“As the father of a young son, I went to the White House on March 19 to be a voice for Shahidullah.” From the closing argument of Defendant Art Laffin in DC Superior Court.
Yesterday marked a watershed day in my 27 year legal career. It did not occur as I deftly cross-examined a witness, nor while waxing eloquent in front of a jury. Rather, it transpired as I sat in the back row of courtroom 219 in the DC Superior Court while watching and listening to the final day of testimony and closing arguments at a trial where 19 American citizens argued for justice. Continue reading →
On Saturday, March 30th, the Leadership Council of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan under its nom de guerre, The Taliban, declared the launch of this year’s spring military operations (the “Spring Offensive”) against the “invading Americans”, their foreign allies, internal supporters, high ranking officials of the Karzai government, including cabinet members and lawmakers, as well as heads of foreign and local companies who work with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). In response to, and in anticipation of, the Taliban’s announcement, NATO officials in Brussels have advised that international forces in Afghanistan have tightened security, security services employed by “westerners” working in Afghanistan have issued lockdowns and travel restrictions, the Afghan government has tightened security across the country and security has been increased at military bases. Continue reading →
As Pastor Terry Jones revels in his victory against Islam while he basks in the Florida sun thousands of miles away savoring both limelight and vindication, the city of Kabul, from where I write, and the rest of Afghanistan has been declared “White City”, which is a United Nations order requiring that all of its personnel remain locked down in their compounds. Although “White City” is technically a UN security alert…its highest security alert…it is a well-known and long-standing signal to everyone else on the ground here, both Afghan and foreigner alike, that extreme danger is at hand and that they too should secure themselves accordingly. Credible rumor has it that the UN will decide in the next few hours whether to completely pull out of the country, despite multiple assertions to the contrary by the UN Special Representative to Afghanistan, Staffan de Mistura, who is based in Kabul. Continue reading →
As I listened to a friend and colleague in Afghanistan a few days ago, the difference I discerned in his voice from previous conversations was visceral. That he unswervingly and joyfully dedicates his every thought, word and deed to advocating for peace in Afghanistan through peaceful means made his tone and tenor all the more heart-wrenching. Continue reading →