Europe/Americas update: December 13 2017

DEVELOPMENT AID Virginia Tech political science professor Ryan Briggs says that recent gains in the fight against global poverty have essentially come from targeting urban poor, who are often the easiest at risk populations to reach. More work needs to be done to ensure that development and humanitarian aid reaches the poorest and most isolated… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: December 13 2017

Middle East update: June 22 2017

SYRIA With my focus heavily on the Saudi story yesterday, I feel like I gave short shrift to this Washington Post piece on the Trump administration’s thinking with respect to the next (post-Raqqa) phase of its Syria operations. It’s not that the piece breaks much new ground in terms of what’s happening in Syria–it’s been obvious… Continue reading Middle East update: June 22 2017

Ready on Day One

Ryan Cooper of The Week offers a clarifying and frightening look at the surveillance and assassination operation that Barack Obama is about to bequeath to Donald Trump: Let’s review what has been built over the last years and decades. There is the dragnet surveillance program at the NSA, built by Bush and expanded by Obama,… Continue reading Ready on Day One

Part of Seymour Hersh’s story gets corroborated

Remember how I said that Seymour Hersh’s big Osama bin Laden story was interesting but needed some serious corroboration before it could really be considered a serious challenge to the official version of events? Well, here’s some corroboration, from Carlotta Gall of the New York Times: The latest contribution is the journalist Seymour Hersh’s 10,000-word… Continue reading Part of Seymour Hersh’s story gets corroborated

Cherry picking polls

There’s a lot of buzz being invested in a new WAPO-ABC poll on the idea of torturing detainees in the name of fighting terror. A majority of Americans believe that the harsh interrogation techniques used on terrorism suspects after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were justified, even as about half the public says the treatment… Continue reading Cherry picking polls

One more thought on torture

The idea that the information contained in the SSCI report is so volatile, so outrageous, so intolerable that it could actually inspire attacks on Americans and American interests overseas is, if true, an argument not to do the things mentioned in the report. It’s not an argument for burying the report and pretending we never… Continue reading One more thought on torture

Tortured report

Pretty slow news day, huh? Yep, not too much to talk about today I guess. Well, I guess there is that report the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released about some program or another, enhanced something something? I guess I could Google that and see if it’s gotten any attention… (Hours pass) Well, uh, I… Continue reading Tortured report