Step-by-step the US retreats and Iran advances 2

Yet another “deadline” for the concluding of a deal with Iran passes today, so a new “deadline” will be set, and that one too will pass, and so another …

Or if a deal is made –

The impending deal is an embarrassment: the world’s greatest power prostrate before the world’s most patently expansionist, terror-sponsoring, anti-American theocracy.

So Stephen Hayes writes at the Weekly Standard.

He’s right, of course. It is an embarrassment. But what matters a lot more is that it will be a catastrophe. A huge unprecedented historic catastrophe.

It will ensure that Iran has nuclear weapons and that none of the major powers will do a thing about it.

The article goes on:

One week before the June 30 deadline for a nuclear deal with Iran, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made a series of demands about the final terms. Among them: He called for an immediate end to all United Nations Security Council and U.S. economic sanctions on Iran; he said Iranian military sites would not be subject to international inspections; he declared that Iran would not abide a long-term freeze on nuclear research; and he ruled out interviews with individuals associated with Iran’s nuclear program as part of any enforcement plan.

The New York Times headline read “Iran’s Supreme Leader, Khamenei, Seems to Pull Back on Nuclear Talks.” That’s one explanation. The more likely one: Khamenei understands that Barack Obama is desperate for this deal and will agree to just about anything to make it a reality. In private remarks caught on tape, top White House foreign policy adviser Ben Rhodes likened the Iran deal to Obamacare in its importance to the administration. And on April 2, the president held a press conference to celebrate the preliminary “historic understanding with Iran” that, he said, was “a good deal, a deal that meets our core objectives.”

But the impending deal is not a good one. It legitimizes a rogue state, shifts regional power to the world’s most aggressive state sponsor of terror, strengthens the mullahs’ hold on power, and guides Iran to nuclear threshold status. Those are not our “core objectives.” They are Iran’s.

A steady stream of news reports in the weeks before the deadline has brought into sharp focus the extent of the administration’s capitulation. Among the most disturbing new developments: the administration’s decision to offer relief on sanctions not directly related to Iran’s nuclear program and its abandonment of hard requirements that Iran disclose previous nuclear activity, without which the international community cannot establish a baseline for future inspections.

From the beginning of the talks, the Obama administration has chosen to “decouple” negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program from the many other troubling aspects of Tehran’s behavior. It was a bit of self-deception that allowed the United States and its negotiating partners to pretend that concerns about the Iranian regime’s possessing nuclear weapons had everything to do with nuclear weapons and nothing at all to do with the nature of the Iranian regime; it was an approach that treated Iran as if it were, say, Luxembourg. The Obama administration simply set aside Iran’s targeting of Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan, its brutal repression of internal dissent, its provision of safe haven and operational freedom for al Qaeda leadership, and its support for terrorists sowing discord throughout the region and beyond.

Now we learn that the administration is effectively ending this decision to “decouple” nuclear talks from broader regime behavior, not in order to hold Iran to account for its many offenses but as something of a reward for its supporting a nuclear deal. It is a swift and stunning reversal. …

Likewise, the U.S. capitulation on Iranian disclosure of previous nuclear activity is both hasty and alarming. As recently as April, Secretary of State John Kerry suggested that Iranian disclosure of past activity was a red line for U.S. negotiators. “They have to do it. It will be done. If there’s going to be a deal, it will be done. It will be part of a final agreement. It has to be.” But on June 16, Kerry cast aside those demands. “We’re not fixated on Iran specifically accounting for what they did at one point in time or another. We know what they did. We have no doubt. We have absolute knowledge with respect to the certain military activities they were engaged in. What we’re concerned about is going forward.”

We can’t yet know all the concessions the United States has made in order to secure a deal, but the list of those that are known is long and embarrassing.

Iran has conceded and will concede nothing. The US administration concedes everything. 

On decoupling nuclear negotiations and sanctions relief on nonnuclear items

Then: “We have made very clear that the nuclear negotiations are focused exclusively on the nuclear issue and do not include discussions of regional issues.”

March 10, 2015, Bernadette Meehan, National Security Council spokesman,
email to
 The Weekly Standard

“Other American sanctions on Iran for its support of terrorism, its human rights abuses, its ballistic missile program, will continue to be fully enforced.”

April 2, 2015, Barack Obama, statement in the Rose Garden

“Iran knows that our array of sanctions focused on its efforts to support terrorism and destabilize the region will continue after any nuclear agreement.”

June 7, 2015, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, remarks to Jerusalem Post conference, New York City

Now: “Administration officials say they’re examining a range of options that include suspending both nuclear and some non-nuclear sanctions.”

June 9, 2015, Associated Press

On the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program and disclosure of past activities

Then: “They have to do it. It will be done. If there’s going to be a deal, it will be done. .  .  . It will be part of a final agreement. It has to be.”

April 8, 2015, Secretary of State John Kerry interview with The NewsHour

“The set of understandings also includes an acknowledgment by Iran that it must address all United Nations Security Council resolutions—which Iran has long claimed are illegal—as well as past and present issues with Iran’s nuclear program that have been identified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). This would include resolution of questions concerning the possible military dimension of Iran’s nuclear program, including Iran’s activities at Parchin.”

November 23, 2013, White House fact sheet, First Step: Understandings Regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Nuclear Program

Now: “World powers are prepared to accept a nuclear agreement with Iran that doesn’t immediately answer questions about past atomic weapons work. .  .  . Instead of resolving such questions this month, officials said the U.S. and its negotiating partners are working on a list of future commitments Iran must fulfill.”

June 11, 2015, Associated Press

“We’re not fixated on Iran specifically accounting for what they did at one point in time or another. We know what they did. We have no doubt. We have absolute knowledge with respect to the certain military activities they were engaged in. What we’re concerned about is going forward.”

June 24, 2015, Secretary of State John Kerry, remarks at a press availability

On shuttering the secret nuclear facility at Fordo

Then: The Obama administration and its partners are “demanding the immediate closing and ultimate dismantling” of the nuclear facilities at Fordo.

April 7, 2012, New York Times

“We know they don’t need to have an underground, fortified facility like Fordo in order to have a peaceful program.”

December 6, 2013, Barack Obama, remarks at the Saban Forum

Now: “Under the preliminary accord, Fordo would become a research center, but not for any element that could potentially be used in nuclear weapons.”

April 22, 2015, New York Times

“The 1044 centrifuges [at Fordo] designated only for non-nuclear enrichment will remain installed, so they could potentially be reconverted to enriching uranium in a short time regardless of technical or monitoring arrangements.”

June 17, 2015, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Olli Heinonen, former IAEA deputy director-general for safeguards, and Simon Henderson, director
of the Gulf and Energy Policy Program at WINEP 

A draft copy of the final agreement allows Fordo to remain open, “saying it will be used for isotope production instead of uranium enrichment.”

June 24, 2015, Associated Press

On suspension of enrichment

Then: “Our position is clear: Iran must live up to its international obligations, including full suspension of uranium enrichment as required by multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions.”

April 7, 2012, National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor, New York Times

Now: “Agreement on Iran’s uranium enrichment program could signal a breakthrough for a larger deal aimed at containing the Islamic Republic’s nuclear activities.” The tentative deal imposes “limits on the number of centrifuges Iran can operate to enrich uranium” but allows Iran to continue enrichment.

March 19, 2015, Associated Press

On ballistic missile development

Then: Iran’s ballistic missile program “is indeed-something that has to be addressed as part of a comprehensive agreement.”

February 4, 2014, Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee

“They have to deal with matters related to their ballistic missile program that are included in the United Nations Security Council resolution that is part of, explicitly, according to the Joint Plan of Action, the comprehensive resolution negotiation.”

February 18, 2014, White House spokesman Jay Carney, White House press briefing

Now: “We must address long-range ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. So, it’s not about ballistic missiles per se. It’s about when a missile is combined with a nuclear warhead.”

July 29, 2014, Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman,  testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee

These specific concessions matter. So do the ones we’ll learn about in coming days. Together they make the path to an Iranian nuclear weapon easier and the prospect of preventing one ever more remote.

But we don’t have to wait until Iran’s first nuclear test to see the damage done by the negotiations. Last week, the New York Times reported that the administration resisted confronting China on its authorship of the hacking of sensitive U.S. personnel information partly out of concern about China’s role as a negotiating partner on the Iran deal.

No doubt the Iran negotiations contributed to Obama’s reluctance to confront Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Ukraine. And to Obama’s tacit acceptance of continued Iranian support for the Taliban and al Qaeda; his passivity as he watched the unfolding slaughter in Syria; his acquiescence in [Iran’s] expansive role in Syria, Iraq, and beyond; and his refusal to provide arms directly to the Kurds and to the Sunnis. 

Obama is begging Iran to sign a deal. He is paying Iran to sign a deal. He is holding Secretary of State John Kerry’s nose to the conference table until Iran signs a deal. Any deal. At any cost.

What will the representatives of the American people in Congress do about it?

Sound and fury signifying nothing? 1

Who gives a damn for the brave dead of Benghazi?

Neal Boortz wrote this yesterday, being realistic, but also bitter:

Here we go. The House Oversight Committee hearings on Benghazi begin today, and do you know what we’re going to learn? We’re going to learn that 0bama and Hillary Clinton were informed almost immediately that the attack on the Benghazi consulate was being waged by Islamic jihadists connected to al Qaeda. Then we’re going to learn that 0bama and Hillary immediately went into protective mode … protecting 0bama’s reelection efforts and Hillary’s chances for 2016.

His spelling of the President’s name with a small “o” as “obama” – so insistently that even when the “o” comes at the begining of a sentence it remains in the lower case – suggests that it might become a common noun, as occasionally happens with a name when its owner is identified with a particular idea or invention (eg. “orwellian”, “a clerihew”, “a crapper”.)  What might “an obama” be? Perhaps it might come to be said that when a nation “commits an obama” they give an enemy in their midst supreme power over them.

0bama had a narrative to protect. His diplomatic efforts in the Middle East had brought about a new era of cooperation and peace, right? Al Qaeda was on the run and all but decimated, right?

About (former) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton he is kinder than perhaps he need be. We think she is guilty not only of incompetence but actual malfeasance; that she was in on the rotten plans the President had for the Arab states and liked them as much as he did. We strongly suspect it was her idea to hire terrorists to protect the US mission in Benghazi (the February 17th Martyrs Brigade, affiliated with al-Qaeda), and that she it was who wanted to avoid any appearance of US counter-force against any Arab force, and so had rescue teams that could have saved the mission and the men ordered to stand down.

Neal Boortz writes:

Hillary? She had incompetence to cover up. Almost immediately she came to understand that this consulate had requested additional security and protection, and that her chain of command had said no. Now she had four dead Americans, including one dead Ambassador to deal with. The 3:00 am phone call came, and her phone was turned off.

There was one current and one future presidency to be saved here, so a narrative had to be developed and presented to the American people that would clear 0bama and Hillary of any culpability. So not only did they come up with this phony YouTube video lie, they actually used the police power of the Executive branch of government to take an American citizen, an unknown video producer from California, and jam him in jail on spurious (at best) charges in order to support their phony and entirely contrived YouTube video narrative.

Now, as the hearings begin, we have luminaries such as Senator Lindsey Graham, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton and my friend Mike Huckabee all predicting, to one degree or another, dreadful times ahead for 0bama. The predictions range from a Watergate-style scandal to outright impeachment.

And we have been happy to hear them.

But we should brace ourselves for disappointment:

Forget it. Ain’t going to happen. You’re dreaming.

But why, when their guilt – at the very least as callous swine and outrageous liars – has been proved?

Because …

Only a minority of Americans give a flying widget about any 0bama cover-up of the Benghazi matter. They are more likely to buy into White House Spokesman Jay Carney’s “That was a long time ago” narrative, or Hillary’s “What difference does it make” rant than they are to actually care about a deliberate, lying cover-up of the reasons behind the death of four Americans.

Which, if true, is a very sad verdict on most Americans.

Watergate? Gimme a big league break here. There’s a HUGE difference between 0bama’s problems with Benghazi and Nixon’s Watergate mess.

What is so different?

When the Watergate scandal broke we had a New York and D.C. press corps with a burning desire to destroy Richard Nixon. With 0bama and the Benghazi scandal we have the very same press corps ready to do anything it can reasonably expect to get away with to protect their God-like hero and preserve his presidency.

“But people died in Benghazi!” you say? And you think that’s enough to stop the 0bama hero-worship among the Fourth Estate?

But what about the American people? Really? Think about that for a few moments. Now … you’re not telling me that the same people who put this colossal failure back into the White House for four more years is going to get worked up over Benghazi, are you?

Ah! – now we feel the cold clutch of despair on the political section of our heart!

Let me tell you what the American people are concerned with right now – and we’re talking about those who aren’t gunched up with 24/7 discussions about college football recruiting and gay NBA players. In a nutshell (and thank goodness for the few exceptions we DO have) the majority of the American people are more worried right now about acquiring and keeping their monthly checks from the government than they are about 0bama’s lies or foreign policy failures. They think a Benghazi is a small yappy dog. …

Benghazi 0bama’s Watergate? For that to happen you need concerned citizens who actually care and a media that will do it’s job objectively. Both ingredients are in short supply.

It’s going to be a great show, to be sure. But in the end it adds up to nothing.

Benghazigate: the truth emerges 1

These extracts are from an article by Ryan Mauro at Front Page:

The House of Representatives began its hearings on Wednesday regarding the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack against the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. The picture painted by sworn testimonies is one of extreme negligence and incompetence on the part of the Obama administration in protecting our fellow citizens in the field. The Obama administration is also under fire for its embarrassing insistence that the tragedy wasn’t a pre-planned terrorist attack until a mound of evidence forced it to reverse course, long after the truth became obvious. 

The need for strong security at U.S. diplomatic facilities in Libya was more than apparent. The country was in a state of civil war a year ago, and violent incidents are common. The central government lacks authoritative control, and militias, including ones of jihadist orientation, are all over the war-torn country. Al-Qaeda-type terrorists are known to be organized in Libya. Ambassador Stevens himself feared that he was on an Al-Qaeda hit list. Special precautions on the anniversary of 9/11 should have been a common-sense measure. 

The House heard the story of Eric Nordstrom, whose job it was to oversee security for American diplomats in Libya. In both March and July, Nordstrom urged the State Department to maintain security in Benghazi because current forces were “overwhelmed and could not guarantee our protection.” He didn’t hear back. Nordstrom says he was told by a senior State Department official that he shouldn’t request reinforcements again because “there would be too much political cost.”

“Too much political cost” for the Obama administration to maintain security for the US legation in Banghazi? What might that “political cost” be? One can only suppose that Obama and his incompetent Secretary of State didn’t want to show any sign that the US recognized such a thing as Arab Islamic terrorism.

But there is such a thing. And trying to substitute wishes for reality is a formula for disaster.

Lt. Col. Andy Wood has a similar story. He led a 16-man Site Security Team in Tripoli from February 12 to August 14. He was told, “You’ve got to do with less.” He says that Stevens wanted his team to stay through August and the U.S. embassy was worried when they left.

Wood further testified that “diplomatic security remained weak” and “The RSO [regional security officer] struggled to obtain additional personnel there, but was never able to attain the numbers he felt comfortable with.” The State Department says the RSO never made a request for more forces and that Wood’s team was replaced with one of equal capability.

We think Andy Wood is telling the truth. We think the State Department is so used to lying that it can’t stop.

There was a steady stream of warnings about the situation on the ground. The consulate was actually attacked twice before with an explosive creating a hole in the gate “big enough for forty men to go through” on June 6. One memo documented 230 security incidents and said there was a “HIGH” risk of U.S. personnel coming under attack. On August 27, the State Department issued a travel advisory cautioning against trips to Libya. Stevens told a retired senior military official not to come.

A travel advisory against trips to Libya? So someone in the State Department possessed some common sense. (A pro-American mole perhaps?) But a little common sense wasn’t enough to spread realism through the whole castle dedicated to lies. So what was anticipated, but not guarded against, happened:

On September 11, 2012, only five U.S. agents and four militiamen were protecting the consulate. The attackers broke through the perimeter in just 15 minutes. Back-up forces could not arrive in time to foil the attack and save Stevens and his colleagues.

Did the terrible death of the ambassador and three of his staff shock Obama and Hillary Clinton into a realization that their policy is lethal? D0 they care if it is?

Apparently not. The substituting of make-believe for facts continues apace, quickens, heats up. Their instincts command: “LIE again. SAY it wasn’t Arab Islamic Terrorism. SAY it was America’s fault because someone in America had produced an an-Islam video that they’d aired over in Egypt to rouse a protest on the same day the massacre was carried out in Libya. LIE, LIE, AND LIE AGAIN.”    

The inability of the U.S. government to convey basic facts to the American public in the aftermath is also unsettling….

“Inability?”  No – refusal! “Unsettling”? No – outrageous! Much as we appreciate Ryan Mauro’s article, we think he is understating the moral case at this point.

But we hope he is right when he predicts:

The Obama administration is in serious trouble if it is discovered that the [Libyan] militia hired to protect the consulate included conspirators in the attack. It is reported that an electronic intercept show the militia’s leader asked his men to stand down in advance of the attack. He is a member of the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood and one of his commanders is the brother of Brotherhood cleric Ali Al-Salabi. Who made the decision to hire an Islamist militia to guard an American facility?

So now we know. So determined were Obama and Hillary Clinton to pursue their fantasy that the enemy of the US is it’s friend and ally, that they actually hired Muslim Brotherhood militants to guard the US legation! 

The Arabic paper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reported on October 7 that the militia had complained about being inadequately prepared for an attack. One of the consulate’s Libyan guards claims that he was informed on August 28 about a possible forthcoming attack on the facility. He says he was told on September 9 that there was intelligence about an attack timed for an anniversary

Another guard says that on the morning of September 11, the consulate sent a request for additional security and then canceled it.

Who canceled it? Why?

The State Department has responded with unacceptable excuses. It claims that it never believed that the attack was the spontaneous work of outraged protesters. Yet, White House spokesman Jay Carney incredulously said on September 14, “These protests were in reaction to a video that had spread to the region. We have no information to suggest it was a pre-planned attack.” U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice said on September 16, “We do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned.” …

Lie, lie, and lie again. 

The Libyans were loudly telling us that it was a well-planned terrorist attack. …

But the State Department went on denying it.

And even now will admit no fault:

The State Department is holding to the line that the security at the consulate was adequate based on what was known. The attack was “unprecedented” and therefore, it could not have been reasonably anticipated. This is yet another disingenuous and unacceptable excuse from the Obama administration. Al-Qaeda has carried out similar attacks with fighters on facilities many times before. Everyone knew Al-Qaeda was in the country and had sympathetic militias available in the region. Ambassador Stevens himself felt inadequately protected from the jihadist threat howling at his door.

In the Benghazi fiasco, a wealth of warnings were available for anyone with eyes to see. Yet on the anniversary of the worst terrorist attack on the U.S. in recent history, our consulate in the backyard of our enemies was left pitifully fortified. Threats were not taken seriously, and four Americans were left to the wolves.

To Arab Islamic terrorists pursuing the jihad that is being persistently waged against us, and that Obama and his cohorts refuse to recognize –  and so aid and abet.

One important question not yet asked  – or not loudly enough for the public to learn the answer:

Why was Ambassador Stevens in Benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11 when an attack was most to be expected, rather than in the better (if not well) guarded embassy in Tripoli?