Commentaries by David M. Crane

Chief Hinga Norman, head of the brutal Civil Defense Force, during the monstrous civil war in the West African country of Sierra Leone—part of larger unrest that engulfed neighboring Liberia and others—admonished his men to kill every living thing down to the ants in Pujehun. That they did. This was emblematic of the brutality that [...]

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According to recent reporting, “the European Court of Human Rights on Wednesday heard complaints from Ukraine about Russian involvement in the military coup and subsequent Russian annexation of Crimea. From Feburary 27, 2014, Russia has exercised control over the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Ukraine alleges that there was a practice of killing Ukrainian military and [...]

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©WikiMedia (Persecution of Yazidis by the Islamic State)

This past Saturday was the Fifth Anniversary of the latest Yazidi genocide perpetrated largely by ISIS, as other actors in the region looked the other way. Today Yazidis in the region remain in limbo. As Nadia Murad, Nobel Peace Laureate, stated last Friday: The situation remains dire. Presently there are approximately 350,000 internally displaced Yazidis [...]

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Dictators use fear as a tool to stay in power. Politicians use various techniques to govern as well. In liberal democracies governance is based on incentives, good governance, rule of law, and service. Strongmen use other techniques to govern, such as fear, outside threats, coercion, and incentives. Another technique to govern seen largely in totalitarian [...]

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Thomas Jefferson is reported to have said: “When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.” I have investigated and prosecuted dictators and their henchmen for most of my professional life. I have studied their lives, personalities, their rise to power and how they governed once achieving [...]

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The President only has two enumerated constitutional duties, to be the Chief Executive of the Executive Branch and be Commander in Chief of the Armed forces during time of war. That is it. His oath in Article II of the Constitution requires him to protect and defend that Constitution. Additionally, he is constitutionally bound to [...]

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© WikiMedia (photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique A. Pineiro)

The cornerstone of military justice is ensuring that commanders at all levels, called convening authorities, do not influence the lawful carrying out of investigations and prosecutions of service members who violate the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Developed through customs of the service over two centuries and codified by Congress in the early 1950’s, [...]

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Photographer: Donna Burton

The Constitution provides that a President has few enumerated powers. He is head of the executive branch and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces (in times of war). That is it. A President cannot make laws. However, a President can recommend laws for Congress to consider. Also, when a bill is offered to him [...]

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©WikiMedia (Almigdad Mojalli)

In a bombing, the dust settles slowly over the strike zone. What emerges are grey images, living beings neutralized to monochrome. Bleeding from the ears, deaf, and dumb from the concussions the survivors walk about in a haze. These zombies are the first things you see staggering down the street away from the rubble behind [...]

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