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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

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Articles by Stephen Dinan

Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., Wisconsin Republican and author of the original Patriot Act, said the law was never intended to be used to justify massive collection and storage of Americans' information, and he blamed overzealous lawyers for distorting the law to justify the NSA program. (Associated Press)

Lawmakers reach across the aisle to draft criminal justice reform

The government today can't even list all of the federal crimes it could use to charge someone -- a symbol of just how out of control the national criminal justice system is, said Reps. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. and Robert C. Scott, two senior congressmen who hope to change the face of the nation's prison population. Published July 6, 2015

President Barack Obama pauses while speaking in the Rose Garden of the White House, Thursday, June 25, 2015, in Washington, about the Supreme Court upholding the subsidies for customers in states that do not operate their own exchanges under President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Obama defies federal judge, fails to rescind wrongly issued amnesties

The Obama administration still hasn't fully rescinded the 2,000 three-year amnesties it wrongly issued four months ago in violation of a court order, government lawyers recently admitted in court, spurring a stern response from the judge who said the matter must be cleaned up by the end of July — or else. Published June 29, 2015

Lois Lerner, the former IRS official at the center of a controversy over how the agency treated conservative political groups, listens during a House Oversight Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 22, 2013. (Associated Press) **FILE**

IRS erased Lois Lerner's emails even after subpoena, audit says

The IRS erased backup takes with Lois G. Lerner's emails even after the messages were subject to a congressional subpoena, but it was an "unbelievable" chain of coincidences rather than a malicious intent to subvert Congress, the tax agency's inspector general said Thursday. Published June 25, 2015

President Barack Obama walks out with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California after meeting with House Democrats on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 12, 2015. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Congress clears final major piece of Obama trade deal

Congress cleared the second part of the trade package Thursday after House Democrats reversed themselves and voted for new assistance for workers displaced by free trade agreements, cementing fast-track negotiating powers President Obama will use to finalize a major Pacific Rim deal. Published June 25, 2015

President Obama greets Chief Justice John Roberts on Jan. 27, 2010, before he delivered his State of the Union Address on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Roberts saves Obamacare for 2nd time; Scalia chides: 'Words have no meaning'

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has saved Obamacare for a second time, writing the majority opinion Thursday that upheld the health care law's key provision of paying tax subsidies to customers in all states and saying the law otherwise would be a mess -- something he doubted Congress intended. Published June 25, 2015

In this April 30, 2015 photo, Gladys Pina, 30, from Honduras holds her 8-month old baby girl at a respite center run by Catholic Charities in McAllen, Texas. She was among nearly two-dozen immigrant mothers who arrived at the center after being released by Border Patrol. Rather than getting locked up in a family detention facility, some families are released by Border Patrol with notices to appear in immigration court. (AP Photo/Seth Robbins)

DHS to free illegal immigrant families

Homeland Security will begin releasing more illegal immigrant families from detention, Secretary Jeh Johnson announced Wednesday as he bowed to political pressure from activists and members of Congress who'd called the conditions inhumane for families. Published June 24, 2015

In this June 16, 2015, photo, Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Katherine Archuleta testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the OPM data breach. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Congress ponders: OPM data breach could total 32 million Americans

As many as 32 million Americans might have had their most sensitive data stolen in a breach of the federal government's human resources agency computers, lawmakers speculated Wednesday as pressure grew on President Obama to oust the woman who heads the agency that botched its cybersecurity. Published June 24, 2015

President Barack Obama walks with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., right and House Minority Assistant Leader James Clyburn of S.C., as he visits Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, June 12, 2015, for a meeting with House Democrats. The president made an 11th-hour appeal to dubious Democrats on Friday in a tense run-up to a House showdown on legislation to strengthen his hand in global trade talks (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) **FILE**

Congress approves Obama trade powers

Congress granted fast-track trade negotiating powers to the White House Wednesday, surmounting the objections of liberal and conservative pressure groups who'd tried to scuttle the bipartisan deal, which delivers a tremendous win to President Obama. Published June 24, 2015

In this June 17, 2015, photo, President Barack Obama looks out as he sits on stage as Attorney General Loretta Lynch speaks during her investiture ceremony at the Warner Theatre in Washington. Critics have long predicted that Obama’s policy to shift America’s focus toward Asia is doomed. The legislative battle over his trade agenda could prove the acid test.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Trade deal overcomes filibuster

Pro-trade senators surmounted yet another filibuster test Tuesday, setting a package of free-trade bills on the path to President Obama's desk by the end of this week -- unless House Democrats decide to embarrass their party leader once more. Published June 23, 2015

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer prepares handcuffs and leg irons before a prisoner transfer at Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Broadview, Ill., facility in March 2008. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Obama extending amnesty to illegals in prisons, jails

The Obama administration has ordered agents to begin ignoring many of the illegal immigrants they encounter in local prisons and jails, as the president begins to implement a lesser-known part of his deportation amnesty program -- a move that's not sitting well with either side in the immigration debate. Published June 23, 2015

Then-Nebraska Republican Senate candidate, now Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., speaks in Lincoln, Neb., in this Oct. 22, 2014, file photo. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

Feds unsure how hackers got credentials to hit HR system

Federal officials still don't know how hackers got a hold of credentials that allowed them to break into the government's main human resources computer system, stealing the most sensitive personal information on millions of Americans, the agency chief told Congress on Tuesday. Published June 23, 2015

A Confederate flag flies next to the Alabama Confederate Memorial on the grounds of the Alabama Capitol building in Montgomery, Ala., on June 22, 2015. (Albert Cesare/The Montgomery Advertiser via Associated Press)

Anti-Confederate sentiment spreads after South Carolina flag debate

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley's demand to revisit the Confederate battle flag's placement on the Statehouse grounds is sparking a national conversation beyond the emblem, with some leaders calling for statues and nicknames associated with the Confederacy to go as well. Published June 23, 2015

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at the U.S. Conference of Mayors 83rd Annual Meeting in San Francisco, Saturday, June 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Mathew Sumner)

New emails show possible Benghazi deception by Hillary Clinton, Obama admin

Congress released nearly 200 pages of newly uncovered emails involving former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, raising questions Monday about whether the Obama administration and the Democratic presidential candidate herself were truthful when they said they turned over all of her email communications on Benghazi. Published June 22, 2015

Central American migrants caravanning through Mexico seek greater protection for transiting migrants as tens of thousands have disappeared while making their journey through Mexico, where they are vulnerable to extortion and abuse by police and gangs. (associated press)

Migrants traveling through Mexico targeted by armed gangs

Hundreds of migrants have been attacked by armed gangs wearing military-style uniforms as they've tried to cross through Mexico this month, Amnesty International said in a new warning about the dangerous journey many Central Americans are making to try to make it to the U.S. Published June 21, 2015

President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks to the Catholic Hospital Association Conference at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, Tuesday, June 9, 2015.  Obama declared that his 5-year-old health care law is firmly established as the "reality" of health care in America, even as he awaits a Supreme Court ruling that could undermine it. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Repealing Obamacare would boost economy, but drive deficits deeper: CBO

Repealing Obamacare would spur the economy, adding more than half a percent to the gross domestic product at the beginning of the next decade, the Congressional Budget Office said in a new analysis Friday that still found repeal would be bad for the federal deficit. Published June 19, 2015