Archive for the ‘Gitmo’ Category

41% Say U.S. Focus on Economy Raises Risk of Terrorist Attack

March 12, 2009

“He who defends everything, defends nothing,” said Frederick II (1712-1786).

President Barack Obama is defending everything: the economy, earmarks, his health care plan, environmental plan, energy plan, education reform, government spending, bigger government, the rights to free and open seas (re: China), a stronger U.N., an encircled North Korea, the Muslim world, the power of negotiations (with Syria, Iran, and others), the ramp up of troops in Afghanistan, etc.

You get the idea.

In many ways I see this president as going the right things.  But then again he is doing everything.

He is pro-immigration and today he said he’d send troops to our border with Mexico, maybe.

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03
/12/obamas-border-talk-i-call-bull/

Michelle doubts that.

But then again: doesn’t everything depend upon the economy; followed closely by national security and stoppong terrorists?

But terrorists and terrorism are gone from our public discussion….deleted from the Obama lexicon.

Hmmm.

*****************

From Rasmussen Reports
.
Forty-one percent (41%) of U.S. voters worry that America’s preoccupation with the ongoing economic crisis will make us more vulnerable to a terrorist attack, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

But 43% disagree and say it’s not a concern while 16% are not sure.

Forty percent (40%) also say America has more enemies than friends among the nations of the world, although 44% say we have more friends.

Voters are closely divided, too, over whether the current worldwide economic crisis is more likely to create tension between the United States and other nations or more likely to foster cooperation. Forty-four percent (44%) see more tension to come, while 43% expect greater cooperation between America and other countries.

Confidence in how America is doing in the War on Terror dropped dramatically in late February, but it is not yet clear whether the numbers are a statistical blip or a reflection of recent news developments.

Iran continues to be the country the plurality of voters (35%) expect to be the first to seriously test the Obama Administration. Nineteen percent (19%) say North Korea will be the new president’s first major threat, while 12% predict China. Eight percent (8%) say Russia will be the first serious challenger, but one-out-of-four voters (25%) are not sure which country is the greater threat.

Read the rest:
http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_con
tent/politics/general_politics2/41_say_u_s_
focus_on_economy_raises_risk_of_terrorist_attack

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Terrorist Released from Gitmo is Killing British, American Troops

March 11, 2009

The Taleban commander responsible for increasingly sophisticated explosives attacks on British soldiers in Afghanistan is a former detainee from Guantanamo Bay, British officials and Taleban sources have told The Times.

Abdul Ghulam Rasoul was held in Guantanamo for six years before his release, in December 2007, by the unanimous decision of a review board that determined he was no longer a threat.

British officials told The Times that Rasoul is the man that has since resurfaced as Mullah Abdullah Zakir, the Taleban’s new operations chief in southern Afghanistan and the architect of a new offensive against British and American troops.

The revelation of Rasoul’s return to the battlefield underscores the challenges faced by the Obama administration in carrying out its vow to close Guantanamo, and raises fresh questions about the quality of American intelligence used there.Pentagon records of Rasoul’s time in Guantanamo show he told investigators he had never been a commander in the Taleban, one of the factors that recommended him for release.

Read the rest:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/ne
ws/world/us_and_americas/article5
888427.ece

Related:

 Obama Policy On Gitmo, Taliban, Afghanistan, Intel: As Stupid as It Gets

http://libertyjustincase.com/
2009/03/11/prisoner-8/

Obama Policy On Gitmo, Taliban, Afghanistan, Intel: As Stupid as It Gets

March 10, 2009

President Obama  nominated Charles Freeman for a top intelligence job, even  though Freeman was a well known anti-Isreal guy and very pro-China.

The heat and light of media attention caused Freeman to withdraw.

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/1
0/and-another-one-bites-the-dust-cha
rles-freeman-out/

President Obama has said (A) He wants to close the terrorist prison at Guantanomo Bay Cuba; and (B) He wants to open discussions with the Taliban; and (C) We need to send more troops to Afghanistan.

The president is in the process of sending more U.S. troops to Afghanistan and is begging European allies to do the same — even while Joe Biden is saying we are losing the war in Afghanistan.

Bad policy doesn’t help one achieve national goals…..

Well: Here’s a way the president can talk to the Taliban: talk to them at Gitmo before they get free and go to work against the U.S. again…. Then you don’t have to send U.S. troops overseas to kill them.

A former U.S. Marine Corps General Officer told us today, “The only good Taliban is a dead Taliban.”  But if that can’t be achieved, maybe Gitmo is as good as it gets….

Our foreign policy on Gitmo, the Taliban, Afghanistan and (we can no longer say TERRORISM) is about as stupid as government gets….

Who’s to blame?

Did Blair do this?  Panetta?  Rush Limbaugh?  Rahm Emanuel?  Hillary?

Maybe I am too stupid to get this.  Ya think?

Related:
 Obama Throws Britain Under the Bus: Relationship “Reset” and “Regime Change”

http://libertyjustincase.com/2009/0
3/11/prisoner-8/

Era of Obama, American Weakness Emboldens Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Terrorists

Obama’s First Major Foreign Crisis Brewing?
.
Protocol: Brit Media Furious At Obama

Czech President Says Obama Views “Unknown” On Key Foreign Policy Issues

White House: U.S. Will Not Shoot North Korean Missile

Obama, State Department, White House Staff, Hillary “Unaware,” “Overwhelmed” by Expectations
.
Hillary: One-Time Health Care Failure Now American’s Chief Diplomat, Fouls Up First Time Out

 Obama Forges New Path in Protocol

 Hillary: One-Time Health Care Failure Now American’s Chief Diplomat, Fouls Up First Time Out

Russia Sees Obama, U.S., Others As “Weak,” “Naive”
(Now we can add stupid….)

 

Related:
Guantanamo detainees gloat; say they planned Sept. 11

 Biden: “U.S., West Not Winning In Afghanistan”

Leon Panetta 
Above: Leon Panetta.  Photo by AP

***********************

AP

The Taliban‘s new top operations officer in southern Afghanistan had been a prisoner at the Guantanamo Bay detention center, the latest example of a freed detainee who took a militant leadership role and a potential complication for the Obama administration’s efforts to close the prison. U.S. authorities handed over the detainee to the Afghan government, which in turn released him, according to Pentagon and CIA officials.

Abdullah Ghulam Rasoul, formerly Guantanamo prisoner No. 008, was among 13 Afghan prisoners released to the Afghan government in December 2007. Rasoul is now known as Mullah Abdullah Zakir, a nom de guerre that Pentagon and intelligence officials say is used by a Taliban leader who is in charge of operations against U.S. and Afghan forces in southern Afghanistan.

The officials, who spoke anonymously because they are not authorized to release the information, said Rasoul has joined a growing faction of former Guantanamo prisoners who have rejoined militant groups and taken action against U.S. interests. Pentagon officials have said that as many as 60 former detainees have resurfaced on foreign battlefields.

Pentagon and intelligence officials said Rasoul has emerged as a key militant figure in southern Afghanistan, where violence has been spiking in the last year. Thousands of U.S. troops are preparing to deploy there to fight resurgent Taliban forces.

One intelligence official told the Associated Press that Rasoul’s stated mission is to counter the U.S. troop surge.

Although the militant detainees who have resurfaced were released under the Bush administration, the revelation underscores the Obama administration’s dilemma in moving to close the detention camp at Guantanamo and figuring out what to do with the nearly 250 prisoners who remain there.

In one of his first acts in office, President Barack Obama signed an executive order to close the jail next year. The order also convened a task force that will determine how to handle remaining detainees, who could be transferred to other U.S. detention facilities for trial, transferred to foreign nations for legal proceedings or freed.

More than 800 prisoners have been imprisoned at Guantanamo; only a handful have been charged. About 520 Guantanamo detainees have been released from custody or transferred to prisons elsewhere in the world.

A Pentagon tally of the detainees released show that 122 were transferred from Guantanamo in 2007, more than any other year.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2009031
0/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/guantanamo_de
tainee_taliban_4

Guantanamo detainees gloat; say they planned Sept. 11

March 10, 2009

The five detainees at the U.S. Guantanamo Bay prison camp charged with plotting the September 11 attacks have filed a document expressing pride at their accomplishment and accepting responsibility for the deaths of nearly 3,000 people, The New York Times reported on Monday.

Reuters

File:National Park Service 9-11 Statue of Liberty and WTC fire.jpg

The document, which the newspaper said may be released publicly on Tuesday, describes the five men as the “9/11 Shura Council,” and says their actions were an offering to God, according to excerpts of the document read to a reporter by an unidentified government official, the report said.

“‘To us,’ the official read, ‘they are not accusations. To us they are a badge of honor, which we carry with honor,'” the paper said.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090310/t
s_nm/us_guantanamo_document

New York Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/10/u
s/10gitmo.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=guant
anamo&st=cse

Related:
 Al-Qaeda, Gitmo Quandary: After Prison, Suppose Just One Terrorists Destroys Your Way of Life?

President Obama says he will close Gitmo next year….

Era of Obama, American Weakness Emboldens Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Terrorists

March 9, 2009

Like it or not, the era of President Barack Obama and American weakness, real or perceived, has already emboldened many nations with long-term anti-American strategic goals: namely, Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.

Many in the world have already concluded that Brack Obama is soft, for his overtures so far toward the Taliban, Russia, Iran and others.

Related:
Various Views On Obama Foreign Policy: “Just Like Bush” Or Radical Change?

President Obama’s move to close the terrorist prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba (Gitmo) was cause for applause in human rights circles and also with terrorists.

On Afghanistan, Peter Begen of the New America Foundation said “It is a longstanding cliché that there is no military solution in Afghanistan, only a political one.”  On President Obama’s idea to hold talks with the Taliban he said, “Doing deals with the Taliban today could further destabilize Afghanistan. ”

And economically, there is no dobt that the U.S. is weakened.

Just today, North Korea threatened war with the United States — a war that would certainly involve Japan and South Korea.  North Korea could not be making such threats and could not even think about testing a long range strategic missile just now unless China consented to this brazen move or at least looked the other way.  China supplies North Korea with almost all of its food, oil, luxury goods and currency.  Without China, North Korea would be impotent and meaningless.

Yet China is acceding to North Korea’s bluster and browbeating of the United States just as China itself is harassing a U.S. Naval vessel in international waters — a violation of international law.

This US Navy file photo shows the military Sealift Command ocean ... 
This US Navy file photo shows the military Sealift Command ocean surveillance ship USNS Impeccable (T-AGOS-23). Five Chinese vessels maneuvered dangerously close to a US Navy ship in the South China Sea on Sunday, March 8, 2009, approaching within 25 feet of the unarmed surveillance ship, the Pentagon said.(AFP/NVNS)

China doesn’t care much for international law and international waters: just ask Japan and Vietnam.  Both those nations have long struggles with China encroaching upon the coasts of Japan and Vietnam as the Chinese super power searches for more oil beneath the sea floor.

China has become the most voracious user of oil and other mineral resources on the planet as it strives to keep its factories busy producing goods for sale overseas.  China is in Afghanistan, protected from the Taliban by U.S. troops, while Chinese companies exploit Afghan copper.  And China just signed a $50 billion (U.S. dollars, cast) agreement to get oil from Russia for ten years.

Last year China was no help when the U.S. wanted access to Myanmar to deliver humanitarian relief supplies to those stricken by the cyclone.  After the crisis passed, China signed a big oil deal with Myanmar.

China wants the U.S. out of its sphere of influence from North Asia to Somalia, and is planning an ocean-going navy to eventualy make that goal a military reality.

China recently opened the largest sea port in the world, in Gwadar, Pakistan — directly astride the sea lanes used to bring out out of the Persian Gulf to Japan, the U.S. and others.

Meanwhile, the U.S. continues to go into debt — to China.

China allows North Korea to antagonize the United States because that is in China’s long term strategic interest — and a weakening U.S. plays into China’s strategy perfectly.

Russia also wants the U.S. out of its area of influencce.  Russia recently paid off Kyrgyzstan, which was helping the American effort in Afghanistan with an air base. Just after Russia gave  Kyrgyzstan its big aid deal, that nation announced the closure of the Manas air base supporting the U.S.

File:ManasAirbase KC135.jpg
A KC-135 Stratotanker sits on the flightline at Manas Air Base, Kyrgyzstan, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2006. Ground crews will have to de-ice the tanker before it can take off on a refueling mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Paul Clifford)

Generous Russian loans to Kyrgyzstan totaling US$2 billion and a non-repayable US$150 million grant, were announced the day before Kyrgyzstan said Manas would be closed and the U.S. Air Force evicted.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation had been insisting on the closure of Manas to the U.S. Air Force since 2005.

What the heck is the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation?

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is an intergovernmental mutual-security organisation which was founded in 2001 by the leaders of China , Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

But the key players of the SCO are Russia and China who don’t want the U.S. or anyone else in the West anywhere near that region of the world, rich in oil and other minerals, that includes Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

China and Russia conducted their largest joint military exercise ever last year.

And finally Iran wants the U.S. out of the Persian Gulf, away from Arab oil, and at arms length from Isreal.

Joshua Gross wrote for the Christian Sciences Monitor today,  “Iran recently launched its first satellite into orbit in what The New York Times called, ‘a shot across the bow of American diplomacy,’ and US President Barack Obama passed along a secret letter to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in an attempt to enlist the Russians in an international effort to contain Iran’s nuclear program.”

The global economic crisis, which has eliminated something like $50 trillion in world wealth, has hit the United States and NATO very hard, which fuels the beliefe that Mr. Obama and the U.S. are weaker than ever just now.

That’s why Iran and North Korea are talking missiles and nukes, China has chosen just now to harass a U.S. ship, and Russia is gloating like a cat bird that Obama is already pleading for help with Iran from Putin and Medvedev….

John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia
March 9, 2009

Iranian clerics watch the launch of a Shahab-3 ballistic missile ... 
Iranian clerics watch the launch of a Shahab-3 ballistic missile outside Qom in 2006. A top Iranian military commander said that the country has missiles that can reach the nuclear sites of its arch-foe Israel.(AFP/File/null)

Related:
Stimulus: China Will Fund U.S. Debt But “We Hate You Guys”

Russia, “Desperate For Cash,” Sells Oil to China In “Very Bad Deal”

India, China jostle for influence in Indian Ocean

 China Extends Navy’s Anti-Piracy Mission Near Somalia

 China Says Its Navy Expansion “No threat to others”

 Pentagon: Chinese Ships Harassed Unarmed U.S. Navy Craft in International Waters

 North Korea Warns: Shoot Down Our Satellite Will “Prompt Counterstrikes by the Most Powerful Military Means”

Obama’s First Major Foreign Crisis Brewing?

China’s thirst for copper could hold key to Afghanistan’s future

Obama says US is losing war in Afghanistan and hints at Taleban talks

Despite Global Economy Downturn, China Still Lending

Russia Sees Obama, U.S., Others As “Weak,” “Naive”

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/09/analys
ts-to-obama-there-are-no-taliban-moderates-yo
u-nitwit/

What’s China’s Long Term Global Strategy?

http://jonathanturley.org/2009/03/09/ira
nian-justice-eight-women-face-stoning-dea
ths-for-adultery/

http://spectator.org/archives/2009/03
/09/slickness-with-a-straight-face

CNN on Peter Bergen and Afghanistan:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/PO
LITICS/03/09/bergen.taliban/index.html

Joshua Gross on Iran:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20
090309/cm_csm/ygross

Official: 4 Guantanamo Prisoners Transferred to Iraq

February 9, 2009

A senior Iraqi security official says that four prisoners have been transferred from the U.S. military detention center in Guantanamo Bay to Iraqi custody.

The security official says the men, Iraqis who were arrested in Afghanistan, have been interrogated by Iraqi authorities.

The official, who spoke Monday on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, added that one Iraqi remained in Guantanamo.

The family of one of the prisoners, Hassan Abdul Hadi al-Jawhar, says the International Red Cross confirmed to them their son had been released.

Neda Abdul Hadi, Hassan’s sister, said her brother disappeared in 1999 while doing military service and later they received a letter from him in 2004 saying he was in Guantanamo.

–Associated Press

Cheney: Obama Could Easily Risk “catastrophic nuclear or biological attack”

February 4, 2009

Former Vice President Dick Cheney warned that there is a “high probability” that terrorists will attempt a catastrophic nuclear or biological attack in coming years, and said he fears the Obama administration’s policies will make it more likely the attempt will succeed. 

By Jim VandeHei, John F. Harris, Mike Allen
Politico

Google Maps has a clear satellite view of the US vice president's ... 
Dick Cheney.(AFP/File/Mandel Ngan)

In an interview Tuesday with Politico, Cheney unyieldingly defended the Bush administration’s support for the Guantanamo Bay prison and coercive interrogation of terrorism suspects. 

And he asserted that President Obama will either backtrack on his stated intentions to end those policies or put the country at risk in ways more severe than most Americans—and, he charged, many members of Obama’s own team—understand. 

“When we get people who are more concerned about reading the rights to an Al Qaeda terrorist than they are with protecting the United States against people who are absolutely committed to do anything they can to kill Americans, then I worry,” Cheney said. 

Protecting the country’s security is “a tough, mean, dirty, nasty business,” he said. “These are evil people. And we’re not going to win this fight by turning the other cheek.” 

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20090
204/pl_politico/18390

Gallup Poll: Obama Good on Gitmo, Bad on Abortion

February 3, 2009

The public is most supportive of his decisions to name special envoys to oversee the administration’s efforts in the Middle East, and Pakistan and Afghanistan, and to tighten rules on people working as lobbyists either before or after serving in his administration. Both of these moves are favored by 76% of Americans.

Americans are nearly as supportive of Obama’s actions to limit the interrogation methods that can be used on military prisoners — actions designed to ensure the United States does not resort to torture to find out information from prisoners. Seventy-four percent of Americans favor that decision, the same percentage who favor his executive order to institute higher fuel efficiency standards.

Two in three Americans approve of his signing a bill to make it easier for workers to sue for pay discrimination, the first legislation he has signed into law as president.

The public does not agree with everything Obama has done, however. For example, more Americans say they disapprove (50%) than approve (44%) of his decision to order the closing of the Guantanamo Bay prison for terrorist suspects in Cuba within a year.

Further, Obama’s decision to reverse the prohibition on funding for overseas family-planning providers may be the least popular thing he has done so far. This was an executive order that forbade federal government money from going to overseas family-planning groups that provide abortions or offer abortion counseling. Fifty-eight percent of Americans disapprove of Obama’s decision to lift this ban, while only 35% approve of it. The ban on federal funds to these groups was put in place by Ronald Reagan, but lifted by Bill Clinton. George W. Bush re-instituted the ban after taking office in 2001, but Obama has once again lifted it.

Read the rest on the Gallup Poll:
http://www.gallup.com/poll/114091/Ame
ricans-Approve-Obama-Actions-Date.aspx

Obama’s new rules have loopholes

February 2, 2009

President Obama’s first moves earned him triumphant headlines: “Obama Freezes Pay, Toughens Ethics and Lobbying Rules,” and “Obama sets new course.”

But some of his biggest accomplishments are twinned with the word “but”: Lobbyists are banned, but exceptions can and will be made; orders on ending torture and secret prisons contain loopholes and provisos.

By Christina Bellantoni
The Washington Times

Call it the fine print, an exception, a waiver, but there have been caveats to many of Mr. Obama’s first actions.

The lobbying issue has drawn the most ire, especially since Mr. Obama spent so much time blasting lobbyists on the campaign trail.

“Change we can believe in, as long as we pay attention to the disappointing asterisk on the word ‘change,’ ” complained Rachel Maddow, a liberal talk-show host for MSNBC.

Miss Maddow on Friday night blasted Mr. Obama for having former lobbyists in his administration, saying that his campaign-trail promise that lobbyists would not run his White House “sounded great; too great to be entirely true, it turns out.”

White House aides suggest the criticism is nonsense, since even transition officials warned months ago there would be exceptions to lobbying bans for people they consider exceptionally talented. Others point out that so many people leave government to earn money with consulting and lobbying that it would be tough to staff any administration without needing to bend the rules.

But Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, ripped into the new administration for so quickly bending the lobbying rules.

“He got the good headlines, and their intentions were really good, but carving out so many exceptions is silly. They should stop pretending they are following the rule when they are not,” she said. “They say they have a policy of no lobbyists, and yet every day we hear about a new lobbyist.”

Nearly two dozen executive-branch hires, all the way up to Cabinet level, have been registered federal lobbyists, with the most-prominent being Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and William Lynn, the No. 2 man at the Pentagon.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/feb/
02/early-obama-loopholes-are-drawing-fire/

Obama Told His Actions On Gitmo Could “jeopardize those who are fighting the war on terror”

January 30, 2009

“We shouldn’t make policy decisions based on human rights and legal advocacy groups,” retired U.S. Navy Cmdr. Kurt Lippold said in a telephone interview. “We should consider what is best for the American people, which is not to jeopardize those who are fighting the war on terror — or even more adversely impact the families who have already suffered losses as a result of the war.”

The former commander of the USS Cole, the American war ship that was struck by a suicide boat in Yemeni waters more than eight years ago, on Thursday slammed President Barack Obama’s orders to close the Guantanamo detention center and reassess the prisoners being held there.

By Carol Rosenberg
McClatchy Newspapers

Lippold also spoke about the trial….

Seventeen U.S. sailors were killed in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Aden, Yemen.

Seventeen U.S. sailors were killed in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Aden, Yemen.

Read the rest:
http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2009/j
an/30/former-uss-cole-commander-slams-ob
ama-guantanamo/

Related from CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/0
1/29/cole.charges/index.html

Related:
Obama’s Unnecessary Muslim Apolo
gia; Misguided on al-Qaeda