Thursday, June 30, 2011

Rep. Col. Allen West Runs Down National Security Challenges

A fascinating and extremely worthwhile half hour talk by Rep Col. Allen West at a Center for Security Policy event in New York City on the national security threats America faces...and what we need to do about it.

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Obama Administration Formally Recognizes The Muslim Brotherhood

The U.S. has decided to formally resume contact with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood:

“The political landscape in Egypt has changed, and is changing… It is in our interests to engage with all of the parties that are competing for parliament or the presidency,” said the official, who confirmed the news to Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Because it's the Politico, the linked article refers to Hamas as an organization 'sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood.' In fact, Hamas is merely the 'Palestinian' branch of the Brotherhood, and their genocidal policy towards Jews and Israel is also echoed by Sheik Qaradiwi, the Muslim Brotherhood's de facto leader who drew huge, enthusiastic crowds in Egypt's Tahrir Square expounding on those themes.

Recognition of Hamas, in violation of The Road Map and the Quartet's expressed principles is next on the agenda, It's already happening in that aid we send to the 'Palestinians' ends up helping to fund Hamas.

What the President is doing, as he's done from Day One is to choose sides in the Arab-Israeli conflict. And he's not choosing Israel. That's definitely out in plain sight now, so that even Leftist Jews with tunnel vision can see it.

Here's a message for Jews who voted for Barack Obama in2008. You may not be able to get to the point of voting for a Republican, but at least don't vote to return an anti-Israel president to the White House.

You needn't admit you might have been wrong in 2008, but its OK to admit you were lied to.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Watcher's Council Nominations - Fourth Of July Edition

Welcome to the Watcher's Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the 'sphere, and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council.Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing in this space on Friday.

This week's contest in dedicated to my favorite gang of troublemakers, The Founding Fathers.

Council News:

This week, Maggie's Notebook and Capitalist Preservation took advantage of my generous offer of link whorage and earned honorable mention status.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

Simply head over to the ‘Contact Me’ page at Joshuapundit and post a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address ( which won't be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6PM PST to be considered for our honorable mention category, and return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week.

It's a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members. while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let's see what we have this week....

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions


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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Fast And Furious - BATF Head Melman To Testify

In a surprise move, Ken Melman, the head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) has been given clearance by the Department of Justice to testify to Congress on his role in Operation Fast and Furious, which had BATF agents allowing straw purchasers to buy over two thousand automatic weapons and then smuggle them illegally across the border to Mexican Drug cartels. The operation led to a spike in violence in Mexico, the killing in Arizona of a U.S. Border Patrol agent last December and what appears to be an attempted cover up by the BATF and the US Department of Justice.

Melman won't be testifying to Rep. Darrel Issa's House Committee but to the Senate Judiciary Committee, dominated by Democrats. The deal came about in spectacularly sleazy fashion, brokered by Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and the committee’s top Republican, Iowa's Charles Grassley.

In exchange for Melman being allowed to testify, Grassley and the Republicans on the committee were finally given full access to BATF documents, Melson, and other key witnesses. In return, Grassley agreed to release a hold three Obama administration nominees he had been blocking; Jim Cole as deputy attorney general, Lisa Monaco as assistant attorney general for national security, and Virginia Seitz to be head of the Office of Legal Counsel.

Obviously Leahy already had access to all of the information when he started wheeling and dealing instead of releasing it to the Committee. Obviously his interest in justice comes in a poor second to partisan advantage, but then, that's no surprise when we're talking about Senator Leahy.

I don't expect mush to come of this, frankly. The Obama Department of Justice wouldn't have allowed Melman to testify unless they had already vetted him carefully and done damage control.

The Obama Administration may have decided to try to limit the fallout by appointing a designated Fall Guy. Since Melman has thus far proved unwilling, the most likely candidate would be Lanny Breur, the head of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division who has a huge paper trail leading to his involvement. Breuer is a loyal Democrat soldier who represented President Clinton during his impeachment trial and was ex-NSA Sandy Berger's lawyer when Berger stole all those classified documents from the National Archives, so it's not unlikely he would be more than willing to fall on his sword and keep his mouth shut.

One other interesting possibility involves this going further up the ladder, directly to Attorney General Eric Holder. Rep. Darrel Issa has stated that he has evidence that Holder knew about Operation Fast and Furious long before he testified that he did. If Issa can prove that the attorney general was part of a cover-up and/or if something interesting surfaces from Melman's testimony in the Senate or from something that wasn't properly excised from the documents the Senate Republicans now have, it's not that far a leap to see Holder being forced to resign or being impeached.

Stay tuned...

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Afghanistan's Intercontinental Hotel Under Attack by Suicide Bombers

Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel is under attack as I write this by suicide bombers, and there are at least ten dead already.

There were apparently a total of six bombers who struck the hotel at different points as well as a number of gunmen who are still battling the police. The attack took place at dinnertime, and one of the spots hit was the hotel's restaurant whioch was reportedly full at the time.

There was a press conference scheduled there tomorrow to announce a handover of security duties from NATO to the Afghan army. The Taliban's response to that and to President Obama's withdrawal announcement was to hit a large, prominent target in Karzai's stronghold to show that they're far from defeated and that any settlement will be on their terms.

Make no mistake - this is a message from the Taliban to both NATO and President Obama.

More as it comes in.

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Michele Bachmann On The Founding Fathers Working To End Slavery – 100% Correct

Ex-Clintonista George Stephanopoulos did his very best to torpedo Michele Bachmann yesterday on his 'news' show. In the course of his extremely smarmy interview, he asked her about a quote of hers to the effect that the Founding Fathers worked tirelessly to end slavery, citing that Washington and Jefferson, among others, were slave owners.

While Bachmann countered by mentioning John Quincy Adams, who was his father's secretary, the fact is that the Founding Fathers, or at least the majority of them did indeed work tirelessly to end slavery, and while they failed in the immediate sense, they succeeded in that they laid the groundwork for slavery's demise 70 years later.

An excellent read on the matter is a brilliant book called Miracle in Philadelphia, by Catherine Drinker Bowen which recounts the actual history and debates around the Constitutional Convention in 1787.

Slavery was a huge issue during that convention, and many of the Founding Fathers wanted it outlawed, but ran into an impasse after many hours of debate with the southern colonies whose agricultural productivity depended on it.

The Founders who wanted to set the stage for the abolition of slavery came up with a brilliant compromise, involving the issue of apportionment.

The southern colonies that favored slavery wanted all residents of their states, slave and free, counted equally when it came to deciding how many seats they were going to receive in Congress. Some of the northern colonies, who mostly had few slaves and thus nothing to lose didn't want slave residents counted at all.

The Founder's compromise was to count each slave as 3/5 of a man for the purposes of apportionment, and when that passed after a great deal more debate and lobbying, legislators from the slave states were permanently limited to a minority. With that one stroke, the state was set for slavery's eventual demise, and the proof of how effective it was came in 1804, when the slave states were powerless to stop Congress from outlawing the importation of slaves to the new nation.

The stage was set, even if it took 70 years and a bloody war.

So it's Rep. Michele Bachmann who's correct and knows her history - not George Stephanopuolos.

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Joshuapundit Makes The List Of Top 150 Conservative Sites!

Well here's a nice surprise. courtesy of Doug Ross.. based on Alexa's traffic rankings, Joshuapundit is now one of the top 150 conservative news and blogs sites, clocking in at number 142. The top three FYI were the Wall Street Journal, RealClearPolitics and HotAir.

Many thanks to all my valued readers...

I'll permit myself a brief, dignified WHOO HOO!

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Iran Ups The Ante, Test -Fires Long Range Missiles Able to Hit Israel, US Bases

Iran has decided to send a definite message to the US and to Israel regarding its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Yesterday, the Iranians revealed for the first time that they have underground missile silos as part of the 10 days of war games that began on Monday under the name of “Great Prophet 6.”

The video above shows a couple of Revolutionary Guard officers touring a missile site containing a Shahab 3 ballistic missile with a range of 1,243 miles ( 2,000 kilometers), which puts both Israel and US bases in the Persian Gulf in range..which is exactly the message Iran intended to send.

"The range of our missiles has been designed based on American bases in the region as well as the Zionist regime," Commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh told Iran's Fars news agency. "The Americans have reduced our labors," Hajizadeh told Fars. "Their military bases in the region are in a range of 130, 250 and maximum 700 km in Afghanistan which we can hit with these missiles."

Without a trace of irony he added that the 'Great Prophet 6' war games are a "message of peace and friendship to countries of the region." As part of that message, Iran's Revolutionary Guards fired 14 missiles, nine Zelzal missiles, two Shahab-1s, two Shahab-2s and one upgraded Shahab-3 missile.

Iran also has a solid fuel missile, the Sajjil, which has a longer range and canhit Europe.

It's uncertain exactly how many underground silos Iran has, but if they're substantial, it's a sign that the Iranians have deliberately dispersed their launching sites in order to limit any damage from a potential attack and to be able to inflict maximum damage.

As I've said before, we're going to pay dearly for continuing to allow this to continue as long as it has.

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Just Another Lil' Blood Libel In Leftard Land

There's apparently a particularly nasty Left wing blog out there that goes by the moniker of 'Jesus' General. ' And like a lot of the Left, he's shocked, simply shocked that those uppity Jews in Israel would take steps to defend themselves from anyone transporting who knows what to Hamas, via one of those cute flotillas:

As boatloads of American humanitarianofascists, including Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein, and the Obamishly hued novelist/poet Alice Walker, steam toward Gaza, one proud GOP operative, Josh Trevino, assures Israel:
Dear IDF: If you end up shooting any Americans on the new Gaza flotilla -- well, most Americans are cool with that. Including me.
That's what I call thinking out of the box. I mean, hey, when American citizens get all uppity about human rights--ask a foreign power to murder them. {...}

But then, I guess Mr. Trevino doesn't deserve all the credit for giving Israel's Likud government the go ahead to slaughter American citizens. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and I assume her boss, is giving the IDF a wink as well:
There will be construction materials entering Gaza and we think that it’s not helpful for there to be flotillas that try to provoke actions by entering into Israeli waters and creating a situation in which the Israelis have the right to defend themselves.
So there you go, IDF. You have the right to shoot 86-year-old Heda Epstein in order to defend your borders from uppity humanitarianofascists bearing food, medicine, and embarrassment.

Damn those murdering, evil Joooos!

I'll tell you far as I'm concerned, and considering that these creeps support a genocidal, Jew hating group like Hamas, the civilized world could do without them very nicely.

After all, the blockade was established after Hamas began shooting missiles at Israeli civilians and was designed to keep Iranian heavy weapons out of Hamas' hands. Not that 'Jesus' General' gives a rip about that.

But the fact is, no one's likely to be killed. What the IDF will do is what they always do - warn them in several languages that they're entering a closed military zone and tell them to proceed into port so whatever 'humanitarian supplies' they brought can be unloaded and sent to Gaza legally.

That's unless these 'peace activists' attack the IDF troops when they try to board like the goons on the Mavi Marmara did.

Just for the record, the 'humanitarian crisis' is sheer bolshoi. Gaza's stores are fully stocked, and a brand new shopping mall and a number of resorts and restaurants have opened up and are doing a thriving business.

But there is something I'd like to ask this 'Jesus' General'....what do you think Jesus would think about someone like you that defames His people?

Not that you'd care, of course.

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Blago Goes Down

Former Illinois Rod Blagojevich was found guilty today in 17 out of 20 charges in his corruption retrial.

The primary charges he was found guilty on all relate to his attempt to sell President-elect Barack Obama's Senate seat, to an attempted $50,000 shakedown of Children's Memorial Hospital in exchange for $8 million in state funding. and to bribery and extortion connected to a racing bill.

Sentencing is scheduled for August 1, and Blagojevich could end up with 20 years. He's the third Illinois governor to be jailed in the last thirty odd years, the second within the last decade.

During this second trial, I was struck by the judge's restrictions on whom Blagojevich's attorneys could subpoena, what evidence they were allowed to access and share with the jury on certain matters and the number of overruled objections and side bar rulings that went in favor of the prosecution. Specifically, it was obvious to me that there was a definite agenda to keep the focus of this trial as narrow as possible...probably so as not to embarrass certain very prominent people.

Blagojevich was obviously guilty of gross corruption, but he certainly wasn't the only player in Chicagoland. The first trial, which ended in a hung jury because of one juror who happened to be a well connected Democrat activist might very well have been a warning to Blago not to try and involve people in his personal legal drama.

The key thing to watch is (a) what sort of sentence Blagojevich gets and (b) where he's serving time.

If a deal was made between Blago and certain powers that be and he keeps his mouth shut, it'll be something like ten to twelve years, served in some white collar country club prison like the minimum security camps at Marion or Pekin, and we might see a presidential pardon at an appropriate time, similar to how Bill Clinton treated his old Whitewater business partners Susan MacDougal and Webb Hubbell.

If it wasn't, or if there was a deal and there's a feeling it wasn't adhered to, look for a maximum sentence in some place like Greenwood or Terre Haute.

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

The 'Human Rights' Community Refuses To Call For Gilad Shalit's Release

A large part of the so-called Human Rights community - including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch - issued a statement dated June 24th, 2011 to mark the five year anniversary of the Hamas raid into Israeli territory which resulted in the kidnapping of wounded Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who remains in captivity to this day.

Shalit has been held for ransom incognito, with no contact allowed by the International Red Cross, no contact allowed with his family and no information about the conditions he's being held under and no signs that he's even still alive, except for Hamas' say so. When th eInternational Committe of the Red Cross asked Hamas for a sign of life, the only thing they got was a few photos that could have been taken years ago.

The 'Human Rights' community issued a statement today that's morally despicable, considering the harsh criticism given to Israel at every opportunity by the groups who signed on to it.

There's nothing condemning Hamas for engaging in kidnapping and holding a human being for ransom, and no call whatsoever for his release. The only thing they're calling for is for a slight improvement in the conditions under which he's being held, saying that Hamas should enable him to communicate with his family and should grant him access to the International Committee of the Red Cross, things that any civilized society understands,which ought to tell you something about Hamas. Or for that matter, about the 'Palestinian Authority', which not only hasn't called for Shalit's release but said that they were going to assume the role of holding him hostage as part of the Hamas-Fatah unity agreement, so they could get in on some of the ransom.

These so-called human rights groups claim to care about international law, but are strangely silent about it being against international law to raid a sovereign state to kidnap its citizens.

By doing so, they're revealing their true agenda, and are signing on to the Hamas position that there's no difference between Gilad Shalit and the 'Palestinian' terrorists held in Israeli jails.

In fact, those differences are substantial.

Virtually all of the 'Palestinian' prisoners in Israeli jails were apprehended for planning, aiding or executing horrendous attacks on Israeli civilians. And all of them were tried and convicted in Israeli civilian courts, with lawyers provided to them by the Israeli government free of charge. Some of the details of these attacks are astounding in their inhumane and wanton brutality, and they would be classified as crimes against humanity if the victims were other than Israelis.

Gilad Shalit, on the other hand, was deliberately kidnapped Mafia-style as a hostage to swap for the freedom of these murderers. He was never givien a trial or even the most basic of rights usually accorded prisoners. He's simply a crime victim, abducted by a vicious criminal gang, and he's being held for ransom...if indeed he's still alive.

The fact that these 'human rights groups' refuse to recognize this and refuse to call for his immediate release is the worst and most shameful hypocrisy imaginable.

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Sarah Palin - The Media's Still Making Things Up

Yesterday and the day before, the media was full of stories about how Sarah Palin has suspended her bus tour. Here are a few sample headlines:

Scott Conroy, Real Clear Politics: Palin Bus Tour Takes Extended Pit Stop

Colby Hall, Mediaite: No Joke, Sarah Palin Quits One Nation Bus Tour halfway Through

Talking Points Memo (TPMDC) : Sarah Palin Reportedly Quits Bus Tour Halfway Through

Salon: Sarah Palin Baffles And Frustrates Fans by Quitting Bus tour.

Kirsten Boyd Johnson, Wonkette: Sarah Palin Follows Comedy Rules and Quits Bus tour Halfway Through

New York Magazine - Sarah Palin Was Supposed to be Delighting Us all With ANother Bus Tour By now

PuffHo even ran a nifty little 'comedy' pictorial called '36 Reasons Why Sarah Palin Probably Quit Her Bus Tour' making vicious fun of Governor Palin and her family. And no, you won't find it linked here.

So..after all that what was the real reason Governor Palin curtailed her tour?

Here's the real, scandalous truth... wait for it..she got called for jury duty.

Yes, as a private citizen and a resident of Alaska, she's still in the database. Here's what she had to say about it:

Imagine our surprise when reading media reports today that the “One Nation Tour” has been cancelled. Why didn’t anyone tell me? Oh, wait, that’s because it hasn’t been cancelled. (Good ol' media... you never cease to amaze!)

As I said myself at the end of the east coast leg of the tour, the summer is long, and I’m looking forward to hitting the open road again. The coming weeks are tight because civic duty calls (like most everyone else, even former governors get called up for jury duty) and I look forward to doing my part just like every other Alaskan.

I wouldn’t think it to be such a slow news day that, what with numerous wars and serious economic woes concerning Americans, a bus is driving news stories today. The next leg of the tour continues when the time comes. In the meantime, no one should jump to conclusions – certainly not the media with their long track record of getting things wrong or just making things up.

After all the snide headlines referring to Governor Palin as a quitter, I have yet to see one retraction from anyone. Not one. And just imagine the headlines these people would have made if she had ignored the summons and just kept going on tour!

They remind me of small puppies who haven't been house trained yet, peeing in a corner and hoping no one notices.

In their entire lifetimes, none of them will ever accomplish even remotely close to what Governor Palin already has. But then again, none of them will likely ever enjoy the happiness she has in her own accomplishments or in her personal life either.

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Congress Evades Its Duty On Libya

The House of Representatives gave us a prime example today of why many of their fellow Americans hold them as a body in such low repute.

They voted on two resolutions concerning Libya today.

The first one was cobbled together by House Democrats loyal to the Administration and was written by written by Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.). It would have provided cover for President Obama's abuse of the War Powers Act by authorizing his intervention in Libya. It failed by a bi-partisan vote of 123-295, with 225 Republicans and 70 Democrats voting against.

An hour or so later, a second resolution was put up for a vote. This one would have cut funding for offensive operations by U.S. forces in Libya and it failed as well, 180-238, with a majority of Democrats and joined by a number of Republicans in voting no.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is said to have played a large role in limiting democrat defections on the funding bill.

So there you have it. Congress obviously disapproves of President Obama's self-declared war in Libya, but they lack the courage to do anything about it.

Meanwhile, mission creep rears its ugly head in Libya.

The original UN diktat, of course, was for a no fly zone, a blockade and civilian protection. And we were assured that regime change was not part of the mission and that no US ground troops would be involved, no matter what.

Now, it appears that U.S. Admiral Samuel Locklear, commander of the NATO Joint Operations Command in Naples, Italy has admitted to House Armed Services Committee member Mike Turner (R-OH)that NATO forces are actively targeting Libyan leader Moamar Khaddiffi and trying to kill him.

According to Turner, Adm. Locklear also said that after Khaddaffi's removal, US ground troops would be needed 'during the immediate period of instability.'

Oh, and of course, more billions for nation building afterwards, no?

Absolutely disgraceful.

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Fast And Furious Update - BATF Head Melson Resisting Ouster, Wants To Testify

Now this is interesting.

A few days ago, the dinosaur media was reporting that Bureau of Alchohol, Tobacco and Firearems (BATF) Head Ken Melman was expected to fall on his sword and 'resign' shortly. over the failed Fast and Furious operation, which had BATF agents allowing straw purchasers to buy over two thousand automatic weapons and then smuggle them illegally across the border to Mexican Drug cartels. This idiocy led to a spike in violence in Mexico, the killing in Arizona of a U.S. Border Patrol agent last December and what appears to be an attempted cover up by the BATF and the US Department of Justice.

Instead of resigning, Melman is reportedly resisting pressure to step down and is saying that he's eager to testify to Congress about his and other officials' involvement in the operation:

"He is saying he won't go," said one source close to the situation, who asked for anonymity because high-level discussions with Melson remained fluid. "He has told them, 'I'm not going to be the fall guy on this.' "

Added a second source, who also requested anonymity: "He's resisting. He does not want to go."

Melman may be eager to tell what he knows about Fast and Furious to Congress. In fact, he has an open invitation from Darrell Issa to do exactly that. But he can't testify until he gets a clearance from the Department of Justice to do so, and - what a surprise - that hasn't been forthcoming yet.

If I'm Darrell Issa, I'm thinking Special prosecutor and immunity deals.

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Two Muslims Arrested In Attempt To Attack Seattle Military Facility

Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif, also known as Joseph A. Davis, 33, of Seattle, and Walli Mujahidh, also known as Frederick Domingue Jr., 32, of Los Angeles were arrested and charged with conspiracy to murder federal officers and employees, conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction and weapons charges in a plot to attack the Military Entrance Processing Station in Seattle, Washington. The facility is used to to help process new enlistees and also houses a federally run day care center for children.

The linked story, run by Pravda-on-the-Hudson goes out of its way not to inform you of many important details, so let me fill in a few for you.

The two were caught when the Seattle police were tipped off by someone the pair approached to participate. The article mentions that this person, who later acted as a paid informant had a hefty felony record, so it's not going to far out on a limb to guess that he was (a) a fellow Muslim since the wanna-be jihadis tried to recruit him (b) that Abdul-Latif and Mujahidh may very well have met him in prison ( the article says Abdul-Latif also had a hefty felony record) and (c) that Abdul-Latif at least and likely Mujahidh were converted to Islam in prison by one of the wahabi imams specializing in converting convicts to that brand of hard line Islam.

The Seattle PD brought the feds into the picture, and their snitch helped agents make audio and video recordings of conversations he had with the two defendants, and later provided them with automatic rifles that came from the feds.Being smarter than the sort of people who thought up Fast and Furious, the feds made sure the weapons were inoperable.

At one point, Mr. Abdul-Latif said, according to a government transcription of a recorded conversation: “We’re not only trying to kill people, we’re trying to send a message. We’re trying to get something that’s gonna be on CNN and all over the world.”

Jenny A. Durkan, the US attorney for the Western District of Washington, said the case “clearly shows that these people intended and clearly planned a deadly attack against a military facility.”

“The crimes alleged in the complaint were completed last night,” Ms. Durkan said. “The plot itself was not completed.”

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The Council Has Spoken! This Week's Watcher's Council Results

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week, carved eternally in the records of cyberspace.

There's a major scandal brewing in the Obama Administration, and this week's winner, Joshuapundit explored the extraordinary details in Fast And Furious - How The Dept. Of Justice Ran Illegal Guns To Mexican Drug Gangs . Here's a slice:

The US DOJ had a really bright idea. They put together an operation known as 'Fast and Furious' that allowed almost 2,000 illegally purchased weapons to be sold in gunshops to known straw buyers - people who legally purchase firearms and then sell them to unauthorized third parties - in Arizona and sent to Mexico, where the DOJ knew they were almost certainly going to end up in the hands of drug gangs. The idea was that the Department of Justice would record the serial numbers and eventually recover them from crime scenes and use them as evidence to build a conspiracy case that might take down the leaders of major drug cartels.

Accordingly, The DOJ's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ( BATF) ordered its agents to ignore the purchase and subsequent smuggling of these weapons into Mexico, over the objections of many BATF agents who realized something their bosses were too stupid to comprehend - that the influx of weapons would lead to a spike in murder and mayhem across the border, that it would eventually spread across the border and that the sort of weapons being being purchased were going to allow the drug cartels to outgun the lightly armed Border Patrol. In fact, as BATF agents later testified, ATF supervisor David Voth implied in an e-mail that staff who objected to his orders would be fired.

What the agents who objected predicted is exactly what happened, as the body count mounted on both sides of the border and only a few relatively small time operators were apprehended with the smuggled weapons.

Two of the guns allowed to get into the hands of the drug cartels were used in a December 14, 2010 shoot-out that killed a US border patrol agent, Brian Terry. This lead to a congressional investigation by Rep. Darrell Issa and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which endured an incredible amount of stonewalling and outright untruths from the Department of Justice and the BATF, and squarely contradicted a Feb. 4, 2011, claim by a department spokesman that DOJ did not approve of the program that sanctioned the illegal sale here in America by legitimate gun dealers of assault weapons to representatives of Mexican drug cartels.

In our non-Council category, this weeks winning entry,The Palestinians of 1967 submitted by Joshuapundit was penned by Michael Totten and explored the beliefs and situation of 'Palestinians' who live in Judea and Samaria, particularly those whom live in Jerusalem but have refused Israeli citizenship. A wonderful read, accentuated by Totten's always evocative photographs.

Here are this week’s full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

'Divorcing' From Israel

There's a small flurry in the blogosphere today over a piece entitled 'Life After Zionist Summer Camp' by someone called Allison Benedikt, who according to her bio blurb is the film editor over at The Village Voice.

The piece, in a nutshell, could be summarized thusly: girl is raised in a typical secular Jewish family, gets introduced to Zionism at summer camp, has a great time, goes to Israel on a Birthright trip and enjoys herself immensely, returns to America, goes to college, gets fed a few 'anti-Zionist' talking points, and eventually meets the Israel-hating non-Jewish Lefty boyfriend of her dreams, who later becomes what she describes as 'my Jew-hating fiancé'. She converts to his point of view, and in one very revealing snippet, she starts berating her parents for doing Jewish Community charity work." Why the f**k are we helping our own? We don't need any help! We're rich! I am so right."

She decides she despises most Israelis, she and her Israel hating boyfriend marry, and she becomes a Left-wing 'anti-Zionist' activist. She then becomes an Obama groupie and works for his campaign, and they have two children who she insists she's 'raising them as Jews.'

Based on her piece, I'll leave it to your imagination as to what kind of 'Jews' she's raising them as. The piece ends : "Most of my Jewish friends are disgusted with Israel. It seems my trajectory is not at all unique. My best memories from childhood are from camp, and I will never, ever send my kids there."

Jeffrey Goldberg over at the Atlantic has the rare apropos response to Benedikt:

Does she ask herself whether she has a responsibility to make Israel a better, more humane, place? Does she question herself about the consequences of abandoning Israel? Does she think about the sin of the wicked son in the Passover story, and how that sin might echo in her own life?

The Wicked Son is a traditional part of the Haggadah read at the Passover Seder, aimed at someone who willingly divorces and separates himself from the Jewish community.

Of course, being Jeffrey Goldberg, he couldn't leave it there. In a subsequent followup, he writes:

"This is one of the reasons I admire groups like J Street the New Israel Fund. Their members could have made the decision to wash their hands of what they see as a terrible mess. But they haven't. They understand their responsibilities as Jews, to Jews (and to the world, which is the great, difficult balancing act of being Jewish: Caring specifically for Jews, and caring specifically for the entire world, at the same time). I might not agree with many of the positions these groups take, but they are fighting for their vision of Judaism and Zionism."

Actually , they're not fighting for anything like that. Just like Benedikt, what they want is for Oslo to be something different than the Arab Trojan Horse it actually turned out to be, and for Israel to knuckle under to whatever the 'Palestinians' demand no matter how many Israeli lives it costs so as not to embarrass them with their Leftist buddies. The 'version of Zionism' they favor leads to peace all right - the peace of the cemetery. And the most despicable part is that they are willing to let someone else risk their lives and their children's lives to massage their political sensibilities.

Even more ironically, they remain clueless about how a marginalized or even destroyed Israel will affect their own comfortable lives in the Diaspora.

Believe it or not, as much as I might despise that attitude, I have no problem with it. What I viscerally dislike is the serial dishonesty of people like J Street, the Jewish Voice for Peace or any of the others claiming they're 'pro Israel'. They aren't, not by any stretch of the imagination, and the proof is in the way they constantly apply standards to Israel they apply to no one else, and the way they constantly lobby for Israel's enemies, even the genocidal Hamas. All I want is for them to own up.

I much prefer the Allison Benedikts of this world....openly ultra Left, an Obama groupie, married to a Israel hating Lefty non-Jew, proudly anti-Israel and anti-Israeli and ultimately self mean spirited that she would deny her children a camp experience she herself found so enriching just on the chance they might pick up the Zionist virus. I have absolutely no doubt that most of her Jewish friends feel exactly the same way she does about the matter. Her honesty is refreshing, even if everything else has a rather putrid stench about it.

There's another fascinating bit of the Passover story that relates that the majority of Jews in Egypt chose not to follow Moses to freedom, in spite of the miracles done for them before their own eyes. They made the choice to stay in bondage in Egypt and divorce themselves from the Jewish community.

That split was ultimately beneficial to the Jewish people, because it sorted out those unwilling to take on the burden and blessings that were to come.

Sometimes, divorce is a good thing. It creates clarity and sorts things out. Some make the choice to be freed and redeemed..and some choose to get left behind.


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Geert Wilders Acquitted!!

Dutch politician Geert Wilders has been acquitted in court of charges he defamed Islam, ending a three year prosecution.

The entire trial was marked by shocking irregularities including witness tampering by biased judges and was intensely political in nature, spearheaded by the PvdA [Socialists Party] and the GroenLinks [Greens].

Those two parties were part of Leftist coalition thta allowed almost unchecked Muslim immigration into the Netherlands with the idea that they'd become socialist voters , a pattern Tony Blair used with New Labour in the UK. The Muslim population in the Netherlands is now about 9%, and Britain's pattern of a massive increase in gay bashing, violence, sex crimes, anti-Semitic incidents and welfare expenditures was repeated in the Netherlands as well.

Wilders' 'crime' was to call attention to this, and to point out the correlation between the violence, intolerance and misogyny practiced in a significant portion of the Muslim population with certain parts of the Qu'ran and to call for a curtailment of Muslim immigration . He later made a film, Fitna that has pretty much the same message. Because of that, he was tried under the Dutch hate crime statutes.

As you can imagine, the release of the film led to a major Islamo-rage fest, with Wilders needing 24-hour protection because of the death threats he received...which proved his point, if you think about it.

The other, more important vindication for Wilders came when his Freedom Party became the third largest party in the Dutch Parliament in th elast election, and a vital part of the current center Right coalition government.

This is an important victory for a great and courageous man...and for all of us who prize the West and its freedom.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The New Democrat Target...Now It's Michele Bachmann's Turn To Be Demonized

To those of you who thought Sarah Palin was too damaged by the Obama media hit teams to be a viable candidate, my response has always been that they were going to turn their guns on anyone and try to destroy them just as they did Governor Palin if they felt they were threatening President Obama's re-election. It's how the Angry Left operates.

Proof of the point surfaces today as Rep. Bachmann surges in the polls, with a barely literate, hate crazed rant in Rolling Stone that focuses on Michele Bachmann's religion her family, and her 'batsh*t crazy views" by one Matt Taibbi. The illustration below should save you the trouble of actually reading this trash.

Odd isn't it, how the Left is so anxious to accuse anyone they disagree with of racism and bigotry yet is so eager to practice it themselves.

To give you an idea of Taibbi's mentality, here's a quote from an appearance he put in promoting the Bachmann hit piece on Wednesday’s “Imus in the Morning” program:

“Actually, yeah, I’m actually kind of rooting for her to win the nomination, because I can’t wait to see the porn movies that they make,” Taibbi said. “Bachmann-inspired films are going to be great.I mean, who didn’t see ‘Nailin’ Palin’ – that was classic cinema.”

Taibbi appears to have unfortunately been raised without any morals or common decency whatsoever, and probably doesn't understand what's wrong about portraying someone's devoted wife and mother in that fashion. I'm sure Todd or Track Palin or Michele Bachmann's husband Marcus or her sons Lucas and Harrison would be charmed to explain it to Mr. Taibbi in a quiet area somewhere up close and in person exactly what they find offensive about that viewpoint.

Heck, Piper Palin could probably have him screaming for mercy.

Notice that they're not attacking Mitt Romney much? It's because they don't consider him a threat, and are holding their bile until they see if he actually gets the nomination. Michele Bachmann? Now, she's a threat and has to be taken out early.

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CAIR Loses Tax Exempt Status

About time.

The Muslim Brotherhood front group known as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)has officially lost its tax exempt status with the IRS.

CAIR had failed to file required annual reports, known as form 990s, detailing their revenues and expenses, for three consecutive years, since the IRS approved a separate tax-exempt CAIR Foundation in 2007.

Both the foundation and CAIR national are on the list of organizations who have lost their tax exempt status, but CAIR's web site continues to solicit donations by touting them as tax deductible two weeks after the IRS issued the list and sent notifications to the groups.

In reality, as my regular readers know, this will only have a limited effect on CAIR's work in America, since much of their primary funding comes from Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

A separate problem for CAIR is that their membership has dwindled since they were named as unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation Hamas money laundering trial. Even with Attorney General Eric Holder covering for them by refusing to prosecute whta amounted to an open and shut case, their brand name has been tarnished to the point that they'll likely do what Islamist front groups usually do...metastasize into another group with a different name.

Making it illegal for foreign countries to fund political lobbying groups and religious institutions here in America would be a good start towards really solving this problem, but that's unlikely considering who's in the White House right now.

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Aristades De Souza Mendes - Tribute To A Hero

I'd rather be with God against man than with man against God.."
- Aristades De Sousa Mendes

The miracle of courage is an amazing thing when it happens on the battlefield..but some times it is even more pronounced when it amounts to doing the right thing when doing the right thing is difficult and costly and simply following the herd is easy.

Arisitades De Sousa Mendes was the Portuguese consul general in Bordeaux, France, when the Nazis invaded in 1940.By then, few people had any illusions left about Hitler's plans for the Jews unless they simply preferred not to know.

Thousands of refugees fled to the south of France in the wake of the Nazi invasion, desperate for a haven. For most of them, particularly Jews, the only possible escape was to make it to the Portuguese port of Lisbon or one of the Spanish ports, which meant getting a Portuguese transit visa to leave France and enter Spain.

De Sousa Mendes was specifically instructed by his government not to issue any transit visas, especially to Jews. Instead, De Sousa Mendes defied his own government's instructions and he and a handful of his staff worked around the clock to issue visas to an estimated 10,000 Jews and 20,000 other people fleeing the Nazis.

The following is from Yad Vashem's website:

Rabbi Haim Kruger, one of the refugees, told Mendes: “If we should be trapped here, I don’t know what will happen to us.” The rabbi rejected Mendes’ initial offer to issue visas only to the rabbi and his family, insisting that visas also be issued to the thousands of Jews stranded on the streets of the city. After further reflection, Mendes reversed himself and decided to grant visas to all persons requesting it. “I sat with him a full day without food and sleep and helped him stamp thousands of passports with Portuguese visas,” Rabbi Kruger relates. To his staff, Mendes explained: “My government has denied all applications for visas to any refugees. But I cannot allow these people to die. Many are Jews and our constitution says that the religion, or politics, of a foreigner shall not be used to deny him refuge in Portugal. I have decided to follow this principle. I am going to issue a visa to anyone who asks for it – regardless of whether or not he can pay... Even if I am dismissed, I can only act as a Christian, as my conscience tells me.”

It was an unseemly sight as people of all ages, including pregnant women and sick persons, waited in line to have their passports stamped with the Portuguese visa. The reaction of the Portuguese government was not long in waiting. Two emissaries were dispatched to accompany home the insubordinate diplomat. On their way to the Spanish border, the entourage stopped at the Portuguese consulate in Bayonne. Here too, Mendes, still the official representative of his country for this region, issued visas to fleeing Jewish refugees, again in violation of instructions from Lisbon.

He saved these people's lives.

For this heroic act, Aristades De Sousa Mendes was recalled to Lisbon, fired from Portugal's diplomatic service, publicly dishonored and denied a pension by Portugal's dictator Antonio Salazar. He was forced to sell his family estate in Cabanas de Viriato to support his family and spent the rest of his life in poverty and obscurity, dying in 1954.

Aristades De Sousa was named a Righteous Gentile and is honored at Yad Vashem in Israel,the museum dedicated to the victims of the Holocaust

In 1988 Portugal's parliament voted unanimously to make amends and approved a bill that posthumously reinstated him as a diplomat, promoted him to the rank of ambassador and paid compensation to his surviving relatives, who used the money to repurchase the family home.

Aristades De Souza Mendes became a hero when he was put in circumstances where he simply made the choice to do the right thing, no matter what it cost him.

At a time when there is virtual silence by the UN in the face of genocidal threats of a second Holocaust by one of its members, his example is a welcome one for these troubled times.Some of us may very well be faced with a similar choice in the not too distant future.

Obrigado, o Senor De Sousa Mendes. E pode Deus abençoe a sua memória.

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Supreme Court To Hear Case Reflecting On Israel's Sovereignty Over Jerusalem

The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that directly deals with Israel's sovereignty over Jerusalem as its capitol.

The plaintiffs are Ari and Naomi Zivotofsky, the parents of nine-year-old Menachem Zivotofsky, whose parents want his birth country listed as Israel on his passport. Menachem was born in Jerusalem, which the United States State Department still has not recognized as the sovereign capitol of Israel.

Congress dealt with this directly in 2002 by passing a law giving people like the Zivotofskys the legal right to claim Jerusalem, Israel as a birthplace, but the US State Department has fought this law for years and refused to abide by it, claiming that Congress has no role in foreign policy matters. The State Department has argued that this is a prerogative of the executive branch, not Congress, “particularly where, as here, the case involves an exceedingly sensitive foreign policy concern.”

As always, the US State Department is concerned about anything that might offend Arabs in any degree. That's why the main US Consulate is in Tel Aviv, and the one in East Jerusalem is almost entirely staffed by 'Palestinians' and is geared almost entirely towards serving them, rather than Jewish Israelis. That's led to some amazing incidents in the past, as the 'Palestinian' consular employees have behaved towards Israeli citizens and security personnel in ways that wouldn't be tolerated in any other country. Of course, when the Israeli government was originally asked for the East Jerusalem site for a consulate by the State Department, they weren't told that it was intended as a de facto US embassy for the 'Palestinians'.

The Zivotofsky case has been bouncing back and forth between the courts for years, and the Supreme Court has finally agreed to hear the case and settle the matter once and for all.

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Double Agent! Cat Caught On Video Barking Like A Dog!!

No joke...this cat is a serious double agent. Notice how the cat quickly reverts to the normal meow once he realizes he's been caught red handed, ummm, red-pawed by a human...

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Italy Wants Out Of NATO's Libya War

Italy called today for a ceasefire in NATO's Libya mission.

"We have seen the effects of the crisis and therefore also of NATO action not only in eastern and southwestern regions but also in Tripoli," Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini told the Italian Parliament.

"I believe an immediate humanitarian suspension of hostilities is required in order to create effective humanitarian corridors," while negotiations should also continue on a more formal ceasefire and peace talks" , he said.

"I think this is the most urgent and dramatic point," Frattini continued.

"I think it is legitimate to request ever more detailed information on the results" of the NATO mission, he added, condemning "the dramatic errors that hit civilians, which is clearly not an objective of the NATO mission."

What's actually going on is that the Italians have been hit by two problems they didn't quite anticipate.

Khaddaffi has held on far longer than NATO anticipated, and the rebels have been unable to make headway against his forces even with NATO assistance. As the war has continued to drag on, costs have mounted and a swarm of Libyan refugees has inundated Italy, both of which are putting a strain on a country that already has a significant amount of major economic problems. The Italian Northern League Party, a conservative member of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's governing coalition has come out strongly against continuing the war.

The French and the British continue to be the main backers of the war, which is easily understandable since they have the most to lose if Khaddaffi prevails and the lucrative oil contracts they struck with the rebels become worthless.

France immediately ruled out any ceasefire.

"The coalition and the countries that met as the Abu Dhabi contact group two weeks ago were unanimous on the strategy: we must intensify the pressure on Kadhafi," French foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero told reporters.

British Prime Minister David Cameron was reportedly warned by senior army figures that the Libya operation was extremely unpopular with the military personnel involved, the costs were unsustainable and that continuing beyond the summer would make it difficult for Britain to respond to other conflicts in the future.

Cameron rebuffed them and said Britain would continue the operation "as long as is necessary."

They really, really want that oil.

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Watcher's Council Nominations - "War? What War?" Edition

Welcome to the Watcher's Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the 'sphere, and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council.Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday.

This week's contest is dedicated to our service members who according to the White House aren't involved in a war in Libya...but yet are receiving “imminent danger pay” bonuses.

Council News:

This week, Monkey In The Middle , Liberty's Spirit, Guilty Government and Capitalist Preservation took advantage of my generous offer of link whorage and earned honorable mention status.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

Simply head over to the ‘Contact Me’ page at Joshuapundit and post a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address ( which won't be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6PM PST to be considered for our honorable mention category, and return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week.

It's a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members. while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let's see what we have this week....

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions