GOP lawmakers are resisting an Obama administration call to lift restrictions on Libyans who want to pursue nuclear studies in the United States, Defense News reports.
President Obama has pushed to eliminate the rules after the 2011 ouster of dictator Muammar Qadhafi. Covered by them are Libyan visa applicants, plus persons acting on behalf of a Libyan entity, who seek to pursue “nuclear-related studies or training” in the United States.
Certain House of Representatives lawmakers voiced opposition on Thursday to any loosening of the rules. They contended that travel restrictions should remain in place prior to the death or imprisonment of individuals responsible for the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi.
“We couldn’t even send our FBI into eastern Libya [after the 2012 strike] because it was so dangerous,” House Oversight and Government Reform National Security subcommittee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said at a hearing on the matter.
“Yet, we want to give those same people visas to come into the United States to study nuclear [subjects]?” he asked at the hearing, convened jointly by his panel and the House Judiciary Committee’s Information and Border Security subcommittee.
Administration officials, though, said federal authorities would continue to screen for signs that Libyan atomic students may join al-Qaida or plot strikes inside the United States.
Some Democratic hearing participants voiced support for Obama’s initiative to lift the travel restrictions.
Representative John Tierney (D-Mass.) said doing so “seems reasonable … given [the] fall of Qadhafi.”
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Much has been made of David Brooks’s recent New York Times column, in which confesses to missing already the civility and humanity of Barack Obama, compared to who might take his place. In NewYorker.com, Jeffrey Frank reminds us how critical such attributes are to foreign policy. “It’s hard to imagine Kennedy so casually referring to the leader of Russia as a gangster or a thug. For that matter, it’s hard to imagine any president comparing the Russian leader to Hitler [as] Hillary Clinton did at a private fund-raiser. … Kennedy, who always worried that miscalculation could lead to war, paid close attention to the language of diplomacy.”
“We haven’t seen a true leftist since FDR, so many millions are coming out of the woodwork to vote for Bernie Sanders; he is the Occupy movement now come to life in the political arena.” So says Bill Maher in his Hollywood Reporter cover story (more a stream-of-consciousness riff than an essay, actually). Conservative states may never vote for a socialist in the general election, but “this stuff has never been on the table, and these voters have never been activated.” Maher saves most of his bile for Donald Trump and Sarah Palin, writing that by nominating Palin as vice president “John McCain is the one who opened the Book of the Dead and let the monsters out.” And Trump is picking up where Palin left off.