From the Editors
[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Occupation, Intervention, and Law and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the O.I.L. Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each biweekly roundup to OIL@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every other week]
"Obama Reflects on Drone Warfare", Jessica Yellin
In an online interview with CNN, President Obama openly defended the United States' drone program, warning of the need to avoid a 'slippery slope' towards bending rules when fighting terrorism and elaborating on his own rules for justifying a drone strike. Adam Serwer of Mother Jones and Noah Shachtman of Wired have both responded critically to Obama's remarks, the latter calling Obama's rules "half-truths" and characterizing the President's responses as "impossible to believe".
"Court in Bahrain Upholds Life Imprisonment for Opposition Advocates", Associated Press
A Court in Bahrain has upheld the life sentences of eight prominent activists convicted of plotting to overthrow the government, including Abdulhadi al-Khawaja. This ruling comes in the wake of a retrial after an initial trial under a military tribunal with temporary martial law style rules.
"Death Row / Iraq: UN expert strongly condemns ongoing executions, reiterates call to halt them", United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
The United Nations' Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns, has described Iraq's legal system as failing to meet the substantive and procedural requirements necessary to warrant use of the death penalty and has questioned the lack of transparency in Iraq's legal system. A month ago, Heyns called on Iraq to halt executions and called for a review of all impending executions, and in light of the arbitrary execution of 21 individuals in Iraq on 20 August 2012, has renewed his call.
"Report to Congress on the Haqqani Network", Hillary Rodham Clinton
The State Departmen has announced that it is to designate the Haqqani Network as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). This press release details the consequences this designation is to have on American law; notably, providing material support to or receiving training from the Network is to become a felony.
"US, Yemen Can't Agree on Responsibility For Drone Deaths", Chris Woods
A drone strike in Radaa, Yemen on 5 September 2012 killed, in addition to several al-Qaeda militants, 10 civilians, the worst loss of civilian life in Yemen's internal conflict since May 2012. Neither the United States nor Yemen has claimed responsibility for the attack, the latest, Woods notes, in a long tradition of obfuscation of responsibility to drone strikes in Yemen.
"Judge: U.S. can't set limits on Guantanamo lawyers", Josh Gerstein
US District Court Judge Royce Lamberth, Politico reports, has rejected a move by the Obama administration to set the rules for lawyers representing prisoners in Guantanamo Bay regarding visitation and communication with their clients, calling the rules "an illegitimate exercise of Executive power."
"French Judges Seek Arafat Exhumation", Al Jazeera English
French judges are preparing to travel to the West Bank and investigate the possibility that Yasser Arafat was poisoned, pending approval from Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Mahmoud Abbas has expressed his approval of the trip and has indicated a willingness to exhume Arafat for the purposes of an investigation.
"CIA Waterboarding, Qaddafi Collaboration Revealed", Scott Horton
Amid revelations that the CIA's Bush Administration-era torte program was conducted in careful collaboration with the Qaddafi regime in Libya and Mubarak regime in Egypt, Horton writes for Harper's that such revelations not only reveal the CIA as operating in an extrajudicial manner, but also in a manner at "dangerous cross-purposes with official US policy" of respecting human rights and rule of law in the Middle East.
"What Has Prompted Canada's Move Against Iran?", Tony Burman
Writing for The Star, Burman writes that Canada's recent public severing of ties with Iran "confirm that the Harper government's outsourcing of Canada's Middle East policy to Jerusalem is now complete", and refers to Benjamin Netanyahu as the "new foreign minister" of Canada. Burman questions the virtues of Canada's actions, arguing that it is unlikely to change Iranian policy.'
"The Capital of Palestine: Arab-Free in 2015", Maath Musleh
Noting that Israel has seized "about 86 percent" of Palestinian land in East Jerusalem since its occupation in 1980, Musleh surveys Israeli plans to dramatically expand settlements in Jerusalem, such that the Palestinian population in East Jerusalem could drop below ten percent prior to 2015.
"Jerusalem Syndrome", Gershom Gorenberg
Gershom writes in The American Prospect that the Democratic platform's omission of Jerusalem--and then correction to include a pledge to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem--is the latest symptom in a "fantasy-ridden American political discussion about Israel". Gershom makes the point that no American President would be "reckless" enough to shatter America's remaining credibility in the Arab World by moving an embassy to Jerusalem--and that virtually no American voters will decide the election baed on this issue.
"Libya vs. The ICC", Jens David Ohlin
On his blog, Liebercode, Ohlin surveys the dispute between the International Criminal Court and Libya and wonders: how long is appropriate to wait for the creation of a justice system capable of trying Abdullah al-Senussi and Saif al-Islam Gaddafi? "If if takes two or three years for Libya to get a trial ready," Ohlin writes, "does that indicate Libya is unable to prosecute?"
"Author of 'No Easy Day' Admits to Committing a War Crime", Kevin Jon Heller
In light of revelations in "No Easy Day" (an account of the bin Laden raid by one of the Navy SEALs involved), Kevin Jon Heller of Opinio Juris revises his previous opinion that the killing was legal under international law. "No Easy Day" describes the killing on Osama bin Laden beginning after the SEALs discovered bin Laden's "prone, dying body", having been shot by someone else. Heller writes that Osama bin Laden was, if wounded as described, thus "incapacitated by wounds", a hors de combat, and shooting him was thus a war crime, "pure and simple".
"Senussi Extradited to Libya: Some Thoughts on What it Means", Mark Kersten
Kersten writes on Justice in Conflict that the extradition "will have important implications" for Libya's current dispute with the ICC; with Abdullah al-Senussi in the custody of the Libyan Government and in Libya, Libya can argue that it is not "unable to obtain the accused" under Article 17(3) of the Rome Statute and thus is capable of trying him. Kersten also speculates on Libya's capability of giving al-Senussi a fair trial.
"Justice Levy's Legal Tinsel, the Recent Israeli report on the Status of the West Bank and Legality of the Settlements", Iain Scobbie
Writing for EJIL:Talk!, Scobbie analyzes the reasoning of the Levy Report, a recent report commissioned by the Israeli government to assess the legality of settlements in the West Bank. Scobbie is critical of the report and it's findings, writing that the report is "a travesty of legal argumentation…selective in the issues it chooses to address, and perverse in its interpretation of international law." before systematically summarizing and debunking much of Levy's conclusions.
"Analyzing the Impact of Preventive Strikes Against Iran's Nuclear Facilities", Anthony H. Cordesman, Abdullah Toukan
In a report for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Cordesman and Toukan detail an inventory of what a pre-emptive strike against Iran's nuclear facilities would require of a military, including a precise inventory of weaponry needed. Cordesman draws a double-edged conclusion from his findings. First, Cordesman finds that Israel is incapable of delaying Iran's efforts by more than a year or two; second, that the United States could delay the program by up to a decade, but doing so would require an enormous military effort.
"British Institute of International and Comparative Law"; 25 October 2012; BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, United Kingdom; Register here.
"From Peace to Justice, The Politics of Justice: From a human rights revolution to global justice?"; 12-13 October 2012; International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague; Register here.
"Rachel Corrie: Blaming the Victim", Hussein Abu Hussein
"Anne and Rachel: a Legacy of Two Martyrs", Jennifer Loewenstein
"The Love Affair with Erdogan (Part 2)", Agnes Czajka
"استراتيجيات بديلة للنضال السياسي: من الأرض وحتى وثائق "التصور المستقبلي", Leena Dallasheh
"Moroccan State Propaganda and the Western Saharan Conflict", Jadaliyya Reports
"مغزى التصاريح الإسرائيليّة", Hani Masri
"The Love Affair with Erdogan (Part 1)", Agnes Czajka
"Oil. Religion. Occupation. ... A Combustible Mix.", Victor Kattan
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