National Security

We Are the World? One Hopes Not…

Featured image NATO’s foreign ministers have been meeting in Antalya, Turkey, for the last two days. The proceedings sound pretty boring, according to the official press release: “The challenges we all face demand a comprehensive response, so all of us need to work even closer together,” [NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg] said at the end of a two-day meeting. But after dinner last night, the ministers locked arms and joined in a »

Clinton’s reckless and possibly criminal quest for secrecy

Featured image Hillary Clinton’s private email account, the only email account she used for State Department business, continues to spark commentary on the internet. Attorney Shannen Coffin wonders whether Clinton committed a felony. He points out that federal criminal law makes it a felony when any custodian of official government records “willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same.” The crime is punishable by up to three years »

Why no deal is better than Obama’s deal

Featured image I found Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress persuasive in all but one respect. I question Netanyahu’s claim that the alternative to the deal Obama seems prepared to settle for is “a better deal.” It believe that the Iranian regime’s overriding goal is to obtain nuclear weapons. If that’s the case, Iran will not agree to a deal that significantly impedes its ability to reach this goal. It follows that the »

Don’t abolish the filibuster

Featured image Charles Krauthammer urges Republicans to abolish the filibuster. He is prompted to advocate this fundamental change for a very narrow purpose — to pass a piece of legislation he expects President Obama to veto. But Krauthammer isn’t talking about an ordinary piece of legislation. He has in mind a bill that would fund the Department of Homeland Security, minus the immigration service which would be denied funds to implement the »

ISIS on the march in Iraq; al Qaeda on the march in Yemen

Featured image This week, President Obama proclaimed that ISIS is on the defensive and that its morale is low. He cited no evidence, but if indeed ISIS’s morale had flagged, it will receive a pick-me-up from the capture by ISIS forces of an Iraqi town just a few miles away from a military base where hundreds of U.S. advisers are stationed. The town is called al-Baghdadi. The U.S. base lies only five »

Are we better off without Obama’s anti-ISIS AUMF? Probably

Featured image President Obama will conduct the American military action against ISIS as vigorously or (more likely) as halfheartedly as he desires. This is true whether or not Congress passes a new military authorization. Why, then, does Obama seek an anti-ISIS authorization for the use of military force. For two reasons, I believe: (1) for political cover and (2) to constrain his successor. The authorization Obama seeks does not authorize “the use »

Cotton on Gitmo, Take 3

Featured image Last night, Sen. Tom Cotton appeared on Megyn Kelly’s Fox News program to respond to criticism of his statement that terrorists at Gitmo should “rot in hell.” Kelly asked Senator Cotton to address the specific (and entirely bogus) complaint by the attorney for the 9/11 mastermind that Cotton’s statement endangers American captives abroad). Scott posted Senator Cotton’s response here. After Senator Cotton’s appearance, Kelly trotted out Andrew Napolitano, Fox News’ »

If it bleeds it leads. . .to denial by Obama

Featured image John did a great job of ripping President Obama’s pathetic musings on terrorism, as served up to Matthew Yglesias of Vox.com. I want to focus on Obama’s claim that the media “absolutely” sometimes overstates the level of alarm people should have about terrorism. Obama offered no evidence to support this claim. He merely asserted it, adding that he doesn’t blame the media for following the “the famous saying. . .if »

NSS 2015

Featured image The White House has just released our National Security Strategy 2015 and posted it online here. National Security adviser Susan Rice gave a speech touting the strategy that is posted here. It’s the first update to our national security strategy in five years. Rice insists that things are getting better all the time; I think the deterioration has steadily proceeded under Obama’s leadership. Quotable quote: “[T]oo often, what’s missing here »

Jeffrey Sterling convicted; his accomplice remains free

Featured image Jeffrey Sterling, a former Central Intelligence Agency officer, was convicted of espionage today. He was charged with telling a journalist about a secret operation to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program. The journalist was James Risen of the New York Times. Scott has written extensively about this case, focusing on Risen’s disclosure of Sterling’s secrets and the government’s unwillingness to require the journalist to testify in the case. Fortunately, Sterling was convicted »

“Homegrown terrorists” and what to do about them

Featured image Andy McCarthy has written two good posts taking on the concept of “homegrown terrorism.” Andy argues that “what grows a terrorist in Paris – or New York, London, Madrid, Hamburg, etc. – is not his environs; it is Islamic supremacist ideology” which is decidedly non-Western. Moreover, to suggest that terrorists residing in the West are homegrown is to imply that “it is something innate in America (and the West) that »

Four observations prompted by the Paris attack

Featured image 1. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn used to make fun of American journalists — so “courageous” when operating under protection in the U.S.; so cowed when working in the Soviet Union. The same tendency is evident these days. News organizations “heroically” attack American politicians they dislike and expose secret efforts to curb terrorism, safe in the knowledge that the U.S. government will leave them be. But when it comes to the cartoons over »

Sen. Cotton to serve on intelligence committee

Featured image In my post last night listing Tom Cotton’s committee assignments, I failed to include the Select Committee on Intelligence. Arguably, this is the Senator’s must important assignment. We live in a time when defense budgets are being slashed and the U.S. president is largely unwilling to put American boots on the ground, even to fight bloody thirsty terrorists with designs on attacking America. In this environment, our intelligence professionals are »

The Cuba appeasement and the latest detainee release — is there a connection?

Featured image Our restoration of diplomatic relations with Cuba and the accompanying swap of prisoners have overshadowed the release of six terrorists detained at Guantanamo Bay, after the government of Uruguay agreed to accept the six. On the face of things, the two stories seem unrelated. But if we are to believe the president of Uruguay, there is a connection. And the common thread may be President Obama’s laxity (to put it »

On the Sony hack, a CTO speaks

Featured image Reader Jonathan F. writes in response to John’s post on our pathetic response to the Sony hack. Having worked in IT since 1996, Jonathan is the Chief Technology Officer at his company. He has been involved in the security side of IT at least part time since 2000. He is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional, the certification bestowed by (ISC)2. He also has a CompTia Security+ certification. His corporate »

So Far, Response to Sony Hack Is Pathetic

Featured image North Korea, we are told, hacked into Sony Pictures’ computer system. The hackers made off with a vast number of emails, brought film production to a halt by disrupting Sony’s ability to pay bills, and stole passcodes governing entry into the studio’s headquarters so that employees had to line up to gain admission, one by one. The hackers then caused two movies to be withdrawn from circulation by threatening terrorist »

James Risen would prefer not to; Eric Holder must decide what he prefers

Featured image James Risen is the New York Times reporter who, on several occasions, has materially harmed the United States with his reporting on top secret affairs. As Scott Johnson has written, “If you are a disgruntled intelligence officer or official and want to preserve your anonymity while undermining a top secret program or aiding the enemies of the United States, Risen is your go-to guy.” Scott went on to document this »