The House Select Committee on Benghazi will be making public next week new documents that demonstrate Sidney Blumenthal was seeking business in Libya as he was advising then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on U.S. policy in the country. According to a letter from Chairman Trey Gowdy to Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the committee, at least once Clinton sought to aid Blumenthal's business interests in Libya.
Earlier this summer, we learned the Pentagon’s inspector general is investigating allegations that the intelligence on ISIS was manipulated. Analysts at U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Florida, formally complained to the IG that analysis contradicting the Obama administration’s narrative on ISIS was routinely challenged, rewritten, or disregarded. The administration was eager to sell the story that the campaign against ISIS was going well; much of the intelligence made clear it wasn’t. That intelligence was buried, and the happy talk continued.
Today, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg confirmed that Russia has violated Turkish airspace for a second time. On Saturday, a Russian plane crossed into Turkish airspace near the Syrian border, and in response the Turks scrambled two F-16s. In a subsequent incident, Ankara said that a MiG-29—flown either by Russia or its client Syria—locked its radar on to two more Turkish F-16s Sunday as they patrolled the border.
President Barack Obama talked about Hillary Clinton's recent disagreements with his Syria policy by saying "there's a difference between running for president and being president."
"Hillary Clinton is not half-baked in terms of her approach to these problems--she was obviously my secretary of state," said Obama. "But I also think that there's a difference between running for president and being president."
The Yom Kippur liturgy, just followed in synagogues around the world, repeats several times references to God as one who rescues captives. The central daily Jewish prayer as well refers to God who “supports the fallen, heals the sick, sets captives free.” And throughout Jewish history, the redemption of captives has been considered an important commandment. This is the background to the repeated decisions by the state of Israel to free a hundred or a thousand Arab prisoners in exchange for one single captive Jew.
The United States, President Obama said at the U.N. General Assembly last week, “worked with many nations in this assembly to prevent a third world war—by forging alliances with old adversaries.” Presumably, the president was not referring to his deeply flawed Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the recent agreement that the White House has marketed as the only alternative to war with a soon-to-be-nuclear Iran.
By any objective measure, Russia has made a strategic decision to challenge America for dominance in the Middle East. Despite depressed global oil prices and economic sanctions intended to curb his Ukraine adventurism, Vladimir Putin is pursuing an undisguised effort to expand Moscow’s military power, political heft, and economic influence in a region long under Washington’s sway. Barack Obama has made no effective response, and none seems in prospect. The recent Obama-Putin meeting at the United Nations did not change that underlying reality.
It was the middle of the night in Washington, D.C.—the early morning of September 30, 2015, in Iraq—when a three-star Russian general walked into the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, announced that Russian jets would soon begin airstrikes in Syria, and demanded that the United States stop flying combat missions in the country.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest compared Vladimir Putin's bombing in Syria to George W. Bush's "military solution in Iraq in the last decade." Earnest made the comparison at the daily White House press briefing.