Author Archives: Scott Johnson

Nine years later, Tom Cotton’s letter to the Times

Featured image We have written a lot over the years about the repeated violations of the Espionage Act by New York Times reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau. They gave me a lot to work with in 2006. I wrote a January 2006 column for the Weekly Standard, for example, that the Standard titled “Exposure.” (I reposted it on Power Line last year under the heading “Is the Times a law unto »

Bill Kristol: Kill the deal

Featured image Bill Kristol has posted a special Weekly Standard editorial on the framework agreement with Iran. We’ll have more to say, but Bill presents with an action item: Commentators have exposed how bad the Iran deal is in various ways; the point, however, is to kill it. Why? Because the deal can’t be fixed. Even if sanctions relief were somewhat more gradual, even if the number of centrifuges were somewhat lower, »

Another note on the Menendez indictment

Featured image I took a brief look at the indictment handed up this week against Senator Robert Menendez and Dr. Salomon Melgen in “Notes on the Menendez indictment.” Andy McCarthy brings an educated prosecutorial eye to a reading of the indictment in “Obama’s Justice Department charges Menendez…but not Reid.” There is a dearth of intelligent commentary on the indictment. Andy’s post stands out in this context, but not just for this reason. »

The Shanker scenario

Featured image The Boston Globe has given over space on its editorial pages to Secretary of State John Kerry to tout the “framework” written variously in the hearts of the parties negotiating in Lausanne with the Islamic Republic of Iran about Iran’s nuclear program. Kerry’s column is headlined “A critical deal with Iran, but more work to be done.” Kerry writes: On Thursday, the United States, Iran, and our negotiating partners from »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll is back with thoughts on GRACIOUS LIVING. She writes: When we moved from our winter rental in Palm Springs to our new home in Arizona in 2010, we were invited on our very first night to a little get-together of Minnesota snowbirds at the home of John and Angela, long-time friends from back home. This was a welcome relief as we were basically “camping out” in our new »

Losin’ in Lausanne (8)

Featured image Omri Ceren writes from Lausanne to put today’s announcement of a “framework” for an agreement in perspective: Zarif just finished his speech, and there’s a break while the President speaks back in DC. But some of what Zarif revealed has already generated controversy. There was a lot of braggadocio in the speech: no closing of facilities, R&D will continue on Iran’s scientific schedule, enrichment will continue, the heavy water at »

Notes on the Menendez indictment

Featured image The indictment of New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez and his friend Dr. Salomon Melgen has been posted online here. It runs to 68 pages and provides a wealth of detail. Paul comments on the indictment here. If you’re trying to get a handle on the reality behind the headlines, the indictment requires a close look. The facts alleged in the indictment may to a great extent make out what former »

Quotable quotes on a deal with Iran

Featured image Tom Gross provides Mideast media analysis at his self-named site. He has added a set of quotes on the deal in process with Iran to his Mideast Dispatch Archive here. While we wait for the news from Lausanne today, I thought it might make sense to post a few of these quotes for your consideration along with links to the original sources: * Defecting Rouhani aide speaking in Lausanne: “The »

A blast of truth

Featured image Prime Minister Netanyahu has made a statement on the ongoing negotiations with Iran. The statement is a clarion call with the blast of truth. In it, Netanyahu refers to the statement by the Iran militia chief stating that Israel’s destruction is “non-negotiable.” The statement is reported here by the Times of Israel. The video of Netanyahu’s statement is below. The Washington Free Beacon has posted this transcript: Yesterday an Iranian »

Madam Hillary gets her wires crossed

Featured image The AP published an important story by Jack Gillum yesterday on the State Department’s response to a Freedom of Information Act request it submitted in 2013. Paul wrote about the AP story here. The AP’s FOIA request sought correspondence between Madam Hillary and her advisers over a four-year period that contained keywords such as “drone,” “metadata” and “prism.” Gillum explained: “The latter ['prism'] was among several code words for controversial »

The capitulationist

Featured image In his weekly Wall Street Journal column yesterday (accessible via Google here), Bret Stephens compiled quotes from President Obama setting forth his previously stated demands of Iran in connection with its nuclear program. Here is how Stephens’s column opens: For a sense of the magnitude of the capitulation represented by Barack Obama’s Iran diplomacy, it’s worth recalling what the president said when he was trying to sell his interim nuclear »

Losin’ in Lausanne (7)

Featured image Following his messages summarizing the status of negotiations with Iran on the verge of yesterday’s purported deadline, Omri Ceren arranged a conference call with former IAEA Deputy Director General Olli Heinonen. On the technical issues Heinonen knows what he is talking about. Having sat in on the conference call, I thought it might be of interest to readers who have been following this series and trying to understand what we »

An MSNBC state of mind

Featured image As an outlet for political news and commentary, MSNBC is not completely worthless. It provides a window onto the left-wing mentality. Indeed, it gives us a comprehensive view: the political ego/superego/id of Al Sharpton & company. One gets the impression that medication has already done all it can do to make it fit for public consumption. A kind of cure will come only when management pulls the plug. The Free »

The Clinton/Kendall claptrap

Featured image After seeking a two-week extension within which to respond to the outstanding subpoena issued by the House Select Committee on Benghazi for Madam Hillary’s email and request for email server, Clinton attorney David Kendall responded by letter that copies of all responsive documents had been turned over to the Department of State and the server had been wiped clean. The Democrats on the House Select Committee have posted David Kendall’s »

Losin’ in Lausanne (6)

Featured image Omri Ceren writes by email from the negotiations in Lausanne: After a bruising week for the Obama administration – where literally every news day started with a scoop about another Western concession or Iranian backtrack – things are limping to a close. The AP says there will be something by tonight, which the wire gingerly describes it as “a statement that lacks specifics[.]” It’ll take about 7 seconds for today’s »

Not bashing Bashar

Featured image Charlie Rose interviewed Bashar al-Assad last week. 60 Minutes broadcast a portion of the interview last night (video below, transcript here). Rose reported that the interview was conducted “under the conditions that we use Syrian TV technicians and cameras.” Assad inherited the Syrian regime from his father, who took it over via a coup in 1971. Syria is of course engaged in a bloody civil war that has become a »

Losin’ in Lausanne (5)

Featured image Omri Ceren emailed two reports from Lausanne overnight. Here is the first: The P5+1 meeting with Iran got out a little while ago. Total running time: 1 hour, 14 minutes. Functionally nothing happened this weekend from a news perspective – very little came out of talks, foreign ministers were still en route, etc. – which gave people plenty of time to muse over the Iran talks debate in the broadest »