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ISIS Gaining Ground . . . But We’ve Stopped Their Momentum!

syria-territory-map-20150110

ISIS owns more territory than it did when the US bombing campaign began.

John Kerry Outsources American Foreign Policy To James Taylor

John Kerry JJames Taylor

With some still criticizing the Administration for not sending a higher-ranking officials to Sunday’s unity rally in Paris, Secretary of State John Kerry decided it might be a good idea to stop by Paris on the way home from India. And, to show our French friends that America stands beside them in the fight against […]

Why The GOP Is Likely To Cave In The Fight Against Obama’s Immigration Law Changes

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Even with a House and Senate majority, the GOP is unlikely to get what it wants in its current immigration battle with the President.

Next Charlie Hebdo Cover Has Muhammad Saying ‘Je suis Charlie’

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Their editor and nine colleagues dead, their offices destroyed, the newspaper is not missing a beat.

Obama’s Absence From Paris Rally: Egregious Diplomatic Error, Or Much Ado About Nothing?

World Leaders Paris

Some are criticizing the President for not going to Paris for yesterday’s rally.

German Newspaper Firebombed After Republishing Charlie Hebdo Images

military-soldier-sunset

The terrorism wave that began with the massacre at the Charlie Hebdo offices has not ended with the killing of the perpetrators. A follow-on attack has occurred in Germany and there are reports of “sleeper cells” being activated in France.

Petraeus Committed Felonies, FBI Finds

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David Petraeus provided highly classified secrets to his mistress. Will he be charged?

Charlie Hebdo Suspects Dead After Dual Standoffs

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The men responsible for the Charlie Hebdo massacre are dead, but the problems for France, and the rest of Europe, may just be at the beginning.

Will The Paris Terror Attack Undercut Republican Efforts On DHS Budget?

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The terror attack in Paris seems likely to undercut GOP efforts to use the DHS budget to attack the President’s immigration policies.

Terror Attack Kills 11 at French Satirical Newspaper Charlie Hebdo

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At least 11 are dead and 10 wounded in an attack on free expression.

You Can Now Watch The Interview Online Too

Sony Pictures Cancels Releaase Of "The Interview" After Hacker Threats

In addition to the limited theatrical release announced yesterday, Sony is now making The Interview available online through a number of digital distributors for less than you’d pay at the movie theater: LOS ANGELES — Three digital distributors joined an expanding effort to save “The Interview,” as Sony Pictures Entertainment disclosed the first deals to show the […]

Sony To Allow Limited Screenings of The Interview

Sony Pictures Cancels Releaase Of "The Interview" After Hacker Threats

Reversing a previous decision, Sony will allow The Interview to be screened in a small number of theaters.

Army Investigation Of Bowe Berghdahl Referred To Top General

Afghanistan Captured Soldier

The Army’s investigation of the disappearance five years ago of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been referred to a top General, who will decide if a court martial should be convened.

North Korean Internet Connections Collapse

North Korea

What does exist of North Korea’s connection to the Internet has largely collapsed in what may be an attack from outside sources: SAN FRANCISCO — North Korea’s already tenuous links to the Internet went completely dark on Monday after days of instability, in what Internet monitors described as one of the worst North Korean network […]

US Ground Troops Fighting ISIL

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The ground troops that United States has not sent into Iraq to fight ISIL are reportedly in Iraq fighting ISIL.

In Responding To North Korea’s Cyber Attacks, The U.S. Has Limited Options

North Korea

There’s not a whole lot the United States can do to respond effectively and proportionally to North Korea’s hacking attack against Sony.

Obama: Sony Attack ‘Vandalism’ Not War

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President Obama believes the North Korean attack on Sony was “an act of cyber vandalism” rather than “an act of war.”

Obama Faults Sony For Pulling ‘The Interview’ From Theaters, Vows Response To North Korea

Obama Makes Statement On U.S.-Cuba Policy

President Obama criticized Sony for backing down, and said that the U.S. would respond to North Korea’s cyber attack “at a place and time we choose,”

Did 24 Help Make Torture Acceptable?

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In the wake of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on C.I.A. torture, some have suggested that eight years of Jack Bauer helped make torture more acceptable to the American public.

F.B.I. Charges North Korea With Being Behind Hacking Attacks On Sony

North Korea Military Parade

The U.S. Government has formally charged North Korea with responsibility for the hacking attack on Sony. How to respond to that attack is a more complicated question.

Rand Paul Breaks With Other 2016 GOP Contenders In Backing Obama’s Opening To Cuba

Senate Homeland Security Holds Hearing On Federal Programs Equipping Police Departments

Rand Paul is one of the few Republicans who seems to be evaluating the new policy toward Cuba through something other than an outdated Cold War perspective.

Iraq And Afghanistan Wars Cost $3 Trillion

defense-spending

The costs of more than a decade of war are far higher than many ever thought, and we’re still paying the price for the fiscal irresponsibility of the Bush Administration while they were being fought.

Sony, “The Interview,” and Running Government Like a Business.

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It strike me that the situation with Sony and The Interview is a good example of why you can’t run government like a business. While the US government would have to make calculations about warding off future attacks, national reputations, etc. in the face of terrorist threats, all Sony (And AMC, etc.) had to do […]

Sony Pictures Pulls ‘The Interview’ After Cyber Attacks, Threats; North Korea Suspected

Sony The Interview

With major theater chains having pulled out, Sony bowed to the inevitable, but now there appears to be proof that a foreign power is behind the Sony hacking attacks and threats of violence.

Obama’s Cuba Policy Shift Faces Headwinds On Capitol Hill

Capitol Christmas Dusk

The fate of Cuba policy in Congress is far from certain, but what is certain is that following through on President Obama’s historic and necessary changes will face resistance.

Sony Hacking Scandal Elevates To Threats Of Terrorism If Film Is Released

Sony The Interview

Hackers who have divulged embarrassing secrets from deep within Sony Pictures are now threatening violence if a film about a plot to kill Kim Jong Un is released.

Sowell Deploys a TTBS

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As a follow-on to my post the other day (On Ticking Time Bombs) I see that Thomas Sowell is joining in the fun: If you knew that there was a hidden nuclear time bomb planted somewhere in New York City — set to go off today — and you had a captured terrorist who knew […]

Taliban Attack On Pakistan Kills Up To 126, At Least 100 Children

Pakistan School Attack

A day of terror at a school in Pakistan.

Sydney Hostage Taker Man Haron Monis: Lone Wolf Terrorist, Or Lone Nut? Does It Matter?

APTOPIX Australia Police Operation   TOK801

Was Man Haron Monis a terrorist, or just a lone nut who had latched on to the rhetoric of ISIS to justify his own delusions? In the end, it hardly matters.

On Ticking Time Bombs

Nuclear Explosion

The “ticking time bomb scenario” is a TV trope and, therefore, is a terrible guide for making policy.

The Amorality Of Dick Cheney And The Right In Response To The Truth About C.I.A. Torture

Dick Cheney

Vice-President Cheney’s amoral defense of torture has come to define how most conservatives view the issue, and that’s a problem.

What Does “Linked to Terrorism” Mean?

military-soldier-sunset

A question occurs in response to Doug Mataconis’ post this morning:  what does "linked To terrorism" mean?*   After all, we often want to know if a given act of violence is “terrorism” or not (and we seem, collectively, to react differently if an act is “terrorism” or not). If an armed individual holds hostages because […]

Hostage Crisis In Sydney, Australia Cafe Apparently Linked To Terrorism

APTOPIX Australia Police Operation   TOK801

A hostage crisis has been unfolding overnight at a cafe in Sydney, Australia that has apparent links to international terrorism.

Hayden and “Rectal Hydration”

us-politics

Via The Hill:   Ex-CIA director defends rectal rehydration “These were medical procedures,” Hayden said during a tense interview on CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper.” He added that the method was used because detainees were dehydrated, and that giving them intravenous fluids with needles would be dangerous.  ”I’m not a doctor,” he said. “What I […]

Rationalizing Torture

us-politics

I would recommend the following (audio only at the moment):  What Is Torture? Our Beliefs Depend In Part On Who’s Doing It. The piece is about social science research on torture and notes, among other things, 1.  Humans are likely to define “torture” differently if it their group doing it versus when other groups do […]

Torture Report’s Long Shadow

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What now?

ISIS? ISIL? Islamic State? How About Daesh?

ISIS Fighters

It appears that American officials are starting to refer to ISIS, which the President had previously principally referred to as ISIL, by an entirely new name: On Wednesday, John Kerry was speaking at NATO headquarters in Belgium during a meeting of the United States-led coalition against the Islamic State extremist group. During his remarks, the secretary of state […]

You are Defending Torture

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So far the only critique of the Senate report has been that the techniques deployed by the CIA did, in fact, produce good and useful intelligence. Setting aside whether that is true or not, keep in mind that such an argument is a defense of torture. I have not seen anyone disputing the actual content […]

Senate Intelligence Committee Report Reveals A Dark and Regrettable Time In American History

Waterboarding

A dark and regrettable time in American history is finally seeing the light of day.

Least Shocking Headline of the Day

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“Dick Cheney Was Lying About Torture” (Politico).

Navy Strips Bill Cosby of Honorary Rank

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The Navy has stripped Navy veteran Bill Cosby of an honorary promotion in the wake of unproven sexual misconduct accusations.

Obama Favoring Donors In Ambassador Appointments? No More Than Previous Presidents

U.S. Embassy Seal

The Obama Administration took some fire yesterday for recent Ambassadorial Appointments, but the President’s record has been consistent with those of his recent predecessors.

Ashton Carter Appears To Be Pick To Replace Hagel At Pentagon

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CNN is reporting that Ashton Carter, who formerly served as Deputy Secretary of Defense from 2011 until just last December and Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics prior to that, will in all likelihood be named to replace Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense: Washington (CNN) — Ashton Carter, the former second-in-command at […]

Hagel’s Dismissal A Reflection Of Contradictory Policy

Chuck Hagel

The abrupt departure of Chuck Hagel says much more about Administration policy than it does about Chuck Hagel.

Ted Cruz Wants Joe Lieberman For Defense Secretary

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  The junior Senator from Texas thinks he knows who Obama should pick for Secretary of Defense: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has a person in mind to replace outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel: Joe Lieberman. Cruz floated the former Connecticut independent senator as a “strong” option to succeed Hagel, who announced his resignation earlier Monday. […]

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Stepping Down “Under Pressure”

Chuck Hagel

A surprising change at the top of the military’s civilian chain of command.

U.S. Bombings Driving Anti-Assad Rebels To Support ISIS

Obama Syria

Our supposed Syrian allies seem to have a different idea of who the enemy in Syria actually is.

America’s 500th Drone Strike

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The shocking has become routine. We’re no safer because of it.

House Intelligence Committee Benghazi Report Debunks Benghazi Conspiracy Theories

Benghazi-Consulate

The House Intelligence Committee has concluded that the conspiracy theories regarding the 9/11/2012 attack in Benghazi are not supported by the evidence. That’s unlikely to change anyone’s mind, though.

Quietly, Obama Decides American Forces Will Continue To Engage In Combat In Afghanistan After 2014

Afghanistan Troops

You thought the American combat role in Afghanistan would end on December 31st? Think again.

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