The Swamp Is A Danger To American National Security

On August 4th, Daniel Greenfield posted an article at Front Page Magazine about National Security Council head H.R. McMaster.  Daniel Greenfield has concluded that McMaster is part of the deep state and is working against the interests of both America and the Trump Administration. At this point I should mention that like it or not, Donald Trump is the President, and working against Donald Trump is working against the interests of America. It is not patriotic to oppose anything and everything the Trump Administration proposes–it is obstructionism. The Washington establishment’s worst nightmare is for the Trump Administration to succeed–that will be the end of their stranglehold on our government and their success as an elite class.

The article notes:

Derek Harvey was a man who saw things coming. He had warned of Al Qaeda when most chose to ignore it. He had seen the Sunni insurgency rising when most chose to deny it.

The former Army colonel had made his reputation by learning the lay of the land. In Iraq that meant sleeping on mud floors and digging into documents to figure out where the threat was coming from.

It was hard to imagine anyone better qualified to serve as President Trump’s top Middle East adviser at the National Security Council than a man who had been on the ground in Iraq and who had seen it all.

Just like in Iraq, Harvey began digging at the NSC. He came up with a list of Obama holdovers who were leaking to the press. McMaster, the new head of the NSC, refused to fire any of them.

McMaster had a different list of people he wanted to fire. It was easy to make the list. Harvey was on it.

All you had to do was name Islamic terrorism as the problem and oppose the Iran Deal. If you came in with Flynn, you would be out. If you were loyal to Trump, your days were numbered.

And if you warned about Obama holdovers undermining the new administration, you were a target.

One of McMaster’s first acts at the NSC was to ban any mention of “Obama holdovers.” Not only did the McMaster coup purge Harvey, who had assembled the holdover list, but his biggest target was Ezra Watnick-Cohen, who had exposed the eavesdropping on Trump officials by Obama personnel.

It seems as if the NSC under McMaster has turned political,  gotten totally out of control, and needs to be promptly reined in.

The article continues:

Ezra Watnick-Cohen had provided proof of the Obama surveillance to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes. McMaster, however, was desperately working to fire him and replace him with Linda Weissgold. McMaster’s choice to replace Watnick-Cohen was the woman who helped draft the Benghazi talking points which blamed the Islamic terrorist attack on a video protest.

After protests by Bannon and Kushner, President Trump overruled McMaster. Watnick-Cohen stayed. For a while. Now Ezra Watnick-Cohen has been fired anyway.

According to the media, Watnick-Cohen was guilty of “anti-Muslim fervor” and “hardline views.” And there’s no room for anyone telling the truth about Islamic terrorism at McMaster’s NSC.

McMaster had even demanded that President Trump refrain from telling the truth about Islamic terrorism.

Another of his targets was Rich Higgins, who had written a memo warning of the role of the left in undermining counterterrorism. Higgins had served as a director for strategic planning at the NSC. He had warned in plain language about the threat of Islamic terrorism, of Sharia law, of the Hijrah colonization by Islamic migrants, of the Muslim Brotherhood, and of its alliance with the left as strategic threats.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. It is chilling to think that a group of people have become so entrenched in a government agency that they will risk the security of America to remain in power.

 

An Isolated Incident Or A Pattern Of Behavior?

Andrew McCarthy posted a story at National Review today about the House Intelligence Committee investigation into spying on Americans during the Obama Administration. It has become obvious from news reports since before President Trump was inaugurated that some sort of intelligence gathering on the incoming administration was going on.

The article reports:

The House Intelligence Committee has reportedly issued seven subpoenas in connection with its investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and of the Obama administration’s potentially illegal use of the government’s foreign-intelligence-collection power for the purpose of monitoring Americans — in particular, Americans connected to the Trump campaign and transition.

The subpoenas are aimed at getting information about requests made by Susan Rice and John Brennan to unmask names of Americans caught in intelligence gathering.

The article explains:

The House Intelligence Committee is investigating both a) Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, an inquiry that entails thus far unsubstantiated suspicions of Trump-campaign collusion, and b) the use of intelligence authorities to investigate the Trump campaign, an inquiry that focuses on whether national-security powers (such as those codified in FISA, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) were used pretextually, for the real purpose of conducting political spying.
There is also the question of whether or not U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power requested the unmasking of Americans–as U.N. Ambassador, she would have no obvious need for that information.
The article concludes:
Thus, as I’ve also outlined, it is unlikely that any single instance of unmasking would be found to be a violation of law — and, indeed, it would not violate any penal statute (it would violate court-ordered “minimization” procedures). Nevertheless, were a pattern of unmasking established, divorced from any proper foreign-intelligence purpose, that would be a profound abuse of power in the nature of a “high crime and misdemeanor” — the Constitution’s predicate for impeachment.

It’s a little late to impeach former President Obama, but the voters have spoken and dealt with the problem in their own way. The one thing that will be interesting to watch as this story unfolds is how the mainstream media will spin the story. The Obama Administration went after a Fox News journalist–journalists need to realize that they have as much at stake in protecting their freedom as the average American.

The Truth Will Eventually Come Out

Townhall.com posted an article today about a recent New York Times story about the actions of Attorney General Loretta Lynch during the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

The Townhall article reports:

In a lengthy New York Times piece, the publication charted the history of Mr. Comey’s actions, which placed the FBI in the eye of the 2016 election. We also found out that the Obama Justice Department tried to water down the language, like calling the investigation a “matter,” and playing down the fact that the FBI’s investigation was a criminal one [emphasis mine]:

The Justice Department knew a criminal investigation was underway, but officials said they were being technically accurate about the nature of the referral. Some at the F.B.I. suspected that Democratic appointees were playing semantic games to help Mrs. Clinton, who immediately seized on the statement to play down the issue. “It is not a criminal investigation,” she said, incorrectly. “It is a security review.”

In September of that year, as Mr. Comey prepared for his first public questions about the case at congressional hearings and press briefings, he went across the street to the Justice Department to meet with Ms. Lynch and her staff.

Both had been federal prosecutors in New York — Mr. Comey in the Manhattan limelight, Ms. Lynch in the lower-wattage Brooklyn office. The 6-foot-8 Mr. Comey commanded a room and the spotlight. Ms. Lynch, 5 feet tall, was known for being cautious and relentlessly on message. In her five months as attorney general, she had shown no sign of changing her style.

At the meeting, everyone agreed that Mr. Comey should not reveal details about the Clinton investigation. But Ms. Lynch told him to be even more circumspect: Do not even call it an investigation, she said, according to three people who attended the meeting. Call it a “matter.”

Ms. Lynch reasoned that the word “investigation” would raise other questions: What charges were being investigated? Who was the target? But most important, she believed that the department should stick by its policy of not confirming investigations.

It was a by-the-book decision. But Mr. Comey and other F.B.I. officials regarded it as disingenuous in an investigation that was so widely known. And Mr. Comey was concerned that a Democratic attorney general was asking him to be misleading and line up his talking points with Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, according to people who spoke with him afterward.

As the meeting broke up, George Z. Toscas, a national security prosecutor, ribbed Mr. Comey. “I guess you’re the Federal Bureau of Matters now,” Mr. Toscas said, according to two people who were there.

Despite his concerns, Mr. Comey avoided calling it an investigation. “I am confident we have the resources and the personnel assigned to the matter,” Mr. Comey told reporters days after the meeting.

Please follow the link above to the Townhall article. The article goes on to list some of the problems the FBI encountered while trying not to politicize the investigation.

The article at Townhall further reports:

The Russian collusion allegations have yet to bear fruit. Senate Democrats have admitted that their investigation into possible collision might not find a smoking gun. Over at the House side, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), ranking member of the intelligence committee (and Democratic attack dog), said that there is no definitive proof of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. As for the interference, well, the election wasn’t hacked in the sense that many on the Left think (i.e. messing with vote tallies), instead it was a concerted effort by state-funded media outlets and social media trolls. None of which had an impact in swaying the election and fake news played no pivotal role either.

Some of the mainstream media is still claiming Russian interference. No one has evidence of that, but I believe that the feeling is that if they claim it long enough, some people will accept it is fact, even though it is not true.

I don’t know what the eventual outcome of Hillary Clinton and her private server will be. I do know that if John Q Public had handled classified information as carelessly as she did, he would be in jail. That clearly illustrates a problem within our legal system.

The Real Bottom Line On RussiaGate

On Wednesday, The Hill posted an article about the scandal surrounding Russian influence during the 2016 presidential campaign and election.

The article reminds us of some recent events:

Senator Chuck Schumer and Congressman Adam Schiff have both castigated Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, for his handling of the inquiry into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.  They should think twice.  The issue that has recently seized Nunes is of vital importance to anyone who cares about fundamental civil liberties.

The trail that Nunes is following will inevitably lead back to a particularly significant leak.  On Jan. 12, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius reported that “according to a senior U.S. government official, (General Mike) Flynn phoned Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak several times on Dec. 29.”

Remember–this case (or lack of it) is based on leaked information. The rights of a private American citizen were violated in the way the information about the Russian Ambassador’s phone call was distributed and leaked. What happened here is exactly what the Congressmen who opposed the Patriot Act feared would happen–the use of government apparatus to spy on political opponents. It’s here.

The article reports:

Regardless of how the government collected on Flynn, the leak was a felony and a violation of his civil rights.  But it was also a severe breach of the public trust. When I worked as an NSC staffer in the White House, 2005-2007, I read dozens of NSA surveillance reports every day. On the basis of my familiarity with this system, I strongly suspect that someone in the Obama White House blew a hole in the thin wall that prevents the government from using information collected from surveillance to destroy the lives of the citizens whose privacy it is pledged to protect.  

The leaking of Flynn’s name was part of what can only be described as a White House campaign to hype the Russian threat and, at the same time, to depict Trump as Vladimir Putin’s Manchurian candidate.  On Dec. 29, Obama announced sanctions against Russia as retribution for its hacking activities.  From that date until Trump’s inauguration, the White House aggressively pumped into the media two streams of information: one about Russian hacking; the other about Trump’s Russia connection. In the hands of sympathetic reporters, the two streams blended into one.  

In late December there were reports of Russians hacking into the electricity grid of a Vermont utility. The hype of Russian intervention continued. It turned out later that the story was totally misreported–an employee had mistakenly loaded some information into the utility’s computer system.

The article  concludes:

While the White House was hyping the Russia threat, elements of the press showed a sudden interest in the infamous Steele dossier, which claimed that Russian intelligence services had caught Trump in Moscow in highly compromising situations.  The dossier was opposition research paid for by Trump’s political opponents, and it had circulated for months among reporters covering the election.  Because it was based on anonymous sources and entirely unverifiable, however, no reputable news organization had dared to touch it.  

With a little help from the Obama White House, the dossier became fair game for reporters.  A government leak let it be known that the intelligence community had briefed Trump on the dossier.  If the president-elect was discussing it with his intelligence briefers, so the reasoning went, perhaps there was something to it after all.

By turning the dossier into hard news, that leak weaponized malicious gossip. The same is true of the Flynn-Kislyak leak.  Ignatius used the leak to deepen speculation about collusion between Putin and Trump: “What did Flynn say (to Kislyak),” Ignatius asked, “and did it undercut the U.S. sanctions?” The mere fact that Flynn’s conversations were being monitored deepened his appearance of guilt.  If he was innocent, why was the government monitoring him?

It should not have been.  He had the right to talk to in private — even to a Russian ambassador.  Regardless of what one thinks about him or Trump or Putin, this leak should concern anyone who believes that we must erect a firewall between the national security state and our domestic politics.  The system that allowed it to happen must be reformed.  At stake is a core principle of our democracy: that elected representatives control the government, and not vice versa.

Laws were broken in releasing the transcripts of the conversations of General Flynn. It is time to get past the partisan divide and realize that this was a serious encroachment on the freedom of all Americans. Those responsible for spreading the information need to be dealt with severely.

How The Deep State Works

It is nearly impossible to fire a federal employee. The logic behind this is that civil servants should not be at the mercy of elections. They should have some modicum of job security. Although in theory that is a really good idea, it prevents the occasional housecleaning that Washington, D.C. needs. The group in Washington that is dedicated to maintaining the status quo is a small portion of the deep state. The deep state is much more complex and entangled than that, but for the purposes of this article, the deep state is simply the entrenched bureaucracy that is intent on maintaining the status quo. The deep state is one of the few things in Washington that is truly bi-partisan.

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article yesterday that illustrates how the deep state works.

The article reports:

Chairman Nunes is the only member of the Intelligence Oversight Gang-of-Eight who has reviewed the executive level intelligence product which caused him concern.  Nunes alleged in the last week he received evidence that Obama administration political figures gained access to unmasked American identities through foreign intercepts involving the Trump transition team between November 2016 and January 2017.

Media and congressional leadership intentionally skip the obvious questions:

Why don’t the other seven members also go look at the same executive intel?

  • Why, instead of looking at the same data, does the entire UniParty political apparatus and DC media now seem intent on eliminating Devin Nunes?
  • Why doesn’t Adam Schiff, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer or Mark Warner simply go look at the same executive intelligence product?
  • Why doesn’t Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell or Richard Burr simply go look at the same executive intelligence product?
  • Why doesn’t any member of the DC media ask such brutally obvious questions?
  • Why is the DC UniParty both intent on not looking at the intelligence and simultaneously intent on removing Nunes, and getting the investigation removed from the House Intelligence Committee (Nunes/Schiff) and over to the Senate Intelligence Committee (Burr/Warner)?
  • What is it about that Executive Office Level Intelligence Product the gang-of-eight are all so desperately afraid of?
  • Why would the Senate launch another entire congressional intelligence inquiry, when the head of the Senate Intelligence Committees, Burr and Warner, are desperate NOT to see the intelligence product that causes Nunes such concern?

In a previous article, The Conservative Treehouse explains why much of those in Washington who should see the intelligence reports have not:

If Representative Schiff saw the same intelligence that substantiates Nunes he couldn’t keep up the fake outrage and false narrative. Right now Schiff can say anything about it he wants because he hasn’t seen it.  If Schiff actually sees the intelligence Nunes saw he loses that ability. He would also lose the ability to criticize, ridicule and/or marginalize Devin Nunes.

The same political perspective applies to Minority leader Nancy Pelosi, Minority leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Mark Warner. For each of them to see the information would eliminate their ability to talk about it, or criticize Nunes. The politics of the situation are more valuable so long as they don’t engage in actual truthful knowledge.

Chairman Nunes cannot share his intelligence finding with the House Committee, because the intelligence product is beyond their intel authority. Nunes has to ask for it in portions as each compartment would permit and authorize; And so long as Pelosi, Schumer, Warner and Schiff refuse to look at the intelligence that ‘only they’ are allowed to see, they can continue to ridicule and take political advantage.

This reality is also the reason why the media is so able to manipulate the narrative around Chairman Nunes; and simultaneously why he’s able to say he’s done nothing wrong.

Until we go back to a system under which civil servants can be fired and there is a periodic housecleaning in Washington, we will be a bi-partisan government of unelected bureaucrats and our votes will not be worth much. If President Trump is serious about changing Washington, he needs to begin clearing out the deep state by firing civil servants who are working against the interests of elected officials. The uproar will be monstrous, but it is truly the only way to drain the swamp.

 

 

If You Can Discredit The Messenger, You Might Be Able To Discredit The Message

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about the Democrat‘s call that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes recuse himself from the investigation into Russian activities during the 2016 election. Their main justification for this request is that Congressman Nunes informed President Trump that he had been under surveillance by the Obama Administration.

The article reminds us:

Journalists were so busy scoffing on Twitter at Nunes’ March 22 press conference that they failed to pay attention to what he said. Importantly, the intelligence collected on Trump transition staff was not related to Russia. It was not collected in the course of monitoring Russian officials, nor as part of any official criminal investigation into Trump-world that might have justified inter-agency sharing.

In describing this still-unreleased intelligence material, Nunes referred to an earlier incident in which the Obama administration spied on Israeli officials. During that monitoring, the White House incidentally picked up conversations between the Israelis and members of Congress at the height of the debate over the Iran nuclear deal.

The article points out that there are two separate items before Congress right now that they should be investigating:

There are two important and separate questions now. One pertains to Russian propaganda efforts and illegal hacking during the 2016 election. The other pertains to potentially illegal handling of intelligence information on U.S. persons by the intelligence community or the Obama administration.

The article concludes:

Democrats accuse him of canceling the hearing to prevent testimony by Sally Yates, Obama’s acting attorney general whom Trump fired in January.

 Whatever the truth of this claim, and Nunes can prove them wrong by quickly rescheduling Yates’ testimony on Flynn and Russia, the illegal handling of intelligence information about conversations by opposition politicians is a very serious issue. Nunes is right to demand answers quickly by going to the source. Democrats’ calls for him to recuse himself from a completely separate investigation are not just disingenuous, but are intended to confuse the public.

By attacking Representative Nunes, the Democrats can take the focus off of the illegal surveillance of American citizens, the failure to mask the identify of those citizens, and leaking of surveillance information to the press with the purpose of bringing down a presidential candidate and later a President.  This is not acceptable behavior.

In watching the Democrats and their attempts to delegitimize by keeping the Russian interference story alive, I am reminded of a historic event in which the Democrats and the press did a similar thing and succeeded.

The actions of the Democrats during Watergate provide a preview of what is happening now. Watergate was a high watermark in the politics of personal destruction. In his book, Inside the Real Watergate Conspiracy, the author, Geoff Shepard, states:

“It seems clear that without Cox’s intervention, the federal prosecutors would have issued indictments at least by August 1973, and the public’s desire to know that the government was seriously pursuing the Watergate case would have been fully satisfied. Indeed, on May 24, 1973, the U.S. attorney publicly stated that comprehensive indictments were imminent; and the prosecutorial memo submitted to Cox on his arrival stated that the case was all but closed.”

As Americans, we need to make sure that this sort of manipulation of the news does not happen again. Today we have an alternative media that we did not have then. Hopefully that will make a difference. At any rate, we need to be aware of what is being attempted.

The accusations of Russian interference are garbage–they are a distraction designed to prevent President Trump from draining the swamp. The accusations provide another illustration of the reason President Trump needs to drain the swamp.

It’s Amazing What Comes To The Surface

Politico posted an update today on the hearings in the House Intelligence Committee.

The article reports:

Members of the Donald Trump transition team, possibly including Trump himself, were under U.S. government surveillance following November’s presidential election, House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) told reporters Wednesday.

Nunes said the monitoring appeared to be done legally as a result of what’s called “incidental collection,” but said he was concerned because it was not related to the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the election and was widely disseminated across the intelligence community.

“I have seen intelligence reports that clearly show that the president-elect and his team were, I guess, at least monitored,” Nunes told reporters. “It looks to me like it was all legally collected, but it was essentially a lot of information on the president-elect and his transition team and what they were doing.”

Nunes said he is heading to the White House later Wednesday to brief Trump on what he has learned, which he said came from “sources who thought that we should know it.” He said he was trying to get more information by Friday from the FBI, CIA and NSA.

Nunes described the surveillance as most likely being “incidental collection.” This can occur when a person inside the United States communicates with a foreign target of U.S. surveillance. In such cases, the identities of U.S. citizens are supposed to be kept secret — but can be “unmasked” by intelligence officials under certain circumstances.

…It was previously known that Flynn’s pre-inauguration phone calls with Russia’s ambassador were intercepted by the U.S. government; he resigned last month after it became clear he misled his colleagues about the nature of the calls.

Nunes has said Flynn’s calls were picked up through incidental collection and said his committee is investigating why Flynn’s name was unmasked and leaked to the news media.

Obviously, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s phone calls with the Russian ambassador were taped and transcribed. Because he has talking to the Russian ambassador, that is not unusual. What is unusual is for the transcripts of those calls to be leaked to the press with his name on them. That is against the law. The person who did that belongs in prison.

As this investigation continues, it is becoming obvious that candidate Donald Trump was under government surveillance during the campaign and after he was elected. That is a serious violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. This surveillance is one reason many Congressmen opposed the Patriot Act–they feared the kind of political abuse of the law that the Obama Administration was evidently guilty of. There are many stories out there documenting the surveillance of Donald Trump and his campaign. I have not posted some of them because I am not familiar with the sources. However, those sources are beginning to look reliable.

The Plot Thickens

Yesterday The Daily Caller reported that three brothers who handled computer issues for some Congress members and for members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence have been relieved of their duties.

The article reports:

Brothers Abid, Imran, and Jamal Awan were barred from computer networks at the House of Representatives Thursday, The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group has learned.

Three members of the intelligence panel and five members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs were among the dozens of members who employed the suspects on a shared basis. The two committees deal with many of the nation’s most sensitive issues and documents, including those related to the war on terrorism.

Also among those whose computer systems may have been compromised is Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Florida Democrat who was previously the target of a disastrous email hack when she served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 campaign.

The investigation of these men has been going on since late 2016.

The article states:

Signs of trouble have long been visible in public records. The Congressional Credit Union repossessed Abid’s car in 2009, and he declared bankruptcy in 2012, facing multiple lawsuits.

Alvi, who did not respond to TheDCNF’s request for comment, has taken multiple second mortgages.

Security-sensitive jobs typically require background checks for credit and legal problems that can create pressures to cash in on access to secret information and documents.

Jamal, who public records suggest is only 22 years old and first began working in the House when he was 20, was paid nearly $160,000 a year, or three times the average House IT staff salary, according to InsideGov, which tracks congressional salaries. Abid was paid $161,000 and Imran $165,000.

You would think someone might have noticed before last year. It will be interesting to see how much of the media report this story and how they spin it.

 

Why We Seem To Have No Coherent Policy Regarding Islamists

Last Tuesday, the Center for Security Policy posted a story documenting a House Intelligence Committee Member’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. This is not really news–the Obama Administration is rife with people who have family or other connections to the Muslim Brotherhood. This partially explains why the Obama Administration has provided so little assistance to Egyptian President al-Sisi in his fight to end the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt (where the group began).

The article at the Center for Security Policy reports:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi recently appointed Rep. André Carson (D-IN) to a coveted position on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.  This panel is charged with oversight of the United States’ most sensitive national intelligence capabilities and operations.  These include any directed at Islamic supremacists seeking to impose worldwide – through violent and, where necessary, through stealthy forms of jihad – the totalitarian program they call shariah.

Preeminent among the practitioners of this jihadist agenda is the Muslim Brotherhood.  In fact, according to evidence introduced by the U.S. government into the Holy Land Foundation trial in 2008, the Brotherhood’s self-declared mission in America is: “a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands [i.e., those of non-Muslims] and those of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.” (From the 1991 Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America, Government Exhibit 003-0085, 3:04-CR-240-G.)

It is, therefore, problematic and potentially detrimental to the national security that Rep. Carson has extensive and longstanding ties to organizations and individuals associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.  As established in a dossier and video released today by the Center for Security Policy, the Indiana congressman has an extensive record of involvement with, support of and support from a virtual Who’s Who of Brotherhood front organizations in America and leading figures in the jihad movement in this country.  The dossier makes it clear that, as a group, they have “a documented history of serving as unregistered foreign agents, engaging in material support for terrorism and possessing direct ties to the Brotherhood’s Palestinian franchise, Hamas, a designated terrorist organization.”

If the American media were doing its job, this would be called treason.

The article reminds us:

It is wholly unacceptable to have as a member of a key congressional committee charged with overseeing U.S. intelligence and counterintelligence an individual with extensive personal and political associations with the Muslim Brotherhood’s civilization jihadist infrastructure in America.  At a minimum, Rep. Andre Carson’s presence on the House Intelligence Committee will necessitate restrictions on his access to classified information about the presence and operations in this country of what amounts to a subversive Islamist Fifth Column and his participation in the panel’s deliberations concerning how it can best be countered.

If voters do not start paying attention to what their representatives do soon and voting against those that are not acting in the voters’ interests, they will find themselves in an unrecognizable country with their freedoms being taken away and replaced by the sort of legal systems the Founding Fathers sought to avoid.

 

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.

 

It’s Not A Matter Of Intelligence

On Wednesday, the Center for Security Policy posted an article about the recent offensive in Iraq by State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) terrorists.

The article states:

Some former intelligence officers are blaming this failure on a lack of human intelligence sources in Iraq and an over-reliance on technical intelligence collection.

Congressman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, disagrees. He says the Iraq crisis is a policy and not an intelligence failure.

Rogers says the signs were there about the ISIS threat and the deteriorating situation in Iraq but Obama officials ignored them. He contends that “It was very clear to me years ago that ISIS was pooling up in a dangerous way — building training camps, drawing in jihadists from around the world. We saw all of that happening.”

 What happened in Iraq was to a large extent the result of the failure of America to leave troops there after we declared the war in Iraq. The troops would not have been as much of a military force as a limiting force against the retribution of the Shiite government against the Sunnis who had previously been in power.

The author of the article, Fred Fleitz writes:

 I believe the crisis in Iraq is a major U.S. policy failure due to the Obama administration’s failure to leave a small troop presence behind after the 2011 troop withdrawal and the repeated tendency by Obama officials to discount and downplay the continuing threat from radical Islamist groups. We saw this in September 2012 when Obama officials claimed the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was the result of an anti-Muslim video and not an attack by radical Islamists.

The intelligence oversight committees should review classified analysis on Iraq, Syria, and ISIS produced over the last year to determine whether intelligence agencies failed to provide adequate warning of the ISIS threat. I believe such an inquiry will find that U.S. intelligence analysts provided the Obama administration with excellent analysis about ISIS and the deteriorating situation in Iraq but Obama officials ignored it.

 President Obama’s Middle East policy has been a failure. It is time for him to either listen to the people giving him good advice or find people who will give him good advice.

Sometimes It Just Takes A While For The Truth To Come Out

Fox News posted an article today about some of the testimony on the attack on Benghazi that simply does not add up. The testimony relates to whether or not the attack was a spontaneous event or the result of careful planning.

The article states:

In addition to Rogers’ (Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee) assessment, military experts say the mortar strike on the CIA base was evidence of a planned terror attack, and because it forced the evacuation of the annex, it must have been known immediately in Washington. But in a letter to the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee in January 2013, Morell said “the nature of the attacks suggested they did not involve significant pre-planning.”

Two of the witnesses that have previously testified before the committee are expected to be called back–former CIA Director David Petraeus and his ex-deputy Michael Morell.

The article reports:

In addition to Rogers’ assessment, military experts say the mortar strike on the CIA base was evidence of a planned terror attack, and because it forced the evacuation of the annex, it must have been known immediately in Washington. But in a letter to the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee in January 2013,Morell said “the nature of the attacks suggested they did not involve significant pre-planning.”

…Separately, Morell is accused by Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee of misleading lawmakers over the White House’s role in the so-called Benghazi talking points by stating the text was provided to the administration for their awareness, not for their input. Emails later released by the administration showed otherwise. Morell, who excised half of the talking points text, previously told Fox News that “neither the Agency, the analysts, nor I cooked the books in any way.”

When pressed on the sophistication of the mortar attack, two sources familiar with Petraeus’ statements to Congress said he also seemed to downplay the necessary planning and skill, stating the mortars could have been fired from the back of a truck with the same accuracy.

None of the five military officers contacted by Fox News said the truck explanation was plausible.

There has been so much misinformation put out by the Obama Administration about Benghazi that I really wonder what in the world is the truth and what is the reason for all the misdirection. It is amazing to me that the only person who has actually spent time in jail for the Benghazi attack is the filmmaker of the video that had nothing to do with the attack. The bad guys have been interviewed by CNN, but somehow out government can’t find them. It would be really nice if we found out what all the lying was about so that we could move on to other things.

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The Spin Continues

Fox News posted a story today about the testimony of General Petraeus before Congress. Unfortunately, unless things change in this investigation, politics will be more important than the fact that four Americans lost their lives in Benghazi.

The article reports:

Former CIA Director David Petraeus stoked the controversy over the Obama administration’s handling of the Libya terror attack, testifying Friday that references to “Al Qaeda involvement” were stripped from his agency’s original talking points — while other intelligence officials were unable to say who changed the memo, according to a top lawmaker who was briefed. 

Needless to say, there were a few people at the hearings who did not want to hear that testimony.

The story continues:

(Representative Peter) King said a CIA analyst specifically told lawmakers that the Al Qaeda affiliates line “was taken out.” 

A congressional source familiar with this week’s testimony also told Fox News that the language in the CIA talking points about Benghazi was changed from “Al Qaeda-affiliated individuals to extremist organizations” — which had the effect of minimizing the role of terrorists in the attack. 

The Democrats on the Committee accused the Republicans of taking the issue out of context.

The article further reports:

California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff also came to Rice’s defense Thursday, saying after a House intelligence committee hearing that Rice was given the intelligence community’s “best assessment” at the time. 

It was pointed out today that up until September 11, the YouTube video in question had 200 hits. It is amazing that a video with only 200 hits is being credited in some circles with causing the death of four Americans.

Everything the Obama Administration has done on and since September 11th appears to be a cover-up. The goal of the cover-up was to keep the truth under wraps long enough to get President Obama re-elected. Now the election is over, and I am not sure we have seen any noteworthy percentage of the truth. Were there prisoners at Benghazi and was there a gun running operation operating out of Benghazi? Until these two questions are answered in a convincing way, we are simply running around in circles.

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