McCarthy – Hit List and the NY Times praise for Obama

Editor’s Note – “Andy, who put the Blind Sheik behind bars in the first World Trade Center bombing, ” PJM CEO Roger L. Simon writes, “was arguably the most important prosecutor in the War on Terror. He is among the most authoritative writers anywhere on the dangers of Jihad. His distinguished legal career and expertise on national security matters will be invaluable to PJ Media and our readers.”

From “Rule of Law” to Hit List: The Times Lauds Obama at War

by Andrew C. McCarthy – PJ Media

“The president accepts as a fact that a certain amount of screw-ups are going to happen, and to him, that calls for a more judicious process.” Well, that’s certainly a judicious use of judicious by William Daley. The former White House chief of staff was addressing the inevitability of collateral damage inherent in President Barack Obama’s principal war strategy against al-Qaeda: killing suspected terrorists by firing missiles from unmanned drones that scour faraway skies over Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen. This was about halfway through the New York Times‘ rambling 6,300-word testimonial to Obama’s unparalleled splendor as a wartime commander-in-chief.

You see, for all the precision of modern weaponry, it turns out error is simply unavoidable: sometimes the wrong targets get hit and the wrong people get killed by our armed forces and the presidents who command them. Fog of war, and all that. For many years — specifically, from October 2001 through January 19, 2009 — the Times saw this inevitability as grist for scandal. But suddenly, the Gray Lady has evolved, just like its heroically “pragmatic” commander-in-chief. Collateral killings are just the way it goes — and if Obama camouflages what the Left used to insist were civilian casualties by a post facto declaration that everyone killed was a “combatant,” the Times has suddenly decided that, far from crying out for a war crimes investigation, this just proves his lawyerly brilliance.

Obama and Brennan meet

After all, it is the end result of a “judicious process.” That’s judicious, not judicial. Of course, time was when candidate Obama, his campaign surrogates, and the Times would have scoffed at the notion that the executive branch was capable of judiciously prosecuting the battle, determining who was the enemy, and taking action to kill or capture and detain. Sure, from 1787 through 2001, presidents may have been trusted with plenary control over war-fighting. But that was then. Now, according to the Bush-deranged Left, the “rule of law” demanded a judicialprocess. Terrorists don’t wear uniforms — a willful violation of the laws of war that the Left converted into a presumption of innocence. Thus, progressives told us, to hold suspected terrorists, let alone kill them, based on nothing more than a unilateral executive branch determination, no matter how “judicious,” was a shredding of the Constitution and a profound violation of international law.

Now that the president’s name is Obama, though, “judicious” executive unilateralism is more than enough to justify killing — and not only in an emergency: the Times depicts Obama as the don, meeting weekly with his consiglieri to decide who lives and who dies.

Eleven years into post-9/11 combat operations and facing a tough reelection fight, it has conveniently dawned on the Obama Left that when the nation is threatened and takes up arms, the risk of error shifts from the government, which bears it in peacetime law-enforcement operations, to “the enemy.” For the Times — whose epic account of Obama at war begins with a portentous “This was the enemy” – enemy is the term now in vogue for what, heretofore, were known merely as “young Muslim men,” subjected either to indefinite detention without trial or to being slain under ambiguous circumstances in Bush’s “war on terror,” which was really a “war against Islam.” Now that those young Muslim men are being detained or killed by Obama, it is remarkable to discover what a mortal threat to the United States they really are. And it further turns out that, while our intelligence community does the best it can, warfare requires our combat forces to take action without the certainty of meticulously tested courtroom evidence — and that’s suddenly okay, too: When people are plotting to mass-murder Americans, the Times wants you to know that we can’t afford to wait until we have proof that will satisfy a jury; they need to be rubbed out, pronto.

What is most astonishing in the story co-authored by Jo Becker and Scott Shane is its rationalization of the president’s naivete and amateur-hour missteps. In the revisionist history, these are seen as emblematic of the Omniscient One’s duplicity — which the reporters, far from finding offensive, portray as the president’s most praiseworthy attribute. “Bush lied and people died”; Obama lies and … it is his unmatched attorney’s mind at work.

Obama signs Executive Order to close Gitmo after taking the oath of office in 2009

Thus does the Times celebrate what, in the retelling is Obama’s knowing deception — not his ideologically-driven recklessness — in ceremoniously pronouncing, on his second day in office, that Gitmo would be closed and that he would make good on other campaign commitments to turn the clock back — back to Clintonian courtroom counterterrorism, away from Bush-era reliance on the laws of war. Even as the Times and rest of the Left deliriously swooned, we now discover that Obama was furtively inserting “a few subtle loopholes” in his first executive orders, “already putting his lawyerly mind to carving out the maximum amount of maneuvering room to fight terrorism as he saw fit.” An outrage? No, the Times sees this as just “the deft insertion of some wiggle words” by “a realist who, unlike some of his fervent supporters [ACM: the Times, for one] was never carried away by his own rhetoric.” The Paper of Record, which spent years obsessing over 16 words in Bush’s 2003 State of the Union Address, now builds sleight-of-hand into the president’s job description.

And why not? Why shouldn’t the Times‘s preferred commander-in-chief be afforded the same loose acquaintance with the truth that the paper allows itself? For how else could it publish paragraphs such as this:

The care that Mr. Obama and his counterterrorism chief take in choosing targets, and their reliance on a precision weapon, the drone, reflect his pledge at the outset of his presidency to reject what he called the Bush administration’s “false choice between our safety and our ideals.”

In point of fact, we learn in the course of the article (as if we did not know already) that the drone is not all that precise: It often takes lives and destroys property beyond its narrow targets. Furthermore, because the Obama administration, in its demagoguery against Gitmo and Bush detention policies, has nullified the options of capturing and interrogating jihadists, “our ideals” now apparently include killing people we could have taken alive — and whose intelligence we could have exploited to save American lives. And if those people happen not to be the people we were trying to kill, Obama just counts them as terrorists anyway — as long as they fit the administration’s profile for Muslim terrorists.

But a more overarching point: When Obama excoriated Bush for offering a “false choice between our safety and our ideals,” he was referring to the Bush wartime preference for executive processes over judicial ones. The Times well knows this, because it was leading the Obama cheering section. In what now passes for “our ideals,” however, Obama is not just unilateral judge and jury; he is executioner, as well. Bush was convinced the war model was necessary to protect the nation, but he left the war-fighting to the professionals. Obama, by contrast” is the “liberal law professor” who “insist[s] on approving every new name on an expanding ‘kill list,’ poring over terrorist suspects’ biographies on what one official calls the macabre ‘baseball cards’ of an unconventional war.”

Not to worry about this seeming contradiction, though. The doctrinaire secularists at the Times want to assure you that The One even transcends what up until five minutes ago was the essential “wall of separation” between church and state. You see, our current commander-in-chief, that erudite protege of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, is a sharp departure from the Bible-thumping rube who last held the job. Obama is “a student writings on war by Augustine and Thomas Aquinas,” who is determined “to apply the ‘just war’ theories of Christian philosophers to a brutal modern conflict.”

What Obama, or, for that matter, the Times, actually grasps about Christian just war theory is unclear. (If you actually want to know what it is, a few words from George Weigel are a better expenditure of your time than a few thousand words from folks who find virtue in not being “carried away by [their] own rhetoric.”) But we do learn that Obama-style “just war theory” bears a striking resemblance to Obama-style “pragmatism” — which somehow always manages to get to the result Obama finds politically expedient.

So we discover that Obama applies a strict moral imperative in his judicious application of just war drone-killing … except when he doesn’t. The target must be an imminent threat to the United States … except when he isn’t. There must be a “‘near certainty’ of no innocents being killed” … except when there isn’t. The Times concedes, for example, that Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud “did not meet the Obama administration’s criteria for targeted killing”: he was not a threat to the United States and, when located by the CIA, he was surrounded by innocents — staying with his wife at his in-laws home. But, hey, “Pakistani officials wanted him dead.” Obama rationalized that the drone program was necessary and the “drone program rested on [the Pakistanis’] tacit approval.” And, yes, killing Mehsud with a missile would necessarily entail killing those in his company, but them’s the breaks. The don gave the order.

Drone Strike with multiple missiles

And on it goes, at times sadly hilariously. The Times, for example, notes that “the president’s resolve” was “stiffened” by a “series of plots” that included “the killling of 13 people at Fort Hood, Tex. by an Army psychiatristwho had embraced radical Islam.” The Times does not note that, with this one passing reference tying Major Nidal Hassan’s jihadist rampage to Islamic supremacist ideology, the Gray Lady has surpassed the Pentagon in explaining what happened at Fort Hood. Applying the Obama-imposed conscious avoidance mandate, the armed forces did not refer to Islam or jihad in its 75-page report on the massacre, which the administration prefers to frame as a case of “workplace violence.”

In the main, though, the Times report is a study in the Left’s self-absorption. When modern progressives are out of power, warfare is unnecessary — a simplistic, “might makes right” resort to force when the Left’s brand of nuanced diplomacy would have done the trick. Reasonable suspicion is never enough: no one is to be assumed an enemy of the United States absent proof beyond a reasonable doubt that will stand up in court; and if a Republican president resists the “transparency” of judicial review, or resorts to measures like military detention or immigration-law deportation in order to protect its intelligence secrets from exposure, it is chipping away at the very foundations of constitutional governance, such that the Republican administration should be understood as more of a threat to America than the terrorists. Only when the Left is in power does war become necessary, as well as excruciatingly complex and difficult. Only then must we learn to be understanding when irresponsible political rhetoric crashes into hostile reality, and when moral lines in the sand are constantly crossed and haphazardly redrawn … only to be crossed yet again.

This would all be easier to swallow if the evolution came with an apology. But it is packaged in the same smarm as original antiwar, anti-Bush indictment: the more events reveal Obama’s predispositions to be half-baked, inept and unrealistic, the more you are supposed to admire his savvy pragmatism in not merely abandoning them but pretending he never really held them in the first place — while the courtiers applaud.

_________________

Andrew C. McCarthy, is a former federal prosecutor and New York Times bestselling author of The Grand Jihad andWillful Blindness; he’s also a regular contributor at National Review and The New Criterion.

“Andy, who put the Blind Sheik behind bars in the first World Trade Center bombing, ” PJM CEO Roger L. Simon writes, “was arguably the most important prosecutor in the War on Terror. He is among the most authoritative writers anywhere on the dangers of Jihad. His distinguished legal career and expertise on national security matters will be invaluable to PJ Media and our readers.”

Outside of his legal and writing careers, Andy has been coaching little league baseball for the last few years. He’s been a hockey fan for more than 40 years, and he and his family watch sports all year round: mainly Mets, Jets, Knicks and Devils.

The Battle is at Our Front Door – MG Vallely

By Paul E. Vallely

Yes, America, you are watching the suicide of a great country due to the actions of Mr. Obama and his Progressive Socialist supporters/followers, union and radical thugs, and his ardent admirers in the press and Hollywood. They are destroying the country through corruption and ineptitude and are not giving up on ‘fundamentally changing’ America. We must understand that they have an “Agenda” and are implementing it.

However, I am finally sensing that Americans are starting to wake up and the winds of a new revolution are swirling to save the country. We are in the Battle for America.

In fact, much as I have been saying for quite some time, Arnaud De Borchgrave, UPI Editor at Large, in a recent article stated:

General Sir David Richards - SAS

“Alarms are ringing as negative trends come together in a perfect storm. Is the United States sleepwalking into economic and geopolitical decline?” Arnaud carefully lays out the crisis.

Gen. David Richards, the British chief of staff, in the understatement of the week, says the strategic landscape is “worrying” and the outlook “bleak.”

The United States as the world’s strongest geopolitical player has become ungovernable, saddled with a dysfunctional Congress. House and Senate together, with 535 members, maintain 250 committees and subcommittees and micromanage muscular government decisions into unworkable policy directives.

No fewer than 108 committees have oversight jurisdiction on Homeland Security.

America, he says, is sleepwalking into economic and geopolitical decline.

What purports to be democracy in action reminds this long-time observer of the French political situation in the days of the Fourth Republic (1945-58). Governments toppled every six months with tedious regularity. France, saddled with eight years of rearguard fighting in Indochina, faced defeat at Dien Bien Phu in 1954, a heroic last stand of empire.

But this was not to be the last. Eleven men, led by Ben Bella, attacked a post office in Algeria, which triggered another 8-year war that led to a French military buildup of half a million men, the killing of half a million, including 100,000 French, and the exile of 1.4 million French settlers.

France, under Charles de Gaulle’s democratic authoritarianism, miraculously recovered from its seemingly endless series of geopolitical defeats. He turned Algeria — long considered an integral part of metropolitan France — into an independent state and refocused France’s attention to a prosperous future. Yes, a change in national strategy!

The Afghan war is looks like Vietnam because we have focused on using our Armed Forces to “Nation Build” in the Middle East sacrificing enormous US resources in human and financial resources… There is no solution without Pakistan and there is no solution with Pakistan. The Pakistani doctor who helped U.S. intelligence confirms the exact location of Osama bin Laden has been sentenced to 33 years in prison. This was due to loose lips in the White House that has no focus on operational security. How naïve? We forget bin Laden was a Pakistani hero before and since 9/11.

The NATO exit from Afghanistan, as described in Chicago’s final summit communique, strikes most commentators as a stop-gap palliative. The 10-year extension of U.S. and NATO protection and payments to the Afghan army beyond the 2014 exit date for all combat troops widened the credibility gap.

In the United States, the defense budget will be in decline caused by the sequestration imposed by the Budget Control Act of 2011. Alternatively, a “grand bargain” may occur over government spending and taxes, which more likely than not will be larger cuts than the $487 billion over 10 years imposed by BCA.

It is clear that nothing is going to be the same — from al-Qaida and its associated movements to the U.S. defense establishment, from NATO to the U.S. pivot to Asia to counter China’s threatening posture in the South China Sea — and that everything is in a state of flux.

The future of warfare it seems is cyber-terrorism and cyber-warfare coupled with robotic warfare. There are now more drone aircraft in the U.S. arsenal than conventional fighters and bombers.

U.S.S. Cole in Aden, Yemen

The 11 aircraft carrier groups in the U.S. Navy can’t do much against swarms of small suicide boats, like the two-man terrorist boat that rammed the USS Cole in October 2000 in Aden harbor, immobilizing a $1 billion warship for two years of repairs, killing 17 U.S. sailors, injuring 35. This operation cost al-Qaida $10,000 (as indicated by documents seized in an al-Qaida safe house in Kabul after U.S. troops captured the city in October 2001).

The real threat from China is non-military, the deployment of almost 6 million civilian workers from Brazil to the Bahamas and from Libya to Angola, building markets for future exports (as the United States did in Western Europe after World War II).

Small Caribbean island nations all have full-fledged Chinese embassies. Four of them have no U.S. diplomatic representation of any kind (the U.S. State Department’s budget has been cut to the bone). In the Bahamas, a short drive from Nassau airport, 6,100 Chinese workers are building the largest casino complex in the Caribbean.

During Libya’s 2011 revolutionary upheaval, the Chinese successfully evacuated tens of thousands of Chinese workers before the U.S.-chartered boat for U.S. evacuees reached a Libyan port.

On another front, U.S. infrastructure — from the century-old pipes under the nation’s capital, to roads and streets all over the United States, to the nationwide electric grid, bridges and schools — has been sadly neglected for decades. Any recent visitor to Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Muscat (Oman), Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Doha, Bahrain and Kuwait saw clear evidence that the U.S. priority on defense spending over several decades has relegated many parts of the civilian infrastructure to Third World status.

After a spectacular victory in the Cold War, the United States blew a good chance for a new world economic and military order by inviting the newly freed Russia into NATO, rather than pushing NATO’s frontiers up against Russia’s and reviving old fears of encirclement. This was first suggested by Cold War hawks – e.g., the late Fred Ikle, undersecretary for Defense Policy under the Reagan administration – but it was too far sighted to be digestible inside the Beltway. (Read the whole article here.)

What does a country and its citizens do as their nation continues to decline in power, suffering severe financial instability, its culture and the security of its people eroding away?

Instead, Mr. Obama, the great reader/orator, continues to show his socialist agenda priorities that are leading to even more damage through over-spending, rabid increases in regulations, and class warfare.

The Tele-Prompter Presidency!

Instead of working to uphold his oath, something he demonstrably never intended to do, he chose to set up a straw man in the person of the House of Representatives, specifically, the Republicans and the Tea-Party Caucus. His message is, and has always been, do as I like, or we will crucify you with labels and crass abasement.

Now in this election season, where we finally know who the last two standing are, comes the misdirection, the personal attacks, the attempt to confuse and muddy the waters, the diversions to less important subjects, and the clear lies.

The problem is though; we cannot fix all the damage to our nation on one Tuesday in November. It will take Herculean efforts well beyond that day to right the ship. It will take a long time to undo the ‘progressive’ damage of the past 100 years, capped by the amazing amount of destruction conveyed upon us in the more than three years under Obama alone.

The economy is severely fragile and the feasting at the government trough is at all-time highs. The main stream media sees the obvious political advantage Obama seeks but appear to be clueless on the realities of the moment or are just plain complicit. All the while, Obama places blame on Congress, the private sector and others for his dereliction of duty and lack of leadership seeking re-election and not working to fix America. Effectively, he blames America by acting as he does.

Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood, Iran, and the perverted radical Islamists here and abroad are playing out their moves on the Chessboard very judiciously. They understand the domino effect of radical Islam, the caliphate, and Jihad – the slow infiltration and dismantling of our American institutions. Mr. Obama and his ilk, foster this effort either willfully, or due to sheer naiveté.

The US finds itself languishing in the ‘Sea of Ambiguity’ because of leadership’s lack of vision, wisdom, common sense, and courage. Rather, there appears to be a clear agenda to do harm. We have a President in the White House, A National Security Council, and State Department under Hillary Clinton, and the Defense Department that seem to be as “clueless” as ever.

We cannot permit the current leaders in the White House, the Halls of Congress and many judicial courts to continue in their efforts to lead us down this road of Progressive Socialism and chaos. In our opinion, President Obama, his appointees and czars must be replaced, NOW.

This is the current battle that we Constitutionalists face and we must be aggressive in our efforts, while adhering to our Constitution. Mr. Obama will continue to bypass Congress and the will of the people in his progressive agenda because that is who he is and that is what he believes, and he has the power to do so.

These are the rationale for demanding resignations and a change of government. Lincoln issued this warning in his inaugural address:

“Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government and form a new one. This is a most valuable and sacred right – a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world.”

Today, the federal government functions with utter disdain for state sovereignty and individual rights. With no venue available in which to demand redress of grievances in the legislative, executive, or judicial branches of the federal government at present, its incumbent on the people of each state, via their elected state officials, to take broad but specific state measures to force the federal government to live within the confines of the U.S. Constitution.

In accordance with the US Constitution, Congress and the federal government is denied the power to establish laws within the state which are repugnant and obtrusive to the U.S. Constitution, the State Constitutions, state laws, and the citizens of the states. The Federal Government is restrained and confined in authority by eighteen (18) items as set forth in Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution. We must make it a local and State imperative and movement….of the People…by the People… and for the People.

A civil uprising is still not out of the question as “pain” grips the country more each day. We are in a battle for the survival of the United States. This means raising your voice now to your neighbors, family, co-workers, and friends. Grass roots efforts have begun; it is now time to put this effort into over drive. America, stand tall together and we will weather the storm but we must act now! Step one – replace Mr. Obama!

_______________

MG Paul E. Vallely, US Army (Ret.) is Chairman of Stand Up America

 

Letter to the Editor – Dr. Shakil Afridi and Obama

Dear Editor, Stand Up America,

I appeal to all Montanan veterans to reconsider their Presidential vote. Today is a sad day.

I am no longer angry to have Obama as President, I am sickened. In Pakistan, a man who saved countless military lives by his heroism, was arrested and imprisoned, sentenced to thirty-three years in prison.

Dr. Shakil Afridi

He was a medical doctor, a Pakistani. He secretly saved Americans. He sacrificed his life for our soldiers and our country.

But he was left in Pakistan to die, and be forgotten by an American leader who appears to be a despicable human being.

The medical doctor in question initiated a vaccination program for Hepatitis B in the villages to receive blood sample that led to the identification and location of Osama Bin Laden.

He reported his discovery to our military and we destroyed Bin Laden in a raid.

This doctor is an authentic hero, an American hero, besides a Pakistani hero.

But he was deserted today by a man who stole all the credit for this military act that demanded backbone, courage, and dedication to a higher cause for the welfare of others.

No attempt was made by Obama to get this doctor out of that country, or acknowledgment as to who was responsible for that heroic mission.

Obama turned his back and took credit for it all.

This is a sad day for the United States military and for veterans, no matter what political party they adhere to. As a U.S.A.F. Veteran, and a member of the D.A.V. I would rather see the entire congress turn Democrat then have that fellow sitting in the Whitehouse another day.

He has finally revealed himself as a self-centered opportunist, and a coward.

Nothing that our military should respect.

Sincerely,

Mike Donohue

Obama's record on investing tax-dollars vs. the "Bain"

Editor’s Note – Once again, the media casts a blind eye at so much that is Obama, and willingly ‘piles on’ when the Obama campaign makes accusations. They even use information about Bain Capital years after Romney left. They go back to 1965 and post 11 pages of an expose´on bully activity, yet cannot even find one grade from Obama’s scholastic history.

Utter hypocrisy! …maybe because they were doing “blow” with him at one point…yes, Obama says he did blow, gets a media “get out of jail free car”… meanwhile in the not too distant pass, the media tried to pin the same label on George W. Bush during his college days because it talked to Bush’s character.

Forget Bain — Obama’s public-equity record is the real scandal

By  – Washington Post Opinion

Despite a growing backlash from his fellow Democrats, President Obama has doubled down on his attacks on Mitt Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital. But the strategy could backfire in ways Obama did not anticipate. After all, if Romney’s record in private equity is fair game, then so is Obama’s record in public equity — and that record is not pretty.

Since taking office, Obama has invested billions of taxpayer dollars in private businesses, including as part of his stimulus spending bill. Many of those investments have turned out to be unmitigated disasters — leaving in their wake bankruptcies, layoffs, criminal investigations and taxpayers on the hook for billions. Consider just a few examples of Obama’s public equity failures:

  • Raser Technologies. In 2010, the Obama administration gave Raser a $33 million taxpayer-funded grant to build a power plant in Beaver Creek, Utah. According to the Wall Street Journal, after burning through our tax dollars, the company filed for bankruptcy protection in 2012. The plant now has fewer than 10 employees, and Raser owes $1.5 million in back taxes.

    Obama investments left...Romney to the right! Read the gauge Mr. Obama.
  • ECOtality. The Obama administration gave ECOtality $126.2 million in taxpayer money in 2009 for, among other things, the installation of 14,000 electric car chargers in five states. Obama even hosted the company’s president, Don Karner, in the first lady’s box during the 2010 State of the Union address as an example of a stimulus success story. According to ECOtality’s own SEC filings, the company has since incurred more than $45 million in losses and has told the federal government, “We may not achieve or sustain profitability on a quarterly or annual basis in the future.” Worse, according to CBS News the company is “under investigation for insider trading,” and Karner has been subpoenaed “for any and all documentation surrounding the public announcement of the first Department of Energy grant to the company.”
  • Nevada Geothermal Power (NGP). The Obama administration gave NGP a $98.5 million taxpayer loan guarantee in 2010. The New York Times reported last October that the company is in “financial turmoil” and that “[a]fter a series of technical missteps that are draining Nevada Geothermal’s cash reserves, its own auditor concluded in a filing released last week that there was ‘significant doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.’ ”
  • First Solar. The Obama administration provided First Solar with more than $3 billion in loan guarantees for power plants in Arizona and California. According to a Bloomberg Businessweek report last week, the company “fell to a record low in Nasdaq Stock Market trading May 4 after reporting $401 million in restructuring costs tied to firing 30 percent of its workforce.”
  • Abound Solar, Inc. The Obama administration gave Abound Solar a $400 million loan guarantee to build photovoltaic panel factories. According to Forbes, in February the company halted production and laid off 180 employees.
  • Beacon Power. The Obama administration gave Beacon — a green-energy storage company — a $43 million loan guarantee. According to CBS News, at the time of the loan, “Standard and Poor’s had confidentially given the project a dismal outlook of ‘CCC-plus.’ ” In the fall of 2011, Beacon received a delisting notice from Nasdaq and filed for bankruptcy.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. A company called SunPower got a $1.2 billion loan guarantee from the Obama administration, and as of January, the company owed more than it was worth. Brightsource got a $1.6 billion loan guarantee and posted a string of net losses totaling $177 million. And, of course, let’s not forget Solyndra — the solar panel manufacturer that received $535 million in taxpayer-funded loan guarantees and went bankrupt, leaving taxpayers on the hook.

Amazingly, Obama has declared that all the projects received funding “based solely on their merits.” But as Hoover Institution scholar Peter Schweizer reported in his book, “Throw Them All Out,” fully 71 percent of the Obama Energy Department’s grants and loans went to “individuals who were bundlers, members of Obama’s National Finance Committee, or large donors to the Democratic Party.” Collectively, these Obama cronies raised $457,834 for his campaign, and they were in turn approved for grants or loans of nearly $11.35 billion. Obama said this week it’s not the president’s job “to make a lot of money for investors.” Well, he sure seems to have made a lot of (taxpayer) money for investors in his political machine.

All that cronyism and corruption is catching up with the administration. According to Politico, “The Energy Department’s inspector general has launched more than 100 criminal investigations” related to the department’s green-energy programs.

Now the man who made Solyndra a household name says Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital “is what this campaign is going to be about.” Good luck with that, Mr. President. If Obama wants to attack Romney’s alleged private equity failures as chief executive of Bain, he’d better be ready to defend his own massive public equity failures as chief executive of the United States.

"Kill" List – Political Expediency vs. American Security

Editor’s Note – A test of ‘principles and will’, or a test of how to achieve political ends, without alienating your base, but to also look like a ‘hawk’? Rarely does any action this White House decides upon hinges on the former, but always hinges on the later.

The fact that ‘Gitmo’ is still open, yet no new prisoners end up there speaks volumes. He knows he cannot in good conscience close it, but he can prevent it from growing in population. The trouble is, this tactic does the country one major disservice, no new intelligence is being gathered through enhanced interrogations. As many have mentioned, we are now only able to  act upon information gleaned in the Bush Administration.

Reliance on old information is quickly reducing our ability to act strategically – therefore, we are acting only tactically now – drones, the weapon of choice that achieves all of the above, yet destroys information trails. The ‘trade craft’ so long relied upon, is now just a way of creating a list – a “kill list”!

If the party in power were reversed, the left would have long ago drummed the beat of impeachment for crimes against humanity, especially where American citizens were the target. To even try to argue otherwise would be the transparency we so thought we voted for…

Once again, politics trumps the security of America! Killing in theaters where war has not been declared…that is assassination! Especially since we are no longer in the “War on Terror”, and al Qaida is no longer a worry…

Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will

By  and   – NY Times

This was the enemy, served up in the latest chart from the intelligence agencies: 15 Qaeda suspects in Yemen with Western ties. The mug shots and brief biographies resembled a high school yearbook layout. Several were Americans. Two were teenagers, including a girl who looked even younger than her 17 years.

President Obama, overseeing the regular Tuesday counterterrorism meeting of two dozen security officials in the White House Situation Room, took a moment to study the faces. It was Jan. 19, 2010, the end of a first year in office punctuated by terrorist plots and culminating in a brush with catastrophe over Detroit on Christmas Day, a reminder that a successful attack could derail his presidency. Yet he faced adversaries without uniforms, often indistinguishable from the civilians around them.

President Obama in the Oval Office with Thomas E. Donilon, left, the national security adviser, and John O. Brennan, his top counterterrorism adviser.

“How old are these people?” he asked, according to two officials present. “If they are starting to use children,” he said of Al Qaeda, “we are moving into a whole different phase.”

It was not a theoretical question: Mr. Obama has placed himself at the helm of a top secret “nominations” process to designate terrorists for kill or capture, of which the capture part has become largely theoretical. He had vowed to align the fight against Al Qaeda with American values; the chart, introducing people whose deaths he might soon be asked to order, underscored just what a moral and legal conundrum this could be.

Mr. Obama is the liberal law professor who campaigned against the Iraq war and torture, and then insisted on approving every new name on an expanding “kill list,” poring over terrorist suspects’ biographies on what one official calls the macabre “baseball cards” of an unconventional war. When a rare opportunity for a drone strike at a top terrorist arises — but his family is with him — it is the president who has reserved to himself the final moral calculation.

“He is determined that he will make these decisions about how far and wide these operations will go,” said Thomas E. Donilon, his national security adviser. “His view is that he’s responsible for the position of the United States in the world.” He added, “He’s determined to keep the tether pretty short.”

Nothing else in Mr. Obama’s first term has baffled liberal supporters and confounded conservative critics alike as his aggressive counterterrorism record. His actions have often remained inscrutable, obscured by awkward secrecy rules, polarized political commentary and the president’s own deep reserve.

In interviews with The New York Times, three dozen of his current and former advisers described Mr. Obama’s evolution since taking on the role, without precedent in presidential history, of personally overseeing the shadow war with Al Qaeda.

They describe a paradoxical leader who shunned the legislative deal-making required to close the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba, but approves lethal action without hand-wringing. While he was adamant about narrowing the fight and improving relations with the Muslim world, he has followed the metastasizing enemy into new and dangerous lands. When he applies his lawyering skills to counterterrorism, it is usually to enable, not constrain, his ferocious campaign against Al Qaeda — even when it comes to killing an American cleric in Yemen, a decision that Mr. Obama told colleagues was “an easy one.”

His first term has seen private warnings from top officials about a “Whac-A-Mole” approach to counterterrorism; the invention of a new category of aerial attack following complaints of careless targeting; and presidential acquiescence in a formula for counting civilian deaths that some officials think is skewed to produce low numbers.

The administration’s failure to forge a clear detention policy has created the impression among some members of Congress of a take-no-prisoners policy. And Mr. Obama’s ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron P. Munter, has complained to colleagues that the C.I.A.’s strikes drive American policy there, saying “he didn’t realize his main job was to kill people,” a colleague said.

Beside the president at every step is his counterterrorism adviser, John O. Brennan, who is variously compared by colleagues to a dogged police detective, tracking terrorists from his cavelike office in the White House basement, or a priest whose blessing has become indispensable to Mr. Obama, echoing the president’s attempt to apply the “just war” theories of Christian philosophers to a brutal modern conflict.

But the strikes that have eviscerated Al Qaeda — just since April, there have been 14 in Yemen, and 6 in Pakistan — have also tested both men’s commitment to the principles they have repeatedly said are necessary to defeat the enemy in the long term. Drones have replaced Guantánamo as the recruiting tool of choice for militants; in his 2010 guilty plea, Faisal Shahzad, who had tried to set off a car bomb in Times Square, justified targeting civilians by telling the judge, “When the drones hit, they don’t see children.”

Dennis C. Blair, director of national intelligence until he was fired in May 2010, said that discussions inside the White House of long-term strategy against Al Qaeda were sidelined by the intense focus on strikes. “The steady refrain in the White House was, ‘This is the only game in town’ — reminded me of body counts in Vietnam,” said Mr. Blair, a retired admiral who began his Navy service during that war.

Mr. Blair’s criticism, dismissed by White House officials as personal pique, nonetheless resonates inside the government.

William M. Daley, Mr. Obama’s chief of staff in 2011, said the president and his advisers understood that they could not keep adding new names to a kill list, from ever lower on the Qaeda totem pole. What remains unanswered is how much killing will be enough.

“One guy gets knocked off, and the guy’s driver, who’s No. 21, becomes 20?” Mr. Daley said, describing the internal discussion. “At what point are you just filling the bucket with numbers?”

‘Maintain My Options’

A phalanx of retired generals and admirals stood behind Mr. Obama on the second day of his presidency, providing martial cover as he signed several executive orders to make good on campaign pledges. Brutal interrogation techniques were banned, he declared. And the prison at Guantánamo Bay would be closed.

What the new president did not say was that the orders contained a few subtle loopholes. They reflected a still unfamiliar Barack Obama, a realist who, unlike some of his fervent supporters, was never carried away by his own rhetoric. Instead, he was already putting his lawyerly mind to carving out the maximum amount of maneuvering room to fight terrorism as he saw fit.

It was a pattern that would be seen repeatedly, from his response to Republican complaints that he wanted to read terrorists their rights, to his acceptance of the C.I.A.’s method for counting civilian casualties in drone strikes.

The day before the executive orders were issued, the C.I.A.’s top lawyer, John A. Rizzo, had called the White House in a panic. The order prohibited the agency from operating detention facilities, closing once and for all the secret overseas “black sites” where interrogators had brutalized terrorist suspects.

“The way this is written, you are going to take us out of the rendition business,” Mr. Rizzo told Gregory B. Craig, Mr. Obama’s White House counsel, referring to the much-criticized practice of grabbing a terrorist suspect abroad and delivering him to another country for interrogation or trial. The problem, Mr. Rizzo explained, was that the C.I.A. sometimes held such suspects for a day or two while awaiting a flight. The order appeared to outlaw that.

Mr. Craig assured him that the new president had no intention of ending rendition — only its abuse, which could lead to American complicity in torture abroad. So a new definition of “detention facility” was inserted, excluding places used to hold people “on a short-term, transitory basis.” Problem solved — and no messy public explanation damped Mr. Obama’s celebration.

“Pragmatism over ideology,” his campaign national security team had advised in a memo in March 2008. It was counsel that only reinforced the president’s instincts.

Even before he was sworn in, Mr. Obama’s advisers had warned him against taking a categorical position on what would be done with Guantánamo detainees. The deft insertion of some wiggle words in the president’s order showed that the advice was followed.

Some detainees would be transferred to prisons in other countries, or released, it said. Some would be prosecuted — if “feasible” — in criminal courts. Military commissions, which Mr. Obama had criticized, were not mentioned — and thus not ruled out.

As for those who could not be transferred or tried but were judged too dangerous for release? Their “disposition” would be handled by “lawful means, consistent with the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States and the interests of justice.”

A few sharp-eyed observers inside and outside the government understood what the public did not. Without showing his hand, Mr. Obama had preserved three major policies — rendition, military commissions and indefinite detention — that have been targets of human rights groups since the 2001 terrorist attacks.

But a year later, with Congress trying to force him to try all terrorism suspects using revamped military commissions, he deployed his legal skills differently — to preserve trials in civilian courts.

It was shortly after Dec. 25, 2009, following a close call in which a Qaeda-trained operative named Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had boarded a Detroit-bound airliner with a bomb sewn into his underwear.

Mr. Obama was taking a drubbing from Republicans over the government’s decision to read the suspect his rights, a prerequisite for bringing criminal charges against him in civilian court.

The president “seems to think that if he gives terrorists the rights of Americans, lets them lawyer up and reads them their Miranda rights, we won’t be at war,” former Vice President Dick Cheney charged.

Sensing vulnerability on both a practical and political level, the president summoned his attorney general, Eric H. Holder Jr., to the White House.

F.B.I. agents had questioned Mr. Abdulmutallab for 50 minutes and gained valuable intelligence before giving him the warning. They had relied on a 1984 case called New York v. Quarles, in which the Supreme Court ruled that statements made by a suspect in response to urgent public safety questions — the case involved the location of a gun — could be introduced into evidence even if the suspect had not been advised of the right to remain silent.

Mr. Obama, who Mr. Holder said misses the legal profession, got into a colloquy with the attorney general. How far, he asked, could Quarles be stretched? Mr. Holder felt that in terrorism cases, the court would allow indefinite questioning on a fairly broad range of subjects.

Satisfied with the edgy new interpretation, Mr. Obama gave his blessing, Mr. Holder recalled.

“Barack Obama believes in options: ‘Maintain my options,’ “ said Jeh C. Johnson, a campaign adviser and now general counsel of the Defense Department. Read more "Kill" List – Political Expediency vs. American Security