by David Danzig, Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 04:15:23 PM EDT
The first time I taught a one-hour class at the US Military Academy at West Point, a 20-year-old student made it very clear that while he might be studying ethics, law and morality in school, it was practicalities that really concerned him.
"If we are kicking in doors in Iraq," the third year student – known in West Point parlance as a "Cow" – said, "and I find a guy who has a load of materials that could be used to build an IED in his home and explosive residue on his hands, I don't have time to do a by-the-book interview do I? I mean, lives are at stake and we will have minutes, not hours or days, to get the info we need."
by Sharon Kelly, Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 11:12:26 AM EST
In recent months we heard a lot of pundits wax hysterical about the chaos and mayhem the federal court trial of a former Guantanamo detainee would bring to New York.
The folks at Keep America Safe – Liz Cheney, Bill Kristol, and Debra Burlingame – called the trial “dangerous,” “ reckless,” and “embarrassing”.
But in New York the trial proceeded with no disruptions. No street closures. No increased police presence. And, this week, a federal judge sentenced Ahmed Ghailani to life in jail with no chance of parole.
by Daphne Eviatar Human Rights 1st, Wed Jan 19, 2011 at 05:28:30 PM EST
Gulet Mohamed, the 19-year-old American citizen detained in Kuwait in December where he says he was tortured in prison could be on his way back to the United States soon, according to Justice Department lawyers. But that won't answer the larger question his detention and alleged torture in Kuwait raises: has the United States adopted a new policy of "proxy detention" of U.S. citizens by countries that engage in torture?
by Gabor Rona, Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 02:32:12 PM EST
To paraphrase H.L Mencken, no one ever went broke underestimating how low a politician will go to gain an advantage.
Exhibit A: Vice President Joseph Biden, who likens Wikileaks honcho Julian Assange to a "high-tech terrorist."
What a nice marriage of images. Especially for those of us old enough to recall poor Clarence Thomas who, when charged with sexual harassment in his Supreme Court confirmation hearing, so deftly turned defense into offense by calling the accusations a "high-tech lynching for uppity blacks."
Now that terrorism is the new communism, why shouldn't everyone the government wants to vilify be labeled a terrorist?
by Gabor Rona, Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 03:33:37 PM EST
The pander-to-fear-du-jour for members of congress is a >provision that would prevent the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to the US for any purpose, including for prosecution. Passage of this ill-founded measure could effectively put the nail in the coffin of efforts to end the failed Guantanamo experiment, perpetuating its legacy of arbitrary detention and detainee abuse. It would also leave little alternative but to either release people who should not be released, or detain them indefinitely without charge or trial, or try them in the universally discredited kangaroo courts known as military commissions, which have conclusively demonstrated their inability to try their own way out of a paper bag.
Human Rights First has correctly labeled this initiative as "tantamount to obstruction of justice."