Wiretap: After Barcelona, Europe again agonizing over how to stop terrorist van attacks

The vehicle that killed at least 13 people on Barcelona’s famed Las Ramblas was at least the sixth deadly van attack in Europe in recent years. A few hours later, Catalan police killed five, believed to be wearing explosive belts, in possibly foiling another assault. ISIS claims credit and Spain becomes the latest European terror target. Via The New York Times. 

In the aftermath of Barcelona, we look yet again at how to combat low-tech vehicle attacks and the limits of sophisticated counter-intelligence operations. Via ABC News.

Trump had another busy day, much of it apparently spent on the twitter machine. He began by Tweeting that tearing down Confederate statues was “foolish” and an assault on American  culture and history. Following the Barcelona terror attack, he advised looking to Gen. Jack Pershing as an example of how to treat Islamic terrorists, approvingly citing the bogus pigs’ blood account of what would have been a war crime. And Trump wasn’t done. He spent much of the day criticizing those Republican senators who had dared to criticize him for his Charlottesville remarks. Via The New York Times.

The latest crisis facing Trump is the one he has faced since the day he assumed the presidency and has only grown since his alt-right turn after Charlottesville — a crisis of legitimacy. Via The New Yorker.

Conservative Washington Post columnist has written a scathing piece on Cory Gardner, saying he has betrayed Colorado voters by his unwillingness to stand up to Trump in a meaningful way. The column was reprinted by The Denver Post.

Esteemed columnist Frank Rich says in New York magazine that Trump’s both-sidesism press conference would have been the most shocking moment of the Trump presidency, except that, by this point, nothing about Trump can shock us any more.

Republican Sen. Bob Corker, in most respects a solid Trump supporter, says that the president has failed to show stability or competence and that, in the wake of the deadly Charlottesville white-supremacist rally, has put the nation “at peril.” Via Politico.

Tension growing inside ACLU on how, or if, it should defend First Amendment rights of far right groups that carry with them the threat of violence. Via The Los Angeles Times.

From The National Review, Kevin Williamson writes that defenders of the Confederacy are wrong on nearly every count, but that the liberal assault on Confederate statuary, even on those statues built in support of Jim Crow, is pure political opportunism.

The myth of kindly General Lee, the slave-holding Southern Gentleman who supposedly abhorred slavery, and the fan-fiction history that is central to the Lost Cause. Via The Atlantic.

Oil on canvas painting by Arturo Espinosa. Barcelona’s beautiful Las Ramblas on canvas. Via Flickr: Creative Commons


  1. David Wasserman at Fivethirtyeight.com paints a very dismal picture of Democrat’s prospects in the foreseeable future which will be ignored by some political pundits. Via Fivethirtyeight.com.


    In an article entitled “The Rise of the Violent Left” author Peter Beinart describes a group called “antifa”
    which is short for antifascist or Anti-Fascist Action. The groups was present at and contributed to the violence at Charlottesville, Virginia. Antifa has also been linked to violent protests at UC Berkeley in February and Middlebury College in March. Via The Atlantic.


    And while some political pundits have assiduously avoided any mention of antifa in their discussions of the violence at Charlottesville author Katy Steinmetz details what antifa is and what they oppose. Via Time


    New York Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg received backlash from the left after reporting “the hard left seemed as hate-filled as the alt-right” and how she saw “club-wielding ‘antifa’ beating white nationalists” Via the Daily Wire


    Victor Davis Hanson believes many of President Trump’s enraged critics have failed to realize that, ”he is a reflection of, not a catalyst for, widespread anger and unhappiness with globalization, interventionist foreign policy, Orwellian political correctness, identity politics, tribalism, open borders, and a Deep State that lectures and condemns but never lives the consequences of its own sermonizing.” Via American Greatness.


    The media were far more lenient on Barack Obama than President Trump according to CNN’s Jake Tapper and one of the reasons why was because they supported him. Via Mediaite.com


    Is the role of the ACLU to defend civil liberties only for those on the left? Some progressives believe so and were highly critical of the ACLU’s involvement in Charlottesville even suggesting that donations should be withheld. Glenn Greenwald writes in defense of the ACLU. Via The Intercept.


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