News and Analysis (8/8/11)

As a senator, Obama criticized the Bush administration for overuse of the state secrets privilege; as President, he has repeatedly used it himself and his administration  has now extended it into new territory to prevent Craig Montheilh’s claims that abusive practices have been directed against American citizens from being heard in court:

The U.S. stalls commenting officially on the 17th helicopter downing by enemy fire in Afghanistan, the most serious yet in casualties and a propaganda coup for the Taliban:

The inclusion of the Muslim Brotherhood strengthens the democratic trend in its internal affairs …

… but if secularists insist on making Salafis “the new bogeyman in Egyptian politics,” even though “many Salafis groups are now inclined towards integration into the political process … they may adopt more aggressive means to assert their political presence”:

Any Iraqi invitation for U.S. forces to stay longer must now consider the effect of early release of Abu Ghraib war criminal Charles Graner on popular opinion:

The ejection of Andy Shallal’s Peace Cafe from Theater J is the latest skirmish in what artists and programming designers see as “a concerted move … to smother any type of critical examination of the Jewish state”:

“Al Shabab withdrew from Somalia’s capital city, Mogadishu, this weekend, but whether that is a sign of success for the African Union mission and Somalian government is unclear”:

As Syrian officials deny the attack took place, three Arab Allies of the U.S. recall their ambassadors and Saudi King issues his most sharply worded statement against the Syrian regime since the current Arab uprisings began in Tunisia and Egypt …

… while Bahrain tries to defuse tensions by releasing a human rights lawyer and two parliamentarians. The latter two claim to have been tortured and on one occasion beaten while in  detention:


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