The Obama administration plans to increase overall troop commitments abroad this year, according to the Washington Post. The Obama administration has reportedly signed on to a Pentagon plan to increase U.S. troop strength in Afghanistan by 30,000 this year. It would essentially be a “surge” for Afghanistan.
During his last full day in office, President George W. Bush has commuted the sentences of former Border Patrol agents Jose Compean and Ignacio Ramos. The president had been under pressure from grass-roots organizations (including the John Birch Society), concerned members of Congress, and outraged citizens regarding the trial of the former agents and their subsequent mistreatment in prison.
No sane person wants innocent people victimized, maimed, or murdered, nor to see the perpetrators escape justice. This is true, whether the perpetrators use their hands or objects — like baseball bats, rocks, knives, vehicles, or a host of other readily available inanimate objects of endless variety — or a firearm. It is the intent and the will of the criminals, and not the inanimate objects they use, that are responsible for the criminal acts and the harm done to victims.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review has ruled that telecommunications companies must assist the executive branch in wiretapping American citizens’ e-mail messages and phone calls, the New York Times reported on January 15. Although the decision didn’t deal directly with the constitutionality of warrantless wiretaps, the decision is troubling for a number of reasons.
Attorney General nominee Eric H. Holder, Jr. unequivocally said “Waterboarding is torture” at his confirmation hearing January 15. Asked if he would prosecute those who engaged in felony torture or allow the President to immunize the perpetrators, Holder told Senator Patrick Leahy (D-N.H.), “Mr. Chairman, no one is above the law.”