Posts

America Has Lost Her ‘Voice’

Born during the life and death struggle against Nazism, the Voice of America recently turned 75. During her long years of service, she provided a beacon of hope to captive nations in Europe, and helped keep that hope alive during decades of Soviet occupation.

More recently, the Voice has provided hope to freedom-seeking peoples in the Far East, Central Asia, Iran and Africa. Companion services managed by the U.S. government’s Broadcasting Board of Governors have provided surrogate broadcasting into Russia and other countries that lack a free press.

But lately, the venerable Voice has been behaving with an immaturity, lack of vision, and unprofessionalism that have dismayed many of her dedicated, long-serving employees, who regularly critique the agency on the BBG Watch blog, as well as her supporters on Capitol Hill.

statue of liberty in flamesFrom “fake news” to the glorification of terrorists, the Voice has lost her way.

VOA’s charter, writ into law under President Gerald Ford, could not be more clear. VOA is supposed to “represent America… [and] present a balanced and comprehensive projection of significant American thought and institutions.” Instead, the Voice has become an amateurish, partisan outset, which many recently-hired journalists and managers see as a taxpayer funded CNN.

The Voice of America – the same “Voice” that is supposed to hold high our nation as of the torchlight of freedom around the world – now compares America’s President to Lenin, Stalin, and Mao.

Open the VOA’s main website on virtually any day and you will find stories and headlines that wouldn’t pass muster in any freshman journalism class.

The lead story on Monday, March 27, carried the headline, “Trump to Roll Back Obama Era Environmental Rules.”

“White House officials say President Donald Trump will sign executive orders Tuesday that would effectively dismantle Obama era environmental regulations, rekindling the highly-charged partisan debate about how human activity affects the earth’s climate, and deepening concern decades of work on global climate treaties may be unraveling,” it began.

If that were followed by a detailed explanation of what the President planned to do, and what practical implications his executive orders would have, one might be able to excuse the shoddy left-wing slant of that opening graph.

Instead, the next sentence is a quote from a global warming alarmist saying the president’s policies “would be disastrous,” and many more paragraphs of overheated rhetoric, not journalism.

On the same day, VOA noted that the President’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, would be testifying before the Senate intelligence committee. That certainly qualifies as news. But the VOA headline, “Senate Panel to Question Trump’s Son-in-law on Russia meetings,” suggests that Kushner was compelled to testify, an impression buttressed by the core of the article.

It turns out that Kushner volunteered to testify, a fact missing from the VOA story. Even CNN correctly acknowledged Kushner’s offer to the Senate committee in their lead paragraph.

This type of misrepresentation occurs every day in stories from the VOA Central newsroom, despite hype by VOA Director Amanda Bennett to have reformed and improved its operations.

Even worse are stories that glorify terrorists.

A March 25 story exalted the memory of a Pakistani man who was sentenced to death and executed for murdering a liberal politician who defended religious freedom.

The murderer, Mumtaz Qadri, “is now being hailed as a hero in Pakistan,” whereas the man he murdered was criticized for his “soft stand” on Asia Babi, a Christian woman who allegedly “blasphemed” Islam. “For his followers, Qadri [has become] no less than a saint,” the story gushed.

The day after Somali pirates hijacked a commercial vessel earlier this month, VOA’s Somali service ran an uncritical interview with one of the pirates, titled, “Desperate fishermen?”

VOA Director Bennett proudly posted the reporter’s words to Facebook as if they were her own. “One of the men who seized an oil tanker off the Somali coast this week tells VOA he’s not a pirate,” she wrote. VOA later corrected the headline and toned down the laudatory tone of the piece after criticized on BBG Watch.

In December, VOA ran a long profile of a Turkish-born ISIS fighter who joined the jihad and died in Syria. Clearly intended to be a piece of showcase journalism, it was nothing less than the glorification of a terrorist.

On any given day, you can go to VOA websites and find example after example of shoddy journalism, fake news, misleading headlines, and slanted reporting.

VOA editors appear not to understand or not to care about the VOA charter, which also requires them to “present the policies of the United States clearly and effectively.” This mission has been dropped entirely.

U.S. taxpayers spend over $770 million/year on U.S. government broadcasting. This includes Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Marti, and other media outlets.

For most of her 75 years, the Voice of America has been a powerful tool in the war of ideas, showing by example the attractiveness of American openness, pluralism, compassion, and tolerance.

It’s time for President Trump to appoint new management, so she can be great again.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the Daily Caller.

State Department Nominee Must Tame The Bureaucratic Beast

The way the media is discussing the choice facing President-Elect Trump over his State Department nominee, you would think it’s a choice about stocking-stuffers. Should I give Mitt the slide whistle, the chocolate truffle, or the lump of coal?

The answer is: none of the above. And as Kellyann Conway noted on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, Trump loyalists are wondering why Mitt Romney thinks he deserves to hang his stocking on our mantle to begin with.

Secretary of State is one of three key national security positions, but even more than the National Security advisor or the Secretary of Defense, this is the person who becomes America’s face and voice to seven billion people around the planet. This is the person who will personify American values, who will hold high the flag of freedom.

And most important of all, this is the person who will ensure that President Trump’s agenda actually gets carried out by an unruly, often recalcitrant bureaucracy at the Department of State, filled with partisan Democrats who have burrowed their way into career track jobs to avoid getting automatically axed come the inauguration.

Mitt Romney may be willing to recant his harsh attacks on Donald Trump’s character during the campaign, and Mr. Trump may be willing to forgive him. But the real issue – and it applies to any potential nominee – is this: can he or she ascend to the seventh floor and tame the bureaucracy?

After President Bush was elected to a second term in November 2004, Secretary of State Colin Powell called a town meeting of his employees. “We live in a democracy,” he said. “As Americans, we have to respect the results of elections.” Bush had received the most votes of any president in U.S. history. Everyone in this building was constitutionally obligated to serve him, he said.

As I recounted in my 2008 book, Shadow Warriors, one of Powell’s subordinates returned to her office suite, shut the door, and held a mini town meeting of her own. After indignantly recounting Powell’s remarks to her assembled staff, she commented: “Well, Senator Kerry receive the second highest number of votes of any presidential candidate in history. If just one state had gone differently, Sen. Kerry would be President Kerry today.”

The employees of her regional bureau owed no allegiance to the president of the United States, especially not to policies they knew were wrong, she told them. If it was legal, and it would slow down the Bush juggernaut, they should do it.

I fully expect the next Secretary of State will face the same type of open insubordination from political hold-overs, many of whom weathered eight years of George W. Bush. They will use every ruse to undermine President Trump’s policies, especially where those policies conflict with their elitist, globalist agenda – which will be just about everywhere.

Want to slash the $1 billion funding to promote “climate change” initiatives? All of a sudden, that money will get buried in another budget line. Want to stop spending U.S. taxpayer dollars to promote an LGBT lifestyle overseas? The next secretary will get blank stares when he or she gives such an order to the bureaucrats.

And these are relatively small matters. What about moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, a policy Congress has made law and Donald Trump promoted during the campaign? I guarantee you, the shadow warriors at State will find legal excuses where none exist, and magnify the objections of regional partners who never set foot in Israel anyway.

The State Department has many talented, career professionals, who understand that their job is to promote the policies of the United States of America as defined by the President and his Secretary of State. But it also has many secret and not-so-secret partisans, who believe their duty is to act as so many Edward Snowden’s inside the belly of the beast, leaking to the media and to President Trump’s political enemies.

The next Secretary of State cannot close his eyes to this fact. He must tame the bureaucracy and, like the Swedes, not fear to send those he cannot fire to the “elephant’s churchyard” in the basement.

That’s what happened to Greg Hicks, the deputy chief of mission under Ambassador Chris Stevens in Libya, after Hicks had the temerity to testify before Congress that his superiors back in Washington had denied scores of requests for additional security in Tripoli and Benghazi.

The media will scream, and Senator Chuck Schumer will join them, calling the Secretary a vicious partisan, vindictive, or – heavens! – unfair. We need a Secretary of State who will not flinch at the slings and arrows of the president’s political adversaries, who can sweep them away with skill, good humor, and firm resolve.

Do you see Mitt Romney doing that?

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on the DailyCaller.com.

Senator Cotton Defends Letter to the Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran

We posted several times this week on the controversy that erupted following  publication of letter on Monday, March 9th, 2014, authored by Senator Tom Cotton (R-AK) and signed by 46 other Republican colleagues that was tweeted to the Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Seven Republican Senators for various reasons declined to do so.  It drew the ire of the President, Secretary of State Kerry and most Democratic Senators.  It triggered several White House website “We the People” website petition campaigns. One requested charges of “treason” be filed while the other accused Sen. Cotton and the 46 Republican signatories of violating the 1799 Logan Act suggesting they could be sued for illegally conducting foreign relations when Members of Congress are exempt from the hoary law. Further, both sides of the aisle have done so historically, including then Senators Kerry and Biden, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and the late Sen. Ted Kennedy. That didn’t stop some media like the New York Daily News and others from suggesting Republican signatories of the Cotton Letter were acting in a traitorous manner in an editorial  and front page headline, “GOPers Sabotage Bam Nuke Deal”.

The letter  has been called “mutinous” by a former Army General cited by the Washington PostPolitico blamed Sen. Cotton for “getting us a hard-line Supreme Ruler.” President Obama found it “somewhat ironic” that the Cotton letter may have aligned them with so-called hardliner opposition in Iran to the nuclear deal. Others contended that the letter was “ misguided”  and ”disrespectful” of the Presidential perogatives under our Constitution for negotiations of treaties and executive agreements. In our most recent post on the controversy on Friday, we wrote:

Two independent legal experts confirmed the Constitutional requirements for review of foreign treaties and Congressional executive agreements. Sen. Cotton’s letter also pointed out that any executive order signed by the President may not survive past the end of his term in 22 months and might be modified or terminated for cause by any successor. That raised a question of why the Memorandum of Understanding was non-binding. That provoked responses from both Foreign Minister Zarif and Supreme Ruler Ayatollah Khamenei.  While the latter railed in rhetoric about how the GOP initiative reflected “the disintegration of the US” and why our representations can’t be trusted and laughing at the State Department citing Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism. It was left to Foreign Minister Zarif, to reveal that Congress wouldn’t have to approve anything saying: “The executive agreement was not bilateral but rather multi-lateral with the rest of the Permanent Members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany, subject to a resolution of the Security Council.”

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu wrote in a Jewish Press article published today, “U.N. Security Council’s lifting of sanctions and endorsement of a deal might make Congress irrelevant.” He then cites the observation of Omri Ceren, Communications Director for the Washington, DC-based The Israel Project:

The letter forced the Administration to explain why they’re icing Congress out of Iran negotiations, and now that explanation has ignited a firestorm. The administration looks like it intentionally chose a weaker, non-binding arrangement, rather than a treaty, to avoid Senate oversight.

Ken Timmerman, whose FrontPageMagazine article, we cited noted the reason for Zarif’s and presumably the Administration position:

The Obama administration has told Congress that it won’t submit the nuclear agreement with Iran for Congressional approval, but now Zarif is saying that it will be submitted to the United Nations, to form the basis of a United Nations Security Council resolution, presumably aimed at lifting UN sanctions on Iran.

That prompted Sen. Coker (R-TN) and Foreign Relations Senate Committee chair co-sponsor of The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 to write President Obama Thursday:

There are now reports that your administration is contemplating taking an agreement, or aspects of it, to the United Nations Security Council for a vote.

Enabling the United Nations to consider an agreement or portions of it, while simultaneously threatening to veto legislation that would enable Congress to do the same, is a direct affront to the American people and seeks to undermine Congress’s appropriate role.

bill bennetSen. Cotton was interviewed on Bill Bennett’s Morning in America program on Wednesday, March 11th, 2014 in the midst of the continuing controversy. He presented the salient background and rationale for the letter.  Among points regarding his letter he made during the interview were:

He indicated that the letter took shape following Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s address to a Joint Meeting of Congress that, in his opinion, raised questions about what sort of deal the Administration was entering into among both his Republican and many Democratic colleagues, as it did not preclude Iran from achieving a nuclear capability.

His letter was directed at informing Iran’s leaders of the Constitutional authorities for Senate review of foreign treaties and executive agreements and that they may be terminated by end of President Obama’s term or modified by succeeding Presidents or Congress under existing related sanctions legislation.  He thought that the response from Iran’s foreign minister reflected his lack of understanding of Congressional review and ratification  requirements as regarding any Memorandum of Understanding on Iran’s nuclear program that the US P5+1 might enter into.

He illustrated the ability of President to rescind executive agreements of predecessors with reference to the 2004 letter of former President Bush to the late Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon reaffirming Israel’s rights under UN Resolution 242 to “secure and defensible” borders and that Jerusalem was Israel’s undivided capital. President Obama, according to Sen. Cotton, rescinded that executive agreement by suggesting that Israel might divide Jerusalem along the lines of the pre-1967 1949 Armistice Line.

The President’s objective, endeavoring to conclude so-called verifiable agreements on Iran’s nuclear agreements in their current form, would be a bad deal as reflecting in Israeli Prime Minister’s address comments before a Joint Meeting of Congress on March 3rd as it could allow Iran to continue developing a nuclear capability, not preclude it.

He suggested that President Obama’s motivation for pushing for the Iran nuclear deal was to achieve a strategic rapprochement with Iran. This despite the Islamic Republic cited by our State Department as a state sponsor of terrorism. Among specific examples cite by Cotton during the interview  were the 1979 US Embassy hostage taking and terrorist attacks by proxies  over several decades that resulted in deaths and injuries to hundreds of American diplomats and service personnel in Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan.

On the Matter of the Administration’s new Authorization for the Use of Military Power submitted to the Senate, he called it seriously restrictive. He pointed to the collapse of Iraq and rise of the Islamic State following the Administration’s failure to conclude a status of forces agreement with Iraq on the termination of the Iraq War in 2011.

When asked about Iran’s involvement in the current battle for Tikrit with Iraq national security forces and Iranian controlled Shia Militia, Cotton noted the role of the Quds Force, a combination of Special Forces and its CIA and its ubiquitous commander Qassem Suleymani. He accused Suleymani’s Quds Force of involvement in American casualties in both the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. It also reflected Iran’s rapidly expanding sphere of influence over four Arab countries in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and more recently, Yemen.

Sen. Cotton’s Bennett program interview came just before revelations about the implications of Foreign Minister Zarif’s remarks suggesting the non-binding Memo of Understanding reflected resort to UN approval of any appraisal arising from the multilateral negotiations with the P5+1. You may listen to the Bennett interview with Sen. Cotton, here.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is courtesy of CNN.

Benghazi: An Iranian Act of State Sponsored Terrorism?

Sunday, Lisa Benson and I interviewed Kenneth R. Timmerman, author of Dark Forces: The Truth About What Happened in Benghazi. It is a gripping expose, replete with evidence of deception and cover up, about who perpetrated the Benghazi attack that killed four Americans Ambassador Chris Stevens, communications aide Sean Smith, ex-Navy Seals CIA-contractors, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty on 9/11/2012. Dark Forces conveys the thesis that the attacks in Benghazi were preventable. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton bears responsibility for ignoring those warnings, and preventing a military response. Ambassador Stevens and his security team had repeatedly warned Clinton of the precarious security situation in Tripoli and Benghazi requesting additional resources. Clinton for reasons of her own opposed any military response to the attacks. U.S. Special Forces operators on the ground 9/11/2012 could have saved the Americans who perished, but were told to “hold in place” during the opening moments of the attack.

Benghazi was the hub of the U.S. covert arms smuggling to Islamist groups in Libya and Syria.

  •   The Administration supplied weapons to fight Qaddafi in Libya and Assad in Syria knowing full well that many of the rebel leaders were al Qaeda operatives.
  •  The White House sent members of the National Security “Staff” (ex NSC) to Libya on operational missions to negotiate arms buybacks from Libyan rebel leaders in an apparent violation of the National Security Act of 1947.
  •  A Minimum of 2,500 Surface to air missiles (MANPADS) went “missing” in Libya. Many of them – upgraded with CIA Technology-have fallen into the hands of al Qaeda terrorists.

The Iranian regime coordinated the Benghazi attack.

  • The group that took credit for the Benghazi attack, Ansar al Sharia, was trained and equipped by the Quds Force, the overseas expeditionary arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps.
  • Both the CIA in Benghazi, the Delta Force and Special Operations troops in Tripoli were actively monitoring Iranian operations in Benghazi. They warned their chain of command – including Ambassador Stevens – that Iranians were preparing a terrorist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi. However, they were deceived by a faked kidnapping of Quds Force operatives posing as humanitarian workers by paid Ansar al-Shariah operatives.

Timmerman called the Benghazi attack “an act of state terrorism” by Iran’s Quds Force on yesterday Salem Radio Network program. Listen to the Lisa Benson Radio Show interview with Timmerman, here.

This weekend, Timmerman authored a New York Post article drawn from his book to be published tomorrow. In it he revealed the shadowy figure who planned and paid for the Quds Force attack that killed the four Americans; its commander, Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleymani, The shadowy Iranian spy chief who helped plan Benghazi . Suleymani is the nexus of the Iranian global terrorism campaign aimed at destabilizing the Middle East.

Source:  New York Post composite graphic 6-22-14

In the New York Post article, Timmerman reveals the extensive planning, deception and use of the Ansar al-Shariah militia for the Quds Force attack on the night of 9/11/12.

Here are some excerpts:

Qassem Suleymani is the head of the Quds Force, an organization that acts as a combination CIA and Green Berets for Iran, and a man who has orchestrated a campaign of chaos against the United States around the world.

Today, the Obama Administration has allied itself with Suleymani to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

In this case, Iran’s goal — a Shi’ite-friendly government in Iraq — coincides with America’s hope that the country doesn’t fall apart.

Timmerman cites a former Iranian intelligence source saying:

“Iran wants chaos. They want to generate anti-American anger, radicalize the rebels, and maintain a climate of war,” a former Iranian intelligence chief for Western Europe told me. “They are very serious about this. They want to damage the reputation of the United States as a freedom-loving country in the eyes of the Arabs.”

“In Libya, Iran wanted to block US influence, which they saw as a threat,” the intelligence chief said. “They saw the uprising against Khadafy — and the Arab Spring more generally — as an opportunity to accomplish this.”

Timmerman reveals Suleymani’s central role in the Iranian global terrorism campaign and the murders in Benghazi:

Suleymani has orchestrated attacks everywhere from Lebanon to Thailand. The US Department of Justice accuses him of trying to hire a Mexican drug cartel to blow up the Saudi Ambassador to the United States while he was in Washington, DC.

My sources, meanwhile, say Suleymani was involved in an even more direct attack on the US — the killing of Ambassador Christopher Stevens in Benghazi, Libya.

Suleiymani’s record of killing Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan:

“The team in operational command in Benghazi were Qassem Suleymani’s people,” the former Baghdad deputy chief of station, John Maguire, told me. “They were a mature, experienced, operational element from Iran. These guys are the first-string varsity squad.” And they were playing for keeps.

Maguire had matched wits with Suleymani, the Quds Force commander, for two years in Iraq and came away with a healthy respect for his capabilities. “He is talented, charismatic. His people are competent and well trained. They have all the operational traits we used to value. And they are committed to this fight for the long haul.”

[…]

The faked kidnapping in Benghazi was a typical Quds Force op. They used a local militia that on the surface detested Shias, just as they used the Taliban in Afghanistan and manipulated al Qaeda.

“They are very good at deception operations,” Maguire told me.

And our side didn’t have a clue. The CIA chief of base and his deputy fell for it hook, line and sinker.

The details of planning, recruitment of the Ansar al-Shariah militia and the leaders of the Benghazi, Quds Force officer Ibrahim Mohammed Joudaki and Hezbollah operative Khalil Harb are detailed in Timmerman’s New York Post article.  Timmerman concluded with this comment:

This is the deadly deception we face from Iran. Suleymani may work with us to battle ISIS, but don’t believe for one moment that he’s our friend.

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

Qatar Supplying U.S. Stinger missiles to the Taliban

Yesterday, on The Lisa Benson Show, that I hosted, we heard from two guests, about the extraordinary influence that tiny energy rich Gulf Emirate of  Qatar has in the Obama Administration . That was reflected in their  role facilitating the transfer of the five top Taliban Commanders to Qatar from Guantanamo in a swap for freeing Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.  A swap fraught with real dangers to American forces still in Afghanistan according to comments from Maj. Gen Paul Vallely, renowned Fox News  senior military analyst and Dr. David Weinberg, senior fellow in the Washington, DC-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Shoot_down_of_Soviet_helicopter_by_Mujahedin_fighter_armed_with_Stinger_missilePresident Obama’s hoped  for euphoria  with the announcement of Bergdahl’s release with his parents in the White House Rose Garden on Saturday, May 31, 2014  were dashed  in the firestorm  of  adverse Congressional   and public criticism.  That according to Gen. Vallely   has brought into question the legality and wisdom of the  President’s decision to exchange  high risk Taliban commanders for Bergdahl.  As we noted in recent Iconoclast posts many of Bergdahl’s  platoon comrades considered him a deserter from their forward operating base in Eastern Afghanistan in late June 2009.  On the  Lisa Benson Radio Show Gen. Vallely gave the stunning news that two Afghan police has left the 25th Infantry brigade operating base at virtually the same time as Bergdahl.

Yesterday, veteran investigative journalist and author Kenneth Timmerman  brought into serious question the duplicity of the Qataris in excerpt published in the New York Post  of a forthcoming  new book by him,  Dark Forces: The Truth About What Happened in Ben­ghazi” (Broadside Books),  How the Taliban got their hands on modern US missiles.  This adds one more  clear demonstration of the myopia by the Obama West Wing demonstrating  the blow-back from Qatar where we have invested over a half billion to build the Al Uedid Combat Air Command  and Central Command  logistical supply complex to  support our troops in Afghanistan.  It is no wonder that Dr. Weinberg’s colleague at FDD, Dr. Jonathan Schanzer has called  in the Qatari, in a Politco article both a “Frenemy” and an “ATM for the Muslim Brotherhood” in the Middle East and North Africa. With the Timmerman excerpt on how US stingers supplied the Qataris found their way to Afghanistan for the Taliban to shoot down a Chinook CH-47 helicopter in 2012, we have further evidence of why the release of those five top Taliban commanders and war criminals, by President Obama may further embolden Congressional investigative oversight of these dangerous Administration national security policies.

New York Post, June 8, 2014

How the Taliban got their hands on modern US missiles

By Kenneth R. Timmerman

Kenneth R. Timmerman

In his new book, “Dark Forces: The Truth About What Happened in Benghazi” (Broadside Books), writer Kenneth R. Timmerman explains how the US government’s efforts to arm the Libyan rebels backfired, flooding weapons into Syria, and as he ­reveals here, Afghanistan:

The Obama administration isn’t only giving the Taliban back its commanders — it’s giving them weapons.

Military records and sources reveal that on July 25, 2012, Taliban fighters in Kunar province successfully targeted a US Army CH-47 helicopter with a new generation Stinger missile.

They thought they had a surefire kill. But instead of bursting into flames, the Chinook just disappeared into the darkness as the American pilot recovered control of the aircraft and brought it to the ground in a hard landing.

The assault team jumped out the open doors and ran clear in case it exploded. Less than 30 seconds later, the Taliban gunner and his comrade erupted into flames as an American gunship overhead locked onto their position and opened fire.

us helocopter

The Taliban took out a US Chinook helicopter in 2012 with a Stinger missile signed out by the CIA around the time of the attack. Photo: Reuters

The next day, an explosive ordnance disposal team arrived to pick through the wreckage and found unexploded pieces of a missile casing that could only belong to a Stinger missile.

Lodged in the right nacelle, they found one fragment that contained an entire serial number.

The investigation took time. Arms were twisted, noses put out of joint. But when the results came back, they were stunning: The Stinger tracked back to a lot that had been signed out by the CIA recently, not during the anti-Soviet ­jihad.

Reports of the Stinger reached the highest echelons of the US command in Afghanistan and became a source of intense speculation, but no action.

Everyone knew the war was winding down. Revealing that the Taliban had US-made Stingers risked demoralizing coalition troops. Because there were no coalition casualties, government officials made no public announcement of the attack.

My sources in the US Special Operations community believe the Stinger fired against the Chinook was part of the same lot the CIA turned over to the Qataris in early 2011, weapons Hillary Rodham Clinton’s State Department intended for anti-Khadafy forces in Libya.

They believe the Qataris delivered between 50 and 60 of those same Stingers to the Taliban in early 2012, and an additional 200 SA-24 Igla-S surface-to-air missiles.

Qatar now is expected to hold five Taliban commanders released from Guantanamo for a year before allowing them to go to Afghanistan.

But if we can’t trust the Qataris not to give our weapons to the Taliban, how can we trust them with this?

RELATED ARTICLE: Karachi airport attack: Taliban ‘trying to hijack plane’ in assault that left dozens dead

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