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Archive for May 29th, 2009


FBI planning a bigger role in terrorism fight

Bureau agents will gather evidence to ensure that criminal prosecutions of alleged terrorists are an option. The move is a reversal of the Bush administration’s emphasis on covert CIA actions.

Los Angeles Times

By Josh Meyer
May 28, 2009

Reporting from Washington — The FBI and Justice Department plan to significantly expand their role in global counter-terrorism operations, part of a U.S. policy shift that will replace a CIA-dominated system of clandestine detentions and interrogations with one built around transparent investigations and prosecutions.

Under the “global justice” initiative, which has been in the works for several months, FBI agents will have a central role in overseas counter-terrorism cases. They will expand their questioning of suspects and evidence-gathering to try to ensure that criminal prosecutions are an option, officials familiar with the effort said.

Though the initiative is a work in progress, some senior counter-terrorism officials and administration policy-makers envision it as key to the national security strategy President Obama laid out last week — one that presumes most accused terrorists have the right to contest the charges against them in a “legitimate” setting.

The approach effectively reverses a mainstay of the Bush administration’s war on terrorism, in which global counter-terrorism was treated primarily as an intelligence and military problem, not a law enforcement one. That policy led to the establishment of the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; harsh interrogations; and detentions without trials.

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by Christopher Cooper |  CommonDreams.org, May 28, 2009

I woke Monday morning to the sound of BBC radio hyperventilating over North Korea’s latest underground test of a nuclear bomb. This concern was extended and amplified as the day progressed: radio, television, Internet and newspaper reports and discussion settled on pretty much the same two points: This is bad. Very bad. And it will not stand unanswered.

Well, Ok, fine. There is no good reason North Korea should test or build or own nuclear weapons. It is a foolishness as preposterous as to allow the public to carry loaded concealed weapons in our national parks. But of course the motivation is the same and explains the nukes as nicely as the Smith and Wessons: We are afraid. Very afraid.

Oh, yes, and just a touch crazy, too, of course. Kim Jong Il and his dad Kim Il-sung before him (“Great Leader” and “Dear Leader” respectively) do not inspire the confidence we have come to expect from our conventionally coifed and suited Western presidents and prime ministers. We prefer the dull and somnolent, the plodding, cautious, reflective and slow-speaking. Donald Rumsfeld looked about right. And his calm assurances that we must and should bull ahead on the course he recommended was very reassuring. Wrong, of course. But comforting.

Continued >>

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