In recent weeks, the Pentagon has expanded its investigation into the allegations and has seized a large trove of emails and documents as it examines the claims. The president said altering reports to make them more optimistic would be contrary to his wishes.
“One of the things I insisted on the day I walked into the Oval Office was that I don’t want intelligence shaded by politics. I don’t want it shaded by a desire to tell a feel-good story,” he said.
What remains to be seen is whether France, standing where the United States did 14 years ago, will follow in America’s footsteps as she grapples with the best way to shore up her defenses, where to draw the delicate line in balancing security with liberty, and what it means to secure justice for those whose lives were taken.
Here are some of the lessons we in the United States learned too late about allowing our freedoms to be eviscerated in exchange for the phantom promise of security.
When the uprising against the government of President Bashar al-Assad began rippling across Syria in 2011, it seemed distant from Raqqa. As news of fighting and massacres started filtering in, it was mostly from faraway cities in the country’s west, like Homs. Even as displaced people began appearing in Raqqa and the city’s young men started to sign up with anti-Assad groups in the area, including the Nusra Front and what is now the Islamic State, the fabric of life seemed intact.
Hungary has been building a three-metre-high razor-wire fence along its southern frontier to keep asylum-seekers out, and it used considerable violence against the mostly Syrian refugees at first. But then Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, wearing her Lady Bountiful cloak, announced that Germany would accept as many as wanted to come.
Weekend Edition: Doug Casey on Education (Chris M.)
There was a book written a few years ago called something like All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. I have to admit I never read the book, but the title resonated with me. I think there’s a lot of truth behind the notion. To me, it implies that a person should have absorbed basic ethical values and an understanding how to relate to other people, animals, and objects by the time he’s six years old. Those are the most important things anyone can learn and should be the first things one learns. But it doesn’t seem any institution, and fairly few parents, think to teach them.
And despite the Israeli government claim to the oil, and the licensing of ten experimental wells, analysts say the discovery of oil in Golan may re-ignite the conflict between Israel and Syria over the control of the Golan Heights.
Four years into the worst drought in California’s recorded history, the contrast between the strict enforcement on Californians struggling to conserve and the unchecked profligacy in places like Bel Air has unleashed anger and indignation — among both the recipients of the fines, who feel helpless to avoid them, and other Californians who see the biggest water hogs getting off scot-free.
“The government can prohibit these demonstrations, but our voices will not be silenced,” Nicolas Haeringer, French campaigner for 350.org, said in a statement. “While this makes it difficult to go forward with our original plans, we will still find a way for people in Paris to make the call for climate justice heard, and we encourage everyone around the world to join a Global Climate March and raise their voices louder than ever. There’s never been a greater need.”
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