The President has granted pardons less frequently at this point in his presidency than any other commander-in-chief, dating back at least to 1900, according to Department of Justice statistics.
At a mere 22 pardons, Barack Obama has granted less pardons than all but one of his post-1900 predecessors, and less frequently than all of them. The one exception is George W. Bush, who had granted only 19 pardons at this point in his presidency. Still, Bush pardoned 1 in 16 applicants, while Obama has pardoned a mere 1 in 50.
Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan were far more liberal in their use of clemency, granting 53, 79 and 277 pardons at this point in their first term, respectively. Continue reading
A vehement critic of American drone attacks, and Pakistan’s leading choice as the country’s next Prime Minister, Imran Khan, was detained by U.S. officials yesterday causing him to miss an important fundraiser in New York City.
Before his New York-bound flight could take off, Khan was detained by U.S. immigration authorities who detained him for two hours.
Polls have repeatedly shown Khan to be the most popular leader in Pakistan. The harassment of a state official vital to national security interests hardly bodes well for a future relationship between the two nations.
Khan documented his ordeal in a number of tweets. Continue reading
In a speech to Harvard Law School, UN special rapporteur Ben Emmerson QC announced that the United Nations will investigate the legality of the White House’s drone attacks, The Guardian reports.
While Emmerson condemned secret rendition and waterboarding as violations of international law, he made it known that in early 2013, a UN investigations unit will be formed, dedicated exclusively to examining the legality of drone attacks which include civilian deaths.
The UN investigations unit will present the first legal challenge to the Obama Administration’s policy on drone strikes, which has failed to trigger any sort of organized opposition, despite causing much furor in the international community. Continue reading
According to The New York Times’ internal watchdog, the newspaper has not investigated the blurry circumstances surrounding drone attacks to the best of its ability, nor has it challenged the Obama Administration’s extreme secrecy, including the government’s dubious reports of civilian deaths.
Margaret Sullivan is the Public Editor at the NYT, where she occupies a role similar to that of an ombudsman, tasked with the meta- responsibility of reporting on the Times’ reporting. Continue reading
If you’ve ever needed any reason to be skeptical of the anti-smoking cartel’s methods, look no further than the World Health Organization’s (WHO) latest crusade to ban e-cigarettes. Their justification? They look too much like actual cigarettes and vaping looks too much like actual smoking. Continue reading
Later today, a young Muslim activist by the name of Noor Elashi and the President Emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Michael Ratner, will unite in Lower Manhattan to address a crowd of supporters on behalf of “The Holy Land Five.”
The rally is a display of solidarity as the Supreme Court decides whether they will hear the group’s appeal following a 2008 conviction for alleged crimes under the Material Support to Terrorists statute.
In many ways, the anticipation of the October 26 decision by the Court is a win or go home affair. Continue reading