National Security

“Soul Searching” for thee but not for me

Featured image Jennifer Rubin, whose “Right Turn” space at the Washington Post seems reserved lately for attacks on Donald Trump, finds “problematic” last night’s “Make America Safe Again” theme at the GOP convention. The most consistent anti-Trump voices in the party, she notes, have been foreign policy conservatives. This is probably true. But Rubin doesn’t explain why the fact that Trump disagrees with foreign policy conservatives on some matters renders problematic the »

James Comey’s baffling testimony (3) — Criminal intent

Featured image Yesterday, I watched James Comey’s testimony from start to finish (okay, I fast-forwarded through some of the questioning by Democrats). Comey came across well. In a better world, all government witnesses would answer questions as straightforwardly as he did. Yet, Comey’s testimony continued to baffle me. Scott and I have discussed his seemingly nonsensical contention that more than gross negligence is required to establish a violation of a statute that »

Experts say Hillary’s email was probably hacked

Featured image According to David Sanger of the New York Times, experts believe that Hillary Clinton’s email account probably was hacked successfully. They also say that James Comey’s statement on the subject suggests he believes this too. Comey chose his words carefully. He said his investigators found no “direct evidence” that Hillary Clinton’s email account had been “successfully hacked.” It’s reasonable to infer that they found circumstantial evidence of successful hacking. Circumstantial »

Dereliction of duty in the Persian Gulf

Featured image On the evening in which the capture by Iran of the crews of two U.S. Navy boats hit the news, I happened to be in the company of three retired high ranking military officials. The reaction of all three was the same: the crews were derelict in their duty; heads should roll. The Navy, having wrapped up its investigation of the matter, has reached the same conclusion. Its report finds »

A Risen in the sun, cont’d

Featured image James Risen is a New York Times reporter who has done great damage to the national security of the United States, some through leaks he has published in the Times and some through leaks the Times has passed. The case of fired CIA agent Jeffrey Sterling involves one such leak on which the Times passed but that Risen included in his book State of War. Sterling was prosecuted and convicted »

Trump watches “the shows” but can’t attract their experts

Featured image Donald Trump says he is his own main foreign and military policy adviser. He says he obtained the knowledge required for this position by watching “the shows.” He means televised news and talk shows in which experts discuss world affairs. Trump may have a high regard for certain talking heads on the shows, but the talking heads appear not to have a high regard for Trump. That, at least, is »

New email release brings final total of classified Clinton emails to 2,079

Featured image Today the State Department released the last batch of emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server. Of the mails released today, 261 contain information deemed to be classified. Within this subset, 23 contain “secret information,” according to the Washington Times. (The numbers vary slightly from source to source.) The 261 classified emails bring the final tally to 2,079. The total of “secret” emails stands at 45. 20 emails were previously deemed »

As Clinton email scandal moves to new level, former AG Mukasey predicts a criminal charge

Featured image Katherine Herridge and Pamela Browne of Fox News are reporting that at least one of the emails on Hillary Clinton’s private server contained extremely sensitive information identified by an intelligence agency as “HCS-O.” This code is used for reporting on human intelligence sources in ongoing operations, according two of the Fox reporters’ sources. Here is what a December 2013 policy document released by the Office of the Director of National »

Do Muslims help call the shots on U.S. anti-terrorism policy?

Featured image On Sunday, I posted a letter from former DHS employee Phillip Haney to members of Congress. Haney’s letter alleged that, under pressure from the Department of State, his superiors closed down his work on terrorist outfits with which the San Bernardino murderers were affiliated. In addition, DHS deleted the records of Haney’s work on these groups from the shared DHS database. This, Haney says, precluded the government from realizing the »

Obama’s latest effort to appease Iran

Featured image The Wall Street Journal reports that the Obama administration has advised the rulers of Iran not to worry about new U.S. legislation, signed into law by President Obama, that clamps visa restrictions on people who have traveled to Iran. The assurances came after Iranian officials publicly complained that the new law could dampen investment interest in their country. Here’s the background, as explained by The Tower. After the San Bernardino »

A DHS whistleblower’s shocking letter to Congress

Featured image In an open letter to members of Congress, retired DHS employee Philip Haney says that, under pressure from the Department of State, his superiors closed down his work on terrorist outfits with which the San Bernardino murderers — Sayed Farook and Tashfeen Malif — were affiliated. According to Haney, if this work had not been shut down, the Sen Bernardino killings might have been prevented. Here, via Ginni Thomas at »

Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim entry

Featured image As Scott noted this morning, Donald Trump has called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” Is this a good idea? Is it constitutional? As to the second question, I’m not sure. However, I think I agree with Eric Posner, who argues that an immigration ban on Muslims probably is constitutional but blocking American »

Tom Cotton makes the case against closing Gitmo

Featured image In a speech today at the Heritage Foundation, Senator Tom Cotton presented a powerful argument against closing the Guantanamo Bay terrorist detention facility. He began by pointing out the advantages of keeping the 107 remaining terrorists — the worst of the worst — at Gitmo, as opposed to sending them to prisons in the U.S. or releasing them to foreign countries. Gitmo, Tom noted, is completely secure. Moreover, its use »

Reading Jim Scanlan in Tehran

Featured image From time to time, I have directed the attention of Power Line readers to the work of James P. Scanlan. Specifically, I have linked to and discussed his analyses of disparate impact theory in various contexts involving allegations of discrimination. Years ago, Jim wrote a piece for the Midwest Quarterly on a very different subject — nuclear deterrence. It was called “Facing the Paradox of Deterrence.” The paradox Jim posited »

Cruz’s vulnerability

Featured image I wrote here and here about what I take to be Marco Rubio’s greatest vulnerability in the GOP presidential race — his sponsorship of immigration reform legislation that would have granted amnesty and a path to citizenship to illegal immigrants. However, one views the merits of Rubio’s Gang of Eight legislation, I think it’s beyond dispute that this represents a serious problem for his campaign. Not surprisingly, Ted Cruz is »

The lesson from today’s attacks: step up our game

Featured image When I was in France this summer, I saw far more evidence of anti-terrorist security measures than one sees in the U.S. Military men with heavy weapons were visible at some of the major tourist spots in Paris and also at Reims Cathedral. Today, security must have been farily robust at the Stade de France for the France-Germany match attended by the French president. Otherwise, I imagine the attack would »

Found: a signed copy of Clinton’s agreement on handling sensitive compartmented info

Featured image The Washington Free Beacon reports that a day after becoming Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton signed a Sensitive Compartmented Information Nondisclosure Agreement that set forth the criminal penalties for “any unauthorized disclosure” of classified information. It had been assumed that she signed this document, but now it has been confirmed that she did. By signing the statement, Clinton affirmed, among other things: “I have been advised that the unauthorized disclosure, »