June 18, 2019

McCain, Bolton and the NeoCons are on the wrong side of history

TAMPA, January 31, 2013 — Republicans behind John McCain and the neoconservatives have picked the wrong fight. With the Democrats in the ascendancy and feeling confident enough to attack the Second Amendment for the first time in almost two decades, the Republicans need to pick some battles they can win if they want to survive the decade as a relevant political party.

Gun ownership would be a good one if their record on defending this right were better. Opposing Chuck Hagel’s confirmation as Secretary of Defense is not.

Senator and 2008 Republican Presidential Nominee John McCain made news today saying that Hagel was “on the wrong side of history” in opposing the troop surge in Iraq.

How ironic.

The troop surge during the Iraq War may or may not have achieved a temporary tactical objective, depending upon who you ask. It really doesn’t matter, because history will judge not only the Iraq War but the entire, neoconservative Project for the New American Century (PNAC) as an utter failure.

The U.S. government’s invasion of Iraq removed a secular dictator who presided over a relatively modern, stable Middle Eastern nation and replaced it with utter chaos, out of which emerged an Islamic state with strong ties to the supposedly most dangerous American enemy in the region, Iran.

Apparently incapable of learning from even the most recent history, the U.S. government has achieved similar results supporting various Middle Eastern revolutions collectively known as “the Arab Spring.”

It is also about to achieve Viet Nam-like results in Afghanistan, where a Taliban return to power is likely when the U.S. government finally declares “victory” and triumphantly cuts its losses and gets out.

The whole, multi-decade adventure in the Middle East will have squandered trillions, cost millions of lives on all sides, and not only achieved nothing, but actually made the landscape in the Middle East much worse. If Islamic fundamentalism truly is a threat to the Western world, then PNAC has increased that threat by orders of magnitude.

History will judge PNAC and the neoconservatives harshly. The American public is already there. Americans are finally beginning to question the wisdom of trying to remake the rest of the world through military intervention. They are beginning to ask the crucial questions. What is the cause and effect relationship between invading Middle Eastern backwaters and my relative freedom or security? If we had not invaded Iraq, exactly how and why would I be less free?

Read the rest of the article at Communities@ Washington Times…

The real question about Benghazi: Was Chris Stevens a CIA agent?

TAMPA, November 25, 2012 ― The media can’t get enough of the “investigation” into what the Obama administration knew about what was happening in Benghazi and when they knew it. Obama survived the initial furor and got reelected, but the controversy rages on.

What is the real question here? Judging from media coverage and the Congressional investigation, we might assume that the only matter to be resolved is whether the Obama administration knew that a coordinated terrorist attack was underway, rather than a spontaneous demonstration against an anti-Muslim film. According to this narrative, Obama could have been more proactive in responding to the attack and sent in military assistance to try to save Stevens and his associates.

None of this would seem to be the stuff of a major scandal. The Obama administration may or may not have handled the situation properly. If they didn’t and tried to cover up their incompetence, it would hardly be a new Watergate. The intensity of the controversy doesn’t jibe with its supposed cause.

Or is there another reason for a cover-up by the White House? Was Chris Stevens a CIA agent?

Read the rest of the article…

As far back as October 25, Fox News’ Andrew Napolitano asked this question and he was not alone. He cited his colleague Justin Fishel’s report on the same subject. According to Fishel:

“In reality, CIA agents and other intelligence officials were operating out of Benghazi conducting delicate missions, including the search for over 20,000 deadly shoulder-fired missiles previously owned by Muammar Qaddafi’s Libyan forces … Both the CIA outpost and the consulate were attacked on Sept. 11. Two of the men killed, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, were hit by indirect fire while defending the intelligence post, not the consulate.”

If the September 11 attack targeted a CIA base actively conducting covert operations within Libya, it renders the whole question of whether the attack was a reaction to the infamous video or a coordinated terrorist attack moot. Under those circumstances, it would be neither. It might more accurately be described as a “counterinsurgency operation” carried out by forces opposed to the new U.S.-installed Libyan government. Perhaps they were aligned with the ousted Qaddafi government. Perhaps they were al Qaeda who were happy to accept U.S. assistance in getting rid of Qaddafi and are now happy to turn on the U.S. That would be a familiar story.

Regardless, Stevens’ death might have been collateral damage in an attack against a known (in Libya) CIA covert operation. Or Stevens might have been a CIA operative himself who was not only participating in the post-revolution operations in 2012 but had actively participated in the overthrow of the Qaddafi regime. According to Napolitano, this theory might fit the facts better than any offered so far.

“Now we can connect some dots. If Stevens was a CIA agent, he was in violation of international law by acting as the U.S. ambassador. And if he and his colleagues were intelligence officials, they are not typically protected by Marines, because they ought to have been able to take care of themselves.”

If Stevens was a CIA agent actively involved in covert operations, it would be a major international scandal. It would call into question not only the Obama administration, but all of the U.S. government’s activities during its decade-long “war on terror.”

So why have neither the media nor the Congressional committee even asked the question?

Fishel confirms that the House oversight committee investigating the incident has been instructed not to investigate certain aspects of the Benghazi operation.

That means that no one is even trying to get at the truth. The Congressional investigation and the media frenzy amount to little more than a distraction for the American public, which seems to have taken the bait hook, line and sinker. They join the two major parties in fiercely debating a non-issue while ignoring the crucial questions asked by a few actual journalists.

Was Chris Stevens a CIA agent? Was the attack on Benghazi a terrorist attack or a counterattack against a covert military operation? Are there other U.S. diplomats actively participating in covert operations while posing as ambassadors of peace to foreign governments? Has the U.S. government become as immoral as the terrorists it purports to be fighting? What else do we not know about its international activities?

The silence is deafening.