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CIA ANGRY WITH OBAMA - Spy chiefs turn on President Obama after seven CIA agents are slaughtered in Afghanistan

By David Gardner
02nd January 2010

Barack Obama was accused of double standards yesterday in his treatment of the CIA.

The President paid tribute to secret agents after seven of them were killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan.

In a statement, he said the CIA had been ‘tested as never before’ and that agents had ‘served on the front lines in directly confronting the dangers of the 21st century’.

He lauded the victims as ‘part of a long line of patriots who have made great sacrifices for their fellow citizens and for our way of life’.

Yet the previous day he had blasted ‘systemic failures’ in the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies for failing to prevent the Christmas Day syringe bomb attack.

President Barack Obama speaks to the media on December 28

Backlash: Agency officials are angry at the president's about face

‘One day the President is pointing the finger and blaming the intelligence services, saying there is a systemic failure,’ said one agency official. ‘Now we are heroes. The fact is that we are doing everything humanly possible to stay on top of the security situation. The deaths of our operatives shows just how involved we are on the ground.’

But CIA bosses claim they were unfairly blamed at a time the covert government agency has been stretched further than ever before in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

They point to the murder of seven operatives at a remote mountain base in Afghanistan’s Khost Province as an example of how agents are putting their lives on the line at the vanguard of America’s far-flung wars.

The agents – including the chief of the base, a mother-of-three - were collecting information about militants when the suicide bomber struck on Wednesday.

The attack was the deadliest single day for the agency since eight CIA officers were killed in the 1983 bombing of the US Embassy in Beirut.

Deadliest: In April 1983 terrorists targeted the US Embassy in Beirut with the loss of eight CIA officers

The base targetted by Wednesday’s suicide bomber was a control centre for a covert programme overseeing strikes by remote-controlled aircraft along Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan.

‘Those who fell were far from home and close to the enemy, doing the hard work that must be done to protect our country from terrorism. We owe them our deepest gratitude,’ CIA Director Leon Panetta said.

Some CIA officials are angry at being criticised by the White House after Abdulmutallab, 23, was allowed to slip through the security net and board a US-bound flight in Amsterdam despite evidence he was a terror threat.

The president complained that a warning from the former London engineering student’s father and information about an al Qaeda bomb plot involving a Nigerian were not handled properly by the intelligence networks.

But CIA officials say the data was sent to the US National Counterterrorism Centre in Washington, which was set up after the 9/11 attacks as a clearing house where raw data should be analysed.

Agents claim that is where the dots should have been connected to help identify Abdulmutallab as a threat.

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below, or debate this issue live on our message boards.

The comments below have been moderated in advance.

This is why Intelligence Agencies need to do their jobs without politics being involved.

These agencies have to be independent to be able to do their job of securing the nation and to gather workable intelligence!

Hard to get the job done with a Progressive, Socialist, Marxist, Liberal, Democrat administration trying to make a power grab to change the United States.

National Security is job number one of the federal government!

National Health Care and Carbon trading is not anything that the US Constitution Allows.

We fought a war of Independence to break free of this type of tyranny from an overbearing, over taxing, central federal government.

This president and the Liberal Media Lied to the voters to get this inexperanced Progressive, Socialist, Marxist, Liberal Democrat and his cohorts elected!

This administration is a desgrace and never should have happened!

The whole world donated money to get this clown elected and we are the ones stuck with him!

- Hugh C Young, Metuchen, NJ, USA, 02/1/2010

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Explain to the American people First Lady Michelle Obama’s $350,000 salary for a job as Director of Community Relations at the University of Chicago Hospital when she actually lived with the family in the Washington D. C. area. Credible reports abound that the future First Lady earned an extravagant salary for no work.

Mister President, Heal Thyself
Townhall.com ^ | January 4, 2010 | Brian Birdnow

News reports dated Tuesday, December 29th declare that President Obama has called for “a sweeping overhaul” of the federal government system of protecting classified information. The President insisted that “… no information may remain classified indefinitely” and signaled a new effort in making information public by instituting a four-year deadline for processing archival records relating to military and diplomatic operations during World War II, Korea & Viet Nam. This should prove an unqualified boon to historians and political scientists.

The President should be lauded for his commitment to this new “open and transparent system”. He is rediscovering one of his campaign themes after a year of operational stealth and guile in office. Conservatives should take the President at his word and test his sincerity.

We can begin by requesting a number of personal items relating to the mysterious gaps in the official Obama biography. First, the President should release academic transcripts from his time at Occidental College. Despite the supposedly sterling academic credentials President Obama possesses he will not release these records. Why? The new “open and transparent” approach will clear up any lingering misconceptions concerning Obama’s academic preparation and his intellectual standing.

We can next move to questions concerning the Obama family activities, especially records concerning First Lady Michelle Obama’s $350,000 salary for a job as Director of Community Relations at the University of Chicago Hospital when she actually lived with the family in the Washington D. C. area. Credible reports abound that the future First Lady earned an extravagant salary for no work and the Obama family can put these rumors to rest by practicing the transparency that they profess.

Similarly, the Obama family can open records concerning the purchase of their Chicago townhome with the assistance of convicted felon Tony Rezko. An “open and transparent” approach to documents would answer many questions.

Another area of mystery in the Barack Obama story is his level of association with controversial individuals, both private and public. The President turned his back on his spiritual mentor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, when the good Reverend turned out to be a political inconvenience and he has stuck to his story about barely knowing ex-Weatherman terrorist and murder Bill Ayers, who he dismissed as “…just some guy who lived in the neighborhood”.

The President’s choice of personal friends may be questionable, but not controversial. His public associations, however, are very important and a truly open and transparent Administration would release documents and records concerning Obama’s dealings with disgraced ex-Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, the previously mentioned shadowy Tony Rezko, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, and other Chicago politicos like the recently convicted “Fast Eddie” Vrdolyak and former Mayor Harold Washington.

Obama has refused to answer about his public associations with the Chicago machine and, if he means what he said last week, this should now be a subject of legitimate inquiry.

Finally, we move to the year 2009, the first year of the Obama Presidency. An “open and transparent” approach to secrets would certainly include a thorough debate on health care, which would start with reading the bill on the Senate floor. President Obama has urged the legislative branch to pass a bill that he admits he has never read. Reading this monstrosity publicly would be a useful first step, although this would lead to the defeat of the bill, so the President understandably fears transparency here.

Regardless of the health care debate a “transparent” government would waive all claims of executive privilege and would allow the testimony of Obama’s vaunted “czars” in response to Congressional inquiries concerning the faithful execution of the laws and statutes of the United States government by the executive branch.

Last November the President flatly refused to allow the czars to testify before Congress and cited Executive Privilege as his defense in ruling out this possibility. This rings suspiciously Nixon-like in its phraseology, but the Democratic majority in Congress is unlikely to contest the matter.

Once again we see the President resorting to high-blown rhetoric, trumpeting notions of good government based on truth and honest dealing. Once again we see the President falling woefully short of these ideals in both his past and present affairs.

President Obama remains secretive, guarded, and inaccessible about his past associations (both public and private) and his current public actions and his Administration is following suit. In response to his call for a greater “open and transparent” system when dealing with official secrets Conservatives will be excused when we say: Mister President, heal thyself!

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Face The Nation: Obama’s Issue Is “The Competency Of His Government”
Flopping Aces ^ | 01-04-10 | Curt

You know its getting bad when your starting to lose liberal talking heads like Bob Schieffer. Here he is with his chief legal correspondent Jan Crawford on Face the Nation yesterday discussing the The Crotch Bomber and why the issue will continue to haunt Team Obama:

BOB SCHIEFFER: Jan, some people, critics of the President are saying that perhaps the response to this was one of the low points of this administration.

JAN CRAWFORD: Well, I mean when you’re talking about the Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano coming out and insisting that the system worked and Press Secretary Robert Gibbs saying on this program last week, pretty much the same language that the system has worked. That’s a problem. I mean obviously the American people can look out there and go, well, you know, it didn’t.

But it’s not just those sound bites. I mean those are sound bites.

The reason that’s an issue for Obama is that it goes to the bigger question of the competency of his government and the trust that people have in that government. You look at polls. Polls show that the trust in government is an all time low. Domestically, obviously, stimulus plan hasn’t worked. Unemployment is high. And so now we have a situation where a terrorist can get on an airplane, seemingly could have been caught if some officials had just done a basic Google search of the database. And the Homeland Security secretary is insisting the system worked.

BOB ORR (overlapping): Bob, can I just—

JAN CRAWFORD: That doesn’t you know work. We’re in a—what people are going to want to know is, you know does Obama have a plan? What is his plan to fight this long-term war against a determined Jihadist enemy? What’s the plan and do Americans have the trust that Obama is confident to fight that long-term war?

No one believes that Obama can fight this war, except those who believe kowtowing, begging, and bribing the enemy is the way to win a war. His team hasn’t done anything right so far. From a health care bill that will destroy our economy, to mishandling buy-outs of the private sector, to hemming and hawing over sending troops to Afghanistan, to spinning the mistakes of this latest attack attempt.

Now his Administration has ensured that the mistakes of 9/11 are back by bringing in his politically correct thinking and treating the enemy as criminal suspects rather then what they really are....the enemy!

And now you have Bob Schieffer railing against the spin machine of the Obama administration.

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Soon upon us will be the one-year anniversary of President Obama’s inauguration. It’s time to ask, are we safer or in more danger than we were a year ago?

By every objective measure — what we know about Islamic terrorism, its intentions and capabilities — the answer is no. We are far less safe now than we were then.

To ask how much danger are we in is fatuous. You may as well ask, “[H]ow much danger is there”? The president has taken actions that — again objectively — have increased our vulnerability tremendously. Two of the actions he took immediately after taking office prove the point. And the actions he and Attorney General Eric Holder have since taken only increase the danger.

One of the first things the president did on taking office was to ban the “enhanced interrogation methods” used successfully during the Bush administration to gain current, actionable intelligence from terrorist prisoners.
We know from several sources that these interrogation methods were legal and productive. And essential.

As George Tenet, the CIA Director under Presidents Clinton and Bush, said: “I know that this [enhanced interrogation methods] program has saved lives. I know we’ve disrupted plots. I know this program alone is worth more than the FBI, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency put together have been able to tell us.”

President Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, Admiral Dennis Blair, said: “High value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al-Qaeda organization that was attacking this country.”

Those statements were proven redundantly by the documents released by the CIA Inspector General last year. They showed, in detail, how Khalid Sheik Mohammed and other high-value prisoners provided specific information that was used to interdict terrorist plots and capture some of the terrorists who were planning them.

Yet President Obama has prohibited the use of these interrogation methods. If they were as valuable as Tenet and Blair said, we are now left with intelligence gathering methods which are inferior and inadequate. The president and his White House political staff are now controlling interrogations, rather than leaving that business to those who know how to gain the intelligence that can be used to prevent coming attacks.

If Obama were interested in improving the intelligence community’s ability to protect us, he would return to them the authority to use whatever interrogation methods that are still legal, and get himself out of the business.

President Obama campaigned on the promise to close the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and ordered its closure within a year of his inauguration without any plan on where the detainees would go, or how they would be tried and possibly punished for their violations of the law of war.

He now plans to purchase the Thomson, Illinois maximum security prison and move the Gitmo detainees there. And even those such as 9-11 planner Khalid Sheik Mohammed and his cohort will be tried by civilian courts in American cities, not by the military commissions created for that purpose.

Last week, White House counterterrorism czar John Brennan said that we would still, on a case by case basis, release Gitmo detainees to Yemen. This despite the facts that would-be underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was trained there by an al Queda cel that reportedly contains two Gitmo alumni and that the Yemenis released Jamal al-Badawi, one of the men responsible for the 2000 attack on the USS Cole.

Brennan’s statement has drawn wide condemnation. Even the chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) — joining with Ranking Republican Kit Bond (R-Mo) — has asked Obama to stop releases to Yemen. In a January 5 joint letter to Obama, Feinstein and Bond objected strongly to Brennan’s statement, writing that:

“The Intelligence Committee has held a number of briefings and hearings in the past year that clearly demonstrate that the security situation in Yemen has deteriorated. Terrorists, including al Queda, have found Yemen to be a relative safehaven from which to plan attacks, both against Yemeni targets and externally. Unfortunately, we cannot rely on assurances that detainees transferred to Yemen for detention will be held securely until they no longer pose a threat.”

There is no substantive or legal reason to close Gitmo, only political calculation. And there is great danger in releasing its inmates. As the Bond-Feinstein letter points out, at least 18 of those released have been captured again or killed on the battlefield, and — as of 2008, according to the Defense Department, 43 more are suspected of having returned to terrorism.

Obama has classified the more recent estimates of how many Gitmo alumni have returned to terrorism. He is committed to closing Gitmo regardless of the risks, and doesn’t want us to know how many more of those released have gone back to their murderous ways.

Keeping Gitmo open — and subjecting the enemy combatants there who can be tried to military commissions — would keep us safer. But Obama rejects both ideas.

Abdulmutallab has something in common with Mohammed Abdi, the young Somali pirate captured by Navy SEALs in their spectacular Easter Day rescue of a U.S. merchant ship captain last year. Both have been placed in the civilian court system, denying intelligence interrogators the chance to get current information from them.

Abdulmutallab’s isolation from intelligence gatherers may literally cost lives. He must know who trained him and where, and may know other terrorists who went through training with him. The others are a current threat. If — as the Obama Justice Department plans — he cooperates and negotiates a plea agreement, we may get some of that information. A year or more from now, when it’s no longer current. When it can no longer be used to save American and other lives.

On December 13, 2001 the Defense Department released the transcript of a videotaped conversation held the month before (probably in Kandahar, Afghanistan) between Osama bin Laden and a number of his followers. In it, bin Laden claimed credit for the 9-11 attacks. And he said, “…when people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature, they will like the strong horse.”

Obama is a weak horse. His weakness is the weakness of all liberals, just as Ronald Reagan defined it: “the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t so.”

Obama said last week that we are at war with al Qaeda, which misdefines our enemy. We are at war with the nations that sponsor terrorism as well as their proxies such as al Qaeda, Hizballah, Lashkar e-Taiba and the rest. You cannot win a war by fighting only the enemy’s proxies.

The president believes we can talk terrorists out of terrorism. He might as well believe he could talk the Neytiri character in “Avatar” out of being blue. He has no understanding of how powerful the Islamofascist ideology is, how deeply-rooted or widespread.

Obama believes Gitmo is an instrument of terrorist recruitment that must be closed regardless of the risks that may create. But — as former Attorney General Michael Mukasey told me two weeks ago — a successful attack is the best recruitment tool. The only other one that matters is the Islamofascist ideology, which we must defeat in order to defeat its instrumentalities.

Obama believes that terrorists should be treated like common criminals, put into our civilian criminal justice system and protected from intelligence interrogations by methods because he finds them distasteful.

And Obama believes that we should still extend an open hand to Iran, regardless of the number of times it is slapped away. He is apparently willing to accept a nuclear-armed Iran rather than take the military action which is the only path remaining to deny the world’s principal sponsor of terrorism those arms.

As Don Rumsfeld was fond of saying, weakness is provocative. Provocation results in danger, and loss of life.

Are we in less danger than we were a year ago? By the objective criteria we have to measure the danger of terrorism, the answer is an emphatic “no.” And, unfortunately, we likely soon to be able to measure it by another objective criterion — the number of lives that will be lost to terrorism, the butcher’s bill — that is paid for Obama’s knowledge of so much that just isn’t so.