Oklahoma City Two likely Republican presidential candidates defended the PATRIOT Act and its terrorist surveillance provisions at a gathering of Republicans Friday morning. Both New Jersey governor Chris Christie and former Florida governor Jeb Bush were emphatic in their support for the National Security Agency’s metadata collection program.
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.
The latest craze in the presidential campaign is to ask the contenders (on the Republican side) whether they would have invaded Iraq if you knew what you know now. The answer is supposed to be obvious. Jeb Bush got himself into some trouble by answering the more important question, which is where the errors were made and how he would have corrected them. He is now backpedaling on the unforgivable error of having given too sophisticated an answer.
Hillary Clinton was forwarded an article a month after the terrorist attack on Benghazi that killed U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens that quoted Stevens's father. In the October 14, 2012, Bloomberg article, Jan Stevens, the late ambassador's father, was quoted saying that it would be "abhorrent" to make his son's death a political issue in the presidential campaign.
Republican members of the House intelligence committee say the Obama administration should release more of the one million-plus documents found after the 2011 raid that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
The White House has so far released around 120, including 86 more on Wednesday that revealed relatively trivial details, like the terrorist mastermind’s reading list. (One interesting nugget, though, was that al Qaeda had been considering opening a recruitment office in Iran.)
When a new study came out late last year proving—scientifically!—how easy it is to turn opponents of gay marriage into supporters, the political scientist Andrew Gelman managed to summarize his reaction in a single unscientific word: “Wow!”
In the release last week of a few more documents from the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan, the director of national intelligence included a list of the English-language books that were found in bin Laden’s possession. Among them, The Scrapbook was pleased to see, was one by our friend Henry Sokolski, an occasional contributor to these pages.
Oklahoma City Former Texas governor Rick Perry sounded off on the fall of the Iraqi city of Ramadi to Islamic State forces at a conference Thursday, saying President Obama has “lost the peace” in a critical part of the country. He also said Hillary Clinton bears responsibility for the current violent state of Iraq under ISIS.
In remarks today on Capitol Hill, Speaker of House John Boehner called for action in Iraq:
“On Iraq: It’s been a week now since ISIL fighters stormed Ramadi – the capital of Iraq’s largest province. Hundreds of innocent Iraqi men, women and children have been executed, dozens of U.S.-supplied tanks and military vehicles have been seized," said Boehner.
A small batch of newly released Hillary Clinton emails show that the then-secretary of state was exchanging sensitive information on her home brew server.
"The Times obtained about a third of the 850 pages of emails. They appear to back up Mrs. Clinton’s previous assertions that she did not receive classified information at her private email address," the New York Times reports.
Republican senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas said President Obama is "not providing the resources" to defeat the Islamic State in and that United States ought to send "a few thousand more" troops into Iraq to combat the terrorist group in that country.
On Wednesday afternoon Kentucky senator Rand Paul, a Republican presidential candidate, began what he's calling a filibuster of the Senate's renewal of the PATRIOT Act. Here's a tweet from Paul announcing the speech:
I've just taken the senate floor to begin a filibuster of the Patriot Act renewal. It's time to end the NSA spying!
“Islamophobia,” which carries with it implications of viciousness, pain, and disease, is not considered a neutral term, either by Muslims who accuse others of it (including some moderate believers in Islam), or by those who supposedly spread it.