War on Terror

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How 60 Words Created a 'War Without End'

A law approved after 9/11 has greatly expanded the president's powers

(Newser) - In the haze of 9/11, lawmakers empowered the US president to fight back—and may have given him more power than they bargained for, writes Gregory Johnsen at BuzzFeed . Congress overwhelmingly approved a 60-word law called the Authorization for the Use of Military Force , which empowered President George W. Bush... More »

General Who Opened Gitmo: It Was a Mistake

The whole detention strategy was wrong, Lehnert says

(Newser) - The Guantanamo Bay detention center was a huge mistake that should never have been opened, according to none other than the general who got it up and running in 2002. "In retrospect, the entire detention and interrogation strategy was wrong," Gen. Michael Lehnert writes in the Detroit Free ... More »

How US Treated Mandela in '80s Has Lessons for Today

vanden Heuvel: Think war on terror instead of war on communism

(Newser) - Nelson Mandela is winning deserved praise in this country and across the world, but it's useful to remember that it wasn't always so, writes Katrina vanden Heuvel in the Washington Post . Go back a few decades, and you'll find that Republicans and Democrats alike, but conservatives especially,... More »

Dumb US Strategy Keeps Giving Life to al-Qaeda

It's decentralized now, but maybe more dangerous: Eugene Robinson

(Newser) - The al-Qaeda of old may be dead as we once knew it, but misguided US policy over a decade might actually be making things worse, writes Eugene Robinson in the Washington Post . He sums it up this way: "Al-Qaeda turns out to be like a pool of mercury. Hit... More »

Why Did America Kill My Teen Grandson?

Nasser al-Awlaki thinks President Obama owes him an explanation

(Newser) - Abdulrahman al-Awlaki was a US citizen. He was also a typical 16-year-old; "he watched The Simpsons, listened to Snoop Dogg, read Harry Potter, and had a Facebook page with many friends," his grandfather, Nasser al-Awlaki writes in a New York Times op-ed. In October 2011 he was killed... More »

The US Was Deranged by 9/11

Klaus Brinkbäumer marvels at the counterterror overreaction

(Newser) - Ever wonder how the US looks to the rest of the world? Well, Klaus Brinkbäumer offers one view in Germany's Der Spiegel today. "America is sick," he writes. "September 11 left it wounded and unsettled," and the NSA scandal "shows that the US... More »

Feds Name Gitmo's 'Indefinite Detainees'

46 inmates can't be tried, transferred, or released

(Newser) - The names of Guantanamo's dozens of "indefinite detainees" deemed too dangerous to release even if the detention center is closed have been disclosed for the first time. In response to a lawsuit from the Miami Herald , the federal government released a list of prisoners including 26 Yemenis, 12... More »

Phone Records Foiled Attack, Says Lawmaker

House intel chief defends NSA; Obama 'welcomes' debate

(Newser) - Mike Rogers has one-upped his colleagues on Capitol Hill in defending the NSA's use of phone records from Verizon . The chairman of the House intelligence panel says the strategy is not only legal but has foiled at least one terror attack, reports the Hill . Rogers did not provide details,... More »

CIA Classified 25% of Drone Victims as 'Other'

Agency often didn't know who it was targeting in Pakistan: report

(Newser) - As it pursued suspected terrorists in Pakistan, the CIA wasn't always certain of the identity of those it was killing: Some 25% of those taken out by drones over a span of 14 months beginning in September 2010 were categorized as "other militants," NBC News finds after... More »

Obama's Gitmo Plan? Call It the 'Dorothy Doctrine'

Krauthammer: President thinks he can wish terror problems away

(Newser) - President Obama thinks he can declare an end to the war on terror by simply wishing it away, writes Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post . He "would like to close his eyes, click his heels three times," and, poof, problem solved. The rub is that jihadism isn't... More »

History Rewritten at the W. Bush Library

Maureen Dowd: Both Obama, Bush are running from the Bush presidency

(Newser) - As Obama distances himself from the war on terror and the legacy of the W. Bush presidency, Maureen Dowd visits the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum and finds that ... Bush is also trying to distance himself from the Bush presidency, she writes in the New York Times . Things... More »

Did Obama Just End the War?

Pundits differ on how seriously we should take yesterday's speech

(Newser) - President Obama delivered a landmark speech on the war on terror yesterday, but people are divided on just how impressed we ought to be. The New York Times is singing the speech's praises. "As frustratingly late as it was—much of what Mr. Obama said should have been... More »

In Major Shift, Obama Will Clamp Down on Drone Strikes

Will speak today on new counterterror policies

(Newser) - President Obama will today outline a new course against terror, including two big goals: cutting down on drone strikes and attempting, once again, to close the Guantanamo Bay prison. The speech comes after the administration yesterday admitted killing four US citizens with drones. Under new drone rules, strikes on foreign... More »

The 12 Things Nearly All Americans Agree On

Surveys show most of us believe in God, are OK with birth control

(Newser) - What can nine out of 10 Americans agree on? Survey says: not much. That's partly because the big polls such as Pew, Gallup, and the General Social Survey are designed to explore differences, not to document what unites the United States. Still, a few questions discover 90% agreement, or... More »

Could Pakistan Soon Quit the War on Terror?

Leading PM candidate Nawaz Sharif says he'd do just that

(Newser) - Pakistan's leading candidate for prime minister has said he'll escort the country out of the US-led "war on terror" if elected on Saturday. Nawaz Sharif tells the BBC , "We have to" quit the effort, arguing that the move would be a step toward peace both in... More »

Close Gitmo, Already

Time for Obama to make good on his promise, NYT says

(Newser) - President Obama has once again vowed to make good on his promise to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center , but his actions fall far short of his words, the New York Times writes in an editorial. The center, as Obama admits, is a "blight on the nation’s reputation"... More »

Obama: Our Mission in Niger Has Begun

At least 100 military personnel stationed next to Mali

(Newser) - President Obama told Congress today that he has sent troops to Niger to support France's mission against militants in neighboring Mali, Reuters reports. But the deployment of about 100 military personnel will only set up a base for unarmed aircraft to conduct surveillance, he wrote in a letter. He... More »

Yes, Obama's Drone War Is Legal

Even if the Justice Department made a lousy case: Charles Krauthammer

(Newser) - The Justice Department may have written some weak memos justifying President Obama's drone warfare , but the case for the program is solid, writes Charles Krauthammer in a rare defense of the president in the Washington Post . The conservative columnist says the drone debate involves three distinct questions—Does the... More »

Brennan: Always Better to Capture, Not Kill, Terrorists

Dianne Feinstein has to clear the room as CIA nominee testifies on drones

(Newser) - John Brennan, President Obama's nominee to run the CIA, went to Capitol Hill today and defended the US drone strategy he helped engineer as Obama's top counterterror adviser. The drone strikes are necessary, he testified, because the US remains "at war" with al-Qaeda and other terrorists bent... More »

Obama's Memo on Killing US Citizens Is a Disgrace

Glenn Greenwald: No free society should sanction this

(Newser) - The Obama administration's rationale for when it's OK to kill US citizens is fundamentally un-American, writes Glenn Greenwald at the Guardian . For example, the Justice Department memo says the US is justified in going after terrorists—based on the assertions of US officials supposedly in the know about... More »

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