Wikileaks Stokes Controversy, Rebellion On The Right, The President vs. Planned Parenthood, What Kind Of State
Columnist Charles Krauthammer observed that while we're having a national debate on vetting for people coming from Yemen, perhaps we also need a debate about the quality of vetting for government contractors who work with sensitive intelligence.
Here's the other problem: Most Americans know we live in a dangerous world and they have been satisfied to let the people charged with keeping us safe do what they have to do. It likely means we would be troubled if we knew everything that was done in the defense of our country.
But in the age we live in, where authoritarian governments routinely abuse their authority, the idea that democratic governments abuse their power will reinvigorate the debate about how much we are willing to trust government -- especially when it comes to the things these reports suggest.
Right now we are living through a huge controversy over what is called "the deep state." A group of left-wing ideologues embedded in the most sensitive national security agencies are seemingly conducting an effort to thwart the duly elected president of the United States. Cloaked in secrecy, they are leaking classified information -- or at least what they purport to be classified information -- in a selective way to hurt the administration.
Serious people who care about national security are raising questions about whether we can trust those individuals with the ability to turn on your phone or TV set and listen in on your conversations.
Putting that aside, there were a lot of raised eyebrows in Washington yesterday by one particular disclosure. Consider this excerpt:
"The documents also suggest that one of the agency's divisions -- the Remote Development Branch's UMBRAGE Group -- may have been cataloguing hacking methods from outside hackers, including in Russia, that would have allowed the agency to mask their identity by employing the method during espionage."
How do we know that it wasn't a deep state operation that resulted in all the controversy during the campaign and now in order to destroy the Trump Administration?
More importantly, how is any normal citizen supposed to learn the truth?
Congressional oversight used to be the safeguard. But as the government has massively expanded, we saw how Congress was unable to get any form of justice on the clear abuses that occurred at the IRS -- abuses which did not involve top secret intelligence information.
Rebellion On The Right - As we reported yesterday, the Republican leadership plan to replace Obamacare is not only being resisted by Democrats (there isn't one Democrat who is likely to vote for any Obamacare repeal plan), but it is taking increasing fire from the right.
Several conservative organizations, including Club for Growth, Heritage Action, FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity, announced their opposition to the bill. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and members of the House Freedom Caucus came out against it as well.
As the day went on, Speaker Paul Ryan and others tried to clarify that congressional rules will not permit all of the reforms everyone wants in one bill. While the reconciliation process avoids the Senate's 60-vote rule, that process has strict limits. As the Heritage Foundation explains:
Speaking Of Presidential Leadership . . . Kudos to President Trump! He is sticking to his pledge to pro-life voters to defund Planned Parenthood. The New York Times reported this week that the president attempted to forge a compromise. In a statement, the president wrote:
Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards shot back, "Planned Parenthood is proud to provide abortion -- a necessary service that's as vital to our mission as birth control or cancer screenings."
I couldn't disagree more with Richards' claim that abortion is a "necessary service." In a medical emergency, doctors can induce labor or perform emergency c-sections. Abortions are only performed for one reason -- to guarantee a dead baby. Why would that ever be "necessary"?
What Kind Of State? While Western elites and left-wing radicals clamor for a Palestinian state, Palestinian leaders are once again demonstrating why they cannot be trusted with a state. Last month, the Palestinian Liberation Organization's Supreme Council for Youth and Sports announced that it was naming a youth camp after Dalal Mughrabi, a Palestinian terrorist.
But Mughrabi is not just your typical jihadist. She led an attack in 1978 known as the "Coastal Road Massacre." Thirty-seven Israelis were killed, including 12 children.
During a recent visit to Australia, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was confronted by demands for the creation of a Palestinian state. He responded, "What kind of state will it be? A state that calls for Israel's destruction? A state whose territory will be used immediately for radical Islam?"
Why would Israel, the United States or any civilized person support the creation of a new state when its would-be leaders celebrate murderers and terrorists? The last thing the Middle East needs is another radical Islamic state.
Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families
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