I guess the Middle East is all quiet now

July 30, 2015

With everything going on in the Middle East right now, the Navy is pulling out of the Persian Gulf:

The U.S. Navy will not have an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf this fall for the first time in years, President Obama’s nominee to be the Navy’s top officer told Capitol Hill lawmakers Thursday.

The gap in the Gulf — expected to last two months — would come at a time when the U.S. is not only launching sustained airstrikes against nearby Islamic State targets but trying to keep a check on Iranian aggression in the region.

But don’t you worry, the French are on the case:

Fox News is told that when she departs the area sometime this fall, the U.S. military may rely on a French aircraft carrier until they can deploy another carrier.

Well, France has always been a stalwart ally, particularly in the war on terror. I’m sure this will work out fine.

Believe nothing this woman says, ever

July 30, 2015

Despite reports to the contrary, Hillary Clinton is adamant that she never sent classified information over her illegal private server:

“I am confident I never sent nor received any information that was classified at the time it was sent and received,” Clinton said. “What I think you’re seeing is a very typical kind of discussion to some extent, disagreement among various parts of the government over what should or what should not be publicly released.”

This story directly contradicts the Inspector General, who said the emails “were classified when they were sent and are classified now.

But now it gets worse:

Classified emails stored on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private server contained information from multiple intelligence agencies in addition to data connected to the 2012 Benghazi attack, a source familiar with the investigation told Fox News.

The information came from the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National-Geospatial Agency, as well as the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Central Intelligence Agency, the source said.

It got so bad the intelligence community started cutting the State Department out of the loop:

The official responsible for overseeing the government’s security classification system, John Fitzpatrick, told McClatchy Newspapers that while reviewing four years of Clinton’s emails, intelligence agencies grew concerned that State Department officials were not guarding classified information in screening documents for public release.

The State Department actually posted one classified email in its entirety on a public website.

(Previous post.)

Emergency dispatcher leaves teen to die

July 29, 2015

Fox News has the heartbreaking story of an incident in which an Albuquerque emergency dispatcher hung up on a caller when the panicked caller swore at him. The caller was trying to summon help for a 17-year-old boy who had been shot in a drive-by shooting. The victim later died.

Aside from the tragedy of the story itself, this illustrates the folly of relying of the government to protect you. (This was the fire department, not the police, but the same principle applies.) Under Supreme Court precedent, the government is under no obligation to assist you, and sometimes it simply chooses not to, either through malice or (as in this case), through callous indifference.

Hillary Clinton withholding Libya emails

July 29, 2015

Fox News reports:

A reported two-month gap in emails from Hillary Clinton’s private account during 2012 coincides with a period of escalating violence in Libya and the obtaining of a special exemption by her top aide, Huma Abedin, to work for both the State Department and the Clinton Foundation.

The Daily Beast reported late Tuesday that no emails between Clinton and her State Department staff for the months of May and June 2012 are among the estimated 2,000 messages that have been released from the Democratic presidential frontrunner’s account.

A State Department spokesman told The Daily Beast that only emails related to the security of U.S. diplomats in Libya or the consulate in Benghazi were turned over to the House select committee investigating the deadly Sept. 11, 2012 attack. If true, that means neither Clinton nor her staff communicated via e-mail during a period that saw three attacks on international outposts in Benghazi, including one on the consulate itself.

I love the journalistic “if true” here. It’s so much more even-handed than “she is obviously lying, because.” I wonder if one of the missing emails would have shed some light on how the Benghazi consulate got an exemption from the usual security requirements.

Happy Birthday

July 28, 2015

The lawyers for a class-action suit against Warner/Chappell Music claiming that the famous song “Happy Birthday” is actually in the public domain appear to have found the proverbial smoking gun. The newly discovered documents seem to show not only that the song entered the public domain no later than 1922, but also that Warner/Chappell knew it, and deliberately covered up the fact.

If Warner/Chappell really covered up the fact that the song was in the public domain, it seems to me that they committed fraud, and should be liable for damages at least to everyone who paid to license the song.

(Previous post.) (Via Instapundit.)

Hillary Clinton lies over and over and over again

July 24, 2015

Literally nothing Hillary Clinton has said about her use of an external email account has turned out to be true: She said that she just wanted to have everything on one device. (As if you can’t have multiple email accounts on a single device, but never mind that.) False. She said the account was used for private correspondence with her husband. False. She said she turned over everything work-related. Not even close to true. She said she was never subpoenaed over it. False. Some of the emails she actually did turn over, she edited before doing so!

In the latest development, Clinton says that no classified material was ever sent using the external account. (This claim was made in the wake of the disclosure that two different Inspectors General are trying to open a criminal inquiry into her actions.) Their story was that any classified information was only classified after the fact:

A spokesman for Mrs. Clinton’s campaign released a statement on Twitter on Friday morning. “Any released emails deemed classified by the administration have been done so after the fact, and not at the time they were transmitted,” it read.

As Ed Morrissey points out, this would mean that she exercised very bad judgement — transmitting sensitive material on an unsecured system — even if technically no law had been broken.

But never mind, because this story too was a lie:

An internal government review found that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent at least four emails from her personal account containing classified information during her time heading the State Department.

In a letter to members of Congress on Thursday, the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community concluded that Mrs. Clinton’s email contains material from the intelligence community that should have been considered “secret” at the time it was sent, the second-highest level of classification. A copy of the letter to Congress was provided to The Wall Street Journal by a spokeswoman for the Inspector General.

The four emails in question “were classified when they were sent and are classified now,” said Andrea Williams, a spokeswoman for the inspector general. The inspector general reviewed just a small sample totaling about 40 emails in Mrs. Clinton’s inbox—meaning that many more in the trove of more than 30,000 may contain potentially secret or top-secret information.

(Emphasis mine.) Also note the numbers. Out of 40 emails, four of them (that is, 10%) contained classified information.  It’s reasonable to extrapolate that there could be thousands of such.

NYT standards

July 24, 2015

When a politician complains about the New York Times’s coverage, the NYT’s practice is to find some story attacking him and put it on the front page the next day. They admit this.

Obviously, though, that practice applies only to Republicans.

When Hillary Clinton complains about the New York Times’s coverage, they fix it overnight:

The Times also changed the headline of the story, from “Criminal Inquiry Sought in Hillary Clinton’s Use of Email” to “Criminal Inquiry Is Sought in Clinton Email Account,” reflecting a similar recasting of Clinton’s possible role. The article’s URL was also changed to reflect the new headline.

As of early Friday morning, the Times article contained no update, notification, clarification or correction regarding the changes made to the article.

One of the reporters of the story, Michael Schmidt, explained early Friday that the Clinton campaign had complained about the story to the Times.

“It was a response to complaints we received from the Clinton camp that we thought were reasonable, and we made them,” Schmidt said.

(Via Hot Air.)


July 23, 2015

Hillary Clinton really did say this today:

Clearly I’m not asking people to vote for me simply because I’m a woman. I’m asking people to vote for me on the merits. And I think one of the merits is I am a woman . . .


(Via Ace.)

John Kerry really is an idiot

July 20, 2015

One of the serious concerns about the Iran nuclear deal — other than the fact that now Iran will have nuclear weapons soon — is the possibility (nay, inevitability) Iran will take the money it’s getting and use it to fund terrorism. And we’re not talking chump change; it’s over a quarter of Iran’s GDP. That kind of money can murder a lot of people.

When Judy Woodruff asked John Kerry about this, he stammered a bit and then said:

They’re not allowed to do that. They’re not allowed to do that.

Kerry then went on to explain that there are already UN resolutions that prohibit Iran from funding terrorism, apparently without realizing that that admission completely vitiates his point. (Dear John Kerry: If the UN resolutions already aren’t stopping Iran, why would they stop Iran now?)

This fool is our Secretary of State. Can you imagine if he had been president?

UPDATE: National Security Adviser Susan Rice contradicts Kerry:

We should expect that some portion of that money would go to the Iranian military and could potentially be used for the kinds of bad behavior that we have seen in the region up until now.

The past ain’t what it used to be

July 20, 2015

So now we’re told that meaningful inspections weren’t ever on the table in the first place:

On April 7, 2015, President Barack Obama’s National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told CNN’s Jake Tapper, “under this deal, you will have anywhere, any time 24/7 access as it relates to the nuclear facilities that Iran has.”

Now, on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Secretary of State John Kerry said, “This is a term that, honestly, I never heard in the four years that we were negotiating. It was not on the table. There’s no such thing in arms control as any time, anywhere.”

Did they lie then, or are they lying today?

This is why we didn’t join the ICC

July 17, 2015

Five years ago, Turkish anti-Israel militants on a flotilla purporting to carry humanitarian supplies to Gaza ambushed Israeli soldiers who boarded their ship. A battle ensued in which a few of the thugs were killed, and a predictable international outrage followed.

The prosecutor at the International Criminal Court looked into it and found no grounds to bring charges. (ASIDE: Astonishingly, given its history of hostility to Israel, the UN issued a report that fully exonerated Israel.) In a sane world, the matter would be over, but we do not live in a sane world.

The ICC itself has now ordered the prosecutor to reopen the investigation, and refers to crimes having been committed. Gee, I wonder what the outcome of the case will be when the judges themselves are directing the prosecution?

Under the circumstances, there could be no real doubt about whether the proceedings will be fair, but nevertheless the order makes it even more clear. It explicitly orders the prosecutor to take public outrage (i.e., politics) into consideration in his investigation.

(Previous post.)


July 7, 2015

Fox News reports:

International negotiators have extended their deadline once again as they struggle to reach a nuclear deal with Iran.

Negotiators had been running up against a Tuesday deadline, after initially extending a June 30 deadline amid lingering differences. On Tuesday morning, the State Department said the new deadline is now Friday, as talks continue.

Amazingly, they still haven’t figured out what’s going on here. They have left mere stupidity behind, and are in willful-blindness territory now.