The Nelson Report on Bhutto Assassination



Chris Nelson is correct that while the world is debating the state of democracy in Pakistan — the military and intel elites are worried about what they should be concerned about — the nukes. Here is today’s Nelson Report in full: The Nelson Report, 27 December 2007 PAKISTAN SITUATION. . .predictable? Nukes safe. . . SUMMARY: the assassination of Benazir Bhutto is one of those horrible “shocking surprises”. . .something expected at almost any time since her dramatic return after…

Implications of the Zbigniew Brzezinski-Anthony Lake Divide



I am a fan of Zbigniew Brzezinski and generally agree with him that in order to get America’s national security portfolio back together — we have to be wary of seductive assertions that the U.S. can easily manipulate political realities in a place like Pakistan in pursuit of platitudes. Democracy sounds nice but it is enormously difficult to achieve and does not equate with elections. Focusing only on elections, as Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass has stated, gives…

Obama Amends the Europe Travel Story



Recently, I wrote about my own surprise that Barack Obama had not called together a policy or issue-oriented hearing in his role as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee/Subcommittee on Europe. I followed this up with a piece that explored what various presidential candidates were reporting on their travel. Obama’s campaign staff gave me a roster of travel that did not include any mention of Europe (other than the Ukraine). His campaign sent a friendly note after my early…

Benazir Bhutto Assassinated



Benazir Bhutto had not yet become president or prime minister in her recent return to Pakistan’s political arena — but she was the leading opposition leader in Pakistan. While it is doubtful that she could have easily calmed Pakistan’s increasing turmoil if she had ascended to officialdom while in some power-sharing arrangement with President Musharraf, her death today makes everything much more fragile. I met Bhutto during one of her recent trips through Washington in a session arranged by Harlan…

Iowa Poll: Hillary Pulling Ahead of Pack



I thought that Hillary Clinton and Obama were basically tied in Iowa — with Obama with a bit of an edge. Then I saw a poll suggesting Edwards was surging and might take the prize. A new poll, however, shows Hillary Clinton with a “stunning double-digit lead over her nearest rival among likely Democratic caucus-goers.” This in a report from CNN. Obama and Edwards are, according to the poll, vying with each other for second place — and Joe Biden…

Moving Around DC’s Deck Chairs: VP Chief of Staff David Addington Staying Put



The person in DC who is least known but most responsible for building America’s imperial presidency is David Addington, Chief of Staff to Vice President Richard Cheney, or better known as “Cheney’s Cheney.” Regrettably, sources tell me Addington is waking up each day as energetic and vigorous as ever — determined to wreck the Constitution as much as he possibly can before leaving office. We have no news about him leaving his position — which would be greatly welcomed by…