How the Bowe Bergdahl Story Became Politicized

It wasn't Republicans who did it: President Obama complained yesterday that Sergeant Bergdahl is “not a political football.”   That should be true, but unfortunately President Obama is responsible for kicking off the football game by announcing the Taliban-Bergdahl swap in a Rose Garden appearance, rather than leaving the announcement to Secretary Hagel and Chairman Dempsey.  The White …

Last I Checked, Leon Panetta Is Not a Republican

There are those who believe that it is wrong to have concerns about the deal that freed Bowe Bergdahl, and that it is wrong to be concerned that Bergdahl may have been a deserter. Most of these people think that Republicans are cynically ginning up outrage about the Bergdahl story, and overplaying their hand in …

The Nation’s False and Dishonest Crimea Narrative

For those who believe that the recent annexation of Crimea by Russia might actually unite Americans of all ideological stripes in opposition to the thuggishness of the Putin regime, I give you this piece by editors of the Nation. It shows that even now, in the immediate aftermath of the annexation, while historical memories are still fresh, there are …

Afghanistan Is Worth the Trouble. But Hamid Karzai May Not Be.

I continue to believe that securing Afghanistan against the Taliban and against terrorist groups is vital to the national security interests of the United States. Ditching Afghanistan in the aftermath of the Soviet withdrawal from the country led to disastrous developments, including--but not limited to--9/11. And if the Taliban are able to govern substantial swaths …

Quote of the Day

We knew the full-body scanners didn’t work before they were even installed. Not long after the Underwear Bomber incident, all TSA officers at O’Hare were informed that training for the Rapiscan Systems full-body scanners would soon begin. The machines cost about $150,000 a pop. Our instructor was a balding middle-aged man who shrugged his shoulders after everything he …

The State of Speechmaking about the State of the Union

Last night's State of the Union address was replete with platitudes, buzzwords, lame rhetorical tricks, and the same old same old. There was nothing, new, path-breaking or consequential that came out of it. Given former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs's admission that President Obama "stopped trying to change Washington years ago," I suppose that none of …