Tag: Bush, George W

Trump Says Past Presidents Should Have Killed ISIS Leader al-Baghdadi

WASHINGTON — President Trump told a gathering of police chiefs in Chicago that his predecessors should have killed the murderous Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who blew himself up during an American raid on his compound in Syria on Saturday. “He should have been killed years ago, another president should have gotten him,” Mr. […]

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William Taylor, ‘Model’ Diplomat, Is at Center of Impeachment Inquiry

WASHINGTON — When Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asked William B. Taylor Jr., a highly respected former diplomat, to become America’s top diplomat in Ukraine in June, Mr. Taylor initially hesitated. He had left government after decades of service in 2009, although he had remained involved in the affairs of Ukraine, a country that had […]

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In Bracing Terms, Trump Invokes War’s Human Toll to Defend His Policies

WASHINGTON — It is the most solemn of rituals for American presidents: comforting the soldiers wounded under his command or the families of those who have died. For generations, presidents have typically discussed those encounters in the most delicate of tones. “The hardest thing I have to do, by far, much harder than the witch […]

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What Trump and Corruption Cost Us

Watching the scandal about Ukraine unfold, I have thought often about my former colleague as a United States ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch. An experienced, thoughtful, and effective senior officer, she had made remarks about corruption that put her in the cross hairs of the Ukrainian government to which she was accredited, and was quickly removed from […]

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‘We Absolutely Could Not Do That’: When Seeking Foreign Help Was Out of the Question

WASHINGTON — One day in October 1992, four Republican congressmen showed up in the Oval Office with an audacious recommendation. President George Bush was losing his re-election race, and they told him the only way to win was to hammer his challenger Bill Clinton’s patriotism for protesting the Vietnam War while in London and visiting […]

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World Leaders Once Made Miracles, and Can Again

We need a little uplift, a reminder that although world leaders today from Washington to London to Beijing may be dishonest vandals, it doesn’t have to be that way. Even flawed presidents and prime ministers can act in noble ways, and we saw that in the 2000s when George W. Bush, Tony Blair and others […]

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Joseph Wilson, Who Challenged Iraq War Narrative, Dies at 69

ImageFormer Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson in 2008 with his wife at the time, the former C.I.A. officer Valerie Plame. On Friday, after his death, she called him “an American hero.”CreditCharles Dharapak/Associated Press Joseph C. Wilson, the long-serving American diplomat whose clash with the administration of President George W. Bush in 2003 led to the unmasking […]

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The Cost of Running Guantánamo Bay: $13 Million Per Prisoner

This article was produced in partnership with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. GUANTÁNAMO BAY, Cuba — Holding the Nazi war criminal Rudolf Hess as the lone prisoner in Germany’s Spandau Prison in 1985 cost an estimated $1.5 million in today’s dollars. The per-prisoner bill in 2012 at the “supermax” facility in Colorado, home to […]

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What People Say About the Economy Can Set Off a Recession

When will the next recession arrive? Economists are evaluating such factors as President Trump’s endlessly shifting tariff policy, the monetary policy of the Federal Reserve and other central banks, and such “leading indicators” as the yields in the bond market. It is good to look at these things. They provide insights about the state of […]

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The Secret History of the Push to Strike Iran

In July of 2017, the White House was at a crossroads on the question of Iran. President Trump had made a campaign pledge to leave the “terrible” nuclear deal that President Barack Obama negotiated with Tehran, but prominent members of Trump’s cabinet spent the early months of the administration pushing the mercurial president to negotiate […]

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Four Things That Are Not White Nationalism

The American right in the Trump era has a racism problem. It’s fed by a Republican president who race-baits, a media ecosystem whose guardrails have collapsed, the lure of far-right ideas after various center-right failures and the influence of toxic forms of internet community on impressionable minds. At the same time, the American right in […]

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For 50 Years Since Apollo 11, Presidents Have Tried to Take That Next Giant Leap

WASHINGTON — At his star-spangled Independence Day extravaganza this month, President Trump singled out Gene Kranz, the legendary Apollo flight director. “Gene,” the president said, “I want you to know that we’re going to be back on the moon very soon — and someday soon, we will plant the American flag on Mars.” What could […]

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5 Ways John Paul Stevens Made a Mark on the Supreme Court

WASHINGTON — Justice John Paul Stevens, who died on Tuesday at 99, served for almost 35 years on the Supreme Court until his retirement in 2010. Here are some highlights from that long and eventful run. He was the last justice from the “greatest generation.” Justice Stevens was the last member of the Supreme Court […]

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This Land Was Your Land

For the past 10 years I’ve been documenting the fate of the least protected and most at-risk portion of the national commons: the roughly 450 million acres across 12 Western states overseen on our behalf by the United States Bureau of Land Management and the United States Forest Service. It’s an astonishingly diverse landscape of […]

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Facing Intensifying Confrontation With Iran, Trump Has Few Appealing Options

President Trump’s last-minute decision to pull back from a retaliatory strike on Iran underscored the absence of appealing options available to him as Tehran races toward its next big challenge to the United States: building up and further enriching its stockpile of nuclear fuel. Two weeks of flare-ups over the attacks on oil tankers and […]

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Could Trump Use the Sept. 11 War Law to Attack Iran Without Going to Congress?

In public remarks and classified briefings, Trump administration officials keep emphasizing purported ties between Iran and Al Qaeda. Some lawmakers suspect that the executive branch is toying with claiming that it already has congressional authorization to attack Iran based on the nearly 18-year-old law approving a war over the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Pressed to […]

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Iran and the U.S. Are on a Collision Course

What can be said with certainty about the explosions that rocked two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday is that attacks on civilian targets are reprehensible. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is a likely culprit, and a video taken by a United States Navy surveillance plane demands an explanation. It shows what […]

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As Trump Accuses Iran, He Has One Problem: His Own Credibility

WASHINGTON — To President Trump, the question of culpability in the explosions that crippled two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman is no question at all. “It’s probably got essentially Iran written all over it,” he declared on Friday. The question is whether the writing is clear to everyone else. For any president, accusing […]

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People Are Trying to Figure Out William Barr. He’s Busy Wielding Power.

WASHINGTON — Not long before Attorney General William P. Barr released the special counsel’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, he strategized with Senator Lindsey Graham, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, about one of his next moves: investigating the investigators. Over a dinner of steak, potatoes and carrots in a […]

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What Are Conservatives Actually Debating?

In March the religious journal First Things published a short manifesto, signed by a group of notable conservative writers and academics, titled “Against the Dead Consensus.” The consensus that the manifesto came to bury belonged to conservatism as it existed between the time of William F. Buckley Jr. and the rise of Donald Trump: An […]

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