Wednesday, September 16
- The White House responded to criticism of its policy of appointing “czars” to oversee specific policy areas. A blog post on the White House website points out that many of the “czars” also existed in the Bush Administration, and that several critics of the practice had voiced support for “czars” in the past.
- President Obama said that he will not make a “quick decision” about whether to send additional troops to Afghanistan. Military leaders in Afghanistan and at the Pentagon have called for increasing the number of troops in order to conduct a broader counterinsurgency campaign.
Thursday, September 17
- President Obama announced a shift in United States missile defense policy. The new policy will rely on ship-based missile systems to combat the threat posed by intermediate range missiles launched from Iran. This replaces the Bush Administration’s policy of land-based missiles located in Eastern European countries, a policy that Russia had sharply criticized.
Friday, September 18
- Seven former CIA directors have asked President Obama to halt the Department of Justice investigation into harsh interrogations. The former directors said that the fear of prosecution would “seriously damage the willingness of many other intelligence officers to take risks to protect the country.”
Saturday, September 19
- In his weekly address, President Obama reviewed the progress made toward economic recovery since the passage of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. The President also promised to create a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency to insure the financial security of individuals.
- A White House blog post discusses the effect of the Presidential Records Act of 1978 (PRA) on the Internet and email. The PRA requires the archiving of all presidential records; however, this process has become cumbersome given the proliferation of electronic communication. The blog post addresses some of the concerns raised by the White House’s proposal for an automated archiving process.
Sunday, September 20
- President Obama said he does not plan to ask the Department of Justice to call off its criminal investigation into harsh interrogations conducted by the CIA.
- The Washington Post reports that United States war strategy in Afghanistan is the subject of an ongoing debate inside the White House. Increasing U.S. casualties and the disputed Afghan presidential election have caused an erosion of support for the increased troop levels necessary to pursue the broader counterinsurgency campaign planned by General Stanley McChrystal.
Monday, September 21
- The Circuit Court for the District of Columbia has delayed all proceedings in Bin Al-Shibh v. United States until November 16. The case, brought by several detainees at Guantanamo Bay, challenges the constitutionality of the military commission system. The delay gives the government time to decide whether to conduct the trial in federal court or before military commissions.
- In a speech, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced new guidelines designed to preserve “net neutrality.” The proposed rules would prevent internet service providers from discriminating against particular Internet content or applications, and require the disclosure of network management practices.
Tuesday, September 22
- President Obama met in New York with the leaders of Israel and the Palestinian Authority.The President criticized both leaders for the failure to make progress toward peace talks, and encouraged them not to set preconditions on negotiations.
- Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced the launch of a redesigned United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website. The new website is intended to increase the “transparency and efficiency in the immigration system.”