Tag Archives: Syria

Why didn’t the FBI Director mention The Khorasan Group in his terror assessment?

The FBI Director takes swipe at Portland for its failure to fully embrace the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

0621_james-comey

The head of the FBI Director James Comey says, as the top counterterrorism cop in America, two things concern him:

The first is the phenomenon of ‘the traveler’ from the United States and Western Europe especially to conflict zones where the progeny of Al Qaeda have flourished in lightly governe or ungoverned spaces in North Africa, throughout the Gulf, the Horn of Africa–especially today in Syria and Iraq. We’ve seen the blossoming of a couple of the Al Qaeda progeny, one you know well, ISIL, the other group called Al Nusra Front.

The other, he said, was home grown radicalization. An example of that kind of terrorist is the case of the Christmas Tree bomber, Mohamed Mohamud, who has just been sent to federal prison for 30 years for the plot that was, thank God, intercepted by the FBI.

There a couple of interesting things about Comey’s comments at a Portland news conference last Wednesday (HT The Zero for the video below). For one thing, he mentioned the need for local cops to participate in JTTFs because they’re likely the first to become aware of bad actors. This was either a swipe at or a plea to Portland’s leaders to fully embrace the JTTF, notwithstanding that yet ANOTHER Portland mayor, Charlie Hales, doesn’t qualify for a top secret clearance.

Portland’s on again, off again relationship with the JTTF is a running joke. The City Council is worried about civil rights violations, an understandable concern, but, in a town that has produced more home grown terrorists than any other so far (Can you think of another one? Minneapolis, maybe?)  you’d think they’d at least want to be a full partner on the task force to keep track of these bad guys so, oh, I don’t know, they’d STOP HIRING terrorists!  No wonder author John Trudel calls Portland a Soft Target in one of his recent spy thrillers.

In JTTF’s latest report, which the Council reluctantly received and then scrubbed from its website, Police Chief Mike Reese confirmed local cops did work with FBI officials,

On “at least one case of suspected domestic terrorism.”

Oh, is that all? Why is this not front page news? Oh, that’s right. It’s Portland. Just keeping it weird. 

Back to the FBI Chief. In his recitation of “Al Qaeda progeny”, Comey didn’t mention The Khorasan Group. This is quite interesting to me. The president made up the name so as not have to admit he hasn’t “decimated” “destroyed” “core” Al Qaeda. You read that right. That group? Made up. They’re all Zawahiri’s buddies who are there to help their friends in the Al Nusra Front. Remember Zawahiri? “Core” Al Qaeda.

As terrorist prosecutor and author Andy McCarthy writes in National Review,

The Obama administration portrayed the abruptly emergent “Khorasan Group” as if it were a standalone terrorist organization — a jihadist-combat entity targeting the United States. In reality, the threat the administration was talking about was from al-Qaeda. The administration does not like to admit that al-Qaeda is still a formidable enemy because President Obama has made a habit of falsely claiming to have defeated it. That is why we are hearing about the “Khorasan Group.”

Why did Comey not name them as an Al Qaeda group? Is he peddling the fiction this group isn’t Al Qaeda? We look to these people to keep us safe, not safe from the truth.

Perhaps the more important question is why Comey didn’t announce them as a threat. Remember, they were supposedly plotting an “imminent attack” against the west–us!–which was why we had to bomb them…or something. Comey mentioned two groups, ISIL and Al Nusra Front, but not The Khorasan Group. 

Andy McCarthy observes,

As Mr. [Eli] Lake points out, “U.S. officials have walked back claims in the last week that the strikes on the Khorasan Group were an attempt to disrupt an imminent threat.” Moreover, I have contended that the administration had a motive to exaggerate the threats as “imminent.” A president is not required to seek congressional authorization in order to respond militarily to threats of imminent attack. Obama did not want to ask Congress’s approval. Doing so would have launched a potentially embarrassing examination of (a) the president’s claims to have defeated al-Qaeda, and (b) the fact that the “moderate rebels” Obama proposes to aid in Syria work arm-in-arm with al-Qaeda.

So how did a group the Administration insisted over and over was an imminent threat not get mentioned by the FBI Chief? 

Politics–local and national–dictates how safe we are.  Here we go again. Gown up.

The President Blames Tea Party “Extremists” for His Government Shutdown

obama upset 2If you listen to the President’s soundbite in the Pete the Banker’s post below, you’ll note Mr. Obama says his rhetoric hasn’t been extreme. Instead he claims it’s been calm in his discussion of the government shutdown.

But that’s not true. The President and his administration have called Republicans and conservatives “extremists,” “hostage takers,” “anarchists,” “jihadis,” “suicide vest” wearers, “sabateurs,” “terrorists,” “squealing political pigs,” “political arsonists,” and many others. And, once again, I feel really sad that the President thinks so little of me and other people who care about the financial excesses and loss of liberty that he resorts to name calling. 

When did fiscal responsibility become ‘extremist?”

To wit:

 

The petulant President has ordered Normandy, WWII Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, the Liberty Bell and, according to him, the Statue of Liberty closed as well as many other memorials. He closed, then got so much flak resumed, the service academy athletic schedule, shut down privately run commissaries on military bases, flipped the switch and turned off the already scaled back AND privately financed Miramar Air Show and many other activities to inflict the maximum amount of pain on the greatest number of people. 

While he has agreed to talk with terrorists in Iran, Syria, the Taliban, and Al Qaeda, this President refuses to budge when it comes to negotiating with the political party which represents millions of Americans. I know they’re playing political games but so is he. Whose government shutdown is this? His. 

 

Boehner Video: Pete the Banker Was Right on Obama Negotiations

House Speaker John Boehner says Pete the Banker was right on negotiating with Russia and Republicans.

Pete the Banker was right.
Pete the Banker was right.

OK, Speaker of the House John Boehner didn’t actually SAY Pete the Banker was right (in his previous posts here and here), but he did DEMONSTRATE that the Blogforce member is right. 

Today, the Speaker’s office released this video demonstrating the President’s willingness to negotiate with Russia’s President Putin on Syria’s chemical weapons while being unwilling to negotiate with the GOP and force a government shut down over the debt ceiling. 

President Obama issues red line to Republicans on debt ceiling, refusing to negotiate.
President Obama issues red line to Republicans on debt ceiling, refusing to negotiate.

Victor Sharpe: Fundamentally Transforming America

President Obama promised to transform America and he has kept this promise.

The President contemplates fundamentally transforming America. Photo by the Seattle PI
The President contemplates fundamentally transforming America. Photo by the Seattle PI

With the de facto capitulation of President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry over Syria, and with Russian President Putin now very much in control and humiliating the United States in the pages of the New York Times, the towering peril to the world is now the re-invigorated Russian support of Iran. Equally, the Iranian mullahs support Syria financially, militarily and with Iranian boots on the ground. And behind Iran and Syria is the ever protective Russian veto in the UN Security Council.

Then, too, there is the Russian plan to pipe oil from Iran through its Syrian client to the Eastern Mediterranean or through Turkey. The stench of Middle Eastern oil permeates much of the political maneuvering that afflicts the world. Alas, Obama and Kerry have allowed Russia to reassert itself in the Middle East, which it had not been able to accomplish since the Arab aggression against Israel during the Yom Kippur War in 1973.

Putin has followed up on his diplomatic coup against the United States by offering to provide the Iranian mullahs the S-300 missile, which will drastically alter the balance of military power in the Middle East and imperil Israeli or U.S. aircraft should an attempt be made to end Iran’s aggressive nuclear weapons program. Also, there are reports that prior to John Kerry’s meeting with Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, the Obama Administration had begun removing some of the financial and economic measures that had been in place against the Iranian regime. There is, no doubt, much rejoicing in Teheran over the Syrian debacle.

Remember, during his first tour to the Middle East – after making the astonishing claim that the US was one of the foremost Muslim countries in the world – Barack Hussein Obama bowed low to Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah and then went on to apologize to an assorted gathering of Arab sheiks, emirs, princes, dictators and tyrants for America’s past defense of freedom and liberty around the world. Obama said the US had been “arrogant, derisive and divisive” and would no longer be an exceptional nation under his watch.

Remember, too, that Obama cancelled the American missile shield in eastern Europe to the dismay of Poland and other eastern European allies which needed the shield for their protection from Russian and Iranian threats. Obama was also over heard on a hot microphone assuring Russian leader Medvedev that he would be “flexible” in missile defense negotiations once he was re-elected. Well he has been most flexible, as the Syrian fiasco has proven.

America’s traditional allies have had to re-adjust their foreign policies because they now know that Obama does not say what he means or mean what he says. Our enemies are emboldened because they already know it. The North Koreans are re-starting their nuclear reactors and Iran is speeding up its nuclear program with Russia’s help knowing full well they have nothing to fear from Obama, nor Hillary Clinton if, heaven forbid, she succeeds him.

The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) as in the case of the estimated 1,000 tons of Sarin nerve gas, biological and other outlawed weapons in the hands of Syria’s al-Assad, or the potential transfer of such hideous armaments to the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda or Hezbollah, transforms dangerous threats into hideous and actual nightmares. It encourages Iran’s genocidal ambitions and pursuit of nuclear bombs and it poses a mortal threat not only to Israel but to Jordan, Saudi Arabia and what few oil producing Arab countries remain relatively free from Islamic and jihadist influence.

The so-called Arab Spring, which was never to be about democracy in the Islamic world, has now morphed into an increasingly anti-US, violent jihadist Islamic triumphalism. Islam, after all, means submission to the will of Allah not, as in a democracy, to the will of the people. And those in the West who endlessly call for democracy in the Arab world should read the Koran and finally be disabused from uttering such foolish and naïve statements.

President Obama, true to his ambition to “fundamentally transform America” has made the U.S. appear weak and unwilling to support its allies around the world. As a result, many erstwhile allies of the U.S. have felt alienated, used and abused by the American president and have withdrawn their support – especially Britain and NATO – over the Syrian situation.

All this could be construed as the utter incompetence of the Obama administration but I fear it may well be one more deliberate step in President Barack Obama’s promise to “fundamentally transform America” to that of a weak European style nation state like Belgium and destroy irrevocably America’s exceptionalism and power to keep the peace in what is fast becoming an increasingly perilous world.

Both Hilary Clinton and her successor, John Kerry, were firmly convinced that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was a reformer and a man of his word. Indeed Kerry flew frequently to Damascus, dined with Assad, whom he called his friend, and was sure that Bashar Assad was a true partner in peace.

But Secretary Kerry appears to possess a naïve vision of the Middle East, arguably the worst neighborhood on the face of the planet. He seems unable to grasp the grim reality of an ever more powerful explosion of radical Islamist triumphalism threatening to sweep over Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and then to inexorably threaten what the jihadists call the “Dar al-Harb – the House of War,” namely what they insultingly refer to as the infidel world of Israel, Europe, Britain, America and the entire non-Muslim Free World.

We, in the West, are in peril when even John Brennan, the CIA Director who advises President Obama on international terrorism, himself does not recognize the existence of Islamic or Jihadist terrorism. Then there is James Clapper, our Director of National Intelligence, who two years ago called Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood a “largely secular” organization. This breathtaking leap into unreality is by the same James Clapper who many believe is now utilizing the NSA to spy on Americans.

And the Obama Administration itself has ruled out the use of the word Islam in any references to terrorism against America. After all, it was the Obama Administration which insisted upon calling the massacre of unarmed American soldiers at Fort Hood by the Islamist, Major Nidal Hassan, not terrorism but an act of “workplace violence.” When a government refuses to even name its enemy, it has almost lost the war for civilization.

This piece first appeared on Renew America. He is an author, musician and expert on the Middle East.

Russia’s Putin Op Ed: Doing Donuts in Obama’s Front Yard

Putin Lectures, the New York Times calls is a 'plea.'
Putin Lectures, the New York Times calls is a ‘plea.’

Late last night the New York Times released the latest assault on American exceptionalism: Vladamir Putin’s Op Ed. Comment here and follow along over at The Victoria Taft Show facebook page here. As David Burge put it:


Excerpt:

My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust. I appreciate this. I carefully studied his address to the nation on Tuesday. And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.

Unfortunately, too many Americans will not know he’s wrong.

Obama’s Syria Speech Clarifies Confusion

Obama gives confused speech about Syria from White House
Obama gives confused speech about Syria from White House

President Obama’s speech on a possible military strike in Syria Tuesday evening was a mercifully short 15 minutes. It should have been zero minutes. His speech added clutter and confusion instead of clarification on what the United States should do about a butcher in Syria.

Obama announced the oval office address last week. He scheduled  it to calm the voices of derision, not just from our country’s enemies, but from friends in his own political party who were unwilling to countenance another war of “choice.”

It was clear he would lose the vote in Congress in the House and maybe even the Senate to authorize an attack. When the UN would not sign on and his parties of the willing were al Qaeda and France, he probably should have turned off TOTUS and called it a day. We didn’t really need to see him climb down live on national TV and radio. But here we were. Like those American Idol try out shows, we watched to see if he’d forget the words or get a little pitchy. How would he talk his way out of this mess? How could he polish this turd?

The speech had now changed venue from the Oval Office to the White House hall. The man whose speeches usually were met with Ahs! of encomiums for his “soaring rhetoric” now looked weak chinned as he beseeched us to look at You Tube videos of dying children. This crowd really loves its You Tube. 

The hours leading up the speech were filled with interviews decorated with promises of  an “unbelievably small” attack , “no boots on the ground” and general bloodless saber rattling. Then, hours before the speech, words of war were surrendered to the hope of a blooper from the mouth of John Kerry. In answer to a question at a news conference in Europe, Secretary of State Kerry said we might stand down if Syria’s chemical weapons were given up within “a week,” hastening to add, “it can’t be done, obviously.”

Well, at least he knew it was a stupid idea.

You could hear the Fred Flinstone feet of Kerry’s handlers at State rush to microphones to explain the Secretary’s  line as a mere, “rhetorical” flourish, given offhandedly. A White House aide explained it was a “major goof.” One lefty talk show host preferred to think of it as a grand idea showing Obama’s genius and prowess as a foreign policy player. She wasn’t alone. 

Vladamir Putin heard it too. He parlayed the goof into a deal with Syria to collect all the chemical weapons and put them–somewhere. He presented his plan to the world.

White House insiders derided the offer as a ploy to reporters. They didn’t count on the President taking it seriously. Obama received the Russian manna that would feed his ego and save his reputation. He even embraced it, his handlers saying he considered such an idea at the G-20 summit.

The sense of relief didn’t last long. Less than 24 hours after it was proposed–and after the White House began to tout it as a genius ploy by the “smartest man ever” to occupy the White House, the deal was shown for the fraud it was when Russia put conditions on the deal. Putin dictated terms to a desperate White House which had gone from ‘Where do we target our Tomahawks?’ to, “Yes, Vlad, anything you say.”

The President chose to put both messages in his speech. A frozen rope of rationale mixed with the rope-a-dope from the Russians. 

American prestige had sunk to a new low. And that’s what worried people most. You don’t strut gravitas without grenades. For his entire presidency Obama wanted the former without the latter. He cut and run from Iraq which has seen a return to sectarian mass murders. He’s leaving the Taliban in the pole position in Afghanistan. Why would anyone think he would properly finish the job in even an “unbelievably small” act of war?

To buck up his case to bomb something in Syria, the President entreated us to watch the foaming mouths of little girls dying from chemical weapons. These images are horrible but they won’t move a nation to war. Not because someone shouldn’t avenge these crimes against humanity, but these words sound hollow from a man who who is leaving little girls defenseless against acid throwing long beards in 12th 21st century Afghanistan.

Odd that the President didn’t mention we should avenge the murders of Christians in the sacking, pillaging, and burning of their churches in Syria. Unfortunately, some of the Islamist arsonists committing those crimes against humanity are the ones with which he aimed to partner.

Finally, in his speech on the eve of the 12th anniversary of the Islamist acts of war on the United States in Washington, D.C., New York and Shanksville, he said nothing. On the eve of the first anniversary of the Islamist act of war on the United States in Benghazi and the murder of his own Ambassador the President uttered not a word. 

The President is afraid to name our enemy.

Is it any wonder few want to follow him into a war?

 

 

 

 

Obama Syria Policy May Blow Up in His Face

Obama Syria policy in disarray and could blow up in his face. Boom.
Obama Syria policy in disarray and could blow up in his face. Boom.

This one graphic I believe explains what Obama’s decision tree is on Syria. Since the President has taken Russia up on its lifeline to take Syria’s chemical weapons and dispose of them, he’s now in the debt to Russia. And what did Russia do? Today via AFP,  Russia announced it’s against the resolution to take away Syria’s chemical weapons. Boom.

Did CBS Take Message to Syria’s Assad from White House?

PBS/CBS interviewer Charlie Rose has interviewed Syria’s leader, Bashir Assad, but I wonder if heCharlie Rose took a message from the White House with his when he did his sit down interview. Why? Because he took along the Chairman of CBS News with him. It raised a question on Twitter:


And who’s @Rhodes44?

Obama Nat Sec Aid Ben RhodesFrom the New York Times blog on Syria:

“Charlie has been working on this for a long time,” said David Rhodes, the president of CBS News, who confirmed that Sunday’s interview “came through only this week.”

Mr. Rose drove to Damascus after flying into neighboring Lebanon. In a sign of the significance of the interview, he was accompanied by Jeff Fager, the chairman of CBS News and the top producer of “60 Minutes.”

“It’s not normal to send the chairman to produce an interview,” Mr. Rhodes said. “It’s also not normal to have an interview like this at a time like this.”

When you’re visiting a big ‘customer,’ sometimes you need to take the person from your company who has a high position to communicate the esteem in which you hold him. But if that’s what happened here, why didn’t the PBS chief go? The CBS Chairman went on the interview and CBS will receive only a snippet of the interview (that we know of so far) and PBS will get to play the entire interview.

Charlie Rose says he’s been trying for that interview for a very long time. So why did he get the interview now and why did the CBS Chief go with him? Did the White House pull strings or did Assad know of the connection and use the interview to send a message to the President and his Deputy National Security Adviser? As the American public resoundingly tell the President ‘NO!’ on a Syrian attack, one wonders if Assad himself can persuade the President to call off any strikes.

And while it could pay dividends here, this case points up the concern about the cozy and insular relationships between the people who walk the halls of power and the people who are supposed to objectively cover them.

 

MoveOn.Commies Vote NO! On Syria Attack

73% of Move On Oppose Syria Intervention by US
73% of Move On Oppose Syria Intervention by US

Move On has voted an overwhelming No! on the President’s planned intervention in Syria.

This makes twice in one week the far left has broken from the Obama Administration. First we heard about the ILWU breaking away from the AFL-CIO over its supposedly “moderate” positions shared by the President on ObamaCare taxes (see my post about it here), and tonight the far left Move On group has voted to leave the President twisting in the wind on the issue of Syrian intervention.

From Move On’s email blast,

Because this is such a big decision, we asked every MoveOn member to weigh in on whether MoveOn should support or oppose the congressional authorization to use military force in Syria.

The results are in, and they are unequivocal: 

73% said MoveOn should oppose the congressional Authorization to Use Military Force in Syria. 

History has shown again and again that even a “limited” military engagement can quickly become a slippery slope to seemingly endless war. But stopping this war is within reach. 
 
Consistent polling shows that the majority of Americans are opposed to this military intervention, and more than 147 members of Congress are on record as firmly opposed to or leaning against it.2 But mainstream media outlets and many elected officials are trying hard to make us think that strikes are inevitable.3
And they’re planning to become vocal about their opposition,

So we need to unleash the power of our more than 8 million member community right away to make it clear to Congress that we oppose military action in Syria. Congress will vote on the authorization to use military force as soon as next week, and members of Congress are making up their minds right now, so we need to act fact. 

No wonder the President is so keen on making it look like any foray into Syria is somebody else’s fault. He’s losing friends. Fast. 

Celebu-Spy Valerie Plame Blames Possible Syria Bombing on “Neo-Cons”

Ex-CIA analyst turned celebu-spy, Valerie Plame seems to claim in the featured Tweet below that the Obama Administration’s proposed bombing of Syria is the work of “Neo-Cons.”

You remember “Neo-Cons”. The term, intended to be a pejorative one, refers to (mostly Jewish)

Valerie Plame blames Syrian bombing on "Neo Cons"
Valerie Plame blames Syrian bombing on “Neo Cons”

Americans concerned with national security? I thought it had died with the Bush Administration, but I was wrong. 

Ms. Plame, who sent her husband to Niger to chase down (and debunk) claims of yellow cake uranium reportedly going to Iraq, became a household name when some horrible, eeeevilllll “Bushie” outed her as a “spy”.

Plame was a CIA desk jockey stateside and, as Andrea Mitchell of NBC News said at the time, everyone knew what she did and where she worked. Everyone, as Timothy Noah of Slate reported at the time. 

Celebu-Spy Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson
Celebu-Spy Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson

But that was no fun, so the lefties decided to blame somebody in Vice President Dick Cheney’s office with outing her identity. Darth Cheney and White House evil genius Karl Rove would be “frog marched” to meet their legal fates! 

Cheney’s right hand man, Scooter Libby was found to have lied to federal investigators during the investigation somewhere along the line. Remember when you got in trouble for not telling Federal officials the truth?  Could somebody please “Google” Lois Lerner? 

Funnily enough, it wasn’t Libby who “outed” the already “outed” Plame. 

No.

It was Clintonista State Department maven Richard Armitage.  He’d been held over by the Bush Administration. You know, the “Neo-Cons.”