Saturday, October 21, 2017
Blog

Love is a many $plendored thing ...

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Sickening.

From the New York Times (links from the original) and so what, no official will take responsible, honorable, grown-up action:

For more than a decade, wads of American dollars packed into suitcases, backpacks and, on occasion, plastic shopping bags have been dropped off every month or so at the offices of Afghanistan’s president — courtesy of the Central Intelligence Agency.

All told, tens of millions of dollars have flowed from the C.I.A. to the office of President Hamid Karzai, according to current and...

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Last week, I traveled to Florida to discuss American Betrayal:The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character in the Presidential Speakers Series sponsored by Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona. The book, which, in fact, doesn't come out until May 28, couldn't have had a nicer debut with host Marc Bernier helming the interview. Bonus: We ended up discussing current Saudi events for the first 30 minutes, before tucking into exactly what American Betrayal is about. 

Seeing as the pub date is one month from today (and counting down), I am posting the interview.

Earlier this year, I wrote a series of posts (also here) on "The Fox Effect," which analyzed Fox coverage of Islamic stories through the Saudi scrim -- in other words, keeping in mind the part-ownership (7 percent) of News Corp. by ranking Saudi scion Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, and the part-ownership (nearly 20 percent) of Rotana (Alwaleed's media company) by Rupert Murdoch. (More coverage here.) The series culminated with a lengthy Q & A with Ryan Lauro here.

In this week's syndicated column, I note that Fox -- where Steve Emerson first broke the news that Saudi 3B-terrorist and ex-"person of interest" in the Boston bombing, Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi, was slated for deportation on "national security grounds" -- appears to have "dropped" the story. That is too tepid a term. While Glenn Beck appeared on O'Reilly last night to present his team's ground-breaking work on the MSM-ignored story, Fox hasn't just dropped the story. The network is censoring it.

A search of the Fox...

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This week's syndicated column

Let’s pick up where last week’s column left off with that Saudi national in Boston – Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi, the 20-year-old “student” who was acting suspiciously enough after the Boston bombing to be “detained” under guard at the hospital and named a person of interest in the April 15 attack.

That same day, law enforcement searched Alharbi’s Boston-area apartment for seven hours, leaving with bags of evidence at around 2 a.m. on Tuesday, April 16. On Tuesday afternoon, a sub-agency of the Department of Homeland Security created what is called an “event file” on Alharbi, calling for his visa to be revoked due to ties to terrorism. That same afternoon, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper would inform the Senate Intelligence Committee that Alharbi was now merely a “witness.”

This exonerating designation pulled the public eye off...

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The Western world gasses and sputters and anything else to avoid the obvious: Islam made them do it, You know who I mean, and you know what they did, and you know Islam made them do it, too. But such a concept, obvious as noses on faces, etc., is kept under wraps and strangled until it is not only unsayable but unthinkable, too.

We may not have rid ourselves of terrorism, but we've rid ourselves of Islam, sure as shooting (can I say that?). Soon, all Americans, not just the president, will be more likely to link "terrorism" to "tax day" than to that religion -- what was it called? Explosions, attacks, will, of course, "occur" -- as traffic accidents do -- but fear not: We will get better and better at cleaning blood from our streets, amassing heaps of teddy bears in bereaved neighbors' driveways, rehabbing legless athletes, raising money for the young and permanently disabled.

"Boston Strong," we cry out.

Maybe next time, it will be "Houston Strong." Then "Seattle, Atlanta or Schenectedy...

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A press release on the FBI website of Friday, April 19, 2013 tells us that "a foreign government" -- Russia -- alerted the FBI in "early 2011" that Tamarlan Tsarnaev was "a follower of radical Islam and a strong believer, and that he had changed drastically since 2010 as he prepared to leave the United States for travel to the country's region to join unspecified underground groups."

How you say "radical Islam" in Russian? Never mind. This is big and shocking news on several levels. The first concerns the government reflex to suppress speculation regarding Islamic terrorism, or even terrorism, period as when David Axelrod let fly that the president was thinking "tax day" might be what we used to obsess over as the so-called root cause. We might even look back on FBI's special agent in charge Richard DesLauriers' plea to the public on Thursday evening (April 18) as reinforcing the domestic confines of the suspect pool by omission. His carefully genericized statement failed to open the public mind to any suggestion that the suspects might not be homegrown locals.

...

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View of the Boston Common, circa 1750, stitched by Hannah Otis (1732-1801)

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The "ethno-masochists" are in mourning. They didn't get their man. Their white man. That bitter-clinger, church-going,Tea Party patriot of their dreams. This thwarted desire -- seething, pulsing, coursing through the flow of commentary all week -- was the ugly undercurrent to our national stress over another Islamic terrorist attack, this time in Boston, that has again torn at our civlizational fabric. But something else is tearing at that same fabric. And that is the fact that more than anything else, the Left wanted this terrorism to have been plotted and inflicted by one of our own.

We don't see such uniform deviance immediately on display after 9/11. Then, the Left and almost everyone else would be pre-occupied and distracted with the question, "Why do they hate us?"...

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Abdulrahman Ali Al-Harbi with Azzam with Saudi diplomat Azzam bin Abdel Karim in a Boston hospital

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Even as our focus remains on the manhunt for the second Chechen suspect, this Saudi story still simmers ....

This week's syndicated column

After the FBI rescheduled another postponed briefing on the Boston Marathon Massacre for 8 p.m. on Wednesday night – and then canceled that one, too – that was it. I was going to give the news circus a rest until morning.

Came the dawn I heard that terrorism expert Steven Emerson had dropped a bombshell Wednesday night on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program. Emerson reported that Abdulrahman Ali Alharbi, the Saudi national first identified as a “person of interest” and then downgraded, like a tropical storm, to “witness,” would be deported from the United States “on national security grounds.” This, Emerson added, “is very unusual.”

Yes. But also no. Amid similar conditions – a terrorist attack, an ongoing investigation and Saudi...

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Here is another photo of men with backpacks that has been making the Internet rounds. Anthony Gucciardi at InfoWars.com makes an interesting case that one of these men in wearing a ball cap with a SEAL-type logo. Judging by their gear, Gucciardi's guess is that the men may be employees of "the Blackwater-style private military/security firm Craft International." If so, why were they there? Taking in race day? Of course, maybe the guy just bought a hat with a SEAL-type logo.

UPDATE 12:30 pm: Nope.

The Boston Gobe reports:

Authorities have clear video images of two separate suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings carrying black bags at each explosion site and are planning to release the images today in an appeal for the public’s help in identifying the men, according to an official briefed on the case.

The official said that the two suspects were seen separately on videotape — one at each of the two bombing sites, which are located about a block apart.

The official, who spoke this morning on the condition of anonymity, said the best video has come from surveillance cameras on the same side of Boylston Street as the explosions. The official said the widely reported Lord and Taylor surveillance camera, and snapshots from individual cellphone camera users, have not provided the clearest...

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We still don't know what ideological-brand of terror-suspect we're looking at, but media are reporting that a suspect has been arrested -- OR NOT -- and CNN's John King is apologizing for his first bite of the scoop. 

From HuffPo:



CNN's John King caused some controversy on Wednesday when he said that a potential suspect in the Boston bombings was a "dark-skinned male."

King was the first to report that law enforcement officials had identified a suspect in Monday's bloody attacks.

"I want to be very careful about this, because people get very sensitive when you say these things," he said. "I was told by one of these sources who is a law enforcement official that this is a dark-skinned male."

He said that there had been a further description given, but he was refraining from sharing it with viewers.

...

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The Daily Mail has spectacular photos of today's funeral in London -- but not an Obama or Clinton or Bush in sight (not even a Biden).

From yesterday's press briefing (4/16/13):

QUESTION: Thank you, Patrick. This morning, there was supposed to be a photo opportunity with the Secretary and the Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia. Could you tell us why it was canceled?

MR. VENTRELL: Well, first of all, let me provide a readout of the meeting for all of you.

Thank you, oh, Great Federal Flunky! Thank you!

The Secretary and the Foreign Minister from Saudi Arabia discussed a wide range of bilateral and regional issues, including Middle East peace efforts and the current situation in Syria. They met this morning. This is, again, him just coming back from – late last night from 10 days, and so the change in schedule is really just a matter of a very tight schedule. He is back for a couple of days of congressional testimony. He is, again, on the road, as you know, to Istanbul later this weekend. So this is really – I wouldn’t read...

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Hillary "What difference does it make" Clinton doesn't want Benghazi investigated further, either.

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Readers often email me asking what they can do besides feel outrage and helplessness. Here's something. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) has introduced House Res. 36 to authorize the formation of a Select Committee to investigate what happened on September 11, 2012 and thereafter, including:

how the relevant agencies and the executive branch responded to it and whether appropriate congressional notifications were made; any improper conduct by officials relating to the attack; To date, HR 36 has 106 co-sponsors, all Republicans.

If you don't see your representative's name on the list, call up the House office and ask, Why not?

Speaker Boehner -- speaker for the O administration and GOP Establishment is more like it -- says investigating Benghazi is too expensive and time-consuming. (Bohner, obviously, is not a co-sponsor of HR 36.)

Idea: House members could cut down on their pasha-style travel -- first-class and military VIP travel, which cost taxpayers $1.45 million in 2012. The Washington Guardian today names names of profligate travelers including GOP Reps. Mike Turner (Ohio), Rob Bishop (Utah), Brett Guthrie (Kentucky), Tom Marino (Pa.), Darrell Issa (CA) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (VA).

...

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Who did it? We still don't know. Our one "person of interest" has been downgraded, like a weakening storm, to "witness." End of Saudi story?

Today, former Muslim Brother turned "peace activist" Walid Shoebat provides familial, or, rather, clan context to explain why "person of interest"-turned-"witness" Abdul Rahman Ali Al-Harbi is at least such a potentially interesting witness.

The witness's clan, Al-Harbi, makes a prominent showing in the annals of Saudi jihad. Shoebat, co-author with Ben Barrack of The Case for Islamophobia,  also explains what  clannishness in Saudi Arabia means.

Many from Al-Harbi’s clan are steeped in terrorism and are members of Al-Qaeda. Out of a list of 85 terrorists listed...

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Paul Revere by John Singleton Copley

The Media Left speculates that persons motivated by the Tea Party, anti-tax, Right-Wing committed the Boston Marathon Atrocity. Alex Jones throws up the "false flag." The Right speculates that this was a jihad attack. Who is right? Details from the US government, which would prefer to tell us nothing (openly, ayway), are sparse, pried out by reporters with good law enforcement sources. Only the Right also cautions against jumping to conclusions, which is correct; however, It is only proper to note that investigators are certainly taking the Saudi trail seriously. We've been down that way before.

Still throbbing with rage over the blast, I am not assuaged by President Obama's loathesome promise: "We will find out why they did this." Why? His words suggest there could be a legitimate reason behind this pain-inflicting, civilization-crushing terrorism....

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There is something that Corey Jones, a first-base umpire working high school games in New Mexico, has in common with Ben Carson, conservative star, surgeon and head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins.

They both violated the New Order in their respective commnunities, one being the high school baseball diamond, the other being academia. They are both being subjected to "re-education" in the public square.

What did they do? Carson, it is well known, declared his opposition to marriage for homosexuals. This violation of New Normal led Carson to withdraw as Johns Hopkins' commencement speaker. Like that poor canary-bird in the coal mine, Carson's experience provides solid evidence there is no "oxygen" in society at large for voicing the age-old convention that marriage is a heterosexual institution for one man and one woman, and no other pairings or groupings.

Corey Jones also gave voice to a convention that is no longer supported by society -- that educators, coaches, and other...

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This week's syndicated column

More than 5,000 words into the New York Times Magazine report on everything ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., and his wife, Huma Abedin, want you to know about Weiner’s “sexting” scandal that led him to resign from Congress in 2011, reporter Jonathan Van Meter pauses the story.

Van Meter, a contributing editor at Vogue and New York Magazine, had worked diligently on this New York Times Sunday Magazine cover story – multiple interviews with Weiner and Abedin, both as a couple and separately. On some level, the prurient banality of what he was writing about must have gotten to him.

As he described listening to Weiner discuss the “original behavior” that culminated in the elected official, husband and father-to-be sending a photo of his own torso “wearing gray boxer briefs and an obvious erection” to 45,000 Twitter followers (rather than...

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I read this report and got that old feeling.

No, not that one -- I got that old, Libya-Redux feeling that the air was going out of the room. That's what happens whenever I see Uncle Sam stepping in to assist, support or enable the same forces of jihad that hit us right between the eyes on September 11, 2001. Only now we call it "Arab Spring."  When SecState John Kerry and British Foreign Minister Wm Hague meet with Ghassan Hitto, an American-citizen Muslim Brother and Hamas supporter now fronting the Syrian "opposition," we should call it what it is: submission as the new normal, submission to the forces spreading Islamic law. If you don't want to beat 'em, join 'em -- or at least send them big guns. Maybe they'll point them at Iran (could that possibly be the misbegotten "strategy"?).

So here we go again. Where we once fawned over Tunisia, Tahrir Square, and the Libya opposition, now we fawn over the Syria opposition, currently headed by Hitto. Why worry? After all, as a recent...

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Moving right along from soiled place setting (Libya...) to setting (Syria), the Western powers continue to muck up the Islamic world royally, powering the engine of Sunni jihad in a Grand Effort to isolate Iran and its ally Syria, or so it might appear.

It's easy to imagine NATO leaders patting themselves on the backs over their clever little wars on the "cheap" which require "only" Western arms and training and secret operations and money (but they can touch the Saudis and Qataris for much of the money, illegal/schmillegal), all of which, they maybe think, will ultimately vanquish Iran. When one setting is soiled, move on the next.

What they seem to miss -- unless, that is, they are al$o party to it -- is that they are leaving in their wake an equally if not far more dangerous monster: an oil-rich, strategic expanse of virulently metastisizing Sunni Shariadom.

Such a policy echoes...

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It is most impressive to scroll through the more than 20 pages of names of the 700 retired US special operations forces who have come forward as a group, Special Operations Speaks, to sign a letter in support of Rep. Frank Wolf's House Res. 36 to establish a House Select Committe to investigate Benghazi.

Breitbart has the story and the letter here.  

If readers wish to sign petitions in support of the effort, Center For Security Policy's petition is here; Special Operations Speaks' petition is here.



...

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My fine friend and colleague Lars Hedegaard, editor of Dispatch International, sat down with The Daily Caller's Ginni Thomas last month in Washington, DC, for an interview, posted here.

Ginni's first question came down to why -- why have there been so many assassinations and attempted assassinations of Europeans, including against Lars in February, for speaking (and drawing cartoons) about Islam?

Lars replies with the perception and lucidity that are second nature to him.

It all comes from the fatwa in '89 against Salman Rushdie. If they could pull that off without any serious consequences in Tehran, then, of course, the way was open to others to try the same thing. What it comes down to is, basically, the contention by the powers-that-be in the Muslim world that sharia law has in fact been established as the law of Europe. They seem to think they have...

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The AP Stylebook has opened a new chapter on the non-"offensive" Engllsh-language lexicon to parse the war on the world waged by Islam. The wire service bible (can I say that?) has decreed that "Islamist" is out as a "a synonym for Islamic fighters, militants, extremists or radicals."

Hallelujah. I long ago learned to loathe the mongrel term, which is not to say it wasn't sometimes imposed on me by copy editors who didn't know better until they received, gratis, a piece of my mind. At the same time, this is not to say that the AP and I have to come to this aversion for the same reasons.

Here's my problem with "Islamist" as demonstrated by Charles Krauthammer back in 2006 (from pp.199-200 of The Death of the Grown-Up). Correctly declaring that fear, not "sensitivity," had  prevented American media from republishing the Danish cartoons, Krauthammer explained:

"They know what happened to...

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Illustration by Pat Crowley

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This week's syndicated column

Get ready for the last straw.

First, though, I’d like to suggest that anyone reading this column in a local newspaper or news site pat the editor on the back for publishing what in our neo-medieval world of fear amounts to a “forbidden” column.

Yup, I am about to say something about the Great Barack Obama Identity/Eligibility Scandal again. I know that this is one rich and urgent topic that doesn’t see the light of day in certain so-called news outlets – and I say that from the experience of watching my own syndicated columns fail to appear when covering news of the White House press conference where the president’s long-form birth certificate was unveiled, news of courtroom proceedings in various states on Obama’s ballot eligibility and news of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s investigators presenting evidence that the online Obama birth certificate is a forgery (and much more).

...

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The media is rosy-glowing with stories heralding the opening of George W. Bush's presidential library at SMU later this month, basking in the "presidents' club" angle: namely, how it is that four long-lived former presidents plus Obama will gather to open Bush 43's library, and isn't that cute.

Not so cute -- especially not when the donors who have ponied up in excess of $400 million to build the Bush complex at SMU are allowed to remain anonymous, including the individual or entity that donated $25 million.

The Sunlight Foundation reports that the House last month green-lighted a bill to make public the names of donors who contribute more than $200 to presidential libraries. Amen.

I hope it's retroactive.

"World Must Unite Against US-Saudi-Israeli Proxy War in Syria" is the headline over a piece at Infowars by Tony Cartalucci, a reporter whose work on Uncle Sam's entanglement in jihad I've read with interest before. The piece makes a moral argument against the war on Assad that I find rather less transfixing than the ghastly spectacle of what he further describes as the US-UK-Saudi-Qatari alliance fighting this war. Call me ethno-centric, but I keep going back to the basic question: What is Uncle Sam doing running around with sharia allies remaking the Middle East into sharia-terror states?

Cartalucci connects some important dots -- literally -- by lining up data amassed in 2007 to indicate the Syrian centers from which Al Qaeda fighters entered Iraq with today's "rebel" centers, where the CIA is providing weapons and other assistance. His caption beneath a graphic...

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Readers of Aaron Klein's latest piecing together of the Benghazi-Syria arms puzzle will take special notice of the role that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appears to have played in pushing the policy to arm the jihad front fighting Assad.

It was the New York Times in February that highlighted Clinton's "activist" plan to “vet the [Syrian] rebel groups and train fighters, who would be supplied with weapons.” In essence, this was just Libya Redux. In Libya, of course, any supposed figleaf "vetting" process failed to stop the US and NATO from both arming and militarily enabling the victory of jihad forces over the anti-jihad Qaddafi -- a red-line-crossing I think of as Uncle Sam joining the jihad. "Our" jihadis in Libya were actually led by senior members of "al Qaeda" in Europe and the Med, with close, demonstrable links to the perpetrators of the catastrophic jihad attacks on London, Madrid, Tunisia and Casablanca -- as John Rosenthal lays out in his shocking, dot-connecting new book...

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My latest article for Dispatch International sets out to explain to Europeans how it could be that the mayor of Philadelphia is investigating whether the First Amendment covers free speech about  Philadelphia -- specifically, the Philadelphia Magazine cover story, "Being White in Philly."

It's not easy.

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WASHINGTON, DC. In the summer of 2002, the Philadelphia Daily News published a cover story headlined, “Fugitives Among Us: Sometimes, Murder Suspects Hide in Plain Sight”. Forty-one mug shots of murder suspects illustrated the story, overflowing from the tabloid’s cover to the inside pages. The suspects were mainly black men, with a smattering of Hispanics and Asians. There were no white fugitives in the line-up.

Why? There were no white fugitives in Philadelphia at the time. This reality did nothing to ward off protests by activists who accused the newspaper of “racism” for publishing the facts. Soon, the newspaper issued an apology, and maybe Philadelphia civic...

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This week's column focuses on what David Petraeus could do, besides talk, about a small group of veterans whose punishments for "murder" and related charges on the COIN battlefield he ordered them onto are unjust, excessive or even corrupt. One of those veterans is Sgt. Derrick Miller (above with daughter Kaitlyn), who joined the " Leavenworth Ten" in 2011.

Below is an email exchange I had in July 2011 with Derrick's original defense lawyer Charles Gittens after Derrick was sentenced to life in prison.



Hello, Mr. Gittins,

Saw a brief story about Sgt. Miller's sentencing (first I'd heard of  the story). Can you send me any more information about his case? Best wishes, Diana West Charles Gittins replied:

...

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This week's syndicated column

Talk is cheap, Gen. Petraeus.

You may not agree. After all, your Washington, D.C., “super lawyer,” Bob Barnett, charges you something like $900 an hour for a kind of talk best described as “reputation reconfiguration” or “image management,” and that’s not cheap. Still, you probably consider it effective.

Judging by your recent coming-out party at a University of Southern California dinner to honor the military – your first public foray since you disappeared in a cloud of Paula Broadwell – whatever advice you’ve been buying seems to be working. You came, you apologized, you received a standing ovation. The media melted all over again into a puddle of admiration, further obscuring the real reasons you should be not apologizing before a gala crowd, but rather testifying before the American people: those national scandals you have so far successfully left in your dust.

I have previously addressed such scandals and will do so again: lying to the...

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The Death of the Grown-Up is now available as an e-book.

Kindle or Nook, take your pick.

CBS reports:

David Petraeus apologized Tuesday night to an audience of many veterans for the conduct that led to his resignation as head of the CIA following the disclosure of an extramarital affair.

"Needless to say, I join you keenly aware that I am regarded in a different light now than I was a year ago," Petraeus said. "I am also keenly aware that the reason for my recent journey was my own doing. So please allow me to begin my remarks this evening by reiterating how deeply I regret — and apologize for — the circumstances that led me to resign from the CIA and caused such pain for my family, friends and supporters."

It was clear at the time that the Broadwell affair was providing Petraeus with the perfect smokescreen to evade responsibility for lying to Congress twice...

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This week's syndicated column

Found myself in a group conversation that included one of the more instantly recognizable media figures -- someone who personifies the phrase "mainstream media." Since this isn't something that happens every day, why not make the best of it? Why not ask this VIMP (Very Important Media Person) a question or two on the topics that I frequently criticize the press for not covering?

The problem was how to do so without unduly alarming the poor thing. My favorite kinds of questions might be distressing to VIMPs who never ask them, or even seem to think of them. I didn't want to scare off her (or him) without eliciting an answer. I had to consider carefully while my VIMP remained at hand in a perpetual state of high-definition recognition.

There was no doubt about what was uppermost on my list: Had this journalistic personage ever had the curiosity to download and examine the online document posted at the White House website that purports to be President...

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CNN reports that David Petraeus will make his first public appearance since resigning in multi-varied if only partly limned states of disgrace, all overshadowed by L'Affaire Broadwell. He will deliver a speech this month at a dinner honoring the military.

The brief article cites two "persons" as sources.

Petraeus will attend a March 26 dinner at the University of Southern California, an annual event hosted by the president of the university to honor the military. He was asked a year ago to attend and accepted. He will deliver a speech at the dinner, according to one of the people who spoke with CNN.

That person said Petraeus is not yet ready to announce his future plans.

Person #2:

But the second person, who is equally close to the former Army general, said Petraeus is considering whether to be represented by a speakers bureau for future public...

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Is that what a police car in small town America should look like?

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Dear Mainstream Media,

Back in 2008, candidate Barack Obama went off his teleprompter and added a couple of sentences to the text of a speech about expanding the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps. Over rolling applause, the soon-to-be president of the United States said: “We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”

At the time, Joseph Farah of WND.com wrote a column calling on you to help shine a light on what this shocking statement really meant. In a permanent state of vapors over Obama’s candidacy, you were of no use when it came to extracting anything but press releases from Team Obama.

Nearly five years later, it hardly matters that candidate...

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Heard about the chaplain from Ohio whom Uncle Sam has recognized with a Bronze Star for a PowerPoint presentation? Must have been some PowerPoint presentation -- and so it was.



A Bronze Star for this?

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The Dayton Daily News reports:

Trainer, who’s now in the running to be named Chaplain of the Year for the entire Air Guard, was in the third month of his voluntary deployment to Afghanistan last February when U.S. troops at Bagram Airfield mistakenly burned copies of the Muslim holy book.

The ensuing outrage claimed more than 30 lives, including two U.S. troops and two U.S. military advisers.

Within 48 hours, Trainer developed a PowerPoint presentation on the proper handling and disposal of Islamic...

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Andy McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor formidable and, bonus, great  friend of mine, has weighed in on the Rand Paul filibuster at NRO and finds it so much misguided theatrics. Further, he describes what I see as Paul's electric efforts to focus attention on executive overreach and obfuscation as a "crusade to have the Constitution ban a bogeyman of [Paul's] own making."

The "bogeyman" here is what Andy describes as the "killing of American citizens on American soil by America’s armed forces" -- which sounds pretty scary to me. This, he dryly notes, is "a scandal that clearly cries out for action, having occurred exactly zero times in the 20 years since jihadists commenced hostilities by bombing the World Trade Center."

Whether non-occurrence is reason for non-action -- or, in this case, public debate in the filibuster spotlight -- I leave to history's witness of Pearl Harbor, the 1972 Olympics, and the use on 9/11 of passenger jets as humanly guided...

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This week's syndicated column

Republican Rand Paul took to the floor of the U.S. Senate this week to filibuster John Brennan’s nomination to become head of the CIA. “I will speak as long as it takes,” the junior senator from Kentucky said, “until the alarm is sounded from coast to coast that our Constitution is important, that your rights to trial by jury are precious, that no American should be killed by a drone on American soil without first being charged with a crime, without first being found to be guilty by a court.”

I imagine many Americans following news of the filibuster, which lasted nearly 13 hours, were finding out for the first time that lawmakers such as Paul, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and a handful of others are gravely concerned about a possible threat from the executive branch against these unalienable rights. This makes the filibuster a success. As Paul said, sounding the alarm from “coast to coast” was exactly his aim.

Was this unusual event...

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Via Drudge, a Hollywood Reporter story on a $5 million lawsuit filed by a consultant who was cut out of a share of the Current TV/Al Jazeera deal. What is even more interesting is the key role David Blum, Sen. Dianne Feinstein's husband and a Current TV boardmember, played in presenting the deal to the rest of the board.

The plaintiff, media consultant John Terenzio, seems to specialize in handling propaganda-disseminating organs of state dictatorships (China, Qatar) for US markets.

Terenzio says that in June, he identified Current TV as a potential acquisition target for Al Jazeera given its vast distribution network and well-publicized financial woes.

At Terenzio's direction, Nanula is said to have approached Richard Blum, a member of Current's board of directors (and the husband of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein), who was interested because "he and other Current investors were concerned about the prospect of losing their shirts in the financially troubled Current."

...

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The following exchange is from Hour 4:

SEN. CRUZ: After three times declining to answer a direct question -- would killing a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil with a drone strike, when that U.S. citizen did not present an imminent threat, would that be Constitutional -- after three times simply saying it would not be "appropriate," finally the fourth time, attorney general holder responded to vigorous questioning.

In particular, the course of the questioning, the point was made that Attorney General Holder is not an advice columnist giving advice on etiquette and appropriateness. The attorney general is the chief legal officer of the United States. And I will note that I observed it was more than a little astonishing that the chief legal officer of the United States could not give a simple one-word, one-syllable, two-letter answer to the question: Does the Constitution allow the federal government to kill with a drone strike a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil who is not posing an immediate threat? The proper...

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Yesterday, March 6, 2013, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), embarked on a filluster to block the nomination of John Brennan to director of the CIA pending confirmation from the Obama White House that it agrees the president is bound by the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees Americans' right to due process, and therefore will never use drones to kill American non-combatants on American soil.

To date, the White House answer is silence.

Here are Paul's opening remarks, which began at 11:47 am, excerpted from the uncorrected transcript to be found at Paul's official website. Paul's dramatic, public, and instructive defense of Constitutional rights against executive overreach is the best thing to have happened to America in a long time.

SEN. PAUL: I rise today to begin to filibuster John Brennan's nomination for the CIA I will speak until I can no longer speak. I will speak as long as it takes, until the alarm is sounded from coast to coast that our Constitution is important, that...

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Waste, fraud and US-taxpayer-abuse.

The final Special Inspector General's Iraq Report (SIGIR) is out this week. Curl up with it and find out where $60 billion taxpayer dollars went in Iraq (spoiler alert: down the drain). Boosters point to the relative success of Iraqi security forces in "keeping order" (trained at a cost of $20-plus billion) -- and Petraeus and Crocker, in their introduction to the report, still burble on, old Western-serial-style, about providing "new opportunity to the citizens of the Land of the Two Rivers" -- although somehow it seems relevant to note that Iraqi security forces under dictator Saddam Hussein also "kept order," sans such costly US training.

Out of Afghanistan, the waste, fraud and abuse story is even more grotesque. Afghanistan's Special Inspector General estimates that Americans have spent $100 billlion (and counting) on construction projects....

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The photo (above) is of a protest against Geert Wilders and his Freedom Party (PVV) in Arnhem, Holland in 2009. As a Leftist account of the vigil put it: "Many voices spoke out against the PVV party and the statements made by its leader, who is well-known for his `anti-immigration' and racist comments."

Wilders, of course, is the leading opponent of the Islamic wave bringing totalitarian supremacism to the West, which certainly includes the casually vicious anti-Semitism and pro-Hitler sentiments of Arhem's Turkish-Muslim youth as broadcast on Dutch television last month.

The response? Mainly silence -- and no candlelight vigils.





Watch this video (click on the title or "read more"), subtitled by my friend Ken Sikorski of Tundra Tabloids, as Turkish-Muslim "Dutch" boys freely express their visceral hatred of Jews, trading the 20th-century-tragedy of Anne Frank for a 21st-century-defense of HItler. Bonus: the hapless interviewer, a social worker in this city of Arnhem, who bets the boys 50 Euros that with sufficient "knowledge" that he will provide them, they will change their minds about Judaism (although not their animus toward Israel, which as *geopolitics, not Judaism,* he seems to agree with).

Hannah Arendt's famously articulated the "banality" of evil -- but sitting through even six minutes turns out also to be as excruciating as it is appalling.

Israel News reports on the reaction to the video, which aired on Dutch television last month, here:

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/165913#.UTdciRmhAeO

   

...

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Business Insider has the best account of Awaleed's announcement that he has "severed" his relationship with Forbes magazine's billionaire-ranking project, and will instead work with Bloomberg's Billionaire List.

Why?

Forbes isn't valuing Alwaleed's worth as highly as he does -- and, further, the Forbes' valuation process, the press release from Alwaleed's Kingdom Holding Company maintains, "seemed designed to disadvantage Middle Eastern investors and institutions." Forbes tells Business Insider, meanwhile, the huffy press release was Alwaleed's answer to some fact-checking questions.

The four examples KHC offers of Forbes "bias" will be as amusing to bilionaires and non-billionaires alike for revealing the factors behind the Saudi's pique. They are:

1) "A sudden refusal after six years to accept share values as listed by the Tadawul, Saudi Arabia's fully regulated, 21st-century, high-tech stock exchange ..."

We are not some Third World backwater ...

2) "A completely...

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March 3, 2013, "Prince Alwaleed Receives Lebanese Head of Mission to Discuss Economic Issues":

The meeting began as Mr. Anouti thanked Prince Alwaleed for giving him the opportunity to meet with him.

Same old, same old, right?

March 4, 2013, "Prince Alwaleed Receives Former US Secretary of State James Baker":

The meeting began with Prince Alwaleed greeting Mr. Baker, after which the two discussed issues of mutual interest pertaining to their respective countries.

Interesting!

The meeting was attended by Dr. Walid Arab Hashem,...

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Fox News reports that following Senate fury (when?) over a heavily redacted set of White House documents pertaining to the 9/11/12 attack on the US compound in Benghazi, a second set of documents "were delivered to Capitol Hill Thursday night which had only minimal redactions." 

... Senators have asked to see the documents as a part of their inquiry into the attack on Benghazi. Senators also wanted the documents before they were willing to vote on John Brennan to be Director of Central Intelligence.

A committee vote on Brennan’s nomination is set for Tuesday.

The documents reveal various email traffic about the “talking points” which were passed through a litany of Washington power centers: The White House, the FBI, the CIA, and the Justice Department. The source questions why it took the Obama administration months to deliver the information when all of these agencies had dealt with the email traffic.

Sources said the emails revealed heavy editing by then-CIA Director David Petraeus. The talking points evolved as they were passed around various intelligence and security hubs, and scrubbed of language referring to “al Qa’ida.” They also seemed to indicate an effort to paint the Sept. 11 attack as a demonstration and not a planned attack, the source said.

...

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James Murdoch and Alwaleed at the far end of the table, Savoy Hotel, February 5, 2013

---

So what's Rupert Murdoch's Saudi Prince Moneybags up to lately?

March 13, 2013, "Prince Alwaleed Receives Lebanese Deputy Head of Mission to Discuss Economic Issues":

The meeting began as Mr. Anouti thanked Prince Alwaleed for giving him the opportunity to meet with him.

February 26, 2013, "Prince Alwaleed Receives Outgoing Head of European Commission":

The meeting began as Mr. Narbone thanked Prince Alwaleed for giving him the opportunity to meet him ...

February 24, 2013, "Prince Alwaleed Receives Former German Federal Chancellor":

The meeting began as Mr. Schröder thanked Prince Alwaleed for giving him and the delegation the opportunity to meet with him.

February 19, 2013, "Prince Alwaleed Receives NIgerian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia":

The meeting began as Mr. Bunu thanked Prince Alwaleed for giving him the opportunity to meet with him ...

...

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The Atlantic Wire notes the appearance of the above image in Inspire magazine, which may be described as Al Qaeda's English-language jihad glossy, a naseous-making and surreal propaganda product of global jihad.

Not surprisingly, the AQ magazine's Hollywood-style artwork is nauseous-making and surreal, too. Here we see Al Qaeda, adopting the cartoonish lexicon of George Bush, the Old West (Wanted, Dead or Alive), the Obama administration and Communist/labor/Left organizing ("Yes We Can") to remind its followers and, probably more important, the rest of us that it is targeting a list of law-abiding, peaceable people whose *crime* in the eyes of Islam is *blasphemy.*

Below is an analysis of the AtlanticWire's Daschiell Bennett's account, which I can assume took me longer to write than the hasty-seeming account. (As did, no doubt, this lengthy post on...

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