On the morning of January 11, Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, a 32-year-old chemist from Sharif University in Tehran, was riding in a Peugeot 405 along Shahid Golnabi Street in eastern Tehran. As his car inched through the morning rush-hour traffic, two men on motorcycles approached Roshan’s vehicle, attached a magnetic bomb to the side of the car, and raced off just before the Peugeot and its prominent passenger were blown to bits. Roshan — who was also deputy director for commercial affairs at Iran’s Natanz nuclear reactor — had just become the latest victim of an apparent covert campaign of assassination targeting high-profile Iranian scientists allegedly involved in the Islamic republic’s controversial nuclear program.
Army Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis survived the first invasion into Iraq in 1991. He later left active duty and worked for a Texas senator while serving in the Army Reserves. Called back into active duty, he did a tour in Afghanistan (2005-06, another in Iraq, 2008-09), and back to Afghanistan during 2011. During last year's tour, he was part of the Army's Rapid Equipping Tour that took him into every part of the embattled country and enabled him to have "conversations with 250 soldiers in the field." Back in the U.S., he has just issued a blistering report claiming that, despite the deployment of a force exceeding 100,000, there is a glaring "absence of success on virtually every level." He even witnessed Afghan military personnel "collude with the insurgency."
Big Brother is set to adopt a new form of surveillance after a bill passed by Congress will require the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to open U.S. airspace to drone flights under a new four-year plan. The bill, which passed the House last week and received bipartisan approval in the Senate on Monday, will convert radar to an air traffic control system based on GPS technology, shifting the country to an age where satellites are central to air traffic control and unmanned drones glide freely throughout U.S. airspace.
The governments of China and Russia blocked a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad to hand over power, sparking outrage among Western and Arab leaders supposedly concerned about a bloody conflict that has already claimed thousands of lives. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton responded to the UN vetoes by vowing to redouble the Obama administration’s efforts to take down the regime.
Pressure from a military veterans group unhappy with his stance on Islam and the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States has prompted retired Army Lieutenant General William G. "Jerry" Boykin to cancel his appearance as a speaker at West Point’s upcoming prayer breakfast February 8.
Long before he reached the White House, Barack Obama made clear he was not against all wars, just "dumb wars." He opposed the Iraq war from the start, but the withdrawal of American combat troops late last year was accomplished in spite of, not because of, his efforts. The Iraqi government refused the Obama administration's request for an extension of the December 31, 2011 deadline for the end of the U.S. occupation under the Status of Force Agreement our two nations had signed while Bush was in office. Obama has begun a withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan that is supposed to be completed by 2014, but he also increased the number of attacks by unmanned bombers in neighboring Pakistan and in other parts of the Middle East.
In the past year the U.S. government’s no-fly list has more than doubled, going from about 10,000 names to about 21,000, according to the Associated Press. Among those names are roughly 500 Americans, the AP says, though of course there is no way to verify any of this because the list is kept secret.
Lawmakers in Washington State joined a growing nationwide rebellion this week against the federal government’s purported new power to indefinitely detain Americans suspected of certain crimes under the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Legislators in Virginia, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and other states — as well as a broad coalition of activists spanning the entire political spectrum — are also working to kill what critics call the “treasonous” usurpation.
Alexander Hamilton wrote in The Federalist Papers that: “[T]he practice of arbitrary imprisonments [has] been, in all ages, the favorite and most formidable instrument of tyranny.”
This principle of constitutional liberty, when applied to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), reveals a frightening truth about the powers illegally granted the President in that legislation.
As has been recounted many times (never enough, however, given the urgency of the situation in which our Republic is now found) in this magazine and elsewhere, in various provisions of the NDAA, the Congress granted to the President the power to deploy the military of the United States to arrest and indefinitely detain American citizens inside or outside of the United States suspected by him (the President) of posing a military threat to national security.
Once the suspect is imprisoned, the NDAA authorizes the President to deny that person access to legal counsel (in defiance of the Sixth Amendment) and to refuse habeas corpus petitions requiring the government to inform the accused of the crimes with which he or she is being charged (in defiance of Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution). This latter deprivation of civil liberties, the one Hamilton described as tyrannical, is being challenged again by a man being held at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility.
“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.” These words were written by the Father of the Constitution, James Madison.