The Feinstein Report Is Going to Cost Us

pic_giant_121314_SM_Dianne_FeinsteinNational Review, By Andrew C. McCarthy, DECEMBER 13, 2014:

Jihadists are still waging their war against the civilized world. Check that: Jihadists are currently winning their war against the civilized world. Thank Barack Obama, who fails to grasp the difference between being “the president who ends wars” and the president who retreats from wars, and thus surrenders while the enemy is on the rise.

What is the response of Senate sages to this predicament? Dianne Feinstein and her fellow Democrats saw it as the perfect time to savage the CIA, further burn America’s bridges with anti-terrorism allies, and hand jihadists a huge propaganda victory.

The Islamic State had a response, too: They beheaded four Christian children for refusing to renounce Jesus Christ.

You see where this is going, no?

The Democrats’ “torture” report is a gratuitous hit job — brought to you by the same party that, out of political calculation, aggressively undermined the American war effort in Iraq — only after voting to send our men and women into grave danger there, also out of political calculation.

To be sure, the report is a highly disturbing document. It graphically illustrates the severity of enhanced interrogation tactics used against a small group of top-tier terrorists — terrorists who were responsible for brutally murdering thousands of Americans and who, at the time of their capture, were actively plotting to kill thousands more.

Still, notwithstanding the revelation of a few new gory details, this is old news and its disclosure serves no useful purpose — it is just a settling of scores.

“Old news” is not used here in the familiar Clinton/Obama sense of acknowledging a few embarrassing scandal details on Friday night to pave the way for dismissing scandal coverage as stale by Monday morning. The CIA’s interrogation program happened over a decade ago. It was investigated by Justice Department prosecutors for years — and not once but twice. The second time, even Eric Holder, the hyper-politicized, hard-Left attorney general who had promised Obama’s base a “reckoning,” could not help but concede that the case against our intelligence agents should be dropped because the evidence was insufficient to warrant torture prosecutions.

As I have frequently argued here over the years, there is a world of difference between what is couched in political rhetoric as “torture,” a conversation stopper that the Left cavalierly applies to every instance of prisoner abuse, and the federal crime of torture, which has a strict legal definition and is a difficult offense to prove, precisely to ensure that torture is not trivialized. Not surprisingly, then, the fact that the interrogations investigation was terminated has never been regarded as a clean bill of health.

To the contrary, disclosure was made to the public, through congressional investigations as well as through the criminal probe, that the tactics used were troubling. The treatment of a bare fraction of the tens of thousands of detainees held for a time raised concerns about abuse — far less than the norm in previous wars. The abuses that did occur, however, became notorious. And they were not trivial. Indeed, two detainees died: one under suspicious circumstances in Iraq, another of hypothermia in Afghanistan.

But we’ve known this for years. In conjunction with the Left’s shameful “Bush lied, people died” Iraq war meme — along with the Bush administration’s peculiar decision not to defend itself from scurrilous allegations — the “torture” narrative helped propel Democrats to decisive victories in the 2006 and 2008 elections.

Feinstein’s report similarly serves no useful purpose when it comes to the ostensible rationale for its release, namely: the quest to corroborate the strictly ideological — and demonstrably false — claim that coercive interrogation does not yield vital intelligence.

On this score, it is almost not worth pointing to the averments of current and former CIA directors and operatives that the techniques employed produced essential wartime intelligence. It is even tempting to omit mention of the fact that the 9/11 Commission Report — lauded by members of both parties as the definitive account of the 9/11 attacks and the foundation of American counterterrorism policy — is largely the product of intelligence culled from top terrorists subjected to waterboarding and other indignities.

These are time-wasting exercises because the Feinstein report, as a piece of government investigative work, is laughably incompetent — at least as much as a taxpayer can laugh at a $50 million political stunt. An investigation that, as Rich Lowry notes, neglects to interview a single participant in the relevant events is a fraud. There is no other word for it.

This one will cost us dearly — and I’m not just talking about the $50 mil. The allies we need to prosecute a global anti-terror campaign — the ones from whom Obama’s election was supposed to win us renewed respect and affection — despise us for what Senate Democrats have done. As someone who has been around the block as many times as Feinstein must be aware, the report embarrasses governments that cooperate with the United States and raises their vulnerability as terror targets.

And just as our allies are reminded that America is an unfaithful friend, so, too, have American national-security officials, intelligence agents, and warriors been given a cautionary lesson: If you take actions to protect the American people — in wartime, in the heat of the moment amid a palpably justified fear of mass-murder attacks after nearly 3,000 of your fellow citizens have been slaughtered — better prepare to be hounded as a war criminal for the succeeding decade or more.

Jihadists, meanwhile, will go on beheading teenagers and planning massive attacks.

It has been one thing to tell our ascendant enemies — in actions and omissions that speak louder than words — that we have no stomach to fight them where they must be fought: on the ground where, we know, given time and space, they plot to kill Americans. It is quite another thing to buoy them with the assurance that a major party in this country has a bottomless appetite to fight Americans whose major allegiance is to America.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.

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CIA saved lives

Former CIA Officer Gary Berntsen talks reactions to the Agency’s report

Published on Dec 11, 2014 by CCTV America

CCTV America interviewed Gary Berntsen for an inside perspective on the report. Berntsen is a former CIA Senior Operations Officer.

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ISIS’s Stay-at-Home Radicals

by Abigail R. Esman
Special to IPT News,  
December 9, 2014

1101Across Europe and America, governments and intelligence officials are struggling to address the problem of Western Muslims who join the jihad in Syria – and then come back home again. But in the process, they may be missing the bigger threat: the ones who never left.

Counterterrorism experts agree that the danger posed by returning jihadists is significant: already radicalized before they joined groups like the Al Nusra Front and the Islamic State (IS or ISIS), they are now well-trained in the practice of terrorist warfare. Unlike most Westerners, they have overcome any discomfort they may have previously felt about killing or confronting death. Chances are, they’ve already done it.

And their numbers are increasing: already an estimated 3,000 westerners have made the move to join the Islamic State and similar terrorist groups. Hence many countries, including the Netherlands and England, have determined to revoke the passports of any Syrian fighter known to carry dual nationality (many second-generation Turkish and Moroccan immigrants carry passports from their family’s land of origin. Similar bills have also been proposed in the U.S., such as one put forward by U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va. The UK has also considered confiscating the passports of all British citizens who join the jihad, but such measures have been rejected on the basis of concerns about leaving individuals stateless.

But now some experts – and returning jihadists – say ISIS “sleeper cells” are already embedded in the West. So-called “Jihadi Hunter” Dimitri Bontinck told the UK’s Mail Online last month that “influential sources” had informed him of such cells, and warned that they were “preparing to unleash their war on Europe.” And an ISIS defector reportedly told a Scandinavian broadcaster of similar sleeper cells in Sweden which were, he said, “awaiting orders.”

The presence of these cells should not come as much of a surprise. More surprising is that Europe’s intelligence agencies hadn’t spotted them earlier. In part, this could be blamed on the intense focus on dealing with returnees, a problem that has left some intelligence and law enforcement agencies stretched thin: in June, for instance, Dutch intelligence agency AIVD admitted it “could no longer keep up” with the jihadists in the Netherlands. By October they were forced to bring in police teams to assist, especially in following the 40 or so jihadists who had returned. (An estimated 130 Dutch, including both returnees and those killed, have joined the Syrian fight.)

But if the AIVD and other intelligence agencies can barely follow the ones they know, this leaves countless other radicalized Muslims in Europe easy prey for Islamic State recruiters, who have already turned Europe’s efforts to block returnees to their advantage. With videos online and with extraordinary social media prowess, IS agents are increasingly encouraging Western supporters to work from home: spread the word, motivate others to make the trip (known as “making Hijrah”), or prepare to attack the infidel on Western soil.

And attack they have, as in the beheading of Fusilier Lee Rigby on a London street in 2013, the killing of a Canadian soldier, Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, in Ottawa on Oct. 22, and the hatchet attack on NYPD officers in Queens, N.Y. only two days later. Other assaults have been thwarted, such as the alleged plot by three British men who, prosecutors say, were inspired by ISIS calls for attacks on unbelievers. The men were arrested Nov. 6 in London on charges of planning to behead civilians.

But ISIS’s propaganda has been successful in other ways. Recruiting for jihad is on the rise in the Netherlands, according to a recent AIVD report, which further notes that “the number of Dutch jihadists traveling to Syria to join the conflict there has increased substantially since late 2012.” And overall support for the terrorist group is growing even faster – as thousands made clear during pro-ISIS demonstrations last summer. “Several thousand” people in the Netherlands alone support IS, the AIVD claims, while another recent Dutch report concluded that nearly 90 percent of Dutch Turkish youth considered IS members “heroes.” (That latter report has since come under fire, but its researchers stand by their findings.)

In Germany, ISIS support has grown so threatening that in September, the government passed a law to ban it outright. That legislation includes “a ban on activities that support the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, including any displays of its black flag, as part of an effort to suppress the extremist group’s propaganda and recruitment work among Germans,” the New York Times reported. On Dec. 5, officials used the law to close a Bremen mosque; sermons there allegedly encouraged young Muslims to make Hijrah – to migrate – and join in the jihad.

In France, where an estimated 700 people have made Hijrah – the highest number in Europe – an ICM poll conducted last summer for Russian news agency Rosslya Segodnya found that one in six people support ISIS. Among those aged 18-24 – the age of most of the country’s Muslim population –27 percent indicated a “positive opinion” of the terrorist group.

These are not just mathematical figures. They represent people: tens of thousands of young men and women. In fact, the Guardian observes, an analysis by Italian academics of more than 2 million Arabic-language posts online found that “support for Islamic State among Arabic-speaking social media users in Belgium, Britain, France and the US is greater than in the militant group’s heartlands of Syria and Iraq.”

Why?

This is exactly the question Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb –a Muslim of Moroccan origin – is asking. Despite his own hard stance against Islamic radicalization, the number of youths in Rotterdam suspected of radicalizing has increased by 50 percent over the past year. While attending the trial of one suspected jihadist, Dutch daily AD reports, Aboutaleb wondered aloud “why such youths, well-educated and full of promise commit themselves to the jihad.”

“The question is,” he is quoted as saying, “who are the people who go? Why do they make this step? Because they feel discriminated? Because they’re unemployed? Rejected by society? I don’t get that. Doubtless, that would maybe push someone over the edge, but there have to be other arguments that play a role.”

Ultimately, these are the questions everyone should be asking – intelligence and law enforcement agencies most of all. Because as the number of Western jihadists rises, and the support for ISIS grows, one thing is becoming clear: that until we have the answers to the basic queries, nothing else we do will matter.

New U.S. embassy warnings posted after release of CIA interrogation report

A police officer patrols outside the U.S. embassy in London Dec. 9, 2014. The Senate Intelligence Committee released a report on the CIA’s anti-terrorism tactics on Tuesday and U.S. officials moved to shore up security at American facilities around the world as a precaution. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

A police officer patrols outside the U.S. embassy in London Dec. 9, 2014. The Senate Intelligence Committee released a report on the CIA’s anti-terrorism tactics on Tuesday and U.S. officials moved to shore up security at American facilities around the world as a precaution. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

Washington Post, By Dan Lamothe, Dec. 9. 2014:

The State Department released new security warnings Tuesday following the Senate Intelligence Committee’s release of a controversial report on CIA interrogation techniques, saying Americans should avoid crowds and watch out for unrest.

Emergency messages issued in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Thailand all cited the Senate report’s release as a cause for concern. State Department officials suggested monitoring developments through local media and U.S. embassy websites.

U.S. citizens “should be aware that the release of declassified versions of the executive summary, findings, and conclusions of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s study on the CIA’s Rendition, Detention and Interrogation program could prompt anti-U.S. protests and violence against U.S. interests, including private U.S. citizens,” the warnings said. “U.S. citizens should pay attention to their surroundings and take appropriate safety precautions, including avoiding demonstrations or confrontational situations.”

The new warnings come after defense officials confirmed Monday that had put a number of military units on a heightened state of alert in anticipation of unrest because of the report’s release. The units involved include a crisis-response unit that has Marines in Sigonella, Italy, and Morón, Spain, a second crisis-response unit with troops in Kuwait and Iraq, and 50-man teams of fleet anti-terrorism security team (FAST) Marines who are typically called upon to reinforce U.S. embassies.

Afghanistan and Pakistan have been sites of unrest perpetually since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on Washington and New York. Thailand was the home of a “black site” prison in which interrogations occurred, including some on Abu Zabaida, who is accused by the U.S. of being involved in al-Qaeda operations. He lost an eye at the site after undergoing interrogation that included waterboarding, according to the report.

The Senate report does not identify the location of the black sites, but includes a color-coded system that calls the one in Thailand “Detention Site Green.” The Washington Post determined which one was which using other details in the report.

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A New Imperative to Secure the Grid

EMP-power-grid--665x385CSP, by Frank Gaffney:

Iranian leaders have long stated that they seek a world “without America.” Prior to President Obama’s disastrous diplomacy, U.S. leaders have sought to prevent the mullahs from getting the Bomb for that reason, among others.

Last week, however, a firm called Cylance issued a frightening report about extensive Iranian cyberwarfare operations over the past two years. It suggests that Tehran may already be in a position to destroy this country – without firing a shot.

Hackers believed to be associated with the Iranian regime have been able to penetrate the control systems of America’s critical infrastructure – including those of our electric utilities. Were they to disrupt or destroy such systems, the United States would lose power for prolonged periods. And without electricity, many millions of us would die.

We must secure the grid, now.

Rep. Franks on Judge Jeanine: Iran military doctrine calls for EMP weapon

 

Gaffney on Judge Jeanine: Congress must continue to act on grid security

 

High Frontier

“A Date That Will Live In Infamy!”

By 

December 8, 2014

“Global critical infrastructure organizations need to take this threat seriously. The Iranian adversary is real and they’re coming, if not already here.” ~ Mark Weatherford, Former Deputy Under Secretary of Homeland Security

On a Monday 73 years ago, today, President Franklin D. Roosevelt began his address to a joint session of Congress with these famous words: “Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date that will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” Congress declared war on Japan, with only one dissenting vote. Three days later, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States and we were committed to World War II, a war that may have been avoided had we been prepared.  

December 8, 2014 I

But we were unprepared, and over 85 million died—including death by associated starvation and disease around the world; and including over 400,000 of the “Greatest Generation Americans” who fought in that war. (Click here for some pertinent statistics by country.) My reflections last year on Pearl Harbor emphasized that this “Black Swan” event should not have been a complete surprise. Billy Mitchell was court-martialed for demonstrating the vulnerability of ships to attack from the air and giving us 15 years of explicit “strategic warning” of Pearl Harbor’s specific vulnerability  to air attack—which we ignored, and Roberta Wohlstetter’s in-depth 1962 analysis demonstrated our failure in responding to “tactical warning” of the actual attack.    

Today, we are again living through a period of great threats to all we hold dear—and we are not likely to have time to recover from a modern surprise attack using technology that did not exist in 1941-45. This is why it is so important to block Iran’s efforts to gain nuclear weapons that could pose an existential electromagnetic pulse (EMP) threat—and why the thus far failure to do so is so dangerous. 

Strategic Warning of an EMP Attack by Iran.

The remainder of my December 11, 2013 message discussed a possible, now looming, “Black Swan” attack by Iran that could extinguish American civilization—indeed Western Civilization, which is the declared objective of Iran’s ruling mullahs.  We listed the long-standing “strategic warning” events below:

  • The U.S. demonstrated  high altitude electromagnetic pulse (HEMP) effects on “ancient” vacuum tube electronics nearly 1000 miles from our 1962 Starfish Prime nuclear test in the South Pacific—today’s solid state electronics are much, much more vulnerable to HEMP.
  • At considerable expense during the Cold War, the U.S. hardened its key military electronic systems to HEMP to assure the President could retaliate after a Soviet HEMP attack on the U.S. This capability was at the heart of our deterrent policy.
  • Post-Cold War discussions with Russia validated this investment—their high altitude tests were actually more extensive than ours and they included HEMP in their attack plans.
  • We continue to harden our strategic military systems but have done little or nothing to harden our civil critical infrastructure—especially the electric power grid, upon which the viability of most other critical infrastructure depends.
  • The Congressionally mandated nonpartisan EMP Commission reports warned of the devastating consequences of such an attack in 2004 and in 2008 provided previously classified information to back up these conclusions in a comprehensive report.
  • The EMP Commission identified the electric power grid vulnerabilities as being critically important, deserving remediation immediately—its Chairman testified that unless these vulnerabilities were rectified, starvation, disease and social collapse from a HEMP attack could lead to the death of most Americans within the following year.
  • Russia has shared its nuclear and ballistic missile technology with China, North Korea, Iran and, at least via the cacophony of proliferation if not directly, with others. This includes information that helps North Korea develop nuclear weapons to maximize EMP effects. For example, close collaboration between North Korea and Iran has benefited both—of course with help from Russia and China.
  • Iran has collaborated with North Korea and attended North Korean tests, which some experts believe were intended to demonstrate advanced designs that could easily be adapted for ballistic missile or satellite delivery to create HEMP effects.
  • Iran has pursued an extensive ballistic missile development program—including testing in the late 1990s that knowledgeable observers associate with an interest an HEMP attack from a seagoing vessel.
  • A ten-day maneuver exercise in the summer of 2011 launched some 14 ballistic missiles of various ranges, after which Iran’s then Defense Minister, Gen. Ahmad Vahidi, boasted: “The war games…show Iran’s great capability in designing, producing and using various kinds of missiles based on domestic knowledge. This showed that the sanctions imposed had no effect on Iran’s missile program.”

Last Year’s Tactical Warning of an EMP Attack by Iran.

These activities bridge into more recent potential “Tactical Warning” events that may signal an eminent attack. A slightly edited version of last year’s list follows:

  • The last bullet above suggested a certain irrelevance of the debate over sanctions in the broader context of the ongoing ill-advised negotiations with Iran on its nuclear weapons development programs. We just kicked the can down the road for the second time since last year—with no real prospect of any significantly helpful outcome.
  • Over a year ago, North Korea and Iran launched satellites to their south, traveling over the South Polar regions, which could easily have been directed over the U.S. in their initial orbit at an altitude to optimize HEMP effects over the entire continental U.S.
  • Over a year ago, Iranian Naval Admiral Afshin Rezayee said Iran’s Navy plans to deploy warships in the Atlantic.
  • Previously, Iranian officials had observed their ships can threaten U.S. coastal cities—particularly from the Gulf of Mexico. We are completely vulnerable to such an attack.
  • Meanwhile President Obama and his spokesmen have continued to signal a willingness for Iran to continue with a “Modest nuclear enrichment program” . . . whatever that means, it must drive the Israelis up the wall—as it should any who may ultimately be threatened by a nuclear armed Iran. Israel is the “Little Satan”—America is the “Great Satan.”

Breaking News—Urgent Tactical Warning.

Just breaking news should further heighten our concern that time for us to respond is running out.  Even as Secretary of State John Kerry prepares for another round of negotiations with little hope of any meaningful success, news this week explicitly indicates Iran is planning to employ EMP weapons against us. Last Monday, EMP Caucus Chairman Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), in speaking on the House floor for the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act (CIPA) that passed by a voice vote, noted that

The National Intelligence University of the United States recently translated an Iranian military doctrine called “Passive Defense” which referenced the use of nuclear EMP as a weapon more than 20 times. This doctrine stresses that electrical grids are vital to national existence. It includes a formula for calculating the value of electric power plants and for prioritizing the targeting of electric grid components and other infrastructures.”

Mr. Franks made the same statement at a conference I attended last Thursday and Friday. I strongly urge that you read this important Act and the associated floor statements, including that of Rep. Yvette Clark (D-NY), the co-chair of the EMP Caucus. 

In addition, Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) who will chair the Homeland Security Committee also spoke on Friday, and I believe he will be very supportive of CIPA and other measures to defend the nation against EMP attacks. Hopefully, the Senate will also pass the act before the end of the current session—if not I believe it will come up immediately in the new session to begin in January.

Rep. Franks’ reference to this Iranian report on Iran’s military doctrine deserves great weight, as further indicated by additional troubling Iranian threat information provided this week by Cylance, a private security firm. Its report on Iranian cyber operations referred to as Operation Cleaver is sobering, to say the least. Cylance dubbed the threatening Iranian team “Tarh Andishan,” which roughly translated means “thinkers” or “innovators.” They have displayed an evolved skillset to perform attacks of espionage, theft, and the potential destruction of control systems and networks. Tarh Andishan was observed actively targeting, attacking, and compromising more than 50 victims since at least 2012.

By “reverse hacking” the Iranian cyber-offense infrastructure and compromising their servers, Cylance obtained 80,000 files and 8 gigabytes of data, including data Iran stole from the U.S. Marine Corps. Among other things, the 85 page report included that the Iranian group is believed to work from Tehran, “although auxiliary team members were identified in other locations including the Netherlands, Canada, and the UK.” Targets include “military, oil and gas, energy and utilities, transportation, airlines, airports, hospitals, telecommunications, technology, education, aerospace, Defense Industrial Base (DIB), chemical companies, and governments.”

Surely, the U.S. electric power grid is among these targets. And given Mr. Franks’ revelation that the Iranian military strategy includes the exploitation of EMP, it is not a stretch to imagine Iranian attack strategy combines cyber-attacks with the more debilitating EMP attacks, once Iran achieves that capability. Indeed, this fits with Cylance’s bottom line after tracking the Operation Cleaver team for over two years, that

“the government of Iran, and particularly the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), is backing numerous groups and front entities to attack the world’s critical infrastructure.”

It would be absurd for U.S. planners not to consider the full spectrum of threats, including direct attacks like the 2 AM sniper attack on the Metcalf substation near San Jose in April 2013, followed by another attack last August.  Such repeated successful attacks on such an important substation do not provide confidence in the power company’s countermeasures, even after a year for their application—a highly publicized bad message to have sent to an Iran planning to attack the United States. Good news for Iran; bad news for us.  (Click here for a brief press account.)

The most devastating threat could occur once Iran mates nuclear weapons to its ballistic missiles and can launch a devastating HEMP attack with nuclear detonations a hundred or so miles above the U.S.—combined with cyber and a Metcalf-like attack operations. 

Some Key Bottom  Lines:

To recap a few associated important bottom lines from my email messages over the past year:

  • Members of the Executive and Legislative branches are collectively failing in their sworn duty “to provide for the common defense” against the EMP threat.
  • The key obstacles blocking effective U.S. countermeasures are purely political. The threat is well known—and validated by numerous competent technical reviews. The cost of hardening is minimal by any reasonable measure—the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which doesn’t have the authority and resources to rectify the situation, has estimated the annual cost to be less than that of a postage stamp per subscriber. The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) is a captive of the Electric Power industry which has blocked for four years legislation to improve the electric grid’s ability to survive an EMP attack. Click here for an example of dysfunctional NERC-FERC treatment of Natural EMP. The above mentioned Metcalf failures speak volumes. And there’s more—much more—evidence of a badly broken regulatory process.
  • So . . . the electric power companies have been winning in their efforts to frustrate initiatives to harden the electric power grid against HEMP (or other manmade or natural EMP) effects.
  • Some believe that Iran would not attack the United States for fear of retaliation—these views ignore the stated willingness of the ruling Mullahs to commit suicide to achieve their stated objective of eliminating the Great Satan (America) and Little Satan (Israel) and to hasten the return of the Mahdi according to their end times prophesy. 
  • The Critical Infrastructure Protection Act (CIPA) is a step in the right direction, but . . .
  • The clock clicks on—toward a disaster that will make Pearl Harbor look like a picnic . . .

WILL THERE BE ANOTHER DATE THAT WILL LIVE IN INFAMY?????

Near Term High Frontier Plans.

As time may be running out for effective U.S. action, we will continue to inform all who will listen about the existential EMP threat and how to counter it. Our primary focus will be to help state and local authorities, particularly the National Guard, protect the citizens under their charge. Past experience shows that it is foolish to wait for the federal authorities to respond effectively.

High Frontier will continue to advocate the most cost effective BMD systems that the powers that be will permit.

And we will seek effective means to harden the electric power grid. As quickly as possible.

What can you do?

Join us in praying for our nation, and for a rebirth of the freedom sought, achieved and passed to us by those who came before us.

Help us to spread our message to the grass roots and to encourage all “powers that be” to provide for the common defense as they are sworn to do.

Begin by passing this message to your friends and suggest they visit our webpage, www.highfrontier.org for more information. Also, please encourage your sphere of influence to sign up for our weekly e-newsletter.

And support us with your tax deductible gifts to help enable our continuing efforts.

Muslim Navy Employee Sold Info on How to Sink Aircraft Carrier

navytheft4-450x253Frontpage, by Daniel Greenfield:

Just workplace espionage. No reason to worry about our national security.

A naturalized American citizen working for the Navy was arrested Friday for attempting to sell technical information about the nuclear aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford to an agent of the Egyptian government.

The agent, however, was a federal undercover agent working for the FBI.

During that meeting, Awwad suggested they employ “an elaborate cyber security system which included several one-time use electronic mail boxes with phantom names,” the affidavit said. He also described a detailed plan to circumvent Navy computer security by installing a “bug” on his restricted computer that would allow him to copy documents without drawing attention.

According to the affidavit, Awwad provided the undercover agent four computer-aided design drawings of the Ford and told him where to strike the vessel with a missile to sink it.

According to a redacted affidavit from federal agent James Blitzer, Awwad was born in 1979 in Saudi Arabia. He married a US citizen in May 2007 in Cairo, Egypt, and later became a US citizen.

At the time of his indictment, Awwad, of Yorktown, Virginia, was working as a civilian engineer in the nuclear engineering and planning department of the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, where he had been hired in February. He had been given a clearance of Secret.

During their first meeting in a park in Hampton, Va., Awwad explained to “Yousef” that he intended to use his position to obtain military technology for use by the Egyptian government, including but not limited to, the designs of the USS Gerald Ford nuclear aircraft carrier.

It might be time to stop providing classified ratings to just about everyone who walks off the street. Members of enemy ideologies should be doubly scrutinized. Saudi Arabia is an enemy country. It’s the source of most of our terrorist problems.

We’re taking the enemy deep within our own system.

FBI Pulled Official to Prevent Testimony at Key Anti-Terror Hearing

AP

AP

Washington Free Beacon, By Adam Kredo, Dec.5, 2014:

The FBI refused to appear before Congress earlier this week to testify on the threats posed to American citizens by foreign fighters and other extremists who have traveled from Western countries to fight alongside the Islamic State (IS), according to multiple congressional sources familiar with the situation.

The FBI initially agreed to provide a witness for Tuesday’s House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing regarding the threats posed to the U.S. homeland by extremists affiliated with IS (also known as ISIL or ISIS), according to those apprised of the situation.

However, the law agency changed its mind just a few days before the hearing and decided to block any official from testifying. The last minute decision was made amid reports that the FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had begun warning U.S. troops that IS fighters could be monitoring their social media accounts.

Officials from both the State Department and DHS agreed to appear at the hearing.

The FBI’s decision to stonewall Congress caused anger behind the scenes on Capitol Hill and led some to accuse it of evading its responsibility to inform American citizens about the dangers these terrorists pose.

“For the FBI to confirm its witness and then pull out only a few days before the hearing and not offer a replacement doesn’t exactly show a good faith effort on their part and it took away a lot from what we were trying to accomplish,” said one congressional source familiar with what took place behind-the-scenes.

“We are repeatedly being told that there is no credible threat to the U.S. homeland, but just a few days ago the FBI issued a warning to U.S. military members that ISIL is calling for attacks against them and it is seeking individuals in America that are sympathetic to its cause to carry out these attacks,” the source said. “So I think there is a very clear disconnect there.”

The FBI’s decision to back out had “real implications” on the hearing and the American public’s right to know about the threats posed by foreign fighters associated with IS.

“We do our hearings in an open setting so that the American public can stay informed with regard to the threats to our national security, and more importantly, what the administration is doing to counter or defend against those threats,” the source explained.

Another congressional source with knowledge of what took place said that the FBI told members and committee staff that “they had nothing to say in an unclassified setting.”

The source went on to describe this excuse as “pretty ridiculous.”

Multiple requests for comment and explanation from the FBI were not returned.

Lawmakers had prepared to ask FBI officials about an intelligence bulletin jointly issued by the FBI and DHS warning U.S.-based military personnel about potential threats from IS, which is believed to be monitoring their social media accounts.

The FBI’s absence was noticed several times at the hearing when lawmakers posed several questions that could not be answered by those officials in attendance.

When asked to explain the law enforcement mechanisms preventing jihadists with American passports from returning stateside, a DHS official referred questions to the FBI.

“If someone shows up at the U.S. and there’s indications that person has been a foreign fighter in Syria it would be referred to the FBI and then it would be a matter for the FBI,” Tom Warrick, a deputy assistant secretary for counterterrorism policy at DHS, told lawmakers during the hearing.

Lawmakers could not pose further questions on this topic and others due to the issues falling under the purview of the FBI.

After it was revealed that not a single American passport has been canceled since news that more than 100 citizens have joined IS, lawmakers had a tough time learning why.

Robert Bradtke, the State Department’s senior adviser for partner engagement on Syria foreign fighters, said that while the secretary of state has the power to cancel a person’s passport, he would only do so if asked by law enforcement.

“We would only do it in consultations with law enforcement authorities and we’ve not yet had any requests from law enforcement authorities to cancel the passports of ISIS or foreign fighters,” Bradtke said.

Without a FBI official in the hearing room, it could not be discerned why no requests had been made.

When asked about pro-IS graffiti that has been spotted in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere over the past several months, Warrick again deferred to the FBI.

“Is the graffiti we’ve seen in D.C. and other cities legitimate, or do you think it’s not?” asked Rep. Ileana Ros Lehtinen (R., Fla.).

“That would actually be a question that I think would be better addressed by the FBI or domestic law enforcement. They’d be able to help you with that,” Warrick responded.

While it is acceptable to keep sensitive details secret, organizations such as the FBI have a responsibility to be upfront with the American people, said one congressional source.

“Obviously a lot of what it is doing may be classified and we want to be mindful of those sensitivities because we don’t want to lead on to the bad guys what we know,” the source said. “However, we believe that the American people deserve to know what is being done to protect them.”

Need For Increased Vigilance as IS Inspired Attacks Continue to Target Westerners in the Middle East

terror-threatCSP, By Matt Bauer, December 4, 2014:

As the U.S. and coalition forces continue to conduct airstrikes against the Islamic State, an alarming trend of increasing violence towards westerners is occurring in the Middle East. In recent weeks, there have been multiple attacks on abroad citizens of western coalition nations in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. IS ideology and influence has been seen in dozens of countries around the world, more notably countries in Europe and North America taking part of the anti-IS coalition force.

The United States, Canada, France, the UK, Germany, Austria, Australia, and many others have all been dealing with the security threats posed by Islamic radicals inspired by IS to conduct domestic attacks. There is also the threat of experienced foreign IS fighters returning to their home countries to conduct operations on behalf of IS. While these threats remain pertinent, the threat to abroad citizens of coalition countries is increasing in light of recent events.

In the UAE, an unidentified woman wearing a full niqab stabbed an American school teacher to death in a public restroom at an Abu Dhabi mall. The unidentified woman also planted a makeshift explosive device at the residence of an Egyptian-American doctor. The device was discovered and disarmed by police before it was able to cause any damage. Though the woman’s connections are still unknown, it is clear that these attacks were meant to specifically target Americans. The presence of a makeshift explosive device may indicate that the detained suspect was not acting alone. This incident is particularly alarming since it is very rare for terrorist attacks of this nature to occur in the oil-rich emirates.

In Saudi Arabia, two separate incidents occurred where a Danish and Canadian citizen were targeted. Last month, a gunman pulled up alongside the vehicle of a Danish man and opened fire. The Danish citizen was only treated for minor injuries. The perpetrators of the attack remained unknown until a recent video was released by Saudi supporters of IS claiming responsibility. The video seems to show a gunman pulling up next to a vehicle and firing multiple shots directed at the driver. The video has not yet been authenticated by authorities but seems to be consistent with attack. The video also included audio clips of IS leaders calling for attacks within Saudi Arabia.

Another incident occurred at a shopping mall in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province where a Canadian man was stabbed. The assailant was arrested but the motive behind the attack is still unknown. Given the current trend and timing of the attack, it seems likely that the man was targeted because of his nationality. In Egypt, a Sinai-based terrorist group originally called Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABM) but have recently changed their name to the Islamic State in Sinai, have claimed responsibility for the death of a 58-year old Texas native William Henderson. Henderson is reported to have been working for his oil company at one of their locations in Egypt and died on August 6th of this year.

The investigation into the specifics of his death is ongoing but it appears that he has been murdered solely for being an American citizen. The Islamic State of Sinai or ABM is an interesting group since they have deep ties with the Muslim Brotherhood along with their recent pledge of allegiance to IS. Egyptian authorities allege that ABM has long been funded by the Muslim Brotherhood but it is unclear under whose direction they are currently operating under.

The similarities between these separate incidents demonstrate that as the coalition fight against IS continues, western citizens visiting or living in the Middle East will continue to be targeted. It is becoming increasingly necessary for potential targeted citizens living abroad to be vigilant and aware of this very real threat. Companies and corporations who have employees at potentially dangerous foreign locations should also be aware and take the necessary steps to increase security measures to protect their facilities.

Obama Empowers Enemies and Imperils Friends

national-security-summit-hausman-e1415355363525By Matthew Hausman:

Even after the recent war in Gaza – and in spite of the dangers posed by ISIS and other Islamist forces – many American Jews still do not fully comprehend the risk to Israel and the West of a rejectionist ideology that promotes jihad and genocide.  But the threat is real and arises from a doctrine that demands total submission from the vanquished.  In failing to recognize the scope of the threat, western progressives – Jews and Gentiles alike – view the world as they believe it should be, not the way it actually is.  The reality, however, is that liberal ideals are irrelevant in regions where politics have no existence independent of religion and religion is unforgivingly totalitarian.

This failure is as much political as intellectual.  Moreover, it engenders complacency with the foreign policy of an administration that has not only failed to respond adequately to the Islamist threat, but whose actions have bolstered fundamentalism across the Mideast and undercut the interests of Israel – America’s only stable and dependable ally in the region.

These points were articulated at a security panel conference entitled, “Israel and the US: The Fight to Save Western Civilization from Global Jihad,” which took place in Massachusetts recently.  The program featured retired Generals Jerry Boykin and Tom McInerney, former CIA Station Chief Gary Berntsen, and retired Lt. Colonel (and former congressman) Allen West.  The program focused on the need to recognize the threat of jihadist extremism, as well as the myriad foreign policy failures that have helped destabilize the Mideast.

Secular progressives have become unwitting foils for Islamist radicalism by their failure to acknowledge its supremacist aspirations and their perception of Muslims as a vulnerable minority despite a global population of approximately 1.6 billion.  This view is a little ironic considering the progressive tendency to disparage Jewish national claims and values and to condemn any perceived Christian intrusion into American politics, but nevertheless to discourage speech that criticizes Islam or mentions any Muslim involvement in terrorism.

Secular progressives often support anti-blasphemy laws and are quick to label as racists those who criticize Muslims on political grounds, although Islam is a religion and is not defined by race or ethnicity.  Moreover, while they often rationalize Islamist extremism as an indigenous voice of protest against western chauvinism, its ubiquity is the result of conquest, colonialism, and the subjugation of “infidel” minorities.  It is the height of cognitive dissonance when feminists, gay rights activists and other social progressives express support for religious extremists who persecute and kill based on gender, sexuality, and dissenting religious belief or political opinion, but condemn Israel – the only country in the Mideast where minorities have equal rights and protections under the law.

Over the last six years, the administration has sought rapprochement with the Islamic world through a series of questionable policies.  Domestically, it has discouraged official use of terms such as “Islamic terrorism,” instead referring to terror incidents involving Muslims as criminal acts, workplace violence or violent extremism.  On the foreign stage, it enabled the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, provided funding in areas governed by Hamas despite that organization’s stated goals of jihad and genocide, and failed to honor strategic commitments to Israel during the Gaza war.

Perhaps most troubling, the administration has used the pretense of negotiations to allow Iran to continue its quest for nuclear weapons – to the consternation not only of Israel, but of Saudi Arabia and all Sunni states in the region.  Though it rationalizes that Iran should be permitted to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, critics point out that 55 percent of Iran’s domestic energy comes from natural gas, 42 percent from oil and two percent from hydroelectricity, such that it has no apparent consumer need for nuclear power. Its true intentions are reflected in the statements of its leaders, including Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who recently tweeted that Israel “… has no cure but to be annihilated.”

Whether promoting Islamists, enabling Iran’s nuclear ambitions, or chastising the way Israel defended herself in Gaza, the administration has pursued policies that have empowered America’s enemies and imperiled its allies.  Furthermore, by drawing meaningless redlines that it refuses to enforce and unilaterally disarming in Europe, it has signaled to the world that it is no longer willing to defend its own interests or those of its allies, but instead will stand aside while Russia, China and other geopolitical rivals assert themselves within traditional U.S. spheres of influence.

Speaking to a packed house at Ahavath Torah Congregation in Stoughton, Massachusetts, Generals Boykin and McInerney, Colonel West, and Agent Berntsen discussed the weakening of American strength and prestige under the current administration, and how this has enhanced Islamist resolve, endangered the safety of Israel, and compromised American interests around the globe.

Read more at NER

 

Congress Takes Important First Step Towards Securing The Grid

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Center for Security Policy:

Last night, the House of Representatives approved unanimously H.R. 3410, the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act (CIPA). This legislation marks a breakthrough: For the first time in four years, Congress has acted to begin to protect the nation’s most critical of critical infrastructures: the U.S. electrical grid. It now falls to the Senate and to President Obama to ensure that the House-passed bill becomes the law of the land.

CIPA’s lead sponsors were Reps. Trent Franks (R-AZ), a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee and co-chairman of the Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Caucus, and Pete Sessions (R-TX), the chairman of the powerful House Rules Committee. The measure enjoyed strong bipartisan support including from the House Homeland Security Committee’s Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX), and the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee’s Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies, Reps. Patrick Meehan (R-PA) and Yvette Clark (D-NY).

The CIPA legislation requires the Department of Homeland Security to:

  1. include in national planning scenarios the threat of electromagnetic pulse (EMP) which would entail the education of the owners and operators of critical infrastructure, as well as emergency planners and emergency responders at all levels of government of the threat of EMP events;
  2. engage in research and development aimed at mitigating the consequences of naturally occurring or man-caused EMP events; and
  3. produce a comprehensive plan to protect and prepare the critical infrastructure of the American homeland against EMP events.

Representative Franks observed:

The U.S. electric grid is fundamental to our continued way of life and practical steps must be taken to protect those critical elements that serve the United States from all threats.  The negative impacts on U.S. financial, agricultural, medical and other critical societal infrastructure are potentially catastrophic in a severe electromagnetic pulse (EMP) or severe space weather event.

By some estimates, nine out of ten Americans would perish if the power were to go off and remain off for a year’s time.

The Secure the Grid Coalition is committed to ensuring that does not happen. The Coalition is a group of national leaders in matters of defense, homeland security, solar weather, infrastructure protection and other experts who have joined forces for the purpose of achieving urgently the protection of power grid upon which the nation, its people, economy and the Department of Defense depend.

Under the honorary co-chairmanship of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Clinton Director of Central Intelligence R. James Woolsey, the Secure the Grid Coalition has been active in educating lawmakers and their constituents about the nature of the various threats to the nation’s bulk power distribution system, including but not limited to EMP. Among other efforts in that regard was influential testimony provided before the House Homeland Security Committee earlier this year by two members of the Coalition: Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, of the Congressional Task Force on National and Homeland Security, and Dr. Chris Beck, Vice President of the Electric Infrastructure Protection Council.

The Center for Security Policy sponsors the Secure the Grid and its President, Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. applauded the passage of H.R. 3410 last night, saying:

Yesterday, the House of Representatives took an important first step towards protecting America’s electrical grid – and millions of its people whose lives critically depend upon it – from attack or naturally induced destruction. That planning will hopefully make clear the necessity of taking steps to secure the grid before these things happen, rather than try to cope with the consequences afterwards.

Secure the Grid Coalition members are available for comment on the passage of the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act in the House of Representatives and about the considerable work still to be done to harden the electrical grid against all hazards. More information can be found at www.securethegrid.com.

Obama ‘Solves’ Immigration Crisis by Ordering ‘Shields Down’

 

By Michael Cutler:

That we live in a perilous era is hardly a headline — this is a well established fact.  America and Americans face an existential threat posed by terrorist organizations.  Additionally, huge quantities of heroin and cocaine have flooded across our borders, smuggled by pernicious drug trafficking organizations that have set up shop in communities across the United States.  There is a strong nexus between narcotics trafficking and narcotics use and crime, especially violent crime.

The tens of billions of dollars, the annual proceeds from the drug trade, flow into the coffers of transnational drug trafficking organizations and international terrorist organizations.

Finally, our nation’s economy continues to falter and struggle as do tens of millions of American workers and their families find that their incomes shrink as their expenses rise as more foreign workers enter the United States each month than the number of new jobs that are being created.

All of the above-noted issues have a clear nexus to failures of our nation to secure its borders and enforce the immigration laws effectively.  In point of fact our immigration laws were enacted with two primary goals, protect American lives and the jobs of American workers.

In point of fact, our borders and our immigration laws are supposed to shield America and Americans.  Given all of the threats and challenges confronting America and Americans those shields should never be more important.  However, you would never know it to listen to the President and, frankly, to all too many of our nation’s politicians from both sides of the political aisle in Washington and on the state and local levels.

On November 20, 2014 President Obama went before the cameras at the White House and laid out his plans to unilaterally “fix” the broken immigration system.  That there are millions of illegal aliens present in the United States indicates that our immigration system is failing.  That terrorists have been able to enter the United States and embed themselves in the United States provides further evidence of failures of the immigration system.  Consider, if you will, that the Tsarnaev brothers were able to gain lawful entry into the United States and apparently game the political asylum program. This provides a graphic example of a failure of that component of the immigration system.

“The Social Contract” published my article in its Summer 2013 edition, on how fraud in the political asylum program currently enables our enemies to see in America’s compassion, weakness. The title of my article was “Political Asylum: Where Compassion and National Security Intersect.”

What has never been explained, by President Obama or others who claim that the immigration system is broken, is how their proposals will greatly reduce the number of illegal aliens present in the United States.  What has never been explained is how the proposed “fixes” will create integrity to the processes by which aliens are granted visas or immigration benefits such as gaining lawful immigrant status or United States citizenship.  These are critical issues that were identified by the 9/11 Commission.

Traditionally when laws are violated our leaders call for enhanced enforcement efforts to combat and deter the crimes.  Because of concerns about those who have trespassed on New York City landmarks, Senator Chuck Schumer has proposed that a law be enacted that would subject those trespassers to a period of imprisonment of five years rather than the maximum of one year currently on the books.  He stated in part:

“While individuals like this (trespassers) may have meant no harm, their acts put commuters and first responders at risk,” Schumer said. “They also inspire copycats who may have much more evil plans in mind.”

Critical infrastructure is defined by the Patriot Act as systems and assets so vital to the U.S., that the incapacity or destruction to them would have a debilitating effect.

“That would be a bridge, a power plant, the air vents to one of our tunnels,” Miller said.

Miller and Schumer said the new legislation will help serve as a deterrent.

“When stunts like this occur, the New York City trespassing law has a maximum of one year and it’s often three months,” Schumer said. “That’s not enough punishment to deter this behavior. It’s time to change that.”

Schumer said this legislation is based on another federal law protecting railroads.

His statements were reported upon in an October 14, 2014 CBS News report, “Mayor De Blasio Heads To D.C. For Meetings On NYC Security And Counter-Terrorism.”

However, Senator Chuck Schumer has been the staunchest advocate for providing a pathway to United States citizenship to illegal aliens who have trespassed on America by running our nation’s borders and evading the crucial screening process conducted by CBP (Customs and Border Protection) inspectors at ports of entry.  This serves to encourage, not deter, aliens to run our nation’s borders.

Where our broken immigration system is concerned, the obvious questions not being asked or answered is, “Where is the deterrent?”  “How is the lack of integrity in the immigration adjudications program being addressed?”

President Obama’s tone has been defiant, claiming that if members of Congress wanted to stop him from taking his actions that they should pass an immigration bill that he agreed with.  It was a stunning statement especially considering that Obama was a constitutional law instructor.  On numerous previous public appearances he made it clear that he did not have the authority to act alone to take the actions that he is now taking to deal with immigration.  Yet, for reasons never articulated, he has now made it clear that he will now do what he had previous claimed he lacked the legal authority to do.

He has also never explained how his actions would curtail future illegal immigration or address the recommendations and findings of the 9/11 Commission.  But then, these are critical questions that virtually no journalists have ever asked or members of the Republican Party have ever addressed, either.

Obama is attempting to extort immigration legislation by using the sort of “strong arm” technique of Tony Soprano rather than the conciliatory and constitutionally mandated technique befitting the President of the United States, who leads the most powerful democratic republic on the planet.

While the media has fixated on the procedural issues of whether or not what Obama is promising (threatening?) to do is within the bounds of his legal authority as the President of the United States, what has never been discussed to any great degree is the other procedural question — how would USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) implement this massive amnesty program involving millions of illegal aliens with even a sliver of integrity?

On November 30, 2013 Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) posted my commentary, “Political Asylum Fraud: Where America’s Compassion Becomes Vulnerability”that was predicated on a hard-hitting report posted by ABC News on November 20, 2013, “Exclusive: US May Have Let ‘Dozens’ of Terrorists Into Country As Refugees.”

The number one priority of the government of the United States is national security and, with it, public safety.  How on earth could the administration successfully administer that program in a manner that would not undermine national security and public safety?  Let us remember that America’s borders and immigration laws are its shields, its first line of defense and last line of defense against international terrorists, transnational criminals and other foreign nationals whose presence in the United States would undermine national security, public safety, public health or otherwise compromise the well-being of America and Americans.

On September 10, 2014 the New York Post published a disturbing report, “Homeland Security: We can’t stop ISIS from coming into US.”

Read more at Frontpage

Secret Meeting: National Security Experts Devise Strategies to Combat Global Jihadist Movement

22 Nov 2014:

The Global Jihadist Movement (GJM) can no longer be ignored. Its ruthless ideology connects the most theocratic Islamist dictatorships with the Muslim Brotherhood in America. The GJM creates the link between the Islamic State’s barbarous acts and those of the Oklahoma City beheader and the New York City ax jihadi.

This week, a concerned group of national security experts–from the upper echelons of government to high-ranking intelligence community officials to Wall Street executives–have identified the Global Jihadist Movement as one of the chief threats to America, one that the Obama administration has incomprehensibly ignored.

Breitbart News was present at the closed-door meeting of national security professionals.

These experts met in Washington, D.C., and covered topics related to the GJM threat environment. They warned about the information war that jihadist groups are waging against America, while the United States remains largely without a strategy to fire back and defeat their ideology, akin to what was accomplished in toppling Communism and the USSR. They also discussed how economic warfare is being waged by terrorist groups and state-sponsors, who are focusing on undermining the American financial system and exploiting the devaluation of the dollar.

The discussion participants strategized on how to raise awareness and keep GJM-related issues alive in the conscience of lawmakers and the American public. They talked about the importance of educating members of Congress and the public about the perils of the Global Jihadist Movement.

Many in the group expressed doubts that the Republican establishment, which for now retains an iron-fisted grasp over Congress and dominates its leadership positions, would allow for the necessary changes to promote a more robust and effective foreign policy. Some also noted, however, that the newly enshrined members of Congress present an opportunity for new policies to enhance America’s standing in the world.

They discussed an assortment of strategies, such as creating more private and public entities to combat domestic and international enemies’ propaganda and information operations. Frustrated with waiting for the Washington bureaucracy to produce results, attendants of the secret meeting devised action plans to combat the threats to America through various means.

Edwin Mora contributed to this report.

6 Failed Policies Obama and the State Department Won’t Stop Pushing

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By Robert Spencer:

Presidents come and presidents go, but the State Department’s foreign policy establishment is forever. And no matter how many times its remedies fail to heal problems (and usually cause worse ones), it keeps on applying them, without an ounce of self-reflection. And in Barack Obama, the lifers at State have a president after their own heart – one whose vision of the world coincides exactly with theirs, and who takes their recommendations without question and fronts for them eagerly, no matter how often and how abysmally they have failed.

Here are six policies that have failed miserably again and again, and yet are still front and center in the Obama administration’s foreign policy planning:

6. Supporting the Afghan regime

The corrupt and treacherous [2] kleptocrat Hamid Karzai is gone, but his legacy lives on. The new president, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, is almost certainly still receiving those bags of cash from the CIA [3], and the new regime shows no more interest in accountability than Karzai did. It was revealed Thursday [4]that

nearly $420 million in weapons and other “sensitive items” have gone missing from U.S. Army bases in Afghanistan and are not likely to be recovered due to mismanagement and improper accounting, according to an internal report by the Pentagon’s inspector general obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

These include “some 15,600 pieces of equipment—including ‘weapons, weapons systems, and sensitive items,’” which “went missing in the past year from Army facilities in Bagram and Kandahar, accounting for around $419.5 million in losses, according to the report, which was issued in late October and marked ‘for official use only.’”

Will this slow down the flow of money and materiel to the Afghan regime? Don’t be silly. Despite the regime’s corruption, unwillingness to do anything to curb green-on-blue attacks, and inability to stop the Taliban, this won’t even be a speed bump.

Yet Obama and the State Department have never explained exactly what benefits to the United States will accrue from the massive expenditure and loss of American life in Afghanistan – they know the mainstream media and the Stupid Party will not call them on it, so why bother?

5. Fighting terrorism with money

Late in 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry and Turkish then-Foreign Minister and current Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu launched what they called the “Global Fund for Community Engagement and Resilience,” which CNSNews.com said was intended to “support local communities and organizations to counter extremist ideology and promote tolerance.” It would do this essentially by giving potential jihad terrorists money and jobs – an initiative that proceeds from the false and oft-disproven assumption that poverty causes terrorism.

Kerry demonstrated his faith in this false assumption when he spoke about the importance of “providing more economic opportunities for marginalized youth at risk of recruitment” into jihad groups. The GCTF is devoting $200 million to this project, which it calls “countering violent extremism” (CVE).

Kerry explained:

Getting this right isn’t just about taking terrorists off the street. It’s about providing more economic opportunities for marginalized youth at risk of recruitment. In country after country, you look at the demographics – Egypt, the West Bank – 60 percent of the young people either under the age of 30 or under the age of 25, 50 percent under the age of 21, 40 percent under the age of 18, all of them wanting jobs, opportunity, education, and a future.

This will be $200 million down the drain, for a lack of “economic opportunities for marginalized youth” doesn’t fuel Islamic jihad terrorism in the first place. In reality, study after study have shown that jihadists are not poor and bereft of economic opportunities, but generally wealthier and better educated than their peers. CNS noted that “according to a Rand Corporation report on counterterrorism, prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense in 2009, ‘Terrorists are not particularly impoverished, uneducated, or afflicted by mental disease. Demographically, their most important characteristic is normalcy (within their environment). Terrorist leaders actually tend to come from relatively privileged backgrounds.’ One of the authors of the RAND report, Darcy Noricks, also found that according to a number of academic studies, ‘Terrorists turn out to be more rather than less educated than the general population.’”

But none of this has sunk in among the political elites.

4. Working to topple Assad

Barack Obama has long had Bashar Assad in his sights, but has been stymied by the fact that the only significant opposition to the Assad regime are Islamic jihad groups. Now, however, he thinks he has found a way to square the circle: remove Assad, and the jihadis’ raison d’etre will be gone.

CNN [7] reported Thursday that Obama “has asked his national security team for another review of the U.S. policy toward Syria after realizing that ISIS may not be defeated without a political transition in Syria and the removal of President Bashar al-Assad.”

Alistair Baskey, spokesman for the National Security Council, explained: “Assad has been the biggest magnet for extremism in Syria, and the President has made clear that Assad has lost all legitimacy to govern.”

The fact that this is even being considered shows that Obama doesn’t take seriously the Islamic State’s proclamations that it is a new caliphate that is going to keep on trying to expand. He thinks they’re just fighting to get Assad removed, and so if he obliges them, they will melt away.

But who does he think will replace Assad? Does he seriously think he can find someone who can immediately marshal enough support to be able to withstand the Islamic State? If he picks an Alawite, the ruler will have the same problems Assad does. If he picks a Sunni, the Islamic State leaders will say he is an apostate puppet of the Westerners, and fight on. Meanwhile, the disruption in Syria will give an opportunity to the Islamic State, which will be the force best situated to take advantage of a power vacuum in Syria.

So what Obama is saying is that to defeat the Islamic State, we have to let the Islamic State win. And you can see his point — at least then it will be out of the headlines and he won’t have to be constantly hearing about it. Or so he thinks.

 

3. Arming the “moderates”

Alistair Baskey also said Thursday that “alongside our efforts to isolate and sanction the Assad regime, we are working with our allies to strengthen the moderate opposition.” Who are the moderates in Syria? In September 2014, Obama said [8]: “We have a Free Syrian Army and a moderate opposition that we have steadily been working with that we have vetted.”

That was over a year after Free Syrian Army fighters entered the Christian village of Oum Sharshouh [9] in July 2013 and began burning down houses and terrorizing the population, forcing 250 Christian families to flee the area. Worthy News reported [10] that just two days later, Free Syrian Army rebels “targeted the residents of al-Duwayr/Douar, a Christian village close to the city of Homs and near Syria’s border with Lebanon….Around 350 armed militants forcefully entered the homes of Christian families who were all rounded-up in the main square of the village and then summarily executed.” And in September 2013, a day after Secretary of State John Kerry praised the Free Syrian Army as “a real moderate opposition,” the FSA took to the Internet [11]to post videos of its attack on the ancient Syrian Christian city of Maaloula, one of the few places where Aramaic, the language of Jesus, is still spoken.

Even after all that, Obama was calling them “moderates.”

Read more at PJ Media with videos

JERRY BOYKIN: GENERALS SHOULD RESIGN TO PROTEST OBAMA’S MISUSE OF MILITARY

Obama-AWOL-BenghaziBreitbart, by LT. GEN. (RET.) JERRY BOYKIN, Nov. 13, 2014:

A new survey finds only 26 percent of those in the military community approve of the performance of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.  But the blame for this low approval rating extends higher up the chain of command.

Retired Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, the latest former Obama loyalist to write a tell-all exposé, knows this all too well. In his memoir, Panetta describes how he warned the President (to no avail) that allowing Iraq to slide into violence would create “a new haven for terrorists to plot attacks against the U.S.”

This revelation should come as no surprise, but regrettably, it does. That’s because many Americans have been ignoring what’s really taking place in our troubled world. The books now being published only confirm what many people already knew — or at least suspected — regarding the character of Barack Obama. In reality, what is newly-exposed in these books is the lack of courage of the authors. One must contemplate the question of why these former Obama administration officials did not resign in protest when they realized the man they worked for was leading the nation in a dangerous direction and was making decisions that put the nation at risk.

So what should these less-than-courageous bureaucrats have done? Simply stated: resign in protest.

The notion that they stayed because they thought their influence would be greater on the inside is nothing more than a cop-out. In fact, this line of reasoning is simply another indication of a lack of courage on the part of these tell-all authors, including Panetta. Attempting to persuade the public that you would have resigned if you had thought it would have made a difference is unconvincing. No, the answer is that they should have tendered their resignations in protest when they saw decisions and policies emerging that were dangerous, misguided, and not in the best interest of the country. This is a matter of principle.

Secretary of State Cyrus Vance did exactly that when he disagreed with President Jimmy Carter on the best way to get fifty-two American hostages out of the US Embassy in Tehran in April of 1980. He resigned to protest the rescue attempt that President Carter had ordered. That attempt failed when two aircraft collided in a remote desert airstrip inside Iran. While I do not agree with the wisdom of the late Mr. Vance on the prudence of military action, his resignation demonstrated personal moral courage.

Major General Jack Singlaub took similar action in 1977 when he publically criticized President Carter’s decision to withdraw US military forces from Korea. Carter relieved him for publically opposing a presidential policy. In going public about his disagreement with his Commander-in-Chief, Singlaub voluntarily laid his stars on the table, knowing that his career was over. But his honor was intact as a result of taking a stand on something that he felt strongly about. The same applies to Cyrus Vance.

So what about the current military leadership? Should some of them put their stars on the table and resign in protest of the ongoing deterioration of our military? Or how about the abuse of our men and women in uniform? Sending up to 4,000 service members to Liberia to fight Ebola is abuse. Consider that America has been at war for 13 years and our military has an all-time high suicide rate, out of control PTSD, and family disintegration at unprecedented levels. Now America will send these young men and women — who are not adequately trained to fight Ebola — on something that is NOT a military mission in the first place. In addition, the Obama administration has not announced a serious and coherent strategy to destroy ISIS. It is time for stars on the table, without delay.

What military professional wants to preside over the demise of America’s Armed Forces? One would assume that the answer to that would be none. Yet that is exactly what is happening. The passiveness of the current Joint Chiefs of Staff is giving support to the destruction of America’s war fighting capabilities. Programmed cuts in the military budget as well as cuts resulting from sequestration are reducing America’s readiness to a dangerously low level. And placing women in Infantry and Special Operations units is an irresponsible and reckless policy that will result in needless deaths and injuries in combat situations.

Possibly the most egregious issue is the attack on religious liberty, as the First Amendment rights of service members’ faith are being infringed on constantly. By embracing the foolish and destructive decisions of the Obama administration, the military leadership is contributing to and overseeing the downfall of our most important national security asset, the US Armed Forces.

It is past time for some resignations to protest the Obama administration’s damaging policies. The oath that each military member takes is to “Support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” This is a serious and sacred oath and when you know that a policy is just plain wrong, then you are obligated by that oath to do something; that something is for military leaders to say to the President of the United States, “I can no longer support your ill-advised and reckless policies that I regard as threats to national security and the welfare of our men and women in uniform.”

Retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin is executive vice president at the Family Research Council.  He previously served as Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and was an original member of the U.S. Army’s Delta Force.

A Veterans Day Message

 

by MAJ. GEN. PAUL E. VALLELY, US ARMY (RET) –  November 11, 2014:

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 an armistice between Germany and the Allied nations came into effect. On November 11, 1919, Armistice Day was commemorated for the first time. In 1919, President Wilson proclaimed the day should be “filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory”. There were plans for parades, public meetings and a brief suspension of business activities at 11am.
We pause this day in America to remember our fallen heroes, the men and women who answered the call of freedom and paid the ultimate sacrifice.  Let us remember and thank them for the nights they slept freezing in a tent or sweating in the desert, for the lonely days they spent fighting boredom and missing loved ones, for the hours they spent sick in pain from battle and without someone holding their hand other than their fellow soldiers, for the moments of sheer fright in the heat of battle, for the wounds suffered fighting evil, for the endless days in hospitals undergoing painful surgeries, for the precious occasions  missed at home with family and friends.
For all of these sacrifices, we need to thank them on behalf of millions of Americans who are so grateful. We truly appreciate their dedication to duty.  A special thank you to all families and friends, to the parents who raised them, stood by them and made them honorable men and woman.  We thank the wives, husbands, and loved ones who stood by them and supported them with their love.
May their legacy be honored for generations to come, may the tears shed over their coffins fertilize the fields of patriotism in our nation. The new generations to come must be built on strength, duty, honor and country, willing and able to follow in their Warrior footsteps when duty calls to defend America. May their blood not have been shed in vain.  May we prove worthy of their sacrifice.
You who have served and are serving as our brave ones, our heroes, are our national treasures. You are the pride of our nation, our strength and our foundation. Thanks to you, millions have been freed around the world. Those who criticize our country, burn our precious flag, and speak ill of you, are able to do so because their freedom is built upon your blood and your sacrifice.
Our son speaks from his resting place below our feet in Bigfork.. He speaks to me each day from his hallowed space with beautiful skies and mountains majestic white with snow. God bless his soul and the others buried here and I thank him for his wonderful contribution to our life. He lives forever in our hearts. I fear no evil when I walk with Warriors. We walk in the valley of death but we fear no evil. We are the Masters of our Destiny and the Captain of our souls. You are the wind beneath my wings. I fly with you forever in eternity.
WE salute you one and all.  WE bow before you in respect and humility.
Today, our Nation comes together to honor our veterans and commemorate the legacy of profound service and sacrifice they have upheld in pursuit of a more perfect Union. Through their steadfast defense of America’s ideals, our service members have ensured our country still stands strong, our founding principles still shine, and nations around the world know the blessings of freedom. As we offer our sincere appreciation and respect to our veterans, to their families, to those who are still in harm’s way, and to those we have laid to rest, let us rededicate ourselves to serving them as well as they have served the United States of America.
Our men and women in uniform are bearers of a proud military tradition that has been dutifully passed forward—from generation to generation—for more than two centuries. In times of war and peace alike, our veterans have served with courage and distinction in the face of tremendous adversity, demonstrating an unfaltering commitment to America and our people. Many have made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve the country they loved. The selflessness of our service members is unmatched, and they remind us that there are few things more fundamentally American than doing our utmost to make a difference in the lives of others.
Just as our veterans stood watch on freedom’s frontier, so have they safeguarded the pros­perity of our Nation in our neighborhoods, our businesses, and our homes. It is our moral obligation to ensure they receive our support for as long as they live as proud veterans of the United States Armed Forces. On Veterans Day, we pay tribute to our veterans, to the fallen, and to their families. To honor their contributions to our Nation, let us strive with renewed determination to keep the promises we have made to all who have answered our country’s call. As we fulfill our obligations to them, we keep faith with the patriots who have risked their lives to preserve our Union, and with the ideals of service and sacrifice upon which our Republic was founded.
On this day in 2011, we formally announce here in the Flathead Valley of Montana in the United States of America, a formal announcement to Restore the Constitutional Republic of the United States and a Declaration by all Veterans and Patriots to restore and stand by our beloved Constitution and renew our oath.
We CALL upon every member of federal, state and local government, legislative, judicial, law enforcement and military, who have taken an oath to protect and defend the Constitutional Republic from all enemies, foreign and domestic, to act upon those oaths for the stated purpose of restoring the Constitutional Republic.
We CALL upon ALL veterans and veteran organizations in America, who still believe in their oath to protect and defend, to unite with us at once – in this Declaration to Restore the Constitutional Republic.
We CALL for ALL citizens who still desire freedom and liberty, to stand with us and carry our demands to right the wrongs against our nation in the preservation of freedom, liberty, justice and the rule of law.
“We are Facing a Battle That Will Decide our Fate as a Nation!”
God Bless all of you and God Bless our Nation.