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28 Feb 2012 21:59


Politics: 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.

22 Jun 2011 21:35


World: 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 Nov 2010 10:58


World: Taliban: If you don’t leave Afghanistan, NATO, we’ll force you out

  • 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

22 Oct 2010 13:23


World: The U.S. throwing more money into Pakistan’s military coffers

  • $2 billion to come from the U.S. to the Pakistani army source
  • » As a point of comparison: The U.S. has given Pakistan $7.5 billion in aid to the country otherwise – much of it aid in the wake of the country’s recent flooding, along with for civilian projects. Unlike those projects, this does court some controversy, because (according to the White House’s own reports on the matter) Pakistan’s army has reportedly committed gross human rights violations in their anti-terrorism efforts.

15 Jun 2010 10:22


World: Protip to Americans: Don’t take the War on Terror into your own hands

  • Pakistan just nailed a dude who was trying to do just that. The man, identified as Gary Brooks Faulkner, was carrying a sword, dagger, gun, night-vision goggles, a night-vision camera, and some sort of Christian literature (probably a Chick tract). Strangely enough, it’s only the first case of an American trying to catch the dude himself in an attempt to get a $25 million reward – well, actually, it’s the first case that we know about. source