Clinton says “radical Islamism,” dealing blow to ISIS and victory to Trump

Donald Trump politely rejects Bill Clinton's offer.

Donald Trump politely rejects Bill Clinton’s offer.

In discussing the most deadly mass shooting in American history, which I guess we’ve decided to call terrorism and not gun violence, Hillary Clinton used the phrase “radical Islamism.” She used it a lot, mostly to explain why it wasn’t a big deal that she was saying it now. Quote:

[T]o me, radical jihadism, radical Islamism, I think they mean the same thing. I’m happy to say either, but that’s not the point. I have clearly said many, many times we face terrorist enemies who use Islam to justify slaughtering innocent people. We have to stop them and we will. We have to defeat radical jihadist terrorism or radical Islamism, whatever you call it. It’s the same.

Calling terrorism “radical Islamism” is so much the same that she offered nearly the exact same reasons it’s not a big deal to two different morning shows. Meanwhile, after Donald Trump had congratulated himself on predicting something like the Orlando massacre, he taunted Hillary for deciding to talk like him:

So good news, voters: our lesser evil now resembles the greater that little bit more. Fretting after the jump.

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Guantanamo detainees not “persons,” will be force-fed during Ramadan

Om nom nom.

Om nom nom.

We don’t know exactly how many, because releasing such information would jeopardize national security, but approximately 100 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay are on hunger strike. Last week, a DC district court rejected the petition of four prisoners to cease force-feeding during the  month of Ramadan, when observant Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. But don’t worry: prison administrators will only forcibly nourish prisoners through neogastric tubes when it’s dark out. If you read down a few paragraphs in the Guardian article, you will also find this:

US government lawyers also argued that the detainees bringing the case, Shaker Aamer, Nabil Hadjarab, Ahmed Belbacha and Abu Wa’el Dhiab, are not “persons” under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and are therefore not protected under it.

Fans of War on Terror jurisprudence will be interested to learn that lawyers for the federal government have made this argument since 2006.

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Most Americans support NSA phone tracking

Google image search: "most Americans"

Google image search: “most Americans”

Strangely, perhaps even depressingly, the big deal in last week’s revelation of massive domestic NSA surveillance is how not a big deal everyone thinks it is. According to a Washington Post/Pew poll, 56% of Americans consider secret court orders that allow the NSA to access millions of phone records “acceptable,” while only 42% consider it “unacceptable.” Forty-five percent say the government should be allowed even more leeway than it already has secretly gave itself, provided that power is used to fight terrorism. Even though half of Americans presumably do not regard themselves as terrorists, they believe their government should be able to arbitrarily investigate them, because terrorism. At the risk of pique, this is the same country that refused expanded background checks for gun purchases as an unconscionable infringement on the Second Amendment.

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41% of Republicans say Benghazi is “biggest political scandal in American history”

Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK,) who called Benghazi more "egregious" than Watergate

Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK,) who called Benghazi more “egregious” than Watergate

I tried to link to a news article about this week’s Congressional hearings regarding the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, but I had a hard time finding an unbiased source. Benghazi appears to be the most important story in the world for the Daily Caller, Fox News and the Washington Times (official motto: Not the Good Washington Paper) and invisible to everyone else. My theory is supported by this poll in which a mere 44% of Americans say they are following the hearings and, in a more complicated way, by this one, in which 41% of Republicans say they consider Benghazi “the biggest scandal in American history.” So suck it, Peggy Eaton Affair.

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Department of False Friends: Pakistan

Dr. Shakil Afridi, with weird objects near his head

Remember when Pakistan was like, “Bro, we have no idea where Osama Bin Laden is. That guy’s a dick!” and then it turned out he was in Pakistani Arlington, Virginia? And remember when we shot him in the eye and dumped his body in the ocean, and Pakistan was like “that’s what we wanted to do! But it is absolutely unacceptable that you came into our house.” Far be it from me to criticize a military junta while it makes the delicate transition to theocracy, but I worry that Pakistan might not be our real friend. Evidence: This morning, a tribal court in Khyber convicted Shakil Afridi—the Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA locate Bin Laden—of high treason, sentencing him to 33 years in prison.

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