I’m quoted in articles in The Verge and the Daily Beast (also Bellingcat) on chemical weapons in Syria. Rachel Becker discusses the long-term effects of chemical weapons. Adam Rawnsley debunks Russian disinformation.
How Trump has split with his administration on Russian meddling. And now he’s congratulated Vladimir Putin on his electoral “win,” against the advice of his national security staff. Apparently now he is planning to meet Putin, but it’s always hard to know for sure.
The secret Russian military labs that deal with nerve agents. I am seeing a number of contradictory articles with interviews of former Soviet scientists said to have worked on the Novichok agents. The articles contradict each other to some degree. I won’t post them until I can figure out more about which (if any) to believe. Frequently asked questions about the Salisbury poisoning. An article from an expert I feel is reliable.
Nice takedown of a fear-mongering New York Times article on hacking and the power grid. I think part of the reason for clickbait articles like that is that too many reporters turn off their brains when confronted with anything that looks like it might involve math.
Why not start the North Korean talks by dealing with nuclear safety? Jon Wolfsthal suggests that planning for negotiations develop some goals and expectations. This would be an obvious thing that did not need to be said in an alternate universe. The dirty secret of nuclear arms in Korea in the early 1960s. There were over half as many nuclear weapons in South Korea as the US has deployed overall today.
The Security and Exchange Commission has charged Elizabeth Holmes with massive fraud in Theranos Corporation. Here are her seven biggest lies.
It looks like Israel is trumpeting its 2007 bombing of a nuclear reactor site in Syria to encourage those who would like to believe that the many hardened sites in Iran and North Korea, locations unknown, could be as easily taken out. That’s not true, but look for this to be used as an example by people like John Bolton and Mark Dubowitz. Top photo is of the reactor building before the bombing and after the bombing and site clearing of the debris.
The October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. This week is the 15th anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq war. This NIE was part of its justification.
Cool dinosaur and mammal tracks at NASA. Top photo from here.
The first thing Congress needs to do, when it can get away from the fever dreams of the worst of its members, is to reconstruct the process for passing a budget before the end of the fiscal year.
Americans Are Rising to This Historic Moment. I’m not as convinced as Eliot Cohen, but I think there are positive signs.
Is the Trump foreign policy great-power competition or America First? It depends on whom you ask.
Zeynep Tukfeci on the latest data privacy debacle. It’s not enough to ask individuals for their permission.
Leaks, feasts and sex parties: How ‘Fat Leonard’ infiltrated the Navy’s floating headquarters in Asia. There are simple ways to avoid this kind of corruption. We need to know why the Navy didn’t apply them.
Victor Cha: Giving North Korea a ‘bloody nose’ carries a huge risk to Americans. Cha was to be US ambassador to South Korea, but apparently the ideas expressed in this op-ed were felt to be disqualifying.
This is definitive, if you have friends who are still pushing the Sy Hersh narrative about nerve agents in Syria. It was the Syrian government who were responsible for the sarin attacks.
For this Martin Luther King weekend, memories of Mississippi in the 1960s. Top photo: The author, Danny Lyon, outside the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee headquarters, 1962.
The 100-year capitalist experiment that keeps Appalachia poor, sick, and stuck on coal. This article should be reprinted and quoted everywhere.
Photo: Nixon and Khrushchev’s “Kitchen Debate” in 1959.
Now that the attempts at repealing Obamacare have been repealed, Trump is likely to go after the Iran Deal. Here is a refutation of some of the claims that have been made against it.
I drove up to Yellowstone last week and stayed at the Old Faithful Lodge. It was a great trip. Photo above. Read More
Happy Independence Day! Here’s an excellent essay from a historian I respect. It puts today’s troubles in a longer perspective of American history. Read More
Conflicting reports on whether a US carrier group steaming toward North Korea plans to intervene militarily if North Korea tests a nuclear weapon or a missile this weekend to celebrate the anniversary of Kim Il Sung’s birth. Seems like a bad idea. More about North Korea’s strategy. China is calling for restraint. Read More
Transcript of Trump’s statement and video. I found Trump’s invocation of God, the word used three times in the speech, strange. He also asked us to pray for the souls of the dead and for God to bless the whole world. I’ve never been comfortable with presidents invoking God’s blessing on the United States, and this is more presumptuous, both to whatever God Trump believes in and to the beliefs of the rest of the world. Praying for the dead is a mostly Catholic practice, even narrower than asking for God’s blessing.
This is an oldie-but-goodie article on the idea that macho posturing in the international arena confers “credibility”, which serves to deter bad actors. It doesn’t.
Will add more articles below the jump as they appear. Read More