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The last time the world saw Marine veteran Austin Tice, he had been taken prisoner by armed men. It was unclear whether his captors were jihadists or allies of Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad who were disguised as Islamic radicals.
Blindfolded and nearly out of breath, Tice spoke in Arabic before breaking into English:"Oh Jesus. Oh Jesus."
That was from a video posted on YouTube on Sept. 26, 2012, several weeks after Tice went missing near Damascus, Syria, while working as a freelance journalist for McClatchy and the Washington Post.
Now that Tice has been held in captivity for more than seven years, reporters who have regular access to President Donald Trump need to start asking him how he is going to bring Tice home.
President Donald Trump just can't stop telling stories about former Defense Secretary James Mattis. This time, the president claims Mattis said U.S. troops were so perilously low on ammunition that it would be better to hold off launching a military operation.
"You know, when I came here, three years ago almost, Gen. Mattis told me, 'Sir, we're very low on ammunition,'" Trump recalled on Monday at the White House. "I said, 'That's a horrible thing to say.' I'm not blaming him. I'm not blaming anybody. But that's what he told me because we were in a position with a certain country, I won't say which one; we may have had conflict. And he said to me: 'Sir, if you could, delay it because we're very low on ammunition.'
"And I said: You know what, general, I never want to hear that again from another general," Trump continued. "No president should ever, ever hear that statement: 'We're low on ammunition.'"
President Donald Trump has fired National Security Advisor Ambassador John Bolton, the president tweeted on Tuesday.
"I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House," the president tweeted.
"I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration, and therefore I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning. I thank John very much for his service. I will be naming a new National Security Advisor next week."
The hullabaloo about an Air Force C-17 crew spending the night at one of President Donald Trump's resort in Scotland is just another reminder of why the Defense Travel System is the one piece of technology that the Pentagon wouldn't mind if the Chinese stole.
The Air Force has launched a review of how it selects which hotels airmen can book, after news broke that seven airmen stayed overnight at Trump's Turnberry resort in March during a stopover while the crew's C-17 refueled roughly 54 miles away at Glasgow's Prestwick Airport.
Beloved readers: Your friendly correspondent is about to leave on vacation, so The Pentagon Run-Down is taking a hiatus until Sept. 13, by which time this reporter should have recovered from whatever debilitating disease he caught on those God-forsaken germ tubes that we call "airplanes."
No kidding. When this reporter accompanied former Defense Secretary James Mattis – blessed be his name – to India and Afghanistan last year, he came back with a nasty cough and a case of pink eye. (Turned out I was patient zero because other reporters on the trip came down with the same plague after returning.)
It has been more than a month since President Donald Trump announced on May 9 that he would nominate Patrick Shanahan to officially become defense secretary – and nothing has happened since.