In an effort to manufacture the perception of public support for “regime change” and an international war on Syria, Western officials and Arab dictatorships responsible for fomenting much of the bloodshed are spewing lies about the al-Assad dictatorship almost as quickly as the propaganda can be discredited. And like in Libya, in the crossfire suffering and dying are innocent civilians: children, Christians, minorities, and women.
Lest there was any lingering doubt, the federal judge who enjoined enforcement of the indefinite detention provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) told the Obama Administration that it may not legally detain an American indefinitely based on a suspicion of support of terrorism unless the government can demonstrate a connection to the attacks of September 11, 2001.
In a memorandum clarifying her ruling from May 16, Judge Katherine B. Forrest of the Southern District of New York reaffirmed her earlier opinion stating plainly that her earlier order stands and that the objections raised by the government in its request for a reconsideration were not valid.
At a pre-trial hearing on Wednesday, lawyers for PFC Bradley Manning submitted a motion requesting that 10 of the 22 charges against their client be dropped. Specifically, Manning’s legal team argued for dismissal of eight specifications of having violated the Espionage Act, as well as two charges of exceeding authorized access.
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.