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Human Rights and Global Wrongs

By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | Series
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Human Rights and Global Wrongs

Professor Marjorie Cohn analyzed human rights violations in the Bush and Obama administrations and she continues to write about executive branch lawbreaking in the era of Donald Trump.

The Bush administration responded to the 9/11 attacks by initiating deadly and illegal wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and torturing and indefinitely detaining thousands of men. As a result of Bush's unlawful regime change in Iraq, Islamic State moved in to fill the vacuum.

The Obama administration expanded the use of armed drones far beyond the Bush years. They also extended Bush's vast secret surveillance program, which was ostensibly aimed at preventing terrorism, but largely targeted those who dissent from government policies. Whistleblowers were prosecuted at an unprecedented rate. And Obama's illegal regime change in Libya also created a vacuum that Islamic State has filled.

Since taking office, Trump issued an illegal Muslim travel ban, appointed a radical right-wing justice to the Supreme Court, illegally bombed Syria and killed record numbers of civilians in Iraq and Syria.

Trump has mounted a methodical assault on the people of the United States. He has systematically endeavored to destroy the social safety net, including the rights to healthcare, public education and a clean environment, as well as the rights of workers, immigrants, women and LGBTQ people.

By withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement and refusing to shoulder the United States' share of responsibility for slowing climate change, Trump has intentionally committed an inhumane act that will ultimately cause great suffering to the people of the world.

Trump's saber rattling against North Korea and his willingness to use nuclear weapons imperils us all.

And evidence of Trump's efforts to interfere with investigations of ties between his campaign and Russia continues to mount.

In her weekly column, "Human Rights and Global Wrongs," legal and political analyst Marjorie Cohn writes about Trump's lawbreaking, the dangers his administration poses to civil rights and civil liberties, and his judicial nominations. She continues to cover racism, immigration, torture, indefinite detention, the death penalty, surveillance, whistleblowers, Supreme Court jurisprudence, and violations of US and international law. Truthout is proud to have her in our lineup as a regular commentator.


Will Judge Overturn Arpaio Pardon?
Sunday, September 17, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

Will the Courts Save the Dreamers?
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

Sessions Is Wrong: There Is No Legal Justification for Ending DACA
Wednesday, September 6, 2016
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

Trump's Arpaio Pardon Signals to White Supremacists: "I've Got Your Back"
Monday, August 28, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

Time to Impeach Trump
Saturday, August 19, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | Op-Ed

A Preemptive Strike on North Korea Would Be Catastrophic and Illegal
Saturday, August 12, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

Donald Trump vs. The Rule of Law
Wednesday, August 02, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | Report

Trump Jr. Emails and Meeting With Russian Lawyer Are Probable Cause of Federal Crime
Friday, July 14, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

Courts Can Review Military Targeting Decisions
Thursday, July 13, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

Congress Must Reclaim War-Making Authority
Thursday, July 06, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

Gorsuch Leans Far Right in Muslim Ban Case
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

Trump Takes Aim at Obama's Détente With Cuba
Saturday, June 17, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | Report

Comey Bolsters Case for Obstruction of Justice by Trump
Friday, June 09, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

Trump's Climate Withdrawal Is an Impeachable Offense
Tuesday, June 06, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

Palestinian Prisoners on Hunger Strike as Trump Visits Israel
Saturday, May 20, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | Report

Jeff Sessions' Department of Injustice
Thursday, May 04, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | Report

Gorsuch Is Already Channeling Scalia on Life-or-Death Decisions
Monday, April 24, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | Report

Donald Trump's War Crimes
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

Gorsuch Would Use "Originalism" to Affirm Right-Wing Agenda
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

Trump Challenges the Limits of Executive Power
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

Trump's Choice of Gorsuch Endangers Civil, Human and Environmental Rights
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | Report

State-Sanctioned Torture in the Age of Trump
Monday, January 23, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

Smooth-Talking Jeff Sessions Can't Hide Disturbing Record
Saturday, January 14, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | Report

A Year of US Militarism
Thursday, December 29, 2016
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

Trump's Secretary of Defense Presided Over Slaughter of Civilians in Fallujah
Friday, 2 December 2016
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

The Human Right to Water at Standing Rock
Thursday, 03 November 2016
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

The Threat of a Right-Wing Supreme Court: Analyzing Trump's Prospective Justices
Friday, 21 October 2016
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | Op-Ed

Fifteen Years After 9/11, Perpetual "War on Terror" Continues Unabated
Sunday, 11 September 2016
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

US Targeted Killing Rules Conflate Legality and Politics
Monday, 15 August 2016
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

How Justice Scalia's Absence Has Affected the Supreme Court's Decisions
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis
Tuesday, 05 July 2016

New York Governor's Unconstitutional Order Enables Israeli Occupation
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | Op-Ed
Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Obama Can Burnish His Legacy by Meeting With Agent Orange Victims in Vietnam
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | Op-Ed
Tuesday, 03 May 2016

Who Is the US Killing With Drones?
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | Op-Ed
Thursday, 10 March 2016

How Scalia's Absence Will Affect Pending Supreme Court Cases
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis
Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Revoke ExxonMobil's Corporate Charter for Climate Destruction and Cover-Up
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | Op-Ed
Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Governors Have No Right to Exclude Syrian Refugees
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis
Thursday, 19 November 2015

The US Is Still Manipulating the UN After 70 Years
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis
Sunday, 15 November 2015

Do the Democrats Offer a Progressive Choice for President?
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | Op-Ed
Saturday, 10 October 2015

From Japan to Vietnam, Radiation and Agent Orange Survivors Deserve Justice From the US
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | Op-Ed
Tuesday, 18 August 2015

One Year After Gaza Massacre, UN Exposes Likely War Crimes
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis
Wednesday, 08 July 2015

Next Steps in the Normalization of US-Cuban Relations: Thoughts From the Cuban Five
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis
Thursday, 02 July 2015

Congress Should End Metadata Collection
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis
Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Agent Orange: Terrible Legacy of the Vietnam War
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis
Thursday, 30 April 2015

Israel's Blatant Flouting of International Law Requires Presidential Response
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis
Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Obama to Congress: Rubber-Stamp My Perpetual War
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis
Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Supreme Court Upholds Auto Stop With No Traffic Violation
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis
Thursday, 22 January 2015

Torture Report Confirms Team Bush War Crimes
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis
Monday, 15 December 2014

Prosecutor Manipulates Grand Jury Process to Shield Officer
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis
Friday, 28 November 2014

US Government Sanitizes Vietnam War History
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis
Thursday, 16 October 2014

Truthout Interviews Marjorie Cohn on Racial Discrimination and Perpetual War
By Ted Asregadoo, Truthout | Video Interview
Sunday, 21 September 2014

Obama Declares Perpetual War
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis
Monday, 15 September 2014

US Slammed for Failure to Fulfill Legal Obligation to Eliminate All Forms of Race Discrimination
Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | Op-Ed
Friday, 05 September 2014

Israel Inflicts Illegal Collective Punishment on Gaza
Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis
Monday, 14 July 2014

Obama on the Brink: War or Peace?
Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis
Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Death to the Death Penalty
Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | Op-Ed
Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Marjorie Cohn

Marjorie Cohn is professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, former president of the National Lawyers Guild and deputy secretary general of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers. Her books include The United States and Torture: Interrogation, Incarceration, and Abuse; Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law and Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues. Visit her website: MarjorieCohn.com. Follow her on Twitter: @MarjorieCohn.

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Human Rights and Global Wrongs

By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | Series
  • font size decrease font size decrease font size increase font size increase font size
  • Print

Human Rights and Global Wrongs

Professor Marjorie Cohn analyzed human rights violations in the Bush and Obama administrations and she continues to write about executive branch lawbreaking in the era of Donald Trump.

The Bush administration responded to the 9/11 attacks by initiating deadly and illegal wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and torturing and indefinitely detaining thousands of men. As a result of Bush's unlawful regime change in Iraq, Islamic State moved in to fill the vacuum.

The Obama administration expanded the use of armed drones far beyond the Bush years. They also extended Bush's vast secret surveillance program, which was ostensibly aimed at preventing terrorism, but largely targeted those who dissent from government policies. Whistleblowers were prosecuted at an unprecedented rate. And Obama's illegal regime change in Libya also created a vacuum that Islamic State has filled.

Since taking office, Trump issued an illegal Muslim travel ban, appointed a radical right-wing justice to the Supreme Court, illegally bombed Syria and killed record numbers of civilians in Iraq and Syria.

Trump has mounted a methodical assault on the people of the United States. He has systematically endeavored to destroy the social safety net, including the rights to healthcare, public education and a clean environment, as well as the rights of workers, immigrants, women and LGBTQ people.

By withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement and refusing to shoulder the United States' share of responsibility for slowing climate change, Trump has intentionally committed an inhumane act that will ultimately cause great suffering to the people of the world.

Trump's saber rattling against North Korea and his willingness to use nuclear weapons imperils us all.

And evidence of Trump's efforts to interfere with investigations of ties between his campaign and Russia continues to mount.

In her weekly column, "Human Rights and Global Wrongs," legal and political analyst Marjorie Cohn writes about Trump's lawbreaking, the dangers his administration poses to civil rights and civil liberties, and his judicial nominations. She continues to cover racism, immigration, torture, indefinite detention, the death penalty, surveillance, whistleblowers, Supreme Court jurisprudence, and violations of US and international law. Truthout is proud to have her in our lineup as a regular commentator.


Will Judge Overturn Arpaio Pardon?
Sunday, September 17, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

Will the Courts Save the Dreamers?
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

Sessions Is Wrong: There Is No Legal Justification for Ending DACA
Wednesday, September 6, 2016
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

Trump's Arpaio Pardon Signals to White Supremacists: "I've Got Your Back"
Monday, August 28, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

Time to Impeach Trump
Saturday, August 19, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | Op-Ed

A Preemptive Strike on North Korea Would Be Catastrophic and Illegal
Saturday, August 12, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

Donald Trump vs. The Rule of Law
Wednesday, August 02, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | Report

Trump Jr. Emails and Meeting With Russian Lawyer Are Probable Cause of Federal Crime
Friday, July 14, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

Courts Can Review Military Targeting Decisions
Thursday, July 13, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

Congress Must Reclaim War-Making Authority
Thursday, July 06, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

Gorsuch Leans Far Right in Muslim Ban Case
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

Trump Takes Aim at Obama's Détente With Cuba
Saturday, June 17, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | Report

Comey Bolsters Case for Obstruction of Justice by Trump
Friday, June 09, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

Trump's Climate Withdrawal Is an Impeachable Offense
Tuesday, June 06, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

Palestinian Prisoners on Hunger Strike as Trump Visits Israel
Saturday, May 20, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | Report

Jeff Sessions' Department of Injustice
Thursday, May 04, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | Report

Gorsuch Is Already Channeling Scalia on Life-or-Death Decisions
Monday, April 24, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | Report

Donald Trump's War Crimes
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

Gorsuch Would Use "Originalism" to Affirm Right-Wing Agenda
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

Trump Challenges the Limits of Executive Power
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

Trump's Choice of Gorsuch Endangers Civil, Human and Environmental Rights
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | Report

State-Sanctioned Torture in the Age of Trump
Monday, January 23, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

Smooth-Talking Jeff Sessions Can't Hide Disturbing Record
Saturday, January 14, 2017
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | Report

A Year of US Militarism
Thursday, December 29, 2016
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

Trump's Secretary of Defense Presided Over Slaughter of Civilians in Fallujah
Friday, 2 December 2016
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

The Human Right to Water at Standing Rock
Thursday, 03 November 2016
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

The Threat of a Right-Wing Supreme Court: Analyzing Trump's Prospective Justices
Friday, 21 October 2016
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | Op-Ed

Fifteen Years After 9/11, Perpetual "War on Terror" Continues Unabated
Sunday, 11 September 2016
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

US Targeted Killing Rules Conflate Legality and Politics
Monday, 15 August 2016
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

How Justice Scalia's Absence Has Affected the Supreme Court's Decisions
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis
Tuesday, 05 July 2016

New York Governor's Unconstitutional Order Enables Israeli Occupation
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | Op-Ed
Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Obama Can Burnish His Legacy by Meeting With Agent Orange Victims in Vietnam
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | Op-Ed
Tuesday, 03 May 2016

Who Is the US Killing With Drones?
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | Op-Ed
Thursday, 10 March 2016

How Scalia's Absence Will Affect Pending Supreme Court Cases
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis
Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Revoke ExxonMobil's Corporate Charter for Climate Destruction and Cover-Up
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | Op-Ed
Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Governors Have No Right to Exclude Syrian Refugees
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis
Thursday, 19 November 2015

The US Is Still Manipulating the UN After 70 Years
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis
Sunday, 15 November 2015

Do the Democrats Offer a Progressive Choice for President?
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | Op-Ed
Saturday, 10 October 2015

From Japan to Vietnam, Radiation and Agent Orange Survivors Deserve Justice From the US
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | Op-Ed
Tuesday, 18 August 2015

One Year After Gaza Massacre, UN Exposes Likely War Crimes
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis
Wednesday, 08 July 2015

Next Steps in the Normalization of US-Cuban Relations: Thoughts From the Cuban Five
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis
Thursday, 02 July 2015

Congress Should End Metadata Collection
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis
Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Agent Orange: Terrible Legacy of the Vietnam War
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis
Thursday, 30 April 2015

Israel's Blatant Flouting of International Law Requires Presidential Response
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis
Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Obama to Congress: Rubber-Stamp My Perpetual War
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis
Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Supreme Court Upholds Auto Stop With No Traffic Violation
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis
Thursday, 22 January 2015

Torture Report Confirms Team Bush War Crimes
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis
Monday, 15 December 2014

Prosecutor Manipulates Grand Jury Process to Shield Officer
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis
Friday, 28 November 2014

US Government Sanitizes Vietnam War History
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis
Thursday, 16 October 2014

Truthout Interviews Marjorie Cohn on Racial Discrimination and Perpetual War
By Ted Asregadoo, Truthout | Video Interview
Sunday, 21 September 2014

Obama Declares Perpetual War
By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis
Monday, 15 September 2014

US Slammed for Failure to Fulfill Legal Obligation to Eliminate All Forms of Race Discrimination
Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | Op-Ed
Friday, 05 September 2014

Israel Inflicts Illegal Collective Punishment on Gaza
Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis
Monday, 14 July 2014

Obama on the Brink: War or Peace?
Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis
Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Death to the Death Penalty
Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | Op-Ed
Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Marjorie Cohn

Marjorie Cohn is professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, former president of the National Lawyers Guild and deputy secretary general of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers. Her books include The United States and Torture: Interrogation, Incarceration, and Abuse; Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law and Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues. Visit her website: MarjorieCohn.com. Follow her on Twitter: @MarjorieCohn.