Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Good morning everyone! Happy Tuesday to you!

Joining today's show are Mike Barnicle, Nicolle Wallace, Ron Fournier, Mark Halperin, Nicholas Confessore, Eugene Robinson, Amy Holmes, Ari Fleischer, Jeremy Peters, Kasie Hunt, Maria Shriver, Steve Case, Hugh Hewitt, Jay Nordlinger, Sara Eisen, Roland Emmerich, Jonny Beauchamp, Otoja Abit and Jay Winik

Larry Wilmore Got Bernie Sanders to Say "On Fleek," As One Does. On Monday, Nightly Show host Larry Wilmore engaged in the age-old comedy tradition of making an old white guy say #teenblackthings, encouraging guest Bernie Sanders to say his plans for criminal justice reform were “on fleek”—or, as Sanders pronounced it, “un fleek.”

As far as “old dudes messing up on fleek” goes, it was actually pretty funny, if only for the look of utter incomprehension on Sander’s face.

Scott Walker drops out of 2016 presidential race. Scott Walker announced Monday he is dropping out of the GOP presidential race.
The Wisconsin governor entered the primary in July as a front-runner in Iowa and a darling of both the conservative base and powerful donors after winning battles against public unions in his left-leaning home state. But that promising start was quickly dashed after poor debate performances dried up support from donors.

"Today, I believe that I am being called to lead by helping to clear the field in this race so that a positive, conservative message can rise to the top of the field. With this in mind, I will suspend my campaign immediately," Walker said at a news conference in Madison, Wisconsin.

He encouraged other trailing Republican candidates to follow his path.

"I encourage other Republican presidential candidates to consider doing the same so that the voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive, conservative alternative to the current front-runner," said Walker, referencing businessman Donald Trump. "This is fundamentally important to the future of our party, and, more important, the future of the country."

The governor called some of his top supporters earlier Monday afternoon informing them of his decision, according to one Walker insider. This person said Walker's recent plummet in the polls was a big factor in his decision-making.

He sounded "upbeat," they said, and his message to supporters was, "I did the best I could."

Walker made "the Pawlenty decision," one strategist said, referring to former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's 2011 decision to drop out before piling up considerable debt.

This decision came as no surprise to people working in Madison, one of whom described the last several weeks as "agony."

Moving forward, Walker said the best use of his and the party's time would be to dedicate all resources to the eventual nominee.

Walker's exit comes 10 days after former Texas Gov. Rick Perry became the first Republican to drop out of the 2016 race. It indicates the start of a winnowing process of a field that once numbered 17 candidates -- many of whom have struggled to gain oxygen in a summer in which headlines and polls have been dominated by Trump. With Walker's departure, the field stands at 15 candidates.

The New York Times first reported Walker's plans to drop out. Those intentions were confirmed to CNN by a senior campaign official, a GOP strategist close to the campaign, and a senior GOP adviser with knowledge of his plans.

Walker rocketed to the front of the GOP pack in Iowa after a rousing speech at the Iowa Freedom Summit in January -- and subsequently, his campaign pinned its hopes on the first state to vote in the presidential nominating process.

But Walker was hurt by lackluster performances in the first two Republican debates. And his poll numbers suffered: In a CNN/ORC poll released Sunday, Walker failed to garner even one-half of 1% nationally among likely GOP primary voters.

A GOP strategist close to the campaign told CNN that Walker "is a pragmatist above all else and just didn't see the path to a comeback."

The strategist also said that the Walker campaign left last week's CNN debate feeling alright, but quickly realized the outside reaction was flat at best. This source added that the national polling drop was troubling but it was the collapse in Iowa that hit hardest, as that state was to serve as "our launchpad."

"Hard to see a path for us without Iowa," one source said.

There had always been hope in the Walker campaign that Trump supporters were not active caucus-goers, the source said, but it was hard to fight the popularity of both front-runner Trump and Ben Carson.

Walker was also hurt by reversals on a host of controversial issues -- including birthright citizenship, on which he gave three different answers in the span of seven days. Those reversals were particularly damaging to his outsider image as non-politicians like Trump, Carson and Carly Fiorina climbed the polls.

Walker delayed entering the campaign in part to raise money for his super PAC, which posted a $20 million haul in the first half of 2015.

But once it launched, the campaign appeared to be bedeviled by a lack of hard dollars that it needed to pay staff, travel the country and pay filing fees to state parties. It will not be known how much money the Walker campaign raised -- or how quickly it burned through it -- until October 15, when the federal campaign finance reports are made public.

"The money dried up -- and it dried up right after the Cleveland debate, and we never could get it back," a source close to Walker said of the August 6 debate.

The super PAC will "wind down our existing efforts and return remaining resources to supporters," according to a spokesman for the group.

Aimee Locke, a top Texas fundraiser for Walker, said she got no advance notice from the campaign, but said people in her network began to worry as CNN's new poll results showed Walker with less than 1% support nationally.

"We were told that they were going to be some changes made, but we had no idea that this was the change that was going to be made," she said.

Walker's exit is now almost certain to set off a fierce scramble for his big-money backers, led by the Ricketts family that has emerged as one of the GOP's most powerful financial contributors. Todd Ricketts, the campaign's finance chair, was scheduled to host a fundraiser for Walker in New York on Thursday.

Trump complimented Walker on Twitter after the news of his decision broke.

"I got to know @ScottWalker well -- he's a very nice person and has a great future," he said.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, also a GOP presidential contender, said Walker made the decision that was "best for him and his family."

"You are down to 15. You got three basketball teams. The bottomline is Scott made a decision best for him and his family," Graham said. "He's a very accomplished governor and it shows you just how hard it is running with this many people. That's what it shows."

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka had some choice words for Walker -- best known for his anti-union efforts.

"Scott Walker is still a disgrace, just no longer national," Trumka said.

Campaign woes prompt Scott Walker to drop out of race. With his prospects and funds dwindling, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker dropped out of the race for president Monday, saying he wanted to clear the way for a conservative optimist to take down real estate mogul Donald Trump.

At a hastily organized news conference at the Edgewater Hotel, Walker also encouraged others in the packed GOP field to pull out.

"Today, I believe that I am being called to lead by helping to clear the field in this race for a positive conservative message to rise to the top of the field. With this in mind, I will suspend my campaign. I encourage other Republican presidential candidates to consider doing the same so that the voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive conservative alternative to the current front-runner," Walker said.

Walker had faced a series of daunting setbacks over the past six weeks, but the news surprised supporters and donors. His withdrawal adds another twist to a GOP primary campaign already unsettled by the strength of Trump and other outsider candidates.

Walker, the son of a Baptist minister who ran successfully for the state Assembly, Milwaukee County executive and three times for governor, has previously spoken about being called to run for office. But on Monday, he cited his faith in his decision to leave the race.

"When I was sitting in church yesterday, the pastor's words reminded me that the Bible is full of stories about people who were called to be leaders in unusual ways," Walker said. "Today, I believe that I am being called to lead by helping to clear the field so that a positive conservative message can rise to the top of the field."

The governor spoke for just four minutes in a room with only a rostrum and state and national flags. He recognized the death Monday of Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice N. Patrick Crooks but declined to take reporters' questions, leaving the room as quickly as he had come.

Walker has more than three years left in his second term. Already, the governor has engineered a conservative shift in a battleground state, rolling back union bargaining power, cutting taxes, enacting limits on abortions and establishing concealed-carry permits for gun owners.

His campaign didn't immediately address the next steps for him as governor or as a Republican whose endorsement will be sought by other White House contenders. Walker has long favored other governors and conservatives as potential presidents, and his reference to positive alternatives to Trump could cover several other candidates, such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.

Praise rolled in from some of those GOP candidates.

"Scott Walker is a good man who entered the presidential race after winning three grueling campaigns in four years," Rubio said in a statement. "He remains one of the best governors in the country."

"Scott Walker is a good man who has a proven record of fighting for conservative reforms. I know he'll continue to do that as Governor," Bush posted on Twitter.

Walker opponents, including American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, had a different take.

"As Governor Scott Walker leaves this race, this is much clear: You can't build a campaign by tearing working people down and attacking their aspirations for a better life," Weingarten said.

After Wednesday's debate — the second for the GOP presidential candidates — Walker was upbeat about his performance and said he would be focused on delivering more passion in the race. But one GOP source familiar with the campaign's situation said that with his late official announcement and aggressive spending, Walker was encountering difficulties raising enough money to maintain a staff of about 90 across the country.

"If it wasn't for cash flow, he'd still be here," the source said.

Walker's withdrawal Monday came after a meeting in Madison that morning that was attended by advisers such as campaign chairman Mike Grebe and pollster Ed Goeas. The governor's campaign manager, Rick Wiley, was not present, the source said.

Over the weekend, Walker had indicated he would focus more on Iowa, Wisconsin's neighboring state that holds the country's first presidential caucus, telling Bloomberg News that he planned to spend 10 or more days a month there and that the campaign was on top of its bills.

Walker donors including broadcasting billionaire Stanley Hubbard of Minneapolis reacted with surprise to the announcement. Hubbard said he hadn't known it was coming and wished Walker had remained in the race.

Instead, Walker joins former Texas Gov. Rick Perry as one of the first presidential candidates to drop out of one of the most robust Republican fields in years. Walker is withdrawing before long-shots such as Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and former New York Gov. George Pataki.

Walker's message Monday was in part aimed at such candidates.

"I encourage other Republican presidential candidates to consider doing the same, so that the voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive conservative alternative to the current front-runner," Walker said of dropping out.

Walker's White House campaign charted a course this year that looked like a mountain, with a steep, surprising rise last spring to front-runner status in Iowa followed by an equally stunning crash in recent weeks that bewildered many longtime supporters.

When faced with similar challenges during his first unsuccessful bid for governor in the 2006 GOP primary, Walker also chose to drop out rather than fight a questionable campaign against a fellow Republican. That move cemented his status among many Republicans in Wisconsin and helped set up his successful 2010 run.

Speculation in recent days had focused on whether Walker's hobbled 2016 campaign could have ever recovered financially from its recent setbacks. Observers were watching for signs he would cut back on his staff or replace Wiley.

Last spring and early summer, Walker rode high among polls and pundits alike, allowing his allied political group, the super PAC Unintimidated, to raise nearly $20 million between April and June alone. But during that time the governor was not an announced candidate for the White House and couldn't raise money for his actual campaign under federal election rules.

Unintimidated PAC recently started running ads promoting Walker in Iowa, but likely still has millions of dollars left in the bank. A spokesman for the organization said it would soon wind down its ad campaign and return any leftover sums to its donors.

Former Walker advisers and staff weighed in on social media Monday about the governor's decision to drop out.

Dan Blum, a deputy campaign manager for Walker during his 2012 recall election victory, tweeted that it was a mistake for candidates to focus on what GOP voters want or appear to want in 2016. Some of the sharpest critiques of Walker's campaign focused on what some said amounted to shifting his positions on issues such as immigration in an attempt to dial in support from the Republican electorate.

"Walker is a great man, wonderful father and husband, very good R(epublican) governor in a blue state. But he strayed from himself. Always a killer," Blum tweeted.

Blum works for GOP media strategist Liz Mair, who was forced off the Walker campaign in March for tweets criticizing Iowa, the support for ethanol subsidies there and its first-in-the-nation caucuses. That episode was the first in a series of setbacks that dogged Walker's campaign on its way to its conclusion Monday.

"It's not surprising from the perspective of the last few weeks," said Larry Sabato, a national political observer, who gave credit to Walker for getting out early.

"Some contenders look good on paper, but when they actually get out on the stump they fail to live up to their own hype," Sabato said. "I think he suffered a bit from a lack of preparedness."

Sabato said Walker seemed especially unprepared on foreign policy issues.

"He relied too heavily on a memorized speech," Sabato said. "People talked about Scott Walker, the automaton."

Charles Franklin, director of the Marquette University Law School Poll, said the news came as a surprise because he assumed Walker "had enough money to keep going for a while."

"That said, the collapse in the polls since July has been one of the more spectacular collapses in presidential campaign history," Franklin said.

Jason Stein and Patrick Marley reported from Madison, with Mary Spicuzza in Milwaukee.

Is the door opening for Chris Christie? It’s still hard to find Republican voters who think New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie should get the party’s presidential nomination but his showing in last week’s debate may be prompting more people to give him a look.

Christie’s favorable rating among Republicans and independents who lean Republican in a CNN poll taken after the debate is 44 percent, the first time he’s cracked 40 percent in that category in quite some time.

He could gain even more with another mainstream candidate, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, announcing Monday he is quitting the race.

Christie received good reviews for his performance in the debate last Wednesday and Seton Hall University political scientist Matthew Hale said Christie has the potential to pick up support from fading contenders.

“I think the uptick in Gov. Christie's favorables are because people are getting to know the other candidates better and liking them less,’’ Hale said. “Gov. Scott Walker has totally cratered and as a result Gov. Christie may no longer be seen as such a bad option.’’

The Christie and Walker comparison is striking. Christie in July was 25 percent favorable in Monmouth University polling, and his net favorability rating (favorable minus unfavorable) was -20, the worst of 17 Republican candidates tested. The field has since been reduced to 16 with the withdrawal of former Texas Gov. Rick Perry from the race.

Walker, expected to announce today he is exiting the race, at that time was 42 percent favorable and 31 percent net favorable.

Christie’s CNN net favorability is far better now at +12, comparable to Walker’s +14.

Still, Christie apparently has a ways to go to get people to fully commit and put on “Christie for President’’ buttons.

The new CNN poll shows Christie as the pick of 3 percent of those polled for the nomination, up from the 2 percent he registered before the debate. Chris Christie gets a boost if Donald Trump implodes?

Christie is also at 3 percent in a Zogby Poll released Monday.

Donald Trump is atop both polls with 24 percent from CNN and 33 percent from Zogby.

CNBC hosts the next debate Oct. 28. It will be a pivotal time for Christie, Hale said.

“Gov. Christie's repeated attempts to turn last week’s debate toward the audience was an effective way of signaling to viewers that he was with them and as a result we see his favorable rating improving,’’ Hale said. “It is important to note that most voters already think they know a lot about Chris Christie. That means it is easy to give other candidates a positive look. As people get to know all the candidates they will start to like all of them less and as a result maybe they’ll come back to Christie with more positive eyes.’’

Donald Trump Trolls Jeb Bush for Smoking Marijuana as a Teen. "Are we sure it was only 40 years ago?" Trump asked in an Instagram video
Donald Trump high-fived him. He complimented him on being higher energy. But five days after the Republican debate, Trump is back to trolling Jeb Bush on Instagram.
In his latest Instagram post, Trump bashes Bush on Jeb’s admission during the debate that he smoked marijuana.
The post includes clips of Jeb’s more controversial moments, along with Jeb’s confession from the debate: “So, 40 years ago, I smoked marijuana.”
Trump’s Instagram video then overlays the type, “Are we sure it was only 40 years ago?” followed by the Trump mantra, “Make America great again.”

It’s the type of attack Trump has perfected in the months since he entered the race, and that he is apparently continuing to employ after post-debate polls showed him sliding compared with Carly Fiorina and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
A Bush spokesperson responded with self-described mockery.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has once again elevated our nation’s politics by implying that GOP rival Jeb Bush still smokes marijuana, despite the candidate’s insistence that he quit decades ago.

The ad, posted to Instagram, under the caption “Jeb has been confused for forty years.” The short ad features a supercut of Bush’s more controversial statements, including his confusing answer on whether he would have invaded Iraq and his comment that illegal immigration was sometimes an “act of love.”

The last clip in the montage was Bush’s frank discussion of his history of marijuana use during Wednesday’s CNN debate. That clip was followed by the caption: “Are we sure it was only forty years ago?”

Jeb Bush heckled by protesters in Houston. As Jeb Bush expanded on his support for a path to citizenship for some immigrants, immigration protesters cut him off with chants of "No hope without our vote!"
Bush tried to make himself heard over the protesters, so that he could talk about his support for the children of undocumented immigrants, known as "DREAMers." He told the audience at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, "I believe that Dream Act kids should have a path to citizenship...I've been consistently for it and I'll continue to be consistently for it irrespective of what the political ramifications of that are."

But Bush, like most of the Republican presidential field, does favor securing the border before taking action on the millions of undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S.

The Associated Press reported that the Texas Organizing Project planned the protests that disrupted Bush's speech. The group's communications director, Mary Moreno, told the AP that protesters wanted to call attention to "the hostile atmosphere being created by the GOP field of presidential candidates," and she said the Republican candidates wanted to "militarize the border" when there are already thousands of border patrol agents on the southern border.

Several times during his speech Bush also went after Republican frontrunner Donald Trump. "My wife is an American by choice," Bush told the audience. He emphatically defended his wife, who was born in Mexico, declaring, "My wife is American just as many people in this room are, and the notion that somehow she's not, is laughable."

At the Republican presidential debate last week, Bush had tried but failed to get Trump to apologize to his wife for a tweet which read, "If my wife were from Mexico, I think I would have a soft spot for people from Mexico." The Associated Press contributed to this report

Carson: I can support a Muslim who denounces Sharia law. Ben Carson said Monday he could indeed support a Muslim for president -- despite words to the contrary on Sunday -- should they pledge fealty to the Constitution.

Carson, under fire for seeming to suggest that he couldn't support anyone who subscribes to Islam to lead the White House, issued a caveat to that position on Monday evening. In an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity, the Republican presidential candidate said there are some Muslims who could be president if they effectively renounced their faith.

"If someone has a Muslim background and they're willing to reject those tenets and to accept the way of life that we have and clearly will swear to place our Constitution above their religion ... I would then be quite willing to support them," he said.

In a post on Facebook also on Monday night, Carson reiterated that position.

"I could never support a candidate for President of the United States that was Muslim and had not renounced the central tenant of Islam: Sharia Law," he wrote. "I know that there are many peaceful Muslims who do not adhere to these beliefs. But until these tenants are fully renounced...I cannot advocate any Muslim candidate for President.

Carson, who made the initial remark on Sunday, told Hannity that his focus on radical Islamic beliefs was "implied in the comment."

"I don't care what religion or faith someone belongs to," Carson said. "If they're willing to subjugate that to the American way and to our Constitution, then I have no problem with that."

Before Carson appeared on Hannity to clarify his remarks, a presidential candidate who had his own faith scrutinized as a potential barrier for fitness of office swiped at Carson's statement.

"Of course, no religious test for the presidency -- every faith adds to our national character," tweeted Romney, who is Mormon.

Of course, no religious test for the presidency--every faith adds to our national character.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who also appeared on Fox News Monday night, also defended Muslim Americans' right to political office.

"I personally know, first of all, that there are Americans that are Muslims and that are also very patriotic and they love the United States of America and they don't want to see any Sharia law and they don't want to see anything like that happen in this country," he told Fox's Hannity. "I don't believe anyone should be disqualified from the presidency because of their denomination or because of their faith. I believe in that strongly."

Rubio said if someone did believe in Sharia law, they wouldn't be elected anyway.

"But I do believe there are hundreds of thousands -- if not millions -- of people in this country who are Muslim but love America ... they aren't political about their religious views with regards to that the way you would see in some other countries around the world," he said.

MORNING PAPERS TODAY: The WAPO reports that With fight against the Islamic State in Iraq stalled, U.S. looks to Syria for gains.
With the offensive to reclaim territory from the Islamic State largely stalled in Iraq, the Obama administration is laying plans for a more aggressive military campaign in Syria, where U.S.-backed Kurdish forces have made surprising gains in recent months.

The effort, which would begin by increasing pressure on the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa, marks an important shift in an administration strategy that for most of the past year has prioritized defeating the militant group in Iraq and viewed Syria as a place where there were few real prospects for battlefield success.

The White House’s top national security officials met last week and will convene again in the next few days to discuss ways to capi­tal­ize on recent and unexpected gains made by Syrian irregular forces. The administration is considering providing arms and ammunition to a wider array of rebel groups in Syria and relaxing vetting standards, effectively deepening America’s involvement in the ongoing civil war.

Such a move could lift some of the restrictions that have slowed the Pentagon’s troubled program to train Syrian fighters in Turkey and other sites outside Syria.

Rather than subjecting rebels to repeated rounds of screening before and during their training, U.S. officials might restrict vetting to unit leaders already in the fight. “The key thing is getting them some [expletive] bullets,” one U.S. official said.

The change is driven partly by frustration with the stalemated fight in Iraq, where an Iraqi army assault on Ramadi has ground to a halt and where a much-
anticipated offensive to reclaim Mosul, originally planned for this year, may come only after President Obama leaves office.

“We have opportunities now [in Syria] that we didn’t think we would have. We have an opportunity to push down on Raqqa,” said another U.S. official, speaking, like others, on the condition of anonymity to discuss ongoing military operations. “We have an opportunity to take away the entire [Turkish] border from ISIS, and we didn’t think we would have that.” ISIS is an acronym for the Islamic State.

The goal is to isolate Raqqa, the seat of Islamic State power, and prevent leaders there from sending fighters and resources between Syria and Mosul, the large Iraqi city controlled by the group.

Officials are hoping to replicate the success that Syrian forces, led by Kurdish units of the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, had this summer dislodging the Islamic State from Tal Abyad and other areas close to Syria’s border with Turkey. That offensive put Islamic State militants on the defensive and hindered their ability to bring in new fighters and weapons from Turkey.

Officials said the White House may decide to provide weapons and equipment to the Syrian Arab Coalition — a grouping of several thousand fighters — in the country’s north. The hope is that the group will fight alongside Kurdish forces and push south from the Turkish border toward Raqqa.

If approved, the initiative would mark the first time the Pentagon has directly provided U.S. weaponry to armed groups within Syria beyond the fighters it has trained in Turkey. The CIA runs its own program to train and equip Syrian rebels.

Officials stressed that no decisions have been made and that the White House may continue the current approach in Syria, which includes a mix of airstrikes, direct backing for U.S.-trained rebels and indirect support for other forces.

Last week, Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, the head of U.S. Central Command, acknowledged that only “four or five” U.S.-trained fighters were actively fighting in Syria. Since then, an additional 71 have completed the U.S. training and were sent back into Syria, officials said.

Instead of trying to create entire formations, U.S. officials are considering preparing a smaller number of soldiers to call in airstrikes by U.S. fighter jets or coordinate ground attacks. Those troops would be inserted into existing units such as the Syrian Arab Coalition.

“While we are reviewing our efforts, it would be premature to speculate about any substantial changes to that program,” a senior administration official said.

The administration is also seeking to use Turkey’s decision to permit combat flights from Incirlik air base to help it seal off the remainder of the Turkey-Syria border.

Slim prospects in Ramadi
In Iraq, where local forces were driven from the key city of Ramadi this summer and are battling to take it back, the prospects for major gains anytime soon seem slim.

The Ramadi assault has been slowed by defensive belts of buried bombs and the limitations of the Iraqi army, which is down to only a handful of the specialized teams capable of finding and clearing the explosives. One U.S. official said that only two such teams were still operating in the battle for Ramadi.

Iraqi troops haven’t been willing to take advantage of openings provided by American bombs, according to U.S. officials. Iraqi commanders have countered that U.S. air support is either insufficient or too slow. Iraqi forces in Ramadi have also been hindered by the deaths of two key commanders.

Obama has said that he would consider committing American Apache helicopters, which are vulnerable to ground attack, or embedding U.S. Special Operations forces advisers in Iraqi formations. Such troops could bring confidence, battlefield savvy and quick access to American air power to inexperienced Iraqi units.

Potential pitfalls
So far, though, the Pentagon’s top generals, concerned that American combat losses could threaten support for the mission in Iraq, haven’t presented those riskier options to the president.

The options the White House is weighing in Syria would not put U.S. personnel at greater risk but would still come with potential pitfalls.

American-provided weapons could fall into the wrong hands. Increased support for Kurdish militia groups could also alienate Turkish allies whose top priority is ensuring that “no coherent Kurdish entity emerges on their border,” said Faysal Itani, a fellow at the Atlantic Council, a Washington think tank.

A larger question is whether the increased support for Syrian rebels will produce any lasting gains. The Islamic State has been weakened by American airstrikes but remains a potent adversary, able to mount surge offensives, as it did recently in northwest Syria, said Oubai Shahbandar, a former Pentagon analyst. In the past year, it has also expanded into lightly defended areas such as Palmyra.

Even if the U.S.-backed rebels can make gains in Syria, a larger conventional army would be required to push the Islamic State from its strongholds in Iraq and prevent it from returning, U.S. officials said.

“There must be a viable ground force to fight, defeat and dislodge the Islamic State,” said retired Lt. Gen. Michael Barbero, who oversaw the training of Iraqi troops from 2009 to 2011. “And the only real option is the Iraqi security forces.” Liz Sly in Beirut and Thomas Gibbons-Neff in Washington contributed to this report.

The WSJ reports that Russia, Iran Seen Coordinating on Defense of Assad Regime in Syria. U.S., regional officials say military buildup in coastal base aimed at safeguarding regime’s stronghold
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, left, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on Aug. 17.
Russia and Iran have stepped up coordination inside Syria as they move to safeguard President Bashar al-Assad’s control over his coastal stronghold, according to officials in the U.S. and Middle East, creating a new complication for Washington’s diplomatic goals.

Senior Russian and Iranian diplomats, generals and strategists have held a string of high-level talks in Moscow in recent months to discuss Mr. Assad’s defense and the Kremlin’s military buildup in Syria, according to these officials.

The buildup is continuing: On Monday, U.S. defense officials said Russian surveillance drones have started flying missions over Syria, and Moscow has sent two dozen more fighter jets to Syria.

Much of the activity from both sides in recent months has been concentrated in the coastal region of Latakia, the base of Mr. Assad’s family and his Alawite sect, which has come under pressure from rebel forces to the north, threatening to cut it off from the capital Damascus.

Coordinating efforts cited by the U.S. and Middle East officials included a secret visit in late July by the commander of Iran’s elite overseas military unit, the Qods Force. Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani directs Tehran’s military and intelligence support for the Assad regime and is one of the most powerful leaders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif also visited Moscow last month to discuss Syria and other issues with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov.

Such visits “all come within the framework of this coordination,” Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem told state media last week, referring specifically to the trip by Mr. Zarif and a deputy. “There is deep coordination on all levels between us and Moscow, and between us and Tehran, and I can say to whomever wants…they can join too.”

U.S. officials said they haven’t unraveled the full extent of the cooperation or its intention. “We assume [the Russian buildup in Syria is] being coordinated with the Iranians,” said a senior U.S. official, who said the U.S. tracked Gen. Soleimani’s trip to Moscow.

IRGC military advisers and soldiers are also deployed in Latakia, as well as soldiers from Tehran’s close political and military ally, the Lebanese militia Hezbollah, they said.

A U.S. defense official said the Pentagon believes Gen. Soleimani’s trip to Moscow was “very important” in relation to the Russian buildup in Latakia. “What we are seeing now is the manifestation of that meeting, and that there is some sort of Iran nexus,” the official said.

The coordinated Iranian and Russian support for Mr. Assad poses a formidable obstacle to the diplomatic aims of the Obama administration, which wants to remove the Syrian dictator from power.

As support from Moscow and Tehran pours into Syria, the U.S. has moderated its demands that Mr. Assad step down before a transition takes place.

Secretary of State John Kerry said last weekend that Mr. Assad may be able to remain as part of a transition to a new government.

On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow that his government is concerned that Iran and its allies could be seeking to open a new military front against Israel from within Syrian territory.

Following talks at Mr. Putin’s home outside Moscow, Mr. Netanyahu said on Israel Radio that they had agreed on coordinated measures to prevent miscalculations that could trigger a wider war, but didn’t elaborate.

Mr. Putin seemed to play down the threat to Israel. “We know that the Syrian army and Syria as a whole are in no condition to open a second front,” he said, according to a Kremlin transcript.

Senior U.S. and European officials said that while they suspect there is significant cooperation between Moscow and Tehran, their long-term interests could diverge.

Mr. Putin, they said, appears to be using the Syria conflict to try to increase the Kremlin’s influence in the Middle East and in the international diplomacy focused on finding a post-Assad government.

Tehran, meanwhile, wants to maintain Syria’s coastal region and the areas adjacent to the Lebanese border as the key supply route for arms going into Lebanon and Palestinian militant groups.

“For Iran, Assad is a guarantee for the survival of Hezbollah,” said Fawaz Gerges, professor of international relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

For his part, Mr. Putin seems fixated on maintaining a Moscow-friendly government in Damascus that will green light a continued Russian military presence and large arms purchases, said Emile Hokayem, a Syria analyst at London’s International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Russia and Iran have staunchly supported Mr. Assad since the uprising began in Syria in early 2011.

Russian personnel have been seen transiting through the airport since 2014. Hezbollah and IRGC commanders have been based in the coastal hotels.

But over the past three months, Moscow and Tehran have appeared to be preparing to bolster the region’s defenses, according to Syria analysts and Arab officials.

Syrian rebel forces have made substantial territorial gains in the northern province of Idlib during this time and have been pressing down into Latakia. Further victories by the insurgents could cut off Damascus from Mr. Assad’s home base, they said.

Gen. Soleimani visited a front line battlefield north of Latakia in June that was adjacent to the Turkish border and Idlib, according to Arab media reports.

There he said Iranian and Syrian leaders were jointly planning an operation that would “surprise the world.”

Weeks later, Gen. Soleimani visited Moscow and met with Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu and the heads of Russian military intelligence and defense industries, according to U.S. and European officials.

The Kremlin denied Gen. Soleimani’s visit, which Washington charged violated a United Nations travel ban.

The U.S. and other Western governments are closely watching for what actions Russia, Iran and the Syrian regime take now.

One possibility, said analysts, is an operation around the ancient city of Palmyra to target Islamic State militants. Mr. Putin has described the Russian presence in Syria as a counterterrorism operation, and he is scheduled to address the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Sept. 28. He could cite Palmyra to back his claims.

Syrian warplanes have intensified airstrikes against Islamic State in Palmyra in recent days, according to opposition activists monitoring the conflict as well as Syrian state media.

Another target could be al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front in Idlib province. The militia and its allies control almost the entire northwestern province with the exception of two Shiite villages, where Hezbollah and other Iranian-trained militias are deployed.

“The first major operation will tell us what their intentions are,” said Elias Farhat, a retired Lebanese army general and military strategist, referring to Iran and Russia.

He said evidence from the ground indicates the Russians, Iranians and Hezbollah are establishing a joint-operational command center in Latakia, near the airport.

The increasing Russian-Iranian defense of Mr. Assad is placing the Obama administration in a diplomatic and strategic bind.

U.S. officials had said they hoped the landmark nuclear agreement forged in July between Washington and Tehran, with the assistance of Russia, could pave the way for cooperation in ending Syria’s civil war. They specifically raised hope that a new diplomatic process could start to ease Mr. Assad from power.

Mr. Kerry and other U.S. officials have voiced concerns in recent days that Russia’s deployment could further destabilize Syria and place Moscow’s troops in conflict with a U.S.-led air campaign. But Mr. Kerry also has indicated that the U.S. remains interested in joining with Russia in combating Islamic State.

A Syrian army officer who has defected and who is in contact with the Russians said the Kremlin’s buildup could open the way for a diplomatic solution in Syria, but on Mr. Putin's terms. He said the Russians know Mr. Assad won’t survive long term, and that the Kremlin is staking its claim to negotiate with the Americans.

“It is like having a broken vase that you want to sell. You have to glue it together and then try to sell it,” said the exiled former general.

The Chicago Tribune reports that we just had the 2nd worst weekend of 2015 for Chicago gun violence: 8 dead, 45 wounded.
Photos: Chicago violence
Eight people were killed and at least 45 people were wounded in shootings between Friday evening and early Monday, making it the second most violent weekend in Chicago this year.

The only weekend that was worse was July 3-6, when 57 people were shot, seven fatally, according to an analysis of Chicago Tribune data on shootings and homicides.

When compared with non-holiday weekends, this past weekend was the worst with 53 people shot. The next highest weekends were Aug. 8-10 with 48, May 15-18 with 46, and Aug. 21-24 with 43. 

Forty or more people were shot every weekend from July 24 to 27 to Aug. 28-31.

Since March, the number of gunshot victims has reached double digits every single weekend, according to the data. Since April 10-13, the number of gunshot victims has always been 25 or more.

Adding to the weekend's toll was one additional killing -- a 25-year-old man was found fatally stabbed at 10:30 a.m. Saturday in the 3500 block of West 24th Street in the city's Little Village neighborhood.

This weekend's shootings bring the year's total to at least 2,213, according to an analysis of a Chicago Tribune database.  That's an increase of more than 350 over last year and more than 500 over 2013, according to Tribune data.

There were at least 365 homicide victims in Chicago through Monday morning this year, 53 more than last year and 38 more than 2013, according to a Tribune database on homicides.

The most violent stretch this weekend occurred late Saturday morning into Sunday when five people were killed and 18 were wounded, including a 14-year-old boy who was shot to death Saturday evening in the North Kenwood neighborhood on the South Side.

At least 16 people were shot Friday night into early Saturday, and 14 people were shot late Sunday morning into early Monday morning.

The 14-year-old boy and a 15-year-old boy were on the street in the 4400 block of South Greenwood Avenue in the North Kenwood neighborhood when a car drove by and someone opened fire around 7:30 p.m. Saturday, according to police.

The 14-year-old, identified by his mother as Tyjuan Poindexter, was shot in the head and died at the scene. The 15-year-old boy, shot three times in the lower right leg and foot, was taken to Comer Children's Hospital, according to police.

An autopsy Sunday determined Tyjuan died of multiple gunshot wounds and his death was ruled a homicide, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

Just after 2 a.m. Sunday, one person was killed and at least five were wounded in a shooting in the Englewood neighborhood on the South Side, police said. A group was outside in the 5800 block of South LaSalle Street when people walked from an alley and began shooting.

Charles Lewis, 28, who police said lived in the 5700 block of South LaSalle Street, was pronounced dead at 4:28 a.m., according to the medical examiner's office. He was found in an alley after being shot in the chest, police said.

In other fatal shootings:
• A 43-year-old man was killed around 9:40 p.m. Sunday in the Rosemoor neighborhood on the Far South Side, according to police. Police officers responded to calls of a person shot in the 10100 block of South Calumet Avenue and found the man on a sidewalk with a gunshot wound to the abdomen, said Chicago Police Department spokesman Officer Ron Gaines.

• Around 8:20 p.m. Sunday, a 37-year-old man, identified as Phillip Floro of the 3000 block of West Franklin Street in Chicago, was shot to death in the North Austin neighborhood on the West Side, according to police and the medical examiner's office. The man was walking with a friend in the 1600 block of North Central Avenue when he was shot in the abdomen, Greer said.

• At 11:05 a.m. Sunday, 18-year-old Deionte D. Harris, of the 8200 block of South Bishop Street, was pronounced dead at the scene in the 8400 block of South Hermitage Avenue in the city's Gresham neighborhood, according to the medical examiner's office. Paramedics were called to the Hermitage address at 10:34 a.m. for a person shot in the head, said Chicago Fire Department Cmdr. Curtis Hudson.

• Around 5:25 a.m. Sunday, a 31-year-old man was killed in the West Pullman neighborhood on the Far South Side, according to Officer Janel Sedevic, a police spokeswoman. Officers going to the 11700 block of South LaSalle Street found him unresponsive with several gunshot wounds in a parked car.

• At 8:15 p.m. Saturday, a 27-year-old man and a 34-year-old man were shot in the 3400 block of West Flournoy Street in the Homan Square neighborhood, police said. The 27-year-old, identified as Torrence Bearden of the 700 block of North Harding Avenue, was hit in the chest and taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in critical condition, according to police and the medical examiner's office. A day later, he was pronounced dead at the hospital at 10:06 p.m.

• Just after 6 p.m. Saturday, a man believed to be in his 30s was killed in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood on the West Side. He was found with a gunshot wound to the neck in the 1200 block of North Keeler Avenue, said Officer Nicole Trainor, a police spokeswoman. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The New York Times reports that 1 in 4 Women Experience Sex Assault on Campus. In four years of college, more than one-fourth of undergraduate women at a large group of leading universities said they had been sexually assaulted by force or when they were incapacitated, according to one of the largest studies of its kind, released Monday.

Responding to a survey commissioned by the Association of American Universities, 27.2 percent of female college seniors reported that, since entering college, they had experienced some kind of unwanted sexual contact — anything from touching to rape — carried out by incapacitation, usually due to alcohol or drugs, or by force. Nearly half of those, 13.5 percent, had experienced penetration, attempted penetration or oral sex.

The survey bolstered findings from previous studies but stands out for its sheer size — 150,000 students at 27 colleges and universities took part last spring — and for the prominence of the institutions involved, which include many of the nation’s elite campuses, including all of the Ivy League except Princeton.

Last year, President Obama convened the first White House task force on college sexual assault, part of a growing demand for colleges to acknowledge, measure and address the problem. That task force, like members of Congress and victim advocates, called on colleges to conduct rigorous “campus climate” surveys, including detailed information on the frequency of assault and harassment.

Previous studies have estimated that about one in five women are sexually assaulted while at college, though comparisons are difficult because the studies use varying definitions of sexual assault.

The new study cautioned that only 19 percent of students responded to the survey, far below the rates of some previous studies.

The A.A.U. survey found that even in the most serious assaults, those involving penetration, almost three-fourths of victims did not report the episode to anyone in authority, let alone law enforcement. The reason victims gave most often for not reporting episodes was that they did not think the episodes were serious enough to report; others said they felt ashamed, or did not think they would be taken seriously.

“This survey is significant confirmation of a major problem, and it confirms what we’ve been saying about the mind-set on campus and the reception survivors expect to encounter,” said Zoe Ridolfi-Starr, deputy director of Know Your IX, an advocacy group that fights sexual assault.

Most of the institutions in the study released their own figures from the survey, and several of the most respected ones had some of the highest rates of sexual assault by force or incapacitation for undergraduate women — 34.6 percent at Yale, 34.3 percent at the University of Michigan, and 29.2 percent at Harvard.

The findings were “profoundly troubling,” said Yale’s president, Peter Salovey. Yale’s handling of sexual assault has come under particular scrutiny in recent years, and the university has taken a number of steps to address it. Thomas Conroy, a university spokesman, said Monday that because the A.A.U. report was the first of its kind for Yale it was impossible to know whether those measures had paid off.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, praised the study but expressed impatience that Congress had not acted to force colleges to improve their handling of sexual assault. “How many surveys will it take before we act with the urgency these crimes demand?” she asked.

Some previous studies have focused more narrowly on rape and attempted rape, but the A.A.U. survey included much broader categories. It found that, when including acts carried out without force or incapacitation but with coercion or a lack of consent — which some colleges now define as sexual assault — one-third of senior women had experienced unwanted sexual contact during college.

John D. Foubert, a professor of higher education at Oklahoma State University who studies campus sexual assault, said he was troubled by the low response rate and by the A.A.U. study’s use of slightly different definitions from previous studies.

“This is pretty consistent with what we’ve seen before,” he said.

Across the 27 universities, men experienced much lower — but still significant — rates of sexual assault than women; 8.6 percent of male seniors said they had experienced some kind of unwanted sexual contact, including 2.9 percent who said they had experienced penetration, attempted penetration or oral sex, carried out by force or incapacitation.

Transgender students and others who do not identify as either male or female had higher rates of assault than women. Experts said this was the first large-scale study they knew of to measure the extent of the problem for transgender students.

And, last, Apple Targets Electric-Car Shipping Date for 2019. Consumer-electronics maker accelerates efforts to build Apple-branded car. Apple Inc. is accelerating efforts to build an electric car, designating it internally as a “committed project” and setting a target ship date for 2019, according to people familiar with the matter.
The go-ahead came after the company spent more than a year investigating the feasibility of an Apple-branded car, including meetings with two groups of government officials in California. Leaders of the project, code-named Titan , have been given permission to triple the 600-person team, the people familiar with the matter said.

Apple has hired experts in driverless cars, but the people familiar with Apple’s plans said the Cupertino, Calif., company doesn’t currently plan to make its first electric vehicle fully autonomous. That capability is part of the product’s long-term plans, the people familiar with the matter said.

Apple’s commitment is a sign that the company sees an opportunity to become a player in the automotive industry by applying expertise that it has honed in developing iPhones—in areas such as batteries, sensors and hardware-software integration—to the next generation of cars.

Probably the most incredible story of the month let alone in today's Morning papers is the new Times article that broke the story about U.S. Soldiers Told to Ignore Sexual Abuse of Boys by Afghan Allies.
Dan Quinn was relieved of his Special Forces command after a fight with a U.S.-backed militia leader who had a boy as a sex slave chained to his bed. Credit Kirsten Luce for The New York Times

In his last phone call home, Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley Jr. told his father what was troubling him: From his bunk in southern Afghanistan, he could hear Afghan police officers sexually abusing boys they had brought to the base.

“At night we can hear them screaming, but we’re not allowed to do anything about it,” the Marine’s father, Gregory Buckley Sr., recalled his son telling him before he was shot to death at the base in 2012. He urged his son to tell his superiors. “My son said that his officers told him to look the other way because it’s their culture.”

Rampant sexual abuse of children has long been a problem in Afghanistan, particularly among armed commanders who dominate much of the rural landscape and can bully the population. The practice is called bacha bazi, literally “boy play,” and American soldiers and Marines have been instructed not to intervene — in some cases, not even when their Afghan allies have abused boys on military bases, according to interviews and court records.

The policy has endured as American forces have recruited and organized Afghan militias to help hold territory against the Taliban. But soldiers and Marines have been increasingly troubled that instead of weeding out pedophiles, the American military was arming them in some cases and placing them as the commanders of villages — and doing little when they began abusing children.

“The reason we were here is because we heard the terrible things the Taliban were doing to people, how they were taking away human rights,” said Dan Quinn, a former Special Forces captain who beat up an American-backed militia commander for keeping a boy chained to his bed as a sex slave. “But we were putting people into power who would do things that were worse than the Taliban did — that was something village elders voiced to me.”

The policy of instructing soldiers to ignore child sexual abuse by their Afghan allies is coming under new scrutiny, particularly as it emerges that service members like Captain Quinn have faced discipline, even career ruin, for disobeying it.

After the beating, the Army relieved Captain Quinn of his command and pulled him from Afghanistan. He has since left the military.

Four years later, the Army is also trying to forcibly retire Sgt. First Class Charles Martland, a Special Forces member who joined Captain Quinn in beating up the commander.

“The Army contends that Martland and others should have looked the other way (a contention that I believe is nonsense),” Representative Duncan Hunter, a California Republican who hopes to save Sergeant Martland’s career, wrote last week to the Pentagon’s inspector general.

In Sergeant Martland’s case, the Army said it could not comment because of the Privacy Act.

When asked about American military policy, the spokesman for the American command in Afghanistan, Col. Brian Tribus, wrote in an email: “Generally, allegations of child sexual abuse by Afghan military or police personnel would be a matter of domestic Afghan criminal law.” He added that “there would be no express requirement that U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan report it.” An exception, he said, is when rape is being used as a weapon of war.

The American policy of nonintervention is intended to maintain good relations with the Afghan police and militia units the United States has trained to fight the Taliban. It also reflects a reluctance to impose cultural values in a country where pederasty is rife, particularly among powerful men, for whom being surrounded by young teenagers can be a mark of social status.

Some soldiers believed that the policy made sense, even if they were personally distressed at the sexual predation they witnessed or heard about.

“The bigger picture was fighting the Taliban,” a former Marine lance corporal reflected. “It wasn’t to stop molestation.”

Still, the former lance corporal, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid offending fellow Marines, recalled feeling sickened the day he entered a room on a base and saw three or four men lying on the floor with children between them. “I’m not a hundred percent sure what was happening under the sheet, but I have a pretty good idea of what was going on,” he said.

But the American policy of treating child sexual abuse as a cultural issue has often alienated the villages whose children are being preyed upon. The pitfalls of the policy emerged clearly as American Special Forces soldiers began to form Afghan Local Police militias to hold villages that American forces had retaken from the Taliban in 2010 and 2011.

By the summer of 2011, Captain Quinn and Sergeant Martland, both Green Berets on their second tour in northern Kunduz Province, began to receive dire complaints about the Afghan Local Police units they were training and supporting.

First, they were told, one of the militia commanders raped a 14- or 15-year-old girl whom he had spotted working in the fields. Captain Quinn informed the provincial police chief, who soon levied punishment. “He got one day in jail, and then she was forced to marry him,” Mr. Quinn said.

When he asked a superior officer what more he could do, he was told that he had done well to bring it up with local officials but that there was nothing else to be done. “We’re being praised for doing the right thing, and a guy just got away with raping a 14-year-old girl,” Mr. Quinn said.

A portrait of Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley Jr. in his family's home in Oceanside, N.Y. He was shot to death in 2012 by a teenage "tea boy" living on his base in Helmand Province. Credit Kirsten Luce for The New York Times
Village elders grew more upset at the predatory behavior of American-backed commanders. After each case, Captain Quinn would gather the Afghan commanders and lecture them on human rights.

Soon another commander absconded with his men’s wages. Mr. Quinn said he later heard that the commander had spent the money on dancing boys. Another commander murdered his 12-year-old daughter in a so-called honor killing for having kissed a boy. “There were no repercussions,” Mr. Quinn recalled.

In September 2011, an Afghan woman, visibly bruised, showed up at an American base with her son, who was limping. One of the Afghan police commanders in the area, Abdul Rahman, had abducted the boy and forced him to become a sex slave, chained to his bed, the woman explained. When she sought her son’s return, she herself was beaten. Her son had eventually been released, but she was afraid it would happen again, she told the Americans on the base.

She explained that because “her son was such a good-looking kid, he was a status symbol” coveted by local commanders, recalled Mr. Quinn, who did not speak to the woman directly but was told about her visit when he returned to the base from a mission later that day.

So Captain Quinn summoned Abdul Rahman and confronted him about what he had done. The police commander acknowledged that it was true, but brushed it off. When the American officer began to lecture about “how you are held to a higher standard if you are working with U.S. forces, and people expect more of you,” the commander began to laugh.

“I picked him up and threw him onto the ground,” Mr. Quinn said. Sergeant Martland joined in, he said. “I did this to make sure the message was understood that if he went back to the boy, that it was not going to be tolerated,” Mr. Quinn recalled.

There is disagreement over the extent of the commander’s injuries. Mr. Quinn said they were not serious, which was corroborated by an Afghan official who saw the commander afterward.

(The commander, Abdul Rahman, was killed two years ago in a Taliban ambush. His brother said in an interview that his brother had never raped the boy, but was the victim of a false accusation engineered by his enemies.)

Sergeant Martland, who received a Bronze Star for valor for his actions during a Taliban ambush, wrote in a letter to the Army this year that he and Mr. Quinn “felt that morally we could no longer stand by and allow our A.L.P. to commit atrocities,” referring to the Afghan Local Police.

The father of Lance Corporal Buckley believes the policy of looking away from sexual abuse was a factor in his son’s death, and he has filed a lawsuit to press the Marine Corps for more information about it.

Lance Corporal Buckley and two other Marines were killed in 2012 by one of a large entourage of boys living at their base with an Afghan police commander named Sarwar Jan.

Mr. Jan had long had a bad reputation; in 2010, two Marine officers managed to persuade the Afghan authorities to arrest him following a litany of abuses, including corruption, support for the Taliban and child abduction. But just two years later, the police commander was back with a different unit, working at Lance Corporal Buckley’s post, Forward Operating Base Delhi, in Helmand Province.

Lance Corporal Buckley had noticed that a large entourage of “tea boys” — domestic servants who are sometimes pressed into sexual slavery — had arrived with Mr. Jan and moved into the same barracks, one floor below the Marines. He told his father about it during his final call home.

Word of Mr. Jan’s new position also reached the Marine officers who had gotten him arrested in 2010. One of them, Maj. Jason Brezler, dashed out an email to Marine officers at F.O.B. Delhi, warning them about Mr. Jan and attaching a dossier about him.

The warning was never heeded. About two weeks later, one of the older boys with Mr. Jan — around 17 years old — grabbed a rifle and killed Lance Corporal Buckley and the other Marines.

Lance Corporal Buckley’s father still agonizes about whether the killing occurred because of the sexual abuse by an American ally. “As far as the young boys are concerned, the Marines are allowing it to happen and so they’re guilty by association,” Mr. Buckley said. “They don’t know our Marines are sick to their stomachs.”

The one American service member who was punished in the investigation that followed was Major Brezler, who had sent the email warning about Mr. Jan, his lawyers said. In one of Major Brezler’s hearings, Marine Corps lawyers warned that information about the police commander’s penchant for abusing boys might be classified. The Marine Corps has initiated proceedings to discharge Major Brezler.

Mr. Jan appears to have moved on, to a higher-ranking police command in the same province. In an interview, he denied keeping boys as sex slaves or having any relationship with the boy who killed the three Marines. “No, it’s all untrue,” Mr. Jan said. But people who know him say he still suffers from “a toothache problem,” a euphemism here for child sexual abuse.

Morning Joe Yesterday: Hillary Started the Rumors That Obama Isn’t a Christian. It’s “rich” that Hillary Clinton attacked Donald Trump on Face the Nation for failing to criticize a supporter who claimed President Obama is a Muslim when her 2008 campaign is the rumor’s provenance, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough said today.  “This started with Hillary Clinton and it was spread by the Clinton team in 2008,” Scarborough said on Monday’s Morning Joe.  During the 2008 campaign, CBS’s Steve Kroft asked then-senator Clinton, “You don’t believe that Senator Obama’s a Muslim?” “There’s nothing to base that on,” Clinton replied, ”as far as I know.”

Responding to Scarborough, former Tennessee Democratic representative Harold Ford interjected there was no “evidentiary basis,” for Scarborough’s claim, prompting Mika Brzezinski to shoot back, “We’re just telling the truth.” Panelist Steven Rattner then turned to fellow panelist John Heilemnan, “the official historian of the 2008 campaign,” asking if he could set the record straight.   “It was the case,” Heilemann said. “I’m affirming the Scarbrough-Brzeinski assertion.”

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump stated that Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s questioning of President Obama’s faith and place of birth made anything he said look like “nothing” on Monday’s “Fox & Friends” on the Fox News Channel.

Trump said, [relevant remarks begin around 7:19], after sarcastically remarking that President Obama would certainly come to his defense after the jokes that were directed his way at the Emmy’s, and that he took the jokes as “a badge of courage, a badge of honor,” “there was no Hillary joke, and look what she said about President Obama in 2008. Believe me, what I said is nothing. Take a look at what Hillary said in 2008 when she was running against him.”

He added,”people don’t know that and people don’t talk about it. Actually, people do know about it but they don’t talk about it. I think they should go back and look at it.” Trump elaborated that he was referring to rumors about President Obama’s faith and where he was born.

And, remember that Mika's Know Your Values event in Chicago is on friday this week.

Know Your Value: http://www.msnbc.com/know-your-value

Welcome to Know Your Value. The live events are coming to Chicago, Boston, and Orlando in 2015 (Already held in Philadelphia, Washington DC this year) - select your city here to purchase tickets and find out more about the movement

Know Your Value - Chicago, IL
Regardless of it all on this busy morning, please stay in touch!