Monthly Archives: December 2009

Happy New Year!

I spent an hour this morning on the radio with Bill Bennett and his producer Seth Leibsohn, talking about the highlights and lowlights of 2009. It was fun as always, and, even though 2009 was not a great year by anyone’s standard, in the end I think it was more positive than negative. Two overarching and intertwined stories dominated the news this year, one bad and one good. The bad »

How Dirty Can You Get?

The London Times gives the suicide bombing that killed seven CIA operatives this lurid billing: “CIA caught in dirty and secretive war against al-Qaeda on Afghan border.” The article is interesting, but fails to live up to its billing as it offers no evidence that the Agency was “caught” as a result of this successful terrorist attack: Forward Operating Base Chapman, and others like it along the border, are the »

A question that needs to be answered

Of all the post mortems that have followed the attempted Christmas bombing of the Delta airliner, the weakest in my view is the criticism of Senator Jim DeMint for having placed a legislative hold on Erroll Southers, the nominee for head of the Transportation Security Agency. Other things being equal, it’s better that the TSA have a head, rather than an acting head. But it’s more important that the person »

Bad Deal

There was jubilation in Great Britain when Peter Moore, who had long been held hostage by an Iran-backed terrorist group in Iraq, was released a few days ago. But for some reason, the downside of that event has gotten no attention. Bill Roggio reports: The British are all smiles over the release of Peter Moore, a British citizen who was held hostage by an Iranian-backed Shia terror group in Iraq. »

The Irony Element

I like this news story from Salt Lake City, partly because it features a good-humored “progressive”–a rare breed! A downtown protest of the climate change talks in Copenhagen became a victim of Wednesday’s snowstorm. “Not many people showed up because of the blizzard conditions,” said organizer Clea Major, an international studies student at the University of Utah. It didn’t take long for the six friends to pack up a bullhorn »

What ever happened to the “Duke 88”?

The “Duke 88” consisted of 88 Duke professors who signed an ad which implicitly assumed that Duke lacrosse players raped a black stripper, an allegation that proved to be entirely fraudulent. The ad praised protesters who had put lacrosse players’ photos on “wanted” posters, associated “what happened to this young woman” with “racism and sexism,” and suggested that the lacrosse players were getting privileged treatment because of their race. The »

Waterboard Abdulmutallab!

That’s what voters say, according to today’s Rasmussen survey: Fifty-eight percent (58%) of U.S. voters say waterboarding and other aggressive interrogation techniques should be used to gain information from the terrorist who attempted to bomb an airliner on Christmas Day. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 30% oppose the use of such techniques, and another 12% are not sure. There’s this, too: Seventy-one percent (71%) of »

What Ben Nelson said (and didn’t say)

Even though he’s not up for reelection until 2012, Ben Nelson is in trouble in Nebraska. The decent people of Nebraska aren’t amused by the thought that they are selling their birthright for the mess of pottage Nelson delivered to them. So he has taken to the airwaves to sell them the bill of goods on Obamacare that the American people have already seen through. In an advertisement that ran »

Stimulating Minnesota

The Democrats’ $787billion dollar “stimulus” bill is one of the defining political events of 2009. Spending money we don’t have on things we don’t need is not usually thought to be constructive, but President Obama instructed us in the higher wisdom under which the Democrats are operating. Verum Serum has compiled a list of the top 10 most ridiculous uses of stimulus funds. It’s an impressive list. As a Dartmouth »

Prayers For Rush

Rush Limbaugh, vacationing in Hawaii, has been taken to a hospital with chest pains. His condition is described as serious. Liberals on the web are already rejoicing. Let’s all say a prayer for the well-being of a good man who has contributed more than almost anyone else to public discourse in our time. »

Does art therapy cure terrorism? Our government thought so

Reading the newspaper is often a surreal experience these days, but I can’t recall my jaw dropping quite as far as it did when I read this piece in the Washington Post about how former Gitmo detainees “have led and fueled” the increasingly dangerous al Qaeda movement in Yemen. The basic facts, though I already knew them, are stunning enough. Two key leaders of al Qaeda in Yemen — Said »

“Iraq the model” after all?

There was plenty of bad news in 2009, but David Ignatius brings us good news from an unlikely place: Iraq: Visiting Anbar province several weeks ago and listening to the governor of Ramadi talk about his big development plans, I found myself wondering if maybe the cruel Iraq story might have a happy ending after all. This was the province where al-Qaeda declared its first emirate, just a few years »

Tune In for the Best and the Worst of 2009

Tomorrow morning at 6:00-7:00 central, 7:00-8:00 eastern, I will be on the Bill Bennett radio show with Bill and his producer Seth Leibsohn, reviewing the highlights and lowlights of 2009. You can listen here or lots of other places on the web, like here. Bill is, as everyone knows, a serious thinker. But if you listen to his show regularly or have the good fortune to know him, you realize »

Government-Caused Disaster

The Obama administration calls terrorism a “man-caused disaster,” but the biggest disasters are government-caused. Only government has the ability to set us back a trillion dollars. In today’s Wall Street Journal, Peter Wallison has explosive, and as far as I know new, disclosures about the role played by Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac in last year’s financial crisis: On Christmas Eve, when most Americans’ minds were on other things, the »

The Limits of Defense

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s failed terrorist attack continues to dominate the news, as new information about Abdulmutallab comes to light. While a student in London, he was an anti-anti-jihadist who could have passed for an American liberal: Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, a former president of the Islamic Society at University College London, advertised speakers including political figures, human rights lawyers and former Guantánamo detainees. … The event he organised took place »

The limits of “cool”

Byron York notes that some Obama defenders are circulating articles from the Huffington Post and Politico arguing that President Obama is being subjected to a double standard of criticism for his handling of the Detroit terrorism incident. This claim is based on the fact that, as Politico’s Josh Gerstein notes, when shoe-bomber Richard Reid struck on December 22, 2001, “it was six days before President George W. Bush, then on »

Hope of change

The Washington Post reports that the would-be Christmas bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, remains in a Detroit prison where, after initial debriefings by the FBI, he has “restricted his cooperation.” The “restriction” occurred after he obtained a defense attorney. Abdulmuttab should not be in a regular prison and he should not have a defense attorney. His decision about whether to cooperate with our efforts to learn about other terrorists he may »