Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Obama's Refugees: 2 Iraqis in Kentucky charged in terror plot

From the Washington Post - August 25, 2010:
During the first several years of the Iraq conflict, the administration of George W. Bush was intensely criticized for accepting only a trickle of the 3 million or more Iraqis [refugees] who had fled their homes.

But the flow of Iraqis to the United States, [thanks to President Obama], has dramatically expanded, to 18,000 last year. It is now the largest refugee resettlement program in the world.
Wow! Just awesome! Amazing!

From ABC News - May 31, 2011:
Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, two Iraqi nationals, were arrested in Bowling Green, Ky., after a two-year FBI investigation.

They were indicted for allegedly providing assistance to Al Qaeda in Iraq and attempting to send weapons overseas. The men were living in the United States and had been granted refugee status, despite their insurgency activities in Iraq and their role in attacking U.S. troops.

Alwan has been charged with conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals..., conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction... Hammadi is charged with attempting to provide material support to terrorists and conspiracy to transfer and possess weapons...

Last February, FBI Director Robert Mueller testified before Congress that the FBI was looking at possible instances of individuals in Al Qaeda in Iraq being involved in activities in the United States.

[There are] "individuals who may have been resettled here in the United States that have had some association with Al Qaeda in Iraq," he said...

Although both Alwan and Hammadi had been arrested by Iraq security forces in 2006, they were allowed to enter the United States as refugees in April and July 2009, respectively.
Thank you President Obama for resettling these poor, helpless souls here in the good ol' USA. Your compassion and concern for the plight of dispirited and indigent terrorists the world over is incomparable and unsurpassed.....

Obama & Katrina vs. Joplin & Midwest Tornadoes

On May 22, 2011, shortly after tornadoes ripped through Joplin Missouri [MO] and other parts of the Midwest, President Obama departed on a week-long trip to Europe. While the victims of the storms were trying to recover from the terrible disaster, the President had more pressing needs to tend to in Europe - like searching for his Irish roots and finding an authentic Irish pub that serves genuine Guinness ale. [The President guzzled down a pint of Guinness ale, but only after he received verification that the drink was Perfect - the Real Thing.]

Finally, after returning from his week-long trip to Europe, the President spoke at a memorial service in Joplin for the victims of the tornado [over 100 people died, more than 900 people were injured and 29 - 40 people are still unaccounted for]. At the memorial service, the President affirmed his "Love" for Joplin. He didn't need to declare his "Love" for Ireland and for Guiness beer, as [unlike Joplin] that was already known to all.....

Full details in the video below.

City officials estimate that about 8,000 houses and apartment buildings were destroyed by the tornado. That means thousands of Joplin residents were left homeless. And yet, despite all the victims, the injured and the homeless, President Obama departed on his trip to Europe and returned home a full week after the tornado had struck. And, of course, not a peep from the mainstream media.

Question: Would the mainstream media have remained silent if George W. Bush had acted in such fashion?

Answer: Of course not.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Romney hears Michelle Obama's pleas, sends Pizza to Obama campaign

While on a visit to Chicago on Thursday, former Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney, met with a group of small business owners at Gino's East, a pizzeria well known for their deep-dish pizza. After the meeting ended, Mr. Romney sent the leftover pizza to President Obama's campaign headquarters.

The former governor tweeted a photo of a delivery boy heading out to deliver the grub. "Great deep dish at @ginoseast," tweeted Romney, "sending the extra slices to @barackobama and his Chicago HQ team."

The mainstream media questioned the move, and the motive, but the Romney team insisted it was all in good faith.

"No prank," said Romney’s communications director, Gail Gitcho, "just a nice gesture since we were just a few blocks away from their HQ yesterday and had extra pizza."

Truth be told, I believe the Presidential hopeful was merely heeding a directive given by Michelle Obama in 2008.

In April of 2008, Ms. Obama was quoted as saying:

"The truth is, in order to get things like universal health care..., then someone is going to have to give up a piece of their pie so that someone else can have more."

Hence, rather than hoard the leftover pizza for himself, Mr. Romney decided to share some of the pie with the Obama campaign.

Clearly, 'redistribution of wealth' at its finest, a heartfelt gesture, and one that Michelle Obama can be proud of.

Admittedly, Mr. Romney's gift may pale in comparison to the lavish set of DVD's given by President Obama to former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in 2009, but ultimately chomping down a set of DVD'S will do little to quell the pain of hunger when it beckons.

"Someone is going to have to give up a piece of their pie so that someone else can have more," said Michelle, and Mr. Romney - hearing her plea - stepped up to the plate big time.

'The Winds of Change': Islamic militants Seize Yemeni City as 'Arab Spring' blossoms

In a tape released shortly after his death, Osama Bin Laden extolled the "winds of change" that are currently blowing throughout the Arab world. Likewise, President Obama used the very same phrase to offer up his own words of praise for the Arab uprisings.

Little did these two great minds realize just how soon the "winds of change" would evolve into "real change" - "change we can believe in"!
Hundreds of Islamic militants cemented control over a town in southern Yemen on Sunday, even seizing army tanks, military officials said, while breakaway army units encouraged other military forces to switch their loyalties and join the uprising.

The growing number of defections in the military posed the most serious threat yet to President Ali Abdullah Saleh's three-decade grip on his country...

Hundreds of Islamic militants stormed Zinjibar, a small town of more than 20,000 people near the shores of the Gulf of Aden, on Friday, seizing a number of banks and government offices.

Military officials said the militants extended their control starting late Saturday night, capturing six army tanks and several armored cars after the governor, the security chief and the commander of a local army brigade withdrew.
"Winds of change, indeed! "Change you can believe in!"

Friday, May 20, 2011

Bin Laden audio tape: "The Winds of Change" & the Arab Uprisings

Al Qaeda has released an audio tape of Osama bin Laden, in which he extols the current Arab Uprisings as "winds of change" that will soon spread through the entire Islamic world. Familiar words, indeed....

Romney slams Obama for denying Boston Herald Reporters access to fundraiser

From Gop Usa:
When Barack Obama showed up in Boston on Wednesday for a fundraiser, the Boston Herald was denied access. Why? Because two months ago, the newspaper ran an op-ed on its front page by Mitt Romney which was critical of Obama [the President's economic policies]...

When the newspaper tried to sign up for pool reporter duty ahead of Obama's visit to Boston, a White House spokesman questioned whether the newspaper could cover the president fairly:
"I tend to consider the degree to which papers have demonstrated to covering the White House regularly and fairly in determining local pool reporters," [White House] spokesman Matt Lehrich told the Herald in response to its request, according to the newspaper. "My point about the op-ed was not that you ran it, but that it was the full front page, which excluded any coverage of the visit of a sitting U.S. President to Boston. I think that raises a fair question about whether the paper is unbiased in its coverage of the President's visits."
However, in typical Obama administration fashion, the story soon changed, and another White House spokesman claimed that the Boston Herald reporter was excluded simply because there wasn't enough room...

The Boston Herald claims that the White House is engaging in "a troubling pattern of heavy-handed dealings with the press."
"It's always troubling when you have the administration deciding what's fair in the media or what is unfair because that clearly does create a situation where they are trying to select the coverage that they're going to receive," said Boston University College of Communication dean Tom Fiedler, who covered the White House as a reporter for the Miami Herald.
The Boston Herald first reported the story on Wednesday. In that report, journalist Hillary Chabot reminds readers that the Obama White House has a "history of controversial clashes with the press."
In April 2010, Bloomberg's Ed Chen, president of the White House Correspondent's Association, met with then-Press Secretary Robert Gibbs to hash out complaints about limitations on the press, saying, "In my 10-plus years at the White House, rarely have I sensed such a level of anger ... over White House practices and attitudes toward the press."

Last month, a San Francisco Chronicle editor reported the White House threatened to bar Hearst reporters from pool duty after a Chronicle reporter shot video of protestors mocking Obama at a fund-raiser.
And, on Thursday, Mitt Romney blasted the President for denying the newspaper access to the fundraiser, the Boston Herald reported:
“The media has a responsibility to be truthful and to be interesting, and the Herald is both of those things,” Romney said last night. “The president barring the Herald from attending a presidential event flies in the face of the spirit of the First Amendment.”

“I know the president and the White House are very sensitive about anyone who talks about the failures in the economy,” Romney said. “They’re in denial about putting people out of work and the under-employed. When the Herald speaks the truth, they lash out.”

Romney, who is the current GOP front-runner to take on Obama in 2012, also blasted the president for going back on pledges he made during his historic 2008 run.

“I think the president’s campaign promises in too many cases have gone by the boards. The transparency pledge was the first to go,” Romney said. “The inclination toward retribution and lashing out toward people who disagree with his economic posture is only the latest chapter.”
Others have noted that the Boston Herald has, in the past published front page articles that were highly critical of Mr. Romney, including one piece that criticized the 2012 Presidential hopeful for saying he would repeal Obamacare.

But apparently, anything less than 100% percent favorable coverage for himself and 100% negative coverage for his opponents, is simply insufficient for Obama...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Will Obama's outreach to the Taliban incite another uprising?

Will the President's decision to engage in direct talks with senior Afghan Taliban leaders provoke another Muslim uprising?

Clearly, the pro Democracy elements in Afghanistan are not keen on seeing the return of a Taliban-led government, or a government partnered with the Taliban for that matter.

Hence, while Obama professes his support for the Arab uprisings and for pro Democracy movements in the Middle East, he is suppressing Democracy in Afghanistan - and that, in turn, may lead to an uprising in the country.

Of course, the Taliban would immediately squash any kind of uprising by means of execution and/or via the severing of limbs. Obama, in turn, will excoriate the Taliban - and then head off to the Golf course. And, when the extremists gain control of Egypt, Obama will condemn them too. Naturally, he'll blame the previous administration for allowing it to occur, and then, I suppose, he'll head off to another fundraiser.....

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Iranian-backed militias escalating attacks on U.S. troops In Iraq

From the AP:
American forces are facing an increasingly dangerous environment in southern Iraq, where Shiite militias trying to claim they are driving out the U.S. occupiers have stepped up attacks against bases and troops...

U.S. soldiers [are coming] under attack from rockets or mortars on their bases, and from roadside bombs and shootings when they're moving around the country.

Michael Knights, of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy..., who writes extensively about security issues in Iraq, said.. "the increase in attacks shows that Iranian-backed cells enjoy greater freedom of movement than they have in the past. They have increased confidence in their ability to engage U.S. forces in stand-up firefights in broad daylight," he said...

[The militants] hope to rally support among the mostly poor Shiite population in the south and gain influence after the American military goes home...

They are believed to get financing and support from Iran, according to a recent report from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

U.S. officials have long contended that Shiite militias operate with funding and weapons funneled in from Iran...

The weapons go from the Diyala River Valley along the Iranian border northeast of Baghdad to the southern Iraqi port of Umm Qasr on the Persian Gulf, said a U.S. military official speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive information.

Buses carrying Iranian religious pilgrims into Iraq are possibly used to smuggle weapons as well, the official said.

Secret Service Interrogates 13-year-old boy old Over Facebook Post

From the Daily Mail:
A 13-year-old boy was interrogated at his school by Secret Service agents without his mother's permission after posting a message about Osama Bin Laden on Face book.

Following the Al Qaeda leader's death, Tacoma schoolboy Vito LaPinta wrote on his Face book page that President Barack Obama should be be wary of repercussions.

'I was saying how Osama was dead and for Obama to be careful because there could be suicide bombers,' he said.

A week later he was sitting in class at Truman Middle School, Washington, when he was called into the Principal's office.

Vito said: 'A man walked in with a suit and glasses and he said he was part of the Secret Service.

He 'told me it was because of a post I made that indicated I was a threat toward the President. I was very scared.'...

Timi Robertson, the boys mother said: 'I just about lost it. My 13-year-old son is supposed to be safe and secure in his classroom and he's being interrogated without my knowledge or consent, privately.'

She then rushed to the school only to discover her son had already been questioned for half an hour.

The seventh grader said that once his mother arrived the agent finished the interview and told him he was not in any trouble.

Ms Robertson said she isn't financially able to take legal action but hopes the episode raises awareness about the treatment she said her son endured.

The Seattle branch of the Secret Service did not respond to requests for comment.
In April of 2009, the news media reported that the Obama administration had urged the US Supreme Court to overturn a landmark decision that stops police from questioning suspects unless they have a lawyer present. But apparently, the administration also believes that a 13-year-old boy can be questioned by the Secret Service without his parents being present.

Did the Secret Service give the boy his Miranda rights before questioning him?

How did they interrogate the boy?

Did they use psychological scare tactics? Sleep deprivation? Or, did they force the boy to listen to songs composed by the rap artist, known as "Common"?

Although the President is reportedly a big fan of "Common", nevertheless, the melodies in which the singer glorifies the shooting of police officers and the burning of George W. Bush - while not problematic in Obama's eyes - would almost certainly force the 13-year-old into submission.

AP accuses WH of selectively leaking details on Bin Laden mission

From the AP:

The Associated Press on Wednesday protested the Obama administration's refusal to quickly consider AP's request for military and civilian government records related to the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan.

In a written appeal filed with the Defense Department, the AP said that unnecessary bureaucratic delays harm the public interest and allow anonymous U.S. officials to selectively leak details of the May 2 mission that resulted in bin Laden's death...
Which is worse? The White House selectively leaking information to the public or the AP leaking everything to public?

Related Posts:

Robert Gates: Obama Administration leaks jeopardizing Safety of Navy SEALs - VIDEO

Leaky administration vs Navy SEAL team 6

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Saif al-Adel - Al Qaeda's new interim leader

Saif al-Adel, the newly appointed interim leader of Al Qaeda, and hundreds of Al Qaeda militants, including two of Osama Bin Laden's sons, reportedly fled to Iran after the US invasion of Afghanistan.

Upon arriving in Iran, al-Adel - who helped plan the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya - began to organize groups of fighters to join the insurgents in Afghanistan. With the assistance of various financiers from the U.A.E., Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, he was able rent apartments for al-Qaeda members and their families in Iran.

Addtionally, while living in Iran, Al Adel continued to plot terrorist attacks on various targets, including suicide bombings in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, that killed 25 people [eight Americans died in the attacks]. Under pressure from Saudi Arabia, the Iranians placed Al Adel and a number of Al Qaeda operatives under a quasi "house arrest," where they continued to plot terrorist attacks and pursue their Global Jihad. As one US intelligence official explained: “House arrest is a convenient cover for high-level meetings."

Around March of 2010, under the watchful eye of President Obama, the Iranians released Saif al-Adel and Osama Bin Laden's sons - and others. Al-Adel is believed to have relocated to Pakistan’s tribal region - and the rest is history: Al-Adel is now the new interim leader of Al Qaeda.

Conclusion: Credit must be given where credit is due: The release of al-Adel and the indefinite detention of a number of U.S. citizens in Iran [including the Americans hikers who are languishing in Iranian prisons], can perhaps be attributed to the recent warming of relations between the U.S. and the Iranian regime, fostered by President Obama.


Leaky administration vs Navy SEAL team 6

The Obama administration apparently feels it hasn't leaked out enough information about the highly classified squadron, known as Navy SEAL team 6 and its assault on Osama Bin Laden's compound. And so, on Tuesday it decided to leak out even more information about the highly covert squadron and the aforementioned operation.

Details, from the AP, are here.

Incidentally, it is also worthy to note the following tidbit from the AP article:

The decision to launch on that particular moonless night in May came largely because too many American officials had been briefed on the plan. US officials feared if it leaked to the press, bin Laden would disappear for another decade.
Contrast that statement with a recent statement made by President Obama to 60 Minutes:
"You know, one of the great successes of this operation was that we were able to keep this thing secret. And it's a testimony to how seriously everybody took this operation and the understanding that any leak could end up not only compromising the mission, but killing some of the guys that we were sending in there.

"And so very few people in the White House knew. The vast majority of my most senior aides did not know that we were doing this."
And, one more time, from the AP:
The decision to launch on that particular moonless night in May came largely because too many American officials had been briefed on the plan. US officials feared if it leaked to the press, bin Laden would disappear for another decade.
My guess is that the "Ditherer in Chief" could not make up his mind about whether to go through with the mission. So, he conferred with just about anyone he could find, and the people he conferred with confided with others. By the time the game of "telephone" had ended, too many people knew about the mission, and there was no choice but to launch the operation before the mainstream media could learn the information and leak it to Al Qaeda. But admittedly, this is mere speculation on my part.

Additionally, as I noted previously, Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently expressed frustration about the leaks that emanated from the White House immediately after the assault on Bin Laden's compound. The Defense Secretary was addressing concerns from U.S. service members who said the leaks could jeopardize the lives of the Navy SEALS involved in the Bin Laden operation:

"I would tell you that when I met with the team last Thursday, they expressed a concern about that, and particularly with respect to their families," said Gates. "Frankly, a week ago Sunday, in the Situation Room, we all agreed that we would not release any operational details from the effort to take out bin Laden. That all fell apart on Monday, the next day."...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Blago Judge: 'Busy' Obama possibly unaware of Blago's attempt to sell senate seat

From Sify:
There's no evidence Barack Obama knew that Rod Blagojevich may have sought to trade an appointment to the president-elect's vacated U.S. Senate seat for a Cabinet post or other top administration job, the judge at the ousted Illinois governor's retrial said Monday...

A sometimes-contentious day of testimony began with Judge James Zagel refusing a request from defense lawyers to let them look at FBI interview notes with Obama to see if the Democrat from Chicago ever reported to authorities that Blagojevich had tried to trade the Senate appointment.

"In all honesty, it is possible that the victim of this was busy with other matters at the time," Zagel said about Obama... "There is nothing to indicate that he was aware of" any attempted trade.
The judge is correct: Obama was busy with other matters, like contacting Union leader Tom Balanoff and asking him to convey - to Blago - his recommendation of Valerie Jarrett for the vacant Senate seat. And, when Blagojevich - according to the prosecution - later asked Balanoff to send word that he wanted a cabinet appointment in exchange for Jarrett's appointment, Obama was so busy, he was unaware of Blago's response.

Clearly, "there is nothing to indicate that" Obama "was aware of" any attempted trade. He was busy and preoccupied with other matters...
The defense had hoped to use the notes to show Obama never saw himself as a victim. Zagel said it was irrelevant whether Obama did or didn't: Bank tellers might not know their bank is being robbed, he argued, but that doesn't mean there was no crime.
True, but when a Bank robber tries to strike a deal with a Bank teller, the teller indubitably knows about it.

However, this argument is irrelevant, for two reasons: Firstly, Obama is not a bank teller.

In fact, unlike a Bank teller, President Obama actually hands out free money to his customers and constituents, who receive generous amounts of stimulus funds and other government perks...

Secondly, Obama was likely unaware of the wheeling and dealing surrounding his vacant senate seat because, at the time, he was busy conversing with a powerful Union thug about the senate seat; he was clearly preoccupied with other matters.

Case closed!

Nevertheless, I'd like to ask the Judge a few personal questions, if I may:

1) Did you, by any chance, vote for Obama in '08?

2) Are you aware of the fact that Obama's emissary to Blago, Union leader, Tom Balanoff, tried to extort the senate seat from Blago, on behalf of Valerie Jarrett and Barack Obama, by threatening to withhold campaign contributions?

3) Are you aware of the fact that although Valerie Jarrett was not Balanoff's preferred choice for the Senate seat, he, nevertheless tried to extort the seat, on behalf of Obama, the person you refer to as "the victim"?

Admittedly, these insignificant questions - particularly the last two - are all irrelevant to the case. Hence, if you do not wish to respond, that's perfectly alright, I will not be insulted... What's more, even if I would be insulted, it would be irrelevant, because you are likely so busy, you wouldn't even know I was insulted...

Obama released Al Qaeda courier, weapons procurer, in '09

While the Obama administration was attempting to close down the military prison in Guantanamo Bay in 2009, it released a number of suspected terrorists. The administration also transfered a number of suspected terrorists to various countries where they were eventually released. It goes without saying that many of these detainees, contrary to their claims, were indeed terrorists, and not merely suspected terrorists. Nevertheless, for now, we will focus on one of the detainees, Abdullahi Sudi Arale, who, according to documents released by wikileaks, also goes by the alias, Ismael Arale.

From the Daily Mail:
Information obtained from Guantanamo Bay detainees... reveals that Al-Qaeda's African leader, Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, also known as Harun Fazal, trained a number of Britons at a terror factory in Mogadishu.

He is wanted in the U.S for carrying out the attacks on the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 in which 258 people were killed...
Incidentally, it's worthy to note that the information pertaining to Mr. Mohammed came from Gitmo detainees, but of course, who needs that information when we could simply close down Gitmo and suffice with less information, right?

From the Express Tribune:
Fazul Abdullah Mohammad’s facilitator in Pakistan was a Somali man named Abdullahi Sudi Arale, who reportedly served as a courier between al Qaeda’s East Africa cell and its operatives in Pakistan. He was captured in 2007, held at Guantanamo and transferred to Somalia in 2009....
Reuters reported in 2007:
"We believe [Abdullahi Sudi Arale] to be an extremely dangerous member of the al Qaeda terrorist network. He served as a courier between East Africa al Qaeda and al Qaeda in Pakistan," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said.

"We have significant information that indicates that Arale ... has been assisting various East African al Qaeda-affiliated extremists in acquiring weapons and explosives."...

Arale also facilitated terrorist travel by providing false documents for al Qaeda agents and foreign fighters traveling into Somalia, the Pentagon said.
From the Miami Herald - December 19, 2009:
The United States has freed a dozen men from Guantanamo -- including one of the last captives sent there by the Bush administration -- in a mission that dropped detainees off in Yemen, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa...

The massive transfer included the largest single release of Yemenis since the detention center was opened in January 2002, perhaps signaling a tentative effort to solve one of the thorniest issues bedeviling the White House order to empty the controversial prison camps...

In Somaliland..., those freed Somalis were Ismael Arale, 45, and Mohamed Suleiman Barre, 44.

Arale and Barre were processed by the Somaliland government and then released to rejoin their families in Hargeisa, the major city in Somaliland...
Free like a bird!
The United States does not recognize the government in Somaliland and there were no official statements on how Arale and Barre arrived there. A local newspaper, the Somaliland Press, said they arrived aboard a jet provided by the International Committee of the Red Cross, suggesting that the United States had released the men to the Red Cross in a third country...

Arale... was one of the last detainees ever taken to Guantanamo.

The Pentagon said in a June 6, 2007, announcement that Arale "exemplifies the genuine threat that the United States and other countries face throughout the world from dangerous extremists.''

It also noted, "The detainees being held at Guantanamo have provided information essential to our ability to better understand how al Qaeda operates and thus to prevent future attacks."
The Weekly Standard noted in 2009 as follows:
In June 2007, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman called Arale a "high-value detainee." That phrase was reserved for less than twenty detainees. As far as I know, the U.S. has never transferred a "high-value detainee" from its
Conclusion: The CIA expanded a considerable amount of energy tracking Bin Laden's courier, which ultimately led to Bin Laden's demise, and yet, Mr. Arale, who served as a courier between al Qaeda’s East Africa cell and its operatives in Pakistan [and, who assisted various East African al Qaeda-affiliated extremists in acquiring weapons and explosives], is free like a bird, thanks to Obama.

So, let's close down Gitmo, free the terrorists - and prosecute the CIA operatives who interrogated the terrorists - the likes of Abdullahi Sudi Arale.

Make sense?

If you believe in "Change" and "Hope", it makes plenty of sense.......

Related: Did Obama Overrule Military in Gitmo Terrorist Release?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ahmadinejad: Bin Laden was a U.S. prisoner before being killed

"I have exact information that bin Laden was held by the American military for sometime... until the day they killed him, he was a prisoner held by them. Please pay attention. This is important. He was held by them for sometime. They made him sick and while he was sick, they killed him."
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaking on Iranian TV - Sunday, May 15, 2011

If the White House kept changing the story after the raid, then, I suppose, the Iranian President is entitled to create his own storyline too. He's merely taking his cue from the White House, right?

Justin Bieber, Payton Wall & Obama vs Patrick & Sean Collins? - PR!

Last year, retired Lt. Col. Patrick Collins lost his son, Sgt. Sean Collins, on the battlefield in Afghanistan. Mr. Collins called the White House and asked if President Obama could call his ex-wife, Linda, to talk about their late son:
Collins was told [by the White House] that Obama did not regularly make phone calls to the families of fallen soldiers.

Later, Patrick Collins read a story about Obama’s phone call to Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffery Lurie. Obama reportedly praised Lurie for giving quarterback Michael Vick a second chance to play football after serving time in prison for running a dog fighting ring.

“That burns,” Patrick Collins said Thursday.

“Any soldier that gets killed in action, you’d think the president would be calling someone in the family. There’s no politics in it. His predecessor did it.”
However, the President is receiving plenty of accolades for arranging a meeting between 14 year old Payton Wall [Hall?] and singer Justin Bieber.

From Green Celebrity:
Payton – whose father died when he was trapped in the World Trade Center during the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York – first tweeted the ‘One Less Lonely Girl’ singer in February.
She wrote: “hey! I have an awful life story and without your music idk if i could have survived. do you think i could send you a letter? (sic)”

But when the New Jersey girl did not receive any response, she wrote a letter to President Obama and the White House promptly invited her to meet him at [a]Ground Zero [wreath laying ceremony] in New York City, where he told her he “knows Justin” and made the vow to arrange a meeting with her idol.

On the heels of President Obama having an increased approval rating for orchestrating the death of Osama Bin Laden, tying his name in the media with Justin Bieber and 9/11 is a smart elections 2012 [move] for certain.
From Metro.us:
President Barack Obama promised to pull some celebrity strings for one New York teen. Payton Hall, 14, who lost her father in the 9/11 attacks, took the opportunity of meeting Obama today to discuss her desire to meet teen pop sensation Justin Bieber.

“I wrote to Obama about how Justin Bieber inspired me to tell my story,” she told reporters.
"I just don't want it to seem like I only wrote the letter to meet Justin Bieber. I did it to honor my father," the NY Post quoted Payton as saying.

So, essentially, Payton Wall asked the President to arrange the meeting, and Obama, sensing a golden opportunity for a quick PR boost, fulfilled her request.

As it turns out, the President's decision to heed Payton Hall's plea did not emanate from any kind of altruistic feelings, but rather it was a typical, quintessential PR move on Obama's part.

However, unlike Payton Hall - who also received a warm bearhug from the President - an ostentatious gesture which was immediately flashed on television screens all across America - the Collins family never did receive the requested telephone call from Obama. Lacking both an official, well publicized meeting and national television coverage, there was no real PR benefit to be gleaned from placing a call to Mr. Collin's ex-wife to talk about their son. So why even bother? Obama is a busy man.

On the flip side, setting up a meeting between a popular singing icon and a 9/11 family member, well, that's just too good a PR move to pass up, especially now that the 2012 Presidential campaign has commenced.

Update: Upon observing the photos, and videos, of the wreath laying ceremony [at Ground Zero], you can't help but notice that Payton Hall and her family were the only ones - among all 9/11 family members - who merited standing at the forefront, near the President, as he laid the wreath. You can watch the video here. Obama approaches Payton Wall at about 1:47 into the video.

Clearly a PR stunt from the President, who used the venue to set up the Justin Bieber/Payton Wall meeting - a meeting which has elicited glowing accolades from the fawning, mainstream media, and one that is already paying big dividends for the politician par excellence.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Robert Gates: Obama Administration leaks jeopardizing Safety of Navy SEALs - VIDEO

Speaking to Marines at Camp Lejeune on Thursday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates expressed concern over the safety of the Navy SEALs who killed Al Qaeda chief, Osama Bin Laden. The threat of retaliation against the elite and classified SEAL squadron - SEAL team 6 - has increased after operational details were leaked to the press by the Obama administration.

The Defense Secretary's remarks came in response to a question from a Marine who asked him what measures were being taken to protect "the identities and the lives" of the SEALs involved in the raid on Osama Bin Laden's compound.

CNN noted that 'the Marine's question underscored sentiment among military and intelligence communities that identification of the team signified an unprecedented breach of confidentiality.'

"I would tell you that when I met with the team last Thursday, they expressed a concern about that, and particularly with respect to their families," said Gates in response to the Marine's question. "Frankly, a week ago Sunday, in the Situation Room, we all agreed that we would not release any operational details from the effort to take out bin Laden. That all fell apart on Monday, the next day."...

Weazel Zippers notes
But hey, Obama got to spike that football and dance in the end zone. That’s what really matters … Not the penalty to the team.
"Spiking the football", "political grandstanding", call it what you will, but the leaks have prompted concerns from the SEALs and their families, who are now worried for their lives - thanks to Obama and company.

Apparently, "the penalty to the team" is of little concern to the White House.

Iran to attend economic forum in U.S.

Mohammad Reza Sabzalipour, the director of Iran's World Trade Center, announced Wednesday that Iran has been invited to attend an economic forum in Kansas City scheduled for May 19-21, the AFP reported.

The conference, dubbed, "Futurallia" is sponsored by the World Trade Organization (WTO). Trade boards from 30 countries are expected to participate in the three-day economic forum.

Sabzalipour said that Iran intends to dispatch a delegation of businessmen to the forum.

The invitation to Iran comes despite a series of economic sanctions imposed on Tehran by the Obama administration and the administration's ally: the UN. The aforementioned sanctions prohibit virtually all trade and investment activities with Iran.

"Considering the sanctions that are in place, the host could have opted not to invite Iran," Mr. Sabzalipour said, "but fortunately ... they paid no attention to the sanctions and invited Iran's private sector."

Iran and Russia developing Security and military cooperation with Iraq

Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said Sunday that Iran is ready to develop security-defense cooperation with neighboring and friendly countries.

Vahidi's announcement came in response to Iraq's recent decision to establish a joint security system with Iran.

Likewise, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, during a recent visit to Iraq, said that Russia is ready to strengthen military-technical cooperation with Iraq.

"We are ready to develop cooperation in other spheres, including the military-technical [sphere]," he said.

Mr. Lavrov reportedly offered to supply the Iraqi army with the most advanced Russian weapons.

The military domain is "an important element for protecting the sovereignty of Iraq and the unity of its territory," said Lavrov.

And, Obama, well, he's decided to wind down America's involvement with Iraq and to hand over the keys to Iran and Russia.

In a related development, Iran has received a new shipment of nuclear fuel from Russia for its first nuclear power plant, a key step following the plant's recent startup, the AP reported on Wednesday.
The United States and its allies suspect a connection between the plant and what the West believes are Iranian attempts to develop a nuclear weapon...

Low-enriched uranium can be used to fuel a reactor to generate electricity..., but if uranium is further enriched to around 90 percent purity, it can be used to develop a nuclear warhead.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bin Laden funeral prayers in Kuwait turns into scuffle - despite approval from Obama

Muslim groups clashed with one another inside a Kuwait Mosque on Monday. Conflicting reports have emerged over how the scuffle began.

According to one report, a group of around 120 people tried to conduct "funeral prayers" for Osama Bin Laden inside the Ihsan Mosque in Kuwait City. When the imam of the mosque tried to stop them, he was beaten and had to be taken to a hospital. An activist who led the funeral prayer group said the prayers for Bin Laden were intended to honor “a Muslim who had been killed by disbelievers.”

According to other sources, it was the Imam who requested that prayer services be held in honor of the terrorist chief - which subsequently led to the scuffle. However, the former is likely the correct version.

In any case, this whole scuffle could have been averted had the two sides confided with President Obama over the matter, as he surely would have advised them to conduct the prayer services: The President recently told 60 Minutes that he decided to give Osama Bin Laden a proper Islamic burial at sea, with prayer services, out of respect to the terrorist leader's corpse.

We wanted "to find something that was appropriate" and "respectful of the body", said Obama

Hence, Obama's opinion on the matter couldn't be any clearer, but apparently worshipers at the Kuwait City mosque were unaware of his stance.

It's a shame.....

Friday, May 6, 2011

Ex-CIA Counterterror Chief: ‘Enhanced Interrogation’ Led U.S. to bin Laden

I've already discussed the subject of enhanced interrogations ad nauseum here, here and here, and reached the clear conlusion that, despite the mainstream media's spin, enhanced interrogations ultimately led to Bin Laden's demise. Whether water-boarding also provided some of the information that helped track Bin Laden is up for debate. However, that question is irrelevant since other forms of enhanced interrogations, opposed by Obama, played a crucial role in hunting down the terrorist chief - although water-boarding likely played a crucial role too.

Nevertheless, Jose Rodriguez, who ran the CIA’s Counter terrorism Center from 2002 to 2005 is also asserting that enhanced interrogation techniques produced information that eventually led to Bin Laden’s demise.

The White House has disingenuously countered his assertion, and I assume that the Left Wing pundits and spinsters have already joined the administration's choir, especially in light of the fact that Rodriguez was investigated last year by Eric Holder - the "witch hunter extraordinaire" - for the destruction of videos showing senior al-Qaeda officials being interrogated. Nevertheless, Rodriguez is far more trustworthy on this matter then the WH and its affiliates in the anti-Bush cabal. Besides, I don't need additional proof to back these assertions, since I've already perused the subject and ascertained that these are the facts.

You can read Rodriguez's interview here.

Obama skipped Memorial Day visit to Arlington, but shows respect to Bin Laden's corpse

President Obama skipped the the traditional Memorial Day visit to Arlington National Cemetery last year, a move that dismayed veterans of the armed forces who felt he was disrespecting America's dead soldiers. Nevertheless, Obama told 60 Minutes that the decision to give Osama Bin Laden a proper burial according to Islamic law was made out of respect to the late Al Qaeda chief's corpse.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

U.S. jobless claims hit 8-month high, productivity slows

From Reuters:
The number of Americans filing for jobless aid rose to an eight-month high last week and productivity growth slowed in the first quarter, clouding the outlook for an economy that is struggling to gain speed...

New claims for state jobless benefits rose 43,000 to a seasonally adjusted 474,000, the highest since mid-August...

Reports this week showed weaker employment growth in the manufacturing and services sectors in April. Data from payrolls processing firm ADP Employer Services also showed a step back in private hiring last month...

Even the four-week moving average of unemployment claims -- a better measure of underlying trends -- increased 22,250 to 431,250, the highest since November...

Enhanced Interrogations; and Enhanced Deception from the Mainstream Media

Enhanced interrogation techniques, used by the CIA during the Bush administration, prevented a number of attacks against U.S. targets. It also helped track down Osama Bin Laden. However, as I noted previously, the mainstream media, in its zeal to prop up President Obama and besmirch George W. Bush, is disingenuously putting their own spin on the facts.

Before we discuss the latest spin, let's review some of the facts discussed in an earlier post.

From the AP:
Shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, detainees in the CIA's secret prison network told interrogators about an important courier with the nom de guerre Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti who was close to bin Laden.
It should be noted that the aforementioned detainees had been incarcerated in the CIA's secret prison network, which means they were likely subjected to enhanced interrogations.
After the CIA captured al-Qaida's No. 3 leader, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, he confirmed knowing al-Kuwaiti but denied he had anything to do with al-Qaida.

Then in 2004, top al-Qaida operative Hassan Ghul was captured in Iraq. Ghul told the CIA that al-Kuwaiti was a courier, someone crucial to the terrorist organization. In particular, Ghul said, the courier was close to Faraj al-Libi, who replaced Mohammed as al-Qaida's operational commander. It was a key break in the hunt for in bin Laden's personal courier.

"Hassan Ghul was the linchpin," a U.S. official said.
As I noted previously, via the Liberal Pro Publica website, Hassan Ghul was subjected to enhanced interrogations. [Mainstream pundits claim those interrogations did not involve water-boarding, but nevertheless, they were harsh, and certainly fit the description of enhanced interrogations.]
Finally, in May 2005, al-Libi was captured. Under CIA interrogation, al-Libi admitted that when he was promoted to succeed Mohammed, he received the word through a courier. But he made up a name for the courier and denied knowing al-Kuwaiti, a denial that was so adamant and unbelievable that the CIA took it as confirmation that he and Mohammed were protecting the courier. It only reinforced the idea that al-Kuwaiti was very important to al-Qaida.

If they could find the man known as al-Kuwaiti, they'd find bin Laden.
The Washington Post noted that al-Libi had been detained in a secret CIA prison where he was subjected to the harsh methods that the Bush administration termed "enhanced interrogation techniques."

All of this information ultimately helped track down Bin Laden.

However, the AP notes as follows:
Mohammed did not discuss al-Kuwaiti [the courier] while being subjected to the simulated drowning technique known as water-boarding, former officials said. He acknowledged knowing him many months later under standard interrogation, they said, leaving it once again up for debate as to whether the harsh technique was a valuable tool or an unnecessarily violent tactic.
However, even if water-boarding was not used on any of the detainees who provided the information leading to Bin Laden's demise, Hassan Ghul and Faraj al-Libi, the actual linchpins in helping to locate Bin Laden - as well as the first set of detainees cited above - were subjected to some form of enhanced interrogations. Another detainee, Mohammed Qahtani, who provided key information, was also subjected to harsh interrogations.

Clearly, enhanced interrogation techniques ultimately led to Bin Laden's demise.

As I stated in an earlier post: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney deserve all the credit for facilitating Bin Laden's demise. Barack Obama's protestations to enhanced interrogations were, in essence, an impediment to this goal. Likewise, his bellicose rhetoric about the surge in Iraq was an impediment to the military achievements in Iraq.

And, as I noted, both of the aforementioned goals, were achieved, not because of Obama, but in spite of Obama.

But because of a few detainees, who provided misleading or false information even after being subjected to rough interrogations, suddenly some, within the mainstream media - including journalists who constantly assailed the secret CIA prisons and enhanced interrogations during the Bush presidency, claim the aforementioned techniques were of little value. Mainstream journalists have an agenda, and they'll write and say whatever is necessary to further that agenda.

One particular detainee, they cite as an example, rather disingenuously, is the aforentioned Abu Faraj Al-Libi, who gave CIA officials false information about the Bin Laden's courier. However, as the AP notes, although Al-Libi "made up a name for the courier and denied knowing" him, his denial "was so adamant and unbelievable that the CIA took it as confirmation" that he was "protecting the courier. It only reinforced the idea that" the courier "was very important to al-Qaida."

Similarly, the Tribune Washington bureau writes:
Two other CIA prisoners — al-Qaida's operations chief Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and his successor, Abu Faraj al-Libbi — gave their interrogators false information about the courier after they were water boarded repeatedly, U.S. officials said.

Those lies also played a role in the decade-long manhunt, however. Over time, they were viewed as evidence by CIA analysts that bin Laden's top deputies were trying to shield a figure who might be a link to the al-Qaida leader's hide-out, according to U.S. officials briefed on the analysis. "The fact that they were covering it up suggested he was important," a U.S. official said.
Hence, the information gleaned from these two individuals under enhanced interrogations was extremely valuable.

One final point:

Information gleaned from water-boarding [which was only used on a small number of high value detainees, and yet, the mainstream media is still obsessed with it] is said to have prevented a number of attacks against U.S. targets. Hence, even if it was not was part of the enhanced interrogations that helped locate Bin Laden, it saved countless American lives.

Conclusion: Did enhance interrogations facilitate Bin Laden's Demise? Without question!

Were the protestations from Obama and company against these procedures an impediment to locating Bin Laden? [Bear in mind, Obama spoke out against all forms of enhanced interrogations, not just waterboarding.] Yes - but ultimately, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney - who had the fortitude to ignore Obama's bellicose rhetoric - prevailed!

Obama, as usual, will take the credit for someone else's achievements. And, of course, when he fails miserably, he passes the buck to others.

Good politics indeed, considering the Liberal mainstream media is in bed with him......

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Panetta vs Obama: Enhanced Interrogation; Bin Laden Demise

CIA Director Leon Panetta on Tuesday confirmed that the enhanced interrogation program of terrorist detainees during the Bush, Cheney administration helped track Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden. In a 2009 interview, President Obama mocked the aforementioned program and insisted that, in allowing the program to continue, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney had not made the U.S. homeland any safer.

Republican lawmakers to Obama: End the Witch-hunt of CIA interrogators

On the heels of the U.S. special forces operation that ended in the death of Osama bin Laden, Republican lawmakers are calling on the Obama administration to restart the enhanced interrogation program that helped track Bin Laden, and to end the Justice Department's witch hunt of CIA employees who carried out the successful program, the AP reported on Wednesday.

"You can't have it both ways," Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich. chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told Fox News. "You can't have the attorney general prosecuting CIA interrogators" who facilitated the tracking of Bin Laden. "It just doesn't make any sense to me."

But apparently, it does make sense to: Eric Holder, the President, his core base, the 2012 camapign, and to Al Qaeda......

Obama, however, may need to change that political thought process right now, because, rather than bolster his 2012 campaign, it may actually have the opposite effect.....

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Eric Holder in '09 on Bin Laden, his Miranda Rights, Interrogation

Senator Lindsey Graham, in 2009, asks Attorney General Eric Holder how he would treat Al Qaeda Chief Osama Bin Laden if he were captured. Graham wanted to know whether Bin Laden would be treated like a civilian criminal or an enemy combatant, and whether he would be mirandized:

Bin Laden is dead, Thank you, President Bush, Thank you Vice President Cheney!

Osama Bin Laden is dead, and one thing is crystal clear: Were it not for the fortitude of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, Osama Bin Laden would still be alive today - free like a bird!

From the Washington Post:
A crucial break [in the search for Osama Bin Laden] appears to have come on May 2, 2005, when Pakistani special forces arrested a senior al-Qaida operative known as Abu Faraj al-Libi, who had been designated bin Laden's "official messenger" to others within the organization. Libi was later turned over to the CIA and held at a "black site" prison where he was subjected to the harsh methods that the Bush administration termed "enhanced interrogation techniques."

Libi and other detainees pointed CIA interrogators to another messenger with close ties to the al-Qaida leader. U.S. officials said they started only with the mystery courier's nom de guerre, and that it took four years to uncover his actual identity, his approximate location in Pakistan and ultimately the compound where bin Laden was found.
The AP reported:
Shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, detainees in the CIA's secret prison network told interrogators about an important courier with the nom de guerre Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti who was close to bin Laden. After the CIA captured al-Qaida's No. 3 leader, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, he confirmed knowing al-Kuwaiti but denied he had anything to do with al-Qaida.

Then in 2004, top al-Qaida operative Hassan Ghul was captured in Iraq. Ghul told the CIA that al-Kuwaiti was a courier, someone crucial to the terrorist organization. In particular, Ghul said, the courier was close to Faraj al-Libi, who replaced Mohammed as al-Qaida's operational commander. It was a key break in the hunt for in bin Laden's personal courier.

"Hassan Ghul was the linchpin," a U.S. official said.

Finally, in May 2005, al-Libi was captured. Under CIA interrogation, al-Libi admitted that when he was promoted to succeed Mohammed, he received the word through a courier...

The revelation that intelligence gleaned from the CIA's so-called black sites helped kill bin Laden was seen as vindication for many intelligence officials who have been repeatedly investigated and criticized for their involvement in a program that involved the harshest interrogation methods in U.S. history.

"We got beat up for it, but those efforts led to this great day," said Marty Martin, a retired CIA officer who for years led the hunt for bin Laden.
Abu Faraj al-Libi was detained at at a secret CIA prison and was subjected to "enhanced interrogation techniques." Hassan Ghul was also incarcerated in a CIA prison where he was subjected to "enhanced interrogation techniques."

The Liberal Pro Publica website, in 2009, complained about the harsh and abusive treatment that Ghul received during his detention in the secret CIA prison.

Both Abu Faraj al-Libi and Hassan Ghul likely cracked as a result of the enhanced interrogations. They spilled the beans about Bin Laden's courier, and it was this information that ultimately led to Bin Laden's demise.

President Obama railed against the harsh interrogation techniques and the secret CIA prisons. [Not suprisingly, he later reneged on his promise to close the prisons, which was likely due to Intelligence officials warning him that closing the prisons would be a death knell to U.S. security.] Obama also railed against the troop surge in Iraq.

Hence, while Obama tries to take credit for Osama Bin Laden's demise and for facilitating a successful exit strategy in Iraq, in truth, his policies and rantings were actually an impediment to these goals.

Osama Bin Laden is no longer alive despite Obama's bellicose rhetoric. The victories achieved in Iraq could come crashing down soon if the President continues to remain disengaged from the region, but ultimately the military success in Iraq came in spite of Obama, and because George W. Bush had the fortitude to ignore Obama's politically calculated tirades.

Thank you, President Bush. Thank you, Vice President Cheney. Osama Bin Laden is dead, and the credit is all yours!

Related Video: Dick Cheney lambasts Obama, defends Bush enhanced interrogation techniques during a speech at the American Enterprise Institute - May 21, 2009

Monday, May 2, 2011

Syria: Obama turns blind eye towards Syrian atrocities, massacres

Despite the fact that over 500 civilians have been killed in Syria during government crackdowns on protesters calling for reform, the Obama administration is steadfastly continuing its allegiance to the Syrian regime and remaining faithful to Bashar al-Assad, whom they' depict as being a genuine "reformer'.

Bin Laden corpse photo is a fake; Al Qaeda Chief receives heartfelt burial

An image of Osama bin Laden's corpse broadcast on Pakistani television and picked up by British newspaper websites is fake, the Guardian UK reported on Monday.

The image - a composite of a genuine photograph of Bin Laden taken in 1998 and that of another corpse - had been circulating on the internet for the past two years. The image had been used by various websites to support their claims that Bin Laden had already been killed several years ago.

[That addresses my quandary as to why Bin Laden's beard, which became significantly grey in recent years, appeared to be much darker in the (corpse) photo than in real life.]

According to the AP, the White House has yet to decide whether it will release an authentic photograph of Bin Laden's corpse.

The President's counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, said that releasing the photo could potentially jeopardize similar operations and intelligence sources in the future.

In a related development, President Obama said that the remains of the distinguished terrorist had been handled in accordance with Islamic custom, which requires speedy burial, MSNBC reported.

Bin Laden was buried at sea after being washed according to Islamic custom during a religious funeral. According to Islamic teachings, the highest honor to be bestowed on the dead is giving the deceased a swift burial, preferably before sunset, MSNBC noted.

A Muslim seaman conducted the burial ceremony and said the proper prayers, according to ABC News.

As part of the Muslim burial prayers, Weazel Zippers notes, the officiant beseeches the Lord to "forgive" the deceased, to "have mercy on him", to "keep him safe and sound", to "honor the place where he settles", to "make his entrance wide", to "admit him to Paradise and to "make his grave spacious" and to "fill it with light".

By affording Bin Laden a proper burial ceremony, befitting a terrorist of his stature, the Muslim world can rest assured knowing that the U.S. is not at war with Islam. Similarly, the 9/11 victims can rest assured knowing that their killer received the burial they never got....

Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas condemn Bin Laden "assassination"

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood on Monday condemned the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

The Brotherhood said in a statement that the organization "is against violence in general, against assassinations and in favor of fair trials."

Likewise, Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh denounced the killing of Bin Laden as an extension of a U.S. policy that "depends on killing." The Hamas leader also expressed his sincere desire that Bin Laden's soul would "rest in peace".

The Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood - in a statement released on Monday - praised the "commitment and dedication" that Bin Laden had evinced toward "his ideology" until his death.

Obama: Killing of Bin Laden wasn't top priority/ was top priority