Former U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman may have left Congress, but he’s still urging lawmakers to adopt a tough foreign policy – a position he espoused during his years in the Senate and one from which his successor has veered.
Lieberman on Wednesday testified before the House Homeland Security Committee and told committee members that the growing threat of terrorism “requires we stay engaged in the world beyond our borders.”
“Put very bluntly, I do not see a credible or coherent strategy right now for exactly those countries…that most threaten to emerge as al Qaeda’s newest and most dangerous footholds,” Lieberman said, warning against the rise of al Qaeda in Syria, Libya and Iraq.
The former chair of the Senate Homeland Security Committee criticized lawmakers for their reluctance to consider military invention in such countries, and said that “we are failing to help deal with the underlying conditions that are making al Qaeda’s resurgence possible.”
Last September, U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, who took over Lieberman’s seat after the Independent from Conn. retired, voted against a foreign relations committee resolution to authorize the use of military force in Syria. Continue reading →
Former Sen. Joseph Lieberman on Sunday said he did not regret voting for the Affordable Care Act, despite the botched rollout of Obamacare.
“The rollout of Obamacare has been bad – disastrous,” Lieberman said on Fox News Sunday, referencing the site crashes and enrollment errors that accompanied the October launch of HealthCare.gov, the health insurance marketplace website that was a key piece of the health reform legislation enacted in 2009.
“But we’ve got to remember that the status quo ante before the ACA was adopted in American healthcare was bad and not very popular. The best thing that could happen is for both parties to sit down and try to fix the current system,” said Lieberman.
Lieberman, an Independent, was central to the health care debate in Congress, and threatened to block any bill that contained a public option. A government-administered insurance plan was part of the initial bill, but not included in the final version of the legislation.
Politico is reporting that former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman will be representing a Libyan politician, raising questions by MSNBC and Salon over whether Lieberman will be lobbying.
Lieberman will be helping a Libyan business executive named Basit Igtet, who will be paying $100,000 over two months for help from Lieberman’s firm, the multi-office Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman, according to public records.
Igtet is thinking about running for office in Libya, and his government relations contract with the law/lobbying firm calls for ”government relations services, communication of information to the principal and as well as [communication of] information about the principal to interested persons in the public sector.” The documents also mention “meetings with members of Congress, executive branch officials and others.”
Igtet became known when he was strongly opposing Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi in 2010 before the leader eventually fell.
The public documents, signed last week by Lieberman’s longtime former chief of staff Clarine Nardi Riddle, also mention Lieberman and Mark Heilbrun as being “primarily responsible” for the work. Under the revolving-door rules with a two-year window, Lieberman cannot lobby his former colleagues in the U.S. Senate until January 2015 because his tenure in the Senate expired in January 2013. Continue reading →
Some national political stars came out this week to celebrate the opening of a new law office by former U.S. Senator Joseph I. Lieberman.
Lieberman is now serving as senior counsel with the firm of a longtime friend, and a large crowd gathered in Washington, D.C. to celebrate the opening of the local branch office. The gigantic firm has 375 lawyers in nine offices from San Francisco to Atlanta.
Friends of Lieberman – including U.S. Sen. John McCain and former homeland security chief Tom Ridge – attended the star-studded celebration. Democratic members of the Connecticut delegation, including U.S. Rep. John B. Larson and U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, attended at the Art & Soul restaurant near Capitol Hill and Union Station.
U.S. Rep. Peter T. King of Long Island, the former House homeland security committee chairman, also attended the bipartisan gathering. King, a Republican who lives in the waterfront town of Seaford in Nassau County, has been a frequent guest on cable television stations for years.
Lieberman had a wide variety of offers and possibilities after leaving the U.S. Senate after 24 years, and he told Capitol Watch last year that he wanted to spend part of his time with a law firm. Continue reading →
Former U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman has joined the board of directors of a think tank known as the Center for a New American Security.
Lieberman, 71, served for 24 years in the U.S. Senate before deciding not to seek reelection in 2012. He defeated Democrat Ned Lamont in the 2006 general election and became an independent who was well known as a hawk on defense issues. He traveled to numerous countries on national security trips as a member of the “three amigos” with Republican Senators John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. The threesome were close friends of Gen. David Petraeus and other members of the military.
The centrist think tank, which was created in 2007, also named retired U.S. Marine and four-star general John Allen to the board. Allen is known as the commander of American troops in Afghanistan from 2011 until his retirement in 2013 when he decided not to accept the position as Supreme Allied Commander in Europe. He is known for exchanging emails with Tampa socialite Jill Kelley, and Allen was cleared in the email scandal that prompted Petraeus to resign as head of the CIA. Continue reading →
The Republican governor was running for reelection in 2002, and he was riding high as he was near the height of his popularity. He was the chairman of the Republican Governors Association and a close friend of then-President George W. Bush and Florida Governor Jeb Bush. The scandals that would lead to his downfall and federal prison sentence had not yet come to full light.
Rowland had arrived to see The Hartford Courant’s editorial board, and the members were asking him why he was running for a third term. They wanted to know what was on his plate on the important issues of the day: tax cuts, balancing the state budget, providing more money for education.
So, a board member asked Rowland directly, what unfinished issue did he need to tackle and why was he running for a third term?
Former U.S. Joseph I. Lieberman has accepted a new job as senior counsel with the law firm of a friend.
Lieberman had a wide variety of offers and possibilities after leaving the U.S. Senate after 24 years, and he told Capitol Watch last year that he wanted to spend part of his time with a law firm.
Lieberman will work in the New York office of Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman LLP, which has more than 375 lawyers. He ”will focus on independent and internal investigations and advising clients on a wide range of public policy, strategic and regulatory issues,” according to the firm.
Lieberman will also “play a significant role in client development globally,” which means that he will be similar to other rainmakers who have helped attract clients at law firms – such as former New York City Mayor Edward Koch, who worked at a law firm until his death.
A graduate of Yale Law School, Lieberman served as Connecticut’s attorney general before serving for 24 years in the U.S. Senate. Continue reading →
At a hearing on the Boston Marathon bombings Thursday, former U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman told members of the U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee the country must better identify terrorist threats.
“To put it bluntly, our homeland defense system failed in Boston,” Lieberman said in testimony. Of the Tsarnaev brothers, he said: “Though the details of their lives might be unique, the radicalization process that turned them into terrorists is not.”
Acknowledging that it was too soon to draw conclusions, Lieberman said several direct questions need to be asked – specifically surrounding tips the FBI received about Tamerlan Tsarnaev from Russian intelligence.
“Hindsight is always clearer, but this was an unusual circumstance for Russian intelligence to warn us…we understand that we’re operating in a context of mistrust,” he said. At the hearing, Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said he had not been informed about those warnings.
“I believe it would have been hard but not impossible to have stopped the Tzarnaev brothers before the attacks,” said Lieberman.