Category Archives: Diplomacy, Defense, & Security

The American Deficit of Victory

(This post originally appeared at Pocket Full of Liberty on May 25, 2014. As that site is no longer active, I have relocated it here, as this is something I don’t want to lose)

Memorial Day is the holiday on which we recognize the sacrifice of life by the American warrior in combat, regardless of who they were, where they were slain, and why they were sent to fight, and remember the debt owed to all of them by the rest of us. Continue reading The American Deficit of Victory

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Sleepers wake? Part One of a Different Take on Benghazi

Inquiries and investigations into the Benghazi attack on September 11, 2012 that left four Americans dead, including US Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens, are picking up. Many are starting to ask about what I think is one of the key questions in the whole scandal, namely who was it that gave then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, UN Ambassador Susan Rice, and others the talking points about the “YouTube” excuse; that it was the rather badly made anti-Muslim video that spurred on the whole attack and following debacle. Glenn Kessler at The Washington Post‘s “The Fact Checker” blog is on this angle, as is Ed Morrissey at Hot Air and in his new column for The Week.

Cover-ups rarely are spurred on by the events that directly precipitated the need to cover up, rather their genesis is to be found in keeping under wraps other things that an investigation will likely expose. This was true in both the Watergate and Iran-Contra scandals, and it’s almost certainly true about the aftermath of Benghazi.

I’m a fan of both history and fiction dealing with espionage and international intrigue. You may have read my recent post on the 70th anniversary of Operation Mincemeat, which except for date checks and verifying some minor details, I wrote pretty much from memory. Perhaps I’ve read too much history and fiction in that genre, as the tack I’m taking here is a bit off the wall, but I think it’s the only explanation that begins to fit all the facts. It’s also going to take several posts to flesh out the whole story as I see it. So, here goes…

Premise: At least one “principal” in the story is very much not what they seem.

Over and above reading “cerebral” spy and intrigue stories, I also enjoy them on film and television, and will usually pick something like The Ipcress File over say, The Bourne Identity. One of my favorites is the late-1970s British series The Sandbaggers. One particular piece of dialogue from the show has been rolling around in my brain since I started trying to sort what happened in Benghazi before, during, and after out in my own mind. This is taken from Season 3, Episode 1 entitled “All in a Good Cause“.

To set the scene, SIS Director of Operations Neil Burnside and his top special agent Willie Caine are discussing their plans to bluff their own service with bureaucratic sleight of hand and prevent one of their foreign stations from being closed. They’re also working on a seemingly more sinister plot: someone is following the local CIA station chief, Jeff Ross, whom they’re friendly with on both personal and professional bases. They’re assuming that Ross is the “good guy” in that circumstance, and that the other party in the case are the enemy. The pair have the following conversation:

Caine: [Speaking about the “bluff” plan] In concentrating so hard on one, they take the other for granted. 

Burnside: Yes, with a bit of… [Pauses, realizes that Caine’s statement applies to Ross] 

Caine: Yeah, I thought about that. I dismissed it as ridiculous. 

Burnside: But we have been concentrating on the one and taking the other for granted. 

Caine: I know, but it makes no more sense the other way ’round. 

Burnside: But it would make some sense if we forget that Jeff Ross is a friend.

So, have we taken someone for granted in the Benghazi story? Someone treated like a friend who actually isn’t? To me, it’s obvious the answer is yes, and it’s obvious who it is.

A (un-) Sympathetic Character

On September 15, 2012, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula was taken in for questioning by Federal authorities investigating the origin of the YouTube video Innocence of Muslims which was said at the time to have been the spark that set off the Benghazi powder keg. Twelve days later, Mr. Nakoula was arrested on various charges surrounding violation of his federal probation from an earlier conviction.

If you had been paying any attention to new media (and some old media) back then, you’ll remember that Nakoula became a cause célèbre for freedom of speech and guaranteed liberties under the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Conservatives and libertarians practically fell over themselves running to microphones, cameras, blog posts, and Twitter to rally to the filmmaker’s defense on free speech grounds. Fundamentally, they’re right – but only if Mr. Nakoula and his lousy video were what they seemed. But, are they?

Mr. Nakoula also had his ticket punched twice more in ways sure to garner popular support:

  1. His video/movie was in opposition to Islamic radicalism – definitely a popular take to have since the original 9/11.
  2. He put himself forward as an Egyptian Coptic Christian, which is certain to garner support from most if not all evangelicals as they’re quite well known as one of the most persecuted churches in the world.

That’s all well and good, but does Nakoula Basseley Nakoula deserve defense via our support? We actually know very little about the man, and what we do know certainly doesn’t put him in the ranks of upstanding citizens.

Nakoula was born in Egypt sometime in 1957, but information on when he came to the United States, and when he became a naturalized citizen, is sketchy at best. We do know he’s been able to run up lots of debts on which he’s defaulted, was convicted of intent to produce methamphetamine in the late 1990s, and was convicted of bank fraud in 2010. There’s a champion of free speech for you!

Furthermore, his self-identification as a Coptic Christian is, I think, tenuous at best. Yes, he attended church and was slightly known to Coptic clergy in the Los Angeles area, but was hardly a regular church goer.

Now, add to the Nakoula saga how it ended: with his pleading guilty just six weeks after his arrest to four probation violation charges on November 7, 2012 and return to Federal prison. Call me crazy, but if were I really an anti-Islamic extremism crusader, with plenty of folks willing to rise up and defend me on free speech grounds, would I give in so easily? Wouldn’t I want the stage and publicity of a trial to further my causes? Would I slip quietly and with as little hassle as possible back to prison?

None of it makes any sense unless Nakoula is just stupid (a definite possibility) or unless Nakoula played exactly the role he was supposed to play.

What if Nakoula, and his video/movie, are part of a larger plot? What if they’re both plants? Kind of puts the video and its maker in a different light, yes? Could he have been set up intentionally as an unsympathetic character? Was there supposed to be some domestic backlash from people rising to his defense on free speech grounds that didn’t happen?

If they’re both plants, it follows that the ready excuse/explanation of the video was also planted inside the State Department, et al. well before September 11, 2012. It was ready and waiting. To me, that makes sense considering how quickly they rolled the meme out.

There are so many questions to ask about Mr. Nakoula that nobody seems to be asking. Why did he use so many aliases? He claimed that the money to produce Innocence of Muslims came from his wife’s family in Egypt – are there records of the financial transfers? Certainly post-9/11/2001 with all the new banking regulations, you’d think large sum transfers from Egypt to the USA would have attracted some attention. When did he become a citizen, and was it before or after he started running afoul of the law? Why did he use one of his aliases to claim that the video/film was an Israeli-sponsored project?

Nakoula posted the video on YouTube on July 1, 2012. It then took two months for it to be dubbed into Arabic and reposted? Why? Who created the Arabic version in the first place and saw that excerpts were put on Egyptian television on September 9, 2012?

Whatever you feel about the Benghazi scandal, please, don’t give Nakoula Besseley Nakoula the benefit of the doubt. There’s nothing about him that should place him on your side. I’m convinced winding up back in prison away from questions is exactly where he was instructed to wind up.

Pulling it Together – Next Directions

So then, if Nakoula is a plant, who planted him? I’ve got some thoughts on that, but suffice to say it’s not an Islamist source. I’m going to write additional parts to this thread, and I’m also interested to see how the upcoming Congressional testimony of “whistle blowers” comes out to see if it meshes with my larger theory. Consider these thoughts; I’m interested to see if you wind up at the same conclusions as I have:

  1. If Nakoula and the video was a plant/set-up, the operational concept had to be written for the overall plan and execution begun well over a year before July 2012. Who is likely to have planned that far ahead?
  2. Who had the most to gain from manufacturing a crisis that close to a US Presidential election?
  3. Did the plan almost fail, not because of actions or failure on the part of perpetrators but inactions on the part of the Obama administration?
  4. Who has the most to gain by keeping the United States’ attention focused on Islamic terrorism?
  5. Is it possible that Ambassador Stevens’ presence in Benghazi that day was “burned”? 
  6. Accusations of infiltration into the State Department, etc. were leveled last summer. What if they were right as to substance, but wrong as to perpetrator?
  7. Many people in the United States Government were compromised before Benghazi, and a large portion of those who were probably still don’t realize they’ve been played.
  8. Finally, the Petraeus/Broadwell affair is not unrelated in initiation or outcome.

Chew on those, dear readers, pay attention to the testimony before Congress, and I’ll be back writing on this soon.

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The UN Speech I’d Give

Today, President Barack Obama will address the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. Frankly, I really don’t care what he has to say there, because based on his track record, I’m sure it will be another iteration of his “blame America first” ideology, tinged with additional apologetics for the dubious view that it’s a YouTube video that produced the recent increase in Middle East turmoil.

Another thing I can pretty much guarantee is that he’s going to speak too long. That’s a common problem with politicians, which is particularly on my mind as I was just in Gettysburg this past weekend. President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is masterful because of both its subject and its brevity.

So, were I the President of the United States, trying to keep it as pithy and inspiring as possible, here’s what I’d say to the United Nations, if it was me standing there today. I think I’d probably set an all-time record for UN walkouts.

Mr. General Secretary, assembled heads of state or government, ambassadors, and distinguished guests:

I stand before you here today, ever grateful that I am here as the President of the United States solely by the consent of the governed, rather than by heredity, force of arms, or corruption. Today, the United Nations assembled here stands not for what brings us together as humans, but what sets us in conflict diplomatically, economically, or militarily.

I look now around this assembly, and I can list off nation after nation that oppresses their people, stifles their development, and whose leaders assume or seize power for power’s sake. The United Nations, born out of a six-year world war to end tyranny and oppression, has instead become tyranny and oppression’s legitimizer. The United Nations places representatives of governments who deny women equal rights on its human rights council. The United Nations gives equal time to governments who would happily see their neighbors erased from humanity – or who deny the very history that led to the formation of this body.

The United States is an imperfect society. The Framers of our Constitution two hundred and twenty-five years ago knew that perfection was unattainable, as they noted their intent “to form a more perfect union”, rather than embrace utopianism. We will continue to be imperfect, but never forget this: the United States will always remain on the side of liberty and freedom.

The United States will prefer free trade over cartels and tariffs.

The United States will embrace those who wish to govern and be governed, rather than those who would subjugate their people.

And where the United Nations fails to uphold its own resolutions upon those who violate the same, expect the United States to enforce them as necessary, if necessary unilaterally, as we have done in the past.

Many of our fellow nations assembled here are envious of the United States’ success, of our prosperity, of our riches. They say we have stolen what isn’t ours. This is a damnable lie. If you envy the United States, seek not to limit or destroy us, but instead to join in how we have gained our success. We’ve even given you the blueprint.

Declare and accept that the people have unalienable rights, most importantly that of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Do not force your people to accept a particular religious belief, nor persecute those who do not believe the same or at all.

Do not control or limit the speech of your people, the press, or their ability to assemble peaceably and protest their government.

Be brave enough to allow your people to defend themselves against those who would oppress or do them harm, including if necessary, from your own rule and tyranny.

Do not rule over your people by placing your armies or police among them, nor violate their homes and safety without just cause.

Apply laws and punishments equitably and fairly to all your people, and reject the tyrant’s whim to dictate guilt or innocence rather than rely on citizens and juries to secure justice for all.

Remember that ultimately it is not you, the leaders, who empower and bestow rights upon the people, but the people who retain all rights except those which they explicitly grant to the governors.

Those are the basics, and you can probably figure out where to look for the rest. Have the courage to empower your people, let them be free, and your nations will succeed.

In closing, I will speak to those around the world who seek greater freedom and liberty. The United States is with you. If you choose to pursue your liberty by coming to the United States, all we ask is that you respect and obey our laws, both as you come and after you arrive. If your hope is rather to bring the prosperity and freedom of America to your homes and homelands, please be assured that the United States is still prepared to “pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”

May God continue to bless the freedom-loving people of the world, and by His grace, may you all truly be free.

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Complete disregard for National Security

By now, I’m sure you’ve seen the reports on President Obama and Vice President Biden’s lunch outing to Ray’s Hell Burger in Arlington, VA.

Contrived political opportunism? Of course. All politicians do that – and generally I don’t criticize them for it – when they want to appear in tune with the “common man”. Unless of course, the politician http://jvdelllaw.com/wp-json/oembed/1.0/embed?url=https://jvdelllaw.com/ is a real common (wo)man (Sarah Palin, 2007 AGI of $166,080 with husband Todd), in which case they’re simply a target for ridicule and destruction.

No, where I take offense to the New Soviet Man’s lunch with his Plagiarist Veep go to site is the fact that they were both in the same public place at the same time. Planned or not, unannounced or not, this showed callous disregard for security, safety, and continuity of the United States Government.

Let me be absolutely clear on one point: I am not a supporter of the Obama Administration – I hope they and their policies fail miserably – but at the same time I do not want to see any physical harm or even the risk thereof come to President Obama or Vice President Biden.

It is unconscionably reckless for the two of them to have been at the same place like that, especially in a post-9/11 world. This wasn’t the White House, the Capitol Building (i.e. State of the Union Address), a military base, or some other controlled, secure environment – it was a burger joint.

Here’s a scary way to look at it: at lunch time today, the United States of America was one hand grenade away from… buy priligy online in india President Pelosi.

And the Left wonders why we believe Barack Obama isn’t serious about National Security…

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TFH 10/7: The War is Joined

Prior to 9/11, the United States was a passive participant in a violent conflict. Everything changed that September morning.

Seven years ago this day, the United States of America under the leadership of President George W. Bush began combat operations against Al Qaeda and the Taliban regime of Afghanistan under the command of General Tommy Franks, USA.

From this day forth, the United States of America made it known that we would no longer tolerate terrorist acts against our Nation, nor would we allow those who would support and harbor terrorists to persist among freedom-loving nations.

This day, those murdered by terrorists on 9/11 began to receive justice.

Today began Operation Enduring Freedom, a finest hour for freedom and liberty, and for the United States of America!

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Just once…

Sarah missed an opportunity in the debate – a minor one (she’s doing great by the way) – to state clear and loud what the exit strategy for the War on Terror is. Once, just once, I’d like to hear someone say at the top of their lungs that the only exit strategy acceptable to Americans in war is:

VICTORY!!!!!

America’s doctrine in war should have only two possible outcomes for the enemies of Freedom:

1) You may surrender unconditionally and immediately.

2) If you choose to not accept option one, you will be completely and totally annihilated.

End. Of. Discussion.

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Honoring our Military with the Best Recruiting Commercial Ever

Had my life taken a different course, I would be an officer in the United States Marine Corps right now. I know now, but not fully why, that that life is not what God intended for me.

In the day, I chose the Marines because I believed then as now that the United States was worth fighting for, and that the Marine Corps was my best chance for actually fighting. Yes, I wanted to go to war for my country. It would have been worth whatever the cost to myself.

Soon after September 11th, the United States Marine Corps produced the following television commercial. I can remember the first time I saw it. It’s not about team building, individual achievement, or getting an education or training.

It’s about going to war.

Thank you to all the members – past, present, and future – of the United States Army, United States Navy, United States Air Force, United States Coast Guard, and the United States Marine Corps. You all have defended our Liberty and Nation, and today you defend myself, my wife, and my two wonderful children who sadly, will never know a pre-9/11 world.

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