The new bin Laden documents make clear that there was intelligence politicization during the 2012 campaign.
Jenna Lifhits reports: A top foreign correspondent at the New York Times said Friday that the Obama administration deliberately downplayed al Qaeda’s strength in the run-up to the 2012 presidential election.
“The overall narrative that I think was being pushed to the press, and if you look back at the editorials that were done when that trove came out, was an image of bin Laden isolated, he had lost control of this group,” Rukmini Callimachi said during an event at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, referring to the 17 hand-picked documents released by the Obama administration in May of 2012.
“The narrative I would get is that . . . it had opportunistically taken the al Qaeda name in order to have prestige and scare people, and that in fact those people were just criminals.”
— Rukmini Callimachi
Her remarks triggered the following question from Kim Dozier, a former top correspondent for the Associated Press and CBS, and current executive editor of the Cipher Brief: “Do you think that was something that was kept from the public’s view because it revealed that there had to be reams of communication going back and forth, which means U.S. intelligence, Western intelligence, was missing this?”
“Suddenly, my worldview, which had been informed by officials . . . started to fall apart. Suddenly, I was seeing that this group that I was told really had no ties, with no connection . . . was in fact being micromanaged by al Qaeda central.”
— Rukmini Callimachi
“Think back to when bin Laden was killed. It was 2011, it was right before a major campaign season. I don’t want to underplay the role that the killing of Osama bin Laden had,” said Callimachi. “But I think that that was theorized into something much bigger.”
“The head of the organization has been killed, and now—these are literally quotes that I would get: the organization has been ‘decimated,’ the organization is in ‘disarray,’ the organization is ‘on the run,’” she continued. “At the same time that we were preparing to pull out troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, I think that it was important to portray this as a problem that no longer existed.”
* * *The Trump administration released roughly 470,000 files in November that were captured in the Abbottabad raid. Only a few hundred were released under the Obama administration, despite one official’s description of the haul as enough to fill a “small college library.”
When Callimachi was covering West Africa in 2011, Obama administration officials and others told her that al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which had just taken over the northern half of Mali, “was actually not really connected to al Qaeda.” Read the rest of this entry »
An invaluable resource finally becomes public.
Jonathan V. Last reports: Over at the Long War Journal, Thomas Joscelyn and Bill Roggio have the first analysis of the massive trove of documents, files, and images which were recovered at Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, during the raid in which bin Laden was killed.
The cache of documents, released today for the first time by the CIA, are an amazing stockpile of information that has never before been public. Per Joscelyn and Roggio:
* For the first time, there’s a picture of Hamza bin Laden, Osama’s secretive son, who’s never before been photographed.
* There’s a file with bin Laden’s hand-written, 228-page private journal.
* There’s a good deal of evidence that at the time of his death, bin Laden was still actively leading al Qaeda.
* Also, there’s a great deal of information on bin Laden’s ties to Iran and Iraq.
Here’s Joscelyn and Roggio on al Qaeda and Iran:
One never-before-seen 19-page document contains a senior jihadist’s assessment of the group’s relationship with Iran. The author explains that Iran offered some “Saudi brothers” in al Qaeda “everything they needed,” including “money, arms” and “training in Hezbollah camps in Lebanon, in exchange for striking American interests in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.” Iranian intelligence facilitated the travel of some operatives with visas, while sheltering others. Abu Hafs al-Mauritani, an influential ideologue prior to 9/11, helped negotiate a safe haven for his jihadi comrades inside Iran. But the author of the file, who is clearly well-connected, indicates that al Qaeda’s men violated the terms of the agreement and Iran eventually cracked down on the Sunni jihadists’ network, detaining some personnel. Still, the author explains that al Qaeda is not at war with Iran and some of their “interests intersect,” especially when it comes to being an “enemy of America.” Read the rest of this entry »
Abdul Razak Ali Artan was killed by a police officer after the car-and-knife ambush.
“America! Stop interfering with other countries, especially Muslim Ummah… We are not weak. We are not weak, remember that.”
— Abdul Razak Ali Artan, on Facebook
Abdul Razak Ali Artan, 18, wrote on what appears to be his Facebook page that he had reached a “boiling point,” made a reference to “lone wolf attacks” and cited radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.
“America! Stop interfering with other countries, especially Muslim Ummah [community]. We are not weak. We are not weak, remember that,” the post said.
Two hours before that, a cryptic post on the page said: “Forgive and forget. Love.”
Officials cautioned that they have not determined a motive for the ambush, which sent 11 people to the hospital Monday morning. A senior law enforcement official told NBC News that investigators are trying to determine whether Artan had personal problems or something else that might have pushed him over the edge.
“He told a campus publication that on his first day at OSU, he was ‘kind of scared’ to pray in public.”
A police officer was on the scene within a minute and killed the assailant, likely saving lives, university officials said. “He engaged the suspect and eliminated the threat,” OSU Police Chief Craig Stone said.
Law enforcement officials told NBC News that Artan was a Somali refugee who left his homeland with his family in 2007, lived in Pakistan and then came to the United States in 2014 as a legal permanent resident.
He lived briefly in a temporary shelter in Dallas before settling in Ohio, according to records maintained by Catholic Charities.
Artan attended Columbus State Community College for two years, graduating cum laude with an associate’s degree before moving on to Ohio State to continue his studies. He told a campus publication that on his first day at OSU, he was “kind of scared” to pray in public.
“If people look at me, a Muslim praying, I don’t know what they’re going to think, what’s going to happen.”
“If people look at me, a Muslim praying, I don’t know what they’re going to think, what’s going to happen,” Artan was quoted as saying in the Lantern.
The violence unfolded just before 10 a.m. ET Monday near an academic hall on the Columbus, Ohio, campus, where 60,000 students are enrolled.
Officials said Artan drove onto campus by himself and rammed the car past the curb and into a crowd on the sidewalk. Read the rest of this entry »
Adam Kredo reports: Democratic lawmakers are planning to attend prayer services at a Washington-area mosque that has been accused of acting as a front for Hamas and that served as the home of terrorist spiritual leader Anwar al-Awlaki, who reportedly mentored two of the 9/11 hijackers.
“That Democrats in the name of tolerance and diversity are mainstreaming extremists like this is inherently damaging to the Muslim community.”
On the heels of a deadly mass shooting by two Muslim individuals in San Bernardino, California, a group of Democratic lawmakers said they would attend Friday prayer services at the Dar al-Hijrah Mosque in Virginia, which has been linked to the financing of terrorists and where al-Awlaki served as the spiritual leader.
“These same folks just yesterday wanted to take away the Second Amendment rights of those on the terror watch list, and now they want to embrace a mosque that we know from FOIAs was on the terror watch list. Unbelievable.”
— Patrick Poole, a terrorism analyst and national security reporter
The Democrats set to attend include Reps. Don Beyer (D., Va.), Joseph Crowley (D., N.Y.), Betty McCollum (D., Minn.), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D., D.C.), and several Virginia state lawmakers, according to the New York Times.
Beyer told the Times that the visit could help diffuse tensions with the Muslim community in the wake of the San Bernardino attack and the recent terrorist massacre in Paris.
“After Paris and after the House resolution a few weeks ago, we just thought it was really important to continue to reiterate to the many, many peace-loving Muslim Americans that they were still a welcome part of our community,” Bayer said.
“A founding member of Dar al-Hijrah, Ismail Elbarasse, also has been accused of working for Hamas’s top leadership. The FBI accused Elbarasse of wiring $735,000 to a Hamas operative in 2004, according to the Investigative Project.”
The accused attackers in San Bernardino reportedly pledged their allegiance to the Islamic State before carrying out the rampage.
Al-Awlaki, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2011, began service as Dar al-Hijrah’s imam in January 2001. He is accused of acting as a key recruiter for al Qaeda and as serving as a spiritual adviser for those aligned with the terror group.
Treasury Department records have indicated that, in the past, Dar al-Hijrah acted “as a front for Hamas operatives in U.S.,” and was at one point “associated with Islamic extremists,” according to the Investigative Project on Terrorism. Read the rest of this entry »
Obama’s Statement on the Shooting in South Carolina
REWIND: June 18, 2015: Good afternoon, everybody. This morning, I spoke with, and Vice President Biden spoke with, Mayor Joe Riley and other leaders of Charleston to express our deep sorrow over the senseless murders that took place last night.
“At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries.“
Michelle and I know several members of Emanuel AME Church. We knew their pastor, Reverend Clementa Pinckney, who, along with eight others, gathered in prayer and fellowship and was murdered last night. And to say our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families, and their community doesn’t say enough to convey the heartache and the sadness and the anger that we feel.
Any death of this sort is a tragedy. Any shooting involving multiple victims is a tragedy….
I say that recognizing the politics in this town foreclose a lot of those avenues right now. But it would be wrong for us not to acknowledge it. Read the rest of this entry »
Neil Munro writes: Ahmed Mohamed, the Texas youth who was briefly detained Sept. 14 when he brought a clock-like device that looked like a bomb in to school, met with Sudan’s genocidal dictator Oct. 13.
That visit may prove embarrassing to President Barack Obama, whose science deputy personally invited the boy to an Oct. 19 science fair in the extended White House grounds.
Mohamed was invited to the White House after progressives and the media accepted and broadcast his claim that the arrest was prompted by unreasonable anti-Muslim and anti-African views supposedly prevalent among cops in Irving.
The boy’s hug for the genocidal Muslim theocrat prompted much criticism among his progressive supporters.
— ובםב (@AmAhmad249) October 16, 2015
On October 13, Ahmed, his sisters and his Sudan-born father flew out of Saudi Arabia into Sudan, a theocratic Muslim state that split into two states after waging a long war against Christian and tribal minorities in the south of the country.
It’s so genocidal that the International Criminal Court has posted a warrant for Bashir’s arrest. So theocratic that Bashir was Osama bin Laden’s host for several years. In March, Obama’s Secretary of State, John Kerry, posed for a photo with Bashir, to the displeasure of left-wing outlets. In a tweet, the Texas-born boy described Sudan as his “home.”
[VIDEO] Americans Swore They Would ‘Never Forget 9-11.’ But College Students Asked Why It Happened Have No IdeaPosted: September 12, 2015
“Probably, Bush did something bad.”
KYLE BECKER When college students at George Mason University are asked by the Young America’s Foundation what caused 9-11, several give baffling or just plain wrong answers about the largest terrorist attack in U.S. history. This is an inexcusable failure of the U.S.’ education system and the major news media.
The 9-11 terrorist attacks fundamentally changed Americans’ way of life and its foreign policy for the last fourteen years. On that harrowing morning in 2001, two planes struck the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Two other planes were hijacked: one struck the Pentagon building, and the other was brought down by brave passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 over Pennsylvania.
The terrorist group al-Qaeda, a Sunni Muslim fundamentalist organization led from Afghanistan by the now-deceased Osama bin Laden, coordinated by later Guantanamo Bay detainee Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, carried out the 9-11 attack in ‘retribution‘ for U.S. foreign involvement in the Middle East. Read the rest of this entry »
Border Patrol Retaliates Against James O’Keefe after Osama bin Laden Exposé; O’Keefe Fights Back and Releases Recording of Unconstitutional Detentions. Hidden Recording Device Reveals Border Patrol Grilling a Detained O’Keefe on Numerous Inappropriate Topics Including Trade Secrets, Financial Issues and Presidential Politics, Specifically Donald Trump…
More – NRO has this item
Raheem Kassam: Global printing firm Spreadshirt.com has refused to create a design for a supporter of the anti-Islamism ‘PEGIDA’ group, but still sells t-shirts of Osama Bin Laden’s face.
Spreadshirt, which is based in Germany, has refused to create the design for one of its native customers, Kerstin Bergel, instead replying with strongly worded e-mail that sought to distance the company from the idea of free speech.
“Some have been quick to point out Spreadshirt’s hypocrisy, as even if they were right in claiming that PEGIDA is a racist group, the company still sells t-shirts with the face of mass murderer and avowed racist Che Guevara, Joseph Stalin and the communist hammer and sickle, and even Osama Bin Laden.”
A Spreadshirt spokesman said: “What PEGIDA represents is in our eyes not an opinion, but rather a series of racist, discriminatory and inhuman pronouncements.
“For this reason, we have decided on ethical grounds not to print the name of this ridiculous association. I hope that one day, you realise that you are taking to the streets alongside Nazis.”
But PEGIDA’s followers say it isn’t a Nazi or Neo-Nazi group, but rather, stands for “Patriotische Europäer gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes”, or Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West. Read the rest of this entry »
The Pentagon and intelligence community are developing war plans and an operations center to fend off Chinese and Russian attacks on U.S.military and government satellites
The ops center, to be opened within six months, will receive data from satellites belonging to all government agencies, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work said Tuesday at the GEOINT symposium, an annual intelligence conference sponsored by the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation.
“We want to be able to establish patterns of life from space. We want to know what the unusual looks like. If, all of a sudden, a lot of cars show up in a parking lot of an adversary’s missile plant, we want to know about it and we want to know about it quickly. If, suddenly, small boats are swarming in the Gulf or pirates are starting to congregate off Aden, we want to know.”
“[W]e are going to develop the tactics, techniques, procedures, rules of the road that would allow us … to fight the architecture and protect it while it’s under attack,” Work said. “The ugly reality that we must now all face is that if an adversary were able to take space away from us, our ability to project decisive power across transoceanic distances and overmatch adversaries in theaters once we get there … would be critically weakened.”
“If Russian soldiers are snapping pictures of themselves in war zones and posting them in social media sites, we want to know exactly where those pictures were taken.”
Work also said that Air Force Secretary Deborah James would soon be named the “principal space advisor” to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, where she will to provide “independent advice separate from the consensus process of the department.”
Senior officials at the Pentagon and Office of the Director of National Intelligence are still finalizing details of the new center, which will back up the military’s Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
The center will help the military and government coordinate their preparations for and responses to any attack, said Lt. Cmdr. Courtney Hillson, a spokeswoman for Work. Read the rest of this entry »
Jason Leopold writes: In addition to his library of English-language books on topics such as international law, voting irregularities, and the Illuminati, Osama bin Laden also had a pretty substantial porn collection.
But the CIA won’t release bin Laden’s stash of porn, which Navy Seals apparently seized during a raid on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan four years ago. That’s because, unbelievably, it’s located in an “operational file,” which is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
An operational file is defined as:
(1) files of the National Clandestine Service which document the conduct of foreign intelligence or counterintelligence operations or intelligence or security liaison arrangements or information exchanges with foreign governments or their intelligence or security services;
(2) files of the Directorate for Science and Technology which document the means by which foreign intelligence or counterintelligence is collected through scientific and technical systems; and
(3) files of the Office of Personnel Security which document investigations conducted to determine the suitability of potential foreign intelligence or counterintelligence sources;
“It seems like a stretch to call these [pornographic] materials operational files,” said Steven Aftergood, the director of the Project on Government Secrecy. “Although they may have been obtained in the course of an operation, they do not have anything to do with the planning or conduct of the operation. So they don’t really fit the definition of an operational file in the CIA Information Act.”
Moreover, even if bin Laden’s porn collection wasn’t located in an operational file, the CIA said it still couldn’t release it because US law bars the agency from mailing “obscene or crime-inciting matter.”
The CIA made these questionable arguments last week, in response to a May 26 FOIA request filed last month by David Covucci, an editor at BroBible, a site that describes itself as “the ultimate destination for Bros.” Read the rest of this entry »
The omnipresent power behind the throne some have called the president’s Rasputin had the power to call off three strikes against Osama bin Laden. She may have used that power again the night four Americans died in Benghazi.
The Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack on our diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, came while America failed to mount a rescue mission despite sufficient time and assets.
“The biggest scandal of all, the biggest question is: What was the president doing in those eight hours?”
— Columnist Charles Krauthammer
Included in that disaster were the unaccounted whereabouts of President Obama during eight critical hours, the lack of Situation Room photos, the failure by the president to follow up with subordinates before his trip to Las Vegas and the fabricated story that the whole thing was prompted by an Internet video.
“I think there is a bigger story here … that will in time come out,” Krauthammer said. “The biggest scandal of all, the biggest question is: What was the president doing in those eight hours?”
The columnist noted: “He had a routine meeting at 5 o’clock. He never after, during the eight hours when our guys have their lives in danger, he never called the secretary of defense, he never calls the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, he never calls the CIA director.”
One of the people Obama always talks to is Valerie Jarrett. She emerged from the same Chicago cauldron of radicalism where Obama got his ideological baptism.
The Iranian-born Jarrett (her parents were American-born expatriates) is the only staff member who regularly follows the president home from the West Wing to the residence and one of the few people allowed to call the president by his first name.
Her influence is shown by an account in Richard Miniter‘s book “Leading From Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide for Him.” Read the rest of this entry »
GLOBAL PANIC POLL RESULTS: We told You So
Jordan Schachtel reports: In a recent survey conducted by AlJazeera.net, the website for the Al Jazeera Arabic television channel, respondents overwhelmingly support the Islamic State terrorist group, with 81% voting “YES” on whether they approved of ISIS’s conquests in the region.
The poll, which asked in Arabic, “Do you support the organizing victories of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)?” has generated over 38,000 responses thus far, with only 19% of respondents voting “NO” to supporting ISIS.
Al Jazeera Arabic’s television audience is largely made up of Sunni Muslims living in the Arab world. Its biggest viewership numbers come from Egypt and Saudi Arabia, along with a large amount of satellite
television viewers in the United States, according to research estimates.
AlJazeera.net is most popular in Saudi Arabia, the United States, Egypt, Morocco, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, according to the Alexa webpage analytics site. Al Jazeera claims that it has over 40 million viewers in the Arab world.
The news that an overwhelming majority of respondents to the Al Jazeera Arabic poll strongly support ISIS may not surprise long-time trackers of the controversial network. The news outfit, which is run by Qatar’s ruling family and headquartered in Doha, has a track record rife with allegations that the organization supports the narratives of Sunni terrorist groups. Read the rest of this entry »
WASHINGTON — Damian Paletta reports: The Obama administration on Wednesday released details on more than 400 letters, books, news articles, research reports and even software manuals it seized during the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden at his secret compound in Pakistan, offering a fresh view into the interests and correspondence of the former head of al Qaeda.
The intelligence agency declassified the names of 39 English-language books seized at bin Laden’s compound. These included books about the Central Intelligence Agency; Christianity and Islam in Spain from 756 until 1031; and Bob Woodward’s 2010 book, ‘Obama’s Wars.'”
The declassified material, which the Office of the Director of National Intelligence labeled “Bin Laden’s Bookshelf,” shows a number of interests—ranging from a Noam Chomsky book on “thought control” to things that could be seen, such as how-to books on terrorist attacks.
“It included, for example, a 2001 document from the U.S. military on ‘instruction on aircraft piracy and destruction of derelict airborne objects’ and numerous records about how to obtain a U.S. passport.”
It included, for example, a 2001 document from the U.S. military on “instruction on aircraft piracy and destruction of derelict airborne objects” and numerous records about how to obtain a U.S. passport. The compound also contained numerous world maps.
“These are gigantic events that will eventually engulf most of the Muslim world, will free the Muslim land from American hegemony, and is troubling America whose secretary of state declared that they are worried about the armed Muslims controlling the Muslim region.”
Rep. Devin Nunes (R., Calif.), chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said “it is in the interest of the American public for citizens, academics, journalists, and historians to have the opportunity to read and understand bin Laden’s documents.”
“All of this indicates that the Western countries are weak and their international role is regressing.”
— Osama bin Laden, in a letter recovered in the raid
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which released the records, said analysts were still reviewing more information seized during the raid and that “hundreds more” records could be declassified in the future.
The intelligence agency declassified the names of 39 English-language books seized at bin Laden’s compound. These included books about the Central Intelligence Agency; Christianity and Islam in Spain from 756 until 1031; and Bob Woodward’s 2010 book, “Obama’s Wars.”
In addition to the books, the documents seized at bin Laden’s compound included 35 items published by other extremist groups, most of which came from Khalifah Publications. Read the rest of this entry »
Osama’s body was chopped up and dropped from a helicopter? That’s odd. I saw video of his burial at sea
Michael Morell writes: As a career intelligence officer, I learned that there are few things in life of which you can be absolutely certain. But I am positive that a lengthy new article by journalist Seymour Hersh, which is getting widespread attention with a whole new tale about how Osama bin Laden was brought to justice, is wrong in almost every significant respect.
I can be certain because I was deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency when senior officials from our Counterterrorism Center first brought to CIA Director Leon Panetta and me the news that they had trailed an individual whom they believed was a bin Laden courier to a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. And I was there for every meeting that followed as we worked through the evidence that led our analysts to conclude that the most-wanted man in the world was hiding at the compound.
[Order Michael Morell’s book “The Great War of Our Time: The CIA’s Fight Against Terrorism–From al Qa’ida to ISIS” from Amazon.com]
So I had good reason to know that Mr. Hersh’s 10,000-word story in the London Review of Books was filled with falsehoods. But here’s something I got wrong: I was certain that Mr. Hersh’s allegations would be quickly dismissed. After all, there was a public record about the raid in statements by the White House, Pentagon and CIA, and in books by former officials such as Mr. Panetta, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and others. Then there were the media appearances by the Navy SEAL who says he personally shot bin Laden. It should have been clear that either Mr. Hersh’s version of the truth was bogus or that we all had participated in one of the most successful and complex conspiracies in modern history.
Despite the many and obvious holes in Mr. Hersh’s story, his allegations gained some traction. A number of respected news organizations ranging from the New York Times to NBC News picked up slivers of information in Mr. Hersh’s account and essentially said, “Yeah, we heard something like that too.” Almost all of these accounts were attributed to anonymous former officials—many of whom admitted having at best secondhand information. Incredibly, these “I know a guy, who knows a guy who swears that . . .” accounts were given credence over on-the-record statements made in the past four years by people who were in the room—or on the scene.
Mr. Hersh has appeared in the media in recent days saying that when I and others asserted that his report was wrong, we were offering “non-denial denials” because our objections lacked specificity. All right, let me specifically address his major allegations.
• Mr. Hersh says the White House lied when it asserted that the bin Laden raid was, as he puts it, an “all-American affair and that senior generals of Pakistan’s army and Inter-Services agency (ISI) were not told in advance.” The truth is that the decision not to tell the Pakistanis was made early in the discussions of our options. We would have liked to have made the raid a joint operation with the Pakistanis—what better way to strengthen the bilateral relationship?—but we simply couldn’t trust that someone in the Pakistani system would not tip off bin Laden. I was present during all of these discussions when it was resolved that we wouldn’t inform Pakistan until after the fact. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] White House Reportedly ‘Hitting Back Hard’ When Forced to Respond to Bin Laden Report Challenging Official NarrativePosted: May 14, 2015
The White House is denying a reporter’s account accusing the Obama administration of lying about the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound.
John T. Booker, a 20-year old U.S. Citizen from Topeka, was allegedly planning a suicide attack on the Fort Riley army base in Kansas in an attempt to provide material support to ISIS, the local CBS affiliate originally reported. The criminal complaint alleges that Booker, who also goes by the name “Mohammed Abdullah Hassan,” posted to Facebook “I will soon be leaving you forever so goodbye! I’m going to wage jihad and hopes that i die” before planning to detonate a car bomb at Fort Riley. Read the rest of this entry »
The White House Portrait of a Crumbling Terror Group is Contradicted by Documents Seized in the Bin Laden RaidPosted: March 5, 2015
How America Was Misled on al Qaeda’s Demise
Stephen Hayes and Tomas Joscelyn write: In the early-morning hours of May 2, 2011, a small team of American military and intelligence professionals landed inside the high white walls of a mysterious compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The team’s mission, code-named Operation Neptune Spear, had two primary objectives: capture or kill Osama bin Laden and gather as much intelligence as possible about the al Qaeda leader and his network. A bullet to bin Laden’s head accomplished the first; the quick work of the Sensitive Site Exploitation team accomplished the second.
“The leadership down at Central Command wanted to know what were we learning from these documents. We were still facing a growing al Qaeda threat. And it was not just Pakistan and Afghanistan and Iraq. But we saw it growing in Yemen. We clearly saw it growing still in East Africa…The threat wasn’t going away, and we wanted to know: What can we learn from these documents?”
— Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency
It was quite a haul: 10 hard drives, nearly 100 thumb drives and a dozen cellphones. There were DVDs, audio and video tapes, data cards, reams of handwritten materials, newspapers and magazines. At a Pentagon briefing days after the raid, a senior military intelligence official described it as “the single largest collection of senior terrorist materials ever.”
The United States had gotten its hands on al Qaeda’s playbook—its recent history, its current operations, its future plans. An interagency team led by the Central Intelligence Agency got the first look at the cache. They performed a hasty scrub—a “triage”—on a small sliver of the document collection, looking for actionable intelligence. According to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, the team produced more than 400 separate reports based on information in the documents.
But it is what happened next that is truly stunning: nothing. The analysis of the materials—the “document exploitation,” in the parlance of intelligence professionals—came to an abrupt stop. According to five senior U.S. intelligence officials, the documents sat largely untouched for months—perhaps as long as a year.
In spring 2012, a year after the raid that killed bin Laden and six months before the 2012 presidential election, the Obama administration launched a concerted campaign to persuade the American people that the long war with al Qaeda was ending.
“At precisely the time Mr. Obama was campaigning on the imminent death of al Qaeda, those with access to the bin Laden documents were seeing, in bin Laden’s own words, that the opposite was true. Says Lt. Gen. Flynn: ‘By that time, they probably had grown by about—I’d say close to doubling by that time. And we knew that.’”
In a speech commemorating the anniversary of the raid, John Brennan , Mr. Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser and later his CIA director, predicted the imminent demise of al Qaeda. The next day, on May 1, 2012, Mr. Obama made a bold claim: “The goal that I set—to defeat al Qaeda and deny it a chance to rebuild—is now within our reach.”
The White House provided 17 handpicked documents to the Combatting Terror Center at the West Point military academy, where a team of analysts reached the conclusion the Obama administration wanted. Bin Laden, they found, had been isolated and relatively powerless, a sad and lonely man sitting atop a crumbling terror network.
“This wasn’t what the Obama White House wanted to hear. So the administration cut off DIA access to the documents and instructed DIA officials to stop producing analyses based on them.”
It was a reassuring portrayal. It was also wrong. And those responsible for winning the war—as opposed to an election—couldn’t afford to engage in such dangerous self-delusion. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Obama’s Poker Skillz: Bad Bet? Double Down! President Barack Obama Doubles Down on Bizarre Refusal to Call Islamic Terrorists Islamic TerroristsPosted: February 19, 2015
Holding a Losing Hand, The President Goes All In
President Barack Obama affirmed on Wednesday his administration’s belief that the religion of violent extremists savaging Iraq and Syria is not relevant and should not matter.
There is ‘no one profile of a violent extremist or terrorist,’ Obama said at the White House’s summit on counter-terror measures. ‘There is no way to predict who will come radicalized.’
‘We are not at war with Islam,’ Obama asserted. ‘We are at war with people who have perverted Islam.’
The White House on Wednesday was blitzed by reporters demanding to know when it believes that religion is meaningful in violent attacks.
The Obama administration has been loathe to refer to ISIS as ‘Islamic radicals,’ arguing that the terrorist group’s religion doesn’t matter.
Furthermore, it has at times failed to mention the religion of victims of barbaric assaults while at other times featuring it front and center.
As foreign officials descended on Washington for the White House summit taking place next door, new life was given to the controversy and it threatened to overshadow the administration’s confab.
A statement sent to reporters on Sunday evening in which White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest condemned the ‘despicable and cowardly murder of twenty-one Egyptian citizens in Libya by ISIL-affiliated terrorists’ jump started the debate.
Notably, Earnest did not mention that the 21 Egyptians were Christians and were killed by terrorist because of their faith.
But two days before, after three, Muslim students were murdered in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, reportedly over an altercation involving a parking space, Obama said in a statement, ‘No one in the United States of America should ever be targeted because of who they are, what they look like, or how they worship.’
The statement implied that the students’ religion and the assault were linked, even though local authorities had not yet come to that conclusion.
At Wednesday’s press briefing Fox News correspondent Ed Henry implored Earnest to explain why he did not say in his statement that the slaughtered Egyptians were also Christians and asked if the White House doesn’t believe that information is ‘relevant’ to the crime.
‘It sure is,’ Earnest replied, ‘because the ISIL extremists who carried out this attack indicated that the reason that they were killing them, wasn’t just because they were Egyptian, but also because they were Christian.’
Then why not say that? pressed Henry.
‘I can’t account for that specific line in the statement,’ Earnest said, but we’ve been clear ‘that we condemn the outrageous murder of these Egyptian citizens because of their Christian faith.’
He pointed to an op-ed from the president that ran in the Los Angeles Times today as proof of the administration’s position.
In it Obama specifically states that ‘the terrorist group we call ISIL has slaughtered innocent civilians and murdered hostages, including Americans, and has spread its barbarism to Libya with the murder of Egyptian Christians.’
But why, Henry asked, did the White House feel it was necessary to immediately invoke religion when it came to the Muslim students even though the case is still under investigation.
The White House has a principle, Earnest said that ‘regardless of the faith of the individual in question, that people should not be targeted because of their religion, and what they look like or what their last name is or how they worship.’
Obama said that last Friday, Earnest said, to articulate its own believes – and one the White House believes ‘the vast majority of Americans should be able to support.’
“It just seems like you’re tiptoeing through the tulips here.”
— CNN’s Jim Acosta
‘I think we’ve been very clear about what we call it and why we approach it in this way,’ he said before moving on.
Obama’s spokesman was forced to revisit the topic of radical Islamism several times throughout the briefing, with CNN’s Jim Acosta at one point saying to him, ‘It just seems like you’re tiptoeing through the tulips here’ during a back and forth about the religious undertones of the White House’s counterterrorism summit. Read the rest of this entry »
President Obama opened this week’s White House Conference on Violent Extremism with a speech about community-based counter-radicalization efforts, and his Administration is being roundly mocked for its refusal to use terms like “Muslim terrorism” or “Islamism.” The mockery is deserved. Foreign policy is not a Harry Potter tale of good versus He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. And war cannot be won against an enemy we refuse to describe except in meaningless generalities.
“Their version of jihad is gaining adherents precisely because it is motivated by an idea that challenges the values and beliefs of moderate Islam, the West and modernity. The free and non-fanatic world won’t win this deeper struggle if the Obama Administration refuses even to acknowledge its nature.”
But there is a deeper problem with the Administration’s semantic dodges. Al Qaeda, Islamic State, Boko Haram and other jihadist groups are waging more than a military conflict. They are also waging an increasingly successful ideological war for the soul of Islam and its 1.6 billion followers.
“Qutb argued that humans can choose only between Islam and jahilyya….No middle ground exists…All Muslims—as he defined them—therefore must take up arms in this fight. Any Muslim who rejects his ideas is just one more nonbeliever worthy of destruction.”
Their version of jihad is gaining adherents precisely because it is motivated by an idea that challenges the values and beliefs of moderate Islam, the West and modernity. The free and non-fanatic world won’t win this deeper struggle if the Obama Administration refuses even to acknowledge its nature.
[Also see – What Isis Really Wants — The Atlantic]
“Communist ideology lost its appeal when it was seen to fail against the prosperity and freedom of the West. Islamic State will lose its allure when it is defeated and humiliated in the arena it cares about most, which is the battlefield.”
The 9/11 Commission Report put this front and center. Its second chapter, “The Foundation of the New Terrorism,” traces what it calls “ Bin Ladin ’s Appeal in the Islamic World.” It discusses the late al Qaeda leader’s faith in “a return to observance of the literal teachings of the Qur’an and the Hadith.” It underscores bin Laden’s reliance on Muslim theologians, from Ibn Taimiyyah in the 14th century to Sayyid Qutb in the 20th. And it explains how bin Laden turned Islam into a licence for murder. Read the rest of this entry »
PARIS — France’s government urged the nation to remain vigilant Saturday, as thousands of security forces try to thwart new attacks and hunt down a suspected accomplice in a rampage by terrorists linked to al Qaeda in Yemen that scarred the nation and left 20 dead.
Hundreds of thousands of people marched Saturday in cities from Toulouse in the south to Rennes in the west to honor the 17 victims of three attackers, killed by police after three days of bloodshed at the offices of a satirical newspaper, a kosher supermarket and other sites around Paris.
The sense of relief was tinged with sorry and worry. In Paris, security forces guarded places of worship and tourist sites, and prepared for what’s likely to be a huge silent march Sunday to show unity against extremists. Two dozen world leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron, are among the many expected to join.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said authorities will do everything to ensure security at the event. Speaking after an emergency meeting called by French President Francois Hollande on Saturday morning, Cazeneuve called for “extreme vigilance,” saying that “given the context, we are exposed to risks.”
Al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen said it directed Wednesday’s attack against the publication Charlie Hebdo to avenge the honor of the Prophet Muhammad, a frequent target of the weekly’s satire.
In a sign of the tense atmosphere, a security perimeter was briefly imposed at Disneyland Paris on Saturday before being lifted, a spokeswoman said, without elaborating. Movement around the park was back to normal by early afternoon.
Several thousand people walk behind a banner which reads,” Live Together Free, Equal, and United” during a march in Nantes, France.Photo: Reuters
Cazeneuve said the government is maintaining its terror alert system at the highest level in the Paris region, and said investigators are focusing on determining whether the attackers were part of a larger extremist network.
Five other people are in custody as part of the investigation, and family members of the attackers are among several given preliminary charges so far.
“You must consider her as the companion of a dangerous terrorist who needs to be questioned. Since 2010, she has had a relationship with an individual whose ideology translates into violence and the execution of poor people who were just doing their shopping in a supermarket.”
— Christophe Crepin, spokesman for UNSA police union
French radio RTL released audio Saturday of the attacker, Amedy Coulibaly, who seized hostages in the kosher supermarket, in which he lashes out over Western military campaigns against extremists in Syria and Mali. He describes Osama bin Laden as an inspiration. Read the rest of this entry »
Noah Rothman writes:
On December 28, 2013, The New York Times published a thoroughly researched review of the September 11, 2012 attacks on the American diplomatic and CIA facilities in the city of Benghazi. David Kirkpatrick, The Times’ Cairo bureau chief, traveled to Libya and personally conducted a series of interviews with witnesses and even the relatives of suspects in that attack. His exhaustive account of the events on that night was illuminating, but his conclusions about what sparked that deadly attack made the most waves.
Kirkpatrick found that there was “no evidence that al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault.” The Times reporter added that he found more evidence that the attack on a CIA compound and a diplomatic outpost “was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.”
Though he gave credit to The Times for performing this investigation into the Benghazi attack, The Weekly Standard’s Stephen F. Hayes made short work of Kirkpatrick’s conclusions:
There is, in fact, evidence that terrorists linked to al Qaeda had a role in the Benghazi attacks. Indeed, there’s a fair amount of that kind of evidence. As Representative Adam Schiff, a California Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence put it on Sunday when asked about the Times report: “The intelligence indicates that al Qaeda was involved, but there were also plenty of people and militias that were unaffiliated with al Qaeda involved.” Schiff who has defended the Obama administration on Benghazi and praised the Times piece as adding “valuable insights,” nonetheless pronounced it incomplete and hinted that signals intelligence contradicted the claims in the piece.…(read more in NYT)
It is a wonder that The Times did not credit Hayes or his Weekly Standard colleague Tom Joscelyn when The Grey Lady issued a report on Friday headlined, “Militants in Benghazi attack tied to a Qaeda affiliate.” Read the rest of this entry »
BREAKING: Anticipating Midterm Losses, Eric Holder Rushes to Step Down as Attorney General to Help Confirmation EffortPosted: September 25, 2014
Holder most wants to be remembered for his record on civil rights. In reality, he will be remembered as a divisive, combative, arrogant, partisan hatchet man for the administration, in a period marked by selective enforcement, stonewalling, evasion, and contempt.
Two sources familiar with the decision tell NPR that Holder, 63, intends to leave the Justice Department as soon as his successor is confirmed, a process that could run through 2014 and even into next year. A former U.S. government official says Holder has been increasingly “adamant” about his desire to leave soon for fear that he otherwise could be locked in to stay for much of the rest of President Obama’s second term.
“…some of that early glow faded in part due to the politicized nature of the job and in part because of Holder’s own rhetoric, such as a 2009 Black History Month speech where he said the country was ‘a nation of cowards’…”
Holder already is one of the longest-serving members of the Obama Cabinet and ranks as the fourth-longest tenured AG in history. Hundreds of employees waited in lines, stacked three rows deep, in early February 2009 to witness his return to the Justice Department, where he previously worked as a young corruption prosecutor and as deputy attorney general — the second in command — during the Clinton administration.
“Even though the attorney general has his eyes on the door, the two sources say several more policy and enforcement initiatives are underway and could be announced soon.”
Five years later, violence erupted between police and protesters in Ferguson, Mo., after a white policeman killed an unarmed black 18-year-old. And this time, the White House dispatched Holder to speak his piece, in effect jump-starting that conversation and helping to settle nerves in the frayed community.
“For instance, Holder sent a memo to U.S. attorneys Wednesday urging them not to use sentencing enhancements known as “851” tools to gain leverage in plea negotiations with defendants — in essence, threatening defendants into avoiding trial with huge amounts of prison time.”
Another huge controversy — over his decision to try the Sept. 11 plotters in a New York courthouse in the shadow of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center — prompted venomous reaction from lawmakers, New York City officials and some victims’ families. Read the rest of this entry »
For Defining Ideas, Victor Davis Hanson writes: Will the United States in its near future be hit again in the manner of the 9/11 attacks of thirteen years ago? The destruction of the World Trade Center, the suicide implosions of four passenger airliners, and the attack on the Pentagon unfortunately have become far-off memories. They are now more distant from us than was the Vietnam War was from the Korean War.
“Drone strikes continue at a vastly accelerated pace under President Obama, but they also raise existential hypocrisies about our approach to terrorism.”
Two questions will determine whether radical Islamic terrorists will attack us once more: one, are the post-9/11 anti-terrorism protocols that have so far stopped major terrorist attacks still viable and effective, and, two, is Al-Qaeda or an analogous Islamic terrorist organization now still as capable as were Osama bin Laden’s henchmen in 2001?
Unfortunately, the answers to those two questions should raise great concern. Take the current status of the so-called war on terror in all of its manifestations. The southern border of the United States is less guarded than at anytime since 9/11.
For all practical purposes, enforceable immigration laws simply no longer exist. The result is that we have no idea who is crossing into the United States or for what purposes.
“The President’s six years of concentrated Islamic outreach has not won over the Muslim Middle East.”
Some of the Bush-Cheney anti-terrorism protocols are still in operation—renditions, preventative detention, the Guantanamo detention center, and the Patriot Act. However, the NSA, IRS, and VA scandals, along with the Edward Snowden and Wikileaks revelations, have created an understandably strong public backlash against government surveillance, which will lead to new protocols limiting our ability to monitor terrorist suspects. Read the rest of this entry »
Reality Check: Al Qaeda Wasn’t ‘on the Run’
Stephen F. Hayes writes: In the early morning hours of May 2, 2011, an elite team of 25 American military and intelligence professionals landed inside the walls of a compound just outside the Pakistani city of Abbottabad. CIA analysts had painstakingly tracked a courier to the compound and spent months monitoring the activity inside the walls. They’d concluded, with varying levels of confidence, that the expansive white building at the center of the lot was the hideout of Osama bin Laden.
“Many of the analysts and military experts with access to the documents were struck by a glaring contradiction: As President Obama and his team campaigned on the coming demise of al Qaeda in the runup to the 2012 election, the documents told a very different story.”
They were correct. And minutes after the team landed, the search for bin Laden ended with a shot to his head.
The primary objective of Operation Neptune Spear was to capture or kill the leader of al Qaeda. But a handful of those on the ground that night were part of a “Sensitive Site Exploitation” team that had a secondary mission: to gather as much intelligence from the compound as they could.
“As the public heard this carefully managed story about al Qaeda, analysts at CENTCOM were poring over documents that showed something close to the opposite.”
With bin Laden dead and the building secure, they got to work. Moving quickly—as locals began to gather outside the compound and before the Pakistani military, which had not been notified of the raid in advance, could scramble its response—they shoved armload after armload of bin Laden’s belongings into large canvas bags. The entire operation took less than 40 minutes.
The intelligence trove was immense. At a Pentagon briefing one day after the raid, a senior official described the haul as a “robust collection of materials.” It included 10 hard drives, nearly 100 thumb drives, and a dozen cell phones—along with data cards, DVDs, audiotapes, magazines, newspapers, paper files. Read the rest of this entry »
James Foley Murderer Identified: London Rapper Turned jihadist Believed to be Under Investigation for Beheading Journalist in SyriaPosted: August 24, 2014
The Independent‘s Lizzie Dearden reports: A former rapper fighting with the Islamic State (Isis) in Syria is believed to be one of several British jihadists under investigation following the beheading of James Foley.
Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, 24, was known as L Jinny or Lyricist Jinn at home in London, where his rising music career saw him appear in videos and have his singles played on BBC Radio in 2012.
He came to national attention earlier this year, when he posted a picture of himself holding a severed head on Twitter after resurfacing in Syria.
The gruesome picture, believed to have been taken in the Isis stronghold of Raqqa, was captioned: “Chillin’ with my homie or what’s left of him.”
Bary reportedly travelled to the country last year from Maida Vale, west London, where he lived with his mother and five siblings.
His father Adel Abdul Bary, an Egyptian refugee thought to be one of Osama Bin Laden’s closes lieutenants, was extradited from Britain to the United States on charges of terrorism in 2012 for his alleged roles in the bombings of two US embassies in east Africa in 1998. Read the rest of this entry »
— Foreign Policy (@ForeignPolicy) July 22, 2014
The Weekly Standard has profiled these jihadists previously on multiple occasions, and what follows below is culled from these accounts. Here are short bios for each of the five Taliban commanders. All quotes are drawn from declassified and leaked documents prepared at Guantanamo.
Mullah Mohammad Fazl (Taliban army chief of staff): Fazl is “wanted by the UN for possible war crimes including the murder of thousands of Shiites.” Fazl “was associated with terrorist groups currently opposing U.S. and Coalition forces including al Qaeda, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin (HIG), and an Anti-Coalition Militia group known as Harakat-i-Inqilab-i-Islami.” In addition to being one of the Taliban’s most experienced military commanders, Fazl worked closely with a top al Qaeda commander named Abdul Hadi al Iraqi, who headed al Qaeda’s main fighting unit in Afghanistan prior to 9/11 and is currently detained at Guantanamo.
Mullah Norullah Noori (senior Taliban military commander): Like Fazl, Noori is “wanted by the United Nations (UN) for possible war crimes including the murder of thousands of Shiite Muslims.” Beginning in the mid-1990s, Noori “fought alongside al Qaeda as a Taliban military general, against the Northern alliance.” He continued to work closely with al Qaeda in the years that followed.
Abdul Haq Wasiq (Taliban deputy minister of intelligence): Wasiq arranged for al Qaeda members to provide crucial intelligence training prior to 9/11. The training was headed by Hamza Zubayr, an al Qaeda instructor who was killed during the same September 2002 raid that netted Ramzi Binalshibh, the point man for the 9/11 operation. Wasiq “was central to the Taliban’s efforts to form alliances with other Islamic fundamentalist groups to fight alongside the Taliban against U.S. and Coalition forces after the 11 September 2001 attacks,” according to a leaked JTF-GTMO threat assessment.
Khairullah Khairkhwa (Taliban governor of the Herat province and former interior minister): Khairkhwa was the governor of Afghanistan’s westernmost province prior to 9/11. In that capacity, he executed sensitive missions for Mullah Omar, including helping to broker a secret deal with the Iranians. For much of the pre-9/11 period, Iran and the Taliban were bitter foes. But a Taliban delegation that included Kharikhwa helped secure Iran’s support for the Taliban’s efforts against the American-led coalition in late 2001. JTF-GTMO found that Khairkhwa was likely a major drug trafficker and deeply in bed with al Qaeda. He allegedly oversaw one of Osama bin Laden’s training facilities in Herat. Read the rest of this entry »
Police said the attackers opened fire on Hamid Mir‘s car near the airport.
The presenter for Geo TV received three bullets, but was in a stable condition, the officials added.
There have been previous attempts on the life of Mr Mir, the first journalist to interview Osama bin Laden after 9/11. Pakistan is one of the most dangerous countries for the media.
The attack has been strongly condemned by Pakistani politicians, including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Last month, Mr Sharif pledged to do more to protect journalists in Pakistan.
Mr Mir had just landed in Karachi and was on his way to the studios of Geo TV, a private Pakistani news channel, when unidentified gunmen in a car and on motorcycles reportedly tailed him before opening fire. Read the rest of this entry »
Rot in cell!
For the NY Daily News, Daniel Beekman reports: Jurors found Osama Bin Laden’s son-in-law guilty Wednesday of providing support to terrorists and conspiring to kill Americans as an Al Qaeda spokesman around the time of the 9/11 attacks.
Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, 48, spewed hateful speeches alongside Bin Laden in several Al Qaeda propaganda videos filmed shortly after the attacks, including one made outside a mountain cave in Afghanistan on Sept. 12, 2001, the day after the Twin Towers fell.
It took the 12 jurors about a day to reach their verdict in Manhattan Federal Court and the defendant now faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Jack Murphy writes: There are a lot of puzzled expressions on people’s faces when it comes to the subject of the late Osama Bin Laden and why the White House has not authorized the release of any pictures of the body. Photographs and video were released of Saddam Hussein’s hanging, as well as post-mortem pictures of his criminal sons, Uday and Qusay, after Delta Force took them out. Why not release a few pictures of Public Enemy #1 to prove that he is dead and show the world what happens when you take on the US of A?
“When all was said and done, UBL had over a hundred bullets in him, by the most conservative estimate.”
Matt Bissonnette, one of the SEAL Team Six operators on the raid, partially outs the reason in his book, No Easy Day. The book reads, “In his death throes, he was still twitching and convulsing. Another assaulter and I trained our lasers on his chest and fired several rounds. The bullets tore into him, slamming his body into the floor until he was motionless” (No Easy Day, Chapter 15).
“The level of excess shown was not about making sure that Bin Laden was no longer a threat. The excess was pure self-indulgence.”
But this is perhaps the most measured and polite description that one could give of how operator after operator took turns dumping magazines-worth of ammunition into Bin Laden’s body, two confidential sources within the community have told us. When all was said and done, UBL had over a hundred bullets in him, by the most conservative estimate.
NRO‘s Andrew C. McCarthy writes: The “blame it on the video” fraud so carefully orchestrated by the Obama administration in connection with the Benghazi massacre on the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks has always rested on a premise that remains unquestioned by the mainstream media – and that is itself a fraud. To wit: the Libyan violence, in which a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were murdered, was triggered by rioting at the U.S. embassy in neighboring Egypt which was unquestionably provoked by an anti-Islamic video (an obscure trailer for the more obscure film, Innocence of Muslims).
There is now more evidence corroborating the fact that al Qaeda-linked jihadists, not the video, propelled the Cairo rioting — just as al-Qaeda-linked jihadists, not the video, propelled the Benghazi attack.
As I’ve previously recounted, “blame it on the video” was a fraud as to Egypt as well – a calculated fraud set in motion by State Department officials in Cairo who began tweeting about their outrage over the video before the rioting started. At the time they did so, our government well knew both that there would be demonstrations at the embassy and that those demonstrations were being spearheaded by al Qaeda.
Remember how the Obama re-election campaign kept crowing that “General Motors is alive and Osama bin Laden is dead”? Well, Osama is still dead, and the government is now selling the last of its GM stock — at a loss to taxpayers of $10 billion. Who has gained? Bloomberg’s James Sherk has the answer: GM’s UAW-represented employees.
Sherk points out that the government agreed to — actually, it engineered — terms quite different from those of ordinary bankruptcies. UAW members, unlike employees of bankrupt airlines, took essentially no haircut, and there was even $1 billion for UAW employees of Delphi, to whom GM had no legal obligation. (Delphi was spun off from GM several years before)
WASHINGTON — Marisa Taylor and Jonathan Landay report: More than two years after sensitive information about the Osama bin Laden raid was disclosed to Hollywood filmmakers, Pentagon and CIA investigations haven’t publicly held anyone accountable despite internal findings that the leakers were former CIA Director Leon Panetta and the Defense Department’s top intelligence official.
Instead, the Pentagon Inspector General’s Office is working to root out who might have disclosed the findings on Panetta and Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael Vickers to a nonprofit watchdog group and to McClatchy.
While the information wasn’t classified, the inspector general’s office has pursued the new inquiry aggressively, grilling its own investigators, as well as the former director of its whistle-blowing unit, according to several people, including a congressional aide. They requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issues surrounding the 2012 movie “Zero Dark Thirty.”
“I’m concerned that the inspector general’s office is barking up the wrong tree,” said Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, who long has championed government whistle-blowing. “There’s no doubt they should look into the ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ fiasco, but they should focus on holding people accountable for leaking highly classified operational material instead of wasting time and money investigating who leaked the report.”
The handling of the disclosures of protected information to the makers of “Zero Dark Thirty,” the award-winning account of the U.S. hunt for bin Laden, points up an apparent double standard in President Barack Obama’s unprecedented crackdown on unauthorized leaks.
Disclosures by lower-level officials have been vigorously pursued. For example, seven Navy SEALs were reprimanded for disclosing classified material to the makers of a military video game. Moreover, the administration has prosecuted a record number of intelligence community personnel for leaking.
WASHINGTON – Kimberly Dozier reports: Newly declassified documents show that former CIA Director Leon Panetta revealed secret information to “Zero Dark Thirty” scriptwriter Mark Boal, who was allowed to attend Panetta’s speech at CIA headquarters marking the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
Judicial Watch filed a request for the more than 200 pages of documents, which the CIA released Tuesday. The documents concerned the internal investigation of its role in the film about the bin Laden raid.
In a statement, Panetta says he had no idea Boal was in the audience when he gave the speech. He says he assumed everyone inside had proper clearance.
Note: The following message from Michelle about the acquisition of Twitchy is cross-posted at MichelleMalkin.com
On March 7, 2012, I launched Twitchy with great anticipation and excitement. It’s hard to believe that a little more than a year ago, we were greeted with a great deal of befuddlement and amusement. Many observers couldn’t figure out why Twitchy.com was needed, what exactly it did, and who our audience was. Fast-forward: “Twitchy’d” has become a verb and every last media outlet – new and old – is elbowing its way into the Twitter curation/aggregation space.
As we noted on our first birthday this spring:
Twitter users publish something like half a billion tweets per day. Even if 99.999 percent of those tweets are unimportant or nonsense, that leaves 5,000 tweets per day that are potentially newsworthy, or at least noteworthy.
Our mission is to find those hidden nuggets and report on them to you, our readers.
We’ve been at it for a year as of today. Has our Twitter-based news-gathering model proven a success?
We believe our record speaks for itself:
We documented tweets and retweets by dozens of left-wing Hollywood cranks, including Cher, Alec Baldwin, Jim Carrey, Russell Crowe, Chris Rock, Jason Biggs, Samuel Jackson, Ellen Barkin, Eva Longoria, and Eliza Dushku.
We were among the first to uncover Twitter riot threats and vandalism by Obama supporters in the run-up to Election Day…
1) The Trail of Tears (1838): The first Democrat President, Andrew Jackson and his successor Martin Van Buren, herded Indians into camps, tormented them, burned and pillaged their homes and forced them to relocate with minimal supplies. Thousands died along the way.
2) Democrats Cause The Civil War (1860): The pro-slavery faction of the Democrat Party responded to Abraham Lincoln’s election by seceding, which led to the Civil War.
3) Formation of the KKK (1865): Along with 5 other Confederate veterans, Democrat Nathan Bedford Forrest created the KKK.
4) 300 Black Americans Murdered (1868):“Democrats in Opelousas, Louisianakilled nearly 300 blacks who tried to foil an assault on a Republican newspaper editor.”
5) The American Protective League and The Palmer Raids (1919-1921): Under the leadership of Woodrow Wilson, criticizing the government became a crime and a fascist organization, the American Protective League was formed to spy on and even arrest fellow Americans for being insufficiently loyal to the government. More than 100,000 Americans were arrested, with less than 1% of them ever being found guilty of any kind of crime.
6) Democrats Successfully Stop Republicans From Making Lynching A Federal Crime (1922):“The U.S. House adopted Rep. Leonidas Dyer’s (R., Mo.) bill making lynching a federal crime. Filibustering Senate Democrats killed the measure.”
7) The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment (1932-1972): Contrary to what you may have heard, Democrats in Alabama did not give black Americans syphilis. However, the experimenters did know that subjects of the experiment unknowingly had syphilis and even after it was proven that penicillin could be used to effectively treat the disease in 1947, the experiments continued. As a result, a number of the subjects needlessly infected their loved ones and died, when they could have been cured.
8) Japanese Internment Camps (1942):Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an executive order that led to more than 100,000 Japanese Americans being put into “bleak, remote camps surrounded by barbed wire and armed guards.”
9) Alger Hiss Convicted Of Perjury (1950): Hiss, who helped advise FDR at Yalta and was strongly defended by the Left, turned out to be a Soviet spy. He was convicted of perjury in 1950 (Sadly, the statute of limitations on espionage had run out), but was defended by liberals for decades until the Verona papers proved so conclusively that he was guilty that even most his fellow liberals couldn’t continue to deny it.
Exploding the myths about the paranoid tales we tell
Jesse Walker writes: It might seem like we’re living at a uniquely rich moment for conspiracy theories. Over the last few years, we’ve seen it claimed that Osama bin Laden didn’t really die, that Barack Obama is covering up the true circumstances of his birth, that Kanye West and Kim Kardashian have encoded Illuminati symbolism in their baby’s name, that the National Security Agency has been secretly intercepting Americans’ phone calls and e-mails—oh, wait. That last one’s true.
It’s easy to write off conspiracy theories as the delusions of the political fringe, a minor nuisance fueled by the rise of the Internet. Easy—and inaccurate. Conspiracy stories have been a major part of American life since the colonial days. They are not just found in the political extremes, and they are not invariably wrong. And even when they are wrong, as is so often true, they still have lessons to teach us. To understand why conspiracies matter, it helps to clear away some myths that have attached themselves to the subject.
Myth #1: People today are uniquely prone to believing conspiracy theories
A 2011 article in the British newspaper The Independent flatly declared that “there are more conspiracy theories and more conspiracy theory believers than ever before.” This, the reporter continued, was largely “because the internet has made it easy to propagate rumour and supposition on a global scale.” As an example, he cited a story that the Ku Klux Klan secretly owned KFC and was lacing “the food with a drug that makes only black men impotent.”
But there has never been an age when conspiracy theories were not popular. From Puritan fears that Satan was commanding a conspiracy of Indians to Thomas Jefferson’s concern that the British had “a deliberate and systematical plan of reducing us to slavery,” from the assassination rumors that followed the death of President Zachary Taylor to the tales of subversion told during the Cold War, every significant event in American history has inspired conspiracy theories. And a lot of insignificant events have, too.
Rowan Scarborough reports: Questions haunt the families of Extortion 17, the 2011 helicopter mission in Afghanistan that suffered the most U.S. military deaths in a single day in the war on terrorism.
The investigative file made available to The Washington Times show that the helicopter’s landing zone was not properly vetted for threats nor protected by gunships, while commanders criticized the mission as too rushed and the conventional Chinook chopper as ill-suited for a dangerous troop infiltration.
Every day, Charlie Strange, the father of one of the 30 Americans who died Aug. 6, 2011, in the flash of a rocket-propelled grenade, asks himself whether his son, Michael, was set up by someone inside the Afghan government wanting revenge on Osama bin Laden’s killers — SEAL Team 6.
“Somebody was leaking to the Taliban,” said Mr. Strange, whose son intercepted communications as a Navy cryptologist. “They knew. Somebody tipped them off. There were guys in a tower. Guys on the bush line. They were sitting there, waiting. And they sent our guys right into the middle.”
Doug Hamburger’s son, Patrick, an Army staff sergeant, also perished when the CH-47D Chinook descended to a spot less than 150 yards from where armed Taliban fighters watched from a turret. Read the rest of this entry »
Mark Steyn writes: The least dispiriting moment of another grim week in Washington was the sight of ornery veterans tearing down the Barrycades around the war memorials on the National Mall, dragging them up the street, and dumping them outside the White House. This was, as Kevin Williamson wrote at National Review, “as excellent a gesture of the American spirit as our increasingly docile nation has seen in years.” Indeed. The wounded vet with two artificial legs balancing the Barrycade on his Segway was especially impressive. It would have been even better had these disgruntled citizens neatly lined up the Barrycades across the front of the White House and round the sides, symbolically Barrycading him in as punishment for Barrycading them out. But, in a town where an unarmed woman can be left a bullet-riddled corpse merely for driving too near His Benign Majesty’s palace and nobody seems to care, one appreciates a certain caution. Read the rest of this entry »