Ready For Comey?
Former FBI Director James Comey is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee tomorrow. And Washington is buzzing with anticipation. In fact, CNN has started airing a countdown clock to Comey's testimony.
Apparently the anticipation was just too great for some in D.C. Shortly before 2:00, the Senate Intelligence Committee released the first seven pages of Comey's opening statement.
We have poured over these pages, and while it is possible that the real news tomorrow may come from the question and answer session, there is nothing terribly surprising in Comey's opening remarks.
For example, Comey confirms that he told President Trump on three separate occasions that he was not the target of an active investigation. Comey also confirms that he told top congressional leaders that the president was not under investigation.
The media are making much of Trump's alleged demands for loyalty, but context is everything.
The president had this conversation with the FBI director in the wake of eight years of unbelievable political exploitation of key government agencies, not to mention massive, unhinged left-wing "resistance." It is not terribly surprising, given these circumstances, that the president would press the FBI director for loyalty.
This morning, senators heard from top intelligence officials. In public testimony, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency chief Admiral Mike Rogers said that no one ever pressured them to interfere with the Russia investigation or do anything "illegal, immoral or inappropriate."
Let me remind you that both both Comey and Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe have also previously told members of Congress that no one has attempted to interfere in the investigation.
And, just this Sunday, Sen. Mark Warner, the ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, said that there is "no smoking gun" evidence of collusion between Donald Trump and the Russians.
Yet we continue with this charade.
Moderate Islam Rising?
According to one analysis, more than 800 people have been killed so far this Ramadan. There are reports today of new attacks, allegedly carried out by the Islamic State, against the Islamic Republic of Iran.
We keep waiting for "real Muslims," as the media refers to them, to step up and do more to fight the jihadist cancer in their midst. A December 2016 poll found that 48% of British Muslims "would not turn to the police if someone close to them became involved" with extremists linked to terrorism.
Maybe we are seeing the first signs of changing attitudes. The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) released a statement noting that more than 130 imams have refused to perform the funeral prayer for the London attackers.
In their statement, the imams denounced the terrorists as "vile murderers," adding that "their reprehensible actions have neither legitimacy nor our sympathy." Good for them.
But given that there are at least 400 mosques in the greater London area, I am not very encouraged that perhaps only a third of London imams agreed to this statement.
Of course, one of the doctrines of Islam is taqiyya, which permits Islamists to deceive infidels. For example, an imam praised by the New York Times earlier this year for his "pacifism" and efforts to fight extremism was arrested several weeks ago in Spain for assaulting his wife and for supporting the Islamic State.
So we will have to wait and see whether the statement by the Muslim Council of Britain represents a real change or not.
Meanwhile, I'm still waiting for a "Million Man Muslim March" in the United States that unambiguously condemns Hamas, Hezbollah, Al Shabaab, Boko Haram, the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic Jihad, Al Qaeda, ISIS, etc.
By the way, why are there so many violent terrorist groups in the "religion of peace"?
How Was Winner Radicalized?
We are learning more about NSA leaker Reality Winner, and more questions are being raised, such as, "How in the world did she get approved to handle our national secrets?"
For one thing, it turns out that Ms. Winner was a big fan of Edward Snowden, following him on Twitter, along with Wikileaks and the hacking group Anonymous. Not surprisingly, Snowden is defending her, but he may not be the best character witness for her.
Guess who else is defending Winner? Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, last year's Democrat vice presidential nominee. Reacting to news of her arrest, Sen. Kaine seemingly encouraged more leaking, telling CNN:
"The American public is entitled to know the degree to which Russia invaded the election to take the election away from American voters, and whether anybody with the campaign or the transition or the Trump administration was working with the Russians to sell out the country."
Here's someone who was working to take the election away from American voters -- Linwood Kaine, the senator's son. He is currently being prosecuted for his role in a violent anti-Trump riot in Minnesota.
How much did Winner hate President Trump? She tweeted this on November 29th: "Why burn a flag? @realDonaldTrump thinks crosses burn much better."
We are being told by our media elites that it is possible to vet people coming in from Middle East, including those coming from war zones. Yet, it seems we are not doing even the most basic vetting on people who may have access to classified information. In Winner's case, her admiration for Snowden and her pledge of allegiance to Iran should have been huge red flags.
This is why there is an increasing sense that our government can't protect us, especially when it can't even protect its own secrets.
As we can see with Tim Kaine's son and the increasing violence on the left, radicalization takes many forms. What was Winner's path to radicalization? Which university did she attend? Who were her professors? What were the influences in her life? And how did our national security clearance procedures miss it all?
Fifty years ago today -- June 7, 1967 -- Israeli forces entered the Old City of Jerusalem during the Six Day War. In doing so, they liberated the Old City from Jordanian control and reunited Jerusalem.
The Old City has remained united under Israeli sovereignty, just as it was thousands of years ago. During this modern reunification, all faiths have been able to freely worship at their holy sites, something that was denied during the years when Jordan controlled the Old City.
By the way, no one back then was clamoring for an independent Palestinian state.
Today, in wide swaths of Palestinian areas and in other parts of the Muslim world, this day is seen as a disaster. From Tehran to Gaza, there will be people, like Palestinian "activist" Muhammad Al-Shajrawi, promising that Jerusalem will be "liberated" and that the Jews will be driven from the Holy City and every other place in Israel.
And while it is popular among our media elites today to bash Israel, what if the war had gone the other way? It is a question too few ponder now, but Jeff Jacoby considers the chilling consequences in a column today, which you can read here.