CRUZ for PRESIDENT CAMPAIGN COPIES OBAMA’S BIRTH CERTIFICATE GAMBIT and CARLY FIORINA HITS a HOME RUN

January 9, 2016

© 2016 jbjd

CORRECTED and UPDATED (IMPORTANT) 01.10.12

Please don’t be misdirected into believing that U.S. Senator (R-TX) Ted Cruz’ latest ‘birth certificate’ shenanigans have put his eligibility matter to rest.

It is Friday, January 8, 2016. Over-sized headlines on Drudge proclaim in huge letters that Presidential candidate Ted Cruz has produced his mother’s birth certificate showing she was born in the U.S.A., implying this alone establishes his Constitutional eligibility to be President (as a natural born citizen). But trust me; thus far he has failed to provide documentary evidence that supports a rational legal conclusion he is even a U.S. citizen, let alone natural born. It’s true. It’s all here.

First, a brief legal primer on determining U.S. citizenship at birth, for a child born in Canada.

The status of U.S. citizenship is determined by examining the U.S. Code in effect at the time of birth. Cruz was born in 1970, in Canada. Does that make him a U.S. citizen? The applicable U.S. Code says,

U.S. citizenship to a child born in Canada [in 1970] whose father [admittedly] is not a U.S. citizen is conditioned on both 1) the U.S. citizenship of the mother; and 2) her having lived in the U.S. for five (5) 10 (ten) years, two (2) five (5) of which must have occurred past the age of 14. (8 U.S.C. 1401, Act 301 (g)) June 27, 1952, ch. 477, title III, ch. 1, § 301, 66 Stat. 235)

Thus, at a minimum; an application of facts to law that will determine whether Cruz is a U.S. citizen would require at least two additional documents: his birth certificate, and the birth certificate of his mother. And as this Salon article written by Steven Lubet, the Williams Memorial Professor of Law at Northwestern University demonstrates; the fact that determining his citizenship would require both birth certificates has been public knowledge since at least as far back as 2013, the year Senator Cruz took office.

Ted Cruz’s origins continue to haunt him

[subtitle omitted by jbjd]

by Steven Lubett

In order to fulfill his promise to the voters, Cruz must therefore submit proof that he is a U.S. citizen, which will be trickier for him than for most people. Cruz has thus far released only his Canadian birth certificate, which confirms that he was born in Calgary, Alberta, in 1970, and additionally states that his mother was born in Wilmington, Dela. The second part is crucial – Cruz’s only claim to U.S. citizenship through his mother – but it is also hearsay. The birth certificate is primary evidence of Cruz’s own birth, but the entry about his mother merely records her assertion to the Alberta Division of Vital Statistics. Even though I don’t personally dispute what he says, “My mother said so” is not what is usually meant by “proof.”

How, then, can Ted Cruz prove his U.S. citizenship to the satisfaction of the Canadian authorities? He could submit his passport, or perhaps the document called a Consular Certificate of Birth Abroad (if his parents obtained one), but those would have the same hearsay problems as his birth certificate. The only sure-fire evidence, therefore, would be his mother’s birth certificate, presumably issued when she was born in Delaware.

http://www.salon.com/2013/09/20/ted_cruzs_origins_continue_to_haunt_him/

In an article entitled “Dual citizenship may pose problem if Ted Cruz seeks presidency,” The Dallas Morning News reported in August 2013, “For the first time, Cruz released his birth certificate Friday in response to inquiries from The Dallas Morning News.” An image of the document appeared on the site. Information had been filled in on what looks like an official government form captioned: “Division of Vital Statistics, Department of Health Edmonton, Certificate of Birth.” Id. On the line for mother’s birthplace, someone had typed “Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.” Id.

At this same time, Cruz did not release the other document we have established is vital to his U.S. citizenship validation, which is the U.S. birth certificate for his mother.

(Please click on that link above to The Dallas Morning News from August 2013; and keep in mind, we’re talking about events which occurred three years ago. Then, scroll down the page till you reach the embedded Daily Caller video entitled “Trump plays birther card on Ted Cruz”; it shows a clip from of ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos broadcast in August 2013, featuring a segment with Jon Carl on the ground at the Iowa State Fair. Play that whole video. It opens with Stephanopoulos:  “Every August the Iowa State Fair features pork tenderloins, deep-fried Twinkies, a whole bunch of ambitious politicians with the White House in their sights. Forget that it’s three years before the next election, it’s never too early, Presidential hopefuls are out in force across the Hawkeye state this week-end.” Then, it cuts to Carl, at the Iowa State Fair. “We even ran into Donald Trump out here… he says that he might run.” What follows is Carl’s exchange with Trump. Carl asks for Trump’s “assessment of the field,” and goes down the names. “Ted Cruz.” Trump loves his opposition to Obamacare. Then, Carl asks about “Trump,” citing his history of questioning Obama’s birth certificate. This leads to a question from Carl about Cruz’ eligibility, pointing out, Cruz was born in Canada, but his mother was an America citizen. Trump’s abbreviated response: “Look, that will be ironed out…”)

Three years later, Presidential candidate Trump raises the specter his fellow candidate, Cruz, might have a problem with Constitutional eligibility. Days later, on January 8, 2016, in the article linked on Drudge‘s headline, Breitbart announced, “The Cruz for President campaign provided Breitbart News exclusively with the birth certificate.” The ‘birth certificate’ they were talking about is for Cruz’ mother; an image of what purports to be that document appeared on the site. Information had been filled in on what looks like an official government form captioned: “State of Delaware, Standard Certificate of Birth.” Id. On the line for mother’s birthplace, someone had written “Wilmington, Delaware.” Id.  For whatever reason, Breitbart provided readers with no explanation as to how the Cruz campaign transmitted this ‘document’ to them. The source code for the image  displayed in the article contains only a Breitbart electronic trail; it is posted on the Breitbart Scribd page, with no visible attribution to the Cruz campaign. 

In no particular order of import; here are just a few of the material facts which trouble me about this ‘Ted-Cruz’-mother’s-U.S.-birth-certificate-presentation’ and have aided my analysis that this is part of a broader well-orchestrated dog-and-pony show. (I am sure I will write additional columns on this issue, as time (and paid employment) allow.)

PROBLEM #1: Under the U.S. Code, any mock-ups like this coming not from the U.S. Senator, or from “Mr.” Cruz, but out of the Cruz for President campaign only constitute paid political advertising. Further, these materials must be identifiable to the viewer as sponsored by the campaign.

(I have written extensively about the difference between legally cognizable identification documentation, and a paid political advertising campaign. See, for example, DE-CODER RINGS (1 of 2) and WHY PRESIDENT OBAMA WAITED until APRIL 27, 2011 to RELEASE a FACSIMILE of his LONG FORM BIRTH CERTIFICATE.)

PROBLEM #2: This 2016 exclusive presentation on Breitbart marks the first time an image of the birth certificate of Cruz’ mother has become available for public display, notwithstanding as explained above; since he was born in Canada 1) her birth certificate is required to establish whether he is a U.S. citizen; and 2) questions as to his U.S. citizenship have dogged him since at least as far back as 2013. But even with the crescendo of eligibility speculation beginning at least as far back as then; as we said, the only evidence he produced to establish his U.S. citizenship was his birth certificate. And that was it for the next three years. Then, in February 2015, with his run for the Presidency all but guaranteed; The Dallas Morning News reported that rumors of ineligibility resurfaced. Now, with the stakes for establishing his eligibility raised considerably; you might think a smart lawyer like Cruz would produce his mother’s U.S. birth certificate as evidence he was legit. Well, you would be wrong. Because all he coughed up that same birth certificate for baby boy Cruz he had offered up to the same newspaper three years earlier! Id.

PROBLEM #3: Under both the U.S. Code and recent holdings of the U.S. Supreme Court protecting false political speech; unless intended for an unlawful purpose like defrauding the government; pretending to a media outlet that a facsimile of an ‘identification document’ like the image of a birth certificate (or of a form of renunciation of Canadian citizenship) is real, does not violate the law, precisely because as a matter of law, it identifies nothing.  Think about it this way. Let’s say, you are applying for a civilian job and, in order to verify your educational background, your prospective employer asks you to provide an “official” school transcript. You wouldn’t go to your school; have them copy your records and hand them over to you; and then deliver these to the employer. No; that’s not “official.” Because you could have tampered with the information in your possession and under your control. Rather, you would likely ask your school, in writing, to mail these records to that employer, on your behalf. (You might also satisfy the request to provide an official transcript by having the record holder place the documents into an envelope and ‘sealing’ the flap with embossing, which you can then hand to the company.)

How might ‘inquiring minds’ similarly obtain official identification documentation with respect to Cruz’ U.S. citizenship status? Well, they might try obtaining the relevant information from Canadian officials. Indeed, the The Dallas Morning News said they tried to obtain such ‘official’ verification of Cruz’ U.S. citizenship status way back in August 2013, in the same report in which they posted the image Cruz provided, of his Canadian birth certificate with his mother’s birthplace filled in as U.S.A.

Officials at Citizenship and Immigration Canada said that without a signed privacy waiver from Cruz, they cannot discuss his case. Id.

And, today, three years later, Breitbart News echoed the Dallas News’ frustration at being unable to access Cruz’ identifying information:

Canadian immigration authorities could not provide Breitbart News with additional documents, citing Canadian privacy laws.  Id.

So, for three years and counting; why hasn’t Cruz provided either of these media outlets with the necessary waiver authorization so that they could directly obtain his official identification documentation?

PROBLEM #4: Despite the fact spelled out in PROBLEM #1 that this maternal ‘birth certificate’ displayed on Breitbart has no legal bearing on Cruz’ U.S. citizenship status inasmuch as it was issued by his Presidential campaign; the timing of the campaign’s release is nonetheless way off. Coincidentally, Presidential Candidate Carly Fiorina hinted just the other day she found a ‘timing’ dilemma in another aspect of Cruz’ citizenship brouhaha, which tends to bolster my present ‘Breitbart timing’ observation.

Interviewed on January 7, 2016 by FOX’s Greta Van Susteren, Ms. Fiorina was asked to comment on what Susteren characterized as Cruz’ eligibility dispute,  begun by Trump and joined publicly just that day by Sen. McCain, who agreed there was some legitimacy to the issue because Cruz was born in Alberta, Canada “to an American mother and a Cuban father.” She asked where Fiorina stood on this “discussion.” Fiorina replied, “Well, I don’t know all  the particulars but I would say this. I find it odd that Senator Ted Cruz did not renounce his dual Canadian citizenship until 2014, when it became clear he was running for President.” Van Susteren asked, “Meaning what, meaning that he wanted to be a Canadian until 2014, is that what that means?” The candidate clarified, “I don’t know; I think  you oughta ask him.” http://gretawire.foxnewsinsider.com/video/video-fiorina-questions-why-ted-cruz-took-so-long-to-renounce-his-dual-canadian-citizenship/

I have a theory on the answer to Ms. Fiorina’s question.

Here is the full title of the article by Professor Lubett, published by Salon in September 2013, including the sub-heading I omitted above, followed by the ‘money’ excerpt from that article: (all emphasis added by jbjd)

Ted Cruz’s origins continue to haunt him

What’s really keeping Ted Cruz from finally renouncing his Canadian citizenship? An expert investigates

What is keeping Ted Cruz from finally renouncing his Canadian citizenship?

Perhaps Cruz simply hasn’t gotten around to it. In fairness, the Canadian government requires more than a simple shout-out before canceling somebody’s citizenship. The aspiring ex-Canadian has to pay a fee of $100 and submit an official “Application to Renounce Canadian Citizenship,” which could be a bother for someone with a busy schedule of Tea Party meetings and lectures for the Heritage Foundation. On the other hand, the renunciation form is pretty simple. There are only 12 questions on the application, and most of them request basic information such as name, address and date of birth, all of which could be handled by a staffer.

There is one section, however, that could cause Cruz some trouble, and perhaps that is the reason for his delay. Question 5 instructs the applicant to “attach proof” that he is (or will become) a citizen of a country other than Canada. That may seem like it is none of Canada’s business, but in fact the requirement follows from important principles of international law – including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – which call upon governments to protect individuals from becoming stateless. Of course, Canada’s requirement of proof was not established with U.S. senators in mind, but it does reflect an admirable intention to ensure that all individuals have national rights in at least one country. And in any event, it is up to Canada to decide how and in what manner its citizenship may be annulled – the U.S. has similar rules – and Cruz has no choice but to follow the necessary protocol.

Id.

Recall that the The Dallas Morning News reported in August 2013; problems were surfacing related to Cruz’ dual citizenship. Id.

The circumstances of Cruz’s birth have fueled a simmering debate over his eligibility to run for president. Knowingly or not, dual citizenship is an apparent if inconvenient truth for the tea party firebrand, who shows every sign he’s angling for the White House….Two visits in recent weeks to Iowa, the first state to winnow the field of presidential candidates, set off a fresh flurry of commentary on the issue. He heads to New Hampshire, another early voting state, on Friday — another strong sign that he’s eyeing a 2016 run.

The Morning News article went on to say that Cruz announced he would resolve the problem immediately by having his team of lawyers research how to “renounce” his Canadian citizenship. Id. And, inasmuch as Professor Lubett’s article in Salon pointed out, renouncing his Canadian citizenship required proving he had citizenship elsewhere, presumably in the U.S.; he would have to establish at this point, his mother was an American citizen. In short, he would need to produce his mother’s birth certificate before officials in Canada could process his Canadian citizenship renunciation. (Lubett also pointed out; Cruz could have used a U.S. passport, which is issued by the State Dept., to prove he is a citizen of the U.S. However, in order to obtain a U.S. passport, one must present evidence of being a U.S. citizen. And, inasmuch as Cruz’ birth certificate evidences he was born in Canada; he could not prove to our State Dept. he had inherited U.S. citizenship through his mother, without producing her birth certificate, anyway.)

The Dallas Morning News reported nine months later. in May 2014, that the process to terminate Cruz’ Canadian citizenship had been finalized; they posted the copy Cruz gave them of what he said was the official letter. (Actually, it wasn’t a letter at all but a form captioned, “Certificate of Renunciation of Canadian Citizenship.” Id.)

This means, the birth certificate for Cruz’ mother was in his possession at the latest, before the date on that letter-cum-Certification of Renunciation.

In sum; before Cruz could obtain the Canada letter-cum-Certification of Renunciation he provided to The Dallas Morning News in May 2014, he must have had possession of his mother’s birth certificate, and it must have shown, she was a citizen of the U.S.A.

So, here’s the problem associated with the relationship between the timing Ms. Fiorina pointed to in her interview with Greta, of Cruz’ alleged renunciation of Canadian citizenship in [May] 2014; and his campaign’s distribution to Breitbart the mock-up of his mother’s birth certificate two years later, in January 2016. Questions as to his status as a U.S. citizen centered on more than his dual-citizenship. This meant that just renouncing his Canadian citizenship in May 2014 only solved some of those pending Constitutional eligibility problems. The other questions related to his eligibility status centered mostly on whether he was born a U.S. citizen, which determination you now know could have been all but resolved as soon as he produced the birth certificate for his mother. And, based on the date that appears on the Canada letter-cum-Certification of Renunciation provided to The Dallas Morning News; we know he held that document by May 2014.

Then, why hasn’t he made that birth certificate available to The Dallas Morning News, or Breitbart, or any other media outlet, between May 2014 and now?

PROBLEM #5: The AP reported in August 2013 that Ted Cruz said he got his U.S. passport when he was in high school.

IMPORTANT UPDATE 01.10.15

Today, RCP posted an interview by CNN’s Jake Tapper, on Ted Cruz’ campaign bus. Tapper asked Carly’s question about the timing of Cruz’ renunciation. Let me explain how that has opened up the proverbial can of worms.

The important exchange is 01:10-3:20.

So, what’s so bad about that? I’ll tell you.

Ted Cruz is a smart and politically ambitious man. Here’s the Cruz bio that appears on the Congressional site: graduated Princeton University, B.A., 1992; graduated Harvard University, J.D., 1995; Law Clerk to Chief Justice of the United States William Rehnquist; Associate Deputy Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice; Director of the Office of Policy Planning, Federal Trade Commission; Solicitor General of Texas 2003-2008; lawyer; elected to U.S. Senate 2012. http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=C001098 And as I pointed out earlier; The Dallas Morning News raised Cruz’ dual citizenship status during the 2013 Iowa State Fair, where the R Presidential nominee wannabes, including Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, had ‘launched’ their campaigns.

There is no way in hell that this man hadn’t fully researched his U.S. citizenship pedigree long before August 13, when The Dallas Morning News pointed out to him, he was likely still a Canadian. Id.

But I noticed something else that stinks about this eligibility play.

On January 7, Heidi Cruz – she’s Managing Director at Goldman Sachs – was interviewed on Boston Herald Radio. Here’s what she said about the eligibility issue (10:00-11:10):

Ted is indisputably a U.S. citizen. He is a natural-born citizen. … He fits that definition without a question.

(Note in that segment, Heidi did not say, Ted is a U.S. citizen ‘because his mother is a citizen.’ However, she does mention maternity in reminding the host that Mitt Romney’s father George – he ran for the R Presidential nomination against Nixon in ’68 – was also a citizen, “born in Mexico, but to a mother who was a U.S. citizen.”)

Now, watch her husband’s January 7 responses to questions about eligibility from Mark Halperin of Bloomberg Politics. (I cannot embed this; but watch from 00:50-02:00):

http://player.ooyala.com/iframe.js#pbid=b171980b65ae4996bffea4da902c7846&ec=JqNGYyMDE6LHW3JgZ6JCYoGU3NddPVyF

The very first Congress, in defining a natural born citizen said, the child of a U.S. citizen is a natural born citizen.

(Note that just as soon as Cruz ended that sentence he was off on another tangent, no pause, no breath. He did not interject, ‘therefore, I am a natural born citizen because my mother is a U.S. citizen’ (or leave any room for Halperin to ask that next logical question.)

And, in today’s video, with Jake Tapper; Cruz began by repeating the party line about his U.S. citizenship, sort of:

The Constitution and federal law are clear. The child of a U.S. citizen born abroad is a natural born citizen.

However, Tapper kept on the subject as the exchange continued, asking whether his parents ever voted in Canada, clearly referencing the fact, voting records indicate she was on such a list, meaning, she would have had Canadian citizenship at the time. Cruz answered:

My mother didn’t, because she was a U.S. citizen, and my mother, look, the internet has all sorts of fevered swamp theories…

So, for the first time during any of these interviews, he now claims, “my mother was a U.S. citizen,” apparently in order to quell Tapper’s voting list reference. But notice, he begins another revelation, “and my mother…” and then stops himself, quickly pivoting to something else. But Tapper keeps going until he brought up Carly’s question. Now, listen to what Cruz said right after that:

Look, my mom was born in Wilmington, DE, was an American citizen by birth, she’s been an American citizen all 81 years of her life…

Question: What happened between January 7, when Mr. & Mrs. Cruz would only answer questions from the press as to the candidate’s eligibility, with vague generalities about the law; and January 10, when the candidate specifically alleged, ‘My mother was born in Delaware, USA’?

Answer: Breitbart posted the campaign’s mock-up of Cruz’ mother’s birth certificate on January 8 and Jake Tapper asked why Carly Fiorina thought it ‘odd” that he renunciated his Canadian citizenship in 2014.

As I said, Carly Fiorina hit a home run by positing that question…

***************************************************************************************************************************************************************

My mind is a terrible thing to waste.


DONALD J. TRUMP PROVES HE IS NOT ONLY STUPID, HE’S A LOUSY NEGOTIATOR

December 19, 2015

©2015 jbjd

Of all the specious claims of competence made by and on behalf of Donald J. Trump in his quixotic bid to become the Republican nominee for President of the United States; this, arguably, is the raison d’être: he is a great negotiator. For example, here is a sample of the over-the-top-hype-bordering-on-religious-zealotry regarding Trump’s negotiating skills, taken from an article appearing on Breitbart and re-posted on the candidate’s blog:

20 REASONS WHY IT SHOULD BE DONALD TRUMP IN 2016

15. Negotiation skills. Presidents have the benefit of being surrounded by highly talented experts in their respective fields – it’s the entire basis for the Cabinet appointments. But, what’s the one area on which a president is on his own? Negotiations. When our leader walks into an international forum, or that one-on-one meeting with the British PM, there is no adviser that can speak for him. It’s the one time the president sinks or swims on his own merits. As such, a stern – even arrogant — president with negotiating expertise is of paramount importance. Governors have keen negotiating skills, sure – so do CEO’s. Trump is so good at it, though, he – literally – wrote the ‘bible’ on it. (Emphasis added by jbjd.)

http://www.donaldjtrump.com/media/20-reasons-why-it-should-be-donald-trump-in-2016

As you see, Trump wants us on the basis of this ‘fact’ alone, that is, he is a great negotiator, not to dismiss his Presidential candidacy on the grounds of his admitted lack of expertise and knowledge in several disciplines, like foreign policy and military defense, which supporters and detractors alike agree are material to being a successful Commander in Chief. Absent demonstrable competence; he admonishes that an over-sized negotiation prowess earns him an unqualified ‘pass’ to campaign for the job.

Does this mean, assuming he is not a great negotiator then, we can all agree he is not qualified for the job?

I am unequipped to gauge Trump’s greatness when it comes to wheeling and dealing in negotiations related to property. However, when it comes to competence in the arena of Presidential performance, I can confidently pronounce these two things. First, compensating for deficits in knowledge material to successfully lead the Executive branch of the federal government is impossible regardless whether the candidate for President is a skilled negotiator. And second, by flubbing Hugh Hewitt’s question about the “nuclear triad” at the CNN Republican debate on December 15, Presidential candidate Donald J. Trump unequivocally exposed that whatever benefit of the qualification doubt might have been granted to him going in; he cannot overcome his ignorance in the arena of Presidential performance because, when it comes to Presidential politics, he’s a lousy negotiator.

Of course, the first point, that is, the President should not be ignorant about governmental complexities going into office, is only my opinion. And whenever I denigrate Trump’s performance at that last debate, I come under attack by Trumpettes rationalizing in his defense, he may be ignorant when it comes to military parlance but he can be brought up to speed. (Thus far, they haven’t addressed the fact that the strategy of nuclear deterrence which underlies all talk of the triad is a critical tactical consideration that seemingly escaped Trump’s simple mind.) Well, I disagree the man is competent to learn what he needs to know. Indeed, I maintain on December 15, he showed us he is even too stupid to think on his feet.

Let me refresh your memory on how the would-be Republican nominee went so wrong.

Here is a transcript of Hugh Hewitt’s debate question:

HH: Dr. Carson just referenced the single most important job of the President, the command, the control, and the care of our nuclear forces. And he mentioned the triad: the B52’s are older than I am; the missiles are old; the submarines are aging out. (NOTE from jbjd: These are the three (3) legs of the nuclear triad: 1) air, 2) land, and 3) sea delivery systems for nuclear weapons. Dr. Carson had itemized the three, in a response 10 minutes earlier.) It’s an Executive Order, it’s a Commander in Chief decision. What’s your priority among our nuclear triad?

DT: Well, first of all, I think we need somebody absolutely that we could trust who’s totally responsible who really knows what he or she is doing. That is so powerful and so important. And one of the things that I’m frankly most proud of is that in 2003/2004 I was totally against going into Iraq because you’re going to de-stabilize the Middle East – I called it, I called it very strongly – and it was very important. But we have to be extremely vigilant and extremely careful when it comes to nuclear. Nuclear changes the whole ball game. Frankly, I would’ve said, ‘get outa Syria, get out…’ If we didn’t have the power of weaponry today, the power is so massive, that we can’t just leave areas that 50 years ago or 75 years ago we wouldn’t care, it was hand to hand combat. The biggest problem this world has today is not President Obama with global warming, which is inconceivable this is what he’s saying. The biggest problem we have today is nuclear, nuclear proliferation, and having some maniac having some madman go out and get a nuclear weapon. That ‘s, in my opinion, that is the single biggest problem that our country faces.

HH: The three legs of the triad though, do you have a priority, because I’m going to go to Sen. Rubio after that to ask him.

DT: I think just the nuclear, the power, the devastation is very important to me.

HH: Senator Rubio, do you have a response?

MC: I do. First, let’s explain to people at home what the triad is, maybe a lot of people at home haven’t heard that terminology before. The triad is our ability of the United States to conduct nuclear attacks using airplanes, using missiles launched from silos or from the ground; and also from our nuclear subs ability to attack. And it’s important, all three of them are critical, it gives us the ability at deterrence.

(This is a great video of just that exchange; I couldn’t embed.)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/politics/trump-struggles-to-address-his-plans-for-the-nuclear-triad/2015/12/16/afe022fc-a415-11e5-8318-bd8caed8c588_video.html

In other words, responding to a question on the subject of defense less than 10 minutes earlier, candidate Ben Carson, standing at the lectern right next to Trump, raised the problem of our aging armaments by naming the specific launch mechanisms that currently comprise the triad! And before Hewitt lobbed the question about the triad to Trump 10 minutes later, he – Hewitt – paraphrased Carson’s just-recited identification, now only asking Trump, acting as Commander in Chief, which of the already-named (and repeated) legs of the triad would have his priority (for expenditures aimed at modernization).

Even if they hadn’t been paying attention to Carson’s response to the military defense question; using only the information and cues available during those exchanges I would bet, the majority of his sycophantic bloggers could have fudged an acceptable answer. Not so their feckless candidate.

That said, set aside my opinion that Trump’s stupidity is the reason he didn’t come up with a responsive answer to Hewitt’s question on the nuclear triad at the Republican debate on December 15. Instead, consider this fact: Trump blew Hewitt’s question about the nuclear triad because in the arena of Presidential politics, Donald J. Trump is a lousy negotiator.

For starters, Trump broke Forbe’s Power Negotiation Tip No. 1: Know Your Opponent .

Of course, Donald Trump knows Hugh Hewitt, who has interviewed him at least dozens of times on his show. As a cardinal rule of negotiation, that’s not what “know your opponent” means. So, for the sake of clarification and, as an effective mechanism for putting Trump’s failure in its proper perspective; I invite you to pretend you are a candidate for the Republican nomination for President. Let’s follow how you would have ‘negotiated’ a better job.

As a candidate for the Republican nomination for President, you know you will be participating in a series of scheduled debates with the several other candidates. On October 13, Salem Media Group, which sponsors Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, announces that Mr. Hewitt will be a panelist at the CNN Republican debate on December 15.

Exhibit 1:

Hewitt continues to be the “go to” host for the Presidential candidates.  “I’ve done over 50 in-depth interviews with the candidates who remain in the field and will continue to invite them onto my radio show between now and March to pose tough, straightforward questions. There’s no better way for me or for them to prepare,” said Hewitt.

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/hugh-hewitt-named-panelist-for-next-two-cnn-srn-presidential-debates-300158303.html

Now on notice Hewitt will be your inquisitor, naturally, you want to learn all you can about the man.

You read his biography, available on his web site.

Exhibit 2:

Professor Hugh Hewitt is a lawyer, law professor and broadcast journalist whose nationally syndicated radio show is heard in more than 120 cities across the United States every weekday afternoon. Professor Hewitt is a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Michigan Law School, and has been teaching Constitutional Law at Chapman University Law School since it opened in 1995. Professor Hewitt has been a frequent guest on CNN, Fox News Network, and MSNBC, and has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the Los Angeles Times. He has received three Emmys for his work as co-host of the ground-breaking Life & Times program, a nightly news and public affairs program that aired on the Los Angeles PBS affiliate, KCET, from 1992 until 2007. Professor Hewitt also conceived and hosted the 1996 PBS series, Searching for God in America. He is the author of a dozen books, including two New York Times best-sellers.

Professor Hewitt is best known as the host of his radio show, which has an audience estimated at more than 2 million listeners every week. Since its debut in July of 2000, Professor Hewitt has conducted groundbreaking interviews with government officials from both parties and widely respected analysts, authors and pundits. In a 2006 profile of Hewitt for The New Yorker, the dean of the Columbia University School of Journalism told his readers that Hewitt was “the most influential conservative you have never heard of.”

Hewitt writes daily for his blog, HughHewitt.com, which is among the most visited political blogs in the U.S. He is also a weekly columnist for The Washington Examiner and Townhall.com.

Professor Hewitt served for nearly six years in the Reagan Administration in a variety of posts, including Assistant Counsel in the White House and Special Assistant to two Attorneys General. Since returning to California in 1989 to oversee the construction of the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, Hewitt has served as a member of the California Arts Council, the South Coast Air Quality Management District, and the Orange County Children and Families Commission. He and his wife live in Orange County.

Hewitt’s passions are the Cleveland Browns and Indians, Ohio State and Notre Dame football and running.

About Hugh Hewitt

This is impressive; no intellectual slouch he. Taking both him and the occasion of the debate seriously; you heed his advice for candidates to “prepare” for the upcoming encounter. You explore his web site, finding links to recordings and transcripts of prior interviews with the candidates. You come across an on-air interview with candidate Donald J. Trump on August 3 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNtZ3hJTuaM – and a transcript of that pertinent segment of the interview (12:20 – 14:39). You listen while Hewitt clearly expresses to Trump, there are three legs to the American nuclear triad, and asks, more than once, which leg would he devote resources to modernize.

Exhibit 3:

HH: Now let me ask you about the American nuclear triad.. Is it necessary anymore, Donald Trump, is it affordable?

DT: I think one of the most important things that we have to worry about is nuclear generally speaking. The power of nuclear, the power of the weapons that we have today and that is by the way — the deal with Iran — the concept of it is so important that you have to make a good deal and what they should have done is that they should have doubled up and tripled up the sanctions and negotiate from strength instead of the pathetic negotiators that we had so anything that we had to do with nuclear to me the power of the weapons — the problem is that it is not how many soldiers you have, the power of weaponry today is is utmost important.

HH: Do we need all the three kind of nuclear weapons that we have though?

DT: I think we should have absolutely have — you know we are going to have to build ourselves back up because — I don’t know if you saw that 60 Minute piece about a year ago where our nuclear weapons are so absolute and so outdated, the phones didn’t work, the wires were rotted and frankly to allow that to actually go on television where they are giving tours of places of silos and they are rusting and rotting and I’m Putin and I looking at that I’m saying I’m saying, “Wow these guys don’t have the power we thought they had.”

HH: But do you think we can afford to to just update one of the three legs nor do we need all three of them like the Cold War?

DT: I think we need massive protection and unfortunately you know the nuclear is the protection It’s not just the question of having a million soldiers nowadays. You need the protection because North Korea has it, the deal based on everything that I’ve seen as you know Iran is gong to have it, Pakistan has it, India has it. Hopefully, India is on our side a little more than most but people are getting it and Russia has it big league and China has it, but you know, Putin said about a month ago and I was shocked to hear it — first time I’ve ever heard it from that kind of a power. Essentially he said don’t mess with us, we have nuclear weapons. Do you remember that?

HH: Yep.

DT: Why would somebody say that from that kind of country?

HH: We are out of time so I just got to close with a couple of pop culture.

You notice that Trump never answers Hewitt’s question and, indeed, seems unaware what he – Hewitt – is talking about. On the contrary, Trump focuses his ramblings on the efficacy of fighting the next war using merely nuclear power versus relying on massive troop strength. You don’t know what is meant by the term “nuclear triad.” But you are determined not to sound like a dunce yourself. So, using the search function on Hewitt’s site, you type in the words “nuclear triad.” And you hit pay dirt, in the form of an interview with Robert C. O’Brien, on November 14. (Emphasis in orange added by jbjd.)

Exhibit 4:

Robert C. O’Brien Gives National Security/Foreign Policy Debate Advice To GOP Candidates And The Media

HH: I’m joined by Robert O’Brien, who was a longtime deputy to John Bolton at the United Nations. He is one of my law partners at Arent Fox. He is an extraordinary authority on all things security. And we’d scheduled to talk today about, on the eve of the Democratic debate, about how to talk about international affairs in a presidential debate. We did not expect it to be this relevant tonight, Robert.

RO’B: Well, the first thing, our hearts go out to the people of Paris. They’ve suffered tragedy before with the Charlie Hebdo and the Kosher deli attacks, and certainly for the many victims, the dead, the wounded. Our hearts and our prayers and our thoughts go out to them and their families, and also to the people of Paris, France, the great ally. In fact, they were our first ally. And this is a terrible unfolding event for them to undergo.

HH: Now Robert, obviously if you’re John Dickerson, you’re tearing up your notes. And I’m getting ready for a debate in December, and that’s what we want to talk about tonight, and how candidates prepare for a major debate on national and international security issues. What would you do is you were Dickerson? What would you ask Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders tomorrow night?

RO’B: Well, certainly the Democrats have been very weak on defense throughout the Obama years. Defense sequestration has led to a budget that is, in real dollars, has fallen over 10% since sequestration was enacted in 2011. So there’s not a strong record on defense. There’s certainly the disengagement from Iraq, the disengagement from Afghanistan, although fortunately, the President is going to leave a couple thousand troops behind in Kabul. But this idea that we could somehow sidestep history, that we could get out of the fight against, that we could end the global war on terror and talk about manmade contingencies, this is a real soft spot for the Democrats, and they’re going to have to, and we’re now seeing with this, the unfolding events in Paris, the Democrats candidates, O’Malley, Sanders and Clinton are going to have to explain to the American people how they’re going to keep them safe and how they’re going to support our allies, and help keep our allies safe.

HH: Now I want to use this time, though, Robert, to focus on the Republican field, because not only do I have to get ready for debates, I think they have to get ready to talk about national security. And it kind of broke out this week, and I want people to understand that not only are you my friend and law partner, but you were Scott Walker’s senior foreign policy advisor prior to Scott Walker withdrawing. You have not committed, am I correct, to any campaign since then? You’re not affiliated with anybody?

RO’B: That’s correct. I’ve got a number of friends that are in the race. I’ve talked to a number of the campaigns, and have given them advice, but I have not endorsed a candidate at this point.

HH: Well, I talked with General Bob Dees yesterday, he’s Ben Carson’s senior national security advisor, about preparing a candidate. And I thought I’d talk to you as a neutral. What do you think candidates ought to know, for example, about nuclear deterrence, because this is not something that’s easy to bring up, and people’s eyes might glaze over, but it’s kind of the essence of being the commander-in-chief.

RO’B: Well, it’s something that we grew up with, Hugh. I mean, you can recall growing up being worried about, you know, the nuclear threat being the number one concern that we all had about national security. I mean, there was, during the Reagan years, there were folks that were pushing for unilateral disarmament. President Reagan took a different approach, and deployed tactical, shorter ranger nuclear weapons, intermediate range nuclear weapons to Europe to counter the Soviet threat. That ultimately led to both sides withdrawing those weapons, and intermediate range nuclear forces treaty being passed by both sides. Unfortunately, that’s one of the treaties that Moscow is currently violating as they covertly develop new intermediate range nuclear forces. But look, our nuclear deterrence, our ability to convince the Chinese, the Russians, the North Koreans, the Iranians, and others that any attack on the United States would be met with such a devastating response that they shouldn’t even consider such an attack, that nuclear deterrent is just critical to keeping America safe. Unfortunately, our deterrent is getting, our forces are getting older. The equipment is getting older. And we need to make some significant investments there to maintain our edge and to maintain our deterrent stance.

HH: Do you think candidates need to be up to speed on the INF, the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and what Putin is doing, because he’s actually violating it with impunity. I don’t even know if Americans know about all of the different things he’s done in just the last three weeks.

RO’B: No, there was a report yesterday from Russian TV that he is developing a nuclear submarine drone to take out submarines. He’s been flying his Blackjack bombers over U.S. and British naval ships. He’s been using his longer range Tupolev bombers to fly into U.S. airspace. Those are the bombers that would launch long range cruise missiles against the American homeland and against our allies in Europe. He’s going back to a very Cold War posture of testing our ability to intercept and deter Russian aggression. And he’s also letting folks know that he’s got nuclear weapons and is prepared to use them if necessary in Russian interest. And so our deterrent is critical. It’s important that our candidates understand the nuclear triad, and that’s something that I think should be a subject at the debate that you co-moderate next month.

HH: Now when they rattle their sabers this way, Chris Christie had a very aggressive response in the undercard debate this week when he said we can use our cyber capabilities to send a message to Beijing. I’ve been reading Ted Koppel’s new book, Lights Out. I was talking about it with Jeb Bush earlier today. What do you make of that, that kind of hawkish, Christie lean forward and making voluble threats that may or may not impress a watching television audience?

RO’B: Well, I think Governor Christie and Senator Rubio, Senator Cruz, to a lesser extent, the other candidates, are going back to the Reagan peace through strength philosophy of national defense, national security policy. That was certainly Governor Walker’s policy before he got out of the race. And what that means is you have to have a next generation of nuclear subs capable of launching a counterstrike, the replacement for the Ohio Class. It means you have to have the long range strike bomber. It means we have to modernize our Minutemen II missiles so that our adversaries know that if they attempted to launch a nuclear attack on the United States, it would result in their, you know, absolutely assured destruction. Number two, it means that we have to get ahead of the game on cyber. I mean, right now, we’re losing the cyberwar. I mean, the Chinese are hacking us at will. Their entire advanced military platform has been hacked, has been stolen from Lockheed and Northrop and Boeing. When you look at their newest ships and their newest aircraft, they’re all clones of American designs with Russian engines. So we’ve got to be tough on cyber, and we’ve got to be ahead of the game on cyber so that again, if anyone launches a cyberattack on us, they have to know that the response will be devastating.

HH: I’ll be back with Robert C. O’Brien.

http://www.hughhewitt.com/robert-c-obrien-gives-national-securityforeign-policy-debate-advice-to-gop-candidates-and-the-media/

You smile, smugly. Having read the announcement Hewitt will moderate the debate; read his biography; and diligently explored his work, including his interview with Robert O’Brien, you now know he will ask a question on the “nuclear triad.” And you are prepared to ‘hit it out of the park.’ (When you calm down, you might recall that Donald Trump claimed his “go-to” person for military advice is John Bolton and realize it makes no sense that Bolton doesn’t know as much about the nuclear triad as O’Brien, his long-time deputy at the UN. You might wonder whether Trump actually takes the advice of his learned advisers. Perhaps you conclude, he simply lied.)

But on December 15, Hewitt lobs the “nuclear triad” question at Trump, who, blindsided and unprepared, blathers on, again, like an idiot. Because unlike you, he is a lousy negotiator.

Witnessing Trump implode at the December 15 debate under Hewitt’s questioning; I was struck by the obvious fact, he – Trump – hadn’t anticipated that Hewitt would ask him again about the “nuclear triad.” I couldn’t believe having been stumped on the military phrase – on the air! – nearly four months earlier, he hadn’t been sufficiently embarrassed either by the public exposure of his cluelessness or by his ignorance; to look up the term since that time! By not getting up to speed, Trump had blatantly revealed, he is both stupid and lazy; I hoped his supporters could see. For the first time, I would take a look at the best selling The Art of the Deal; and contrast Trump’s tips for success in a high-stakes confrontation; against his abysmal performance on the stage. In this way, I could reinforce even to his truest believers that just because he wrote a book on the subject doesn’t mean, he is any good at political negotiations; and further, given that the primary ‘skill’ he claims for the job of President is his superior negotiating ability then, this means he is incompetent to do the job.

Only, notwithstanding Trump’s name appears in HUUUGE letters above the title of the book, I discovered that just like Bill Ayers wrote Barack Obama’s inspirational Dreams from my Father; someone else wrote Donald Trump’s ‘negotiating bible,’ too.

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My mind is a terrible thing to waste.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


SUCKER PUNCHED by TRUMP, REDUX

September 16, 2015

©2015 jbjd

Donald Trump obviously knows a little about federal election law. After all, he finally managed to file papers with the Federal Election Commission (“FEC”) to begin collecting money and run for President of the United States on June 22, 2015. DONALD J. TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT, INC. But he was talking about running for President back in 2011. As a Republican. He even hinted back then, if he lost the Republican primary, he might run as a 3rd party candidate. Is Donald Trump Serious About a 2012 Run for President?  Ultimately, he decided not to run in 2012. Or in 2000, or 1988.

Point is, if Mr. Trump is intellectually (and fiscally) competent to be our President, surely he understands the connection between filing papers with the FEC and conducting a campaign. It’s simple: in order to accept donations and turn them into campaign expenditures, including paid political advertisements; a candidate for President must first file papers with the FEC, which monitors the financial transactions. Sounds simple to me. Then, when President Obama filed his nomination papers on April 4, 2012, and began collecting and spending money for his renomination; why did Trump insist the timing of those campaign expenditures resulted from his – Trump’s – ongoing prodding, and were not just run-of-the-mill paid political advertisements? Why didn’t he take advantage of the opportunity he had, by virtue of his ‘bully pulpit,’ to educate the general public about some of the inner workings of the political process?

A few years ago, I wrote a column entitled TRUMP to LEMMINGS: DO NOT LOOK BEFORE you LEAP! (copied below, for your convenience) in which I detailed support for my opinion, Trump is just another snake-oil salesman, distinguished from Obama only by the color of his skin (and whatever is his latest party designation).

I haven’t changed my mind. Donald Trump is either too stupid to be President; or too sinister. Take your pick.

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My mind is a terrible thing to waste.

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TRUMP to LEMMINGS: DO NOT LOOK BEFORE you LEAP!

©2012 jbjd

Today, in a calculated display of hubris rivaled only by a production spawned from President Obama’s re-election campaign, Donald Trump has unveiled his much touted October “bombshell“: a “deal” to entice Mr. Obama to produce both his college and passport applications and records. Trump promises that jumping through this hoop “by October 31,” and “to my satisfaction,” and “if it’s complete,” will yield a check for $5,000,000 to Obama’s designated ‘charity.’ (I put the word ‘charity’ in single quotes because in addition to listing a well known outfit like “American Cancer Society”; he lists not only the umbrella enterprise of “AIDS research”; but also the generalized category “inner city children in Chicago.”) He couches his request in terms of acting on behalf of the people, to end their “questions” and “anger.” Yes, he knows that the President will be doing a “great service for the country” by allowing them to “know something about their President.” In short, by releasing the documents Trump mentioned, the President suddenly will “become transparent.”

Of course, some of us know, no “thing” coming out of this dog-and-pony show will inform anyone where Barack Obama was born.

For starters, notice that Trump qualified his reference to Obama’s “long-form birth certificate” by adding (after an obvious pause) “or whatever it may be.” It’s the “whatever it may be” which should have been the tip-off, Trump is wearing his circus barker hat. Why do you suppose he is ‘hedging his bets’ as to the ‘document’s’ authenticity?

As I explained in SHE SAID / HE SAID: SCRIPTING the 04.27.11 LAUNCH of PRESIDENT OBAMA’S LONG FORM BIRTH CERTIFICATE back on April 1, 2012 (and other articles linked therein), what was released on April 27 was the political ad campaign conceived, executed, and launched by the President’s re-election campaign, the contents of which were fully protected by the 1st Amendment’s prohibition on restrictions on political speech. Featuring the image of the mock-up of a long-form birth certificate, the ads ran on internet sites such as WhiteHouse.gov/blog. (Emphasis added.)

Do you suppose that Mr. Trump, in April 2011 still a possible contender for the Presidency; doesn’t recognize a political ad campaign when he sees one?

Trump asserts he forced the President’s April 27 release of this advertising image: “I’m very honored to have gotten him to release his long-form birth certificate…” Presumably, he means, in a desperate attempt to quell doubts as to the President’s birth status which have swirled unabated for more than 3 years, since the primary in 2008; it was his – Trump’s – many references to concerns as to whether Mr. Obama is a natural born citizen, uttered as a (pseudo) Presidential candidate in the spring of 2011 which compelled the release of the document at this particular time. (Again, crediting the release of the certificate – “or whatever it may be” – to the President, as opposed to correctly attributing the release to the President’s re-election campaign, cannot have been an innocent oversight.) But, of course, Trump had no more to do with either the substance or the timing of the April 27 appearance of the long form image; than any of the other millions of Americans challenging the narrative of Obama’s birth and demanding some sort of documentation. In fact, its release was triggered by the formal announcement of the President’s re-election campaign 3 weeks earlier, on April 4, and the accompanying mandatory filing with the FEC which then allowed the solicitation of funds in his name by the newly formed re-election campaign, funds which the campaign immediately translated into expenditures on political advertising such as the long-form ad. In other words, it was the official (read, legal) kick-off of the President’s re-election campaign which provided the first opportunity to address what were ongoing eligibility issues that could jeopardize his re-election. (The formal kick-off of the President’s campaign was also accompanied by previously scheduled events associated with the re-election campaign, including a stint on Oprah and a major NY fundraiser, also on the 27th. Id.)

SHE SAID / HE SAID contains not only a lucid (albeit lengthy) explanation of the long-form image as a campaign expenditure; but also references several other articles on the “jbjd” blog, dispelling the long-form myth, including  HOW to WRITE SMART CANDIDATE ELIGIBILITY LAWS in your STATE (and make applying to get on the ballot harder than applying to get into Harvard), which points to the lethal problems associated with allowing candidate ‘self-authentication.’ Indeed, did you notice that Trump’s deal for Obama’s records never specifies who must transmit these records, or to whom these records must be submitted? And while he says, the documents must be “complete” and to his “satisfaction”; he never specifies, who will determine whether these criteria are met. Because he knows better.

For example, during the recent Presidential debates; Obama verified the authenticity of some of his ‘facts’ by citing their source was “reporters.” What if these same “reporters” verify any forthcoming records? (See Pooh-poohing Pulitzer) And recall that Annenberg Political Fact Check staffers with no expertise in document authentication confirmed, the mock-up of the President’s Certification of Live Birth, and accompanying ad copy, were real. (See RUMORS, LIES, AND UNSUBSTANTIATED ‘FACTS’) Assuming she is being sincere in this heated exchange with John Sununu from the Romney campaign; Reporter Soledad O’Brien is only one of millions of Americans who still wrongly believe, what APFC says must be true.

UPDATE 09.17.15: The original video is no longer available. In its stead, here is a link to a page explaining what happened between Ms. Soledad and Mr. Sununu on CNN; and points to the recent metamorphosis to the ‘factcheck’ URL. http://www.tcunation.com/profiles/blogs/soledad-o-brien-political-hack-constantly-getting-caught-in-the

In sum, Donald Trump knows better than to contend that any ‘documents’ forthcoming through this publicity stunt will increase the knowledge of the American people about the circumstances of our President’s birth; or diminish our ire at what many of us feel is a con. On the contrary; by failing to take advantage of media opportunities like this, to educate the public that, legally, the April 11, 2011 long-form release by the Obama re-election campaign was only part of a political ad launch; and worse, by cynically encouraging the Obama campaign this opportunity to repeat that ploy; Trump only broadens the con, and exacerbates our ire.

Obviously, Mr. Trump thinks most Americans are as foolish as does President Obama.

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My mind is a terrible thing to waste.


THE MOHAMMAD VIDEO SLEIGHT-of-HAND

May 4, 2014

I AM RE-POSTING THIS ARTICLE TODAY, 10.21.15, TO HELP PREPARE YOU FOR MS. CLINTON’S APPEARANCE BEFORE THE HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEE ON BENGHAZI TOMORROW. I ALSO HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS C-SPAN INTERVIEW WITH SHARYL ATTKISSON, WHO WAS A CBS REPORTER ON 9.11.12. http://www.c-span.org/video/?328725-5/washington-journal-sharyl-attkisson-benghazi-attack&live

©2014 jbjd

On the night of Tuesday, September 11, 2012 al Qaeda affiliated terrorists in Benghazi, Libya began attacking the U.S. diplomatic compound there, and the CIA Annex nearby. By the time they cleared out the next day, they had murdered 4 (four) Americans : J. Christopher Stevens, U.S. Ambassador; Sean Smith, Information Officer, U.S. Foreign Service; and Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, both U.S. Navy SEALs.

In the 21 months since the attack, the meme became cemented that an internet video maligning the Islamic Prophet Mohammad had not only triggered this catastrophe, but also ignited similar conflagrations at American Embassies worldwide. But then, the Ben Rhodes email finally arrived.

Now, I think I figured out how what I believe is a false Mohammad-video-qua-villain meme got started; and I think the record establishes when, where, and why.

Time and Place

September 11, 2012 was the 11th anniversary of the bombings on the Twin Towers. Only 4 (four) days earlier, Barack Obama had bragged to delegates at the DNC Convention: “al Qaeda is on the path to defeat; and Osama bin Laden is dead.” The general election, pitting the Democrat incumbent against Republican challenger Governor Mitt Romney, was just 7 (seven) weeks away. The Gallup poll had the candidates in a dead tie.

The seeds of the Mohammad-video-qua-villain meme that sprouted during the ongoing attack in Libya, were planted hours earlier, before an incident involving our Embassy in Cairo, Egypt. Cairo and Benghazi are in the same time zone. Washington, D.C. is 6 (six) hours behind, Eastern Time (ET). Thus, noon local time in Cairo/Benghazi on Tuesday, is 6:00 AM ET on Tuesday here.

Genesis

Sam Becile, aka Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, Nicola Bacily, Robert Bacily, Erwin Salameh, Ahmad Hamdy, Kritbag Difrat and PJ Tobacco, an Egyptian Coptic Christian based in CA, pleaded no contest to federal bank fraud charges in California in 2010 and was ordered to pay more than $790,000 in restitution. He was also sentenced to 21 months in federal prison and ordered not to use computers or the Internet for five years without approval from his probation officer. But in August 2011,  he decided to make a movie.

The low budget film, originally called “Desert Warrier,” was shot on location in CA under a permit obtained by a group called Media for Christ, a nonprofit organization based in Duarte, which advertises its mission as promoting Christian values. The amateur actors Nakoula had recruited off of Craigslist thought they were starring in historical fiction depicting the life of “Master George,” living in Egypt 2,000 years ago. But Nakoula, bothered at Muslim treatment of Christian Copts, had something else in mind. Through heavy-handed  post-production editing,  the amateur filmmaker somehow managed to convert the innocuous ‘Warrier’ into a parody called “Innocence of Muslims,” depicting the Prophet Mohammad, Islam’s founder, as a villainous, homosexual and child-molesting buffoon. All references to Muslims or to the Muslim religion have been obviously re-dubbed. For example, actors could clearly be seen moving their mouths to pronounce the name “Master George” while the soundtrack had them uttering “Mohammad.” All unbeknownst to the original cast.

The 14-minute English language ‘promo’ for “Innocence” was uploaded to YouTube in June; it was translated into Arabic and uploaded several more times thereafter.

Nakoula contacted conservative U.S.-based Egyptian-American Coptic activist Maurice Sadeq and his pal Pastor Terry Jones, the Florida man who became notorious when he began burning Korans in 2010, to promote his film. Jones’ latest foray into ‘spectacle’ was “International Judge Mohammad ‘Mo’ Day,” September 11, 2012, when he planned to conduct a public trial of the Prophet Mohammad and broadcast it live on the internet.  On Thursday, September 6, Sadeq emailed promos of both Nakoula’s film “Innocence” and Jones’ “‘Mo’ Day'” trial, to journalists around the world.

Controversial Cairo television host Sheikh Khaled Abdallah aired clips of the dual Mohammad films on an Islamic-focused television station on Saturday. On Sunday, Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa publicly denounced “the actions undertaken by some extremist Copts who made a film offensive to the Prophet.” (About a 10th of Egypt’s 83 million people are Christians. The rest are Muslim.) Salafist leader Wesam Abdel-Wareth, also the president of Egypt’s ultra-conservative Al-Hekma television channel, called for a protest against the film ‘Mohammad’s trial’ at 5:00 PM on Tuesday, September 11, outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.

On Monday, September 10, Egypt’s Salafist Nour Party contacted the U.S. Embassy, in writing, announcing the protest planned for tomorrow. While making clear it wasn’t calling for an open-ended sit-in in front of the embassy, the party nonetheless demanded that the U.S. government ban broadcast of the film and issue an official apology for its offensive content. (Ahmed Khalil, a senior leader of the party, would later tell a reporter, the actions of “certain U.S. citizens” who produced the film served to jeopardize Washington’s relations with the entire Muslim world.)

That same day, Dr. Jones released a YouTube announcing he would screen Nakoula’s anti-Islam trailer tomorrow, September 11, as part of his campaign to turn the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on America into “International Judge Mohammad ‘Mo’ Day.” (Notice, the airing is scheduled after work, at 6:00 PM our time, which is midnight over there.)

On Tuesday, September 11 Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Mahmoud Ghozlan announced the group planned to call for a million-man rally on Friday to register their opposition to the anti-Islam film. He, too, wanted the U.S. Administration to issue a formal apology for the film to the Muslim world, adding that the U.S. government should prosecute the “madmen” whose activities were harming Washington’s relations with Arab and Muslim countries. He also stressed that all demonstrations should remain peaceful in nature. “Protests should be peaceful and avoid any form of vandalism,” Ghozlan asserted. “They should be civilised demonstrations of the Egyptian people’s displeasure with this film.” He went on to warn that “any non-peaceful activity will be exploited by those who hate Islam to defame the image of Egypt and Muslims.”

By noon on September 11, approximately 5 (five) hours before the scheduled protest, Embassy staffers, responding to entreaties from both the Nour Party and the Muslim Brotherhood to disclaim any Mohammad-related offensive speech, posted this on the Embassy’s Twitter account, under the heading “US Embassy condemns religious incitement”:

The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.

Selected sentences from the statement were also tweeted out by embassy staff.

Those tweets could be seen here at 6:00 AM ET.

HuffingtonPost printed a Reuters story on Tuesday about the Cairo protests, referencing both Nakoula’s movie about Mohammad, and the one featuring the Prophet’s trial by Pastor Jones. (I took a picture so as to preserve the posting time(s), just in case. Note, these are local times.)

HuffPo.Cairo

An Egyptian state website carried a statement by Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox church condemning what it said were moves by some Copts living abroad “to finance the production of a film insulting Prophet Mohammad.”

About a 10th of Egypt’s 83 million people are Christians.

It was not immediately clear which film angered protesters.

However, according to the website http://www.standupamerianow.org, the Christian Pastor Terry Jones, who angered Muslims by burning a copy of the Koran, was due to take part in an event on Tuesday called “International Judge Mohammad Day” in Florida in which it would symbolically put the Prophet on trial and play it out live over the Internet.)

The Cairo demonstration of protest against the Mohammad film(s) got underway as scheduled 5 hours later, at 5:00 PM local time, or 11:00 AM ET.

By this time, the promo for “Innocence” first posted on YouTube in June had been up for more than 2 months, and was now accompanied with Arabic translated versions re-posted thereafter. The joint promos of “Innocence” and “‘Mo Day Trial” sent to the press had been broadcast on Egyptian t.v. Prominent figures had called on Egyptians to protest. Yet press accounts describe that out of a total population in Egypt of 83 million, 90% of whom are Muslims; no more than “2,000” people –  “Salafist activists” – were gathered in the Embassy compound. Live news feeds interspersed with pre-recorded images from the scene confirm accounts that the crowd remained peaceful, despite sporadic cries of “Obama, Obama there are still a billion Osamas,” and the occasional firecrackers, sometimes mistaken for bullets. A few flares were lit.

An Ahram Online reporter at the scene described members of the Salafist party could be seen coaxing enthusiastic protesters to come down from atop the Embassy’s walls, while many members of the Egyptian security forces who had been summoned to maintain order in advance of the gathering now sat on the sidewalk, appearing relatively relaxed.

Most of the crowd was gone by 10:00 PM local time, Tuesday, September 11; it was only 4:00 PM here. As the update to the HuffingtonPost article linked above confirms, there were no injuries, among either protesters or Embassy staff. The only property damaged was an American flag, which vandals replaced with a black flag favored by ultraconservatives and militants and labeled with the most basic Islamic profession of faith: “There is no god but God, and Muhammad is his prophet.”

With the demonstration concluded, the Embassy issued more tweets. (IMPORTANT: times (and corresponding dates) in bold are ET and not local time.)

4:47 p.m., 9/11/12. @USEmbassyCairo tweets: “As Spokesperson Nuland said, protestors breached our wall and took down flag. Thanks for your concern and kind wishes.”

5:58-59 p.m., 9/11/12. @USEmbassyCairo tweets in three parts: “1) Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. 2) Of course we condemn breaches of our compound, we’re the ones actually living through this. 3) Sorry, but neither breaches of our compound or angry messages will dissuade us from defending freedom of speech AND criticizing bigotry.”

(At 6:00 PM ET, Stand Up America Now begins a livestream of Jones’ anti-Muslim presentation online. It is midnight, local time.)

Here is the last tweet from the Embassy, sent at 12:30 AM local time, Wednesday, September 12.

6:30 p.m., 9/11/12. @USEmbassyCairo tweets: “This morning’s condemnation (issued before protests began) still stands. As does condemnation of unjustified breach of the Embassy.”

There have been no public statements here about events in Cairo.

Propagation

Meanwhile, all hell was breaking loose in Libya, at the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, 777 miles away.

The attack against the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi began at 9:30 PM local time, or 3:30 PM ET, around the time the peaceful protest in Cairo was breaking up. Here is a partial timeline of events. (IMPORTANT: times (and corresponding dates) in bold now reflect local time and not ET.)

9.40pm – CIA officials in ‘The Annex’ get a distress call from the consulate saying they are under attack.

10.05pmArmed only with handguns, team of about six CIA security officers leave their base for the public diplomatic mission compound.

10.30pmWith bullets whistling overhead, the CIA team move into the compound after unsuccessfully trying to get heavy weapons and help from local Libyan allies.

U.S. and Libyan guards enter burning building and pull out the body of Sean Smith.

11.10pmA Defense Department drone, which had been on an unrelated mission some distance away, arrived in Benghazi to help officials on the ground gather information.

11.30pmU.S. personnel who had been working or staying at the mission all accounted for, except for Ambassador Stevens.

11.40pm – Driving back to the secure base, the evacuees come under further fire.

12am – The installation itself comes under fire from small arms and rocket-propelled grenades.

12amA CIA security team based in Tripoli, which included two U.S. military officers, lands at Benghazi airport and begins plotting how to locate the missing ambassador.

1am – The patchy attacks on the base begin to die down after 90 minutes of fierce fighting.

The Ambassador, as an unidentified patient, is admitted to Benghazi Medical Center just after 1:00 AM local time (7:00 PM ET), described as unresponsive. He is declared dead 15 minutes later, at 1:15.

At sometime between 3:00-4:00 AM, Libyan security forces locate the body at the hospital. Americans at the annex describe his features. Libyans identify the body as Ambassador Stevens.

No doubt within minutes, everyone from Benghazi to Washington knows.

It is 9:00-10:00 PM, ET.

Around 10:00 PM ET, President Obama called Secretary Clinton.

The conversation is about to pivot to Cairo.

Embassy staffers in Cairo had begun posting the conciliatory yet resolute tweets on their feed 16 hours earlier. Their words had remained visible to anyone monitoring the site, without adverse reaction, all this time. Now, they were taken down.

10:10 p.m. 9/11/12 Politico cites an unnamed administration official saying, “The statement by Embassy Cairo was not cleared by Washington and does not reflect the views of the United States government.”

(The Politico link works, for now; but, just in case…)Clinton.Benghazi.Statement.3

Clinton.Benghazi.Statement.2

According to FactCheck.org, Ms. Clinton issued her first public statement about Benghazi at “about 10:00 PM.” (Emphasis added.) Fortunately, her statement was also posted on MSNBC at precisely 10:32. (Emphasis added.) She mentioned one person had been killed; no doubt, it was Ambassador Stevens. (Clarification 06.22.14: This “person” could also have been Sean Smith, whose body was removed from the Embassy at around 10:30 PM local time on the 11th, which was around 4:30 PM ET (in D.C.) But parsing out blame, she didn’t specifically cite to a film about Mohammad – either Nakoula’s ‘Innocence’ or Jones’ ‘trial’ – or even to any “video.” Instead, she blamed his death on “inflammatory material posted on the Internet.” (Emphasis added.)

Clinton’s statement is linked to the SoS web site, but her words are no longer there. FactCheck provides a link to MSNBC but, it has been pulled from there, too. FactCheck went on to say, the next day, September 12, she spoke to the State Dept. That link leads to another “404.” So, I took a picture of the statements she made on both days, from the FactCheck web site, in case that disappears.

President Obama would not be heard on Benghazi, until the next day. (Statements attributed to him on the 12th can still be accessed through the FactCheck links but I used pictures, anyway.)

IMPORTANT: WHEN YOU READ THE EDITORIAL INTRODUCTIONS FACTCHECK PROVIDES, KEEP IN MIND THIS BENGHAZI TIMELINE WAS FIRST POSTED ON OCTOBER 26, 2012 . 

Clinton.Benghazi.Statement.1

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Clinton.Benghazi.Statement

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Obama.Benghazi.Video

These carefully chosen words in public statements from both the President and the Secretary, last night and today – “senseless violence”; “inflammatory material”; “act of terror” – not only conflated the peaceful nature of the demonstration Cairo with the brutal assault in Benghazi but accomplished much more. Almost immediately, this ‘offensive’ material piqued the interest of both national and international media, resulting in the free distribution of Nakoula’s work worldwide.

On Thursday, September 13, protesters returned to the Embassy in Egypt, throwing rocks this time. The Embassy in Yemen was attacked by violent protesters  By Friday, violence had spread to India, Tunisia, Germany, Lebanon, and Sudan.

“Talking Points”

On May 16, 2013, The Swampland (Time) posted a timeline compiled from the 100 pages of e-mails the White House released to the press the previous day. Of course, this was done before Judicial Watch successfully petitioned the court in an FOIA suit to compel release of the documents subpoenas from the House Oversight Committee had thus far failed to procure, which included the now-infamous Ben Rhodes email.

The timeline begins with this entry dated September 14, 2012, both explaining why the drafting of talking points originated with the CIA, and making clear, as far as the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence was concerned, the issue here was not Cairo, but Benghazi. (I have been unable to locate an original written request for talking points, but I found a sort of paraphrasing of what appears to be that request, among these released documents.)

[A]t this morning HPSCI coffee with DCIA, HPSCI members eagerly sought some sort of “white paper” they could use to reply to numerous media requests asking for comments on other inflammatory press articles regarding the Benghazi attacks.

HPSCI has asked for unclassified points immediately that they can use in talking to the media.

(The ‘raw’ documents can be viewed at http://swampland.time.com/2013/05/15/read-newly-released-benghazi-emails/)

It’s 2 days out, and no one else but Clinton and Obama is talking publicly about Cairo, only Benghazi.

At some point, someone chooses Susan Rice, then U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., to represent the Administration on the Sunday talk shows.

The Swampland provides a ‘clean’ version of the talking point edits annotated, in color, which is immeasurably easier to follow. These are well worth perusing. But I just want to point out a couple of prominent points in this alteration proposed by that NSC spokesman dude Tommy – that’s what the 32-year-old likes to be called – Vietor.

benghazi.emails.cairo

Notice, the emphasis is now being shifted to Cairo. But what happened since Tuesday to merit this new found attention there?

Let’s assume for the sake of argument, the comments from President Obama and Secretary Clinton were not intended to steer the conversation from Benghazi to Cairo. That is, let’s pretend on Monday the CIA learned through social media of potential demonstrations ‘tomorrow,’ and alerted the Embassy.  Presumably, they – the CIA – would be closely monitoring the situation the next day. Undoubtedly, they would have read the Embassy’s twitter feed in real time. But remember, the Cairo demonstration on September 11 was quite peaceful, with nary a gun, let alone a mortar, in sight. The CIA – and anyone else monitoring the situation – would have seen this, too. This could explain why the tweets were fine before the President and the Secretary sought to link Cairo with Benghazi, requiring their removal the next day.

There’s also this fact, reflected in the email. Denis McDonough, the President’s Chief of Staff, is running this show. And he, at least, appears to be good at his job. For example, while these ‘CIA talking points’ were created so as to satisfy a request from the Hill; in his appointed ‘talking points’ oversight role, he could have just insisted that these be run by State. But such heavy-handedness could raise suspicion. Instead, he adeptly disguised the order, framing it as mere common sense consideration, in case State, like House Intelligence, had to answer questions from the media, too.

And then, there’s this.

Petraeus.Benghazi.1PNG

Petraeus.Benghazi

No doubt David Petraeus, Director of the CIA was displeased with the current and final iteration of the talking points the agency had created less than 24 hours earlier. No doubt, notwithstanding the alterations imposed by several other ‘eyes’ from throughout the Executive branch, these would serve as the unclassified talking points (“UNCLAS”)  requested by the Legislative branch, specifically Rep. Ruppersberger, HPSCI “Vice Chair.” And, despite Jay Carney’s recent sojourn into obfuscation; no doubt, these same edited ‘CIA talking points’ were delivered to Susan Rice on Saturday, as indicated, for use in her upcoming appearances on the Sunday talk shows the next day, with the Director’s grudging acquiescence, consistent with White House ‘requests’ to “coordinate” the talking  points, with State.

At best, the link between events in Cairo and Benghazi found in the ‘CIA talking points’ is still too tenuous…

The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the U.S. diplomatic post and subsequently its annex. There are extremists participated in these violent demonstrations.

and, needed more aggressive shoring up if the “inflammatory material posted on the Internet” seed planted by both the President and the Secretary days earlier, was to flourish as the cause, and not the effect of the melees.

Cue Ben Rhodes and the magically appearing email – he has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from NYU – he wrote on Friday, as the basis of the 4:00 PM ‘preparation’ call to Susan Rice on Saturday, in advance of her appearances on the 5 Sunday shows.

Rhodes.Benghazi.1PNGRhodes.Benghazi.2PNGRhodes.Benghazi.3PNGRhodes.Benghazi.4PNGRhodes.Benghazi.5PNG

Here’s where the word “video” first appears.

The Administration’s forced integration among Cairo and Benghazi and the video was fully achieved with Ms. Rice’s stalwart appearances on those 5 Sunday shows, September 16.

ABC’s “This Week”

But our current best assessment, based on the information that we have at present, is that, in fact, what this began as, it was a spontaneous — not a premeditated — response to what had transpired in Cairo. In Cairo, as you know, a few hours earlier, there was a violent protest that was undertaken in reaction to this very offensive video that was disseminated.

CBS’s “Face the Nation”

The FBI has a lead in this investigation. The information, the best information and the best assessment we have today is that in fact this was not a preplanned, premeditated attack. That what happened initially was that it was a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired in Cairo as a consequence of the video.

NBC’s “Meet the Press”

Well, let us– let me tell you the– the best information we have at present.  First of all, there’s an FBI investigation which is ongoing.  And we look to that investigation to give us the definitive word as to what transpired.  But putting together the best information that we have available to us today our current assessment is that what happened in Benghazi was in fact initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in Cairo, almost a copycat of– of the demonstrations against our facility in Cairo, which were prompted, of course, by the video.

CNN’s “State of the Union”

There was a hateful video that was disseminated on the internet. It had nothing to do with the United States government and it’s one that we find disgusting and reprehensible. It’s been offensive to many, many people around the world.

That sparked violence in various parts of the world, including violence directed against western facilities including our embassies and consulates.

“Fox News Sunday”

The FBI has a lead in this investigation. The information, the best information and the best assessment we have today is that in fact this was not a preplanned, premeditated attack. That what happened initially was that it was a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired in Cairo as a consequence of the video.

Violent demonstrations break out in Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Phillippines, Sri Lanka, and Somalia, the next day.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

My mind is a terrible thing to waste.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.gallup.com/poll/150743/obama-romney.aspx

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/13/world/middleeast/us-envoy-to-libya-is-reported-killed.html?_r=0

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/14/us/origins-of-provocative-video-are-shrouded.html

http://www.onthemedia.org/story/236861-religious-references-innocence-muslims-dubbed/

http://gawker.com/5942748/it-makes-me-sick-actress-in-muhammed-movie-says-she-was-deceived-had-no-idea-it-was-about-islam

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Security-Watch/Backchannels/2012/0912/There-may-be-no-anti-Islamic-movie-at-all

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/09/muhammad-film-consultant-sam-bacile-is-not-israeli-and-not-a-real-name/262290/#.UFDJ-E16XUI.twitter

http://www.onthemedia.org/story/236861-religious-references-innocence-muslims-dubbed/

http://www.buzzfeed.com/rosiegray/inflammatory-anti-muslim-movie-may-not-be-a-real

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Latest-News-Wires/2012/0913/The-Coptic-Christian-in-California-behind-the-anti-Islamic-film

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-09-12/news/os-terry-jones-movie-embassy-bombing-20120912_1_florida-pastor-islam-protests

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/middle-east/458983-prophet-film-spurs-egyptian-anger-at-us.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/news-agencies-us-ambassador-to-libya-killed-in-attack-outside-consulate/2012/09/12/665de5fc-fcc4-11e1-a31e-804fccb658f9_story.html

http://www.france24.com/en/20120912-egypt-copts-condemn-anti-islam-film-fear-reprisals-cairo-sadek/

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/eg.html

http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/52569.aspx

http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/september-11-anniversary-protest-cairo-17213328

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/11/egypt-protesters-us-embassy_n_1874247.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/14/morris-sadek-the-maverick_n_1882931.html

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/0/52567/Egypt/Egypt-army-intervenes-to-pacify-Salafist-protest-a.aspx

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10000872396390444620104578008922056244096

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2226821/CIA-admits-role-US-consulate-attack-Benghazi.html

http://www.factcheck.org/2012/10/benghazi-timeline/

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/348677/10-pm-phone-call-andrew-c-mccarthy/page/0/1

http://swampland.time.com/2013/05/15/read-newly-released-benghazi-emails/

http://articles.latimes.com/2013/feb/24/news/la-pn-changing-of-the-young-guard-20130224

http://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/1919_production-4-17-14.pdf#page=14

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/09/heres-a-timeline-of-the-confusing-statements-on-libya-and-egypt/262264/

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2012/11/16/flashback-what-susan-rice-said-about-benghazi/

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/13/us-protests-idUSBRE88C0J320120913

http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/11/world/meast/egpyt-us-embassy-protests/

 


BEYOND RESURRECTION

January 15, 2014

©2014 jbjd

I confess: I am an abject hypocrite when it comes to my vote, especially in the general election.

As evidenced throughout this blog; I immersed myself in the factual details of the ascendency of Barack Obama into the Oval Office. Then, based on my newfound education, I vowed not vote for any Democrats for 40 years, likening this to the proverbial desert odyssey God imposed on the Jews to kill off all those generations raised within a culture steeped in idolatry, who had disobeyed His commandment to worship only Him. But, all things being equal; this means, I cannot justify voting Republican, either, because of the conduct of President George (W.) Bush, an awareness which broadsided me during a recent exchange about references to a Status of Forces Agreement in Iraq.

Larry Johnson, Owner and Proprietor of the NoQuarter blog,  posted NeoCon and Conservative Alzheimers on Iraq  in which he sharply criticized Charles Krauthammer for blaming the current chaos in Iraq on President Obama’s failure to negotiate a Status of Forces Agreement (“SOFA”): “What a crock of shit!” Id. He want on to correctly point out, “The Status of Forces Agreement was negotiated by George W. Bush’s people. Not Obama’s.” Id. Here was my response.

LJ, you wrote, “I am sickened and disgusted by the craven and dishonest conduct of pundits like Krauthammer.” Having missed the segment to which you referred – I usually skip O’Reilly – I went back and listened. Then, given 1) what might on the surface have appeared to be a less-than-forthright pronouncement from Dr. K; and 2) what I have found to be his history of reliability; I began to investigate. That’s how I came to realize, we are talking about 2 SOFA’s (see my comment below). Comments by your loyal opposition, Banned, inspired me to further research the facts.

No one is perfect; we all contradict ourselves, whether due to honest evolution of opinion. But based on Dr. K’s voluminous record of well-founded punditry; he has earned my ‘benefit of the doubt.’

(Note that I hadn’t even investigated the reasons underlying the horrible news coming out of Iraq until LJ attacked one of my favored political pundits! So much for being a civic citizen…)

Then, I responded to other commenters on that blog, with more information from my newly conducted research:

“Mr. Biden also predicted that the Americans could work out a deal with a government led by Mr. Maliki. “Maliki wants us to stick around because he does not see a future in Iraq otherwise,” Mr. Biden said. “I’ll bet you my vice presidency Maliki will extend the SOFA,” he added, referring to the Status of Forces Agreement the Obama administration hoped to negotiate.” http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09…

Clearly, VP Biden (and, by extension, President Obama) not only announced the position of the Administration, a new SOFA was necessary to stabilize the situation in Iraq; he assumed one would be negotiated. Then, why wasn’t it? Because President Obama is incapable of negotiating such an agreement. Then, having failed to negotiate such an agreement, Obama took credit for living up to his campaign promise to get US troops out of Iraq. And, he didn’t bother explaining to the country, what likely would be the devastating results of his failed attempts to finalize a new SOFA.

Remember, in the lead-up to the Iraqi war, several members of Congress, from both parties, granted provisional authorization for a use of force on the basis Iraq held weapons of mass destruction (WMD’s) which could pose a threat to America’s vital interests. The resolution contained this caveat: before force would be used, all other non-combative measures would be exhausted, first. Most notable: UN inspectors would complete their work, consisting of searching for these WMD’s. Here is the corresponding (controlling) section of the AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF MILITARY FORCE AGAINST IRAQ RESOLUTION OF 2002 :

SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.

    (a) Authorization.--The President is authorized to use the Armed 
Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and 
appropriate in order to--
            (1) defend the national security of the United States 
        against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and
            (2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council 
        resolutions regarding Iraq.

    (b) Presidential Determination.--In connection with the exercise of 
the authority granted in subsection (a) to use force the President 
shall, prior to such exercise or as soon thereafter as may be feasible, 
but no later than 48 hours after exercising such authority, make 
available to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the 
President pro tempore of the Senate his determination that--
            (1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic or 
        other peaceful means alone either (A) will not adequately 
        protect the national security of the United States against the 
        continuing threat posed by Iraq or (B) is not likely to lead to 
        enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council 
        resolutions regarding Iraq; and
            (2) acting pursuant to this joint resolution is consistent 
        with the United States and other countries continuing to take 
        the necessary actions against international terrorist and 
        terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, 
        or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the 
        terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001. 

...

(Note that this resolution does not directly hold the “nation” of Iraq responsible for 9/11. Indeed, it could not, given that, Iraq was not responsible for 9/11 and, insofar as any nation could be said to be responsible for 9/11 then, it would be that nation in closest nexus to the actual act, which both history and the US Courts have established is Saudi Arabia. Rather, the carefully parsed wording of the resolution provides an alternative rationale to attack that country, by implying it perhaps is, or is associated with an international terrorist and terrorist organization.)

Anyway, the facts are in: we lied about why we sent our military forces into Iraq. Lie by Lie: A Timeline of How We Got Into Iraq And even if only judging by the fact, FOX News hired former NYT reporter Judith Miller, in large part responsible for propagating the Bush administration’s widely believed false meme, there were WMD’s; the Republicans don’t care, this was a lie.

Again, my purpose here is not to re-litigate the reasons we initiated the Iraq war, or even to reason whether, having sparked some of the violence which resulted from our presence in Fallujah, we should have negotiated a Status of Forces Agreement (“SOFA”) before our scheduled departure in 2011 at a time the city was experiencing relative peace;  or whether such a SOFA would have forestalled the ensuing turmoil.

I only want to point out, as much as I detest Democrats in general for all things related to Barack Obama, including his failure to negotiate that new SOFA; I hate the Republicans and President Bush for getting us into that war in the first place.

I hate Vice President Cheney most of all.

At a congressional hearing examining the march to war in Iraq, Republican congressman Walter Jones posed “a very simple question” about the administration’s manipulation of intelligence: “How could the professionals see what was happening and nobody speak out?” Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s former chief of staff, responded with an equally simple answer: “The vice president.” Id.


…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Freedom costs.


POLITICOS PURPOSELY OUTFOX PUBLIC when it comes to FOX (News)

November 5, 2012

© 2012 jbjd

Assume, for the sake of argument, that FOX News is both unfair and unbalanced. (And just because according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, MSNBC is even more unfair and unbalanced, doesn’t mean, it’s right! Likewise, ignore CNN’s Candy Crowley, so-called moderator of the Presidential debate, who insinuated herself into the exchange for the purpose of establishing the false meme that, as early as September 12, 2012, Obama called the September 11 assault on Benghazi a terrorist attack. After all, she apologized, on CNN, immediately after the debate was over.)

Further, assume FOX reporters and analysts like Jennifer Griffin and Catherine Herridge continue to focus on various aspects of the murders in Benghazi only for political reasons, namely, to draw support away from President Obama and onto Governor Romney. (I won’t guess the reason you attribute to the recent coverage from Eli Lake at The Daily Beast; or ABC’s Jake Tapper, or David Ignatius from the Washington Post…)

And assume that, before yesterday, November 4; CBS’ on-line version of “60 Minutes” featuring Steve Kroft’s interview of President Obama on September 12, 2012 had this part of the story right, namely, Obama called Benghazi a terrorist attack from the beginning (notwithstanding 2 weeks later, he told the U.N. General Assembly, this was a spontaneous riot triggered by a Mohammed video).

Okay. But on November 4, CBS finally released video of that same Kroft interview of Obama, only now edited to include snippets which they had previously omitted and which arguably had contributed to a false interpretation that the President had really called the September 11 attack against Ambassador Stevens,  “terrorism,” as early as  September 12. (RealClearPolitics featured the video on their front page today.)

As you can see (and hear); regardless of whether Obama says he said on day 1 this was a terrorist attack; obviously, he did not. http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50134495n&tag=mg;60minutes

Now, read today’s FOX analysis that President Obama lied in the 3rd debate against Governor Romney, when he – the President – insisted he had been calling the attack in Benghazi a terrorist attack, all along.

What President Obama really said in that ’60 Minutes’ interview about Benghazi

Know what this means? As a fair and balanced consumer of news; you need to recalibrate your assumptions.

P.S. You may ask; except for its use as political capital, does it even matter precisely when the President called Benghazi a terrorist attack, anyway? Yes, indeed it does. Because as you will see; under the U.S. Code and numerous policies and procedures promulgated by everyone from the DoD to the DoS; the President’s response obligations are triggered by whether this event was considered a terrorist attack. Furthermore, determining whether pre-attack conditions should rightly have triggered conduct intended to forestall the events of September 11, is also critical to a full analysis of what went wrong. That is, investigators must determine not only what the President knew but also when he knew it.


TRUMP to LEMMINGS: DO NOT LOOK BEFORE you LEAP!

October 24, 2012

©2012 jbjd

Today, in a calculated display of hubris rivaled only by a production spawned from President Obama’s re-election campaign, Donald Trump has unveiled his much touted October “bombshell“: a “deal” to entice Mr. Obama to produce both his college and passport applications and records. Trump promises that jumping through this hoop “by October 31,” and “to my satisfaction,” and “if it’s complete,” will yield a check for $5,000,000 to Obama’s designated ‘charity.’ (I put the word ‘charity’ in single quotes because in addition to listing a well known outfit like “American Cancer Society”; he lists not only the umbrella enterprise of “AIDS research”; but also the generalized category “inner city children in Chicago.”) He couches his request in terms of acting on behalf of the people, to end their “questions” and “anger.” Yes, he knows that the President will be doing a “great service for the country” by allowing them to “know something about their President.” In short, by releasing the documents Trump mentioned, the President suddenly will “become transparent.”

Of course, some of us know, no “thing” coming out of this dog-and-pony show will inform anyone where Barack Obama was born.

For starters, notice that Trump qualified his reference to Obama’s “long-form birth certificate” by adding (after an obvious pause) “or whatever it may be.” It’s the “whatever it may be” which should have been the tip-off, Trump is wearing his circus barker hat. Why do you suppose he is ‘hedging his bets’ as to the ‘document’s’ authenticity?

As I explained in SHE SAID / HE SAID: SCRIPTING the 04.27.11 LAUNCH of PRESIDENT OBAMA’S LONG FORM BIRTH CERTIFICATE back on April 1, 2012 (and other articles linked therein), what was released on April 27 was the political ad campaign conceived, executed, and launched by the President’s re-election campaign, the contents of which were fully protected by the 1st Amendment’s prohibition on restrictions on political speech. Featuring the image of the mock-up of a long-form birth certificate, the ads ran on internet sites such as WhiteHouse.gov/blog. (Emphasis added.)

Do you suppose that Mr. Trump, in April 2011 still a possible contender for the Presidency; doesn’t recognize a political ad campaign when he sees one?

Trump asserts he forced the President’s April 27 release of this advertising image: “I’m very honored to have gotten him to release his long-form birth certificate…” Presumably, he means, in a desperate attempt to quell doubts as to the President’s birth status which have swirled unabated for more than 3 years, since the primary in 2008; it was his – Trump’s – many references to concerns as to whether Mr. Obama is a natural born citizen, uttered as a (pseudo) Presidential candidate in the spring of 2011 which compelled the release of the document at this particular time. (Again, crediting the release of the certificate – “or whatever it may be” – to the President, as opposed to correctly attributing the release to the President’s re-election campaign, cannot have been an innocent oversight.) But, of course, Trump had no more to do with either the substance or the timing of the April 27 appearance of the long form image; than any of the other millions of Americans challenging the narrative of Obama’s birth and demanding some sort of documentation. In fact, its release was triggered by the formal announcement of the President’s re-election campaign 3 weeks earlier, on April 4, and the accompanying mandatory filing with the FEC which then allowed the solicitation of funds in his name by the newly formed re-election campaign, funds which the campaign immediately translated into expenditures on political advertising such as the long-form ad. In other words, it was the official (read, legal) kick-off of the President’s re-election campaign which provided the first opportunity to address what were ongoing eligibility issues that could jeopardize his re-election. (The formal kick-off of the President’s campaign was also accompanied by previously scheduled events associated with the re-election campaign, including a stint on Oprah and a major NY fundraiser, also on the 27th. Id.)

SHE SAID / HE SAID contains not only a lucid (albeit lengthy) explanation of the long-form image as a campaign expenditure; but also references several other articles on the “jbjd” blog, dispelling the long-form myth, including  HOW to WRITE SMART CANDIDATE ELIGIBILITY LAWS in your STATE (and make applying to get on the ballot harder than applying to get into Harvard), which points to the lethal problems associated with allowing candidate ‘self-authentication.’ Indeed, did you notice that Trump’s deal for Obama’s records never specifies who must transmit these records, or to whom these records must be submitted? And while he says, the documents must be “complete” and to his “satisfaction”; he never specifies, who will determine whether these criteria are met. Because he knows better.

For example, during the recent Presidential debates; Obama verified the authenticity of some of his ‘facts’ by citing their source was “reporters.” What if these same “reporters” verify any forthcoming records? (See Pooh-poohing Pulitzer) And recall that Annenberg Political Fact Check staffers with no expertise in document authentication confirmed, the mock-up of the President’s Certification of Live Birth, and accompanying ad copy, were real. (See RUMORS, LIES, AND UNSUBSTANTIATED ‘FACTS’) Assuming she is being sincere in this heated exchange with John Sununu from the Romney campaign; Reporter Soledad O’Brien is only one of millions of Americans who still wrongly believe, what APFC says must be true.

UPDATE 09.17.15: The original video is no longer available. In its stead, here is a link to a page explaining what happened between Ms. Soledad and Mr. Sununu on CNN; and points to the recent metamorphosis to the ‘factcheck’ URL. http://www.tcunation.com/profiles/blogs/soledad-o-brien-political-hack-constantly-getting-caught-in-the

In sum, Donald Trump knows better than to contend that any ‘documents’ forthcoming through this publicity stunt will increase the knowledge of the American people about the circumstances of our President’s birth; or diminish our ire at what many of us feel is a con. On the contrary; by failing to take advantage of media opportunities like this, to educate the public that, legally, the April 11, 2011 long-form release by the Obama re-election campaign was only part of a political ad launch; and worse, by cynically encouraging the Obama campaign this opportunity to repeat that ploy; Trump only broadens the con, and exacerbates our ire.

Obviously, Mr. Trump thinks most Americans are as foolish as does President Obama.


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