Keep Calm and Carry On

The tragedy this week in Boston, where homemade bombs ripped through a crowd watching the Marathon, is appalling: 3 confirmed dead so far, over a hundred wounded and dozens in critical condition. What can we learn about this attack? Is it preventable? Are we any less safe? Despite Monday’s tragedy, it’s difficult to avoid the […]

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For PBS: The Islamabad Drone Dance

The U.N. Special Rapporteur on Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights,Ben Emmerson, conducted a three-day visit to Islamabad, Pakistan last week. Despite his stated purpose to investigate drone strikes, he did not speak with any of the agencies responsible for those strikes, or even visit any strike sites. Instead, Mr. Emmerson met with some government officials, dutifully reported what […]

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For PBS: Why did the U.S. capture Sulaiman Abu Ghaith?

Last Friday, the U.S. government announced it had captured Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law and al Qaeda’s one-time chief propagandist, in Jordan. His capture appeared like a major coup. When the U.S. invaded  Taliban-controlled Afghanistan in 2001, Abu Ghaith told Aljazeera, “the planes will not stop,” referring to more 9/11-style attacks. In reality, however, his capture […]

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For PBS: The strange politics of human rights conferences

Over the weekend, I attended the International Forum and Film Festival for Human Rights (FIFDH) in Geneva, Switzerland. They invited me todiscuss the implications of a recent documentary by Dutch filmmaker Vincent Verweij called “Attack of the Drones,” which premiered last year. The documentary raises many important questions about the use of this weapons platform in modern warfare. […]

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For PBS: A Chaotic Intelligence Community

The Washington Post reported over the weekend that the Pentagon is sending hundreds of spies overseas as part of its rapid expansion into espionage- an endeavor rivaling the CIA. The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) will oversee this effort, expected to top the deployment of 1,600 agents worldwide. And it is the wrong approach. The Intelligence […]

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