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Iran Vows to Violate UN Restrictions on Ballistic Missiles

Iran missile stocks increase

by Adam Kredo     •     Washington Free Beacon

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani vowed that the Islamic Republic would violate outstanding United Nations restrictions governing the country’s ballistic missile program and that the behavior would not violate the recent nuclear accord, according to a translation of the leader’s remarks performed by the CIA’s Open Source Center.

Iran is “not committed to the restrictions on its missile program,” according to a recent comment made by Rouhani, who said a violation of international restrictions would not impact the nuclear accord recently reached with global powers.

“We have formally announced that we are not committed to these provisions [related to missiles] mentioned in [the] U.N. resolution,” Rouhani was quoted as saying in an Aug. 29 Persian language speech broadcast on Iran’s state-controlled television networks. [Read more...]

Flashback: ABC News Envisioned Apocalyptic 2015 Triggered By Climate Change

by Kerry Picket     •     Daily Caller

ABC News ran a news special in 2009 called Earth 2100, a program warning its viewers about the dangers of climate change.

ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff says the show “puts participants in the future and asks them to report back about what it is like to live in this future world. The first stop is the year 2015.”

A Harvard University professor says, “We’re going to see more floods, more droughts, more wildfires.”

Other voices can be heard saying that “Flames cover hundreds of square mile” and “We expect more intense hurricanes.” Another voice says, “Well, how warm is it going to get? How much will sea level rise? We don’t know really know where the end is.” [Read more...]

F-35 vs. A-10 Matchup Isn’t ‘Silly’ After All

by Gillian Rich     •     Investor’s Business Daily

A matchup between Lockheed Martin’s (NYSE:LMT) F-35 vs. the older A-10 Warthog isn’t so “silly” after all. The Pentagon’s Office of Operational Test and Evaluation said late Thursday that it would run tests to evaluate how the F-35 stacks up in close-air support vs. the A-10, according to Defense News. The tests will use the latest upgrade of the 3F software for the F-35 and take place in 2018.

Lockheed shares fell 0.9% to 203.61 in late-afternoon trade in the stock market today.

The announcement comes after Air Force chief of staff Gen. Mark Welsh told the press Monday that he wasn’t aware of any tests between the two planes and said a matchup “would be a silly exercise.” [Read more...]

The EPA’s Own Email Problem

Another government employee, another private account, another crashed hard drive.

by Kimberley A. Strassel     •     Wall Street Journal

epa-logoWhen a government official (think Hillary Clinton) uses a private email account for government work (think Hillary Clinton) and then doesn’t turn over records (think Hillary Clinton), the public has to wonder why. For an example of that why, consider Thursday’s federal-court subpoena of Phillip North.

The North story hasn’t gotten a lot of attention, but it is a useful tale for clarifying exactly why we have federal records and sunshine laws. You see, government workers don’t use private email because it is “convenient.” They use private email to engage in practices that may be unsavory, or embarrassing, or even illegal. Let’s be clear about that.

Mr. North was, until a few years ago, a biologist at the Environmental Protection Agency, based in Alaska. Around 2005 he became enmeshed in reviewing the Pebble Partnership’s proposal to develop a mine there. Mr. North has openly admitted that he was opposed to this idea early on, and he is entitled to his opinion. Still, as a government employee his first duty is to follow the law. [Read more...]

The NLRB’s Power Grab

By The Editors     •     National Review

Why should a union representing workers who are not employees of McDonald’s be empowered to squeeze concessions out of McDonald’s? Why did Willie Sutton rob banks?

In a party-line decision, the Democrat-dominated National Labor Relations Board has decided that employees of contractors can be treated as employees of other companies when . . . well, when it is convenient for Democratic constituencies that they be so treated. The underlying case involved an operator of recycling centers, Browning-Ferris Industries of California, which uses subcontractors to staff some of its facilities. Firms have many reasons for using subcontracted labor, one of which is avoiding entanglement with the NLRB. Tut-tut, say the feds.

But in the more relevant cases, contracting is built into the business model, as it is with franchise restaurants and similar businesses, which are what this case really is about. Most people who work for McDonald’s do not actually work for McDonald’s Corporation, which operates only a small number of the burger joints bearing its name. [Read more...]

Restoring American Exceptionalism

President Obama has dangerously surrendered the nation’s global leadership, but it can be ours again—if we choose his successor wisely.

By Dick Cheney and Liz Cheney     •     Wall Street Journal

In 1983, as the U.S. confronted the threat posed by the Soviet Union, President Ronald Reagan explained America’s unique responsibility. “It is up to us in our time,” he said, “to choose, and choose wisely, between the hard but necessary task of preserving peace and freedom, and the temptation to ignore our duty and blindly hope for the best while the enemies of freedom grow stronger day by day.” It was up to us then—as it is now—because we are the exceptional nation. America has guaranteed freedom, security and peace for a larger share of humanity than any other nation in all of history. There is no other like us. There never has been.

Born of the revolutionary ideal that we are “endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights,” we were, first, an example to the world of freedom’s possibilities. During World War II, we became freedom’s defender, at the end of the Cold War, the world’s sole superpower. We did not seek the position. It is ours because of our ideals and our power, and the power of our ideals. As British historian Andrew Roberts has observed, “In the debate over whether America was born great, achieved greatness or had greatness thrust upon her, the only possible conclusion must be: all three.” [Read more...]

What six years of ‘reset’ have wrought

By Charles Krauthammer     •     Washington Post

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a statement in the Kremlin on Wednesday. (Alexander Zemlianichenko/Associated Press)

On September 5, 2014, two days after President Obama visited Estonia to symbolize America’s commitment to its security, Russian agents crossed into Estonia and kidnapped an Estonian security official. Last week, after a closed trial, Russia sentenced him to 15 years.

The reaction? The State Department issued a statement. The NATO secretary-general issued a tweet. Neither did anything. The European Union (reports the Wall Street Journal) said it was too early to discuss any possible action.

The timing of this brazen violation of NATO territory — immediately after Obama’s visit — is testimony to Vladimir Putin’s contempt for the American president. He knows Obama would do nothing. Why should he think otherwise? [Read more...]

The International Criminal Court: Selective Justice For Select Victims

Flag_of_Côte_d'Ivoire.svgBy Shawn Macomber  Lawfare Tyranny

Though she eventually — and, alas, more than a little predictably — trots out the unpersuasive argument that the multitudinous failures of the International Criminal Court can largely be chalked up to a lack of funding, this openDemocracy essay by Human Rights Watch Senior International Justice Counsel Elizabeth Evenson detailing “just how far the ICC still needs to go to make its work accessible, meaningful, and legitimate in local communities” is a fascinating example of how even devotees of the Court can quickly be plunged into a dark night of the soul when they are intellectually honest about the institution.

For example:

Since investigations began in Côte d’Ivoire in October 2011, the ICC prosecutor has only opened cases related to alleged crimes committed in Abidjan, the country’s economic capital, and by forces affiliated with Gbagbo. This despite the well-documented facts that crimes were committed both by forces allied to the former president and those allied to Ouattara, the current president, and that many of the worst atrocities occurred outside of Abidjan.

So…rent-seeking and tailoring “justice” to the preferred power structure of the West?

Yeah, that sounds like the ICC, alright.

More:

[Read more...]

Robert Satloff’s 10 Questions for President Obama About Iran

The Atlantic

Obama Iran1. You have argued that the Iran deal enhances Israel’s security and those of our Arab Gulf allies. At the same time, your administration has offered the Gulf states a huge security package by way of compensation and you have expressed frustration that the government of Israel has not yet entered into discussions with you to discuss ways to bolster its security. But isn’t this a paradox? If the Iran deal bolsters their security, shouldn’t their security needs be going down, not up?

2. It is surely legitimate for you to argue that the Iran deal enhances U.S. security but it certainly seems odd for you to claim to understand Israel’s security needs more than its democratically elected leaders. Are there other democracies whose leaders you believe don’t recognize their own best security interests or is Israel unique in this regard?

3. Constructive, respected, well-informed observers, like your former [National Security Council] Iran policy advisor Dennis Ross, have urged you to propose transferring to Israel the “mountain-busting” Massive Ordnance Penetrator as a way to boost Israel’s independent deterrence against Iran. But you have not done so. Instead, in your letter to Congressman [Jerrold] Nadler, you highlighted your administration’s plan to send Israel a much less capable weapon. Why are you reluctant to send Israel the best item we have in our inventory to address this profound threat? [Read more...]

IRS finds yet another Lois Lerner email account

‘Toby Miles’ account linked to government business

By Stephen Dinan     •     The Washington Times

Lois Lerner IRSLois Lerner had yet another personal email account used to conduct some IRS business, the tax agency confirmed in a new court filing late Monday that further complicates the administration’s efforts to be transparent about Ms. Lerner’s actions during the tea party targeting scandal.

The admission came in an open-records lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch, a conservative public interest law firm that has sued to get a look at emails Ms. Lerner sent during the targeting.

IRS lawyer Geoffrey J. Klimas told the court that as the agency was putting together a set of documents to turn over to Judicial Watch, it realized Ms. Lerner had used yet another email account, in addition to her official one and another personal one already known to the agency. [Read more...]

Federal Judge: IRS must say if White House sought taxpayers’ information

By Stephen Dinan     •     Washington Times

IRS new logoA federal judge Friday ordered the IRS to turn over the records of any requests from the White House seeking taxpayers’ private information from the tax agency, delivering a victory to a group that for two years has been trying to pry the data loose.

It’s not clear that there were any such requests — but Judge Amy Berman Jackson said the IRS cannot just refuse to say so by citing taxpayer confidentiality laws, known as section 6103 of the tax code.

“This court questions whether section 6103 should or would shield records that indicate confidential taxpayer information was misused, or that government officials made an improper attempt to access that information,” the judge wrote in denying the IRS’s request to close out the case. [Read more...]

The Iran deal ensures a Mideast arms race — nukes and all

By Seth Mandel     •     New York Post

President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran promises to unleash a new round of chaos in the Middle East, destabilize allies and empower terrorist groups.

And he knows it. That’s the upshot of Obama’s letter to Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan-B’klyn) to secure Nadler’s support for the deal.

Nadler says he believes the deal will keep Iran from going nuclear even after all its enforcement provisions end (though even Obama has admitted that’s a concern).

But the congressman was worried that unwinding the sanctions regime would leave Tehran flush with cash, and primed to step up its proxy wars throughout the region. [Read more...]

Clinton email probe needs special prosecutor

Investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of private server should not be caught up in presidential politics

Detroit News

Hillary Clinton 2With Hillary Clinton running for president, it is hard to keep separate legitimate questions about whether her unorthodox email practices while secretary of state compromised national security from the partisan mud-slinging that comes with a political campaign.

Likewise, as the likely Democratic standard-bearer and former cabinet officer in the Obama administration, it is a stretch to assume the Justice Department will do a vigorous and impartial investigation into the email controversy and be entirely forthcoming with the results.

For the sake of everyone’s credibility, a special prosecutor should be appointed with the tools to quickly answer the questions before the presidential primaries begin.

That’s not a lot of time. The urgency of getting to the bottom of this argues for the tools a special prosecutor can bring to a probe. [Read more...]

Did Obama know about Iran side deal?

By Orange County Register Editorial

LISA BENSON, WASHINGTON POST WRITERS GROUP

Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton and Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo were recently in Vienna, where they met up with the deputy director of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The U.S. lawmakers charged that the U.N. agency had made a “confidential” side agreement with Iran that was not included in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the nuclear pact between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the so-called P5+1 (the U.S., Great Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany).

State Department spokesman John Kirby suggested that Sen. Cotton and Rep. Pompeo were lying. “There’s no side deals,” he assured, during a press briefing. “There’s no secret deals between Iran and the IAEA that the P5+1 has not been briefed on in detail.” [Read more...]

The long, slow death of the rule of law in America

by Troy Senik    •     Orange County Register

CAMERON CARDOW, CAGLE CARTOONS

The most disturbing aspect of the scandal around Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server during her tenure as secretary of state is not the former first lady’s penchant for secrecy. In fact, we all ought to be a little taken aback that Mrs. Clinton’s poll numbers are declining as a result of that storyline. It boggles the mind to imagine that, after a quarter-century, there’s a slice of the electorate just now coming to the realization that she is not a terribly forthcoming politician.

What’s truly unsettling is that it has been widely taken as read among both the media and the general public that Mrs. Clinton will likely avoid serious legal consequences for her behavior because the Justice Department is ultimately answerable to President Obama – and Democrats will not use the instruments of government to destroy one of their own. Whether that eventually proves true, the sentiment itself reveals a troubling trend in American politics. [Read more...]