Articles chosen with care. Comments welcomed. Linked articles in bold purple
◆ Sex charges against top Vatican official (Fox)
Cardinal George Pell, head of Vatican finances and the most senior Catholic in Australia, has been charged with sex offenses. He will return to Australia’s state of Victoria and vows to fight the charges. He calls them “relentless character assassination.”
Comment: This is grim, sad stuff, if the charges can be proven.
◆ Closing in on the leakers who are giving highly-classified materials to the media to sink the Trump administration and prove the Obama administration was effective in dealing with Russia, Iran, and other problems
In a very important story, Adam Kredo says the latest wave of leaks is very serious
A new wave of leaks targeting the Trump administration has actively endangered ongoing intelligence and military operations being conducted by the United States and its allies, sparking anger and concern inside and outside the White House. –Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon
So, who was it?
The leaks have been traced to a number of former Obama administration officials, including Ben Rhodes—the former National Security Council official responsible for creating an in-house ‘echo chamber’ meant to mislead reporters and the public about the landmark nuclear deal with Iran—and Colin Kahl, former Vice President Joe Biden’s national security adviser.
Another source, this one a senior administration official who is also intimately familiar with the situation, confirmed the assessment to the Washington Free Beacon. –Kredo in Washington Free Beacon
Comment: Kredo has done superb reporting on this story for months. The nation’s most prominent papers have done no investigating because, of course, they are the recipients of these leaks.
I had always suspected Rhodes was one of the culprits. After all, it was Rhodes who bragged about his ability to manipulate the media, creating “an echo chamber” among journalists who didn’t really know anything about Iran or the nuclear deal.
Now, the goals are different: undermine Trump and defend the great achievements of the Obama Administration.
The FBI should be investigating this. Whoever did it should be fitted for prison garb. There are echo chambers there, too: concrete walls.
◆ Georgetown’s new dean of their Doha campus has written openly of his support for Hezbollah
The former head of Islamic studies on Georgetown’s Washington campus, Ahmad Dallal
signed a 2006 petition declaring his “conscious support for the Lebanese national resistance [Hezbollah] as it wages a war” against Israel, adding
that it is “a war to safeguard the dignity of the Lebanese and Arab people.” The statement declared Hezbollah’s murderous campaign a “heroic operation.”
In his previous position as provost of American University of Beirut, Dallal slammed one of his colleagues for collaborating with Israeli scholars, declaring that the school would boycott the Jewish state. –Conservative Review, link here
Comment: His graduate education came at ground zero for the decline and fall of Middle East Studies: Edward Said’s Columbia. Dallal has carried that torch forward and now reaches a very prominent position.
There is a Yiddish word for what Georgetown has done: Shonda. It means shameful.
I can only hope Prof. Dallal will pardon me for using such a word.
◆ Venezuela is mired in conflict, suffering food shortages, and may be sliding into civil war (Washington Post)
If Venezuela was plunged into chaos and violence and the Bolivarian Revolution destroyed, we would go to combat,” Maduro said to a crowd of supporters, referring to the socialist, populist platform that transformed Venezuela under his charismatic predecessor, Hugo Chávez. “We would never give up, and what couldn’t be done with votes, we would do with weapons. We would liberate the fatherland with weapons.” –Washington Post
Comment: There was a saying about East Germany: it takes a really, really bad political structure to get the Germans to build a bad car. But East Germany was up to the task.
That applies to Venezuela, which has the world’s largest supply of oil underground, but cannot afford bread.
◆ Chair of EPA’s outside Board of Scientific Counselors says she was pressed by a Trump EPA official to change her Congressional testimony. The pressure came from the EPA’s chief of staff.
Swackhamer said she “felt intimidated” but refused to change her testimony.
♥ Hat Tip for helpful suggestions:
◆ Dan Pipes and Gregg Roman for the Georgetown-Doha story
◆ Cheryl Brownstein for the EPA story