In an odd turnabout that few might have predicted a year or more ago, the United States now finds itself allied with Iran in the battle to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) — also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The German magazine Der Spiegel has has published a revealing exposé about the loose standards with which the Obama administration assassinated people, including many non-combatants, in Afghanistan. The December 28 story documented a quick-to-assassinate tendency which took the form of readiness to loosely classify anyone in the drug trade as a legitimate assassination target, as well as a willingness to accept large numbers of civilian casualties.

The release of Alan Gross, which was praised by the New York Times as a humanitarian move by the communist regime in Cuba, was cover for the real spy swap the Cubans had been seeking for years. 

Speaking to both military and civilian personnel at Joint Base McGuire Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey on December 15, President Obama thanked the troops for their extraordinary service and noted that “after more than a decade of war, our nation is marking an important milestone.”

The fallout from the Senate Intelligence Committee’s December 9 release of the summary of its report on the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program continues, as the report’s critics and defenders go toe-to-toe. Many Republicans have been critical of the report because it casts a program initiated during the administration of George W. Bush in a negative light and it was compiled by a committee chaired by Democrat — Dianne Feinstein. However, even a prominent Republican has praised the report and condemned CIA torture.