Some observers are mystified by Chuck Hagel’s pathetic showing at his Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, but there should be no mystery about it. He performed as he did for one simple reason: He wants to be the next secretary of defense, and he (along with the White House) must have calculated that standing up for his past positions would have harmed his chances.
Ominously but unsurprisingly, the U.S. military’s Africa Command wants to increase its footprint in northwest Africa. What began as low-profile assistance to France’s campaign to wrest control of northern Mali (a former colony) from unwelcome jihadists could end up becoming something more.
In testimony before Senate and House committees, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton enthusiastically endorsed increased U.S. intervention in Africa. When government officials seem incapable of learning obvious lessons from the recent past, maybe their incentive is not to learn but to keep doing the same destructive things.
The latest locale for American intervention is the west African country of Mali.
Swartz faced 13 counts under the 1984 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) and, if convicted, could have faced 35 years in federal prison and a million-dollar fine.
The anti-Hagel hysteria carries a message different from the one getting all the attention: If Hagel is “out of the mainstream” of foreign-policy thinking, the range of permissible thinking is more narrow than many have suspected. True, Hagel has been critical of some of the overseas military policies pursued by Presidents George W. Bush and Obama, but to suggest he is a radical critic of U.S. militarism and hegemony is absurd.
Much of what government does seems unfathomable until you remember one thing: the politicians think the people are morons.
Take the latest example: the effort to avert the “fiscal cliff.”
We would do the young victims of the Newtown shootings no honor by frantically enacting futile restrictions on freedom.
It may be satisfying to “do something.” But two things ought to be kept in mind. First, liberty is never more in peril than when politicians sense that the people want them to do something — anything. Second, a false sense of security is worse than no security at all.
When a state passes a right-to-work law, as Michigan did this month, employers in that state can no longer agree to require workers to pay union fees as a condition of employment. Supporters of right-to-work see it as a way to protect workers from being forced to support unions against their will.
If the “fiscal cliff” controversy isn’t enough to convince you this government is one big fraud, what will it take? The budget mess was delivered to us by the same people who every step of the way claimed to be acting in our best interest. Let that sink in. Every president and every member of Congress assured us that their fiscal policies would produce prosperity and employment.