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Tag: Security

Obama and the Limits of Mastery

President Obama wants to build a new liberal majority and to do it he’s trying to charm everyone left of Rush Limbaugh. That strategy has led to some awkward moments.

Posted on May 24, 2009 READ MORE


Look to the Law—Not to Whether Torture ‘Works’

The calls for an independent commission to investigate torture usually argue that a congressional investigation, or a Justice Department criminal investigation, would become so politicized as to be hopelessly compromised. I am not sure this is true.

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 READ MORE



White House / David Bohrer

Joe Wilson Wants Dick Cheney to Let It All Hang Out

Ever the fan of cherry-picking, former Vice President Dick Cheney has called for the declassification of select intelligence he claims would polish his torture legacy. Whistle-blower extraordinaire Joe Wilson says the “most secretive individual in American politics” shouldn’t stop there—why not air all of the Bush administration’s dirty laundry once and for all?

Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE



Harald Dettenborn

Report: Rep. Harman Mixed Up With AIPAC, Espionage and Alberto Gonzales

Rep. Jane Harman agreed to go to bat for two AIPAC officials accused of espionage, in exchange for which an Israeli spy would try to get her appointed to chair the House Intelligence Committee, according to Congressional Quarterly. The NSA reportedly captured an exchange between Harman and the spy, during which the congresswoman allegedly said, “This conversation doesn’t exist.”

Posted on Apr 20, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Ahn Young-joon

Up, Up and Away: The West’s Hysterical Reaction to North Korea

North Korea has come under strong international criticism and sanctions for its missile launch, but as a signatory to the 1966 Outer Space Treaty, it is legally permitted to pursue space launch activity. Besides, where is the pandemonium when Japan, Pakistan, Israel, India, Russia and the U.S. refine, test and launch their own ballistic missiles?

Posted on Apr 17, 2009 READ MORE


Delusions of Omnipotence

American foreign policy is based not on what we can do, but what Washington wants to do, hence the blunders of Korea, Vietnam and even the Cold War, which the Soviets were kind enough to lose. Even now, the new president is extending the “Long War” on a still more ambitious scale.

Posted on Apr 16, 2009 READ MORE


Getting to Zero Starts With One Man

If Obama is successful in reducing our nuclear stockpile, it could make a monumental difference to the world’s security. Nuclear arms proliferation will never be stopped so long as the U.S. insists on maintaining a privileged position of global nuclear domination.

Posted on Apr 10, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

The Father of Guantanamo

Indefinite and secret detention at the U.S. air base in Bagram, Afghanistan, was a fundamental breach of justice and morality when the Bush administration did it. It is made worse by the stench of hypocrisy when the Obama administration does it.

Posted on Apr 8, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / saragoldsmith

Die Hard 5: Real Life

Hollywood has given us many a laptop-wielding hacker who causes explosions, blackouts and mayhem with a few malicious keystrokes, but such scenarios may not be confined to preposterous action flicks anymore. The Wall Street Journal reports that cyberspies from China and Russia have infiltrated the U.S. electrical grid, mapped it and left a little something behind.

Posted on Apr 8, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / freezelight

Spam Rules the Inbox

The BBC reports on some alarming numbers coming out of Redmond: “More than 97% of all e-mails sent over the net are unwanted, according to a Microsoft security report. The e-mails are dominated by spam adverts for drugs, and general product pitches and often have malicious attachments.”

Posted on Apr 8, 2009 READ MORE


It’s Now a ‘Soft War’ in Afghanistan, but It’s Still a Disaster

President Obama appears to have fallen for the oldest false dichotomy in the Pentagon repertoire, and the easiest one to sell to the American public. It goes like this: The world is divided between the Evil Folks and the Good. The Good Folks, being what they are, are naturally pro-American, once they get to know us.

Posted on Apr 7, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Lee Jin-man

World Reacts to North Korean Launch

The U.N. Security Council held an emergency meeting following what North Korea described as a satellite launch but what the U.S. and South Korea said was actually a long-range missile test. The U.S., the European Union, Japan and South Korea have all weighed in with varying degrees of concern, while China and Russia have urged calm and restraint.

Posted on Apr 5, 2009 READ MORE


This Is the Truth on Drugs ... Any Questions?

Finally, after America has frittered away billions of taxpayer dollars arming Latin American death squads and incarcerating more of its own citizens on nonviolent drug charges than any other industrialized nation, the government is starting to re-evaluate federal narcotics policy.

Posted on Apr 2, 2009 READ MORE



What You Dig

Here are the five most-read stories of the last seven days, including Chris Hedges on America’s moral meltdown and Robert Scheer on the economic incompetents who find easy employment in the Obama administration. Full list after the jump.

Posted on Mar 27, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Elizabeth Dalziel

Obama’s Plan to Save the World

Forget about terrorism for a moment. The potential catastrophe that climate change could unleash on America makes every other national security crisis pale in comparison. President Obama cannot secure the homeland without addressing this global emergency.

Posted on Mar 24, 2009 READ MORE


Sarkozy’s Courtship of NATO Defies Rationality

France’s president has lived up to the stereotype that his people, fond as they are of home vacationing and generally convinced of their own superiority, not infrequently fail to know what they are talking about when dealing with foreign countries.

Posted on Mar 17, 2009 READ MORE


book cover

Tony Platt on Wall Street Terror Attack

Beverly Gage’s new book exhumes a nearly forgotten tale of class warfare—call it 9/16.

Posted on Mar 13, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Adam Mancini

Obama’s Troop Shuffle Leaves Us Dizzy

The president will withdraw 12,000 troops from Iraq over the next six months, but where will he send them? Back to America? Ski trip to Aspen? Or perhaps he’ll just airlift the veterans to Afghanistan, where a similar number of reinforcements has been promised over a similar period.

Posted on Mar 8, 2009 READ MORE


Redacted memo
aclu.org

Nine Secret Bush-Era Documents Released

The Justice Department has released nine secret memos and opinions written by the Office of Legal Counsel that authorized some of the Bush administration’s unlawful national security policies.

Posted on Mar 4, 2009 READ MORE


Erik Prince
eyeball-series.org

Blackwater CEO Steps Down

Saying that he’s “taking on new challenges,” Blackwater Worldwide founder and CEO Erik Prince announced Monday that he’s resigning from his long-held position at the top of the security company, which has now changed its name to the spooky and sci-fi-tinged Xe.

Posted on Mar 2, 2009 READ MORE



Marine Corps / Lance Cpl. Michael J. Ayotte

It’s Obama’s War Now

Combat troops are to be pulled out of Iraq by August 2010, President Obama said, but some 50,000 occupation troops will remain behind. Someone should let the Iraqis know the distinction.

Posted on Mar 2, 2009 READ MORE



White House

The President’s Address to Congress

In his first speech to a joint session of Congress, President Obama acknowledged the dire state of the economy, but struck a hopeful tone as he expanded on his vision for recovery. Investments in energy, education and health care will be key, he said, as will an expanded bailout of the financial sector. (Summary, video and full text after the jump)

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Hasan Sarbakhshian

A Choice Between Peace and Peril

Bibi Netanyahu’s assumption of power in Israel sets the stage for a huge campaign by the Israeli government, and its well-oiled lobby groups in Washington, to push us into a war with Iran, but a stable relationship with Iran would do more to protect Israel and our interests in the Middle East.

Posted on Feb 23, 2009 READ MORE


Good News for the Taliban

We seem to have spent our way—to the tune of $864 billion—into allowing our friends the Pakistanis to enter into a peace treaty, or something that looks like it, with the Taliban.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE


Putin
AP pool photo / Alexei Druzhinin

Avoiding Another Cold War

Relations with Russia haven’t been this frosty since there was an East Berlin. President Obama may be distracted by other priorities, but getting reacquainted with Vladimir Putin and his nuclear arsenal should be at the top of the list.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Jon Soucy

Rebutting the False Choice Between Security and Freedom

A three-year review of more than 40 countries has found that justice systems prior to 9/11 were perfectly capable of combating terrorism. The U.S. and Britain were especially opportunistic in their violations of human rights and international law and gave comfort by example to other abusive regimes, the International Commission of Jurists found.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE



POTUS Executive Office

Cheney Claims ‘High Probability’ of WMD Attack

The former vice president tells Politico that there is a “high probability” of a terrorist attack involving “a nuclear weapon or a biological agent of some kind” and that the current administration is “more concerned about reading the rights to an Al Qaeda terrorist than they are with protecting the United States. ...”

Posted on Feb 4, 2009 READ MORE



obamaicon.me

No They Can’t

Three Iraqi candidates and two campaign workers were killed Thursday as the country prepared for local elections in 14 out of 18 provinces. That’s something to keep in mind with all the talk of improved security. Relative to the hell-on-Earth of recent years, “improvement” amounts to only five people murdered for showing an interest in politics.

Posted on Jan 29, 2009 READ MORE



abc.go.com

Protecting the Homeland From Homeland Security

As previously reported on Truthdig, there’s a lot going on in Homeland Security that doesn’t make it onto the reality show of the same name. The Center for Investigative Reporting’s G.W. Schulz continues to dig into the department’s unsavory bits, including an immigration officer who was arrested for allegedly having sex with an 11-year-old girl in Rio while there on official business.

Posted on Jan 27, 2009 READ MORE


NATO: Dead Man Walking

NATO has no coherent overall purpose and has not had one since the end of the Cold War. Any number of redefinitions and reorganizations have been proposed or tried and have proved unsatisfactory because no one can explain what it is that NATO really does or is for, other than to clean up behind the United States.

Posted on Jan 27, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Sebastian Scheiner

With Gaza, Journalists Fail Again

The assault on Gaza exposed not only Israel’s callous disregard for international law but the gutlessness of the American press. Nearly all reporters were, as during the buildup to the Iraq war, pliant stenographers and echo chambers.

Posted on Jan 26, 2009 READ MORE


Obama’s Salvage Operation

Repairing the damage that George W. Bush did to the nation’s values, honor and pride will be complicated and, at times, politically inconvenient. But nothing is more urgent, and nothing will ultimately reap more benefits at home and abroad.

Posted on Jan 23, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Jon Soucy

Obama Puts Gitmo Trials on Hold

President Obama has asked for a stay in all military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay while his administration figures out how to handle the legal cases of the detainees still held in the island prison. The move was welcomed by Human Rights Watch and the ACLU as a positive first step.

Posted on Jan 20, 2009 READ MORE


What Can Obama Learn From Bush?

The Bush administration’s specific failures—in foreign and domestic policy and on matters related to civil liberties—are clear enough. Yet the deeper cause of the public’s disaffection goes beyond these specifics.

Posted on Jan 20, 2009 READ MORE


The District of Pandemonium

Our nation’s capital will survive the financial meltdown, the deepening recession and the plethora of foreign crises from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. Whether Washington will survive Tuesday’s inauguration, however, is an open question.

Posted on Jan 15, 2009 READ MORE


Guantanamo protest
AP photo / Mary Altaffer

U.S. Fails in Human Rights Role

It is unsurprising that a group like Human Rights Watch has condemned the Bush government for jettisoning the U.S. role as a defender of global human rights: Numerous examples—Guantanamo, gay marriage, Iraq, etc.—accentuate this failure.

Posted on Jan 14, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
Global Graphica / Ivan Corsa

Can You Hear Me Now?: Terrorist Edition

In a reactionary move against technology and the beasts who wield it, the NYPD has announced it wants to jam cell phone frequencies in case of a terrorist attack, citing Mumbai as an example of how mobile phones allowed attackers in that Indian city to micromanage their assault in real time.

Posted on Jan 9, 2009 READ MORE



abc.go.com

‘Homeland Security USA’: The Outtakes

The inaugural episode of ABC’s newest reality television series did exactly as producer Arnold Shapiro told viewers it would: unabashedly celebrated the Department of Homeland Security. It also failed in every conceivable way to critically examine the largest reorganization of the federal government since World War II.

Posted on Jan 9, 2009 READ MORE


Should the Torturers Go on Trial?

The impending end of the Bush administration and the inauguration of Barack Obama pose the enormous and explosive question of what to do about those responsible for what are regarded by a significant part of the world as war crimes.

Posted on Jan 8, 2009 READ MORE



un.org / unrwa

U.N. Suspends Gaza Aid, Blames Israel

The United Nations is suspending relief activity in the Gaza Strip following multiple attacks by Israeli forces. “Our installations have been hit, our workers have been killed in spite of the fact that the Israeli authorities have the co-ordinates of our facilities and that all our movements are co-ordinated with the Israeli army,” said a U.N. Relief and Works Agency spokesman quoted by the BBC.

Posted on Jan 8, 2009 READ MORE


Obama
AP photo / Rina Castelnuovo, pool

Obama Will Back Israel

The president-elect has struggled to stay out of the Gaza fight, but based on everything he said during the campaign, he appears determined to stand up for Israel.

Posted on Jan 8, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Craig Ruttle

Why I Am a Socialist

The free market and globalization, promised as the route to worldwide prosperity, have been exposed as a con game. We will either find our way out of this mess by embracing an uncompromising democratic socialism or we will continue to be fleeced and impoverished by our bankrupt elite.

Posted on Dec 29, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Hatem Moussa

Leaders Lie, Civilians Die, and Lessons of History Are Ignored

We’ve got so used to the carnage of the Middle East that we don’t care anymore—providing we don’t offend the Israelis.

Posted on Dec 29, 2008 READ MORE



USAF / Michael B. Keller

The Road Out of Iraq Begins in Vietnam

Iraq is not Vietnam, yet there are parallels between the two wars. The American military dominated the battlefield in both conflicts, and yet America the nation emerged the loser in each. A “decent interval” is now needed for American troops to withdraw.

Posted on Dec 24, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

James Blight on McGeorge Bundy

One of JFK’s “best and brightest” died wondering how the Vietnam War could have gone so wrong. Now, in an important new book, we have some answers.

Posted on Dec 19, 2008 READ MORE


Blundering U.S. Should Spare the World Any More Nation Building

According to a new report, the U.S. has accomplished little more in Iraq than restoration of the basic services destroyed by the American invasion and the looting that followed. This is after killing or wounding—how many, a half million?—Iraqi civilians in order to liberate them. No wonder the Iraqi journalist threw his shoes at George W. Bush.

Posted on Dec 16, 2008 READ MORE


Sweeping Blackwater Under the Rug

The federal manslaughter indictment of five Blackwater Worldwide security guards for the horrific massacre of more than a dozen Iraqi civilians in Baghdad may look like an exercise in accountability, but it’s probably the exact opposite.

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 READ MORE


Obama Embraces the Military

In naming retired Gen. Eric K. Shinseki as veterans affairs secretary, President-elect Barack Obama made what may be the most politically and morally significant choice of his transition.

Posted on Dec 9, 2008 READ MORE



commons.wikimedia.org

Blackwater Guards Indicted for Shootings

Five Blackwater guards were indicted on charges of manslaughter on Monday in a case that will test the legal accountability of private contractors in Iraq. A sixth guard pleaded guilty. The Blackwater employees killed 17 unarmed Iraqi civilians without justification at a Baghdad traffic circle, the Justice Department alleges.

Posted on Dec 8, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / sergis blog

Maryland Police Keep You Safe From Terrorist Nuns

How did two nuns end up on a list of terrorists? Blame a now-defunct investigation by the Maryland State Police, who sent undercover troopers to spy on political groups and identify supposed terrorists, among them pacifists, environmentalists, a congressional candidate and those two feisty nuns. Update 

Posted on Dec 7, 2008 READ MORE


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