The Banality of Haspel

Gina Haspel is a consummate professional who has served the U.S. intelligence community with distinction for more than 30 years. As the Trump administration’s nominee to head up the Central Intelligence Agency, Haspel has received endorsements from six former CIA directors, three former directors of national intelligence, and two former secretaries of state. It would be hard to find someone...
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With Tillerson Out, Trump’s Bringing Foreign Policy Deeper Into the Dark Side

The gloves are off in the White House now that Mike Pompeo is slated to replace Rex Tillerson as secretary of state. Whatever restraining influence Tillerson had on the president – and, frankly, it was minimal – Donald Trump is now about to veer headlong into the “dark side” of foreign policy, much as the George W. Bush administration did after September 11. When Trump appointed Tillerson...
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Hunting Witches in Washington

Five hundred years ago, a popular test to flush out witches was called “ordeal by water.” Dunk an alleged witch into a lake. If she sinks, she’s innocent. If she floats, her guilt is plain for all to see and she can be safely burned at the stake. By this ancient form of waterboarding, witch hunters thought that they could identify the emissaries of the devil. The objects of suspicion were...
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Oh, Magog!

Welcome back, Gog and Magog. I can’t say that I’ve missed you. You might remember the Gog and Magog story from 2003, when George W. Bush was making plans to invade Iraq and assembling a “coalition of the willing.” French President Jacques Chirac was quite unwilling, so Bush went to great lengths to break down his resistance. As part of this wooing of Chirac, Bush referred to the Biblical...
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Big Surprise: Rich Globalists Love Trump

As a candidate, Donald Trump enjoyed pillorying the globalists. “We will no longer surrender this country, or its people, to the false song of globalism,” he said in his first major speech on foreign policy in April 2016. By globalists, he first of all meant rival Hillary Clinton, who represented the face of American internationalism as a jet-setting secretary of state and an it-takes-a...
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Dr. Evil’s First Year in Office

Evil is a popular topic in Hollywood, from The Evil Dead franchise to Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers movies. But evil makes only the occasional cameo in the U.S. policy realm. In the early 1990s, the topic of evil became buzz-worthy in the wake of the Cold War’s collapse as pundits and policymakers tried to understand the unfolding horrors in Iraq, Yugoslavia, and Rwanda. In June...
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