04/24/15

Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi Report, One Year Later

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

April 22nd marked the one-year anniversary of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi’s (CCB) 2014 Interim Report illuminating key details about the ongoing Benghazi scandal.

The CCB’s interim report found last year that:

  • The war in Libya was not only unnecessary, but the administration quashed possible truce talks between itself and Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi at a crucial juncture.
  • The United States switched sides in the War on Terror, facilitating the provision of weapons to al Qaeda-linked rebels during the Libyan civil war.

These two actions fostered the climate for the preventable September 11, 2012 terror attacks. Yet many in the media seem uninterested in exploring the reasons why the United States intervened in Libya in the first place, or the role that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, now running for president, played in pushing the United States to intervene there.

President Obama’s decision to aid al-Qaeda-linked rebels and switch sides in the War on Terror in Libya also reveals his core foreign policy strategy—that America’s enemies should not be considered adversaries, but as allies or strategic partners, regardless of the foreign leaders’ totalitarian ideology, whether or not these countries oppress their citizens, and whether or not future governments will facilitate Islamic terror.

“The failure to attempt to rescue these Americans amounts to a dereliction of duty,” stated the report. Three Annex Security Team members later confirmed that they were told by the CIA to stand down three times.

The findings of our report ring even more true today as more and more evidence has been found of a government cover-up on Benghazi. As I recently wrote, Obama administration leaders’ early knowledge that these were terror attacks indicates that our government deliberately misled the public during an election season. These leaders, including President Obama and Secretary Clinton, then blamed terror attacks against Americans on an Internet video about the life of Muhammad.

The question is not who is responsible, but rather when will the ringleaders be held accountable?

The CCB had also been calling for a Select Committee on Benghazi, long before our Interim Report was issued last April 22nd. When the Select Committee on Benghazi was finally established on May 8, 2014, with Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) as chairman, it was a move widely applauded by the CCB and others determined to see the truth come out and people held accountable. However, there have only been three public hearings to date. But Gowdy recently told me that they have conducted more than 20 transcribed interviews in private since January, including with key people never before interviewed by any previous congressional investigatory committee. So the investigation continues behind closed doors. The Committee has requested a private interview with Mrs. Clinton by May 1st.

“I expect the negotiations to be ongoing,” said Gowdy, according to The Washington Times. “I think she’ll come twice. …I hope she will.” But according to a letter sent on April 22nd from Mrs. Clinton’s attorney, David Kendall, she is willing to address the committee in public, but not in private. Perhaps that has something to do with the rules limiting the amount of time each Member can question her in a public hearing.

As we move deeper into the presidential political season, the stakes and the stagecraft become more complicated. But truth and accountability remain the ultimate purpose of these investigations.

While Newsmax indicates that the Select Committee’s investigative findings will likely be issued in 2016, what America already knows about this scandal makes it clear that the ensuing government cover-up serves as a Rosetta stone for widespread abuse-of-power and dishonesty by the Obama administration.

As it did last year before this issue made the media spotlight, the CCB will continue its fight to uncover the truth about Benghazi. We have filed a number of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and sued the administration to obtain access to documents which will aid the push for administration accountability.

The liberal media have and will likely continue to label Benghazi as a “phony scandal,” despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. But the CCB will continue to provide the public with additional revelations, despite the fact that a complicit media and the Obama administration would prefer they never come to light.

02/27/15

More Smoking Guns Confirm Benghazi Cover-up

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

We have repeatedly exposed how the mainstream media consistently ignore the “phony scandal” of the multiple terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya in 2012, and the unnecessary deaths of four brave Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Indeed, the mainstream media shy away from covering this scandal or, alternatively, dismiss efforts to expose the ongoing government cover-up as an attack on Hillary Clinton’s presidential chances.

But the media should be furious because they—alongside of the American public—were sold a lie by the Obama administration. And the media became one of the tools through which that lie was disseminated. The latest disclosures have come to light thanks to the ongoing efforts of Judicial Watch.

Document after released document shows that the Secretary of State, the Defense Secretary, the head of AFRICOM, and the President of the United States himself, were informed, shortly after the attack began, that Benghazi was an attack by terrorists. Yet most of the media, such as New York Times reporter David Kirkpatrick, defensively maintain the official narrative years later that the attack “was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.”

“The Regional Security Officer reports the diplomatic mission is under attack. Tripoli reports approximately 20 armed people fired shots; explosions have been heard as well,” states an email forwarded to Cheryl Mills, Secretary Clinton’s chief of staff at the time, as well as Clinton’s deputy chief-of-staff for policy and her executive assistant. It is dated September 11, 2012 at 4:07 p.m. EST—about a half hour after the attack in Benghazi began. The argument that senior State Department personnel did not inform their direct superior, Mrs. Clinton, of the facts surrounding the unfolding situation strains credulity.

“State Department emails released through a lawsuit by Judicial Watch show that then-Secretary Hillary Clinton knew as the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi was under way that it was being carried out by terrorists,” reports Jerome Corsi for WorldNetDaily. Yet, “Clinton blamed the attack on ‘rage and violence over an awful Internet video’” just days later when “she spoke at a ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base on Sept. 14, 2014” as the remains of those slain returned to the U.S. She also made similar assertions on September 12, 2012.

Andrew McCarthy, writing for National Review, connected the dots, detailing the anatomy of the attempted cover-up.

While the attacks were still going on, “Secretary Clinton issued an official statement claiming the assault may have been in ‘response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet,’” McCarthy writes. He continues, “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.”

The new emails from Judicial Watch also show that Clinton’s top officials were trying to get third parties to echo false information that they were fully aware was incorrect, according to the group’s President Tom Fitton, who spoke at a press briefing on February 26. And they stopped talking to the press so that statements about the video would receive more coverage.

Mills asked the State Department to stop answering press inquiries after Mrs. Clinton’s statement about “inflammatory material posted on the Internet” was “hanging out there,” writing, “Can we stop answering emails for the night Toria [Victoria Nuland] b/c now the first one is hanging out there.”

Fitton also said that the released emails leave no doubt that Clinton’s closest advisors knew the basic facts about Benghazi immediately, and that Clinton knowingly lied about the YouTube video’s role in Benghazi. He cited the failure of the media to have any curiosity about this issue and condemned Congress for not holding the administration more accountable.

The Select Committee on Benghazi contacted Judicial Watch a day before the press briefing regarding its documents and specialized knowledge about Benghazi, said Fitton. Yet the Select Committee began interviewing State Department officials earlier this month, without these documents.

The cover-up by the administration, including by Mrs. Clinton, has only become more apparent with the release of Judicial Watch’s most recent “smoking gun” emails from the State Department. Will the media continue to look the other way in an attempt to save Mrs. Clinton’s reputation and her White House bid, or will it finally begin to demand real accountability? Unfortunately, I think we already know the answer to that, leaving it up to Rep. Trey Gowdy’s (R-SC) committee, and groups like Judicial Watch, and our Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi.

02/13/15

Warring Factions Threaten Clinton White House Bid

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

Ongoing rivalries and dissension among Clinton loyalists have percolated up through the mainstream media, even The New York Times—whose own investigative reporting may have set off the latest salvo. It seems despite the president-in-waiting status often accorded to Mrs. Clinton, there might not be enough money to go around, evoking harsh internal criticisms.

David Brock, founder of the far-left Media Matters, “is a cancer,” argued John Morgan, a Florida lawyer connected to both President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton, according to recent reporting by Nicholas Confessore and Amy Chozick at the Times. Brock made headlines earlier this week, when in response to their reporting, he sent out a letter that alleged “current and former Priorities officials were behind this specious and malicious attack on the integrity of these critical organizations” and “resigned from the board of the super PAC Priorities USA Action,” according to Politico’s Kenneth Vogel.

Brock is considering a return to Priorities USA, The Washington Post noted shortly thereafter. “People are starting to worry that Priorities could be a weak link,” one strategist told Vogel for his February 10 story about how this super PAC is “struggling in its early efforts to line up cash toward a fundraising goal of as much as $500 million.”

But one wonders whether the criticisms expressed in the media will sabotage Brock’s and other loyalists’ peacemaking. “If you care about your party and our country, you just do what you are asked,” said Morgan, according to Confessore and Chozick. “If you care about yourself, you take your toys and go home.” Morgan is apparently “close” to the co-chair of Priorities USA Action, Jim Messina. Messina served as President Obama’s campaign manager in 2012.

Confessore, a liberal writer/editor transplanted from Washington Monthly to The New York Times, seems to have access to a considerable circle of influential Democrats connected to the Clintons. After all, he sat down with John Podesta in 2003 and 2005. And his August 2013 exposé on mismanagement at the Clinton Foundation, co-authored with Chozick, included interviews with “more than two dozen former and current foundation employees, donors and advisers to the family”—most unwilling to speak on the record.

Like the 2013 piece, Confessore and Chozick report for the Times on February 10 that “most people interviewed for this article declined to speak on the record for fear of angering either the president or the woman who hopes to replace him.” But these persons are willing to speak to the Times about their frustrations.

“The Hillary people were more in it for themselves,” said Jonathan Alter, MSNBC political analyst, when he appeared on the February 10 Ed Schultz show on MSNBC. Alter was referring to the 2008 Democratic primary campaign against Obama. “If we get a repeat of that this time, she won`t have the passion and a genuine commitment that she needs to go the distance.”

“…what this is about is that is that there was a fundraiser who raised millions of dollars for these different groups including David Brock`s, but she was taking a 12.5 percent commission,” Alter said. Democratic strategist Bob Shrum described Mary Pat Bonner’s reported 12.5% commission as “way over the top.”

Confessore and Chozick cast this Democrat infighting differently. They describe the latest meltdown among Clinton movers and shakers as a conflict between two worlds: former Obama staffers who have been imported as strategists for Clinton, and long-time Clinton loyalists. But these writers aren’t the only ones with conflicted interests. The reality appears to be that many in the liberal media, including some reporters at The Washington Post and New York Times, want to tear Hillary and the Clintons down for being too close to Wall Street. But on the other hand, they realize that Mrs. Clinton is the overwhelming favorite to get the Democratic nomination, meaning they will undoubtedly support her when it comes down to her vying against any Republican candidate.

As I’ve reported in the past, The Washington Post—even amidst Mrs. Clinton’s “worst week in Washington” and her tone-deaf comments about being “dead broke” after leaving the White House—still gave her favorable coverage in order to ensure that a Democrat would retain the presidency. “The Post has issued wall-to-wall coverage of this subject, but most of it is about ensuring Hillary’s chances,” I wrote last July.

But when Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) launched her populist offensive in the Senate, hope sprang anew among die-hard liberals and some in the media that Mrs. Clinton, with all her baggage, might not be a shoo-in. The Post’s Paul Kane practically salivated over Sen. Warren’s presidential chances back during the December revolt. Sen. Warren has said she’s not running, but the Post continues to run articles like this: “Democrats suffering from Clinton fatigue say they’re ready for Warren.” Chozick recently described Sen. Warren as “an effective tool in moving Mrs. Clinton off message” whom Republicans favor as a candidate to create dissension within the Democratic primary.

Accuracy in Media has argued in the past that the Times’ David Kirkpatrick piece on Benghazi was a way of inoculating Mrs. Clinton while trying to make the definitive case supporting the Obama administration’s actions and justifications for Benghazi. But that obviously didn’t work, and revelations confirming the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi’s conclusions continue to break, implicating Mrs. Clinton not only for poor security preceding the 2012 Benghazi attacks, but her blind push to intervene in Libya in the first place. When Mrs. Clinton most likely appears before the Select Committee on Benghazi, an even greater spotlight will shine on her role in these attacks.

It looks like Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is very tempted to run against Mrs. Clinton from the left, and former Virginia Senator James Webb might run more or less from her right. The sharks are circling this establishment candidate; will Mrs. Clinton successfully fend them off?

And clearly others at the Times aren’t so interested in inoculating her. But in the meantime, the left is having a catfight, and it may be that some reporters are interested in stirring the pot for dramatic effect—and to cause some angst for Mrs. Clinton from their end.

Confessore’s bio from the Times states that he covers the “intersection of money, power and influence.” A visit to his Twitter page reveals that he, like many liberals, doesn’t like the Citizens United ruling very much.  His twitter feed recently stated, “Thanks to Citizens United, we can now have campaign infighting without the campaign.” He also has tweeted about the Clinton Foundation’s $81 million received from “clients of HSBC’s controversial Swiss bank.”

He also wrote an article with Chozick in July of last year which stated, “Few political families are closer to Wall Street than the ClintonsAnd the Clintons often interact with the titans of finance on the Manhattan charity circuit and during their vacations in the Hamptons.”

Could it be that at least one New York Times staffer doesn’t favor Mrs. Clinton for her entrenched, big-money establishment ties much, either? Or perhaps it’s just that Confessore, Chozick, and the Times itself want to go around poking sleeping tigers before an election to see what they can stir up.

These aren’t Mrs. Clinton’s only problems. She also has what might become known as a “Brian Williams problem,” meaning she “misremembered” coming under sniper fire on a runway in Bosnia, and she repeated the story on more than one occasion, yet there were plenty of eyewitnesses who knew it was a complete fabrication. It cost Williams his esteemed position, and a lot of money. Will Hillary pay a similar price?

Plus, former President Bill Clinton is becoming a problem again based on his being linked in the media to a sex scandal involving a good friend of his who is a convicted pedophile. It’s certainly never dull when the Clintons are involved.

02/6/15

Critical Information on Iranian Threats Presented in Washington

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

Considerable media coverage has been devoted to House Speaker John Boehner’s invitation for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before Congress regarding Iran’s nuclear program and the state of radical Islam movement worldwide. But “Boehner didn’t invite Netanyahu because he cares about Israel’s election,” writes Caroline Glick for the Jerusalem Post. “He invited Netanyahu because he cares about U.S. national security. He believes that by having Netanyahu speak on the issues of Iran’s nuclear program and radical Islam, he will advance America’s national security.”

The outcome of negotiations with Iran could be the ultimate game-changer for the course of history. But, as Glick argues, the Obama administration’s policy is one of enablement—not the prevention of a new nuclear power coming on the scene. Will a nuclear Iran be President Obama’s enduring legacy in the Middle East?  One wonders whether this is how World War III will start. Or should I say, World War IV? Maybe we’re in World War III right now, but just haven’t acknowledged it yet.

To clear up one point that has fueled a great deal of misinformation, Speaker Boehner did inform the White House of the invitation to Netanyahu before the invitation was accepted. The White House remained silent, and then encouraged the narrative that they had been blindsided by the announcement of the plans. The New York Times was forced to acknowledge that fact in a correction.

Iran’s nuclear program may be one of the most important issues of our time. I recently attended an event at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. that tackled the critical national security issue that Iran represents. Two members of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi, Clare Lopez and Retired Admiral James “Ace” Lyons, spoke at this forum as well.

Unfortunately, the mainstream media didn’t think that the “Iran Truth Squad” event on January 28, hosted by the Center for Security Policy (CSP), deserved coverage.

The topics addressed at this gathering included:

  • How should we approach Iran?
  • The state of the current negotiations
  • What to make of Iran’s tactics and intentions
  • Of the threat Iran poses to the U.S. and Israel
  • Of Iran’s historical and religious roots
  • Of the Obama administration’s attitude and response to them

This two-hour conference, put on by Frank Gaffney and his CSP, answered these pressing questions about the current nuclear negotiations with this regime, and also placed them in the context of what is certainly a corrupt, jihadist government, inimical to free speech and free expression supporting terror worldwide. I urge everyone to watch this, but if you can’t, here are summaries of the different experts who spoke there.

Frank Gaffney:

Gaffney opened the conference by pointing to the considerable amount of disinformation and “confusing statements,” if not outright dissembling, that the Obama administration has provided regarding the Iran negotiations. President Obama said in his recent State of the Union, “with respect to Iran, where, for the first time in a decade, we’ve halted the progress of its nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of nuclear material.” However, Center for Security Policy projections were actually cited by The Washington Post as a “fact check” on President Obama’s claims, and Glenn Kessler of the Post awarded the President three Pinocchios for his false statements.

“We think at the very minimum these are the sorts of alternative assessments that are needed for the American people and their elected representatives to have under consideration as they weigh not only these negotiations that are underway…but also with respect to legislation that is expected to be addressed by the Congress on both sides of the aisle …in the days to come,” said Gaffney. He also noted that you wouldn’t know from the characterizations and negotiations between Washington and Iran that this repressive regime considers not just Israelis or Jews impure, but all infidels.

In addition, Gaffney said, we need to remember there are not only the nuclear capabilities that Iran has declared, but their secret capabilities, as well.

Rep. Trent Franks:

“I would suggest to you that Iran’s nuclear pursuits are one of the most critically significant and grave threats to the peace of the world that we have anywhere to discuss,” declared Representative Trent Franks (R-AZ), who is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and Chairman of the House EMP Caucus. The costs in preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons may be high. However, his response is that these costs pale in comparison to the cost of overcoming a nuclear Iranian regime. “To deal with a nuclear capable Iran is an unthinkable scenario,” he said.

Rep. Franks emphasized that Iran poses a real threat to the United States. He said that Iran has actively been researching electromagnetic pulse (EMP) technology and that hardening the United States infrastructure against EMP could serve as a deterrent by reducing an EMP’s efficacy against America. “But let me suggest to you that even missile defense is not as important as hardening our grid when it comes to deterring a potential enemy against attacking our grid with the use of EMP,” he said.

He condemned the current administration’s current negotiation approach toward this repressive regime, saying, “All Iran needs to gain a nuclear weapons capability is time and this administration seems unfortunately either naively or just insanely willing to allow them to have that time…”

Yoram Ettinger:

Ambassador Ettinger, a former Israeli diplomat who served as Minister for Congressional Affairs at Israel’s Embassy in Washington and as Director of Israel’s Government Press Office, emphasized that stopping Iran from developing nuclear weapons is in the United States’ national interest, not just Israel’s interest. After all, Iran’s desire for nukes exists “independent” of Israel and advances a mega-historical goal of this country: domination of the Persian Gulf and stopping America’s power projection in the region.

“All that has absolutely nothing to do with Israel,” said Ettinger. “Iran, obviously, is a lethal threat to Israel, but the motivation of becoming a nuclear power is focused on [a] much, much more important factor, as far as they’re concerned, and that is the USA.”

After all, “Iran annually celebrates November 4 as ‘Death to America Day,’ commemorating the 1979 seizure of the US Embassy, featuring a burning of the American flag,” Ambassador Ettinger writes on his website.

He expressed skepticism that Iran could be contained or tolerated once it gains or develops its nuclear weapons program, because such strategies contradict the country’s track record. Ettinger called for regime change and said that once Iran gets the bomb, “the only question will be how rapid and how wide in scope will American concessions be” worldwide.

Dr. Andrew Bostom:

Dr. Bostom, author of Iran’s Final Solution for Israel, outlined the cultural background of the Shiite revolution that brought the Ayatollahs to power in Iran in the 1970s, and pointed to the Islamic religious components that make Iran’s antisemitism so virulent.

“The recent [Charlie] Hebdo murders in Paris targeting journalists and, even more egregiously without cause, Jews at a Kosher market, represent uniquely Islamic phenomena certainly in the present era,” he said.

He emphasized that the hatred of Jews and non-Muslims, or infidels, is so intense that it becomes dehumanizing because Islam views infidels as physically, as well as spiritually, impure. As such, someone might even be beaten for going out in the rain because their impurity might wash off, and, in other cases, infidels are not allowed to touch products as they are manufactured. The physical and spiritual impurity of the infidel is derived from Islam’s core texts, he said.

Comparing the Green Movement to those currently in power, Bostom said, “We see really no difference in terms of their attitudes about jihadism, and it’s based on the prototype of Mohammed…” One might ask whether regime change would make much difference.

Clare Lopez:

Antony J. Blinken, Deputy Secretary of State, recently admitted during Congressional questioning that the United States was no longer negotiating to stop Iran from a “breakout” capability to nuclear weapons, “but only to get a better alarm” or “signal” ahead of time, according to Clare Lopez, a member of the CCB and former CIA officer. She serves as the Center for Security Policy’s Vice President for Research and Analysis.

Blinken, speaking for the State Department on January 27, outlined how the U.S. continues to provide Iran with “limited” sanctions relief of “about $14 to $15 billion from the start of the [Joint Plan of Action] through this June.”

In addition to sanctions relief, Lopez said that the November 2013 Joint Plan of Action gave Iran just about everything it wanted: the right to enrich, the right to keep uranium, centrifuge research and development, and continued intercontinental ballistic missile development.

On January 30, the Jerusalem Post reported that “According to unnamed officials, Washington ‘has given the Iranians 80 percent of what they want’ out of the negotiations…”

“Let’s look at this satellite photo imagery from a couple weeks ago,” said Lopez during her presentation, pointing to a satellite image of a new ICBM sitting on a launch pad outside of Tehran. “It’s 89 feet tall, it is definitely intercontinental in reach. That means this one, at least…is not aimed at Israel” but much farther away, she said.

IHS Jane’s 360, on February 1, reported to the contrary that “Claims that Iran is preparing to test an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) are based on incorrect analysis of a satellite image showing the new facility at the Khomeini Space Centre in Semnan province.”

Lopez, in response, pointed out that “a simple, small 1-3 kt nuclear weapon used for an EMP attack does not have to weigh much more than 100 kg,” which is the weight that Jane’s 360 reports Iranian media had indicated the Simorgh can carry into orbit. Also, “the nosecones already are visibly configured to carry a nuke,” she remarked.

Lopez also pointed to the recent alleged American intervention in Argentina on behalf of the Iranians. “The United States pressed Argentina to end its investigation of Iranian complicity in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in which nearly 100 people were killed,” reported the World Tribune citing the Middle East Newsline and unnamed diplomats on January 23rd.

We have since learned that “Before his death, Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman had drafted an arrest warrant for the country’s president in connection with an alleged secret deal with Iran to cover up the bombing of a Jewish community center two decades ago, the chief investigator of Nisman’s death said Tuesday.”

Fred Fleitz:

Fleitz, a former CIA analyst, said that he wrote for National Review that Obama’s State of the Union address was “a straight up lie.” In 2008, when President Obama took office, the number of weapons that Iran could make from its enriched uranium or further enriching its uranium stood at zero. Now, the Center for Security Policy estimates it could create eight weapons.

“The number of nuclear weapons Iran could make from its enriched uranium has steadily risen throughout Mr. Obama’s presidency, rising from seven to at least eight over the last year,” he wrote.

“Iran could make a weapon out of its enriched uranium at the reactor grade in 2.2 to 3.5 months right now,” argued Fleitz, basing this on numbers compiled by the Center for Security Policy, where he works as a Senior Fellow. “This administration has no intention of stopping Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons,” he argued. The administration has decided it can live with a nuclear Iran, he said.

The next deadline for nuclear talks is March 24 of this year, with a final deadline set for June 30th. Fleitz would prefer that the talks end altogether, and start over, because a bad deal is worse than no deal.

After all, Iran is already hiding evidence of its nuclear research activities, and not cooperating with International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors, he said.

Admiral James A. “Ace” Lyons (Ret.):

Admiral Lyons, another CCB Member, said that “you don’t negotiate with evil,” and called the Khamenei regime both evil and corrupt. Thousands of Americans have lost their lives at the hands of this country since 1979, he said, and one should not forget the role that Iran played providing material support to the September 11, 2001 hijackers—necessary aid without which this attack could not have happened.

He argued that the only way to stop the Iranian program is to take it out physically. However, since the Obama Administration won’t, it’s up to Israel to do so.

“As the former Secretary of Defense said, ‘it’ll buy us about two years,’” Lyons said. “And I think the way the situation is today, I’ll take those two years. I don’t think we can afford to wait until a potential change in administration.”

“And let me hasten to add, I’m not a hundred percent sure with a change in administration that the appropriate action will be taken,” he said.

But if action were to be taken, the U.S. should provide tanker support to Israel as a number one priority, as well as electronics and suppression weapons and the “bunker buster.” Doing so might just send a message to Iran.

02/3/15

Benghazi Hearings Provide a Glimmer of Hope

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

Last week, the Democrat Members of the Select Committee on Benghazi virtually declared war on the majority members, criticizing their pace, rules, and committee scope.

Representative Linda Sanchez (D-CA) claimed that the Select Committee was on a wild goose chase for a nonexistent “unicorn” and “nefarious conspiracy,” and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) falsely called the stand down order a “myth.”

But in what may be a turning point for the Select Committee, Republican Chairman Trey Gowdy emphasized at the January 27th hearing that “we’re gonna pick up the pace…. I have no interest in prolonging” the investigation into Benghazi.

“Letters haven’t worked. Southern politeness hasn’t worked. We’re going to ratchet it up,” he said at what members of the mainstream media, such as U.S. News and World Report, characterized as a “partisan grudge match.”

The next day Chairman Gowdy issued a statement that defied Democrats outright, arguing he “will continue to move the investigation forward in a fair and impartial manner, but…will not allow the minority’s political games and unreasonable demands to interfere with the investigation.” Rep. Gowdy said he will continue operating under the scope originally set by the House of Representatives.

This, the media preferred to coin as political failure or “out of control” politics. “The House Select Committee on Benghazi, which began with dignity last year, spun out of control Tuesday as Democrats complained that Republicans were abusing their authority and Republicans threatened to spray the Obama administration with subpoenas,” wrote Dana Milbank for The Washington Post. Milbank specializes in snarky columns criticizing and marginalizing conservatives, and even took aim at the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi for a conference held on Benghazi in 2013.

Regarding the hearing last week, the Associated Press in turn, remarked, “The partisan tone marked a sharp turnaround for a panel that had won praise for a bipartisan approach through its first two public hearings.”

The subject of the first two slow-rolling hearings was the current state of embassy security, a topic suggested by the committee’s Democratic members which had little to do with the administration’s response to the attack—and which conveniently glosses over the security failures of 2012 to emphasize present solutions instead of accountability.

MSNBC focused largely on political angles instead of substance. For Alex Seitz-Wald, it was all about Hillary Clinton. “Gowdy and Republicans had been hoping to preserve and grow the credibility of their inquiry, which is part of the reason for their assiduous avoidance of taking pot shots at Clinton Tuesday,” wrote Seitz-Wald. “But Democrats are seeking to undermine the credibility of the panel, in the hopes that it will be viewed as a partisan witch hunt if it ever demands testimony from Clinton.”

New bombshell reporting by The Washington Times shows that Clinton was the strong voice pushing to intervene in Libya in 2011 in the first place, which set the stage for the attacks. Ultimately, however, President Obama was the “Decider-in-Chief” and bears at least equal culpability.

Chairman Gowdy told Megyn Kelly of Fox News last May that he plans to subpoena Mrs. Clinton, and repeated that in December.  We now learn that the Select Committee has requested Clinton and other top State Department officials’ emails, and that Rep. Gowdy is willing to bring Clinton before the Committee just 30 days after receiving “all the [State Department] documents,” according to CNN.

Select Committee Members would also like to interview 22 persons with firsthand knowledge of Benghazi whom Congress has never spoken to before. The Associated Press reported on January 28, the day after the hearing, that State Department officials said they were ready to “commit” to interview dates for these persons.

But the press doesn’t seem interested in holding the administration accountable for the fact that the State Department waited from the December 4 request until January 28 to issue such a guarantee.

The State Department representative, Joel Rubin, said at the January hearing that a part of the committee’s relationship with the department is indicating priorities for requests—as if more resources could not be allocated to provide such information to the committee more swiftly.

Rubin, formerly of the Ploughshares Fund, also said at the hearing that he was a friend of Ambassador Chris Stevens, who died in 2012 at the U.S. Special Mission Compound in Benghazi. Rubin wrote the following for ThinkProgress that year:

“Instead of getting that support, their deaths are being used as a partisan attack on President Obama, part of a false narrative that the president failed them. What has failed them is our political system. Rather than supporting a serious, nonpartisan investigation into what took place and what went wrong, waiting to get all the facts out, conservatives are trying to affix blame for their deaths for political advantage. This is how some conservatives use terrorist attacks against America.”

Now Rubin helps guard the gates for that same President who would like this simply dismissed as a phony scandal.

Although the media, along with the Democrats, may accuse Chairman Gowdy of partisan politics as he attempts to more aggressively investigate the Benghazi attacks and the resulting cover-up, I am cautiously optimistic about his new tone.

“The letter exchanges between Gowdy and Cummings [prior to the hearing], as well as Tuesday’s hearings, should put to rest forever the fiction that this type of investigation can be conducted in some Nirvana-zone of bipartisan comity,” Kenneth Timmerman astutely wrote for Front Page Magazine.

With this new focus on government stonewalling the Committee brought the possibility of embarrassing the administration to the fore, and the backlash was palpable.

Accuracy in Media and the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi have long been critical of the Mike Rogers’ House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence report, which contains a number of factual errors and glosses over the intelligence failures leading up to the attacks. Apparently the Select Committee asked to examine the HPSCI’s research in October—and had been asking the Central Intelligence Agency for these files ever since. These files were only produced by the agency after learning that a hearing on them was scheduled.

Similarly, the State Department has produced 40,000 pages related to Benghazi, but Rubin wouldn’t answer as to whether the information provided to the Accountability Review Board was provided fully within those documents.

He also refused to say whether he thought the Select Committee was frivolous.

“If Gowdy is proceeding as a good prosecutor should, he is lining up all his ducks before he goes public with anything,” CCB member, and former CIA officer, Clare Lopez told WorldNetDaily’s Jerome Corsi last week as part of a series of articles about the CCB’s own investigations. “I think it’s premature to jump to a condemnation of the process or the committee leadership when the truth is that we don’t know,” she said.

“Delays by Gowdy are unnecessary at this time,” CCB Member and Retired General Paul Valley told Corsi after the Times’ bombshell dropped. “Gowdy can press forward now as he does have sufficient intelligence and documents to call all witnesses and issue subpoenas as necessary.”

“Additional delays will only give the obstructionists in the Obama White House, the State Department and the Democrats in Congress time to thwart the efforts of the select committee,” Vallely said.

While the administration continues to stonewall the Select Committee whenever possible, and Democrats continue to complain that the investigation isn’t bipartisan enough, the CCB will continue to search for the truth in its own citizen-led investigation.

We have already dug up some disturbing facts in our 2014 interim report, such as:

  • the administration decision to dismiss the possibility of truce talks with Moammar Qaddafi;
  • helping arm al-Qaeda-linked rebels in Libya; and
  • the inadequate military response that night.

“I don’t know if the decision came from the White House or from Hillary Clinton at the State Department,” Retired Rear Admiral Chuck Kubic told Corsi about those failed truce talks. However, Admiral Kubic said, “…the advice for me from AFRICOM was to basically just leave everything alone, to simply stand down.” Who, exactly, at the White House decided it was unnecessary to pursue truce talks with Qaddafi?

The CCB and Accuracy in Media are continuing the search for the truth with our own Freedom of Information Act initiative. Currently, the Department of Defense is withholding 12 pages of maps from us regarding the position of military forces during the attacks.

As we await our day in court, we will not stop digging for the truth through whatever means are available to us. I am encouraged by the possibility that the Select Committee might likewise now use all the powers at its disposal to force the administration to reveal what happened that night and in the aftermath, not only to its Congressional investigators, but to the public as well. America deserves answers, not more stonewalling.

01/31/15

Qaddafi was willing to step down peacefully but Hillary prevented it

By: James Simpson
DC Independent Examiner

 

The Citizens Commission on Benghazi revealed last year that Qaddafi was willing to step down peacefully and was in negotiations with the U.S. Government, but those negotiations ceased. AIM’s Roger Aronoff quotes their findings, “Despite the willingness of both AFRICOM Commander Gen. Carter Ham and Muammar Qaddafi to pursue the possibility of truce talks, permission was not given to Gen. Ham from his chain of command in the Pentagon and the window of opportunity closed.”

The Washington Times has revealed that Hillary Clinton stepped in to quash the discussions. She would have never done this without Obama’s express permission. Now why, I ask you, would two diehard liberals dedicated to “world peace” for their entire lives miss a perfect opportunity to avoid a civil war? Was it a blood lust desire to see Qaddafi murdered by revolutionaries as payback for Pan Am 103? Nothing of the sort. Obama has shown himself more than willing to shed American blood when it serves no useful purpose. If America has something to gain, only then will he back off.

Believe it or not, Qaddafi had become somewhat of an ally in the war on terror. Why would this nothing of a president want to lose that small foreign policy advantage? When the so-called “Arab Spring” began in 2011, I said that “we are witnessing the collapse of the Middle East“. Events since have proven that exactly correct. All this instability set the stage for the ascendancy of the Muslim Brotherhood, a terrorist organization that is now part and parcel of the Obama administration. Obama wants to implode the Middle East in order to set the stage for the destruction of Israel, our last remaining ally.

Rep. Gowdy or some other congressman needs to conjure the courage to call Obama out. He is engaged in a deadly betrayal of our country and people. This is high treason and these people are monsters.

01/31/15

Washington Times’ Bombshell Tapes Confirm Citizen Commission’s Findings on Benghazi

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

As Hillary Clinton further delays the announcement of her 2016 run for the White House, more news has broken regarding her role in the 2011 disastrous intervention in Libya, which set the stage for the 2012 Benghazi attacks where we lost four brave American lives.

Two new stories from The Washington Times expose some of the infighting among government agencies and branches of government on this controversial decision, and highlight the key role that Clinton played in initiating the war. You can listen to tapes of discussions between Pentagon staffers, former Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), and the Qaddafi regime for yourself.

This news also validates the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi (CCB) 2014 interim report, which exposed that Muammar Qaddafi had offered truce talks and a possible peaceful abdication to the United States, which Washington turned down.

“[The article] also makes it clear that the Benghazi investigation needs to be broadened to answer the question: ‘Why did America bomb Libya in the first place?’” commented Rear Admiral Chuck Kubic (Ret.), a key source for the CCB’s interim report who was also quoted by the Times.

“Despite the willingness of both AFRICOM Commander Gen. Carter Ham and Muammar Qaddafi to pursue the possibility of truce talks, permission was not given to Gen. Ham from his chain of command in the Pentagon and the window of opportunity closed,” reads Kubic’s statement for our report from last year. You can watch here, from a CCB press conference last April, as Admiral Kubic described his personal involvement in the effort to open negotiations between Qaddafi and the U.S. government.

Now we learn that the likely source of the stonewalling came from the State Department—and Secretary Clinton—herself. “On the day the U.N. resolution was passed, Mrs. Clinton ordered a general within the Pentagon to refuse to take a call with Gadhafi’s son Seif and other high-level members within the regime, to help negotiate a resolution, the secret recordings reveal,” reported the Times on January 29.

Former Defense Secretary Bob Gates indicated in his book, Duty, that he was opposed to the war for national security reasons. He highlighted a division among White House advisors—with Susan Rice, Ben Rhodes, and Samantha Power “urging aggressive U.S. action to prevent an anticipated massacre of the rebels as Qaddafi fought to remain in power.” Add to that list the former Secretary of State.

“But that night, with Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s forces turning back the rebellion that threatened his rule, Mrs. Clinton changed course, forming an unlikely alliance with a handful of top administration aides who had been arguing for intervention,” reported The New York Times on March 18, 2011, the day after UN Resolution 1973 authorizing a “no fly” zone in Libya was voted on and passed.

“Within hours, Mrs. Clinton and the aides had convinced Mr. Obama that the United States had to act, and the president ordered up military plans, which Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, hand-delivered to the White House the next day.”

The Washington Times now reports that “In the recovered recordings, a U.S. intelligence liaison working for the Pentagon told a Gadhafi aide that Mr. Obama privately informed members of Congress that Libya ‘is all Secretary Clinton’s matter’ and that the nation’s highest-ranking generals were concerned that the president was being misinformed” about a humanitarian crisis that didn’t exist. However, one must wonder just how much President Obama implicitly supported Clinton in her blind push to intervene in what was once a comparatively stable country, and an ally in the war against al Qaeda. While this new report is certainly damning of Mrs. Clinton’s actions, and appears to place the blame for the unnecessary chaos in Libya—which ultimately led to Benghazi—on her shoulders, President Obama shares the blame as the ultimate Decider-in-Chief.

“Furthermore, defense officials had direct information from their intelligence asset in contact with the regime that Gadhafi gave specific orders not to attack civilians and to narrowly focus the war on the armed rebels, according to the asset, who survived the war,” reports The Washington Times in its second of three articles. Saving those in Benghazi from a looming massacre by Qaddafi seems to have been a convenient excuse made by the administration for political expediency. Could it be, instead, that President Obama, as well as Mrs. Clinton, put greater value on the rise to power of an “Arab Spring” government with Muslim Brotherhood connections? And, as the CCB interim report shows, the U.S. government was willing to go so far as to facilitate the provision of arms to al-Qaeda-linked rebels in Libya in order to ensure that Qaddafi fell.

Will the mainstream media pick up on these new revelations, or will they cast them aside as another “phony scandal” to throw into their dustbins filled with other stories that might possibly embarrass the Obama administration, or prove to be an impediment to Mrs. Clinton’s path to the White House?

“It’s critical to note that Qaddafi was actively engaged with Department of Defense officials to arrange discussions about his possible abdication and exile when that promising development was squashed by the Obama White House,” noted CCB Member Clare Lopez, a former CIA officer, regarding the failed truce talks. “The Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi has been asking, ‘Why?’ for well over a year now.”

“It is time the American people and the families of those who fought and gave their lives at Benghazi in September 2012 were told why those brave Americans had to die at all, much less die alone with no effort made to save them,” she said.

Clinton, through House Democrats, has indicated that she is willing to testify before the House Select Committee on Benghazi. But Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) recently indicated that the Committee must first examine her emails from the State Department before questioning his witness. This complicates the issue of her testifying, since Mrs. Clinton is in the process of calculating when she will announce her presidential run.

Do the emails that Gowdy has requested from the State Department even extend back to 2011?

Chairman Gowdy identified three “tranches” that his potential questioning would fall under in an interview with Fox’s Greta Van Susteren:

  • Why was the U.S. Special Mission Compound open in the first place?
  • What actions did Clinton take during the attacks?
  • What was Clinton’s role during the talking points and Susan Rice’s Sunday morning talk show visits?

A fourth tranche should be: Clinton’s push to intervene in Libya and how it set the stage for an insecure country and strong jihadist movement willing—and able—to attack the Americans posted there. And while he’s at it, Rep. Gowdy should ask Mrs. Clinton to explain why all of the very legitimate requests for increased security in Benghazi were turned down, and why were Ambassador Chris Stevens’ personal security staff, from the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) directed to store their weapons in a separate location—not on them—on the night of September 11, 2012?

01/21/15

Hypocritical New York Times Takes on Steven Emerson

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

When the New York Times sees a gaffe made on Fox News, it blasts the network in article after article, in this case at least three times, but when its own reporters make basic fact-checking mistakes, the paper’s readers receive casual notice at the bottom of an article.

In some editions of the Times, Stephen Castle and Robert Mackey misidentified the parent company of Fox News, Rupert Murdoch’s title at News Corporation, and “paraphrased incorrectly in some editions” Rupert Murdoch’s Twitter comments. That’s three errors in one article.

These errors were in an article criticizing Steven Emerson, a member of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi and Executive Director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, who mistakenly said that “[A]nd in Britain, it’s not just no-go zones, there are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim where non-Muslims just simply don’t go in.”

Emerson retracted his statement, saying that he “clearly made a terrible error for which I am deeply sorry,” and Fox News issued an on-air apology regarding the incident. Emerson even made a donation to Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Will The New York Times make similar donations on behalf of its numerous errors in the Castle and Mackey article?

Writers for the Times didn’t hold back: “Maybe if these ‘journalists’ left their bubble and actually talked to more Muslims, they wouldn’t spew nonsense—such as that Pakistan is an Arab country or that Birmingham, England, is entirely Muslim and a no-go area for Christians,” wrote Nicholas Kristof for the Times. “That paranoid claim by a Fox News ‘expert,’ later retracted, led wags to suggest that the city had renamed itself Birming, since Muslims avoid ham.”

The New York Times repeatedly labeled Emerson a “self-described expert on Islamist terrorism.” Investigative reporter Gary Weiss, in an outstanding blog post on this controversy, noted, “When you call someone a ‘self-described expert’ it’s a bit like calling someone a ‘self-described doctor.’…He or she is a phony.”

Weiss suggested that Kristof was perhaps carrying a grudge against Emerson for an article years earlier in which “Emerson raked [Kristof] over the coals for a column that criticized the U.S. and Israel for isolating the Hamas terror group.

But as Weiss pointed out, the late New York Times managing editor A.M. Rosenthal called Emerson “one of the nation’s best national security correspondents” whose “investigative work on radical Islamic fundamentalism is absolutely critical to this nation’s national security. There is no one else who has exhibited the same expertise, courage and determination to tackle this vital issue.” And Weiss cited other examples of praise for Emerson on the pages of the Times: “In this article in the Times in 1988,” wrote Weiss, “veteran Times reporters Martin Tolchin and Richard Halloran described Emerson as ‘an expert on intelligence.’”

But the Times are a-changing.

Times executive editor Dean Baquet has announced that the paper won’t publish the Charlie Hebdo cartoons “primarily” because doing so might offend its Muslim readers.

While Emerson clearly was wrong on the specifics of what he said, he was referring to the undeniably expanding Islamization occurring in parts of Europe. This news story from CBN in 2010 captured this very real phenomenon, which does exist, and continues to grow.

Accuracy in Media’s Cliff Kincaid cited some of the outstanding work that Emerson has done through the years, which is the reason that the left has come after him so hard: “For his part, Emerson has been consistently correct about the development of the Islamic extremist networks that now threaten America and the world,” writes Kincaid. “His latest film, ‘Jihad in America: The Grand Deception,’ describes how Muslim Brotherhood fronts, such as CAIR, have pursued a strategy described in secret documents as the ‘Civilization-Jihadist Process’ of destroying Western civilization from within.” He also referred to Emerson’s 1994 documentary, “Jihad in America,” which “included previously unknown videos of the clandestine activities of radical Islamic terrorist groups in the United States.”

Besides, the Times, as AIM has cited for 45 years, often gets the big things wrong as well. For example, we debunked their December, 2013 story on Benghazi that they intended as the definitive statement. We’re still waiting for their retraction or correction on that one.

Despite his mistake, Emerson is one of the nation’s leading experts on Islamic terrorism. The New York Times, on the other hand, has shown itself time after time to be hypocritical and agenda-driven.

01/10/15

Paris—The Latest Example of Islamic Jihadist Terrorism

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

While much of the media are doing contortions trying to explain why the latest terrorist attacks are either home grown, lone wolf, or committed by alienated youth, this misses the point. And yes, we realize that most victims of Islamic jihadists are other Muslims. Just look at the massacre in Pakistan last month of 141 individuals, including children and teachers. Or the one this week by Boko Haram in Nigeria that may have led to the death of at least 2,000.

The Islamic terrorists who attacked the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris this week, brutally murdering 12 people, were killed by authorities today. The situation is still fluid, but reports indicate that at least 15 hostages are now free, and one more terrorist may be on the loose following two hostage situations that ensued during the hunt for the terrorists. One might think that Paris—and France—might be able to breathe a sigh of relief. In reality, however, the attack on Charlie Hebdo and the two ensuing hostage situations were merely a continuation of the latest line of Islam-inspired terror attacks worldwide, be it on the Canadian Parliament; in Sydney, Australia; in Pakistan; on two policemen in New York City; or in Moore, Oklahoma.

The problem is not who these attackers are, or whether they are a card-carrying member of al Qaeda, Boko Haram, or the Islamic State—but that they are conducting such atrocious acts. Just in the U.S. and Canada alone in the last couple of months we’ve had a number of attacks occurring in the name of Allah. To the victims, and most of the rest of us, the rest doesn’t matter.

The Washington Post is reporting that Boko Haram may have executed thousands. “A video recently emerged, Genocide Watch reported, that shows gunmen shooting civilians as they lay face down in a dormitory,” reports Terrence McCoy. “A local leader explains they are ‘infidels,’ even though he admits they’re Muslim: ‘We have made sure the floor of this hall is turned red with blood, and this is how it is going to be in all future attacks and arrests of infidels. From now on, killing, slaughtering, destruction and bombings will be our religious duty anywhere we invade.’”

McCoy notes that Boko Haram’s attacks seem more “wanton” than those perpetrated by other terror groups.

These attacks are coming at such an accelerated pace today that any sort of long term solutions, such as being more responsible and not insulting Islam or the prophet Muhammad, seem futile. Do we really think anyone at the school in Pakistan or in Baga, Nigeria had slandered the prophet?

“The Religion of Peace” website has documented the Islam-motivated terrorist attacks of 2014.

The Washington Post reported on January 7th that the “Paris attack lacked hallmarks of Islamist assaults in the West,” highlighting the possibility that this was an unofficial attack “without any direct ties to groups such as al-Qaeda or the Islamic State.”

The next day, The New York Times reported that one of two attackers “suspected of killing 12 people at a satirical newspaper in Paris traveled to Yemen in 2011 and received terrorist training from Al Qaeda’s affiliate there before returning to France.”

However the media decide to parse the latest Paris attacks, these Islamic jihadis clearly have been drinking from the same toxic stream of violent ideology.

As happened with the Moore, Oklahoma beheading by Alton Nolen, the media and liberal pundits were quick to separate the Charlie Hebdo killers from Islamic ideology—going to great lengths to find a parallel with any other case they could fathom.

One guest on MSNBC’s “Now with Alex Wagner” compared Jerry Falwell’s lawsuit against Hustler Magazine to the violent murder of 12 innocent people at Charlie Hebdo, without any rebuttal coming from Wagner. Jonah Goldberg of National Review condemned this as “The Dumbest 57 Seconds Ever on TV.

I would also point to MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry’s characterization of Nolen’s beheading of a co-worker in Oklahoma as supposedly having as little to do with his alleged “workplace violence” as what he ate for breakfast. The FBI, apparently, swallowed the idea that Nolen’s attack was workplace violence, as well.

And recently, after the Charlie Hebdo attacks, Howard Dean went on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to condemn the attacks, but asserted, “I stopped calling these people Muslim terrorists. They’re about as Muslim as I am. I mean, they have no respect for anybody else’s life. That’s not what the Koran says. Europe has an enormous radical problem. I think ISIS is a cult. Not an Islamic cult. I think it’s a cult.”

“When I watch Americans use words like cowardly, barbaric, murder, outrageous, shocking, etc., to describe a violent extremist organization’s actions, we are playing right into the enemy’s hands,” said Maj. Gen. Michael K. Nagata, U.S. commander of American Special Operations forces in the Middle East, in December regarding ISIS, according to The New York Times. “They want us to become emotional. They revel in being called murderers when the words are coming from an apostate.”

The Daily Caller cited an example of The New York Times removing a section from a previously posted article that told how one of the terrorists at the Charlie Hebdo offices spared the life of a woman who was there during the attack:

“Instead, she told French news media, the man said, ‘I’m not going to kill you because you’re a woman, we don’t kill women, but you must convert to Islam, read the Quran and cover yourself,’ she recalled.”

Later on the Times altered the article, removing “but you must convert to Islam, read the Quran and cover yourself.” This is the type of political correctness that is commonplace in the media. It is not a matter of cowardice, fearful of being attacked like Charle Hebdo was, but rather an ideological, editorial decision to attempt to minimize the link to Islam.

As I asked in my recent column on the underreported and misreported stories of 2014, “What does it take to spark media outrage?… What is it going to take to end this ongoing slaughter by jihadists, acting in the name of Islam?”

In 2011, when Charlie Hebdo was firebombed for “an edition poking fun at Islam,” according to the UK Telegraph, Time Magazine’s Bruce Crumley blamed the publication for the violence perpetrated against it, writing,

“Not only are such Islamophobic antics [as publishing cartoons] futile and childish… but they also openly beg for the very violent responses from extremists their authors claim to proudly defy in the name of common good. What common good is served by creating more division and anger, and by tempting belligerent reaction?”

By such a measure the media should censor itself from publishing or disseminating the inflammatory Charlie Hebdo materials in any outlet at all. And if The Washington Post is any indication, that’s exactly what happened: it used a photograph that cleverly hides the Charlie Hebdo cover from view while featuring a copy of the publication amidst other magazines.

Ironically, a call to combat terrorism came, not from the media, but from Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al Sisi even before the attack in Paris. He made a speech that hopefully will prove to be a turning point, but don’t count on it. In his New Year’s Day address, he urged the Imams to lead a “religious revolution” against extremism. But he has a huge battle on his own turf, as he gained power after millions of Egyptians called for the removal of Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood leader who had been elected president of Egypt after the removal of Hosni Mubarak. This is but a small step forward.

As President Al Sisi said, “I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move… because this umma is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost—and it is being lost by our own hands.”

Why must such bold words come from Egypt’s president, and not our own, and other Western leaders, or from the mainstream media? Steve Emerson, of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, and a member of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi, argued that “Indeed, the responses from our own president, French President Hollande and British Prime Minster David Cameron all spouted the same empty pabulum in asserting that the Paris attack had nothing to do with Islam or any religion for that matter. But the hollow comments coming from our own leaders are steeped in the stench of appeasement and cowardice.”