[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.]
Iran: Nasrin Sotoudeh Among Freed Political Prisoners, BBC News
Iran has reportedly freed eleven political prisoners ahead of a visit by President Hassan Rouhani to the UN General Assembly in the United States.
Not Realistic to Talk Syria Without Iran: Turkish President, Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish President Abdullah Gül stated in a recent speech that any talks with the government of Syria would be “unrealistic” without the inclusion of Iran.
Presidential Powers & National Security
U.S. to Seize Iran’s Manhattan Skyscraper in Largest-Ever Terrorism-Related Forfeiture, Agence France Presse
A federal judge has ruled in favor of the United States government in a lawsuit against the Alavi Foundation and Assa Corporation, owners of a skyscraper in midtown Manhattan. The US has alleged the owners of the building have used its operations to violate US sanctions against Iran.
Audit: Justice Department Office Overstated Terrorism Conviction Statistics, Ellen Nakashima
A federal audit by the Department of Justice Inspector General has found a department-wide overstating of the number of terrorism convictions.
Gaddafi’s Son Saif Appears in Libyan Court, Al Jazeera English
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi has appeared in a pretrial hearing in Zintan, Libya, during which his trial was adjourned until December.
Conflict in Syria
Syrian Opposition Warcrimes Record Deepens Peace Plan Faultline, Tom Miles
Karen Koning Abuzayad, a UN human rights investigator, has reported war crimes thought to be the deeds of Syrian opposition rebels are primarily the acts of foreign fighters.
Commander of al-Qaeda in Iraq and Syria Has Been Killed, Al Arabiya English
Abu-Abdallah al-Libi, an al-Qaeda commander in Iraq and Syria, was killed 22 September in an attack the Free Syrian Army is denying responsibility for.
UN Says Chemical Arms Report on Syria Attack ‘Indisputable’, Louis Charbonneau, Michelle Nichols
The United Nations has stood by the conclusion of its chemical weapons experts that a sarin gas attack did occur in Damascus 21 August.
Assad to Destroy Chemical Weapons ‘In a Year’, Al Jazeera English
Bashar al-Assad has pledged to destroy his stockpile of chemical weapons, qualifying the pledge with a claim that such an action would take one year and cost $1 billion.
Israeli Response to Rouhani Betrays its Own Intransigence, Sherwood Ross
Ross characterizes the Israeli response to Iran President Hassan Rouhani initiatives to restart diplomacy with President Obama and the government of Israel as mean-spirited and indicative of a lack of commitment to peace negotiations.
Don’t Be Fooled, Says Israel, Bomb Iran Instead, Andrea Germanos
Germanos contrasts recent statements of the Israeli government that “no time” exists to negotiate with Iran with recent public statements of President Rouhani calling for a renewal of dialogue.
Look at Liberated Libya and Despair, Abdel Bari Atwan
Atwan points out that while politically liberated from the Gaddafi regime, postwar Libya lacks many material necessities such as regularly working electricity and water supplies.
Eric Posner on the Coming Death of the ICC, Kevin Jon Heller
Heller responds to a recent column of Eric Posner criticizing the notion of international justice through international courts.
Why Iran Seeks Constructive Engagement, Hassan Rouhani
The Iranian President argues in The Washington Post for a renewal of dialogue between his country and the United States and articulates the foreign policy goals of his administration.
Small Syrian Border Town Magnifies Rift Between Rebel Groups, Deborah Amos
National Public Radio reports on fighting between groups linked to al-Qaeda and rebels under the banner of the Free Syrian Army in Azaz, a town on the Syrian-Turkish border.
EU Settlement Guidelines Do Not Victimize Israel or Endanger Peace, Willem-Gert Aldershoff, Michel Waelbroeck
Aldershoff and Waelbrock argue against the European Union agreeing to Israeli demands for less harsh settlement trade guidelines, noting that such a move may potentially violate international law.
Responsibility to Protect?, Micah Zenko
Zenko points out in Foreign Policy that no plans for military intervention meet the doctrine of Responsibility to Protect, much less make any great efforts to “protect” Syrian civilians.
Libya’s Defining Moment: Justice or Revenge?, Jonathan O’Donohue
O’Donohue, Amnesty International legal advisor for international justice, points out deficiencies in trying Saif al-Islam Gaddafi in Libya and makes a case for trying him in the International Criminal Court.
Presidential Powers & National Security
In Secret, FISA Court Contradicted US Supreme Court on Constitutional Rights, Yochai Benkler
Benkler, writing for The Guardian, reveals recently declassifeid Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court opinions demonstrating a lack of regard—or adherence—to Supreme Court opinions on the Fourth Amendment.
United States Foreign Policy
The US Drone Program is Fatally Flawed, Intelligence Squared
Intelligence Squared provides a video of a panel debate between journalist Ahmed Rashid, former State Department Adviser John Kael Weston, former Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair, and former Chief of Staff of the US Air Force General Norton Schwartz on the efficacy and morality of US drone strikes.
Unleashed and Unaccountable: The FBI’s Unchecked Abuse of Authority, American Civil Liberties Union
The ACLU reports on FBI violations of constitutional rights in pursuit of counterterrorism efforts post-9/11.
Gender and “The Law”: Limits, Contestations and Beyond; 4-6 June 2014; Izmir, Turkey; Email inquiries here.
Rising Temps and Emerging Threats: The Intersection of Climate Change and National Security in the 21st Century; 25 October 2013; Chase Community Center, Vermont Law School, South Royalton, VT; Register here.
2nd Annual Global Peace Workshop; 23-27 June 2014; Mugla, Turkey; Register here.
Facing an Unequal World: Challenges for Sociology; 2014; Pacifico Yokohama, Yokohama, Japan; Submit abstracts here.
From Reagan to Obama: Secrecy and Covert Operations in the Fight against “Terrorism”, Rémi Brulin
Malaise Over Syria, Vijay Prashad
تحت الاحتلال: بدلاً من التحرك في إطار النظام، قاومه, Lina Alsaafin and Budour Youssef Hassan
ملف حول اتفاقيات أوسلو, Arabic Editors
Oslo`s Roots: Kissinger, the PLO, and the Peace Process, Osamah Khalil
أوسلو المدينة، فلسطين القرية, Mohammad Masharqah
إدوارد سعيد حاضراً: في نقد اتفاقية أوسلو, Arabic Editors
جذور أوسلو: كيسنجر، منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية، وعملية السلام-الجزء الثاني, Osamah Khalil
جذور أوسلو: كيسنجر، منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية، وعملية السلام-الجزء الأول, Osamah Khalil
أن تكون مثقّفاً فلسطينياً بعد أوسلو, Najwan Darwish
غزّة بعيون جديدة: قراءة في الصلة بين الاقتصاد والسياسة, Rami Khries