Friday, November 30, 2012

Obama and Terror: A Four-Year Scandal

Obama and Terror: A Four-Year Scandal

Michael B. Mukasey — November 2012


From the outset, the Obama administration’s handling of the most sensitive secrets of the war on terror has been worrisome. In April 2009, the Justice Department released previously classified memoranda that described the standards of the CIA’s interrogation program, thereby making known to our enemies the limits of what they might face if captured. The release also demoralized those within the intelligence agency who were told they could no longer rely on the memoranda—and would, therefore, be judged by a standard different from the one in place when they acted. 

Two years later, following the killing of Osama bin Laden, revelations about the intelligence recovered in the raid on his Pakistan compound rendered much of that intelligence useless, because terrorists found out what we had learned. A few months after that, administration officials confirmed to the media that the United States had been involved along with Israel in implanting a computer virus in Iranian nuclear-enrichment centrifuges that caused physical damage, thereby justifying by our own professed standards any retaliation Iran might undertake. And, most recently, newspaper reports have disclosed planning for retaliatory operations against the terrorists who murdered our ambassador to Libya and military and other personnel present in our consulate in Benghazi. 

The recklessness with which the Obama administration has allowed these precious and deadly secrets to be revealed in the light of day—and in all cases for political reasons, to buff the president’s image—is a little-covered national scandal. And it is on display throughout the text of Daniel Klaidman’s Kill or Capture: The War on Terror and the Soul of the Obama Presidency (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 304 pages). There are several details in this book that Klaidman, a veteran Newsweek correspondent, could only have uncovered from leaks of classified information at the highest levels. At least two revelations have the potential to do real damage. Some of the details Klaidman reveals about the nature of the evidence gathered at Guantanamo Bay—gleaned from what was, until this book was published, secret surveillance of detainees—are bound to complicate prosecution of suspected terrorists who were held there, including 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who also personally beheaded (“with my sacred right hand”) the Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002. 

The other revelation involves foreign policy. We are told that a plan to release Yemeni prisoners from Guantanamo to the Saudis so that they could be put into the intermittently effective Saudi deprogramming regimen for al-Qaeda associates came undone when the Yemeni president affronted the Saudi king by suggesting Yemen was doing the monarch a favor in allowing the kingdom to take those Yemenis. This mildly titillating story may well make it more difficult for the United States to conduct diplomacy in a part of the world where it is not helpful to be the source of gossip that embarrasses those in power.

But leaving aside the sloppy handling of such sensitive information, the public has reason to be disturbed by Klaidman’s account of the way the administration made its decisions in the war on terror. For example, Klaidman reports that President Obama is unwilling to use conventional law-of-war detention, which could take terrorist combatants off the battlefield for the duration of the conflict. Because this is not a conventional war, we can’t predict when or how it will end and therefore detention could be indefinite—indeed, even perpetual. The possibility that a system of ongoing review might be put in place to assure at least that no prisoner is held beyond a time when he presents any realistic danger seems either not to have occurred to anyone, or to have been rejected as too similar to what was in place under George W. Bush. 

Harsh political reality thus far has prevented Obama from releasing prisoners at Guantanamo, notwithstanding his pledge to close that facility, indeed his order that it be closed—because they are simply too dangerous to release. He has determined that henceforth no new prisoners will be brought to Guantanamo and the only prisoners who remain there will be the legacy of his predecessor. Klaidman portrays the president as far more concerned with the imagined excesses of the war on terror than with the consequences of another attack. And he fears his possible successors as well. Discussing the possible use of detention power, Obama has supposedly said: “You never know who is going to be president four years from now. I have to think about how Mitt Romney would use that power.”

The options now in place for dealing with terrorists who obey no laws of war is that they will be either killed by remotely piloted drones or captured and tried and thereby treated better than lawful combatants who obey the laws of war. So the administration that wears its concern for human rights on the sleeve of its military has defaulted to kill rather than capture. The introduction of drone technology was the achievement of then Defense Secretary Robert Gates, initially motivated in part by budgetary constraints; however, the technology was not as developed nor its use as widespread during the Bush administration as it has become during Obama’s tenure. Thus, drones do not bear the dreaded Bush trademark. An administration that seeks at all costs to avoid being identified with its predecessor—even to the point of substituting the terms “unlawful enemy combatant,” used in legal literature for about a century, for “unprivileged enemy belligerent” and “foreign contingency operation” for “war”—feels comfortable, unlike its predecessor, having lethal force as its default enforcement method. 

The president’s take on Islamism emerges as a fabric of platitudes: Obama’s “cosmopolitan background…gave him a more visceral feel [than his predecessor had] for how much of the world lived—and how they viewed America.” He had traveled abroad to visit his relatives and spent three weeks in Karachi, “a sprawling, congested city throbbing with sectarian strife.” “These experiences helped shape Obama’s belief that what most people around the world desired was adequate food, shelter, and security—lives of dignity, free of the daily humiliations of poverty and ignorance. They were the basis for a coherent set of views about the roots of Islamic rage and the underlying conditions that breed Islamic extremism—the economic despair, the social and political dysfunction that lead young men to become terrorists.” As portrayed here, the president does not seem to have factored into his “coherent set of views” that Osama bin Laden was a millionaire many times over; or that Mohammed Atta, the lead operative in the September 11 attacks, was an upper-middle-class university student, as were other participants in that atrocity; or that those who plotted in 2007 to blow up the Glasgow airport were physicians, as is Bin Laden’s successor, Ayman al-Zawahiri; or that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried to detonate himself and his fellow passengers aboard an airplane over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009, was the son of a Nigerian cabinet minister; or that those implicated in plots in the UK are principally those born there who had no connection to a city “throbbing with sectarian strife.”

Nor does the book contain any hint that the president may have considered the possibility that “Islamic rage” and “Islamic extremism” may have some connection to Islam. 

President Obama is not the only actor in Klaidman’s book. There was, it seems, a struggle for the soul of his presidency between what Klaidman calls the “Tammany Hall” element, led principally by White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and representing the forces of political expediency, and “the Aspen Institute” element, led by State Department legal adviser and former Yale Law School dean Harold Koh, representing the forces of high-minded idealism. 

Koh is shown wielding influence that far outstrips his rank because President Obama values his academic heft in pushing the debate leftward. He is described as having “an enormous intellect” and a background congenial to the president, a “former constitutional law professor himself.” 

Koh’s lofty disdain, moreover, for settled notions of process—he tried to get the deputy attorney general to take away from Solicitor General Elena Kagan the authority inherent in her office to determine the government’s litigation position in certain detainee cases because he disagreed with her views—appears to resonate with the president’s own approach to governance. Thus, in the summer of 2009, the president convened a meeting at the White House in which Koh was invited to brief him and certain others in the administration on issues relating to detention. This was a meeting to which others with a stake in that issue, including the CIA and the Defense Department, were not invited, apparently so that Koh could try to influence the president without the inconvenience of contrary views. 

Koh’s presentation as described here was less an intellectually disciplined briefing than a locker room pep talk, ending with, “Don’t let the past control the future.” Klaidman summons the characteristic eloquence of Vice President Joe Biden, in memorable prose uttered after the president left the room, to establish that the pep talk seemed to have worked: “‘You f—king did it,’ the vice president said, jabbing Koh in the chest. ‘You f—king connected with him, and that’s not easy.’” 

Although Klaidman blandly describes this episode as “a departure from protocol that ruffled some feathers,” it was actually a fundamental departure from basic rules of the road that normally define how decisions are taken on matters of national concern. Such rules—prosaically referred to as the “inter-agency process”—are designed to assure that those with a stake in any such decision participate in a way that assures both that the president will get the benefit of their advice, and that they will be able to go forward at least with an understanding of how and why a result they may oppose was reached. Disdain for that process results in not only sloppy execution, but also bad decisions, and it raises serious questions about the competence of those who are supposed to be in charge.

Such disdain, and such results, are on gaudy display here. A case in point is the decision made in November 2009 to abort the military-commission trial of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and transfer him to a civilian Article III court in Manhattan—this, when KSM already had announced his intention to plead guilty and proceed to sentencing and, presumably, martyrdom. Attorney General Eric Holder sought and received the authority to decide where the Guantanamo detainees would be tried once the prison was closed. This was true even in those cases in which military-commission proceedings had already commenced—notwithstanding that all detainees were in the formal legal custody of the Department of Defense, not the Department of Justice. Holder first made his leaning toward a civilian court known to Obama while the two were watching the fireworks on July 4, 2009, from a terrace at the White House. “It’s your call, you’re the attorney general,” the president responded. 

That result was in full accord with the preference of Harold Koh, expressed in terms not of rigorous jurisprudence, but of pop psychology. To try KSM in Manhattan, according to Koh, would “‘show confidence in our system,’ it would be a ‘redemptive act’ precisely because it is what the terrorists don’t want us to do.” Yet, whatever Koh’s “enormous intellect” may have revealed about what terrorists might want, actual events demonstrate that real terrorists often show a decided preference for making a hash out of legal processes by turning them into political theater. That was what we learned from the year-long circus that was the sentencing proceeding in a civilian court of Zacarias Moussaoui following his guilty plea as the so-called 20th hijacker. Tossing terrorists into the civilian legal system because they are purportedly afraid of it is rather like tossing Brer Rabbit into the briar patch because he purportedly was afraid of it—and it’s likely to yield the same success.

By the time Holder announced that KSM would be tried in New York, he had not discussed the decision with anyone who would face its consequences, notably local authorities in New York, who turned against it when they came to realize the chaos such a proceeding would bring to lower Manhattan. Klaidman describes some of the episodes that marked the course from the announcement of that decision in November 2009 to the announcement in April 2011 that it had been reversed. Along the way, Holder provided the curious assurance to the Senate that, the niceties of due process notwithstanding, a conviction in the KSM trial was assured. There was also the near acquittal of a defendant brought to New York from Guantanamo and charged in the 1998 bombing of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, a proceeding that was supposed to illustrate the near certainty of convictions in civilian terrorism trials but wound up so rattling Congress that it passed a statute barring the use of any funds to bring defendants from Guantanamo to trial in the United States. That is what necessitated Holder’s retreat.

These episodes included a squabble among Holder, Koh, and Emanuel at a White House meeting that ended with what Klaidman describes as the president’s attempt “to lead his team to higher ground,” but winds up in the telling as a descent into bathos. The president read aloud from the oration of the judge who sentenced would-be shoe bomber Richard Reid; the judge told Reid he was “not a soldier” and “no big deal” and then reached through fractured paraphrase for the eloquence of John F. Kennedy (“we will bear any burden, pay any price, to preserve our freedoms”) and Abraham Lincoln (“the world is not going to long remember what you or I say here”), only to achieve principally the grandiloquence of Douglas MacArthur (“See that flag, Mr. Reid?…That flag will fly there long after this is all forgotten”). As Klaidman describes it:

Obama put down the speech and looked around the room. He didn’t fix his gaze on anyone in particular; he just stared for several moments. Then he spoke. “Why can’t I give that speech?” Without another word, he rose and walked out of the room.

No less disconcerting is Klaidman’s account of how the attorney general decided to open—or reopen—an investigation into whether CIA agents had committed crimes when they questioned some high-value detainees using “enhanced interrogation techniques.” That dreadfully inartistic term falsely suggested the concealment of unspeakable criminality, but in fact, the techniques were analyzed in detailed legal memos by Justice Department lawyers that, although revised at least once, concluded uniformly that they violated no standards applicable when the memos were written. Even more notably, these techniques had not been used since 2003. Holder, over the objection of every living former CIA director and the then incumbent director, Leon Panetta, released those memos.

When the public outrage Holder expected failed to materialize, he pressed on with investigations of the intelligence officers who carried out the interrogations. Career prosecutors in the eastern district of Virginia had investigated each instance of claimed unlawfulness and had concluded that none merited prosecution, drafting detailed memoranda describing their conclusions and the reasons for closing each of the investigations. Holder, by his own account in testimony, and by the account in this book, never read those memoranda. Moreover, he was well aware that such an investigation could damage morale within the agency, not to mention the damage it could cause to the careers of those under investigation regardless of the outcome—which came years later when the reopened investigations were closed again for lack of evidence of illegality. 

What motivated him to press the issue? By Klaidman’s account, Holder was influenced strongly by an article in Vanity Fair by Christopher Hitchens, who had volunteered to be waterboarded and videotaped his experience of the procedure. Waterboarding was the most celebrated and severe of the CIA techniques and had been imposed on precisely three senior al-Qaeda terrorists. After his own experiment, Hitchens wrote an article pronouncing the technique torture.

The word torture, in addition to being a handy epithet, is defined in the applicable statute that criminalizes torture as acting under color of law with the specific intent to cause “severe physical or mental pain or suffering.” “Severe mental pain or suffering” is defined as “prolonged mental harm” resulting from any of several causes, including “severe physical pain or suffering” or the threat thereof, or the threat of imminent death; “severe physical pain or suffering” is not defined. Hitchens, a talented journalist and critic whose renown as a drinker matched his renown as an atheist, never claimed to have consulted the applicable law or to have experienced any prolonged effects from his ordeal; he simply announced that what he had experienced was torture. According to Klaidman, Holder watched the video of Hitchens’s experience, which showed that Hitchens had “lasted for fewer than 10 seconds before asking for mercy” and was “both mesmerized and repulsed.” 

Klaidman says Holder was so dogged because he carried a lingering sense of guilt from the time of his service as deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration when he had helped bring about the pardon of Marc Rich, a financier charged with tax evasion whose wife had contributed huge sums to the Clinton campaign and library. (Notably, although unmentioned in this book, Holder failed on that occasion as well to consult with prosecutors in his own department who had brought the Rich prosecution.) 

So there you have it. The chief law-enforcement officer of the United States knowingly damaged morale in the nation’s principal intelligence agency by reopening investigations previously closed by career prosecutors within his own department without bothering to read why they did so. Holder acted on the strength of a fewer-than-10-second simulation of waterboarding performed on a writer devoid of any acquaintance with the law, and on his own guilty conscience over a previous lifting of tax-evasion charges in a case in which he also did not bother to determine why career prosecutors in his own department had acted. In so doing, he moved with exquisite efficiency to undermine faith simultaneously in law enforcement and national security. 

Klaidman does not disclose his sources for the account he presents, although the book is preceded by two pages entitled “A Note on Sources,” in which he outlines the steps he took to assure accuracy. The only source he appears to deny using directly, and it is a fairly casual denial, is the president himself: 

Occasionally I write about the emotional state and interior thoughts of President Obama and his top aides. In doing so, I am not taking literary license. Those accounts are based on reporting—either from specific comments the president has made that directly express his state of mind, or from reasonable inferences from sources I have interviewed who have observed and spoken to him.

The president is portrayed often as maddeningly detached and above the fray, but it is impossible to believe that the accounts of private conversations between him and members of his administration were not cleared with him.

One obvious source is Holder. This emerges not only from such apparent accounts as his one-on-one discussion with Obama about bringing KSM to trial in the United States—a story that could have had only two authoritative sources—but also from less obvious data points. For example, the account of Holder’s friction with Rahm Emanuel consistently portrays Emanuel as unprincipled and narrowly political and Holder as idealistic and thoughtful—always a telling indicator in a behind-the-scenes account. 

Consider as well how Klaidman accounts for Holder’s absence from the famous photo of the president, an open-mouthed Hillary Clinton, and others gathered in the White House Situation Room watching in real time the operation that killed Bin Laden:

The operational planning surrounding Bin Laden was known to only a tiny circle of national security officials, on a need-to-know basis. One person who was not brought into the loop was the attorney general. He was Obama’s closest friend on the cabinet and the proposed raid raised important legal questions. But Obama determined that the mission would be a “Title 50 operation,” conducted under the auspices of the CIA. As a covert action, there had already been a legal finding prepared, so additional Justice Department approval was not required.

This excuse makes no sense. Title 50 is that part of the U.S. Code that sets forth, among other things, the authorities of the CIA. It authorizes the agency to enlist the military in the conduct of covert actions when finding that such an action is appropriate has been signed by the president. In this case, that put Leon Panetta, director of the CIA, in command, directing the operation carried out by Navy SEALs overseen by Admiral William McRaven.

But the Bin Laden operation bristled with legal questions, or at least questions that lent themselves to the kind of analysis that lawyers bring to bear, beyond those answered simply by finding that such an operation could be authorized. These included questions relating to mounting such an operation in a country that was a nominal ally of the United States, and ones related to risks, if any, of collateral damage.

Indeed, a memorandum from Panetta that surfaced after the operation disclosed that McRaven’s forces were authorized to do only what had been briefed to the president—without specifying what that was—and that if anything not included in that briefing was encountered, they were required to seek further guidance. The possible need for additional guidance that could have engaged legal questions was and is apparent. That the naked finding necessary to authorize the operation had been made simply does not suffice to explain the attorney general’s absence.

Here’s what does make sense, even though Klaidman does not connect these dots. Holder, he tells us, was regarded by many in the White House as a loose cannon. And his legal pursuit of intelligence officers made certain that his fellow cabinet members at the State Department and the CIA would have every reason to distrust him. That is a far more plausible explanation for Holder’s absence than the suggestion he was kept out of the loop because the he did not have a need to know. That notion simply does not hold water.

In the end, like all insider accounts written with the cooperation of insiders, what we have in Kill or Capture is a portrait the Obama administration wants available as he seeks reelection. This is how Obama and his men wish to be perceived. So beyond the question of whether everything really happened as Klaidman describes lies the key question: Does this portrait of the people close to Obama and the process by which they managed the war on terror recommend four more years of stewardship?

About the Author

Michael B. Mukasey, a lawyer in private practice in New York and former federal judge, was the attorney general of the United States from November 2007 to January 2009. 


30 Reasons Why Susan Rice Should Not Get Promoted

30 Reasons Why Susan Rice Should Not Get Promoted

By Richard GrenellThursday, November 29, 2012

Ambassador Susan Rice had nothing to do with Benghazi, as President Obama told us, but she appeared on five Sunday political talk shows anyway. On those shows, Rice mouthed talking points that weren't true. We now know that the talking points did not match the intel reports, which she had complete access to. While the national media debates whether or not she knowingly mislead the public on the Sunday shows, her failings and shortcomings before the Benghazi terrorist attacks have not received the attention they deserve.

Here are 30 reasons (that have nothing to do with Benghazi) why Susan Rice should not get a promotion.


failed to call an emergency meeting of the Security Council after the 2010 Haiti earthquake


skipped the Security Council debate and vote to add new UN Peacekeepers in Haiti after the earthquake


led the US during the most inactive Security Council since 1991 during her first year as Ambassador


held her first press conference with the UN Secretary General on the pressing international issue of texting while driving


failed to speak out when Col. Gaddafi's Libya was elected to the UN Human Rights Commission


waited 17 months before voting on the one and only UN resolution on Iran passed during her tenure


dismissed by Hillary Clinton from negotiating most of the Iran resolution with the French


lost the support of more nations on her one Iran resolution than the previous five Iran resolutions combined


took 103 days to move the Security Council to issue a statement after a North Korean submarine sank the South Korean ship that killed 46 sailors


took 18 days to lead the Security Council to action after a North Korean nuclear test (it took John Bolton 5 days in 2006)


failed to support the Iranian opposition during their Green Revolution


failed to speak out when Iran was elected to the UN Women's Commission


skipped the UN Security Council's emergency meeting on the Gaza flotilla crisis


snubbed Israel to the point they skipped President Obama's 2010 UN speech


took more than 2 years to find someone to head America's UN reform team


failed to address the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to ascertain how erroneous scientific claims were added to official UN reports


painfully slow in getting a UN resolution on the Sudan-South Sudan referendum


ignored Canada's pleas for help in getting elected to the Security Council


negotiated with the UN's Arab Group to condemn Israel's settlements


failed to lead the Security Council during Tunisia's Arab Spring protests


didn't speak out on the Libya crisis until the French, British and Arab League had done so


failed to attend the first Security Council meeting on the Arab Spring protests


failed to get the support of allies India, Germany and Brazil on the UN's Libya resolution


failed to lead the Security Council during Egypt's Arab Spring protests


failed to lead the Security Council during Yemen's Arab Spring protests


failed to lead the Security Council to confront Bashar al-Assad's brutal violence where US resolutions received an unprecedented three vetoes on three different votes


agreed to send former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to Syria where he failed miserably


skipped the last open meeting before the planned UN vote to recognize Palestinian statehood


failed to speak out when Iran was elected vice president of the Global Arms Treaty negotiations


delayed Security Council action and the UN report on Rwanda

Richard Grenell served as a spokesman for the previous four U.S. Ambassadors to the U.N. He also served, briefly, as national security spokesperson for Mitt Romney in his campaign for President of the United States. To learn more, go to


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All posts should be something you are not ashamed to show to your young people or your clergy. Suggestions, Complaints, Problems, Personal Criticisms and Subjects that could cause debates that could be controversial are to be kept out of sends to the whole alliance. Either send them personally to each other or directly to a ccpga moderator, or the owner at this address:




Indictment Of Terror Subjects Reveals FBI Uses Facebook 'Likes' And 'Shares' For Evidence 

Be Good Because The Feds Will Use All Your Facebook Likes And Dislikes Against You In Court


Ads of the World

A recent indictment of American terror suspects revealed that the FBI considers Facebook 'Likes' and 'Shares' admissible as evidence.

Mike Masnick of TechDirt reports that the FBI actually counted how many 'Likes' and what kind of media got those 'Likes' in their somewhat high-visibility indictment of a homegrown terror plot.

Here's a screengrab of the part of the official statement which explains use of the social media:


via DocumentCloud

The FBI has expressed interest in monitoring social media, and so has the military. Then it comes as no surprise that this investigation started six months ago, shortly after the FBI posted a Social Media Monitoring Application request on

Masnick of TechDirt makes it seems like there's an reliance on social media as evidence, but upon inspection of the indictment, it seems as if social media communications are logged no different than phone communications.

Whether the logged language is enough for a guilty verdict, well now that's up to a jury of their peers to decide.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

DO NOT Send "Edible Arrangements" - Pakistani Muslim Hamas Supporters

Begin forwarded message:

Edible Arrangements: Muslim Owners of Fruit Basket Company Fund HAMAS, Jihadist Extremism – What Not to Buy For Christmas

Now, that it’s the holiday season and a time of buying and giving Christmas and Chanukah gifts, a lot of people make the convenient choice of sending fruit baskets to their friends and professional associates. But if you take this route, DON’T send a basket fromEdible Arrangements. If you do, you are funding HAMAS abroad and Muslim community organizing, such as the group IMAN, the Inner City Muslim Action Network, in the U.S.

Tariq Farid is the CEO of Edible Arrangements, which he started with his brother, Kamran Farid. Not only are they devout Pakistani Muslims, but they are major donors and fundraisers for American mosques, Islamic schools, and similar enterprises in Pakistan. Recent tax returns of their Farid Foundation, to which they and Edible Arrangements are major contributors, gives tens of thousands of dollars to extremist Islamic schools and mosques in America and to Islamic Relief, the HAMAS/Al-Qaeda/Muslim Brotherhood “charity” which sends tens of millions of dollars to finance jihad around the world. AnIslamic Relief fundraiser I attended undercover featured young Muslim Arab kids simulating beheadings of Americans, Brits, and Israelis as the evening’s “entertainment.” And as I told you, Islamic Relief’s chief official in Gaza was a HAMAS official with Bin Laden’s photo, swastikas, and a “G-d Bless Hitler” banner as his screensavers. As I also told you, Islamic Relief’s registered agent in the U.S. is Kazbek Soobzokov, is the son of Nazi Waffen SS officer Tscherim Soobzokov and the lawyer for deported accused terrorist and Islamic cleric, Imam Wagdy Mohamed Ghoneim.

The Farids and their Farid Foundation are also major donors to IMAN, the Chicago-based group which organizes Muslims to impose their extremist values on America’s political process and in America’s inner cities. The other purpose of the group is to convert Blacks and other inner city residents to Islam and help those who’ve already converted remain Muslim.

See Schlussel's blog for rest of post.

Edible Arrangements Fund HAMAS & Islamic Extremism

Wrong about Ice Melt in Greenland, Sea-Rise

November 29, 2012

More Settled Science: Wrong about Ice Melt in Greenland, Sea-Rise

By John Ransom


New research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences tends to now show that ice melt estimates previously calculated for Greenland have not significantly accelerated- as has been previously postulated- nor has the melt contributed in a meaningful way to the rise of sea levels.

Recently, much of the destruction on the east coast as a consequence of Super-Mega-Hurricane Sandy Gore was blamed on the rise in sea-levels, which have been blamed on…drum roll…global warming.

The newest revelation, amongst many in the last several years that have muffled the global warming chants of “settled science, settled science, settled science,” confirms that the model generally used to support climate change, global warming and/or Super-Mega-Hurricane Sandy Gore, is neither settled nor scientific.

Global Warming theorists have advanced the notion the melt from Greenland’s ice sheet is the prime culprit in elevated sea-levels. They advanced this theory after their previous theory- the ice melt in the Himalayas- was shown by the same process that has now debunked the Greenland ice theory to have been exaggerated.

And yes, the seas have risen not withstanding Obama’s election promise to make the seas stop rising. Presumably the Greatest Superhero President Ever was going to use some sort of magical veto power that was transmitted to him through his cartoon Nobel Prize Heroes to compel the seas to stop rising.

But back in the real world where science is based on facts, and prizes are awarded based on real accomplishments outside of Scandinavia and American Idol, the new report- which was generated by researchers at Princeton University- shows that the Greenland ice melt is happening at such a slow pace that in fact, there is no need to fret over the loss of ice in the Land of Green.

From the UK’s Register:

If the Greenland ice losses aren't accelerating, there's no real reason to worry about them. According to the Princeton statement:

At current melt rates, the Greenland ice sheet would take about 13,000 years to melt completely, which would result in a global sea-level rise of more than 21 feet (6.5 meters).

So does this mean that Obama has to serve 3,250 four-year terms as president before he can make the seas actually stop rising?

Liberals would like to think so.

It will probably take that long just to get an Obama budget passed.

The Register says what the report really means is that sea-rise levels from the Greenland melt will be insignificant.

“Put another way, in that scenario we would be looking at 5cm of sea level rise from Greenland by the year 2130: a paltry amount,” writes the Register. “Authoritative recent research drawing together all possible causes of sea level rise bears this out, suggesting maximum possible rise in the worst case by 2100 will be 30cm. More probably it will be less, and there will hardly be any difference between the 20th and 21st centuries in sea level terms.”

But that’s very much a different conclusion than was drawn over the summer when scientists at NASA told us- gasp!- that all the ice in Greenland was melting at once, an event that had never been recorded in 30 years of satellite imaging of the ice sheets!

Imagine ice melting in the summer. Well, I never…

Yes. Never before- um, since they started looking at it in the late 1970s- had all the ice in Greenland melted at the same time. There must have been some union rule against it until now.

Bloggsters, like ScienceBlogs’ Greg Laden jumped on that NASA report saying “I have always felt that sea level rise would be quicker and higher than my colleagues in climate science have suggested.”

And he cited the report as more proof that the global-warming apocalypse, created by the fossil fuels that made possible things like indoor plumbing, modern medicine, sanitation and footwear not made from bark, will destroy the hallmarks of civilization like indoor plumbing, modern medicine, sanitation and footwear not made from bark.

But now we know that Laden was wrong.

And he’ll just have to find some other culprit for the change in the weather.

But getting past all the scientific inquiry and theorizing based on fantasy, not facts, is what global warming scientists do best.

It doesn’t have to be settled or science.

It just has to sell.


Hostess Bakery

You may have heard that Hostess Bakery plants were shut down due to a workers' strike.

But you may not have heard how it's to be split up.

The State Department is hiring all the Twinkies.

The Secret Service is hiring all the HoHos.

The generals are sleeping with the Cupcakes.

And the voters have already sent all the Ding Dongs to Congress.


Retired Health Messages

Fur seniors only and a couple near seniors.

As I was lying in bed pondering the problems of the world,I rapidly realized that I don't really give a rat's hiney.  It's the tortoise life for me! 

1..  If walking is good for your health, the postman would be immortal.

2..  A whale swims all day, only eats fish, drinks water, and is fat.

3..  A rabbit runs and hops and only lives 15 years.

4..  A tortoise doesn't run and does nothing, yet it lives for 450 years.And you tell me to exercise??  I don't think so.

I'm retired.  Go around me.

Now that I'm older here's what I've discovered:

1.  I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it.

2.  My wild oats have turned into prunes and all-bran.

3.  I finally got my head together, and now my body is falling apart.

4.  Funny, I don't remember being absent-minded.

5.  Funny, I don't remember being absent-minded.

6.  If all is not lost, where is it?

7.  It is easier to get older than it is to get wiser.

8.  Some days, you're the dog; some days you're the hydrant.

9.  I wish the buck stopped here; I sure could use a few.

10.  Kids in the back seat cause accidents.

11.  Accidents in the back seat cause kids.

12.  It's hard to make a comeback when you haven't been anywhere.

13.  The only time the world beats a path to your door is when you're in the bathroom.

14.  If God wanted me to touch my toes, he'd have put them on my knees.

15.  When I'm finally holding all the cards, why does everyone want to play chess?

16.  Its not hard to meet expenses .  .  .  they're everywhere.

17.  The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.

18.  These days, I spend a lot of time thinking about the hereafter. I go somewhere to get something, and then wonder what I'm hereafter. 

19.  Funny, I don't remember being absent-minded.

20.  DID I SEND THESE TO YOU BEFORE..........?????? 


A sordid tale of Chicago politics that reveals how Obama got his start

A sordid tale of Chicago politics that reveals how Obama got his start

Posted 09:02 AM ET

Ah, Chicago and its politics. There's no other American city quite like it.


It's a beautiful city from the outside. And a political cesspool inside, a seeping source of conniving and corruption that spawned Barack Obama and his top aide Valerie Jarrett and is now ruled by the president's ex-chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel.

Another amazing chapter in the Windy City's sordid politics began unfolding Wednesday, one whose lineage can actually be traced back to the very beginnings of Obama's political career, which now has an extended expiry date of Jan. 20, 2017. Today, Obama lunches with the man he defeated, Mitt Romney. 

See if you can follow along now. The details are revealing of the uncompromising history, incestuous inner workings and municipal mores of the place that produced Obama the politician.

Yesterday Mel Reynolds announced his candidacy for the House seat representing Illinois' 2d Congressional District, which includes the city's South Side and -- oh, look! -- Obama's Hyde Park house. So, he'll be eligible to vote in the February Democrat primary and the meaningless April special election. 

That special election became necessary after the sudden resignation last week of the district's easy Nov. 6 election winner, eight-term member Jesse Jackson Jr.

Jackson Jr. has been absent from his House duties most of this year during treatment for depression and bipolar disorder. His situation was complicated by revelations that federal authorities are probing allegations of his misuse of campaign funds, not a rare occurrence in Chicago politics. 

That resignation and special election is an interesting coincidence because Jackson Jr. was also initially elected in a special election, in December 1995. That followed the sudden resignation of the district's House incumbent after his conviction on 12 counts of sexual assault, obstruction of justice and solicitation of child pornography.

That new convicted felon was Mel Reynolds.

Reynolds had been elected to the House in 1992 succeeding Democrat Gus Savage, who'd been condemned by the House Ethics Committees over allegations of sexual misconduct with a Peace Corps volunteer during an official visit to Zaire.

During the 1994 House campaign, Reynolds was indicted for sexual assault and criminal sexual abuse. The married congressman had developed an attraction to a 16-year-old female constituent, who became a campaign volunteer and candidate mistress. At one point the teenager confided her underage relationship with Reynolds to a neighbor. The neighbor was a police officer.

Reynolds denied the charges, said they were racially-motivated, continued his second House campaign and, naturally, was easily reelected in November 1994.


AP (Former Rep. and Federal inmate Mel Reynolds)

So, Mel goes off to state prison while Jesse Jr. wins a crowded 1995 Democrat primary, tantamount to election in those parts. While in prison, Mel receives an additional 6 1/2 year federal term on 15 counts of bank fraud and lying to the SEC. 

You may recall December of 2000. That month Republican George W. Bush was declared the next president.

As a loyal former elected Democrat, Mel Reynolds writes a plea to the White House for a commuted sentence.

The letter is delivered to Democrat Bill Clinton by the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Democrat father of Reynolds' Democrat successor. Hours before President Clinton surrenders the White House to his GOP successor, he commutes Reynolds' federal fraud conviction.

Upon release, Reynolds is hired by Rev. Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH Coalition as a counselor to black teens.

In appreciation, Reynolds challenges Jackson Jr. in 2004. He is roundly thumped. 

Reynolds now describes himself as a self-employed financial consultant, bringing together African investors and American companies. He acknowledged past mistakes. "Nobody's perfect," Reynolds claimed. He said he intends to run a "Reelection" campaign to finish his work interrupted 17 years ago.

This winter's primary looks to be crowded again since, barring involvement by federal investigators, the seat is a tempting party sinecure. One candidate pondering a run is -- wait for it -- Jonathan Jackson, brother to Jesse Jr.

Now, about the Obama involvement in all this. Back in 1995 the state Senate seat that covered much of Chicago's South Side, including Hyde Park, was held by a popular incumbent named Alice Palmer. Given Reynolds' legal predicaments, his House seat became a ripe target. Palmer announced her challenge and won the endorsement of Emily's List.

Alas for her, however, Jesse Jr.'s name recognition trumped her legislative experience and everyone else in the splintered field of competitors.

However, Palmer's bid for that federal seat left her state Senate seat vacant. This Obama fellow stepped up. He won, followed orders and voted Present 130 times. He also became a Real Good Talker, who introduced himself to a grateful nation with a well-received speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. And he hasn't stopped giving them since.

The rest is four more years of history yet to be written.

36 Obama aides owe the IRS $833,000 in back taxes

The election behind him, Obama returns to the campaign trail

Obama just now writing rules for the last 4 years of drone killings

The Chicago Way: How a minor House speech tied into Obama's reelection


Obama’s Libya Policy Is a Disaster–and Not Just in Benghazi

Obama’s Libya Policy Is a Disaster–and Not Just in Benghazi

Part of the reason Senate foreign policy leaders–such as John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and newcomer Kelly Ayotte, among others–have focused so much attention on Susan Rice in the last few weeks is that it is the first time they have been able to keep the press focused on the story and get answers to the many outstanding questions about the Benghazi attack and its aftermath. On that note, the New York Times has a welcome story today widening the scope. The talking points that Rice is getting grilled over are only part of a larger story that needs telling. But moving this discussion away from the talking points probably won’t make it any easier on the White House.

The death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others in Benghazi was a symptom of a larger problem with the administration’s attitude toward the intervention. “Leading from behind” in Libya succeeded in killing Muammar Gaddafi, but the rush to the exits left a lawless country behind. And that condition persists to this day, and shines a light on the myth vs. the reality of President Obama’s strategy in the North African nation. In the third and final presidential debate with Mitt Romney, Obama touted Libya as a success because he seemed to believe that cutting off the head of the snake—Gaddafi—would subdue the unrest in Gaddafi’s wake. When asked about the Benghazi debacle and his larger Libya policy, the president said:

But I think it’s important to step back and think about what happened in Libya. Now, keep in mind that I and Americans took leadership in organizing an international coalition that made sure that we were able to — without putting troops on the ground, at the cost of less than what we spent in two weeks in Iraq — liberate a country that had been under the yoke of dictatorship for 40 years, got rid of a despot who had killed Americans.

And as a consequence, despite this tragedy, you had tens of thousands of Libyans after the events in Benghazi marching and saying, America’s our friend. We stand with them. Now that represents the opportunity we have to take advantage of.

Later on in the debate, the discussion turned to Syria, and Romney used the subject as an opportunity to criticize Obama’s lack of leadership on the world stage. Obama changed the subject back to Libya, and gave a very revealing answer:

But you know, going back to Libya, because this is an example of — of how we make choices, you know, when we went into Libya and we were able to immediately stop the massacre there because of the unique circumstances and the coalition that we had helped to organize, we also had to make sure that Moammar Gadhafi didn’t stay there. And to the governor’s credit, you supported us going into Libya and the coalition that we organized. But when it came time to making sure that Gadhafi did not stay in power, that he was captured, Governor, your suggestion was that this was mission creep, that this was mission muddle.

Imagine if we had pulled out at that point. That — Moammar Gadhafi had more American blood on his hands than any individual other than Osama bin Laden. And so we were going to make sure that we finished the job.

To Obama, “finishing the job” meant getting rid of Gaddafi. That was, no doubt, part of the job, but to Obama that was it. Once we got rid of Gaddafi, the mission was over. This is in full concert with the president’s hearty embrace of targeted assassination; it is a definable mission that requires no follow-up.

But picking off terrorists in Yemen or Pakistan or Afghanistan is much different than taking out a head of state. And we are seeing the full consequence of this approach today. Elsewhere in today’s paper, the Times reports that Libya seems frozen in anarchist chaos:

“It is impossible for members of a brigade to arrest another,” said Wanis al-Sharif, the top Interior Ministry official in eastern Libya. “And it would be impossible that I give the order to arrest someone in a militia. Impossible.”

The violence was thrown into sharp relief after the September attack on the United States intelligence and diplomatic villas. Libyan and American officials accused militants associated with Libya’s ubiquitous militias, and specifically, members of Ansar al-Shariah.

“The killing of the ambassador brought back the true reality of this insecure state,” said Ali Tarhouni, a former Libyan finance minister who leads a new political party. “It was a major setback, to this city and its psyche.”

Justice itself is a dangerous notion here and throughout Libya, where a feeble government lacks the power to protect citizens or to confront criminal suspects. It barely has the means to arm its police force, let alone rein in or integrate the militias or confront former rebel fighters suspected of killings.

It seems to me this is a discussion McCain and the others would like to have. As for the administration, widening the discussion may take the heat off of Rice, but it’s doubtful it would make the issue any more comfortable for the White House.


David Fiorazo posted: " “The Left wants you to think that the cultural changes that have taken place in America since the 1960’s have done noth­ing but progress us forward to a brave new world … they’ve done everything in their power to dumb down our children, undermi"

New post on Western Journalism


by David Fiorazo

“The Left wants you to think that the cultural changes that have taken place in America since the 1960’s have done noth­ing but progress us forward to a brave new world … they’ve done everything in their power to dumb down our children, undermine our families, rewrite our history, and promote obscenity and immorality everywhere they can … the ideas that now dominate our educational system are focused on removing God and His influence from every part of our cul­ture.” – Curtis Bowers, 2010 (AGENDA Documentary producer)

“We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” – Barack Obama, 2008 “To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign stu­dents. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists….” (Barack Obama, Dreams From My Father)


The battle for the soul of America has long been waged. If only we had seen it coming. If only we had been warned 100 years ago or fifty … or twenty-five years ago, or maybe even in 2008. If only somebody would have told us about the imminent danger and the threat to destroy America. If only Christians could have seen the coming attack on Jesus Christ and assault on morality.

Maybe concerned citizens could have resisted the transformation. If only one of the socialist leaders would have openly broadcast a call to arms for radicals to seize power so we, our parents, or our grandparents could have known their intentions and fought back. If only the anti-American movement would have made their declaration of war public, then we would have stood against the enemy and resisted, wouldn’t we?

But they were patient, and it happened gradually. It was a brilliant plan. One strategy enemies of God have used to neutralize opponents (we the people) is to convince us there was never an agenda against this country; that there are only rumors and fabrications. They say the deterioration of America has been natural and inevitable. To those of us who are awake and who understand the Bible, they are absolutely wrong; history reveals it, and evidence proves it true. If only we could have saved the United States of America. Maybe it’s not too late; per­haps there is still time….

Sadly, the rapid decline of our culture continues with little resistance; it’s happening right under our noses and right before our eyes. The implementation of an anti-Christian socialist agenda has been thrust on America over the last fifty-plus years and, if not stopped, will lead to communism. This is the goal of the Left…

We can either remain in denial, or we can join the awakened move­ment of conservatives, independents, people of faith, and average Ameri­cans who want their country back. Two key questions are “who is doing this” and, “how are they doing it”? Most atheists, socialists, and Marxists believe people would be much happier if Christianity was eradicated. Without strong people of faith standing for truth, their agenda would advance with little hindrance.

“The first requisite for the happiness of the people is the aboli­tion of religion.” And, “Religion is the opium of the masses.” – Karl Marx


Socialism has taken over much of Europe, and the result has been chaos and unrest due to economic failures and increasing immorality. Though it is not always blatantly out in the open, socialism has been on our shores for over a century. There are those in America who are so focused on gaining power at any cost that even some liberals question their tactics, which is one reason we’ve seen divided factions in the Occupy Wall Street movement. They’ve always been here, but now more Americans are waking up.

Many of us were either oblivious that our country was in fact drift­ing away from our roots, or we ignored it. Our culture has been com­promised as they have purposefully achieved their objectives through many of America’s most influential institutions. Radicals have been emboldened by allies in the White House who through their policies are helping to advance everything from environmental activism to social justice and wealth redistribution. They openly support anti-American countries and groups while disrespecting Israel and weakening our national defense.

As Christian conservatives, one of our main concerns must be the protection of free speech and religious liberty in America. They’d love to shut us up. Until we understand how deceptive and dishonest some of our opponents are, it will be hard to defend the constant attacks on our faith, family, and freedoms. We are seeing more and more class warfare, criticism of capitalism, and government intrusion on Ameri­can citizens' basic rights, including religious liberties.

Many liberals and progressives in the media, in OWS, and in pub­lic unions want to “reform” America’s free enterprise system. They’d like to see complete government control of our economy and markets; the Obama administration has already started down this road as they attempt to overhaul our nation’s health care laws and energy policies. Communist and socialist party organizers in America are now openly pushing their propaganda via the web and at public protests, including their failed efforts in Madison, Wisconsin.

But why socialism, and why did they choose this time in our history to try to make their move? Generations must have been dumbed down because anyone with a remote understanding of history knows that millions lived under abject poverty and suffered worldwide under socialism. Never before have so many innocent people died while being subjected to narcissistic leaders and tyrants who fooled them by saying all the right things. But the media buries it, and our kids are not being taught the whole truth in government-run public education.

Whether it is communism, socialism, Marxism, or progressivism, they all lead to man’s worship of the State as provider instead of the American system that allows for and encourages people to see God as provider. The fact that more Americans are considering ideas and “isms” like what we see today – after all of the climactic failures of socialism around the world – is beyond comprehension. If people don’t know bib­lical truth and American heritage, it’s no wonder some are not capable of reasoning and resisting this anti-Christian agenda. You don’t think our country could be destroyed from within?

Christianity is the one faith threatening enemies of God in America. These secular-progressive schemers set out to dumb down our children, minimize marriage and families, promote government control, and rewrite our history. They've been on our shores for more than a century, and the roll call of radical influences keeps growing: Lenin, Stalin, Marx, Gramsci, The Fabians, American Socialist Party, Saul Alinsky, Students for a Democratic Society, Bill Ayers, George Soros, Frank Marshall Davis, Jim Wallis, Jesse Jackson, Ted Turner, Van Jones, Rahm Emmanuel, Valeria Jarrett, The Clintons, Eric Holder, Cloward-Piven, ACORN, SEIU, AFL-CIO, NEA, CAIR, the U.N., and much of the mainstream media in America to name a few.

Why do you suppose the American people know very little about a far-left liberal Senator in Chicago who had ties to hard-core, radical, socialist, big-government ideologues? The media keeps a tight lid on inconvenient truths about Obama. Dr. John Drew did his senior honors thesis on Marxist economics at Occidental College, and he also founded the Democratic Student Socialist Alliance. He was a contemporary of Obama at Occidental and a Marxist himself. In fact, Drew was a well-known campus communist and was attracted to the college because Occidental was known for its Left-leaning politics and Marxist professors. Some even said it was considered “the Moscow of southern California.”

Occidental College attracted America’s future president. Drew believed Obama was looking for a social revolution during his college days, and he expected a movement where “the working class would overthrow the ruling class” leading to a socialist utopia in America. Drew admitted how extreme he thought Obama’s views were at the time. Americans are continuing to learn how little his views have changed.

President Obama’s early formative years feature a mixture of religious and political views, including those of his mentors, friends, and associations. Many of the relationships helped formulate his antipathy toward America, and his attraction to socialism is well-ingrained into his ideology and worldview.

From questionable Chicago politics to unethical community activ­ism, there is a clear pattern in Obama’s past. A Republican with the same background would have been vetted extensively, covered 24/7 by the media, and would never be elected. To suggest the corrupt, radical, leftist, progressive individuals who make up President Obama’s close friends, associations, and his administration do not reflect his faith and his worldview is both naive and insulting to our intelligence.

*Excerpt from chapter 10 of ERADICATE: BLOTTING OUT GOD IN AMERICA, “It Could Never Happen In America.”

Photo credit: SS&SS (Creative Commons)



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