Remembering a Dissident: Yuri Glazov A tribute to my father — who passed 20 years ago on March 15 — for his courageous battle against the Soviet Empire. Jamie Glazov

One day, when I was nine years old, my father and I were on our way to Church. As we neared the entrance, I spat on the ground. Reflexively, my dad’s arm shot out across my chest like a railway barrier, blocking my motion forward. We stood there, frozen in time, for some three seconds until my father uttered, in a very serious but patient way: “It is ok to spit outside of KGB headquarters, but never in front of a place such as this.” I registered the message and indicated my understanding — and we proceeded on our way.

That was my dad’s moral clarity and sharp, quick-witted way with words; and the sacred values that spawned those words made a profound impression on me from the moment of my birth. I was born into a family of Russian dissidents who put their clenched fists up and went toe-to-toe with the Evil Empire.

Throughout my youth, my dad shared many stories with me, which included how he had always been aware, even in his youth, that he existed in a slave camp masquerading as a country and that he perpetually dreamed of escaping it. He spent his young years studying maps, trying to decipher which body of water he could swim across to escape the communist paradise he languished in. But his life ended up going a different way: he confronted the slave masters, rather than escaping the prison they had built.

My father was a scholar at the Soviet Academy of Sciences and a professor at Moscow State University. His main field of study concerned Oriental languages and cultures, with a specialty in the Chinese, Sanskrit and Tamil areas. Despite his rewarding career, my dad put everything on the line and began to attend human rights demonstrations in Moscow on behalf of political prisoners. He also started to sign letters of protest against the political repressions that were heightening in the country in the 1960s, connected as they were to the re-Stalinization of the Soviet Union after the Khrushchev thaw. The activities my dad engaged in could land a Soviet citizen in the gulag or a psychiatric hospital for decades.

On February 24, 1968, my father signed the Letter of Twelve, a letter written and signed by twelve Soviet dissidents to the Supreme Congress of Communist Parties in Budapest denouncing Soviet human rights abuses. He was immediately fired from his work for being “unprofessional” in his scholarly studies (even though he previously had received high praise for his academic studies).

The picture of my dad, shown above, was taken by a friend who had come to visit him the evening of the day he was expelled from the Academy. My father had been at a meeting at the closed section of the Supreme Soviet of Scholars. Before the committee announced his expulsion, he had delivered a strong speech about political repressions in the country and finished by talking about his hope that the days of freedom would one day come to his beloved Russia.

Will Trump Play North Korea’s Rigged Game? A cautionary note about the game the Kims have been playing for three generations, Bruce Thornton

The buzz about President Trump’s possible meeting with North Korean strongman Kim Jong-un has been followed by the usual Trumpophobe disdain matched by Trumpophile enthusiasm. But if this recent talk of an unprecedented presidential face-to-face negotiation with Kim turns into a reality, don’t expect much other than photo-ops and diplomatic clichés like “progress” and “productive,” with nothing meaningful accomplished. The Kim dynasty has been playing this game for three generations, and have become masters of exploiting the West’s diplomatic magical thinking that talk alone can stop a determined aggressor.

We know that Trump considers himself a master negotiator, eager to solve intractable foreign policy conflicts. Getting the Norks to denuclearize would be “the greatest deal in the world,” as the president said, something he reminds us his three predecessors could not accomplish. Perhaps the time is ripe. Kim may be feeling pressure from economic sanctions, especially since China has supported U.N. sanctions on their regional pit-bull. Or maybe Kim takes seriously Trump’s “fire and fury” threats, considering that the unconventional Trump may be a Nixonian “crazy” man who just might act on his bluster.

But as a perusal of the history compiled by the Arms Control Association shows, the canny Kims have survived over three decades of sanctions and saber-rattling rhetoric, participated in numerous negotiations and summits, and signed a plethora of agreements they have serially violated. Their aim has been clear throughout: possession of nuclear weapons that can be delivered on missiles capable of reaching the U.S. The vague “concessions” and “concrete actions” expected of the North before talks can begin, not to mention the suggested goal of the talks that North Korea gives up its nuclear weapons, are highly unlikely to be forthcoming.

Okay Adam Schiff, Show Us The Russia Collusion Does Schiff have superhuman abilities to see links that we cannot? What exactly is it that binds his strongest points together? Ben Weingarten

This week the Republican majority of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) announced the conclusion of its investigation into Russia and the 2016 U.S. election, concluding in a summary of the draft report, “We have found no evidence of collusion, coordination, or conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russians.”

As they say, HPSCI hath no fury like a Schiff scorned.

Naturally, the Democratic congressman and prominent Russiagate peddler Rep. Adam Schiff was incredulous.

Fascinatingly, in his press release castigating the Republican-led committee for closing its probe into among other things collusion between Russian officials and the Trump campaign that Schiff has adamantly alleged for over a year, the very word “collusion” was absent. Let us put a finer point on it: Those who subscribe to the Russiagate conspiracy theory have settled on “collusion” with Russia as the central charge against the Trump administration. Schiff has screamed it from the rooftops. Is it not curious this this allegation is missing from Schiff’s latest missive, replaced by “Russian interference” and the “the role of U.S. persons connected to the Trump campaign in that intervention?”

Let us also recognize that under a presidency that has generated hyperbolic partisan action ranging from a slew of attacks on President Trump’s mental fitness pointing towards 25th Amendment removal, to the drawing of impeachment papers, “collusion” would appear to be a relatively restrained charge. This might indicate an implicit lack of confidence in there being any “there” there among the president’s detractors and believers in nefarious Russia dealings.
‘Collusion’ Is Not In Itself A Crime

The trouble with the notion of “collusion” — or perhaps its attractiveness depending on your perspective — is that it is an amorphous catchall. It does not constitute a crime. The closest related crime would be a conspiracy to commit an offense against or defraud the United States. Therefore, in context of a special counsel investigation for example, which requires that a crime be cited, it should be meaningless.

Farrakhan, the Women’s March and the Walkout Why is it so hard for Democrats to avoid associating with him?By James Freeman

Will Democrats decide to be the party of Conor Lamb, whose moderate message seems to have won over a Trump district in Pennsylvania? Or will Democrats define themselves as the activists who mount a “resistance” against our duly-elected President but still struggle to resist the charms of Louis Farrakhan?

Today’s news brings this question into sharp relief. Mr. Lamb appears to have won a congressional seat in a district that Donald Trump carried by 19 points in 2016. Meanwhile, the radical Women’s March organization beloved by so many Democrats has rolled out its latest production.

Time magazine reports:

It’s been exactly one month since the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School — and some are choosing a somber way to pay tribute to the 17 people killed in the Parkland massacre.

Thousands of students and teachers began walking out of their classrooms on Wednesday, March 14 as part of the the #Enough! National School Walkout to raise awareness about issues of school safety and the impact of gun violence. The nationwide march, organized by Women’s March Youth Empower, began at 10 a.m. Many marches lasted 17 minutes, to represent each of the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

It’s perhaps unreasonable to expect the children who are missing class to be aware of all the people with whom they are associating. But their parents should exercise some care.

On Saturday, Masha Gessen wrote in the New Yorker about Women’s March Co-President Tamika Mallory’s ties to Mr. Farrakhan:

Two weeks ago, when Farrakhan delivered his annual address to a Nation of Islam gathering in Chicago, he gave a shout-out to Mallory, who was in the audience. Farrakhan’s speech was, as it usually is, replete with anti-Semitic, homophobic, and transphobic invectives. When the news of Mallory’s presence at the event surfaced, she did not disavow Farrakhan’s comments. (Mallory and fellow Women’s March leader Carmen Perez have both posted pictures of themselves with Farrakhan to Instagram; in a caption, Mallory calls him “definitely the goat”—the greatest of all time.)

After some public criticism, Women’s March eventually released a statement which condemned hatred but did not condemn Mr. Farrakhan. The statement said that his comments were “not aligned” with those of the organization.

Upon reviewing the comments, many voters would no doubt go much further than simply saying his views are not aligned with theirs. In the Chicago Tribune this week, Clarence Page details some of Mr. Farrakhan’s remarks at the event attended by the Women’s March leader:

Here, for example, are a few quick quotes from his speech to the Nation’s recent annual Saviours’ Day program in Chicago’s Wintrust Arena: The “powerful Jews,” he told the audience of thousands, “are my enemy.”

The Jews are also “the mother and father of apartheid,” he said, and “responsible for all of this filth and degenerate behavior that Hollywood is putting out turning men into women and women into men”

“Farrakhan has pulled the cover off the eyes of the Satanic Jew and I’m here to say your time is up, your world is through,” he said, getting thoroughly revved up. “You good Jews better separate because the satanic ones will take you to hell with them because that’s where they are headed.”

Mr. Page’s column is entitled, “How Farrakhan kills the joy in identity politics.” It remains unclear how dividing Americans by their demographic characteristics is a joyful experience. But the inability to resist associating with Mr. Farrakhan extends beyond activists to elected Democratic members of Congress. Journal contributor Jeryl Bier has been chronicling the problem in recent months, highlighting the changing story offered by Democratic National Committee Deputy Chairman Rep. Keith Ellison. CONTINUE AT SITE

Andrew McCabe and Consequences The FBI recommends firing its former deputy director.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions faces a decision that will be controversial no matter what he does: Fire former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, or overrule the recommendation of the FBI’s own internal investigators.

The recommendation to fire Mr. McCabe isn’t coming from Donald Trump or Russian bots. It comes from the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility. News reports say it is based on a finding from the Justice Department’s Inspector General that Mr. McCabe authorized the disclosure of sensitive information to a Wall Street Journal reporter about the investigation into the Clinton Foundation—and then lied about it to IG investigators.

The IG report remains secret, but it’s hard to believe the FBI would recommend such punishment if it did not believe Mr. McCabe’s actions were a serious breach of duty. The bureau’s recommendation is in marked contrast to the endorsement from his old boss, former FBI Director James Comey, who tweeted in January that Mr. McCabe “stood tall” as “small people were trying to tear down an institution we all depend on.” Did St. Jim know about his comrade’s alleged deception?

Mr. McCabe is connected to controversial FBI investigations into both presidential candidates in 2016, and in January he said he would formally retire on March 18 when he would have enough seniority to qualify for his pension. Firing him early could cost him that lifetime payout.

The American people still don’t know what went on at the FBI during those 2016 investigations. Several FBI and Justice officials will soon testify to the House Intelligence Committee. Perhaps Mr. McCabe’s firing would persuade them that there are consequences for untruthfulness. Time and again we have been assured of the FBI’s high standards. Imagine how Mr. McCabe would treat an American citizen who lied to the FBI.

Wolves in Lamb’s Clothing By Michael Walsh

Tuesday’s narrow win by Democrat Conor Lamb in a special congressional election in Pennsylvania has thrilled Democrats eager to believe that the entire country has finally seen the error of its ways and is about to remove the interloper Donald J. Trump, if not from power then at least from moral authority in the White House. This, they crow, is yet more proof of the “blue wave” that surely is coming in the fall, when the party of slavery, segregation, secularism, and sedition retakes the House of Representatives, re-installs Nancy Pelosi as speaker, and effects the Progressive Restoration in the wake of Hillary Clinton’s defeat in 2016.

Chastened Republicans, meanwhile, are expected finally to bow to the inevitable and hang their heads in shame, while accepting the natural overlordship of their Democrat betters and returning to their Vichycon places at the table, collaborating whenever possible and putting up only token resistance when not.

Not so fast. It’s always dangerous to draw national conclusions from local elections, which House races are by definition.

First, the district was holding a special election to replace Republican Tim Murphy, who resigned last October after the news broke that he had encouraged his lover in an extramarital affair to abort a pregnancy, which turned out to be a phantom. Of course, for a Democrat, this would have been no problem at all, since the modern Democratic Party considers a “woman’s right to choose” to be right up there with “We hold these truths to be self-evident.” Forget honey traps: Murphy was caught in a hypocrisy trap, so he had to go.

Second, Democrats in the district have a registration advantage of some 70,000 voters, but many of those are “conservative” and it went hard for Trump in 2016. Outside observers (i.e., Democrat media shills and the krack kadres of GOP kampaign konsultants) at first expected the seat to stay red. But then the Republican bonzes took a look at the polls, and promptly bailed on candidate Rick Saccone, writing him off as lost.

Third, the district is about to be renamed and reshaped in the wake of a Pennsylvania Supreme Court order to redraw its boundaries. Gerrymandering, it seems, is a high crime and misdemeanor when elected Republicans do it, but when unelected Democrats do it, it serves the cause of social justice and is thus OK.

On Climate Change, Please Address the Science, Not the Politics By Dr. Tim Ball and Tom Harris

The climate debate is one of the most important discussions in the world today. At stake are billions of dollars, millions of jobs, and — if people like Canadian environmental activist Dr. David Suzuki are right — the fate of the global environment. Consequently, we need all parties in the debate to behave responsibly.

Sadly, climate discussions are often poisoned by misrepresentations and errors in reasoning. Suzuki does this in “Climate science deniers’ credibility tested,” his March 1 article attacking those of us who question the science promoted by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Published on the David Suzuki Foundation website and reproduced by media across Canada, Suzuki’s attack is typical of what independent thinkers about climate science experience on a regular basis. For that reason, his article is worth examining in detail.

Suzuki implies that the argument presented by Canadian ecologist Patrick Moore, that glaciers “are basically dead zones,” is somehow wrong. Similarly, Suzuki mocks as “anti-climate-science” the position I (Harris) promote: that “carbon dioxide is harmless plant food.” In neither case does Suzuki explain in his article what is mistaken with these statements. Perhaps this is because both are obviously true.

While he may not understand glaciers, one would assume that, as a biologist, Suzuki would comprehend that carbon dioxide is the stuff of life, an essential reactant in plant photosynthesis on which all life on Earth depends. That’s why commercial greenhouse operators routinely run their internal atmospheres at up to 1,500 parts per million (ppm) carbon dioxide concentration. Plants inside grow far more efficiently than at the 400 ppm in the outside atmosphere.

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts, a report from the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, cites over 1,000 peer-reviewed studies that document rising productivity of forests and grasslands as carbon dioxide levels have increased, and not just in recent decades, but in past centuries.

Despite the excited proclamations of climate activists, increasing carbon dioxide levels poses no direct hazard to human health. Carbon dioxide concentrations in submarines can reach levels well above 10,000 ppm, 25 times current atmospheric levels, with no harmful effects on the crew.

Aside from these two issues, and his false claim that I doubt “the existence of human-caused climate change altogether,” Suzuki says nothing about the science we present. CONTINUE AT SITE

Turns Out Trump’s Nominee to Head CIA Did Not Oversee Waterboarding in Thailand By Stephen Kruiser

When it was reported earlier in the week that President Trump was going to nominate career CIA officer Gina Haspel to become the agency’s director after it was announced that current director Mike Pompeo was heading to the State Department, many on the left and right seized on Haspel’s alleged role in “enhanced interrogation” techniques.

The focus was on the time period when Haspel was the chief of base at a CIA black site where terror suspect Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded.

Reuters reported that Haspel is “dogged by secret prisons.”

Referring to Haspel’s time in Thailand, John McCain had this to say: “The American people now deserve the same assurances from Gina Haspel, whose career with the agency has intersected with the program of so-called ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ on a number of occasions.”

This all stemmed from some reporting that the multiple Pulitzer Prize-winning site ProPublica did last year. The site, however, got some of the details wrong and, to its credit, has issued a lengthy and prominently placed correction. Here are a couple of tweets from ProPublica’s Twitter account:

✔ @ProPublica
Correction: Trump’s pick to head the CIA did not oversee waterboarding of Abu Zubaydah

According to the correction published on the site, the accusations against Haspel “prompted former colleagues of Haspel to defend her publicly.”

Trump Administration Implements New Russia Sanctions in Response to Election Interference and Cyber Attacks By Jack Crowe

The Trump administration announced Thursday it is implementing new sanctions against Russian entities and individuals for their roles in election meddling and cyberattacks, in what amounts to the starkest repudiation of the Putin regime since Trump’s election.

The new round of sanctions targets 19 individuals and five entities, including the Internet Research Agency, a Kremlin funded digital-propaganda group that sowed discord in the American electorate during the 2016 race by posting incendiary content on social-media outlets like Facebook and Twitter.

The announcement coincided with the release of a joint statement by the White House, Britain, France, and Germany chastising Russia for its suspected role in perpetrating a nerve-gas attack on a former Russian spy and his daughter living in the United Kingdom. In the statement, the allies voiced their support for the U.K. and affirmed their belief that Russia was responsible for the attack.

The move, which targets many of the same entities identified by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, comes roughly a month and a half after the administration missed a congressionally mandated deadline for imposing new sanctions in response to Russian election meddling.

The Trump administration was roundly criticized for failing to meet the deadline, stipulated by a bill passed and signed into law in August, with Democratic lawmakers accusing the White House of pandering to Putin.

In addition to election meddling, the sanctions announcement cited a number of cyber attacks, including a previously undisclosed Russian attempt to breach the U.S. energy grid.

“The administration is confronting and countering malign Russian cyberactivity, including their attempted interference in U.S. elections, destructive cyberattacks, and intrusions targeting critical infrastructure,” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said in a statement. “These targeted sanctions are a part of a broader effort to address the ongoing nefarious attacks emanating from Russia.”

Don’t Bork Gina Haspel By Rich Lowry

President Donald Trump’s pick for CIA director is about to experience a good Borking.

No one doubts her professionalism. President Barack Obama’s CIA director, Leon Panetta, told CNN she’s “a good officer,” “who really knows the CIA inside out.” She has the endorsement of Obama’s director of national intelligence, James Clapper, and of Mike Morell, who served as acting director of the CIA twice under Obama.

Haspel’s career at the agency since the 1980s, including extensive work undercover in the field, is getting blotted out by her reported involvement in the CIA’s black-site interrogation program, which has become a warrant to say anything about her.

Her critics assert she should be in jail, instead of running free at the CIA, and The New York Times editorial page wrote about her nomination under the headline, “Having a Torturer Lead the C.I.A.”

Not to be outdone in demagogic attacks on anyone associated with our national security apparatus, Sen. Rand Paul calls Haspel “the head cheerleader for waterboarding,” and claims she mocked a detainee for his drooling. The only problem is that this anecdote comes from a book by a contractor who worked with the CIA, James Mitchell, and it describes a man, not a woman, making the comment.

Their factual accuracy aside, the attacks on Haspel are ahistorical in that they ignore the context of the CIA program and unfair insofar as they portray her as a remorselessly cruel prime mover behind it.

The interrogation program began when Al Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah was captured in March 2002, in the shadow of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Not until December 2001 had the rubble at Ground Zero been reduced to street level. In March, workers began searching for human remains in an area of the towers they hadn’t been able to reach yet. The last column wasn’t removed until the end of May. In 2002, we believed another attack was imminent and preventing it had an urgency fueled by raw memories of an event that was literally yesterday’s news.

In light of this pervasive feeling, it’s unsurprising that a broad political consensus supported doing what was necessary to get information from captured Al Qaeda leaders. The CIA repeatedly briefed select congressional leaders, especially the top Republicans and Democrats on the Intelligence committees. By all accounts, the program met with the assent of lawmakers. Later, when waterboarding become politically radioactive, Nancy Pelosi tried to say she didn’t know about it, even though a CIA memo said the interrogation techniques had been described to her in September 2002.

The briefings go to how the interrogation program wasn’t a rogue operation. It was approved at the highest level of the U.S. government and the CIA sought, and got, explicit legal approval from the Department of Justice. The enhanced interrogations of Zubaydah didn’t begin until Attorney General John Ashcroft verbally approved the methods. When he initially didn’t sign off on waterboarding, the CIA team waited until he did a few days later.

Haspel is connected in the press to the Zubaydah interrogations, although the CIA hasn’t confirmed her participation in the oversight of any particular detainee and insists much of the reporting about her work in this period is erroneous. Again, the Mitchell book suggests a man, not a woman, was in charge at the time. A New York Times report places her at the site in Thailand in question beginning in 2003, when Zubaydah was subjected to waterboarding in 2002.