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DronesFriday, April 24, 2015

Deaths of Hostages Demonstrate Need for Reform of Drone Strikes

Deaths of Hostages Demonstrate Need for Reform of Drone Strikes April 24, 2015 The Obama Administration’s admission yesterday that it killed two hostages in a drone strike in Pakistan, as well as other al-Qaeda operatives it was not intentionally targeting, underscores the hazards of  permissive polices for the CIA’s targeted killing program and the need for reform. Yesterday, unnamed U.S. officials confirmed to the Washington Post that the attack had been a “signature strike,” a controversial category of strikes in which the target is identified based on a pattern of observed behaviors without specific intelligence about who the targets are or their affiliation with a terrorist group. Despite such extremely limited intelligence, the Administration authorized the strike. These strikes – which are not limited to… Read More ›

DronesPoliticsRand PaulTuesday, April 21, 2015

Bring back the drone debate, Sen. Paul | Tobias Gibson

Bring back the drone debate, Sen. Paul By Tobias Gibson April 21, 2015 | The Hill When Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) declared his candidacy for the presidency, I will admit to having a certain excitement. In part, this feeling is based on the opportunity he offered to literally blanketmyself in the Constitution. Another is the opportunity to read a political comic book — but the real reason is that he clearly embraces his willingness to be a voice of concern about American use of drones. In other words, Paul’s campaign offers the most likely possibility that discussion and debate around the U.S. counterterrorism, military and diplomatic use of drones will reemerge. Despite the fact that the drone debate has quieted dramatically in the recent past,… Read More ›

DronessurveillanceThursday, January 8, 2015

Vice News Quotes Bill French on Drones on the Border

US Drone Border Patrol Program a Huge Waste of Money, Homeland Security Report Reveals By Meredith Hoffman January 8, 2014 | Vice News The US may have wasted millions of dollars on drones that have ineffectively patrolled the Mexico border, a scathing Homeland Security report has revealed. The US Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) drone surveillance program — which allegedly helped law enforcement make only 2 percent of its border arrests in 2013 — follows a distressing pattern of rapid border security investment with little oversight, analysts told VICE News. The report, released by the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of the Inspector General Tuesday, found that CBP spent at least $62.5 million on the program in one year… But analysts maintain that using drones in border policing is an… Read More ›

DronesGuantanamotargeted killingTerrorismThursday, June 6, 2013

Paul Eaton on AlJazeera’s Inside Story Americas Discussing Imprisoned Yemeni Reporter and More

With presenter Shihab Rattanssi, Jeremy Scahill, a National Security Correspondent for the Nation Magazine, and the NSN’s own Major Gen. (ret) Paul Eaton discuss the imprisonment of a Yemeni reporter, issues in the reporting of covert actions by the United States, and more. “I am uncomfortable when … we get in the business of intervening in the good order and discipline and propagation of laws in the constitution of another state.” – Major Gen. (ret) Paul Eaton For the original piece, click here Read More ›

DronesGuantanamotargeted killingTerrorismWednesday, June 5, 2013

Paul Eaton Participates in a Human Rights First Panel Discussing the Presidents Counterterrorism Speech

The President’s Counterterrorism Speech: What’s Next? A Discussion with Leading National Security Experts Major General Paul Eaton, USA (Ret.), Rear Admiral John Hutson, USN (Ret.), and Elisa Massimino,President & CEO, Human Rights First discuss President Obama’s counterterrorism speech made on May 23, 2013. “On 23 May, President Obama issued commanders guidance.  We now need operators to implement that.” – Major Gen. (ret) Paul Eaton For the orginal piece, click here Read More ›

AUMFcivilian trialsDronesevolvingTerrorismGuantanamoHuman Rightstargeted killingTerrorismtransparencyThursday, May 23, 2013

After Obama’s Speech — A Comprehensive and Sustainable Counterterrorism Strategy

President Obama’s comprehensive outline of U.S. counter-terrorism policy laid out principles against which a series of hard policy choices ahead must be measured. It envisions a strategy that has proven effective at decimating al Qaeda; can be made sustainable through adherence to the rule of law and increased transparency; and foresees an end to the conflict. National security experts have long called for such a cohesive strategy, as well as some of the specific changes the President pledged or alluded to. Now the administration and Congress must take up the policy and political challenges of hewing to those principles. Today’s speech launches new phase of U.S. counterterrorism strategy: A new framework to guide and limit the use of force against terrorists. Presidential Policy Guidance signed… Read More ›

DronesHeather HurlburtTerrorismThursday, May 23, 2013

Heather Hurlburt Quoted in The Atlantic Wire on President Obama’s Drone Speech

The Drone Speech and the Hyperexcited Return of Intellectual Obama By Elspeth Reeve May 23, 2013 | The Atlantic Wire President Obama’s speech on counterterrorism on Thursday won rave reviews among some who seemed to see it as a return of the liberal constitutional law professor who ran for president in 2008 with the promise of ending many of the Bush-era policies he ultimately ended up keeping. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, who had soured on Obama earlier in the week, said Obama was at “the top of his form — speaking logically and authentically.” On how to balance security with liberty, The Washington Post‘s Greg Sargent writes, “The speech was the most ambitious and detailed effort to answer this question that he has yet attempted.” Andrew Sullivan says the context of the speech… Read More ›

Barack ObamaDronesHeather HurlburtTerrorismThursday, May 23, 2013

Heather Hurlburt Quoted in Mother Jones on President Obama’s National Security Speech

Obama Kinda Sorta Narrows the Scope of the War on Terror By Kevin Drum May 23, 2013 | Mother Jones A couple of hours ago I had a choice to make: spend the next hour writing a reaction to President Obama’s big national security speech, or go to lunch. I went to lunch. That was all for the best, since I had mixed reactions to the speech and wasn’t quite sure what to say about it. It was long and thoughtful, and in a lot of places its tone was welcome: Al-Qaeda is on the run, Obama said, and the danger we now face is of a much smaller scale than it was 12 years ago. So it’s time to rethink just how we want to… Read More ›

Barack ObamaDronesHeather HurlburtTerrorismThursday, May 23, 2013

Heather Hurlburt Quoted in Daily Kos on President Obama’s National Security Speech

Abbreviated pundit roundup: Ending the state of perpetual war By Georgia Logothetis May 23, 2013 | Daily Kos   The New York Times editorial board examines President Obama’s national security speech and stresses the importance of ending the current state of perpetual war:   President Obama’s speech on Thursday was the most important statement on counterterrorism policy since the 2001 attacks, a momentous turning point in post-9/11 America. For the first time, a president stated clearly and unequivocally that the state of perpetual warfare that began nearly 12 years ago is unsustainable for a democracy and must come to an end in the not-too-distant future. […] As frustratingly late as it was — much of what Mr. Obama said should have been said years ago —… Read More ›

civilian trialsDronesevolvingTerrorismGuantanamoHuman Rightstargeted killingMonday, May 20, 2013

Principles of a Sustainable Counterterrorism Strategy

At the National Defense University this Thursday, President Obama will outline a framework for a sustainable and effective counterterrorism strategy, in a speech  billed as a second-term follow-up to his 2009 National Archives speech. Since 2009, the U.S. has seen great gains in the fight against al Qaeda, as Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Congress earlier this year: “Senior personnel losses in 2012, amplifying losses and setbacks since 2008, have degraded core al-Qa’ida to a point that the group is probably unable to carry out complex, large-scale attacks in the West.” While al Qaeda’s organization has deteriorated, a real and serious threat from terrorism remains. The President can lead in laying out a long-term framework for responding to terrorism, and managing the challenges… Read More ›

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