Friday, July 31, 2009

To Meddle or not to Meddle: That is the question

Responding to reports that US Ambassador to Honduras, Hugo Llorens, met with former Honduran dictator, Manuel Zelaya on Thursday, interim president Roberto Micheletti told a reporter: "If you are sure that has taken place, that the ambassador has met with Zelaya, it is MEDDLING."

"The ambassador is making a serious mistake if he has done that," Micheletti said. "We don't want any country interfering [MEDDLING] in Honduras' affairs."

Meanwhile, CNN is reporting that three American tourists have been detained by Iranian authorities after they strayed across the border from Iraqi Kurdistan.

It is still unclear whether President Obama - who, heretofore, has chosen not to MEDDLE in Iran's internal affairs - will intercede on behalf of the American detainees.

American journalist Roxana Saberi was forced to languish in an Iranian jail cell for several months - as a result of the president's non-meddling policies - before she was finally released.

Of course, the president can still win the detainees' freedom without meddling in Iran's internal affairs if he were to rely on his policy of appeasement and offer the Iranians a few major concessions....

African American Lawyer, Ted Williams, Rips Obama, Beer Summit

Williams: "What happened here with Professor Gates is not racial profiling at all, absolutely not... President Obama should not have gotten involved in this."

New York Times Recalibrates its Story on Zelaya and Micheletti - No Deal in the Works!

From Rep. Connie Mack - Press Release - July 30, 2009:

[Thursday's] New York Times asserted that Honduran President Roberto Micheletti is working on a deal to bring former President Manuel Zelaya back to power [the story was posted on the New York Times' website on Wednesday and published in the print edition on Thursday].

Mack said:

“I spoke to President Micheletti today by telephone. The New York Times story is utterly untrue and there is no deal to bring Manuel Zelaya back to power. The people of Honduras do not want and will not accept Zelaya’s return.

“Zelaya was removed from the presidency through a legal process established by the Honduran Constitution. He was voted out of office by the Honduran National Congress. The Honduran Supreme Court ordered Zelaya’s arrest. This was not a coup. This is a matter of Honduran law and sovereignty.

“The ones supporting the ousted President include Hugo Chavez and other leftist dictators in Latin America.

“The Obama Administration’s position is appalling. They are siding with the forces of evil against the forces of freedom. They are involving themselves in the internal politics of a sovereign nation. It is wrong and must be stopped.

“Furthermore, I am outraged that the Obama Administration pulled the visas of Honduran officials who didn’t agree with the Administration’s policies, and threatened to pull more. They are retaliating against Honduran judges and Members of Congress for taking positions against Hugo Chavez and other leftists in Latin America.

“Manuel Zelaya broke the law. The New York Times story is inaccurate and fabricated.”

Here is what the New York Times reported:
The head of Honduras’s de facto government, Roberto Micheletti, has expressed support for a compromise that would allow the ousted president of his country to return to power, according to officials in the de facto government and diplomats from the region...

Mr. Micheletti has repeatedly refused to consider the reinstatement of the ousted president... But on Wednesday, the officials said, Mr. Micheletti called President Óscar Arias of Costa Rica... to express his support for a plan... [that] would allow Mr. Zelaya to return as president, although with significantly limited powers.
However, the New York Times altered its story today [July 31] - and is now reporting, as follows:
The de facto Honduran government insisted Thursday that it would not allow ousted President Manuel Zelaya to return to office, dampening hopes of a deal to end a political crisis after last month's coup.

Roberto Micheletti, named president by Congress after Zelaya was toppled in the June 28 coup, said he was open to dialogue to resolve the crisis but would not accept Zelaya back in power, as mediators are asking.

"I've clearly said it before and I say it again, if there is a solution where I have to step down I will do it willingly, but I cannot allow Zelaya to return as president," Micheletti told reporters.

Rafael Pineda, who as minister of the presidency is No. 2 in the de facto government, told Reuters the administration was "firm, unchangeable" against Zelaya's return to power...

The coup leaders are under pressure from Washington to reinstate Zelaya, and a source close to the de facto government said Micheletti might consider letting Zelaya back if there were assurances he would not try to derail democracy.

But Micheletti said Thursday that if Zelaya came back it would be to face trial.

Zelaya incited profound criticism while in office by allying with Venezuela's firebrand President Hugo Chavez and pushing to allow presidential re-election.

"If he wants to retake control of the government, not under any circumstance," Micheletti said.
It's quite possible that Micheletti had been misquoted earlier [intentionally, or unintentially] by Honduran officials. It is also plausible that Micheletti had indeed intended to allow Zelaya to return to power, albeit with limited powers, but was eventually persuaded by members of the interim government not to cave in to the former dictator.

Whatever the case may be, I hope Micheletti remains defiant in his refusal to strike a deal with the Devil, namely, Mel Zelaya, and his socialist allies - Obama, Chavez and Ortega......

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Crowley's African American colleague Pens Letter To Obama Criticizing Professor Gates

If you haven't seen the video yet, here it is:

Here's an earlier [widely publicized] video of Officer Lashley and another African American colleague, Kelly King, speaking in defense of Crowley. King also said she regrets voting for Obama:

Dictators and Socialists Proclaim: We are standing up for Democracy!

"We will launch a strong fight for the democratization of communication, to break the media oligarchy in Venezuela."
Venezuelan Communication and Information Minister, Blanca Eekhout explaining why Hugo Chavez has decided to tighten government control over the Venezuelan media.

Yeah, you read that correctly, Chavez plans to democratize the media by suppressing it.

"Democracy has a price and I am prepared to pay it."
Ousted Honduran dictator, Manuel Zelaya

'The United States will "stand on the side of democracy".'
Barack Obama speaking out in support of ousted Honduran dictator, Manuel Zelaya

"Men of my age flock together; we are birds of a feather, as the old proverb says."
Famous Geek philosopher, Plato

From El Universal: "Diosdado Cabello, the Venezuelan Minister of Public Works and Housing and director of the National Telecommunications Commission (Conatel), said that so far approximately 50 radio stations nationwide have been advised that administrative proceedings have been filed against them...

'Teachable Moment' or 'Non-Teachable Moment': That is the Question

"My hope is, is that as a consequence of this event this ends up being what's called a 'teachable moment'."
Barack Obama commenting on the Crowley/Gates squabble. - July 24, 2009

"This is not a university seminar... It's an attempt to have some personal interaction when an issue has become so hyped and so symbolic."
Barack Obama, July 30, 2009, commenting on his much-anticipated meeting with Sergeant James Crowley and Professor Henry Gates Jr.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Deteriorating Conditions"?

The President attended a town hall meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina on Wednesday to address the need for health care reform. But he opened his remarks with a staunch defense of his economic policies, which triggered the following exchange between White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and a reporter:
QUESTION: Robert, what prompted [the President's] opening remarks on the economy? Was it the improving conditions or his deteriorating poll numbers or --

ROBERT GIBBS: Or the deteriorating conditions...(laughter)......

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Obama targets Honduran Supreme Court Justice who signed order for Manuel Zelaya's arrest - UPDATED

"This does seem like Caesar Chavez is running America. You know, if Obama doesn't like you..., you could be destroyed by this guy...."
WLS-Chicago radio host Mancow, in an interview with Rep. Thaddeus McCotter - July 28, 2009

Barack Obama - the bare-knuckle, Chicago-style politician - is now using intimidation tactics to force his political opponents into submission.

As I noted in an earlier post, the Obama administration's decision to revoke the diplomatic visas of four Honduran officials linked to the ouster of President Manuel Zelaya, came in response to a personal plea from former President Manuel Zelaya who had asked Obama to revoke the coup leaders' U.S. visas.

However, there's another interesting tidbit to this story: U.S. State Dept. spokesman Ian Kelly did not specify the names of the officials whose visas had been revoked ["You know that visa information is confidential", he said at his daily press briefing Tuesday], but according to Rep. Connie Mack, one of them was the Supreme Court justice who signed the order for Manuel Zelaya's arrest:
Representative Connie Mack, a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives who visited Honduras over the weekend, told Reuters it was his understanding that two of the people who had their U.S. visas revoked were Tomas Arita Valle, the Supreme Court justice who signed the order for Zelaya's arrest, and Jose Alfredo Saavedra, president of the Honduran Congress.
[This has also been confirmed by the El Heraldo website]

Aside from Manuel Zelaya's personal plea to the president to revoke the visas, there may have been another factor influencing Obama's decision: Hugo Chavez, the president's close confidante.

Recently, the Honduran government issued a communique labeling Venezuelan diplomats in Honduras as undocumented.

Hence, Obama was not only heeding Manuel Zelaya's directive and trying to intimidate the coup leaders, hoping to force them into submission, he was also meting out retribution in defense of his fellow comrade, Hugo Chavez.

Nevertheless, the revocation of the US visas [by the Obama administration] calls for an immediate condemnation and resolution from congress.

Lawmakers must take immediate action to make sure these visas are reinstated and to prevent the president from turning the US government into a repressive, authoritarian and despotic regime.

Unfortunately, Rep. Thaddeus McCotter's plate is already full. He is currently taking on the president over his slandering of Cambridge cop James Crowley. But I call on Sen. Jim Demint, Rep. Connie Mack and other Republican lawmakers to do their utmost to make sure that the visas are reinstated.

Chicago-style politics and intimidation tactics have no place in a Democracy, certainly not in the executive branch of the US government.

Congressmen, I beg of you, 'please take immediate action now and make sure these visas are reinstated, promptly'!


Republicans blasted the Obama administration on Tuesday for revoking visas for members of the de facto government in Honduras, saying Washington was trying to force the restoration of its leftist government...

Conservative Republicans in Congress attacked the move as an overly aggressive tactic aimed at bringing back Zelaya, who is an ally of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a socialist and ardent foe of the United States.

Pulling the visas "looks like an attempt to intimidate and kind of manipulate the outcome" in Honduras, said Connie Mack, a Florida Republican in the House of Representatives, who met Micheletti on a fact-finding visit to Honduras last weekend...

Another Florida Republican, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, on Tuesday wrote to the U.S. ambassador to Honduras, Hugo Llorens, to express her "deep concern" about the decision to rescind the visas.

"Rather than upholding the principles of a true democracy, these actions appear to punish those who are working to preserve the idea of checks and balances in Honduras," the congresswoman wrote.

Explaining the decision to pull the visas, U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said "we don't recognize Roberto Micheletti as the president of Honduras, we recognize Manuel Zelaya."...

Conservative Republican Senator Jim DeMint... told reporters that revocation of the visas was inexplicable and played into the hands of anti-U.S. governments in Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua.

Mild criticism from members of congress is nothing more than political rhetoric. Obama is taking his marching orders from Manuel Zelaya and is also trying to help out his close confidante, Hugo Chavez. As I stated earlier: "Lawmakers must take immediate action to make sure these visas are reinstated and to prevent the president from turning the US government into a repressive, authoritarian and despotic regime.

"Chicago-style politics and intimidation tactics have no place in a Democracy, certainly not in the executive branch of the US government..."

McCotter: Presidential Encroachment, Coercion of Crowley, worrisome - UPDATED

McCotter also appeared on Alan Colmes radio program. Mr. Colmes asked the congressman why he believes it's a bad idea for officer Crowley to meet with President Obama and Mr. Gates over "a couple of beers".

McCotter replied that, as a former lawyer, the president should understand that "it puts Sergeant Crowley in an untenable position at this point of time until all legal and professional repercussions have been cleared away"...

"This a teachable moment for those who still empathize with the little guy," McCotter said. "You have the president of the United States who's already prejudged your actions twice. It is his friend that has also judged your actions as inappropriate and you're being asked to a private meeting with them. If this were any other situation, if you found yourself, Alan, in this situation, you would be ill advised to go sit down with the two of them at this point in time..."

Some other interesting points were discussed during the interview. Click here to listen to the interview.

McCotter also appeared on NBC's Hardball program. Matthews, in typical fashion, tried to make light of McCotter's resolution, but the congressman did an excellent job fending off Matthew's left-wing criticism.

Kudos, Rep. McCotter! Your arguments are right on the mark! Thanks for sticking up for the Little Guy!

Additional interviews with Rep. Thaddeus McCotter can be heard on the congressman's podcast website:

Click here to hear Rep. McCotter discuss his House resolution with WLS-Chicago's Mancow.

Incidentally, Mancow had some choice words for Obama:

"I talked with a guy earlier today who believes he was fired because of Obama. I mean, this does seem like Caesar Chavez is running America. You know, if Obama doesn't like you..., you could be destroyed by this guy...."
McCotter also chatted with WMUZ's Bob Dutko. Click here to hear the the interview.

Obama Heeds Zelaya's Directive; Honduran Democracy under siege

From el Economista:
Honduras' coup leaders came under new pressure on Tuesday to allow ousted President Manuel Zelaya's return to power as the United States revoked visas for four members of the de facto government...

Zelaya had asked President Barack Obama to revoke U.S. visas for the coup leaders and he quickly welcomed the move.

"They are isolated, they are surrounded, they are alone," Zelaya said of the coup leaders. "This is a coup that has been dead from the start, so they will have to abandon their position of intransigence in the coming hours."...

"We don't recognize Roberto Micheletti as the president of Honduras," State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said in Washington. "We recognize Manuel Zelaya, and so in keeping with that policy of non-recognition, we have decided to revoke official diplomatic visas, or A visas, of four individuals who are members of that regime."

Kelly did not name the Hondurans affected but said the diplomatic visas of other members of the government were also being reviewed.

"It is part of our overall policy towards the de facto regime," he said...

Zelaya has in recent days questioned whether the U.S. government was doing enough to push for his return.

He wrote to Obama urging him to impose sanctions directly against the coup leaders and members of Micheletti's government, including the cancellation of their U.S. visas and a ban on their bank transactions...
Zelaya should have never doubted Obama. The president would never, ever, abandon our authoritarian allies!

Monday, July 27, 2009

McCotter Introduces Resolution calling on Obama to Apologize to Sgt. James Crowley

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter on Monday introduced a resolution in the House calling upon the President to apologize for his inappropriate criticism of police Sergeant James Crowley. Mr. McCotter then issued the following statement on the House floor:
"Mr. speaker, tonight I've introduced H.RES. 680 calling upon President Obama to retract and apologize for his remarks regarding the conduct of Cambridge Massachusetts police sergeant James M. Crowley, Jr....

"After admitting his bias and inadequate grasp of the facts, the President nevertheless stated Sergeant Crowley had ‘acted stupidly’ when carrying out his duties as a law enforcement officer.

"Subsequently, in a public remark the president said that Sergeant Crowley had 'overreacted'. Sergeant Crowley has steadfastly denied any inappropriate conduct on his part.

"Speaker, this is the crux of the problem and it is a situation vaguely unfair to Sergeant Crowley and his standing regarding potential legal and professional consequences. Therefore, I ask the president should retract his premature judgment, apologize for it and allow the appropriate authorities to resolve this issue through due process.

"With my view, Kenneth E. Grabowski, Legislative Director of the Police Officer’s Association of Michigan, agrees. I quote Mr. Grabowski:

“ 'After admitting a bias against the police officer and an ignorance of the facts, the President used his bully pulpit to help a well connected friend by unfairly accusing an officer of misconduct in the performance of his duties. It must not stand. If it does, what officer will be next?' I end Mr. Grabowski's quote and I would add, 'what citizen will be next'." ...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

President blames Teleprompter for "Stupidly" Gaffe

From the Spoof:

Issuing what some are saying is the closest to an apology Sgt. James M. Crowley is ever going to get from the president for his use of the word "stupidly" to describe the Cambridge police officer's actions, Barack Obama took a step back from the podium at a press conference today and pointed a finger at his teleprompter, blaming it for his faux pas...

Blaming his teleprompter for the "stupidly" comment brings to an end an almost 6-month long relationship, the longest on record the president has enjoyed with any of his staff...

"It was difficult for the president to point fingers at an old friend," a White House spokesman later confirmed. "But rest assured, the teleprompter was disposed with in a manner consistent with the president's new Green policy: at a Chicago recycling center setup especially to deal with just these kind of situations."

As the Secret Service took the teleprompter off the stage, Obama stepped forward to the podium again, addressing members of the media, only this time without a teleprompter to assist him. "I, um, ah. Got to go now?" said Obama as he strained, struggled and stammered over his words trying to speak clearly. "Wife waiting. Leaving now. Must I."...

As Obama walked away from the podium, an urgent announcement came over the White House pressroom speakerphone. "Open interviews for a replacement teleprompter are being conducted immediately following the presidential press conference today," said the voice sounding nervous....

Read full article

Obama's "Waterloo", has it finally arrived?

Former Clinton adviser, Dick Morris, appeared on the July 20th edition of Fox's "Hannity's America" program. Hannity asked Mr. Morris if Obama's apparent rush to push through his health care initiative had anything to do with his declining poll numbers:
HANNITY: There's a question here... Now that [Obama's] poll numbers are coming down, has that been the reason for the big push for health care?... To get it out of the way because there's no chance later?

MORRIS: Yes. I wrote a book that I think [Obama] read. The first chapter is called "The New Prince," and the first chapter was [about] the need for a daily majority. And it said when the president of the United States drops below the 50s in job approval into the low 40s, he's functionally out of office. It's as if he's a prime minister in Britain who just lost a vote of confidence.

MORRIS: He's at 51 now according to Rasmussen.... And everybody agrees he's dropped 10 to 15 in the last three months. When those numbers go into the 40s, he won't be able to pass anything, so he's desperate to get cap-and-trade and health care reform as fast as he can until he becomes too politically impotent to do it...
From Rasmussen's July 26th daily tracking poll:
40% of the nation's voters now Strongly Disapprove of the way Barack Obama is performing his role as President, while 29% Strongly Approve, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -11. That’s the first time his ratings have reached double digits in negative territory.... Overall, 49% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President's performance. 50% disapprove.
Back to the July 20th interview:
HANNITY: But [Obama's] pretty much gotten everything that he's wanted... He's got his earmarks. He got his omnibus. He's got cap-and-trade in the House. Working its way through the Senate. He's pushing now for health care. But it's interesting. Now we've got Democratic senators, Democratic governors, Blue Dog Democrats in the House. Now they're the ones standing up to him. Why is that happening?

MORRIS: Well, because he's not in the 60s anymore... and they see he's going down, and they have to run without him, and they have to survive the day after, and I believe... he is meeting his Waterloo as we speak...
"40% of the nation's voters now Strongly Disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President, while 29% Strongly Approve... Overall, 49% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President's performance. 50% disapprove..."

Rep. McCotter To Introduce Resolution Demanding Obama Apologize To Cambridge Cop

From KXMC:
Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.) will introduce a House resolution on Monday demanding Obama retract and apologize for remarks he has made about Cambridge Police Sergeant James Crowley this past week.

Obama had said at his prime time press conference Wednesday that Crowley had “acted stupidly” in the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates...
Here's the last several paragraphs of the resolution:
Whereas, President Obama appeared at a daily White House Press briefing on July 24, 2009 to address his denouncement of Sergeant Crowley and stated: “I could have calibrated those words differently” but “I continue to believe, based on what I have heard, that there was an overreaction in pulling Professor Gates out of his home to the station.”

Whereas, President Obama’s refusal to retract his initial public remarks and apologize to Sergeant Crowley and, instead, reiterate his accusation impugning Sergeant Crowley’s professional conduct in the performance of his duties;

Now therefore be it resolved, That the House of Representatives--

Calls upon President Obama to retract his initial public remarks and apologize to Cambridge , Massachusetts Police Sergeant James M. Crowley for having unfairly impugned and prejudged his professional conduct in this local police response incident.
Will the president invite the congressman over to the White House for a round of beer? Perhaps, but I have a feeling Mr. McCotter is not the kind of guy that can be bought off by a can of beer...

Rasmussen survey: "26% say President Obama did a good or excellent job answering a press conference question about an incident involving" police sergeant James Crowley and Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates. "46% rate the president’s response as poor."...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Thank Beer for Universal Health Care

Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. has accepted Barack Obama's offer to meet with him and Police Sgt. James Crowley over a refreshing round of beer at the White House.

"My unfortunate experience will only have a larger meaning if we can all use [the recent controversy] to diminish racial profiling...," Gates said in a statement released on Friday. "And to that end, I look forward to studying the history of racial profiling in a new documentary for PBS.

"I told the President that my principal regret was that all of the attention paid to his deeply supportive remarks during his press conference had distracted attention from his health care initiative. I am pleased that he, too, is eager to use my experience as a teaching moment, and if meeting Sgt. [James] Crowley for a beer with the President will further that end, then I would be happy to oblige."

I'm sure Sgt. Crowley must be extremely overjoyed with the knowledge that he will soon be a primary focal point of Mr. Gates' upcoming PBS documentary on racial profiling. Most individuals spend a life-time trying to attain that kind of notoriety, but thanks to the president and Mr. Gates, Sergeant Crowley has managed to achieve that goal in just a few short days. [Update - Hotair has apparently arrived at the same conclusion.]

Incidentally, both Mr. Obama and Mr. Gates noted that the recent squabble had diverted attention away from the president's health care proposals. But apparently, the president's "Beer" initiative has managed to quell the controversy a tad bit, enabling the country to refocus its attention once again on Obama's health care plan.

The question now arises: Will the beer manufacturers vie with one another for the right to supply the beer for the upcoming White House meeting, to promote their beer as the beverage that saved Obama's health care initiative?

"Budweiser, the beer that saved Universal Health care", hmmm....

According to a recent Fox News poll, 79 percent of Americans believe that "if health care legislation is passed they personally will pay more in taxes... 45 percent think the quality of their family's health care would be worse. Only 29 percent say they would get better quality health care. [17 percent expect no difference...]"

Hmmm, I suppose Budweiser will probably pass up on that one........

Meanwhile, some questions have arisen about a "charitable foundation" headed by Mr. Gates.

Perhaps Sergeant Crowley might want to look at those questions. If he ever decides to produce his own PBS documentary about charitable foundations, they may come in handy...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Poll: 32% say Obama governing in bipartisan fashion

From Rasmussen:
Fifty-three percent (53%) of U.S. voters say President Obama is now governing like a partisan Democrat, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

Just 32% say the president is governing in a bipartisan fashion, while 15% are not sure. But it is important to note that the survey was taken prior to the president’s Wednesday prime-time press conference and his expanded effort to sell his health care reform plan...

Just after the president took office in late January, only 39% of voters said he was governing in a partisan fashion while 42% said he was being bipartisan.

Sixty-nine percent (69%) of Republicans think Obama is governing like a partisan Democrat, which is perhaps no surprise, but most voters (58%) not affiliated with either major party agree...
h/t - The Hill

$900 million Stimulus Package for Hamas?

The $900 million aid package that President Obama has allocated for Gaza could turn out to be a lucrative stimulus package for Hamas:
Increasingly concerned that Hamas will steal money donated for Gaza's rehabilitation, the Israeli Defense Ministry distributed a document this week revealing that unions affiliated with the terrorist group have set up joint committees with UN agencies that dispense humanitarian aid.

The document was distributed to the Foreign Ministry, Finance Ministry and the Israeli intelligence community, and was also sent to the United States to warn it that the $900 million it has pledged to help rebuild the Gaza Strip could fall into Hamas hands.

"All humanitarian aid sent into the Gaza Strip today needs to receive Hamas clearance," a senior defense official said. "Hamas uses violence against international organizations, including UNRWA, if they do not cooperate."

Hamas recently published an ad in a Palestinian newspaper warning that "whoever does not follow its orders will be forced to leave Gaza."

The internal Defense Ministry document revealed that on July 12, a meeting was held between UNRWA, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Hamas officials who are in charge of the contractors and engineer unions in the Gaza Strip.

The objective was to establish a mechanism which will be responsible for distributing the billions of dollars pledged for the rehabilitation of the Strip by the US and European and Arab countries.

So far, Hamas has taken control of millions of dollars transferred monthly by Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayad to the UNDP.

At the meeting, Hamas officials told the UN representatives they wanted to be able to draw up the list of people who would receive the money, according to the Defense Ministry document. The sides decided to set up joint committees and to continue to meet in the future.

"This is an indication to us that there is no effective mechanism that can be established that will bypass Hamas and ensure the money goes straight to the Palestinian people," the senior defense official said.

Israeli government sources said it was "no secret" that UN officials in Gaza were having talks on a technical level with Hamas regarding the distribution of humanitarian aid there...
Now, if Obama would only be so kind as to provide Hamas with universal health care coverage, the terrorists would be set for life!

Venezuelan Congress advocates "the end of private property", aka "wealth redistribution"

From El Universal:
Venezuela's National Assembly circulated among legislators a document outlining... guidelines to be followed... The document describes the way to break off with the capitalist system and give way to socialism.

The publication entitled "Situational Report," dated July 2009..., claims that the main challenge is to break up with the model of capitalist production through "the end of private property as a form to appropriate the capital gains of producers."...

In addition to the end of private property, the document stresses the need to "replace the market as the economic pillar with the life of human beings [being] served by a conscious planning to meet their needs."...
Hmmm, sounds like Obama's philosophy........

Lawsuit seeks CIA records for Pelosi briefings

From Judicial Watch - July 22, 2009:

Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced that it filed yesterday a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the CIA to obtain documents related to congressional briefings on "enhanced interrogation techniques" (Judicial Watch v. Central Intelligence Agency, Case: 1:09-cv-01352).

Judicial Watch seeks documents detailing CIA briefings involving House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and/or her staff. Judicial Watch filed its original FOIA request with the Central Intelligence Agency on May 15...

On June 23, the CIA notified Judicial Watch that it would not be able to respond to the FOIA request within the mandated 20 working days but failed to indicate when a response would be forthcoming. The CIA suggested it would respond "as soon as we can."

In April 2009 Speaker Pelosi admitted she was briefed on the use of "enhanced interrogation techniques," including waterboarding, but said that the CIA did not tell her that the techniques had already been used. The CIA contradicted Pelosi's claim, pointing to a briefing they held with the speaker on September 4, 2002 and a subsequent briefing to her top staffer.

In response to the controversy, Speaker Pelosi stated the CIA was lying about the briefings and "mislead(s) Congress all the time." Judicial Watch filed its FOIA request to get to the truth in the matter.

"I suspect the Obama administration is stonewalling the release of these documents to protect Speaker Pelosi from further embarrassment," stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton...

Read in full.

On July 14, Judicial Watch filed a separate FOIA lawsuit against the CIA to obtain records from the Office of former Vice President Cheney related to the results of the CIA's "enhanced interrogation" techniques.

The complaint reads as follows - excerpt:
On March 31, 2009, Vice President Cheney personally issued a request with the National Archives Presidential Libraries section for declassification review of... two specific documents. The Archives then passed on the request to the CIA for review on April 8, 2009. These documents reportedly discuss the effectiveness of Enhanced Interrogation Techniques (EITs).

In March, President Obama overruled objections from national security officials and released documents detailing the government's enhanced interrogation program of terrorists (the so-called "torture" memos). However, President Obama withheld information detailing the results of this program, including alleged terrorist plots that the program prevented. It is these documents that Judicial Watch, through this new FOIA lawsuit, seeks to obtain...

"President Obama cherry-picked documents to release on the enhanced interrogation program," stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "Our Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the CIA shows how President Obama continues to stonewall and has yet to tell the full truth to the American people about whether the terrorist interrogation program saved American lives by preventing terrorist attacks."...

Cop Who Arrested Gates Teaches Racial Profiling Class

From the AP:
The white police sergeant criticized by President Barack Obama for arresting black scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. in his Massachusetts home is a police academy expert on understanding racial profiling.

Cambridge Sgt. James Crowley has taught a class about racial profiling for five years at the Lowell Police Academy after being hand-picked for the job by former police Commissioner Ronny Watson, who is black, said Academy Director Thomas Fleming.

"I have nothing but the highest respect for him as a police officer. He is very professional and he is a good role model for the young recruits in the police academy," Fleming told The Associated Press on Thursday.

The course, called "Racial Profiling," teaches about different cultures that officers could encounter in their community "and how you don't want to single people out because of their ethnic background or the culture they come from," Fleming said. The academy trains cadets for cities across the region....

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Obama's disdain for US, Honduran constitutions

The Examiner's Hans Bader contends that Barack Obama's desire to reinstate Manuel Zelaya as Honduras' president is based upon the belief "that Honduras' Constitution is an outdated 'artifact' and thus simply should not be followed when it conflicts with the latest ideological fads.

"The irony," Bader goes on to say, "is that the same arguments could be made against the U.S. Constitution, which is almost 200 years older than the 1982 Honduran Constitution..."

Bader continues:
To justify meddling in Honduras, the Obama Administration has made radical arguments at odds with our own constitution, like claiming that elected presidents have a “universal right” to keep ruling even if they violate the Constitution...

At the same time, Obama has deliberately ignored violations of democracy and constitutional rights by left-wing dictators in Latin America, leading even the liberal Washington Post... to
accuse Obama of showing a “willful disregard of political oppression by left-wing dictators...
Bader also notes that Nicaragua's authoritarian president, Daniel Ortega has been emboldened by both Obama's disregard of the Honduran constitution and his support of Zelya, and is now pushing to extend his own rule by changing his country’s constitution.

In truth, Obama's loathing for the US constitution was already evident in an interview in 2001 with Chicago's public station WBEZ-FM:

"As radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn't that radical," Obama said. "It didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as it's been interpreted..., that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. It says what the states can't do to you..., what the federal government can't do to you, but doesn't say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf."

Obama also asserted that the US Constitution "reflected an enormous blind spot" and "a fundamental flaw of this country that continues to this day."

Thus, the president's disdain for the Honduran constitution should come as no surprise.

According to Obama, any constitution that bans would-be term limit violators and dictators from holding office, must be a "charter of negative liberties"! In siding with Zelaya, President Obama is simply trying to help the Honduran dictator "break free from the essential constraints that were placed" upon him by the Founding Fathers of Honduras' Constitution.

For ultimately, that's what socialism and authoritarianism are all about:

Liberty, freedom and breaking free from constraints.......

"Nice work with the 'hug-dodge'!"

From Yahoo Buzz:
In a recent BBC interview, U2 frontman, Bono, admitted to dissing President George W. Bush back in 2006 when Dubya tried to give [him] a hug. Bono, eager to avoid the embrace, moved behind a podium. A foiled Mr. Bush had to settle for a handshake.

The moment went unnoticed for years. However, one person at the event did spot the "hug snub." When Bono sat back down, he sat next to then-Senator Obama, who whispered in Bono's ear: "Nice work with the hug dodge." Sheesh, nothing gets by this guy.

During the interview with the BBC, Bono admitted to feeling bad about dissing the leader of the free world. President Bush, Bono argues, did a lot for the people of Africa. Perhaps Bono's admission is his way of publicly making amends for the snub (despite the fact that nobody except Obama even knew about it)...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Obama: Reforms we seek will bring "Greater Inefficiencies to our health care system"

"The reforms we seek would bring greater competition, choice, savings, and inefficiencies to our health care system...."
Barack Obama speaking at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC - Monday July 20, 2009

At annual Hizb ut-Tahrir conference, a call for Jihad

From the Memri blog:
At the annual conference of the Islamist organization Hizb Al-Tahrir in Lebanon, on the subject of jihad, organization member Sheikh Adnan Mizyan said yesterday that in light of the fact that many countries of Muslims are today under occupation [including Iraq]... the Islamic ummah must take jihad measures in order to free them.
Source: Al-Safir, Lebanon, July 20, 2009
In a related news item:
Protesters gathered outside a Chicago-area hotel Sunday as an Islamic extremist group reportedly linked to Al Qaeda held a conference in an attempt to step up Western recruitment efforts.

Roughly 500 members of Hizb ut-Tahrir — a global Sunni network with reported ties to confessed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Al Qaeda in Iraq's onetime leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi — met inside a Hilton hotel in Oak Lawn, Ill., to host [a conference called] "The Fall of Capitalism and the Rise of Islam."..
Hizb ut-Tahrir insists it does not advocate or condone jihad [despite the fact that at its annual conference in Lebanon yesterday, one of its members openly declared Jihad against several countries].

But others disagree.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is one of the group's most famous alumni, New Statesman journalist Shiv Malik reported, citing intelligence sources...

Malik's report, the public policy institute the Nixon Center and the counter-extremism think tank the Quilliam Foundation agree that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq until he was killed in June 2006, also was once a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir...

In his book, "How the Khilafah Was Destroyed," Sheikh Abdul Qadeem Zalloom, the former global leader of Hizb ut-Tahrir, says anyone who rules by a non-Islamic system should "either retract or be killed...

And one of the organization's more recent leaflets, published in March, calls for the declaration of "a state of war against America ."...

But, despite these threats and calls to action, Hizb ut-Tahrir remains off the State Department's terror watch list, and it is free to host the Khilafah Conference and any other event like it...
Hizb ut-Tahrir has been banned in several countries, but is still active in the UK, and apparently, in the US too.

But as others have noted, the State Dept. and Justice Dept. have more important things to worry about - like addressing the grievances of Al Qaeda detainees and protecting the civil liberties of Hizb ut-Tahrir [and other like-minded organizations.........]

White House hiding bleak news from lawmakers until they depart for summer recess

From the AP:
The administration's annual midsummer budget update is sure to show higher deficits and unemployment and slower growth than projected in President Barack Obama's budget in February and update in May, and that could complicate his efforts to get his signature health care... proposal[s] through Congress.

[Hence], the release of the update — usually scheduled for mid-July — has been put off until the middle of next month, giving rise to speculation the White House is delaying the bad news at least until Congress leaves town on its August 7 summer recess.

The administration is pressing for votes before then on its $1 trillion health care initiative, which lawmakers are arguing over how to finance...

Health care bill may fund abortions with taxpayer money

From the Small Gov Times:
An Obama administration official refused to rule out during an interview Sunday with Fox News’ Chris Wallace the possibility that tax money collected through the current health care proposal might be used to fund abortions.

“Are you prepared to say that in a government public-funded, taxpayer-funded public health insurance plan that no taxpayer money will go to pay for abortions?” asked Wallace.

“I think that that will wind up being part of the debate. I am not prepared to say explicitly that right now. It’s obviously a controversial issue, and it’s one of the questions that is playing out in this debate,” replied Peter Orszag, the interviewed official.

Republican Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, also interviewed by Mr. Wallace, replied to Orszag’s refusal to rule out abortion funding under the health care proposal. “No matter what your views are on abortion, you shouldn’t ask people to use their tax dollars if they think that abortion is taking a life — to use their tax dollars for that purpose.”

Zelaya, Hammer & Sickle, and a Fixed Referendum

AP Photo via Babalu blog- Supporters of ousted Honduras' President Manuel Zelaya protest outside the site of talks to resolve the leadership crisis in Honduras in San Jose, Saturday, July 18, 2009.

And, from the Babalu blog:

A Catalan newspaper is reporting that Honduran authorities have seized computers found in the Presidential Palace belonging to deposed president Mel Zelaya... These computers, according to the news report, contained the official and certified results of the illegal constitutional referendum Zelaya wanted to conduct that never took place.

The results of this fraudulent vote was tilted heavily in Zelaya's favor, ensuring he could go ahead and illegally change the constitution so he could remain in power for as long as he wanted to. ACORN, I'm sure, is taking notes....

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Obama representatives meeting with Hamas?

Israel voiced its fury at Switzerland Wednesday after learning that Swiss diplomats had met a Hamas delegation led by hardliner Mahmud al-Zahar in Geneva in June during a research institute conference.
"We are angry, since Hamas is still considered as a terrorist organization by the European Union, even if Switzerland is not an E.U. member," Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said.

"By officially receiving a Hamas delegation, Switzerland is not placing itself among those who support moderation," he said...

Israel and the
West consider Hamas, a group sworn to the destruction of the Jewish state, a terrorist outfit.
That may be true, but the Swiss diplomats weren't the only ones who met with the terrorists in Geneva:

From the Washington Post - Thursday, July 16:
To Hamas officials Bassem Naim and Mahmoud al-Zahar, a recent meeting in Switzerland with a former senior U.S. diplomat represented an opening in relations with the Obama administration, and a path to easing the Islamist group's isolation.

"I hope it will be the beginning of addressing some of the mistakes of the last three years," Naim said of his talks with Thomas R. Pickering, a former undersecretary of state and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. "This was a first meeting to investigate the positions in general terms of both parties without any commitment on any side."

U.S. officials say they see the previously undisclosed June meeting between Pickering and the two senior Hamas officials differently. They said Pickering had not been asked to approach Hamas and had no official standing; U.S. officials learned of the meeting only afterward. Policy toward the Islamist group, they said, remains what it was under President George W. Bush: that Hamas is a terrorist organization with which the United States will not even sanction a meeting.

Before Hamas can participate in peace talks, "we have made it clear, both publicly and privately, through all kinds of pronouncements, that we would expect Hamas to recognize Israel and renounce violence and agree to abide by prior agreements," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Wednesday in Washington....

Pickering, co-chair of the nonprofit International Crisis Group, would not comment...
Pickering "would not comment." Hmmm, I wonder why.......

Related post: Obama Administration Reaching out to Hezbollah?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

In Memory of TOTUS

Barack Obama was defending his economic stimulus plan yesterday when one of his teleprompter screens crashed to the floor and shattered to pieces.

The following video was created in memory of the teleprompter, otherwise known as TOTUS:

h/t - Ace

Micheletti: I'm willing to step down, on condition Zelaya is not reinstated

From the AP:
Honduras' interim leader said Wednesday he is willing to step down if it helps end his country's political crisis, conditioning the move on guarantees that ousted President Manuel Zelaya doesn't return to take his place...

The interim president told reporters in Tegucigalpa that he is "willing to leave office if at some point that decision is needed to bring peace and tranquility to the country, but without, I stress, the return of former President Zelaya."..

Washington Post Repents!

Earlier today, I cited a Washington Post article from 2001, entitled, CIA Weighs 'Targeted Killing' Missions, which expounds on the Bush administration's directive to the CIA to capture/kill Al Qaeda leaders.

I noted that although the link had been active on Monday, it was no longer working and that apparently, it had been scrubbed by the Washington Post.

"If the link suddenly becomes active," I wrote, "that means the "scrubbers" are repentant and have decided to return the goods to their rightful place."

Well, guess what?

The "scrubbers" have repented! And, hopefully, they'll remain repentant....

Will Panetta and Company repent too?

I doubt it.....

Chills and Thrills and Goosebumps, Oh My

"It gives me goose bumps to think about the path that has brought you here today..."
Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse speaking to Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor at her senate confirmation hearing - July 15, 2009

"Well, I'm getting one of those thrills I get about America. I'm sorry, I'm shouldn't say this. And I'm getting it again... When she talked about sitting at that table and not being a genius like Barack Obama, not being one of these people that can walk into a college scholarship, who had to sweat for it..."
MSNBC's Chris Matthews gushing over Sonia Sotomayer's opening statement at her senate confirmation hearing - July 13, 2009

"My, I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don't have that too often."
Chris Matthews gushing upon hearing a speech from Barack Obama - Feb. 12, 2008

"I have to tell ya, a little chill in my legs now."
Chris Matthews reacting to Barack Obama's address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention

Washington Post Covering for Panetta?

CIA Director Leon Panetta and Democratic members of congress contend that they only recently learned of a CIA program - approved by the Bush administration - to capture and kill al Qaeda leaders.

But this begs the question: If the Washington Post and New York Times had knowledge of this program several years ago, how is it possible that Panetta and company were unaware of it till now?

The Washington Post, in October of 2001, in an article entitled, CIA Weighs 'Targeted Killing' Missions, discussed the program at length.

Ironically, I was able to retrieve the the article from the Post's website on Monday. But today when I tried to retrieve the article, I received the following message:

"We are unable to locate the page you requested. The page may have moved or may no longer be available." Hmmm....

Apparently, the Washington Post has decided to scrub the piece and remove the evidence that would prove once-and-for-all what kind of phonies Panetta and the Democrats really are.

Nevertheless, despite the Scrubbington Post's efforts to conceal the goods, I was able to locate the article elsewhere.

From the Washington Post - October 28, 2001:
Armed with new authority from President Bush for a global campaign against al Qaeda, the Central Intelligence Agency is contemplating clandestine missions expressly aimed at killing specified individuals...

Drawing on two classified legal memoranda, one written for President Bill Clinton in 1998 [authorizing the CIA to use a group of tribal fighters to kill Osama bin Laden]
and one since the attacks of Sept. 11, the Bush administration has concluded that executive orders banning assassination do not prevent the president from lawfully singling out a terrorist for death by covert action....

Some knowledgeable sources said it is also possible that the instruments of targeted killings will be foreign agents, the CIA's term for non-employees who act on its behalf...

"As a force multiplier," one source said, "we can use Jordanians and Sudanese and Egyptians that are willing to do this for us."...
Clearly, the article was discussing a CIA program that involved not only drone attacks, but close range, point blank assassinations as well. But somehow, Panetta and Democratic leaders were unaware of this....

Additionally, the New York Times on Monday noted:

In his 2006 book “State of War,” James Risen wrote that the C.I.A. set up paramilitary teams shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks to hunt down top Qaeda operatives. Mr. Risen, a reporter for The New York Times, wrote that the operation was soon disbanded before the C.I.A. carried out any operations. But the spy agency continued to develop plans to focus on Qaeda operatives, and top C.I.A. officials were briefed periodically about the progress of these efforts...
P.S. As of this moment, the link to the Washington Post article is still inactive.

If the link suddenly becomes active, that means the "scrubbers" are repentant and have decided to return the goods to their rightful place.

P.S.S. Go to Yahoo, paste the following url into the search box and click:


Monday, July 13, 2009

Obama Appointee: I see "nothing objectionable" about the Taliban

President Obama has ordered national security officials to look into allegations that the Bush administration resisted efforts to investigate a CIA-backed Afghan warlord over the killings of hundreds of Taliban prisoners in 2001.

Obama officials asserted on Friday that there weren't sufficient grounds to look into such allegations, but apparently, the "Waffler in Chief" has changed his mind:
"The indications that this had not been properly investigated just recently was brought to my attention," Obama told CNN's Anderson Cooper in an exclusive interview during the president's visit to Ghana...

"So what I've asked my national security team to do is to collect the facts for me that are known, and we'll probably make a decision in terms of how to approach it once we have all of the facts gathered up," Obama said....

When asked by CNN whether he would support an investigation, the president replied, "I think that, you know, there are responsibilities that all nations have, even in war. And if it appears that our conduct in some way supported violations of laws of war, then I think that, you know, we have to know about that."...
You can tell that the president, whose poll numbers are starting to plummet as a result of his bumbling incompetence, is starting to feel the heat, when he resorts to a myriad of investigations of the Bush administration to bolster his popularity.

Nevertheless, here's another interesting, and perhaps somewhat related, tidbit:

The President on Friday tapped Mr. Glyn Davies - who served as State Dept. spokesman under former President Bill Clinton - to be the US envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna.

In September of 1996, Mr. Davies, stated that he saw "nothing objectionable" about the Taliban imposing its strict interpretation of Islamic law.

From the Washington Post - November 6, 2001:
Each year, the State Department formally rebukes and imposes penalties on governments that protect and promote terrorists. But since 1996, when the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan, the nation harboring Osama bin Laden has never made the department's list of terrorist-sponsoring countries.

The omission reflects more than a decade of vexing relations between the United States and Afghanistan, a period that found the State Department more focused on U.S. oil interests and women's rights than on the growing terrorist threat, according to experts and current and former officials...

The day after the Taliban seized Kabul in September 1996, the State Department spokesman, Glyn Davies, encountered tough questions from American reporters.

Victorious in a brutal fight against rival factions, the Taliban claimed power after castrating and killing former President Najibullah and hanging the corpses of him and his brother from a post at the entrance to the presidential palace.

Mr. Davies reported the events matter-of-factly and told reporters the United States saw "nothing objectionable" about the Taliban imposing its strict interpretation of Islamic law.

"So let me get this straight," a reporter asked. "This group, this Islamic fundamentalist group that has taken Afghanistan by force and summarily executed the former president, the United States is holding out possibility of relations?"

"I'm not going to prejudge where we're going to go with Afghanistan," Mr. Davies said...

Throughout the mid-1990s, a U.S. oil company was tracking the outcome of the Afghan conflict. Unocal, a California-based energy giant, was seeking rights to build a pipeline system across Afghanistan, connecting the vast oil and natural gas reserves of Turkmenistan to a plant and ports in Pakistan.

State Department officials promoted Unocal's pipeline project in their role of helping U.S. companies find investments in the region, Ms. Raphel said.

Before Unocal, the Taliban "were just a bunch of wild jihadists running around. They came out of nowhere," said Richard Dekmejian, a University of Southern California terrorism specialist, using the Islamic term for holy warriors.

In a late 1997 public relations move, Unocal flew Taliban officials to tour the company's U.S. offices. They took a side trip to the beach, then flew to Washington for meetings in the Capitol and at the State Department to press their case for U.S. recognition.

But the visit only fueled the outrage of women's rights groups who were incensed by Unocal's coziness with the regime. However, among the State Department's old hands, "there was a lot of putting down, like these women didn't know what they were talking about," said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation...
I could only imagine what kind of cozy relationship Barack Obama would have cultivated with the Taliban had he been president at the time. As ruthless and blood-thirsty as these thugs may be, he too, probably would have seen nothing "objectionable" about the Taliban...

Investigate Eric Holder & Leon Panetta!

Attorney General Eric Holder is reportedly mulling whether to investigate the Bush administration's alleged abuse of terrorist detainees. And CIA Director Leon Panetta is currently prodding lawmakers to investigate the Bush administration's alleged directive to the CIA to keep a secret counter-terrorism program hidden from congress.

However, before the US Justice Dept. and Congress follow the marching orders of Eric Holder and Leon Panetta, proper protocol would dictate that they first investigate whether Mr. Holder and Panetta, while working in the Clinton administration, had any knowledge of the Clinton administration's extraordinary renditions program.

Bear in mind that in 1993, Leon Panetta was chosen by President Clinton to be Director of the United States Office of Management and Budget. In 1994 Mr. Clinton appointed Panetta to be his Chief of Staff, a position which he held until 1997.

As chief of staff, Mr. Panetta sat in on the daily intelligence briefings, and in his previous post as director of the Office of Management and Budget, he reviewed the nation's most secret intelligence-collection and covert-action programs.

Eric Holder was Bill Clinton's Deputy Attorney General from 1997 till 2001.

In May of 2009, during his confirmation hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, then-Attorney General nominee Eric Holder was grilled by Senators Lamar Alexander and Richard Shelby about his role in the CIA's "rendition" program under Bill Clinton:
Didn't that [extraordinary renditions] happen during the Clinton administration? [They asked]

Yes, Holder said.

"How many did you approve?" they asked.

Holder said he'd check the record....

According to MSNBC, The senators were suggesting that if any criminal investigation were to be opened by Mr. Holder, "Republicans would push to get it expanded beyond events during the Bush administration."

The following are but two examples of extraordinary renditions that took place under Bill Clinton:

Talaat Fuad Qassim, a leader of al-Gamaa Islamiya, the Egyptian jihadist group led by al Qaeda's second in command, Ayman al-Zawahri, in the 1990s, was subjected to extraordinary rendition. In late 1995, he was kidnapped in Croatia, interrogated by US agents on a ship on the Adriatic Sea, then handed over to Egypt. Human rights experts believe he was tortured, then executed - no record of any trial exists.

In July 1998, several members of the Egyptian Jihad organization - which at the time, was merging with Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network - were nabbed in Albania by Albanian security agents. They were then flown on a CIA-chartered plane to Cairo, where they were beaten and tortured. Two of the detainees were subsequently hanged in an Egyptian prison yard.

Some of the detainees reported that Egyptian interrogators had applied electrical shocks to their nipples, genitals and feet while suspending them in mid air by their limbs....

Incidentally, former CIA agent Robert Baer was once quoted as saying: "If you want a serious interrogation, you send a prisoner to Jordan. If you want them to be tortured, you send them to Syria. If you want someone to disappear -- never to see them again -- you send them to Egypt."

Surely, Eric Holder [he even conceded to it at his confirmation hearing] and Leon Panetta must have been aware of the CIA's secret renditions program. Mr. Holder, after all, was Deputy Attorney General at the time and Leon Panetta was Clinton's Chief of Staff. Panetta sat in on Mr. Clinton's daily intelligence briefings. [Which was the reason Barack Obama said he had appointed Mr. Panetta to be CIA Director.]

Thus, this begs the question: Why didn't Mr. Holder, in his capacity as Deputy head of the Justice Dept, open up an investigation into the Clinton administration's misconduct? And why didn't Leon Panetta at the time prod members of congress to investigate the CIA's secret program?

Did they even bother to inform members of congress about the program? And, if they did, who did they tell, and why didn't these members of congress investigate the matter?

Clearly, Eric Holder and Leon Panetta - and perhaps members of congress - were aware of the program, and in their silence, they were accessories to the crime.

Thus, I say, let the investigations begin! However, Eric Holder and Leon Panetta must take the witness stand first and explain what role they played in the Clinton administration's secret renditions program.

I beseech readers of this blog to take a few minutes of their time to email one or more of the following lawmakers [or if you prefer, email your own senator or district representative] and ask them to open up an investigation into the role that Eric Holder and Leon Panetta might have played in the Clinton administration's extraordinary renditions program.

Simply copy and paste the URL address [permalink] of this blog post
[] and add the following sentence: "Investigate Holder and Panetta!" That's it! When emailing Senators Lamar Alexander and Richard Shelby, remind them of the exchange they had with Mr. Holder during his confirmation hearing.

Jim DeMint

Lamar Alexander

Richard Shelby

Connie Mack

Thursday, July 9, 2009

House overwhelmingly rejects Obama's signing statement

During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama insisted he would reopen negotiations on NAFTA, citing the need to strengthen labor and environmental standards. And then, in typical Obama fashion, he waffled on that pledge a few months ago, saying he had no plans to renegotiate NAFTA.

Apparently, labor and environmental standards were only of concern to Obama during the presidential campaign. Which explains why he included a signing statement in the war-spending bill last month, saying he would disregard provisions of the legislation that would compel him to pressure the World Bank to strengthen labor and environmental standards.

The conditions would "interfere with my constitutional authority to conduct foreign relations by directing the Executive to take certain positions in negotiations or discussions with international organizations and foreign governments, or by requiring consultation with the Congress prior to such negotiations or discussions," Obama said in the signing statement.

Then again, when it comes to "international organizations and foreign governments", Obama is capable of just about anything, especially when these international organizations are of the rogue variety. Hmmm......

Nevertheless, Mr. Obama, who consistently criticized George W. Bush for issuing signing statements - although Obama himself has already issued 5 signing statements since taking office - received a little taste of his own medicine Thursday:
The House rebuked President Obama for trying to ignore restrictions to international aid payments, voting overwhelmingly for an amendment forcing the administration to abide by its constraints.

House members [on Thursday] approved an amendment by a 429-2 vote to have the Obama administration pressure the World Bank to strengthen labor and environmental standards and require a Treasury Department report on World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) activities...

The conditions on World Bank and IMF funding were part of the $106 billion war supplemental bill that was passed last month. Obama, in a statement made as he signed the bill, said that he would ignore the conditions.

Senior Democrats and Republicans railed against the notion that the president could ignore a law they had passed and he had signed.

"We do this not just on behalf of this institution, but on behalf of this democracy," said Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.). "There's kind of a unilateralism, an undemocratic, unreachable way about these signing statements ." ("undemocratic", hmmm... Ahmadinejad, Chavez, Zelaya, Castro... Oba.., ah yes, "undemocratic".....)
Obama, a unilateralist?

How dare you insinuate such a thing, Mr. Frank!

Leave that to the pundits! Shame on you!

Time for a Congressional Hearing, Obama vs. Honduran law

Rep. Connie Mack (FL-14) introduced legislation in the House of Representatives on Wednesday condemning former Honduran leader, Manuel Zelaya, for his unconstitutional and illegal attempts to alter the Constitution of Honduras.

"Manuel Zelaya’s record on quashing freedom looked like it was ripped from Hugo Chavez’s playbook," said Mack. "Zelaya trampled on the Honduran Constitution."

That's all fine and dandy, but why is President Obama being left out of the equation?

As Senator Jim DeMint eloquently explained on the senate floor several days ago, "the Honduran Congress, controlled by Zelaya's own Liberal Party, voted 125-3 to replace Zelaya with their speaker, Roberto Micheletti... This transfer of power was strictly in keeping with Honduras' constitutional line of succession [as the Vice President had recently resigned]"

Honduran law explicitly states:
No citizen that has already served as head of the Executive Branch can be President or Vice-President.

Whoever violates this law or proposes its reform, as well as those that support such violation directly or indirectly, will immediately cease in their functions and will be unable to hold any public office for a period of 10 years.
Barack Obama, in supporting Zelaya's presidency, is clearly trampling on the Honduran constitution and subverting the decisions of Honduras' democratically elected government. And yet, Obama has the audacity to try and portray his actions as being in defense of Democracy, when in reality, he and his co-conspirators are quashing Democracy.

If Manuel Zelaya is deserving of a congressional condemnation for his trampling of the Honduran constitution, than his accessory in crime, Barack Obama, is also deserving of a congressional condemnation.

Several Republican lawmakers recently came out and criticized the president for siding with Zelaya, but stopped short of condemning Obama. Instead, they pleaded with him to reverse course and to stand on the side of freedom and Democracy. But only a fool would assume the president is going to jump ship and change his radical ideologies anytime soon.

In truth, several days ago, I suggested that lawmakers condemn the president for his actions, but now, I am no longer content with a mere censure. We need a congressional hearing on the matter.

Democracy, whether in the US or abroad, is inviolable, and it must be shielded from the Chavezes and Obamas of the world.

No president should ever be afforded carte blanche to interfere in the legislative decisions of a democratically elected government. And, when a president begins to assume such power, it is time for congress to intervene in the matter.

Trampling on freedom and Democracy is no laughing matter, subverting both the authority of the Honduran congress and the laws of Honduras' constitution is criminal.

Hence, I am calling on members of the House and Senate to immediately commence a congressional hearing on the matter.

US Senate, contact information
US congress, contact information
Request congressional hearing.........

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Vladimir Putin Jr: "Obama Boggles Russian Minds!"

Senators press Administration to respect Honduran law

Seventeen Senators on Wednesday sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton urging the Obama administration to reverse its rhetoric and support the removal of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, The Hill reported today.

The following is a small excerpt from the aforementioned letter [PDF link]:

President Obama said in Moscow, "we respect the universal principle that people should choose their own leaders." In a 125-3 vote, the Honduran congress approved of the actions taken to remove Mr. Zelaya from office and install Mr. Michelleti.

It appears that the elected officials of Honduras - representing their constituents - did indeed choose their own leader and that the system of checks and balances, instrumental to a functioning Democracy, actually worked as prescribed.

With these facts in mind, we are concerned by what appears to be one-sided support for Mr. Zelaya, and it appears this situation was exacerbated by this administration's insistence in disregarding Honduran law...

The US position should not be about supporting specific politicians in this crisis, but about supporting Democracy for the Honduran people and judiciously defending the rule of law...

We look forward to working with you to ensure the respect for the rule of law in Honduras and freedom and Democracy in Latin America...

The letter was signed by Senators Jim DeMint (S.C.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), John Cornyn (Texas), David Vitter (La.), Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), John Ensign (Nev.), Jim Bunning (Ky.), Minority Whip Jon Kyl (Ariz.), Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Roger Wicker (Miss.), James Inhofe (Okla.), Jeff Sessions (Ala.), Mike Johanns (Neb.), Jim Risch (Idaho), Pat Roberts (Kan.), Kit Bond (Mo.) and John Thune (S.D.).