Date Headline
4/10/2018 Dozens of experienced diplomats and former military officers and intelligence officials issued a statement outlining steps to diversify the ranks of foreign policy and national security practitioners—in and out of government—to reinforce the ability of the United States to constructively engage with the world. Now, more than ever, U.S. institutions must be reinforced with service-minded […]
6/9/2015 On Tuesday, June 9, 2015, Senators McCain, Feinstein, Reed, and Collins introduced legislation to make the U.S. Army Field Manual on Interrogations the standard for all U.S. government interrogations to make sure that the United States never uses torture again. Seven human rights and civil liberties organizations, including the ACLU, the Center for Victims of Torture, The Constitution Project, […]
8/21/2014 The Open Society Policy Center (OSPC), along with 24 human rights organizations, urged Congress to reject a provision in a spending bill that would all but allow the Department of State to continue U.S. aid to a country where there’s been a coup. The so-called “national security” exemption would all but gut current law, which […]
8/5/2014 Human Rights First makes a strong case for declassifying the executive summary of the long awaited Senate report on the history of CIA torture after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Take a look at and share its ads in the Washington Post. We can’t afford to let the CIA bury the truth or quash the report.
8/5/2014 From 2009 to 2014 the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) conducted a comprehensive oversight review of the CIA’s interrogation and detention program in the years following 9/11. The Senate report on CIA torture shows that the CIA used torture and other brutal interrogation techniques, and misled the executive branch, Congress, and the public about […]
7/15/2014 Washington, D.C.—Stephen Rickard, the executive director of the Open Society Policy Center, testified last Thursday before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa on the importance of the Leahy Law vetting to prohibit the U.S. Government from providing military assistance to security forces abroad who have committed gross human rights violations. The Leahy Law bars […]
6/11/2014 The Open Society Policy Center has joined human rights and civil liberties groups to support Rep. Adam Schiff’s (D-Calif.) legislation requiring the president to provide an annual public report on the total number of persons killed or injured in drone strikes. Human rights and transparency groups will continue to seek additional ways to advance this bill as a […]
4/3/2014 The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence voted 11 to 3 on Thursday to declassify its report on the CIA’s torture program. The Open Society Policy Center welcomes this development, thanks the Committee for its hard work, and encourages President Obama to expedite its review of the report. “Like locking up Japanese-Americans after Pearl Harbor, torturing […]
4/3/2014 The Open Society Policy Center and more than a dozen other human rights organization praised legislation introduced by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) to require the President to disclose the number of “combatants” and “civilians” killed or injured by drone strikes outside of Afghanistan since 2008 and in future years. The legislation, called the Targeted Lethal […]
4/2/2014 The Open Society Policy Center joined other human rights groups to call on President Obama to sign onto the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty. The Obama Administration has been reviewing the Treaty for the past five years. The Mine Ban Treaty’s Third Review Conference will opens in Maputo, Mozambique on June 23, 2014.
3/20/2014 As the U.S. military prepares to exit Afghanistan, its future strategy will be based on a light footprint: Its focus will be to partner with professional, capable military forces to address local security challenges, according to the Pentagon’s just-released Quadrennial Defense Review. This strategy, led by the military’s Combatant Commanders, has evolved over time. It […]
11/13/2013 A review of government reports on previous use of license exemptions shows that Iran, China and Libya exploited these exemptions to obtain U.S. weapons and spare parts. More exemptions increases the risk of unauthorized transfers and that’s why Congress must act to mitigate the increased risk of U.S. arms reaching Iran.
11/13/2013 Supporters of the Obama Administration’s arms export control reform initiative frequently cite economic benefits – namely an increase in exports of U.S. defense products and resulting job creation. But a closer look raises questions about that claim.
11/13/2013 In October 2013, the first batch of the Obama administration’s changes to the U.S. export control regime went into effect. Here are 10 questions that lawmakers and journalists should be asking about those changes.
11/13/2013 Congress’s Carefully Legislated Web of Statutes Being Dismantled by Regulatory Fiat
6/13/2013 The Open Society Policy Center and seven other human rights and government accountability groups sent a letter to Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, asking him to require the Pentagon to provide more public information about assistance the Department of Defense is providing to armed forces around the world. Last […]
12/14/2012 OSPC applauds Senate Select Intelligence Committee bipartisan vote to adopt exhaustive report on CIA interrogation programs
9/17/2012 OSPC joins companies, organizations, and individuals to support a legislative amendment to protect sensitive personal and proprietary “cloud” communications.
3/15/2012 Diverse organizations urge the Senate Armed Services Committee to conduct annual defense authorization bill business in public.
12/1/2011 OSPC and various civil and human rights organizations ask U.S. senators to pass the End Racial Profiling Act and establish a prohibition on racial profiling.
11/22/2011 Ayotte Amendment Overrules Intelligence Professionals and Orders DOD to Create a Secret List of Interrogation Techniques
5/19/2010 A letter to Attorney General Eric Holder signed by thirty-five organizations including OSPC expressed concern over the proposed expansion of the public safety exception to Miranda v. Arizona.
2/25/2010 OSPC joined a coalition of human rights and civil liberties groups to urge the Senate to defeat legislation that would block the prosecution of the 9/11 cases in federal civilian criminal courts.
11/13/2009 OSPC joined a coalition of human rights groups in calling on U.S. Senators to vote against an amendment that would have prevented the Department of Justice from prosecuting the alleged perpetrators of the 9-11 attacks in regular federal courts.
7/29/2009 In a coalition letter, OSPC denounces the use of military commissions to try Guantanamo detainees for crimes of terror.
4/14/2009 In support of Dawn Johnsen, nominee for assistant attorney general to the Office of Legal Counsel, OSPC has issued a fact sheet urging her Congressional confirmation.
7/9/2008 The Open Society Policy Center opposes today's Senate passage of H.R. 6304, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Act, because it does not adequately protect the privacy rights of Americans. The bill improperly provides immunity to telecommunications corporations for their prior illegal surveillance activities.
11/1/2007 November 1, 2007--Four major human rights organizations today called on the Senate to reject the nomination of Judge Michael B. Mukasey to serve as Attorney General.
10/31/2007 Morton H. Halperin, Director of U.S. Advocacy for OSI testifies on FISA before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.
10/23/2007 Human rights and policy organizations said today that unless Judge Michael B. Mukasey clarifies his views on torture and the President's obligation to follow prohibitions on torture he "does not deserve to be the chief law enforcement official of the United States."
9/11/2007 Press Release Tuesday, September 11, 2007 For Immediate Release Contact: Open Society Policy Center, Wendy Sefsaf, 202-721-5642 In Unusual Step, Human Rights Groups Oppose CIA Nominee (Washington, September 11, 2007) – Human rights groups and advocacy organizations have urged the U.S. Senate to reject the nomination of John Rizzo to serve as General Counsel […]
9/6/2007 Human rights groups and advocacy organizations have urged the U.S. Senate to reject the nomination of John Rizzo to serve as General Counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency because of his stated views on torture. The letter to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and press release can be viewed here.
9/5/2007 Morton H. Halperin, Director of U.S. Advocacy for the Open Society Institute testified before the House Committee on the Judiciary on Wednesday, September 05, 2007 to examine Warrantless Surveillance and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
6/11/2007 OSPC and other human rights organizations send Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice a letter urging strong standards on permissible interrogations.
2/13/2007 The Open Society Policy Center strongly welcomes the "Restoring the Constitution Act of 2007 -- A Bill to Provide for the Effective Prosecution of Terrorists and to Guarantee Due Process Rights."
10/17/2006 President Bush signed the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA) on Tuesday, October 17th. The administration claims that this law provides clear authorization for the CIA to conduct so-called 'enhanced' interrogations. However, Republicans in both Houses said these techniques are "clearly prohibited" by the new law.
10/17/2006 Stephen Rickard, Director of the Washington Office of the Open Society Institute discusses the Military Commissions Act of 2006 and whether the new law authorizes or criminalizes brutal interrogations.
10/15/2006 Please join nationally recognized experts for a telephone conference discussion of whether the new law authorizes or criminalizes brutal interrogations.
7/11/2006 The Open Society Policy Center has signed on to a letter opposing the nomination of William Haynes to the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
3/28/2006 On March 28th, 2006 Open Society Policy Center Executive Director, Morton Halperin, testified before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee.
1/31/2006 The Open Society Policy Center has joined a number of other organizations in voicing concern about the NSA's alleged electronic surveillance of U.S. citizens.
1/6/2006 On January 6th, 2006, Morton H. Halperin, Director of U.S. Advocacy at the Open Society Institute and Executive Director of the Open Society Policy Center, released a memo addressing the legal issues surrounding the Bush Administration's warrantless NSA surveillance.
12/16/2005 The Open Society Policy Center has authored a brief on what is banned and illegal behavior under the McCain Anti-Torture Amendment. The McCain Amendment, which has been endorsed by The White House, makes the U.S. Army Field Manual binding authority for all DOD interrogations and bans "cruel and unusual" conduct under the 5th, 8th and 14th Amendment in all interrogations conducted by the US anywhere in the world.
12/16/2005 The National Institute of Military Justice, Association of the Bar of New York City, Center for American Progress, Human Rights First, American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International USA, Human Rights Watch, Physicians for Human Rights and the Open Society Policy Center laud the McCain Anti-Torture Amendment.
2/3/2005 OSPC is one of 24 organizations to send a letter to Senators expressing concern about the troubling record of Michael Chertoff, nominee for Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
6/16/2004 The full text of the Civil Liberties Restoration Act, as introduced in the Senate in June 2004.