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“Dryboarding” and Three Unexplained Deaths at Guantánamo

Did the three Guantánamo prisoners who died the evening of June 9, 2006, succumb to the misapplication of a controlled-suffocation technique called “dryboarding?” That prospect was raised last week in…

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Innocence Is No Defense

The Miami Herald’s Carol Rosenberg reports: The U.S. military tribunal for the USS Cole bombing suspect has no power to free a captive found innocent of war crimes but shouldn’t…

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The Black Banners: Six Questions for Ali Soufan

The name and face of former FBI special agent Ali Soufan have only recently become known to the public, but to those inside the U.S. government Soufan has long been…

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Gitmo Forever

In today’s New York Times, Charlie Savage tells us that Republicans are continuing to tie the Obama Administration’s hands in dealing with terrorism suspects: Republican senators are pushing to include…

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Waiting for Tinkerbell in Tashkent

At a time when Republican presidential frontrunner Herman Cain is touting his indifference to “Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan,” American diplomats and military leaders are in fact making the pilgrimage to Tashkent to pay…

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Obama and Libya

I was skeptical this past spring when the Obama White House reversed course on Libya. One day it was resolved not to intervene, following advice from Secretary of Defense Robert…

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Plato — The Origins of Democracy

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The Lieberman Material-Support Dilemma

Connecticut senator Joseph Lieberman has put forward the Enemy Expatriation Act, which threatens to strip the citizenship of any American who is convicted of “providing material support or resources to…

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A Decade of Fear: Six Questions for Michelle Shephard

Join Michelle Shephard for a conversation with Bart Gellman about A Decade of Fear at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, in Robertson Hall, on Tuesday,…

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Secrecy: Making America Dumber and Less Democratic?

On Wednesday, Scott Shane wrote in the New York Times: Speaking hours after the world learned that a C.I.A. drone strike had killed Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen, President Obama could…

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A Snapshot from the Age of Distraction

At pollsandvotes.com, Charles Franklin takes a look at polling from the Republican presidential primary race and notes a remarkable phenomenon. On one hand, Mitt Romney is ensconced as the candidate…

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The Secret Al-Awlaki Memo

The Washington Post reveals that the Obama Administration secured a legal opinion from the Justice Department stating that the president has the power to authorize a strike abroad to kill…

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When Prosecution Becomes Persecution

Richard J. Oppel has just published a piece in the New York Times detailing the rising prominence of plea bargains in the U.S. criminal-justice system. In this passage, he shows…

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Injudicious Judge

Earlier this week, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit let stand, by a 6–6 vote, a panel decision authorizing an ACLU suit challenging warrantless surveillance of…

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Brennan Does Yemen

Deputy National Security Advisor John O. Brennen delivered an important speech at Harvard on Friday evening, in which he gave what may well be the most comprehensive presentation so far…

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The 9/11 Effect

Remarks prepared by Scott Horton for The 9/11 Effect, a Harper’s Magazine panel discussion held on September 14, 2011. A decade is certainly an appropriate point for a survey. To…

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Good-bye to All That

Once in a blue moon, a figure deep inside the Beltway beast leaves and says something profound and honest about the environment in which he works. One such figure is…

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The Illusion of Free Markets: Six Questions for Bernard Harcourt

University of Chicago professor Bernard Harcourt is a student, but not a follower, of the Chicago School, an academic movement that has had a profound effect on America in the…

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An Army in the Shadows

In Friday’s Washington Post, Greg Miller and Julie Tate published a must-read study tracing the evolution of the Central Intelligence Agency from an intelligence-collection and -analysis operation into a shadow…

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Shakespeare/Morley — “O Mistress Mine”

O Mistress mine, where are you roaming? O, stay and hear; your true love’s coming, That can sing both high and low: Trip no further, pretty sweeting; Journeys end in…

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Putting the Question to Dick Cheney

Former Vice President Dick Cheney has just released his memoir of the Bush years, entitled In My Time. The volume is exactly what you might expect: a full-throated defense of…

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The CIA’s Censorship Machine

As we approach the tenth anniversary of 9/11, Americans will be taking measure of our government’s response to those events. To be sure, the American reaction included selflessness, dedication, and…

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Solov'ëv and the Eternal Struggle with Evil

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Justice Department Rolls Snake Eyes in Alabama Gambling Trial

The Justice Department’s public-integrity section was hit with another embarrassing setback Thursday, this time from the jury in the bizarre Alabama bingo case — Justice’s highest-profile political litigation since its…

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The Anatomy of Influence: Six Questions for Harold Bloom

Harold Bloom, Yale professor and celebrated literary critic, has a new book — his thirty-eighth — entitled The Anatomy of Influence. In a sense it is an updating of The…

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A Setback for Obama’s War on Whistleblowers

Although President Obama campaigned on calls to respect and protect whistleblowers, no sooner did he take office than the Justice Department adopted a diametrically opposite posture. Under Eric Holder, the…

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In Defense of Flogging: Six Questions for Peter Moskos

Peter Moskos, a former Baltimore policeman who now serves as a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, is disgusted with the nation’s prison system.…

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The DOJ’s “Gitmo Suicides” Slam

In Al-Zahrani v. Rodriguez, relatives of two of the three Guantánamo prisoners who died under disputed circumstances on June 10, 2006 are seeking damages from Donald Rumsfeld and 23 other…

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