FROM Tom Malinowski
Can Bush's Lawyers Be Tried for War Crimes? Abuses of prisoners at Abu Ghraib were revealed in photographs that are now infamous worldwide. Just seven people have been disciplined, all soldiers, none of whom rose above the rank of sergeant. Former sergeant Javal Davis, who spent four months as a guard at the prison, pleaded guilty to assault and served three months in a military brig. Yet, there's ample evidence of much worse treatment, possibly torture. The House Judiciary Committee has subpoenaed Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff and other lawyers who approved harsh tactics against detainees captured after 9/11. Were they doing what was necessary to prevent another attack or should they be put on trial? What were the roles of Donald Rumsfeld and President Bush?
Prisoner Interrogations in the War on Terror The US Supreme Court says that the Geneva Conventions apply to suspects in the war on terror. Common Article 3 prohibits "outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment." In a dispute with Republican Senators, including John McCain , President Bush says that's too "vague" to protect CIA interrogators from being sued for abusing prisoners in the war on terror, and says he'll call off the interrogations unless Congress writes "clarity" into the law . In the meantime, the Army's top uniformed lawyer, Major General Scott Black, has written to the dissenting Senators that redefining the Conventions "is unnecessary and could be seen as a weakening of our treaty obligations." What does the President mean by "alternative interrogation techniques?" How are they different from torture? Is the US being tough enough to protect American safety?
Cover-up or witch hunt?: The latest on the WH ties to Russia Less than two months into his Presidency, Donald Trump is struggling to get his agenda under way, making it harder himself with tweets that dominate public attention. Meanwhile, important questions are going unanswered: why have staff members and the Attorney General lied about contacts with Russian officials?
Political appointments and the reshaping of the judiciary President Trump has the chance for a long-term impact -- not just on the US Supreme Court, but on the entire federal court system. And his nominees are likely to get the support of a massive spending campaign by donors who don't have to reveal their names. Can President Trump "pack" the federal court system?