Tag Archives: Fox News

Mightier Pen 2012: The Media, the Election and National Security

On December 11, 2012 the Center for Security Policy honored radio host and bestselling author Monica Crowley with the Mightier Pen Award and hosted its annual National Security and New Media Conference.

 

The 2012 Mightier Pen Award

The Mightier Pen Award recognizes journalists who promote the need for robust US national security policies through the indispensability of American strength to preserving international peace. As a political and foreign affairs analyst, Monica Crowley has been a long-standing supporter of the Center’s belief that America’s national power must be preserved and properly used; for it holds a unique global role in maintaining peace and stability. Ms Crowley’s new book, What the (Bleep) Just Happened?, asks the questions that are on the minds of Americans today and makes the case for a “great American comeback,” including a return to the security posture that made America great.

 

The Media, the 2012 Election and National Security

In addition to the Mightier Pen Award, the Center’s National Security and New Media Conference will bring together some of the the most experienced and provocative voices in journalism to address several problems in mainstream media reporting on national security topics, with an emphasis on the recent presidential election.

Beyond Bias: The Mainstream Media

Outraged.  That’s how Americans feel about the performance of the mainstream media in the 2012 election season.  From the New York Times to the networks, CNN and of course, MSNBC, they have now moved far beyond their role as impartial journalists into active political operatives.  What happens to a nation when the mainstream media overwhelmingly become the propagandists for the Left? Featured panelists:

  • Richard Miniter: Columnist, Forbes Magazine and New York Times best-selling author and investigative journalis;
  • Bill Gertz: Senior Editor, Washington Free Beacon, Columnist, Washington Times and Best-selling author of six books on national security; and
  • Andrew McCarthy: Columnist, National Review Online and PJMedia, Executive Director, Philadelphia David Horowitz Freedom Centerand Former chief prosecutor in the 1993 WTC bombing

To the Rescue: The New Media & National Security

The election was the worst of times for the old mainstream media – but the best of times for the independent new media investigative reporters who are reinventing American journalism.  All our panelists broke major stories during the campaign, as new media pioneers setting the highest standards for professional journalism.  Can they and their colleagues become the future of a free press in America? Featured panelists:

  • Tiffany Gabbay: Assistant Editor, The Blaze;
  • Peter Schweizer: Founder, Big Peace (Breitbart.com); William J. Casey Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University; New York Times and Washington Post best-selling author; and President, Government Accountability Institute
  • John Nolte: Editor in Chief, Big Hollywood (Breitbart.com)

 

Transcripts are on the following pages.

The Real Questions Are Still About Benghazi, Not the Petraeus Sex Scandal

The sex scandal is merely the diversion. Of course, everyone is fascinated by the salacious details and intriguing personalities involved in the latest scandal involving sex. In this case, people are riveted by the extramarital affair between America’s once-golden General, David Petraeus, and his biographer, Paula Broadwell. Since that story exploded last Friday afternoon, there has been a steady drip-drip-drip of new allegations involving another woman (Jill Kelley), an FBI agent who was reportedly thrown off the original case for “growing obsessed” with Kelley and sending her “shirtless” photos of himself to her, and the Commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, General John Allen, who reportedly sent Kelley tens of thousands of “potentially inappropriate” emails. He is now under investigation as well.

Wonder why we’re getting a drip-drip-drip of wild new details every day? To keep us distracted. The sex scandal is a mess, but it’s not the mess that matters.

What matters is what happened in Benghazi, Libya on September 11 that resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including two Navy SEALS, a longtime foreign service officer, and the personal representative of the President of the United States, U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.

Here are a few of the critical questions that REALLY matter:

1. As has been reported by Aaron Klein and others, the U.S. compound in Benghazi was NOT a consulate.  It was a “mission” of some sort, and it looks increasingly likely that the CIA was running the show there.  What was the CIA doing in Benghazi?

2. What were Stevens and the others doing at that CIA mission late into the evening?

3. Before he was killed that fateful night, Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods rescued scores of Americans from the compound. Who were they?  What were they doing in Benghazi?

4.  Woods sprung into action to try to save the Ambassador and others despite being given the order to “stand down.” Who gave the “stand down” order? Did Obama approve it?

5.  Who repeatedly denied their requests for help as they were under attack? Who was watching the attack unfold in real time back in Washington?

6. Who dreamt up the fiction that the attack was inspired by some obscure video? And who sent out top administration officials, including U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and CIA Director David Petraeus, among others, to spin and perpetuate the fiction-for weeks?

7.  MOST IMPORTANTLY: What is this administration REALLY covering up?

A)  Did this administration secretly sell or give weapons to al Qaeda and other Islamists operating under the “Libyan rebel” banner?

B) Was Stevens running a CIA operation to reacquire those weapons from al Qaeda for two purposes: to prevent it from being known that the U.S. was arming our mortal terrorist enemy, and/or to transfer those weapons to the equally odious al Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood, and other Islamist “rebels” in Syria?

C) Jennifer Griffin of Fox News-who has done outstanding investigative work on this story-reported yesterday that part of the CIA mission in Benghazi was actually a detention facility in which scores of prisoners were being kept from all across the Middle East and Africa. She reported that it was the “largest” such facility the CIA was operating. The CIA immediately issued a denial, saying that it has not operated such a detention facility since January 2009, when newly sworn-in President Obama signed an executive order outlawing such facilities. Did Benghazi, in fact, house a terrorist prison?

D)  If Griffin’s reporting is correct and Benghazi WAS a detention facility, did Obama know about/sign off on it?  Or was this a rogue CIA operation?

E)  Griffin also reported that the prisoners held there were moved 2 weeks before the attack on September 11.  Did the CIA get a sense an attack was
coming to try to free the prisoners there?

F)  In a public speech on October 26, Paula Broadwell stated that the Benghazi mission WAS, in fact, holding prisoners.  How did she get that information?  It seems to back up Griffin’s reporting.

G) If it WERE, in fact, a detention facility, were interrogations occurring? If so, what was the nature of those interrogations?

This is just the starting point for the REAL questions that MUST be asked-and answered-by this administration.

It’s not about the sex. It’s about what was REALLY going on in Benghazi and what Team Obama is REALLY covering up. If Benghazi were a terrorist detention facility-and possibly engaging in enhanced interrogation techniques (EITs)-then Obama has quite the policy scandal on his hands.

After all, Obama retained most of President Bush’s counter-terrorism programs….with the exception of detention and EITs. Could it be that Obama and/or the CIA were still carrying out those policies?

This is just the beginning. Get ready for a roller-coaster ride of epic proportions. The families of Chris Stevens, Glen Doherty, Tyrone Woods, and Sean Smith deserve the TRUTH….and so do we

Obama’s National Security ‘Not Top 10’ of 2012

In years past I have conducted an annual review of ongoing catastrophic failure that is Barack Hussein Obama in all things related to terrorism and national security (see my previous year-end reviews for 20112010 and 2009). But with America just hours away from deciding its next president for the next four years, I thought it timely for a pre-election review of Obama’s national security ‘Not Top 10′ for 2012.

These are listed in chronological order, not order of importance.

1) Dept. of Homeland Security Lexicon Brands Libertarians and Conservatives as ‘Militia Extremists’ in violation of its own policies (Feb. 2012)

Straight out of the gate in 2012, the Obama administration continued its branding of conservative ideas as extreme and threats to the nation. In February I reported on a new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) lexicon that linked ‘militia extremists’ with “the belief that the government is deliberately stripping Americans of their freedom” and opposing “many federal and state authorities’ laws and regulations (particularly those related to firearms ownership)”. Added to that, Homeland Security observed that such extremists “often belong to armed paramilitary groups”, meaning that you don’t even have to belong to a militia to be a ‘militia extremist’. One wonders if they have the NRA in mind when mentioning “armed paramilitary groups”?

Two days after my report appeared the U.K. based Reuters rolled out an article that breathlessly reported, “Anti-government extremists opposed to taxes and regulations pose a growing threat to local law enforcement officers in the United States, the FBI warned”, basically reinforcing the narrative expounded in the DHS lexicon.

Curiously, the words “Islamic”, “Muslim” and “jihad” were all missing from the DHS lexicon. Not only that, but branding those with mainstream political ideas as ‘extremists’ ran afoul ofrules promulgated by DHS in October 2011 that warned, “Training should be sensitive to constitutional values” and “Don’t use training that equates religious expression, protests, or other constitutionally protected activity with criminal activity.”

Then in June I reported that another DHS-funded study produced by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland was caught editing out well-documented acts of Islamic terrorism inside the U.S., such as the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, from its terrorism database.

The codebook underlying the START study, also funded by DHS, branded popular “tea party” views as ‘right-wing extremism”, claiming that such ‘extremism’ “may also be fiercely nationalistic (as opposed to universal and international in orientation), anti-global, suspicious of centralized federal authority, reverent of individual liberty, and believe in conspiracy theories that involve grave threat to national sovereignty and/or personal liberty.”

As I noted at the time, START was basically saying that if you’re fiercely nationalistic (pro-American), anti-global (anti-UN), suspicious of centralized federal authority (like the Framers), reverent of individual liberty (like Patrick Henry), and believe in “conspiracy” theories (like the federal government allowing the sale of assault weapons to Mexican drug cartels to justify limiting American’s rights under the Second Amendment, a la Fast and Furious), then you too are on the “extreme right-wing.” All on the taxpayer dime.

2) FBI Directive OKs U.S. Government Outreach to Members of Terrorist Groups, Supporters (March 2012)

As part of a widespread Obama administration ‘Islamophobia’ witch hunt in U.S. government agencies, Matt Vadum at Breitbart News reported that the FBI had produced a document it called “Guiding Principles: Touchstone Document on Training” to justify an ongoing purge of its trainers and training material. Among the provisions of this “Touchstone Document” is the statement that “mere association with organizations that demonstrate both legitimate (advocacy) and illicit (violent extremism) objectives should not automatically result in a determination that the associated individual is acting in furtherance of the organization’s illicit objective(s).”

The net effect of this new FBI policy is that membership in a terrorist organization, or support for “legitimate” goals of terrorist organizations, does not hinder your relationship with the FBI for ‘outreach’ purposes nor make you a suspect for any investigation.

The motive for this new policy was the problematic issue that virtually all of the U.S. government’s Muslim outreach partners have been identified by the FBI and/or the Department of Justice (DOJ) in federal court as fronts for terrorist organizations or havedirectly supported terrorist organizations. The problem is that the U.S. Supreme Court found otherwise in Humanitarian Law Project v. Holder (2010), where the court upheld provisions of the PATRIOT Act that makes even support for “legitimate” objectives of a terrorist organization a violation of federal law.

The FBI’s “Touchstone” policy of ignoring support for terrorist organizations in its ‘outreach’ to the Muslim community is part of a larger trend during the Obama administration of rolling out the red carpet for Islamic extremists. At the same time that the FBI was announcing its new policy, as Michelle Malkin recently reported, Hisham al-Talib, who has been identified by the U.S. government as being a senior U.S. Muslim Brotherhood leader involved in organizations supporting terrorism, being invited to the White House in March to help assist the administration in its reception of Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leaders several weeks later. A more recent report by the Investigative Project on Terrorism found a whole string of Islamic extremists regularly visiting and consulting with the White House.

This explains the admission of a senior White House outreach official back in June to Neil Munro of the Daily Caller that the Obama administration has conducted “hundreds” of meetings with terrorist front group CAIR in violation of a longstanding ban by the FBI with the group for its terror support (a ban that would run afoul of the FBI’s new ‘Touchstone’ policy). And as reported on Friday, it also explains the DCCC fundraiser featuring House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in Washington D.C. attended by many U.S. Muslim Brotherhood figures, including CAIR co-founder Nihad Awad.

One corrosive effect of this outreach was noted by Kerry Picket at the Washington Times, who reported that these same organizations now deemed ‘moderate’ by the Obama administration has helped shape our national security policy. That might explain the complete meltdown in our Middle East foreign policy.

3) Top State Dept. Official States Violence by Nigerian Islamic Terrorist Group ‘Is Not Religiously Driven’ One Day After Church Bombing on Easter Sunday (April 2012)

Just one day after the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram (meaning, “Western education is forbidden”) bombed an Easter day service in Kaduna, Nigeria, killing 39 Christian worshippers, the State Department’s top official for Africa, Assistant Secretary of State Jonnie Carson, gave a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) where he said, “I want to take this opportunity to stress one key point and that is that religion is not driving extremist violence either in Jos or northern Nigeria.” Carson made the same claim in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on March 27th, while noting that the State Department has a $700,000 program to “strengthen the conflict prevention capacity of religious leaders.”

This was patently absurd as Boko Haram itself, who has conducted bombings and killings targeting Christians in Northern Nigeria virtually every week, says that their violence is in furtherance of establishing an Islamic state and implementing Islamic law. But if Boko Haram’s terrorism is not religiously driven, then whey does the State Department have a $700,000 program targeting religious leaders?

In July, Carson was up on Capitol Hill again, defending the State Department’s decision to not name Boko Haram as a designated terrorist organization after so designating three of its top leaders just a few weeks before. Even more embarrassing for Carson, as he was defending not designating them a terrorist group, he was identifying Boko Haram as a terrorist group while being questioned by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Africa.

Questioning the State Department’s decision not to designate Boko Haram, Eli Lake of theDaily Beast quoted one official who explained that the Obama administration’s refusal to act against Boko Haram was based on political and policy considerations, not whether they were in fact a terrorist organization engaging in terrorist acts of violence.

4) Obama Admin Flies Member of Designated Terrorist Group to Washington D.C. for Meeting with President’s National Security Staff in White House, Vows to Admit More Terrorist Members to U.S. (May 2012)

Another bombshell article from Eli Lake reported that Hani Noor Eldin, a member of the Egyptian terrorist group Gamaa Islamiya, was issued a visa in violation of federal law and flown in May to the U.S. by our government as part of an official delegation from Egypt. The State Department’s website identifies Gamaa Islamiya as a specially designated terrorist organization, and as Lake noted in his report, Eldin readily acknowledges his membership in the group, which recently announced that they were prepared to fight to install Islamic law in Egypt, even using violence.

Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post also reported that among Eldin’s tour stops in Washington D.C. was the White House, where he met with members of Obama’s senior National Security team. During that meeting, Eldin reportedly pressed the Obama administration for the release the ‘Blind Sheikh’ Omar Abdel Rahman, the leader of his terrorist group who is currently serving a life sentence in U.S. federal prison for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the planned follow on ‘Day of Terror’ attacks. (More on the Blind Sheikh later.)

Incensed members of Congress demanded answers from the Obama administration, but received none. In fact, when DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano was asked about Eldin’s visa and the violations of federal law to grant it by House Homeland Security Committee chairman Rep. Peter King (R-NY), Napolitano doubled down on the administration’s positionand vowed that more members of designated terrorist groups would be allowed to enter the U.S.

5) Hillary Clinton Excludes Israel from International Counter-terrorism Forum (June 2012)

When Hillary Clinton opened the Global Counterterrorism Forum in its inaugural meeting in Istanbul in June, there was one country curiously absent from the convocation – America’s closest Middle East ally, Israel. That country’s absence, and apparently Hillary’s deliberate decision to exclude them, is made all the more curious since not only has Israel had the most experience dealing with terrorism, but is frequently the target of it. However, two of the world’s most active supporters of terrorism, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, were founding members of the forum.

Israel’s exclusion from the proceedings was questioned by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), who sent a letter to Hillary protesting her decision.

Obama administration and congressional sources confirmed to Adam Kredo of theWashington Free Beacon that Israel was deliberately excluded from the forum founded by the U.S. in order to appease Arab countries that are openly hostile to Israel’s very existence. Kredo quoted Democratic strategist Josh Block, who questioned the Obama administration’s position, saying, “How Israel could be excluded from another meeting of an anti-terror forum that we chair is beyond comprehension, especially one that focuses on victims of terrorism.”

6) SECDEF Panetta Declares Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood President Morsi ‘His Own Man’ (July 2012)

As I reported here at PJ Media back in August, the willful blindness of the Obama administration to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s duplicity was on full display when Defense Secretary Leon Panetta traveled to Egypt and met with newly-elected Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, who ran as a candidate for the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party. In a press conference during his trip, Panetta declared that Morsi was “his own man” and dismissed concerns that Morsi’s past history with the Muslim Brotherhood (including his calling in 2010 for the expulsion of all U.S. ambassadors from the Middle East as Muslim Brotherhood spokesman) would influence his decision-making in his new office.

In the weeks that followed, Morsi demonstrated how clueless Panetta was by selecting members of the Muslim Brotherhood to top positions and appointed even more hardline Salafists to high placed government positions, while excluding women, Christians and secularists.

Two weeks after Panetta’s comments, Morsi selected a known Islamist and Muslim Brotherhood supporter as his vice president. Islamists also represented the bulk of Morsi’spresidential team and governors.

Meanwhile, it seems that despite the removal of longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak, the first 100 days of Morsi’s administration sees him continuing Mubarak’s brutality, with 88 citizens tortured and 34 killed by his Islamist-led government during that period.

But at least Morsi is his own man, if Panetta were to be believed.

7) Hillary Clinton Apologizes to Pakistan for Their Border Attack on U.S. Troops,Pakistan Bills U.S. Taxpayers for War on Terror (July 2012)

Also in July, Hillary Clinton formally apologized to Pakistan for an incident in November 2011, in which ISAF troops conducting operations near the Afghanistan/Pakistan border werefired upon by Pakistani troops, which prompted a NATO airstrike that killed several Pakistani soldiers. Yes, you read that correctly – our government apologized for Pakistan attacking our own troops. Joint Chiefs Chairman Dempsey had earlier refused to apologize for the incident. The apology was widely seen as a resolution to reopen shipping routes through Pakistan for U.S. troops in Afghanistan that had been closed since the U.S. attack that killed Osama bin Laden in May 2011.

A few weeks later, Pakistan sent the U.S. a bill for $500-$600 million for its claimed expenditures in fighting terrorism. And yet not even a year prior the former Joint Chiefs Chairman Mullen had testified before Congress citing Pakistan’s direct involvement with terrorist groups in Afghanistan that were targeting and killing U.S. soldiers. No question was ever publicly raised about Pakistan’s complicity in sheltering bin Laden for nearly a decade, or for the arrest and 33 year prison sentence imposed on the Pakistani doctor that had assisted the CIA in identifying bin Laden’s compound down the road from Pakistan’s military academy in Abbottabad. Nor has the Obama administration addressedPakistan’s support for terrorist organizations, including Lashkar-e-Taiba that conducted the November 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, India.

The Obama administration notified Congress that Pakistan may submit as much as $1.1 billion in back expeditures for repayment by U.S. taxpayers. Perhaps those taxpayers should be asking why Pakistan is getting anything at all?

8) Obama Administration Ignores Danger Signs Prior to Benghazi Attack, Begins Cover-up Following (Sept. 2012-Present)

The attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya is the subject of much discussion in the past two months, and it may prove to be the defining moment of the Obama administration as a lasting testament to his catastrophic national security and foreign policies. While the establishment media for the most part have ignored the tough questions about the terror attack, the reporting by Catherine Herridge and Jennifer Griffinat Fox NewsEli Lake at the Daily Beast/Newsweek, and Sharyl Attkisson at CBS News, among others, have been outstanding, making a review of the events in Benghazi here unnecessary.

After the elections this coming Tuesday, attention about what happened leading up to the attack and the Obama administration’s apparent cover-up will continue to warrant attention. Despite some initial investigations by Congress, there remain a number of outstanding questions:

What were the reasons behind the rejected requests for additional security?

Why did the State Department ignoring the warning signs of past incidents in Benghazi?

On what basis was it decided to use the Martyrs of the Feb. 17th Revolution Brigade as local security?

Why did the system fail to recognize and respond to the signs of surveillanceand an impending assault the day of the attack?

Who denied the CIA requests for help during attack and why?

Why was a key White House counterterrorism task force not convenedduring attack?

Why did it take a week for anyone in the Obama administration to admit this was a terrorist attack?

What can be attributed to the failure of the FBI to get to the the scene for 24 days, and then only stay for 24 hours?

What was Amb. Stevens was doing in Benghazi and what was the ultimate purpose of the U.S. mission there?

Why have U.S. authorities been unable to question a suspect in Tunisia?

Why did the administration falsely blame an American filmmaker for inciting the attack when they knew 2 hours after the incident it was a planned and coordinated terrorist attack?

That last question leads to the following…

9) Obama Joins with Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to Push Defamation of Islam Prohibition at United Nations (Sept. 2012)

The initial response to the Benghazi terror attack by the Obama administration was to blame the violence on the 14 minute “Innocence of Muslims” film trailer that had been posted on Youtube. They even pushed U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice out to the Sunday morning talk shows the following weekend to push that false narrative.

On Sept. 11th, even before the attack in Benghazi, crowds began to attack the U.S. embassy in Cairo. That prompted the embassy to take to its Twitter account to attack the free speech of American citizens, denouncing the “Innocence of Muslims” film trailer, saying “We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.” The White House was compelled to disavow the Cairo embassy tweet, and it was eventually deleted.

Yet two days later, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a speech where she again attacked the film trailer as “disgusting and reprehensible”, inciting others to attack the free speech rights of U.S. citizens, and prompting Islamic groups here and abroad to rail against the First Amendment protections and call for criminalizing ‘defamation of religions’. The reckless comments by the Obama administration also gave license to attack our embassiesall across the Middle East.

But in fact, this agenda was something the Obama administration had signed onto long before the Benghazi attack. In July 2011, Hillary Clinton partnered with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to advance the international criminalization of blasphemy of Islam, a task this administration has taken seriously as seen in a review of their actions in accordance with the OIC’s stated agenda:

Dec 2005: Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) establishes 10 year plan of action that includes international criminalization of ‘Islamophobia’ thru U.N.

July 2011: State Dept and OIC meetings on “Istanbul Process”, Sec. Clinton tells OIC that U.S. government will use “old fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming” against ‘Islamophobia’

Sep 2011: WIRED’s Spencer Ackerman begins series of articles attacking individuals within US government for ‘Islamophobia’

Oct 2011: 57 Muslim groups send a letter to White House demanding “purge” of all counterterrorism training materials and “reeduction” of all FBI agents exposed to ‘Islamophobic’ training

Oct 2011: DOJ Civil Rights Division meeting with Islamic groups to discusscriminalizing criticism of Islam as ‘discrimination’

Oct 2011: Joint Chiefs of Staff issues action directive to screen trainers for military intelligence, psyops based solely on Ackerman’s WIRED report

Nov 2011: White House responds to Muslim groups “purge” demand letter,agrees to set up inter-agency task force, including extremist Muslim groups, to oversee FBI counterterrorism training development

Dec 2011: Hillary Clinton holds closed door meeting with OIC to advance ‘Istanbul Process’

Dec 2011: Passage of UN Resolution 16/18 drafted by OIC and backed by the U.S.

Jan 2012: West Point cancels address by decorated founding member of Delta Force after complaints from Hamas front group CAIR

Feb 2012: Islamic groups meet with FBI to ensure compliance with demanded ‘Islamophobia’ purge

Jun 2012: Five members of Congress (“National Security 5″) send letters to Inspectors General at five U.S. government departments and agencies asking for investigations into influence of Muslim Brotherhood on U.S. policy

July 2012: Media and political officials launch campaign against Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) for raising influence of individuals and groups named by DOJ as Muslim Brotherhood in federal court

July 2012: Top DOJ Civil Rights official refuses to vow to Congress not to push blasphemy laws

Sep 2012: Obama admin blames attacks on US embassies on movie trailer

Sep 2012: Encouraged by Obama admin’s denunciation of movie trailer OIC vows to push thru blasphemy resolution at UN, claiming that the film is part of a larger anti-Muslim conspiracy

Sep 2012: In U.N. General Assembly speech, Obama says “the future does not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam”

Sep 2012: ‘Innocence of Muslims’ filmmaker arrested and imprisoned, with his first court hearing to conveniently occur three days after presidential election

It is hard to imagine that given the considerable time and effort this administration has devoted to pushing the criminalization of blasphemy, particularly that of Islam, that they would relent in their attacks on the First Amendment in another four-year term.

10) Obama Considers Transfer of ‘Blind Shiekh’ Omar Abdel Rahman to Egypt(Sept. 2012)

As the Obama administration was trying to get its story straight on what exactly happened in Benghazi, Glenn Beck reported exclusively at The Blaze on Sept. 17th the shocking news based on a tip from inside the State Deparement that that Obama was considering a request from the Egyptian government to transfer the ‘Blind Sheikh’ Omar Abdel Rahman, who is serving a life sentence in federal prison after his conviction for sedition for authorizing attacks against the U.S., including the 1993 World Trade Center attacks.

The continued imprisonment of the Blind Sheikh was one of the grievances listed byOsama bin Laden’s 1996 fatwa against America, and Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi promised in a rally prior to his election that he would secure the release of the Blind Sheikh. As reported here at PJ Media on Sept. 10th by Raymond Ibrahim – one day prior to the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Cairo – that Egyptian media was reporting that terrorist groups had threatened to burn down the embassy to pressure the U.S. for the Blind Sheikh’s release. In July, the Blind Shiekh’s son had threatened the employees of the U.S. Embassy calling for his father’s release.

Following Beck’s report, the administration offered highly parsed denials. The New York Post confirmed with an Obama administration official that the Egyptian government had made the request and House Homeland Security Committee chairman Rep. Peter King (R-NY) confirmed that such a transfer was actively being considered. In response, eight prominent GOP House committee chairmen sent a letter to Hillary Clinton and Attorney General Eric Holder strenuously opposing any such considerations.

It was only after former Attorney General Mike Mukasey, who as a federal judge had presided over the Blind Sheikh’s trial, blasted the administration in an editorial published in the Wall Street Journal that the White House finally said unequivocally that the Blind Sheikh would stay in prison in the U.S.

Egyptian President Morsi apparently wasn’t convinced of the White House’s stated position, since the following day he stated that he would work for the transfer of the Blind Sheikh back to Egypt – the very thing the Obama administration had just denied they were contemplating. And Middle East media reports indicated that the transfer of the Blind Sheikh had already been considered by the White House earlier this year in the negotiations over the release of American NGO workers imprisoned there, including the son of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

In the event of Obama’s electoral defeat on Tuesday, might he consider such a release as a lame duck? Might another conveniently timed terror attack convince Obama that a deal might be worth doing? If so, with Constitutional powers of pardon and commutation there would probably be nothing that Congress could do to stop him.

Four More Years?

At the end of 2011 I predicted that if Obama’s record in his first three years were any indication, his first term may rival the catastrophe of the Carter administration. One year later, I suspect that Barack Obama’s epic of failure over the past four years may go down as one of the worst national security disasters in American history. And there is now considerable evidence to support that view. My prediction for 2013 is that the illicit assistance that the U.S. has provided to Syrian rebels (a story I recently reported on), much as it did in Libya, and the subsequent blowback will be one of the biggest national security stories of the year.

There are many other stories I could have included in this list, such as the declaration by the Obama administration back in April that the “War on Terror is over”, or the selection by the State Department last month of an Islamic extremist that had previously had hisappointment to a national terrorism commission withdrawn over his support for terrorist groups to represent the U.S. at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) human rights conference in Vienna.

What might we see if Obama is reelected this week? I predict not only more of the same, but an unleashing of this administration – free from the worries of future reelection – that would further imperil America’s national security.

If he is defeated, there is much to be concerned about with a lame duck Obama presidency, as his administration tries to ‘lock-in’ much the institutionalization of his policies as possible. I expect we’ll see even more shocking details emerge concerning the Benghazi attack directly implicating the White House in a cover-up and possibly even more (such as the possible Fast & Furious Libyan arms running connection to Syria). If Obama wins, the likelihood that the insider leaking continues will diminish as insiders will run for cover in self-protection. As Kerry Picket at the Washington Times reported last week, the Obama administration has gone after whistleblowers unlike any of its predecessors.

On Tuesday, much will be decided. In terms of national security the question the American voting public will have to answer is whether we can afford four more years of Barack Obama in the White House?

Patrick Poole is a national security and terrorism correspondent for PJMedia. Follow me on Twitter.

The Real Reason Behind Benghazigate?

President Obama’s once-seemingly-unstoppable march towards reelection hit what he might call “bumps in the road” in Benghazi, Libya late on September 11, 2012.  It might be more accurate to describe the effect of the well-planned and -executed, military-style attack on a diplomatic facility there as the political equivalent of a devastating improvised explosive device on the myth of the unassailability of the Obama record as Commander-in-Chief.

Thanks to intrepid investigative reporting – notably by Bret Baier and Catherine Herridge at Fox News, Aaron Klein at WND.com and Claire Lopez at RadicalIslam.org – and information developed by congressional investigators, the mystery is beginning to unravel with regard to what happened that night and the reason for the subsequent, clumsy official cover-up now known as “Benghazigate.”

The evidence suggests that the Obama administration has not simply been engaging, legitimating, enriching and emboldening Islamists who have now taken over or are ascendant in much of the Middle East. Starting in March 2011, when American diplomat Christopher Stevens was designated the liaison to the “opposition” in Libya, the Obama administration has been arming them, including jihadists like Abdelhakim Belhadj, the leader of the al Qaeda franchise known as the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.

Once Qaddafi was overthrown, Chris Stevens was appointed as the ambassador to the new Libya run by Belhadj and his friends.  Not surprisingly, one of the most important priorities for someone in that position would be to try to find and secure the immense amounts of armaments that had been cached by the dictator around the country and systematically looted during and after the revolution.

One of the places in Libya most awash with such weapons in the most dangerous of hands is Benghazi.  It now appears that Amb. Stevens was there – on a particularly risky day, with no security to speak of and despite now-copiously-documented concerns about his own safety and that of his subordinates – for another priority mission: sending arms recovered from the former regime’s stocks to the “opposition” in Syria.  As in Libya, the insurgents are known to include al Qaeda and other shariah-supremacist groups, including none other than Abdelhakim Belhadj.

Fox News has chronicled (http://video.foxnews.com/v/1913235018001/) how the Al Entisar, a Libyan-flagged vessel carrying 400 tons of cargo, docked on September 6th in the Turkish port of Iskenderun.  It reportedly supplied both humanitarian assistance and arms – including deadly SA-7 man-portable surface-to-air missiles – apparently destined for Islamists, again including al Qaeda elements, in Syria.

What cries out for further investigation – and debate in the remaining days of this presidential election – is whether this shipment was part of a larger covert Obama effort to transfer weapons to our enemies that could make the Iran-Contra scandal, to say nothing of Operation Fast and Furious, pale by comparison?

Investigative journalist Aaron Klein has reported (http://www.wnd.com/2012/10/this-is-what-benghazi-consulate-really-was/) that the “consulate in Benghazi” actually was no such thing.  He observes that, while administration officials have done nothing to correct that oft-repeated characterization of the facility where the murderous attack on Amb. Stevens and his colleagues was launched, instead they call it a “mission.”  And what Klein describes as a “shabby, nondescript building” which lacked any “major public security presence” was, according to an unnamed Middle Eastern security official, “routinely used by Stevens and others to coordinate with the Turkish, Saudi and Qatari governments on supporting the insurgencies in the Middle East, most prominently the rebels opposing Assad’s regime in Syria.”

We know that Stevens’ last official act was to hold such a meeting with an unidentified “Turkish diplomat.”  Presumably, the conversation involved additional arms shipments to al Qaeda and its allies in Syria.  But it may also have involved getting more jihadi fighters there.  After all, Klein reported last month (http://www.wnd.com/2012/09/sources-slain-u-s-ambassador-recruited-jihadists/) that, according to sources in Egyptian security, our ambassador was playing a “central role in recruiting jihadists to fight Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria.”

It gets worse.  Last week, Center for Security Policy Senior Fellow and former career CIA officer Clare Lopez observed (http://www.radicalislam.org/analysis/arms-flow-syria-may-be-behind-beghazi-cover) that there were two large warehouse-type buildings associated with the so-called “consulate” whose purpose has yet to be disclosed.  As their contents were raided in the course of the attack, we may never know for sure whether they housed – and were known by the local jihadis to house – arms, perhaps administered by the two former SEALS killed along with Amb. Stevens.

What we do know is that the New York Times – one of the most slavishly pro-Obama publications in the country – reported on October 14, 2012 article that, “Most of the arms shipped at the behest of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to supply Syrian rebel groups fighting the government of Bashar al-Assad are going to hard-line Islamic jihadists, and not the more secular opposition groups that the West wants to bolster.”

In short, it seems President Obama has been engaged in gun-walking on a massive scale.  The effect has been to equip America’s enemies to wage jihad not only against regimes it once claimed were our friends, but inevitably against us and our allies, as well.  That would explain his administration’s desperate, and now-failing, bid to mislead the voters through the serial deflections of Benghazigate.

Bad Timing for L.O.S.T.

           This week, the Obama administration will roll out its big guns in support of President Obama’s latest assault on American sovereignty and security interests:  The UN Law of the Sea Treaty (better known as LOST).  Of course, when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday, they will appear to be talking about another accord altogether – one that strengthens our sovereignty and is deemed by the U.S. military to be essential to our security.  

So which is it?

The proponents are hoping that Senators on and off the Foreign Relations panel will do what they did during what passed for their chamber’s consideration of the New START Treaty in 2010:  Take the administration’s word for it; be impressed by the pro-treaty testimonials and lobbying of an array of formereminences and special interests; and largely dispense with the serious scrutiny and check-and-balance vetting the framers had in mind when they entrusted to the Senate the constitutional responsibility to advise and consent to treaties.

If, on the other hand, the members of the U.S. Senate trouble themselves to study, or at least read, the text of the Law of the Sea Treaty, they would immediately see it for what it really is: a diplomatic dinosaur, a throwback to a bygone era when UN negotiations were dominated by communists of the Soviet Union and their fellow-travelers in the Third World.  

These adversaries’ agenda was transparent and wholly inimical to American equities. They sought to: establish control over 70% of the world’s surface; create an international governing institution that would serve as a model for bringing nation states like ours to heel; and redistribute the planet’s wealth and technology from the developed world to themselves.  LOST codifies such arrangements – and would subject us to mandatory dispute resolution to enforce them via stacked-deck adjudication panels

Fortunately, even if Senators are disinclined to go to school on what the Law of the Sea Treaty entails – and why it cannot possibly serve even the parochial interests of the U.S. Navy or oil and gas industries whose willfully blind support will be much in evidence in the ratification campaign ahead – others are doing their homework.  Such efforts are likely to make the timing of the Obama administration’s current quest, shall we say, most inopportune.

First, Dick Morris and his wife, Eileen McGann, have just published an important new book that addresses, among other outrages, LOST as a prime example of the title: Screwed! How Foreign Countries are Ripping off America and Plundering our Economy – and How our Leaders Help Them Do It.  In addition to their proven track-record as best-selling authors, Dick’s regular appearances on Fox News ensures that millions who might otherwise be unaware of what is afoot will be on notice and on guard.  That markedly improves the chances that those who might try to slip such an assault on our sovereigntythrough in the dark of night will be challenged and held accountable.

Second, Glenn Beck – whose predicted demise as an influential broadcaster with his departure from Fox has proven, thankfully, to be premature – did yeoman work educating the American people about LOST in 2007, the last time a push was made to ensnare us in this accord.  In his new and wildly successful reincarnation as a pioneer of internet subscription-based television, Mr. Beck stands to be even more effective in connecting the dots for his audience, and engaging them in opposing LOST.

Third, on June 1st, theaters nationwide will begin showing a documentary by Ami Horowitz called “U N Me” that uses Michael Moore-style humor and intrepid camera-work to lay waste to the United Nations as a corrupt, self-dealing, incompetent and fundamentally anti-American institution.  It is hard to believe that anyone who sees this film will want to entrust any more resources, legitimacy or responsibility to such an organization – or to its subsidiaries like LOST’s International Seabed Authority, the Orwellian-named “Enterprise,” the Law of the Sea Tribunal, the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, etc.  

As it happens, even before such important forces are brought fully to bear in opposition to Team Obama’s bid to ram through the Senate this “constitution of the oceans,” the ratification bandwagon hit something of a roadblock.  At the initiative of freshman Representative John Duncan (R-Tennessee) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who chairs the House Republican Study Committee, the House of Representatives last Friday voted 229-193 to bar millions of dollars the administration had sought to contribute to the funding of LOST organizations.  This is the first time either chamber has formally voted in opposition to this agreement and is a salutary shot across the bow of its proponents.

There is, of course, one other factor that should prove problematic in terms of the timing of President Obama’s effort to foist LOST on the American people is that it comes amidst an election in which his presumptive Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, is no fan of this accord.  According to an October 2007 report, a spokesman declared that “Governor Romney has concerns with the Law of the Sea Treaty.  He believes giving unaccountable international institutions more power is a serious problem.”

Amen.