FROM James Spione
Leaks, National Security and Presidential Politics The Obama White House is accused of leaking classified information to make the President look good and of punishing whistleblowers who make him look bad. Earlier this month, California Senator Dianne Feinstein expressed concern about threats to national security to CNN's Wolf Blitzer. Republican Senator John McCain wants a special prosecutor appointed to investigate White House leaks, but the President says that's not where the information is coming from. Others insist that the people have a right to know what the government's doing. Now the world knows the US is targeting specific people with drone strikes and that it attacked Iran's nuclear program with a computer virus. What new dangers have been created? Is it all about the President's re-election campaign? Is there anything new about leaking?
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
Trump's ethical conflicts pile up as transparency diminishes President Trump's refusal to reveal his income tax returns is just one example of a lack of transparency that could be hiding conflicts of interest. Other conflicts are already obvious from his appointments. And he's being sued for using his job to increase his profits.