McCarthy – Obama ISIS "Management" – A National Discussion?

Editor’s Note – So what will our illustrious leader, President Obama, tell us tonight regarding ISIS, Iraq, Syria, and terror threats the day before the second anniversary of Benghazi and the 13th anniversary of 9/11/01?

Are we in for a ‘fireside chat’, or a ‘come to Jesus moment’, maybe this is when Obama becomes an adult, not just a bad actor trying to look Presidential? Only the teleprompter knows! The irony of this moment is palpable – especially when we see the image below of his speech from 2010 declaring the end of our Iraqi combat mission – he looked like an adult then, didn’t he?

President Obama delivers an address to the nation on the end of the combat mission in Iraq from the Oval Office August 31, 2010
President Obama delivers an address to the nation on the end of the combat mission in Iraq from the Oval Office August 31, 2010. The irony is palpable indeed.

Does anyone think he will manage this mess in the Middle East well? Doubtful, the reason things are so bad across the globe now are directly attributable to his inability to manage to begin with. Of course, no matter what actions he chooses to take, we are all supposed to back him as he does. We are supposed to unite behind our “Commander-in-Chief” aren’t we?

The old axiom of leaving politics at our shoreline was crossed off the list by Obama himself beginning with his 2009 Cairo speech and his apology tour, so forgive us if we have no faith in his ability to manage any foreign policy, let alone a war, especially in regard to anything Islamic.

If you have family in the military now, like many of us, be very worried – we do not have to explain why, now do we? Using Obama and the word management in the same sentence is clearly an oxymoron, now isn’t it?

We could go on and on but Andy McCarthy has summed it up so well. Please read below:

A Mismanage-able Problem

Obama’s belief that he can “manage” the Islamic State may collide with reality.

By Andrew C. McCarthy – National Review Online

Blind as a nation due to intelligence failures

Editor’s Note – Are we blind as a nation due to intelligence failures? Are we blind concerning Iran?

Admiral Lyons does a great job describing how broken our intelligence community is and where it is evolving. He does mention failures, but perhaps the biggest failure is who is appointed and by whom. In the current administration, the proof is as clear as a sunny day in May – political ideology has cheapened the quest for true security in the homeland.

Just like the failures of 1983 – Iranian backed – What are we missing or not reporting up today?

This issue is similar to one of an NSA intercept of the Iranian ambassador in Damascus reporting back to the foreign ministry in Tehran on instructions he had given terrorist groups in Beirut to concentrate their attacks on the Multi-National Force but undertake a “spectacular action” against the U.S. Marines. This intercept was issued by the NSA in a highly classified message on Sept. 27, 1983, almost four weeks before the Marine barracks bombing.

SUA has been pointing out these failures – Janet Napolitano, General Clapper, Eric Holder, and ultimately, a President who has an agenda that defies explanation, from a patriotic American and Constitutional perspective. Islam seems more important than traditional American values and is ruled by an extreme politically ideological Progressivism.

Politics trumps national security.

LYONS: How smart is intelligence bureaucracy?

Post-9/11 reform still results in erroneous threat assessments

By Adm. James A. Lyons – Washington Times

Adm. James A. Lyons

The 9/11 Commission concluded in its final report in 2004 that the U.S. intelligence community (IC) organization, as it was structured then, had contributed to a failure to develop a management strategy to counter Islamic terrorism. The report concluded that the traditional existing IC agencies’ stovepipes had to be eliminated and a position should be established for an administrator who would have powerful oversight authority.

To accomplish this urgent task, one of the commission’s principal recommendations was establishment of the position of director of national intelligence (DNI), which would be separate from the director of the CIA.

There were many arguments against establishing the position of DNI. Some asserted that had it existed before the Sept. 11 attacks, it would not have prevented them. That remains an open question. It should be recalled that the 9/11 Commission staff discovered just before its final report went to the printers in July 2004 a six-page National Security Agency (NSA) analysis summarizing what the intelligence community had learned about Iran’s direct involvement in the attack.

Was this information collected before or after the attacks? As of now, we don’t know because there has been no follow-up investigation by any congressional committee or the newly established DNI.

This issue is similar to one of an NSA intercept of the Iranian ambassador in Damascus reporting back to the foreign ministry in Tehran on instructions he had given terrorist groups in Beirut to concentrate their attacks on the Multi-National Force but undertake a “spectacular action” against the U.S. Marines. This intercept was issued by the NSA in a highly classified message on Sept. 27, 1983, almost four weeks before the Marine barracks bombing.

I was the deputy chief of naval operations then and did not get to see this critical message until two days after the bombing. Most key decision-makers have never seen this message.

Would a DNI have ensured that such a critical message was brought to the attention of key decision-makers? That also remains an open question. The bottom line is that personnel performance at all levels must recognize the critical nature of key intelligence and not worry about who gets the credit.

Interviews of former 9/11 Commission members showed they thought the structure of the DNI’s support should remain small, but it has evolved into essentially a new intelligence agency. It has expanded rapidly, with many large offices and a staff of at least 1,600 (as of 2010), plus untold numbers of contract personnel.

The question has to be asked: Has the establishment of the DNI improved the performance of the intelligence community? Aside from Islamic terrorist attacks such as the massacre at Fort Hood, the nation has been kept safe from Sept. 11-like attacks since the establishment of the DNI. However, it is believed that the difference can be attributed to the added investment in IC resources rather than to more centralized or cogent management of the community by the DNI.

The DNI organization has evolved into an oversight bureaucracy for much broader intelligence activities, in which it has not been entirely effective. For example, the DNI wrongly claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood is a “largely secular” organization in spite of the fact that its creed is to topple the U.S. government and replace our Constitution with Shariah law.

There was a failure to predict and keep pace with the “Arab Spring” uprisings and their rapid evolution. During the Libyan uprising, the DNI specifically stated that he thought Moammar Gadhafi would prevail. We all know how that came out.

There also have been wrong assessments on key stages in the development of Iran’s nuclear weapon program. On Feb. 16, the DNI released a questionable gap-laden threat assessment to the Senate Armed Services Committee. It failed even to mention the terrorist group Hezbollah or any of Iran’s asymmetric “acts of war” against the United States for more than 30 years, led by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

These obviously wrong assessments raise questions about the validity of other DNI assessments in critical areas that affect not only the United States but our allies. The DNI and the IC are facing a number of major intelligence challenges involving the Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan and North Korea, and also China’s aggressive military expansion program. Immediate concerns involve China’s clear assistance to North Korea’s nuclear weapon program, which highlight the folly of the Six Party talks, which should be terminated immediately. China’s assistance to Iran’s nuclear weapon program – either directly or through third parties – needs to be uncovered.

The American public needs to have confidence in the DNI’s and intelligence community’s capability of providing accurate intelligence that is not politicized.

At the end of the day, having a DNI does not guarantee that there will be no more Sept. 11s.

________________

Retired Adm. James A. Lyons was commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and senior U.S. military representative to the United Nations.

Obama Administration Releases Terrorist

Editor’s Note – In this PC world, led in America by the current leftist government where people like Eric Holder, who’s law firm defended terrorists pro bono, its more important to send a known terrorist back to London that we captured in Pakistan. The same place that would not allow Geert Wilders to visit now lauds the release of Binyam Mohammed, the Jose Padilla cohort. has the west lost its mind? The administration that won’t prosecute New Black Panther members who intimidate voters at polling places, and wanted to give terrorists the same rights American citizens have in court. To whom is this administration beholding?

A Terrorist Released

The Obama administration let Binyam Mohamed go.

National Review Online

By Andrew C. McCarthy

Binyam Mohamed is back in the news. You may remember him as the al-Qaeda operative who was slated to help would-be “dirty bomber” Jose Padilla conduct a second wave of post-9/11 attacks, targeting American cities. You also may not remember him. After all, the Obama administration quietly released him without charges.

Binyam Mohamed

Well, there’s a new chapter in this sordid tale. Mohamed is living large — taxpayer-funded large — in Great Britain. For that, we can thank the Lawyer Left’s stubborn insistence that enemy war criminals are really run-of-the-mill defendants. Actually, make that run-of-the-mill plaintiffs.

Unlike Padilla, who actually got into the United States, only to be apprehended in Chicago, Mohamed was captured in Karachi and turned over to the CIA. (Marc Thiessen provides more details about the case here.) Mohamed was interrogated by American and British intelligence.

The U.S. Defense Department wanted to try Mohamed by military commission. Alas, Britain’s Labour government was deathly afraid of the potential for a trial to expose its complicity in “enhanced interrogation” tactics, which an international propaganda campaign had equated with “torture” — and how about a round of applause for Sen. John McCain and Attorney General Eric Holder for sharpening that arrow in every defense lawyer’s quiver? Like virtually all captured terrorists now do, Mohamed claimed to have been tortured with Saddam-style cruelty. And as is virtually always the case, to call the allegation overblown is not to do it justice. Based on disclosures in various court cases, it is now clear that Mohamed was subjected to stress — essentially, sleep deprivation. Compared to actual torture, that is trivial.

Yet, goaded by its base (the leftist and pro-Islamist contingents that now make up the Occupy London crowd), the Blair-Brown government pleaded with the Obama administration to transfer Mohamed from Gitmo to England. The fact that Mohamed, when he was captured in the midst of plotting to kill thousands of people, had been trying to board a flight to London with a fake British passport was apparently of no import. That he is an Ethiopian national who had no legal right to be repatriated to England did not matter. The same British government that slammed the door on Geert Wilders, an anti-Islamist Dutch parliamentarian, rolled out the welcome mat for the jihadist. President Obama acquiesced, and Mohamed was released — free and clear.

Yes, free and clear. The Obama administration said barely a word about Mohamed’s transfer. Odd, since this was early 2009, right when the administration was gearing up its campaign to give enemy combatants civilian trials, and Mr. Holder was here, there, and everywhere, assuring every ear that there was no terrorism case the justice system could not handle. In fact, the officials involved in the decision to release Mohamed understood full well that he would be neither detained nor prosecuted by British authorities. He was to be freed.

To grasp just how outrageous that is, a comparison is in order. After being held for years as an enemy combatant, Mohamed’s accomplice, Jose Padilla, was finally convicted in civilian court. The charges involved terrorism, but not the “9/11 second wave” plot that had led to his capture (about a month after Mohamed’s). This was not because the second-wave conspiracy was fiction. It was because the plot could not be prosecuted under civilian due-process standards. To prove it, prosecutors would undoubtedly have had to cut deals with witnesses who knew its details — al-Qaeda bigwigs such as Khalid Sheikh Mohamed. As if that prospect were not unacceptable enough, such deals require the government to disclose the intelligence debriefings of these witnesses — something that is intolerable in wartime.

That is one of the principal reasons the Bush administration adopted, and Congress later endorsed, a military-justice system for detaining and prosecuting enemy war criminals. The military system makes possible prosecutions that would be impractical under civilian rules: It provides additional protections against unnecessary disclosure of intelligence, and it eases evidentiary standards so that information from witnesses can often be presented by hearsay, rather than by calling the witnesses themselves.

Regrettably, the Bush administration flinched from a Supreme Court challenge to its treatment of Padilla as a military detainee — even though the Fourth Circuit had upheld Padilla’s detention in 2005 (no thanks to an amicus brief filed on Padilla’s behalf by some lawyer named Eric Holder). As it happens, Padilla had been an ambitious enough terrorist that his hands were in multiple schemes, including one in Florida to recruit jihadists to commit mayhem overseas. Had that not been the case, the decision to treat Padilla as a mere criminal defendant would have resulted in his outright release. And because, unlike Mohamed, Padilla is an American citizen, we would have had no recourse against his living in our midst.

Echoing Mohamed, Padilla claimed to have been tortured. But the courts ruled that this was irrelevant: Even if his allegations were true, the abuse was a matter separate from the question of whether he had committed terrorism crimes — at least as long as the government did not attempt to use evidence derived from the alleged abuse to prove his guilt. A federal court in New York City drew the same conclusion in a prosecution against one of the 1998 embassy bombers, who also claimed he had been tortured. Padilla’s indictment thus stood. In fact, the most notable aspect of his case is that a federal appeals court found the 17-year sentence imposed by the trial judge to be woefully inadequate. The jail term has been remanded to the lower court for re-sentencing.

Now, let’s contrast this with the treatment of Binyam Mohamed. Because he is not an American citizen, there would have been no tenable legal objection to trying him for war crimes by military commission. (The Military Commissions Act directs that only alien enemy combatants may be subjected to such military tribunals.) And even if, in slavish deference to its political base’s aversion to commissions, the Obama administration remained hell-bent on resisting a military war-crimes trial, Mohamed could still have been detained indefinitely. Indeed, our military is still holding at Gitmo scores of enemy combatants who are less serious offenders than Mohamed — in the sense that, however threatening they may be, they did not plan to carry out mass-murder plots on American soil. In sum, the Obama administration could have declined to transfer Mohamed — certainly in the absence of a commitment that the Brits were willing and able to keep him under lock and key. If the president had done that, Mohamed would still be detained at Gitmo today.

But instead, Mohamed has hit the jihad jackpot in Albion — or is it al-Bion? I’ve previously noted that British authorities not only released him but also sustained him on public welfare. Now, we learn, that’s not the half of it.

The British government has actually given this al-Qaeda celebrity a cool £1 million payment. Mohamed, you’ll be shocked, shocked to learn, showed his gratitude for being extracted from Gitmo through the intercession of Her Majesty’s government by . . . suing the Brits for being complicit in his “torture.” The £1 million payment is the settlement the government decided it was best to have British taxpayers fork over. Thus, the Daily Mail reports, Mohamed was recently able to plunk down £250,000 for a lovely three-bedroom, two-bathroom terrace house in Norbury, South London — conveniently located near the Croydon Mosque and Islamic Centre.

That makes him one of 16 terror suspects who have scored huge financial payouts by simply claiming to have been mistreated by security and intelligence officials. Why does the British government settle rather than fight these claims by jihadists whose goal is to destroy the very system on which they are feasting? Because the Lawyer Left that makes up the transnational progressive vanguard insisted that enemy-combatant terrorists should be seen as civil litigants, and the Brits went along.

Under prevailing justice-system rules, the jihadist gets to sue and, if the British government tries to contest the case, the jihadist is entitled to discovery of all the intelligence about him in British government files. With this lawfare gun at its head, the government’s choice is to tell al-Qaeda what the West knows (and how we know it) or pay pricey settlements. Justice Secretary Ken Clarke explained that Mohamed got £1 million because, if the government hadn’t settled, the case might have cost British taxpayers £50 million.

One unnamed British government official told the Daily Mail, “The danger is that we have become a cashpoint for terrorists.” Gee, you think?

— Andrew C. McCarthy, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, is the author, most recently, of The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America.