Archive for War on Terror

Feel Safer?

Your National Security Adviser:

Lesley Stahl: But when you have so many phone records being held, emails, heads of state’s phone conversations being listened in to, has it been worth our allies being upset? Has it been worth all the tech companies being upset? Has it been worth Americans feeling that their privacy has been invaded?

Susan Rice: Lesley, it’s been worth what we’ve done to protect the United States. And the fact that we have not had a successful attack on our homeland since 9/11 should not be diminished. But that does not mean that everything we’re doing as of the present ought to be done the same way in the future.

As NRO’s Jim Geraghty puts it: Ahem.

I would also note that any nation’s diplomatic property is sovereign to that nation. The terrorist lynching of Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods, Glen Doherty, and Chris Stevens IS a terrorist attack on our homeland.

But then, what would she know about that?

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If You Like Your Bride, You Can Keep Your…

Oops:

A U.S. drone mistakenly targeted a wedding convoy in Yemen’s al-Baitha province after intelligence reports identified the vehicles as carrying al Qaeda militants, two Yemeni national security officials told CNN on Thursday.

The officials said that 14 people were killed and 22 others injured, nine in critical condition. The vehicles were traveling near the town of Radda when they were attacked.

“This was a tragic mistake and comes at a very critical time. None of the killed was a wanted suspect by the Yemeni government,” said a top Yemeni national security official who asked not to be named because he is not authorized to talk to media.

U.S. officials declined to comment on the report.

What are you going to say? Best wishes? Many happy returns?

Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is just another desperate attempt to keep Obamacare off the front pages. (If Mandela had to go, what’s another dozen Yemenis?)

PS: Can you blame Obama for wanting to play with his cool toys?

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The drone, or unmanned aerial system, was launched from a torpedo tube on the USS Providence, the Navy said in a news release.

The drone itself was inside a launch vehicle called the Sea Robin that fit inside the torpedo tube.

Once launched, the Sea Robin made its way to the ocean surface and, upon command, the drone itself launched from there, the Navy said.

The drone, powered with electric fuel cells, then flew for hours, streaming live video back to Navy officials.

Awesome. You might want to reconsider any oceanfront wedding plans.

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First They Came for the Post-Partum Depressed Mom

And Mark Steyn spoke out:

[A]n unarmed woman was gunned down on the streets of Washington for no apparent crime other than driving too near Barackingham Palace and thereby posing a threat to national security. As disturbing as Miriam Carey’s bullet-riddled body and vehicle were, the public indifference to it is even worse. Ms. Carey does not appear to be guilty of any act other than a panic attack when the heavy-handed and heavier-armed palace guard began yelling at her. Much of what was reported in the hours after her death seems dubious: We are told Ms. Carey was “mentally ill,” although she had no medications in her vehicle and those at her home back in Connecticut are sufficiently routine as to put millions of other Americans in the category of legitimate target. We are assured that she suffered from post-partum depression, as if the inability to distinguish between a depressed mom and a suicide bomber testifies to the officers’ professionalism. Under D.C. police rules, cops are not permitted to fire on a moving vehicle, because of the risk to pedestrians and other drivers. But the Secret Service and the Capitol Police enjoy no such restraints, so the car doors are full of bullet holes. The final moments of the encounter remain a mystery, but police were supposedly able to extract Ms. Carey’s baby from the back of a two-door vehicle before dispatching the defenseless mother to meet her maker.

Did I mention she was African American? When a black teen dies in a late-night one-on-one encounter with a fellow citizen on the streets of Sanford, Fla., it’s the biggest thing since Selma. But when a defenseless black woman is gunned down by a posse of robocops in broad daylight on the streets of the capital, the Reverend Jackson and the Reverend Sharpton and all the other bouffed and pampered grievance-mongers are apparently cool with it.

This isn’t very difficult. When you need large numbers of supposedly highly trained elite officers to kill an unarmed woman with a baby, you’re doing it wrong. In perhaps the most repugnant reaction to Ms. Carey’s death, the United States Congress expressed their “gratitude” to the officers who killed her and gave them a standing ovation.

This was a repulsive act by Congress.

Miriam Carey is already forgotten, and the lawyer her family hired has now, conveniently, been jailed for a bad debt. I am not one for cheap historical analogies: My mother spent four of her childhood years under Nazi occupation, and it is insulting to her and millions of others who know the real thing to bandy overheated comparisons. But there is a despotic trend in American government. Too many of our rulers and their enforcers reflexively see the citizenry primarily as a threat. Which is why the tautness of one’s buns is now probable cause, and why in Congress the so-called people’s representatives’ first instinct is to stand and cheer the death of a defenseless woman.

Worship him as I do, Mark Steyn glosses over a few important points. The late Ms. Carey did have a documented history of erratic behavior—if not outright loopiness (yes, loopiness—look it up in the DSM). She did try to drive her car onto White House grounds, and she did knock over a Secret Service agent while trying to get away.

The chain-of-events began when the woman sped onto a driveway leading to the White House, over a set of barricades. When the driver couldn’t get through a second barrier, she spun the car in the opposite direction, flipping a Secret Service officer over the hood of the car as she sped away, said B.J. Campbell, a tourist from Portland, Ore.

“This wasn’t no accident. She was not a lost tourist,” Campbell said later near the scene that had been blocked off with police tape.

Then the chase began.

“The car was trying to get away. But it was going over the median and over the curb,” said Matthew Coursen, who was watching from a cab window when the Infiniti sped by him. “The car got boxed in and that’s when I saw an officer of some kind draw his weapon and fire shots into the car.”

And yet, the story may not be so cut and dry. Before the lawyer was jailed:

Besides, I remember another time Mark Steyn held his applause at the gunning down of another “terrorist”:

Mark Steyn 12:01AM BST 26 Jul 2005

[W]e turn to Jean Charles de Menezes, the supposed “suicide bomber” who turned out to be a Brazilian electrician on his way to work. Unfortunately, by the time the Metropolitan Police figured that out, they’d put five bullets in his head. We’re told we shouldn’t second-guess split-second decisions that have to be made under great stress by those on the scene, which would be a more persuasive argument if the British constabulary didn’t spend so much time doing exactly that to homeowners who make the mistake of defending themselves against violent criminals. And, if summary extrajudicial execution was so urgent, why did the surveillance team let him take a bus ride before eventually cornering him in the Tube?

[F]ew of us had an inkling of the Met’s new “shoot to kill” policy until they shot and killed Mr de Menezes. And although I’ve had a ton of e-mails pointing out various sinister aspects of his behaviour – he was wearing a heavy coat! he refused to stop! – it seems to me there are an awful lot of people on the Tube who might easily find themselves in Mr de Menezes’s position.

I happened to be passing through London on Friday. It didn’t feel terribly warm, but I spend half a year up to my neck in snow so when it climbs to a balmy 48 I start wearing T-shirts. But I can understand why a Brazilian might find 61 and overcast no reason to eschew a heavy jacket. So a man in a suspiciously warm coat refuses to stop for the police. Well, they were a plain-clothes unit – ie, a gang – and confronted by unidentified men brandishing weapons in south London I’d scram, too.

Mr de Menezes is forgotten; Miriam Carey is on her way to join him in oblivion eight years later. Their behaviors aroused suspicion, and in tense times (Tube bombings and Navy Yard shootings) their unnecessary deaths were “collateral damage” in the war on terror. There’s a fair amount of that going around—if I were a Waziristan grandmother, I’d leave the fu**ing okra to rot on the vine, or however it grows.

It is what it is, the sports cliche goes. But we don’t have to like it. We don’t have to excuse it. And shame on us, forever, if we choose to forget it.

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Good Self-Awarenss

In a related story [see post below]:

This will not go over well for the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner.
According to the new book “Double Down,” in which journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann chronicle the 2012 presidential election, President Barack Obama told his aides that he’s “really good at killing people” while discussing drone strikes.

Peter Hamby of The Washington Post reported the moment in his review of the book.

The claim by the commander-in-chief is as indisputable as it is grim.

Obama oversaw the 2009 surge in Afghanistan, 145 Predator drone strikes in NATO’s 2011 Libya operations, the May 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden, and drone strikes that killed the Pakistani Taliban leader and a senior member of the Somali-based militant group al-Shabab this week.

His administration also expanded the drone war: There have been 326 drone strikes in Pakistan, 93 in Yemen, and several in Somalia, compared to a total of 52 under George Bush.

Furthermore, the disturbing trend of the “double tap” — bombing the same place in quick succession and often hitting first responders — has become common practice.

Needless to say, a lot of innocent people have been killed along with combatants.

I didn’t know about the “double tap”, did you? But it’s true:

Late in the evening on 6 June this year an unmanned drone was flying high above the Pakistani village of Datta Khel in north Waziristan.

As the drone circled it let off the first of its Hellfire missiles, slamming into a small house and reducing it to rubble. When residents rushed to the scene of the attack to see if they could help they were struck again.

According to reports at the time, three local rescuers were killed by a second missile whilst a further strike killed another three people five minutes later. In all, somewhere between 17 and 24 people are thought to have been killed in the attack.

BOO-YAH!

He sure is good at killing people! But everyone’s a critic these days:

“These strikes are becoming much more common,” Mirza Shahzad Akbar, a Pakistani lawyer who represents victims of drone strikes, told The Independent. “In the past it used to be a one-off, every now and then. Now almost every other attack is a double tap. There is no justification for it.”

By the way, these are the same reporters who wrote Game Change, about the 2008 election. I can’t wait to see the HBO movie of this new book, in which Morgan Freeman (have you seen Obama’s gray hair?) plays the great man boasting what a bad ass he is. Date night.

PS: If this is true, our president is a sick [bleep].

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Why We Blow Up Grandmas

With sympathy and respect to the Waziristan family who traveled to Washington to testify how an American drone wasted grandma when they went out to pick okra (as we reported), this is why:

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The U.S. ambassador to Islamabad was summoned to Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry on Saturday, a day after Pakistan Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud was killed by a U.S. drone strike.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry did not explain why the envoy was summoned. A U.S. State Department official confirmed the meeting to CNN but would not disclose details about it.

The State Department official would not discuss U.S. operations in Pakistan but stressed the Pakistan Taliban’s 2009 attack on a U.S. base in Afghanistan and claims of responsibility for a failed attempt to bomb Times Square in New York.

Mehsud, who had a $5 million U.S. bounty on his head for his alleged involvement in the 2009 attack , was killed in a drone strike in northwestern Pakistan on Friday, senior U.S. and Pakistani officials told CNN.

He was buried overnight, though the body was burned beyond recognition, Taliban sources said. The organization was scheduled to meet Saturday to pick a new leader, the sources said.

Saleem Mehsud, a journalist who is close to the Mehsuds and familiar with the Pakistan Taliban, told CNN on Saturday that the central shura, or council, of the Pakistan Taliban has approved Sheheryar Mehsud as its new chief.

Sheheryar Mehsud is from the Jangara area of South Waziristan and belongs to the Shabikheil sub-tribe within the larger Mehsud tribe, he said. That’s the same sub-tribe that Baitullah Mehsud, who led the Pakistan Taliban before Hakimullah Mehsud, belonged to.

I think I see their problem. (Have you seen Deliverance?) Their gene pool is more like a puddle.

Still, the family might have a point. There’s no shortage of Mehsuds to take over the Pakistani Taliban; but they had only one grandma. Nailing a terrorist leader isn’t going to put okra on their table.

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Another Thing Obama Doesn’t Know?

We’re vaporizing Pakistani grandmas—is that what President Obama means by American exceptionalism?

Nine-year-old Nabila Rehman rested her head on the table.

Nabila, a shy girl with startling hazel eyes and red streaks in her dark hair, along with her father Rafiq and 13-year-old brother Zubair, have told the story of the day when a drone fell from the sky in their village in North Waziristan so many times. By Tuesday morning the tale was rote — even if this particular retelling was before U.S. lawmakers, at a briefing which was the first opportunity for members of Congress to hear directly from Pakistani victims of American drones.

It was October 24, 2012, the day before the Islamic holy day of Eid-al-Adha in North Waziristan. Zubair, Nabila, their little sister, five-year-old Asma, and some of their cousins were all in the fields beside their house as their grandmother, 67-year-old Momina Bibi, showed them how to tell when the okra was ripe for picking.

Zubair knew the drones were circling overhead; he has known their distinctive buzzing since he was even younger — a methodical zung, zung, zung, he says.

“It’s something that even a 2-year-old would know,” he said in Pashto, speaking to Al Jazeera through a translator. “We hear the noise 24 hours a day.”

Before the missile hit, he remembers hearing two clicks, like a trigger being pulled. Suddenly, day seemed to turn to night as they were enveloped in darkness and heat. Their grandmother, Momina Bibi, was thrown 20 feet away and killed instantly.

Zubair, Nabila and the other children wounded in the attack were taken to a hospital. Zubair had shrapnel lodged in his leg — an injury that would take expensive laser surgeries to heal — while Nabila looked down to see her hand bleeding.

“I tried to bandage my hand but the blood wouldn’t stop,” she said. “The blood kept coming.”

The Rehmans traveled halfway across the world, from their remote village of Tappi, to tell their story, and to urge lawmakers to put an end to the covert CIA program of “targeted killings” in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere. They also participated in an Amnesty International report about casualties of drones and a documentary by filmmaker Robert Greenwald, called Unmanned. According to the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, 376 total strikes have taken place in Pakistan, killing up to 926 civilians, and as many as 200 children.

The Obama administration, for its part, until recently did not even acknowledge the existence of the program.

See? He probably doesn’t even know. He didn’t know bubkes about Benghazi, about the IRS, about the NSA, about EdselCare—what’s he going to know about a grandma picking okra with her grandkids?

Ultimately, only five members of Congress arrived at the briefing to hear their testimony Tuesday morning: Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida, who organized the briefing, along with Reps. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., Rush Holt, D-N.J., John Conyers, D-Mich., and Rick Nolan, D-Minn.

I’m actually kind of ashamed only five congressmen showed up, none of them Republican. Still, maybe one of the Democrats can get word to Obama, and he can find out whose ass to kick.

From another account:

“What radicals had previously failed to achieve in my village,” al-Muslimi said, “one drone strike accomplished in an instant: there is now an intense anger and growing hatred of America,” adding that he has ”seen al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula use U.S. strikes to promote its agenda and try to recruit more terrorists.”

The drones are an important tool in counterterrorism, no doubt. But President Obama has a Big Problem here. Under President Bush, a rabidly ruthless press would hound him until he changed policy (see the successful surge in Iraq). This press corps is complicit—accessories before, during, and after the fact.

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Speaking Truth to Power


Just keep smiling, sweetie. You can say anything you want as long as you keep smiling.

She thought the Taliban reacted angrily to female empowerment. Hoo boy, is she in for a rude awakening:

The “Bravest Girl in the World” has stood up to President Barack Obama.

Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year-old shot by the Taliban for promoting girl’s education in her native Pakistan, confronted Obama at the White House on Friday about U.S. drone strikes.

In a meeting that included first lady Michelle Obama, the young activist challenged one of Obama’s premier counterterrorism strategies.

“I also expressed my concerns that drone attacks are fueling terrorism,” she said in a statement released today. “Innocent victims are killed in these acts, and they lead to resentment among the Pakistani people. If we refocus efforts on education it will make a big impact.”

Well, she’s young. She would believe that. And this:

“I want to become a prime minister of Pakistan, and I think it’s really good. Because through politics I can serve my whole county. I can be the doctor of the whole country,” she said.

She’s a wonderful, remarkable young woman. I’m glad she survived the Taliban’s bullet. (Let’s hope she’s as lucky with the impending offensive from the Democrat-media complex.) But the Taliban has many, many more bullets. Which is why I’m glad we have many, many more Hellfire missiles.

It’s sad I’m stuck in that way of thinking, but it is what it is.

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He the People

Consider this a companion piece to the one below:

President Obama’s admirers—who include most of the press corps, the Nobel committee and President Obama—believe above all in the power of his oratory: A “major speech,” in Philadelphia, Tucson or Cairo, can always calm troubled political waters. Which makes the silence of this wordiest of Presidents all the more unusual and dangerous amid the political uproar over National Security Agency antiterror surveillance.

In the 11 days since the story broke, Mr. Obama has offered only one brief and elliptical defense of the NSA programs. “I welcome this debate,” he said, adding that “We’ll have a chance to talk further during the course of the next couple days.”

Mr. Obama went on to spend the next couple days avoiding the debate he said he welcomed. Between fund-raising appearances in Miami Beach and Santa Monica, he squeezed in an event welcoming the women’s professional basketball championship team to the White House, an Ed Markey for Senate rally in Boston, and a celebration for gay pride month. The core national-security obligations of the Presidency? Nada.

With Mr. Obama’s face on the surveillance milk carton, the case for data-mining and digital eavesdropping has fallen to NSA chief Keith Alexander and the bipartisan leaders of the House and Senate intelligence committees. Meanwhile, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper continued his pattern of doing more harm than good with his line about answering congressional questions in “the most truthful or least most untruthful manner,” which helps to explain why people are skeptical of U.S. spooks.

If Mr. Obama wants to maintain public support for the U.S. antiterror architecture he inherited and has robustly used, he is going to have to publicly defend it in the context of American interests and values. Without such a defense, the political vacuum will be filled by speculation and demagoguery as it has been for nearly two weeks.

As a Senator, Mr. Obama might have joined the demagogues. Yet as President he has largely erred on the side of keeping the country safe, which confirms the truism that the world looks different from the Oval Office than from an Iowa fairground. He has bombed terrorists to death by the hundreds even as his rhetoric continues to suggest that he has saved the nation from George W. Bush’s antiterror tyranny. This contradiction between his talk and action is now undermining support for Mr. Obama’s powers.

All of this follows an unfortunate national-security pattern: Mr. Obama ramped up the Afghan campaign while undercutting the counter-insurgency strategy from the start, and he barely spoke of it again except to trumpet withdrawal. He threw in with the Europe-led Libya coalition at the last second, only to abdicate once Gadhafi fell and to the point that a U.S. Ambassador was murdered without consequence.

Last month he all but declared the war on terror wrapped up. And then last Thursday he left the explanation for his abrupt change of heart to (lightly) arm the Syrian rebels to his deputy national security adviser.

When the going gets tough, the tough go to Germany and give a speech (another one!) in front of the Brandenburg gate.

I don’t want to say that President Obama is a narcissist, but if he were any more in love with himself, he’d have to leave Michelle to be with his “soul mate”.

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What if Bush Had Done This?

Oh wait, he did!

The U.S. government has obtained a top secret court order that requires Verizon to turn over the telephone records of millions of Americans to the National Security Agency on an “ongoing daily basis,” the UK-based Guardian newspaper reported Wednesday.

The four-page order, which The Guardian published on its website, requires the communications giant to turn over “originating and terminating” telephone numbers as well as the location, time and duration of the calls. The order, published on the newspaper’s website, does not require the contents of conversations to be turned over.

CNN has so far been unable to independently verify the authenticity of the document.

If genuine, the order gives the NSA blanket access to the records of millions of Verizon customers’ domestic and foreign phone calls made between April 25, when the order was signed, and July 19, when it expires.

Verizon spokesman Edward McFadden declined to comment on the report.
According to the document published by The Guardian, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court Judge Roger Vinson signed a “Secondary Order” granting an FBI request for access to the records.

“As far as we know, this order from the FISA court is the broadest surveillance order to ever have been issued: it requires no level of suspicion and applies to all Verizon subscribers anywhere in the U.S.,” the Center for Constitutional Rights said in a statement released shortly after the story broke.

Reacting to Wednesday’s disclosure, the American Civil Liberties Union called for an immediate end to the order and a congressional investigation into the move.

“It’s a program in which some untold number of innocent people have been put under the constant surveillance of government agents,” Jameel Jaffer, the ACLU’s deputy legal director, said.

“It is beyond Orwellian, and it provides further evidence of the extent to which basic democratic rights are being surrendered in secret to the demands of unaccountable intelligence agencies.”

As an AT&T subscriber, I’d like to thank Judge Vinson. Verizon customers can’t be trusted. And don’t get me started on T-Mobile and Sprint subscribers. Line ‘em all up against the wall and shoot ‘em.

Aggie and I have trouble nailing exactly which presidents Obama resembles in his demeanor and policies. But I think I can safely say it’s all of them.

He’s like Bush in continuing most of his policies—foreign and domestic—against terrorism and Islamic extremism; he’s like Clinton in Big Government, nanny-state interventionism; Bush 41 in muscling Israel to concede territory and security; Reagan… not at all; Carter in economic malaise and low morale; and Nixon in all other ways. Oh yeah, Eisenhower in his obsession with golf, and Truman in winning an election he should have lost. And Kennedy in giving grandiloquent speeches in Berlin that amount to next to nothing.

PS: And Roosevelt in wasteful government projects and packing the court.

PPS: And Herbert Hoover, naturally.

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The Obama Doctrine

Kill ‘em all, let God sort ‘em out:

The CIA did not always know who it was targeting and killing in drone strikes in Pakistan over a 14-month period, an NBC News review of classified intelligence reports shows.

About one of every four of those killed by drones in Pakistan between Sept. 3, 2010, and Oct. 30, 2011, were classified as “other militants,” the documents detail. The “other militants” label was used when the CIA could not determine the affiliation of those killed, prompting questions about how the agency could conclude they were a threat to U.S. national security.

The uncertainty appears to arise from the use of so-called “signature” strikes to eliminate suspected terrorists — picking targets based in part on their behavior and associates. A former White House official said the U.S. sometimes executes people based on “circumstantial evidence.”

Though the Obama administration has previously said it targets al Qaeda leaders and senior Taliban officials plotting attacks against the U.S. and U.S. troops, officials are sometimes unsure of the targets’ affiliations. About half of the targets in the documents are described as al Qaeda. But in 26 of the attacks, accounting for about a quarter of the fatalities, those killed are described only as “other militants.” In four others, the dead are described as “foreign fighters.”

In some cases, U.S. officials also seem unsure how many people died. One entry says that a drone attack killed seven to 10 people, while another says that an attack killed 20 to 22.

Yet officials seem certain that however many people died, and whoever they were, none of them were non-combatants.

Because they’re, like, totally sure.

Kinda funny (if you’re weird like me) that President Obama, who believes in prosecuting terrorists and enemy combatants in the local county courthouse, executes anonymous victims based on “circumstantial evidence” and “behavior”.

And they know—just know—that the vaporized victims had it coming.

I think this is deserving of one of our rare “What If Bush Had Done This?” Award?™

PS: Remember in 2008 when candidate Obama said we should take the War on Terror to Pakistan? A promise made is a promise kept.

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Same Shiite, Different Name

Boy, am I glad Aggie is away this week. Her delicate sensibilities would be horribly offended by this sort of hate speech:

The Prime Minister told MPs he would do more to tackle the “conveyor belt to radicalisation” which is poisoning the minds of young Muslims.

Mr Cameron also confirmed a Telegraph report that he is looking at finding ways to allow spies to monitor people over the internet without the need for Commons vote.

In his first Commons statement since the brutal murder in Woolwich, south London last month of Drummer Lee Rigby, Mr Cameron said it was important to learn the lessons from the attack.

He told MPs: “it is not simply enough to target and go after violent extremists after they’ve become violent. We have to drain the swamp in which they inhabit.”

This meant stopping young Muslims becoming radicalised on university campuses and preventing extremists from taking over Islamic centres. He said: “It means going through all of these elements of the conveyor belt to radicalisation and making sure we deal with them.”

Swamp? Really? Isn’t that a little insensitive?

And doesn’t it remind you of someone?

Defense Secretary Rumsfeld said Wednesday that the campaign would combine military, political, intelligence and diplomatic initiatives to “drain the swamp they live in.”

Cammy gets all Rummy! Who’d a think it?

Of course, that was Afghanistan, and that was almost 12 years ago, but bully for British for catching up. A little too late for at least one British drummer boy, but let’s not be uncharitable.

Meanwhile, one of the swamp rats has a new name:

With everyone finally in place, Michael Adebolajo was shepherded into court between two security officials behind the glass-screened dock which can clearly accommodate up to perhaps a dozen defendants at any one time.

With a left arm heavily bandaged and possibly in plaster, and his right arm gripping the Koran, a supporter in the public gallery tried and eventually succeeded in making eye-contact with him, whereupon the defendant began blowing a series of kisses which he would continue to do throughout the proceedings from time to time.

He told the magistrate that he wished now to be known as Mujahid Abu Hamza and the magistrate duly addressed him by that name in all subsequent exchanges.

The charges were read that, on May 22nd 2013 he murdered Drummer Lee Rigby and that he also attempted to murder two police officers identified only as E48 and D49 and that he was in possession of a 9.4mm KNIL model 91 revolver with which he was unthreatening unlawful violence.

Abu Hamza: no accident he chose that name. Lotta swamp rats carry it.

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I Miss These Guys

I don’t miss George Bush so much. I generally supported his policies, but found him too deferential to the liberal establishment.

His enforcers, however, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld—them I miss:

Donald Rumsfeld, who served as defense secretary under Bush from 2001-2006, said Obama has “blamed the Bush administration for practically everything since he took office.”

Rumsfeld said the United States has not engaged terrorism ideologically in the same way it took on Communism during the Cold War.

“I gave us a D-minus, and I’m an easy grader. I would give this administration an F, because they won’t even use the words,” said Rumsfeld.

“Until today, I haven’t heard people use the word jihad. I haven’t heard the people in the Obama administration talk about the fact that there are people that are determined to kill innocent men, women, and children that are attacking the whole concept of the nation state,” said Rumsfeld.

Rumsfeld also took issue with Obama’s assertion that al Qaeda had “been gutted.”

“That just simply isn’t true. Al Qaeda is still effective. We have killed or captured any number of al Qaeda leadership, and they get replaced.

Drones were not started by the Obama administration; there were drone attacks during the Bush years as well.

“We had very few when I came into office. They were increased, and this administration has the benefit of those unmanned aerial vehicles,” said Rumsfeld.

But Rumsfeld said that it is a very tough issue, and agreed with Obama’s statement that the administration would consider options for making drone strikes more transparent, like an independent oversight board, or a special court to approve the attacks.

“Going to the Congress and discussing it with them and getting them on board for some policy – that makes sense to the American people, so that he has that kind of support. He will need it,” said Rumsfeld.

Rumsfeld said there is one particular rule he would give to Obama.

“When I was a Navy pilot, the rule if you’re lost is to climb, conserve, and confess. Get some altitude. Take a deep breath, and get on the radio and say, you’re lost,” said Rumsfeld.

Rumsfeld said the administration changes its tune “week after week after week, whether it’s Benghazi or whether it’s the Internal Revenue Service.”

“What you need to do is get the people in the office, sit them down, and find ground truth, because the currency a leader has is credibility,” said Rumsfeld.

President Obama has followed most of that advice. He got the people in the office, sat them down—and concocted a cover story. Benghazi happened because of a YouTube video, and the myriad abuses by the federal government happened because of a few rogue junior personnel. That’s their story, and they’re sticking to it.


Watching Lois Lerner take the Fifth.

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