- Andrew McCarthy thinks Susan Rice’s unmasking of Trump campaign and transition team members is a Watergate-class scandal:
To summarize: At a high level, officials like Susan Rice had names unmasked that would not ordinarily be unmasked. That information was then being pushed widely throughout the intelligence community in unmasked form … particularly after Obama, toward the end of his presidency, suddenly — and seemingly apropos of nothing — changed the rules so that all of the intelligence agencies (not just the collecting agencies) could have access to raw intelligence information.
As we know, the community of intelligence agencies leaks like a sieve, and the more access there is to juicy information, the more leaks there are. Meanwhile, former Obama officials and Clinton-campaign advisers, like Farkas, were pushing to get the information transferred from the intelligence community to members of Congress, geometrically increasing the likelihood of intelligence leaks.
By the way, have you noticed that there have been lots of intelligence leaks in the press?
There’s an old saying in the criminal law: The best evidence of a conspiracy is success.
The criminal law also has another good rule of thumb: Consciousness of guilt is best proved by false exculpatory statements. That’s a genre in which Susan Rice has rich experience.
Former U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova claims Rice asked intelligence agencies to produce spreadsheets of phone calls involving Trump and his team while he was running for president. Rice tried to talk her way out of the accusations against her during an appearance on MSNBC, but was unconvincing.
A chemical weapons attack in Idlib province, Syria, killed around 100 people. The chemical appears to be sarin, and the attack was probably the work of the Syrian government. Later a nearby hospital where victims were being treated was bombed, which is also a signature Syrian government move. The Syrian government has also used military hospitals as torture facilities:
The hospital, known as 601, is not the only site of torture in Syria. But after it was seen in a cache of photographs showing thousands of skeletal corpses, it became one of the most notorious.
Inside the facility, about a half-mile from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s palace, sick prisoners are tortured as they lie shackled to beds crammed with dying men, according to Masri and former detainees and military personnel who worked there. Corpses have been piled in bathrooms, outhouses and anywhere else they will fit, then meticulously documented and trucked away for mass burial.
- Russia says the St. Petersburg suicide bomber was Akbarjon Jalilov, a naturalized Russian citizen originally from Kyrgyzstan. The final victim count was 14 dead, 49 injured.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered a review of all of the agreements the Obama Justice Department made with local police departments:
Sessions’ memo demands the Justice Department review all its prior police reform agreements “including collaborative investigations and prosecutions, grant making, technical assistance and training, compliance reviews, existing or contemplated consent decrees, and task force participation in order to ensure that they fully and effectively promote the principles” of the new administration.
- The Border Patrol arrested fewer than 12,500 people illegally crossing the border from Mexico in March, the lowest monthly total in 17 years.
The State Department is ending U.S. funding for the United Nations’ Population Fund, which promotes abortion.
Cambodia booted a team of U.S. Navy Seabees from the country. Cambodia’s government has been drifting into China’s orbit.
Israel is discussing construction of a pipeline that would carry natural gas to Europe. It would be the longest underwater pipeline in the world, and it would bypass Turkey.
North Korea launched a medium range ballistic missile that landed in the Sea of Japan.
South Korean software mogul Ahn Cheol-soo won the presidential nomination of the People’s Party. Moon Jae-in won the Democratic Party’s nomination yesterday.
Denmark deregulated its telecommunications markets, which was so successful that it disbanded its version of the FCC:
A new Mercatus Center working paper by Roslyn Layton and Joseph Kane describes precisely how Danish telecommunications officials undertook successful deregulatory reforms. It starts with Danish regulators who quickly understood the promise of digital technology and realized that government policies could quash innovative applications that would benefit consumers and businesses alike. From there, they developed a plan to prioritize competition and development instead of central control. This hands off-approach was so successful that eventually the country’s National IT and Telecom Agency (NITA) was disbanded altogether.