Daily Archives: June 6, 2013
Media Embrace Obama’s Controversial Picks for National Security Team
By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media
The mainstream media have embraced President Obama’s recent national security team picks either by omitting key information about the nominee or, in the case of Susan Rice, by miscasting the controversy as one of Republican outrage, rather than lies about Benghazi. Republican partisans aren’t the only ones outraged about Benghazi and the lies told thereafter: lots of average Americans are too.
Following the September 11th attack on our diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya last year, United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice went on five Sunday morning talk shows to forward the Administration’s narrative about the attacks, saying that they were spontaneous, fomented by a small group of extremists in response to an anti-Islamic video. Here, for example, is what she said on Meet the Press: “But putting together the best information that we have available to us today—our current assessment is that what happened in Benghazi was, in fact, initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in Cairo—almost a copycat of the demonstrations against our facility in Cairo, which were prompted, of course, by the video.”
These statements were later proven to be false, hurting both the Administration’s and Rice’s credibility.
Rice has been rewarded for her behavior by succeeding Tom Donilon as national security advisor to the President, a position that is not confirmed by Congress. The New York Times called it Obama’s “defiant selection.” Former Harvard professor Samantha Power has been nominated to replace Rice as United Nations Ambassador. (Power is the wife of former regulatory czar Cass Sunstein.)
Alexis Simendinger of RealClearPolitics said that “President Obama has again practically baited congressional Republicans to wail about his appointees, betting that congressional overreach might put his administration on higher ground after weeks of scandal distractions and legislative fallbacks.”
Rice is being rewarded for her loyalty to the President at the expense of integrity and loyalty to the truth. “Either she knew what really happened and deliberately lied to the American people or she was a mere actress who read the script she was given and didn’t know enough to question whether the words she spoke were accurate,” asserted K.T. McFarland, a former national security staffer for three Republican presidents, writing for FoxNews.com.
The New York Times tells a different story. “Ms. Rice, using talking points drafted by the C.I.A., said the assault appeared to be a protest gone awry rather than a premeditated terrorist attack,” writes Mark Landler for the Times (emphasis added). “That proved incorrect, and though Ms. Rice cautioned that the account could change with further intelligence, Republicans accused her of sanitizing the truth for political reasons.” The Times should at least broaden their criticism criteria to include conservatives, and not just Republicans. But this furthers The New York Times’—and the mainstream media’s—rhetoric that the current controversies are just Republican-manufactured and, thus, the American people should look the other way at these politically-manufactured firestorms.
CBS News has also emphasized that this is a “Republican” objection to Rice’s new post and prior actions. “Members of the GOP seized on her remarks to suggest the administration was misleading the public about the nature of the attack,” wrote Stephanie Condon. “Guided by CIA-drafted talking points, Rice said the attacks stemmed from spontaneous protests, which was wrong.”
Not only were Rice’s comments wrong, but it is disingenuous for CBS and The New York Times to lay the problem at the feet of the CIA without mentioning that the CIA talking points were revised a dozen times before they were finalized, with input from the State Department. The White House’s Jay Carney still maintains that the changes made to the CIA talking points were “non-substantive,” but an ABC News report shows otherwise. Carney has also said that Rice did not downplay the role that al Qaeda played in the attack on the embassy, an assertion that Politifact has rated “Mostly False.”
“ABC News has obtained 12 different versions of the talking points that show they were extensively edited as they evolved from the drafts first written entirely by the CIA to the final version distributed to Congress and to U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice before she appeared on five talk shows the Sunday after that attack,” reported Jonathan Karl for ABC News. “White House emails reviewed by ABC News suggest the edits were made with extensive input from the State Department.”
“The edits included requests from the State Department that references to the Al Qaeda-affiliated group Ansar al-Sharia be deleted as well references to CIA warnings about terrorist threats in Benghazi in the months preceding the attack.” Contrary to Jay Carney’s characterization, these were clearly substantive changes.
Conversely, The Atlantic maintains that “…Rice was only laying out the intelligence community’s own summary in TV interviews last fall when she infamously attributed the deaths of Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012 to ‘spontaneous’ protests.”
“The emails revealed that both the CIA and State Department had, without dispute, kept that description in their so-called ‘talking points,’ and that Rice had nothing to do with the main debate between the two agencies over how to describe the incident,” wrote Michael Hirsh for The Atlantic. In other words, don’t shoot the messenger. Does Hirsh really believe that Rice was that naïve?
We have previously documented the various and contradictory explanations given by members of the Administration, and the fact that President Obama said at a press conference on November 14 that Rice’s presentation was “based on intelligence that she had received,” and that it was done “at the request of the White House.” What is clear is that they all knew from early on that the attack in Benghazi did not start as a spontaneous demonstration, and that the video had nothing to do with it.
Jonathan Karl recently went on Good Morning America and praised Rice as “a no-nonsense adviser.” The Associated Press described Rice’s new position as “a bit of a redemption” after the controversy.
While Rice’s controversial remarks are well known, Samantha Power’s are less public. In fact, there was little reference to her hostile views toward Israel, and few, if any outlets, considered her nomination as controversial. (Fox News is an exception.) NBC News, in a spotlight on Power, called her “an unrelenting human rights advocate who isn’t afraid to speak her mind, sometimes to a fault.” The article quotes Laura Pitter, “a lawyer and counterterrorism adviser for Human Rights Watch,” as saying that Power “is brilliant,” and that she “can’t think of a better candidate for the position she’s been nominated for.”
At least the NBC piece pointed its readers to a strongly argued dissent. “That opinion isn’t shared by writers at conservative web magazine American Thinker, who have been writing harsh critiques of Power since 2008, arguing that Power is a ‘notorious critic of Israel,’” wrote Elizabeth Chuck.
In fact, Ed Lasky, writing for the American Thinker, pointed out that Power has said she believes there is a powerful constituency in the United States favoring Israel and she is willing to alienate this constituency. “America’s important historic relationship with Israel has often led foreign policy decision-makers to defer reflexively to Israeli security assessments, and to replicate Israeli tactics, which, as the war in Lebanon last summer demonstrated, can turn out to be counter-productive,” said Power in an interview on the Harvard Kennedy School’s website. And, in 2008, she wrote for Time Magazine that “The speedboat episode bore an uncanny resemblance to the Administration’s allegations about the advanced state of Iran’s weapons program-allegations refuted in December by the National Intelligence Estimate.”
“Does Power actually believe that the NIE put to rest concerns about the Iranian nuclear program?” asked Richard Baehr and Ed Lasky back in 2008 for the American Thinker (emphasis in original). “It is not at all hard to imagine her having a senior foreign policy role in an Obama administration, perhaps as US Ambassador to the United Nations, an organization she views warmly,” they presciently wrote. “The problem for those who favor a strong US-Israel relationship is that Power seems obsessed with Israel, and in a negative way.”
“Susan E. Rice, named by Obama Wednesday to succeed Tom Donilon as national security adviser, and Samantha Power, nominated to follow Rice as U.N. ambassador, will have the opportunity to provide an answer as the administration reviews its policy in Syria, winds down the war in Afghanistan and seeks to stop Iran’s uranium-enrichment program,” notes The Washington Post.
Investor’s Business Daily reminds us that Power, “the longtime influential Obama foreign policy adviser who had to quit officially advising his 2008 campaign when she infamously called Clinton a ‘monster,’ is the most well-known proponent of Responsibility to Protect, or R2P—the idea that those who wear the U.S. uniform should pretend to be serving a ‘United World’ rather than the Stars and Stripes.”
Power’s record, and her past statements and writings about Israel and the Palestinians, are brilliantly laid out by Melanie Phillips, the British journalist and author of World Turned Upside Down, the subject of an AIM interview in 2010. Phillips says that Power’s appointment validates a prediction she had made: that if re-elected, “in a second term, [Obama] would promote to the front rank those who were so extreme and so dangerous to the well-being of America and the civilised world that in his first term, so as not to frighten the horses, he would keep them in the lower ranks out of sight.”
She added that Power “is the living embodiment of the way in which ‘human rights’ have morphed into their absolute opposite, and instead of providing a protection against tyranny have been turned into the anvil upon which freedom and justice are being smashed.”
With Susan Rice’s appointment, she may be able to avoid further direct scrutiny from Congress, and her loyalty has been rewarded. Let’s hope that Congress takes its time examining Samantha Power’s record and see how well she can stand the scrutiny.
Roger Aronoff is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and can be contacted at [email protected].
Teaser! Loudon’s New Book: Why Did Washington State Congressman Jim McDermott…..?
By: Trevor Loudon
My new book “The Enemies Within: Communists, Socialists and Progressives in the U.S. Congress,” will include profiles of more than 60 serving Congress members and Senators – including Washington State Rep. Jim McDermott.
The book will look at several questions about Rep. McDermott, including…
Who is this woman, a long time McDermott aide?
Why did she travel to the former Soviet Union just prior to joining McDermott’s staff?
Why was she heavily involved with the Washington State Communist Party – even serving on a Party run committee to greet visiting South African Communist Party leader Chris Hani?
Who is the man pictured here with Rep. McDermott?
Why did McDermott travel to Iraq with this man, an indicted Iraqi intelligence agent, on a trip funded by Saddam Hussein’s government?
Did this trip influence McDermott’s later strong opposition to the Iraq War?
Who are the two prominent Washington State Communist Party leaders pictured here with Rep. McDermott?
Why did McDermott later honor the man, calling him “a leader of the fight for comprehensive, universal health care reform” and saying “we are indebted to you for your years of service….?”
These and many other questions will be examined in my upcoming book.
“The Enemies Within: Communists, Socialists and Progressives in the U.S. Congress,” will be officially launched on August 20th in Washington, D.C.
However, if you are a U.S. resident, you can be one of the very first to own a copy by clicking on the button below.
New Zealander, Trevor Loudon, Editor of Trevorloudon.com and the author of Barack Obama and the Enemies Within, will tour his new book, The Enemies Within: Communists, Socialists and Progressives in the U.S. Congress, across America this Fall.
Trevor’s work has been featured in numerous books and articles, thousands of blog posts and many interviews.
Obama and Holder: ‘Stop us if you can!’
By: Sher Zieve
If the recent and growing scandals plaguing the tyrannical ObamaGov weren’t so serious, the idiotic antics of those at the top of the D.C. food chain would be almost comical. But, they are and their antics are not at all humorous. They are, in fact, criminal. While Obama tells the gullible and refuse-to-be-educated-on-the-truth masses that he will “get to the bottom” of the current (three, four, five…more?) scandals rocking his (used to be our) White House, the US Attorney General tells the supplicant-to-the-ObamaGov-media that he wants them to tell him how he can be stopped in his illegal breaking and bypassing of the First Amendment’s freedom of the press. That’s patently ludicrous. Both Obama and Holder have said that there new laws to are required to protect the media from…you guessed it…Obama and Holder. In other words, to the world the Obama syndicate has now played it’s “We’re all insane here…help us!” card.
The problem, of course, is that as long as the Obama syndicate (aka ObamaGov) is in power…and unless Congress follows through all the way to indictments this time with these current criminal scandals’…nothing will stop. In fact, they will only now become worse as Obama begins to fully realize that his illicit deeds have been outed on multiple fronts and he is beginning to be flanked by the real police…we hope seriously this time. Since assuming the office of POTUS, Obama has flouted one US law after another…including but, not limited to, bypassing (while falsely saying he upholds) and attempting to rewrite with his Executive Orders the US Constitution. Recently, Obama has begun expanding his police state by including both the US Park Service (can you believe it?) who recently (see reference below) cuffed and detained a couple for legally passing out flyers that decried big government and, of course, the IRS as Big Brother/Big Gorilla central enforcement-hammer-in-virtually-all-things required by the ObamaGov.
Interestingly, it appears with regards to the IRS’ illegal targeting of Obama’s opponents, Obama–himself–met with Colleen Kelley-President National Treasury Employees Union (which also represents the IRS) on 31 May 2010…the day before the illegal targeting began. Coincidence? Uh…no. I think the credulity rubber band under Obama has finally and irrevocably been snapped and broken. It also appears that now at least one IRS employee is planning to testify that not only did the orders for the targeting come from D.C. but, it goes all of the way up to the Obama White House. Note: I don’t think any of us really were surprised by Lois Lerner’s hiding behind the 5th Amendment’s protection against self-incrimination, as she has been knee deep in extortion and other “little” crimes since at least 1996. Criminal lawsuits have been and are now in the process of being filed against the IRS and Jay Sekulow’s ACLJ is handling at least 25 of them.
It also seems that Benghazi will soon have more witnesses (aka whistleblowers). That one ObamaScandal caused the deaths of at least 4 Americans…deaths that could have been prevented if Obama had wanted them saved instead of murdered. Another case of “they knew too much?”
With regards to the Obama/Holder DOJ’s targeting the AP and Fox News’ James Rosen (with false claims presented to the judge (the 3rd one Holder had gone to in his “judge-shopping” mission and the only one who agreed to issue a search warrant), before a Congressional Committee Holder swore that he had no knowledge of either until just recently…yet he personally signed the authorization to seize and investigate Rosen’s phone call records (private and business), his emails (private and business) and Holder’s team even seized the private phone and email records of Rosen’s parents! Before the committee and in sworn testimony, again Holder claimed no-knowledge of the Rosen affair prior to its being brought to his attention recently. However, Town Hall’s Guy Henson reports that Holder–personally–vetted the Rosen warrant.
Like virtually all in the ObamaGov, Holder is a consummate liar who commits illegal and criminal acts against Obama’s opposition (aka US citizens) that he’s told to affect. Anyone remember Fast & Furious Mexican drug carrels? Then, there was Fast & Furious gun-running Syrian-style…for which Ambassador Stevens may have been allowed to be assassinated. Was this to cover for and help Obama‘s reelection chances? Any more questions as to how far this unlawful and despotic government will go? Judge Jeanine Pirro completely understands and has called for indictments against Holder on multiple charges.
We cannot solve any of the above problems by making up new laws. The only way we can correct and solve them is to remove the perpetrators from office. That includes legitimately arresting them. Does anyone in the US Congress have the courage to do so? Or is that portion of the genetic code missing from all who reside on Capitol Hill? If this and the other atrocities brought on by the Obama ‘administration’ which are soon to come are not stopped the US Police State and all of its attendant brutalities are inevitable.
“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever Thou goest“
–Joshua 1:9 KJV
Irony: Couple Cuffed For Engaging In Free Speech In Front Of Independence Hall (US Park Service now part of Obama Gestapo):
Evidence Suggests Obama Directly Involved In IRS Scandal:
IRS employee to testify DC ordered Political Targeting:
Obama Met With IRS Union Boss Day Before Tea Party Targeting Began:
BREAKING: Lois Lerner Told Republican in 1996: “Promise me You Will Never Run Again, and We’ll Drop This (FEC) Case” (Extortion):
ACLJ files suit against IRS on behalf of 25 tea party groups, more could follow:
‘Co-Conspirator’: Fox News Reporter James Rosen’s Private Emails Given To Justice Dept. By Google:
BREAKING: DOJ Confirms Holder Personally “Vetted” Rosen Warrant:
Judge Jeanine Pirro Calls for Indictment of Eric Holder on Multiple Counts:
Red Flags Over Turkish Rioters
By: Trevor Loudon
Most Americans think that any trouble in the Middle East comes from Islamic radicals.
In reality, much of it comes from the old pro-Moscow communist parties which are still very strong and growing in influence in the region. The communists work with and often control local radical Islamic factions on behalf of their Russian allies.
The Communist Party of Turkey is up to its eyeballs in the current mass rioting in Turkey.
The following is a statement of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP), issued June 4th.
For days now Turkey has been witnessing a genuine popular movement. The actions and protests, which started in Istanbul and have spread all over Turkey, have a massive, legitimate and historic character. The most important of all is the striking change in the mood of people. The fear and apathy has been overcome and people have gained self-confidence.
The Communist Party of Turkey has been part of the popular movement beginning from the first day and has mobilized all its forces, tried to strengthen the proletarian and revolutionary character of the movement, endeavored to encourage a mature attitude of discipline, and organized numerous actions and demonstrations. In this process, the police forces carried out a heavy assault on our party headquarters in Ankara. All over Turkey, several party members have been injured and arrested. There have been some attempts of abduction of our party cadres. But the attempts of provocations against our party were defeated.
The call of the masses for the government to resign is an absolute demand of this movement. Although it is obvious that a leftist alternative cannot be built “right now,” this demand should be expressed loudly…
The TKP is ready for a period of stubborn but intense struggle.
Interesting that trouble breaks out in Turkey, just when Turkey has been helping U.S. efforts to topple the pro-Russian Assad regime in Syria.