U.S. General Open to Ground Forces in Fight Against ISIS in Iraq - NYTimes.com

Either Dempsey is insubordinate going public with this or Obama is mendacious telling the American people he has ruled put ground troops. Neither possibility is reassuring. - David C. Unger

"General Dempsey acknowledged that this would run counter to the president’s policy, but he said, “He has told me as well to come back to him on a case-by-case basis.”"

Court Requires Review of State Secrets Documents

Secrecy News
Court Requires Review of State Secrets Documents
Posted on Sep.16, 2014 in Judicial, state secrets privilege by Steven Aftergood

"Over the objections of government attorneys, a federal judge said yesterday that he would require in camera review of documents that the government says are protected by the state secrets privilege. The issue arose in the case of Gulet Mohamed v. Eric Holder, challenging the constitutionality of the “no fly” list.

The government had argued that it is “inappropriate” for a court to review such records to verify that they are validly privileged, and that instead the court should grant dismissal of case on the basis of official declarations. (Gov’t Resists Court Review of State Secrets, Secrecy News, August 27). The government moved for reconsideration of an August 6 order to produce the records for in camera review.”

Obama to Call for Expansion of Ebola Fight - NYTimes.com

The military is the only part of the US government Congress reliably funds. So now every problem must have a military solution. When you have only hammers, everything looks like a nail. When you have only the Pentagon, every crisis looks like a war. - David C. Unger

PDD 62: Counterterrorism Policy Prior to 9/11

"According to a newly declassified White House policy directive, counterterrorism policy has yielded “an increased rate of renditions, apprehensions, and convictions of terrorists,” as well as “a significant expansion of counterterrorism legislative authorities” and “a large increase in counterterrorism funding.”

But that White House directive — Presidential Policy Directive 62, Protection Against Unconventional Threats to the Homeland and Americans Overseas — was issued by President Bill Clinton, and dates from May 22, 1998.

Even the title of the directive, with its early use of the oddly dissonant term “homeland” to refer to the United States, suggests a greater continuity of government policy before and after 9/11 than may be generally recognized.”

Private Lawsuit Jeopardizes State Secrets, US Says

Private Lawsuit Jeopardizes State Secrets, US Says


“Posted on Sep.15, 2014 in state secrets privilege by Steven Aftergood
The U.S. Government asserted the state secrets privilege last week in a private lawsuit to which the government is not a party and moved for dismissal of the case.

Greek businessman Victor Restis had filed a lawsuit last year against the private advocacy group United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), alleging that the group had falsely and maliciously accused Restis of engaging in illict commerce with Iran. UANI, whose advisory board includes numerous former government officials, said the Restis complaint was “meritless.””

Holder Says Private Suit Risks State Secrets - NYTimes.com

"The group is not affiliated with the government, and lists no government contracts on its tax forms. The government has cited no precedent for using the so-called state-secrets privilege to quash a private lawsuit that does not focus on government activity."

Are We at War in Iraq and Syria?

Let’s follow the Constitution. This is what it was written for. - David C. Unger

Onlookers Salute 'Old Glory' at Fort McHenry

200 years later, bombs still bursting in air. They are not on autopilot. We are still a democracy. We get to decide. Not just presidents and their pollsters. Oh say, why can’t we see. - David C. Unger

U.S. intelligence agencies remain uncertain about danger posed by Islamic State - The Washington Post

We’ve heard this :what if?” line before. Last time it was Bush-C. Rice on Saddam’s WMDs and Rumsfeld’s “unknown unknowns.” Spend your energy and capital on hypothetical threats and you miss the real ones. - David C. Unger

"In his speech, Obama laid out a rationale that leaned heavily on what-ifs. The United States has “not yet detected specific plotting against our homeland,” Obama said. But Islamic State leaders “have threatened America and our allies,” he said, and are on a path to deliver on those threats “if left unchecked.”"

A Risky Bet on Syrian Rebels - NYTimes.com

"America’s success at training security forces in other countries is mixed at best. Billions of dollars have been spent building up the Iraqi army, only to have key units collapse in the face of the ISIS invasion of Mosul. Unless the Obama administration can do better with the Syrian rebels, there is no chance the fight against ISIS can be successful."