Friday, January 31, 2014

Benghazi violence: Obama's good samaritans, the February 17 Martyrs Brigade

Last year I noted the following about the February 17 Martyrs Brigade which was tasked by the Libyan government to guard the U.S. consulate in Benghazi:
In September of 2012, the Obama administration praised a Libyan-based terror militia [the February 17 Martyrs Brigade], claiming the militia spontaneously volunteered its assistance to the U.S when Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other U.S. officials were killed in a terrorist attack in Benghazi.

However, Eric Nordstrom - the State Department's former regional security officer in Libya - testified at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing earlier this month that the aforementioned militia - which was tasked by the Libyan government to guard the U.S. consulate in Benghazi - issued threats, in July of 2012, against former U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens and Senator John McCain.

Moreover, Gregory Hicks, the former deputy chief of mission in Libya, testified that the aforementioned militia was complicit in the Benghazi attacks - which begs the question: Why did the Obama administration allow these terrorist thugs to guard the consulate?
Good question. But let's see what Obama's good samaritans - the February 17 Martyrs Brigade - has been up to lately:

From the AFP:
Clashes in Libya's second city Benghazi killed at least one soldier after the son of the army's special forces commander there was kidnapped Thursday, a military source and witnesses said...

The clashes broke out as heavily armed special forces troops backed by helicopters tracked the abductors of student Ali Abu Khamada, son of their commander Wanis Abu Khamada, after he was "kidnapped by unknown persons near Gar Younes university", a military source said.

Fighting broke out in the Gwarsha, Gar Younes and Al-Hawari districts where several military facilities are in the hands of militias made up of former rebels, the source said on condition of anonymity.

Witnesses said the heaviest clashes were at a base operated by an Islamist ex-rebel group, the Brigade of the February 17 Martyrs...

Special forces members are a frequent target of attack and assassinations in violence-ridden Benghazi, cradle of the 2011 uprising which toppled Moamer Kadhafi.

In late November, several people were killed in three days of clashes between special forces led by Wanis Abu Khamada and the jihadist group Ansar al-Sharia.

And special forces announced last Friday the arrest of four suspects in Benghazi in possession of a hit list of officers to be targeted or who had already been killed. A soldier died in the arrest operation.

Militants have also attacked foreign missions in Benghazi, including a September 2012 assault on the US consulate that killed the ambassador and three other Americans.

Eastern Libya has become a bastion of Islamist extremists, with authorities avoiding a full-blown confrontation with heavily armed former rebels pending the formation of a regular army and police force.

Palestinian Authority's new ties to Iran means Israeli, Palestinian accords is now unequivocally an existential threat to the State of Israel

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas sent Senior Palestinian Authority and Fatah Central Committee member Jabril Rajoub to Tehran earlier this week to conduct a series of meetings with Iranian officials, Reuters reported.

"Our ties with Iran are improving and we look for more opening and progress in this relationship," said Abbas Zaki, a senior member of the Fatah Central Committee.

Mr. Rajoub met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Tuesday. After the meeting, Rajoub told reporters that "a new chapter of relations has started based on mutual respect."

Palestinian officials noted that the Obama administration has not objected to recent overtures that Mahmoud Abbas has made to the Iranian regime.

Par for the course.....

The willingness of the Palestinian authority to warm up to Iran essentially means that any future accord between the PA and Israel - with new borders being drawn up - will place the State of Israel in Iran's crosshairs.

There's no way to spin this one; it's official now: The Israeli/Palestinian accord is clearly an existential threat to the State of Israel.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Obama applauded for high unemployment during State of the Union address

It has been a near insurmountable task, but President Obama's supporters have desperately searched for something positive to cheer about since Mr. Obama took office in 2009. But who would have thought that the President - during his State of the Union address on Tuesday - would receive an applause for high unemployment? Hmmm, when you're desperate, you're desperate, I suppose; you'll grasp at anything - even high unemployment....... See the video below.

Obama? Women deserve equal pay, Hmmm... State of the Union address

During his State of the Union address on Tuesday, President Obama said that many women in the US are earning less than their male counterparts.

"That is wrong!" the President asserted. "It's an embarrassment!"

The President added: "I believe when women succeed, America succeeds!"

"Women deserve equal pay for equal work!" Mr. Obama exclaimed.

A 2008 report, however, revealed that then-Sen. Obama paid his female senate staffers 83 cents for every dollar he paid his male staffers.

Moreover, in 2013, the median salary for female employees in the Obama White House was 13% less than the median salary for male employees.

And that's not right! "That is wrong! It's an embarrassment! Women deserve equal pay for equal work!"

"When women succeed, America succeeds!"

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

USIS, Clinton & Gore Brainchild, accused of fraud and filing over 660,000 flawed background checks; conducted faulty background checks on Snowden & Navy Yard shooter, Alexis

The New York Times reported in July of 1996:
The Clinton Administration is pressing ahead with a plan to transform background investigations of many Government employees into a profit-making business run by a newly created private company, despite protests from some members of Congress, Cabinet officials and investigators worried about confidentiality and security lapses.
The new company, which the New York Times was referring to, is called U.S. Investigations Services [USIS].

And now USIS has been accused of "defrauding the country of millions of dollars by methodically filing more than 660,000 flawed background investigations—40% of the cases it sent to the government over a four-year period," the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

Moreover, the Wall Street Journal noted that, "USIS conducted what federal officials say was a faulty 2011 background investigation of Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked classified documents on the government's surveillance programs to the international media. The company also conducted a 2007 security examination of Aaron Alexis, the defense contractor who died last September after killing 12 people in a shooting spree at the Washington Navy Yard."
U.S. attorneys accused USIS of using its close ties with the federal government to conceal the so-called practice of flushing background checks—sending the government cases that didn't have proper review..."

The company handles about 45% of federal background checks, which are used by the Defense Department, Department of Homeland Security and more than 100 other federal agencies. The government uses the USIS background investigations to determine whether or not to give millions of people access to classified programs and buildings.
Among those millions of people who were given access to classified programs was none other than Edward Snowden.
Over the past decade, USIS has been awarded more than $4 billion in federal contracts...

The whistleblowers' lawsuit was filed by Blake Percival, a longtime employee at the company who served six months as director of fieldwork services until he left in June 2011.

In his lawsuit, Mr. Percival accused USIS of rushing improperly reviewed background check cases through the system and hiding the practice from the federal Office of Personnel Management, which oversees most such investigations. In all, the agency oversees 2.2 million background investigations a year...

The Justice Department had signaled last year it would join Mr. Percival's lawsuit and outlined its case in the filing Wednesday.

In the complaint, federal prosecutors said that top USIS officials used what it called the firm's fraudulent scheme to secure nearly $12 million in bonuses from the federal government, which thought the company was completing thorough background checks.

In an effort to meet internal revenue goals set by a former company president in 2008, USIS created a special software program called "Blue Zone" that allowed it to send cases to the federal government even if they hadn't gone through a thorough review process as required by its contract, the complaint said.

Between March 2008 and September 2012, USIS "dumped" at least 665,000 cases in a process that was the subject of jokes shared by company officials, the complaint said. USIS declined to comment on the specifics of the complaint...
The New York Times reported on Wednesday:
The 2007 background report done by USIS on Mr. Alexis showed that investigators learned he had been arrested three years earlier in Seattle, but the report did not include the crucial information that he had shot the tires of a construction worker’s car in what he told the police was an anger-fueled blackout.

Mr. Alexis was given a secret security clearance in 2008, which was still valid on Sept. 16 when he stalked and killed a dozen victims at the navy yard with a sawed-off shotgun before the police killed him. Investigators relied on an interview with Mr. Alexis, who claimed he had only deflated the construction worker’s tires, Merton W. Miller, an associate director for investigations in the personnel office, said in a statement.
Bloomberg News noted last year:
In the 1990s, then-Vice President Al Gore led a program to reinvent government that included handing work to private businesses. One legacy: a company that an investigator said may have botched the background check of fired national security worker Edward Snowden.

The firm, USIS, was created in 1996 when the government agency responsible for vetting personnel was spun off to the private sector. USIS is accused of a “systemic failure to adequately conduct investigations,” according to Senator Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat.

The revelation that Snowden disclosed two classified U.S. surveillance programs after being vetted by USIS may have damaged the company’s reputation...
The New York Times article from July of 1996 - which I cited earlier - reported:
Under the [Clinton & Gore] plan..., about 40 percent of security and other background checks on Government employees and job applicants will be taken over by an employee-owned, profit-seeking company [USIS]...

Critics worry that the plan could leave many Government agencies relying on an untested new company that may not have full access to law enforcement records.

Moreover, the critics said, it could place sensitive records about Government employees and job applicants in the hands of a business venture, raising concerns about the privacy of personal information when the [Clinton/Gore] White House itself has been found lax, at a minimum, in its handling of confidential background files. The Administration has been besieged in the last several weeks with questions about how it came to have F.B.I. files on prominent Republicans, among other people...

Senator Simon [of Illinois, a Democrat] and Representative Thomas M. Davis 3d, a Virginia Republican, have introduced legislation to delay the plan for two years to provide more time to study its implications. But they acknowledged that the bill has almost no chance of passing before the plan takes effect...

The proposal grew out of the Administration's efforts, overseen by Vice President Al Gore, to pare hundreds of thousands of Federal jobs by finding innovative and more efficient ways to run the Government...

Linda L. Robertson, an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury..., said that links between the personnel office's database and the Pentagon's investigative database could create "potential national security problems with contractors having access to this information."
Hello Edward Snowden!

Hello Aaron Alexis!

Hello Bill Clinton! And Hello Al Gore!

Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif: White House misrepresenting and exaggerating Iran's nuclear concessions

In an interview with CNN on Wednesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif lambasted the Obama administration for misrepresenting and exaggerating the concessions made by Iran during the Geneva nuclear agreement that the White House signed off on in November of last year.

"The White House version [of the agreement] both underplays the concessions and overplays Iranian commitments", Zarif said, adding, "Why don't we all stick to what we agreed? Why do we need to produce different texts?"

According to a White House fact sheet issued shortly after the Geneva agreement was reached, Iran agreed to halt all enrichment above 5% and "dismantle the technical connections required to enrich above 5%."

The Iranian Foreign Minister said that the the White House is trying to "portray it as basically a dismantling of Iran's nuclear program."

"That is the word they use time and again," he said, adding, "If you find a single, a single word, that even closely resembles dismantling or could be defined as dismantling in the entire text, then I would take back my comment."

"We are not dismantling any centrifuges," Zarif insisted. "We're not dismantling any equipment, we're simply not producing, not enriching over 5%."

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Hand over Obamacare website to the Afghan security forces?

David Kennedy, CEO of the online security firm TrustedSec, testified at a congressional oversight hearing on Thursday that the Obamacare website, Healthcare.Gov, remains vulnerable to hackers and that the website's security flaws have gotten worse since Kennedy last testified before congress in November of last year.

Aside from being the CEO at TrustedSec, Mr. Kennedy has also previously worked at the National Security Agency (N.S.A.) and the US Marines in cyber warfare and forensics analysis activities.

Mr. Kennedy spoke with Fox News host, Chris Wallace, on Sunday about the latest concerns he has with the Obamacare website:
When we [online security experts] testified in front of Congress in November, Chris, what we learned was that, you know, they had rushed through what we call the software development life cycle where they actually build the application. So when you do that, security doesn't really get integrated into it. And what happened with the rocky launch in October, is they slapped a bunch of servers in trying to fix the website just to keep it up and running so that people could actually go and use it. But the problem is they still didn't embed any security into it. So when you have another, you know, few hundred developers actually running code to try to keep the site up and running, you know, and you increase the line count of code, it increases more and more exposures. And that's what we saw here over the period of time. And that's what we testified on. It's much worse than what we saw back in November.
Mr. Kennedy added that it was fairly simple to gain access to the personal information of 70,000 ObamaCare enrollees within four minutes:
There is a technique called -- what we call passer reconnaissance, which allows us to query -  look at how the website operates and performs. And these type of attacks that, you know, I'm mentioning here in the 70,000 that you're referencing is very easy to do. It's a rudimentary type attack that doesn't actually attack the website itself, it extracts information from it without actually having to go into the system. Think of it this way. Think of something where you have a car and the car doors are open and the windows are open, you can see inside of it. That's basically what they allow you to do. And there is no real sophistication level here. It is just really wide open. So, there is no hacking actually involved. And 70,000 was just one of the numbers that I was able to go up to. And I stopped after that. You know, and I'm sure it's hundreds of thousands, if not more and it was done within about a four-minute time frame. So, it's just wide open. You can literally just open up your browser, go to this and extract all this information. Not actually having to hack the website itself.
Mr. Wallace proceeded to ask Mr. Kennedy:
You say that you could access - if you were to actually hack the site - names, addresses, social security numbers, birth dates. And you also say that because is linked to the IRS and to the Department of Homeland Security, you could also get in and see what they had to say about the individual person who was signed up... What could a hacker do with what seems like an awful lot of private information?
Kennedy replied:
...It's not just TGI, and it's not just, you know, HHS and CMS, it's a number of different companies. It all came together to kind of match this thing up to make it what it is today. And you're seeing that, you know, happening right now...

And now, the problem is if you look at the integration between the IRS, DHS, third party credit verification processes, you have all of these different organizations that feed into this data hub for the infrastructure to provide all that information, validate everything. And so when an attacker gets access to that, they basically have full access into your entire online identity, everything that you do from taxes to, you know, what you pay, what you make, what DHS has on you from a tracking perspective as well as obviously, you know, what we call personal identify information which an attacker would use to take a line of credit out from your account. It's really damaging. And I think it's one of the largest websites in history that we have that has this type of level of access into our personal lives...

And it's not just myself that is just saying this website is insecure, it is also seven other independent security researchers that also looked at all of the research that I've done and came to the exact same conclusion. And these are folks that work really well in the industry. And they're highly respected, have an extensive experience of working for the government... But what is pretty evident right now is that the site itself is not secure. It's much worse off.
However, there may be a simple solution to deal with the Obamacare website's security flaws:

Why not hand over control of the website to the Afghan security forces? They've got plenty of experience in security matters, and they've done such a remarkable job in securing their country, haven't they?

The only concern that might arise with the aforementioned handover is how the Afghan security forces would deal with the Obamacare website hackers after the hackers are captured and incarcerated. Bear in mind that the Afghan government recently announced its plans to release 88 prisoners from a jail that was handed over by the Obama administration to Afghan control - which means the Afghan forces might also release the hackers. That's a problem.........

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Rouhani deletes "Surrender" tweet in an effort to perpetuate his deceptive ruse

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani tweeted on Tuesday that President Obama had "surrendered" to Iran when the latter signed off on the Geneva agreement that authorized the Iranian regime to continue its nuclear enrichment program while significantly softening the international sanctions on Iran

"In Geneva agreement world powers SURRENDERED to Iranian nation's will," Rouhani tweeted.

Rouhani made a similar statement during a speech on Tuesday.

"The Geneva deal means the surrender of big powers before the great nation of Iran!" Rouhani exclaimed.

White House press secretary, Jay Carney, told reporters on Tuesday that Rouhani's statement was no big deal.

Truth be told, Mr. Carney is absolutely correct - considering that the Obama Presidency, from day one, has always been about surrendering to the enemy.

In fact, "Surrender" is actually a nice, and flattering, word in the Obama lexicon.

However, Mr. Rouhani, apparently, has come to the realization that, while the aforementioned tweet was indeed truthful, and while Mr. Obama might have been flattered by the tweet - in truth, it did not reflect well on Mr. Rouhani's newfound friend in the White House, President Obama. Moreover, the tweet did not reflect well on the deceptive subterfuge that Rouhani is desperately seeking to consummate. Hence, the tweet has since been deleted, thus enabling Mr. Rouhani's ruse to continue unhindered, full steam ahead.

Sen. Hagan distances herself from Obama, hides out in DC, while Obama visits North Carolina

Democratic Senator Kay Hagan is a facing a tough re-election campaign in North Carolina, which apparently has compelled her to remain in Washington DC on Wednesday and to distance herself from President Obama when he arrives in her home state.

The LA Times notes that, "the notable absence at Obama's first trip outside the Beltway in this election year highlights a perennial quandary for embattled candidates and less-than-popular presidents. With a battle for control of the Senate looming and the president's approval rating deflated, Democrats and the White House will spend much of this year grappling with whether their most vulnerable candidates will be helped or harmed by a visit from Obama and how to keep those candidates some distance — but not too far — from the president."

Apparently, Sen. Hagan is of the opinion that standing beside Obama when he addresses North Carolina audiences is not in her best interest - not during a re-election campaign.

The Cataret County News Times reports:
She’s remaining in Washington, D.C., where her spokesman said she had to because the Senate was in session.

But on Oct. 17, 2011, even though the Senate was in session, Sen. Hagan was in Asheville with Mr. Obama as part of his bus tour to push his jobs plan... Senate records, said Andrew Johnson yesterday on National Review’s “The Corner,” show Sen. Hagan was still able to make it back to Washington in time to cast votes on Oct. 17, 2011, at 5:31 p.m., after which she was interviewed by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews.

But that was then.

This is now!

Obviously Sen. Hagan doesn’t want to appear with Mr. Obama because … well … she obviously believes he would be a drag on her re-election chances.’
The White House Dossier blog notes
Sen. Kay Hagan will remain in Washington, where she supposedly needs to work on her important Senate stuff.

But the Senate isn’t expected to take up any serious legislation until “late in the day,” according to The Hill’s Floor Action blog, when it “may” begin work on a wide ranging spending bill. Obama will be back from North Carolina by 3:15 pm ET.
Hagan has been roundly criticized for parroting President Obama's infamous lie that people who like their health insurance plans and their doctors will be able to keep them after the passage of Obamacare.

However, the Senator, in recent months, has distanced herself from the disastrous rollout of Obamacare, and, it seems, she is now distancing herself from Obama whose poll numbers, in recent months, weeks and days have plummeted to new lows.

Hagan's decision to distance herself from the President prompted Americans for Prosperity to release a video on Thursday criticizing the Senator for "hiding out" in Washington, "while her buddy Barack is in North Carolina." Heh.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Rouhani: Obama "SURRENDERED" to Iran in nuclear deal!

"Our relationship with the world is based on Iranian nation's interests. In Geneva agreement world powers SURRENDERED to Iranian nation's will."
"The Geneva deal means the SURRENDER of big powers before the great nation of Iran!"
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on January 14 [in a speech and in a tweet] commenting on the nuclear agreement in Geneva which began with 5 secret meetings between Iranian officials and members of the Obama administration. The capitulation process advanced further several months ago when President Obama placed a telephone call to Rouhani. The official surrender culminated on November 24, 2013 when Obama eagerly authorized Rouhani to continue his nuclear enrichment program while agreeing to significantly soften the international sanctions on Iran

Update: January 15 - Rouhani deletes "Surrender" tweet in an effort to perpetuate his deceptive ruse

Dianne Feinstein Reaffirms: Benghazi Lie "Doesn’t Jibe With Me!"

The White House's politically calculated lie - in the weeks after the September 11, 2012 Benghazi attacks and several weeks prior to the 2012 Presidential election - that the attacks in Benghazi, which left four Americans dead, resulted from a spontaneous demonstration against a video “doesn’t jibe with me,” said Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, in a recent interview with The Hill.

Sen. Feinstein wasn't actually addressing the White House's statements on the matter, but rather she was responding to various disingenuous individuals who are still trying to perpetuate the lie.

White House officials were later forced to admit that their previous statements on the matter were incorrect, but they refused to admit that the statements were deliberate and politically calculated lies.

Yesterday, Fox News added Former U.S. AFRICOM Commander Gen. Carter Ham to the long list of US officials and Benghazi survivors who say the fatal attacks were clearly premeditated acts of terror.

According to newly disclosed and partially declassified transcripts of Gen Ham's testimony during a congressional hearing last year, Gen. Ham said that:

"I am not aware of one [that there was any kind of demonstration at the US consulate when the attacks occurred], sir. It became pretty apparent to me, and I think to most at Africa Command pretty shortly after this attack began, that this was an attack... I personally, and I think the command, very quickly got to the point that this was not a demonstration, this was a terrorist attack."

This is not the first time, however, that Sen. Feinstein has rejected the Benghazi lie.

Sen. Feinstein made a similar assessment in November of 2012, and wondered how it was even possible to make the claim that the attacks in Benghazi were the result of a spontaneous demonstration. But of course, with Obama, the possibilities are endless; But surely Sen. Feinstein must be acutely aware of this phenomenon!

Here's a video of Sen. feinstein, in November of 2012, discussing the Obama/Benghazi lie. The senator appears about 2 minutes and 4 seconds into the video:

Incidentally, in the Spring of 2012, when President Obama issued a proclamation asserting that the Taliban's momentum had been broken, Sen. Feinstein, who, at the time, had just returned from a fact-finding trip to Afghanistan, said just the opposite.  "What we've found is that the Taliban is stronger" than it was prior to the 2009 troop surge in Afghanistan, the Senator said.  But of course, as I noted earlier, with Obama, the possibilities, and the the lies, are endless. Heh......

Here's some recent statements on the Benghazi attacks from various officials and individuals, including some recent statements pertaining to previous security requests for Benghazi and the lease on the US compound in Benghazi - compliments of Fox News and CBS News:

"The FBI confirmed to me that when they interviewed the survivors on the 15th the 16th and the 17th [of September], not one person ever mentioned anything other than a terrorist attack. No one mentioned a protest outside the consulate. So, how could the Obama administration come up with a protest story if everybody on the ground during the attack said it was a terrorist attack and there was no protest?"
Sen. Lindsey Graham, in an interview with Fox News

"We found no evidence in our thorough review of all of those classified documents again, some 4,000 of them. We found no evidence that there was any involvement in the video leading up or during the day of the attack. The only discussion of the video came [from the President and his White House cronies] subsequent to the attack. That's at least in the realm of my investigation through the intelligence committee. We again, found no evidence that that video had anything to do with the attack."
The head of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Mike Rogers, in an interview with Fox News

"Individuals on the ground said, 'Hey, this is a terrorist led event' in our interviews. Leading up to the event it was very clear by the classified information that was being provided that the intelligence gathered said that there was a terrorist activity event likely to happen and it was getting worse or more probable as it got close to the 9/11 date."
Rep. Mike Rogers

“It doesn’t jibe with me.”
The chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in an interview with The Hill disputing the White House's politically calculated lie that the Benghazi attacks resulted from a spontaneous demonstration against a video

"It was a coordinated military style attack, heavily armed insurgents coming through the gate [according to a survivor of the Benghazi attack who spoke with several US Senators]... So how could the Obama administration come up with a protest story if everybody on the ground during the attack said it was a terrorist attack and there was no protest?"
Sen. Lindsey Graham

"I am not aware of one [that there was any kind of demonstration at the US consulate when the attacks occurred], sir. It became pretty apparent to me, and I think to most at Africa Command pretty shortly after this attack began, that this was an attack... I personally, and I think the command, very quickly got to the point that this was not a demonstration, this was a terrorist attack"
Former U.S. AFRICOM Commander Gen. Carter Ham testifying at a congressional hearing last year

"I have been briefed about the document [in which a request was made for additional security in Benghazi prior to the fatal terrorist attacks]. I will only say this [because the document still remains classified], there's an additional security request to upgrade security at the compound based on increased threats from Al Qaeda groups in Benghazi. That request was denied, this security request was submitted about a month, or six weeks after the lease [on the U.S. compound] was renewed. How could they miss all of this?"
Sen. Lindsey Graham

"The State Department renewed the lease for the U.S. compound in Benghazi two months before the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attacks without requiring the facility to meet normal security standards. That news comes from an interview Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., conducted with a survivor of the attacks. The survivor, a State Department diplomatic security agent whose name isn't being disclosed, spoke behind closed doors in late November to Senators Graham, Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Robert Menendez, D-N.J. The previously-undisclosed existence of the year-long lease calls into question the State Department's designation of the compound as "temporary" and therefore exempt from normal security requirements."
CBS News

Monday, January 13, 2014

Benghazi - Declassified Transcript reconfirms: White House knew immediately attacks were premeditated acts of terrorism

On the night of September 11, 2012, shortly after the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi commenced, U.S. AFRICOM Commander Gen. Carter Ham met with then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey to inform them of what he had learned about the attack, Fox News reported on Monday, citing newly disclosed and partially declassified transcripts of testimony given by Gen. Ham, last year, before a House Armed Services Subcommitte. The aforementioned meeting occurred immediately before Mr. Panetta and Mr. Dempsey had met with President Obama.

In the weeks after the attacks that left four Americans dead - as the 2012 Presidential election was approaching - President Obama and his White House minions claimed that the Benghazi murders were not the result of a premeditated and coordinated terrorist attack but rather were part of a spontaneous protest that turned violent.

However, Gen. Ham, in his testimony last year, said that he knew immediately after the attack on the US consulate began that it was a premeditated and coordinated terrorist attack.

Gen. Ham discussed this matter with Sec. Panetta and Gen. Dempsey before the two met with President Obama. It goes without saying that President Obama was made fully aware, immediately, that night, that the attacks were premeditated, coordinated acts of terrorism, and not spontaneous. But of course, with the 2012 Presidential election looming, the White House clearly believed that crafting phony talking points about the Benghazi attacks was absolutely critical to the President's reelection bid

During the hearing last year, Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard "Buck" McKeon asked Gen. Ham as follows:

"I have a copy of the time line that you have now... The attack started at 9:42. I don't see any mention here about a demonstration, just simply an attack. Do you know if there was some kind of demonstration before this attack?"

Gen. Ham replied:

"I am not aware of one, sir. It became pretty apparent to me, and I think to most at Africa Command pretty shortly after this attack began, that this was an attack."

Ham reiterated this assertion later in the hearing:

"I personally, and I think the command, very quickly got to the point that this was not a demonstration, this was a terrorist attack," Ham said.

When questioned whether he "would have advised as such" if he had been asked whether the attack was a premeditated and coordinated act of terror, Ham replied: "Well, and with General Dempsey and Secretary Panetta, that is the nature of the conversation we had, yes, sir."

And, no doubt, the premeditated, coordinated and terrorist element of the attack was also the nature of the subsequent conversation between President Obama, Leon Panetta and Martin Dempsey - although this was not the nature of the phony talking points that President Obama cunningly, and artfully, crafted for the US electorate.

Change you can believe in, I suppose......

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Al Qaeda linked terrorist chief, Abu Sufian bin Qumu, played a role in Benghazi attacks, and helped train Libyan rebels

US officials believe that Abu Sufian bin Qumu - the leader of Ansar al-Sharia in Darnah, Libya, who previously trained in an Al Qaeda terrorist camp and fought in Afghanistan in 2001 - played a role in the September 11, 2012 attacks in Benghazi that left four Americans dead, news media outlets reported on Wednesday. Bin Qumu also helped train the Libyan rebels during the Libyan uprising.

According to US officials, members of Ansar al-Sharia in Darnah participated in the attacks. The State Department also confirmed on Wednesday that Ansar al-Sharia in Darnah participated in the attacks.

Abu Sufian bin Qumu previously "trained at Usama Bin Laden's (UBL) Torkham camp", according to a Department of Defense document that was released by Wikileaks in April of 2011.

Bin Qumu also fought in Afghanistan in 2001, the document says.

The DOD document also notes that bin Qumu's name was "found on Al-Qaida's 11 September [2001] attacks financier Mustafa Al Hawsawi's laptop as an Al-Qaida member receiving family support."

In April of 2011, while the Obama administration was assisting the Libyan rebels, and after Wikileaks released the DOD document that detailed Mr. bin Qumu's ties to Al Qaeda, US intelligence officials conceded, according to news meadia reports at the time, that they believed bin Qumu was helping train the Libyan rebels in Benghazi, Libya. But, of course, this did not deter President Obama from further assisting the rebels. Moreover, other reports at the time indicated that among the Libyan rebel ranks were militants who fought against allied troops in Iraq. But this too, did not deter President Obama from helping the rebels.

As it turns out, President Obama and Mr. bin Qumu were both helping the Libyan rebels. However, while Obama did lend a helping hand to the Libyan rebels, who were being trained, at least partially, by Mr. bin Qumu - he did not lend a helping hand to the four Americans who were being killed by bin Qumu's men. Nor did he provide the Americans with adequate security in the months prior to the Benghazi attacks.

Nevertheless, as the old adage goes: "All's well that ends well", and, much to Obama's credit, Ansar al-Sharia and the Libyan rebels are now living in freedom; they are now free to roam about the country!

All's well that ends well, indeed!

Robert Gates' surprised reaction to Obama is surprising, questionable and hard to swallow

I was surprised to read that former Defense Secretary Robert Gates was actually surprised when he heard President Obama and Hillary Clinton say to one another, several years ago - in Mr. Gates' presence - that their opposition to the 2007 surge in Iraq was political.

Mr. Gates spent considerable time working in the Obama administration. How is it possible that a shrewd and cunning individual like Mr. Gates was unaware of the true nature of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton?

According to journalist Bob Woodward, Robert Gates writes in his upcoming memoir as follows:

"Hillary told the president that her opposition to the [2007] surge in Iraq had been political because she was facing him in the Iowa primary... The president conceded vaguely that opposition to the Iraq surge had been political. To hear the two of them making these admissions, and in front of me, was as surprising as it was dismaying.”

Mr. Gates also called the aforementioned exchange between Obama and Hillary "remarkable".

Really, Mr. Gates? Was it really "surprising, dismaying and remarkable" to hear that exchange?

Difficult to believe, and hard to swallow; Mr. Gates, is a lot smarter than that.

Robert Gates must surely realize by now that President Obama [and Hillary Clinton, for that matter] has no principled ideological views. Aside from the President's policy of appeasing the most despicable and rogue elements around the globe, Mr. Obama stands for nothing; he has no real principles; everything he does, or says, is political and calculated, including the admission he made in the presence of Mr. Gates.

Why would Obama admit, in the presence of Mr. Gates, that his opposition to the Iraq surge was political, when saying such a thing sounds so awful,and callous?

The answer is simple to anyone who has the slightest understanding of Obama, and Hillary for that matter.

The President felt compelled to admit to Hillary, and to Mr. Gates, that his opposition to the surge was political, because, despite Obama's vociferous opposition to the surge and the huge stumbling blocks he placed in front of the then-Commander-in-Chief, George W. Bush, the surge succeeded. And that raises questions about Obama's leadership qualities, his intellect and his ability to make both military and foreign policy decisions. Hence, Obama's admission to both Hillary and Mr. Gates that his opposition to the surge was political - as callous and ridiculous as it sounds - was more appealing to Obama than to simply say he made a bad call and that he had exercised bad judgement and exhibited complete incompetence when he opposed the much needed surge.

Surely Mr. Gates must have understood the motive behind Obama's admission.

Moreover, Mr. Gates - like his former boss - seems to be talking out of both sides of his mouth and engaging in a bit of political maneuvering when he writes in his memoir that the President made the right decisions in Afghanistan, and yet he criticizes Obama and writes that, in early 2010, he reached the conclusion that Obama "doesn't believe in his own strategy and doesn't consider the war to be his." adding that "for [Obama], it's all about getting out."

My head is spinning.

Bob Woodward, in his 2010 book, Obama's Wars, quoted President Obama, the Politician-in-Chief, as saying at various White House meetings: "I have two years with the public on this [the war in Afghanistan]... I want an exit strategy. I can't let this be a war without end. I can't lose the whole Democratic Party."

Politics as usual.

In December of 2009, President Obama ordered a troop surge in Afghanistan. But while announcing his plans to send 30,000 soldiers to Afghanistan, the Politician-in-Chief also announced that the troops would begin to withdraw from the country in 18 months. Shortly thereafter, Zalmay Khalilzad, the former US Ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq, criticized Obama's strategy in an interview with CNN:

"Today, the president of the United States... announced an escalation of the war", Khalilzad said... "But he also coupled that with an exit strategy, including a goal of when the troops can start coming home..."

"If you [establish] a time line," Khalilzad said, "you encourage the enemy to out-wait you, to regard the strategy as not enduring."

"When I was the ambassador in Afghanistan," Khalizad added, "the Taliban sent me a message saying: 'You have all the watches, but we have all the time!' I think the emphasis on an artificial time line may encourage the Taliban to persist, to endure and for the region to assume that we do not have the staying power and, therefore, make the job of succeeding harder."

How right he was! Obama, when announcing his timeline for withdrawal. essentially telegraphed to the Taliban that he was seeking an exit strategy and that he did not take the troop surge seriously. Obama also reached out to the Taliban during that period of time and tried to commence talks with the Taliban, which made many people wonder whether Obama was actually boosting the Taliban's morale and sending the troops in harm's way for naught.

According to Mr. Gates, it wasn't until early 2010 that he reached the conclusion that Obama didn't "believe in his own strategy," and that "for [Obama]," it was "all about getting out." However, that conclusion should have been reached in December of 2009, the day Obama announced the troop surge while simultaneously announcing, and telegraphing to the Taliban, his 18 month timeline for withdrawing the troops. The surge was clearly a joke; a dangerous and phony gesture.

Mr. Gates also writes: "I never doubted Obama's support for the troops, only his support for their mission."

Suffice it to say that Obama's decision to announce a troop surge while simultaneously announcing a timetable for withdrawal, prompted a panel discussion on the Liberal CNN news channel as to whether the President's decision to send troops in harm's way with the aforementioned stipulations, and with a win-or-lose timetable for withdrawal, was "conscionable" or not.

Mr. Gates, however, "never doubted Obama's support for the troops."

Hmmm, but what about Obama's 2007 vote in the senate to cut off funding for the troops in Iraq? Obama, at the time, was harshly criticized by then-Sen. Joe Biden, who said the funds were needed to procure the necessary supplies to protect the troops. Mr. Biden said that the vote to cut off funds for the troops in Iraq was a political maneuver that jeopardized the lives of the troops. Of course, at the time, Mr. Biden's son was about to be deployed to Iraq, otherwise the veteran pol would have likely voted the same way. Nevertheless, Biden was right on the mark with his critique, and yet, for some strange reason, Mr. Gates has "never doubted Obama's support for the troops." Hmmm, I can't help but doubt Mr. Gates' sincerity on the matter.

It goes without saying that President Obama is the ultimate appeaser, who has a twisted view of the enemy. The only question is whether Robert Gates has a twisted view, and a twisted understanding of Obama?

The answer is most likely, 'No'. I think Robert Gates has a much clearer understanding of Obama than he is willing to admit. And yet, he is supportive of Obama.

Hmmm, kind of makes you wonder whether..........

Monday, January 6, 2014

Afghanistan: Release of 88 prisoners vindicates Obama's policy of detainee transfer, HEH....

US officials are reportedly unhappy with the Afghan government's recent announcement that it will soon release 88 prisoners from a jail that was recently transferred to Afghan control. However, I would assume that these US officials do not include members of the Obama administration because President Obama is a big fan of closing down US detention facilities and handing over the prisoners to foreign governments.

As the President recently explained in a statement issued upon signing a recent bill: "Since taking office, I have repeatedly called upon the Congress to work with my Administration to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The continued operation of the facility weakens our national security by draining resources, damaging our relationships with key allies and partners... Section 1035 of this Act gives the Administration additional flexibility to transfer detainees abroad by easing rigid restrictions that have hindered negotiations with foreign countries and interfered with executive branch determinations about how and where to transfer detainees... The executive branch must have the flexibility, among other things, to act swiftly in conducting negotiations with foreign countries regarding the circumstances of detainee transfers."

President Obama is clearly a staunch advocate of handing over prisoners to foreign governments - despite the fact that these governments, at a later date, often free the prisoners. Hence, Mr. Obama can't possibly object to the Afghan government's latest plans. After all, it was Obama who steadfastly adhered to his own stated policies when he transferred over the aforementioned jail filled with prisoners to Afghan control - and now the Afghan government has simply decided to release these prisoners!

Hence, I must assume that members of the Obama administration are not among the US officials who are unhappy with the Afghan government's recent decision, but rather it is members of congress and the US military who have voiced their displeasure with the decision.

Reuters reported on Monday:
Afghanistan will release 88 prisoners as planned even though the United States considers them dangerous and wants them to remain in detention, the board reviewing their cases told Reuters.

The prisoners are being held at a jail at the Bagram air base north of Kabul. The United States only recently transferred the prison to Afghan control after it had become a serious source of tension with the Afghan government.

President Hamid Karzai instructed Afghan intelligence officials to provide the review board with more evidence against the prisoners, after the United States said there was proof of their involvement in the killing of foreign troops and they posed a serious threat to security.

But the head of the review board, Abdul Shakor Dadras, said the evidence did not warrant keeping the prisoners any longer.

"The documents we have seen so far provide no reason to convict them," Dadras told Reuters by telephone late on Sunday.

"Our decision is to release them as soon as possible if there is no incriminating evidence against them."
Sounds like the same kind of arguments the Obama administration has made about Gitmo detainees, who were detained because of their terrorist activities.
The disagreement over the prisoners is a further strain on Afghan-U.S. relations already seriously soured by Karzai's refusal to sign a bilateral security deal to shape the U.S. military presence after most foreign troops leave this year.

U.S. senators in Afghanistan last week pressed the president to stop the release, warning it would irreparably damage relations with the United States.

The planned release has also alarmed many senior Afghan security officials, who often see released prisoners return to the battlefield.
Colonel Dave Lapan, a spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, also voiced his displeasure with the planned detainee release, NBC News reported:
"The Afghan Review Board has exceeded its mandate and ordered the release of a number of dangerous individuals who are legitimate threats and for whom there is strong evidence supporting prosecution or further investigation," said Lapan.

The United States long resisted handing over the facility - because it feared individuals it considered dangerous would be released - but ultimately reached a deal with the Afghan government in early 2013.
Obama's chickens are coming home to roost; he must be smiling right now.....

Violence against Afghan women hit record levels in 2013 as Obama proceeded with his 'exit strategy'

Although Afghan women witnessed a huge improvement in their every day lives after US forces brought an end to the Taliban reign in 2001, the basic rights they had won back, and the security they had regained, has deteriorated rapidly during President Obama's tenure in office, and even more rapidly in 2013, as more and more coalition troops have departed the country as part of Mr. Obama's so-called "exit strategy":
Violent crime against women in Afghanistan hit record levels and became increasingly brutal in 2013, the head of the country's human rights commission said on Saturday, a sign that hard won rights are being rolled back as foreign troops prepare to withdraw...

Sima Samar, chair of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), told Reuters in a telephone interview that the brutality of attacks on women had greatly intensified last year.

"The brutality of the cases is really bad. Cutting the nose, lips and ears. Committing public rape," she said. "Mass rape... It's against dignity, against humanity."

She attributed the increase in crime to a culture of impunity and the imminent departure of international troops and aid workers, leaving women more exposed to attack...

"The presence of the international community and provincial reconstruction teams in most of the provinces was giving people confidence," Samar said.

"There were people there trying to protect women. And that is not there anymore, unfortunately."

Most foreign forces are due to leave Afghanistan by the end of the year and it is unclear whether any will remain beyond 2014 as relations deteriorate between Afghan authorities and their U.S. backers.

An AIHRC spokesman said the latest figures for 2013 showed a 25 percent increase in cases of violence against women for March through September... [According to UN report published in December, violence against women increased 28% in the past year.]

Another sign that rights for women have been rolled back in recent years is a rise in cases of self-immolation, a desperate last resort for women in abusive situations.

The burn unit of Herat hospital, one of two in Afghanistan, admitted a record number of women who had attempted to set themselves on fire in 2012.
Apparently, women's rights, and the protection of women, is just not Obama's cup of tea......

10-year old sister of Taliban commander nearly carries out suicide attack in Taliban-infested Helmand province

From Yahoo News:
Police [on Sunday] captured a would-be suicide bomber child and foiled Taliban's attempt to conduct a suicide attack, said Hamidullah Sediqi, a police officer.

"The 10-years old Spoghmai who was attempting to carry out suicide attack against police disguising herself to fetch up water from a stream at nearby police checkpoint Sunday evening was fortunately identified and captured," Sediqi said.

He also confirmed that Spoghmai's brother Zahir is Taliban local commander and has been fighting against government in the province.

The interior minister has also confirmed the arrest of the suicide bomber in the southern Helmand province.

"A 10-year child named Spoghmai, who was attempting to carry out suicide attack against police force in Khanshin district of Helmand province Sunday evening, was identified and arrested," a statement of interior ministry said Monday.

During investigation, the girl revealed that her brother named Zahir who is a Taliban fighter had encouraged her to conduct suicide attack, the statement said.
The child, according to various news media outlets, was wearing a suicide vest.
Notorious for growing poppy and militancy, Helmand has been regarded as Taliban hotbed in the conflict-hit Afghanistan.
Some experts are predicting that, by year's end, Helmand province will be governed by the Taliban, or people closely connected to the Taliban, as more and more coalition troops withdraw from the region as part of President Obama's exit strategy.

Elsewhere in Afghanistan, Yahoo News reported that a rocket fired by Taliban militants struck a civilian car in the Gereshk district on Saturday claiming the lives of four civilians.

In the Nangarhar Province of Afghanistan, an American soldier was killed on Saturday when his unit was attacked by rocket propelled grenades, the AP reported.

Also, on Saturday, an explosion hit one of the entrances of Camp Eggers, a predominantly American military base in the heart of the Afghan capital, Kabul, but no casualties were reported.

According to Reuters, "the bomb had targeted a military convoy near Camp Eggers, an ISAF base in the diplomatic quarter of the capital close to both the German and Italian embassies... Reuters reporters heard sirens and helicopters flying overhead, and a loudspeaker announcement ordered troops at the base to load their weapons and take up defensive positions."

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Al Qaeda linked terrorist leader captured in Libya; Obama administration quickly denies any involvement in the capture

The Obama administration is denying any involvement in a raid in Libya on Monday that resulted in the capture of Saifallah Benahssine [various spellings: Saifallah Benhassine Seif Allah Ben Hassine], aka Abou Iyadh, the top commander of Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia and a terrorist clearly linked to Al Qaeda.

Tunisia's state news agency reported that Mr. Benahssine, aka Abou Iyadh, had been captured by US and Libyan forces. But the Obama administration quickly denied any involvement in the capture.

"Contrary to media reports, US forces were not involved in any operations involving Ansar al-Sharia leader Abou Iyadh today in Libya," the US embassy in Tunis said on its Facebook page on Monday, the very same day that Mr. Iyadh was arrested. "We refer you to the Libyan authorities for any additional questions." A Pentagon spokesman issued a similar statement.

According to a UN report, Abou Iyadh - the leader of Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia - previously founded the terrorist group, the Tunisian Combatant Group, "in coordination with Al-Qaida".

From the UN report:
The Tunisian Combatant Group was listed on 10 October 2002 as being associated with Al-Qaida, Usama bin Laden or the Taliban for “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf or in support of” and “recruiting for” Usama bin Laden, Al-Qaida and the Organization of Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.

The Tunisian Combatant Group was created in 2000 by Seifallah ben Hassine and Tarek Maaroufi, in coordination with Al-Qaida. Seifallah ben Hassine was imprisoned in Tunisia after being captured in Turkey in 2003 for being a leader of an Al-Qaida-affiliated organization. The strategy of the Tunisian Combatant Group was set during a meeting in Khost, Afghanistan, during which it declared its determination to support Usama bin Laden.

The Tunisian Combatant Group has organized recruitment of volunteers for training in Al-Qaida-related camps in Afghanistan. Most of the members of this group trained in Afghanistan before returning to Europe.

The Tunisian Combatant Group had links with the two Tunisian attackers that killed Ahmad Shah Massoud, an anti-Taliban leader in Afghanistan, in September 2001. Members of the Tunisian Combatant Group have also given logistical support to Algerians belonging to the Organization of Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb...

The Tunisian Combatant Group coordinates with a number of other listed entities in the Maghreb, such as the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group and the Organization of Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.
The presence of Al Qaeda in Libya is not a new phenomenon; a whole host of Al Qaeda operatives have streamed into Libya ever since the Obama administration helped overthrow the previous Libyan regime. A number of these al Qaeda operatives were behind the September 11, 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi that claimed the lives of four Americans. However, the Obama administration's quick denial of any involvement in the recent raid in Libya that resulted in the capture of Abou Iyadh, is, nevertheless interesting - although this too is not a new phenomenon.

The Obama administration, in the past, has openly expressed a reluctance to hunt down militants in Libya, including those responsible for the September 11, 2012 attacks in Benghazi, for fear that such operations might not sit well with officials in the Libyan government, who fear that allowing such operations in Libya might destabilize, and bring down their fragile government - a government, which just happens to be riddled with terrorists and terrorist sympathizers.

The same phenomenon still holds true today: The Obama administration does not want to stir up any bad feelings with the Libyan government. More importantly, the Obama administration does not want to stir up any bad feelings with the terrorist groups operating inside Libya that are not only wreaking havoc and destruction upon the country but are also pulling some of the strings inside the Libyan government. Hence, the administration's rapid and urgent denial of any involvement in the recent raid in Libya to capture Abou Iyadh.

The question, however, arises whether the White House' failure, last year, to send forces to rescue the four Americans killed in the Benghazi attacks, was also due to similar anxieties, namely that such an operation might not sit well with the Libyan government, the Libyan people, and the terrorist groups inside Libya.

It is also quite possible, however, that the President's reluctance to send forces into Benghazi to rescue the four Americans was simply due to the fact that he had promised that the US involvement in the Libyan rebellion would not entail sending boots on the ground in Libya, and he did not want to break this pledge, especially when the 2012 Presidential election was right around the corner.

Two American basketball players briefly detained in Benghazi, without explanation - Two teachers from Britain & New Zealand killed in Western Libya

A British man and a New Zealand woman, both teachers, were found shot to death near an oil and gas complex in western Libya, a Libyan security official said Thursday. In a separate incident, the AFP reported that Libyan security forces on Thursday briefly detained two Americans playing for a basketball team in Benghazi. The Libyans did not offer up a reason for the detention.
The unidentified men, who play for Benghazi's Al-Hilal, "were picked up while they were practising near Garyounes University," said one of the school's security officials.

"They were arrested in the company of two Libyans and were freed after being questioned," the source said without explaining why they had been picked up.
The State Department and Britain's Foreign Office both said they were investigating the matter.

The latest incidents comes less than a month after an American teacher was shot to death while jogging in Benghazi, and less than a week after four U.S. military personnel were taken into custody by Libyan authorities and held for several hours before being released.

The AFP noted that four US military personnel were briefly detained on Friday near Sabratha, 60 kilometres (36 miles) west of Tripoli, without any reason being given.
The New York Times reported that the four were attached to the US embassy's security team and had been working on scenarios for a theoretical evacuation of US government employees in the country.

The US ambassador and three other Americans were killed in September 2012 when militants assaulted the US consulate in Benghazi...

Since the revolution that ousted and killed long-time dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011, Libya's authorities have struggled to establish security in the country.