Saturday, February 28, 2015


I wrote about President Obama’s March 19 statement on the Persian new year in “Our Supreme Leader is a Supreme Fool.” In the statement Obama asserted: “Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons, and President Rouhani has said that Iran would never develop a nuclear weapon.”
Obama’s assertion follows closely on Secretary of State Kerry’s assertion to the same effect. I quoted Kerry’s citation of the fatwa in “Of fatuity and fatwas.”
The fatwa, however, doesn’t exist. It has never been seen. As Andrew McCarthy explains, the fatwa is a patent hoax. Andy writes (emphasis in original): “The invaluable Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) has done extensive research into compilations of Khamenei’s published fatwas…No such fatwa has ever been published.” Andy links to MEMRI’s two 2013 posts in search of the fatwa in the omitted sentence.
In a post at the Weekly Standard, Tom Joscelyn now simply asks of these gentlemen to whom the protection of our national security has been entrusted: “Produce the fatwa.” This is a perfectly reasonable request.
We heard the incessant yammering of the left about President Bush’s scrupulously accurate “16 words” in the 2003 State of the Union Address. The deal the Obama administration is about to produce with the Islamic Republic is enormously consequential. Obama and Kerry would have us believe that the fatwa they cite carries some significant weight in their case, otherwise why the repeated references to it? Yet it doesn’t exist.
The existence of the fatwa has been in issue ever since it was cited by President Obama in his 2013 United Nations address. As Joscelyn notes, Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler went looking for the fatwa in 2013 and couldn’t find it. No surprise there. It doesn’t exist.
Joscelyn also adds these points, which I submit for your consideration in the spirit of Rod Serling inviting you to take a 30-minute trip to The Twilight Zone:
The Iranians are well aware of the controversy over Khamenei’s supposed declaration. They have countered by pointing to Khamenei’s public statements, in which he has said that Iran considers “the use of such weapons as haram (religiously forbidden).” In 2013, USA Today’s Oren Dorell reported that Iran’s press office at the United Nations cited one of Khamenei’s speeches in 2006 as evidence that the fatwa was real. With respect to building nuclear weapons, Khamenei said, “any benefit would not be worth the cost.”
The Iranians were, therefore, trying to substitute Khamenei’s public rhetoric for a formal, binding religious edict. (The very nature of such edicts, and whether they are binding or not, is itself in dispute.) Importantly, the Iranians’ argument at the time was an implicit concession that no such edict, or fatwa, actually exists. If it did, then they could easily produce it. They still haven’t.
There is another basic logical problem with the Iranians’ argument. Khamenei says all sorts of things, many of which we know are false – blatantly so. For example, he has repeatedly claimed that the Obama administration supports the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
And Khamenei has clearly lied about Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons….
Obama’s and Kerry’s citation of the fatwa at this late date raises a difficult question: what is going on here? Even the formidable Mr. Joscelyn doesn’t take a stab at this question.
I want to offer a set of possible answers that shade into each other, something like this: a) Obama and Kerry have been misinformed and don’t know any better, b) Obama and Kerry know better but are willing to say anything in a bad cause, c) to put it slightly differently, Obama and Kerry are doing advance work for the extraordinarily unpopular deal with Iran that they are about to deliver as a fait accompli, d) as Andy McCarthy postulates, Obama and Kerry cite the phantom fatwa as a rationale for making an unacceptable deal (“We needn’t worry about the inability to verify that the Iranians are not constructing nukes because the Islamic ruler has solemnly forbidden it”), and/or e) Obama and Kerry are willing tools of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The case of the phantom fatwa persists. Its nonexistence cannot reasonably be in doubt. Obama’s and Kerry’s continued citation of it suggests either that they are fools, or that they know better and think we are.


Yeah, I know, a headline about liberal hypocrisy is not exactly a man-bites-dog story, but I understand some starlet at the Oscars last night (I didn’t watch, for about the 30th year in a row) bleated about inequality in wages between men and women. I wonder if she’s had a look at womens’ wages in Obama’s White House, or in Hillary Clinton’s Senate office.
Mark Perry has done the work that the media won’t, and it isn’t pretty for the SJW types who can’t shut up about the wage gap. Here’s the chart Mark has made for Hillary’s Senate staff:
Perry 1 copy
Mark adds:
Hillary Clinton can’t have it both ways, either: a) there are gender pay differences throughout the entire economy and in any organization including her Senate staff, which can be explained by factors other than gender discrimination including age, years of continuous work experience, level of education, number of hours worked, marital status, number of children, workplace environment and workplace safety, industry differences, etc., or b) any gender pay gap in aggregate, unadjusted salaries automatically exposes gender discrimination – including Sen. Clinton’s staff – and Clinton then needs to explain why she was “waging a war on her female Senate staffers” by paying them 28% less on average than men (and 3.5 times greater than the 9.2% average gender pay gap for Washington, D.C.).
Hullary Tweet copy
But wait—there’s more! Guess what the pay gap between men and women working in Obama’s White House? Here:
Perry 2 copyMark can’t resist piling on, and why not:
So while the president brags in presidential proclamations about fighting for equal pay and gender equality, he might want to investigate and address his own glass ceiling for federal female employees working on his staff at the White house. Paraphrasing the president’s own words from his 2014 State of the Union speech, “You know, today, women make up about half our White House workforce, but they still make only 86.7 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment.”
Unfortunately, because of the glass ceiling at the White House, women working on Obama’s staff must work much longer than their male colleagues to earn the same amount of pay. The typical female White House staffer who earned $65,650 last year will have to work about two additional months into 2015 to earn the same income that the typical man earned working at the White House last year ($75,750). In the tradition of the National Committee on Pay Equity which identifies and recognizes “Equal Pay Day” every year (and which has been endorsed annually by President Obama with presidential proclamations every year since he was elected) I hereby proclaim that White House Equal Pay Day will take place this year next week on Friday, February 27, 2014. That date symbolizes how far into the 2015 calendar year a typical female White House staffer will have to continue working – slightly more than 38 days — to earn the same income that her male counterpart earned last year. By recognizing White House Equal Pay Day, we can bring attention to the glass ceiling at the White House and highlight the injustice of the gender wage gap at the White House.
Heh.  Someone should josh Earnest with a question about this, and watch him change the subject.

Kerry’s Attempted Netanyahu Nuke Eviscerates Obama National Security Team

Posted By Jamie Weinstein 

Secretary of State John Kerry sought to discredit Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s view on what needs to be done to stop Iranian nuclear proliferation Wednesday — but in so doing, he set a standard that actually discredits the top national security officials in the Obama administration, himself included.
Appearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Kerry suggested that Netanyahu’s support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq invalidated his current position on what needs to be done to stop Iran’s nuclear program.
“The prime minister was profoundly forward-leaning and outspoken about the importance of invading Iraq under George W. Bush,” Kerry said. “We all know what happened with that decision.”
But Kerry, too, supported the 2003 Iraq war.
In 2002, Kerry voted to give President George W. Bush the authority to invade Iraq. He also defended that vote during his 2004 presidential campaign. (READ: The Iraq Silencers)
“I would have preferred if we had given diplomacy a greater opportunity, but I think it was the right decision to disarm Saddam Hussein, and when the president made the decision, I supported him, and I support the fact that we did disarm him,” he said during a 2003 Democratic primary debate.
Vice President Joe Biden, another key member of President Obama’s national security team, voted to give Bush the authority to use force against Iraq in 2002 when he was in the Senate as well.
Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice expressed support for military action to remove Saddam Hussein from power in the lead up to the Iraq war.
“I think the United States government has been clear since the first Bush administration about the threat that Iraq and Saddam Hussein poses,” she said in an interview with National Public Radio in November 2002. “The United States policy has been regime change for many, many years, going well back into the Clinton administration. So it’s a question of timing and tactics… We do not necessarily need a further Council resolution before we can enforce this and previous resolutions.”
President Obama famously opposed the 2003 Iraq war, so Kerry’s comment didn’t end up burning his boss. But it did burn the presumptive 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, who also voted when in the Senate to give Bush the authority to use force in Iraq.
No word on whether Kerry plans to resign since he apparently believes his foreign policy advice should not be trusted.
Follow Jamie on Twitter

Article printed from The Daily Caller:
URL to article:

How did that line end up in his speech?

How did that line end up in his speech? 

There may not be too much to add to the commentary of Jonah, Eliana, and others on President Obama’s condescending and offensive remarks on the Crusades and slavery at the National Prayer Breakfast speech last week, but there a few things I haven’t seen folks say. 
After six years, it is so tiring to constantly be lectured to, talked down to, by Barack Obama that at some level, the content doesn’t really matter. It’s the principle of the thing. We elected a commander-in-chief, not a scold-in-chief, but the latter is what the progressive Left, embodied by Obama, sees as its primary role today. They just can’t see the rest of the country, outside the Upper East Side salons and Cambridge and San Francisco dining rooms, as adults. We’re all of us, all 300 million of us, the slightly dim children that need to be lectured to constantly. Sit up, don’t slouch, you’re forgetting your racist past, etc., etc. 
Something I have asked myself: Does he really believe what he says, or is it all just for political effect, to send conservatives into a tizzy, eat up the airwaves, and keep us off-balance? He must have known how ridiculous, how unintelligent, and how offensive his comments were going to sound, correct? There’s a pause after he delivers the Crusades remark, you can see it below, and I just wonder, did he know that this was a stupid thing to say? 
I hope so, I really do. Maybe he was just caught up in the moment, already committed to the lines — that’s politics — but there’s a pause just slightly longer than usual in his delivery. Maybe he was simply waiting for the profundity of his remarks to sink in, but I want to think that in his head, he was saying, “Gosh, this is really dumb.” But, never having been called on the carpet since, oh, probably Columbia, he is so used to saying whatever comes into his head without any criticism or knock-down, that he just did it. 
But that can’t be true, and this is the thing that really depresses me. Even if you haven’t worked in government, the one thing that everyone in Washington, D.C., knows is that no president speaks alone. Every word, every line of every speech goes through multiple, sometimes dozens of hands. From the junior speechwriter, to the head speechwriter, to the assistant to the chief of staff, to the chief of staff, maybe to someone on the National Security Council or the State Department (since this speech talked about foreign issues), there are eyes and eyes and eyes reading the drafts. 
No one said, “Wait, this is just stupid.” Or, “Isn’t this irrelevant to today’s threat?” Or, “Man, we’re going to offend about a billion people with this line.” Or at least, no one powerful enough said it. It’s not just the president, it’s that all those arrogant, bright young things around him, from the nameless wordsmith to 46-year-old chief of staff Denis McDonough, thought it was fine to scold us with centuries-old history by equating 21st-century Islamist barbarians with 11th-century medieval Christians. And when they let that speech go through, they showed the rest of us what, not just the president, but everyone working around him really thinks about Western civilization. And, after six years, I know that I should know this, but it depresses me still. 
Which brings me to my last observation. We all know how weighty, demanding, crushing the role of president is. We know our presidents are just people, more or less like us. But, as an optimistic culture, we expect our presidents to grow in office, to become wiser, more patient, less arrogant, especially when they no longer have to worry about the next election. 
Barack Obama’s speech last week showed that, after six years, he has not grown at all. Most likely, he can’t grow, and won’t in his last two years in office. He has a no more subtle or informed understanding of the world, of history, of the beauty and power of our imperfect Western civilization after leading its greatest country for more than half a decade. 
Even worse, after all the travel, the rallies, the parades, he still has so little understanding of We, the People. He still thinks we need to be reminded of a bloody European past that happened 900 years ago, because that makes us, all of us small-l liberals, humble in the face of Islamist brutality. “There but for the grace of God go we,” he is saying, because he is still filled with every prejudice that Columbia and Harvard and the South Side of Chicago instilled in him. Some may say that’s because he’s not intellectually equipped to grow and transcend, but I can only think it’s because he doesn’t want to, doesn’t need to, because no one ever says, “Enough, this is dumb. And wrong.” 
One of the more pretentious Washington phrases tossed around is “adult supervision.” It’s a way of demeaning and dismissing the arguments of those you disagree with, of saying that they’re simply acting or thinking emotionally. The ones we should listen to, of course, are the “adults,” the right-thinking ones. Not surprisingly, this phrase is usually used by progressives. 
But if there ever was a time to say that the White House, and Barack Obama, lack adult supervision, well, this one is as good as his dozens of other ignorant, condescending insults to the American people. But it’s okay, Mr. President, the truth is, we have changed, even if you have not. — Michael Auslin is a frequent contributor to National Review Online.

Read more at:

Religious Cleansing, Obama-Style

Well, we can put to rest the notion that State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf committed a gaffe when she said that more jobs would keep Islamic militants from their genocidal mission.
Following the Islamic State’s beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya, she said: “We cannot win this war by killing them, we cannot kill our way out of this war. We need … to go after the root causes that lead people to join these groups, whether it’s lack of opportunity for jobs."
She was just giving the company line.
In a Feb. 19 Wall Street Journal column, “Our Plan for Countering Violent Extremism,” Harf’s boss, Secretary of State John Kerry, proclaimed that such killers are, indeed, victims of bad governance. If only we can “target our resources to meet the specific needs of those places” that hatch terrorists, we can end the madness, Mr. Kerry explained.
“Eliminating the terrorists of today with force will not guarantee protection from the terrorists of tomorrow,” he wrote. “We have to transform the environments that give birth to these movements.”
Imagine Winston Churchill speaking like that, even for a moment, as German bombs were falling on London.
“What the Nazi extremists need is a good urban renewal program,” Mr. Churchill, armed with Mr. Kerry’s insights, would have said while chomping a cigar and sketching out a midnight basketball schedule for Hamburg’s unfortunates.
In his article, Mr. Kerry used the terms “extremist,” “violent extremist” or “extremism” 12 times, never linking them to militant Islam. Never mind that the title of a video of the Christians’ beheadings by the Libyan branch of the Islamic State leaves no doubt as to the religious motive: “A Message Signed with Blood to the Nation of the Cross.”
It’s not about religion, you see. It’s about lack of upward mobility.
“The most basic issue is good governance,” Mr. Kerry elaborates. “It may not sound exciting, but it is vital. People who feel that their government will provide for their needs, not just its own, and give them a chance at a better life are far less likely to strap on an AK-47 or a suicide vest, or to aid those who do.”
I guess that means the pony-tailed guy at the Bush-Perot-Clinton debate in 1992 who famously asked how the candidates would “meet our needs” as “symbolically the children of our future president” probably won’t become a terrorist, since Mr. Clinton assured him that the government would be there for him.
Mr. Kerry’s exercise in rhetorical fantasy mirrors the theme of last week’s White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, where President Obama pointedly avoided using the terms “radical Islamists” or “militant Islamists.” To be fair, he didn’t connect any terror dots to militant Amish farmers or radical Episcopalians, either. Instead, he described the perpetrators of massacres, rapes and crucifixions, even of children, as “not religious leaders, they’re terrorists. And we are not at war with Islam. We are at war with people who have perverted Islam.”
A colleague of mine, Jan LaRue, points out in an American Thinker column that if the ongoing massacres and bombings all over the world have nothing to do with Islam, then why are the Guantanamo Bay terrorists given Korans, prayer rugs, special halal meals and other Islamic amenities? Osama bin Laden, who killed 3,000 people in the 9/11 attacks, was given a Muslim burial at sea. Why, if he was not really a Muslim?
Likewise, the president quickly condemned the murders of three Muslims in North Carolina as a religion-caused hate crime before authorities have determined the motive. But he described an Islamist attack on a Jewish market in Paris as the work of those “who randomly shoot a bunch of folks” and said later that acts of violence “have been committed against people of different faiths, by people of different faiths….”
The quotable Ms. Harf again helped out last Wednesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” by describing Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army, the Ugandan terrorist outfit, as a “Christian militant group.” We can’t mention Islam, but we can bemoan “Christian” militants?
Never mind that Kony’s group, which kidnaps children to turn them into killers, is anything but Christian and includes animism in its own weird religious concoction. By contrast, Islamic terrorists consistently cite the Koran as they burn and decapitate prisoners.
The perception problem here is rooted in the liberal, secular mindset, especially in the media, which will not hold the Obama Administration accountable for its kid glove treatment of militant Islam. Unable to comprehend the power of spirituality, the liberal worldview shoves all religions under the same umbrella while fostering its own pseudo religion of materialism. Through that lens, it makes perfect sense to believe that more government programs are the key to helping humanity evolve to a higher level and thereby stopping terrorist attacks.
It’s understandable for the Obama Administration to try to avoid alienating the many Muslim-governed nations with whom we must work to stop the Islamic State, Boko Haram, the Taliban, al-Qaeda and other murderous Islamist groups.
But the president’s insistence that the real problem is a matter of economics shows either how naive he is or how far he is willing to stretch the truth for his own purposes.
At this darkening hour, we need a Winston Churchill, not a new-age Neville Chamberlain.
Obama: 'We are not at war with Islam'
Washington Examiner

Friday, February 27, 2015

Victims of Released Criminal Immigrants to Testify Against Obama Policies

Victims of Released Criminal Immigrants to Testify Against Obama Policies 

 Family members of people who were murdered by illegal immigrants after those immigrants had previously been detained and released pursuant to President Obama’s policies will testify before House lawmakers Wednesday morning. The testimony is intended to illustrate a pattern of the Department of Homeland Security releasing criminal immigrants rather than deporting them, according to a Republican congressman who said that DHS had released 36,000 convicted criminal illegal immigrants since 2013. “Of those 36,000, already now 1,000 of them have already been convicted of new crimes,” says the lawmaker. “These are people who have gone through the court system, even. And yet, rather than them get repatriated, they’re released, and now there are new victims because of the recklessness of the policy.”  With that in mind, a House Oversight and Government Reform panel will hear from Jamiel Shaw, whose son was murdered by a gang member in the country illegally, and Michael Ronnebeck, whose nephew Grant was allegedly murdered by a man who faced deportation but was released by U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement. “We want Grant’s death to be a force for change and reform in the immigration policies of this great nation,” Michael Ronnebeck says in prepared testimony obtained by National Review, after detailing how ICE released the alleged murderer twice: once, after after he pled guilty to a burglary, and a second time when he was waiting for a deportation hearing. “I am asking you, our elected scholars, lawyers, and community leaders, to make these changes; to rise above your political differences, to set aside your personal interests, and to use your resources to make sensible immigration reform a reality in the coming months, so that tragedies like this might not ever occur again,” Ronnebeck says in the prepared remarks. Republicans hope the testimony will help win the public-relations fight over the Department of Homeland Security funding bill, which Senate Democrats have filibustered because it contains language barring the implementation of Obama’s executive orders on immigration.

Read more at:

The President and ‘Violent Extremism’

Regarding Islamic violence — the greatest world evil since Nazism and Communism — the president of the United States, his administration, and the left generally live in a make-believe world, a world of denial. In their world, Islam is today, and has always been, a religion of peace; Muslims are threatened by Islamophobia; Christians are wiped out by “violent extremists;” European cartoonists incite radical Muslims to murder them; fundamentalists of all religions are equally problematic; the hundreds of millions of Muslims who support violent Islamists have nothing to do with Islam, but the Inquisition was conducted by normative Christians; and slavery was defended in the name of Christ, but no mention is made of the far more ubiquitous (and ongoing) slavery in the name of Allah or of the fact that the movement to abolish slavery in the West was due entirely to Christians.
Nothing better reflects those Orwellian beliefs than President Barack Obama’s speech last week at the conclusion of the absurdly named Summit on Countering Violent Extremism.
President Obama: “With the brutal murders in Chapel Hill of three young Muslim Americans, many Muslim Americans are worried and afraid.”
The president made this comment — at the beginning of his address — despite the fact that there is not a shred of evidence that the three young Muslims were killed because they were Muslim. They were murdered by a man angry at them about an ongoing parking place dispute. It was the height of irresponsibility to cite these terrible murders as an example of religious hate.
Obama: “Around the world, and here in the United States, inexcusable acts of violence have been committed against people of different faiths, by people of different faiths — which is, of course, a betrayal of all our faiths. It’s not unique to one group, or to one geography, or one period of time.”
What is he talking about? In America are Christians killing Jews? Jews killing Muslims? Buddhists killing Mormons? Mormons killing Hindus? “Not unique to one group?” Other than Muslims murdering Christians, Jews, Yazidis and other Muslims, who in the world today is murdering in the name of their religion?
Obama: “We are not at war with Islam. We are at war with people who have perverted Islam.”
Normative Islam demands theocracy. Does the president not know that? Does he not know that 91 percent of Iraqis and 89 percent of Palestinians believe that Sharia should be the law of the country? That 29 percent of Egyptians believe that suicide bombings are justified? That the majority of Muslim-majority countries have blasphemy and/or apostasy laws? And if he did, would he say they are all perverting Islam?
Obama: “The terrorists … no more represent Islam than any madman who kills innocents in the name of God represents Christianity or Judaism or Buddhism or Hinduism.”
More make-believe moral equivalence. What Christians, Jews, Buddhists or Hindus are “killing innocents in the name of God?”
And what religion other than Islam has scriptures that exhort its followers to slay unbelievers?
Obama: “No religion is responsible for terrorism; people are responsible for violence and terrorism.”
I wish he would say that about criminal gun-use. “No guns are responsible for violence; people are responsible for violence.”
Obama: “We also need to lift up the voices of those who know the hypocrisy of groups like ISIS firsthand, including former extremists. Their words speak to us today. … ‘This isn’t what we came for, to kill other Muslims.'”
Whoever made this comment obviously thought that he was joining Islamic State in order to murder, rape, burn and behead non-Muslims. And this is a voice the president wants to lift up?
Obama: “If we’re going to prevent people from being susceptible to the false promises of extremism … countries have to truly invest in the education and skills and job training that our extraordinary young people need.”
Spoken like a true leftist: The answer to evil is material, not moral. If only people had more money in their pockets, there would be fewer violent Islamists.
The reason Muslims gravitate toward violence is a broken moral compass, not a lack of education or jobs.
Obama: “The essential ingredient to real and lasting stability and progress is not less democracy; it’s more democracy.”
The Muslim Brotherhood was democratically elected in Egypt. Hamas was democratically elected in Gaza. Democracy is only as good as the values of its voters.
Obama: Here in America, Islam has been woven into the fabric of our country since its founding. … The first Islamic center in New York City was founded in the 1890s.”
Given that America was founded in 1776, doesn’t the second sentence belie the first?
Never before in American history has an American president denied the existence of the greatest evil of his day. That should make everyone — except the Islamist terrorists he won’t name — very uneasy.

This column was originally posted on

Hillary Clinton’s Top Aides Knew from First Minutes that Benghazi Was a Terrorist Attack, E-mails Disclose

Hillary Clinton’s Top Aides Knew from First Minutes that Benghazi Was a Terrorist Attack, E-mails Disclose 
 by ANDREW C. MCCARTHY February 26, 2015 4:13 PM 

From the very first moments of the terrorist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her top aides were advised that the compound was under a terrorist attack. In fact, less than two hours into the attack, they were told that the al-Qaeda affiliate in Libya, Ansar al-Sharia, had claimed responsibility. These revelations and others are disclosed by a trove of e-mails and other documents pried from the State Department by Judicial Watch in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. The FOIA litigation focuses on Mrs. Clinton’s involvement in the government actions before, during, and after the Benghazi attack, in which Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, was murdered by terrorists. Also killed in the attack were State Department information management officer Sean Smith, and two former Navy SEALs, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, who were contract security employees and who had fought heroically, saving numerous American lives. At least ten other Americans were wounded, some quite seriously. At 4:07 p.m., just minutes after the terrorist attack began, Cheryl Mills, Secretary Clinton’s chief-of-staff, and Joseph McManus, Mrs. Clinton’s executive assistant, received an e-mail from the State Department’s operations center (forwarded to her by Maria Sand, a special assistant to Secretary Clinton). It contained a report from the State Department’s regional security officer (RSO), entitled “U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi is Under Attack.” The e-mail explained that approximately 20 armed people had fired shots at the diplomatic mission, that explosions had been heard as well, and that Ambassador Stevens was believed to be in the compound with at least four other State Department officials. About a half-hour later, another e-mail — this one from Scott Bultrowicz, then director of diplomatic security (DSCC) — related: 15 armed individuals were attacking the compound and trying to gain entrance. The Ambassador is present in Benghazi and currently is barricaded within the compound. There are no injuries at this time and it is unknown what the intent of the attackers is. At approximately 1600 [4 p.m.] DSCC received word from Benghazi that individuals had entered the compound. At 1614 [4:14 p.m.] RSO advised the Libyans had set fire to various buildings in the area, possibly the building that houses the Ambassador [REDACTED] is responding and taking fire. At 6:06 p.m., another e-mail that went to top State Department officials explained that the local al-Qaeda affiliate had claimed responsibility for the attack: Ansar al-Sharia Claims Responsibility for Benghazi Attack (SBU):  “(SBU) Embassy Tripoli reports the group claimed responsibility on Facebook and Twitter and call for an attack on Embassy Tripoli” Despite this evidence that her top staffers were informed from the start that a terrorist attack was underway and that an al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group had claimed credit for it, Secretary Clinton issued an official statement claiming the assault may have been in “response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet.” This was a reference to an obscure anti-Islamic video trailer for a film called Innocence of Muslims. Secretary Clinton’s statement took pains to add that “the United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others” — further intimating that the video was the cause of the attack. I have previously recounted that this official Clinton statement was issued shortly after 10 p.m. — minutes after President Obama and Secretary Clinton spoke briefly on the telephone about events in Benghazi, according to Clinton’s congressional testimony. The White House initially denied that Obama had spoken with Clinton or other top cabinet officials that night. The president’s version of events changed after Secretary Clinton’s testimony. As I’ve also previously detailed (see here and here), Gregory Hicks, Ambassador Stevens’ deputy who was in Tripoli at the time of the Benghazi attacks, was the main State Department official in Libya briefing his superiors that night. He testified before Congress that he briefed Secretary Clinton and her top aides at 8 p.m. He further testified that the video was a “non-event” in Benghazi. Hicks added that he was clear in his briefing and other communications with his superiors that the Benghazi operation was a terrorist attack. Indeed, at the time he briefed Clinton, the pressing concern was that Ambassador Stevens might then be being held at a hospital that was under the control of terrorists. An hour later, at 9 p.m., Hicks learned from the Libyan prime minister that Stevens had been killed. At 12:11 a.m., about two hours after the issuance of Secretary Clinton’s statement suggesting that the video had prompted the violence, Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s chief-of-staff, e-mailed State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland to ask, “Can we stop answering emails for the night Toria b/c now the first one is hanging out there.” This appears to be a suggestion that the State Department allow Secretary Clinton’s statement stand alone as the department’s narrative for the media. At the time, the attack was still ongoing and there were still press inquiries about Ambassador Stevens’s whereabouts and well-being.   The revelations in the newly released e-mails were unveiled by Judicial Watch this afternoon at a press conference in Washington. In a press statement, Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton asserted that the e-mails left “no doubt that Hillary Clinton’s closest advisers knew the truth about the Benghazi attack from almost the moment it happened.” Mr. Fitton further opined that “it is inescapable that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton knowingly lied when she planted the false story about ‘inflammatory material being posted on the Internet.’ The contempt for the public’s right to know is evidenced not only in these documents but also in the fact that we had to file a lawsuit in federal court to obtain them.” 

Read more at:

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Black History Biden: Veep calls for 'emancipation' of people's wealth

Black History Biden: Veep calls for 'emancipation' of people's wealth

Vice President Joe Biden used a Black History Month event at his official residence Monday night to decry the rich, both white and black, for stunting economic growth and suggested that “emancipation” is in order.
“A lot of wealthy white and black people aren't bad but they control 1 percent of the economy and this cannot stand,” Biden told about 100 guests, including past civil rights activists and NBC weatherman Al Roker.
“It's not fair because the business experts are saying that concentration of wealth is stunting growth. So let's do something that's worthy of emancipation,” said Biden, according to a press pool report of the event.
Then, explaining the impact of Civil War era emancipation, Biden concluded, “What happened is not only did we move toward freeing black Americans but also the conscience of white Americans.”

The White House has made income inequality an issue for the last two years of President Obama’s second term in office.
Biden detailed advancements for African-Americans, but said the administration’s job isn’t done.
“You know better than other groups that there is so much more to do. We find ourselves where a lot of disparities still exist,” he said according to the pool report.
Biden: “We have a chance right now and in the next two years to make a fundamental change in that equation. We have come from crisis to recovery and we're in a position for a renaissance. We find ourselves in a position. We know that 60 percent of jobs require a college education but middle class and poor folks have been left behind. That's why we're about changing the equation for working families in America and that's why the president is focused on childcare to job training to college help and education to free community colleges. This is the way to change the equation and shame on us if we miss the opportunity.”
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted