Russian Cyberattacks, Bucket Lists, and Anger Translators

Editor’s Note – In last night’s White House Correspondent’s Annual Dinner, Obama was quite the comedian, but this moment of levity belies the very serious nature of the current state of world affairs. Especially after learning how severe the recent Russian email hack was.

Mr. Obama tweaked his former secretary of state for her woman-of-the-people campaign kickoff that included a trip in a small van. He noted that times were still tough for plenty of people, and that one friend of his, “just a few weeks ago, she was making millions of dollars a year.

And now she’s living out of a van in Iowa.” [In a handicapped zone.]MysteryMachine

He also poked fun of the email scandal that has dogged Mrs. Clinton.

“I thought it was going to be her private Instagram account that was going to cause her bigger problems,” he said as screens in the room showed pictures of Mrs. Clinton at parties and with an armful of cats. (Read more at NY Times. Brackets added for emphasis.)

As he chided Presidential Candidate Clinton over the email issue and her “woman of the people” rollout, we could not forget that just this week it was revealed how deeply Russian hackers had penetrated the White House’s unclassified email system. That certainly raises questions of course on how secure Hillary and Bill Clinton’s email system was.

With so many questions arising from Peter Schweizer’s book, “Clinton Cash,” we are not laughing about ‘erased personal’ emails, or for that matter IRS emails as well as Benghazi related emails.

“I am determined to make the most of every moment I have left” of his second term, the president quipped in a line that drew laughter and a few startled reactions. “My advisers asked, ‘Mr. President, do you have a bucket list. And I said, ‘Well, I have something that rhymes with bucket list.’ ” (Read more at the Washington Post and view the entire speech.)

Mr. Obama may have his “Bucket List,” but we are not using that term “bucket” as cavalierly as he used it last night. To the Obama/Clinton/Kerry/Rice team – “we are not pleased!” And we don’t need an ‘anger translator’ Mr. Obama.

Russian Hackers Read Obama’s Unclassified Emails, Officials Say

 – NY Times

WASHINGTON — Some of President Obama’s email correspondence was swept up by Russian hackers last year in a breach of the White House’s unclassified computer system that was far more intrusive and worrisome than has been publicly acknowledged, according to senior American officials briefed on the investigation.

The hackers, who also got deeply into the State Department’s unclassified system, do not appear to have penetrated closely guarded servers that control the message traffic from Mr. Obama’s BlackBerry, which he or an aide carries constantly.

But they obtained access to the email archives of people inside the White House, and perhaps some outside, with whom Mr. Obama regularly communicated. From those accounts, they reached emails that the president had sent and received, according to officials briefed on the investigation.

White House officials said that no classified networks had been compromised, and that the hackers had collected no classified information. Many senior officials have two computers in their offices, one operating on a highly secure classified network and another connected to the outside world for unclassified communications.

Comedian Keegan-Michael Key, portrays the presidents translator as President Barack Obama speaks at the White House Correspondent's Association Gala on 25 April 2015 in Washington. (Getty Images)
Comedian Keegan-Michael Key, portrays the presidents “Anger” translator as President Barack Obama speaks at the White House Correspondent’s Association Gala on 25 April 2015 in Washington. (Getty Images)

But officials have conceded that the unclassified system routinely contains much information that is considered highly sensitive: schedules, email exchanges with ambassadors and diplomats, discussions of pending personnel moves and legislation, and, inevitably, some debate about policy.

Officials did not disclose the number of Mr. Obama’s emails that were harvested by hackers, nor the sensitivity of their content. The president’s email account itself does not appear to have been hacked.

Aides say that most of Mr. Obama’s classified briefings — such as the morning Presidential Daily Brief — are delivered orally or on paper (sometimes supplemented by an iPad system connected to classified networks) and that they are usually confined to the Oval Office or the Situation Room.

Still, the fact that Mr. Obama’s communications were among those hit by the hackers — who are presumed to be linked to the Russian government, if not working for it — has been one of the most closely held findings of the inquiry. Senior White House officials have known for months about the depth of the intrusion.

“This has been one of the most sophisticated actors we’ve seen,” said one senior American official briefed on the investigation.

Others confirmed that the White House intrusion was viewed as so serious that officials met on a nearly daily basis for several weeks after it was discovered. “It’s the Russian angle to this that’s particularly worrisome,” another senior official said.

While Chinese hacking groups are known for sweeping up vast amounts of commercial and design information, the best Russian hackers tend to hide their tracks better and focus on specific, often political targets. And the hacking happened at a moment of renewed tension with Russia — over its annexation of Crimea, the presence of its forces in Ukraine and its renewed military patrols in Europe, reminiscent of the Cold War.

Cecily Strong of "Saturday Night Live" performed at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner. Credit Zach Gibson/The New York Times
Cecily Strong of “Saturday Night Live” performed at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner. Credit Zach Gibson/The New York Times

Inside the White House, the intrusion has raised a new debate about whether it is possible to protect a president’s electronic presence, especially when it reaches out from behind the presumably secure firewalls of the executive branch.

Mr. Obama is no stranger to computer-network attacks: His 2008 campaign was hit by Chinese hackers.

Nonetheless, he has long been a frequent user of email, and publicly fought the Secret Service in 2009 to retain his BlackBerry, a topic he has joked about in public.

He was issued a special smartphone, and the list of those he can exchange emails with is highly restricted.

When asked about the investigation’s findings, the spokeswoman for the National Security Council, Bernadette Meehan, said, “We’ll decline to comment.”

The White House has also declined to provide any explanations about how the breach was handled, though the State Department has been more candid about what kind of systems were hit and what it has done since to improve security. A spokesman for the F.B.I. declined to comment.

Officials who discussed the investigation spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the delicate nature of the hacking. While the White House has refused to identify the nationality of the hackers, others familiar with the investigation said that in both the White House and State Department cases, all signs pointed to Russians.

On Thursday, Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter revealed for the first time that Russian hackers had attacked the Pentagon’s unclassified systems, but said they had been identified and “kicked off.” Defense Department officials declined to say if the signatures of the attacks on the Pentagon appeared related to the White House and State Department attacks.

The discovery of the hacking in October led to a partial shutdown of the White House email system. The hackers appear to have been evicted from the White House systems by the end of October. But they continued to plague the State Department, whose system is much more far-flung. The disruptions were so severe that during the Iranian nuclear negotiations in Vienna in November, officials needed to distribute personal email accounts, to one another and to some reporters, to maintain contact.

SCOOBY-TWO: Clinton's now-iconic souped-up van has a mechanically identical clone, which the Secret Service rolled out as a decoy on Wednesday
SCOOBY-TWO: Clinton’s now-iconic souped-up van has a mechanically identical clone, which the Secret Service rolled out as a decoy on Wednesday

Earlier this month, officials at the White House said that the hacking had not damaged its systems and that, while elements had been shut down to mitigate the effects of the attack, everything had been restored.

One of the curiosities of the White House and State Department attacks is that the administration, which recently has been looking to name and punish state and nonstate hackers in an effort to deter attacks, has refused to reveal its conclusions about who was responsible for this complex and artful intrusion into the government.

That is in sharp contrast to Mr. Obama’s decision, after considerable internal debate in December, to name North Korea for ordering the attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, and to the director of national intelligence’s decision to name Iranian hackers as the source of a destructive attack on the Sands Casino.

This month, after CNN reported that hackers had gained access to sensitive areas of the White House computer network, including sections that contained the president’s schedule, the White House spokesman, Josh Earnest, said the administration had not publicly named who was behind the hack because federal investigators had concluded that “it’s not in our best interests.”

By contrast, in the North Korea case, he said, investigators concluded that “we’re more likely to be successful in terms of holding them accountable by naming them publicly.”

But the breach of the president’s emails appeared to be a major factor in the government secrecy. “All of this is very tightly held,” one senior American official said, adding that the content of what had been breached was being kept secret to avoid tipping off the Russians about what had been learned from the investigation.

Mr. Obama’s friends and associates say that he is a committed user of his BlackBerry, but that he is careful when emailing outside the White House system.

“The frequency has dropped off in the last six months or so,” one of his close associates said, though this person added that he did not know if the drop was related to the hacking.

Mr. Obama is known to send emails to aides late at night from his residence, providing them with his feedback on speeches or, at times, entirely new drafts. Others say he has emailed on topics as diverse as his golf game and the struggle with Congress over the Iranian nuclear negotiations.

George W. Bush gave up emailing for the course of his presidency and did not carry a smartphone. But after Mr. Bush left office, his sister’s email account was hacked, and several photos — including some of his paintings — were made public.

The White House is bombarded with cyberattacks daily, not only from Russia and China. Most are easily deflected.

The White House, the State Department, the Pentagon and intelligence agencies put their most classified material into a system called Jwics, for Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System. That is where top-secret and “secret compartmentalized information” traverses within the government, to officials cleared for it — and it includes imagery, data and graphics. There is no evidence, senior officials said, that this hacking pierced it.

Gowdy Letter to Clinton Lawyer – 2 Appearances Now

Editor’s Note – As the recent bombshells dropping in anticipation of Peter Schweizer’s book “Clinton Cash,” the pressure is mounting on the Clinton campaign and the Clinton Foundation.

Last month the pressure was on Gowdy as well, when he apologized for taking six months to subpoena her emails.

With the new revelations about the Clinton Foundation’s practices and her possible ‘influence peddling,’ coupled with her refusal to appear privately for transcribed testimony, he has ratcheted up the pressure to force her to appear openly in front of the nation now.

It is clear, her emails are pertinent to Benghazi, but now all her emails may reveal much more about Libya and her foundations actions. There may even be a tie to Benghazi. We all anticipate the release of the book; it should be eye-opening.

Trey Gowdy asks Hillary Clinton to appear twice on emails, Benghazi

The House Committee investigating Benghazi is asking Hillary Clinton to appear for two public hearings on the 2012 terrorist attacks and her email use, according to a letter sent to her lawyer on Thursday.

HillaryBill.ClintonCash.FatigueThis is a departure from what Benghazi Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy originally requested from the former secretary of state.

The South Carolina Republican wanted a private, transcribed interview on Clinton’s email use and a public hearing on the terrorist attacks.

But Clinton had refused to appear in private to take questions on her use of a private email address while at the State Department.

Her lawyer, David Kendall, had insisted that Clinton was prepared to take questions about her emails, the server that stored them and the Benghazi attacks during a single, public hearing.

Gowdy wrote to Kendall Thursday saying the committee plans to schedule a hearing by the week of May 18 on the emails.

“If that hearing results in assurances the public record is indeed complete, the Committee will schedule Secretary Clinton’s public hearing with respect to the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi no later than June 18, 2015, with specific date being selected after consultation with you,” Gowdy wrote.

Gowdy added in the letter that he is still willing to hold a private hearing on the emails if Clinton has security concerns about answering sensitive questions in public.

This is a departure from what Gowdy originally requested from the former secretary of state. | AP Photo
This is a departure from what Gowdy originally requested from the former secretary of state. | AP Photo

The hearings, if they occur, would generate intense scrutiny on Clinton and the congressional Republicans questioning her.

Democrats will be on watch for any overreach on the part of the panel’s seven GOP members.

Any Clinton appearance on the Hill would spark a media frenzy; her recent entrance into the 2016 presidential race promises to only exacerbate it.

Gowdy said in the letter he wants to quickly schedule Clinton so her interviews are not a protracted affair.

“With her cooperation and that of the State Department and administration, Secretary Clinton could be done with the Benghazi Committee before the Fourth of July,” said Gowdy.

“It is necessary to call Secretary Clinton twice because the committee needs to ensure we have a complete and responsive record and all the facts before we then substantively question her on the Benghazi terrorist attacks.

RICO – McCarthy Calls Clinton Foundation a Racket

Editor’s Note – Once again, Andy McCarthy hits the nail on the head. The Clinton Foundation IS best defined as a RICO operation from all we are now learning. Maybe they can “justify” their actions individually, but when you collect all the parts, it is a racket.

The trouble is, would the Department of Justice consider it RICO? Would Loretta Lynch launch an investigation?

She is about to be voted upon for Attorney General finally and may win approval in the Senate, but would she act just like her predecessor, Eric Holder and avoid yet another investigation of a ‘friend of the family’ unlike Senator Menendez?

The Emerging Clinton Foundation Scandal

Posted By Andrew C. McCarthy – PJ Media

Is this the beginning … of RICO?

Okay, so that’s not quite as catchy as Edward G. Robinson’s immortal line. But it is what a good prosecutor would be asking while pondering the growing cloud around Clinton Foundation.

Among Little Ceasar’s imprints on popular culture is that Robinson’s mobster character, Cesare Enrico Bandello, inspired Congress to name its seminal anti-organized crime legislation “RICO” – the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act of 1971. The mafia was its most infamous target, but far from its only target.

RICO.Justice

RICO makes it a crime to run an organization through what’s called a “pattern of racketeering activity.” The term racketeering is extensively defined in the statute. It includes acts involving bribery, fraud, and obstruction of justice, to name just a few.

Prosecutors are fond of RICO because it enables them to unite disparate illicit or corrupt transactions into one framework, the enterprise. It need not be a mafia family or traditional criminal organization; it can be an ostensibly legitimate organization – e.g., a foundation, a labor union, a corporation, a guild – that, contrary to the image it projects publicly, commits sundry legal offenses in conducting its affairs.

As a matter of fact, if the pattern of offenses includes fraud and influence peddling, then the enterprise’s portrayal of itself as a caring, altruistic charitable foundation can be very helpful to the case. Juries do not like hypocrisy and shady dealing.HiilaryRICO

They get turned off by “charitable organizations” that turn out, in the main, to be vehicles for their principals to live lavishly, or covers for selling political influence. And juries know charitable organizations tend not to wipe their servers clean even after congressional investigators have instructed them to preserve evidence.

Plus, it is important to bear in mind that, at the moment, the political dimension of the Clinton Foundation scandal transcends the possibility of criminal or civil legal liability. Right now, the Clinton Foundation provides a stark reminder of the last enterprise these characters ran: the Clinton White House. Remember that one?

Campaign finance irregularities, selling influence (remember the Lincoln bedroom?), awarding pardons to fraudsters and terrorists for the purpose of rewarding donors and courting political constituencies, blatant obstruction of justice, and perjury.

You see the Hillary! 2016 campaign launch, you consider what we’re learning about the Clinton Foundation, and you naturally ask yourself: Do we really want to go through this again?

You consider the Clinton Foundation, you think about the State Department – Benghazi, the courting of the Muslim Brotherhood, the secret, unlawful email system, the foreign money pouring into Clinton coffers while Mrs. Clinton was making key decisions about American foreign policy – and you naturally ask yourself: What has Hillary Clinton ever run that did not turn into a debacle?

Finally, we should also consider the Obama administration’s legal standards. As I’ve recently discussed here at Ordered Liberty, the Justice Department has just filed its indictment of Senator Robert Menendez (D., N.J.) on various corruption charges. The prosecution’s theory is that Menendez accepted “things of value” in exchange for using his political influence to benefit a big time donor.

Sen. Menendez counters that he did nothing wrong – i.e., that there is no nexus between, on the one hand, the hefty contributions, private jet rides to ritzy resorts, and other posh gifts he received, and, on the other hand, the use of his office in ways that just happened to favor the donor.

We are still at a very early stage of scrutinizing the Clinton Foundation, but we can already say two things with confidence:

  1. The millions upon millions of dollars the Clinton Foundation has collected from foreign donors and others with significant self-interest in U.S. government policy – during a time when Mrs. Clinton had a key role (and the prospect of an even bigger role) in designing U.S. government policy – makes the gifts to Menendez look like chump change.
  2. To the best of our knowledge, Menendez never withheld his emails from the government or wiped his server clean.

Goodwin – "Oh Hill No!" America Cannot Afford Four-More

Editor’s Note – Four more years! Four more years! Wait, sorry, she isn’t Obama, she’s worse! As America’s media breathless awaits for the Democrat Party “coronation” to officially begin today, we at SUA renew our long held position on Hillary Clinton – HELL NO!

Let the “twitter” trending begin. We predict a backlash on her overly crafted roll-out today – America cannot afford four more years of failed foreign policy, lies, scandals, and “resets.” The last two sets of four have just about destroyed America; “HillNo” would ensure its deep burial!

Thank you again to Michael Goodwin for his insightful and steadfast focus on the Clintons, the Obamas, and all who helped them in their dire deeds. In the best interest of America, we need to stay out of the “Bush” as well – no more dynasties!

“Ready for Hillary” – Hell No!

Oh Hill no! Clinton’s stale presidential plan wrong for nation

By Michael Goodwin – NY Post

More than five years ago, a Clinton confidant matter-of-factly described for me Hillary’s Plan. She would ­resign as secretary of state after President Obama’s first term, write a book and then run for president again.

Check, check, and, with Sunday’s official launch, check again. Her to-do list is complete.

HillandBillNO

She stuck like glue to The Plan, which required years of misleading blabber from her and Bubba that she hadn’t decided about 2016. Fish gotta swim, and a Clinton’s gotta run, so there was never an iota of doubt.

But time has marched on and the world has changed, making The Plan, and her, look stuck in the past. What the great Murray Kempton wrote in 1965 of John Lindsay’s first mayoral run — “He is fresh and everyone else is tired” — is not something anybody says of Hillary these days.

She’s been on the national stage for a quarter-century, though because of all the drama, it feels like we’ve lived through several lifetimes with her. Along the way, she’s reinvented herself more often than Madonna. While the spectacle of an aging hoofer trying to keep up with the kids is riveting, the kicks aren’t what they used to be and the odor of desperation is unavoidable.

A presidential campaign headquarters in hipster Brooklyn — really? Announcing on Twitter — really? As Joan Rivers might have advised, Oh, Grow Up!

The sweaty effort to appear fresh reinforces the suspicion that Hillary senses danger in the argument that she’s awfully close to her expiration date. It’s not merely a matter of age, though she will be 69 come next Inauguration Day, which would put her close to Ronald Reagan’s record.

The real issue is Clinton fatigue, a national exhaustion from having been-there-done-that too many times. Her husband’s popularity counts for something, but she’s already milked that cow dry.

She’s got to make a case that goes beyond just wanting the Oval Office. She’s got to earn it and I’m not sure she can.

Here’s another blast from the past — Monica Lewinsky is 41 and wants to reclaim her identity, making her a potential bombshell that could explode without notice.

The arrows, then, all point the same way: Hillary is past her peak and missed her best chance in 2008. Her two elections and eight years in the Senate had made her something bigger and better than a scorned first lady.

Elizabeth Warren and Martin O'Malley
Elizabeth Warren and Martin O’Malley

She was ready to make history and the country was ready to help her. Then along came that fresh-faced senator from Chicago with a better game plan and a more convincing claim on history, and the brass ring eluded her grasp.

Her pain was understandably acute, and her willingness to join his team couldn’t have been easy. Shuffling off to Timbuktu while the big decisions were made in Washington was another stab in the back. But she endured, and even played along with his cockamamie foreign policies, a mistake that continues to damage America and her reputation.

That bad run of experiences could have forged her character into something admirable, but her performance so far has been a disaster. Instead of re-emerging as a smarter and more focused force rejuvenated by defeat and exile, she seems to have learned nothing and changed not a whit.

She still makes ­baby talk about breaking glass ceilings and other coded references designed to get her Pantsuit Posse out of their chairs, but it feels like a re-enactment rather than the real thing. After each bad review and each new scandal, the prospect of another usurper emerging from the shadows must give her panic attacks. Déjà vu all over again.

Will the left’s new darling, Elizabeth Warren, jump into the race? Will Martin O’Malley steal Iowa and puncture her balloon of invincibility?

HillNOWhat about Obama — will he help her or dump her? What price will she pay if she breaks with him on Iran or Israel? What mischief is Valerie Jarrett making?

Hillary would be crazy not to consider all those scenarios and a dozen others, but her first steps are depressingly robotic. Raise more money, hire more advisers, parse and calculate, hide behind her Praetorian Guard, rinse and repeat.

She’s older but not wiser and only a groupie could think it’s working. She’s become a gaffe machine and showed a tin ear by continuing to give paid speeches until a month ago. Then came the e-mail debacle, which evoked a universal “there she goes again” quality.

It brought back a souped-up carload of bad memories — her habitual secrecy, arrogance and, most damaging, dishonesty. If she had come out and simply said she set up a private server for government business because rules are for little people, she would have had the virtue of honesty.

But still constitutionally incapable of being straight, she concocted a silly lie about the “convenience” of carrying only one electronic device, which was promptly demolished when evidence emerged that she had both a BlackBerry and an iPad.

We still don’t know the full story of what she’s hiding in those e-mails, but already there are fresh wounds. Although no Democrat threatens her yet, recent polls in six swing states show that, in head-to-head matchups against a raft of Republicans, she is basically tied or trailing nearly all of them. She makes them all look good.

Most revealing, Quinnipiac University also asked voters in Colorado, Ohio, Virginia, Florida, Pennsylvania and Iowa whether she is honest and trustworthy. Only in Ohio were the numbers split evenly; everywhere else, either a majority or a clear plurality answered with a resounding “No.”

Given her long history, ­changing voters’ minds on something so basic as trust won’t be easy. Her best hope is to fire a withering barrage of mud against an incompetent Republican. Again, we’d be reliving the ’90s, with her spying a vast right-wing conspiracy behind every tree and playing the victim when it doesn’t work. Oh, what fun.

Dog leashes in support of a new Hillary Clinton campaign for the presidency. Credit Andrew Harnik/Associated Press
Dog leashes in support of a new Hillary Clinton campaign for the presidency. Credit Andrew Harnik/Associated Press

There is, of course, a long way to go until November of next year, and events, especially the growing world disorder, will likely reshape the campaign and the public mood numerous times. Like all the candidates, she’ll have to reshape her message, too — after she comes up with one.

So far, something about Hillary does not seem right for the present, let alone the future. Aides have been discounting the early going as a false measure, and assuring backers that she’ll right the ship once she launches.

Perhaps, but she is taking on much more water than they had expected, and her margin for error is shrinking fast. The polls suggest there is a tipping point with voters and inevitable stumbles and scandals could make 2016 look like 2008.

It could be that she’s star-crossed, and the gods will conspire against her again. After all, as Mark Twain observed, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”

Adm. “Ace” Lyons – Our Greatest Threat to National Security

Editor’s Note – The author of the following article is also a “Kitchen Cabinet” member at Stand Up America US (SUA). As always, “Ace” is spot on with his commentary!

The Greatest Threat to Our National Security

By ADMIRAL JAMES A. “ACE” LYONS – Breitbart

Admiral James "Ace" Lyons - USN (Ret.)
Admiral James “Ace” Lyons – USN (Ret.)

When President-elect Obama declared that he was going to “fundamentally transform” America, not many Americans understood what that meant. They certainly did not understand that he did not believe in America’s exceptionalism and greatness.

They were also unaware of his past Marxist indoctrination, blaming America for many of the world’s problems.

Therefore, anything that undercuts and withdraws America’s power and influence is seen as being objectively progressive.

This is fundamental to understanding why President Obama shows empathy with American’s enemies, e.g., Iran, Cuba, Russia, and China.

It is also key to understanding our precipitous withdrawal from Iraq, as well as the loss of our influence in the region with the rise of Islam. President Obama apparently shares the view that the colonial powers unjustifiably suppressed Islam for the better part of two centuries. Therefore, the best way to rectify that situation is to withdraw the U.S. and let Islam rise again.

Of course, this actually started under the Carter administration with the rise of Islamic fundamentalism when the Ayatollah Khomeini overthrew the Shah of Iran in 1979.

Complicating the current Mid-East chaos is the fact that the administration has great difficulty in identifying the enemy. The President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said it best, “There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that’s it.”

Make no mistake – ISIS is Islam. The barbarism and atrocities they commit are sanctioned by the Quran and Islam’s Shariah law. We must face facts, ISIS is impervious to any rational dialogue. They must be killed into submission.

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

As I have previously stated, symbols matter throughout the world, but no more so than in the Middle East.

When President Obama delivered his June 4, 2009 Cairo “Outreach to Muslims” speech, with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood leadership sitting in the front row, and declared that it was part of his responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear – that said it all!

Furthermore, there should have been no doubt remaining after his September 2012 UN General Assembly speech when he stated in reference to the Benghazi tragedy, “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet Islam.”

No matter how many excuses President Obama makes for Islam and Muslim sensitivities, freedom of speech for the civilized world will not be silenced.

In yet another indication, the Obama Administration continues to embrace the Muslim Brotherhood even though their creed is to destroy the United States from within (silent jihad) by our own hands and substitute our Constitution with Islam’s Shariah law.

The Muslim Brotherhood have been able to successfully penetrate all our national security and intelligence agencies. They are now institutionalized. Their impact on our policies cannot be overstated.

The Kabuki dance just completed in Switzerland produced a “framework” of “understandings” which is supposed to limit Iran’s nuclear weapons program is already being disputed by Iran. Of course, this is to be expected with no agreed upon text.

According to Fred Fleitz of the Center For Security Policy, the framework as now understood legitimizes and actually advances Iran’s uranium-enrichment program. All the core elements of Iran’s program remain in place.

They do not have to dismantle anything and be allowed to keep their heavily fortified Fordow underground enrichment facilities — a major, unbelievable, concession by the United States.

In effect, we have rewarded Iran for ignoring (plus lying and cheating) UN Security Council resolutions for a decade. They do not have to destroy any of their ICBMs nor stop their aggression throughout the Middle East.

More importantly, the Obama administration has dismissed the fact that the Iranian government has caused the loss of life of thousands of Americans. At the end of the day, there is only one option that guarantees Iran will not achieve a nuclear weapon capability, and that is a military strike.

To show their disdain for President Obama, an Iranian spokesperson stated that the destruction of Israel is “non-negotiable.” So much for the two state peace process! Of course, death to America is a recurring theme.

The Middle East is not the only place our influence is being challenged. We are being challenged by China in the Western Pacific. In Europe, we are standing idly by as NATO is being emasculated by Putin’s aggression in the Ukraine. Many believe the “reset button” with Russia has failed. Actually, it is working quite well – for Russia.

The Obama administration has allowed the KGB thug Putin to conduct a policy of aggression in the Ukraine unopposed. President Obama’s refusal to provide legitimate defensive military equipment to Kiev appears to be part of the reset button “understanding.”

It is the same understanding that applies to the withdrawal of our commitment to place anti-ballistic missile systems in Poland and the Czech Republic. Furthermore, President Obama’s refusal to meet with NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (during his 3 days visit to Washington) was another signal to Putin.

There is no doubt our influence and status as a great power and reliable ally is being challenged. Our enemies don’t fear us and our allies don’t trust us – a formula for disaster. President Obama’s refusal to call for a reformation of Islam, plus his empathy with our enemies, combined with our unilateral disarmament, place our national security in jeopardy.

The greatest threat to our national security today clearly is the Obama administration policies, which must be reversed. Americans must stand up and demand that Congress act now.


James A. Lyons, U.S. Navy retired Admiral, was commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and senior U.S. military representative to the United Nations.