Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Double Standard on Leaking? Yeah.

Everybody is correctly pointing out that General David Petraeus seems to be getting off easy for leaking classified info to his mistress while the administration has been the toughest ever on other leakers, such as ex CIA officer John Kiriakou

But what about Leon Panetta?  He was also DCIA and he was also accused of releasing classified information --not to someone else with a security clearance who didn't use the information -- but to the filmmakers of Zero Dark Thirty who did.  Has anything happened to him? 

Or what about "Obama's favorite general", James Hoss Cartwright, who was implicated in the leak of the Stuxnet virus story to the New York Times several years ago prior to the 2012 elections?  Last word was he had been hammered hard by having his security clearance taken away back in 2013, but no status updates from Eric Holder on that investigation lately.

Both of those leaks made the administration look good.  So just sayin.  

As to General Petraeus, Sharyl Attkisson still has some unanswered questions.  Guess they will remain so. 


Monday, March 02, 2015

Why so prickly?

Watch State Dept spokesbuffy Marie Harf react to a simple question today about the Middle East..



Nothing to see move along!    

Of course she immediately knew the implication of a question about Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia meeting together to discuss an alliance without United States involvement--Iran.  They seem very sensitive about this.

If you want to know what's actually important right now look at what the Obama-approved media isn't harping on:  Iran is closing in on a deal that would almost surely allow them to keep their nuclear program, a deal which if signed would make it harder for Israel to take them out in a bombing raid, and not only due to possible threats such as this, but just based on being called an international pariah and sanctioned by the UN.

At the same time Iran has 1) helped Bashar Assad remain in power (the guy whose days were once said to be "numbered" by the administration),  2) almost certainly helped the Houthi rebels take over Yemen, which just normalized air traffic between San'a and Tehran, 3) continued to fund Hizballah and HAMAS while now providing military assistance via the IRGC to the Iraqi Army in their offensive to retake Tikrit.  It's as if we're now BFF with the Iranians. At what point do they get removed from the list of state-sponsors of terrorism?

While doing all of this they've also managed to blow up a mock US aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf while burning a figure of the president in effigy (along with their usual 'death to America' chants).  More importantly they've managed to scare Netanyahu into flying to Washington to give a speech about the dangers of all of this.

Yet despite all the red flashing lights the American people largely couldn't give two hoots. They are severely war weary, which Obama knows, which is why Netanyahu decided to come and speak, which is why the Obama cabinet was dispatched out of town for the Bibi speech, with an even bigger middle finger message sent by John Kerry, who will be talking to the Iranians the very same day.  Netanyahu is almost getting the Tea Party treatment (the real terrorists).  Hey LA Times--let's see that Rashid Khalidi video, how about it?

So yeah, this administration rilly, rilly wants a nuke deal with Iran.  Seemingly at almost any price.  Yes, we all realize these things are too nuanced for dunce conservative bloggers to understand; that when the dust settles Iran will have been bitch-slapped into lowered sanctions while retaining their nuclear program.  To most people this will sound like paying sticker price for a car but to our super genius negotiators and the press it will be the biggest peace deal in our time, just in time for Hillary.

Of course, if Iran keeps their program and gets lowered sanctions while Israel's hands are tied, and we allow Tehran to project its image all over the Middle East, including taking over Iraq, Syria and Yemen, well, that unconseqential non-story about Sunnis that Marie Harf tried to dismiss today will become front page news.

TAKE THE DEAL, IT'LL BE GREAT!

Obama talked to Reuters today and telegraphed his willingness to make an Iran nuke deal, practically begging the Iranians to do it.



He assured Americans that after any deal that 'inspectors' will be able to keep them honest, even though inspectors are saying Iran is not being honest right now.  And it's not like international inspections weren't a joke in Iraq and Libya. 

So let's think about this.  How can the administration NOT end up with a deal, after two busted self-imposed deadlines and after throwing a flag on Bibi for interference?  Obama is on record of saying he has a firm commitment that he will do everything possible to keep Tehran from going nukular, but everybody including the Iranians knows this does not include a military option. It just doesn't.  Even if Obama wanted it the American peeps would balk.  He has less than two years left and he's not about to open a can whoop-anything on anyone.

So, lacking a deal and no military option he'd have no choice but to re-impose sanctions.  Iran would go back to using their proxies to destabilize the region, a region where they now exert even more influence, including over Iraq and their oil.  Obama would not take much of an immediate political hit for a failed deal followed by re-imposing sanctions because the mainstream media would cover his backside, but in the real world the Ayatollahs would emerge with their nuclear weapons program, more regional control, and a bigger swarth than ever before.

Netanyahu, assuming he's still in power, would almost surely have to attempt to take out the nukes before Obama's term expires, which could get a little messy.  But even if Bibi doesn't win and an Israeli dove lap-dog PM gets elected, there's the specter of that Sunni alliance Marie Harf was trying to downplay today and the resultant nuclear arms race it could produce.  Obama desperately needs a deal to make it to January 2017.  A deal kicks the can but it conceivably holds off the Israelis, the Sunnis, and the Republicans.   

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Side Tracks



Thanks for the memories, Mr. Spock.

28 pages? How about the UBL docs.. or the Iraq docs

While Bush haters, 9/11 truthers, and transparency lovers push for the release of the 28 pages from a 2003 Senate report that many believe will implicate the Saudis in 9/11, there's another trove of yet-to-be-analyzed docs that may shed some light on the GWoT: the bin Laden docs captured at Abbotabad.

Some of them trickled out a few years ago and a few more came out recently in the NYC trial of yet another African Embassy bomber suspect.  Here's the Long War Journal:
“Our groups inside Afghanistan are the same for every season for many years now,” Rahman wrote. “We have groups in Bactria, Bactica, Khost, Zabul, Ghazni and [Wardak] in addition to the battalion in Nuristan and Kunz,” the US government’s translation reads. Bactria and Bactica are probably poor translations of Paktia and Paktika, two provinces where al Qaeda’s allies are known to have a strong presence. Also, Kunz is likely Kunar.
Therefore, Rahman indicated that al Qaeda had a presence in at least eight Afghan provinces. The size of these “groups” was not disclosed. But earlier in the letter, Rahman mentioned that al Qaeda has “a full battalion in Nuristan and Kunar.” A translator or analyst from the US government estimated that this battalion consisted of “around 70 individuals.”
In other words, the notion that "Core AQ" has been run out of Afghanistan into the Pakistan-drone kill box only to be 'decimated' might not be exactly true. Other docs mention ties to Iran, if only from an enemy of my enemy fashion. Here's Stephen Hayes:
Hayes said the initial "scrub" of the bin Laden documents by the CIA was very successful, producing 400 intelligence reports and leading to U.S. actions around the world against al Qaeda. "Then it all stopped. The CIA basically sat on the documents. ...
I think it's because the Obama administration didn't want to know what was in them," said Hayes, adding that the documents would have had "tremendous implications" for U.S. foreign policy overall. "Once you've exposed these documents in al Qaeda's own hand, it requires the administration to act on them. And the president's argument all along has been that the war on terror is ending," said Hayes.
Emphasis added.  It's appropriate that Hayes is weighing in here--he was at the forefront to get the captured Iraqi regime documents released. Eventually they were, via a DoD web portal, only to be shut down later after the New York Times used them to reprint some sensitive nuclear information. Who knows what else those docs might show.  But by all means, we need those 28 pages!

Of course Hayes and his friend Joscelyn, along with Fox and other conservatives, were among the only outlets to report the suggested bin Laden connection with Iran...


Maybe that's because the mainstreamers want nothing to do with upending Obama's legacy project of normalizing relations with both commie Cuba and radical Iran (with neither of them reforming first).  Today we learn the new rulers of Yemen have approved direct flights from Iran.  So it appears our government has picked a devil in dealing with the other devils.  Maybe there are some documents supporting that premise somewhere. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

22 Years Ago Today...

...the War on Terror, as we know it, began. Few realized it at the time, especially when the Waco standoff started only days later and stretched out for 2 months. Several years later a Kuwaiti-born Muslim, Abdul Basit Karim, aka Ramzi Yousef, was convicted of the crime and sent to the federal Supermax prison in Colorado for life, to be forgotten. He had acquired his bomb-making skills via higher education in Britain.


So what do we really know about that attack? Here's a summary at the time...

 

It's amazing that 1) the FBI knew of the bombing plot but pulled out their agent, 2) afterwards a mysterious master bomb-maker shows up along with an Iraqi and the plot gets pushed to a new level, as if they'd been tipped. There was no 2/26 Commission, mainly because Bill Clinton was president. There wasn't a full investigation of the 1993 attack by the 9/11 Commission, mainly because Bill Clinton still had dreams of returning to the White House for a third term via his wife. Without extreme public scrutiny and/or the retirement of the Clintons, the truth will not be coming out.

Meanwhile, two decades later another Kuwaiti-born Muslim, also schooled in Britain, is suspected of being the guy waving the knife at the West in videos before cutting the head off another helpless victim as he represents a Jihadist organization Ramzi Yousef could only dream of.   Pretending he only needed a job or that Bush lied or that the Crusades prompted him to sharpen his knife is just a pitiful reminder of where we stand in this fight. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Side Tracks



Best played in double drop D (for you guitarists).  Young was known as an anti-establishment hippie rebel, so some might think it weird for a conservative blogger to be featuring him, but good musical riffs are apolitical.  In the final analysis he pursued his American dream and got very rich and famous using his God-given talent, whether you like his politics or not.  That's one of those 'shared values' we keep hearing about. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Yes, but it IS Islamic

The brouhaha continues over what America should call the violent extremists wreaking havoc across Arabia in the name of Islam.  Reacting to the criticism mainly from the right, Obama and his press staff have lately been twisting themselves into pretzels trying to pretend there is no Islamic connection to Islamic terrorism.  Who knows whether they truly believe that or are just trying to punt the problem to Billary or Bush III.

But the words spoken in his recent Countering Violent Extremism conference (which was supposed to blur the lines by also pointing to domestic right wing terrorists as well) suggest the president might be going off the deep end with his blind apologias coming down through the clouds from his judgmental perch atop Mt Nuance.

Here's what he said about the role of Muslims in the founding of America:

He seems to be saying Muslims were involved in the very founding of this nation.  Not to say there weren't any Islamic immigrants in the late 1700s, there just weren't enough to make much of an impact on the founding. Of course he knows this.

As a professor he also knows that America's first real engagement with organized Islam occurred when Thomas Jefferson and John Adams met with the Envoy from Tripoli to Great Britain, who schooled them about paying the jizya tax if we expected our new independent American-flagged merchant vessels to get a free pass into and out of the Mediterranean:
That this might not be so easy was discovered by Jefferson and John Adams when they went to call on Tripoli's envoy to London, Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdrahaman. They asked him by what right he extorted money and took slaves in this way. As Jefferson later reported to Secretary of State John Jay, and to the Congress:
The ambassador answered us that [the right] was founded on the Laws of the Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have answered their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Mussulman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.
Medieval as it is, this has a modern ring to it. Abdrahaman did not fail to add that a commission paid directly to Tripoli—and another paid to himself—would secure some temporary lenience. I believe on the evidence that it was at this moment that Jefferson decided to make war on the Muslim states of North Africa as soon as the opportunity presented itself.
So in truth our first significant encounter with Islam was defeating violent extremists in North Africa legitimizing their barbarity through the Koran, which led to several Barbary Wars against terror.  In other words, nothing much has changed since then, except the players.

Of course this is a piece of history that our lecturer-in-chief will not expose because it might suggest that a fundamental interpretation of Islam calls for people to do exactly as the Barbary Pirates and AQ and ISIS have done.  And it will continue to happen unless, as Egyptian PM al-Sissi has suggested, a reformation occurs within Islam.  Maybe the president can't admit that (he can only condemn Christians) but living in denial will not change anything either.  

But maybe he's not living in denial.  Maybe, with no more elections to win and the likelihood of no more major quasi-socialist policy initiatives being passed through Congress to pad his legacy, Obama has nothing left but to troll the GOP in search of incendiary reactions the Democrats can then use as fund-raising fodder.  Would he stoop so low to play games with national security like that?  You be the judge.

But it seems clear he was playing games with the Executive Actions on pardoning millions of illegal aliens, which almost surely had to be intentionally messed up--nobody could be that stupid.  If so, the only explanation that makes sense is that he was throwing it against the wall knowing it would be struck down only to get juicy "anti-immigrant" sound bites that Wasserman-Shultz could use as more fund-raising fodder to stoke up donors for Billary along with producing anger throughout the illegal alien community. especially when the GOP fails to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill.