The President of the United States has the authority to order the targeted killing of Americans living abroad whom he suspects of posing an extraordinary threat to the security of the homeland. This was the opinion delivered by Attorney General Eric Holder in a speech Monday at Northwestern Law School in Chicago.
According to the official version of events promulgated by the Obama administration, after U.S. forces killed Osama bin Laden, his body was flown to Afghanistan for identification and then buried in the Arabian Sea about 12 hours after his death, supposedly in keeping with Islamic ritual. However, internal e-mails from intelligence service Stratfor, obtained by the hacker group Anonymous and posted to the Internet by WikiLeaks, cast doubt on that story.
After the governments of Russia and China used their permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council to torpedo a resolution calling for regime change in Syria, UN General Assembly President Nassir Abdulaziz al-Nasser is demanding an end to the ability of major powers to veto global action.
As the Koran burnings in Afghanistan and the deadly uprising that followed dominate the headlines, another important issue — perhaps the elephant in the room — is being largely overlooked: American and NATO soldiers are regularly being killed by members of the very same Afghan police and army they are arming and training. And the number of deadly incidents is on the rise.
Students of history may recall the year 49 B.C. Early in that momentous year, a popular soldier-statesman crossed the Rubicon River, thus effectively declaring war on the citizens on the Republic whose acclaim had exalted him to the pinnacle of authority and strength. The details of the story are recounted by the historian Suetonius. Suetonius writes that upon approaching the banks of that historic boundary, Julius Caesar stood before his legion of faithful soldiers and uttered the now-famous phrase: alea iacta est ("the die has been cast"). With those three words, Caesar signaled the end of the Roman Republic. The rule of law soon was supplanted by the rule of one ambitious (audacious?) man.
As the debate rages over whether or not Iran is actively working toward dangerous nuclear capabilities, and how far it might be from actually creating a bomb, one thing remains clear: Israel considers Iran’s nuclear enrichment program a serious personal threat and continues to rattle its saber in warning of an eventual strike against its antagonistic neighbor.
While Americans are being murdered in Afghanistan after the accidental burning of the Koran and an Iranian general is advocating the destruction of the White House, similar Islamist extremists have gained control of the Egyptian parliament. The Islamist Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party took 58 percent of the available seats in the upper house of Egypt’s parliament, while the even more extremist Salafist Al-Nour party took a quarter of the seats. In all, more than 80 percent of the contended seats in Egypt’s upper parliament are now in the hands of Muslim extremists. Last year’s “Arab Spring” is now more fully manifesting its true character: the transformation of Egypt into a more stridently Islamist regime.
In the face of escalating sanctions imposed by the European Union and the U.S. government, supposedly related to the Iranian nuclear program, officials in Iran announced that the nation would accept gold and currencies other than the dollar in international trade. China, Russia, India, and other major economies have continued to do business with the Islamic Republic despite the growing Western pressure.
At the start of his February 22 press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney offered a tribute to deceased reporters Marie Colvin, Remi Ochlik, and Anthony Shadid, all of whom had given their lives, he said, “in order to bring the truth about what’s happening in a country like Syria to those of us at home and in countries around the world.”