Saturday, May 31, 2014

Gitmo prisoner release, and pretext, a dream come true for Obama!

Despite the assertion of U.S Navy admiral and commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, William McRaven, that there is a need for a long-term detention & interrogation facility, like the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, to gather vital intelligence information, President Obama, in his zeal to fulfill a campaign pledge to close down Gitmo, has made the claim that there is no need for such a facility.

Hence, the President has sought all avenues, pretexts and excuses to free all detainees currently held in Gitmo, so that he could fulfill his pledge to close down the facility.

Sadly, many detainees who've been released from Gitmo in the past have rejoined their terrorist comrades and have gone on to kill even more US and NATO troops.

Many Gitmo detainees have been repatriated to other countries where they've been placed either in a prison or a rehab facility for a brief period of time before being released to the wild to inflict more human casualties.

In February of this year, the Afghan government released 65 Taliban fighters from a former U.S. prison that had been transferred to Afghan control. The release of the fighters came despite the objections of US military personnel who said that the terrorist detainees were "directly linked to attacks killing or wounding 32 U.S. or coalition personnel and 23 Afghan security personnel", and that the terrorists would likely return to the battlefield to kill even more NATO and Afghan troops.

In any case, President Obama's zeal to shut down Gitmo is well-known. Hence, it is no surprise that the Obama administration on Saturday released 5 "high-ranking", senior terrorists from Gitmo in exchange for the release of US marine Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl who had been languishing in captivity since 2009. The 5 Gitmo detainees were handed into Qatari custody as part of the deal. Some additional info on the 5 detainees at the end of this post.

The AP reported that the five terrorists detainees were being "transferred into the custody of Qatari officials. Under the conditions of their release, the detainees will be banned from traveling outside of Qatar for at least one year."

CNN reported:
A senior administration official told CNN, "The transfer of these individuals is not a concession -- it is fully in line with the President's goal of closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay."
The senior administration official - perhaps unwittingly - revealed the truth, namely that the release of the five terrorists from Gitmo was not a concession on Obama's part. Quite the contrary, Obama has desperately sought any pretext to free any and all Gitmo detainees so that he could eventually close down the facility and boast that his campaign pledge to shut down the facility was not an empty promise. Bergdahl's release allowed the President to free 5 more Gitmo detainees and avoid scrutiny. Hence, there was no concession on the President's part; quite the contrary, releasing the five Gitmo detainees, pretext and all, was a wish, and a dream, come true for Obama.

However, as the AP noted, the Gitmo detainees are being "transferred into the custody of Qatari officials. Under the conditions of their release, the detainees will be banned from traveling outside of Qatar for at least one year," which means that it won't be long before these terrorists are back in business.

Moreover, House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers opined on the prisoner swap that, "This fundamental shift in US policy signals to terrorists around the world a greater incentive to take U.S. hostages... I believe this decision will threaten the lives of American soldiers for years to come."

What's more, the stakes have now been raised with regards to other US citizens who are still languishing in captivity in various countries abroad. The price to obtain their release has now been upped because the bad guys now realize they can demand, and receive, a hearty ransom from Obama and company.

[Related Post: Abandoned American Pastor, Saeed Abedini, severely beaten in Iranian hospital; Iranians trying to extract more concessions from the Appeaser-in-Chief?]

Here's a teeny bit of info on the five detainees:

According to Fox News, the detainees "are believed to be the top five Taliban leaders at the prison." According to documents from the Joint Task Force at Guantanamo, all five prisoners were high-ranking Taliban officials, and some were deemed high-risk and "likely to post a threat to the U.S., its interests and allies." Two of the detainees are wanted by the UN for war crimes. One of the detainees was "directly associated" with Osama bin Laden.

The documents from the Joint Task Force at Guantanamo also noted the following tidbit about one of the five detainees: "Following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, detainee represented the Taliban during meetings with Iranian officials seeking to support hostilities against US and Coalition forces."

The last paragraph should also come as no surprise, as Iran's assistance to the Taliban - arming and training the Taliban insurgents - is well-known. I've also noted on previous occasions the close ties between Iran and al Qaeda.

In a blog post earlier this year I noted:
According to the [2004] 9/11 Commission report, many of the 9/11 hijackers were known to have traveled in and out of Iran prior to the 9/11 attacks. The report also noted that Iran had a history of allowing al-Qaeda operatives to travel back and forth between Iran and Afghanistan [to their training camps], and that Iranian border agents were ordered not to stamp the passports of al Qaeda operatives, which thereby facilitated their travel, and also helped conceal their whereabouts and their identities.

In 2011, members of the 9/11 Commission testified that Iranian border agents refrained from stamping the passports of 8 to 10 of the 9/11 hijackers because evidence of travel through Iran would have prevented the hijackers from obtaining visas at U.S. embassies abroad or gaining entry into the United States. The 9/11 commission report also noted that al-Qaeda operatives had long maintained contact with Iranian intelligence officials.

Additionally, the Telegraph-UK reported in 2008 that a letter "signed by Ayman al-Zawahiri, [then]-al-Qaeda's second in command - [which was] written after the American embassy in Yemen was attacked by simultaneous suicide car bombs - thanked the leadership of Iran's Revolutionary Guards for providing assistance to al-Qaeda to set up its terrorist network in Yemen."

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The NSA reads everyone's emails, did they read the emails that Snowden sent them? Or were Snowden's emails intercepted by the NSA before the NSA had a chance to read them?

Both the NSA and White House on Thursday rebutted claims made in a recent interview by NSA leaker Edward Snowden in which he asserted that he had expressed concerns about the Obama administration's surveillance programs, via email, to his NSA superiors before leaking classified documents to the news media, CBS reported on Thursday.

The NSA released a statement saying that Mr. Snowden, in his email communications, "did not raise allegations or concerns about wrongdoing or abuse, but posed a legal question" about whether an executive order supersedes federal statute, or vice versa, CBS reported.

The NSA responded to Snowden's question in an email, and told him that "Executive Orders (E.O.s) have the 'force and effect of law.' That said, you are correct that E.O.s cannot override a statute."

It should be noted, however, that the NSA's assertion that "executive orders cannot override a statute" is clearly incorrect with regards to Obama's executive orders, which, no doubt, are not subject to the laws of the land. Ahem....

The NSA, in its rebuttal to Snowden's claims that he had expressed his concerns with the agency, asserted that Snowden was merely “asking for an explanation of some material that was in a training course he had just completed," News media outlets reported.

The CBS report goes on to say:
Beyond that brief discussion, the NSA said it could not uncover any further attempts by Snowden to express concerns.

"There are numerous avenues that Mr. Snowden could have used to raise other concerns or whistleblower allegations," the agency explained. "We have searched for additional indications of outreach from him in those areas and to date have not discovered any engagements related to his claims."...

And White House Press Secretary Jay Carney similarly said on Thursday that Snowden "did not raise allegations or concerns about wrongdoing or abuse but posed a legal question that the office of general council addressed. There was not additional follow up noted."
“There are avenues available to somebody like Mr Snowden to raise those kind of concerns,” added Carney.

However, if indeed the NSA never did receive any additional emails from Snowden, the agency might want search through its huge trove of data mining collections because some of Snowden's emails might be sitting in one of those data mining repositories. In fact, it is quite feasible that the NSA inadvertently intercepted the emails that Snowden sent them, before the NSA could read them, and then stashed them away in a secret vault. Or, perhaps an independent NSA contractor intercepted Snowden's emails before they could reach the NSA's headquarters, in the hope that he, or she, could one day sell them to the media and rake in a huge profit. The NSA definitely needs to check into those possibilities.

Nevertheless, if, as the NSA claims, Snowden never expressed any concerns to the agency via email, there might be a reason for that: Since the NSA has been known to read other people's emails, Snowden might have been reluctant to express his concerns to the agency via email, for fear that the email would be read......

The NSA and Jay Carney claim that there "are numerous avenues that Mr. Snowden could have used" to communicate his concerns to the agency. But what other avenues did he have? Snowden likely ruled out placing a landline telephone call to the NSA for fear that the agency would place a permanent tap on his phone, and eavesdrop on all his private conversations.

Using a cell phone was also out of the question for the very same reason. Moreover, all of Snowden's private text messages would become an open book for the NSA.

And, while Snowden could have easily dropped by the NSA's headquarters to express his concerns about the surveillance program, who's to say the agency wouldn't have placed a tapping device inside his clothing, or implanted a bugging device into his skin?

The only other option available to Snowden was to communicate his concerns with the agency via carrier pigeon. However, had Snowden gone the carrier pigeon route, PETA might have had him arrested for abusing an animal for personal use.

Conclusion: Working for the NSA can be an extremely taxing experience, nevertheless, because of Obama's expanded use of executive orders, and because Obama's executive powers override all statutes, laws, apprehensions and misgivings, the lives of NSA employees, and contractors, have been made a little bit easier........

Kerry says Snowden engaging in Kerry-Like Betrayal - [Vietnam War] - Video Montage

During a round of morning interviews with several of the major television networks on Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry accused NSA [National Security Agency] leaker Edward Snowden of engaging in the same kind of betrayal and traitorous activities that Kerry once participated in.

When Kerry returned from the Vietnam War in the early 70's, he accused his fellow American soldiers of committing war crimes. Kerry's accusations provoked the ire of countless Vietnam War vets who said that not only was Kerry falsely maligning them, but that he was guilty of betrayal and that he was harming American POW's in Vietnam, and that he was essentially advocating on behalf of the North Vietnamese, and strengthening the enemy. Vietnam War vets labeled Kerry a traitor.

Likewise, Secretary of State Kerry said on Wednesday: "Edward Snowden is a coward. He is a traitor. And he has betrayed his country... What he's done is hurt his country."

Mr. Kerry's comments are a clear substantiation of the old adage: "It takes one to know one."

Video Montage below:

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Some Libyans are profoundly unhappy with the February 17 Martyrs Brigade, the terrorist group hired to protect the US consulate in Benghazi in 2012

Reuters reported on Wednesday:
Libyan warplanes bombed militia bases in Benghazi on Wednesday as part of a renegade former general's campaign to purge the chaotic North African state of Islamist militants, witnesses and officials said.

Two jets attacked a base belonging to the February 17 brigade, one of the Islamist-leaning armed groups operating in Benghazi, and an Ansar al-Sharia militant base in the west of the city, a Reuters witness and an air force official said...

There were no immediate reports of casualties.... A Reuters witness at the February 17 base said there were no casualties and only structural damage.

Libya's Ansar al-Sharia [is] a militant group, listed as a terrorist group by Washington...
The AFP noted that, "The powerful" February 17 "brigade is made up of Islamist ex-rebels, including radicals, and is suspected of links with Ansar Al-Sharia, a group classified as a terrorist group by Washington."

But the February 17 Islamist brigade, which was tasked by the Obama administration to provide security at the US consulate in Benghazi - which later came under attack - apparently, has not been classified as a terrorist group by the administration. After all, how would it look if Obama and company labeled the very group it had hired to protect the consulate as a terrorist group?

I noted in May of 2013 as follows:
Eric Nordstrom - the State Department's former regional security officer in Libya - testified at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing earlier this month that the [February 17 brigade] militia - which was hired to guard the U.S. consulate in Benghazi - issued threats, in July of 2012, against former U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens and Senator John McCain.

Moreover, Gregory Hicks, the former deputy chief of mission in Libya, testified that the aforementioned militia was complicit in the Benghazi attacks - which begs the question: Why did the Obama administration allow these terrorist thugs to guard the consulate?
Newsmax reported last year that the February 17th Martyrs Brigade "had clear al-Qaida sympathies, and had prominently displayed the al-Qaida flag on a Facebook page some months before the deadly attack."
Several entries on the militia’s Facebook page openly profess sympathy for Ansar al-Sharia...

The State Department did not respond to a Newsmax request for an explanation as to why the February 17th Martyrs Brigade was hired to protect the mission.

On April 23, House Republicans released an interim progress report on their investigation into the Benghazi killings. It cited “numerous reports” that “the Brigade had extremist connections, and it had been implicated in the kidnapping of American citizens as well as in the threats against U.S. military assets.”...

On June 28..., the brigade posted a... graphic [which featured] two rows of pictures... The images include some of the leading figures of modern-day jihadism, including al-Qaida founder Osama bin Laden and the founder of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Earlier this month four Libyan protesters were killed while demonstrating against the February 17 Martyrs Brigade.

All Africa reported:
Protestors... moved to the February 17th Brigade locale and demanded its disbandment, blaming it for assassinations in Benghazi.

If the Brigade is not removed from Libya, "it will spread" [like a disease] "and kill all Libyans; we'll become like Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan and Pakistan," a Libyan teacher proclaimed.

On Saturday, Justice Minister Salah Marghani told reporters that the brigade was ordered to leave the city within 72 hours...

Computer engineer Faraj Ali confirmed that the "February 17th brigade camp is one of the biggest military camps in Libya with all of its weapons, but all such weapons are hidden in farms..."

"Col. Wanis Bukhamada has raided their farms more than once, and has even raided al-Nayrouz resort, and directly after that, they kidnapped his son," Ali added.

Abu Omar al-Manfi, a car electrician, said, "The so-called February 17th brigade is engaged in the most horrific forms of torture and is sponsoring terrorists and those exploiting religion... They must be arrested and brought to trial."
However, as noted earlier, the State Department did not respond to a Newsmax request for an explanation as to why the February 17th Martyrs Brigade was hired to protect the mission... After all, as Hillary Clinton is wont to say, "What difference does it make?"

It is also safe to assume that the Brigade will not be designated a terrorist group by the Obama administration anytime soon.

After all, how would it look? Lol....

Related Videos:

Benghazi hearing: Consulate guards' militia threatened Stevens & McCain - was complicit in attacks:

Benghazi: Obama administration receives 3:00 AM call from Gregory Hicks:

McCain calls on Shinseki to resign, but Obama is still getting a pass

Despite a reluctance on the part of President Obama to axe the current Secretary of Veteran Affairs, Eric Shinseki, due to the fact that the latter was an Obama appointee who was tapped to lead the VA partially because he was perceived as someone who, while serving as Army Chief of Staff, did not see eye-to-eye with the Bush administration, nevertheless, an inspector general report released on Wednesday has prompted new calls for Shinseki's resignation.

It should be noted, however, that, despite President Obama's refusal to respond to calls, nearly a year ago, "to take immediate steps to stop the growing pattern of preventable veteran deaths", there have been no calls for Obama's resignation thus far.

Fox News reported on Wednesday:
The official watchdog for the Department of Veterans Affairs claimed in a scathing report that the department has a "systemic" problem with clinics lying about patient wait times, leading top Republicans to join the calls for Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign...

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who until now had held off on urging Shinseki to resign, said during a press conference... Wednesday afternoon that "it's time for Secretary Shinseki to step down" -- and that if he won't, "then I call on the president of the United States to relieve him of his duties, fire him.
The Daily Caller noted that, 'The Arizona senator — who, like Shinseki, served in Vietnam — at first was hesitant to axe the VA.'

“I have not called for it. I was going to wait until the hearing that’s going to take place here very soon," McCain told CNN. "But this keeps piling up. So I haven’t said this before, but I think it’s time for General Shinseki to — to move on.”

However, it appears as if President Obama will not be held accountable for his prolonged indifference and lack of response.

As usual, Obama gets a pass.......

Obama chicanery: "Afghanistan will not be a PERFECT place"; Heh.....

Speaking at a press briefing Tuesday about his exit strategy in Afghanistan, President Obama asserted: "We have to recognize that Afghanistan will not be a perfect place!"

Unfortunately, what the President deliberately, and cunningly, failed to mention is that violence in Afghanistan has increased significantly during his tenure in office. Hence, the question of Afghanistan's future is not about 'perfection' or lack of 'perfection', its about total devastation, terror, and the enemy abroad.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Libya: Obama administration telegraphs terrorists: Don't attack us NOW, marines arriving "in a matter of DAYS!"

Despite the latest security concerns in Libya - due to the recent escalation of violence in the terrorist infested country - and despite the recent decision by several other countries to shut down their embassies there, the Obama administration, thus far, has refrained from taking similar action, presumably because the apparent urgency to close down the embassy would reflect poorly on the administration's failed policies there.

A defense official told CNN early last week that the decision to evacuate the embassy is "minute by minute, hour by hour," which means that the safety and security of US embassy personnel there is subject to the Obama administration's "minute by minute, hour by hour," whims.

CNN also reported at the time: "Four additional U.S. V-22 Osprey aircraft "arrived overnight" at the naval base in Sigonella, Italy, to join four V-22s and 200 Marines that had been moved there last week, a U.S. defense source said."

And, today, the AFP reported:
The United States is deploying an amphibious assault ship with about 1,000 marines off the coast of Libya in case the US embassy must be evacuated, a US defense official said Tuesday.

The USS Bataan was to be in the area "in a matter of days," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Question (1): Why did the administration wait till now to deploy the USS Bataan and the 1,000 US marines to the Libyan coast, when security concerns were already heightened there at least several weeks ago?

Answer: Because, as I stated earlier, the need to deploy a thousand marines to Libya reflects poorly on the administration's failed policies there. Hence, the directive to deploy the marines was only given when it was deemed an absolute, 'can't wait any longer' necessity by the Obama administration , and not a minute sooner! As CNN noted early last week: the decision to evacuate the embassy is "minute by minute, hour by hour."

Question (2): Why did the administration, in today's statement to the media, essentially telegraph to the terrorists that it will be "a matter of days", and not sooner, before the USS Bataan reaches the coast of Libya?

Answer: Let's put it this way: If the US embassy in Libya is attacked before the USS Bataan assault ship and the 1,000 marines arrive, the Obama administration has already prepared its main talking point for the media and the American people, namely: "We told you it would take time to deploy the US Bataan and the 1,000 marines to Libya! So don't point fingers at us!"

Meanwhile, the administration has also conveyed the very same message to the terrorists, thereby telegraphing to the terrorists that, if they do decide to attack the US embassy, the best time would be now, or within the next 2 or 3 days.

Nevertheless, at least the administration has the common decency to keep the terrorists up to date on its plans and to ensure that the terrorists are not left in the dark - thereby adhering to the President's 2009 pledge, namely that, "Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of my Presidency."

Transparency, indeed......

Related Post: White House blows cover of CIA Station Chief in Kabul, Afghanistan

Monday, May 26, 2014

Iran still denying IAEA access to sanitized nuclear research site, Parchin

From Reuters - May 26:
The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears no closer to finding out what happened at a military site at the center of its investigation into suspected atom bomb research by Iran... The IAEA [said on Friday] satellite images showed "ongoing construction activities" at Parchin, a finding that could add to Western suspicions that Iran has been trying to hide any incriminating evidence of illicit nuclear-related experiments there.

"It seems clear that there is more sanitization going on," one Western envoy said, noting indications of major alteration work at Parchin since early 2012, such as soil removal and asphalting of the specific place the IAEA wants to see.

"I can think of no other explanation for 28 months of cleanup and denied IAEA access at Parchin except an attempt to hide all traces of something from IAEA environmental sampling."

The IAEA, which has requested Parchin access for more than two years, says it has information that Iran built a large steel chamber there for explosives tests, possibly more than a decade ago. It said back in 2011 that "such experiments would be strong indicators of possible nuclear weapon development"...

The IAEA's suspicions about Parchin were part of a 2011 report that included a trove of intelligence information pointing to Iranian research in the past that could be relevant for nuclear weapons, some of which it said may be continuing.

White House blows cover of CIA Station Chief in Kabul, Afghanistan

In case you missed it, the Washington Post reported on Sunday:
The CIA’s top officer in Kabul was exposed Saturday by the White House when his name was inadvertently included on a list provided to news organizations of senior U.S. officials participating in President Obama’s surprise visit with U.S. troops...

The list was circulated by e-mail to reporters who traveled to Afghanistan with Obama, and disseminated further when it was included in a “pool report,” or summary of the event meant to be shared with other news organizations, including foreign media, not taking part in the trip.
So, it seems the CIA official's name has been revealed to both US and foreign media organizations, which should certainly be a comforting thought for the CIA official.
The White House recognized the mistake and quickly issued a revised list that did not include the individual, who had been identified on the initial release as the “Chief of Station” in Kabul, a designation used by the CIA for its highest-ranking spy in a country...

Friday, May 23, 2014

Conyers & Obama, voting petition double standard

During his run for the Illinois State Senate in 1996, Barack Obama 'effectively used election rules to eliminate his Democratic competition,' CNN reported in 2008.
As a community organizer, he had helped register thousands of voters. But when it came time to run for office, he employed Chicago rules to invalidate the voting petition signatures of three of his challengers.

The move denied each of them... a place on the ballot. It cleared the way for Obama to run unopposed on the Democratic ticket in a heavily Democrat district.

"That was Chicago politics," said John Kass, a veteran Chicago Tribune columnist. "Knock out your opposition, challenge their petitions, destroy your enemy, right? It is how Barack Obama destroyed his enemies back in 1996 that conflicts with his message today in 2008]. He may have gotten his start registering thousands of voters. But in that first race, he made sure voters had just one choice."...

"He came from Chicago politics," Jay Stewart of the Chicago's Better Government Association said. "Politics ain't beanbag, as they say in Chicago. You play with your elbows up, and you're pretty tough and ruthless when you have to be. Sen. Obama felt that's what was necessary at the time, that's what he did. Does it fit in with the rhetoric now? Perhaps not."...

But Obama told the Chicago Tribune in 2007: "To my mind, we were just abiding by the rules that had been set up. My conclusion was that if you couldn't run a successful petition drive, then that raised questions in terms of how effective a representative you were going to be."...

One... opponent who Obama eliminated by challenging his petitions, Gha-is Askia..., back at the time he was running for state Senate..., said he was dismayed Obama would use such tactics.

"It wasn't honorable," he said. "I wouldn't have done it."

He said the Obama team challenged every single one of his petitions on "technicalities."

If names were printed instead of signed in cursive writing, they were declared invalid. If signatures were good but the person gathering the signatures wasn't properly registered, those petitions also were thrown out...

Kass, the Chicago Tribune columnist, said [in 2008] the national media... have bought into a narrative that Obama is strictly a reformer. The truth, Kass says, is that he is a bare-knuckled politician...That's the politics he plays."
However, in the 2014 US Senate race in Michigan, the veteran Democrat operative from Michigan, Rep. John Conyers, is not running against Barack Obama, the Messiah; hence the blatant double standard; hence the rules permitting the use of bare-knuckled politics do not apply:

Reuters reported on Friday that, despite the fact that 'John Conyers had less than half the required signatures of valid registered voters on the petitions he turned in to qualify for the Aug. 5 primary ballot', a US Distrtict Judge ruled that, 'the requirement that petition circulators be registered voters — the issue that got Conyers booted off the ballot in the first place — put serious limitations on the free speech rights of the circulators, the people who signed the petitions and Conyers.'

“The public interest favors the enjoining of the likely unconstitutional Registration Statute,” for circulators, the Judge said....

Hence, while the requirement that petition circulators be registered voters invalidated the voting petitions of Obama's opponents in 1996, and cleared the way for the Messiah to run unopposed on the Democratic ticket in Illinois, the same requirement mustn't invalidate the voting petitions of John Conyer's, because Conyers, the veteran Democrat operative, is not running against the Messiah.

Conyers said in a prepared statement Friday that the Judge's "decision affirms that all should have equal entry and access to the political process.”

Sadly, the aforementioned principle does not apply when Obama is running for office.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Obama feigns outrage over Veterans Affairs [VA], IRS scandals - Press Briefing

In typical fashion, President Obama on Wednesday feigned outrage over recent news media reports that detailed some of the problems and scandals plaguing the Veterans Affairs health care system.

Despite having been informed of the VA problems quite some time ago, the Politician-in-Chief acted as if he was shocked by the news media reports.

Likewise, in May of 2013, the President feigned outrage over revelations that the IRS was targeting Tea Party and Conservative groups.

"It's inexcusable," the President said at the time. "And Americans are right to be angry about it, and I am angry about it. I will not tolerate this kind of behavior in any agency."

However, by the time 2014 came rolling around, and the IRS scandal had been largely forgotten, Mr. Obama no longer felt the need to admit that Conservatives were being targeted, nor did he feel the need to feign contriteness. In an interview with Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, in February of 2014, Mr. Obama asserted in a scoffing tone - in typical phony fashion - that there wasn't even the slightest bit of corruption on the part of the IRS when it targeted Conservative groups.

Typical, vintage Obama...... See video below:

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Abandoned American Pastor, Saeed Abedini, severely beaten in Iranian hospital; Iranians trying to extract more concessions from the Appeaser-in-Chief?

From Fox News:
The American citizen being held in Iran for alleged crimes related to his faith and work as a Christian pastor was yanked from a hospital bed, beaten and taken back to one of the Islamic Republic's infamous prisons, his family charges.

Pastor Saeed Abedini had spent the past two months in a hospital for injuries allegedly suffered at the hands of guards and inmates in Iran’s Evin and Rajai Shahr prisons when he was once again beaten and hauled back to prison, according to family members who say they witnessed the beating.

"This news is devastating to our family...” his wife, Naghmeh Abedini, told "Saeed's family, who was present at the hospital when this occurred, witnessed the severe beatings that Saeed received - at one point seeing him collapse before being taken away. We're very concerned about his health."

In March, when Abedini was transferred to a private hospital in Iran, where he was told he would receive further tests for his worsening medical condition as well as surgery for the chronic stomach pain suffered as a result of repeated beatings. But soon after being admitted, he was shackled and beaten by guards, according to family members. He was also denied medical treatment and was not allowed to see family members initially, they said.

It was not immediately clear why Abedini was suddenly transferred back to Rajai Shahr.
However, the American Center for Law and Justice, which has been representing Abedini’s family, said in a statement on Tuesday that, according to Saeed's family members, "one of the guards who was involved in the transfer mentioned the Iranian nuclear talks as a possible motive."

It should be noted that the Iranians do not need a motive to beat up and torture prisoners, especially American prisoners who are typically arrested, sent to jail without justification and beaten to a pulp. Indeed, torture is part and parcel of the Iranian jail experience. Hence, Saeed Abedini, who has been abandoned by the Obama administration - like many other Americans who are currently being held captive on foreign soil -  has been beaten brutally -  in typical fashion - over the course of his detention.

Nevertheless, if the Iranian nuclear talks are indeed the motive for the latest beatings, it would mean that not only has President Obama failed to win Abedini's release - not only has he failed to make Abedini's release a precondition to nuclear negotiations - but also that the Iranians are using Saeed Abedini as a pawn, and beating him anew, to squeeze even more concessions on their nuclear program from the weak Appeaser-in-Chief, President Obama.

Appeasement breeds more appeasement; it also breeds more torture and cruelty from the very people whose pacification is being sought.

How sad.

Related Video below - from February: "Obama offers phony, perfunctory, token prayer for Abandoned American Pastor Saeed Abedini at National Prayer Breakfast":

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Iranian & US regimes arrest video posters

The AFP reported:
[Iranian] Police said on Tuesday they had arrested six Iranians suspected of posting a version of US singer Pharrell Williams's hit song "Happy" - [a song about feeling high from a state of happiness] - on the Internet.

The clip shows three men and three unveiled women singing and dancing to the tune in the streets and on Tehran rooftops.

"After a vulgar clip which hurt public chastity was released in cyberspace, police decided to identify those involved in making that clip," Tehran police chief Hossein Sajedinia was quoted as saying...

"Following a series of intelligence and police operations and after coordinating with the judiciary, all the suspects were identified and arrested."

[An Iranian news agency] said the detainees were three men and three women and that they "confessed to their criminal acts".
In a similar occurrence, although it involves a video of a less benign nature, the producer, and poster, of an anti-Islamic YouTube video, which President Obama falsely, and cunningly, blamed for the attacks on the US consulate in Benghazi that left four Americans dead, was arrested on September 27, 2012.

Prosecutors claimed rather disingenuously that they were charging the video producer with violating terms of a probation from a 2010 conviction, however, they then added, begrudgingly, that some of the violations included making false statements regarding his role in the film. But sadly, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to conclude why the video filmmaker was suddenly arrested: He was the phony talking point that President Obama desperately latched on to; he was the scapegoat, he was Obama's ticket to victory in the 2012 Presidential election.

Ultimately, Obama always gets what he wants: He falsely blamed the filmmaker for the attacks, propagated the false narrative that the attacks were a spontaneous reaction to the video - and not pre-planned terrorist attacks - the filmmaker was subsequently arrested - and Obama was able to exonerate himself from any blame in the crucial weeks leading up to the November 2012 Presidential election.

And while it's true that the aforementioned YouTube video is not as benign as the Pharrell Williams "Happy" song video, nevertheless the moral of the story is clear: The Iranian regime and the Obama administration will take whatever actions are necessary to advance their cause, their lies, and their false narratives.

Sickening. Ughh........

Twin bombings kill at least 118 people in Nigeria; #BringBackOurTwitterCampaign, Michelle Obama!

If there are two lessons that the First Lady and the President have taught us over the last five and half years, it is the following:

1) It is extremely crucial to use social media outlets like twitter to counter the abduction and murder of innocent men, women and children by "misguided" and "unfortunate" terrorists.

2) We must never shame the terrorists by referring to terrorism as "terrorism", or by referring to the battle against terror as a "War On Terror".

The battle against the terrorists should be referred to in the more milder and benign lexicon formulated by the President and his administration, namely "Overseas Contingency Operations."

However, merely tweeting out a few times one particular slogan like #BringBackOurGirls will not get the job done, as evidenced by the ongoing destruction and continuous violence in Nigeria. We must strengthen our twitter and social media campaign, or the violence will continue to escalate:

From the AFP:
Twin car bombings killed 46 people on Tuesday at a crowded market in the central Nigerian city of Jos..., while 45 people were seriously injured... The second bomb came from a minibus some 20 minutes later...
Update: The AFP later reported that, according to the co-ordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency, at least 118 people were killed and 56 were injured.

"More bodies may be in the debris," he told AFP, adding: "The exact figure of the dead bodies recovered as of now is 118... 56 people were injured."

CNN quoted the NEMA co-ordinator as saying: "The death toll stands at 118. This is the number of victims recovered from the scene of the explosions, but we are still searching through the smoldering debris for more bodies. Reuters quoted the NEMA co-ordinator as saying "We've now recovered 118 bodies from the rubble. This could rise by morning, as there is still some rubble we haven't yet shifted."

However, the AFP noted that, "the police in Plateau state, of which Jos is the capital, disputed the NEMA figure, and maintained that 46 were killed and 45 injured.

"We are saying 46," said state police commissioner Chris Olakpe. "That's the number we have in the morgues. But we are not ruling out more bodies."

However, the figure [of 118 deaths] cited by the National Emergency Management Agency is likely more accurate due to the fact that the agency is in charge of digging through the rubble and recovering the bodies.

Back to the initial AFP report:
"Scores died. Mostly women," Pam Ayuba, spokesman for Plateau state's Governor Jonah Jang, said earlier.

Boko Haram Islamists are widely believed to have active cells in Jos and have attacked the city before... The group claimed a July 2012 attack at a funeral outside the city that targeted mourners and the security services...

"What we are doing now is (trying) to evacuate the dead bodies... many of them are burnt beyond recognition," said Mohammed Abdulsalam, coordinator for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

"The fire is still raging. Many shops are consumed by the inferno," he said.

Rescue workers and the security services were struggling to control the crowd amid the chaos.

The bombings follow two separate attacks on the same bus station in a suburb of the capital, Abuja, on April 14 and May 1, that killed more than 90 people. The first was claimed by Boko Haram.

Four people were also killed on Sunday in a suicide car bomb attack in... the northern city of Kano that had been previously targeted by the group.
Michelle Obama, international celebrities and everyone else must respond firmly to the unspeakable violence with additional tweets, or it will be too late! Moreover, the public should send out tweets to the First Lady and demand that she "Bring Back The Twitter Campaign!", and that she continue to respond to the escalating violence with her extremely valuable and highly cherished tweets. Use the following hashtag - #BringBackOurTwitterCampaignMichelle!

We can win this thing - however, victory is ultimately dependent on Michelle Obama's Twitter Contingency Operation and our own twitter endeavors! So, let's huddle up to our keypads and tweet!


Monday, May 19, 2014

McShane shames religion, defames and denigrates religious opponents of gay marriage

U.S. District Judge Michael McShane, an openly gay Federal judge, who was appointed to the Federal court last year by President Obama, struck down Oregon's voter-approved same-sex marriage ban on Monday.

McShane, who is currently raising a child with his same-sex partner, has claimed rather disingenuously that he has no conflict of interest in the case because he has no intention of marrying his partner.

'McShane ruled the voter-approved ban unconstitutionally discriminates against same-sex couples, and he ordered the state to stop enforcing it,' the AP reported.

"I believe that if we can look for a moment past gender and sexuality, we can see in these plaintiffs nothing more or less than our own families," wrote McShane, who no doubt sees in these plaintiffs his own family, which consists of a gay couple and a son - whom, according to McShane, do not pose a conflict of interest.

After Oregon's Attorney General declined to defend the ban, the National Organization for Marriage sought to intervene in the court case and to represent voters who approved the 2004 state constitutional amendment which defined marriage as between one man and a woman, but McShane rejected its request.

Scotus Blog reported that McShane, who claims to have no personal conflict of interest in the case, "closed his opinion with a number of personal observations about an anti-gay game that was played in his youth and about how his son had recently looked at a sweater given him for Christmas and dismissed it, saying 'Dad….that is so gay.' This, the judge said, is part of the legacy that has been handed down to today’s generation from a “darker level” of gay bashing in the past."

McShane, in his written opinion, seems to base his ruling on the assertion that a ban on same sex marriage is discriminatory toward a particular sex orientation, namely gays, and deprives them of their equal rights

"It is beyond question that Oregon's marriage laws place burdens upon same-gender couples that are not placed upon opposite-gender couples." McShane writes. "This classification implicates the Equal Protection Clause ["A law declaring that in general it shall be more difficult for one group of citizens than for all others to seek aid from the government is itself a denial of protection of the laws in the most literal sense."] The Equal Protection Clause does not allow classifications drawn solely for the purpose of disadvantaging a particular group intentionally singled out for unequal treatment."

But of course, contrary to McShane's biased view [and his conflict of interest], there is nothing discriminatory about Oregon's marriage laws. For ultimately, the real question is: how do we define marriage? If we define marriage as being solely between a man and a woman, then only a man and woman couple can receive federal marital benefits. And, just as there is nothing discriminatory about depriving non married couples from receiving federal marital benefits, there is nothing discriminatory about depriving gay couples from receiving federal marital benefits, if their union does not fit the definition of "marriage".

McShane then goes on to besmirch and shame religion, which might prompt some to suggest that perhaps he should change his name to Michael "McShame":

"I am aware that a large number of Oregonians, perhaps even a majority, have religious or moral objections to expanding the definition of civil marriage (and thereby expanding the benefits and rights that accompany marriage) to gay and lesbian families," McShame writes. "It was' these same objections that led to the passage of Measure 36 in 2004.

"Generations of Americans, my own included, were raised in a world in which homosexuality was believed to be a moral perversion, a mental disorder, or a mortal sin. I remember that one of the more popular playground games of my childhood was called "smear the queer"... Even today I am reminded of the legacy that we have bequeathed today' s generation when my son looks dismissively at the sweater I bought him for Christmas and, with a roll of his eyes, says "dad ... that is so gay.

"It is not surprising then that many of us raised with such a world view would wish to protect our beliefs and our families by turning to the ballot box to enshrine in law those traditions we have come to value. But just as the Constitution protects the expression of these moral viewpoints, it equally protects the minority from being diminished by them."

After he finishes attacking religion and smearing all those whose religious beliefs compel them to oppose same sex marriage, Mr. McShame engages in a bit of hypocrisy and double talk, as he criticizes those who hurl "accusations of religious bigotry", when he himself just finished hurling "accusations of religious bigotry" and basically smeared all religious opponents of same sex marriage.

"It is at times difficult to see past the shrillness of the debate." McShane continues. "Accusations of religious bigotry and banners reading "the Lord Hates Fags" make for a messy democracy and, at times, test the First Amendment resolve of both sides. At the core of the Equal Protection Clause, however, there exists a foundational belief that certain rights should be shielded from the barking crowds;
that certain rights are subject to ownership by all and not the stake hold of popular trend or shifting majorities."

Sadly, however, the "popular trend" [and perhaps the shifting majorities] happens to be Mr. McShame and his phony talking points.

Ultimately, Mr. McShame is a bigoted and despicable hypocrite who assails and denigrates religion!

He should have been recused from this case due to conflict of interest - and his bigotry - but sadly Oregon is now stuck with McShane's convoluted, biased and prejudiced ruling.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Swiss voters reject minimum wage proposal fearing it will cause spike in country's low unemployment rate and damage Switzerland’s strong economy

Switzerland currently has no minimum wage; it also has a robust economy and one the lowest unemployment rates in the world [3.2 percent]. Hence the AP reported on Sunday:
Worried about upsetting Switzerland’s strong economy..., more than three-quarters of Swiss voters rejected a plan Sunday to create the world’s highest minimum wage...

The Swiss trade union’s idea of making the minimum wage 22 Swiss francs ($24.70) per hour fell flat by a vote of 76.3 percent opposed... Swit­zer­land has no minimum wage. [The proposal would have created Switzerland’s first minimum wage.]
From Reuters:
About 76 percent of voters... dismissed the proposal made by Swiss union SGB and backed by the Socialist and Green parties for a minimum wage of 22 Swiss francs ($25) per hour, final results showed.

The clear rejection of the proposed minimum wage... brings relief to business leaders worried the measure would have hurt competitiveness and damaged the Swiss workplace.

"If the initiative had been accepted, without doubt that would have led to job cuts, particularly in remote and structurally weaker regions," Swiss Economy Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann said at a news conference...

Swiss voters historically have vetoed what they feel are threats to the country's economic success
From the USA Today:
The Swiss Business Federation, Economiesuisse, said the results show that the Swiss people would not tolerate government intervention in a free-market economy.

“We were able to show that the initiative hurts low-paid workers in particular,” the group's president, Heinz Karrer said.

Forcing employers to hike wages can mean other cuts — including jobs. At 3.2 percent, Switzerland's unemployment rate is among the lowest globally.

Swiss Economics Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann warned that “if jobs are being cut, the weakest suffer most.”
From the AP:
Opinion polls had indicated that most voters... argued [the minimum wage proposal] would cost jobs and erode economic competitiveness...

Economy Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann said: "If the initiative had been accepted, it would have led to workplace losses, especially in rural areas where less qualified people have a harder time finding jobs."
Likewise, here in the US, the Congressional Budget Office reported in February that President Obama's proposed minimum wage increase would lead to more joblessness and put hundreds of thousands of Americans out of work. [And while it's true that President Obama is not seeking a $24.70 an hour minimum wage as was proposed in Switzerland, it is important to note that due to Switzerland's highly robust and competitive economy, the cost of living there is significantly higher, hence the proposed $24.70 an hour wage in Switzerland would be akin to a much smaller hourly wage here in the US (- about $14 an hour). (Bottom line, as the CBO confirmed in February, Obama's proposed wage increase would lead to even more joblessness. The Swiss people understand that concept, which is why they overwhelmingly rejected the minimum wage proposal in their country.)]

See February post:  CBO: Obama's proposed minimum wage increase would lead to even more joblessness

Additionally, small business owners in Switzerland also voiced concern that the Socialist Party's proposed minimum wage would price their products out of the market.

Friday, May 16, 2014

VA, Shinseki - Why isn't Obama resigning and being held accountable for negligence?

CNN's Jake Tapper on Thursday questioned White House chief of staff Denis McDonough about the deadly wait times at many VA hospitals, and asked him why the Obama administration "ignored" calls for VA reform. [See video below.]

"This letter from [Jeff Miller], the chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, from one year ago warns of dramatic problems at the VA, a perfect illustration of the management failures, deception, lack of accountability permeating VA's health care system, an alarming pattern of serious and significant patient care issues," Tapper said. "This was sent to President Obama in May 2013, according to Congressman [Jeff] Miller. His office got no response from the president. It was referred to General [Eric] Shinseki [the Secretary of Veterans Affairs] who, according to them, sent back boilerplate. This is a year ago [Mr. Miller] was warning about this."

Tapper went on to ask the White House chief of staff, "How many stories like this, how many letters like this, how many dead veterans" will it take before the White House decides to takes action to rectify the situation?

"This letter [from Congressman Miller] was sent a year ago, and you guys ignored it," Tapper said.

Tapper also asked McDonough why, for months, Secretary Shinseki rebuffed interview requests from reporters who were seeking information about the problems plaguing the VA hospitals - problems that have led to numerous fatalities among military veterans.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, last week, quoted President Obama as saying that he has full confidence in the VA Secretary and that he has no plans to ask for Shinseki's resignation - which prompted Tapper to ask McDonough, "How on earth can the president have full confidence in him?"

Tapper also asked the White House Chief of Staff why Shinseki is not being "held accountable" for his gross negligence.

However, an even bigger question that needs to be addressed is: Why isn't President Obama being held accountable for his own gross negligence, namely his prolonged and protracted silence and his refusal to respond to numerous pleas over the last year to take action to halt the growing wave of preventable veteran deaths?

Pray tell, is the President the only person on this planet who is immune to accountability?

Secretary Shinseki and President Obama should do the right thing and tender their resignations immediately. The negligence they've exhibited in disregarding the problems in the VA and ignoring the pleas for assistance has led to numerous unnecessary deaths among military veterans; it is time for Obama and Shinseki to step down.

Related Post: Scores of dead veterans do not share Obama's [feigned] confidence in Shinseki

Thursday, May 15, 2014

20-month old toddler, the latest US citizen to be abandoned by Obama; toddler's mother faces execution, Obama administration ignores pleas for help - Mr. President, #BringBackOurBoys now!

With the Obama administration ignoring the plight of a 20-month old boy - whose mother currently faces execution - and the plight of four other Americans held in captivity under the most horrific conditions, it's time to create a new Twitter Hashtag:  #BringBackOurBoys - now!

Reuters reported on Thursday:
A Sudanese court has sentenced a 27-year-old woman to death for converting to Christianity, judicial sources said.

Mariam Yahya Ibrahim had been ordered to abandon her newly adopted Christian faith and return to Islam. She had also been charged with adultery for marrying a Christian man.

Judge Abbas al Khalifa asked Ibrahim whether she would return to Islam. After she said "I am a Christian" the death sentence was handed down, the judicial sources said.

Outside the court, about 50 people held up signs that read "Freedom of Religion", while some Islamists celebrated the ruling...
However, the Reuters report that refers to the woman's "newly adopted Christian faith", is incorrect.  PJ Media reported on Wednesday that the woman's Muslim father abandoned the family when she was 6 years old, leaving her to be raised by her Orthodox Christian mother. Hence, Christianity was not her "newly adopted" faith, but rather her lifelong religion. In any case, Mrs. Ibrahim has been sentenced to death, and apparently, according to the following PJ Media report, the Obama administration couldn't care less.

Par for the course.

From PJ Media:
Meriam Yahia Ibrahim, 27, is a graduate of the school of medicine at Khartoum University and a lifelong Christian. Meriam met and married her naturalized American husband in Khartoum in 2012, and they have a 20-month old toddler son. Currently pregnant with their second child, Meriam was sentenced to death for apostasy and 100 lashes for adultery by the Public Order Court in El Haj Yousif, Khartoum, Sudan on May 11, 2014...

A year ago, a purported relative of Ibrahim opened a case against her (and her husband) in Halat Kuku Court of Khartoum North for alleged “adultery” under article 146 of the Sudan Criminal Code because of her marriage to a Christian. Ibrahim’s husband, Daniel Wani, was accused of proselytizing a Muslim, and eventually authorities added the apostasy charge to Ibrahim herself...

Ibrahim’s Sudanese Muslim father abandoned the family when she was 6 years old, leaving her to be raised by her Ethiopian Orthodox Christian mother... Three potential witnesses from Western Sudan who traveled to the hearing to validate Ibrahim’s lifelong adherence to Christianity were denied the opportunity to provide evidence. Indeed the refusal to accept such witness testimony, and denying a priori the validity of Ibrahim’s own claims, would be entirely consistent with a Sharia Court’s rejection (or dismissal) of non-Muslim testimony because infidels are deemed to be of a lower order of truthfulness...

Implying that her sentence might be annulled or reduced if she converted to Islam, the Public Order Court informed Mrs Ibrahim she had until tomorrow, Thursday, May 15, 2014 to pursue this option. Without remedial intervention—including by the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, and the U.S. State Department—the whipping and execution might be administered soon after giving birth to her second child, due next month.
And apparently, according to the Reuters report published on Thursday, Mrs Ibrahim missed the deadline.

PJ Media goes on to say:
How has the Obama Administration reacted to the grotesque (if Sharia-sanctioned) violation of Meriam Ibrahim’s basic human rights—including the incarceration of her 20-month old toddler son Martin, a U.S. citizen?

Daniel Wani described the unconscionable indifference to his wife and family’s plight. Re-affirming what is quite evident, “My wife was never a Muslim,” Wani—a U.S. citizen—pleaded with “the government of the USA to help me.” But Wani claims that when he called the U.S. Embassy on April 9, 2014 a representative in Khartoum informed him of their lack of interest in the case.

Noting that the couple’s toddler boy, Martin, is a U.S. citizen by virtue of his father’s U.S. citizenship, Daniel Wani also declared that U.S. Embassy officials in Khartoum have not cooperated in granting the family travel papers to leave The Sudan, and further have told him he must prove he is the father with a DNA test prior to even offering any assistance!

I have tried to apply for papers to travel to the USA with my wife and child, but the American Embassy in Sudan did not help me. My son is an American citizen living in a difficult situation in prison. I will have to take a DNA sample in Khartoum, then send it to the USA for testing. I have provided wedding documents and the baby’s birth certificate, and doors were closed on [my] face.

The Obama administration State Department’s despicable behavior may mark a new nadir in our capitulation to Sharia which now includes coldly allowing a U.S. citizen toddler to be abused by Islam’s totalitarian “legal system.“
Add Mrs. Ibrahim's 20-month old son to the list of US citizens who are languishing in captivity on foreign soil under the most frightening, horrific and inhumane conditions - a list which includes, among others, Saeed Abedini, Alan Gross, Andrew Tahmooressi, Robert Levinson etc. etc. etc.

Question: If indeed, the toddler's mother, Mrs. Ibrahim, is ultimately executed, will President Obama blame it on, A) An anti-Muslim video? B) George W. Bush? C) Republican hostage-takers? D) All of the above? E) All of the above and any other excuse Obama can concoct?

Mr. President, Bring back our boys now! #Bringbackourboys - now!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Biden, Kerry, Ukrainian gas company, MBNA - Conflict of Interests

Biden's latest conflict of interest:
One of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s sons has become a member of the board of a Ukrainian gas company linked to ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Burisma Holdings Ltd. says Hunter Biden, 44, joined its board earlier this month and is now in charge of its legal affairs.

Biden joined Burisma several weeks after Devon Archer joined the board to help recruit investors to the company. Archer, 39, was a college roommate of Christopher Heinz, a stepson of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry...

Both Biden and Archer are employees of Rosemont Seneca Partners, a U.S. investment company. It is affiliated with Rosemont Capital, a private-equity firm that Archer and [Christopher] Heinz co-founded...

In a statement on the Burisma [Ukrainian gas company's] website, Biden said the gas company “can be a strong driver of a strong economy in Ukraine. As a new member of the Board, I believe that my assistance in consulting the company... will contribute to the economy and benefit the people of Ukraine.”

Archer issued a similar statement.

Both Vice President Biden and Kerry have publicly expressed support of Ukrainians who demonstrated for closer ties with Europe and drove Yanukovych and his government, which had sought closer relations with Russia, from power.

Yanukovych’s ouster has led to violence between pro-Russia separatist rebels and the country’s military.

In the turmoil, gas has become a focus of the tensions between Ukraine and Russia. Ukraine gets most of its gas from the Russian government’s majority-owned gas company, Gazprom. Kiev accuses the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin of unfairly increasing gas prices to punish Kiev for establishing closer relations with the European Union.

Vice President Biden went to Kiev last month to offer U.S. expertise to help expand Ukraine’s domestic gas production...
You get the picture?

In August of 2008, a similar question of conflict of interest arose pertaining to Biden's ties to MBNA.

CBS reported at the time:
[Hunter Biden], a son of Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden was paid an undisclosed amount of money as a consultant by MBNA, the largest employer in Delaware, during the years the senator supported legislation that was promoted by the credit card industry and opposed by consumer groups. [The legislation made it harder for consumers to file for bankruptcy protection.]

MBNA employees have poured more than $200,000 into Biden's Senate campaigns over the past two decades, making donors working for the credit card company the senator's largest source of campaign money.
There is more to report on the Biden/MBNA connection, but why bother, you get the picture.....

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

French FM sharply criticizes Obama, says Assad still using chemical weapons; U.N. Mediator on Syria Quits

The Telegraph-UK reported last month that the Syrian regime was still using chemical weapons against civilians. "Chemical tests... now confirm that chlorine gas and ammonia have been used..., and that the toxins came from barrels that were dropped from helicopters, the Telegraph-UK reported. "The use in war of “asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases” - both of which can be produced by chlorine and ammonia - is banned by the Geneva Protocol, of which Syria is a signatory."

Likewise, on Tuesday,  both the French Foreign Minister and Human Rights Watch also said that Syria has been using chemical weapons [chlorine gas] against civilians. The French Foreign Minister faulted President Obama for failing to heed his own "red line" pledge in dealing with Syria's chemical weapons attacks.

In a related development, UN peace envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi announced his resignation at UN headquarters on Tuesday. Reuters reported last month that Mr. Brahimi was planning on tendering his resignation "largely out of frustration at Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's plans to hold an election in June." Reuters added that, "the vote is widely seen as a bid by Assad to defy widespread opposition and extend his grip on power." Another Western diplomat told Reuters: "Brahimi had indicated that he would resign if the election went ahead, so we're expecting his resignation."

From the AFP:
The United Nations peace envoy for Syria threw in the towel on Tuesday after failing to start a meaningful dialogue, as France accused Damascus of continuing to use chemical weapons.

In a double blow to the already frozen peace process, Lakhdar Brahimi announced his resignation at UN headquarters as French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius spoke in Washington.

Fabius accused Bashar al-Assad's regime of resorting to banned chemical weapons 14 times in recent months, despite having agreed to hand-over its deadly stockpile to international monitors.

"How much more destruction is there going to be before Syria becomes again the Syria we have known?" Brahimi asked as he confirmed weeks of rumors that he was stepping down.

Brahimi, who took over from the previous UN peace envoy in August 2012, said it was "very sad that I leave this position and leave Syria behind in such a bad state."...

Separately, [French Foreign Minister Laurent] Fabius told reporters in Washington that the 14 reported incidents showed that "in recent weeks, new, smaller quantities of chemical arms have been used, mainly chlorine."...

Fabius complained that President Barack Obama had failed to carry out threatened strikes against the Syrian regime last year after a sarin gas attack near Damascus killed hundreds of people.

"We regret it because we think it would have changed lots of things ... but what is done is done, and we're not going to rewrite history," Fabius told reporters...

Human Rights Watch said Tuesday it has evidence that "strongly suggests" the Syrian government used chlorine gas on three towns in mid-April.

It documented attacks on the towns of Kafr Zita in central Hama on April 11 and 18, Al-Temana in Idlib on April 13 and 18 and Telmans also in Idlib province on April 21. All are areas under rebel control.

"Evidence strongly suggests that Syrian government helicopters dropped barrel bombs embedded with cylinders of chlorine gas on three towns in northern Syria in mid-April 2014," Human Rights Watch said.
And the Syrian people can thank President Obama for that; he is clearly a strong and compassionate leader, and a man of his word.........

Russia: Obama won't ban our Rocket Engines, so we'll ban them for him! Heh!

Speaking at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, President Obama mocked then-Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney saying the latter's stance on Russian, US relations was proof that Mr. Romney was "stuck in a Cold War mind warp."

Likewise, during a presidential debate in October of 2012, the President derided Mr. Romney and told him: “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.”

I've argued, however, that the Cold War never really ended, although there was a brief hiatus in the Cold War, thanks to Ronald Reagan. Nevertheless, one thing is for certain: The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because President Obama has brought the Cold War back to a level that hasn't been seen in a long, long time:
Russia cast doubt on the long-term future of the International Space Station, a showcase of post-Cold War cooperation, as it retaliated on Tuesday against U.S. sanctions over Ukraine.

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Moscow would reject a U.S. request to prolong the orbiting station's use beyond 2020. It will also bar Washington from using Russian-made rocket engines to launch military satellites...

Moscow's response would affect NK-33 and RD-180 engines which Russia supplies to the United States, Rogozin said.
Wikipeida notes:
"For over 13 years since the RD-180 engine was first used in the Lockheed Martin Atlas III launch vehicle in 2000, there was never any serious jeopardy to the engine supply, despite an uneven record of US-Russian relations since the Cold War. But worsening relations between the west and Russia after March have led to several blockages, including a short-lived judicial injunction from the US courts that were unclear on the scope of the US sanctions on importing the Russian engine.

As of 13 May 2014, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin announced that "Russia will ban the United States from using Russian-made rocket engines for military launches", a frequent payload of the ULA Atlas V launch vehicle which powers its first stage with two RD-180 engines that are expended after each flight.
Aviation Week reported in March:
Recent tensions [between the US and Russia] have prompted some to question the reliability of U.S. access to the Russian-made RD-180 engine, which is used to power one of two rockets that loft national security payloads into orbit... If Russia were to hold the RD-180 hostage, the Defense Department estimates it would need $1 billion over five years to establish production on U.S. soil.
Why is the United States using Russian-made engines for its military satellites?

Who knows, but Lockheed Martin signed the sales agreement with the Russian manufacturer in 1997 and started using the engines in 2000 when Bill Clinton was President.

Ironically, a Federal Court in April issued a preliminary injunction preventing the federal government from making payments to the Russian company that manufactures the RD-180 rocket engines. The temporary injunction was put in place because some had argued that some of the cash could end up in the hands of Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin Rogozin, who is one of several Russian officials sanctioned by the Obama Administration.

The Obama administration, however, countered the Federal Court's decision, as Space Review explained:
By the following Tuesday, May 6, the three departments weighed in through separate letters. Officials with both the Treasury and State Departments concluded that the sanctions on Rogozin did not apply to RD-180 purchases since the government had not confirmed that Rogozin directly profited from them.

The current executive order, wrote State Department principal deputy legal advisor Mary McLeod, requires the Treasury and State Departments “make an affirmative determination to trigger blocking by the ‘controlled by’ provisions of the order,” she wrote. “As of the date of this letter, no such determination has been made with respect to NPO Energomash ,[the Russian manufacturer].” The Treasury Department provided a similar assessment, while the Commerce Department deferred to the other two agencies.
"The government had not confirmed that Rogozin directly profited from them." "As of the date of this letter, no "affirmative determination" had been made. Sounds like an evasive play on words. Heh...

The Federal Court eventually caved in and lifted the injunction, with the judge stipulating that, “If the Government receives any indication, however, that purchases from or payment of money to NPO Energomash by ULS, ULA, or the United States Air Force will directly or indirectly contravene Executive Order 13,661, the Government will inform the court immediately."

But apparently Mr. Rogozin decided today that, since President Obama was reluctant to impose a ban on the US import of RD-180 engines, he would take on the task himself and impose a Russian ban on the export of RD-180 engines to the US. Heh...

Oh, well, sometimes hardened Cold War adversaries will fill in their counterparts' weaknesses, if necessary. Heh....

It should ne noted, however, that Mr. Rogozin qualified the Russian ban by saying: "We are ready to deliver these engines but on one condition that they will not be used to launch military satellites." Which means Russia would permit the US to use the engines for NASA's spacecraft; some of NASA's spacecraft are currently equipped with the RD-180 engines.

So, perhaps Mr. Rogozin will pocket a little extra cash after all. Lol...

It is also worthy to note that Russian news sources reported in the summer of 2013 that the Russian government, at the time, was already considering banning exports of the RD-180 rocket engines for military satellites. Whether that report was true or not is anyone's guess.

Bear in mind that while the Ukranian fighting did not break out until 2014, tensions between President Obama and his Russian counterpart already started brewing in the summer of 2013. Hence, there may be some basis to the Russian news report.

Conclusion: All in all, Tuesday was a pretty good day for Cold War enthusiasts. In fact, the Obama Presidency, in general, has been a tremendous boon to Cold War enthusiasts...., and to those who might be "stuck in a Cold War mind warp." Heh....

Nevertheless, President Obama might be interested to learn that, “The 1980's are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back......."


Monday, May 12, 2014

Michelle Obama #BringBackOurGirls twitter pic - Abedini, Gross, Tahmooressi, Levinson - Total Hypocrisy!

Michelle Obama last week posted an Instagram photo on her twitter account of herself holding up a placard reading, "Bring back our girls", in response to the tragic abduction of 276 Nigerian schoolgirls last month by the Boko Haram Islamic terrorist organization. "It's time to #BringBackOurGirls", the First Lady added.

The question arises, however: To whom was Michelle Obama directing her message? To whom was she calling upon to bring back the girls?

The person largely responsible for spreading the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag campaign, is Ramaa Mosley, a Los Angeles mother of two, who wrote the following message to her readers on her BringBackOurGirls Facebook page:
What can you do?

People of Nigeria are marching in the streets to demand the rescue of the 300 school girls that were kidnapped. Starting now, let us march on social media... Include on your wall a link to the petition for people to sign asking The White House and World leaders to act.

STATE DEPARTMENT: Tweet @johnkerry
Apparently, Mosley was primarily targeting the White House with her BringBackOurGirls campaign, and pleading with President Obama and his administration to act immediately to rescue the abducted schoolgirls.

However, to the best of my knowledge, the First Lady is still on speaking terms with her husband. Hence, if the First Lady's twitter pic was intended to send a message to President Obama to rescue the Nigerian schoolgirls, she didn't need to resort to twitter to make that request; she could have approached the President and made the same request face-to-face; it's a lot simpler, more personable and certainly more effective.

We must assume, then, that Michelle Obama was directing her twitter message, not to her husband, but to the Nigerian government and to other world leaders, and pleading with them to help rescue the schoolgirls.

However, if that, indeed, was her intention, the First Lady now faces the sad prospect that the Nigerian government and world leaders will respond to her twitter pic by calling both her and the President 'Hypocrites'.

"Why are you asking us to help rescue these girls," the aforementioned leaders can easily respond, "when you two hypocrites refuse to lift your fingers to obtain the release of your own fellow countrymen - Saeed Abedini, Robert Levinson, Alan Gross, Andrew Tahmooressi and other American citizens - who are languishing in captivity on foreign soil under the most frightening, horrific and inhumane conditions?! Please tell us why?! We'd really like to know!"

Additionally, the aforementioned world leaders might mention the Obama administration's failure to launch a rescue operation to save the lives of four Americans who were killed in the terrorist attacks in Benghazi; they might want to mention that, and the ensuing cover-up of the facts surrounding the attacks.

However, there already is enough ammo to dish out without having to cite the Benghazi attacks, hence mentioning Benghazi would be superfluous and unnecessary.

Nevertheless, the second explanation as to why Michelle Obama posted the aforementioned twitter pic also appears to be incorrect because she would never call on world leaders to rescue the schoolgirls while knowing full well that they might call her and her husband out on their hypocrisy.

However, the third, and most likely rationale behind the aforementioned twitter pic is that Michelle Obama wasn't the least bit interested in helping to rescue the schoolgirls, but rather she was doing what she and her husband - the Campaigner-in-Chief - do best: engaging in another one of their typical and vintage PR stunts.

It goes without saying that the last explanation is the most simplest, logical and likely explanation of 'em all. Hence, my apologies to you for positing the first two explanations and for giving you the runaround.

Sorry, my bad........

Update: While noting the hypocrisy of Barack and Michelle Obama, and the latters' tweet in which she addresses the kidnapping of 276 Nigerian schoolgirls' by the Boko Haram terrorists, I forgot to mention that the Obama administration refused to label Boko Haram a terrorist organization until November of last year, despite the fact that thousands of innocent civilians had already been murdered in cold blood by Boko Haram, and despite Boko Haram's numerous attacks on Christian churches.

Several reasons have been proffered to explain the administration's egregious decision not to label the aforementioned cold-blooded terrorist organization a terrorist organization. However, none of this should come as any surprise to anyone who is familiar with the President's convoluted mindset.

It is also worthy to note what former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters in March of 2009, according to a Reuters news report, namely that the Obama administration had dropped the words "war on terror" from its lexicon.
"The (Obama) administration has stopped using the phrase and I think that speaks for itself. Obviously," Clinton told reporters traveling with her to The Hague for a conference on Afghanistan, which Bush called part of his "global war on terror.
Likewise, the Washington Post reported at the time:
The Obama administration appears to be backing away from the phrase "global war on terror"...

In a memo e-mailed this week to Pentagon staff members, the Defense Department's office of security review noted that "this administration prefers to avoid using the term... 'Global War on Terror' [GWOT.] Please use 'Overseas Contingency Operation.' "
A spade is a spade, an orange is an orange, the Republicans are hostage-takers and a terrorist..., well..., I'm not sure what a terrorist is, but one thing is certain: a terrorist is definitely not a terrorist. Period!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Iran unveils copied version of captured US Drone

From the AFP:
Iran said on Sunday it has succeeded in copying an [advanced radar-evading] US drone it captured in December 2011, with state television broadcasting images apparently showing the replicated aircraft.

Tehran captured the US RQ-170 Sentinel in 2011 while it was in its airspace...

"Our engineers succeeded in breaking the drone's secrets and copying them. It will soon take a test flight," an officer said in the footage.

The broadcast showed supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's visit to an exhibition organized by the powerful Revolutionary Guards air wing about Iran's military advances, particularly regarding ballistic missiles and drones.

Footage showed two nearly identical drones, [the captured US drone, and Iran's duplicate drone].

"This drone is very important for reconnaissance missions," Khamenei said, standing in front of the Iranian copy of the American unmanned aircraft.

Iran said it had taken control of the ultra hi-tech drone and forced it down in the desert where it was recovered nearly intact.

Washington said it had lost control of the aircraft...

Iran has been working to develop a significant drone programme of its own, and some of its unmanned aircraft have a range of hundreds of kilometres (miles) and are armed with missiles.

The state broadcaster also showed images that the commentary said had been recorded by an Iranian drone above a US aircraft carrier in the Gulf.

In the pictures, which were relatively clear, it was possible to see American personnel working on planes and helicopters aboard the vessel.
Shortly after the drone went down, President Obama pleaded with the Islamic republic to return the drone.

"We have asked for it back — we'll see how the Iranians respond," Obama told reporters at the time.

But the Iranians - who apparently do not share Obama's naivety - rebuffed his groveling and servile plea.

CNN quoted Vice President Dick Cheney as saying at the time that President Obama had three options on his desk but rejected all of them:
“They involved sending somebody in to try to recover it or, if you can’t do that, and admittedly that would be a difficult operation, he certainly could have gone in and destroyed it on the ground with an air strike,” Cheney said.

“But he didn’t take any of the options. He asked nicely for them to return it. And they aren’t going to do that,” the former Vice President said...

Instead of returning the drone, Cheney said the Iranians will likely “send it back in pieces after they’ve gotten all the intelligence they can out of it."
Regarding Obama's plea for the drone to be returned, I noted in January of 2012 as follows:
Apparently, the President's no-nonsense approach, and his stern demeanor, had the Iranians shaking in their boots.

An Iranian company announced Tuesday that it will send President Obama a toy replica of the drone, 1/80th the size of the real thing. Toy copies of the drone, bearing the inscription "We will trample the U.S," will be sold in Iranian stores for 4 or 5 dollars.

According to one report, a group of Iranian youths decided to produce and begin selling the toy.

No doubt the White House will respond in kind with a heartfelt 'Thank You' letter.

The letter, I assume, will read as follows:
The President has received your gift and is deeply appreciative of this most gracious and benevolent gesture.

Mr. Obama had requested the return of the drone, but you went one step better and exceeded all expectations with this wonderful gift. Thank you.

Enclosed you will find an assortment of Commemorative Baby Dolls of Mr. Obama that captures the "Yes, We Can" spirit of our 44th President. It is a gift from the President to you and to your beneficent regime.

Wishing you and the regime continued success.

The White House.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Scores of dead veterans do not share Obama's [feigned] confidence in Shinseki

From CNN:
Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki told the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that he will not resign in the wake of his department being accused of deadly delays in health care at some of its hospitals.

"I serve at the pleasure of the president," Shinseki told the newspaper when asked whether he would step down...

The White House stood its ground when asked whether Shinseki will continue to lead the department...

"The President remains confident in Secretary Shinseki's ability to lead the department and take appropriate action," [press secretary] Jay Carney said [on Thursday], repeating the White House response this week to two veterans groups' calls for Shinseki's ouster...

On Monday, the nation's largest veteran organization, the American Legion, and another veterans group, Concerned Veterans for America, called for Shinseki's resignation.

The calls came after months of CNN reporting on U.S. veterans who have died awaiting care at VA hospitals across the country, including in Phoenix...

CNN has been reporting on delays in care and patient deaths at VA hospitals for the past six months, including at hospitals in South Carolina, Georgia and Texas.

After CNN's coverage, the VA acknowledged in April that 23 veterans had died as a result of delayed care in recent years, but sources tell CNN that number could be much higher.

In an exclusive report two weeks ago, CNN interviewed a retired VA doctor from Phoenix who charged that more than 40 American veterans have died waiting for care at the VA hospital there.

Throughout the network's reporting, CNN has submitted numerous requests for an interview with Shinseki, but in the six months that CNN has been reporting on the delays, Shinseki has yet to speak to CNN.

CNN is not alone in getting virtually no response from VA officials.

U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller of Florida, chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, issued this statement late Monday: "For nearly a year, we have been pleading with top department leaders and President Obama to take immediate steps to stop the growing pattern of preventable veteran deaths and hold accountable any and all VA employees who have allowed patients to slip through the cracks.

"In response, we've received disturbing silence from the White House and one excuse after another from VA."
It is both incomprehensible and difficult to believe that President Obama - over the course of the last several years, while he was feigning empathy for the plight of military veterans - was incognizant of the widespread scandalous behaviors that were taking place inside the VA, and that he was unaware of all the unwarranted and unnecessary deaths.

Moreover, Rep. Miller stated that, for nearly a year, he pleaded with Obama to address the issue, but apparently the President already had too much on his plate - various fundraisers etc. - hence he could not find the time to deal with all these unnecessary deaths.

"The President remains confident in Secretary Shinseki's ability to lead the department and take appropriate action," said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Thursday. Nevertheless, I can assure the President and Mr. Carney that the scores of military veterans who have died as a result of the scandalous behavior that has permeated the VA, do not share the President's confidence in Mr. Shinseki. Moreover, I do not believe that Mr. Obama shares his own [feigned] confidence in Mr. Shinseki, but rather, the President is supporting the VA Secretary because the latter was an Obama appointee who was tapped to lead the VA partially because he was perceived as someone who, while serving as Army Chief of Staff, did not see eye-to-eye with the Bush administration.

Hence, while Obama undoubtedly realizes that Shinseki has been an irresponsible and egregious Veterans Affairs Secretary, he will continue to support the latter because..., well, because in Obama's world, politics - and arrogance - supersedes all other matters, including matters of life and death.

The American Legion is right to call for Shinseki's resignation. However, the indifference that the President has shown to the veterans' plight, the inaction and the lack of response to the various pleas he has received to address the aforementioned problem, I believe, is also cause for Obama's resignation.

Of course, that will never happen. But I can assure you that the President, long ago, was fully aware of the VA scandal.

On the flip side, with all that was on Obama's plate - the countless fundraisers, golf outings etc. - can you really blame him for being derelict in his duties?

"But military veterans died as a result of Obama's dereliction of duty," you ask indignantly!?

True, but "What difference does it make!!?"......

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Yemen isn't Benghazi, hence Obama closes the embassy there amid terrorist threat

Despite a slew of attacks against Western targets that occurred in Benghazi prior to the September 11, 2012 terrorist attacks - including a couple of attacks on the US consulate - the Obama administration chose not to close down the consulate due to political reasons. What's more, requests for additional security at the consulate were turned down because, after all, President Obama had supposedly ushered in a new sense of tranquility in Libya [heh], and thus providing additional security at the consulate would have reflected poorly on Mr. Obama and his Libyan policy.

However, the same can not be said of the terrorist threat in Yemen. Unlike Benghazi, where Obama's actions brought about absolute chaos and created a brand new terrorist foothold - in Yemen, it is Obama's inaction that is the problem; he didn't create the terror there, he merely allowed the terrorist threat to multiply.

Hence, the President can close down the US embassy in Yemen, if he deems it necessary, because doing so would not reflect poorly on him - because he did not create the problem there. Besides, Obama already won a second term in office, and thus he can easily close down the embassy there without suffering any political repercussions. Hence, the AFP reported on Thursday:
The US embassy was closed to the public Thursday in Yemen after a spate of attacks against foreigners.

"The embassy is closed today. And this will remain in effect until further notice," an employee at the US mission in a heavily-guarded neighborhood in northeast Sanaa, told AFP.

Police were deployed along all roads leading to the embassy and conducted a thorough inspection of vehicles in the vicinity...

State Department spokeswoman Jan Psaki said Wednesday that the embassy would be temporarily closed to the public "due to recent attacks against Western interests in Yemen".

These attacks "and information we have received have given us enough concern to take this precautionary step," she said in a statement...

The interior ministry said it was searching for suspects whose vehicles were involved in recent attacks in Sanaa after "five Al-Qaeda terrorists" were arrested in several parts of the capital...

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), [a merger of Al-Qaeda in Yemen and Saudi Arabia], is seen by the United States as the network's deadliest franchise...

AQAP leader Nasser al-Wuhayshi vowed, in a rare video appearance last month, to attack Western "crusaders" wherever they are.
Unlike Benghazi, Obama's got nothing to lose by closing the US embassy in Yemen, so, the embassy staff there, hopefully, will be spared the same fate as the Benghazi victims.