Links for 5-21-2018

Links for 5-9-2018

  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is bringing three American prisoners home from North Korea. Donald Trump will reportedly meet Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

  • Ben Shapiro writes on the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal:

    In hearing all of these honeyed voices speak, one might think that Iran has been acting responsibly for the last three years, that it hasn’t been pursuing a campaign of horrific terrorism in Yemen and Syria, that it hasn’t been sponsoring the takeover of Lebanon by the terrorist group Hezbollah, that it hasn’t been funding the Palestinian terror group Hamas, that it hasn’t been developing long-range ballistic missiles while leading chants saying “Death to America.” One might think that Obama left the Middle East a bright a beautiful place, not a hellhole filled with human carnage bought with dollars spent by Iran but funneled through the United States.

    None of that is true, of course. Obama left the Middle East a smoking wreckage heap — a situation so grim that even Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan have been forced to ally with Israel to allay fears of an Iranian regional takeover. Obama and his staff lied repeatedly to the American people about the Iran deal — and they continue to lie. When Kerry says that the deal will “empower Iran’s hardliners,” he is repeating an outright fabrication: The hardliners are in charge of the government, and the deal strengthened them. When Power speaks as though Obama alleviated the possibility of Iran’s nuclear program, she’s lying, too: The deal explicitly paved the way for an Iranian nuclear program free and clear of consequences from the international order. When Obama speaks as though our Middle East allies were pleased by the deal, he’s lying: They all opposed it, and they’re all celebrating its end.

  • The Treasury Department is revoking the licenses it issued to Boeing and Airbus to sell passenger jets to Iran.

  • Iranian forces in southern Syria fired rockets at Israeli military bases. There were no Israeli casualties.

  • Houthi rebels (backed by Iran) fired another salvo of ballistic missiles at Riyadh from Yemen.

  • A former CIA case officer, Jerry Chun Shing Lee, was indicted on charges of spying for China:

    In August 2012, Lee and his family left Hong Kong to return to the United States to live in northern Virginia. While traveling back to the United States, Lee and his family had hotel stays in Hawaii and Virginia. During each of the hotel stays, FBI agents conducted court-authorized searches of Lee’s room and luggage, and found that Lee was in unauthorized possession of materials relating to the national defense. Specifically, agents found two books containing handwritten notes that contained classified information, including but not limited to, true names and phone numbers of assets and covert CIA employees, operational notes from asset meetings, operational meeting locations and locations of covert facilities. Agents also found a thumb drive on which was stored a document later determined to contain information classified at the Secret level. During voluntary interviews with the FBI, Lee admitted preparing the document in response to taskings from the IO [intelligence officer].

  • ZTE ceased “major operating activities” after the Trump administration banned the Chinese company from using parts sourced from the U.S.

  • Conservative Senators are trying to pressure Mitch McConnell to get moving on Donald Trump’s nominees and on budget and appropriations bills. Delaying the latter benefits the D.C. swamp, since it encourages wasteful omnibus spending bills passed at the last minute to avoid a federal government shutdown.

  • Lt. j.g. Sarah Coppock pleaded guilty to “dereliction in the performance of duties through neglect contributing to the deaths” of seven sailors on board the USS Fitzgerald. Coppock was serving as Officer of the Deck when the Fitzgerald collided with a container ship.

Links for 4-26-2018

Links for 4-23-2018