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Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

Torture Redux

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FEATURED ARTICLE

Enhanced Embellishment Techniques

By Peter Certo

A number of conservatives and security hawks have used the death of Osama bin Laden as a prop in their public relations war on behalf of torture. Despite evidence to the contrary, these pundits and “experts”—led by a passel of former Bush administration officials—allege that without “enhanced interrogation techniques” bin Laden would still be living and that Barack Obama’s efforts to stop the use of torture have endangered the United States. But their claims have amounted to little more than an embellishment of the historical record and a distortion of the real impact of torture on U.S. policy and security. Read article.


MILITARIST MONITOR

This week on “Militarist Monitor,” Right web explores the efforts of various torture apologists who have come out of the wood work since the killing of Osama bin Laden. Militarist Monitor.


FEATURED PROFILES

Donald Rumsfeld

Largely quiet since his untimely resignation from the Bush administration, Rumsfeld has reemerged of late to defend his track record, as well as the decision to torture terror suspects.

Rick Santorum

Former Senator Santorum, a 2012 Republican Party presidential candidate, has attempted to burnish his leadership credentials by promoting the value of torture and attacking President Obama for, among other things, not calling Jihadism “evil.”

Freedom House

Although no longer as closely associated with neoconservative activism as it was during much of the last few decades, Freedom House continues to support campaigns aligned with hawkish factions in U.S. politics.

John Yoo

Yoo, the former deputy assistant attorney general who is known for his extreme views on executive wartime powers and for helping author the infamous “torture memos,” is one of many former Bush figures who has cited the death of Osama bin Laden as vindication of their support for “enhance interrogation techniques.”


ALSO NEW ON RIGHT WEB

Debate Rages over U.S. Withdrawal

With the war in Afghanistan showing little signs of progress, the debate on Capitol Hill is shifting ever so slightly toward a faster withdrawal.

Pakistan: U.S. Development Aid v. Military Intervention

Aid to Pakistan is under threat from both Congress and the public, but it would be smarter to reform the U.S. package than end it.

Rifts Appear as Syrian Opposition Struggles to Maintain Momentum

The Syrian opposition remains unsure of the way forward in the wake of brutal state oppression, but events like the murdering of 13-year-old Hamzah Ali Alkhateeb will ensure that the struggle will not end soon.

U.S. Uses Peace Talks to Divide Taliban from Pakistan

U.S. hints at peace talks with the Taliban are designed to isolate the group from its Pakistani patron—but as long as western troops occupy Afghanistan, negotiations are unlikely.

US Veto Could Derail Palestine as New U.N. Member State

The United States, in the face of global opposition, looks likely to veto a possible UN resolution recognizing Palestine as an independent country.


LETTERS

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Featured Profiles

Haim Saban is a media mogul and major donor to the Democratic Party known for his hardline stance on Israel and opposition to the Iran nuclear deal.


Nikki Haley, Donald Trump’s first U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, is known for her lock-step support for Israel and is widely considered to be a future presidential candidate.


Brian Hook is the director of policy planning and senior policy advisor to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and is the head of the Iran Action Group.


Josh Rogin is a journalist known for his support for neoconservative policies and views.


Laurence Silberman, a senior justice on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, was a mentor to controversial Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and has been a vocal supporter of right-wing foreign and domestic agendas, including the campaign to support the invasion of Iraq.


The People’s Mujahedin of Iran, or MEK, advocates regime change in Iran and has strong connections with a wide range of top political figures in the U.S.


Eli Lake is a columnist for Bloomberg View who has a lengthy record of advocating for aggressive U.S. foreign policies towards the Middle East.


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From the Wires

Jobs should not be an excuse to arm a murderous regime that not only appears to be behind the assassination of a U.S. resident and respected commentator but is also responsible for thousands of civilian casualties in Yemen—the majority killed with U.S-supplied bombs, combat aircraft, and tactical assistance.


The contradictions in Donald Trump’s foreign policy create opportunities for both rivals and long-standing (if irritated) US allies to challenge American influence. But Trump’s immediate priority is political survival, and his actions in the international arena are of little concern to his domestic supporters.


While the notion that criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic is decades old, it has been bolstered in recent years, by the campaign to add to the definition of anti-Semitism any criticism that singles Israel out and doesn’t apply the same standard to other countries. The bottom line is that this entire effort is designed not to combat anti-Semitism but to silence criticism. 


Short-term thinking, expedience, and a lack of strategic caution has led Washington to train, fund, and support group after group that have turned their guns on American soldiers and civilians.


Trump is not the problem. Think of him instead as a summons to address the real problem, which in a nation ostensibly of, by, and for the people is the collective responsibility of the people themselves. For Americans to shirk that responsibility further will almost surely pave the way for more Trumps — or someone worse — to come.


The United Nations has once again turn into a battleground between the United States and Iran, which are experiencing one of the darkest moments in their bilateral relations.


In many ways, Donald Trump’s bellicosity, his militarism, his hectoring cant about American exceptionalism and national greatness, his bullying of allies—all of it makes him not an opponent of neoconservatism but its apotheosis. Trump is a logical culmination of the Bush era as consolidated by Obama.


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