Hillary’s Libya Emails



A little more than three hours after the State Department released 848 pages of Hillary Clinton’s emails, the Daily Beast had seen enough to render its judgment: “Sorry GOP. There’s No Smoking Gun In Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi Emails.” The subhead: “Conspiracy-minded conservatives, be warned: The trove of Clinton emails doesn’t prove much about her culpability for the infamous 9/11 anniversary attacks.” 

It’s the media version of Frank Drebin: Please disperse, there’s nothing to see here. Trey Gowdy, pack your bags and go home.

Of course, no one actually believed that this batch of emails would produce a smoking gun on Benghazi. Hillary Clinton has sought to avoid public scrutiny of her emails since before she was sworn in as secretary of state. When she did turn over some of her emails to the State Department, it was Clinton and her lawyers who decided which ones they would make ...


Where’s Paul Revere?


From the beginning, patriots have understood the need, at times, to sound the alarm:

So through the night rode Paul Revere;

And so through the night went his cry of ...


Hawks of a Feather

The Republican candidates and foreign policy.


Dave Malan

Oklahoma City
The Republican candidates in the crowded and growing presidential field may each be trying to break out of the pack, but there’s one policy area where debate is scarce. In recent weeks, and particularly here at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, the GOP candidates and near-candidates have all sounded remarkably consistent on foreign policy, from the broad themes to the details.

“We’ve got to reinstate American leadership when it comes to world affairs,” said Scott Walker in Oklahoma City. “The rest of the world wants America to lead,” said Chris Christie later that day. “We have to lead based on strength.” Carly Fiorina calls her vision for foreign policy “influence through strength.” Lindsey Graham’s super-PAC is actually called Security Through Strength. In a recent speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, Marco Rubio said the first of three pillars of his foreign ...


The Presidential Skill Set

What you want in a leader won’t show up on the résumé.


Former Texas governor Rick Perry is gearing up for another presidential run and recently fired a shot across the bow of some of his competitors. In an interview with The Weekly Standard, Perry said that while he had “great respect” for senators Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul, ...

Supreme leader Khamenei inspects  new IRGC troops, March 21, 2014.

Paying Tehran’s Bills

Sanctions relief will only empower Iran.


Even the Obama administration acknowledges that Iran is up to a lot of mischief in the Middle East. Tehran is engaged in a sectarian conflict from Lebanon to Syria and Iraq that has recently come to include Yemen as another active front. However, the White House continues to ...


Slim Pickings

The Democrats’ weak bench.


The Democratic presidential candidates are a sad lot. Hillary Clinton is clumsily positioning herself inside the left wing of her party. She won’t take questions. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont is 73, looks 10 years older, and says a 90 percent income-tax rate would be fine with ...

The LCS USS Independence off Southern California, May 2, 2012

They Only Say No

Reforming the Pentagon testing office.


Buried deep in the House version of this year’s defense authorization is a brief provision that has great potential to improve and accelerate the way the armed services buy weapons​—​yes, an actual reform of Pentagon procurement. The irony is that this reform would mark a reversal ...


Transformational Diplomacy

Can a nuclear deal change Iran?


Dissident Akbar Ganji in Tehran, May 30, 2005

Many supporters of an Iranian nuclear agreement believe that a deal could help to moderate, even democratize, Iranian society. Barack Obama’s constant allusions to the transformative potential of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action for U.S.-Iranian relations suggest that he believes an agreement, which would quickly release tens of billions of dollars to the Islamic Republic and reintegrate it into the global financial system, would improve the clerical regime’s behavior. Democrats and Republicans have often touted the transformative power of global markets; our bipartisan China policy is built upon this pedestal. As much as free-trading corporate Republicans, the Clinton administration loved advancing the idea that business spreads amity. A former State Department adviser to Richard Holbrooke and now the dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Vali Nasr, wrote a well-received book, Forces of Fortune, which argues that commerce ...

A pro-Hobby Lobby rally in Chicago, June 30, 2014

Obama’s Reformation

He urged—and then forced—a conversation about religion and democracy


Had Jeremiah Wright’s antics not forced Barack Obama to expound famously on race in 2008, the most significant speech of his short Senate tenure would have been his 2006 remarks on religion and democracy. Appearing before Call to Renewal’s conference on ...

Books & Arts

Lost Victory

Building up, tearing down in Iraq.


Emma Sky (second from left), Gen. Ray Odierno (center) in Khalis, Iraq (2009)

The Unraveling is a love story. Like many love stories, it starts with two seemingly irreconcilable personalities forming a bond they never anticipated. But, true to form, the ending is tragic. In this instance, the main character is author Emma Sky, the British, Oxford-educated, lefty international do-gooder who falls for the U.S. Army and its religious, flag-waving, America-the-Beautiful officer corps, and one officer in particular: General Ray Odierno, former commander of the Multi-National Force in Iraq and the current Army chief of staff. The tragedy, of course, is Iraq.

Sky’s story begins with her volunteering to join the Coalition Provisional Authority in 2003 as it set out to put post-Saddam Iraq back on its feet. Reflecting Washington’s lack of planning about what would follow Saddam’s demise, Sky finds herself within days named ...

Central portal, Chartres Cathedral

The Middle Range

Sometimes contemporary scholarship is a disservice to the past.


We live in the world that the Middle Ages made. It is hard to think of any modern institution—bank, business corporation, university, the legal system, parliamentary government—that doesn’t have medieval roots. Even the typeface of this ...

Dr. Samuel Mudd House, Charles County, Maryland

Booth on Stage

Echoes and memories of the actor-assassin.


At intervals in his abbreviated life, John Wilkes Booth (1838-1865) apparently pictured himself as a man of destiny—although when, on one occasion, he exclaimed, “I must have fame,” he was presumably thinking of the family craft (acting) and not murder. But ...

‘Newly Published Cat’s Games’ (1884)  by Utagawa Kunitoshi

Hello, Kitties

An exhibition of cat art as metaphor.


At the Japan Society, an exhibition of ukiyo-e has clawed its way into the spotlight. Ukiyo-e is a genre of woodblock prints, a familiar medium in Japanese art exhibitions. While these prints are always beautiful and ...

Wilbur (left) and Orville Wright (1910)

Flying Machinists

The air wasn’t conquered with the greatest of ease.


Alexis de Tocqueville, perhaps the greatest French export to the United States, took special notice, during his travels, of what he called the “philosophic method” of Americans: 

Steve Miller Band Greatest Hits 1974-1979

Miller’s Lament

When misattributions reach critical mass.


When I sit down with old friends who, like me, are in their 70s, I sometimes ask: “If you could live your life again, would you do anything differently?” Most just scratch their heads and say, “I dunno.” Recently, I told three old friends ...


After Moses, Solomon

Matt Labash, dog listener


Dave Malan

I've had a lot of dogs of many different physical types, but each has come loaded with the same daunting reminder: the countdown clock I can’t help but hear ticking away inside of them. I suppose I come with one of those, too, if I care to confront reality. Denial may be easier on the nerves, but the actuaries don’t lie. Your average American these days lasts 78.8 years. My average large purebred lasts about 8. Meaning over the course of a lifetime, I’ll bid farewell many more times than they will. 

Recently, I had to say goodbye to Moses, 145 lbs of beautiful Bernese mountain dog, the closest I’ve ever come to sharing my house with a black bear. We acquired him as a rescue—the family who’d owned him couldn’t handle his ursine qualities. And I doubted my own capabilities at first, when he jumped on the couch, snapping menacingly if we tried to remove him. Or when he treed my son up a magnolia after ripping off his shirt. Forced ...


FIFA’s New Referee


The Scrapbook is willing to wager that, until last week, the vast majority of Americans had never heard of FIFA, the governing body of association football (soccer), headquartered in Zurich. Among other things, FIFA runs the popular World Cup tournament every four years; perhaps more important, FIFA also decides where the World Cup tournaments are held. 

On May 27, in a series of spectacular raids in Switzerland and Florida, the U.S. Department of Justice and Swiss police rounded up nine FIFA officials and five sports marketing executives (only a few of them Americans) and charged them with multiple counts of corruption and racketeering. Attorney General Loretta Lynch accused FIFA, in general, of “rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted” corruption, and the executives, in particular, of corruptly deciding “who would televise games, where the games would be held, and who would run the organization overseeing organized soccer ...

Bernie Sanders

Looking Backwards with Bernie

The Scrapbook is generally pleased that Bernie Sanders has decided to enter the presidential race. Where Democrats laughably insist that they are mere pragmatists free from ideological cant, the senator from Vermont is refreshingly honest about his desire to impose socialism on ...

Gay Marriage

Progressive Ireland?

On May 22, Ireland became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage through popular referendum, with 62 percent of the electorate supporting the constitutional change. The reported reactions, as you might expect, were overwhelmingly positive. Prime Minister Enda ...


The King Obama Version

In his Memorial Day speech at Arlington National Cemetery, President Obama seems to have taken it upon himself to update the greatest achievement in the history of the English language—the King James Bible. He was reaching for John 15:13, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a ...


Sentences We Didn’t Finish

"One of the Obama administration’s underrated virtues is its intellectual honesty. Yes, Republicans see deception and sinister ulterior motives everywhere, but they’re just projecting. The truth is that .  .  .” (Paul Krugman, New York Times, May 22, 2015).


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