Tag Archives: National Security

Remembering 9/11 and the Democrat weakness on foreign policy that caused it

The 9/11 attacks resulted from weak Democrat foreign policy
The 9/11 terrorist attacks resulted from weak Democrat foreign policy

One of my libertarian friends was objecting to the 9/11 memorial being conducted today. So I decided to re-post a VERY old post I wrote in February 2009 when I was just starting out blogging. In it, I explain why I became so conservative on foreign policy after 9/11. Watching the response of the secular left and libertarians to the attack (blame America and praise terrorists) turned me into a hawk.

—-

The Wall

Democrats have a reputation for not taking defense and counter-terrorism seriously. According to this post over at the American Thinker, the 9/11 tragedy was mostly due to a failure in intelligence caused by a “wall” between different intelligence-gathering organizations.

Gorelick, an appointee of Bill Clinton, is the one who constructed the wall of separation that kept the CIA and the FBI from comparing notes and therefore invading the privacy of nice young men like, say, Muhammed Atta and Zacarius Moussaoui. While countless problems were uncovered in our intelligence operations in the wake of 9-11, no single factor comes close to in importance to Jamie Gorelick’s wall.

In fact, it was Gorelick’s wall, perhaps more than any other single factor, that induces some people to blame Clinton himself for 9-11 since he appointed her and she acted consistent with his philosophy of “crime fighting.” She put the wall into place as Deputy Attorney General in 1995.

Now let’s see how a Republican president responded to a terrorist attack.

George W. Bush

George W. Bush’s bold action abroad gave us 7 years free from terrorist attacks on American assets. If there is one thing that deters future attacks, it is military invasions of countries that support and/or harbor terrorists. They understand military force. For Bush, one terrorist attack was enough to get us to respond with force.

As a result of the Bush doctrine of invading states suspected of developing and/or proliferating WMDs, Libya discontinued its weapons program and invited inspectors to come in and cart away all of its research equipment. That was the Bush doctrine – which Libya believed only because they saw that we were willing to back up our demands with force. We can have peace if our enemies believe that we have the will to go to war, and that our enemies fear that they will lose that contest.

Bill Clinton

Contrast George W. Bush’s immediate response to terrorism with Democrat Bill Clinton. According to Byron York, we had four terrorist attacks during Clinton’s presidency.

So Clinton talked tough. But he did not act tough. Indeed, a review of his years in office shows that each time the president was confronted with a major terrorist attack — the February 26, 1993, bombing of the World Trade Center, the Khobar Towers attack, the August 7, 1998, bombing of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and the October 12, 2000, attack on the USS Cole — Clinton was preoccupied with his own political fortunes to an extent that precluded his giving serious and sustained attention to fighting terrorism.

How did Clinton respond to these four attacks? According to this interview with Richard Miniter, President Clinton was much less aggressive than Bush was, during his two terms. Bush’s administration did not fear public opinion, but Clinton’s administration did. Miniter lists sixteen of the Clinton administration’s failures to treat terrorism as a serious threat. Below, I cite my favorites. Read the whole list!

Lopez: In sum, how many times did Bill Clinton lose bin Laden?

Miniter: Here’s a rundown. The Clinton administration:

[…]4. Did not militarily react to the al Qaeda bombing in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

[…]7. Objected to Northern Alliance efforts to assassinate bin Laden in Afghanistan.

8. Decided against using special forces to take down bin Laden in Afghanistan.

[…]11. Clumsily tipped off Pakistani officials sympathetic to bin Laden before a planned missile strike against bin Laden on August 20, 1998. Bin Laden left the camp with only minutes to spare.

12-14. Three times, Clinton hesitated or deferred in ordering missile strikes against bin Laden in 1999 and 2000.

15. When they finally launched and armed the Predator spy drone plane, which captured amazing live video images of bin Laden, the Clinton administration no longer had military assets in place to strike the archterrorist.

16. Did not order a retaliatory strike on bin Laden for the murderous attack on the USS Cole.

When you look at the facts, we begin to understand why Democrats perform so poorly on national security issues.

Peace Through Strength

Republicans, on the other hand, believe in peace through strength.

In foreign policy, Reagan sought to achieve “peace through strength.” During his two terms he increased defense spending 35 percent, but sought to improve relations with the Soviet Union. In dramatic meetings with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, he negotiated a treaty that would eliminate intermediate-range nuclear missiles. Reagan declared war against international terrorism, sending American bombers against Libya after evidence came out that Libya was involved in an attack on American soldiers in a West Berlin nightclub.

I’ve been reading a lot about the run up to World War 2 lately. And what I discovered was that leading figures in the governments of both the Germany and Japan (in their correspondence) believed that no one in the West would stop them for being aggressive. So, in the 1930s, both Germany and Japan took aggressive actions against their neighbors. For example, Germany and Japan both seized territory from their peaceful neighbors. We got into a world war because we didn’t deter these early aggressive actions. That’s why we had to fight against a much stronger enemy in a world war – we gave them time to build up while we did nothing to prepare.

The differences between the two political parties could not be more clear. Weakness provokes war. Wars start when our enemies believe that they can strike us with impunity. Military strength, and the will to use it, deter aggression.

Thinking practically about the gospel with an illustration from a war movie

The city of Mogadishu, in Somalia, Africa
The city of Mogadishu, in Somalia, Africa

I decided to re-post one of my favorite posts for Memorial Day.

First, let’s get an overview that helps us understand the context and goals of the mission we are going to discuss.

The scene is set in Somalia, Africa, in 1992. There a civil war between two warlords: Ali Mahdi and Mohammed Farah Aidid. The war has destroyed agricultural operations, and the people are starving. The United Nations are trying to help, but Aidid hijacks the food from UN aircraft so that he can use the food to gain control of the people. Hundreds of thousands of Somalis are dying of starvation. The UN requests American military forces to secure the air-dropped supplies so they can be distributed to the starving people.

In December 1992, President George H.W. Bush answers the call, sending 25,000 troops to Somalia to protect the food from the Somali warlords. However, in 1993, Bill Clinton is elected. He orders that the number of U.S. troops be reduced to 12,000. Following an attack by Aidid on Pakistani peace-keepers, the U.N. issues a resolution to capture those responsible. The U.S. armed forces have the arms and training to battle evil, so they get the call to capture Aidid and his lieutenants.

In late August 1993, Task Force Ranger is deployed to Mogadishu to capture Aidid and his lieutenants at the Olympic Hotel. The U.S. force consists of 440 troops from the Army Rangers and Army Delta Force special forces, commanded by General William Garrison. Garrison requested light armored units (Bradley Infantry Fighting vehicles) that would offer more protection than the unarmored HMMWV Humvees. Garrison was denied the light armor by the Clinton administration. Garrison requested heavier air support (AC-130 Spectre gunships) that would offer better fire support than the UH-60 Blackhawk miniguns. Garrison was denied the air support by the Clinton administration. The Clinton administration did not want the American forces to appear too heavily armed for the peace-keeping role.

The actual mission turned out to be much harder than it needed to be, because of the resources denied by the Clinton administration. Although the Aidid lieutenants were captured, Aidid himself escaped. Eighty-four American soldiers were wounded. Eighteen American soldiers were killed, and their bodies were dragged through the streets of Mogadishu. This was shown over and over by the media, and it undermined American resolve to help the Somali people. As a result, Clinton had the excuse he needed to retreat the American military.

(Source: Nova Online)

Two heroes lost their lives

Today, I want to talk about two of the men who lost their lives in Operation Gothic Serpent. They are Master Sergeant Gary I. Gordon and Sergeant First Class Randall D. Shughart – a Delta Force sniper team.

Here is a clip from the movie Blackhawk Down, which shows what happened to them:

The pilot of the downed Blackhawk was protected by the two men who volunteered to go in after him. They requested that they be inserted at the crash site, even though they knew that reinforcements were likely not going to be there in time to save them. They made the request to go and help the pilot three times before being allowed to go in. Their first two requests were denied by their commanding officer, because the odds against their survival were so overwhelming. The rescued pilot was later released by his captors, and the two heroes were awarded the Medal of Honor for their brave actions.

A Congressional Medal of Honor
A Congressional Medal of Honor

Here is a description of the requirements to be awarded a Medal of Honor:

The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration that may be awarded by the United States government. It is presented by the President of the United States, in the name of Congress, and is conferred only upon members of the United States Armed Forces who distinguish themselves through conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty:

  • While engaged in action against an enemy of the United States;
  • While engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or
  • While serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.

You can read the official details of their actions.

The point of this post

It is important for Christians to be familiar with real-world examples of people giving their lives in order to save the lives of others. When we see real-world examples of self-sacrifice, it helps us to understand what Jesus really achieved for us, and what he must have felt making that hard choice to volunteer to go in and rescue us. In general, my philosophy when it comes to the Bible is to make every effort to connect what the Bible says to the real world. We must not push Christianity into some far-off world of piety and feelings. We must make connections to real evidence and real life, so that what the Bible says becomes practical, and so that we have a deep friendship with and sympathy for God revealed in Jesus Christ. In real life, being willing to give your life to save someone else is hard. Understanding how that really happens will help us to value what Jesus has done for us.

Bible verses

I saw this verse on the ground outside the Airborne & Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville, NC, where I went for my summer vacation in 2015. (Thanks to my friend Curby who hosted me)

Isaiah 6:8:

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”

And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Here is the picture I took (yes, that is my running shoe):

“Here am I, send me” Isaiah 6:8

When confronted with an opportunity to imitate Christ in his self-sacrifice, we should think less about ourselves and our own desires, and take the opportunity to serve others effectively. We do not do what makes us happy, and we do not pursue fun and thrills. We do what heals, we do what helps others. We do not push away our responsibility to imitate Christ by caring for those in danger. Christianity is not just about “not doing bad things”. It’s the good things you do because of your relationship with Jesus that show your real allegiance, and give you the experience of being a Christian in deed.

And here is another good verse:

John 15:13:

13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

If you get a chance to watch the movie Blackhawk Down, then do so. I highly recommend it. You can also read the book that the movie is based on.

I love the Medal of Honor books by Edward F. Murphy. He writes about all the people who have been awarded the Medal of honor in different wars: World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

If you check my reading list, you’ll find that I usually read two military books for every one book on another subject.

Mainstream media and Democrat politicians silent after illegal immigrant murders police officer

California Police Officer Ronil Singh
California Police Officer Ronil Singh

Did you hear about the news story of a California police officer being murdered by an illegal immigrant during a traffic stop? Well, if you get your news from left-wing media sources, then you probably didn’t. The North American news media had almost nothing to say about it. I only found the story on a British newspaper’s web site, the UK Telegraph.

They wrote:

A manhunt has been launched after an illegal immigrant gunman shot dead a California police officer during a traffic stop.

The suspect had been stopped for possible drink driving when he shot the officer, Ronil Singh.

[…]Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson in California said authorities have identified, but won’t yet name the illegal immigrant suspect.

They believed he was still in the area, around 100 miles southeast of San Francisco, and was armed and dangerous.

Sheriff Christianson said: “This suspect is in our country illegally. He doesn’t belong here. He is a criminal.

“The sheriff’s office will spare no expense in hunting down this criminal.”

Fighting back tears the local police chief Randy Richardson said Mr Singh, 33, originally from Fiji, had a newborn son, and was an “American patriot”.

The police chief said: “He came to America with one purpose, and that was to serve this country.

[…]”Please remember the man. Yes, he was a police officer, but he was a human being. His five-month old he will never hear talk, he will never see his son walk because a coward took his life.”

I just want to remind everyone that it’s not just police officers who get murdered in open border / sanctuary city states like California. It’s unarmed civilians, too.

Remember the story of Kate Steinle? She was just walking with her family on a pier in San Francisco when an illegal immigrant – who had been deported many times – used an illegal firearm to murder her for no reason at all.

The Miami Herald reported at the time:

It was July 1, 2015, and Kate Steinle was walking with her father on Pier 14 in San Francisco.

But seemingly out of nowhere, a bullet ricocheted off the concrete and struck the unsuspecting 32-year-old in the back, according to NBC News. She died two hours later in a nearby hospital.

On Thursday, a jury found Kate’s accused killer, 45-year-old Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, not guilty on charges of murder, assault with a deadly weapon and involuntary manslaughter, The Washington Post reported. Garcia Zarate, a Mexican citizen who has been deported from the United States five times, was found guilty of possessing a weapon as a felon.

The defense argued that Garcia Zarate, a seven-time felon, found the gun, a Sig Sauer P239, on the pier and accidentally fired it when he picked it up, according to KTVU. That same weapon had been stolen four days earlier from an off-duty Bureau of Land Management Ranger’s car.

Zarate was acquitted of murder and assault charges against Kate Steinle. That’s right. He was ACQUITTED of murder and assault charges. He had been deported FIVE TIMES before this, and convicted of felonies SEVEN TIMES. In my view, every single California leftist should be tried and convicted of murder and assault, for allowing things like this to happen.

Republicans tried to introduce a law to stop killings like this from happening. They called it “Kate’s Law”. It was supposed to give tougher penalties to illegal immigrants who are deported and then re-enter the country to commit MORE crimes. The bill went up for a vote in the California house, and 166 Democrats voted against “Kate’s Law”. Only 24 Democrats voted for the law.

DID YOU GET THAT???? 166 DEMOCRATS OUT OF 190 DEMOCRATS VOTED AGAINST A LAW GIVING STRONGER PENALTIES TO ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS WHO ARE DEPORTED, THEN RETURN TO AMERICA, COMMIT MORE CRIMES, AND ARE CAUGHT AND SENTENCED AGAIN.

My purpose in writing about this

I just want to make sure that people understand that when I report on these issues, I am not concerned with the race of the person who does the killing. I am not white myself. I am concerned with the politicians and the news media who do not want to protect law-abiding taxpayers in this country from criminals. If you cross the border illegally, then you are a criminal.

We have ways that allow people to come into the country legally. I am in favor of making it easier for skilled, law-abiding people of all races come into the country legally. I am not in favor of illegal immigrants entering out country and then breaking more laws, while imposing costs on law-abiding taxpayers for welfare, schools, health care, policing, and so on. We need skilled immigrants of every race who want to follow the law, pay taxes, and never collect welfare. But we don’t need unskilled illegal immigrants who commit crimes, increase government spending, and collect welfare.

Build. The. Wall.

Thinking practically about the gospel with an illustration from a war movie

The city of Mogadishu, in Somalia, Africa
The city of Mogadishu, in Somalia, Africa

I decided to re-post one of my favorite posts for Memorial Day.

First, let’s get an overview that helps us understand the context and goals of the mission we are going to discuss.

The scene is set in Somalia, Africa, in 1992. There a civil war between two warlords: Ali Mahdi and Mohammed Farah Aidid. The war has destroyed agricultural operations, and the people are starving. The United Nations are trying to help, but Aidid hijacks the food from UN aircraft so that he can use the food to gain control of the people. Hundreds of thousands of Somalis are dying of starvation. The UN requests American military forces to secure the air-dropped supplies so they can be distributed to the starving people.

In December 1992, President George H.W. Bush answers the call, sending 25,000 troops to Somalia to protect the food from the Somali warlords. However, in 1993, Bill Clinton is elected. He orders that the number of U.S. troops be reduced to 12,000. Following an attack by Aidid on Pakistani peace-keepers, the U.N. issues a resolution to capture those responsible. The U.S. armed forces have the arms and training to battle evil, so they get the call to capture Aidid and his lieutenants.

In late August 1993, Task Force Ranger is deployed to Mogadishu to capture Aidid and his lieutenants at the Olympic Hotel. The U.S. force consists of 440 troops from the Army Rangers and Army Delta Force special forces, commanded by General William Garrison. Garrison requested light armored units (Bradley Infantry Fighting vehicles) that would offer more protection than the unarmored HMMWV Humvees. Garrison was denied the light armor by the Clinton administration. Garrison requested heavier air support (AC-130 Spectre gunships) that would offer better fire support than the UH-60 Blackhawk miniguns. Garrison was denied the air support by the Clinton administration. The Clinton administration did not want the American forces to appear too heavily armed for the peace-keeping role.

The actual mission turned out to be much harder than it needed to be, because of the resources denied by the Clinton administration. Although the Aidid lieutenants were captured, Aidid himself escaped. Eighty-four American soldiers were wounded. Eighteen American soldiers were killed, and their bodies were dragged through the streets of Mogadishu. This was shown over and over by the media, and it undermined American resolve to help the Somali people. As a result, Clinton had the excuse he needed to retreat the American military.

(Source: Nova Online)

Two heroes lost their lives

Today, I want to talk about two of the men who lost their lives in Operation Gothic Serpent. They are Master Sergeant Gary I. Gordon and Sergeant First Class Randall D. Shughart – a Delta Force sniper team.

Here is a clip from the movie Blackhawk Down, which shows what happened to them:

The pilot of the downed Blackhawk was protected by the two men who volunteered to go in after him. They requested that they be inserted at the crash site, even though they knew that reinforcements were likely not going to be there in time to save them. They made the request to go and help the pilot three times before being allowed to go in. Their first two requests were denied by their commanding officer, because the odds against their survival were so overwhelming. The rescued pilot was later released by his captors, and the two heroes were awarded the Medal of Honor for their brave actions.

A Congressional Medal of Honor
A Congressional Medal of Honor

Here is a description of the requirements to be awarded a Medal of Honor:

The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration that may be awarded by the United States government. It is presented by the President of the United States, in the name of Congress, and is conferred only upon members of the United States Armed Forces who distinguish themselves through conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty:

  • While engaged in action against an enemy of the United States;
  • While engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or
  • While serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.

You can read the official details of their actions.

The point of this post

It is important for Christians to be familiar with real-world examples of people giving their lives in order to save the lives of others. When we see real-world examples of self-sacrifice, it helps us to understand what Jesus really achieved for us, and what he must have felt making that hard choice to volunteer to go in and rescue us. In general, my philosophy when it comes to the Bible is to make every effort to connect what the Bible says to the real world. We must not push Christianity into some far-off world of piety and feelings. We must make connections to real evidence and real life, so that what the Bible says becomes practical, and so that we have a deep friendship with and sympathy for God revealed in Jesus Christ. In real life, being willing to give your life to save someone else is hard. Understanding how that really happens will help us to value what Jesus has done for us.

Bible verses

I saw this verse on the ground outside the Airborne & Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville, NC, where I went for my summer vacation in 2015. (Thanks to my friend Curby who hosted me)

Isaiah 6:8:

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”

And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Here is the picture I took (yes, that is my running shoe):

“Here am I, send me” Isaiah 6:8

When confronted with an opportunity to imitate Christ in his self-sacrifice, we should think less about ourselves and our own desires, and take the opportunity to serve others effectively. We do not do what makes us happy, and we do not pursue fun and thrills. We do what heals, we do what helps others. We do not push away our responsibility to imitate Christ by caring for those in danger. Christianity is not just about “not doing bad things”. It’s the good things you do because of your relationship with Jesus that show your real allegiance, and give you the experience of being a Christian in deed.

And here is another good verse:

John 15:13:

13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

If you get a chance to watch the movie Blackhawk Down, then do so. I highly recommend it. You can also read the book that the movie is based on.

I love the Medal of Honor books by Edward F. Murphy. He writes about all the people who have been awarded the Medal of honor in different wars: World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

If you check my reading list, you’ll find that I usually read two military books for every one book on another subject.

Why wasn’t Hillary Clinton indicted for her private e-mail server?

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama

Andy McCarthy writes about it at National Review. McCarthy is a former assistant U.S. attorney, and that he led the 1995 prosecution of the World Trade Center bombers, as well as prosecuting other prominent terrorism cases. So, he’s familiar with the law, and familiar with national security. The National Review is one of the most prestigious conservative publications.

Excerpt:

From the first, these columns have argued that the whitewash of the Hillary Clinton–emails caper was President Barack Obama’s call — not the FBI’s, and not the Justice Department’s. […]The decision was inevitable. Obama, using a pseudonymous email account, had repeatedly communicated with Secretary Clinton over her private, non-secure email account.

These emails must have involved some classified information, given the nature of consultations between presidents and secretaries of state, the broad outlines of Obama’s own executive order defining classified intelligence (see EO 13526, section 1.4), and the fact that the Obama administration adamantly refused to disclose the Clinton–Obama emails. If classified information was mishandled, it was necessarily mishandled on both ends of these email exchanges.

If Clinton had been charged, Obama’s culpable involvement would have been patent. In any prosecution of Clinton, the Clinton–Obama emails would have been in the spotlight. For the prosecution, they would be more proof of willful (or, if you prefer, grossly negligent) mishandling of intelligence. More significantly, for Clinton’s defense, they would show that Obama was complicit in Clinton’s conduct yet faced no criminal charges.

That is why such an indictment of Hillary Clinton was never going to happen.

He explains how we know that Obama knew about the Clinton private, unsecure, bathroom closet e-mail server:

As his counselors grappled with how to address his own involvement in Clinton’s misconduct, Obama deceptively told CBS News in a March 7 interview that he had found out about Clinton’s use of personal email to conduct State Department business “the same time everybody else learned it through news reports.” Perhaps he was confident that, because he had used an alias in communicating with Clinton, his emails to and from her — estimated to number around 20 — would remain undiscovered.

His and Clinton’s advisers were not so confident. Right after the interview aired, Clinton campaign secretary Josh Scherwin emailed Jennifer Palmieri and other senior campaign staffers, stating: “Jen you probably have more on this but it looks like POTUS just said he found out HRC was using her personal email when he saw it on the news.”

Scherwin’s alert was forwarded to Mills. Shortly afterwards, an agitated Mills emailed Podesta: “We need to clean this up — he has emails from her — they do not say state.gov.” (That is, Obama had emails from Clinton, which he had to know were from a private account since her address did not end in “@state.gov” as State Department emails do.)

They needed to “clean this up”.

Just to reiterate, there is only one reason why someone has a private e-mail server, and that is to escape the record-keeping requirements of their employer. If all your e-mails are stored on your private, unsecure, bathroom closet server, then you can just delete them when you want, and your employer will never know about them. And then if you’ve been pedaling the foreign policy of the United States for donations to your “foundation”, then no one will ever find out.

This could not be allowed to be linked back to Obama, and so it was not allowed to be linked back to Obama.

McCarthy explains:

In April 2016, in another nationally televised interview, Obama made clear that he did not want Clinton to be indicted. His rationale was a legally frivolous straw man: Clinton had not intended to harm national security. This was not an element of the felony offenses she had committed; nor was it in dispute. No matter: Obama’s analysis was the stated view of the chief executive. If, as was sure to happen, his subordinates in the executive law-enforcement agencies conformed their decisions to his stated view, there would be no prosecution.

Within a few weeks, even though the investigation was ostensibly still underway and over a dozen key witnesses — including Clinton herself — had not yet been interviewed, the FBI began drafting Comey’s remarks that would close the investigation. There would be no prosecution.

On June 27, Lynch met with Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, on an out-of-the-way Arizona tarmac, where their security details arranged for both their planes to be parked.

Over the next few days, the FBI took pains to strike any reference to Obama’s emails with Mrs. Clinton from the statement in which Comey would effectively end the “matter” with no prosecution.

And remember, we have a second FBI scandal being investigated, now. We’re trying to figure out whether the FBI used the Trump-Russia dossier, which was funded by the Clinton campaign, in order to get FISA court warrants to conduct surveillance on Trump and Trump associates. Just a little extra help for their favored presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton. Again, if true – we’re still investigating.

I used to think that the worst thing the Obama administration did was the IRS persecution of conservative groups ahead of Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012. And now there’s this new scandal.  Now we’re finding out little by little what the Obama administration really did, but we’ll probably never know the whole truth.