October 16, 2012 |
A federal appeals court in Washington overturned the conviction of Salim Hamdan, a former driver for Osama bin Laden, and ruled military tribunals were not authorized to try prisoners suspected of providing material support to terrorist groups before 2006. In a 3-0 ruling, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said that material support for terrorism was not a crime under international law when Hamdan worked for Al Qaeda. “If the government wanted to charge Hamdan with aiding and abetting terrorism or some other war crime that was sufficiently rooted in the international law of war at the time of Hamdan's conduct, it should have done so,” wrote Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
October 12, 2012
Re "Alien torts in America's courts," Editorial, Oct. 8 Your editorial on whether the Alien Torts Statute applies to human rights abuses occurring outside the United States makes the mistake of assuming that the issue of piracy, which clearly and unmistakably is subject to universal jurisdiction, is necessarily a "logical extension" of that tried-and-true policy. But piracy has been around for ages, and this kind of lawlessness has for eons been considered the enemy of mankind.
October 11, 2012
Re "She's on the front lines in drone battle," Oct. 9 Professor Mary Ellen O'Connell and political activist Imran Khan contend that the U.S. strategy of covert targeted drone strikes against militants outside Afghanistan is illegal under international law. The U.S. finds itself at war against a stateless band of Islamic militants who kill innocent civilians with explosives and launch attacks against Western embassies and civilian targets outside...
October 9, 2012 |
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Notre Dame law professor Mary Ellen O'Connell was in her office last month when Imran Khan, a former cricket star who could be Pakistan's next prime minister, phoned to ask for help. Pakistanis are furious about the CIA's covert campaign of drone missile strikes, Khan told her. Was she aware that the CIA often doesn't know who it is killing? "Yes, of all Americans, I think I have a pretty good handle on the facts," she replied, recounting the call. O'Connell, a fierce critic of America's drone attacks outside a war zone, insists the targeted killings are illegal under international law. "We wouldn't accept or want a world in which Russia or China or Iran is claiming authority to kill alleged enemies of the state based on secret evidence of the executive branch alone," O'Connell said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 14, 2012 |
A routine Los Angeles City Hall meeting Wednesday showed how volatile Middle East politics can erupt in unexpected places and around the most seemingly mundane of issues - awarding a shuttle bus contract. The five-year, $160-million agreement involved operating part of Los Angeles' popular DASH shuttle bus service. A coalition of groups showed up at a rally and City Council transportation committee session to loudly denounce the recommended contractor, Veolia Transportation, a subsidiary of an international firm they say is responsible for discrimination against Palestinians.
March 27, 2012 |
President Obama on Monday pressed Chinese President Hu Jintao to do more to persuade North Korea to scuttle plans for a rocket launch, asking the North Korean regime's closest ally to push Pyongyang's new leaders toward internationally acceptable behavior, but getting no immediate commitment, according to senior U.S. officials. China has expressed concerns about the impending launch, which the U.S. and its allies call a violation of international law and a cover for testing a missile as part of North Korea's nuclear weapons program.