Newsweek Jan-23-15

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United States
The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC
37 号


to live and die in gitmo

Today, even the people most intimately involved with the events of June 9, 2006, can hardly remember the names of the men who died that night. In the official literature, they are often referred to by their Internment Serial Numbers, the prevailing nomenclature of the Guantánamo Bay detention center: 588, 093 and 693. But before they were numbers, they were people. All thought of themselves as Allah’s fervent disciple, only to end up American prisoners of war, stashed away on the forlorn edge of Communist Cuba. The three men had recently ended a hunger strike. They had little else in common. Mana Shaman Allabardi al-Tabi (588) was a Saudi national who joined a religious charity called Tablighi Jamaat, which was believed to have links to Al-Qaeda. On January 17, 2002, “detainee was…

“you are not to tell…”

Just before Christmas, former FBI special agent Mark Rossini greeted me with his usual good cheer when we met for drinks in a midtown Manhattan restaurant. He told me his life had finally taken a turn for the better. He’s spending most of his time in Switzerland, where he works for a private global corporate-security firm. “Life’s good,” he said. Good, but with a few major changes. Rossini was drinking club soda instead of the expensive cabernets he quaffed when I first knew him as a high-flying FBI official in Washington a decade ago, when he was a special assistant to the bureau’s chief spokesman, John Miller (now with the New York City Police Department). “I’ve cut back,” he said. “Feeling good.” But when I ask him how he’s really doing, the…

the strategic blunder behind the war on terror

The Global War on Terror has ended. The Global War of Terror has begun. That is the widely overlooked but frightening lesson from last week’s murderous attack by Islamic fundamentalists on Charlie Hebdo, the satirical weekly newspaper based in Paris. For more than a decade, since former President George W. Bush declared a war on terror, the focus of strategic planning by the United States and its allies has been largely on groups—Al-Qaeda, ISIS and the like. But intelligence analysts and officers have whispered among themselves that while the bold-name groups posed the biggest national security challenge in terms of their ability to destabilize countries and regions, the real domestic threats would emerge when small, two-or-three-person Islamist cells stopped focusing on sophisticated weaponry and grandiose targets. These terrorists are aligned with…

is hezbollah going broke?

At a quick glance, the limestone hills of southern Lebanon don’t seem like a good place to invest in real estate. Located near the country’s volatile border with Israel, this narrow slice of land has suffered through a 15-year civil war and several devastating battles with the Jewish state. But over the past few years, about a dozen new villas have sprouted along the narrow roads near the small town of Jouaiya, about 60 miles from Beirut. These opulent homes seem out of place amid the olive groves and fields of grazing sheep, dilapidated farms and dirt roads. A few have orange-tiled roofs, neoclassical columns and large courtyard walls, while others resemble gaudy Chinese pagodas. Locals say the mansions, some still under construction, belong to middle- and high-level members of Hezbollah,…

putin is losing the battle to restrain online media

Many Russian journalists have become experts in black humor. They have to be if one of their goals is to remain sane. One reporter at a state-owned Russian newspaper joked privately with friends that they would have to scribble the “true story” in milk between the lines of ink, the way underground messages from exiles were conveyed back to Russia in tsarist times by the future father of the Bolshevik Revolution, Vladimir Lenin. Press freedom has taken a giant step backward since the heady days after Communism’s collapse, when Russian editors welcomed independent ideas and valued professional reporting. It has become difficult to remain committed to decent journalism without risking your job and your family’s welfare. In the bad old days of the Soviet Union, dissidents invented the word samizdat to…

sesame touch-free smartphone brings mobile world to mobility-impaired

“Games are nice, but not really life-changing,” says Oded Ben Dov, an Israeli entrepreneur who turned from making mobile phone games to creating a phone for people with spinal cord injuries, ALS, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and other mobility impairments. His invention is an Android device activated with the voice command “Open Sesame.” The phone has a frontfacing camera that searches for a face in the frame. Once it finds your face, you control a cursor by shifting your head up, down and sideways, your movements tracked by a proprietary algorithm. When you rest in one position for a couple of seconds, a navigation icon pops up and you can choose whether you want to click, swipe, see more options or exit by moving the cursor to hover over one of…