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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

Articles by Stephen Dinan

President Obama toasts with Chinese President Xi Jinping at a lunch banquet in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014. Mr. Obama is on a state visit after attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit. (AP Photo/Greg Baker, Pool)

Franken-trade: Deal's 'living agreement' plan that could rope in China draws fire

The secret Pacific trade deal President Obama is negotiating contains a "living agreement" provision that could allow it to change and grow, including eventually roping China into the group of nations involved, according to lawmakers who are demanding more transparency before they give the White House fast-track powers. Published June 9, 2015

Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., accompanied by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 9, 2015. A Senate panel approved a $575.9 billion defense spending bill on Tuesday, but its fate is uncertain as lawmakers argue over spending caps.  (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

Democrats seek budget summit, see possible shutdown

Senate Democrats demanded a new bipartisan budget summit, saying Tuesday that the blueprint the GOP crafted and passed through Congress little more than a month ago is a non-starter that could lead the government into another shutdown. Published June 9, 2015

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a media conference at the conclusion of the G-7 summit at Schloss Elmau hotel near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, southern Germany, Monday, June 8, 2015. The two-day summit  addressed such issues as climate change, poverty and the fight against terrorism. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Obama derides judge who blocked amnesty

President Obama scoffed at the "individual district court judge" who blocked his deportation amnesty, insisting Monday that he still believes his policy is legal despite repeated legal setbacks and vowing to push ahead where he can on aiding illegal immigrants. Published June 8, 2015

Illegal immigration lowest since 1972, DHS chief Jeh Johnson says

Illegal immigration across the southwestern border is on pace for the lowest year since 1972, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Monday, claiming success a year after the surge of illegal immigrant children and families exposed major holes in U.S. policy. Published June 8, 2015

Vice Adm. Peter Neffenger, Vice Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, salutes in front of other members of the Coast Guard during the presentation of the colors before a baseball game between the Washington Nationals and the New York Mets at Nationals Park in Washington on Aug. 6, 2014. (Associated Press) **FILE**

TSA chief nominee clears first hurdle

A key Senate panel cleared President Obama's pick to head the TSA on Thursday, moving quickly just days after a report that airport screeners missed most of the contraband weapons investigators tried to sneak by them in tests. Published June 4, 2015

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) ** FILE **

John Boehner: U.S. 'losing ground' to terrorists

House Speaker John A. Boehner said Thursday that the U.S. and its allies are "losing ground" to the terrorists in Iraq and demanded President Obama come up with a better strategy for the fight. Published June 4, 2015

"The cyberthreat from hackers, criminals, terrorists and state actors is one of the greatest challenges we face on a daily basis, and it's clear that a substantial improvement in our cyber databases and defenses is perilously overdue," said Rep. Adam B. Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. (Associated Press)

Chinese hackers stole 4 million federal employees' personal information

China-based hackers stole sensitive personal information on as many as 4 million current and former federal employees from government computers, officials said Thursday, underscoring the growing threats to data stored even in what are supposed to be the most secure of systems. Published June 4, 2015

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Utah Republican. (Associated Press)

Chaffetz presses IRS FOIA czar on transparency

The House's top investigator vowed Wednesday to bring the IRS to heel after he had to issue a subpoena to compel the agency's top transparency officer to appear before Congress to talk about transparency — a move Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz said was embarrassing for the IRS. Published June 3, 2015

A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent escorts a handcuffed illegal immigrant convicted of a felony that was taken into custody during an early morning operation in Dallas on March 6. (Associated Press)

3,700 illegal immigrant 'Threat Level 1' criminals released into U.S. by DHS

Most of the illegal immigrant criminals Homeland Security officials released from custody last year were discretionary, meaning the department could have kept them in detention but chose instead to let them onto the streets as their deportation cases moved through the system, according to new numbers from Congress. Published June 3, 2015

A TSA officer checks a passenger's ticket, boarding pass and passport as part of security screening at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York on Oct. 30, 2014. (Associated Press) **FILE**

TSA bragged about gun seizure success rate ahead of new failure report

This week's report that the Transportation Security Agency failed to spot 95 percent of contraband weapons snuck through in tests of airport screeners comes just a few months after the agency bragged about the good job it was doing in sniffing out guns and other weapons. Published June 2, 2015

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, June 1, 2015, before debate continues in the Senate on renewing the Patriot Act. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

NSA phone snooping doomed as Obama signs USA Freedom Act

The National Security Agency's phone-snooping program is on its last legs after senators approved the USA Freedom Act Tuesday, rewriting the sweeping Patriot Act to ban bulk collection of Americans' data and adding more transparency checks to the secret court that oversees intelligence gathering in the hopes of heading off future surprises. Published June 2, 2015

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner John Koskinen testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 2, 2015, before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee hearing examining the IRS data breach. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

IRS missed chances to stop cyberattack: Auditor

The IRS ignored repeated warnings from its own inspector general that could have made it much harder for the cyberattackers who stole the private taxpayer information of 100,000 Americans earlier this year, the agency's inspector general testified to Congress on Tuesday. Published June 2, 2015

A U.S. flag with a swastika  is seen during a protest against a visit by President Bush in Rome, Friday June 4, 2004. Bush, who met Pope John Paul II at the Vatican Friday,  is in Italy  to celebrate  the 60th anniversary of Rome's liberation and will proceed to France Saturday. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini) **FILE**

Social Security paid $20 million in benefits to Nazis, audit finds

Social Security paid more than $20 million in benefits to alleged Nazis over the last five decades, according to a new internal audit completed late last week that found the last known or suspected Nazi finally stopped getting benefits only last month. Published June 1, 2015

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, will get one last chance to force votes on amendments Tuesday to try to give the NSA more spying time, and to weaken some of the transparency that the House imposed. (Associated Press)

Patriot Act backers scramble to save NSA phone snooping powers

Patriot Act defenders mounted a last-ditch effort Monday to try to preserve the NSA's phone-snooping, arguing -- against most evidence to the contrary -- that the program is useful in the fight against terrorists, and insisting it has been grossly distorted by opponents. Published June 1, 2015