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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #250 on: November 10, 2012, 09:45:23 PM »

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/11/10/who-authorized-fbi-surveillance-of-petraeus

Breaking News Alert
The New York Times
Saturday, November 10, 2012 -- 1:45 PM EST
-----

F.B.I. Said to Have Stumbled Into News of Petraeus Affair

The F.B.I. investigation that led to the resignation of David H. Petraeus as C.I.A.
director began with a complaint several months ago about “harassing” e-mails sent by
Paula Broadwell, Mr. Petraeus’s biographer, to an unidentified third person, a
government official briefed on the case said Saturday. 

When F.B.I. agents following up on the complaint began to examine Ms. Broadwell’s
e-mails, they discovered exchanges between her and Mr. Petraeus that revealed that
they were having an affair, said the official, who spoke of the investigation on the
condition of anonymity. 

The person who complained about harassing messages from Ms. Broadwell, according to
the official, was not a family member or a government official. One Congressional
official who was briefed on the matter said senior intelligence officials had
explained that the F.B.I. investigation “started with two women.” 

Read More:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/11/us/fbi-said-to-have-stumbled-into-news-of-david-petraeus-affair.html?emc=na

« Last Edit: November 10, 2012, 10:11:21 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #251 on: November 12, 2012, 08:14:04 AM »

http://www.michaelyon-online.com/petraeus-a-sad-day-for-the-united-states.htm
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #252 on: November 13, 2012, 10:53:05 AM »



http://www.michaelyon-online.com/second-chances.htm
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #253 on: November 14, 2012, 08:30:45 AM »

Bringing this thread into the mix for the Benghazi affair.

Not sure of the provenance of these two, but Brett Baier last night was also reporting on the "secret prison" angle, with the added point that there was a temporary handling of prisoners exception to the presidential order ending the dark operations i.e. the CIA operation may have been legal due to an exception.

===========

Petraeus Mistress Suggests Benghazi Attack Was Aimed At Secret CIA Prison

by Tony Lee 11 Nov 2012, 6:43 PM PDT


Former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus may have told his alleged mistress Paula Broadwell what really happened in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012 when terrorists murdered U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

Broadwell, whose alleged affair with Petraeus forced him to resign last Friday, revealed during an October 26 speech at the University of Denver that Libyan terrorists may have attacked the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 in order to take back Libyan militia members the CIA Annex had taken prisoner.

Furthermore, Broadwell confirmed that the CIA Annex in Libya had requested reinforcements and could have “reinforced the consulate and the CIA annex that were under attack.” Broadwell also said Petraeus and administration officials knew within 24 hours the possible motives behind the terrorist attacks.

In January of 2009, the Obama administration ordered secret interrogation camps abroad to be closed. Broadwell's comments about the CIA Annex having captured Libyan militia members may reveal some of these overseas prisons may still be operational.

“Now, I don't know if a lot of you have heard this but the CIA annex had actually taken a couple of Libyan militia members prisoner, and they think that the attack on the consulate was an effort to try get these prisoners back, so that’s still being vetted,” Broadwell said during the question-and-answer session of her presentation when an audience member asked her to comment on Libya.

Broadwell, who was speaking at her alma mater about her biography of Petraeus, confirmed the Fox News report (Broadwell said Jennifer Griffin's report had "insightful information") that came out on the day of her speech that said the Obama administration denied Americans on the ground in Libya the security and help they requested, telling NAVY Seals in Libya who wanted to help U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans who were eventually murdered to “stand down.”

“The facts that came out today is that the ground forces there at the CIA annex, which is different from the consulate, were requesting reinforcements,” Broadwell said. “They were requesting the – it's called the CINC’s (Commander-in-Chief’s) In Extremis Force – a group of Delta Force operators, our very, most talented guys we have in the military. They could have come and reinforced the consulate and the CIA annex that were under attack. “

Broadwell said the “challenging thing” for Petraeus was, as Director of the CIA, he was “not allowed to communicate with the press.”

“So he's known all of this – they had correspondence with the CIA station chief in Libya, within 24 hours they kind of knew what was happening,” Broadwell said.

The Obama administration tried to claim an anti-Muhammed video caused the terrorist attacks and has repeatedly punted on whether they they turned down additional security measures and reinforcements that were requested. Broadwell, though, said there was a system failure that led to four Americans being murdered in part because additional security forces were denied.

“It is a tragedy that we lost an ambassador and two other government officials, and there was a failure in the system because there was additional security requested,” Broadwell said. “It's frustrating to see the sort of political aspect of what's going on with this whole investigation."

Broadwell said "the challenge has been the fog of war, and the greater challenge is that it's political hunting season, and so this whole thing has been" politicized.

Petreaus was slated to testify before Congress this week about Libya before his prompt resignation. Republicans in Congress said Petreaus's resignation does not preclude him from testifying in the future.

On Sunday, it was revealed Broadwell allegedly sent threatening emails to a Florida woman, whom she may have suspected was having an affair with Petreaus. Jill Kelley -- the woman who received the threatening emails -- reported them to the FBI. The FBI conducted an investigation and discovered Petraeus and Broadwell were having an affair.


=========================
Cover-up at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

- Doug Hagmann (Bio and Archives) Sunday, November 11, 2012


According to two well-vetted sources with intimate knowledge of the CIA operations and events in Benghazi, the resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus is directly related to the testimony he was expected to provide before a closed-door hearing next week before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Sources close to the controversy, citing the need for anonymity due to their positions, stated that Barack Hussein Obama was aware of the CIA director’s indiscretions “long before” the November 6, 2012 elections, and knew about the FBI’s investigative findings weeks before the election, but “erected a firewall” to prevent any disclosure before November 6th.

“What I do know is that an integral part of that firewall involved having information on Petraeus that would potentially damage his career, legacy and marriage. A sort of political blackmail, if you will. What I don’t know, but suspect, is that Petraeus was placed in the unenviable but self-inflicted position of having to choose between providing truthful testimony under oath and having his professional and personal life destroyed while systematically being impeached due to this incident, or keeping quiet before the Senate Intelligence Committee,” stated one source.

A second intelligence source stated that “the announcement [of Petraeus’ resignation] was carefully timed. It was announced in a Friday afternoon news dump three days after the election, and days before the Senate Intelligence Committee was to hear his testimony, despite the President having knowledge of these events weeks ago. Friday’s announcement served two purposes; it kept controversy from emerging before the election, while allowing the administration to buy time regarding testimony by a federal official about CIA’s involvement in Benghazi.”

The resignation of David Petraeus is merely one, albeit a very high-profile one, of several coordinated moves to push any meaningful investigation into the events of Benghazi well into the future. “Obama and other high ranking officials learned many valuable lessons from Fast & Furious,” a fact agreed upon by both sources. Fast & Furious is the name given to the gun running operation from the U.S. into Mexico. “They understand that the longer they can delay and obstruct the truth, reassign key personnel with important information to positions and locations that hinder any meaningful investigation, the more the public interest wanes. As the public loses interest, it also takes the pressure off Congress from getting to the bottom of things.”

Both sources agreed that it is difficult to speculate whether Petraeus decided to extract himself from the leverage that the controversy had over him by the Obama regime on his terms, or whether his resignation was conducted solely by the terms of the Obama regime. Otherwise, both sources agreed that his resignation would buy the administration some valuable time, and the change in status of Petraeus as the active CIA director would also have an effect on the manner in which he is required to provide testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. The change of status, from an active CIA official and government employee, to a citizen bound by far reaching confidentiality agreements, would change his ability to testify before the committee. “He can also lawyer-up,” added one source.

According to another CIA source, the resignation of Christopher Kubasik, president and CEO-elect of defense and aerospace company Lockheed Martin, announced on the same day as Petraeus, might have ties to the events at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. “There is a relationship between Lockheed Martin and the defense department, as well as the CIA, that ties into current events in Turkey and Syria. This is particularly relevant in the operation taking place in Benghazi and when investigation into where the ‘black-ops’ money went. Don’t forget, Congress appropriated money, at the behest of Obama, for humanitarian aid, not weapons.”

Like Petraeus, Kubasik cited an “inappropriate relationship” for his resignation. “The timing is beyond coincidental, and the operation much too big for this to be merely coincidental.”

Both intelligence sources interviewed for this report agree that there is an exceptional cover-up campaign taking place. “All roads lead to Benghazi, and this cover-up is exponentially bigger than anything we’ve seen in Watergate and the Iran-Contra Affair combined. The American people are being lied to at every turn, and the Obama administration has become emboldened by the election results and a disinterested media.”
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #254 on: November 14, 2012, 11:01:28 AM »

second post:

"It appears we have a couple generals taking orders from their privates."


Broadwell speaks:

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2012/11/all-in-benghazi-edition.php
« Last Edit: November 14, 2012, 11:27:00 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #255 on: November 15, 2012, 03:42:09 PM »


http://pjmedia.com/blog/is-feinstein-an-ally-for-benghazi-truth-seekers/

http://pjmedia.com/rogerlsimon/2012/11/13/the-real-housewives-of-centcom-or-who-should-solve-benghazi/?singlepage=true
« Last Edit: November 15, 2012, 04:01:11 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #256 on: November 15, 2012, 04:15:18 PM »

In Final Days, Petraeus Hurt by Libya Clash, Then Affair
By ADAM ENTOUS And SIOBHAN GORMAN

WASHINGTON—In David Petraeus's final days at the helm of the Central Intelligence Agency, his relations with chiefs of other U.S. agencies, including his boss, National Intelligence Director James Clapper, took a contentious turn.  At issue was whether the CIA should break its silence about its role in Benghazi, Libya, to counter criticism that increasingly was being leveled at the agency and Mr. Petraeus, said senior officials involved in the discussions.  Mr. Petraeus wanted his aides to push back hard and release their own timeline of the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi and a nearby CIA safe house, seeking to set the record straight and paint the CIA's role in a more favorable light. Mr. Clapper and agencies including the Pentagon objected, but Mr. Petraeus told his aides to proceed, said the senior officials.

By all accounts, the driving force behind Mr. Petraeus's departure last Friday was the revelation about his extramarital affair with his biographer. But new details about Mr. Petraeus's last days at the CIA show the extent to which the Benghazi attacks created a climate of interagency finger-pointing. That undercut the retired four-star general's backing within the Obama administration as he struggled with the decision to resign.

On Nov. 7, Mr. Clapper spoke to Mr. Petraeus by phone, advising him "that the right thing to do would be to step down," said Mr. Clapper's spokesman, Shawn Turner, adding that it was a hard message for Mr. Clapper to deliver. Mr. Turner denied there was any connection between Mr. Clapper's advice and efforts by the CIA to explain its role in the Benghazi attacks.

Many officials say Mr. Petraeus didn't act like someone who intended to resign as he mounted an aggressive defense of the CIA over Benghazi a week before Mr. Clapper was told about the affair.

The crisis in Benghazi was the first major test within the administration of Mr. Petraeus's 14-month tenure at the CIA, officials said.

Streaming

The CIA director's resignation over an affair with his biographer came amid questions about national security, in a case that already has engulfed a senior military commander, a Tampa social planner and an FBI agent. Follow all of the updates in the rapidly moving case in the Petraeus Affair stream.

Mr. Petraeus had struggled to win over CIA employees, who initially viewed him with suspicion because he was a high-profile former general accustomed to the hierarchical respect conferred within the military. The CIA, by contrast, is a less hierarchical institution.

"That was a big change for him," said Michael Hurley, a former agency officer. "Authority comes with rank in the military, but CIA directors have to earn the respect of agency officers."

Agency officers saw his CIA office as much more regimented compared with the relative ease with which they could stop in to see top agency officials under Leon Panetta, Mr. Petraeus's predecessor. Mr. Petraeus appeared to be surprised when much younger analysts would disagree with a point he made, a former official said.

Mr. Petraeus's attempts to connect with agency officers over running—he extended an invitation to exercise with him as long as they could keep up with his six- to seven-minute miles—often fell flat as many analysts and operatives weren't as athletic.

On more substantive issues, agency officers sometimes chafed under what they saw as Mr. Petraeus's more controlling style, the former official said. In his efforts to more closely align the CIA's drone program, aimed at killing terror suspects, with diplomatic sensitivities, Mr. Petraeus sometimes clashed with the agency's Counterterrorism Center chief, with Mr. Petraeus denying requests to strike a particular target.

Administration officials respected Mr. Petraeus's success in Iraq and Afghanistan, and President Barack Obama praised him in a news conference Wednesday for his "extraordinary career." But he didn't have a deep bench of backers within Mr. Obama's powerful inner circle, current and former officials say.

Not being fully aligned with the administration is sometimes good for the head of an intelligence agency that prides itself on being apolitical, the former intelligence official said.

Some lawmakers and administration officials have questioned why Mr. Petraeus had to resign over an affair that apparently didn't compromise national security. But throughout his tenure, Mr. Obama has shown little patience with aides who are at the center of what he sees as unwelcome media spectacles.

Moreover, some of Mr. Obama's aides viewed Mr. Petraeus as a potential rival. Republicans have long talked about him as a possible candidate for president. Mr. Petraeus has repeatedly said he isn't interested in running for office.

Criticism of Mr. Petraeus within the administration rose after the Benghazi attacks. Some senior administration officials at the time described Mr. Petraeus as disengaged in the attacks' aftermath.

The CIA decided to keep secret its extensive security and intelligence-collection role in Benghazi, and Mr. Petraeus didn't attend ceremonies for two CIA security contractors killed in the attacks.

Officials close to Mr. Petraeus said he was fully engaged, reviewing intelligence reports and taking part in meetings about the attacks.

Some administration officials felt they took the blame for using the CIA's shifting accounts of what happened in Benghazi. Initially, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice and other top policy makers used CIA talking points to make the case that the attacks were preceded by a spontaneous protest over an anti-Islam video created in the U.S.—an assessment the agency later abandoned. Critics said the attacks had the markings of an organized strike by al Qaeda-linked militants but the White House was initially more cautious about making such links.

Mr. Obama on Wednesday came to Ms. Rice's defense, saying she had relied on the intelligence she had been given.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation in May began looking into complaints about cyberstalking made by Jill Kelley, a Tampa, Fla., woman who was a social friend of Mr. Petraeus. The case uncovered the extramarital affair between Mr. Petraeus and his biographer, Paula Broadwell, according to U.S. officials familiar with the investigation.

It is unclear when Mr. Petraeus realized the FBI knew of his affair. The FBI investigation was picking up steam as reaction to the Benghazi attacks became a major challenge to the CIA.

Ms. Broadwell was first interviewed by the FBI in late September, and Mr. Petraeus was interviewed in late October. Both admitted to the affair, according to the U.S. officials.

During the same period, the CIA's role in Benghazi, initially kept secret, had come into sharper and more critical focus. "He had a lot on his plate," a senior official said of Mr. Petraeus.

At CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., officials began debating whether the CIA should be more active in countering the criticism. Mr. Petraeus, in particular, advocated a more aggressive defense.

As questions mounted, a Fox News report Oct. 26 alleged that the CIA delayed sending a security force to protect U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and others who were under attack. Mr. Stevens and three other Americans died.

The CIA denied the report, then began pulling together its own timeline of events.

The Pentagon, the State Department and other agencies objected to Mr. Petraeus's decision to mount a solo defense. "We conveyed our objections. Multiple agencies did," a senior military official said.

Mr. Petraeus's decision to release the CIA's timeline to the press didn't sit well with Mr. Clapper, who was unaware it would be made public, officials said. Other agencies saw Mr. Petraeus's decision as a step aimed at presenting the CIA and Mr. Petraeus in the best light and forcing them to accept the brunt of the criticism.

At CIA headquarters, officials believed it was important to make their case. "Clearly, when people are insinuating things about a situation that just aren't true, there has to be a response," a senior U.S. official said. The official added that the briefing was considered effective. "The record was corrected," he said."Smart people can disagree on the best way to do this, while at the same time agreeing that something must be done."

Meanwhile, one week after the turf fight over the CIA's release of its Benghazi timeline, the FBI told Mr. Clapper about Mr. Petraeus's extramarital affair, said officials familiar with the timeline.

Mr. Turner said Mr. Clapper had no doubt when he spoke to Mr. Petraeus on Nov. 7 that "resigning was the honorable thing for Petraeus to do," describing the discussion as "difficult" and "painful." He didn't consult with the White House first. Mr. Clapper informed the White House that day that Mr. Petraeus was considering resigning, these officials said. The next morning, Mr. Petraeus called Tom Donilon, Mr. Obama's national security adviser, to request a meeting with the president, the officials said.

Mr. Donilon then briefed Mr. Obama. The president met Nov. 8 with Mr. Petraeus, who offered to resign. Mr. Obama told Mr. Petraeus he would think about it overnight, the officials said.

Officials said Mr. Obama didn't try to talk Mr. Petraeus out of leaving. On Nov. 9, Mr. Obama called Mr. Petraeus and accepted the resignation.

At CIA headquarters, the reaction among officers has primarily been one of shock, said a former intelligence official who worked with Mr. Petraeus. Employees frequently joked that Mr. Petraeus and Ms. Broadwell must be having an affair, but they saw it as implausible because they considered it unlikely that two people would be seen together so frequently if they were hiding a relationship.

"It was so obvious it couldn't be true," the former official said. "It was really surprising because he's so disciplined."
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bigdog
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« Reply #257 on: November 16, 2012, 11:30:29 AM »

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers & Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein
to Appear on NBC’s Meet the Press

 

HPSCI Chairman Rogers and SSCI Chairwoman Feinstein will be guests on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, November 18, 2012
Date:                           Sunday, November 18, 2012
Time:                           10:30am ET  - in the DC market  (check your local listings for air time)
Organization:              NBC
Show:                          Meet the Press

From Meet the Press  
SUNDAY: House and Senate Intelligence Chairs Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) will be on #MTP for the latest on the Benghazi attacks, Gen. Petraeus, and Israel.

« Last Edit: November 16, 2012, 05:24:21 PM by bigdog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #258 on: November 16, 2012, 04:42:17 PM »

BD:  That promises to be very interesting.

All:

WSJ  "Mr. Petraeus said Friday that initial drafts of CIA talking points referred to the attack as a terrorist act, but that reference was removed from the final drafts after other agencies weighed in, lawmakers said."
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #259 on: November 19, 2012, 08:09:14 PM »



Petraeus vs. Petraeus The former CIA director's shifting Benghazi story puts the spotlight back on top Obama administration officials.By WILLIAM MCGURNLike this columnist ..
Article Video Comments (22) more in Opinion | Find New $LINKTEXTFIND$ ».
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When David Petraeus told Congress on Friday that he knew almost from the get-go that Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed in a terror attack in Libya, the former CIA director was contradicting information put out by two prominent Obama appointees.

The first is United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice. The Sunday after the attack, Ms. Rice took to the talk shows to blame everything, falsely, on an Islamic mob outraged by a blasphemous YouTube video. Mr. Petraeus says the CIA's original talking points mentioned al Qaeda. If this was edited out, we ought to know who did it—and why.

 
Columnist Bill McGurn on the conflict among Susan Rice, David Petraeus and Eric Holder over the Benghazi terrorist attack. Photo: Getty Images
.The other person whom Mr. Petraeus contradicted on Friday was the Mr. Petraeus who briefed the intel committees in the first days after the killings in Benghazi. Rep. Peter King (R., N.Y.) sadly noted the discrepancy after leaving the latest briefing. Back in September, said Mr. King, Mr. Petraeus had left "the clear impression" that "the overwhelming amount of evidence" was that the atrocity "rose out of a spontaneous demonstration and it was not a terrorist attack."

Mr. King's recollection is supported by press accounts at the time, which until now Mr. Petraeus did not correct. Mr. King's characterization is further supported, however inadvertently, by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.). Appearing on CNN shortly after hearing Mr. Petraeus speak to her own Intelligence Sommittee in September, she said she had seen "no evidence or no assessment" indicating that Benghazi was a planned attack.

What do these discrepancies mean? In the narrowest sense, they explain why Mr. Petraeus was so compromised. Even if his initial testimony supporting the Obama administration's version of events wasn't affected by the FBI investigation into his extramarital affair, reasonable people might conclude otherwise. At the time he was leaving Rep. King and Sen. Feinstein with the impression Benghazi had been a spontaneous event, others—including the CIA station chief in Libya—were saying otherwise.

As bad as this may be for Mr. Petraeus, it pales next to what it says about how this White House handles security. Start with President Obama. We saw his flash of anger over the contention by Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) that Ms. Rice is unfit to be secretary of state. Why no presidential outrage for his own team, who (supposedly) kept him in the dark about an investigation into his CIA director and later put his administration's name on a patently false account of the Benghazi killings?

At the top of that team would be Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The president says it is deeply unfair to blame Ms. Rice for her misleading information because she "had nothing to do with Benghazi." So why was she picked to speak? Might it be that Mrs. Clinton prudently decided she didn't want to go on the record knowing what she did about the real story?

Enlarge Image


Close
Associated Press
 
David Petraeus
.Then there's Attorney General Eric Holder. The idea that the Tampa office of the FBI was investigating the CIA director without direction from Mr. Holder's Department of Justice is ridiculous. Then again, even the ridiculous can serve a purpose.

Take the now-infamous "shirtless FBI agent." For days America was given the impression that this was a man who had the hots for Jill Kelley, the Florida socialite whose complaint about emails sparked the investigation. She came to him with those emails, and he came on to her with an Anthony Weiner-like photo of his shirtless self.

Now we have learned that this photo was sent in 2010; that it was an obvious joke with no sexual overtures; and that the agent in question is a little more competent and complicated than he has been made out to be. Not only did Fred Humphries foil an al Qaeda plot to blow up the Los Angeles airport, he shared Mr. Obama's criticism of harsh interrogation techniques and made his views well known.

Still, the "shirtless FBI agent" made for a nice media distraction. Otherwise the press corps might have been asking Mr. Holder whether he ordered FBI Director Robert Mueller not to tell the president about the Petraeus investigation, at least until after the election. Or asking how Justice officials could conclude so quickly that there were no criminal violations, especially since prosecutors didn't see documents from Paula Broadwell's home until the FBI had searched it—days after the affair became public.

In the end, all we know is this. Four Americans were killed in an al Qaeda assault on our consulate. A filmmaker falsely accused of inciting that attack is now in prison. A member of Mr. Obama's cabinet peddled a false account of how they died when the president's intelligence team knew better. And no one, including Mr. Obama, can tell us what was done to follow his order to "do whatever we need to do" to help those Americans in Benghazi when they were still alive.

It's a baffling sequence of events and evasions—one that makes sense only in a place where the No. 1 priority is not so much securing American lives in danger but sustaining the political narrative.
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bigdog
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« Reply #260 on: November 20, 2012, 07:11:53 AM »

BD:  That promises to be very interesting.

The video:
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #261 on: November 20, 2012, 10:46:01 AM »

While I respect Feinstein for not being a complete political hack in all this, I must say I do not follow some of her logic e.g. that Rice could only say what was in the unclassified briefing/talking points.  This sure sounds to me like there was classified material to which she (our Ambassador to the UN after all!) was privy contrary to the unclassified talking points.  Thus, doesn't Feinstein's statement here boil down to an admission that Rice was lying? As were the people who gave her the false info she used as part of lying to the American people? (As the interviewer here aptly asks about the disparity between the classified and unclassified material "Why not just tell the Truth?")  The utterly weird speciousness of Obama's statement "Don't blame her, we sent her because she didn't know anything" contrasts nicely here.

To me it looks like the plan was for Rice to have plausible deniability as part of this lie to get Obama past the election.   Given the determination with which the Obama administration held on to the dissemination of this false meme about disconcerted video clip viewers getting out of hand and its efforts to blame the video maker (e.g. SecState Hillary telling the mourning father, "Don't worry, we'll get the video maker" WTF  huh  tongue angry) well past the date of Rice's Sunday talk show performance I think we the people are well justified in shooting them all and let God sort it out. 

If Rice wasn't lying-- and it sure smells to me that she did or she's too stupid/incompetent/naive to be SecState-- , no way she should come up for SecState until we find out who was.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #262 on: November 20, 2012, 10:55:14 AM »

Not sure of how reliable Debbie Schlussel is, but given the paucity of transparency in all this, I think this worth considering:

===============================================================================


http://www.debbieschlussel.com/56333/jill-kelley-helped-muslim-nations-hezbollahs-lebanon-infiltrate-central-command-macdill-base-go-to-girl-for-muslim-parties-w-generals/
November 15, 2012, - 12:08 pm

Jill Kelley Helped Muslim Nations, Hezbollah Infiltrate Central Command, MacDill Base; “Go To Girl” For Muslim Parties w/ Generals
By Debbie Schlussel

Jill Khawam Kelley was the hand-picked lobbyist for Muslim nations and their agenda at Central Command.

Kelley, who is part of the soap opera that the Petraeus scandal spawned, was in charge of hosting parties and social events to push the Islamic agenda of Middle Eastern countries. She was seen by Muslim Mid-East nations, especially Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon, as the “go to” woman to push their agenda on top American generals. She was a lobbyist for their cause and, yet, wasn’t required to register as a lobbyist, like all others who host lavish parties for top American officials, like she did, in an attempt to influence U.S. policy in the Middle East.


Gen. David Petraeus w/ the Arab Nations’ Agent of Influence @ Central Command, Jill Kelley

Kelley, a dhimmi Christian Arab of Lebanese descent, was well known in the Muslim Arab embassies of Washington for doing their bidding and hosting their parties at and near MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, where our nation’s top generals are based. It’s where Central Command–the U.S. Armed Forces’ leadership over wars and military personnel Middle East–is headquartered.







When a friend of mine said that he thought the financially troubled Khawam sisters, Kelley and Natalie Khawam, were spies for Lebanon and the Arab world, I originally expressed skepticism. I believed that these twin sisters with obvious twin nose jobs were merely bimbo gold diggers in slutty outfits, who used their Delilah ways to first nab rich husbands, and then nab idiotic top American generals to participate in Lifetime-Channel-worthy bitter child custody disputes. But then I learned that Ms. Kelley, who was until this week under the radar, was quietly involved in pushing the agenda of Muslim Arab nations on our nation’s top generals with whom she’d grown close by design. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Ms. Kelley got her hooks into our two top generals in the Middle East, David Petraeus and John Allen. I’m now convinced that my friend, lawyer Gary Welsh of Advance Indiana, who has excellent instincts, was correct.

I’ve long written about the infiltration of Central Command at MacDill Air Base in Tampa by Islamic terrorists. Islamic Jihad founder and convicted Islamic terrorist, Sami Al-Arian, was an instructor on the Middle East to our top generals at MacDill Air Force Base AT THE VERY SAME TIME that he was planning mergers and terrorist attacks in Israel with “the brothers of HAMAS” and while he was bringing Muslim illegal alien Islamic terrorists to the U.S. Al-Arian’s friend and co-conspirator, Ramadan Abdullah Shallah (one of those Al-Arian brought here), who became the Secretary-General of the worldwide Islamic Jihad terrorist group, was also a lecturer at MacDill and also taught our top generals his poisonous views on the Middle East and Israel. FBI and INS agents who investigated Shallah and Al-Arian were alarmed at the influence these two top Islamic terrorists had over CentCom. They were also alarmed to find many books on the inner workings of MacDill in Shallah’s house when they raided it.

So when people ask me how I think these women were able to insert themselves into top generals’ lives and topple them (along with, apparently, the men they married), I think back to the fact that our top generals gladly allowed top terrorists to infiltrate Central Command as alleged “professors” on the Middle East. And when generals like Petraeus and Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr. openly attack Israel and America’s relationship with Israel, people like Jill Khawam Kelley and Al-Arian and Shallah are the reason why. Khawam Kelley isn’t an innocent socialite. She’s an agent of influence for Arab Muslim nations.

The Washington Post reports:

A military officer who is a former member of Petraeus’s staff said Kelley was a “self-appointed” go-between for Central Command officers with Lebanese and other Middle Eastern officials. . . . At the parties Jill Kelley hosted at her Tampa mansion, guests were frequently treated to the indulgences of celebrity life: valet parking, string quartets on the lawn, premium cigars and champagne, and caviar-laden buffets.

The main recipients of the largess were military brass — including some of the nation’s most senior commanders — based at nearby MacDill Air Force Base.

Kelley flaunted her access to these military VIPs. . . . The investigations of Petraeus’s and Allen’s actions, nonetheless, have raised questions about how Kelley, a woman with no formal military role, cultivated such close ties to two of the nation’s most revered generals.

One former aide to Allen, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity given the sensitivity of the case, suggested that Kelley had become a de facto social ambassador among high-ranking personnel at MacDill, home to the U.S. Central Command and Special Operations Command.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Middle Eastern diplomats in Washington also knew Ms. Kelley, who came from a Lebanese immigrant family and who helped arrange social activities when dignitaries from the region visited Tampa, diplomats said. She also sometimes attended parties at Washington embassies.

I guarantee you that Jill Khawam Kelley wasn’t hosting visits from dignitaries from Israel. And, other than those from Israel, every single “Middle Eastern diplomat” in Washington is a Muslim, most of them Muslim Arabs. And all of them Muslims with an agenda that is anti-Israel and anti-Western. And definitely not in America’s best interests. They come to Tampa for one reason and one reason only–to ingratiate themselves with the top military brass at CentCom at MacDill.

And Jill Khawam Kelley was their social director in that mission.

Kelley’s sister, Natalie Khawam, was married to a top Bush administration official, Grayson Wolfe, Director of Broader Middle East Initiatives and Iraqi Reconstruction at the Export-Import Bank of the United States, and frequently accompanied him on trips to the Middle East, including to Pakistan. Before that position, Wolfe was the Bush-installed Manager of the Private Sector Development Office of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad, Iraq. How many of the Khawam’s insider Arab Muslim friends did he give sweetheart contracts to? Before It’s News has more and asks more questions about the consulting and contracting firm that Wolfe now heads. Although they are now embroiled in a bitter custody fight over their son, you have to wonder what influence Khawam had on him and what was done in the Middle East. She recently sued her former employer, a Jewish lawyer, Barry Cohen, but gave up after her lawsuit was shown to be phony. Cohen struck back and found that Khawam engaged in bankruptcy fraud.

My friend wasn’t so far-fetched when he insisted the Khawam chicks are modern day Mata Haris for the Muslim Arabs.

Just look at what they’ve accomplished for the Muslim Mid-East, all of it under the radar . . . until Paula Broadwell had the stupidity to send her threatening e-mails and Jill Khawam Kelley had the stupidity of complaining about it to shirtless FBI agent Frederic Humphries.
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bigdog
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« Reply #263 on: November 28, 2012, 01:00:50 PM »

http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/2012/03/not_logical.html

From the article:

In an opinion published this week, DC District Judge Richard W. Roberts did an astonishing thing that federal courts almost never do:  He probed into the decision to classify a government document and concluded that it was not well-founded.  He ordered the agency to release the document under the Freedom of Information Act.
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« Reply #264 on: November 30, 2012, 01:18:47 PM »

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers & Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein
to Appear on Face the Nation (CBS) – Sunday, December 2, 2012



HPSCI Chairman Rogers and SSCI Chairwoman Feinstein will be guests on Face the Nation (CBS) on Sunday, December 2, 2012


Date:                          Sunday, December 2, 2012
Time:                          10:30am ET  - in the DC market  (check your local listings for air time)
Organization:           CBS
Show:                         Face the Nation

Topics:                       Developments in North Africa and the Middle East, Potential Cabinet Nominations, and the Fiscal Cliff
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« Reply #265 on: January 05, 2013, 04:15:26 PM »



http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/06/us/former-cia-officer-is-the-first-to-face-prison-for-a-classified-leak.html?emc=na
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« Reply #266 on: January 22, 2013, 02:30:51 PM »

ALLARD: Who leaked the Stuxnet virus attack on Iran?
The CIA nominee must be grilled about this damaging disclosure
By Col. Ken Allard
 Friday, January 18, 2013


Because of the looming conflict with Iran, Sen. Chuck Hagel’s nomination to be secretary of defense has attracted wide attention. Yet Senate Republicans may have a chance to advance their own national security agenda by zeroing in on John O. Brennan, President Obama’s choice for CIA director. This approach will require courage as well as a return to those thrilling days of yesteryear and the scandal-before-last.

Long before Benghazigate, we were still basking in the afterglow of the raid on Osama bin Laden and the joys of the Arab Spring when The New York Times published an astonishing story. In a book and a widely quoted series of articles by David Sanger, its chief Washington correspondent, the newspaper essentially published the beyond-top-secret playbook of the Obama national security team.

While sympathetically portraying a technically savvy president coolly orchestrating drone strikes against foreign terrorists, the book also dropped a truly astonishing revelation. The worrying appearance of the Stuxnet virus — infecting at least 100,000 computers around the globe — was actually blow-back, collateral damage from a U.S.-Israeli campaign to sabotage the centrifuges of the Iranian nuclear weapons program. It was difficult to know whether to be happy that a macho Barack Obama was bamboozling the mullahs or angry that a Pulitzer-hungry journalist had spilled the beans.

There were also other nagging worries. Since industrial sabotage is an act of war, the soft underbelly of the U.S. electronic infrastructure might be vulnerable to Iranian retaliation.

There was the usual amount of descrying and harrumphing with predictably bipartisan calls for congressional investigations. I even testified before one of them, telling the House Judiciary Committee that Mr. Sanger’s revelations could hardly have been more damaging had a team of KGB moles taken up residence in the West Wing. For a time, there was loose talk about subpoenas and follow-on investigations. However, there was little real stomach in a divided Congress to take on a Fourth Estate sanctimoniously defending its right to recycle national secrets into ratings, royalties and partisan advantage.

This is where Mr. Brennan comes in. A career CIA officer, Mr. Brennan is steeped in an organizational milieu that, to the unwashed, epitomizes secrecy. To the cognoscenti, however, artful press leaks are to the CIA what haute cuisine is to French culture. When a promising operative progresses toward the higher echelons, he typically is mentored by a more-skilled Auguste Escoffier, carefully groomed in the finer points of modern media practice. Rather than courageously presenting truth to power, the savvy intelligence officer views his press patsy as just another target to manipulate. The primary objective: Always make the boss and the agency look good.

If you don’t believe that, then you probably haven’t read any of Bob Woodward’s books. In “Obama’s Wars,” for example, he mined sources in the Obama transition team to reveal top-secret code words, the existence of the CIA’s “3,000-man covert Army in Afghanistan” and, for good measure, the offensive Computer Network Attack capabilities of the super-secret National Security Agency. How did Mr. Woodward do it? By convincing willing sources that they had nothing to fear by telling him what they knew, exactly as any competent intelligence agent does when recruiting spies.

Because the news is a highly competitive business, it is not surprising that Mr. Sanger and The New York Times had their own motivations for one-upping Mr. Woodward’s penetration of the Obama White House. There is little doubt those motivations included politics, specifically the polishing of the president’s national security resume. For precisely that reason, it is also likely that Mr. Sanger had what the FBI typically calls the “witting cooperation” of senior White House officials. Compare the Sanger and Woodward books, and certain names keep recurring, especially Tom Donilon, the national security adviser and his deputy, Mr. Brennan, who also oversaw the CIA drone program.

Because the Sanger book extensively profiled that previously covert program, it is worth asking — under oath and with corroborating witnesses — exactly what Mr. Brennan knew of The New York Times moles and when he knew it. Did he, for example, ever receive explicit or implicit instructions from his superiors in the White House to cooperate with Mr. Sanger or his principal sources? If so, from whom?

To some, Senate confirmation hearings might not be the ideal venue for revisiting old headlines. Yet Mr. Brennan may become CIA director at precisely the moment when the long-postponed Iranian confrontation reaches critical mass. As The New York Times reported last week, without any trace of irony, Iranian cyberteams are now mounting denial-of-service attacks against U.S. bank websites. Mr. Brennan, as an experienced intelligence officer, please begin your hearing by telling us why the mullahs might be conducting such unprovoked acts?

Retired Army Col. Ken Allard is a former NBC News military analyst and author on national security issues.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #267 on: February 05, 2013, 05:23:21 PM »



Obama CIA Nominee John Brennan Wrong for the Job
by Steven Emerson and John Rossomando
IPT News
February 5, 2013
http://www.investigativeproject.org/3902/obama-cia-nominee-john-brennan-wrong-for-the-job
 
America's top spy needs to be a steely-eyed realist, sensitive to emerging threats and keen about our foes' intent to deceive us.

Unfortunately, President Obama's nominee to head the CIA, Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan, has shown a tendency to fall for the bait from radical Islamists. Globally, he repeatedly expressed a hope that "moderates" within Iran and its terror proxy Hizballah would steer their respective constituencies away from terrorism.
Domestically, he claims that radical Islam does not pose its own, unique threat to American security. He has helped strip language about "radical Islam," "jihad" and similar terms from government vernacular, choosing instead to refer to "violent extremism" in an attempt to deny terrorists religious credibility. When it comes to jihad, he stubbornly maintains the word does not belong in conversations about terror, no matter what terrorists themselves say.

Likewise, he also yielded to demands from American Islamists to purge law enforcement and intelligence training material of the terms "jihad" and "radical Islam."

Despite these positions, some American Islamists still oppose Brennan's nomination because he is considered the architect of the drone program which has killed scores of al-Qaida terrorists.

That should tell him something. But there is little in Brennan's record to indicate he'll learn from the experience.

Brennan Promotes Iran-Hizballah Outreach

Brennan's complacency regarding the jihad threat was made clear in May 2010, when he expressed a desire to encourage "moderate elements" of Hizballah, which is a State Department-designated terrorist organization.

"There is certainly the elements of Hizballah that are truly a concern to us what they're doing. And what we need to do is to find ways to diminish their influence within the organization and to try to build up the more moderate elements," a Reuters report quoted Brennan saying.

He did not explain where such elements could be found, how they could be identified, or what separated them from the Hizballah "extremists."

That was just the latest in a series of similar statements Brennan has made about Hizballah, the group which ranks second only to al-Qaida in killing Americans in terrorist attacks. The Iranian-founded and funded group "started out as purely a terrorist organization back in the early '80s and has evolved significantly over time," Brennan said in an Aug. 6, 2009 speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "And now it has members of parliament, in the cabinet; there are lawyers, doctors, others who are part of the Hezbollah organization.

"However, within Hezbollah, there's still a terrorist core. And hopefully those elements within the Shia community in Lebanon and within Hezbollah at large -- they're going to continue to look at that extremist terrorist core as being something that is anathema to what, in fact, they're trying to accomplish in terms of their aspirations about being part of the political process in Lebanon. And so, quite frankly, I'm pleased to see that a lot of Hezbollah individuals are in fact renouncing that type of terrorism and violence and are trying to participate in the political process in a very legitimate fashion."

In a paper published a year earlier, Brennan called on U.S. officials to "cease public Iran-bashing," and recommended that the U.S. "tolerate, and even … encourage, greater assimilation of Hizballah into Lebanon's political system, a process that is subject to Iranian influence."

In "The Conundrum of Iran: Strengthening Moderates without Acquiescing to Belligerence," published in the Annals of the American Academy of Political and
Social Science in July 2008, Brennan claimed that Hizballah's participation in Lebanese politics was evidence that it was leaving behind its terrorist roots:

"This political involvement is a far cry from Hizballah's genesis as solely a terrorist organization dedicated to murder, kidnapping, and violence. Not coincidentally, the evolution of Hizballah into a fully vested player in the Lebanese political system has been accompanied by a marked reduction in terrorist attacks carried out by the organization.

The best hope for maintaining this trend and for reducing the influence of violent extremists within the organization – as well as the influence of extremist Iranian officials who view Hizballah primarily as a pawn of Tehran – is to increase Hizballah's stake in Lebanon's struggling democratic processes."

The record since then could not be further from Brennan's idealistic hopes. Four Hizballah members have been indicted by an international tribunal in connection with the 2005 car-bomb assassination of Lebanon's President Rafiq Hariri. Hizballah has helped Iran send fighters and advisers into Syria to try to aid dictator Bashar al-Assad's ruthless assault on his own people. A new report finds Hizballah, working with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), is responsible for a wave of terrorist plots throughout the world. Any move away from violence may have been a strategic lull aimed at avoiding being "caught in the crosshairs of Washington's 'war on terror.'"

That lull appears to be over, the report finds.

Brennan's analysis also was refuted by a senior Hizballah leader. Engaging in Lebanese parliamentary politics does not make Hizballah moderate and Hizballah politicians are still part of the mother ship.

"The same leadership that directs the parliamentary and government work also leads jihad actions," Naim Qassem, a deputy to Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah, told the Los Angeles Times.

The retired Israeli Brigadier General Shimon Shapira observed: "Hizbullah's own analysis of itself contradicts what Brennan has been writing and stating in recent years.
"Today, saying that Hizbullah has moderate elements that have moved away from terrorism can lead the political echelons in the West to ignore how Hizbullah is serving its Iranian sponsors by directly threatening Israel's civilian population. On May 20, 2010, Hizbullah military sources boasted to the Kuwaiti daily al-Rai that Israel will be bombarded with 15 tons of explosives a day if a future war breaks out. Hizbullah clearly does not care about the implications of its military build-up for the people of Lebanon, because it only seeks to serve the interests of the Islamic Republic of Iran."

In his 2008 paper, Brennan also advocated direct engagement with Iran despite its well-earned reputation as the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism. He minimized the threat of Iran's nuclear weapons program and blamed American rhetoric as "brash labeling" for hardening Tehran's position toward the United States. Brennan's recommendations assumed Iranian interest in backing away from terrorism and a nuclear bomb.

A presidential envoy – Brennan suggested Colin Powell – would allow the United States to persuade Iran to behave more responsibly and peacefully and rein in its terrorist proxies, Brennan wrote.

"Initially, Washington should press Iranian officials to cease their vitriolic anti-American and anti-Israeli rhetoric and to condemn publicly acts of violence that clearly are terrorism. Iran can also take some more tangible steps. For example, Iranian financial and military support to Hezbollah gives Tehran significant leverage over its Lebanese ally, and Iran has the ability to direct Hezbollah to refrain from carrying out any attacks against civilian targets, such as settlements in northern Israel," he wrote.

History again proved Brennan's assumption wrong. While there is still talk of direct negotiations with Iran over its nuclear weapons program, four years of tempered rhetoric and invitations for negotiation have done nothing to slow Iran's march toward the bomb.

Brennan Lets Radical Islamists Dictate Policy

During his time as a White House advisor, Brennan displayed a disturbing tendency to engage with Islamist groups which often are hostile to American anti-terrorism policies at home and abroad. Those meetings confer legitimacy upon the groups as representatives of all Muslim Americans, despite research indicating that the community is far too diverse to have anyone represent its concerns.

A Feb. 13, 2010 speech Brennan gave at the New York University School of Law serves as an example.

Organized by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the talk became an outlet for Brennan's argument that terrorists benefit from being identified by religious terms, including "jihadist." In doing so, Brennan waded into theological revisionism by denying the Quranic foundation exists, even though jihadists routinely cite chapter and verse.
"As Muslims you have seen a small fringe of fanatics who cloak themselves in religion, try to distort your faith, though they are clearly ignorant of the most fundamental teachings of Islam. Instead of creating, they destroy – bombing mosques, schools and hospitals. They are not jihadists, for jihad is a holy struggle, an effort to purify for a legitimate purpose, and there is nothing, absolutely nothing holy or pure or legitimate or Islamic about murdering innocent men, women and children," Brennan said. "We're trying to be very careful and precise in our use of language, because I think the language we use and the images we project really do have resonance. It's the reason why I don't use the term jihadist to refer to terrorists. It gives them the religious legitimacy they so desperately seek, but I ain't gonna give it to them."

Like his positions on Iran and Hizballah, Brennan's views about using religious references like "jihad" have been uttered repeatedly and consistently. "President Obama [does not] see this challenge as a fight against jihadists. Describing terrorists in this way, using the legitimate term 'jihad,' which means to purify oneself or to wage a holy struggle for a moral goal, risks giving these murderers the religious legitimacy they desperately seek but in no way deserve," Brennan said in an Aug. 6, 2009 speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

He returned to the narrative in a May 26, 2010 speech, also at CSIS.

"Nor do we describe our enemy as 'jihadists' or 'Islamists' because jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenant of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one's community, and there is nothing holy or legitimate or Islamic about murdering innocent men, women and children," Brennan said.

Brennan's interpretation of jihad stands in stark contrast with how the term has been consistently understood, especially by the intellectual founders of the global Islamist movement.

Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna, whose ideas have influenced all subsequent Islamic extremists including Hamas and Al-Qaida, rejected the definition of jihad that Brennan suggests is correct.

In a pamphlet titled "Jihad," al-Banna wrote: "Many Muslims today mistakenly believe that fighting the enemy is jihad asghar (a lesser jihad) and that fighting one's ego is jihad akbar (a greater jihad). The following narration [athar] is quoted as proof: 'We have returned from the lesser jihad to embark on the greater jihad.' They said: 'What is the greater jihad?' He said: 'The jihad of the heart, or the jihad against one's ego. This narration is used by some to lessen the importance of fighting, to discourage any preparation for combat, and to deter any offering of jihad in Allah's way. This narration is not a saheeh (sound) tradition …"

Sayyid Qutb, al-Banna's successor in defining Islamist thought, clearly endorsed the idea of violent jihad, suggesting that it should not be fought merely in a defensive manner.
"Anyone who understands this particular character of this religion will also understand the place of Jihaad bis saif (striving through fighting), which is to clear the way for striving through preaching in the application of the Islamic movement. He will understand that Islam is not a 'defensive movement' in the narrow sense which today is technically called a 'defensive war.' This narrow meaning is ascribed to it by those who are under the pressure of circumstances and are defeated by the wily attacks of the orientalists, who distort the concept of Islamic Jihaad," Qutb wrote in his book Milestones. "It was a movement to wipe out tyranny and to introduce true freedom to mankind, using resources according to the actual human situation, and it had definite stages, for each of which it utilized new methods."

Even Brennan's NYU host advocated violent jihad. A December 1986 article appearing in ISNA's official magazine Islamic Horizons notes that "jihad of the sword is the actual taking up of arms against the evil situation with the intention of changing it," that "anyone killed in jihad is rewarded with Paradise," and that "a believer who participates in jihad is superior to a believer who does not."

Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, the senior Muslim Brotherhood imam who the Obama administration reportedly has used in its negotiations with the Taliban, connects jihad with fighting in his book Fiqh of Jihad. In it, he says that Muslims may engage in violent jihad in the event Muslim lands are threatened by or occupied by non-Muslims as he contends is the case with Israel.

These Brotherhood treatises are relevant because Brennan's host, ISNA, was founded by Muslim Brotherhood members in the United States, some of whom remain active with the organization. And, although it denied any Brotherhood connection in 2007, exhibits in evidence in a Hamas-support trial show ISNA's "intimate relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood." In addition, the federal judge in the case found "ample evidence" connecting ISNA to Muslim Brotherhood operations known as the Holy Land Foundation, the Islamic Association for Palestine and Hamas.

ISNA has sought to publicly moderate its image, yet it has kept radicals such as Jamal Badawi on its board of directors and granted a 2008 community-service award to Jamal Barzinji, a founding father of the Muslim Brotherhood in America, as well as a former ISNA board member.

Badawi has defended violent jihad including suicide bombings and has suggested that Islam is superior to secular democracy. Barzinji was named in a federal affidavit as being closely associated with Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas.

Barzinji's name appears in a global phone book of Muslim Brotherhood members recovered by Italian and Swiss authorities in November 2001 from the home of Al-Taqwa Bank of Lugano founder Youssef Nada, one of the leaders of the international Muslim Brotherhood and an al-Qaida financier.

At the NYU event, Brennan was introduced by then-ISNA President Ingrid Mattson, who made Qutb's writings required reading in a course she taught. Mattson has advocated against using terms like "Islamic terrorism" since the earliest days after 9/11. During his speech, Brennan praised Mattson as "an academic whose research continues the rich tradition of Islamic scholarship and as the President of the Islamic Society of North America, where you have been a voice for the tolerance and diversity that defines Islam."
Brennan met privately around the time of the NYU speech with another advocate of ignoring the Islamic motivation driving many terrorists. Both Salam al-Marayati and his organization, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) have long records of defending suspected terrorists and terror supporters and of arguing the terrorist threat in America is exaggerated.

During a 2005 ISNA conference, al-Marayati blasted the idea that Muslims would be used as informants to thwart possible terrorist plots. "Counter-terrorism and counter-violence should be defined by us. We should define how an effective counter-terrorism policy should be pursued in this country," he said. "So, number one, we reject any effort, notion, suggestion that Muslims should start spying on one another."

The White House invited al-Marayati to attend the NYU speech despite his prior comments suggesting Israel was responsible for the 9/11 attacks, condemning the FBI's use of informants in counter-terror investigations, and his argument that Hizballah engages in "legitimate resistance."

After the meeting, MPAC claimed credit for the administration's policy of sugar-coating terrorist motives. "Mr. Brennan made two important points in his address that signified the importance of MPAC's government engagement over the last 15 years in Washington," an MPAC statement said. Among them, "He rejected the label of 'jihadist' to describe terrorists, because it legitimates violent extremism with religious validation, a point MPAC made in its 2003 policy paper on counterterrorism."

Terrorists Disagree

While Brennan and his associates like Mattson and al-Marayati may wish to disconnect terrorism from religion, this strategy has proven meaningless among those who plot attacks against Americans. Many describe acting out of a belief that America is at war with Islam. Asserting that religious motivation doesn't exist does nothing to lessen the threat.

When Army Pvt. Naser Jason Abdo's mother asked her son what would drive him to plot a bombing and shooting attack on a restaurant that serves personnel at Fort Hood, Tex., his answer was succinct.

"The reason is religion, Mom," he said.

Similarly, would-be bombers Faisal Shahzad and Farooque Ahmed justified their attempts to blow people up in New York and Washington as part of a war, a jihad, they felt compelled to join.

"This time it's the war against people who believe in the book of Allah and follow the commandments, so this is a war against Allah," Shahzad said at his October 2010 sentencing for trying to detonate a car-bomb in Times Square. "So let's see how you can defeat your Creator, which you can never do. Therefore, the defeat of U.S. is imminent and will happen in the near future, inshallah [God willing], which will only give rise to much awaited Muslim caliphate, which is the only true world order."

Ahmed, who scouted subway stations along the Washington, D.C. Metro line in hopes of aiding a bombing plot, acted in response to "an incessant message that is delivered by radical followers of Islam," his lawyer said at Ahmed's April 2011 sentencing, "that one cannot be true to the faith unless they take action, including violent action, most especially violent action … that is a message that can unfortunately take root in individuals who feel like if they don't do something, that they literally will not find salvation under their faith."

Brennan grew prickly when challenged on this view of jihad. The Washington Times editorial board pressed him about the role of armed jihad in history during an Aug. 23, 2010 interview. After acknowledging that history – "Absolutely it has" happened – Brennan tried to deflect the question, saying "I'm not going to go into this sort of history discussion here."

He cut the interview short and walked out after the editorial board pressed the point, asking Brennan to distinguish between those historical armed jihads and al-Qaida's current jihad.

Brennan further displayed his eagerness to kowtow to Islamist demands in the fall of 2011. After a small number of materials in FBI training manuals and libraries were found to be excessively negative in describing Islam as a religion and Muslims as a people, Islamist groups demanded a purge of anything they considered offensive.

An Oct. 19, 2011 letter to Brennan written by Muslim Advocates Executive Director Farhana Khera and signed by 57 Muslim, Arab, and South Asian organizations demanded that Brennan create "an interagency task force, led by the White House," that would, among other things, review all counterterror trainers, so as to purge those that the Muslim organizations, which included many with Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood ties, found unacceptable. The task force would also "purge all federal government training materials of biased materials"; "implement a mandatory re-training program for FBI agents, U.S. Army officers, and all federal, state and local law enforcement who have been subjected to biased training"; and more to ensure that only the message about Islam and jihad preferred by the signatories would get through to intelligence and law enforcement agents.
Brennan readily agreed, promising in a November 3, 2011 response to Khera written on White House stationery obtained by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, that such an interagency task force was indeed "necessary," and agreeing to purge training programs of all materials that the Muslim groups found objectionable.

To this day, officials have declined to identify those with whom they consulted in identifying the material to be removed. During an April 2012 talk at the New York Police Department, Brennan refused to answer when asked specifically whether Muslim Advocates was among those consulted.

"Now I'm not going to, you know, take on any individuals or claim or charge on this. But I just want to underscore that at least from the national government perspective and all my discussions with Commissioner Kelly and others, there is a real interest in trying to make sure that all of the different communities of different religious backgrounds, ethnic backgrounds, political affiliations, have an opportunity to express themselves, so that we are able to do this," he said. "When we talk about, you mentioned about, you know, Muslim Advocates … obviously al-Qaeda, which is, purports to be an Islamic organization, is anything but; it's a murderous organization. They certainly misrepresent what they stand for. But we need to make sure that we're able to talk with the Muslim community here in the United States. The Muslim community is as much a part of the United States as any other community of any religious background. The Muslim community is part of the solution on terrorism, not part of the problem. We need to make sure that we have all the expertise, the representation and the perspective, so that we can bring it to bear."

But in his letter to Khera, Brennan acquiesced to virtually every demand.

"We share your sense of concern over these recent unfortunate incidents, and are moving forward to ensure problems are addressed with a keen sense of urgency," he wrote. "They do not reflect the vision that the President has put forward, nor do they represent the kind of approach that builds the partnerships that are necessary to counter violent extremism, and to protect our young people and our homeland. American's greatest strength is its values, and we are committed to pursuing policies and approaches that draw strength from our values and our people irrespective of their race, religion or ethnic background.

While much work remains, I am confident that concrete actions are being taken to address the valid concerns you raised. Thank you again for your letter and for your leadership in addressing an isue that is crticial to ensuring the security of the United States."

Denies Religious Dogma Entices Terrorists

In addition to purging training material at the behest of Islamist groups, Brennan's theories about what drives people to plot terrorist acts betrays a further desire to conceal religious dogma. Economic conditions, more than religious beliefs, account for the draw of al-Qaida and other terrorist groups, he has said.

"This includes those upstream factors – the political and economic causes and conditions that help to fuel hatred and violence, including loss of faith in political systems to improve daily life and the vulnerability of young minds to predators like gangs and terrorist recruiters," Brennan said during his NYU speech. "And while poverty and lack of opportunity do not cause terrorism, it is obvious that the lack of education, of basic human services and hope for the future make vulnerable populations more susceptible to ideologies of violence and death."

That may be true in some cases. But numerous examples expose this as a misguided stereotype. And terrorist leaders – those who recruit terrorist operatives – hail from professional classes. Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri is a physician. So was Palestinian Islamic Jihad founder Fathi Shikaki. Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook has a master's degree and pursued a PhD. Would-be Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad had a steady job and a decent wage. Many of the 9/11 hijackers were middle class or affluent. The Times of London observed in an April 3, 2005 article that a large percentage of 500 al-Qaida members had discovered that an overwhelming percentage came from middle class or affluent backgrounds.

Scholar Daniel Pipes reached a similar conclusion in a Winter 2002 article examining militants held in Egyptian jails.

"What is true of Egypt holds equally true elsewhere: Like fascism and Marxism-Leninism in their heydays, militant Islam attracts highly competent, motivated and ambitious individuals. Far from being the laggards of society, they are its leaders," Pipes wrote.

INTERPOL similarly warned in a Sept. 21, 2010 press release that the proliferation of extremist websites showed that al-Qaida recruiters were deliberately targeting middle-class youth.

"Speaking at the two-day International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) summit (21-22 September) in Paris … INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble said that terrorist recruiters exploited the web to their full advantage as they targeted young, middle class vulnerable individuals who were usually not 'on the radar of law enforcement,'" the INTERPOL press release said.

Al-Qaida publications such as Inspire magazine, along with its other media, make it clear that its followers are driven by religious zeal rather than by economics. Its slick, glossy production and the content of its articles appealed to educated people with access to at least some money. "How to Build a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom" is a notorious example.

Fawwaz bin Muhammad Al-Nashami, leader of the jihadists who killed 22 people in a 1994 attack on Americans in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, invoked Islam's prophet: "We are Mujahideen, and we want the Americans. We have not come to aim a weapon at the Muslims, but to purge the Arabian Peninsula, according to the will of our Prophet Muhammad, of the infidels and the polytheists who are killing our brothers in Afghanistan and Iraq. "

John Brennan's recipe for fighting terror seems to cast these motivations aside. That's the mindset poised to direct American intelligence gathering for the next four years.
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« Reply #268 on: February 05, 2013, 06:52:06 PM »

This, like other times Buraq does something to empower the global jihad isn't accidental.
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« Reply #269 on: February 07, 2013, 11:51:48 AM »

ALLARD: Who leaked the Stuxnet virus attack on Iran? (Marc: inter alia, this open admission gives Iran, China, Russia et al propaganda cover for their deeds)
The CIA nominee must be grilled about this damaging disclosure
By Col. Ken Allard
Friday, January 18, 2013

 
Because of the looming conflict with Iran, Sen. Chuck Hagel’s nomination to be secretary of defense has attracted wide attention. Yet Senate Republicans may have a chance to advance their own national security agenda by zeroing in on John O. Brennan, President Obama’s choice for CIA director. This approach will require courage as well as a return to those thrilling days of yesteryear and the scandal-before-last.
 
Long before Benghazigate, we were still basking in the afterglow of the raid on Osama bin Laden and the joys of the Arab Spring when The New York Times published an astonishing story. In a book and a widely quoted series of articles by David Sanger, its chief Washington correspondent, the newspaper essentially published the beyond-top-secret playbook of the Obama national security team.
 
While sympathetically portraying a technically savvy president coolly orchestrating drone strikes against foreign terrorists, the book also dropped a truly astonishing revelation. The worrying appearance of the Stuxnet virus — infecting at least 100,000 computers around the globe — was actually blow-back, collateral damage from a U.S.-Israeli campaign to sabotage the centrifuges of the Iranian nuclear weapons program. It was difficult to know whether to be happy that a macho Barack Obama was bamboozling the mullahs or angry that a Pulitzer-hungry journalist had spilled the beans.
 
There were also other nagging worries. Since industrial sabotage is an act of war, the soft underbelly of the U.S. electronic infrastructure might be vulnerable to Iranian retaliation.
 
There was the usual amount of descrying and harrumphing with predictably bipartisan calls for congressional investigations. I even testified before one of them, telling the House Judiciary Committee that Mr. Sanger’s revelations could hardly have been more damaging had a team of KGB moles taken up residence in the West Wing. For a time, there was loose talk about subpoenas and follow-on investigations. However, there was little real stomach in a divided Congress to take on a Fourth Estate sanctimoniously defending its right to recycle national secrets into ratings, royalties and partisan advantage.
 
This is where Mr. Brennan comes in. A career CIA officer, Mr. Brennan is steeped in an organizational milieu that, to the unwashed, epitomizes secrecy. To the cognoscenti, however, artful press leaks are to the CIA what haute cuisine is to French culture. When a promising operative progresses toward the higher echelons, he typically is mentored by a more-skilled Auguste Escoffier, carefully groomed in the finer points of modern media practice. Rather than courageously presenting truth to power, the savvy intelligence officer views his press patsy as just another target to manipulate. The primary objective: Always make the boss and the agency look good.
 
If you don’t believe that, then you probably haven’t read any of Bob Woodward’s books. In “Obama’s Wars,” for example, he mined sources in the Obama transition team to reveal top-secret code words, the existence of the CIA’s “3,000-man covert Army in Afghanistan” and, for good measure, the offensive Computer Network Attack capabilities of the super-secret National Security Agency. How did Mr. Woodward do it? By convincing willing sources that they had nothing to fear by telling him what they knew, exactly as any competent intelligence agent does when recruiting spies.
 
Because the news is a highly competitive business, it is not surprising that Mr. Sanger and The New York Times had their own motivations for one-upping Mr. Woodward’s penetration of the Obama White House. There is little doubt those motivations included politics, specifically the polishing of the president’s national security resume. For precisely that reason, it is also likely that Mr. Sanger had what the FBI typically calls the “witting cooperation” of senior White House officials. Compare the Sanger and Woodward books, and certain names keep recurring, especially Tom Donilon, the national security adviser and his deputy, Mr. Brennan, who also oversaw the CIA drone program.
 
Because the Sanger book extensively profiled that previously covert program, it is worth asking — under oath and with corroborating witnesses — exactly what Mr. Brennan knew of The New York Times moles and when he knew it. Did he, for example, ever receive explicit or implicit instructions from his superiors in the White House to cooperate with Mr. Sanger or his principal sources? If so, from whom?
 
To some, Senate confirmation hearings might not be the ideal venue for revisiting old headlines. Yet Mr. Brennan may become CIA director at precisely the moment when the long-postponed Iranian confrontation reaches critical mass. As The New York Times reported last week, without any trace of irony, Iranian cyberteams are now mounting denial-of-service attacks against U.S. bank websites. Mr. Brennan, as an experienced intelligence officer, please begin your hearing by telling us why the mullahs might be conducting such unprovoked acts?
 
Retired Army Col. Ken Allard is a former NBC News military analyst and author on national security issues.


Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jan/18/who-leaked-the-stuxnet-virus-attack-on-iran/#ixzz2KEk944hG
 Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter
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« Reply #270 on: February 12, 2013, 10:34:30 PM »

I have not had a chance to give this a serious look yet , , ,

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/02/11/rumor-check-ex-fbi-agent-claims-obamas-cia-nominee-is-really-a-secret-muslim-recruited-by-saudis/
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« Reply #271 on: February 19, 2013, 04:38:53 PM »



http://www.afio.com/publications/GIBSON%20Draft%20IntelOversight%20Draft%20ver2.pdf
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« Reply #272 on: February 19, 2013, 04:44:24 PM »


Very well done.
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bigdog
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« Reply #273 on: February 19, 2013, 04:53:31 PM »


Thank you, GM. I appreciate it.
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« Reply #274 on: February 19, 2013, 05:32:43 PM »

I confess to being more than a little proud of our little braintrust  grin
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« Reply #275 on: February 23, 2013, 05:14:36 PM »

He doesn't have a hotness score at rate my professors dot com though....


 grin
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« Reply #276 on: March 13, 2013, 08:47:19 AM »

http://www.dni.gov/files/documents/Intelligence%20Reports/2013%20ATA%20SFR%20for%20SSCI%2012%20Mar%202013.pdf
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« Reply #277 on: March 13, 2013, 09:08:29 AM »

Care to give us a brief description of what it is BD?
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« Reply #278 on: March 13, 2013, 09:47:08 AM »


2013 Report on Worldwide Threat Assessment of US Intelligence Community presented to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
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« Reply #279 on: March 22, 2013, 06:17:28 AM »

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/secret-report-raises-alarms-on-intelligence-blind-spots-because-of-aq-focus/2013/03/20/1f8f1834-90d6-11e2-9cfd-36d6c9b5d7ad_story.html

From the article:

U.S. intelligence officials acknowledged that demands on spy agencies have grown in recent years, driven by political turmoil associated with the Arab Spring, the cyber-espionage threat posed by China and the splintering of militant groups in North Africa. The pressure has been compounded by shrinking or stagnant budgets for most agencies after years of double-digit increases.
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« Reply #280 on: April 15, 2013, 06:13:15 AM »

http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/gallery/2013/apr/13/10-best-real-life-spies?CMP=twt_gu&CMP=SOCNETTXT6965#/?picture=407008970&index=0
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« Reply #281 on: April 28, 2013, 06:03:25 AM »

http://www.brookings.edu/events/2013/04/22-intelligence-terrorism#ref-id=20130422_fullevent
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #282 on: May 04, 2013, 11:22:18 AM »

Reliability unknown:

http://creepingsharia.wordpress.com/2013/05/03/boston-suspects-mom-was-also-in-terror-database-sources-tell-ap-theblaze-com/
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objectivist1
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« Reply #283 on: May 20, 2013, 12:23:24 PM »

More Secrets From Huma Abedin

Posted By Arnold Ahlert On May 20, 2013 - www.frontpagemag.com

To order the Freedom Center’s pamphlet, “The Muslim Brotherhood in the Obama Administration” by Frank Gaffney, click here.

Huma Abedin, former Secretary of State Hillary’s Clinton’s long time aide with extensive ties to Muslim Brotherhood groups, was granted an arrangement by the State Department to do outside consulting work, even as she remained a top advisor in the Department. Abedin did not disclose either the arrangement, or how much she earned from it, on her financial report, despite a requirement that public officials must disclose significant sources of income. Clinton advisor Philippe Reines contended she was under no obligation to do so.

Abedin, who has served Clinton for 15 years, became a “special government employee” when she returned from maternity leave in June 2012, according to an unidentified source familiar with the arrangement. According to several sources who spoke to Politico, Abedin did work for outside clients, and one of her friends confirmed they totaled four entities in all: the State Department, Hillary Clinton, the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation and Teneo, a firm co-founded by Doug Band, a former counselor for Bill Clinton.

Teneo, which promotes itself as a company that “brings together the disciplines of government and public affairs, investor and public relations and investment banking advisory in an integrated approach that allows us to provide clients with unparalleled strategic counsel and operational support,” has advised clients such as Coca Cola and MF Global, the brokerage firm that went bankrupt while it was being run by Jon Corzine, former Governor of New Jersey, and big-donor “bundler” for Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.

The disclosure was revealed as Abedin’s husband, disgraced former Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner, has begun preparations for a New York City mayoral run next year in an attempt to resuscitate his career. The city’s Conflict of Interest Board requires mayoral candidates to disclose personal financial information, including spousal sources of income, but that part of a candidate’s filing is not made public. Furthermore, because Abedin relinquished her job as deputy chief of staff last June, that change abrogated her requirement to disclose private earnings for the rest of the year on her own disclosure forms. The change of Abedin’s employment status was done so quietly, she continued to be identified in news reports as employed in her former job. On March 1, Abedin was tapped to run Clinton’s post-State Department transition team, comprised of a six-person “transition office” located in Washington.

Good government groups have questioned the potential conflict of interest that representing the public, while maintaining private clients, suggests. “If she was being held out as a deputy chief of staff, it would be highly unusual for her to be a part-time employee or a consultant,” said Melanie Sloane, executive director of CREW, an ethics watchdog group. “Being a deputy chief of staff at the State Department is generally considered more than a full-time job.”

It is not clear what role, if any, Hillary Clinton played in approving Abedin’s transition to her new job. State Department officials, as well as people who work with the Clintons, refused to talk on the record about the arrangement. And while Weiner released a copy of the couple’s 2012 tax return revealing income of more than $490,000, he also declined to discuss what portion of that income was earned by Abedin apart from her job at State, which paid her around $135,000 for the year. The remaining amount of approximately $365,000 combines consulting fees for both husband and wife, sources said.

The change in Abedin’s status permitted her to work from home in New York, rather than at the State Department’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., allowing her to spend more time with her husband and child. While Abedin was pregnant, Weiner was forced to resign from his congressional seat when it was discovered that he had Tweeted sexually charged messages, as well as nude photos of himself, to several women. Weiner vehemently denied the allegations at first, saying his account had been hacked. But mounting political pressure forced him to admit the truth and abruptly resign.

Abedin’s arrangement is similar to those of other Clinton loyalists who received compensation for their work on Clinton’s government staff, and her political action committee, while she was a U.S. Senator from New York. Furthermore, while there is no exact number of State Department officials who have a similar arrangement, a Department source told Politico it was “not uncommon.”

Perhaps not. But Abedin is anything but a common government employee. While the mainstream media remains temporarily focused on Abedin’s role with regard to her husband’s political campaign, it remains calculatingly incurious about her work with the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation, and the tens of millions of dollars in donations it has received from such entities as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the governments of Kuwait and Qatar, Saudi businessman Nasser Al-Rashid, who has close ties to the Saudi royal family, Sheikh Mohammed H. Al-Amoudi, reputed to be one of the richest men in the world, and a group called Friends of Saudi Arabia and the Dubai Foundation.

Abedin’s earlier career also remains below the radar as well. She began working with Hillary Clinton in 1996, as the then-First Lady’s intern. She remained a loyal staffer as Clinton transitioned to the Senate, and the State Department.

During part of that time, Abedin had another job as well. From 1996-2008, she also worked as assistant editor of the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs (JMMA), a publication founded by Abdullah Omar Naseef.

Naseef was also secretary general of the Muslim World League in Saudi Arabia, a highly significant Muslim Brotherhood organization Osama Bin Laden once characterized as one of his terrorist group’s chief funding sources.

Using that connection, Naseef founded the Rabita Trust, a designated terrorist organization. In the late seventies, he hired Abedin’s parents to run his newly formed Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs (IMMA). Editing its journal has remained a family enterprise to this day, and Naseef’s tenure as a member of the journal’s advisory editorial board, seven years of which coincided with Huma’s Abedin’s tenure there, lasted until 2003–the same year he was named as a defendant in a civil case brought by victims of 9/11. Naseef was dropped from the suit in 2010, when a court decided it lacked jurisdiction over him.

Dr. Saleha Abedin, Huma’s mother, still edits the JMMA. She took over when Huma’s father, Syed Zainul Abedin, passed away. Both of Abedin’s parents, as well as her brother, Hassan Abedin, have deep, documented ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Furthermore, her mother runs the International Islamic Committee for Woman and Child, which is part of yet another terror-designated organization known as the Union of Good.

It remains impossible to understand how Abedin received security clearance to work at the State Department, which allows her access to top-secret documents. Even if one makes the case that she should not be tainted by the dubious relationships maintained by her family members, it is impossible to disassociate her from her own relationship with Abdullah Omar Naseef and his organization.

Yet in a testament to the power of PC-inspired denial, when these and other sordid relationships were documented in a letter sent by Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), and Tom Rooney (R-FL) to the State Department’s Deputy Inspector General, politicians in both parties, as well as the mainstream media, accused Bachmann of engaging in a McCarthy-esque smear campaign.

The letter to the Inspector General was sent in June, the same month Abedin relinquished her position as deputy chief of staff. Whether one assumes this to be a mere coincidence or not, there is no denying that Abedin’s change in status was kept secret for nearly a year. The Obama administration could quickly put an end to this controversy by revealing the contents of Abedin’s responses contained in Standard Form 86, a “Questionnaire for National Security Positions.” That questionnaire should have been completed prior to Abedin serving in her capacity at State beginning in 2009.

No doubt a State Department up to its neck in the Benghazi scandal is too busy to respond.
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« Reply #284 on: May 23, 2013, 06:38:28 AM »

http://www.lawfareblog.com/2013/05/an-explainer-on-the-espionage-act-and-the-third-party-leak-prosecutions/
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« Reply #285 on: May 23, 2013, 06:39:04 AM »

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/article/the-case-for-drones/
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bigdog
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« Reply #286 on: May 23, 2013, 06:39:42 AM »

http://www.lawfareblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/AG-letter-5-22-132.pdf
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« Reply #287 on: May 23, 2013, 03:05:01 PM »


Excellent post BD, a very well reasoned article!  The unmanned aircraft used prudently can be an equalizer when fighting the martyr enemy who is not afraid of losing his own life.  Drone use against terror targets without a liberal uproar has been one of the few benefits we received by having Barack Obama as our President.  The movement to ban them will start as soon as a Republican again becomes Commander in Chief.  Understanding and assessing their value now is quite timely IMO.

The potential for mis-use is huge, and the blowback point is well covered.  Enemies and rivals will someday have these same capabilities that we will have to deal with.  The negatives do not change the positive case for having them and using them when needed for our own national security.
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« Reply #288 on: May 23, 2013, 10:07:07 PM »

BD has been paying attention to this subject for some time now, this is not the first quality post he has made on the subject.
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« Reply #289 on: May 24, 2013, 12:57:58 PM »

The Future of our Fight against Terrorism
 Remarks of President Barack Obama – As Prepared for Delivery
National Defense University
May 23, 2013
 
As Prepared for Delivery –
It’s an honor to return to the National Defense University. Here, at Fort McNair, Americans have served in uniform since 1791– standing guard in the early days of the Republic, and contemplating the future of warfare here in the 21st century.
For over two centuries, the United States has been bound together by founding documents that defined who we are as Americans, and served as our compass through every type of change. Matters of war and peace are no different. Americans are deeply ambivalent about war, but having fought for our independence, we know that a price must be paid for freedom. From the Civil War, to our struggle against fascism, and through the long, twilight struggle of the Cold War, battlefields have changed, and technology has evolved. But our commitment to Constitutional principles has weathered every war, and every war has come to an end.
With the collapse of the Berlin Wall, a new dawn of democracy took hold abroad, and a decade of peace and prosperity arrived at home. For a moment, it seemed the 21st century would be a tranquil time. Then, on September 11th 2001, we were shaken out of complacency. Thousands were taken from us, as clouds of fire, metal and ash descended upon a sun-filled morning. This was a different kind of war. No armies came to our shores, and our military was not the principal target. Instead, a group of terrorists came to kill as many civilians as they could.
And so our nation went to war. We have now been at war for well over a decade. I won’t review the full history. What’s clear is that we quickly drove al Qaeda out of Afghanistan, but then shifted our focus and began a new war in Iraq. This carried grave consequences for our fight against al Qaeda, our standing in the world, and – to this day – our interests in a vital region.
Meanwhile, we strengthened our defenses – hardening targets, tightening transportation security, and giving law enforcement new tools to prevent terror. Most of these changes were sound. Some caused inconvenience. But some, like expanded surveillance, raised difficult questions about the balance we strike between our interests in security and our values of privacy. And in some cases, I believe we compromised our basic values – by using torture to interrogate our enemies, and detaining individuals in a way that ran counter to the rule of law.
After I took office, we stepped up the war against al Qaeda, but also sought to change its course. We relentlessly targeted al Qaeda’s leadership. We ended the war in Iraq, and brought nearly 150,000 troops home. We pursued a new strategy in Afghanistan, and increased our training of Afghan forces. We unequivocally banned torture, affirmed our commitment to civilian courts, worked to align our policies with the rule of law, and expanded our consultations with Congress.
Today, Osama bin Laden is dead, and so are most of his top lieutenants. There have been no large-scale attacks on the United States, and our homeland is more secure. Fewer of our troops are in harm’s way, and over the next 19 months they will continue to come home. Our alliances are strong, and so is our standing in the world. In sum, we are safer because of our efforts.
Now make no mistake: our nation is still threatened by terrorists. From Benghazi to Boston, we have been tragically reminded of that truth. We must recognize, however, that the threat has shifted and evolved from the one that came to our shores on 9/11. With a decade of experience to draw from, now is the time to ask ourselves hard questions – about the nature of today’s threats, and how we should confront them.
These questions matter to every American. For over the last decade, our nation has spent well over a trillion dollars on war, exploding our deficits and constraining our ability to nation build here at home. Our service-members and their families have sacrificed far more on our behalf. Nearly 7,000 Americans have made the ultimate sacrifice. Many more have left a part of themselves on the battlefield, or brought the shadows of battle back home. From our use of drones to the detention of terrorist suspects, the decisions we are making will define the type of nation – and world – that we leave to our children.
So America is at a crossroads. We must define the nature and scope of this struggle, or else it will define us, mindful of James Madison’s warning that “No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.” Neither I, nor any President, can promise the total defeat of terror. We will never erase the evil that lies in the hearts of some human beings, nor stamp out every danger to our open society. What we can do – what we must do – is dismantle networks that pose a direct danger, and make it less likely for new groups to gain a foothold, all while maintaining the freedoms and ideals that we defend. To define that strategy, we must make decisions based not on fear, but hard-earned wisdom. And that begins with understanding the threat we face.
Today, the core of al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan is on a path to defeat. Their remaining operatives spend more time thinking about their own safety than plotting against us. They did not direct the attacks in Benghazi or Boston. They have not carried out a successful attack on our homeland since 9/11. Instead, what we’ve seen is the emergence of various al Qaeda affiliates. From Yemen to Iraq, from Somalia to North Africa, the threat today is more diffuse, with Al Qaeda’s affiliate in the Arabian Peninsula – AQAP –the most active in plotting against our homeland. While none of AQAP’s efforts approach the scale of 9/11 they have continued to plot acts of terror, like the attempt to blow up an airplane on Christmas Day in 2009.
Unrest in the Arab World has also allowed extremists to gain a foothold in countries like Libya and Syria. Here, too, there are differences from 9/11. In some cases, we confront state-sponsored networks like Hizbollah that engage in acts of terror to achieve political goals. Others are simply collections of local militias or extremists interested in seizing territory. While we are vigilant for signs that these groups may pose a transnational threat, most are focused on operating in the countries and regions where they are based. That means we will face more localized threats like those we saw in Benghazi, or at the BP oil facility in Algeria, in which local operatives – in loose affiliation with regional networks – launch periodic attacks against Western diplomats, companies, and other soft targets, or resort to kidnapping and other criminal enterprises to fund their operations.
Finally, we face a real threat from radicalized individuals here in the United States. Whether it’s a shooter at a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin; a plane flying into a building in Texas; or the extremists who killed 168 people at the Federal Building in Oklahoma City – America has confronted many forms of violent extremism in our time. Deranged or alienated individuals – often U.S. citizens or legal residents – can do enormous damage, particularly when inspired by larger notions of violent jihad. That pull towards extremism appears to have led to the shooting at Fort Hood, and the bombing of the Boston Marathon.
Lethal yet less capable al Qaeda affiliates. Threats to diplomatic facilities and businesses abroad. Homegrown extremists. This is the future of terrorism. We must take these threats seriously, and do all that we can to confront them. But as we shape our response, we have to recognize that the scale of this threat closely resembles the types of attacks we faced before 9/11. In the 1980s, we lost Americans to terrorism at our Embassy in Beirut; at our Marine Barracks in Lebanon; on a cruise ship at sea; at a disco in Berlin; and on Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie. In the 1990s, we lost Americans to terrorism at the World Trade Center; at our military facilities in Saudi Arabia; and at our Embassy in Kenya. These attacks were all deadly, and we learned that left unchecked, these threats can grow. But if dealt with smartly and proportionally, these threats need not rise to the level that we saw on the eve of 9/11.
Moreover, we must recognize that these threats don’t arise in a vacuum. Most, though not all, of the terrorism we face is fueled by a common ideology – a belief by some extremists that Islam is in conflict with the United States and the West, and that violence against Western targets, including civilians, is justified in pursuit of a larger cause. Of course, this ideology is based on a lie, for the United States is not at war with Islam; and this ideology is rejected by the vast majority of Muslims, who are the most frequent victims of terrorist acts.
Nevertheless, this ideology persists, and in an age in which ideas and images can travel the globe in an instant, our response to terrorism cannot depend on military or law enforcement alone. We need all elements of national power to win a battle of wills and ideas. So let me discuss the components of such a comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy.
First, we must finish the work of defeating al Qaeda and its associated forces.
In Afghanistan, we will complete our transition to Afghan responsibility for security. Our troops will come home. Our combat mission will come to an end. And we will work with the Afghan government to train security forces, and sustain a counter-terrorism force which ensures that al Qaeda can never again establish a safe-haven to launch attacks against us or our allies.
Beyond Afghanistan, we must define our effort not as a boundless ‘global war on terror’ – but rather as a series of persistent, targeted efforts to dismantle specific networks of violent extremists that threaten America. In many cases, this will involve partnerships with other countries. Thousands of Pakistani soldiers have lost their lives fighting extremists. In Yemen, we are supporting security forces that have reclaimed territory from AQAP. In Somalia, we helped a coalition of African nations push al Shabaab out of its strongholds. In Mali, we are providing military aid to a French-led intervention to push back al Qaeda in the Maghreb, and help the people of Mali reclaim their future.
Much of our best counter-terrorism cooperation results in the gathering and sharing of intelligence; the arrest and prosecution of terrorists. That’s how a Somali terrorist apprehended off the coast of Yemen is now in prison in New York. That’s how we worked with European allies to disrupt plots from Denmark to Germany to the United Kingdom. That’s how intelligence collected with Saudi Arabia helped us stop a cargo plane from being blown up over the Atlantic.
But despite our strong preference for the detention and prosecution of terrorists, sometimes this approach is foreclosed. Al Qaeda and its affiliates try to gain a foothold in some of the most distant and unforgiving places on Earth. They take refuge in remote tribal regions. They hide in caves and walled compounds. They train in empty deserts and rugged mountains.
In some of these places – such as parts of Somalia and Yemen – the state has only the most tenuous reach into the territory. In other cases, the state lacks the capacity or will to take action. It is also not possible for America to simply deploy a team of Special Forces to capture every terrorist. And even when such an approach may be possible, there are places where it would pose profound risks to our troops and local civilians– where a terrorist compound cannot be breached without triggering a firefight with surrounding tribal communities that pose no threat to us, or when putting U.S. boots on the ground may trigger a major international crisis.
To put it another way, our operation in Pakistan against Osama bin Laden cannot be the norm. The risks in that case were immense; the likelihood of capture, although our preference, was remote given the certainty of resistance; the fact that we did not find ourselves confronted with civilian casualties, or embroiled in an extended firefight, was a testament to the meticulous planning and professionalism of our Special Forces – but also depended on some luck. And even then, the cost to our relationship with Pakistan – and the backlash among the Pakistani public over encroachment on their territory – was so severe that we are just now beginning to rebuild this important partnership.
It is in this context that the United States has taken lethal, targeted action against al Qaeda and its associated forces, including with remotely piloted aircraft commonly referred to as drones. As was true in previous armed conflicts, this new technology raises profound questions – about who is targeted, and why; about civilian casualties, and the risk of creating new enemies; about the legality of such strikes under U.S. and international law; about accountability and morality.
Let me address these questions. To begin with, our actions are effective. Don’t take my word for it. In the intelligence gathered at bin Laden’s compound, we found that he wrote, “we could lose the reserves to the enemy’s air strikes. We cannot fight air strikes with explosives.” Other communications from al Qaeda operatives confirm this as well. Dozens of highly skilled al Qaeda commanders, trainers, bomb makers, and operatives have been taken off the battlefield. Plots have been disrupted that would have targeted international aviation, U.S. transit systems, European cities and our troops in Afghanistan. Simply put, these strikes have saved lives.
Moreover, America’s actions are legal. We were attacked on 9/11. Within a week, Congress overwhelmingly authorized the use of force. Under domestic law, and international law, the United States is at war with al Qaeda, the Taliban, and their associated forces. We are at war with an organization that right now would kill as many Americans as they could if we did not stop them first. So this is a just war – a war waged proportionally, in last resort, and in self-defense.
And yet as our fight enters a new phase, America’s legitimate claim of self-defense cannot be the end of the discussion. To say a military tactic is legal, or even effective, is not to say it is wise or moral in every instance. For the same human progress that gives us the technology to strike half a world away also demands the discipline to constrain that power – or risk abusing it. That’s why, over the last four years, my Administration has worked vigorously to establish a framework that governs our use of force against terrorists – insisting upon clear guidelines, oversight and accountability that is now codified in Presidential Policy Guidance that I signed yesterday.
In the Afghan war theater, we must support our troops until the transition is complete at the end of 2014. That means we will continue to take strikes against high value al Qaeda targets, but also against forces that are massing to support attacks on coalition forces. However, by the end of 2014, we will no longer have the same need for force protection, and the progress we have made against core al Qaeda will reduce the need for unmanned strikes.
Beyond the Afghan theater, we only target al Qaeda and its associated forces. Even then, the use of drones is heavily constrained. America does not take strikes when we have the ability to capture individual terrorists – our preference is always to detain, interrogate, and prosecute them. America cannot take strikes wherever we choose – our actions are bound by consultations with partners, and respect for state sovereignty. America does not take strikes to punish individuals – we act against terrorists who pose a continuing and imminent threat to the American people, and when there are no other governments capable of effectively addressing the threat. And before any strike is taken, there must be near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured – the highest standard we can set.
This last point is critical, because much of the criticism about drone strikes – at home and abroad – understandably centers on reports of civilian casualties. There is a wide gap between U.S. assessments of such casualties, and non-governmental reports. Nevertheless, it is a hard fact that U.S. strikes have resulted in civilian casualties, a risk that exists in all wars. For the families of those civilians, no words or legal construct can justify their loss. For me, and those in my chain of command, these deaths will haunt us as long as we live, just as we are haunted by the civilian casualties that have occurred through conventional fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.
But as Commander-in-Chief, I must weigh these heartbreaking tragedies against the alternatives. To do nothing in the face of terrorist networks would invite far more civilian casualties – not just in our cities at home and facilities abroad, but also in the very places –like Sana’a and Kabul and Mogadishu – where terrorists seek a foothold. Let us remember that the terrorists we are after target civilians, and the death toll from their acts of terrorism against Muslims dwarfs any estimate of civilian casualties from drone strikes.
Where foreign governments cannot or will not effectively stop terrorism in their territory, the primary alternative to targeted, lethal action is the use of conventional military options. As I’ve said, even small Special Operations carry enormous risks. Conventional airpower or missiles are far less precise than drones, and likely to cause more civilian casualties and local outrage. And invasions of these territories lead us to be viewed as occupying armies; unleash a torrent of unintended consequences; are difficult to contain; and ultimately empower those who thrive on violent conflict. So it is false to assert that putting boots on the ground is less likely to result in civilian deaths, or to create enemies in the Muslim world. The result would be more U.S. deaths, more Blackhawks down, more confrontations with local populations, and an inevitable mission creep in support of such raids that could easily escalate into new wars.
So yes, the conflict with al Qaeda, like all armed conflict, invites tragedy. But by narrowly targeting our action against those who want to kill us, and not the people they hide among, we are choosing the course of action least likely to result in the loss of innocent life. Indeed, our efforts must also be measured against the history of putting American troops in distant lands among hostile populations. In Vietnam, hundreds of thousands of civilians died in a war where the boundaries of battle were blurred. In Iraq and Afghanistan, despite the courage and discipline of our troops, thousands of civilians have been killed. So neither conventional military action, nor waiting for attacks to occur, offers moral safe-harbor. Neither does a sole reliance on law enforcement in territories that have no functioning police or security services – and indeed, have no functioning law.
This is not to say that the risks are not real. Any U.S. military action in foreign lands risks creating more enemies, and impacts public opinion overseas. Our laws constrain the power of the President, even during wartime, and I have taken an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States. The very precision of drones strikes, and the necessary secrecy involved in such actions can end up shielding our government from the public scrutiny that a troop deployment invites. It can also lead a President and his team to view drone strikes as a cure-all for terrorism.
For this reason, I’ve insisted on strong oversight of all lethal action. After I took office, my Administration began briefing all strikes outside of Iraq and Afghanistan to the appropriate committees of Congress. Let me repeat that – not only did Congress authorize the use of force, it is briefed on every strike that America takes. That includes the one instance when we targeted an American citizen: Anwar Awlaki, the chief of external operations for AQAP.
This week, I authorized the declassification of this action, and the deaths of three other Americans in drone strikes, to facilitate transparency and debate on this issue, and to dismiss some of the more outlandish claims. For the record, I do not believe it would be constitutional for the government to target and kill any U.S. citizen – with a drone, or a shotgun – without due process. Nor should any President deploy armed drones over U.S. soil.
But when a U.S. citizen goes abroad to wage war against America – and is actively plotting to kill U.S. citizens; and when neither the United States, nor our partners are in a position to capture him before he carries out a plot – his citizenship should no more serve as a shield than a sniper shooting down on an innocent crowd should be protected from a swat team
That’s who Anwar Awlaki was – he was continuously trying to kill people. He helped oversee the 2010 plot to detonate explosive devices on two U.S. bound cargo planes. He was involved in planning to blow up an airliner in 2009. When Farouk Abdulmutallab – the Christmas Day bomber – went to Yemen in 2009, Awlaki hosted him, approved his suicide operation, and helped him tape a martyrdom video to be shown after the attack. His last instructions were to blow up the airplane when it was over American soil. I would have detained and prosecuted Awlaki if we captured him before he carried out a plot. But we couldn’t. And as President, I would have been derelict in my duty had I not authorized the strike that took out Awlaki.
Of course, the targeting of any Americans raises constitutional issues that are not present in other strikes – which is why my Administration submitted information about Awlaki to the Department of Justice months before Awlaki was killed, and briefed the Congress before this strike as well. But the high threshold that we have set for taking lethal action applies to all potential terrorist targets, regardless of whether or not they are American citizens. This threshold respects the inherent dignity of every human life. Alongside the decision to put our men and women in uniform in harm’s way, the decision to use force against individuals or groups – even against a sworn enemy of the United States – is the hardest thing I do as President. But these decisions must be made, given my responsibility to protect the American people.
Going forward, I have asked my Administration to review proposals to extend oversight of lethal actions outside of warzones that go beyond our reporting to Congress. Each option has virtues in theory, but poses difficulties in practice. For example, the establishment of a special court to evaluate and authorize lethal action has the benefit of bringing a third branch of government into the process, but raises serious constitutional issues about presidential and judicial authority. Another idea that’s been suggested – the establishment of an independent oversight board in the executive branch – avoids those problems, but may introduce a layer of bureaucracy into national-security decision-making, without inspiring additional public confidence in the process. Despite these challenges, I look forward to actively engaging Congress to explore these – and other – options for increased oversight.
I believe, however, that the use of force must be seen as part of a larger discussion about a comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy. Because for all the focus on the use of force, force alone cannot make us safe. We cannot use force everywhere that a radical ideology takes root; and in the absence of a strategy that reduces the well-spring of extremism, a perpetual war – through drones or Special Forces or troop deployments – will prove self-defeating, and alter our country in troubling ways.
So the next element of our strategy involves addressing the underlying grievances and conflicts that feed extremism, from North Africa to South Asia. As we’ve learned this past decade, this is a vast and complex undertaking. We must be humble in our expectation that we can quickly resolve deep rooted problems like poverty and sectarian hatred. Moreover, no two countries are alike, and some will undergo chaotic change before things get better. But our security and values demand that we make the effort.
This means patiently supporting transitions to democracy in places like Egypt, Tunisia and Libya – because the peaceful realization of individual aspirations will serve as a rebuke to violent extremists. We must strengthen the opposition in Syria, while isolating extremist elements – because the end of a tyrant must not give way to the tyranny of terrorism. We are working to promote peace between Israelis and Palestinians – because it is right, and because such a peace could help reshape attitudes in the region. And we must help countries modernize economies, upgrade education, and encourage entrepreneurship – because American leadership has always been elevated by our ability to connect with peoples’ hopes, and not simply their fears.
Success on these fronts requires sustained engagement, but it will also require resources. I know that foreign aid is one of the least popular expenditures – even though it amounts to less than one percent of the federal budget. But foreign assistance cannot be viewed as charity. It is fundamental to our national security, and any sensible long-term strategy to battle extremism. Moreover, foreign assistance is a tiny fraction of what we spend fighting wars that our assistance might ultimately prevent. For what we spent in a month in Iraq at the height of the war, we could be training security forces in Libya, maintaining peace agreements between Israel and its neighbors, feeding the hungry in Yemen, building schools in Pakistan, and creating reservoirs of goodwill that marginalize extremists.
America cannot carry out this work if we do not have diplomats serving in dangerous places. Over the past decade, we have strengthened security at our Embassies, and I am implementing every recommendation of the Accountability Review Board which found unacceptable failures in Benghazi. I have called on Congress to fully fund these efforts to bolster security, harden facilities, improve intelligence, and facilitate a quicker response time from our military if a crisis emerges.
But even after we take these steps, some irreducible risks to our diplomats will remain. This is the price of being the world’s most powerful nation, particularly as a wave of change washes over the Arab World. And in balancing the trade-offs between security and active diplomacy, I firmly believe that any retreat from challenging regions will only increase the dangers we face in the long run.
Targeted action against terrorists. Effective partnerships. Diplomatic engagement and assistance. Through such a comprehensive strategy we can significantly reduce the chances of large scale attacks on the homeland and mitigate threats to Americans overseas. As we guard against dangers from abroad, however, we cannot neglect the daunting challenge of terrorism from within our borders.
As I said earlier, this threat is not new. But technology and the Internet increase its frequency and lethality. Today, a person can consume hateful propaganda, commit themselves to a violent agenda, and learn how to kill without leaving their home. To address this threat, two years ago my Administration did a comprehensive review, and engaged with law enforcement. The best way to prevent violent extremism is to work with the Muslim American community – which has consistently rejected terrorism – to identify signs of radicalization, and partner with law enforcement when an individual is drifting towards violence. And these partnerships can only work when we recognize that Muslims are a fundamental part of the American family. Indeed, the success of American Muslims, and our determination to guard against any encroachments on their civil liberties, is the ultimate rebuke to those who say we are at war with Islam.
Indeed, thwarting homegrown plots presents particular challenges in part because of our proud commitment to civil liberties for all who call America home. That’s why, in the years to come, we will have to keep working hard to strike the appropriate balance between our need for security and preserving those freedoms that make us who we are. That means reviewing the authorities of law enforcement, so we can intercept new types of communication, and build in privacy protections to prevent abuse. That means that – even after Boston – we do not deport someone or throw someone in prison in the absence of evidence. That means putting careful constraints on the tools the government uses to protect sensitive information, such as the State Secrets doctrine. And that means finally having a strong Privacy and Civil Liberties Board to review those issues where our counter-terrorism efforts and our values may come into tension.
The Justice Department’s investigation of national security leaks offers a recent example of the challenges involved in striking the right balance between our security and our open society. As Commander-in Chief, I believe we must keep information secret that protects our operations and our people in the field. To do so, we must enforce consequences for those who break the law and breach their commitment to protect classified information. But a free press is also essential for our democracy. I am troubled by the possibility that leak investigations may chill the investigative journalism that holds government accountable.
Journalists should not be at legal risk for doing their jobs. Our focus must be on those who break the law. That is why I have called on Congress to pass a media shield law to guard against government over-reach. I have raised these issues with the Attorney General, who shares my concern. So he has agreed to review existing Department of Justice guidelines governing investigations that involve reporters, and will convene a group of media organizations to hear their concerns as part of that review. And I have directed the Attorney General to report back to me by July 12th.
All these issues remind us that the choices we make about war can impact – in sometimes unintended ways – the openness and freedom on which our way of life depends. And that is why I intend to engage Congress about the existing Authorization to Use Military Force, or AUMF, to determine how we can continue to fight terrorists without keeping America on a perpetual war-time footing.
The AUMF is now nearly twelve years old. The Afghan War is coming to an end. Core al Qaeda is a shell of its former self. Groups like AQAP must be dealt with, but in the years to come, not every collection of thugs that labels themselves al Qaeda will pose a credible threat to the United States. Unless we discipline our thinking and our actions, we may be drawn into more wars we don’t need to fight, or continue to grant Presidents unbound powers more suited for traditional armed conflicts between nation states. So I look forward to engaging Congress and the American people in efforts to refine, and ultimately repeal, the AUMF’s mandate. And I will not sign laws designed to expand this mandate further. Our systematic effort to dismantle terrorist organizations must continue. But this war, like all wars, must end. That’s what history advises. That’s what our democracy demands.
And that brings me to my final topic: the detention of terrorist suspects.
To repeat, as a matter of policy, the preference of the United States is to capture terrorist suspects. When we do detain a suspect, we interrogate them. And if the suspect can be prosecuted, we decide whether to try him in a civilian court or a Military Commission. Duringthe past decade, the vast majority of those detained by our military were captured on the battlefield. In Iraq, we turned over thousands of prisoners as we ended the war. In Afghanistan, we have transitioned detention facilities to the Afghans, as part of the process of restoring Afghan sovereignty. So we bring law of war detention to an end, and we are committed to prosecuting terrorists whenever we can.
The glaring exception to this time-tested approach is the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. The original premise for opening GTMO – that detainees would not be able to challenge their detention – was found unconstitutional five years ago. In the meantime, GTMO has become a symbol around the world for an America that flouts the rule of law. Our allies won’t cooperate with us if they think a terrorist will end up at GTMO. During a time of budget cuts, we spend $150 million each year to imprison 166 people –almost $1 million per prisoner. And the Department of Defense estimates that we must spend another $200 million to keep GTMO open at a time when we are cutting investments in education and research here at home.
As President, I have tried to close GTMO. I transferred 67 detainees to other countries before Congress imposed restrictions to effectively prevent us from either transferring detainees to other countries, or imprisoning them in the United States. These restrictions make no sense. After all, under President Bush, some 530 detainees were transferred from GTMO with Congress’s support. When I ran for President the first time, John McCain supported closing GTMO. No person has ever escaped from one of our super-max or military prisons in the United States. Our courts have convicted hundreds of people for terrorism-related offenses, including some who are more dangerous than most GTMO detainees. Given my Administration’s relentless pursuit of al Qaeda’s leadership, there is no justification beyond politics for Congress to prevent us from closing a facility that should never have been opened.
Today, I once again call on Congress to lift the restrictions on detainee transfers from GTMO. I have asked the Department of Defense to designate a site in the United States where we can hold military commissions. I am appointing a new, senior envoy at the State Department and Defense Department whose sole responsibility will be to achieve the transfer of detainees to third countries. I am lifting the moratorium on detainee transfers to Yemen, so we can review them on a case by case basis. To the greatest extent possible, we will transfer detainees who have been cleared to go to other countries. Where appropriate, we will bring terrorists to justice in our courts and military justice system. And we will insist that judicial review be available for every detainee.
Even after we take these steps, one issue will remain: how to deal with those GTMO detainees who we know have participated in dangerous plots or attacks, but who cannot be prosecuted – for example because the evidence against them has been compromised or is inadmissible in a court of law. But once we commit to a process of closing GTMO, I am confident that this legacy problem can be resolved, consistent with our commitment to the rule of law.
I know the politics are hard. But history will cast a harsh judgment on this aspect of our fight against terrorism, and those of us who fail to end it. Imagine a future – ten years from now, or twenty years from now – when the United States of America is still holding people who have been charged with no crime on a piece of land that is not a part of our country. Look at the current situation, where we are force-feeding detainees who are holding a hunger strike. Is that who we are? Is that something that our Founders foresaw? Is that the America we want to leave to our children?
Our sense of justice is stronger than that. We have prosecuted scores of terrorists in our courts. That includes Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried to blow up an airplane over Detroit; and Faisal Shahzad, who put a car bomb in Times Square. It is in a court of law that we will try Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is accused of bombing the Boston Marathon. Richard Reid, the shoe bomber, is as we speak serving a life sentence in a maximum security prison here, in the United States. In sentencing Reid, Judge William Young told him, “the way we treat you…is the measure of our own liberties.” He went on to point to the American flag that flew in the courtroom – “That flag,” he said, “will fly there long after this is all forgotten. That flag still stands for freedom.”
America, we have faced down dangers far greater than al Qaeda. By staying true to the values of our founding, and by using our constitutional compass, we have overcome slavery and Civil War; fascism and communism. In just these last few years as President, I have watched the American people bounce back from painful recession, mass shootings, and natural disasters like the recent tornados that devastated Oklahoma. These events were heartbreaking; they shook our communities to the core. But because of the resilience of the American people, these events could not come close to breaking us.
I think of Lauren Manning, the 9/11 survivor who had severe burns over 80 percent of her body, who said, “That’s my reality. I put a Band-Aid on it, literally, and I move on.”
I think of the New Yorkers who filled Times Square the day after an attempted car bomb as if nothing had happened.
I think of the proud Pakistani parents who, after their daughter was invited to the White House, wrote to us, “we have raised an American Muslim daughter to dream big and never give up because it does pay off.”
I think of the wounded warriors rebuilding their lives, and helping other vets to find jobs.
I think of the runner planning to do the 2014 Boston Marathon, who said, “Next year, you are going to have more people than ever. Determination is not something to be messed with.”
That’s who the American people are. Determined, and not to be messed with.
Now, we need a strategy – and a politics –that reflects this resilient spirit. Our victory against terrorism won’t be measured in a surrender ceremony on a battleship, or a statue being pulled to the ground. Victory will be measured in parents taking their kids to school; immigrants coming to our shores; fans taking in a ballgame; a veteran starting a business; a bustling city street. The quiet determination; that strength of character and bond of fellowship; that refutation of fear – that is both our sword and our shield. And long after the current messengers of hate have faded from the world’s memory, alongside the brutal despots, deranged madmen, and ruthless demagogues who litter history – the flag of the United States will still wave from small-town cemeteries, to national monuments, to distant outposts abroad.  And that flag will still stand for freedom.
Thank you. God Bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #290 on: May 24, 2013, 07:42:00 PM »

BD:  That would also fit in the Foreign Policy thread as well.  Would you put it there too please?

Interesting on many levels and as I wait to be picked up for dinner I cannot address them, but I can briefly note that this caught my attention:

"Whether it’s a shooter at a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin; a plane flying into a building in Texas; or the extremists who killed 168 people at the Federal Building in Oklahoma City – America has confronted many forms of violent extremism in our time. Deranged or alienated individuals – often U.S. citizens or legal residents – can do enormous damage, particularly when inspired by larger notions of violent jihad. That pull towards extremism appears to have led to the shooting at Fort Hood, and the bombing of the Boston Marathon.  Lethal yet less capable al Qaeda affiliates. Threats to diplomatic facilities and businesses abroad. Homegrown extremists."
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #291 on: May 27, 2013, 09:55:39 PM »

http://enews.earthlink.net/article/us?guid=20130527/6cfda5b1-7eaf-4ba7-acc2-26860703e096
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G M
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« Reply #292 on: May 28, 2013, 07:32:50 AM »


The most surprising thing about the article was that EarthLink is still in business.  wink

As far as problems, the fact that Clapper is anywhere near the US intelligence infrastructure is the first clue.
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bigdog
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« Reply #293 on: May 29, 2013, 07:17:54 AM »

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/obamas-new-drone-policy-has-cause-for-concern/2013/05/25/0daad8be-c480-11e2-914f-a7aba60512a7_story.html

From the article:

President Obama’s decision also came down to a determination that the CIA was simply better than the Defense Department at locating and killing al-Qaeda operatives with armed drones, according to current and former U.S. officials involved in the deliberations. Even now, as the president plans to shift most drone operations back to the military, many U.S. counter­terrorism officials are convinced that gap in capabilities has not been erased.
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bigdog
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« Reply #294 on: May 30, 2013, 06:46:12 AM »

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/comey-in-line-to-become-fbi-director-officials-say/2013/05/29/7a730b0a-c8af-11e2-9f1a-1a7cdee20287_story.html?hpid=z1
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bigdog
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« Reply #295 on: June 05, 2013, 11:07:39 AM »

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/06/05/donilons_legacy

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/05/28/barack_obama_s_gray_man_tom_donilon_national_security

More on Tom Donilon and Susan Rice.
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Dog Robertlk808
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« Reply #296 on: June 05, 2013, 12:58:01 PM »

Bradley Manning Trial Begins

The court-martial of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning for offenses related to the leak of classified information has begun. Manning, who has been detained since his 2010 arrest, allegedly gave more than 700,000 government and military documents to WikiLeaks. Among the 22 charges. Manning faces is a count of aiding the enemy, which could bring a life sentence without the chance of parole.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/bradley-manning-court-martial-opens/2013/06/03/9c65ea48-cc51-11e2-8f6b-67f40e176f03_story.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/bradley-manning-leak-trial-set-to-open-monday-amid-secrecy-and-controversy/2013/06/01/b2bad2fa-c93a-11e2-9f1a-1a7cdee20287_story.html
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"You see, it's not the blood you spill that gets you what you want, it's the blood you share. Your family, your friendships, your community, these are the most valuable things a man can have." Before Dishonor - Hatebreed
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #297 on: June 05, 2013, 01:58:42 PM »

but not to worry, it was to Hollywood folks for the good of the President

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/06/leon-panetta-seal-leak-92263.html
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #298 on: June 18, 2013, 02:21:51 PM »

a) Hat tip to our BigDog:

http://themonkeycage.org/2013/06/14/the-oversight-of-too-much-oversight/

b)

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bigdog
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« Reply #299 on: June 21, 2013, 09:52:06 PM »

http://killerapps.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/06/21/the_british_are_spying_on_us_and_theyve_got_more_access_than_the_nsa

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/technology/2013/06/facebooks-former-security-chief-now-works-nsa/66432/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/20/fisa-court-nsa-without-warrant
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