Saturday, July 30, 2016

Investigation Update

Remember the case of the leaked information on the Stuxnet virus designed to degrade Iran's nuclear program? You're not alone--the media seems to have forgotten as well, along with most of the conservative blogosphere.

At last check Obama's "favorite general" Hoss Cartwright was the person of interest, but the Washington Post told us that the investigation had been delayed so as not to interfere with Obama's super-awesome peace-in-our-time nookular deal with the Ayatollahs.

After Ben Rhodes gleefully admitted that they successfully lied their way into that deal, one might think the door would be open to prosecute the Stuxnet leakers because the current administration has taken a scorched earth policy on such things. everybody was just recently made aware, even joking about leaking can be considered treasonous!

So..... how is the investigation coming along?

And by the way, speaking of generals...

Sunday, July 17, 2016

20 years ago today...

...TWA flight 800 exploded off Long Island.   There's a lot going on in our world today and this will pass without thought for the most part, but it's worth mentioning that some consider this a cold case that was never fully solved.

Here's one of them--former NTSB investigator Hank Hughes, explaining his role and opinion.  For what it's worth, the damage pattern seen on MH17, a verifiable missile shoot-down, didn't resemble what can be seen on the reconstructed TWA 747.  But, we don't know what the wings or horizontal stabilizers looked like or the tail fin as they were not included in the rebuild.  Nor were the engines. 

And we still don't know why agencies like the CIA were involved in explaining to the public the NTSB's implausible scenario that the nose fell off and the rest of the aircraft ascended several thousand feet, which was meant to explain away eyewitnesses who said they saw missile streaks.

Meanwhile, few if any aircraft have been retrofitted for nitrogen inerting systems, which were supposed to prevent future similar crashes, of which there have been none.  And cargo aircraft were not included in this recommended fix because we all know cargo aircraft don't blow up or something.  So you decide.   

Regardless, the official probable cause is in the books and will not be changed anytime soon. Eventually the skeptics and cynics and conspiracists will die off and the story of flight 800 will be relegated to the corners of history.  But there's someone running for president right now who might know a little more than the average Joe.

Friday, July 15, 2016

28 pages? Why wasn't this in the report?

The long-awaited 28 redacted pages in the Congressional report on 9/11 were released today, although they were overshadowed by another terrorist attack and the chaos in Turkey.

While there were some revelations there were no real bombshells, well wait, other than the terrorist dry run in 1999.  Or the revelation that a Saudi was checking security along the southwest border in the late 90s.  Or that our intelligence apparatus requested help from Saudi intelligence in the summer of 2001 (when the lights were blinking red) and got rebuffed.     

But for those who've read the FBI 302s long available on the web regarding al-Bayoumi and Bassnan in San Diego (who helped the two west coast hijackers) this report just fills in some gaps. 

Yes, it appears some Saudi Arabians were aiding the hijackers, to possibly include our buddy Prince Bandar and some in the intelligence arm.   The report concludes that the FBI wasn't treating them as enemies before 9/11, actually, they were considered allies. 

But let's say Bush or even Bill Clinton smelled the rat about this relationship beforehand and concluded there were plots sanctioned by the Kingdom--were they supposed to invade the holy land of Mecca and blow up the Kaaba, invoking the wrath of millions of moderate Muslims?  Mecca is really nuclear deterrence for Saudi Arabia, if you think about it.  Maybe Iraq was really designed to get an America presence and democratic rule closer to the Kingdom, and Iran (who also has some weird ties to 9/11). 

Anyway, we'll see how much traction this release gets in the press intelligensia.   It's going to be hard to topple the current headlines, or BLM, or even the latest Trump press conference.  After all, it's not like it states in clear English that Bush blew the towers. 

But maybe Trump should be taking a close look at it since it does lay out a case that the Saudis were sewing the seeds of 9/11 while Bill was diddling interns and Hillary was busy blaming a vast right wing conspiracy.  This same woman wants the keys to the White House back.

Perhaps Trump could also remind the various Democratic Party operatives intrepid mainstream reporters about this story, which also wasn't included in the 9/11 report:
In a revelation missing from the official investigations of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the FBI placed a human source in direct contact with Osama bin Laden in 1993 and ascertained that the al Qaeda leader was looking to finance terrorist attacks in the United States, according to court testimony in a little-noticed employment dispute case.
The information the FBI gleaned back then was so specific that it helped thwart a terrorist plot against a Masonic lodge in Los Angeles, the court records reviewed by The Washington Times show. “It was the only source I know in the bureau where we had a source right in al Qaeda, directly involved,” Edward J. Curran, a former top official in the FBI’s Los Angeles office, told the court in support of a discrimination lawsuit filed against the bureau by his former agent Bassem Youssef.
Get that?  The FBI had a mole in AQ that was embedded with bin Laden in 1993.   This mole warned of UBL's goal to finance terrorism against the USA and perhaps prevented an attack in Los Angeles.  In 1993.  How did the 9/11 Commission miss that?  How did the FBI think it wasn't important?  

Let's face it, nobody really wants to get to the truth about much of anything anymore. It's just too inconvenient for too many parties and too many people have too much to lose. September 11th happened and it can't be reversed.  The Saudis aren't our friends, we already knew this.   

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Obama's post terror leadership: the audacity of Trump

Some may remember this comment going around before the 2008 election, taken from Obama's second biography "Audacity of Hope", emphasis added:

"(T)he stories of detentions and FBI questioning and hard stares from neighbors have shaken their sense of security and belonging. They have been reminded that the history of immigration in this country has a dark underbelly; they need specific assurances that their citizenship really means something, that America has learned the right lessons from the Japanese internments during World War II, and that I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction."
President thin-skin just made that crystal clear again today.  Even some of the top cheerleaders in the White House press room were a bit taken aback by Obama's passion and how it was directed more towards Trump than our radical Islamic enemies. 

But they of all people should have no room to complain---they are the ones who overlooked or downplayed snippets like the above back when it counted.  Obama telegraphed everything he's done up to this point before he was elected, it was incumbent on citizens to ferret those views out by themselves because the press was acting as his campaign staff. 

Now, his passion towards immigrants is not necessarily misdirected--we are a nation of immigrants--and nobody should want people a repeat of FDR's FEMA camps for Muslims.  But when he focuses his passion more on their rights or Republicans or the Second Amendment than the barbarity of the terrorists that use Islam to justify their actions., it's a tell.   It's why we have a Donald Trump. 

Thursday, June 09, 2016

The guy is a terrorist--go grab his ass

Those words were once spoken by noted climate scientist and vice president Al Gore.  He offered the blunt assessment to Bill Clinton and his advisors huddling over how to handle a foreign terrorist.  In doing so he admitted it was a violation of international law.  But the guy's a terrorist!   

Strange how after the biggest terrorist attack in American history we actually DID go grab a terrorist's ass, in Italy.   But the CIA officers who did it were all later convicted of crimes by outraged Italian prosecutors.  One of the officers, Sabrina de Souza,  has found herself in a position of being extradited back to Rome to perhaps face serving jail time.  She made the mistake of leaving the States. 

And the Obama administration seems OK with that.  

Without knowing all the intricate details of this case, on the surface it sure seems weird that we would trade 5 hardcore Taliban terrorist commanders for an Army deserter, then allow the Italians to roast a CIA officer who herself was also on the global battlefield defending the West against radical Islamists like this cretin.   But it's an outrage a day anymore.  

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Aviation Update

Once again an aviation tragedy gets turned into a political football.   But this isn't all about Trump. 

Yes, the Donald showed poor judgment in jumping on the terrorist bandwagon as soon as the news reports came in on EgyptAir 804.  While that might have been everyone's gut reaction, a president cannot always operate off gut reactions.  Imagine Trump in the White House reacting this way then later the crash is blamed on a mechanical issue.   And that's no endorsement of Hillary, who also got on the bomb theory bandwagon albeit after unnamed US officials leaked what might amount to the same suspicions everyone else had.

Of course those US officials were echoing Egyptian officials in the early terror pronouncement.   And yes, the media has already started a whitewash campaign to pretend that Hillary really didn't endorse the terrorism angle on day one just like Donald, and will use it as a cudgel against him.   But he allowed it.

Meanwhile, those same initial reports indicated there was no distress call from the jet to Egyptian air traffic control after it was 'handed off' from Greek controllers. Some news stories suggested there was no contact at all--the plane just went down.  That's presumably what got many in the US media going down the terrorism road.     

Now today it was reported that there was actually an extensive conversation between Egyptian ATC and the doomed plane as it made an emergency descent due to a fire.  Wow, how did that get lost?  So that begs the question: were early reports from Cairo bungled or was it a deliberate deception?  Perhaps that's why someone on the inside leaked ACARS reports to Avherald that showed the onboard fire.  

Does all this mean the Donald goofed up and there was no terror attack?  Yes and maybe no.  Yes, he goofed up by jumping the gun, but yes it might still be an attack.  We know there was a fire, it started somewhere/somehow.  Terrorists these days are likely using small incendiary devices they can get past security--recall the Daallo Airlines A321 event where the idiot succeeded in blowing himself out of the jet and killing nobody else. The plane landed safely.  He smuggled the device in on his wheelchair.  So just because the aircraft didn't suffer a complete hull failure and immediately fall from the sky doesn't mean it wasn't attacked by someone. 

Also, just because the fire might have started in the electronics bay or lavatory doesn't necessarily mean there was no sabotage involved-- see the New York Times story today about what EgyptAir employees scrawled on the outside of that very same aircraft after current president Al-Sisi couped out Muslim Brotherhood terrorist sympathizer Mohammed Morsi two years ago.  That might amount to Jihadi sabotage, which most people would consider the same as Islamic terrorism. 

Still, all this new information certainly tips the scales of likely cause away from terrorism and more towards mechanical failure.   The question then becomes why the Egyptians allowed the erroneous information to percolate in the world media for days?   Was their concern legal liability or were they seriously trying to deflect while giving them time to comb their airports for Morsi/ISIS sympathizers?  Is the submarine they are sending in meant to locate the wreckage or maybe manage it?

Whatever the case, it behooves politicians and other officials to reserve judgments on these kinds of events for at least a few days.      

MORE  5/23/16

In another example of how most media outlets shouldn't be trusted to even report on a 3td class presidential race, much less important worldwide events, now they are saying there was no extended conversation.   And no, it doesn't mean that was deception or misdirection, it was likely some media twit misunderstanding the source. 

Also, on CNN's coverage this evening they were saying that whole 90 degree 360 degree turn thing might be fiction as well, since that information was presumably gleaned from primary radar only.  If the leaked ACARS messages indeed ended abruptly only minutes into the event, along with the secondary radar transponder track, then it seems we are back to Trump's original speculation.  At least right now.  The only definitive way to settle this will be the old-fashioned way, analyzing the recorders and wreckage.   But politicos don't have time to wait.   

Sunday, April 17, 2016

A lot more than 28 pages

The media is becoming buzzed about the uproar about the 28 redacted pages in the 9/11 report that presumably fingers Saudi involvement (and Bushco protection) in the plot. Obama, while calling his administration the most transparent ever, has refused to release pages for his entire presidency for some reason.  Riyadh is throwing out a massive bluff in an effort to stop it, well, an effort to retain sovereign immunity so they won't be sued. 

With recent pressure the president has royally proclaimed he will decide on whether to declassify it during some Friday before a holiday weekend this summer.  Meaning he can either decide not to and hope the presidential elections suck all the attention away, or announce he will declassify the pages and hope it takes until Christmas to complete.   It's surprising he didn't appoint another blue ribbon panel to study whether he should declassify these or not, which is probably because he doesn't need a year or two to stall.  

Speculation has focused on the docs confirming the Michael Moore Fahrenheit 9/11 cartoon version of Bush, but stop and use some critical thought for a second.

One, if this were just some politically embarrassing confirmation on Bush's chummy friendship with the Sauds why wasn't it released long ago?   Two, 9/11 and Islamic terrorism didn't just spring forth on W's inauguration day, it was there dating back to his pappy's presidency at least. So, what about Saudi involvement in terrorism BEFORE Bush? Were they playing a double game with us with bin Laden, et al? 

It's possible, certainly not probable, but possible the release of the 28 pages might also pressure some sunshine on the details described in this essay going back to the 90s.  For instance, who was Ramzi Yousef, exactly? Who funded him? Who were he and his uncle KSM really working for, or against? Was there Saudi involvement in the Oklahoma City bombing, or other plots going back well before 9/11?   This of course would be seminal considering that Bill Clinton is effectively running for a third term in the White House. 

There are many reasons why even an Obama administration wouldn't release information fingering the House of Saud in the 9/11 plot, oil, obviously, but also the notion that America was going to war with Mecca and Medina.  Or the notion that 28 pages won't satisfy our curiosity.   Hillary already knows the answers to many of these questions and she's a favorite to enter the Oval Office and lock everything down for another 8 years.  Good luck getting anything out of a president allowed to get away with having a private server. 

So we return to Obama and the 28 pages.   If he does shock the world and authorize release--and the release occurs before the November elections--and it illustrates Saudi involvement in the plot DURING the tenure of Bill Clinton (when the plot was hatched), what would that do to his wife's presidential chances?   Is Obama holding a massive Trump card at the moment?


In a slightly bizarre spectacle former Clinton insider George Stephanopoulis asks Hillary about the Schumer-Cornyn 9/11 bill, in which she claims she has no opinion on because she hasn't studied it (maybe she learned about it on TV).  After the interview, Team Hillary realized how bad this looked and responded with a statement, which is a model for law school students:
"Hillary Clinton supports the efforts by Senator Schumer and his colleagues in the Senate to secure the ability of 9/11 families and other victims of terrorist acts to hold accountable those responsible. As president she would work with Congress to this end."
Hard-hitting and specific! Hillary wants to hold people accountable!  The person who used a private server, outside of all government rules and ethics.

MORE  4/17/16

It's interesting that 9/11 Commissioner John Lehman said the following:
John Lehman, secretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration and another member of the 9/11 Commission, told 60 Minutes:
“We’re not a bunch of rubes that rode into Washington for this commission… We’ve seen fire and we’ve seen rain and the politics of national security. We all have dealt for our careers in highly classified and compartmentalized in every aspect of security. We know when something shouldn’t be declassified. And this, those 28 pages in no way fall into that category.”
Lehman told 60 Minutes that he has no doubt some high Saudi officials knew assistance was being provided to al Qaeda, but he doesn’t think it was ever official policy. He also doesn’t think it absolves the Saudis of responsibility, Kroft said in his commentary.
Keep in mind the 28 pages aren't from the 9/11 Commission Report, which barely mentions Bandar, they are from a Congressional Inquiry Report initiated in 2002. The question then is whether this information was classified only by the Bush administration, or whether there were Democrats on the committee who agreed to keep it quiet.

After all, the Kuala Lumpur terror summit meeting was held in January 2000, well before Bushitler and Darth Cheney entered office.  If Saudi Arabia was working with AQ that means they were doing so under Clinton.   Did he know?  We are left with the following scenarios regarding the CIA:  1) they knew about Saudi involvement but didn't tell Clinton, or 2) they didn't know about it, and if so, why not (especially since they tracked the terrorists from Kuala Lumpur to Los Angeles)?  Or 3) they knew and told Clinton but he didn't do anything, or worse, told agencies to stand down.

All of those have tremendous blowback potential not directed towards Bush.   The question is will the media allow any blowback on the Clintons for anything?   They may not, but they have no control over a loose cannon like Trump at a debate, do they. 

WORD   4/19/16

This should be the final post on this topic, really on this blog, period.  Many bloggers got their legs posting on the search for objective truth about the GWoT, especially after the disinformation began.  I threw in my two cents because it seemed important.

Now Donald Trump, the leading Republican candidate for President of the United States, is out today using this 28 page issue to suggest Bush fraudulently attacked Iraq, exactly as far lefties have claimed for years.  Forget that it's another attempt at throwing away all history prior to Bush's inauguration.  It's maddening to see this twit out there rolling this issue to pander to moderate and lefty New York voters and think he's the frontrunner.   It's a subject that should not be 'used' for anything, it should be investigated like everything else.  

It's equally maddening to see Bill Clinton poised for a THIRD TERM in the White House after everything that has occurred since he left, stuff partially caused by his failures to stop AQ from growing during the 90s, as "path to 9/11" indicated.  The media?   They do not care about objective truth they care about the coronation of his wife as the first woman president because they love her and the concept of her.  This despite her disqualifying display of ineptness and lack of judgment in the personal server story alone (Benghazi not included).   The fight has basically been lost.  But here's one more attempt to pass along some rational thought.

John Schindler: why we need to discuss more than just Saudi Arabia.   

Friday, March 25, 2016

Transparency Clinton Style

Say what you will about the bizarre spectacle that is the GOP primary, the primary alternative continues to display her own special clown act.  Here's an example of where she thinks the public deserves transparency...
Hillary Clinton says barring any national security risk, she would like to open up the government files on Area 51 to the public if she is elected president. “I would like us to go into those files and hopefully make as much of that public as possible,” she told Jimmy Kimmel Thursday night on his late night ABC talk show. “If there’s nothing there, let’s tell people there’s nothing there.”
And here's a situation where she doesn't think the public deserves transparency:
The previously undisclosed February 2009 emails between Clinton from her then-chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, raise new questions about the scope of emails from Clinton’s early days in office that were not handed over to the State Department for record keeping and may have been lost entirely. Clinton’s presidential campaign has previously claimed that the former top diplomat did not use her personal "" account before March 2009, weeks after she was sworn in as secretary of State.
Pretty telling, eh?  No wonder the kids like Bernie. 

In the meantime, video is making the rounds of a national security stemwinder Mrs Clinton puffed out recently in the shadow of Brussels wherein she compares her steady leadership against Trump's when it comes to kicking some terrorist arse and gathering our friends to help.

And such a strategy might be an effective, especially if propped up by the media, except for one thing--most of what she's talking about doing are things Obama is currently NOT doing, and she was an integral part of his administration when the Arab Spring in Syria gave rise to ISIS.   

But Obama is trying to help.  He's been slow-rolling his fight against the JV squad since 2012 but lately it seems progress is being made with the loss of their number two and the counter-attack to recapture Mosul underway.  The Syrian Army is retaking parts of their country after a dose of Putey Poot.  ISIS may indeed be on the run now.  All of this may time out perfectly for November. 

But again, not so fast.  There are still ISIS cells in Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan and elsewhere, plus thousands of radicalized wannabees sprinkled around the globe.  Obama will have to answer to his policy of "Assad must go" if Assad becomes more firmly entrenched.  That's his legacy problem, but nobody will really care.  But Libya?  That's on Hillary.  Which is low-hanging fruit for a player like Trump.

Monday, March 21, 2016


This picture Drudge put up today is certainly a classic.

Is there any other picture that better captures the Obama foreign policy?  He's got the slight head-up tilt with the subtle s**t-eating grin knowing he's standing in front of a massive picture of the murdering Che while knowing he's supremely ticking off some of his real enemies in the process.  Even if he's not consciously doing so, it fits.  

But there he is, standing at attention representing the imperialist racist nation he's spent the last seven years tying to reform through 'hope and change'.  That change was moving America away from a country that stood firm before tyrants and tinpots to one that feels their pain and never has a discouraging word.   Imagine how Obama would have treated Saddam Hussein.  Then consider how he treats the Tea Party and most Republicans.  Ask Dinesh D'Souza who the true enemy is.   

Now, there's nothing wrong with reaching out, as Nixon did with China, as Reagan did with the Soviets.   But there is something to be said for maintaining national dignity and not giving away the store while doing so.  That includes not standing there grinning in front of a f*cking Che mural.

Some may say this is just a strategy.  Super smart three-dimensional chess Obama is just playing the commies.  Well OK, but it needs to work.  Consider that China and Vietnam are still communist countries.  Donald Trump is getting a lot of traction talking about how China is manipulating their currency at our expense.  'Success' isn't just cheap electronic stuff.  Hopefully.  

No doubt the Chamber of Commerce types were among the biggest supporters of this outreach, who if asked will blow the trumpet about how these new markets will foster freedom while the dictator continues to round up dissidents.   Actually, the people who stand to gain most from this new declaration of surrender rapprochement aren't the average Cubans, it's corporate America, who are stumbling all over themselves trying to get down there.

One might think Democrats would not support this kind of thing in principle, but they have one prime principle and it's called 'winning'.  Getting there is all part of those hazy shades of flexible gray.  To them winning is helping their guy here.  But stand back and look and it almost seems, in the hazy gray mist, that there's a tad bit too much warm fuzzy to some of the support, something kinda Bill Ayers-ish.  Maybe it depends on the definition of winning.   

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Side Tracks

RIP Keith Emerson from ELP.

The infant age of the synthesizer displayed here..

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Pipe Dreams and other things

Donald Trump recently said it-- Bush lied!   And that's odd, since his likely opponent Hillary Clinton has never out and out called Bush a liar on Iraq.  With that in mind, Instapundit links a slick video featuring Judith Miller explaining why Bush didn't lie about Iraq...

It's sad such a video has to be made because it was obvious to any informed person that Bush didn't lie.  Grossly misunderestimate the Butcher?  Panic a little after 9/11?  Worry about being blamed for follow on attacks traced to Iraqi material or know-how?  Yes, yes and yes. 

But in a world where people will willingly raise their right hands and swear allegiance to Donald Trump or vote for an outright socialist who thinks everything should basically be free, people will believe anything

Of course the Miller video will never be believed by those who believe Bush lied, but some of us will never stop trying to speak truth to power. 

So here's a flashback to current Vice President Joe Biden discussing Iraq and the lie meme with the late Tim Russert back in 2007, with added emphasis:
MR. RUSSERT: Where are they?
SEN. BIDEN: Well, the point is, it turned out they didn’t, but everyone in the world thought he had them. The weapons inspectors said he had them. He catalogued—they catalogued them. This was not some, some Cheney, you know, pipe dream. This was, in fact, catalogued. They looked at them and catalogued. What he did with them, who knows? The real mystery is, if he, if he didn’t have any of them left, why didn’t he say so? Well, a lot of people say if he had said that, he would’ve, you know, emboldened Iran and so on and so forth.
This was the same Joe Biden who said Iraq would be a wonderful victory for America when Obama pulled everyone out in 2011. Joe knows some things about Saddam. So does Hillary. She knows what her husband knows. Neither have ever claimed Bush lied.  They just let that sleeping dog lie because they know it's the gift that keeps giving.  But they dare not go very far down the path. 

Mrs Clinton's adviser John Podesta recently said he wants reporters to ask her about UFOs. He says people can 'handle the truth'. Well maybe, unless it's this truth.  But people can handle all kinds of truths.  Get some knowledgeable people to ask her about Saddam. If they catch her unprepared with the right questions it might change the election.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Aviation Update

This story made news Tuesday:
An unidentified man was sucked out of a passenger jet at 14,000 feet after a suspected bomb blasted a hole through the side of the fuselage just five minutes after the Airbus A321 took off from Mogadishu. Eyewitnesses claim the badly burned body of an elderly man fell to the earth about 15 miles away from the airport at the time of the blast.
Horrible. Of course due to the location on the aircraft there's little speculation it was anything other than a bomb--even the captain didn't mince words:
Capt. Vlatko Vodopivec, the pilot, said he and others were told the explosion was caused by a bomb. "It was my first bomb; I hope it will be the last," Vodopivec told the AP by phone from Mogadishu. He said the blast happened when the plane was at around 11,000 feet and still climbing to its cruising altitude of 30,000 feet.
Shortly before he was caught, Ramzi Yousef was perfecting micro seat bombs using Casio watches for timers so he could place bombs on aircraft on one leg and have them blow up on the next leg, after he had exited.  Philippine Airlines 434 was his test run.  The "Bojinka" plot of the mid 90s would have used eleven of them simultaneously exploding on US carriers over the Pacific. Thankfully it was thwarted, although it didn't wake up the public very much.

But Yousef and Uncle KSM weren't the first. There were several terrorist bombs in the 80s, including TWA 840, which blew four passengers out of the aircraft on a flight from Rome to Athens, Greece.  Bomb maker Abu Ibrahim, now in his 70s, is still on the FBI's wanted list for helping construct similar devices--he was last seen in Iraq (where he held a long association).

By the way, the passenger who was ejected from the Daallo Airlines flight does not necessarily have to be the perpetrator, authorities are likely checking to see who was on the previous flight in that same seat or whether someone from the ground crew could have done it.   Still, it's likely this shows that once these terrorists get set on something they never give up.   


Meanwhile another terror related aviation story hit the Daily Mail yesterday:
The deadly 9/11 terror attacks were devised by former al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden after he was inspired by a pilot who crashed a plane into the ocean in 1999, it has emerged.
When bin Laden heard the murder-suicide on EgyptAir Flight 990 had killed 217 people, including 100 Americans, the terrorist strongman said: 'Why didn't he crash into a building?'
This conversation supposedly occurred in 1999. Which is interesting, because the FBI had information off Yousef's captured laptop dating to 1994 that talked of crashing an aircraft into CIA HQ. After capture KSM gave up more details about the "planes operation", detailed here in the 9/11 Commission Report:
KSM claims that the earlier bombing of the World Trade Center taught him that bombs and explosives could be problematic, and that he needed to graduate to a more novel form of attack. He maintains that he and Yousef began thinking about using aircraft as weapons while working on the Manila air/Bojinka plot, and speculated about striking the World Trade Center and CIA headquarters as early as 1995.

In other words, this recent bin Laden story sounds like BS. Since it came from the AQ magazine, that makes it even more likely.

The question is why, and why now? KSM is still languishing at GTMO with no hope of a trial until Obama leaves office, if then, so he poses no threat from a competitive jihadist standpoint.  A more realistic explanation is that AQ is just trying to put another halo on their deceased hero's head to enhance weak recruitment as compared to ISIS.  That is, unless it's one of their harbingers.  

Friday, January 29, 2016

Meaning of the word 'is' again

History repeats.  That's basically what the Clintons are doing on this email scandal, same playbook as Monica.   Define an issue down to legal terms, use legal parsing to craft disingenuous replies, then look in the camera with the best serious face and blame a vast right wing conspiracy.

Can't blame them, it worked before, largely with the same breed of media.  Even tonight one of Clinton's main flacks was on Megyn Kelly's show defending the indefensible, and with vigor and gusto. It's all they've got.  But with a helpful (or even lackadaisical) media not riling up the muddy middle swing voters with saturation coverage, it's not beyond succeeding. 

Meanwhile, getting to wherever we're going on this is already an exercise in the bizarre.  Hillary likes to say she never 'sent or received email that was classified at the time'.  She also likes to say that no organization is too big to fail and no person is too big to jail.  She even said some of this wearing black and white striped pants suits.  Does she even get the irony there?   Or is she just rubbing it in?
She is the smartest woman in the world, after all.

Back in reality where chief gumshoe James Comey works (he of Ashcroft hospital drama fame) the stakes are high.  Comey has a legacy as a straight shooter and lefty hero for challenging the evil, constitution crapping imperial president Bushco, but he's got some new cards to play now. Will he play them fairly?  If he recommends indictment and Lynch blows it off, will he resign out of protest?  Or will he see the lucrative FBI position, stretching well into the next president's tenure, as something to protect and serve?  Cough, "I did all I could", sigh, let's move on to ISIS.  No protest leaves the media wide open to carry Hillary's water all the way to the next set of Roman columns. 

My guess is Comey won't fizzle out on principle and we may see something sooner than later.  The more the FBI drags this out the more primary wins Hillary can accumulate, then claim that any FBI investigation is purely partisan and interfering with a national election. There would be some precedence in that, too.  So maybe we'll see something this weekend. 

MORE  1/31/16

The something we saw this weekend was nothing.  So, it appears the FBI is going to let the voters caucus on Monday and beyond before taking any action.  

So here's more wild speculation.  After she's won a primary or three, if FBI moves to indict her the campaign will throw up a flag and cry foul, claiming the FBI is trying to impede an election.   When the right reacts as they predictably will (loud and boisterous) the Clinton machine will attack them as making a phony scandal out of an honest 'mistake'.   That's probably where the press will kick into top gear on the story, jumping in with the historic Mrs Rodham Clinton's campaign, helping her douse the fire before moving the rubes on to other preferred narratives, like the war on women.  It would help is some big breaking story came along to feed that, but surely one can be arranged.

Meanwhile the GOP will wither under the attacks and demand people 'move on' to the substantive issues facing the country, etc etc.

The only wildcard in that scenario is Trump.      

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Investigation Update

With all the hoopla over Hillary's emails and Obama's Iran deal, one story has completely been buried--the Stuxnet leak on Iran. Back when Holder was holding fort at DOJ he promised to get to the bottom of a leak about Stuxnet to the New York Times, appointing US Attorney for Maryland Rod Rosenstein to handle the case.

This was way back in 2012--the leak was basically in support of Obama's reelection campaign. Dribs and drabs of information would occasionally bubble out over the years, but in small quantities. Few cared.

Eventually in 2013 we were told the prime person of interest was "Obama's favorite general" retired 4 star Hoss Cartwright. Indeed he was. But then the story went cold again.

Then just recently we learned that Cartwight's case was more or less put on hold because it could have potentially interfered with the peace in our time Iran nuke deal.  Who made that call, by the way?   Obama has said the Attoney General's office is completely independent. 

The president has also bragged about his administration's severe handling of leakers and those who violate their security oaths. Lower level people have been sent to jail. The Defense Department is contemplating a move to reduce the rank of General Petraeus ex post facto. But we have Cartwright's case still in limbo? Did he leak or not? The Iran deal is done, where's the update?