“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, August 05, 2013

Superbowl of US Embassy attacks was so exciting Sunday, the dumb part of FUKUS decided to keep them closed an entire week. I have a great idea: Let’s keep them closed permanently


What do we need Embassies in these countries for in the first place? Target practice for al Qaeda? To issue visas? 

We love immigrants, millions and millions of them especially the illegal ones. The collective genius of Congress gets misty eyed over the border hoppers and is following all over itself to do everything they can, with your money of course, to accommodate them so that it improves their self image. 

No embassy, no visas, no need to wait in line and we all know and have been reminded that diversity is our strength. Let’s keep the embassies safe and closed and get more diverse by not bothering with visas in the first place. That problem solved.

If you have ever travelled overseas or lived outside of the country, you will know that a US Embassy is worthless to American citizens, other than to remind you that  are not a citizen but a subject. You will wait weeks for an appointment, hours to get in and get seen by the wrong person that doesn’t do what you need done. After they don’t do that for you, they will ask if there is anything else that they can’t do for you and recommend that you do everything else on or you can always call 24/7 at one of their convenient numbers that will be busy or give you a real hosing with their .gov created voicemail.

There are many reasons to keep the embassies closed permanently but the big pita is that the primary reason for the embassies being there is to advance US Government interests which coincidentally are 180 degrees out of sync with yours.


  1. (CNN) -- What started as an unprecedented move to close almost two dozen diplomatic posts for a day has broadened to week-long closures for most of them as the United States mulls the threat of a possible attack.

    A trio of factors prompted officials to extend most of its embassy and consulate closures until Saturday: an intercepted message among senior al Qaeda operatives, the end of Ramadan, and concerns over several major prison breaks in the region.
    Originally, officials decided to close 22 embassies and consulates this past Sunday -- a day when they would normally be open for business.

    But Sunday afternoon, the State Department extended embassy and consulate closures in 15 of the locations through Saturday, and added four other posts -- all in Africa -- to the list. This brings the total to 19.

    “This is not an indication of a new threat stream, merely an indication of our commitment to exercise caution and take appropriate steps to protect our employees including local employees and visitors to our facilities," the State Department said.

    The statement, however, does not address why then it added four additional posts.

  2. Breaking News from Yaakov of J’lem: Israel has figured a way to save the US $55 MILLION!! (That could cover the costs of Barack and Obama’ vacation) Do we have a E’msy in J’lem?

    Israel willing to forgo some US missile defense aid, says report By YAAKOV LAPPIN08/05/2013 00:58

    J'lem reportedly offered to waive nearly $55m. in US aid in light of considerable cuts Washington made to defense budget.
    Iron Dome battery deployed in North Photo: Ben Hartman
    Israel has offered to waive nearly $55 million in US aid for its missile defense programs, the Defense News website reported over the weekend.

    Defense officials in Israel declined to comment on the report.

    According to US-based Defense News, in light of the considerable cuts Washington has made to its defense budget, Jerusalem has sought to shoulder its part in the new, harsher financial reality. The US cut $37 billion from its defense budget this fiscal year and is expected to cut $52b. in 2014.

    The Israeli offer came despite a commitment by US President Barack Obama to leave aid for Israeli missile defense programs untouched.

    1. If we can talk Barrack into accepting it, will that balance the budget?

    2. I would have pitied any young guy who went to my high school with the handle, “Yaakov”. A boy named Sue?

    3. .

      Is 'willing' to forego...?

      Offered to waive...?

      Is this what we have come to?


    4. The Israelis are very good to us and the Cpnga Line.

  3. I always love it when J’lem tries to be helpful.

  4. Of course Israel doesn’t stand alone in being helpful to US interests in the ME. The Saudis are always doing their best as well:

    WASHINGTON – The sudden Egyptian military coup to oust democratically elected but Muslim Brotherhood-supported President Mohammad Morsi is being viewed by regional analysts as a coordinated effort among Gulf Arab countries, led by Saudi Arabia, according to report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

    “Perhaps the army and its Gulf backers thought that their ‘shock and awe’ coup, plus the MB’s leadership decapitation, would leave the MB and their followers ‘psychologically seared by defeat’ and appropriately docile,” according to Alastair Crooke, former MI6 analyst and Middle East specialist who oversees the Beirut-based Conflicts Forum.

    However, familiar with being “victims,” the Brotherhood appears to be taking an opposite approach, developing a deep resentment and anger over the forced ouster of the president.

    “Against all the odds, the MB perceive themselves as having come to power legitimately, and on the back of 80 years of patient groundwork,” Crooke said. “Yet, they still had expected to be deposed from office” after Morsi gave in to much of what the West sought, contrary to the Brotherhood’s own ideas on where to head Egypt in the future.


    1. .

      Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been duking it out trying to gain influence in the ME for some time. We see it in Syria and we now see it in Egypt. The following blurp from the HuffPo kind of lays out the background.

      Qatar and Saudi Arabia have challenged each other for greater influence across the Middle East and North Africa since the Arab Awakening began by placing bets on different horses. Qatar has invested substantial monetary resources in support of the Muslim Brotherhood across MENA to become the organization's primary benefactor. Saudi Arabia deems the Brotherhood a threat to the House of Saud's religious authority within and beyond the Kingdom, and has generally supported rival political forces, including Salafists and secularists. This past month's developments in Egypt and Syria suggest that the tide may be turning in Riyadh's favor.

      The rivalry is rooted in history. During the 1950s and 1960s, Saudi Arabia offered the Muslim Brotherhood a home in the Kingdom after Egypt (and other Arab nationalist regimes) purged the movement. Riyadh used the Brotherhood as a proxy in larger conflicts against nationalist and left-wing forces in the Islamic world. When Saudi Arabia and Nasser's Egypt waged proxy wars in the Middle East, the Muslim Brotherhood was given Saudi support, as the movement was used to undermine the socialism and leftist nationalism Nasser sought to spread across the Arab world. A Muslim Brotherhood leader, Mamoum Al Hodeiby, even became one of Prince Nayef's advisers.

      The Brotherhood also played a crucial role in the establishment of Islamic charities inside Saudi Arabia, such as the Muslim World League (1962) and the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (1972). During the Afghan-Soviet war, Riyadh utilized global networks created by the Brotherhood to maintain the flow of young jihadists and weapons into Afghanistan. However, the House of Saud never permitted the organization to establish a branch within the Kingdom, as it was perceived as a menace to the country's Salafist order. When the Brotherhood condemned Saudi Arabia's support for the U.S. in the Gulf War, Riyadh lashed out and accused the group of being ungrateful and divisive.

      After Qatar began sponsoring Muslim Brotherhood intellectual forums, Saudi Arabia feared the group's growing influence on its doorstep. Within this context, Mohammed Morsi's fall last week constituted a geostrategic gain for Saudi Arabia. This week, Saudi Arabia announced it would provide Egypt with $5 billion in aid, in conjunction with the $4 billion granted by Kuwait and $3 billion from the United Arab Emirates. This action underscores how some GCC states share an anti-Muslim Brotherhood philosophy and desire to make gains in the Egyptian arena at Qatar and Turkey's expense...


  5. As always the US is just trying to be helpful: let’s check in with the country that heads the pack in being the recipient of US beneficence, Iraq?

    BAGHDAD -- A series of attacks across Iraq on Sunday killed 15 people, including a random shooting and the killing of a judge, authorities said.

    Violence has been on the rise in Iraq all year, but the number of attacks against civilians and security forces has spiked during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which began early last month. The surge in the bloodshed is raising fears of a return to the widespread killing that pushed the country to the brink of civil war after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

    The deadliest attack took place late Sunday night when gunmen in a speeding car opened fire randomly on a gathering of people on a street in the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, killing four people and wounding three, said Kirkuk deputy police chief Maj. Gen. Torhan Abdul-Rahman Youssef.

    A bomb later exploded inside a cafe in western Baghdad shortly before midnight, killing three and wounding 12, police said.

    Earlier in the day, police officials said a roadside bomb struck an army patrol near the northern city of Mosul, killing three soldiers.

    In Tikrit in central Iraq, a car bomb killed Judge Sajid Abdul-Amir as he was driving to his work, police said.

    1. .

      Took a few years but they finally got around to calling Syria a civil war. No one yet seems to have the guts to call Iraq what it is, a civil war.


  6. Oh well, tough noogies for the Iraqis, we meant well. We really tried but at GWB would say, “it was hard”.

  7. CNN may have discovered what brought the empire to its knees this weekend:

    Analysts: Terror warning may be linked to choice of al Qaeda chief deputy
    By Paul Cruickshank
    CNN Terrorism Analyst

    There may be a link between what sources tell CNN is evidence of final-stage planning for an attack against U.S and Western interests by al Qaeda's affiliate in Yemen and the reported recent appointment of the affiliate's leader as the new general manager of the global al Qaeda network.

    Seth Jones, a senior analyst at the Rand Corporation, told CNN's Barbara Starr on Friday that intelligence indicated that Nasir al Wuhayshi, the Yemeni leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), had recently been appointed into the role by al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri.

    The appointment would effectively thrust Wuhayshi, a Yemeni national, into the No. 2 position in the global al Qaeda terrorist network, a position previously held by the Libyan Abu Yahya al Libi before his death in a drone strike in Pakistan in June 2012.

    It would also provide a broader foundation to al Qaeda's top leadership at a time when the center of gravity of the group has shifted from the Afghanistan-Pakistan region to the Arab world. And it would potentially allow the group to retap fund-raising opportunities for the group in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries where Wuhayshi is more popular than Zawahiri, al Qaeda's less charismatic and sometimes divisive Egyptian leader.

    Wuhayshi's appointment would almost certainly have required back-and-forth communication between the AQAP and al Qaeda Central. Given al Qaeda's past track record, that would most likely have involved couriers traveling back and forth between Yemen and Pakistan, where Zawahiri is presumed to be hiding.

    This would have given Wuhayshi plenty of opportunity to inform Zawahiri of any plan in the works to hit American targets in the region. This possible foreknowledge in turn may explain Zawahiri's impassioned plea in a message posted on jihadist websites earlier this week for followers to hit American targets in the Middle East and beyond.

    A high-profile attack orchestrated by Wuhayshi would cement the Yemeni's new position in the al Qaeda hierarchy.

    1. How come we didn't send the Seals after Zawahiri after we got da 'Bin?

  8. Think of it as an inauguration ceremony.

  9. All right, calm down, two of the Gangsters have it under control:

    US senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham are due to arrive in Cairo as diplomatic efforts to end Egypt's political crisis intensify.

    US and EU envoys have been meeting officials from the military-backed government and supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi.

    Their talks took place amid mounting tension over plans to break up two mass sit-ins by Morsi loyalists in Cairo.

    A government helicopter dropped leaflets urging people to leave.

    The pamphlets, which were dropped over the Rabaa al-Adawiya square, pledged protesters would face no action if they had not committed a crime whilst demonstrating.

    More than 100 Morsi supporters have been killed in clashes since the president was overthrown by the military on 3 July.

    Meanwhile a court in Cairo said it would start the trial of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie and two of his deputies on 25 August.

    Mr Badie and several other senior Brotherhood figures were arrested on charges of inciting violence and complicity in the deaths of anti-Morsi demonstrators during rallies in July.

    1. "He's like my son"

      - John McCain

    2. Correction:

      Sen McCain: "Lindsey Graham is like a son to me"

      IC: Who do you think is the best senator today?

      JM: I loved Bob Dole. He was so good to me when I came to the Senate. On Bosnia, he took the right side of the debate even though it hurt him with the right wing of our party, and he gave a speech on intervention in Bosnia. He happened to mention my support and said, “I wore a bracelet with Senator McCain’s name on it during the entire Vietnam war.” He never told me that. I went over and asked, and he said, “Yeah, yeah.” I thought the world of him.

      IC: What about current senators?

      JM: Lindsey Graham is like a son to me.
      IC: Is he that young?

      JM: In his fifties. Kelly Ayotte, I am very close to. Chuck Schumer. Carl Levin and I are as close as two people can be. But I also understand how transient this is. Once you are gone, you’re gone.

    3. Conversely,

      While we are here, we're here.

    4. : ) or as they used to say in less enlightened times: “we’re here and we’re queer.”

    5. .

      Have to admit 'being gay' does sound better than 'being queer' (or even 'being quirky' for that matter).


  10. Why does the Egyptian crisis appear so simple to our political leaders yet so complicated when you actually turn up in Cairo?

    -Robert Fisk

    Let’s start with the Egyptian press. Flowering after the 2011 revolution, the Egyptian media moved into lockstep the moment General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and the lads chucked President Mohamed Morsi out of power on 3 July. Indeed, one popular television group – upon whose airwaves I occasionally spoke in the post-Mubarak era – appeared after the military takeover with their reporters and presenters all praising the new regime. And here’s the rub – they all appeared on screen in military uniform!

    Of course, fantasies had to be created. The first of these was not the perfidious, undemocratic, terroristic nature of the Brotherhood – this idea had been fostered at least a week before the coup. No, it was the demonstration scoreboard that fed into the dreams of the world. “Millions” were on the streets calling for Morsi’s overthrow. These millions were essential for the supreme fantasy: that General al-Sisi was merely following the will of the people. But then Tony Blair – whose accuracy over weapons of mass destruction in Iraq is well known – told us that there were “17 million Egyptians on the streets”! This was worthy of an exclamation mark. Then the US State Department told us there were 22 million on the streets of Egypt. Then just three days ago, the Democracy Index informed us that there were 30 million taking part in demonstrations against Morsi and only one million Morsi supporters on the streets!

    This is truly incredible. The population of Egypt is around 89 million. Stripped of its babies, children, pensioners of advanced age, this suggests that more than half the active population of Egypt was demonstrating against Morsi. Yet unlike Egypt in 2011, the country kept running. So who, during what the Egyptian Writers Union now called “the largest political demonstration in history”, was driving the trains and buses, the Cairo underground system, operating the airports, manning the ranks of the police and army, the factories, hotels and the Suez Canal?

    Al-Jazeera, thank heavens, brought in an American expert on crowds to demonstrate that these figures emerged from a dream world in which both sides eagerly subscribed, one that physically could not exist. Around Tahrir Square, it was impossible to gather more than a million and a half people. In Nasr City – a Morsi demonstration point – far fewer. But the groundwork had been laid.

    So last week, the US Secretary of State John Kerry was able to tell us that the Egyptian military “was asked to intervene by millions and millions [sic] of people, all of whom were afraid of a [descent] into chaos, into violence. And the military did not take over, to the best of our judgement – so far – to run the country. There’s a civilian government. In effect [sic], they were restoring democracy.” All Kerry failed to mention was that General al-Sisi chose the “civilian” government, reappointed himself defence minister, then appointed himself deputy prime minister of the “civilian” government – and remained commander of the Egyptian army. And that General al-Sisi was never elected. But that’s OK. He was anointed by those “millions and millions” of people.

    And what did the military spokesman say when asked how the world would react to the “excessive use of force” that killed 50 Muslim Brotherhood demonstrators on 8 July? Without reservation, he replied: “What excessive force? It would have been excessive if we had killed 300 people.” That speaks for itself. But when you’re up there among the 17 million, 22 million, 30 million, the “millions of millions”, who cares?


  11. {…}

    Now to the Department of Plain Speaking. Let me quote here the best commentator on the Middle East, Alain Gresh, whose work in Le Monde diplomatique, is – or should be – essential reading for all politicians, generals, “intelligence” officers, torturers, and every Arab in the entire region. The Muslim Brotherhood, he writes this month, proved itself “fundamentally incapable of adapting to the pluralist political deal, to emerge from its culture of clandestinity, to transform itself into a political party, to make alliances. Sure, they created the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), but this remained totally under the control of the Brotherhood.”

    And what was al-Sisi’s real role in all this? He gave us an intriguing clue in his infamous 25 July call on Egyptians to authorise the army to “confront violence and terrorism”. He said he told two Brotherhood leaders prior to the overthrow that the situation was “dangerous”, that reconciliation talks must begin at once. The two leaders, al-Sisi said, replied that “armed groups” would solve any problem that arose. The general was outraged. He said he gave Morsi a week before 30 June to try to end the crisis. On 3 July, he sent Morsi’s Prime Minister, Hisham Qandil, and two others “to former President Morsi to convince him to be proactive and call for a referendum on his remaining in power… His answer was ‘no’.” Al-Sisi told Morsi that “political pride dictates that if the people reject you, you should either step down, or re-establish confidence through a referendum. Some people want to either rule the country or destroy it.”

    Of course, we can’t hear Morsi’s point of view. He has been publicly silenced.

    Thank God for the Egyptian army. And all those millions.

    1. .

      Of course, Kerry would defend the Egyptian army and declare there was no coup. The Egyptian army is the Bush/Obama administration writ small. Never waste a good crisis.

      Take a crisis, define it as an existential event, use that excuse to consolidate power and restrict civil rights under the guise of national security all within a cloak of secrecy.

      A winning formula especially when supported by a compliant MSM and wheeple who merely run around in circles baaaing 'do what you have to do, just protect us'.


    2. The Egyptian military is our Security Partner in the region, JFKerry told us that last May if I recall correctly.

  12. The closure of 22 US embassies over an alleged security threat was seized on by defenders of the National Security Agency on Sunday, amid claims that its controversial surveillance programme alerted authorities to “pre-9/11” levels of terrorist chatter.

    A meeting of President Barack Obama's top security officials on Saturday concluded that intelligence apparently gathered from overseas communications intercepts showed a serious but unspecified threat against Western and US interests. The administration moved to shut the embassies across North Africa and the Middle East as a precaution.

    On Sunday the state department announced that diplomatic posts in 19 cities will remain closed at least until end of this week. A spokeswoman said the decision to keep the embassies and consulates closed is a sign of an "abundance of caution" and is "not an indication of a new threat."

    Britain said its embassy in Yemen would stay closed until the Muslim festival of Eid on Thursday.

    Intelligence committee members in Washington who had been briefed on the alert said it was the most serious they had seen for years and repeatedly cited the threat during Sunday's political talk shows as a reason to resist growing calls in Congress for reform of the NSA's sweeping powers.

    "There has been an awful lot of [terrorist] chatter, which is very reminiscent of what we saw pre-9/11," said the Republican senator Saxby Chambliss on NBC's Meet the Press. "As we come to the end of Ramadan, which is always an interesting time for terrorists, and the upcoming 9/11 anniversary, this is the most serious threat that I have seen in the last several years."

    Chambliss, who was briefed by the vice president, Joe Biden, last week, said he believed the intelligence had been gathered by the NSA using foreign surveillance powers granted under section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

    "This is a good indication of why they [the surveillance powers] are so important," he said.

    His defence of the NSA was echoed by another Republican, Lindsey Graham. Asked by CNN host Candy Crowley whether Americans were right to be frightened, senator Graham said: "It is scary … the NSA programme is proving its worth yet again."

  13. RichardSaunders

    04 August 2013 6:27pm

    Congress reading the script from the NSA. So what do we need now? More money? More secrecy?

    If you want to be in Fear you should fear the US Federal government. They have taken control of your life.

    1. .

      This has been my opinion since day one. You have to be suspicious.

      The trend in opinion seems to be shifting away from the NSA and its secrecy protocols. What do you do, you fabricate a new 'crisis'.

      ...“pre-9/11” levels of terrorist chatter.

      Bush branded it, but these guys will continue using 9/11 for another 50 years if they can get away with it.

      ...a serious but unspecified threat against Western and US interests.

      Can someone please explain to me what the fuck that means?

      Intelligence committee members in Washington who had been briefed on the alert said it was the most serious they had seen for years and repeatedly cited the threat during Sunday's political talk shows as a reason to resist growing calls in Congress for reform of the NSA's sweeping powers.

      The money card. Intelligence committee members, an oxymoron if I've ever heard one. A more accurate and descriptive appellation might be butt-boy, enabling yes-men (and women when one considers Feinstein). Once wonders what juicy info the NSA maintains on each of these guys.

      Lindsey Graham: "It is scary … the NSA programme is proving its worth yet again." Is it any wonder I hope this doofus gets dumped in S.C.?

      The U.S. shuts down its embassies? More likely, it just gives embassy employees an extended vacation. With the added security protection that has been added to our embassies worldwide over the years, it would take an army or an a-bomb to breach most of them.

      The Bagdad Embassy.

      Two vast and trunkless legs of stone stand in the desert.

      And on the pedestal these words appear: "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
      Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"


    2. .

      Take a look at the blast walls in the third picture in the link above.

      Probably would need tanks rather than IEDs or rocket propelled grenades.


  14. Well well well, guess who is jumping off the Neocon’s sinking ship, an Aipac oldy but goody:

    Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) is rethinking his neoconservative stance on U.S. military intervention in foreign countries.

    In an interview with the Washington Times published Sunday, Gingrich said the United States' ability to "export democracy" needs to be reevaluated and that "alternative strategies" should be considered.

    “I am a neoconservative. But at some point, even if you are a neoconservative, you need to take deep breath to ask if our strategies in Middle East have succeeded,” Gingrich said. “It may be that our capacity to export democracy is a lot more limited than we thought."

    Gingrich told the Washington Times that he no longer believes interventionist policies are effective.

    “I think we really need a discussion on what is an effective policy against radical Islam since it’s hard to argue that our policies of last 12 years have effective,” he said.

    Gingrich's conclusions mark a reversal for the former speaker, who pressed for invasion in Iraq and Afghanistan and has frequently touted his pro-Israel views, calling Palestinians an "invented" people.

    While running for president in 2011, Gingrich said he would pick former U.N ambassador John Bolton, a staunch neoconservative, to be his secretary of state if elected. And as Foreign Policy reported in 2011, Gingrich's foreign policy advisory team during the presidential campaign boasted many veterans of the George W. Bush administration, including David Wurmser, who was a top adviser to former Vice President Dick Cheney.

    In the Times interview, Gingrich pointed to Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) as examples for conservatives going forward. Paul in particular has positioned himself as an alternative to the neoconservative wing of his party, filibustering President Barack Obama's CIA director nominee over the administration's use of drones and feuding with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) over national security last week.

    “I think it would be healthy to go back and war-game what alternative strategies would have been better, and I like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul because they are talking about this," Gingrich said.

  15. OOps, it looks like Obama had to prove he was not a pussy to the War Party:

    About those US embassy closures in the Middle East: they make the US look like a wimp.

    The United States is still the world’s primary superpower, for better or worse, and it has the potential to influence the world in both positive and negative ways. At one extreme, its unique geopolitical position allows it to violate international law with impunity and do things like invade and occupy Iraq in the teeth of opposition from the UN Security Council. At the other extreme, the US can play a positive role, as when it helped achieve an agreement between the UK, the Irish Republican Army, and the Republic of Ireland, in 1996. Or when President Eisenhower told then French President Charles De Gaulle that France would just have to get out of Algeria since colonialism was over with. On another level, US AID has saved millions of people from malaria.

    As with George Mitchell and Northern Ireland, the most effective uses of American power have been diplomatic. But hawks in Washington always want to drag us into foreign wars, in part to benefit their buddies in the arms industry. The current GOP is divided on the issue of US power abroad, with Libertarians like Rand Paul viewing foreign wars as a waste of money and a fruitless enterprise, but hawks like John McCain and Lindsey Graham failing to discover a potential war that they don’t just love to death.

    But the GOP is inadvertently pushing the US into a posture of dangerous diplomatic weakness. This weakness is clear in the unprecedented closing of 21 US embassies in the Middle East this weekend because of a vague terrorist threat apparently emanating from “al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula,” based in Yemen.

    The Obama administration most likely took this weird step to insulate itself from any further witch hunts of the sort the Republicans launched over the tragic attack on a CIA safe house doubling as a US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2011. That a radical extremist cell should have attacked in this way was a surprise, since the radicals had been persecuted by Muammar Gaddafi, and the US had helped overthrow the dictator. I was in Benghazi in summer of 2011 and was told that personal security was not so bad (you wouldn’t be mugged as an individual), but that militias might steal from, e.g., a company. The existence of a set of terrorist cells that would and could kill ambassador Chris Stevens and three others was not clear. When the surprise attack was launched, the Libyan government organized a special forces unit to extract the remaining dozens of Americans and get them to Tripoli, with it did without further loss of life. There is no reason to think that the Obama administration behaved inappropriately through the crisis.

    But the constant innuendos on the Hill that some sort of malfeasance occurred in Benghazi has pushed the Obama administration to cover its collective behind. So the Tunisian and Libyan embassies are skeleton crews, with very few personnel, and their families have been sent back to the states. An embassy can’t be effective like that. But the embassies are less vulnerable to becoming Washington scandals if there is almost no one there, reducing casualties if there were another attack.

    Juan Cole

    1. .

      Rather simplistic trying to blame this on Benghazi, IMO.

      My bet is on the NSA scandal.


    2. Trust 'em, but don't try to verify ...

  16. How are they going to climb down from this fiasco. Is there an existential threat that could come to the rescue? Maybe another air strike against Syria and more arms to al Qaeda would help?

    1. Strike a "premier" target.
      Probably in Yemen but it could be in Afpakistan

      Maybe they now know where Doc Z is hanging his shingle.

      Not knowing would have kept the SEALs from taking him down, doug.


  17. The DEA Has a Secret Surveillance Program

    The NSA isn’t the only agency with an advanced and highly secret surveillance program, and this one is used to launch criminal investigations of Americans. Reuters reports that a secretive Drug Enforcement Administration unit passes intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, and telephone records to authorities in the U.S. The unit, called the Special Operations Division, was created in 1994 to combat Latin American drug cartels and comprises partner agencies including the FBI, CIA, NSA, IRS, and Department of Homeland Security. Perhaps the most disturbing part of the program is that agents are told to use “normal investigative techniques to recreate the information provided by SOD,” according to documents obtained by Reuters, pretending that an arrest came from a random traffic stop and drug search, for example, rather than SOD surveillance.

    1. A former federal agent in the northeastern United States who received such tips from SOD described the process. "You'd be told only, ‘Be at a certain truck stop at a certain time and look for a certain vehicle.' And so we'd alert the state police to find an excuse to stop that vehicle, and then have a drug dog search it," the agent said.


      After an arrest was made, agents then pretended that their investigation began with the traffic stop, not with the SOD tip, the former agent said. The training document reviewed by Reuters refers to this process as "parallel construction."

      The two senior DEA officials, who spoke on behalf of the agency but only on condition of anonymity, said the process is kept secret to protect sources and investigative methods. "Parallel construction is a law enforcement technique we use every day," one official said. "It's decades old, a bedrock concept."

      A dozen current or former federal agents interviewed by Reuters confirmed they had used parallel construction during their careers. Most defended the practice; some said they understood why those outside law enforcement might be concerned.

      "It's just like laundering money - you work it backwards to make it clean," said Finn Selander, a DEA agent from 1991 to 2008 and now a member of a group called Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, which advocates legalizing and regulating narcotics.

      Some defense lawyers and former prosecutors said that using "parallel construction" may be legal to establish probable cause for an arrest. But they said employing the practice as a means of disguising how an investigation began may violate pretrial discovery rules by burying evidence that could prove useful to criminal defendants.


      "That's outrageous," said Tampa attorney James Felman, a vice chairman of the criminal justice section of the American Bar Association. "It strikes me as indefensible."

      Lawrence Lustberg, a New Jersey defense lawyer, said any systematic government effort to conceal the circumstances under which cases begin "would not only be alarming but pretty blatantly unconstitutional."

  18. Lessons In The Hegelian Dialectic
    By Niki Raapana 8-20-9

    The Hegelian Dialectic is the ideological blueprint for manipulating people into fighting over issues. Skillful use of Hegelian tactics is a requirement for all modern politicians. The ultimate goal of every major political player in the game right now is to weaken both sides of every argument, so that a "middle ground" for the "common good" can be formed between them. This is the simple formula for tricking the world into accepting a totalitarian central government. It's happening in every country on the planet.

    When Betsy McCaughey published her article called "Deadly Doctors," she sure opened a big can of political worms. She identified the philosophy of Obama's new health advisor, Ezekiel Emanuel as "communitarianism."

    "Emanuel, however, believes that "communitarianism" should guide decisions on who gets care. He says medical care should be reserved for the non-disabled, not given to those "who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens . . . An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia" (Hastings Center Report, Nov.-Dec. '96). " (Betsy McCaughey, founder of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths and a former New York lieutenant governor writing in "Deadly Doctors" about Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, Obama's health policy advisor and brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel)

    The problem is, the gods of globalism are still not ready to explain their new philosophy to the American people. Americans are much more effective if they continue to believe their sides still exist and keep the great political divides alive. Awareness of the emerging synthesis of all ideologies (called communitarianism) is reserved for insiders. To become an insider one must agree to go along with the big lie, for as long as the lie remains necessary. Once the world has completely adopted supremacy of communitarian law, the truth about the system won't matter much, because the communitarian police will have community enforcement authority over every individual in the world.

    1. The American public is just not ready to be told the truth about the real philosophy driving all new changes to US law. Citizens age 50 and beyond may never be told. Communitarians insist all nations must be eliminated and that would upset the people who still think the US Constitution and their state constitutions are valid legal contracts. So the former Lt governor of the state of New York provided way more information than the Americans need to know. Something radical had to be done quickly to drive the topic back into obscurity. Just as hundreds of Americans started asking what the heck communitarianism is, the global scriptwriters made major changes to the book. Enter Sarah Palin, stage right.

      On the surface it certainly appears that Sarah Palin and Barack Obama's Health advisor, Ezekiel Emanuel, are on "opposite" sides. Sarah clearly represents the fundamentalist Christian Republican Right, while Obama and Zeke obviously represent the open-minded non-denominational Democratic Left. Their millions of followers on both sides are totally convinced the "other" side are the bad guys and their own side is the good guys. This belief in their superior side means they never have to study the other side, or God forbid, to wonder what the outcome of all this fighting may be. Like mad dogs trained to fight in the arena, true believers go for the jugular veins of their opponents without a second thought as to why.

      Sarah Palin proved her worth to the communitarians when she entered the national political scene as John McCains' Republican running mate. They made her a star in the best horror soap opera ever written. It might look like they plan to kill her off, but rest assured, they'll bring her back whenever they need her to keep the story line alive. And right now, they need her. Upon entering the staged presidential campaign in a whirlwind of exposure, Palin made an easy target of herself and successfully fueled the inflated egos of every deluded Republican and Democrat in the country. All it took to keep (nonexistent) American attention away from any possible awareness of Obama's communitarian philosophy was to bring a superstar like Palin into the campaign. And all it took to steer (possible) attention away from Emanuel's exposed communitarian philosophy was to bring Palin into the "debate."

      "His views aren't limited to this one [the Lancet ] article. In 1996, he wrote a short article for the Hastings Center, in which he expounded upon the role that communitarianism might play in healthcare. Dr Emanuel's bio-ethical views are heavily fueled by adherence to this philosophy of communitarianism. Briefly put, communitarianism is a fairly new political philosophy that emphasizes the role of the community in defining and shaping individuals. Communitarianism focuses on the need to balance individual rights and interests with that of the community as a whole, and that individual people (or citizens) are shaped by the cultures and values of their communities."

    2. Now the debate is between the most uneducated politician on the national scene and the "esteemed" bioethics professor who cares about people. Their most dumbed down followers argue over who's the nicer, more credentialed player. Communitarian agents scour the Internet forums and steer any discussion of communitarianism back to outdated (and now discarded) left and right theories. The substance of the debate never became centered on the actual and verifiable philosophy that drives the National Healthcare agenda. The only political argument allowed is between the left and the right (just as the only religious debate allowed is between the Christians and the Muslims). These phony, misleading debates are led by second grade bullies who won't acknowledge communitarianism until their teachers make them write it a hundred times on the blackboard. When the American followers are finally told that communitarianism is their new political and justice system, their assigned Borg leaders will make sure everyone reaches consensus and agrees that it's a "good" thing.

      Hegelians don't care what the issues are. Neither do they care which "side" they are perceived to be on. Their role is to be a barrier to any authentic political discourse that may arise from thinking people. Hegelians do not think for themselves, they follow orders. They repeat words that have no meaning to them, throw around words they cannot define and have no interest in defining. When asked directly what they mean by a particular word, they always respond with "what do you mean what do I mean?" as if you're just too stupid to be answered. Most followers haven't got the first clue what sustainability, livability, health and safety, and quality of life means. They build "good communities" and only stupid people ask them what they mean by good.

      Appealing mainly to the egotistical and self-centered, the Hegelians promote the idea that they and their followers are superior to the common man in every way. Born again Hegelians may not be able to tell us who they follow, but they will always insist their ideas are more "enlightened" than common folks. Over educated, upper academic Hegelians believe God told Hegel the only reasonable future society is a friendly, caring, global police state. Uneducated Hegelians don't even know they're Hegelians.

    3. All unenlightened sheep are to be kept locked inside very publicized dialectical conflicts of opposites. Only the unseen, enlightened few understand the actual goal of all the conflicts. The most useful idiots are the ones who believe their side is the side that cares oh so much more about "people" than the other side. Completely brainwashed Hegelian thinkers go so far as to believe they are born smarter than the other side, with many convinced they were chosen by God himself to rule over all of mankind, forever. Taught to use any stupid argument at their disposal that enrages their assigned opposite "side," their job is to fuel established conflicts and say anything they want, as long as it keeps the masses distracted.

      The more outrageous their behaviors, the more outrageous the response is from their gullible public followers. This is why hateful slurs, mocking, sneering, racial insults, un-humorous "jokes," accusations, slander and Godlike condemnations are such a big part of our national political discourse.

      Like Hegel taught the leaders of the emerging supranational system, ideological conflicts that grow into violent clashes between huge groups of people are the best way to "help" save the world. Follower's on both sides of every conflict use the same, tired arguments because both sides follow the same Hegelian playbook. To the Man, Straw Man, Wag the Dog or fists and guns... they do whatever it takes.

  19. Now the GOP is threatening the US entertainment industry with a boycott.

    They really are the Party of Stupid.

    The head of the Republican Party threatened Monday to cut out CNN and NBC from the GOP presidential primary debates if the networks do not shelve their plans to air lengthy features on Hillary Clinton -- who is widely expected to be a Democratic candidate ...

    1. .

      It probably is pretty stupid.

      On the other hand, would we really be missing anything if Wolf Blitzer and Tom Brokaw weren't there?

      It's all politics all the time, and the Hillary issue points out the hypocrisy of the liberal press. Whenever, there is a hit piece put out before an election, the press rails against it as being partisan; however, they have no problem putting out their versions of "Love Story, the Campaign' without batting an eye.



    2. All true, Q.

      But the GOP won't win by running away.
      It will do them no good to disengage from either NBC o CNN.

      FOX News will only get them to those voters they already have.

  20. Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad said the nation’s two-year civil war that has claimed more than 100,000 lives can only be decided on the battlefield.

    “All routes have been tried and there is only one option left, which is to defend ourselves and our country with our own hands, and in this case everybody looks naturally to the armed forces,” Assad said yesterday at a banquet with social and political figures, according to official news agency Sana.

    “It will be decided on the field,” Assad said. While a “parallel political course” is possible, the government won’t see any negotiations as “justification to stop combating terrorism.” Assad’s government says the opposition is led by Islamist extremists, while the rebels say they’re fighting to oust a dictator.

    Both are correct, Assad is a dictator, the opposition is led by Islomoid extremists, al-Queda.


  21. US Court: Pa. School Can't Ban 'Boobies' Bracelets

    ABC News

    A federal appeals court won't let a Pennsylvania school district ban "I (heart) Boobies!" bracelets. In a novel case involving student free speech


  22. The U.S. government has issued a worldwide travel alert for the entire month of August. To show it means business, it has closed 21 embassies and consulates around the world.

    The U.S. authorities say that “al-Qaeda” terrorists may attack Western targets this month. Where? Anywhere on the planet. How? Nobody knows. Why? That is a very good question.

    No specific information whatsoever about this alleged terror threat has been released.

    There are more than a billion Westerners on earth. Apparently they should all remain in their homes during the entire month of August. If any of them step outside their doors and get blown up by al-Qaeda, the U.S. government will say, “Ha! We told you so!”

    Do they really expect a billion people all over the world to remain locked up in their homes for a month?

    Maybe so. U.S. authorities have already shown that they can force the entire city of Boston, Massachusetts to stay indoors for a whole day in the wake of Craft International’s false-flag bombing of the Boston Marathon.

    They got away with locking down one city for one day. Now they apparently want to lock down the whole Western world for a month.

    After that, will they lock down the entire planet for a year? The solar system for a decade? The galaxy for a century?

    1. Funny, but no "targets" in the Western whirled have been closed.
      US government offices in the Middle East, Africa, Southwest Asia have been closed.
      None of those are in the "West".

      I saw no US government offices in Europe or the Americas that have been closed.
      I see no reports of US NGO workers that have been evacuated. No US companies have reported evacuating the Middle East, Africa or Southwest Asia because of the supposed threats.
      The US Embassy in Iraq actually re-opened.

      The government requested that the people of Boston stay inside, the people of Boston complied, for the most part. Of those folks that did not comply, none were arrested, detained nor were there reports of harassment of pedestrians that chose to take a hike.

      Anoni is suffering from a case of hysteric hyperbole.

    2. I doubt you'd be hysterical. All that pot smoking and gun shooting you do does tend to make on paranoid and edgy but not hysterical.

      Just sit back Rat, load your pistols and smoke your weed.

      Get ready to teach the federals how to shoot stoned..

      That's your mo...

      By your very own words we will KNOW you...

    3. ;-)

      Life is sweet, no chocolate required

  23. Bigger news then the goings on in the Middle East ...

    Amazon boss Jeff Bezos buys Washington Post for $250m

  24. A bombing outside the Indian consulate in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad on Saturday killed nine people and injured 21, most of them children, in the first major attack in the country since the beginning of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.


    Police stopped the car at the checkpoint, triggering a short gunbattle before the car exploded.

    1. Jalalabad, in eastern Afghanistan does not even qualify as being in the "Western" portion of Afghanistan, let alone the whirled.

    2. India, on the sub-continent of Asia, does not qualify as "Western", either.

  25. We spent $3 trillion on the WOT. This is what it bought us:

    The White House has warned the terror alert which forced US embassy closures across the Middle East and Africa could continue for another four weeks as it revealed its intelligence indicated an ongoing threat "from now until the end of August".

    It was widely reported on Monday that the closures follow an intercepted communication between al-Qaida leader Ayman Zawahiri and the chief of the terrorist organization's Yemeni affiliate.

    Supporters of the NSA's surveillance tactics have used the latest threat to justify their opposition to reining in the agency's domestic spying activities. But the information related to the latest threat was collected overseas under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act – not the bulk surveillance programs disclosed by the Guardian and the Washington Post thanks to whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    White House spokesman Jay Carney distanced himself from those linking the scare to recent debates about the agency's surveillance power in the US.

    1. It could have just as easily read ....

      Jay Carney declared the White House maintains plausible deniability concerning the linking of the current scare tactics to recent debates about the NSA's surveillance power in the US.

  26. Bloomberg

    President Barack Obama will call for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to be replaced with a government mortgage reinsurer that would sustain losses only in catastrophic circumstances.

    1. Rufus thinks "catastrophic" is whenever the boyz in DC and The Guys that are running the show says it is.

      A mere forward from the boyz and The Guys via GWB, and Rufie is convinced it's time to transfer MegaTrillions from the Taxpayers to The Guys.

  27. Rand Paul Drops Acid, Scores Big!


    Imagine there's no heaven
    It's easy if you try
    No hell below us
    Above us only sky
    Imagine all the people
    Living for today...

    Imagine there's no countries
    It isn't hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion too
    Imagine all the people
    Living life in peace...

    You may say I'm a dreamer
    But I'm not the only one
    I hope someday you'll join us
    And the world will be as one

    Imagine no possessions
    I wonder if you can
    No need for greed or hunger
    A brotherhood of man
    Imagine all the people
    Sharing all the world...

    You may say I'm a dreamer
    But I'm not the only one
    I hope someday you'll join us
    And the world will live as one

    1. Jimmy Buffet in Jiffy Lube Live in Bristol VA...

      wtf is THAT?


      Goes w/o saying.

      That's where Nicholson and the Sheeple congregate to give head to Phil and the Powers that be in

      The Lakers

    3. I was going to make some sarcastic comment about whether Phil would wed Lakers Owner's daughter Jeanie or not, but after reading a bit about Doctor Buss, decided just to post this link:

      Quite a range, from Doctor Jerry's Beginings to today's celebrity-obsessed LA/USA

      LOS ANGELES -- The man smiling in all the pictures, the one in blue jeans and a casual shirt with a beautiful young woman on his arm, looks as though luck has smiled on him once or twice in his day.

      And truth be told, Dr. Jerry Buss, who turned a $1,000 real estate investment into the keys to the Los Angeles Lakers, and went on to become one of the most influential and successful owners in professional sports, did get one very important break when Magic Johnson fell into the Lakers' arms the very same year he bought the team.

      But to chalk up his remarkable life to the whims of fate and fortune is profoundly shortsighted.

      It wasn't luck that brought Buss from a Great Depression food line in a frigid corner of Wyoming to the sun-kissed boulevards of Los Angeles and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

      It was vision.

      Buss, who has died of cancer Monday at the age of 80, first came to Los Angeles as a 9-year-old boy. He stayed just three years before being yanked back to a hardscrabble life of shining shoes at the old Kemmerer Hotel and working at a Union Pacific railroad station after his mother remarried a man from Wyoming.

      And yet somehow in that brief, youthful glimpse, he saw the sorts of beautiful things in Los Angeles that Randy Newman would sing about some 40 years later in his civic -- and now Lakers -- anthem, "I Love L.A."

      "Look at those mountains, look at those trees. & Look at those women, ain't nothing like 'em nowhere."

    4. "Buss' intelligence was evident early on. Classmates recall him as a genius. In her autobiography, "Laker Girl," daughter Jeanie Buss wrote that he was "a wonder boy." He was so bright, he was entrusted to teach his high school chemistry class as a senior. He sailed through the University of Wyoming in 2½ years -- long enough to meet his first wife, JoAnn Mueller by borrowing his classmates' text books (he couldn't afford his own) early in the semesters before they needed them to study, remembering what he needed until the finals.
      (I'd crack the books the night before finals)
      ...did outdrink Jerry, 'tho, I'll bet.

      He later earned a Ph.D in chemistry from USC, and was awarded an honorary doctorate in law from Wyoming in 2005.

    5. "Welcome to Hollywood! What's your dream?" the man on the street exclaims at the end of the 1990 movie "Pretty Woman," as Julia Roberts and Richard Gere kiss on the fire escape. "Some dreams come true, some don't. But keep on dreamin' -- this is Hollywood."

      Such brash commitments to hope and possibility were part of how Los Angeles broke from the trappings of its old Hollywood elegance, and differentiated itself from New York, its uptight older brother. They were part of why Buss became something of a folk hero in L.A.

      "There's only a few cities that would accept my flamboyance," Buss said in a 2010 GQ profile. "I'm aware of that."

      It worked for him because it never felt like Buss was showing off. Rather, he was inviting you into his world at the "Fabulous Forum," or inside his Pickfair Mansion in Beverly Hills with an amused look that suggested you'd live like him, too, if you could.

      Which is why despite the "Beat L.A." chants his team heard wherever they went, Dr. Jerry Buss was always one of the most popular owners in sports. People might root against or dislike the Lakers, but how many disliked him?

      Riley, Hazzard, Kareem, Magic, Shaq, Kobe, Phil, etc.
      ...not them.

    6. MAYBE delete Shaq:

      "In 2003-04, Bryant was arrested for sexual assault and also missed training camp due to a knee injury. O'Neal fired off the first shot saying that the Lakers had their whole team at training camp and seemed to imply that Bryant wasn't that important to the team. O'Neal also said that Bryant should be more of a passer until his knee injury fully healed. In an interview with Jim Gray, Bryant questioned O'Neal's leadership and suggested that O'Neal was fat and out of shape. The two stopped with their public war of words after this and the media coverage died down.

      Things took a turn for the worse between the two after the Lakers lost to the Pistons in the 2004 NBA Finals. Phil Jackson wasn't offered a new contract and after learning of the news by watching television, O'Neal asked for a trade. After the trade to the Heat, O'Neal also publicly called Kobe a "clown" and "punk". Bryant's police interview recordings were leaked to the public. In these recordings, Bryant suggested that he should have done what O'Neal did with women he allegedly cheated with by paying them up to $1 million in hush money. O'Neal denied the claims and said that he "wasn't the one buying love, Bryant was the one buying love." This was in reference to Bryant buying a multi-million dollar ring for his wife after he revealed his infidelity.

      The media considered the end of the feud to be on January 16, 2006 after O'Neal and Bryant shook hands before tip-off. O'Neal said that Bill Russell encouraged him to end the feud. During the offseason in 2007, O'Neal mentioned Bryant in a rap saying, "Kobe couldn't do it without me", referring to the Lakers loss in the 2008 NBA Finals. Another quote was "Kobe, tell me how my ass tastes." O'Neal blamed Bryant for his divorce. In November of 2008, O'Neal told reporters that the entire feud was the fault of Jackson but later retracted the statement and apologized."

    7. Shaq's a Hell of a lot funnier than Kobe.

      ...and at least he paid for it.

  28. Jimmy Buffet, or Bon Jovi?

    ...that is the question.

  29. We are here, indeed.

    ...and we are Queer!

  30. Police say two young boys are dead after they were strangled by a python that escaped its enclosure at a pet store in Canada.

    Royal Canadian Mounted Police Const. Julie Rogers-Marsh said Monday the boys, aged five and seven, were sleeping in an apartment above Reptile Ocean Inc. when the incident occurred in Campbellton, New Brunswick. She says police arrived at the apartment around 6:30 a.m. and found the two boys dead.

  31. On this day in 1861, a federal income tax was imposed by the government for the first time in U.S. history.

  32. American special forces units overseas have been on alert for the past several days for a mission to attack potential al Qaeda targets if those behind the most recent terror threats against U.S. interests can be identified, a senior Obama administration official told CNN.


    Three sources said the United States has information that members of the Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula are in the final stages of planning an unspecified attack.

    1. "American special forces units overseas have been on alert for the past several days for a mission to attack potential al Qaeda targets if those behind the most recent terror threats against U.S. interests can be identified as senior Obama administration officials."