Israel’s ‘FBI’ Links ‘Islamic Relief USA’ Charity to Hamas

Hamas-K2-IP

The charity is sponsored by major US corporations including Microsoft and GE. Its 2012 revenues were over $60 million.

By Ryan Mauro:

The Israeli government has banned Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW), a U.K.-based charity, for financing Hamas. Its American branch, Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA), is based in Virginia and, shockingly, its current CEO, Anwar Khan, is an advisor to the State Department as was its former CEO Abed Ayoub.

President Obama has boasted of his administration’s work with IRUSA. Ayoub spoke at an event hosted by Vice President Biden in June 2012 when he was IRUSA’s CEO.

IRUSA is sponsored by Microsoft, Cisco Foundation, GE Foundation and the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. Guidestar lists IRUSA’s 2012 revenue as over $60 million.

The Shin Bet, Israel’s equivalent of the FBI, provided intelligence to the Israeli government that prompted Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon to sign a decree banning the charity. He described IRW as “another source of funds for Hamas.”  Its branches in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and the West Bank are reportedly run by Hamas members.

In May 2006, Israel arrested IRW’s Gaza project director, Iyaz Ali, because he funneled money to banned Hamas fronts. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says he admitted to working with Hamas entities and members in the Palestinian Authority and Jordan. He was deported back to the U.K. and banned from returning.

The authorities searched his computer and found photos of Hamas terrorist activities, Osama Bin Laden, former Al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and propaganda that placed a swastika over the Israeli flag. The Israelis also found documents linking IRW to Hamas financiers in Nablus, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said:

“The IRW provides support and assistance to Hamas’s infrastructure. The IRW’s activities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip are carried out by social welfare organizations controlled and staffed by Hamas operatives. The intensive activities of these associations are designed to further Hamas’s ideology among the Palestinian population.”

IRW denied working with Hamas in a June 19 statement and pointed to its financial support from Western governments, the European Commission and the United Nations. According to NGO Monitor, IRW gets funding from the governments of the U.K., European Union, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

IRUSA’s current CEO, Anwar Khan, was originally with IRW and was one of the founders of IRUSA in 1993. According to his bio, he is an advisor to the State Department’s Religion and Foreign Policy Working Group and has been appointed to the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Advisory Committee of Voluntary Foreign Aid.

Read more at Clarion Project

Doesn’t Hillary Clinton Know the Law?

WSJ, June 18, 2014, By VICTORIA TOENSING:

In her interview with ABC‘s Diane Sawyer last week, Hillary Clinton said “I was not making security decisions” about Benghazi, claiming “it would be a mistake” for “a secretary of state” to “go through all 270 posts” and “decide what should be done.” And at a January 2013 Senate hearing, Mrs. Clinton said that security requests “did not come to me. I did not approve them. I did not deny them.”

Does the former secretary of state not know the law? By statute, she was required to make specific security decisions for defenseless consulates like Benghazi, and was not permitted to delegate them to anyone else.

The Secure Embassy Construction and Counterterrorism Act of 1999, or Secca, was passed in response to the near-simultaneous bombings of U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on Aug. 7, 1998. Over 220 people were killed, including 12 Americans. Thousands were injured.

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the Benghazi attack in January. Associated Press

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the Benghazi attack in January. Associated Press

Bill Clinton was president. Patrick Kennedy, now the undersecretary of state for management, was then acting assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security. Susan Rice, now the national security adviser, was then assistant secretary of state for African affairs.

As with the Benghazi terrorist attacks, an Accountability Review Board was convened for each bombing. Their reports, in January 1999, called attention to “two interconnected issues: 1) the inadequacy of resources to provide security against terrorist attacks, and 2) the relative low priority accorded security concerns throughout the U.S. government.”

Just as U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens did in 2012, the U.S. ambassador to Kenya, Prudence Bushnell, had made repeated requests for security upgrades in 1997 and 1998. All were denied.

Because the embassies in Kenya and Tanzania had been existing office structures, neither met the State Department’s security standard for a minimum 100 foot setback zone. A “general exception” was made. The two review boards faulted the fact that “no one person or office is accountable for decisions on security policies, procedures and resources.”

To ensure accountability in the future, the review boards recommended “[f]irst and foremost, the Secretary . . . should take a personal and active role in carrying out the responsibility of ensuring the security of U.S. diplomatic personnel abroad” and “should personally review the security situation of embassy chanceries and other official premises.” And for new embassy buildings abroad, “all U.S. government agencies, with rare exceptions, should be located in the same compound.”

Congress quickly agreed and passed Secca, a law implementing these (and other) recommendations. It mandated that the secretary of state make a personal security waiver under two circumstances: when the facility could not house all the personnel in one place and when there was not a 100-foot setback. The law also required that the secretary “may not delegate” the waiver decision.

Benghazi did not house all U.S. personnel in one building. There was the consulate and an annex, one of the two situations requiring a non-delegable security waiver by the secretary of state.

In October 2012 the Benghazi Accountability Review Board convened, co-chaired by Amb. Thomas Pickering (Ms. Rice’s supervisor in 1998) and Adm. Michael Mullen. It failed even to question Mrs. Clinton for its report about the attacks. It also obfuscated the issue of her personal responsibility for key security decisions by using a word other than “waiver,” the passive voice, and no names. Recognizing that the Benghazi consulate (like the Nairobi and Dar es Salaam embassies) was a previously nongovernmental building, the Benghazi review board reported that this “resulted in the Special Mission compound being excepted [my emphasis] from office facility standards and accountability under” Secca. No Hillary fingerprints revealed there.

Mrs. Clinton either personally waived these security provisions as required by law or she violated the law by delegating the waiver to someone else. If it was the latter, she shirked the responsibility she now disclaims: to be personally knowledgeable about and responsible for the security in a consulate as vulnerable as Benghazi.

Ms. Toensing was chief counsel for the Senate Intelligence Committee and deputy assistant attorney general in the Reagan administration.

*************

Victoria Toensing appeared on Fox News this morning to discuss the odd timing of the apprehension of Ahmed Abu Khattala. She also goes into the legal responsibilities of Hillary Clinton in securing the Benghazi consulate.

Thousands of Americans Still in the Line of Fire in Iraq

fi/wallFront Page, by Daniel Greenfield:

No one seems to know exactly how many Americans have been left behind in Iraq, but the number appears to be in the thousands.

The New York Post lists 5,000 contractors. The Washington Post estimates 2,000 American State Department employees and another 200 Marine Corps guards.

Some Americans have already been evacuated, but Balad Air Base aka Camp Anaconda is a little too close to Baghdad. Considering that the fighting has already reached Samarra, keeping the base open may prove difficult.

The chaos of refugee clogged roads and the collapse of police and military discipline may make the area around Baghdad extremely difficult to navigate.

If ISIS isn’t stopped and if the military doesn’t manage to override Obama and push forward a plan for stabilizing the situation, hundreds of Americans could wind up being killed or becoming hostages.

The news is no better on the Shiite front.

ISIS threats against Shiite holy places has meant the resurgence of Shiite militias that are just as linked to terrorist groups as Al Qaeda’s affiliates are. If more Iranian Revolutionary Guard and their Hezbollah affiliates show up, US personnel could end up doing just as badly.

Also see:

 

No U.S. Consular Service for Meriam

meriam-in-prison-2by Faith J. H. McDonnell:

Faith J. H. McDonnell directs the Institute on Religion and Democracy’s Religious Liberty Program and Church Alliance for a New Sudan and is the author of Girl Soldier: A Story of Hope for Northern Uganda’s Children (Chosen Books, 2007).

On YouTube there is a video of the punishment for adultery that will soon be meted out to Sudanese Christian Dr. Meriam Yahya Ibrahim unless the United States government intervenes on her behalf. But some disturbing information revealed by Meriam’s husband, Daniel Wani, a naturalized U.S. citizen, suggests that “not leaving behind” this wife of an American citizen may not even be contemplated by the Obama Administration without strong pressure from caring advocates.

The video, featuring a terrified young Sudanese woman being whipped in front of onlookers at a Khartoum police station is so disturbing that it has been age-restricted by YouTube. Even her distress anticipating the flogging looks physically painful itself. Meriam has already had weeks to anticipate her upcoming flogging. She is to receive 100 lashes for her marriage to a South Sudanese Christian. Because the Shariah court in Khartoum considers her a Muslim, it does not recognize her marriage to Wani.

Meriam’s suffering will not end with the agony of lashes. That punishment will be followed within two years’ time by her execution for apostasy. The delay is because the court will wait until her newborn baby, Maya, has been weaned. Meriam will then be killed, according to Shariah, for the crime of refusing to renounce her faith in Jesus Christ and “revert” to Islam.

While waiting to be hanged, Meriam, 27, is shackled to the wall of the Omdurman Women’s Prison, along with her 20 month-old son, Martin. On May 27, when she gave birth to Maya, she was forced to endure labor on a filthy floor while still in leg irons, according to her distressed husband. Now, nursing Maya keeps her from the gallows, but she is not even permitted to nurse her baby and care for her toddler in peace. She has to suffer the continuous visits of Muslim clerics, attempting to pressure her into conversion.

Current photos of the gaunt inmate Meriam holding baby Maya are shocking after viewing photos of Meriam as Daniel’s beautiful bride. Traded-for-Taliban-terrorists Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl looks in the pink after his five years with Islamists (in spite of President Obama’s excuse for negotiating a deal with the devil being concern for the soldier’s health), compared to Meriam’s deteriorating appearance after just five months in Islamist captivity.

Where are the President’s grand gestures to rescue this young Christian wife of an American? Will President Obama be Meriam’s knight in shining armor, as he has been for Bergdahl?

Sadly, there is no evidence of any planned intervention by the Obama Administration for Meriam and her children. And since Meriam’s sentencing there has been no public statement in her defense coming from that direction. There have, however, been vigorous condemnations from British Prime Minister David Cameron, former U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan Mukesh Kapila, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, and other international leaders.

Read more at Front Page

!cid_X_MA1_1402351219@aol

Obama Adds Insult to Injury for Sharia-Condemned Young Mother in Sudan

1401911517362.cachedBy Nina Shea:
Khartoum says Meriam Ibrahim, a Christian, must hang for “apostasy.” Soon she’ll be flogged. Her husband is American, but the U.S. may require a DNA test to prove her infants are, too.
On death row in Sudan last week, Meriam Ibrahim gave birth to a girl, whom she named Maya. The 27-year-old prisoner of conscience is now a step closer to the gallows. On May 15, Meriam was sentenced to be hanged for apostasy from Islam, but the execution was ordered delayed until the then-8-month pregnant defendant delivered and weaned the baby.Notwithstanding its assertion last weekend that Meriam would be released “in a few days,” by Monday Sudan had made it clear it has no such intention. Her defense lawyer is now pursuing legal appeals, but Meriam’s  only real hope of being spared lies in the moral pressure created in the court of public opinion.

Meriam’s case turned on the question of her religious identity—whether she is lawfully a Christian, a faith she inherited from her Ethiopian Orthodox mother and embraces, or whether, because her father was a Muslim, she too must be a Muslim, even though he abandoned the family when she was young.

The Sudanese court determined that she was a Muslim under sharia law and, after she refused to renounce Christianity at trial, convicted her of apostasy. It also found her guilty of adultery for marrying a man who is Christian, which is forbidden to Muslim women in Sudan, and, for that, the court ordered that flogging with 100 lashes be added to her punishment.

The cruel treatment and flagrant denial of religious freedom are shocking even by Sudan’s abysmal human rights standards. The case has received wide attention in the international media, and it has stirred high level outrage. British Prime Minister David Cameron, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, and various U.N. rights experts are among those who have raised their voices in protest.  Mia Farrow has started a hashtag campaign (#FreeMeriam) and others are circulating petitions.

But from one quarter there has been noticeable silence. For over two weeks since the verdict was announced there has been no public statements in defense of Meriam from President Barack Obama or any high level U.S. government official. The U.S. State Department spokesperson said the agency was “deeply disturbed” by the sentence imposed on Meriam but “understood that the sentence was open to appeal”, thus seeming to suggest that the administration is heartlessly preparing to stand by and passively watch the process play out .

Read more at Daily Beast

Also see:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali questions why America, the West can unite against apartheid but not sharia

kelly fileBreitbart,  By Jeff Poor:

On Friday’s “The Kelly File” on the Fox News Channel, Harvard Kennedy School fellow Ayaan Hirsi Ali made an appearance to discuss the plight of Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman who was sentenced to death for her Christianity that recently gave birth in a Sudanese prison.

Hirsi Ali, an outspoken critic and victim of Islam for female genital mutilation, urged those in the West, including states, to unite against tenets of Sharia Law, which call for the punishment she and Ibrahim faced, as they did against South Africa’s apartheid in the 1980s and 1990s.

“It’s not a dichotomy — it’s not like black and white between having boots on the ground versus doing nothing,” Hirsi Ali said. “Remember apartheid — we stopped it through writing books, writing, through songs, through trade boycotts, through diplomacy. We were united as a — just not America but the West and all moral countries to say it is unacceptable to divide humanity to blacks and whites and what are we seeing with Sharia? We’re seeing it in Brunei. We’re seeing it in Sudan. We know it in our lives, Saudi Arabia and others. On grounds of, you know … we are not taking the positions, the moral positions that we need to and we’re not fighting that moral positions with the tools we have.”

Also see:

U.S. Embassy Apparently Violated Own Regulations to Avoid Helping American Toddler in Sudan Prison

Heartbreaking: This image captures the first time Daniel Wani was allowed to see his son, Daniel, and wife, Meriam Ibrahim, since September after she was jailed for marrying a Christian in Sudan

Heartbreaking: This image captures the first time Daniel Wani was allowed to see his son, Daniel, and wife, Meriam Ibrahim, since September after she was jailed for marrying a Christian in Sudan

CSP, by Kyle Shideler:

In a State Department press conference, Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki repeatedly refused to answer questions about the status of Daniel Wani, the American husband of Meriam Ibrahim, a woman facing a death sentence for alleged apostasy in Sudan, and of the status of their 20 month old child who is, by all appearances, also an American citizen.  Wani has told reporters that the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum demanded a “blood test” to determine whether the child was in fact his.

According to DOS regulations, (h/t Andrew Bostom) demanding a blood test would appear to be the hardest possible line for the State Department to assert against a man they believe to be engaged in paternity fraud.  U.S. DOS Regulation “7 FAM 1130  ACQUISITION OF U.S. CITIZENSHIP BY  BIRTH ABROAD TO U.S. CITIZEN PARENT” indicates:

Children born in wedlock are generally presumed to be the issue of that  marriage. This presumption is not determinative in citizenship cases, however, because an actual blood relationship to a U.S. citizen parent is required. If  doubt arises that the citizen “parent” is related by blood to the child, the consular officer is expected to investigate carefully. Circumstances that might give rise to such a doubt include:

(1) Conception or birth of a child when either of the alleged biological parents was married to another;
(2) Naming on the birth certificate, as father and/or mother, person(s) other than the alleged biological parents; and
(3) Evidence or indications that the child was conceived at a time when the alleged father had no physical access to the mother.

Given that Wani and Ibrahim are married (Wani  produced a marriage certificate and other documents for the embassy in Khartoum), the presumption is that the child, Martin, is an American citizen unless there is a reasonable suspicion otherwise. Furthermore, the Embassy’s insistence that Wani provide a blood test, is absolutely the last recourse of a consular officer who suspects paternity fraud. From 7 FAM 1131.5-3 Paternity Issues:

How to Resolve Doubts: To ascertain the true circumstances surrounding the  child’s conception and birth, the consular officer may wish to:
(1) Obtain available records showing periods of time when the alleged father had physical access to the mother;
(2) Interview the parents separately to determine any differences in their respective stories as to when and where the child was conceived. Often, in separate interviews, one party will admit that the American citizen is not the father;
(3) Interview neighbors and friends to determine the facts as understood within the local community; and
(4) Advise blood testing if the couple continues to pursue the claim even though the facts as developed seem to disprove it.

By demanding a blood test, the Consular official who spoke with Wani is asserting that the office possesses facts that suggest Wani is not the father of Martin.

We ought to demand that the State Department produce whatever facts they claim exist which led them to demand a blood test in order to prove Martin Wani’s citizenship.

Given the flippancy of Ms. Psaki’s regard for this issue, I suspect no such facts will be produced, or  even could be produced.

The same bureaucracy which dragged its feet over granting a spousal visa to Meriam Ibrahim (without which Meriam would right now be a free woman instead of facing death) is permitting an American child to languish in a third world  prison cell.

State Dept Promotes Muslim Cleric Who Backed Fatwa on ‘Killing of U.S. Soldiers’

 

Abdallah Bin Bayyah / Wikimedia Commons

Abdallah Bin Bayyah / Wikimedia Commons

Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo:

The State Department’s Counter Terrorism (CT) Bureau promoted on Friday a controversial Muslim scholar whose organization has reportedly backed Hamas and endorsed a fatwa authorizing the murder of U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

The CT bureau on Friday tweeted out a link to the official website of Sheikh Abdallah Bin Bayyah, the vice president of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), a controversial organization founded by a Muslim Brotherhood leader “who has called for the death of Jews and Americans and himself is banned from visiting the U.S.,” according to Fox News.

Bin Bayyah is reported to have been one of several clerics who endorsed a 2004 fatwa that endorsed resistance against Americans fighting in Iraq, PJ Media reported in 2013, when Bin Bayyah met with Obama’s National Security Council staff at the White House.

The CT Bureau tweet linked to a press release on Bin Bayyah’s site condemning the kidnapping of hundreds of Nigerian girls by the Boko Haram group.

However, Bin Bayyah himself has been known to back controversial causes.

Bin Bayyah has “urged the U.N. to criminalize blasphemy,” according to reports, and spoke “out in favor of Hamas,” the terror group that rules over the West Bank.

The cleric also issued a fatwa in 2009  “barring ‘all forms of normalization’ with Israel,” according to Fox.

The 2004 fatwa on Iraq stated that “resisting occupation troops” is a “duty” for all Muslims, according to reports.

Terrorism analyst Patrick Poole said that the State Department must more carefully choose the Muslim leaders it promotes.

“This administration is continuing to push extremist clerics like Bin Bayyah as part of a fantasy foreign policy that somehow they are somehow a counter to al Qaeda,” Poole said. “But in Bin Bayyah’s case, it was his organization that issued the fatwa allowing for the killing of U.S. soldiers in Iraq and said it was a duty for Muslims all over the world to support the Iraqi ‘resistance’ against the United States that gave religious justification for al Qaeda’s terrorism.

“And [Bin Bayyah] said nothing as his pal Qaradawi issued fatwas authorizing the use of suicide bombings and publicly defended terrorist groups like Hamas, Hezbollah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad,” Poole added. “If anything, clerics like Bin Bayyah and [Yusuf] Qaradawi have actively aided al Qaeda.”

The Obama administration came under fire in June 2013 for holding a meeting with Bin Bayyah at the White House.

The cleric was confirmed to have met with members of Obama’s National Security Council at the White House to discuss poverty and global health efforts, according to multiple reports at the time.

Yusuf Qaradawi, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader who founded the IUMS—where Bin Bayyah served as vice president—has been called a “theologian of terror” by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

Bin Bayyah himself has advocated for the criminalization of “the denigration of religious symbols,” which critics call an infringement on free speech.

A State Department spokesman did not respond to a request for comment on the issue.

They Reject your Motivations, and Substitute Their Own

CSP, by Kyle Shideler:

Congress continues to struggle with Obama Administration officials, from all branches, in an effort to force them in matters of oversight, to merely assert facts that are already well known to everyone.  A good example of this was the recent success of Rep. John Cornyn who was able to get recently appointed FBI Director James Comey to admit that Fort Hood Shooter Nidal Hassan was in fact motivated by Al Qaeda.

This should not have been news at all, since Hassan, a self-declared “Soldier of Allah”, was in direct correspondence with Al Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, a fact known to the U.S. counterterrorism officials prior to his attack. Yet the administration has continued to insist the matter was one of “work place violence”, not Islamic terrorism.

Assistant Secretary Sarah Sewall at House Foreign Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Terrorism Nonproliferation and Trade hearing on Boko Haram.

Assistant Secretary Sarah Sewall at House Foreign Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Terrorism Nonproliferation and Trade hearing on Boko Haram.

Yet even going on six years of an administration which introduced the world to the phrase “man-caused disasters,” we’ve not seen as tasteless a display of reality rejection as the one put on by Assistant Secretary Sarah Sewall at House Foreign Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Terrorism Nonproliferation and Trade hearing on Boko Haram.

Asked by Rep. Jeff Duncan whether Boko Haram discriminates against Christians, Sewall uttered the jaw-dropping reply:

I wish there was such discrimination in Boko Haram attacks. Boko Haram attacks everyone who is Nigerian. Boko Haram is an equal-opportunity threat for all Nigerian citizens.” (Emphasis added)

This statement, which combines a basic falsehood with disturbing callousness, earned rightful derision by the subcommittee, who pressed forward with additional inquiries, citing facts, including the 25:1 ratio in attacks against churches as opposed to mosques. Sewall began to backpedal:

The question that I was asked was whether there was an official State Department position on the motivations of Boko Haram, which I simply don’t have with me.

It seemed Assistant Secretary Sewall had misplaced her copy of the current truth as issued by the State Department, thus explaining her flailing answer.

While less grating than the tone-deaf reply, it is perhaps more appalling from a policy standpoint that Ms. Sewall thinks it appropriate that the State Department even have an “official position on the motivations of Boko Haram.” The only “position on the motivations of Boko Haram” that matters is Boko Haram’s, based on what they say and do. And they have not been shy on making their feelings known.

Boko Haram leader AbuBakr Shekhau has said, “Nobody can stop us and live in peace, except if you accept Islam and live by sharia law.” A simple statement that is pregnant with meaning. Instead, the State Department’s position is that economic deprivation, corruption, and bad governance by the Nigerian government motivate Boko Haram.

Sadly no. That’s what motivates the State Department’s interactions with the Nigerian government. State  has used every new outrage by Boko Haram to rhetorically flog the Nigerian government for their failings on these issues. And they may be issues on which the Nigerian goverment deserves criticism, but they are irrelevant to the current conflict with Boko Haram, which is a jihadist terrorist organization motivated to impose shariah law.

This administration continues to insist on protecting us from the threats they they wished we faced, and solving problems they wish we had, instead of addressing the threats and problems this nation actually faces.

Unfortunately such distortions of reality will always come crashing down, violently, and at great cost.

Beyond Benghazi: questions for Clinton

Clinton: Responsible for broad policy failures in the entire region.

Clinton: Responsible for broad policy failures in the entire region.

By John Bolton at the New York Post:

The State Department’s Accountability Review Board last week issued a devastating report on the events leading up to the Sept. 11 assassination of four Americans at our Benghazi consulate. Unfortunately, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has still not faced questioning by Congress or the media more than three months after the tragedy.

A series of excuses has conveniently allowed her to escape cross examination until after the ARB report was released. Clinton sails right along, now preparing the first steps for what is widely expected to be her 2016 presidential campaign.

Last week, however, Sen. Bob Corker asserted that no new secretary of state be confirmed until Clinton testifies. Corker, ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee starting in January, was joined by Sen. Lindsey Graham. Their idea provides a strong incentive to committee Chairman John Kerry, now tapped as Clinton’s successor, to schedule her testimony.

The starting point for questioning Clinton is realizing that the Benghazi debacle embodies both policy and management failures. The administration’s utterly wrong-headed view of the Middle East created an atmosphere that fostered tragically erroneous management decisions. Clinton’s blithe disregard of the actual political reality in Libya and four years of not attending to seemingly mundane management issues represented a palpable failure of leadership directly contributing to the Benghazi tragedy.

The ARB did not blame specific individuals, citing instead “systemic” failures. Clinton’s deputies, testifying in her absence on Dec. 20, conceded that State had not “connected the dots” as security deteriorated in Libya and the Middle East generally.

But in any organization, there is only one “first chair,” and Clinton must answer why she (and President Obama) was so convinced that the war on terror was over and al Qaeda defeated; that “leading from behind” in overthrowing Khadafy had succeeded, and that the Arab Spring was bringing stability and democracy to Libya and the region more broadly.

The Benghazi tragedy disproved all these assertions, and Clinton is accountable for the broad policy failures, not just the deadly specifics. Congressional hearings should go well beyond the ARB report. The basic questions Clinton now must answer are straightforward: What did she know; when did she know it — and what did she do about it, before, during and after the Sept. 11 attacks? Here are some elaborations:

* Before the attack, was Clinton aware of the security threats to our consulate and other international presences in Benghazi? Did she know about repeated Tripoli embassy requests for enhanced security? If not, why not?

Libya was a centerpiece of supposed success in Obama’s foreign policy, not some country of small significance and low threat levels. It is important to establish not only the actual paper trail in this case, but even more importantly why, on such a critical foreign-policy issue, it did not automatically come to Clinton’s seventh-floor office.

* On Sept. 11, what were Clinton and Obama doing? We need a minute-by-minute chronology. When was she first told of the attack, and what was said? When and how many times did she speak with the president? What help did she ask for? Was it denied, and by whom? When did she retire for the evening?

* And in the tragedy’s aftermath, Clinton must explain how the administration came up with its story that the Benghazi attack grew out of a demonstration against the now-famous Mohammed video trailer. Clinton herself referred to the video at the Sept. 14 ceremony when the remains of the four murdered Americans returned home. On this point, the ARB was crystal clear that “no protest took place” before the attacks.

Obama will hold office for four more years, and Clinton apparently aspires to succeed him. Their worldview and its policy consequences must not be allowed to escape scrutiny as they did in the just-concluded presidential campaign. Most of the media have certainly shown little interest in exposing administration failures. Clinton’s testimony may be the last chance to do so for a long time.

State Department accountability over Benghazi worse than thought

imagesCAXO4B77By

Upon release of the Accountability Review Board’s (ARB) report on what happened in Benghazi, it was learned that the group singled out no individuals for discipline – the bureaucracy itself was identified as the party most responsible. There were, however, four State Department employees who reportedly resigned in the wake of the report.

Aside from the fact that none of the four individuals who allegedly ‘resigned’ were individuals who claimed to accept responsibility (Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton), it appears they haven’t really resigned at all.

Via the New York Post:

The four officials supposedly out of jobs because of their blunders in the run-up to the deadly Benghazi terror attack remain on the State Department payroll — and will all be back to work soon, The Post has learned.

The highest-ranking official caught up in the scandal, Assistant Secretary of State Eric Boswell, has not “resigned” from government service, as officials said last week. He is just switching desks. And the other three are simply on administrative leave and are expected back.

The four were made out to be sacrificial lambs in the wake of a scathing report issued last week that found that the US compound in Benghazi, Libya, was left vulnerable to attack because of “grossly inadequate” security.

State Department leaders “didn’t come clean about Benghazi and now they’re not coming clean about these staff changes,” a source close to the situation told The Post., adding, the “public would be outraged over this.”

Some might remember an exchange between Rep. Sandy Adams (R-FL) and Deputy Assistant Secretary Charlene Lamb at a House Oversight Committee in October. At the time, Adams pressed Lamb for the names of those who had the authority to deny requests for security in Benghazi. Lamb named both Eric Boswell and a man named Scott Bultrowicz. For some reason, all of the video excerpts from that hearing – once posted to the Oversight committee’s YouTube channel, now get re-directed to an unrelated Darrell Issa speech but here is the exchange from another source (the relevant portion occurs within the first minute):

Ok, so Lamb admitted to Adams that the former didn’t have sole authority to deny security. She pointed up the ladder to Boswell and Bultrowicz. The next logical question is: Did they have sole authority? If yes, then the ARB report would have erred by not naming either man as being responsible for security being withheld. If no, then someone above them had that sole authority.

The Post article only names three of the four individuals that were singled out for non-disciplinary discipline / resignation / re-assignments. They are:

  1. Eric Boswell
  2. Charlene Lamb
  3. Raymond Maxwell
Via the Post:

The other officials — Deputy Assistant Secretaries Charlene Lamb and Raymond Maxwell, and a third who has not been identified — were found to have shown “performance inadequacies” but not “willful misconduct,” Pickering said, so they would not face discipline.

So who is the fourth individual? Could it be Scott Bultrowicz?

Read more at Shoebat.com

 

Criticism Mounts Over State Envoy

BY: October 5, 2012 1:48 pm

Jewish leaders expressed outrage Friday over the State Department’s praise for, and defense of, a controversial Muslim leader who has defended terrorist groups and suggested that Israel may have been responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Salam al-Marayati, founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), was picked to represent the United States government at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s (OSCE) annual 10-day human rights conference, the Human Dimension Implementation Meetings (HDIM).

Al-Marayati’s well-known anti-Israel bona fides prompted Jewish leaders and others to express outrage over the Obama administration’s selection.

“It is regrettable that someone with such distorted, conspiratorial views—even with a lackluster apology—is delegated by our government to represent our country abroad,” the Anti-Defamation League said in a statement to the Free Beacon.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, argued that the State Department is showing inconsistency by touting an individual who has defended the militant groups Hezbollah and Hamas, both of which are designated by the U.S. as terrorist organizations.

“One would assume that individuals selected to represent the United States at an international human rights conclave would share our government’s longstanding policy that Hamas and Hezbollah are dangerous terrorist organizations,” Cooper told the Free Beacon. “But Mr. Salam al-Marayati and his organization are long-time advocates that these deadly terror groups be removed from the U.S. terrorist list.”

“With terrorism continuing to roil the Middle East,” Cooper added, “the question is why the U.S. State Department would say he is ‘highly credible’?”

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