The death count from Tuesday’s separate bombing attacks in Brussels continued to climb Wednesday, with Belgium police reporting at least 31 dead and nearly 270 injuried. The atrocities are tragic and unacceptable. But the West should understand that this is what winning may look like in the battle against Islamic State. The attackers’ coordinated strikes could well stem more from a sense of weakness, than strength.
Islamic State has recently taken a series of serious hits at its power and prowess. First, and most important, its territory in Iraq and Syria — the “caliphate” that has attracted foreign fighters from around the globe — has been steadily diminishing in size over the past 15 months, and the territorial losses are escalating.… Seguir leyendo »
Ten years after its opening, mention Guantanamo, and a thousand images emerge. Men in orange jumpsuits wearing goggles, hoods and handcuffs, hunched over in the relentless Caribbean sun; zoo-like cages, exposed to the elements, with nothing but buckets as toilets; secret areas of the prison compound where “enhanced interrogation techniques” were tested; a detainee deprived of sleep, and injected forcibly with fluids to cause swelling, until he broke; men found hanging from ropes in their cells.
What would a world without Guantanamo be like? That’s two questions, really. First, one must imagine a world in which the detention facility had never opened its doors.… Seguir leyendo »
It’s official. Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, will be tried by a military commission at Guantanamo Bay.
He will not be tried in Manhattan in the shadow of the World Trade Center. He will not be tried before the vast majority of the victims’ families. Nor will he be tried in any federal court. Instead, he will be tried offshore in a military commission process established in 2009 and yet to be tested. It is likely that he will be convicted of conspiring to plan and commit the attacks of 9/11 and that, he, along with his four co-defendants, the other 9/11 detainees at Guantanamo, will be given life sentences, if not the death penalty.… Seguir leyendo »
The Obama administration, ProPublica’s Dafna Linzer first reported, is about to issue an executive order that gives shape, contour and future life to indefinite detention for Guantánamo detainees. The order will provide for the continual detention of several dozen detainees – who will have access lawyers in order to periodically contest their detention.
On one level, we shouldn’t be surprised. In what has become a signature method of the Obama administration, the bad news was trotted out as an idea well ahead of time. In May of 2009, President Obama let it be known that indefinite detention was among the options that the administration would likely embrace in its efforts to close Guantánamo.… Seguir leyendo »
When President Obama announced this week that he would renege on his promise to release a set of detainee abuse photos at the end of this month, he said three factors drove his decision: that «these photos would not add any additional benefit to our understanding of what was carried out in the past by a small number of individuals,» that they would «further inflame anti-American opinion» and that they would «put our troops in greater danger.» But those may not have been the real rationales. By appealing the court order authorizing the photos’ release and thereby delaying publication of viscerally powerful evidence of detainee abuse, Obama may be attempting to reduce political pressure to investigate Bush administration officials who crafted arguably illegal policies on interrogation and detention.… Seguir leyendo »