Charlie Savage’s Power Wars is a long and comprehensive book, covering in intricate detail nearly every major issue in Obama’s national security policy: detainees, military commissions, torture, surveillance, secrecy, targeted killings, and war powers. Its behind-the-scenes story will likely stand as the definitive record of Obama’s approach to law and national security.
The atrocities committed by all sides in the increasingly violent Syrian civil war cry out for some form of international accountability. The “Caesar” photos, released in late January, up the stakes dramatically by providing remarkably specific evidence of mass murder and torture by agents of the Syrian government.
In the new kind of war, where no enemy commander has the authority to surrender, the war ends only when we say it is over. Yoo reassures us that “there is no reason to believe it will go on for a generation.” There is equally no reason to believe it will go on for less, and the potential internment of enemy combatants for decades on end differs only in name from what Yoo denies it is: indefinite imprisonment.9