Friday, September 14, 2012

September 14, 2012

President Obama Skipped His Intel Brief the Day After the U.S. Ambassador to Libya was Murdered by Terrorists
by Jeff Emmanuel
September 13, 2012

Marc Thiessen provides a shocker in his Washington Post column: the day after America’s embassy in Cairo was assaulted and the consulate in Benghazi, Libya fell victim to an armed attack that killed four, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, the president once again skipped his intelligence briefing, choosing instead to fly off to Las Vegas to fundraise while the world continued to burn.

This after being inexcusably unprepared for, and unaware of the threat of, violent protests and, in the case of Libya, a terrorist attack against the official representatives of the United States of America in two North African nations. Since those attacks, protests have taken place in Yemen, Tunisia, and Kuwait, with State Department warnings having been issued for several more countries.

Also since those attacks, President Obama has criticized Mitt Romney for “shooting first and aiming later” by speaking about international situation – a statement that is doubly galling considering the fact that Obama himself, rather than learn about facts and threats, blew off his own intel briefing to go fundraise in Las Vegas.

Thiessen writes:
According to the public schedule of the president, the last time the Obama attended his daily intelligence meeting was Sept. 5 — a week before Islamist radicals stormed our embassy in Cairo and terrorists killed our ambassador to Tripoli. The president was scheduled to hold the intelligence meeting at 10:50 a.m. Wednesday, the day after the attacks, but it was canceled so that he could comfort grieving employees at the State Department — as well he should. But instead of rescheduling the intelligence briefing for later in the day, Obama apparently chose to skip it altogether and attend a Las Vegas fundraiser for his re-election campaign. One day after a terrorist attack.
Emphasis added.

Thiessen’s take on this is excellent, and it is worth quoting more here (and even more worthwhile reading the whole column yourself). He continues:
When I asked National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor if the president had attended any meetings to discuss the Presidential Daily Brief (PDB) since Sept. 5, he repeatedly refused to answer. He noted that Obama had attended a principals meeting of the National Security Council on Sept. 10 and reiterated that he reads the PDB. “As I’ve told you every time you ask, the President gets his PDB every day,” Vietor told me by e-mail, adding this swipe at Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush: “Unlike your former boss, he has it delivered to his residence in the morning and not briefed to him.” (This new line of defense was echoed this morning by my Post colleague, Dana Milbank, who writes that Bush was briefed every day by his intelligence advisers because he “decided he would prefer to read less.”) 
Vietor’s reply is quite revealing. It is apparently a point of pride in the White House that Obama’s PDB is “not briefed to him.” In the eyes of this administration, it is a virtue that the president does not meet every day with senior intelligence officials. This president, you see, does not need briefers. He can forgo his daily intelligence meeting because he is, in Vietor’s words, “among the most sophisticated consumers of intelligence on the planet.” 
Truly sophisticated consumers of intelligence don’t see it as a sign of weakness to “be briefed” by the experts. Most of us, if we subscribed to a daily report on, say, astrophysics, would probably need some help interpreting it. But when it comes to intelligence, Obama is apparently so brilliant he can absorb the most complicated topics by himself in his study. He does not need to sit down for up to an hour a day with top intelligence officials, or hold more than 100 “deep dives” in which he invites CIA analysts into the Oval Office and gives them direct access to the commander in chief to discuss their areas of expertise. Such meetings are crutches this president does not need. Written briefings, questions and comments are enough. Obama has more important things to do — such as attend Las Vegas fundraisers.
He concludes with an apt jab at the president’s absurdly high opinion of his own intelligence and knowledgeability:
When President John F. Kennedy gathered every living American Nobel laureate for dinner at the White House in 1962, he declared it “the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.” Apparently, in this administration’s view, Kennedy had it wrong — the most extraordinary collection of talent and knowledge ever gathered in the White House is when Barack Obama reads his daily intelligence brief alone.
The current president’s actions and failure to plan in any way at all resulted in a Libya and an Egypt in which radical elements are far more free to act, and in which foreign diplomats and property lack even a modicum of reasonably expected security.

The world is burning – and while it does, the President of the United States can’t even be bothered to Fiddle. Instead, he’s too busy fundraising.

Read more:

Steyn on Obama’s Las Vegas ‘performance’: ‘Every American should be ashamed of their president’ 
by Jeff Poor
September 14. 2012

On Hugh Hewitt’s radio show Thursday night, National Review columnist Mark Steyn, author of “After America: Get Ready for Armageddon,” said President Barack Obama gave an embarrassing performance Wednesday during his campaign swing through Las Vegas, Nev., in the wake of attacks on U.S. diplomatic stations in Libya and Egypt.

“I thought that thing last night with the president saying he had ‘a tough day’ and comparing the dead Americans in Libya to campaign supporters, which he did — I thought was one of the most disgraceful, inept and embarrassing performances by a head of state or government that I have ever seen,” Steyn said. “Every American should be ashamed of their president.”

Steyn didn’t fault the president for going to Sin City, acknowledging that sometimes plans are in place and things have to move along. But the tone of Obama’s remarks set him off.

“He didn’t script his remarks,” Steyn said. “I mean, this is a man, for example, who doesn’t have, I think, great empathetic qualities at the best of times. But to slough it off in that bloodless language — you know, when he says, now I believe this is a direct quote, ‘Obviously, our hearts are broken today.’ If you say ‘obviously’ before it, your heart is not broken. He said, ‘Oh, it’s a tough day.’ It’s not a tough day [for him]. It’s a tough day for the families of the four people who were killed.”

Steyn told Hewitt, the author of “The Brief Against Obama: The Rise, Fall & Epic Fail of the Hope & Change Presidency,” that Obama should have prepared better for that situation, given all the tools at his disposal.

“Why can’t you — you’re spending $4 trillion a year, and you’ve got these 12-year-old speechwriters you’re so proud of, and you’re the king of the prompter, why couldn’t you on Air Force One, you’re the only head of state in any major country who has a plane to fly him around his own country, and a 40-car motorcade — while you were on the stupid plane, why can’t you actually take the trouble to learn some words that would mean something and are appropriate to the occasion?”

He compared Obama’s performance to those of former President Ronald Reagan and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher after tragedies, reiterating his charge that Obama’s remarks were something that should embarrass Americans of all political persuasions.

Read more:

Feds Put Target on Filmmaker's Back
A frightening violation of human rights by Eric Holder's corrupt Justice Department
by Ross Kaminsky
September 14, 2012

It is hard to know who should frighten Americans more: radical Islamists or our own government.
I say this with only the slightest hint of hyperbole following Thursday's Associated Press story about the evil genius (not!) behind the sophomoric film "Innocence of Muslims," which Islamofascists across the Middle East and North Africa are using as a flimsy excuse -- an excuse only believed by the Obama administration and other blame-America-first naïfs -- to kill American people and destroy American property.

The scary part of the story is not that Nakoula Basseley Nakoula was described as having a "checkered past" including a criminal prosecution two years ago.

The scary part of the story is not that we now know that "Sam Bacile" is an alias used by Nakoula while making the film and publishing it online.

The scary part of the story is not that Nakoula, a Coptic Christian, was claiming, when talking about his ridiculous film, to be Jewish (as if my tribe doesn't have enough problems with people from the Middle East to Foggy Bottom).

The scary part isn't even that Steve Klein, a "Christian activist" who was involved with making the film, told the AP that he "warned the filmmaker that 'you're going to be the next Theo van Gogh.'" Van Gogh was the Dutch filmmaker who was shot eight times and nearly decapitated by a Dutch-born Muslim of Moroccan descent who disapproved of Van Gogh's short film Submission.

No, the frightening, terrifying, chilling part of the story is that Mr. Nakoula was identified to the AP by "a federal law enforcement official… who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation."

The AP notes that Attorney General Eric Holder, who presides over the most corrupt Justice Department of my lifetime, is launching a criminal investigation into the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other embassy staff in Benghazi, Libya.

It is inconceivable (to the extent that anything is inconceivable with this Attorney General) that Mr. Nakoula could be a legitimate target of such an investigation, regardless of what else he might have done wrong (such as misleading his actors and dubbing their dialogue with references to Mohammed after the film was made). Nakoula's First Amendment rights in this situation are absolute.

But even that misses the point: Our government just identified to a news organization the real name of a person who is undoubtedly the highest on the hit list, the forefront of the fatwas, of every hypersensitive but well-armed Muslim radical on the planet.

As if publishing the name isn't enough, the AP then tells the world that they found Nakoula "outside Los Angeles." Yes, I realize that's a rather large area and not exactly like giving his street address, but do you think that makes Mr. Nakoula feel better?

But wait, there's more! The Washington Post (and presumably other papers) later in the day named his home town as Cerritos, California. And as if that's not enough, we learn that at Nakoula's property, "county authorities were present because roughly two dozen reporters and film crews were waiting to interview Nakoula."

It is exceedingly likely that the Nakoula family will never be able to inhabit that home again… and that the people who live there next might always live in fear. (I wonder how much that will damage the Nakoula's selling price for the home.)

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