National Security

Alejandro Mayorkas under fire for irregularities in issuing green cards

Featured image Alejandro Mayorkas is Joe Biden’s pick to head the Department of Homeland Security. His nomination was expected to be confirmed. However, the nomination might already be in jeopardy. Sen. Tom Cotton tweets: Alejandro Mayorkas was found by Barack Obama’s Inspector General to be guilty of selling Green Cards to Chinese nationals on behalf of rich, democratic donors. He is disqualified from leading the Department of Homeland Security. Mayorka should, indeed, »

A pardon for Snowden? I hope not.

Featured image Over the weekend, President Trump said he will “take a look” at granting a pardon to Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor. Snowden was charged with espionage in 2013 after disclosing a trove of highly confidential documents about U.S. surveillance programs. He fled the country and now lives in Russia. Trump explained: I’m not that aware of the Snowden situation, but I’m going to start looking at it. It seems »

Judge chastises Bolton, but won’t block his book

Featured image Judge Royce Lamberth, a federal district court judge in Washington, D.C., has denied the Trump administration’s request to block publication of John Bolton’s book. Judge Lamberth, a conservative appointed by Ronald Reagan, found that publication risks U.S. national security by disclosing classified information. However, he concluded that, as he said at oral argument, “the horse is already out of the barn.” Lamberth explained that the book’s details are now publicly »

The line on John Bolton

Featured image Here’s the left’s line on John Bolton and his forthcoming book: Despise Bolton, but Read His Book Anyway.” President Trump concurs with the first part, but dissents from the second. And, he would add, if you do read his book, don’t believe what he writes. My line on Bolton and his book can’t be summarized as easily. However, it includes the following thoughts: First, if the book contains classified information, »

FISA reform, real and imaginary

Featured image Three provisions of the Patriot Act will expire unless they are reauthorized tomorrow. As described by Andy McCarthy, they involve: (a) roving wiretaps, which allow agents to continue monitoring, say, a terrorist who uses burner phones to try to defeat surveillance; (b) “lone wolf” authority, which allows agents to monitor a foreigner who appears to be involved in terrorism without evidence tying him to a known terrorist organization; and (c) »

Shadow Secretary of State Pelosi on the killing of Soleimani [With Comment by John]

Featured image Nancy Pelosi fancies herself a foreign policy expert who not only must be consulted by the president’s foreign policy team, but who can set or manipulate American foreign policy. Recall her foray into Middle East policy a decade ago, when she defied the Bush State Department, met with Bashar al-Assad in Syria, and declared him the key to bringing peace to the Middle East. Here is what Shadow Secretary Pelosi »

Rocket strike takes out terrorist Gen. Soleimani [CONFIRMED: U.S. did it]

Featured image Fox News reports that Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani has been killed in a rocket attack at Baghdad International Airport. Soleimani was the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force. President Trump ordered the attack and our military carried it out. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had said that Soleimani is as dangerous as the late ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was killed by a U.S. strike »

Trump rips guy he chose as his national security adviser

Featured image To no one’s surprise, President Trump lashed out at John Bolton today. He said of Bolton: You know, John’s known as a tough guy. He’s so tough, he got us into Iraq. That’s tough. Actually, Bolton didn’t get the U.S. into Iraq. President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and Secretary Rumsfeld did. It’s true that Bolton favored intervening in Iraq. But so did Trump, though he falsely claims he didn’t. In »

On Bolton’s bolt

Featured image As Scott notes below, John Bolton is out as President Trump’s national security adviser. That much is clear. There’s a dispute, though, over whether Bolton left voluntarily, as he says, or was sacked by Trump, as the president insists. Trump may be telling the truth. However, while there a few people in the world I would disbelieve if their account of events differed from Trump’s, John Bolton is not among »

Andrew McCarthy: Afghanistan and the pre-9/11 mindset

Featured image In the post below, Scott presents Andrew McCarthy’s discussion of a federal judge’s decision invalidating the Terrorist Screening Database. McCarthy sees the decision as part of “the turn to a pre-9/11 mindset” in America. McCarthy also perceives the turn to that mindset in the Trump administration’s efforts to reach a “peace” agreement with the Taliban. He discusses these efforts in the same column from which Scott quotes. Here is what »

Mike Pompeo: The U.S. has delivered on its mission in Afghanistan

Featured image The Trump administration is on the verge of agreeing to pull out of Afghanistan. In defense of this decision, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the United States has “delivered” on its mission to oust al-Qaeda from Afghanistan and to deter terrorist attacks plotted there and in Pakistan. Pompeo’s statement is mostly true, and has been for many years. And, although this was not really part of our mission and »

Trump cuts Bolton out of decision on Afghanistan

Featured image The Washington Post reports that John Bolton, President Trump’s national security adviser, has been excluded from discussions about an Afghanistan “peace deal” between the U.S. and the Taliban. Bolton apparently doesn’t favor such a deal. This is a president who rages against Fox News because people who appear on that network occasionally say things he doesn’t like hearing. So we shouldn’t be surprised that Trump doesn’t want to hear from »

Report: ISIS is gaining in Syria and Iraq

Featured image The New York Times reports that ISIS is gathering new strength and conducting guerrilla attacks across Iraq and Syria. Observers are confident that ISIS won’t reclaim anything like its former physical territory, a “caliphate” that was the size of Britain and controlled the lives of up to 12 million people. However, if it continues to gain strength, ISIS may soon become a force to be reckoned with and could control »

Ratcliffe replaces Coats as Director of National Intelligence

Featured image Dan Coats announced yesterday that he will resign as Director of National Intelligence. Coats did not see eye-to-eye with President Trump on some important national security issues. Coats’s replacement will be Rep. John Ratcliffe. He’s a three-term congressman and a former terrorism prosecutor who served as a U.S. Attorney in George W. Bush’s administration. He has also served on the House Intelligence Committee. In the paper edition of today’s Washington »

The indoctrination of Monica Witt

Featured image I don’t believe we’ve written about Monica Witt, the former U.S. Air Force intelligence specialist accused of espionage for Iran. Witt, who now resides in Iran, out of our reach, is said to have caused significant damage to America. She is suspected, among other things, of revealing the names of double agents run by the United States. Why did Witt become a traitor? Douglas Wise, former deputy director of the »

U.S. moves towards exit from Afghanistan

Featured image Ryan Crocker, the former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan (among other hot spots, has published an op-ed in the Washington Post. In the paper edition, his op-ed is called “The U.S. is surrendering to the Taliban.” It looks that way. The U.S. is negotiating with the Taliban. The Afghan government has been cut out of the negotiations at the Taliban’s insistence. The two parties — the U.S. and the Taliban — »

Revoking Brennan’s clearance: The right move for the wrong reason

Featured image Andy McCarthy argues that there were excellent reasons to revoke the security of John Brennan, but that President Trump revoked it for the wrong reason. Trump, McCarthy says, revoked the clearance as an act of revenge for Brennan’s harsh criticism of him — an improper basis for taking such action. I think Andy is probably right about Trump’s motive and certainly right about the propriety of revoking a security clearance »