FROM William Banks
Obama's 'Kill List' and the Rules of War The New York Times has published a lengthy account of what it calls, "the strangest of bureaucratic rituals." At meetings held every week or so, President Obama presides and takes full responsibility for deciding which of a "kill list" of suspected terrorists will live or die. His use of drone technology goes well beyond what the Bush Administration even tried. We speak with Times investigative reporter Jo Becker and others about the consequences in the law, for morality, international diplomacy and the upcoming election.
Obama the Warrior in a New Kind of War Soon after President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, he began authorizing the killing of individuals deemed threatening to the United States. Now he presides over regular meetings that determine which terrorist suspects will live or die, along with others who may become "collateral damage." New drone technology allows precise targeting, but what about the laws of war, the crossing of international boundaries and basic morality? In this election year, we hear why Republicans and Democrats are calling Obama "Bush-Cheney on steroids."
The Libby Trial and Revelations from Bush White House In the trial that is ripping open the Bush White House, the President's former press secretary testified today against Vice President Cheney's former top aide. Ari Fleischer told a jury that "Scooter" Libby knew Valerie Plame was a CIA agent days before Libby swore he was told by a reporter. That revelation could have led to the deaths of people Plame worked with overseas. Tim Russert of NBC, Matthew Cooper of Time and Judith Miller of the New York Times are all expected to testify at the trial. We speak with journalists, political strategists and legal experts about the White House dealings with the CIA and the media, and about a trial that's as much about politics as it is about perjury. (An extended version of this discussion was originally broadcast earlier today on To the Point.)
More Revelations from Inside the Bush White House At Washington's most political trial in a decade, President Bush's former press secretary testified today against Vice President Cheney's former top aide. Ari Fleischer demanded immunity against prosecution himself before he would talk about when Lewis "Scooter" Libby knew that Valerie Plame was a CIA agent. The case is as much about politics as it is about perjury. We hear from journalists, Republican strategists and legal experts about how the case is casting new light on an administration that's notoriously secretive.
Trump's ethical conflicts pile up as transparency diminishes President Trump's refusal to reveal his income tax returns is just one example of a lack of transparency that could be hiding conflicts of interest. Other conflicts are already obvious from his appointments. And he's being sued for using his job to increase his profits.
GOP 'Nukes' the Senate filibuster on SCOTUS nominees Senate Democrats today blocked Judge Neil Gorsuch's appointment to the US Supreme Court… but just for the moment. The Republican majority has changed the rules to force a likely confirmation as soon as tomorrow.
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.