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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

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

Articles by Stephen Dinan

Attorney General Eric Holder pauses while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing oversight hearing on the Justice Department. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Holder heading out, but contempt lives on

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announced Thursday he is resigning as soon as a replacement is found, though he and the Justice Department still face contempt of Congress charges that will linger well after he officially gives up the office. Published September 25, 2014

Rosa Robles Loreta is staying at the Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson, Arizona. Ms. Loreto, a Mexican immigrant who is facing deportation, has moved into the church, where she is taking sanctuary. She is part of a growing movement of immigrants seeking haven in Arizona churches, in which ICE policy prohibits their arrest. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Church network offers sanctuary to illegal immigrants to avoid deportation

A network of two dozen churches has promised to offer "physical sanctuary" to illegal immigrants facing deportation, saying they want to create a safe haven that federal officials won't invade as a way of preventing the migrants from being kicked out of the country. Published September 24, 2014

President Obama inspects the new Chevrolet Volt during his tour of the General Motors Auto Plant in Hamtramck, Mich., in July 2010. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Obama administration approved overpayments to GM, Ally Financial execs, audit finds

The Obama administration approved "excessive" pay for top executives at General Motors Co. and Ally Financial Inc. even as the two companies were falling behind on repaying taxpayers for being rescued after the Wall Street collapse, the bailout watchdog concluded in a report released Wednesday. Published September 24, 2014

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell touted Obamacare's enrollment numbers in a speech Tuesday, saying "... we're spending our health care dollars more wisely and we're starting to receive higher quality care." (Associated Press)

Burwell touts Obamacare enrollment numbers; GOP predicts decline

After nearly a year of full operation under its belt Obamacare is a growing success, and next year will be even better with 77 new insurers preparing to offer plans on the new insurance markets, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said Tuesday. Published September 23, 2014

aftermath: Syrians sift through the rubble of a house targeted by coalition airstrikes in the village of Kfar Derian. Washington informed President Bashar Assad's government of imminent U.S. strikes against Islamic State group strongholds hours before the bombing began. (Associated Press)

Obama opens new front on war on terror, but Congress wary

With nearly two dozen attacks in Syria against both the Islamic State and the Khorasan Group, an al Qaeda offshoot that the administration said posed an immediate threat to the U.S., President Obama this week opened a new front in the war on terror that he said was winding down just a year ago. Published September 23, 2014

Illegal immigrants on their way to deportation listen to a Border Patrol agent in Arizona in 2010, when the majority came from Mexico. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Senate falls short in bid to halt Obama immigration policies

Senate Republicans narrowly missed a chance Thursday to halt President Obama's non-deportation policies, falling just short in a vote that saw even five Democrats join them in signaling worries over the White House's immigration plans. Published September 18, 2014

Minutes after the Senate voted to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels in the fight against the Islamic State militant group, the administration signaled that it is poised to expand its air campaign into Syria, opening a new geographic front in the war on terrorism. President Obama said, "These terrorists thought they could fight us, or intimidate us, or cause us to shrink from the world, but today they're learning the same hard lesson of petty tyrants and terrorists who've gone before." (Associated Press)

Obama given green light to battle Islamic State in renewed war on terrorism

Congress gave final permission Thursday for the Pentagon to train and arm Syrian rebels, approving part of President Obama's war plans before fleeing Washington for a two-month break, leaving the White House free rein to fight a war against the Islamic State on its own terms. Published September 18, 2014

John Kerry takes go-slow approach on revoking passports

While he has the power to revoke passports of those traveling to fight in Syria, Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Thursday he wants to be careful in using that authority so he doesn't disrupt any ongoing criminal investigations. Published September 18, 2014

President Barack Obama gestures during a statement in the State Dining Room of the White House, on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014, in Washington. Obama spoke after Congress voted to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels in the fight against the Islamic State group. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

French to join U.S. coalition in Iraq

France will join the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State by helping the U.S. conduct airstrikes in Iraq, President Obama said Thursday night as he basked in a successful vote in Congress giving him permission to arm and train Syrian rebels. Published September 18, 2014

Marine Corps Gen. James N. Mattis. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) ** FILE **

Former commander says nixing U.S. ground troops damages international coalition

Taking ground combat troops off the table in the fight against the Islamic State could be hurting President Obama's efforts to build an international coalition because it leaves questions about the U.S. commitment, the former commander who oversaw military efforts in the Middle East said Thursday. Published September 18, 2014

Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., Wisconsin Republican (Associated Press) **FILE**

Top GOPer says it's time to dissolve ATF

A top Republican House member on Wednesday proposed eliminating the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, writing a bill that would freeze all hiring at the troubled agency and require the Justice Department to come up with a plan for transferring its duties to other agencies. Published September 17, 2014

Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey, from left, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, and National Counterterrorism Center Director Matthew Olsen testify before the House Homeland Security Full Committee during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Jeh Johnson rebuffs Obama, backs Reagan on Libya visas ban

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson will not lift the ban that keeps Libyans from coming to study aviation or nuclear sciences in the U.S., he told Congress on Wednesday, pushing back against an initiative supported by the State Department and the White House. Published September 17, 2014

President Barack Obama, center, before the start of a briefing at US Central Command (CentCom) at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014. Obama was updated on the ongoing military campaigns in Iraq and Syria. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

House approves first part of Obama war plan to train Syrian rebels

The House voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to back President Obama's request for permission to train and money to arm the more reliable forces among Syrian rebels, giving the first congressional approval to the White House's still-developing war plans. Published September 17, 2014

Rep. Paul Broun. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

House approves Ron Paul's 'Audit the Fed' bill

Former Rep. Ron Paul's push to audit the Federal Reserve got another boost Wednesday when the House passed the bill for the second time in three years, and by a bigger margin than before. Published September 17, 2014

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, left, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey testify concerning the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C., Tuesday, September 16, 2014. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

U.S. troops in Iraq to rise to 1,600

There will be 1,600 U.S. troops in Iraq by the time President Obama's current plans are fully in place — but none of those are considered combat troops, which means the U.S. is not officially reengaged in the war there, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told Congress on Tuesday. Published September 16, 2014

architects: Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin E. Dempsey remain in the process of continuing to shape Obama administration activities to rout the Islamic State terrorist group. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Pentagon open to U.S. ground troops in fight against Islamic State

The Pentagon's top general opened the door Tuesday to the possibility that U.S. combat troops would be needed in Iraq, as he publicly laid out President Obama's still-developing plans to combat Islamic State insurgents through U.S. air power and relying on an as-yet-unformed coalition of Muslim and Arab allies. Published September 16, 2014