Tag Archives: congress

Senate should extend lifelong protection for former presidents

As of last week, I’m now contributing columns to TheHill.com on its Congress blog.  Hope you like this piece and will follow my work there (and here, as ever). 

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December 10, 2012 · 11:25 am

Benghazi Hearings will be Fascinating

So much about the coming hearings into the Benghazi tragedy will be worth noting.  First, what the president knew and when he knew it will be the key to this whole fiasco.  Few with an understanding of how such national security events work believe he 1) didn’t know what was happening in real-time and 2) that he didn’t know it was a terrorist attack.  As Col. David Hunt told a radio interviewer recently, the entire operational arm of the government is made aware of the situation on the ground immediately when American interests are under siege.

Almost as interesting will be how the politics play out.  Obama, of course, will have to worry that Republican majority in the House might seek impeachment over the findings, which are sure to embarrass–at the least–the White House.  Second, it will be interesting to see just how much more Hillary Clinton is willing to fall on her sword for this president.  She did so two weeks ago, but that was in the face of a presidential election.  With Obama re-elected, her willingness to be his fall-person will be weighed against her own future designs on the White House.  With Obama’s friend Deval Patrick reportedly interest in the Oval Office, the amity between Obama and Clinton could soon turn to enmityImage.  Finally, Sen John Kerry, who will be leading hearings, is set to become Clinton’s replacement at State.  It’s unlikely that he’ll allow the president to be embarrassed in the hearings, but that might lead to some heated criticism from the Republicans.  All told, there will be much to look for in the coming month.

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Guess which one was elected?

It’s almost comical, but yes, Murphy won the election.

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Hitchens: Pakistan Is the Enemy

We know that Pakistan’s intelligence service is aiding terrorists. What are we going to do about it?

By Christopher Hitchens (for SLATE.com)

US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, testifies before the US Senate Armed Services Committee. Click image to expand.

In Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, Lt. Milo Minderbinder transforms the mess accounts of the American airbase under his care into a “syndicate” under whose terms all servicemen are potential stakeholders. But this prince of entrepreneurs and middlemen eventually becomes overexposed, especially after some incautious forays into Egyptian cotton futures, and is forced to resort to some amoral subterfuges. The climactic one of these is his plan to arrange for himself to bomb the American base at Pianosa (for cost plus 6 percent, if my memory serves) with the contract going to the highest bidder. It’s only at this point that he is deemed to have gone a shade too far.

In his electrifying testimony before Congress last week, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has openly admitted to becoming the victim of a syndicate scheme that makes Minderbinder’s betrayal look like the action of a small-time operative. In return for subventions of millions of American dollars, it now turns out, the Pakistani Inter-Service Intelligence agency (the ISI) can “outsource” the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, and several other NATO and Afghan targets, to a related crime family known as the Haqqani network. Coming, as it does, on the heels of the disclosure about the official hospitality afforded to Osama Bin Laden, this reveals the Pakistani military-intelligence elite as the most adroit double-dealing profiteer from terrorism in the entire region.

Annoyed even so by the loss of “deniability” that Mullen’s testimony entails, the Pakistani officer class has resorted to (CONTINUE BY CLICKING HERE)

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Obama requests $600 million for border security

Peter Nicholas-LA TIMES

The Obama administration formally asked Congress on Tuesday for $600 million in emergency funds to hire another 1,000 Border Patrol agents, acquire two drones and enhance security along the Southwest border.

The money would also pay for an additional 160 Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and extra Border Patrol canine teams, according to a senior White House official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.

In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D- San Francisco), President Obama said his request “responds to urgent and essential needs” and asked that it be considered an emergency.  CLICK HERE

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