OSPC – Civil Liberties and Counterterrorism (C4)

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Asia RebalanceGuantanamoT-TIPTPPMonday, February 9, 2015

Connecting the Dots: Linking Principles to Priorities in the New National Security Strategy

Connecting the Dots: Linking Principles to Priorities in the New National Security Strategy The Obama Administration has just released its 2015 National Security Strategy. The updated strategy concentrates on broad lines of effort that are crucial to American interests, ranging across the categories of security, prosperity, values, and international order. However, to have full effect, leadership is needed to transform the document’s intent into concrete priorities. Indeed, the document reads, “our resources will never be limitless. Policy tradeoffs and hard choices will need to be made.” In moving towards implementation, therefore, national security leaders have the opportunity to reassess their near-term policy priorities to make sure they are addressing long-term trends. In particular, priorities should better reflect the need to effectively deal with the security… Read More ›

AQAPYemenFriday, January 23, 2015

What Comes Next in Yemen

What Comes Next in Yemen January 23, 2015 Yemen entered a new political crisis this week as President Abdu Rabu Mansur Hadi and his Prime Minister and cabinet announced their resignation rather than comply with demands from the country’s Houthi Movement. The collapse of the government makes it unclear who – if anyone – is in charge of the country; some factions within Yemen are trying to exploit the new political vacuum, and the situation has far reaching effects for U.S. counterterrorism operations and the geopolitics of the region. However, alarmist claims that the country is collapsing into a terrorist state are wildly overblown – Yemen faces an uncertain future that will be decided by disputing factions that may turn violent, but this does not… Read More ›

CongressConservativesGuantanamoFriday, January 16, 2015

Conservatives Use False Claims to Justify New Gitmo Bill

Conservatives Use False Claims to Justify New Gitmo Bill This week, as the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay enters its 13th year of operation, Senate conservatives proposed new legislation that would prevent the transfer of any of the remaining detainees for the next two years, stymieing progress towards its closure. The bill’s sponsors – Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) – have said the bill is a response to concerns that repatriated detainees could turn to terrorism once released, but this fear is misplaced and based on inaccurate representations of the data on recidivism rates of former detainees. The much greater risk comes from allowing the detention facility to remain open. Politicians from both sides… Read More ›

Al QaedaAQAPConservativesFranceIslamic StateMonday, January 12, 2015

What We Know – and What We Don’t – About the Paris Attacks

What We Know – and What We Don’t – About the Paris Attacks As the world gathers to demonstrate its resilience in the face of last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris and its commitment to the freedom of expression, European and U.S. policymakers are beginning to respond. Foreign leaders from around the world gathered in Paris for a symbolic march, and U.S. policymakers are pressing forward with practical counterterrorism efforts, including a summit next month to address the threat of terrorism and radicalization. Reports are beginning to illuminate who the terrorists were and how the tragedy occurred. These reports suggest that the attacks were acts of domestic terrorism perpetrated by individuals radicalized in France. The terrorists appear to have been affiliated in some way with… Read More ›

FranceFriday, January 9, 2015

Conservatives Politicize Paris Attacks with Inaccurate Criticism and Ineffective Policies

Conservatives Politicize Paris Attacks with Inaccurate Criticism and Ineffective Policies Paris and the world are still in shock two days after the horrifying attack on the French satirical publication Charlie Hebdo. While information about the perpetrators is still being discovered, reports so far have identified the attackers as brothers Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, reportedly killed in a raid this morning, and Mourad Hamyd, who turned himself in. The brothers had long-established ties to terrorist-recruitment efforts and Saïd Kouachi traveled to Yemen to train with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). The brothers “have been under scrutiny for years by officials in France and the United States,” the New York Times reports, “and according to an American intelligence official both were in the American database of… Read More ›

CIAtortureTuesday, December 9, 2014

Statements from National Security Network on CIA Torture Report

JTF Guantanamo photo by U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Michael R. Holzworth, 6/9/10   In response to today’s release of the declassified Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) report on CIA use of torture during the Bush Administration, NSN Executive Director John Bradshaw and NSN Senior Advisor Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton (Ret.) have each issued statements. NSN Executive Director John Bradshaw issued the following statement: Defenders of the enhanced interrogation program are trying to re-write history and portray it as a well-thought out, carefully legally-vetted plan carried out by CIA experts. In fact, the CIA had no expertise in this kind of interrogation and turned to rogue psychologists to slap together an approach based on the SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape) training provided to U.S.… Read More ›

LibyaMonday, June 30, 2014

The Right Call: Benghazi Suspect to be Tried in Civilian Court

The E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse in Washington, DC [Wikimedia, accessed 6/30/14] On Saturday, Ahmed Abu Khatallah, the alleged mastermind behind the Benghazi attack, appeared in a Washington, D.C., court to plead not guilty to charges of conspiring to support terrorism. Khatallah’s arraignment in an Article III federal court has prompted outrage from conservatives who claim Khatallah should be tried as an enemy combatant or war criminal, argue that he should be detained at Guantanamo Bay, and suggest he was insufficiently interrogated. But these complaints ignore the facts of the case. Legal experts have noted that Khatallah could not have been tried as an enemy combatant, as he has not been part of any armed conflict in a legal sense. He was also interrogated by… Read More ›

BenghaziWednesday, June 18, 2014

5 Conservative Myths on the Khatallah Raid

  FORT BRAGG, N.C. — Members of the 75th Ranger Regiment and 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) demonstrate a direct-action raid during the 2012 U.S. Army Special Operations Command Capabilities Exercise. [US ASFC Photo by Staff Sgt. Marcus Butler, 4/26/12]Over the weekend, a joint team of U.S. Special Forces and law enforcement operatives apprehended Ahmed Abu Khatallah in Libya, the alleged mastermind behind the 2012 Benghazi attack. His apprehension marks a major step forward in delivering justice for the attack that resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Unfortunately, conservatives are playing hyperbolic politics with Khatallah’s capture, as they have with the Benghazi attack for nearly two years. Already, conservatives are spinning myths about Khatallah’s interrogation, demanding he be detained … Read More ›

BenghaziWednesday, June 18, 2014

John Bradshaw On Newsmax Discussing Khatallah Raid With Sean Piccoli

Analyst Bradshaw: Benghazi Suspect Capture ‘Worth The Wait’ June 18, 2014 | Newsmax Newsmax’s Ed Berliner interviews NSN’s John Bradshaw on Capture of Benghazi Suspect. With no shots fired and nobody harmed, the capture of Ahmed Abu Khatallah will  help U.S. authorities explain the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in  Benghazi, Libya, and will position them to secure an airtight conviction of the  suspected ringleader, security analyst John Bradshaw told Newsmax  TV on Wednesday. Calling Khatallah’s capture by U.S.  commandos “something that all Americans can be very happy about,” Bradshaw,  executive director the National Security Network, told “MidPoint” host Ed  Berliner, “It has been a long time coming, but it was worth the wait.” To watch the interview and/or continue reading, click here. Read More ›

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Paul Eaton on CNN Discussing Sgt. Bergdahl With Candy Crowley

Gen. Mattis: “…We no longer have that concern that they have this pawn that they can then play against us” on CNN’s State of the Union June 8th, 2014 | CNN CNN’s Candy Crowley interviews NSN’s Paul Eaton on Sgt. Bergdahl Release On CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley, Major General Paul D. Eaton (Ret.) defended the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl as “the whole fabric of the U.S. military is based upon the fact that we do not leave a fallen comrade.” In addition to upholding long-standing military policy, Eaton pointed out that the 5 Taliban released in exchange for Bergdahl are not “supervillians” as they have been inaccurately portrayed by critics of the release. Eaton concluded the interview arguing that the detention… Read More ›

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