Links for 4-29-2017

  • An American service member was killed by an “explosive device” outside Mosul.

  • Andrew McCarthy explained the role of grand juries and subpoenas in the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email server, and concludes with this:

    I believe the Obama Justice Department had no intention of indicting Clinton; it wanted to help the presidential campaign by orchestrating her “exoneration” only after a thorough FBI probe. Having labored to conceal the fact that Clinton was under criminal investigation, Justice cannot have been happy about having to issue grand-jury subpoenas confirming it. But they knew three things: (a) it would have been indefensible for the FBI not to at least try to get the records; (b) there would only need to be a few subpoenas (maybe just a couple); and (c) the recipients would be telecommunications service providers, which are routinely directed to provide assistance in sensitive and even classified investigations, and which have a very strong record of not leaking. There was no real danger that the subpoenas issued would enhance the public understanding that Clinton was being investigated in connection with serious crimes.

  • The purges in Turkey continue, with Erdogan’s government firing another 3,900 people from the civil service and the military.

  • A co-president of the Democratic Council of Syria argues that his fellow Kurds are better allies of the U.S. than Turkey:

    On Tuesday, Turkey bombed the headquarters of Kurdish fighters in northern Syria, killing 20 of our soldiers. Immediately after the strike, the leaders of our forces – known as the People’s Protection Groups, or YPG – rushed from their operations center near Raqqa, where they’ve been working with the U.S. military to push the Islamic State out of its Syrian stronghold, to view the site of the attack. The American colonel and other officers who accompanied the YPG leaders were met by tens of thousands of protesters, including the mothers of soldiers who have died fighting the Islamic State. They asked the Americans a simple question: “How is it possible that our soldiers are fighting with you against ISIS while your ally Turkey is attacking us here?”


    Erdogan is trying to force the United States to choose between us and Turkey. We don’t think such a choice is necessary, but it is worth considering what that choice entails. We, the Democratic Council of Syria, are an alliance of progressive, democratic parties that govern the Northern Syria Federation. Though we are besieged from all sides (by the Islamic State, the Assad regime and Erdogan’s Turkey), our region is more stable than any other part of the country. So much so, in fact, that in addition to our population of 3 million, we have taken in an additional 500,000 refugees (Christians, Sunnis, Shiites, Armenians and Yazidis) from across Syria.

    Sadly, there is a stark contrast between our democratic, egalitarian and progressive society and that of our neighbor, where Erdogan is consolidating power and turning Turkey into a totalitarian state. This is further shown by his recent “victory” in this month’s constitutional referendum, which he conducted after arresting a vast number of lawmakers, political leaders, journalists, union members and military leaders who do not agree with the Turkish president’s political narrative.

  • China deported an American citizen, Sandy Phan-Gillis, who was convicted of espionage this week after being held without trial for two years.

  • Marine Le Pen chose Nicolas Dupont-Aignan as her would-be prime minister. Dupont-Aignan lost in the first round of France’s presidential elections, and Le Pen is trying to pick up his supporters.