Patterico's Pontifications


Documents Marked As Classified Discovered At The Pence Residence

Filed under: General — Dana @ 3:23 pm

[guest post by Dana]

From CNN :

A lawyer for former Vice President Mike Pence discovered about a dozen documents marked as classified at Pence’s Indiana home last week, and he has turned those classified records over to the FBI, multiple sources familiar with the matter told CNN.

The FBI and the Justice Department’s National Security Division have launched a review of the documents and how they ended up in Pence’s house in Indiana.

At this point, we don’t know what the documents concern or their level of classification. Pence’s team is said to have followed protocol with the discovery.

From Pence’s representative:

“Vice President Pence was unaware of the existence of sensitive or classified documents at his personal residence,” Jacob wrote. “Vice President Pence understands the high importance of protecting sensitive and classified information and stands ready and willing to cooperate fully with the National Archives and any appropriate inquiry.”

The classified material was stored in boxes that first went to Pence’s temporary home in Virginia before they were moved to Indiana..The boxes were not in a secure area, but they were taped up and were not believed to have been opened since they were packed, according to Pence’s attorney. Once the classified documents were discovered, the sources said they were placed inside a safe located in the house.

Also, there is this:

In November, Pence was asked by ABC News at his Indiana home whether he had taken any classified documents from the White House.

“I did not,” Pence responded.

“Well, there’d be no reason to have classified documents, particularly if they were in an unprotected area,” Pence continued.

The question now becomes: Which elected government executives (or former executives) *don’t* have a few classified documents stashed somewhere in their homes? I’m not talking about 300 classified documents intentionally taken to one’s private residence, or where staff was instructed to move said classified documents after a DOJ subpoena was issued for their return, and where surveillance footage confirmed the removal of boxes storing the documents…


Only One Side Has Been “Escalating” The “Conflict” In Ukraine…And It’s Not Ukraine

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:05 pm

[guest post by Dana]

I’m annoyed by a column I read this morning titled Avoiding the Nightmare Scenario in Ukraine. (To which I must point out the obvious: the nightmare scenario in Ukraine is already happening and has been for nearly a year.) While I disagree with several things in the piece (comparing Ukraine (which borders Russia and is a democratically run state) and Afghanistan (which doesn’t border Russia and is not a democratically run state) – “My nightmare scenario is making our Ukraine experience more like our Afghanistan experience. We babysit, fund, and provide the state capacity to a corrupt government” – underestimating U.S. and NATO forces, etc.), my quibble here is with a portion of the concluding view of the Ukraine-Russia situation. The author writes:

My belief from the beginning of this war remains relatively unchanged. Russia cannot create its desired Ukraine without unsustainable sacrifices. And the U.S. and the West cannot create the Ukraine of its dreams without massive risks (straining NATO to the breaking point, or leaving the Pacific undefended). That is why both sides must avoid escalating this conflict to the point where the players become convinced it can only end with NATO’s total humiliation or a regime change in Russia.

Why is Ukraine included in this warning to avoid escalation of the conflict Putin’s war in Ukraine for any reason at all? Ukraine did not invade a sovereign nation and wage war upon it. Ukraine is not committing genocide against the Russian people in their homeland. Ukraine is not intentionally targeting civilians. Ukraine has not abducted tens of thousands of Russian children and forcibly resettled them in a place other than their homeland. Ukraine is not being led by a murderous madman. Ukraine is not escalating the war. Ukrainians are defending themselves, their homeland, their sovereignty, and their way of life against an adversary who seeks to destroy the very existence of the nation. The war ends when Russian troops voluntarily leave Ukraine with no territorial claims, or when Ukrainian forces are supplied with all of the weaponry they need and drive the Russians completely out.

But why is the West afraid of the day after Putin anyway? Consider the viewpoint of pro-democracy Russians:

The regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin is living on borrowed time. The tide of history is turning, and everything from Ukraine’s advances on the battlefield to the West’s enduring unity and resolve in the face of Putin’s aggression points to 2023 being a decisive year. If the West holds firm, Putin’s regime will likely collapse in the near future.

Yet some of Ukraine’s key partners continue to resist supplying Kyiv with the weapons it needs to deliver the knockout punch. The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden in particular seems afraid of the chaos that could accompany a decisive Kremlin defeat. It has declined to send the tanks, long-range missile systems, and drones that would allow Ukrainian forces to take the fight to their attackers, reclaim their territory, and end the war. The end of Putin’s tyrannical rule will indeed radically change Russia (and the rest of the world)—but not in the way the White House thinks. Rather than destabilizing Russia and its neighbors, a Ukrainian victory would eliminate a powerful revanchist force and boost the cause of democracy worldwide.

Putin’s effort to restore Russia’s lost empire is destined to fail. The moment is therefore ripe for a transition to democracy and a devolution of power to the regional levels. But for such a political transformation to take place, Putin must be defeated militarily in Ukraine. A decisive loss on the battlefield would pierce Putin’s aura of invincibility and expose him as the architect of a failing state, making his regime vulnerable to challenge from within.

The authors also express concerns that a number of us share:

The West, and above all the United States, is capable of providing the military and financial support to hasten the inevitable and propel Ukraine to a speedy victory. But the Biden administration still hasn’t coalesced around a clear endgame for the war, and some U.S. officials have suggested that Kyiv should consider giving up part of its territory in pursuit of peace—suggestions that are not reassuring. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has made it clear that the Ukrainian people will never accept such a deal. Any territorial concessions made to Putin will inevitably lead to another war down the road.

The West must do everything in its power to help prevent this from happening.


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