Jay Carney: Benghazi Happened ‘a long time ago.’
Truth About to Be Exposed Even After Eight Months of Lies and Stonewalling?
By John Lillpop
Sunday, May 5, 2013
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney tried to minimize the importance of questions about the September 11, 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya and subsequent cover-up allegations with these words:
“Benghazi happened a long time ago. We are unaware of any agency blocking an employee who would like to appear before Congress to provide information related to Benghazi.”
Carney’s weasel word-answer makes it all the more imperative to get to the bottom of the leftist media-White House cover-up which, had the press corps been even slightly professional, might have seen Barack Obama sent home with just four years of harm inflicted on the nation and its people, rather than still in the White House and doing greater damage every day.
Nonetheless, as reported at reference 2, determined patriots remain committed to unraveling the Benghazi nonsense and appear ready to unravel with a bang next week:
Their identities have been a well-guarded secret, known only to their high-powered lawyers and a handful of House lawmakers and staff. But now Fox News has learned the names of the self-described Benghazi “whistleblowers” who are set to testify before a widely anticipated congressional hearing on Wednesday.
Appearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will be three career State Department officials: Gregory N. Hicks, the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Libya at the time of the Benghazi terrorist attacks; Mark I. Thompson, a former Marine and now the deputy coordinator for Operations in the agency’s Counter terrorism Bureau; and Eric Nordstrom, a diplomatic security officer who was the regional security officer in Libya, the top security officer in the country in the months leading up to the attacks.
U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. outpost in Benghazi, Libya.
At the time of Stevens’s death, Hicks became the highest-ranking American diplomat in Libya.
Nordstrom previously testified before the oversight committee, which is chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., in October 2012. Of the three witnesses, he is the only one who does not consider himself a whistleblower. At last fall’s hearing, however, Nordstrom made headlines by detailing for lawmakers the series of requests that he, Ambassador Stevens, and others had made for enhanced security at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi in the period preceding the attacks, requests mostly rejected by State Department superiors.
“For me the Taliban is on the inside of the [State Department] building,” Nordstrom testified, angry over inadequate staffing at a time when the threat environment in Benghazi was deteriorating. The other two witnesses have not been heard from publicly before.
Hicks is a veteran Foreign Service officer whose overseas postings have also included Afghanistan, Syria, and Yemen.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican and committee member, said Hicks was in Tripoli at 9:40 p.m. local time when he received one of Stevens’ earliest phone calls amid the crisis.
“We’re under attack! We’re under attack!” the ambassador reportedly shouted into his cell phone at Hicks.
Chaffetz, who subsequently debriefed Hicks, also said the deputy “immediately called into Washington to trigger all the mechanisms” for an inter-agency response.
“The real-life trauma that [Hicks] went through,” Chaffetz recalled to Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren, “I mean, I really felt it in his voice. It was hard to listen to. He’s gone through a lot, but he did a great job.”
According to the State Department web site, Thompson “advises senior leadership on operational counter terrorism matters, and ensures that the United States can rapidly respond to global terrorism crises.”
Five years before the Benghazi attacks, he lectured at a symposium hosted by the University of Central Florida and titled “The Global Terrorism Challenge: Answers to Key Questions.”
Joe diGenova, a former U.S. attorney, and wife Victoria Toensing, a former chief counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee—Republicans—disclosed this week that in their private practice in the nation’s capital, they now represent, pro bono two career State Department employees who regard themselves as “whistleblowers” and would be testifying before Issa’s committee at its next Benghazi hearing, on May 8.
The lawyers said their clients believe their accounts of Benghazi were spurned by the Accountability Review board (ARB), the official investigative body convened by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to review the terrorist attacks, and that the two employees have faced threats and intimidation from as-yet-unnamed superiors.
“I’m not talking generally, I’m talking specifically about Benghazi—that people have been threatened,” Toensing told Fox News on Wednesday. “And not just the State Department; people have been threatened at the CIA. … It’s frightening. …They’re taking career people and making them well aware that their careers will be over.”
DiGenova told Fox News on Thursday, by way of describing his and Toensing’s respective clients: “There were people who were material witnesses, who wanted to talk to [the ARB], and they were not allowed to talk to them.
“The people that we are representing are career civil servants…people who have served the country overseas…in dangerous positions all over the world, have risked their lives and only want to tell the truth.”
Stay tuned, Jay Carney! You may be taught that time alone can not always prevent the pursuit of truth!
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Sun May 05, 2013 6:38 am
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Lies, Damned Lies & Sadistics: The IMF’s Role As Bankster Enforcer
SATURDAY, APRIL 20, 2013
Contributed by Don Quijones, a freelance writer and translator based in Barcelona, Spain. His blog, Raging Bull-Shit, is a modest attempt to challenge some of the wishful thinking and scrub away the lathers of soft soap peddled by our political and business leaders and their loyal mainstream media.
“We make or break human life every day of every year as probably no other force on earth has ever done in the past or will ever do again.”
The above rather dramatic quote comes courtesy of one Davison L Budhoo, a former International Monetary Fund economist who in 1988 broke ranks with the Fund, publishing a scathing 150-page resignation letter. In it he accused the organization of corruption, self-interest, and deceit.
Not that the Fund, then headed by Frenchman Michel Camdessus, was particularly fazed by the allegations. In those days there was no Internet, so the story didn’t exactly go “viral”; in fact, it barely got a mention in the mainstream or financial press. As such, following a spattering of articles in a few specialist newspapers and magazines, Buddhoo’s accusations were quickly forgotten.
The IMF breathed a sigh of relief, brushed off its Brook Brothers jacket and continued about its business. No inquiry or investigation was launched, no changes were made to the Fund’s operational policies and no heads rolled.
Such aversion to change has become a defining characteristic of the Fund. The result is that while the global economy may have changed beyond all recognition in the last 35 years, with countries like China, India and Brazil rising to the fore, the IMF’s role within it seems to have remained locked in time. The only difference of note (apart from the fact that, in the ballsy, perma-tanned Christine Lagarde, it has its first ever female managing director) is that instead of preying primarily on the world’s poorest, weakest and most defenseless nations — many of which have since become big creditors — the IMF, now a protagonist in Europe’s dreaded Troika, has its sights set on much bigger trophies.
The chicken, it seems, has finally come home to roost. Now it is Europe’s turn to feel the sharp taste of the Fund’s medicine. Slowly but surely the hapless inhabitants of struggling eurozone countries such as Greece, Portugal and Ireland are beginning to realize what many Africans, Asians, Latin Americans and Eastern Europeans learnt through bitter painful experience in the seventies, eighties and nineties — namely that when the IMF, armed with its balance sheets and a calculator, comes calling, you’d better hope you’re out.
For the IMF is, in plain speaking terms, the global banksters’ number one enforcer — a role it has executed (pun intended) with fervor and aplomb ever since the Bretton Woods agreement (though it wasn’t until Nixon’s launch of the floating exchange regime in 1971 that the organization began forcefully dictating economic policy to supposedly sovereign nations).
The Fund is essentially to the big global banks and corporations what Luca Brasi was to Vito Corleone or, to cite a real-world example, what Francesco Raffaele Nitto was to Al Capone. But rather than use real violence, or even the threat of violence, the IMF’s henchmen have far subtler means at their disposal, as John Perkins, the author of the best-selling book Confessions of An Economic Hitman, explains:
One of my jobs as an economic hit man was to identify countries that had resources like oil and arrange huge loans for those countries from the World Bank and sister organizations. But the money would never go to the actual country; instead it would go to our own corporations to build infrastructure projects in that country like power plants and industrial parks; things that would benefit a few very wealthy families.
So then the people of the country would be left holding this huge debt that they couldn’t repay… That’s when the IMF comes in [saying] ‘We’ll help you restructure your loan, but in order to do that you have to meet certain conditionalities. You have to sell your oil or whatever the coveted resource is at a cheap price, to the oil companies without restrictions.’ Or they would suggest the country sell electric utilities, water and sewage, maybe even its schools and jails to private multi-national corporations.
According to Perkins, it was only when a national leader took a rare principled stand, refusing to sell off all of their country’s resources to international conglomerates at bargain basement prices, that the real goons, or what Perkins calls “the Jackals,” would be sent in, as is alleged to have happened in the highly suspicious deaths, in the early eighties, of Panama’s leader Omar Efraín Torrijos Herrera and Jaime Roldos, the democratically elected president of Ecuador.
(For more information on the economic hitmen, watch the videos here and here)
Much of the damage the IMF inflicts on national and regional economies stems from its frequent use of flawed statistical data, which often just so happens to suit its own interests (or at least those of its “bosses”), invariably at the expense of its supposed clients’.
The Fund’s program in Trinidad and Tobago in the late seventies and early eighties, in which Budhoo, the IMF whistle-blower, participated, is a perfect case in point. In his resignation letter Budhoo asserted:
We manipulated, blatantly and systematically, certain key statistical indices so as to put ourselves in a position where we could make very false pronouncements about (the) economic and financial performance of that country… Quite frankly, our ‘program’ is nothing but a hotchpotch of irreconcilable and conflicting elements and objectives; it reduces economics to a farce.
Even when the inaccuracy of the IMF’s statistics was exposed by the Fund’s own statisticians, the IMF neither owned up, nor apologized to the Trinidad and Tobagan government. Nor did it publicly correct its misinformation despite the implications of its judgment for foreign investment.
As well it might, for the IMF knows full well that when it comes to its woefully wayward forecasting and deeply flawed track-record, it is protected by a code of silence, or as the Italian mafia would put it, Omerta. As such, the mainstream media always treats the Funds with the gentlest of kid gloves, rarely, if ever, questioning its methods or mission.
But this is no longer 1988 and thanks to the rise of the Internet and the tireless investigative efforts of new online media outlets, more and more people are beginning to see through the obfuscation to the stark reality of the IMF’s less-than-kosher role in the global economy — and not a moment too soon, for it seems that the IMF’s remedial problems with basic math are part of a much broader degenerative condition, as Zerohedge recently reported:
“That the IMF is the most unwavering optimist despite fundamentals, facts and reality has been well-documented… Over the past year’s six outlook revisions, the IMF has been forced to downgrade, with quarterly precision, its overly optimistic forecasts for virtually every part of the world, from the US, to the Euroarea, to China, and of course, the entire world” (click here to see Zerohedge’s graphic presentation of the IMF’s fumbling predictions skills in all their glory).
A Vast Trail of Ruin
When the IMF was founded, in 1945, it was granted two defining missions: to oversee the fixed exchange rate arrangements between countries, thus helping national governments manage their exchange rates and allowing these governments to prioritize economic growth; and to provide short-term capital to aid balance-of-payments.
Which all sounds well and good, and there can be no doubting that the fund played a crucial role in helping stabilize the post-war global economy. However, since becoming an essential tool of the neoliberal agenda in the 1970s, the IMF has failed to help a single country get its economy back on the straight and narrow. As Buddhoo told the New Internationalist, “I dare anyone in the Fund to point to a country and say it is much better off economically today because of a Fund program.”
The tragic reality is that the IMF’s ideologically-driven program of structural reforms and iron-clad conditionalities has left in its wake a vast trail of economic destruction, political instability, poverty, hunger and sickness. Once a country gets caught in its vice-like grip, economic decline and decay is all but guaranteed, as Greece, Portugal and Ireland are now learning.
And what with the list of European countries falling victim to the Troika’s not-so-short-but-pretty-damned-sharp shock treatment continues to grow, one can only wonder where the trail of carnage will end. Contributed by Don Quijones.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:08 am
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Steve H. Hanke
The Mehr News Agency is now reporting that Iran’s annual inflation rate has reached 31.5%. According to the Central Bank’s official line, Iran’s annual inflation rate has bumped up only 1.3 percentage points from February to March.
Never mind that this official inflation statistic is well below all serious estimates of Iran’s inflation. And yes, Iran’s official inflation statistics are also contradicted by the overwhelming body of anecdotal reports in the financial press.
Since September 2012, I have been estimating Iran’s inflation rate – which briefly reached hyperinflation levels in October 2012 – using a standard, widely-accepted methodology. By measuring changes in the rial’s black-market (read: free-market) U.S. dollar exchange rate, it is possible to calculate an implied inflation rate for Iran.
When we do so, a much different picture of Iran’s inflation emerges. Indeed, Iran’s annual inflation rate is actually 82.5% – a rate more than double the official rate of 31.5% (see the accompanying chart).
As I have documented, regimes in countries undergoing severe inflation have a long history of hiding the true extent of their inflationary woes. In many cases, the regimes resort to underreporting or simply fabricating statistics to hide their economic problems. And, in some cases, such as Zimbabwe and North Korea, the government simply stops reporting economic data altogether.
Iran has followed a familiar path, failing to report inflation data in a timely and replicable manner. Those data that are reported by Iran’s Central Bank tend to possess what I’ve described as an “Alice in Wonderland” quality and should be taken with a grain of salt.
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By James Howard Kunstler
on March 11, 2013
History has a special purgatory where it sometimes stashes feckless nations punch drunk on their own tragic choices: the realm where anything goes, nothing matters, and nobody cares. We’ve surely crossed the frontier into that bad place in these days of dwindling winter, 2013.
Case in point: Mr. Obama’s choice of Mary Jo White to run the Securities and Exchange Commission. A federal prosecutor back in the Clinton years, Ms. White eventually spun through the revolving door onto the payroll of Wall Street law firm Debevoise & Plimpton, whose clients included Too Big To Fail banks JP Morgan, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, and UBS AG, defending them in matters stemming from the financial crisis that began in 2008, as well as other companies that needed defending from allegations of financial misconduct, such as the giant HCA hospital chain (insider trading), General Electric (now a virtual hedge fund with cases before the SEC), and the German-based Siemens Corporation (federal bribery charges).
A republic with a sense of common decency — and common sense — would have stopped the nomination right there and checked the "no" box on Mary Jo White just for violating the most basic premise of credibility: that trip through the revolving door that shuttles banking regulators from the government agencies to the companies they used to oversee and sometimes back again.
Has there not been enough national conversation about the scuzziness of that routine to establish that it’s not okay? Does it not clearly represent the essence of dysfunction and corruption in our regulatory affairs? Didn’t President Obama promise to seal up the revolving door? So how could Mary Jo White possibly be taken seriously as a candidate for the job? And how is it possible that everyone and their uncle, from The New York Times editorial page to the Sunday cable news political shows to the halls of congress, is not jumping up and down hollering about this? Well, because anything goes, nothing matters, and nobody cares.
The funny part is that, when challenged over her past connections to the banks and companies she would now have to regulate, Mary Jo White offered to recuse herself from future cases involving them. So, from the get-go as SEC head, Ms. White would not concern herself with the doings of JP Morgan, Bank of America, and Morgan Stanley? How is it that gales of laughter did not blow Mary Jo White clean out of the hearing room? Is there not another qualified person from sea to shining sea who could come in and do the job without one hand tied behind his or her back?
Now it also turns out that upon leaving Debevoise & Plimpton, Ms. White is scheduled to collect monthly retirement checks from the company amounting to a half million dollars a year — that’s for life, by the way — while she supposedly runs the SEC. How is that not a conflict of interest? The remedy proposed by Ms. White and her attorneys was for her to take the retirement loot as a lump sum during her tenure as SEC chair, after which she could revert to collecting her pension in the $42,500 monthly payouts. Pardon me, but, well …what the fuck? What planet are we on?
As if that’s not enough, Ms. White’s husband, John W. White, is a partner at another giant Wall Street law firm, Cravath, Swaine & Moore, which frequently tangles with the SEC on behalf of its clients. Mr. White proposed to change his pay structure while his wife runs the SEC. More gales of laughter. He is also on the advisory committee of the Financial Standards Accounting Board, the group that oversees national accounting practices and which, in 2009, infamously changed its Rule157 so that TBTF banks could "mark to fantasy" the fraudulent CDOs and other bond-like "innovative" securities that they created — many of which they had to eat after the housing bubble bust when the collateral for these swindles lost its value and the "innovators" could no longer pawn the stuff off on credulous pension funds and other client "muppets."
The silence over this disgraceful matter — and many others like it, including the dead hand in the empty suit posing as US Attorney General — indicates that not only is the rule of law extinct in this country, but so are public figures of principle and credible news organs. Nobody has made a noise about it. Anything goes, nothing matters, and nobody cares. So, the objection to it has to come from outside the authorized channels. And the consequences will mount outside the fortress of lies that the establishment has become.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:05 pm
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One of the federal government programs slated for cuts is Head Start, which President Lyndon Johnson first deployed in 1965 as part of his War on Poverty. President Obama wants a Head Start budget of $8.2 billion, up from the current level of $7.2 billion. Republicans want $2 billion in cuts to the federal early-education program, which even federal agencies have found ineffective and rife with fraud.
Head Start: Undercover Testing Finds Fraud and Abuse at Selected Head Start Centers, a 2010 report of the General Accounting Office, found that federal government employees falsified eligibility data on a broad scale. As for effectiveness, Head Start Impact Study Final Report, a 2010 study by the federal Department of Health and Human Services, found that “the benefits of access to Head Start at age four are largely absent by 1st grade for the program population as a whole.”
Richard Gelles, dean of the School of Social Policy and Practice at University of Pennsylvania, noted that and other failures in his recent book The Third Lie: Why Government Programs Don’t work – And a Blueprint for Change. He also noted that Head Start serves 900,000 children and has approximately 250,000 paid employees. So while the children derive little lasting benefit from the program, federal employees have a stake in keeping it all going.
The GAO and HHS reports did not call for cuts to Head Start based on their own findings, much less that the ineffective and wasteful program should be ended or phased out. “The social service emperor has no clothes,” says Gelles, and “once government programs are established, it is extremely difficult to change them, irrespective of whether they help or harm.” But despite the title of his book, Gelles thinks government programs such as Social Security and Medicare are working well. His main beef with ineffective programs like Head Start is that they block new government programs like the one he has in mind.
Gelles wants a government “futures account,” like Hillary Clinton’s “Baby Bond,” which would deposit $3000 a year for 18 years for every child born in the United States, with no disqualifying factors. That grandiose scheme certainly gives new meaning to in loco parentis. Taxpayers should not be surprised if this shows up during Obama’s second term, or when Hillary Clinton makes her expected run for the presidency in 2016.
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Chrysler wrote a letter during the fall presidential election denying plans to make jeeps in China. The Romney ad that claimed as much was then branded a lie.
In the article below, the CEO of Chrysler says that ” we tell the truth” but that the Romney ad wasn’t “phrased” right. Translation: it wasn’t completely accurate so it could be denied out of whole cloth. Chrysler also gave employees a day off on election day to be sure they voted for President Obama.
Lying is the coin of the realm in crony capitalism. It is a system that doesn’t just corrupt the economy. It corrupts morals in general.
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Benghazi is a moving target of little lies that serve as cover for the big lie
Benghazi explained: Behind the lies
- Doug Hagmann (Bio and Archives) Monday, December 3, 2012
Author’s note: This is a special supplement of a multi-part interview with a government insider intimately familiar with the events that took place in Benghazi. It is important to note that the information contained in this series was developed from interviews that spanned over 100 hours. My source requested that the following information be written separately due to its importance.
DH: You told me that you wanted to talk about the lies behind Benghazi, said it is critical for everyone to understand the reason for the lies. and asked that we do this separately. Go ahead.
II: It’s about the lie, and once you understand it, it becomes extremely revealing. It’s about what the public has been told from the very beginning. Do you realize that a lot of people, especially Obama’s associates and supporters do not believe that they’ve been lied to? Do you understand that much of the public does not believe that they were lied to? Like a lot of us, you’re in this thing so deep that we forget not everyone even believes they’ve been lied to. They’re certainly not going to hear about it in the media. To understand how deep this goes, how important it is, and why it is so important, we’ve got to go back to the very beginning.
Think back to when we were first told that Ambassador Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Dougherty, Tyrone Woods were killed in Benghazi. The media reported that Stevens and the others were killed in an attack on the American consulate in Benghazi. Every major media outlet identified the location of the attack as an American consulate, much like this Reuters report and this from The Washington Times. But there was no U.S. consulate in Benghazi, so where did this information originate?
DH: Didn’t the administration call it a consulate?
II: Exactly. Our embassies and consulate offices are directly under the control of the U.S. State Department. They are areas of sovereign territory. Consulate offices are like satellite offices to each embassy, and they are located in convenient geographic locations in other countries to assist people with routine or minor matters, saving them a trip to the actual embassy. Consulates are easily identifiable and all have U.S. flags flying prominently for easy identification. A listing of U.S. embassies and consulate offices in other countries can be found on the State Department web site. Just about everyone working at State knows the locations of the embassies and consulates, as do most of our leaders in the executive branch.
So from the outset, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama certainly knew, without any doubt, that there was no consulate or diplomatic mission in Benghazi. None. In fact, on August 27, 2012, just 15 days before the attack in Benghazi, Ambassador Chris Stevens ceremoniously opened the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli with the U.S. State Department issuing press releases and official statements. Tripoli was the only diplomatic mission in Libya – period. And it was just established.
So one of the very first lies was to deliberate misidentify or improperly characterize the compound in Benghazi as a consulate. Was there an American flag flying outside of this compound? No. Was any diplomatic legitimate business being conducted at this compound? No. But they called it a consulate to draw attention away from the fact this was a CIA base of operations.
It was located in a relatively rural area, and it consisted of a residence and a separate “annex” located about 1800 feet away. By car, the annex was just over a mile away. It was difficult to find, too. People coming from Tripoli to this compound often got turned around, even with the help of a GPS.
So the very first thing everyone must understand is that the administration, including Barack Obama and others in the executive branch, and the State Department, including Hillary Clinton (her official statement identified the compound as a mission, suggesting a ‘diplomatic mission’) knew that this compound served no legitimate diplomatic purpose. That’s the first lie.
DH: We now know that it was a CIA compound located in a somewhat rural area and not identifiable as U.S. owned or operated.
II: Correct. So think about this. The compound was unmarked, operationally discreet, located in a rural area and difficult to find. How did a few hundred protesters suddenly gather at this location on the evening of 9/11? How did they know where to go, if this was not an embassy or consulate? More to the point, how is it possible that anyone in any official capacity in this administration could realistically describe the attack in terms of a protest gone bad, even at the first reports of trouble? They could not. This was a deliberate lie to the American people.
So how is it that U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, five days after the attack and after much of the initial dust settled, appeared on five national news shows and still attributed the murders of Americans as a result of protests? Who told her to do that? And, she continued to blame the murders on an obscure internet video. Why?
DH: They have since publicly reclassified the description of the location.
II: They had to because they could not continue to call the CIA operations center an embassy or consulate. But they have yet to offer any reasonable explanation for what happened there. Barack Obama has yet to look the family members of Tyrone Woods, Sean Smith, or Glen Dougherty in the eyes and tell the truth. He has yet to tell Americans the truth about the events of 9/11, and the reason for the lies, which continue through today. No one has stepped up to tell the truth. We have only seen denials reinforced by distractions. They continue to lie to this day. Who are they lying to and what is the logical reason for the lies?
They are only lying to the American people. All other governments know what’s going on. And most importantly, the reason they are continuing to lie is to cover up their plans as they are moving forward with their agenda. Everyone must understand how important this is. The Obama plan continues. No one is stopping them or this agenda. And in case you have any questions about what this agenda is, let me explain it clearly and concisely.
Obama, Clinton, their foreign policy advisors and the people involved in this agenda intend to start a war that will make Afghanistan and Iraq look like a small police action by comparison. They are going to start a war that will likely grow from a regional war to a global war, or WW III. Afghanistan ‘imploded’ when attacked, as did Iraq. Syria will not, it will explode. Do the American people understand this?
Until now, everyone has been focused on the ‘little lies.’ The security, the misidentification of the CIA compound, the timeline, and on and on. They want us to focus on the little lies so they can pull off the BIG LIE. The big lie being told is that the U.S. is merely providing minimal support, including humanitarian aid to the Syrians so they can defend themselves from Assad. That’s the big lie that covers up what they are really doing in the region.
The CIA compound in Benghazi was a logistics hub for weapons, but not only weapons from Libya. Weapons ordered by and destined for other countries, like Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other countries, knowing the plan, were allowing the weapons to be diverted, with Libya acting as the central shipping hub. When Assad falls and U.S. troops are called in for ground support, who will they be fighting? The Syrian army? No, they will be fighting the Iranian army, the Russian army and the Chinese army. Why? Because Iran, Russia and China all have a stake in the region. Putin called Syria his red line in the sand, and stated that WW III will start in Syria, not Iran.
Benghazi is a moving target of little lies that serve as cover for the big lie. Are Americans onboard?
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:26 am
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By Julian Sanchez
The Atlantic‘s Conor Friedersdorf gives us a disturbing glimpse of what American schoolchildren are being taught about the War on Terror, in the form of excerpts from a widely-used high school history textbook. The whole piece is a disturbing catalog of hilarious propaganda presented as fact to kids who are increasingly too young to remember much about the immediate aftermath the 9/11 attacks, but I figured I’d focus on the paragraph dealing with the Patriot Act, which manages to get a truly impressive number of things wrong in a short space.
The President also asked Congress to pass legislation to help law enforcement agencies track down terrorist suspects. Drafting the legislation took time. Congress had to balance Americans’ Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure with the need to increase security.
I suppose in some strict sense all events “take time,” but this is a very strange way to describe a 342-page piece of legislation amending more than 15 complex federal statutes, the first version of which was introduced on October 2, and which had been signed into law by October 26. The reason it could be done done so quickly, of course, was that most of the reforms in the bill had long been on the intelligence community’s wish list, and were waiting in a desk drawer for an opportune moment. Last minute substitutions of the draft language meant that few if any legislators had actually read the law they ultimately passed, which makes it hard to argue with a straight face that they were seriously engaged in “balancing” anything.
President Bush signed the new antiterrorist bill – known as the USA Patriot Act – into law in October 2001. The new law allowed secret searches to avoid tipping off suspects in terrorism cases.
Well, that was the sales pitch, anyway. In reality, the FBI already had authority under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to conduct covert searches in counterterrorism investigations. It should have come as no surprise, then, that this expanded “sneak and peak” authority was almost never used for terrorism cases. In 2008, government investigators sought 763 “sneak and peak” warrants, of which exactly three involved terrorism. The vast majority—65 percent—were drug cases.
It also allowed authorities to obtain a single nationwide search warrant that could be used anywhere. The law also made it easier to wiretap suspects, and it allowed authorities to track e-mail and seize voicemail.
This is a bit weird, because one of the few things the Patriot Act didn’t do was substantially alter the standards for obtaining a wiretap—except that looser FISA warrants could now be obtained in cases where a “significant” rather than “primary” purpose was to acquire foreign intelligence information. The Bush Administration did consider asking Congress to expand wiretap authority, but fearing refusal, decided to simply ignore the law and order the National Security Agency to launch its now-infamous program of warrantless wiretaps. The wording here also, somewhat bizarrely, implies that authorities had no ability to track email or seize voicemail until late 2001. It would be more accurate to say that the act lowered the standard police had to meet to obtain voicemail somewhat, and clarified that certain surveillance tools initially designed for telephone networks could also be used for digital communications, which was more a codification of existing practice than a real change.
Meanwhile, some of the most controversial elements of the Patriot Act go unmentioned. Nothing about “John Doe” roving wiretaps. Nothing about the incredible expansion of National Security Letter authorities. Nothing about Section 215 “tangible thing” orders. It sounds so benign that you’d wonder why anyone was ever opposed to the legislation—except there’s nothing any of the passages Friedersdorf quotes to indicate that anyone did oppose it. I guess Congress did such a good and careful job “balancing” privacy and security that everyone applauded the wise president’s efforts to help track down terrorists.
To borrow the former president’s famous query: Is our children learning? Maybe—but they don’t seem to be learning much that will prepare them to be critical thinkers about security policy, or good stewards of cherished liberties.
View full post on Cato @ Liberty
Americans Don’t Want The Truth
In US Election, He Who Lies Wins
A Commentary by Gregor Peter Schmitz
Barack Obama and Mitt Romney: both have been shunning the truth to avoid losing votes.
Regardless which candidate wins the US presidential election on Tuesday, neither of them has been honest to the American people about the scale of the problems facing the country. But Americans have only themselves to blame. They prefer to be lied to rather than to face the truth.
Greying and weighed down by his first term in office, Barack Obama is barely recognizable as the beacon of hope he was in 2008. Back then he was the youthful symbol of change, and his words were full of promise. A year into his term, he still had that aura. In a television interview on Jan. 25, 2010, shortly after he won the Nobel Peace Prize, he said he didn’t want to be a "small" president, which is how he saw even Democratic idol Bill Clinton, who at one point saw fit to fight for new school uniforms. Obama, by contrast, wanted to fundamentally change the country.
"I’d rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president," he declared on that January day.
He still sounded like the president who had proclaimed in his inaugural address, that "the time has come to set aside childish things. … Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted — for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame."
Since then this courageous man has become more disheartened by the day. And his reforming spirit won’t return even if he wins a second term. The man on whom millions pinned their hopes has waged one of the least hopeful election campaigns in history. He has stooped to the "childish things" he had promised to eschew, by running bitterly negative spots about Mitt Romney’s wealth and shortcomings. He recently resorted to calling the Republican candidate a "bullshitter" — a decidedly unpresidential term.
The man who rescued America from George W. Bush has even adopted the tactics of the former president, who in 2004 won re-election by demonizing his challenger John Kerry rather than talking about his own controversial record. And Obama too has started avoiding the hard realities that America must face.
It doesn’t make things any better that the Democrat is up against an unprincipled rival who has deserved much of the criticism levelled at him. One can blame Barack Obama for this sad evolution. But one can also blame the American people. It may sound harsh, but they want to be lied to. A politician who doesn’t lie simply won’t be elected.
Imagine for a moment if Obama had begun his re-election campaign this way: "Listen, our schools are no longer considered to be among the top 10 worldwide, one out of every four of our bridges is wobbly, more of our kids are dying and our old people are dying sooner even though we spend twice as much on our health care system as Germany. We were so ill prepared for a hurricane that millions of New Yorkers had to sit in the dark for days. And our ‘high-speed’ trains move barely faster than local trains in China. We must start over."
In short, he would have said that America is no longer in every respect the best country on the planet, but rather, like every other nation, a ‘work in progress.’
A president dared to do this once — Jimmy Carter. In 1979, the Democrat tried to persuade Americans to change their energy consumption. Americans didn’t want to hear it. They mocked his defeatism and voted him out of office.
Ever since then, hardly any US politician has risked calling on people to make sacrifices. Obama tried it briefly. He said America had lost some of its dynamism. On foreign visits he showed that America should at times be big enough to apologize for its actions.
He was soon labelled as the "Apologetic President" who wasn’t proud of his country. The attacks came from the right but America’s left too rejected his criticism of stubborn teachers’ unions or all-powerful doctors’ lobby groups. Their mantra is always that America has the most committed teachers and doctors in the world — even though statistics contradict that.
So Obama mutated from a political messiah into a typical US politician. His vision shrank with every passing day. It’s true that he passed his healthcare reform, a historic achievement, but he barely touched on the problem of exploding costs. He hasn’t reduced the crippling budget deficit and he no longer even talks about climate change.
He hasn’t initiated a serious debate about social inequality and he has said even less about the ludicrous creed that America’s taxes shouldn’t rise. And he failed to market his stimulus package of almost $900 billion as a fundamental economic overhaul.
It almost made sense that he fell silent about his plans for a second term. He had probably resigned himself to the mistrust with which the Americans greeted every government initiative. It’s sadly ironic how quickly the Republicans were calling for state help after hurricane Sandy.
Obama will probably win a second term with these tactics. But he’s discarded the historic opportunity to prepare the nation for a new era. That would have required getting Americans used to the truth instead of lulling them into complacency with the phrase "greatest nation on Earth."
Needless to say, politicians everywhere fear telling the truth. Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl preferred to talk about "blossoming landscapes" in eastern Germany and safe pensions for all, statements that flew in the face of reality. All across Europe, leaders who spoke truthfully about the euro crisis have been voted out of office.
But America, this great country, always wanted to be more, to be a nation founded on a wonderful idea. America’s founding fathers pledged that governing would be dictated by common sense. Today, citizens mercilessly punish every politician who tries to push through pragmatic yet unpopular policies. Even worse, it’s enough if a candidate even mentions anything unpopular. Such as the truth, for example.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Tue Nov 06, 2012 11:36 am
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Leaks, Lies, and Libya: How Not to Inform a Nation
By Larry Bailey
While the current administration has strayed far from Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign promise that it would be the most transparent government in history, nothing so points to its failure to keep that promise as have events of the past two years.
Starting with the killing of Osama bin Laden in May 2011, the Obama administration has, in a very real sense, "informed" Americans of current events via selective and random leaks (many of them apparently unintentional). For example, on the day after the bin Laden mission, both the president and the vice president identified SEAL Team 6 as the unit executing the mission.
One might call this a "leak in plain sight," but a leak it was, carrying with it every negative connotation in the word. From the perspective of my military mind, the identification of a specific unit as responsible for the death of bin Laden should, if it ever happened at all, have been the result of intelligence-gathering of the highest order on the part of America’s al-Qaeda enemy. That information surely should not have been provided "free of charge" by the nation’s commander-in-chief.
What damage, one asks, did the release of that information cause to the national defense? One of the principal elements of information on the enemy, I was always taught, was the identification of the unit with which one was in closest contact (the technical term for this is "order of battle"). This is the most important element of the quintessential "know-your-enemy" adjuration. Armed with this gem of knowledge, one is enabled to exact revenge upon or counter future attacks by an enemy.
How does this apply to SEAL Team 6? Simple — al-Qaeda now does not have to spend the time or to expend the resources required to ferret out information about who killed its leader. In fact, it is a safe bet that even now, its planners are devising ways to exact revenge against the SEALs and their families. In my view, it is only a matter of time before these brave men and their loved ones become targets of international Islamic terror.
A second discouraging element concerning the events surrounding the bin Laden mission was President Obama’s claiming of virtually all the credit for the execution of the mission ("I directed the secretary of defense…," "I directed SEAL Team 6…," etc.). The penalty for Obama’s "spiking the football" as he took credit for the bin Laden raid will, of course, be assessed on others.
Recent insider accounts of the planning of the raid indicate that Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and the Joint Chiefs of Staff virtually ignored Obama when the time came to order the SEALs into action. At least two sources claim that he was playing golf when the raid was launched and that he was brought into the White House Situation Room and told of the mission only after the SEALs’ task force had crossed into Pakistani airspace.
Why was Obama not apprised of the launching of the raid? According to those same sources, it was because Valerie Jarrett, Obama’s most trusted adviser, had on three previous occasions convinced the president not to launch an attack against bin Laden’s compound, despite certain knowledge that he was "at home" and vulnerable. Secretary Panetta and his inner circle clearly understood that Obama would probably never authorize the attack.
This situation mirrored that of the Maersk Alabama incident, in which that ship’s captain, Richard Phillips, was being held hostage by three armed pirates in a Maersk Alabama lifeboat. It was only the assessment of the situation by all the on-scene U.S. personnel, the initiative of the commanding officer of the USS Bainbridge, and the marksmanship of the SEAL snipers aboard her that saved the life of Captain Phillips.
The White House was, fortunately for Captain Phillips, kept out of the moment-to-moment decision-making process. The military was beginning to learn that Obama and his minions could not be depended on when crunch-time came, so they acted.
Nevertheless, Obama clearly snatched as much glory unto himself as he thought he could get away with in the aftermath of the Maersk Alabama incident, despite the fact that he was not involved in any of the decision-making that led to the successful conclusion of the standoff.
A more recent example of the Obama style of leadership is that of the events surrounding the September 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. So many lies have been told by administration figures, including the president himself, that the truth is becoming known only through Obama’s other signature method of crisis management: leaks.
Almost without exception, official utterances concerning the attack have been false or, at best, misleading. When it became known that the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans had been killed, the first description of the incident contended that the assault was simply the overreaction of a mob protesting a Mohammed-denigrating video. Obama himself stated that this was the case.
It took the better part of a month, but gradually the truth became clear: the assault on the consulate was carried out on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11 by a Libyan offshoot of al-Qaeda. The assault was planned and executed with that date in mind, as has become increasingly apparent from unofficial sources within the Department of State and the U.S. intelligence community. In fact, there was no mob outside the consulate; the attack was a discrete event arising from nothing but hatred against America.
So here we have the irony of leaked information providing an accurate account of how four Americans were sacrificed to the ineptitude of an administration that refused numerous requests by both the State Department and military personnel in Libya for a greater security presence in that chaotic country.
Jennifer Rubin, writing in the Washington Post on October 12, sums up the Benghazi situation nicely: "The Libya debacle is not merely a case of inadequate security. It is a case of willful blindness to the progress of al-Qaeda in a locale that the Obama team had boasted was a grand success for its "leading from behind" strategy. The administration, despite every available bit of evidence, continued to cling to a false narrative, and to repeat that narrative to the public, because it refused to recognize that Libya was a terrorist victory, not a U.S. success story."
Finally, and unbelievably, Americans are now being "treated" to a blatantly political movie, SEAL Team SIX: The Raid on bin-Laden (or The Raid), that blends lies and leaks into a deadly combination of political deception. The team writing and shooting the movie, working under the leadership of Obama sycophant/bundler Harvey Weinstein, was granted unprecedented access to highly classified information in the making of The Raid. This reportedly included viewing intelligence documents and interviewing SEALs who were on the raid itself.
That such a paean to America’s "Dear Leader" is being shown on national television (the National Geographic Channel) two days prior to the election is clearly no accident. It is, however, a predictable result of how Obama uses "information" — an admixture of truth, lies, and leaks — to produce a desirable political result.
One has every reason to suspect that the movie will be both a witches’ brew of political puffery and a confirmation of the observation that Barack Obama will stop at nothing to indulge his narcissism — and to promote his re-election on November 6.
One can only hope that the American public will recognize "The Raid" for what it is — electioneering at the expense of truth.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:40 am
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