Terrorism

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 North Korea, Obama Leads From Behind

Featured image On November 24, the news broke that Sony Pictures’ computer system had been hacked. Today, 25 days later, President Obama finally addressed the issue in one of his rare press conferences. In the meantime, Sony had already announced that it is killing the movie that was the apparent cause of the intrusion, “The Interview;” showings of another film, “Team America,” had been canceled, and production of a third film that »

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 The hackers then caused two movies to be withdrawn from circulation by threatening terrorist »

Americans still see Bush-era interrogation techniques as justified and effective

Featured image One of the nobler, if not the only noble purpose of publicly releasing the Feinsten report was to fuel public debate about the very harsh interrogation techniques used in some instances by the CIA after 9/11. Predictably, though, the rekindled debate has been as stale as the original version had become. In any event, the returns from the debate are in. A Pew Research survey shows that, by a wide »

Taliban? What Taliban? [Updated]

Featured image The Pakistani Taliban carried out an appalling terrorist attack on the Army school in Peshawar yesterday, murdering more than 130, mostly children, and wounding many more. Reports indicate that one teacher was burned alive in front of her class and some of the children were decapitated. It reportedly required more than eight hours for the Army to clear the school of terrorists. The Taliban has claimed responsibility–credit, in their eyes–for »

James Mitchell: KSM predicted what the Dems would do to me

Featured image Megyn Kelly interviewed CIA interrogator James Mitchell last night on FNC’s Kelly File over three segments. Mitchell is a psychologist who helped fashion the CIA’s enhanced interrogation program and is one of the men who interrogated KSM. As such, he comes in for criticism in the Senate Intelligence Committee Democrats’ recently released report (or executive summary). FOX News Insider covers the interview and breaks it into clips here. The video »

The Context of Harsh Interrogation

Featured image As Dick Cheney and others have emphasized, it is foolish to evaluate the enhanced interrogation techniques used by the CIA without acknowledging their context: in the aftermath of 9/11, the federal government’s most important responsibility was to do everything possible to ensure that there was no sequel. Democratic Senators and Congressmen who were briefed on the CIA’s operations at the time had no problem with what the agency was doing. »

“Known wolf” syndrome

Featured image The hostage taking in Australia is over now, and the name of the hostage-taker has been released. He was an Iranian-born Islamic cleric named Man Monis, aka Shiekh Haron. If the past is any guide, Monis will be described as a “lone wolf” terrorist because, as far as we know, he acted on his own, not on orders from a terrorist organization. But Patrick Poole of PJ Media argues that »

Cheney unchained

Featured image In the clip below from his interview with Chuck Todd on Meet the Press yesterday (whole 18-minute segment here), Dick Cheney responded to a question regarding what he would say if ISIS were to waterboard captured Americans. How could we complain? His response may not be the Answer of the Year, but it’s up there. It seems to me that Cheney undertook two tasks in his appearance on Meet the »

Dick Cheney For President

Featured image I agree with the suggestion of Bill Kristol, that this answer from Dick Cheney to Chuck Todd on Meet the Press this morning deserves the award for Answer of the Year (only 40 seconds long), and it deserves upgrading from our “Picks” section: »

Tortured Observations

Featured image Amidst the handwringing of the media and liberals (but I repeat. . .) over the Senate Democrats’ attack on the CIA, a few observations. • Why is that when a House committee, run by Republicans, issues a report criticizing government misdeeds or failures—such as IRS political harassment of Tea Party groups or the Benghazi fiasco—the media dismisses it as a mere “partisan” exercise, but when Senate Democrats issue a partisan »

John Brennan’s knowable “unknowables”

Featured image John Brennan spoke to the press yesterday about Dianne Feinstein’s travesty of a report on past CIA interrogation practices. It’s highly unusual for the CIA director to hold take questions from the media, but Brennan did. Unusual though Brennan’s appearance was, the Washington Post, which has devoted its front page to story after story on Feinstein’s hit-job, relegates Brennan to page 14. The Post, it appears, is only marginally more »

Who tortured what? Let’s go to the sources

Featured image John Hinderaker took a preliminary look at the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Democrats’ report on the CIA detention and interrogation program here. I am still trying to get a handle on what the Democrats have done. I offer the partial list of sources and commentary below as a resource to others like me trying to understand what has happened here. Dianne Feinstein et al., Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, »

Who tortured what? The Feinstein factor

Featured image I confess that I do not understand the rationale supporting the publication of the Democrats’ Senate Select Committee study of the CIA’s detention and interrogation program. On its face, it seems like ancient history (of a highly tendentious kind) in the service of a personal grudge. It is not clear to me what is new and it is not clear that what is new is reliable, given the absurd limitations »

Who tortured what? Let’s go to the tape

Featured image The Washington Free Beacon has compiled a set of videos commenting on the torture report issued yesterday by the Democrats on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. I want to set this up with the clip below from the Media Research Center. In the clip, NBC news anchor Brian Williams asks former CIA Director Michael Hayden “How are we better than our enemies?” (and more). What a ponderous fool Brian »

Senate Intelligence Committee’s Report Confirms that CIA Did Not Torture Detainees

Featured image I haven’t had time to read the entire Senate Intelligence Committee Report on the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program, an unclassified version of which was released today. It is 499 pages long. But I have spent enough time with it to have several observations. First, the tone of the report is remarkably hostile to the CIA. It reads like a prosecutor’s brief. I don’t know what the Agency did to »