boing boing wrote:The DOJ has rejected a Freedom of Information Act request from the New York Times that asked the agency to reveal the legal basis for the newly unveiled American program of strategic drone-attack assassinations of American citizens off the field of battle.
Summary:* The government dropped a bomb on a U.S. citizen,
* who, though a total dick and probably a criminal, may have been engaged only in propaganda,
* which, though despicable, is generally protected by the First Amendment;
* it did so without a trial or even an indictment (that we know of),
* based at least in part on evidence it says it has but won't show anyone,
* and on a legal argument it has apparently made but won't show anyone,
* and the very existence of which it will not confirm or deny;
* although don't worry, because the C.I.A. would never kill an American without having somebody do a memo first;
* and this is the "most transparent administration ever";
* currently run by a Nobel Peace Prize winner.
NYT wrote:The last convoy of American troops drove into Kuwait on Sunday morning, punctuating the end of the nearly nine-year war in Iraq.
United States soldiers received a briefing on Saturday night before their convoy, the last of the troop withdrawal, left Contingency Operating Base Adder near Nasiriya, Iraq.
As an indication of the country the United States is leaving behind, for security reasons the last soldiers made no time for goodbyes to Iraqis with whom they had become acquainted. To keep details of the final trip secret from insurgents — or Iraqi security officers aligned with militias — interpreters for the last unit to leave the base called local tribal sheiks and government leaders on Saturday morning and conveyed that business would go on as usual, not letting on that all the Americans would soon be gone.
NYT wrote:A day after the United States withdrew its last combat troops, Iraq faced a dangerous political crisis Monday as the Shiite-dominated government ordered the arrest of the Sunni vice president, accusing him of running a death squad that assassinated police officers and government officials.
The sensational charges drew a worried response from Washington and brought Iraq’s tenuous partnership government to the edge of collapse. A major Sunni-backed political coalition said its ministers would walk off their jobs, leaving adrift agencies that handle Iraq’s finances, schools and agriculture.
The accusations against Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi also underlined fears that Iraq’s leaders may now be using the very institutions America has spent millions of dollars trying to strengthen — the police, the courts, the media — as a cudgel to batter their political enemies and consolidate power.
On Monday night, Mr. Hashimi was in the northern semiautonomous region of Kurdistan, beyond the reach of security forces controlled by Baghdad. It was unclear when — or if — he would return to Baghdad.
Vice President Joe Biden addressed 87 wealthy Democrats last night attending a fundraiser at the home of Sen. John Kerry in Georgetown. As they dined on grass-fed New York strip steaks and white truffle mashed potatos underneath a outdoor tent, Biden criticized Republicans for being out of touch.
“These guys don’t have a sense of the average folks out there,” Biden said according to the pool report, “They don’t know what it means to be middle class.”
bismarck wrote:Something wrong in the world when politicians are among the richest of the rich and their voter base can't afford basic medical care.