05/18/15

US Intel knew about weapons going from Benghazi to Syria

From Hot Air:

And quite a bit more, including the potential for ISIS to rise to seize ground and declare a caliphate. In a memo from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) to the National Security Council, the CIA, and the White House five days after the attack on the consulate in Benghazi, the DIA concluded that the attack had been planned for more than a week and was retribution for an American drone strike that had killed a senior al-Qaeda leader in June 2012. Moreover, the attack had been planned for the anniversary of 9/11 as a propaganda coup for AQ and its affiliate behind the attack, and not just a coincidence as the White House later claimed (via The Right Scoop):

The date of the DIA conclusion (produced by a FOIA lawsuit from Judicial Watch) is remarkable for at least one reason. First, September 16 is an infamous date in the Benghazi timeline, as the date on which Susan Rice did a full Ginsburg to insist that the attack resulted from a spontaneous demonstration tied to an obscure YouTube video. Even though the DIA directly contradicted those talking points supplied by the White House to Rice, they continued to insist on using them for another two weeks, including Hillary Clinton. During that period, the Obama administration kept saying that they had no indication that this was a terrorist plot, even though the president of Libya insisted that it was a planned attack on one of the same shows on which Rice appeared.

As Catherine Herridge and Martha McCallum point out, the memo tells a lot more of the story than we knew before. The consulate and its intelligence operation nearby was keeping an eye on weapons transfers to anti-Assad forces in Syria, one of the proposed reasons why the US would have kept a consulate open in that city for so long. This was taking place at the same time that a number of American politicians were demanding more open support for rebels in Syria, a move that had support from Hillary Clinton and Leon Panetta at the time according to Panetta’s memoir, but which Obama himself was reluctant to embrace — publicly, at least. Mike Morell insisted last week that the US took no part in that weapons movement, but did we need a consulate just to conduct passive intel on arms trafficking?

Why keep up the pretense? Obama was in the middle of an election, and didn’t want to acknowledge that he’d been caught with his pants down. And he may well have wanted to avoid answering questions about secret arms programs to anti-Assad rebels, especially given how that turned out in Syria and Iraq.

Speaking of which, the part about the rise of ISIS is even more interesting. The DIA tried to warn Congress about the threat in January 2014, which is when Obama compared them to the “jayvees.” Sixteen months before that, the DIA had predicted exactly what would happen with the group formerly known as al-Qaeda in Iraq, right down to their declaration of a caliphate in the area that the US had fought so hard to wrest from their control in 2006-8. This memo makes it look as though both Obama and Clinton made a habit of getting caught with their pants down, and concocting cover stories when the failures became too obvious to ignore.

Fox: Newly released Benghazi documents show Obama admin lied about attack

Smoking gun! Hillary knew of Benghazi attack 10 days in advance

04/30/15

Black Mom Changes Leftist Narrative on Violence

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

The reaction among responsible black and white law-abiding citizens to the black thugs rioting in Baltimore was captured by Toya Graham, the black mother who smacked her son around when she found him on the streets joining the attacks on police. Even liberals in the major media applauded her efforts.

“I don’t want him to be a Freddie Gray,” she told CBS News, referring to her son and the black youth who died under mysterious circumstances while in police custody.

CBS reported, “Graham, a single mom with six children, denounced the vandalism and violence against police officers. She said rioting in Baltimore is no way to go about getting justice for Freddie Gray and that she doesn’t want that life for her son.”

Graham then appeared on the CBS This Morning Show to discuss the incident and the struggle to raise her children.

The important teaching moment represented by this dramatic incident, a brief moment of sanity in the media, undercut the left-wing effort to somehow blame the police for the riots. As a result, the “progressives” had to go on the attack against the black mother.

Over at Think Progress, the blog of the pro-Obama Center for American Progress, Graham was attacked as a “misguided” mother who exercised bad judgment in holding her son accountable.  Writer Kira Lerner said the issue was alleged police violence, not rioting in the streets by black youth.

She quoted a woman with a group opposed to “police brutality” as saying that “While she doesn’t condone the looting that was highlighted by the media in Baltimore Monday night, she said she understands where the violent protesters are coming from.”

Meanwhile, over at Hot Air, a piece by Noah Rothman ran under the headline, “Don’t let urban unrest derail conservative criminal justice reform.” While the riots were underway, he insisted that “a consensus opinion” had emerged on both the left and the right in favor of getting soft on criminals and letting more of them out of prison.

In the wake of what has happened in Baltimore and Ferguson, the Republican primary electorate might be tempted to embrace a “tough on crime” candidate, but “That would be a mistake,” Rothman informed Hot Air readers.

What’s more, he lectured them, the war on drugs has “failed” and there is no alternative to letting “non-violent offenders” out of prison.

In fact, the war on drugs did not fail. David Evans, a special advisor to the Drug Free America Foundation, notes that marijuana use went down among young people by 25 percent from the advent of the Reagan administration’s “Just Say No” campaign to the inauguration of President Obama. “If we had had a reduction in any other health problem in the U.S. of 25 percent, we would consider it an outstanding success,” he said.

Being “tough on crime” is precisely what many observers, including that courageous Baltimore mom, have concluded needs to be done in the inner cities.

Going soft was precisely what the Baltimore mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, had done, accounting for the weak police response to the riots. Former police officer Michael Tremoglie points out that the Baltimore police knew that the mayor had said she wanted “protesters” protected and room furnished for them to “destroy,” and that “They knew that the DOJ [Department of Justice] was ‘monitoring’ what was occurring during the riots.”

Before he came to Hot Air, a site owned by Salem Communications, a Christian firm, Rothman had sung the praises of the pro-marijuana voices in the media such as MSNBC’s Touré. On another occasion, he had highlighted how comedian Kevin Hart and rapper Ice Cube had attacked commentator Nancy Grace’s anti-marijuana comments.

Hot Air, which claims to be the most heavily-trafficked conservative blog on the Internet, has emerged as a forum for pro-marijuana and soft-on-crime viewpoints, most of them articulated by Rothman, a former libertarian writer for Mediaite.

It is certainly true that the Rothman perspective on “criminal justice reform” has been embraced on the left.

As Accuracy in Media noted recently, in an article about a “criminal justice reform” conference held in Washington, D.C., there is a White House-directed effort to enlist conservatives to join with various progressive organizations to weaken laws against a series of violent and non-violent crimes.

Hillary Clinton joined the campaign on Wednesday, saying that “It’s time to end the era of mass incarceration.”

Some readers at Hot Air were astounded by the advice given by Rothman, who cited the Obama Justice Department as a reliable source of information on criminal justice issues, including alleged police violence.

One said, “Isn’t it great when we can come to Hot Air to read some halfwit ‘conservative’ columnist agree with Eric Holder about root causes?”

Another said, “I don’t think this is a very timely post. At least not whilst the animals are burning, looting, robbing, raping, killing each other and forming alliances with opposing gang bangers to destabilize the structure of society.”

Still another called attention to Heather MacDonald’s piece in the New York Post, “The Perilous New Push to Excuse Lawlessness,” as being “a hundred times better than Noah’s.” The writer said, “She’s an actual conservative who lived through the times when ‘law and order’ were questionable values, and conservatives had to fight hard to implement them.”

MacDonald had referred to “a wide-ranging movement [which] is already under way to transform the criminal justice system in order to avoid a disparate impact on blacks.” But since blacks commit a disproportionate amount of the crime, she said that fulfilling this promise “would require gutting murder statutes, and most other criminal laws,” and that the country’s two-decade-long crime drop would be in jeopardy.

Despite cities like Ferguson and Baltimore going up in flames and the rare story of a mother like Toya Graham making a plea for law-and-order, the liberal media are going to make sure that the movement for criminals’ rights that now operates under the goal of achieving “criminal justice reform” will get the lion’s share of the publicity.

Indeed, Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” just ran a favorable story about the “Coalition for Public Safety,” which is trying to make the ACLU sound like a reasonable organization conservatives can work with. Based on what was reported, it looks like some conservative groups are taking the bait.