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David Keene

David Keene

Editor at Large — David Keene, a trusted adviser to presidents, a longtime champion of personal liberty and one of conservatism’s most respected voices, is the former opinion editor of The Washington Times. An author, columnist and fixture on national television, Mr. Keene has championed conservative causes for more than five decades while offering advice to Republican presidents and countless candidates. He additionally served as chairman of the American Conservative Union and president of the National Rifle Association. He can be reached at

Columns by David Keene

Illustration on the Obama administration's machinations to repress the speech of political opposition by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

KEENE: Free speech on the guillotine

Liberal progressives have in recent years all but abandoned the American belief in free speech and the First Amendment in favor of shutting down those with whom they disagree. Published June 23, 2014

Illustration on the new influx of children from Central America by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

KEENE: President Blameless

President Obama is so busy these days blaming anyone and everyone for the consequences of his policies that it has to be cutting into his golf game. Published June 16, 2014

PRIVACY: Liberty vs. security in post-9/11 world

While the materials Edward Snowden copied and disseminated during his stint as a National Security Agency contractor put the nation's security policies under an unprecedented microscope, many in and out of government had been worried about whether the post-9/11 security fetish was undermining basic constitutional liberties. Published June 12, 2014

Illustration on Sec. Shinseki and problems with the VA by M. Ryder/Tribune Content Agency

KEENE: Getting to the root of the VA breakdown

To fire Eric K. Shinseki or not --- that is the question everyone in Washington is asking. Many, including major veterans' organizations and a lot of Republicans, think he should have been fired yesterday. Published May 26, 2014

Illustration on Hillary Clinton's age by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

KEENE: Gauging Hillary’s fitness for the presidency

Outraged posturing over Karl Rove's recent inelegant injection of Hillary Clinton's age and health into the discussion of whether she is up to a national campaign for the presidency predictably dominated the weekend news shows. PBS' Gwen Ifill and Mark Shields, for example, disdainfully dismissed "Dr." Rove's comments, Mr. Shields calling them the political equivalent of "injecting heroin into the bloodstream." Published May 19, 2014

Ukraine Europe Chess Game Illustration by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

KEENE: Ukraine: Repeating a perilous history

Though the now trite-sounding quote is often attributed to George Santayana, it was actually that old conservative Edmund Burke who first warned that "those who don't know history are destined to repeat it." Published May 12, 2014

Illustration on GOP incumbents by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

KEENE: High stakes in the GOP primaries

As the spring primaries approach, Republican voters in dozens of states and congressional districts are going to be asked to choose between incumbent senators and congressmen and their challengers. Published May 2, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: ‘All Fishermen Are Liars’

John Gierach is something of a legend among fly fisherman. His books are eagerly devoured by his fans because he tells a good story, knows his craft and seems to his readers to be living a life that they dream they could live. Published April 23, 2014

Mental Illness Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

KEENE: A better way to help the dangerously mentally ill

Following the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., more than a year ago, Republicans sought out and asked the only clinical psychologist in the House to look into the connection between the sorts of mass shootings that have plagued the country in recent years and the state of the nation's mental health care system. Published April 21, 2014

Illustration of David and Charles Koch        The Washington Times **FILE**

KEENE: Villainizing the Koch brothers

Back in the late '70s, Alan Baron, a liberal, labor union-loving McGovernite; Ken Bode, then of the New Republic; and I hosted a biweekly poker game that regularly included three Republicans, three Democrats and one journalist. Published April 7, 2014

Illustration by LInas Garsys/The Washington Times

KEENE: Schumer media shield law is license to censor

When President Obama and New York Sen. Charles E. Schumer join forces to ostensibly protect freedom of speech and the press, it's time for believers in the First Amendment to take to the battlements. Published March 31, 2014

Illustration by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

KEENE: Obama needs foreign policy from Jimmy Carter

Most Americans still believe the nation is in recession, massive numbers say the United States is on what pollsters call "the wrong track," and President Obama's signature health care program is in what in polite company might be referred to as "disarray," but compared to his foreign policy, he's doing a smashingly good job here at home. Published March 24, 2014