Pete Domenici Breaks from Bush/Cheney



Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) really likes President Bush and Vice President Cheney. He has had a strained relationship with John McCain for years — and when Bush beat McCain in the 2000 primaries, Domenici was absolutely “giddy” about it. When Cheney was running with Bush in 2004 for their second term together, Domenici’s kingpin status at the helm of New Mexico Republican politics allowed him to orchestrate for Cheney “card-carrying Republican party members only” gatherings where independents or even “soft”…

The Story Behind the Abduction of Britain’s 15 Sailors



Was Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei behind the abduction of Britain’s 15 sailors — who were taken by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard on March 23rd of this year — or not? Many of the Iran experts I know have told me that it is hard to imagine a scenario that would not depict Khamenei as the key decision-maker who authorized the episode. Some others, however, do not agree — and the question is important because just as there are increasingly clear…

Five Easy Pieces



I imagine Steve figured his “Happy 4th of July” post would stay up here throughout the holiday, but I’m bumping it down to announce my triumphant return to The Washington Note and explain my two-week absence. I’ve spent some time in New York and Minneapolis for birthdays and weddings, respectively, but the balance has been spent talking with Congress about various aspects of America’s nonmilitary global engagement. Some of this has been education on the Law of the Sea and…

Hagel: We Need to Internationalize Iraq Effort and Withdraw US Flag



(1st Lt. Andrew J. Bacevich Jr. — died in Iraq in line of duty — 13 May 2007) Last week, I was in attendance at the “conference launch” of the Center for a New America Security when anti-Iraq War scholar Andrew Bacevich was present at and acknowledged the creation of a new CNAS Bacevich fellowship in honor of his son, Andrew J. Bacevich Jr., who was recently killed in the line of military duty in Iraq. (I wrote a piece…

Nuke ‘Em Now and Get It Over With: Curtis LeMay Lives on in John Bolton



The United States has had a long history of hawkishness in its foreign policy, but for the most part American hawks have been judicious ones who carefully weighed costs and opportunities. But then there is also a cast of characters in our history that can’t see the gray area between bombing and appeasement. Famed Air Force General Curtis “Bombs Away” LeMay was one of these people who if left to his own devices would have triggered several nuclear exchanges. Former…

The Good and the Bad: Libby Goes Free



I am hosting a dinner for Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs R. Nicholas Burns tonight, and will report on the “on the record” portion later. In other news, Scooter Libby will not go to jail. He will still have to pay a $250,000 fine and will be on 2-year probation. President Bush has commuted his sentence. And the world turns. . . — Steve Clemons