Let’s reopen the “torture” debate

Featured image On Sunday, the Washington Post featured an attack on Gina Haspel, President Trump’s nominee to be CIA Director, by John Kiriakou. He’s a former CIA counterterrorism officer who served 23 months in prison after being charged with five felonies, including espionage, by the Obama Justice Department. Sometimes it’s helpful to consider the source. The sub-headline of Kiriakou’s piece (paper edition) was “The torture debate was over — until Haspel’s nomination.” »

Understanding Russiagate

Featured image Lee Smith is one of the two commentators whom one must read to understand the synthetic Trump-Russia collusion scandal and the real intelligence scandal that underlies it. The other is Andrew McCarthy. Lee’s current Tablet column is “Who believes in Russiagate?” Lee draws on his reporting and analysis of the past several years to give the big picture and to name names (here he singles out Adam Entous, formerly of »

Night thoughts with Nunes

Featured image House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes appeared for the full hour on the second installment of Mark Levin’s new FOX News show last night (video below). It is thanks to Rep. Nunes in particular and his Republican colleagues in general that we know as much as we do about the Obama administration’s efforts to undermine the Trump campaign during the election and the incoming Trump administration afterwards. The saga continues. »

The Schiff memo’s appalling dishonesty

Featured image Over the weekend the House Intelligence Committee Democrats’ much ballyhooed memorandum (“the Schiff memo”) was finally redacted and released. I posted the Schiff memo here and Devin Nunes’s response here. The 10-page Schiff memo defends the FBI against the charge that it abused its surveillance powers during the 2016 election. The redactions strongly suggest that the Democrats don’t care as much about protecting intelligence sources and methods as they do »

Nunes responds

Featured image House Intelligence Commmittee Chairman Devin Nunes was ready to go with his own response to the Democrats’ memo that I have embedded in the adjacent post. I have uploaded his point-by-point response to Scribd and embedded it below. It is a useful document. Moreover, by contrast with Adam Schiff et al., Nunes is a credible player. Consistent with my comments, he notes some of the Democrats’ rebuttals of points not »

Rebut this

Featured image The powers that be have redacted and released the House Intelligence Committee Democrats’ memo rebutting the committee Republicans’ four page memo. In a quick reading, among other things, I find it rebutting claims that weren’t made. The Democrats vouch for the credibility of Christopher Steele when the only relevant question is the credibility of his sources. The Democrats also challenge just about every point made by the Republicans. The Democrats »

Where we are now

Featured image Collusion hysteria has bedeviled the Trump administration since day 1, precisely as intended. It has brought us the Special Counsel to provide the predicate for the removal of Trump from office. It has produced absurdity upon absurdity delivered by such artists of the calculated lie and the straight face as Adam Schiff. All the while, the mainstream media have made themselves instrumental to the production by serving as the faithful »

Motions full of Schiff

Featured image The House Intelligence Committee released the transcript of its proceedings earlier this week in which the majority voted to release the four-page memo on FISA abuse that is to be released later today. The committee has posted the transcript here. Ranking minority member Adam Schiff emerged from the closed door proceedings to denounce the release of the four-page memo without a Democratic counterpart, which he neglected to mention had not »

Disinformation, Democrat style: Edward Jay Epstein comments

Featured image Our friend Edward Jay Epstein is the author, most recently, of How America Lost Its Secrets: Edward Snowden, the Man and the Theft and the City Journal column “A question of motive.” Ed’s long career has centered on issues of intelligence and counterintelligence with respect to which the late CIA head of counterintelligence, James Jesus Angleton, turned out to be a mentor to Ed as he navigated his path in »

Hezbollah, narco-terrorism, and the Awans

Featured image Yesterday, Scott called attention to the blockbuster story in Politico about how President Obama derailed a law enforcement campaign targeting drug trafficking by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah. Obama did so because he was desperate to secure a nuclear deal with Iran. I agree with Scott that the Politico story is well worth reading in full, despite its length. The report is, as Scott says, “incredibly rich.” I want to »

At the Washington Post, if it misleads, it leads

Featured image The lead headline on the Washington Post’s web page right now is: “Putin thanks Trump for CIA intel that foiled a planned terrorist attack in Russia.” The story isn’t earth-shattering but has the virtue of enabling the Post to write a lead headline that includes “Putin” and “Trump.” Post reporter David Filipov characterizes Putin’s call as “unusual.” He says “countries share intelligence all the time, but presidents rarely publicly thank »

Ishmael Jones: The Trump Dossier

Featured image Ishmael Jones writes to revisit the infamous “Trump Dossier.” It is the Rosetta Stone to the “collusion” hysteria and related “fake news” with which we have been inundated since the 2016 election. Mr. Jones is the pseudonymous former CIA officer and author of The Human Factor: Inside the CIA’s Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture. He advises that his comments here are based upon his knowledge of how intelligence reports are written and »

Liberals Attack Sen. Cotton For Wanting to Enforce the Law

Featured image Rumor has it that Rex Tillerson will soon be out as Secretary of State, to be replaced by current CIA Director Mike Pompeo. The rumor holds that Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas is slated to take Pompeo’s place as CIA Director. I am not sure why anyone would want to leave the Senate for the CIA; maybe Cotton is tired of having to defer to John McCain, Susan Collins et »

How Democrats turned on Charles McCullough

Featured image In January 2016, in response to an inquiry, Charles McCullough III, the Intelligence Community inspector general, informed the Republican leadership on the Senate intelligence and foreign affairs committees that emails beyond the “Top Secret” level passed through Hillary Clinton’s unsecured personal server. Democrats immediately responded by trying to intimidate McCullough. Scott documented this effort in a January 25, 2016 post that highlighted threatening comments by Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff. The »

From the bin Laden files

Featured image Yesterday the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and FDD’s Long War Journal hosted a panel discussion of the massive cache of Osama bin Laden documents released on November 1 courtesy of CIA Director Mike Pompeo. The conversation featured the incredibly dogged New York Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi as well as FDD’s Tom Joscelyn and Bill Roggio, who were given the opportunity to preview the records, images, audio, and video files »

The Blabbermouth angle (2)

Featured image It is among our national misfortunes that the ineffable Debbie Wasserman Schultz remains in the middle of the drama implicit in the great Russian hack attack of 2016. She served as Barack Obama’s appointed leader of the Democratic National Committee at the time. Her cooperation with federal authorities in that capacity appears to have been something less than wholehearted. The mainstream media have nevertheless swallowed whole the intelligence community report »

At FDD’s national security summit

Featured image Last week the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies held a “national security summit” in Washington featuring conversations with CIA Director Mike Pompeo and national security adviser H.R. McMaster. Each was interviewed by an extremely knowledgeable interlocutor: Juan Zarate in the case of Pompeo, Mark Dubowitz in the case of McMaster. For more on the participants, see this page. In the video below Juan Zarate interviews Pompeo. All I can »