Archive for risky business

Run, Jeb, run: "There are certainly other episodes that will make voters’ hair stand on end."

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Joe Conason has a splendid piece over at The National Memo that has heightened my deep and eternal disdain for the Bush family. Hey GOP, you wanna run Jebby in 2016? By all means, please, do just that:

He “is said by friends to be weighing financial and family considerations — between so many years in office and the recession his wealth took a dip, they said, and he has been working hard to restore it…”

Aside from his need to “restore” his depleted wealth, Jeb’s business dealings may well prove an insurmountable obstacle to a national candidacy, just as Romney’s business career became excess baggage for his presidential campaign. Known today only as another Bush brother, Jeb must be introduced to American voters. And among the first things they are likely to learn about him is the string of borderline business deals that built his original fortune in Florida real estate, which began three decades ago.

While some aspects of the Jeb story may sound uplifting, there are certainly other episodes that will make voters’ hair stand on end.

So much for the "good" Bush brother.

Read all of it here.

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BREAKING: U.S. Is Said to Order Expanded Use of Covert Action in Middle East

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Via a New York Times e-mail alert:

WASHINGTON -- The top American commander in the Middle East has ordered a broad expansion of clandestine military activity in an effort to disrupt militant groups or counter threats in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and other countries in the region, according to defense officials and military
documents.

The secret directive, signed in September by Gen. David H. Petraeus, authorizes the sending of American Special Operations troops to both friendly and hostile nations in the Middle East, Central Asia and the Horn of Africa to gather intelligence and build ties with local forces. Officials said the order also permits reconnaissance that could pave the way for possible military strikes in Iran if tensions over its nuclear ambitions escalate.

What could possibly go wrong?

But some Pentagon officials worry that the expanded role carries risks. The authorized activities could strain relationships with friendly governments like Saudi Arabia or Yemen, or incite the anger of hostile nations like Iran and Syria. Many in the military are also concerned that as American troops assume roles far from traditional combat, they would be at risk of being treated as spies if captured and denied the Geneva Convention protections afforded military detainees.

After the way we've treated our own detainees, we have plenty to be concerned about.

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