The Muslim Brotherhood Goes To Washington

Less than two years ago, the Muslim Brotherhood was banned in Egypt and now, after Obama affirmatively shoved Mubarak under the bus, they’re in control of Egypt, making the rounds in Washington D.C. on a diplomatic charm offensive. And we’re obligated by treaty to give them the time of day, not to mention billions of dollars. WTF happened here and where’s the outcry of international sanity?

Muslim Brotherhood officials aim to promote moderate image in Washington visit

Members of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood began a week-long charm offensive in Washington on Tuesday, meeting with White House officials, policy experts and others to counter persistent fears about the group’s emergence as the country’s most powerful political force.

The revolution that ousted Hosni Mubarak has rapidly transformed the Brotherhood from an opposition group that had been formally banned into a political juggernaut controlling nearly half the seats in Egypt’s newly elected parliament.

With its rise, however, have come concerns from Egypt’s secularists as well as U.S. officials that the Islamist group could remake the country, threatening the rights of women and religious minorities. Such fears were only exacerbated by the Brotherhood’s recent decision to field a candidate in upcoming presidential elections, despite previous pledges that it would not do so.

See also:
The Muslim Brotherhood courts Washington
The Muslim Brotherhood comes to Washington
Muslim Brotherhood seeks U.S. alliance as it ascends in Egypt
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood seeks ‘bridges of understanding’ with Washington
Egypt’s Brotherhood launches U.S. diplomatic push
Muslim Brotherhood envoys met with White House officials in DC
White House meets with Muslim Brotherhood in effort to engage Egypt’s political actors
White House downplays meeting with Muslim Brotherhood
White House Defends Meetings with Muslim Brotherhood
Muslim Brotherhood Attempts To Charm U.S. Skeptics
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Woos Washington
Muslim Brotherhood US charm offensive belies domestic reality
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Woos Washington
Muslim Brotherhood Delegation Visits D.C.
Muslim Brotherhood Delegation Visits Washington
Delegation from Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Visits Washington

Moderate, charm offensive?

Allah is our objective.
The Prophet is our leader.
Qur’an is our law.
Jihad is our way.
Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.

/if you don’t see the problem here, you don’t know taqiyya like they know taqiyya

Sentinel Down

And yet again, after leaving behind a cutting edge stealth helicopter during the bin Laden raid, the U.S. conducts another, involuntary, state-of-the-art military technology transfer to the enemy.

Iran’s capture of US drone shines light on spy mission, but may reveal little

The Iranian capture of a high-tech, stealth U.S. drone shines a light on the American spying mission there, but probably doesn’t tell Tehran much that it didn’t already know, a senior U.S. official said.

The RQ-170 Sentinel was providing surveillance over Iran and didn’t just accidentally wander away from the Afghanistan border region, as first suggested. The official said Wednesday that the Iranians will no doubt be able to tell where the aircraft flew. A bigger U.S. concern, the official said, was that the Iranians are likely to share or sell whatever they have recovered of the aircraft to the Chinese, Russians or others. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the mission.

Experts and officials acknowledge that there is no self-destruct mechanism on the Sentinels — which are used both by the military and the CIA for classified surveillance and intelligence gathering missions.

. . .

U.S. officials said that while they have enough information to confirm that Iran does have the wreckage, they said they are not sure what the Iranians will be able to glean technologically from what they found. It is unlikely that Iran would be able to recover any surveillance data from the aircraft.

See also:
US admits downed drone spied on Iran
Iran says US spy drone was flying deep inside its airspace when it was downed
Malfunction likely put U.S. drone in Iranian hands
Iran Probably Did Capture a Secret U.S. Drone
U.S. Military Sources: Iran Has Missing U.S. Drone
Drone that crashed in Iran may give away U.S. secrets
China, Russia want to inspect downed U.S. drone
Sentinel unmanned drone lost in Iran among US most valuable warfare assets
Drone belonged to CIA, officials say
Downed drone was on CIA mission
Officials: Drone downed in Iran on CIA mission
Drone Lost in Iran Was Joint CIA-Military Reconnaissance Plane
Iran’s downing of U.S. drone rattles Washington
US ‘concerned’ over drone lost near Iran border
Experts: Iran capture of stealth drone no worry
US considered missions to destroy RQ-170 Sentinel drone lost in Iran
Spy drone may provide little help to Iran
U.S. debated sending commandos into Iran to recover drone
U.S. Made Covert Plan to Retrieve Iran Drone
Iran: The Stealth War Continues
Drone Drama Proves Iran Is Ready to Rumble
Stealth drone highlights tougher U.S. strategy on Iran
U.S. drones have been spying on Iran for years

The good news is that we seem to be paying close attention to what Iran is up to, have been for years, and can penetrate Iranian airspace with near impunity. These past and, hopefully, ongoing intelligence gathering and surveillance activities should help provide a detailed blueprint for when push comes to shove and Iran has to be dealt with militarily, which is sure to eventually become a necessity.

/that said, it’s a total unforced strategic error to just let Iran have this advanced technology drone, to share with or sell to other potential enemies of the United States, would it have killed us, if we didn’t want to risk lives to recover the Sentinel, to at least launch an airstrike package to obliterate the wreckage?

Why Aren’t We Stomping Syria’s Guts Out?

Obama couldn’t wait to bomb Libya using the flimsy excuse of “protecting civilians”. Well, Bashar al-Assad has killed at least as many civilians as Moammar Gadhafi ever did and today Assad backed mobs attacked the U.S. embassy in Damascus, arguably an act of war. Why aren’t we bombing Syria and demanding that Assad leave the country? What’s Obama waiting for, another Iranian hostage situation?

Demonstrators storm U.S. embassy in Damascus

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has lost the legitimacy to rule after pro-government demonstrators stormed the U.S. Embassy in Damascus on Monday in what U.S. officials described as an orchestrated attack.

Regime supporters hurled rocks, smashed windows and tore down the American flag at the embassy, triggering the strongest U.S. condemnation yet of the Syrian government. Clinton suggested that the United States is contemplating the prospect of a post-Assad future in Syria nearly four months into a brutal government crackdown on pro-democracy activists inspired by the revolts in Egypt and Tunisia.

See also:
U.S. accuses Syria of unleashing mob attacks on U.S., French embassies
Syrian protesters attack U.S., French embassies
Syrian protesters attack U.S. Embassy in Damascus
Syrian protesters attack US, French embassies
US Embassy In Syria Attacked
Assad’s Embassy Raid
Deeply disappointed by the attack on American soil?
Clinton condemns US and French embassy attacks in Syria
U.S. Official: Syria’s Failure To Protect U.S. Embassy Is ‘Outrageous’
Assad Has ‘Lost Legitimacy,’ Clinton Says After Embassy Attacked
U.S. says Assad “not indispensable” to Syria

Is this what passes for consistent foreign policy in the Obama administration? The leaders of both Libya and Syria have killed thousands of civilians. Syria is infinitely more of a threat to U.S. national security than Libya is. Yet we’re bombing the [expletive deleted] out of Libya and trying to kill Gadhafi or drive him out of Libya at the same time we’re politely, diplomatically “condemning” Syria and giving Assad a total free pass. WTF?

/if we have a legitimate reason to be doing what we’re doing in Libya, we have even more of a legitimate reason to be doing even more of it in Syria and, by corollary, if we’re going to do nothing concrete about Syria’s brutal crackdown on civilians, we have absolutely no business whatsoever bombing Libya and we should get the hell out immediately, we’ve already done enough human and infrastructure damage there without any tangible results

Obama Plays Hide The Terrorist

Congress specifically prohibited Obama and Holder from moving terrorists from Guantanamo to U.S. soil, so the clown pair thumbed their big red bulb noses at Congress and did an end around, skipped Gitmo, and just flew the terrorist directly to New York, so they can tie up Manhattan traffic and waste millions of taxpayer dollars for extra security on a shaky, at best, pet project civilian trial.

Obama faces criticism from all sides for terrorism suspect’s offshore interrogation, civilian trial

After holding a Somali terrorism suspect for two months on a U.S. warship, the Obama administration secretly flew him to New York for trial in a civilian court, leaving both rights groups and Congress infuriated.

The clandestine imprisonment at sea echoed Bush-era – and widely condemned – efforts to deny detainees constitutional protections while interrogating them offshore. Meanwhile, opting to surreptitiously bring the Somali to a U.S. federal court not far from where New York’s twin towers once stood gives the President a chance to circumvent Congress, which has thwarted efforts to put high-profile al-Qaeda suspects on trial in civilian courts.

Ahmed Warsame, said to be in his mid-20s, is hardly a major figure. He is described as a go-between for Somalia’s militant Al-Shabab group and the shadowy al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, located mainly in Yemen.

According to U.S. officials, he willingly operated with interrogators on board a U.S. warship. Once they were finished with him, after two months, a “clean” team from the FBI read him his rights to keep silent and have a lawyer, but the officials said he waived those rights and kept talking.

See also:
Obama under GOP fire for bringing terror suspect to U.S.
New Terror War Tactic? Alleged Al Qaeda-Linked Operative Secretly Held 2 Months on US Navy Vessel
McConnell Blasts Administration for Handling of Somali Terrorism Suspect
Republican Lawmakers Angry Over Handling of Somali Terrorism Suspect
Rights of Somali suspect may pose issue: U.S. judge
Somali Is Charged With Aiding Al-Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula
First secret terror detainee under Obama was held for two months
Terrorism Case Reignites National Security Debate
Somali Terror Suspect Met With Awlaki in Yemen Before Capture, Official Says
Drift: How This Ship Became a Floating Gitmo
Ahmed Warsame and Law of War Detention

Ahmed Warsame was held for two months and interrogated without a lawyer or being read his Miranda rights and Obama and Holder thinks that’s okay because Warsame was eventually read his rights and then a “clean” FBI interrogation team was brought in for more questioning? How, exactly, is that going to work in Federal, civilian court? Warsame’s court appointed, free defense lawyers are going to have a field day at a picnic. And what about all the extra security that’ll be necessary?

/whatever angle you look at this public spectacle from, it’s going to be a circus at a zoo and you, the taxpayer, are going to pay for every last extra penny of Obama and Holder’s clown show

Proof Of Life

Well, this is certainly good news after four years without the slightest clue as to his whereabouts. That said, he’s not home until he’s home.

Years After Vanishing in Iran, US Man Proven Alive

Four years after a retired FBI agent mysteriously vanished inside Iran, U.S. officials have received irrefutable proof he is alive, a dramatic development that has sharply intensified diplomatic efforts to bring him home, The Associated Press has learned.

The U.S. had lacked reliable information about whether Robert Levinson was alive or dead since he disappeared in March 2007 from the Iranian island of Kish. It remains unclear who exactly is holding Levinson or where he is, but the proof that he is alive is a hopeful sign in a case that had seemingly gone cold.

The State Department issued a three-sentence statement by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton Thursday saying there were indications Levinson was in southwest Asia and asking Iran for help. The AP has learned fuller details after a lengthy investigation into Levinson’s disappearance and the effort to get him back to the U.S.

See also:
US Cites Possible Break in Levinson Case
Retired FBI agent missing in Iran ‘alive’
Robert Levinson, former agent who vanished in Iran, is “alive”
U.S. says it has proof U.S. man who vanished in Iran in 2007 is still alive
U.S. Says Missing Former FBI Agent Is Alive
Clinton asks Iran to help find missing FBI agent
Who is missing American Robert Levinson?
Family of Ex-FBI Agent Missing in Iran Gets Evidence He Is Alive
Missing FBI retiree may be captive in southwest Asia
US believes missing ex-FBI Levinson agent alive
U.S. has signs ex-FBI agent held in southwest Asia
U.S. says vanished agent alive
Family of American missing in Iran asks for prayer
Robert Levinson
Help Bob Levinson

It’s a tough enough situation that Levinson is being held somewhere in southwest Asia, just about the last place on Earth that you’d want to be a prisoner, or that Iran is probably involved in his disappearance and is being asked to help secure his release, but what makes it tougher is that Obama and Hillary are apparently spearheading the effort to get Levinson back. Pardon me, but judging by their foreign policy performance over the last two years, their leadership doesn’t inspire a whole lot of confidence that they can pull off this repatriation without screwing it up. If I were the family, I’d rather be using a professional hostage negotiator to get Levinson back.

/anyway, despite the involvement of the Obama/Clinton foreign policy clown posse, as they say, even a blind squirrel gets a nut every now and then, let’s all hope and pray that Robert Levinson is safely returned to his family soon

Our Friends The Pakistanis

Once again, Pakistan proves that they are far from being a trustworthy ally.

CIA chief in Pakistan flees after suspected ISI exposure

The Islamabad station chief of the Central Intelligence Agency hastily departed from Pakistan on Thursday after his cover was blown through a suspected deliberate leak by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence.

Jonathan Banks was identified as the head of the CIA’s Pakistan office, in a lawsuit filed against the United States’ secretive spy agency by a resident of North Waziristan. The resident, Kareem Khan, was said to have filed the case against the CIA and Mr. Banks for their role in organising drone strikes that killed his son and brother.

The legal case brought by Mr. Khan called for murder charges to be brought against Mr. Banks and the CIA, and also reportedly said they should be executed for their crimes. Mr. Khan’s lawyer was quoted by the Guardian saying he had obtained Mr. Banks’ name from Pakistani journalists.

While Pakistan was quick to deny any involvement in leaking Mr. Banks’ name, U.S. officials were quoted as saying that since he had been identified publicly Mr. Banks “had received a number of death threats,” and they “strongly suspected” that the ISI had a hand in the leak.

See also:
CIA’s Pakistan chief removed
CIA Station Chief, His Cover Blown, Departs Pakistan
Cover Blown: CIA Station Chief in Pakistan Removed From Country
Pakistan Denies Outing US Spy
CIA Withdraws Pakistan Mission Chief
Pakistani spy agency denies it unmasked CIA chief
CIA Pulls Chief Spy From Pakistan
Top U.S. spy pulled from Pakistan after terror threats

Pakistan denies involvement in the leak? Oh, I see, it must have just been a lucky guess that just happened to correctly name the CIA station chief in Islamabad. Seriously, this is the thanks we get for pouring billions of dollars in annual aid down this rat hole? I’ve asked it before and I’ll ask it again, which side is Pakistan really on?

/they’re either with us or against us and, as far as I can tell, Pakistan is against us

Weakest Link In The Chain

Who’s running the show here, Microsoft?

Cyber Command chief suggests Pentagon networks are vulnerable

In his first hearing before the House Armed Services Committee, new US Cyber Command head Gen. Keith Alexander offered a troubling window into the threats that Pentagon networks face at the hands of terrorist and criminal syndicates, foreign intelligence organizations, and “hacktivists” intent on infiltrating power grids and financial networks.

These are threats that could hamper the US war effort in Afghanistan. Though the command recently deployed an “expeditionary cybersupport” unit to help to defend US networks in Afghanistan, Alexander on Thursday told the committee: “We’re not where we need to be” in ensuring the security of US military networks there.

In the past, cyberattackers have been able to steal key information from the US troops who rely on sophisticated equipment, including data on convoy supply routes, according to senior US officials.

Every hour, there are some 250,000 attempted attacks on Defense Department networks worldwide, Alexander told the committee. Throughout the Department of Defense, there are more than 15,000 different computer networks, including 7 million computers on some 4,000 military installations, committee chairman Rep. Ike Skelton (D) of Missouri pointed out.

See also:
Cybercom Chief Details Cyberspace Defense
Pentagon Faces Massive Cyber Threats
Military’s cyber defense limited in protection of US, top general says
Gaps in authority hamper military against cyber-attacks
Pentagon: Military networks vulnerable
Cyber Command chief proposes secure network for government, key industries
US reviewing ways to fight cyber attacks: general
Cyberwar Chief Calls for Secure Computer Network
An army of tech-savvy warriors has been fighting its battles in cyberspace
NSA chief envisions ‘secure zone’ on Internet to guard against attacks
White House reviews nation’s cybersecurity

Well, obviously, for starters, you could solve most of these problems by severing all connections between critical defense and infrastructure networks and the public internet. I’m pretty sure they already know that, so I’m not sure why this basic step has yet to be completed.

/today’s U.S. warfighters are so dependent on electronics that I sometimes wonder what would happen if, say an EMP attack disabled all their electronic gear, are they even trained to fight the old fashioned way anymore or would they be helpless?

Invincible Spirit

Let the games begin.

US, S. Korea Begin Large War Games Off Korean Coast

A large 4-day exercise involving U.S and South Korea forces is under way in the Sea of Japan.

It comes in response to the sinking of a South Korean warship, the Cheonan, four months ago. An international investigation blamed a North Korean torpedo attack for the incident.

The war games off the east coast of the Korean peninsula were called to send a strong message of deterrence to Pyongyang.

The joint military exercise is known as “Invincible Spirit.” And while the forces of the United States and South Korea routinely conduct drills together, this war game is considered unprecedented in scope.

For the first time, the most advanced fighters of the U.S. Air Force are participating. They are the F-22 Raptors. U.S. officials say four of the stealth technology jets are taking part, along with nearly 200 other aircraft.

At sea is the strike group of the USS George Washington. The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is accompanied by three destroyers.

U.S. and South Korean top military officials say the exercises are a significant show of force intended to deter North Korea from further aggression.

See also:
U.S., S. Korea aim to strike the right tone as exercise kicks off
Massive show of U.S.-South Korea military might
U.S., S Korea start military drills amid concerns of neighboring countries
US and South Korea begin military drills in the face of nuclear threat from North Korea
U.S., South Korea launch naval drill to warn North Korea
U.S.-South Korean War Drills Begin
On board USS George Washington in S Korea navy drill
Anti-sub warfare part of S. Korea exercise
US rattles sabre in the Sea of Japan
America’s Spirit Invincible; China’s Still Puzzling
US and South Korea set to confront North with show of naval force
North Korea threatens ‘nuclear war’ over troop exercises
US, S.Korea begin war games

We have a pack of F-22 Raptors roaming freely over the Korean peninsula? Let’s go for it and not waste the tax dollars on an “exercise”.

/remember, we’re still at war with North Korea, today is just as good as any other day to end it, while we’re here, with the gear

Did The CIA Get Punked By Iran?

Something’s seriously wrong with this picture.

Intrigue, But Few Facts, Surround Iranian Scientist

The case of Iranian nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri is what counter-intelligence officers like to call a “wilderness of mirrors.”

Facts are slim.

Depending on which version you read – and there are multiple ones – Amiri was kidnapped by U.S. intelligence agents a year ago while on pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, defected to the United States of his own free will, or simply decided to disappear for a while. The confusion was heightened when three different videos surfaced, all featuring a man who appeared to be Amiri, making different claim: that he had been kidnapped, that he was living freely in Arizona, and that he had escaped from U.S. custody.

The mystery deepened Tuesday when he suddenly appeared at the Iranian Interests Section of the Pakistan Embassy, saying that he wanted to go home. Iranian media say he was “handed over” to the Interests Section by U.S. officials.

For its part, U.S. officials say he was not kidnapped, not held against his will, not tortured, was living here freely, and has freely chosen to return to Iran,

So how did he get here? What was he doing here? Good questions, but ones U.S. officials are not answering.

Some reports say he defected and was giving the U.S. valuable information about Iran’s nuclear program. But some former intelligence officers say he might have been a false defector.

It has happened before.

See also:
Shahram Amiri: Iranian Nuclear Scientist Mystery Deepens [SYNOPSIS]
Pakistan Embassy Denies Harboring AWOL Iran Nuke Scientist
Shahram Amiri: new twist in mystery of nuclear scientist’s disappearance
Missing Iranian scientist surfaces in Washington
‘Abducted’ Iran scientist surfaces in US
Missing Iranian nuclear scientist turns up in Washington
Who wins propaganda war over Iran scientist?
Amiri’s abduction fresh scandal for US
Scientist Seeks to Return to Iran From U.S., Pakistan Says
Clinton: Iranian Nuclear Defector Is ‘Free To Go’
Profile: Shahram Amiri
Profile: Shahram Amiri, Iranian nuclear physicist who turned up in Washington
Shahram Amiri

Okay, let’s assume that Shahram Amiri is in the process of voluntarilly making his way back to Iran. First of all, if we was a defector, he’d be insane to want to return to Iran. Second, if he was abducted by the CIA and interrogated for a year before he “escaped”, would it be a smart idea to return to Iran? Why would they believe his story? Surely, at a minimum, he’d be subject to some very harsh interrogation, much harsher than any interrogation practiced by the CIA, as the Iranian intelligence agencies attempted to determine, to their satisfaction, whether he was abducted or whether he defected. The fact that the U.S. is insisting that Amiri is free to leave the United States at any time certainly doesn’t help bolster his abduction story.

/the only scenario that makes a whole lot of sense, at least to me, is that Shahram Amiri is a double agent/false defector and he knows that returning to Iran will earn him a hero’s welcome rather than probable torture or death

A Glimpse Into The Future Of Afghanistan?

If this is an example of what’s going to happen when the NATO coalition starts to withdraw, we may as well give up and leave now, because the Afghan government is apparently no match for the Taliban.

Taliban seize border town as Afghan forces retreat

Taliban forces spearheading a spring offensive seized a remote town near Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan Saturday as Afghan government forces retreated, according to U.S. and Afghan officials.

After a week of intense fighting, hundreds of Taliban fighters overwhelmed local government forces, who said they were making a “tactical retreat” from Barg-e-Matal to spare civilians from getting caught in the crossfire.

Taliban fighters seized control of Barg-e-Matal nearly a year after they briefly seized the isolated Nuristan district center last summer but were driven out by U.S. and Afghan forces.

This time, hundreds of Afghan fighters defending the town fled early Saturday morning when they began to run out of ammunition and supplies. The U.S.-led coalition provided limited air support and ran a few supply runs for the Afghan government forces, but didn’t offer significant aid, according to Afghan and U.S. officials.

“We could not resist,” said Haji Mohammed Ismaile, a former Barg-e-Matal district governor, in a telephone interview with McClatchy as he joined hundreds of fleeing Afghan fighters. “There was no support from the government or the (international military) coalition.”

“We could hear them on the radio calling us to surrender and telling us that if we lay down our weapons they would not kill us,” said Ismaile. “But we did not surrender because they would slaughter us.”

The Taliban assault is the latest in the militants’ expanding spring offensive on a number of fronts, while U.S.-led forces are trying to train Afghan forces and mounting an offensive in southern Afghanistan that some officials say lacks sufficient troops.

Ahmad Nader Nadery, a prominent member of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, said that the fall of Barg-e-Matal to the Taliban should be a cautionary lesson for Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top allied military commander in Afghanistan, about relying on shaky Afghan forces to defend the country without outside help.

“Things are very fragile, and our fear is that if you withdraw from those places without building up a force that is responsible to the central government, then you can’t hold those districts,” said Nadery.

See also:
Afghan police vacate district in E Afghanistan
Taliban Fighters Seize District in Eastern Afghanistan
Taliban take control of district in Nuristan
Taliban capture Afghan district on Pakistani border
Taliban capture Afghan district on Pakistan border
Taliban Push Afghan Police Out of Valley
Taliban seize town in east Afghanistan
Taliban claim capturing Nuristan’s Barg-e-Mattal district

And Obama plans on starting to withdraw from Afghanistan next year? We’ve had nine years to stand up and train Afghan military and police forces and they still can’t defend or supply themselves. What miracle in the next twelve months is going to magically enable the Afghan government to fend for itself?

/or are we getting ready to throw Afghanistan under the Taliban bus?