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The National Defense Panel Review of the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review

Wednesday, August 13, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

In my interview with former Vice President Cheney yesterday –audio and transcript here– VP Cheney referenced the report of the National Defense Panel co-chaired by former Secretary of Defense William Perry and General John Abizaid, formerly head of Central Command.

That report is titled “Ensuring A Strong Defense for the Future,” and is probably the most important 81 pages moving around D.C. right now.  The National Defense Panel is an independent, bipartisan body mandated by statute and composed of distinguished and experienced defense and national security professionals.  Any serious commentator will read and absorb the report, and every would-be president should have a copy with him or her for the next few weeks at least, allowing it to shape their agenda for rebuilding the American military following the disastrous tenure of President Obama and his wrecking ball approach to the Defense budget.

Any doubt about the necessity of rebuilding should be removed by reading this Washington Post piece by By Anthony Faiola and Souad Mekhennet on the spill-over from Iraq and Syria into Turkey.  IS isn’t going too be stopped, nor Iran deterred, by hashtags and op-eds.

“Thomas Jefferson, the Constitution and Slavery” By Clark S. Judge

Wednesday, August 13, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

The weekly column from Clark Judge:

“Thomas Jefferson, the Constitution and Slavery”
By Clark S. Judge: managing director, White House Writers Group, Inc.; chairman, Pacific Research Institute

It was William Faulkner who wrote, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” How we understand the origins of our institutions and the men and women who shaped them shapes what we value about them now. It informs what we keep and what we change and what we build that’s new.

Last month, on 4th of July weekend, I found myself thinking about Thomas Jefferson and slavery. You know the derision directed at the author of the Declaration of Independence on this topic — and, in some quarters, at the legitimacy of the entire American project in light of his and the other Founders’ failure to abolish slavery at the country’s start.

I have a different view.

Yes, we have all read Mr. Jefferson’s impassioned denunciations of slavery and listened to charges that, despite those fine words, he made scarcely a move to end it. I could answer that words are action, particularly Thomas Jefferson’s words. For it mattered that the Declaration of Independence was written as it was, that the nation was established with an unequivocal statement of principles, a statement that was incompatible with slavery and that for the next 87 years lay as a weight —in the end a crushing weight — over the presence of human bondage in this country. Continue Reading


Vice President Cheney On ISIS and POTUS

Tuesday, August 12, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Former Vice President Cheney was my guest today, with most of the conversation focused on ISIS and POTUS, and some on 2016.

The audio:


The transcript:

HH: Pleased to begin today’s show with the former Vice President of the United States, Dick Cheney. Mr. Vice President, welcome back, it’s always a pleasure to speak with you.

DC: Well, it’s good to talk to you, Hugh.

HH: For most of the days of the eight years that you were Vice President, you got briefed on the threats around the world aimed at the United States. Against that backdrop, how do you assess the threat posed by IS?

DC: I think it’s greater. I hark back to the 9/11 days and the immediate aftermath of that, and obviously we were very concerned, but where they’re at now with the caliphate established in part of Syria and Iraq, where they’re toppling governments or threatening to topple governments, I think that the risk is considerably greater than it was then.

HH: Do you think IS sits around trying to plot how to hit the homeland in a way that’s more spectacular than 9/11?

DC: Well, I don’t know, obviously, I don’t have any inside line there. On the other hand, if you look at their rhetoric, their program and so forth, they’re out to destroy not only Israel but the non-believers. The United States specifically is mentioned. They’re not at all subtle. They’re discreet about what their aims and objectives are. And the damage that was done by 19 guys with airlines tickets and box cutters on 9/11, you know, was significant. But when you begin to see terrorist organizations taking over and creating a sovereign state, a caliphate governed by the rules of Sharia law, and as bloody-minded as these people are, where they’re beheading people, and women and children makes no difference, this is a group that’s worse than al Qaeda ever was. al Qaeda didn’t even want to have much to do with them. Continue Reading

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