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July 22, 2013
theatlantic:

President Obama: Pitch Perfect on Trayvon, Yet Silent on Abdulrahman

I can’t help but harbor complicated feelings toward Obama and the American people generally. You see, right around the same time that Obama gave his speech, the grandfather of a 16-year-old American, killed in an apparent incident of profiling, wrote in the New York Times, “They showed me the grave where they buried his remains. I stood over it, asking why my grandchild was dead. Nearly two years later, I still have no answers.” As he put it, “the United States government has refused to explain.” The 16-year-old “lived in America until he was 7, then came to live with me in Yemen. He was a typical teenager — he watched ‘The Simpsons,’ listened to Snoop Dogg, read ‘Harry Potter’ and had a Facebook page with many friends. He had a mop of curly hair, glasses like me and a wide, goofy smile.” In the autumn of 2011, Abdulrahman set out from his grandfather’s home in search of his father, who he hadn’t seen in years. He was still hundreds of miles away when the U.S. government killed his father, Anwar al-Awlaki, in a drone strike due to his affiliation with Al Qaeda. “Abdulrahman called us and said he was going to return home,” his grandfather wrote. “That was the last time I heard his voice. He was killed just two weeks after his father.”
Read more. [Image: Reuters]


"I want to believe that being an American citizen at least means that when you’re killed, the facts around your death will be investigated and wrongdoing will be punished, even if you have a Muslim name and a radical for a father. I fear I’ll never be able to believe it again.” — Conor Friedersdorf, folks.

theatlantic:

President Obama: Pitch Perfect on Trayvon, Yet Silent on Abdulrahman

I can’t help but harbor complicated feelings toward Obama and the American people generally. You see, right around the same time that Obama gave his speech, the grandfather of a 16-year-old American, killed in an apparent incident of profiling, wrote in the New York Times, “They showed me the grave where they buried his remains. I stood over it, asking why my grandchild was dead. Nearly two years later, I still have no answers.” As he put it, “the United States government has refused to explain.”
The 16-year-old “lived in America until he was 7, then came to live with me in Yemen. He was a typical teenager — he watched ‘The Simpsons,’ listened to Snoop Dogg, read ‘Harry Potter’ and had a Facebook page with many friends. He had a mop of curly hair, glasses like me and a wide, goofy smile.” In the autumn of 2011, Abdulrahman set out from his grandfather’s home in search of his father, who he hadn’t seen in years. He was still hundreds of miles away when the U.S. government killed his father, Anwar al-Awlaki, in a drone strike due to his affiliation with Al Qaeda. “Abdulrahman called us and said he was going to return home,” his grandfather wrote. “That was the last time I heard his voice. He was killed just two weeks after his father.”

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

"I want to believe that being an American citizen at least means that when you’re killed, the facts around your death will be investigated and wrongdoing will be punished, even if you have a Muslim name and a radical for a father. I fear I’ll never be able to believe it again.” — Conor Friedersdorf, folks.

9:28 // 8 months ago
May 23, 2013
I have asked the Department of Defense to designate a site in the United States where we can hold military commissions. I am appointing a new senior envoy at the State Department and Defense Department whose sole responsibility will be to achieve the transfer of detainees to third countries. I am lifting the moratorium on detainee transfers to Yemen so we can review them on a case-by-case basis.
President Obama, during his lengthy speech today on counterterrorism. Obama also stated his continued support for shutting down the facility, saying that “there is no justification beyond politics for Congress to prevent us from closing a facility that it should — should have never been opened.” source
20:02 // 10 months ago
President Obama just delivered a near hour-long speech on drone strikes and counterterrorism policy. There was a lot there; he announced, among other things, new steps the administration is taking to close Guantanamo Bay, changes in policies regarding drone strikes, and a more lenient policy for the transfer of Guantanamo detainees. He defended the strike that killed Anwar al-Awlaki and the practice of drone strikes in general, but also acknowledged their limitations. You can read the full text of the speech here (Photo credit: AP) source

President Obama just delivered a near hour-long speech on drone strikes and counterterrorism policy. There was a lot there; he announced, among other things, new steps the administration is taking to close Guantanamo Bay, changes in policies regarding drone strikes, and a more lenient policy for the transfer of Guantanamo detainees. He defended the strike that killed Anwar al-Awlaki and the practice of drone strikes in general, but also acknowledged their limitations. You can read the full text of the speech here (Photo credit: AP) source

15:35 // 10 months ago
May 22, 2013
The American people are owed a full explanation of how [Abdulrahman al-Awlaki] wound up dead. ‘We weren’t trying to kill the 16-year-old American we blew up’ isn’t sufficient explanation.
The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf on Eric Holder’s letter to Congress, in which Holder acknowledged that the Obama administrated has killed four US citizens via drone stroke—only one of whom was actually being targeted. source
22:53 // 10 months ago
February 6, 2013
nbcnews:

BREAKING: Congress to get classified drone info
(Photo: US Air Force via Reuters)
Reversing their earlier course, the White House will now brief members of Congress on a memo detailing the justification for drone strikes against U.S. citizens.
Read the complete story.

Will be interesting to see when this info is UNclassified and released to the public.

nbcnews:

BREAKING: Congress to get classified drone info

(Photo: US Air Force via Reuters)

Reversing their earlier course, the White House will now brief members of Congress on a memo detailing the justification for drone strikes against U.S. citizens.

Read the complete story.

Will be interesting to see when this info is UNclassified and released to the public.

21:10 // 1 year ago
February 28, 2012

President Obama exempts US citizens from indefinite detainment

  • then On the last day of 2011, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act which, amongst other things, allowed for the indefinite detention of US citizens suspected of terrorism.
  • now Obama signed a policy directive today that exempts US citizens from that provision in the bill (Section 1022, if you’re keeping track). Here’s the fact sheet released by the White House. source

» Some nuance: Although the language in the bill as signed did permit for US citizens to be indefinitely detained, it did not mandate this. Obama actually said at the time that he wouldn’t implement the law such that US citizens would face this possibility, so his signing today of this directive is in line with what he’d pledged. Our take: While this development will surely please Obama’s base, we’re scratching our heads as to why the White House announced it on the day of what’s become the most important primary in the Republican nominating contest so far (Michigan). It’ll likely get completely lost in the news cycle amidst all the primary coverage, which would seem to blunt its political utility. Color us baffled.

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21:59 // 2 years ago
June 22, 2011

Afghanistan troop withdrawal won’t bring us back to pre-Obama levels

  • 65k number of US troops in Afghanistan once the withdrawal is complete (September 2012)
  • 33k number of US troops in Afghanistan when Barack Obama took office (January 2009) source
21:35 // 2 years ago
November 21, 2010
Various untoward and tragic events and battles will take place as a result of this meaningless, imposed and unwinnable war. They should not postpone withdrawal of their forces even be it for one day.
A message from the Taliban • Suggesting that NATO is going to suffer a world of pain if they hold off leaving the country until 2014 (2015, by some counts). Right now, violence is the worst it’s ever been in the country, leading to record casualties. This is despite the 150,000 international troops there. By the way, let’s emphasize a pretty good point about this mess – this is what the Taliban’s going to say. That’s not to undercut the need for us to stay in the country for another four years – there are good reasons on both sides for us to get out (or stay). But the Taliban is a formidable foe and they’re going to taunt us. source (viafollow)
10:58 // 3 years ago