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Did 24 Help Make Torture Acceptable?

24_on_fox.jpg

In the wake of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on C.I.A. torture, some have suggested that eight years of Jack Bauer helped make torture more acceptable to the American public.

F.B.I. Charges North Korea With Being Behind Hacking Attacks On Sony

North Korea Military Parade

The U.S. Government has formally charged North Korea with responsibility for the hacking attack on Sony. How to respond to that attack is a more complicated question.

Sony, “The Interview,” and Running Government Like a Business.

military-soldier-sunset

It strike me that the situation with Sony and The Interview is a good example of why you can’t run government like a business. While the US government would have to make calculations about warding off future attacks, national reputations, etc. in the face of terrorist threats, all Sony (And AMC, etc.) had to do […]

Sony Pictures Pulls ‘The Interview’ After Cyber Attacks, Threats; North Korea Suspected

Sony The Interview

With major theater chains having pulled out, Sony bowed to the inevitable, but now there appears to be proof that a foreign power is behind the Sony hacking attacks and threats of violence.

Sony Hacking Scandal Elevates To Threats Of Terrorism If Film Is Released

Sony The Interview

Hackers who have divulged embarrassing secrets from deep within Sony Pictures are now threatening violence if a film about a plot to kill Kim Jong Un is released.

Sowell Deploys a TTBS

us-politics

As a follow-on to my post the other day (On Ticking Time Bombs) I see that Thomas Sowell is joining in the fun: If you knew that there was a hidden nuclear time bomb planted somewhere in New York City — set to go off today — and you had a captured terrorist who knew […]

Taliban Attack On Pakistan Kills Up To 126, At Least 100 Children

Pakistan School Attack

A day of terror at a school in Pakistan.

Sydney Hostage Taker Man Haron Monis: Lone Wolf Terrorist, Or Lone Nut? Does It Matter?

APTOPIX Australia Police Operation   TOK801

Was Man Haron Monis a terrorist, or just a lone nut who had latched on to the rhetoric of ISIS to justify his own delusions? In the end, it hardly matters.

On Ticking Time Bombs

Nuclear Explosion

The “ticking time bomb scenario” is a TV trope and, therefore, is a terrible guide for making policy.

The Amorality Of Dick Cheney And The Right In Response To The Truth About C.I.A. Torture

Dick Cheney

Vice-President Cheney’s amoral defense of torture has come to define how most conservatives view the issue, and that’s a problem.

What Does “Linked to Terrorism” Mean?

military-soldier-sunset

A question occurs in response to Doug Mataconis’ post this morning:  what does "linked To terrorism" mean?*   After all, we often want to know if a given act of violence is “terrorism” or not (and we seem, collectively, to react differently if an act is “terrorism” or not). If an armed individual holds hostages because […]

Hostage Crisis In Sydney, Australia Cafe Apparently Linked To Terrorism

APTOPIX Australia Police Operation   TOK801

A hostage crisis has been unfolding overnight at a cafe in Sydney, Australia that has apparent links to international terrorism.

Hayden and “Rectal Hydration”

us-politics

Via The Hill:   Ex-CIA director defends rectal rehydration “These were medical procedures,” Hayden said during a tense interview on CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper.” He added that the method was used because detainees were dehydrated, and that giving them intravenous fluids with needles would be dangerous.  ”I’m not a doctor,” he said. “What I […]

Rationalizing Torture

us-politics

I would recommend the following (audio only at the moment):  What Is Torture? Our Beliefs Depend In Part On Who’s Doing It. The piece is about social science research on torture and notes, among other things, 1.  Humans are likely to define “torture” differently if it their group doing it versus when other groups do […]

Torture Report’s Long Shadow

torture-report

What now?

ISIS? ISIL? Islamic State? How About Daesh?

ISIS Fighters

It appears that American officials are starting to refer to ISIS, which the President had previously principally referred to as ISIL, by an entirely new name: On Wednesday, John Kerry was speaking at NATO headquarters in Belgium during a meeting of the United States-led coalition against the Islamic State extremist group. During his remarks, the secretary of state […]

You are Defending Torture

us-politics

So far the only critique of the Senate report has been that the techniques deployed by the CIA did, in fact, produce good and useful intelligence. Setting aside whether that is true or not, keep in mind that such an argument is a defense of torture. I have not seen anyone disputing the actual content […]

Senate Intelligence Committee Report Reveals A Dark and Regrettable Time In American History

Waterboarding

A dark and regrettable time in American history is finally seeing the light of day.

Least Shocking Headline of the Day

us-politics

“Dick Cheney Was Lying About Torture” (Politico).

America’s 500th Drone Strike

500-drone-strikes-why-did-you-kill-my-family

The shocking has become routine. We’re no safer because of it.

House Intelligence Committee Benghazi Report Debunks Benghazi Conspiracy Theories

Benghazi-Consulate

The House Intelligence Committee has concluded that the conspiracy theories regarding the 9/11/2012 attack in Benghazi are not supported by the evidence. That’s unlikely to change anyone’s mind, though.

Should The U.S. Reconsider Its Policy Of Not Paying Ransom For Hostages?

Journalist beheaded

The idea that the U.S. does not negotiate with terrorists is simply not historically accurate, so should we be reconsidering the policy of not negotiating with ISIS for the release of Western hostages?

ISIS’s New Beheading Video; Casus Belli, Or A Trap?

ISIS Map Iraq Syria

The latest ISIS video is horrible and barbaric but we should not take the bait they are offering before considering the consequences of our actions going forward.

Suicide Bomber Kills At Least 50 At Nigerian School

travel-suitcase

A suicide bomber has killed at least 50 at a Nigerian school: A suicide bomber dressed as a student infiltrated the morning assembly at a high school in northern Nigeria on Monday and detonated explosives in a backpack, killing almost 50 students and teachers, according to news reports. Although there was no immediate claim of […]

Pat Roberts Engages In Gitmo Fearmongering To Win Re-Election

Guantanamo Bay Camp Entrance

Facing a tough re-election battle, Kansas Senator Pat Roberts is engaging in abject fearrmongering.

The Attack On Canada’s Parliament And The Lone Wolf Terrorist

Ottawa Shooting 20141022

Yesterday’s apparent terrorist shooting in Ottawa reveals again a phenomenon that seems difficult if not impossible to stop in advance.

Nigerian Government Hopeful That Kidnapped Schoolgirls Will Be Freed Next Week

Boko Haram Nigerian Schoolgirls

The Nigerian Government says it is hopeful that the schoolgirls who were kidnapped earlier this year by Boko Haram will be free early next week: Campaigners calling for the release of over 200 Nigerian schoolgirls have said they are “cautiously optimistic” about a reported ceasefire between the government and al-Qaeda-linked militants that would include the […]

Turkey Refusing to Fight ISIS Right on Its Border

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A massacre is about to unfold “a stone’s throw” from Turkey’s border.

White House Fence Jumper Got Deep Inside The Building

White House Dusk

Last week’s security breach just became a lot more serious.

Congress Has Abdicated Its Constitutional Responsibility In The War Against ISIS

John-Boehner

Speaker Boehner wants to delay a vote on the ISIS war until January, but any such debate will be meaningless because Congress has already abdicated responsibility.

Obama: “They” Underestimated ISIS

Obama Syria

Apparently, the buck doesn’t stop in the Oval Office these days.

Americans Support Air Strikes Against ISIS, Oppose Ground Troops

military-soldier-sunset

The American public’s support for the President’s war against ISIS has its limits.

‘Khorasan Group’ is US Creation; It’s Still Dangerous

terrorism-headlines

The Khorasan Group is, functionally, al Qaeda. Or is it?

Weekly Standard Columnist Ends Up On TSA Watch List For No Rational Reason

TSA Uniform

The TSA is up to its usual shenanigans.

Oklahoma Beheading Linked to Islam

law-scales-justice-flag

A fired Oklahoma worker beheaded a woman and was attacking another when he was shot. Workplace violence? Or terrorism.

Hamid Karzai Blasts United States In Farewell Address

Hamid Karzai IEC Speech

Before leaving office, Hamid Karzai is once again biting that hand that has fed him for the past decade.

ISIS Wasn’t The Only Target We Hit In Syria Last Night

military-soldier-sunset

ISIS wasn’t the only target of America’s air strikes in Syria last night, we also hit targets associated with an al Qaeda linked group that heretofore had not received much attention in the media: U.S. military forces attacked more than just the Islamic State in Syria on Monday night. President Obama confirmed in his brief […]

President Obama’s Misplaced Trust In The “Moderate” Syrian Rebels

Syrian Rebels

After keeping his distance from them for three years, President Obama is placing much misplaced hope in the “moderate” Syrian rebels,

Obama’s Anti-ISIS Coalition Seems To Exist Only In His Mind

obama-isil-speech

Despite the President’s assurances of an international coalition, the rest of the world doesn’t seem all that interested in joining the fight.

Obama’s Flimsy Legal Case For War

Obama ISIS Speech

The Obama Administration’s legal justification for war against ISIS is laughably flimsy.

Obama’s ISIL Speech – First Reaction

obama-isil-speech

The Global War on Terror isn’t over after all.

Has Obama Institutionalized Bush’s Worst?

obama-bush-570x323

Dan Froomkin says Obama is as bad as Bush, if not worse.

US Airstrikes Weaken ISIS, Strengthen Militias

Iraq US Flag

Massive US intervention has for now liberated Amerli, averting humanitarian disaster. Another crisis looms.

King Abdullah Warns the West

abdullah

Is the West next in ISIS’s crosshairs?

Reporter James Foley Beheaded in ISIS Video

james-foley-fbi

American journalist James Foley has been beheaded by the terrorist network calling itself the Islamic State.

Hillary Clinton Attacks Foreign Policy She Helped Create And Implement

U.S. Secretary of State Clinton listens to U.S. President Obama speak during a meeting with members of his cabinet in Washington

Does Hillary Clinton remember that she was Secretary of State for four years?

Bill Clinton On Eve Of 9/11: I Passed On Killing Bin Laden Because Civilians Would Have Died

Bill Clinton

Some words from the past, apparently uttered mere hours before the world changed forever.

US No Safer Than on 9/11 Says DIA Chief

US Army Lt General Flynn testifies before House Intelligence Committee in Washington

LTG Michael Flynn says the United States is no safer after 13 years of war

F.A.A. Halts Flights From U.S. To Israel For 24 Hours

US Israel Flags

The Federal Aviation Administration has halted all flights from the U.S. to Israel for 24 hours in response to a rocket attack near Ben Gurion Airport: Major American airlines stopped flying to Israel on Tuesday after a rocket fell near Ben-Gurion International Airport outside Tel Aviv, and after the Federal Aviation Administration told the carriers […]

Government Spied on American Muslims Who May or May Not Be Bad Guys

intelligence-spy-traditional

The NSA and FBI are doing more spy stuff.

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