THE REAL THREAT: THE JV TEAM IN THE WHITE HOUSE

0519-1003-1013-3937-president-obama-with-national-security-team-in-the-situation-room-mjpgBreitbart, by DR. SEBASTIAN GORKA, Nov.3, 2014:

A new jihadist group able to recruit thousands of foreign fighters controlling territory larger than the UK; Russia invading its neighbor, flying bombers off the coast of California and sending subs into Swedish territorial waters; Snowden taking millions of classified files to China and then Russia; China using its navy to intimidate its smaller neighbors; American journalists beheaded on TV; Syria using chemical weapons against civilians; An Ebola outbreak the likes of which has never been seen before; Iran unstoppable in its race to go nuclear.

If you read of all these in a Brad Thor thriller you’d probably say the writer was overdoing it. Unfortunately, this isn’t pulp fiction.

America is now in a threat environment that makes some people of a certain age get nostalgic and look back wistfully at the Cold War years when the only real threat was the spread of Communism.
On paper, there really should be no problem. We should be strong enough to deal with any threat whether new (ISIS) or old (the Kremlin). As the Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens points out in his forthcoming book, America’s economy beats all others, standing at 26% of the global economy (Japan is 9%, for example). That’s one nation providing a quarter of the global economy! And our defense budget accounts for more than 40% of the global whole. (China’s is 3% by comparison). By any definition that makes us not just a superpower but a “hyperpower.”
Then why is the world seemingly falling apart? Why do actors as diverse as Vladimir Putin and Abu Bakr al Baghdadi feel so emboldened? Perhaps it has to do with the quality of America’s national security bench.
President Obama famously called Mr. Baghdadi and his group ISIS/The Islamic State a JV team. When asked in an interview about ISIS versus al Qaeda, the Commander-in-Chief gave the flip response “The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.” (Those were his exact words in the original New Yorker piece despite the President’s attempt to deny them in a later interview on NBC.)

Given the fact that ISIS is now more dangerous in all key metrics – money, weapons, territory, use of media – the JV label is clearly out of place. Given the range of threats we now face and the rapidity of their growth, the JV label would appear to be a much more accurate description of our national security bench.

When cabinet members like John Kerry insist that Global Warming is as much a threat to America as ISIS or Ebola, it is hard to know how to react. ISIS has destroyed the territorial integrity of two nations in the Middle East. It has literally slaughtered thousands of people and caused the religious cleansing of most of the historic Christian community in both Syria and Iraq.

Ebola has likewise killed thousands, and in a way – the body dissolves internally and literally bleeds apart – that would befit a schlock horror movie. Yet “climate change” is just as bad? (And this isn’t just a one-off gaff of our Secretary of State. The view has infected our military. I was asked last year to run a three-day exercise for senior uniformed strategists from the Pentagon. On the first day I split them into four teams, asked them to identify the greatest threat to America and gave then two days to work out a strategic response. Two of the teams – half of the colonels involved – agreed with Secretary Kerry: Climate Change is THE threat to America. Worse than Global Jihad, a revanchist China, a nuclear North Korea, an almost nuclear Iran, etc. etc.)

What about about the rest of the bench? What about the Coach, the National Security Advisor? Susan Rice is best known for her commitment to the now evidently untrue claim that the attacks against the US compound in Benghazi were the result of a YouTube video and not a premeditated attack by local jihadists. Now the press reports that she is the hub of the micromanagement of the campaign against ISIS, a woman so “manic and obsessed with the tiniest of details” that the military is losing faith in the mission.   So strategically lacking is the White House plan that apparently Defense Secretary Hagelrecently wrote to Rice that the plan is in “danger of unraveling.” If that is the coach, what about her actual players?

Deputy National Security Advisor Tony Blinken has no record of military service nor has he seemingly obtained any experience or education related to military strategy or national security. Blinken graduated from Harvard University and then went to Columbia Law School for his JD (interestingly enough none of the first half-a-dozen bios on the internet for Mr. Blinken even tell you what his BA was in. Perhaps English or Art History?)

Shortly thereafter, he went straight into Democratic politics, fundraising for the presidential campaign of Michael Dukakis. In 2008, he worked on Joe Biden’s failed campaign for President, but was then appointed by President Obama to be his Deputy National Security Advisor in January of 2013. VP Biden has previously referred to Blinken as his “go-to guy” on Iraq – known for helping to facilitate the US withdrawal from Baghdad – a plan who many in retrospect view as a disaster due to the administration’s failure to secure a Status-of-Forces Agreement.

Then there is her other deputy, Ben Rhodes. His qualifications to be advising America’s National Security Adviser, the President’s top strategic counsellor? Again, zero military or national security experience. Just a BA in English and Political Science and a Masters in Fine Arts. Yes, really, a Masters in Fine Arts. Given the fact that the scuttlebutt has it that Mr. Rhodes is the source of last week’s “chickensh*t” description of Israeli PM Benjanim Netanyahu, a decorated veteran, this is all the more egregious.
What if we go higher? The Vice-President has limited formal influence but he surely has the ear of the Commander-in-Chief, and VP Joe Biden is also a member of Obama’s National Security Council. One quote I think may be enough here. The famously bipartisan Bob Gates, former DCI and Secretary of Defense who served under both George W. Bush and President Obama, said of Biden: he was flat-out wrong on “nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.” (Add to that the fact that Biden has spoken publicly on many occasions that he was opposed to the raid that neutralized Osama Bin Laden while in hiding at his compound in Pakistan, and perhaps we should be thankful he is not in control).
Even if we leave the formal structure of White House National Security decisionmaking, the story is no better. Valerie Jarrett is one of President Obama’s most senior advisors, perhaps the most powerful one. So much so that many have alleged that Jarrett is unofficially a key member of the Iran nuclear negotiating team. Jarrett, who gained most of her experience through the Chicago political system, has no known working knowledge or education dealing with foreign policy, international affairs, or military strategy; but she does speak Persian, which is the official language in Iran.
The question stands: who is really in the JV League? Vladimir Putin, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the Politbureau in Beijing, or the “National Security” team in the White House? Can someone please bring back the grown-ups.
 

Sebastian Gorka PhD is the Major General Matthew C. Horner Distinguished Chair of Military Theory at Marine Corps University and National Security Editor for the Breitbart News Network. Follow him on Twitter at @SebGorka. 

Jordan Schachtel contributed to this report.

OBAMA’S POST-FOLEY FRAUD ABOUT SHARIAH

isil-journalistBreitbart, by FRANK J. GAFFNEY, JR.:

President Barack Obama found time between golf rounds Thursday to condemn the beheading of American journalist James Foley by the Islamic State (also known as the Islamic State in the Levant or ISIL) and to assure the American people that he was all about protecting them against similar fates.

Unfortunately, aside from the President’s welcome condolences to the Foley family, the rest of his remarks amounted to serial misrepresentations about this latest act of terrorist violence at the hands of shariah-adherent jihadists. Such conduct can only assure that more of us will die at their hands.

For example, Mr. Obama declared: “No faith teaches people to massacre innocents.” Actually, the authoritative Islamic doctrine (or ideology) known as shariah explicitly calls for violent jihad to force infidels to submit to Islam and, as the Koran puts it, “to make them feel subdued.”

The President sought to reinforce the notion that, because ISIL’s “victims are overwhelmingly Muslim,” the group’s terrorism has nothing to do with Islam. In fact, practically from Islam’s inception, innumerable Muslims have been massacred by their co-religionists over such matters as Sunni-Shia differences concerning fine points of theology or insufficient conformity with shariah.

Mr. Obama also asserted that the Islamic State’s “ideology is bankrupt.” Calling that ideology bankrupt at a moment when it is palpably on the march from North and sub-Saharan Africa to the Far East and Latin America bespeaks a contempt for the intelligence of the American people. It is approximately as delusional and misleading as Obama’s previous, electioneering claim that one of shariah’s other jihadist franchises, al Qaeda, is “on the path to defeat.”

In short, President Obama’s comments marking the decapitation of James Foley are but the latest in a series of instances of national security fraud on his part. Intentional or not, they have the effect of engendering a false sense of security at home, even as they embolden our jihadist and other enemies – who are ever-alert to weakness, lack of seriousness, or irresolution on America’s part.

A particularly unsettling example of those qualities was evident in the President’s closing assurance that “we will be vigilant… and relentless” in protecting the American people. Actually, at the moment he is being clueless, disingenuous, and ineffectual in doing so. And that puts us all at risk.

Obama’s National Security ‘Not Top 10′ of 2012

By Patrick Poole:

In years past I have conducted an annual review of ongoing catastrophic failure that is Barack Hussein Obama in all things related to terrorism and national security (see my previous year-end reviews for 2011, 2010 and 2009). But with America just hours away from deciding its next president for the next four years, I thought it timely for a pre-election review of Obama’s national security ‘Not Top 10’ for 2012.

These are listed in chronological order, not order of importance.

1) Dept. of Homeland Security Lexicon Brands Libertarians and Conservatives as ‘Militia Extremists’ in violation of its own policies (Feb. 2012)

Straight out of the gate in 2012, the Obama administration continued its branding of conservative ideas as extreme and threats to the nation. In February I reported on a new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) lexicon that linked ‘militia extremists’ with “the belief that the government is deliberately stripping Americans of their freedom” and opposing “many federal and state authorities’ laws and regulations (particularly those related to firearms ownership)”. Added to that, Homeland Security observed that such extremists “often belong to armed paramilitary groups”, meaning that you don’t even have to belong to a militia to be a ‘militia extremist’. One wonders if they have the NRA in mind when mentioning “armed paramilitary groups”?

Two days after my report appeared the U.K. based Reuters rolled out an article that breathlessly reported, “Anti-government extremists opposed to taxes and regulations pose a growing threat to local law enforcement officers in the United States, the FBI warned”, basically reinforcing the narrative expounded in the DHS lexicon.

Curiously, the words “Islamic”, “Muslim” and “jihad” were all missing from the DHS lexicon. Not only that, but branding those with mainstream political ideas as ‘extremists’ ran afoul of rules promulgated by DHS in October 2011 that warned, “Training should be sensitive to constitutional values” and “Don’t use training that equates religious expression, protests, or other constitutionally protected activity with criminal activity.”

Then in June I reported that another DHS-funded study produced by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland was caught editing out well-documented acts of Islamic terrorism inside the U.S., such as the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, from its terrorism database.

The codebook underlying the START study, also funded by DHS, branded popular “tea party” views as ‘right-wing extremism”, claiming that such ‘extremism’ “may also be fiercely nationalistic (as opposed to universal and international in orientation), anti-global, suspicious of centralized federal authority, reverent of individual liberty, and believe in conspiracy theories that involve grave threat to national sovereignty and/or personal liberty.”

As I noted at the time, START was basically saying that if you’re fiercely nationalistic (pro-American), anti-global (anti-UN), suspicious of centralized federal authority (like the Framers), reverent of individual liberty (like Patrick Henry), and believe in “conspiracy” theories (like the federal government allowing the sale of assault weapons to Mexican drug cartels to justify limiting American’s rights under the Second Amendment, a la Fast and Furious), then you too are on the “extreme right-wing.” All on the taxpayer dime.

2) FBI Directive OKs U.S. Government Outreach to Members of Terrorist Groups, Supporters (March 2012)

As part of a widespread Obama administration ‘Islamophobia’ witch hunt in U.S. government agencies, Matt Vadum at Breitbart News reported that the FBI had produced a document it called “Guiding Principles: Touchstone Document on Training” to justify an ongoing purge of its trainers and training material. Among the provisions of this “Touchstone Document” is the statement that “mere association with organizations that demonstrate both legitimate (advocacy) and illicit (violent extremism) objectives should not automatically result in a determination that the associated individual is acting in furtherance of the organization’s illicit objective(s).”

The net effect of this new FBI policy is that membership in a terrorist organization, or support for “legitimate” goals of terrorist organizations, does not hinder your relationship with the FBI for ‘outreach’ purposes nor make you a suspect for any investigation.

The motive for this new policy was the problematic issue that virtually all of the U.S. government’s Muslim outreach partners have been identified by the FBI and/or the Department of Justice (DOJ) in federal court as fronts for terrorist organizations or have directly supported terrorist organizations. The problem is that the U.S. Supreme Court found otherwise in Humanitarian Law Project v. Holder (2010), where the court upheld provisions of the PATRIOT Act that makes even support for “legitimate” objectives of a terrorist organization a violation of federal law.

The FBI’s “Touchstone” policy of ignoring support for terrorist organizations in its ‘outreach’ to the Muslim community is part of a larger trend during the Obama administration of rolling out the red carpet for Islamic extremists. At the same time that the FBI was announcing its new policy, as Michelle Malkin recently reported, Hisham al-Talib, who has been identified by the U.S. government as being a senior U.S. Muslim Brotherhood leader involved in organizations supporting terrorism, being invited to the White House in March to help assist the administration in its reception of Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leaders several weeks later. A more recent report by the Investigative Project on Terrorism found a whole string of Islamic extremists regularly visiting and consulting with the White House.

This explains the admission of a senior White House outreach official back in June to Neil Munro of the Daily Caller that the Obama administration has conducted “hundreds” of meetings with terrorist front group CAIR in violation of a longstanding ban by the FBI with the group for its terror support (a ban that would run afoul of the FBI’s new ‘Touchstone’ policy). And as reported on Friday, it also explains the DCCC fundraiser featuring House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in Washington D.C. attended by many U.S. Muslim Brotherhood figures, including CAIR co-founder Nihad Awad.

One corrosive effect of this outreach was noted by Kerry Picket at the Washington Times, who reported that these same organizations now deemed ‘moderate’ by the Obama administration has helped shape our national security policy. That might explain the complete meltdown in our Middle East foreign policy. Continue reading