Archive for the ‘Intelligence’ Category
It’s bad enough when Hillary’s campaign spokesman tries spinning his way out of the predicament Hillary created. That’s what he’s paid to do. It’s quite another when the media, in this case CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin, start playing the roll of Hillary apologist.
Toobin went straight to the ‘the government classifies too many documents’ card, saying “She is now suffering from that because people are saying there’s all this classified information she’s dealing with, but there is not a bright line between classified and unclassified, and you can see, at least to a certain extent, why she was not clear on what was what.” Hillary’s biggest problem thus far is that the Intelligence Community IG identified multiple emails that had the highest security clearance, that of SAP or special access programs. The only people with a security clearance high enough to read this information other than the President and Vice President are the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the director of the CIA and the director of National Intelligence and their deputies. That’s right. Only 10 people have a clearance to read SAPs in the entire government.
That’s because this information identifies drone deployments, submarine deployments and spies who have infiltrated terrorist networks and cells. If this information gets into the wrong hands, people will die. That’s why it’s tightly held information.
There’s no doubt that the federal government classifies too many documents. That isn’t what’s at issue here. What’s at issue is this nation’s most sensitive information. It isn’t unreasonable to expect the Secretary of State to guard that information with her life.
During his speech from the Oval Office Sunday night, President Obama called on Congress to trample innocent people’s civil rights in the name of national security, saying “To begin with, Congress should act to make sure no one on a no-fly list is able to buy a gun. What could possibly be the argument for allowing a terrorist suspect to buy a semi-automatic weapon? This is a matter of national security.”
That’s interesting since the Washington Free Beacon reported that 72 employees of the Department of Homeland Security are on the Terrorist Watch List. Either there are lots of terrorists working at DHS or that list isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. I suspect it’s the latter. Either way, using that list to deny people the right to protect themselves would be a great injustice to the law-abiding people on that list.
That doesn’t mean I think everyone on the list is innocent and should have the right to purchase weapons. What I’m saying is that the TWL isn’t airtight and shouldn’t be used to determine a person’s civil rights status. Sen. Rubio explains it perfectly during this interview:
Dianne Feinstein’s op-ed is a tortured attempt to rationalize the Democrats’ last attempt to throw mud at President Bush. It’s time to expose Sen. Feinstein’s tortured logic.
In the wake of 9/11, we were desperate to bring those responsible for the brutal attacks to justice. But even that urgency did not justify torture. The United States must be held to a higher standard than our enemies, yet some of our actions did not clear that bar.
When people’s lives are at stake, every tactic must be on the table. Protecting people’s lives must always be a higher priority than living up to an imaginary international standard for polite societies. What Sen. Feinstein and the Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee just said is that protecting people is less important than living up to an imaginary international image.
Thank God the president’s oath doesn’t give him that luxury. His oath is to protect the United States. Period.
Thankfully, Ralph Peters’ op-ed sets Sen. Feinstein and the Democrats serving on the Senate Intelligence Committee straight:
As for those supposedly horrendous actions taken by CIA personnel to convince blood-encrusted terrorists that cooperation might be the wisest course, they may have been harsh, but the times and our enemies were and are immeasurably harsher. But torture? What the Islamic State and its ilk do to their captives is torture. They shrink from nothing. We shrink from the thought of a terrorist gasping for breath.
Harsh interrogation techniques don’t equal torture. Any nation that’s squeamish about making life a living hell for terrorists won’t live a peaceful existence. Democrats insist that ‘we’re better than that.’ Here’s a question for Sen. Feinstein and her fellow Democrats: What’s better than protecting American lives?
Here’s how Col. Peters took Sen. Feinstein and the Senate Intelligence Committee Democrats to the woodshed:
Senator Feinstein and her supporters argue that the American people have a “right to know,” but they don’t know the American people. Living too long in a bubble with fellow members of the cultural elite, they have no sense of how the average American feels about terrorists who fly passenger aircraft into skyscrapers or who gleefully behead innocent captives in video clips.
Far from being mortified by water-boarding or sleep deprivation (for working Americans sleep deprivation is a normal state of affairs from holding down two jobs and multiple shifts to feed their families during the Reign of Obama), the folks I know back home in the Pennsylvania coal towns would skin terrorists alive then get out the salt shaker. My people weren’t upset by water-boarding. They were upset—infuriated—by the collapse of the Twin Towers and the deaths of 3,000 Americans.
The Pennsylvanians Col. Peters described in his op-ed are clear-thinking people living in the real world. These Pennsylvanians have their priorities straight. As I said earlier, protecting people’s lives must always be America’s highest priority. Sen. Feinstein and the other Democrats serving on the Intelligence Committee apparently think that we’re living in a peaceful world. When barbarians with a seventh century mindset attacked the United States, they gave the United States permission to be more barbaric than the terrorists were. (Think fighting fire with fire or all’s fair in love and war.)
It’s time for the Democrats to recognize that the barbarians haven’t stopped thinking barbaric thoughts. They’ve changed tactics but they’re still just as barbaric as al-Qa’ida was. That’s just the cold, hard truth.
Brit Hume’s commentary of the Obama administration’s dismissing of ISIL’s threat ridicules the administration and their apologists:
Here’s the transcript of Brit Hume’s commentary:
BRIT HUME: An American Muslim convert with a Facebook page that could have been written by Osama bin Laden himself chops off the head of a former coworker. Workplace violence, says the FBI. American warplanes bomb a previously little known terror group called Khorasan. The raid is carried out under the president’s legal authority to attack on his own when there is an imminent threat. And who is this suddenly imminently threatening Khorasan? It turns out to be an al Qaeda cell populated by people who belong to what the administration likes to call core al Qaeda. You remember core al Qaeda? That’s a group Mr. Obama has claimed was decimated.
The president says America underestimated the threat from ISIS, formerly known as al Qaeda in Iraq. And who did the underestimating? Why it was National Intelligence Director Jim Clapper and his colleagues. Mr. Obama told 60 Minutes Clapper has acknowledged as much. Today, though, Obama spokesman Josh Earnest, as you heard, says the president was not trying to blame Clapper. How did we ever get that idea?
What is happening here is simple. President Obama badly misjudged the strength and resilience of America’s terrorist enemies and has adopted a foreign and military policy that has allowed them to regroup and resurge. Now we can see the chickens coming home to roost. The administration would like us to think we are seeing something else.
Here’s the transcript of his brief back-and-forth with Bret Baier:
BAIER: What do you make of this intelligence failure that the President talked about on 60 Minutes?
HUME: Well, let’s assume that there was a monstrous intelligence failure and all of the intelligence agencies failed, although they didn’t, to warn the President about ISIS. By February of this year, ISIS had captured Ramadi and Fallujah…
BAIER: Two big cities in Iraq…
HUME: Two big cities in Iraq that had formerly been the focus of our activities in the past, especially Fallujah. So you think it might’ve dawned on someone in the White House, especially the President, that, gee, this little terrorist group is turning out to be much more of an army than we’ve ever seen before, doing things that usually only armies can do, that is, capturing and holding territory, maybe we ought to worry about them.
It isn’t that the intelligence community got it wrong. It’s that the things they told President Obama didn’t fit into President Obama’s script that “core al-Qa’ida” had been decimated and that the war on terror was coming to an end. Apparently, ISIL didn’t get the script. Apparently, they’re interested in establishing a nation of terrorists that’s funded with revenues from black market oil and equipped with American military equipment.
If President Obama had taken terrorism seriously, he wouldn’t have pulled all US troops from Iraq. He would’ve kept enough boots on the ground to a) prevent ISIL from re-taking Fallujah and b) gather intelligence on terrorists.
This wasn’t the intelligence community’s failure. ISIL is the product of President Obama’s willful ideological blindness. His fierce opposition to war and his insistence that the world was working out just as he’d predicted led to this predictable failure.
This article perfectly summarizes the Russian-backed terrorists shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. First, here’s Putin’s propaganda:
In a tweet soon after the plane went down, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, “Condolences to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in connection with the crash of a passenger aircraft in Ukraine.”
A Kremlin statement said Putin opened a meeting with his economic advisers by calling for a moment of silence over the crash.
“This tragedy would not have happened if there were peace on this land, if the military actions had not been renewed in southeast Ukraine,” he said. “And, certainly, the state over whose territory this occurred bears responsibility for this awful tragedy.”
Next, here’s Ukraine’s dismissal of Putin’s fabrications:
A statement from the Foreign Ministry in Kiev claimed the plane had been “shot down.”
“According to the General Staff of Ukrainian Armed Forces, the airplane was shot down by the Russian Buk missile system as the liner was flying at an altitude of 10,000 meters [33,000 feet],” the statement added. “Ukraine has no long-range air defense missile systems in this area. The plane was shot down, because the Russian air defense systems was affording protection to Russian mercenaries and terrorists in this area. Ukraine will present the evidence of Russian military involvement into the Boeing crash.”
There’s the crux of this situation. We’re forced into a binary choice. We either believe a former KGB agent who’s a trained liar or we believe the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry.
The trained KGB liar offered his condolences to the families his terrorists shot down. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry promised that they’ll offer proof that Putin’s terrorists shot this plane down.
It shouldn’t take long to decide who’s telling the truth. Hint: it isn’t the lying former KGB agent.
Meanwhile, President Obama spoke on this crisis for 40 seconds before returning to his planned speech.
Whether he realizes it or not, Sen. Rand Paul sounds frighteningly like President Obama. Sen. Paul’s op-ed sounds exceptionally dovish, starting with this:
President Obama has said he might use airstrikes in the future. I have also been open to the same option if it makes sense.
Notice the qualifier-filled statements from President Obama and Sen. Paul. It’d be surprising if President Obama did anything more than token air strikes. With Sen. Paul, we just don’t know, though his record is fairly isolationist and dovish. That isn’t the worst part, though. Sen. Paul’s intellectual dishonesty is frightening:
Said Perry forthrightly during a Republican presidential primary debate in 2012, “I would send troops back into Iraq.” Obviously, this is something he advocated long before the rise of ISIS. At the time, Perry urged the United States to return troops to Iraq to act as a balance against Iran, a country my colleague Sen. Lindsey Graham says we must work with to help beat back the extremists.
Does Perry now believe that we should send U.S. troops back into Iraq to fight the Iranians—or to help Iran fight ISIS?
Why would Sen. Paul ask that question? First, he notes that Gov. Perry made that statement in 2012, when the situation in Iraq was dramatically different. Why does Sen. Paul automatically assume that Gov. Perry’s policy would be the same today as it was in 2012? As intellectually dishonest as Sen. Paul’s assumption is, that isn’t the part that frightens me most. This question is:
How many Americans should send their sons or daughters to die for a foreign country, a nation the Iraqis won’t defend for themselves?
First, it assumes that Gov. Perry would send in troops, which isn’t a safe assumption. Second, it’s the wrong question. Why doesn’t Sen. Paul understand that troops deployed to Iraq wouldn’t be there to “die for a foreign country”? Why doesn’t he understand that they’d only be deployed to obliterate a terrorist training ground in the heart of Iraq?
Isn’t Sen. Paul bright enough to understand that a terrorist state in the heart of the Middle East is a huge threat to the United States, not just to our allies?
This statement is frighteningly fictional:
Reagan ended the Cold War without going to war with Russia. He achieved a relative peace with the Soviet Union—the greatest existential threat to the United States in our history—through strong diplomacy and moral leadership.
Sen. Paul, it’s time you talked with people in the Reagan national security team. They’d tell you that he didn’t miss an opportunity to talk with dissidents jailed in the Soviet Union’s gulags. They’d tell you that he beefed up Radio Free Europe to tell dissidents that he was fighting for them. They’d tell you that diplomacy didn’t work until Reagan made it clear that he’d counter anything the Soviets would attempt to do.
The negotiations didn’t start until Reagan had frightened the bejesus out of President Gorbachev. Once he’d shown President Gorbachev who was the real superpower, then the negotiations started.
Reagan had no easy options either. But he did the best he could with the hand he was dealt.
If Sen. Paul meant that Jimmy Carter left President Reagan with a crappy hand, that’s right. If Sen. Paul means that there was any doubt in President Reagan’s mind that his plan would work and work fairly quickly, the answer to that question is an emphatic no. Reagan knew that the Soviet Union’s economy was on the verge of collapse. He knew that putting pressure on the Soviets would put them on the defensive.
Apparently, Sen. Paul doesn’t really understand the genius of President Reagan’s foreign policy genius. There’s no question whether Reagan was a hawk. It’s just that his foreign policy strategy was multi-faceted.
Sen. Paul’s op-ed is based on supposition, not fact. It’s based on something Gov. Perry said in 2012, not this summer. It’s apparent that Sen. Paul is as accomplished as President Obama in using strawman arguments. I expect that from this president. From now on, I guess I should expect it from Sen. Paul, too.
The select committee tasked with finding out what happened in Benghazi is an intellectual mismatch. On one side, you’ve got MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Adam Schiff, (D-Calif.) On the other side is Rep. Trey Gowdy, (R-SC). While it’s a mismatch in terms of intellectual heft, it wouldn’t improve if the sides were evenly matched. Chairman Gowdy would still win the debate.
Make no mistake about this. Chuck Todd didn’t attempt to hide his bias:
CHUCK TODD: Congressman Gowdy, you’ve heard that Nancy Pelosi would like it to be an even number on the select committee. Obviously some Democrats are even talking about boycotting it. But if you’ve got the House Democratic leader already willing to negotiate on the size of the committee, why not take her up on it? Why not–doesn’t it help the credibility of your investigation if it is truly an even split between the two parties?
TREY GOWDY: Well Chuck, do you challenge the credibility of the Senate Judiciary Committee because it’s certainly not evenly split? Neither is the House Judiciary.
TODD: Well this is different though. This is a select committee and select committees are different. Look I know what the previous history is. I understand that, but my point is–don’t you want to — this has a whiff of politics to it. To some people more than a whiff. Don’t you agree that if you accept her terms you actually get more credibility, which I assume is something you’d want.
It’s sad that Todd bought into Ms. Pelosi’s gimmick, though it isn’t surprising. Democrats will consistently criticize the work of this committee because they want people distracted from the fact that
President Obama and Hillary Clinton couldn’t be found while the terrorist attack was happening. Democrats certainly don’t want people to notice that the Obama administration didn’t properly deploy the military prior to the anniversary of 9/11.
Finally, Democrats can’t afford to have it get out that President Obama and Secretary Clinton ignored Christopher Stevens’ urgent cables asking for more security. If people notice that, they’ll know that Hillary isn’t qualified to be the next commander-in-chief.
The early signals from Chairman Gowdy indicate that there won’t be lots of open hearings for the committee. Instead, it sounds like the committee’s work will focus on getting important documents from the administration, then deposing witnesses based on the information they get from the administration.
I’m betting that most of the reporters covering Chairman Gowdy’s press conference could answer Chairman Gowdy’s questions:
Chairman Gowdy’s last statement has some bite to it. The media deserve every bit of it.
Jane Mayer’s post is filled with leftist propaganda. Check this BS out:
Ever since militant jihadists killed four Americans, including the U.S. Ambassador, in an attack on a U.S. diplomatic outpost in that remote Libyan town two years ago, House Republicans have kept up a drumbeat of insinuation. They have already devoted thirteen hearings, twenty-five thousand pages of documents, and fifty briefings to the topic, which have turned up nothing unexpected. Kerry’s predecessor, Hillary Clinton, has already accepted responsibility for the tragedy, and the State Department has issued a critical independent report on diplomatic security, resulting in the dismissal of four employees.
First, Hillary hasn’t admitted that she saw the urgent cables from Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya who was needlessly murdered. She still insists that she never saw any of Christopher Stevens’ urgent cables.
If Hillary won’t admit that Christopher Stevens’ urgent cables reached her, she couldn’t have “accepted responsibility” for her failures.
Second, Hillary hasn’t said where she was while the firefight was raging. The only thing we know about what she did during the attack is that she issued a statement about the anti-Islamic video triggering “protests” that led to Christopher Stevens’ assassination.
Third, the only things we know about President Obama’s whereabouts during the attack are that he never went to the the White House Situation Room and he was in the Oval Office for a briefing with Leon Panetta around 5:00 pm ET.
Contrary to Ms. Mayer’s statement, not knowing where the top 2 national security officials were during the terrorist attack is, to use Joe Biden’s language, a big effing deal. Saying that the hearings haven’t “turned up anything unexpected” is an outright lie.
Fourth, calling the ARB report an “independent report” is whitewashing. It certainly wasn’t a thorough investigation. Mostly, it was a sloppily-put-together report that insinuated, as Charles Krauthammer put it, that the State Department building caused the deaths of Christopher Stevens.
Further, the chanting points that the administration has given the various committees thousands of documents is insulting. If the Obama administration was so forthcoming with pertinent information, why did the committees just hear last week about the Ben Rhodes email instructing Susan Rice to lie about what triggered the Benghazi terrorist attack?
Testimony by Brig. Gen. Robert Lovell, USAF Ret., the chief intelligence officer for AFRICOM during the attack, said that AFRICOM knew almost instantly that this was a pre-planned, precision military operation conducted by terrorists. Further, AFRICOM knew that the military operation didn’t happen after protests turned violent.
In short, most of the things that the Obama administration told the various committees has either been proven unreliable, to put it politely, or they’ve been proven to be outright lies.
Technorati: Media Bias, New Yorker Magazine, Hillary Clinton, Leon Panetta, President Obama, National Security, Benghazi Terrorist Attack, Democrats, Robert Lovell, Chief Intelligence Officer, AFRICOM, Congressional Testimony, Investigation, Intelligence
Kirsten Powers column is devastating to Democrats attempting to paint the Republicans’ investigation into the Benghazi terrorist attack:
“Diversion, subterfuge, Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi. …Why aren’t we talking about something else?” House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi complained last week.
Here’s why: An e-mail has surfaced from a deputy national security adviser to Susan Rice on how to characterize the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on Sunday news programs. He advised Rice, then ambassador to the U.N., that her primary goal was to “underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.” The e-mail was redacted when the most-transparent-administration-in-history provided Benghazi documents to Congress earlier, but was found through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Democrats have criticized the Benghazi investigation because it’s been a disaster from start to finish. There isn’t a part of this story that casts President Obama or Hillary Clinton in a positive light.
First, the State Department looks terrible because they ignored Ambassador Christopher Stevens’ repeated requests for additional security in Benghazi. This wasn’t a systemic failure, as the Accountability Review Board’s report said. This disaster happened because Hillary Clinton’s leadership was missing throughout this disaster.
Next, the Obama administration’s national security team looks terrible because they didn’t pre-position the military so they could’ve responded to terrorist attacks, which they knew were imminent.
Third, the Obama administration’s political team looks terrible because Ben Rhodes’ email highlights the fact that their first priority was hiding the disaster. Their first priority wasn’t to admit that theirajor mistake got 4 American patriots needlessly murdered.
Fourth, the “most-transparent-administration-in-history” kept lying for weeks after the initial pre-planned terrorist attack.
Democrats are furious that the House will hold a vote to create a select committee to investigate the administration’s response to the attack in Libya that left four Americans dead. They know this won’t end well.
That’s the understatement of the year.
Last week, Fox News’ Bret Baier asked former national security spokesman Tommy Vietor how the administration came up with its video tale. Vietor replied that there were “guys quoted in newspapers saying (the video is why) they were there.” So much for operating on the best intelligence.
D-u-u-u-d-e, that’s too much BS. That flimsy story shouldn’t be believed.
White House officials brought this House investigation on themselves. They could have avoided it by simply telling the truth. Unfortunately, that was too much to ask.
Dishonest people deserve to be investigated when their actions get people killed.
Technorati: House Select Committee, Investigations, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, President Obama, Tommy Vietor, Susan Rice, Accountability, National Security, Benghazi Terrorist Attack, Accountability Review Board, Democrats, Election 2012, Election 2016
In this short 95-second video, Brit Hume utterly demolishes Jane Harman’s attempt to explain away the Benghazi talking points from Ben Rhodes:
Here’s the transcript of Hume’s exchange with Harman:
HARMAN: I would call that an intelligence failure. And, by the way, this was an intelligence failure. But it wasn’t a conspiracy. And there aren’t aliens in Area 51 and Vince Foster wasn’t murdered. And it’s time to move on and focus on the real problems in Libya and other problems that affect the —
BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: You’re right, there wasn’t a conspiracy in the United States to mount the Benghazi attack. The question — that’s not the question. The question was whether in the aftermath of the attack, when the administration sent its U.N. ambassador out to explain it to everybody, and she did so falsely, that there wasn’t a conspiracy to create the false talking points that she used?
I’m not talking about the CIA talking points. I’m talking about the talking points used on that program that day which were monumentally misleading and were — and have since been shown to be false and based on no intelligence of any consequence that we know of.
HARMAN: All right. And my answer to that is no, there wasn’t a conspiracy. They didn’t turn out to be accurate.
HUME: Well, how did it happen? Well, how did it happen?
HARMAN: I think that people made at the time their best guess at the facts.
HUME: Wait a minute. But where did the idea that the video had anything to do with Benghazi come from?
HARMAN: Where did it come from?
HARMAN: I think it came from people who weren’t sure about it.
HUME: Well, can you identify anybody? Can you identify any CIA information? Can you identify any source?
WALLACE: Ben Rhodes talked about the video or the movie five times in this memo. Only five times.
HARMAN: I — my view is, having been around at the time, that this not deliberately misleading. It turned out to be wrong but it was not deliberately misleading.
Harman looks foolish in this exchange because she’s spinning the administration’s chanting points. Responding to Hume’s question of how the anti-Islam video became part of Ambassador Rice’s, Harman said “I think that people made at the time their best guess at the facts.”
That’s stunning. Harman essentially admitted that the administration was making this stuff up. Harman essentially admitted that they weren’t relying on hardcopy intel from Libya from US intelligence assets stationed in Libya.
There’s more to this than just not telling the truth that Sunday morning after the terrorist attack that killed 4 American patriots. It’s that the story was used repeatedly by President Obama, Hillary Clinton and Jay Carney in a variety of settings.
Harman’s saying that this was just a case of people making “at the time their best guess at the facts” isn’t sufficient. The reality is that this administration, if they can be believed, repeatedly relied on people making “at the time their best guess at the facts.”
Saying that’s an implausable explanation is understatement.
With Benghazi, there isn’t a clever twist like in the movies. What happened in the aftermath of the terrorist attack in Benghazi is that the administration lied through its teeth so it didn’t look utterly incompetent heading into the final stretch of the campaign.
Finally, Brig. Gen. Lovell testified this week that he watched events unfold in real time and that there wasn’t a protest about an anti-Islamic video. Compare that with the fact that hours after the attack, Hillary issued a statement blaming the anti-Islamic video starting a protest that suddenly turned violent.
If I’m forced to choose which person to trust, I’ll trust the chief intelligence officer for Africom over the politically-motivated Secretary of State 100% of the time.