The Brits Tortured Too



Barack Obama’s press conference last night punctuating the ritualistic 100-day review of new presidencies showed this President at his best I think — thoughtful, human, willing to take quite a roster of questions, and well. . .wonky. But Guardian US editor at large Michael Tomasky found a pretty significant error in Obama’s commentary last night. It’s always sort of exciting to be able to correct a President. I had this chance when listening to Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address and heard:…

Guest Post by Patrick Doherty: General McCaffrey Lays It Out – End the Cuba Embargo



Patrick Doherty directs the New America Foundation/U.S.-Cuba 21st Century Policy Initiative. Speaking before the US House of Representatives’ Comittee on Oversight and Government Reform’s Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, General Barry McCaffrey, former commander, US Southern Command, called on the US to do three things: 1. Lift the embargo and let all US citizens travel to the island; 2. Formalize coordination on law enforcement efforts to stem narcotics and human trafficking; 3. End opposition to Cuban participation in…

And Then There Were 60. . .Arlen Specter Joins Democrats



Wow. The Democrats — if they ever bring in Al Franken — will control 60 seats in the US Senate fair and square. According to CNN and reports from the Washington Post, Senator Arlen Specter has just announced that he is going to join the Democratic Party and run again for his Pennsylvania Senate seat in 2010 as a Dem. This is huge news. I spoke with Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska last night at “The Week Awards Dinner” hosted…

LIVE STREAM TODAY: US-Saudi Relations in a World Without Equilibrium



Note: Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William J. Burns will deliver remarks at approximately 12:45 pm. His remarks will be on the record. I will then moderate an off the record Q&A session with Secretary Burns, during which time this LIVE STREAM will cut out. We will then return at approximately 2:00 pm for our third panel discussion. Today, I am co-charing a major national policy forum on US-Saudi economic and strategic perspectives on the Middle East and…

Commission on Accountability Should Be Part of Our Response to America’s Torture Nightmare



I have had a couple of overwhelming weeks and haven’t been able to post until now what I would have preferred on this debate about George W. Bush administration torture policy accountability. I have told quite a number of media outlets this last week that despite his best intentions, President Obama cannot impose a psychological equilibrium on the nation when it comes to sorting out the moral travesty of what we saw unleashed during the Bush administration in the management…

The Washington Note in “State of Play”



The Washington Note‘s actual image has made it on to Rachel Maddow’s terrific MSNBC show, been highlighted on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show, and has popped up on Wolf Blitzer’s The Situation Room on CNN, and George StephanopoulosThis Week. . .but there is a new first for TWN. The DC political media thriller and newly released feature film, State of Play, starring Ben Affleck and Russell Crowe and directed by Last King of Scotland director Kevin Macdonald, shows The Washington…

US-Saudi Relations in a World Without Equilibrium



On Monday, 27 April, I will be co-chairing a major national policy forum on US-Saudi economic and strategic perspectives on the Middle East and global economic and security system. We have quite a line-up which I’ll share below. C-Span will be airing parts of the conference, but the entire program will run live here on The Washington Note — and video will be posted here for later viewing. This weekend, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Israel and Iraq….

Guest Post by Jonathan Guyer: Obama’s First 100 Days – A Crisis and Opportunity for Progressives



(Credit: Jonathan Guyer) Jonathan Guyer is a Research Associate at the New America Foundation/Middle East Task Force. I dropped by Obama @ 100: A Progress Report from The Nation yesterday to hear The Nation‘s editors discuss the best and worst of Obama’s first 100 days, during which the President’s vast array of actions, statements, and policy reviews have cluttered the political scene in Washington. Here’s a brief recap of The Nation’s take on these first seminal days: • Washington Editor…

LIVE STREAM: Financial Times World News Editor Alec Russell on South Africa’s Elections



To discuss tomorrow’s elections in South Africa, the New America Foundation/American Strategy Program is hosting Financial Times World News Editor Alec Russell, who will discuss his new book, Bring Me My Machine Gun: The Battle For The Soul of South Africa, From Mandela to Zuma. Russell has spent the past several years reporting from South Africa – and I am looking forward to his impressions as Jacob Zuma becomes the most powerful man in Sub-Saharan Africa. This event will STREAM…