The President Head Fakes on Lethal Drone Strikes and the War on Terror

Nothing in the President’s speech hasn’t been said before, and with much more force and a greater sense of commitment. His sprawling meditation on the threat of terrorism was less a grand vision for where terrorism fits into the rest of the President’s responsibilities and the nation’s challenges, and more a doubling-down on the global…

Everything Amitai Etzioni Gets Wrong about Liberals, Libertarians, and Drones

There I was, enjoying some left-over pasta and a diet Canadian Dry on my lunch break. “Time to read something,” I thought. So I browsed my favorites tab in search of something meaty to sink my teeth into–maybe a rant from Glenn Greenwald or a cool-headed rebuke from Conor Friedersdorf. That’s when my eyes were greeted by…

There Was No Civil Liberties Mandate

Conor Friedersdorf of The Atlantic has a widely read explanation of why he cannot, on moral grounds, do as he did in 2008 and vote for Barack Obama. It’s a long piece and it’s not structured as an essay so much as a series of interrelated but independent criticisms; in general, Friedersdorf is outraged by…

Shooting spree illustrates why it’s time to end the war in Afghanistan

The latest tragedy in Afghanistan is still unfolding. An American soldier went on a shooting spree, killing sixteen civilians and wounding numerous others: “Stalking from home to home, a United States Army sergeant methodically killed at least 16 civilians, 9 of them children, in a rural stretch of southern Aghanistan early Sunday, igniting fears of…

Sovereign Innocence

by Kyle Matthews One of the most exhalted and ubiquitous unchallenged truths of our time – is the pedestal occupying place of civilian “innocents.” The honest men and women who go about their lives doing who knows what with them until they are violently killed or maimed by an unserious, crazy person who hates their…

Profiling, Political Correctness, and Airport Security

I must take issue with Erik’s recent post on airport security in which he argued for abolishing the TSA, replacing it with privatized airport security, and adopting an Israeli “profiling” approach to airport security.  With regards to Erik’s points regarding privatization, I must say that I largely agree with mistermix’s response at Balloon Juice.  Erik…

The Real Miscarriage of Justice

Below, Ned rightly derides Rep. Peter King for calling the verdict in the Ghailani trial a “total miscarriage of justice.”  Ned correctly notes that the miscarriage of justice here was not the verdict itself, but rather the Bush Administration’s use of torture to obtain the evidence that otherwise would have convicted Ghailani on the counts…

Taking the Wrong Approach

I’m increasingly coming to the conclusion that both sides of the “Did We Torture?” debate are doing themselves a big disservice in how they approach their arguments.  This perhaps isn’t surprising since I tend to think this is the case on most controversial hot-button topics. The pro-waterboarding side’s real argument isn’t that waterboarding, etc., aren’t…