Thursday May 26, 2016
While the New York Times has reported that the “State Department’s inspector general sharply criticized Hillary Clinton’s exclusive use of a private email server” and “undermined some of Mrs. Clinton’s previous statements”, the report did far more than criticize and undermine. It directly contradicted Clinton’s assertions on a number of key points. It further indicated not only clear violations of the State Department rules, but rules that were made clear to Clinton and her staff. (The Washington Post took a more critical view of Clinton’s statements in light of the report). Moreover, while this report deals with State regulations and rules (as well as the Federal Records Act), it does have bearing on the ongoing criminal investigation to the degree that it shows knowledge or reckless disregard of the security protocols and rules. It does show precisely that.
The report clearly establishes a number of damaging facts. First, the State Department made clear that a personal server was not allowed and would present serious security risks for the country. Second, Clinton never asked or received permission for such a server. Third, the State Department would
never have approved such a server. Fourth, Clinton’s objections to using the secure State Department system was not convenience (as she previously stated) but access to her personal emails. Fifth, her actions failed to comply with the Federal Records Act. Sixth, Clinton suspected that she was being hacked but continued to use her personal server exclusively. Finally, the report indicates that Clinton did not fully cooperate with the subsequent inquiries and investigation.
Thursday May 26, 2016
Unlike President Obama, who today is the first sitting president to ever visit the site of the first atomic bombing, I’ve visited Hiroshima many times while living in Japan.
The thing that always struck me about Hiroshima was simply being there. The train pulled into the station under an announcement that you had arrived in Hiroshima. It was another stop on the bullet train’s long run from Osaka to Fukuoka, so they called out the name as if it was just another stop. I’d get off the train, step out into the sunlight — that sunlight — and I was in Hiroshima. I had the same feeling only once before, taking a bus out of Munich and having the driver announce the next stop as Dachau. Somehow such names feel wrong being said so prosaically.
I guess no matter how many times I went to Hiroshima, I always expected something different to happen, when in fact nothing happened. There were 200,000 souls out there that no matter how much concrete and paving had been laid down could not have been buried deep enough. I couldn’t see them for the crowds of people pushing into the station, and I couldn’t hear them over the traffic noise.
Wednesday May 25, 2016
President Obama has suggested that he would like to see 100,000 refugees from Middle East wars admitted to the United States in 2017. According to one study, the total cost of such a move to the US taxpayer would be more than six billion dollars over the next five years. Additional refugees would raise that cost significantly. Anyone who objects to such a massively expensive program is accused of being heartless. But what about those who objected to US interventionist "regime change" policies that created the refugee crisis in the first place? Are we who would have left them alone to live their lives really heartless? What would be the best solution to the crisis? Tune in to the Liberty Report to find out...
Wednesday May 25, 2016
Kosovo is Clinton Country: a 10-foot-high statue of Bill overlooks “Bill Clinton Boulevard” in the capital city of Pristina. Hillary is also memorialized in what has become the crime capital of Europe: right off the street named for her husband is a store named “Hillary,”featuring women’s clothing modeled after the putative Democratic party nominee for President. Pantsuits figure prominently. As Vice puts it: “While former President Bill Clinton has had a boulevard named after him, it’s without a doubt that his wife’s the real star out here.” Why is that?
As Gail Sheehy pointed out in her biography of Hillary, it was Mrs. Clinton who hectored her husband into bowing to a chorus of neoconservative and liberal interventionist voices and finally giving the order to bomb the former Yugoslavia. Traveling to Kosovo when Serbs in the northern part of the country were demanding some form of local autonomy to stave off violent attacks by Kosovar ultra-nationalists, Mrs. Clinton reassured her hosts that the US would stand behind Pristina: “For me, my family and my fellow Americans this is more than a foreign policy issue, it is personal.” She then physically embraced Kosovo President and Mafia chieftain Hacim Thaci – who has since been credibly accused by the Council of Europe of stealing human organs from Serb victims and selling them on the black market.
Hillary owns Kosovo – she is not only personally responsible for its evolution from a province of the former Yugoslavia into a Mafia state, she is also the mother of the policy that made its very existence possible and which she carried into her years as Secretary of State under Barack Obama.
Tuesday May 24, 2016
A group of U.S. intelligence veterans is calling on President Obama to expedite the FBI review of former Secretary of State Clinton’s alleged email security violations so the public can assess this issue in a timely fashion.
MEMORANDUM FOR: The President
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
SUBJECT: Those “Damn Emails” – “Really a Concern”
Last Wednesday Robert Gates, CIA Director under President Bush-41 and Defense Secretary under President Bush-43, publicly commented that Secretary Hillary Clinton’s “whole email thing … is really a concern in terms of her judgment,” adding, “I don’t know what originally prompted her to think that was a good idea.”
What originally prompted her does not matter. As your Secretary of State and your subordinate, she willfully violated laws designed to protect classified information from unauthorized disclosure. It may be somewhat difficult for those not as immersed in national security matters as we have been to appreciate the seriousness of the offense, including the harm done in compromising some of the most sensitive U.S. programs and activities. This is why we write.
Tuesday May 24, 2016
Harvard law professor and former Obama Administration official Cass Sunstein has written approvingly recently about a recent Supreme Court decision which affirms a 1997 case that determined that Executive Branch agencies have the authority to interpret the meaning of the regulations they write. What this means is that the Legislative Branch and the Judicial Branch of government will have no role in either writing or interpreting what are de facto laws (anyone who does not believe that should try breaking an IRS regulation and see what happens) written by the Executive Branch. It represents a huge agglomeration of power in the hands of the bureaucrats who in most cases answer to no elected authority. This is the real "deep state," where the elites rule over us under the approving gazes of ideologues like Sunstein. What does this mean for liberty? Tune in to today's Liberty Report...
Tuesday May 24, 2016
Last week I attended a foreign policy conference in Washington that featured a number of prominent academics and former government officials who have been highly critical of the way the Bush and Obama Administrations have interacted with the rest of the world. Professor John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago was on a panel and was asked what, in his opinion, has been the most notable foreign policy success and the most significant failure in the past twenty-five years. The success was hard to identify and there was some suggestion that it might be the balancing of relationships in strategically vital Northeast Asia, which “we have not yet screwed up.” If I had been on the panel I would have suggested the Iran nuclear agreement as a plus.
As for the leading foreign policy failure there was an easy answer, “Iraq” which was on everyone in the room’s lips, but Mearsheimer urged one not to be so hasty. In reality the Iraq disaster has killed hundreds of thousands, has cost trillions of dollars and has unleashed serious problems for the Mideast region in general while allowing the rise of ISIS, but in “realistic foreign policy terms” it has not been a catastrophic event for the United States, which had hardly been seriously injured by it apart from financially and in terms of reputation.
Mearsheimer went on to say that, in his opinion, there is a far greater disaster lurking and that is the total mismanagement of the relationship with Russia ever since the downfall of communism. He cited the drive by Washington democracy promoters to push Ukraine into the western economic and political sphere as a major miscalculation as they failed to realize or did not care that what takes place in Kiev was to Moscow a vital interest.
Monday May 23, 2016
One of the most popular apps these days is Snapchat. It allows the sender to set a timer for any photo dispatched via the app, so that a few seconds after the recipient opens the message, the photo is automatically deleted.
The evidence of what you did at that party last night is seen and then disappears. POOF!
I hope you’ll forgive me if I suggest that the Iraq-Syria War against the Islamic State (ISIS) is being conveyed to us via Snapchat. Important things happen, they appear in front of us, and then… POOF!… they’re gone. No one seems to remember them. Who cares that they’ve happened at all, when there’s a new snap already arriving for your attention? As with most of what flows through the real Snapchat, what’s of some interest at first makes no difference in the long run.
Just because we now have terrifyingly short memories does not, however, mean that things did not happen. Despite the POOF! effect, events that genuinely mattered when it comes to the region in which Washington has, since the 1980s, been embroiled in four wars, actually did occur last week, last month, a war or two ago, or, in some cases, more than half a century in the past. What follows are just some of the things we’ve forgotten that couldn’t matter more.
Monday May 23, 2016
President Obama's visit to Vietnam was more about bringing this former adversary into the US sphere of influence against China than about truly developing further mutually-beneficial trade and other relations. The opening of weapons sales to Vietnam will be a boon to the US military-industrial complex (Lockheed-Martin and Raytheon are already eyeing juicy deals) and is designed to cut out the Russians. Pushing the Trans-Pacific Partnership is to the benefit of the "deep state" and a new world order of non-elected global governing bodies. And the implied US support for a more confrontational Vietnamese relationship with China shows the "Pivot to Asia" as nothing more than an Asian version of NATO's policy of encircling Russia. It is a shame that in his "farewell tour" Obama is carrying such dangerous baggage...
Sunday May 22, 2016
Debates over the US government’s foreign and economic policies have recently taken a backseat to the debate over what bathroom transgender individuals should use. The two sides of the debate both believe that government has the legitimate authority to tell private businesses who they should allow to use their facilities. Few on either side of this debate defend the right of private property owners to decide for themselves who may and may not use their bathrooms.
Some say government must be involved in this issue in order to ensure that private businesses do not violate individual rights. Those who make this claim are accepting the idea that rights are no more than a gift from the government that can be revoked at the will and whim of legislators and bureaucrats. This argument turns rights from a shield protecting our liberties into a sword that can and will be used to increase government control of our lives.