Material Support to Terrorism: The Case of Libya

timthumb (5)AIM, April 22, 2014, By Clare Lopez:

Libya in 2011 marks the place and the time that the United States (U.S.) and the Obama administration formally switched sides in the Global War on Terror (GWOT). A mere 10 years after al-Qa’eda (supported by Hizballah and Iran) attacked the American homeland in the worst act of terrorism ever suffered by this country, U.S. leadership decided to facilitate the provision of weapons to jihadist militias known to be affiliated with al-Qa’eda and the Muslim Brotherhood in order to bring down a brutal dictator who also just happened to be a U.S. ally in the GWOT at the time.

And the U.S. media were silent. The major broadcast, print, and Internet outlets said not a word about this astonishing turnabout in American foreign policy. To this day, they have not seemed even to recognize that the pivot to support al-Qa’eda took place. But it needs to be said. The American people deserve to understand that their most senior leaders, both elected and appointed, have violated their oaths to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

United States law is quite explicit about providing material support to terrorists: it’s prohibited. Period. 18 U.S. Code § 2339A and 18 U.S. Code § 2339B address Providing Material Support to Terrorists or Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations. Together, these two sections outlaw the actions of any U.S. person who attempts or conspires to provide, or actually does provide, material support to a foreign terrorist organization knowing that it has been designated a foreign terrorist organization or engages, or has engaged, in “terrorism” or “terrorist activity.” Conspiracy means agreeing or planning to provide such support, whether or not such support ever is actually delivered. Penalties for conspiracy to provide material support to terrorism are stiff: imprisonment for up to 15 years and/or a fine of not more than $250,000. Penalties for actually providing or attempting to provide material support to terrorism are even harsher: imprisonment from 15 years to life, with a life sentence applicable if the death of any person results from such crime. Aiding, abetting, counseling, or procuring in support of a violation of Section 2339B is punishable by the same penalties as for the offense itself.

The Arms Export Control Act is another law that makes it illegal for the U.S. government to export “munitions” to any country determined by the Secretary of State to have “repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism.” While this provision applies specifically to those countries—Cuba, North Korea, Iran, and Syria—that are designated as state sponsors of terrorism, the case of Libya stands out nevertheless. Removed from the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism in 2006, Libya by early 2011 was swarming with al-Qa’eda and Muslim Brotherhood militias and affiliates fighting to overthrow Muamar Qaddafi’s regime.

The identities of those jihadis and their al-Qa’eda affiliations were well known to the U.S. Intelligence Community, Department of State, and Tripoli Embassy long before the 17 February 2011 revolt broke out against Muamar Qaddafi. As with other al-Qa’eda branches, the Libyan al-Qa’eda affiliates such as the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) trace their origins back to the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya, which was founded in 1949 when Egyptian Brotherhood members “fled a crackdown in Cairo and took refuge in Benghazi,” according to a May 2012 study by the Brookings Doha Center. Colonel Muamar Qaddafi took over Libya in a 1969 coup d’état and showed little tolerance for Brotherhood activities. Brutal waves of repression kept the Brotherhood in check through the 1980s and 1990s when many Libyan fighters went to Afghanistan to join the mujahedeen in their battle against the Soviet Army. Some of those who fought there, like Abu Anas al-Libi and Abdelhakim Belhadj, would figure prominently in the revolt that ultimately ousted Qaddafi in 2011.

The LIFG was founded in 1990 by Libyan fighters returning from the Afghan jihad who were now intent on waging jihad at home. Qaddafi came down hard on the group, though, and crushed the LIFG’s 1995-1998 insurgency. Some LIFG members had moved to Sudan when Usama bin-Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri found refuge with Omar al-Bashir’s Muslim Brotherhood regime in the early 1990s and others (including Belhadj) eventually fled back to Afghanistan, where both bin-Laden and al-Zawahiri also had relocated by the mid-1990s. Abu Anas al-Libi is alleged to have taken part in the pre-attack casing and surveillance of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya a few years prior to the 1998 al-Qa’eda attack there.

By 1995, things were becoming hot for the jihadis in Sudan and while bin Laden and al-Zawahiri returned to Afghanistan about this time, others such as Anas al-Libi were offered safehaven by the British. In return for political asylum in the UK, MI 6 recruited Anas al-Libi’s support for a failed 1996 plot to assassinate Qaddafi. In all, Anas al-Libi lived in Manchester from 1995-2000—despite his known history of association with bin Laden, al-Zawahiri, and other AQ leaders, as well as willingness to participate in assassination plots against national leaders, as I wrote in an October 2013 piece at The Clarion Project. The U.S.’s British partners also provided asylum to Abu Abdullah As-Sadeq, the LIFG’s top commander and allowed the LIFG to publish an Arabic language newspaper called al-Wasat in London. By 2000, though, as the FBI and other Western security services began to close in, Anas al-Libi and others were on the move again, leaving behind a 180-page al-Qa’eda terror training manual that became known as the “Manchester Document.” In the run-up to the 11 September 2001 attacks, Anas al-Libi, Abdelhakim Belhadj, Abu Sufian bin Qumu, and other known LIFG members reconnected with bin Laden in Afghanistan. As John Rosenthal points out in a 10 October 2013 posting, “The Inevitable Rise of Al-Qaeda in Libya,” in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, “the history of close cooperation between the LIFG and al-Qa’eda was so extensive that the Libyan group figured among the very first organizations to be designated as al-Qaeda affiliates by the UN Security Council.” In fact, according to Rosenthal who cites former LIFG member, Norman Benotman, Belhadj was actually present with bin Laden at Tora Bora in December 2001. The LIFG was formally accepted as an al-Qa’eda franchise by Ayman al-Zawahiri, the AQ deputy at the time, in 2007.

In the years following 9/11, various LIFG members were detained: Abu Sufian bin Qumu was captured in 2002 and sent to Guantanamo Bay (GITMO) and in 2004, both Abu Anas al-Libi and Abdelhakim Belhadj were captured. By the mid-2000s, GITMO detainees were being released to their home countries. Abu Sufian bin Qumu, for example, was released from GITMO and returned to Libya in 2007. Beginning about 2005, Qaddafi was under pressure from both the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli and his own son, Seif, to begin what came to be known as “the reconciliation process,” in which LIFG and other jihadist prisoners were released from Libyan jails. In this process, LIFG Muslim Brotherhood cleric Ali Mohammad Al-Sallabi was a key mediator. Abdelhakim Belhadj was released in 2008 (just as Christopher Stevens was appointed Deputy Chief of Mission to Tripoli) and Abu Sufian bin Qumu in 2010, after which he returned to Derna to begin plotting the revolt against Qaddafi.

Even as this “reconciliation process” was underway and Christopher Stevens was preparing for his new posting, Libyan jihadis were flowing out of eastern Libya in droves to join the al-Qa’eda jihad against U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq. According to a June 2010 study compiled by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, “Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq,” coalition forces in Iraq captured a stash of documents in October 2007 which documented the origins of the foreign fighters who’d traveled to Iraq to join al-Qa’eda between August 2006 and August 2007. Termed the “Sinjar Records” after the nearest town where these personnel records were found, the data showed that by far the largest contingent of foreign fighters per capita came from Libya. Across the spectrum, the most common cities of origin for foreign fighters in Iraq were Darnah, Libya and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Darnah is located in the eastern Cyrenaica region of Libya, long known as an incubator of jihadist ideology and the place which would become the cradle of the 2011 Islamic uprising against Muammar Qaddafi.

Nor was the new Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) Christopher Stevens unaware of what was going on. A June 2008 cable from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli that went out over Stevens’ signature was obtained by the London Telegraph from Wikileaks. The report was given the name “Die Hard in Derna,” after the Bruce Willis movie, and described the determination of the young jihadis of this eastern Libyan town to bring down the Qaddafi regime. Because they believed the U.S. government supported the Qaddafi regime and would not allow it to fall after it had abandoned its Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) programs and begun to provide counter-terrorism support, and as documented in the West Point study of the “Sinjar Records,” the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) instead sent its fighters to confront the U.S. in Iraq, believing that was a way to strike a blow against both Qaddafi and his U.S. backers. A local Derna resident told the visiting Embassy officer that Libyan fighters who had returned from earlier battlefields in Afghanistan (1980s) and elsewhere sometimes went on for additional “religious training” in Lebanon and Syria; when they eventually returned to Libya in the late 1980s and early 1990s, they began the process of preparing the ground for “the eventual overthrow by the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) of Muammar Qadhafi’s regime…”

Career Foreign Service Officer Christopher Stevens was first posted to the American Embassy in Tripoli, Libya in June 2007 as the DCM and later as charge d’affaires until 2009. For his second tour in Libya, Stevens was sent to rebel headquarters in Benghazi, Libya, to serve as special representative to the Libyan Transitional National Council. He arrived on a Greek cargo ship on April 5, 2011 and stayed until November. His mission was to forge stronger links with the Interim Transitional National Council, and gain a better understanding of the various factions fighting the Qaddafi regime. His reports back to Washington were said to have encouraged the U.S. to support and recognize the rebel council, which the Obama administration did formally in July 2011.

As is now known, under urging from Sen. John McCain and other Congressional members, the White House endorsed Qatar’s plan to send weapons to the Libyan rebels shortly after Yousef al-Qaradawi, the senior jurist of the Muslim Brotherhood, issued a 21 February 2011 fatwa that called for the killing of Qaddafi. Seeking a “zero footprint,” no-paperwork-trail profile itself, the U.S. instead encouraged both Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to arm the Libyan jihadis, according to a key New York Times article published in December 2012. Knowing full well exactly who those rebel militias and their leadership were, and how closely they were connected with al-Qa’eda (and perhaps even mindful of the legal restrictions on providing material support to terrorism), the U.S. sought to distance itself as the source of these weapons, which included small arms such as automatic rifles, machine guns, and ammunition. The NY Times piece noted that U.S. officials made sure to stipulate the weapons provided would come from elsewhere, but not from the U.S.

But the fact that from the end of March 2011 onward, U.S. and other NATO forces completely controlled Libyan air space and the sea approaches to Libya means that the cargo planes and freighters transporting the arms into Libya from Qatar and elsewhere were being waved through with full U.S. knowledge and support. The U.S. mission in Libya, and especially in Benghazi, ramped up in this period to facilitate the delivery of the weapons to the Libyan al-Qa’eda terrorists.

What followed should hardly have come as a surprise to anyone. After NATO air support cleared the way to Tripoli, the Qaddafi regime fell in October 2011 and the Muslim Brotherhood political leadership and al-Qa’eda fighters took over. Abdelhakim Belhadj was named Tripoli military commander. Chaos reigned, especially in the eastern regions, and now the weapons flow reversed—out of Libya, and into the hands of jihadis in West Africa, the Sinai, and Syria. Some of that flow was wildly disorganized and some of it was directed, with the U.S. mission in Benghazi once again playing a key role as its teams on the ground facilitated the weapons delivery, now destined for the Syrian rebels, dominated by al-Qa’eda and the Muslim Brotherhood, who were fighting to overthrow the Bashar al-Assad regime. In this endeavor, the U.S. was allied with its new Libyan partner, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and once again, with Qatar.

The next chapter in the U.S. jihad wars was underway, with a new Presidential Finding, and material support to terrorism firmly established as official policy. Congress and the media and the military remained silent. The American people barely noticed.

Clare M. Lopez is a Senior Fellow with the Center for Security Policy and the London Center for Policy Research. She is also a member of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi.

Also see:

OBAMA HAS NO PLAN IN AFGHANISTAN AND THE WAR AGAINST AL QAEDA

obama_military_binoculars_AFPBreitbart, by DR. SEBASTIAN GORKA:

The US commander of the ISAF coalition in Afghanistan, General Jospeh Dunford USMC, recently stated: “We are not leaving. We are transitioning – there’s a big difference.”

While it is doubtful that the Taliban could parse said difference, the statement has led to comments of Operation Enduring Freedom having led to a defeat. Since the reason we are in Afghanistan is the 9/11 attacks, this is more than a throw away comment.

Although the provision of education for females and the establishment of an accountable government in Kabul are laudable objectives, these are not the reasons for our invasion of Afghanistan. It is crucial to note that it is now impossible for al Qaeda to mastermind mass-casualty attacks against US targets from the territory of that nation.

The fact that, according to Director of National Intelligence General Clapper, al Qaeda now has operational centers in 12 nations around the world does not mean OEF has failed.

The strengthening of al Qaeda in areas outside of Afghanistan is not a function of the failure of our combat troops in theater. It has to do with the absence of strategy at the highest levels of the administration.

“Obama has emphasized bureaucratic efficiency over ideology, and approached foreign policy as if it were case law, deciding his response to every threat or crisis on its own merits.” Does this sound like a Fox News commentary or National Review? It is neither.

The quote comes from a 9,000 word 2011 piece in the New Yorker titled “The Consequentialist.” I recommend this in-depth piece, based on access to top members of the administration including the president, to all the national security types I work with and anyone who wishes to understand why America is where it is today.

The article is an attempt by a leftwing organ supportive of the administration to reveal to the world President Obama’s global vision and how he sees America’s role. After all the background details and interviews with his most influential advisers (Power, Rice, etc) — none of whom have military experience and who almost exclusively are academics or political activists — the most striking moment comes in an interview with the president himself.

Asked about his strategy, the doctrine that informs America’s actions in the world, the president replied: “When you start applying blanket policies on the complexities of the current world situation, you’re going to get yourself into trouble.” In English: no plan is better. Having a plan can get you in trouble.

Given that China is intimidating its neighbors, Russia has actually invaded one of hers, Iran stills wants nukes, Syria is collapsing, and al Qaeda is alive and well outside of Afghanistan, it would be hard to envisage an Eisenhower, a Churchill, or even a Truman saying: “Nope, no plan needed here. That’s dangerous.”

We can win against al Qaeda in Afghanistan, at least if we continue to guarantee that it can’t reconstitute its former bases or deploy terrorists to the US. Talk of “transition” instead and negating the very need for a strategy will, however, likely lead to defeat there and elsewhere.

The trouble is that our Commander-in-Chief long ago revealed why foreign policy is irrelevant to him. At the end of his 2009 speech to graduating West Point cadets, he was unequivocal. It is time to “end the war in Iraq and transition to Afghan responsibility,” because “we must rebuild our strength here at home.” Notice the use of the word “transition.” The talking points have lasted well and apparently been sent to ISAF HQ in Kabul: “nationbuilding is to be done at home.” (It is quite shocking that the first place he made this clear was in front of hundreds of young men and women all in uniform on the cusp of deployment).

President Obama is clearly a product of Chicago’s political machine. From his perspective, Obamacare and the false narrative of punishing the “fat cats” (who helped put him in office) are the priorities. If foreign affairs and our military missions abroad had any weight with him, then his former National Security Advisor, General Jim Jones, would not have been treated like a pariah and eased out of office after just twenty months after being appointed, and the armed services would not be facing their largest cuts in half a century.

The cruel reality of the world is that since the Homeric wars of Troy right up until WWI, WWII, and the current crisis in the Ukraine, the enemy always had a plan and wanted to win. It is time for us to follow suit.

Sebastian Gorka PhD is National Security Editor of Breitbart.com. 

In his own words: Barack Obama on Christianity and Islam

future-must-not-belong-to-those-who-slander-prophet-islam-mohammad-barack-hussein-obama-muslimBy Thomas Lifson:

A website called Now The End Begins has compiled 40 comments by Barack Obama on Christianity and Islam. Collectively, they create quite an interesting picture.  I admit that there may be instances of the president speaking as favorably of Christianity as he does of Islam, but I am not aware of them. I do remember in the 2008 campaign that he said he had accepted Jesus Christ as his savior, and that was in response to public awareness of his attendance at Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s church, Trinity United. What the president left unsaid is the nature of Jesus as understood in Black Liberation Theology. But that is a discussion for another time.

The list has been reprinted here and here. (hat tip :iOwnTheWorld.com). See what you think:

1. “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam”

2. “The sweetest sound I know is the Muslim call to prayer”

3. “We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over the centuries to shape the world — including in my own country.”

4. “As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam.”

5. “Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance.”

6. “Islam has always been part of America”

7. “we will encourage more Americans to study in Muslim communities”

8. “These rituals remind us of the principles that we hold in common, and Islam’s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings.”

9. “America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles of justice and progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”

10. “I made it clear that America is not – and will never be – at war with Islam.”

11. “Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism – it is an important part of promoting peace.”

12. “So I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed”

13. “In ancient times and in our times, Muslim communities have been at the forefront of innovation and education.”

14. “Throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.”

15. “Ramadan is a celebration of a faith known for great diversity and racial equality”

16. “The Holy Koran tells us, ‘O mankind! We have created you male and a female; and we have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another.’”

17. “I look forward to hosting an Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan here at the White House later this week, and wish you a blessed month.”

18. “We’ve seen those results in generations of Muslim immigrants – farmers and factory workers, helping to lay the railroads and build our cities, the Muslim innovators who helped build some of our highest skyscrapers and who helped unlock the secrets of our universe.”

19. “That experience guides my conviction that partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn’t. And I consider it part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.”

20. “I also know that Islam has always been a part of America’s story.”

Here he is on Christianity:

1. “Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation”

2. “We do not consider ourselves a Christian nation.”

3. “Which passages of scripture should guide our public policy?  Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is OK and that eating shellfish is an abomination?  Or we could go with Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith?”

Read more at American Thinker

The Disappearance of US Will

obama-foreign-policy-policy-second-term-john-bolton-620x396-450x287By Caroline Glick:

The most terrifying aspect of the collapse of US power worldwide is the US’s indifferent response to it.

In Europe, in Asia, in the Middle East and beyond, America’s most dangerous foes are engaging in aggression and brinkmanship unseen in decades.

As Gordon Chang noted at a symposium in Los Angeles last month hosted by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, since President Barack Obama entered office in 2009, the Chinese have responded to his overtures of goodwill and appeasement with intensified aggression against the US’s Asian allies and against US warships.

In 2012, China seized the Scarborough Shoal from the Philippines. Washington shrugged its shoulders despite its mutual defense treaty with the Philippines. And so Beijing is striking again, threatening the Second Thomas Shoal, another Philippine possession.

In a similar fashion, Beijing is challenging Japan’s control over the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea and even making territorial claims on Okinawa.

As Chang explained, China’s recent application of its Air-Defense Identification Zone to include Japanese and South Korean airspace is a hostile act not only against those countries but also against the principle of freedom of maritime navigation, which, Chang noted, “Americans have been defending for more than two centuries.”

The US has responded to Chinese aggression with ever-escalating attempts to placate Beijing.

And China has responded to these US overtures by demonstrating contempt for US power.

Last week, the Chinese humiliated Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel during his visit to China’s National Defense University. He was harangued by a student questioner for the US’s support for the Philippines and Japan, and for opposition to Chinese unilateral seizure of island chains and assertions of rights over other states’ airspace and international waterways.

As he stood next to Hagel in a joint press conference, China’s Defense Chief Chang Wanquan demanded that the US restrain Japan and the Philippines.

In addition to its flaccid responses to Chinese aggression against its allies and its own naval craft, in 2012 the US averred from publicly criticizing China for its sale to North Korea of mobile missile launchers capable of serving Pyongyang’s KN-08 intercontinental ballistic missiles. With these easily concealed launchers, North Korea significantly upgraded its ability to attack the US with nuclear weapons.

As for Europe, the Obama administration’s responses to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and to its acts of aggression against Ukraine bespeak a lack of seriousness and dangerous indifference to the fate of the US alliance structure in Eastern Europe.

Rather than send NATO forces to the NATO member Baltic states, and arm Ukrainian forces with defensive weapons, as Russian forces began penetrating Ukraine, the US sent food to Ukraine and an unarmed warship to the Black Sea.

Clearly not impressed by the US moves, the Russians overflew and shadowed the US naval ship. As Charles Krauthammer noted on Fox News on Monday, the Russian action was not a provocation. It was “a show of contempt.”

As Krauthammer explained, it could have only been viewed as a provocation if Russia had believed the US was likely to respond to its shadowing of the warship. Since Moscow correctly assessed that the US would not respond to its aggression, by buzzing and following the warship, the Russians demonstrated to Ukraine and other US allies that they cannot trust the US to protect them from Russia.

In the Middle East, it is not only the US’s obsessive approach to the Palestinian conflict with Israel that lies in shambles. The entire US alliance system and the Obama administration’s other signature initiatives have also collapsed.

After entering office, Obama implemented an aggressive policy in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere of killing al-Qaida operatives with unmanned drones. The strategy was based on the notion that such a campaign, that involves no US boots on the ground, can bring about a rout of the terrorist force at minimal human cost to the US and at minimal political cost to President Barack Obama.

The strategy has brought about the demise of a significant number of al-Qaida terrorists over the years. And due to the support Obama enjoys from the US media, the Obama administration paid very little in terms of political capital for implementing it.

But despite the program’s relative success, according to The Washington Post, the administration suspended drone attacks in December 2013 after it endured modest criticism when one in Yemen inadvertently hit a wedding party.

No doubt al-Qaida noticed the program’s suspension. And now the terror group is flaunting its immunity from US attack.

This week, jihadist websites featured an al-Qaida video showing hundreds of al-Qaida terrorists in Yemen meeting openly with the group’s second in command, Nasir al-Wuhayshi.

In the video, Wuhayshi threatened the US directly saying, “We must eliminate the cross,” and explaining that “the bearer of the cross is America.”

***

There is a direct correlation between the US elite’s preoccupation with social issues running the narrow and solipsistic gamut from gay marriage to transgender bathrooms to a phony war against women, and America’s inability to recognize the growing threats to the global order or understand why Americans should care about the world at all.

And there is a similarly direct correlation between the growing aggression of US foes and Obama’s decision to slash defense spending while allowing the US nuclear arsenal to become all but obsolete.

America’s spurned allies will take the actions they need to take to protect themselves. Some will persevere, others will likely be overrun.

But with Americans across the ideological spectrum pretending that failure is success and defeat is victory, while turning their backs on the growing storm, how will America protect itself?

Read more at Front Page

The Red Line and the Rat Line

Seymour M. Hersh on Obama, Erdoğan and the Syrian rebels:

In 2011 Barack Obama led an allied military intervention in Libya without consulting the US Congress. Last August, after the sarin attack on the Damascus suburb of Ghouta, he was ready to launch an allied air strike, this time to punish the Syrian government for allegedly crossing the ‘red line’ he had set in 2012 on the use of chemical weapons. Then with less than two days to go before the planned strike, he announced that he would seek congressional approval for the intervention. The strike was postponed as Congress prepared for hearings, and subsequently cancelled when Obama accepted Assad’s offer to relinquish his chemical arsenal in a deal brokered by Russia. Why did Obama delay and then relent on Syria when he was not shy about rushing into Libya? The answer lies in a clash between those in the administration who were committed to enforcing the red line, and military leaders who thought that going to war was both unjustified and potentially disastrous.

****

The full extent of US co-operation with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar in assisting the rebel opposition in Syria has yet to come to light. The Obama administration has never publicly admitted to its role in creating what the CIA calls a ‘rat line’, a back channel highway into Syria. The rat line, authorised in early 2012, was used to funnel weapons and ammunition from Libya via southern Turkey and across the Syrian border to the opposition. Many of those in Syria who ultimately received the weapons were jihadists, some of them affiliated with al-Qaida. (The DNI spokesperson said: ‘The idea that the United States was providing weapons from Libya to anyone is false.’)

In January, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report on the assault by a local militia in September 2012 on the American consulate and a nearby undercover CIA facility in Benghazi, which resulted in the death of the US ambassador, Christopher Stevens, and three others. The report’s criticism of the State Department for not providing adequate security at the consulate, and of the intelligence community for not alerting the US military to the presence of a CIA outpost in the area, received front-page coverage and revived animosities in Washington, with Republicans accusing Obama and Hillary Clinton of a cover-up. A highly classified annex to the report, not made public, described a secret agreement reached in early 2012 between the Obama and Erdoğan administrations. It pertained to the rat line. By the terms of the agreement, funding came from Turkey, as well as Saudi Arabia and Qatar; the CIA, with the support of MI6, was responsible for getting arms from Gaddafi’s arsenals into Syria. A number of front companies were set up in Libya, some under the cover of Australian entities. Retired American soldiers, who didn’t always know who was really employing them, were hired to manage procurement and shipping. The operation was run by David Petraeus, the CIA director who would soon resign when it became known he was having an affair with his biographer. (A spokesperson for Petraeus denied the operation ever took place.)

The operation had not been disclosed at the time it was set up to the congressional intelligence committees and the congressional leadership, as required by law since the 1970s. The involvement of MI6 enabled the CIA to evade the law by classifying the mission as a liaison operation. The former intelligence official explained that for years there has been a recognised exception in the law that permits the CIA not to report liaison activity to Congress, which would otherwise be owed a finding. (All proposed CIA covert operations must be described in a written document, known as a ‘finding’, submitted to the senior leadership of Congress for approval.) Distribution of the annex was limited to the staff aides who wrote the report and to the eight ranking members of Congress – the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate, and the Democratic and Republicans leaders on the House and Senate intelligence committees. This hardly constituted a genuine attempt at oversight: the eight leaders are not known to gather together to raise questions or discuss the secret information they receive.

The annex didn’t tell the whole story of what happened in Benghazi before the attack, nor did it explain why the American consulate was attacked. ‘The consulate’s only mission was to provide cover for the moving of arms,’ the former intelligence official, who has read the annex, said. ‘It had no real political role.’

Washington abruptly ended the CIA’s role in the transfer of arms from Libya after the attack on the consulate, but the rat line kept going. ‘The United States was no longer in control of what the Turks were relaying to the jihadists,’ the former intelligence official said. Within weeks, as many as forty portable surface-to-air missile launchers, commonly known as manpads, were in the hands of Syrian rebels. On 28 November 2012, Joby Warrick of the Washington Post reported that the previous day rebels near Aleppo had used what was almost certainly a manpad to shoot down a Syrian transport helicopter. ‘The Obama administration,’ Warrick wrote, ‘has steadfastly opposed arming Syrian opposition forces with such missiles, warning that the weapons could fall into the hands of terrorists and be used to shoot down commercial aircraft.’ Two Middle Eastern intelligence officials fingered Qatar as the source, and a former US intelligence analyst speculated that the manpads could have been obtained from Syrian military outposts overrun by the rebels. There was no indication that the rebels’ possession of manpads was likely the unintended consequence of a covert US programme that was no longer under US control.

By the end of 2012, it was believed throughout the American intelligence community that the rebels were losing the war. ‘Erdoğan was pissed,’ the former intelligence official said, ‘and felt he was left hanging on the vine. It was his money and the cut-off was seen as a betrayal.’ In spring 2013 US intelligence learned that the Turkish government – through elements of the MIT, its national intelligence agency, and the Gendarmerie, a militarised law-enforcement organisation – was working directly with al-Nusra and its allies to develop a chemical warfare capability. ‘The MIT was running the political liaison with the rebels, and the Gendarmerie handled military logistics, on-the-scene advice and training – including training in chemical warfare,’ the former intelligence official said. ‘Stepping up Turkey’s role in spring 2013 was seen as the key to its problems there. Erdoğan knew that if he stopped his support of the jihadists it would be all over. The Saudis could not support the war because of logistics – the distances involved and the difficulty of moving weapons and supplies. Erdoğan’s hope was to instigate an event that would force the US to cross the red line. But Obama didn’t respond in March and April.’

There was no public sign of discord when Erdoğan and Obama met on 16 May 2013 at the White House. At a later press conference Obama said that they had agreed that Assad ‘needs to go’. Asked whether he thought Syria had crossed the red line, Obama acknowledged that there was evidence such weapons had been used, but added, ‘it is important for us to make sure that we’re able to get more specific information about what exactly is happening there.’ The red line was still intact.

An American foreign policy expert who speaks regularly with officials in Washington and Ankara told me about a working dinner Obama held for Erdoğan during his May visit. The meal was dominated by the Turks’ insistence that Syria had crossed the red line and their complaints that Obama was reluctant to do anything about it. Obama was accompanied by John Kerry and Tom Donilon, the national security adviser who would soon leave the job. Erdoğan was joined by Ahmet Davutoğlu, Turkey’s foreign minister, and Hakan Fidan, the head of the MIT. Fidan is known to be fiercely loyal to Erdoğan, and has been seen as a consistent backer of the radical rebel opposition in Syria.

 Sitting around the table (left to right): Ahmet Davutoglu (Turkish FM)–back of head–,Tayyip Erdogan, Hakan Fidan, John Kerry, Barack Obama, (possibly Hilary Clinton), Tom Donilon.

Sitting around the table (left to right): Ahmet Davutoglu (Turkish FM)–back of head–,Tayyip Erdogan, Hakan Fidan, John Kerry, Barack Obama, (possibly Hilary Clinton), Tom Donilon.

The foreign policy expert told me that the account he heard originated with Donilon. (It was later corroborated by a former US official, who learned of it from a senior Turkish diplomat.) According to the expert, Erdoğan had sought the meeting to demonstrate to Obama that the red line had been crossed, and had brought Fidan along to state the case. When Erdoğan tried to draw Fidan into the conversation, and Fidan began speaking, Obama cut him off and said: ‘We know.’ Erdoğan tried to bring Fidan in a second time, and Obama again cut him off and said: ‘We know.’ At that point, an exasperated Erdoğan said, ‘But your red line has been crossed!’ and, the expert told me, ‘Donilon said Erdoğan “fucking waved his finger at the president inside the White House”.’ Obama then pointed at Fidan and said: ‘We know what you’re doing with the radicals in Syria.’ (Donilon, who joined the Council on Foreign Relations last July, didn’t respond to questions about this story. The Turkish Foreign Ministry didn’t respond to questions about the dinner. A spokesperson for the National Security Council confirmed that the dinner took place and provided a photograph showing Obama, Kerry, Donilon, Erdoğan, Fidan and Davutoğlu sitting at a table. ‘Beyond that,’ she said, ‘I’m not going to read out the details of their discussions.’)

Read more at London Review of Books

Walid Shoebat has some interesting observations on this here: CIA Was Involved In Benghazi Attack

Ex-CIA leader Morell denies role in Benghazi ‘cover-up’ during heated Hill hearing

morell2By Guy Taylor:

A high-level former CIA leader flatly denied allegations on Wednesday that he had “inappropriately altered and influenced” the the now infamous Benghazi talking points to downplay the role of terrorism in the incident by inaccurately playing up the idea that the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks had been born out of a spontaneous protest — and then later “covered up” his actions.

“These allegations accuse me of taking these actions for the political benefit of President Obama and then [former] Secretary of State [Hillary RodhamClinton,” former Deputy CIA Director Michael Morell told lawmakers on the House Select Committee on Intelligence.

“These allegations are false,” he said in prepared remarks given to committee members and the press as the highly-anticipated hearing on the Benghazi talking points got underway — disputes over which have long sat at the center of political fireworks hanging over an exhaustive series of congressional investigations into the attacks that killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans more than 18 months ago.

Mr. Morell moved quickly in his testimony to address the heart of the matter: Why did senior CIA and White House officials in Washington ignore pointed assertions by the CIA’s chief of station in Libya that there had been no protest prior to the attacks and why were those assertions not included in talking points that former U.N. Ambassador Susan E. Rice used on Sept. 16 when she appeared — five days after the attacks — on several news talks shows to claim that there had been a protest.

Mr. Morell said the CIA station chief’s assertions were not used in the talking points because they were outmatched by other streams of information being weighed at the same time by CIA analysts crafting the points.

Read more at Washington Times

 

 

Also see:

 

Dancing with the Devil

dancby :

Many books have been written about the cost of war. Far fewer have been written about the cost of diplomacy.

Diplomacy, diplomats assume, is always a good thing. There can be no harm in talking to an enemy. Talking, talking and then talking some more. It’s the myth that Obama has built his entire foreign policy around, broadcasting his eagerness for unconditional dialogue with totalitarian states, and it is a myth that Michael Rubin challenges with a combination of hard facts, historical accounts and bigger ideas in Dancing with the Devil: The Perils of Engaging Rogue Regimes.

Despite the presence of “Rogue Regimes” in the title, a favorite buzzword of the post-Cold War diplomatic establishment, Rubin analyzes and challenges the term “rogue” and many of the other comforting clichés of modern diplomacy whose real goal is to avoid coming to terms with reality.

The biggest of these clichés is that talking is a sign of progress. As Rubin demonstrates, enemy states use diplomacy to buy time or intimidate an opponent as summed up in the famous aphorism about diplomacy being the art of saying nice doggie while picking up a rock. Except we’re the doggie and the rock is radioactive.

In Dancing with the Devil, Rubin shows how totalitarian states like North Korea, Iraq and Iran used negotiations as levers for achieving their own goals without giving up anything in return. Totalitarian states have learned that a combination of diplomacy with aggressive threats leads to a rewards cycle as Western diplomats struggle to sustain diplomacy with more generous concessions of appeasement.

For Western diplomats, success means bringing an enemy to the negotiating table and keeping him there, but as Rubin’s book quotes Kissinger as saying in regard to negotiations with the USSR, “When talks become their own objective, they are at the mercy of the party most prepared to break them off.”

That is the phenomenon that we are seeing in the latest round of negotiations between Israel and PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas who has to be bribed with an escalating series of freebies just to stay at the negotiating table to negotiate the pre-negotiating process.

It was also the response of Obama to any talk of sanctions on Iran as the negotiations process became something that Iran offered as a reward to America in exchange for ‘good’ behavior… instead of the other way around.

Diplomats take the grievances of totalitarian states seriously and seek to appease them which only encourages them to cultivate further grievances. Rather than stabilizing the conflict, appeasement further escalates it as totalitarian states find more things to be angry about and more grievances to threaten war over.

Western diplomats, Rubin writes, are content to negotiate endlessly and to treat these serial negotiations as signs of success. Enemy diplomats however want instant benefits for their regime while offering worthless long term promises that they intend to break at the first opportunity having learned that this will only lead to more negotiations. They can’t lose and we can’t win.

Rogues continue to “go rogue” while negotiating with multilateralists. The multilateral diplomacy fetish perversely punishes fellow mulilateralists while rewarding rogues thereby incentivizing rogue behavior and disincentivizing membership in the multilateral club.

Western governments that commit to the diplomatic route become practiced at ignoring threats and aggressive activities as mere “provocations” so that Obama’s interlocutors dismiss Iran’s threats of war as a negotiating strategy rather than statements of intent.

Rubin documents how Russian espionage under Obama in 2010 was quickly resolved by releasing the spies to avoid disrupting the ephemeral “reset”. Bill Clinton ordered a cover up of the Khobar Towers bombing to avoid ruining diplomatic outreach to Iran. Arafat’s links to terrorism were likewise covered up to avoid the end of foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority and the end of the peace process.

By positioning war and diplomacy as opposites on a spectrum representing a range from hostility to peace, the false perception was maintained that any move toward negotiations was also a move away from war. Negotiations however are not the opposite of conflict. Sometimes they are an extension of it.

As Chinese Communist leader Zhou Enlai said, “All diplomacy is a continuation of war by other means.”

*****

The final cost of diplomacy may be military, but the first cost of diplomacy is moral as Western countries look the other way at the abuses and atrocities of the tyrannies they are engaging diplomatically.

Rubin points out that Iran actually began executing more people during Clinton and Obama’s bouts of outreach to the Islamist theocracy in its so-called moderate phases. Bill Clinton ignored Assad’s bloody track record in the hopes of getting him into a peace process with Israel.

Negotiations with totalitarian states don’t save lives. They cost lives. They cost honor. And they take away the peace that might have been possible and substitute for it a state of endless negotiated war.

Obama’s foreign policy has demonstrated once again the timeless truth that appeasement does not secure peace.

Read more at Front Page

War & Peace in the Age of Obama

3333By :

Editor’s note: The following is the text to David Horowitz’s introduction of Caroline Glick at the Wednesday Morning Club.

To order Glick’s new book, The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East, click here.

We live in surreal times. My privilege and pleasure today is to introduce a remarkable woman who has written an extraordinary book in which she argues that the only viable way to resolve the Middle East conflict is a “one-state solution.” I am going to let Caroline explain why that should be so, but in order to understand the magnitude of the task she has undertaken and the difficulties her solution would have to overcome, you first have to understand the surreal nature of the times we live in.

We are not long emerged from a fifty-year Cold War, which began when the Soviet Empire swallowed Eastern Europe and the Baltic states, and ended only when the United States undertook a vast rearmament, and applied enough pressure over enough years to bankrupt the Communist system and force its withdrawal from the occupation.

The Russian successor to that empire has just swallowed one of its lost treasures, a sovereign domain in Eastern Europe. The response of our commander in chief, Barack Obama, to the rape of Crimea has been to wag his finger in response, and explain to the Russian conqueror that the time for conquests has actually passed. We are all modern people now living in the 21st Century and we just don’t do things that way. Not surprisingly this pablum made no impression on Vladimir Putin.

In point of fact, Russia is a second-rate power and could have been easily dissuaded from this adventure or backed down without firing a shot. But because Barack Obama is such an embarrassingly weak leader and untrustworthy ally, Putin was able to laugh in his face, mass 100,000 troops on the Ukranian border and prepare to swallow Ukraine itself.

The leader of the free world today is a man who does not believe in the free world or in America’s role as its head. In the five years since a Norwegian committee gave him a Nobel Peace Prize for nothing, Obama’s policies of weakness and appeasement have made the world a far more dangerous place than it has been since the end of the Cold War, and possibly its beginning.

From his first day in office Obama has made it clear that he regards America as having wronged its adversaries, and its adversaries as having grievances that are justified. It is a view that is conveniently close to Putin’s own. As should by now be apparent, America’s president is a determined enabler of America’s enemies, and equally determined betrayer of her friends. In the five years since he took office he has lost the war in Iraq, giving up the military presence that thousands of Americans gave their lives to secure, while turning that benighted nation over to Iran; he has lost the war in Afghanistan by announcing his intention to lose it in advance and by forcing our troops to fight under rules of engagement that tied their hands and got them killed. He has lost Libya by conducting a unilateral, illegal and unauthorized aggression against an American ally, murdering its leader and turning its streets over to mobs of terrorists. In the course of these betrayals Obama has violated every principle he invoked as a senator to justify his attacks on George Bush’s war in Iraq. But then, Obama is a compulsive and brazen liar on matters both foreign and domestic.

In the Middle East, Obama has lost Egypt, its largest and most important nation. Until Obama intervened in its internal affairs and overthrew its pro-American president, Egypt had been an American ally for 40 years. In Egypt and throughout the Middle East, Obama and his secretaries Clinton and Kerry, have put American power and influence behind the Muslim Brotherhood an Islamic terrorist organization with attitudes indistinguishable from Hitler’s Nazi Party, except that it claims to take its direction from Allah.

The Muslim Brotherhood is the spawner of al-Qaeda, the creator of Hamas and the source of the global jihad against America and the West. Obama’s support for the Brotherhood has not only cost us our Egyptian ally, but it has opened the door for Putin’s imperial Russia to replace us as the Great Power influence in the region.

On top of these betrayals of America’s interests, Obama has systematically appeased our most deadly enemy in the region, the terrorist regime in Iran. In particular, he has conspired to insure that the Iranian mullahs, who have sworn to wipe America and Israel from the face of the earth, are successful in their drive to acquire nuclear weapons.

While giving aid and comfort to America’s mortal enemies, Obama has turned his back on the only democracy in the Middle East, and America’s most faithful and important ally. He has thrown his country’s enormous weight behind Islamic radicals whose goal – stated in so many words – is to obliterate the state of Israel and push the Jews who inhabit it into the sea. To finish the job that Hitler started.

Read more at Front Page

Obama to Kill Tomahawk, Hellfire Missile Programs

!cid_image001_jpg@01CF4499By :

President Barack Obama is seeking to abolish two highly successful missile programs that experts say have helped the U.S. Navy maintain military superiority for the past several decades.

The Tomahawk missile program—known as “the world’s most advanced cruise missile”—is set to be cut by $128 million under Obama’s fiscal year 2015 budget proposal and completely eliminated by fiscal year 2016, according to budget documents released by the Navy.

In addition to the monetary cuts to the program, the number of actual Tomahawk missiles acquired by the United States would drop significantly—from 196 last year to just 100 in 2015. The number will then drop to zero in 2016.

The Navy will also be forced to cancel its acquisition of the well-regarded and highly effective Hellfire missiles in 2015, according to Obama’s proposal.

The proposed elimination of these missile programs came as a shock to lawmakers and military experts, who warned ending cutting these missiles would significantly erode America’s ability to deter enemy forces.

“The administration’s proposed budget dramatically under-resources our investments in munitions and leaves the Defense Department with dangerous gaps in key areas, like Tomahawk and Hellfire missiles,” said Rep. Randy Forbes (R., Va.), a member of House Armed Services Committee.

“Increasing our investment in munitions and retaining our technological edge in research and development should be a key component of any serious defense strategy,” he said.

The U.S. Navy relied heavily on them during the 2011 military incursion into Libya, where some 220 Tomahawks were used during the fight.

Nearly 100 of these missiles are used each year on average, meaning that the sharp cuts will cause the Tomahawk stock to be completely depleted by around 2018. This is particularly concerning to defense experts because the Pentagon does not have a replacement missile ready to take the Tomahawk’s place.

“It doesn’t make sense,” said Seth Cropsey, director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for American Seapower. “This really moves the U.S. away from a position of influence and military dominance.”

Read more at Free Beacon

Don’t Give Away the Net

1117337656Center for Security Policy, By Frank Gaffney:

On the afternoon of Friday, March 14, 2014, the Obama administration announced that it was taking a step – without prior notice or evident consultation with Congress – to “support and enhance the multi-stakeholder model of Internet policymaking and governance.” Like so many other of Team Obama’s unilateral decisions, this one is not just contrary to the national interest.  It amounts to fraud.

Specifically, according to a press release issued by the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration , the NTIA says it intends to “transition key Internet domain name functions to the global multi-stakeholder community.” To that end, “As the first step, NTIA is asking the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to convene global stakeholders to develop a proposal to transition the current role played by NTIA in the coordination of the Internet’s Domain Name System (DNS).”

The administration says this step will lead to a new management arrangement for the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) that will, effective in September 2015, repose that responsibility with some other entity than NTIA. According to remarks at a March 14th press conference by the agency’s administrator, Lawrence Strickling, this transition “must have broad community support” from both Internet users, governments and companies. He also asserted that the forthcoming governance model has to “maintain the security, stability and resiliency of the Internet Domain Name System.”

It is not clear precisely how the U.S government will be able to assure such outcomes having already announced that it is terminating the present arrangement.  Businesses and non-governmental organizations that have endorsed this initiative with the caveat that they expect these conditions to eventuate are either kidding themselves or deceiving the rest of us.

That is especially so given that it is a safe bet ICANN will fall under the effective, if not de jure, control of the United Nation’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU).  Should that happen, neither the security, stability nor resiliency of the Internet’s Domain Name System can be assured.  Indeed, this sort of arrangement has long been demanded by such enemies of freedom and free expression as: the governments of Russia, China, North Korea and Iran; multi-national groups like the Organization of Islamic Cooperation; and the UN bureaucracy.

As former senior State Department official Christian Whiton has observed, there are predictable consequences to having the “directory and traffic signals of the Internet” come under the control of such hostile forces, including the following:

  • Greater control over the content of the Internet, including censorship, by governments who regard it as a threat to their holds on power.
  • Impediments to technological innovation as bureaucrats and hostile governments seek to dictate what can and cannot be done with the net.
  • UN taxation of domain name registrations and, in due course, other Internet transactions.  Such international taxation will make the United Nations even less accountable and afford it the latitude to fund activities detrimental to U.S. interests and those of its allies.
  • Control of the Internet can allow it to be used as an instrument of warfare. While the United States has refrained from making such use, allowing actual or potentially hostile powers to exercise such control may mean the Internet is simply disabled at a critical moment, or perhaps employed against us.

The United States has managed the Internet for the benefit of the whole world since it created first the DARPANet and then the World Wide Web. There is no good reason for abandoning what remains of that role – especially in favor of what is virtually certain to be a vastly inferior management arrangement.

Some have compared this surrender of what has been, as a practical matter, an American asset to President Carter’s decision to give-away of the Panama Canal. The difference is that at the time the Canal was given away, we could not be sure it would wind up in unfriendly hands (although it was predictable and predicted that it would, and the Chinese have proved us right).  But in this case, we have every reason to believe — despite the administration’s obscuring of who will take over from us — that the internet will wind up under the thumb of our enemies.

Congress must oppose this latest example of the Obama Doctrine – diminishing our country, emboldening our enemies and undermining our friends.  Tell your representative to act to keep the Internet an instrument of freedom and technological innovation (www.DontGiveAwaytheNet.com).

Also see

Obama Endorses Iranian Regime’s Fraudulent Election

AP

AP

File this under “Rouhani delerium”

BY: Washington Free Beacon Staff

President Obama said in a Norwuz greeting released Wednesday that the Iranian regime’s selection of a new president last year was in fact an election in which “the Iranian people” were allowed to choose a new leader.

“Last year, you—the Iranian people—made your voice heard when you elected Dr. Hassan Rouhani as your new president.” Obama said Rouhani “was elected with your strong support.”
Shortly after the regime’s selection of Rouhani, the Wall Street Journal’s Sohrab Ahmari described the process for subverting democratic choice in Iranian elections:

Iran’s presidential campaign season kicked off last month when an unelected body of 12 Islamic jurists disqualified more than 600 candidates. Women were automatically out; so were Iranian Christians, Jews and even Sunni Muslims. The rest, including a former president, were purged for possessing insufficient revolutionary zeal. Eight regime loyalists made it onto the ballots. One emerged victorious on Saturday.

President Obama opened his message with the greeting of “Dorood” to “the Islamic Republic of Iran,” using the regime’s preferred honorific. Obama concluded his message with “Thank you, and Eid-eh Shoma Mobarak.” Obama did not mention the plight of dissidents languishing in Iranian prisons, nor did he call on “the Islamic Republic of Iran” to release the American citizens it is holding hostage or cease being the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world.

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

It would be nice if someone would brief Obama on How to Think About Iran but I guess we’ll have to wait for the CIA to get it’s Iran operations department in order. Then there are the problems of cognitive dissonance and jihad threat denial to overcome.

a1-obama-and-kahameni-building-a-toaster (1)

Three years after U.S. intervention, Libya’s an even bigger disaster

This Image taken during an organized trip by the Libyan authorities shows a multiple rocket launcher destroyed outside what was described as a maintenance warehouse hit by two missiles Monday evening on a Naval base in Tripoli, Libya, on March 22, 2011. Missile transporters and launchers were among the destroyed hardware.Three years later, Obama's Libyan adventure looks like a moral vanity project carried out by careless people who couldn't be bothered to worry about unintended consequences. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay, file)

This Image taken during an organized trip by the Libyan authorities shows a multiple rocket launcher destroyed outside what was described as a maintenance warehouse hit by two missiles Monday evening on a Naval base in Tripoli, Libya, on March 22, 2011. Missile transporters and launchers were among the destroyed hardware.Three years later, Obama’s Libyan adventure looks like a moral vanity project carried out by careless people who couldn’t be bothered to worry about unintended consequences. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay, file)

BY GENE HEALY:

Libya suffered through an eventful St. Patrick’s Day on Monday: car bomb attacks in Benghazi killed at least eight people, and the U.S. Navy SEALs scored “one for the Morning Glory” by capturing the runaway oil tanker bearing that name in order to return it to the Libyan government, such as it is.

Earlier this month, the North Korean-flagged tanker switched off its satellite transponder — a device that could probably do without an “off” button — and sneaked into Libya’s largest oil port, whereupon Libyans linked to a breakaway eastern militia made off with millions of dollars in oil. But the return of the Morning Glory hardly fixes the problems confronting Libya.

Three years ago today, President Obama announced that America would “not stand idly by in the face of actions that undermine global peace and security;” he’d decided to order military action in “support for a set of universal values.” The next day, the bombing began.

How did that work out? Splendidly! says one of the principal architects of the war, former National Security Council official Samantha Power. Last summer, after becoming U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Power tweeted: “Great example: Qadhafi fell because the Libyan people bravely stood up, the U.S. stood strong, and the Arab League stood united. #Results.”

Let’s test that self-congratulatory hashtag against what a top official from the previous administration once contemptuously called the “judicious study of discernible reality.” “Political Killings Still Plaguing Post-Qaddafi Libya” is the headline from the New York Times last week, reporting, “[M]ore than 100 prominent figures, senior security officials, judges and political activists have been assassinated in two years, and the wave of killings is decimating local leadership and paralyzing the government and security forces.” Unrest has likewise decimated Libya’s oil production, and “militias hold 8,000 people in prisons.”

But didn’t we at least stop a genocide? That’s what State Department legal adviser Harold Koh suggested in an interview. Koh, previously an ardent opponent of presidential warmaking, gave Obama legal cover for Libya, arguing that bombing Libya didn’t count as “hostilities” under the War Powers Resolution.

Koh defends that decision by insisting that “thousands of lives were saved” — which isn’t much of a legal argument. It’s also not true.

As political scientist Alan J. Kuperman pointed out at the time, Obama “grossly exaggerated the humanitarian threat to justify military action in Libya.”

Read more at Washington Examiner

An Analysis of President Obama’s Terrorism Doctrine

obama-the-evil-one-e1389267583308 By :

Perhaps it is time to analyze the Obama Doctrine on terrorism as we reflect, as a nation, on our loses in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Benghazi attack, Extortion 17, Syria, Iran, Ukraine, Crimea and the over 55 attacks against the homeland by terrorists since 2008.

On August 3, 2011 President Obama released the National Strategy on Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism. The strategy, now known as the Obama Doctrine, was based upon the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) study group findings and recommendation developed in 2010 by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The CVE has become the blueprint for both domestic and foreign policy when dealing with terrorism. The Obama Doctrine redefined “terrorism” as “violent extremism”.

The DHS website states, “The threat posed by violent extremism is neither constrained by international borders nor limited to any single ideology. Groups and individuals inspired by a range of religious, political, or other ideological beliefs have promoted and used violence against the homeland.”

Who developed the Obama Doctrine?

The Obama Doctrine is based in large part upon the 2010 findings and recommendations of a Department of Homeland Security’s Advisory Council. The twenty member advisory council is unique in its composition, with eight members who are Islamists, three representing large Islamic communities and one openly supportive of Islam.

Islamist members included: Nimco Ahmed, Policy Aide, Vice-President of the Minneapolis City Council, Omar Alomari Community Engagement Officer, Ohio Homeland Security, Asli Bali Acting Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law, Mohamed Elibiary President and CEO, The Freedom and Justice Foundation, Amin Kosseim Deputy Inspector, New York City Police Department, Imam Mohamed Magid Executive Director, All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS Center), Asim Rehman President, Muslim Bar Association of New York and Dalia Mogahed Senior Analyst and Executive Director, Gallup Center for Muslim Studies

Members from predominantly Islamist communities included: Michael Downing Deputy Chief, Commanding Officer, Counter Terrorism and Criminal Intelligence Bureau, Los Angeles Police Department and Ronald Haddad Chief of Police, Dearborn Police Department. Richard Cohen President and CEO, Southern Poverty Law Center, was a pro-Islamist council member. Pro-Islamist subject matter experts advising the council included: Arif Alikhan Assistant Secretary, Policy Development, DHS and Laurie Wood, Analyst, Southern Poverty Law Center/Instructor, Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.

According to Clare Lopez, former CIA Operations Officer and co-Author of the book Shariah: The Threat to America:

Muhammad Magid is not only the head of the ADAMS center, he is the son of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) Grand Mufti of Sudan and current president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), an MB front group named by the Department of Justice as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation – HAMAS (HLF) terror funding trial. Magid is also one of the closest advisers of the National Security Council of the USA (in particular Denis McDonough). He’s an A-list invitee at the White House. Some believe he may be the head of the North American MB Shura Council.

Mohamed Elibiary is affiliated with numerous identified MB figures who are members of the Freedom and Justice Foundation Advisory Council: they come from the Muslim American Society (MAS), CAIR, ISNA, and the Islamic Association of North Texas. He publicly criticized the HLF trial convictions and has written admiringly of Sayyed Qutb.

IIIT likewise is listed in the MB’s “Explanatory Memorandum” of 1991 as one of its ‘friends and the organizations of our friends’.”

Read more 

Dr. Rich Swier is the Publisher of DrRichSwier.com e-magazine. He was the former State Editor for Watchdog Wire – Florida and RedCounty.com. He holds a Doctorate of Education from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA, a Master’s Degree in Management Information Systems from the George Washington University, Washington, D.C., and a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Washington University, St. Louis, MO. Richard is a 23-year Army veteran who retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1990. He was awarded the Legion of Merit for his years of service. Additionally, he was awarded two Bronze Stars with “V” for Heroism in ground combat, the Presidential Unit Citation, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry while serving with the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam. He is a graduate of the Field Artillery Officers Basic and Advanced Courses, and U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. Richard was the Founder/CEO of Sarasota Online, a high technology company that was sold to Comcast Cable in 1996.