Panetta: Kill 20 Leaders, End the War on Terror

By: Saturday July 9, 2011 6:48 am

Leon Panetta kicks off his new job as Secretary of Defense with a trip to Afghanistan. On the plane over there this morning, he told reporters that we just need to kill 10 or 20 leaders of al Qaeda and we will “strategically defeat” al Qaeda. (h/t Spencer) Defense Secretary Leon Panetta declared Saturday that [...]

Is Anwar al-Awlaki The Unnamed “National of the United States” In Warsame Indictment?

By: Thursday July 7, 2011 10:08 am

So, is it truly the case that Awlaki is indeed the unnamed “national of the United States” here in the Warsame indictment? I don’t know for certain, but it sure as heck fits the facts as we know them and the depraved refusal of the American government to talk about or let the public know its basis for impunity in marking an American citizen for extrajudicial termination with prejudice.

Our “Public Debate” about Drones Is a State Secret

By: Sunday July 3, 2011 2:32 pm

While I often disagree with Benjamin Wittes, I rarely think the stuff he writes is sheer nonsense. This post, which attempts to rebut Eugene Robinson’s column on Assassination by Robot, is an exception. I disagree, respectfully, with most of his post. But this bit I find just mindboggling. My former colleague Eugene Robinson has a [...]

Yemen’s Head of Al Qaeda Scrambles to Make Anwar al-Awlaki Al Qaeda’s #3

By: Thursday May 12, 2011 7:23 pm

It’s now a perennial joke. Every time we kill the next Number Three in al Qaeda, we joke about how no one wants to take that guy’s place. Which was my first impression when I read this bit from ProPublica’s review of what the intelligence from Osama bin Laden’s compound has thus far revealed. Bin [...]

Obama Apparently Was Hoping for a Trifecta

By: Friday May 6, 2011 3:32 pm

Qaddafi last Saturday, Osama bin Laden Sunday, and Anwar al-Awlaki on Thursday. A U.S. drone strike in Yemen Thursday was aimed at killing Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born radical cleric who is suspected of orchestrating terrorist attacks on the U.S, but the missile missed its target, according to Yemeni and U.S. officials. [snip] The attempt to [...]

If POTUS Can Order Assassination of US Citizen w/No Due Process, Can He Order Torture, Too?

By: Thursday January 6, 2011 11:14 am

Glenn Greenwald and Mark Mazzetti tell the story of 19-year old American citizen Gulet Mohamed who was taken into custody by the Kuwaitis after the US, while Mohamed was staying with an uncle in Kuwait, put him on the no-fly list. In the two weeks the Kuwaitis have held him, Mohamed says he was subjected [...]

Hatfill and Wen Ho Lee and Plame and al-Awlaki and Assange

By: Friday December 10, 2010 8:08 am

Last night I appeared on a panel on the Scooter Libby case. It was Judge Reggie Walton, Peter Zeidenberg, Alexandra Walsh from the Libby team, Lee Levine (who represented Andrea Mitchell and Tim Russert), Walter Pincus and I. The panel itself was good. My high point came after Walsh had explained why the Defense had [...]

As Expected, Judge Bates Punts on Rule of Law

By: Tuesday December 7, 2010 8:41 am

I almost felt like I was reading Judge John Bates’ ruling on whether or not Valerie Plame could sue those who outed her when I read Judge Bates’ ruling dismissing the suit challenging the government’s ability to assassinate Anwar al-Awlaki with no due process. He starts by admitting the importance of the issues at hand. [...]

Government Trying to Fudge on Its Claim to Absolute Power

By: Tuesday November 9, 2010 11:20 am

I’m working on a post on the news that DOJ will not charge Jose Rodriguez for destroying the torture tapes. But that’s going to take a while (read the NYT on the news in the meantime). In the meantime, though, I wanted to point to Adam Serwer’s summary of yesterday’s hearing on the Anwar al-Awlaki [...]

CIA and DOJ’s Different Ideas of Accountability on Khost

By: Wednesday October 20, 2010 3:38 pm

I wanted to return to yesterday’s report on the investigation in the Khost bombing. As I noted, the CIA had advance warning that Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi might be a double agent. The report also found a number of other operational problems in al-Balawi’s treatment. But Leon Panetta decided not to hold anyone responsible for [...]

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