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September 2017

Did Susan Rice Spy on Trump Officials for Muslim Brotherhood? Daniel Greenfield

After months of denials, the pretext for Susan Rice’s eavesdropping on Trump officials has finally been made public. It had been widely known that Obama’s former National Security Adviser had contrived to unmask the names of top Trump officials who had been spied on by the administration. And the same media that still treats Watergate as the Great American Scandal had claimed that there was nothing “improper” in an Obama loyalist eavesdropping on members of the opposition party.

Every time Obama Inc. was caught eavesdropping on opposition politicians, it presented its spin in a carefully packaged “scoop” to a major media outlet. This time was no different.

When Obama Inc. spied on members of Congress to protect its Iran nuke sellout, it packaged the story to the Wall Street Journal under the headline, “U.S. Spy Net on Israel Snares Congress”. The idea was that Obama Inc. was “legitimately” spying on Israel, that it just happened to intercept the conversations of some members of Congress and American Jews, and that the eavesdropping somehow meant that its victims, Jewish and non-Jewish, rather than its White House perpetrators, should be ashamed.

The White House had demanded the conversations between Prime Minister Netanyahu, members of Congress and American Jews because it “believed the intercepted information could be valuable to counter Mr. Netanyahu’s campaign.” This was domestic surveillance carried out under the same pretext as in the Soviet Union which had also accused its dissident targets of secretly serving foreign interests.

Obama and his minions had used the NSA to spy on Americans opposed to its policies. Including members of Congress. They did this by conflating their own political agenda with national security.

Since Obama’s spin was that the Iran Deal was good for national security, opponents of it were a “national security” threat.

And its fig leaf for domestic surveillance was that a “foreign leader” was involved.

Now get ready for a flashback.

Susan Rice’s excuse for unmasking the names of top Trump officials in the Obama eavesdropping effort was that they were meeting with the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates. The carefully packaged CNN story, which reeks of the Goebbelsian media manipulations of “Obama whisperer” Ben Rhodes, tries to clumsily tie the whole thing to the Russians. But for once it’s not about Russia. It’s about Islam.

The UAE has become best known for being the first regional Muslim oil state to turn against the Muslim Brotherhood and the entire Arab Spring enterprise. It helped mobilize opposition to the Qatari agenda. The ultimate outcome of that effort was that Egypt was stabilized under a non-Islamist president and the Islamist takeover in Libya is looking rather shaky. The Saudi coalition against Qatar, the sugar daddies of Hamas, Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood, has its origins in that effort.

When Obama Inc. spied on members of Congress before, it was to protect Iran. This time around, the gang that couldn’t spy straight was trying to protect the Muslim Brotherhood. The Iran Deal was never about stopping Iran’s nuclear program. It certainly does not do that. Nor was it ever meant to do it.

Instead the real goal of the Iran negotiations was a diplomatic arrangement with the Islamic terror state. The fruits of that arrangement can be seen from Beirut to Baghdad. They are written in blood and steel across Syria, Israel and Yemen. And that arrangement had to be protected at all costs.

Even if it meant spying on Americans. Even if it meant spying on members of Congress.

Did Susan Rice Lie, Again? The former Obama administration national-security adviser doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt. By David French

Let’s begin with a brief flashback. On March 22, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes conducted a bizarre press conference on White House grounds. His claim? That Obama-administration officials had monitored members of the incoming Trump administration as part of routine surveillance of foreign officials.

The whole episode was strange enough that it ultimately led Nunes to recuse himself from the Russia probe. After all, he’d gone to White House grounds to “brief” the president on information he’d obtained from the White House. He did so without sharing that information with his committee and as part of a transparent effort to help the Trump administration muddle through one of its many self-imposed public firestorms. (In March, Trump had tweeted claims that Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower before the election.) In short, he did the wrong thing the wrong way.

But that didn’t mean that all of Nunes’s claims were wrong. He asserted that he’d seen evidence that Obama administration officials had “unmasked,” or disclosed in intelligence reports, the identities of Trump officials who met or communicated with representatives of foreign governments and that “none of this surveillance was related to Russia.” These were serious claims, and while they may not involve criminal behavior (“unmasking” isn’t a criminal offense), it would be highly improper — corrupt, even — to abuse America’s national-security resources for partisan political advantage.

Former national-security adviser Susan Rice was at the center of the storm, accused of making a vast number of unmasking requests. What was her response? On the very day of Nunes’s press conference she said, “I know nothing about this. I was surprised to see reports from Chairman Nunes on that count today.”

Here’s the video:

Over time, however, her story evolved. She later clarified that she was simply saying that she didn’t know “what reports Nunes was referring to.” In April she said she never did anything “untoward with respect to the intelligence” she received. So, what was the truth? Did she “know nothing” or did she do nothing “untoward”? Those aren’t the same statements, and the differences matter.

Let’s flash forward to yesterday. Lost amidst the news of the Trump “deal” with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer was this little scoop from CNN:

Former national security adviser Susan Rice privately told House investigators that she unmasked the identities of senior Trump officials to understand why the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates was in New York late last year, multiple sources told CNN.

Allegedly, the meeting happened before the UAE tried to “facilitate a back-channel” between Russia and Trump transition officials. The story continues:

The Obama administration felt misled by the United Arab Emirates, which had failed to mention that Zayed was coming to the United States even though it’s customary for foreign dignitaries to notify the US government about their travels, according to several sources familiar with the matter. Rice, who served as then-President Obama’s national security adviser in his second term, told the House Intelligence Committee last week that she requested the names of the Americans mentioned in the classified report be revealed internally, a practice officials in both parties say is common.

Why Trump Is Right and the Experts Are Still Wrong about the Iran Deal Iran is technically in compliance with its weak terms, which tells us why the deal was a historic blunder. By Jonathan S. Tobin

The experts all agree. They are very nervous about the Trump administration’s continued dithering about whether it will again certify Iran’s compliance in the nuclear deal. As the New York Times helpfully pointed out in an article about a joint letter signed by what we are told is a list of 80 of the world’s leading authorities on nuclear nonproliferation, the experts believe that Trump’s inclination to ditch the deal (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA) has nothing to do with “the merits” of the question.

Much of his national-security team reportedly seeks to persuade Trump to keep the deal, despite his publicly expressed belief that it is a mistake. But the letter from the experts should make him doubly suspicious of their arguments.

Among the many factors that led to Trump’s unexpected victory last November was a deep and abiding skepticism among many voters about the wisdom of experts. To his supporters, Trump, the ultimate non-expert on most policy issues, had the savvy to do the right thing even on topics to which neither he nor they had ever previously given much serious thought. While that cynicism is not always wise, the groupthink in the foreign-policy establishment and among nonproliferation professionals is proof that Trump’s instincts are not always wrong.

Like the International Atomic Energy Agency and the other five nations that signed the JCPOA, the 80 experts say that Iran has been complying with its terms. They worry that ditching the deal because of “unsupported contentions of Iranian cheating” would cancel out the deal’s main achievement, which is “reducing the risk” of Tehran’s getting a bomb. They insist that whatever complaints the U.S. might have about Iranian behavior since the deal went into effect are irrelevant because the whole point of the negotiation was to focus solely on the nuclear-proliferation issue and nothing else. They predict that a Trump decision to blow up the deal will only lead to Iran’s resuming nuclear activity and will make it impossible for the international community to do anything about it.

Trump should ignore their arguments and those inside the administration who are echoing them. It’s wise to have some skepticism about experts’ opinions; their consensus can have little to do with achieving the goals they’re tasked with accomplishing. But the problem is not only that the deal was a bad one. It’s also that plenty of experts place more value on diplomacy per se — getting a piece of paper signed and then defending its value — than on the conviction that diplomacy will stop Iran from getting a bomb.

The agencies that monitor the deal all agree that Iran has kept to its terms. But their certification of Iran’s compliance vindicates Obama’ critics, who warned that once in the deal was in place, the signatories’ desire to preserve it would lead them to ignore a host of small violations. Over the past three years, the IAEA and Washington have routinely ignored reports about a variety of problems, including obstruction of inspections, illegal attempts to purchase nuclear and missile technology, and exceeding the limits on uranium enrichment and production of heavy water.

Viewed in isolation, each violation is insufficient to justify threatening Iran with new sanctions or an end to the deal. So the signatories ignore or rationalize the infractions. In the negotiations that led to the deal, Obama and the secretary of state jettisoned their demand that Iran end its nuclear program and stop advanced nuclear research, and that it concede it had no right to enrich uranium, They always saw getting an agreement on any terms as more important than the details. The same applies to keeping it in place despite multiple violations.

That’s why the arms-control community wound up endorsing a deal that did not put an end to the Iranian threat; at best, it kicked the can down the road for a few years on proliferation.

The Chuck and Nancy Amnesty

President Trump had dinner Wednesday night with Chuck and Nancy, as he familiarly calls the Democratic leaders he apparently hopes will become his new governing partners.

Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi left the repast and promptly announced that they had reached a deal with the president over codifying DACA. According to the Democrats, they had agreed with the president to seek legislation that would provide amnesty for illegal immigrants once covered under DACA in exchange for unspecified border-security measures, but not funding for “the wall.” Trump denied there was actually a deal, but confirmed the basic structure of a prospective agreement. According to Trump, DACA will be reinstituted in exchange for “massive” and “extreme” new border security, but not funding for the wall.

Who knows what will ultimately come of this, but it’s not encouraging. Since announcing the end of DACA, Trump has signaled that merely writing its provisions in legislation would constitute a triumph. But the point of rescinding DACA was not just to enshrine it into law via constitutional means (which is certainly better than the alternative). The point was also to extract concessions from Democrats that would create a better immigration system and cushion the effect of the amnesty. Almost from the beginning, Trump has undermined his own leverage and made this less likely.

As we’ve argued repeatedly, a sensible deal isn’t hard to discern. The problem with any amnesty is that it serves as a magnet for new illegal immigrants, and its recipients could become the next link in chain migration if granted legal status or especially citizenship. Pairing an amnesty for so-called Dreamers with some combination of a mandatory E-Verify for new hires and portions of the RAISE Act that will reduce chain migration would directly address the negative consequences of codifying a version of DACA.

The legislation that Trump, Schumer, and Pelosi are talking about would likely do neither. Trump wouldn’t even get funding for his signature border wall. (The wall is largely symbolism, and a trade of a permanent amnesty for some one-time funding for the wall would be a bad deal.) The parameters of this agreement appear to be about what you would expect from a negotiation between Schumer and Pelosi on one hand and Trump on the other. The Democrats are opposed to any meaningful tightening of the immigration system — they want to go in the opposite direction — while Trump has been a restrictionist, although one not well-versed in the policy implications of that position, to put it mildly.

We hope that the White House realizes what a mistake this deal would be, and failing that, that the Republican congressional leadership, with a push from immigration hawks, puts the kibosh on it and demands something better. Whatever Trump might think, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi aren’t his friends, and certainly aren’t the friends of sound immigration policy.

What’s the Matter with Germany?, Part II By Robert Curry

In my recent article, “What’s the Matter with Germany?” I argued that under the leadership of Germany, “Europe is committing ‘suicide by Islam.’” Adolf Hitler imagined a Thousand-Year Reich, with Germany dominating Europe and the globe. Today, Germany’s rulers imagine a multicultural world, where Germany and other European nations no longer exist.https://amgreatness.com/2017/09/14/whats-matter-germany-part-ii/

This does not represent an about-face from Germany’s imperial tendencies. It is, rather, just a new expression of it. The Germans tried to destroy Europe twice in recent history. Is it so surprising that Germans are welcoming an invasion that is on track to accomplish what Germany failed to do?

It’s very strange. Western history began with the account by Herodotus of the Greeks’ heroic resistance to the invading Persians. Today, Germany is bullying Europe to yield to an ongoing Muslim invasion. The Germans are welcoming the invaders, and Europe is abandoning its 2,500 year project of defending itself from Eastern conquerors.

Though strange, this is understandable, if one first understands Germany. I believe most Americans assume Germany is a Western nation like any other. The narrative would go something like this: Hitler was an unfortunate and tragic anomaly. He was a spellbinder with fantastical rhetorical powers that played on Germany’s historical resentments, and during his time he actually did manage to “fundamentally transform” Germany, changing it into the Hitler nightmare. Since Hitler has exited the scene, however, and the ravages of the Cold War are in the rearview mirror, Germany has returned to being a more-or-less normal Western nation.

But if this version of Germany’s story is true, why is Germany again bullying Europe, this time to yield to the Muslim invasion?

In my previous article I wrote that the Germans emerged from the Enlightenment era as the counter-Enlightenment people. This is not to deny any of the intellectual achievements of the German people. German music during the Enlightenment era, the time of Bach and Mozart, reached a peak which may never be equalled. And Germany’s achievements in science, mathematics, and technology have been of the first order. But in philosophy and especially political philosophy, the definite break between Germany and the rest of the West cannot be denied. Instead of being a part of the ongoing Enlightenment concerning the natural and political rights of man—a project started in England and taken up by America (with much success) and by France (with mixed results)—Germany was the heartland of the rejection of these ideas.

Romanticism, the 19th-century intellectual movement that gave the era after the Enlightenment its name, may be understood in shorthand as a rejection of Enlightenment thinking. And it started in Germany. The German thinkers who opposed the Enlightenment project loomed over 19th and 20th centuries. Hegel, Marx, and Nietzsche are perhaps the most influential of these thinkers.

As I have argued, politically, the Enlightenment project was all about rights. But German intellectuals would have none of it. Hegel rejected individual rights and exalted the state. Marx rejected private property and the free market. Nietzsche exalted the will to power.

Unfortunately, German professors read—and worse yet, revered—those German thinkers and taught that reverence to their students. No one understood better than F. A. Hayek how this played out. Hayek, who won the Nobel Prize in economics, was one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century. Here is what he wrote about the situation in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century:

For more than seventy years the German professors of political science, history, law, geography and philosophy eagerly imbued their disciples with a hysterical hatred of capitalism, and preached the war of “liberation” against the capitalistic West…At the turn of the century the immense majority of Germans were already radical supporters of socialism and aggressive nationalism. They were then already firmly committed to the principles of Naziism [before the term itself was invented].

German professors prepared the way for that charismatic leader who emerged after World War I to fill the role in German society made ready for him by the German intellectuals of the Romantic era.

Making space for missile defense The North Korean nuclear threat gives urgency to a satellite-based system Jed Babbin

The crisis Kim Jong-un’s regime has created worsens with each intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) it launches and every nuclear weapon it detonates. The North Koreans are neither begging for war, as U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said, nor are they trying to extort money from America. This is something different.

From the behavior of the Kim regime, it’s reasonable to conclude that it has convinced itself that with a force of nuclear-armed ICBMs capable of reaching America, it can deter us from intervening in wars of conquest against South Korea or even Japan. They may believe that faced with the choice of trading the incineration of Chicago for the safety of Seoul, an American president would not fight.

The only way to ensure the failure of such a strategy is to significantly strengthen our missile defenses.

Earlier this month the deputy director of our Missile Defense Agency, Rear Adm. Jon Hill, said that if our children ask about North Korea, we should tell them that we have the “strongest possible defense” to that threat right now. Well, no.

The best possible missile defense would improve on the fast launch detection we already have and match it with defensive weapons unlimited by ground-based deployments.

Sensors, such as our Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) satellites already give us near-instantaneous detection, but our ground- and sea-based defenses cover only limited areas. Moreover, they react slowly, sometimes having to go through layers of command to authorize a defensive missile launch. Worse still, even in tests under ideal conditions, they sometimes miss, as an Aegis SM-3 missile did in a test last month.

President Trump has promised that we’d spend billions more on missile defenses, but on which ones? Congress will, correctly, pass some small increase in missile defense funding directed at current systems. But there appears to be no serious intention to fund space-based systems.

The way a missile is launched and flies to its target or targets shows us why a space-based system is essential to defend against threats such as that posed by North Korea.

If North Korea launched a missile today, its engines would expel gases burning at about 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit, roughly double the temperature natural gas burns on your kitchen stove. The burn would last about four minutes to propel the missile beyond Earth’s atmosphere. From space, the heat generated during that period is pretty easy to detect, and it would be.

Six SBIRS satellites are either in geosynchronous orbit (racing through space at the same speed the Earth turns to keep them “hovering” over a particular area) or in high elliptical orbits to cover the entire planet. SBIRS would detect the launch almost instantly.

The SBIRS birds would begin to track the missile and, with other satellites and ground-based sensors, quickly resolve its trajectory. Satellite operators would, within seconds, inform U.S. Strategic Command and alert missile defenses. SBIRS and other sensors quickly establish a track showing where the missile is going.

Liam Fox says UK and Israel have never been closer as Tel Aviv in London festival opens International Trade Secretary joins Israeli politicians and stars at launch of four-day celebration Jenni Frazer

“Dr Liam Fox (U.K. International Trade Secretary) announcing himself as “a very public and proud friend of Israel”, said that relations between the two countries had never been closer, and noted that after the Brexit referendum vote in June 2016, Israeli companies had “flocked” to the UK, “creating jobs and prosperity.” Tel Aviv, he said, was a “city that punches far above its weight”, both economically and culturally.”

More than 1,000 revellers packed out Camden Town’s Roundhouse arts complex on Thursday night for the gala opening of TLV in LDN, a four-day cultural festival bringing the best of Tel Aviv to the British capital.

Three years in the planning, the celebration of food, music, arts and fashion was the suggestion of then London mayor Boris Johnson to the former Israeli ambassador, Daniel Taub. As Marc Worth, chairman of the 2017 event, recalled, “The ambassador leapt at the opportunity”.

Ambassadors and politicians move on but the central concept remained, the possibility of bringing the Tel Aviv culture and spirit to London, the city with which — despite the weather — there is much in common.

And on hand to record and admire the connections between the two cities were Britain’s Liam Fox, Secretary of State for International Trade, Israel’s Gilad Erdan, currently the Israeli minister for public security, information and strategic affairs, and mayor of Tel Aviv, Ron Huldai.

The festival opening, hosted by Israel Channel Two’s Sharon Kidon, featured a gloriously tongue-in-cheek film of Israelis, miming to Matisyahu’s song, Sunshine. Every sort of Israeli citizen joined in this enterprise, from singing nuns to dancing builders, a welcome shot of “down-homeness” after an introductory appearance by the pianist, composer and conductor Gil Shohat.

Avishai Cohen’s jazz trio formed the backdrop for a parade of fashion models dressed in the latest creations by the now revived label, Maskit, the brand founded by the widow of Moshe Dayan, Ruth Dayan. Mrs Dayan is now over 90 and was unable to travel to London for the show; the label is now run by designers Sharon and Nir Tal, and is enjoying new success, with Maskit planning a trunk show in London in the next few months.

Top Israeli chef Shaul Ben Aderet, who runs three restaurants in Tel Aviv, offered a menu for the gala opening and is due to run hot ticket cooking workshops over the weekend.

Dr Fox, announcing himself as “a very public and proud friend of Israel”, said that relations between the two countries had never been closer, and noted that after the Brexit referendum vote in June 2016, Israeli companies had “flocked” to the UK, “creating jobs and prosperity.” Tel Aviv, he said, was a “city that punches far above its weight”, both economically and culturally.

Mr Erdan, among whose briefs is the combating of the boycott, chose to attack those who would delegitimise Israel on the cultural front. He expressed gratitude to the UK leadership which had made it plain that it rejected the boycott.

Among the Israeli artists due to take part in the festival were the band Infected Mushroom and the top international DJ, Guy Gerber. Also on the programme were singer Dana International, a Tel Aviv beach party and a “pianathon” featuring four different Israeli pianists playing classical, jazz, and pop music. The whole programme has been curated by Ori Gersht.

The Thought Police Strike Again by Giulio Meotti

“The new religion — featuring political correctness, cultural vandalism and censorship — is dismantling the West.”

This politically correct nonsense highlights even further the infantilization of our culture — such as the demand for “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings”. It may look like a comedy, but its effect is deadly serious.

Groupthink is a debilitating force. in any civilization. It undermines one’s ability to resist the real enemies of democracy and freedom: it makes us blind to radical Islam and jihadi terrorism, and it gives the impression that our society is a joke.

Instead of being intellectually diverse, universities are trying their utmost to impose homogeneity of thoughts and ideas. So-called “right wing newspapers” are banned from certain universities. Recently, at the City University of London, the student union, devoid of irony, fascistically voted to ban some conservative tabloids in order to “oppose fascism”.

Headlines every day proclaim the new religion: political correctness, cultural vandalism and censorship — not from Islamic emirates such as Saudi Arabia, but in Western cities right here.

The Writers Union of Canada, for instance, recently apologized for a magazine editorial that defended the right of novelists to create characters from a backgrounds other than their own.

Just think of that: a writer defending the right to use one’s imagination?! What an insult! At least, to “the new Stalinists” it is.

“In my opinion anyone, anywhere, should be encouraged to imagine other peoples, other cultures, other identities,” Hal Niedzviecki, who was the editor of the union’s magazine, Write, defended freedom in an editorial. The Union then announced that Niedzviecki had resigned.

Another journalist also fell victim to this new religion. Jonathan Kay also recently resigned as editor of the magazine The Walrus. Defending Niedzviecki’s right to use his imagination cost Kay his job.

Their unspeakable crime was, it appears, “cultural appropriation” — one of the new “groupthink” expressions that the theologian Paul Griffiths condemned as “illiberal and totalitarian”. Griffiths, too, had to resign from Duke University after criticizing his colleagues for a “diversity program” that “provides foundational training in understanding historical and institutional racism.”

Every revolution needs to master a new “language” to achieve uniformity of expression and thought. George Orwell, in 1984, called the replacement language “Newspeak”.

Cardiff Metropolitan University, one of the largest in Britain, compiled a list of 34 words that it “encouraged” teachers and students to stop using, and replaced them with “gender-neutral” terms. “Fireman” should be replaced by “firefighter”; “mankind” should be replaced by banned “humanity”, and so on. Princeton University also expunged the word “man” in its various uses, in favor of supposedly more “inclusive” expressions. City University of New York decided to ban “Mr.” and “Mrs.” California State University replaced commercial terms such as “businessman”, “mailman”, “manpower” and “salesman” to avoid that horrendous, forbidden word.

While at it, why not also purge Christianity’s religious language? Some of the most famous theological universities, such as Duke and Vanderbilt, invited professors and staff to use “inclusive” language even when they are referring to God, because the masculine pronouns are “a cornerstone of patriarchy”.

This politically correct nonsense highlights even further the infantilization of our culture — such as the demand for “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings”. It may look like comedy, but its effect is deadly serious. British philosopher Roger Scruton has said that a kind of “moral obesity” is crippling Western culture.

Groupthink is a debilitating force. in any civilization. It undermines one’s ability to resist the real enemies of democracy and freedom: it makes us blind to radical Islam and jihadi terrorism, and it gives the impression that our society is a joke.

Norway’s Bewildering Election by Bruce Bawer

Norway is the happy beneficiary of North Sea oil; yet for decades, oil profits have piled up a government fund while Norwegians have paid the highest gasoline prices in the world.

For years, Statistics Norway, the government agency charged with producing reliable data on every imaginable social and economic metric, has refused to make public certain “sensitive” information relating to Norway’s Muslim population, such as the actual numbers of immigrants entering the country through “family reunification.”

Is there any hope that a second Solberg government including FrP will accomplish any more in the way of curbing immigration than the first Solberg government did? At the moment, there seems little reason for hope.

Those of us who are concerned about Norway’s rapid Islamization took great hope from the 2013 parliamentary election. What mattered was not that it resulted in the formation of a right-wing coalition government. What mattered was that the coalition government, for the first time ever, included the Progress Party (FrP).

From its founding in 1973, FrP was an outlier among Norway’s major parties, of which there many. A quick survey: The Labor Party (Ap), the most powerful party during the postwar era, is the home of the cultural establishment; LO, Norway’s equivalent of America’s federation of trade unions, the AFL-CIO, is essentially a branch of Ap, and NRK, the government-owned broadcast corporation, is often described by critics as the voice of the Labor Party.

The other left-wing parties are the Socialist Left (SV) and Red parties, both of which are basically Communist, and the eco-alarmist Greens (MdG). The “bourgeois,” or supposedly non-socialist, parties include the Conservatives (H), for business people; the Christian People’s Party (KrF), for devout Christians; the Center Party (S), for farmers; and the Liberals (V). This division between socialist and non-socialist is something of a fiction: pretty much all of these parties support high taxes, big government, and the welfare state. Norway is the happy beneficiary of North Sea oil; yet for decades, oil profits have piled up a government fund while Norwegians have paid the highest gasoline prices in the world.

FrP, however, has always been different. It is the country’s closest thing to a classical liberal or libertarian party. It believes in individual liberty, the free market, low taxes, small government; it is strongly pro-American and pro-Israel; and it has long warned against the dangers of Muslim mass immigration. For all of these reasons, it has been routinely demonized by other parties and by the media, which depicted it, with breathtaking mendacity, as a gang of bigots, fascists, and right-wing extremists.

For a long time, the other parties vowed never to allow FrP into a government coalition or to work with it in any meaningful way. But after Carl I. Hagen, the firebrand who ran the party from 1978 to 2006, handed the reins to Siv Jensen, she strove to moderate the party’s image and woo other party leaders. As a result, after the 2013 election, the Conservatives invited FrP to form a coalition government, with support from the Liberals and KrF (the latter of which still refused to be a formal part of any government including FrP).

Those of us who had been wringing our hands over Muslim mass immigration cheered FrP’s rise to power. We braced for dramatic change in immigration and integration policy – among other things.


In Sir Henry Wotton’s famous formulation, an ambassador is a man sent to lie abroad for the good of his country. In the case of Susan Rice, a UN ambassador is a broad sent to lie to her country for the good of her man — President Obama. Happily, it worked. Nine months after going on five Sunday talk-shows and pinning Benghazi on some unseen YouTube video, Miss Rice was promoted to National Security Advisor. The Administration’s designated fall-guy, the director of that unseen video, was thrown in jail for a year, and now lives in a homeless shelter.

My own view of Benghazi has been consistent since my column of September 14th 2012, three days after the attack and two days before Susan Rice peddled to the nation an agreed story she and the President and the Secretary of State knew was utterly false. Unlike her September 16th TV appearances, my September 14th column still holds up:

As I say, I’m inclined to be generous, and put some of this down to the natural torpor and ineptitude of government. But Hillary Clinton and General Martin Dempsey are guilty of something worse, in the secretary of state’s weirdly obsessive remarks about an obscure film supposedly disrespectful of Mohammed and the chairman of the joint chiefs’ telephone call to a private citizen asking him if he could please ease up on the old Islamophobia.

Forget the free-speech arguments. In this case, as Secretary Clinton and General Dempsey well know, the film has even less to do with anything than did the Danish cartoons or the schoolteacher’s teddy bear or any of the other innumerable grievances of Islam. The 400-strong assault force in Benghazi showed up with RPGs and mortars: That’s not a spontaneous movie protest; that’s an act of war, and better planned and executed than the dying superpower’s response to it. Secretary Clinton and General Dempsey are, to put it mildly, misleading the American people when they suggest otherwise.

One can understand why they might do this, given the fiasco in Libya. The men who organized this attack knew the ambassador would be at the consulate in Benghazi rather than at the embassy in Tripoli. How did that happen? They knew when he had been moved from the consulate to a “safe house,” and switched their attentions accordingly. How did that happen? The United States government lost track of its ambassador for ten hours. How did that happen? Perhaps, when they’ve investigated Mitt Romney’s press release for another three or four weeks, the court eunuchs of the American media might like to look into some of these fascinating questions, instead of leaving the only interesting reporting on an American story to the foreign press.

But the court eunuchs never did take an interest, and it would be foolish to expect them to now. Nevertheless, if Washington had a healthy media culture, the Ben Rhodes email outlining the Administration’s four goals for Susan Rice’s telly marathon would be devastating:

*To convey that the United States is doing everything that we can to protect our people and facilities abroad;

*To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy;

*To show that we will be resolute in bringing people who harm Americans to justice, and standing steadfast through these protests;

*To reinforce the President and Administration’s strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges.

All four “goals” are bunk, but the second was an explicit lie.

Who was this colossus of Rhodes? He’s not part of the State Department or the “intelligence community”; Ben Rhodes was a political guy in the White House. And it was the political guys who called the shots, rather than the diplomats or spooks or military or anyone else who knew what actually happened that night in the Libyan town of Benghazi, as opposed to the stage-set “Benghazi” the White House constructed and dressed with lies. Rhodes & Co “politicized” Benghazi because that’s all these fellows know how to do:

To ‘politicize’ means ‘to give a political character to.’ It is a reductive term, capturing the peculiarly shrunken horizons of politics: ‘Gee, they nuked Israel. D’you think that will hurt us in Florida?’ So media outlets fret that Benghazi could be ‘bad’ for Obama — by which they mean he might be hitting the six-figure lecture circuit four years ahead of schedule. But for Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods, it’s real bad. They’re dead, over, gonesville. Given that Obama and Secretary Clinton refer to Stevens pneumatically as ‘Chris,’ as if they’ve known him since third grade, why would they dishonor the sacrifice of their close personal friend by peddling an utterly false narrative as to why he died? You want ‘politicization’? Secretary Clinton linked the YouTube video to the murder of her colleagues even as the four caskets lay alongside her at Andrews Air Force Base — even though she had known for days that it had nothing to do with it. It’s weird enough that politicians now give campaign speeches to returning coffins. But to conscript your ‘friend”s corpse as a straight man for some third-rate electoral opportunism is surely as shriveled and worthless as “politicization” gets.

In the vice-presidential debate, asked why the White House spent weeks falsely blaming it on the video, Joe Biden took time off between big toothy smirks to reply: ‘Because that was exactly what we were told by the intelligence community.’ That too is false.

That’s from my column of October 11th 2012, after an extraordinary month in which the three most senior figures grew ever more brazen in their dishonesty, President Obama shoring up his fake narrative by warning the UN General Assembly that the future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam. The future’s in no danger of belonging to him: that guy’s in a California jail cell. The night of September 11th in Benghazi didn’t belong to him, either – until Obama and Clinton decided he deserved the credit.

At 8:30 p.m., when Ambassador Stevens strolled outside the gate and bid his Turkish guest good night, the streets were calm and quiet. At 9:40 p.m., an armed assault on the compound began, well planned and executed by men not only armed with mortars but capable of firing them to lethal purpose — a rare combination among the excitable mobs of the Middle East. There was no demonstration against an Islamophobic movie that just got a little out of hand. Indeed, there was no movie protest at all. Instead, a U.S. consulate was destroyed and four of its personnel were murdered in one of the most sophisticated military attacks ever launched at a diplomatic facility.

This was confirmed by testimony to Congress a few days ago, although you could have read as much in my column of four weeks ago. Nevertheless, for most of those four weeks, the president of the United States, the secretary of state, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and others have persistently attributed the Benghazi debacle to an obscure YouTube video — even though they knew that the two events had nothing to do with each other by no later than the crack of dawn Eastern time on September 12, by which point the consulate’s survivors had landed safely in Tripoli.