The Plot May Be Beginning To Unravel

One of the problems with trying to maintain a conspiracy is that as it begins to unravel, people begin to say things to distance themselves from responsibility for any wrongdoing that has occurred. I believe that is what is happening regarding the wiretapping of the Trump campaign and possibly regarding the Mueller investigation.

The Gateway Pundit quoted President Obama’s Former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, today. James Clapper made the following statement on CNN yesterday:

If it weren’t for President Obama we might not have done the intelligence community assessment that we did that set up a whole sequence of events which are still unfolding today including Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation. President Obama is responsible for that. It was he who tasked us to do that intelligence community assessment in the first place.

We need to put this into perspective in terms of what was going on during the final days of the Obama administration. During the final year of the Obama administration, Susan Rice, Ambassador to the United Nations. made an unprecedented number of requests for unmasking Americans whose conversations were inadvertently captured in wiretapped conversations. (article here) Americans were routinely being spied on by their government at this time.

Most Americans, particularly those familiar with procedures in the intelligence community were reluctant to believe what was reportedly going on with domestic spying. However, the truth has become obvious in recent days.

The following is an interview with Andrew McCarthy, who was initially skeptical that the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court was being used for political purposes. The interview is posted at YouTube:

I believe that the Mueller investigation is the ‘insurance policy’ discussed in Andrew McCabe’s office. We know that Lisa Page and Peter Strzok were involved in that discussion. We don’t know if anyone else was. The investigation was supposed either to create enough turmoil to remove President Trump from office (before he could cut taxes, appoint judges, or actually accomplish anything) or to cripple his presidency to the point where he accomplished nothing. Obviously the plan has created a lot of turmoil, but not a lot of the results the plotters were aiming for.

Ideally we will see this entire charade resolved within the next year. I am hopeful, but not necessarily optimistic.

This Is Not A Surprise, But It Is Really Tacky

The Center for Security Policy is reporting today that a new think tank has recently formed in Washington. The think tank, called National Security Action (NSA), is made up of about fifty former Obama administration officials. Three founding members are Ben Rhodes, Susan Rice and Samantha Power. Even in Washington, could anyone find three people with a worse record of telling the truth?

The article reports:

The mission statement of the group is anything but subtle: “National Security Action is dedicated to advancing American global leadership and opposing the reckless policies of the Trump administration that endanger our national security and undermine U.S. strength in the world.”

National Security Action plans to pursue typical liberal foreign policy themes such as climate change, challenging President Trump’s leadership, immigration and allegations of corruption between the president and foreign powers.

This organization uses the acronym NSA, which is ironic. Three of its founding members – Ben Rhodes, Susan Rice and Samantha Power – likely were involved in abusing intelligence from the federal NSA (National Security Agency) to unmask the names of Trump campaign staff from intelligence reports and to leak NSA intercepts to the media to hurt Donald Trump politically. This included a leak to the media of an NSA transcript in February 2017 of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s discussion with Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak. No one has been prosecuted for this leak.

…It is interesting that the new anti-Trump group says nothing in its mandate about protecting the privacy of Americans from illegal surveillance, preventing the politicization of U.S. intelligence agencies or promoting aggressive intelligence oversight. Maybe this is because the founders plan to abuse U.S. intelligence agencies to spy on Republican lawmakers and candidates if they join a future Democratic administration.

I am sure that the formation of this group is not unrelated to the 2018 and 2020 elections. I also suspect that part of the purpose of this group is to create a positive image of Barack Obama. As the Trump administration continues and the economy and foreign relations improve, it is becoming very obvious that America needed to move in a new direction after eight years of President Obama. I suspect that this group is going to work very hard to undermine President Trump and convince Americans that President Obama’s policies were successful. Good luck.

 

Why Are These People Ever Believed?

Victor Davis Hanson posted an article at American Greatness yesterday about four members of the Obama Administration that seemed to be challenged when asked to tell the truth and were never held accountable for their lies.

The four members are former United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, Former FBI Director James Comey, former CIA Director John Brennan, and former Defense Intelligence Agency Director James Clapper.

These four people routinely misled the American public for political purposes.

The article cites some examples of Susan Rice’s lying:

On five occasions, Rice lied to the media that the murder of Americans in Benghazi, Libya by al-Qaida affiliated-terrorists was a result of spontaneous rioting—in response to an obscure, rogue, and right-wing Coptic filmmaker.

…Rice assured the nation that the AWOL and traitorous Bowe Bergdahl was a hostage taken during combat and had served nobly (“with honor and distinction”). In fact, the renegade Bergdahl likely was exchanged for terrorist prisoners for two reasons: one, to diminish the number of terrorists held at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility as promised by Obama during his campaign, and two, to highlight the humanitarian skills of Barack Obama in bringing home an American “hero,” especially defined as one who was so loudly aware of his own country’s foibles.

Rice also assured the nation that her administration, through its diplomatic brilliance, had eliminated Bashar Assad’s arsenal of weapons of mass destruction.

…Once House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) announced that key administration officials illegally might have unmasked and leaked the names of U.S. citizens on government intercepts connected to the Trump campaign and transition team, Rice issued a blanket denial (“I know nothing about this”). That assertion predictably was untrue, as Rice herself was forced to concede when she altered narratives to later justify rather than deny her role in such improper leaking.

Rice assured the nation there were no hidden side-deals in the Iran Deal, such as a prisoner-swap concession.

Obviously the woman is not a stellar example of honesty.

Next the article deals with former FBI Director James Comey:

Comey did not interview Hillary Clinton in his supposedly exhaustive investigation of her alleged crimes before he cleared her of any wrongdoing.

Comey did know of a FBI communications trail surrounding the stealthy June 2016 meeting of Obama Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton on a Phoenix tarmac.

Comey did accede to Lynch’s cover up by altering the official nomenclature of the investigation to an innocuous “matter.”

Comey misled about the actual contents of Clinton confidante Huma Abedin’s email communications; the versions that he gave at various times and in different venues cannot be reconciled.

In his habitual lies of omission, Comey made no effort to correct a false public impression that he had helped foster and yet knew was a lie—namely that the FBI was investigating Trump on charges of Russian collusion at the very time he was assuring the president of just the opposite.

…Comey had obfuscated or masked the FBI’s role in the acquisition and dissemination of the infamous Steele-Fusion fake dossier. He was likely less than honest as well about his full knowledge of Obama administration reverse targeting, unmasking, and leaking related to U.S. citizens—both before and after the election.

Obviously, Comey expected to be rewarded for his actions in a Hillary Clinton Administration.

Next the article addresses the conduct of former CIA Director John Brennan:

Brennan had a weird habit of becoming outraged at any who quite accurately alleged that he was mendacious, such as when he deceived the Senate Intelligence Committee officials that he had never unlawfully surveilled the computers of particular U.S. senators and their staffs (e.g., “beyond the scope of reason in terms of what we would do”).

Brennan also misled Congress when he assured that U.S. drone strikes had not killed a single civilian—a preposterous claim that was widely and immediately recognized as deceptive before he was forced to backtrack and admit his untruth.

…Brennan also told a series of whoppers to establish his new politically correct bona fides, among them that jihad was “a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one’s community.” Tell that to the incinerated victims of self-proclaimed jihadist Mohammed Atta or those beheaded by ISIS.

In his third incarnation, as a postelection stalwart opponent to Donald Trump, the partisan former “nonpartisan” intelligence chief Brennan has both quite publicly denied that U.S. intelligence agencies ever improperly surveilled and unmasked the identities of Trump campaign and transition officials.

Even on his last day of office, Brennan was still busy reviewing intelligence surveillance of U.S. citizens and later deceiving Congress about it. His part in preparing the Benghazi talking points, and in the creation of the Russian collusion mythos, are still not known fully. Nor understood is his apparent background role in the rather strange and abrupt postelection resignation of his immediate predecessor David Petraeus.

Brennan’s misunderstanding of jihad was dangerous to American national security.

Last, the article addresses former Defense Intelligence Agency Director James Clapper:

Indeed, it is uncanny how Clapper emulated the Brennan model: the former Bush appointee reinventing himself as an Obama partisan after assuring the country that Saddam Hussein’s WMD depots were transferred to Syria; lying about the rise of ISIS and pressuring others in military intelligence to mimic his pre-planned deceptions; not being forthcoming about surveillance of the Trump campaign and transition; becoming a loud and partisan accuser of Trump’s supposed mendacities on cable television, while finding himself increasingly exposed at the center of the growing unmasking scandal.

If Brennan lied about surveilling U.S. senators and the drone program, Clapper in turn lied to Congress about the National Security Agency’s illegal monitoring of U.S. citizens.

If Brennan assured Americans that jihadism was not a violent effort to spread radical Islam, Clapper topped that by assuring Congress that the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood was “largely secular.”

One thing that is noteworthy but not mentioned in the article cited above is the fact that John Brennan, in 2011, during his time as Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism received at request form Farhana Khere, President and Executive Director of Muslim Advocates requesting that all material relating to Islamic-based terrorism be removed from government documents and briefings. According to the book Catastrophic Failure by Stephen Coughlin, “The Department of Defense followed shortly thereafter with a Soviet-style purge of individuals along with disciplinary actions and re-education.” Why our government put the interests of a Muslim-Brotherhood related group above the security interests of America is anyone’s guess. I have personally met a CIA agent who was no longer allowed to brief our diplomats and military after this change was made.

I have no doubt that if Hillary Clinton had won the election, these four individuals would be part of her administration. As it stands, they are still part of the deep state that is working against President Trump. When we hear these individuals make public statements, we need to remember what they have done in the past.

 

The Plot Thickens

It seems as if there were some major infringements on the privacy and civil rights of American citizens during the last year or so of the Obama Administration. Fortunately, it looks as though these violations will be investigated and the guilty parties will be held accountable.

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article today about the ongoing investigation into the unmasking of the names of American citizens who were named in classified intelligence community reports. Oddly enough, many of these citizens were associated with the Donald Trump campaign for President or his transition team.

The article reports:

Rep. Devin Nunes (R., Calif.), chair of the House Intelligence Committee, which is handling the probe, petitioned Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats last week to request his help in addressing the unmasking issue.

Nunes disclosed in his letter that the former Obama administration had “easy access” to sensitive classified information and that they may have used it to “achieve partisan political purposes, including the selective, anonymous leaking of such information.”

Congressional investigators uncovered that “one official [whose] position has no apparent intelligence-related function”—now believed to be Power—”made hundreds of unmasking requests during the final year of the Obama administration.”

Little justification was provided for the request of this sensitive classified information, which government insiders described as outside the purview of a U.N. ambassador.

“Of those requests, only one offered a justification that was not boilerplate and articulated why that specific official required the personal information for the performance of his or her official duties,” according to Nunes.

One former senior U.S. official intimately familiar with the national security infrastructure told the Free Beacon that Power would have little reason to be requesting such information, particularly information that included in raw intelligence reports related to Trump and his team.

“Asking for an unmasking is rare at the [National Security Council] or the State Department. It is frankly shocking that anyone would be asking for dozens, and if there are really hundreds it is indefensible,” said the former official. “It does make me wonder why [National Security Agency] didn’t stop her [Power], by questioning this practice and getting the head of NSA to raise it with the president or the national security adviser.”

In addition to Power, the House Intelligence Committee has subpoenaed former National Security Adviser Susan Rice and other top officials as part of its investigation into these leaks.

This is NOT politics as usual. The unmasking of American citizens and then leaking classified information is an example of using a government position for political purposes. Not only is it illegal, it is a danger to our republic.

The article concludes:

One veteran congressional adviser who has been briefed by senior Intelligence Committee members told the Free Beacon that the emergence of Power’s role in these unmasking efforts could point to the improper use of this information, given her unrelated role at the U.N.

“The outrage about Obama officials spying on Americans, let alone on the Republican candidate and then incoming president, is both real and legitimate,” said the source, who would only discuss the sensitive matter on background. “But there are still a lot of known unknowns, which could make things a lot worse.”

“The Obama folks may have made a deliberate decision to use Power, even though they knew it would risk giving away their unmasking campaigns, because she had no business making those requests,” the source said. “What was so bad they had to use her for the requests, rather than someone who would have had a better excuse but may have balked?”

Stay tuned. Even if the mainstream media ignores this story, you will be hearing more about this in the future.

 

I Think We Are Investigating The Wrong People

One of the worst things that can happen to a representative government is for a political leader to use the power of his position to spy on his political opposition. Unfortunately, it is becoming more and more obvious that under President Obama that was the norm.

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about the latest leak from the Washington establishment.

The article reports:

Since that time (March 2017) we now know that the FBI was investigating the Trump Tower servers during the election.

We also know Susan Rice lied at first but then admitted when she got caught that she was unmasking her political opponents phone calls. Rice blamed racism after she got caught.

Ex-officials said what Susan Rice’s unmasking requests were not routine and “never done.” And… she was not alone in her unmasking requests.

Obama officials later moved the unmasking documents to the Obama library.

Tonight Deep State leaked documents to the Washington Post that show the Obama administration were spying on Republican senator Jeff Sessions before the election.

Russian envoy Sergey Kislyak’s accounts of two conversations with Jeff Sessions, who was at the time a Senator from Alabama, were intercepted by U.S. spy agencies, according to the far left Washington Post.

Once again this proves President Trump was right.
Barack Obama was spying on his political opponents.

Robert Mueller is investigating the wrong people. I suspect that is by design.

Finding The Leaks

I am still enough of an optimist to think that there are some members of Congress who actually care about what happens to America. I am tired of watching the dog and pony show of endless accusations, endless hearings, endless anonymous sources, and no one being actually found guilty of anything. I believe that the election of President Trump has illustrated the fact that there is a deep state of the Washington establishment that does not want anyone to rock their boat.

I have quoted Carrol Quigley before:

I would like to believe that he was wrong. There is some hope.

The Washington Free Beacon is reporting today that the House Intelligence Committee has issued subpoenas for Samantha Power and other Obama Administration figures, including former national security adviser Susan Rice, in an effort to find out who has been leaking raw intelligence reports to the press during the presidential transition period.

The article reports:

Power’s role in this unmasking effort is believed to be particularly questionable given her position as the U.N. ambassador, a post that does not typically require such sensitive unmasking activities, according to former U.S. officials and other sources familiar with the matter.

“Unmasking is not a regular occurrence—absolutely not a weekly habit. It is rare, even at the National Security Council, and ought to be rarer still for a U.N. ambassador,” according to one former senior U.S. official who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon.

“It might be defended when the communication in question relates directly to U.N. business, for example an important Security Council vote,” explained the former official, who would only discuss the matter on background. “Sometimes it might be done out of other motives than national security, such as sheer curiosity or to defend a bureaucratic position. Or just plain politics.”

The Intelligence Committee’s focus of Power and other key Obama officials is a prime example of the Obama administration’s efforts to spy on those close to Trump, according to sources familiar with the ongoing investigation.

“The subpoena for Power suggests just how pervasive the Obama administration’s spying on Americans actually was,” said one veteran GOP political operative who has been briefed on the matter by senior Congressional intelligence officials. “The U.N. ambassador has absolutely no business calling for the quantity and quality of the intelligence that Power seems to have been asking for.”

It is becoming obvious that President Obama used to power of his office to spy on and limit the influence of his political opponents. Under President Obama, the IRS became a political arm of the Democratic party–slow walking nonprofit applications from conservative groups. The Justice Department was also politicized when voter intimidation by the New Black Panthers was ignored despite video evidence. It should not be a surprise that the Patriot Act was also misused in the way feared by those in Congress who opposed it.

It is time to hold those who misused their government offices accountable. Leaking raw intelligence to the media is a crime. There are penalties. The law needs to be applied, and it needs to be applied evenly to everyone who broke it. Either Congressional investigations have value or they are a dog and pony show that wastes taxpayer money. We are about to find out which.

 

The Ever-Changing Story

There are some serious problems with the actions of the Obama Administration in terms of unmasking American citizens making phone calls. It is not an incredible coincidence that the unmasked citizens were people closely connected to the Trump presidential campaign. One name that has continually been mentioned as part of this unmasking is Susan Rice. She appeared on the Sunday News Shows (hasn’t she done that before?) today to explain her innocence.

The details are posted at Hot Air today.

Ms. Rice stated this morning:

Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice denied President Donald Trump’s claim that she tried to unmask Americans in an attempt to implicate Trump campaign officials, adding that she never did anything “untoward with respect to the intelligence” she received.

During an interview with CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” airing Sunday morning, Rice said Trump’s accusation is “absolutely false” and that members of Congress have not found anything inappropriate in the situation.

“I think now we’ve had subsequently members of Congress on the intelligence committees on both sides of the aisle take a look at the information that apparently was the basis for Chairman [Devin] Nunes’ concern, and say publicly that they didn’t see anything that was unusual or untoward,” Rice said, referring to the California Republican.

But what has she said before? The article reports:

You may recall that when the story first broke Rice spoke to Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC and at least heavily implied that Trump’s initial accusations were all some sort of fever swamp fantasies. (What she actually said was that she never leaked anything.) But before very long the details which emerged told a very different story. Within days it was revealed that she had, in fact, actively sought to have names revealed to her even if they had originally been picked up “incidentally.” Eventually we reached the point where the best they could say was that it appeared that she hadn’t done anything that was technically illegal.

Now, in the fashion so typical of politicians (as opposed to national security experts), she’s answering an entirely different question. Yes, she did get that information but she never did anything “unusual or untoward” with it. And why would we be so suspicious as to think she might have seen some value in data collected on people associated with the guy who was then in a heated battle to defeat the candidate who was promising to carry on her boss’s legacy? Perish the thought.

If the Justice Department has actually become the Justice Department rather than a political arm of the Democrat party, someone will be charged with a crime in this matter. The leaking of the names and information to the media was illegal. The leaking of the information was exactly what some members of Congress warned about when the Patriot Act was passed–that there would be eavesdropping on Americans that would be used for political purposes. What happened during the 2016 presidential campaign is an example of this. If no one is held accountable, it will continue to happen. That is not good news.

 

The Layers Of The Obama-Orchestrated Palace Intrigue

President Obama has been relatively quiet since leaving the White House, but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have people representing his interests in the Democratic Party and the media. What are his interests? The main one is preventing President Trump from undoing his executive orders and other policies that were put in place that were not helpful to the American economy. On Saturday, The New York Post posted a list of recent Presidents and the economic growth under each.

This is the list:

Here are the average growth rates for each president:

  • Johnson (1964-68), 5.3 percent
  • Kennedy (1961-63), 4.3 percent
  • Clinton (1993-2000), 3.9 percent
  • Reagan (1981-88), 3.5 percent
  • Carter (1977-80), 3.3 percent
  • Eisenhower (1953-60), 3 percent
  • Nixon (1969-74), 2.8 percent
  • Ford (1975-76), 2.6 percent
  • G.H.W. Bush (1989-92), 2.3 percent
  • G.W. Bush (2001-08), 2.1 percent
  • Truman (1946-52), 1.7 percent
  • Obama (2009-16), 1.6 percent

There are some real questions as to the methods former President Obama and those who supported him plan to use to prevent President Trump from taking actions to improve the economy. It is becoming obvious, however, that one of those methods is to attempt to delegitimize President Trump. So far the attempts to do this have included bogus information accusing President Trump of strange activities while visiting Russia, a claim that the Electoral College is unfair, and a charge that the Russians helped President Trump win the election. So far the only success these people have had has been the destruction of General Flynn and the withdrawal of one of the President’s cabinet nominations. However, we shouldn’t conclude that they are anywhere near giving up.

Sometimes the best laid plans backfire. An illustration of that is found at Bloomberg.com today in an article by Eli Lake.

The article reports:

White House lawyers last month learned that the former national security adviser Susan Rice requested the identities of U.S. persons in raw intelligence reports on dozens of occasions that connect to the Donald Trump transition and campaign, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

The pattern of Rice’s requests was discovered in a National Security Council review of the government’s policy on “unmasking” the identities of individuals in the U.S. who are not targets of electronic eavesdropping, but whose communications are collected incidentally. Normally those names are redacted from summaries of monitored conversations and appear in reports as something like “U.S. Person One.”

Oddly enough, these conversation involved members of the Trump transition team and contained information that would be of value politically.

The article also points out that Susan Rice has publicly denied any knowledge of President Trump’s transition team being caught up in intelligence collection. I would like to remind everyone that Susan Rice’s record on honesty is not spotless.

The article further reports:

Both the House and Senate intelligence committees are probing any ties between Trump associates and a Russian influence operation against Hillary Clinton during the election. The chairman of the House intelligence committee, Representative Devin Nunes, is also investigating how the Obama White House kept tabs on the Trump transition after the election through unmasking the names of Trump associates incidentally collected in government eavesdropping of foreign officials.

Rice herself has not spoken directly on the issue of unmasking. Last month when she was asked on the “PBS NewsHour” about reports that Trump transition officials, including Trump himself, were swept up in incidental intelligence collection, Rice said: “I know nothing about this,” adding, “I was surprised to see reports from Chairman Nunes on that account today.”

This scenario is an illustration of the nightmare those who opposed the Patriot Act saw coming–the intelligence community being used as a political weapon. The problem is not entirely with the Patriot Act; part of the problem is unethical politicians who do not understand that they are also required to abide by the law and follow the Constitution. The Fourth Amendment rights of a number of people were violated by the actions of the Obama Administration. Those responsible need to be brought to justice.

If The People Negotiating Are Not Being Honest With Americans, Who Can We Trust?

CNS News posted a story today about claims made by the Obama Administration about the interim agreement with Iran. During the State of the Union Address, the President stated, we have “halted the progress of its nuclear program.” President Obama repeated the claim in his National Security Strategy Report issued on Friday. I would love for that statement to be true, but it seems that I am not the only one with doubts.

The article reports:

The Washington Post’s Fact Checker column examined Obama’s SOTU claim, and determined that it earned him “three Pinocchios.” (On a scale of one to four Pinocchios, three are handed out for statements deemed to entail “significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions.”)

Obama claimed that progress in Iran’s program had been “halted” as a result of the JPOA. But Post columnist Glenn Kessler, citing non-proliferation experts, said that the amount of nuclear material in Iran’s possession that could eventually be converted for bomb-making had in fact continued to increase over the 2013-2014 period.

It gets worse.

The article reports:

Instead of his SOTU address claim that “we’ve halted the progress of its nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of nuclear material,” Kessler concluded that Obama could have said, “We’ve slowed the progress of its nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of the most dangerous nuclear material.”

“But instead he choose to make sweeping claims for which there is little basis. Thus he earns Three Pinocchios.”

Hours after the White House released the NSS on Friday, National Security Adviser Susan Rice repeated the claim in a speech at the Brookings Institution.

A little honesty would be nice.

Reading Between The Lines On Benghazi

On Friday, the official report on Benghazi was released by the House Intelligence Committee. On Saturday, Hot Air posted an article about the report. There is no obvious smoking gun in the report, but there are some interesting statements.

The article reports:

The media interpretation of the findings is also flatly contradictory in places. Take for example this declaration of a lack of any culpability. (Emphasis added.)

Debunking a series of persistent allegations hinting at dark conspiracies, the investigation of the politically charged incident determined that there was no intelligence failure, no delay in sending a CIA rescue team, no missed opportunity for a military rescue, and no evidence the CIA was covertly shipping arms from Libya to Syria.

The next paragraph in the report states:

So, nothing to see here. Move along. Except for one problem. The coverage also seeks to make it clear that Susan Rice couldn’t possibly be to blame for her blatantly false portrayals of the attack on the Sunday morning shows. Watch what happens to the analysis on this score.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, intelligence about who carried it out and why was contradictory, the report found. That led Susan Rice, then U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to inaccurately assert that the attack had evolved from a protest, when in fact there had been no protest. But it was intelligence analysts, not political appointees, who made the wrong call, the committee found. The report did not conclude that Rice or any other government official acted in bad faith or intentionally misled the American people.

The writer of the article asks the obvious question:

Keep in mind, these are not two paragraphs separated by miles of text. They’re back to back. And somehow, in the space of four sentences, we went from there was no intelligence failure to reading it was intelligence analysts… who made the wrong call. If you’re making the wrong call – particularly one which turned out to be so incredibly far off base – then that sounds like an intelligence failure to me.

Also rather stunning is the way that a complete vindication of the White House is somehow constructed out of these conclusions. Susan Rice was either lying or she was wrong. Neither possibility paints the administration in a very competent light. And if there was a failure of intelligence, how does that clear the White House? The last time I checked the CIA reports to the Director of Intelligence who, in turn, reports directly to the President… or has that changed? A better translation of this hopeful sounding article would be to say that the report cleared the political arm of Obama’s team of any wrongdoing, while allowing him to throw his intelligence team under the bus.

Unfortunately, we will probably never know who messed up in the Benghazi tragedy. So much for government transparency.

 

What Coalition?

The Hill is reporting today that Turkey has stated that it will not allow the United States to use its military bases in Turkey as operational bases against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The article reports:

National security adviser Susan Rice said Sunday on NBC that Turkey agreed to let the U.S. use its bases and territory, including the Incirlik air base in southern Turkey, to train moderate Syrian rebels.

“That’s the new commitment, and one that we very much welcome,” she said.

However, on Monday, Turkish officials denied reaching such a deal, according to local media reports that said both sides were continuing to discuss the use of the military bases and Turkey’s airspace.

Turkey does not want the United States doing anything that will strengthen Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. Turkey also does not want anything to happen in the area that will strengthen the Kurds.

The awkward situation regarding Turkey, a supposed United States ally, illustrates the complexity of meddling in the Middle East. Every country where America has toppled a tyrannical dictator has disintegrated into chaos. Our ‘good deeds’ have resulted in people dying and an increase in Christian persecution. Oddly enough, I am not including the ousting of Saddam Hussein in this statement. The problem with Saddam Hussein is that had he been left in place, the United Nations would have been totally destroyed. As much as I would not object to the end of the United Nations, it is the world umpire we are currently dealing with and Saddam Hussein was thumbing his nose at the United Nations on a regular basis. Saddam Hussein had violated every condition of the peace treaty signed after the first Gulf War and he needed to be reminded that his behavior was unacceptable.

It is time to put an adviser in the White House that has some understanding of the Middle East. Right now we seem to be lacking that expertise.

 

Something To Think About

A Constitutional Republic like America depends on informed voters to keep freedom alive. Our current media is not doing a good job of keeping the public informed.

The Young Conservatives website is reporting the following quote from Greta Van Susteren:

“Since day one of Benghazi FOX News has been aggressively investigating. It hasn’t been easy. It’s been more like pulling teeth to get answers from the Obama administration. The Obama administration’s behavior post Benghazi has been weird. Like they’re trying to hide something. First that silly story about that video. Remember Susan Rice on all the Sunday talk shows? Even President Obama kept talking about the video for weeks. So FOX continued to press for information… A few weeks later when FOX news reporter Jennifer Griffin said she was told there was a stand-down order at Benghazi, I got a weird call from the Obama administration trying to pressure me to get Jennifer to back down on her report. I thought the call from the Obama administration was dirty. Incidentally, I don’t control my colleagues and they don’t control me.”

Almost all of the media has caved to pressure from the Obama Administration and avoided reporting on the Obama Scandals–Fast and Furious, IRS targeting of conservatives, Benghazi, etc. We need the press to remember its responsibilities.

It Took A While, But The Truth Is Out

This post is based on two articles–one at Power Line by John Hinderaker, and one by Sharyl Attkisson at sharylattkisson.com.  Both articles deal with the cover-up of what happened in Benghazi in September 2011.

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted a picture of the memo that called for the misleading talking points:

BenghaziMemoThere is a second memo between Susan Rice and Eric Pelofsky shown in the John Hinderaker article. This memo expresses concern over the fate of the ambassador.

John Hinderaker observes:

The other striking fact about the emails is the complete absence of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Maybe someone was keeping them informed, but they are never mentioned in the emails (except when someone prepares a statement to be issued under their names). During the crucial hours, they are never referred to. There is no suggestion that they are playing a part; that they are in the loop; that they are making decisions; or that they are, in any way, important players. Maybe there are more emails, not yet disclosed, that would reflect their roles. Or maybe they really were ciphers–seat warmers with no concerns beyond the political, not expected to do anything in an hour of crisis.

Sharyl Attkisson reports:

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) told me today that the government apparently tried to keep the Rhodes email out of Congress and the public’s hands by classifying it after-the-fact.

“They retroactively changed the classification,” Chaffetz says. “That was an unclassified document and they changed it to classified.”  

 In the past month, the government has supplied 3,200 new Benghazi-related documents under Congressional subpoena. In some instances, Congressional members and their staff are only permitted to see the documents during certain time periods in a review room, and cannot remove them or make copies.

 Chaffetz says that the State Department redacted more material on the copies provided to Congress than on those that it was forced to provide to JudicialWatch.

 One of the most heavily-redacted email exchanges is entitled, “FOX News: US officials knew Libya attack was terrorism within 24 hours, sources confirm.” The Fox News article was circulated among dozens of officials including Rhodes and then-Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough but the content of their email discussion is hidden.

The White House lied about Benghazi and then covered up its lies. The lies were told for political purposes–it was the middle of an election campaign. This is an impeachable offense, but America does not have the stomach for impeachment right now. It would be a mistake for the Republicans to go down that road at all. However, an effort should be made to get this story into the mainstream media and make sure Americans are aware that they have been lied to and are still being lied to. The only reason we have these emails is the work of Judicial Watch.

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Why We Need Real Answers On Benghazi

Benghazi was a horrible event. Killing an ambassador is an act of war, but somehow in all the discussion that fact has been overlooked. I’m not sure what we would have accomplished by going to war with Libya, but on the other hand, not doing much of anything hasn’t worked either.

To add to the miscellaneous information that has dripped out about the Benghazi attack, the report of the Bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee Report cites former CIA Director Mike Morell as having a major role in creating the talking points used by Susan Rice on the Sunday news shows after the attack. (see Fox News video February 3, 2014.)

The Washington Free Beacon also posted the story yesterday.

The article in the Washington Free Beacon reports:

On September 15 one day before Susan Rice made her infamous appearances on various Sunday shows, according to the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee report Morell received an email from the CIA station chief in Libya indicating the Benghazi attacks were “not/not an escalation of protests.” The report does not indicate when Morell read the email, but that same day Morell cut the word “Islamic” from the talking points and left the word “demonstration.”

On September 16, Morell emailed embassy staff in Tripoli asking for more information. The FBI and CIA reviewed the closed circuit footage on September 18 showing there were no protests. Yet, President Obama still employed the “demonstration” verbiage just days later.

It is becoming obvious that the Obama Administration chose to lie to the American people about the Benghazi attack–who did it and why. It was politically expedient to lie about the attack, because admitting it was an Al Qaeda attack would have created a problem with President Obama’s statement that Al Qaeda had been destroyed. The attack on Benghazi might also have been seen as a threat to Hillary Clinton’s presidential ambitions.

The article further reports:

Adding another layer of complexity to the Morell’s backstory, Sen. Richard Burr (R., N.C.) told Fox News many of Morell’s recent statements on the war on terror run contrary to what he told Senate committees over the previous decade as a CIA employee.

Herridge goes on to report some speculate Morell may have higher political ambitions considering his employment at Beacon Global Strategies, a government relations firm founded by close Hillary Clinton confidante Philippe I. Reines.

Whatever the reason for the lies, a country that elects leadership that puts politics above national security will not continue to exist in a world where terrorism is growing stronger. Islamic radicals now control more territory in the Middle East than they did before President Obama took office. This is not a good thing for innocent civilians in these areas (or non-Muslims), and it is not a good thing for America.

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Working Hard To Fail

Today’s Wall Street Journal features and article by Norman Podhoretz entitled, “Obama’s Successful Foreign Failure.” In this article Mr. Podhoretz puts forth the theory that President Obama is following an agenda designed to reduce the influence of America around the world.

The article states:

But foreign policy was another matter. As a left-wing radical, Mr. Obama believed that the United States had almost always been a retrograde and destructive force in world affairs. Accordingly, the fundamental transformation he wished to achieve here was to reduce the country’s power and influence. And just as he had to fend off the still-toxic socialist label at home, so he had to take care not to be stuck with the equally toxic “isolationist” label abroad.

This he did by camouflaging his retreats from the responsibilities bred by foreign entanglements as a new form of “engagement.” At the same time, he relied on the war-weariness of the American people and the rise of isolationist sentiment (which, to be sure, dared not speak its name) on the left and right to get away with drastic cuts in the defense budget, with exiting entirely from Iraq and Afghanistan, and with “leading from behind” or using drones instead of troops whenever he was politically forced into military action.

How does this relate to the current question of whether or not we should intervene in Syria? I question whether President Obama is depending on Congress to vote ‘no’ on military intervention on Syria and let him off the hook for his reckless statement. The fact that Susan Rice is being sent out to make the case for military intervention in Syria causes me to wonder if he really wants to make the case.

The Weekly Standard posted an article today stating:

“The White House has had quite enough of the controversy over ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice, the misleading talking points she used in TV interviews about the jihadist attacks in Benghazi, and the Obama administration’s contradictory narrative about those attacks,” Steve Hayes reported in December. 

But today, Rice will be called upon again to make a public case for the White House — this time, she’ll be talking about Syria. Except now Rice is the national security adviser, a promotion she received in the last year.

There are two options here for President Obama. First of all, if Congress votes ‘no,’ he can ignore the wishes of Congress, attack anyway, and cause a Constitutional crisis. That will deflect from the problems with ObamaCare, the debt ceiling, unemployment, etc. Politically that could work toward his advantage since Congress is not likely to call him on the Constitutional question. Secondly, if Congress votes ‘no,’ he could not attack and blame the Republicans in Congress for refusing to support him. He might gain a few political points from that approach also. I am not mentioning an option where Congress votes ‘yes’ because I can’t imagine that happening. There is not a lot of support in Congress for an attack on Syria. Oddly enough, I suspect there is more support from Republicans on an attack than from Democrats. Blaming the Republicans for a ‘no’ vote would only work if the news media played along.

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The Dog Ate My Homework

Hot Air reported yesterday that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has lost its receipts for its $4 million gala in Anaheim three years ago. (Don’t try this at home–if you can’t produce receipts for the IRS, the deduction is not allowed.) I love irony.

The article reports:

…This particular conference was held around the time they first started targeting tea partiers in the nonprofits division. While they were demanding reams of information from small groups, most of which have budgets under $25,000 a year, they were farting out millions of dollars you gave them with no serious attempt to account for how it was spent.

That’s not the language I would have used, but it does make the point.

The article states:

I asked on Twitter this morning, in honor of Susan Rice’s promotion to NSA and Victoria Nuland’s impending promotion to Assistant Secretary of State, whether anyone — anyone — has been held accountable yet for any of the scandals on Obama’s watch. Lois Lerner and one of the Benghazi scapegoats are on “administrative leave,” a.k.a. paid vacation, but haven’t been fired, thanks in part to union rules that make it difficult for the feds to can crappy employees. Steve Miller resigned as IRS commissioner, but he famously had just a few weeks left in his term when he did. Has anyone else been punished? Has Obama demanded a resignation from anyone inside the White House itself to prove his displeasure? He won’t boot Eric Holder over the DOJ leak dragnets either, despite the fact that some Democrats (including Democrats in the White House) also think he should go. What you’re seeing here, between the promotion/retention of malfeasors and incompetents and the IRS showering itself with cash with no serious effort made at keeping track of it, is the feds’ contempt for citizens who empowered them unleashed.

I don’t know how we got to runaway government, but we need to find a way to get back to government by the people very quickly.

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Is It Acceptable To Lie To The Public?

On Thursday President Obama nominated Victoria Nuland to be assistant secretary for European and Eurasian affairs at the State Department. Ms. Nuland was the State Department spokesperson during the Benghazi press conferences. She was also involved in revising the talking points given to Susan Rice regarding the Benghazi attack before Ms. Rice went on the Sunday talk shows.

Fox News posted an article today explaining the problem of promoting Victoria Nuland:

Nuland’s statements on Benghazi are sure to be thoroughly examined. 

On Sept. 17, 2012, six days after the attack, she declined to label it an act of terrorism. 

“I don’t think we know enough. I don’t think we know enough,” she said. 

That was a day after U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice said on several Sunday shows that the strike was triggered by protests over an anti-Islam film. Rice for months has been the target of Republican ire over the administration’s mixed signals on the attack narrative. But a set of emails released by the Obama administration this month in fact showed Nuland and other officials involved in editing the talking points before Rice’s appearance. 

Nuland challenged references to extremists being involved in the attack, and objected to references to prior security warnings and incidents. 

The things Ms. Nuland said were outright lies. Even if she was pressured into lying by her superiors, has it become a policy of our government to promote people who lie? Don’t we need people in the government who will stand up and tell the truth regardless of the consequences?

I am sure Victoria Nuland has been a valued member of the State Department. I have a problem, however, promoting someone who chose departmental loyalty over loyalty to the American people. Was she required to take an oath pledging to uphold the U. S. Constitution? If she was, I suspect that her actions after Benghazi violated that oath. It is unfortunate that she got caught up in this mess, but it also unfortunate that she made the choice to lie to the American people.

Where Do We Go From Here?

I am sure that by now much of the testimony from the Benghazi hearings is up on YouTube. If not there, I am sure it is floating around the Internet somewhere.  If you were not able to watch any of the hearings, I strongly recommend finding them on the Internet and spending some time.

The Benghazi hearings told us much of what we already knew–before the attack there were incidents that should have resulted in increased security rather than decreased security, during the attack the help that was needed never arrived, and after the attack almost everything we were told by the Obama Administration was a lie.

So where are we and where do we go from here? We do actually need at least one more hearing. We need to know who ordered the Special Forces that wanted to go to help at Benghazi to stand down. We need to know who changed to talking points for the Sunday news shows for Susan Rice and why. We need to know why Susan Rice was sent out rather than Hillary Clinton (we probably can make some pretty good guesses on that one). We need to know what Chris Stevens was doing at the annex without adequate security on September 11.

Will we ever get answers to any of those questions? Not unless we demand them from our representatives. If we as Americans do not hold our politicians accountable, they will not be accountable. The ball is in our court.

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The Statement Released After The Meeting

Yesterday Breitbart.com posted the statement released by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John McCain (R-AZ), and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) after their meeting with UN Ambassador Susan Rice.

This is the statement:

We respectfully disagree with the White House’s statement today that ‘there are no unanswered questions’ about Ambassador Rice’s September 16 Sunday show appearances and the talking points she used. 

Around 10:00 this morning in a meeting requested by Ambassador Rice, accompanied by acting CIA Director Mike Morell, we asked Mr. Morell who changed the unclassified talking points to remove references to al-Qaeda.  In response, Mr. Morell said the FBI removed the references and did so to prevent compromising an ongoing criminal investigation.  We were surprised by this revelation and the reasoning behind it.

However, at approximately 4:00 this afternoon, CIA officials contacted us and indicated that Acting Director Morell misspoke in our earlier meeting. The CIA now says that it deleted the al-Qaeda references, not the FBI.  They were unable to give a reason as to why.

We are disturbed by the Administration’s continued inability to answer even the most basic questions about the Benghazi attack and the Administration’s response. 

Beyond Ambassador Rice’s misstatements, we continue to have questions about what happened in Benghazi before, during, and after the attack on our consulate – as well as the President’s statements regarding the attack.

Perhaps most important, we also need to understand why the U.S. military was unable to respond within seven hours to save American lives in Benghazi and why our consulate was left so unsecure despite a series of previous attacks. 

In more than a dozen letters, we and other Senators have repeatedly requested that the Administration provide answers to our questions.  Yet, today most of them remain unanswered.  We eagerly await their response.

It does seem from this statement that answers to even basic questions about Benghazi are nearly impossible to come by.  At least someone should know who actually changed the talking points or why no help was available to the Americans in Benghazi. At the rate we are going, we might have some of these answers after the 2016 election.

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When National Security Takes A Backseat To Politics

Today was the day General Petraeus testified before Congress on the Benghazi attack of September 11. MRC.TV is reporting on a statement made by Representative Peter King after the General testified.

This is the video:

The article reports Representative King’s statement:

Representative Peter King stated that former CIA Director David Petraeus stated that he knew the Benghazi attack was terrorism and that the talking points given to Ambassador Susan Rice were different from the ones prepared by the CIA. Petraeus stated Rice’s talking points were edited to demphasized the possibility of terrorism. 

The reason behind this is simple. The Democrat Convention was all about killing Osama Bin Laden and the end of Al Qaeda. The attack on Benghazi showed that Al Qaeda was alive and quite capable of attacking American assets. Therefore, the fact that the attack at Benghazi was Al Qaeda needed to be covered up–at least until after the election.

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The More We Learn, The Less It Adds Up

CBS News is reporting tonight that during the attack on the Embassy in Benghazi, President Obama did not convene the Counterterrorism Security Group, (CSG), the top interagency counterterrorism resource.

The article reports:

“The CSG is the one group that’s supposed to know what resources every agency has. They know of multiple options and have the ability to coordinate counterterrorism assets across all the agencies,” a high-ranking government official told CBS News. “They were not allowed to do their job. They were not called upon.”

The question becomes, “Why weren’t they called?”

The article further reports:

Counterterrorism officials from two agencies said they concluded almost immediately that the attack was by terrorists and was not spontaneous. “I came to this conclusion as soon as I heard the mortar rounds were impacting on top of the building our people were occupying,” says one. “The position of the mortar must be plotted on a map, the target would have to be plotted, computations would be calculated that would result in the proper mortar tube elevation and the correct number of powder bags to be attached to the rounds.”

We have no way of knowing whether President Obama, who has no prior military experience, would have understood that mortar rounds are not part of a spontaneous attack. That is why it is up to a President to have people close to him who know these things. By not calling in the CSG, he was depending on his own limited knowledge rather than bringing in the experts. I don’t know if the four Americans in Benghazi would be alive if this had been handled differently, but I do know that the people who would have immediately understood the situation and been able to evaluate correctly what was happening were left out of the loop.

Had the CSG been called in immediately, I doubt we would have had to listen to Susan Rice tell us on five Sunday shows that this was simply a demonstration that got out of hand.

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“The Facts Are Simple, They Are Known, They Are Available; The Only Thing That Remains Is To Disclose Them

“The facts are simple, they are known, they are available; the only thing that remains is to disclose them.” That is a direct quote from an interview with former Attorney General Michael Mukasey.

Paul Mirengoff at Power Line yesterday posted an article about Benghazi that included that quote. The article also included the video below:

The article reminds us:

…former Attorney General Michael Mukasey lays out with great clarity the case that the Obama administration has been incompetent and dishonest when it comes to the Benghazi attack. This is true, he says, of the lead-up to the events of September 11 (when protection was denied the consulate in spite of previous attacks against the Brits and the Red Cross), the events themselves (when our people were told to stand down), and the aftermath (when the White House tried to push a “cock-and-bull” story about the video).

When analyzing Benghazi and whether of not it should impact our vote next week, we need to remember the lies we were told immediately after the attack. The fact that Susan Rice was sent to five Sunday shows to tell us that a video was responsible for the death of four Americans is disgraceful. There is no way that cannot be seen as an attempt to cover-up the fact that the dangers to the Embassy were known and ignored and the cries for help from those in the Embassy during the attack were ignored. Al Qaeda is not on the run, and the war in terror is not over. These are the facts, and all the blaming of the events in Benghazi on a video does not change those facts.

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One Aspect Of Last Night’s Debate

Commentary Magazine posted a story today about the comments on Libya in last night’s debate between President Obama and Governor Romney.

The article quotes the President’s response to the Governor’s comments on Libya:

And the suggestion that anybody in my team, whether the secretary of state, our U.N. ambassador, anybody on my team would play politics or mislead when we’ve lost four of our own, Governor, is offensive. That’s not what we do. That’s not what I do as president. That’s not what I do as commander in chief.

The article at Commentary Magazine reminds us that the Obama Administration spent two weeks promoting the lie that the attack was the result of a video when they knew that was not the case.

The article reminds us:

We have yet to discover exactly what President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice knew about Libya and when they knew it as well as why the consulate’s requests for security were denied and who made that decision. The president was asked a direct question about that at Hofstra and chose not to answer it.

The article concludes:

Having staked so much on the “bin Laden is dead” theme, the administration dragged its feet when it came to telling the truth about Islamist terrorism in Libya. They repeatedly claimed that the ambassador died as the result of film criticism run amuck. While they claim this was the result of faulty intelligence, there’s no mystery about why they embraced this false narrative so enthusiastically. Talking about an offensive anti-Muslim video (albeit one that virtually no one has actually seen) allowed the president’s foreign policy team to avoid saying the words “terror” and “al-Qaeda.” Instead, they talked about a movie for which they endlessly apologized. The president’s faux outrage notwithstanding, if that isn’t playing politics with security issues and misleading the American public, I don’t know what is.

One of the things that troubles me about the President’s overall conduct after the murder of our Ambassador in Benghazi was the speed at which he continued his campaign for a second term. I think it was rather calloused of him to jet off to Las Vegas before the dust had cleared on the attack of the Embassy. That was not politicizing the event–that was ignoring it.

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