? (Updated July 27, 2013)

A recent article in The Guardian on Obama’s kill lists and the now highly bureacratized killing machine used to extirpate individuals on the lists, highlights…


The U.N. Commission’s Report on Syria, Obama, and the path ahead with Susan Rice and Samantha Power

The release of the Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria is discussed in a previous post. The report details the horrors of…


U.N. Commission of Inquiry Report on Syria (Doc. A-HRC-23-58); Seizure of al-Qusair; Use of Chemical Weapons by al-Assad

The latest report Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria was released on June 4. 2013. See Human Rights Council, United Nations, “Report of the Independent…


Smart drones, the goal of peace, and the future of mankind

In an Op-Ed piece by Bill Keller published in the New York Times on March 16, 2013, Keller describes the high probability that “smart drones”…


Senate confirms John Brennan as CIA Director—with tally and breakdown of vote

The United States confirmed the nomination of John Brennan to be Director of Central Intelligence on Thursday afternoon, March 7, 2013, by a vote of…


UPDATE (MARCH 6) WITH LINKS TO SENATOR RAND PAUL FILIBUSTER; REPRISE: Secret Laws, the John Brennan vote, and the rule of law

SENATOR RAND PAUL FILIBUSTER UPDATE At 12:39 a.m. EST, Senator Rand Paul concluded a filibuster on the floor of the U.S. Senate that lasted more…


The vote on John Brennan’s confirmation to be CIA Director: Opinion and Commentary

Recent Commentary and Opinion “It is not going too far to say that American foreign policy has become completely subservient to tactical domestic political considerations.”…


What difference does it make if John Brennan is confirmed?

In the end, what difference does it make if John Brennan is confirmed as CIA Director by the Senate? 1. Well, for one thing, it may…


Brennan’s wristbands, McCain’s hold, and assertions of legality under international law based on secret operations and secret legal memoranda (with links to Brennan confirmation hearing video, transcript, and written questions and answers)

On Brennan’s May 23, 2016 testimony regarding Russian intervention in elections, and FBI investigation into intervention and possible collusion with Trump associates, see “Former CIA…


Secret Laws, the John Brennan vote, and the rule of law

Let  us step back for a moment from the details of what John Brennan is saying now in order to get confirmed by the Senate as CIA Director….


Brennan unclear in confirmation hearing as to whether “waterboarding” constitutes “torture” (with transcript)—The John Brennan File #2

The transcript of John Brennan’s confirmation hearing, before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on February 7, 2012, deserves a very close examination by the Senators…


Drone Killings, the Constitution, International Law, and the John Brennan File

Developing story Check back for updates Recent News Reports and Commentary Michael Isikoff (National Investigative Correspondent, NBC News), “Justice Department memo reveals legal case for…


Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and the foreign policy “successes” of our celebrity leaders

Draft [Note: Today’s article is a bit unusual in format, consisting of long portions of an article on Hillary Clinton’s term as Secretary of State,…


Isolationism, with drones: Obama’s second-term foreign policy

Developing story The smartest man in the room is so intellectually insecure that he doesn’t like to be questioned, and insists that everyone recognize that…


Key CIA official involved in Bush torture program criticizes “Zero Dark Thirty” for inaccurate depiction of “enhanced interrogation techniques”

Developing story You can’t make this stuff up. Jose Rodriguez, a former CIA official deeply involved in the Bush torture program, published an opinion piece…


REPRISE: “A time to break silence”: Dr. King on the Vietnam war, and President Carter on America’s human rights violations

[This is a lengthy article. The reader may wish to read it, and listen to the recordings, in three parts.] Originally published June 27, 2012…