4:45 PM, Jul 9, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama announced the resignation of National Counterterrorism Center director Matt Olsen.
"Most Americans may not know Matt Olsen’s name, but every American is safer because of his service," says Obama in a prepared statement.
"As Director of the National Counterterrorism Center for the past three years, Matt and the dedicated professionals he has led at the NCTC have been absolutely critical to our success in disrupting terrorist cells, thwarting attacks and protecting the American people from evolving threats at home and abroad. I’ve relied on Matt’s wise judgment and counsel, and I am especially grateful for his work to ensure that our counterterrorism efforts remain consistent with the rule of law and our values as a nation. As he concludes 24 years of federal service, I thank Matt for a distinguished career that has left our nation more secure and even better prepared to meet the threats of our time."
No reason for Olsen's resignation was given.
7:01 AM, Jun 5, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Addressing a Center for Strategic and International Studies forum earlier this week, Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael G. Vickers detailed a laundry list of national security threats that the United States faces today, the American Forces Press Services reports, including:
8:19 AM, Jun 2, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Former Obama administration national security official Michael Leiter called the release of five top Taliban leaders from Gitmo a "big win" for the Taliban:
11:42 AM, Apr 16, 2014 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
A video of a large al Qaeda gathering in Yemen has raised eyebrows in the press. Nasir al Wuhayshi, the head of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), as well as general manager of al Qaeda’s global network, can be heard saying to a crowd of more than 100: "We must eliminate the cross. ... The bearer of the cross is America!"
10:22 AM, Apr 9, 2014 • By GABRIEL SCHOENFELD
My review of former top CIA lawyer John Rizzo’s book Company Man appears in the current issue of this magazine. A friend in a high place who read the review pointed out to me that the book adds something significant to our understanding of the Valerie Plame, Scooter Libby, Richard Armitage, Judith Miller, Robert Novak imbroglio.
3:47 PM, Mar 1, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
A White House official emailed some reporters to say that President Obama's team met today to discuss the ongoing situation on Ukraine. It appears President Obama did not attend.
"The President's national security team met today to receive an update on the situation in Ukraine and discuss potential policy options. We will provide further updates later this afternoon," reads the full statement.
10:24 AM, Feb 25, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Vice President Dick Cheney ripped President Obama's defense drawdown in a phone conversation with Sean Hannity:
"They’re basically making the decision in the Obama administration that they no longer want to be dominant on the seas and in skies and space," says Cheney.
"The fact of the matter is having a huge impact on the ability of future presidents to deal with future crises that are bound to arise."
11:11 AM, Feb 3, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Al Qaeda is not on the run. And John Kerry, according to a report in Bloomberg, is finally admitting it.
"[T]he al-Qaeda threat is real, it is getting out of hand,” Kerry told a delegation.
It's in stark contrast to President Obama's repeated claims. “A day after 9/11, we are reminded that a new tower rises above the New York skyline, but al Qaeda is on the path to defeat and bin Laden is dead,” Obama said in the run up to his reelection in 2012.
9:01 AM, Feb 3, 2014 • By GARY SCHMITT
In the immediate days leading up to President Obama’s January 17 speech on the National Security Agency, news stories and leaks from the White House suggested the president would largely ignore the set of overhauls that had been put forward by his own presidential review panel—Peter Baker’s New York Times front-page story, “Obama’s Path from Critic to Overseer of Spying,” is a good example. But then the president gave his speech and, while the changes he offered up were not as radical as the panel’s recommendations, he did go farther than the pre-speech spin stories led you to believe by requiring each and every search of the NSA database to have judicial approval, which is a major modification to the program.
11:13 AM, Jan 24, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
In a little noticed interview President Obama did with German media last weekend, he defended his positioning on the NSA by saying, "I am one figure, one man in this broader process."
Feb 3, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 20 • By GARY SCHMITT
In the wake of all the “leaks” by Edward Snowden of the National Security Agency’s collection programs and the resulting debate over those programs, one constantly hears from elected officials and the commentariat about the need to strike the right balance between privacy and security. More often than not, this is followed by a suggestion that, as a country, since 9/11, we haven’t.
The NSA on trial.Jan 13, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 17 • By GARY SCHMITT
Not that long ago, one could assume that a judge with an activist approach to interpreting the Constitution was probably left-of-center politically and, accordingly, believed that overturning precedents was often necessary in order to make the Constitution relevant to present issues and alive to evolving democratic mores.
3:01 PM, Dec 21, 2013 • By GARY SCHMITT
When the “President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technology” issued its report (Liberty and Security in a Changing World) this past week, an honest and objective newspaper headline the next day would have read: “Rogue Panel Reports on Non-Rogue NSA Program.”
12:20 PM, Dec 11, 2013 • By ROGER I. ZAKHEIM and THOMAS DONNELLY
A future historian would describe the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA) as having a profound effect on the United States. The BCA, he would write, was a critical step toward making America into a social democracy while ensuring its decline as a global military power. He would conclude that the law transformed the U.S. government into an entitlements agency that occasionally paved a road or killed a terrorist.
4:25 PM, Dec 4, 2013 • By ROGER I. ZAKHEIM and THOMAS DONNELLY
House Armed Services Committee chairman Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon doesn’t look like an insurgent. The quintessential Californian – a man of Reaganesque optimism whose congressional district now includes the Gipper’s presidential library – McKeon has been a steadfast supporter of House speaker John Boehner in turbulent times. Yet, to the green-eyeshade editorialists of the Wall Street Journal, McKeon is leading a “rebellion” of defense hawks, an “act of masochism” threatening the Holy of Holies: the sequestration provision of the Budget Control Act (BCA). McKeon’s crime is that he’s hoping for a 2014 budget deal that would reduce the amount of defense sequestration by half.