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Category Archives: Media Criticism

Memo to the New York Times Editorial Page on Detention and Lawlessness

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Sunday, April 7, 2013 at 9:14 AM

There are no major factual blunders in yesterday’s New York Times editorial on the Guantanamo Bay hunger strikes, and there’s actually a fair bit in the editorial with which I agree. But I’d be negligent in my duties as the Times‘s Unpaid, Unofficial Ombudsman for Factual Matters in National Security-Oriented Editorials (a title I hereby grant myself) . . .
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What’s the Deal With the New York Times and Really Bad Drone Humor?

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 10:09 PM

As the co-creator of the Lawfare Drone Smackdown and the publisher (though not the baker) of this drone strike cake, I should perhaps check myself before cringing at other people’s drone humor. But I can’t help but ask at this point what’s going on over at the New York Times? The staid paper of record . . .
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The New York Times Proposes Judicial Review of Nearly All Drone Strikes

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Friday, February 15, 2013 at 7:21 AM

I’m not sure if this is by accident or on purpose, but the New York Times yesterday proposed advanced judicial review of a huge swath of targeting in warfare against terrorist groups. Consider the first paragraph of yesterday’s Times editorial, which is entitled “A Court for Targeted Killings“: No American prosecutor can imprison or execute someone except . . .
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A Brief Word In Response to Jack

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at 8:43 AM

We don’t disagree with Jack that the filling in of details in the White Paper is important—and didn’t mean to suggest otherwise. But the importance Jack assigns to this aspect of the White Paper is decidedly not what has made it headline news for just about every major news organization in the country. If that were . . .
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New York Times Renews Call for Guantánamo Prison Closure

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Monday, November 26, 2012 at 3:33 PM

As Ritika noted earlier today, the New York Times editorial page has renewed its call for the Obama administration to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay. (I’ll take it from Ben’s lack of snark that he judges the Times to have gotten its facts right, so onward with the merits of its argument.) Taking the . . .
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Kill Lists, the Disposition Matrix, and the Permanent War: Thoughts on the Post Article

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Splayed across the front page of the Washington Post this morning is the headline “U.S. Set to Keep Kill Lists for Years: ‘Disposition Matrix’ Secretly Crafted: Blueprint Would Guide Hunt for Terrorists.”   The piece, by Greg Miller, is part I of a three part series, and it is quite an interesting and important read–though for . . .
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Very Strange Column by the New York Times Public Editor

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Monday, October 15, 2012 at 7:47 AM

This is a very weird column by New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan. Sullivan, acknowledging that the Times has broken important stories about the CIA’s drones program and has sought more information using FOIA on the drones program, nonetheless takes the Times to task for going easy on the government on drones policy: But The Times has . . .
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Marc Thiessen Asks. I Answer

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 5:37 PM

Over at the AEIdeas blog, Marc Thiessen asks derisively: “Why is the ACLU suiting Panetta, Petraus over Awlaki Killing—But Not President Obama?” He writes: if it’s accountability they want, then why isn’t President Obama a defendant in the suit? After all, a recent New York Times story which reported leaked classified details of the drone . . .
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Tom Junod in Esquire Gives Obama a Moral Dressing Down

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Friday, July 13, 2012 at 9:52 AM

I have now had time to read Tom Junod’s lengthy essay in Esquire to which Ritika linked the other day. Entitled “The Lethal Presidency of Barack Obama,” it combines the form of a reported essay with a different form–one I am unaccustomed to reading in the pages of glossy magazines: A lecture in the principal’s office. . . .
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The Saudi Gazette Wants Guantanamo Closed

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Friday, June 29, 2012 at 8:37 AM

This is rich. An English-language Saudi newspaper, the Saudi Gazette, has an editorial entitled “Close Guantanamo” bashing President Obama for failing to keep his campaign pledge to close the detention facility. Leave aside for a moment the kingdom’s own role in that failure–that Saudi Arabia welched on a tentative understanding that it would take some . . .
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Oops: Charles Krauthammer Gets Detention Law Wrong

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Friday, June 22, 2012 at 4:14 PM

Over at the Volokh Conspiracy, the estimable John Elwood questions whether columnist Charles Krauthammer has got wrong whether the president has discretion not to deport large numbers of undocumented aliens without making individualized judgments about their cases. I don’t know immigration law well enough to have an opinion on that subject, though the question is . . .
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The New York Times on the Cert Denials

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Friday, June 15, 2012 at 6:14 AM

I actually don’t have much to say, now that it’s here, on the New York Times editorial on the detention case cert denials. It is almost exactly the editorial I predicted the Times would run (“the inevitable editorial bashing the justices for failing to rebuke the rogues in robes who have so craftily undone the justices’ . . .
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Speaking of the New York Times Editorial Page

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at 2:48 AM

Dawood Ahmed on Pakistani Coverage of Dr. Afridi

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Thursday, May 31, 2012 at 7:19 AM

Dawood I. Ahmed, a lawyer and doctoral candidate at the University of Chicago Law School, writes in with the following thoughts on Pakistani press coverage of the Shakil Afridi case: The conviction of Dr. Shakil Afridi has concocted up a bit of a heated debate in Pakistan–as with the Raymond Davis affair last year, this . . .
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A Brief Comment on Today’s New York Times Editorial

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Thursday, May 31, 2012 at 7:03 AM

No, I am not going to attack the New York Times for factual errors in its editorial this morning concerning President Obama’s personal approval of drone targets. While there may be some, none jumped out at me at first glance–though I am a bit perplexed by the editorial’s tone of shocked disapproval that President Obama might . . .
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The New York Times on Obama and Counterterrorism

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 7:01 AM

The New York Times this morning has a lengthy, rich, and detailed feature story on President Obama’s counterterrorism record. Reporters Jo Becker and Scott Shane have done a really terrific job of bringing together lots of strands of Obama’s development in this area and telling the story almost entirely based on interviews with participants. It’s very . . .
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Empty Wheel on Domestic Drones

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Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 6:18 PM

Over at the Empty Wheel blog, The Estimable Ms. Wheel critiques my critique of Friedersdorf and Krauthammer on domestic drones from earlier today–and she has a point which warrants a somewhat-mortified clarification from me. In my post–responding to the silly suggestion made by Krauthammer and endorsed by Friedersdorf–of a ban on domestic drones, I argued . . .
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Charles Krauthammer and Conor Friedersdorf Reveal How Little they Know About Domestic Drones

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Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 12:33 PM

As Raffaela noted earlier, Atlantic blogger Conor Friedersdorf has written in praise (sort of) of conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer for the latter’s opposition to domestic drones. I would consider this a heartwarming example of a cross-ideological meeting of the minds, except that meeting takes place on particularly ignorant ground. If this sort of paranoia is . . .
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The New York Times Editorial Page’s Bizarre Legitimacy Dance

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Sunday, April 8, 2012 at 8:57 AM

I could pick factual nits with today’s New York Times editorial on the referral of charges in the Khalid Sheikh Mohammed case. If I were in that sort of mood, I’d start with the first sentence, which reads: “The Pentagon’s prosecutors formally charged Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and four other men last week with war crimes . . .
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The Washington Post on Holder’s Speech

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at 10:39 AM

My former colleagues on the Washington Post editorial page have weighed in quickly on Eric Holder’s speech yesterday with an editorial entitled, “It’s Time to Release the Drone Memos.” The gravamen of the editorial, as the title suggests, is that the administration “should release the Justice Department memorandum that lays out the domestic and international strictures . . .
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