Author Archives: Scott Johnson

Ishmael Jones: From Russia with doubt

Featured image The pseudonymous Ishmael Jones is a former CIA case officer and author of The Human Factor: Inside the CIA’s Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture. He writes with a timely comment on the current intelligence controversy that is reaching a fever pitch. Mr. Jones advises that his commentary has been reviewed and approved by the CIA’s publications review board. He writes: CIA intelligence reporting stating that the Russian government hacked the presidential election »

The curious case of Ilhan Omar, cont’d

Featured image I’m scheduled to appear on Denver’s afternoon drive-time Rush to Reason (“Denver’s Afternoon Rush!”) radio show with John Rush and Dan Meurer at the top of the hour at 4:00 or 6:00 p.m. (Central) hour today; Dan has invited me on to talk about “The curious case of Ilhan Omar.” The show airs on KLZ 560 AM and 100.7 FM. The Rush to Reason show website is here. You can »

Flunking the Israel test

Featured image In his column today, Victor Davis Hanson asks “Why the anti-Israel sentiment?” As the Obama administration expressly joins the jackals, it’s a good question. Let us pause in particular over Dr. Hanson’s framing of the question: Secretary of State John Kerry, echoing other policymakers in the Obama administration, blasted Israel last week in a 70-minute rant about its supposedly self-destructive policies. Why does the world — including now the U.S. »

Notable & quotable: Backfire

Featured image Our own John Hinderaker is officially certified Notable & Quotable in today’s Wall Street Journal. The Journal’s eagle-eyed editors quote John’s Christmas Eve post: Conservatives have been pretty universally delighted by President-elect Donald Trump’s appointments so far. . . . Pundits like me who worried that Trump wasn’t far enough to the right are looking silly. But what happened? Trump has no track record as a conservative to speak of, »

Fareed’s song of love

Featured image You probably missed Fareed Zakaria’s two-hour CNN special “The Legacy of Barack Obama” (CNN promotional note here). When it comes to hero worship, a teenage fangirl of Justin Bieber has absolutely nothing on Zakaria. Defying heavy odds, the Washington Free Beacon’s David Rutz has made Zakaria’s CNN special watchable by reducing it to a 90-second highlight reel (video below). Now it is something of a laugh riot with a fitting »

The Arab-Israel conflict for dummies

Featured image Dennis Prager gave the Prager U short course on the Arab-Israeli conflict in the video below in 2014. Events have overtaken and complicated the larger context of the story, but the point remains accurate: Israelis want to live in peace and are willing to accept a neighboring Palestinian state. And most Palestinians do not want Israel to exist. Dennis does not dispute the mythology of “Palestinian” Arab identity. He accepts »

Atop the mount which must not be named

Featured image Ilan Ben Zion reports at the Times of Israel: Islamic authorities managing the Temple Mount attempted to have a veteran Israeli archaeologist ejected from the Jerusalem flashpoint holy site on Sunday for using the term “Temple Mount” in a lecture to American students. Waqf guards brought him to Israeli police at the site to complain, and the police, while saying there were no legal grounds to eject him, advised him »

The Van is with you

Featured image Van Jones was a favorite of White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett. “Ooh. Van Jones. We were so delighted to recruit him to the White House,” Jarrett told a conference of left-wing bloggers in 2009. “We were watching him … for as long as he’s been active out in Oakland.” Jarrett had secured Jones an appointment in the Obama administration as the “green jobs czar” in the rosy dawn of »

MEMRI strikes again, I think

Featured image The Obama administration denied that it coordinated the introduction and passage of the infamous United Nations Security Council resolution that allocated to the Palestinian Arabs all the land taken by Israel in its defense in 1967, including the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem. The Obama administration goes so far as to concede that it its abstention allowed the passage of the resolution. It hasn’t explained why it abstained rather than voted »

Ethnic cleansing for peace [video fixed]

Featured image Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is rounding into year 13 of his four-year presidential term. The Palestinian Authority is a terrorist tyranny. The last elections held in Gaza vomited forth Hamas, the genocidal terrorist organization that plainly states its goals and objectives without the pretense of good faith and fair dealing. Yet last week Secretary of State John Kerry saw fit to lecture Israel, the freest country in the neighborhood »

Some of the best of 2016

Featured image I wish I had thought to keep a list of best columns and articles of the past year, but I didn’t. I do have a few tabs I kept open to revisit. I can guarantee that these columns and articles are worth your time. Here they are in alphabetical order by author: James Ceaser, “What’s next for the left?,” Weekly Standard (February 8, 2016). Matthew Continetti, “The return of street »

Judge Bright looks back

Featured image From 1979 to 1981 I served as a law clerk to Judge Myron Bright of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Judge Bright was appointed to the bench by President Johnson in 1968. He lived to be the longest-serving federal judge in the United States, having heard some 7,000 cases before he died last month at the age of 97. He was a remarkable man. I »

Epstein blows the whistle on Snowden

Featured image Edward Jay Epstein’s Wall Street Journal column “The fable of Edward Snowden” (accessible here via Google) blows the whistle on Snowden and his presentation as a whistleblower, both by himself and his media enablers. In the column Ed summarizes the findings in his forthcoming book How America Lost Its Secrets. Ed previews his findings in the video below with the Journal’s Mary Kissel. Ed is in my opinion the foremost »

Whole lotta lyin’ goin’ on

Featured image By just about everyone’s reckoning, the so-called signature achievements of the Obama years are the enactment of Obamacare and the Iran nuclear deal. They have a lot in common. Both are ruinous and both were founded on an edifice of bald-faced lies. President Obama is the lyin’ king and these are the lyin’ years. We recall the foundational lies of Obamacare: If you like your insurance plan, you can keep »

Kerry me back

Featured image John Kerry has done a lot of damage in the course of a long public career. As Secretary of State in the Obama administration, the man has met the man. Seth Lipsky takes Kerry’s measure this week in the New York Sun on Kerry’s career. Seth writes that it looks like “Kerry is determined to go out the way he came in — wrapping himself in the flag while betraying »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll has a MEDITATION ON MEDITATING. She writes: Well, New Year’s has come around again in a startlingly short time. About the time I get used to writing 2016 on my checks, it’s time to get it wrong again for a few weeks. So it’s time for some resolutions for self-improvement. Jews also get Rosh Hashanah (literally, the head of the year) in September or October or whenever it »

Kerry 12-28-16

Featured image Michael Ramirez (@Ramireztoons) carefully observed John Kerry’s rant against our friend and ally Israel at the State Department yesterday. President Obama’s public relations minions are on their prevarication tour to defend the betrayal of Israel by the United States in the United Nations. Kerry’s rant at State was a key stop on the tour. In his cartoon on Kerry’s rant Ramirez homes in on the Obama doctrine as applied in »