Charles Lipson

Peter B. Ritzma Professor Emeritus

University of Chicago

Frequent contributor: 
Real Clear Politics,
Spectator| World, Newsweek, Discourse Magazine, American Greatness, Wall Street Journal

How to stop politicians from taking classified documents

National security law doesn’t distinguish between the accidental and deliberate mishandling of classified documents, but the public does. They know the president and vice president bear heavy, official burdens until the moment... It should be obvious by now that too many classified documents are floating around Florida, Delaware, and Indiana. They were removed without authorization and stored improperly under Donald Trump, Joe Biden, and Mike Pence respectively. Most of them, it seems, were hur

The think tank implicated by Biden's classified documents

Joe Biden has become the Typhoid Mary of classified documents, spreading them as he goes. They keep turning up in batch after batch, everywhere but the floor at a Wilmington Starbucks. The president has said almost nothing about the mess, except to reassure us that “people know I take classified documents seriously.” That defense has since taken on a slight change of punctuation: “People know I take classified documents. Seriously.” He certainly does. He takes them everywhere.

What you need to know about Biden’s documents caper

We are still in the early stages of discovering what the documents discovered in Joe Biden's office at the University of Pennsylvania contain and how highly they were classified, so we don’t yet know how dangerous the violation was. But there are things to keep in mind as the story unfolds. 1. Biden’s lawyers did him a huge favor by instructing him not to ask about the documents It’s the last stand of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Still, as one tabloid used to proclaim,“Inquiring minds want to know.”

What 2023 will bring for the war in Ukraine

The second is how Western political leaders have failed to explain to their citizens why the war matters. Taxpayers are naturally tiring of footing the bill for an unending flow of equipment and ammunition, and they need to be persuaded that their... As the fighting in Ukraine slows for the winter, three things stand out. The first is the most obvious: a small, highly motivated country, equipped with advanced weapons and intelligence, is slowly but inexorably defeating what used to be called th

Kevin McCarthy's war of attrition

House Republicans are engaged in what military analysts call a "war of attrition." The winner is the side that can hold out the longest, or convince its opponent that it can. The reason the balloting for speaker has continued for so long is that both sides are trying to convince the other that they won't give in. In wars of attrition, firm resolve wins, but you have to convince your opponent that your resolve is stronger. That is exactly what is happening on ballot after ballot. House Republica

The FBI Has No Business Trying To Suppress Free Speech

We are beginning to find out just how bad it was. The FBI and other government agencies worked hand in glove with Twitter’s old management to suppress legitimate speech they didn’t like and shape a narrative they did. They did so repeatedly and secretly. Government agencies like the FBI, DHS, CDC, and CIA have absolutely no business trying to suppress public discussion that is permitted under the First Amendment or hide evidence they have done so.

The wisdom of Volodymyr Zelensky’s speech to Congress

Zelensky’s goal was obvious. In thanking the Congress and the Biden administration, he hoped not only to show his nation’s gratitude but to ensure continued American support for its fight with Russia. The subtext was that, ideally, America and its NATO partners would do more than continue the current flow... Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky’s address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night was a political triumph. It was easily the most impressive speech given to Congress and th

The Twitter Files are damning to the government

There are two pieces of deeply disturbing news to emerge from the “Twitter Files” released by Elon Musk. The first is that Twitter, under its old management, was not the open, politically neutral platform it pretended to be. Journalist Bari Weiss has shown that Twitter had secret “blacklists” and related methods specifically designed to limit the reach of conservative commentators. When Twitter’s old management denied that bias, as it did repeatedly, it was lying. There are two pieces of deeply

Elon Musk's 'Twitter files' demand answers from the government

The main findings reinforce what we have known all along: Twitter’s former management strongly favored Democrats and used its powerful platform to aid them. It was far more likely to suppress the speech of conservatives and Republicans than of progressives and Democrats. Twitter’s systematic bias went far beyond its most famous instance, when it killed the New York Post story on Hunter... The "Twitter files" Elon Musk released to two journalists have produced a cloud of confusion. So far, we ha

Why we should still be optimistic about America

In trying times, like the late 1960s and early 2020s, it is important to remember just how robust and stable our country is. We are finally emerging from the Covid years — so badly mishandled by public health "experts" — with school shutdowns (much beloved... “There is a lot of ruin in a nation.” So said Adam Smith over two centuries ago. He reminds us that strong, stable countries like America can survive the pounding we have suffered over the past few years. Our nation may be continually test

The Democrats' "Chicken Little" Closing Argument

It is fitting, somehow, that President Joe Biden gave his final pitch at a nearly-deserted train station near the White House, a once-thriving venue now gutted by crime and homelessness. His shrill message: our democracy won't survive a Republican victory in 2022. He avoided all the kitchen-table issues that are sinking him and his party. His Chicken Little message might be right, though, in one, unintended way. The sky will fall on lots of Democrats in this election. And our democracy will survive.

Violent Crime Is Driving a Red Wave

Fear of crime is second only to worries over inflation and recession. Both issues — personal security and economic security — affect citizens directly. Pollsters say voters see a sharp distinction between the two parties on those issues and that Republicans hold huge advantages on them. They are sending a clear message about crime: give us much better public safety. We are sick of virtue signaling, wishful thinking, and criminals released to repeat their offenses. That’s what voters are saying to pollsters. Soon, that’s what they will say at the ballot box.

Russia's brutal strategy of war is failing

The centerpiece of Ukraine's strategy is eviscerating Russian combat power without getting into a raw slugfest that would sacrifice its own troops. That means knocking out Russian combat power without a head-on battle, wherever possible. How does Ukraine do that? Mostly by executing precision strikes with US and... Ukraine’s devastating attack on the Crimean Bridge and Russia’s sickening response — deliberately targeting civilians — perfectly encapsulate how these adversaries are fighting this

Putin's fresh cannon fodder and nuclear threats won't work

Even as the people of Russian-occupied eastern regions of Ukraine "vote" at gunpoint on annexation, the results of President Vladimir Putin's speech last week are playing out. It was his most important since he invaded Ukraine in February, and while he made two key points, he left much unsaid: • Russia needs a lot more soldiers for the war. What he didn't say is that he must compel them since they've stopped signing up voluntarily. • He is willing to use nuclear weapons to defend Russia if he th
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