Wednesday, January 28, 2009

UN "Torture Rapporteur" Manfred Nowak: Get Bush, Get Rumsfeld

The Austrian law professor Manfred Nowak is the UN's Special Rapporteur on Torture. He first came to broad public attention in 2006, when he accused the US of practicing torture at Guantánamo Bay. I have written at length about Nowak's dubious intellectual pedigree in my 2006 essay "The Road to Condemning Guantanamo". Nowak did not take long, following the swearing-in of Barack Obama as new US president, to call for George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld to be put on trial for torture. For the details and background, see my new article on Pajamas Media here.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

One Word

...was conspicuously missing from Barack Obama's inaugural address. See my new article on "Obama and the End of the Democracy Agenda" on Pajamas Media here.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

When the EU Parliament Approved of Guantanamo Bay

Barack Obama today signed an executive order to close the Guantánamo Bay detention center. The widely expected move comes, of course, in response to the incessant barrage of “international” (in fact, mostly European) criticism of the center and of the Bush administration's policies towards the persons detained there. Once upon a time, however, the rationale behind the center and the denial of Geneva Convention protections to its inmates seemed entirely obvious - so obvious indeed the even the European Parliament recognized it.

See my new article on here.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Wrong Place at the Wrong Time? (Manfred Nowak vs. KSM on Guantanamo Detainees)

The UN “torture rapporteur,” Manfred Nowak, says that many of the inmates being held at Guantánamo Bay were simply “in the wrong place at the wrong time” when they were taken prisoner in Afghanistan or Pakistan. But someone who presumably knows better disagrees: namely, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed - or "KSM" - the former bin Laden lieutenant who is widely reputed to have been the “mastermind” of the 9/11 plot. See my new article on Pajamas Media here.

Friday, January 09, 2009

"Valkyrie" and the Historical Stauffenberg

“Many Saw Evil,” the posters for the new Tom Cruise film Valkyrie proclaim, “But They Dared to Stop It.” But did would-be Hitler assassin, Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, and his co-conspirators “see evil” in the Nazi regime? The historical record suggests otherwise. See my new article on Pajamas Media here.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Dany Cohn-Bendit's Euro-Flag Hypocrisy

Daniel Cohn-Bendit of the German Greens sparked a ruckus in the EU last month by turning up at Prague Castle, the seat of the Czech presidency, and suggesting that Czech President Vaclav Klaus ought to fly more EU flags around the place. But what flags are flying at Schloss Bellevue, the seat of the German presidency in Berlin? See my new article "Other People's Sovereignty: The EU Flag Controversy" on the website of the Hudson Institute New York here.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard on German Biotech-Phobia

Till Behrend of the German weekly Focus recently spoke with with the geneticist and Nobel Prize winner Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard about the sources of German opposition to genetically-modified foods. Biotech opponents like Greenpeace are "playing with human lives," Dr. Nüsslein-Volhard charges. For the full interview in my English translation, see Pajamas Media here.