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Archive for the ‘national security’ Category

Taking a brief time out from the workaday quotidien-ness of the crisisblur that is the Obama Presidency, Barry, a.k.a. Whiner-in-Chief, joined Barbara Boxer for a fundraiser in San Francisco, a city that seems to bring out the best, or at least the most honest, of our Dear Leader’s Vaunted Rhetorical Skills:

“Let’s face it this has been the toughest year and a half since any year and a half since the 1930s,” he said.

Oh, uh huh.  I think JFK might disagree with you: he had a year and a half that ended really, really badly.  LBJ didn’t have it so easy, I mean, it’s hard to imagine this but there was violence in the streets in 1968 even before the Tea Partiers started their campaign of chaos and distruction.  Maybe Truman had a hard year and a half, two. I don’t think the ’40′s were a cakewalk for FDR, either.  Huh- maybe even George Bush could weigh in with a “Shucks, that’s nothin’” , if he were as devoid of dignity as our current president.

Psssst, Barry: Yeah, these problems you’re facing, that we’re all facing, they’re terrible.  What’s worse, far, far worse, is that you have handled every last one of them incompetently and with a partisanship that is paralysing the country.

Let’s take another look at your to-do list, shall we?  Biggest ecological disaster ever brewing in the Gulf Coast.  Oh, that’s right: you have to give an interview to Marv Albert and talk about basketball.  NoKo and SoKo on the verge of war, but you have time to play the links.  Iran merrily speeding toward nuclear status, and Hezbollah acquiring missiles: time to get your knickers in a twist over an apartment building in Jerusalem.   And Memorial Day, the laying of the wreath? Whoops- time for a Chi-town fix with Michelle and the girls.

I know, Barry, reminding you of your Most Megalomaniacal Moment would be mean, but that’s how I roll.  So, hey, when do the Sooper Dooper Earth Healing Powers kick in?

File under “Great Minds Think Alike”: this is the reference for the title of this post, and here is the visual, h/t MoonBattery and America is an Obamanation!

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Which is more cringe inducing? Sadly, this spectacle makes Philo’s point about our so-called war on terror even more depressing: we aren’t even pursuing the flunkies in any way that is coherent.  The Taliban knows who there their enemy is, and will advertise to one and all who the enemy is.  We glance nervously around and knit our brows and courageously refuse to impugn a religion

Don’t you feel like the poor kid who’s being defended by Mr. Smooth here?  America is Stan Rothenstein.

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I don’t see how you can “automatically” strip anyone of citizenship without a trial that establishes guilt.  And even if that were the case, the Left doesn’t care about citizenship: for them, non-citizens have the same rights as citizens. Joe Lieberman is supposedly trying to update sedition laws to preremptorily strip citizenship from people who consort with, give aid to, take training from enemies of the United States.  How do you do that without trying them?  If they are citizens, they are entitled to due process, which presumably includes the presumption of innocence.  The score: cutie pie Scott Brown is co-sponsoring Lieberman’s bill (saying, “It’s about prevention” which is precisely the problem…), Charles Krauthammer agrees with them;  John Boehner, Jacob Sullum, and some others see it my way. [Update: Sen. Lieberman explains his bill in a press conference.  My question is, do we really- really- want the State Department deciding whose citizenship gets revoked? In the 1940's, Alger Hiss was in the State Department and his ideological grandchildren are populating Foggy Bottom to this day.  The President Emeritus of the Saul Alinsky Fan Club is the Sec State, for heaven's sake.  And they did such a fine job revoking Abdulmutallab's visa-  he wasn't even a citizen! As a practical matter, this places the State Department in the role of actually doing something for our national security.  Yeah, right.]

I’m sad that this clothes designer is going out of business.  She designed the good stuff, not this.  By the way, I got the last link by googling “Michelle Obama’s ugliest outfit.”

While I agree with the sentiment behind the Arizona Immigration bill, I wonder if it is constitutional (Jennifer Rubin cautions), or even especially helpful to local law enforcement.

A mistress’s lament: “I don’t like how mistresses are being portrayed in the media,” she says as she recalls Norman Mailer’s irresistable seduction: “He offered to help her with her manuscript, which included an account of her one night stand with Warren Beatty. He put his hand on her shoulder and said, ‘Take off your panties.  I want to feel your soul.’”  I dunno.  I get the feeling that this is a woman who wants her privates in print.  Or maybe these are just the two famous guys and she’s screwed a jillion other guys whose names don’t sell books.

I’m sorry: I’m so grossed out by the idea of anyone agreeing to be touched by Norman Mailer I’m going to have to go to my happy place, which today is Part 4 of the Discourse on Method by René Descartes.  Yeah, the famous “I think therefore I am.”  What  a crock, but at least he doesn’t touch anybody’s soul.

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OK, I’m just as happy seeing al-Awlaqi meet his maker and however many virgins.  But, for those of us who did take the whole FISA debate seriously, and that whole due process rigamarole that the Bill of Rights blathers on about, and as someone who felt the sting of the sarcasm embodied in the bumpersticker wisdom of “Go Ahead, Take My Rights; I Wasn’t Using Them Anyway” I just wanted to ask: where are all the Lefties on this?  I mean, this is a guy who actually IS an American.  Has he been tried, even in absentia?  What about “guilty until proven innocent?”  What about Miranda? Oh, I see.  That only works for Nigerian Jihadis who have had the great good fortune to land mostly intact on American soil, even if that wasn’t the plan (Philo- you’re the music guy- can we have Abumutallab’s theme, “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” cued up?)

Where is the ACLU? Has anyone uttered a peep about this? Is all the angst about rendition spent and we have none to spare for the imminent smithereenhood of an American citizen?  Isn’t vaporization somewhat worse than waterboarding or getting the Quran wet?

And I’m not asking rhetorically here.  I really don’t think we should be assassinating American citizens by executive order.  There should be a trial, in absentia, and if found guilty of say, treason (huh- that has a nice old fashioned ring to it, doesn’t it?) he should be stripped of his American citizenship.

You know, Roman justice was pretty brutal, but one of the perks of citizenship was that you had the privilege of being beheaded if you were to be executed.

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Stranger in a Strange Land, former President Bush attorney John Yoo at home in Berkeley CA, despite calls for his ouster.

“I think of myself as being West Berlin during the Cold War, a shining beacon of capitalism and democracy surrounded by a sea of Marxism,” Yoo observes, sipping iced tea in the faculty club lounge, a wan smile registering the discomfort of colleagues walking by en route to the bar.

Having heard this guy on TV, he was super on John Stewart, and the radio, I like the cut of his jib. Well done, and carry on.

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Here’s the speech Sarah Palin wasn’t allowed to give yesterday—and a powerful speech it is.

Caroline Glick reacts.

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Democrats, apparently, consider this “subtlety.” Republicans call it “incoherence.” Criticized for being willing to meet with President Ahmadinejad of Iran “without preconditions,” Barack Obama responded, as the New York Times reports:

For nearly a month, Republicans have stepped up attacks on Mr. Obama’s foreign policy perspective, highlighting a Hamas official’s complimentary comments about him in mid-April, as well as Mr. Obama’s statements that he is willing to meet with leaders of so-called rogue states like Iran, Syria, North Korea and Venezuela “without preconditions.” On Friday, Mr. Obama tried, not for the first time, to deflect and counter the criticisms by articulating his view of foreign relations, one in which military might is accompanied by diplomatic engagement with all countries, including enemies. His most specific example was a significantly changed policy toward Iran, one that would be equal parts carrot and stick.

“It’s time to present Iran with a clear choice,” Mr. Obama said. “If it abandons its nuclear program, support for terror and threats to Israel, then Iran can rejoin the community of nations. If not, Iran will face deeper isolation and steeper sanctions.”…

Mr. Obama drew a distinction, saying his administration would start negotiations with Iran “without preconditions” and being directly involved himself. For that to occur, he added, Iran would have to meet benchmarks or conditions.

That reiterates remarks he has made numerous times in the past year…. [emphasis added]

What’s going on here? Does Obama not understand that if-statements are conditionals?

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David Warren:

My rule of thumb, on wars, is to fight them with your enemies, when absolutely necessary; but never with your friends, and in particular, never in order to create new enemies.

It is worth thinking carefully about the Clinton-Bush policy in the Balkans, which so far has led to the alienation of Russia, the creation of Islamic states in Europe, and the encouragement of separatist movements everywhere. The ideology seems to be that, if a territory is dominated by a certain ethnic or religious group different from that of the majority in the nation of which it is a part, it deserves self-determination, and may become an independent state. This has implications not only for the Palestinians, the Basques, and the Chechens, but also for Muslim separatist movements in the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Kashmir, as well as for Kurdish rebels in Turkey, many tribal groups in Africa, and so on. Indeed, how can we simultaneously strive to keep Kurds, Sunnis, and Shiites in the same state in Iraq and insist on Kosovo’s right to independence?

At issue is nothing less than the survival of the nation-state as a unit of political organization. If Kosovo, Kashmir, Kurdistan, etc., have a right to independence, what about New Mexico? Paris’s banlieus? New York’s Little Italy? San Francisco’s Chinatown? Pittsburgh’s Polish Hill?

The point isn’t that such independence movements are likely or politically viable. It’s rather that validating the underlying principle would turn immigration and self-segregation into powerful political weapons. You want some of your neighbor’s territory? Just send in the immigrants, make sure they don’t assimilate, let them achieve critical mass, and then have them insist on self-determination. This is already happening in many countries in Europe. There are activists who want to see what is happening in the American southwest similarly.

Once immigration is perceived as a slow-motion invasion, war by other means, the only rational thing to do is to restrict it radically and to create institutions to guarantee that immigrants integrate and assimilate. The latter is probably a good idea in any case—at least to the point of encouragement, if not insistence—though it flies in the face of multiculturalist dogma. The former would be unfortunate, I think, but seems inevitable if nations want to remain intact—and if they haven’t already ceded control to organizations such as the European Union that have their own reasons for wishing to undermine the political authority of the nation-state.

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Today the Democrats of the House and Senate approved restricting CIA interrogation techniques to those outlined in the Army Field Manual. Power Line correctly notes that this means that the Democratic Party simply is not serious about the national security of the United States.

Over the last 36 hours, Congressional Democrats have again demonstrated a casual, even frivolous attitude toward their Constitutional duty to assist in keeping Americans safe from attack.

As I said in an earlier post, this means that the Democrats would not pluck a single hair from the head of a terrorist even to save the entire world. I think that disqualifies them from being in charge of national security—or much of anything else.

If you find yourself sympathesizing with the Democrats’ position, here’s a quick hypothetical question. A terrorist has put poison in the water supply, which will soon be released in all major lakes and rivers and kill, within hours, almost everyone in the United States. You capture him. If you use the Army Field Manual techniques, he will not talk, and almost all Americans die. If you go beyond that—by, for example, dripping water up his nose, panicking him for perhaps 30 seconds—he will talk, and those lives will be saved. What would you do? (Don’t answer that we never really are in a position to know all this. It’s a hypothetical case, and your knowledge of all this is stipulated. What would you do?)

This is essentially a trolley problem, but with 300 million people tied to the track on which the out-of-control trolley is racing, and one person who might be splashed if the trolley is diverted to the other track, saving the 300 million. May you flip the switch to divert the trolley? The Democrats are committed to answering “No!”

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Turnabout

Hesham Islam, the Pentagon aide who tried to stopped Major Stephen Coughlin’s contract renewal, not only failed in that attempt but is now stepping down.

A senior U.S. official says the life story Islam presented now appears sketchy. “His resume didn’t add up, and he knows it,” the official said. “He’s voluntarily leaving the government in March.”

As WND previously reported, FBI officials believe Islam is involved with the U.S. branch of the Muslim Brotherhood and is helping its front groups run “influence operations” against the U.S. government.

“He’s a Muslim brother,” an FBI official told WND. “He’s a bad actor, and he’s made other unreported nefarious contacts.”

Does he still have his top security clearance? How much damage can he do in the next month? And how did this happen in the first place?

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