Tag Archives: James

Call Sign Chaos review: James Mattis pulls a flanking manuever on Trump

Call Sign Chaos review: James Mattis pulls a flanking manuever on TrumpIn a memoir that is part hymn to the constitution, the former secretary of defense offers only veiled criticism of the presidentJames Mattis listens as Donald Trump speaks to the media in the cabinet room in October 2018. Photograph: Leah Millis/ReutersJames Mattis was Donald Trump’s defense secretary for less than two years, resigning in December 2018. The general’s departure came with headlines but little surprise. His resignation letter omitted any praise for the commander-in-chief. “Because you have the right to have a secretary of defense whose views are better aligned with yours,” he wrote, “I believe it is right for me to step down.”Mattis had been on thin ice for a long time. At an infamous cabinet meeting in June 2017, Mattis praised the men and women of the military instead of gushing over the president. Just months later, a White House official told me Mattis had shown insufficient loyalty to Trump. But because North Korea was on the front burner – before “Little Rocket Man” had started sending Trump love letters – the president felt he needed generals around him. In the end, everyone in Trump’s orbit is expendable. Except Ivanka Trump.Call Sign Chaos, Mattis’s memoir, is a readable look at more than four decades as a marine. Co-written with Bing West, a former marine and Reagan Pentagon alumnus, the book spans Mattis’s career, from enlistment through retirement.It contains veiled disapproval of Trump and is sharper in expressing disagreements with his Oval Office predecessors.> Call Sign Chaos takes aim at bigotry and lauds the military service of migrants. It gives full-throated support for NatoOfficially, the book’s title derives from the call-sign bestowed when Mattis became a regimental commander, Chaos an acronym for “Colonel Has An Outstanding Solution”.Mattis comes across as plain-spoken and reflective, a fan of books and history. Abraham Lincoln and Gettysburg receive their due. As a younger man, however, Mattis was not above brawling. In other words, he’s interesting.He repeatedly expresses his regard for America’s institutions and its constitution even as he offers criticism, one thing which sets him apart from the 45th president.“I’ve developed a love affair with our constitution,” Mattis writes.He tells of getting into a fight in Montana with three other men. Then 19, he was rewarded with a brief jail sentence and a sheriff’s escort to a westbound freight train. His brush with the law became a formative experience.Mattis recalls that as a marine recruiter he was confronted with a prospect who had been arrested for a “single use of cocaine”. Channeling his inner Nick Saban on the value of “second chances”, Mattis pushed for a waiver. “There’s a huge difference,” he writes, “between making a mistake and letting that mistake define you.”As Mattis moved up the ranks, interaction with Congress, the White House and civilian Pentagon leadership became a norm, although not necessarily a welcome one. Mattis professes to prefer the field and his troops. DC was not his “cup of tea”. Yet he appears to have overcome that hurdle, to a point anyway, when he was appointed executive secretary to Bill Clinton’s defense chiefs, William Perry and William Cohen.“I gained an abiding respect for those with whom I served and from whom I also learned a new skill set,” he writes. “I had a front-row seat to policymaking as it was supposed to work.”As for congressional oversight and the power of the purse, Mattis “received a pragmatic introduction to article one of the constitution”, a reminder to the reader that it is Congress that is tasked with raising America’s armed forces.Mattis saw action in Afghanistan and Iraq. He blames Tommy Franks, head of US Central Command and an army general, for Osama bin Laden’s escape from Tora Bora, his refusal to deploy the marines a key cause of that debacle. As Mattis frames things: “We in the military missed the opportunity, not the president, who properly deferred to his senior military commander on how to carry out the mission.”But Iraq was a different story, and there Mattis places blame squarely on George W Bush for getting the US into the mess, and on Barack Obama and Joe Biden for the mode of the eventual pullback. As for going to war, Mattis observes: “Invading Iraq stunned me. Why were we fighting them again?”> For Mattis, Iran was an implacable foe. He also believes Tehran came to view the Obama administration as 'impotent'In a chapter titled Incoherence, Mattis acidly mocks and quotes Bush 43’s Freedom Agenda. These days, Iraq is ranked “not free” by Freedom House. Irony abounds.He commends Obama for his intelligence and reserve and Biden for his warmth. Yet he tags them over the pullout from Iraq, Obama’s imaginary red line in Syria and their stance toward Iran. He does not mask his disapproval.For Mattis, Iran was an implacable foe. He also believes Tehran came to view the Obama administration as “impotent”. To the general, proof positive lay in the failure to respond to an Iranian plot to bomb Cafe Milano, a restaurant just miles from the White House, and assassinate the Saudi ambassador.Mattis also takes aim at WikiLeaks, describing it as “new kind of adversary” that “inflicted deep harm” to American interests. Unlike Trump, he never harbored any love for Julian Assange’s creation.To Mattis, American uncertainty and messianism can both have steep downsides. As he saw it, an absence of strategy would engender the sense that the US was “proving unreliable.”“I was disappointed and frustrated,” he writes. “Policymakers all too often failed to deliver clear direction.”Yet Mattis does not grapple with domestic political realities. Lives and treasure aside, Iraq cost the Republicans both houses of Congress in 2006 and paved the way for Obama. Furthermore, casualty counts in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin were factors in Hillary Clinton’s defeat. Not everything is about Russia.When it comes to Trump, Mattis flanks, avoiding a head-on clash. Call Sign Chaos takes aim at bigotry and lauds the military service of migrants. As in his resignation letter, Mattis gives full-throated support for Nato: “Nations with allies thrive, and those without wither.”In his epilogue, Mattis notes America’s political divide and full-throated tribalism. But he is optimistic. Call Sign Chaos ends thus: “E Pluribus Unum.”



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Call Sign Chaos review: James Mattis pulls a flanking manuever on Trump

Call Sign Chaos review: James Mattis pulls a flanking manuever on TrumpIn a memoir that is part hymn to the constitution, the former secretary of defense offers only veiled criticism of the presidentJames Mattis listens as Donald Trump speaks to the media in the cabinet room in October 2018. Photograph: Leah Millis/ReutersJames Mattis was Donald Trump’s defense secretary for less than two years, resigning in December 2018. The general’s departure came with headlines but little surprise. His resignation letter omitted any praise for the commander-in-chief. “Because you have the right to have a secretary of defense whose views are better aligned with yours,” he wrote, “I believe it is right for me to step down.”Mattis had been on thin ice for a long time. At an infamous cabinet meeting in June 2017, Mattis praised the men and women of the military instead of gushing over the president. Just months later, a White House official told me Mattis had shown insufficient loyalty to Trump. But because North Korea was on the front burner – before “Little Rocket Man” had started sending Trump love letters – the president felt he needed generals around him. In the end, everyone in Trump’s orbit is expendable. Except Ivanka Trump.Call Sign Chaos, Mattis’s memoir, is a readable look at more than four decades as a marine. Co-written with Bing West, a former marine and Reagan Pentagon alumnus, the book spans Mattis’s career, from enlistment through retirement.It contains veiled disapproval of Trump and is sharper in expressing disagreements with his Oval Office predecessors.> Call Sign Chaos takes aim at bigotry and lauds the military service of migrants. It gives full-throated support for NatoOfficially, the book’s title derives from the call-sign bestowed when Mattis became a regimental commander, Chaos an acronym for “Colonel Has An Outstanding Solution”.Mattis comes across as plain-spoken and reflective, a fan of books and history. Abraham Lincoln and Gettysburg receive their due. As a younger man, however, Mattis was not above brawling. In other words, he’s interesting.He repeatedly expresses his regard for America’s institutions and its constitution even as he offers criticism, one thing which sets him apart from the 45th president.“I’ve developed a love affair with our constitution,” Mattis writes.He tells of getting into a fight in Montana with three other men. Then 19, he was rewarded with a brief jail sentence and a sheriff’s escort to a westbound freight train. His brush with the law became a formative experience.Mattis recalls that as a marine recruiter he was confronted with a prospect who had been arrested for a “single use of cocaine”. Channeling his inner Nick Saban on the value of “second chances”, Mattis pushed for a waiver. “There’s a huge difference,” he writes, “between making a mistake and letting that mistake define you.”As Mattis moved up the ranks, interaction with Congress, the White House and civilian Pentagon leadership became a norm, although not necessarily a welcome one. Mattis professes to prefer the field and his troops. DC was not his “cup of tea”. Yet he appears to have overcome that hurdle, to a point anyway, when he was appointed executive secretary to Bill Clinton’s defense chiefs, William Perry and William Cohen.“I gained an abiding respect for those with whom I served and from whom I also learned a new skill set,” he writes. “I had a front-row seat to policymaking as it was supposed to work.”As for congressional oversight and the power of the purse, Mattis “received a pragmatic introduction to article one of the constitution”, a reminder to the reader that it is Congress that is tasked with raising America’s armed forces.Mattis saw action in Afghanistan and Iraq. He blames Tommy Franks, head of US Central Command and an army general, for Osama bin Laden’s escape from Tora Bora, his refusal to deploy the marines a key cause of that debacle. As Mattis frames things: “We in the military missed the opportunity, not the president, who properly deferred to his senior military commander on how to carry out the mission.”But Iraq was a different story, and there Mattis places blame squarely on George W Bush for getting the US into the mess, and on Barack Obama and Joe Biden for the mode of the eventual pullback. As for going to war, Mattis observes: “Invading Iraq stunned me. Why were we fighting them again?”> For Mattis, Iran was an implacable foe. He also believes Tehran came to view the Obama administration as 'impotent'In a chapter titled Incoherence, Mattis acidly mocks and quotes Bush 43’s Freedom Agenda. These days, Iraq is ranked “not free” by Freedom House. Irony abounds.He commends Obama for his intelligence and reserve and Biden for his warmth. Yet he tags them over the pullout from Iraq, Obama’s imaginary red line in Syria and their stance toward Iran. He does not mask his disapproval.For Mattis, Iran was an implacable foe. He also believes Tehran came to view the Obama administration as “impotent”. To the general, proof positive lay in the failure to respond to an Iranian plot to bomb Cafe Milano, a restaurant just miles from the White House, and assassinate the Saudi ambassador.Mattis also takes aim at WikiLeaks, describing it as “new kind of adversary” that “inflicted deep harm” to American interests. Unlike Trump, he never harbored any love for Julian Assange’s creation.To Mattis, American uncertainty and messianism can both have steep downsides. As he saw it, an absence of strategy would engender the sense that the US was “proving unreliable.”“I was disappointed and frustrated,” he writes. “Policymakers all too often failed to deliver clear direction.”Yet Mattis does not grapple with domestic political realities. Lives and treasure aside, Iraq cost the Republicans both houses of Congress in 2006 and paved the way for Obama. Furthermore, casualty counts in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin were factors in Hillary Clinton’s defeat. Not everything is about Russia.When it comes to Trump, Mattis flanks, avoiding a head-on clash. Call Sign Chaos takes aim at bigotry and lauds the military service of migrants. As in his resignation letter, Mattis gives full-throated support for Nato: “Nations with allies thrive, and those without wither.”In his epilogue, Mattis notes America’s political divide and full-throated tribalism. But he is optimistic. Call Sign Chaos ends thus: “E Pluribus Unum.”



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James R Leavelle, detective handcuffed to Lee Harvey Oswald when he was shot, dies aged 99

James R Leavelle, detective handcuffed to Lee Harvey Oswald when he was shot, dies aged 99Leavelle was cuffed to John F Kennedy’s killer in 1963 in Dallas when the gunman was shot dead by Jack RubyThe image of Oswald’s shooting by Dallas Times Herald photographer Bob Jackson won a Pulitzer prize. Photograph: Bob Jackson/APJames R Leavelle, the detective who was handcuffed to Lee Harvey Oswald when the killer of John F Kennedy was in turn shot dead by Jack Ruby, has died. He was 99.Leavelle’s daughter, Karla Leavelle, confirmed her father’s death to the New York Times.Kennedy was shot dead on 22 November 1963, as he passed through Dallas.Reporting for the Guardian, Alistair Cooke wrote: “The motorcade was going along slowly but smoothly when three muffled shots, which the crowd first mistook for fireworks, cracked through the cheers. One hit the shoulder blade and the wrist of Governor [John] Connally [of Texas] who was taken with the president to the hospital, where his condition is serious.“The other brought blood trickling from the temple of the sitting president. His right arm flopped from a high wave of greeting and he collapsed into the arms of Mrs Kennedy, who fell unharmed. She was heard to cry ‘Oh no’ and sat there all the way cradling his head in her lap.”Kennedy was declared dead at Parkland Hospital.Jim Leavelle pictured in 2017. Photograph: Devon Ravine/APTwo days later Oswald, then a suspect in the shooting of a police officer but not yet formally tied to the murder of the president, was led through the basement of a Dallas police station. Ruby, a nightclub owner who has long been rumoured to have had ties to the Mob, lunged forward and shot him.A Dallas Times Herald photographer, Bob Jackson, captured the flash of the moment, the burly, Stetson-hatted Leavelle recoiling from the shot, Oswald crumpled by it, Ruby lunging forward with his pistol clearly visible. The image won a Pulitzer Prize.The Times reported that Leavelle often discussed an exchange with Oswald shortly before the assassin himself was assassinated.“Lee,” Leavelle said in the version of the story quoted by the Times, “if anybody shoots at you, I hope they are as good a shot as you.”Oswald, he said, replied: “You’re being melodramatic.”In 2013, Leavelle told the New York Daily News Oswald said “Nobody’s gonna shoot at me”.“Famous last words,” Leavelle said.In 2006, Leavelle told the Times that after his exchange with his prisoner, he saw “out of the corner of my eye” that Ruby “had a pistol by his side”.“I jerked back on Oswald to get him behind me,” he said. “I had my hand through his belt. All I succeeded in doing, I turned him so instead of dead centre the bullet hit four inches to the left of his navel and two inches above.”Oswald was declared dead in the same hospital as Kennedy. Ruby received the death penalty but died before sentence could be carried out.In 2017, files declassified by order of President Donald Trump showed that the night before the shooting, the FBI received a call about a plot to kill Oswald in Dallas.In a memo written on 24 November, the day of Oswald’s death, then FBI director J Edgar Hoover said: “We at once notified the chief of police and he assured us Oswald would be given sufficient protection. This morning we called the chief of police again warning of the possibility of some effort against Oswald and again he assured us adequate protection would be given.“However, this was not done.”Leavelle served in the US navy in the second world war, surviving the attack on Pearl Harbor before sustaining an injury at sea. He had a long career in law enforcement and opened a polygraph company in retirement.The suit, tie and hat he wore on the day he became part of American history, and the handcuffs he used, have been displayed at the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, in the former Texas School Book Depository from which Oswald shot the president.



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You may have seen him on a prayer candle, but James Comey is no saint

You may have seen him on a prayer candle, but James Comey is no saintNew revelations have made clear the conclusion many of us had already come to: James Comey was a reckless and untrustworthy FBI director.



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In a Major Milestone, the James Webb Space Telescope Is Whole at Last

In a Major Milestone, the James Webb Space Telescope Is Whole at LastEngineers have successfully connected the two halves of NASA's troubled Hubble successor.



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DOJ declines prosecution of ex-FBI Director James Comey for leaked Trump memos, found he violated policy

DOJ declines prosecution of ex-FBI Director James Comey for leaked Trump memos, found he violated policyThe Department of Justice declined prosecution of ex-FBI Dir. James Comey for leaked Trump memos, but the inspector general found he violated policy.



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Never-released photos of James Dean's fatal crash up for auction

Never-released photos of James Dean's fatal crash up for auctionRR auction says there are about 30 photos and they expect them to bring in $ 20,000.



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Neo-Nazi James Fields get life plus 419 years in state court for murder in Charlottesville

Neo-Nazi James Fields get life plus 419 years in state court for murder in CharlottesvilleJames Alex Fields Jr., a neo-Nazi who rammed his car into counterprotesters of an alt-right rally, was sentenced to life in prison in state court.



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James Comey hints at 2020 presidential run in arguably the worst political April Fool’s prank yet

James Comey hints at 2020 presidential run in arguably the worst political April Fool’s prank yetApril Fool's Day is possibly the worst time to believe anything you read on the Internet. Take, for example, former FBI Director James Comey a message he sent to his more than one million followers on Twitter. The former FBI director posted a photo to his account showing him standing with his back towards the camera on an open road, looking into the distance with his hands in his pockets and his feet planted over a yellow lane separating each side of the street. “I’m in,” he wrote. “We need someone in the middle.”The former official — who Donald Trump forced out of the FBI in a controversial move that sparked public outcry — then added the hashtag 2020, leading some to believe he was set to make a bold announcement about a political bid for the White House. Mr Comey has no reported intention of actually campaigning to become the next president of the United States, however. And by the sound of his tweet’s response, sitting out of the race is likely a smart decision on his part. Hours after the original picture was posted to his account, Mr Comey tweeted, “But could you imagine a president who used this website to make dad jokes rather than to hurl insults?”> I’m in. We need someone in the middle. 2020 pic.twitter.com/IGt69bEQz1> > — James Comey (@Comey) > > April 1, 2019“Happy AprilFools,” he continued, adding the hashtag VoteDem2020. “April Fools jokes are supposed to be funny, Mr Comey,” one user wrote. Another added: “Without a doubt, this is the worst thing that Comey has ever done.” Twitter users continued railing against Mr Comey throughout the day, pointing to a 2016 press conference in which he divulged details about the FBI’s findings into Hillary Clinton’s emails as alleged evidence of his political bias. Mr Comey, who detailed his career in the FBI and what it was like being removed by Mr Trump in the recent book A High Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership, has been criticised for his handling of the probe by lawmakers and Americans on both sides of the aisle.



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James Comey says he hopes Trump will not be impeached after Mueller report

James Comey says he hopes Trump will not be impeached after Mueller reportEx-FBI director wrote in a New York Times op-ed he wants the president to suffer a ‘resounding’ loss in the 2020 electionFollow the latest US politics newsThe Guardian’s independent journalism brings clarity at this critical moment in American history. Make a contribution ‘f Mr Trump were removed from office by Congress, a significant portion of this country would see this as a coup,’ James Comey wrote in the op-ed. Photograph: José Luis Magaña/AP James Comey has said he hopes Donald Trump will not be impeached following the completion of the special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Instead the former FBI director wants the president to suffer a “resounding” loss at the ballot box in 2020. As speculation that Robert Mueller is on the verge of completing his almost two-year-long investigation, Comey published an opinion article in the New York Times, writing: “I hope that Mr Trump is not impeached and removed from office before the end of his term.” The op-ed continued: “I don’t mean that Congress shouldn’t move ahead with the process of impeachment governed by our constitution, if Congress thinks the provable facts are there. I just hope it doesn’t. Because if Mr Trump were removed from office by Congress, a significant portion of this country would see this as a coup.” Sign up for the US morning briefing Comey, who was fired by Trump from the FBI in May 2017, triggering the appointment of Mueller, continued to pull no punches in his assessment of Trump’s leadership, branding him a “chronic liar who repeatedly attacks the rule of law”. But Comey wrote: “I have no idea whether the special counsel will conclude that Mr Trump knowingly conspired with the Russians in connection with the 2016 election or that he obstructed justice with the required corrupt intent. I also don’t care. I care only that the work be done, well and completely.” Trump has continually criticized Mueller in public, on Thursday evening his campaign sent a fundraising email to supporters, once again branding the Mueller investigation a “Witch Hunt” that had “been orchestrated by loser Democrats and their friends in the Fake News Media”. Comey said the publication of Mueller’s report should demonstrate to Trump “that the United States has a justice system that works because there are people who believe in it and rise above personal interest and tribalism”. The question of impeachment has gained more traction since the 2018 midterm elections when Democrats regained the House of Representatives with a significant majority and have begun their own investigations into Trump and his circle at a galloping pace. Nonetheless, House speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she does not support impeaching Trump unless the reasons are overwhelming and bipartisan. For impeachment proceedings to succeed they would also need a two thirds majority in the Republican-led US Senate.



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