Obama Lawyers Defend ‘Kill Lists’

Lawyers for the Barack Obama administration told a federal judge Monday that the U.S. government has authority to kill U.S. citizens whom the executive branch has unilaterally determined pose a threat to national security. That claim came in federal court in Washington, D.C., in response to a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union … Continue reading “Obama Lawyers Defend ‘Kill Lists’”

Guilty Plea for Child Fighter Averts ‘Publicity Nightmare’

With tongue in cheek, constitutional experts congratulated the U.S. government Tuesday for negotiating a plea deal with Guantanamo prisoner Omar Khadr, thus avoiding a trial in the military commission “puppet theater” of a defendant who was just 15 at the time of his offenses. Details of the plea deal are not yet fully known, but … Continue reading “Guilty Plea for Child Fighter Averts ‘Publicity Nightmare’”

WikiLeaks Paints Grim Picture of Iraqi Civilian Casualties

Two revelations await the reader of the WikiLeaks section dealing with civilian deaths in the Iraq War: Iraqis are responsible for most of these deaths, and the number of total civilian casualties is substantially higher than has been previously reported. There were numerous gruesome but seemingly isolated events that caught the interest and attention of … Continue reading “WikiLeaks Paints Grim Picture of Iraqi Civilian Casualties”

More Iraqi Prison Abuses Exposed on WikiLeaks

The publication of a mother lode of secret field reports from the Iraq War is shining a bright light on heretofore unknown or underreported suspicions about the power of private security contractors and the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by their fellow Iraqis, often with their U.S. military counterparts “turning a blind eye.” The release of … Continue reading “More Iraqi Prison Abuses Exposed on WikiLeaks”

US High Court to Weigh Ashcroft Detention Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear former Attorney General John Ashcroft’s appeal of a lower court decision, which ruled that he could be held responsible for the wrongful detention of a U.S. citizen. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) brought the case against Ashcroft in 2005 on behalf of Abdullah al-Kidd, who they … Continue reading “US High Court to Weigh Ashcroft Detention Case”

Senate Urges Pentagon to Rein in Afghan Contractors

Failures in vetting, training, and supervising Defense Department private security contractors are putting U.S. and coalition troops as well as Afghan civilians at risk and unwittingly aiding Afghan militants by hiring security contractors provided by the Taliban and by warlords, warns a new report released last week by the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee. The … Continue reading “Senate Urges Pentagon to Rein in Afghan Contractors”

FBI Raids Seen as Political Retribution

Recent raids by federal agents on the homes and offices of peace activists are being viewed by civil libertarians and civil society groups as further proof that the U.S. is morphing into a “surveillance state” where the right to privacy and other constitutional protections are being quietly whittled away. On Sept. 24, agents of the … Continue reading “FBI Raids Seen as Political Retribution”

Ashcroft’s Post-9/11 Roundups Spark Lawsuit

Hundreds of people who believe they were falsely detained and imprisoned by the Department of Justice in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks are now seeking redress through the U.S. courts. The exact number of detainees is unclear, as no lists were ever released publicly. But according to a report by the Office … Continue reading “Ashcroft’s Post-9/11 Roundups Spark Lawsuit”

Rendition Suit Heads for US High Court

In a move legal experts are calling unusual, the one-vote court majority that tossed out the lawsuit brought by five men who claim they were tortured under the "extraordinary rendition" program of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency departed from customary practice in suggesting several other ways the victims might obtain justice. This departure from the … Continue reading “Rendition Suit Heads for US High Court”

FBI: No Probable Cause Required For Surveillance

The bitter controversy over the building of a Muslim community center and mosque near the site of the terrorist attacks in New York on Sept. 11, 2001, is sparking new fears of government snooping on Islamic holy places –  which it now claims it can do without a warrant. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), … Continue reading “FBI: No Probable Cause Required For Surveillance”