Tag Archives: National Security

Three serious breaches of national security under this Democrat administration

What difference does national security make?
What difference does national security make?

The first one was Edward Snowden’s leak of classified data.

This article from Reuters has an update on the damage that Snowden caused.

It says:

Britain has pulled out agents from live operations in “hostile countries” after Russia and China cracked top-secret information contained in files leaked by former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, the Sunday Times reported.

Security service MI6, which operates overseas and is tasked with defending British interests, has removed agents from certain countries, the newspaper said, citing unnamed officials at the office of British Prime Minister David Cameron, the Home Office (interior ministry) and security services.

Snowden downloaded more than 1.7 million secret files from security agencies in the United States and Britain in 2013, and leaked details about mass surveillance of phone and internet communications.

[…]British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said Snowden had done a huge amount of damage to the West’s ability to protect its citizens.

“As to the specific allegations this morning, we never comment on operational intelligence matters so I’m not going to talk about what we have or haven’t done in order to mitigate the effect of the Snowden revelations, but nobody should be in any doubt that Edward Snowden has caused immense damage,” he told Sky News.

[…]A Home Office source told the newspaper that Russian President Vladimir Putin did not grant Snowden asylum for nothing.

“His documents were encrypted but they weren’t completely secure and we have now seen our agents and assets being targeted,” the source said.

A British intelligence source said Snowden had done “incalculable damage”.

“In some cases the agencies have been forced to intervene and lift their agents from operations to stop them being identified and killed,” the source was quoted as saying.

You’ll recall that it was a British agent who stopped a recent attack by an Islamic terrorist. And now, British agents from MI6 are pulling out of their stations. There is a cost to focusing too much on global warming and free contraceptives, and not enough on national security and foreign policy.

Note that we haven’t done anything to Snowden or Russia that might discourage others from doing similar things in the future, because I guess the Democrats think that would be too mean. I don’t think it would be too mean.

Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks

Here’s the second great intelligence failure, Private Bradley Manning.

Bradley E. Manning, the soldier convicted of leaking a trove of classified documents, was sentenced to 35 years in prison Wednesday for the largest public breach of secret data in U.S. history, sparking a debate over the length of his prison term and whether he could ever win an early release.

The judge, Col. Denise Lind, also demoted him from private first class to private and dishonorably discharged him from the Army at a brief court-martial hearing at Fort Meade, Md.

[…]Manning, 25, was convicted July 30 on 20 charges, including six under the Espionage Act, for downloading, copying and passing to WikiLeaks more than 700,000 raw U.S. military battlefield reports from Iraq and Afghanistan and State Department cables, all classified “Secret.”

[…]His defense attorney, David Coombs, argued that the military was partly to blame because it should have pulled Manning’s access to classified documents after a series of extreme emotional events the junior intelligence analyst experienced during his deployment in Iraq.

Manning raged at superiors, emailed photos of himself dressed as a woman and punched a female soldier in the face.

Manning now wants to get a sex change and be referred to as Chelsea. What exactly was he doing with all of this classified information? Does the Obama administration not check people for these things, or did he get a free security pass because he was gay?

China hacking

Here’s the third great intelligence failure, the recent China hacking of government employee data.

Here’s Jonah Goldberg writing in The Stream.

Excerpt:

[I]t was revealed last week that the Chinese stole millions of personnel files and mountains of background-check information from the U.S. government. I suppose I should say the Chinese “allegedly” stole the information, but many lawmakers, government officials, anonymous intelligence sources and industry experts are convinced that the Chinese did it. Besides, we normally use “allegedly” in such cases because we don’t want to prejudice a jury — and this case is never, ever going to court.

The damage is hard to exaggerate. Former NSA counterintelligence officer John Schindler calls it a “disaster” in a column headlined “China’s hack just wrecked American espionage.” Joel Brenner, America’s top counterintelligence official from 2006 to 2009, says the stolen data amounts to the “crown jewels” of American intelligence. “This tells the Chinese the identities of almost everybody who has got a United States security clearance,” he told the Associated Press.

Countless current and past federal employees are now extremely vulnerable to blackmail and even recruitment by Chinese intelligence operatives. Millions are open to identity theft (the files included all of their personal information, including Social Security numbers, and in many cases medical, family, romantic and substance-abuse histories). My wife, who previously worked for the Justice Department, may have lived a fine and upstanding life, but I don’t relish the fact that some chain-smoking Chinese bureaucrat is going over her personal information.

Many are calling it a “cyber Pearl Harbor.”

I would not want to be a non-official cover agent working for the U.S. government right now.

Next time, let’s vote for the serious party.

Scott Walker’s immigration plan is more conservative than Bush or Rubio

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

According to Breitbart News, which took a good look at it.

Excerpt:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a likely 2016 GOP presidential candidate, pledged to protect American workers from the economic effects, not only of illegal immigration but also of a massive increase in legal immigration.

During an interview with Glenn Beck, Walker became the first declared or potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate to stake out a position on immigration fully in line with that of Senate Judiciary Committee subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest chairman Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL). He also noted that he has been working with Chairman Sessions on the issue to learn more about it.

His view is now secure the border and implement E-Verify for foreign workers:

Walker says he discussed immigration policy in depth with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott when he visited the border a few weeks ago. He said that he doesn’t think he was “directly wrong” before but didn’t have a “full appreciation for what is the risk along our border.”

He continued:

I knew there were people traveling, coming across the border, but really what you have is much greater than that. What you have is international criminal organizations, the drug cartels aren’t just smuggling drugs—they’re smuggling firearms and smuggling not only humans but trafficking and horrific situations. It’s an issue that’s not just about safety or about national security, it’s about sovereignty. If we had this kind of assault along our water based ports, the federal government would be sending in the navy. And yet there is a very minimal force along our land-based borders, be it New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, or California, and so to me it was clearly far bigger than immigration.

We need to have a much bigger investment from the federal government to secure the border, through not only infrastructure but personnel and certainly technology to do that and to make a major shift. If you don’t do that, there’s much greater issues than just immigration. Folks coming in from potentially ISIS-related elements and others around the world, there’s safety issues from the drugs and drug trafficking and gun trafficking and gun things with regard—but to get to immigration you have got to secure the border, because nothing you do on immigration fundamentally works if you don’t secure that border.

Walker also discussed the need for interior enforcement:

Then I think you need to enforce the law and the way you effectively do that is to require every employer in America to use an effective E-Verify system and by effective I mean you need to require particularly small businesses and farmers and ranchers. We got to have a system that works, but then the onus is on the employers and the penalties have to be steep that they’re only hiring people who are here, who are legal to be here. No amnesty, if someone wants to be a citizen, they have to go back to their country of origin and get in line behind everybody else who’s waiting.

This development, perhaps one of if not the biggest of the 2016 presidential campaign so far, comes as Walker has taken a commanding lead in polls in all three of the first GOP primary states: Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.

Walker also said in the interview that he would “absolutely” repeal Common Core in Wisconsin. Jeb Bush is, of course, a huge proponent of Common Core.

So, whatever our worries were about Walker on immigration, I think now we can relax. The only trouble now is getting the electorate to care more about accomplishments than charisma. But if the fight is between Walker and Clinton, I have no doubt that Clinton’s “entitled” attitude is going to lose her the election. No matter how much money she has. And remember that Walker is able to speak to any issue in a way that is persuasive to independents – he proved that in Wisconsin. While Hillary is taking about “equal pay” and smashing the glass ceiling, Walker’s going to be cleaning up on the issues middle-class Americans care about.

Chins up, buttercups! Things are looking good for our side.

Related posts

Scott Walker discusses foreign policy and national security with Hugh Hewitt

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

Hugh Hewitt is a horrible RINO Republican establishment guy (backed Romney), but I sometimes listen to his show.

I got this audio and transcript from Hugh Hewitt’s blog.

The MP3 file is here. (19 minutes)

And here are the relevant parts of the transcript:

HH: You mentioned today, you called it “the safety issue,” not the “national security issue,” that sort of brings, explain to people why you use that terminology.

SW: I do, because I think it’s come to the forefront not so much because “national security,” that, to me, as I said [at lunch], is on page 6A of the newspaper where only a handful of us read into that. But when people see the videos, when they see the Jordanian burned alive in a cage, when they see the Egyptian Christians who were beheaded, when they see some of these other folks from around the world, including James Foley, who went to Marquette University where my son’s a junior, and suddenly, that becomes very real to everyday Americans.

HH: One of the beheaded Islamic State videos.

SW: Absolutely, whose parents are actually from New Hampshire, not far from where I was at a weekend ago, and you just realize, you can see it on your phone, you can see it on your iPad. You don’t need the filter of the network news or the daily newspaper to tell you how bad this is. It suddenly becomes an issue of safety, because that’s not something, national security, foreign policy is something over there. Safety is something you feel inside your chest, you feel in your heart. And I think increasingly, Americans feel a sense of concern that particularly if they have family members or loved ones that ever want to travel again, they see France, they see Canada, they see other places around the world, not just the Middle East, and it’s a safety issue. And they, and then I would just add to this, as they look at this more closely, they see a president whose drawn a line in the sand and crossed it, who called ISIS just a year ago the “jayvee squad,” who called Yemen last fall a success story, who calls Iran now a place where we can do business. Think about how screwed up that is. I remember the movie in the 80s, Trading Places…

HH: Right.

SW: …you know, with Dan Akroyd and Eddie Murphy, it’s like Iran and Israel are trading places in the sequel. In the eyes of this president, our ally is supposed to be Israel. Our adversary has been historically Iran. And yet this administration completely does it the other way around. We need to call radical Islamic terrorism for what it is, and a commander-in-chief who’s willing to act.

HH: Now I asked maybe one of your potential competitors yesterday, Senator Marco Rubio, who I know is a friend of yours.

SW: Good guy, yeah.

HH: I asked him yesterday would you disown and agreement that this president signs with Iran that leaves Iran uranium enrichment. What’s Scott Walker think about the deal, because that’s the outline, it appears?

SW: Absolutely.

HH: Would you reject that deal if you took the Oval Office?

SW: Absolutely, on Day One. I mean, to me, it is, the concept of a nuclear Iran is not only problematic for Iran, and certainly for Israel, but it opens the doors. I mean, the Saudis are next. You’re going to have plenty of others in the region. People forget that even amongst the Islamic world, there is no love lost between the Saudis and the Iranians. And so they’re going to want to have a nuclear weapon if the Iranians have a nuclear weapon. This is something that just escalates right before our eyes. And the fact that this administration began these discussions essentially conceding that they’re going to allow enrichment to go forward with the Iranians just shows you that they don’t have the same level of concern that I think I and Senator Rubio and many others out there have, that a nuclear Iran is a problem for the entire world, not just for Israel.

HH: Does the rising of these headlines, Saudi Arabia may be going to war with Yemen before this broadcast is over, if some of these Reuters reports are true.

SW: Right.

HH: And the Quds Force general is in Tikrit, right? So the world’s on fire. Does this hurt a governor’s claim to the presidency and elevate perhaps senators who have been there or other people who have been abroad and done that sort of thing? Or does it help you?

SW: Well, I think leadership is the fundamental ingredient that’s important in anything, particularly when it comes to foreign policy. And I won’t belittle any of the other would-be candidates. I would say, though, that my lifetime, the most significant president when it comes to foreign policy was a former governor, Ronald Reagan. The most faulty president, I would argue, when it comes to foreign policy and national security is a first term senator by the name of Barack Obama, who was on the Foreign Affairs Committee. And so, just those qualifications alone aren’t enough. Now again, I think Senator Rubio and I are very much aligned on these issues. I agree with a number of my other colleagues who might be prospective candidates should I and others get into the race in the future. What people need to look at is what do you bring to the table, who do you surround yourself with, what kind of leadership style do you have, and people, I think in this case in particularly, not just in the travels and the studies, need to know how you think. In this case, I think Americans more than anything want a commander-in-chief of the future who does a couple of things – 1) calls out radical Islamic terrorism for what it is, and says we will do whatever it takes to take the fight to them before they bring the fight to us, because unlike the Cold War, when containment was enough, when the Soviet Union and the United States could have leaders like Gorbachev and Reagan talking about containment, that’s not enough. When you have, not only with ISIS and al Qaeda, but you have an Iran, you have other places around the world groups that that want to not only annihilate Israel, but annihilate us in America, it’s like a virus. You’ve got to eradicate it. You can’t take out part of it, or it will come back.

HH: You also have people like Putin, Governor Walker…

SW: Absolutely.

HH: …who are pushing everywhere, and we’ve got Baltic allies. And people are wondering whether or not we’d actually come to their defense if Putin pushes into Estonia or Latvia or Lithuania. What do you think?

SW: We absolutely have to. I mean, NATO is the strongest military alliance we’ve had in history. It was part of, through Reagan’s leadership, but certainly part of the ingredient that allowed us to win the Cold War without firing a shot. If we don’t defend NATO members in a scenario like that, now I think we preempt that by showing strength in even dealing with Ukraine, which is not a NATO member, but is very much geographically aligned with what we’re talking about. Remember, Putin isn’t just aggressive for the sake of being aggressive. He’s a nationalist. He believes in the history of Russia and the old Soviet Union. Part of what you see here is the old Lenin adage that you probe with bayonets. If you find mush, you proceed. If you find steel, you withdraw. Well, in Ukraine, he’s found mush, and he’s found mush not only from the United States, but from others like, others and NATO partners out there. If it were to extend, and my belief is we need a president who’s going to act aggressively by giving lethal force to the Ukrainians and others to try to preempt that from happening. But a couple of weeks ago, I met with the president of Estonia. Certainly, we saw a week ago the Lithuanian leadership is literally giving out literature telling their own citizens what to do if Russians invade. Latvia, I just talked to someone the other day whose mother immigrated here from Latvia, and in each of those Baltic states, there are real serious concerns about what happens if we don’t deal with this in Ukraine. We need American leadership not just for America’s sake, but for the world.

If you find that interesting, listen to the whole thing or read the transcript. He also talks about education reform, if you’re into that. I am.

We don’t talk much about foreign policy as Christians, but it is important for us to understand it in order to promote the good, and achieve good results. We can’t just be led by our feelings, we have to do what works, and that requires understanding how the world works.

Obama traded 5 Taliban commanders for a soldier now accused of desertion

The Weekly Standard reports:

Bowe Bergdahl, the American soldier held captive in Afghanistan by Taliban-affiliated terrorists for nearly five years, will be charged with desertion. Bergdahl was returned to the United States last year in exchange for five Taliban commanders being held at the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.

Previously, the Weekly Standard reported how his fellow soldiers called him a deserter:

In an appearance on ABC’s This Week on Sunday, National Security Adviser Susan Rice claimed that Bergdahl “wasn’t simply a hostage, he was an American prisoner of war, taken on the battlefield.” She added: “He served the United States with honor and distinction.”

“That’s not true,” says Specialist Cody Full, who served in the same platoon as Bergdahl, and whose tweets over the weekend as @CodyFNfootball offered an early firsthand account of Bergdahl’s departure. “He was not a hero. What he did was not honorable. He knowingly deserted and put thousands of people in danger because he did. We swore to an oath and we upheld ours. He did not.”

“He walked off—and ‘walked off’ is a nice way to put it,” says Specialist Josh Cornelison, the medic in Bergdahl’s platoon. “He was accounted for late that afternoon. He very specifically planned to walk out in the middle of the night.”

“He was a deserter,” says Specialist Full. “There’s no question in the minds of anyone in our platoon.”

But Democrat Susan Rice disagrees:

The Weekly Standard:

President Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, said on ABC that Bowe Bergdahl “served the United States with honor and distinction” and that “Sergeant Bergdahl wasn’t simply a hostage; he was an American prisoner of war captured on the battlefield.”

[…]“He is going to be safely reunited with his family. He served the United States with honor and distinction. And we’ll have the opportunity eventually to learn what has transpired in the past years, but what’s most important now is his health and well being, that he have the opportunity to recover in peace and security and be reunited with his family. Which is why this is such a joyous day.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Rice says, “Sergeant Bergdahl wasn’t simply a hostage; he was an American prisoner of war captured on the battlefield.” She adds, “We have a sacred obligation that we have upheld since the founding of our republic to do our utmost to bring back our men and women who are taken in battle, and we did that in this instance.”

“Captured on the battlefield”? “Sacred obligation”?I guess we should not be surprised since she also blamed Benghazi on a Youtube video when it was known from the first instant that it was a terrorist attack defended the swap.

What difference does it make?
What difference does it make?

But other Democrats praised the terrorists-for-deserter swap as well:

Hillary Clinton, Obama’s former secretary of state, defended the deal in the days following. Clinton dismissed claims at the time that Bergdahl had deserted as “irrelevant.” “We bring our people home,” she said. Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice said Bergdahl had served with “honor and distinction.”

Congressional leaders were effusive in their praise as well.

“Today is a joyful day for our nation,” said House minority leader Nancy Pelosi in a May 31 statement. “As Sgt. Bergdahl returns home, we join in celebrating his safe return, and in expressing our gratitude for the relentless dedication of all the service members, intelligence officers, and diplomats who worked so hard to make this day a reality.”

Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, then the majority leader, took to the Senate floor on June 4 to castigate Republicans criticizing the exchange. “As the president said, this is not a victory for him. It is a victory for the United States military and our country,” said Reid.

Here’s Megyn Kelly interviewing the State Department spokeswoman about the charges:

As Megyn Kelly says in the clip at the top, at least 3 of the 5 released Taliban commanders have tried to reconnect with terrorist networks:

At least three of the five Taliban leaders traded last year for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl have tried to plug back into their old terror networks, a government official familiar with the intelligence told Fox News, describing it as an attempt to “re-engage.” 

[…]The director of the Defense Intelligence Agency recently told Congress that, after that expiration, all his officers can do is warn the U.S. government if the men return to the battlefield.

“I’ve seen nothing that causes me to believe these folks are reformed or [have] changed their ways or intend to re-integrate to society in ways to give me any confidence that they will not return in trying to do harm to America,” Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., a member of the House intelligence committee, told Fox News.

The official who described the attempts by three to make contact did not identify the men by name. But the evidence came to light through intelligence from liaison services and monitored communications available to the U.S. government.

A defense official did not dispute the claim, emphasizing that one of the men has come “very close, trying to provide advice, council or inspiration” to his terror network, while the other two had not crossed that line.

As Hillary Clinton would say, “what different at this point does it make?”. I guess if you are a Democrat, trading five of our strongest enemies for a deserter makes a lot of sense, how dare we voters think otherwise?

Obama told us that Yemen was a success of his foreign policy

The Wall Street Journal reports:

The Obama administration’s calculated gamble during the past three years in Yemen has crumbled in recent days, leaving the country on the brink of a civil war with U.S. troops involved in counterterror operations withdrawing amid intense fighting.

What happened in Yemen, according to descriptions by current and former officials and experts, was a miscalculation about the changes unleashed by the Arab Spring revolutions. It involved an overreliance by Washington on a promising new leader who ultimately was unable to hold off rival forces and tensions, they said.

As a result, a country President Barack Obama last year cited as a model of American counterterrorism success has now descended into chaos, with U.S. influence and drone strikes no match for at least four sides at war with one another.

“In many ways, this is all the Thanksgiving Dinner from hell,” said Jon Alterman, a former State Department official and director of the Middle East program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “It is people who have been dealing with each other for a long time, none are satisfied, and the fight has broken out. And the first thing is figuring out who the different sides are.”

The U.S. and allies such as Yemen’s neighbor Saudi Arabia had tried to take advantage of the Arab Spring revolution in Yemen in 2011. They supported a new, friendly regime led by President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

The White House hailed Mr. Hadi’s leadership and—with his cooperation—carried out dozens of drone strikes against the country’s al Qaeda offshoot. Meanwhile, they collected intelligence and training Yemeni forces to battle the terrorist group al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP.

But the Obama administration limited its involvement with others in Yemen, and was largely removed from numerous tribal leaders and the rising rebel group known as the Houthis, according to former U.S. officials and foreign policy experts. The success of the White House’s involvement with Yemen relied largely on Mr. Hadi staying in power, they said, adding that the White House had few alternatives. That is why the U.S. approach was upended last month when Shiite-linked Houthi rebels, believed to be backed by Iran, seized control of Yemen’s capital and forced Mr. Hadi to flee. Forces loyal to Mr. Hadi are now warring against the Houthis, and U.S. officials believe, against his predecessor, Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The Yemeni president has asked Gulf countries to intervene militarily against the Houthis as they advance toward his base in the southern city of Aden, according to Saudi media reports quoting Mr. Hadi’s foreign minister. Over the past few days, the Houthis have been advancing southward into the major southern city of Taiz, where they have encountered resistance and large street protests against them. Houthi gunmen fired live ammunition and tear gas on Monday into crowds of demonstrators in the city, wounding at least seven people. Meanwhile, militants claiming allegiance to Islamic State carried out dramatic suicide attacks in an area that had traditionally been the safe haven for rival AQAP, which some believe could trigger competitive jihadist attacks.

The Houthis had already taken over the airport and some government buildings in Taiz and erected checkpoints in the southern city when the violence flared, said local government officials and protest organizers, who reported the casualties.

[…]Before political chaos erupted earlier this year, the U.S. had everything invested in Mr. Hadi. Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan was a key liaison to the country when he served as a top White House counterterrorism aide in the first years of the Obama administration. His replacement, Lisa Monaco, had kept in constant contact with Mr. Hadi since then.

In September, President Obama hailed Yemen as a success story in its counterterrorism approach, saying the country’s aggressive pursuit of terrorists would prevent the spread of Islamic State.

Look at the stupidity of Samantha Power:

Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said Sunday that all parties in Yemen should agree to U.N.-backed negotiations and “refrain from any further unilateral and offensive military actions.”

“We are supporting all the right [United Nations] resolutions, but most of the people in Yemen could care a flying fig for a U.N. resolution,” said Barbara Bodine, who was U.S. Ambassador to Yemen at the time of the USS Cole attack.

The Obama administration simply cannot take evil seriously – they keep thinking that everyone in the world is like them, and it’s killing our foreign policy. Obama keeps making promises that him and his party of amateurs and academics cannot keep.

Neville Chamberlain Obama: peace in our time
Neville Chamberlain Obama: peace in our time

If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan. If you like your IRS e-mails, you can keep your IRS e-mails. If you like your Tea Party charitable status, you can keep your Tea Party charitable status. If you like your Ukraine, you can keep your Ukraine. If you like your traditional marriage, you can keep your traditional marriage. If you like your State Department transparency, you can keep your State Department transparency. If you like your European missile defense, you can keep your European missile defense. If you like your 12 carrier strike groups, you can keep your 12 carrier strike groups. If you like your full-time work week, you can keep your full-time work week. If you like your health care for veterans, you can keep your health care for veterans. If you like your $8 trillion dollar debt,  you can keep your $8 trillion dollar debt. If you like your coal plant, you can keep your coal plant. If you like your race relations, you can keep your race relations. If you like your freedom to not buy others abortion drugs, you can keep your freedom to not buy others abortion drugs. If you like your F-22 stealth fighter, you can keep your F-22 stealth fighter. If you like your Israel, you can keep your Israel.

We can fix the spending, we can fix the laws, we can fix the fraud, we can fix the corruption, we can repeal Obamacare… but the foreign policy blunders will be very, very hard to fix.