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Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Happy Guy Fawkes Day

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 5:59 PM

The only holiday devoted to celebrating the failure of non-state actors to destroy the symbols and institutions of state power.

KSM: The Face for Hair Removal Product

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 11:17 AM

It’s Ben’s birthday, and a very kind person sent over this excellent story in Slate as a present. It begins:   Turkish hair removal product ad featuring Khalid Sheikh Mohammed pic.twitter.com/KImYWPjaop — yusuf sayman (@ysfsymn) October 31, 2014 A Turkish cosmetics company committed—in nonadvertising speak—a bit of a marketing no-no when it used a picture of . . .
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The First Rule of Brookings Fight Club

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Friday, October 31, 2014 at 4:38 PM

The first rule of Brookings Fight Club is: Ask a guy in a bunny suit to serve as your referee. Ever wanted to kick your boss’s ass? Ever been so frustrated with an intern you just wanted to clock him? It’s been one of those weeks at Brookings, so we started Brookings Fight Club. Intern . . .
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Dronestagram

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Thursday, October 30, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Stumbling around the internet last night, I found this gem: Dronestagram. It’s exactly what you would think; a free, user-built collection of videos and pictures shot by drones from all around the world. In this great little project you can… Take part in the “Drone de France”: Or, tour the rest of the world with . . .
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Hawk v. Drone

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Sunday, October 12, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Excellent!

Is “The Death of Klinghoffer” Anti-Semitic?

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Monday, October 6, 2014 at 9:22 AM

A fight has broken out in New York over an opera: Jewish groups are protesting the Metropolitan Opera’s production of a work called The Death of Klinghoffer, which dramatizes the 1985 Achille Lauro hijacking by Palestinian terrorists and the resulting murder of a wheelchair-bound Jewish vacationer named Leon Klinghoffer. The complaint against the opera? It supposedly . . .
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How a Blonde Tattooed Texas Girl Became an ISIS Twitter Star

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Thursday, October 2, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Last Monday, I had 60 followers on Twitter. Today, I have more than 4,300. Not to brag or anything, but that’s more than Benjamin Wittes; more than Bobby Chesney; more than Jack Goldsmith; more than my boss, Daniel Byman. But here’s the problem: A healthy number of them are Islamic extremists, including no small number of . . .
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In Spate of New ATS Decisions, Courts Are Divided About Meaning of Kiobel’s “Touch and Concern” Standard

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Sunday, September 28, 2014 at 2:17 PM

During the last several weeks, four different federal courts have issued decisions in high-profile and long-running ATS suits against U.S. corporations, all addressing whether the conduct of the defendants in the United States satisfies the amorphous “touch and concern” standard enunciated by the majority in the Supreme Court’s Kiobel decision. In brief: the Eleventh Circuit . . .
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Drone Dance

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Saturday, September 27, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Austrian drone-swarm dance with lights. Very cool.

A New Readership Demographic?

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014 at 7:24 AM

Wells, always on the lookout for new readers, does some market research in Massachusetts. At least they didn’t answer, “Just Security“!

Deteriorating U.S.-Russian Relations and Treaty Compliance

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Thursday, September 11, 2014 at 3:28 PM

Proceeding in lockstep with a general chill in relations brought about by the Ukraine crisis, the United States and the Russian Federation are currently at odds over compliance with international arms treaties, most notably the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Agreement (INF). Reuters reported that American and Russian officials will meet in Moscow today to discuss allegations . . .
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World War II-Era Herbert Weschler Memo on Conspiracy as War Crime

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Monday, September 8, 2014 at 4:20 PM

This is a pretty interesting document: A 1944 memo from Herbert Weschler, then assistant attorney general, outlining the U.S. government’s developing view of conspiracy as a war crime. The interesting thing is how similar the internal discussion of the subject in 1944 is to the one going on now in the Bahlul case—and how similar . . .
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Obama’s Foreign Policy and the Nirvana Fallacy

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014 at 1:03 PM

President Obama’s foreign policy appears in shambles.  Many of his major decisions – decisions to act, and not to act – seem to have turned out badly.  To take a few examples of prominent criticisms: If the President had not intervened in Libya, we would not now face the large terrorist threats and related disorder . . .
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Vice News Coverage of The Islamic State

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014 at 10:26 AM

We have flagged this remarkable, five-part Vice series before, in our news roundup; to be sure it came to readers’ attention, we opted to note report Medyan Dairieh’s up-close examination of the Islamic State in a standalone post.  Have a look.

My Twitter Exchange with Glenn Greenwald this Morning

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Thursday, August 7, 2014 at 8:39 AM

The thing kind of speaks for itself: [View the story “My Twitter Exchange with Glenn Greenwald ” on Storify]

U.K. Independent Reviewer on British Terrorism Legislation

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 3:18 PM

David Anderson, the U.K.’s Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, has released his annual report on British terrorism laws. The report covers several broad topics: ethnic or community bias in the use of police powers; the worldwide reach of U.K. counter-terrorism law; the difficulties posed by counter-terrorism law to the operation of aid agencies in conflict zones; and . . .
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A Primer on Legal Developments Regarding Private Military Contractors

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Friday, July 18, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Recent events again have raised the issue of accountability for alleged human rights violations by Blackwater, the most notorious of the private contractors deployed by the United States in the Iraq war. On June 11, trial finally got underway of four Blackwater guards accused of shooting indiscriminately into traffic in Nisour Square in Baghdad, in . . .
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The Loss of MH17 Over Ukraine

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Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 4:04 PM

Much will, no doubt, be written about the destruction of Malaysian Flight 17 today over Ukraine.  Early speculation is that the plane may have been destroyed by Ukrainian separatists, who deny the charge.  War on the Rocks (a generally useful military blog) has collected many of the most relevant bits of data that form the . . .
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Opinion from D.C. Circuit in Ralls v. CFIUS

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at 1:34 PM

Here it is; you’ll find some background here and here. Today’s ruling from a panel of the D.C. Circuit opens as follows: KAREN LECRAFT HENDERSON, Circuit Judge: In March 2012, Appellant Ralls Corporation (Ralls) purchased four American limited liability companies (Project Companies) previously formed to develop windfarms in north-central Oregon. The transaction quickly came under scrutiny . . .
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Happy Fourth of July

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Friday, July 4, 2014 at 12:04 PM

A great version from the Gaither Vocal Band: