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Good News from Ashgabat

Turkmenistan, a nation the size of California, and home to 5.5 million people who live atop some of the world’s largest natural gas reserves, recently held presidential elections. The outcome…

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The Afghanistan Dilemma

Violence broke out across Afghanistan last week when news emerged that American forces had burned copies of the Koran. American military officials explained that the books had been taken from…

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Schopenhauer: Causality and Synchronicity

Alle Ereignisse im Leben eines Menschen standen demnach in zwei grundverschiedenen Arten des Zusammenhangs: erstlich, im objektiven, kausalen Zusammenhange des Naturlaufs; zweitens, in einem subjektiven Zusammenhange, der nur in Beziehung…

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Franco is still dead…

… but his spirit seems to have inspired a courtroom drama in Madrid the past few weeks. Baltasar Garzón—the crusading investigative judge who once sought the arrest of Chilean dictator…

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All the Missing Souls: Six Questions for David Scheffer

Ambassador David Scheffer steered America’s engagement with the concept of war-crimes accountability throughout the Clinton years, and has been one of the nation’s leading observers and commentators on the subject…

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Egypt’s War on NGOs

The New York Times reports: Egypt’s military-led government said Sunday that it would put 19 Americans and two dozen others on trial in a politically charged criminal investigation into the…

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Lessing: In Praise of Laziness

Faulheit, jetzo will ich dir Auch ein kleines Loblied bringen.— O—wie—sau—er—wird es mir,— Dich—nach Würden—zu besingen! Doch, ich will mein Bestes tun, Nach der Arbeit ist gut ruhn.   Höchstes…

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The Operators: Six Questions for Michael Hastings

Michael Hastings’s Polk Award–winning Rolling Stone article, “The Runaway General,” brought the career of General Stanley McChrystal, America’s commander in Afghanistan, to an abrupt end. Now Hastings has developed the…

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Spanish Court Resumes Gitmo Prosecution

On Friday, a judge from Spain’s national security court, the Audiencia Nacional, issued a decision directing the resumption of criminal proceedings relating to the torture and mistreatment of three prisoners…

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Martin Luther King Jr.: Nonviolence and the Struggle Between Rich and Poor

The emergency we now face is economic, and it is a desperate and worsening situation. For the 35 million poor people in America—not even to mention, just yet, the poor…

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Donne: An Anatomy of the World

And new philosophy calls all in doubt, The element of fire is quite put out, The sun is lost, and th’ earth, and no man’s wit Can well direct him…

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Gitmo at Ten

On January 11, 2002, the first prisoners from the Bush Administration’s “War on Terror” were landed at the Guantánamo Bay Naval Base, a forty-five-square-mile enclave at the eastern end of…

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Hobbes’s Mortal Gods: Six Questions for Ted H. Miller

The last decade was clearly something of a Hobbesian moment in American history. Now, political philosopher and Hobbes scholar Ted H. Miller has written a book entitled Mortal Gods: Science,…

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Obama Signs the NDAA, World Does Not End (Yet)

On New Year’s Eve, as most Americans were focused on parties and football games, President Barack Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act for 2012. He issued a…

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Tolstoy: The Chain of Ideas that Constitutes Art

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The Pentagon and its Sock Puppets

An internal Department of Defense review has concluded that a Rumsfeld-era program under which retired military officers who appeared on American broadcast media were given special briefings and access was…

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Court of Appeal Orders Release of Bagram Prisoner

In an important ruling that sheds light on the complications that American torture and abuse of prisoners presented for NATO allies attempting to support U.S. campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq,…

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With Liberty and Justice for Some: Six Questions for Glenn Greenwald

In the wake of September 11, Glenn Greenwald emerged as the nation’s premier chronicler of the war that U.S. officials waged on the nation’s civil liberties under the pretext of…

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Dasht-e-Leili, Ten Years Later

In December 2001, Afghanistan’s Northern Alliance, with strong U.S. backing consisting of special-forces units and CIA paramilitary operatives, were close to consolidating their control over the country. Kabul was occupied,…

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Inside the CIA’s Black Site in Bucharest

Reporters for German network ARD’s Panorama newsmagazine and the Associated Press have pieced together key details surrounding the CIA’s operation of a black site in Bucharest, Romania. AP’s Adam Goldman…

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Unpardonable

Dafna Linzer and some of her colleagues at ProPublica have published a two-part feature in the Washington Post based on their year-long study of the American presidential-pardons system. The story’s…

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Blair Addresses the CIA, Drones, and Pakistan

On Monday, Admiral Denis Blair, former National Intelligence Director for President Obama, presented remarks concerning military readiness and potential defense budget cuts at a function hosted by the Aspen Institute.…

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A Club of Liars, Demagogues, and Fools

The German newsweekly Spiegel takes the latest disclosures concerning Herman Cain and the rise of Newt Gingrich as an opportunity to offer a foreign bird’s-eye view of the current Republican…

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The DSK Affair Unravels?

On May 14, 2011, the then-director of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, had a six-minute encounter with a chambermaid at the Sofitel Hotel in midtown Manhattan. The brief interaction…

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Quesnay: The Despotism of Natural Law

Les loix naturelles et fondamentales des sociétés sont la règle souveraine et decisive du juste et de l’injuste absolu, du bien et du mal moral, elles s’impriment dans le cœur…

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Propagandastan

With the predictable failure of the “Super Committee,” Washington is now coasting toward mandatory cuts to the holiest of holies within the Beltway: the defense budget. Against this backdrop, David…

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The Justice Cascade: Six Questions for Kathryn Sikkink

Kathryn Sikkink has spent thirty-five years studying how nations hold their leaders to account for such crimes as kidnapping, torture, and extrajudicial execution, which are often committed against the backdrop…

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Leopardi: The Eve of the Feast Day

Ecco è fuggito Il dì festivo, ed al festivo il giorno Volgar succede, e si travolge il tempo Ogni umano accidente. Or dov’è ’l suono Di que’ popoli antichi? or…

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