The Obama administration is set to release another 17 detainees from Guantánamo Bay. The New York Times reports that the defense secretary has notified Congress of the iminent transfers:
The Obama administration appears to be on the cusp of the largest round of transfers of Guantánamo Bay detainees in a single month since 2007, a move that could reduce the detainee population there to as low as 90 by mid- to late January, according to officials familiar with internal deliberations.
Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter has notified Congress in recent days that he has approved 17 proposed transfers of lower-level detainees, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to
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
President Obama used the terror attack in California this week to push gun control. In his weekly address, Obama called the massacre an "act of terror" but then pivoted to talking about American gun laws.
"We know that the killers in San Bernardino used military-style assault weapons—weapons of war—to kill as many people as they could. It's another tragic reminder that here in America it's way too easy for dangerous people to get their hands on a gun," Obama said in his weekly address.
"For example, right now, people on the No-Fly list can walk into a store and buy a gun. That is insane. If you're too dangerous to board a plane, you're too dangerous, by definition, to buy a gun. And so I'm calling onRead more
The New Hampshire Union Leader has endorsed Chris Christie for president. The state's largest daily newspaper, which has a conservative-leaning editorial board, published the endorsement Saturday. Here's an excerpt:
Our choice is Gov. Chris Christie. As a U.S. attorney and then a big-state governor, he is the one candidate who has the range and type of experience the nation desperately needs.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
One of the most durable arguments for not responding as forcefully as possible to al Qaeda, the Islamic State, and jihadi groups in general is that they do not pose an “existential” threat to America. Indeed, this lies at the core of the Obama administration’s strategy for the Middle East. As the president toldRead more
While their fireworks have earned Carly Fiorina and Donald Trump the most attention after Wednesday night’s Republican debate in California, the winner for the most detailed and substantive performance may go to Marco Rubio.Read more
A new Pew poll finds shrinking support among the American people for the nuclear deal with Iran. The poll found 49 percent are opposed to the deal, with 21 percent in support and 30 percent who say they don't know.
That's a 12-point drop in support for the deal from Pew's poll two months ago, which found 33 percent supported the deal and 45 percent oppose it. Here's more from Pew:Read more
Over the weekend, the Washington Post’s editorial page editor Fred Hiatt argued that Syria may be “the most surprising of President Obama’s foreign-policy legacies: not just that he presided over a humanitarian and cultural disaster of epochal proportions, but that he soothed the American people into feeling no responsibility for the tragedy.”Read more
Jeb Bush delivered a thoughtful and clear-eyed speech on Tuesday about the threat posed by ISIS and radical Islamic terrorism. It was a forward-looking speech that offered a compelling strategy to deal with this growing threat (something we haven’t heard from Hillary Clinton).Read more
“We have already cut defense … about 30 percent over the last 10 years, and we’re still at war. We’re actively involved on multiple continents in real combat operations. We should not be drastically reducing our troop levels.”Read more
Tonight's debate was full of fireworks. And somewhat surprisingly, Donald Trump was arguably not the most confrontational candidate on stage. Senator Rand Paul provided some of the more memorable moments of the night by challenging the other candidates on stage. Here is a transcript of Paul's dust-up over national security with Governor Christie. Judge for yourself who got the better of the argument:Read more
According to National Security Council (NSC) chief of staff Suzy George, the NSC is "downsizing," but not "for its own sake." George calls it "right-sizing," a way for the White House to "align our staffing with our strategic priorities."Read more
A review conducted by the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security found that two and a half years after a scathing report on the state of intra-agency communications in the event of an emergency, "DHS components’ inability to communicate with each other persists." The department's corrective actions and plans are still not finalized,Read more
While the country slept Friday night and into Saturday morning, the U.S. Senate debated and voted on whether to alter substantially the NSA’s bulk telephone meta-data collection program, extend it for a short period, or simply let it die on June 1 when the “sunset” provision governing the relevant section (Sec. 215) of the Patriot Act kicks in.Read more
The early Cold War period might be called the Age of the Treaty Organization. The United States, scrambling furiously to respond to the fact that it had become the guarantor of the “Free World,” had discovered a surprising interest in entangling alliances of all sorts and in all parts of the world. NATO, of course, was the biggest pact of them all, but in 1954 the “Manilla Pact” created the Southeast Asian Treaty OrganizRead more
At an event today at Howard University in Washington, D.C., President Obama warned of the public health risks assocaited with global warming.
"[T]he discussion really centered around the fact that climate change is having a impact on our public health," Obama said at today's event.Read more
Former Texas governor Rick Perry said he was "alarmed" by reports the Obama administration is considering not supporting the state of Israel at the United Nations. Perry, who may run for president in 2016, said he urged Obama to "turn away from such a path."Read more
Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas delivered his maiden speech from the floor of the Senate on "Ending America’s Retreat, Restoring America’s Military Dominance," as the speech was titled. Watch here:
Here are Cotton's remarks, as prepared for delivery:Read more
Barack Obama wants us all to simmer down about Iran. He wants Senator Bob Menendez, a fellow Democrat, and the donors he represents to butt out of the sanctions debate. He wants Republicans to quit crying wolf about Iran’s nuclear weapons program. He wants the media to stop hyping terror threats. He wants the American people in the dark about the secret correspondence he’s had for years with Iran’s supreme leader. He wants John Boehner to be mindful of protocol.Read more
Lost in much of the reporting about CPAC is that almost all of the likely presidential candidates—really, all of them, with the exception of Rand Paul—seemed to place themselves at the Reaganite hawkish-internationalist end of the foreign policy spectrum. The much-heralded return of Republican isolationism or anti-interventionism wasn’t much in evidence, except during Rand Paul's half hour on the stage.Read more
The crisis between the United States and Israel has been manufactured by the Obama administration. Building a crisis up or down is well within the administration’s power, and it has chosen to build it up. Why? Three reasons: to damage and defeat Netanyahu (whom Obama has always disliked simply because he is on the right while Obama is on the left) in his election campaign, to prevent Israel from affecting the Iran policy debate in the United States, and worst of all to diminish Israel’s popularity in the United States and especially among Democrats.Read more
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