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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

us-politics

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

torture-report

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

us-politics

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

us-politics

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

Navy Strips Bill Cosby of Honorary Rank

military-soldier-sunset

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

pentagon1

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

joe-lieberman-sourpuss

  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

500-drone-strikes-why-did-you-kill-my-family

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.

Should The U.S. Reconsider Its Policy Of Not Paying Ransom For Hostages?

Journalist beheaded

The idea that the U.S. does not negotiate with terrorists is simply not historically accurate, so should we be reconsidering the policy of not negotiating with ISIS for the release of Western hostages?

CIA Director Proposes Radical Reorganization

A man crosses the Central Intelligence A

The CIA has always separated its core spying and analysis functions; that may soon change.

ISIS’s New Beheading Video; Casus Belli, Or A Trap?

ISIS Map Iraq Syria

The latest ISIS video is horrible and barbaric but we should not take the bait they are offering before considering the consequences of our actions going forward.

Many Potential Allies In The Fight Against ISIS Have Already Been Lost

Iraq Map

As many observers have pointed out, one of the keys to defeating ISIS on the ground, especially in Iraq, involves enlisting the support of Sunni tribes that have been alienated by the Iraqi Government. Toward that end, the United States and other powers spent the better part of the summer working on convincing Iraqi political […]

Unless Congress Steps In To Authorize It, The President’s War Against ISIS Is Illegal

Barack Obama

As things stand right now, there is no legitimate legal authorization for the President’s war against ISIS, and that’s largely because Congress has failed to act.

Secret Service Review Of Fence Jumping Incident Finds Multiple Failures

Obama With Secret Service

There’s not much good news in the initial review of September’s fence jumping incident at the White House.

‘Fortunate Son’ At The Concert For Valor. Not ‘Anti-Military,’ But Completely Appropriate

Bruce Springsteen Dave Grohl Zac Brown

Some people didn’t like the song selection at last night’s Washington, D.C. concert for Veterans Day.

Suicide Bomber Kills At Least 50 At Nigerian School

travel-suitcase

A suicide bomber has killed at least 50 at a Nigerian school: A suicide bomber dressed as a student infiltrated the morning assembly at a high school in northern Nigeria on Monday and detonated explosives in a backpack, killing almost 50 students and teachers, according to news reports. Although there was no immediate claim of […]

Two Americans Released By North Korea After High Profile Visit

North Korean Flag

Good news for two released Americans, but no clue what’s motivating North Korea’s latest actions.

Obama Authorizes 1,500 More U.S. Troops For ISIS Fight

Barack Obama

Mission creep.

Most PATRIOT Act ‘Sneak And Peek’ Warrants Used In War On Drugs, Not War On Terror

Patriot Act

Not surprisingly, a law passed in the wake of the September 11th attacks has been used mostly for things that have nothing to do with terrorism.

Supreme Court To Decide If Congress Can Dictate Where Jerusalem Is

Supreme Court Justices 2

The Supreme Court will decide if Congress can override American foreign policy when it comes to declaring who has dominion over Jerusalem.

Military No Longer Republican Bastion

party-affiliation-active-duty-military

Always as many military personnel identify as Independents as with the GOP.

Should SEALs Just STFU?

navy-seal-trident

The Navy Special Warfare community is angry at SEALs exploiting their part in the bin Laden raid.

Armed Man On Elevator With President Did Not Have Criminal Record As Initially Reported

Obama With Secret Service

Just over a month ago, when the Secret Service was in the middle of the scandal that led to the departure of the agency’s director, it was reported that an armed man with a criminal record had been on an elevator with President Obama. As it turns out, the story is a bit more complicated […]

Rand Paul’s Foreign Policy Ideas Present An Opportunity For the GOP

Rand Paul Filibuster

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul continues to challenge Republican orthodoxy on foreign policy, and that’s a good thing.

Pat Roberts Engages In Gitmo Fearmongering To Win Re-Election

Guantanamo Bay Camp Entrance

Facing a tough re-election battle, Kansas Senator Pat Roberts is engaging in abject fearrmongering.

U.S. Troops Returning From Liberia To Be Quarantined At U.S. Base In Italy

Ebola Virus

The Pentagon has announced that U.S. troops returning from west Africa will be isolated for twenty-one days to monitor them for signs of Ebola: U.S. soldiers returning from Liberia are being placed in isolation in Vicenza, Italy out of concern for the Ebola virus, CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports. The soldiers being […]

Another White House Fence Jumper

white-house

Mere hours after a gunman fired shots outside and inside Canada’s Parliament, another man jumped the fence at the White House, although this time the Secret Service didn’t hesitate to apprehend him: A man jumped the White House fence Wednesday night and was taken into custody after being bitten by a guard dog, officials said, […]

The Attack On Canada’s Parliament And The Lone Wolf Terrorist

Ottawa Shooting 20141022

Yesterday’s apparent terrorist shooting in Ottawa reveals again a phenomenon that seems difficult if not impossible to stop in advance.

Nigerian Government Hopeful That Kidnapped Schoolgirls Will Be Freed Next Week

Boko Haram Nigerian Schoolgirls

The Nigerian Government says it is hopeful that the schoolgirls who were kidnapped earlier this year by Boko Haram will be free early next week: Campaigners calling for the release of over 200 Nigerian schoolgirls have said they are “cautiously optimistic” about a reported ceasefire between the government and al-Qaeda-linked militants that would include the […]

F.B.I. Director Hints At Regulatory Action Against Apple, Google Over Encyrption

FBI Badge and Gun

Law enforcement remains unhappy about the recent changes that will make it harder to break into a locked smartphone.

Joe Biden’s Son Kicked Out of Navy Reserve For Cocaine Use

us-politics

Poor Joe Biden can’t stay out of the news. This time, it’s not one of his gaffes but one by his youngest son.

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