#TortureReport: I look forward to the Republican report of how much Democrats knew

December 15, 2014
What did she know?

What did she know?

Setting aside for a moment the questions of what constitutes “torture,” when are harsh methods justified in interrogation, and the effectiveness of such methods, one of the most galling aspects of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s majority report is its raging hypocrisy. Feigning a shock and outrage that would make even Captain Reynault blush with shame, Senate Democrats lead by Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) loudly denounced the CIA (and by extension the Bush administration) for employing tactics that amounted to torture.

Funny how they’re outraged now, when they’ve known for years:

Jose Rodriguez, the CIA’s point man for counterterrorism between 2002 and 2004, told Fox News’s Chris Wallace on Sunday that Democratic lawmakers now accusing the CIA of keeping Congress in the dark on some interrogation methods “knew exactly what we were doing.”

“I remember very clearly briefing [California Democrat] Nancy Pelosi in September of 2002,” he said, claiming he “briefed her specifically on the enhanced-interrogation techniques of Abu Zubayda. So she knew, back in September of 2002, every one of our enhanced interrogation techniques.”

“These people were fully aware of all of the techniques that were given to us and approved by the Office of Legal Counsel at Justice,” Rodriguez continued, saying that neither Nancy Pelosi nor other Democrats — with the exception of then–California congresswoman Jane Harman — “ever objected to the techniques at all.”

Senators knew, too; the article mentions Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) in particular. But I’d like to know just how much Senator Feinstein knew and when she knew it. She’s been on the intelligence committee for years and was surely briefed. But it’s only now, with Democrats soon to lose control of the Senate and Feinstein her chairmanship of the committee, that she decides to rush out this hack-job of a report. I’ll repeat what I wrote in 2009, when Nancy Pelosi was the one screaming over harsh interrogation methods:

You want a truth commission, Mrs. Pelosi? Fine. Bring it on. Let’s have that full-throated discussion of “harsh” interrogation of terrorists who believe they’re doing Allah’s work when they carve off heads or fly planes into buildings and who’d dearly love to set off a nuclear weapon in the US. Let’s clear away the cobwebs of convenient amnesia to let the world know just how much you and your party members supported those same techniques, funding them year after year and even wondering why we weren’t doing more. Let’s bring out all the details of how those techniques saved Americans from horrible deaths and find out what the American people support: a government that recognizes that its highest, first duty is to protect and defend its citizens, or one willing to gut its intelligence service and put the people at risk, all in the name of a preening sanctimony that’s nothing more than a cover for a partisan hack job.

So, let’s have that truth commission, Speaker Pelosi. Just remember, truth hurts.

Let’s see if they can handle the truth.

RELATED: For a much more sensible critique of the interrogation program, read counterintelligence specialist John Schindler’s post “CIA Torture: An Insider’s View.”


Lingering OKBOMB Questions

November 17, 2014

Phineas Fahrquar:

The 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing is coming up next year, and Mr. Schindler takes a look at some interesting unanswered questions, including wondering why the FBI and the DoJ seemingly stonewall any attempt at further investigation.

Originally posted on The XX Committee:

One of the more curious aspects of our postmodern information age is how stories that are actually known — meaning they have already been reported and can easily be found online — nevertheless fail to develop traction in the public consciousness, until sometimes they do, without apparent warning.

A classic case is the recent blow-up of Bill Cosby’s public reputation. Although allegations of rape against the actor-comedian, by more than a dozen women, have been reported for over a decade, including a 2006 out-of-court settlement, it was only recently — specifically last month, when comedian Hannibal Burress stated matter-of-factly of “America’s Dad”: “Yeah, but you’re a rapist” — that the story finally got legs. Suddenly, it has become a sensation, not helped by Cosby’s ham-handed efforts at online reputation management and his bizarre on-air silence about the allegations. It’s difficult to see how Cosby’s reputation can recover from this…

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Respect: Canadian MPs fashioned spears to fight off jihadist gunman

October 25, 2014

flag_canadian_maple_leaf

Apparently House of Commons Sergeant at Arms Kevin Vickers wasn’t the only badass on Parliament Hill that day. Conservative MPs taking shelter in a caucus room while a Muslim gunman stalked the halls of parliament were determined to fight for their lives:

After they heard gunfire outside their meeting room door Wednesday, members of Parliament snapped close to 15 flagpoles to make weapons.

Some positioned themselves on risers that flanked doors, ready to attack an assailant.

“There were 15 flags up at caucus and all but two were taken down,” one MP recalled.

“These guys were up there holding these spears ready to impale anyone who came in,” the source said.

“It was that or get mowed down,” the member of Parliament said of the threat posed by a gunman who was ultimately shot dead by Parliament Hill security.

The article also reports that Prime Minister Harper was “whisked” into a closet where he hid for about 15 minutes. But, before anyone thinks harshly of him, remember that he was the most important person in Canada, the head of its government, and his safety was his security detail’s responsibility. Just as President Bush’s safety was a top priority on 9/11, thus forcing a delay in his return to Washington, it would have been gravely irresponsible of him to place himself at risk by joining those manning the barricade, given his responsibilities to the nation.

That said, hats off to the MPs willing to lay their lives on the line. Let no one ever say Canadians are wimps.

via Instapundit

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Iran, Russia, and some damn thing in the Balkans

October 24, 2014
Bosnia-map

Bosnia

There are a couple of must-read articles today at XX Committee (1), both dealing with Iran’s schemes against the West. This first details Iran’s growing activities in Bosnia and Central Europe, where they have been working to cultivate Muslim extremists since Yugoslavia broke up. Note especially that Shiite Iran is quite happy to cooperate with Sunni jihadists, when the target is the “main enemy” — us and Europe. Here’s an excerpt:

…Iran has a considerable espionage base in Bosnia, which they view as a safe haven for their secret operations in the rest of Europe. Of greatest concern are the detectable ties between Iranian intelligencers and Salafi jihadist groups in Bosnia, some of which operate more or less openly (Sunni-Shia disputes notwithstanding, Tehran is happy to arm, train and equip Salafi jihadists, and nowhere more than Bosnia, where they have been doing that for over two decades). This Tehran-Sarajevo spy-terror nexus cannot be divorced from radical activities in Vienna, since Austria’s capital in many ways is the de facto capital of Salafi jihadism in Southeastern Europe, as well as a major playground for Iranian spies. These form an extended web of malevolence that stretches across Eastern and Central Europe.

…and…

Of particular concern is the large number of Iranian intelligence fronts operating in Bosnia that provide cover for operations and funding of terrorists and radicals: NGOs, charities of various sorts, and schools. For the Pasdaran, its most important cut-outs in Bosnia are the “Ibn Sina” Research Institute and the Persian-Bosnian College, but there is a long list of Iranian-linked fronts in the country (my analysis of these and how they provide cover for VEVAK and Pasdaran is here) that play an important role in Tehran’s secret war in Europe.

Should the West ever come to blows with Iran over its nuclear program, don’t doubt for a moment that the mullahs would use these assets to strike back violently in Europe.

Then Mr. Schindler also broke news today of a major Iranian-Russian intelligence cooperation agreement, aimed, of course, at us and the Israelis:

An indication of how cozy things are getting between Moscow and Tehran came this week with a visit to Iran by Nikolai Patrushev, the head of Russia’s National Security Council, who met with Iranian counterparts to discuss mutual threats. As Patrushev explained, “Iran has been one of Russia’s key partners in the region and it will remain so in future … [we] have similar and close views on many key regional issues and we had a serious exchange of views on the situation in Syria, Iraq and Libya.”

But this was not just a diplomatic gab fest. In the first place, Patrushev is a career intelligence officer and one of President Vladimir Putin’s closest confidants. A career counterintelligence officer with the Leningrad KGB, just like Putin, Patrushev served as head of the powerful Federal Security Service (FSB) from 1999 to 2008, leaving that position to take over the National Security Council.

As you’ll discover in the article, Mr. Patrushev is not a friend of the United States. For him, the Cold War is still very warm. Continuing:

Now, however, a full intelligence alliance has been agreed to. As a Russian report on Patrushev’s visit explained:

“The events in Syria and Iraq, where contacts between the Russian and Iranian special services have not only been resumed but have also proven their mutually advantageous nature, particularly in assessing the threats and plans of local bandit formations, both “secular” and Islamist, with respect to Russian facilities in Tartus in Syria, have impelled Moscow and Tehran to the idea of the need to formalize these contacts in the shape of a permanently operating mechanism. Russian special services also valued the volume of information, voluntarily conveyed by Iran to our specialists, on the potential activity of the Israeli Air Force against the Russian humanitarian convoys to Syria in the period of the sharp aggravation of the situation in that country in the summer of last year.”

Let there be no doubt that this new espionage alliance is aimed directly at the United States and Israel. As the report added, “the Iranians are prepared to provide Russia on a permanent basis with information on American military activity in the Persian Gulf obtained from their own technical intelligence facilities” — in other words, the Russians and Iranians will be sharing SIGINT, the most sensitive of all forms of intelligence gathering.

As Mr. Schindler likes to say, there is a “secret war” going on against us and our allies, one which our enemies seem to be fighting better than we do. Now that Iran and Russia have buried the hatchet, their cooperation will likely pose us serious problems and threats, not just in the Middle East, but also in Europe, where Russia maintains significant intelligence operations.

Our enemies have stepped up our game; I wish I had faith our current leadership could do the same.

Footnote:
(1) Frankly, one can say that about all Mr. Schindler’s posts.


Kill Santa to save the Earth! Approved for Common Core!

October 22, 2014
Enemy of Gaia?

Enemy of Gaia?

I realize misanthropy lies at the heart of hardcore environmentalism, but there’s a substantial subset that revels in almost pornographic fantasies of violence against skeptics of anthropogenic global warming and the policies meant to deal with it. First we were treated to a gory video of skeptics exploding.

Now it’s an award-winning graphic novel –approved for use as a Common Core text!– in which terrorists protest Gaia-harming consumerism by wasting some mall Santas:

When is it acceptable for a terrorist to go berserk in a shopping mall and machine gun innocent victims to death?

When it’s all being done for the noble cause of environmentalism, of course!

Such is the take-home message of an award-winning graphic novel which has been praised by a top scientist at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as “a marvellous way to convey the knowledge accumulated by our scientific community.” (H/T Marc Morano at Climate Depot)

It has also been recommended by a curriculum developer at the US National Council of Teachers of English as a “rigorous” and “highly expressive” work which will make an “optimal text for students at various levels”. (Naturally, the novel has been deemed Common-Core-compliant too.)

Climate Changed by Philippe Squarzoni shows a beautiful woman called Camille in a supermarket staring down the sights of an automatic rifle at three men dressed in Santa costumes.

“In an energy model based on a vision of demand continually increasing we produce more so we can consume more,” says the caption, disapprovingly.

Luckily, the author has found the perfect solution to this rampant and offensive consumerism, as he demonstrates in the next frames.

The woman opens up, shellcases tumbling, and the screaming Father Christmases are riddled with bullets.

There’s something disturbingly eliminationist about the Left, whether Green save-the-Earth types or those simply fantasizing about killing a president they don’t like. One can’t simply disagree and yell at each other. No, many on the Left, including climate warriors, are so convinced of their righteousness that they want to eliminate their foes altogether, whether by jailing them or even having them executed.

For what it’s worth, I don’t want to eliminate, jail, or execute climate alarmists. I just want them exposed for the fools (often mendacious ones, at that) they are, so that they’ll slink away in embarrassment and stop corrupting science and trying to reduce us all back to a carbon-free poverty.

And I certainly don’t want to blow away Santa.


ISIS fighters caught sneaking into the US?

October 8, 2014
Seal of the new Caliphate

Seal of the new Caliphate

That’s the explosive charge made by Representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA) last night on Greta van Susteren’s program:

Van Susteren: Hold on. Stop for one second.

Hunter: They are going to be bombing American cities coming across from Mexico.

Van Susteren: Let me ask a question. You say that they are coming in the southern border, which changes all the dynamics Do you have any information that they are coming in through the southern border now?

Hunter: Yes.

Van Susteren: Tell me what you know.

Hunter: At least ten ISIS fighters have been caught coming across the border in Texas.

Van Susteren: How do you know that?

Hunter: Because I’ve asked the border patrol, Greta.

Van Susteren And the border patrol just let’s ISIS members come across the border?

Hunter: No. They caught them at the border. Therefore, we know that ISIS is coming across the border. If they catch five or ten of them, you know that there are going to be dozens more that did not get caught by the border patrol. That’s how you know. That’s where we are at risk here, is from ISIS and radical Islamists coming across the border. Once again, they don’t have a navy, air force, nuclear weapons. The only way that Americans are going to be harmed by radical Islam — Chairman Dempsey said the same thing. He said that’s where the major threat is here, that’s how these guy guys are going to infiltrate through America and harm Americans.

If Hunter is right (as Jim Geraghty points out, he’s not known for being a hysteric) that ISIS terrorists have been caught at the border, then he’s also right to point out the risk that others have gotten through whom we don’t know about. At least, we the public don’t know about them. If they exist, I hope to God the FBI knows about them and is tracking them and about to make arrests. If they don’t know where they are –again, assuming Hunter is right and they exist– things could well get awfully scary, awfully fast.

It’s a given that jihadists from ISIS, al Qaeda, and other groups want to attack us, and our borders, particularly the southern one, are a huge weakness. Gee, maybe those of us calling for stiffer border security weren’t just a bunch of racist, nativist nutjobs after all.

PS: See Jim’s post for a worrisome quote from a Democratic congressman.


Paris is Overwhelmed by the Jihadi Threat

September 9, 2014

Phineas Fahrquar:

Unrestricted (or very loosely restricted) immigration combined with poor results at assimilation (multiculturalism has much to answer for) has left France and much of Europe facing a dangerous “domestic jihad” threat.

Originally posted on The XX Committee:

As I’ve previously reported, France stands on the front lines of Europe’s struggle against the Salafi jihad, with numerous violent incidents in the country in recent years perpetrated by terrorists who radicalized while they were at home, not abroad. The urgency of the situation has been clarified by the revelation that French national Mehdi Nemmouche, who murdered three Jews in Brussels, was a notorious torturer for the Islamic State while he waged jihad in Syria. Reports that Nemmouche had much bigger plans, including a terrorist attack on the Champs Élysées parade on Bastille Day, have hardly calmed nerves in Paris.

Calmness is not in order in France now, as the number of its citizens waging jihad in Syria and Iraq, mostly on behalf of the Islamic State, is without precedent. While earlier jihadi campaigns in Bosnia in the 1990s or in Iraq a decade ago, for instance…

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