Our anti-Trump media accepted the January 6 report, Declassified Intelligence Community Assessment of Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections, because it was designed to convey the impression that Trump was favored by the Russians.
But it is the Democrats who have long enjoyed (if that is the right word) a warm relationship with Russian regimes in both their Soviet Socialist and crony-capitalist mode. At least the Dems wanted to. Whether the Russians ever reciprocated the warm feeling remains a matter of conjecture. Skeptics and Republicans will have one opinion, Democrats and other Leftists another.
We quote from an article by Cliff Kincaid at GOPUSA:
The Russians obtained favored nation trading status under President Obama, giving them access to U.S. capital, and New START, a nuclear weapons agreement giving Moscow a strategic advantage.
Historically, the Russians have always found the Democrats to be friendlier to their global ambitions.
Professor Paul Kengor broke a story on how “the liberals’ lover-boy”, Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA), had “reached out to Victor Chebrikov at the KGB and Yuri Andropov at the Kremlin” to work against President Ronald Reagan.
Remember that, you who are outraged by the notion – born in your own minds – that President-elect Trump conspired with the Russians to defeat Hillary Clinton in the recent election.
Such a charge [of Trump-Putin conspiracy] was welcomed by the liberal media, in particular because it allowed them to divert attention away from the substance of the WikiLeaks revelations that showed how major journalists worked hand-in-glove with Hillary Clinton-for-president staffers. These disclosures were in emails hacked from the account of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and the Democratic National Committee.
Not even the persons most eager to smear Donald Trump claimed that the scandalous contents of the purloined emails (see here and here) were not true or not genuine. In fact the intelligence report positively states that they are true.
The IC report says that WikiLeaks, an alleged Russian agent, disseminated truthful information. “Disclosures through WikiLeaks did not contain any evident forgeries,” the report says.
This is quite a turnaround for the Russians. In the past the Russians would alter or forge documents to make people look bad. This time, the Russians revealed the truth. … Of course, the Russians do not provide accurate and truthful information to their own people and they conduct propaganda and disinformation campaigns targeting foreign audiences. Their alleged illegal hacking into the private accounts of Americans cannot be justified. But Podesta and other Democrats can be criticized for failing to safeguard their own information and virtually inviting foreign hacking.
Russian intentions in allegedly providing the emails to WikiLeaks are a subject worthy of attention. But the conclusion that the Russians favored Trump over Clinton cannot be sustained by the evidence in the report. The IC report fails miserably in articulating how the Russians use dialectical maneuvers in playing both sides of the political street in the U.S.
One of the glaring omissions in the report on Russian interference in “recent elections” is the failure to address the evidence that RT [Russia Today] television was giving enormously favorable coverage in the 2012 presidential campaign to then-Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), a libertarian with pro-Russia views on foreign policy. He ran in the Republican presidential primary. …
Of course, Obama won that election, after dismissing his Republican opponent Mitt Romney’s claim that Russia was a geopolitical threat to the United States. Obama had been caught on an open mic before the election promising to be “flexible” in changing his positions to benefit Russia. These comments provide more evidence that Obama was never the anti-Russian figure he postured as in the final days of his second term. …
Obama’s various federal agencies, including the Department of Justice, the FCC and the FEC, refused to take any direct action against RT over the years when it was engaging in anti-Republican activities and supporting the progressive movement.
But when they saw they could use RT as a weapon against Trump, they suddenly became concerned about foreign interference in the U.S. political process.
Although the IC report insists that the Russians had a “preference” for Donald J. Trump for president … back in August of 2015 … RT was backing “Bolshevik Bernie” Sanders for president. … Yet the intelligence community report makes no mention of RT programs backing Sanders, whose Russian connections included visiting the Soviet Union on his honeymoon. Sanders was a fellow traveler of the Moscow-controlled U.S. Peace Council.
The focus on Trump runs counter to the stated purpose of the report and reflects the political bias therein. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) says that “On December 9, 2016, President Barack Obama directed the Intelligence Community to conduct a full review and produce a comprehensive intelligence report assessing Russian activities and intentions in recent U.S. elections.” (emphasis added). Yet, nothing is said about RT’s involvement in the 2012 contest that Obama won.
The U.S. Intelligence Community is described as “a coalition of 17 agencies and organizations, including the ODNI,” but only three were involved in the report. They were the CIA, FBI and NSA. It is generally believed that CIA Director John Brennan was the guiding force behind the Obama administration effort to blame the Russians for Trump’s election victory. Former CIA officials Michael Morell, Michael Hayden and Philip Mudd had all denounced Trump. …
It certainly looks as if the CIA interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Perhaps blaming the Russians was an attempt to get the attention off the agency.
Brennan was accused of converting to Islam when he was stationed in Saudi Arabia. His CIA under Obama’s orders directed the shipment of arms to jihadist groups in the Middle East. At a congressional panel on diversity in hiring, he admitted voting Communist when he was in college.
His focus at the agency has been on hiring people with “diverse” backgrounds, such as transgenders, and he even signed a policy document on a “Diversity and Inclusion Strategy” for the years 2016 to 2019, beyond his tenure as director.
Rather than go down in history with a reputation for defending America, … Brennan “would prefer his legacy be the way he fought to nurture a workforce that reflected America’s diversity”. The Journal added, “During his tenure he has put particular emphasis on promoting the interests of gay, lesbian, and transgender officers. He was the first CIA director to attend an annual social gathering of LGBTQ employees and has been known to wear a rainbow lanyard around the office as a symbol of solidarity.”
It looks like the focus on “diversity” in hiring has taken precedence over getting the facts right about foreign threats. Indeed, some observers, such as former FBI agent John Guandolo, have suggested that President Trump should abolish and replace the CIA with a new organization. “In 15 years they haven’t gotten a strategic analysis of the threat right — yet” …
The CIA will have to answer to its new director, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), Trump’s pick to run the agency.
But the media have a lot to answer for as well.
If WikiLeaks has suddenly became a Russian front or conduit, why are American news organizations such as The New York Times and The Washington Post still included among the “partners” with WikiLeaks in distributing its information? Other partners include the British Guardian, The Intercept, The Nation, McClatchy, The Wall Street Journal, and, of course, RT.
If WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is a Russian agent, why did major U.S. media organizations partner with him? Why did they not investigate him …? Assange was considered a courageous whistleblower by the liberal press. They hailed WikiLeaks for releasing the classified documents that were stolen by Army intelligence analyst Bradley/Chelsea Manning, whose sentence for espionage has been shortened by Obama.
Obama has commuted Bradley’s 35 year sentence, allowing the convict to be freed in May 2017 – iniquitously, and in contradiction to his outrage at the Russian interference that he alleges.
In addition to these issues and questions, some parts of the report lend themselves to a far different interpretation of Russian motives in U.S. politics.
For example, the IC report notes that RT ran a story against fracking, a technique that has sparked U.S. oil and gas production. The report says, “RT runs anti-fracking programming, highlighting environmental issues and the impacts on public health. This is likely reflective of the Russian Government’s concern about the impact of fracking and US natural gas production on the global energy market and the potential challenges to Gazprom’s profitability.”
The 2016 Democratic Party platform is highly critical of fracking. So does this mean the Democrats are doing the bidding of Putin? The progressive movement is almost completely against fracking. Does that mean that the progressives are puppets of Putin? …
By [an] objective measure of actual policies,Trump will prove to be more harmful to Russia than Hillary Clinton could ever hope to be. …
And she surely would not have hoped to be harmful to Russia – not to Russia – when she was still in a position to hope for any effect on international relations. Fortunately, that time has passed.
We had noted RT’s favorable coverage of the Occupy movement. Of course, Occupy Wall Street was a left-wing political movement aligned with the progressives and even encouraged by President Obama. So does this mean that Obama was doing the bidding of the Russians?
The IC report explains how RT bypassed American laws such as the Foreign Agents Registration Act “by using a Moscow-based autonomous nonprofit organization to finance its US operations”. The report goes on, “According to RT’s leadership, this structure was set up to avoid the Foreign Agents Registration Act and to facilitate licensing abroad. In addition, RT rebranded itself in 2008 to deemphasize its Russian origin.” Still, the financing for the channel comes from the Russian government, the report says.
So RT is, and has been, a foreign state-funded entity that should be subject to federal oversight from agencies such as the Department of Justice, the FCC, and the FEC. Yet, only now, after Hillary Clinton has lost the presidential election, has the IC been ordered to release a public report on what the Russian channel has been doing in U.S. elections.
The only thing that has changed over the years is that RT is now somehow considered to be a factor in Hillary Clinton’s defeat. …
If the liberal media are now truly concerned about Russian influence in the U.S. political process, rather than just using the issue as a weapon against Trump, they should … review their own “partner” relationship with Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.
After this review is complete, they should take another look at the IC report and determine why and how agencies like the CIA became adjuncts of the Democratic Party with a partisan bias against the new Republican president.
Since we know that the media and the Democrats work hand-in-glove, perhaps it’s time to investigate the CIA’s relationship with the media.
Yes. Tomorrow, January 20, 2017, will be the day when that becomes possible, and sometime soon may it become an active process!
What disservice have these four men done to the Intelligence Services of the United States – which they have been in charge of under Obama, the Disserver-in-Chief?:
James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, who informed Congress that the Muslim Brotherhood was “largely secular”.
Mike Morell, former Director of the CIA, who helped concoct White House lies to cover-up the horrific treachery that was “Benghazigate”.
John Brennan, Director of the CIA, who defends Islam in this age of a renewed Islamic onslaught on the West.
James Comey, Director of the FBI, who protected Hillary Clinton from prosecution for her many serious crimes.
Have they turned the Intelligence Services into the enemies of the new United States administration? A Democratic Senator and a journalist who “held positions as the Germany bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal and Germany correspondent for Time magazine” and is now with the Brookings Institution, claim that that is what has happened.
Cliff Kincaid writes at Canada Free Press:
Echoing New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer’s warning that the intelligence community is out to “get” President-elect Trump, a Brookings Institution expert who served in the Clinton administration says that Trump’s treatment of his spies will “come back to bite him” in the form of “devastating” leaks to the media that will make him look foolish or incompetent.
“Leaking by intelligence officials and analysts is, of course, illegal. The intelligence community doesn’t leak as much as the Pentagon or Congress, but when its reputation is at stake, it can do so to devastating effect,” says Daniel Benjamin of the Brookings Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence. Benjamin previously served as the principal advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on counterterrorism and was embroiled in the controversy over Mrs. Clinton’s failure to stop the massacre of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya.
The Bookings Institution is generously funded by Arab governments.
Benjamin’s article, How Trump’s attacks on the intelligence community will come back to haunt him, did not refute the widely held belief that President Obama’s CIA and its director John Brennan were behind the recent leaks to The Washington Post and New York Times depicting Trump as a Russian puppet. In fact, the implication is that the CIA and the rest of the intelligence community will seek further revenge on Trump if he continues to criticize them.
At his recent news conference, in regard to the leaks about his meetings with intelligence officials, Trump noted that “I think it’s pretty sad when intelligence reports get leaked out to the press. I think it’s pretty sad. First of all, it’s illegal. You know, these are classified and certified meetings and reports.”
But it appears that some intelligence officials believe they are above the law and can use illegal leaks to damage an elected President who has been critical of their work product. In the most recent case, CNN and BuzzFeed were leaked a document offering unsubstantiated claims of Trump being sexually compromised by Russian officials. CNN summarized the document; BuzzFeed published the whole thing.
Trump denounced these leaks, with Director of the Office of National Intelligence James Clapper disclosing that he had called Trump about them and had declared his “profound dismay at the leaks that have been appearing in the press …”. He said that he and Trump “both agreed that they are extremely corrosive and damaging to our national security”.
Trump said Clapper “called me yesterday to denounce the false and fictitious report that was illegally circulated.”
“I do not believe the leaks came from within the IC [Intelligence Community],” Clapper said. However, he did not indicate what investigation, if any, he had conducted to make this determination.
“When something goes wrong — say a military deployment to combat jihadi insurgents in the Middle East blows up in the Trump administration’s face — the press will overflow with stories telling of intelligence reports that were ignored by the White House and briefings the president missed,” Benjamin wrote. Such stories, of course, would be based on illegal leaks.
“Imagine what an aggrieved intel community might do to a genuinely hostile president,” he said. Benjamin’s comments suggest that the intelligence community will use the media to blame Trump for things that go wrong in foreign affairs, in order to protect its own reputation. …
It’s reputation? It’s reputation now, thanks to its own leaders, needs improving, not protecting.
The Brookings expert said, “The CIA is usually one of the very first agencies to establish a relationship with new chief executives, because of the briefings it delivers before elections have even occurred and the beguiling prospect it offers of handling missions quietly and efficiently.”
It’s not clear what he means by this. The Obama CIA’s “covert” arms-running program in Syria has backfired in a big way, provoking a Russian military intervention, the loss of up to 500,000 lives, and a refugee crisis which threatens the future of Europe.
Benjamin speculated that Trump will ask the CIA to organize a covert operation to undermine the regime in Iran, a state sponsor of terrorism, and that the agency will offer him options that don’t guarantee success and which he may have to reject. He wrote that “…it is an iron law of bureaucracy that no agency will knock itself out for a leader it deems capricious, especially one who cannot be relied on to defend his own if something goes wrong.”
“The answer from the intel community will never be no,” he said. “Instead, the planners will brief the president on three different approaches. Then they will assess the risk of failure for each at 60-80 percent, providing the Oval Office with a dare it cannot possibly accept. For some, of course, this could turn out to be a silver lining in an otherwise dismal story.”
In short, the CIA will look for excuses not to proceed, and then get back to the business of leaking damaging stories to the press when terrorist incidents and other problems occur.
Is the CIA really the “invisible government” that the so-called “conspiracy theorists” have warned about? Is there a “deep state” that tries to run the government behind-the-scenes?
Here is the video clip – we view it gain and again for the sheer pleasure of it – in which President-elect Trump treats journalists who try to traduce him with the powerful scorn they deserve:
The CIA has concluded in a secret [!?] assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, according to officials briefed on the matter.
(Words taken from the Washington Post whose report is to be found here.)
Donald Trump dismissed CIA claims that Russian hacks on Democratic emails were intended to help him win the presidency as “ridiculous”. He told Fox News Sunday that it was “another excuse” for Democrats and said he believed that rival politicians had spread the news. He’s not the only one with doubts – in a secret Capitol meeting last week, a senior FBI official refused to back the CIA’s claim. Russia has been named as the culprit in a number of hacks during the election that saw Democratic emails being leaked. But the FBI says there isn’t enough evidence to confirm Russia was pro-Trump, rather than just causing interference with the election.
(Words taken from the Daily Mail whose report is to be found here.)
The Obama man heading the CIA is John Brennan.
That great resource, Discover the Networks, reveals the following (inter alia) about John Brennan:
In September 2012, Brennan was involved in crafting the false talking points that then-Secretary of State Susan Rice gave regarding the 9/11/12 terrorist attack against a U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. Specifically, Rice claimed that according to the “best information at present”. the deadly attack was not premeditated, but rather, a “spontaneous reaction” to “a hateful and offensive video that was widely disseminated throughout the Arab and Muslim world.”
On January 7, 2013, President Obama nominated Brennan for the position of CIA director. …
At a May 21, 2013 CIA ceremony honoring the Agency officials killed in the September 11, 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, several CIA officers who had survived those attacks were asked to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) — despite the fact that they were: (a) leaving government service, and (b) still bound by previous NDAs which they had signed. Both before and after the May 21st NDAs, intelligence officials adamantly denied that anyone affiliated with the CIA had been asked to sign nondisclosure agreements regarding the events in Benghazi.
Perhaps the most notable of those denials came in a September 3, 2013 letter from CIA director Brennan to House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence chairman Mike Rogers, in which Brennan responded to several specific questions that Rogers had previously posed (in a letter dated August 2, 2013) regarding whether or not the CIA officers who survived the Benghazi attacks were subsequently subjected to polygraphs or required to sign NDAs. Posing and answering several questions as a means of responding to Rogers’ queries, Brennan wrote:
Has any officer, either staff of contractor, been forced to undergo any polygraph because of their presence or their participation in any activity related to Benghazi attacks? Response: No.
Has any officer, either staff of contractor, been required to sign any non-disclosure agreement because of their presence at Benghazi or their participation in any activity related to the Benghazi attacks? Response: No.
According to sources familiar with the NDAs that were presented to the Benghazi survivors at the May 21, 2013 memorial service, the documents did not specifically mention the Benghazi attacks and thus were technically consistent with Brennan’s letter. But as a Weekly Standard analysis notes:
That’s a generous interpretation. The new NDAs were presented to Benghazi survivors after they had flown in from around the country (or world) to attend a CIA memorial for the Benghazi fallen at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia — where the attacks in Benghazi were the focus of the day. It’s hardly a leap to imagine that these NDAs, perhaps not even necessary, were intended to remind CIA officials a little more than six months removed from their service in Benghazi that the U.S. government would prefer that they not discuss what happened there.
In March 2014, Senator Dianne Feinstein — the head of a Senate Intelligence Committee that was involved in a multi-year probe (begun in 2009) of the CIA’s use of harsh interrogation measures on suspected terrorists during the Bush Administration — went to the Senate floor and angrily accused Brennan’s CIA of having hacked into the computers of her Committee staffers. In response, Brennan expressed dismay that “some members of the Senate” were making “spurious allegations about CIA actions that are wholly unsupported by the facts”. Moreover, he demanded an end to “outbursts that do a disservice to the important relationship that needs to be maintained between intelligence officials and Congressional overseers”. And he told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell:
As far as the allegations of the CIA hacking into Senate computers, nothing could be further from the truth. We wouldn’t do that. I mean, that’s just beyond the, you know, the scope of reason in terms of what we do.” Brennan likewise told the media that “a lot of people who are claiming that there has been this tremendous sort of spying and monitoring and hacking will be proved wrong.
But according to the findings of a CIA inspector general’s report released on July 31, 2014, it was actually Brennan who was proved wrong. The report indicated that five CIA employees — two attorneys and three computer specialists — indeed had surreptitiously and unlawfully searched files and emails on the computers of the aforementioned Senate investigators. In response to the report, Brennan apologized to Senate Intelligence Committee leaders.
Committee members were infuriated, however. Senator Mark Udall (D-Colorado), for example, called for Brennan’s resignation, citing “the unprecedented hacking of congressional staff computers”, damaging leaks about the Committee’s investigations, and Brennan’s “abject failure to acknowledge any wrongdoing by the agency”.
By contrast, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said that President Obama continued to support Brennan and had “not at all” lost faith in the CIA leader’s credibility. …
In a May 2012 teleconference, Brennan revealed some highly sensitive information that, in turn, was relayed to the press by one of the other parties to the call — Richard Clarke, former chief of counter-terrorism in the Clinton White House. This highly serious intelligence leak blew the cover of secrecy off of an active counterterrorism operation in which the British and Saudi intelligence agencies had successfully placed an operative deep inside al Qaeda’s organization in the Arabian Peninsula. Consequently, the initiative had to be terminated immediately, enraging America’s foreign intelligence allies.
… CNN reporter Tal Kopan found a striking admission from CIA Director John Brennan. When he first applied to join the CIA, and received his polygraph test, he was asked this standard question:
Have you ever worked with or for a group that was dedicated to overthrowing the US?
Remarking on this last week during a panel discussion at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s annual conference, Brennan said: “I froze…. This was back in 1980, and I thought back to a previous election where I voted, and I voted for the Communist Party candidate.” Brennan was responding to a question about barriers to recruiting diverse candidates for the intelligence agencies, including whether past records of activism could hurt someone applying for a clearance later in life.
Brennan called his support of the Communist Party a mere “indiscretion”, and reminded his audience that the Constitution grants free speech. He then remembered that he said to himself he could either lie and the polygraph machine would “go wacko” or tell the truth and face the consequences, including possibly being rejected for employment. He told the audience he voted for Gus Hall because while in college he was unhappy “with the system” and saw the “need for change”.
It is relevant to mention that John Brennan probably converted to Islam. (He has not confirmed this.) He is certainly highly protective of Islam.
In a March 2015 speech at the Council on Foreign Relations, Brennan refused to refer to the Islamic State (ISIS, a.k.a. ISIL) terror group as an “Islamic” entity. Said the CIA director: “Quite frankly I am amused at the debate that goes on [that] unless you call it what it is [Islamic terrorism], you don’t know what you’re fighting. And let’s make it very clear that the people who carry out acts of terrorism, whether it be Al Qaeda or the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant [ISIS], are doing it because they believe it is consistent with what their view of Islam is. It is totally inconsistent with what the overwhelming majority of Muslims throughout the world [believe]. And so by ascribing it as a Muslim terrorism or Islamic extremism — I think it does really give them the type of Islamic legitimacy that they are so desperately seeking, but which they don’t deserve at all. They are terrorists, they’re criminals. Many of them are psychopathic thugs, murderers, who use a religious concept and masquerade, mask themselves, in that religious construct. And I do think it does injustice to the tenets of religion when we attach a religious moniker to [ISIS]. The Muslims I know … The people I’ve worked with throughout the Middle East most of my career find just disgraceful that these individuals present themselves as Muslims.”
Considering all this, we would concede that John Brennan’s trustworthiness may be a little higher than Hillary Clinton’s.
And the reliability of reports that come out of John Brennan’s CIA may sometimes rise to the level of Susan Rice’s statements about the Benghazi attack.
Paying ransom for captured citizens is one of the worst things a government can do.
It obviously launches a lucrative industry, signaling that it will be profitable to go on capturing them wherever they may be found.
Obama paid a $400 million cash ransom for the release of American hostages held in Iran. It’s against the law, but such a triviality never bothered Obama. He tried to hide the transaction by sending Swiss francs and Euros packed in wooden crates in an unmarked cargo plane to Tehran. The American hostages were released.
Now more have been taken, of course.
When rumbled, the crooked administration came up with a cock-and-bull story about the money being a debt owed to Iran since the days of the Shah.
From the WSJ by Jay Solomon and Carol E. Lee:
The Obama administration secretly organized an airlift of $400 million worth of cash to Iran that coincided with the January release of four Americans detained in Tehran, according to U.S. and European officials and congressional staff briefed on the operation afterward.
Wooden pallets stacked with euros, Swiss francs and other currencies were flown into Iran on an unmarked cargo plane, according to these officials. The U.S. procured the money from the central banks of the Netherlands and Switzerland, they said.
As usual, the administration lies to the American people, insisting that there is no connection between the money and the hostage release. Instead:
The money represented the first installment of a $1.7 billion settlement the Obama administration reached with Iran to resolve a decades-old dispute over a failed arms deal signed just before the 1979 fall of Iran’s last monarch, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
The settlement, which resolved claims before an international tribunal in The Hague, also coincided with the formal implementation that same weekend of the landmark nuclear agreement reached between Tehran, the U.S. and other global powers the summer before.
“With the nuclear deal done, prisoners released, the time was right to resolve this dispute as well,” President Barack Obama said at the White House on Jan. 17 — without disclosing the $400 million cash payment.
Senior U.S. officials denied any link between the payment and the prisoner exchange. They say the way the various strands came together simultaneously was coincidental, not the result of any quid pro quo.
“As we’ve made clear, the negotiations over the settlement of an outstanding claim… were completely separate from the discussions about returning our American citizens home,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said. …
Sen. Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas and a fierce foe of the Iran nuclear deal, accused President Barack Obama of paying “a $1.7 billion ransom to the ayatollahs for U.S. hostages.”
“This break with longstanding U.S. policy put a price on the head of Americans, and has led Iran to continue its illegal seizures” of Americans, he said.
Since the cash shipment, the intelligence arm of the Revolutionary Guard has arrested two more Iranian-Americans. …
At the time of the prisoner release, Secretary of State John Kerry and the White House portrayed it as a diplomatic breakthrough. Mr. Kerry cited the importance of “the relationships forged and the diplomatic channels unlocked over the course of the nuclear talks”. …
Iranian press reports have quoted senior Iranian defense officials describing the cash as a ransom payment. …
The $400 million was paid in foreign currency because any transaction with Iran in U.S. dollars is illegal under U.S. law. Sanctions also complicate Tehran’s access to global banks.
According to the New York Post, there is proof that the administration is lying about there being “no link between the payment and the prisoner exchange”:
One of the American hostages who was released the day the United States sent $400 million to Iran said his plane to freedom was not allowed to take off until “another plane” arrived in Tehran, according to a report.
Pastor Saeed Abedini, who was among four Americans released this past Jan. 17, told Fox Business he wound up waiting for an extended time for the second plane to reach the Iranian capital and was never told why the arriving aircraft was so important.
“I just remember the night at the airport sitting for hours and hours there, and I asked police, ‘Why are you not letting us go?’ ” Abedini said. “He said, ‘We are waiting for another plane so if that plane doesn’t come, we never let you go.’ ”
The WSJ report concludes:
Revolutionary Guard commanders boasted at the time that the Americans had succumbed to Iranian pressure. “Taking this much money back was in return for the release of the American spies,” said Gen. Mohammad Reza Naghdi, commander of the Guard’s Basij militia, on state media.
Among the Americans currently being held are an energy executive named Siamak Namazi and his 80-year old father, Baqer, according to U.S. and Iranian officials. Iran’s judiciary spokesman last month confirmed Tehran had arrested the third American, believed to be a San Diego resident named Reza “Robin” Shahini.
Friends and family of the Namazis believe the Iranians are seeking to increase their leverage to force another prisoner exchange or cash payment in the final six months of the Obama administration. Mr. Kerry and other U.S. officials have been raising their case with Iranian diplomats, U.S. officials say.
Iranian officials have demanded in recent weeks the U.S. return $2 billion in Iranian funds that were frozen in New York in 2009. The Supreme Court recently ruled that the money should be given to victims of Iranian-sponsored terror attacks.
Members of Congress are seeking to pass legislation preventing the Obama administration from making any further cash payments to Iran. One of the bills requires for the White House to make public the details of its $1.7 billion transfer to Iran.
“President Obama’s … payment to Iran in January, which we now know will fund Iran’s military expansion, is an appalling example of executive branch governance,” said Sen. James Lankford (R., Okla.), who co-wrote the bill. “Subsidizing Iran’s military is perhaps the worst use of taxpayer dollars ever by an American president.”
The only surprise is that Obama did something – though very much the wrong thing – to get American captives freed. Why? That’s the deeper mystery, the answer to which we may never know.
(Is one of the released hostages related, or closely connected, to one of Obama’s henchmen? To John Kerry, for instance? A good investigative journalist is needed to find out.)
And here are a few of many suras in the Koran that command Muslims to terrorize and kill non-Muslims.
- Koran 47:4. So when you meet those who disbelieve, strike [their] necks until, when you have inflicted slaughter upon them, then secure their bonds, and either [confer] favor afterwards or ransom [them] until the war lays down its burdens.
- Koran 9:5. So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captive and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them.”
- Koran 9:29. Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.
- Koran 9:123. O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness.
- Koran 61:4. Surely Allah loves those who fight in His way.
- Koran 8:12. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.
And these are a few quotations from the Hadith that carry the same message:
- Bukhari 52:256. The Prophet… was asked whether it was permissible to attack the pagan warriors at night with the probability of exposing their women and children to danger. The Prophet replied, “They are from them.” [ie. Yes.]
- Muslim 1:33. The Messenger of Allah said, “I have been commanded to fight against people till they testify that there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”
- Bukhari 8:387. Allah’s Apostle said, “I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah’. And if they say so, pray like our prayers, face our Qibla and slaughter as we slaughter, then their blood and property will be sacred to us and we will not interfere with them except legally.”
- Muslim 1:30. The Messenger of Allah said: “I have been commanded to fight against people so long as they do not declare that there is no god but Allah.”
- Tabari 9:69. Killing Unbelievers is a small matter to us.
- Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 992. Fight everyone in the way of Allah and kill those who disbelieve in Allah.
But the US Homeland Security Secretary, Jeh Johnson, insists that “the very essence of the Islamic faith is peace”.
He said so to a Muslim audience when he rushed to a mosque to comfort and reassure them after Muslims carried out the massacre of non-Muslims at San Bernardino, California.
Bridget Johnson writes at PJ Media:
In a Monday visit to a Northern Virginia mosque, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson declared “anyone who does not understand” that Muslims want peace “does not understand Islam”.
Johnson dropped in on at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society in Sterling, Va., the day after President Obama said Americans have a responsibility to respect their Muslim neighbors.
Has he ever said that Muslims have a responsibility to respect their non-Muslim American neighbors?
Johnson said …
In responding to this new environment, we must not vilify American Muslims. We must not throw a net of suspicion over American Muslims and an entire religion. We must not force American Muslims to run and hide, and retreat to the shadows. This would be counter to our homeland security efforts, and it is un-American. Now, more than ever, is the time to work together, to protect and defend our communities, our families, and our homeland. … The overwhelming, overwhelming majority of American Muslims, and Muslims worldwide, are men, women and children of peace, who seek to live their lives in peace, and want nothing to do with terrorism. Anyone who does not understand this does not understand Islam. The very essence of the Islamic faith is peace. The standard greeting As-salamu alaykum is ‘peace be upon you.'”
Johnson promised the imam that he would “continue to speak out against the discrimination, vilification and isolation that American Muslims face in these challenging times.”
“Now, I have an ask,” he continued. “It is an ask of the people in this room and all Muslims across this country: Terrorist organizations overseas have targeted your communities. They seek to pull your youth into the pit of violent extremism. Help us to help you stop this.”
He told the Muslim audience that “if you see someone turning toward violence, say something.”
“Help us to help you amplify your message about the true meaning of Islam, as a religion of peace,” Johnson said. “…Encourage your youth that, if they see someone attracted to ISIL’s message, they should tell them there is a better way to change the world without violence.”
“Most of all: do not become bitter. Do not lose faith. Have faith in this country.”
The Homeland Security secretary added that “over and over again, in the life of this nation, there have been classes of people who, by virtue of their race, religion or nationality, exist on the margins of society, who are the object of prejudice, scorn and suspicion, and seek to win acceptance.”
“It is also the tradition of this great Nation that, ultimately, those who once existed on the margins of society become part of the fabric of our society,” said Johnson, noting that his grandfather in 1949 “was called upon to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee, to deny he was a member of the Communist Party and defend the patriotism of African Americans.”
“Today his grandson is responsible for the homeland security of this entire nation.”
Yup. So he is. But do not become bitter.
And whom did Obama pick to head the CIA? John Brennan, who thinks that Islam is a good and beautiful religion:
Neither Jeh Johnson nor John Brennan seem to know anything about the subjugation of women in Islam by veiling them, enslaving them, mutilating them, beating them, “honor” killing them, and stoning them to death if they are raped. Or about its execution of gays and apostates. Or about its amputating hands and feet. Or about its ideology of conquest and subjection of non-Muslims.
Or if they do, it doesn’t apparently trouble them in the least. In no way does all that, for them, detract from Islam’s peacefulness, goodness, and beauty.
But do not become bitter.
John Kerry, newly appointed Secretary of State, starts off badly.
In an article at Commentary, Rick Richman explains:
The State Department said yesterday it is seeking release of $495.7 million in U.S. funds for the Palestinian Authority designated for 2012, and another $200 million designated so far for 2013 – all of which is currently subject to a congressional hold imposed after the PA sought UN recognition as a “state” and began yet another “reconciliation” with Hamas. At yesterday’s State Department press conference, spokesperson Victoria Nuland was asked to “give us a sense of where things are with Congress” on this issue and responded that the administration is working with Congress to get the money released to the PA, because:
“[W]e think it’s very, very important that they remain effective in supporting the needs of the Palestinian people … So we’re continuing to work through this. I would simply say that the Secretary feels extremely strongly that it is time now to get this support to the Palestinian Authority.”
Ms. Nuland said Secretary Kerry has been raising this issue “in every conversation he’s had with his colleagues” in Congress. But if it is very, very important to get the money to the PA, and if Secretary Kerry feels extremely strongly that now is the time, the people he should be talking to are not in Congress. They are in the PA.
The PA can get the money released by assuring the U.S. that they will (1) not take further steps to change the legal status of the disputed territories outside negotiations with Israel (since the Palestinians promised in the Oslo agreement not to take “any [such] step”); and (2) not reconcile with an organization [Hamas] designated by the U.S. government as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), a Specially Designated Terrorist (SDT), and a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) — particularly when the PA promised in the Road Map to dismantle the FTO/SDT/SDGT, which has now waged two rocket wars against Israel and refuses to endorse any of the Quartet requirements for the “peace process.”
If it is not important to the PA to provide such assurances, it is hard to see why it is important for the U.S. to provide more money (much less nearly $700 million), nor why anyone would feel that now is the time to do it. On the contrary, this would seem to be the appropriate time to communicate that violating promises – and refusing to promise to abide by them in the future — has consequences. The administration should be telling the PA it feels extremely strongly that it is very, very important to provide the assurances now. Instead, it is pressing Congress to waive them.
In his first week in office, the new secretary of state has just sent a strong message that he believes the PA’s refusal to confirm its two central promises should draw no penalty. He thinks the problem is not the PA, but the Congress.
Heckuva job, John.
The Western powers have been conniving with the Arab states for 65 years to keep the Palestinians (Arab refugees displaced by wars of aggression the Arab states launched against Israel) in a state of dependency. The Arab states keep them as refugees, refusing to integrate them, so that their condition might be a permanent reproach to the conscience of Israel and the West. Not to their own conscience. They don’t have such a nuisance of a thing. And the Western powers have let them do it, played along, salving that conscience of theirs not by insisting that some of the 21 Arab states assimilate them, but by giving the refugees charity, so making a beggar nation of them. And the Palestinians have made themselves into a nation of terrorists – not against their fellow Arabs who are responsible for their abject condition, but against Israel.
John Kerry, it transpires, wants them to continue in this deplorable way. Living on handouts. Lobbing rockets at Israel. From schools, hospitals, houses, so retaliation will hurt children, the sick, and helpless families.
So the Western conscience will be wrung again.
How long can this state of affairs continue? How many generations must be sacrificed to Arab hatred, revenge, and spite, with the generous support of the Western powers acting out of well-meaning stupidity?
The Arab reply is: “Until Israel ceases to exist.”
Obama and his three new appointees, John Kerry at State, Chuck Hagel at Defense, and John Brennan heading the CIA, will do all they can to weaken Israel. While pretending that they are Israel’s friends, acting in Israel’s own best interests – if only those dumb Israelis could see it.
We wait to see if our prediction is right. We’d be more than happy to be proved wrong.
John Brennan is a convert to Islam? And Obama wants him to head the CIA? While Islam is waging war against us?
This is a 2 hour 49 minute video. For the talk about Brennan being a Muslim watch it between the 11 and 52 minute marks.
We cannot be sure it is true, but we think it is all too possible, and if true, very dangerous.
From RightScoop comes this about John Guandolo, the speaker who breaks the story in the video:
John Guandolo is not just some guy with an opinion; he’s a guy with sources who have access to the highest levels of government; he’s a guy who has a resume that is beyond impressive [he served in the Marines and is a former FBI agent and a SWAT team leader]; and he’s a guy who claims to know people with firsthand accounts who say they witnessed John Brennan – Barack Obama’s nominee for CIA Director – convert to Islam while in Saudi Arabia.
And from Free Republic, these comments:
The issues are that (i) it has been concealed and (ii) he was evidently “recruited” to Islam by members of the Saudi Arabian government…
Moreover, not all forms of Islam are equal. Salafi Islam – what we in the West often refer to as Wahhabi Islam – is the most virulent, intolerant form of Sunni Islam extant.
On November 17, 2012, in our post America’s counter-jihad chief, we reported this:
The Head of Counterterrorism at the CIA is a Muslim. He can only be known by his cover-name, Roger.
Roger, according to our source, was a convert to Islam.
Are Roger and John Brennan one and the same?
If not, will there be two powerful “secret” agents working for Islam in the CIA?
John Brennan, picked by President Obama to head the CIA, has his Senate confirmation hearing today.
Andrew C. McCarthy writes at PJ Media:
A country that was serious about its national security would never put John Brennan in charge of its premier intelligence service.
Of course, it is by no means clear that the United States is any longer a serious country in this regard. Serious countries do not fund, arm and “partner with” hostile regimes. They do not recruit enemy sympathizers to fill key governmental policy positions. They do not erect barriers impeding their intelligence services from understanding an enemy’s threat doctrine … All of these malfeasances have become staples of Obama policy, under the guidance of Brennan, the president’s counterterrorism guru.
Still, the installation of a Beltway operator whose métier is misinformation as director of central intelligence would be an epic mismatch of man and mission. It would expand unseriousness to new frontiers of self-inflicted peril.
The reason is as elementary as it gets: The purpose of intelligence is to see what your enemy is trying to hide, to grasp how your enemy thinks, and how he cleverly camouflages what he thinks. That, to be certain, is the only security against stealthy foes who specialize in sabotage, in exploiting the liberties that make free societies as vulnerable as they are worth defending.
Mr. Brennan, to the contrary, is the incarnation of willful blindness. His tenure as Obama’s top national security advisor has been about helping our enemies throw sand in our eyes and thus enabling the sabotage. …
Sabotage is the [Muslim] Brotherhood’s defining practice. Indeed, “sabotage” is the word the Brothers themselves use to describe their work. It appears in an internal memorandum, which elaborates that the organization sees its mission in the United States as “eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within.” Besides that long-term goal, the Brotherhood’s network of American affiliates have pursued the more immediate aim of materially supporting Hamas, a formally designated terrorist organization to which the provision of material support is a felony under federal law.
None of that is new. It was not merely well known but had been proved in court by the Justice Department a year before Obama took office. I refer to the Justice Department’s 2008 Hamas financing prosecution, the Holy Land Foundation case. Yet, counterterrorism czar Brennan remains undeterred, a driving force of the Obama administration’s “Islamic outreach” – a campaign to give Islamist organizations influence over U.S. policy. That several of those organizations were proved in the HLF case to be members of the Muslim Brotherhood’s American network is clearly of no moment.
Two such organizations are the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). They were among a slew of Islamist groups who wrote to Brennan in October 2011 to demand a purge of information about Islamist ideology that was being used to train U.S. intelligence and law-enforcement agents. Much of that information was developed in federal investigations that have led to the convictions of violent jihadists. Nevertheless, the Obama administration has slavishly complied …
The training materials the Islamist groups insisted be removed include documentation of the fact that terrorism committed by Muslims is driven by an ideology rooted in Islamic scripture. …
Maybe the State Department and the White House press office have the luxury of trading in convenient fictions in order to reduce international tensions. Not intelligence agencies. The point of intelligence – a bedrock of national security – is to see the world as it is, not as we wish it to be.
Here is how it is: Islamic supremacism, the sharia-based ideology of Islamists, is an interpretation of Muslim doctrine that is entirely mainstream among the world’s Muslims. That is why Islamists are winning elections in the Middle East even as they are found aligning with violent jihadists. Islamic supremacism is, in fact, widely promoted by the Brotherhood, and by such tentacles of its American network as CAIR and ISNA, when they are not otherwise deceptively disavowing its existence.
This Islamist ideology is incorrigibly anti-Western and anti-Semitic. It is deeply hostile to principles of equality and individual liberty (free speech, freedom of conscience, privacy, economic freedom, etc.) that undergird our Constitution, the American conception of civil rights, and the West’s conception of human rights. Understand Islamist ideology and you will readily understand the ferocity of Islamic resistance to American efforts to promote democracy in the Middle East – not merely jihadist resistance but broad Islamic resistance.
Yet, in a propaganda campaign reminiscent of those waged by the Nazis and the Soviets, Islamists and their fellow travelers (Brennan-types who might be thought of as “anti-anti-Islamists”) purport to be champions of human rights. When it suits them, they even feign reverence for individual liberties (particularly when it comes to the rights of Muslim in America … but don’t you dare ask them how non-Muslims fare in, say, Saudi Arabia).
The counter to such a propaganda campaign is a job for intelligence agencies. The point of having a sprawling intelligence community on which American taxpayers annually lavish $55 billion – far more than the vast majority of countries spend on national defense – is precisely to see through the deceptions of those who mean us harm, to perceive the threats against us for what they are. That the competent performance of this essential function may be fraught with political complications is supposed to be a challenge for our politicians, not our intelligence agents. The latter’s mission of unearthing hidden and often excruciating truths is hard enough.
Brennan’s agenda is the antithesis of the intelligence mission. His goal has been to portray our enemies as a small, unthreatening fringe of charlatan “violent extremists,” who kill wantonly and are unconnected to any “legitimate” Islam. Thus, he maintains for example that the only “legitimate” interpretation of the “tenet of Islam” known as jihad is: a “holy struggle … to purify oneself or one’s community.”
Even taken at face value, Brennan’s assertion is absurd. There is between Islam and the West no common understanding of the good, and thus no consensus about “purity.” In Islam, to “purify” something means to make it more compliant with sharia, Islam’s legal code and societal framework. Sharia is anti-freedom and anti-equality, so to purify oneself in an Islamic sense would necessarily mean something very different from what we in the West would think of as struggling to become a better person.
But there is an even more fundamental reason not to take Brennan’s remarks at face value: they run afoul of what mainstream Islam itself says about jihad. … It is quite straightforward on the matter: “Jihad means to war against non-Muslims.” …
In Brennan’s world, there is … no need to fret over anti-American terrorists who return to the jihad with alarming regularity once they are released from Guantanamo Bay. After all, Brennan observes, common criminals have high recidivism rates, too. Mass-murderers, pick-pockets … as they say in the administration, “What difference does it make?”
And then there’s the skill of offending our friends while enabling our enemies. Brennan refers to Jerusalem, the Israeli capital, as “al-Quds.” That is the name used by Islamists who reject the Jewish state’s right to exist, who claim Jerusalem and the rest of Israel as their own. …
Brennan’s sense of outrage, unnoticeable in response to slights against a faithful U.S. ally, is instead reserved for the “ignorant feelings” of Americans riled by jihadist attacks against our country. For Brennan, Americans’ anger at Islamists, our perception that the ideology that breeds terrorists is just as much a problem as the terrorists themselves, is “Islamophobia” – a smear cleverly concocted by Islamists to deflect examination. Brennan claims to have seen Islamophobia rear its racist head in the public reaction to the Fort Hood attack – the worst jihadist mass-murder in America since 9/11, but one the Obama administration prefers to think of as “workplace violence”.
Brennan claims that Hezbollah, Iran’s Lebanese terror militia, is a “very interesting organization,” whose “moderate elements” have evolved it from “purely a terrorist organization” into a political party whose members now serve in the Lebanese government. This, again, is rose-tinted nonsense, bespeaking breathtaking ignorance about the history and operations of jihadists who, until 9/11, had killed more Americans than any other terror network. … Its objective … is to advance the Islamic revolution at the expense of non-Muslims by any method that shows promise under the circumstances.
Hezbollah is part of the Islamist vanguard waging a global campaign against liberty. But with their Brennan blinders on, the Obama administration chooses not to see it. They see “moderates” committed to participating in a “political process.” This same thinking has led the administration to issue a visa to an admitted member of the Blind Sheikh’s terrorist organization (the Islamic Group) so he could come to the White House with other newly minted Egyptian “parliamentarians” to discuss U.S. policy in the Middle East.
This mindset also explains why the administration negotiates with the Taliban …
There is no place … for deceiving the American people by politicizing intelligence. That Brennan specialty, an exhaustive effort to miniaturize the threats against our nation and appease the president’s Islamist allies, is the antithesis of what we have a CIA for. …
If intelligence is to be politicized so that we let our guard down, then the United States would be better off with no CIA than with a CIA headed by John Brennan.
Andrew McCarthy believes, however, that feeble Republicans will let him be appointed.
Chuck Hagel’s confirmation hearing last week only bolstered concerns that he is utterly unfit to serve as secretary of defense. Yet, some Republicans have announced that they will vote for him anyway, and some others who purport to oppose him have signaled that they have no intention of mounting a filibuster, the only procedure that could derail him. Consequently, they’ve ensured that he will be confirmed. So let’s not kid ourselves: Senate Republicans who will let Hagel take control of the Defense Department, and who just joined Democrats in a 94-3 landslide confirmation of John Kerry – a devotee of Obama’s Muslim Brotherhood empowerment strategy – are not going to put up a fight over Brennan.
Such Republicans are also in the business of sabotage. They sabotage Republican principles. They sabotage liberty, of which the USA was meant to be the political embodiment. Thus they sabotage America.
How can all that Andrew McCarthy accurately reports about John Brennan be reconciled with the fact that the policy of going after Taliban and al-Qaeda leaders with drones* is his brainchild?
Come to that, how does President Obama reconcile his generally pro-Islam policies with his endorsement of the drones tactic?
Leaving aside for the moment the rights and wrongs of using drones to target American traitors fighting with the Islamic enemy, the present question is: what makes Barack Obama and John Brennan, both of whom do all they can in every other way to encourage and assist America’s Islamic enemies, so persistently pursue and kill jihadis – and anyone who happens to be with them – with drones?
We are all for eliminating as many of the enemy as possible by all available means. But Brennan and Obama are not. So the question needs an answer.
Theories that answer it are welcome.
So are opinions on the targeting with drones of American traitors abroad.
*There are known US drone bases in Afghanistan, Turkey, Djibouti, the Seychelles, Qatar, the Philippines, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen and Ethiopia.
Barack Obama loves Islam. He has members of the Muslim Brotherhood ( MB) advising his administration. He has advanced the MB to power in North African countries. He will not allow the word “terrorism” to be associated with acts of terrorism carried out by Muslims in America. He has persistently strengthened agressive Islam and weakened Islam’s first and main target, Israel. He does all he can to prevent Israel from destroying the Iranian sites where nuclear weapons are being developed to be used against Israel.
He needs men beside him in power who share his pro-Islam and anti-Israel emotion. He needs them in the three departments of government where they can be most effective in carrying out the policies that arise from his intense pro-Islam bias: State, Defense, Intelligence. He has aptly chosen John Kerry, Chuck Hagel, and John Brennan.
Barry Rubin writes (in part):
This trio in power … along with Obama himself could be called the four horseman of the Apocalypse for U.S. foreign policy. …
Their ideas and views are horrible. This is especially so on Middle Eastern issues but how good are they on anything else? True, they are all hostile to Israel but this isn’t the first time people who think that way held high office. Far worse is that they are pro-Islamist as well as being dim-witted about U.S. interests in a way no foreign policy team has been in the century since America walked onto the world stage.
Brennan is no less than the father of the pro-Islamist policy. What Obama is saying is this: My policy of backing Islamists has worked so well, including in Egypt, that we need to do even more! …
They are all stupid people. Some friends said I shouldn’t write this because it is a subjective judgment and sounds mean-spirited. But honest, it’s true. … Smart people can make bad judgments; regular people with common sense often make bad judgments less often. But stupid, arrogant people with terrible ideas are a disaster.
Brennan’s only life accomplishment has been to propose backing radical Islamists. As a reward he isn’t just being made head of intelligence for the Middle East but for the whole world! Has Brennan any proven administrative skill? Any knowledge of other parts of the world? No. All he has is a proximity to Obama and a very bad policy concept. What’s especially ironic here is that by now the Islamist policy has clearly failed and a lot of people are having second thoughts.
With Brennan running the CIA, though, do you think there will be critical intelligence evaluations of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hizballah, or even Hamas? Is the CIA going to warn U.S. leaders about the repression against women, Christians, and moderates? Will there be warnings that Islamists are taking over Syria or reports on Islamist involvement in killing Americans in Benghazi? Can we have confidence about U.S. policy toward Iran?
To get some insight into his thinking, consider the incident in which a left-wing reporter, forgetting there were people listening, reminded Brennan that in an earlier private conversation he admitted favoring engagement not only with the Lebanese terrorist group Hizballah but also the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. …
Kerry, of course, was the most energetic backer of sponsoring Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad before the revolt began. Now he will be the most energetic backer of putting the Muslim Brotherhood into power in Syria. Here is a man who once generalized about American soldiers in Vietnam as being baby-killers and torturers. …
As for Hagel, suffice it to say that the embarrassing quotes and actions from him in the past – including his opposition to sanctions against Iran – fueled a response to his proposed nomination so strong that the administration had to back down for a while.
No, it does not suffice to say just that. There is much more to be said (see below).
Obama has been president of the United States for four years. Yet in foreign policy, having some decent and competent people in high positions mitigated the damage.
Did they? How? And who were they, we wonder.
Well, the reins are now loosed; the muzzle is off. …
To get a sense of his thinking, Brennan [wrote] … “If the United States actually demonstrates that it will work to help advance rather than thwart Iranian interests, the course of Iranian politics as well as the future of U.S.-Iranian relations could be forever altered.”
The Obama Administration followed this advice during its first two years with the result being total failure.
[Brennan] also proposes a U.S. policy, “to tolerate, and even to encourage, greater assimilation of Hezbollah into Lebanon’s political system….” This step, he suggests, will reduce “the influence of violent extremists in the organization.”
Of course, Hizballah does not need to stage terrorist attacks if it holds state power …
Rubin is overlooking something here. Hezbollah does hold state power in Lebanon, and it is still a terrorist organization carrying out acts of terrorism.
What Brennan — and the Obama Administration — fails to understand regarding this point. The danger is not terrorism but a dangerous revolutionary movement that becomes even more dangerous if it controls entire states, their resources, and their military forces.
And here we think Barry Rubin’s pessimism doesn’t take him far enough to touch the appalling truth. We don’t think there is a failure of understanding. We read the signs to indicate pretty plainly that Obama wants the revolutionary movement of Islam to “control entire states, their resources, and their military forces”. And their poisonous gases. And their nuclear arms.
About Chuck Hagel: this is from Front Page, by Joseph Klein:
Hagel … has espoused a deep kinship with the radical anti-war Left, advocated reckless foreign policy positions such as direct talks with terrorists and their leading sponsor, Iran, and demonstrated a nasty hostility to Israel and to Jews in general. To have this kind of individual serving as the head of the U.S. Defense Department is to severely jeopardize the security interests of the U.S., our ally Israel and the rest of the free world.
Hagel has become the darling of the radical anti-war crowd … [and] is also beloved by Israel-haters and anti-Semites, including the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Iranian regime’s TV network mouthpiece, TVPress …
Hagel believes that U.S. foreign policy has been skewed too much in Israel’s favor. He ascribed the pro-Israel tilt to the power of what he called the “Jewish lobby,” which he said had the ability to “intimidate” members of Congress. While serving in the Senate, he boasted that he was not sent to Washington to serve as an “Israeli Senator.” This was an obvious swipe at his Senate colleagues who believed in supporting the only true democracy in the Middle East. Hagel was also using the age-old code words of anti-Semites who accuse Jews of dual loyalties. …
In August 2006, Hagel joined only eleven other senators in refusing to write the European Union asking them to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization. …
Although the terrorist organization Hamas has yet to renounce violence and its covenant to destroy Israel, Hagel signed a letter delivered just days before Obama was to take office for his first term as president urging Obama to talk to leaders of Hamas.
Israel is surrounded by enemies determined to destroy the Jewish state. It is also a strategic partner in our own war against global Islamist jihadists – sharing intelligence, developing state-of-the art body armor used by our troops and anti-missile defense systems that are more sophisticated than our own. Yet we are facing the prospect of a Secretary of Defense who goes out of his way to antagonize our only true ally in the Middle East and who cannot bring himself to treat Hamas and Hezbollah as the terrorist enemies of all freedom-loving countries that they surely are. …
Even if Hagel had not shown the kind of antipathy towards Israel that has won him praise from the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Council on American-Islamic Relations and earned him the “anti-Israel” title on Iranian state TV, Hagel would still be a complete disaster as Secretary of Defense. He is caught in the time warp of the Vietnam syndrome, the national defense paralysis that stemmed from what Ronald Reagan once described as “feelings of guilt as if we were doing something shameful.” …
How would Chuck Hagel’s case of the Vietnam syndrome play out in his dealing as Secretary of Defense with the Iranian nuclear threat? In one word, appeasement. Like Obama, Hagel has called for “unconditional” talks with Iran. … He has opposed economic sanctions … He was one of two senators to oppose the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act in 2001. In 2008, Hagel was reported to have been “solely responsible” for blocking a bill that would have tightened economic sanctions in Iran …
Hagel appears willing to accept a nuclear-armed Iran as a fact of life that we will just have to learn to live with. … Hagel also thinks that the United States should offer to back off any declaratory support for regime change in Iran. While in the Senate, [he] even voted against designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization. …
Before President Obama officially announced his nomination of Chuck Hagel for the position of Secretary of Defense and John Brennan for director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Obama said that protecting the security of the American people was his number one priority. …
Protecting the American people from what? From their own Constitution? From liberty?
About John Kerry: this is from Discover the Networks:
After his discharge from the Navy in early 1970, Kerry became a prominent figure in the anti-America, pro-Hanoi crowd of antiwar protesters personified most visibly by Jane Fonda. Like so many of those activists, Kerry publicly maligned U.S. soldiers. He became a spokesman and organizer for the group Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) …
During an unsuccessful run for Congress in 1970, Kerry, depicting the United States as a country whose aggressive impulses needed to be reined in by outside forces, said: “I’m an internationalist. I’d like to see our troops dispersed through the world only at the directive of theUnited Nations.” …
In May 1970, Kerry met with North Vietnamese/Viet Cong delegations at the Paris Peace Talks, where they discussed a variety of proposals—especially the eight points enumerated by the top [North] Vietnamese delegate, Nguyen Thi Madame Binh. Kerry strongly advised the U.S. Senate to accept those points.
At that time, Kerry himself acknowledged that his visits to Paris were “on the borderline of private individuals negotiating, et cetera.” This was significant because a federal law known as the Uniform Code of Military Justice prescribed severe punishment (including, in some cases, the death penalty) for any person who “without proper authority, knowingly harbors or protects or gives intelligence to or communicates or corresponds with or holds any intercourse with the enemy, either directly or indirectly.”
So what happened? Why no death penalty for John Kerry?
During the ensuing months, Kerry became increasingly strident in his insistence that the U.S. accept Madame Binh’s (i.e., the Viet Cong’s) peace proposals. VVAW went so far as to sign a “People’s Peace Treaty” (reportedly drafted in Communist East Germany in December 1970), whose nine points were all extracted from a list of Viet Cong conditions for ending the war. Kerry fully supported this treaty. …
Kerry marched alongside many revolutionary Communists. Exploiting his presence at such rallies, the Communist publication Daily World prominently published photographs of Kerry addressing anti-war protestors, some of whom were carrying banners with portraits of Communist Party leader Angela Davis. Openly organized by known Communists, these rallies were typified by what the December 12, 1971 edition of the Herald Traveler called an “abundance of Vietcong flags, clenched fists raised in the air, and placards plainly bearing legends in support of China, Cuba, the USSR, North Korea and the Hanoi government.”
The organization Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry stated:
“As a national leader of VVAW, Kerry campaigned against the effort of the United States to contain the spread of Communism. He used the blood of servicemen still in the field for his own political advancement by claiming that their blood was being shed unnecessarily or in vain. … Under Kerry’s leadership, VVAW members mocked the uniform of United States soldiers by wearing tattered fatigues marked with pro-communist graffiti. They dishonored America by marching in demonstrations under the flag of the Viet Cong enemy.” …
On April 18, 1985, Kerry and fellow Democratic Senator Tom Harkin—in a trip arranged by the Institute for Policy Studies—traveled to Nicaragua to meet with that country’s president, Daniel Ortega, whose communist Sandinista government had strong ties to the Soviet Union and Cuba. …
In 2001, Kerry voted to authorize the use of military force against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. He took this position based on his firm conviction—which he publicly articulated on numerous occasions—that Saddam was seeking to develop weapons of mass destruction. … But as the political winds shifted, Kerry and his fellow congressional Democrats began to portray, with ever-growing frequency, the Iraq War as a foreign-policy debacle that had been launched without justifiable cause. …
In the summer of 2012, Kerry delivered a speech on the Senate Floor warning of the dangers of “climate change,” which he said was “as dangerous as any of the sort of real crises that we talk about … ”
Since the early 2000s, Kerry has been the federal government’s highest-ranking apologist for Syrian President Bashar Assad. …
In November 2010, disclosures of diplomatic cables by the WikiLeaks website revealed that Kerry had been busy undermining Israel as well: He had told leaders in Qatar that the Golan Heights should be returned to Syria, and that the capital of a Palestinian state should be established in East Jerusalem, as part of the “peace process.”
This is the man, with this record, who is to be the top diplomat representing the United States of America to the world.
Do not miss Mark Steyn’s column on Obama’s Big Government handling of Hurricane Sandy and the Benghazi crisis.
Each of Mark Steyn’s columns as it appears seems to be his best ever. This one is no exception.
Here’s a slice of it to taste:
In political terms, Hurricane Sandy and the Benghazi consulate debacle exemplify at home and abroad the fundamental unseriousness of the United States in the Obama era. In the days after Sandy hit, Barack Obama was generally agreed to have performed well. He had himself photographed in the White House Situation Room, nodding thoughtfully to bureaucrats (“John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism; Tony Blinken, National Security Advisor to the Vice President; David Agnew, Director for Intergovernmental Affairs”) and Tweeted it to his 3.2 million followers. He appeared in New Jersey wearing a bomber jacket rather than a suit to demonstrate that when the going gets tough the tough get out a monogrammed Air Force One bomber jacket. He announced that he’d instructed his officials to answer all calls within 15 minutes because in America “we leave nobody behind.” By doing all this, the president “shows” he “cares” – which is true in the sense that in Benghazi he was willing to leave the entire consulate staff behind, and nobody had their calls answered within seven hours, because presumably he didn’t care. So John Brennan, the Counterterrorism guy, and Tony Blinken, the National Security honcho, briefed the president on the stiff breeze, but on Sept. 11, 2012, when a little counterterrorism was called for, nobody bothered calling the Counterterrorism Security Group, the senior U.S. counterterrorism bureaucracy. …
No hurricane hit my county. Indeed, no hurricane hit New Hampshire. No hurricane hit “17 states,” the number of states supposedly “affected” by Sandy at its peak. A hurricane hit a few coastal counties of New Jersey, New York and a couple of other states, and that’s it. Everyone else had slightly windier-than-usual wind – and yet they were out of power for days … because of a decrepit and vulnerable above-the-ground electrical distribution system that ought to be a national embarrassment to any developed society. …
Our government is more expensive than any government in history – and we have nothing to show for it. … One Obama [stimulus] bill spent a little shy of a trillion dollars, and no one can point to a single thing it built. Washington … spends $188 million an hour that it doesn’t have … And yet, mysteriously, multitrillion-dollar Big Government Obama-style can’t do anything except sluice food stamps to the dependent class, lavish benefits and early retirement packages to the bureaucrats that service them, and so-called government “investment” to approved Obama cronies.
So you can have Big Government bigger (or, anyway, more expensive) than any government’s ever been, and the lights still go out in 17 states – because your president spent 6 trillion bucks, and all the country got was a lousy Air Force One bomber jacket for him to wear while posing for a Twitpic answering the phone with his concerned expression.
Even in those few parts of the Northeast that can legitimately claim to have been clobbered by Sandy, Big Government made it worse. Last week, Nanny Bloomberg, Mayor of New York, rivaled his own personal best for worst mayoral performance … This is a man who spends his days micromanaging the amount of soda New Yorkers are allowed to have in their beverage containers rather than, say, the amount of ocean New Yorkers are allowed to have in their subway system … Imagine if this preening buffoon had expended as much executive energy on flood protection for the electrical grid and transit system as he does on approved quantities of carbonated beverages. But that’s leadership 21st-century style: When the going gets tough, the tough ban trans fats.
Back in Benghazi, the president who looks so cool in a bomber jacket declined to answer his beleaguered diplomats’ calls for help – even though he had aircraft and Special Forces in the region. Too bad. He’s all jacket and no bombers. This, too, is an example of America’s uniquely profligate impotence. When something goes screwy at a ramshackle consulate halfway round the globe, very few governments have the technological capacity to watch it unfold in real time. Even fewer have deployable military assets only a couple of hours away. What is the point of unmanned drones, of military bases around the planet, of elite Special Forces trained to the peak of perfection if the president and the vast bloated federal bureaucracy cannot rouse themselves to action? What is the point of outspending Russia, Britain, France, China, Germany and every middle-rank military power combined if, when it matters, America cannot urge into the air one plane with a couple of dozen commandoes? … In Washington the head of the world’s biggest “counterterrorism” bureaucracy briefs the president on flood damage and downed trees. …
Barack Obama and Joe Biden won’t even try [to fix things] … therefore a vote for Obama is a vote for the certainty of national collapse. Look at Lower Manhattan in the dark, and try to imagine what America might look like after the rest of the planet decides it no longer needs the dollar as global reserve currency. For four years, we have had a president who can spend everything but build nothing. Nothing but debt, dependency, and decay.
So vote the wind-bags out. Obama and Biden.
And treat yourself. Read it all. It’s very funny and at the same time very serious – which, as its author says, the Obama administration is not. And the American electorate must decide whether to get serious in time to save itself.
In different ways the response to Hurricane Sandy and Benghazi exemplify the fundamental unseriousness of the superpower at twilight. Whether or not to get serious is the choice facing the electorate Tuesday.
But let him keep the bomber jacket.