George W. Bush

Afghan security forces in Kabul in 2007. Credit:  David Swanson/IRIN

Afghan Forces ‘Not Ready’ for Handover

Almost a decade of neglect has raised serious concerns about the readiness of Afghan security forces to take over from foreign forces by the end of 2014, a new report claims.

"You know, I just don't spend that much time on him," Bush said of bin Laden at a Mar. 13, 2002 press conference. Credit: White House photo

U.S. Refusal of 2001 Taliban Offer Gave bin Laden a Free Pass

When George W. Bush rejected a Taliban offer to have Osama bin Laden tried by a moderate group of Islamic states in mid- October 2001, he gave up the only opportunity the United States would have to end bin Laden's terrorist career for the next nine years.

Osama Bin Laden Killed in Pakistan

Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda, is dead. U.S. president Barack Obama said bin Laden, the most-wanted fugitive on the U.S. list, had been killed on Sunday in a U.S. operation in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad, about 150km north of Islamabad.

No More Immunity for George W. Bush – Abroad, at Least

Former U.S. President George W. Bush may have mostly vanished from the headlines since January 2009, but the alleged crimes committed by his administration are not forgotten.

India Gathers Military Might

Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev signed a large number of contracts with India during a two-day visit to New Delhi in December. These deals were part of a series of agreements that have placed India in progressively more advantageous positions in global arms markets.

Leaked Cables Cast Light on Bungled CIA Kidnapping

Wikileaks' spectacular paper dump of U.S. diplomatic cables may not yet have produced any blockbusters, but many of the restricted or secret documents released to the world on Sunday have served to peel back the scabs of serious injuries inflicted by the administration of George W. Bush.

Britain to Settle Rendition, Torture Case for Millions

The British government will reportedly pay millions in compensation to seven British nationals who were unlawfully "rendered" to U.S.-run prisons and tortured with the cooperation of British intelligence.

Outrage Mounts over Bush’s Waterboarding “Confession”

After a three-year investigation, President Barack Obama's mantra – "look forward and not backwards" – appears to have trumped the rule of law as a special prosecutor declined to pursue criminal charges against the Central Intelligence Agency operatives involved in the destruction of video recordings of interrogations of "war on terror" suspects.

MIDEAST: Scepticism Marks Peace Talks Launch

While all parties maintained a spirit of cordiality and mutual understanding, no new promises emerged from this week’s talks between the leaders of Israel and the Palestine Authority (PA) that offered tangible hope for a major breakthrough in resolving the more than 60-year-old conflict.

Billion Dollar Audit Missed by Pentagon Watchdog

Military auditors failed to complete an audit of the business systems of an Ohio- based company - Mission Essential Personnel - even though it had billed for one billion dollars worth of work largely in Afghanistan over the last four years.

US-MIDEAST: Light At End of Tunnel Elusive, Despite Obama’s Efforts

President Barack Obama will try this week to underline his progress in extricating the United States from the morass his predecessor's "global war on terror" in the Greater Middle East.

US/INDONESIA: Resumption of Special Forces Training Denounced

Thursday’s announcement in Jakarta that Washington will resume training for the Indonesian military’s controversial Special Forces unit (Kopassus) has been denounced by human rights groups and two key lawmakers here.

U.S.: CIA Briefed Congress on Renditions

The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) briefed members of Congress from both political parties numerous times about the agency's interrogation and detention programmes, several prominent human rights groups said Monday.

US: Soldiers Forced to Go AWOL for PTSD Care

With a military health care system over-stretched by two ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, more soldiers are deciding to go absent without leave (AWOL) in order to find treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

US: One Step Closer to Unilateral Sanctions Against Iran

Congress has given new momentum to a bill imposing unilateral sanctions on Iran - a move seen by many as an ineffective form of sanctions and potentially antagonistic against valuable U.S. allies on the U.N. Security Council. This comes ahead of the end of the year deadline set by U.S. President Barack Obama for Tehran to respond to a proposed agreement to export most of its enriched uranium for processing in Russia and France.

US: Increased Focus and Growing Pressure on Pakistan

While President Barack Obama’s announcement last week that he will "surge" 30,000 more U.S. troops into Afghanistan has received all of the attention here over the past week, Pakistan appears to be looming larger than ever in Washington’s strategic calculations and concerns.

US: Obama Launches Freedom of Information Initiative

Advocates for greater freedom of information are expressing approval of the Obama administration’s new ‘Open Government Directive’ - but some are sounding cautionary notes that executive agencies are still hiding behind "national security" to conceal government misconduct.

AFGHANISTAN: Troop Surge Spurs Obama’s Popularity

A poll released today finds that support among the United States public for President Barack Obama’s troop "surge" in Afghanistan has risen sharply since he delivered his speech last week. But, a plurality of the U.S. public do not believe Obama will follow through on his commitment to begin a withdrawal of U.S. forces in 18-months.

US: Whistleblower Psychiatrist Warns of Soldier on Soldier Violence

Kernan Manion, a psychiatrist who was hired last January to treat Marines returning from war who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other acute mental health problems borne from their deployments, fears more soldier-on-soldier violence without radical changes in the current soldier health care system.

RIGHTS-US: Another Legal Setback for Arar Torture Case

A federal appeals court on Monday dismissed a lawsuit brought against a former U.S. attorney general by a Canadian citizen who sought damages for being unlawfully detained by U.S. authorities in New York and then secretly shipped to Syria, where he was imprisoned for a year and claims he was tortured.

RIGHTS-US: Govt Lawyers Seek to Quash Rendition Lawsuit

The long road to the proverbial day in court just got longer for five men who claim they were "disappeared" and tortured by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

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