Obama Admin Approved Arms For Libyan Rebels Ended Up Going to Militants

Evidence has surfaced that weapons approved by the Obama administration, for rebels in Libya, ended up in the hands of Islamic militants. C.I.A. officers in Libya during the tumult of the rebellion, provided little oversight of the arms shipments and within weeks of endorsing Qatar’s plan to send weapons there in spring 2011, there were reports that they were going to Islamic militant groups. Weapons were also shipped from the United Arab Emirates.

Qatar, a tiny nation whose natural gas reserves have made it enormously wealthy, for years has tried to expand its influence in the Arab world. Since 2011, with dictatorships in the Middle East and North Africa coming under siege, Qatar has given arms and money to various opposition and militant groups, chiefly Sunni Islamists, in hopes of cementing alliances with the new governments.

“To do this right, you have to have on-the-ground intelligence and you have to have experience,” said Vali Nasr, a former State Department adviser. “If you rely on a country that doesn’t have those things, you are really flying blind. When you have an intermediary, you are going to lose control.”

Mahmoud Jibril, then the prime minister of the Libyan transitional government, expressed frustration to administration officials that the United States was allowing Qatar to arm extremist groups opposed to the new leadership, according to several anonymous American officials. The administration has never determined where all of the weapons went inside Libya, officials said.

Some of the machine guns, automatic rifles, and ammunition are believed to have gone to militants with ties to Al Qaeda in Mali while several American and foreign officials and arms traders say some of the weapons have ended up in Syria.

The United Arab Emirates first asked the Obama administration for permission to ship American built weapons, supplied to the UAE, during the early months of the Libyan uprising. The administration instead urged the emirates to ship weapons to Libya that could not be traced to the United States.

“The U.A.E. was asking for clearance to send U.S. weapons,” said one former official. “We told them it’s O.K. to ship other weapons.”

“Nobody knew exactly who they were,” said one former defense official. The Qataris are “supposedly good allies, but the Islamists they support are not in our interest.”

No evidence has yet surfaced that any weapons went to Ansar al-Shariah, an extremist group blamed for the Benghazi attack.

 

Under Obama Only 13% of Drone Strikes Killed Leaders of Taliban or Al Qaeda

Obama administration officials often speak about how drone strikes target suspected terrorists plotting against the U.S., but according to the New York Times the U.S. has shifted away from that. Instead, it now often targets enemies of allied governments in countries such as Yemen and Pakistan. From the Times:

[F]or at least two years in Pakistan, partly because of the C.I.A.’s success in decimating Al Qaeda’s top ranks, most strikes have been directed at militants whose main battle is with the Pakistani authorities or who fight with the Taliban against American troops in Afghanistan.

In Yemen, some strikes apparently launched by the United States killed militants who were preparing to attack Yemeni military forces. Some of those killed were wearing suicide vests, according to Yemeni news reports.

Justin Elliott of propublica.org conducted an interview with  Micah Zenko of the Council on Foreign Relations on the issue of the ever expanding U.S. drone war:

 

You were quoted over the weekend arguing that the U.S., with the campaign of drone strikes, is acting as the “counterinsurgency air force of Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.” How did you come to this conclusion?

Under the Obama administration, officials have argued that the drone strikes are only hitting operational Al Qaeda leaders or people who posed significant and imminent threats to the U.S. homeland. If you actually look at the vast majority of people who have been targeted by the United States, that’s not who they are.

There are a couple pieces of data showing this. Peter Bergen of the New America Foundation has done estimates on who among those killed could be considered “militant leaders” — either of the Pakistani Taliban, the Afghan Taliban, or Al Qaeda. Under the Bush administration, about 30 percent of those killed could be considered militant leaders. Under Obama, that figure is only 13 percent.

Most of the people who are killed don’t have as their objective to strike the U.S. homeland. Most of the people who are killed by drones want to impose some degree of sharia law where they live, they want to fight a defensive jihad against security service and the central government, or they want to unseat what they perceive as an apostate regime that rules their country.

Why does this distinction matter so much?

This is a huge outstanding dilemma. Is the primary purpose of the drone attacks counter-terrorism, or is it counter-insurgency? If it’s counter-insurgency, that is a very different mission, and you have to rethink the justifications and rethink what the ultimate goal is of using lethal force.

There was a February article in the New York Times reporting that the goal of U.S. policy in Yemen was to kill about two dozen Al Qaeda leaders. There’s been about 50 drone strikes in Yemen since that article. Meanwhile, according to U.S. government statements, the size of AQAP has grown from “several hundred” to “a few thousand members.” So the question is, who is actually being targeted, and how does this further U.S. counterterrorism objectives?

Read more here.

Pentagon Admits to Not Having a Death Cert., Autopsy Report or DNA ID Test Result for Bin Laden

Newly released heavily redacted emails obtained by the Associated Press through the Freedom of Information Act has shed new light on the May 1, 2011 Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama Bin Laden in his secret compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

The internal emails sent among U.S. military officers indicate that no sailors aboard the USS Carl Vinson witnessed Bin Laden’s burial at sea and that only a small group of the ship’s leadership was even informed of the event.

“Traditional procedures for Islamic burial was followed,” a May 2nd email from Rear Adm. Charles Gaouette reads. “The deceased’s body was washed (ablution) then placed in a white sheet. The body was placed in a weighted bag. A military officer read prepared religious remarks, which were translated into Arabic by a native speaker. After the words were complete, the body was placed on a prepared flat board, tipped up, whereupon the deceased’s body slid into the sea.”

The Obama administration promised to be one of, if not the most transparent administration ever but when it comes to details surrounding the killing of Bin Laden they have been incredibly secretive. In a response to separate requests from the AP for information about the mission, the Defense Department said in March that it could not locate any photographs or video taken during the raid or any pictures or video showing Bin Laden’s body. It also said it could not find any images of Bin Laden’s body on the Vinson. Meanwhile the Pentagon says it can not find any death certificate, autopsy report or results of DNA identification tests for Bin Laden, or even any pre-raid materials discussing government plans to dispose of Bin Laden’s body if he were killed.

The CIA, which ran the Bin Laden raid and has special legal authority to keep information from ever being made public, has not responded to the AP’s request for records about the mission.

So if you have any questions as to how the government could conduct a military assault on a secret compound, kill and bury at sea the most wanted terrorist on earth without any video or pictures taken during the raid or any pictures or video of his dead body being dumped in the ocean or any death certificate, autopsy report or evidence of DNA identification please keep them to yourself. Just trust your government. They would never lie to you, would they!?

 

Libyan Security Chief Assassinated in Benghazi

Colonel Farag al-Dersi, Benghazi’s chief of security, was killed by three gunmen in the same eastern Libyan city where US ambassador Chris Stevens and three fellow diplomats died after the US consulate was overrun this past September 11th. The Libyan security chief led an anti-militia crackdown in the wake of the attack.

There has been a string of killings and car bombings in the city, most of which targeted officials who had high-profile roles in the former administration of Muammar Gaddafi.  Libya’s new cabinet, which was sworn-in last week, is facing a vast security vacuum. Police and army functions remain distributed among a patchwork of militias.

The assassination of Dersi also highlights the lack of progress made in catching the killers of Stevens, who died when the consulate was stormed and set ablaze by several dozen militiamen. Libya has yet to give details of any investigation into the death of what was the first killing of a US ambassador since 1979, or bring any suspects to trial.

 

Engineers Warned of North East Storm Surge Dangers in 2009

At a 2009 seminar in New York City convened by the American Society of Civil Engineers, corporate, academic and government engineers warned that a devastating storm surge in the North Eastern region of the country was inevitable and presented detailed measures to counter it.

Participants in the seminar urged officials to install surge barriers or tide gates in the New York Harbor to protect the city. Their views are contained in 300 pages of technical papers, historical studies and engineering designs, copies of which the society provided to The New York Times. Installing such barriers would be costly and take years to build, so it’s likely that they would not have been in place in time to prevent destruction from Tropical Storm Irene last year or Hurricane Sandy more recently.

“Scientists and engineers were saying years before Katrina happened, ‘Hey, it’s going to happen, folks. Stop putting your head in the sand,’ ” said Malcolm Bowman, a professor of oceanography at the State University at Stony Brook who spoke at the conference and is an editor of the proceedings.

“The same thing’s now happened here,” Professor Bowman said.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has expressed doubt about such barriers and whether the benefits would outweigh the costs which some estimates put at over $10 billion.

“I don’t think there’s any practical way to build barriers in the oceans,” he said on Thursday. “Even if you spent a fortune, it’s not clear to me that you would get much value for it.”

According to Professor Brown the most workable plan would involve a roughly five-mile barrier from Sandy Hook, N.J., to the Rockaway Peninsula while a smaller barrier would stretch across the top of the East River to protect against surges from Long Island Sound. East River barriers might rise from the ocean floor using hydraulics as a threat approached, and the larger barrier would require locks and sluiceways to allow ships and water to pass during ordinary times.

The technology is already being used around the world, including in the Netherlands and on the Thames in London. Several American cities have versions of the structures, and a barrier surrounds St. Petersburg, Russia.

 

Obama Administration Plans to Extend “War on Terror” For at Least Another Decade

For two years, the Obama administration has been secretly creating a new terrorist targeting list called the “disposition matrix.” The matrix contains the names of suspected terrorism suspects matched against the collective resources being used to pursue them, including sealed indictments and clandestine operations. U.S. officials said the database is designed to go beyond existing kill lists and the reach of American drone strikes. The conventional wars in the middle east may be winding down but there is broad consensus among senior Obama administration officials that these operations are likely to be extended at least another decade while some say there is no clear end in sight.

“We can’t possibly kill everyone who wants to harm us,” a senior administration official said. “It’s a necessary part of what we do. . . .We’re not going to wind up in 10 years in a world of everybody holding hands and saying, ‘We love America.’ ”

The number of militants and civilians killed in drone strikes over the past 10 years will soon exceed 3,000 by various estimates, surpassing the number of people killed in the Sept. 11 attacks.

White House counterterrorism adviser John O. Brennan wants to codify the administration’s approach to generating capture/kill lists to guide future administrations through the counterterrorism processes that Obama has embraced. CIA Director David H. Petraeus is pushing for an expansion of the agency’s fleet of armed drones. The proposal reflects the agency’s transformation into a paramilitary force.

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has made it clear that if elected he would continue the drone campaign. “We can’t kill our way out of this,” he said, but added later that Obama was “right to up the usage” of drone strikes and that he would do the same.

 

We Are Change Educates Obama Supporters

Some people may say what Luke Rudkowski of wearechange.org does in the following video to some Obama supporters is deceitful but it definitely exposes the ugly truth about the American electorate, and that is that too many voters are simply not as informed as they think they are when it comes to the policies of the politicians they support.

 

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