Friday, 26 August 2016 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG

Human Rights and Global Wrongs

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

When the United States invades another country, our leaders tell us the invasion is necessary for "humanitarian" reasons, or to bring "democracy" to the people in the target country, or to protect US "national security." But in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, geopolitical interests - including access to Middle Eastern oil - were the primary motivations. We came dangerously close to invading Syria as well, until 63 percent of Americans - and active-duty US military personnel by a margin of three-to-one - opposed the invasion, and Russian president Vladimir Putin worked out a deal to dispose of Syria's chemical weapons.

War crimes committed by US troops during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been exposed, most recently, by Chelsea Manning. As a result of those wars, thousands of men were tortured and detained indefinitely, and Iraq and Afghanistan have been severely destabilized. The men at Guantanamo who refuse food to protest the hopelessness of their situations are being force-fed, a practice that amounts to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. Meanwhile, the Obama administration's use of armed drones far exceeds that conducted during the Bush regime. Some drone victims are not even identified before the kill order is given. President Obama has also extended George W. Bush's vast secret surveillance program, ostensibly aimed at preventing terrorism, but which targets those who dissent from government policies. These actions violate US laws and treaties which are part of our domestic law under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution.

In her monthly column, "Human Rights and Global Wrongs," law professor, writer and social critic Marjorie Cohn explores human rights and US foreign policy, and the frequent contradiction between the two. She analyzes such topics as wars of aggression, torture, indefinite detention, the death penalty, civil liberties and civil rights, surveillance, and whistleblowers. Truthout is proud to include her in our lineup as a regular commentator.

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Marjorie Cohn

Marjorie Cohn is professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, former president of the National Lawyers Guild and on the advisory board of Veterans for Peace. Her most recent book is 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

When the United States invades another country, our leaders tell us the invasion is necessary for "humanitarian" reasons, or to bring "democracy" to the people in the target country, or to protect US "national security." But in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, geopolitical interests - including access to Middle Eastern oil - were the primary motivations. We came dangerously close to invading Syria as well, until 63 percent of Americans - and active-duty US military personnel by a margin of three-to-one - opposed the invasion, and Russian president Vladimir Putin worked out a deal to dispose of Syria's chemical weapons.

War crimes committed by US troops during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been exposed, most recently, by Chelsea Manning. As a result of those wars, thousands of men were tortured and detained indefinitely, and Iraq and Afghanistan have been severely destabilized. The men at Guantanamo who refuse food to protest the hopelessness of their situations are being force-fed, a practice that amounts to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. Meanwhile, the Obama administration's use of armed drones far exceeds that conducted during the Bush regime. Some drone victims are not even identified before the kill order is given. President Obama has also extended George W. Bush's vast secret surveillance program, ostensibly aimed at preventing terrorism, but which targets those who dissent from government policies. These actions violate US laws and treaties which are part of our domestic law under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution.

In her monthly column, "Human Rights and Global Wrongs," law professor, writer and social critic Marjorie Cohn explores human rights and US foreign policy, and the frequent contradiction between the two. She analyzes such topics as wars of aggression, torture, indefinite detention, the death penalty, civil liberties and civil rights, surveillance, and whistleblowers. Truthout is proud to include her in our lineup as a regular commentator.

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

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Thursday, 22 January 2015

Torture Report Confirms Team Bush War Crimes
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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

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Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | Op-Ed
Friday, 05 September 2014

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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 on the advisory board of Veterans for Peace. Her most recent book is Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues. Visit her website: MarjorieCohn.com. Follow her on Twitter: @marjoriecohn.


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