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Morning Musings

  • Did the Washington Post editorial board actually write this on U.S.-Cuba policy: A U.S. Plan to Help Cubans Should be Applauded … ? I had to read it twice to be sure. Odd. Every now and then, Yleem and I agree with them.
  • Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush says illegal immigration is not a felony, but many times an “act of love” while Congress says no to reform in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). As a child of political exiles, I understand what Bush is saying and why he said it. However, the lawyer in me says we can do better than spot reform every 20+ years or so. After 09.11.01, things changed. Forever.
  • Two F-16s flew over Washington, DC skies yesterday in response to an alleged DC airspace intrusion. Hefty fines in a civilian pilot’s future quite likely.
  •  HPSCI Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) advises policy watchers that the Senate summary of the CIA interrogation memo is not the Holy Grail, albeit it is still a bitter political and ‘emotional‘ cup.
  • If you don’t mind generating traffic for a Leftist website, this article is a good example of the Left’s obsession with weakening U.S. security and using the CIA interrogation program as its, latest, poster child. The author uses the oversight talisman, supposing readers will feel good about what she is proposing, an all good political balm, if you will. The Left wants a replay of the 1970s Church Commission and hearings process. Fortunately, that has not happened because, to a certain extent, oversight processes have evolved. But if both sides fail to cool it, it still may. The Left is not planning to stop. Ever.
  • Will there ever be a truly strong DCI-like figure to shore up things? The current turf war would indicate, no.
  • The Chinese-based, Chinese multi-national Lenovo wants to buy an IBM server company that could include U.S. government data or other information useful to foreign governments or corporations. This proposed deal should be a non-starter, but, hey, this is 21st century Washington, DC where politics appears to trump policy and security. Lenovo, of course, has already offered to pay any fines to mollify concerns. Let’s see what the CFIUS review turns out. Congress may need to chime in. Whatever happened to protecting and enhancing the U.S. cyber infrastructure? Why is this even a question folks need to ask?
  • Meanwhile, the New York Times reports: U.S. Tries Candor to Assure China on Cyberattacks …  (see prior bullet). Sometimes, it’s best to say nothing.
  • Hayden: releasing Jonathan Pollard sends wrong signal on the Edward Snowden case. And then some. Remember amigo/as, only some, not all, whistleblowing is legally protected.
  • If you want to purchase food in Venezuela, you may need to give the state your fingerprint at check out. According to various news stories, Venezuelan strongman Nicolas Maduro wants to “strengthen food sovereignty” and biometrics will be necessary. I know what you’re thinking, how “Orwellian”. In the case of Venezuela, it sure is. But I’ve seen biometric check out in food stores in Europe and, about ten years ago, a South Carolina Piggly Wiggly store was beta testing system. Are you worried about your personal data or buying habits being out there on the ether? Before you unleash anti-NSA Snowden talking points, read the ObamaCare law. HHS, IRS and the private sector, not the NSA or CIA, is where the true data privacy challenges reside.
  • Things in the Ukraine may be hot, but Russia and the U.S. may soon need to talk with one another over a nuke disposal program. It’s complicated.
  • North Korea’s Drone Program: a good example of why export controls and economic sanctions laws and regulations can work.
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