Introducing “Human Rights and Global Wrongs”

Professor Marjorie Cohn analyzed human rights violations in the Bush and Obama administrations and she continues to write about executive branch lawbreaking in the era of Donald Trump.

The Bush administration responded to the 9/11 attacks by initiating deadly and illegal wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and torturing and indefinitely detaining thousands of men. As a result of Bush’s unlawful regime change in Iraq, Islamic State moved in to fill the vacuum.

The Obama administration expanded the use of armed drones far beyond the Bush years. They also extended Bush’s vast secret surveillance program, which was ostensibly aimed at preventing terrorism, but largely targeted those who dissent from government policies. Whistleblowers were prosecuted at an unprecedented rate. And Obama’s illegal regime change in Libya also created a vacuum that Islamic State has filled.

Since taking office, Trump issued an illegal Muslim travel ban, appointed a radical right-wing justice to the Supreme Court, illegally bombed Syria and killed record numbers of civilians in Iraq and Syria.

Trump has mounted a methodical assault on the people of the United States. He has systematically endeavored to destroy the social safety net, including the rights to healthcare, public education and a clean environment, as well as the rights of workers, immigrants, women and LGBTQ people.

By withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement and refusing to shoulder the United States’ share of responsibility for slowing climate change, Trump has intentionally committed an inhumane act that will ultimately cause great suffering to the people of the world.

Trump’s saber rattling against North Korea and his willingness to use nuclear weapons imperils us all.

And evidence of Trump’s efforts to interfere with investigations of ties between his campaign and Russia continues to mount.

In her weekly column, “Human Rights and Global Wrongs,” legal and political analyst Marjorie Cohn writes about Trump’s lawbreaking, the dangers his administration poses to civil rights and civil liberties, and his judicial nominations. She continues to cover racism, immigration, torture, indefinite detention, the death penalty, surveillance, whistleblowers, Supreme Court jurisprudence, and violations of US and international law. Truthout is proud to have her in our lineup as a regular commentator.