Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Goracle Looks To Cash In On $andy

The flood waters have yet to recede, power has yet to be restored to millions, and many of the dead remain unburied - yet as sure as the sun rises in the East, it is already time for the biggest con man in history and the world's premier green profiteer, Al Gore, to claim that Hurricane Sandy is the result of global warming. Apocalypse to follow:

Hurricane Sandy is a disturbing sign of things to come. We must heed this warning and act quickly to solve the climate crisis. Dirty energy makes dirty weather

The reality is that Sandy was, according to NOAA's Martin Hoerling, "little more than the coincidental alignment of a tropical storm with an extratropical storm. Both frequent W. Atlantic in Oct....nothing unusual with that."

And indeed, Sandy was hardly unusual in and of itself. Multiple such hurricanes have struck the mid and upper portions of the East coast, with upwards of ten striking between 1954 and 1960. The reality is that we have been in a period of unusual inactivity when it comes to hurricanes. You can find many more facts compiled by Marc Morano at this link. I will post Joe Bastardi's epic takedown of the link between Sandy and climatechange just seen on The O'Reilly Factor as soon as it hits youtube.

While there may not be a link between Sandy and climate change, there is a direct link between climate change, Sandy, and Al Gore's wallet. He needs to be jailed and all of his wealth stripped to reimburse the hundreds of millions whose pockets he has picked.


Benghazi: Secret Cable Shows The State Dept. Knew Of The Precise Danger To Our Consulate

The worst scandal in living memory - the slaughter of four Americans in Benghazi by al Qaeda and related groups - just got worse yet again, this time via the leak of a Secret cable showing that our people in Benghazi specifically saw such a coordinated attack as possible and assessed that it would succeed. This from Fox News:

The U.S. Mission in Benghazi convened an “emergency meeting” less than a month before the assault that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, because Al Qaeda had training camps in Benghazi and the consulate could not defend against a “coordinated attack,” according to a classified cable reviewed by Fox News.

Summarizing an Aug. 15 emergency meeting convened by the U.S. Mission in Benghazi, the Aug. 16 cable marked “SECRET” said that the State Department’s senior security officer, also known as the RSO, did not believe the consulate could be protected.

“RSO (Regional Security Officer) expressed concerns with the ability to defend Post in the event of a coordinated attack due to limited manpower, security measures, weapons capabilities, host nation support, and the overall size of the compound,” the cable said.

That cable was addressed to "Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Emergency Action Committee." That this is being embargoed by the MSM is an obscenity. I am waiting again to hear Hillary pawn off responsibility for security decisions in the run up to the 9-11 attacks. Obama refused to answer who denied requests for more security in Benghazi and why. The reason virtually has to be because of a policy decision by either Clinton or Obama. We need those answers before Nov. 6. - as well as the answers to the other equally serious legs of this scandal. Who denied military support to the consulate during the seven hour attack, and why did the Obama government claim for weeks that the attack was the spontaneous reaction to a youtube video?


Happy Halloween

Halloween, a night to laugh at death and the monsters of our deepest fears.


The spooky origins of Halloween lay in the Roman and Celtic festivals of the dead, as well as in Christianity's All Saints Day. In ancient Rome, the festival of Lemuria was held to ward off the vengeful spirits and Gods of the underworld. Lemuria was celebrated on the 13th of May, but as Rome became Christianized, in one of the early examples of syncretism, Pope Boniface IV made the 13th of May All Saints Day in 610 A.D.

By 740 A.D., the ancient Roman religions were all but extinct and the focus of the Church had turned to the British Isles. The Druids, the priestly class of the Celts, held their own harvest festival and festival of the dead, Samhain, on October 31. So it was that, in about 740 A.D., the Church moved All Saints Day to November 1.

It is to the ancient Celtic celebration of Samhain that Halloween owes the most. Samhain, was not just a harvest festival, but it was also the the night that marked the change from the "light half" of the year to the "dark half." According to Celtic belief, Samhain was a night when the boundary between the living and the dead was at its weakest, with ghosts and demons able to cross into our realm, while some unlucky of us made the trip in the other direction, never to return. It was a night marked by bonfires and, evidence suggests, human sacrifice. So if a modern day Druid invites you to the ritual burning of a wicker man, make sure your invite is to be as an observer - not an occupant.

Samhain also gave us some other traditions. One is the wearing of a costume, which they did during Samhain to confuse the demons. A second was the carving of turnips and using them as lanterns to ward off the demons.

And lastly, trick or treating has its roots in All Saints Day. During medieval times, children would go "souling" on All Saints Day, asking for gifts of food and treats, in return for which they would pray for the souls caught in Purgatory.

All of those traditions have been combined in the melting pot of America to give us our modern Halloween.

Best & Spookiest Links:

At Hot Air, a hilarious video of Stephen Crowder using Halloween to teach young children about the evils of redistribution of wealth - with some sage commentary from Ed Morissey.

At PJM, a disturbing list of "The 7 Creepiest Serial Killers In American History." Freddy and Jason are fiction.  Those listed at PJM are the real monsters, and far scarier.

Have a happy and safe Halloween.


Lenin circa 1920, Progressives circa 2012

Say that Obama is a socialist and the MSM will treat you with derision. But compare and contrast, if you will, the philosophy and methods of Lenin with those of our progressive left today - not only Obama and progressive law makers, but the MSM also - and you may well be surprised.

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was a brilliant man - he thoroughly understood the dark sides of power, of thought control, and the tools of oppression. But like all brilliant men, the mistakes he made were colossal. His central ideas, that economies could be forced to work without profit and could be centrally directed for the benefit of all, have proven disastrous on an epic scale. And yet, his central ideas as well as the blue print he created for achieving them live on with Obama and the 'progressives' of today:

Lenin - "A lie told often enough becomes the truth."

Once today's progressives settle on a meme, they stick to it with utter tenacity, the truth of it being irrelevant. It is the left's primary form of argument and examples are endless. Romney's tax plan will cause a $5 trillion increase in the deficit; the Tea Party is a fundamentally racist organization; the Benghazi attack was a spontaneous reaction to a youtube video, conservatives want to push granny off a cliff, ad infinitum . . . The protection against this in a free society is the MSM. But when the MSM is thoroughly vested in seeing the victory of the left, then lies all too often become the truth.

Lenin - "The press should be not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, but also a collective organizer of the masses."

One wonders how the members of the MSM see themselves today. The NYT, for example, ran front page stories on Abu Ghraib for 32 consecutive days. Yet as regards the most serious Presidential scandal in living memory - the murder of four Americans in Benghazi while the government did nothing - the New York times has run precisely zero front page stories. During the recent Sunday Morning talk shows, only Fox News's Chris Wallace pro-actively raised the issue of the Benghazi scandal. Our MSM today are not guardians of the truth, they are propagandists and agitators, whether in the affirmative or the negative.

Lenin - "When one makes a Revolution, one cannot mark time; one must always go forward - or go back. He who now talks about the "freedom of the press" goes backward, and halts our headlong course towards Socialism."

There is no room for freedom of the press for the left, or indeed, for any contrary voice. Do recall that, despite our First Amendment protections, this administration did their best to discredit and to shut out Fox News on more than one occasion over the past four years. And of course, look at the treatment of anyone who wanders off the left's plantation - Buzz Bissinger and Stacey Dash being the most recent victims.

Lenin - "The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation."

If Obama wanted to gut our nation, is there anything that he or the progressive left would be doing differently than they are today? While Obama is borrowing at an unheard of pace - 40 cents on every dollar of government spending - and spending our nation into penury, our Fed has the printing presses running overtime. Inflation in food and fuel is already hurting Americans, and if nothing is done, it will get far worse. And on top of that are not just the rising taxation (and hidden costs) that Obama has planned through Obamacare - he also has plans to raise taxes to punishing levels on capital gains, those in addition to more taxes on the 'wealthy'. It is a Lenin-esque recipe for destroying the American middle class. The penultimate irony is that the left presents themselves as the champion of the middle class.

Lenin - "Capitalists are no more capable of self-sacrifice than a man is capable of lifting himself up by his own bootstraps."

This really is the essence of the far left's view of our nation and the role of government. Profit is evil, businesses are the enemy (unless, of course, run by cronies or the spouses of progressive lawmakers), and the working man has no chance except those given to him by big government. The Life of Julia is but one crystal clear example. Moreover, capitalists believe that the most effective regulator of markets is competition. As suggested by Lenin, progressives see the only viable market regulator as draconian government regulation (unless it involves cronies, in which case actual subsidies and government created markets through mandates (e.g., ethanol, electric vehicles, solar power, wind power) are fine.

Lenin - "[E]conomic struggle, . . . described as “resistance to the capitalists”, . . . in free countries [means] the organised-labour syndical, or trade union struggle."

According to both Marx and Lenin, unions are the building blocks of communism. Additionally, they are, today, an anachronistic response to the long dead ills of the early days of the industrial revolution, they are the economic foundation of the left, and they are a plague on our nation. Public sector unions in particular serve no viable purpose, they are champions of big government and higher taxation wholly irrespective of economic effect, they make up the largest number of union members, and they are breaking the treasuries of our states. Yet the Obama administration has pushed so hard to fund and favor unions, whether it be the UAW, Boeing or, for that matter, using hundreds of billions of dollars to insure that public sector union workers remained employed during the recession?

Unfortunately, it is not just the government pushing unions from the top down. Unions wield incredible power in many states with a history of rule by Democrats. In Michigan, the voters are considering whether to enshrine union power in their Constitution, essentially giving public sector unions a super veto over most legislation that the legislature might pass. It would be hard to imagine a more insane piece of legislation - and yet, it is even odds that the measure might pass. As Lenin also once said, "capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them." (As an aside, this may well be unconstitutional as it would deny Michigan a Republican form of Government, as required by the U.S. Constitution Art. 4, Sec. 4)

Lenin - "Present-day society is wholly based on the exploitation of the vast masses of the working class by a tiny minority of the population, . . . the capitalists. It is a slave society, since the “free” workers, who all their life work for the capitalists, are “entitled” only to such means of subsistence as are essential for the maintenance of slaves who produce profit, for the safeguarding and perpetuation of capitalist slavery."

The profit motive is central to capitalism - and utterly anathema to the far left. Has there ever been a President more damning of the profit motive in our history than Obama (cronies excluded of course). Recall how he demonized the health insurance industry and the GM bondholders (so he could use money rightfully theirs to pay off the unions) for seeking filthy profit. Just as it was to Lenin, so it is to today's progressives - profit is evil. Their problem, like Lenin's, is that they don't make the connection between punishing profit and the impact both on government revenues and economic growth.

Lenin - "Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted."

A reasonable argument can be made that this is the alpha and the omega of the problems our nation faces today. Over the past fifty years, conservatives went into business while progressives took control of our educational system, k through grad school. Communism and socialism should, in a rationale world, be in the dustbin of history. But a sizeable chunk of our population embraces the philosophy of those ideologies, blissfully ignorant of history and economics.

Lenin - "One man with a gun can control 100 without one."

The progressives love gun control - and ultimately for a good reason. As they know and as our Founding Fathers knew, a disarmed populace is subject to government control. Look at virtually any gun control legislation in the U.S., and what you will find is not an attempt to limit guns to criminals only, but rather to limit guns to criminal and law abiding citizen alike. Not only are such attempts nefarious, but they do nothing at all to stop crime. Indeed, take a look at the most violent areas and you will almost uniformly find the strictest gun control laws. Chicago, with its strict gun control laws, just had its 436th murder for the year. There is no rational reason to disarm law abiding citizens - other than to further the reach of government.

Lenin - "Our program necessarily includes the propaganda of atheism."

The penultimate goal of the left is to substitute the government as the source and final arbiter of morality. Once that is achieved, then the government is unbound. It can punish undesirable thought with the police power of the state and it can substitute its own views of morality for religious based ethics. The history of the 20th century is written in the blood of that experiment, as the 'progress of the state' took precedence over individual human life. Over 100 million people were slaughtered for that progress, one only possible when the state drove religion out of the public square.

The progressives are openly hostile to Christianity, and have been using the Courts to move Christianity out of the public square for over fifty years. But with Obama, they have their first progressive able to take proactive action - which he has with the HHS mandate. That mandate is a direct assault on religious liberty in America.

Lenin - "It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed."

The nanny state and the green movement - both creations of the progressive left - are perhaps the most vivid examples of the rationing of liberty in the U.S. If the progressives have their way, they will be directing every aspect of our life - for our benefit of course. As Czech President Vaclav Klaus said, “It becomes evident that while discussing climate we are not witnessing a clash of views about the environment, but a clash of views about human freedom.” But as always, for those rich enough or close enough to power, the less rationing that occurs. When uber warmie Al Gore flies, he doesn't fly commercial to minimize his carbon footprint.

I am pretty terrified by my view of history and the state of the U.S. today. The ghost of Lenin lives on, regardless of what the progressives and the MSM would like you to believe.


Scalia On Originalism & Activism

Although the election Tuesday is incredibly important, it is the Supreme Court that has had the longest lasting and most deleterious effect on our nation. Justice Scalia explains the problem - and at the start of this interview, the very simple solution.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Benghazi: Who Put The 3 A.M. Phone Call On Hold?

Benghazi was the administration's 3 A.M. phone call. Someone in the administration, perhaps Obama himself or with his knowledge, put that phone call on hold, abandoning our people in Benghazi to their death. Their inaction, no doubt borne of political calculations, is criminal. No need to take my word for it.

Admiral James Lyons, U.S.N., Ret., former commander of the Pacific Fleet, doesn't hold back on the Obama administrations failures in Benghazi or the degree of deception he sees being practiced. Adm. Lyons writes in the Washington Times today, calling for immediate and "full disclosure of what has become the “Benghazi Betrayal and Cover-up:"

Once the attack commenced at 10:00 p.m. Libyan time (4:00 p.m. EST), we know the mission security staff immediately contacted Washington and our embassy in Tripoli. It now appears the White House, Pentagon, State Department, CIA, NDI, JCS and various other military commands monitored the entire battle in real time via frantic phone calls from our compound and video from an overhead drone. The cries for help and support went unanswered.

Panetta's claim that there was insufficient intelligence to launch our military assets in support of the Benghazi mission is just pure, unadulterated bullshit. He had better real time intel than any commander could hope to have going into a combat situation. As to Panetta's claim that Gen. Ham and Gen. Dempsey concurred - I want to hear that with my own ears. That is simply unbelievable. More on Gen. Ham at the bottom of this post.

To continue from Adm. Lyons:

The Obama national security team, including CIA, DNI, State Department and the Pentagon, watched and listened to the assault but did nothing to answer repeated calls for assistance. It has been reported that President Obama met with Vice President Joseph R. Biden and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in the Oval Office, presumably to see what support could be provided. After all, we had very credible military resources within striking distance. At our military base in Sigonella, Sicily, which is slightly over 400 miles from Benghazi, we had a fully equipped Special Forces unit with both transport and jet strike aircraft prepositioned. Certainly this was a force much more capable than the 22-man force from our embassy in Tripoli.

I know those Special Forces personnel were ready to leap at the opportunity. There is no doubt in my mind they would have wiped out the terrorists attackers. Also I have no doubt that Admiral William McRaven, Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, would have had his local commander at Sigonella ready to launch; however, apparently he was countermanded—by whom? We need to know.

I also understand we had a C-130 gunship available, which would have quickly disposed of the terrorist attackers. This attack went on for seven hours. Our fighter jets could have been at our Benghazi mission within an hour. Our Special Forces out of Sigonella could have been there within a few hours. There is not any doubt that action on our part could have saved the lives of our two former Navy SEALs and possibly the ambassador.

Having been in a number of similar situations, I know you have to have the courage to do what’s right and take immediate action. Obviously, that courage was lacking for Benghazi. The safety of your personnel always remains paramount. With all the technology and military capability we had in theater, for our leadership to have deliberately ignored the pleas for assistance is not only in incomprehensible, it is un-American.

To anyone without any military experience, Panetta's claim that there was not sufficient intelligence and that, as a matter of doctrine, we don't put soldier's in harms way without a complete intel picture probably sounds reasonable. I can virtually assure you that to every current and former military officer - on the facts of Benghazi - Panetta's explanation is ludicrous. It is meant to gloss over deliberate inaction that was criminal. As Adm. Lyons concludes:

Somebody high up in the administration made the decision that no assistance (outside our Tripoli embassy) would be provided, and let our people be killed. The person who made that callous decision needs to be brought to light and held accountable. According to a CIA spokesperson, “No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need.” We also need to know whether the director of CIA and the director of National Intelligence were facilitators in the fabricated video lie and the overall cover-up. Their credibility is on the line. A congressional committee should be immediately formed to get the facts out to the American people. Nothing less is acceptable.

Obama was asked directly, at the Town Hall debate, who denied the requests for additional security in Benghazi in the run up to 9-11 and why they denied those requests. Obama did not answer the questions. Obama was asked directly by a reporter last week whether the administration denied requests for help during the Benghazi attack. Obama did not answer the question. Obama is trying to string this out until after the election. This is a scandal far worse than Watergate, and yet Obama is being aided at every turn by a MSM totally vested in his reelection. This really is surreal.

Update: This from Michael Ramirez at IBD captures the situation perfectly:

The first person we need to hear from is Gen. Ham, the AFRICOM commander during the Benghazi attack. Panetta claims that Gen. Ham agreed with him, that there was insufficient intel to send military support to Benghazi. There is a rumor that Gen. Ham was relieved of his command on that night because he was preparing to disobey an order to stand down. We know that Gen. Ham is still listed as the AFRICOM Cdr, but that Panetta announced his replacement two weeks ago after Gen Ham had only been in command for 18 months. Further, we now learn that Gen Ham is no longer even at his post, he has returned to the U.S. and is being processed out of the Army into retirement. It would be very unusual indeed for a Commanding officer to physically leave his post at any time before a change of command ceremony in which both he and the incoming commander would participate. Someone needs to interview Gen. Ham.

(H/T Hot Air)

Update: The White House has just released photos of Obama in the WH Situation Room, looking at a large screen video link and getting an update on Sandy. Instapundit links to various twitter responses, asking where the pic is of Obama in the Situation Room during the Benghazi attack. Where indeed?


The Return of Rasputin?

From the Telegraph:

Moscow police have discovered a brothel on the premises of a monastery whose abbot is thought to be President Vladimir Putin's spiritual adviser.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Blacks In Chicago Having A Reality Check

Visit Bookworm Rooms, site for the video. She writes "I suspect this is a bump, not a groundswell, but it’s amazing nevertheless: inner blacks say that overwhelming government interference in the economy stifles the kind of economic growth their communities need."

It doesn’t surprise me at all – rather I am surprised that this is the first real example of working class blacks daring to speak out openly. I served in the infantry with 20 to 25% blacks. They were my soldiers, my NCO’s, my fellow officers and my superiors. I served with men very much in the mold of LTC, now Rep., Allen West. The single difference between the black soldiers and the rest was that the blacks had a bit better natural camouflage at night.

What surprised the hell out of me was when I left the army and was introduced, for the first time, to the race hustler industry. What has surprised me since is how many blacks have accepted the bile that industry sells them, seemingly uncritically. There simply cannot be that great a divide between blacks in and out of service.

So what I see above is what should be the norm. Obama and the left are destroying America, but they are utterly devastating blacks. The question is, how many blacks will it take waking up to reality before what we see in the video above becomes the norm, not the rare anomaly. I really think, as Thomas Sowell suggested, that the time is past ripe for the right to make a play for black support.


Oct 28, 312: Constantine, In Hoc Signo Vinces & The Battle of Milvan Bridge

October 28, 312 A.D. Constantine defeated Maxentius in the Battle of Milvan Bridge. It was a battle that changed history. It was the first of Constantine's major victories in his consolidation of the Roman Empire, and it marked day when Christianity went from being persecuted to being on a trajectory to dominate Europe.

Christianity had been under periodic persecution by the Roman Empire ever since Nero used Christians as scapegoats for the fire that consumed Rome in 64 A.D. As late as 303 A.D., the most bloody of the persecutions came at the direction of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. Constanine himself was not born a Christian. He would grow into Christianity over his lifetime, with perhaps the most notable event in his conversion being the events that took place just prior to the Battle of Milvan Bridge.

Constantine was born in 272 A.D., the son of a Roman sub-Emperor who held control over a portion of Rome's divided empire. By 312 A.D., Constantine had taken over his father's command and was drawn into a war for control of the empire. The night of October 27, 312, found Constantine north of the Milvan Bridge on the Tiber River, his army of 100,000 men preparing to attack an army twice its size led by Maxentius.

According to legend, on the march to the Tiber, Constantine had a vision of a cross arising out of the sun, marked with the phrase In Hoc Signo Vinces - under this sign, you will conquer. In camp on the night of the 27th, Constantine claims to have a dream of Christ, who explained to him the meaning of the sign and that, if he would but adopt the sign for his army, they would conquer. When battle was joined on the 28th, Constantine's forces marched under the cross - and Constantine won a decisive victory.

Maxentius chose to make his stand in front of the Milvian Bridge, a stone bridge that carries the Via Flaminia road across the Tiber River into Rome (the bridge stands today at the same site, somewhat remodelled, named in Italian Ponte Milvio . . .). Holding it was crucial if Maxentius was to keep his rival out of Rome, where the Senate would surely favour whoever held the city. As Maxentius had probably partially destroyed the bridge during his preparations for a siege, he had a wooden or pontoon bridge constructed to get his army across the river. . . .

The next day, the two armies clashed, and Constantine won a decisive victory. The dispositions of Maxentius may have been faulty as his troops seem to have been arrayed with the River Tiber too close to their rear, giving them little space to allow re-grouping in the event of their formations being forced to give ground.

Already known as a skillful general, Constantine first launched his cavalry at the cavalry of Maxentius and broke them. Constantine's infantry then advanced, most of Maxentius's troops fought well but they began to be pushed back toward the Tiber; Maxentius decided to retreat and make another stand at Rome itself; but there was only one escape route, via the bridge. Constantine's men inflicted heavy losses on the retreating army. Finally, the temporary bridge set up alongside the Milvian Bridge, over which many of the troops were escaping, collapsed, and those men stranded on the north bank of the Tiber were either taken prisoner or killed. Maxentius' Praetorian Guard seem to have made a stubborn stand on the northern bank of the river. Maxentius was among the dead, . . .

The Battle of Milvan bridge set the stage for triumph of Constantine and, with him, the triumph of Christianity in the Western World. In 313 A.D., Constantine promulgated the Edict of Milan, ending all religious persecution in the Roman Empire and restoring to Christians their titles and property. Constantine became a dedicated patron of the Church. He "built basilicas, granted privileges to clergy (e.g. exemption from certain taxes), [and] promoted Christians to high office . . . His most famous building projects include the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and Old Saint Peter's Basilica." Constantine also called the First Eccumenical Council of the Church, the Council of Nicaea, in an effort to standardize Christian teachings and ritual.


A Jobs Report That Might Never Come - Before Nov. 6 At Least

With unemployment being one of the top issues in this election, the October jobs report scheduled for Friday could have an impact on the election - likely a negative one for Obama. This from Hot Air:

{D]uring yesterday’s This Week on ABC. George Stephanopoulos asked former Obama administration economist Austan Goolsbee about the political impact of the jobs report coming up this Friday, just four days before most voters cast their ballots. Goolsbee notes that only “unbelievable outliers … crack through the shell” of the electorate’s consciousness for a single-month’s report. Goolsbee then admits that last month’s jobs report was “artificially too optimistic” — an “unbelievable outlier,” in other words.

So why admit that now? Well, that “unbelievable outlier” is likely to get corrected in this month’s household survey, and that will drive the jobless rate up. . . .

Not so fast. According to the WSJ, the Dept. of Labor is considering putting off the jobs report until after the election because of the superstorm currently bearing down on the East Coast. This in fact might be legitimate, but why do I feel that, if it is anywhere near a close call, the decision will be to put it off until after the election. Hey, maybe it will come out on the same day the State Dept's investigation into the Benghazi scandal is published. And that may come on the same day the MSM starts to pay attention to what is unarguably one of the worst scandals in our nation's history.


The Obama Voter


"Inexcusable" - Former National Security Advisor McFarlane On Benghazi

(H/T Gateway Pundit)

This is a massive scandal. Americans died because of foreign policy based on fantasy, then a horrendous refusal to provide military support during the seven hour assault, a decision driven by politically motivated risk aversion. In the weeks and month since, the Obama administration has covered up and iied to the American people. Yet the number of front page stories at the NYT devoted to this scandal so far - 0. On today's Sunday morning news shows, only Fox News even brought up the issue of Benghazi.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Just In Time For Hallowen - & The Election - The Children Of The Corn Meet Orwell

Who in God's name are the target audience for this? And if these kids are the future, please, drop the bomb on me now. Via Newbusters & Hot Air:

And if you didn't catch it, here are the lyrics they are singing:

Imagine an America
Where strip mines are fun and free
Where gays can be fixed
And sick people just die
And oil fills the sea

We don't have to pay for freeways!
Our schools are good enough
Give us endless wars
On foreign shores
And lots of Chinese stuff

We're the children of the future
American through and through
But something happened to our country
And we're kinda blaming you

We haven't killed all the polar bears
But it's not for lack of trying
Big Bird is sacked
The Earth is cracked
And the atmosphere is frying

Congress went home early
They did their best we know
You can't cut spending
With elections pending
Unless it's welfare dough

We're the children of the future
American through and through
But something happened to our country
And we're kinda blaming you

Find a park that is still open
And take a breath of poison air
They foreclosed your place
To build a weapon in space
But you can write off your au pair

It's a little awkward to tell you
But you left us holding the bag
When we look around
The place is all dumbed down

And the long term's kind of a drag
We're the children of the future
American through and through
But something happened to our country
And yeah, we're blaming you

You did your best
You failed the test

Mom and Dad
We're blaming you.

What a credit to the state they are. Can't you picture them turning in their parents to the Cheka? !


Friday, October 26, 2012

The Benghazi Scandal Worsens - Risk Aversion Results In A Complete Operational Failure (Update 3)

The Benghazi scandal just got much worse. I posted below that it appears that the decision to deny the requests for additional security in Benghazi made in the months prior to 9-11 was a political decision made at the Clinton / Obama level. Now Fox News has broken a story that, during the attack itself, one that lasted, on and off, over a period of seven hours, the consulate's multiple calls for assistance were refused by the 'chain of command' - that even though we had a drone on station providing real time intelligence and more than sufficient assets to provide a rapid and effective response. American lives were lost because of that it.

[Update: Bill Kristol, in a column linked at the bottom of this post, notes that the CIA has, in a denial made in response to the Fox News story below, "thrown Obama under the bus." Kristol makes the case that the decision to deny military support had to come directly from Obama.]

This from Fox News:

Fox News has learned from sources who were on the ground in Benghazi that an urgent request from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. consulate and subsequent attack several hours later on the annex itself was denied by the CIA chain of command -- who also told the CIA operators twice to "stand down" rather than help the ambassador's team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11.

This part, referencing the "CIA chain of command," is unclear. Maybe the CIA station chief?

Former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods was part of a small team who was at the CIA annex about a mile from the U.S. consulate where Ambassador Chris Stevens and his team came under attack. When he and others heard the shots fired, they informed their higher-ups at the annex to tell them what they were hearing and requested permission to go to the consulate and help out. They were told to "stand down," according to sources familiar with the exchange. Soon after, they were again told to "stand down."

Woods and at least two others ignored those orders and made their way to the consulate which at that point was on fire. Shots were exchanged. The rescue team from the CIA annex evacuated those who remained at the consulate and Sean Smith, who had been killed in the initial attack. They could not find the ambassador and returned to the CIA annex at about midnight.

At that point, they called again for military support and help because they were taking fire at the CIA safe house, or annex. The request was denied. . . .

Although Fox uses the word "again," this is the first mention of a request for outside military support. What was the situation report, who did it go to, who had operational control of responsive assets, were they alerted, and who ultimately denied the request?

Moreover, the people on the ground in Benghazi were not operating in a vacuum. Everyone up the chain of command to Obama, would have been alerted of the attack soon after it began. Sec. of Def. Panetta, CIA Chief Petraeus, and Gen. Ham of the U.S. Africa Commmand (AFRICOM) would not have been just standing around waiting for reports. They would be conducting their own analysis of what the situation required. There would be contingency plans in place that would have been - and clearly were - activated. Special ops units were immediately deployed to Italy awaiting deployment to Libya - orders that never came.

Update 3: There is a rumor that Gen. Ham was in the midst of violating an order from Panetta and deploying his Spec Ops resources to Benghazi when he was stopped by his second in command who, so the story goes, informed Gen. Ham that he was immediately relieved of his command by Panetta. Is this true?

There is at least some evidence that would lend credence to the rumor. The prior commander of AFRICOM, Gen. Ward, served 3 1/2 years in that position. Sec. of Def. Panetta just announced seven days ago that Gen. David Rodriguez had been tapped as the new AFRICOM commander. Gen. Ham had only served in his position as AFRICOM Commander for 1 1/2 years. This would seem a very early exit indeed. The announcement gave no indication of what, if any, would be Gen. Ham's follow on assignment.

Further, per Protein Wisdom:

As I was typing this I heard John Bolton on Greta say that there are conflicting reports of General Ham’s comments on this tragedy and why a rapid response unit was not deployed. Bolton says someone needs to find out what Ham was saying on 9/11/12.

Indeed they do. To continue with the Fox News story:

There were no communications problems at the annex, according those present at the compound. The team was in constant radio contact with their headquarters. In fact, at least one member of the team was on the roof of the annex manning a heavy machine gun when mortars were fired at the CIA compound. The security officer had a laser on the target that was firing and repeatedly requested back-up support from a Spectre gunship, which is commonly used by U.S. Special Operations forces to provide support to Special Operations teams on the ground involved in intense firefights. The fighting at the CIA annex went on for more than four hours -- enough time for any planes based in Sigonella Air base, just 480 miles away, to arrive. Fox News has also learned that two separate Tier One Special operations forces were told to wait, among them Delta Force operators.

A Special Operations team, or CIF which stands for Commanders in Extremis Force, operating in Central Europe had been moved to Sigonella, Italy, but they were never told to deploy. In fact, a Pentagon official says there were never any requests to deploy assets from outside the country.

That a "pentagon official" would mention that as an excuse is utterly ridiculous.  Whether or not a request for additional military support was communicated to the Pentagon is virtually meaningless. These are professionals paid to analyze and respond to a situation, not to wait with their thumbs up their collective asses to be told what to do by the people on the ground - people who may or may not even be aware of what assets are available.

A second force that specializes in counterterrorism rescues was on hand at Sigonella, according to senior military and intelligence sources. According to those sources, they could have flown to Benghazi in less than two hours. They were the same distance to Benghazi as those that were sent from Tripoli. Spectre gunships are commonly used by the Special Operations community to provide close air support.

According to sources on the ground during the attack, the special operator on the roof of the CIA annex had visual contact and a laser pointing at the Libyan mortar team that was targeting the CIA annex. The operators were calling in coordinates of where the Libyan forces were firing from.

If you have a target 'painted' with a laser, that means that our laser guided munitions can be fired from the air with pin point accuracy. We had weapons platforms within one to two hours of the target. An AC130 Spectre gunship would have ended that threat faster than the blink of an eye and with mimimal collateral damage. That none of these assets were launched is just utterly inexplicable.

Update 2: From a Special Ops commenter at Blackfive:

One of the former SEALs was actively painting the target. That means that Specter WAS ON STATION! Probably an AC130U. A ground laser designator is not a briefing pointer laser. You do not "paint" a target until the weapons system/designator is synched; which means that the AC130 was on station.

Only two places could have called off the attack at that point; the WH situation command (based on POTUS direction) or AFRICOM commander based on information directly from the target area.

If the AC130 never left Sigonella (as Penetta says) that means that the Predator that was filming the whole thing was armed.

If that SEAL was actively "painting" a target; something was on station to engage! And the decision to stand down goes directly to POTUS.

Continuing with the Fox News story:

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters at the Pentagon on Thursday that there was not a clear enough picture of what was occurring on the ground in Benghazi to send help.

"There's a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking going on here," Panetta said Thursday. "But the basic principle here ... is that you don't deploy forces into harm's way without knowing what's going on."

That is pure, unadulterated, absolute and utter bullshit. Panetta needs to be removed from office immediately. There were two military drones on station providing real time visual intelligence - that in addition to continuous ground reports. The most dangerous enemy asset was laser designated, for God's sake. Bottom line, Panetta had better real time intelligence than 99.99% of all military commanders in history have ever had when deploying troops. There is a pretty clear line between criticizing unconscionable operational failure and "monday morning quarterbacking." This failure to act was the former, it was was pure risk aversion that got our people killed.

U.S. officials argue that there was a period of several hours when the fighting stopped before the mortars were fired at the annex, leading officials to believe the attack was over.

Wow. Again, as an excuse, that one doesn't even begin to cut it. Our people in Benghazi had just suffered an attack from a sizable and organized militia group, our forces had taken casualties, and the Ambassador himself was MIA. So what, the fighting had stopped, so just let the survivors hang out there in their precarious position? You would want to immediately send security to stabilize the situation and protect the survivors just in case THE FIGHTING STARTED AGAIN!!!!!! Unbelievable.

Fox News has learned that there were two military surveillance drones redirected to Benghazi shortly after the attack on the consulate began. They were already in the vicinity. The second surveillance craft was sent to relieve the first drone, perhaps due to fuel issues. Both were capable of sending real time visuals back to U.S. officials in Washington, D.C. Any U.S. official or agency with the proper clearance, including the White House Situation Room, State Department, CIA, Pentagon and others, could call up that video in real time on their computers.

Tyrone Woods was later joined at the scene by fellow former Navy SEAL Glen Doherty, who was sent in from Tripoli as part of a Global Response Staff or GRS that provides security to CIA case officers and provides countersurveillance and surveillance protection. They were killed by a mortar shell at 4 a.m. Libyan time, nearly seven hours after the attack on the consulate began -- a window that represented more than enough time for the U.S. military to send back-up from nearby bases in Europe, according to sources familiar with Special Operations. Four mortars were fired at the annex. The first one struck outside the annex. Three more hit the annex.

A motorcade of dozens of Libyan vehicles, some mounted with 50 caliber machine guns, belonging to the February 17th Brigades, a Libyan militia which is friendly to the U.S., finally showed up at the CIA annex at approximately 3 a.m. An American Quick Reaction Force sent from Tripoli had arrived at the Benghazi airport at 2 a.m. (four hours after the initial attack on the consulate) and was delayed for 45 minutes at the airport because they could not at first get transportation, allegedly due to confusion among Libyan militias who were supposed to escort them to the annex, according to Benghazi sources.

The American special operators, Woods, Doherty and at least two others were part of the Global Response Staff, a CIA element, based at the CIA annex and were protecting CIA operators who were part of a mission to track and repurchase arms in Benghazi that had proliferated in the wake of Muammar Qaddafi's fall. Part of their mission was to find the more than 20,000 missing MANPADS, or shoulder-held missiles capable of bringing down a commercial aircraft. According to a source on the ground at the time of the attack, the team inside the CIA annex had captured three Libyan attackers and was forced to hand them over to the Libyans. U.S. officials do not know what happened to those three attackers and whether they were released by the Libyan forces. . . .

Every single aspect of the Benghazi debacle stinks of scandal and failure. Each new revelation just compounds this travesty. The truth needs to be made known and people held accountable. I have no illusions that this will happen before Nov. 6, but this is one that should not and cannot be swept under the rug.

Update: The CIA has responded with a carefully worded statement, not denying that requests for more assistance were made during the firefight, but only that "[n]o one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need." As Bill Kristol, writing at the Weekly Standard, describes this statement, CIA Chief Gen. Petraeus just threw Obama under the bus. As Kristol explains the implications:

So who in the government did tell “anybody” not to help those in need? Someone decided not to send in military assets to help those Agency operators. Would the secretary of defense make such a decision on his own? No.

It would have been a presidential decision. There was presumably a rationale for such a decision. What was it? When and why—and based on whose counsel obtained in what meetings or conversations—did President Obama decide against sending in military assets to help the Americans in need?

It would seem that all roads in this scandal lead to the Oval Office.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Worst Ad Ever? Offer Up Your Virginity To Obama

This is both offensive and wholly aimed at a subclass of truly low information voters:

Honestly, this one makes my skin crawl. Some added commentary from Instapundit on the target market for the ad:

Nine out of ten vapid liberal-arts majors who are going to spend the next ten years working at Starbucks to pay back their degree in Womyn’s Studies agree.


Oct. .25 & The Battles On St. Crispin's Day - Agincourt, The Charge Of The Light Brigade, & Leyete Gulf

October 25 is the ancient feast day for the martyred Saints, Crispin and Crispinian. It is also the day on which was fought three of the most memorable battles of history - the Battle of Agincourt, the Charge of the Light Brigade during the Battle of Balaklava, and the largest naval battle in history, the Battle of Leyte Gulf. It is a memorable and bloody day in all of its particulars.

Saints Crispin & Crispinian

The feast of Saints Crispin and his twin brother Crispinian falls this day. They were the sons of a Roman noble family born in third century France. They preached Christianity during the day and did leatherworking by night. They came to the attention of the Roman Governor of Gaul, Rictus Varus, who had them tortured and then beheaded for their religious beliefs in 286 A.D. Crispin and Crispinian are the patron Saints of cobblers and leather workers.

The Battle of Agincourt - 25 Oct. 1415

. . . [G]entlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

Shakespeare, Henry V, Act IV, Scene 3

This was the most famous battle of the Hundred Years War fought between England and France. The English army was in dire straits. They had little food, dysentery ran rampant through the army, and they had just completed a two week march of 260 miles. On the eve of battle, Henry V was able to field 5,000 archers and just 1,000 dismounted knights and infantry. The French army was in much better shape and at least twice as large, with some estimates putting it at six times as large. It consisted mostly of armoured knights and infantry, with a cavalry arm of 1,200 mounted knights. Inexplicably, the French commander did not deploy his own archers and crossbow troops.

The two armies formed up at opposite ends of recently ploughed farmland thick with mud and flanked on both sides with dense woods. Henry took the initiative, marching his soldiers to within 300 yards of the French - that being the range of his archers armed with the famed longbow. The troops did the medieval equivalent of digging in, with the longbowmen placing pointed stakes in front of their position to stop any cavalry charge. Once complete, Henry ordered his archers to open fire.

The French cavalry charged directly into the longbow volleys. Decimated, they only succeeded in churning up the mud directly in front of the French front line before the survivors retreated in disarray. The French commander then deployed his armored infantry and dismounted knights, with thousands marching across the open terrain in knee deep mud and under withering attack from the English longbowmen. Those that reached the English line were exhausted. The longbowmen dropped their bows and took up axes and mallets to stem the advance. A second advance ordered by the French commander fared no better. It was a slaughter.

At the end of three hours of fighting, upwards of 10,000 French lay dead on the field, while English losses barely topped 100. Henry V would return to England to be hailed a conquering hero, and indeed, his win at Agincourt would be made famous by Shakespeare in the play Henry V.

The Charge Of The Light Brigade - 25 Oct. 1854

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!
"Charge for the guns!" he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, The Charge of the Light Brigade

The Crimean War of 1853 - 1856 pitted Britain, France and the Ottomans against Russia for control of territories of the declining Ottoman Empire. It was during that war, in the Battle of Balaclava, that the charge of the Light Brigade took place. It was an error, it was suicidal, it surprisingly succeeded but was not then exploited, and it soon became the stuff of legend.

You can read the entire account of the Battle of Balaclava here. The charge of the Light Brigade took place across a mile of open terrain at the end of which were a mass of Russian cannon and riflemen nearly ten times the number of the Light Brigade. The order to charge was the ambiguous and, later, found to have been misconstrued. Seeing the charge as suicidal, the Commander of the Light Brigade, the Earl of Cardigan, nonetheless formed up ranks and led his cavalry into "the valley of death," his soldiers unflinching. He was supposed to be supported by the "Heavy Brigade" commanded by the 3rd Earl of Lucan.

Into the face of withering fire, the Light Brigade made its charge, suffering horrendous casualties. Amazingly, enough of the Brigade made it to the objective that the Russians retreated. But the Heavy Brigade, which was supposed to follow on and that could have exploited this amazing victory, never marched down the valley. This allowed the Russians to regroup and counter attack against the Light Brigade, decimating the survivors and regaining their initial positions. In the end, the Light Brigade lost over half its soldiers, either killed, wounded or captured. Their attack was well publicized at home, and was the subject of Tennyson's famous poem, The Charge Of The Light Brigade, celebrating the courage of the soldiers who made the charge.

The Battle of Leyte Gulf - 25 Oct. 1944

This was the largest naval engagement in history, and was the true beginning of the end for Japan in WWII. This from Wiki:

It was fought in waters near the Philippine islands of Leyte and Samar from 23–26 October 1944, between combined US and Australian forces and the Imperial Japanese Navy. On 20 October, United States troops invaded the island of Leyte as part of a strategy aimed at isolating Japan from the countries it had occupied in Southeast Asia, and in particular depriving its forces and industry of vital oil supplies. The Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) mobilized nearly all of its remaining major naval vessels in an attempt to defeat the Allied invasion, but was repulsed by the US Navy's 3rd and 7th Fleets. The [Japanese Navy] failed to achieve its objective, suffered very heavy losses, and never afterwards sailed to battle in comparable force. The majority of its surviving heavy ships, deprived of fuel, remained in their bases for the rest of the Pacific War.

The Battle of Leyte Gulf consisted of four separate engagements between the opposing forces: the Battle of the Sibuyan Sea, the Battle of Surigao Strait, the Battle of Cape EngaƱo and the Battle off Samar, as well as other actions.

The Battle of Leyte Gulf is also notable as the first battle in which Japanese aircraft carried out organized kamikaze attacks. Also worth noting is the fact that Japan at this battle had fewer aircraft than the Allied Forces had sea vessels, a clear demonstration of the difference in power of the two sides at this point of the war.

Happy St. Crispin's Day.


The Heart Of The Benghazi Scandal - Did Obama Know Or Approve Of The Decision To Deny More Security

Who denied the requests for more security in Benghazi and why? Those were the questions directly posed to Obama at the Town Hall Debate, and those were the two questions he did everything but answer. And now today:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ordered additional security for the U.S. mission in Benghazi ahead of the terrorist attack but the orders were never carried out, according to “legal counsel” to Clinton who spoke to best-selling author Ed Klein. Those same sources also say former President Bill Clinton has been “urging” his wife to release official State Department documents that prove she called for additional security at the compound in Libya, which would almost certainly result in President Obama.

Appearing on The Blaze TV’s “Wilkow!” on Wednesday night, Klein told host Andrew Wilkow that Bill and Hillary Clinton have been having “big fights” for “two or three weeks” about the issue, according to his two sources on Clinton’s legal counsel. While Bill Clinton wishes his wife would “exonerate” herself by releasing the documents that show she wasn’t at fault for the tragic security failure in Libya, the secretary of state refuses to do so because she doesn’t want to be viewed as a traitor to the Democratic party.

Why should we believe this might be true? I have enough experience in the military and with providing security with weapons loaded to know that the people administratively charged with making decisions on security would not possibly have denied the requests absent a policy decision made at a much higher level. And indeed, I cannot see any career employee in the chain of command denying a request for more security in Benghazi, given the availability of assets and all that was known about the deteriorating situation. In other words, I would bet my last dollar that the decision to deny more security was made pursuant to a policy decision in the political chain of command - and that means Clinton and / or Obama. And if there is any truth to the story above, then that person was Obama.

Bottom line, this has huge implications for how we should be evaluating Obama's stewardship. The decision to deny additional security in light of the increasing risks and prior attacks was not merely reckless, it was criminally reckless. And if such a decision was made pursuant to a policy approved by Obama, it shows a foreign policy based on pure fantasy and fairy dust. That proved fatal to Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans. It could prove equally disastrous for our nation. Both Clinton and Obama need to be asked on the record again, who denied the requests for more security in Benghazi and why?

Update: Some fascinating analysis from Bookworm Room on the reliability of Edward Klein and the genesis of this huge leak:

How reliable is Edward Klein? I don’t know. I don’t believe anyone challenged the facts in his book The Amateur, even if they disagreed with their import. One thing that was immediately clear from reading The Amateur was that Klein got a lot of his information from Hillary Clinton’s camp. . . .

. . . Here’s what I think happened:

Events played out exactly as Hillary’s leakers claim. Hillary was silent about the White House’s culpability when it still looked as if Obama could win, because she needed to be on Obama’s good side in the event he won the election. Now that Obama has the stale smell of failure about him, two things have happened. First, Hillary doesn’t believe that Obama’s coat tails will be very useful. And second, the Democrats are launching a preemptive strike against Bill Clinton, claiming that it was his bad advice that led to Obama’s disastrous campaign decisions.

As Bookworm goes on to note, this has the air of revenge by Bill. Do read her whole post.


Clint Eastwood - The Crossroads Ad

From American Crossroads, this is a superb ad that will be playing in seven swing states over the next two weeks.


Voting, Economic Literacy & The Sowell Solution

As regards a recent BBC world poll showing massive support for Obama across the pond, I wrote that my suspicion is that such people lack any understanding of basic economics - which happens to be how I view the vast majority of Democrats.

If nothing else, the past four years have been an utter repudiation of Keynsian economic theory embraced by the left. Moreover, few if any Democratic policies make sense on a much more micro-economic scale. For example, one of the worst economic threats to our nation comes from public sector unions. They are a plague on the public treasury and deeply distorting of our politics. And yet, the voters in Ohio, the majority of whom are getting the shaft from public sector unions, were recently convinced to vote in favor of the unions. How economically illiterate do you have to be to support public sector unions?

My suspicion that one has to be economically illiterate to vote Democrat was recently given some objective foundation. This from Legal Insurrection:

A new study commissioned by Independent Women’s Voice reveals that it may be not surface-level stats that can predict voter behavior, but who they are. Their study found that voters’ exposure to facts about the economy can dramatically influence their political preferences.

The research, which was conducted in Colorado, first tested voters’ awareness of several basic economic facts. Then, after an education campaign exposed them to information about the economy over a 10-day period, they tested again. The results are fascinating. First, voters who identified facts presented to them as true were more likely to support Romney; those who identified the facts as false were more likely to support Obama. While it could be that many of these voters view economic questions as solely the area of one political party already, it is clear that awareness of these facts correlates with support for one candidate.

Further, the information campaign conducted by IWV appears both to have been able to successfully educate voters on economic facts, but also to change preferences for candidates following the path established in their research. . . .

So not only is my theory tentatively vindicated, but there is also a cure - economic literacy. So if you happen to run into a working person who is also an Obama supporter - do them and our nation a favor. Buy them Thomas Sowell's economic masterwork - Basic Economics. It explains the panorama of economics with multiple examples and in simple terms even your average economically illiterate lefty can understand. It explains and repudiates virtually every left wing economic policy plaguing our nation today.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Beginning & End Of Our History

From Barking Moonbat:

Over five thousand years ago, Moses said to the children of Israel , “Pick up your shovels, mount your asses and camels, and I will lead you to the Promised Land.”

Nearly 75 years ago, (when Welfare was introduced) Roosevelt said, “Lay down your shovels, sit on your asses, and light up a Camel, this is the Promised Land.”

Today, Congress has stolen your shovel, taxed your asses, raised the price of Camels and mortgaged the Promised Land!

I was so depressed last night thinking about Health Care Plans, the economy, the wars, lost jobs, savings, Social Security, retirement funds, etc .... I called a Suicide Hotline.

I had to press 1 for English.

I was connected to a call center in Pakistan..I told them I was suicidal.

They got excited and asked if I could drive a truck......

Folks, we’re screwed.