Clinton calls for change in law she says blocked discipline of employees over Libya
Published January 25, 2013
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton confirmed this week that several employees who were "removed" from their positions in the wake of the Libya terror attack are still being paid and have not actually left her department.
But she also gave a surprising answer when asked why: Her hands are tied, she said.
Amid complaints from lawmakers that no government official has really been held accountable for missteps in the run-up to the attack, Clinton claimed current federal regulations limit what disciplinary actions can be taken.
The sticking point appears to be what constitutes a "breach of duty," which is the threshold for action. Whether it turns out the secretary has more leeway, lawmakers expressed a keen interest Thursday in changing the law.
"I'm sure that Congress will work on this important issue so that those held responsible for ignoring repeated requests for more security will not continue to enjoy their paid vacations, which is what administrative leave with salary is," Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., former chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement to FoxNews.com.
Ros-Lehtinen said her understanding is that department lawyers determined the review board "did not cite the correct causes that would have allowed such disciplinary action."
The congresswoman pointedly questioned Clinton on Wednesday during a House hearing about the four employees who were supposedly punished after a long-awaited report on the Sept. 11 attack was released late last year. She accused the department of doing "nothing to correct the record" when media reported at the time that department officials were being held accountable.
"There's just been a shuffling of the deck chairs," Ros-Lehtinen said.
Clinton confirmed that, while four individuals were "removed from their jobs," three of those employees who were placed on administrative leave are still on leave and being paid.
12/18/12 6:04 PM EST
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) announced the removal of Sen. Dianne Feinstein's indefinite detention amendment Tuesday afternoon as he described the results of a House-Senate conference on the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act.
"The language of the Senate bill was dropped," Levin told reporters, according to POLITICO Pro's Juana Summers. He said that provision and language the House proposed was replaced with language that indicates that last year's NDAA shouldn't be interpreted to preclude Habeas Corpus suits by persons detained in the U.S.
Levin declined to comment on the reasons for or the import of the decision. "Basically, I won't interpret that any further," he added.
Levin and some other senators had argued that the amendment Feinstein put forward to require explicit Congressional authorization for any detention of Americans on U.S. soil would have no real effect because courts had interpreted Congress's 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force as granting authority for detention. However, notwithstanding Levin's position, the AUMF does not explicitly grant that authority.
Feinstein's amendment passed, 67-29, late last month. The California Democrat said it would keep Americans from being held under the laws of war, unless they were captured overseas.
“I was saddened and disappointed that we could not take a step forward to ensure at the very least American citizens and legal residents could not be held in detention without charge or trial. To me that was a no-brainer," Feinstein said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.
of both the Senate and House versions of the NDAA before Feinstein's amendment was added to the legislation. Obama's aides objected to a variety of items in the bill, including weapons programs the administration did not request and language limiting transfers of prisoners from Guantanamo.
12/22/12 10:24 AM EST
The Senate Intelligence Committee agreed Friday to drop several controversial anti-leak measures in an effort to clear the way for passage of the 2013 Intelligence Authorization Act.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) voted against the measure in the Intelligence Committee earlier this year and placed a hold on floor action on the bill because of concerns that the anti-leak sections had not been adequately considered and could disrupt the flow of information to the public.
"I objected to these provisions because in my view they would [have] harmed First Amendment rights have led to less-informed public debate about national security issues, and also undermined the due process rights of intelligence agency employees, without actually enhancing national security," Wyden said Friday in .
The anti-leak legislation would have banned background or off-the-record briefings of the media except for those conducted by the most senior officials in an agency, required reporting of all media contacts to agencies and the Congress, and allowed the government to strip the pensions of those found to have breached their obligations to protect classified information, even when the breach did not result in a criminal conviction.
"In order to secure passage of the Intelligence Committee's fourth authorization bill in four years, members of the committee have agreed to remove provisions regarding the unauthorized disclosure of intelligence information (i.e., leaks)," Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said in a statement. "Since the committee considered legislation in this area late this spring, Director of National Intelligence [James] Clapper has initiated a number of steps to improve detection and investigation of leaks that dovetail with our provisions. I intend to continue to work with Director Clapper and consider legislation in the future to prevent the disclosure of sensitive intelligence sources and methods and other classified information.”
While the anti-leak measures had the support of nearly everyone on the Senate committee and the corresponding House panel, senior intelligence officials in the Obama administration had expressed some concerns about the measures' effectiveness. And some senators not on the intelligence panel were concerned about the proposals, which never had a public hearing.
Iran test-fires missiles near Strait of Hormuz
Posted: Dec 31, 2012 3:31 AM PSTUpdated: Dec 31, 2012 3:31 AM PST
By Associated Press
TEHRAN, Iran -
navy says it has test-fired a range of weapons during ongoing maneuvers near
the Strait of Hormuz, the passageway for one-fifth of the world's oil supply.
The Monday report by the official IRNA news agency quotes exercise spokesman Adm. Amir Rastgari as saying the Iranian-made air defense system Raad, or Thunder, was among the weapons tested.
Iran says the system fires missiles with a range of 50 kilometers (30 miles), capable of hitting targets at 22,000 meters (75,000 feet).
He said torpedoes and underwater and surface-to-surface rockets were also successfully tested.
The drill began Friday and ends Wednesday. It's one of a number of exercises Iran holds annually.
Iran has in the past said it might close the strait over Western sanctions, but has not made such threats recently.
Senate committee report on Benghazi terrorist attack faults State Department
Published December 31, 2012
A scathing Senate committee report on the Benghazi terrorist attack faults the State Department for failing to adequately respond to mounting security threats in the lead-up to the assault. The report says the facility was woefully under-protected at a time when the region, according to a top department official, was "flashing red" -- yet security was not improved, and nobody recommended the compound be shut down.
The report, produced by the Senate homeland security committee and obtained by Fox News, follows the release of a State Department-commissioned review earlier in the month. Both are highly critical of the department.
"It is so clear that (the Benghazi compound) is dangerous and what happened was due to extremely poor security," Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., said Monday.
The Senate report noted the "large amount of evidence" in the months preceding the attack that Benghazi was "increasingly dangerous and unstable," with an attack on Americans becoming "much more likely."
"While this intelligence was effectively shared within the Intelligence Community (IC) and with key officials at the Department of State, it did not lead to a commensurate increase in security at Benghazi nor to a decision to close the American mission there, either of which would have been more than justified by the intelligence presented," the report said.
The report said it was "widely understood" that the Libyan government could not adequately protect U.S. personnel, yet the State Department did not move to fill the "security gap." The Senate committee said "no security standards" applied to the Benghazi post -- there were "few meaningful physical barriers," according to the report.
Despite the increasing threat in the region and the apparent vulnerability of the compound, the Senate committee said it appears nobody recommended closing the facility or even temporarily shutting it down. "That was a grievous mistake," Lieberman said.
The investigation turned up details that show "a shocking irresponsibility to protect American diplomatic personnel in Benghazi," Lieberman added.
The report also cites past internal State Department reports recommending security measures dating back years that were not widely implemented.
How Obama’s Policies Led to Benghazigate
It took some 22 hours for American help to arrive in Benghazi after all the t’s had been crossed and the i’s had been dotted, and the body of America’s ambassador to Libya had been dragged through the streets by “rescuers” stopping along the way to pose for cell phone pictures with his corpse.
By way of comparison it takes about 16 hours for a boatload of Libyan illegal immigrants to row to the Italian island of Lampedusa. Support for the Americans under fire in Libya would have arrived sooner if a few former members of the Harvard Rowing Team had gotten in one of the many rowboats beached on the shores of Lampedusa and pushed the oars all the way to Benghazi.
It says something about the current state of asymmetrical warfare that not only can Al Qaeda throw together a coordinated string of attacks on American embassies around the region without anyone being the wiser for it, but boatloads of migrants from Libya can reach Europe faster on muscle power than American forces can reach a mission under attack while equipped with jet power.
Obama Inc. blamed the second set of September 11 attacks on a movie, which was giving Al Qaeda credit for not only orchestrating worldwide attacks on American embassies and consulates, but doing it in a matter of days based on nothing more than a YouTube trailer. That would make Al Qaeda one of the more impressive organizations around, but the administration found it easier to give Al Qaeda credit that the terrorist group didn’t deserve rather than accept the blame that it did deserve.
When madmen in America shoot up schools or movie theaters, Obama blames the weapons they used and calls for gun control. When madmen in the Middle East shoot up American consulates and embassies, he blames movies and calls for film control.
Obama assured the nation that the “folks” responsible would be brought to justice. After three weeks of trying to get through Libyan immigration and dealing with concerns about conducting a criminal investigation in a war zone, the FBI finally made it to Benghazi, strolled around the compound for a few hours, took some pictures and then went home without interviewing any persons of interest.
Blackwater Wins the Battle of Benghazi
· Posted by Laura J Alcorn National Director on December 23, 2012 at 1:01am
Blackwater Wins the Battle of Benghazi
A diplomatic security agent, right, ushers U.S. diplomats from a helicopter in Afghanistan, 2011.Photo: Department of State
U.S. embassy security in the post-Benghazi era is shaping up to be a financial bonanza for security contractors. It’s not necessarily going to look like the ‘roided-out era in which the firm formerly known as Blackwater and its ilk paraded diplomats through dangerous thoroughfares with specialty rifles in tow. But any company that can provide the State Department with either armed guards, surveillance tools or hardened facilities would be smart to practice its elevator pitch.
The scope of the bonanza isn’t yet clear, especially concerning how much of a likely cash infusion at the State Department will go to private security contractors. And the rebranded company Academi doesn’t do nearly the amount of business with State that it did under its old Blackwater incarnation, and so we’re just using its old moniker as a placeholder here. But both the influential independent commission on the September attacks in Beng... and a Senate hearing on Thursday pointed to flooding the State Department’s security corps with money. And one of the key post-Benghazi decisions the next secretary of state will make is whether to continue spending that cash on hired guards or to bolster the ranks of State Department employees that protect diplomats themselves.
The Benghazi commission, run by former Amb. Thomas Pickering and retired Adm. Mike Mullen, recommended spending an additional $2.2 billion over the next decade on “construction of new facilities in high risk, high threat areas.” It also urged using emergency war funding to finance “respond[ing] to emerging security threats and vulnerabilities and operational requirements” in dangerous postings. Ironically, even while the commission blasted the Bureau of Diplomatic Security for inadequately protecting the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, its recommendations will line the bureau’s coffers.
At the State Department, Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton asked Congress to reroute $1.3 billion in unspent Iraq reconstruction cash for enhancing embassy security. According to congressional sources who’ve seen the request, that cash takes a variety of forms: hiring 150 more Diplomatic Security agents for the State Department; funding an additional deployment of 225 Marines comprising 35 teams; and approximately $700 million to bolster the exterior defenses of its diplomatic buildings. A letter Clinton sent to her legislative oversight committees urged legislators give her “authority to streamline mandatory processes for faster results.” The Sex Pistols called it Cash From Chaos; the diplomatic corps prefers more bureaucratic language.
Those calls for added cash were blessed by a key legislative panel, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, at a Friday hearing. Senators of both parties repeated the mantra “resources matter” and decried recent cuts in the State Department’s operations budget, a perspective cheered by Clinton deputies Thomas Nides and William Burns. “Just to build a wall at an embassy could potentially take months to go through a contracting process,” Nides lamented.
Spain has begun
deportation proceedings against Imran Firasat, a Christian refugee from
Pakistan, for making a documentary about Mohammed and thereby threatening the
national security of Spain. If Firasat is deported back to Pakistan, he will
face the death penalty proving that it's a short step from the Spanish
Inquisition to the Pakistani Inquisition.
The United States has a man sitting in prison for making another blasphemous movie, which the government spent weeks blaming for worldwide attacks on American embassies. And he isn't the first man persecuted or prosecuted for offending Islam. Offending Islam has become a national security issue involving all levels of government.
When Bubba the Love Sponge, a Tampa DJ, proposed to burn a Koran, the commander of the Afghanistan war contacted his girlfriend, who would later be stalked by Petraeus' girlfriend, to contact the Mayor of Tampa to keep Bubba from burning a Koran. Instead of explaining how the American system works to the Lebanese temptress and her four-star general, the mayor wrote back that the city was working on it.
That month 50 percent more Americans were killed in Afghanistan in the long slow death march of the war, but a Koran was not burned in Tampa. Mission accomplished.
Muslims did not have to kill a great number of Americans to enforce blasphemy law in this country. Counting the various reactions to burnt Korans, rumors of a flushed Koran and assorted things of that nature, the number is still well below a hundred. Even counting every casualty in the war from September 11 onward, it took fewer deaths to make the United States give up on the Bill of Rights than it took to liberate it in the War of Independence.
But it's not really about the deaths, if it were then the United States wouldn't be senselessly squandering the lives of American soldiers in Afghanistan to avoid offending the natives. It's not the death of men that our leaders are worried about, but the death of stability.
Knowing that a hundred men will die today in car accidents does not alarm anyone, but knowing that somewhere a dozen men might die in a bomb explosion, anywhere and at any time, can bring a nations to its knees. That is the difference between predictable and unpredictable death. Predictable death makes it possible for most everyone to go about doing what they normally do. Unpredictable death however erodes daily order.
Blasphemy makes terrorism seem predictable. It delivers that false sense of control that is at the root of Stockholm Syndrome, the seductive illusion that the thug can be reasoned with and that we can restore control over our perilous environment by accepting responsibility for the enemy's violence. If we meet a set of conditions then we will have peace. And what kind of lunatic wouldn't want peace? The kind who needs to be deported or locked up in the name of peace.
Even Democrat Pollster Pat Caddell is outraged by the Benghazi cover up!
Losing Our Sons Movie please watch!
Former USSR Paper Calls President Obama A ‘Communist Without Question’
Pravda, a once powerful USSR newspaper has come out of the woodwork to call President Obama a “Communist without question.” Given the papers understanding of the Communist regime its statement has rung true with far right wing conservatives who are constantly looking for any chance to attack the POTUS.
The President Obama communist comment was part of an article titled “Obama’s Soviet Mistake” in which the newspaper offers a biting critique of the President’s policies.
In the article author Xavier Lerma says Obama’s “cult of personality” has served to mesmerize the ignorant in America. The author says “fools” are following Obama just as they had Lenin and Stalin in Russia. Lerma writes:
“Obama’s fools and Stalin’s fools share the same drink of illusion.”
In a laughable twist the author tries to turn around the situation by claiming that Vladimir Putin has been sounding more like a “Ronald Reagan” type figure then the very conservatives serving America today.
In comparing Putin to Obama the writer offers these recent statements from Putin:
“…we are reducing taxes on production, investing money in the economy. We are optimizing state expenses.
The second possible mistake would be excessive interference into the economic life of the country and the absolute faith into the all-mightiness of the state.
There are no grounds to suggest that by putting the responsibility over to the state, one can achieve better results.”
Pravda use to be the central voice for the communist party in the USSR, what might be most amazing is that this largely irrelevant newspaper is still managing to create a communist stir.
Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/413779/former-ussr-paper-calls-president-obama-a-communist-without-question/#FDRJCwLOsfLKDq6w.99
Clinton leaves country to avoid questions about Benghazi, say critics
Clinton is once again involved in a scandal created by a man, say critics.
Upon telling the news media that the buck stops with her when it comes to who was in charge of security ahead of a deadly assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday flew to Peru to lecture on a subject close to her heart -- women's empowerment.
More than one source told the Law Enforcement Examiner that they are suspicious of this so-called admission coming the day before a highly-anticipated debate between President Barack Obama and his GOP opponent Mitt Romney.
"To me this was a politically-motivated 'hit-and-run' or 'drive-by' admission that presents no consequences to either the globe-trotting Clinton or the TelePrompTer-less Obama," said former police commander Ernie Collastrona.
In addition, Clinton said that the administration's evolving
story about what exactly happened at the consulate was attributable to
"the confusion you get in any type of combat situation." "The
only problem with that excuse is that no one in the White House was in a combat
situation. In fact, Obama jumped on Air Force One and flew to a campaign event
in Las Vegas," said Collastrona.
There are more than a few political insiders who believe the motive for her trip is to a avoidspecific questions regarding the controversy surrounding last month's deadly terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
"For some reason, while the Republicans are attacking President Barack Obama and members of his administration -- and rightly so -- over the Benghazi incident and the suspected cover-up, they are not even mentioning Hillary Clinton. Has Bill Clinton's 'Teflon' transferred over to his wife? Or do some Republicans really believe Hillary isn't as bad as Barack?" asked Mike Baker, a political strategist.
Baker believes that Secretary Clinton is up to her neck in this BenghaziGate scandal and that the recent congressional hearings provide evidence of her being as responsible as Obama and his "court jester Joe Biden."
"While Obama and Biden may be prone to lying or deceiving, Hillary made being disingenuous an art form," said former police commander and political advisor Kenneth Dugan. "Remember thewhoppers she has uttered such as her being named after the guy who climbed Mount Everest? Turned out she was born three years before her mountain climbing namesake scaled Everest."
"Notice that [Hillary] Clinton said she takes responsibility but doesn't say she should be held accountable. In other words, 'Opps, I made a mistake. Sorry.' Then it's case-closed in time for the November election," Duggan added.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee probe last week into the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, is revealing an inept, uninformed and dishonest Obama administration and an equally inept and dishonest Clinton State Department.
Prior to the deadly terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Ambassador Chris Stevens' request for additional security officials was turned down by the political appointees in the State Department in order to project a friendly atmosphere to the distrusting Islamic population, a State Department security official in Washington, D.C., told a Congressional panel Wednesday.
"In the immediate aftermath of the attack, and then for several days, administration officials contended that the attack on the consulate was a spontaneous reaction to a crude anti-Islamic movie trailer posted to YouTube. The New York Times, Reuters, and Fox News have in the last few days published stories, based on what these news organizations said were reliable sources, that “within hours” of the attack, U.S. intelligence agencies submitted dozens of reports to high officials suggesting that an al Qaeda-affiliated Libyan militia was behind the attack," according toHomeland Security Newswire.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee leaders had previously sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asking why requests for more protection were denied to the U.S. mission in Libya by Washington officials prior to the violent and deadly terrorist attack that killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.
The denials came after repeated attacks and security threats to U.S. personnel, according to Congressmen Darrell Issa (R-CA), the committee chairman, and Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) the subcommittee chairman.
"While the written requests were unemotional and respectful, verbal requests were pleas from American foreign service personnel who were terrified of their surroundings and their vulnerability in a turbulent environment," said the Law Enforcement Examiner source.
"So far, the investigation of this dreadful security failure proves that the Obama administration possesses a far too limited understanding of radical Islamists and terrorism," he added.
“Based on information provided to the Committee by individuals with direct knowledge of events in Libya, the attack that claimed the ambassador’s life was the latest in a long line of attacks on Western diplomats and officials in Libya in the months leading up to September 11, 2012. It was clearly never, as Administration officials insisted, the result of a popular protest,” said Issa and Chaffetz.
“In addition, multiple U.S. federal government officials have confirmed to the [Oversight] Committee that, prior to the attack, the U.S. mission in Libya made repeated requests for increased security in Benghazi. The mission in Libya, however, was denied these resources by officials in Washington,” the congressmen alleged.
The letter to Secretary Clinton outlined 13 security threats during the six months prior to the attack that claimed the lives of Stevens, two Navy SEALs and a consulate staff member.
For example, on June 6, 2012, in BENGHAZI, under cover of darkness, assailants placed an IED on the north gate of Consulate Benghazi, blowing a hole in the security perimeter that was described by one individual as, “big enough for forty men to go through.”
Also in Benghazi, on June 10, a two-car convoy carrying the British Ambassador to Libya from a conference on reforming Libyan military law was attacked in broad daylight by a militant with an RPG. This attack was an important escalation in the violence against Western targets in Benghazi, as prior attacks had been at night and were often preceded by warnings from the attackers.
“Put together, these events indicated a clear pattern of security threats that could only be reasonably interpreted to justify increased security for U.S. personnel and facilities in Benghazi,” chairmen Issa said.
Several Republican lawmakers expressed their frustration with the obvious slow response to the attack, with some claiming that Secretary Hillary Clinton and her State Department are waiting until after the presidential election to conclude the investigation and announce its results. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) and Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), on Wednesday renewed their demand for documents relating to the attack after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declined to hand over the cables they initially requested.
Rep. Peter King (R-NY) believes Obama had political reasons for avoiding calling the Benghazi attack terrorism. “What I believe is that President [Obama] is so fixated on convincing the American people that he has defeated al-Qaeda and that al-Qaeda is no longer a real threat by saying this was a terrorist attack, or by acknowledging a terrorist attack would be looked upon as a defeat for his policies against al-Qaeda,” King says.
"King is 1,000% right! This was another snafu by an incompetent and politicized White House and State Department. The reason for the slow reaction by the Obama administration is the news media's belief in the myth that Hillary Clinton is a political giant, instead of the incompetent Democratic Party hack she truly is. Did the media forget that Hillary lies at the drop of a hat and her only experience in military affairs is her being married to a draft-dodger," said former military intelligence officer and New York police detective Michael Snopes.
Congressman Gave Binder of Muslims to Obama?
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Critics have tried to make something out of nothing regarding Mitt Romney's "binder" statement regarding women. Somehow, the fact that the Governor of Massachusetts sought out women to hire at the highest levels of state government is embarrassing because of the physical object which he says housed their résumés.
Some pundits on the left have claimed the "binder" comment reflects a condescending or patronizing view towards women. But how might they react to a reported binder of Muslim Americans that was handed to the Obama White House in an effort to secure jobs within the admin?
According to blog site Boker tov, Boulder!, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) passed on a collection of 45 Muslim potential hires to President Obama. The effort to match these 45 individuals with jobs inside the administration was moving slowly and quietly until White House officials recently sped the process up.
Said J. Saleh Williams, program director for the Congressional Muslim Staffers Association: "It was mostly under the radar. We thought it would put the president in a precarious position. We didn't know how closely he wanted to appear to be working with the Muslim American community."
It would seem, then, that sometimes it takes a binder to help minorities break that glass ceiling -- a lesson the President was bound to learn eventually.
Just three months after the raid by Navy SEAL Team VI that killed Osama bin Laden, those same SEALs were in the news yet again--but for an entirely different reason.
On August 6, 2011, while on their way to assist an ongoing mission in Wardak Province, Afghanistan, the CH-47D Chinook helicopter that they were riding in was shot down by an RPG fired by a Taliban fire team approaching their landing zone in Tangi Valley. All 38 American and Afghan service members who were aboard perished, including 17 Navy SEALS, 5 Navy Special Operations support personnel, 3 Air Force Special Tactics Airmen and the five-man Chinook crew, marking the largest loss of life in America’s 11 years of military operations in Afghanistan. Twenty of the twenty-two SEALs and SEAL support were from SEAL Team VI (DEVGRU).
The parents of one of the SEALs killed in the Chinook attack, Special Operations Chief Aaron Vaughn, are raising questions about how the Obama administration has pushed the limits of the military’s Special Operations Forces as part of its war policy (e.g. the Feb. 20th Newsweek story, “Obama’s Secret Army”), and how constrictive “rules of engagement” intended to win the “hearts and minds” of the Afghan people directly contributed to the deaths of all those aboard the helicopter.
Karen and Billy Vaughn are now trying to raise awareness of some of the problems that they believe continue to cause American service members to be killed in Afghanistan. And to support their case they have a copy of the redacted, now declassified CENTCOM report on the incident that they say raises more questions than it answers.
The report, made available to Breitbart News, was prepared by Brigadier General Jeffrey Colt and presented to CENTCOM Commander Marine General James Mattis.
“We were given a copy of the report, but it was months before we even looked at it,” says Karen Vaughn. “But as Billy and I started to read it and talk to others inside the community we found that many of the problems that contributed to Aaron’s death were widespread. That’s when we decided we had to speak out.”
One of the main concerns for the Vaughns is the operational tempo for special operations forces in Afghanistan. The CENTCOM report itself notes that in August 2009 the number of monthly objectives was 54. But in August 2011 – the month that the helicopter, "Extortion 17," was shot down – that number had grown to 334 objectives, more than a 600 percent increase in just two years.
Another outstanding issue is that Afghan military and police forces are involved in planning every special operations mission, creating a possible problem with operational security.
“We’re seeing the number of these green-on-blue attacks by Afghan troops rising, but these are some of the same people we’re trusting with the details of our most sensitive missions,” Billy Vaughn told me.
Lara Logan at 2012 BGA annual luncheon: ‘Our way of life is under attack’
60 Minutes and CBS News CorrespondentLara Logan recently spoke at the Better Government Association's (BGA) 2012 Annual Luncheon. She shared her thoughts into the U.S. anti-terrorism efforts in Afghanistan. She also did a story on the issue on CBS’ investigative show, 60 Minutes on September 30, 2012.
Three days ago, the BGA posted her full speech on-line which isn't being covered by some of the mainstream media.
Here is some of what she said in her speech.
Logan said, “The Viet Cong didn’t care what you did when you went back to America. The Viet Cong didn’t fight for an Islamic caliphate. The Viet Cong didn’t fight a global struggle. It’s amazing to me that we constantly ignore – what all of these groups tell us every day in their own, in their own statements.”
“They share something. They share an idea. Al Qaeda is not an organization. You don’t have to have a card, a membership card or badge, this is terrorism – it is a completely and utterly different fight from anything we have faced in our history.”
“Our way of life is under attack and if you think that’s government propaganda, if you think that’s nonsense, if you think that’s warmongering, you’re not listening to what the people who are fighting you say about this fight.”
“In your arrogance, you think you write the script, but you don’t. There’s two sides and we don’t dictate the terms. In fact after eleven years of war in Afghanistan, we’re rushing for the exits as fast as we can, not only do we not dictate the terms, but we have less power to dictate anything on the world stage.”
Logan also said, “Ambassador Ryan Crocker said, “We’ve killed all the slow and stupid ones. The ones that are left are more committed and they didn’t become any kinder or gentler in the last eleven years. Another thing he said. “We think we’ve won the campaign and they haven’t even begun to fight.”
“If you fail to identify the ideological component to this fight, if you fail to identify what your enemy is really fighting for, if you lie about who they really are, I don’t see how you can possibly have the right strategy.”
“There’s a narrative coming out of Washington, much of it driven by Pakistani lobbying money and by Taliban apologists. One of my favorite things to read about is how the Taliban today is so unlike the Taliban of 2001, they’re a more moderate, gentler kinder Taliban who just can’t wait to see women in the workplace occupying an equal role in society and great economic prosperity for all of Afghanistan and they don’t really want to take us back 3,000 years into that terrible place I witnessed.”
“And when I look at what’s happening in Libya, this big song and dance, whether this was a terrorist attack or a protest, and you just want to scream for god’s sake, are you kidding me, the last time we were attacked like this was the USS Cole which was a prelude to the 1998 embassy bombings which was a prelude to 9/11. And you’re sending FBI to investigate. I hope to God you’re sending in your best clandestine warriors who will go in to exact revenge and let the world know that the United States will not be attacked on its own soil, that its ambassadors will not be murdered and that the United States will not do nothing about it.”
“If you don’t hold your leaders accountable, there is no democracy,” said Logan.
Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) Leon Panetta was the key player who organized and supported this daring raid. He signed the "Execute Orders" with only a few people aware: Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Secretary of Defense William Gates, Admiral Bill Mullen and General David Petraeus. The White House was closed out of the decision because the President through Valarie Jarrett had turned down two or three other earlier proposals. The Deputy of Central Intelligence (DCI) and his covert planning team were extremely frustrated at all the denials, so saw the opportunity slipping away as implausible as it seems. Leon Panetta was driven to ensure a successful mission after the US lost seven (7) CIA officers on January 4, 2010 in Afghanistan from the action of a Jordanian double agent. Panetta convinced his other principals to make the decision that was actually within his authority. He received their full-fledged support but the President according to the official remained clueless on the mission why he appeared so calm at the White House Correspondents Dinner the night before and why he was on the golf course when the helicopters crossed over Pakistani borders enroute to Abbottabad.
Leon Panetta is the leader who, in fact, made it happen and the intelligence community (IC) professionals. Today, the IC professionals hold Panetta in very high regard now as do the military in the Pentagon. History will treat him very well once the full story is release and exposed as to the true events.
This very serious and sensitive information was relayed by a source who has been very frustrated with the continued dishonesty within the White House in trying to be blame the intelligence community for the Libyan debacle in which Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other brave and dedicated Americans were murdered by an Al Qaeda affiliate. It is reported that frustration is at a boiling point within the agencies (particularly State/DOD and CIA) with the actions and cover-ups of the President and his administration hierarchy.
Paul E. Vallely, Major General (USA/Ret.) is an author, military strategist and Chairman of Stand Up America and Save Our Democracy Projects.
Read more: Family Security Matters http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/detail/obama-did-not-make-the-decision-on-bin-laden-more-lies-and-cover-up#ixzz29MkNYj61
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Vice President Joseph Biden speaks only for himself and President Barack Obama, and neither man was aware that U.S. officials in Libya had asked the State Department for more security before the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, a top White House official told The Cable.
Biden has come under fire for saying at Thursday night's debate, "We weren't told they wanted more security. We did not know they wanted more security there."
The Cable asked Deputy National Security Advisor for Communications Ben Rhodes whether Biden was speaking for the entire Obama administration, including the State Department, which acknowledged receiving multiple requests for more Libya security in the months before the attacks. Rhodes said that Biden speaks only for himself and the president and neither of them knew about the requests at the time.
The State Department security officials who testified before House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa's panel Wednesday never said they had made their requests to the president, Rhodes pointed out. That would be natural because the State Department is responsible for diplomatic security, not the White House, he said. Rhodes also pointed out that the officials were requesting more security in Tripoli, not Benghazi.
"All of us at post were in sync that we wanted these resources," the top regional security officer in Libya over the summer, Eric Nordstrom, testified. "In those conversations, I was specifically told [by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Charlene Lamb] ‘You cannot request an SST [Site Security Team] extension.' I determined I was told that because there would be too much political cost. We went ahead and requested it anyway."
Nordstrom was so critical of the State Department's reluctance to respond to his calls for more security that he said, "For me, the Taliban is on the inside of the building."
"We felt great frustration that those requests were ignored or just never met," testified Lt. Col. Andrew Wood, a Utah National Guardsman who was leading a security team in Libya until August.
Issa released the unclassified cables containing those requests.
At Thursday night's debate, Rep. Paul Ryan seemed to suggest that the requests were for Marines to go to Libya, which was not the case. The requests were to extend the tours of a Mobile Security Detachments [MSD] and the Site Security Team [SST] at the U.S. embassy in Tripoli, which are teams of military personnel, not Marines, who can help protect an embassy and its personnel.
"What we should not be doing is rejecting claims for calls for more security in our barracks, in our Marine -- we need Marines in Benghazi when the commander on the ground says we need more forces for security," Ryan said. "There were requests for extra security. Those requests were not honored."
In his prepared testimony, Nordstrom said that "because of Libyan political sensitivities, armed private security companies were not allowed to operate in Libya." Instead, the Benghazi mission, through a British company, hired unarmed Libyan guards to work inside the compound and a local Libyan militia patrolled the exterior of the compound.
Ryan also erred when he criticized the State Department for assigning Marines to protect the ambassador in France but not Amb. Chris Stevens, who died in Benghazi on Sept. 11.
"Our ambassador in Paris has a marine detachment guarding him, shouldn't we have a Marine detachment guarding our ambassador in Benghazi?," Ryan said.
According to the U.S. Embassy Paris website, there is a Marine Security Guard Detachment in the embassy, but they are there primarily to protect classified information and are not part of the ambassador's personal security detail.