Tales from the Trail

Washington Extra – Talking with the Taliban

December 20, 2011

For most Americans and for many here in Washington, the idea that the United States could broker successful talks with the Taliban that lead to the end of the Afghan war is mind-bending. And yet, that is what senior U.S. officials have allowed themselves to entertain as 10 months of secret dialogue reach the point of breakthrough or collapse. It’s a small glimmer of hope where there once was none.

Lawyers who worked on detainee issues now in Justice Dept. under scrutiny

March 19, 2010

(Updates to add comment.)

There has been a lot of attention lately on a small group of lawyers who were hired by the Obama administration’s Justice Department and previously worked on legal arguments for detainees seeking release from the controversial prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Obama slams opposition to civilian trials for terrorism suspects

February 1, 2010

President Barack Obama didn’t mince words when he criticized Republican opposition to prosecuting foreign terrorism suspects in U.S. criminal courts rather than in military tribunals, calling it “rank politics.”

Obama misses a deadline on Guantanamo

January 22, 2010

Just because a president orders something done, that don’t make it happen.

A year after President Barack Obama ordered the closure of the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the facility is still open and holding 196 terrorism suspects the United States has captured.

Judge blasts case against Kuwaiti held at Guantanamo

September 25, 2009

So how did an overweight, 43-year-old Kuwaiti man with bad knees and no real military training or experience suddenly become a logistics expert helping al Qaeda leaders organize the defense of Tora Bora in 2001?

Democrat opposes sending Guantanamo detainees to Leavenworth

August 10, 2009

A senior Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives on Monday warned against sending detainees fromĀ Guantanamo Bay to Fort Leavenworth prison in Kansas, saying it could endanger U.S. relations with Muslim countries.

Uighurs held at Guantanamo plead to Obama for release

August 5, 2009

A group of the 13 Chinese detainees held at the controversial U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba appealed directly to President Barack Obama for their immediate release, arguing that they have been cleared by the United States of any wrongdoing and they questioned why it was taking so long to go free.

The First Draft: From Gitmo to paradise

June 11, 2009

AUSTRALIABarack Obama and Joe Biden head to the Midwest today.

The Chinese Gitmo detainees are heading to paradise.

No, they’re not winging to heaven to enjoy the company of 72 virgins. The Uighurs, as they’re known, are being resettled in various beachy, tropical locales as the Obama administration seeks to empty the controversial Guantanamo Bay prison.

The First Draft: Hello, summer!

May 22, 2009

USA/It’s almost Memorial Day Weekend, the unofficial start of summer. No bottlenecks yet at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, the gateway to Maryland’s Eastern Shore beach towns.

The First Draft: Not in my backyard

May 21, 2009

USA/Former House speaker Tip O’Neill famously said that all politics is local, and President Barack Obama has encountered a phrase all too familiar to city councils and zoning boards: Not in My Backyard.