The top lawyer at the Pentagon offered a strong defense of the Obama administration's targeted killing program Wednesday, arguing the use of lethal force against the enemy is a "long-standing and long-legal practice."
In a speech at Yale University's Law School, Jeh Johnson said there's no real difference between high tech strikes against members of al-Qaida today and the U.S. military decision to target an airplane carrying the commander of the Japanese Navy in 1943.
Originally published on Wed February 22, 2012 2:44 pm
What is America's policy when it comes to dictators? Well, it depends.
The U.S. has adopted different approaches toward different dictators and authoritarian regimes in recent years. In some cases — notably Iraq and Afghanistan — the U.S. military invaded to change the leaders of those countries.
But American presidents have also hosted friendly visits with leaders from undemocratic countries with questionable human rights records.
Last year's killing of Osama bin Laden has become a distant campaign talking point here in the U.S. But in Pakistan, the issue is still burning. And Defense Secretary Leon Panetta stoked the fire recently by confirming that a local Pakistani doctor, Shakil Afridi, had helped the CIA find bin Laden.
Panetta told the CBS program "60 Minutes" that he is very concerned about Afridi's well-being because the doctor was detained by Pakistan after the bin Laden raid, and may well be tried for treason.
The long-awaited trial of five men accused of helping plan the Sept. 11 attacks is scheduled to begin early this year in a revamped trial process at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Initially, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other men charged with planning the attacks were going to be tried in a New York federal court, but congressional opposition forced the Obama administration to reverse course.
Supporters say Army Pfc. Bradley Manning doesn't belong in a courtroom at all. They think he's a whistle-blower — and a hero.
Eighteen months after his arrest on suspicion of leaking national secrets, Manning will finally make his first appearance in court Friday at Fort Meade, Md., just north of Washington, D.C.
When he worked in Iraq, Manning allegedly downloaded thousands of war logs and diplomatic cables and shared them with the website WikiLeaks. He faces 22 criminal charges that could keep him behind bars for life.