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Differentiating analysis

03/13/2013 1 comment

I found this guidance note on the ABC’s website; it’s about differentiating analysis from opinion. Although it’s predominantly for a TV medium, it struck home a little, particularly in the last two points…

Typically, ‘analysis’ –
• carries the name of the author
• is made by a person with professional expertise or
specialist knowledge aboutthe subject matter being analysed
• is grounded in reporting work, usually done by the
person making the analysis
• refers to the information on which it is based
• is based on information that can be verified
• is not purely speculative or based only on faith or belief
• is not partisan or ideological
• will often discuss options and their pros and cons
• refrains from public advocacy
• aims to inform and explain more than to rouse or persuade
• does not prescribe what should be done nor urge what the audience should conclude.
It’s very easy to slide into arguing for a solution at the expense of explanation. Take a look at most terrorism studies writing and you’ll notice it’s nearly all prescriptive, and solution based.   There are lots of reasons for this, but one worth noting is that it is  exceptionally hard to get work published that is not prescriptive.  In my view, this needs to change.
These guidelines are not perfect but it’s nice to see that at least there is an awareness of this problem on the part of the ABC.  Sadly, it doesn’t seem to be common place among media, or in the terrorism studies area of academia for that matter (and International Relations more broadly).
I’m putting this up now as I’ll be referring to it in a forthcoming post or two, if I ever get my workspace sorted and internet back on before I leave on my next adventure.  As thankful as I am to my friend for her hospitality in letting me come over, commandeer the couch and use her internet, I don’t want to subject the household to my blog writing rituals, or efforts to rediscover how to format blog posts, which as this mangled post shows,  I’ve managed to forget.

Were these comments about Awlaki authorised?

06/15/2012 1 comment

Reading this article yesterday…I wondered whether the former FBI SAIC’s comments in this article were cleared by FBI.

American cleric used more than 60 email accounts to reach followers, including Hasan

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/06/14/al-awlaki-used-dozens-email-accounts-to-reach-followers-including-hasan/#ixzz1xr9wpwOh

Especially since it appears that reporting in relation to the emails beyond that already known through indictments etc was at least  as of last month, apparently still classified.

“In a letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller, Republican Rep. Frank Wolf has demanded a copy of the still-classified report about the alleged Fort Hood shooter’s email exchanges with Al Qaeda operative Anwar al-Awlaki.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/05/16/gop-rep-demands-copy-report-on-awlaki-emails-with-alleged-fort-hood-shooter/#ixzz1xrAqAutq

Be interested to hear more about this, especially in light of recent attention placed on leaking and inappropriate comments made to media.

 

Categories: Articles of interest

The Costs of U.S. Counterterrorism Policy |

05/31/2012 2 comments

 

The more the US distances itself from the weight of applicable international law, and more importantly, from the weight of international opinion about applicable international law, the higher the cost in terms of national security and national reputation as a supporter of human rights.

But if none of this impresses you and all you want to hear about is dollars and sense then consider this:

The annual cost of detaining an individual in Federal prison: $27,251

The annual cost of detaining an individual in Guantanamo: $800,000

via The Costs of U.S. Counterterrorism Policy | Human Rights First.

Categories: Articles of interest

Counter-terrorism and human rights | European Voice

05/31/2012 2 comments

This excerpt is from a piece written by  Denmark’s foreign minister, the EU’s counter-terrorism coordinator and the United Nations special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism. It stands in start contrast to the direction US counter terrorism is taking. I will be adding this to my “we’re not all like that” collection to highlight those in the international community who do uphold democratic values and universal human rights in their counter terrorism strategies.

 

The EU has, regrettably, extensive experience with terrorism going back well before the rise of al-Qaeda. We promote a criminal justice approach to our response.

Terrorists should be duly investigated, prosecuted and convicted according to the ordinary rules of criminal law. Ordinary criminal courts have a strong track record in dealing with terrorism cases: law-enforcement investigations have been crucial in gaining information about terrorist networks and disrupting plots. Fair trials in regular criminal courts have put hundreds of terrorists behind bars.

Treating terrorists as criminals and not ‘warriors’ takes the false glamour out of terrorism. A public court hearing provides visible justice to the victims and their families, whose rights are specifically recognised by the strategy of the United Nations. Indefinite or even secret detention of terrorist suspects without charge or trial is not only against our values and unlawful, but also provides distorted arguments to terrorists.

EU member states have developed some of the most comprehensive criminal justice procedures to respond to the terrorist threat. We have a common definition of terrorism and we treat terrorist acts as criminal offences. Cross-border co-operation in investigations and prosecutions, while respecting human rights, have been strengthened, going far beyond traditional mutual legal assistance.

via Counter-terrorism and human rights | European Voice.

Categories: Articles of interest

Abu Muqawama: Special Operations Forces’ Expanding Global Role

05/31/2012 1 comment

Just finished reading this piece which raises some good points and important questions. http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/12005/abu-muqawama-special-operations-forces-expanding-global-role

Categories: Articles of interest

Eye of the drone (Harper’s Magazine)

05/31/2012 Leave a comment

Worth reading these accounts. We need to see many many more. The other side of this story is one that needs to be told.

People in the same family now sleep apart because they do not want their togetherness to be viewed suspiciously through the eye of the drone.

via Eye of the drone (Harper’s Magazine).

Categories: Articles of interest

New article on What the Al Qaeda al Shabab merger means for Australia

03/05/2012 1 comment

Hi folks, I have a new article out at The Conversation focusing on what the recent merger between al Qaeda and al Shabab means for Australia.

Comments as always are welcome. Cheers.

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