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war on terror


  • Originally published 03/19/2014

    Advice Too Secret to Ignore

    Col. Manners Answers Your Questions on CIA Practices, Proper Cyberwar Behavior, and Invasion Etiquette

  • Originally published 12/02/2013

    The American Way of Manners

    Col. Manners answers your questions on the etiquette of war, nuclear threats, and surveillance.

  • Originally published 07/08/2013

    Louis René Beres: Beyond Good and Evil in U.S. Counterterrorism Policies

    Louis René Beres is a professor of Political Science at Purdue UniversityAll of America's national security strategy on counterterrorism is based, in part, on a single core assumption: that our terrorist enemies are plainly and uniformly "abnormal." Significantly, however, such presumptively stark polarities between normal and abnormal, good and evil, represent a debilitating caricature. In order to better understand and combat these enemies, we must first learn to acknowledge that even "normal" individuals can sometimes do us great harm.What does this mean? By definition, at least, psychopathology and normalcy would appear to be mutually exclusive. Yet some of our most insightful thinkers have reasoned otherwise. In these examples, they have willingly looked beyond the seductive veneers of orthodox psychological investigation.Sigmund Freud wrote about the "Psychopathology of Everyday Life" (1914) while tracing some intriguing connections between "the abnormal" and "the normal," and was genuinely surprised to learn just how faint the line of demarcation could be. More precisely, in exploring parapraxes, or slips of the tongue, a phenomenon that we now conventionally call "Freudian slips," he concluded that certain psychopathologic traits could occasionally be discovered in normal persons....

  • Originally published 07/08/2013

    Writing About the Military Will Screw with Your Life

     “Why the officer stopped you is beyond me, but what the officer discovered is something of interest, especially for national security... It’s not every day you see someone traveling with information like this.” 

  • Originally published 07/02/2013

    Tom Engelhardt: The Dictionary of the Global War on You (GWOY)

    Tom Engelhardt, co-founder of the American Empire Project and author of "The United States of Fear" as well as a history of the Cold War, "The End of Victory Culture" (just published in a Kindle edition), runs the Nation Institute's TomDispatch.com. His latest book, co-authored with Nick Turse, is "Terminator Planet: The First History of Drone Warfare, 2001-2050."

  • Originally published 06/16/2013

    The Case for Sparing the Rosenbergs

    Credit: Wiki Commons.Sixty years ago this week, Ethel Rosenberg was strapped into the same electric chair that killed her husband Julius moments before. Her gruesome death ended the spy case that captured worldwide attention. Julius Rosenberg had been arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit espionage, specifically passing atomic bomb secrets to the Soviets.FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover had also ordered the arrest of Julius’ wife Ethel, hoping to use her as a “lever” to get Julius to name other spies. He never spoke. They both died instead.The grisly executions of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in 1953 made their sons orphans and shocked the world. The Rosenbergs remain the only married couple executed for a federal crime and the only civilians killed for spying.

  • Originally published 05/28/2013

    How We Name Our Wars Matters

    Clockwise from top: Buffalo Soldiers in the Spanish American War; a Soviet officer in World War II; Canadian troops in World War I, and dead Confederate soldiers in the American Civil War.Originally posted on TomDispatch.com For well over a decade now the United States has been “a nation at war.” Does that war have a name?

  • Originally published 05/24/2013

    The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Obama's Terrorism Speech

    Originally posted on Informed Comment.Here are the good, the bad and the ugly things in President Obama’s important speech on counter-terrorism Thursday, and in the off-stage steps he has announced that mysteriously did not appear in the speech:The Good:

  • Originally published 04/23/2013

    Filling the Empty Battlefield

    Federal Street in Boston, deserted during the manhunt for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on April 19, 2013. Credit: Flickr/Brian BirkeOriginally posted on TomDispatch.com

  • Originally published 04/16/2013

    HNN Hot Topics: Terrorism

    Aftermath of bombing of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. Credit: FlickrHistorian's TakeHistorian of terrorism worried about rise in militia groups (ABC News, 3-30-10)Gérard Chaliand: Why We Need a Cool Assessment of Terrorism (History News Network, 7-29-07)Walter Laqueur: Terrorism Won't Be Defeated in Our Lifetime (Wall Street Journal, 7-12-05)Histories of Terrorism

  • Originally published 04/16/2013

    U.S. Practiced Torture After 9/11, Nonpartisan Review Concludes

    WASHINGTON — A nonpartisan, independent review of interrogation and detention programs in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks concludes that “it is indisputable that the United States engaged in the practice of torture” and that the nation’s highest officials bore ultimate responsibility for it.The sweeping, 577-page report says that while brutality has occurred in every American war, there never before had been “the kind of considered and detailed discussions that occurred after 9/11 directly involving a president and his top advisers on the wisdom, propriety and legality of inflicting pain and torment on some detainees in our custody.” The study, by an 11-member panel convened by the Constitution Project, a legal research and advocacy group, is to be released on Tuesday morning.Debate over the coercive interrogation methods used by the administration of President George W. Bush has often broken down on largely partisan lines. The Constitution Project’s task force on detainee treatment, led by two former members of Congress with experience in the executive branch — a Republican, Asa Hutchinson, and a Democrat, James R. Jones — seeks to produce a stronger national consensus on the torture question....

  • Originally published 03/28/2013

    American Anniversaries from Hell

    Still frame from video of the July 12, 2007 air strike in Baghdad, leaked to the public by WikiLeaks in 2010.Originally posted on TomDispatch.com

  • Originally published 03/25/2013

    Ross Douthat: The Obama Era, Brought to You by the Iraq War

    Ross Douthat is a columnist for the New York Times.WHEN prominent people in Washington spend an anniversary apologizing for being catastrophically, unforgivably wrong about a decade-old decision, you might expect that the decision in question had delivered their party to disaster or defeat. But last week’s many Iraq war mea culpas were rich in irony: one by one, prominent liberals lined up to apologize for supporting a war that’s responsible for liberalism’s current political and cultural ascendance.History is too contingent to say that had there been no Iraq invasion in 2003, there would be no Democratic majority in 2012. (It’s easy enough to imagine counterfactuals that might have put Hillary Clinton in the Oval Office.) But the Democratic majority that we do have is a majority that the Iraq war created: its energy and strategies, its leadership and policy goals, and even its cultural advantages were forged in the backlash against George W. Bush’s Middle East policies.All those now-apologetic liberals who supported the war in 2003 are a big part of this story, because without their hawkishness there would have been no antiwar rebellion on the left — no Michael Moore and Howard Dean, no Daily Kos and all its “netroots” imitators....

  • Originally published 02/19/2013

    Washington Tortures Everywhere ... Except Latin America

    Map of CIA rendition sites. Countries in red cooperate with the CIA to detain and allegedly torture terror suspects. Drawn from data first published in the Washington Post. Map credit: HNN staff/Wiki Commons.Originally posted on TomDispatch.com

  • Originally published 02/07/2013

    The American Lockdown State

    Protest in front of the Wisconsin State Capitol. Credit: Flickr/Madison Guy.Originally posted on TomDispatch.com

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