Archive for the ‘Intelligence’ Category
Politifact’s fact checks are notoriously questionable. This Politifact fact check is among the sloppiest fact checks they’ve ever published.
Politifact’s fact check of Trump’s claim about Syrian refugees is rated as half-true. That’s based on Mr. Trump’s statement that Hillary Clinton “has called for a radical 550 percent increase in Syrian … refugees … despite the fact that there’s no way to screen these refugees in order to find out who they are or where they come from.”
Politifact says “The 550 percent figure is correct. To say that there’s no way to screen them to find out who they are or where they come from ignores the extensive screening they undergo.” That last statement would surprise FBI Director Jim Comey and Jim Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence. This article publishes information that directly contradicts Politifact’s fact check when it says “Virtually no database of information exists to screen Syrian refugees coming into the United States, according to the FBI Director James Comey. The statements were made by Comey while testifying to the House Judiciary Committee about the security risks involved in taking in Syrian refugees.”
In other words, FBI Director Comey testified to the House Judiciary Committee that “virtually no database of information exists to screen Syrian refugees coming into the United States.” That directly contradicts Politifact’s published statements.
Then there’s this statement published in Politifact’s questionable fact check:
Compared to other countries, the United States has accepted very few – about 2,000 last year, for example. Half are children. Only about 2 percent are single men of combat age, the mostly likely demographic for a would-be terrorist.
That statement is directly contradicted by this information:
During the hearing, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) pointed out, according to the U.N., more than 43 million people worldwide are now displaced because of conflicts. Children constitute close to 41 percent of all refugees worldwide and women almost half.
However, the percentages are significantly different when it comes to the Syrian refugees. Of the close to 380,000 arrivals across the Mediterranean Sea from January through September of this year, 15%were children, 13% were women and 72% were men. Gohmert quoted Director of National Intelligence James Clapper as saying, “This provides a prime opportunity for Islamic State groups to attack Western targets … It’s a disaster of biblical proportions.”
This video must be watched for verification:
Based on FBI Director Comey’s testimony and DNI Director Clapper’s statement, I rate Politifact’s fact check mostly false. It ignores congressional testimony that directly contradicts their statements.
Like much of this week’s theme at the Republican National Convention, Ron Johnson’s speech was about national security mistakes made by liberals.
Sen. Johnsons started his speech by highlighting Hillary Clinton’s infamous line where Mrs. Clinton said “What difference, at this point, does it make?” Then Sen. Johnson explained what difference it makes, saying “It makes a difference to the young Yazidi woman I met who was captured and brutalized by ISIS barbarians, the joy of life hauntingly absent in her eyes.
It makes a difference to the travelers, passing through airports in Brussels and Istanbul, who just wanted to get home to their family and friends. It makes a difference to the ordinary Americans sharing holiday cheer at a Christmas party in San Bernardino.”
Having delivered some tough body blows to Mrs. Clinton, Sen. Johnson turned his fire towards his own opponent this November, saying “In Wisconsin, I’m running against Russ Feingold, who, even after 9/11, voted against giving law enforcement the tools they need to help stop international terror. During his eighteen-year Senate career, he also voted against authorizing our military eleven separate times.” It isn’t coincidence that Sen. Johnson just released this video:
Sen. Feingold isn’t hawkish, though he’s trying to sound more hawkish now. Feingold’s attempt to sound more hawkish sounds rather feeble:
At the time, he said, while he did not oppose everything contained within the bill, he did not believe it struck “the right balance between empowering law enforcement and protecting civil liberties.”
Feingold said Friday he stands by his vote, reiterating that the bill didn’t contain enough standards to protect Americans’ civil liberties. He added that he would support increasing resources for U.S. intelligence programs and the FBI.
Feingold didn’t worry about Americans’ civil liberties when he co-sponsored McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform that gutted Americans’ right to political free speech. I suspect that Feingold’s answer is just a dodge to avoid looking pathetic.
This makes Feingold sound totally wimpy:
He’s been basically trying to highlight any terrorist attack for political gain throughout this campaign. So it’s no surprise that this ad would have been produced, and that’s the problem with politicizing something that shouldn’t be politicized — is you might run into a situation where there’s a terrorist attack, and it’s a little embarrassing to have an ad up that really isn’t appropriate at this time.
The truth is that we can’t tolerate politicians that won’t fight terrorists with everything in the United States’ arsenal. That’s apparently what Mr. Feingold is attempting to do.
When James Comey announced that the FBI wouldn’t recommend that the Justice Department shouldn’t prosecute Hillary Clinton, he essentially said that the United States justice system be a two-tiered justice system. In addition to him effectively rewriting existing and clearly-written federal statutes, Dir. Comey essentially said that the elitists, aka the American oligarchs, should be given preferential treatment as opposed to the peasants.
It’s ironic he’d do that the day after we’d celebrated our nation’s birthday. Comey’s logic, if it can be called that, goes against our nation’s founding principles. There’s a reason why Lady Justice is blindfolded.
The definition of oligarchy is “a form of government in which all power is vested in a few persons or in a dominant class or clique; government by the few.” The definition of peasant is “a member of a class of persons, as in Europe, Asia, and Latin America, who are small farmers or farm laborers of low social rank” or “a coarse, unsophisticated, boorish, uneducated person of little financial means.”
The Clintons have always thought of themselves as oligarchs. Hillary has especially thought of those not in her social class as peasants. When Hillary talked about the “politics of meaning”, she talked about how “even janitors” lives have meaning. The liberal media at the time (1993-94) suggested that she was onto something new and meaningful. That’s Hillary’s perspective. It’s the type of ‘justice system’ that we should expect from a Hillary administration.
Here’s a hint: Hillary’s type of justice is long on using the word, short on acting justly. If Hillary was truly interested in justice, she would’ve confessed to telling the massive lies she told during the FBI’s investigation.
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.