The Washington Post claims that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has “gained an apparent ally…in her fight to limit the political damage from her growing email controversy."
The supposed ally is another former secretary of state, Colin Powell. Why? Two of Powell's emails have been retroactively classified. (He doesn't think they should be.)
But there are obvious differences between Powell's receipt of two emails and Clinton's robust private email operation. Let's compare the facts as set forth in the Post's own piece.
First, "tens of thousands of emails…passed through the private server Clinton used while in office." Powell did not have a private server for his State Department emails.Read more
President Barack Obama says his administration will continue releasing terrorists from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, so long as those released are less dangerous than the jihadists currently fighting against the U.S. and its interests.
The bizarre argument comes in a new interview with Olivier Knox of Yahoo! News and is one of several comments in their discussion that reinforces the president's stubborn nonchalance on issues related to jihad. Obama also shrugs off concerns about recidivism of former Guantanamo detainees, suggesting that only a "handful" of former detainees have returned to the fight and claiming that only "low-level" terrorists have been released from the detention facility. Both claimsRead more
On December 6, Barack Obama addressed the nation from the Oval Office for just the third time in his tenure. The president sought to reassure the American people that he has a strategy for defeating ISIL (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), just days after supporters of the self-declared "caliphate" massacred 14 people at a holiday party in San Bernardino, California.
Given recent events, Obama could have announced a change of course. He could have said that the time has come to end, once and for all, ISIL's grip on its de facto capital of Raqqa, Syria, and second city of Mosul, Iraq. Instead, the president simply offered a bullet point summary of what his administration has done to date.Read more
Secretary of State John Kerry believes that al Qaeda’s “top leadership” has been “neutralize[d]” as “an effective force.” He made the claim while discussing the administration’s strategy, or lack thereof, for combating the Islamic State (ISIS), which is al Qaeda’s jihadist rival. Kerry believes that the U.S. and its allies can finish off ISIS quicker than al Qaeda. There’s just one problem: It is not true that al Qaeda or its top leaders have been “neutralize[d].”Read more
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with Foundation for the Defense of Democracies Senior Fellow and frequent contributor Thomas Joscelyn on the fight against terrorism in the Middle East.Read more
In May, the London Review of Books published a 10,000-word exposé by veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh on the killing of Osama bin Laden. It was widely read online, receiving “more than two million page-views,” according to an editor’s note inserted at the bottom. While Hersh’s account was popular in the Internet’s fever swamps, however, it was given little credence by the mainstream press. The New Yorker, where Hersh has published much of his work, passed on the story. Indeed, the thinly sourced piece seems implausible on its face.Read more
For years, the British government and a network of anti-Guantanamo activists have agitated for the release of Shaker Aamer. Now their wish was finally granted. Aamer has been released from Guantanamo. He is receiving a hero’s welcome in the UK, where much of the media has treated him as an innocent who was wrongly detained.Read more
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has released its latest statistics on the number of former Guantanamo detainees who are either confirmed or suspected of returning to the fight. As expected, there has been a slight increase in the number of ex-detainees who have rejoined the jihad.Read more
On July 21, the Pentagon announced that Muhsin al-Fadhli, an al Qaeda operative who had been wanted for more than a decade, was killed in an airstrike in Syria earlier in the month. Fadhli has been dead at least once before. In September 2014, the United States launched airstrikes against his so-called Khorasan Group (a cadre of al Qaeda veterans plotting attacks against the West), and some officials told the press that Fadhli had perished. That wasn’t true. Still, Defense Department officials are confident they got their man on July 8.Read more
On Monday, the Pentagon announced that Ali Ani al Harzi was killed in a U.S. airstrike in Mosul, Iraq. For those who have followed the public reporting on the September 11, 2012, Benghazi attack closely, al Harzi’s name will ring a bell. He was one of the first suspects to be publicly identified by name. Eli Lake, then of The Daily Beast, got the scoop in October 2012.Read more
After four years of fierce internecine battles and inexplicable delays, the intelligence community last week started the process of releasing more documents captured in the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) posted on its website several dozen documents of uneven importance, bringing the total number of bin Laden documents available to the public to slightly more than 100.Read more
President Obama has long known that the real decision maker in Iran is Ayatollah Khamenei, the so-called supreme leader. While other Iranian officials have negotiated with Western powers over the mullahs’ nuclear program, Khamenei’s opinion is the only one that really counts. It is for this reason that Obama began writing directly to Khamenei early in his presidency.Read more
During a terror trial in Brooklyn last month, federal prosecutors entered into evidence several files recovered in Osama bin Laden’s compound. The documents, consisting mainly of letters to and from bin Laden during the last year of his life, gained more and more attention over the weeks that followed. There are simply too many revelations to ignore. And so the documents have been featured in news coverage around the globe, from primetime television in Pakistan to the front page of the New York Times.Read more
Not long after his inauguration in January 2009, President Barack Obama penned a letter to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran. As a presidential candidate, Obama had promised to conduct “tough, direct diplomacy” with the Iranians. And Obama figured, correctly, that all diplomatic entreaties would end up on Khamenei’s desk. So, the newly elected president decided to write Iran’s ultimate decision-maker directly. And he has written several letters since.Read more
This week, prosecutors in New York introduced eight documents recovered in Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan as evidence in the trial of a terrorism suspect. The U.S. government accuses Abid Naseer of taking part in al Qaeda’s scheme to attack targets in Europe and New York City. And prosecutors say the documents are essential for understanding the scope of al Qaeda’s plotting.Read more
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with Foundation for the Defense of Democracies Senior Fellow and frequent contributor Thomas Joscelyn on the fight against ISIS.Read more
In response to the Islamic State’s horrific burning of a pilot, the Jordanian government has released from prison one of the most influential al Qaeda-allied ideologues in the world. Sound strange? It is.Read more
The Islamic State, a self-proclaimed “caliphate” that rules over large portions of Iraq and Syria, has released a video showing a Jordanian pilot, Mu’adh al Kasasibah, being burned alive. He is shown standing and praying in the middle of a cage as a fighter sets fire to him. The video is horrific, but not surprising. We should know by now that there is no limit to the group’s brutality.Read more
CNN’s Barbara Starr reports that the U.S. military and intelligence community thinks that one member of the so-called Taliban Five “has attempted to return to militant activity from his current location in Qatar.” Officials aren’t saying which one of the five Taliban leaders, who were held at Guantanamo before being transferred to Qatar last year, has fallen under suspicion. But the U.S. has been monitoring their communications and one of the five has “reached out” to other jihadists.Read more
Two gunmen entered the Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli Tuesday morning. When their shooting rampage was over, at least ten people had been killed. For jihadists in Libya, the hotel was an inviting target. Foreign diplomats, Western tourists and officials from Libya’s rival governments are known to frequent it. Indeed, the victims were five foreigners, including an American, and five Libyans.Read more
Alberto Nisman, the special prosecutor who had been investigating the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center (the AMIA building) in Argentina, has been found dead in his Buenos Aires apartment. Nisman was famous in intelligence and law enforcement circles for amassing evidence that implicates Iran in the AMIA attack, which left 85 people dead and hundreds more wounded.Read more
The jihadists responsible for the most successful terrorist attack in France in decades hunted down cartoonists. They did not target a significant historical landmark, such as the Eiffel Tower, or any well-known French politicians. They did not seek to maximize civilian casualties in a suicide bombing, a trademark of previous attacks. Instead, they methodically killed Stéphane Charbonnier, the editorial director of Charlie Hebdo, and other members of the French magazine’s staff. This was deliberate.Read more
On Sunday, December 7, a U.S. military medical aircraft landed in South America, to deliver six jihadists from the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay to Uruguay. For more than a dozen years, these six men had been held as dangerous enemies of the United States. Suddenly, Uruguay treated them as refugees, even victims, and the Obama administration didn’t object.Read more
For most of last week, the report on enhanced interrogations produced by Democrats on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence dominated headlines. To the extent that there was a debate at all, it was one-sided. News coverage routinely described the findings as the “Senate torture report,” often failing even to note that it was written exclusively by Democratic staff or account for the differences between techniques used as part of the CIA program and abuses committed outside of that program.Read more
Ex-Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg is back in the news this week. On Sunday, CNN’s Fareed Zakaria interviewed Begg to get his perspective on the recently released report, written by Democrats on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, concerning the CIA’s controversial interrogation program. Zakaria teased Begg’s segment at the beginning of his show, saying, “Moazzam Begg wants an apology. He was held in U.S. prisons and says he was abused and witnessed torture. What is his response to the report?Read more
After a long day on November 13, 2013, Speaker of the House John Boehner walked down the marble hallways of the Longworth House Office Building to the personal office of Representative Devin Nunes for a drink, a cigarette, and maybe a brief reprieve.Read more
Type in your email
address to get started:
Thank you for signing up for the Jonathan V. last newsletter! You should receive your first newsletter very soon.
We're sorry, there was an error processing your newsletter signup.