Secret panel can put Americans on “kill list’

Secret panel can put Americans on “kill list’

Wed, Oct 5 2011

By Mark Hosenball

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – American militants like Anwar al-Awlaki are placed on a kill or capture list by a secretive panel of senior government officials, which then informs the president of its decisions, according to officials.

There is no public record of the operations or decisions of the panel, which is a subset of the White House’s National Security Council, several current and former officials said. Neither is there any law establishing its existence or setting out the rules by which it is supposed to operate.

The panel was behind the decision to add Awlaki, a U.S.-born militant preacher with alleged al Qaeda connections, to the target list. He was killed by a CIA drone strike in Yemen late last month.

The role of the president in ordering or ratifying a decision to target a citizen is fuzzy. White House spokesman Tommy Vietor declined to discuss anything about the process.

Current and former officials said that to the best of their knowledge, Awlaki, who the White House said was a key figure in al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, al Qaeda’s Yemen-based affiliate, had been the only American put on a government list targeting people for capture or death due to their alleged involvement with militants.

The White House is portraying the killing of Awlaki as a demonstration of President Barack Obama’s toughness toward militants who threaten the United States. But the process that led to Awlaki’s killing has drawn fierce criticism from both the political left and right.

In an ironic turn, Obama, who ran for president denouncing predecessor George W. Bush’s expansive use of executive power in his “war on terrorism,” is being attacked in some quarters for using similar tactics. They include secret legal justifications and undisclosed intelligence assessments.

Liberals criticized the drone attack on an American citizen as extra-judicial murder.

Conservatives criticized Obama for refusing to release a Justice Department legal opinion that reportedly justified killing Awlaki. They accuse Obama of hypocrisy, noting his administration insisted on publishing Bush-era administration legal memos justifying the use of interrogation techniques many equate with torture, but refused to make public its rationale for killing a citizen without due process.

Some details about how the administration went about targeting Awlaki emerged on Tuesday when the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Dutch Ruppersberger, was asked by reporters about the killing.

The process involves “going through the National Security Council, then it eventually goes to the president, but the National Security Council does the investigation, they have lawyers, they review, they look at the situation, you have input from the military, and also, we make sure that we follow international law,” Ruppersberger said.


Other officials said the role of the president in the process was murkier than what Ruppersberger described.

They said targeting recommendations are drawn up by a committee of mid-level National Security Council and agency officials. Their recommendations are then sent to the panel of NSC “principals,” meaning Cabinet secretaries and intelligence unit chiefs, for approval. The panel of principals could have different memberships when considering different operational issues, they said.

The officials insisted on anonymity to discuss sensitive information.

They confirmed that lawyers, including those in the Justice Department, were consulted before Awlaki’s name was added to the target list.

Two principal legal theories were advanced, an official said: first, that the actions were permitted by Congress when it authorized the use of military forces against militants in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001; and they are permitted under international law if a country is defending itself.

Several officials said that when Awlaki became the first American put on the target list, Obama was not required personally to approve the targeting of a person. But one official said Obama would be notified of the principals’ decision. If he objected, the decision would be nullified, the official said.

A former official said one of the reasons for making senior officials principally responsible for nominating Americans for the target list was to “protect” the president.

Officials confirmed that a second American, Samir Khan, was killed in the drone attack that killed Awlaki. Khan had served as editor of Inspire, a glossy English-language magazine used by AQAP as a propaganda and recruitment vehicle.

But rather than being specifically targeted by drone operators, Khan was in the wrong place at the wrong time, officials said. Ruppersberger appeared to confirm that, saying Khan’s death was “collateral,” meaning he was not an intentional target of the drone strike.

When the name of a foreign, rather than American, militant is added to targeting lists, the decision is made within the intelligence community and normally does not require approval by high-level NSC officials.


Officials said Awlaki, whose fierce sermons were widely circulated on English-language militant websites, was targeted because Washington accumulated information his role in AQAP had gone “from inspirational to operational.” That meant that instead of just propagandizing in favor of al Qaeda objectives, Awlaki allegedly began to participate directly in plots against American targets.

“Let me underscore, Awlaki is no mere messenger but someone integrally involved in lethal terrorist activities,” Daniel Benjamin, top counterterrorism official at the State Department, warned last spring.

The Obama administration has not made public an accounting of the classified evidence that Awlaki was operationally involved in planning terrorist attacks.

But officials acknowledged that some of the intelligence purporting to show Awlaki’s hands-on role in plotting attacks was patchy.

For instance, one plot in which authorities have said Awlaki was involved Nigerian-born Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, accused of trying to blow up a Detroit-bound U.S. airliner on Christmas Day 2009 with a bomb hidden in his underpants.

There is no doubt Abdulmutallab was an admirer or follower of Awlaki, since he admitted that to U.S. investigators. When he appeared in a Detroit courtroom earlier this week for the start of his trial on bomb-plot charges, he proclaimed, “Anwar is alive.”

But at the time the White House was considering putting Awlaki on the U.S. target list, intelligence connecting Awlaki specifically to Abdulmutallab and his alleged bomb plot was partial. Officials said at the time the United States had voice intercepts involving a phone known to have been used by Awlaki and someone who they believed, but were not positive, was Abdulmutallab.

Awlaki was also implicated in a case in which a British Airways employee was imprisoned for plotting to blow up a U.S.-bound plane. E-mails retrieved by authorities from the employee’s computer showed what an investigator described as ” operational contact” between Britain and Yemen.

Authorities believe the contacts were mainly between the U.K.-based suspect and his brother. But there was a strong suspicion Awlaki was at the brother’s side when the messages were dispatched. British media reported that in one message, the person on the Yemeni end supposedly said, “Our highest priority is the US … With the people you have, is it possible to get a package or a person with a package on board a flight heading to the US?”

U.S. officials contrast intelligence suggesting Awlaki’s involvement in specific plots with the activities of Adam Gadahn, an American citizen who became a principal English-language propagandist for the core al Qaeda network formerly led by Osama bin Laden.

While Gadahn appeared in angry videos calling for attacks on the United States, officials said he had not been specifically targeted for capture or killing by U.S. forces because he was regarded as a loudmouth not directly involved in plotting attacks.

ASK DADDY ????????

Obama-Enraged Karzai May Block Key Surge Offensive

Obama-Enraged Karzai May Block Key Surge Offensive

April 11th, 2010 Posted By Pat Dollard.

Afghanistan US Defense

Times Online:

The president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, has cast doubt over Nato’s planned summer offensive against the Taliban in the southern province of Kandahar, as more than 10,000 American troops pour in for the fight.

Karzai threatened to delay or even cancel the operation — one of the biggest of the nine-year war — after being confronted in Kandahar by elders who said it would bring strife, not security, to his home province.

Visiting last week to rally support for the offensive, the president was instead overwhelmed by a barrage of complaints about corruption and misrule. As he was heckled at a shura of 1,500 tribal leaders and elders, he appeared to offer them a veto over military action. “Are you happy or unhappy for the operation to be carried out?” he asked.

The elders shouted back: “We are not happy.”

“Then until the time you say you are happy, the operation will not happen,” Karzai replied.

General Stanley McChrystal, the Nato commander, who was sitting behind him, looked distinctly apprehensive. The remarks have compounded US anger and bewilderment with Karzai, who has already accused the United States of rigging last year’s presidential elections and even threatened to switch sides to join the Taliban.

For President Barack Obama, the battle to drive the Taliban from their heartland is seen as the main test of his “surge” strategy to send 30,000 extra US troops to Afghanistan. The United States calls Kandahar the “centre of gravity” of the war in Afghanistan.

Senior commanders and diplomats emphasise, however, that success would depend on action by Karzai to eliminate corruption and set up a form of local government.

Nato’s plans envisage political manoeuvres, from a purge of provincial leadership to the creation of precinct councils, to tackle the roots of the Taliban rebellion. The aim is to wrest power from so-called warlords — including the president’s own brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai.

With the Afghan president increasingly regarded as “gone rogue”, hopes of such action were fading. One US official said after the shura that Karzai had proved neither a reliable ally nor popular with his own people: “He can rail against the West all he likes — no one wants him to look like a foreign puppet. The trouble is, his erratic speeches are matched by erratic actions. That’s why this tension is undermining the offensive.”

The latest row began when Karzai decried “huge fraud” in the elections, saying it was “done by the foreigners”. After telephoning Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, the next day to clarify his remarks, Karzai escalated the attack. Witnesses said he told MPs at a private meeting: “If I come under foreign pressure, I might join the Taliban.” His spokesman hastily denied it.

In Kandahar he persisted, deflecting complaints against himself with further criticism of outsiders and saying he had now “rescued myself from foreigners’ orders”.

Few elders at the shura seemed impressed. They pressed for a purge of his officials. “If we speak out and if we tell you the truth of what’s happening here, we will not last the night,” said one elder. “We will be assassinated. Everyone is scared.”

A white-bearded frail man stood up, leaning on a walking stick, and said: “The other day people came with guns and told me to shut my shop and go to my house. I phoned the police. They said, ‘It’s none of our business and we don’t care’.”

Sitting just off the stage at the meeting was the president’s brother. Ahmed Wali Karzai is the head of Kandahar provincial council and is alleged by US officials to profit from drug trafficking and organised crime. The president is reported to have refused US requests to remove him from his post.

On the streets of the city this weekend there appeared to be little or no support for a Nato push in the province. “Look what happened in Marjah,” said one local government official in Kandahar, referring to the last US offensive launched in February in central Helmand province.

“The US controls the place by day but the Taliban control it by night. What is the point? If you help the government, you will be murdered.”

At a popular coffee shop in the city centre, Khaled, a medical student from Kabul, said the influence of the Taliban was creeping back into the area.

“A Nato offensive here will not help,” he added.

“We know what they do. They arrive in great numbers and provide security for two weeks and then they go and the insecurity returns.”

General Karl Eikenberry, the US ambassador to Afghanistan, had warned Clinton about Karzai’s character last year. He said that McChrystal’s proposals for a a troop surge should not be supported unless the president changed.

“President Karzai is not an adequate strategic partner,” he wrote in a telegram that was later leaked.

Obama diplomacy has torpedoed the Karzai presidency

BLANKLEY: A sinking ship of state

Tony Blankley

Last summer, President Obama spent several months publicly anguishing over what he would or wouldn’t do in Afghanistan. Finally, he

agreed to ramp up troop levels but warned that he intended to start getting American troops out in 18 months. After anguishing in several columns over the president’s anguishing, I concluded in November 2009:

“If the Taliban and al Qaeda retake Afghanistan, the world (and America) will have hell to pay for the consequences. But this president and this White House do not have it in them to lead our troops to victory in Afghanistan. So they shouldn’t try. The price will be high for whatever foreign policy failures we will endure in the next three years. Let’s not add to that price the pointless murder of our finest young troops in a war their leader does not believe in. Bring them home. We’ll need them later.”

At the time, about five months ago, the New York Times also reported that Mr. Obama “admonished President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan that he must take on what American officials have said he avoided during his first term: the rampant corruption and drug trade that have fueled the resurgence of the Taliban.”

Mr. Obama told reporters that he was seeking “a sense on the part of President Karzai that, after some difficult years in which there has been some drift, that in fact he’s going to move boldly and forcefully forward and take advantage of the international community’s interest in his country to initiate reforms internally. That has to be one of our highest priorities.”

Mr. Karzai and the Afghan government were told “to put into place an anticorruption commission to establish strict accountability for government officials at the national and provincial levels. …”

“In addition, some American officials and their European counterparts would like at least a few arrests of what one administration official called ‘the more blatantly corrupt’ people in the Afghan government.”

That same week, coincidentally, the New York Times reported on the front page the name of a purported CIA-paid undercover asset. It was none other than Ahmed Wali Karzai, the powerful brother of the Afghan president. The Times cited, on background, Obama administration “political officials,” “senior administration officials” and others as its sources to the effect that the Afghan president’s brother has been secretly on the CIA payroll for eight years as well as being a major narcotics trafficker.

Last week, Mr. Obama made a surprise visit to Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan. The White House did not release the transcript of the conversation between the two presidents. But conveniently, while en route to Kabul, Mr. Obama’s National Security Adviser Gen. James L. Jones, who was traveling with the president, went on the record with the prediction that Mr. Obama would (as reported by the Times) “pressure Karzai about corruption in governance and [would] tell Karzai that he had made no progress on this front since his Nov. 19 inauguration.”

And this week, the product of this careful six months of public diplomacy by the Obama administration bore its predictable fruit. The New York Times headlined its story on Mr. Karzai’s reaction: “Karzai’s Words Leave Few Choices for the West.”

According to the Times: “The tensions between the West and Mr. Karzai flared up publicly last Thursday, when Mr. Karzai accused the West and the United Nations of perpetrating fraud in the August presidential election and described the Western military coalition as coming close to being seen as invaders who would give the insurgency legitimacy as ‘a national resistance.’ ”

Mr. Karzai stepped up his anti-Western statements: “If you and the international community pressure me more, I swear that I am going to join the Taliban. …”

The Times went on to say, “There are no good options on the horizon. … Many fear the relationship is only likely to become worse. … The political situation is continuing to deteriorate; Mr. Karzai is flailing around. … Mr. Karzai draws closer to allies like Iran and China, whose interests are often at odds with those of the West, and sounds sympathetic enough to the Taliban that he could spur their efforts, helping their recruitment and further destabilizing the country.”

The newspaper quoted Peter Galbraith, former U.N. deputy special representative for Afghanistan: “There is no point in having troops in a mission that cannot be accomplished. … The mission might be important, but if it can’t be achieved, there is no point in sending these troops into battle. Part of the problem is that counterinsurgency requires a credible local partner.”

Well, yes. We knew that six months ago.

And, if we need a credible “local partner,” our local partner needs a reliable, supportive “large brother” (to wit: the United States). But by first hesitating to support Mr. Karzai, then saying we will support him – but only for 18 months, then publicly admonishing him to end the endemic corruption, then leaking the fact that his own brother is a major drug smuggler, we have undermined and infuriated him, without whom we cannot succeed in Afghanistan.

Great nations often find themselves in alliance with undesirable local chieftains. Usually in such circumstances, the great nation either tries quietly to strengthen and improve the local boss or it gets rid of him and finds a better puppet. If neither method works – then the great nation eventually gets out.

The Obama administration has publicly humiliated and undercut our “local partner” to the extent that we can no longer influence or improve him. Unless our government is prepared to replace him (highly unlikely) – we ought to get out before more of our troops get killed.

Tony Blankley is the author of “American Grit: What It Will Take to Survive and Win in the 21st Century” (Regnery, 2009) and vice president of the Edelman public relations firm in Washington.

White House hints Karzai visit could be in doubt

White House hints Karzai visit could be in doubt
Apr 6 02:03 PM US/Eastern
The United States on Tuesday delivered a veiled warning that Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s visit to the White House could be canceled, if he repeats his anti-foreigner outbursts.Karzai is scheduled to meet President Barack Obama on May 12, in a visit scheduled following the US leader’s surprise trip to Afghanistan last month.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs has repeatedly said that the meeting is still on the schedule “as of now” but went further following Karzai’s latest controversial remarks reported in the United States on Monday.

“We certainly would evaluate whatever continued or further remarks President Karzai makes, as to whether it is constructive to have that meeting,” Gibbs said.

Lawmakers: Afghan leader threatens to join Taliban

Lawmakers: Afghan leader threatens to join Taliban
Apr 5 11:34 AM US/Eastern
Associated Press Writer
KABUL (AP) – Afghan President Hamid Karzai threatened over the weekend to quit the political process and join the Taliban if he continued to come under outside pressure to reform, several members of parliament said Monday.Karzai made the unusual statement at a closed-door meeting Saturday with selected lawmakers—just days after kicking up a diplomatic controversy with remarks alleging foreigners were behind fraud in last year’s disputed elections.

Lawmakers dismissed the latest comment as hyperbole, but it will add to the impression the president—who relies on tens of thousands of U.S. and NATO forces to fight the insurgency and prop up his government—is growing increasingly erratic and unable to exert authority without attacking his foreign backers.

“He said that ‘if I come under foreign pressure, I might join the Taliban’,” said Farooq Marenai, who represents the eastern province of Nangarhar.

“He said rebelling would change to resistance,” Marenai said—apparently suggesting that the militant movement would then be redefined as one of resistance against a foreign occupation rather than a rebellion against an elected government.

Marenai said Karzai appeared nervous and repeatedly demanded to know why parliament last week had rejected legal reforms that would have strengthened the president’s authority over the country’s electoral institutions.

Two other lawmakers said Karzai twice raised the threat to join the insurgency.

The lawmakers, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of political repercussions, said Karzai also dismissed concerns over possible damage his comments had caused to relations with the United States. He told them he had already explained himself in a telephone conversation Saturday with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that came after the White House described his comments last week as troubling.

The lawmakers said they felt Karzai was pandering to hard-line or pro-Taliban members of parliament and had no real intention of joining the insurgency.

Nor does the Afghan leader appear concerned that the U.S. might abandon him, having said numerous times that the U.S. would not leave Afghanistan because it perceives a presence here to be in its national interest.

Karzai spokesman Waheed Omar’s phone was turned off and another number for him rang unanswered Monday. Deputy spokesman Hamed Elmi’s phone rang unanswered.

The comments come against the background of continuing insurgent violence as the U.S. moves to boost troop levels in a push against Taliban strongholds in the south.

NATO forces said they killed 10 militants in a joint U.S.-Afghan raid on a compound in Nangarhar province’s Khogyani district near the Pakistani border early Monday, while gunmen seriously wounded an Afghan provincial councilwoman in a drive-by shooting in the country’s increasingly violent north.

NATO also confirmed that international troops were responsible for the deaths of five civilians, including three women, on Feb. 12 in Gardez, south of Kabul.

A NATO statement said a joint international-Afghan patrol fired on two men mistakenly believed to be insurgents. It said the three women were “accidentally killed as a result of the joint force firing at the men.”

International force officials will discuss the results of the investigation with family of those killed, apologize and provide compensation, he said.

The two men killed in the Gardez raid had been long-serving government loyalists and opponents of al-Qaida and the Taliban, one serving as provincial district attorney and the other as police chief in Paktia’s Zurmat district.

Their brother, who also lost his wife and a sister, said he learned of the investigation result from the Internet, but had yet to receive formal notice.

Mohammad Sabar said the family’s only demand was that the informant who passed on the faulty information about militant activity be tried and publicly executed.

“Please, please, please, our desire, our demand is that this spy be executed in front of the people to ensure that such bad things don’t happen again,” Sabar said.

In the latest of a series of targeted assassination attempts blamed on militants, Baghlan provincial council member Nida Khyani was struck by gunfire in the leg and abdomen in Pul-e Khumri, capital of the northern province, said Salim Rasouli, head of the provincial health department. Khyani’s bodyguard was also slightly injured.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the shooting, although suspicion immediately fell on Taliban fighters who often target people working with the Afghan government and their Western backers.

One month ago, a member of the Afghan national parliament escaped injury when her convoy was attacked by Taliban insurgents in eastern Afghanistan. Female government officials regularly report receiving threats to their safety. Some women leaders, including a prominent policewoman, have been assassinated.

The Taliban rigidly oppose education for girls and women’s participation in public affairs, citing their narrow interpretation of conservative Islam and tribal traditions. Militants, who are strongest in the south and east, carry out beatings and other punishments for perceived women’s crimes from immodesty to leaving home unaccompanied by a male relative.

Also Monday, the organizer of a national reconciliation conference—known as a jirga—scheduled for early May said it would not include insurgent groups such as the Taliban. There has also been indications it would include discussion of the withdrawal of 120,000 foreign troops in the country.

Ghulam Farooq Wardak, the minister of education who is organizing the conference, said it will focus on outlining ways to reach peace with the insurgents and the framework for possible discussions.

Out of the jirga will come the “powerful voice of the Afghan people,” Wardak said. “By fighting, you cannot restore security. The only way to bring peace is through negotiation

The Afghani Wasteland: Psychopaths Will Rule The Land That Perpetually Sucks

The Afghani Wasteland: Psychopaths Will Rule The Land That Perpetually Sucks

December 2nd, 2009 Posted By Erik Wong.


Roaring Republican:

“The United States and Russia do not intend to, and cannot, create the future government of Afghanistan. It is up to the Afghans themselves to determine their future.” – Joint US/Russia release on Afghanistan – November 13th 2001

The comedian Sam Kinison had a routinue that described succinctly and almost eloquently, in its own way, our past and current travails. Noting the futility of programs to ease hunger, sold through celebrity television charity pitches, he would speak into the microphone as if speaking to a suffering family in Africa or the Middle East. “You live in the (expletive) desert,” he would yell, “move to where the food is!” Pretending to pickup clumps of silicone he would add, “You see this? This is sand, nothing grows here, you live in the desert!”

Our war in Afghanistan has hit its obvious conclusion. It is the same conclusion that was met by every outside nation that ever entered the land, though our battle is far less bloody and costly in comparison to what other nations have endured. In the end, no matter what we do, we will be incapable of forcing order in Afghanistan and will leave knowing that it will only be a matter of time before some other lunatic steps in to brutalize and then organize the people to attack us and our allies.

In reality, despite all the whining from the left, we never entered Afghanistan as an occupier, as an Empire or as Ann Coulter put the alternative, as people looking to “invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.” Had any of those been our posture or strategy in Afghanistan, we may have found a definitive outcome. Instead we started our journey as a response to 9/11. It then became a humanitarian and nation building exercise. Unable to build that nation, incapable of finding a population wanting for western style democracy, our engine has sputtered and our enemies realigned and reinvigorated. Worse, we have lost our resolve.

Afghanistan is in fact a wasteland. I realize my ethnocentrism but I also realize that some 9/11 hijackers came to America and spent their time in strip clubs before committing cold blooded murder in an attempt to achieve the ability to deflower invisible virgins in the afterlife. Born to the hellish nightmare of living in a country incapable of producing more than some oil and drugs, we shouldn’t be surprised that more than a few of these seeds have grown into withering plants rotting in the sun.

While I know there are good and decent people in Afghanistan, let’s not pretend a small band with a home-brewed Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, Thomas Paine and Samual Adams is currently hanging around in one of the many holes dug into the sand. Great minds don’t seem to be there. The spirit of our own revolution is not either and that spirit cannot simply be aroused or bludgeoned into people.

In reality, revolutions like ours and the many others that were sparked from it, must happen internally. Liberal progressivism maintains that simple coercion, Government action or community organized action can rouse liberation. Neo conservatism took this leftist love of Government sponsored liberation and ran the Republican Party into the ground.

While many voices on the left continue to scorn our actions in Afghanistan and Iraq, those same people complain that our government stayed silent in Rwanda and would happily see government action in the Sudan. They complain about the money wasted in our endeavors not because they wish us to have saved it, but because they wish it had been spend on their own plans for “liberation” around the world and in America’s cities. They believe the Bush administration was wrong to tell Afghans and Iraqi’s how to live their lives because they feel it is their job to do exactly that here in America.

The coin is mangled on both sides. Our nation was failed by the Bush administration just as it is being failed by Obama’s. Democrats and Republicans, elected to represent and defend the people, blew it. We are now being told by a Democrat president what we were told by a Republican, that our future lies in Afghani’s embracing freedom, democracy, equality and sensible religion. If our future depends on that, we don’t really have one.

Like most people in the world, Afghani men want sex and power. In societal systems where polygamy exists, the wealthy men have multiple wives and bare children. The rest of the men go wanting. In such societal systems, women are abused and bound. They are commodities that are trafficked, abused and demoralized. Worst of all, they are dehumanized and turned into the enemy to be vilified by all of society.

Regardless of what Islam may be in its natural spirit, in Afghanistan and large parts of the world, it is perverted into a despicable and ruthless system of abuse and control. To pretend otherwise is to embrace futility. To pretend that this perversion is in any way similar to modern Christianity or Judaism as practiced by millions of the faithful in the United States, is ignorant.

Our problem is that the men who have no access to women or power, do have access to this perversion of religion. They are told the other life will provide them all they lack in this one and then offered the brutal way forward.

The United States, in comparison, hasn’t changed the fundamentals. With women still a commodity, power lacking for the average Afghani, and land still incapable of sustaining their livelihood, we offer them a life lacking but without a brutal way forward that will provide for them in the afterlife. Worse for our pitch, the Afghanis have always known we will leave. Last night, our President, made that clear. With perverted Islam guaranteed to come back, is it any surprise they choose the dark side?

We know what will happen to the many Afghani’s who embraced the United States when we leave. Their fate will be far worse than just death. In Iraq, the bodies of our allies were found in piles, having been tortured with fire and power tools, beheaded and worse. This is undoubtedly the fate of the Afghan civilian army and police, whatever that actually is.

Our experiment a failure, the alternative is that we stay forever in Afghanistan and ship in all of the necessities and comforts the people are incapable of producing themselves. This will drain and destroy our own society and lead to our further descent into socialized madness. I cannot support socialism at home, how can I justify it abroad?

We removed the tyrants from power with swift force after 9/11. They were replaced by incompetence, fanaticism and regional tyrants. The imaginary line that distinguishes Pakistan from Afghanistan keeps our troops from killing the original tyrants, making certain they will return. At this point, as disgusting of a thought as it may be, our only hope is that we leave Afghanistan with two warring factions of tyrants brutally slaughtering one another to a standstill. The worst outcome is that they simply join hands and come back at us with a much larger nightmare than we dare imagine.

The demoralizing effect of losing the War in Afghanistan will have untold repercussions on our society. The collective guilt would be overwhelming. We would know many who perpetrated 9/11 are still in the desserts plotting another attack. Actions have reactions and in human terms they are not just physical but psychological as well. Our society can only withstand so much and at this moment of overwhelming economic and societal decline, we do not need this.

Our country will prevail, it always has. Our future is brighter than our past, of this I am sure. We are, however, in a dark and perilous time. We have no solution for Afghanistan and I am not sure for Iraq either. Our economy is on a path toward absolute destruction and our nation turning against a leader who promised hope, change and unification of race, gender, religion, ethnicity and orientation. We are fracturing too fast to properly mend and with the inability to vilify those on the outside, we will turn within.

Obama on Afghanistan: “Resolve unwavering”…to pull out in 18 months or something

Lead Story

Obama on Afghanistan: “Resolve unwavering”…to pull out in 18 months or something

By Michelle Malkin  •  December 1, 2009 10:02 PM

The full transcript of President Obama’s long-delayed speech on Afghanistan is here. You can watch it in full here.

Bush-bashing? Check.

Noxious complaining about the cost of fighting a necessary war? Check.

Disingenuous denial that he dithered? Check.

“Let me be clear”s/”clear”s = 9.

Self-congratulations for sticking to Gitmo closure policy = 1.

Self-referential “As your Commander-in-Chief”s = 2.

References to global jihad = 0.

Charles Krauthammer tonight called the speech “strange,” “defensive,” “hedging,” and full of “uncertainty compounding uncertainty.”

Way to restore America’s standing in the world, eh?


Pray for our troops tonight and every night. They need ‘em now more than every.


Andrew Ferguson has a different take on the speech:

Obama is the first Democratic president in forty years to call for a significant deployment of American troops in the national security interest of his country. This is very big news. His predecessor, President Clinton, could give a stirring address dispatching bombers over Bosnia and be confident of the support of his fellow Democrats, because the show of power was purely humanitarian and had nothing to do with keeping us safe from our enemies. With great courage, Obama is trying something that hasn’t been tried within the living memory of most of the members of his party. He may even recall the era when liberal Democratic presidents — Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson — could lead a fight because it was in the interest of the country to fight.

This is a historical moment, and one we should be grateful for. It’s worth an extra twenty minutes of presidential gassing off. It’s even worth a lot of guff about beginning to pull the troops out by a date certain, no matter what. (I’ll believe it when I see it.) If this is what he needs to mollify his political supporters, let him talk and talk and talk.

Alas, Obama’s “gassing off” is not so much a matter of spouting “essential platitudes” as it is a down payment on future pandering to the Left that will not be in the national security interest of our country.

Paul Mirengoff is dead-on:

Earlier today I wondered whether President Obama’s speech about Afghanistan would sound more like a description of a war plan or a structured settlement of a legal dispute. What I heard tonight tilted decidedly in the latter direction. To be precise, the speech sounded to me like a slick lawyer trying to sell a dubious settlement to a skeptical client or, in this case, set of clients.

Consistent with slick salesmanship – as well as the president’s character – the speech was quite self-referential. Providing a potted history of our military efforts in the war on terrorism, Obama took shots at his predecessor and attempted to cast himself as the hero throughout. Thus, he patted himself on the back for opposing the war in Iraq, on which he blamed the current difficulties in Afghanistan.

Obama also patted himself on the back for bringing the war in Iraq to a “responsible end.” But he failed to mention the surge in Iraq, which was instrumental in turning the tide to the point that it became possible to speak of a responsible end.

The omission was odd inasmuch as Obama was pitching a similar surge in Afghanistan. This meant that the Iraq surge was more relevant to tonight’s speech than any other element of Obama’s potted history. Yet he was too partisan, and too embarrassed by his own opposition to the surge, to mention this vital decision.

It was therefore rank hypocrisy for Obama latter to decry the partisanship that has plagued the war on terrorism.


Bonus emetic: Chris Matthews referring to West Point as the “enemy camp.” But we already knew which side he was on. Vid via Allahpundit:

That’s right. Matthews smeared the cadets for behaving properly and not showing overt political preferences for Obama. He wanted to see more “warmth” — e.g., twitching legs, tears of joy, and fainting a la the Obamedia.

Oh, and yes, MSNBC was still as monochromatic tonight as it is monodogmatic.


If West Point is the “enemy camp,” what does Chris Matthews call Gitmo?

Upper-Bracket Tax May Be Needed for Afghan War Cost, Levin Says

Upper-Bracket Tax May Be Needed for Afghan War Cost, Levin Says

By Viola Gienger

Nov. 21 (Bloomberg) — Higher-income Americans should be taxed to pay for more troops sent to Afghanistan and NATO should provide half of the new soldiers, said Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

An “additional income tax to the upper brackets, folks earning more than $200,000 or $250,000” a year, could fund more troops, Levin, a Michigan Democrat, said in an interview for Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital With Al Hunt,” airing this weekend.

White House Budget Director Peter Orszag has estimated that each additional soldier in Afghanistan could cost $1 million, for a total that could reach $40 billion if 40,000 more troops are added.

That cost, Levin said, should be paid by wealthier taxpayers. “They have done incredibly well, and I think that it’s important that we pay for it if we possibly can” instead of increasing the federal debt load, the senator said.

Other countries in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization should bear responsibility for delivering half the additional troops needed to secure the conflict zone and train Afghan forces, Levin said. He didn’t predict how many troops President Barack Obama would add.

Levin also said Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who has faced calls for his resignation from Republicans in Congress, should stay as long as he has Obama’s confidence. The six-term senator said the administration was right to move the prosecution of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, to federal court in New York from a military commission in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Troop Decision Near

On Afghanistan, Obama may decide within a few weeks whether to grant a request from the top commander in the field, General Stanley McChrystal, for 40,000 more troops to fight the Taliban, which harbored al-Qaeda before being toppled in the invasion following the Sept. 11 attacks. The U.S. contributes about 70,000 of the 110,000 foreign forces waging the Afghan war.

Levin, who has supported adding U.S. troops to the war mainly to train the Afghan army and police to assume more responsibilities, said he might back an increase closer to 40,000 under certain conditions. These include the proportion that would be used for training, a plan for preparing enough Afghan troops and a “major program” to provide equipment to their forces.

“There’s a lot of other things involved in showing resolve beside just a troop level,” Levin said. A key element to gain support will be “that whatever is announced, it be part of a NATO-Afghan initiative,” he said.

Conditions on Aid

The U.S. also should place conditions on aid that goes through Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s government to ensure that he cooperates in fighting corruption, Levin said. Karzai won re-election by default when his main challenger dropped out of a planned runoff after the first balloting in August was marred by allegations of fraud.

Levin said that while he wanted to be “hopeful” that Karzai would take steps to weed out corruption, “I’m also skeptical.”

Levin, 75, commended Pakistan’s leaders for turning more of their attention from their conflict with India to the Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters sheltering near the other border with Afghanistan. Pakistan’s army and its citizens have “taken some very severe losses” in fighting the militants, he said.

“They’ve got a way to go,” Levin said.

He also praised India, saying leaders had shown “restraint” in dealing with “fanatics” who crossed over the border from Pakistan.

On the economy, Levin said Geithner has been “very helpful” on finding ways to support automakers to preserve the industry.

Tighter Regulations

The broader financial crisis has demonstrated the need for tightening regulations on Wall Street, Levin said. He called the Obama administration’s recommendations on this issue “very significant.”

“I think the failure to move forward on those reforms in the Senate is the Republican resistance to some of those proposed reforms from the administration, not Democratic resistance,” Levin said.

He also praised proposals for changes from Connecticut Democrat Christopher Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.

Dodd “has put forth a very significant reform of Wall Street,” Levin said. “It is long overdue.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Viola Gienger in Washington at


While Obama dithers, Iran makes its move in Afghanistan

While Obama dithers, Iran makes its move in Afghanistan

Rick Moran

You won’t find this story in the American press. In fact, you are much more likely to be labeled a kook if you push the idea that Iran is sending men and material into Afghanistan in order to destabilize the government of President Karzai.

Iran, as we all know, is not sending IED’s to the terrorists in Iraq or infiltrating their own intelligence people there. This is the narrative that has been advanced by the war’s opponents for years, despite gobs of evidence to the contrary.

Now we have Iran doing exactly the same thing in Afghanistan, as this piece in the Asia Times by Zia Ahmadi and Mustafa Saber shows:

Islam Qala, a small border town that forms the gateway between Iran and Afghanistan, is a focus of concern for Afghan officials fighting the Taliban insurgency because some believe Iran is using it to infiltrate guerrillas intent on destabilizing the Kabul government.
“I was working in Iran for about eight months,” said one man, a former refugee, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “But I got an offer from the Taliban in Gozara district [of Herat province] offering me a higher salary, so I accepted.”

Once he had crossed the border into Afghanistan, he said Pakistanis and Iranians based in the hills of Pashtun Zarghon district, the site of a growing insurgency, gave him military training.

For four months, the man said he participated in armed attacks on behalf of the Taliban in the Gozara and Pashtun Zarghon districts, and received a monthly salary of 20,000-30,000 Pakistani rupees (US$240 to $360).

“We struck security posts in the villages of Toot, Siyawooshan and Injel, as well as carrying out attacks on foreign military convoys,” he said.

Now he is happily settled in civilian life, having been awarded a certificate by the Peace and Reconciliation Commission – an Afghan body established in 2005 as a mechanism for engaging with insurgents – that records his decision to lay down his arms.

Officials believe that up to 100 “Afghans” return daily from Iran. But most of them have no identity documents so it is very easy for Iranians to slip into the country and attack NATO forces as well as Afhgan police units.

Of course, we’re told that the Iranians would never work with the Taliban, that they hate them and wanted to help us defeat them back in 2001. Just was we were also told that Shias and Sunnis would never work together in Iraq and that the idea that Iran was supplying the Sunni tribal militias with weapons was crazy.

At some point, the Iranian apologists are going to have to face the fact that they have been dead wrong about the regime in Tehran. Until then, they will keep assuring us of the mullah’s peaceful intentions and their eagerness to work with America to stabilize both Iraq and Afghanistan.


Page Printed from: at November 15, 2009 – 03:31:28 PM EST