Obama Plans To Invade Pakistan

Mister Nobel Peace Prize winner is apparently preparing to keep one of his campaign promises and launch “overseas contingency operations” on Pakistani soil.

Options studied for a possible Pakistan strike

The U.S. military is reviewing options for a unilateral strike in Pakistan in the event that a successful attack on American soil is traced to the country’s tribal areas, according to senior military officials.

Ties between the alleged Times Square bomber, Faisal Shahzad, and elements of the Pakistani Taliban have sharpened the Obama administration’s need for retaliatory options, the officials said. They stressed that a U.S. reprisal would be contemplated only under extreme circumstances, such as a catastrophic attack that leaves President Obama convinced that the ongoing campaign of CIA drone strikes is insufficient.

“Planning has been reinvigorated in the wake of Times Square,” one of the officials said.

At the same time, the administration is trying to deepen ties to Pakistan’s intelligence officials in a bid to head off any attack by militant groups. The United States and Pakistan have recently established a joint military intelligence center on the outskirts of the northwestern city of Peshawar, and are in negotiations to set up another one near Quetta, the Pakistani city where the Afghan Taliban is based, according to the U.S. military officials. They and other officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity surrounding U.S. military and intelligence activities in Pakistan.

The “fusion centers” are meant to bolster Pakistani military operations by providing direct access to U.S. intelligence, including real-time video surveillance from drones controlled by the U.S. Special Operations Command, the officials said. But in an acknowledgment of the continuing mistrust between the two governments, the officials added that both sides also see the centers as a way to keep a closer eye on one another, as well as to monitor military operations and intelligence activities in insurgent areas.

Obama said during his campaign for the presidency that he would be willing to order strikes in Pakistan, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in a television interview after the Times Square attempt that “if, heaven forbid, an attack like this that we can trace back to Pakistan were to have been successful, there would be very severe consequences.”

Obama dispatched his national security adviser, James L. Jones, and CIA Director Leon Panetta to Islamabad this month to deliver a similar message to Pakistani officials, including President Asif Ali Zardari and the military chief, Gen. Ashfaq Kiyani.

Jones and Panetta also presented evidence gathered by U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies that Shahzad received significant support from the Pakistani Taliban.

The U.S. options for potential retaliatory action rely mainly on air and missile strikes, but could also employ small teams of U.S. Special Operations troops already positioned along the border with Afghanistan. One of the senior military officials said plans for military strikes in Pakistan have been revised significantly over the past several years, moving away from a “large, punitive response” to more measured plans meant to deliver retaliatory blows against specific militant groups.

See also:
Report: US Preparing for Retaliatory Strike if Terror Attack Traced to Pakistan
US mulls unilateral Pakistan raids
U.S. studies options for possible Pakistan attack: report
US Army reviewing options for ‘unilateral’ strike on Pakistan
US develops plans for unilateral strike on Pakistan
US Preps a Retaliatory Hit on Pakistan
Airstrike on civilians blamed on mistakes…Pakistani Taliban could face retaliation if they strike the US

If you’re willing to put American boots on Pakistani ground in response to an attack on the United States you should also be willing to do the same as part of the war in Afghanistan.

/you can’t beat the Taliban unless you ultimately take the fight to where they live, in their Pakistani sanctuaries

Microsoft Cleans Up After Chinese Hack Of Google, Obama Turns The Other Cheek

Microsoft to release patch for IE hole on Thursday

Microsoft said on Wednesday that it will release on Thursday a patch to fix the latest hole in Internet Explorer that was used in the China-based attack on Google and for which an exploit has been released on the Internet since last week.

The company plans to release the patch as close to 10 a.m. PST on Thursday as possible and host a public Webcast at 1 p.m. PST, according to the security advisory.

Microsoft continues to see limited attacks and has only seen evidence of successful attacks against Internet Explorer 6, according to Jerry Bryant, senior security program manager at Microsoft.

“This is a standard cumulative update, accelerated from our regularly scheduled February release, for Internet Explorer with an aggregate severity rating of Critical,” he said in a statement.

“It addresses the vulnerability related to recent attacks against Google and a small subset of corporations, as well as several other vulnerabilities. Once applied, customers are protected against the known attacks that have been widely publicized,” Bryant said. “We recommend that customers install the update as soon as it is available. For customers using automatic updates, this update will automatically be applied once it is released.”

Vulnerable software is IE 6 on Microsoft Windows 2000 and IE 6, 7, and 8 on supported editions of Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft said.

So, while China continues its relentless, covert cyberwar against U.S. and other Western commercial, government, and military targets, stealing information and secrets and causing economic and national security damage to our computer networks, guess what the Obama administration has decided to do, against the advice of U.S. intelligence officials and experts?

China removed as top priority for spies

The White House National Security Council recently directed U.S. spy agencies to lower the priority placed on intelligence collection for China, amid opposition to the policy change from senior intelligence leaders who feared it would hamper efforts to obtain secrets about Beijing’s military and its cyber-attacks.

The downgrading of intelligence gathering on China was challenged by Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair and CIA Director Leon E. Panetta after it was first proposed in interagency memorandums in October, current and former intelligence officials said.

The decision downgrades China from “Priority 1” status, alongside Iran and North Korea, to “Priority 2,” which covers specific events such as the humanitarian crisis after the Haitian earthquake or tensions between India and Pakistan.

The National Security Council staff, in response, pressed ahead with the change and sought to assure Mr. Blair and other intelligence chiefs that the change would not affect the allocation of resources for spying on China or the urgency of focusing on Chinese spying targets, the officials told The Washington Times.

White House National Security Council officials declined to comment on the intelligence issue. Mike Birmingham, a spokesman for Mr. Blair, declined to comment. A CIA spokesman also declined to comment.

But administration officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the new policy is part of the Obama administration’s larger effort to develop a more cooperative relationship with Beijing.

See also:
Microsoft Security Bulletin Advance Notification for January 2010
New IE hole exploited in attacks on U.S. firms
Microsoft Scrambles to Patch Browser
Microsoft patching “Google hack” flaw in IE tomorrow
Microsoft Security Bulletin MS10-002 Coming Thursday for IE Zero-Day
Microsoft to issue “Google attack” browser patch
Microsoft to issue emergency IE patch Thursday
Microsoft will issue emergency IE patch on Thursday
China removed as top priority for spies
China no longer top priority for intelligence gathering: White House
‘China no longer top priority for intelligence gathering’
China: Still an Intelligence Priority

Relax, don’t worry, the country is in the very best of hands.

/Obama’s NSC, more than a dozen morons stuffed in a four passenger clown car

When Seven Former CIA Directors Tell You You’re Drunk, You’d Better Lie Down

Ex-CIA Chiefs Decry Holder Interrogator Probe in Letter to Obama

Seven former directors of the Central Intelligence Agency on Friday urged President Obama to reverse Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision to hold a criminal investigation of CIA interrogators who used enhanced techniques on detainees.

The directors, whose tenures span back as far as 35 years, wrote a letter to the president saying the cases have already been investigated by the CIA and career prosecutors, and to reconsider those decisions makes it difficult for agents to believe they can safely follow legal guidance.

“Attorney General Holder’s decision to re-open the criminal investigation creates an atmosphere of continuous jeopardy for those whose cases the Department of Justice had previously declined to prosecute,” they wrote.

“Those men and women who undertake difficult intelligence assignments in the aftermath of an attack such as September 11 must believe there is permanence in the legal rules that govern their actions,” the seven added.

The letter was signed by former directors Michael Hayden, Porter Goss, George Tenet, John Deutch, R. James Woolsey, William Webster and James R. Schlesinger.

. . .

in their letter to Obama, the directors wrote that not only is there a significant personal burden put on agents forced to defend themselves, “but this approach will seriously damage the willingness of many other intelligence officers to take risks to protect the country.”

They added that the president has the authority to decide which legal recommendations to permit for interrogation methods, but at no time is public disclosure helpful for intelligence officers trying to protect the U.S. from further attacks.

The directors also warned that if the investigations are opened up, they fear that the assistance given to the United States by foreign intelligence agencies may jeopardize future cooperation.

“Foreign services are already greatly concerned about the United States’ inability to maintain any secrets. They rightly fear that, through these additional investigations and the court proceedings that could follow, terrorists may learn how other countries came to our assistance in a time of peril,” they wrote. “As a result of the zeal on the part of some to uncover every action taken in the post-9/11 period, many countries may decide that they can no longer safely share intelligence or cooperate with us on future counter-terrorist operations.

See also:
Text of Letter (PDF)
Ex-CIA chiefs seek halt to interrogations probe
Former CIA Chiefs Ask Obama to Stop CIA Probe
Former C.I.A. Chiefs Protest Justice Inquiry of Interrogation Methods
Ex-CIA chiefs urge Obama to drop abuse investigation
CIA chiefs: Obama’s partisan witch hunt will compromise national defense
Former CIA chiefs promote a cover-up
Holder Declares War On The CIA

Let’s recap, these imnterrogations were already thoroughly investigated years ago by carreer prosecutors. Reopening these investigations will demoralize CIA employees, devestate morale at the agency, and compromise national security. Foreign intelligence agencies will be hesitant to cooperate with the CIA for fear any resulting U.S. legal proceedings will reveal their sources and methods.

/in light of this letter from 35 years worth of CIA directors that was delivered today, it should be a no-brainer for Obama to do the right thing and end Holder’s investigaton, but seeing as how we’ve gotten to this point in the first place, I have my serious doubts that the welfare of the United States will be Obama’s first priority