http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323981504578179291222227104.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop Forget the Doha climate jamboree that ended earlier this month. The theological discussions in Qatar of the arcana of climate treaties are irrelevant. By far the most important debate about climate change is taking place among scientists, on the issue of climate sensitivity: How much warming will a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide actually [...]
Click here: Obama Vs. Little Sisters of the Poor – Maggie’s Farm http://maggiesfarm.anotherdotcom.com/archives/21212-Obama-Vs.-Little-Sisters-of-the-Poor.html During college I worked at Jack Frost Dry Goods, a fabric and yarn store in Bedford-Stuyvesant. The owner contributed extra cloth to the Little Sisters of the Poor in the nearby Bushwick neighborhood. My uncle had owned a nursing home in the [...]
http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/12/19/benghazi-report-makes-clear-clintons-failure-and-obamas/ Since the terrorist attack in Benghazi killed our ambassador there and three others, I’ve been asking just how Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has managed to avoid accountability for what was clearly her State Department’s failure. Others have begun asking that same question, including former Clinton administration official Aaron David Miller. Miller offered a [...]
WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – A gun found at the scene of a shootout between a Mexican drug cartel and soldiers where a beauty queen died was part of the botched “Fast and Furious” operation, CBS News reports.
Authorities had said that Maria Susana Flores Gamez was likely used as a human shield and that an automatic rifle had been found near her body after the Nov. 23 shootout.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, tells CBS News that the Justice Department did not notify Congress that a Fast and Furious firearm was found at the scene in Sinaloa.
CBS News learned the Romanian AK-47-type WASR-10 rifle found near her body was purchased by Uriel Patino at an Arizona gun shop in 2010. Patino is a suspect who allegedly purchased 700 guns while under the ATF’s watch.
The “Fast and Furious” operation was launched in 2009 to catch trafficking kingpins, but agents lost track of about 1,400 of the more than 2,000 weapons involved.
Authorities say the ring was believed to have supplied the Sinaloa cartel with guns. Mexico’s drug cartels often seek out guns in the U.S. because gun laws in Mexico are more restrictive than in the U.S.
Some guns purchased by the ring were later found at crime scenes in Mexico and the United States.
The operation came to light after Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in December 2010 by marijuana smugglers who used guns from the “Fast and Furious” operation.
http://www.newmediajournal.us/ I spent the better part of yesterday afternoon helping out in my wife, Nancy’s second grade classroom. It was the day before Christmas break and her class was having a Christmas party. As I watched the children cavort and play, I couldn’t help but think of the tragedy that beset the community of Newtown, [...]
http://shmuelkatz.com/wordpress/?p=951 Israelis watched in awe as their Iron Dome missile-defense system blasted Hamas rockets out of the sky last month. But while Israel rightly takes pride in this achievement, it should be careful of being seduced by technology. Hidden within Iron Dome’s success lies a strategic threat — that the Iron Dome will lull Israel [...]
Long frontpage takeout taking out the Kagans today in the Washington Post. The so-what-else-is-news headline — “Civilians Held Petraeus’ Ear in War Zone” — almost caused me not to read it, given this obvious fact has driven so many posts and columns here over the years. There is news in the story though, all of it stomach-turning. As I read it, Petraeus, in addition to everything else, is a weak commander who used the Kagans as a crutch. The Post, meanwhile, is more interested in underscoring what the Kagans gained from the relationship.
Some excerpts, starting with the Post’s equation of No Salary (the Kagans refused USG compensation) + Petraeus Access = Defense Contractor Contributions.
The pro-bono relationship which is now being scrutinized by military lawyers, yielded valuable benefits for the general and the couple. The Kagans’ proximity to Petraeus, the country’s most-famous living general, provided an incentive for defense contractors to contribute to Kim Kagan’s think tank. For Petraeus, embracing two respected national security analysts in GOP circles helped to shore up support for the war among Republican leaders on Capitol Hill. …
I doubt Petraeus’ support on the GOP side of Capitol Hill was ever in question given the slavish adulation for miitary brass that lawmakers engage in, mistaking it, I suppose, for patriotism. It is true, nonetheless, that this adulation for Petraeus in particular, plus the Kagans’ centrality in Petraeus COIN effort, magnified the Kagans’ influence over the GOP Establishment’s disastrously flawed understanding of war in the Islamic world.
Just in passing we learn:
After the couple’s most recent trip in September, they provided a briefing on the war and other foreign policy matters to the Republican vice-presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.
Back to the military-industrial-think-tank-complex:
The Kagans said they continued to receive salaries from their think tanks while in Afghanistan. Kim Kagan’s institute is funded in part by large defense contractors. During Petraeus’s tenure in Kabul, she sent out a letter soliciting contributions so the organization could continue its military work, according to two people who saw the letter.
On Aug. 8, 2011, a month after he relinquished command in Afghanistan to take over at the CIA, Petraeus spoke at the institute’s first “President’s Circle” dinner, where he accepted an award from Kim Kagan. To join the President’s Circle, individuals must contribute at least $10,000 a year. The private event, held at the Newseum in Washington, also drew executives from defense contractors who fund the institute.
“What the Kagans do is they grade my work on a daily basis,” Petraeus said, prompting chortles from the audience. “There’s some suspicion that there’s a hand up my back, and it makes my lips talk, and it’s operated by one of the Doctors Kagan.” …
Maybe he was telling the truth…!
After Obama was elected, he [Fred Kagan] made clear that his strategic priority was Afghanistan. The Kagans soon shifted focus. In March 2009, they co-wrote an op-ed in the New York Times that called for sending more forces to Afghanistan.
And I wrote: “What Do You Mean, If We Ever Want to Leave Afghanistan?”
When Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal assumed command of the war that summer, he invited several national security experts to help draft an assessment of the conflict for Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates. The 14-member group included experts from several Washington think tanks. Among them were the Kagans.
How about Greg “Three Cups of Deceit” Mortenson?
The members, who were not paid by the military, stayed in Kabul for six weeks in an advisory role modeled after a similar team Petraeus convened in 2007 to evaluate the war in Iraq.
The Afghan assessment struck an alarming tone that helped McChrystal make his case for a troop surge, which Obama eventually authorized.
The Kagans should have been thrilled, but they soon grew concerned.
They thought McChrystal’s headquarters was not providing enough information to them about the state of the war. The military began to slow-roll their requests to visit Afghanistan. In early 2010, they wrote an e-mail to McChrystal, copying Petraeus, that said they “were coming to the conclusion that the campaign was off track and that it was not going to be successful,” Fred Kagan said.
To some senior staff members in McChrystal’s headquarters, the e-mail read like a threat: Invite us to visit or we will publish a piece saying the war is lost.
Worried about the consequences of losing the Kagans, McChrystal authorized the trip, according to the staff members.
Fred Kagan said the message was not intended to pressure McChrystal, though he acknowledged, “I imagine that Stan didn’t appreciate receiving an e-mail like that.”
Indeed, McChrystal did not, according to the staff members. After an initial meeting in the headquarters, McChrystal asked his aides to leave the room and he proceeded to voice his displeasure to the Kagans.
After their trip, which lasted about two weeks, the Kagans penned a piece for the Wall Street Journal. “Military progress is steadily improving dynamics on the ground,” they wrote.
“We obviously came away with . . . a more nuanced view that persuaded us that we were incorrect in the assessment that we had gone in with,” Fred Kagan said in the interview.
Wielding the op-ed pen
When the couple returned to Kabul in late June 2010, they planned to stay for eight days. McChrystal had just been fired by Obama, and Petraeus was heading over to take charge of the war. They expected to meet with Petraeus, who had become a good friend, and then stick to their agenda of touring bases in the south. ..
The Defense Department permits independent analysts to observe combat operations, but the practice became far more common when Petraeus became the top commander in Iraq. He has said that conversations with outside specialists helped to shape his strategic thinking.
The take-home benefit was equally significant: When the opinion makers returned home, they inevitably wrote op-eds, gave speeches and testified before Congress, generally imparting a favorable message about progress under Petraeus, all of which helped him sell the war effort and expand his popularity.
Other commanders soon caught on. By the time the Kagans arrived in Kabul in June 2010, it was commonplace for think-tankers and big-name columnists to make seven-to-10-day visits once or twice a year. Two analysts from the Council on Foreign Relations, Max Boot and Stephen Biddle, were in Afghanistan at the same time at the invitation of Petraeus.
Petraeus asked the four to remain for a month to six weeks. Boot and Biddle couldn’t stay that long, but the Kagans were game, even though they had packed for only a short trip.
Petraeus called them his “directed telescopes” and urged them to focus on the challenge of tackling corruption and building an effective government in Afghanistan, a task they addressed with gusto.
“Petraeus relied on the Kagans for a fresh set of eyes . . . because he didn’t have the same nuanced understanding of Afghanistan that he had of Iraq,” a former aide to Petraeus said.
Islam-blind leading the Islam-blind.
When the Kagans told Petraeus they had planned a vacation in August, he urged them to go ahead. But, Kim Kagan said, “he demanded that we return.”
What a weak commander.
Higher security clearance
http://www.dianawest.net/Home/tabid/36/EntryId/2347/Benghazi-White-Out.aspx The “independent” Benghazi Report has concluded the White House remained in the dark. — The Benghazi Report is out and it’s official: President Obama, SecState Hillary Clinton, CIA Director Petraeus all had nothing to do with the US government response to the attack on the US mission in Benghazi. Indeed, the names Obama, Clinton, [...]
THE VERB CHUCK….AS DEFINED:
a. To throw or toss: chucked stones into the water.
b. Informal To throw out; discard: chucked my old sweater.
c. Informal To force out; eject: chucking out the troublemakers.
SO I SAY CHUCK HAGEL…..RSK
http://www.jewishpress.com/news/judeophobia-asks-why-do-they-hate-jews/2012/12/19/ For those tired of hearing that Jews are in danger and that Israel-hatred is only the latest form of Jew-hatred, this movie, Unmasked Judeophobia: the Threat to Civilization is for you. That’s right, those really are the people who need to see this movie, but they need to see it only if they are [...]