Saturday, September 29, 2012

Scandal: Obama, Libya, Lies, and Al Qaeda


As when I wrote about "Actionable Intelligence," I want to make sure not to rat out some of my friends in State and CIA, or violate my oath to protect classified information and procedures.

With that qualifier, the attack on the US facility in Benghazi is a scandal of--literally--murderous proportions. The lack of concern for even basic security procedures, the mishandling of intelligence information, the willful blindness towards the causes of the attack, and the outrageous and outright lying to cover up the incompetence by Carney, Rice, Clinton, Obama, and now Clapper is breath-taking.

The late Ambassador Stevens, I am sorry to say, has a share of the blame for the failure to use common sense and to behave in a manner that would have protected him and his people. This failure  cost him his life and those of three other Americans, and apparently produced a catastrophe for US interests.

I will be criticized for criticizing a murdered Ambassador, but he was the man in charge. His greatest apparent shortcoming, and I would gladly retract this and apologize if the evidence points elsewhere, was allowing that facility, which apparently played a key role in our intel efforts in the region, to operate with nothing that approximated even basic security standards. In addition, he drew attention to the facility by announcing that he would go to Benghazi, and that he would inaugurate an "American Corner" there. He did this although, apparently, he had concerns about the security of the facility in Benghazi, as well as his own safety, i.e., he worried that he was on an Al-Qaeda hit list. That seems irresponsible behavior. Again, if I am wrong I will apologize. What had he told Washington about his concerns? What actions had he recommended? What, if any, was the response?

The facility in Benghazi was not a regular consulate despite what the press has been saying. It is not clear what exactly that facility was--it does not appear on the Embassy Tripoli website or in the State Department's list of consulates--but appears to have been operated on the bureaucratic sly to enable it to avoid expensive and time-consuming security requirements. The Near East (NEA) head, the Diplomatic Security (DS) head, the Undersecretary for Management (M), the Deputy Secretary (D), and the Secretary of State (S), and, of course, the CIA Director, and the head of the NSC, knew this, or should have, and should be fired--if they did not, they also should all be fired. Any investigation must focus on what functions the facility performed, and what risk assessment had been made; in other words, what were the pros and cons of running this place? Was it worth the risk of operating it under the conditions it did? Maybe the answer is "yes," but it sure does not look that way.

I see there is now a concerted effort to blame the Republican Congress for cutting the State Department's budget for security. Nonsense. Quite aside from the fact that State is overfunded, and wastes lots of money, if this facility was so important to a variety of agencies and at such risk, the money could not be found in somebody's budget? If it could not, then we are back to basic questions: Why was the facility there? Why was the ambassador, who had his own security concerns calling attention to it by visiting on, of all dates, 9/11?

The DNI statement put out yesterday in which the intel community seeks to shield the administration is one of the stupidest such statements I have read,
“In the immediate aftermath (of the assault), there was information that led us to assess that the attack began spontaneously following protests earlier that day at our embassy in Cairo. . . . We provided that initial assessment to executive branch officials and members of Congress, who used that information to discuss the attack publicly. . . .
 As we learned more about the attack, we revised our initial assessment to reflect new information indicating that it was a deliberate and organized terrorist attack carried out by extremists. . . . It remains unclear if any group or person exercised overall command and control of the attack, and if extremist group leaders directed their members to participate. . . However, we do assess that some of those involved were linked to groups affiliated with, or sympathetic to, al Qaida.”

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/09/28/170078/intelligence-office-says-it-got.html#storylink=cpy”

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/09/28/170078/intelligence-office-says-it-got.html#storylink=cpThe senior people in Washington also knew that the facility had been attacked and the Ambassador murdered not by "folks," as the hopeless hack Ambassador Rice labelled them, but by Islamist terrorists; yet, it engaged in a massive campaign of lies and cover-up. Why? Because this misadministration did not want to fight the "war on terror," and essentially declared it over especially after the killing of UBL. They had done what Bush could not do; they had "destroyed" AQ. It no longer was a major playeMore importantly, this horrid administration put all its Middle East eggs in the "Arab Spring" basket. Thanks to Obama, the Middle East was no longer supposed to be the Middle East: we favored the Palestinians, demanded Israel commit suicide by returning to the pre-67 borders, bowed to the Saudis, helped push Mubarak and Qaddafi out of power, fled from Iraq, and made nice with the Muslim Brotherhood. Along with the dopey Nobel Peace Prize committee, Obama seemed convinced--certainly his followers at State, as I know from personal experience, were--that he would exercise a magical spell over the world. He would transform the planet with the force of his oratory and personality. Muslim opposition to the United States would cease, as the United States ceased to be a nation of importance in the worldThe events of September 11, 2012 did not fit the narrative of the post-Bush new age.   Blame on Al Qaeda
If this is true about the DNI's initial analysis, then the DNI chief, political appointee General Clapper, needs to be fired, as well. The DNI must be incredibly incompetent. In the past, let us not forget, DNI analysis of the Iranian nuclear program was a joke. This statement, designed to give the administration cover, ignores that the great administration lie blitz came days after the attack and has continued to this day. This statement also has some blatant stupidity, to wit, "it remains unclear" if somebody directed the attack. What utter rubbish!

What we are seeing is more than a failure of intelligence. It is a monstrous example of an unforced error. The Obama misadministration and the compliant bureaucracy convinced themselves that things were now different. They were certain that with the election of Obama, of Nobel Laureate Obama, the Middle East and the Muslim world no longer would be the Middle East and the Muslim world. That thanks to Obama's Third World connections, soaring rhetoric, good intentions, and loud "mea culpas" on behalf of Western civilization, all of America's past sins had been forgiven. We had entered the Golden Age of Peace, Love, Democracy, and Equality. I am not exaggerating. I saw this same mentality at work, for example, in the misadministration's policies towards Latin America, where groveling and self-flagelation were the orders of the day. There was a persistent disbelief in the evil of the Castro, Chavez, etc., regimes, and in their commitment to destroying the US. "Everybody loves President Obama," we were told.

We saw this self-delusion in action in the statement by White House spokesman Carney that the violent attacks on our embassies and facilities in the Muslim world were merely the result of a silly 14-minute video clip and not aimed at America or the Obama administration. We saw it in the insistence by Rice and others that the Benghazi attack was not a pre-planned terrorist action (we still see that in the DNI statement.) It was just "folks" who got a bit out of hand.

The next step will be, as predicted earlier, to blame it all on some small group of extremists that are not with the democracy wave now "sweeping" the Middle East. We will see some drones or SEALs in action, and some bad guys will die, and deservedly so. To see, however, Al Qaeda or other terrorists as some sort of alien graft onto the Muslim world ignores the basic issue: the nature of modern Islam, a totalitarian ideology that resorts to violence and the constant threat of violence to hold sway. Today's Islam provides the perfect environment for the terrorists.

The practitioners of the Islamic ideology hate us; they want us either as their servants or dead. No speech, no apology, no arrest of a film-maker, no sporadic killing of this or that terrorist will do. This is a long, long struggle in which the West must remain true to its core beliefs, and be ready, willing, and able to inflict defeat after defeat on the jihadis until there is a drive from within the Muslim world to reform and to adopt a more enlightened attitude toward the rest of humanity.

Obama is not up to that task.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Rant: The Presidential Debates

I have read lots of suggestions being given to Governor Romney for the debates. I don't know how useful it is to throw out too many. If you prepare somebody too much, cram his head with too many themes, you run the risk of mistakes and having the candidate terrified of saying anything. Whenever I had to brief the press or engage in a debate with somebody, I would decide on the three points I was going to make, and would keep making them in different ways, regardless of what was asked. Keep it simple, uncluttered, truthful, and deliver it with a smile.

That said--as "they" say just before "they" ignore what was just said--my suggestion is "no mercy." Don't let Obama get away with anything. Remind us about Solyndra; about the fact that we have enormous coal reserves yet are putting coal miners out of work; that we have perhaps the world's largest oil reserves, and yet gasoline prices have doubled; and the energy that would liberate us from the Middle East is not getting "fracked" or piped in from Canada. Remind him of the deficit he so wants us to forget about, and what deficits can do to a country as we see in Greece and Spain. Call him on his lies, fumbles, and grandiloquent promises. Don't let him forget "you didn't build that," or "bumps in the road." Don't let him forget his promise to cut the deficit in half and his assertion that if he couldn't fix the economy his presidency should be a "one term proposition." Never forget the millions of unemployed, the ballooning food stamp rolls, the small businesses groaning under mounting regulation and cost, and the new wave of home foreclosures about to break.

The number one thing to be aware of is the people running the debate. The moderators and the questioners will be mainstream media; they want Obama to win; they are working to get Obama re-elected. They will want to focus on stupid issues such as contraception and gay marriage, not on our collapsing economy and our disintegrating foreign policy. Don't answer stupid questions. Do a Newt. Zero in on the absurd assumptions that underlie many of those questions.

"Contraception? You can buy it for next to nothing at WalMart. Is that the issue that really concerns Americans at a time when gas prices have doubled, the real unemployment rate is in double digits, our credit rating is being downgraded, our embassies are flying Al Qaeda flags and our diplomats being dragged through the streets? Is that the issue for women when they can't find jobs, make their car and mortgage payments, pay their student loans, and see their kids in substandard schools?"

"Marriage? I have the same position that President Obama had until a few weeks ago when he flipped for electoral reasons."

"My tax returns? The issue is what Obama is doing with all of our tax money. Giving it to his friends at Solyndra and paying interest to the Chinese, I guess. The issue is how do we get more Americans working and earning so that they can pay taxes and feed their kids. This President has no idea how to do that."

"Foreign policy? A Romney administration would not lie to the American people as we have seen this administration do re the Benghazi attack. A Romney administration would never allow a Fast and Furious Operation which murdered hundreds of Mexicans and killed at least one US agent, Brian Terry. A Romney administration would never consider the legitimate security concerns of Israel to be 'just noise.' A Romney administration would make sure that Iran understands that there will not be another Holocaust. A Romney administration would never apologize for our adherence to freedom. A Romney administration would make sure that we are respected by friend and foe, not ridiculed and ignored."

The biggest problem for Governor Romney, and for any Republican candidate, is not the debate itself. I have no doubt that the Governor is considerably more knowledgable and qualified for elected office than the President. The problem, as we have seen with the fake polls being put out by the media, is the post debate spin. Any slight stumble, error, joke gone awry, or just "appearing too mean," will be endlessly pointed out, taken out of context, and the media hive will spread far-and-wide the image of a candidate who is out of touch, or just stupid. There is not much a Republican can do about that except keep telling the truth. As we have seen with the collapse of the Libya Lies, the truth will out despite the mainstream media.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

When Not to Haggle

Taking a little break from campaigning against the incompetent, lying Obama misadministration, and its latest stunts: pushing dubious polling results, and a continually evolving narrative on Libya to try to convince us that we are all idiots. I anticipate some sort of US retaliation in Libya soon, which will have the Obamistas developing yet another narrative claiming that with their lies they were just lulling the enemy into a false sense of confidence. Sigh, these people are hopeless. We need a change.

Instead of dealing with all that, I am on another trip down memory lane. Just like that old fart neighbor you never want to invite to your barbecue, "Hey, that reminds me of when I was going down the Zambezi, and . . . "  In keeping with our President, I apologize for the fact that we still live in a free country. You can turn away and read something else, or you can have the Sheriff question me at midnight. I just want to write down some of this stuff before I forget it.

If you want a treaty negotiated, a tough set of talking points delivered, or a UN or OAS resolution drafted or destroyed, call me. A fierce and determined negotiator, I, however, am a terrible shopper. Nowadays, I buy everything over the internet to avoid that personal interaction scenario. I most emphatically hate and fear haggling, despite having spent most of my life in places where haggling is expected. In those countries, if you do not haggle over the price of shoes, tomatoes, oranges, grapes, brass candlesticks, or carpets, to name a few items, then you have "LOSER SUCKER" indelibly stamped on your forehead; your wallet is seen as the common inheritance of all mankind. You are Hester Prynne with her scarlet letter; you are Cain with his mark; you are, you are, well, you are me. Fortunately for me, however, I acquired a pretty good compensation for my failing: a Spanish wife with haggling in her DNA. Unsuspecting realtors, landlords, rug merchants, contractors, and car dealers never knew what hit them. She grinds them down until they cry--and then presses them some more. Legions of vendors all over the world have crossed swords with her, and come out second best. One car dealer in Florida made me promise never to bring her back, as he handed me the keys to my Bronco, along with a huge discount. After our visit to the bazaar in Marrakech, rumor had it that her picture was posted with instructions for merchants to slam down their shutters, and flee on sight. Our home's decor and our exploding self-storage unit serve as testaments to her haggling skills. Never mention "fixed price" around her.

I only saw her lose once: in Pakistan. This is that story.

Back when I knew it, Islamabad was a raw, unfinished town. It had become the new Pakistani capital in the 1960s to replace overcrowded and Sindhi-dominated Karachi, appease the Punjabis, the country's largest ethnic group, and generate lots of building contracts. The city also served as a "golden cage" for foreigners; the Pakistanis tried to discourage travel by diplomats to the rest of Pakistan. Islamabad was marked by Brasilia-style monuments and architecture, cavernous government buildings, big concrete houses with high walls, wide avenues, and an attempt at organizing the city into numbered sections with a logical lay out of shops, restaurants, roads, and addresses. It stood in contrast to the adrenaline-inducing chaos in nearby Rawalpindi and in every other Pakistani city. It was relatively clean; public services worked fairly well; the air was not polluted; traffic was not bad; and except for when mobs sought to attack the embassy, it proved relatively easy and safe to get around. It also had a lot of roads to nowhere: a broad sweeping boulevard, for example, might run a mile or two, and then revert to a narrow dirt road that would end among a collection of mud huts. Construction was a bit haphazard; over the years, different governments devoted differing levels of funding and priority to finishing the capital. I have not been there in years, and don't know how it looks now.

In those ancient days, we had a small four-door Chevy Chevette, our first new car. It was a pretty good machine, and quite peppy once I removed the stupid catalytic converter--and, of course, my wife had gotten a good price from the dealer in Virginia. My little Chevette, however, had one little issue: as it was "Made in USA," it put the driver on the left. In Pakistan, traffic moves British-style, on the left side of the road, most of the time. That meant the driver sat kerb-side. When trying to pass a lumbering truck or bus, you could not easily see if another lumbering truck or bus headed your way as you down-shifted, said your prayers, and pulled out to pass on the right. This maneuver could result particularly tricky at night. Pakistanis often drove with their lights off, convinced that "prolonging" the lives of their batteries compensated for the risk of shortening their own. Religious scholars can debate if you have claim on any virgins or raisins if you die saving a battery. Bottom line: when helming a left-hand-drive car in Pakistan, it helped to have a passenger in that right seat with iron nerves, a good sense of distance and speed, and a paid up life insurance policy.

Back from weeks in dusty, agitated, and anarchic Peshawar, we were enjoying the clean, calm, and boring capital. One afternoon, the Diplowife and I cruised on a paved but not completely finished road in one of the more "raw" sections of town. The road had considerable amounts of idled construction equipment scattered along its shoulders, but not much traffic. It began to rain. "Rain" is an understatement. It is a tired cliche, but the water came down in sheets, thick curtains that reduced visibility almost to zero, and created instant mini-lakes in the street. Slowing to a first-gear crawl, I leaned forward in my seat, straining to see ahead, windshield wipers maniacally struggling with the monsoon. My peripheral vision picked up a dark shadow moving towards the front on the right. My wife said, "Careful! Some idiot on a bicycle is passing us!"

Let me digress for a moment. Pakistan has amazing bicycle riders. I never understood why Pakistan has not produced an endless list of Tour de France victors. Poor Pakistanis would ride big, heavy, black, one-gear Chinese-made bicycles over the most incredible terrain, in all sorts of weather, at high speed, and over long distances often carrying all sorts of stuff and even a passenger or two. It was awe inspiring.

One of these riders was now passing us in the rain. A good rider, however, is not necessarily smart person. Here we had a case in point. The blur slowly pulled ahead and disappeared into the rain. A few seconds later, an incredible sound came up through the floorboards: crunching metal, breaking glass, screams, something dragging. My wife yelled, "I think he's under the car!"

Ol' Mohammed "Lance" Khan, not happy with just passing us, had cut sharply left across the front of our Chevette, losing forward momentum, letting us catch, and, well, T-bone him. I stopped the car, left the engine on, told my wife to stay put and lock the doors, jumped out into the rain, and circled to the front. There he was, wedged tight with his bike under the car, alternately yelling and moaning. The rain, of course, intensified as I tried to pull him out. I had to lie prone on the muddy street to pull and twist the bike handlebars and the bent front wheel. I slowly dragged him out. He looked in bad shape: bloody, groggy, and incoherent. I stood up, trying to figure out how to put him into my car, and then noticed we were not alone. Despite the downpour, a crowd had formed around the car. Dozens of young men squatting or standing a few feet away, just watching. Nobody offered to help. They just watched. Their numbers growing, pushing closer. Beginning to feel very alone and vulnerable, I pointed at the supine cyclist and said in Urdu, "Help me! Hospital!" Nobody moved. They were muttering. The mood was getting ugly. No way I would make it to the car.

Let me digress for another moment. Thinking back, this event reminded me of the old joke about the pastor who upon seeing the flood waters rise, decided to wait for a sign from God before vacating his church. A parishioner came by in his 4X4 and offered the reverend a lift. "No, I await a sign from God." The waters rose further, and another member of his flock came by in a boat. Again, the reverend demurred, "Waiting for a sign from God." The reverend made his way to the roof; a Coast Guard helicopter came and lowered its hoist. Again, no, he would wait. The pastor drowns, goes to heaven, and angrily confronts God, "I was waiting for your sign. You let me drown!" God replies, "I sent you a jeep, a boat, and a helicopter. What more did you want?"

Well, now I, like that apocryphal reverend, very much needed a sign, and pronto . . . a large white taxi van came slowly pushing its way through the crowd, and halted a few feet from me. The Pakistani cabbie got out, and said in perfect English, "Sir, this could get very troublesome. I suggest you pay the injured cyclist two hundred rupees {about twenty dollars} and let me take him away before these people exact vengeance." He turned to the crowd and yelled at them in Urdu, Punjabi, and Pashto. They backed up a bit. "I told them you acknowledge your fault and will pay an ample compensation." This sounded fine: it was worth twenty bucks to get out of this mess. My calculations, however, had not factored in the DNA of the lady in the car.

I helped the taxi driver put the bicyclist and his bag of smashed cola bottles inside the van, and tie the mangled bike to the roof rack. I edged back to the Chevette, smiling at the crowd, and tapped on the window. The Diplowife partially lowered the window. I explained the arrangement.

"Give me two hundred rupees."
"What? It was his fault! He should give us two hundred rupees! No way!"
"Give me two hundred rupees before we get killed."
"No way! Tell him one hundred, and he must promise to be more careful."
"Give me two hundred rupees."
"I am going to talk to him!"
"No! Give me two hundred rupees, now! Please!"
"Sir," the cabbie, standing close behind me, water pouring off his nose, nervously interjected, "this does not look good. We must end this incident, now."

The Diplowife reluctantly relented, passing me two one hundred rupee notes. I gave them to the cabbie. He held the soggy bills over his head for all to see, and loudly proclaimed, "Alhamdulilah! It is finished!"

The men began to melt away. The rain petered out. I was left standing wet, cold, muddy, but thankfully alone in the middle of the street: the Chevette's four cylinders still happily banging away.

I don't know if that taxi driver gave the money to the "victim." He might have been a scam artist, but sometimes salvation comes in unexpected forms. When it does, don't haggle.



Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Liars (Another in a Series on Obama and Libya)

In an entry last week I labelled the Obamistas "liars" for their account of what happened in Benghazi. That post was in addition to earlier ones (here and here) and a subsequent one along the same theme, as well as others.

We now see a virtual flood of information pouring out that completely washes away the Obama misadministration's efforts at "spin," oh, hell with that, at lying to the American people. There is an excellent piece in The Daily Beast by Eli Lake which further confirms that the misadministration knew it was sending out its spokesmen to lie,
Within 24 hours of the 9-11 anniversary attack on the United States consulate in Benghazi, U.S. intelligence agencies had strong indications al Qaeda–affiliated operatives were behind the attack, and had even pinpointed the location of one of those attackers. Three separate U.S. intelligence officials who spoke to The Daily Beast said the early information was enough to show that the attack was planned and the work of al Qaeda affiliates operating in Eastern Libya.
This jibes 100% with what my own friends at State and CIA were telling me. Lake, furthermore, notes something my contacts did not tell me: apparently within hours the intel agencies had a couple of names and even addresses of individuals involved.

In addition, check out what Libya's leader has told NBC,
President Mohamed Magarief discounted claims that the attack was in response to a movie produced in California and available on YouTube. He noted that the assault happened on Sept. 11 and that the video had been available for months before that.
"Reaction should have been, if it was genuine, should have been six months earlier. So it was postponed until the 11th of September," he said. "They chose this date, 11th of September to carry a certain message."
Common sense, how about that? We had to wait for the President of Libya to hear some common sense from a leader re this attack. Contrast this with what Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, Jim Carney, Victoria Nuland, and, oh, yes, President Obama have been saying. Try not to get too sick.

How will the Obamistas spin this latest hit on their silly edifice of lies? Will they just ignore the whole thing, this "bump in the road," and trust their friends in the media to forget about it in the interest of the "greater good," i.e., re-electing Obama?

Obama must go.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Obama AWOL

No symbol more aptly encapsulates the Obama presidency than the empty chair made famous by the late-blooming political genius Clint Eastwood. That empty chair even more accurately sums up the Obama presidency now than when Eastwood brought it on stage in Tampa some three weeks ago. An accurate and funny symbol, the empty chair is also sad and catastrophic. We are talking about the President of the United States, not some small-town mayor, PTA chairman, derelict rural dog catcher, or a European Minister of Sport. Because of that empty chair, Americans get murdered, and our nation comes under assault by adherents of the "religion of peace." Western civilization is put at risk.

The Middle East in flames; our closest ally in the region, Israel, in mortal danger; our diplomatic missions under assault; an American ambassador and his staff murdered and dragged through the streets; Egyptian and Pakistani politicians, whom our tax dollars support, lecturing us on the need to abandon our core principles; and our President nowhere to be seen. Well, I take that back. Our "eye candy" President, as he arrogantly described himself on TV, is seen, but not acting as President: in Las Vegas picking up a check from campaign contributors; on 60 Minutes describing our murdered diplomats as a "bump in the road" and dismissing PM Netanyahu's concerns as "noise" to be blocked out; partying with Beyonce and Jay-Z; and, of course, appearing holding hands with his silly and ignorant wife, Michelle, on the vacuous The View. At a time of enormous economic, political, and security distress--e.g., our close ally Japan faces a major direct challenge from China, Europe is on the verge of economic collapse--he refuses to meet friends or foes in New York; he cannot even instruct the State Department to have our diplomats do a walk out during the speech of deranged "truther," Holocaust-denying, gay-hanging, terror-promoting, A-bomb building, rabid anti-semite, and anti-American Ahmadinejad.

Our President appeared before the UNGA and gave one of his classic low-protein, high fructose, empty calorie speeches that sounds more like some cut-and-paste Sunday sermon than a speech by the "most powerful man in the world." Let me put it this way, if his speech were food, Michelle would not allow it to be fed to school kids. I will not go through the exercise of deconstructing this long, dopey address--you can do it, if you have the stomach, or just read the excellent job done by Jennifer Rubin.  I only note that his repeated use of "must" highlights his ignorance and impotence on the world stage. In world politics, nobody "must" do anything. World leaders do things because they want to, or have to. How will he make them do what they "must"?

So, yes, some time next month we likely will see some Libyan-based slug get droned or drilled by a SEAL. Obama will "spike the football," again, and tell us of his "great victory." The Islamic crazies will know better: It will be just a "bump in the road," and Obama just "noise."

Monday, September 24, 2012

State vs. CNN: Who is the Biggest Loser? And CIA Makes a Bid for the Title

Well, well, well. It just doesn't get better than this: a lovers' quarrel between the Obama State Department and one of the jewels in the Obama media crown, CNN! Akin to the 1980s Iran-Iraq war, it's tough for an outside observer to pick a favorite--better to let the battle continue.

Seems the intrepid lads and lassies at CNN, true to their vulture DNA, went picking among the ruins and carrion of the burned US Consulate in Benghazi and lifted a notebook belonging to the murdered US Ambassador. But wait! How did they get in! Didn't State's Victoria Nuland tell us that the administration would say no more about the 9//11 mayhem and murders in Benghazi because the charred Consulate was now a "crime scene"? The Keystone Cops FBI had it all well in hand; well, they hadn't arrived yet because it was too "dangerous," but they were thinking about it. That counts, right? Maybe they will bring Robert Hanssen out of retirement to help, or maybe the ATF, if it can pull itself away from selling guns to Mexican drug cartels? But, never mind. That Nuland-declared "vow of silence," after all, only lasted about 36 hours--then the hack Susan Rice launched a TV blitz telling us all we need to know, i.e., the whole thing resulted from some "folks" getting a little rambunctious, nothing to see here, move along.

Apparently the CNN crew managed to get under that police tape, past the vigilant CSI guys and gals, and violate--somehow--the tight crime scene chain of evidence regime, steal a dead man's notebook, hide that fact from the family, and then use it in their reporting. So what was in the late Ambassador Stevens' "diary" of note? He had serious concerns not only about security at Consulate Benghazi but also about his own personal safety, including the possibility that Al Qaeda had him on a hit list. The unscrupulous CNNers have created a dilemma for State. I am not surprised to see State furious and lashing out at CNN. The Obama narrative on Benghazi has completely disintegrated. If Stevens saw a threat to him and to Benghazi, the questions that flow are obvious: Why did he visit Benghazi on 9/11? Why have the consulate open on 9/11? Why have a consulate in Benghazi if it could not be adequately protected? What had Stevens said to his masters in Washington about all this?

It gets even more absurd. Soon after the attack, I saw press snippets and heard from a friend still active in the intel business that the attack was a major intel disaster for the US. According to these sources, the Consulate was a centerpiece in our collection efforts against Islamist radicals in eastern Libya. I had a hard time believing that a "lock-and-leave" facility would have sensitive materials and play a key role in combatting terrorist activity. It seems, however, that it did, and that the attack was a major blow to the CIA presence and operations in Libya. This might help explain the ferocity of the attack on the installation by the Islamist "folks," to wit, in one spectacular blow kill the Ambassador and knock-out a CIA listening post, and do it all on 9/11. If this proves true, then the stunning flood of stupidity and incompetence we have seen at Obama's State and Obama's NSC, also breaks like a tsunami over Obama's CIA and the rest of Obama's intel community.

So what does our Commander-in-Chief have to say? Not to worry, it is all just a bump in the road.

That bump comes from dead Americans.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday Reminisces: Dinner and Guns at the Whorehouse with my Wife

Still taking a break from calling the despicable liars who are running our country into the ground, "Despicable liars!"

It's a nice Sunday, and I am even taking a break from watching the news. I have had enough of the media and their latest ploy, the phony poll, to get their Dear Leader re-elected. So it's time to grill a steak, re-run my past life through my head--while debating what to do with my future life--and write a blog entry.

Yesterday I wrote about an episode in Pakistan many years ago, and today will do so about an event in another country even more years ago. Before going off to Pakistan, we served in Guyana, the former British Guiana for you history buffs. It sits on the N.E. edge of South America, has a territorial expanse about equal to Great Britain's, and a population, at least then, of perhaps 700,000. It was a physically beautiful country, but a grubby, mean place. When the British left--a fact bemoaned by many Guyanese--it was a sleepy middle class country producing sugar and bauxite for export. It had a population almost evenly split between South Asians and Afro-Guyanese, plus a few Chinese, Amerindians, and Euros thrown in just to complicate things. When we got there, Guyana had been independent for about thirteen years, and a republic for some eight. Those years had not proven kind. Guyana had begun to look like a bedraggled African republic with a race war underway between blacks and Asians, and a government run by Third World socialists--the kind who think poor people just need slogans and speeches. The economy had sunk into the depths of socialist-induced poverty; productive people and their money fled for Canada, the UK, Barbados, and the USA.

The semi-autocratic ruler of this unhappy republic was Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham, a handsome, brilliant, charismatic forty-something rogue, who spouted the cause of socialism and redistribution of income nationally and internationally. As a good socialist, Burnham redistributed several hundred million dollars into his own bank accounts in Europe. He lived a large and colorful life, and died a small and dark death--look it up, it's got a humorous touch.

One last thing about politics. A country faces trouble when the leaders' kids don't live there. Almost no member of the Guyanese ruling class had his children in Guyana. Despite the parents' "hate" for British and American "imperialism and racism," their kids studied, worked, and lived, well, you know where.

Many common goods--e.g., potatoes, apples, canned foods, cheese, light bulbs, car parts, baby food--were either unavailable or very difficult to get. Despite the huge savannah region of the country, and its large cattle ranches, meat, too, was scarce, and cost much more than the government's set price. Much of the beef was illegally exported to Brazil to avoid the price controls. Restaurants without the right connections had trouble getting key items. It was not uncommon to sit down and have the waiter warn, "No meat, no fish, no chicken." One place in Georgetown, the capital, with no such problems was a large, two-floor "establishment"--since burned to the ground--owned by a former labor union leader and politician who had an in with the elite. He ran a combination disco-bar-restaurant-whorehouse that served pretty good steaks--not cheap, but good. To get past the enormous bouncers at the door, you had to be somebody very special, or a white foreigner.

So, yes, about twice a month, the Diplowife and I got into our beat-up, tiny and tinny, yellow, right-hand-drive, 1970 Honda 600--somewhat like an early Morris Mini crossed with a dwarf AMC Gremlin--and sputtered off to the whorehouse establishment. Once inside the cavernous structure we were immediately overwhelmed by sound: either a DJ or a local band would be belting out the latest reggae or Anglo-American pop at a teeth-jarring volume. Hot, humid, smokey, crowded, smelling of sweat, booze, and vomit, and very lively! Not even socialism could kill the human will to party! The "working girls" would lock on their targets, ply them with overpriced drink, drag them to the dance floor, and then to the mysterious upstairs. My wife and I? In a corner, eating our steaks and plantain chips, washing it all down with a warm cola or local beer.

One late humid night, after our customary steaks, we emerged from the whorehouse establishment to go back to our Embassy-supplied house. Georgetown was a very dark place. I had parked a couple of blocks away near one of the few operating street lights, but even that one gave off more of an orangey aura than real illumination. For some reason the passenger door would not open from the outside. I went around to the driver's side, thus placing my wife on one side of the car, and me on the other. While fumbling with the keys in the gloom, I heard a voice behind me say, "Hey, skip, give me a dollar." I turned around, and saw about five or six "kids" forming a 180 degree semi-circle with me the focal point. One of them repeated the demand. He said they had guarded my car and wanted to get paid. I hesitated a bit, as I did not like the idea of pulling out my wallet in this sort of situation . . . Huh? What?

OK, OK, yes, you're right. Before I go on, let me explain. I was a cheap SOB. No. It has nothing to do with being Jewish, you anti-semitic Blue State bastard! My gross, I repeat, gross Foreign Service salary then was just a bit north of $14,000/yr. It hurt me deeply to give away my money. May I go on, now that you have publicly humiliated me? Geez, no respect for the flow of a story . . . 

I told the kids, "Let me open the car, I have some coins inside."  Things then began to move very quickly.

Coming from my wife's side of the car, I heard a much deeper voice, "Hey antiman! Give them all your money!"

I saw that a tall shirtless man with dreadlocks had my wife in what looked to be a half-nelson. He was moving her towards the front of the car. He had a knife pressed against her upper chest, just below her neck.

Back then, I was young and stupid as opposed to now, when I am no longer young. I was wearing a  Guyanese shirt-jac, a baggy and poorly made local version of a guayabera. Under it, I had my trusty Smith & Wesson .357 Mag with a four inch barrel. So, I had a choice. I could go for my wallet, or go for the .357. And, I chose . . . the .357. I dropped my keys, and drew pretty fast--even if I say so myself--cocked the hammer, adopted the classic two handed stance, and framed him as best I could in the dim light. The kids scattered into the dark. If you know S&W revolvers, you know that their double-action pull is relatively heavy. Cock the hammer, however, and the pull gets pretty light: doesn't take much pressure to squeeze off a round. I had to make sure that in my nervousness, I didn't let one go before I was ready. Adding to the stress was that the Diplowife--who, I should have mentioned, was almost eight-months pregnant--kept jerking around. She, apparently, objected to having a knife pressed against her. I kept breathing slowly and deeply, hoping that would quiet my heart's pounding in my ears and steady my increasingly sweaty hands. I regretted not swapping out the revolver's wooden grips for something more rubbery, less slick. My shirt had become glued to my back, and perspiration was rolling down my face, into my eyes, and spotting my glasses. I was sliding forward towards the unhappy couple, inch by inch. Dreadlocks just kept staring at me as though he could not believe what he was seeing. In my mind, I imagined him as seeing Dirty Harry looming before him. Given, however, how I dressed then, big 1970's eyeglasses, flared pants, Clark Wallabees, shirt jac, and all of it topped off by an Elliot Gould style "Jewfro" and mustache, he probably thought he had run into a deranged member of KC and the Sunshine Band.

In these situations you develop a dangerous tunnel vision. You become so focused on what's in front, that you tend to forget about what might be off to the sides or, worse, behind. I saw that he would cast nervous looks to the sides; I, too, would glance very briefly right and left--Where are those kids? Will they come back?--but I never had more than maybe a 140-150 degree arc of awareness. I stopped moving forward when about seven feet from him. He was considerably taller than my wife, so I had a pretty good expanse of bare chest, neck, and head in my sights. I began to get very paranoid about what might be creeping up behind me. I had to make a decision very soon. I told my wife in Spanish, she didn't speak English then, "No te muevas. ¡Le voy a matar!" ("Stop moving. I am going to kill him.") It dawned on me to repeat that in English so that he would know what I was thinking. Some times it is not good to keep secrets.

"I am going to kill you."

"OK, OK, man!" He released my wife, and pushed her towards me.

I had him lined up just like a silhouette target for a split second, then he did a fantastic Roger Bannister impression, and took off down the dark street. I thought for a second about conducting a test to answer the burning question, "Can a street slug outrun a .357 slug?" My deliberative process was not helped by the Diplowife screaming, "¡Matalo! ¡Matalo!" ("Kill him! Kill him!")  In the end, however, I eased the hammer down, put the weapon back in its holster, and bent down to pick up my keys.

We stayed away from the establishment for a few weeks but, of course, returned. Must have a steak now and then. I ain't no vegan.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Saturday Reminisces: Security and Consulates

Taking a break from my habitual attack on the fools now running and ruining our government and country. It's a lazy Saturday. I just helped my daughter with her college macro-economics homework, which had a lot of nonsense about "global warming." Watched TV a bit and all this news about "outraged" Muslim mobs got me thinking about Embassy security, and prompted a wave of memories of my first time in Pakistan.

We headed to Pakistan after a tour in a bitterly poor Caribbean country about which I will write later. My wife and I ended up in Pakistan thanks to a last minute bureaucratic mix up that saw our assignment to Brasilia changed to Islamabad. It happens. I was young, adventuresome, and amazed that anybody would hire me for anything, so I didn't mind. My wife, however, well, you know, she kept thinking Brazil or Pakistan, Brazil or Pakistan, Brazil or Pakistan . . ..

Did I mention that we had arrived about thirteen months after "outraged" Muslims had burned the Embassy in Islamabad almost to the ground? They had become "outraged" by press reports that Israeli and American "commandos" had assaulted Mecca. The government of Pakistan, under General Zia Ul-Haq, "declined" to protect the Embassy: when the attack began, Zia took a long bicycle ride and remained "unavailable" almost all day for the Ambassador's desperate phone calls. A US Marine guard and a member of the Defense Attache Office were murdered, along with two Pakistani employees. The Embassy relocated to a temporary building shared with the UN. We swallowed hard, and "forgave" Zia; we needed his help to throw the Soviets out of Afghanistan.

I was to be a field analyst reporting directly to the Ambassador and DCM, without having to go through either the political or the economic counselor. I would seek to provide a view separate from the analyses done by State, CIA, and DIA in Washington, or by our own political and economic sections. In effect, I was to be an in-house ombudsman. It was an innovative idea, which, unfortunately, was later killed by those who felt uncomfortable having their views examined and critiqued. I also would run the refugee program; Pakistan played host to over three million Afghan refugees. That job provided the excuse and the means to travel all over the country at a time when the Pakistanis sought to control our movements as much as possible. When not on the road--about two weeks out of every month--I would split my time between Islamabad and Peshawar.

Peshawar, capital of the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP), was the most exotic city I had ever seen. It sat just a few miles from the Afghan border, reached over a winding road through the spectacular Khyber Pass. I loved the adrenaline rush of the crowded bazaar, the noise, the smells, the chaos, and the edgy feel to the place. It was the real "Star Wars" bar with an improbable and at times explosive mix of races, ethnicities, spies, journalists, relief workers, refugees, knaves, hustlers, adventurers, liars, wanna-be mercenaries, rug merchants, gold smugglers, drug traffickers, fruit and meat vendors, mujahedin, and everywhere guns, guns everywhere--all kinds of them.

The Peshawar Consulate had been slated for closure. Following the decommissioning years before of the USAF base near Peshawar--the one from which Francis Gary Power's ill-fated U-2 mission had departed--the bean counters saw the Consulate as an expensive relic. With the Soviet invasion, however, and the severe drawdown of our mission in Kabul, Peshawar assumed a new importance as we tried to monitor events in Afghanistan and keep tabs on the mujahedin. That had not yet translated into resources--the bureaucracy is slow, and would take years to upgrade the Consulate.

Ours was one of three diplomatic missions in Peshawar: USA, Iran, and Soviet-run Afghanistan. We did not have much interaction; in fact, none--no diplomatic get-togethers or cocktails around the pool.

The Consulate compound consisted of a large, beautiful house for the Consul General, and a small office building in which at various times two or three Americans worked along with several Pakistanis. Security, such as it was, came via good relations with the NWFP Governor--a delightful, hard-drinking, foul-mouthed, British-educated general with kids in the US--a high wall, and a detail of the Khyber Rifles in a dirty encampment immediately outside the compound. The Rifles spent their time sleeping, making tea, washing clothes, smoking, spitting, and eating. I had doubts about their usefulness in a crisis, and kept a S&W .357 Mag with me at all times, plus a Remington 870, loaded with 04 buck, under the office desk, and another in the bedroom.

For reasons I won't go into, we had a long gap between Consuls assigned to Peshawar. The Vice-Consul, too, departed. The post was empty; I was asked to fill in until new people were assigned. My wife and I made the long, grueling, and dangerous drive up the Grand Trunk road from Islamabad in our little Chevy Chevette, and proceeded to live alone there. Well, we were "alone" except for the Khyber Rifles, about fifteen servants, some seven or eight Pakistani consulate employees, and a surly driver for the enormous partially armored Chrysler sedan and the 4X4 Jeep Wagoneer. It was a different world, and we had not yet gotten used to Muslim "outrage." President Reagan, furthermore, was seen as a friend of Pakistan and the Afghans, and as a cowboy who would not hesitate to pull the trigger, unlike his feckless predecessor. We did not feel particularly threatened.

Future entries will have more about THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF THE INTREPID DIPLOMAD IN PESHAWAR, but let me wrap up this meandering intro with a little anecdote. Remember, security was pretty lax back then.

We had a program in which we paid fairly well for assorted Soviet hardware. We had particular interest in the new AK-74 used by the elite Soviet SPETSNAZ units but also in explosives, ammunition, communication equipment, manuals, and just about anything else we could get. One day I was sitting in the office, when there was a knock on the door. In came our head Pakistani employee towing two very rough, dirty, and downright mean looking Afghan mujahedin. He introduced them, and said they had come to collect on our reward program.

"What have you got?"

One of them reached into a muddy canvas bag and pulled out what looked like a large clod of dirt and slammed it down on the desk, bits of earth flying all over my papers.

"What is it?"

"Soviet land mine. Bouncing Betty."

"You put a land mine on my desk?" My voice rose a few octaves, as I jumped out of my chair, and flattened myself against the wall.

"Do not worry. One of my men stepped on it a few days ago and it didn't explode. There might be something wrong with it. I will sell it cheaper."

Well, as they say, needless to say, we had the building evacuated, and called the local Pakistani army base for a bomb disposal team. After a very long time, the team showed up, and took the thing away.

As noted, we had a different attitude towards security issues back then. Or did we? How with the long and tragic experience we have had since the days I am discussing, could we have had such abysmal security in Benghazi?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Obama and Clinton Make Video for Pakistan; Riots and Deaths Result

It just doesn't get any better--or is it worse?--than this. No right-wing satirist could make this up--not Rush Limbaugh, not Greg Gutfeld, not even the folks at The Onion.

The geniuses that run your State Department decided to combat a video with a video! We all know that some garbled14-minute video produced months ago in southern California so offended the Muslim world that the "folks," to use Ambassador Rice's endearing term, just had to go on a 9/11 rampage of murder and destruction in response. Right? We all know that, right? The video caused it all! So how do we fix it? We make a video of our own! Tell the Muslims we love'em! That, in show biz, is called "high concept."  I can almost hear those advisors say, "Hey Kids! Let's rent the old barn and put on a show! That will bring a smile to their faces."

Well, the geniuses made their little video adverts, and paid 70,000 of your tax dollars to Pakistani TV to run the stuff on seven channels just before "Love the Prophet Day." I am not making this up. Look it up yourself, if you don't believe me . . . go ahead . . . I will wait . . . OK? See?

The result of this brilliant idea is
The ads, featuring President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, were airing on seven networks in Pakistan even as mobs tried to rush the diplomatic enclave in Islamabad housing the U.S. Embassy and other embassies Thursday.
So, in keeping with the logic of our President and Secretary of State, can we say that the riots now underway in Pakistan are the result of the videos made by our President and our Secretary of State? 

We should all demand a stop to insulting videos!  Where is that L.A. County Sheriff when you need him?



Pakistani film critics responding to the video made by President Obama and Secretary Clinton

It's Self-Evident: Americans Died, Obama Lied

Well, well, well. Didn't take long for the wise men in the White House to begin to throw Susan Rice under the bus--as this little blog predicted would happen.  The Obama administration is gradually, oh so gently so as not to cause offense, using the once almost banned word "terror." Now according to WH spokesman Jim Carney,
"It is, I think, self evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack. . . Our embassy was attacked violently and the result was four deaths of American officials. That is self evident." 
State Department spokesman, Victoria Nuland, told us that the State Department could not determine whether "what happened in Benghazi" was or was not a terror attack, that the administration could say no more about it because the consulate in Benghazi was a crime scene, and the FBI was now in charge. She, of course, could not label the attack a "terrorist" attack because we did not have all the facts. Within hours, of course, Ambassador Susan Rice--who has no known connection to the FBI--launched her Sunday talk-a-thon wherein she hit all five major national news shows to assure us that the Benghazi incident was just the result of some "folks" coming to the consulate and things getting out of hand. Now, however, we are told "it is . . . self evident" that the attack was, in fact, a terrorist attack. The President, however, as with so many other things that are "self evident," did not get the Carney memo. During the only tough interview he has ever gotten (Kudos to Jorge Ramos!) he still could not bring himself to use the dreaded "t" word and kept using the old talking point about the 14 minute video.

A total mess. The Obama misadministration only gets away with all of this because of the mainstream media's abrogation of its fundamental duty: an objective search for the truth. The mainstream media has become the echo chamber of the Obama campaign--it is an extension of the campaign's propaganda arm. 

What is "self evident" is that the people in charge of this government today do not hesitate to lie and then "pivot away" from that lie to a new one as needed. Cynics will claim that this is what our governments always do, and note, for example, Bill Clinton and his escapades. At least in my 34 years at State dealing with the press, the public, NGOs, the Congress, and other governments, not once was I instructed to lie--until, that is, the arrival of this misadministration when, for example, we were told to go forth and lie about U.S. guns to Mexico. Yes, we had tried to spin things to our advantage; there were things we hoped we would not be asked so we didn't volunteer them; there were times when we were wrong; and there were things that were genuinely secret and we could not discuss. We, however, did not make things up; we did not lie. This President and his minions do not hesitate to lie. This is a very troubling development, and the press does not take them to task for it. If it were not for a handful of media outlets, talk radio, and the blogosphere, the Obama "folks" completely would get away with this "Chicago/Alinsky" way of politics. 

What is "self evident" is that this misadministration will say and do anything to keep power.



Thursday, September 20, 2012

Liars

I am so furious about this I can hardly write. I hope this post is not too incoherent.

As anybody with a modicum of intelligence could have predicted, the Obama misadministration's story on the Benghazi murder of Ambassador Stevens has fallen apart. As I wrote before (here and here, for example) this misadministration has been lying about what happened in Benghazi. They tried two tactics to hide the facts. First, we had the hapless State Department spokesman, Victoria Nuland, saying there would be no more comments because the smoldering Benghazi consulate was now a "crime scene" and the FBI was in charge--the fact that no FBI agent was there, of course, was irrelevant. Second, we saw that Nuland-proclaimed "vow of silence" last about 36 hours. Once the misadministration got its lies lined up, it unleashed the dreadful political hack Susan Rice on the media in a Sunday morning blitz of all the major news shows. Like the dutiful hack she is, Ambassador Rice, a person with no direct knowledge of events in Libya, mind-numblingly repeated the line that the attack was by "folks" outraged over a 14-minute anti-Islam video produced in California by an expatriate Egyptian Christian. She assured the complacent media throughout the day that there was no evidence of premeditation, of planning, of a terror operation, and, of course, relied on the ultimate and very sophisticated-sounding obfuscation that there was no "actionable intelligence." The violence in Benghazi and the murders of four Americans were all an unfortunate result of a "spontaneous" demonstration that got out of control.

She lied.

The facts now coming out plainly show that the Obamistas lied. Ambassador Stevens had no security other than that provided by some rag-tag Libyan detail. The misadministration lied about the role of the two ex-SEALs also murdered in Benghazi--contrary to what Rice stated on television, they were not part of the security arrangements and were in Benghazi working for a private contractor on something completely different. The murders were carried out by terrorists with a plan, with weapons, with good intel, and the attack was apparently masterminded by a terrorist, Sufyan Ben Qumu, released in 2007 from Guantanamo (more on that below).

The misadministration has gotten what it wanted. The lie-a-thon dominated the airwaves, and the lapdog media never pressed Rice or anybody else in the misadministration. As the misadministration's story began to decay, it unleashed the Romney "47%" video on the media, thereby, distracting us all, and changing the topic. This was combined with Obama's goofy appearance on the idiotic David Letterman's show. The Obamistas hope that by now the Benghazi story is "old news" and that the national ADD will kick in. Are they right?

Sufyan Ben Qumu was released by the Bush administration, and that administration is responsible for his being out and about. This release came as a result of the Bush administration buying the liberal nonsense that Guantanamo was a recruiting tool for Islamist terrorists. It was no such thing. Our developing of a catch-and-release policy was a disaster. It made us look weak, and that is one thing you never want to appear when dealing with the jihadis.

Bloody handprints on the walls of Consulate Benghazi after a visit by Susan Rice's "folks."



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Obama Misadministration Murders Mexicans to Crack Down on US Gun Owners

For the past 18 months I have written a number of posts on the Fast and Furious scandal. It is now clear that the Obama misadministration ran an undeclared war on the people of Mexico. How about that for "Latino outreach?"

In March 2011, I wrote,
"Having worked in Mexico, Central America, and northern South America, I can tell you the guns are not coming from the US  . . . They come mostly from Asia, Eastern Europe--including Russia and Ukraine--and from stocks of older weapons held in Central America from years of warfare, and the overwhelming majority of those are of Soviet/Russian/Chinese design and fabrication."
The DOJ IG report out today appears to contradict in a big way the Obama misadministration's whole story on guns to Mexico. We repeatedly have been told that the "drugs flow north, and the guns flow south." At State, we repeatedly were handed talking points and instructions to go forth and spread this story. A very small number of us, very small, flat out refused to utter this line. Something was wrong, and we knew it from years of working in the field in Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America. We had not seen the guns from the US that the State Department insisted were there; we had not seen reliable intel that pointed to smuggling routes siphoning guns south; and it simply made no sense for the drug cartels and others to make US gun stores their preferred source of weaponry, including for many weapons illegal in the US, or simply not available at gun stores or gun shows.

We kept hearing the magic number of 60 percent of all weapons in Mexico's drug violence as having come from the US--Secretary Clinton once even claimed 90 percent. That was a lie, yes, a lie. The actual percentage of weapons coming from US gun stores and gun shows was in the low single digits, and consisted overwhelmingly of handguns, shotguns, and sport rifles. I had a very public falling out with a State briefer one day at the Foreign Service Institute  (FSI).  I challenged her to buy the arms, e.g., anti-aircraft weapons, at the Dulles, Virginia gun show that she was showing us on her slides. She did not take up my challenge; I was chastised afterward for having embarrassed her. I hope to meet her again, and ask if she has changed her presentation.

Since the facts did not fit the desired narrative, the Obama misadministration did what it habitually does--in fact, what liberals constantly do: create its own facts. It is apparent that the ATF, with the knowledge of senior DOJ officials, started a gun smuggling operation to Mexico to "prove" that weapons could go to Mexico from US gun stores. I wrote about this and noted that it was bit like Thor Heyerdahl and his obsession that ancient Peruvians could have sailed across the Pacific to Polynesia. Well, my friends, just because they might have, does not mean they did. Same here. The DOJ and the ATF, under "Operation Fast and Furious," set up a smuggling network, forced reluctant and law abiding gun dealers to sell to the network, and allowed the guns to "walk" across the border. This proved, therefore, that the DOJ and the ATF could smuggle guns into Mexico as long as they had the cooperation of the DOJ and the ATF.  Those guns killed hundreds of Mexicans and at least two US federal agents, and have appeared at numerous crime scenes on both sides of the border.

Obama's misadministration, I repeat, ran an undeclared war on the people of Mexico with "collateral damage" in the US.

The IG's report is very damning and shows that the DOJ was lying about its knowledge of the operation. It shows that knowledge of the operation went into the highest circles of the DOJ. The report refuses to pin-the-tail on the ultimate DOJ Democrat donkey, the reprehensible Eric Holder, but one can read between the lines.

The main failure of the report, at least in what I have quickly read, is that it does not address the real reason for the operation. It does not deal with the politics that drove it. The Obama misadministration wanted to show that US gun laws were too slack and needed to be tightened. It wanted to create an atmosphere, nationally and internationally, to crack down on gun ownership in the US. We see it with Operation Fast and Furious and we see it in the UN Small Arms Treaty, which the misadministration pushed until the election-year heat grew too intense.

Why has this horrid and sordid tale not raised more outrage in the Hispanic community? You and I know why. The media and the Hispanic leadership are so in bed with the Democrats that they have stifled this story.

Bottom line, the Obama misadministration has murdered hundreds of Mexicans to make a political point, and gotten away with it. Yes, the DOJ and the ATF have gotten away with mass murder in Mexico, and, by the way, Hillary Clinton has nothing to say in response.

What's Happening at State?

Well, it seems that our pretend President is making the rounds of the "Letterman Show," and hanging out with other entertainers, including at Jay-Z's 40/40 club. I guess this means that we all should forget about the new 9/11. Bury our dead; send the FBI to Tripoli; change the topic to some video -- no, not the one that allegedly enflamed the Middle East, Asia, and elsewhere -- but the one with Mitt Romney saying some hard truths about our current reality which has enflamed the echo chamber media.

I was wondering whether the State Department shared the White House view that the crisis is over so I went to the official State website. So what is our Toy Town Secretary up to? The lead piece is her meeting with the Mexican Foreign Minister and their signing of a "Memorandum of Understanding" (MOU) to "promote gender equality." Yes, she made a brief reference to the murders in Libya, but then quickly got around to the most pressing business of the Department, promoting women in some ill-defined manner. You can read the wonderful MOU here. As a person who has written a lot of these things, I can assure you this is total nonsense. This clearly was a desperation move to come up with a "deliverable" for the Mexican visit.  Look, I understand that our diplomatic machine must walk and chew gum simultaneously. We have lots of things going on, but really . . . this? When you look at the first page of the official website you are immediately struck by the lack of concern, or even mention of what is happening in dozens of countries in which we see the followers of the "Religion of Peace" doing what they do best: burning American flags, trashing embassies, and killing. The one bright spot, surprisingly not credited as a success for the Obama/Clinton foreign policy, is the report (h/t Drudge) of a Pakistani protestor who died after inhaling fumes from a burning American flag. I only hope it is true, and that his death was painful.

The State Department is largely a hopeless organization. It is absurdly overstaffed and organized in a bizarre and antiquated manner. Every politically correct fad that comes along somehow gets pumped into the State Department organizational chart: an office, staff, and budget get created, and its objectives immediately become a "top" priority. The obsession with women is about 20 years old, and State and AID pay all sorts of tribute to the objective of promoting "gender equality." This promotion basically takes the shape of giving money to some "pro-women" NGO that has gained favor with some senior bureaucrat or political hack--often with backing from a Congressman or two. The people who run the NGO's foreign office immediately get themselves cellphones, a fax machine, some computers, office phones, an office, and a car or two with a nifty logo. They will also get occasional trips to the US and to other countries to make presentations at conferences, and they will present papers that always conclude "more needs to be done." Their objectives also get worked into the Embassy's work plan. Did I mention that all this takes place with your tax money? We don't have money to provide proper protection for our embassies, but we have money for this sort of nonsense.

Before I sign off, let me tell you a darkly humorous little story.

In the late-1990s, I was working in State's Political-Military Bureau in Washington. One of our duties was to work with the Pentagon planning and executing "noncombatant evacuation operations" (NEOs)  in countries where the security situation had gone belly up. We had the job of getting our people out of harm's way. This meant that we had to spend hours going over Embassy reports and other intel on the situation in likely trouble spots. I remember that a couple of us became concerned about the situation in a small West African country. Despite assurances from the Africa Bureau and the US Ambassador there that everything was under control, we pored over everything we could find on the country. That Ambassador had returned to the US for a couple of weeks to make the rounds of various Chambers of Commerce to convince US businesses to invest in this little country. One of the top goals of the Embassy country team was "empowering women." The Embassy's small political section flooded State's computers with reports on the great work being done to "empower women." The head of the political section had traveled to a remote part of the country to cover USAID sponsored events promoting rural women. Lots of cables came in describing the success of this program.

One morning, we were busy reading this stuff just as the army, which had not been paid in months, marched into the capital and overthrew the government, creating a huge security situation for our people there. There had  been not a single State or CIA cable reporting on the growing crisis within the military. The Embassy, covering the issues of girls and women, had completely missed what the boys and men with guns were up to. The Embassy had dismissed the one report that had come in from a member of the DAO (Defense Attache's Office) in a neighboring country; he had reported that his contacts were telling him that there appeared to be some sort of growing malaise within the military across the border. The Embassy had dismissed the report saying that they knew the situation better than some junior military officer in a neighboring country.

I always remembered this episode in subsequent years. It represented the State obsession with issues far removed from core US national interests. As I can tell from the State website, things have not improved.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Do We Want the Truth from our Politicians?

You all have heard about the edited "secret" tape being released in which Romney tells donors some months ago that the core of Obama's base is the 47% of Americans who do not pay taxes and who get some sort of federal assistance. I am sure this was a typical Chicago-way operation by the Obama campaign. They recorded the tape, saved it, edited it, and released it just as it became clear that it was no longer possible to hide how bad things have gotten for our country under Obama. The economy is imploding, the middle east is exploding, and all the lies by Susan Rice and Jim Carney can no longer hide the elephant in the room. They now rely on the tame media to spend three or four days going on and on about the "secret" tape and how this means that the Romney campaign is over.

I am sure we will see the obligatory polls which will show disaster for Romney, and those will become the lede on NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, and others. Our embassies will be burning, our soldiers getting murdered by our Afghan "allies," the unemployment rate will be remaining above 8%, fuel and food prices will be rising, the deficit will be growing by leaps and bounds, and we will be discussing the horror of a tape in which Romney tells the truth.

The truth? Well, it's very simple:

If you believe in government, and think government programs are the solution to all your problems in life, then you are an Obama supporter. If you think the government should have programs to help poor people stay poor, then you are an Obama supporter. If you have no understanding of how wealth is produced and from where the government gets "its" money, then you are an Obama supporter. In other words, if you want and believe in "free" stuff then you are an Obama supporter.

If you believe in yourself then you are a Romney supporter. If you believe in giving people a hand when they are down on their luck so that they can move on, then you are a Romney supporter. If you know how wealth is produced, and that the government consumes it and does not produce it, then you are a Romney supporter. If you understand that in life nothing is free, that somebody somewhere has to pay for everything, then you are a Romney supporter.

Obama must go. Our country cannot withstand another four years of this assault on our institutions and core values.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Thought for the Day in the New Sharia States of America

If Nakoula were an illegal alien in Arizona,
Eric Holder would be filing a lawsuit against the Sheriff.

Benghazi: So is it a Crime Scene, or not?

In the wake of the murder of the US Ambassador to Libya, the Obama misadministration's foreign "policy" machine spins ever more out of control; the only thing saving it is the supine nature of the mainstream media.

On Friday, September 14, the nice but totally out of her league State Department spokesman, Victoria Nuland, told reporters,

"I'm going to frustrate all of you, infinitely, by telling you that now that we have an open FBI investigation on the death of these four Americans, we are not going to be in a position to talk at all about what the U.S. government may or may not be learning about how any of this this happened -- not who they were, not how it happened, not what happened to Ambassador Stevens, not any of it -- until the Justice Department is ready to talk about the investigation that's its got . . . So I'm going to send to the FBI for those kinds of questions and they're probably not going to talk to you about it."

How long did the vow of silence last? Not even 48 hours later, US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice went on a marathon Sunday news show run telling us that the attacks were not planned and that it was all the fault of some obscure filmmaker living in Cerritos, California. 

Susan Rice? Why Susan Rice? Is she FBI? What does she know about the "crime scene" in Benghazi? Susan Rice? Not Hillary Clinton, David Petraeus, or Tom Donilon? Not State's Undersecretary for Management, not the head of State's Diplomatic Security, not the head of State's Intelligence and Research bureau, or not even the head of the Near East bureau? Susan Rice? A political hack completely out of the chain of command and with no knowledge of the facts on the ground--that's who this administration sends out to lie two days after saying it would say no more because it is all a "crime scene" and the FBI is "investigating."  As of this writing the FBI is not even on the scene given that they do not approve of the security arrangements in Benghazi. But no matter, I am sure those friendly "folks" in Benghazi are preserving the "crime scene."

How Long Before Rice Goes Under the Bus?

Our Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice was making the news talk show rounds over the week-end giving out the administration's increasingly tired line that the attack in Libya was not planned or premeditated:

"We believe that folks in Benghazi, a small number of people came to the embassy to – or to the consulate, rather, to replicate the sort of challenge that was posed in Cairo,” Rice said. “And then as that unfolded, it seems to have been hijacked, let us say, by some individual clusters of extremists who came with heavier weapons… And it then evolved from there."

I love Rice's use of the word "folks." So cozy and pleasing. So reassuring. The people who came to the mission in Benghazi to demonstrate were just "folks." They were not murdering, ungrateful, religious fanatics, no, they were just "folks." Ahhhh . . . I wonder if she would say the same about the people who made the video that supposedly set the whole thing off. I wonder if she would call them just "folks." No, probably not; she keeps referring to their video as "disgusting." She, by the way, does not use the same word for the lynching of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans by the "folks."

Let me say a word about Ambassador Susan Rice. She has gone to all the right schools, and has all the right political connections. She is ruthlessly ambitious and is a bureaucratic bully. She is also not too bright when it comes to the substance of foreign affairs. I remember dealing with her during the Clinton administration when she was at the NSC handling African affairs. She cowed State's Assistant Secretary for African affairs into silence and rode right over the State Department. She would hold long and elaborate meetings, almost on a daily basis, to discuss African affairs, and her specialty was arriving very late. It was a power trip for the young Rice. She seemed to enjoy having senior people, especially military officers for whom she had special contempt, cooling their heels. She would arrive totally unprepared and then launch into long monologues that often made little sense and had little connection to reality on the ground. I will never forget one long meeting in which she argued for US intervention into what was then called Zaire (old Belgian Congo) to save the collapsing Mobutu regime for which she had a particular affection that made no sense. She presented a "plan" to set up a defensive line right down the middle of Zaire to prevent the rebels from advancing further west. She derided the military officers who tried to remind her of how enormous a country Zaire was, the sort of terrain that existed, and the sort of resources that it would take to do something as she was proposing. It was insanity.

Sorry for the trip down memory lane. Back to our current insanity . ..

The evidence, despite Rice's talk-a-thon and despite the State Department efforts to shut off the conversation, is coming in that the Benghazi attack was not just by "folks" out on a stroll. It was by committed Islamists out to destroy and murder. They had a well-developed plan, they had weapons, and they had good intel, and we had none of those things.

The Obamistas are caught in a web of lies. Yes, lies. There is no other word. If this were just a "spontaneous" eruption in response to a 14-minute video clip, then what is it exactly that we are investigating? Why are we apparently going to dispatch the FBI and drones? What are we looking for? Do we need high-tech spies in the sky to find just "folks" who were outraged? Will our intel and counter-terror efforts now be focused on finding anything that could lead to a "spontaneous" outburst by the "folks" in the Middle East? Are we going to be dispatching cops to haul in, say, movie makers who do something "offensive" to the "folks" in the Middle East? Nah, that's too extreme . . . we would never do that.

The Obamistas know the attack was planned; that our security in Benghazi was deplorable; that our security procedures, such as they were, were compromised; that the consulate in Benghazi should not have been open on 9/11, if at all; and that Ambassador Stevens should not have been there, especially on 9/11, and especially after what was happening in Cairo. In other words, State and NSC screwed up big time. The heads of both of those agencies should be on the chopping block, along with a host of other heads up and down the command chain at State and the NSC.

It will not be long before the administration has to abandon its current line and we will see emphasis on the resurgence of Al Qaeda. We will begin talking incessantly about the "small groups of extremists," even Rice hinted at the new line, who do this stuff over the objection of the "folks." The Libyan officials are already anticipating this line with their insistence that the whole thing was executed by "foreigners." The Obamistas will pivot to an argument that AQ did it, and that, of course, the people of country X are not to blame. Nobody will ever mention the real cause of all this murderous insanity, i.e., the nature of today's Islamic society and culture, and the refusal of leaders in that culture to seek to reform and enlighten it.

Our own refusal to see the truth will continue to get us killed.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Beware of the "Al Qaeda Did It" Gambit

The Western apologizers for the insanity we see in the Muslim world always have an explanation. It is their poverty. It is our wealth. It is a history of colonial oppression. It is our support for their dictators. It is the Crusades. It is Israeli intransigence, i.e, if only those Jews would just go away. It is our insensitivity to their culture when we go there. It is our insensitivity to their culture when they come here. It is, it is, it is . . . it is everything except what IT really IS, to wit, that world's adherence to a primitive, totalitarian, brutal ideology that preaches hate, conquest, death, and rejection of rational thought. It holds dear a belief structure that glorifies violence, considers women and infidels trash, demands obedience, and provides death to apostates and subjugation to all those who fail to join the club.  It is an ideology which practices what it preaches. Words count.

In the last few days we have seen our pretend President, his Toy Town Secretary of State, and his Silly-Beyond-Belief White House spokesman tell us that all the hatred, death, and destruction we have seen play out on our TV sets are due to a 14-minute video clip which this misadministration has judged "to be disgusting." Whew! Thank Allah we have Roger Ebert deciding our foreign policy! Imagine if the video clip had gotten a "thumbs up." Then the Obama misadministration would be really, really angry with the rioters and the murderers! But since the video is "disgusting" then, well, we can understand what is happening . . . oh, and thank Allah, too, that LA County has NO crime at all, so it can afford to send a platoon of Deputies to haul away the poor miscreant who made this "disgusting" film . . . Wow! Hollywood has gotten really, really serious about wanting only quality films on the screen. I'll bet there are some schlock Hollywood producers, actors, and directors just shaking in their boots right now . . . they know they'll be next. Never mind the old HUAC blacklist, the liberals have got the LA County Sheriff at their beck and call! Run, Snooki, run! Not even the ACLU will save you!

As the "video-is-to-blame" argument begins to wear thin, with even the echo chamber media getting uneasy repeating it, we will see the rise of a new "explanation" for the violence: Al Qaeda. Yes, the same Al Qaeda that President Obama repeatedly has assured us that he and his mighty Thor-like bolts from the sky have destroyed. Our President, after all, took full personal credit for the death of AQ's decrepit leader, even turning it into a re-election bumper sticker, and a phrase for his airhead Veep and brain dead followers to repeat ad nauseam, "Bin Laden dead! GM alive!" Well, it now seems, just like Trotsky in Stalin's regime or Goldstein in 1984, the old enemy just keeps on kicking. The "destroyed" Al Qaeda will suddenly reemerge as a mighty international coordinator and executor of vast terrorist plots. It is AQ which is doing all this! The poor people of Libya, Egypt, Yemen, in the words of our sage Secretary of State "did not trade the tyranny of a dictator for the tyranny of a mob." Oh, really? You know that for sure? Of course you do because of all this was done by a filmmaker, er, no, by Al Qaeda! Yes, Al Qaeda did it all. AQ did it over the strenuous objections of millions upon millions of otherwise peaceful Muslims who love the USA, well, at least love Obama because in the words of the equally sage White House spokesman, the violence is directed "not to, obviously, the administration."  Perish the thought! It is now all Al Qaeda, all the time!

New Obama narrative fail.

I hate Al Qaeda: I want them all dead, but I certainly don't see them as the all-powerful puppet masters of the Muslim world. No. They might have provided the planning and triggermen for the Benghazi assault, and those creeps deserve to die. The problem we face, however, is not the result of Al Qaeda, a grainy video, the Battle of Lepanto, the loss of Cordoba, or the Israeli flag over Jerusalem. The problem is Islam. The evil Al Qaeda is not some alien graft onto the Islamic body. It is part and parcel of the way Islam is preached and practiced. I am a broken record on this, but until Islam reforms and recasts itself, until it gets tired of defeat after defeat at the hands of the West, the attacks on the West will continue. We in the West had better learn that; I thought we had on September 11, 2001, but it seems not, so we now have September 11, 2012, to mourn even more of our dead.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Little Reminder for Those Still Planning to Vote for Obama


"And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
                                                 Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there."


Welcome to your Embassy . . . . under new management . . . .