Arlene from Israel

Tumult can be identified on several fronts right now, starting with the issue of the death of PA official and terrorist Zaid Abu Ein yesterday.

I had hoped that the autopsy, once it was done, would firmly put to rest the charge by the PA that we “killed” this man because our soldiers beat him with a rifle butt, etc.  What actually happened after the autopsy, which was attended last night by an Israeli pathologist as well as Jordanian and Palestinian Arab medical personnel – and done under Jordanian auspices – was a bit more convoluted:

Reports earlier today seemed to indicate that the Israeli doctor, who said the cause of death was clearly a heart attack, was at odds with the Jordanian and Palestinian Arab officials who continued to maintain that Abu Ein had died from being struck, inhaling tear gas and not receiving prompt medical attention. But that assessment apparently came from one Palestinian official who shared this perspective with Reuters.

Now, it seems the various  assessments are not so far apart.  Abu Ein died of a heart attack.  Not from a beating or being strangled or the like.  That the heart attack was brought on by stress is a possibility.

This is the statement from the Israeli Ministry of Health:

Abu Ein’s death “was caused by a blockage of the coronary artery (one of the arteries that supplies blood to the heart) due to hemorrhaging underneath a layer of atherosclerotic plaque. The bleeding could have been caused by stress…

“Indications of light hemorrhaging and localized pressure were found in his neck. The deceased suffered from ischemic heart disease; blood vessels in his heart were found to be over 80% blocked by plaque. Old scars indicating that he suffered from previous myocardial infarctions were also found.

“The poor condition of the deceased’s heart caused him to be more sensitive to stress. It is necessary to wait for the medical treatment report before determining more incisive explanations on this matter.”


The report on medical treatment is important because what is described as light hemorrhaging may have been caused not by anything IDF soldiers did, but rather by attempts by Arab medical personnel to resuscitate him.


I would like to make two other points here, and would hope then, to turn to other matters.  My guess is that in the end, after all the requisite grandstanding, the PA will not break off security cooperation with Israel in spite of threats to do so. Quite simply: the PA will suffer if it does so.

IDF soldiers have made it clear (Algemeiner source cited above) that they acted “moderately” and within the “official rules of engagement” when dealing with Abu Ein.  I make the point again here that this was a hostile man, prone to violence. Abu Ein and his group of protesters had been told that they could not advance beyond a certain point, but they attempted to advance anyway and had to be stopped.  According to the report of one officer, the protesters were attempting to move towards an IDF jeep, with intent of hanging a Palestinian flag on it.

The rules of engagement would have required the soldiers to fire on the protesters, at their legs.  But the officers instead acted with restraint and did not fire – just pushing them back instead.


Lastly, I would like to call my readers’ attention to something I learned after I wrote last night.  I had indicated that an Israeli medic had offered medical assistance on the scene – assistance that might have saved him.  But, according to reports, Abu Ein refused this assistance, requesting that he be taken to Ramallah instead.

As it turns out, it appears that it was not Abu Ein who made the decision to reject the assistance of the Israeli medic – it was the decision of his “associates” – those who were surrounding him.

See the video below.  About 9 or 10 seconds into it, you see Abu Ein being lifted up by those around him and carried away. In that moment, there is a glimpse of someone with a blue glove. That is the Israel medic, who was standing right there, prepared to lend assistance.  The actions of the Arabs surrounding Abu Ein, who had just had the heart attack, may have sealed his death. The charge of “lack of medical care” points the finger in the wrong direction.


(My thanks to Winkie and Barbara O. on this.)

Briefly, now, I want to do a turn about and look at the political circus, which is filled with its own sort of ferment. Please understand that three months is a very long time in an Israeli campaign.  Polls leaning in one direction may reflect something else in a matter of weeks.  Thus, I prefer at this point to only paint a political picture in broad strokes.

The Likud Central Committee has approved Prime Minister Netanyahu’s proposal to move up the date of the primaries – which determine the order of candidates on the party list -until December 31. This is considered a major victory for Netanyahu.  It is presumed that he sought this change in the primary date so that potential candidates who would challenge him as head of the list would not have time to put their campaigns in order.

“Potential candidates” = Gideon Sa’ar.  And what do you know?  Sa’ar has just announced he would not be running in the Likud primary after all.  At least not this time around.

The scuttlebutt of the last few days has been that Netanyahu has gotten weak and is losing control in Likud.  But this victory goes a long way to dispelling that impression.  All the more is this so, as the proposal that has been approved also permits the chair of the party to select the candidates for the 11th and 24th spots on the Knesset list.

Binyamin Netanyahu at the Likud Conference

Credit: Flash 90

Danny Danon – who has been locking horns with Netanyahu for some time – will be challenging him in the primary. Danon has his eye on the premiership, certainly, but I do not believe that he or anyone else seriously considers that he will achieve the number one spot on the list now.


On the left, Yitzhak “Bujie” Herzog (Labor) and Tzipi Livni (Hatenua) have decided to join forces and combine their lists, in order to successfully challenge Netanyahu. And right now the polls are looking good for them.  From where I sit, this is the stuff of nightmares.  They say they would take turns serving as prime minister.

Labor leader Isaac Herzog and Hatnua leader Tzipi Livni announce the merger of their parties at a press conference in Tel Aviv on December 10, 2014. They said they would rotate the prime ministership if they win elections next March. (Photo credit: FLASH90)

Credit: Flash 90


The big story, in the end, may rest with those parties that are relatively centrist, as they might swing in either direction.

There are rumors of all sorts of cooperative efforts or list mergers among the parties of Lapid (Yesh Atid – “there is a future”), Lieberman (Yisrael Beitenu – “Israel our home”), and Kahlon (the brand new Kulanu – “all of us”).

They deny these rumors, and I do not trust their denials. Anything is possible.

I expect nothing of Lapid and wish he would disappear from the political map with this election.

Kahlon, originally from Likud, seems to have a solid following, but he makes me mighty uneasy.  He calls himself “centrist-right,” but declares that he knows when to give up land and is for negotiations with the PA.  Centrist-right?

And Lieberman? His self-serving game-playing is a huge disappointment.  Remember that he had a combined list with Likud the last time around. There is the possibility that he won’t go along with Lapid and Kahlon, but is lending the impression that he might in order to be better able to name his political price when going with Likud.


It seems a reasonable certainty that the Ultra-Orthodox parties (Shas, Sephardi, and United Torah, Ashkenazi) will figure in the next coalition.  Right now there is considerable tension within Shas itself, between Aryeh Deri and Eli Yishai. Something else to track.


And today’s good news:

An Israeli start-up company called White Innovation has developed a machine – the “Genie” – that prepares food in pods that have a shelf life of up two years.  We’re talking about healthy meals, without preservatives added.  There are savory dishes and sweet; breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, gluten-free meals and other specialties – all of which are reconstituted by the “Genie.”  A launch is planned for mid-January.

Hungry? Pop a pod into the machine.

Credit: Israel21C



This Is Your Chance To Call Out The GOP – Stop Amnesty Now


The voting has been delayed on the ridiculous $1 trillion spending bill. Now is the time to call the House Republicans and remind them what they were sent to DC to do:


Full List of Targeted Representatives:

Don Young AK 202-225-5765 907-271-5978 907-456-0210
Spencer Bachus AL 202-225-4921 205-969-2296 205-280-0704
Tim Griffin AR 202-225-2506 501-358-3481 501-324-5941
Paul Cook CA 202-225-5861 760-247-1815 909-797-4900
Jeff Denham CA 202-225-4540 209-579-5458
Darrell Issa CA 202-225-3906 760-599-5000 949-281-2449
Kevin McCarthy CA 202-225-2915 661-327-3611
Buck McKeon CA 202-225-1956 661-254-2111 661-274-9688
Devin Nunes CA 202-225-2523 559-323-5235 559-733-3861
Ed Royce CA 202-225-4111 714-255-0101 626-964-5123
Jeff Valadao CA 202-225-4695 661-864-7736 559-582-5526
Doug LaMalfa CA 202-225-3076 530-878-5035 530-223-5898
Dana Rohrabacher CA 202-225-2415 714-960-6483 714-960-6483
Mike Coffman CO 202-225-7882 720-748-7514
Cory Gardner CO 202-225-4676 720-508-3937 970-848-2845
Mario Diaz-Balart FL 202-225-4211 305-470-8555 239-348-1620
Jeff Miller FL 202-225-4136 850-479-1183 850-664-1266
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen FL 202-225-3931 305-668-2285
Daniel Webster FL 202-225-2176 407-654-5705 352-383-3552
Phil Gingrey GA 202-225-2931 770-429-1776 770-345-2931
Doug Collins GA 202-225-9893 770-297-3388
Tom Price GA 202-225-4501 770-998-0049
Mike Simpson ID 202-225-5531 208-334-1953 208-523-6701
Adam Kinzinger IL 202-225-3635 815-431-9271 815-432-0580
Aaron Schock IL 202-225-6201 309-671-7027 217-670-1653
John Shimkus IL 202-225-5271 217-446-0664 618-288-7190
Larry Bucshon IN 202-225-4636 812-465-6484 812-482-4255
Luke Messer IN 202-225-3021 765-747-5566 765-962-2883
Jackie Walorski IN 202-225-3915 574-204-2645 574-223-4373
Lynn Jenkins KS 202-225-6601 620-231-5966 785-234-5966
Andy Barr KY 202-225-4706 859-219-1366
Thomas Massie KY 202-225-3465 859-426-0080 606-324-9898
Hal Rogers KY 202-225-4601 606-439-0794 606-886-0844
Vance McAllister LA 202-225-8490 318-445-0818 318-322-3500
Steve Scalise LA 202-225-3015 985-340-2185 985-879-2300
Bill Cassidy LA 202-225-3901 225-929-7711 985-447-1662
Andy Harris MD 202-225-5311 410-588-5670 443-944-8624
Dan Benishek MI 202-225-4735 906-273-2074 877-376-5613
Dave Camp MI 202-225-3561 231-876-9205 989-631-2552
Bill Huizenga MI 202-225-4401 616-414-5516 616-570-0917
Candice Miller MI 202-225-2106 586-997-5010
Fred Upton MI 202-225-3761 269-385-0039 269-982-1986
Tim Walberg MI 202-225-6276 517-780-9075
John Kline MN 202-225-2271 952-808-1213
Erik Paulsen MN 202-225-2871 952-405-8510
Sam Graves MO 202-225-7041 573-221-3400 816-792-3976
Renee Ellmers NC 202-225-4531 910-230-1910 336-626-3060
Virginia Foxx NC 202-225-2071 828-265-0240 336-778-0211
Richard Hudson NC 202-225-3715 704-786-1612 910-997-2070
Patrick McHenry NC 202-225-2576 828-327-6100 704-833-0096
Jeff Fortenberry NE 202-225-4806 402-438-1598 402-379-2064
Adrian Smith NE 202-225-6435 308-384-3900 308-633-6333
Lee Terry NE 202-225-4155 402-397-9944
Rodney Frelinghuysen NJ 202-225-5034 973-984-0711
Frank LoBiondo NJ 202-225-6572 609-625-5008
John Runyan NJ 202-225-4765 856-780-6436 732-279-6013
Steve Pearce NM 202-225-2365 855-473-2723
Mark Amodei NV 202-225-6155 775-686-5760 775-777-7705
Joe Heck NV 202-225-3252 702-387-4941
Chris Collins NY 202-225-5265 585-519-4002 716-634-2324
Michael Grimm NY 202-225-3371 718-351-1062 718-630-5277
Peter King NY 202-225-7896 516-541-4225
John Boehner OH 202-225-6205 513-779-5400 937-339-1524
David Joyce OH 202-225-5731 440-352-3939 330-425-9291
Jim Renacci OH 202-225-3876 330-334-0040 440-882-6779
James Lankford OK 202-225-2132 405-234-9900
Frank Lucas OK 202-225-5565 405-373-1958
Greg Walden OR 202-225-6730 541-776-4646 541-389-4408
Charles Dent PA 202-225-6411 717-867-1026 610-562-4281
Mike Kelly PA 202-225-5406 814-454-8190 724-282-2557
Bill Shuster PA 202-225-2431 814-696-6318 717-264-8308
Kristi Noem SD 202-225-2801 605-275-2868 605-791-4673
Diane Black TN 202-225-4231 931-854-0069 615-206-8204
Marsha Blackburn TN 202-225-2811 931-503-0391 615-591-5161
Kevin Brady TX 202-225-4901 936-441-5700 936-439-9532
Michael Burgess TX 202-225-7772 940-497-5031
John Carter TX 202-225-3864 512-246-1600 254-933-1392
Michael Conaway TX 202-225-3605 432-687-2390 325-646-1950
Blake Farenthold TX 202-225-7742 361-884-2222 361-894-6446
Bill Flores TX 202-225-6105 361-894-6446 979-703-4037
Kay Granger TX 202-225-5071 817-338-0909
Jeb Hensarling TX 202-225-3484 903-675-8288 214-349-9996
Sam Johnson TX 202-225-4201 469-304-0382
Mike McCaul TX 202-225-2401 512-473-2357 281-398-1247
Randy Neugebauer TX 202-225-4005 325-675-9779 432-264-0722
Pete Sessions TX 202-225-2231 972-392-0505
Randy Weber TX 202-225-2831 409-835-0108 979-285-0231
Rob Bishop UT 202-225-0453 801-625-0107 435-734-2270
Jason Chaffetz UT 202-225-7751 801-851-2500
Chris Stewart UT 202-225-9730 801-364-5550 435-627-1500
Bob Goodlatte VA 202-225-5431 540-432-2391 434-845-8306
Doc Hastings WA 202-225-5816 509-543-9396 509-452-3243
David Reichert WA 202-225-7761 509-885-6615 425-677-7414
Cathy McMorris Rodgers WA 202-225-2006 509-353-2374 509-529-9358
Sean Duffy WI 202-225-3365 715-808-8160 715-392-3984
Thomas Petri WI 202-225-2476 920-922-1180 920-231-6333
Paul Ryan WI 202-225-3031 330-630-7311 330-740-0193
James Sensenbrenner WI 202-225-5101 217-670-1653
Shelley Moore Capito WV 202-225-2711 304-925-5964 304-264-8810
David McKinley WV 202-225-4172 304-284-8506 304-232-3801

Remind them that there’s another election soon and the door swings both ways.



Oil Price Tumbles After OPEC Releases 2015 Forecast

The demand for oil in 2015 will drop to its lowest level since 2002 because of an oversupply of crude and stagnant economies in China and Europe, according to OPEC’s latest forecast. And that’s just one of several sour estimates.

OPEC’s monthly report said demand for the cartel’s oil will fall to 28.9 million barrels per day next year, 280,000 barrels lower than its previous forecast and the lowest in 12 years. Add to that a new report from the US government’s Energy Information Administration (EIA), which also cut its 2015 forecast for growth in global oil demand by 240,000 barrels per day, down to 880,000 barrels per day.

For 2014, the EIA expects demand will be about 960,000 barrels per day.

And yet on Nov. 27, OPEC refused to lower its production levels below 30 million barrels a day, adding to the oil glut that started with the US boom in high-quality shale oil. As a result, the price of Brent crude has plunged more than 40 percent since June. Futures for US crude also are down dramatically.

“There is a growing realization that the first half of next year is going to look very weak,” Gareth Lewis-Davies, a strategist at the Paris-based bank BNP Paribas, told Reuters. “You start to price that in now.”

On Dec. 9, meanwhile, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported that inventories of US crude rose during the week ending Dec. 6 by 4.4 million barrels to 377.4 million barrels. The increase was twice as large as had been expected. US backlogs of gasoline and distillates also were up, according to the API.

“Almost all the news flow points to a weaker market,” said one oil analyst, Carsten Fritsch of Commerzbank in Frankfurt. “We have had very bearish API data with large stock builds across the board, and also a very bearish Short-Term Energy Outlook from the EIA, with a sharp reduction in demand growth forecasts for next year.”

Abhishek Deshpande, an oil market analyst at Natixis, agreed. “The fundamentals outlined in the report look quite bearish,” he said. “Fiscal balances are a huge problem for weaker OPEC members, so I won’t be surprised if they call for an emergency meeting [to adjust production levels] early next year.”

In fact this year’s price plunge hasn’t hurt just the weaker OPEC members. Bloomberg reports that oil prices now are too low for 10 of its 12 members to balance their governments’ budgets. The exceptions, the news agency reports, are Kuwait and Qatar. Saudi Arabia may be losing money on oil at the moment, the news agency says, but its treasury has nearly three-quarters of a trillion dollars in reserve.

What’s missing in this flurry of news, as of midday Dec. 10, is what OPEC plans to do about the balancing the oil glut with the expected stretch of lower demand. And the cartel’s next meeting to discuss production levels isn’t scheduled until June 5, 2015.

Source: http://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/Oil-Price-Tumbles-After-OPEC-Releases-2015-Forecast.html

By Andy Tully of Oilprice.com


The Threat of Qatar: Is the American Media and Political Class Finally Waking Up?

By: William Michael
Right Side News

Over the past two days, several news reports have emerged that suggest the media and, yes, even some politicians in Qatar Sponsors of TerrorismWashington, have begun to appreciate the threat posed by the small Gulf State of Qatar.

On December 9, a bipartisan group of 24 members of Congress wrote a letter to the Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, David S. Cohen, that stated in part:

“We are concerned about the ties between Qatar and Hamas, and we commend you on your speech before the Center for a New American Security, where you stated that, ‘Qatar, a longtime U.S. ally, has for many years openly financed Hamas,’ and that press reports indicate that the Qatari government is also ‘supporting extremist groups operating in Syria,’ further adding to the instability of the region. As you noted in your speech, there are private fundraising networks in Qatar that solicit donations for terrorists. Qatar, in your words, is ‘a permissive terrorist financing environment.’”

It urged Treasury to focus on terrorist financing from Qatar and another Muslim Brotherhood-dominated country, Turkey. They made it clear that anti-terrorism officials in Treasury should do everything possible in their power to end Qatari and Turkish financing of jihadi groups. These groups have destabilized the Middle East and North Africa, and are a significant factor in America’s rapidly deteriorating relations with Russia.

On December 10, The Daily Beast published an article that, for the mainstream press, called Qatar out pretty straight: as they put it, they’re “the world’s most two-faced nation.”

Two-faced indeed. Qatar simultaneously hosts, and pays for the campuses of, Georgetown (where they help train American diplomats), Carnegie Mellon (which is in partnership with the Department of Defense), and Cornell, yet also hosts the Nazi-rooted Muslim Brotherhood. They try to pass themselves off as “progressives,” but have been implicated in funding the genocidal armies of ISIS. Qatar’s capital, Doha, is home to two large American military bases and CENTCOM for the region, yet 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was a guest of their Minister of Religious Affairs from 1992-1996.

How do they get away with this behavior? Surely, a lack of public awareness about the tiny country is one reason. Most Americans have never heard of Qatar, and even fewer know how to pronounce its name – “cutter,” or depending on the Arabic accent, “gutter.” And yes, anonymity is an asset to any criminal, especially a criminal regime.

But while anonymity only goes so far, a vast ocean of money goes much further. Qatar is, per capita, the richest country in the world (~$93,000 in 2013). With the globe’s third largest natural gas reserves (behind Russia and Iran), the less than 300,000 Qatari citizens have cash to burn.

And, since we’re on the topic of burning, Qatar’s foreign policy seems to be that of burning down their neighbors’ countries (unfortunately, with American backing). The Arab Spring, which a) caused widespread death and destruction in Egypt b) left Syria in an unending civil war, and c) still has Libya in a state of utter chaos, further complicated by a Qatari proxy war against Egypt and the UAE… all these Islamist insurrections were and are backed by the Qatari government; specifically, by the Muslim Brotherhood leaders who reside there and the sympathizing Al-Thani royal family. More than any other nation, it is Qatar who is seeking to re-establish an Islamic Caliphate. To accomplish this, they don’t much care if the world, and infidel, are lit on fire.

The other side of Islamist gangs, which is rarely given enough coverage in the media, is the organized crime aspect of these stateless, revolutionary entities. Whether it’s Boko Haram in Nigeria, Al Qaeda in Iraq, AQIM across North Africa, or the Taliban in Afghanistan, Islamist terrorist organizations double as cartels. Narcotics, human trafficking, racketeering, and the usual terrorizing of local populations are their trademarks.

It should come as a surprise to no one that tiny, corrupt, and fabulously wealthy Qatar has at one time or another financed all of the above terrorist groups.

Do you think that the Al-Thanis do this out of the goodness of their Islamist hearts? Or is it more realistic to think that, just maybe, they are recipients of ill-gotten billions resulting from organized crime?

To explain the Qatari way of “diplomacy” to yourself, try this thought experiment. A man in a very expensive suit hands you five checkbooks. He gives you a mission: make as many friends as possible, who, should his reputation ever be questioned in public, will come to his defense. To accomplish this, you are permitted write checks up to $10 million and hand them out freely. Considering how much political coverage and favors can be purchased from American politicians and media for relatively less, it’s no wonder Qatar has so many “friends.”

In fact, Qatar’s “friends” comprise a veritable “Who’s Who” of the American (and even international) establishment. During the month of October, the Qatar Awareness Campaign, an ad hoc Coalition of concerned journalists, activists, publishers, and researchers published a letter each weekday, identifying American interests and individuals compromised by Qatari money and/or who toe the Qatari line. Many of the figures named might surprise you: Michael Bloomberg, ExxonMobil, Al Gore, John McCain, The Boeing Company, Miramax, the Chamber of Commerce, CNN, Harvard University, Bill and Hillary Clinton, FIFA, to name just a few.

Do you see now why it has taken so long for the political and media figures to finally peep up, even just a little? Hint: they’re bought off, paid for… and you – the American citizen – don’t have a blank checkbook like the terror masters in Doha.

Maybe, just maybe, the tide is beginning to turn. If the American public, and the global public, understood that the U.S. government had as one of its closest allies a narco-terror slave state, the politicians would be forced to act, if merely to save face. Terrorism in the United States is still a crime, and those who support it are therefore guilty under penalty of law.

Recently, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced he was resigning from his position as the civilian head of the Pentagon. Among the most prominent reasons given for his departure was the continuing debacle in the Middle East.   It was also reported that he never established a good relationship with Obama’s inner circle. In this respect, Hagel’s frustrations were certainly in no small part tied to Qatar; for it was the Qatari royal family, the Al-Thanis, who bankrolled and strategically coordinated the Arab Spring, and who remain so intimate with the administration as to accept and shelter the Taliban 5 for the deserter Bowe Bergdahl. (That infamous deal, it is worth mentioning, was finalized while the former Qatari Emir was visiting with Obama at West Point, attending the graduation of his son.)

Hagel, if pressed, may indeed admit that Obama’s alliance with Qatar and the Al-Thanis was the ultimate driver behind his resignation. Might we soon get some truth from the only Republican in Obama’s cabinet?

Secretary Hagel, your country needs you to speak up NOW!

William Michael – Qatar Awareness Campaign


Dick Cheney Torture Report ‘Full Of Crap’ FULL Interview

Hat Tip: BB

Dick Cheney’s spot-on justification of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques on Muslim terrorists

DEMOCRAT LOON, Rep. Jackie Speier of ‘Caliphornia,’ says the CIA should apologize to the Muslim terrorists for torturing them

‘A LOAD OF CRAP’: Cheney Destroys ‘Torture Report,’ Calls It ‘A Flat-Out Lie’, Calls 9/11 Hijackers, ‘Bastards’

Dick Cheney: Bush Knew and Approved of Interrogation Techniques


Benghazi Congressional Investigations Roll On, Barely

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

The latest hearing by the House Select Committee on Benghazi was held on December 10th, as Congress is about to head out the door for Christmas. The hearing was unfortunately still focused on the far-from-independent State Department Accountability Review Board. It’s time to move on. There is plenty to investigate. The critics of any further investigation are citing the latest report from Rep. Mike Rogers’ (R-MI) House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) to argue that the whole investigation should be shut down.

That’s the narrative previously promoted by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), who also referred to the flawed HPSCI report’s assertion that it is a “definitive” accounting in his opening statement at Wednesday’s hearing.

Rep. Cummings also informed the American people that Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) had agreed to outline the scope of the Select Committee on Benghazi’s investigation by the end of the year, and that he and Chairman Gowdy would meet with Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) on December 11th to establish new rules for the Select Committee. A House Democrat press release indicates that the Select Committee will be narrowing its scope and adopting official rules to provide more equality between the two parties in terms of questioning future witnesses. “This should appease Democrats who have long criticized the panel as designed to rile up the Republican base,” commented Lauren French for Politico. It may also water down the investigation.

Gowdy appeared on Greta Van Susteren’s show on Fox News after the hearing, and said that the committee would be calling National Security Adviser Susan Rice and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to testify at some point, but that he and Rep. Cummings “are going to consult with each other before any decisions are made.”

Instead of “narrowing the scope” of this investigation, it’s time to expand the scope, to include the dereliction of duty, the cover-up, the reason we overthrew Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi in the first place, and how and why the U.S. knowingly facilitated the shipment of arms to al Qaeda. You can read about all that in the Interim Report from the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi, which was produced last April.

Rep. Mike Rogers appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” with Candy Crowley last Sunday. The focus was on the then-soon-to-be-released report by the Senate Intelligence Committee on the so-called “CIA Torture report.” But at the end, Crowley brought up Benghazi. It was clear she didn’t really want to, but it was hanging out there.

Here was the exchange:

CROWLEY: I can’t let you go, even though I’m out of time, because I need to ask you about the Benghazi report that your committee put out. It’s been criticized by a lot of Republicans. Some have aid it was a bunch of an expletive that I can’t use on TV, saying, you know, you slow-walked this. It was a sloppy report. You never wanted to find the Obama administration, you kept saying this is in the past, let’s move on, and that it will not be the definitive report.  Your reaction?

ROGERS: It’s been criticized by a lot of Republicans. Some have said it was a bunch of an expletive that I can’t use on TV, Oh, it’s not meant to be the most definitive report. I wish—people who were some of the most vocal critics never read the report. Actually, some of the most vocal critics never accessed the classified evidence or the classified annex to the report. I find that a little bit troubling that they would spend so much time looking for a partisan angle on this.

Here’s the problem when I—that I learned as a young FBI agent in Chicago. If somebody loves your investigation, best to start over. And what happened is, we decided that we were only going to use facts and then corroborate those facts to come to a finding and a conclusion.

If people read the conclusions, which, by the way, is very narrowly tailored to the intelligence community, the State Department was not part of our investigation. The White House was not part of our investigation. This was only isolated to the intelligence community.

The odd thing is, it mirrors—mirrors the Senate Intelligence report. It also mirrors the House Armed Services report, which was also a Republican report. None of those reports differ at all, because they were all fact-based.

My argument is, if you—some people on the left are condemning it. They wanted exoneration. Some on the right are saying they wanted damnation. What we did is laid the facts on the table. And I believe the facts speak for themselves.

There are a lot of unanswered questions in the State Department and the White House. That’s where the Select Committee, I think, can get answers.

CROWLEY: Understand.

While we have, I believe, thoroughly debunked his finding that this was not an intelligence failure, and that there was no “stand down” order, Rogers does admit that the report didn’t look at the White House or the State Department. His answer had a different tone from that of the report itself—less definitive—and to those who argued that this report was case closed on Benghazi, they need to think again. I know that’s what they wish, but it’s not happening.

Also, Crowley had her own controversial history with Benghazi, when she played the straight-woman for Barack Obama during one of the presidential debates in 2012.

The media have been hard at work trying to enshrine the recent House Intelligence Committee report on the attacks in Benghazi, Libya as the gospel truth. In response, Accuracy in Media has been busy debunking this report, and has even published a rebuttal by Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi member Clare Lopez, a former CIA officer. Her piece outlines how the report ignores statements made by the Annex Security Team regarding what happened on the ground on September 11 and 12, 2012.

Now we can read the official debunking of the report by the very people who were present that night in Benghazi, and learn what they have to say about this misleading report. In a powerful indictment of Chairman Rogers’ committee, Kris “Tanto” Paronto and John “Tig” Tiegen have exposed numerous lies and inaccuracies made by the House Intelligence Committee, based on their firsthand knowledge of events.

For example, the Annex Security Team exposes stunning behavior by the Tripoli response team and CIA Annex staff. Excluding Glen Doherty, who was killed in the attacks, these people apparently did not assist the team in guarding against the terrorist threat on the rooftops at the Annex on September 12, 2012—to the point of not providing relief for Paranto to take a bathroom break. Instead, they congregated in Building C, Paronto and Tiegen assert. “Meanwhile, the other Tripoli Teams officers spread out to assess the situation, locate all personnel and fill any security gaps,” the intelligence committee report had stated.

Also, the intelligence committee report boldly asserted, “The CIA security team chief (GRS Staff Team Leader) in Benghazi, in consultation with the Chief of Base, made the decision to organize the rescue mission and to commence the operation.” In reality, Paronto and Tiegen write, they defied orders, departing the Annex and coming to the aid of the Diplomatic Security agents under fire at the Special Mission Compound. The authors even describe Paronto as being “antagonized” by a committee staffer for the team’s decision to defy orders and go to the DS agents’ aid.

The committee’s demonstrated level of misinformation should not, and cannot, be adopted as gospel truth by the media. Paronto and Tiegen’s complete article can be read on Breitbart.com.

Current plans, announced at the latest hearing of the Select Committee, are to hold one hearing in January, one in February, and one in March. What is necessary are Watergate-style hearings, with a sense of urgency about getting to the bottom of this sordid Obama administration scandal.


Obama’s Endless Lies and His Media Accomplices

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

Like the use of the word “chokehold” in connection with the death of Eric Garner, the term “torture” has been applied repeatedly by the media to the CIA’s treatment of suspected terrorists. These are examples of how left-wing forces in the Obama administration, the Democratic Party and the media try to control and manipulate the public debate in ways that demonize those defending our nation.

The purpose is to make the American people lose faith in the police and the intelligence community. But it is those using the loaded terms and language that deserve the scrutiny.

A notable exception in the “chokehold” coverage is Margaret Harding of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, who quoted Thomas Aveni, a retired officer and executive director of the Police Policy Studies Council, as saying about the video of Garner’s takedown, “The reason all these people are upset is because they don’t understand what they saw. People don’t understand what they’re looking at.”

She reported that Aveni, a police trainer in deadly and non-deadly force for more than 30 years, said that New York City Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo did not use a chokehold on Garner, but rather a “lateral vascular neck restraint” or LVNR. The difference? “People can’t talk when they are being choked,” Aveni said.

The alleged use of “torture” against suspected terrorists is another example of how the media adopt a term that doesn’t apply to what is actually being described.

Jose Rodriguez, the author of Hard Measures: How Aggressive CIA Actions After 9/11 Saved American Lives, says the term “torture” is inaccurate and that the CIA received guidance from the Department of Justice as to what procedures could be used to avoid “lasting pain or harm” to the detainees. Rodriguez, the former head of the CIA’s Clandestine Service, defends the “enhanced interrogation techniques.”

Rodriguez writes in his book about how Obama’s CIA director Leon Panetta had declared to the Senate that the program had used “torture,” though he had not even been briefed on it.

The media campaigns against the police “chokehold” and the CIA’s “torture” techniques remind me of the communist “Ban the Neutron Bomb” campaign of the early 1970s. The “neutron bomb” was an enhanced radiation weapon designed to counter a Soviet tank build-up in Europe.

Despite the name, the “neutron bomb” was more humane than conventional arms. Appearing at an Accuracy in Media conference at the time, Sam T. Cohen, the inventor of the weapon, noted that it killed people painlessly through radiation rather than a blast with catastrophic consequences. But the Soviets thought it gave the U.S. an unfair advantage and successfully waged an “active measures” campaign, using the U.S. media, against it. Distorted coverage of the weapon led President Jimmy Carter to ban it from the U.S. arsenal.

In the same way, banning a “chokehold,” when it is actually something else, puts American police forces at a disadvantage with the criminal element. Outlawing “torture,” when the techniques were not torture, deprives our intelligence community of procedures that can actually save lives.

When we examined Panetta’s fitness for public office, we found that he was an opponent of the “neutron bomb” when he was a liberal Congressman from California. Perhaps this explains why he was picked for the important posts of CIA director and then Secretary of Defense. He was susceptible to disinformation then and was judged as somebody who could “go with the program” of Obama to ban interrogation techniques that gave the U.S. an edge in the war on terror.

The “torture” controversy also proves to be a diversion from discussing Obama’s alternative—the use of drones to shoot air-to-surface Hellfire missiles and literally obliterate suspected terrorists.

When terrorists die in drone strikes, they yield no intelligence data because they do not end up alive in U.S. custody. Plus, women and children die alongside them.

This is supposed to be more “humane” than alleged “torture” of the individual terrorists, who survive the “torture” and then get fat at Gitmo.

Obama gets away with this because the media, once again, are feeding out of his hands, eager to take his line on foreign affairs when it is nonsensical and counter to U.S. interests.

In his 2013 remarks to the National Defense University, Obama acknowledged that “…it is a hard fact that U.S. strikes have resulted in civilian casualties, a risk that exists in every war. And for the families of those civilians, no words or legal construct can justify their loss. For me, and those in my chain of command, those deaths will haunt us as long as we live, just as we are haunted by the civilian casualties that have occurred throughout conventional fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

Obama declared, “…America’s actions are legal.” Case closed. That’s good enough for the media.

At the same time, he said, “I believe we compromised our basic values—by using torture to interrogate our enemies, and detaining individuals in a way that ran counter to the rule of law.”

Obama’s flimsy justification for drone strikes is a self-serving memo generated by his own administration. It purports to explain why killing Americans does not violate the due process clause of the U.S. Constitution for U.S. citizens accused of crimes. The memo refers to U.S. drone aircraft as “contemplated lethal operations.”

Apparently, however, wiping out terrorists and their families, friends, and relatives, is not something that compromises our basic values.

The fact that Obama gets away with this deception says something about the gullibility of the American media.

It was appropriate that the Democratic Senate report on “torture” was released on the same day that Jonathan Gruber was testifying about lying to the American people regarding the benefits of Obamacare. The Senate report was another form of deception, designed to confuse and mislead about what Obama has used in place of interrogation techniques of terrorists. Obama doesn’t interrogate terrorists, he kills them.

Yet, we are led to believe Obama believes in American values and practices them.

The American people would see through the lies if only they could depend on a media that would lead them out of all the deliberate obfuscation.