Kerry Chews Up Right Wing Fodder on Bergdahl Swap

Today, Secretary of State John Kerry made his first remarks on the release of Bowe Berghdal in exchange for five members of the Taliban freed from Guantanamo, stressing that he “felt confident the five Taliban detainees freed in a swap for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl posed little risk to Americans.” Kerry added that “Qatari officials were not the only ones monitoring them — and that while the five might be able to return to the battlefield, “they also have the ability to get killed doing that.”” Mr. Kerry, in some of his first public remarks on the exchange, struck a decidedly tough tone, dismissing as “baloney” the suggestion that terrorists would have new incentive to kidnap Americans. He also hinted, without offering … Continue reading

The Propaganda Olympics

by Walter Brasch For Vladimir Putin, the winter Olympics is not about sports or international camaraderie. It’s a carefully orchestrated propaganda opportunity to try to showcase the nation’s athletes and show the world a Russia that, even with its great culture and arts, may exist only in the imaginations of those who believe in restoring the country’s previous grandeur. Sochi itself is not typical city for a winter Olympics. It’s a sub-tropical city of about 340,000, located along the Black Sea. Its selection by Russia was to let the world believe that the country in winter is not Siberia but a resort, suitable for tourists. Under Putin’s personal direction, Russia spent more than 1.8 trillion rubles (the equivalent of about … Continue reading

If we are serious about protecting our privacy, let’s have that discussion

when you cede secret powers that remain unchecked and untested (Constitutionally) you all but guarantee the abuse of that power. Rather than continue the venerable National Anthem with the outmoded, “Land of the Free and Home of the Brave,” let’s change it to the more modern and trendy “Land of the Subjugated and Home of the Terrified.” Continue reading

Commence Out Cry: Kerry To Sign UN Arms Treaty Opposed by Senate, NRA

The wingnuts and gun enthusiasts aren’t happy about this… The Hill reports today that “Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to sign an arms trade treaty opposed by the Senate and the gun lobby as early as Wednesday.” The wingnuts are already crying foul… “This treaty is already dead in the water in the Senate, and they know it,” said Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services. “The Administration is wasting precious time trying to sign away our laws to the global community and unelected U.N. bureaucrats.” A majority of Senate oppose the treaty because it covers small arms, making ratification impossible in the short term. Good for Kerry to move forward with signing this … Continue reading

Russia Urges Syria to Cede Arsenal In Response to Kerry

Is the tide turning on Syria? I hope it is… Secretary of State John Kerry said today “that if President Bashar al-Assad wants to avert an attack on Syria he should hand over all of his chemical weapons within one week.” It’s some heavy diplomatic pressure from the U.S. on Syria and it appears that “Russia, the Syrian government’s most important backer, quickly welcomed the idea.” [...] Moscow’s reaction appeared to represent the first possible point of agreement between Russia and the United States over how to address the chemical weapons issue that has grown out of the Syrian conflict, now well into its third year. Asked if there were steps the Syrian president could take to avert an American-led … Continue reading

Can We Stay On Issue?

Some members of Congress can’t seem to stay on issue, as we witnessed yesterday when Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) “charged that the Obama administration cannot be trusted to carry out an attack on Syria due to mistakes made in Benghazi and controversies involving the IRS and NSA programs.” Duncan raised Secretary of State John Kerry’s ire and Kerry struck back, forcefully condemning Duncan for his claims. “I’m not going to sit here and be told by you that I don’t have a set of — a sense of what the judgment is,” he said. “We are talking about people being killed by gas and you want to go talk about Benghazi and Fast and Furious.” As Kerry spoke, Duncan held … Continue reading