sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Hillary Clinton: Arms to al Qaeda?

Is Hillary Clinton the architect of an Arms to al Qaeda scheme? 
Is that what the Benghazi cover-up is all about?

Let's trace the problem with Libya from the revolution that ousted Muammar Gaddafi (infamous, now dead, Libyan dictator - pictured left). The United States wanted to support the Libyan freedom fighters who wanted Gaddafi gone because truth be told, not many people (anywhere) liked him. As with all dictators-for-life, you eventually out live your welcome. 

Hillary Clinton, eager to make her diplomatic mark on Libya and the Arab Spring, began to wage her own war under the aegis of the US State Department in the hopes of overthrowing the regime. Hillary wanted to be the President of the United States more than just about anything else. And in fact, she still does. She'd be the first female American President -- and she always thought that she deserved the job more than her husband, Bill.
Gaddafi's personal guard - "30 Virgins"

Clinton decided to go it alone in her efforts to undermine the Gaddafi regime because the Central Intelligence Agency didn't seem happy about the prospect of empowering or arming al Qaeda, who the President said was finished and Secretary Clinton dismissed.

Clearly Hillary, the wanna-be POTUS didn't want to put the message out that she was going to supply Stinger surface-to-air missiles to al Qaeda, so it was TOP SECRET. Both CIA and AFRICOM washed their hands of the State Department gambit to the extent possible.

Fast forward -- the war is over, Obama and Hillary take credit for a victory and claim that Libya is now on the side of the angels. Bad Policy and Weak Politicians...
(Atlas Shrugged - Geller) According to the diplomats, what these whistleblowers will say will be at least as explosive as what we have already learned about the scandal, including details about what really transpired in Benghazi that are potentially devastating to both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
Secretary of State Clinton sent Ambassador Chris Stevens to an under-armed, virtually unprotected consulate in Benghazi on a TOP SECRET mission to buy the Stinger MANPADS back from al Qaeda. As Ambassador, Stevens was Clinton's man in Libya. To be fair, he spoke the language and was as familiar with Libyan culture as any USGOV employee then in Libya. He was not personally equipped to deal with al Qaeda. -- Hillary: What does it matter? Hillary Clinton still wanted to proceed because, in part, as one of the diplomats said, she wanted “to overthrow Gaddafi on the cheap.”

If General Ham (AFRICOM) became involved and sent in the military to support Stevens, it would draw attention to his secret negotiations to un-do the State Department's monumental ARMS to AL QAEDA blunder.

CIA Director/General Petraeus had a detailed knowledge of the State Department moves and felt that they were irresponsible, but chose to remain with the game. After the al Qaeda attack on the US State and CIA facilities in Benghazi, Secretary Clinton chose to have him removed through disclosing the scandal that we are familiar with -- a species of palace coup. Petraeus, no longer posed a threat to Secretary Clinton.
(PJ Media) Regarding General Ham, military contacts of the diplomats tell them that AFRICOM had Special Ops “assets in place that could have come to the aid of the Benghazi consulate immediately (not in six hours).” 
Ham was told by the White House not to send the aid to the trapped men, but Ham decided to disobey and did so anyway, whereupon the White House “called his deputy and had the deputy threaten to relieve Ham of his command.”

If the military responded to the attack in Benghazi, Secretary Clinton's "ARMS to AL QAEDA" program would have been disclosed to the public and the chance of her election to the "leader of the free world" slot would have been made much more difficult.

The two CIA protective officers (Wood and Dougherty) who responded to help Ambassador Stevens, and were killed, did so in direct violation of orders. It's possible that they weren't aware WHY Secretary Clinton didn't want to send aid.

Secretary Hillary Clinton had to come up with a reason why the US Consulate came under attack. The only thing that they managed to cobble together is the now completely discredited "Islamic video" that nobody saw. Yes, it was an absolute lie. In Clinton's scheming mind, a necessary lie to cover the truth that would torpedo her political future. What if the al Qaeda terrorists used one of the missiles provided to them by Hillary Clinton's State Department to down an American passenger aircraft?

(Virtual Mirage) What about Barack Obama? He's in his second term, planning his presidential monument/library. Benghazi had become a Hillary Clinton project.  When reporters such as Sharyl Attkisson (CBS) or James Rosen (Fox News) started digging too deeply, the Justice Department was turned loose to hack their computers and target their telephones as "co-conspirators to leaks" because whistle blowers began to come forward and share what they knew about Benghazi. Let's face it, the ARMS TO AL QAEDA - Clinton nexus was classified TOP SECRET. Any leaks would be subject to prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.






Investigating Leaks (AP Scandal)

It's not just a scandal targeting the Associated Press, CBS News (Sharyl Attkisson) and Fox News, because we don't know how far that the Obama Administration has gone in issuing grand jury subpoenas for telephone records, hacking computers and looking for damning e-mails.

It's a First Amendment issue.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. (First Amendment to the US Constitution)

In the past, when the US Department of Justice wanted information from a news gathering organization, they went to the press, and told them what they were hunting for. Both sides ended up in court and a judged decided on the scope allowed for the probe. The press does understand that there is a need for balance in these things and that the First Amendment doesn't authorize them to go "hog wild". 

Today, that process is completely circumvented and the press is concerned about its ability to report the news. Former Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs says that Team Obama needs to explain what they're doing.

Team Obama will engage in their typical behavior, circling the wagons, obfuscation, denial, deflection, casting blame and telling everyone, "we don't know". 
  • Admit Nothing
  • Deny Everything
  • Demand Proof
  • Make Counter-allegations
  • Denounce Someone Else (find a scapegoat)
In my opinion (for what it's worth), the Patriot Act wasn't necessary. It provided a short cut for solid investigation. There wasn't anything in the Patriot Act that couldn't be accomplished through pre-Patriot Act investigations. It simply allowed people to do things without the sort of oversight that they had in the past. That's not usually a good thing.

If you want to find a leak, it's not all that difficult. Trust me. If you want to work with the press instead of against the press, they are usually quite reasonable. I've personally spoken with a lot of very good reporters and Mike Wallace did a story where I appeared that was featured on CBS Sixty Minutes. CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson, who I've personally spoken with, is one of the best in the business today. There are goof-balls like Chris Matthews that give journalism a bad name, but most of the people in the business are not like that.

Finding the truth:
(News Busters) SHARYL ATTKISSON: I think one of the things that working in Washington has aggravated me when trying to get to the truth. This is true across administrations, whether they’re Democrats or Republicans. They seem to have lost sight of the fact that they work for us, not the other way around. And I think we the public are owed a lot of information, collected and gathered on our behalf, such as information floating around about Benghazi. And it’s guarded by the holders and the keepers of the information, as if they somehow own it and hold the privilege over you that you can’t see it. 
For example, Freedom of Information requests that I’ve made. That act has now been used, instead of to facilitate the release of public information, which was its intention – it’s now in my opinion been used to withhold and delay the release of public information. I get pretty much zero response. That didn’t start under the Obama administration. He seems to have perfected it, he and the federal agencies. But this was true also under George Bush. It’s very difficult to get public information, even when you apply the Freedom of Information law.
...
ATTKISSON: Who made the decision not to convene the Counter-terrorism Security group the night of the Benghazi attacks, which we understand is protocol under presidential directive in SPD-46. Why was the protocol not followed? I’ve gotten a partial answer to that from the White House before they quit talking to me altogether. They said they felt it wasn’t needed, that all the proper advisors on counter-terrorism were in the mix.
Attkisson (CBS News) as a target

“I can confirm that an intrusion of my computers has been under some investigation on my end for some months but I’m not prepared to make an allegation against a specific entity today as I’ve been patient and methodical about this matter,” Attkisson told POLITICO on Tuesday. “I need to check with my attorney and CBS to get their recommendations on info we make public.”
It's difficult to find the truth and hold government accountable if the press is not in the mix. 

President Obama should be happy with the IRS Scandal, the AP Scandal and the way that the Benghazi Scandal has unfolded. They've completely distracted the nation from Fast and Furious, the ObamaCare train wreck, prematurely giving a lawyer to the Boston Marathon Bomber and his support for post birth abortions.

To HRT or not to HRT - That is the question.


I read a report of two FBI agents who died during HRT (Hostage Rescue Team) training last Monday. They were fast roping from helicopter to a ship that was underway. (article below) My career evolved in an era when the difference between police work morphed in many cases to be indistinguishable from military work. Having had my feet in both worlds, I'm going to make a few observations in the wake of this tragedy that I hope are taken the right way.
(Fox News) Two FBI agents who died while training off the Virginia Beach coast fell to their deaths when a helicopter had trouble during a "maritime counterterrorism exercise," an agency spokeswoman said Monday night. 
Special Agents Christopher Lorek and Stephen Shaw were killed when they fell into the water Friday. Both were members of the bureau's elite hostage rescue team, a group known most recently for rescuing an Alabama boy from a kidnapper in an underground bunker. 
"The FBI agents were participating in a maritime counterterrorism exercise involving helicopters and a ship," Special Agent Ann Todd, an FBI spokeswoman, wrote in an email Monday night. "The agents were in the process of fast-roping from the aircraft onto the ship when the helicopter encountered difficulties. The agents tragically fell a significant distance and suffered fatal injuries."
About a zillion years ago, I trained the FBI's Los Angeles Division HRT team in advanced SCUBA. I put on a realistic training program and most of the members struggled to meet the basic proficiency standards that the US Navy set for this sort of complex underwater work. Technical diving is not at all like sport SCUBA. Those who arrived for training were more like tourist-divers than technical divers. Once the basic/advanced training had been completed, I suggested to FBI management that if they wanted to keep proficiency, their people needed to be in the water at least one week out of every month. Diving in obscure, dangerous harbor water where you need to navigate precisely not being able to see your hand in front of your mask constitutes a perishable skill. If you undertake a critical mission in this sort of situation when you are not physically and mentally prepared and trained, there is a substantial chance that you'll be injured or killed.

And if the FBI doesn't expect their people to do this sort of thing, why train them to do it in the first place? The FBI responded that they simply couldn't devote additional time to training but yes, they'd expect their special agents to jump in obscure harbor water and use those skills three or four years down the road because 'they had been trained'. Military people who do this, do train for it as specialists and they're in the water two days out of every three so that it's second nature. The FBI's Division HRT teams are also FBI special agents who carry caseloads, and mostly sit at desks and push paper. Pushing weights to stay in shape before work or running at noon is not the same as practicing critical skills every day.

SA Lorek was 40 years old and SA Shaw was 41. I'm sure that both men were in top physical condition. I'm sure that they'd fast roped a lot in their careers. It's unlikely that this particular training evolution introduced challenges that were unknown to them. However, at that age, I supervised men who were experts at snapping necks and cashing checks. And while yes, I did fast rope at age 40, I didn't do it as gingerly as I did at 21.
(Fox News opcit) "These are not hit squads. These are not mercenaries. These are people who come into the FBI first and foremost to be an FBI agent. They have to have a college education, worldly experience, verbal skills," Van Zandt said. "They have to have everything we would see in a regular FBI agent plus more."
There is plenty of hubris and testosterone. I'm not suggesting that the HRT people lack either. But at some point do we get to a situation where it's 'more balls than brains'?

There are no operational US Navy SEAL platoons where most of the members are in their 40's. It's a young man's game. There are situations where guile is required where you find senior chiefs and master chiefs working together with no youngsters around, in sensitive programs, but it's rare. While its true that you find former US Army Special Forces, Navy SEALs, Marine Force Recon or Air Force Pararescue people in the FBI, they are all a bit 'long in the tooth' and by the nature of the new job, they are past their prime as front-line operators. Operator is a polite and politically correct word for killer. (The FBI asserts -above- that HRT members are not "killers")

Is FBI HRT necessary, given that they're expected to be on par with SEALs and Delta Team? And if it is, should we expect field agents to do it? It's very difficult to effectively blend genuine military special forces style operational tempos and civilian law enforcement.

Would it simply be more effective to keep a rotating force of SEALs or US Army 18's assigned to the FBI to meet their HRT needs? It would be a lot cheaper to have enlisted US Military people doing it than very expensive GS13's, and the assigned military people could train in perishable skills with a matrix that didn't require them to be part-time warriors. The Posse Comitatus Act was changed in January 2013 to allow this sort of thing to happen. (read more about that here)

I expect to take some heat for writing this, but it's how I see it.





Chicago Gambling Cartel

history repeats
This comes to us from a blog reader (you know who you are) well acquainted with the ugly side of gambling.
(Chicago Tribune) Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pushing lawmakers to pass a gambling bill that would allow the city to weigh its choice of a casino operator in secret and forbid state regulators from taking away its license. 
The legislation also would grant the mayor authority to seize land for a casino and keep not only the gambling profits but also two local taxes and a cut of an upfront fee paid for the right to run the gambling emporium.
If the legislation is successful, the City of Chicago (all too often a proxy for the mafia), dripping with corrupt politicians, many of whom end up in prison would be able to dodge areas of oversight all similar gaming facilities in Illinois face. 

And we KNOW that the US Internal Revenue Service wouldn't dare to look into the crooked dealings of former White House Chief of Staff (and Chicago Mayor) Rahm Emanuel. After all, if Rahm were to go to jail and sing, Obama would land in a cell next to his.
 

When the Chicago Casino Development Authority sits down to consider the bids from private companies competing to run the casino, it can do so behind closed doors with no oversight what-so-ever.
(Chicago Tribune article, cont'd) The measure calls for Chicago's authority to accept sealed bids, which the city could keep secret under the state's Freedom of Information Act until after it selects a casino operator. By contrast, when the Illinois Gaming Board considers the other new casinos, it will be required to open bids, discuss those proposals, listen to presentations from bidders and make a decision during public meetings. 
"The process set up for Chicago definitely is unusual, and I think for something like this where you've got a lot of money at stake, the more transparency, the better," said David Schwartz, director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. "It raises a lot of concerns, and if this is how it was going to be selected in my state, I would want some more transparency."
Time for a walk down memory lane. Don't worry. The complete list is too long and burdensome to read. I'm just going to hit a few highlights.

Governors:

Rod Blagojevich, close friend of Rahm Emanuel and Barack Obama: Governor from January 13, 2003 – January 29, 2009 was convicted on 17 corruption counts last year and another in 2010 totaling a maximum prison sentence of 305 years.

George Ryan: Governor from 1999-2003, Illinois secretary of state from 1991 to 1999. Found guilty in 2006 on 18 federal counts regarding actions during time as secretary of state and as governor. Sentenced to 6½ years, imprisoned from 2007 to present, with an estimated release date of July 4, 2013.

Otto Kerner: Governor from 1961-1968, federal appeals court judge from 1968 to 1974. Found guilty in 1973 on 17 federal counts regarding actions during time as governor. Sentenced to 3 years, but imprisoned for less than a year (from 1974 to 1975) because of poor health.

Dan Walker: Governor from 1973 to 1977. Pleaded guilty in 1987 to three federal counts regarding actions occurring after he left office. Initially sentenced to seven years, but released after a year and a half (from 1988 to 1989) because of health concerns.

Other Illinois politicians

Dan Rostenkowski: Congressman from 1959 to 1995. Pleaded guilty in 1996 to two federal counts regarding actions during time in Congress. Sentenced to 17 months, imprisoned for 15 months, from 1996 to 1997.

Mel Reynolds: Congressman from 1993 to 1995. Found guilty in 1995 on state counts related to having sex with a minor. Sentenced to five years. Then found guilty in 1997 on 15 federal counts regarding actions during campaigns for Congress. Sentenced to six and a half years. President Clinton commuted his sentence in 2001.

Betty Loren Maltese: Cicero town president from 1993 to 2002. Found guilty in 2002 on six federal counts regarding actions during time as town president. Sentenced to eight years, imprisoned for seven years, from 2003 to 2010.

Jim Laski: Chicago city clerk from 1995 to 2006. Pleaded guilty in 2006 on one federal count regarding actions during time as alderman and city clerk. Sentenced to two years, imprisoned for less than a year, from 2007 to 2008.

Tom Keane: Alderman from 1945 to 1974. Found guilty in 1974 on 18 federal counts regarding actions during his time as alderman. Sentenced to five years, imprisoned for less than two years, from 1976 to 1978.

Add Miriam Santos Chicago treasurer, Ed Vrdolyk alderman, Paul Powell secretary of state and countless others- adding to over 1000 according to a University of Illinois report.