From the Archive: The hunt-for-bin-Laden film, “Zero Dark Thirty,” portrays torture as a key element in that search. But the filmmakers distorted the facts and ignored the reality that torture is illegal, immoral and dangerously ineffective, wrote Marjorie Cohn.
President Obama’s defenders note he ended the Iraq War, is drawing down forces in Afghanistan and has resisted a new war in Syria. In other words, they say drone attacks on al-Qaeda suspects have ratcheted down the levels of violence left behind by President Bush. But critics say the drone attacks are still war crimes.
Movie-goers across America can now see the hunt-for-bin-Laden film, “Zero Dark Thirty,” and its graphic portrayal of torture as a key element in that search. But the filmmakers distort the facts and ignore the reality that torture is illegal, immoral and dangerously ineffective, writes Marjorie Cohn.
Even as Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu urges a war-crimes trial for George Bush and Tony Blair for invading Iraq, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder gives an all-clear to Bush’s subordinates for homicides that resulted from torture in Afghanistan and Iraq, a repudiation of U.S. law and principles, says Marjorie Cohn.
Blocked on comprehensive immigration reform, the Obama administration has won some piecemeal victories against GOP demands for more draconian moves against “the undocumented.” Deportations of “dreamers” have been stopped and much of an Arizona law was overturned, but more battles lie ahead, writes Marjorie Cohn.
A combination of a right-wing federal Appeals Court in Washington and a disinterested U.S. Supreme Court means Guantánamo inmates have little hope for justice even if a District Court judge sides with their arguments. That means the right of habeas corpus is effectively dead for detainees, Marjorie Cohn writes at Jurist.
As a privileged preppy, Mitt Romney enjoyed humiliating suspected gays and other vulnerable people. But his bullying didn’t stop when he grew older. Instead, he applied similar tactics to make a fortune as a corporate raider, writes Marjorie Cohn.
Some of our special stories in January, focusing on Election 2012, a possible new war with Iran, the economic degradation of America’s middle class, missteps on climate change and more.
In 2003, President George W. Bush launched a “preemptive” war against Iraq, citing imaginary threats to the United States. The invasion inflicted massive loss of life, including massacres like the one at Haditha, but with very little accountability in the field or in Washington, writes Marjorie Cohn.
The last two American presidents who pressured Israel (Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush) lost reelection. Though the reasons for their defeats varied, their strained relations with Israel surely didn’t help, a dilemma now facing Barack Obama as Israel demands U.S. backing against Iran, as Marjorie Cohn describes.