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O.I.L. Media Roundup (4 June)

[Side view of the Mavi Marmara Flotilla. Image from Wikimedia Commons.] [Side view of the Mavi Marmara Flotilla. Image from Wikimedia Commons.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Occupation, Intervention, and Law and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the O.I.L. Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each biweekly roundup to by Monday night of every other week]


"2 Top Lawyers Lost to Obama in Libya War Policy Debate", Charlie Savage
The New York Times reports that Jeh C. Johnson, the Pentagon general counsel, and Caroline D. Krauss, then head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel both advised the White House that the United States' military involvement in the air war in Libya fell under the definition of "hostilities", and that the White House was thus required by the War Powers Act to terminate involvement after 20 May, 2012 barring Congressional consent. This advice appears to have been ignored by President Obama in favor of the legal analysis of advisers from the White House and Harold Koh of the State Department, who advised the President that the United States' activities in Libya did not amount to "hostilities".

"Mubarak Sentenced to Jail for Life Over Protest Deaths", Yolande Knell
Writing for BBC News in Cairo, Knell reports that an Egyptian Court has sentenced recently deposed President Hosni Mubarak to life in prison for his role in the killing of protesters during the uprisings of early 2011.  Though the verdict was initially met with celebrations outside the court building and elsewhere, Knell of the BBC reports that some protesters have reacted with anger, criticizing the acquittals of four high-ranking officials and fearing that Mubarak's sentenced could be overturned on appeal.

South Sudan says Sudan bombs, Shells its territory” Reuters
South Sudan has accused Sudan of attacks that violated a 2 May 2012 resolution by the U.N. Security Council which ordered both sides to cease hostilities and settle their differences through negotiations. The African Union mediator expects a meeting between the presidents of both countries next week, though neither side has confirmed a date.

"Palestinians Honor Dead Returned by Israel", Ali Sawafta
Reports on Israel's return of the remains of 91 Palestinians to the West Bank.  Details the return in the context of the relatively still public reaction in Israel and recent overtures from the Netanyahu government to resume negotiations with Palestinian leaders.

"Clinton Must Decide Iranian Group's Fate in Fourth Months: Court", Reuters
The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has unanimously ruled that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton must decide within a four-month period whether to ascend to or reject the request by Mujahidin-e Khalq (MEK) for removal from a list of foreign terrorist organizations.


"The Imperial Mind", Glen Greenwald
Details the circumstances behind Pakistan's conviction of Dr. Shakil Afridi, a physician who, with the cooperation of the CIA, established a deliberately ineffective vaccine program for Pakistani children as part of an effort to gain access to the bin Laden residence in Abbottabad.  Points out that while the American media has expressed outrage over Dr. Afridi's sentence of 33 years, the United States government imposes much harsher sentences on Americans whose actions are less egregious than Afridi's.

"Words Are Not Enough", Rina Rosenberg
Writing for Haaretz, Rosenberg reacts to the recent release of human rights reports by the United States and the European Union criticizing the treatment of Israel's Arab minority and the expansion of settlements in the West Bank.  Rosenberg argues that both the US and EU need to establish a "proactive strategy" to change the Israeli policies they criticize on grounds of violating human rights.


"Secret 'Kill List' Proves a Test of Obama's Principles and Will", Joe Becker and Scott Shane
Discusses President Obama's personal involvement in the US "Drone War", to the point of evident micromanaging of a "kill list".  Julian Ku at Opinio Juris discusses the "relatively mild" legal blowback to the practices of the drone war described in the article, concluding that "the legal framework for the US war on terrorism is becoming increasingly solid."  Inspired by this piece, Cora Currier and Blair Hickman, writing for ProPublica, round up the best "watchdog journalism" on the legality of the Obama Administration's national security policies.
Libya Challenges the Admissibility of the Cases Against Gaddafi and Al-Senussi” Kevin Jon Heller
Libya has brought a challenge under the Rome Statute against the ICC for admissibility for the trials of Muammar Gadaffi and Mohammed El-Senussi, insisting that  Article 17 of the Rome Statute prevents the Court from admitting a case solely based on con=cerns that there will be a lack of due process in national proceedings. The authors of the motion have gone to lengths to extol the fairness of the Libyan criminal justice system, and accuse the Office of Public Counsel for the Defence (an official organ of the Court) of making false allegations against the Libyan government. 

Expedited Justice: Gaddafi's Death and the Rise of Targeted Killings” Kevin Govern
Using statistical data, Govern discusses how extra-judicial killing is becoming an acceptable response to terrorism by the international community. He attributes this attitude to the fact that targeted killings have been increasingly used to expedite justice, rather than capturing terrorists and bringing them to justice through trial before a domestic tribunal or the ICC.


"Grave Concern for the Lives of Protracted Hunger Strikers”, Mahmoud Marsak and Akram Rikhawi,
Details the rapidly worsening conditions of two Palestinian political prisoners on hunger strike.  Addameer demands their transfer to a civilian hospital, that they be allowed visits by non Israeli Prison Service-affiliated doctors, allowed family visits, and that their sentences be released or shortened.

"Mavi Marmara Indictiments Herald an End to Israeli Impunity", Sarah Colborne
An eyewitness to Israel's assault on the Mavi Marmara flotilla recalls the attack, arguing that Turkey's subsequent indictment of four Israeli generals allegedly responsible signals an trend of increasing international solidarity with Palestine.

Conference Compendium

"Terrorism & Security Research in the UK: Using and Understanding Legal Resources"; 15 June 2012; Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Charles Clore House, 17 Russell Square, London; Register Here.

"International Law, Genocide, and Imperialism: The Colonial Origins of Human Rights?"; 14-16 September 2012; Stockholm, Sweden; Call for Papers/Register Here.

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