The president has a pattern of deflecting blame and denying responsibility. With military action against ISIS underway, that’s a dangerous habit.

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The time-tested strategy for Obama: Blame, deny, and wait-it-out When national security is at stake, politics should stop at the White House’s edge ‘The president is the captain of the ship and should assume accountability.’
September 29, 2014 In attempting to downplay the political damage from a slew of second-term controversies, President Obama has counted on the American people having a very short memory span and a healthy suspension of disbelief. The time-tested strategy for Obama: Claim he’s in the dark about his own administration’s activities, blame the mess on subordinates, and hope that with the passage of time, all will be forgotten. Harry Truman, the president isn’t. He’s more likely to pass the buck.

His latest eyebrow-raiser came on 60 Minutes on Sunday, when the president blamed the failure to anticipate the rise of ISIS on his intelligence community for not informing him of the growing threat. “I think our head of the intelligence community, Jim Clapper, has acknowledged that I think they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria,” Obama said. Most early news reports dutifully pinned the blame on the intelligence agencies, with the president escaping any further scrutiny.

But anyone following the news over the past year would have been better informed than the commander in chief. As NBC foreign affairs correspondent Richard Engel said on MSNBC Monday: “It’s surprising that the president said that U.S. intelligence missed this one, because it seems that U.S. intelligence was the only group that missed this one. Everyone knew that Islamic extremists were on the rise in Syria and in Iraq; it was well documented. The extremists were publicizing their activities online—they were bragging about it. Journalists, including us, were interviewing foreign fighters. This was no state secret.”

Former Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania, the highest-ranking former military officer ever elected to Congress, told National Journal that the president was wrong to pass the buck. “As commander in chief, you’re accountable. You’re the one who is responsible whether the good ship of state is doing it right,” said Sestak, pointing to congressional testimony from former Defense Intelligence Agency chief Michael Flynn in February 2014 regarding the growing threat posed by ISIS. “The administration failed, and the president is the captain of the ship and should assume accountability.” Sestak is considering a Pennsylvania Senate bid in 2016, and he would be one of the Democrats’ top recruits if he ran.

The president’s defenders pointed to a recent David Ignatius interview with Clapper in The Washington Post, in which the intelligence chief indeed claimed he provided the White House with evidence of ISIS’s “prowess and capability.” At the same time, he also acknowledged downplaying the enemy’s “will to fight” and overestimating the capabilities of the Iraqi forces. It was an odd admission, given the long-demonstrated ruthlessness of the extremists in Iraq and Syria, and the long-reported struggles of Iraq’s military. And given the rosy projections of postwar Iraq during the Bush administration, it’s unusual to hear intelligence agencies making the same mistake twice. Still, it’s clear that Obama wasn’t blindsided by the rising threat from Islamic extremists in the Middle East. Outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder even warned that the emerging threat was “more frightening than anything”—back in July.

The elements of the administration’s blame, deny, and wait-it-out communications strategy has been front and center amid all the recent controversies. When the administration badly botched the launch of the health care exchange website, Obama said he was “not informed directly that the website would not be working the way it was supposed to.” This, for his signature achievement in office. Blame was later pinned on Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who left the administration in April.

When officials at the Internal Revenue Service improperly targeted conservative outside groups for scrutiny, Obama first feigned outrage, saying he had “no patience for” the misconduct. But months later, as the public’s anger subsided, Obama said there “wasn’t even a smidgen of corruption” at the agency, and the administration has done little to hold anyone accountable since.

After CNN reported that Veterans Affairs Department offices covered up long wait times at several of its facilities, former Obama press secretary Jay Carney said, “We learned about them through the [news] reports.” Long wait times were hardly a secret, with Obama himself campaigning on VA reform as a candidate. To his credit, Obama signed legislation reforming the VA and replaced embattled Secretary Eric Shinseki. But the president himself escaped much of the blame, even though he was clearly familiar with the long-standing problems that the agency faced.

The administration’s approach to controversies was best crystallized by former National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor, who deflected criticism about allegations that talking points on the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, were altered for political reasons. “Dude, this was two years ago,” he told Bret Baier of Fox News. The remarks were perceived as flippant, but they underscored the success of the administration’s public-relations strategy. Buy enough time, and inevitably problems tend to go away—especially in today’s attention-deprived environment.

The difference between bureaucratic incompetence and not being fully truthful with the American public is a big one. In the aftermath of scandal, it’s easy to understand why the administration, when choosing between portraying the president as disconnected or dissembling, has chosen the former. But throughout his presidency, Obama has acted far from detached. In his second term, he’s relied increasingly on loyalists who are less likely to push back against the president’s wishes. It’s hard to square a president who reportedly is micromanaging airstrikes in Syria with a president who was unaware of the growing threat from Islamic extremists, which had been increasingly trumpeted on the network news.

“The biggest deficit [in politics now] isn’t the debt. It’s the trust deficit in our politics,” said Sestak. “A year or two ago, when the administration signaled it wasn’t going to use the [phrase] ‘War on Terror,’ that wasn’t correct. When they walked away from that, they suggested to the public we’ve got this in the bag.”

Indeed, at a time of American military conflict, truth in advertising is especially important. The president has avoided using the word “war” in describing the conflict with ISIS and new terrorist cells in Syria, but it’s hard to view it any other way. Military advisers have said ground troops will be necessary to prevail, even as the president continually rules out that option (most likely because it’s politically unpopular). Obama ridiculed the strength of the moderate Syrian militias just last month in an interview with The New York Times’ Tom Friedman, but now he’s praising their skill after his strategy abruptly changed.

It’s understandable that the president was trying to avoid acknowledging that he personally downplayed the threat from ISIS; as a sound bite, it would’ve been politically damaging. But it is crucially important, going forward, that he’s brutally honest with both himself and the American people about the mission. Using campaign-style techniques to deflect criticism from domestic controversies might be expected from any administration. But when national security is at stake, politics should stop at the White House’s edge.


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U.S. funding of militant groups fuels terrorism, Syria’s foreign minister states


The Obama administration and its coalition partners are fueling terrorism by arming and funding al-Qaeda affiliated militants and the practice needs to stop, Syria’s foreign minister said Monday.

In a speech to the United Nations General Assembly, Walid al-Moallem denounced the Obama administration’s policy of arming certain militants while striking others, calling it a double-standard policy which “creates a fertile ground for the growth” of terrorist organizations.

“…What we see on the part of the U.S. administration is a double standard policy and alliances to score certain political agendas, particularly through supporting with money, weapons and training of groups they call moderate,” he said. “This is a real recipe for the increase of violence and terrorism, shedding of Syrian blood, prolonging of the Syrian crisis and demolishing of the political solution at its basis.”

“This behavior creates a fertile ground for the growth of these terrorist groups that commit the most heinous crimes on the Syrian territory, which requires all of us to seriously and effectively address and eradicate terrorism, and re-establish security and stability in Syria and the region.”

The foreign minister added that “striking terrorism militarily while some states are continuing their support of terrorist groups will create a whirlpool of which the international community will not exit in decades,” and he called on countries to stop arming, training, funding and smuggling terrorist groups, stating that ISIS is an “ideology metamorphosed into an organization supported, armed and trained in order to be unleashed like a monster against Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.”

“Let us simultaneously exert pressure on the countries that joined the coalition led by the United States to stop their support of armed terrorist groups,” he said. “Only then, combating terrorism militarily becomes viable.”

The Syrian government has long been at war with ISIS, the al-Qaeda group which has taken control of large areas of eastern Syria and western Iraq while beheading Christians and others refusing to submit to Sharia Law.

Last week, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Samantha Power, admitted the real purpose of the fight against ISIS is to overthrow Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

Power said “moderate” rebels in Syria, such as the Free Syria Army (FSA), will receive an “infusion of support” from the U.S. and its coalition partners, but the Russian Federation ambassador to the U.N., Alexey Borodavkin, later pointed out that moderate rebel groups in Syria which are independent of ISIS “no longer exist” and the main belligerents in the ongoing Syrian Civil War are the Syrian government and al-Qaeda affiliates.

“…The Syrian government is working against a huge army of trained armed terrorists,” he told the U.N. Human Rights Council while discussing a recent report by an independent commission into the conflict.

“Armed groups qualified as ‘moderate’ are closely coordinating their activities with terrorist groups,” he added.

And a FSA commander admitted this a few weeks ago.

“We are collaborating with the Islamic State and the Nusra Front by attacking the Syrian Army’s gatherings in… Qalamoun,” Bassel Idriss, the commander of an FSA-aligned rebel brigade, told the Lebanese Daily Star.

Additionally, the leader of the al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra Front, Abu-Mohammad al-Jolani, held a meeting with two CIA officers and the Saudi Deputy Minister of Defense last year, where it was decided that al-Nusra and the FSA would work together to depose the Syrian government.

This meeting likely stemmed from a discussion during the 2012 Bilderberg conference held in Chantilly, Virginia, in which participants envisioned a Syrian puppet government taking orders from the U.S. State Department, the European Union and NATO.


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Imam of mosque suspect attended linked to Muslim Brotherhood


Alton Nolan, the man accused of beheading a coworker in Oklahoma City, attended a mosque run by an iman tied to Anwar al-Awlaki, the al-Qaeda operative who dined at the Pentagon a few months after the 9/11 attacks.

Suhaib Webb presided over the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, a mosque attended by Nolan, and currently serves as the iman of a sister organization in Boston, according to Breitbart. The Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is connected to the alleged Boston Marathon bombers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

Zubeidat K. Tsarnaeva, the mother of Dzhokar and Tamerlan, said last April her eldest son Tamerlan was under the control of the FBI. “How could this happen?… They were controlling every step of him, and they are telling today that this is a terrorist attack,” she said. In addition to the FBI, the CIA was apparently also monitoring Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

The FBI is notorious for recruiting and framing terror patsies. A report compiled by Mother Jones and the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California-Berkley found that of the 158 prosecutions carried out on terrorism charges since 9/11, 49 defendants participated in plots that were arranged by FBI agent provocateurs. “They’re creating crimes to solve crimes so they can claim a victory in the war on terror,” explained Martin Stolar, a lawyer who represented a suspect involved in a New York City bombing plot contrived by FBI agents.

FBI documents state “Webb and Awlaki may be associated with the Muslim American Society,” an organization reportedly “founded as the United States Chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood,” according to the Investigative Project on Terrorism.

The Muslim Brotherhood has served as an intelligence asset for nearly a century. According to former British intelligence agent John Coleman, the organization as created by the British to “keep the Middle East backward so that its natural resource, oil, could continue to be looted.” The organization was also used by the CIA to fight against Egyptian leader and Arab nationalist Gamal Nasser and other secular forces.

Currently there is no evidence Alton Nolan was an FBI patsy. However, the suspicious connections of Suhaib Webb and past incidents of terror operations run out of mosques in the United States and Britain warrant more investigation.

On Saturday, the FBI insisted there are no connections to Nolan and terrorists. “A law enforcement official familiar with the investigation told the AP that while there was indication that Nolan was a Muslim convert and was trying to convert others to Islam, there is so far no connection to terrorism and no evidence of any worrisome travel,” the Associated Press reports.

Despite caution by the FBI and the government, the incident is certainly feeding into the propaganda effort directed against Muslims as the United States escalates its war against ISIS, a war predicted to last indefinitely.

Snowden leak exposes US plan to spy on foreign businesses for profit

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A 2009 intelligence document provided to journalists by former government contractor Edward Snowden suggests the United States weighed someday conducting espionage to prevent losing its economic prowess to other countries.

The document, published first by The Intercept on Friday this week, outlines tactics the American intelligence community may implement in the future in the event of certain scenarios, including one in which “the United States’ technological and innovative edge slips” in the year 2025.

In the event that the US may lose that advantage, the Quadrennial Intelligence Community Review’s final report reads in part, then “a multi-pronged, systematic effort to gather open source and proprietary information through overt means, clandestine penetration (through physical and cyber means) and counterintelligence” could be undertaken by American agencies.

The document, classified as “secret” and supplied along with a trove of other files provided by Snowden,“is a fascinating window into the mindset of America’s spies as they identify future threats to the US and lay out the actions the US intelligence community should take in response,” wrote Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept editor who wrote about the 32-page report this week.

Indeed, David Shredd, then the deputy director of national intelligence, opens the report by describing it as the results of a 10-month study conducted among experts from agencies, academia, think tanks and industry tasked with assessing the implications of the year 2025 for the American intelligence community, or IC.

“If one does not consider the long-range future, one will never cease to be surprised,” Shredd wrote. “QICR 2009 developed alternative future scenarios based on Global Trends 2025 to explore concepts and capabilities the IC may need to fulfill critical missions in support of US national security.”

The contents of the report, Shredd added, “does not purport that any one future will materialize, but rather outlines a range of plausible futures so that the IC can best posture itself to meet the range of challenges it may face.” Speaking to The Intercept, a spokesperson for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said the report “is not intended to be, and is not, a reflection of current policy or operations.”

Jeffrey Anchukaitis, the DNI spokesperson, told Greenwald that “the United States — unlike our adversaries—does not steal proprietary corporate information to further private American companies’ bottom lines,” and that “the Intelligence Community regularly engages in analytic exercises to identify potential future global environments, and how the IC could help the United States Government respond.”

Nevertheless, the report contains potential plans of action that run counter to previous public admissions made by IC leaders.

“What we do not do, as we have said many times, is use our foreign intelligence capabilities to steal the trade secrets of foreign companies on behalf of — or give intelligence we collect to—US companies to enhance their international competitiveness or increase their bottom line,” Greenwald quoted Director of National Intelligence James Clapper as saying previously.

“But asecret 2009 report issued by Clapper’s own officeexplicitly contemplates doing exactly that,” the journalist wrote this week.

“The IC would need the ability to access proprietary sources of information in permissive environments such as foreign universities, industry trade shows and government conferences,” part of the report reads. “This could include cooperating US students, professors and researchers reporting bits of non-public information that by themselves are not sensitive, but in aggregate could help the IC make inferences about breakthrough technological innovations. The key challenge would be working closely with the academic and scientific communities (which would include non-US persons), gaining trust and monitoring potential ‘threats’ while continuing to advance US scientific progress.”

According to the document, human spies and cyber operations alike have been considered as possible tools to implement if spying on foreign targets — and not just students and innovators, but entire research and development operations, as well—is needed to be done in 11 years’ time.

“In denied or more restrictive environments such as state-supported R&D centers, the IC would continue to apply human intelligence (HUMINT) tradecraft and employ HUMINT-enabled close access collection. This would include recruitment of sources and assets, and provision of appropriate technical means to acquire and exfiltrate sensitive information,” reads one part of the document.

Elsewhere, the document’s authors detail one end goal: “Technology acquisition by all means.”

“Exfiltrating intelligence from non-permissive environments will be crucial. A critical enabler would be covert communications with a negligible forward footprint. US intelligence officers and sensitive sources will need to move data in an unattributable and undetected way, sometimes from within commercial entities possessing great technical prowess and robust cyber and electronic security protective procedures. Although the likely advent of transnational, high-bandwidth wireless communications services will offer an environment with ‘lots to hide behind,’ it will also contain many highly competent, and potentially antagonistic, actors.”

An illustrate example included in part of the report provides exactly how such a hypothetical situation may play out: “The IC makes separate clandestine approaches to India and Russia to break up the partnership. It conducts cyber operations against research facilities in the two countries, as well as the intellectual ‘supply chain’ supporting these facilities. Finally, it assesses whether and how its findings would be useful to US industry.”

“Using covert cyber operations to pilfer ‘proprietary information’ and then determining how it ‘would be useful to US industry’ is precisely what the US government has been vehemently insisting it does not do,” Greenwald wrote, “even though for years it has officially prepared to do precisely that.”

Obama Unveils New Opaque ISIS Strategy, No Real Action Offered

By Joseph R. Carducci
September 3, 2014

As with almost everything else our community organizer in chief has been doing these days, his recently unveiled ISIS strategy is very opaque. In fact, he STILL doesn’t have any answers that would satisfy any intelligent person who understands anything about the real threat this group of terrorists poses to the United States and other Western countries.

In response to those who claim he doesn’t have any type of viable strategy to deal with ISIS, Obama spoke during a press conference while in Eastern Europe. He wanted to assure everyone that justice would be served for the beheading of Steven Sotloff, the second American journalist to suffer this fate in recent days. Our own Muslim in Chief also said that ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, must be ‘destroyed.’

Fine, but all of this only goes so far. While words certainly do mean things, unless they are backed up with solid action, it might not mean much. Obama claims he is going to be working on this problem together with ‘coalition forces’ in order to turn ISIS into a ‘manageable problem.’ Maybe he was shamed into such a poor strategy after seeing that even David Cameron has an ISIS plan. More from our wonderful leader:

“We know that if we are joined by the international community, we can continue to shrink ISIL’s sphere of influence, its effectiveness, its financing, its military capabilities to the point where it is a manageable problem…Our objective is clear, and that is to degrade and destroy ISIL so it is no longer a threat not just to Iraq but also the region and to the United States.”

Obama Talks the Talk

This is clearly one of the first times our Obama has even admitted that ISIS is a problem. It’s also interesting he is using the other title of the group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (which includes Syria, Lebanon and Israel). Never mind the fact that Obama offered no hard plans to actually do anything, other than talk. Simply working with coalition forces, Mr. Obama, is not going to destroy ISIS financing. After all, they currently hold a huge and growing number of oil fields and other assets, to the tune of a $2 million per day in income.

Obama, our Liar in Chief, is also talking out of both sides of his mouth here. If ISIS is a real threat then why is he talking about simply managing their threat, rather than taking action to destroy them as should be done with an enemy that wants to see us and our children dead? On top of all that, he is only going to take any action at all (mediocre and weak as it may be) if the international community gives their support! I suppose that year of daily ISIS briefings has done absolutely no good after all.

ISIS in the US

This is just sad. I can’t imagine President Reagan ever talking like this about the old Soviet Union, or any other threat to our country. Or even Bush. Heck, even Clinton wouldn’t have been this much of a wimp. This comes on top of news that former CIA operatives and tactical intelligence professionals, those who are on the ground every day collecting details and hard evidence, are sure ISIS is already in the United States…and that they are capable of carrying out an attack.

The big surprise (or NOT, if you have been reading my reports) is that they also think these terrorists have entered our country through the open southern border with Mexico. So, thanks again to Obama and his amazing immigration policies. Another possible source of infiltration is through US airports, entering on actual American passports. Even still, the State Department won’t tell us if they are revoking the passports of those Americans who have been confirmed to be working with ISIS overseas.

So, what do YOU think? Are you ready for some ISIS terror attacks on US soil? How about an actual invasion, from both within and without (admittedly much less likely, but if the group continues strengthening this could very well be possible in the not too distant future)? How about Obama’s desire to grant ALL illegals amnesty and work permits and even residency in the US?