Tag: Venezuela

Former CIA Operative Unloads on Brennan and Politicized IC

 

For this week’s Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten podcast, I had former CIA operative and leader of CIA’s Counter Terrorism Center’s WMD unit, author of the must-read and highly relevant 2009 book Beyond Repair: The Decline and Fall of the CIA and outspoken critic of the politicized leadership in America’s intelligence and national security apparatus, Charles Sam Faddis on to discuss among other things:

  • Why Faddis supports revoking John Brennan’s security clearance — and the bureaucratization and politicization of the leadership of the intelligence community versus the rank-and-file analysts and operatives in the field
  • Whether politics dominates over merit in the ranks of intelligence and the national security apparatus more broadly
  • What members of the national security establishment really mean when they talk about “protecting the institutions
  • Why President Trump has been deemed a threat to the power of the political leaders within the national security establishment in a qualitatively different way than any of his predecessors — and that’s a positive thing
  • What Faddis would do to reform intelligence
  • The poor state of America’s counterintelligence capabilities
  • The lessons of Iraq regarding U.S. intervention and the national interest
  • Whether America has the capability to use intelligence to engage in ideological warfare and bring down Iran’s Khomeinist regime
  • How China’s liquidation of our spy network reflects the problems plaguing America’s intelligence apparatus
  • The long-term dire ramifications of China’s OPM hack
  • The implications of China’s attempt to infiltrate Senator Dianne Feinstein’s office
  • The threat to the U.S. homeland of a collapsing Venezuela and Mexico, combined with drug cartels, organized crime groups and Hezbollah in our hemisphere
  • Faddis’ optimistic assessment of the Trump administration’s North Korea policy
  • Why China poses the greatest long-term threat to America of all, and our willful blindness towards it

You can find the episode on iTunes, everywhere else podcasts are found, and download the episode directly here.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are pleased to see a key figure from the Florida high school shooting replaced in the Broward County Sheriff’s Office but are irritated the media has stopped covering Sheriff Scott Israel, who still has his job despite failing to perform his duties before and during the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. They also reject Democrats’ call to regulate the internet as a public utility in the wake of Facebook, Apple, and YouTube’s ban of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. And they mourn for Venezuelans as dictator Nicolas Maduro survived a botched drone assassination attempt, and they discuss regulations on drones and the potential to use them for terrorism.

On this AEI Events Podcast, AEI’s Roger F. Noriega hosts the new US ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS), Carlos Trujillo, for a conversation on President Trump’s strategy in the Americas.

In the conversation, Amb. Trujillo introduced himself to the audience and discussed how his busy first few weeks in the Trump administration have progressed. He recently returned from the eighth Summit of the Americas, where he and Vice President Mike Pence met with leaders from around the hemisphere and reenergized the efforts of civil society groups that have been working to restore democracy in challenging political environments.

President Trump welcomed Josh Holt back to freedom and the United States in the Oval Office of the White House, joined by Holt’s parents and senators Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee and Representative Mia Love, all of Holt’s home state of Utah. Also in the Oval Office was Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-TN), who traveled to Venezuela to bring Holt home. Holt had been incarcerated Venezuela for two years on trumped up weapons charges. Fox News reported that a senior Trump administration official confirmed “nothing” was given to Venezuela in exchange for Holt’s release.

Venezuela: Sinking Even Further Into Destruction and Anarchy

 

For a decade or so, my family has supported a disabled woman in Venezuela, sending monthly support to help her mother feed and clothe her and enroll her in a daily program of activities and learning. We have done this through the organization Unbound, whose stated mission is to support families struggling with the devastating effects of poverty. This weekend, we received terrible, tragic news. Unbound is canceling all its programs in Venezuela.

According to the letter, the 800 percent inflation and civil unrest are part of the reason, but the final straw came in September “when the Venezuelan government unexpectedly suspended the currency exchange system that Unbound used to send funds to the country,” making it impossible to safely send funds. I don’t know what will happen in this beautiful country with so many existential problems, but please pray for Gisseth and her family. We don’t even have any way to get in touch with them. Lord, be with them and bring them peace.

Member Post

 

“Schism is brewing in the Church, not harmony and peace. How could it not grow when the Vatican shows such partiality toward the archenemies of Catholics – no less than well known communists, FARC and Raúl Castro included?” So writes Domingo Caro, a contributor to OnePeter5, who they say is well versed in politics and the […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America approve of White House Chief of Staff, John Kelly, firing Anthony Scaramucci, who Jim asserts was simply wrong for the job. They also condemn Nicolas Maduro for tightening his hold on Venezuela as a sham election gives him the power to replace representatives of the opposition-controlled legislature.  Jim and Greg mock Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party’s presidential candidate in 2016, for her ridiculous comments made to MSNBC that North Korea is threatening the US because we “cornered them into feeling like they have to develop a nuclear weapon.”

Member Post

 

Late Wednesday the Socialist government of Venezuela just nationalized the GM plant. The automaker promptly shut operations. Should Trump send in the Marines to protect US property? I think so. Isn’t this one of the first priorities of our State and Defense departments?   Preview Open

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Greg Corombos of Radio America flies solo with Jim Geraghty off at the National Review Institute Ideas Summit.  Today, Greg applauds Budget Director Mick Mulvaney for challenging conventional liberal and media wisdom on spending and climate change.  He also cringes as Venezuela’s socialist government cracks down on bakeries for making unapproved goods for a starving population.  And he reacts to the report in the Cal State Long Beach student newspaper that milk is racist.

Member Post

 

The socialist revolution in Venezuela has… as all socialist revolutions always do… devolved into violent Government repression and endemic poverty. Venezuela is so short on food that tens of thousands are going hungry or even starving. Its murder rate is among the highest in the world. Its economy is so crippled that the average shopper […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Socialism Stinks

 

I just spent a week in Panama. Stayed at a decent (i.e., everything you’d expect in the First World) hotel, including a great in-house gym. Multiple Oly 45-pound bars. Full plate racks. One couldn’t ask for more. Okay, one could: They didn’t have any kettlebells, but what’re you going to do?

My usual routine is to wake up at 0500, look at Drudge, and hit the gym. Hotel breakfast starts at 0600, and I wanted to be there when it opens, get my chow done, then have almost two hours to prep for the day before we launched around 0800 for our workday/conference.

Why Every Liberal Should Favor Small Government

 

Being a conservative who likes art, music, film, theater, new foods and cultural celebrations isn’t a stretch. That makes up the majority of conservatives I personally know. And while our preferences in those arenas may be different, we all share a near universal belief that government that is small is government that works best — streamlined, efficient, not trying to be an expert in areas that it is not. And, most importantly, a government that doesn’t think its interference makes things better.

But, for so many in liberal media and those moving narrative over facts, the conservative in America hates the arts (see: Meryl Streep), despises culture, and universally is an evil demagogue who hates brown people, wishes to live back in the ’50s, is desperate to eradicate all levels of government, and can’t stand the Commies.

Ok. It’s true about the Commies. They suck.

Venezuela’s Nationalized Misery

 
Oliver Sanchez

Oliver Sanchez, age 8, was diagnosed with lymphoma, gained fame in February 2016 when he joined anti-government demonstrations in Venezuela. Unable to find the needed medicine to treat his condition, Oliver passed away on May 24, 2016.

For the past seven years I have had the opportunity to travel the world, teaching for various international schools. For three years, I have lived in Maracaibo, Venezuela’s second-largest city. I have seen first-hand the collapse of what was once a vibrant and thriving country. In a previous post on the trouble of the country, several members requested personal reports about daily life in Venezuela. ‘V’ is a friend whose experience is all to common as the country’s economy continues to collapse. I hope her story and others will help all better understand the tragedy that is Venezuela.

Queuing For the Rumor of Diapers – Maracaibo, Venezuela

 

Cecilo AcostaLast month, this was the view a few blocks away from where I teach: Venezuelans wait all day for the chance to get into a price-controlled, government grocery store within Centro Comercial Costa Verde in Maracaibo, Venezuela.

It was rumored that diapers would be available.

[Editors’ Note: A previous version of this post indicated that the picture was taken today; the fault was entirely our own and has been corrected]

Member Post

 

I imagine if you’re a Bernie Sanders supporter (Sandernista), a two-day work week sounds pretty sweet; or maybe like too much effort. (“Two whole days? But my teachers said I was SPECIAL!”) The socialist administration began imposing a four-hour daily blackout around the country this week to save electricity. Then, Maduro announced that millions of […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

Socialism continues to provide economic humor: Venezuela is running out of money to print new money. With inflation nearing 700%, the currency has been debased so much that the highest denomination paper bill (100 Bolivars) is now worth only 9 US cents, and the printing costs are approaching the value of the bill. Preview Open

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

Some recent stories from Venezuela, Brazil, and Nigeria caught my attention; they have some interesting similarities. They are all oil-producing countries–with state-owned oil companies–that have been impacted by falling oil prices. And they are also reaching levels of political maturity where corruption is becoming more scandalous. In Venezuela, the opposition has resolved to oust Chavez’s successor Nicolas […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.