Benghazi and the Politicization of Intelligence

As we now know, within about 15 minutes after the start of the attack on the U.S. Special Mission Compound (SMC) in Benghazi on 11 September 2012, top U.S. civilian and uniformed officials were informed that it was a terrorist attack. The information was clear, unambiguous, and remained consistent over the chaotic hours that followed. It did not change. If anything, the exceptionally accurate final mortar strike on the CIA Annex that took the lives of former Navy SEALs Glenn Doherty and Ty Woods, and gravely injured others, provided conclusive evidence of a carefully pre-planned attack. There is simply no room for equivocation on this: it was a well-organized, military-style assault by terrorists armed with assault rifles, RPGs, and eventually a mortar.

Mike Morell, then-head of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center (CTC), had the task of helping to prepare talking points for then-U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, who was slated to appear on five Sunday morning talk shows a few days later. Morell was personally responsible for “cutting some 50 percent of the text,” including all “references to Al Qaeda” and the many earlier terror attacks against U.S. and other Western targets in Benghazi. When the Senate Intelligence Committee finally succeeded in prying loose the emails that had flowed back and forth to the CIA, State Department and the White House during the talking points editing process, it was clear that Morell not only had misrepresented his own role, but also had been less than forthcoming about the close oversight role played by the White House in ensuring that all references to al-Qa’eda terrorism would be scrubbed. Morell also made sure to scrub from the talking points the honest assessment that “We cannot rule out that individuals had previously surveilled the U.S. facilities, also contributing to the efficacy of the attacks.”

With the President in a close re-election race and touting the obviously inaccurate meme that al-Qa’eda was on the run and close to defeat, it wouldn’t have helped to admit that Islamic terrorists, after what was likely weeks of planning and rehearsal, had just overrun a U.S. diplomatic post in North Africa and killed four Americans. Better to obfuscate until the election was safely behind them. Besides, “What difference does it make?” that the most senior officials of the U.S. government deliberately subverted the intelligence process as long as it helped ensure the President’s re-election?

Nearly as troubling as Morell’s misleading congressional testimony was the overwhelming silence from senior Defense Department officials, who also knew full well that Susan Rice’s talk-show narrative was false—and yet remained silent. Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Mike Rogers (MI) indicated on 27 February 2014 that Morell likely will be called back to clarify his testimony.

There is no doubt that top officials at the Defense Department knew almost immediately that the Benghazi attack was a terrorist attack—and given the stream of reporting about al-Qa’eda’s increasingly aggressive behavior during the months leading up to the 11 September 2012 final attack, also should have had few doubts about who was responsible. According to closed door classified testimony on 26 June 2013 before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation, AFRICOM commander Gen. Carter Ham (who happened to be in the Pentagon that night) immediately told Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Gen. Martin Dempsey about the attack, saying that it was unambiguously a terrorist attack. The two of them—Panetta, and Dempsey—then departed from the Pentagon together for a previously-scheduled meeting with President Obama at the White House.

Even as these Defense officials were briefing the President on what was happening in Benghazi, telling him that the U.S. Ambassador to Tripoli, Christopher Stevens, was missing, the same information about the attack was reaching the Pentagon and key combatant commands, all of which were told the same thing: it was a terrorist attack. Later that night, Greg Hicks, the Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) in Tripoli, spoke by phone with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other top State Department advisors, telling them that he feared Ambassador Stevens might be in the clutches of terrorists at a Benghazi hospital and that he was concerned about the possibility of a terrorist attack on the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli as well. He soon learned from the Libyan prime minister that Stevens was dead, and relayed that information to the State Department at around 9 p.m. Washington time. But there was still nothing about a video. Nothing at all.

Then came the 10 p.m. phone call from the President to Secretary of State Clinton—the person that almost no one (except Andrew McCarthy here) mentions. This was the 10 p.m. phone call that White House spokesman Jay Carney reluctantly mentioned on 20 February 2013 in response to questions from the press corps. According to CNS News, the President called Clinton “to get an update on the situation.” It was right afterward that Clinton released a statement linking the attacks to “inflammatory material posted on the Internet,” a reference to “The Innocence of Muslims” YouTube film trailer. As it turned out, that deliberately duplicitous initial reference to a video that had nothing to do with the attack on the Benghazi SMC presaged a full two weeks of false statements from President Obama, Secretary Clinton, White House spokesman Jay Carney, and others about the film clip.

Neither Morell, nor any other top Obama administration official, has any excuse for not knowing the attack was a terrorist attack, or for thinking somehow that a demonstration or protests had preceded it. According to FOX News journalist Catherine Herridge, a report from the CIA’s own senior officer on the ground in Tripoli, Libya confirmed in a 15 September 2012 email that the attack was “not/not an escalation of protests,” but rather a coordinated terror attack. That email was received by Morell, CIA Director David Petraeus, and other senior CIA officials a full day before Susan Rice was sent out to broadcast false information to the American people on the 16 September Sunday talk shows.

But Morell still wasn’t coming clean on everything. In November 2012, Morell was once again before the House Intelligence Committee, along with Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, and CTC Chief Matt Olsen. When asked who had been responsible for the talking points, Clapper said that he had no idea, while Morell remained silent. In another meeting that took place in late 2012, Morell again seemed to have trouble telling the truth. He and Rice met with Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), John McCain (R-AZ), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Under questioning from the senators about the talking-points editing process, Morell tried to blame the FBI for cutting the reference to al-Qa’eda terrorism; he said the FBI didn’t want to compromise an ongoing criminal investigation. When Graham called the FBI and told them what Morell had said, “they went ballistic,” Graham said in an interview with Fox News. Confronted with this, Morell changed his statement and admitted that he, and the CIA, had been responsible after all.

Confusion in the early hours, and even early days, following a chaotic situation such as that which confronted U.S. leadership on 11 September 2012 would be understandable. But it is the certain knowledge that our most senior civilian, intelligence, and military officers deliberately and repeatedly lied, including before Congress, about what they knew at the time to be a terrorist attack on our mission by al-Qa’eda jihadis that so corrodes Americans’ trust in their leadership. This is particularly damaging because there is the appearance of a coordinated cover-up staged to ensure the re-election of a President who’d staked his campaign on the repeated assertion that al-Qa’eda had been “decimated,” or was on “the path to defeat.”

In July 2013, Mike Morell joined the consulting firm of Beacon Global Strategies LLC, which had been founded not long beforehand by four others with close ties to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: Michael Allen, Jeremy Bash, Philippe Reines, and Andrew Shapiro (who was the Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs from 2009-2013, with responsibility for security relationships with U.S. Middle East partners).

Homeland Security Order: Retreat From Illegals and Drug Smugglers

One of our responsibilities is to provide facts on issues that may negatively affect the safety of the Republic, in order that American Citizens will be provided with the truth on issues that the Obama administration and the left of center liberal media establishment, works at covering up many of those facts daily.  The below listed published article provides complete details on our summary of the new Rules Of Engagement issued to the US Border Patrol.

On the first day of his appointment, new Rules of Engagement were issued to the Border Patrol by Obama’s newly appointed Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, who has no Law Enforcement experience and is the first African American to head DHS.   The new Rules Of Engagement, bars self-defense from rock-throwers, and match the recommendation of a report by an Illegal Immigration advocacy groups and the Mexican government. They want to reduce policing of illegal immigrants trying to illegally enter the United States at the Mexican border.  Obama agrees with the new Rules Of Engagement and desires for more lenient policing of illegal Immigrants violating Federal Law at the US/Mexican border.

The report by the Police Executive Research Forum was commissioned by DHS, it encourages lawlessness at the border by Illegal aliens, puts Border Patrolmen in much more danger, bars Border Patrolmen from standing in front of smugglers’ vehicles to prevent smugglers from entering the United States, and prevents Border Patrolmen from shooting at people who are attacking them with large rocks (those rock assaults have put Border Patrolmen in the hospital with critical head injuries).

Three U.S. Border Patrolmen were killed in recent years, including one who was shot during a clash with drug smugglers carrying AK-47 assault weapons provided to them by agents of the Obama administration’s Fast and Furious illegal drug running operation (the illegal Fast and Furious gun smuggling operation continues to be covered up by Holder). The Border Patrol has been attacked 6,000 times since 2007, and they have been “assaulted with very large rocks” 1,713 times since 2010, resulting in the serious injury of Border Patrolmen.

Despite the 7,713 attacks on Border Patrolmen, they have responded with deadly force only 43 times—-or 0.00056% of the time they were dangerously attacked.

Instead of tighten up policing rules to protect the lives of Border Patrolmen, Obama’s newly appointed Secretary of Homeland Security is doing exactly the opposite, he is putting them in more danger and telling them to run away, and seek shelter from attack,  if they are attacked by Illegal Immigrants.

According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, the new rules are being challenged by mid-level DHS officials and Veteran Border Patrolmen, who argued that the new rules barring self-defense from rock-throwers “could create a much more dangerous environment, especially for agents operating in rural or desolate areas, often alone, where concealment, cover and egress is not an option.”  But Johnston overrode the internal opposition by Veteran Border Patrolmen, and forced the implementation of the advocacy groups’ new Rules Of Engagement; Johnson demonstrated his incompetence on the first day on the job by putting Federal law Enforcement lives more in danger.

The new Rules Of Engagement will encourage drug cartels and human smuggling cartels in Mexico to get much more aggressive.  These unconscionable new Rules Of Engagement, should be grounds for Speaker Boehner to take action against DHS for  intentionally putting the lives of Federal Law Enforcement Officers in danger, and creating fear for the families of those dedicated Federal Law Enforcement Officers.

Obama is doing to Federal Law Enforcement Officers what he did to US Combat Forces in Afghanistan, forcing new and very dangerous Rules Of Engagement on them (those new and dangerous Rules Of Engagement in Afghanistan increased personnel Killed In Action by casualties by 458%).

If the Speaker of the House doesn’t take “immediate” and “firm” action to oppose these new and dangerous Rules Of Engagement for Border Patrolmen at the Mexican Border that are preventing them from defending themselves and telling them to “run”, like the speaker has failed for 17 months to establish a Select House Investigative Committee with subpoena authority on The Battle of Benghazi, there should be a change in leadership in the House.

RELATED COLUMN: DHS Orders Border Control, Retreat From Illegal Throwing Rocks and Drug Smugglers Vehicles

State Department spokesman: “Palestinians need not recognize the Jewish state”

Netanyahu has it right: “They say that they will not recognize a Jewish state in order to leave the right of return on the table. So then what are we even talking about here? That a Palestinian state will be established but it will continue its conflict against the state of Israel with more preferential borders?” Exactly so: what the U.S. is now doing is essentially demanding that Israel commit suicide. Obama wants Israel to make peace with a “Palestinian” state vowed to its destruction. And that state, once established, will be showered with aid from the U.S. and elsewhere — all of which it will use to further the jihad against Israel.

“American State Dept. Spokesman: ‘Palestinians need not recognize the Jewish state,’” by Maya Yarowsky forJerusalem Online, March 9 (thanks to Pamela Geller):

The spokeswoman for the American State Department, Jen Psaki, stated in an interview last night (Saturday) with the “Al-Quds” newspaper that the Palestinians do not need to recognize Israel as Jewish state as part of the peace agreement if they do not wish to do so.

In her statements to the Palestinian daily newspaper, Psaki stated that, “There is no need for the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. The American stance is clear in that it recognizes Israel as a Jewish state, but there is no need for the Palestinians to recognize it as such in a final agreement”.

Only yesterday the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority, Abu Mazen, stated that “there is not a chance” that he and the Palestinian nation will recognize Israel as a Jewish state. He continued to explain the statement by presenting historical examples, like the Israeli peace with Jordan and Egypt, which did not recognize Israel as a Jewish state, but still signed a peace agreement with the country. Psaki responded to those comments stating, “The relations between Israel and the Palestinians differ from Israel’s relations with the surrounding Arab nations”.

Psaki threw out this weekend’s reports in “Al-Quds” that the sides had already been presented with an initial copy of the framework agreement drafted by Secretary of State John Kerry.

“The Palestinians are not answering the difficult questions”

In an interview with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this weekend, he addressed the question of recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, claiming that the request of the Palestinians in entirely legitimate. “The central question at the end is of course ‘Are you willing to recognize that the state of Israel is the nation state of the Jewish nation?’. If you don’t have the brunt of the agreement, then why turn to the leftovers. Concentrate on the central and difficult questions that they need to provide an answer for, but they don’t provide an answer. If they do give an answer — its negative”.

“They say that they will not recognize a Jewish state in order to leave the right of return on the table”, added Netanyahu. “So then what are we even talking about here? That a Palestinian state will be established but it will continue its conflict against the state of Israel with more preferential borders? We are a lot of things, but we are definitely not fools”.

Rep. Keith Ellison addresses chapter of Hamas-linked CAIR

This is not the first time: Hamas-linked CAIR raised large amounts of for Ellison’s first campaign, and he has spoken at numerous CAIR events.

CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case — so named by the Justice Department. CAIR operatives have repeatedly refused to denounce Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist groups. Several former CAIR officials have been convicted of various crimes related to jihad terror. CAIR’s co-founder and longtime Board chairman (Omar Ahmad), as well as its chief spokesman (Ibrahim Hooper), have made Islamic supremacist statements. Its California chapter distributed the poster above telling Muslims not to talk to the FBI. CAIR has opposed every anti-terror measure that has ever been proposed or implemented.

But all that is apparently fine with Ellison; in fact, to bring it up would be “Islamophobic.” And no one will care about this. But imagine if Ellison were not a Muslim, but a Christian, and had addressed a conference of, say, the American Freedom Defense Initiative. Do you think there would be a furor in the mainstream media, with calls for Ellison’s resignation? So do I. And yet AFDI has no connection to any terror groups. CAIR has plenty. And the world is upside down indeed.

Saudi-led Gulf Squabble Spells Trouble for Obama?

The Obama White House and the world media are pre-occupied with Russian President Putin’s grab of the Ukrainian autonomous province of Crimea. There are undertones of “Back to the Future”- meaning a possible return to Cold War era geopolitics with Russia.

Despite that overriding ruckus there was a less well publicized series of events in the Persian Gulf region among members of the Gulf Cooperating Council (GCC). Does this spell trouble ahead for President Obama’s Middle East policies?

At the GCC meeting on March 5th in Riyadh, Qatar was effectively isolated by “sisterly” Sunni Arab states. The Emir of Qatar, a member of the GCC, has been prominent in supporting financial aid and assistance to Muslim Brotherhood (MB) affiliates in Egypt under Morsi, Hamas in Gaza and the Syrian Opposition Council, one of whose leaders is a dual American Syrian citizenLouay Safi.

Virtually on the heels of the squabble at the GCC gathering, Saudi King Abdullah announced decrees on Friday, March 7th. They listed the MB as a terrorist organization along with several AQ affiliates in Syria and Iraq, as well as Shia terrorist groups in North Yemen and in the oil rich Eastern Province. The latter are backed by both Iran’s Qod Force and Hezbollah. This should present problems and potential conflicts of interest for President Obama’s senior National Security advisor Robert Malley and White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough. Both of these men espouse outreach to the MB, Iran and proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas.

This train wreck about to happen has been in development since the July 3, 2013 ouster by Egyptian Gen. al-Sisi of President Morsi in Egypt. Morsi was a former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood endeavoring to create a Sharia compliant constitution with him as Emir. Egypt’s interim government in December 2013 outlawed the MB. This week an Egyptian court went after Hamas, the Gaza affiliate of the MB banning activities in Egypt. Following, the ouster of Morsi, Saudi Arabia and several of members of the GCC provided upwards of $12 billion in financial assistance to the interim Egyptian interim government. The stage now appears set for Gen. Abdel Fateh al-Sisi to run as the country’s President, a harkening back to the days of Gamal Abdel Nasser and the possible return of military autocracy in Egypt.

The flashpoint for the GCC isolation of Qatar was the notorious aged Egyptian MB preacher Yousuf al Qaradawi who had been in exile in Qatar before temporarily returning to Egypt in February 2011. He issued Fatwas for the reconquest of Al Quds (Jerusalem) and preached anti-Semitic hatred to crowds in Tahrir Square. In a January 2009 broadcast from Qatar, al Qaradawisaid about Jews: “kill them, down to the very last one.” While in Doha, Qatar he steadfastly refused to participate in annual International Interfaith Conferences.

A news report by Radaw noted the isolation of Qatar by “sisterly” Sunni Arab states because of the mischief of al Qaradawi and sanctuary provided by the Emir:

The Arab states of the lower Gulf are engaged in the latest and potentially most serious of their periodic family squabbles, which this week provoked three of them to withdraw their ambassadors from tiny Qatar.

The Qatar government expressed regret and surprise at Wednesday’s decision by the “sisterly countries” of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, but said it did not plan to retaliate by pulling out its own envoys.

All four states, together with Kuwait and Oman, are members of the GCC.

The official reason for the diplomatic spat is Qatar’s alleged failure to live up to a recent commitment not to interfere in the internal affairs of fellow GCC states.

The three conservative states are particularly distressed that Qatar continued to provide a platform for Yousuf Al Qaradawi, a Qatar-based Egyptian cleric, to use his fiery sermons to attack Saudi Arabia and the UAE despite Riyadh’s threat to freeze relations unless he was silenced.

The scope of King Abdullah’s terrorist designations was reported by Al-Jazeera:

Saudi Arabia has listed the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization along with two al-Qaeda-linked groups fighting in Syria.

The decree against the Brotherhood, whose Egyptian branch supported the deposed Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi, was reported on Saudi state television on Friday.

Egypt in December listed the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, prompting the arrest of members and associates and forcing the Islamist group further underground.

Saudi Arabia also listed Jabhat al-Nusra, which is al-Qaeda’s official Syrian affiliate, and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Sham) (ISIS), which has been disowned al-Qaeda, as “terrorist organizations”.

It also listed Shia Huthi rebels fighting in northern Yemen and the little-known internal Shia group, Hezbollah in the Hijaz.

Early in February, 2014, Ayman al Zawahiri at Al Qaeda Central announced that the global Islamic terrorist group had no association with ISIS, instead providing support for the Al Nusrah front fighting against the Assad regime in Syria.  ISIS however has rampaged across the Anbar province in neighboring Iraq overtaking the Sunni town of Fallujah.

About the same time as the AQ ISIS declaration, King Abdullah had announced new counterterrorism policies that were directed against so-called reform movements in the Saudi Kingdom. The Washington Post  reported the new law “states that any act that ‘undermines’  the state or society, including calls for regime change in Saudi Arabia, can be tried as an act of terrorism.” This Saudi law appears  to be in violation of human rights taken for granted in the West, but clearly viewed as seditious in the autocratic and Sharia compliant Wahhabist Kingdom.

These latest Saudi initiatives could have significant implications for the Obama Administration and Secretary Kerry. Kerry is endeavoring to fashion an Israel- Palestinian final status agreement and resolution of the 37 month civil war in Syria.  We noted earlier the presence of Louay Safi as spokesperson for the Syrian Opposition Council at the recent Geneva II plenum talks. Safi was Research Director at the northern Virginia- based MB supported International Islamic Institute of Thought. Moreover, he was also Leadership Development Director at the MB front, the Islamic Society of North America, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 2008  Federal Dallas  trial and convictions of leaders of the Holy Land Foundation. The Muslim charity group had been accused of funneling upwards of $35 million to MB affiliate Hamas. Safi was also invited by the US Army Chief of Staff to lecture troops on Islam at Fort Hood in early December 2009 following the massacre perpetrated by Maj. Nidal Hassan a month earlier. Clearly, Safi’s rise to prominence in the Syrian Opposition Council is indicative of the MB controlling presence.

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and senior National Security Aides were present at the May 2012 meetings of the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar. They were engaged in outreach to MB officials from Egypt, Tunisia and other Arab states and facilitated assistance to ousted President Morsi. Obama Appointments of MB members, especially Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Policy, Arif Alikhan and Senior Advisory board member Mohamed Elibiary have been problematic. National Security Advisor Malley was a former Middle East foreign policy aide to President Clinton during the failed 2000 Camp David Israel-Palestinian negotiations between former Israeli PM Ehud Barak and the late Yassir Arafat. Malley had accused Israel of nixing the agreement, when it was evident that Arafat had purposely sabotaged it. Malley went on to become head of the Middle East and North African program of the International Crisis group and later advised then Senator Obama and was part of the President’s transition team. He holds views that may further complicate Administration Middle East policies.  Malley propounded speaking with terrorist proxies Hamas and Hezbollah as well as the MB. Malley, was recently appointed to the National Security Council. He has the portfolio for Israel -Palestinian peace talks and the Iran nuclear P5+1 diplomatic initiative.

Now that Egypt and Saudi Arabia have designated the MB as a terrorist group, would the Obama Administration dare follow their lead? How Messrs. McDonough, Malley and Secretary of State Kerry will contend with a plethora of problems arising from efforts by the Egyptian government and now the Saudi led GCC targeting the MB is a ‘puzzlement’.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.

Putin’s Folly

Photos of Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, often show him shirtless, riding a horse, shooting, catching large fish, and close to wild animals. It is the kind of public relations intended to emphasize his manliness and strength.

Putin has made it clear over the years that he wants to restore the size and influence of the former Soviet Union, but the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, in part from the four decades of isolation of the Cold War and in part because Communism doesn’t work no matter how large or small a nation may be.

Just ask the Venezuelans who want to overthrow their government or the Ukrainians who forced out their president, Viktor Yanukovych, after he tried to thwart a greater engagement with the European Union.

Putting Russian troops into the Republic of Crimea while claiming that they are there to protect the human rights of Ukrainians in the eastern sector will prove to be a major blunder. Call it Putin’s folly.

History is often shaped by the errors made by various leaders. The former head of the Soviet Union’s NKVD is long accustomed to using coercion and Communism depends on it to maintain its power. The move into Ukraine reflects the preference to threaten this and other former satellite nations, but we are now in different times. Putin is about to learn that.

President Obama’s lack of a coherent foreign policy and his desire to have better relations with Russia has been widely criticized, but so far as the Ukraine is concerned, he has acted wisely.

At an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Monday, the U.S. ambassador, Samantha Power, spelled out Putin’s errors of judgment for everyone to hear, accusing Russia of an act of aggression.

“Russia has every right to wish events had turned out differently,” she said of the events in Ukraine, but “It doesn’t have the right to express that using military force.” President Obama backed that up, warning of potential diplomatic and economic “isolation.”

In blunt terms, Powers said “So many of the assertions made this afternoon by the Russian Federation are without basis in reality.”

Powers enumerated the events, noting that Russian military forces had taken over Ukrainian border posts, taken over the ferry terminal in Kerch, and that its ships were moving in and around Sevastapol. In addition, Russia was blocking telephone services in some areas. “It is a fact that Russia has surrounded or taken over practically all Ukrainian military facilities in Crimea” in addition to having had its jets enter Ukrainian airspace.”

Powers, speaking for the U.S., said that “There is a way out. And that is through direct and immediate dialogue by Russia with the government of Ukraine, the immediate pull-back of Russia’s military forces, the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, and the urgent deployment of observers and human rights monitors, not through more threats and more distortions.”

Putin’s show of strength will backfire because neither the U.S., nor the European Union, or any other nation wants to see a revived Soviet Union in the form of an over-aggressive Russian Federation.

President Obama announced an aid package to bolster the Ukrainian government, including $1 billion in loan guarantees to offset any loss of energy subsidies from Russia. The U.S. is also planning to provide technical support for Ukraine’s financial institutions, training for election observers and assistance in anti-corruption efforts. One of the reasons Ukrainians drove out Yanukovych was the corruption he represented and his preference for Russian influence in the Ukraine.

Coming off the global attention generated by the Winter Olympics, Putin may have calculated that he had to back Yanukovych and, after he fled Kiev and the Ukraine, concluded that only a show of military power would restore respect for the Russian Federation. He was wrong. Nations get respect for not invading their neighbors and for participating in the global economy.

In many ways, in today’s world there are options to pressure Russia with regard to its need to sell its natural gas and oil assets, and conduct trade with other nations. Putin has underestimated these options.

At some point he will withdraw his military—whose uniforms do not show any identification of origin—and will declare that Russia will respect the outcome of the Ukrainian elections in May. He has no choice. The Cold War is over, but it never really ended as far as Putin is concerned.

While President Obama has received a torrent of criticism for his foreign affairs policies, much of it well earned, his restraint is the best way to address the Russian invasion and the U.S.  mobilization of resistance to it is the wisest course of action.

Nobody wants World War III and that includes Vladimir Putin.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Betrayed: The Shocking True Story of Extortion 17

This is a powerful and emotional two hour discussion and Q@A with the parents of Aaron Carson Vaughn, a member of the elite SEAL Team VI special forces who was part of a mission in Afghanistan called Extortion 17.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/kJ5zrwBbRvY[/youtube]

 

In a brand new book, a tragic truth is revealed about the Obama Administration’s unrequited devotion from our most selfless of heroes. Aaron Carson Vaughn is honored by his heartbroken Dad in Betrayed, The Shocking True Story of Extortion 17 as told by a Navy SEAL’s Father. The book chronicles the events that led to the death of Aaron Carson Vaughn and was authored by Billy Vaughn, with co-authors Monica Morrill and Cari Blake.

The book details the events of August 6, 2011 in Afghanistan surrounding the shooting down of an American Chinook helicopter that held the evocative name of “Extortion 17.”A high-value Al-Qaeda leader was pinned down in a village by U.S. Army Rangers. Three hours into the intense ground engagement, Extortion 17 was tasked to carry seventeen SEALs into the battle with the onerous task of capturing the Al-Qaeda leader alive.

The Chinook was operated by a crew of five from the National Guard and carried an additional 22 Navy personnel in support of the elite SEAL team. One Afghan interpreter was also on board and, just before taking off, seven Afghan commandos were curiously assigned to the final flight of Extortion 17.

As the Chinook approached its destination, the enemy could be seen running into a building with a tower that gave them an advantageous shooting position. The two Apache escort helicopters had all the visibility and firepower to resolve the battle before Extortion 17 delivered the SEAL team. But the Apaches were denied permission to attack.

Under the Obama Administration’s new rules of engagement, no strike could be made on that building without assurance that no civilians were inside. The enemy knows these rules, which is why they run into buildings where civilians may be located.

Under the protection of Obama rules, the enemy set up on the tower of the building and shot down Extortion 17 using three rocket-propelled grenades. The Chinook fell to the ground in a tremendous explosion, killing all 30 people on board.

The parents of those SEAL Team members who died were gathered for a briefing and were given hundreds of pages of information from the investigation of the event. Betrayed includes many pages of that original material; material that raised enough unsettling questions that Billy Vaughn wrote a book.

One question asked at the briefing was why, even in the minutes following the shoot-down of Extortion 17, America’s massive firepower was withheld. Three-star Admiral Robert Harward explained to the parents that a drone strike wasn’t used because, “we need to win their hearts and minds.”

The Age of the American Withdrawal from Europe

There has been much speculation over recent years about what ‘American withdrawal’ from the world would mean.  From North Africa to the Far East there have been warning signs.  But perhaps only now is it becoming clear what a withdrawal of US power in the world will really result in.  And how unsurprising it is that this would be noticed in Europe first.

Because in the last couple of days, as the US has begun to send extra aircraft in to NATO allied states to reassure them of continued American help, the question of US withdrawal from Europe is once again in people’s sight.

In March last year the last US tanks left Europe.  In the period since the start of Obama’s Presidency 10,000 personnel, comprising two entire tank divisions, came out of Europe.  This year was the first for 69 years in which there were no American tanks in Europe.

‘Good’ say some of those who are opposed to the projection of American power in the world.  But there are consequences to such actions and a hubris that comes with believing a protector is an enemy or confusing a force of liberation with one of domination.  Yet Europe’s reaction to American troops had always been mixed.  And now that that force has been scaled down significantly we are being reminded that there are few actions that do not have a reaction.

Vladimir Putin did not violate Ukrainian sovereignty because of the removal of American tanks but he did do so because he could – rightly – foresee few if any challengers to his ambition.  Perhaps there will remain no challenge to it.  But if there is to be a challenge, indeed if there is to be any restraint on Putin’s ambition the only country able to issue such restraint would be the US.

We have heard many watchwords over the Obama Presidency.  We have had the ‘reset’ with Russia.  And of course we have had the ‘pivot’ to Asia.  All noble policies, no doubt, but also policies which have been revealed to be misguided even where well meant.  A pivot to Eastern Europe is what is now needed.  And if anybody there is left wondering what the effects would be of greater American presence, they should be persuaded to think again first of what wholesale US withdrawal from their corner of the world would most likely precipitate.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command from Grafenwoehr, Germany. his file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. Use of this image done not in any way infer endorsement of this column.

The Case for ALAC in Florida: Heidi McClain – American Child Lost to Shariah

Heidi Machael al-Omary 1997

Heidi McClain al-Olmary at 5-years old.

One of horrors that have confronted American women who naively marry Saudi men is the possible risk of having children of those marriages kidnapped following divorce in accordance with Sharia and removed to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. There are estimated to be in excess of 1,000 such cases. A few have been featured in investigative reports on CBS 60 Minutes and Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor. Frequently American wives of Saudis and other fundamentalist Muslims are physically abused and maltreated under Sharia.  We saw that in our interview with American feminist Phyllis Chesler about her experience following a marriage to an Afghan Muslim husband educated in the West upon her arrival at the family compound in Kabul. See The New English Review Flight from an Afghan Seraglio and An American Feminist Fighting Sharia: an Interview with Dr. Phyllis Chesler (January 2014).

In the current debates in state legislatures over consideration of American Laws for American Courts, legislators often ask, “is this legislation really needed to address foreign laws and doctrines” that intrude on the fundamental Constitution Rights of American citizens? Often cited are cases that have recognized Sharia doctrine in state appellate and lower courts. Illustrative of the compelling need for such protections are the numerous incidents involving spousal abuse of American wives and kidnapping of children in divorce cases, where under Shariah, the Muslim ex-husbands can exercise rights to remove their children even though doing so may violate US criminal laws.

Heidi McClain age progression Pictures 1997 to 2010

Heidi age progression picture at 18 years old

Last September during a presentation I gave before an ACT! For America chapter in Jonesboro, Arkansas, I encountered Professor Margaret McClain, then on the faculty of Arkansas State University (ASU). She has since retired after 30 years at ASU. In the late 1980’s Professor McClain was a faculty member teaching English as a Second Language in a special program for Saudi Students entering ASU. She had been recently widowed and met a Saudi graduate student, a Computer Science major at a university event. Thus began what eventuated in an exploitative marriage that produced a child, Heidi. McClain suffered frequent physical and psychological abuse during the marriage at the hands of her Saudi husband for her refusal to  be compliant. That led to a divorce and custody of Heidi granted to Professor McClain under Arkansas law. Upon Professor McClain’s subsequent marriage to an American following the divorce, her Saudi ex-husband conspired with a more compliant American convert to Islam to kidnap and remove Heidi, then five years old, to Saudi Arabia.

Professor McClain was one of several American wives with Saudi ex-husbands who abducted and removed children to Saudi Arabia in violation of state, federal and international parental kidnapping laws. These women testified about these cases before Congress during the 107th Session. The US State Department  had set up the Office of Child Issues  to deal with complaints and conduct investigations of such abuses. Media stories sparked by 9/11 led  the US. House of Representatives Government Reform Committee, then chaired by former Indiana Republican Dan Burton, to hold five days of hearings from June to December 2002. The Committee published a final report, Investigation into Abductions of American Children to Saudi Arabia. In one instance, the Committee heard from a 16 year old daughter of a Florida woman, Dria Hernandez-Davis, about her experience of living under difficult circumstances and her remarkable escape and rescue. A rescue privately financed with $200,000 in bribes provided by her grandmother who refinanced her home to obtain the necessary funds. The US State Department Office of Child Issues and the US Embassy legation in Riyadh appeared to have offered little assistance to rescue these children.

Professor McClain consented to tell her story about the kidnapping of her American daughter, Heidi, by her Saudi ex-husband to alert other Americans as to the dangers of Shariah law sanctioning spousal abuse and criminal violations of US laws against kidnapping. Heidi is now 21 years old. Professor McClain last visited her six years ago under intense restrictions in Saudi Arabia. Only her older daughter Roxanne by a prior marriage has had periodic contact with Heidi in Saudi Arabia.

Professor McClain will be a featured speaker at the Leadership Prayer Breakfast of the Christian Family Coalition of Florida (CFC) in Tallahassee on March 13, 2014.

Watch this Vimeo video of  our interview with Professor McClain.

Heidi McClain -American Child Lost to Shariah from Jerry Gordon on Vimeo.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.

Boston jihad murderer Tamerlan Tsarnaev had black flag of jihad on wall of his home

And meanwhile, his widow Katherine Tsarnaev went to Kazakhstan to cozy up to his Allahu-akbaring mother, who so disgusted the world in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon jihad bombing by whining about how authorities had killed one of her murderous sons and were planning to kill the other. That this was and is a thoroughly jihadist family, contrary to continuing mainstream media reports, is increasingly clear.

“PICTURE EXCLUSIVE: Boston bomber’s widow cozies up to his mother on trip to see her in former Soviet state months before atrocity – as disturbing video emerges of jihad flag on wall of her home,” by M R Freda for the Daily Mail, March 6 (thanks to Twostellas):

The widow of Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev cozies up to the terrorist’s mother on a trip to see her in her homeland months before the marathon massacre, in an exclusive photograph obtained by MailOnline.

In the family photo captioned Kyrgyzstan 2013, Katherine Russell, 24, is holding the daughter she had with Tsarnaev, who was killed during a shootout with police days after he and his brother Dhzokhar allegedly detonated two pressure cooker bombs along the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15.

The picture shows just how close Russell was with mother-in-law Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, who lives in Kyrgyzstan and has an open arrest warrant hanging over here in the US. Also in the picture is the brothers’ sister Bella.

Meanwhile, MailOnline has also found footage showing the flag of jihad hanging in the Cambridge, Massachusetts home shared with the Tsarnaev family.

The startling video was discovered while investigating images and video posted by the ‘Free Jahar’ community – who are fighting to clear the name of Tamerlan’s brother Dhozkhar, who is currently in custody awaiting trial for his part in the mass killings.

He has pleaded not guilty.

The flag used by Al Qaeda is visible at the end of a short video clip showing Dhzokhar Tsarnaev with his niece, daughter of Tamerlan and Katherine.

In it, he is teasing the baby, and as he says ‘give me a kiss.’The flag, which was identified by a federal expert who examined the video, is visible behind her.

It is often called the Black Standard and has the shahada – a creed that declares in the oneness of God written on it.

The flag started appearing on Islamist websites since 2001.

While Russell may not have known its violent symbolism it adds to the disturbing questions over how much she knew of her husband’s radicalism.

Russell, a wealthy American Muslim convert, has had the threat of charges hanging over her for nearly a year related to the bombings….

The Second Battle of Benghazi Letter Delivered to Speaker Boehner

For 17 months, Speaker Boehner has refused to authorize the establishment of a House Select Investigative Committee on The Battle of Benghazi.  We executed the second letter on the Battle of Benghazi which was hand delivered to Speaker Boehner; it is in the attachment and was signed by 94 Patriotic Americans requesting that Speaker Boehner finally authorize the establishment of a House Select Investigative Committee on The Battle of Benghazi.

That House Select Committee is absolutely necessary; because only such a committee can issue the subpoenas required, to obtain information that has been intentionally classified by Obama, in order to prevent the 5 separate House Committees investigating Benghazi from gaining access to that classified information for the past 17 months.  That failure to gain access to information intentionally classified by Obama is preventing the House from getting to the bottom of why Obama refused to issue “Cross Border Authority” on 9/11/12, thus preventing the US Armed Forces from dispatching a rescue mission that was ready and waiting on the tarmac 458 miles away in Italy, within 90 minutes of flight time to 2 hours away from Benghazi.

Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen was appointed by Hillary Clinton to be Vice Chairman of an Accountability Review Board (ARB) to supposedly determine the facts on the Battle of Benghazi, actually the report that Mullen authored “intentionally covered up” the fact that Obama refused to authorize “Cross Border Authority”.  In addition Mullen never interviewed the central figure responsible for the Security failure of the US Mission in Benghazi, Hillary Clinton.

Clinton was repeatedly warned by personal cables and personal phone calls made directly to her at least 8 times over nearly a 6 month period by Ambassador Stevens, the CIA, the DIA, Libyan State Security, and the Regional Security Officer in the US Embassy in Tripoli, that security was dangerously inadequate at the US Mission in Benghazi, that Ambassador Stevens was on an Al Qaeda hit list, that 10 al Q’ieda training camps were operating openly in close proximity to the US Mission, and the lives of  members in the US Mission were in danger; yet Clinton repeatedly turned down requests for additional security and Mullen never revealed those facts, or why on August 5, 2012, just before the murder of Ambassador Stevens, Clinton refused to re-authorize a contract to fund Ambassador Stevens personal Security Detail.  The Senate bipartisan Intelligence Committee reported that there were “Systemic failures at the State Department during Hillary Clinton’s tenure which resulted in a GROSSLY inadequate security posture in Benghazi.”

Mullen also failed to reveal that the lives of two US Navy SEALs, SOSC Tyrone Woods, USN (Ret) age 41, and SO1 Gen Dougherty, USN age 42, killed 7 hours and 35 minutes after 125-150 Al Qaeda terrorists launched a well-coordinated and rehearsed commando style attack on the US Mission in Benghazi with truck mounted artillery, rocket propelled grenades, professionally trained mortar teams, NATO assault rifles, hand grenades, AK-47s, and machine guns lives could have been saved by US Air Force F-16s Jet Fighters sitting at the ready on the tarmac 450 miles away in Aviano, Italy, within 90 minutes of flight time away from Benghazi.  Mullen did not include in his ARB that the occupant of the Oval Office in the White House, who was watching live video feed from an aerial drone of the Al Q’ieda terrorist attack on the US Mission in Benghazi unfold for 8 hours, willfully refused to authorize a military rescue mission and the nature of “Cross Border Authority” (the US military can’t move US military forces across any international border, not even into Canada or Mexico, without issuing “Cross Border Authority”).

The below listed 49 Republican Congressmen, including the top 4 Republican leaders in the House, have refused to support or to co-author Congressman Frank R. Wolf’s (R-VA-10) House Resolution 36, which has been co-authored by 186 Republican Congressmen; they have been calling for Speaker Boehner to authorize a House Select Investigative Committee on the Battle of Benghazi to no avail.  Speaker Boehner and the below listed 49 Republican Congressmen will have to answer to the voter in their primaries and in the general election in November for their support of Obama on this issue.

To learn more visit: http://www.CombatVeteransForCongress.org

H.RES.36:

The following 1 sponsor was added to this bill:  Rep. Candice Miller (REP-MI-10) (cosponsor)

List of Members Not Cosponsoring H. Res. 36 (3/04/14)

Alabama:

Bradley Byrne (R-AL-1) new cosponsor (replaced Jo Bonner in special election)

Mike Rogers (R-AL-03)

Spencer Bachus (R-AL-06)

Terri Sewell (D-AL-07)

Arizona

Ron Barber (D-AZ-02)

Raul Grijalva (D-AZ-03)

Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ-01)

Edward Pastor (D-AZ-07)

California:

Jeff Denham (R-CA-10)  Now a cosp!

David Valadao (R-CA-21)

Devin Nunes (R-CA-22)

Kevin McCarthy (R-CA-23)

Buck McKeon (R-CA-25)

Ed Royce (R-CA-39)

Darrell Issa (R-CA-49)

Karen Bass (D-CA-37)

Xavier Becerra (D-CA-34)

Ami Bera (D-CA-07)

Julia Brownley (D-CA-26)

Lois Capps (D-CA-24)

Tony Cardenas (D-CA-29)

Judy Chu (D-CA-27)

Jim Costa (D-CA-16)

Susan Davis (D-CA-53)

Anna Eshoo (D-CA-18)

Sam Farr (D-CA-20)

John Garamendi (D-CA-03)

Janice Hahn (D-CA-44)

Mike Honda (D-CA-17)

Jared Huffman (D-CA-02)

Barbara Lee (D-CA-13)

Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-19)

Alan Lowenthal (D-CA-47)

Doris Matsui (D-CA-06)

Gloria McLeod (D-CA-35)

Jerry McNerney (D-CA-09)

George Miller (D-CA-11)

Grace Napolitano (D-CA-32)

Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12)

Scott Peters (D-CA-52)

Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA-40)

Raul Ruiz (D-CA-36)

Linda Sanchez (D-CA-38)

Loretta Sanchez (D-CA-46)

Adam Schiff (D-CA-28)

Brad Sherman (D-CA-30)

Jackie Speier (D-CA-14)

Eric Swalwell (D-CA-15)

Mark Takano (D-CA-41)

Mike Thompson (D-CA-05)

Juan Vargas (D-CA-51)

Maxine Walters (D-CA-43)

Henry Waxman (D-CA-33)

Colorado

Diana DeGette (D-CO-01)

Ed Perlmutter (D-CO-07)

Jared Polis (D-CO-02)

Connecticut

Joe Courtney (D-CT-02)

Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03)

Elizabeth Esty (D-CT-05)

Jim Himes (D-CT-04)

John Larson (D-CT-01)

Delaware

John Carney Jr. (D-DE-01)

Florida

Jeff Miller (R-FL-01)

John Mica (R-FL-07)

Trey Radel (R-FL19)

Corrine Brown (D-FL-05)

Kathy Castor (D-FL-14)

Ted Deutch (D-FL-21)

Lois Frankel (D-FL-22)

Joe Garcia (D-FL-26)

Alan Grayson (D-FL-09)

Alcee Hastings (D-FL-20)

Patrick Murphy (D-FL-18)

Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL-23)

Frederica Wilson (D-FL-24)

Georgia

Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA-03)

Robert Woodall (R-GA-07)

John Barrow (D-GA-12)

Sanford Bishop Jr. (D-GA-02)

Hank Johnson (D-GA-04)

John Lewis (D-GA-05)

David Scott (D-GA-13)

Hawaii

Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI-02)

Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI-01)

Illinois

Peter Roskam (R-IL-06)

Rodney Davis (R-IL-13)

Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17)

Danny Davis (D-IL-07)

Tammy Duckworth (D-IL-08)

William Enyart Jr. (D-IL-12)

Bill Foster (D-IL-11)

Luis Gutierrez (D-IL-04)

Daniel Lipinski (D-IL-03)

Mike Quigley (D-IL-05)

Bobby Rush (D-IL-01)

Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-09)

Bradley Schneider (D-IL-10)

Indiana

Larry Bucshon (R-IN-08)

Todd Young (R-IN-09)

Andre Carson (D-IN-07)

Pete Visclosky (D-IN-01)

Iowa

Bruce Braley (D-IA-01)

Dave Loebsack (D-IA-02)

Kansas

Mike Pompeo (R-KS-04)

Kentucky

Harold Rogers (R-KY-05)

John Yarmuth (D-KY-03)

Louisana

Cedric Richmond (D-LA-02)

Maine

Michael Michlaud (D-ME-02)

Chellie Pingree (D-ME-01)

Maryland

Elijah Cummings (D-MD-07)

John Delaney (D-MD-06)

Donna Edwards (D-MD-04)

Steny Hoyer (D-MD-05)

Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD-02)

John Sarbanes (D-MD-03)

Chris Van Hollen Jr. (D-MD-08)

Massachusetts

Michael Capuano (D-MA-07)

William Keating (D-MA-09)

Joseph Kennedy III (D-MA-04)

Stephen Lynch (D-MA-08)

Edward Markley (D-MA-05)

Jim McGovern (D-MA-02)

Richard Neal (D-MA-01)

John Tierney (D-MA-06)

Niki Tsongas (D-MA-03)

Michigan

Bill Huizenga (R-MI-02)

Dave Camp (R-MI-04)

Fred Upton (R-MI-06)

Mike Rogers (R-MI-08)

Candice Miller (R-MI-10) – new cosponsor!

John Conyers Jr. (D-MI-13)

John Dingell (D-MI-12)

Daniel Kildee (D-MI-05)

Sandy Levin (D-MI-09)

Gary Peters (D-MI-14)

Minnesota

John Kline (R-MN-02)

Keith Ellison (D-MN-05)

Betty McCollum (D-MN-04)

Richard Nolan (D-MN-08)

Collin Peterson (D-MN-07)

Tim Walz (D-MN-01)

Mississippi

Greg Harper ((R-MS-03)

Bennie Thompson (B-MS-02)

Missouri

Vicky Hartzler (R-MO-04)

Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO-05)

Nebraska

Adrian Smith (R-NE-03)

Nevada

Steven Horsford (D-NV-04)

New Hampshire

Ann Kuster (D-NH-02)

Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH-01)

New Jersey

Robert Andrews (D-NJ-01)

Rush Holt (D-NJ-12)

Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ-06)

Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-NJ-09)

Donald Payne Jr. (D-NJ-10)

Albio Sires (D-NJ-08)

New Mexico

Ben Lujan (D-NM-03)

Michelle Grisham (D-NM-01)

New York

Richard Hanna (R-NY-22)

Tim Bishop (D-NY-01)

Yvette Clark (D-NY-09)

Joseph Crowley (D-NY-14)

Eliot Engel (D-NY-16)

Brian Higgins (D-NY-26)

Steve Israel (D-NY-03)

Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY-08)

Nita Lowey (D-NY-17)

Daniel Maffei (D-NY-24)

Carolyn Maloney (D-NY-12)

Sean Maloney (D-NY-18)

Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY-04)

Gregory Meeks (D-NY-05)

Grace Meng (D-NY-06)

Jerrold Nadler (D-NY-10)

Bill Owens (D-NY-21)

Charles Rangel (D-NY-13)

Jose Serrano (D-NY-15)

Louise Slaughter (D-NY-25)

Paul Tonko (D-NY-20)

Nydia Velazquez (D-NY-07)

North Carolina

Renee Ellmers (R-NC-02)

Virginia Foxx (R-NC-05)

Howard Coble (R-NC-06)

Patrick McHenry (R-NC-10)

George Holding (R-NC-13) – Now a cosp!

G.K. Butterfield Jr. (D-NC-01)

Mike McIntyre II (D-NC-07)

David Price (D-NC-04)

Mel Watt (D-NC-12)

Ohio

John Boehner (R-OH-08)

Michael Turner (R-OH-10)

Joyce Beatty (D-OH-03)

Marcia Fudge (D-OH-11)

Marcy Kaptur (D-OH-09)

Tim Ryan (D-OH-13)

Oklahoma

James Lankford (R-OK-05)

Oregon

Greg Walden (R-OR-02)

Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-03)

Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-01)

Peter DeFazio (D-OR-04)

Kurt Schrader (D-OR-05)

Pennsylvania

Mike Kelly (R-PA-03)

Robert Brady (D-PA-01)

Matthew Cartwright (D-PA-17)

Mike Doyle (D-PA-14)

Chaka Fattah (D-PA-02)

Allyson Schwartz (D-PA-13)

Rhode Island

David Cicilline (D-RI-01)

Jim Langevin (D-RI-02)

South Carolina

James Clyburn (D-SC-06)

Tennessee

Steve Cohen (D-TN-09)

Jim Cooper (D-TN-05)

Texas

Jeb Hensarling (R-TX-05)

Michael Conaway (R-TX-11)

Kay Granger (R-TX-12) – Now a cosp!

Mac Thornberry (R-TX-13)

Pete Sessions (R-TX-32)

Joaquin Castro (D-TX-20)

Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28)

Lloyd Doggett (D-TX-35)

Pete Gallego (D-TX-23)

Al Green (D-TX-09)

Gene Green (D-TX-29)

Reuben Hinojosa (D-TX-15)

Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX-18)

Eddie Johnson (D-TX-30)

Beto O’Rourke (D-TX-16)

Marc Veasey (D-TX-33)

Filemon Vela (D-TX-34)

Utah

Jason Chaffetz (R-UT-03)

Jim Matheson (D-UT-04)

Vermont

Peter Welch (D-VT-01)

Virginia

Bob Goodlatte (R-VA-06)

Eric Cantor (R-VA-07)

Gerald Connolly (D-VA-11)

Jim Moran Jr. (D-VA-08)

Bobby Scott (D-VA-03)

Washington

Doc Hastings (R-WA-04)

Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-WA-05)

Suzanne DelBene (D-WA-01)

Dennis Heck (D-WA-10)

Derek Kilmer (D-WA-06)

Rick Larsen (D-WA-02)

Jim McDermott (D-WA-07)

Adam Smith (D-WA-09)

West Virginia

Nick Rahall (D-WV-03)

Wisconsin

Paul Ryan (R-WI-01)

Ron Kind (D-WI-03)

Gwen Moore (D-WI-04)

Mark Pocan (D-WI-02)

Wyoming

Cynthia Lummis (R-WY-01)

Washington D.C.

Eleanor Norton (D-DC-01)

Iranian Rockets Bound for Gaza Terrorists Seized

Credit the Israeli Naval Commandos of Sayeret 13 and missile boats with another coup seizing the Panamanian flagged vessel, the KLOS-C packed with clearly marked Iranian M302 Rockets bound ultimately for Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza.  You may recall the Sayeret 13 boarded the Turkish ferry the Mavi Mamara in the May 2010 Free Gaza Flotilla.  This time Iran has used Syria for transshipment of a consignment of M302 rockets via Iraq in the Persian Gulf.  The raid on the KLOS-C occurred in the Red Sea  off Port Sudan just before off loading for shipment  to Gaza via  Salafist Jihadist helpers in the Egyptian Sinai peninsula .  The M302 rockets have a range of  200 KM threatening all of the populous central Israel.

Watch this IDF video of the KLOS-C seizure of Iranian M302 rockets:

[youtube]http://youtu.be/ob6X07EzuX8[/youtube]

The Jerusalem  and Washington  Post accounts note this most recent episode in a more than 14 year history of IDF seizures, a credit to diligent naval intelligence as well as Israel’s special operations prowess.  Here are some excerpts from the Washington Post report :

The ship, the KLOS C, was carrying Syrian-made M-302 rockets and was intercepted more than 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) south of Israel off the coasts of Sudan and Eritrea, military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner told reporters.

[…]

Previously, Gaza militants have only been able to reach about 50 miles (80 kilometers) into Israel with their homegrown M-75 missiles.  Hezbollah used M-302s in a 2006 war against Israel, the military said.

The operation, codenamed “Full Disclosure,” followed months of intelligence gathering. Lerner said the shipment originated in Syria. From there the weapons were flown to Iran and departed from the Bandar Abbas port. Lerner said the Iranians tried to “obscure their tracks” by shipping first via Iraq and then out to sea. The shipment was destined for Sudan, from where it was to be moved overland through Egypt to Gaza.

Lerner said the 17 crew members of the ship, flying under a Panama flag, were not suspects and were probably unaware of the content of their cargo. The vessel was being brought to the port of Eilat, Israel’s most southerly point, where the crew would be released and the cache unloaded. It was expected to arrive later this week.

The Washington Post chronicled the more than decade history of Israeli Naval seizures and air strikes against  Iranian weapons shipments to Gaza:

Three years ago, Israel seized the cargo ship Victoria loaded with weapons allegedly sent by Iran to Gaza , including land-to-sea missiles.

In November 2009, Israel took over the Iranian Francop vessel off the coast of Cyprus and captured hundreds of tons of rockets, missiles, mortars, grenades and anti-tank weapons on board that it said were headed to Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon.

Israel is also suspected of carrying out airstrikes in Sudan on arms shipments believed to be bound for Gaza. Israel has never confirmed carrying out the strikes.

In January 2002, Israeli forces stormed the Karine A freighter on the Red Sea, and confiscated what the military said was 50 tons of missiles, mortars, rifles and ammunition headed for the Gaza Strip.

In May 2001, Israel captured the vessel Santorini off its coastline, packed with explosives Israel said were being sent from Hezbollah to Palestinian militant groups.

The Jerusalem Post report drew attention to Iran’s use of Syria for transshipment of rockets and others strategic weapons to terrorist proxies in the Middle East:

The IDF Spokesman’s Unit said that the operation was made possible by inter-agency intelligence cooperation and the IDF’s enhanced capabilities. “This prevented the arrival of a shipment of deadly and advanced weapons, which was aimed at harming Israeli civilians, and intended to reach the terrorist organizations of the Gaza Strip who are waging confrontation against Israel.”

The spokesman added that special commando navy teams acted in accordance with international law during the raid and boarded the ship for armed searches before uncovering the rockets.

Iran flew the rockets to an Iranian air field, trucked them to a sea port, and shipped them to Iraq, where they were hidden in cement sacks.

The ship then set sail from Iraq to Port Sudan, near the Sudanese-Eritrean border, on a journey expected to last some ten days.

Had the shipment of rockets not been intercepted the rockets would likely have been unloaded in Egypt and taken by land over Sinai to smuggling tunnels into Gaza.

One day before reaching its destination, the Israel Navy pounced, raiding the vessel and bringing it under its full control. There were no injuries in the incident.

“We have certain proof that Iran was behind this,” a senior military source said.

“The final destination was the Gaza Strip, where Iran hoped to unload the rockets and transfer them to terrorist organizations,” he added.

Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and smaller groups are constantly working to build up their rocket arsenal, and are believed to have several thousand short range rockets that threaten southern cities and dozens of medium-range rockets that can reach greater Tel Aviv or Jerusalem.

By the end of 2013, Hamas was estimated by Israeli intelligence to possess 5000 short-range rockets and dozens of medium-range rockets, placing 70 percent of Israeli civilians in its range.

Gaza today has some 25,000 armed fighters. Of those, 16,000 belong to Hamas divisions. The Islamic Jihad has 5,000 fighters, split up into five divisions, and is armed with more than 2,000 rockets. Smaller terror groups have over 4,000 terrorists among their ranks, and are armed with dozens of rockets, as well as a large quantity of light arms.

In addition to replenishing its rocket arsenal, Hamas is trying to create capabilities to launch terror attacks, and possesses anti-aircraft missiles as well.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review. The featured composite photographic image is courtesy of CrownHeights.info.

ACTION ALERT: Boycott the Movie “Non-Stop”

Hollywood is often referred to as “Tinseltown,” because nothing is actually real in the entertainment industry.

We’ve seen the latest example of how detached from reality the entertainment industry is with the release of what can only be described as a disgraceful movie starring Liam Neeson:Non-Stop.

We urge everyone to boycott this movie!!!

Non-Stop is a dreadful suspense/action thriller about an airliner that is mysteriously hijacked, with some of the passengers and crew murdered by a hidden “terrorist.”

But in the case of Non-Stop, Hollywood’s discreditable political correctness crossed the line with an outrageous plot twist that carries with it a distinctly anti-American, anti-military message.

It turns out that the “terrorist” hijacker who is anonymously murdering innocent passengers on the commercial airliner is a 9/11 family member/military combat vet who is fed up with “meaningless” war.

That’s right, when the villain was a child, he lost his father in the Al Qaeda attack on the World Trade Center in New York. He later joined the U.S. military and fought for America in the war on terrorism. This experience turns him into a monster and he decides to commit the same kind of mass murder that killed his father.

So, in one film, the producer, Joel Silver of Silver Pictures, and his crew manage to ridicule and insult (1) 9/11 family members, (2) combat veterans who have fought for our security and (3) the military campaigns to overthrow Saddam Hussein in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

But that’s not all. The film doesn’t stop its ridiculous preaching with those slurs.

Believe it or not, this reprehensible movie gets even worse.

The movie’s hero who comes to the aid of the protagonist, thereby saving the day, turns out to be a Muslim doctor, complete in Muslim garb and full beard.

This is especially ironic given that Al Qaeda’s leader, Ayman Al Zawahiri, is himself a doctor and former professor of surgery at a medical school in Egypt. And, by the way, the ringleader of the 2007 Glasgow Airport bombing attack in Scotland was also a Muslim doctor.

As if all this was not enough, most of this atrocious movie was filmed at studios in the New York City area, where most of the surviving 9/11 family members still live and work to this day.

Producing a movie that makes a villain out of victims of Jihadist terrorism and demonizes our war veterans who are, in reality, heroes who should be revered and respected, isn’t just a bad movie idea, it’s also an inexcusable national disgrace.

Joel Silver should be ashamed for producing such an abysmal film. Universal Pictures should be ashamed for distributing it. And though Hollywood actors are often shallow, mindless simpletons, in this case, even actors should have had the sense to turn down such a horrendous script.

No one associated with the creation of this shameful film deserves our respect or admiration.

Non-Stop is un-American, unpatriotic and anti-US military. It also infers that overthrowing Saddam Hussein and the Taliban, as well as decapitating Al Qaeda’s leadership element, was a bad idea.

We urge you: do not go see Non-Stop and tell your family and friends to boycott this appalling movie as well.

The Five Steps To Understanding Pure Islam

During my three decades of studying Islam, the mindset of the Muslim people, living and working in Islamic controlled countries, studying Arabic, reviewing 1000’s of Islamic books and dvd’s, conducting research inside hundreds of mosques worldwide, and talking with thousands of Muslims (to include Al Qaeda members), it is my professional opinion there are 5 stages a non Muslim must go through to truly understand ‘Pure Islam’. At any given time one is at one of these stages and must go through one stage to move up to the next stage.

Many people stay at Steps 1 and 2, while few ever make it to Step 5.

I have given each of these steps a name after considering the best way to describe the ‘Steps’ to non Muslims.

Junior – Step 1: This is the lowest step in understanding Islam. These are the people who do not want to hear about anything dangerous or negative about anyone, any religion, or any ideology. We all start at Step 1. We are born to care and love, respect, and honor others. This is because we have the blessings of our heavenly father. Most of us by the age of 4 or 5 understand not everyone or everything is good. Millions stay at this level due to fear and mistrust. They want nothing to do with matters outside the baseball and soccer games their children participate in. They seldom watch the news or read newspapers devoted to world news. Anything about Islam or Sharia law is a mystery to them. The closest they get to understanding or wanting to understand Islam is the Disney movie ‘Alladin’.

Incompetent – Step 2: Most of us will move into the next stage of understanding Islam when we are very young. we realize there are some things not exactly right in the world. There are some parents not so good, some teachers, some police, some political folks, and we may even hear a bad thing here and there about some strange religion practiced in far off countries called something like Islam. But at this stage we just come to the easy conclusion there are good and bad things happening all over the world, but that is just how the world is. Islamic practices raise no more a concern to these people than a athlete who is found out to be using illegal drugs. Things happen, no need to worry. Sadly, many people never leave this stage.

Hump Day – Step 3: This is a big jump for the people who arrive to understanding Islam at the ‘Hump Day’ stage. During this stage you may be in your late teens to 100 years old. It is a stage when some news about Islam and Muslims makes it way into the media. Not because most media want to provide anything negative about Islam, but due to the violent nature of the act committed by some Muslims in the name of Islam just can’t be ignored.

For instance on Sept. 11th, 2001, or the U.S. officer (Muslim) who killed numerous people at Fort Hood, or possibly when hundreds of news organizations are working at a major sporting event (Boston Marathon) and bombs begin going off and killing innocent people. Just so happens some Muslims are identified as suspects. Now to the people in this stage they have become to realize there seems to be more than just a few Muslims who commit violent acts, but with the media’s help and our liberal President these acts are committed by just some stray lone wolves who really do not know Islam.

Some people at this stage are on the verge of jumping to stage 4, but Islamic organizations such as CAIR and ISNA (with money from Saudi Arabia) insure non Muslims that Islam is peaceful, and some Muslims are just interpreting Islam and Sharia law incorrectly. These Islamic leaders are put on prime-time news and allowed to spread untruths about Islam and Sharia law. Even good ole Fox News will invite CAIR leaders to discuss Islam and Islamic based terrorism before they will allow Gabriel, Emerson, Lopez, or me.

Acceptance – Step 4: In order for people to get to Step 4, they must truly want the truth about Islam and Sharia law. These are people who do not believe everything they read in the newspapers or on major news channels. They trust these organizations just a wee little bit, but will dig deeper. These people will begin joining organizations that help people better understand Islam and Sharia law (such as ACT for America). They will pick up books written by non Muslims who have studied Islam and Sharia law for many years. They begin reading blogs about Islam, they begin talking with others about this issue, and some start speaking out about Islam because the people they trust say Islam is filled with hate and violence.

These people keep up with current events about Islam and realize that in any corner of the world there is violence being committed in the name of Islam. These people understand Islam better than 95% of the non Muslim world population. They are starting to get the ‘Big Picture’. The drawback to leaving this stage is that most people through no fault of their own can’t spend 18 hours of each day studying and researching the Islamic ideology. They will be stuck at Step 4 forever. There are a few (less than 1%) who make it to level five.

D anger – Step 5: The handful of people who make it to this stage are one’s who begin spending a majority of their life obtaining first-hand information about Islam and Sharia law. They want the truth. They do not want paid actors on TV News channels explaining to them issues the news actor has virtually no first-hand knowledge about.

The Step 5 people have come to the conclusion that our children, our country, and our children’s future are in jeopardy because of politicians who must always be politically correct, our law enforcement are not trained to understand the Muslim mindset, and the news media have sponsors and financial contributors they must please. For instance Fox News can’t criticize the Saudi government too much, when Saudi elite own much of Fox News.

The Step 5 people fully understand the realities of Islam because they have began reading more books by world leading Islamic scholars than they due professional counter-terrorism professionals (an example is an ACT leader named Jack Ellison). First hand knowledge is the best evidence you can obtain. The people at Step 5 do not use terms such moderates, radicals, extremists when discussing Islamic issues. They know first-hand that the Islamic ideology itself is the number one danger to non Muslims worldwide.

It is not groups of Islamic terrorist organizations (such as Al Qaeda), but it is what the Muslim people are taught from a very early age. There are more books about child marriages, physical Jihad, hate and violence materials in most mosques than there are materials about peace. The people at Step 5 know the Islamic ideology itself must be destroyed and looked at for what it is, evil.

These people understand there are only practicing and non practicing Muslims. A Muslim either complies with all aspects of Sharia law, or they pick and choose which ones they want to adhere to. These are Apostates of Islam, or as defined by the media, ‘moderate Muslims’. There is no such word within Islam for a moderate Muslim. They don’t exist. The Islamic ideology does not allow for people to be good.

There is no Sunni or Shiite: There is only ‘Pure Islam’

Conclusion: The goal is to help people get out of Step 1-3, and take the leap to Stage 4. If they have time in their lives to dedicate 12 plus hours a day studying Islam, they have a chance at reaching Step 5. The goal of the Step 4 and 5 people is to start ‘Branding’ Islam as evil. Just as Hitler and the SS Troops are branded as evil, we must convince non Muslims to cringe when the word Islam is used.

People in the Steps of 1-3 often believe (falsely) that people who are in Steps 4 and 5 of my scale, are haters and racists. The people in Step 4 and 5 are actually one’s who care so much for others (especially our children of all races and religions) that they give up their worldly life to discover the truth. these people understand there are millions and millions of people who identify with the Muslim religion are very good people. These millions of Muslims have been duped themselves about Islam, and when they begin discovering the truth, they begin not complying with the violent aspects of Sharia law. Many want to leave Islam, but Islam is a dangerous cult to leave. The penalty for leaving Islam is death under Sharia law.

1. We must begin to help these people to leave Islam without fear of revenge by their Islamic captors.
2. We must begin demanding young innocent children are not allowed to be taught hate and violence in mosques and Islamic Centers.
3. We must demand our politicians and law enforcement denounce Islam for what it is and protect our country and families in accordance with the U.S. Constitution.
4. We must demand our media discontinue being actors and actresses and being to provide honest news without rhetoric, and lies.
5. We must teach our children that America is beautiful and you must work hard to obtain success. There are no free rides in the real world.

So the 5 Steps are easily remember by the acronym JIHAD:

Junior
Incompetent
Hump Day
Acceptance
Danger

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Ukraine, Putin and Propaganda

Cliff Kincaid of America’s Survival interviewed me last night about the revolution in Ukraine, the People’s Cube, Putin, Obama, and more.

Putin’s anti-American and anti-Semitic propaganda gives the Ukrainian protesters the Tea Party treatment and sets up the US foreign policy for a defeat. Unfortunately, some in the American right-wing media fall for the Kremlin’s paranoid narrative and regurgitate it to their readers and listeners.

Now on YouTube:

[youtube]http://youtu.be/Fu2jsg19E1s[/youtube]

Published on Mar 5, 2014

Commentators such as radio host Michael Savage have been claiming that the new government of Ukraine is either run or supported by “neo-Nazis.” The claim, designed to justify the invasion of Ukraine, is pure Soviet/Russian disinformation. It has the added attraction of diverting attention from Putin’s own personal embrace of anti-Semitic lies and propaganda.

P.S.

References to Michael Savage in this interview are made with regards to this insane rant he posted on WND: PUTIN CROSSES OBAMA’S PINK LINE

Savage can be understandably concerned about the safety of Jews in Ukraine, but if he had done some research he would have discovered that most of the allegations he is repeating are rooted in the idea of “Jewish conspiracy,” one of which is the claim that Victoria Nuland is Jewish and, therefore, she had engineered a coup in Ukraine as part of a diabolical Neocon plot to take over the world.

It gets completely absurd when such claims are made repeatedly on Alex Jones’s sites like Infowars, followed by long threads of supportive anti-Semitic arguments made by Jones’s regular readers.

How peculiar that all American anti-Semites and Neo-Nazis tend to support Russia in this conflict while describing the Ukrainian opposition as puppets of the Zionist conspiracy. And that is exactly what the paid army of Internet trolls are spreading all over the world.

Here’s an example from a neo-Nazi site: Ukrainian “Prime Minister” Arseniy Yatsenyuk is a Jew

Another direction of the Kremlin’s propaganda campaign, which is aimed at the liberal Western demographic, describes the Ukrainian opposition itself as anti-Semites and Neo-Nazis, trying to scare people away from supporting Ukraine. Apparently it’s effective since Michael Savage, John Batchelor, and some other media personalities have bought into it.

EDITORS NOTE: This portrait of Vladimir Putin comes from and is attributed to the website of the President of the Russian Federation.