Tag Archives: FBI

The NSA (National Snooping Agency)

10 Jun

First, a little background.

The National Security Agency (NSA), preceded by the Armed Forces Security Agency, was formed in 1952 and is a cryptologic intelligence agency of the US Department of Defense responsible for the collection and analysis of foreign communications and foreign signals intelligence, as well as protecting US government communications and information systems, which involves information security and cryptanalysis/cryptography.

The NSA is directed by at least a lieutenant general or vice admiral. The NSA is a key component of the US Intelligence Community, which is headed by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). The Central Security Service is a co-located agency created to coordinate intelligence activities and cooperation between the NSA and other US military cryptanalysis agencies. The Director of the NSA serves as the Commander of the United States Cyber Command and Chief of the Central Security Service.

By law, the NSA’s intelligence gathering is limited to foreign communications, although domestic incidents such as the NSA warrantless surveillance controversy have occurred. (Source: Wikipedia. Emphases added.)

The NSA domestic warrantless surveillance controversy referred to above (AKA “Warrantless Wiretapping”) concerns surveillance of persons within the US during the collection of foreign intelligence by the NSA as part of President Bush’s war on terror.

Under this program, referred to by the Bush Administration as the “terrorist surveillance program,” part of the broader President’s Surveillance Program, the NSA was authorized by executive order to monitor, without search warrants, the phone calls, Internet activity (Web, e-mail, etc.), text messaging, and other communications involving any party believed by the NSA to be outside the US, even if the other end of the communication was inside the US.

Liberal critics, however, claimed that it was an effort to attempt to silence critics of the Bush Administration. Under public pressure, the Bush Administration ceased the warrantless wiretapping program in January 2007 and returned review of surveillance to the FISA court. Subsequently, in 2008 Congress passed the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which relaxed some of the original FISA court requirements.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) is a US federal court, was established by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978 and is commonly referred to as the FISA court. The FISA court oversees requests for surveillance warrants against suspected foreign intelligence agents inside the US by federal law enforcement agencies, primarily the FBI.

During the Obama Administration, the NSA has officially continued operating under the new FISA guidelines. However, in April 2009 officials at the Department of Justice (DOJ) acknowledged that the NSA had engaged in “overcollection” of domestic communications in excess of the FISA court’s authority but claimed that the acts were unintentional and had since been rectified.

Well, seemingly not, because we now have the latest Obama Administration scandal (so many to keep up with) that the NSA is data mining what’s called the “meta” data (or data of the data) of millions of Americans’ phone calls.

That means, if you are to believe your government any more at all, that they are merely collecting and storing all of our phone calls, from what number to what number and for what duration. This is supposed to give the NSA supercomputers data to crunch in looking for patterns and does not include them listening in on our phone calls. To do that, for example, they would supposedly have to identify a pattern and use it as a basis to go back to a federal judge to obtain a warrant for a wire tap to actually start monitoring the content of someone’s phone conversations.

But we have President Obama recently reassuring us that our phone calls, that is, at least their content, are not being monitored and that 100% security cannot be attained while maintaining 100% of liberties. Well, first of all, I worked in the Army as a security specialist of all sorts for over 20 years and there is no such thing as 100% security — ever. Any security system you can devise, someone with enough time, resources and determination can overcome. Maybe Obama should also have remembered Ben Franklin’s “Any people that would give up liberty for a little temporary safety deserves neither liberty nor safety.”

But, then, this is the same guy (1) who assured us Benghazi was caused by an Internet video, (2) who called the Fort Hood massacre “workplace violence,” (3) who recently addressed college students and told them to ignore anyone who said tyranny was just around the corner, (4) who didn’t know anything about anything about his DOJ targeting journalists, about his DOJ seizing hundreds of AP reporters’ phone records, or about his IRS targeting conservative groups seeking tax exempt status (both in the run-up to his reelection and still continuing), and (5) who seems to have to read a newspaper on a Friday afternoon to find out what’s going on in his own administration. So, do you really feel reassured by anything Obama says at this point? I know I don’t.

And, of course, there are various “congressionals” (I sometimes just lump them all together under the one heading) — from both chambers of Congress and both sides of the aisle — who are posturing and pontificating, saying there are checks and balances, that this is all necessary to protect us, that there is “congressional oversight” to ensure everything is all right, and blah, blah, blah. Well, Congress supposedly has congressional oversight of every agency of the federal government, for example, the DOJ, the IRS, the DHS, etc., etc. So, how’s that “congressional oversight” been working out for ya lately, there, John or Jane Q. Public?

In other words, we didn’t know anything about Obama’s DOJ seizing AP reporters’ records until there was a leak and then we did. We didn’t know anything about Obama’s IRS targeting conservative groups until there was a leak and then we did. We didn’t know anything about Obama’s DOJ targeting Fox News reporters until there was a leak and then we did.

And we likewise didn’t know anything about the NSA switching from pin-point fly fishing to huge dragnet fishing until there was a leak either. So much for congressional oversight discovering anything ahead of time.

In fact, Obama’s very own DNI James Clapper, the head of the whole US intel community, may also be in hot water for lying to Congress, because when testifying before Congress and asked if the NSA was collecting any info by any means on American citizens, Clapper said “no” and that if it happened at all, it would be inadvertent and unintentional. Square that as best you can with what we’ve learned recently about the NSA’s broad dragnetting of the phone records of millions of Americans. Which all begs the question: What else is there that we don’t know about — yet, from this supposedly but laughably most transparent administration in our history?

By the way, and I say this merely by way of extra reassurance, the Attorney General, you know, Eric “Withholding” Holder, can unilaterally grant such warrantless wire taps himself on an emergency basis but must have it approved by a federal court judge within 72 hours. Uhhh-huh.

So, we’re supposed to rely on the same AG who (1) either committed perjury and/or at least misled Congress in testimony (both felonies) when he said he knew nothing and would not take part in targeting or prosecuting journalists for receiving classified information , or (2) he committed fraud upon a federal court (also a felony) in falsifying an affidavit for a warrant which claimed that Fox News reporter James Rosen had violated the Espionage Act, was at least an aider and abettor, and a flight risk, to obtain access to Rosen’s (and his parents’) phone, email and other communications, then Holder subsequently claimed he had no intention to ever prosecute Rosen for such offenses in the first place.

Well, you can’t have it both ways this time, Mr. Attorney General. Either you falsely claimed before Congress not to know anything about the Rosen case, when it was subsequently shown that you had personally signed the affidavit and held at least one staff meeting on how to proceed, or you provided false information to a federal court to obtain the warrant in the first place, never intending to really investigate or prosecute, thus committing a fraud upon the court — all felonies.

Oh, and don’t forget, this is the same AG who (1) refused to prosecute a slam dunk case of voter intimidation against the Philadelphia Black Panthers but who sued Arizona for basically passing a state law which contained the same immigration policies as already contained in federal law, who (2) has sued more states over state civil and voter rights legislation than any other AG in history, who (3) ensured the underwear bomber was quickly Mirandized although he was not a citizen, who (4) at one point wanted our troops to Mirandize terrorist combatants on the battlefield, who (5) wanted to bring Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) to NY to be tried in a federal court, with all the Constitutional protections of a citizen, until liberal members of Congress yelled NIMBY, who (6) stonewalled and stonewalled on Fast & Furious, who (7) tried to sue Boeing for wanting to build a nonunion plant in NC, who…

Well, I could go on, but I think I’ve digressed over Holder enough for you see the point that this is the same AG we’re supposed to trust will inform a federal court within 72 hours after using his unilateral power to apply an emergency wire tap on someone. Yeah, uh-huh, THAT Attorney General.

The New York Times reported in 2009 that the NSA was intercepting communications of American citizens, although the DOJ believed that the NSA had corrected its errors. Attorney General Eric “The Arrogant” Holder subsequently resumed the wiretapping according to his understanding of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 Amendments Act of 2008, but without explaining to any federal court judge what had occurred to make any difference in once again continuing to do what DOJ and NSA had previously said they shouldn’t be doing. Huh? (And if you have to read that twice for the absurdity of it to sink in, I’ll wait.)

The NSA also reportedly uses its computing capability to analyze “transactional” data that it regularly acquires from other government agencies, which gather it under their own jurisdictional authorities. As part of this effort, the NSA now monitors huge volumes of records of domestic emails and Internet searches, as well as bank transfers, credit card transactions and travel and telephone records, according to current and former intelligence officials interviewed by the Wall Street Journal.

And just this month, the NSA’s PRISM electronic surveillance and data mining program was revealed by the Washington Post. The extent of information to which they had access includes email, video and voice chat, videos, photos, voice-over-IP chats such as Skype, file transfers, etc., which they can gain from direct access to servers on Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, AOL and others. Of course, Google, Facebook, etc., have since claimed they know nothing of any NSA data mining using their platforms.

But, and I know this sounds a little conspiracy theorist-y, isn’t that what an organization which has a secret, classified agreement with the government to provide access to its customers’ info would almost have to say?

The Guardian (UK) revealed the identity of the whistleblower responsible for unveiling the NSA’s massive data mining programs. Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old defense consultant who has worked at the NSA for four years, says, “I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong.” Well, I’ll reserve judgment for now on whether Snowden did anything “wrong” or not, as he certainly has at least violated whatever classification disclosure document he signed as a pre-condition to his access to classified information and could, and perhaps should, be prosecuted for that. Most of us who have had classified security clearances, especially top secret or above, are familiar with, “I can’t tell you about it and, if I do tell you about it, I’ll have to kill you.” On the other hand, he has also rendered a public service by letting us know the nefariousness of Obama’s NSA. So, I’ll let others debate if he’s hero or traitor. Right now, all sorts of allegations are flying around of “what if” undercover operatives and techniques were compromised by Snowden’s actions, but it will take time to see if that’s really truth versus conjecture.

The Guardian also released an interview with Snowden. Here are some of the highlights:

On his decision to become a whistleblower: “When you’re in positions of privileged access like a systems administrator for the sort of intelligence community agencies, you’re exposed to a lot more information on a broader scale than the average employee and because of that you see things that may be disturbing … Over time that awareness of wrongdoing sort of builds up and you feel compelled to talk about [it]. And the more you talk about [it], the more you’re ignored. The more you’re told it’s not a problem, until eventually you realize that these things need to be determined by the public and not by somebody who was simply hired by the government.”

On the targeting of American citizens: “NSA and [the] intelligence community in general is focused on getting intelligence wherever it can by any means possible … Originally we saw that focus very narrowly tailored as foreign intelligence gathered overseas. Now, increasingly, we see that it’s happening domestically and to do that [the NSA] targets the communications of everyone. It ingests them by default. It collects them in its system … simply because that’s the easiest, most efficient and most valuable way to achieve these ends. So while they may be intending to target someone associated with a foreign government or someone they suspect of terrorism, they’re collecting your communications to do so.”

On why you should care about NSA’s programs: “Because even if you’re not doing anything wrong, you’re being watched and recorded. And the storage capability of these systems increases every year consistently by orders of magnitude to where it’s getting to the point where you don’t have to have done anything wrong. You simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody, even by a wrong call. And then they can use this system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you’ve ever made, every friend you’ve ever discussed something with. And attack you on that basis to sort to derive suspicion from an innocent life and paint anyone in the context of a wrongdoer.”

So, let’s recap: We have the FOREIGN Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, modified by the FOREIGN Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 Amendments Act of 2008, both authorizing and governing the FOREIGN Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), otherwise commonly known as the FOREIGN Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, court, which oversees requests for surveillance warrants against suspected FOREIGN intelligence agents inside the US by federal law enforcement agencies, primarily the FBI — which , by the way, reports to none other than that AG in whom we’re all supposed to have so much “trust.”

Plus, the NSA’s originating charter declares that by law the NSA’s intelligence gathering is limited to FOREIGN communications. And all this, despite some alleged “51 percent connectivity to terrorist” formula which the intel community sometimes uses to justify domestic spying.

Maybe I’m just not too smart but with all this FOREIGN this and that, where does the NSA have any authority to massively collect DOMESTIC communications on millions and millions of Americans who haven’t done anything wrong, with no warrant, no permission, no howdy-do, no nothing, except it’s just easier for them to do it that way? To me, if you want to spy domestically, present probable cause to a judge and get a frickin’ warrant to spy on a particular person or group! You know, go through that “bothersome” Fourth Amendment stuff in our stuffy old Constitution.

What the government does, especially when it infringes on our individual rights, should not be EASY. It should be HARD. The convenience of the government should never be an excuse to abridge individual freedoms.

And you thought that CBS show Person of Interest about “the machine” was all just fiction. Welcome to Obama’s Orwellian America. Feeling Big Bothered, er, Big Brothered, enough yet?


So, Hillary finally, finally “testified”

1 Feb

This one may be a long one, folks, ’cause I’ve got lots of points to make and lots of venting to do.

Over four months after the horrendous attack on our facilities at Benghazi and after multiple, conflicting stories by various members of Team Obama, Hillary Clinton, our illustrious Secretary of State, who probably wants to run for president (again) in 2016, finally “testified” (quotation marks explained later) before Senate and House congressional committees, respectively in the morning and afternoon of the same day last week — how “exhausting” that must have been (almost like drinking beer and dancing the night away in Belize, or wherever the latest place she visited was) — and what a letdown it all was, too.

I could only watch part of the proceedings in the morning and then in the afternoon, not because I was too busy with other things but because, like with Obama, I have a gag reflex which sets in after just so much bald-faced disingenuousness, or what we Southerners call flat out lyin’. For more on Hillary’s abilities and record in shading the truth, see a good article, “Hillary Clinton — Habitual Liar,” by Dan Calabrese at: http://www.caintv.com/watergate-era-judiciary-chief. Dan reveals that she’s been at the lying game for a l-o-o-o-n-g time.

For my part, I’ll just remind those of you who are either too young or may have forgotten about them over the years of the following stories in which Hillary was deeply involved and, which, over time, as she and others hope is the case with Benghazi, were “forgotten” and/or never really pursued by — guess who? — the liberal, lapdog, lamestream media: (a) Vince Foster’s sudden “suicide” death, (b) Sandy Berger’s theft of classified documents, (c) her “lost” law firm records, which later “turned up” on a table in the presidential quarters, (d) the Whitewater land deal scandal, (e) Bill’s serial infidelities with one abused/assaulted woman after the other, and many other occasions on which “The Hill” has exhibited her adroitness and adeptness at fabrication, evasion and full-on, feigned sincerity.

And, that’s why I said Hillary “testified,” because, although she was under oath (for whatever that means to a career politician), she actually just danced faster than the committee members could manage to whistle. She was much more prepared to parry than they were to probe. Her “testimony” was specious and committee members’ interrogations were spotty. Many of the questioning congressmen may have also been lawyers, but they definitely did not evidence much skill at eliciting short responses with pointed questions to conserve time or at cross-examination and followup questions. Disappointing all around — she wasn’t forthcoming enough and they weren’t confrontational enough. Besides, Hillary wore her “I’m a really serious person” glasses, which were later revealed to be special glasses to correct her concussion-induced double vision. Too bad they couldn’t also correct her double-talking.

By the way, speaking earlier of feigned sincerity, do you know of anyone who “does” faked self-righteous indignation any better than Hillary? Well, besides Obama, I mean. They both seem to have faked sincerity and false indignation down pretty pat.

Jake Tapper, who I actually like despite his working for CNN, has it almost right about the stress over Benghazi wearing on Hillary, but it’s more probably the stress of lying about Benghazi for so long, starting with “it was all the video’s fault” and including up to now, which has actually taxed our facile-tongued (or is that forked-tongued?) Secretary of State.

[Editorial note: Just giving credit where it’s due, some information hereafter is based on a CNS News article by Terence P. Jeffrey, dated January 23, 2013.]

So, Hillary also doesn’t know why her own ambassador was meeting with a Turkish rep in Benghazi just hours before the terrorist attack, either? Maybe to facilitate some weapons out of Libya, through Turkey, and into Syria? So, who was Ambassador Stevens working for, the State Department, or the CIA, or both?

And, nobody asked what I call the “origin question” — where, from whom, did the “it was all the fault of an Internet video” meme originate in the first place? Whose idea was that? We may never know, but it gave Team Obama cover until after the election was over, so I guess that was the most important thing, despite that the only person currently (still) actually in jail over the whole Benghazi brouhaha is the guy from California who exercised his First Amendment rights and made the much-talked-about but little-seen video and who was perp-walked on national TV over a parole violation. When’s the last time you saw anyone perp-walked over a parole violation? Probably all part of the Team Obama kabuki to show, “See, we don’t like this guy who offended all of you Muslims, either.”

And, yes, the “talking points” which our UN Ambassador Susan Rice used were originally composed by the CIA, but changed by someone in the White House and used by Rice without her, supposedly such a smart and accomplished woman, doing any checking of her own of their accuracy, although she had access to classified intel which she could have used to do so.

Please, stop trying to make excuses for something that smells fishier than a 3-day-old fish left out on the kitchen counter on a hot, summer afternoon. If it smells that fishy, it is that fishy.

Benghazi-gate was a mistake which shouldn’t have been allowed to happen in the first place, which exposed as false the Obama reelection narrative of al-Qaeda being decimated, and which has been covered up and lied about by multiple members of Team Obama ever since. There are at least five, on-the-record and different versions of what happened at the State Department, at the White House, and within the National Security Council on the day of the attack and since. All of them can’t be true, which raises the legitimate question if any of them are.

Under questioning from Senator Ron Johnson, Wisconsin Republican, in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week, Secretary Clinton revealed that she has spoken to only one of the American survivors who was evacuated from Libya after the Benghazi attack. Presumably, this was one of the five Diplomatic Security officers who fought off the terrorists at the State Department’s Benghazi Special Mission Compound and who lived to be able to report as eyewitnesses about what had happened there that day.

Yet, the Obama Administration has not yet publicly named a single one of these five surviving State Department heroes.

In fact, the only American witnesses to the Benghazi attack who have been named by the Obama Administration are Ambassador Chris Stevens, State Department Information Management Officer Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, who were working for the CIA, not for Clinton’s State Department, and they are all — tragically for them and their families but I suspect conveniently for the Obama Administration — dead and can’t testify.

There were over 20 survivors of the Banghazi attack. More important than the fact that Hillary only talked to one of them is that the Senate and House congressional committees should be interviewing all of them, not just an experienced liar like Hillary. Or do we have to wait for all of them to be on an outdated helicopter which mysteriously crashes and kills everybody, as were inexplicably many members of SEAL Team 6 who actually got bin Laden?

The committees should also be getting testimony from the Army general and Navy admiral who were suddenly and mysteriously relieved within hours of the Benghazi debacle. That might reveal why no military assistance was sent in time to save at least the two former Navy SEALS who were killed in the last hour or so of the 7-hour, 2-wave, heavy weapons, terrorist attack.

Clinton also claimed in her exchange with Senator Johnson that it would have been inappropriate for her to talk to the surviving State Department officials — who worked for her, and who had been deployed to Benghazi under her authority — until they had been interrogated by the FBI. I am getting so tired of Team Obama using an “ongoing” FBI investigation as an excuse not to answer the few, probing question from the press which they do get.

Because Clinton testified that she has only talked to one of the survivors, she could not possibly have even personally thanked, let alone heard the eyewitness accounts of, four of the five Diplomatic Security officers who put their lives on the line to protect Ambassador Stevens and the US facility in Benghazi.

She did not reach out to them in the hours or days after the attack to get their personal accounts of what had happened — information that clearly would have been valuable to her and her subordinates as they explained to the nation what actually happened that day. (Oh, but wait, what if she and her subordinates never really intended to explain to the nation what actually happened that day? Then, there would be no need to “reach out,” would there?)

As it was, rather than getting the eyewitness accounts of the State Department’s own people there — accounts that would attest to the fact that the terrorist attack was a sudden assault on the State Department compound and was not in any way preceded by a protest — Clinton and her department for days put out the false story that the attack had arisen from a protest against an anti-Muslim video which almost no one saw.

Clinton told Senator Johnson that there were approximately 25-30 survivors evacuated from Libya after the attack, but does not know precisely how many “because of our other friends,” a reference to the CIA. Well, Hillary, Obama said, in his first press conference in eight months, during which he took only ten questions, at least two of which were real softballs, but in which he staunchly defended our UN Ambassador Susan Rice, that he would do whatever he could to provide answers to the American people about Benghazi, so don’t you think, if he really meant that, that he, as president, could call everybody together and find out how many were yours and how many were “other friends,” as well as settle once and for all who started the “it’s the video’s fault” lie in the first place? Of course he could.

Most of the US personnel in Benghazi that day apparently worked for the CIA. Other than the five State Department Diplomatic Security agents who were at the State Department’s Special Mission Compound at the time of the attack and survived, the only other State Department personnel in the city were Ambassador Stevens and Information Management Officer Smith, who were both killed.

“Did you personally speak to those folks?” Senator Johnson asked Clinton of the American survivors of the attack.

“I have spoken to one of them,” said Clinton, “but I waited until the Accountability Review Board (ARB) had done its investigation because I did not want there to be anybody raising an issue that I had spoken to anyone before the ARB had conducted its investigation.”

The ARB report had been published more than a month prior, on December 18, so I guess if you don’t get enough delay, or political distance, by waiting on the FBI, wait on the ARB for over a month after they publish their report.

Later, when Senator Johnson pressed Clinton on why our UN Ambassador Susan Rice had said on national television five days after the attack that the attack had arisen from a spontaneous reaction to an anti-Muslim video, Clinton said that “we” did not believe it was appropriate to talk to the survivors of Benghazi until after the FBI had.

“As I said, I still have a DS agent at Walter Reed seriously injured,” said Clinton. “Getting them into Frankfurt Ramstein to get taken care of, the FBI going over to immediately start talking to them — We did not think it was appropriate for us to talk to them before the FBI conducted their interviews.”

The ARB later reported that one of the State Department security officers at the Benghazi mission, watching a video monitor, saw the attack begin at about 3:42 p.m. Washington, D.C., time on September 11, when dozens of armed terrorists swarmed through the main gain of the compound. He immediately sounded an alarm in the compound. He then used a cell phone to notify the CIA Annex down the road and the US Embassy in Tripoli. The US Embassy in Tripoli then immediately notified State Department headquarters in Washington, D.C.

“I was notified of the attack shortly after 4:00 p.m.,” Secretary Clinton said.

Later that night, before 11:00 p.m. Washington time on September 11, Clinton issued a statement linking the still-ongoing Benghazi attack to “inflammatory material posted on the Internet.”

The Associated Press published a report quoting Clinton’s statement even before former Navy SEALS Woods and Doherty were killed by a terrorist mortar strike on the CIA Annex in Benghazi. Earlier that evening, CIA security personnel from that Annex had gone to the rescue of the State Department personnel at the Special Mission Compound, and helped get the five surviving State Department security officers out.

Clinton’s testimony indicated that she has never talked to at least four of the five State Department security people who bravely defended the department’s mission in Benghazi and survived the attack — and that she claims she did not speak to them earlier in deference to an FBI investigation.

She did not explain why she believed her contact with her own State Department employees could in anyway taint or disrupt an FBI investigation that is reportedly aimed at discovering the identity of the terrorists who attacked the US facilities in Benghazi, not in finding fault with anyone who worked for State.

Would Clinton have talked to Ambassador Stevens or Sean Smith had they survived the attack? Or would she have waited to speak to them, too, until after the FBI had interviewed them? No one asked Secretary Clinton those questions in the congressional hearings. As I said, she was more prepared to obfuscate than committee members were prepared to make her elucidate.

Republicans argue the August 16 cable from Ambassador Stevens to the State Department was rather high priority. As Senator Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, put it, “Libya has to have been one of the hottest of hot spots around the world.” He claimed that not knowing about their security requests “…really, I think, cost these people their lives.”

Paul added, “Had I been president at the time, and I found that you did not read the cables from Benghazi, you did not read the cables from Ambassador Stevens, I would have relieved you of your post. I think it’s inexcusable.”

There are some things which Senator Paul says with which I disagree, but on this subject, I not only whole-heartedly agree but will go even further.

Despite what she disclaimed during her congressional appearances:

ONE, Hillary joined in with the rest of Team Obama on the “it’s the video” meme from the git-go, because that was used to distract from the facts and maintain the Obama reelection narrative that al-Qaeda was decimated, when it clearly was not. In fact, al-Qaeda and its affiliates were known to be in nine countries when Obama took office and are in over thirty now.

TWO, Hillary, as Team Obama has in the past, used the “ongoing” FBI investigation as cover for not herself investigating what happened to her own State Department people and for her spokespeople to also use in saying they couldn’t comment on what few, probing, press questions were asked because of the “ongoing” investigation.

Aside from the question of why it wasn’t a joint DOD/CIA task force investigating the Benghazi debacle in the first place, this is the same FBI which couldn’t put its agents into Benghazi for almost three weeks because of “personnel security issues,” when a CNN reporter was there retrieving Ambassador Stevens’ journal within four days of the attack and a FOX News correspondent spotted one of the alleged terrorist leaders having a smoothie at a sidewalk cafe in Benghazi within several more days after that.

The same FBI which has yet to interview another of the alleged terrorist leaders, who was only made available for press interview by Turkish authorities because a US senator, Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, requested it, not Hillary’s State Department, and who has now been released from custody but is still being “monitored,” whatever that means, but is still “uninterviewed” by our hard-charging and interminably investigating FBI. Next thing we’ll hear is that Turkish authorities have no idea where he is. Or worse, “Prisoner Who?”

More and more delay, and getting closer and closer to the reelection, and now afterward, when Team Obama thought and thinks the American public — some of which do seem to have the attention span of a cocker spaniel puppy — will “forget” all about Benghazi. Well, I’ve got news — some of us will never forget, not until we get a lot more, and a lot more honest, answers.

THREE, although the ARB was headed by two distinguished and supposedly independent individuals, chaired by former Ambassador Thomas Pickering and vice-chaired by Admiral Michael Mullen, the board itself was in fact handpicked by Hillary, was in fact a part of the State Department investigating another part of the State Department, and, conveniently (and incestuously) enough, found that any and everything which had gone wrong occurred at the Deputy Secretary of State level and below, to include laying some of the blame on our dead ambassador, Chris Stevens, for even being in Benghazi when he should have known better. Always convenient to blame the dead guy, because, you know, he can’t talk back. Again, I refer to Hillary’s history re Vince Foster’s mysterious “suicide.”

FOUR, so Hillary also used the ARB “findings” to deflect any real responsibility from herself, although she had previously fallen on Obama’s sword for him (because he can never admit any wrong) in announcing that she accepted “full responsibility” but didn’t even offer to resign over Benghazi, which amounts to a statement of accountability without any consequence of accountability, which is akin to a politician’s “apology” for you not understanding what he/she clearly said, which is the same as nothing at all — a non-apology is no apology and accepting responsibility without being responsible is just, uh, irresponsible.

FIVE, Hillary’s sympathetic appeal during questioning from Senator Johnson when she talked about dead State Department personnel, got that well-practiced little tremor in her voice and that tear drop which no one actually saw (Obama’s a master at this also) and then her faked outrage at “What difference does it now, after the fact, make?,” and we should focus on how to prevent this from happening again, and blah, blah, blah. Senator Johnson, instead of being put off by her bluster, should have interrupted her tirade and simply said, “Yes, Madame Secretary, we all want to do what’s necessary to keep something like this from ever happening again, but the purpose of these hearings right now is to ascertain why you let it happen in the first place and why the Obama Administration has told so many different stories about it ever since.”

And, SIX, in her last days at State, the eighth terrorist attack on a US foreign mission, embassy, consulate, etc., on her watch just took place in Turkey, a NATO ally, with the bombing of our embassy there. Of course, it’s suspected that this was not the work of an al-Qaeda affiliate, for a change, just some in-counrty, radical Marxist group who also hates, disrespects and does not fear the US, as our enemies used to do.

Good job with all that “soft power” diplomacy, “reset” (regret) relations, and American apologist appeasement, Hillary. Now, almost nobody fears us enough to even respect us a little. You know, those of us who are and have been in the military have another name for “leading from behind.” We call it “following,” and, unfortunately, I don’t see your successor John “anti-war protestor” Kerry doing much better than you have.

Yet, Hillary is who the Democrats might run for president in 2016. Really? Well, they already got another serial liar, Obama, elected — twice — so why not give it a shot? Evidently, the American people will believe almost anything — at least once every four years. Evidently, the rest of the time, the sheeple, at least politically,  just sleepily go about their personal business with that cocker spaniel puppy attention span.

I Wondered Where the Clapper Was

2 Oct

James Clapper, Obama’s Director of National Intelligence (DNI), that is his very top intel guy, was, I thought, mysteriously missing from making any public pronouncements for more than two weeks after the Benghazi attack and the murder of our ambassador and three other brave Americans. And now, I think I know why.

Normally, in situations like this, it would not be our UN ambassador, or not even so much the Secretary of State, but someone like the CIA Director, the Director of Counter Terrorism, the NSA Director, or the DNI himself who would address the intel issues and explain to the public about what happened in Benghazi and why.

Well, of course, along with the president addressing the nation from the Oval Office to let us know what happened and why and what we’re going to do about it. You know, actually showing that he is the commander-in-chief and reassuring us that he is on top of things for us. But then, there have been so many fundraisers and campaign speeches, so what’s one man to do? Busy, busy, busy.

Team Obama, obviously playing election year political tactics rather than being good at national security strategy, probably first asked Hillary to go on the Sunday TV news shows and she declined, so they turned instead to Obama’s UN ambassador Susan Rice and put her out there to lie to the American people — it’s all about the offensive video, it was all part of a larger demonstration which spun out of control, it was spontaneous and not pre-planned or premeditated, and blah, blah, blah.

Of course, it’s since been revealed (a) that the offensive video only had about 300 viewing hits as of the 9/11 attack, that is, before Team Obama started advertising it by saying it was the cause of all the trouble and paying $70,000 of our tax dollars to distance itself from the video in Pakistan, while Pakistanis nonetheless burned Obama in effigy, (b) that the organizer of the Cairo demonstration against our embassy said he had not even seen the video, (c) that there was no larger demonstration in Benghazi at all, (d) that the attacks on our Benghazi consulate and safe house were done by about 20-100 radical Muslims, in a two-wave attack, over a four hour period, with heavy weapons. I heard all that within two days of the attack and, as a retired Army guy, I knew it was a terrorist attack right then.

It seems Team Obama was counting on generating enough “fog” to distract us from the first successful attack on the US on its own soil (as all our embassies and consulates are) in eleven years and the first murder of one of our ambassadors in thirty-three years having happened on Obama’s watch, and right in the middle of an election year, and on the 9/11 anniversary, too, oh my. How unlucky for Obama, but how deadly for our ambassador and the three killed with him. But then, they’re just “bumps in the road,” after all.

Then, as the days and now the weeks have worn on and Team Obama began to be challenged on its false “narrative,” Obama’s and Hillary’s State Department’s game then became, “We can’t comment on this any more because of the ongoing FBI investigation in Benghazi, so you have to ask the FBI.” Well, the fact is that, after 20 days now, the FBI still hasn’t even begun its investigation on the ground in Banghazi. Why? Well, because of security concerns for its personnel, that’s why.

Hmmm, security concerns didn’t stop someone from CNN going to the consulate site and retrieving Ambassador Stevens’ personal journal from among the rubble four days after the attack, though, did they? Maybe real journalists are just braver than the FBI. Or maybe the whole “FBI investigation thing” is just another stall tactic by Team Obama. And why the FBI anyway? It’s not only a crime scene. It’s the scene of a terrorist attack. So, why isn’t DOD or CIA taking the lead on investigating what happened and why?

Again, it’s Team Obama treating a terrorist attack as if it were merely a law enforcement matter, like the Fort Hood shooting massacre in November 2009 or the foiled underwear bomber over Detroit in December 2009. Yes, those terrorist attacks also took place on Obama’s watch but were treated as law enforcement matters, which the liberal lapdog media compliantly went along with, so no big deal, right?

This all seems too much like the Fast and Furious stalling of Eric “withholding” Holder that his own IG’s investigation must proceed before we would know all we needed to know about F&F and the death of Border Agent Brian Terry and a number of Mexicans, while Holder used stonewalling and finally Obama’s tenuously tendered and probably illegally proffered executive privilege to keep thousands of pages of applicable documents from the Congressional investigating committee.

And now, after months and months, Holder’s IG’s report is out and it’s all ATF and some DOJ officials’ fault but not any of Holder’s himself, and those guilty may be fired, allowed to “retire” or reassigned, but none of them seem to be going to prison, which is where Holder belongs for committing perjury and being incompetent, along with the others who, either through malfeasance or misfeasance of office, allowed the F&F deaths to occur. And still no definitive answers for Brian Terry’s family since he was killed in December 2010, eleven miles inside the United States. What a shame.

Of course, it’s since been revealed (a) that Team Obama knew Benghazi was a terrorist attack within 24 hours, (b) that they internally labeled it as such to release certain national security assets, and (c) that they may have even had a 48-hour advance warning of the impending 9/11 attack in Benghazi in particular and of a need to increase our embassy and consulate security there and all across the region in general even much prior to 48 hours before.

It has still not come out whether our assassinated ambassador, Chris Stevens, sent the security concerns he had about Benghazi and his own personal security, expressed in his CNN-recovered journal, up State Department channels or not, but it would stretch credulity to think that he did not. And, if he did, who received it, when did they receive it and what did they do about it? It’s pretty obvious at this point to say they didn’t do enough, but those other questions still need answering.

It seems that Team Obama may have purposefully held DNI Clapper back in case their narrative didn’t fly, so they could use him and he could come out later, just as he’s finally done now, to tie up any “loose ends” and clean up the mess which the Obama Amateur Hour Administration has made of the whole Benghazi brouhaha. Clapper now “explains” to all of us (gullible) members of the public that the intel has changed, that Rice reported what was surmised at the time (remember, her appearance was September 16 — five days after the Benghazi attack) and that more recent intel shows that it was clearly a terrorist attack. Yet, they still cling to the falsehood that the “disgusting” video caused it all. Ha and ha!

Remember this is the same DNI Clapper who, in a December 2010 interview with Diane Sawyer of ABC News, was completely unaware that 12 would-be terrorists had been arrested in the UK earlier that same day. That “intel” was broken to him by Ms. Sawyer when she asked him about it and got the classic “deer in the headlights” look in response.

The same DNI Clapper who, when mass demonstrations were bringing down Egypt’s Mubarak in February 2011, told a House Intelligence Committee hearing that the term “Muslim Brotherhood” was an umbrella term for a variety of movements, a very heterogenous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence, decried al-Qaeda as a perversion of Islam, which has pursued social ends, a betterment of the political order in Egypt and which has no overarching agenda, particularly in pursuit of violence.

Then, the Muslim Brotherhood ran a candidate in their first “free elections” and elected one of their own, Mohamed Morsi, as prime minister. The same Mohamed Morsi who recently failed to use his security forces to protect our embassy in Cairo and who, only after a phone call from Obama, even spoke out against the demonstrations at all. The same Mohamed Morsi who afterward thought he could dictate the terms of how much of our taxpayer money Obama sends him to fund the Egyptian military which keeps Morsi in power. With “friends” like Morsi, we don’t need enemies.

And also remember, this is the same DNI Clapper who, in March 2011, was wrong, wrong, wrong in commenting at the Senate Committee on Armed Services that “over the longer term” Gaddafi “will prevail” in the 2011 Libyan civil war. The Obama White House subsequently and resoundingly “qualified” his statement as a “static and one-dimensional assessment.” He was also questioned, rightly so, by committee members at the same hearing about why he had failed to list either Iran or North Korea among those countries who posed a nuclear threat to the United States. Duh!

Yeah, that DNI Clapper. He’s exactly THE guy to “explain” to me all the confusing and contradictory claims about Benghazi coming out of Team Obama over the last 20 days, as we also witness Obama’s feckless foreign policy of apology and appeasement in collapse all across the Muslim world. How about you? Who among Team Obama do you trust to just tell you the plain truth for a change?

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