Posts Tagged ‘US State Department’

Snowden’s asylum and Maduro’s message to Iran

Monday, July 8th, 2013

Mary O’Grady explains Why Venezuela Offers Asylum to Snowden
President Nicólas Maduro sends a message of his loyalty to Iran.

Venezuela has reason to fear increasing irrelevance as North America becomes more energy independent. This makes Iran crucial. Mr. Maduro may be trying to establish himself as a leader as committed to the anti-American cause as was his predecessor, Hugo Chávez, who had a strong personal bond with former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He also needs to establish his own place in South American politics.

Reaching out to Mr. Snowden is a way to send a message to the world that notwithstanding Secretary of State John Kerry’s feeble attempt at rapprochement with Caracas last month, post-Chávez Venezuela has no intention of changing the course of the Bolivarian revolution. Rather, as the economy of the once-wealthy oil nation deteriorates, Mr. Maduro is signaling that Venezuela wants to become an even more loyal geopolitical ally and strategic partner of Russia and Iran.

While the U. S. State Department ignores Iran’s allies in our hemisphere, Iran has, for nearly two decades, assiduously cultivated terror and crime networks in LAtin America. Read this report, AMIA CASE: ARGENTINIAN PROSECUTOR ALBERTO NISMAN ACCUSED THE IRANIAN REGIME, AND MOHSEN RABBANI IN PARTICULAR, OF INFILTRATING LATIN-AMERICAN COUNTRIES, BUILDING LOCAL CLANDESTINE INTELLIGENCE STATIONS DESIGNED TO SPONSOR, FOSTER AND EXECUTE TERRORIST ATTACKS, WITHIN THE PRINCIPLES TO EXPORT THE ISLAMIC REVOLUTION; it’s worth your time.

Benghazi: 4 Still on the payroll, resignations were fake

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012


Benghazi penalties are bogus

The four officials supposedly out of jobs because of their blunders in the run-up to the deadly Benghazi terror attack remain on the State Department payroll — and will all be back to work soon, The Post has learned.

The highest-ranking official caught up in the scandal, Assistant Secretary of State Eric Boswell, has not “resigned” from government service, as officials said last week. He is just switching desks. And the other three are simply on administrative leave and are expected back.

The four were made out to be sacrificial lambs in the wake of a scathing report issued last week that found that the US compound in Benghazi, Libya, was left vulnerable to attack because of “grossly inadequate” security.

State Department leaders “didn’t come clean about Benghazi and now they’re not coming clean about these staff changes,” a source close to the situation told The Post., adding, the “public would be outraged over this.”

They ought to be, but the media’s been assiduously ignoring this story.

Jeff Dunetz:

This looks as though the Benghazi coverup is continuing at the State Department. Remember we still haven’t heard from Obama, or Clinton (Who were not questioned as part of the Accountability Review Board report) in fact Mrs. Clinton has not been seen in public for almost two weeks–she must have had one heck of a concussion.

Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) issued this statement, If Reports are True, the State Department’s Failures to Hold Officials Accountable Over Benghazi is “Disgraceful and Deceitful”

“If public reports are true, it is disgraceful and deceitful that senior officials at State who ignored multiple pleas of help from our consulate in Benghazi continue to have any influence over our foreign policy abroad. While I have asked State Department officials several times for clarification on this administrative matter, they remain silent.

The ARB was clear: these high ranking officials were among those responsible for the failures in leadership and management at State regarding the Benghazi terrorist attack. This game of smoke and mirrors by the Obama Administration and State does not do justice for the American people who deserve clear and transparent answers.”

Paul Mirengoff calls it “misdirection on top of misdirection“; I call it lies.

Cross-posted at Liberty Unyielding.

John Kerry for Secretary of State

Friday, December 21st, 2012


Obama taps Kerry as secretary of state

US president Barack Obama on Friday has announced the nomination of US Senator John Kerry to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, calling him the “perfect choice” to guide American diplomacy in the years ahead.

“In a sense, John’s entire life has prepared him for this role. Having served with valour in Vietnam, he understands that we have a responsibility to use American power wisely,” he said.

Back in Sandinista Days . . .

Kerry has a record on Latin America — a substantial one. You will recall the 1980s, and that decade’s fierce debates over Central America policy. At the heart of these debates was Nicaragua: the Sandinistas, Castro, and the Soviet Union versus the Contras and the United States (or rather, not all of the United States: the Reagan administration, in particular). Kerry was an important player in all this. He was part of a group derided by Republicans as “‘Dear Comandante’ Democrats,” for they would address letters to Daniel Ortega, the Sandinista No. 1, “Dear Comandante.” (“But that’s his title,” they would plead, not unreasonably.) This group included such House members as Mike Barnes and Pete Kostmayer, and such senators as Chris Dodd and Tom Harkin — and John Kerry.

Go read the whole thing.

We’re in the best of hands…

Benghazi: State Department fail

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Panel Assails Role of State Department in Benghazi Attack

An independent inquiry into the attack on the United States diplomatic mission in Libya that killed four Americans on Sept. 11 sharply criticized the State Department for a lack of seasoned security personnel and for relying on untested local militias to safeguard the compound, according to a report by the panel made public on Tuesday night.

The investigation into the attack on the diplomatic mission and the C.I.A. annex in Benghazi that resulted in the deaths of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans also faulted State Department officials in Washington for ignoring requests from the American Embassy in Tripoli for more guards for the mission and for failing to make sufficient safety upgrades.

The panel also said American intelligence officials had relied too much on specific warnings of imminent attacks, which they did not have in the case of Benghazi, rather than basing assessments more broadly on a deteriorating security environment. By this spring, Benghazi, a hotbed of militant activity in eastern Libya, had experienced a string of assassinations, an attack on a British envoy’s motorcade and the explosion of a bomb outside the American Mission.

Finally, the report blamed two major State Department bureaus — Diplomatic Security and Near Eastern Affairs — for failing to coordinate and plan adequate security. The panel also determined that a number of officials had shown poor leadership, but they were not identified in the unclassified version of the report that was released.

“Systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies at senior levels within two bureaus,” the report said, resulted in security “that was inadequate for Benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place.”

The full report is here (h/t PowerLine).

Hillary’s called in sick,

Clinton’s story beggars belief: While traveling in Europe, she contracted a stomach virus . . . which made her dehydrated . . . which made her faint at home . . . which caused her to fall and hit her head . . . which gave her a nasty concussion.

She didn’t even go to the hospital for the “nasty concussion”, and didn’t get a note from her doctor.

She sent Susan Rice on talk shows the Sunday following the attack, she blamed the video,

then she “took responsibility“, headed out of town, and now is concussed.

She may be expecting a gallbladder attack any day now.


Susan Rice drops out of Scy of State candidacy

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

Susan Rice Withdraws Name From Secretary Of State Consideration because she’s saddened by partisan politics. . . so she went to NBC to talk about it.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

It doesn’t appear that she mentioned the five talk shows where she touted a lie about Benghazi. However, her Benghazi fiasco is nothing compared to the rest of her Africa record:
in Sierra Leone, for instance, Rice embraced the Revolutionary United Front, led by the unspeakably brutal Libyan-trained guerrilla Foday Sankoh,

In the name of reconciliation, RUF fighters were given amnesty. Sankoh was made Sierra Leone’s vice president. To sweeten the deal, he was also put in charge of the commission overseeing the country’s diamond trade. All this was foisted on President Kabbah.

Brett Stephens has much more on Rice’s failures in Africa; specifically concerning Rwanda, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Obama already accepted her withdrawal. He considers her “an extraordinarily capable, patriotic, and passionate public servant.”

Somewhere Teresa Kerry’s toasting John’s new job.

UPDATE,
Bridget Johnson points out that

If Obama chooses Rice as his National Security Adviser in his second term, that post would not require Senate confirmation.

For now, Obama pledged to “continue working diligently to get to the bottom of what happened in Benghazi.”

Yeah, sure.

Again, the US wants Argentina and Great Britain to enter into negotiations over Falklands???

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Update, Friday June 10,
Please also read Argentina and the Falklands: A background post

This is beyond insane,
Another slap in the face for Britain: the Obama administration sides with Argentina and Venezuela in OAS declaration on the Falklands, and is not the first time,

Washington backed a similar resolution in June last year, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made it clear in a joint press conference with Cristina Kirchner in Buenos Aires in March 2010 that the Obama administration fully backs Argentina’s calls for negotiations over the Falkands, handing her Argentine counterpart a significant propaganda coup. The State Department has also insultingly referred to the Islands in the past as the Malvinas, the Argentine name for them.

There are a few things to consider:

  • The Falklanders are British, and wish to remain British.
  • Britain won the 1982 war.
  • Additionally, Cristina Fernandez needs both oil, and a distraction.

Nile Gardiner:

The declaration calls for Argentina and Great Britain to enter into negotiations over the sovereignty of the Falklands, a position which London has long viewed as completely unacceptable. It also comes in the wake of increasing aggression by the Kirchner regime in the past 18 months, including threats to blockade British shipping in the South Atlantic.

Hat tip: Tree Hugging Sister.

UPDATE
Welcome, Hot Air readers!
Linked by Moe Lane, too; thanks!

UPDATE, Friday 10 June,
Linked by Instapundit and Stanislaus. Thanks!

And, do bear in mind, as Ed points out, that

the OAS declaration comes in response to a threat of military action from Argentina, which has publicly talked about a blockade of British shipping in the region over sovereignty claims by Buenos Aires.

Beyond insane.

Linked to by Open Market. Thanks!
Open Market:

Argentina is now run by the Peronist Party, whose founder, Juan Peron openly sympathized with America’s fascist enemies in World War II, and knowingly gave refuge to fleeing Nazi war criminals.  Argentina’s recent Presidents, Nestor and Cristina Kirchner, have nationalized private pensions and plundered the private sector to pay for big government and welfare schemes.  The OAS declaration “comes in the wake of increasing aggression by the Kirchner regime in the past 18 months, including threats to blockade British shipping in the South Atlantic.”

Residents of the Falkland Islands have eminently sound reasons for wanting to remain in Britain, the birthplace of parliamentary democracy, rather than Argentina, which has too often been ruled by authoritarian strongmen like Peron or by military governments.  The United Kingdom scores higher on international measures of property rights and the rule of law than Argentina does.

Linked by Murdoc. Thanks!

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“Global term” my foot. I’m a mother, dammit.

Friday, January 7th, 2011

Yes, you are a parental unit, at least according to the State Department,‘Mother,’ ‘Father’ Changing to ‘Parent One,’ ‘Parent Two’ on Passport Applications

The words “mother” and “father” will be removed from U.S. passport applications and replaced with gender neutral terminology, the State Department says.

“The words in the old form were ‘mother’ and ‘father,’” said Brenda Sprague, deputy assistant Secretary of State for Passport Services. “They are now ‘parent one’ and ‘parent two.’”

As The Prisoner said, “I am not a number!”

Sprague said the decision to remove the traditional parenting names was not an act of political correctness.

Of course not. It was yet another asinine decision from a faceless bureaucracy to turn you into a number.

UPDATE
Welcome, Instapundit readers!
Welcome, MOTUS, Don Surber, adeliemanchot and blogprof readers!

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U.S. Approved Business With Blacklisted Nations

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

While you were busy getting ready for Christmas,
U.S. Approved Business With Blacklisted Nations

Despite sanctions and trade embargoes, over the past decade the United States government has granted special licenses allowing American companies to do billions of dollars in business with Iran and other countries blacklisted as state sponsors of terrorism, an examination by The New York Times has found.

Including Iran?

Yes, including Iran.

Not a good idea:

“It’s not a bad thing to grant exceptions if it represents a conscious policy decision to give countries an incentive,” said Stuart Eizenstat, who oversaw sanctions policy for the Clinton administration when the humanitarian-aid law was passed. “But when you create loopholes like this that you can drive a Mack truck through, you are giving countries something for nothing, and they just laugh in their teeth. I think there have been abuses.”

What’s more, in countries like Iran where elements of the government have assumed control over large portions of the economy, it is increasingly difficult to separate exceptions that help the people from those that enrich the state. Indeed, records show that the United States has approved the sale of luxury food items to chain stores owned by blacklisted banks, despite requirements that potential purchasers be scrutinized for just such connections.

Something for nothing: the “new” US foreign policy of the last decade.

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Will Wikileaks’ Assange end up in Ecuador?

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010


The Swedes are investigating him, and the Australians are “studying whether he’d broken any laws there”, so here comes Rafael Correa to the rescue,
Ecuador offers a home for founder of WikiLeaks

Deputy Foreign Minister Kintto Lucas said in audio posted online by the EcuadorInmediato news site that “we are open to giving him residence in Ecuador, without any kind of trouble and without any kind of conditions.”

“We think it would be important not only to converse with him but to listen to him,” Lucas added, saying Ecuador wanted to invite Assange to “freely expound” and see what it’s like in “friendly countries.”

He praised people like Assange “who are constantly investigating and trying to get light out of the dark corners of (state) information”

Lucas said Ecuador’s government was “very concerned” by revelations that U.S. diplomats have been involved in spying in the first of the more than 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables and directives that WikiLeaks has begun to release.

Assange was interviewed by Forbes and talked about “his profile”

You mean as your personal profile rises?

Yeah, the rising profile of the organization and my rising profile also. And there’s a network effect for anything to do with trust. Once something starts going around and being considered trustworthy in a particular arena, and you meet someone and they say “I heard this is trustworthy,” then all of a sudden it reconfirms your suspicion that the thing is trustworthy.

So that’s why brand is so important, just as it is with anything you have to trust.

Assange’s profile’s ought to be prosecuted. Today’s WSJ,

What WikiLeaks has done is use the betrayal by the original leaker to expose American secrets and thus destroy trust in America’s reliability. For an administration whose policy choices have already done so much to erode global confidence in the U.S., these leaks are a disaster. How should the administration go about regaining confidence? It’s astonishing that Iceland, a member of NATO, is where WikiLeaks is headquartered. Don’t we have an embassy there? It’s astonishing that the Australian government has yet to receive a request from the U.S. to take action against Mr. Assange, an Australian national. It’s astonishing that Pfc. Bradley Manning, the suspected leaker, has yet to be court-martialed. It’s astonishing that Mr. Assange should be described by National Public Radio as a “whistleblower,” while in fact he’s conducting a form of cyberwarfare against the United States.

Assange promises more megaleaks to come regarding the private sector because

there will be some flagrant violations, unethical practices that will be revealed, but it will also be all the supporting decision-making structures and the internal executive ethos that cames out, and that’s tremendously valuable. Like the Iraq War Logs, yes there were mass casualty incidents that were very newsworthy, but the great value is seeing the full spectrum of the war.

You could call it the ecosystem of corruption. But it’s also all the regular decision making that turns a blind eye to and supports unethical practices: the oversight that’s not done, the priorities of executives, how they think they’re fulfilling their own self-interest. The way they talk about it.

Assange says he’s got stuff on Russia, too, even when he claims,

It’s not right to say there’s going to be a particular focus on Russia.

One can easily conclude that Assange is an optimist if he believes that the Russians are going to take anything sitting down, and that he’ll be enjoying a nice comfortable existence under the aegis of Rafael Correa.

Cross-posted at The Green Room

UPDATE
Ed’s got more on how the Russians may approach Wikileaks.

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Wikileaks: Hillary wanted the skinny on Cristina’s anxiety

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

You wouldn’t know it from the photo-op,

but Hillary wanted to know if Cristina was on meds,
Clinton probed Argentine leader’s ‘nerves,’ ‘anxiety,’ ’stress’

“How is Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner managing her nerves and anxiety?” asked a cable dated Dec. 31, 2009, and signed “CLINTON” in all capital letters.

The cable, sent at 2:55 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, and originating in the department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, asked a series of other probing questions as part of what it said was an attempt by her office to understand “leadership dynamics” between Kirchner and her husband, former President Nestor Kirchner.

“How does stress affect her behavior toward advisors and/or her decision making?” the cable continued. “What steps does Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner or her advisers/handlers, take in helping her deal with stress? Is she taking any medications?”

Hillary wanted info on Nestor Kirchner’s temper, and what the hey were the Kirchners doing with the economy. Of course, that assumes that the Kirchners (Cristina and Nestor) had a clue as to what they were doing,

“Long known for his temper, has Nestor Kirchner demonstrated a greater tendency to shift between emotional extremes? What are most common triggers to Nestor Kirchner’s anger?” the cable asked.

The cable described Nestor Kirchner’s governing style as “heavy-handed,” and asked U.S. diplomats in Buenos Aires to determine whether Cristina Kirchner viewed “circumstances in black and white or in nuanced terms?” Does she have a “strategic, big picture outlook” or does she “prefer to take a tactical view?” it asked.

Other leaked cables offered insight into U.S. interest into a foreign minister’s past links with leftist Montoneros guerrillas, and suggested that Argentina had offered to intercede with Bolivian President Evo Morales, who expelled the U.S. ambassador to La Paz in September 2008.

Another confidential cable detailed Argentine umbrage at Assistant Secretary of State Arturo Valenzuela’s remarks in late 2009 suggesting that U.S. businesses had concerns over “rule of law and management of the economy in Argentina.”

“Once again, the Kirchner government has shown itself to be extremely thin-skinned and intolerant of perceived criticism,” the cable said.

The Argentine anger at Valenzuela contrasted with the good relations it held with his predecessor, Thomas Shannon, an Oxford-educated U.S. diplomat with a smooth manner. According to the Madrid daily El Pais, a not-yet-public cable dated Sept. 2, 2008, reveals how Shannon convinced Kirchner that Washington did not have anything against Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous leader, and did not seek to break apart his country.

Good for Shannon. Evo, who recently kneed a guy in the gonads during a friendly soccer game, is a lunatic in power.

No wonder Hillary asked about meds.

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