Do I smell bacon? Or is that Fried Jihadi? H’T Weasel Zippers
Do I smell bacon? Or is that Fried Jihadi? H’T Weasel Zippers
In 1979, there was a student takeover of the United States Embassy in Tehran. For 444 days, 52 Americans were held hostage. Then President Jimmy Carter was lambasted for his weak foreign policy which lead the Iranians to view him as an inconsequential leader. Therefore, they did not fear America. When Ronald Reagan became president in 1980, with the spinelessness of Jimmy Carter purged from the White House, the hostages were released on the very day of his inauguration.
But, the pain of those nearly 15 months in captivity would linger not just for those held hostage, but for America as the people remembered that horrible time in our history. The country would have to recover and again position itself as a world leader to be feared and respected.
We have seen our position of power in the world erode over the last 5 years, with the most recent indicator being the invasion of Ukraine by Russian President Vladimir Putin, a former KGB operative who is unafraid of Obama’s weak warnings.
As the world has watched this invasion, events that some believe are a signal to the beginning of another Cold War, the pain caused by the Iran hostage crisis some 35 years ago is being renewed.
Hamid Abutalebi has been selected by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as their United States Ambassador. Abutalebi was one of the hostage takers of those 52 Americans. While he claims he only served as a translator and negotiator, the United States Congress voted unanimously to deny his entry into the United States, since the U.N. meetings are held in New York.
The bill passed by Congress was authored by Republican Senator Ted Cruz from Texas and Congressman Doug Lamborn from Colorado. After the bill passed unanimously with bi-partisan support, Cruz and Lamborn released the following statements in calling for Obama to sign the bill to prevent terrorists from obtaining visas to enter the U.S. as U.N. ambassadors.
Congress has voted unanimously in support of a bill to reject Iran’s deliberately insulting nomination of a known terrorist – one of the 1979 hostage-takers – to be their ambassador to the United Nations,” said Sen. Cruz. “I thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for supporting it, and urge the President to act quickly. We, as a country, can send an unequivocal message to rogue nations like Iran that the United States will not tolerate this kind of provocative and hostile behavior.”
“I have been working hard with House Leadership to move this bill even before it passed the Senate,” said Congressman Lamborn. “I appreciate House Leadership’s rapid response to my request to quickly bring the Cruz/Lamborn bill to the House Floor for a vote. It will give the President the power to prevent an Iranian terrorist from entering our country with diplomatic immunity. This is a great example of leadership in action by both Houses of Congress. After Senator Cruz worked to ensure Senate passage earlier in the week, I felt that it was extremely important that the House respond in-kind by considering the Cruz/Lamborn bill in an expedited manner. It is great to see Congress send a strong, bipartisan message that Iranian evildoers will be treated like terrorists, not tourists. Terrorists, from Iran or elsewhere, should not be allowed to walk the streets of Manhattan with diplomatic immunity.”
Individuals with diplomatic immunity cannot be prosecuted or even charged with so much as a traffic ticket, let alone an act of terrorism.
Eight days later, President Obama has signed the bill into law, but, according to the Washington Examiner, he immediately released a statement saying that he would not enforce the law. While Obama recognized the concerns of Congress regarding allowing a terrorist to gain access to our country, he stated the following to explain his decision to ignore the law of the land.
“Acts of espionage and terrorism against the United States and our allies are unquestionably problems of the utmost gravity, and I share the Congress’s concern that individuals who have engaged in such activity may use the cover of diplomacy to gain access to our Nation.”
When Bush was president, then Senator Obama was extremely critical of him for signing such statements stating that, “Congress’s job is to pass legislation. The president can veto it or he can sign it.” The statements that Bush signed did not grant a terrorist unfettered access to our country.
Now that Obama is president, he has demonstrated time and again his complete disregard for any laws that he does not like. Certain laws, like his signature legislation Obamacare, are deemed the law of the land that must be followed. However, he very often changes parts of that law unconstitutionally via executive order to fit his political needs. With others, such as the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), he would, in his lawlessness, decide that he would not enforce the law.
His decision to sign the bill into law, but immediately state that he will not enforce it flies in the face of the rule of law upon which this country was built and endangers America.
Obama’s disregard for the law as passed by Congress and signed by him, thereby allowing a known terrorist who committed an act of terrorism against the American people unto American soil, comes days after the one year anniversary of the terrorist bombing at the Boston Marathon. Iran was insistent that the terrorist Abutalebi was their choice for ambassador. When the U.S. threatened denial, they requested an investigation by the U.N.
Thanks to Obama, no investigation is needed. The President of the United States is going to allow a known terrorist to violate the law with no repercussions and give him complete access to America and its citizens with diplomatic immunity.
Obama gave a short speech after the Fort Hood shooting yesterday, speaking about the military at Fort Hood. ‘They serve with valor, they serve with distinction and when they’re at their home base, they need to feel safe,’ Obama said.
Yet, it is the very rules that he enforces that leave the military unsafe. Due to military directive, military bases are “gun free zones” where regular military are not allowed to carry firearms. This leaves them open to attack and unable to defend themselves. In recent years, we have seen attacks and attempted attacks on military bases: the first Fort Hood shooting on November 5, 2009, by terrorist Nidal Hassan, the shooting at the Navy Yard in September 2013, and this latest shooting at Fort Hood. In May of 2007 the FBI arrested six radicalized Islamist men who were plotting to attack Fort Dix. Because bases are gun free zones, terrorists or those meaning to do harm, know they have at least several minutes to kill people before police can arrive to stop them.
There are actually multiple petitions that people have started, but this is the one that seems to have the most signatures so far.
Our hearts are saddened to learn of yet another shooting on a military installation in the United States. Yet again, service members who train regularly to responsibly handle firearms were murdered on base and were unable to defend themselves.
Concealed carry policies provide not only an appropriate means for self defense against violence, but also a proven deterrent. Our military installations have become “soft” targets for those who would harm our military members. Lawful, concealed carry by responsible service members could have prevented or lessened the severity of these incidents.
The DoD should set forth CCW regulations permitting service members in good standing who have received firearms training to carry concealed firearms on DoD installations.
A petition last year asked the White House to make itself “gun free” since it seems to believe that is the best way to protect people. The White House rejected that petition, exposing their fundamental hypocrisy. Apparently, the White House believes its occupants are entitled to protection that children and our military are not.
When I started Open Carry Texas last year, my focus was on educating the public about the benefits of an armed society. I hear all the time from proponents of gun control that “in this day and age” it’s so important to restrict access to firearms to prevent people from using them to commit evil atrocities. The problem with this philosophy is that gun control laws only victimize law abiding citizens by making them defenseless.
By definition, criminals don’t obey laws, no matter how altruistic and holistic those laws may be.
For years on my personal blog, A Soldier’s Perspective, I spoke out against so-called gun-free zones. My first awareness about the pitfalls of these victimization zones, as I call them, came in 1991. Originally hailing from Temple, Texas, the Luby’s shooting hit home for me. I was only in high school at the time, but recognizing that a member of my family could have been in that restaurant on Oct. 16, 1991, I was acutely aware of the impact that shooting had on my stance on gun control.
Then, in 1993, Army Regulation 190-14 (Carrying of Firearms and Use of Force for Law Enforcement and Security Duties) was updated with new rules on what, when and how soldiers could carry firearms on military installations. The policy banned all manner of carry except for “DA personnel regularly engaged in law enforcement or security duties.”
It became the Army’s policy that “the authorization to carry firearms will be issued only to qualified personnel when there is a reasonable expectation that life or Department of the Army assets will be jeopardized if firearms are not carried.” Naturally, this policy was implemented prior to Sept. 11, 2001.
Since that Army policy went into effect and other services followed suit there have been nearly two dozen shootings at military installations. I vividly remember shortly after arriving to my new unit at Fort Stewart, Ga., when Private First Class Craig Jones walked into the orderly room of his unit and shot Sergeant Michael Santiago in the chest and arm, killing him. This was in March 2002.
In September 2008, a soldier at Fort Hood shot and killed his lieutenant before committing suicide. Specialist Armano Baca shot Sgt. Ryan Schlack in July 2009 on the same base. Since guns were banned on military installations, there have been shootings on Fort Drum, Fort Carson, Fort Bragg, Fort Knox and many other military installations!
In November 2009, I was out-processing Redstone Arsenal, Ala., en route to my new assignment on Fort Hood, Texas. At the same time, Army Maj. Nidal Hassan walked into a deployment center on Fort Hood and opened fire on his fellow soldiers, killing 13 and injuring 30 others.
And all of these shootings happened in gun-free zones. Every single one of these shootings happened at a place where the very people trained to deal with armed attackers were defenseless against an armed attacker.
No one can say for certain these incidents would disappear were soldiers allowed to carry personal firearms. However, it can be said with a certainty that any future tragedy will be executed unopposed as long as soldiers are not at least given the opportunity to defend themselves. There’s a saying that it’s better to have a gun and not need it, than not have a gun and need it.
After every one of these tragedies, we as a nation wring our collective hands trying to figure out what went wrong and how to prevent the next shooting. And each time, the simple idea of allowing troops to carry concealed firearms never seems to cross our minds. Why not?
I believe that one reason we are hesitant to allow troops to carry in uniform is because we think arming soldiers will lead to more such shootings. Many people said the same thing about Texas when we were debating the concealed handgun law. Critics said there would be blood in the streets. But, this isn’t backed up by logic, fact, or even experience.
Right this second, virtually every soldier in Afghanistan is carrying a loaded weapon, whether it be a pistol or a rifle. At the very least, they are carrying an unloaded weapon with ammunition readily available and at their disposal. No one can honestly say that being deployed is less stressful than being back home in a garrison environment. Yet, in spite of the prevalence of firearms in the hands of nearly every single troop in a stressful combat environment, the existence of fratricide is practically non-existent.
It would be the height of hypocrisy to suggest that soldiers are more or less capable of managing their emotions with a firearm in one environment over another. The fact remains that in spite of the 1993 regulation and policy, service members are carrying guns onto military installations and killing unarmed victims; victims that may have had a chance to live if they were permitted an opportunity to defend themselves. Even when not carrying guns on military installations, many service members are carrying them off base without feeling the urge to shoot the first person that looks at them cross-eyed.
How many more of my brothers and sisters must die before we, as a nation, wake up and put an end to these ironically titled “gun-free zones”? How many more examples of innocent, unarmed citizens being slaughtered by men with evil intent must we endure? Why do we disarm the very people who are the most well-trained in the use of firearms in defensive and offensive situations?
I am not arguing that the military simply abolish its policy altogether and just allow everyone and their mother to carry a firearm onto a military installation – though I don’t see why not. After all, there is a constitutional amendment that recognizes that right. But, I’ve never been one to identify a problem without a solution.
The military should initiate a policy that, at a minimum, allows soldiers with concealed handgun licenses to carry their firearms on them. The Department of Defense could even institute its own concealed handgun licensing requirement so at the very least it knows which soldiers are armed and whether they are qualified. To combat the constant stream of motorcycle deaths, the Army instituted a program that requires soldiers to be trained and certified prior to riding a motorcycle onto a military installation.
Why not train and certify soldiers in order to permit them to carry a concealed handgun on post? Those who are trained and certified would be required to renew their certifications annually or whenever they move to another military installation. Guns brought onto military installations are already registered, so make that another aspect of the licensing requirement. If a soldier wants to carry a different handgun, he/she must be re-certified with the new handgun they wish to carry.
Whatever we do, it’s obvious that what we are currently doing doesn’t work. It’s not working in gun-free shopping centers; it’s not working in gun-free schools; it’s not working in gun-free cities; and it doesn’t work in gun-free military installations.
In December 2012, NRA Executive Director Wayne Lapierre, eloquently stated: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Would you rather have your 911 call bring a good guy with a gun from a mile away or a minute away?”
The fact is that the overwhelming majority of gun owners are law abiding citizens. Gun owners who jump through the hoops to become licensed gun owners are even less likely to commit crimes. In Texas, only .18 percent of gun owners have committed ANY crime at all. Hardly any of those crimes were committed with a gun. The time to end gun free zones is now, no matter where they exist.
C.J. Grisham is president and founder of Open Carry Texas, a Texas-based organization dedicated to the safe and legal carry of firearms and has over 19 years of active military service. He has been writing about gun rights on his blog, A Soldier’s Perspective, since 2005. The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Defense, the Department of the Army or any branch of the government.
Petition To: All Members of Congress & President Obama
Military service members must be allowed to carry concealed firearms on all Federal and State installations. Had concealed carry been permitted, service members could have potentially stopped the shooters at Fort Hood and the Washington Naval Yard. We must stop denying our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines the right and ability to defend themselves when targeted in mass shooting events.
We demand that you immediately pass legislation that allows for military service members the right to carry concealed weapons on all Federal and State facilities where they are either based or currently assigned.
President Barack Obama is seeking to abolish two highly successful missile programs that experts say has helped the U.S. Navy maintain military superiority for the past several decades.
The Tomahawk missile program – known as “the world’s most advanced cruise missile” – is set to be cut by $128 million under Obama’s fiscal year 2015 budget proposal and completely eliminated by fiscal year 2016, according to budget documents released by the Navy.
In addition to the monetary cuts to the program, the number of actual Tomahawk missiles acquired by the United States would drop significantly – from 196 last year to just 100 in 2015. The number will then drop to zero in 2016.
The Navy will also be forced to cancel its acquisition of the well-regarded and highly effective Hellfire missiles in 2015, according to Obama’s proposal.
The proposed elimination of these missile programs came as a shock to lawmakers and military experts, who warned ending cutting these missiles would significantly erode America’s ability to deter enemy forces.
“The administration’s proposed budget dramatically under-resources our investments in munitions and leaves the Defense Department with dangerous gaps in key areas, like Tomahawk and Hellfire missiles,” said Rep. Randy Forbes (R., Va.), a member of House Armed Services Committee.
“Increasing our investment in munitions and retaining our technological edge in research and development should be a key component of any serious defense strategy,” he said.
The U.S. Navy relied heavily on them during the 2011 military incursion into Libya, where some 220 Tomahawks were used during the fight.
Nearly 100 of these missiles are used each year on average, meaning that the sharp cuts will cause the Tomahawk stock to be completely depleted by around 2018. This is particularly concerning to defense experts because the Pentagon does not have a replacement missile ready to take the Tomahawk’s place.
“It doesn’t make sense,” said Seth Cropsey, director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for American Seapower. “This really moves the U.S. away from a position of influence and military dominance.”
Cropsey said that if someone were trying to “reduce the U.S. ability to shape events” in the world, “they couldn’t find a better way than depriving the U.S. fleet of Tomahawks. It’s breathtaking.”
The Navy has used various incarnations of the Tomahawk with great success over the past 30 years, employing them during Desert Storm and its battle zones from Iraq and Afghanistan to the Balkans.
While the military as a whole is seeing its budgets reduced and equipment scaled back, the Tomahawk cuts do not appear to be due to a lack of funds.
The administration seems to be taking the millions typically spent on the Tomahawk program and investing it in an experimental missile program that experts say will not be battle ready for at least 10 years.
“It is definitely short-sighted given the value of the Tomahawk as a workhorse,” said Mackenzie Eaglen, a former Pentagon staffer who analyzes military readiness. “The opening days of the U.S. lead-from-behind, ‘no-fly zone’ operation over Libya showcased how important this inventory of weapons is still today.”
Overall, the Navy has essentially cut in half its weapons procurement plan, impacting a wide range of tactical weapons and missiles.
Navy experts and retired officials fear that the elimination of the Tomahawk and Hellfire systems – and the lack of a battle-ready replacement – will jeopardize the U.S. Navy’s supremacy as it faces increasingly advanced militaries from North Korea to the Middle East.
The cuts are “like running a white flag up on a very tall flag pole and saying, ‘We are ready to be walked on,’” Cropsey said.
Retired Army Lt. Col. Steve Russell called the cuts to the Tomahawk program devastating for multiple reasons.
“We run a huge risk because so much of our national policy for immediate response is contingent on our national security team threatening with Tomahawk missiles,” said Russell, who is currently running for Congress.
“The very instrument we will often use and cite, we’re now cutting the program,” Russell said. “There was a finite number [of Tomahawk’s] made and they’re not being replenished.”
“If our national policy is contingent on an immediate response with these missile and we’re not replacing them, then what are we going do?” Russell asked.
North Korea, for instance, has successfully tested multi-stage rockets and other ballistic missiles in recent months. Experts say this is a sign that the Navy’s defensive capabilities will become all the more important in the Pacific in the years to come.
Meanwhile, the experimental anti-ship cruise missile meant to replace the Tomahawk program will not be battle ready for at least 10 years, according to some experts.
The Long Range Anti Ship Missile has suffered from extremely expensive development costs and has underperformed when tested.
“You have to ask yourself: An anti-ship missile is not going to be something we can drive into a cave in Tora Bora,” Russell said. “To replace it with something not needed as badly, and invest in something not even capable of passing basic tests, that causes real concern.”
The Pentagon did not return requests for comment.
A court in Egypt on Monday sentenced 529 supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi to death after a mass trial, judicial sources said.
Islamist backers of Morsi are facing a deadly crackdown launched by the military-installed authorities since his ouster in July, with hundreds of people killed and thousands arrested.
The sentence was delivered in the second hearing of a trial which began on Saturday in Minya, south of the capital.
Of those sentenced, 153 are in detention and the rest are on the run, the sources said, adding that 17 others were acquitted. The verdict can be appealed.
Those sentenced are among more than 1,200 Morsi supporters on trial in Minya. A second group of about 700 defendants will be in the dock on Tuesday.
They are accused of attacking both people and public property in southern Egypt in August, after security forces broke up two Cairo protest camps set up by Morsi supporters on August 14.
They are also charged with committing acts of violence that led to the deaths of two policemen in Minya, judicial sources said.
The accused include several leaders of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, including its supreme guide Mohamed Badie.
Morsi, Egypt’s first elected and civilian president, was ousted by the army on July 3 in a move that triggered widespread unrest across the deeply polarised nation.
Hundreds of people died in the August assault on the two Cairo protest camps and in subsequent clashes that day.
Rights group Amnesty International says at least 1,400 people have been killed in violence across Egypt since then, and thousands more have been arrested.
Morsi is himself currently on trial in three different cases, including one for inciting the killing of protesters outside a presidential palace while he was in office.
Morsi was removed after just 12 months as president following mass street protests against his rule amid allegations of power grabbing and worsening an already weak economy.
American personnel on the ground in Benghazi the night of the 2012 terror attack are outraged after learning that the CIA’s inspector general never conducted an investigation into what happened – despite two CIA workers being killed in the attack and despite at least two complaints being filed by CIA employees.
Former Ambassador Chris Stevens, another State official and two ex-Navy SEALs working for the CIA were killed in that attack.
Many in the agency were told, or were under the impression, that an investigation was in the works, but that is not the case.
One person close to the issue told Fox News: “They should be doing an investigation to see what the chief of base in Benghazi and station chief in Tripoli did that night. If they did, they’d find out there were some major mistakes.”
This source claimed an investigation would likely uncover a lot of details the public does not know.
Asked why such a probe has not been launched, a CIA spokesman said: “CIA’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) always reviews carefully every matter that is brought to its attention, and takes appropriate action based on a variety of factors.”
Still, at least two complaints were filed by CIA employees concerned about the attack, which began at the U.S. compound and eventually spread to the CIA annex one mile away. There is no question that CIA personnel saved a lot of lives; those on the ground that night continue to herald the heroism of the individuals who responded to try and help Stevens and others under attack.
Yet questions remain about the overall decision-making, possible destruction of evidence and warnings of an impending attack.
“There needs to be a CIA investigation… there was a lot of things done wrong,” one special operator said.
But a CIA spokesman said the OIG has already “explained fully” to the agency’s congressional oversight committees “why it did not open an investigation into Benghazi-related issues.”
“That decision was based on a determination that the concerns raised fell under the purview of the State Department’s Accountability Review Board, and that a separate OIG action could unnecessarily disrupt the FBI’s criminal investigation into the Benghazi attacks,” the spokesman said.
The Accountability Review Board probe was ordered by the State Department, and the board reported its findings in December 2012.
But separate investigations haven’t stopped the OIG from investigating issues before. Why they held back in this instance is a question starting to filter through the agents at the CIA. Fox News has been told some of the investigators initially assigned to review the Benghazi complaints are “very upset and very frustrated” that they were told to stop the process.
Some members of the Senate Intelligence Committee expressed some of these same concerns in their review of the Benghazi attacks. On page 15 of the Republican response on Jan. 15, it states: “…the committee has learned that the CIA Inspector General did not investigate complaints relating to the Benghazi attacks from CIA whistle blowers. Whether these complaints are ultimately substantiated or dismissed is irrelevant. On a matter of this magnitude involving the deaths of four Americans, the Inspector General has a singular obligation to take seriously and fully investigate any allegation of wrongdoing. His failure to do so raises significant questions that we believe the Committee must explore more fully.”
Fox News has also learned that the Senate Committee was told by the CIA that the investigation did not take place because it would interfere with the State Department Accountability Review Board, which was conducted to “examine the facts and circumstances of the attacks.” While that review contained major criticism aimed at State Department officials in Washington, it didn’t directly mention the CIA.
“Since when does the CIA defer to State? The ARB is in a total different agency anyway,” one special operator said.
Former U.S. United Nations spokesman Richard Grenell also is critical of the CIA actions. “It’s puzzling that the Obama administration is so reluctant to do a real investigation of the facts surrounding the Benghazi attack,” he said. “The ARB conveniently never interviewed Hillary Clinton or her political team about what they knew in the lead up or how they reacted during the crisis. And now we learn that the CIA wasn’t interested in conducting a real investigation either.”
The frustration within the agency is building over the fact that many see the CIA inspector general as their last line of defense internally. While the internal complaints are classified, Fox News has learned that besides questioning the actions of the station chief and chief of base, the complaints also question dealings with the Libyan security forces – and include questions about the reliance on a group of local volunteer militiamen called the February 17 Martyrs Brigade for security and their likely participation in the attack.
Palestinian terrorists tied to Iran fired more than 60 rockets into Israel on Wednesday, causing widespread panic among Israeli citizens and throwing into jeopardy months of U.S.-led negotiations towards a peace deal.
The Iranian-backed terror group Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) reportedly claimed responsibility for firing dozens of rockets into Southern Israel.
The Palestinian al Quds Brigade’s main website claimed earlier in the morning that PIJ was responsible for the attack. PIJ says it will be releasing a statement on the attacks within the next hours.
Al Quds reported that more than 90 rockets had been fired in retaliation for what claimed is Israeli aggression and “Zionist settlements.”
The boost in rocket attacks comes just a week after Israel seized a ship carrying advanced Iranian weapons destined for the Gaza Strip.
One Israeli official was quoted on local radio as saying, “It’s a barrage such as we haven’t seen for two years,” according to reports.
PIJ officials and the terror group Hamas have been threatening to attack Israel for weeks and similar rhetoric has emerged this week from Iran, where one of the country’s military leaders claimed Tehran has its “hands on the trigger” to destroy Israel.
Early reports indicate that no Israelis were harmed in the attack, but an official readout of the damage has not yet been released.
PIJ is just “one of several [terror] groups that observers worry have been stockpiling weapons, including advanced missiles,” according to the pro-Israel advocacy group The Israel Project (TIP).
A team of PIJ terrorists on Tuesday “managed to fire a mortar at Israel,” TIP reported.
Israel’s Air Force responded to the incident, killing three of the terrorists.
The Israeli Defense Forces recently disclosed that the intercepted Iranian weapons ship was carrying a large cache of advanced weapons.
“Naval forces discovered a large Iranian weapons shipment intended for Gaza terrorists,” the IDF reported on its blog. “The shipment included powerful M-302 rockets capable of striking almost any point in Israel, including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.”
The IDF additionally discovered “40 long-range M-302 rockets, 181 mortar shells and approximately 400,000 7.62 caliber rounds.”
While Iran “attempted to hide its involvement in the weapons shipment,” the IDF said in a statement the “containers have Iranian authenticity seals on them, including seals of the Iranian postal company.”
The IDF said via Twitter that it “will act to protect our citizens.”
The Butcher of Benghazi, Hillary Rodham Clinton, has blood on her hands: the blood of Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Ty Woods, and Glen Doherty.
This according to a scathing report entitled “Breach of Duty: Hillary Clinton and Catastrophic Failure in Benghazi,” put together by Special Ops OPSEC, the same group that produced the viral documentary Dishonorable Disclosures.
Western Center for Journalism has analyzed this groundbreaking report and found that Hillary Rodham Clinton has indeed been implicated in murder.
Watch our exclusive video for all the details about “The Butcher of Benghazi Hillary Rodham Clinton.”
Republican allegations that former CIA Acting Director Mike Morell misled Congress over the White House’s role in crafting the flawed Benghazi “talking points” took a dramatic turn Thursday, with the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee telling Fox News it’s likely Morell will be recalled to testify.
Investigators also are reviewing the testimony of former CIA Director David Petraeus, Morell’s old boss, to assess whether he should be recalled as well.
“We are having some transcript reviews. We’ve been continually doing that through the committee,” Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., told Fox News. “We’re looking at Director Petraeus’ transcripts and reviews – looking at what information we have now available. Sometimes that second interview can be equally important and it is likely we will have Director Morell up to testify before the committee.”
The debate continues to focus on why the talking points did not reflect the best available intelligence, and what influence the administration brought to bear on the flawed public narrative of the attack in the days immediately following Sept. 11, 2012 – that narrative initially claimed the attacks sprung out of protests over an anti-Islam film.
Among the allegations, Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee said in a January 2014 Benghazi report that Morell insisted the talking points were sent to the White House for informational purposes, and not for their input – but e-mails, later released by the administration, showed otherwise.
In response to Rogers’ comments, Morell said in an email to Fox News, “I sent him a letter this afternoon saying that I would very much welcome an invitation to testify in open session before the Committee on Benghazi.”
Since retiring from the CIA, Morell has taken on high-profile assignments for the administration, including the NSA review panel and the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board. He is now a paid TV commentator for CBS News, has a book deal, and works for Beacon Global Strategies, whose founder Philippe Reines has been described by the New York Times magazine as Hillary Clinton’s “principal gatekeeper.”
Asked if he was leaving the door open for recalling Petraeus, Rogers said: “Absolutely, We’re not going to take any lead off the table. And if there’s some clarifying questions that we can get done that leads to a conclusion, an appropriate conclusion and the finding of fault in this particular event we’ll – everybody is subject to coming back to the committee.”
Immediately after the attack, then-Director Petraeus rankled some lawmakers when they say he characterized Benghazi as consistent with a flash mob, and downplayed the skill needed to fire mortars with deadly accuracy on the CIA annex. CIA personnel on the ground in Benghazi recently testified that five mortars rained down on the annex in under a minute, and three were direct hits, killing former Navy SEALs Ty Woods and Glen Doherty, who were defending the compound. A source close to Petraeus insisted at the time that he knew it was terrorism from day one.
No determination has been made but Rogers said if witnesses are recalled, his preference is for public testimony. “I would prefer to have an open session. I think that would be, I think enlightening to everybody who has concerns about what happened on that September 11th day that took the lives of our Americans.”
Also Thursday, three U.S. senators who met with Morell and then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice in late 2012 took to the Senate floor, calling for Rice to testify as well. Rice, who stirred controversy in 2012 for blaming the attack on protests, recently told NBC News the talking points were based on the best-available intelligence. Sens. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.; John McCain, R-Ariz.; and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., want her back on the Hill.
“We now have facts that she was absolutely wrong. Of course, the question also remains what in the world was Susan Rice doing speaking that morning?” McCain said.
Ayotte added, “We need to have her testimony before the Congress to get to the bottom of why these representations were made. Mr. Morell needs to be brought before the Congress and ultimately we need a select committee.”
Graham said there was ample intelligence in the days after the attack that there was no protest, citing eyewitness accounts from U.S. personnel on the ground in Benghazi. “Why didn’t the CIA pick up the phone and call the FBI agents interviewing the Benghazi survivors in Germany on the 15th, 16th and 17th of September, days after the attack?”
In a November 2012 meeting, Graham said Morell accused the FBI of refusing to share those accounts. “He said – Mike Morell – the FBI basically would not share that information because it is an ongoing criminal investigation. My mouth dropped. When the meeting was over, I ran back to my office. I called the FBI… They also denied that their agents ever withheld information from the CIA.”
In an earlier email to Fox News on Feb. 13, Morell said: “I stand behind what I have said to you and testified to Congress about the talking point issue. Neither the Agency, the analysts, nor I cooked the books in any way.”
When asked specific questions on Feb. 20 about Republican allegations he provided misleading testimony, Morell did not answer the questions, instead referring Fox News to the CIA public affairs office.
Spokesman Dean Boyd provided this statement to Fox News on Feb. 20: “As we have said multiple times, the talking points on Benghazi were written, upon a request from Congress, so that members of Congress could say something preliminary and in an unclassified forum about the attacks. As former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell has stated publicly time and again, the talking points were never meant to be definitive and, in fact, the points themselves noted that the initial assessment may change. He has addressed his role in the talking points numerous times. We don’t have anything further to add to the large body of detail on the talking points that is already in the public domain.”
Fox News also asked Petraeus if he would appear voluntarily if recalled by the House Intelligence Committee, and there was no immediate response.
Were he alive today, Richard Nixon would have to doff his hat to Barack Obama. Compared with how the Obama administration has swept under the rug the Benghazi attacks of September 11, 2012, Nixon’s attempt to cover up the Watergate burglary was rank amateurism. To be fair, Nixon’s team of Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell, and Dean were not in the same league as Obama’s, which includes not only his cabinet but most of the national media and much of Congress.
If a president were intent on covering something up – something big, such as an illegal gun walking operation to Mexico or a dereliction of duty that gets Americans killed at a diplomatic outpost in the Middle East – he would have to operate on as grand a scale as Obama has. He would have to insist that the events were caused not by what the facts showed, but something cut from whole cloth. He and his administration’s functionaries would have to hide documents and shut people up to thwart congressional oversight. And, most importantly, he’d have to have the unquestioning support of loyal minions who would lie and mislead on his behalf, or – like Susan McDougal apparently did for Bill Clinton in the Whitewater scandal – even go to jail to protect him.
The Benghazi veneer is difficult to penetrate. What began as a claim that the attack was a spontaneous response to an obscure video evolved into a centerpiece of the 2012 election and a major scandal for Obama’s administration. A poll conducted last fall showed that 62 percent of likely voters – Democrats, Republicans, and independents – believe a dedicated congressional committee should be formed to investigate the attack. Americans want to know why this happened and who, really, was behind it. They also want to know how it could have happened. A year and a half after the assault, answers are still less than forthcoming. Hearings have been conducted, testimony has been given, reports have been produced and distributed, documents have been declassified, articles and blog posts have been written, books have been published – hundreds of hours and thousands of pages of material. Yet last December, after what he called “months of reporting,” David Kirkpatrick, chief of the New York Times’s bureau in Cairo, tentatively concluded in an article that the “attack does not appear to have been meticulously planned, but neither was it spontaneous or without warning signs,” that there is “no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault,” and that “contrary to claims by some members of Congress, it was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.” In other words, we’re back in the Rose Garden again, where President Obama spoke on the morning of September 12, 2012. We’re still watching Susan Rice on the Sunday shows. We’re right where we started.
Things might even be worse than that. At least in September of 2012, Rice, now Obama’s national security advisor, agreed to broach the subject. Now she has decided it’s time for the administration – and the American people – to move on. “I don’t have time to think about a false controversy,” she told Lesley Stahl on 60 Minutes in December. Similarly, Hillary Clinton – in a moment that should shadow her every day of her nascent presidential campaign – let her frustration with pesky questions show when she exploded at a Senate hearing: “Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make?”
Those who have watched all the hearings and waded through the reports know that months before the attacks that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, and the two former Navy SEALs, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, U.S. intelligence agencies had been warning of possible attacks on American personnel and other assets in Benghazi. So many reports were given to the State Department that it is impossible to explain why all of them were ignored. But they were.
According to the January 15, 2014, report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (“SSCI”), those repeated warnings began with a June 12, 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency report that noted growing ties between al Qaeda in the Benghazi area and local Libyan terrorists. Another report, less than a week later (June 18), said that conditions were “ripe” for more attacks and that Libya was becoming a “safe haven” for terrorists. Such reports continued in steady stream. One, in August, noted that the “safe havens” were covering more and more territory and warned that terrorist operations might even be strong enough to attack European targets from Libyan bases.
Between March and August of 2012, western targets were attacked at least 20 times in Benghazi by terrorists using increasingly powerful and sophisticated weapons, including rocket-propelled grenades and improvised explosive devices. Several of these assaults were directed at the convoys of foreign diplomatic personnel. On April 10, Ian Martin, in charge of the special United Nations Support Mission in Libya, survived an explosion from a homemade bomb. The convoy of Dominic Asquith, the British ambassador to Libya, was hit by a grenade on June 11. Asquith was not injured, but the United Kingdom promptly closed its mission the next day. During this period terrorists also attacked UN and Red Cross officials and detonated IEDs planted at the American Temporary Mission Facility, the headquarters of Ambassador Stevens.
In March, Eric Nordstrom, the head security officer at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, made the first of a series of requests for increased security in the country. His requests, which continued at least into July, were not denied; they were ignored. Later, in June, Ambassador Stevens began making similar requests, which the State Department did not honor; and, as a report by the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence puts it, the Benghazi mission “continued to be understaffed and under-resourced.” Colonel Andrew Wood, commander of the Site Security Team (SST) at the Benghazi mission, testified in an October 10, 2012, hearing of the House Oversight Committee that three Mobile Security Deployment (MSD) teams were withdrawn from Benghazi over the course of the year despite Stevens’s repeated requests for additional security.
By the time Stevens attended an Emergency Action Committee meeting on August 15, all three of the MSD teams were gone, as was Wood’s SST. The EAC is an interagency panel that meets in embassies and other facilities around the world when those facilities face major security threats. And the Benghazi mission was certainly threatened. On August 8, Stevens sent a cable to Washington observing that “a series of violent incidents has dominated the political landscape”; he calls these incidents “targeted and indiscriminate attacks.” At the EAC meeting a CIA representative claimed that Benghazi was home to about 10 Islamist training camps, some of them al Qaeda affiliated. At the same meeting, an unnamed “regional security officer” said that he was concerned – justifiably, it turned out – about the mission’s ability to defend itself.
About 60 armed terrorists entered the mission unimpeded at 9:42 p.m. on September 11, 2012. They set fire to the barracks holding Libyan militia troops, who were supposedly acting as a “security force,” and, minutes later, set fire to the building where Ambassador Stevens was. One of the five Diplomatic Security Service agents on duty immediately relayed the situation to the nearby CIA Annex, the embassy in Tripoli, and the State Department in Washington. Stevens was moved to a “safe room.”
Gregory Hicks, the deputy chief of mission in Libya, received a call from Stevens five minutes later, and the ambassador told him the consulate was under attack. Hicks later told the press that he and everyone else in the Libya mission believed it was a terrorist attack “from the get go.” At about that time, a security team based in Tripoli consisting of seven men – at least two of them Delta Force operators – was ordered to Benghazi. It had to charter an aircraft to fly there, and didn’t arrive at the Benghazi airport until about 1:15 a.m. It spent three hours negotiating with Libyans for transportation and a security escort to get to the Annex.
The DSS agent who had put Stevens in the “safe room” stationed himself outside it. When the fire and smoke forced him to move, he lost track of the ambassador. Capturing Stevens alive may have been the terrorists’ main objective. Whether they intended to take him alive or not, he seems to have been killed within the first 20 minutes of the attack. According to the SSCI report, none of the DSS agents fired a shot that night.
By about 11:30 p.m., the annex security team, accompanied by the survivors of the mission, retreated in two armored vehicles, to the annex. At roughly the same time, a Predator reconnaissance drone arrived over the mission and began transmitting intelligence to the Pentagon, and probably to the CIA and State Department as well.
According to Greg Hicks, reports began to filter in at about 12:30 a.m. – via Twitter – that the Ansar al-Sharia terrorist group – an al Qaeda affiliate – was claiming credit for the attacks.
Beginning between midnight and 2 a.m., Defense Secretary Leon Panetta began ordering other military assets to prepare for intervention. Panetta ordered two Marine FAST (Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team) platoons to Libya from Rota, Spain. One was to go to the rescue of the annex, but it failed to arrive until about 9 p.m. on September 12, a full day after the attacks. The second unit wouldn’t have arrived for another 72 hours, according to the SSCI report.
In addition, between midnight and 2 a.m., Panetta ordered special operations units in from Croatia. But they also couldn’t arrive in time.
At about midnight, the annex was fired upon in a small arms and RPG attack that lasted about an hour. At 4:30 a.m. the seven-man team from Tripoli left for the annex. Upon arriving, they immediately began to assist in its defense. A former SEAL with knowledge of the situation told TAS that the security team inflicted a large number of casualties on the attackers.
The final attack came at about 5:15 a.m. Mortar fire took the lives of Glenn Dougherty and Tyrone Woods, who were on the roof of the building, defending it. (One of the Delta Force operators, MSgt. David Halbruner, received the Distinguished Service Cross for heroism in that fight. Another, rumored to be a Marine, may have received the Navy Cross. Both honors are second only to the Medal of Honor.)
According to the SSCI report, “The mortar fire was particularly accurate, demonstrating a lethal capability and sophistication that changed the dynamic on the ground that night.” In less than an hour, all were evacuated from the annex. Stevens’s body, recovered from a hospital, and all the other living and dead Americans left Benghazi at about 10:00 a.m.
The SSCI has concluded that the attacks “were deliberate and organized, but that their lethality and efficacy did not necessarily indicate extensive planning.” Which is to say that the attacks, whatever the specific motivation behind them, were simply not a spontaneous reaction to the anti-Muslim video. That supports the conclusion of a former Navy ordinance expert we spoke to within about 48 hours of the attacks, who told us that the mortar attack could not have been accomplished by random demonstrators.
The bottom line is that the attacks went on for just a few minutes short of eight hours. But according to the Obama administration, the Americans initially under fire were beyond any help our military could have provided.
What makes Benghazi so exasperating is the fact that it involves two scandals. The first is the scandal of the attack that left dead four Americans whose lives might have been saved had they received the level of security that they deserved – and indeed requested. The second, intimately bound up in the first, is the scandal of the Obama administration’s response to their deaths.
When the attacks occurred the 2012 presidential election was less than eight weeks away—a problem given Obama’s campaign narrative that the dangers of terrorism were a thing of the past. Remember Joe Biden’s trope that “al Qaeda is dead and GM is alive”?
Lucky for President Obama, Mitt Romney supported American intervention in Libya, too, which left him unable to raise the obvious point that there would have been no Americans in Benghazi to be killed if Obama hadn’t foolishly put them there. Having wrongly decided that America had a national security interest in helping France topple Gaddafi, Obama’s mistake was compounded by the decision to put American diplomats in a city that was known to be a safe haven for terrorists. Hillary Clinton, as secretary of state, knew or should have known of the security problems in Benghazi and had the responsibility to correct them. Romney wouldn’t point any of this out, and Obama certainly couldn’t admit it. Which is why – pace, Candy Crowley – Obama didn’t say on September 12, 2012, that it was a terrorist attack. Instead, in his Rose Garden remarks, the president talked about our unshakeable ties to Libya (of which our history is bereft) and said, “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.”
On September 14, 2012, three days after the attacks, a memorial service was held for Sean Smith at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. President Obama and Hillary Clinton both spoke at the service. In an interview with Bill O’Reilly, Smith’s mother Pat said that Obama, Clinton, and Susan Rice had each told her at the service that the cause of the attacks was the anti-Muslim video. The following day, the CIA prepared talking points for the House and Senate Intelligence committees. As originally drafted, they included references to al Qaeda and Ansar al-Sharia, and they referred to “attacks,” not protests. They also detailed the previous attacks on foreign interests in Benghazi. Those references were expurgated. The party responsible is unknown, but a good bet would be on the White House. According to the SSCI report, then-CIA Director David Petraeus wrote in an email that the White House national security staff had the final word on the talking points. The people responsible may well have been those identified in former Defense Secretary Robert Gates’s recent memoir Duty as having made decisions based on politics rather than the national interest: then-National Security Advisor Tom Donilon and Army Lt. Gen. Doug Lute..
At that time, the Obama administration knew what the CIA knew: that there were terrorist camps in Benghazi, that the security of the mission was perfunctory, and that Stevens had been asking for reinforcements. It knew what Greg Hicks knew: The attacks were an organized, terrorist effort. It also knew that Ansar al-Sharia had apparently claimed credit for the attack, that Ansar is tied to al Qaeda, and that the accuracy of the mortar attack on the annex could not have been the work of untrained men.
Five days after the attacks, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice went on five Sunday talk shows and said the attacks were spontaneous, not premeditated, the response to an offensive anti-Muslim video.
The White House insisted that she relied on the CIA talking points, leaving out the fact that they had been watered down to delete references to terrorist involvement.
A few weeks later, Darrell Issa held a hearing of the House Government Oversight Committee. Many expected Issa to blow the lid off the Benghazi scandal. Though Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Charlene Lamb claimed, erroneously, that there had been adequate security resources in Benghazi, these hearings went nowhere. Were requests made for additional security or not? The story was not kept straight. During the vice-presidential debate on October 11, Joe Biden made the absurd claim that budget cuts had made responding to Stevens’s requests impossible and that the requests had never been received in the first place.
After the election leak followed leak, but the administration stonewalled any serious investigation. The half-hearted effort of the State Department’s Accountability Review Board led the way. Convened by Hillary Clinton and led by Ambassador Thomas Pickering and former Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen, the ARB came to nothing, or at least nothing much. According a source close to the State Department who tried to approach the ARB about the security laxity in Benghazi, the board was dismissive and really didn’t want to know. Its December 12, 2012, report harrumphed gravely, finding that systematic failures in State Department management and leadership (meaning exercised by people far below Hillary in rank) led to the inadequate security in Benghazi. It downplayed decisions made by higher-ups such as Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy and Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, who exchanged a memo in 2011 titled “Future of Operations in Benghazi, Libya” which states in part, “I would like to maintain a small State-run presence in Benghazi through the end of calendar year 2012, to include the critical summer elections period… With the full complement of five Special Agents, our permanent presence would include eight U.S. direct hire employees…” Kennedy remains at the State Department. Feltman, who did not respond to requests to be interviewed for this article, moved to a ranking position at the UN in June 2012. He ought to be invited to tell what he knows to Congress.
Further, CIA employees knowledgeable about the Benghazi attacks have been subjected to monthly polygraph examinations – far more often than usual – to prove that they haven’t leaked anything to the press or Congress. The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has asked for testimony from survivors of the attacks, but the number – and identity – of respondents remains classified.
Security videos show that there was no demonstration before the attacks, which suggests that the anti-video protest story is a complete fiction. A former senior Navy officer says that EA-18G “Growler” aircraft were fueled and on the ramp in Sigonella, Italy, about 40 minutes’ flying time at Mach 0.7 from Benghazi. Though unarmed, the Growlers could have provided reconnaissance (in addition to that being done by the Prowler) within an hour or two of the 9:40 pm attack. Why weren’t they ordered in?
There were other aircraft – F-15s and more – at our airbase in Aviano, Italy, that could have been alerted. Even if it took an hour to gather intelligence and arm the aircraft, even if they had to land at Sigonella to quickly refuel because no tankers were available, they could have arrived long before the 5 a.m. attack on the annex. A single armed F-15 could have put a quick stop to the attacks. But no such orders came. There is simply no excuse for inaction. When Americans are under fire, our military has a moral obligation to fly into the fight as fast as it can. The administration tried to excuse inaction by saying it did not have Libyan permission to cross the border with armed aircraft or troops. In cases such as these, it’s always better to ask forgiveness than permission.
The SSCI report includes a section for comments by Republican lawmakers, who cite “significant and sustained” resistance by the State Department to SSCI’s efforts to obtain documents, access witnesses, and answer questions. They claim that the State Department “swiftly asserted questionable jurisdictional objections and resisted full cooperation with our review” despite the fact that the attacks were made against intelligence community personnel and the fact that the SSCI jurisdiction cuts across committee jurisdiction whenever intelligence matters are concerned.
General Martin Dempsey, now chairman of the Joint Chiefs, is specifically criticized by the SSCI for deficiencies in command. The report admits that the Pentagon cannot plan to rescue anyone from any embassy at any time, but states that given the terrorist presence in Benghazi and the inadequate security there (not to mention the importance of the date), Dempsey is guilty of “…either a profound inability or a clear unwillingness to prevent problems before they arise.”
And what of the president? We still don’t know where Obama was or what he was doing on the night of the attacks. To repeat a familiar phrase, what did the president know, and when did he know it? How did he react? Did he make any decisions, and if so what were they? If not, why not?
So far the Obama administration hasn’t claimed executive privilege to protect people and documents. They haven’t had to, because Congress, a few indefatigable individuals excepted, has had the attention span of a guppy.
Soon after the attacks, Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf introduced HR-36, a bill to create a House Select Committee to investigate the Benghazi attacks. Under Wolf’s bill, the special committee would have subpoena power and could force the issue of testimony and access to documents. If it did, we might yet see Obama exercise Executive Privilege just as he did in the “Fast and Furious” scandal. The bill has 177 sponsors, almost enough to pass the House today. The only problem is that House Speaker John Boehner won’t allow the bill to come to the floor. He has repeatedly blocked it from consideration. Without leaders interested in the truth, the American public will never find out, not now, not in the history books, just what happened on September 11, 2012. Nor, on present trends, will they find out why they can’t find out.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will reportedly propose a Pentagon budget that will shrink the U.S. Army to its smallest number since 1940 and eliminate an entire class of Air Force attack jets.
The New York Times reported late Sunday that Hagel’s proposal, which will be released to lawmakers and the public on Monday, will call for a reduction in size of the military that will leave it capable of waging war, but unable to carry out protracted occupations of foreign territory, as in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Under Hagel’s plan, the number of troops in the Army will drop to between 440,000 and 450,000, a reduction of at least 120,000 soldiers from its post-Sept.11 peak.
Officials told the Times that Hagel’s plan has been endorsed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and protects funding for Special Operations forces and cyberwarfare. It also calls for the Navy to maintain all eleven of its aircraft carriers currently in operation. However, the budget proposal mandates the elimination of the entire fleet of Air Force A-10 attack aircraft, as well as the retiring of the U-2 spy plane, a stalwart of Cold War operations.
The budget plan does keep money for the F-35 warplane, a project which has been beset by delays and criticism over design flaws.
Other characteristics of the budget will likely draw further ire from veterans groups and members of Congress. The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Hagel would recommend a limit on military pay raises, higher fees for health-care benefits, less generous housing allowances, and a one-year freeze on raises for top military brass.
“Personnel costs reflect some 50% of the Pentagon budget and cannot be exempted in the context of the significant cuts the department is facing,” Defense Department spokesman Adm. John Kirby told the Journal. “Secretary Hagel has been clear that, while we do not want to, we ultimately must slow the growth of military pay and compensation.”
“This is a real uphill battle with Congress,” Mieke Eoyang, director of the National Security Program at Third Way, a centrist think tank in Washington, told the Journal
“God bless [Hagel] for trying to get a handle on these costs,” she said. “But in this political environment, in an election year, it’s going to be hard for members of Congress to accept anything that’s viewed as taking benefits away from troops.”
Oh, wait, did I say he converted to Catholicism? My mistake, take a wild guess what religion he DID CONVERT TO!
A New York man pleaded guilty Wednesday to plotting an attack on American police and soldiers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq. Jose Pimentel (a/k/a Muhammad Yousuf), a Dominican convert to Islam living in Harlem, wanted to use homemade pipe bombs in the attack.
According to the original criminal complaint, Pimentel’s website, .trueislam1.com, advocated violence against Americans. For example, an article titled, “Why Usamah Ibn [sic] Laden is the Leader of the Believers,” said that “People have to understand that America and its allies are all legitimate targets of warfare. This includes, facilities such as army bases, police stations, political facilities, embassies, CIA and FBI buildings, private and public airports, and all kinds of buildings where money is being made to help fund the war.”
In recorded conversations with a government informant, Pimentel discussed targeting Americans using explosive devices, including killing returning marines and soldiers who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. He suggested buying bomb components from Home Depot. “That is what I really want to get into because it’s so cheap and it could do a lot of damage,” Pimentel said in a September 2011 conversation. “[A]nd then that’s something worth going to jail for, you know. Like, if you get caught because you blew up half of a side of a police station.”
OK, he has confessed now take him to any Redneck bar in Alabama, announce what he did, and let nature take its course!
Chalk up yet one more legal fiasco to Attorney General Eric Holder. Apart from failing to enforce Obamacare, immigration, and the drug laws, the administration continues to endanger national security with its catch-and-release approach to terrorists. In a preview of the consequences of its plans to close Guantanamo Bay, the Obama Justice department (DOJ) is starting to apprehend terrorists abroad and free them at home.
The story begins with the 2011 arrest of Ali Mohamed Ali, who took part in the pirate attack on a Danish vessel, the CEC Future, off the northern coast of Somalia three years earlier. Ali acted as a translator for the pirates and communicated their demands to the vessel’s owner, Clipper Group. After two months of holding the ship and its crew of 13 captive, the pirates eventually released them in exchange for a ransom of $1.7 million. The ransom payment was dropped onto the vessel by helicopter. As part of its efforts to suppress piracy, including the stationing of a naval task force off East Africa, the United States eventually captured Ali.
For centuries, international law has considered pirates to be the ultimate war criminals and “enemies of all mankind.” As a crime of “universal jurisdiction,” piracy can be punished by any nation. But there is no requirement that it be tried in the civilian courts. Piracy is inherently a warlike enterprise, and in its present form off the Somali coast it has reached higher levels of violence than some wars do. In 2008, the year in which the CEC Future was taken captive, pirates seized 49 ships and held nearly 900 crew members for ransom worldwide. Somali pirates were responsible for 111 attacks that year. Although the incidence of Somali piracy has dropped since peaking in 2011, it is still a serious menace.
But this administration, trapped by the ideology of its anti-war base, had no idea what to do with Ali. The Obama administration refuses to send any new detainees to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, because it cannot bring itself to admit agreement with Bush-era anti-terrorism policies. Instead, it prefers to kill terrorist leaders (and nearby civilians) with drone strikes rather than capturing them to gain intelligence. As a result, the Obama administration has failed to capture a single high-ranking terrorist leader in five years, and the most valuable pool of information – human intelligence – is drying up.
Out of options, Holder began the sad comedy of errors by bringing Ali back to the United States. Consistent with Holder’s preferred policy of trying suspected terrorists in ordinary civil courts inside the United States, rather than before military commissions, federal prosecutors put Ali on trial in a federal district court in Washington, D.C. The most important charge against him was piracy, which on conviction carries a mandatory life sentence. Lesser charges included hostage taking.
Prosecutors compounded Holder’s basic mistake by failing last November to persuade the jury to convict Ali. Obama’s DOJ then brought its bungling to new heights by deciding to drop the remaining charges against Ali. Having gotten a read on the men across the table, Ali has called the administration and now raised it – by applying for permanent asylum in the United States. The chances are excellent that Ali will remain inside the United States for a prolonged stay or even the rest of his life.
This is not the first time that Holder’s DOJ has sought to try such cases in ordinary civil courts inside the country, rather than at Guantanamo Bay, where military commissions for trying terrorists are available. Earlier in the Obama administration, Holder sought a civil criminal trial for Khalid Sheik Mohammed and other suspects involved in the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington. But Holder had no answer to questions about what would happen if a jury failed to convict these al-Qaeda suspects. He said merely, “I would not have authorized the prosecution of these cases unless I was confident that our outcome would be a successful one.”
In other words, Holder acknowledged that he had no Plan B. But despite Holder’s presumptuousness, federal prosecutors cannot control jury deliberations or predict their outcomes with certainty. Once a case has gone to the jury, it is for the jurors alone to decide whether to find that the accused has been proven guilty or not.
The public blowback against trying terrorists inside the United States was intense and bipartisan, and the White House retreated from Holder’s plan under fire. But this administration is not one to admit to or learn from its mistakes. In the Ali case, Holder and his subordinates took the risk that they might not succeed in convincing a jury that Ali was himself a pirate because he had provided translation services to a pirate gang. Their gamble backfired when the jury reported its verdict.
What happened makes plain the original wisdom behind military commissions. From the Revolution to World War II, American commanders convened these special military courts to try the enemy for war crimes. George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin Roosevelt ordered the use of commissions as part of their responsibility to punish enemy transgressions and to encourage compliance with the rules of civilized warfare. They combine speedy proceedings unencumbered by the years of delay in the peacetime justice system with judges and juries drawn from the officer corps who are specialists in the laws of war. In a WWII decision, Ex Parte Quirin, the Supreme Court unanimously upheld FDR’s choice of military commission to try German spies captured on a sabotage mission within the United States, even though at least one of the defendants may have been born in the country.
But committed to its base’s dislike of Bush anti-terrorism policies, the Obama administration has forsworn the detention of terrorists at Guantanamo Bay and trial by military tribunals. Instead, Holder may have assumed that even if Ali were not convicted, he could be deported from the country as an illegal alien. But our immigration laws permit aliens inside the United States to apply for asylum – even if they have been brought into the country to stand trial. Ali has taken advantage of that opportunity. In all likelihood, his asylum application will take months, if not years, to process. And in the end, he may even prevail. Other terrorists will take note: Even if their plots in the U.S. fail, they can always try their luck with a jury trial and then file for citizenship.
There is no need for our government to create a public danger of this kind. We should not have to worry about the presence of suspected pirates or terrorists in our midst. The correct course in a case like this would have been to try Ali outside the United States, before a military commission. But the broader problem still remains: President Obama is intent on returning terrorism to our domestic law enforcement and civilian courts for resolution because he believes that – all information to the contrary – the tide of war is receding. Grappling with the metamorphosis of the terrorist into a less intense, more decentralized enemy, however, is no excuse to bring terrorists back home for release.
House Republicans on Tuesday unveiled their new “Investigation of Benghazi” website which appears to be a Benghazi file repository of committee reports and other declassified publications related to the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya which killed Ambassador Chris Stevens, Navy Seals Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty and Diplomat Sean Smith.
In a couple of brief paragraphs the website explains that the mission of the House Republicans is to discover what occurred on that night in Benghazi and to uncover exactly what the Obama administration is attempting to cover up:
Shortly after the attack, House Republicans asked the Obama administration to explain to the American people the Administration’s actions leading up to and during the attack itself, as well as the fact that publicly-available information consistently contradicted Administration accounts describing the cause and nature of the attack. Our fight for answers and justice continues today.
For over a year now, House Committees have engaged in serious, deliberate, and exhaustive oversight investigations of what led up to this tragic event, what happened that night, and why the White House still refuses to tell the whole truth. All of the unclassified information and findings from this ongoing investigation can be found on this website.
This page continues to be updated as more information becomes available. The most recent update was made on January 29, 2014.
One of the most interesting sections of the new repository is titled House Committee on Foreign Affairs and includes the following files:
* “Benghazi: Where is the State Department Accountability?” September 18, 2013
* “Terrorist Attack in Benghazi: The Secretary of State’s View,” January 23, 2013
* “Benghazi Attack, Part II: The Report of the Accountability Review Board,” December 20, 2012
* “Benghazi and Beyond: What Went Wrong on September 11, 2012 and How to Prevent it from Happening at other Frontline Posts, Part I,” November 15, 2012
4/23/13 Interim Report 5 Cmte Letter
* Outgoing: 04.23.13 – POTUS, Five Committee letter re Benghazi
05/27/13 OIG Continued Concerns
* Incoming: 05.10.13 – OIG, Dep. IG Harold Geisel, Under review RE Continued concerns with ARB report
* Outgoing: 05.10.13 – OIG, Dep. IG Harold Geisel, Continued concerns with ARB report
* Outgoing: 09.27.13 – OIG, Dep IG Geisel, Questions on OIG ARB Review
05/29/13 Status of ARB-Cited Employees
* Incoming: 08.23.13 – State Dept, RE. Status of ARB-cited employees
* Outgoing: 05.29.13 – State Dept, Sec. Kerry, Status of ARB-cited employees
10/30/13 Benghazi Annex Response
* Incoming: 10.30.13 – DOD, Hagel, RE. Benghazi Annex response
* Incoming: 11.12.13 – State, Kerry, RE. Benghazi Annex response
* Incoming: 12.11.13 – CIA, RE. Benghazi Annex response
* Outgoing: 2013-10-30 DEI & Royce to Brennan-CIA – Benghazi Annex response
* Outgoing: 2013-10-30 DEI & Royce to Hagel-DOD – Benghazi Annex response
* Outgoing: 2013-10-30 DEI & Royce to Kerry-DOS – Benghazi Annex respons
10/30/13 Rewards for Justice Program
* Incoming: 11.15.13 – State Dept, Kerry, RE. Benghazi Rewards for Justice
* Outgoing: 10.30.13 – State Dept, Kerry, Benghazi Rewards for Justice
11/19/13 Benghazi Four Employment Status Update
* Incoming: 01.17.14 -State Dept, RE. Benghazi Four Employment Status Update
* Outgoing: 11.19.13 – State Dept, Kerry, Beghazi Four Employment Status Update
* Outgoing: 12.13.13 – State, Follow-up on status ARB-cited employees
The list of other available reports is quite extensive but many of them are heavily redacted. The page should prove to be a valuable resource for anyone investigating the Benghazi terrorist attack.
Obama’s proxy war on Christianity continues in Syria as his Al Qaeda allies ruthlessly attack and kill innocent unarmed civilians. They are even beheading children. That’s a manly and moral group Hussein is supporting. Those kids must have had it coming. Way to take the moral high ground, Obama!
In typical Hussein “Fast and Furious” fashion, his weapons that he provided and his “freedom fighters” are killing in the name of the United States.
And there is an interesting twist to this that may offer insights into the underlying mission of both Hussein Obama and his Al Qaeda foot soldiers. Some of the inhabitants of the village of Maaloula, where this latest round of inhumanity is occurring, were given the option of converting to Islam or having their heads cut off.
Not the most attractive of options but hey, they’re Christians, so in Hussein’s world, Al Qaeda is just doing the “lord’s work”. Of course the usual gratuitous shouts of “Allahu Akbar” could be heard. Can’t have a bloodthirsty murder spree without that!
We are in the middle of a “Twilight Zone” type of insanity that borders on unbelievable. How did we go so wrong in such a short period of time?
Judicial Watch announced Monday that it received documents through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit showing that Admiral William McRaven ordered the immediate destruction of any photos of Osama bin Laden’s death within hours of a Judicial Watch FOIA request.
According to the Pentagon documents, McRaven sent his email on “Friday, May 13, 2011 5:09 PM.” The documents do not detail what documents, if any, were destroyed in response to the McRaven directive. The Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit seeking the documents was filed in the United States Court for the District of Columbia only hours earlier. Judicial Watch also announced the filing at a morning press conference. [...]
The move by McRaven to purge the photos appears to have come, at least in part, in response to aggressive efforts by Judicial Watch to obtain images of the deceased bin Laden that President Obama, in a rewrite of federal open records law, had refused to disclose. In addition to its May 2, 2011, FOIA request with the Pentagon Judicial Watch filed an identical request on May 3, 2011, with the CIA. When neither the Defense Department nor the CIA complied with the FOIA requests, Judicial Watch, in June 2011, filed FOIA lawsuits against both agencies. In the course of the litigation, the Pentagon claimed that it had “no records responsive to plaintiff’s request.”
The U.S. military had a multitude of forces in the region surrounding Libya when terrorists attacked the Special Mission in Benghazi and murdered four Americans, according to an unclassified Navy map obtained by Judicial Watch this week.
The map features the Navy fleet positions in the North Africa Area of Responsibility (AOR) on September 11, 2012, the day Islamic jihadists raided the U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, the first diplomat to be killed overseas in decades, and three other Americans were murdered in the violent ambush.
Dozens of vessels were stationed in the region on that day, including two aircraft carriers (Dwight D. Eisenhower and Enterprise), four amphibious ships, 13 destroyers, three cruisers and more than a dozen other smaller Navy boats as well as a command ship. Carriers are warships, the powerhouse of the naval fleet with a full-length flight deck for aircraft operations. During the Benghazi attack, two carriers were based to the east in the Arabian Sea, the Navy map shows.
Two amphibious assault ships (Iwo Jima and Gunston Hill) were situated to the east in the Gulf of Oman and one (New York) was in the Gulf of Aden, the map shows.
Monday was a bad day at bomb school for a group of Sunni insurgents north of Baghdad. A bomb that they intended for others accidentally detonated at their training camp, killing 21.
Authorities responding to the scene found seven car bombs as well as several explosive belts and roadside bombs.
The camp, which included two houses and a garage, was located in a dense, orchard area. Bomb experts immediately defused the other explosiveecurity forces rushed to the sceneUpon hearing the explosion, Iraqi swec
Security forces rushed to the area after hearing the explosion. They arrested 22, many of them wounded.
Car bombs are the weapon of choice and among the deadliest used by the terror group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an al-Qaeda offshoot.
The bomb assembly area was in the village of al-Jalam, a rural farming area outside of Samarra. The nature of the area permitted for easy travel to and from for the militants without being discovered.
Iraqi police verified that the incident was an instructional session which went bad. Of course, that depends upon one’s perspective. Those for whom the explosives were intended would likely have a completely different opinion of the event.
I am sorry to have to report yet another event that makes me question not only the Obama administration’s intent and motivation, but more fundamentally, its allegiance. Naturally, this latest action by the administration is receiving little attention.
Now you would think refugees and asylum seekers who have provided “limited material support” to terrorists might be barred access to our country. But not according to the Obama administration. On Wednesday, the Department of Homeland Security and the State department wrote new exemptions for the Immigration and Nationality Act which narrowed a ban to exclude refugees and asylum seekers who had supported terrorists.
Thankfully, not everyone in DC thinks this is a good idea. As reported in the Daily Caller,
Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions offered a scathing rebuke of the Obama administration’s decision. Senator Sessions is a stalwart champion in the fight against amnesty for illegal immigrants and protecting our sovereign Republic. He stated, “Not only is this a national security issue, but a financial issue: those granted admission gain access to federal welfare programs funded by U.S. taxpayers. It seems the Obama Administration has forgotten that our immigration laws are meant to protect the interests of Americans.”
Last week, Speaker John Boehner said immigration reform legislation will not happen this year due to President Obama’s penchant for unilaterally and selectively enforcing only those laws he approves. Do you realize how seriously frightening this is? After all, it is a violation of the president’s oath of office not to uphold the Constitution and faithfully execute the laws of this Republic – and the Speaker of the House says it as a matter of fact.
Senator Sessions said,
“In light of these and other facts, it is thus deeply alarming that the Obama Administration would move unilaterally to relax admissions standards for asylum-seekers and potentially numerous other applicants for admission who have possible connections to insurgent or terrorist groups. This includes terror groups not yet designated: al-Qaida was not designated by the Department of State as a foreign terrorist organization until 1999 – long after the first attack on the World Trade Center.”
A Department of Homeland Security official explained the reasoning behind the exemptions, saying “These exemptions cover five kinds of limited material support that have adversely and unfairly affected refugees and asylum seekers with no tangible connection to terrorism: material support that was insignificant in amount or provided incidentally in the course of everyday social, commercial, family or humanitarian interactions, or under significant pressure.”
I absolutely agree with Senator Sessions, as I’m sure many of you would when he said,
“The DHS does not have the authority to eliminate portions of the law, stating the department’s claim, leaves one incredulous. It is one thing to approve a waiver in a particular case with uniquely compelling circumstances; it is entirely another thing to declare a plain legal requirement is null and void. What is the point of Congress passing a law if the Administration abuses its ‘discretion’ to say that law simply no longer applies? This is yet one more instance of the Administration rewriting U.S. code through executive decree.”
Many of you are asking, what can be done? We need lawsuits to be filed against President Obama by Congress, regardless if the DC Circuit Court is now stacked with his selected cronies. We also need citizens who can prove legal “standing” to file lawsuits against this unconstitutional administration, which means they must demonstrate concrete evidence of invasion of their legally protected interests.
Most importantly, we need those who are concerned for the future of this Republic to cast the correct vote in November to ensure there is a conservative House and Senate a year from now on Capitol Hill. In which case, if this lawlessness continues from President Obama, there is a Constitutionally-established method to return him to Chicago.
What can possibly be the motivation and intent of eliminating the law barring entry into America for those who have offered support to terrorism, regardless of degree or circumstance? I will leave it up to you to determine the answer – but it’s just another aspect of the “fundamental transformation” of America.