During a speech given on November 13 before the Atlantic Council think tank, CIA Director Michael Hayden offered his best-informed opinion that Osama bin Laden is isolated and most likely hiding amidst the mountainous terrain along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
The New York Times revealed on November 10 the existence of yet another secret administration policy that had been hidden from the American people: "Since 2004 [the Bush administration] has used broad, secret authority to carry out nearly a dozen previously undisclosed attacks against Al Qaeda and other militants in Syria, Pakistan and elsewhere." The Times story noted that the Bush administration had singled out 15-20 nations where such military operations could be conducted without congressional approval (and perhaps even congressional knowledge).
One of the first orders of business for a new president-elect is to consider which people to nominate for his cabinet. The position of secretary of state is generally regarded as the most critical of these, since it is one of four original cabinet positions, and the secretary of state is first among cabinet members in the line of presidential succession (following the vice president, speaker of the House, and president pro tempore of the Senate).
A report in the British newspaper, the Guardian, for November 1 examined the plight of 17 members of a dissident ethnic Chinese group who have been incarcerated at the U.S. detention facility inside Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba for almost seven years. The men are members of the Uyghur ethnic group — Turkic-speaking Muslims who are seeking political autonomy from China.
On October 17, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) hosted a "Symposium on International Law and Justice" featuring actress Angelina Jolie, a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and co-chair, with her husband, actor Brad Pitt, of the Jolie-Pitt Foundation. According to the CFR website, the symposium "was made possible through the generous support of the Jolie-Pitt Foundation."