• ‘Disturbing’ & ‘Misleading’

    Op-Eds, Opinions February 13, 2013 at 0 comments

    Source: New York Review of Books. Zero Dark Thirty was constructed to bring viewers to the edges of their seats, and judging by its critical reception, for many viewers it has succeeded in that respect. Its faults as journalism matter because they may well affect the unresolved public debate about torture, to which the film makes a distorted contribution.

  • There’s No Room for Civil Liberties in Obama’s Inauguration View of America

    Op-Eds, Opinions January 23, 2013 at 0 comments

    Source: The Atlantic. As the president’s speech Monday made clear, the authoritarian right and egalitarian left meet in the middle on at least one issue: Neither side values the rights of the individual.

  • Keeping the Internet Safe From Governments

    Op-Eds, Opinions January 23, 2013 at 0 comments

    Source: NYT. The petition was the brainchild of Bill Woodcock, the Berkeley-based research director of Packet Clearing House, a nonprofit institute. “This is really about whether people should be allowed to say what they think,” Mr. Woodcock said. “The Internet enables free speech, and that makes it very dangerous to countries that try to control public discourse.”

  • In President Obama’s Second Term, Accountability for Torture

    Op-Eds, Opinions January 22, 2013 at 0 comments

    Source: Huffington Post. The failure to pursue accountability opens the door for perpetrators of torture to shamelessly continue to justify their actions; to call for the return of these abuses; and to walk away from their crimes scot-free — all affronts to the rule of law. Let us not forget that torture is a crime under U.S. law, and the United States is legally obligated under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which the United States ratified in in 1994, to fully and promptly investigate all credible allegations. Now in his second term, President Obama can again show the world that the United States is committed to living up to our standards by thoroughly investigating and making public all reports of torture and cruel treatment and by holding accountable those responsible for the abuse.

  • Right-wing terrorism is real

    Op-Eds, Opinions January 22, 2013 at 0 comments

    Source: Salon. Backlash to a new West Point study on domestic extremism exposes the depths of conservatives’ denial.

  • Comment: King would’ve opposed drone wars

    Op-Eds, Opinions January 21, 2013 at 0 comments

    Source: Detroit News. In the spirit of Dr. King, our national discussion should not only focus on racial equality, but also must include serious conversations about how the violence that America commits overseas affects the soul of the nation and how intrusive monitoring by the federal government is opposed to the aspirations of the Founding Fathers. Based on what King preached, those who seek to follow in his footsteps should stand up for due process and question the violence carried out by our nation overseas.

  • Obama must write the rule book for drones

    Op-Eds, Opinions January 16, 2013 at 0 comments

    Source: Boston Globe. Obama may be comfortable with Brennan’s philosophy of targeted assassinations, and he may be equally confident in the proposed new CIA chief’s ability to control the initiatives of underlings. However, these are flimsy foundations on which to base policy decisions, particularly ones concerning a weapon as controversial as drones. Cutting Congress and the public out of the process of determining how, when, and where these weapons should be used is counterproductive and shortsighted.

  • Who Says You Can Kill Americans, Mr. President?

    Op-Eds, Opinions January 16, 2013 at 0 comments

    Source: NYT. President Obama has refused to tell Congress or the American people why he believes the Constitution gives, or fails to deny, him the authority to secretly target and kill American citizens who he suspects are involved in terrorist activities overseas. So far he has killed three that we know of.

  • Beyond Torture: ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ and the Promotion of Extrajudicial Killing

    Op-Eds, Opinions January 15, 2013 at 0 comments

    Source: Common Dreams. It’s hard to say who is correct. The CIA clearly has an interest in promoting its version in order to win public support for its clandestine activities. The Democrats have an interest in distancing themselves from torture so as to separate themselves from the worst of the Bush era policies. While much of the air is being sucked up by this debate, scant attention has been paid to the larger, and in my view, more significant message of this film: that extra judicial killing is good.

  • Keith Ellison: Congress must take control of drones

    Op-Eds, Opinions January 15, 2013 at 0 comments

    Source: Minneapolis Star-Tribune. The United States will not always enjoy a monopoly on sophisticated drone technology. The Iranian-made drone that Hezbollah recently flew over Israel should compel us to think about the far-reaching implications of current policy. A just, internationally accepted protocol on the use of drones in warfare is needed. By creating and abiding by our own set of reasonable standards, the United States will demonstrate to the world that we believe in the rule of law.