Russiagate, Treason, Gaza: 3 News Stories You Should Read Today – 7/20/2018
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In the category of: Hiding in plain sight.
Facts are piling up, and it’s getting harder to deny what’s staring us in the face.
Last week’s events have nullified my previous skepticism. To recap: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein revealed indictments against 12 Russians for the hacks of the Democratic National Committee, and we learned that Russian hackers went after Hillary Clinton’s private office for the first time on the very day Trump said, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.” At the NATO summit in Brussels, Trump attacked a close European ally—Germany—and generally questioned the value of the alliance. Next, he visited the United Kingdom and trashed Prime Minister Theresa May. Then, in Helsinki, he met with Vladimir Putin privately for two hours, with no U.S. officials present other than a translator. After this suspicious meeting, he sang the Russian strongman’s praises at a news conference at which he said he viewed Putin’s denials on a par with the unanimous and unchallenged conclusions of America’s intelligence agencies.
In the category of: Words matter.
Alarm over Trump’s Russia comments is justified, but they don’t qualify as “perfidy” in the constitutional sense.
A few days ago, John Brennan, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, tweeted as follows:
Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” It was nothing short of treasonous.
Tweets should not be expected to capture the nuances of constitutional law. But a lot of people have been reacting along Brennan’s lines. It’s important to put his comment in context. As it turns out, it contains a major mistake – but it also raises a legitimate question.
The Constitution states, “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.” That is an exceedingly narrow definition. “Enemies” are nations with whom we are at war (whether declared or open).
The United States is not at war with Russia.
In the category of: Problems bigger than ours.
After over 100 days of mass demonstrations, what’s next for Gaza?
Nearly four months on, Great March of Return participants reflect on the movement and Gaza’s future.
The Great March of Return movement has been the largest mass protest in the Gaza Strip in decades.
Since March 30, demonstrators have gathered every week by Israel’s fence, calling for the right of return for Palestinian refugees to their lands, under UN Resolution 194, and demanding an end to the 12-year Israeli blockade.
But peaceful protesting has come at a heavy cost. At least 140 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since the Friday protests began. More than 16,000 others have been wounded.
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