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Obama Administration’s Benghazi Bombshell


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG.

 

Here is some information and my rules:

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives.

 

Thank you for visiting!

 

Reblogged from: http://www.weeklystandard.com

 

Posted by:THOMAS JOSCELYN

The Washington Post reports that U.S. officials suspect Sufian Ben Qumu, an ex-Guantanamo detainee, “played a role in the attack on the American compound in Benghazi, Libya, and are planning to designate the group he leads as a foreign terrorism organization.” Ben Qumu is based in Derna, Libya and runs a branch of Ansar al Sharia headquartered in the city.

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U.S. officials have found that some of Ben Qumu’s militiamen from Derna “participated in the attack” and “were in Benghazi before the attack took place on Sept. 11, 2012.”

Ben Qumu was fingered early on as a suspect in the Benghazi attack, but his name dropped out of much of the reporting on the assault for more than one year.

In November 2013, however, THE WEEKLY STANDARD reported: “U.S. intelligence officials believe that Sufian Ben Qumu, a Libyan ex-Guantánamo detainee, trained some of the jihadists who carried out the attacks in Benghazi.” Ben Qumu, TWS reported, “has longstanding connections with al Qaeda leadership.”

Ben Qumu’s biography is rich with al Qaeda links:

Ben Qumu is one of the original “Arab Afghans” who traveled to Afghanistan to fight the Soviets in the 1980s. In the years that followed the end of the anti-Soviet jihad, Ben Qumu followed al Qaeda to the Sudan and then, in the mid-to-late 1990s, back to Afghanistan and Pakistan. He was eventually arrested in Pakistan after the 9/11 attacks and transferred to the American detention facility at Guantánamo Bay.

A leaked Joint Task Force Guantánamo (JTF-GTMO) threat assessment describes Ben Qumu as an “associate” of Osama bin Laden. JTF-GTMO found that Ben Qumu worked as a driver for a company owned by bin Laden in the Sudan, fought alongside al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan, and maintained ties to several other well-known al Qaeda leaders. Ben Qumu’s alias was found on the laptop of an al Qaeda operative responsible for overseeing the finances for the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The information on the laptop indicated that Ben Qumu was an al Qaeda “member receiving family support.”

An August 2012 report published by the Library of Congress in conjunction with the Defense Department, titled “Al Qaeda in Libya: a Profile,” identified Ben Qumu as the possible “new face of al Qaeda in Libya despite” his denial of an ongoing al Qaeda role. The report also noted that Ben Qumu and his Ansar al Sharia fighters are “believed to be close to the al Qaeda clandestine network” in Libya. According to the report’s authors, that same network is headed by al Qaeda operatives who report to al Qaeda’s senior leadership in Pakistan, including Ayman al Zawahiri.

The reporting on Ben Qumu’s ties to the Benghazi attack directly refutes an account by David Kirkpatrick of the New York Times. Kirkpatrick reported that “neither Mr. Qumu nor anyone else in Derna appears to have played a significant role in the attack on the American Mission, officials briefed on the investigation and the intelligence said.”

The Post reports that, in addition to Ben Qumu and Ansar al Sharia Derna, the branches of Ansar al Sharia in Benghazi and Tunisia are going to be designated as terrorist organizations by the State Department.

Two other individuals, Ahmed Abu Khattala and Seifallah ben Hassine, are going to be added to the list of “specially designated global terrorists.”   

Seifallah Ben Hassine (a.k.a. Abu Iyad al Tunisi) is the head of Ansar al Sharia Tunisia, which assaulted the U.S. Embassy in Tunis just three days after the attack in Benghazi.

In its annual Country Reports on Terrorism, published in May 2013, the State Department noted that Ben Hassine “was implicated as the mastermind behind the September 14 attack on the US Embassy,” which involved “a mob of 2,000 – 3,000” people, “including individuals affiliated with the militant organization Ansar al Sharia.”

The ties between Ben Hassine, Ansar al Sharia and al Qaeda are longstanding and well-established.

According to multiple published reports, Ben Hassine relocated to Libya after the Tunisian government labeled Ansar al Sharia a terrorist organization and cracked down on its operatives. The Tunisian government has repeatedly alleged that the Ansar al Sharia groups in Libya and Tunisia are tied to one another, as well as al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). 

The Post’s report concludes: “In addition to Qumu and Khattala, American officials are eager to question Faraj al Chalabi, a Libyan extremist who might have fled the country.”

As THE WEEKLY STANDARD reported on multipleoccasions, Chalabi is considered a key suspect by U.S. intelligence officials. Two U.S. intelligence officials say Chalabi once served as a bodyguard for Osama bin Laden and is suspected of brining materials from the compound in Benghazi to senior al Qaeda leadership in Pakistan.

Thomas Joscelyn is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

One in three lawmakers wants to repeal cuts to military pensions


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG.

 

Here is some information and my rules:

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives.

 

Thank you for visiting!

 

Reblogged from:http://thehill.com/blogs

Posted by:Jeremy Herb

Getty Images

More than 150 House members and 35 senators have signed onto efforts to repeal the cuts to military pensions included in the budget deal signed last month.

Roughly a third of lawmakers in both chambers have sponsored or co-sponsored 15 different bills. All the measures seek, one way or another, to repeal the reduction in the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for working-age military retirees.

The flurry of bills and number of co-sponsors highlights the sizable bipartisan opposition to the military retirement cuts that were included in the budget deal reached by Budget Chairs Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.).

But none of the bills introduced has identified a true bipartisan “pay-for” to replace the retirement cuts, raising doubts about the chances of any of them passing.

The only legislation that has attracted significant bipartisan support does not replace the $6 billion that was saved in the budget deal through the military retirement cut.

“People are allowed to go out there and say what they want, but it is not going away,” said a leading conservative strategist who is a deficit hawk. “How are they going to pay for it going away?”

The budget agreement signed into law last month provided $63 billion in sequester relief over two years and achieved $85 billion in deficit reduction, including $6 billion from reducing COLAs by 1 percentage point below inflation for working-age military retirees under age 62.

The military pension cuts attracted swift condemnation from service and veterans’ organizations, who have launched a full-court lobbying press to get Congress to reverse the provision.

The effort has spawned more than a dozen bills. In aggregate, those measures have been backed by 94 House Republicans and 64 House Democrats, 12 Republican senators and 23 Democratic senators.

Many of the lawmakers voted for the overall budget bill that quickly cleared both chambers last month.

Even so, the bills that offset the $6 billion savings do not appear likely to attract bipartisan support, making them long-shots to pass both the Democratic-controlled Senate and Republican-controlled House.

Democrats in both chambers have signed onto measures that would replace the retirement cuts by closing offshore tax loopholes for corporations, a non-starter for Republicans.

The GOP bills target a number of cost-cutting issues. They would prevent illegal immigrants from claiming a child tax credit, make cuts to the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund, replace the COLA cuts with the Pentagon’s unobligated balances and stop aid to Egypt and Pakistan.

House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) introduced a bill to restore the savings through limiting Saturday mail delivery.

No Democrats have co-sponsored any of those measures, with the exception of Rep. John Barrow (Ga.) backing the child tax credit pay-for in Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick’s (R-Pa.) bill.

The bill with the most support was introduced by House Veterans Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), which has 95 co-sponsors, including 32 Democrats.

That measure simply repeals the $6 billion cut to military pensions. But defense observers are skeptical Congress would pass legislation to undo deficit reduction already in place.

One senior defense lobbyist said the budget deal included all of the “low-hanging fruit” when it came to deficit reduction, making it unlikely that the COLA cuts would easily be replaced.

The military retirement cuts were one part of a carefully crafted deal, which also included reductions for civilian federal worker benefits.

“It’s all political in an election year,” the lobbyist said of the repeal bills.

“The ones the Democrats are offering to close corporate tax loopholes — Republicans are never going to go for that… The same thing on Republican side with credits for illegal immigrants. They know it’s not going to fly with the Dems.”

BOHICA the military takes it again.

House and Senate leaders have not said whether they plan to bring up any bills to restore the military benefits cuts.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) did not include the military pension issue in his January legislative agenda. A Senate leadership aide said retirement benefits legislation would not be considered next week, and could not elaborate beyond that.

One House aide said that leadership may be waiting before making a decision on the retirement benefits to see how strongly the issue resonates back in lawmakers’ districts.

“If members come back and go to leadership and say they’re really getting hit on this, leadership might be in a mood to adjust it,” the aide said. “If they come back and there’s not as much passion behind it, that tells you it will be a completely different story.”

There is likely to be at least one change made to the retirement benefit cuts: exempting medically retired veterans.

There have been an additional four bills introduced to address that issue, including from Murray. Both Murray and Ryan say that disabled veterans were included in the budget deal due to a “technical error” and they want to quickly fix the problem.

A list of the various bills offered to repeal the military-pensions cut can be found here.

— Erik Wasson contributed.

http://thehill.com/blogs

This Political Cartoon From 20 Years Ago Was Disturbingly Prescient


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG.

 

Here is some information and my rules:

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives.

 

Thank you for visiting!

 

Reblogged from:http://www.slate.com

 

Posted by: Will Oremus

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Dan Perkins, aka Tom Tomorrow, penned the cartoon above in 1994 for Spin magazine.

Will OremusWILL OREMUS

Will Oremus is a Slate staff writer.

At the time, the cartoon might have seemed a little hysterical. Remember, this was pre-warrantless-wiretapping, pre-Guantánamo, pre-Snowden, and pre-Obama-assassinating-American-citizens-with-drones, sans trial. Rather, the context for the cartoon was a new NSA gadget called the “Clipper chip” that would have made it easier for government officials to listen in on phone conversations, provided they had the legal authority to do so. (The technology was never widely adopted, and the NSA soon abandoned it.) 

Now? Not so hysterical. But hey, at least the third panel isn’t strictly accurate, yet.

The funny thing is that you could never print this cartoon today—not because it’s too subversive, but because it’s too obvious. It no longer reads as satire.

And is it just me, or does the cop in the final panel look a little like a certain commander-in-chief?

You can view the full-size image, along with Tomorrow’s more recent cartoons, on his website, thismodernworld.com.

 

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