Yemen Chaos – WH “Model,” Saudis Attack, Iran Condemns

Editor’s Note – As the White continues to insist that Yemen is a “model for successful counterterrorism“, the President of Yemen flees the country by boat.

Like many of the aspects of the Obama Administration’s foreign policy and “overseas contingency” operations, failure is obvious but they just will not admit failure and continue to cover for a failed President. One has to suspend all disbelief to swallow their statements.

Saudi jets roar over Yemen
Saudi jets roar over Yemen

Meanwhile, the Saudis have amassed military assets numbering over 150,000 on their border with Yemen and are now attacking the Houthis; the Iranians puppets and Iran is none-to-pleased. USA Today is reporting:

Iran’s Foreign Ministry said airstrikes in Yemen are a “dangerous step” Thursday, after Saudi Arabia launched the strikes against Shiite rebel positions in the crisis-hit country.

The Saudi offensive begun Wednesday and supported by nine regional allies came as the country pledged to protect its neighbor from Iran-backed Shiite rebels.

In a statement, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said the country “condemns the airstrikes against Yemen this morning that left some innocent Yemenis wounded and dead and considers this action a dangerous step” the Associated Press reported. “This invasion will bear no result but expansion of terrorism and extremism throughout the whole region.”

Yemeni loyalists are fighting back but the Houthis are advancing despite air strikes. Yemen is in a state of total anarchy with many opposing forces, and the US has exited.

Despite these facts, the White persists through Josh Earnest, the White House Spokesperson:

QUESTION: Josh, just quickly first on Yemen. I know you’re asked this every time something terrible happens in Yemen. But — but now that we have, you know, essentially complete chaos in Yemen, does the White House still believe that Yemen is the model for counterterrorism strategy?

EARNEST: Jon, the White House does continue to believe that a successful counterterrorism strategy is one that will build up the capacity of the central government to have local fighters on the ground to take the fight to extremists in their own country. And the United States can serve both to diplomatically offer up some political support to central governments. We can offer very tangible support to local security forces in the form of training and equipping. (Read much more at ABC News)

Then, over at the State Department, Spokesperson Jen Psaki was in typical ‘protect the White House” mode about Yemen as well and she responded to news of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi:

“We were in touch with him earlier today,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told a briefing in Washington. “He is no longer at his residence. I’m not in position to confirm any additional details from here about his location.”

State Department Spokesperson, Jen Psaki and Josh Earnest respond separately to questions on Yemen and the White House's stubborn stance of "success."
State Department Spokesperson, Jen Psaki and Josh Earnest respond separately to questions on Yemen and the White House’s stubborn stance of “success.”

See a stunning summary video of the chaos here. Please read on and do not let your ‘lying eyes’ deceive you:

Gulf states launch air strikes in Yemen

By Simeon Kerr in Dubai and Reuters in Washington – Financial Times

Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab allies have launched a military operation involving air strikes in Yemen against Houthi fighters tightening their grip on Aden, where the country’s president had taken refuge, the Saudi envoy to Washington said on Wednesday.

Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi ambassador, said a 10-country coalition had joined the military campaign “to protect and defend the legitimate government” of President Abd Rabbuh Hadi.

News of the strikes triggered a surge in the price of crude oil. West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark, was up 5.3 per cent at $51.80 in early London trade, while Brent crude, rose 4.5 per cent to $59.02.YemenMap3.26.15AmerEnterprise

Mr Jubeir said Saudi Arabia had consulted the US but that Washington was not participating. The White House confirmed that President Barack Obama had authorised US logistical and intelligence support.

Gulf Arab states had been considering military intervention against Iran-backed Houthi rebels advancing on Aden, Yemen’s southern port city, in what threatens to turn a rumbling Sunni-Shia cold war into a more direct conflict.

In a dramatic day of events — that saw reports of President Hadi fleeing the city by sea denied by his advisers, after Houthi forces stormed an air base near Aden — Yemen’s foreign minister told Sky News Arabia on Wednesday that Sunni Gulf states had accepted his government’s request for military intervention to stem the advance of Houthi militia.

The move sets the scene for a confrontation between Sunni-majority Arab countries and Shia Iran, which they accuse of interfering in the Arab world by supporting proxy groups such as the Houthi, who are followers of the Zaydi Shia sect.

Oil prices jumped in Asian trading on Thursday, with Brent crude, the international benchmark, at one point up 5.9 per cent to $59.71.

On Wednesday night, leaders from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar who met in Riyadh last weekend to discuss the Yemeni crisis, were weighing up air strikes against Houthi positions in their northern strongholds in defence of Mr Hadi in the southern port city, said one person aware of the discussions.

Reports have since emerged that Saudi Arabia has moved heavy weaponry towards its southern border with Yemen, which adjoins the Houthis’ northern power base.

The Houthi rebels, who are working in partnership with the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, seized the al-Anad air base on Wednesday, 60km north of Aden, the last staging post on the road to the country’s second-largest city — raising the stakes in the impoverished nation’s slide into war.

A spokesman for Mr Hadi, who escaped from the Houthi-controlled capital of Sana’a in February, denied rumours that the president had fled Aden by sea.

Clashes broke out around Aden’s airport later on Wednesday, according to local media. War planes fired at the compound where Mr Hadi has been forming a government in exile.

Analysts say that Saudi Arabia is adopting a defensive position on the Saudi-Yemeni border, which adjoins the Houthis’ territorial heartland, or perhaps seeking to draw the militia’s forces into a battle on a second front in the northern highlands.

Sunni Arab states may also be planning a joint force to weigh in behind Mr Hadi, whom they — along with the UN — have backed as the legitimate president.

“It is entirely possible that air strikes or special operation forces may be used on specific missions,” said Theodore Karasik, a Dubai-based security analyst. “There is a plan for a joint Arab force, but it is not ready yet for operations.”

Screen capture of video showing aftermath of Saudi strikes - NBC News
Screen capture of video showing aftermath of Saudi strikes – NBC News

On Saturday, US military personnel evacuated al-Anad base, which had been used to co-ordinate drone strikes against al-Qaeda Islamist militants.

The Houthis, who have controlled the capital since September, say their advance against Aden aims to stem the growing influence of al-Qaeda, which they claim has joined Mr Hadi’s coalition of army loyalists and southern tribes.

Analysts fear that al-Qaeda fighters, a potent force in central parts of Yemen, could become the shock troops of a Sunni defence — deepening the polarised sectarian conflict.

The Houthi advance south gathered pace after last week’s deadly suicide bombings at two mosques in Sana’a that caused hundreds of casualties among Zaydi Shia worshippers.

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Analysts said the Houthis’ rapid charge was intended to lock in territorial gains before potential foreign intervention or peace talks.

Saudi officials have said they will take the “necessary measures” if peace efforts — led by Jamal Benomar, UN envoy, in Sana’a — fail.

Qatar has sought to get key Yemeni power brokers to meet in Doha to forge a peace agreement but, so far, military action has trumped diplomacy.

"Clinton May Have Exposed State Secrets" – Gedrich

Editor’s Note – The Author of the following article is an SUA ‘Kitchen Cabinet” founding member and he is a foreign policy and national security analyst and served in the departments of State and Defense.

He visited more than 50 U.S. overseas diplomatic posts on official missions.

After its release this morning, Jen Psaki, the State Department Spokesperson finally admitted that Hillary Clinton did not sign a OF-109 separation form after all:

Jen Psaki, State Department Spokesperson: State Department Has ‘No Record’ Of Clinton Signing Separation Statement
Jen Psaki, State Department Spokesperson: State Department Has ‘No Record’ Of Clinton Signing Separation Statement

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Tuesday the agency is “fairly certain” that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did not sign a separation statement upon her departure from Foggy Bottom.

“We don’t have record of it,” Psaki admitted.

She was quick to point out that her two immediate predecessors had no signed form on record either, but that is trivial in comparison to the deep hot water Clinton should be in.

Please read on:

With Private Storage, Clinton May Have Exposed State Secrets To International Cyber Crime

By Fred Gedrich – Breitbart

ABC News recently reported that House Speaker John Boehner will soon be announcing a new congressional investigation into the dubious way former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton controlled her official State Department emails during the four years she served as the nation’s top diplomat and the two years since leaving office.

By storing the emails in an isolated server outside of State Department control in a private personal computer system, Mrs. Clinton and the State Department were able to avoid Freedom of Information Act requests from Congress and the media on sensitive topics such as Benghazi. Her actions may also have compromised national security.

Hillary Clinton Speaking at the U.N. - The Associated Press
Hillary Clinton Speaking at the U.N. – The Associated Press

Addressing the recording-keeping and record-custody issues does not address the potential national security implications of what the former Secretary did. After the President and Vice-President, the Secretary of State is the highest position in the executive branch of the U.S. Government.

The Secretary carries the President’s foreign policies and participates as a key member of the President’s National Security Council, providing advice and assistance to the President on the most important and urgent foreign policies and national security matters.

Therefore, the Secretary is an automatic target of those seeking to learn as much as possible about what is going on inside the highest levels of the U.S. Government through various forms of espionage activities.

In a hastily-arranged recent press conference at the United Nations to respond to a story published by the New York Times, the former Secretary of State discussed the unique way she stored her official government emails and presented the circumstances as more or less no big deal.

Former Justice Department officials Shannen Coffin and Dan Metcalfe and Federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, in articles appearing in National Review and Politico, disagreed with her.

In their essays on this subject, among other things, Coffin wondered whether the former Secretary falsely certified the return of all records upon her departure from the State Department; Metcalfe, a retired government FOIA expert, opined that the former Secretary’s email defense is laughable; and McCarthy argued that the former Secretary is still violating the law and the Justice Department should take custody of her server.

Being able to access any of the Secretary’s official or private communications– whether they are classified, sensitive or otherwise– would be an intelligence coup for U.S. foes and friends engaged in espionage, and could be used by them for such nefarious activities as waging economic, military and political sabotage and warfare against the United States, or mere blackmail.clinton-emails

And it is naïve for anyone to believe that U.S. adversaries like China, Russia and others – skilled in state-of-the-art electronic cyber-theft and eavesdropping and who can intrude into computer systems without detection – wouldn’t try to take advantage of a situation like this if they knew the Secretary of State’s emails were being stored in a private server.

The State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security serves as a firewall in preventing U.S. enemies and others from gaining access to U.S. classified as sensitive information, whether it is the Secretary of State or anyone else employed by the State Department.

Among other things, DS security engineers monitor and negate electronic threats, while its intelligence and information security experts educate employees on counterintelligence and possible vulnerabilities that might be exploited by foreign intelligence agencies.

To mitigate these threats, DS continually develops, tests, and updates security standards as necessary for all State Department’s computer systems and requires everyone leaving the agency, under penalties of law, to turn over all government records when their appointments or employment expires (see U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual Volume 12 – Diplomatic Security Form OF-109, PDF).

One can easily understand why the State Department’s security folks are so concerned about espionage prevention. China’s cyber-spies on several notable occasions (e.g., Titan Rain and Mandiant) successfully breached the U.S.’s most sophisticated security-protected computer systems at U.S. government agencies, sensitive military bases, defense contractors, aerospace companies through internet email intrusion. For skilled cyber-spies, hacking into someone’s private computer system requires little effort.

The responses from the former Secretary and State Department spokesperson, Jen Psaki, on this subject to date have been far less than forthcoming, especially regarding the security aspect. As Congress looks further into this matter, it might want to consider asking key current and former officials within the Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security to formally testify before Congress and ask them the following questions:

  1. Did DS know and approve of the manner in which former Secretary Clinton, and her closest State Department colleagues Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, were storing their State Department-related emails in a private computer system outside of the State Department’s span of control? If the answer is yes, did DS evaluate and certify the former secretary’s personal computer system met State Department security standards?
  2. Did DS require the former secretary to sign the State Department’s Separation Agreement, OF 109, which requires by U.S. Foreign Affairs Manual Volume 12 – Diplomatic Security, in part, that former State Department persons like Mrs. Clinton, Miss Abedin, and Miss Mills to turn over all government-related records, including emails, at the conclusion of their appointments and/or employment? If the answer is yes, does DS have a copy of the signed documents? If the answer is no, did DS officials waive the requirement to do so for these individuals?
  3. Did DS give the former secretary permission to delete more than 30,000 emails from her personal computer system before DS or a neutral arbiter could examine them?

While this list of questions is not all-inclusive, the answers to them will provide substantial insight into whether the former Secretary, her closest State Department associates, and the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security complied with some important applicable laws and regulations pertaining to the maintenance and disposition of official State Department records and applicable security standards. The American public deserves to know the answers.

 

 

'Smoking Memo' Belies Denials On Non-Citizen Ebola Patients

Editor’s Note – Once again, the White House and the State Department are misleading the public over Ebola. Many believe they are flat out lying, but you be the judge. One thing is certain, the story always changes with this administration. The State Department denied that there was any plan to bring non-citizens here for treatment but there was a problem with that statement.

This time, there is a paper trail and it comes from the top – did they not think we would see it eventually, or did they think they could bring non-American Ebola patients to the USA and then spring it on us after they were already here taxing our system and endangering us all?ObamaSpeechEbola

Here is the PDF of that memo: State Dept Ebola Memo

There is some interesting reading on the timing as well from the WHO. There is a primer on the disease and its progression from as far back as March 24, 2014. One important excerpt tells us more here:

The current outbreak in west Africa, (first cases notified in March 2014), is the largest and most complex Ebola outbreak since the Ebola virus was first discovered in 1976. There have been more cases and deaths in this outbreak than all others combined. It has also spread between countries starting in Guinea then spreading across land borders to Sierra Leone and Liberia, by air (1 traveller only) to Nigeria, and by land (1 traveller) to Senegal.

The most severely affected countries, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia have very weak health systems, lacking human and infrastructural resources, having only recently emerged from long periods of conflict and instability. On August 8, the WHO Director-General declared this outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

We wonder why the press does not just walk out on people like Jen Psaki at State and Josh Earnest at the White House. They always use some denial tactic, or artifice, or they twist and torture words to tell us one thing, knowing it is untrue or misleading.

They always give themselves some wiggle room because they craft the lies so well and the MSM will just yawn. Who really thinks they will ever be held accountable? You can watch Obama’s words on the Ebola crisis here as well. Pay special attention to how he describes the Military protocols versus the public.

If they do bring patients here, how are we supposed to trust they will not endanger us; even our own nurses and doctors coming back home can be trusted. Who trusts the CDC anymore as well? Credibility gap? It’s not a gap, it’s bigger than the Grand Canyon, and where is that vaunted savior, the Ebola Czar?

Internal memo pushes bringing non-citizens to US for Ebola treatment; State denies plan

A memo obtained by Fox News indicates the Obama administration has been considering allowing non-American Ebola patients into the U.S. for treatment – though a State Department official on Tuesday denied any such plans.

The document was obtained by Fox News from a Capitol Hill source, who said it is a memo prepared by the State Department. The top of the document is marked “sensitive but unclassified – predesicional (sic).”

The “purpose” of the memo states: “Come to an agreed State Department position on the extent to which non-U.S. citizens will be admitted to the United States for treatment of Ebola Virus Disease.”

Excerpt of the 'Smoking Memo'
Excerpt of the ‘Smoking Memo’

The document goes on to discuss – and advocate for — devising such a plan. The memo recommends that “State and DHS devise a system for expeditious parole of Ebola-infected non-citizens into the United States as long as they are otherwise eligible for medical evacuation from the Ebola affected countries and for entry into the United States.”

Explaining that recommendation, the memo says the U.S., for instance, has an “obligation” to help non-citizen employees of U.S. agencies and U.S.-based private firms. It says the U.S. “needs to show leadership and act as we are asking others to act by admitting certain non-citizens into the country for medical treatment for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) during the Ebola crisis.”

The memo was obtained after House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson a week ago asking if either department was formulating a plan to allow non-U.S. citizens with Ebola to come to the U.S. for medical treatment.

Goodlatte also told Fox News Monday night that his office had received “information from within the administration” that such plans were being developed. So far, only American Ebola patients have been brought back to the U.S. for treatment from the disease epicenter in West Africa.

Goodlatte warned that expanding that policy could put the country at more risk.

“Members of the media, my office have received confidential communications saying that those plans are being developed,” Goodlatte said Monday night. “This is simply a matter of common sense that if you are concerned about this problem spreading … we certainly shouldn’t be bringing in the patients.”

The administration, though, has denied planning to do so.

A State Department official said Tuesday that they’re only talking about letting other countries use U.S. planes to transport Ebola patients to their own home countries.

“There are absolutely no plans to MEDEVAC non-Americans who become ill from West Africa to the United States,” the official told FoxNews.com. “We have discussed allowing other countries to use our MEDEVAC capabilities to evacuate their own citizens to their home countries or third-countries, subject to reimbursement and availability. But we are not contemplating bringing them back to the U.S. for treatment.

“Allegations to the contrary are completely false.”

And on Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest was asked about the matter and said “that certainly hasn’t happened so far — I don’t know of any plans to do that.”

A Goodlatte aide told FoxNews.com that “someone in one of the agencies” initially contacted their office with the tip.

In his letter last week, Goodlatte asked whether the administration is crafting such a plan, seeking details and communications among their employees.

The conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch also reported, shortly before Goodlatte sent the letter, that the administration was “actively formulating” plans to bring Ebola patients into the U.S., with the specific goal of treating them “within the first days of diagnosis.”