Thursday, June 30, 2016
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta came off very badly in the Benghazi report : "[N]o asset was ever ordered to respond to Benghazi and the decisions made -- and not made -- coupled with a lack of urgency in Washington, DC, delayed the response even, in some instances, with an ambassador missing." ~~~~~ In 2013, Panetta said nothing could have gotten to Benghazi in time : "The reason is because armed UAVs, AC-130 gunships, or fixed-wing fighters with the associated tanking, armaments, targeting and support capabilities were not in the vicinity of Libya and because of the distance, would have taken at least 9 to 12 hours if not more to deploy. This was, pure and simple, a problem of distance and time." ~~~~~ But, Gowdy told America in his Tuesday press conference : “The mortar attacks could have taken place at 7:15 a.m. or 9:15 a.m. or even at lunch time on the twelfth. Because at the time those two Americans were killed, not a single wheel of a single US military asset had even turned toward Libya.” ~~~~~ Gowdy's comments were not directed at military service personnel but at Panetta and Clinton and their staffs. The report details military readiness stymied by orders to change clothes while Panetta, Clinton and the White House worried about offending Libya instead of ordering troop deployment. ~~~~~ The report also states that the one asset that did deploy to Benghazi was a team of CIA security officials from Tripoli, who apparently were deployed without the knowledge of Panetta or other officials. So, it was US Intelligence, often Obama's scapegoat for his own errors, that actually tried to help their trapped fellow Americans. ~~~~~ Then-United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice has been severely criticized by Americans for her appearances on Sunday talk shows after the attack, calling the assaults spontaneous. But the comments also irritated officials inside the State Department, who had not been asked to help her prepare. Rice’s remarks, officials said, appeared to be divorced from reality. The report offers this account of emails among senior Libya desk officers and other State officials : “I think Rice was off the reservation on this one." / "Off the reservation on five networks!” / “[White House] very worried about the politics. This was all their doing." ~~~~~ Of course, the underlying reason was political -- leading Obama/Clinton/Panetta to lie about a video and the impossibility of deploying troops to save an American diplomatic compound in a very unstable Libya. Obama was in a tight re-election campaign. Polls showed GOP candidate Romney ahead. Libya was dangerous because it refuted Obama's campaign claim that terrorism was defeated. This may be why repeated calls for greater security by US diplomats and US Intell in Libya were ignored by Hillary. Romney pointed out the Obama "error'' in suggesting terrorism was on its knees. And, then came the political nightmare, Benghazi -- al-Qaida linked islamic terrorists with mortars and rockets killed US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, the diplomatic compound and annex were burned and sacked -- how to reply without making Obama a one-term President. The cover-up was cooked up in a White House meeting of Obama, Clinton, Panetta and WH senior advisors. The story would be that an anti-Moslem video set off a spontaneous protest. They already knew this was a lie. But, no troops were deployed until they were satisfied they had saved Obama. The result was that no troops got to Benghazi until the compound was a smoldering ruin and four Americans were dead. NOBODY has been able to show that this is not the reality of Benghazi. ~~~~~ Dear readers, Trey Gowdy told reporters on Tuesday : “I am at peace that we have more information than the other committees had, and we could have had more had we had just a tiny bit of cooperation from the other side.” Hillary Clinton's long ago answer : "What difference does it make." It makes a difference because "the attacks remain a scar on the United States," says a Supplement by two Republicans on the House Committee. Tomorrow.
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Benghazi has stalked Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton since 2012, becoming synonymous with political scandal -- the Obama/Clinton Watergate. Many believe the Obama administration turned a blind eye to Benghazi security, failed to come to the attack victims' aid and then misled the public afterward. ~~~~~ Benghazi has also become a major political problem for Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump has pounded her “bad judgment” and insistence that the violence was in protest to an anti-Moslem YouTube video that was the source of protests elsewhere in the Moslem world. But, the Benghazi attacks were planned and carried out by a member of a radical islamist militia. Hillary's email to daughter Chelsea and phone call to the Egyptian prime minister within 24 hours of the attack make clear she knew the video had nothing to do with it. Yet, she persisted in blaming video-inspired spontaneous protests when speaking to Americans and to victims' families, telling lies when the fact is that diplomatic security agents in Libya unanimously testified “there was no protest” at the compound. ~~~~~ The Benghazi committee report rips Clinton for not acting on repeated warnings about growing extremism in Benghazi and elsewhere in Libya after the Hillary-championed, American-led ouster of Moammar Qaddafi : “It is not clear what additional intelligence would have satisfied either [Undersecretary of Management Patrick] Kennedy or the Secretary in understanding the Benghazi Mission compound was at risk -- short of an attack. The intelligence on which Kennedy and the Secretary were briefed daily was clear and pointed -- Al Qa’ida, al Qa’ida like groups, and other regional extremists took refuge in the security vacuum created by the Libya government and its inability to take command of the security situation.” ~~~~~ On Monday, Trey Gowdy, Benghazi Select Committee Chairman, accused the Obama administration of deliberately deceiving his panel : “Whatever the administration is hiding...it's well past time the [State] Department stops stonewalling.” The Benghazi committee has for over a year tried to obtain records from the State Department without success -- among them are emails from senior aides to then-Secretary of State Clinton, some of her emails, and additional records from an Accountability Review Board analysis of the Benghazi attacks. In addition, the White House has stonewalled the committee’s efforts to get answers about President Obama’s activities the night of the September 11, 2012, attacks. Republicans say this obstruction is Obama's effort to hide key facts. ~~~~~ Gowdy refused to accuse Clinton of wrongdoing during a Tuesday press conference, saying his charge was to find the truth about the Americans killed in Benghazi. His refusal to call Hillary culpable is also a result of his habitual caution as a prosecutor. But, while he is being criticized, Gowdy gave us the facts. And, two other committee members, Mike Pompeo and Jim Jordan, had no reservations about Clinton's culpability. They released an additional 48-page supplement amply criticizing Clinton. Pompeo called her behavior “absolutely morally reprehensible.” ~~~~~ Dear readers, committee Democrats attempted to undercut the report on Monday, by releasing their rebuttal and many interview transcripts a day early. And, despite all facts and findings to the contrary, Hillary was predictable : "the committee had to today report it found nothing -- nothing -- to contradict the conclusions of the independent accountability board or the conclusion of the prior, multiple congressional investigations carried out on a bipartisan basis in the Congress.” NO. The report attacked the Accountability Review Board created by the State Department to investigate Benghazi. Clinton senior staff were deeply involved in the ARB's formation and edited a draft of its final report, the committee said : “The decisions to deviate from longstanding processes raise questions about the ARB’s independence, thoroughness, and therefore the fullness of their findings of accountability." More tomorrow.
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Hillary's State Department Worried about Military Attire instead of Deployment while Benghazi Was Under Attack
The House Select Committee on Benghazi provides new details about the fatal 2012 attack in an 800-page report released Tuesday that criticizes the Obama administration and, separately, Hillary Clinton. According to those who had an advance review, the report does not fundamentally alter the understanding of the September 11, 2012, attacks that killed four Americans, including US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens. ~~~~~ The report includes new facts : (1). Ambassador Stevens was in Benghazi with the aim of erecting a permanent diplomatic post to replace the temporary one that came under fire. (2). Military orders appear to have been lost or misinterpreted on their way down the chain, about which responsibilities fell to the Pentagon and to the State Department and who -- if anyone -- needed to be evacuated. The report states : “The response to the attacks suffered from confusion and misinformation circulating between the agencies, underscoring that no one effectively took charge of the US government’s response.” (3). The report criticized the Pentagon, saying it did not move with enough urgency. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta ordered US forces to deploy between 6 and 7 p.m. ET. The attack had begun at 3:42 p.m. ET. Yet, the report said : "...nearly two more hours elapsed before the Secretary's orders were relayed to those forces. Several more hours elapsed before any of those forces moved." During that time the White House held a two-hour interagency meeting to discuss forces deployment and exchange information. The report says Panetta believed his orders were clear, to "deploy the identified assets immediately," not "order the preparation to deploy or the planning to deploy or the contemplation of deployment." In any case, only an unarmed drone reached the diplomatic compound during the attack. (4). Because of State Department worries about Libyan reaction to uniformed US troops in Benghazi, a US Marine platoon changed into and out of their uniforms four times as they waited to be deployed. The commander of a Marine Fleet Anti-Terrorist Security Team platoon testified to the committee : "There was also some talk of whether or not we could carry our personal weapons." (5). The Libyan forces that eventually evacuated the surviving Americans from the CIA annex were in fact former loyalists of deposed strongman Moammar Qaddafi, and not militia groups with a relationship with the US. ~~~~~ The State Department's fuss over uniforms is an example of the danger inherent in political correctness. In Benghazi, it allowed four Americans to be killed and an entire US diplomatic compound to be destroyed by islamic terrorists. Representative Mike Pompeo, a Republican member of the committee, said Tuesday the committee was never able to understand why the Marines were ordered in and out of uniform. However, Pompeo told Hugh Hewitt there was a "big debate" among worried State Department officials who didn't want it to look like it was an invasion of Libya : "They were hypersensitive....Somehow, they had this idea that a big American force in uniform would present some risk that the Libyans would protest, because we were invading their country. And there was this debate...about what the appropriate attire was for going to rescue Americans while our embassy was burning and mortars were falling in Benghazi." ~~~~~ Dear readers, the committee report release realizes a key goal of Chairman Trey Gowdy -- it has been made public before the party nominating conventions next month, preventing the appearance that the committee was inserting itself into the campaign season. Gowdy released a statement Tuesday : “Now, I simply ask the American people to read this report for themselves, look at the evidence we have collected, and reach their own conclusions. You can read this report in less time than our fellow citizens were taking fire and fighting for their lives on the rooftops and in the streets of Benghazi.” Trey Gowdy has done his job. Tomorrow -- the report's political implications.
Monday, June 27, 2016
The Wall Street Journal reported in early June that the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email setup includes messages sent on a less-secure government network that discussed specific CIA drone strikes in Pakistan. The WSJ says many of the 22 emails the State Department refuses to release because of national security concerns date back to 2011 and 2012 and deal with these strikes. According to the WSJ, an agreement between the CIA and the State Department made the CIA give notice to US diplomats before carrying out an enemy strike. And, says the WSJ, these messages "found their way from the field in Pakistan to the US ambassador there, and then to Clinton's aides in Washington." Some of the messages were forwarded to Clinton's non-secure email. The WSJ says the emails were sent on what's called the "low side," a less-secure government network used for unclassified material. None of the messages contain "CIA," "drones," or specific information about each strike, sources told the WSJ, but they contained enough information for all parties to make a decision on whether to go ahead with the strike. The WSJ article says officials told it no evidence exists to suggest that intelligence officials in Pakistan intercepted the messages. ~~~~~ Then, we learned last week that the IT expert responsible for Hillary Clinton’s private email server refused to answer any substantive questions during a 90-minute deposition in a Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit. Bryan Pagliani stated his name, said three times that he understood procedural rules of the under-oath interview, but otherwise declined to say a single word when asked 130 questions, other than to plead his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination : “On advice of counsel, I will decline to answer your question in reliance on my rights under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.” Pagliano’s reliance on the Fifth Amendment was expected, having been announced by his lawyers in a notice to the court. But it will reflect badly on Clinton, whom the judge has said could be forced to answer questions herself, because Pagliano’s refusal to talk means that key details about her email system remain unexplained and she may be asked to explain them. ~~~~~ JW lawyers also questioned Pagliano’s repeated reliance on the Fifth Amendment, talking among themselves during the interview about how he might be trying to protect himself : “To raise a Fifth Amendment privilege, there must be a reasonable basis for it, and it must be appropriate, not just for purposes of obstructing the deposition. We'll reserve [the right] to go back to the court and to compel [answers] if we deem that it is appropriate." JW said it may ask the court to decide if the privilege "has been properly asserted.” Unlike the use of the Fifth Amendment in criminal cases, its use in civil cases may be used by opposing counsel to draw negative inferences about the witness. Pagliano received only limited immunity in the FBI Clinton email investigation. In court filings ahead of his deposition, Pagliani's lawyers and the Justice Department refused to state the terms of the agreement or say how he might be assisting the FBI investigation, warning that the limited nature of his deal could leave him open to prosecution for incriminating information he divulged outside any immunity-protected sessions. The federal court in the FOIA case ruled last week that Pagliano's immunity deal could remain secret. ~~~~~ Dear readers, AP also disclosed on Friday that Hillary failed to turn over a copy of a key message involving problems caused by her use of a private home-based email server. The State Department confirmed this. AP says the damaging disclosure makes it unclear -- despite Clinton's repeated assurances that "all" work-related emails were turned over to State -- "what other work-related emails may have been deleted by the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee." In the November 2010 email, Hillary wrote : “I don’t want any risk of the personal being accessible.” Tomorrow -- Hillary's secret meetings.
Sunday, June 26, 2016
At first glance, we might laugh at the childish Democrat "sit-in" on the House floor -- but it is really a pitiful effort to use the courage of 1960s civil rights leaders in a puny attempt to illegally bring down the Second Amendment, part of the US Constitution those leaders cherished. ~~~~~ When congressional Democrats forced a recess last week by refusing to come to order in the House, sitting on the floor trying to force a vote on a gun control bill that would prevent those on a secret federal "no fly" list from buying guns, Republicans, led by Speaker Paul Ryan, reacted by doing the adult thing. They withdrew so the Democrat tantrum, led by Representative John Lewis, could wear itself out. Presiding officer Texas Congressman Ted Poe recessed. However, Democrat members of the House, Senate, and even Washington Governor Jay Inslee, who was visiting, made appearances pledging support for the gun control plan to bar individuals on secret federal watchlists their Second Amendment rights. ~~~~~ Republicans called the “sit-in” political theater masquerading as a plea for justice. Speaker Ryan told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer : “This is nothing more than a publicity stunt. That’s point number one. Point number two is this bill was already defeated in the United States Senate. Number three, we’re not going to take away a citizen’s due process rights. We’re not going to take away a citizen’s constitutional rights without due process. That was already defeated in the Senate. And this is not the way to try and bring up legislation.” At 10 p.m., Republicans returned to the House chamber for previously scheduled votes. But, the moment Republicans entered the chamber, Democrats screamed and chanted their slogan, “No bill, no break.” After several minutes of the Democrats' antics -- helped by Democrat staffers and supporters in the visitors gallery -- Paul Ryan entered the chamber and took the gavel. Democrats then intensified their shouta and banged their fists on the clerks’ desks à la Khruschev to prevent the House's voting. After several minutes of trying to calm them, Ryan stepped away, leading to boos and chants of “shame” by House Democrats. After the Speaker left, Democrats sang “We Shall Overcome” and shouted, demanding a vote on "no fly no buy" to curb gun sales. Finally, Ryan adjourned the House until after the 4th of July. ~~~~~ The Democrats' refusal to follow House rules is more common in South American and Asian legislatures with less experience in how democracy works. But, the US Democrats were simply being used as mindless Progressive pawns. There's little support for “no fly, no buy” even among top House Democrats. A week after saying he was unsure of the legislation’s consistency with due process of law, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer told CBS that Democrats will keep pushing for the bill : “Well we are going to keep going, we think it is absolutely essential....If you’re on the no fly list, you ought not to be able to get a gun.” On the other hand, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wouldn't say how such a plan would hold up under due process of law. Other left-leaning groups oppose using the secretive federal watchlists to bar individuals from exercising constitutional rights. ~~~~~ Dear readers, although she spoke before the House Democrats' made-for-TV circus began, Sarah Palin excoriated such anti-gun bias, saying the Second Amendment has nothing to do with islamic terrorism : "Exploiting a sick, evil, ideologically-driven attack on Americans to further your twisted anti-Second Amendment mission is disgusting. Today, you're demanding an 'explanation' from law-abiding gun owners, but not demanding the same from followers of Islam, the religion behind this terror? If the demented Orlando terrorist doesn't represent all Islam followers, then why do you insinuate he represents all gun owners? And why, after any shooting, do you always want to take away firearms from the innocent people who didn't do it? Forget your asinine gun control, do your job and engage in islamic terrorist control." __Sarah Palin, 17 June 2016.
Friday, June 24, 2016
Saturday Politics is rarely about something as critical as the UK Brexit vote. ~~~~~ A very cold early morning shower sent chills through US Democrat/Progressive elites on Friday as the scope of the British vote to leave the European Union (52% to 48%) sank in. US Senator Ted Cruz drove it home : “The British people have spoken clearly. The results should serve as a wake-up call for internationalist bureaucrats from Brussels to Washington, DC, that some free nations still wish to preserve their national sovereignty. The United States can learn from the referendum and attend to the issues of security, immigration and economic autonomy that drove this historic vote. Rather than scolding our closest allies for even considering exercising their rights as a sovereign nation, the President of the United States should look for ways to make Brexit...an opportunity to enhance and strengthen the special relationship between our two countries.” ~~~~~ Obama proved that he does not speak for America and tries to sell his personal views as those of the American people. In an April London visit, Obama ignored the US rule of not meddling in allies' internal politics when he said on the BBC that Britain would go to the “back of the queue” for a new trade deal with the US if it voted to leave the EU : “It could be five years from now, 10 years from now before we were able to actually get something done. The UK would not be able to negotiate something with the United States faster than the EU.” On Friday, Obama walked those comments back : "The special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom is enduring, and the UK’s membership in NATO remains a vital cornerstone of US foreign, security, and economic policy.” Some British polls showed voter sentiment moving an additional 1% to 4% toward Brexit after Obama's London comments. A Daily Mail editorial was brutal, saying Obama had shown "contempt for voters. The tone was patronizing, the language menacing -- and the message not only hypocritical but, frankly, insulting....He has no business to come here and preach that submission to Brussels is good for the people of the UK." ~~~~~ And, Obama got it all wrong when he also praised the EU for its efforts to “promote stability, stimulate economic growth, and foster the spread of democratic values and ideals across the continent and beyond.” No. The poster child for the high-handed EU elite dictatorship is the EU creation of a poverty-stricken Greece -- or Spain or Portugal, and increasingly France and Italy, any of whom may demand its own In-Out EU referendum. ~~~~~ But, while Britain’s Brexit vote roiled US and world markets and currencies, these short-term reactions will end as the new reality settles in. The longer-term impact of Brexit will be on the US presidential race -- boosting the gravitas of Republican Donald Trump's assertion that Democrat/Progressive policies have ruined the lives of "working Americans." In Britain, the traditional Labor Party strongholds in the Midlands, northeastern England and eastern Wales bolted to vote for leaving the EU. Their reasons echo those given by US Trump supporters -- immigrants taking jobs and driving down wages, industry fleeing UK/US high taxes for Asia, China dumping low cost goods that destroy UK/US competitiveness, and the visceral reaction against turning over national sovereignty to a Brussels or Washington bureaucratic regime. Trump said : “What happened should have happened, and they'll be stronger for it." ~~~~~ Dear readers, globalization, trade deals, and immigrants who increase social costs and reduce wages -- these affect Americans and British alike. If you believe these problems will end with Obama, think Hillary. Globalization has become the Democrat/Labor/EU theme. Vice President Biden gave a speech in Ireland Friday attacking politicians who blame immigrants for social and economic problems, calling them "reactionary politicians and demagogues peddling xenophobia..." That is Leftist/Progressive globalization. Brexit rejected it. So will America on November 8.
Thursday, June 23, 2016
As we await the referendum results that will tell us whether the British people have chosen to leave or remain in the European Union, we might ask what brought the United Kingdom to this extraordinary day. The debaters and media often reduced it to the British wanting their "freedom," and wanting to reduce the influx of immigrants forced on them by unelected bureaucrats in Brussels. There is really one overwhelming reason the British have demanded this referendum : freedom, independence, national sovereignty. Both British who want to leave and those who want to remain, as well as many continental Europeans, are fed up with the nameless, unelected, globalist EU apparatchiks and elites who crush them under a jackboot of mindless regulations -- right down to how powerful their tea kettle heating mechanism can be. ~~~~~ Disgust at the arrogance of unelected bureaucrats must ring true for Americans, whose own homegrown version is usually labeled "Washington" or "the federal government." Donald Trump gave a major address on Wednesday that addressed the American Progressive bureaucratic mess. Here are highlights from his speech, which easily could have been written by a British "leave the EU" proponent. Just think of Trump as a "leave" champion and Hillary Clinton as the EU determined to eliminate national sovereignty and replace it with governing elites. ~~~~~ Trump : "Today I‘d like to share my thoughts about the stakes in this election. People have asked me why I am running for President. I have built an amazing business that I love and I get to work side-by-side with my children every day. We come to work together and turn visions into reality. We think big, and then we make it happen....I am grateful beyond words to the nation that has allowed me to do it. So when people ask me why I am running, I quickly answer : I am running to give back to this country which has been so good to me. When I see the crumbling roads and bridges, or the dilapidated airports, or the factories moving overseas to Mexico, or to other countries, I know these problems can all be fixed, but not by Hillary Clinton – only by me. The fact is, we can come back bigger and better and stronger than ever before --Jobs, jobs, jobs! Everywhere I look, I see the possibilities....But we can’t solve any of these problems by relying on the politicians who created them. We will never be able to fix a rigged system by counting on the same people who rigged it in the first place. The insiders wrote the rules of the game to keep themselves in power and in the money....it’s not just the political system that’s rigged. It’s the whole economy. It’s rigged by big donors who want to keep down wages. It’s rigged by big businesses who want to leave our country, fire our workers, and sell their products back into the US with absolutely no consequences for them. It’s rigged by bureaucrats who are trapping kids in failing schools. It’s rigged against you, the American people....I am running for President to end the unfairness and to put you, the American worker, first. We are going to put America First, and we are going to Make America Great again. This election will decide whether we are ruled by the people, or by the politicians. Here is my promise to the American voter : If I am elected President, I will end the special interest monopoly in Washington, DC. The other candidate in this race has spent her entire life making money for special interests – and taking money from special interests....Come November, the American people will have a chance to issue a verdict on the politicians that have sacrificed their security, betrayed their prosperity, and sold out their country. They will have a chance to vote for a new agenda with big dreams, bold ideas and enormous possibilities for the American people." ~~~~~ Dear readers, Donald Trump says plainly what most Americans feel -- the federal system is rigged to take away their liberties and impoverish taxpayers. Even if Brexit fails, the British, and other Europeans, will increasingly be Eurosceptics who resist the EU.
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
The DIA Revealed the Hillary/Obama Gun Deliveries to ISIS in 2012 -- It Took Trump to Hammer It Home in 2016
On June 17, Judicial Watch (JW) reported the receipt of an inquiry from a Breitbart.com reporter asking about an Obama administration Benghazi document JW had released in 2015 (June 21 blog) -- a Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) report that revealed the Syria opposition was led by groups including ISIS precursor, al-Qaida in Iraq. The DIA report warned : "The deterioration of the situation has dire consequences on the Iraqi situation...: This creates the ideal atmosphere for AQI [al Qaeda Iraq] to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi, and will provide a renewed momentum...unifying the jihad among Sunni Iraq and Syria, and...Sunnis in the Arab world against what it considers one enemy, the dissenters [Shia Islam]. ISIS could also declare an Islamic state through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, which will create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of its territory." ~~~~~ The report led to an important Breitbart story -- “Hillary Clinton Received Secret Memo Stating Obama Admin ‘Support’ for ISIS.” Breitbart wrote : “Hillary Clinton received a classified intelligence report stating that the Obama administration was actively supporting Al Qaeda in Iraq, the terrorist group that became the Islamic State....The  memo made clear that...Western and Gulf states were supporting the terrorist group to try to overthrow Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad, who was being propped up by the Russians, Iranians, and Chinese." ~~~~~ Breitbart quoted Chris Farrell, former Army counter-intelligence officer and JW investigation head : “The document is an IAR, an intelligence information report....produced by somebody within the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)....reporting from the field...to headquarters with some intelligence that somebody is willing to bet their career on.” Farrell confirmed the report was sent to Clinton’s office, based on the recipient marking “RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHINGTON DC.” ~~~~~ So, well before the November 2012 presidential election, the Obama administration was shipping, or allowing the shipment of, weapons to Syria for use by ISIS-precursor islamists who might create an Iraq caliphate. But, this information lay dormant until last week, when Donald Trump tweeted : "The Obama administration was actively supporting Al Qaeda in Iraq, the terrorist group that became the Islamic State." (Donald Trump, June 15, 2016, Facebook post). Mainstream media and DC insiders shouted, defending Obama, calling Trump’s claim “bizarre ” and “a conspiracy theory.” However, it wasn't Donald Trump but Obama's gutsy DIA that produced the report saying the “West” agreed with and was supporting al-Qaida elements trying to oust the Syrian regime. ~~~~~ It is clear at the very least that Clinton and Obama knew about weapons being shipped from Benghazi to Syria and knew they would be used by ISIS. They had the October 2012 DIA report that said : "During the immediate aftermath of, and following the uncertainty caused by, the downfall of the ((Qaddafi)) regime in October 2011 and up until early September of 2012, weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles located in Benghazi, Libya were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the ports of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria...chosen due to the small amount of cargo traffic transiting these two ports. The ships...were medium-sized...to hold 10 or less shipping containers of cargo." ~~~~~ Dear readers, retired General Mike Flynn, one of Obama's DIA heads, told the Washington Post the report was “written by a professional intelligence officer with DIA and...I stand by its accuracy.” Flynn, who has advised Trump, said the cable information was “accurate and...very timely but it didn’t meet the political narrative....AQ was never on the run, then or now." By withdrawing from Iraq in 2011, he said, “this administration decided, for purely political reasons, not to sustain our victory over AQI and...we now face an even stronger global jihad movement..." Donald Trump may not speak 'politicalese,' but he is seldom wrong.
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
FACT CHECK ~~~~~ On May 18, 2015, Judicial Watch (JW) announced it had obtained more than 100 pages of previously classified “Secret” documents from the Department of Defense (DOD) and the State Department (STATE) revealing that DOD immediately reported that the attack on the US Benghazi Consulate was committed by al-Qaida and Moslem Brotherhood-linked “Brigades of the Captive Omar Abdul Rahman” (BCOAR), and that it had been planned at least 10 days in advance. Rahman, the Blind Sheikh, is serving a life sentence for his part in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and other terrorist acts. The documents released in 2015 by JW also provided the first official confirmation that the US government was aware of arms shipments from Benghazi to Syria. And, the documents include a pre-Benghazi August 2012 analysis warning of the rise of ISIS and predicting failure of the Obama regime change policy in Syria. ~~~~~ The documents were released under a court order in a 2014 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed by JW against DOD and STATE seeking communications between the two agencies and congressional leaders “on matters related to the activities of any agency or department of the US government at the Special Mission Compound and/or classified annex in Benghazi.” ~~~~~ Key passages from the DOD/STATE documents provided to JW in the FOIA lawsuit were released and explained by JW as follows (spelling unchanged) : "A Defense Department document from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), dated September 12, 2012, the day after the Benghazi attack, details that the attack on the compound had been carefully planned by the BCOAR terrorist group 'to kill as many Americans as possible.' The document was sent to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Obama White House National Security Council. The heavily redacted [DIA report] says that the attack on the Benghazi facility 'was planned...ten or more days prior on approximately 01 September 2012. The intention was to attack the consulate and to kill as many Americans as possible to seek revenge for U.S. killing of Aboyahiye ((ALALIBY)) in Pakistan and in memorial of the 11 September 2001 atacks on the World Trade Center....the DIA report says 'the leader of BCOAR is Abdul Baset ((AZUZ)), AZUZ was sent by ((ZAWARI)) to set up Al Qaeda (AQ) bases in Libya.' The group’s headquarters was set up with the approval of a 'member of the Muslim brother hood movement…where they have large caches of weapons. Some of these caches are disguised by feeding troughs for livestock. They have SA-7 and SA-23/4 MANPADS…they train almost every day focusing on religious lessons and scriptures including three lessons a day of jihadist ideology.' The Defense Department reported the group maintained written documents, in 'a small rectangular room, approximately 12 meters by 6 meters…that contain information on all of the AQ activity in Libya.' ” JW said Azuz is again blamed for the Benghazi attack in an October 2012 DIA document. ~~~~~ According to JW, the DOD documents also contain the first official documentation that the Obama administration knew weapons were being shipped from the Port of Benghazi to rebel troops in Syria. An October 2012 report confirms : "Weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya, to the Port of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria....during late-August 2012...." ~~~~~ Dear readers, another JW lawsuit uncovered a STATE document created the morning after the Benghazi attack -- by Hillary Clinton’s offices, and the Operations Center, Office of the Executive Secretariat -- distributed widely -- including to Joseph McManus (Hillary Clinton’s executive assistant). At 6 am, hours after the attack, the “spot report” on the “Attack on U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi” makes no mention of a video or demonstation. But, this information that could have made Obama a one-term President and ended Hillary's political career got no attention for a year. Tomorrow.
Monday, June 20, 2016
Judge Andrew Napolitano, Fox News senior judicial analyst, says Hillary Clinton continues to lie about her emails. He claims : "This self-created crisis is blowing up in her face....I believe there is enough evidence [for her] to be indicted. The decision will ultimately be made by the political branches but if the FBI's diligent work in this case is not vindicated, the President will have serious problems on his hands as will she....She did not want the rest of the State Department to know what she was doing. She especially did not want the President to know what she was doing." Napolitano says when the FBI interrogates Clinton : "...she'll sit down with them and they'll ask her questions she will not want to answer." ~~~~~ In a June federal court filing trying to stop an FOIA lawsuit by journalist Jason Leopold, the FBI said it's treating everything on the private server used to run former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s personal email account as evidence or potential evidence in the federal investigation connected to the server : “[A]ll of the materials retrieved from any electronic equipment obtained from former Secretary Clinton for the investigation are evidence, potential evidence, or information that has not yet been assessed for evidentiary value. Release of any of that additional information “could reasonably be expected to interfere with the pending investigation.” The FBI refused to confirm details of its investigation, declining to outline which, if any, laws it believes may have been broken to cause its investigation. It also would not name the investigation target or confirm reports that multiple senior Clinton aides have been interviewed. But, the claim that all material is being treated as current or potential evidence could spell trouble for Clinton. ~~~~~ There was never much doubt that Hillary would win the Democrat presidential nomination, but the frenetic celebrations by Democrat apparatchiks and the Democrat-allied mainstream media, even before the California primary had sealed the deal, were damage control theatre in face of the FBI investigation. The FBI investigation apparently covers likely violations of federal laws governing official record-keeping, maintenance of classified information, evidence-tampering, obstruction of justice, and possible pay-for-play bribery through the Clinton foundation. Indictment for any one of these infractions could de-route Hillary's march to the White House and put her face-to-face with a federal prison. Hillary Clinton knows that actual prosecution by the Obama Justice Department is a very long shot, even assuming the FBI refers charges to the DOJ. But, even an FBI referral of charges would damage her campaign and increase doubt among American voters, who already overwhelmingly think she is dishonest. Donald Trump doesn't call her "Crooked Hillary" for nothing. ~~~~~ What will FBI director James Comey do? Will he follow the evidence and controlling laws and ask for a multiple-charge indictment? Or is he a political animal who'll do what's best for himself and his White House boss. Whatever's coming, it's in Hillary's best interest to discourage Comey. Her early seizure of the Democratic nominee mantle does that. Comey has often said he feels no pressure and will take the time needed to do a good job. But, the best time for him to act is before Hillary is nominated. After the nomination, Hillary becomes the standard bearer of one of America's two political parties. ~~~~~ Dear readers, Comey has a few weeks before the Democrat Convention anoints her, but every day of his non-action lets Hillary and her team play the Clinton game she perfected in the 1990s defending Bill's sexual assault charges -- she will claim there's a "vast right wing conspiracy" led by a Republican FBI director trying to derail the first female presidential nominee. Whatever Comey does, he'll face accusations of political motivation. But, after the race is headed toward November 8th, it will be even less likely than usual that Obama's Justice Department will be blind or non-political.
Sunday, June 19, 2016
A former Secret Service agent has written in a new book about Hillary Clinton’s “Jekyll and Hyde” temper. Gary Byrne writes in the introduction of “Crisis of Character: A White House Secret Service Officer Discloses His Firsthand Experience with Hillary, Bill and How They Operate,” that Hillary was “erratic, uncontrollable and occasionally violent....she simply lacks the integrity and temperament to serve in the office....And with Hillary’s latest rise, I realize that her own leadership style – volcanic, impulsive, enabled by sycophants and disdainful of the rule set for everyone else – hasn’t changed a bit.” The book is due out June 28. ~~~~~ But, it seems, lawyers for the State Department are doing their best to keep the former Secretary on track for the presidency and off the public record, saying in a court filing in early June it would take 75 years to release the emails of Hillary Clinton's staffers. The filing noted that the records requested in two lawsuits by the Republican National Committee consist of 450,000 pages and include the former Secretary of State's aides Cheryl Mills and Jacob Sullivan as well as State Department official Patrick Kennedy : "Given the Department's current [Freedom of Information Act] (FOIA) workload and the complexity of these documents, it can process about 500 pages a month...16-and-2/3 years to complete the review of the Mills documents, 33-and-1/3 years [for] the Sullivan documents, and 25 years [for] the Kennedy documents – or 75 years in total." State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau told CNN that FOIA requests have tripled since 2008 : "In fiscal year 2015 alone we received approximately 22,000 FOIA requests." ~~~~~ The State Department refusal to comply with FOIA law is illegal and should be an investigation in itself, but Americans and GOP congressional oversight seem to be indifferent to this massive cover-up, remaining silent in the face of the apparent arrogance of the President in allowing his State - and Justice - Departments to flout the law. ~~~~~ Also in early June, legal public interest watchdog Judicial Watch released the transcript of a three-hour deposition with a senior State Department aide about Hillary Clinton’s private email server. Stephen Mull, State Department Executive Secretary under Clinton, is the third person interviewed in the FOIA lawsuit seeking to make public the details of Clinton's controversial email setup. In his deposition recorded at the Justice Department, Mull provided few new details about Clinton’s email arrangement or State’s record-keeping practices, repeatedly insisting he could not recall various aspects of the setup. In particular, Mull testified he had no memory of what led him to write a 2011 email proposing that Hillary use a State Department email account on one of two department-issued BlackBerry devices. “I don't recall why, no....I don't recall the circumstances that led me to -- to write that.” In the 2011 email, Mull assured Clinton aides that the government email account would “mask her identity” but “would also be subject to FOIA requests." Mull said : “I can't recall the circumstances that led me to write this. But I do speculate it would have been to ensure that it was clear that Secretary Clinton's name would not appear on the State Department's directory.” At the time, longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin told Mull a BlackBerry using a State 'dot gov' email account “doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.” ~~~~~ Dear readers, two related facts are red flags. First, IT expert Bryan Pagliano, who set up and maintained Hillary's secret email server, was scheduled to be deposed in early June, but a federal judge delayed the interview after Pagliano’s lawyers said he would assert his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. And, if that doesn't disturb and anger America, this really should. Stephen Mull is now the Obama administration’s lead coordinator of implementation for the Iran nuclear deal. Did his poor memory land Mull the new job -- or was it perhaps payment for lying under oath on behalf of Hillary.
Friday, June 17, 2016
Saturday Politics this week is about facing up to the world we live in. ~~~~~ On Monday evening near Paris, a French police commander, 42, was savagely knifed and killed outside his home by a man known to French security because of a prior 2 1/2-year imprisonment for helping islamist militants go to Pakistan. The terrorist, born in France of Moroccan parents, had written a 2011 email intercepted by French intelligence and quoted by Le Monde : “Frankly, do you think we need to go over there? Allah, through his will, will give us the means to raise the flag here. We have to start cleansing the KUFFAR [infidels].” After stabbing the officer nine times while crying "Allah Akbar," the terrorist left him bleeding to death and entered his home, taking as hostages the policeman's wife, who was a police employee, and their 3-year-old son. During a standoff, the terrorist told police he was a member of ISIS. He slit the throat of the wife before French security forces stormed the house, killing him. The toddler survived but is hospitalized in a state of shock. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack. ~~~~~ In the US on Sunday, a 29-year-old islamic terrorist shot 102 people at a gay club in Orlando, Florida, killing 49, wounding 53. The FBI had known about the islamic terrorist, having interviewed him three separate times over several years. He had told the FBI he hoped to be a martyr. At one point, the government had been investigating the mosque he attended, but the investigation was shut down by Hillary Clinton’s State Department because it appeared to be anti-Islam. After the massacre, the FBI Director said the man had “links to al-Qaida, Hezbollah, and the Islamic State.“ He made pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia in 2011 and 2012 and claimed to personally know the Boston Marathon Bombers. His parents were born in Afghanistan, but he was born in New York. His father has expressed support for the Taliban on YouTube. Despite those links to islamist groups, the terrorist was cleared to work “as a security guard at a courthouse,“ employed by the world's largest security services company. ~~~~~ A British-born doctor and Moslem scholar, who has gained a following by urging Moslems to ‘get rid of’ homosexuals, gave a speech in April titled ‘How to deal with the phenomenon of homosexuality’ to the Husseini Islamic Center outside Orlando. Two months later, the islamist killer called 911 to swear allegiance to ISIS as he was carrying out the worst massacre in US history -- in a gay club. After the attack, his father posted a video message noting that his son should have refrained because "God himself will punish those involved in homosexuality." ~~~~~ The French response to the police murders was swift. President Hollande assembled senior cabinet ministers. Prime Minister Valls, who has said "We are at war with radical Islam," this week said the terror threat in France “has without doubt never been so high,” with networks regularly dismantled and people detained for questioning. Jérôme Fourquet, of the polling company Ifop, says the French no longer distinguish between internal and external threats, see the large Moslem minority as a sort of “fifth column,” and are resigned to the possibility of further attacks. ~~~~~ Consider President Obama's response to the Orlando attack : "He was inspired by terrorist information....I think we don't yet know the motivation....We see no clear evidence that he was directed externally, uh, it does appear that, at the last minute, he announced allegiance to ISIL....[The FBI] has reached no definitive judgment on the precise motivations of the killer." ~~~~~ Dear readers, Obama's ambivalence feeds radical Islam in the US and creates an environment primed for islamic terror. France is mobilized to seek and arrest islamists. There is national debate about preventive detention, electronic bracelets for suspected islamists, shutting down mosques, deporting radical imams, and criminalizing the consultation of jihadist websites. In the US, political correctness and a conflicted President prevent debate.
Thursday, June 16, 2016
Most Americans are weary -- and furious -- about the Progressive war on the Second Amendment. Their purpose is clear -- unarmed people cannot defend themselves, their families, or their Constitution's guarantee of personal liberty. Progressive leaders know that as long as the Second Amendment remains, citizens will defeat their War on America. ~~~~~ Donald Trump on Wednesday said he would meet with the National Rifle Association to discuss the terror and no-fly watch lists, tweeting : "I will be meeting with the NRA, who has endorsed me, about not allowing people on the terrorist watch list, or the no fly list, to buy guns." The NRA replied : "The NRA believes that terrorists should not be allowed to purchase or possess firearms, period....At the same time, due process protections should be put in place that allow law-abiding Americans who are wrongly put on a watchlist to be removed." ~~~~~ Democrat politicians on Tuesday restarted their push for legislation banning individuals on the federal No-Fly List from purchasing firearms -- "No Fly, No Buy." But, ijreview.com says the Democrat bill "lacks any clarification on how the federal government can go about revoking the 2nd Amendment for citizens who have not been given due process." In fact, there is no 'due process' -- the DHS process was declared unconstitutional in 2014. ~~~~~ In December 2015, Kelli Ann Burriesci, deputy assistant secretary for screening coordination, Office of Policy, DHS, was grilled by Representative Trey Gowdy before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, on "Terrorism and the VI SA Waiver Program." Gowdy asked Burriesci : "What process is afforded a United States citizen before that person's Constitutional right is infringed?" She replied there is no process "before," but once you are put on it, there is a process to get off it. Gowdy then said he'd left out a key word. The question should have been, "What 'due process' is afforded…? Because Americans are guaranteed that their rights cannot be taken away without 'due process.' It's in the Constitution." ~~~~~ Then, Gowdy blew away Burriesci and her bosses at Homeland Security : "Is there another constitutional right that we treat the same way for American citizens, that we do the 2nd Amendment? How about the 6th? Or my favorite -- how about the 8th Amendment? We're going to subject you to cruel and unusual punishment until you petition the government to get off the list." He exposed with unequaled clarity how leftists and Progressives pretend that it's okay to treat the 2nd Amendment differently from other constitutional rights that they consider sacrosanct because they suit Progressive purposes. Gowdy, a former prosecutor, is deliberate and eloquent, and his arguments are bulletproof. If Donald Trump would watch this Gowdy video, he wouldn't need to meet with the NRA. ~~~~~ Progressives like to tell us that Thomas Jefferson didn't say what he actually said. But, Jefferson wasn't alone in calling for an armed citizenry -- all the Founders agreed. Here's a sample of their statements. **"The Constitution of most of our states (and of the United States) assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed."__Thomas Jefferson, letter to to John Cartwright, 1824. **"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."__Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759. **"The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms."__Samuel Adams, Massachusetts Ratifying Convention, 1788. **"...the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms."__Tench Coxe, Philadelphia Federal Gazette, 1789. ~~~~~ Mr. Trump, we don't support you so that you can destroy the Second Amendment by surrendering it to the Progressive War on America. Take heed. Don't take us for granted.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama took different approaches to terrorism. Bush took the war on terrorism seriously and communicated that down the line. He took the war to the terrorists, decimated al-Qaida and left Obama with a reasonably stable Iraq. Obama decided to lower the volume and announced in Cairo that the "War on Terror" was over. He closed Gitmo, withdraw prematurely from Iraq, was ambivalent about Afghanistan, ceded Syria leadership to Russian President Putin, and let Russian planes to fly over US aircraft carriers without pushback. President Obama did not take the war on terrorism seriously, and shredded the normal rules of engagement. ~~~~~ International islamic terrorist attacks during the George W. Bush presidency reflected Bush's success in largely confining the radical islamists to the Middle East. On Bush's watch, islamic terrorist attacks, mostly by al-Qaida and Taliban suicide bombers, occurred in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria and Yemen. Notable but isolated exceptions were the London Underground and Madrid railway attacks. ~~~~~ International islamic terrorist atracks during the Barack Obama presidency have reflected his refusal to confine islamic terrorism to the Middle East -- his catastrophic withdrawal from Iraq, his preference for the Moslem Brotherhood in Egypt, his indifference toward Israel, his indecisive Syria civil war policies, and his rapprochement with Iran that destabilized US Middle East allies and kick-started Iran's encroachment into Iraq and the Arabian Peninsula. Obama's monumental failure in his choice of foreign policy strategies has had equally monumental consequences worldwide. Iraq has in practical terms ceased to exist, reverting to sunni-shiite tribal areas and facilitating Iran's control of Iraq and the creation of the Syria-Iraq-Iran shiite arc. Russia saw the arc's value and steam-rolled the weak Obama to position Putin as shiite godfather. Syria sank into vicious civil war, leading to the flow of refugees and hidden islamic terrorists into Europe from the Middle East and North Africa. This has so divided, angered and financially drained Europe that the EU may not survive. It has also opened Europe to a major islamic terrorist onslaught and may be tipping Europe toward an irreparable moslemization. One is hard-pressed to find another presidency so disastrous. ~~~~~ The increasing drumbeat of terrorist attacks in the US made me rethink President Bush. He wasn't an eloquent or intellectual President, but he knew his job was to keep America safe and he did his job. He also kept the world safe, despite the almost universal international disdain for his lack of "style." ~~~~~ President Obama was angry Tuesday because Donald Trump gave him a negative performance review. Obama lashed out at Trump, criticizing his call to ban Moslems from entering the US -- temporarily, to put in place a vetting system that works, but Obama always skips that part. Obama also belittled Trump's criticism of his handling of the war on terror. Obama should be angry -- at himself. He has failed. Innocent people were murdered by islamic terrorists in San Bernardino and Orlando -- 63 Americans who deserved to be kept safe by their President. Yet, President Obama was as wobbly and pointless as ever when he spoke to the nation about Orlando. John Podhortez said Obama was so determined to avoid the subject of islamist, ISIS-inspired or ISIS-directed terrorism that he ended his remarks with "an astonishing insistence that 'we need the strength and courage to change' our attitudes toward the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community." Podhoretz called it "disgusting....There’s no other word for it." ~~~~~ Dear readers, Obama always says global warming is a bigger threat than global terrorism. It shows -- even before San Bernardino and Orlando, polls found that Americans view Obama as soft on islamic terrorists, with 60% saying Obama doesn’t do enough to prevent terrorism and is losing the war on ISIS. By any measure, Obama's islamic terrorism watch has been pitiful.
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
FACT CHECK -- post-9/11 US domestic terror attacks. ~~~~~ During George W. Bush's presidency, the list publicly available is : (1). December 22, 2001 - Shoe Bomber Richard Reid failed to bomb AA Flight 63. (2). July 4, 2002 - Hesham Mohamed Hadayet killed 2 at El Al ticket counter in LA. (3). October 2002 - Beltway Snipers John Allen Muhammed and Boyd Lee Malvo killed 10; Malvo testified attacks motivated by "jihad." (4). March 3, 2005 - Mohammed Reza Taheri-azana drove SUV into a crowd on campus at UNC, Chapel Hill, injuring 9. (5). March 23, 2003 - Grenade attack by Army Sergeant Hasan Akbar on fellow members of 101st Airborne killed 2 and wounded 14. (6). July 28, 2006 - Naveed Haq killed 1 and injured 5 in a shooting at Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle. (7). August 30, 2006 - Omeed Aziz Popal killed 1 and injured 17 in SUV in Fremont CA rampage that ended at Jewish Community Center of San Francisco. (8). December 22, 2006 - Derrick Shareef "violent jihad" attack on Illinois shopping mall stopped by feds. (9). February 12, 2007 - Sulejman Talović opened fire at Trolley Square Mall in Salt Lake City, killing 5, injuring 4, while shouting "Allahu Akbar!" ~~~~~ The publicly available list of domestic terror attacks under President Obama is : (1). June 1, 2009 - Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad killed 2 Army privates at a military recruiting station in Little Rock. He reportedly converted to Islam in college and was on FBI radar after his arrest in Yemen for using a Somali passport, although he was a US citizen. He told Arkansas judge he was a member of al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula. (2). November 5, 2009 - Major Nidal Malik Hasan shooting spree at Fort Hood, Texas, military base, killed 13, injured 32, while he shouted "Allahu Akbar!" Hasan was in contact with al-Qaida leader Anwar al-Awlaki before the attack. After his death sentence, Hasan requested to join ISIS. Obama called the shooting "workplace violence." (3). April 15, 2013 - Tamerlan and Dhozkar Tsarnaev detonated two bombs at the Boston marathon, killing 3 and injuring 260. The brothers later killed an MIT police officer. They were self-radicalized through online jihadist propaganda and a mosque with ties to al-Qaeda. (4). September 24, 2014 - Alton Nolen beheaded a woman at a Moore, Oklahoma, Vaughan Foods plant and stabbed and injured another person. He appears to have been a radicalized Moslem obsessed with beheadings. (5). October 23, 2014 - Zale Thompson, a self-radicalized Moslem, injured 2 Queens, NYC, police officers with a hatchet before being shot dead by other officers. Lobe wolf Thompson was self-radicalized with ISIS, al-Qaeda and al-Shabab websites. (6). December 20, 2014 - Ismaayil Brinsley shot and murdered 2 Brooklyn police officers. His Facebook page featured jihadist postings and had ties to a terror-linked mosque. (7). May 3, 2015 - Two gunmen shot up the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas, site of a Mohammed cartoon contest. They were killed by a police officer. ISIS claimed responsibility. (8). July 16, 2015 - Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez killed 5 at a military base in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He is believed to have been inspired by ISIS. (9). December 14, 2015 - Two islamists, Syed Farook and wife Tashfeen Malik, murdered 14 people and injured 22 at an office holiday party in San Bernardino, California. (10). June 12, 2016 - Omar Mateen pledged allegiance to ISIS while killing 49 and injuring 53 at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. ~~~~~ Domestic deaths caused by jihadists under Bush was 21, with 49 injured. Domestic deaths caused by jihadists under Obama is 89, with 370 injured. ~~~~~ Dear readers, we can also compare the 7,654 worldwide terrorism deaths in 2008 under Bush to the all-time high 32,658 worldwide terrorism deaths under Obama in 2014 -- an increase of 426%, according to the latest report of ‘Vision of Humanity.’ President Obama's weakness as world leader and failure to even utter the words "radical islamic terrorism" emboldened the islamic jihadist movement and caused their evil expansion and growth. Tomorrow.
Monday, June 13, 2016
Our prayers are with the Orlando victims, their families and dear ones. America feels grief and shock at another ISIS-related massacre. ~~~~~ On Sunday, President Obama called the Orlando massacre an act of terror and hate, but not islamic. After his usual condolences, he took up his favorite gun theme : "Today marks the most deadly shooting in American history. The shooter was apparently armed with a handgun and a powerful assault rifle. This massacre is therefore a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon that lets them shoot people in a school, or in a house of worship, or a movie theater, or in a nightclub. And we have to decide if that's the kind of country we want to be. And to actively do nothing is a decision as well." ~~~~~ President Obama couldn't resist blaming the Second Amendment for the islamic terrorist who murdered 49 Americans and swore allegiance to ISIS and its leader al-Baghdadi during a 3-hour hostage standoff. Democrat presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton were right behind Obama, demanding strict controls on gun ownership. Hillary said : “We need to keep guns like the ones used last night out of the hands of terrorists or other violent criminals.” ~~~~~ In contrast, Donald Trump tweeted : "Horrific incident in FL. Praying for all the victims & their families. When will this stop? When will we get tough, smart & vigilant?" Monday, Trump delivered a speech that outlined an America-first plan for dealing with islamic jihadist terrorism in America. ~~~~~ Senator Ted Cruz joined Trump : "Enough is enough. What we need is for every American -- Democrat and Republican -- to come together, abandon political correctness, and unite in defeating radical Islamic terrorism....We need a President who is serious -- who will identify the enemy by name and do everything necessary to defeat it." Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich blasted the Obama administration for "willfully" avoiding telling Americans about the threat of Islamic terrorism and ideology : "If you look around the planet...we're in a worldwide death struggle with a radical movement and they want to destroy western civilization and yet our leaders in both Europe and America blindly say they can't really mean it. How many incidents does it take for them to realize they mean it? You better hope they don't get nuclear weapons." Gingrich also said he hopes because of this tragedy, "the gay rights movement will come to realize that Islamic supremacy is their mortal enemy. People get killed in countries dominated by Sharia if they are gay." Gingrich noted : "If the FBI knew that this guy was engaged with serious Islamic groups, we're going to have to redefine for the courts national security restrictions, and say if we know that you're in contact with people who actively want to kill Americans, we're going to lock you up. This is an alien ideology that wants to destroy our civilization and our current approach to it is incredibly incompetent." ~~~~~ Political analyst Dick Morris said : "The horrific killings in Orlando remind us that terrorism...is and will be the central issue in the fall campaign. The blunt fact is that in the seven and half years after 9-11, there were no major terror attacks on American soil under the watch of President George W. Bush. Since then, they have been almost a monthly occurrence with 44 incidents, most with casualties, since Obama took office." Morris noted that the latest Gallup poll found voters favored Trump over Hillary Clinton on handling “terrorism and national security” by 50%-46%. ~~~~~ Dear readers, ISIS took responsibility for the Orlando attack : "The attack that targeted a nightclub for homosexuals in Orlando, Florida and that left more than 100 dead and wounded was carried out by an Islamic State fighter." We know Obama opened America's doors to unvetted Moslem "refugees" and, as Europe has learned, islamic terrorists are hidden with them. The next President will have to deal with that. Tomorrow, we will look at the history of islamic terrorism since 9/11.
Sunday, June 12, 2016
To follow up on the hard truth that most American politicians of both parties don't care about the future of the US, her citizens and her Constitution as much as they care about themselves, let's consider Great Britain's politicians and citizens. British voters will decide on June 23 whether to leave the European Union -- whether to reject the EU model of globalization/open borders/government by unelected bureaucrats by voting to take back their sovereignty, make their own decisions and re-establish free markets. Polls have shown the vote for staying in the EU or leaving it, called Brexit, will be very close. But, a weekend poll found 55% favor Brexit -- a dramatic shift. A June 12 American Thinker article by Clarice Feldman calls the Brexit vote "the last chance for Britain to retain its national identity." She spells out the reasons, focusing on EU bureaucracy : "The EU is a richly compensated, enormous, anonymous unelected bureaucracy completely lacking in transparency. Its power rests in people the voters are unaware of and unable to remove. They are utterly unaccountable to the voters. It is a wasteful crony capitalist racket, working largely to keep its own gravy train (and that of its favored friends) going and growing." While other Europeans have not yet revolted against government by unelected elites, the ancient British love of independence runs deep, although the decimation in Britain caused by World War II weakened its resolve when the idea of the EU was broached. Only postwar Germany had taken full advantage of the Marshall Plan to eliminate wartime regulatory bureaucracy, creating a dynamic economy that became and still is Europe's powerhouse, while the British continued to struggle with shortages, rationing, and economic stagnation. Trying to replicate Germany's success, the EU was created and gradually enlarged by a left-leaning bureaucracy accountable to nobody -- with predictable results : high prices, unemployment, regulatory lids on innovation, loss of national decisionmaking. In short, economic disaster. The Brexit vote will tell us whether Britain has had enough of this. ~~~~~ Now, let's consider Donald Trump’s popularity in America. The fundamental economic and political questions facing the developed world are all present in the Brexit vote, and Trump is asking the same questions : have the political and economic elites improved Americans' daily lives? is it time to rethink and reframe the US political and economic systems from scratch? is it time to throw off the bureaucrats and Progressive elite and “Make America Great Again.” ~~~~~ The Competitive Enterprise Institute says the cost of regulation in the US was $1.88 TRILLION in 2014 for manufacturers and consumers, measured in lost economic productivity and higher prices. If US federal regulation were a country, it would be the world’s 10th largest economy, behind Russia and ahead of India. US economy-wide regulatory costs an average of $14,976 per household -- 29% of an average family budget of $51,100. Although not paid directly by individuals, this “cost” of regulation exceeds the amount an average family spends on health care, food and transportation. ~~~~~ Dear readers, the latest proof that Washington elites are united to favor themselves came Sunday as we learned Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell privately urged GOP colleagues to avoid distracting Senate political fights, calling for a surprising ceasefire on labor and Obamacare, two major battlegrounds in Congress, where GOP voters have demanded action. A Senate Democratic aide said : “Leader McConnell finally realized that the way to pass a spending bill like this is to push the Tea Party aside, surrender on policy riders and give Democrats the opportunity to invest in programs they care about." We may add that 13,000 Congress members and staff get a special Gold version of Obamacare at 25% of the real cost. American taxpayers pay for this perk, even though the average federal salary in 2014 was $84,153 compared to $56,350 for all US workers. Why would McConnell fight Obamacare??
Friday, June 10, 2016
Saturday Politics : America Is Being Sold Out by GOP Leaders to Hillary Clinton and the Progressives
Saturday Politics is sometimes about great disappointments in politics. Watching the shenanigans of Republican leaders in the month since it became clear Donald Trump would win the GOP nomination, only one conclusion is possible. The GOP leadership will either bolt and nominate someone else -- anyone who is not Trump -- or they will seal off from him the Party's capabilities and sit out the presidential campaign, working only on Senate and House races. ~~~~~ The fact is that the GOP leadership -- such as Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, Reince Priebus -- watches Trump being almost literally raped and lashed by the media and Democrats, and not one of them is coming forward to help him. Instead, they abandon whatever political principles they have and join the Progressive hatemongers in calling Trump racist, unqualified and inept. This is not to say he is any of that -- Trump can win. And I firmly believe that if he does not win, America, as conceived by the Founders and alive for 240 years, will be forever lost. The Republic will become a New World version of socialist Europe, following Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton into a Soros-led One World Marxist morass in which "the masses" are sacrificed for the glory of the State and its elite. ~~~~~ Has the GOP leadership thought of these outcomes as they turn Trump into raw meat for the lions? Do they see the "kamikaze" nature of their acts? They will become the Hanging Judge, pronouncing a death sentence on the GOP. Not even a Trump trouncing as bad as Goldwater's would kill the GOP. But, GOP leaders could -- by betraying Trump and the millions of Republicans who support him. Hundreds of thousands would leave the Party to become Independent, or they would simply cease to vote, perhaps forever, and every GOP departure to any new political home means two votes for Democrats and Hillary. ~~~~~ But what if GOP leaders bolt, abandon their voters, and Trump carries on and wins with the GOP base voting for him? GOP leaders will be DOA on November 8, 2016 -- powerless and lifeless, without ideals or excuses. It's a question of ethics. Can Party bosses, in good conscience, in a Convention committee meeting requiring only a simple majority overturn the spoken wishes of its party base by freeing all bound delegates? Obviously, they can via the bi-laws. And, what if the freed delegates vote for Trump anyway? ~~~~~ GOP leaders are afraid. You can see the fear in their eyes when they face a TV camera. They are afraid of losing their power and privileges if Trump wins. So, they label him a loser -- a dangerous buffoon. In reality, they are the dangerous buffoons. They have acquiesced in the 8 unconstitutional Progressive-Socialist years of Obama; allowed a well-intentioned Tea Party minority in Congress to wreak havoc, when they could have helped them; agreed to two Supreme Court appointees of questionable qualifications; and ignored the corrupt, criminal politics of the Clintons. Why? Because none of these threats to the fabric of America threatens their own power and privileges. Whether the GOP is weakly ambling along, or is on ‘life-support’ since President Reagan, the GOP professionals believe they will survive -- because they are neocons who, like William Kristol, know they can continue to prosper and flourish as long as they don't make waves. So, they are now prepared to sell out to the contemptible Hillary Clinton, willing to destroy America in order to save their own miserable skins. ~~~~~ Dear readers, a friend whose GOP-conservative integrity is pure gold told me this morning that we have fought the good fight and carried the banner proudly and respectfully. That's more than the GOP leadership has often done. Right now, it is time to save Mr. Lincoln's Grand Old Party by supporting Donald Trump. Remember, we are the GOP. The guys in Washington work for us. Without our votes, their power evaporates. Tell our Party leaders to support Trump. Remind them they need us. And tell them America is too precious to be sold out to Hillary Clinton.
Thursday, June 9, 2016
Revisiting the NATO/US/Russia mini Cold War, we should note that US, British and Polish soldiers parachuted into Poland Tuesday in a show of force as NATO launched Anaconda, its biggest war games in eastern Europe since the Cold War. Japan Today says the exercises -- set against the military and diplomatic standoff between Russia and the West -- "have rattled the Kremlin." As for the West, NATO says the Anaconda exercises involving 31,000 troops -- 14,000 of them American -- are meant to improve security on NATO’s eastern flank, where member states are frightened by Russia’s increasing aggression after its 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. Troops from 24 countries, including non-NATO Finland and Kosovo, as well as ex-Soviet “Partnership for Peace” states like Ukraine, will participate in events all over Poland. Anaconda is designed to emulate a “joint defensive operation on a large scale,” says the US Army. The US says it took just 24 hours for 500 rapid “Global Response” paratroopers to deploy 4,500 miles from the world’s largest military base in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov feels the exercises "do not contribute to an atmosphere of trust and security. Unfortunately we are still witnessing a deficit in mutual trust.” ~~~~~ Anaconda occurs ahead of the July Warsaw NATO summit, where despite NATO's cutting all cooperation with Moscow over the Ukraine crisis, formal talks with the Russians will occur, and where NATO's largest makeover since the Cold War will see the deployment of more troop rotations to eastern European member states. Moscow strongly opposes the deployments, said by NATO to be part of its “deterrence and dialogue” strategy. Russia has long protested NATO expansion in its Soviet-era backyard and in 1997 NATO formally agreed not to install permanent bases in former Warsaw Pact states. However, since the Ukraine conflict began in 2014, NATO has created a high-speed “spearhead” response force, with forward command and logistic centers in eastern NATO states. The Pentagon announced in March the deployment of an additional armored brigade of 4,200 troops in eastern Europe from early 2017 on a rotational basis. And, last month Moscow and Washington accused each other of creating an aggressive military presence in Europe as the US starts work on a missile shield in Poland and Romania, and Russia vows to “end threats” posed by the missile system, despite US assurances its purpose is to prevent potential attacks by “rogue” states in the Middle East. ~~~~~ Eastern European NATO members have reason to worry. Russia has significantly upped its presence in the Baltic Sea area and its jets regularly violate the airspace of small ex-Soviet NATO allies like Estonia. In April, they buzzed a US naval destroyer. Some analysts question whether NATO’s strategy of using rotational rather than permanent forces can secure its eastern flank. Carnegie Europe analyst Judy Dempsey said in an interview with AFP : “Russian exercises are sophisticated, they’re big, they’re intimidating and look what they’re doing in Kaliningrad,” she said, referring to Moscow’s maneuvers in the non-contiguous Russian enclave between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic. Dempsey says Kaliningrad is "a warning to NATO: ‘don’t forget, we’re right inside NATO territory.'" Russia has also said it will set up three new divisions in Russia's west and south by year's end to counter NATO forces near its border. Calling the situation “a test of wills,” Dempsey said she believes Russia’s sabre-rattling is aimed at stopping NATO from encroaching even closer by taking Georgia and Ukraine into NATO. But, Dempsey asks if NATO can respond rapidly enough to stop a Russian land grab, "how long will it really take to mobilize ..?” ~~~~~ Dear readers, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov told his Finnish counterpart Russia will respond to NATO in the Baltic because it has the sovereign right to secure its territory. The leit-motif : Russia feels trapped and lashes out. NATO responds. But, negotiation, not knee-jerk confrontation, is the answer.
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
The US political world and its media cronies are again bashing Donald Trump, calling him a racist -- whatever Trump says, the progressive mainstream media sees it as evidence of his "racism." This time, it's about the federal judge overseeing the Trump University lawsuit in California. The judge is of Mexican heritage and Trump raised concerns as to whether he can be impartial because of Trump’s tough stance against illegal immigration from Mexico. Trump actually said : "I'm building a wall. I'm trying to keep business out of Mexico. He's of Mexican heritage, and he's very proud of it, as I am of where I come from." Curiel was born in Indiana to Mexican parents -- that means he is "of Mexican heritage." GOP lawmakers have slammed Trump for his accurate comments. House Speaker Paul Ryan made the worst comment, when he called the comments "textbook" racism, but added he will support Trump -- how's that for political opportunism. ~~~~~ Newt Gingrich, Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham and other GOP leaders joined Ryan. The American Thinker asked in an article if they had done their La Raza homework before calling Trump a racist. Jerome R. Corsi posted an article in WND, “Judge, Law Firm Bringing Trump U Case Both Tied To La Raza,” providing the answer : “The federal judge presiding over the Trump University class action lawsuit is a member of the San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association, a group that while not a branch of the National Council of La Raza, has ties to the controversial organization....District Judge Gonzalo Curiel was a member of the selection committee for the organization’s 2014 Annual Scholarship Fund Dinner & Gala (that featured President Obama as Key Note Speaker). Meanwhile, the San-Diego based law firm representing the plaintiffs in the Trump University class-action case, Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd, was listed as a sponsor of the event.” (We must note that this law firm has paid Bill and Hillary Clinton a total of $675,000 for speeches” -- very unusual for any law firm.) Corsi continues : “At the 2014 San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association event at which Curiel served as a panel member, one of the recipients of a $1,500 scholarship, Ricardo Elorza, boasts about being an illegal immigrant. ‘Mr. Elorza wishes to someday tell any student struggling with higher education, ‘Look, a boy from Oaxaca, who did not know English, and is undocumented has now graduated from law school and is an attorney,’ the San Diego La Raza Lawyers’ Association brochure for the 2014 Annual Scholarship Fund Dinner & Gala said.” Corsi then asks the key question : "Did Judge Curiel not take a judicial oath to uphold the law? And, did he violate that oath by helping promote illegal activity -- which includes violating federal immigration law? Will there be a complaint made against him? Should he be disbarred?" ~~~~~ The guideline for federal judges who may have a conflict of interest is in 28 US Code § 455 - "Disqualification of justice, judge, or magistrate judge. (a) Any justice, judge, or magistrate judge of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned. (b) He shall also disqualify himself in the following circumstances: (1) Where he has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party, or personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning the proceeding;" ~~~~~ Judge Curiel could have disqualified (recused) himself in the Trump University class action case because "his impartiality might reasonably be questioned" or because "he has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party." As for the media's question -- why didn't Trump's lawyers file a motion to disqualify the judge, there could be any number of tactical reasons. Perhaps they see it as a basis for appeal if they think any other district judge in progressive California would also be of questionable impartiality. ~~~~~ Dear readers, the take-away is that Trump had every right to question Judge Curiel's impartiality. Judge Curiel should have recused himself -- as a matter of law, not racism.
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
A Puerto Rico win and more superdelegates give Hillary Clinton the 2,383 delegates needed to become the Democrat presumptive presidential nominee, according to an Associated Press count. ~~~~~ But, Hillary's campaign faces a disaster : a year-long effort to make her more likable has failed. Only 44% of Americans said they had a positive opinion of her in a recent ABC News-Washington Post poll, while 53% view her unfavorably. A May New York Times-CBS News poll found nearly 66% of registered voters see her as untrustworthy and dishonest. ~~~~~ In late May, even the very left MSNBC seemed to agree. "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski said she feels Hillary is not telling the truth about her emails : "it feels like she's lying straight out....Here are the things that over time we remember here. Her saying repeatedly it was allowed. A private server, set up in her home, by an IT guy who was given immunity and his emails are missing, and she even joked when she was asked, I think in a high school, did you wipe the server....And she joked about it being with a cloth." ~~~~~ The Fiscal Times says circumstantial evidence of Hillary’s corruption is "abundant and easily found by anyone not in denial." If Hillary is not responsible for her husband’s infidelity, or for Vince Foster’s suicide, other scandals are impossible to ignore. The State Department Inspector General report says Clinton set up a home email server in violation of department policy to prevent disclosure of her correspondence. The IG report confirms Clinton has not yet turned over all the messages that passed through her personal server. Some of the missing messages may show inappropriate or illegal links between her being Secretary of State and her role in the Clinton Foundation. As documented by Peter Schweizer in "Clinton Cash," State Department project approvals sometimes coincided with large contributions to the foundation by beneficiaries of the State actions. After leaving office, Clinton continued to sell her influence, for example, the $225,000 Goldman Sachs speaking fees. Hillary’s 'pay-for-play' goes back at least to the late 1970s, when she received a $98,000 bribe from interests related to Tyson Foods through a sham futures trading account. Her husband’s Arkansas administration then eased oversight of Tyson, allowing it to contaminate one town’s water supply with chicken manure. In 1992, the close relationship between Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton, Hillary’s Rose Law Firm and regulated entities was detailed by the Washington Post. Under Bill Clinton, Arkansas issued multiple no-bid contracts to the Rose Law Firm, gave it up to $175,000 in bond counsel work and authorized Madison Guaranty Bank -- a failing Savings and Loan Association represented by Hillary -- to issue preferred stock. ~~~~~ Fiscal Times says : "When political leaders fail to play by the rules applied to normal people, a natural reaction is to try and stop them. But, in this case, stopping Hillary Clinton means supporting someone else for President." And that means voting for Bernie Sanders as a third party candidate or a write-in, or the only alternative, Donald Trump. ~~~~~ Dear readers, the IG report tells us that : Hillary is the only Cabinet Secretary ever to use a private server; she deleted more emails than she provided -- in paper form that can’t be electronically searched; she didn't turn over all her work emails, and more than 2,000 of them contained classified information; she didn't hide everything on her own server for convenience, as she claims, but to hide her communications from the Freedom of Information Act. In an email in the report, never before released, Clinton told an aide she didn’t want to use the State Department email system because she didn't want personal emails to be accessible. The report says her own staff believed her server had been hacked several times, negating her claim there had never been a breach. But, Hillary wins by blaming the GOP : “nothing has changed, it's the same story.” It just proves any Clinton can fool most Democrats all the time.
Monday, June 6, 2016
Trump Immigration Plan and Wall -- the Constitution instead of Catch and Release or Sanctuary Cities -- Are Reasonable
Dispute swirls around Donald Trump's connecting the federal judge with Mexican parents who is hearing Trump University cases to Trump's plan to build a wall along the US-Mexican border. Everybody in Washington is telling Trump to apologize to the judge and give up his idea to build a wall. But, what exactly is Trump's wall plan. It's part of his "Immigration Reform That Will Make America Great Again," found on the Trump website. Here are highlights. ~~~~~ There are three core principles in Trump's immigration plan : "(1) A nation without borders is not a nation. There must be a wall across the southern border. (2) A nation without laws is not a nation. Laws passed in accordance with our Constitutional system of government must be enforced. (3) A nation that does not serve its own citizens is not a nation. Any immigration plan must improve jobs, wages and security for all Americans." The Trump immigration plan puts working Americans first : "Real immigration reform puts the needs of working people first -- not wealthy globetrotting donors. We are the only country in the world whose immigration system puts the needs of other nations ahead of our own. That must change." ~~~~~ What is Trump's rationale for making Mexico pay for the wall : "For many years, Mexico’s leaders have been taking advantage of the United States by using illegal immigration to export the crime and poverty in their own country (as well as in other Latin American countries). They have even published pamphlets on how to illegally immigrate to the United States. The costs for the United States have been extraordinary: US taxpayers have been asked to pick up hundreds of billions in healthcare costs, housing costs, education costs, welfare costs, etc....the annual cost of free tax credits alone paid to illegal immigrants quadrupled to $4.2 billion in 2011. The effects on jobseekers have also been disastrous, and black Americans have been particularly harmed. The impact in terms of crime has been tragic. In recent weeks, the headlines have been covered with cases of criminals who crossed our border illegally only to go on to commit horrific crimes against Americans....an illegal immigrant from Mexico, with a long arrest record, is charged with breaking into a 64 year-old woman’s home, crushing her skull and eye sockets with a hammer, raping her, and murdering her. The Police Chief in Santa Maria says the 'blood trail' leads straight to Washington." The Trump immigration plan states : "Mexico continues to make billions on not only our bad trade deals but also relies heavily on the billions of dollars in remittances sent from illegal immigrants in the United States back to Mexico ($22 billion in 2013 alone)....the Mexican government has taken the United States to the cleaners. They are responsible for this problem, and they must help pay to clean it up. The cost of building a permanent border wall pales mightily in comparison to what American taxpayers spend every single year on dealing with the fallout of illegal immigration on their communities, schools and unemployment offices. Mexico must pay for the wall and, until they do, the United States will, among other things: *impound all remittance payments derived from illegal wages; *increase fees on all temporary visas issued to Mexican CEOs and diplomats (and if necessary cancel them); *increase fees on all border crossing cards -- of which we issue about 1 million to Mexican nationals each year (a major source of visa overstays); *increase fees on all NAFTA worker visas from Mexico (another major source of overstays); and *increase fees at ports of entry to the United States from Mexico. [Tariffs and foreign aid cuts are also options]. We will not be taken advantage of anymore." ~~~~~ Dear readers, Trump says with reason that America will only be great as long as it remains "a nation of laws under the Constitution," and his immigration plan aims to end "amnesty, cheap labor and open borders" favored by Washington insiders. No more "catch-and-release" or "sanctuary cities," because "No one is above the law."
Sunday, June 5, 2016
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced the D-Day allied European invasion on the Normandy beaches in uncharacteristically stripped down remarks to Parliament the morning of June 6, 1944. Even the great orator Churchill seemed overwhelmed by the sheer size and daring of the feat. Here are Churchill's D-Day remarks to Parliament. ~~~~~ "I have to announce to the House that during the night and the early hours of this morning the first of the series of landings in force upon the European Continent has taken place. In this case the liberating assault fell upon the coast of France. An immense armada of upwards of 4,000 ships, together with several thousand smaller craft, crossed the Channel. Massed airborne landings have been successfully effected behind the enemy lines and landings on the beaches are proceeding at various points at the present time. The fire of the shore batteries has been largely quelled. The obstacles that were constructed in the sea have not proved so difficult as was apprehended. The Anglo-American Allies are sustained by about 11,000 first line aircraft, which can be drawn upon as may be needed for the purposes of the battle. I cannot, of course, commit myself to any particular details. Reports are coming in in rapid succession. So far the Commanders who are engaged report that everything is proceeding according to plan. And what a plan! This vast operation is undoubtedly the most complicated and difficult that has ever occurred. It involves tides, wind, waves, visibility, both from the air and the sea standpoint, and the combined employment of land, air and sea forces in the highest degree of intimacy and in contact with conditions which could not and cannot be fully foreseen..There are already hopes that actual tactical surprise has been attained, and we hope to furnish the enemy with a succession of surprises during the course of the fighting. The battle that has now begun will grow constantly in scale and in intensity for many weeks to come and I shall not attempt to speculate upon its course. This I may say, however. Complete unity prevails throughout the Allied Armies. There is a brotherhood in arms between us and our friends of the United States. There is complete confidence in the supreme commander, General Eisenhower, and his lieutenants, and also in the commander of the Expeditionary Force, General Montgomery. The ardour and spirit of the troops, as I saw myself, embarking in these last few days was splendid to witness. Nothing that equipment, science or forethought could do has been neglected, and the whole process of opening this great new front will be pursued with the utmost resolution both by the commanders and by the United States and British Governments whom they serve." ~~~~~ To those brave, fearless, self-sacrificing men of Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword beaches, we can only say thank you, and to those who died on those beaches 72 years ago, we offer a humble prayer. Their heroic deeds will live forever.
Friday, June 3, 2016
Saturday politics and foreign policy. ~~~~~ NATO members were slow to see the full significance of Putin's invasion of Ukraine -- Russia's annexation of Crimea and fomenting the breakaway of eastern Ukraine, making it a pro-Russian satellite, was the first border change in Europe since 1945. EU countries agreed to sanctions on Russia to try to roll back its acts, but some -- led by Italy and Greece -- now want to end them because of longstanding commercial and natural gas supply ties. Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves believes sanctions have had "a deterring effect," and ending them would only encourage Putin to nibble further. ~~~~~ But, Putin now threatens to nibble in the Baltics and NATO will have trouble defending the Baltic states. They're located at NATO's fringe where Russia can easily and rapidly flood troops. It has been estimated that NATO could hold out for three days against a swift, Crimea-type land grab. But, if Russia’s motivation -- that it should be treated as a superpower whose near border areas must be respected -- is taken into consideration, NATO might find ways to defuse Baltic and perhaps Ukraine tensions. At the same time, NATO and Europe must be ready for the probability that Putin wants to weaken NATO and the EU and create and lead a Putin-style "democracy" in Europe. His nuclear-rattling may be meant to test NATO's determination. So far, NATO holds firm and will deploy 4,000 more troops to the Baltics and Poland on a rotating basis. Key NATO countries are also waking up to the need to spend more on defense. The key will be to acknowledge Russia's border concerns while maintaining the military preparedness that stifles Putin aggression. As Estonia's Ilves pointed out -- Al-Jazeera surprisingly agrees -- Putin probably invaded Ukraine because it is NOT a NATO member and so his invasion did not automatically trigger a NATO military response. Taking eastern European countries into NATO may actually deter Putin, who surely has no illusion that his forces could win against a concerted NATO-US attack. ~~~~~ Fiscal Times' Patrick Smith wrote in October 2015 that when Obama and Putin met at the UN in September 2015, Putin invited Obama to co-lead a united front against ISIS. Smith quoted "sound sources in Moscow." Events tell us Obama refused, and we recall Defense Secretary Ash Carter repeating that he had confidence Russia would fail to defeat ISIS. It was a missed opportunity because Putin is eager to keep jihadist terrorists out of Russia and also to preserve his naval base at Tartus in Syria. Obama could have deferred deciding about keeping Syrian President Bashir al-Assad in power and negotiating a Russian naval presence in the Mediterranean until ISIS was defeated. ~~~~~ Earlier this year, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said the "Mediterranean region is the core of all essential dangers to Russia's national interests." He also announced plans for a new Russian naval task force in the Mediterranean, but in order to operate in the Med, Putin needs access to a chain of ports for refuelling and resupplying from Syria to Gibraltar, he found them, many of which, surprisingly, are in NATO and EU countries, at a time when NATO has broken off relations with Russia and the EU has imposed economic sanctions. Malta, Greece and Spain have offered port facilities to Russian ships. It is unacceptable for NATO and EU states to welcome the Russian navy, often near key NATO naval bases, while Moscow is trying to destroy Ukraine -- the weakness encourages Putin. ~~~~~ Dear readers, in Europe, the Mediterranean and Syria, NATO/EU/US don't need to agree with Putin to work with him to defeat ISIS, negotiate a political transition in Syria, eliminate the terrorist threats near Russia's borders or arrange 'peaceful co-existence' in eastern Europe and the Baltics. Putin has skin in these games, and falling oil income makes negotiation tempting. Putin is more powerful than he should be because he plays Obama's dangerous weakness. The next US President must deal from strength to be able to negotiate.
Thursday, June 2, 2016
From the Baltics to Syria, Russian Heightened Military Aggression Is Answered with NATO-US Military Build-up
Countries lean toward preparation for war to solve foreign and territorial problems. War expenditures amounted to about $1.7 trillion last year, according to data just released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Last year marked the first increase in worldwide military spending since 2011, up 1% over 2014. The top spenders were : (5) the UK spent $55.5 billion, moving up from sixth in 2014, moving above France, which fell from fifth to seventh place. (4) Russia spent on new, advanced weaponry, a war in Syria and military operations at the Ukraine border but still fell to fourth place, with $66.4 billion in military spending. (3) Saudi Arabia contributed to the US-led coalition against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, battled Iranian-backed rebels in Yemen and countered Iran’s growing influence in the region and the world, spending $87.2 billion, or 13.7% of GNP, on defense. (2) China was the only world power except the US to spend more than $100 billion on defense in 2015, spending an estimated $215 billion, or 2.1% of GDP. (1) The United States spent $596 billion, dwarfing everyone else. ~~~~~ Putting aside China, the other top spenders are all in the Europe-Mediterranean arc. In the early 1990s, after the collapse of the Soviet empire, the West believed liberal democracy had triumphed. Many thought NATO was an anachronism in an era of permanent European peace. Some eastern European countries freed from Kremlin control, including tiny Estonia, knew better. Only 25 years later, the EU is unstable and populism grows, while a resurging Russia bent on restoring past glory is making nuclear threats against NATO member states. ~~~~~ Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves was in Philadelphia recently to address a Baltic studies conference at the University of Pennsylvania -- the son of Estonian refugees, he studied in the US and is a Penn alumnus. Ilves told his audience : "Twenty-five years of Western history are over. The optimism of the 1990s has been shattered by Russia. Russia is back with 19th-century goals and 21st-century means. But, we are clueless amid transformational change to which we do not know how to respond because we don't know what we want to achieve." ~~~~~ There are lots of political issues : the EU is losing control as anti-immigrant parties and member-state self-rule agendas threaten to overpower EU undemocratic elitist leaders; Trump and Sanders are shaking the traditional two-party grip on America as the middle class sees its way of life challenged by those forcing on them progressive values they reject; Russian President Vladimir Putin is determined to return Russia to superpower status and rebuild the eastern Europe, Black Sea and southern Asia client-state buffer zones. ~~~~~ In the midst of uncertainty and military muscling-up, NATO has pledged to expand its military footprint in eastern Europe, made new commitments in the fight against ISIS, and agreed to deploy warships in the Aegean Sea to deter people-smuggling networks that ferry migrants from Turkey into EU's Greece. Although the first two pledges reinforce NATO’s mission, the Aegean operation represents a uniquely new type of mission. And, we noted Wednesday, NATO says the increase in military forces will be funded by increased US military spending -- an uneven burden when we consider that Germany, the EU economic engine, spent $39 billion, 1.2% of GDP, on defense in 2015. It has announced a 6.5% increase over the next five years but will still be below NATO's 2% defense spending commitment. ~~~~~ Dear readers, we are in a period of major excalation in military hardware, with an unprecedented unmanned electronic component. The area from Scandinavia and the Baltics through Europe, Black Sea nations, Eurasia, and the Mediterranean to the Middle East is at risk -- this area is identical to the World War II Europe/north Africa/Middle East Theatre. With so much at stake, every nation should be considering how to de-escalate away from unintended but enormously negative consequences. Tomorrow...