Loose Canons

Loose Canons

Hillary Bombs on Benghazi

By 6.12.14

Poor Hillary. First she had to back off the statement that she and Bill were almost penniless when they left the White House. (And what about the tens of millions they’ve made since?) Then, on Monday night, Diane Sawyer of ABC took her on about the 9-11-2012 attacks in Benghazi.

Clinton’s performance was sharp and hard-nosed. She failed in her effort to emulate Obama’s “I wasn’t there, I didn’t do it and I’m shocked and angered” standard defense because she has all the charm of a rusty hammer. What we saw was a presidential candidate fending off an attack from a network that heretofore was her ally and protector.

The segment began with films of the Benghazi diplomatic outpost and asked us to imagine what Ambassador Chris Stevens thought as he saw the armed terrorist gang approach. Sawyer showed a video clip of Stevens passionately arguing for a better Libyan future. And then she asked Clinton about the final entry in Stevens’s diary in which he wrote, as shown on camera, of “never ending security threats.”

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Loose Canons

The Bounties of Obama’s Weakness

By 6.9.14

Asked about the backlash to the trade of the Taliban’s Fab Five for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, President Obama said, “I’m never surprised by controversies that are whipped up in Washington, all right?” In those few words, Obama made it clear that we need an American ambassador to the White House. Though the president denies it, the swap will significantly damage our national security.

The president isn’t tone deaf: he just doesn’t give a damn what the military (who advised against the swap) or the American people think. In one action, he has materially strengthened the Taliban’s ability to attack America and retake Afghanistan. The president demonstrated his concern for the severe consequences that will follow his action by chewing gum at a D-Day remembrance.

The trade of five top Taliban leaders for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is a huge boon to the enemy. And not just the Taliban. Our enemies — including al Qaeda (with which the Five are closely tied), as well as any terrorist network that can manage to kidnap an American — are celebrating. And why shouldn’t they?

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Loose Canons

The Case for Obama’s Impeachment

By 6.2.14

On December 20, 1998 the House of Representatives approved a two-article bill of impeachment against President William Jefferson Clinton. In it, Clinton was accused of lying to a grand jury, suborning witnesses’ perjury in a civil case, and other such criminal conduct. What was missing from the Senate trial on that indictment — and from the nation at that time — was the political momentum to remove Clinton from office. So, like the only other president so far to be impeached, Clinton was not convicted in the Senate trial that followed.

Andy McCarthy, a former senior federal prosecutor, has written the new book Faithless Execution, which is both a powerful case for the impeachment of Barack Obama and also a politically savvy explanation of why it will never happen. It’s brilliant and frustrating. Brilliant because of the constitutional analysis of the impeachment mechanism and frustrating because it recognizes that no matter how deserving of it he may be, Barack Obama will never be impeached.

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Loose Canons

Russian Rocket Ruckus

By 5.27.14

Russia’s annexation of the Crimea and its continuing aggression in Ukraine has sparked two highly important actions — one by Russia and one attempt by a few U.S. senators — both of which are being thoroughly ignored by the media.

Neither deserves to be. The first, two weeks ago, was the announcement by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin that his nation would no longer sell RD-190 rocket engines to the U.S., which uses them to power Atlas V rockets to launch military satellites. The other was the introduction of a bill by Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN) to bar the Pentagon from buying Russian military equipment.

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Killing the Internet?

By 5.19.14

Freedom of speech and freedom of the press are so fundamental to it that human freedom cannot exist in the absence of either. Naturally, when a dictator or despotic regime wants to oppress their people, these are among the first freedoms to disappear. No one — not even Al Gore — could have foreseen the enormous benefit to those freedoms that would be brought by the Internet. Now, the despots’ infringements on it are growing stronger.

Two actions last week by very different groups — the Federal Communications Commission in Washington and the European Court of Justice in Brussels — are having an enormous effect on Internet freedom. Naturally, one is being ignored by the American press and the other is being given a wrong-headed interpretation.

Last week’s decision by the European Court of Justice ruled that people have a “right” to be forgotten, which means that search engines provided by Google, Microsoft, and other global firms must remove the links to material to which people object. The ruling was a less-than-one-day story here. It’s generally ignored despite its impact on our First Amendment rights.

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Boycotting Benghazi

By 5.12.14

Rep. Trey Gowdy’s (R-SC) Select Committee to investigate the 9-11-2012 attacks in Benghazi was established by HR-567, which passed by a vote of 232-186 last Thursday. It’s supposed to be made up of seven Republicans and five Democrats. Speaker Boehner appointed Gowdy as chairman and Susan Brooks (Indiana), Jim Jordan (Ohio), Mike Pompeo (Kansas), Martha Roby (Alabama), Peter Roskam (Illinois) and Lynn Westmoreland (Georgia) as the Republican members. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal) has, so far, declined to appoint any Democrats to the committee.

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Still Digging Into Benghazi

By 5.5.14

Between the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012 and the presidential election on November 6, there were only fifty-six days. What followed in those fifty-six days was a calculated effort by the president, his administration, and the media to conceal what happened in Benghazi before, during, and after the attacks. That effort was motivated with one goal: to manipulate the news before the election to protect the Obama campaign.

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Beating a Dead Dove

By 4.28.14

Tomorrow, April 29, will come and go and no one will be the worse for it. If the date is remembered at all, it will mark yet another failure of President Obama’s diplomacy which did not produce a breakthrough peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Obama and Kerry established the date as an artificial deadline for a peace deal. Because the deadline was artificial, it placed no pressure on the parties for agreement in the latest round of the never-ending Middle East “peace process.” It is never-ending for two reasons, neither of which Obama and Kerry understand.

First, peace — any peace — is reached when and only when one of the belligerents has been defeated or so reduced in its ability to resist that it is compelled to make peace on terms that benefit the other. Israel, though weakened by Obama’s efforts to isolate it and Europe’s strong financial and political support for the Palestinians, is still strong enough to refuse a deal like the one Obama and Kerry were peddling, which would have forced Israel to make concessions on borders and other matters it considers destructive to its national security.

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Popping the Rand Paul Bubble

By 4.21.14

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) will never be elected president and that is a very good thing for our country for a great many reasons.

Paul is a libertarian first, a Republican second, and a conservative only when his libertarianism accidentally intersects with conservative values. And that’s not very often.

Republicans, especially conservatives, have fought for civil rights for more than fifty years. Democrats were the principal opponents of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Today, Paul has refused to say he’d have voted for it if he were in Congress at the time. And it gets worse. For example, in an April 2010 videotaped interview with the Louisville Courier-Journal, he tried to get around that precise question. Within his rambling answer he said, “I don’t like the idea of telling private business owners…I abhor racism…I think it’s a bad business decision to ever exclude anybody from your restaurant but at the same time I do believe in private ownership.” (The pauses are in the original.)

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Chuckie Hagel’s New Horse

By 4.14.14

Judging by the horse he gave Defense Secretary Chuckie Hagel a couple of days ago, Mongolian Defense Minister Dashdemberel must be a very diligent student of the defense budget that Congress is now trying to craft. The horse, of course, is a gelding.

When the president announced his proposed budget and Hagel went to Congress to state the party line, I wrote that several indispensable weapon systems — the U-2 reconnaissance aircraft, the A-10 Warthog attack aircraft, and half of the Navy’s 22 cruisers among them — would be retired. Under the president’s plan, military pay raises would be capped at 1% for the second straight year. Most of the fictive strategy the president brags about would have to be abandoned if the budget went through.

Because of these and other inanities in the president’s proposal, the House rejected it out of hand earlier this month by a margin of 413-2.

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