Category Archives: U.S. Politics

Bush's 'tortured legal' opinions

(Sorry about the bad pun in the headline) The Times has obtained Bush administration emails from 2005 which illustrate the pressure Department of Justice lawyers were under from the White House to put a legal stamp of approval on their torture program. Dan Froomkin sums up the emails well: The e-mails … were written by […]

What Obama should have said in Egypt

Good afternoon. Assalaamu alaykum. I’m going to keep this short and simple, because I need to get back to fixing America’s health care system and designing the next Corvette. So let me start off by saying We’re Sorry. Invading Iraq was a mistake. Instead of making the region safer or spreading democracy, all we’ve done […]

Obama speaks in Egypt

Yesterday El Presidente gave a speech in Cairo designed to restart America’s relationship with the Middle East and the larger Muslim world. If you’ve got 55 spare minutes, you can watch the speech here: Or read the transcript here. But you probably don’t have 55 minutes to watch his speech or a half hour to […]

Obama: One step forward, ten steps back

In May, I wrote a post about how Obama reversed his own policy and decided not to release photos that depicted the torture of detainees at prisons other than Abu Ghraib. Obama said releasing the photos would endanger The Troops for little reason because, and I quote, “I want to emphasise that these photos that […]

Nominee Sotomayor, continued

The big political fight continues to be over Obama’s pick for the Supreme Court, judge Sonia Sotomayor. I haven’t said much about this, because I don’t have much to say about Sotomayor’s credentials (a judgement better left to legal experts) and I don’t think any amount of rightwing bleating is going to stop her confirmation […]

Nominee Sotomayor

I haven’t read through any of Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s rulings, so I don’t feel even remotely qualified to say whether or not she is qualified for a spot on the Supreme Court. But Obama, Clinton and George H.W. Bush think well enough of her. Aside from them, my three favorite legal bloggers have also weighed […]

Obama {hearts} indefinite detention

I’m serious: Obama broke the detainees into five categories. … With one category, he isolated to “detainees at Guantanamo who cannot be prosecuted, yet who pose a clear danger to the American people.” He promised “[w]e are not going to release anyone if it would endanger our national security, nor will we release detainees within […]

Quote of the week nominee

On torture (seriously, we’re you expecting something else?): How dare we enforce laws against things which might possibly be permissible in some highly artificial thought experiment?  What if ‘24? is FOR REALS?!?  These are the sorts of questions which need to be shrugged at for 50 billion news cycles before we can even think about […]

Obama making torture his own, Part 2

From ABC’s Jake Tapper: President Obama met with White House counsel Greg Craig and other members of the White House counsel team last week and told them that he had second thoughts about the decision to hand over photographs of detainee abuse to the ACLU, per a judge’s order, and had changed his mind. The […]

Obama making torture his own…

… or at least covering for his predecessor. Glenn Greenwald sums up the message sent by the Obama administration to the British government: If your court describes the torture to which one of your residents was subjected while in U.S. custody, we will withhold information from you that could enable you to break up terrorist […]