Last week, several major news outlets reported on a Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) released by the White House regarding the Fiscal Year 2013 version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), in which President Obama gives 32 reasons why he is likely to veto the newest iteration of the NDAA.
The headlines announcing the President’s promise to reject the NDAA are identical to those published early last December, just a couple of weeks before the President took time off from his Hawaiian vacation to sign the measure into law. Somehow, President Obama was able to set aside his issues with the act and grant himself the power to indefinitely detain Americans without charge or trial.
Reports out of Pakistan indicate that missiles fired from American drones killed over a dozen people in that country on Monday, bringing the three-day total of Pakistanis killed by lethal drone strike to 27. Monday’s attack was reportedly aimed at a “militant hideout” in Hesokhel, a village located in the North Waziristan region.
Army Chief of Staff General Raymond T. Odierno’s article published in Foreign Affairs, the official journal of the Council on Foreign Relations, reveals his plans for the future use of the U.S. Army to maintain domestic as well as global stability.
We should be grateful that the Obama administration seems disinclined to intervene militarily in Syria. But let’s note that the administration has not kept hands off. In a variety of ways, it is already aiding the rebels. Moreover, White House spokesman Jay Carney says that all options — even military intervention — are on the table.
For most of the stories covering the recent NATO summit in Chicago, the lede was that the war in Afghanistan will wrap up in 2014. After 11 years spending blood and money to run the Taliban out of office only to then invite them back to the bargaining table, America and NATO will pull out and leave the future in the hands of Afghans — mostly.
Several media and civil liberties organizations have combined to file a request with the Department of Defense that key documents in the trial of Bradley Manning be made public. To date, the Department of Defense has kept all documents relating to the Manning prosecution under lock and key and has refused to allow anyone to access those files.
Following a high-profile legal battle that raged on for more than a year and a half, the British Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange could be extradited to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning in a bizarre sex-crime investigation that his supporters say is politically motivated. However, the high court also gave the pro-transparency activist’s lawyers two weeks to contest the ruling.
President Obama will soon apprise Congress of his plan to supply arms with which to equip Italian drones. According to a story printed by Reuters, “within two weeks” the Obama administration will proceed with the implementation of its projected sale of American-made drones to Italy. Italy will then join the United Kingdom in deploying the remote control weapons loaded with “laser-guided bombs and Hellfire missiles.”
Despite an increasingly noisy chorus of resistance to many of its provisions, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) passed the House, 248-168, on April 26. Passage in the House was assured with more than 70 percent of those supported by the Tea Party voting for it. It moved to an uncertain future in the Senate.
The opposition noted that the bill’s many flaws included precious little “protection” for rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, especially those guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment.
A massive China-based conglomerate headed by a member of the nation’s ruling Communist Party announced last week the largest ever corporate takeover of an American firm by a Chinese company, sparking concerns among analysts about the regime’s projection of “soft power.” For more than $2.5 billion, the Dalian Wanda Group agreed to purchase U.S.-based AMC Entertainment Holdings — one of the world’s top movie theater chains — to create what will become the biggest cinema operator on earth after the merger.