A disturbing video posted online appears to show the beheading of American journalist James Foley, who was kidnapped while covering the Syrian conflict in 2012.They claim to have at least one more journalist in captivity, mentioned in the story, whom they are threatening to kill if Obama drops more bombs. There is also McClatchy reporter Austin Tice, a former US Marine also captured in Syria in 2012--whereabouts unknown. Oddly enough during yesterday's State Dept briefing a question was asked about Mr. Tice. Watch the strange way it was handled by spokeslady Marie Harf:
As she stumbles around looking for something she blurts out "we're moving on after this?", as if not wanting to field anymore questions about it. In today's briefing the same question was asked about Tice, provoking this reply by Harf:
QUESTION: Marie, yesterday I asked you about Austin Tice and the anniversary.
MS. HARF: Yes.
QUESTION: Do you have something on that?
MS. HARF: I do. It has been now over two years since the disappearance of Austin Tice in Syria. We are in close contact with the Tice family. We share their concerns for Austin’s safety and well-being. We continue to work through our Czech protecting power in Syria to get information on his welfare and whereabouts and appreciate the efforts of the Czech mission on behalf of our citizens. We have long expressed concern about the safety of journalists in Syria and strongly urge all sides to ensure their safety. I don’t have anything more than that at this point.Again, very brief and vague. Was she deflecting to avoid bad publicity or in an attempt to protect the life of Foley and others, who for all anyone knows might have been part of sensitive negotiations between the White House and IS, maybe prompting some high level meetings? After all, we negotiate with terrorists now, officially. One would think US citizens/journalists/soldiers being beheaded might prompt at least a quick cabinet meeting.
Clearly, red lines are being drawn around the world. Tragically, with this terrorist group, they are not afraid to uphold theirs. Put all the politics aside for a moment--the Commander-in-Chief has some serious presidenting to do. This is not an easy gambit.
As if that's not enough, the US media has largely ignored this weird bombing in Libya:
Air raids carried out last night over Tripoli on the positions of Misratan-led forces could not have been made by Libyan warplanes the General Chief of Staff has said.
In a statement made this afternoon the leader of the armed forces, Major General Suleiman Obeidi, said no Libyan-based force had the technology nor the capacity to carry out the attacks.
Obeidi said the missiles, one of which had been identified as a US made Mark 83 general purpose bomb, could only have been dropped using in-flight targeting technology, unavailable to the Libyan Airforce.
He added that the weapons had been used with extreme precision and had hit only the Grad missiles and howitzers they were intended to destroy.Not sure if this alone would have been enough to get Obama off his unisex bike or the first tee, unless something else was tied to this Libya event. Rumors do have it the other IS captive was actually transferred from Libya, suggesting a terror nexus between the war-torn regions.
Yet it's questionable as to whether anything out of the country can tear Americans away from the Ferguson story, even with ISIS signs in the parade, as a war-weary public has tuned out. If it doesn't resonate it's obviously bad news for the country but also bad news for any other western captives, because the terrorists will likely keep escalating their YouTube barbarity to get our attention. If the barbarism gets bad enough a kneejerk reaction might occur with the public clamoring for another can of whoopass over there--that is if our own country isn't involved in a race war by then. If the St. Louis Grand Jury doesn't return an indictment of officer Wilson, who knows. But at least that monster Rick Perry was indicted. The country is safe.
Obama managed to squeeze in a 5 minute response to the headchoppers before his afternoon tee time. It was a typical uninspiring collegial speech, more of a eulogy than a forceful reply, and it will scare no one. Then again, with this passage maybe it's not really designed to scare anyone:
...they may claim out of expediency that they are at war with the United States or the west, but the fact is they terrorize their neighbors and offer them nothing.... etcIn other words, we here in Crusader-land have nothing to worry about because despite just chopping the head off a US citizen and lining up others, IS is just a regional threat. He basically called them dead-enders.
Speaking of Saddam, IS's thug tactics and military organization lean more towards his kind of gangster-ocracy as opposed to pure Islamic jihad, explaining in part why even Zawahiri denounced them last year. But it makes perfect sense seeing as how the group was mentored by former Saddam regime elements (duh, General Vallely).
Meanwhile, the White House this afternoon released a report about a failed rescue mission of the hostages that took place earlier in the summer. No details of significance other than dozens of forces were involved across the DoD spectrum. No Situation Room photos, either.
The release of this data seems to say a few things; 1) we were evidently not negotiating recently, despite some emails to the contrary, and 2) they are giving up on the remaining hostages. Both are speculation, it's hard to say anything with certainty but the release about the raid seems designed to protect political fanny rather than scare anyone or set up another raid. Then again, with this president nothing is clear-cut. Did anyone get any kind of concrete message out of his speech today? Even the terrorists must be wondering what's really going on, watching the prez scurry back out to the course.
Lots of details being leaked by anonymous administration officials to the WaPo and Times, but they aren't the only ones leaking..
Two Defense Department officials, who spoke separately on the condition of anonymity because of the operation’s delicate nature, expressed anger at the administration for revealing the mission. One of the officials said the aborted raid had alerted the militants to the Americans’ desire and willingness to try to rescue the hostages, and, in the aftermath, had probably forced the captors to tighten their security.
But, the official said, the conference call on Wednesday revealed new details that ISIS is not likely to have known. “This only makes our job harder,” the official said. “I’m very disappointed this was released. We knew any second operation would be a lot harder.”Seems self-evident. Let's hope they have a massive rescue raid going on RIGHT NOW before these thugs can react, otherwise this release simply smacks of raw ass-covering politics. By the way, hopefully it's also self-evident to some of the clueless just how stupid the Twitter "bring back our girls" campaign was in light of recent revelations.