Archive | September 2012

U.S. drone strikes continue to pound Pakistan & Yemen

White House sanctioned drone strikes in the Middle East continued this week with two separate attacks in Yemen and Pakistan. While world leaders meet this week at the United Nations to discuss the betterment of international foreign relations, President Obama deftly authorized the killing of suspected terrorists from his notorious “kill list.”

The covert assassination program has slowly garnered attention from a few dedicated journalists (this writer included), leading anti-war politicians as well as the ACLU. Leading the way is the British news agency’s Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which has compiled all the known U.S. drone strike statistics, including terrorist and civilian causalities.

According to the Institute of Journalism, the latest drone strike killed 5-8 people and injured at least two others. “The evening strikes on a house south of Mir Ali in Pakistan’s tribal areas. A single CIA drone reportedly fired two missiles at a mud compound, said to be ‘known as a bastion of the Taliban and al Qaeda. The strike killed Abu Kasha al-Iraqi, a high-ranking al Qaeda planner and facilitator.” The report also stated another al Qaeda operative may have been killed, but the missiles burned the structure and bodies leaving the positive identification impossible. Tribal leaders in the area said they saw four drones flying shortly before the attack and indicated the other victims were most likely foreigners.

The second U.S. drone strike in Yemen killed two suspected al Qaeda militants according to China’s Xinhua International news.

While the local Yemeni news website implicated the U.S. and said, “The strike was carried out by a U.S. drone.” If the reports were true, this would be the first strike after the U.S. consulate was attacked in Libya on 9/11 and set in motion a series of violent protests throughout the region.

Few U.S. politicos challenge the assassination program

Recently, staunch war-critic, Ralph Nader, a Democratic gadfly, told Politico.com how he really felt about the Obama Administration’s covert ‘war on terror.’ “He’s (Obama) gone beyond George W. Bush in (conducting) drone attacks. For example, he thinks the world is his plate, that national sovereignties mean nothing, and drones can go anywhere. They can kill anybody that he suspects and every Tuesday he makes the call on who lives and who dies.” Nader also pointed out that the President is launching drone strikes in places like Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia, and that these overt attacks should be considered “war crimes” and he (Obama) ought to be held to account.”

“I don’t know whether George W. Bush ever read the Constitution,” Nader pontificated, but “This man taught the Constitution and this is what we got.” The feisty leftwing politician didn’t pull any punches when he expressed his disapproval for the new remote control war. Nader said in his opinion that Obama is “the more effective evil because he brings credibility, he brings the democratic heritage to it, he has legitimized the lawless war-mongering and militarism abroad of George W. Bush.”

Perhaps more importantly, Americans of all stripes should be asking how a name lands on the kill list and what justifies adding U.S. citizens to a terrorist assassination list? What is the QUALIFYING criteria and is due process and equal protection being followed at the highest levels of the US government?

It is no secret that President Obama has placed American’s on the kill list and has no moral quandary with killing suspected terrorists’ who happen to be American or under-aged relatives (previous article here).

ACLU to the rescue – hopefully?

The recent spat of CIA drone strikes haven’t escaped the attention of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). In 2010, the civil liberties group represented family members of Anwar al-Awlaki, and his minor son, both U.S. citizens targeted and killed in Yemen.

Leading world news organizations, as well as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), have estimated the U.S. drone program has killed more than 4,000 people including a large number of civilian women and children since President Obama’s election.

Not helping matters any is the White House bragging about “Terror Tuesdays” and the delight President Obama takes when he orders the death of an alleged al Qaeda operative, even if it’s an American citizen. The Constitutional scholar, Nobel Peace Laureate, and purveyor of “fairness” have become the sole judge, jury, and executioner. No Miranda rights, no judge and no jury –the presumption of innocence have effectively been tossed in the wastebasket of yesteryear under the guise of national security.

“Something that is being debated in UN hallways and committee rooms cannot apparently be talked about in U.S. courtrooms, according to the government,” said Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU’s national security project. “Whether the CIA is involved in targeted lethal operation is now classified. It’s an absurd fiction.”

This policy doesn’t bode well with Pakistan’s ambassador to the UN, Zamir Akram, who called for international legal intervention to cease the “totally counterproductive attacks” by the U.S.

A new Pew Research Center poll confirms how counterproductive the drone strikes really are, 74 percent of Pakistanis think America is the enemy, a sentiment that has increased the last few years from 69 and 64 percent respectively. This shocking poll reverberates throughout the Middle East region as American’s watching the wall-to-wall anti-American protests the last few weeks.

Christof Heyns, a UN expert in targeted killings and arbitrary executions, said U.S. drone strikes are dangerously close to “war crimes,” something of which former President George W. Bush was accused and something that now hinders his foreign travel.

Heyns addressed the UN conference and explained the pros and cons of unmanned vehicles: “(Countries) may find targeted killings immensely attractive. Others may do so in (the) future … Current targeting practices weaken the rule of law. Killings may be lawful in an armed conflict [such as Afghanistan] but many targeted killings take place far from areas where it’s recognized as being an armed conflict.”

He further derided the use of unmanned vehicle attacks outside the war theater as unacceptable. “It’s difficult to see how any killings carried out in 2012 can be justified as in response to (9/11 attacks) in 2001. Some states seem to want to invent new laws to justify new practices.” To date there are no specific international protocols governing the use of drones, armed or otherwise, in missions crossing international boundary.

Last week, three judges in the DC Court of Appeals heard a case brought by the ACLU seeking transparency from the CIA’s deadly drone program. However reporters in the courtroom said, the judges didn’t seem swayed by the ACLU’s argument that under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) citizens were entitled to details regarding the CIA’s highly classified assassination program. While a decision has yet to be issued, according to a New American story, the ACLU’s request will be denied under “national security” purview.

The ACLU brief asked “In response to a question about drone strikes at a public forum in 2009, then-Director Panetta called such strikes ‘the only game in town in terms of confronting and trying to disrupt the al-Qaeda leadership.’ (The statement is even published on the CIA’s own website.) More recently, Panetta revealed to 60 Minutes that, as CIA director, he made recommendations to the president regarding the lethal targeting of U.S. citizens. President Obama has also repeatedly discussed the drone program, including by taking credit for the drone strike that killed U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen last year.”

Pro Publica adds: “The ACLU collected nearly two hundred on- and off-the-record statements made to the media by current and former U.S. officials about the CIA’s use of drones for targeted killing. The statements cover most of Obama’s first term in office. Taken together, they show the extent to which the government keeps disclosures about the CIA’s drone war mostly on its own terms.”

Iran reverse engineers U.S. drone technology

At this week’s United Nations meeting, Iran’s notorious President Mohmoud Ahmadinejad lectured the West about their evil ways, reiterated his wish to annihilate Israel and spoke of a new world order.

Ahmadinejad has previously criticized the U.S. and UN unilateral approach to Iranian submission to IAEA inspections but no such demand or sanctions have been levied against Israel for compliance with the same criteria. According to the Jerusalem Post, “The Israelis did not join the NPT and they do not recognize the IAEA. They are doing what they want; producing atomic bombs, and no one questions it. But countries that observe its regulations face a lot of pressure.”

Ahmadinejad attributed the “current world order, founded on materialism, that aims to monopolize power, wealth, science and technology for a limited group. There is no doubt that the world is in need of a new order and fresh thinking.”

Meanwhile the militant Iranians are ebbing closer to a nuclear weapon and just unveiled its first long-range drone, Shahed 129. The reconnaissance drone seen on state television is reported to travel 1,240 miles and is capable of carrying bombs or missiles.

The technological advance from Iran came at the expense of an American drone that miraculously fell from the sky over the Islamic country in December of last year. The RQ-170 Sentinel, the CIA’s most revered drone has the ability to evade radar detection and can collect imagery and electronic data from high in the sky.

The downed drone is even more perilous for the U.S., as Iran most likely shared the high-tech drone with the Russian and Chinese who will simply reverse engineer the unmanned vehicle to gain an edge in the race to sole superpower.

Conclusion

Since the “war on terror” has yet to be thoroughly defined, the Senate has yet to exercise its Constitutional duty to approve expanded wars against unnamed countries, then isn’t it reasonable to question, “kill lists?” As America was founded under the “rule of law” and as such citizens are guaranteed their 4th (unlawful arrest), 5th (due process), 6th (right to counsel) and 8th (cruel and unusual punishment) Amendment rights these questions deserve explanations.

Surely Aristotle wasn’t wrong when he famously said, “The Law is reason free from passion.” Taking the emotion from this secretive CIA drone program should be cause for concern. Just as America lacks a real “war on terror” strategy, employing a “kill list” that falls under the exclusive discretion of the president screams for regulation and oversight. Questions like; what’s the criteria for being on the list; what’s this program do to our world standing; why is the CIA held unaccountable for Abu Graib atrocities that sent US soldiers to Ft. Leavenworth; and, what are the parameters of defining imminent danger? Aristotle had an answer… “All virtue is summed up in dealing justly.”

For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/guns-fuel-drug-cartels-mexico

© Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

San Diego Border Patrol snags $300k in cocaine and meth

Border Patrol agents working at the Pine Valley checkpoint east of San Diego intercepted two smuggling attempts that resulted in the seizure of nearly $300,000 of cocaine and methamphetamine.

Yesterday, Border Patrol agents encountered a 25-year-old female United States citizen driving a Ford F-250 pickup. During the cursory inspection, agents became suspicious of the woman’s nervous demeanor and immediately sent her to the secondary inspection area. A Border Patrol K-9 performed an inspection of the vehicle that resulted in a positive alert for drugs in the truck’s rear tires. After a thorough search, agents discovered non-factory compartments within the rear brake drums containing a total of eight bundles of methamphetamine. The narcotics weighed 8.71 pounds and had an estimated street value of $174,200, according to a Border Patrol statement.

At a separate incident over the weekend, Border Patrol agents stopped a 31-year-old male U.S. citizen driving a Chevrolet C-1500. Again, agents noticed a nervous driver and passenger and referred both to the secondary inspection area. “A Border Patrol K-9 performed a cursory inspection of the vehicle resulting in an alert,” according to a statement. “Agents subsequently discovered one bundle of cocaine within the engine manifold. The narcotics weighed 10.85 pounds and had an estimated street value of $119, 350.”

All three suspected drug smugglers as well as the narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for further investigation. Border Patrol seized both vehicles.

Border Patrol agents encourage anyone to report suspicious activities in an effort to prevent the illicit smuggling of humans, drugs, and other contraband by calling San Diego Sector Border Patrol at (619) 498-9900.

For more stories: http://www.examiner.com/homeland-security-in-national/kimberly-dvorak

© Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Egyptian leaders advise America to adopt strict blasphemy laws

Two weeks ago the Middle East and northern Africa was set ablaze by Islamic extremists. The supposed cause was a substandard 14-minute YouTube video mocking the Muslim religion, and today the White House is standing by its story that the slapstick portrayal of the Prophet Mohammed is responsible for the recent deadly protests.

The mixed messaging from President Obama regarding the Middle East mayhem has empowered Muslim leaders who are now demanding that America change its Constitution and adopts strict blasphemy laws.

Longtime Muslim Brotherhood member and now Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s Prime Minister Hisham Qandil told Egypt’s main newspaper, Al Ahram on September 15 that he expected the U.S. to change the law. America should “take the necessary measures to ensure insulting billions of people – one and a half billion people – and their beliefs does not happen, and people pay for what they do, and at the same time make sure that the reflections of the true Egyptian and Muslims is well [represented] in Western media.”

The outspoken leader also warned U.S. leaders that violence would continue if changes were not made.

Taking the Islamist talking points one step further was Egyptian President Morsi. He insisted that America restrict free speech when it comes to the Muslim faith. He also demanded Mr. Obama support the anti-Israel governments in Gaza as well as the West Bank. The Egyptian leader also said the U.S. must provide more financial aid so his country can purchase food and fuel. (The U.S. has already given Egypt $1.5 billion in additional foreign aid this year)

Today at the United Nations, President Obama attempted to rebuff the free speech argument and said, “what we saw play out the last two weeks, was a crude and disgusting video (that) sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world. I have made it clear that the United States government had nothing to do with this video, and I believe its message must be rejected by all who respect our common humanity. It is an insult not only to Muslims, but to America as well–for as the city outside these walls makes clear, we are a country that has welcomed people of every race and religion. We are home to Muslims who worship across our country. We not only respect the freedom of religion–we have laws that protect individuals from being harmed because of how they look or what they believe. We understand why people take offense to this video because millions of our citizens are among them.”

“I know there are some who ask why we don’t just ban such a video,” said Obama. “The answer is enshrined in our laws: our Constitution protects the right to practice free speech.”

The President went on to condemn the onslaught of violent protests and sternly told the UN general assembly that no form of blasphemous material ever warrants actions the Middle East experienced. No video excuses killing, attacking embassies or destroying private property, Obama said. Curiously, he never used the word terrorism in his 40-minute UN speech.

Last week President Obama took the apology tour to whole new level and used $70,000 of taxpayers’ dollars to advertise on Pakistani TV. The commercial featured Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama condemning the YouTube video.

Many Middle East experts admit that apologies symbolize weakness in the Muslim world and explain that the U.S. government must rule through strength.

Steve Emerson, of The Investigative Project on Terrorism, cautioned Americans against underestimating the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

“The reality is that this new regime is a totalitarian regime. It’s friendly with Iran. It’s friendly with Hamas. Its grievances are based on the fact that we support Israel. It’s not that we support Israel it’s the fact that Israel exists. This is an enemy regime and the fact is that 48 percent of the Egyptian people voted against it and if we don’t stand up against it and try to destabilize it, honestly, the way we should have destabilized the Ayatollah Khomeini when he was first elected we are going to see the new rise of the Muslim Brotherhood block take over the Middle East.”

In a recent World Net Daily radio interview, U.S. Army Lieutenant General (Ret.) William “Jerry” Boykin said that many people with high security clearances in the U.S. are connected to the Muslim Brotherhood. These individuals “hold important positions in every major federal agency including the Pentagon and the Department of Defense.”

Emerson continued to emphasize the strength verses weakness tactics the Obama Administration should implement. “We should not be crying out that we are sorry as we just did in a commercial in Pakistan for having the first amendment. Suppose I did a film. In Fact I am doing a film, it’s coming out next week. It’s called Jihad in America: The Grand Deception. We’ve been working on it for two years. It’s a two-year documentary about the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States and showing the extensive collaboration between the Obama Administration and the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States. It’s pretty shocking because I think that reveals his philosophy. I think Mr. Obama is not necessarily a Muslim, I don’t believe that, I think he is pro-Islamist and that philosophy is allowing totalitarian views to be imposed around the world and even in our country. It’s very dangerous; it should be confrontational not friendly.”

Without a doubt, the centerpiece of President Obama’s war on terror continues to be his “drone strikes” and “kill lists.” Yet, with the world watching, President Obama blamed the violent protests on a 14-minute YouTube video. Even though, the terrorists’ claiming responsibility for the 9/11 terror attack on the Benghazi consulate, that killed the U.S. ambassador and three others, claimed the assaults were in retaliation for Abu Yahya al-Libi, a known terrorist, who was killed in a drone strike ordered by President Obama.

Instead of admitting the drone strikes may be part of the problem, the Obama Administration continues to undermine the First Amendment by blaming the YouTube video. The administration even tried to have the so-called anti-Muslim video removed from the Internet, but YouTube rightly says the video meets their standards.

Previous story on Middle East violence: http://www.examiner.com/article/meltdown-middle-east-and-obama-s-foreign-policy

Previous story on President Obama’s controversial “kill list” and “drone strike”

For more stories: http://www.examiner.com/homeland-security-in-national/kimberly-dvorak

© Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Father of murdered son urges CA governor to veto TRUST Act

California’s liberal illegal immigration policies are well documented. The latest controversial legislation to reach Governor Jerry Brown’s desk is the TRUST Act, a measure that would prevent jailed illegal aliens from being turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) once they serve their time.

However, one man is taking it upon himself to urge the state’s governor to veto AB1081 or the TRUST Act.

“In 2008, my 17-year-old son Jamiel Shaw Jr., was brutally murdered just a few feet from his front door by an illegal alien,” Jamiel Shaw Sr. said. The impassioned father explained that his son was murdered, execution-style, by a known violent gang member, Pedro Espinoza, who was in the country illegally and was released from county jail 36 hours before he murdered Jamiel Shaw Jr.

“The only thing standing between deportable criminals being turned loose all across California is Governor Brown and his veto pen,” Shaw Senior said. “For the sake of public safety, if not plain common sense, Gov. Brown must veto this irresponsible legislation.”

Supporters of AB1081 claim the law is required in order to build trust within the illegal communities. Shaw Sr. couldn’t disagree more. “Police in California and many other places around the country are not interested in people’s immigration status when they report or witness a crime. Illegal aliens appear on the cover of Time magazine, address a national political convention, and seek admission to the California bar. They are hardly fearful of law enforcement.”

Making Jamiel Jr.’s story even more tragic is the fact that he was weeks away from leaving Los Angeles for college. “He was being recruited by Stanford and other prestigious universities to play football and pursue his college education.” Unfortunately, Jamiel Jr. died because Los Angeles County is considered a sanctuary city that prevents law enforcement from working with ICE.

Tom Ammiano, a Democrat, said he authored AB1081 to reform California’s participation in the “Secure Communities” program. The hot-button immigration law continues to face severe criticism from liberals in large cities who say deportations of illegal immigrants is unfair and primarily targets the Latino community. If signed into law by the governor, the bill will prohibit local law enforcement departments from referring a detainee to ICE officials for deportation unless that person has been convicted of a violent or serious felony.

“The vote (to move forward) recognizes that S-Communities is sabotaging our public safety,” Ammiano said. “The TRUST Act is the solution we need to begin rebuilding the confidence that our local law enforcement worked so hard to build, but that ICE has shattered.”

If the Trust Act garners the signature of the Golden State’s governor, Jerry Brown, local police and Sheriff’s Departments would no longer have permission to work with ICE unless the suspected illegal immigrant has committed a serious felony. This contentious sticking point flies in the face of Police Departments like Escondido Police Department, who not only work directly with ICE, but federal agents have offices located at the Escondido Police Department. “It works,” Escondido Police Chief Jim Maher said.

The city’s successful relationship with ICE has even garnered national recognition.

Nevertheless, liberal California’s overwhelming Democratic legislature is hell bent on an open arms policy when it comes to illegal immigrants looking to call California home. The proposed legislation would create a clear line between local police and ICE by setting “a minimum standard for local governments not to submit to ICE’s requests to detain people for deportation unless the individual has a serious or violent felony conviction. Guard against profiling and wrongful detention of citizens and crime victims and witnesses,” according to the bill. The bill also stipulates that localities that detain individuals with serious convictions that can lead to deportation would have to develop common-sense plans to prevent profiling and wrongful detentions.

The TRUST Act’s sponsor Ammiano said: “California cannot afford to become another Arizona.”

The often-controversial Secure Communities (S-Comm) program was set up under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to partner federal (FBI) and local law enforcement agencies to deport illegal immigrants and protect the country’s borders from criminal or possible terrorists seeking illegal entry into the United States.

The S-Comm program allows police departments to send arrestee fingerprint data to ICE, which in turn uses the information to prioritize deportations. The program successfully deported 400,000 illegal immigrants last year. But that high number comes with passionate disapproval from Latino organizations and Democrat lawmakers in California.

“(Secure Communities) has burdened our local governments and put even victims and witnesses of crime at risk of deportation, making us all less safe,” Ammiano said on his website. “It has even mistakenly trapped U.S. citizens in our local jails for immigration purposes.”

The California State Sheriff’s Association couldn’t disagree more. They said state and local agencies cannot pick and choose which laws to enforce and says S-Comm only focuses on serious felony and repeat offenders.

“Now all of a sudden the sheriff has to make a decision based on this legislation, if it passes, on who [he] is and is not going to keep,” Curtis Hill, legislative representative for the association, told the Los Angeles Times. “So is he following federal law? Or is he applying the California law?”

Sadly, families from across California have lost sons, daughters, mothers and fathers because criminal aliens were released to their community instead of being remanded by ICE. “As someone who has paid the ultimate price, I hope to spare other families the agony of a similar needless tragedy,” Shaw finished. In order to gain more attention Mr. Shaw released a YouTube video explaining his position on AB1081.

Bill AB1081 passed the state Assembly by a 47-26 vote; the Senate passed the legislation on a 21-13 party line vote.

For more stories: http://www.examiner.com/homeland-security-in-national/kimberly-dvorak

© Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

U.S. warned of violent Middle East protests- DHS report reveals

An intelligence report just released confirms the violent Cairo and Libyan protests that claimed the lives of four U.S. diplomats was planned. Intelligence officials from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said the anti-American protests was directly related Egyptian officials seeking the release of the “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel-Rahman, the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

The Egyptian terrorist is currently serving a life sentence in a North Carolina prison. Speculation surrounded a recent White House visit by new Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, a former member of America’s terrorist organization list. During his spring campaign Morsi said, “The Koran is our constitution. The Prophet Muhammad is our leader. Jihad is our path. And death for the sake of Allah is our most lofty aspiration. That is the Muslim Brotherhood’s motto.”

However, President Barack Obama invited the newly elected president to Washington DC in order to discuss continued financial aid and reaffirming America’s long-standing alliance with Egypt.

The usual hubbub about the terrorist turned president’s motives lit up the Internet. The blogosphere predicted the new Egyptian administration would renege on the 1979 Camp David Accords- Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty. So far, the new government has protected America’s favorite Middle East country, Israel.

Conversely, the anti-American uprising last week changed everything. The world watched radical Islamists overrun the U.S. embassy in Cairo, deceptively over a 14-minute amateur video that mocked the Prophet Mohammed. Nearly a week later, U.S. officials admitted that two days before the “spontaneous” uprisings, a protest would commence.

According to documents from DHS, the “call to action” was posted two days before the violent Egyptian protests. The radical Islamists said they would burn the U.S. embassy to the ground with everyone in it if the Blind Sheikh was not released.

Catherine Herridge, of Fox News, broke the story just minutes ago. She revealed that DHS received a communiqué on 9/9/12 stated in part; “The time has come for a strong movement from you, O sons of Egypt, to release the detained sheikh…Let your slogan be: No to the American embassy in Egypt until our detained sheikh is released. Starting now, let the faithful among you form follow-up committees in charge of taking the necessary measures to force America to release the sheikh — even if it requires burning the embassy down with everyone in it.”

The latest intelligence report certainly throws a wrench in the White House’s contention that the deadly protests that spread throughout the Middle East and northern Africa were neither spontaneous nor caused by an anti-Mohammed YouTube video.

Earlier today, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said at the daily press briefing that there have been no “recent” talks about releasing the Blind Sheikh to Egyptian authorities.

But, former Department of Justice prosecutor, Andrew McCarthy, who led the U.S. case against the Blind Sheikh, told The Blaze that a report was circulating in DC political circles seeking the release of the imprisoned sheikh. McCarthy also said, “there are very good reasons as to why it could be true.”

McCarthy, a radical Islamist expert, explained that Egypt’s new president has called for the release of the Blind Sheikh. “I think the plan has been to agree to the Blind Sheikh’s release but not to announce it or have it become public until after the (U.S.) election. That is consistent with Obama’s pattern of trying to mollify Islamists,” he said.

It hasn’t been a secret that the Egyptian government has repeatedly asked the U.S. to release the Blind Sheikh for humanitarian and health reasons.

Nevertheless, this could spell trouble for the Obama administration as the mainstream media spun the president’s anti-Muslim video theory, clearly a falsehood now.

Critics insist that the handling of this crisis is consistent with the White House pattern of leading through appeasement.

“Obviously, they did not want this information to surface yet… but sometimes a situation can spin out of control,” McCarthy finished.

Previous story: http://www.examiner.com/article/meltdown-middle-east-and-obama-s-foreign-policy

For more stories: http://www.examiner.com/homeland-security-in-national/kimberly-dvorak

© Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Meltdown in Middle East and Obama’s foreign policy

President Obama’s coveted Middle East foreign policy is unraveling faster than a badly knitted sweater. After a week of bashing presidential GOP contender, Mitt Romney, the U.S. media is slowly refocusing their attention to the real story—America was warned about possible 9/11 attacks in Libya that left four diplomats dead.

The White House is asking American’s to believe that the chaos in Egypt and Libya stemmed from slapstick, poorly made, 14-minute YouTube video trailer mocking the Prophet Mohammed. The so-called spontaneous attacks that sparked anti-American protests weren’t anti-American or anti-U.S. policy at all, claimed Jay Carney, White House Press Secretary. He also said the video was a misguided attempt by an individual to provoke hate in the Muslim world.

“We need to understand this is a fairly volatile situation and it’s not in response to United States policy, not to obviously the administration, not to the American people. It is in response to a video. A film. We have judged to be reprehensible that in no way that has any violent reaction to it. But this is not a case of protests directed at the United States at large or U.S. policy. This is in response to a video that is offensive,” a White House statement read.

However for that statement to be plausible, American’s would have to believe that run of the mill protesters carry rocket propelled grenade launchers, can launch mortar attacks in seconds and keep military-grade arsenal handy, just in case an anti-American protest arises.

Susan Rice, UN Ambassador for the U.S., confirmed President Obama’s position on the Sunday talk shows that the Libyan violence coincided with the Cairo anti-American protests.

However, intel on the ground points to a well-planned four-hour attack. An unnamed militant group launched a well-coordinated assault on the Benghazi consulate as well as a nearby safe house in retaliation for Abu Yahya al-Libi, a known terrorist, who was killed in a drone strike ordered by President Obama.

Confirmation comes from Libyan Interim President, Mohammed el-Megarif, who told CBS’ “Face the Nation” that the Libyan assault was preplanned and predetermined to coincide with the anniversary of 9/11.

This puts emphasis on President Obama’s controversial “kill list” and “drone strike” policies that provokes radical Islamists in the Muslim world.

Another report from CNN stated that the security conditions in Benghazi were quickly deteriorating. A senior official from the February 17th Brigade said they warned U.S. diplomats about impending violence three days before the U.S. consulate came under fire. “The situation is frightening, it scares us,” the Libyan official said. The British government heeded Libya’s warning and closed their consulate after UK Ambassador, Dominic Asquith and his bodyguard escaped serious injury when rebels ambushed their convoy.

Unfortunately, Ambassador Christopher Stevens disregarded the warning and traveled to Benghazi consulate.

British news agencies have been reporting for months that American drone strikes and kill lists do not sit well with Europe and the Middle East.

Instead of admitting the drone strikes may be part of the problem, the U.S. government continues to undermine the First Amendment by blaming the YouTube video. The administration even tried to have the so-called anti-Muslim video removed, but YouTube rightly says the video meets YouTube standards.

Once the target of a fatwa himself, Salman Rushdie, told the Telegraph, a British newspaper that free speech must be protected from “religious extremist of all stripes” and condemned those who did not stand up to free speech.

Adding to the failed Obama story line is a statement that Breitbart media uncovered when candidate Obama was campaigning in 2007; “Well, I truly believe that the day I’m inaugurated, not only does the country look at itself differently, but the world looks at America differently. If I’m reaching out to the Muslim world, they understand that I’ve lived in a Muslim country, and I may be a Christian, but I also understand their point of view.”

It’s also true that Obama thought the Muslim world would flock to him simply because he spent time in Indonesia, as a child. Nevertheless, the “hope and change” prognosticator still hasn’t convinced Islamic radicals to put down their weapons and hate.

Obama’s soft approach on diplomacy certainly didn’t save Christopher Stevens, US ambassador, Sean Smith, information officer, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, in Libya. In fact, the opposite is true. A Pew Research Center poll out today shows the president losing ground with the Middle East. In 2009, Jordan had a 74 percent unfavorable view of America—today it’s 86 percent; in 2009, Pakistan had a 68 percent unfavorable view of America – today it’s 80 percent and finally in 2009, Egypt’s unfavorable view of America was 70 percent — today it’s 79 percent.

So much for the 2009 Obama Cairo speech promising to change the tides after a decade of war. The lofty speech only verified the president’s naiveté when it comes to peace within Muslim nations … “I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles – principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”

Sadly, those poignant words failed to take hold in Cairo and the 2012 Obama rhetoric is just that, words, without leadership.

For more stories: http://www.examiner.com/homeland-security-in-national/kimberly-dvorak

© Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Mexican official pleaded guilty in corruption case

Mexican Attorney General liaison, Jesus Quinonez-Marquez who worked in the Baja California office pleaded guilty to federal racketeering (RICO) conspiracy today and will serve 97 months behind bars.

United States District Court Judge William Q. Hayes said after completing his custodial sentence, Quinonez-Marquez would be deported to Mexico where he will serve a three-year probation period.

In his plea agreement, Quinonez-Marquez admitted that he dishonestly used his official position as the former Director of International Liaison for the Baja California Attorney General’s Office to further the criminal activities for a cartel controlled by Fernando Sanchez-Arellano (the FSO).

“Specifically, Quinonez-Marquez admitted to using his position as a lawyer at the Attorney General’s Office to provide information to FSO members to avoid apprehension and prosecution for a double homicide which occurred in Tijuana, Mexico, on March 25, 2010, and to conspiring to launder $13 million dollars on behalf of the FSO,” according to US Attorney Laura E. Duffy.

Law enforcement personnel assigned to the task force listened to hours of court-authorized wiretaps and other sophisticated investigative techniques to develop the mountains of evidence that led to the charges in this case.

Duffy said there is only one more defendant awaiting trial. She indicated that Armando Villareal Heredia will likely face justice sometime in 2013.

So far, 39 defendants have been arrested and convicted in this comprehensive case, from this long-term investigation conducted by the multiple agencies with the San Diego Cross Border Violence Task Force (CBVTF). The U.S. government organized CBVTF in an effort to target individuals involved in organized crime activities that affect both the United States and Mexico.

Duffy praised the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) for their extraordinary team effort that lead to the 39 organized crime convictions for Operation Luz Verde.

For more stories: http://www.examiner.com/homeland-security-in-national/kimberly-dvorak

© Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

FBI arrest corrupt CBP border officer at San Diego border

A San Diego CBP officer was arrested while on duty and charged with wire fraud and concealing a person from arrest. The FBI Border Corruption Task Force (BCTF) arrested CBP Officer Thomas Silva, a nine-year veteran at the San Ysidro Port of Entry without incident.

The complaint alleges that in April 2012, Silva knowingly allowed Julio Cesar Landaverde Valdez, a federal fugitive, to enter the United States from Mexico through the San Ysidro Port. Federal agents said Landaverde Valdez, who is the defendant’s brother-in-law, was convicted for illegal alien smuggling in 2006.

Daphne Hearn, Special Agent in Charge of the San Diego FBI Office said, “Silva was arrested pursuant to a federal arrest warrant based upon a complaint filed with the United States District Court, Southern District of California. The complaint charges Silva with wire fraud and concealing a person from arrest.”

The multi-agency task force acted on suspicious behavior by other CBP officers. “The BCTF investigation was initiated in November 2010, after the CBP detected irregularities with Silva’s work. Specifically, the CBP reported that Silva was allowing individuals with imposter immigration documents to pass through the San Ysidro Port of Entry.”

A subsequent investigation by the BCTF revealed that Silva was involved in a variety of criminal activity. Prosecutors also revealed that Silva could face an avalanche of other charges, included drug and human smuggling as well as tax evasion stemming from the government’s thorough two-year investigation.

The complaint also contends that Silva engaged in a plot to “defraud Farmers Insurance Company by filing a false claim concerning the theft of his personal vehicle. Silva was paid $7,329 as a result of this false claim.”

Silva was booked into the Bureau of Prisons (BOP), and yesterday, U.S. Magistrate Judge William V. Gallo, set bond at $50,000. The judge also ordered the bond be backed by Silva’s family home and he will be required to wear an electronic tracking device.

For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/guns-fuel-drug-cartels-mexico

© Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Islamic radicals kill 4 American diplomats in Libya and Egypt

Yesterday Americans peacefully remembered 9/11 with prayers and ceremonies. However, halfway around the world the U.S. Embassy in Egypt and U.S. Consulate in Libya were targeted by hundreds of Islamic radicals that resulted in the murder of U.S. Ambassador for Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, a Foreign Service Information Officer Sean Smith and two other U.S. embassy staffers.

Gruesome photos of Ambassador Steven’s lifeless body being dragged through the streets in Benghazi lit up the Internet, and caused seven other Middle Eastern embassies to heighten security.

The attack yesterday in Libya highlights terrorists continued hatred toward America and the fact the murders occurred on 9/11 demonstrates U.S. policy may not be working as planned. Last year Nobel Peace Prize winner, President Obama, declared war on the Libyan dictator and after a bloody eight-month engagement, the rebels, with the help of U.S. air and ground forces, captured and then murdered their brutal dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

The New York Times reports, “The protesters in Cairo appeared to be a genuinely spontaneous unarmed mob angered by an anti-Islam video produced in the United States. By contrast, it appeared the attackers in Benghazi (Libya) were armed with mortars and rocket-propelled grenades. Intelligence reports are inconclusive at this point, officials said, but indications suggest the possibility that an organized group had either been waiting for an opportunity to exploit like the protests over the video or perhaps even generated the protests as a cover for their attack.”

The mass protests in Cairo also stemmed from a Jewish Israeli-American filmmaker, Sam Bacile (a pseudonym), who produced a movie entitled “Innocence of Muslims,” according to the Wall Street Journal. Apparently the movie depicted a derogatory view of the prophet Muhammad, something Muslim extremists find offensive.

Regardless of the rational used by Islamic extremists the breeching of the U.S. Consulate in Cairo and Libya underscores the lingering hatred for America. It’s worth pointing out that America has spent trillions of dollars in perpetual Middle East Wars, billions in foreign aid and supported unsavory rebels to topple ruthless dictators.

The politically correct statement released by the Cairo embassy did nothing to curtail or pacify the terrorists who later brutally attacked the Libyan embassy and killed four American citizens.

“Obama’s first reaction was to apologize,” said Lt. Col. Army (ret) Ralph Peters. “The Egyptian government knew it was happening. Egypt is getting billions of U.S. aid and they refused to protect the U.S. embassy.”

It was the U.S. embassy apology statement controversy and subsequent murders that dominated news outlet coverage. Ironically, the State Department’s announcement contended the clear acts of terrorism were predicated on the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment freedom of speech.

While many pundits concluded that these attacks were an act of war, Peters disagreed and said they were a war-like act. “We are supposed to defend our Constitution not elevate political correctness. Our military takes an oath to uphold and protect our Constitution.”

Currently the elite Marine group, Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team, (FAST) which responds to these types of terror-related emergencies, was on route to provide security for the U.S. embassy in Libya.

President Obama’s response

This morning President Obama began backtracking of the politically correct statement his Cairo staff released yesterday. In a Rose Garden press conference, the President insisted those responsible would be held accountable.

“I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers. They exemplified America’s commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe, and stand in stark contrast to those who callously took their lives.

I have directed my Administration to provide all necessary resources to support the security of our personnel in Libya, and to increase security at our diplomatic posts around the globe. While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants.

On a personal note, Chris was a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States. Throughout the Libyan revolution, he selflessly served our country and the Libyan people at our mission in Benghazi. As Ambassador in Tripoli, he has supported Libya’s transition to democracy. His legacy will endure wherever human beings reach for liberty and justice. I am profoundly grateful for his service to my Administration, and deeply saddened by this loss.

The brave Americans we lost represent the extraordinary service and sacrifices that our civilians make every day around the globe. As we stand united with their families, let us now redouble our own efforts to carry their work forward,” the President concluded.

A Muslim response

The American Islamic Forum for Democracy responded quickly to the attacks on U.S. embassies.

“The actions of the mob in Libya and the clear interventions of the former regime are nothing short of pure evil and in no way representative of the teachings and practices of the faith of Islam,” Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, a devout Muslim and author of A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot’s Fight to Save His Faith.” We must not blink in the face of this irrational reaction to the mere words of a little known filmmaker.”

Dr. Jasser said that the U.S. embassy in Egypt’s first politically correct apology statement regarding the Islamic extremist attacks was counterproductive and only justified their cause by condemning the free speech of a Jewish moviemaker. This type of terrorist tactic is nothing new. In fact, just like the mistaken Koran burning in Afghanistan, this method is a reliable propaganda tool used by Middle East terrorists.

“We need a bold strategy in this region to foster the liberty minded Muslims in these countries to work against these elements of hate and anti-Americanism. We need to help the people of these countries to go through a reformation and step into modernity and away from these irrational actions,” Jasser finished.

Conclusion

Unfortunately, as American’s wake up on this September 12, the country remains at war. The 11-year battle isn’t about freedom or democracy, but radical Muslim ideology.

It’s up to Islamic protestors to determine the heart and souls of their respective countries. America may choose to play a quiet role behind the scenes, but ultimately the citizens of Middle Eastern nations must take the lead, define their governance doctrines and rebuild their nations.

With the Arab Spring quickly turning into the Arab Winter, does America’s expensive foreign policy justify the end results?

For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/guns-fuel-drug-cartels-mexico

© Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

9/11 “War on Terror” has come with a hefty price

Eleven years ago al Qaeda’s attack struck the hearts of America. The fall of the towers and the stories of heroism from ordinary citizens and first responders inspired a splintered country, to unite behind its new President George W. Bush who turned to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to avenge the brazen terrorist attacks.

Elite military forces descended into the tribal caves in Afghanistan and in the words of former CIA Officer in charge Cofer Black, “We’ll get them…and they’ll have flies walking on their eyeballs.” The no nonsense CIA leader trained 300 army Special Forces, 110 CIA officers and brought Afghanistan to its knees in 10 weeks. The cities and government were toppled, America’s swift and decisive action brought justice and victory to the shiny city on the hill.

Black further explained, “It would have been catastrophic to take our time and send in the conventional military, to do an imitation of the Soviet army getting chewed up in Afghanistan — 10 years, 10,000 killed and 30,000 wounded.” Not to mention they left bankrupt.

Unfortunately, both Presidents Bush and Obama didn’t listen to the man who brought a swift and strong response to the terrorists who murdered 2,996 people on 9/11.

It has been no secret that al-Qaeda expanded its successful (and U.S. supported) Afghanistan tactics against the Russians in its move to punish the U.S. for desecrating Islam’s holiest place, Saudi Arabia. The cave-dwelling extremists successfully launched numerous small attacks against the western world to hamper American’s ability to be at all places, all the time.

From the first New York Trade Center bombing in 1993, to the attack on the USS Cole in 2000 and 9-11 attack (al Qaeda’s timeline), al-Qaeda has sought to entice the Americans to commit military forces in the Middle East where they could be targets for an unconventional war. The major purpose of this escalation was to unite all Muslims against America by exploiting war atrocities in propaganda through the Internet, which was used as a recruiting tool to fight their great war.

So how successful was al Qaeda’s plan? The “War on Terror,” Obama’s kill lists and drone strikes have been recruiting goal mines for al Qaeda. Abu Ghraib, water boarding, rendition, Guantanamo detention facility, drone strikes, to name a few, have all been public relations nightmares for America.

Perhaps more predictably, the U.S. defense industry kicked into high gear to exploit the new “War on Terror.” And the costs have been staggering, over the last decade the Department of Defense (DoD) budget exponentially increased in order to fight the perpetual war. In FY2000 the DoD’s budget was $398.8 billion, it peaked in FY2008 at $718.4 billion and this year the Pentagon raked in $676.2 billion taxpayer dollars. Budget hawks can also visit the “Cost of War” website to monitor the war-debt clock.

To date, the U.S. has increased its national debt from $5.6 trillion in 2000 to more than $16 trillion in 2012. The hidden costs (like life long medical care) of the War on Terror have yet to be realized but conservative estimates are $3-5 trillion according to experts. But ultimately the 6,600 soldier deaths and thousands more wounded can never be replaced.

The constant fear mongering by both political parties has resulted in the adoption of the oppressive Patriot Act. Congress authorized and expanded “security” measures to protect Americans from future terror attacks, but the real consequence has been changing the way we live. This drastic change was al Qaeda’s second objective in their mission statement.

A post 9/11 world has consolidated dozens of agencies into super intelligence gathering machines, that have perfected warrantless searches, instituted eavesdropping programs to monitor phone calls, texts, and emails. Americans also learned last week that the FBI is launching a national billion-dollar face-recognition system throughout the U.S. to track the whereabouts of American citizens.

The focus of the “War on Terror” shifted from addressing the intelligence failures that led to 9/11 to a new “national war” on American citizens. Fueled by fear, the government has “justified” the implementation of the most oppressive national intelligence gathering and detention program in world history. The dictators of Germany and Russia would have been stunned by the enormity of this technological concentration and well-organized attack on the individual freedoms of all Americans.

Was al-Qaeda prescient in adopting its strategic goals as described by John Brennan, DNI (details here), of financially bankrupting the U.S. and changing the way we live by engaging in perpetual war or did they just know us better than we know ourselves?

Or perhaps al Qaeda’s objective of changing the way we live on the world stage can serve as a wake-up call for Americans to reassess the unbridled power of the government when constitutional safeguards are tossed aside and the subjective determinations of bureaucrats are substituted for the Rule of Law.

For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/guns-fuel-drug-cartels-mexico

© Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

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