http://pjmedia.com/spengler/2013/05/05/syria-attack-shows-theres-no-alternative-to-neutralizing-iran/?print=1 There’s only one way to cut the Gordian Knot of regional conflict in the Middle East, and that is to de-fang Iran–destroy its capacity to make nuclear weapons and destroy the bases of the Revolutionary Guard. Israel’s reported strike on a stockpile of Iranian missiles near Damascus overnight highlights the extent of Iran’s military […]
Shame of a Nation
No matter what happens with Darrell Issa’s congressional committee meetings this week, we are witnessing the beginning of the end of the Obama administration, and the cause is Benghazi. It’s impossible to overestimate the blowback that has been gathering steam for the past seven months, now about to erupt with full force. Few reputations will emerge unscathed, Obama’s presidency will be crippled, Hillary Clinton‘s 2016 candidacy will be destroyed — and perhaps some new heroes will be born.
My New York Post column on Friday, which was also linked at RealClearPolitics, sets the stage:
On Wednesday, the FBI released photos of three men present at the deadly jihadist attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya; the bureau has asked the Libyans’ help in identifying them.
Which nicely highlights the fact that it’s been more than seven months since Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other brave Americans were killed — and yet there’s been no justice, nor even vengeance, in the matter.
Nor much exposure: We know little more today than we did in the immediate aftermath of the fiasco.
That’s because, right from the jump, the administration has been lying through its teeth about what happened on the night of Sept. 11, 2012 — the eleventh anniversary of 9/11, as it happens. It transparently lied about the Mohammad video, threw the scapegoated filmmaker in jail (where, last time I looked, he still is), and convened a bogus “accountability” board to whitewash the whole damn thing so as not to disrupt the precious Narrative that Osama was dead and al-Qaeda was on the run.
It was all a lie, of course, and some of us knew it at the time. I wrote about it repeatedly on the Post’s Op-Ed page: you can find examples here, here and here. In this case, however, what happened in Benghazi, Foggy Bottom, the White House, and the Obama re-election campaign headquarters in Chicago was (as the saying going) worse than a crime: it was a blunder. And that blunder may now bring down the man who never should have been president in the first place, for grotesque dereliction of his duty as commander-in-chief:
Indeed, the State Department’s Inspector General is now investigating the Accountability Review Board that reported on Benghazi in December, Fox News reported yesterday. What Fox called “well-placed sources” say the IG is trying to find out if the State panel failed to interview key witnesses who’d come forward.
In fact, Washington power attorney Victoria Toensing — a Reagan-era deputy assistant attorney general with a strong background in intelligence work — says she’s got a whistle blower inside State who’s itching to go public.
But so far she’s been stymied by officials who won’t act on her request for a security clearance so she can deal with classified material the case entails. Other attorneys for as many as three other potential witnesses from inside State and CIA say they’re having the same problem.
In fact, some whistleblowers allege that they’ve been threatened with reprisals should they come forward — even though federal law explicitly protects whistleblowers.
At his Monday press conference, President Obama shrugged off questions about all this, saying, “I’m not familiar with this notion that anybody has been blocked from testifying.”
There’s another lie — this one of Nixonian quality. From the moment Obama learned of the attack on the Benghazi compound — learned in part from Ambassador Stevens’ frantic phone calls to Washington, begging for help — what did he do? He went to bed early and flew off to Las Vegas in the morning for a campaign appearance; after all, first things first. And since Barry’s only real function in this administration is as its frontman/pitchman, he was only doing what he does best.
He’ll be aware soon enough. Next week, the House Oversight Committee, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa (R.-Calif.), will open new hearings on Benghazi — and they could be explosive. He promises to expose new information the administration “has tried to suppress.”
Issa — who previously held the administration’s feet to fire over the still-unresolved Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal — has twice requested guidelines from State, but a department spokesman recently denied that any whistleblowers have come forward and scoffed at reports that they’ve been intimidated.
In fact, word is that some of the whistleblowers may testify that help in the form of a rapid-response force was only hours away — but, for whatever reason, was not authorized.
Hillary, about to find out what difference it makes.
This is going to be a significant test for Issa, who spearheaded the Fast and Furious investigation but wound up frustrated and impotent, unable to get the truth out of Eric Holder et al., although he did managed to get the attorney general cited for contempt of Congress. The Southern California congressman had better bring his A game and his best fastball as he goes up against seasoned prevaricators like Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state whom the late Bill Safire once memorably called — in the pages of the New York Times, no less — a “congenital liar.” In fact, what Safire, writing about Whitewater and other Clinton scandals, said back in 1996 is worth revisiting:
Americans of all political persuasions are coming to the sad realization that our First Lady — a woman of undoubted talents who was a role model for many in her generation — is a congenital liar.
Drip by drip, like Whitewater torture, the case is being made that she is compelled to mislead, and to ensnare her subordinates and friends in a web of deceit…
Therefore, ask not “Why didn’t she just come clean at the beginning?” She had good reasons to lie; she is in the longtime habit of lying; and she has never been called to account for lying herself or in suborning lying in her aides and friends.
http://acdemocracy.org/?utm_source=The+Cost+of+Refusing+to+Call+a+Terrorist+a+Terrorist&utm_campaign=ACD%2FEWI+BLOG&utm_medium=email The president of the United States is jeopardizing national security with his public and his executive team’s cutting the umbilical cord of jihadist terrorism to Islam. By refusing to identify the terrorists as a part, however pernicious, of the overall Muslim community, he makes it difficult if not impossible for the kind of […]
http://us4.campaign-archive1.com/?u=11002b90be7384b380b467605&id=c06ce0a483&e=50abfffa13 A thorough analysis of the Gang of Eight bill’s enforcement and compliance provisions by the Center for Immigration Studies finds serious flaws which will have public safety, national security, and enforcement implications. The extent of the problem is often hidden by S.744’s deceptive language; it contains misleading subtitles which mask the rewards and protection […]
http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3703/fourth-great-war The clear implication is that regardless of what members of the Syrian opposition say to the U.S. to win our support, their long-term aims may be incompatible with ours. The announcement by Secretary of Defense Hagel that the United States will “rethink all options” including arming Syrian rebel groups, was carefully hedged. “It doesn’t […]
A former Democratic national security official who admitted to stealing and destroying sensitive federal documents is supporting Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s bid for Virginia governor.
According to the Virginia Public Access Project, former White House national security adviser Samuel “Sandy” Berger donated $500 to McAuliffe’s campaign on March 12.
Berger pleaded guilty in 2005 to a misdemeanor after admitting to intentionally removing and destroying classified documents about the Clinton administration’s national security policies from the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
He was given a $50,000 fine and sentenced to 100 hours of community service, according to CNN. The Washington Post called the controversy “an embarrassing episode during which [Berger] repeatedly misled people about what happened.”
Berger was also forced to resign as a top foreign policy adviser to then-Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry in 2004 when the allegations came to light.
McAuliffe, who was the chairman of the Democratic National Committee at the time, suggested political motivations were behind the release of the information.
In this year’s Virginia governor’s race, both party nominees are airing warm ads about family right now. GOP Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has been accused of lacking warmth. But that’s nothing next to what Buzzfeed dug up in former DNC chair Terry McAuliffe’s 2007 memoir “What A Party!”
Andrew Kaczynski offered a story where McAuliffe went to a Washington Post party while his wife was in the hospital preparing to have a baby. Somehow, this slipped past the Post itself when it reviewed the book in 2007:
I made the rounds at the party and ran into Marjorie Williams, who was writing a story on me for Vanity Fair, magazine. She was shocked to see me at the party. ‘Isn’t Dorothy having a baby today?’ she asked. ‘That’s right,’ I said, ‘but she threw me out the room.’ Marjorie just couldn’t understand how I left Dorothy alone.
In the book, McAuliffe also confessed to going briefly into a fundraiser on the way home from the birth of his son Peter, with his wife starting to cry in the car. But here’s how the Washington Post book review by Peter Baker went in 2007:
At the very least, there is one totally true statement in Terence R. McAuliffe’s new memoir: “This is my book,” he writes, “and obviously I’ve done my best to make myself look good.”
Maybe not! The Post book review found time to end on with a McAuliffe anecdote where Barbra Streisand hates dogs and wanted no dogs to sniff for explosives or trouble on her estate before Bill Clinton arrived. She was told no dogs, no Bill. She relented, but then screamed at McAuliffe when she stepped in doggy poo. This anecdote made the paper, but not the WashPost party story.
It drew some notice now — at least on a Washington Post blog. At “She the People,” the headline was “Terry McAuliffe partied (and argued about health care) while his wife gave birth.” Diana Reese argued, “Maybe Virginia’s voters will find Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe’s dedication to work admirable, but I’m glad he’s not my husband.”
She added a third story that when his son Jack was being born, he got thrown out of the room after having a political argument:
“[W]hile poor Dorothy was in labor with their son Jack, McAuliffe got into “a heated argument” with the anesthesiologist and the obstetrician.
The anesthesiologist asked McAuliffe if he wanted socialized medicine. (I guess we can blame the doctor for starting this discussion.) In his book, McAuliffe writes, “‘Of course not,’ I said. ‘However, there are thirty-seven million uninsured people in this country with no access to health care. Is that fair?’” He admits that he was “almost shouting” at this point.
Then the nurse kicked him out.
ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Fighting pneumonia and rotavirus. Israel marked “International Week for Encouraging Vaccinations” by announcing that the Prevnar vaccination introduced in 2009 had reduced annual cases of pneumonia by 70%. The rotavirus vaccine, added in 2010, has reduced gastrointestinal illness in children by 60%.
The reason for infection. A group of researchers from the Hadassah Medical Organization has located a gene that explains the reason for recurrent life threatening infections and the bone marrow failure in children.
Stopping the super bug. Israeli hospitals have imposed a strict set of procedures to prevent the spread of the super-bug MRSA. Isolation wards, dedicated staff, mandatory hand-washing and daily reports have cut the incidence of the bacteria by over 70 per cent.
Hadassah opens new center for pediatric vascular defects. Ten percent of babies are born with vascular defects, of which most are incorrectly diagnosed and can be life threatening. With the opening of a new unit in Jerusalem at Hadassah Medical Center, these children no longer need to be sent abroad for this type of surgery.
The doctor will always be with you. Israel’s Elad Systems has developed a smart-phone app to enable doctors at Tel Hashomer’s Sheba Medical Center to view the medical files of patients in real time. It will show data on hospitalization, operations, clinic visits, medical tests, prescriptions and sensitivities to help speed diagnosis.
Israel hosts Biogerontology congress. Three Israelis invented the science of Biogerontology (the study of longevity and the aging process) some 40 years ago. Recently, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev hosted the eighth European Congress of Biogerontology — the first time this event was held in Israel.
First Israeli operation to separate conjoined twins. Doctors at Haifa’s Rambam hospital performed one of the most difficult surgical procedures possible. Although one twin was not viable and was stillborn, the other is now fighting for its life. There have been only 150 cases of similarly conjoined twins in the last 126 years.
Amnesty for illegal aliens will hit five states hardest: California, Texas, New Jersey, Florida and Nevada. Those are the states with some of the highest percentages of illegal aliens. Amnesty, as noted by Senator Jeff Sessions, may not immediately put illegal aliens on the Federal dole, but it will immediately put them on the state and city dole.
(And since states and cities get Federal funding for their social welfare spending, in practice the Federal government will be providing billions in social welfare spending for illegal aliens very quickly.)
Texas has the financial reserves to survive amnesty, for now. (An oil industry doesn’t provide that much of a hedge. Mexico has oil too.) But California does not.
California is already circling the drain. Its real hole is already somewhere between 150 billion and 300 billion (despite the glowing media stories on how Jerry Brown balanced the budget and turned the state around.)
California has 12 percent of the nation’s population but 34 percent of its welfare population. It is third in per capita welfare spending. And while a lot of illegal aliens are already cashing in, those numbers will jump in a big way after amnesty.
New Jersey is surprisingly second on the list. It has high unemployment and a 71 billion dollar hole. It also has a 6.2 percent illegal alien population and its welfare spending is close behind California. Like California, New Jersey is sharply divided between overburdened homeowners and a welfare population of miniature Detroits. And illegal amnesty will leave it in bad shape.
The news isn’t good in Florida either. Few states are prepared to absorb a large surplus population that will take more than it contributes and cost more than it earns.
And while the Amnesty Gang claim that illegal aliens won’t go on welfare after amnesty, they will. It will just be more indirect.
A hacker compromised a U.S. Army database that holds sensitive information about vulnerabilities in U.S. dams, according to a news report.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ National Inventory of Dams contains information about 79,000 dams throughout the country and tracks such information as the number of estimated deaths that could occur if a specific dam failed. It’s accessible to government employees who have accounts. Non-government users can query the database but cannot download data from it.
The breach occurred in January, according to the Free Beacon, a nonprofit online publication, which first published the news.
Pete Pierce, a spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers, did not return a call from Wired but confirmed to the Free Beacon that the breach occurred.
“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is aware that access to the National Inventory of Dams (NID), to include sensitive fields of information not generally available to the public, was given to an unauthorized individual in January 2013 who was subsequently determined to not to have proper level of access for the information,” Pierce said in a statement to the publication. “[U.S. Army Corps of Engineers] immediately revoked this user’s access to the database upon learning that the individual was not, in fact, authorized full access to the NID.”
The Corps of Engineers announced on its website that account usernames and passwords had since changed “to be compliant with recent security policy changes.”
All users had been sent an e-mail notification to this effect, which apparently told them that their account username had been changed to their e-mail address and included the new password in plaintext that the Corps did not ask users to change.
“When logging into the site with your new password for the first time, it is highly recommended that you copy/paste your password from the email you received rather than manually typing the password,” the notice on the website reads.
Although the website provides links to reset the password if a user forgets it, the links were not working when Wired visited the site.