One more thought on torture

The idea that the information contained in the SSCI report is so volatile, so outrageous, so intolerable that it could actually inspire attacks on Americans and American interests overseas is, if true, an argument not to do the things mentioned in the report. It's not an argument for burying the report and pretending we never … Continue reading One more thought on torture


Real life is not an episode of “24” (Yemen)

Over the weekend, as you've undoubtedly heard by now, an attempt to rescue U.S. photojournalist Luke Somers from Yemen, where he was being held hostage by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, failed. Somers was kidnapped in September 2013 and appeared in a recently released video in which AQAP pledged to murder him within three … Continue reading Real life is not an episode of “24” (Yemen)

Foreign Policy’s disappeared Iran article reappears

Colum Lynch's mysteriously disappeared "U.S. Accuses Iran of Secretly Breaching U.N. Nuclear Sanctions" exclusive is once again online this morning, with no explanation why it was posted and then pulled on Friday. The obvious explanation is that Foreign Policy wanted to run a juicy exclusive like this on Monday, when lots more people are reading … Continue reading Foreign Policy’s disappeared Iran article reappears

Foreign Policy’s Incredible Disappearing “Iran Is Breaching U.N. Sanctions” Article

I'm pretty addicted to Feedly, as I've probably mentioned before. So I was catching up on my newsfeed last night when I see blaring at me, via Foreign Policy's RSS feed, the headline: U.S. Accuses Iran of Secretly Breaching U.N. Nuclear Sanctions I read the entire article, because for some reason FP's RSS feed has been … Continue reading Foreign Policy’s Incredible Disappearing “Iran Is Breaching U.N. Sanctions” Article

Obama nominates hawkish Ashton Carter as next Secretary of Defense

After Michèle Flournoy and Sen. Jack Reed both said "thanks, but no thanks" to the chance to become Barack Obama's fourth defense secretary, the last top candidate standing was Dr. Ashton Carter, who previously served as Obama's (2011-2013) Deputy Secretary of Defense and (2009-2011) Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, and before that was … Continue reading Obama nominates hawkish Ashton Carter as next Secretary of Defense

How do you say “Days of Our Lives” in Hungarian?

I’m just gonna leave this here, since, well, you know.

I will add, though, that while I’m actually in agreement with John McCain (I know) on this, he could have been slightly more…diplomatic, let’s say, about expressing his thoughts:

mccain orban

Orbán is pretty authoritarian, though “neo-fascist” might be going too far, but he’s not a dictator, at least not yet. While Hungary’s democracy is in a sensitive enough state that it would preferable to have a real diplomat in the embassy as opposed to a soap-opera producer, it’s still a democracy, for now, and you can’t expect to slander an elected leader as a “dictator” on the floor of the U.S. Senate without some repercussions.

and that's the way it was

It’s been a bit of a rough month or so for President Obama’s ambassadorial nominees, which may have something to do with the fact that he keeps appointing people too comically inept to make it through a confirmation hearing without sounding like babbling idiots. Some highlights:

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, said in an interview that several of Obama’s recent nominees were “truly alarming” because of their lack of qualifications. “When you put someone in an ambassador’s position who hasn’t even been to the country, you are rolling the dice,” he said.

The troubles began last month, when million-dollar bundler and Chartwell Hotels chief executive George Tsunis testified at his confirmation hearing to be ambassador to Norway. Tsunis admitted he had never been to the Scandinavian country and suggested, among other things, that the nation’s Progress Party was part of a discounted…

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