John Kerry, on a TV station in Pakistan:
In an interview with Pakistani state TV, Mr Kerry said both he and the president saw a time when the drone strikes would end - the first time such a senior figure has discussed how the attacks might finish. "I think the programme will end as we have eliminated most of the threat and continue to eliminate it," he said. Asked when that might be, Mr Kerry added: "The president has a very real timeline and we hope it's going to be very, very soon."When asked about the 'end' to the drone program 'very soon', according to a presidential timeline not published, State Department spokeslady Marie Harf said:
QUESTION: But he says “end,” not reduced, not use it less. He says “end.”
MS. HARF: Well, clearly the goal of counterterrorism operations, broadly speaking, is to get to a place where we don’t have to use them because the threat goes away. Now, we’re all realistic about the fact that there is a threat that remains and that we have to keep up our vigilance – excuse me – the fight in this and other places around the world. So this was in no way indicating a change in policy. It’s really been reinforcing things I think we’ve said for months on this.
QUESTION: Well, he says he hopes it’ll be very, very soon. Is there any reason to think that it will be very, very soon? Are you talking about ending it very, very soon?
MS. HARF: I have no exact timeline to provide. Again, the Secretary was making the point that we have made, as we’ve talked about, significant progress against core al-Qaida in this region, and that we will continue to do so – that they are a shadow of what they once were, and I think he was reinforcing that point. But again, no timeline to provide right now.In the same interview the spokeslady confirmed the rumor that the State Department will close US diplomatic facilities across the Middle East this Sunday the 4th out of 'an abundance of caution' due to a 'security threat', which NBC later confirmed was related to AQ:
The officials said the threat appeared to have originated somewhere in the Middle East and to be related to al-Qaeda. It was aimed at overseas diplomatic posts, not at facilities inside the U.S., they said.So in summary, 'core AQ' is decimated and a 'shadow' of their former self, yet the US government is exercising an abundance of caution in closing a bunch of embassies in Muslim countries due to what sounds like a serious AQ threat. At the same time they are outraged over Snowden being granted asylum by Putey Poot for spilling secrets about our absolutely critical super-secret counterterrorism eavesdropping program, which turned out to be a bunch of programs that can grab everything, including this post, to be used for who-knows-what someday--but designed in principle to detect AQ threats before they occur, of which the revelation has made us less safe.
So is AQ still a serious threat or not? Or was Kerry just blowing happy smoke up the Pakistani's asses the same way Susan Rice was on the five Sunday shows regards another well-known diplomatic post?
..may be going on. Embassies closing amidst reports that our drone activity in Yemen has increased of late. Now this:
Al Qaida’s network in Yemen is planning to conduct bombing attacks on American civilian aircraft. Officials said the intelligence community has traced a plot by Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula to blow up a commercial airliner or cargo plane.This is the outfit that developed the underwear bomb. They claimed to have already taken out a cargo jet, saying they blew up UPS flight 6 leaving from Dubai back in 2010 but that was never confirmed. Whatever the case, there would be no need for an "X-keyscore" program if we were, as Kerry just told the Pakistanis, very close to ending the drone program because the GWoT is almost over.
SOME MAY QUESTION THE TIMING.. 8/3/13
Here's Eric Schmitt of the New York Times announcing that the unusual closure of embassies was triggered essentially by NSA eavesdropping on the terrorists..
The United States intercepted electronic communications this week among senior operatives of Al Qaeda, in which the terrorists discussed attacks against American interests in the Middle East and North Africa, American officials said Friday.And wow, only days after Snowden was granted asylum. Maybe he didn't damage the network as much as they figured. Anyway, I thought this was a curious remark from the Times:
But intercepting electronic communications is one the National Security Agency’s main jobs, as the documents leaked by Edward J. Snowden, a former N.S.A. contractor, have only underscored. At the request of intelligence officials, The New York Times withheld some details about the intercepted communications.So someone was leaking to the Times about the threat but the administration isn't commenting? Or have they been given a channel to the NSA? Remember, this is the same Times that leaked on Stuxnet and the Bush programs. Have Holder's gestapo-like tactics regards media leaks gotten them back in line?
Obviously this is convenient timing for the administration so the question is, is there really a threat? Well, there's ALWAYS a threat. And perhaps this one is solid--every time that idiot Zawahiri opens his mouth in a statement something usually happens somewhere. It did in Benghazi. So this may be the Obama politicos piggybacking on a real threat to make their case about spying while at the same time trying to diminish Snowden with the LIVs, who knows.
Or, it may be that every time something dramatic pops up about Benghazi, other stuff happens. The last time the mainstream press got worked up about it the IRS released the IRS scandal--themselves. Just sayin.