Monday 13 May 2013
Photo, above: Concerning Benghazi, Adm Mike Mullen and Thomas Pickering pinned the blame on the Secretary for Diplomatic Security – who was under Patrick Kennedy, who reported directly to Clinton. See: Kissinger, Nixon, and the Destruction of Cambodia. See also: Hour 2, Block C: Larry Johnson, NoQuarter, in re: the president calling Benghazi a "side-show."
JOHN BATCHELOR SHOW
Monday 13 May 2013 / Hour 1, Block A: Thomas Joscelyn, Long War Journal senior editor, and Bill Roggio, Long War Journal and FDD, in re: a three-man al Qaeda cell in Egypt had many intl ties; NY T says addtl embassies may also have been in their crosshairs. Egyptian Interior Min-istry: plan was well-advanced, close to moment of attack. All Western targets (British embassy? French?). There's tension betw al Q & some Islamist regimes, e.g., Tunisia. The IMU is the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, an al Q affiliate, a fellow-traveller; serves in shadow govts, was muscle for al Q; attempted attacks in the West; one of the more radical groups in Asia. IMU suicide bomber committed yesterday's bombing in Quetta, Baluchistan. ISAF has conducted over twenty raids against it this year. Shumukh al Islam is a Web forum: recently, speaking of a follower of Mohammed al Zawahiri (who operates openly in Egypt), who did a suicide attack in Mali. "Innocence of Muslims" video, labelled the Cairo provocation. Cairo, Benghazi, Tunis: all the 9/11 attacks were intended to raise the black banner of al Qaeda.
Egyptian interior minister: Al Qaeda cell plotted suicide attack against Western embassy Egypt's interior minister said that three members of an al Qaeda cell that was plotting to attack a Western embassy have been arrested. The cell received training in Iran and Pakistan and contacted al Qaeda in Algeria. The cell also has ties to the so-called Nasr City Cell.
Monday 13 May 2013 / Hour 1, Block B: Thomas Joscelyn, Long War Journal senior editor, and Bill Roggio, Long War Journal and FDD, in re: the US govt response to the Benghazi attack on 11 Sept 2012. Who attacked – that first alarm, who attacked the residence so confidently? When you look at the players who came together, was coalition of intl jihadists – Egypt, Mahgreb, many with known ties to al Q in Iraq, AQIM, AQAP, etc. Who ordered it? or was it decentralized when the groups decided to do this in a grand council? Probably not; more likely that someone senior in al Q network ordered it. In 2010, bin Laden ordered a Mumbai-style attack in Europe – seven or eight groups played a role in the plot "so many nodes light up" – usu meaning senior organization. The whole game is that the al Q groups are arguing that they represent all Muslims, which is deeply wrong.
Panjwai district chief of police: 'Pakistan has been trying to bring Afghanistan under its control' District Chief of Police Lieutenant Colonel Sultan Mohammad discusses the roots of the insurgency, the Kandahar massacre, poppy eradication, and Panjwai's improvement in security.
Deadly car bomb strikes Libyan city At least nine people, including children, have been killed in a car bombing near a hospital in the Libyan city of Benghazi, a local official says. Why Libya's militias are up in arms 'Threat' to UK embassy in Tripoli
Monday 13 May 2013 / Hour 1, Block C: .Salena Zito, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review; Lara M Brown, Villanova; Mona Charen, NRO, in re: Trifecta! Obama Administration was hit with Benghazi; then the IRS scandal (unethical targetting of nonprofit organizations with Tea Party or Patriot in title; from Cincinnati, then from California and DC); and now: the AP was secretly targetted in a sweep of private informati0n of telephone information in a so-called terrorism investigation, involving John Brennan, at that time the Counterterrorism czar. "It's just my Justice Dept, not me." Jay Carney: "We learned of it as the story broke." Btw, if it was AP – who else was it? A guy at the filljng station said last night, "Between initial attribution of the Benghazi attack to an unrelated video, and the IRS sneaking into private data, I no longer trust my government." Note that this president has enjoyed the best press of any president in living memory – it’s been positively supine. People wonder: is he incompetent, or is he evil?
Pres Obama called Benghazi "a side-show," but called the IRS deeds "outrageous." Said he had no idea. Of course, at Benghazi attacks, he attributed them to a remote video. His accuracy is much in question. The IRS may be the most-feared organ of the US govt, as it has access to our most intimate info; if it's corrupted, that's Watergate stuff, highly inflammatory. Barack Obama is a very skilled politician who connects to the American people. He has great defenses, but right now he's in a situation Nixon faced in 1972: a war in progress, unexplained dead Americans, IRS mess, and now the AP story.
Monday 13 May 2013 / Hour 1, Block D: Lara M Brown, Villanova; Mona Charen, NRO, in re: Pew polls saying many people don’t have any interest in Benghazi, so it’s a side-show for the president's re-election but not when he has to be answering questions. Brennan, McDonough, and ______ told people on the ground in Benghazi to stand down. What was the president doing on the night of 9/11/12 – and how could anyone say there wasn't time to rescue our people since we had no idea how long it'd last? Why was there Secy of State not speaking publicly (sent Susan Rice), and why did they attribute the attack to a spurious video? A litany of failures and outright lies. In the president's mind, he may be looking for a way to explain that "this is just a Republican extremist attack, and the reasonable people will listen to me and my authority. Eventually this'll be old news." That's exactly what Nixon thought. IRS groups targeted: also groups that said they qwant4ed to improve the country, certain religious groups, including Jews.
Monday 13 May 2013 / Hour 2, Block A: . Taegan Goddard, Political Wire; John Avlon, CNN, The Daily Beast, and Newsweek International; David M Drucker, Roll Call GOPpers column, in re: DOJ secretly spied on AP reporters for two months, most likely to stanch leaks inconvenient to the administration Has backfired terribly on them. Oops – "leak" is forever associated with Watergate. TG: Stunning to everyone in Washington. This is the kind of thing that conspiracy theorists love to say the govt is doing and I always say, You’re crazy. Jay Carney immed distanced the WH from the DOJ. Looks as though the WH is unable to de=fend itself and has cast it on IRS shoulders. Terrible press briefing on Friday: "Mistakes were made" – exactly from Nixon era. This amalgam of scandals for Republicans is like handing car keys to a teenaged boy. ProPublica (itself a nonprofit) was given a list of 39 organizations, nine of which have not yet been approved for nonprofit status. A firestorm. Bipartisan, bicameral [rage].
House GOP Investigating IRS Focus on Tea Party Groups House Republicans are seizing on the IRS admission that personnel improperly targeted tea party groups for scrutiny, with Speaker John A. Boehner drawing a connection to abuses of the past. “The admission by the Obama administration that the Internal Revenue Service targeted political opponents echoes some of the most shameful abuses of government power in 20th-century American history,” Boehner said in a statement Friday. Rep. Charles Boustany Jr., is leading the push through his role as chairman of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight. The Louisiana Republican has already sent a letter to acting IRS Commissioner Steve Miller seeking all agency correspondence relating to the exact terms “conservative,” “tea party” and “patriot.” Boustany noted that the Ways and Means panel already has an investigation under way.
Republicans Seize On I.R.S. Scrutiny of Conservatives The Internal Revenue Service’s special scrutiny went beyond keyword hunts for organizations with “Tea Party” or “patriot” in their names, to a more overtly ideological search.
RS Scrutiny Was Deeper Than Thought Investigators have found that the IRS "scrutinized conservative groups for raising political concerns over government spending, debt and taxes or even for advocating making America a better place to live," the Wall Street Journal reports. "The latest details about the IRS handling of applications for tax-exempt status by tea party, patriot and other conservative groups in recent years were provided to congressional investigators by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration."
Monday 13 May 2013 / Hour 2, Block B: Taegan Goddard, Political Wire; John Avlon, CNN, The Daily Beast, and Newsweek International; David M Drucker, Roll Call GOPpers column, in re: DMD: I think the president said "side-show" because he knows this is [the center of the issue] – tells me he's worried. The outrage he expressed over the IRS scandal tells me he's more confident. The public already hates the IRS.
Monday 13 May 2013 / Hour 2, Block C: Larry Johnson, NoQuarter, in re: president called Benghazi a "side-show" – why? To minimize it and hope it'll go away. That won't work. I've been in counterterrorism and intell for 25 years; I've seen how thiw saort of WH response works. Bores Obama was completely disengaged after speaking w Dempsey and Panetta. The situation room not only was monitoring all calls coming is but had records of all traffic, incl station chief providing regular reports, msgs were not confused: "There is an organized attack using mortars and RPGs; Ansar al Sharia is likely source." The decision to alert ultimately falls on the president; he said nothing and was completely disengaged. Why did he not agree to the terrorist response in place at State? Who was at the WH to take the call from Mrs Clinton? What was said at WH that stood down the rapid response? Didn't even do the normal: convene a CSG to consider what option shd be recommended to the Deputies Committee (Deputy State, Deputy Defense). From the outset it was a decision to manage the information flow to prevent it seeming to be a terrorist incident; rather, to keep it as a political incident, including the death of the ambassador. Eventually Mssrs Donalon, McDonough, Brennan, will all be asked: What do you do with the info of the ambassador's being under attack? All agencies – CIA, DIA, Pentagon, State, NSC, plus others – all needed to be convened. All the info was flowing to intell agencies around the world; I was alert to it as it occurred. Why didn’t they call in the cavalry? Send in the Marines! They cd have set lots of forces in moi0otion and decided not to. "Mr President, why did you not act as the Commander-in-Chief that night in the same way that you claimed you did with Osama bin Laden?" The procedure for meting to decide what to do was completely shut down by Patrick Kennedy and Hillary Clinton after a call to the White House Neither has ever answered that question in public; neither did Adm Mullen or Mr Pickering, They pinned the blame on the Secy for Dipl Security – who was under Kennedy, who reports directly to Clinton. See: Kissinger, Nixon, and the Destruction of Cambodia. That's a "side-show."
Benghazi police bombed for second time in three days Two more police stations were attacked in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi in the early hours of Sunday morning, the ...
Monday 13 May 2013 / Hour 2, Block D: Gordon Chang, Forbes.com, in re: Gordon Chang, Forbes.com, in re: China claims Ryukus – which includes Okinawa! Not "six barren outcroppings" – Japanese people live there; this is decidedly Japanese territory. Chinese aggression makes it more difficult for the Japanese to [be mild]. It convinces a=everyone everywhere that the PRC has gone overboard. Wrong move at the wrong time; PRC will regret this. BBC: Mr Liu. If Xi were serious about rooting out corruption, he'd set up an independent prosecutor and a free press. Xi won't do that.
The World's No. 1 Currency Trade . . . for Now Producer price index down for 14 straight months; shows that the Chinese economy is failing.
The World's No. 1 Currency Trade . . . for Now Now that we’ve seen 100, how about 150? That’s what Rebecca Patterson, Bessemer Trust’s chief investment officer, asked on Thursday in a CNBC commentary. So far, the yen has been a one-way bet, falling about a third against the weak greenback since the end of September. On Friday, it hit a four-year low against the American currency, and it is now at a three-year low against the euro. How’d that happen? Shinzo Abe, Japan’s new prime minister, has staked his career on ending two decades of recession and . . . [more]
Monday 13 May 2013 / Hour 3, Block A: Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re: Trifecta of scandals – IRS, Benghazi, and AP. US and Brits headed to a conference with Russia on Syria. Seems to be another case where there are no answers, the situation spirals ever more out of control, Syrian (Assad) troops now capturing key locations. To speak of talks between Asad and he rebels right now is not realisitic; can’t even get all the rebels to speak among themselves. Russians? no incentive to get in to the talks. Also, Netanyahu wants to speak w Putin and Lavrov: sale of S300s – Russia will go ahead w the sale, very troubling, a genuine game-changer. Serious move; and Assad says he'll give everything to Hezbollah; Assad recruiting 50-60K new recruits for Assad, many from Hezbollah.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin the week of May 13, Putin's spokesman said, Ynet reported May 11. The visit is intended to allow Israel and Russia to coordinate their positions on Syria and Hezbollah and to discuss the implementation of a Russian arms deal with Syria that the Russians have postponed.
Rafsanjani, age 78, two-term former president, a front for the forces of the Supreme Leader and one of the riches men in Iran (a symbol of extreme corruption); ordered terrorist attacks widely, under indictment for the Argentine mass-murder.
Ahmadinejad's top aide will also seek candidacy. Also three other candidates, incl Velayati, lifelong friend of Valerie Jarrett, Pres Obama's closest intl advisor. He's also wanted for the murder of Jews. Also Jalili, the nuclear negotiator who mocked and lied to IAEA. Supreme Leader winds up choosing who may or may not run, Ahmadinejad faces 74 lashes for accompanying a candidate the other day, but the constitution forbids the president from doing any campaigning for anyone.
Monday 13 May 2013 / Hour 3, Block B: . Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re: Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re: Thirteen years ago, Mohammed al-Durrah, a five-year-old Palestinian child being filmed seemed to be shot by Israelis, taken to hospital, and have perished. Scores of schools named after him, even the Toulouse murderer cited this case. After many years, French courts clarified that only parts of the film had been shown, that people who were shot later got up and walked away. The child's name is emblazoned all over despite the fact that the whole story is demonstrably bogus.
US says that Iran may not chair a UN council, the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, since it's under intl sanctions; the UN disagrees. US withdraws, hope others do, too. Important military exercise: 42 countries gather in Bahrain for massive minesweeping exercise till the end of May Whole spectrum of defensive ops.
Syria has denied responsibility for two car bombings on Saturday in the Turkish border town of Reyhanli that killed an estimated 46 people and injured 100 others. Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi said his country "did not commit and would never commit such an act because our values would not allow that." Turkish police have arrested nine Turkish citizens suspected of having a connection with the attacks. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the people responsible for the bombings were from an "old Marxist terrorist organization" with ties to the Syrian regime. He said the attacks were a breach of Turkey's "red line" and called on the "international community to display a common stance against the regime, immediately and without delay." Concerns over the spread of the Syrian conflict continue to increase, and anger has heightened in the predominantly Sunni town that is housing tens of thousands of Syrian refugees. Meanwhile, the rebel Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade reportedly released four Filipino U.N. peacekeepers who had been posted in the Golan Heights and were abducted last Tuesday. The brigade said the soldiers were held "for their own safety." The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has released a new estimate for the death toll in the Syrian conflict, saying that 82,257 have been killed since fighting began in March 2011. In February, U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay said the death toll was approaching 70,000.
Monday 13 May 2013 / Hour 3, Block C: .Jim McTague, Barron's Washington, in re: Jim IRS scandal. Obama Pledges Action on IRS Obama said that if any IRS staff targeted groups based on their political leanings, they would be held "fully accountable" for their actions, as both Republican and Democratic lawmakers expressed anger over the revelations.
Monday 13 May 2013 / Hour 3, Block D: Fouad Ajami, Hoover, Syria and red lines: In Syria's War, The Lines That Matter Aren't Red Washington Post.
Monday 13 May 2013 / Hour 4, Block A: John Bolton, AEI, in re: Iran now understands that Israel has no intention of being left more vulnerable anywhere, whatever emerges from Syria's chaos. We can only hope that Obama now realizes the importance of presidential steadfastness and credibility. Even though he almost certainly will not order a pre-emptive strike against Iran's nuclear program, Obama might now understand that he should get out of Israel's way, stop pressuring it not to attack, and allow it to act in self-defense. John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
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Monday 13 May 2013 / Hour 4, Block B: Arif Rafiq, Middle East Institute, in re:
Top news: With initial returns indicating Nawaz Sharif secured a resounding majority in parliamentary elections Saturday, the former prime minister, who was ousted in a coup in 1999, has begun discussions to form a government, even as allegations of widespread voting fraud abound. Current estimates indicate that Sharif's party, Pakistan Muslim League, has won at least 125 seats, short of a majority but sufficient to guarantee victory. His two main opponents, the Pakistan People's Party and former cricketer Imran Khan's Movement for Justice Party, have secured about 30 seats each. To win a majority takes 137 seats. Sharif's strong showing at the polls may hand him a government in a much stronger position than the outgoing PPP, whose weak coalition government frequently flirted with collapse.
Monday 13 May 2013 / Hour 4, Block C: Amy Chozick, NYT, in re: Bloomberg Admits Terminal Snooping Reporters at Bloomberg News were told to use the terminals to get an edge in the competitive world of financial journalism, more than half a dozen former employees said.
Monday 13 May 2013 / Hour 4, Block D: David Sanger, NYT, in re: Cyberattacks on the Rise Against U.S. Corporations Officials said that the attackers’ aim appeared to be espionage, but sabotage, and that the source seemed to be from the Middle East
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Hour 1: Burn After Reading; Brake
Hour 2: Expendables; Babylon AD
Hour 3: Babylon AD; Darkspore
Hour 4: Expendables; Babylon AD
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