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Saturday, February 15, 2014

American Exceptionalisn, exemplified by the US team of foreign ambassadors

Obama ambassador nominees prompt an uproar with bungled answers, lack of ties

By Juliet Eilperin, Published: February 14

WASHINGTON POST

A century-old debate over whether presidents should reward political donors and allies by making them ambassadors has flared again after a string of embarrassing gaffes by President Obama’s picks.
The nominee for ambassador to Norway, for example, prompted outrage in Oslo by characterizing one of the nation’s ruling parties as extremist. A soap- opera producer slated for Hungary appeared to have little knowledge of the country she would be living in. A prominent Obama bundler nominated to be ambassador to Argentina acknowledged that he had never set foot in the country and isn’t fluent in Spanish.


Aaron Blake FEB 14
Presidents have been using ambassador appointments to reward political allies for a long time.

Even former senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.), the new U.S. ambassador in Beijing, managed to raise eyebrows during his confirmation hearing by acknowledging, “I’m no real expert on China.”
The stumbles have highlighted the perils of rewarding well-heeled donors and well-connected politicos with plum overseas assignments and have provided political fodder for Republicans eager to attack the White House. The cases also underscore how a president who once infuriated donors by denying them perks has now come into line with his predecessors, doling out prominent diplomatic jobs by the dozens to supporters.
“Being a donor to the president’s campaign does not guarantee you a job in the administration, but it does not prevent you from getting one,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters this week.
For several decades, presidents have generally followed a “70-30” rule when it comes to such appointments, nominating career foreign service officers for roughly 70 percent of U.S. missions abroad and reserving the rest for political allies.
Political appointees account for 37 percent of the ambassadorships filled so far during Obama’s tenure, according to the American Foreign Service Association. The rate for his second term so far stands at 53 percent, the group said.
The numbers are at the high end for recent presidents, according to the group’s data. Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford inserted political supporters in about 38 percent of their ambassador jobs; at the other end of the scale, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter had about 27 percent. George W. Bush and his father were at 30 percent and 31 percent, respectively.
Obama administration officials say the number has been inflated by a surge of second-term openings in posts typically given to non-diplomats. The rate is sure to fall in coming months, they said.
Even then, it’s a notable turnaround from Obama’s first year in office, when he gave only about 10 percent of ambassadorships to political donors — angering many of those who were left out.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, said in an interview that several of Obama’s recent nominees were “truly alarming” because of their lack of qualifications. “When you put someone in an ambassador’s position who hasn’t even been to the country, you are rolling the dice,” he said.
The troubles began last month, when million-dollar bundler and Chartwell Hotels chief executive George Tsunis testified at his confirmation hearing to be ambassador to Norway. Tsunis admitted he had never been to the Scandinavian country and suggested, among other things, that the nation’s Progress Party was part of a discounted “fringe.” It is actually part of Norway’s center-right ruling coalition.
Noah Bryson Mamet was asked during his confirmation hearing this month if he had ever been to Argentina, where he would be ambassador. “I haven’t had the opportunity yet to be there,” said Mamet, who raised more than $500,000 for Obama’s reelection.
During the same hearing, Robert C. Barber, who raised more than $1.6 million for Obama in 2012 and has been nominated to serve as ambassador to Iceland, said he had never visited the Nordic nation.
Then there is Colleen Bell, the nominee for ambassador to Hungary and a producer of “The Bold and the Beautiful” soap opera, who raised or contributed about $800,000 to Obama in the last election. She stammered her way through testimony about U.S. strategic interests in the country, which is the focus of growing international alarm over far-right lawmakers’ attitude toward Jews and other minorities.
“I have no more questions for this incredibly highly qualified group of nominees,” McCain said sarcastically during the hearing for several of the nominees.
David Wade, chief of staff for Secretary of State John F. Kerry, said in a statement that political appointees ranging from Shirley Temple to former vice president Walter Mondale had won plaudits as diplomats. White House officials note that several of Obama’s first-term appointees, such as television executive Charles Rivkin in France and technology lawyer John Victor Roos in Japan, got high marks.
“It’s a strength, not a stigma, that an ambassador spent decades running a corporation or serving as a governor or senator,” Wade said. “The question is the individual, not where they come from, period.”
In addition to donors, recent ambassadorships have been handed to former White House and campaign aides, including Patrick Gaspard in South Africa, Rufus Gifford in Denmark and Mark Childress in Tanzania. Obama has also nominated former deputy White House counsel Cassandra Butts to serve as chief of mission in the Bahamas.
As in past administrations, some of the non-diplomats have run into trouble. During Obama’s first term, political appointees in Malta, Luxembourg, Kenya and the Bahamas all resigned after inspectors general exposed management problems.
“I’m amazed at how the State Department let those people go up so unprepared,” said Tom Korologos, an adviser at law firm DLA Piper who served as the U.S. ambassador to Belgium under George W. Bush. “When I went up for confirmation as ambassador to Belgium, I knew more about Belgium than the Belgians did.”
All nominees go through what is informally referred to as “ambassador school,” where they learn about the country for which they’ve been selected and sit with a desk officer at the State Department to learn about ongoing developments.
There is no specific requirement that ambassadorial nominees, whether career or political, have visited the country in question. The most recent U.S. ambassador to Argentina, political appointee Vilma Socorro Martinez, had never been there before taking the top spot. But nominees are often fluent in the country’s language or have some connection to the region.
There is a long history of fumbled confirmation hearings and missteps abroad by politically connected ambassadors. Maxwell Gluck, a women’s clothing store chain owner who was nominated in 1957 to serve as U.S. ambassador to Ceylon, was unable to name the premier of that country, now known as Sri Lanka, but got confirmed anyway. George H.W. Bush’s ambassador to Italy, Peter Secchia, got in trouble for saying he loved that country’s “beautiful girls,” while another GOP donor arrived around the same time in Spain without speaking Spanish.
Pennsylvania State University international affairs professor Dennis Jett said U.S. diplomatic posts used to be entirely a matter of patronage. President James A. Garfield was assassinated in 1881 by Charles J. Guiteau, who was aggrieved over being denied a European posting. The Rogers Act of 1924 established a professional foreign service but did not bar political nominees.
Jett, a former career diplomat who served as U.S. ambassador in Peru and Mozambique in the 1990s, said there is no way to eliminate political appointments even though “we’re the only serious country that does it this way.” He favors an annual performance evaluation for career and political diplomats to identify serious problems.
The American Foreign Service Association, which represents career officers, plans to issue proposed guidelines Feb. 25 laying out basic qualifications for a chief of mission. No set of guidelines currently exists, though the Foreign Service Act of 1980 says such posts “should normally be accorded to career members of the Service, though circumstance will warrant appointments from time to time of qualified individuals who are not career members of the Service.” It also says that “contributions to political campaigns should not be a factor in the appointment of an individual as a chief of mission.”
Association President Robert Silverman said the principles emphasize strong management skills and the ability to articulate America’s strategic interests.
“These guidelines will favor people who have worked their entire professional lives to get ready for this type of job,” Silverman said, though he added they would not bar “the talented outsider from coming in.”
Norwegians, meanwhile, are still seething over Tsunis’s erroneous remarks about the Progress Party. Jan Arild Ellingsen, a member of the party who serves in Norway’s parliament, said the remarks were “unacceptable and a provocation” and demanded an apology.
Tsunis has responded with diplomacy, calling Norwegian politicians to apologize. He also contacted Anders Tvegard, the Norwegian Broadcasting Corp.’s Washington correspondent, and offered to do an on-air interview — but only after he is confirmed by the Senate.


246 comments:

  1. These critics of Mr. Obama's politically enlightened nominees to represent America abroad obviously have a problem with his skin complexion.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The Obama Administration is still taking applications for the replacement for Ambassador Stevens, to fill the Benghazi embassy slot.

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    Replies
    1. There was never an embassy in Benghazi, the compound there was not even a 'real' Consulate.

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    2. If Hillary is elected he'll be resurrected.

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    3. That is to say the facility in Benghazi was never listed on the State Department's list of Consulates, prior to the attack on that CIA facility that used the State Department as a thin cover for their clandestine operations, there.

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    4. Well, it did put a damper on the attractiveness of the job. "Stand down, what does it matter?" and all that.

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    5. A Breakfast Plan For The Children?

      It takes a village.

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    6. If that were true, Doug, it would necessitate voting for her.

      Delete
  3. I recall that Mr GW Bush's Ambassador to Costa Rica could not speak Spanish.

    That was a dumb as sending an Ambassador to Argentina that does not speak Spanish.

    With Norway or India, sending someone that is not fluent in the local language could be understandable, but Spanish?
    I think not.

    In both of the cases, Costa Rica and Argentina, and probably many more, sending an ignorant representatives to the other countries in America, is foolish.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They can get away with it because English is the de facto lingua franca ;-)

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    2. The DC boys can do it, because they do it.
      Not because it advances US interests in those countries.

      Raul Castro was the Ambassador to Argentina, after he'd been Governor of Arizona.
      He could speak Spanish.

      Bill Richardson, he can speak Spanish.

      There are hundreds of qualified people in the US that could better represent the interests of the US, because they could understand the sidebar conversations going on around them, rather than being dependent upon interpreters, who are not always by their sides.

      Delete
  4. Analysis: There was indeed an Olympic ring "mishap" during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia (per a report from the BBC), but as of this writing no specific person has been blamed for the technical malfunction, let alone found dead of injuries "consistent with a struggle" in his hotel room. (Update: Creative director Konstantin Ernst is considered the one ultimately responsibility for the production, but, as The Telegraph noted the day after the opening ceremony, Ernst is a close friend of President Vladimir Putin and probably needn't fear being "transported to the icy wastes of Siberia" or otherwise punished.)

    The viral story claiming a technician was found dead under suspicious circumstances in connection with the ring debacle is a spoof published by The Daily Currant, a U.S.-based satire website with a history of confusing uncritical readers with fabricated "news."

    "Our stories are purely fictional," the site's disclaimer states. It's always advisable to check one's sources.

    More hot scoops from the Daily Currant:

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's what fiction is for.
      It's for getting at the truth when the truth isn't sufficient for the truth.

      Delete
  5. Rat posting as Rat is comforting to me.

    Aides in my fantasy of things being the way they used to be.

    (Not that the Bar is everything to me, but reminds me of the time when I had everything.)

    ReplyDelete
  6. On the other hand (there's always one of them, right? :)

    I don't recall our, arguably, best Ambassador, ever,(Benjamin Franklin) being able to speak French (doesn't mean he couldn't, just that I'm too lazy to look it up.) :)

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    Replies
    1. Oh Shit! I just looked it up. The motherfucker could speak just about every language on the face of the earth. :)

      He was particularly fluent in French!

      My bad. :)

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  7. .

    US men beat Russia in hockey 3-2.

    USA

    USA

    .

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  8. Most in Canada speak English with a bunch that speak French yet the US has no ambassador here at the moment and it could be a year before one gets here. The largest trading partner to the US gets no US ambassador? What's up with that??

    ReplyDelete
  9. Maybe you would like one of these:

    http://youtu.be/MSxaa-67yGM

    ReplyDelete
  10. .

    As for Ambassadors, I guess the minimum you should expect of them is that they are...gulp...diplomatic. Unfortunately, not always the case. Our last ambassador to Egypt comes to mind.

    Then at the other end of the scale is our ambassador to Belgium, a big Obama donor, who was accused of trolling for prostitutes and minors for sex. Never convicted of anything though.

    A damning internal memo claims the State Department called off an investigation into allegations that U.S. Ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman repeatedly trawled overseas public parks in search of prostitutes, including minors.

    Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy ordered the investigation closed shortly after it was opened, according to the memo, which was written by the State Department Inspector General's office. Gutman, who has not been charged with any crimes, said the allegations are 'baseless.'


    He was investigated by the Special Investigations division at State however regarding the case and the agent who handled it

    The investigating agent 'had determined that the ambassador routinely ditched his protective security detail in order to solicit sexual favors from both prostitutes and minor children,' states the memo obtained by MailOnline. 'As the agent began to plan surveillance on the ambassador to obtain corroboration, the agent reportedly received notification that [Kennedy] had directed [the State Department's IG] to cease the investigation and have the agent return to Washington.'

    Gee, Kennedy, a familiar name from Benghazi.

    'Such interventions take place often enough that several sources in the Department who regularly see [Special Investigations Division] cases summed the situation up with almost identical words: DS should never investigate DS,' the report continued.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2339178/State-Department-tried-suppress-investigations-sexual-assaults-drug-use-prostitute-solicitation-ranks.html#ixzz2tP9p2Dl1
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

    .

    ReplyDelete
  11. There is nothing novel about high-ups in the State Department and unbecoming conduct. She is secure in her position because she’s always been loyal to Israel. My apologies for being so blunt. Not.

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    1. .

      Good heavens, Jenny, what happened?

      Get a stale loaf of Jewish Rye?

      :-)

      .

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    10. Farmer bob gets his ass kicked by the rat and tries his own feeble imitation of rats methods. Sad.

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    11. It is more in keeping with the 'Wannabe', ash.
      The references to pork and facebook. Farmer Bob does not know about facebook.

      Though both of 'em like to abuse women.

      Delete
    12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    14. Data collection is an art not a science.

      Your IP keeps pinging those servers...

      :)

      Delete
  12. For anyone interested in one of America's leading crime novelist, western novelist and story teller Elmore Leonard ...

    There is an interesting E-book available, at Smashwords
    titled "Dutch on Dutch: One of the Last In-depth Interviews with the Incomparable Elmore Leonard
    By T.V. LoCicero

    In this lively, expansive and generous interview, the greatest crime novelist of our time, Elmore “Dutch” Leonard, talks about everything from the essence and appeal of his stories, to why he writes in longhand, to the finer points of robbing a bank.

    I would like to note that just because Mr Leonard wrote about the 'West', he was not a cowboy. He was not a bank robber, even though he could detail the finer points to robbing a bank.

    He was from Detroit, and he loved that city.

    The download is free and can be read on you personal computer as a PDF.

    https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/408961

    ReplyDelete
  13. The chart of the day comes from Betsey Stevenson, and helps to show just how noisy the payrolls data really are. The big headline figures of the day, 113,000 is ostensibly the increase that we saw, in January, in the number of people on American payrolls. It’s a disappointing number, while a print of say 200,000 would have been decidedly encouraging.

    But just look at how we got to that 113,000 figure. We took January’s workforce, of 135,396,000 people, and then subtracted December’s workforce, of 138,266,000 people — for a total decrease of 2,870,000 jobs. But we know that the number of jobs in America always decreases in January — even when the economy is surging. It’s cold out, making outdoor jobs very difficult to do, and the Christmas seasonal jobs are all in the past. So the BLS institutes some seasonal adjustments. In this case, it subtracted 880,000 jobs from the December number, and it added 2,103,000 jobs to the January figure.

    All of which means that the 113,000 headline figure is, in fact, 135,396,000 + 2,103,000 – 138,266,000 – 880,000.

    You want to trade on that being 70,000 jobs lower than you thought it would be?

    But wait: we’re not even close to being done. This month’s payrolls release is much longer than normal — 2,465 words — because it has to explain a lot of changes. As it says in a big box at the very top of the page:


    Changes to the Employment Situation Data

    Establishment survey data have been revised as a result of the annual benchmarking process and the updating of seasonal adjustment factors. Also, household survey data for January 2014 reflect updated population estimates.

    These changes are not small: last month’s preliminary number, for instance, was revised up — on a seasonally adjusted basis — to 137,386,000 workers from 136,877,000. That’s a difference of more than half a million people.

    The noisiness of the payrolls report is good news, truth be told. Now that . . . . . .

    Those noisy payrolls numbers

    ReplyDelete
  14. .

    Speaking of Mr. Kennedy and Benghazi

    That is to say the facility in Benghazi was never listed on the State Department's list of Consulates, prior to the attack on that CIA facility that used the State Department as a thin cover for their clandestine operations, there.

    Mere speculation (some not as tactful or as diplomatic as I might call it something else). As far as I know, there has never been any evidence showing that the Benghazi facility was a front for the CIA. From reports everyone knew about the CIA annex about a mile away. What would they need the State Department facility as a cover for?

    Facts:

    The CIA had the biggest US presence in Benghazi, a fact that most involved knew.

    Every State Department mission in every foreign country has a CIA presence in it.

    On certain missions, like collecting loose weapons caches after Ghadafi's fall, there would likely be an overlap in responsibility between State and the CIA.

    In congressional testimony from the acting head of mission in Libya after Stevens died one of the reasons Stevens was in Benghazi was to check on progress for upgrading the facility to a consulate. Money that was available for the upgrade was available but had to be allocated by the end of September (the end of the fiscal year), or the money would be lost. Anyone familiar with the allocation process would recognize this scenario.

    Since 9/11, US embassies and consulates around the world have become virtual fortresses with restricted access a fact that has been complained about by host countries. In an effort to address this problem, the Obama administration was trying to institute a more 'open' policy at our embassies and consulates. This is one of the prime reasons offered for the lax security in Libya, not only in Benghazi but also in Tripoli.

    State was responsible for security at the Benghazi facility.

    SOS Clinton admitted to responsibility for the lack of security in Benghazi.

    The State Department panel that was enabled by Clinton declared the security problems in Benghazi were the State Department's responsibility.

    The House report on the Benghazi tragedy stated that the responsibility for the security rested with State.

    The CIA has denied responsibility for the lack of security at the State Department facility in Benghazi.

    And the evidence that the State Department facility in Benghazi was a CIA 'front'?

    ?

    .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wall Street Journal, 1NOV2012

      Officials close to Mr. Petraeus say he stayed away in an effort to conceal the agency's role in collecting intelligence and providing security in Benghazi. Two of the four men who died that day, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, were former Navy SEAL commandos who were publicly identified as State Department contract security officers, but who actually worked as Central Intelligence Agency contractors, U.S. officials say.

      The U.S. effort in Benghazi was at its heart a CIA operation, according to officials briefed on the intelligence. Of the more than 30 American officials evacuated from Benghazi following the deadly assault, only seven worked for the State Department. Nearly all the rest worked for the CIA, under diplomatic cover, which was a principal purpose of the consulate, these officials said.
      ...
      Congressional investigators say it appears that the CIA and State Department weren't on the same page about their respective roles on security, underlining the rift between agencies over taking responsibility and raising questions about whether the security arrangement in Benghazi was flawed.

      The CIA's secret role helps explain why security appeared inadequate at the U.S. diplomatic facility. State Department officials believed that responsibility was set to be shouldered in part by CIA personnel in the city through a series of secret agreements that even some officials in Washington didn't know about.

      It also explains why the consulate was abandoned to looters for weeks afterward while U.S. efforts focused on securing the more important CIA quarters.
      ...
      The extent of the CIA role in Benghazi, and the central role the spy agency played in the run-up and aftermath of the attack, puts a spotlight on Mr. Petraeus, who took over as director of the agency last year.

      At one point during the consulate siege, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton telephoned the CIA director directly to seek assistance. Real-time intelligence from the field was scarce and some officials at State and the Pentagon were largely in the dark about the CIA's role.
      ...
      In Libya, the relationship between the State Department and CIA was secret and symbiotic: The consulate provided diplomatic cover for the classified CIA operations. The State Department believed it had a formal agreement with the CIA to provide backup security, although a congressional investigator said it now appears the CIA didn't have the same understanding about its security responsibilities.
      ...
      Protecting the CIA annex was a roughly 10-man security force. The State Department thought it had a formal agreement with the CIA that called for that force to be used in emergencies to bolster security for the consulate.

      The State Department has been criticized by lawmakers and others for failing to provide adequate security for its ambassador, especially in light of an attack there in June and after other violence prompted the U.K. to pull out of the city. In October, Mrs. Clinton took responsibility for any security lapses.

      http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052970204712904578092853621061838


      Now there are a lot more sources, but the WSJ is not known for being especially 'friendly' towards the Clintons.

      The 'Daily Mail' out of the UK ...
      Benghazi consulate that came under attack by Al Qaeda militants was being used for CIA operations

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2226821/CIA-admits-role-US-consulate-attack-Benghazi.html







      Delete
    2. Then there is this 'expert' opinion

      CNN’s Gloria Borger noted on Tuesday: “White House spokesman Jay Carney says the White House changed the wording from ‘consulate’ to ‘diplomatic facility’ to be more accurate. So what does that mean? Thanks to the digging of Glenn Kessler in The Washington Post, it looks very much like the Benghazi consulate ‘was not a consulate at all but basically a secret CIA operation.’”

      In fact, Goodman wrote in November for ConsortiumNews that: “the consulate was the diplomatic cover for an intelligence platform and whatever diplomatic functions took place in Benghazi also served as cover for an important CIA base.” See: “The Why Behind the Benghazi Attack.”

      MELVIN GOODMAN, goody789 at verizon.net
      Goodman is director of the National Security Project at the Center for International Policy. He was an analyst at the CIA for 24 years. His most recent book is the just-released National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism. Goodman just wrote the piece “The Real Benghazi Scandal” for CounterPunch, which states: “When congressional Republicans complete manipulating the Benghazi tragedy, it will be time for the virtually silent Senate intelligence committee to take up three major issues that have been largely ignored.

      The committee must investigate the fact that the U.S. presence in Benghazi was an intelligence platform and only nominally a consulate;


      thee politicization by the White House and State Department of CIA analysis of the events in Benghazi; and the Obama administration’s politicization of the CIA’s Office of the Inspector General, which has virtually destroyed the office and deprived congressional intelligence committees of their most important oversight tool.


      http://www.accuracy.org/release/was-benghazi-consulate-a-cia-front/

      Delete
    3. .

      You got me on this one rat. Though I had read plenty of articles on Benghazi, I had not seen the one by the WSJ. That the CIA was using the facility as cover seems clear enough; however, there is also no doubt that the facility was a DOS facility and that the security responsibility rested with State. Susan Lamb admitted during congressional testimony that she was the person directly responsible for that security. Two State Department scapegoats were demoted due to the security concerns outlined in the official review of the incident.

      The facility might have served a role in providing a cover for the CIA annex nearby but that doesn't make it a CIA facility. In the end, it was a State Department facility as noted in the columns you posted.

      In Libya, the relationship between the State Department and CIA was secret and symbiotic: The consulate provided diplomatic cover for the classified CIA operations. The State Department believed it had a formal agreement with the CIA to provide backup security, although a congressional investigator said it now appears the CIA didn't have the same understanding about its security responsibilities.

      and

      In fact, Goodman wrote in November for ConsortiumNews that: “the consulate was the diplomatic cover for an intelligence platform and whatever diplomatic functions took place in Benghazi also served as cover for an important CIA base.”

      .

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    4. Part of the reason that General P recently 'endorsed' Ms Clinton, could be that she stood up and covered for his Agency. As a good soldier would.

      It was part of the 'cover story' and the State Department stuck with it, out of the frying pan and into the fire.

      Hard to tell, exactly, as there are dots still hidden in the smoke and mirrored halls of DC.
      Did State have some culpability in the failures, probably so. But most of it centers with the CIA, as they were large and in-charge of security in Benghazi. It had been the CIA that vetted the local security forces the State Dept hired, the boys that did the two step boogie and bolted for the exits when the riot/assault began.

      Delete
    5. .

      I disagree on the security angle.

      As for the boys who 'bolted'. The US was given a list of acceptable militias to choose from by the provisional government. I assume the CIA selected what they thought was the best of a bad lot. Obviously, they picked a loser. Would it have been any different with any other gang of the list? Who knows.

      .

      Delete
    6. Yep, who knows.

      The whole deal was understaffed.

      Even a security detail of ten, that's not enough.
      Even with no 'days off' in the schedule, it is only three on at any given time, with one in reserve.

      With days off and sick time, you'd have two or three security folk on duty at any given time.
      In the middle of Injun Country, just not enough, especially if the local hires are not dependable. Which is why the vetting is SO important.

      I still think it is why General P is out of the government, now.
      His affair with the reporter, or others, had been going on for a while.

      He had taken 'a woman' on dinner dates with people from outside the Agency. I do not recall the exact particulars, but his infidelity was an ongoing and long term fact of his life. It was not all that clandestine, according to the reporting.

      It was not enough to give him the 'boot'.

      But the poor performance in Benghazi, that brought scandal and loss of face to the Administration.
      He obviously does not blame Ms Clinton, for that.

      Delete
  15. MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — Thousands of Bahraini protesters clashed with security forces on Saturday, sending tear gas into a major shopping mall and bringing the capital's streets to a standstill on the same day that authorities said a police officer died of injuries sustained from an earlier bombing.

    The Interior Ministry said that the officer was one of two injured in what it called a "terrorist blast" on Friday in the village of Dair, near the country's main airport. It did not identify the officer. In a second statement, the ministry characterized recent attacks against security forces as "urban guerrilla warfare."

    Chaos in the small Gulf-island nation highlights deeper regional sectarian tensions that continue to roil Bahrain three years after the country's majority Shiites began an Arab Spring-inspired uprising to demand greater political rights from the Sunni-led monarchy.

    Neighboring Sunni-ruled Gulf countries with smaller Shiite populations, led by Saudi Arabia, sent troops to Bahrain in an effort to stem the uprising in 2011. More than 65 people have died in the unrest, but rights groups and others put the death toll higher.

    http://www.seattlepi.com/news/world/article/Bahrainis-protest-wounded-police-officer-dies-5237601.php

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just wish I could be there supporting Iran.

      Delete
    2. No I do not, but others may.

      If I sign on, there will be an photo and a link to a profile.
      The fraud above is just that a fraud, a liar and a cheat.

      Probably a wannabe Israeli, It'd fit right in with the past performance profile.

      Delete
    3. Anyone can fake a sign on...

      Desert Rat has bragged he has dozens..

      Delete
    4. Half a dozen.

      Could build a dozen more.

      That is what was said, get it right, loser.

      Delete
    5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete

    6. “The whole secret lies in confusing the enemy, so that he cannot fathom our real intent.”
      ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

      Delete
  16. .

    From Kiev to Cairo, protesters have lost interest in elections

    There is a big difference between democracy which in its simplest terms means a form of government based on universal suffrage and in the political and civil rights many people naively assume comes part and parcel with that arrangement. In many cases recently, democratically elected governments have been protested against and/or overthrown by people seeking to gain those political and civil rights they thought were being denied them.

    The following articles speaks to this dissonance in understanding. It also points out a major obstacle to a successful transition for the various movements throughout the world, Greece and Turkey, the Ukraine, the 'Arab Spring', the worldwide 'Occupy Movement', that being that the movements are primal thrusts against the inequity and discrimination that the various populations feel but these powerful surges lack focus, they are reactions with no specific objective in mind and with no specific leader that can harness the energy and bring about change. This often leads to a power vacuum being created which allows an organized group or specific person to step in and institute a government that is even worse than what was there before.

    It seems as if the world has broken out in mass, government-threatening protests: Caracas, Ankara, Bangkok and Kiev are among the capitals that have erupted in flames and clouds of tear gas in recent weeks.

    But these aren’t the democracy protests we’ve known during the past two and a half decades. Two things distinguish them:

    First, they are mass uprisings not against dictatorships but against governments that came to power through reasonably fair elections in existing (if young) democracies, but then turned against the principles of democracy – by suppressing media and opposition forces, by rewriting laws and by altering constitutions to partisan advantage. These people are protesting against the rotten fruits of democracy.

    Second, these protesters are generally not interested in using democratic politics as their instrument of change. New political parties and candidates aren’t emerging from these movements, whose members often see representative democracy as a sideshow. They’re not anti-democratic, but they’ve come to believe that the protests themselves are more democratic than elections.


    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/from-kiev-to-cairo-protesters-have-lost-interest-in-elections/article16896823/

    .

    ReplyDelete
  17. .

    If parties are actually looking for solutions rather than another excuse, the solutions are there to be found.

    If Kerry Wants To Make Peace in the Middle East, He Should Just Put God In Charge

    Jerusalem is a holy city for three major religions, so why should any earthly power claim sovereignty there?


    http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/162488/the-god-option

    .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    2. Back to Internationalizing that city, the 1948 UN Plan, that allen would tout, until it became apparent it had never passed the UN, vote required to make it legit.

      Farmer Bob wanted Israel in NATO, but Israel does not want NATO anywhere near Israel.
      The Palestinians do.

      Check, but Bibi still has some moves, he is playing with fewer pieces than ever before.
      The Europeons are further isolating the Israeli financial institutions with every passing month.

      Even the soda company fiasco is coming back and biting them in the ass.
      Interviews with the Palestinians workers, aired on Europeon television, twelve hour days, no overtime, no vacation time, no collective bargaining ... Does not play well in Western Europe, where worker rights are sacrosanct.

      Not only does the oppression bother the Euros, but more than that, the unfair labor practices give the Israeli an advantage over the Euros home grown businesses.

      Bad Form!

      Delete
    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  18. .

    According to the Times of Israel, all of the officials that spoke to them claimed that the PA could not reach an agreement because it does not have legitimacy in the eyes of the Palestinian public for taking such a move. They’re not wrong. Abbas is now ten years into his four-year electoral term as president. In the past Abbas has used the end of the Israeli prime minister’s term to walk away from an agreement, as he did with Ehud Olmert in 2008. Now it seems that the Palestinian Authority may use its own lack of legitimacy to flee peace talks.

    It was pretty obvious that Arafat was corrupt and a thug who didn't have the moral authority to deliver a deal on a two-state agreement; likewise, it was not in his own personal interest to sign one.

    With Abbas, you get different stories. Some cite polls stating that the Palestinians view the PA favorably. Others deny it. I tend to agree with the opinion of the writer at Commentary which indicates Abbas is in a similar position as Arafat.

    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2014/02/14/palestinians-confirm-its-a-no/

    .

    .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in a recent interview with The New York Times, where he said that he would not oppose the deployment of NATO troops in a future Palestinian state to prevent terrorism and smuggling of weapons.

      Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said during a rally in the town of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on Friday that his movement would not accept the presence of any foreign force after an Israeli withdrawal.

      “We will deal with such a force as an occupying power like Israeli occupation,” Abu Zuhri said, implying that Hamas would launch attacks on such a force. “(US Secretary of State John) Kerry and others need to reconsider their positions. They need to know that the Palestinians haven’t authorized anyone to harm their rights.”

      From the JPost
      http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Hamas-Fatah-in-war-of-words-over-Abbas-NATO-proposal-341504

      Which does confirm your position that Abbas is somewhere between a 'rock and a hard place'

      Delete
  19. Not only does he wannabe an Israeli, he want to be Jack Hawkins and desert rat, too.

    The ultimate 'Wannabe"

    Wannabe

    Poser, follower, a charlatan of sorts.
    One who copies or immitates all or most of the aspects dealing with their idol.

    They may wish to have certain clothing, skills, vocabulary, etc., of their idols instead of their own.
    Most likely a wannabe is lacking in self confidence and is looking for guidance.

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=wannabe

    ReplyDelete
  20. .

    According to Reporters Without Borders, in the last year under Obama the US has gone from 32nd position to 46th position in press freedom, dropping behind numerous African countries.

    http://rsf.org/index2014/en-index2014.php

    .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. According to Frauds Without Frontiers, Quirk has gone from the 10th position to the 1st position, jumping ahead of numerous frauds from Africa. The competition puts a premium on nastiness, irritability factors, and repetition.

      Farmer Bob

      (my google thing isn't working again)

      Delete
  21. .

    USA AND BRAZIL – NEW WORLD GIANTS THAT SET A BAD EXAMPLE

    One is a superpower and the other an emerging power. One for a long time was the embodiment of an established democracy where civil liberties reign supreme. The other created the conditions for developing a powerful civil society during the Lula years (2003-2010) on the basis of a democratic constitution adopted just three years after the end of two decades of military dictatorship (1964-1985). Rich in diversity, the United States and Brazil should have given freedom of information a supreme position both in their laws and their social values. Unfortunately the reality falls far short of this.

    In the United States, 9/11 spawned a major conflict between the imperatives of national security and the principles of the constitution’s First Amendment. This amendment enshrines every person’s right to inform and be informed. But the heritage of the 1776 constitution was shaken to its foundations during George W. Bush’s two terms as president by the way journalists were harassed and even imprisoned for refusing to reveal their sources or surrender their files to federal judicial officials.

    There has been little improvement in practice under Barack Obama. Rather than pursuing journalists, the emphasis has been on going after their sources, but often using the journalist to identify them. No fewer that eight individuals have been charged under the Espionage Act since Obama became president, compared with three during Bush’s two terms. While 2012 was in part the year of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, 2013 will be remember for the National Security Agency computer specialist Edward Snowden, who exposed the mass surveillance methods developed by the US intelligence agencies.

    The whistleblower is the enemy. Hence the 35-year jail term imposed on Private Chelsea/Bradley Manning for being the big WikiLeaks source, an extremely long sentence but nonetheless small in comparison with the 105-year sentence requested for freelance journalist Barrett Brown in a hacking case. Amid an all-out hunt for leaks and sources, 2013 will also be the year of the Associated Press scandal, which came to light when the Department of Justice acknowledged that it had seized the news agency’s phone records. ..


    http://rsf.org/index2014/en-americas.php#

    .

    ReplyDelete
  22. WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Security Agency was involved in the surveillance of an American law firm while it represented a foreign government in trade disputes with the United States, The New York Times reported in a story based on a top-secret document obtained by former NSA systems analyst Edward Snowden.

    The February 2013 document shows that the Indonesian government had retained the law firm for help in trade talks, the Times reported in a story posted on its website Saturday. The law firm was not identified in the document, but the Chicago-based firm Mayer Brown was advising the Indonesian government on trade issues at the time, according to the newspaper.

    The document itself is a monthly bulletin from an NSA liaison office in Canberra, the capital of Australia. The NSA's Australian counterpart, the Australian Signals Directorate, had notified the NSA that it was conducting surveillance of the talks, including communications between Indonesian officials and the American law firm, and offered to share the information, the Times reported.

    Liaison officials asked the NSA general counsel's office, on behalf of the Australians, for guidance about the spying. The bulletin notes only that the counsel's office "provided clear guidance" and that the Australian eavesdropping agency "has been able to continue to cover the talks, providing highly useful intelligence for interested U.S. customers," according to the Times story.

    The NSA and the Australian government declined to answer questions

    ReplyDelete
  23. Threats and intimidation, the Israeli way, or just Bibi's?

    Meanwhile, the European Union is gently turning the screws on the occupation. It regularly trumpets condemnation of Israel’s settlement-building frenzies, including last week’s announcement of 558 settler homes in East Jerusalem. And in the background sanctions loom over settlement goods.

    European financial institutions are providing a useful barometer of the mood among the 28 EU member states. They have become the unexpected pioneers of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, with a steady trickle of banks and pension funds pulling out their investments in recent weeks.

    Pointing out that boycotts and “delegitimization” campaigns are only going to gather pace, Kerry has warned that Israel’s traditional policy is “unsustainable”.
    ...
    Netanyahu must have been disconcerted by the news that among those meeting Kerry to express support at the World Economic Forum in Davos last month was Shlomi Fogel, the prime minister’s long-time intimate.

    Pressure on these various fronts may explain Netanyahu’s hasty convening last weekend of his senior ministers to devise a strategy to counter the boycott trend. Proposals include a 28-million-dollar media campaign, legal action against boycotting institutions, and intensified surveillance of overseas activists by the Mossad.


    The tide turns - Pariah status and isolation lie ahead

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL

      Yeah, the EU is LINING up at Israel's natural gas spigot faster than you can say "NSA is listening"

      Delete
    2. Meanwhile, arabs are murdering arabs faster than they can bury them!

      Barrel bombs, starvation and throat slitting all the rage...

      LOL

      Delete
    3. 558 homes in the Jewish section of East Jerusalem

      LOL

      Now that's entertainment.

      Delete
    4. 4.5 MILLION Arabs are now refugees from Assad's playtime, so many that Jordan has threatened to shoot to kill the REFUGEES if they try to enter Jordan.....

      LOL

      Air strikes in the Sinai against Palestinians by the Egyptians killing over 121 in recent weeks..

      LOL

      and your obsessed by 558 homes in an area of the Jewish section of Jerusalem...

      LOL

      Delete
    5. He is obsessed by many things.

      Farmer Bob

      Delete
    6. Now the Wannabe is back, pretending to be Farmer Bob.

      Now that is FUNNY.

      heh, heh, heh.

      Delete
    7. And your obsessed about 558 new homes in the Jewish Section of Jerusalem....

      LOL

      How's that injun land you are squatting on doing?

      Delete
    8. He's squatting on land the Clovis Folk had for 15,000 years. The rich bottom land.

      Up my way, no one ever was so damn dumb to try to farm the land my family homesteaded. Not a single arrowhead ever found.

      I looked up the meaning of the word latah, the other day, as in Latah county.

      Means place of rocks and pines.

      heh

      A place of rocks and pines was exactly what grandfather left. I was there once, I know, I have seen.

      :) I think it's humorous.

      Half way around the world to the same shit farm situation.

      Why o why didn't he go to California?

      Farmer Bob

      Delete
  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Four years ago it was the FBI, now it is the NSA.

      heh, heh, heh.

      The IRS is up your daddy's ass, not mine, amigo.
      Unless you've lied about that, too.

      Empty threats, and wasted words.
      You're a wannabe Israeli, but don't qualify.

      Or you'd have that passport. But they won't give it to you.
      Because if they would, and you have the deep pockets you say you do, you'd have that passport in one of them.

      Delete
    2. Lots of words that say nothing..

      Look at you logging in and out of multiple ID's...

      You have no life...

      Good.

      Delete
    3. Push a button, with Google+, there's nothin' to it.

      Gettin' books published, movies scripted.
      Then buzz back here and fuck with you.

      You're the one that posts and has 'em deleted, what is a bigger waste of time then that?

      No one reads your work, no one cares, no one checks you out, but the IRS.

      Even Better than Good, that's Great!

      Delete
    4. desert ratSat Feb 15, 05:30:00 PM EST
      This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    5. desert ratSat Feb 15, 09:54:00 PM EST

      Gettin' books published, movies scripted.




      Tripping again?

      Delete
    6. Wow DR the super star....

      Mucking out horse shit during the day, super blogger at night..

      LOL

      Delete
    7. rat used to post as me, on occasion. Got his little giggles doing it.

      Farmer Bob

      Delete
  25. The Ambassadors?

    All dicks and dickettes, and life sucks.

    Farmer Bob
    *******

    http://www.livingstonenterprise.com/content/research-team-says-most-native-americans-related-anzick-boy

    From a cousin. We have been discussing who got here first, the peaceful Solutreans or the killer Asiatics.

    This pushes the time line back a little for the Asiatics.

    Farmer Bob

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, you are not Farmer Bob.
      You are Anonymous.

      Farmer Bob a sign-on and a Google profile.

      Your just another one of the anoni.
      Faceless, nameless, anonymous.

      We are Legend - We Do Not Forget - We Do Not Forgive

      Delete
    2. You fellows, you and your alternative personalities, are all fucked up.

      Farmer Bob

      Delete
    3. AnonymousSat Feb 15, 10:00:00 PM EST
      No, you are not Farmer Bob.
      You are Anonymous.


      Then anyone logging on as "anon" is anon...

      Just like you...

      A wannabe..

      Delete
  26. By the way Quirk, rat's first line of defense was 'I never said I personally killed anyone' .........

    And indeed I have never said he did. Just that he taught, armed, and lead the folks who did.



    Later after the Big Erasure it was 'I never posted anything like that'......

    You will have to go to your trusty Catholic Encyclopedia and your books of Canon Law to determine how this relates to culpability.

    Farmer Bob

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Where and when did Rat write that?
      Provide a link or it is just another unsubstantiated libel

      But then that is what you do, isn't it Anonymous?

      Delete
    2. another DR persona...

      LOL

      He's loonier than bugs bunny...

      Delete
    3. Crazier than hell. He just got through criticizing me for posting anon, then does it himself.

      My problem is I can't get to google because Norton Protection has it all fucked up and they want money to protect me and I can't get past the demand, and I ain't gonna pay.

      I am working on it. I think I'm going to have to create a new password and stuff.

      But I am signing my name......

      Farmer Bob

      Delete
  27. desert ratSat Feb 15, 05:30:00 PM EST
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    LOL

    ReplyDelete
  28. Israel says it is close to developing 'Star Wars' laser missile shield named Iron Beam that will cover entire region
    Laser shield can intercept drones, rockets, missiles and mortars
    High Energy Laser rapidly heats an object until it explodes, makers claim
    Rafael Advanced Defense Systems said its lasers destroyed 90% of targets
    System is designed to intercept objects current Iron Dome system cannot
    Current defense system has destroyed hundreds of Hamas rockets

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is that the weapon by which Allen promises that Israel will destroy American civilization if we don't lay off Bibi?

      Delete
    2. no Ms T, that is the weapon that will destroy your friend's rockets.

      Not to worry, America will be aggressively (just like with the Iron Dome) want a piece of it real soon and make Israel an OFFER it cannot refuse... Just like the mob bosses of yesteryear...

      Then you will bitch about the additional AID that America is "giving" Israel when in fact? America is buying a piece to keep it off the open market...

      Delete
    3. And America is destroying it's self by supporting Hamas, the Palestinians, Jihadists, Pakistan and Wahabbists...

      And a bloated, over paid group of fake tech heads, like you, that do nothing but suck off the government's tit..

      Delete
  29. I WOULD SAY RAT HAS QUALIFIED FOR AT LEAST A TEMPORARY SUSPENSION, DEUCE.

    I HAVEN'T READ THE WHOLE THREAD, I MAY NEVER.

    I MAY NEVER RETURN IF WE HAVE TO PUT UP WITH THIS SHIT.

    I MAY BE INFANTILE AT TIMES, BUT IT'S NOT MY PROFESSION.

    RAT WILL PROBABLY DELETE THIS...

    I HAD A COUPLE OF THINGS I WANTED TO TALK TO T ABOUT...

    ...instead it's another pile of Rat Shit.

    I'd take Rufus any day.

    He's Bat Shit, but he doesn't try to force you to swallow it.

    ...or waste your fleeting moments slogging through it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was my SECOND POST, this is my THIRD.

      Place should be renamed "Bad Kiddies Playground"

      Until YOU TAKE CARE OF THE PROBLEM.

      Delete
    2. Fuck you Rat, I've lost all respect:

      You really have nothing better to do?

      ...maybe put on a KKK outfit with a Placard Calling for Jews to be Lynched.

      See how far that goes in Phoenix.

      Delete
    3. What Doug said.

      Farmer Bob

      Delete
  30. The Egyptian army destroyed 10 tunnels and seven homes on the border with the Gaza in the Sinai peninsula on Saturday, Palestinian new agency Ma'an reported. The homes destroyed were those that the tunnels were located in, an Egyptian security source told Ma'an.

    The destruction of the tunnels was part of an Egyptian campaign was to create a buffer zone along the border with Gaza in the town of Rafah that would extend 300 meters in populated areas and 500 meters in open areas, according to the security source.

    Also on Saturday, the Egyptian army safely detonated three explosive devices placed in military vehicles and armored cars in the northern Sinai town of Sheikh Zuweid, and it raided militant strongholds in the area, the Egyptian security source told Ma'an.

    LOL

    gots to LOVE arabs bulldozing arab homes...

    ReplyDelete
  31. I have killed people, but I was not convicted in an American court. So I am innocent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All that you did, copied it nice, give ya that.

      Talk about a waste of time, though.
      You really are a nut, aren't ya.

      Delete
    2. Not a clue what you are talking about....

      Jack HawkinsSat Feb 15, 04:17:00 PM EST
      If I sign on, there will be an photo and a link to a profile.


      Are you now saying you were incorrect?

      Please explain

      Delete
    3. I have no life.

      Just my 1/2 dozen on line personas to keep me happy.

      No wife, no kids (that love or respect me), just an unhealthy releationship with horses and weed

      Delete
  32. I really have no respect for myself. This is why I make a fool out of myself on a minute by minute basis

    ReplyDelete
  33. OK, I'M OUT OF HERE, 111 COMMENTS, mostly Rat Crap.

    Unpleasant Waste of Time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm with you.

      Gonna write an email to my niece, then listen to cowboy music.

      g'nite, WiO and Doug

      Farmer Bob

      Delete
    2. Nite Bob.

      Carry on if you can stand it, WIO.

      Delete
  34. One more thing:

    Hackers should either repent, or get the Death Penalty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...even if it's not real hacking, just dumb shit adolescent fucking with others.

      Delete
  35. The dougshit and b00bie show is shutting down? Really!? COOL!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think it was 'old' Doug.

      The comment early on, that was the Doug from the Belmont Club, these just above are as fraudulent as the Jack Hawkins posts, but there was an hour or so that the Wannabe me spent building the Google+ site, so it could be deleted.

      The boy has lost touch with reality.

      Delete
    2. Push a button, with Google+, there's nothin' to it.

      Gettin' books published, movies scripted.
      Then buzz back here and fuck with you.

      You're the one that posts and has 'em deleted, what is a bigger waste of time then that?

      No one reads your work, no one cares, no one checks you out, but the IRS.

      Even Better than Good, that's Great!

      Delete
    3. Yep Rat doing the Saturday night BONG again.

      trippin....

      Delete
    4. You really are the personification of stupid.

      Delete
    5. Jack HawkinsSat Feb 15, 11:19:00 PM EST
      You really are the personification of stupid

      Which Jack said that?

      I bet Rat set up BOTH jack accounts to fuck with us all.....

      Delete
  36. AnonymousSat Feb 15, 10:02:00 PM EST
    Where and when did Rat write that?
    Provide a link or it is just another unsubstantiated libel

    But then that is what you do, isn't it Anonymous?



    So when YOU make libelous claims the same standard should apply...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes, WITNESSES that say they saw the same thing is evidence.

      Those that say they "don't remember" or "never saw it" is meaningless.

      Bob, I, Allen and Mat all remembered you bragging about Ollie North, about your wet ops, about your killing people.

      that sir, is evidence.

      and if this blog was a court of law (which it aint) you'd be convicted. Lucky you.

      Now when you singly make accusations without any facts?

      Just shows you lie....

      Delete
  37. Why would Rat set up multiple accounts with the same name?

    Hmmm.... to confuse us? to be the perpetual "victim"?

    BOTH Jack's are no older than a 10 days....

    Hmmm... Yep Rat has double blinded us by setting up 2 Jack Hawkins. Then complements himself for a good copy job...

    Wack a doodle doo...

    ReplyDelete
  38. Just watch, I bet Rat done this with all of our logins...

    ReplyDelete
  39. ONLY one way to kill that...

    Require registration by email...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amigo, the ISP's are on the posts. Google tells the admin where they are from.

      ;-)

      truth wins out, by morning.

      An Amero to a doughnut.

      Delete
    2. I have faith in your ability to fake IP addresses for Google.

      After all you are the blog's master spy...

      Delete
  40. Notice how respectable the blog was when Deuce left and required only registered folks the ability to post?

    yep... that was so yesterday

    ReplyDelete
  41. desert ratSat Feb 15, 05:44:00 PM EST
    Poser, follower, a charlatan of sorts.
    One who copies or immitates all or most of the aspects dealing with their idol.

    They may wish to have certain clothing, skills, vocabulary, etc., of their idols instead of their own.
    Most likely a wannabe is lacking in self confidence and is looking for guidance.
    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=wannabe


    Farmer bob...... Farmer Rob....

    LOL

    ReplyDelete
  42. More arab on arab love....

    THE Syrian people are starving. According to the United Nations, about 800,000 civilians are currently under siege. In areas around the cities of Homs, Aleppo and Deir Ezzor and in parts of the capital, Damascus, no food, medical supplies or humanitarian aid can get in, and people can’t get out. Many have already died under these “starvation sieges” and hundreds of thousands teeter on the brink, subsisting on grass and weeds. In Damascus, a cleric has ruled that under these conditions, Muslims are permitted to eat normally forbidden animals like cats, dogs and donkeys.

    RELATED IN OPINION

    Editorial: The Message From HomsFEB. 10, 2014
    This is not a famine. Food is abundant just a few miles away from these besieged areas. Military forces — mainly the army of President Bashar al-Assad, but in some cases extremist anti-Assad militias — are preventing food and medicine from reaching trapped civilians. In addition to starving, many people in besieged areas have been stricken by diseases, including polio, but can’t get medical treatment because doctors can’t get through.

    ReplyDelete



  43. What is "Occupation"Sat Feb 15, 11:31:00 PM EST

    desert ratSat Feb 15, 05:44:00 PM EST
    Poser, follower, a charlatan of sorts.
    One who copies or immitates all or most of the aspects dealing with their idol.

    They may wish to have certain clothing, skills, vocabulary, etc., of their idols instead of their own.
    Most likely a wannabe is lacking in self confidence and is looking for guidance.
    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=wannabe


    Farmer bob...... Farmer Rob....

    LOL

    ********

    Ah, jeez, why me?

    "a charlatan of sorts"

    Wouldn't Quirk make the better role model, rather than me?

    Detroit Quirk - Detroit Ruirk, or something?

    ******





    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Book mark material -


      Jack HawkinsSat Feb 15, 10:13:00 PM EST

      I have killed people, but I was not convicted in an American court. So I am innocent.
      Reply

      Replies



      What is "Occupation"Sat Feb 15, 10:15:00 PM EST

      I KNEW IT....

      Delete
  44. February 15, 2014

    Dems face another unexpected Senate seat potential loss

    Thomas Lifson




    The list of vulnerable Democrat-held Senate seats in 2014 just got longer. And in a state that used to be reliably blue. The Wall Street Journal reports:


    The race to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan is still rated "Democratic Favored" by some Washington prognosticators, but the contest is starting to look like a toss-up. It's only February, but yet another poll shows the Republican candidate, Terri Lynn Land, with a small lead.

    The EPIC-MRA survey of likely voters shows Ms. Land ahead of her Democratic opponent, Rep. Gary Peters, 41%-38%. A September poll showed Mr. Peters with a one-point lead, and both results are within the margin of error. But Ms. Land, a former Michigan secretary of state, seems to have the momentum; she has led in every poll taken this year. (snip)

    Mr. Peters has the Democratic establishment behind him, having been endorsed by Mr. Levin and the state's other Democratic senator, Debbie Stabenow. But he also supports ObamaCare, and outside conservative groups have run issue ads linking him to the unpopular law. A January poll of likely voters in the state put support for ObamaCare at just 37 percent.



    Democrats will now have to pour money into Michigan in order to try to hold this seat. This itself is good news, but the prospect of turning over yet another seat makes Senate control and even greater possibility for the GOP in 2015.



    Hat tip: Ed Lasky


    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2014/02/dems_face_another_unexpected_senate_seat_potential_loss.html#ixzz2tSnWZsIJ
    Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook

    ReplyDelete
  45. I talked to a gal, yesterday, that Loves her new insurance (that she bought through the Healthcare dot gov. website. She was very Surprised when I told her that it was the hated "Obamacare."

    She's a particularly "low information" citizen (in fact, she doesn't even vote - doesn't want to draw jury duty, - however, I have a hunch that there is a lot of that lack of knowledge going around.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And that is precisely what drives guys like Doug NUTS! - a poor non-voting low information citizen getting their health looked after by a hard-working voting citizen. Let them eat cake, get sick, and die!!

      Delete
    2. The thing is, she Is a hard-working gal, who makes enough to "pay taxes," both "income," And "FICA." She just doesn't have the kind of job that affords her "Paid before Taxes Group Health Insurance."

      She has been getting the "short end" of the stick, and is, now, getting a little "catch up."

      Delete
    3. Sorry, hard working is the wrong term. Doesn't matter how hard she works - what counts is how much she earns - she's obviously subsidized.

      Delete
    4. Yeah, she gets a little subsidy (probably, not any more than if she had a pre-obamacare group policy, though,) but I believe her main benefit is the coverage of a couple of Pre-Existing Conditions.

      Delete

    5. If wealth was the inevitable result of hard work and enterprise, every woman in Africa would be a millionaire.



      Delete
  46. Of course, the Dems do not want to lose the Senate, but I can't see where it would be all that big a thang.

    All the Obama policies that are going to get in place are "in place," and there's no way in the world that the pubs could ever get enough majority, in either house, to override a Presidential Veto.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      I fear you might be too sanguine, Ruf.

      I don't know enough about the rules to speculate on what the GOP might do; however, after Reid changed the rule on filibusters I doubt the GOP will feel any compunction to 'play nice'. Likewise, I can envision a situation where Obama is presented with an offer he can't refuse, for instance, a case where amendments are added to a budget deal and the choice is sign or shut down the government.

      I am not convinced Obama's populist language is anything more than political tactic for the coming election. That being the case, I'm not sure how motivated he would be having lost the election already.

      .

      Delete
    2. Eh, possibly, I guess. But, there's a heck of a difference between coming up with 40 votes for a filibuster, and 67 Votes to Override a Veto.

      As for shutting down the government - well, he let'em shut it down, once; I don't doubt that he would let them shut it down again.

      Anyways, we'll see. With the Dems looking surprisingly strong in Kentucky, and Georgia, it would take a hell of a run for the pubs to pull off a conquest of the senate in any case.

      Delete
    3. Depends upon what Hilary and General P thought was best, for 2016.

      If the idea was to prove the Republicans to be a bunch of reactionaries, he might let 'em shut it down.
      Then again, would the Republicans in the Senate vote en bloc, to shut down the government?

      When has that helped those that did it, politically?

      With Obama not facing reelection, he would not face pressure on that side of the equation.

      Wiki tells us that in 2016
      Currently, Democrats are expected to have 10 seats up for election, and Republicans are expected to have 24 seats up for election.

      It would be a heck of an issue for those 24 to explain, why their actions cut off SS checks, farm subsidies and the rest, to the GOP base that does not think they 'collect' from the Federals.

      There will be a lot of 'positioning for 2016 by those GOP senators that were 'short' in 2015.

      Along with that, the Presidential campaign will be underway.

      Delete
  47. IRS is overwhelmed by identity theft fraud

    Billions wrongly paid out as scammers find agency an easy target


    WASHINGTON — Rashia Wilson bought a $92,000 Audi, proclaimed herself a millionaire, and announced on her Facebook page that she was “the queen of IRS tax fraud,” as prosecutors told the story.

    But even more than her flamboyance, it was the seeming ease of her crime that was most stunning: She and an accomplice were alleged to have hijacked the identities of other taxpayers to get fraudulent refunds. They used stolen Social Security numbers, a computer, and basic knowledge of how to file a tax return, according to the government.

    After the Florida mother of three was caught and pleaded guilty last year to crimes totaling at least $3 million, her defense attorney, Mark O’Brien, made his own plea. He said in court that he hoped the “IRS will figure out a way to prevent this from happening in the future, so someone with a sixth-grade education can’t defraud them so easily.”
    ...
    All told, in just the first six months of last year, 1.6 million taxpayers were affected by identity theft, compared with 271,000 for all of 2010, according to a recent audit by the Treasury Department’s inspector general. While the IRS said it discovered many of the incidents, the cumulative thefts have resulted in billions of dollars in potentially fraudulent refunds, according to an array of government reports.

    “I’ve had a police chief tell me ‘street crime is down because everybody is now filing false IRS returns,’ ” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen,who took office last month, said in an interview.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bernard Lawrence "Bernie" MadoffSun Feb 16, 09:53:00 AM EST

      ;-(

      

Another case of stolen valor

      Delete
    2. Talking about a FRAUD....

      Hegemony of Character
      On Blogger since January 2014
      Profile views - 6

      Delete
  48. Now You Could Lose Your Medical Identity, Too

    A Pennsylvania man found that an imposter had used his identity at five different hospitals in order to receive more than $100,000 in treatment. At each spot, the imposter left behind a medical history in his victim’s name. -

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bernard Lawrence "Bernie" MadoffSun Feb 16, 09:52:00 AM EST

      ;-(



      Another case of stolen valor

      Delete
    2. Talking about a FRAUD....

      Hegemony of Character
      On Blogger since January 2014
      Profile views - 6

      Delete
  49. Runaway Identity Theft: Could You Be Next?

    An estimated 13.1 million Americans were victims of identity theft-related fraud last year. That's up more than 500,000 people from 2012. According to a just-released Identity Fraud Study by Javelin Strategy & Research, someone in this country becomes a victim every two seconds.

    And note, this survey of 5,600 consumers across the country was done in October, before the massive Target breach.

    "This data clearly exposes just how ineffective current security practices have become," said Alphonse Pascual, a senior analyst at Javelin who co-authored the study. "The businesses we trust with our personal information have become easy targets."

    While the number of victims is up, less money was stolen: $18 billion last year, down $3 billion from 2012. One reason for the decline:

    Financial institutions are doing a somewhat better job of spotting fraud and shutting down accounts as soon as it's detected.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bernard Lawrence "Bernie" MadoffSun Feb 16, 09:52:00 AM EST

      ;-(

Another case of stolen valor

      Delete
    2. Notice the lack of return, between the frown and the Another
      He is a lazy fraud

      Delete
    3. Talking about a FRAUD....

      Hegemony of Character
      On Blogger since January 2014
      Profile views - 6

      Delete
  50. "Companies and governments are trying to do the most with this information right now," says Smolan, "particularly when it comes to something like a health crisis. But think about life in China right now. For the Chinese [government], the iPhone must be a godsend. Everyone’s planting tracking devices on themselves! If 10 years ago someone had said, ‘Let me put a device on you so that I know where you are every second of the day, what you’re doing and who you’re with, what you bought, what you looked at’ – well, now we’re lining up to plant these devices on ourselves because it’s convenient." -

    http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2013/01/10/How-Youre-Shaping-the-Future-Through-Big-Data

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's an interesting perspective, eh?

      Delete
    2. Bernard Lawrence "Bernie" MadoffSun Feb 16, 09:51:00 AM EST

      ;-(

      Another case of stolen valor

      Delete
  51. "We've all met a bullshitter -- the guy who claims he's been in a ton of street fights, or a secret agent. But nothing is worse than the fake war heroes -- dudes who want all of the glory and cool stories of people who served without the actual "risking their lives" part. It's not surprising that those ridiculous, compulsive liars exist. It's surprising that some of them managed to fool the world."

    http://www.cracked.com/article_20191_6-military-fakes-you-wont-believe-fooled-world.html#ixzz2tUoFMJ9w

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bernard Lawrence "Bernie" MadoffSun Feb 16, 09:45:00 AM EST

      ;-(

      Another case of stolen valor

      Delete
    2. I wonder how much of their money that town ever got back? :)

      Delete
  52. Fake Warriors has gotten so wide spread that now there is a website devoted to outing them.

    http://www.fakewarriors.org/phonies/phonies528.htm

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bernard Lawrence "Bernie" MadoffSun Feb 16, 09:45:00 AM EST

      ;-(

      Another case of stolen valor

      Delete
  53. U.S. Military Launches Spy Operation Using Fake Online Identities

    The U.S. Military has purchased software designed to create and control false online personas in an attempt to use social media and other websites to counter anti-U.S. messaging.

    According to the contract between US Central Command (Centcom) and California company Ntrepid, the software would let each user control 10 personas, each "replete with background, history, supporting details, and cyber presences that are technically, culturally and geographically consistent." The software would also be able to let personas "appear to originate in nearly any part of the world" and interact through "conventional online services and social media platforms," while using a static IP address for each persona to maintain a consistent online identity.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/17/online-persona-management_n_837153.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bernard Lawrence "Bernie" MadoffSun Feb 16, 09:46:00 AM EST

      ;-(

      Another case of stolen valor

      Delete
  54. Con Artists Using Fake Military Documents to Swindle Money Using Soldier’s Identities

    We have gotten a lot of emails lately asking us about Military members overseas asking for cash from civilians, mainly women, to come home for leave from Afghanistan or telling the women that they have a very sick child that they need to come home and see.

    They are also taking the photos of real Military members from Facebook and other Social Media, and using them to create these fake Facebook profiles and dating site profiles. They will take any photo they come across that depicts a Military member, they are also taking photos of our Fallen Warriors as well.

    They also like to tell people that they are widowed and caring for the child/children alone. It is always some sort of story to make the victim feel pity for the fraudster.

    http://guardianofvalor.com/con-artists-using-fake-military-documents-to-swindle-money-using-soldiers-identities/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bernard Lawrence "Bernie" MadoffSun Feb 16, 09:47:00 AM EST

      ;-(

      Another case of stolen valor

      Delete
  55. The CIA planes brought guns, washing machines, gourmet food, and fancy furniture intto Colombia and took drugs back to the U.S.

    The CIA, the Contras and Crack Cocaine

    by Dennis Bernstein and Robert Knight

    http://www.monitor.net/monitor/9612a/ciacontra.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Talking about a FRAUD....

      Hegemony of Character
      On Blogger since January 2014
      Profile views - 6

      Delete
    2. See, he has to use it or all that time and energy to be a counterfeit will have been wasted

      Delete
  56. Hegemony of Character

    My Photo - None

    On Blogger since January 2014
    Profile views - 6



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Talking about a FRAUD....

      Hegemony of Character
      On Blogger since January 2014
      Profile views - 6

      Delete
  57. One can see why one author went 'Anonymous', with the level of deciet that is prevalent on the World Wide Web.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Talking about a FRAUD....

      Hegemony of Character
      On Blogger since January 2014
      Profile views - 6

      Delete
    2. What a lazy fraud.

      Hegemony of CharacterSun Feb 16, 10:01:00 AM EST
      One can see why one author went 'Anonymous', with the level of deciet that is prevalent on the World Wide Web.



      Can't even SPELL "deceit". Must be his or her lack of knowledge of English as a 1st language.

      Delete
    3. Just WHO is this "Hegemony of Character"?

      Hegemony of Character
      On Blogger since January 2014
      Profile views - 6

      He or she has no real information on his or her blogger profile, just 6 views, created just a month ago...

      Delete