Morning Musings

  • Juarezgate – if you have followed this blog since 2008, then you know that one of the ongoing threads is an effort to highlight certain global events that the mainstream media, as well as the politicians in this town, tend not to focus on at all. The Western Hemisphere is a great case in point. This particular incident took place a few years before Benghazi; however because it happened in Mexico, best I can tell Congressional interest has been scant. The Diplopundit has been blogging on the 2010 murder of the two U.S. consulate workers and an El Paso Country Sheriff detention officer. This incident merits equal oversight interest by Congress; but first, key staff need to better explain to Members how and why drug cartel violence, and other related matters, merit the attention of the Congress. They could be holding a hearing of week. There is that much material.
  • The Left is upset that the CIA engaged in “music torture” at Guantanamo, Cuba. I only wish that these same anti-American characters showed the same level of outrage toward the regime on the other side of the fence, or as much compassion for the people of Cuba as they seem to have for radical Islamic jihadists. As for the music choice allegedly used during interrogations, using Barney the dinosaur may have been a bridge too far.
  • Russia’s Vladimir Putin says that the Internet is an instrument of the CIA and he wants to build his own. Is that why he offered sanctuary to Edward Snowden? Maybe Snowden can also help Vladimir with another pet project, Russia’s somewhat quixotic quest for its own GPS, GlonASS.
  • In a related story, ZDNet reports that the “Former NSA deputy director Col. Cedric Leighton said in remarks at the Bloomberg Enterprise Technology Summit in New York City on Thursday that Snowden’s leaks had performed a “significant disservice” to the worldwide health of the Internet.
  • New York Times: FBI Informant Is Tied to Cyberattacks Overseas
  • The European Union has re-listed an Iranian entity, making the North Drilling oil company subject to EU economic sanctions. The Europeans enjoy tinkering with these designations. This could be part of the reasons why many bad actors fear U.S. sanctions a whole lot more. Tinker less, enforce more.
  • When a Congressional Committee has an oversight plan, and sticks to it, over time you’ll see some positive results in the policymaking arena. Even with the many political black swans that invariably explode during most Congressional sessions, if the oversight roadmap is clear, you can handle the unexpected event. It is one of many tools Committees and Congressional leadership can use to temper expectations from outside groups that seek to hijack the legislative process. A good example of what not to do? The NSA-Snowden story is a great place to start.  The outside groups, mostly from the Left, are driving the agenda. Someone needs to tell them, enough.
  • Synack – a company created by former NSA employees – has secured an additional $7.5 million from investors to “develop its stealth enterprise-grade technology and security software.”
  • From the realm of wishful thinking, yet another article about the United States normalizing relations with Cuba. I’ve been hearing this story for well over twenty years. In fact, and quite seriously according to several folks we’ve talked to, today was supposed to be the day that the Obama Administration made some big announcement on U.S.-Cuba policy. “Poblete, un cambio muy importante,” as one source put it two or so weeks ago. Supposedly, the NSC is orchestrating a letter writing campaign that includes a bipartisan group of former high-ranking officials from DoD, State, and other agencies. This letter will “urge” and recommend changes in U.S.-Cuba policy. Veremos.
  • It appears that the Venezuelan regime, taking a cue from their Cuban minders, has arrested an American citizen and accused him of terrorism. Let’s hope he does not become Venezuela’s Alan Gross.
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