That’s about all I have to say about that.
That’s about all I have to say about that.
There are 18 million Google hits for the search term “twerking.” Yes, that abomination of a dance move (at least I think that’s what it’s supposed to be) made forever infamous via a gratuitous and depraved performance by a former Disney starlet. 18 million.
That’s 18 times as many hits as there are for the search term “PEPFAR.”
I know what you’re thinking: what’s PEPFAR? Well, as they say, my point exactly.
PEPFAR is the acronym for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, and it just recently celebrated its tenth year of activity in Zambia and continues to succeed in fighting the pandemic throughout the world. It began with a five-year commitment from the United States of $15 billion — an unprecedented and stunning total. And unlike most government programs, the money has been effectively spent. To date, PEPFAR has…(Read the rest HERE)
President Obama’s top national security advisers have just hosted Sheikh Abdulla bin Bayyah at the White House. As vice president of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) in 2004, bin Bayyah endorsed a fatwa calling for the killing of American troops and other personnel serving in Iraq.
Bin Bayyah is the principal deputy to Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s chief sharia jurist and the driving force of the IUMS. In addition to being behind the 2004 fatwa, Qaradawi also promotes suicide bombing against Israel. The IUMS strongly supports the Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch, Hamas, the terrorist organization designated as such under American law. Indeed, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh – a close ally of both Qaradawi and Turkey’s Islamic supremacist prime minister (and Obama fave) Recep Tayyip Erdogan – was welcomed into the IUMS as a member in 2004. As detailed here on other occasions (see, e.g., here), Hamas’s charter explains that the group’s imperative to destroy Israel is an Islamic obligation, and it cites authoritative scripture – frequently repeated by Qaradawi – stating that the world will not end “until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: ‘O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!’”
News of the White House meeting with bin Bayyah was broken last night by Steve Emerson and John Rossomando of the Investigative Project on Terrorism. The meeting took place at the Obama administration’s request, according to an account of it posted – along with a photo – on bin Bayyah’s website. Since its original posting, the account has been edited to omit mention of Obama National Security Adviser Tom Donilon’s participation.
This marks a new low for the administration that, in brazen violation of U.S. counterterrorism law, previously invited a member of the Blind Shiekh’s terrorist organization for consultations at the White House.
Notably, bin Bayyah lobbied the administration to “take urgent action” to help the Syrian “rebels” (i.e., the factions opposing the Assad regime, which are dominated by Islamic supremacists and violent jihadists – more accurately described as the Syrian mujahideen than as “rebels”). As Emerson and Rossamondo observe, President Obama has since announced plans to arm the Syrian opposition.
Emerson and Rossamondo’s full account is very much worth reading. So is the take offered by Patrick Poole at PJM. Patrick elaborates on Emerson/Rossamondo’s assertion that this is far from the administration’s first consultation with bin Bayyah.
The enemy is not at the gate. He has long since skipped across the welcome mat.
No Shame in this Administration
It’s always difficult to discern just where President Obama stands on the topic of national security. From his reluctance to say that acts of terrorism were committed by, well, terrorists, to his condemnation of the conditions at Guantanamo Bay while far exceeding President Bush’s use of drones (including strikes against U.S. citizens), and up to his association with actual terrorists (Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn), his position is, at best, a hard read. But his appointment of Susan Rice to the post of National Security Adviser is a good indicator that national security is not a top priority.
Susan Rice became a household name last September when she appeared on the Sunday morning talk shows to sell a bill of goods to the American people. Asked about the roots of the attack on an American consulate in Benghazi that left four Americans — including an ambassador — dead on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, she told Bob Schieffer, “What our assessment is as of the present is in fact … it began spontaneously in Benghazi as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo, where of course as you know there was a violent protest outside of our embassy sparked by this hateful video.” Yes, that’s right Ambassador Rice, YouTube was to blame.
Well, we later learned that the White House knew within hours of the attack that the assault in Benghazi was a terrorist attack against the United States without any connection to the “hateful video” that Rice cited. It’s clear now that the Obama Administration did not want to risk fallout on its reelection efforts just weeks before the voters went to the polls in November.
Rice likely accepted the role with the hope that she would be rewarded with a nomination to head the State Department after Hillary Clinton’s imminent departure. All signals pointed in that direction, but her obvious and now famous prevarications on national television about so important a topic led to intense pressure on the president to remove her from consideration for Foggy Bottom. So again, Rice fell on her sword and withdrew her own name from consideration.
But the day has finally arrived for payback, and it comes in the form of her nomination to the post of National Security Adviser. This, the president believes, is the perfect way to reward her. The vacancy was created by the resignation of outgoing NSA and former lobbyist Tom Donilon, by far the least qualified person to hold the post of any NSA in the last 20 years.
Donilon’s October 2010 appointment came at the heels of the departure of Gen. James Jones. Jones tenure as National Security Adviser was brief, having begun his service in this once vital role in January 2009. Gen. Jones brought impeccable credentials to the position of national security adviser. Raised for much of his formative years in France, he attended Georgetown where he was enrolled in its foreign service program. His 40-year military career was nothing short of remarkable: Commander of the U.S. European Command; Supreme Allied Commander for Europe; Commandant of the Marine Corps. One would be hard-pressed to craft even a fictitious resume for someone with better qualifications for the job. Despite this background, or maybe because of it, Jones didn’t last in the Obama administration.
In the fall of 2010, Bob Woodward published Obama’s Wars, in which he wrote that Donilon, whose previous experience included a stint as VP with Fannie Mae but precious little by way of national security, was once disparaged by his predecessor, who criticized Donilon’s lack of overseas experience. Jones told directly, “You have no credibility with the military.” Worse, according to Woodward, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates became so offended by remarks made by Donilon that he nearly walked out of a meeting and later predicted that Donilon would be a “disaster” as Obama’s NSA.
It seems that despite a recent uptick in terrorist attacks against American interests, President Obama still doesn’t view the job of National Security Adviser to be one requiring any sort of credibility, least of all when it comes to, ironically, maintaining the security of the nation. If Rice doesn’t last in the role — and with the fog of Benghazi still very much casting a pall over the White House this is a real possibility — it will be interesting to see who Obama picks next. Maybe Lois Lerner will be interested.
Deputy Chief of Mission Hicks said it best about Susan Rice’s statements on the Sunday morning talk shows in which she perpetuated the lies about Benghazi: “My jaw dropped and I was embarrassed,” Mr Hicks said on his reaction to her interview. Someone must be held accountable for the Obama Administration’s purposeful lies about the terrorist attacks on our Ambassador and three other Americans on 9/11/12. — AA
A top US official who was in Libya during the deadly attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi has given the first public account of the event.
Gregory Hicks, deputy chief of mission in Tripoli, said he was “stunned” by UN Ambassador Susan Rice’s comments that the attack was spontaneous.
He also told lawmakers he received a phone call from US Envoy Christopher Stevens, just before he died.
Three other Americans were killed in the attack on 11 September 2012.
My jaw dropped and I was embarrassed”
Gregory Hicks on his reaction to Susan Rice’s comments
During several hours of emotional testimony before a House of Representatives committee on Wednesday, Mr Hicks described the moment he was informed of the attack.
He said he was in Tripoli watching TV when he received a phone call from Ambassador Stevens.
“Greg, we’re under attack,” the ambassador reportedly told Mr Hicks by telephone before the line cut.
He later received a phone call from the Libyan prime minister informing him of Ambassador Steven’s death.
“I think it is the saddest phone call I have ever had in my life,” Mr Hicks said.
After the disrupted phone call with Ambassador Stevens, Mr Hicks said he received calls from Libyans using the ambassador’s phone who said they had the envoy with them.
But Mr Hicks decided not to act on the calls, fearing an ambush.
UN Ambassador Susan Rice has been the focus of outrage from Republicans in Congress, for giving the news media what has been acknowledged as an incorrect explanation for the attack.
She said on a Sunday chat show on 16 September that the attack had grown out of an anti-US protest, while other officials have said they knew at the time it was an organised, armed assault, possibly by an Islamist militant group.
“My jaw dropped and I was embarrassed,” Mr Hicks said on his reaction to her interview.
Some Republicans accuse the White House of hiding information about the attack, while Democrats say the issue has become politicised.
The BBC’s Jane O’Brien in Washington says Wednesday’s testimony will do nothing to dispel Republican concerns that President Barack Obama tried to cover up a terrorist attack in the run-up to a presidential election.
Democrats will continue to say there was no attempt to mislead the public, our correspondents adds.
‘Need to evacuate’
At Wednesday’s hearing, Mr Hicks expressed frustration with the lack of a US military response during the night-time attack, saying one could have deterred a second assault.
The Pentagon has said nothing could have been done to assist the Americans in Benghazi.
Mr Hicks and two other state department employees criticised an official review undertaken after the attack, saying many people with first-hand knowledge of the event were not interviewed and it focused too much on lower-ranking officials.
The review found that poor leadership and management in two state department teams led to a security plan that was “inadequate for Benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place”.
Mr Hicks told the panel he spoke to people at the State Department and to Libyan officials, and had a conversation with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton around 02:00 on the night of the attack.
“Secretary of State Clinton called me along with her senior staff… and she asked me what was going on. And I briefed her on developments,” Mr Hicks told congressmen.
“Most of the conversation was about the search for Ambassador Stevens. It was also about what we were going to do with our personnel in Benghazi, and I told her that we would need to evacuate. She said that was the right thing to do.”
The ambassador died of smoke inhalation when he was trapped in the burning consulate building, after armed men stormed the compound.
State department employee Sean Smith and former Navy Seals Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty also died in the attack.
Mrs Clinton angrily defended her handling of the Benghazi raid in a series of hearings on Capitol Hill in January.
Only this president would oppose increased border security. There’s no logic to this administration; we’re facing a major problem over the number of illegal aliens in the country, yet he is opposed to fixing the problem at its root.–AA
Hours before President Obama is set to deliver a major immigration speech, a key Republican senator blasted the president for reportedly opposing a requirement to shore up border security before legalizing up to 11 million illegal immigrants.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., one of four Republican senators involved in a bipartisan effort to craft immigration reform legislation, warned the president Tuesday against taking such a position. It was the first sign since the senators unveiled their guidelines a day earlier of friction between the two efforts.
“I think that would be a terrible mistake,” Rubio told Fox News. “We have a bipartisan group of senators that have agreed to that. For the president to try to move the goalposts on that specific requirement, as an example, does not bode well in terms of what his role’s going to be in this or the outcome.”
Rubio, a prominent conservative who is also Hispanic, is vital to the bipartisan effort on Capitol Hill. The senator, though, insisted that illegal immigrants not be allowed to obtain green cards — let alone citizenship — “until the enforcement stuff is in place.”
“If that’s not in the bill, I won’t support it,” he said.
Rubio was responding to reports that Obama, who is traveling to Las Vegas Tuesday to outline his immigration reform vision, does not want to make the legalization process contingent on increased border security.
As you soak in the headline, be reminded that this is the same terrorist for whom President Obama authorized a kill order without due process, despite the fact that he was a United States citizen. While I personally think such an order was warranted, it’s a move that contradicts every criticism he made of the Bush Administration’s approach to terrorists. He essentially condone killing US citizens without due process in the courts while condemning what he inaccurately described as “torture.” — AA
By Tom Fitton
According to records recently obtained by Judicial Watch, one of the beneficiaries of the government’s “catch and release” program for terrorists was none other than Anwar al-Aulaqi, the U.S. citizen assassinated by a U.S. drone on September 30, 2011.
You may recall that in 2010, President Obama reportedly authorized the assassination of al-Aulaqi, the first American citizen added to the government’s “capture or kill” list, describing the radical Muslim Cleric as “chief of external operations for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).” (The Office of Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice had previously determined that targeting and killing of U.S. citizens overseas was legal under domestic and international law.)
The heavily redacted documents received in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by Judicial Watch on September 30, 2011, show that the known terrorist had been in custody and that the Obama State Department hatched an incredible plan to invite him to one of our embassies. The following are highlights from the records:
In addition to the arrest noted by the documents in 2006 and 2007, Anwar al-Aulaqi was detained at New York’s JFK airport on October 10, 2002, under a warrant for passport fraud, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. However, the FBI ordered al-Aulaqi’s release, even though the arrest warrant was still active at the time of his detention as reported by the Fox News Channel’s Catherine Herridge. Once released, al-Aulaqi then took a flight to Washington, DC, and eventually returned to Yemen.
And how dangerous was he?
Since September 2009, according to the James Baker III Institute for Public Policy, 26 terrorism cases have been tied to al-Aulaqi, including an association with blind sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, currently in prison for his role in the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. Anwar al-Aulaqi was also known to have been in email contact (19 email exchanges) with Major Nidal Hasan, charged with 13 murders during the Fort Hood massacre on November 5, 2009, and allegedly had contacts with at least three of the terrorists who carried out the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States.
So allow me to sum up what these records and reporting detail. The Bush administration had Anwar al-Aulaqi in custody. Then it released him. The Obama administration tried to revoke his passport and concocted some Keystone Cop scheme to get him to come to the embassy for notification. (I mean, the idea of inviting al-Aulaqi – a known terrorist – to our embassy in Yemen in order to revoke his passport is beyond belief.) Then President Obama makes the unprecedented decision to assassinate him via drone, later killing his son as well.
Look, there aren’t many people who will mourn the killing of this terrorist. But that’s not the point of this story. The point is that the federal government (under both Bush and Obama) bungled attempts to bring justice to terrorists, placing the American people at risk.
Anwar al-Aulaqi is just one high-profile example. How many other terrorists have benefited from the incompetence and permissiveness of our government? How many more drones will have to be sent to clean up the mess?
Again, we should all give kudos to Catherine Herridge of the Fox News Channel for some excellent reporting on al-Aulaqi, a topic that has been largely ignored by other so-called mainstream press outlets.
Our disclosures this week led to some tough questions for the Obama State Department. According Josh Gerstein of Politico:
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland indicated Wednesday that the embassy did reach out to Al-Awlaki, but he never responded.
“He chose not to answer our request for him to come to the embassy,” Nuland said at the daily press briefing. She said that had he come in officials planned to offer him a “one-way passport back to the United States” to face criminal charges. She didn’t specify the charges.
Nuland did not respond directly to a provocative question from the Associated Press’s Matthew Lee about whether the U.S. believes it would have had the legal right to kill Al-Awlaki on the spot.
“Are you obligated not to kill someone who is responding to such an invitation?” Lee asked.
“I’m not going to entertain the notion that we would be calling him to the embassy for that purpose,” Nuland replied.
by Judith Miller NewsMax
December 4, 2012
Amid signs that the Syrian regime might be preparing to some of its vast chemical weapons stocks against insurgents who are growing stronger by the day, President Barack Obama warned Syria on Monday that the use of chemical weapons would be “totally unacceptable.”
Mr. Obama said that the use of such weapons by President Bashar al-Assad against his own people would have unspecified “consequences” for him and his beleaguered regime, stressing that they would be held “accountable” for such a “tragic mistake.”
“Today I want to make it absolutely clear to Assad and those under his command: The world is watching,” President Obama said.
The president delivered his blunt warning — the starkest his administration has issued so far — in a speech at a conference at the National Defense University. He spoke at the close of a meeting of over 200 national security officials to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program aimed at reducing the threat of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
Peter Bergen is CNN’s national security analyst and the author of “Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for bin Laden — From 9/11 to Abbottabad,” an outstanding book. He’s also one of my favorite commentators on terrorism and is consistently on target. However, I took issue with his defense of the Obama administration on the opinion page of CNN.com. Here’s an excerpt from his piece:
What is the Republican theory of the case against Rice? It appears to boil down to the idea that leading Democrats covered up the involvement of terrorists in some way connected to al Qaeda in the Benghazi attack during the run-up to the close presidential election because President Obama and others in his administration had for some time said that al Qaeda was close to strategic defeat.
Does this case make sense? First, you would have to accept that Obama, Rice and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton all knowingly deceived the American public about what had happened at the Benghazi consulate.
In response, I offer the following:
Peter, you ignore the point that by creating a cause entirely out of whole cloth–namely, citing The Innocence of Muslims–the administration also provoked more unrest, protests, and riots in Libya and other Middle Eastern nations. The president in turn made unnecessary statements on national TV and before the UN decrying a video no one would have seen had they not created such a lie. And Ansar al-Sharia isn’t so stupid as to not know they would be immediate suspects especially when they were claiming responsibility.
I’ve not received a response.