I guess leftists can take comfort that no one was waterboarded or deprived of sleep in order to prevent this tragedy.
The Senate Democrats are releasing a report on the CIA’s use of “torture” today. At this stage, there seems no point in relitigating whether the use of harsh but non-injurious interrogation techniques (e.g. waterboarding. sleep deprivation, stress positions) to derive intelligence that saves innocent human lives is actually “torture.” But one does wonder why, after eight years in power, the Democrats are just *now* releasing this report as they are headed out the door? One can speculate as to the reasons for the timing:
- One last opportunity to slam the Bush Administration, because Democrat political success hinges on keeping hate directed at their opposition.
- An opportunity for the self-righteous moral preening the left is so fond of indulging in; regardless of the cost in human lives and destruction
- Leaving a big, steaming turd on the desk for the incoming Republican majority to deal with.
- [Update] I almost forgot, thanks Heliotrope, fossilized Democrat Senator Diane Feinstein has a personal vendetta with the CIA.
Now, if the USA were engaged in the kind of torture that ISIS and the (much beloved by the left) Cuban Communist Regimes does — pulling off fingernails, burning people alive, physical disfigurement — has done, and for no other purpose than sadistic retribution, that would be something to be outraged about. But as for shedding a tear because the Mohammadan butcher Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded to get vital, life-saving information…
I guess that’s one way of looking at it.
President Obama acknowledged Sunday that U.S. intelligence officials “underestimated” the threat posed by the Islamic State and overestimated the Iraqi army’s capacity to defeat the militant group…
Let’s be clear: Officials who were chosen and supported by Obama. The administration of Barack Hussein Obama underestimated ISIS.
Or else, we can make this entry #39,422 in the files of “Obama pretends that he hasn’t been president all these years”. In the interview, Obama goes on to also blame Iraq’s PM al-Maliki for the problems; never himself.
One more thing. Does Obama still have the U.S. backing the world’s evil dictators? It seems so:
Obama also acknowledged that the U.S. is dealing with a conundrum in Syria, as the U.S.-led military campaign against the Islamic State is helping Syrian President Bashar Assad, whom the U.N. has accused of war crimes.
“I recognize the contradiction in a contradictory land and a contradictory circumstance,” Obama said…
Bush practically would have been impeached, for saying that. (And Bush wouldn’t have said it because Bush did what he could, to push U.S. policy in the direction of overthrowing the world’s evil dictators.)
One more thing. Has Obama made it a thing of the past, that the U.S. might strike its enemies pre-emptively (or perhaps unilaterally, as the Left calls it)? Not so much:
Obama called the threat from the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, and other terror groups a more “immediate concern that has to be dealt with…” “…in terms of immediate threats to the United States, ISIL, Khorasan Group — those folks could kill Americans,” he said…
Both groups have been targeted by U.S. airstrikes in recent days…
Barack Obama: Just what the Left always *accused* Bush of being. And of course, the media lets him get away with it.
UPDATE: Some Democrats agree that it was the Obama White House, more than the U.S. intelligence community, which underestimated ISIS.
Former Rear Admiral Joe Sestak, a two-term Democratic member of the House of Representatives…appeared to surprise his MSNBC interlocutor when he noted that the only people who got ISIS wrong work in the Obama administration.
“If you remember back in January and February, the head — the general, the Defense Intelligence Agency, actually testified before the House and Senate that in 2014, ISIS would take over large swaths of territory,” the Navy veteran asserted. “In fact, at the time he testified, they had already seized Ramadi and Fallujah — 35 miles from Baghdad.”
A decade ago, Fallujah was a crucial victory for the Marines (some of whom gave their lives) against an earlier version of ISIS. I guess Obama threw it back.
UPDATE: A report that Obama was warned about ISIS in 2012. As Ed Morrissey puts it:
…the US intelligence community told him of the danger at the same time Obama ridiculed Mitt Romney during the presidential debates…for wanting a residual force in Iraq to prevent exactly what Romney warned would happen.
I guess it’s just hard to contemplate an Obama policy without the words “Miserable Failure” coming to mind.
Rubio: Let me ask you about that then. What you’re saying now is there is the potential for the US will be coordinating with Iran?
Kerry: No I never said anything about coordinating. If we are failing and failing miserably who knows what choice they might make.
Yeah, in the span of my own lifetime, America has gone from “Failure is not an option” to “If we fail miserably, maybe Iran can bail us out.” (Although Kerry, realizing his gaffe, tries to turn it around and accuse Senator Rubio of wanting the president’s half-assed scheme to fail.)
Tell me how America hasn’t gone into an accelerated decline under Democrat rule.
The world has become so insane that Al Qaeda is opposing the Mohammedan terrorist monsters of ISIS, but American’s homegrown leftist fringe is solidly in support.
- The deranged leftist women of Code Pink busted up a Senate meeting on a military response to ISIS to demand that the Mohammedan headchoppers be left alone.
- American college students signed a petition in support of ISIS.
…surprised I even can log in here anymore
Sorry to be away so long, but this one came to me in a flash and figured I’d put it together (amateurishly) and throw it up:
Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from The Ranch)
Have I mentioned lately that our country is run by moonbats?
ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER’S Justice Department is opening a criminal investigation into the beheading by Islamic State militants of American journalist James Foley, the latest move by the Obama administration to use the criminal justice system to pursue terrorists.
Above all else, the Obama Administration wants to make sure that Islamic terrorists get their Miranda Rights and their taxpayer-provided ACLU attorneys.
A real leader would not treat this situation as an episode of Law and Order: Beheadings Unit. A real leader would be saying, “These sub-human pieces of sh-t need to be wiped from the face of the Earth. We will strike and bomb them until they big for mercy; and then we will show them none.”
As for President Obama, he is very teed off about the whole ISIS Situation.
So, yesterday, the Mohammedan savages of the Islamic State (ISIS) sawed off the head of an American journalist on live video, but no one on the left seems to care very much.
President Obama does not want to deal with ISIS and makes it clear that he does so only with the greatest reluctance. Some say this is out of fear of angering the far left base of his party, but that’s not it. It’s because just a few months ago, he was trash-talking ISIS as the “JV Squad” of Al Qaeda, whom he had put “on its heels” by personally making the “gutsy call” of taking out Osama bin Laden. (Because, you see, no other president would have had the guts to do that. [Well, Bill Clinton didn’t, and he bragged about his failure to kill Osama bin Laden.]}
No, Obama does not want to deal with ISIS because their barbarity is a reminder of his own disastrous foreign policy failure. To admit that this “JV Squad” is a problem would be admitting that he underestimated them, that his policies allowed them to become a threat. His ego simply will not permit him to confront his failure; that would require admitting that he failed.
Secretary of State John F. Kerry matches his boss for egocentric narcissism. He has very little interest in ISIS, his bailiwick is “Global Warming.” Not so much because he believes it is a genuine crisis as it is because he believes that his position will win him plaudits from the New York Times editorial page, the faculty lounge at Harvard, the international elites, and his fellow yachtsmen; the people that really matter.
The Obama Administration will do little to fight ISIS unless they do something really bad, like shoot a 292 pound thug who just robbed a convenience store, or their actions become an unignorable political liability to the Democrat Party. Until such time as that happens, ISIS can go on murdering and beheading as much as they please.
The Taliban must be beside themselves in awe of their amazing luck in getting Barack Hussein Obama as President of the United States. His de facto abandonment of Afghanistan means that a return to power by the Taliban is pretty much inevitable. And then on Friday, the Taliban was delighted to have five members of their top leadership released by President Obama in exchange for an American POW widely believed to be a deserter.
In rare public statement, Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar hailed the five-for-one trade and thanked Qatar for mediating the deal.
“I extend my heartfelt congratulations to the entire Afghan Muslim nation, all the mujahideen and to the families and relatives of the prisoners for this big victory,” the world’s No. 1 terrorist said.
The president who won’t give an inch to Republicans seems very comfortable giving away entire countries to Mohammedan terrorists, and releasing Islamist War Criminals from Guantanamo.
Bergdahl’s pappy gave a pretty interesting speech at news that his son had been exchanged for five of the Taliban’s most brutal terrorists.
At the end of brief event, the soldier’s father, Bob Bergdahl, recited the most frequent phrase in the Koran — “Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim” —which means “In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Compassionate.”
After Bergdahl finished his statement and his praise for Allah, Obama hugged him.
The Taliban echoed Bergdahl, saying the trade happened “due to the benevolence of Allah Almighty and the sacrifices of the heroic and courageous Mujahidin of the Islamic Emirate.”
Imagine if FDR had traded Josef Mengele, Adolph Eichmann, Heinrich Himmler, Josef Goebbels, and Ernst Kaltenbrunner to the Nazis in exchange for one American deserter; and during the announcement of the release, the deserter’s father had yelled “Heil, Hitler!” That’s pretty much what happened here.
[Comparisons to the German National Socialist Workers Party are usually way over-the-top, but considering the goals and methods of the Taliban Islamists, they may actually fit in this case. Agree or Disagree?]
No link, because we all know the story, and I’m just spit-ballin’.
The disappearance of flight 370 seems to have brought out a lot of people’s inner… terrorist spy novel author guy. The MFM and their allies in Government are releasing information that seems to contradict itself day-to-day. (“The transponder was turned off before the last radio contact.” “Oh, wait, no it wasn’t.”) And people have been weaving these bits of misinformation together to form theories that the aircraft has been flown to a secret Taliban/Al Qaeda/Uighur base for some nefarious purpose. And it may be so, but the Inner Skeptic has his doubts.
The thing that has bothered the Inner Skeptic from the beginning is, if you planned to use the plane in a terrorist attack, why acquire it in such a high-profile way? Every Government is on alert for it, now. If you wanted to load a plane with explosives or a nuke or a dirty bomb, why not just acquire one on the international used aircraft market? That would be much lower profile
Mr Occam is offering the Inner Skeptic a very sharp and shiny piece of metal, and says that the plane probably had a systems malfunction, possibly an on-board electrical fire, that incapacitated the plane’s transponder and communication systems, as well as the crew. It then flew on autopilot out over the Indian Ocean before running out of fuel and crashing into the sea.
Not very exciting, but it seems more reasonable than an elaborate terrorist aircraft-theft scheme.
And another reason it can’t be terrorism is because President Obama personally killed Osama bin Laden; thus ending terrorism forever so we can reduce our military to Great Depression levels. (If I understand the talking point correctly.)
From Stephen F. Hayes:
For five years, the Obama administration has chosen to see the world as they wish it to be, not as it is. In this fantasy world, the attack in Fort Hood is “workplace violence.” The Christmas Day bomber is an “isolated extremist.” The attempted bombing in Times Square is a “one-off” attack. The attacks in Benghazi are a “spontaneous” reaction to a YouTube video. Al Qaeda is on the run. Bashar al-Assad is a “reformer.” The Iranian regime can be sweet-talked out of its nuclear weapons program. And Vladimir Putin is a new, post-Cold War Russian leader.
In the real world, it was a pen pal of the late jihadist Anwar al-Awlaki who opened fire on soldiers at Fort Hood. The Christmas bomber was dispatched from Yemen, where he was instructed by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The Times Square bomber was trained and financed by the Pakistani Taliban. Benghazi was a deliberate attack launched by well-known terrorist groups. Al Qaeda is amassing territory and increasing its profile. Assad is a brutal dictator, responsible for the deaths of more than 100,000 Syrians. The Iranian regime is firmly entrenched as the world’s foremost state sponsor of terror and remains determined to lead a nuclear state. And in Russia we face a Cold War throwback willing to use force to expand Russian influence.
And Vladimir Putin, it turns out, is who we thought he was. Unfortunately, so is Barack Obama.
If you only caught his conclusion, you’d never know that Obama has spent the last few weeks loudly war-mongering on Syria, seeking unilaterally to plunge America into a new war that over 60% of Americans oppose.
Obama started out his speech with a lot of “Oh! Won’t somebody please think of the children!” But he offered only a series of assertions (no evidence) on a crucial point: whether Syria’s President Assad is responsible for the chemical weapons attacks. (The intelligence is still weak; since the rebels are some nasty people, it’s still worth considering whether they did the attacks as a ‘false flag’ operation to draw the U.S. in, or if it was perhaps a rogue Syrian general.)
Obama then offered a thin connection to U.S. security interests: (more…)
I don’t even have to comment; HotAir’s headlines alone make all the points. OK, I’ll throw in a few little ones.
- Fearsome new White House talking point on Syria: Our attack will be “unbelievably small”. Or as John F. Kerry might say: How do you ask a man to be the first/last/whatever man to die for an episode of erectile dysfunction?
- WH worried that Syria [vote] loss will cripple Obama presidency. Americans who value their freedom could perhaps view that as “a feature, not a bug.”
- CNN poll shows nearly six in 10 oppose military authorization for Syria. Truly he is The People’s President!
- WH chief of staff: We’re a coalition of one. As in…we’ll act unilaterally?
- EU to Obama: Go back to the UN. Wait, he went? I must have been sneezing.
- Will Obama ignore the House on Syria attack? Alternate title: Would you have any Grey Poupon?
- Ed Schultz: The “spite in conservative hearts” for Obama is the “only reason they are against war for the first time, ever”. Alternate title: Let us lefties damn conservatives if they do…AND if they don’t!
And never mind the record of history, that conservatives opposed American involvement in World War 1, World War 2, Korea and Vietnam – until America was attacked; something that happened in Iraq (with Saddam repeatedly firing at U.S. planes), but not Syria. Clue for Ed Schultz: Conservatives like to see a rational connection to U.S. security, in their wars. They’re pretty consistent about it.
Sorry if my title pun was too painful.
UPDATE: Gaffe-tastic: Hillary pretty excited about Kerry’s accidental proposal for international control of Syria’s WMD arsenal. With the way this Obama-Syria mess writes itself, blogging has never been easier. I promise I’ll try harder, next time.
I’ve noticed something odd in the administration’s arguments for attacking Syria. They emphasize that chemical weapons were used, but on the crucial dispute over “who did it”, they offer almost nothing beyond mere assertions. (One example here.) It’s almost as if the administration has not wanted people to stop and think about Syria.
I am still keeping an open mind, that the administration’s version of events in Syria could be true. But, for sake of argument, here are some articles giving reason to question it:
- “The case [that...] Kerry laid out last Friday contained claims that were disputed by the United Nations, inconsistent…with British and French intelligence reports or lacking sufficient transparency for international chemical weapons experts to accept at face value.” Among several problems, Kerry exaggerated the number of victims, claiming 1429 when estimates from France, Britain and the Syrian opposition are 281-500 victims.
- The administration makes much of “an intercept of Syrian military officials discussing” one chemical strike, but the officials in question were low-level (possible rogue commander, not tied to Assad).
- Some Syrian locals say that Saudi-supplied rebels were behind the attacks.
- And earlier reports say the rebels could have stolen Assad’s chemical weapons and that, from whatever the source, rebels used chemical weapons earlier this year.
- The Obama administration makes much of Syria’s alleged delay in letting U.N. inspectors probe the attacks. But the administration has also tried to block such a probe. What gives?
It may be worth considering “who benefits” from Obama attacking Syria. Reports say that Saudi Arabia backs the rebels (although I am not sure why they do, unless it’s part of their complicated dance with Russia over the future of OPEC and world energy). Wouldn’t it be ironic, if the Obama administration is acting at the Saudis’ behest?
But I must admit that Obama has finally done something right, in seeking Congress’ authorization to attack Syria.
I think it would be a great mistake for Congress, and especially for the GOP, to authorize in haste – before the many serious, open questions about Syria have been answered to the public’s satisfaction. I do not agree with Speaker Boehner, yet, on supporting a U.S. attack on Syria.
FROM THE COMMENTS: mixitup reminds us that, actually, Obama himself benefits from his attacking Syria. How? “Benghazi, IRS scandal, NSA scandal, gun running scandal [ed: Fast And Furious], unemployment, sad economy…are off the front pages…”
UPDATE: Michael Synder (the Economic Collapse Blog) suggests that the Syrian crisis could really be about which powers get to build pipelines where, to sell whose natural gas to Europe.
I rejected “pipeline thinking” in debates over the wars of a decade ago (Afghanistan, Iraq) – because U.S. security interests were a good-enough explanation for those wars. Again, Syria in 2013 is different. With U.S., NATO, Israeli and even Saudi security *not* obviously at stake in Syria, one may as well start wondering about other explanations for the crisis.
- President Obama has “concluded that the Syrian government in fact” carried out chemical weapon attacks.
- Even if the Syrian government did carry out the attacks, Donald Rumsfeld points out that Obama has yet to justify attacking Syria, in terms of U.S. security interests.
- George Will, Obama is talking America into a war. Among many good points, Will notes a weird Obama quote to justify attacking Libya back in 2011: “It is our military that is being volunteered by others to carry out missions”. Umm…so the U.S. must fight whenever, and only when, mysterious “others” tell us? Also, wouldn’t that argument justify the Iraq war, too? Will proceeds to delve into Obama’s equally-tortured language on Syria; RTWT.
- Bruce McQuain makes an argument that Obama has already doomed his own Syria mission, with his wildly-flailing public build-up to it.
Bonus: Did you know that President Smart Power, per the New York Times, insulted Vladimir Putin as “looking like the bored kid in the back of the classroom”? (Via HotAir.) Item #35,221 for the “If Bush Did It, The NYT Would Make An International Crisis Of It” file.
The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.
UPDATE: The UK pulls out. It looks like Obama must launch his unauthorized, highly questionable attack on Syria by himself.
With the 2003 Iraq war, President Bush dealt with a widely-acknowledged threat to world peace, a dictator who had attacked no less than four of his neighbors (at different times, with one such war costing probably over a million lives), and who sheltered and supported various terrorists.
Bush had the participation of 40 other nations in a coalition. The move was authorized by an accumulation of 17 U.N. resolutions, which had effectively voided the dictator’s sovereignty and promised him action over his continued flouting of the U.N.
Most important, Bush’s move was authorized by Congress (as required by the U.S. Constitution) and as well, was supported by clear majorities of the American people at the time.
We can still argue (with hindsight) about the wisdom of the move, if its aftermath was planned right, etc. But the above were and are facts. Do any of them apply to what President Obama has done in Libya, or may be about to do in Syria?
Lefties bleated that Bush had plunged America into a unilateral, illegal/unauthorized “war of choice”. Their claims were wrong on the facts, but let’s set that aside. Has not their President Obama actually plunged America into one near-unilateral, unauthorized “war of choice” – and threatens now to do a second?
Today as yesterday, I’m a bit skeptical of the Obama administration’s version of events in Syria. Not because Syria has just accused Kerry of lying (and, sadly, both Assad and Kerry are known to lie about important matters). Not even because reports continue to suggest that Obama means to bypass Congress, as well as the U.N.
No, I’m still skeptical because of the slap-dash feeling to the public buildup of this crisis. Many of us have heard reports that the U.S. military has been building up to move against something/someone, for weeks if not months. I myself have a friend in the Army who was put on a rather mysterious regime of 80-hour work weeks, starting over two months ago. I thought maybe they were getting ready to deal with Iran’s nuclear program. And then suddenly, just in the last few days, Kerry is there to claim justification for some sort of military action on Syria, from a very recent chemical weapons attack which – while quite horrible and tragic – is still in active debate as to its authorship.
The Obama administration could be telling the truth, like I said yesterday, but… it still doesn’t smell right. The Iraq war build-up was relatively more ‘in the open’, the culmination of years of public debate about a long-term threat.
To borrow a few lines that Bruce re-tweeted, “I’m so old, I remember the press having a healthy skepticism for military involvement in the Middle East…I’m also glad we amended the constitution to exclude that congressional authorization for war…”
I’m so old, I remember that President Bush actually troubled himself to get approval from Congress for the Iraq War, including a majority of Senate Democrats. But President Obama, with Syria? I doubt he’ll try.
According to Reuters this weekend:
About 60 percent of Americans surveyed said the United States should not intervene in Syria’s civil war, while just 9 percent thought President Barack Obama should act. More Americans would back intervention if it is established that chemical weapons have been used, but even that support has dipped in recent days…
…just 27 percent said they supported his decision to send arms to some Syrian rebels; 47 percent were opposed…
About 11 percent said Obama should do more to intervene in Syria than sending arms to the rebels, while 89 percent said he should not help the rebels…
Obama is considering a range of options. The most popular option among Americans: not intervening in Syria at all. That option is backed by 37 percent of Americans…
If “Obama” (was Reuters disrespectful for calling him that?) intervenes in Syria, he will be doing it without the support of the American people.
There may be no good options in Syria. Just to review: An Iranian-backed dictatorship is fighting rebels who are, basically, al Qaeda. We have claims that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons; and counter-claims that it was the rebels, running a vicious false flag operation.
UPDATE: Kerry says it was the Syrian government. I must be frank: Hearing it from Kerry makes me a little more skeptical than I was before. The man has been a gigantic, shameless liar on public issues ever since he slandered a generation of veterans in testimony before Congress, in 1971.
I realize that Kerry is backed up, in this instance, by hundreds of functionaries in the Obama administration, and that makes deception less likely (or harder to pull off). But not impossible; and because of Benghazi among other scandals, we know that the Obama administration can be untruthful on foreign policy. They may be telling a true story this time; but skepticism is not wholly unwarranted, and should not be faulted automatically.
If President Obama wanted trust to come forth in a more automatic fashion, then he should have (1) not let his administration mislead the American people on Benghazi, and (2) not chosen a figure known for his decades of lying, as Secretary of State. Having said that, could the administration’s version of events be true? I’m keeping an open mind. Kerry has promised more evidence in days to come; we’ll see.
A Yahoo! current lead article, from the Associated Press:
Maj. Nidal Hasan has been convicted of premeditated murder for the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood…
Military jurors found the Army psychiatrist guilty on Friday for the attack that killed 13 people and injured more than 30 others at the Texas military base.
Hasan shouted “Allahu akbar!” before attacking and showed other signs that his motive was Islamic jihad. But only us rightie wingnuts (/sarc) will call his actions either jihad, or terrorism, or (since he fought the Army and nation that he was sworn to serve) treason. The AP article avoids the J- and T-words, and instead says delicately:
Through media leaks and statements to the judge, the American-born Muslim signaled that he believed the attack was justified as a way to protect Islamic and Taliban leaders from U.S. forces in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Others have discussed how the judge in Hasan’s trial sanitized the evidence of Hasan’s real motive, as did the Obama administration when they labeled his actions “workplace violence”.
Please feel free to correct this post, by commenting with links to Establishment media reports that use either ‘jihad’, ‘terrorism’ or ‘treason’ honestly to describe Hasan’s murder spree.