John Bolton: My Way or No Way on UN Human Rights Council

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Here is my quick read on America’s rejection of the UN Human Rights Council proposal that some — including the New York Times — argue is a sham that undermines genuine international commitment to more rigorous global human rights protection. The odd thing is that many of the leading NGOs don’t see it that way. However, behind the “white hat” that Bolton is wearing right now as a crusader for more rigorous human rights protections — and TWN will tip…

Democratic Imperative: Bush’s “Unitary Executive” Notion Must be Obliterated

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The Washington Note works hard to provide constructive, serious critiques of Bush administration foreign policy and attempts to avoid reckless typecasting or tractionless hyperventilation regarding what this administration is up to. We try instead to characterize honestly the power grab that the Executive Branch has been engaged in since 9/11, but we also recognize that the administration is not monolithically united behind the adminstration’s most outrageous positions — and that the loyal minority has not done its part. On both…

Saudi Tension in the East: With Shia Insurgents?

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(Saudi King Abdullah greets Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr) I’m about to get on a plane — and I have no idea what this news alert I just received from MSNBC entails: Explosion, gunfire reported at oil refinery in eastern Saudi Arabia. Details soon. But if Shia-Sunni tension is boiling over into Saudi Arabia despite King Abdullah’s recent efforts to reach out to Saudi Arabia’s Shia minority and his personally hosting Muqtada al-Sadr during January’s Haj, we will have an even…

When Weapons Programs Just Won’t Die. . .

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(John Poindexter and Ronald Reagan) National Journal‘s Shane Harris has discovered that the “Total Information Awareness” program conceived in part under the direction of Iran-Contra tainted former Reagan National Security Advisor John Poindexter was not terminated. Only the name was. Instead of TIA (Total Information Awareness), the program was passed off to a public-private host and re-branded “Basketball”. Shane Harris writes: A controversial counter-terrorism program, which lawmakers halted more than two years ago amid outcries from privacy advocates, was stopped…

Status Report from Wyoming — Open Thread

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I have several posts going up tonight in quick succession on different topics. Have been delayed because of travel gremlins but arrived in snow-covered Casper, Wyoming a short bit ago. A herd of antelope were waiting for me at the airport. Seriously, they were. Without the snow, they looked a bit like what was above — about 50 of them. Really cool. Anyway, more tonight — promise. — Steve Clemons

Scooter Libby & Friends: The Neocon Legal Defense Fund

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When I first heard about www.ScooterLibby.com, I thought that John Aravosis had bought the URL address and done something fun with it. But, it’s genuine Scooter — and it’s good for some laughs. Libby has launched a vanity site soliciting donations for his legal defense against 5 indictments brought by Patrick Fitzgerald in the Valerie Plame investigation. On other fronts, TWN is off to Casper, Wyoming to speak to the Casper Committee on Foreign Relations tomorrow. More soon. — Steve…

Trans-Atlantic Meanderings: Reactions to Yosri Fouda’s <em>Triangle of Anger</em>

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(German citizen Khaled El-Masri who was a victim of mistaken identity and kidnapped and ‘rendered’ by American intelligent agents to a foreign secret interrrogation and detention center) TWN had a productive adventure in London, where I had been asked to give a talk and then invited to participate in meetings with a number of Arab intellectuals and public officials. I also met with journalists from The Economist, the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Independent, Al Jazeera Channel, and the BBC…

London Screening: Yosri Fouda’s “Triangle of Anger” on post-9/11 ‘Extraordinary Rendition’ Revelations

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The Washington Note just arrived in London a short while ago and will be connecting with Al Jazeera London Bureau Chief and senior terrorism investigative correspondent Yosri Fouda tonight. Fouda and his colleague and producer Giles Trendle are screening a new film they produced (46 minutes long) titled “The Triangle of Anger” about America’s ‘extraordinary rendition’ practices since September 11, 2001. This film was first broadcast on Al-Jazeera in January 2006 as an episode of the satellite channel’s flagship current…

The Jordan Imperative: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi vs. Prince Zeid Raad al-Hussein

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My colleagues Nir Rosen and Peter Bergen — both fellows in foreign policy at the New America Foundation (where I also work) — are leading American interpreters and chroniclers of the world’s two most dangerous and intriguing personalities — Osama bin Laden in Bergen’s case and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Rosen’s. Peter Bergen’s new book, The Osama bin Laden I Know: An Oral History or al Qaeda’s Leader just earned a stunning review as the lead piece in the just…