The Taliban Got Back Their Terrorists – Now Castro Wants His By Humberto Fontova

It didn’t take long. Exactly two days after the announcement of the Berghal/Taliban-Five deal, Cuba’s Terror-Sponsoring (official classification by U.S. State Dept.) regime started clamoring for an Alan Gross/Cuban-Five deal.

Alan Gross is a Jewish American held hostage by the Castro regime since December 2009 when he was arrested while distributing computers and satellite phones to Cuba’s microscopic ( and mostly regime-collaborationist) Jewish community while on assignment for USAID (United States Agency for International Development.) After a “trial,” the Castro regime formally sentenced Gross to fifteen years in prison.

“The Cuban Five” are Cuban terrorist/ spies nabbed in south Florida in 1998 and convicted in U.S. federal courts of 26 counts of espionage along with conspiracy to commit murder– of three U.S. citizens. Two of the five communist spies have already had their sentences reduced and been returned to heroes’ welcomes in Cuba.

To add grotesque insult to Alan Gross’ injury, the very people he was attempting to help, “testified” against him in Castro’s kangaroo court almost en masse. You have to be very careful when entering a snake pit like Castro’s Cuba.

Alan Gross’ heart seemed in the right place, but the wisdom of his Cuban mission can be debated. The people he was trying to help—the few Jews who remained in Castro’s Cuba after over 90 per cent fled the communist revolution—were mostly old Bolsheviks who couldn’t bring themselves to break with the old time religion. As mentioned, they and their descendants did their duty to the Castro regime by ratting out Alan Gross during judicial procedures perfectly mimicking those presided over by Andrei Vishinsky during The Great Terror’s show trials.

“Et Tu Adela?” might have been gasped by the hapless Alan Gross during his trial. But we don’t know because his “trial” was closed to the (uncomplaining) press –from CNN to ABC from NBC to CBS from NPR to PBS– who infest Cuba. After all, these “gallant crusades for the truth!” (as Columbia school of Journalism hails it’s graduates) have plenty on their Cuban plates already, what with the vital tasks of transcribing the Stalinist regime’s steady flow of propaganda hand-outs and reporting such bombshell scoops as what Beyonce and Jay-Z wore on their Havana visit.

The Southern Poverty Law Center Stands Up for HamasPosted By Daniel Greenfield

Two years ago the Southern Poverty Law Center named me, a bar sign and a brand of gun lubricant as hate groups. It wasn’t the punch line to a joke about a Minister, a Rabbi and a Priest. Instead it was another tribute to the research skills of the country’s wealthiest, dumbest and laziest civil rights group.

Morris Dees began in the mail order business and ended up in the mail order civil rights business. Every month elderly retirees receive envelopes covered with pictures of Klansmen burning crosses. Those photos are the SPLC brand the way that the “swoosh” is for Nike and I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that Dees had already trademarked the KKK.

Their checks bulk up the Southern Poverty Law Center’s $245 million endowment, a few pennies from which are used to hire DailyKos diarists who turn out poorly researched attacks on “hate groups.” That might explain why “Casa D’Ice Signs,” the signs outside a Pennsylvania bar, continues to be listed under “Active Anti-Muslim Groups” by the SPLC despite two solid years of internet ridicule and mockery.

Left-wing cultural revolutionists have a loose definition of “hate,” but they can usually get the “groups” part right. The Southern Poverty Law Center can’t even do that.

With solid research like that, the SPLC’s latest Intelligence Report has everything you expect from an organization that lists a brand of gun lubricant as a hate group. There are random attacks on celebrities like former Homicide star Richard Belzer and former Saturday Night Live star Victoria Jackson. Belzer is deemed guilty of promoting JFK conspiracy theories and Jackson called the TV show Glee “sickening.”

It’s not exactly the KKK, and Belzer, who is Jewish, was unhappy to be implicitly associated him with the Nazis. “As a Jewish person whose grandfather represented Israel at the United Nations before it was a state and an uncle, who as a member of the Resistance, fought the Nazis in World War Two, I am deeply hurt and offended,” he wrote.

Philip Mudd Reviews: ‘Good Hunting’ by Jack Devine

A spy who funneled Stingers to the mujahedeen, helped hunt drug lord Pablo Escobar, and managed the turncoat Aldrich Ames.

Nearly two decades into Jack Devine’s career at the CIA, he was tasked with what was then the agency’s largest-ever covert program: the effort to aid the mujahedeen fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan. Should the agency take a huge risk by providing the Afghan fighters with sophisticated shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles? Mr. Devine and his colleagues decided that the answer was yes. He remembers walking into the CIA director’s office in 1986 with a report on the controversial introduction of hundreds of these Stingers. “Mr. Director,” he recalls saying, “we had a tremendous breakthrough yesterday. We deployed the Stinger and we shot down three helicopters.” Director William Casey, a passionate Cold Warrior, responded: “Jack, this changes it all, doesn’t it?”

“Good Hunting,” Mr. Devine’s memoir, is a refresher course on the breadth of America’s covert campaigns against the spread of Soviet influence and ideology, and Mr. Devine’s remarkable 32-year career is a microcosm of the secret thrust and counterthrust that defined those years. The son of a blue-collar, Irish-Catholic family from Philadelphia, Mr. Devine began at the CIA in the 1960s after reading a book about the agency and sending in a handwritten request for employment. He rose through the ranks, ultimately overseeing the entirety of the agency’s clandestine operations in the mid-1990s.

It seems that he was present at every major CIA operation. He served as a junior case officer in Chile during the 1973 coup that overthrew Salvador Allende’s government. Mr. Devine was active during the CIA’s operations against the Medellín cartel, chasing down the notorious Pablo Escobar at a time when drug violence appeared to be taking over Latin America. During the multiyear tug of war after the 1991 Haitian coup, Mr. Devine traveled to Port-au-Prince to meet the head of Haiti’s secret police. In a classic story of how behind-the-scenes intelligence relationships sometimes complement more public diplomatic efforts, Mr. Devine writes that he was sent by the White House to tell the police chief “to get out of town or the U.S. Government would be visiting him in full force.”


By 2024 there will be more than 40 million uninsured, roughly 10% more than today.

President Obama claims the debate over the Affordable Care Act is “over,” but in coming weeks and months expect it to intensify. Health-insurance companies will soon begin releasing preliminary rate estimates for next year’s plans. Industry experts say consumers should once again brace for significantly higher premiums.

Fearing the political fallout before November’s elections, the administration last month quietly increased by billions of dollars the “risk corridor” funds that insurance companies can use to staunch their losses.

Yet since premium growth has averaged at least 5% over the past five years, it is unlikely the law’s federal subsidies will increase enough to make up the difference in out-of-pocket premium costs. As this happens, lower- and even middle-income consumers will be forced out of the private insurance market. As my colleague at the Medical Industry Leadership Institute, Michael Ramlet, and I show in a paper published last month, the law’s structural problems will take years to fully manifest.

Using the 2014 health-insurance exchange enrollment data and a micro-simulation model funded in part by the Department of Health and Human Services, we estimate the national and state impact of the Affordable Care Act on insurance prices and enrollment from 2015-24. The average premium for an individual exchange health plan (Silver) will increase by $1,375 by 2019 while the average family premium for the same plan will increase by $4,198—outpacing the average increases from 2008 to 2013. Consumers who saw spikes in their health premiums last year will experience the same trauma this year. But the steepest price increases will not occur until 2017 and after, when three things happen.


Hillary Clinton is making the rounds promoting her new book, or, as our colleague Bret Stephens describes it, her “artifact containing printed words.” In an interview that aired last night, ABC’s Diane Sawyer “wondered if Americans would understand why [Mrs.] Clinton needs a speaking fee of $200,000, ‘five times the median income in this country for one speech,’ ” as the Washington Free Beacon reports.

Mrs. Clinton’s reply: “I thought making speeches for money was a much better thing than getting connected with any one group or company as so many people who leave public life do.”

The former first lady pleaded poverty: “We came out of the White House not only dead broke but in debt. . . . We struggled to, you know, piece together the resources for mortgages for houses, for Chelsea’s education, you know, it was not easy. . . . We had to make double the money, because of, obviously, taxes, and then pay off the debts and get us houses and take care of family members.”

There is some truth to this: According to the Associated Press: “[Mrs.] Clinton’s Senate financial disclosure forms, filed for 2000, show assets between $781,000 and almost $1.8 million. . . . The same form, however, showed that the Clintons owed between $2.3 million and $10.6 million in legal bills.”

In response, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus tells the AP: “Whether she was flat broke or not is not the issue. It’s tone deaf to average people.”

Yet there are some factual problems with Mrs. Clinton’s assertions. National Review’s Andrew Johnson notes a New York Times report from December 2000, more than a month before the end of Mr. Clinton’s term, that Mrs. Clinton had just inked a book contract with an $8 million advance.

That’s before agent fees and taxes, and even the gross amount is less than the upper estimate of the Clintons’ legal debt, so you can see why she might have felt it necessary to accept some speaking fees too. Only she couldn’t. By the time Mr. Clinton left office, Mrs. Clinton was already a U.S. senator, and Senate rules prohibit members from accepting honoraria (book fees are an exception). She didn’t start speaking for money until she left the secretary of state’s office. By that point the Clinton’s financial security was no longer in question.

Then again, who says the average American can’t relate to this sort of thing? Think of it this way: If somebody offered you $200,000 to give a speech, wouldn’t you take it? You may not be the average American, but we’ll bet she would too.

Pragmatism, Obama and the Bergdahl Swap-Caroline Glick

For nearly six years, Obama and his supporters have managed to fend off allegations that his foreign policy is even more ideological – and far more radical – than Bush’s by channeling the public’s aversion to pie-in-the-sky rhetoric and obfuscating facts.

US President Barack Obama is an artist of political propaganda. Both his greatest admirers and his most vociferous opponents agree that his ability to manipulate public opinion has no peer in American politics today.

So how can we explain the fiasco that is his decision not only to swap five senior Taliban terror masters for US Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, but to take ownership over the decision by presenting it to the American people in a ceremony with Bergdahl’s parents at the White House Rose Garden? Clearly Obama overreached. He misread the public’s disposition.

This much is made clear by the immediate criticism his actions received from the liberal media. It wasn’t just Fox News and National Review that said Obama broke the law when he failed to notify Congress of the swap 30 days prior to its implementation.

It was CNN and NBC News.

MSNBC commentators criticized the swap. And CNN interviewed Bergdahl’s platoon mates who to a man accused him of desertion, with many alleging as well that he collaborated with the enemy. It was CNN that gave the names of the six American soldiers who died trying to rescue Bergdahl from the Taliban.

What was it about the Bergdahl trade tipped the scales? Why is this decision different from Obama’s other foreign policy decisions? For instance, why is the public outraged now when it wasn’t outraged in the aftermath of the jihadist assault on US installations in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, in which US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were murdered? Politically, Obama emerged unscathed from failures in every area he has engaged. From Iraq to Iran to Syria to Libya to Russia and beyond, he has never experienced the sort of across the board condemnation he is now suffering. His political allies and media supporters always rallied to his side. They always explained away his failures.

So what explains the outcry? Why are people like Senator Dianne Feinstein, who have been supportive of Obama’s nuclear appeasement of Iran, up in arms over the Bergdahl swap? There are three aspects of the Bergdahl deal that distinguish it from the rest of Obama’s foreign policy blunders.

First, the Bergdahl deal was conducted in an unlawful manner and the White House readily acknowledged that it knowingly broke the law by not informing Congress 30 days in advance of the swap. This brazen lawbreaking angered Obama’s loyal allies in Congress who, like Feinstein, were insulted by his behavior.

Second, Obama initiated the story and made himself the sole owner of the swap.


Drowned out by diplo-speak
The 14th annual Herzliya Conference kicked off on Sunday, with esteemed members of the local and foreign political, military and business communities in attendance. This year’s three-day gathering, titled “Israel and the Future of the Middle East,” happened to take place on the heels of the formation of a Palestinian unity government that includes Hamas.

Within hours of the swearing in of the new government last Monday, the United States, the European Union and the United Nations welcomed the move with open arms. While quietly mumbling the need to make ongoing financial aid to the Palestinians conditional on a renouncement of terrorism, the international community shouted platitudes about the new opportunities for peace that internal Palestinian reconciliation has opened up.

Indeed, as the Herzliya Conference entered its first round of morning sessions, Rober Serry, the U.N.’s special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, was off in Gaza, pledging his organization’s ongoing support for the nascent Palestinian government. During his jaunt, he met with the freshly appointed ministers of women’s affairs, labor, public works, and housing and justice.

After warmly congratulating the four Hamas officials, Serry assured them that the U.N. was prepared to increase its cooperation and assistance in the “many practical challenges ahead.”

That evening, European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso delivered the keynote address at the Herzliya Conference. Comparing current strife in the Middle East to that of Europe in the past, he explained why it was necessary for everyone to endorse the new Palestinian government, and for Israel to make painful concessions.

“If we received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012, it was because the nations of Europe finally succeeded in breaking the vicious circle of military offensives and retaliation that was the driving force behind Europe’s history for ages,” he said.

Adam Kredo: Clinton Accuses Israel of Being Occupying Force See note please

Coming from a woman who would not condemn Boko Haram, who called Bashar Assad a “reformer”, who thinks of herself as a “feminist” but never uttered a single word about the child brides and the systemic oppression of women in the Moslem world, who would be surprised at her hard lies…..rsk

New book takes aim at Israel, angers pro-Israel community

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accuses Israel of being an occupying force in her new memoir Hard Choices and claims that the Jewish state denies “dignity and self determination” to Palestinians in the West Bank.

Clinton recalls being surprised by what she termed “life under occupation for the Palestinians,” according to the book.

Pro-Israel officials and insiders on Capitol Hill have called Clinton’s comments tone deaf and said that her claim that Israel is an occupying force reveals a bias against the Jewish state.

“When we left the city and visited Jericho, in the West Bank, I got my first glimpse of life under occupation for Palestinians, who were denied the dignity and self-determination that Americans take for granted,” Clinton writes.

Clinton’s comments demonstrate that she supports the Obama administration’s efforts to pressure and marginalize Israel, which current Secretary of State John Kerry recently accused of becoming an “apartheid state,” said one senior GOP Senate aide, who worked with Clinton when she was at the State Department.

“What we see here is the true Hillary Clinton, no longer muzzling herself for fear of reelection in New York or Senate confirmation fights—the woman who embraced Suha Arafat after smiling through anti-Semitic tirades,” said the former senior GOP Senate aide who for years battled Clinton’s State Department.

‘Hard Choices’ Hard to Swallow By Frank Salvato

My friend George had a sarcastic question he used to conjure up when someone said something completely out of sync with reality. “What color is the sky in your world?” This is the only thought that crossed my mind in hearing Hillary Clinton’s thoughts about the “most important thing” she has accomplished during her time jet-setting around the globe on the taxpayers dime, building-up her international diplomacy bona fides (something she lacked as a presidential candidate; a vulnerability in 2008) as US Secretary of State.

CNS News reports:

“In an interview on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition…NPR’s Renee Montagne asked, ‘Is there a single issue that in your time as secretary of state you feel you owned, just owned it?’

“Clinton said, ‘Oh absolutely, but the most important thing I did was to help restore America’s leadership around the world.’

“‘I think that was a very important accomplishment,’ Clinton said. ‘We were flat on our back when I walked in there the first time. We were viewed as being untrustworthy, as violating our moral rules and values….’”

She went on to resurrect the Obama talking-point tactic of blaming Bush.

To borrow a phrase from Mrs. Clinton herself, accepting her words as truth “requires a willing suspension of disbelief.”

During the Bush years, two coalitions of countries banded together to face-off with Islamic jihadists in Afghanistan and Iraq – not to mention the feeder countries in the region, Israel knew the United States had its back, and Vladimir Putin and the ChiComs were effectively held in check. The United States was revered by friends and allies (ask any Eastern Bloc country or the people with purple stained fingers in Iraq) and feared and respected by our enemies.

Today, as we reap the benefits from Mrs. Clinton’s unaccomplished and ineffective tenure as Secretary of State, we have an emboldened Vladimir Putin who sees nothing of ignoring State sovereignty to “acquire” mineral rich lands, China is bulking up its military to unprecedented levels, the Taliban is issuing victory statements, Socialism is on the march in South America and Europe’s people are using their influences at the ballot box to run – not walk – from the Progressive ideology of which both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton emanate.

The Hamas-Fatah Consensus on Israel By Dan Diker and Harold Rhode

PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ engagement with Kerry during the past nine months of diplomatic talks cost the Palestinian leader points with the Palestinian public.

The word “reconciliation” rings of hope and optimism to the Western ear. Reconciliation means leaving past grievances behind, letting bygones be bygones. Optimism over reconciliation may help us understand why the United States is prepared to support and fund a new Hamas-Fatah interim government.

But do Hamas and Fatah understand the newly formed consensus government as the West does? For students of Islam and the Near East, the meaning of the freshly-minted reconciliation government is more aptly expressed as “sulh” which means that both sides are “licking their wounds” or “taking a breather” until one side regains the ability to impose its will on the other.

Palestinian reconciliation is not a case of the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority moderating Hamas. The opposite is true. In fact, Hamas and Fatah are competing for Palestinian public support. That’s why both organizations rejected US Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace plan. And that’s why both organizations call for “resistance” against Israel. Hamas still calls openly for jihad, while the Fatah leadership calls for an “armed popular revolution” to liberate “Palestine,” meaning Israel and the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria – the former West Bank of Jordan.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ engagement with Kerry during the past nine months of diplomatic talks cost the Palestinian leader points with the Palestinian public. Abbas would have faced the Palestinian guillotine for selling out the Palestinian cause in a compromise deal with Israel.