Tag Archive: middle-east


Senate Democrats warn Netanyahu about ‘lasting repercussions’

Last Updated:February 24 @ 09:43 pm

By Jerusalem Post (Israel) February 24, 2015 12:16 pm

Two senior US Senate Democrats invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday to a closed-door meeting with Democratic senators during his upcoming visit to Washington, warning that making US-Israeli relations a partisan political issue could have “lasting repercussions.”
Senators Richard Durbin and Dianne Feinstein extended the invitation “to maintain Israel’s dialog with both political parties in Congress,” according to a letter to the Israeli leader obtained by Reuters.

Netanyahu has faced criticism at home and abroad for his plans to address Congress on Iran’s nuclear program on March 3, just two weeks before Israeli elections. He accepted the invitation from Republican leaders in the US Congress, who consulted neither Democrats in Congress nor Democratic President Barack Obama’s administration.

“This unprecedented move threatens to undermine the important bipartisan approach towards Israel – which as long-standing supporters of Israel troubles us deeply,” the two senators wrote.

“It sacrifices deep and well-established cooperation on Israel for short-term partisan points – something that should never be done with Israeli security and which we fear could have lasting repercussions,” they said.

Durbin is the No. 2 Democrat in the US Senate. Feinstein, who has been in the Senate since 1992, is the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee and a senior member of the Appropriations and Judiciary committees.

The letter was sent on Monday evening. Officials at the Israeli Embassy could not immediately be reached for comment.

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(c) 2015 The Jerusalem Post Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).

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BOMBSHELL! Newly Released Emails Reveal Obama Admin’s Reaction to Benghazi

April 29, 2014 By Greg Campbell

obama-benghazi
Emails obtained by Judicial Watch have revealed that the top priority after the Benghazi terrorist attack was not national security nor was it ensuring a proper investigation into who orchestrated an attack on our consulate that left four Americans dead.

No, the priority of top advisors in the earliest days after the Benghazi attack was ensuring that President Obama “looked good” prior the 2012 election.

As part of a Freedom of Information Lawsuit, the Obama Administration released nearly 100 pages of documents to Judicial Watch, the government watchdog group, that shows that then-Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice was prompted to lie to the American people repeatedly during her round of appearances on morning talk shows where she pushed the narrative that a YouTube video was responsible for an impromptu protest in Benghazi that simply got out of hand.

In reality, the terrorist attack on the consulate in Benghazi was an orchestrated attack- a fact that had been denied by the Obama Administration for weeks following the attack and Rice’s appearances.

Among the pages of documents was an email from Ben Rhodes, assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, dated September 14th, 2012. The email was sent to around a dozen members of the president’s top advisors and assistants with the subject: “RE: PREP Call with Susan: Saturday at 4:00 pm ET.”

The email enumerates the top priorities of these media appearances as being:
“To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.”

and

“To reinforce the President and Administration’s strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges.”
Rhodes also wrote,
“I think that people have come to trust that President Obama provides leadership that is steady and statesmanlike. There are always going to be challenges that emerge around the world, and time and again, he has shown that we can meet them.”
Payton Knopf, the former deputy spokesman at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations also communicated in the released emails that the Benghazi attack was “complex,” but Rice still maintained her narrative that the Benghazi attack was “spontaneous.”

Then-CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell is credited in the emails as being the person chiefly responsible for altering the talking points. An email notes,
“The first draft apparently seemed unsuitable … because they seemed to encourage the reader to infer incorrectly that the CIA had warned about a specific attack on our embassy. Morell noted that these points were not good and he had taken a heavy hand to editing them. He noted that he would be happy to work with [then deputy chief of staff to Hillary Clinton] Jake Sullivan and Rhodes to develop appropriate talking points.”
Judicial Watch’s President Tom Fitton expressed outrage over the emails, noting that the emails appeared more in-line with a public relations strategy dedicated to damage control rather than dealing with the terrorist attack that killed Americans.
“Now we know the Obama White House’s chief concern about the Benghazi attack was making sure that President Obama looked good,” Fitton said in a statement. “And these documents undermine the Obama administration’s narrative that it thought the Benghazi attack had something to do with protests or an Internet video.”

“Given the explosive material in these documents, it is no surprise that we had to go to federal court to pry them loose from the Obama State Department,” Fitton said.
The Benghazi terrorist attack occurred as President Obama maintained a tight presidential race with Mitt Romney. By refocusing the narrative, the Obama Administration was able to largely downplay the significant impact of his administration’s weak foreign policy on American security abroad.

The released emails appear to confirm what the Tea Party and conservatives have long believed, that the Obama Administration has been infinitely more concerned with avoiding blame than ensuring this kind of tragedy doesn’t happen again or finding justice for the families of those ruthlessly murdered.

Tony Blair: Fighting Islamism – A Defining Challenge of Our Time
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair gave a landmark speech yesterday calling on the world to unite against Islamism.
Thu, April 24, 2014
Tony Blair, the Former British Prime Minister, delivered a keynote speech at Bloomberg HQ in London entitled ‘Why the Middle East Still Matters.’ In it he described radical Islam as the greatest threat facing the world today.

He argued “there are four reasons why the Middle East remains of central importance and cannot be relegated to the second order.”

The first three: oil, proximity to Europe and Israel, whilst important, were not the focus of the speech. Blair rapidly moved on to the fourth and most important reason: Islamic extremism also known as Islamism.

He identifies the conflict in the Middle East as one between an open and tolerant viewpoint and a fundamentalist Islamist ideology. He said “wherever you look – from Iraq to Libya to Egypt to Yemen to Lebanon to Syria and then further afield to Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan – this is the essential battle.”

Addressing those who regard these conflicts as distinct he said “there is something frankly odd about the reluctance to accept what is so utterly plain: that they have in common a struggle around the issue of the rightful place of religion, and in particular Islam, in politics.”

It is this central point that he hammered home again and again over the course of his 40 minute speech.

He argued that this struggle does not end at the borders of the region. Rather, “The reason this matters so much is that this ideology is exported around the world.”

He asked listeners to “Take a step back and analyze the world today: with the possible exception of Latin America (leaving aside Hezbollah in the tri-border area in South America), there is not a region of the world not adversely affected by Islamism and the ideology is growing.”

He notes that “The Muslim population in Europe is now over 40m and growing. The Muslim Brotherhood and other organizations are increasingly active and they operate without much investigation or constraint. Recent controversy over schools in Birmingham (and similar allegations in France) show heightened levels of concern about Islamist penetration of our own societies.”

The main thrust of the speech focused on “two fascinating things.”

“The first is the absolutely rooted desire on the part of Western commentators to analyze these issues as disparate rather than united by common elements. They go to extraordinary lengths to say why, in every individual case, there are multiple reasons for understanding that this is not really about Islam, it is not really about religion; there are local or historic reasons which explain what is happening. There is a wish to eliminate the obvious common factor in a way that is almost wilful.”

Predictably, opponents took the opportunity to argue exactly that. For example, the Guardian’s summary quoted a Saudi Daily paper which blamed Israel. Commentator Mehdi Hassan blamed Tony Blair himself for the problem, because of the Iraq war.

Blair went on to argue “The second thing is that there is a deep desire to separate the political ideology represented by groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood from the actions of extremists including acts of terrorism.”

He acknowledged the motivation behind these fears, saying “We feel almost that if we identify it in these terms, we’re being anti-Muslim, a sentiment on which the Islamists cleverly play.”

Blair swept these distinctions aside, acknowledging the laudable motives behind such interpretations, but ultimately pinpointing the profound danger posed by the Islamist ideology, and that it is fundamentally incompatible with the modern world.

He urged the West and indeed the entire world, to unite against the ideology Islamic extremism.

Former Foreign Office Minister Denis MacShane compared the speech to Churchill’s 1946 Iron Curtain address. Douglas Murray argued in the Spectator that Blair went too far in his efforts to brand Islamism as disconnected from Islam and called on moderate Muslims to help combat radicalism by driving extremists from their communities.

Blair outlined potential foreign policy options for the West vis-a-vis various Middle Eastern countries in order to combat Islamists and to support religiously open and tolerant elements.

In particular he focused on Egypt saying “on the fate of Egypt hangs the future of the region. Here we have to understand plainly what happened. The Muslim Brotherhood government was not simply a bad government. It was systematically taking over the traditions and institutions of the country. The revolt of 30 June 2013 was not an ordinary protest. It was the absolutely necessary rescue of a nation.”

All of these different policies are facets of the same policy: that “across the region we should be standing steadfast by our friends and allies as they try to change their own countries in the direction of reform. Whether in Jordan or the Gulf where they’re promoting the values of religious tolerance and open, rule based economies, or taking on the forces of reaction in the shape of Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood, we should be supporting and assisting them.”

Perhaps this statement by Blair sums up the message of his keynote speech best: “When we consider the defining challenges of our time, surely this one should be up there along with the challenge of the environment or economic instability.”

 

 Report blames State Dept. and intelligence agencies for Benghazi

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON – The Senate Intelligence Committee released a report on the deadly assault on the diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, Wednesday, laying blame on the State Department, the intelligence community – even the late Ambassador Chris Stevens – for failing to communicate and heed warnings of terrorist activity in the area.

The highly critical report also says the U.S. military was not positioned to aid the Americans in need, though the head of Africa Command had offered military security teams that Stevens – who was killed in the attack – had rejected weeks before the attack.

It also said that in the aftermath of the attacks, U.S. analysts confused policymakers by blaming the violence on protests without enough supporting intelligence.

There was no immediate comment from the State Department.

The 2012 Benghazi attacks have dogged the Obama administration, because then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice initially blamed the violence on mob protests over an anti-Islamic film. Al-Qaida-linked militant groups were later blamed for the attacks, first when militants overran the temporary U.S. mission on Sept. 11, 2012, and later that same night, when militants fired mortars at the nearby CIA annex where the Americans had taken shelter.

The bipartisan report may settle what has become a running political battle between Republicans, mostly in the House, who say the Obama administration has been covering up what they consider misdeed before, during and after the attack, and the administration, which says Republicans are on a political witch hunt.

Committee chairman Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, says she hopes this will put to rest conspiracy theories about the militant attacks that night. Republican vice chairman Saxby Chambliss of Georgia said the report shows despite a deteriorating security situation in Benghazi, the U.S. government did not do enough to prevent the attacks or to protect the diplomatic facility.

“The State Department should have increased its security posture more significantly in Benghazi based on the deteriorating security situation on the ground and IC threat reporting on the prior attacks against Westerners in Benghazi-including two previous incidents” at the temporary diplomatic facility that year, a summary of the report states.

The report says “tripwires” set to determine when it had become too dangerous to operate in Benghazi were crossed, but ignored, by both the U.S. and other nations.

The report faults the military for being unable to help when needed. “No U.S. military resources in position to intervene in short order in Benghazi to help defend” the U.S. facilities in Benghazi, it said.

The Defense Department had provided a Site Security Team in Tripoli, made up of 16 special operations personnel to provide security and other help. The State Department, according to the report, decided not to extend the team’s mission in August 2012, one month before the attack. In the weeks that followed, Gen. Carter Ham, the head of Africa Command, twice asked Stevens to employ the team, and twice Stevens declined, the report said.

The report also dives into the contentious talking points issued by the intelligence community after the attacks that helped fuel Republican allegations of an Obama administration cover-up of militant links to the violence.

“Intelligence analysts inaccurately referred to the presence of a protest at the U.S. mission facility before the attack based on open source information and limited intelligence, but without sufficient intelligence or eyewitness statements to corroborate that assertion,” the report said, adding that the U.S. intelligence community then took too long to correct their error, “which caused confusion and influenced the public statements of policymakers.”

The senators also take the administration to task for failing to bring the attackers to justice more than a year after the Benghazi attacks.

It says U.S. intelligence has identified several individuals responsible, but can’t track them down because of limited intelligence capabilities in the region.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the committee report “largely reaffirms” the earlier findings from an independent panel. He said a number of the committee’s security recommendations are also consistent with steps the State Department has already taken.

“This reinforces what other investigations have found, which is that there was not enough security to protect the four Americans who lost their lives,” Carney told reporters traveling with Obama Tuesday to North Carolina.

The committee report makes 18 recommendations to improve security at diplomatic and intelligence posts overseas, including a call for the State Department to react more quickly to security threats and only in rare instances use facilities that are inadequately protected. It said State should rely on local security alone in countries where the host government cannot provide adequate protection.

It also says the intelligence community should expand its mining of social media to watch for unrest, and also draw more heavily on eyewitness reporting “especially from U.S. government personnel-in the aftermath of a crisis.”

—–

AP White House Correspondent Julie Pace contributed to this report.

 

The Middle East Now Has Three Alliances: None Are With the U.S.

U.S. policy is a fatal contradiction: The White House favors both the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran, which has alienated all U.S. allies.
BY RYAN MAURO

Mon, December 9, 2013

Iran's Navy Commander Habibulah Sayari at a press conference in Teheran (Photo: © Reuters)Iran’s Navy Commander Habibulah Sayari at a press conference in Teheran (Photo: © Reuters)Turkey and Iran’s move to form an Islamist super-bloc is changing the balance of the Middle East. Egypt and Saudi Arabia have chosen to lead an Arab bloc of their own, rather than capitulate to their enemies’ dominance.

Our last analysis of this development explained that three distinct blocs were formed since the Muslim Brotherhood was toppled in Egypt:

1. The Shiite bloc consisting of Iran, Hezbollah, Iraq and the Syrian regime.

2. The pro-Muslim Brotherhood Sunni bloc, consisting of Turkey, Qatar, Tunisia, Hamas and some Syrian rebels.

3. The anti-Iran/anti-Brotherhood Sunni bloc consisting of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, other Syrian rebels and other Arab countries.

The first two blocs are on opposite sides in the Syrian civil war, but are hoping to negotiate a ceasefire that allows them to mend ties. The third bloc feels so threatened by the other two that Saudi Arabia is widely rumored to be offering Israel access to its airspace to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Clarion Project was recently told by an intelligence source that the Saudis and Israelis have moved “beyond talking” and there will likely be on-the-ground preparations for this scenario soon.

The Syrian civil war had put Turkey and Iran at odds, but the prolonged stalemate is compelling the two governments to look for a way forward. The Turkish Foreign Minister was recently in Tehran, where he said they agreed to push for a ceasefire. He also said Turkey and Iran will “join hands” to be “the backbone of regional stability.”

Both sides are bleeding and spending heavily in the Syrian civil war and the demographic realities make it difficult to envision either side prevailing. Syria is likely to be divided with the Iran-allied regime holding onto the Allawite and Christian areas and the rebel-controlled Sunni areas winning autonomy.

Turkey will have to twist the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood’s arms to make this happen. The group refuses to negotiate with Iran andclaims it rejected a recent offer from Iran to pressure Assad into stepping down from power in return for reconciliation.

That is a huge concession. The last reported offer from Iran came in January 2012, when it was willing to hand the Syrian government to the Brotherhood as long as Assad remains at the helm. Now, if the Syrian Brotherhood is telling the truth, the Iranian regime is willing to push Assad aside. Unfortunately for Turkey and Iran, the Brotherhood is unwilling to be seen as a sell-out.

The third bloc led by Saudi Arabia is not giving up on overthrowing Assad and is using its proxies to become the dominant Syrian rebel force. The Saudis arranged for rebel units to break away from the Free Syria Army to form the Salafist-led “Army of Islam.” This Salafist force represents the Saudi brand of Islam but is opposed to Al-Qaeda, an enemy of the Saudi Royal Family.

The Army of Islam is the beginning of Saudi Arabia’s plan to build a 40-50,000 strong national army. The Saudis imported Pakistani instructors to train 5-10,000 of them and have set up training centers in Jordan.

The nuclear deal with Iran heightened the tension between these blocs. As the deal was being finalized, an Iran-backed militia in Iraqfired mortar shells into Saudi Arabia. It said that it was retaliation for Saudi Arabia’s anti-Shiite agitation.

“If they continue their provocations, we will carry out armed operations inside Saudi territories,” the militia threatened.

After the deal was announced, the Saudis abandoned their polite protests of American policy and became downright hostile. Prominent Saudis openly told the press that their country will chart a course independent of the U.S.

“Appeasement hasn’t worked in the past, and I don’t think it will work in the 21st century,” the Saudi ambassador to the U.K. said.

It’s long been an open secret that the Saudis funded the Pakistani nuclear weapons’ program with the understanding that Pakistan would send over nukes if requested. When asked about this deal, the ambassador said, “Let’s just leave it there, all options are available.”

The deal also provides an opportunity for Iran to entice other countries with lucrative trade deals. The Iranians are trying to lure Pakistan by finishing a major gas pipeline.

Turkey says its banks will again be able to make transactions with Iran and will increase their Iranian oil imports to 130-140,000 barrels per day from the current level of 105,000. Turkish imports of Iranian oil were at 180,000 barrels per day before the sanctions were implemented. The two countries are also restarting their gold trade.

The recent Egyptian-Turkish spat is a consequence of this escalating contest. Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan continues to rail against the current Egyptian regime for the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood. He is allowing the Brotherhood to set up a new television station in his country called “Rabia” with the slogan, “Pulse of freedom.”

Eypt expelled the Turkish ambassador in retaliation for Erdogan’s pro-Brotherhood rhetoric and Turkey responded by declaring the Egyptian ambassador to be persona non-grata. This dispute will intensify if the Egyptian government follows through on its aspiration to ban the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.

The Gulf Cooperation Council members except Qatar are trying to stabilize the Egyptian economy. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates immediately pledged $12 billion in assistance after the Brotherhood was toppled. The new Egyptian government returned$2 billion of it.

The United Arab Emirates is encouraging companies to invest in Egypt and is hiring Egyptian teachers that support the new regime. The Egyptian regime has also used the UAE to replace Qatar’s role in developing the Suez Canal.

Qatar, on the other hand, continues to act as the Muslim Brotherhood’s bank. The U.S. “ally” provided the Brotherhood-led Egypt with $7.5 billion in assistance but is now absent. Qatar has made it clear whose side it is on, and Saudi Arabia tried to organize a condemnation of its behavior in Egypt and Yemen.

Qatar is coming to the aid of the weakened Islamist government of Tunisia. The Ennahda Party that leads Tunisia is facing popular protests and may be overthrown. The Qatari National Bank recently agreed to loan it $500 million.

The Moroccan government is poised to play a potentially decisive role in this geopolitical and ideological contest. It is hostile to Iran and fears its own Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated opposition. King Mohammed VI managed to contain the country’s own Arab Spring uprising and protests have faded.

“We can be a model. We can export our reforms and our vision,” saysthe Deputy Foreign Minister.

Morocco is helping the West with ideologically combating Islamist extremism in Mali. The Mali government picked up to 500 imams to go there for education. The geopolitical position of Morocco places it in the third camp, but how long will Saudi Arabia tolerate Morocco’s promotion of a competing ideology?

U.S. policy is in a state of fatal contradiction.

The White House favors the pro-Brotherhood bloc and is trying to build a better relationship with Iran. This stance has alienated the bloc whose interests most closely align with ours. Egypt is now embracing Russia and Saudi Arabia is openly saying it needs to stop relying on the U.S.

The Middle East is now divided into three alliances and none of them are with the U.S.

Ryan Mauro is the ClarionProject.org’s National Security Analyst, a fellow with the Clarion Project and is frequently interviewed on top-tier TV stations as an expert on counterterrorism and Islamic extremism.

 

The Left’s Continued Assault on the Truth About Benghazi

Roger Aronoff  —   October 28, 2013

The left-wing, George Soros-funded Media Matters has long held that the Benghazi scandal is a “phony scandal” and parroted the administration’s pronouncements minimizing the scandal. Now, they have penned a book, The Benghazi Hoax, which formalizes this theory.

“The book—the first such endeavor for Media Matters, which is self-publishing it—was conceived of in the spring, as the congressional hearings on Benghazi were taking place, he [David Brock] said,” according to Politico, which focused largely on the pro-Clinton aspects of the book. Brock is described in the article as the “Media Matters founder and Hillary Clinton ally,” and it points out that Brock acknowledges that part—a “fraction,” he claims—of their mission is “Supporting the Clintons.”

“The book is the latest effort this year in what is likely to be more Clinton-centric efforts ahead of 2016.” Indeed, the book mentions 2016 and Clinton several times and dismisses any attempts to tar Clinton’s reputation as part of the Republican-conservative smear machine. They even cry “sexism” on behalf of Clinton.

According to the book, authored by David Brock and Ari Rabin-Havt, the genesis of the manufactured Benghazi scandal started in an impromptu statement by then-Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who was looking to gain the advantage over incumbent President Barack Obama on foreign policy. Romney did make mistakes in his presentation of the issue, a fact that dominated the media coverage for days afterward. But this was not mentioned by Brock and Rabin-Havt.

The authors maintain that “Reporters for established news outlets work with a healthy skepticism for the administration in power, but when Democrats are in the White House, conservatives have become adept at badgering a so-called ‘liberal media’ to prove its lack of bias by adopting their story ideas.” In other words, the liberal media should just ignore conservative points of view entirely, and stories that are embarrassing to liberals, while Democrats are in office.

If Media Matters had its way, the Benghazi incident would just be considered one of many violent incidents abroad, and dismissed entirely. “Had the Benghazi attack not occurred at this unique moment—on a day when the Republican candidate for the presidency and his promoters in the conservative media were desperate for a new storyline, especially one that would undercut the popular effect of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden the year before—this tragedy might not have been converted into a political scandal,” they suggest. “After all, Benghazi was just one of at least 157 attacks on our diplomatic facilities over a 15-year period, 9 of which resulted in U.S. fatalities.”

Actually, this was the first time in 33 years a U.S. ambassador had died as a result of terrorism.

Other important facts left out of the book include the deteriorating security situation leading up to the terrorist attack, the inadequate security at the Special Mission Compound, and the fact that CIA employees are reportedly being polygraphed and forced to sign non-disclosure agreements regarding the Benghazi incident. The book fails to adequately explain what military forces were available at Sigonella, Aviano, and other U.S. military bases during the attack. There is a very shallow retelling of events that barely educates the reader as to what occurred at the Special Mission Compound and CIA Annex. They also continue promoting the YouTube video myth, arguing that the question of whether or not this was a preplanned terrorist attack or an attack resulting from a spontaneous demonstration sparked by the anti-Islam video “would be an enduring part of the Benghazi conversation—one not fully resolved to this day.” While Obama’s explanation changed numerous times on this point, he did end up saying that he had called it an act of terrorism from day one. Apparently Media Matters missed that memo.

The new book, The Benghazi Hoax, reads like a political treatise, spending much of the book “educating” readers about their imagined right-wing smear machine than on the Benghazi incident itself. The authors focus more on minor political fluff such as rhetoric over Clinton’s ill-timed concussion, than on the facts.

The Media Matters authors call the criticism of the President over this incident “beyond the pale,” and cry sexism over the treatment of Hillary Clinton, and racism over the treatment of the “exotic” President—their words, not mine.

Plenty of relevant facts are omitted from the book in a way that misleads the reader, and the presentation of material is so lopsided and incomplete as to defy belief. For example, the books states that “[Former Deputy Chief of Mission Gregory] Hicks actually contradicted the assessment of his attorney that he had been given his current job as a punishment, telling the committee: ‘[M]y family really didn’t want me to go back. We’d endured a year of separation when I was in Afghanistan 2006 and 2007. That was the overriding factor. So I voluntarily curtailed—I accepted an offer of what’s called a no-fault curtailment.’”

“Hicks explained, ‘That means that there’s—there would be no criticism of my departure of post, no negative repercussions,’” continued Media Matters. They forgot to mention that Hicks went on to testify that he had been verbally offered preferential selection when he accepted his voluntary curtailment, but that this never materialized. Instead, he was placed back into the ordinary pool of candidates and had to accept a lower level assignment as a result.

As for the Accountability Review Board report, the Media Matters authors declare that “It was not a politically motivated document, nor did it leave blame on the doorsteps of the President or secretary of state.”

“For this reason alone, it came under attack from conservatives who sought to discredit it, convinced that it had to be a whitewash.”

The ARB report has been called a whitewash because senior State Department officials were not held accountable for the lack of security, or the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi. In other words, it did not focus on the actions of Secretary Hillary Clinton, who was not interviewed, or Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy, who was interviewed. Regional Security Officer (RSO) Eric Nordstrom critically stated at a May 2013 hearing that the message to his colleagues about the decision to focus on mid-level employees is that “if you’re above a certain level, no matter what your decision is, no one’s going to question it. And that’s my concern with the ARB.”

In fact, the Media Matters authors go out of their way to criticize the Republican hearings as politically motivated without really going over what was said at those many hearings. “House investigations have become maddeningly successful conduits for deceptively framed snippets of transcript from congressional interviews and cherry-picked administration documents,” write Brock and Rabin-Havt. They then refer to the most sensationalized tidbits of Congressional coverage themselves without delving into the meaning of the hearings. Instead, they focus largely on discrediting Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT). It is not until seven chapters later, in Hoax 12: “Muzzled,” that they mention a revelation from the hearings: that upon Rep. Chaffetz’s trip to Libya, Cheryl Mills had required Hicks to speak with him only with “a State Department lawyer present.”

“Following the hearing, conservatives looked to save face by jumping on a portion of Hicks’ testimony to claim that he had been the subject of an angry phone call from Cheryl Mills, Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff at the State Department, complaining of his meeting with Chaffetz,” write the authors in inflammatory prose. They fail to mention the reason for Mills anger: Hicks had given a classified briefing to Chaffetz and others for which the State Department lawyer had no clearance and could not attend.

It bears mentioning that the Media Matters authors maintain that the Accountability Review Board (ARB) members had no personal reason to back the administration and politicize the review process; this despite the fact that the investigation did not take place in a political vacuum. What they also don’t mention is that Vice-Chair Admiral Michael Mullen was quite friendly with Cheryl Mills early on during the investigation, despite the fact that he was essentially investigating the State Department. According to Mullen’s own testimony, he gave Mills a friendly call less than 10 days into the investigation to let her know that one of the witnesses he had just interviewed less than 24 hours beforehand was not ready to testify before Congress. The witness in question: Charlene Lamb, who was temporarily placed on administrative leave due to her actions. In addition, it was Mills who had actually called Mullen just weeks earlier to ask him to co-chair the ARB.

“The Media Matters activists do not report [ARB Chair Ambassador Thomas] Pickering has largely unreported ties to the revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa, as WND revealed,” reported WorldNetDaily in one article of its three-part series by their excellent reporter, Aaron Klein. The articles debunk some of the myths promoted by the new Media Matters book, which has gone largely unacknowledged by the mainstream media.

Klein points out that Pickering is a board member, along with George Soros, of the International Crisis Group (ICG). Among other things, writes Klein, “The ICG itself has long petitioned for talks with Hamas as well as normalized relations with the Muslim Brotherhood, for years urging the Egyptian government to allow the Brotherhood to establish an Islamist political party.”

The real hoax here is that Media Matters is anything other than a Soros-funded propaganda machine for the Obama administration, and especially for Hillary Clinton and her ambitions. If you want to learn about what really happened in Benghazi, check out the website of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi, which Accuracy in Media organized to attempt to establish the truth about Benghazi. The commission is continuing to expand its investigation to expose the scandalous cover-up of the facts by the Obama administration and its media lapdogs.

 

– Accuracy In Media – http://www.aim.org –

CAIR’s Useful Idiot

Posted By Evan Gahr On October 22, 2013 @ 11:26 am In AIM Column | 3 Comments

Glenn Greenwald, the hard-left activist who fancies himself a journalist, is scheduled to speak next month before a terrorist-friendly agitprop group that masquerades as a Muslim civil rights organization.

In a big propaganda coup that will allow the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to achieve even more mainstream credibility, Greenwald will keynote the November 16 “Faith in Freedom” banquet of CAIR’s Greater Los Angeles chapter.

It is more than a bit ironic that Greenwald, who considers himself the most passionate defender of American freedoms since Thomas Jefferson, would speak at a CAIR conference.

CAIR has considerably impeded free expression in this country by helping to cast anyone who talks honestly about the distinctly Islamic nature of terrorism as a bigot. It has thus weakened the will of Americans to fight terrorism by helping to obscure its Muslim face.

CAIR, an unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorism funding case [1], flourishes because virtually all mainstream journalists omit damaging information about CAIR from their articles that quote the organization’s fanciful claims about rampant anti-Muslim bias in this country.

And Greenwald, who has headlined at least two other CAIR events, has proven himself to be one of CAIR’s most useful of useful idiots in the media.

Greenwald’s appearance at the dinner next month is certain to attract massive media coverage, which will allow CAIR to further pretend it is devoted to defending civil liberties from an oppressive government.

Greenwald will share the podium with Imam Siraj Wahhaj, who was on the government’s list of unindicted co-conspirators [2] in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing case.

Feminist Phyllis Chesler, an outspoken critic of the left’s infatuation with Islamofascism and author of a new memoir, An American Bride in Kabul, about her own harrowing encounter with Islam, says that Greenwald’s indulgence of CAIR makes a certain amount of perverse sense.

“Many Leftists share the false belief that ‘Islamophobia’ exists, (it does not), and that Islam is being persecuted in America (it is not). Perhaps Mr. Greenwald is among them.”

Greenwald’s latest dalliance with CAIR shows just how morally obtuse and oblivious he is to the true threats to American freedom.

Yes, there is room for serious debate about whether the National Security Agency surveillance programs that Greenwald exposed are justifiable and effective.

But much of the reaction to the disclosures, particularly the decidedly curious notion that the NSA is the linchpin of creeping American fascism, has run the gamut from misguided to paranoid.

To use an expression of the late New York Post editorial page editor Eric Breindel, “little steps for little feet:” nobody at the National Security Agency really cares whether anyone is cheating on his wife.

They are looking for terrorists, not adulterers.

Nothing the NSA could even conceivably do with its expansive powers—and thus far Greenwald has not presented any evidence of serious abuses—poses the kind of threat to America that Islamic terrorism does.

Yes, it is theoretically possible that a rogue National Security analyst could inappropriately use information to reveal embarrassing personal details about an otherwise innocent American citizen. There have in fact been acknowledged cases [3] where NSA analysts used their snooping powers to investigate the activities of their own love interests.

But those agents are certainly not likely to set off a bomb in a public place.

Phyllis Chesler says there is another reason why CAIR and Greenwald are soul mates: “Greenwald shares CAIR’s anti-Semitism.”

Indeed, Greenwald has long trafficked in anti-Semitism, without any scrutiny by the media.

Greenwald fixates—like all classic anti-Semites—on the supposed outsized influence of rich Jews. Typical was his 2007 personal blog post [4] that Large and extremely influential Jewish donor groups are the ones agitating for a U.S. war against Iran, and that is the case because those groups are devoted to promoting Israel’s interests.”

In a 2010 column [5] for Salon, Greenwald called pro-Israel congressmen “Israel-Firsters,” which, of course, suggests dual loyalties.

“These are standard anti-Semitic tropes,” says American Jewish Committee general counsel Marc Stern. “That Jews are not loyal to the country in which they live. It is the left wing or modern version of The Protocols of [the Elders of] Zion.”
Moreover, it is certainly ironic that someone who has aided and abetted America’s enemies by doing his best to cripple American terrorist surveillance programs would accuse anyone else of disloyalty to this country.

Greenwald is a longstanding CAIR shill. Indeed, if he is not a paid spokesman for CAIR, they are cheating him out of a salary.

Greenwald told the CAIR-San Francisco fundraising banquet last November that “there really is no organization with which I’d rather be spending my time, or with which I feel more at home than CAIR.”

In his speech [6], a rousing call to arms against supposed government persecution of Muslims, Greenwald even quoted the renowned communist Rosa Luxemberg, identifying her, not surprisingly, as merely a socialist.

Greenwald also spoke [7] at a CAIR-New York dinner this past May.

Now, Greenwald will have an even more powerful vehicle to dupe Americans and the media about CAIR. BuzzFeed.com last week reported that Greenwald is leaving his outpost at the Guardian to launch a new investigative website and news outlet bankrolled by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.

It is a safe bet that he will not be investigating CAIR’s ties to Hamas, which terrorism expert Steve Emerson, the executive director of The Investigative Project on Terrorism, has long documented.

Indeed, this new media venture will almost certainly peddle the same old media falsehoods about CAIR.


Article printed from Accuracy In Media: http://www.aim.org

URL to article: http://www.aim.org/aim-column/cairs-useful-idiot/

URLs in this post:

[1] a terrorism funding case: http://www.investigativeproject.org/1854/doj-cairs-unindicted-co-conspirator-status-legit

[2] unindicted co-conspirators: http://www.investigativeproject.org/case/409

[3] acknowledged cases: http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/09/27/loveint_how_nsa_spies_snooped_on_girlfriends_lovers_and_first_dates.html

[4] personal blog post: http://glenngreenwald.blogspot.co.il/2007/02/enforced-orthodoxies-and-iran.html

[5] a 2010 column: http://www.salon.com/2010/06/01/israel_41/

[6] speech: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VC4HAYTQ7s

[7] spoke: http://www.cair-ny.org/blog/glenn_greenwald_speaks_at_cairny_annual_banquet.html

 

Long-Time Clinton Official Arrested in Egypt as Member of Muslim Brotherhood

A few weeks ago we published a report from an Egyptian Newspaper which claims that Barack Obama is a member of The Muslim Brotherhood. A few people had some choice words for me. The consensus among some was simply that Barack Obama may not be a lot of things, but even he would not stoop to that level. I can’t force people to open their eyes or their minds, but I can continue reporting the facts.

It would seem that, on Tuesday, Gehad el-Haddad was arrested in Egypt for inciting violence. El-Haddad just happened to be a top official with the William J. Clinton Foundation for five years previously. The truth can be bizarre and very hard to swallow at times, but it is still the truth and I will continue to report what I believe to be the truth.

The Free Beacon reports:

A senior Muslim Brotherhood official who, until recently, had been employed by the William J. Clinton Foundation was arrested in Cairo on Tuesday and charged with inciting violence.

Gehad el-Haddad served as one of the Muslim Brotherhood’s top communications officials until Egyptian security forces seized him as part of a wider crackdown on officials loyal to ousted former President Mohamed Morsi.

Before emerging as a top Brotherhood official and adviser to Morsi, el-Haddad served for five years as a top official at the Clinton Foundation, a nonprofit group founded by former President Bill Clinton.

El-Haddad gained a reputation for pushing the Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamist agenda in the foreign press, where he was often quoted defending the Brotherhood’s crackdown on civil liberties in Egypt.

He was raised in a family of prominent Brotherhood supporters and became the public face of the Islamist organization soon after leaving his post at the Clinton Foundation. However, much of his official work with the Brotherhood took place while he was still claiming to be employed by the Clinton Foundation.

Are such things really so hard for people to believe?

Huma Abedin, a long time adviser and insider in Hillary Clinton’s entourage, has known Muslim Brotherhood ties. Her mother Saleha is a member of “The Muslim Sisterhood” (female counterpart) and Huma has been questioned for suspicious ties to Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi who is best known for his love of violent jihad. (Source: National Review)

It has also been proven that six Muslim Brotherhood Officials have infiltrated the Obama Administration, claiming their own high level positions to influence policy in America.

So an arrest in Egypt by a high-ranking Muslim Brotherhood member, who just happens to have ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton, should be of no surprise.

But if you ask the brainwashed masses in this country they would simply say it’s more propaganda or simple coincidence.

All we can do is keep reporting the truth and hoping that our fellow Americans might wake up some day.

H/T Pamela Geller

Read more: http://freedomoutpost.com/2013/09/long-time-clinton-official-gehad-el-haddad-arrested-in-egypt-as-member-of-muslim-brotherhood/#ixzz2ftiNPPqY
Read more at http://freedomoutpost.com/2013/09/long-time-clinton-official-gehad-el-haddad-arrested-in-egypt-as-member-of-muslim-brotherhood/#q06CK2Y1ZbOW6l8r.99