April 24, 2013 by Conn M. Hallinan
In the current crisis on the Korean Peninsula the Obama administration is virtually repeating the 2004 Bush playbook, one that derailed a successful diplomatic agreement forged by the Clinton administration to prevent North Korea from acquiring nuclear weapons. While the acute tensions of the past month appear to be receding—all of the parties involved seem to be taking a step back— the problem is not going to disappear and, unless Washington and its allies re-examine their strategy, another crisis is certain to develop.
A little history.
In the spring of 1994, the Clinton administration came very close to a war with North Korea over Pyongyang’s threat to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, expel international inspectors, and extract plutonium from reactor fuel rods. Washington moved to beef up its military in South Korea, and, according to Fred Kaplan in the Washington Monthly, there were plans to bomb the Yongbyon reactor. Kaplan is Slate Magazine’s War Stories columnist and author of “The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War.”
May 13, 2011 by John Lyman
Following the disclosure that Al Qaeda detainees provided information that lead to Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, the debate over the effectiveness of “enhanced interrogation techniques” like waterboarding has largely fallen along partisan lines. One side of the debate reflects former Bush administration officials who are arguing that “advanced interrogation” methods lead to Osama bin Laden while on the other side, Democrats and some Republicans like Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) are arguing that diligence by the intelligence community and detainees who were not subjected to waterboarding and other methods of torture provided the intelligence community with information that lead to Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts.
“I would assume that the enhanced interrogation program that we put in place produced some of the results that led to bin Laden’s ultimate capture,” former Vice President Dick Cheney told FOX News. Other former Bush administration officials are also perpetuating this argument.