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Barr Ignores Settled Justice Department Policies in Run-Up to 2020 Elections

Barr Ignores Settled Justice Department Policies in Run-Up to 2020 Elections

byMay 7, 2020In his continued pursuit of investigating the origins of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, Attorney General William Barr appears to be violating one long-established and fundamentally important U.S. Department of Justice policy and readying himself to violate another. These established policies are essential for the department to carry out its “to ensure fair and impartial justice for all Americans.” They are also essential to protect the integrity and credibility of the department. The first policy requires that department officials not publicly...

May 7, 2020
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The Republic of Facebook

The Republic of Facebook

With the Naming of Oversight Board Members, What Kind of Institution Will This Become?byMay 6, 2020With Facebook’s unveiling of the first 20 (of an expected 40) members of its newly minted Oversight Board for content moderation, it’s a good moment to take a step back – evaluating the larger picture and what these specific individuals, and the institution they are helping create, can now offer.A fundamental question arises in this moment: Do social media companies have the power of governance?It is hard to avoid seeing that power in the age of COVID-19. Twitter  of the president of Brazil,...

May 6, 2020
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ICC Afghanistan Torture Investigation Likely to Turn on Criminal Intent

ICC Afghanistan Torture Investigation Likely to Turn on Criminal Intent

byApril 15, 2020The recent by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to investigate alleged war crimes in Afghanistan includes allegations that U.S. personnel committed torture when interrogating prisoners there and in other ICC member countries. The prosecutor has identified the potential defendants as CIA and Department of Defense (DOD) officials who devised, authorized, or oversaw the interrogations. Whether those officials are ultimately charged will likely turn on whether they had the required criminal intent or whether they justifiably relied in good faith...

April 15, 2020
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Top Experts: DOJ's Bureau of Prison Blocking Michael Cohen Book about Trump Violates First Amendment

Top Experts: DOJ's Bureau of Prison Blocking Michael Cohen Book about Trump Violates First Amendment

byJuly 11, 2020On Thursday morning, Michael Cohen, the president’s former lawyer and fixer, was returned to prison. Many readers like myself may have passed over the headlines of this particular event thinking it was unsurprising. After all, Cohen’s reimprisonment followed his apparently being caught on camera at a NYC restaurant in violation of conditions of home confinement. Despite initial , however, the news reports explained a very different and more ominous set of facts. As the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman , “Cohen imprisonment wasn’t related to NY Post photo of him at restaurant....

July 11, 2020
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How Inter-State Procedures in Human Rights Treaties Can Support the Black Lives Matter Movement

How Inter-State Procedures in Human Rights Treaties Can Support the Black Lives Matter Movement

byJune 19, 2020Today is Juneteenth; a holiday that Black Americans have long celebrated to commemorate the end of the brutal institution of slavery in the United States 155 years ago. Yet, last week, the world was reminded again, that Black people in America still face brutality. A video recording reveals that last Friday, a police officer shot Rayshard Brooks, an unarmed Black man, twice in the back as he was fleeing. The Atlanta medical examiner has ruled the killing a homicide. This most recent killing, along with those of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many others, have become...

June 19, 2020
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Redactions in CDC Communications Policies Leave Key Questions Unanswered

Redactions in CDC Communications Policies Leave Key Questions Unanswered

Newly released CDC documents, confirm Office of Vice President’s involvement in CDC COVID-19 communications but leave important details concealedbyJune 12, 2020Misleading and even dangerous information about the COVID-19 pandemic has circulated widely over the past few months, sometimes originating from the itself. At the same time, the administration has reportedly “” and “” the nation’s public-health experts at the CDC in an effort to tightly control the narrative around the pandemic. While the executive branch certainly has an interest in speaking with one voice during a global health...

June 12, 2020
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Draft "Murad Code" Aims to Improve Investigations of Sexual Violence in Conflict

Draft "Murad Code" Aims to Improve Investigations of Sexual Violence in Conflict

byJune 19, 2020In addition to being , today is the for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict. As Robert U. Nagel and Kate Fin at Just Security, the United Nations recently released a new for field missions on sexual violence in conflict. The Institute for International Criminal Investigations (IICI) also has released a draft of its “Global Code of Conduct for the Documentation and Investigation of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence” — the Murad Code — named after Nobel Laureate Nadia Murad.The draft , produced in partnership with the United Kingdom’s Preventing Sexual Violence in...

June 19, 2020
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Trump Pushed CIA to Give Intelligence to Kremlin, While Taking No Action Against Russia Arming Taliban

Trump Pushed CIA to Give Intelligence to Kremlin, While Taking No Action Against Russia Arming Taliban

byJuly 8, 2020Why would the Russian government think it could get away with paying bounties to the Taliban to kill American soldiers? One answer to that question may be the extraordinary response that Moscow received when the Trump administration learned of a precursor to the bounty operation. From mid-2017 and into 2018, Pentagon officials became increasingly confident in intelligence reports that the Kremlin was arming the Taliban, which posed a significant threat to American and coalition forces on the ground in Afghanistan.President Trump’s actions in the face of the Russia-Taliban arms...

July 8, 2020
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The New U.S. “Caesar” Sanctions on Syria Are Illegal

The New U.S. “Caesar” Sanctions on Syria Are Illegal

byJuly 8, 2020The new U.S. sanctions on Syria, which came into effect last month, are likely to bring the suffering of the Syrian people to new heights. In a country wrecked by more than a decade of conflict, where 83 percent of the population live below the poverty line as defined by the , more than rely on humanitarian assistance, and more than six million have been forced from their homes, the sanctions to plunge the country even further into crisis. If that’s not enough, the sanctions program also represents an illegal exercise of U.S. jurisdiction abroad in the form of so-called...

July 8, 2020
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From “Enemy of the People” to “Essential”: The Pandemic Creates an Opening for the Press

From “Enemy of the People” to “Essential”: The Pandemic Creates an Opening for the Press

byMay 3, 2020(Editor’s Note: Today marks , proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993 and commemorated each year by the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom worldwide. Georgetown Law Professor Erin Carroll suggests a way the U.S. news media and its supporters can build on the crisis-driven recognition of its essential role.)Alongside workers in healthcare, agriculture, and energy, employees in another industry earned the label “essential” in the pandemic-driven stay-at-home orders of dozens of...

May 3, 2020
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Justin Hendrix

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Anna Diakun

Anna Diakun

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Atlantic Council's DFRLab

Atlantic Council's DFRLab

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