Category: War on Terror

June 5, 2018

In Unanimous Vote, House Says No Legal Right to Attack Iran

In a little noticed but potentially monumental development, the House of Representatives voted unanimously for an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019 (H.R. 5515) that says no statute authorizes the use of military force against Iran. The amendment, introduced by Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota), states, “It is the sense of Congress that… Read more »

February 26, 2018

Trump Sets Deadly Precedent by Hiding Rationale for Bombing Syria

Pressure is mounting as the Trump administration continues to refuse to reveal its legal justification for bombing Syria in April 2017, despite increased scrutiny from Democratic senators and a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) wrote a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on February 8, 2018, requesting a copy of the State… Read more »

February 10, 2018

Pentagon to Allow Nuclear Responses to Non-Nuclear Attacks

Amid the media frenzy surrounding the Nunes-Trump memo, the Pentagon officially released its 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) last week. The NPR calls for the development of leaner, meaner nuclear weapons and lowers the threshold for the use of nukes. Donald Trump must be thrilled. During the presidential campaign, he questioned a senior foreign policy adviser about… Read more »

November 6, 2017

Mattis, Tillerson Want Blank Check to Wage Illegal War 

  Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on October 30 that the Trump administration has all the legal authority it needs to kill people anywhere in the world. But just in case Congress wishes to update its old Authorization for the Use of Military Force… Read more »

April 7, 2017

Donald Trump’s War Crimes

Just two and a half months into his presidency, Donald Trump has already distinguished himself as a war criminal. His administration is killing unusually large numbers of civilians, in violation of US and international law. Killing Civilians in Record Numbers The Trump administration began to kill civilians over inaugural weekend, with two drone strikes in… Read more »

March 17, 2017

Evaluate New Muslim Ban in Light of International Law

After a federal district court judge and a unanimous three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Donald Trump’s Executive Order (EO) instituting a travel ban was likely illegal, the president suspended it and issued a new EO on March 6, 2017. On March 15, a federal judge granted a temporary restraining order in Hawaii v…. Read more »

September 19, 2016

Fifteen Years After 9/11, Perpetual “War on Terror” Continues Unabated

Fifteen years ago, 19 men committed suicide and took more than 3,000 people with them. The 9/11 attacks constituted crimes against humanity and should have been treated as such, with investigations and prosecutions of those who helped plan and finance the horrific crimes. If they had been armed attacks by another country, George W. Bush… Read more »

August 28, 2016

Abu Zubaydah: Torture’s ‘Poster Child’

Last week, Abu Zubaydah, who has been imprisoned at Guantanamo for 14 years without being charged with a crime, appeared for the first time before the U.S. military Periodic Review Board, which determines whether Guantanamo detainees will continue to be held as “enemy combatants.” Zubaydah argued he should be released because he has “no desire… Read more »

July 6, 2016

Numbers in Obama’s Drone Deaths Report Just Don’t Add Up

More than three years after President Barack Obama pledged to be transparent about the United States’ lethal drone program, his administration has finally come forward with an accounting of the numbers of civilian deaths that resulted from drone strikes between Jan. 20, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2015. But they only cover airstrikes “outside areas of… Read more »

June 22, 2016

US Bombing Syrian Troops Would Be Illegal

In an internal “dissent channel cable,” 51 State Department officers called for “targeted military strikes” against the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, a proposal that President Barack Obama has thus far resisted. However, were he to accept the cable’s advice, he would risk a dangerous – possibly catastrophic – confrontation with Russia. And, such… Read more »