Marjorie Cohn

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 latest book is, Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues. Previous books include: Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law and co-author of Rules of Disengagement: The Politics and Honor of Military Dissent (with Kathleen Gilberd); and an anthology, The United States and Torture: Interrogation, Incarceration and Abuse.

Articles by this author

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Friday, May 10, 2013
Death is Preferable to Life at Obama’s Guantanamo
More than 100 of the 166 detainees at Guantanamo are starving themselves to death. Twenty-three of them are being force-fed. “They strap you to a chair, tie up your wrists, your legs, your forehead and tightly around the waist,” Fayiz Al-Kandari told his lawyer, Lt. Col. Barry Wingard.
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Friday, March 01, 2013
The Uncommon Courage of Bradley Manning
Bradley Manning has pleaded guilty to 10 charges including possessing and willfully communicating to an unauthorized person all the main elements of the WikiLeaks disclosure. The charges carry a total of 20 years in prison. For the first time, Bradley spoke publicly about what he did and why.
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Friday, January 11, 2013
Zero Dark Thirty: Torturing the Facts
On January 11, eleven years to the day after George W. Bush sent the first detainees to Guantanamo, the Oscar-nominated film Zero Dark Thirty is making its national debut. Zero Dark Thirty is disturbing for two reasons. First and foremost, it leaves the viewer with the erroneous impression that torture helped the CIA find bin Laden’s hiding place in Pakistan.
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Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Make Obama Do It
President Obama declared in his victory address on election night, “Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated . . . We want our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt, that isn’t weakened by inequality, that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.” Those were powerful words. But they must be followed with action.
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Monday, September 03, 2012
No Accountability for Torturers
The Obama administration has closed the books on prosecutions of those who violated our laws by authorizing and conducting the torture and abuse of prisoners in U.S. custody. Last year, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that his office would investigate only two incidents, in which CIA interrogations ended in deaths.
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Thursday, August 09, 2012
51 Years After the Chemical War Began in Vietnam, Be Silent, Then Take Action
There are images from the U.S. War against Vietnam that have been indelibly imprinted on the minds of Americans who lived through it. One is the naked napalm-burned girl running from her village with flesh hanging off her body. Another is a photo of the piles of bodies from the My Lai massacre, where U.S. troops executed 504 civilians in a small village. Then there is the photograph of the silent scream of a woman student leaning over the body of her dead friend at Kent State University whose only crime was protesting the bombing of Cambodia in 1970.
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Monday, July 16, 2012
Immigration, Racism, and the Supreme Court
The issue of immigration has been tossed about like a political football for some time. Democrats argue that migrants who have spent many years in the United States should be permitted to apply for lawful status. Republicans criticize these proposals as “amnesty.” But Congress has been unable to agree on comprehensive immigration reform.
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Monday, June 25, 2012
Killer Drone Attacks Illegal, Counter-Productive
The Bush administration detained and tortured suspected militants; the Obama administration assassinates them. Both practices not only visit more hatred upon the United States; they are also illegal. Our laws and treaties prohibit torture. The Constitution forbids the government from depriving any person of life without due process of law; that is, arrest and fair trial.
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Thursday, June 21, 2012
Hope Dies at Guantanamo
The tragic case of Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif hit a dead end when the US Supreme Court issued an order refusing to hear his case last week. Latif, a Yemeni man, has been imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay since January 2002, after being detained while traveling to seek medical treatment.
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Monday, May 14, 2012
Romney the Bully
Last week, I was invited to speak to 40 high school freshman about human rights. When we discussed the right to be free from torture, I asked the students if they could think of an example of torture. They said, “bullying.” A major problem among teens, bullying can lead to depression, and even suicide. When most people list the qualities they want to see in their President, “bully” is not one of them.
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