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Posts Tagged ‘national security’

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From the NYTimes:

If President Obama tuned in to the past week’s bracing debate on Capitol Hill about terrorism, executive power, secrecy and due process, he might have recognized the arguments his critics were making: He once made some of them himself.

Four years into his tenure, the onetime critic of President George W. Bush finds himself cast as a present-day Mr. Bush, justifying the muscular application of force in the defense of the nation while detractors complain that he has sacrificed the country’s core values in the name of security.

Idiots on the left thought Obama was different.

The debate is not an exact parallel to those of the Bush era, and Mr. Obama can point to ways he has tried to exorcise what he sees as the excesses of the last administration. But in broad terms, the conversation generated by the confirmation hearing of John O. Brennan, his nominee for C.I.A. director, underscored the degree to which Mr. Obama has embraced some of Mr. Bush’s approach to counterterrorism, right down to a secret legal memo authorizing presidential action unfettered by outside forces.

Obama is doing shit Bush didn’t even attempt to do. Here is where the NYTimes attempts to spin facts for Obama…

[...]The dissonance is due in part to the fact that Mr. Obama ran in 2008 against Mr. Bush’s first-term policies but, after winning, inherited Mr. Bush’s second-term policies.

Obama ran against Bush twice and idiots fell for it. “Inherited?” Obama ran against Bush then continued every single program and expanded them.

By the time Mr. Bush left office, he had shaved off some of the more controversial edges of his counterterrorism program, both because of pressure from Congress and the courts and because he wanted to leave behind policies that would endure. He had closed the secret C.I.A. prisons, obtained Congressional approval for warrantless surveillance and military commissions, and worked to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

Bull-shit, secret prisons are still up and running under Obama. Warrantless surveillance is up under Obama and Obama was blocked by his own party from closing Gitmo.

So while Mr. Obama banned harsh interrogation techniques, he preserved much of what he inherited, with some additional safeguards; expanded Mr. Bush’s drone campaign; and kept on veterans of the antiterrorism wars like Mr. Brennan. Some efforts at change were thwarted, like his vow to close the Guantánamo prison and to try Sept. 11 plotters in civilian court.

Interrogation techniques that don’t kill was deemed torture under Bush. Dropping bombs and killing terrorist is better in liberal utopia. The NYTiimes exposes the liberal hypocrisy we’ve all come to know and despise.

[...]For four years, Mr. Obama has benefited at least in part from the reluctance of Mr. Bush’s most virulent critics to criticize a Democratic president. Some liberals acknowledged in recent days that they were willing to accept policies they once would have deplored as long as they were in Mr. Obama’s hands, not Mr. Bush’s.

“We trust the president,” former Gov. Jennifer Granholm of Michigan said on Current TV. “And if this was Bush, I think that we would all be more up in arms because we wouldn’t trust that he would strike in a very targeted way and try to minimize damage rather than contain collateral damage.”

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But..but..but..Bush was bad. Bush hasn’t done a quarter of the things Obama has done when it comes to violating our civil liberties.

From The Hill:

A majority of voters believe President Obama has been no better than his immediate predecessor, President George W. Bush, when it comes to balancing national security with the protection of civil liberties, according to a new poll for The Hill.

Thirty-seven percent of voters argue that Obama has been worse than Bush while 15 percent say he has been “about the same.”

The results cannot be fully explained as party line responses. More than one in five self-identified Democrats, 21 percent, assert that the Obama administration has not improved upon Bush’s record. So do 23 percent of liberals.

The results are especially striking given the liberal hopes that attended Obama’s election, the opprobrium he heaped upon Bush’s national security policies during the 2008 campaign and his early promise to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.

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Mad Dog questioned Obama too much.

Mad Dog questioned Obama too much.

Can’t have a qualified General questioning Obama’s “open-hand” policy for Iran. How many generals has Obama gotten rid of? It’s almost like he doesn’t want anyone questioning his failed foreign policy.

From WFB:

“Word on the national security street is that General James Mattis is being given the bum’s rush out of his job as commander of Central Command, and is being told to vacate his office several months earlier than planned,”reports veteran national security correspondent Thomas E. Ricks.

It now appears likely that Gen. Mattis, a Marine Corps legend, will leave his post as head of America’s most important combatant command in March, several months earlier than planned. Ricks continues:

Why the hurry? Pentagon insiders say that he rubbed civilian officials the wrong way — not because he went all “mad dog,” which is his public image, and the view at the White House, but rather because he pushed the civilians so hard on considering the second- and third-order consequences of military action against Iran. Some of those questions apparently were uncomfortable. Like, what do you do with Iran once the nuclear issue is resolved and it remains a foe? What do you do if Iran then develops conventional capabilities that could make it hazardous for U.S. Navy ships to operate in the Persian Gulf? He kept saying, “And then what?

Wanna bet Iranian-born Valerie Jarrett is involved?

Inquiry along these lines apparently was not welcomed — at least in the CENTCOM view. The White House view, apparently, is that Mattis was too hawkish, which is not something I believe, having seen him in the field over the years. I’d call him a tough-minded realist, someone who’d rather have tea with you than shoot you, but is happy to end the conversation either way.

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Hey Obama supporters, how does it feel to know Brennan was a Bush guy, is involved with Obama’s lust for drone strikes and kill lists, and  has a problem leaking national secrets. Not to mention he is part of the worst national security team ever assembled. Brennan put together the “watch list” that didn’t catch the underwear bomber.

WASHINGTON –  President Obama is expected to nominate White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan for CIA director as early as Monday, Capitol Hill sources tell Fox News.

Brennan has served in the counterterrorism post since the beginning of the Obama administration. Prior to taking that position, though, Brennan spent about 25 years at the CIA, which would suggest he knows the agency well.

The president is planning a packed week of nomination announcements in the coming days, as he begins to roll out his second-term team. Former Sen. Chuck Hagel is expected to be nominated for defense secretary Monday. The president has already nominated Sen. John Kerry for secretary of state.

[...]Brennan briefly served as director of the National Counterterrorism Center during the George W. Bush administration.

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ndaa 2013 big brother

The power grab just got bigger. Obama is so worried about the truth slipping out and into public he issued a memo on how to stop whistleblowers. Can’t have the weak-minded finding out the truth about the wanna-be dictator and his actions.

From BeforeItsNews:

On the day before Thanksgiving with little or no media attention, President Obamawrote a memorandum, which is an unofficial directive, to the “heads of executive departments and agencies” that addresses “insider threats.” While the corporate media has largely ignored this memo, there has recently been much speculation in alternative media as to why Obama felt the need to address insider threats at this time.

The subject heading of the memo is “National Insider Threat Policy and Minimum Standards for Executive Branch Insider Threat Programs.” It is short enough to reprint in its entirety:

This Presidential Memorandum transmits the National Insider Threat Policy and Minimum Standards for Executive Branch Insider Threat Programs (Minimum Standards) to provide direction and guidance to promote the development of effective insider threat programs within departments and agencies to deter, detect, and mitigate actions by employees who may represent a threat to national security. These threats encompass potential espionage, violent acts against the Government or the Nation, and unauthorized disclosure of classified information, including the vast amounts of classified data available on interconnected United States Government computer networks and systems.

The Minimum Standards provide departments and agencies with the minimum elements necessary to establish effective insider threat programs. These elements include the capability to gather, integrate, and centrally analyze and respond to key threat-related information; monitor employee use of classified networks; provide the workforce with insider threat awareness training; and protect the civil liberties and privacy of all personnel.

The resulting insider threat capabilities will strengthen the protection of classified information across the executive branch and reinforce our defenses against both adversaries and insiders who misuse their access and endanger our national security.

Much of the speculation regarding this memo is a result of the brevity and ambiguous wording. For example, what exactly defines an “insider threat” and why are “violent acts against the Government or the Nation” mentioned? Recent events raise even more questions. After a closer look at some of the theories regarding why Obama felt the need to write this now, readers can draw their own conclusions.

Stifling whistleblowers

This memo obviously urges an expansion of powers granted to the Insider Threat Task Force that was created by an executive order in October 2011, ten months after Army Private Bradley Manningretrieved roughly 250,000 diplomatic cables from a government computer and turned them over toWikileaks. Bradley Manning is facing hearings this week that could lead to him being imprisoned for life, after already being imprisoned is solitary confinement since May 2010. If that is not enough of a deterrent for whistleblowers in the military, what is?

Jesselyn Radack, writing for the DailyKOS, correctly points out that this memo “serves to reinforce the Obama administration’s woeful confusion of whistleblowing with espionage [and]…is completely redundant as agencies already have internal policies on classified information and secrecy agreements.”

Radack continues to advance the theory that the memo is meant to stifle whistleblowers like Bradley Manning, Thomas Drake and John Kiriakou. Yet she once again correctly notes that “the memo equates disclosure of classified information with ‘violent acts against the government’ and ‘espionage,’ a certainly inapt and chilling comparison considering that…an employee taking violent acts to overthrow the government or conducting espionage…is a rare occurrence whereas classified information appears on the front pages of national newspapers daily.”

In fact, the New York Times pointed out last year that anywhere from 50 percent to 90 percent of classified documents could safely be made public.

Kevin Gosztola, who has been following the Bradley Manning case, appeared on RT with a similar assessment (see video). “During the clip, I point out the policy is extraneous as it is already official policy for national security agency employees to not release classified information without proper authorization. This adds another layer of procedures meant to chill speech and whistleblowing.”

Gosztala takes it one step further when writes, “it is an indication that the Obama administration, which prosecuted more whistleblowers or leakers in the past four years under the Espionage Act than any other previous administration, has a disposition against the free flow of information.”

It is quite possible that Obama wrote the memo with Manning’s case and other whistleblowers in mind, yet many speculate that there is much more to it. Obviously, none of these whistleblowers were plotting violent acts against the nation and it is a safe assumption that a President who is an ex-constitutional law professor can make a distinction between whistleblowing, espionage and violent acts against the nation.

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The stench of this cover-up.

From DefenseNews:

…The FBI concluded Petraeus had violated no criminal laws nor threatened U.S. national security.

So, the investigation was merely about a sexual relationship between a married CIA boss and his married biographer, and a potential relationship between a married Afghanistan war commander and a married Joint Special Operations Command unpaid social liaison (Kelley), right?

There is one big reason to think, until more is known, to the contrary, says a senior House Republican.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations subcommittee, noted Tuesday on CNN that to gain access to the private email accounts of those involved the FBI would have had to get a special warrant.

To get that warrant, the bureau would have had to go to the post-9/11 “FISA Court,” short for Foreign Intelligence Surviellance Court. It is largely used to aid federal investigators in national security-related probes.

The use of the FISA warrants, Chaffetz said during a morning interview, has him wonder if the investigation is about “something more” than simply generals allegedly behaving badly.

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As usual, the numbers don’t lie. Obama has been very successful with his “fundamental transformation” of America. We are in an Obama decline.

From WSJ:

When asked once about the state of the Russian economy, then President Boris Yeltsin responded with one word: “Good.” When asked to expand, Yeltsin paused, and responded gruffly with two words: “Not good.” A week before going to the polls, American voters have some idea of how this feels.

Earlier this month the Obama administration received good news: U.S. unemployment seems finally to be coming down. This week, however, the news is not so good. In fresh data on economic prosperity from countries around the world, the U.S. has fallen out of the Top 10 for the first time ever. If elections were decided by data, today’s findings would spell trouble for President Obama.

The 2012 Legatum Prosperity Index captures not simply the quarterly or annual ups and downs of the national economy, but rather long-term underlying components of national prosperity. Our findings suggest that the American Dream is in jeopardy.

The first problem is well-known. America has saddled itself with crippling debt and soaring entitlement spending. Couple these with projections of low growth—and possibly even another recession—and a bleak picture emerges.

But there’s more. For three-quarters of a century, gross domestic product has been single most important framework for evaluating economic success. In recent years, though, a “beyond GDP” debate has started. An increasing number of academics and policy makers around the world have been exploring the idea that there may be a more comprehensive and meaningful way to look at national prosperity. With 142 countries currently included, the Prosperity Index aims to paint a more complete picture of global prosperity than any other tool of its kind.

How does the picture look for the U.S.? The index identifies eight “foundations” for national success, including factors such as effective and accountable government, personal freedom, national security and personal safety. The news is not good for America. Across the eight components that make up the Index, the U.S. declines in five, including the economy, personal freedom, and entrepreneurship and opportunity. The biggest fall is in entrepreneurship and opportunity, which has declined eight places in the last four years. Businesses’ start-up costs are rising in the land of pioneers and patents. Fewer Americans believe that working hard will get them ahead.

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Obama wants to protect whistleblowers just not the one who can rat on him or those in his administration that leak national security secrets to make up for his weak foreign policies.

From WaPo:

President Obama has done what Congress has not — extend whistleblower protections to national security and intelligence employees.

Presidential Policy Directive issued Wednesday says employees “who are eligible for access to classified information can effectively report waste, fraud, and abuse while protecting classified national security information. It prohibits retaliation against employees for reporting waste, fraud, and abuse.”

These laws are already on the books. Guess Obama wants to paid his resume with another unconstitutional act before leaving office.

With this directive, Obama hands national security and intelligence community whistleblowers and their advocates an important victory in their frequently frustrating efforts to expand protection against retaliation for federal employees who expose agency misconduct.

Protection for intelligence and national security workers was not included, as advocates had hoped, in the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act that passed the House last month and now awaits action in the Senate. Retaliation can come in different forms, including dismissals, assignments or revocation of security clearances.

So, Republicans passed it and now obstructing Democrats, who control the Senate, are holding it up. Typical.

Obama instructed agencies, including the CIA, to establish a review process, within 270 days, that allows employees to appeal actions in conflict with the directive that affect their access to classified information.

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I wonder why troops don’t support a “cut-and-run” president?

From Military Times:

The professional core of the U.S. military overwhelmingly favors Mitt Romney over President Obama in the upcoming election — but not because of any particular military issues, according to a new poll of more than 3,100 active and reserve troops.

Respondents rated the economy and the candidates’ character as their most important considerations and all but ignored the war in Afghanistan as an issue of concern.

The Military Times Poll is a secure email survey of active-duty, National Guard and reserve members who are subscribers to the Military Times newspapers (see How We Did It, below).

This population is older and more senior than the military population at large, but it is representative of the professional core of the all-volunteer force.

The 3,100 respondents — roughly two-thirds active-duty and one-third reserve component members — are about 80 percent white and 91 percent male. Forty percent are in paygrades E-5 through E-8, while more than 35 percent are in paygrades O-3 through O-5.

The liberal media will say the military is racist, of course.

Almost 80 percent of respondents have a college degree — including 27 percent with a graduate degree and more than 11 percent with a post-graduate degree — while an additional 18.5 percent have some college under their belts.

And they are battle-hardened; almost 29 percent have spent more than two cumulative years deployed since 9/11, while a similar percentage has spent one to two cumulative years deployed.

The Military Times poll shows that Republicans continue to enjoy overwhelming support among the military’s professional ranks.

“There is really an affinity for Republican candidates, even though [troops] say that what counts is character and handling the economy,” said Richard Kohn, who teaches military history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Poll results indicate that about 66 percent of those surveyed support Romney, compared with about 26 percent who say they will vote to re-elect President Obama.

When asked about the most important issue guiding their vote this year, about 66 percent of respondents cited either “the economy” or “the character of the candidate.” Less than 16 percent of troops surveyed cited “national security.”

And the war in Afghanistan is barely a blip on the radar: Just more than 1 percent put that conflict at the top of their list of concerns. That’s in stark contrast to troops’ feelings about the war in Iraq in the Military Times 2008 election poll, when 16 percent cited that conflict as their top concern.

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