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December 31, 2009

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Wow --We're getting tough now. Nobody's fired yet. But the buck stops with Obama so he says. Still no mention of the information we had on the Army killer. I guess that one isn't to worry about becasue he only killed our soldiers. I hope it sticks because the photo ops are getting more John Wayne--ish. That is exactly what OReilly told him he needed to do on Fox last night--talk tough. I guess even though he won't interview on Fox he watches it. It seems impossible for him to use the word "we". even when admitting his team made a mistake he can't just say "we" screwed up---it's all about the President. He doesn't need to take the blame just manage the people and get them to fix it otherwise the voters will give him the blame.

The saga continues as Obama rushes to fill the void of his staff and plug the leak in his public confidence rating balloon. Using the "I" word many times Obama now admits Terror is important and his administration's competance appears lacking. We had the info to stop the Christmas bomber and didn't. That, he says, is unacceptable to him---really? Well we would hope so wouldn't we? What he is going to do about it remains unclear but it is now the "project of the month". What he didn't say is that we had the info on the Fort Hood killer as well. Where was his outrage on that one? To make that one "project of the month and "photo op of the day" would have required that he support some kind of profiling/monitoring system that actually identifies AND calls out domestic threats such as the good Major in uniform. But, he didn't.
And, the administration is quick to remind us that he held over Secretary Gates and many of the Bush security people. What a cop out. He changed the CIA leadership. He changed Homeland defense leadership. He changed National Security advisors. And, he changed the Secretary of State. Those are the people responsible to manage our security through intelligence. The last time I looked Secretary Gates was responsible to fight wars and manage the military. I hope these wake up calls change the focus of this President just as 911 changed the focus of GWB's. It remains to be seen if this is all just a move to "fix" his image in the polls. And even if it isn't if he has the leadeship/management skills to fix the problem. He started by saying we are temporarily not releasing anymore terorists to Yemen. Temporarily? That leads me to wonder. How about we JAIL them as prisoners of war--maybe in Cuba.

And, on the hopeful side Senator Dodd, one of the main cogs in the failure of the Congressional oversite of the mortgage market, has decided he won't run for reelection. Either he figures he can't serve another term from jail, the eithics committee is finally going to release their body of work on him offering him the opportunity to leave instead, his dismay over the trend of Obama toward the middle has shattered his liberal dreams, or the polls have convinced him that he will be better off to keep his campaign funds as his retirement bonus than to squander them on a campaign. Quickly, the North Dakota Senator agreed to give it up as well and rumors have it that two more Democratic Senators will choose not to run in 2010. Ah what courage these men have--facing the people who elected them after performing so magnificantly for them--would be a little like Saddam being hung by his countrymen after having served them so well for so long. Hopefully, not only will many Democratic Senators eith give it up or switch sides in desperation but so too will the Representatives. Just think, if Pelosi switches parties maybe she could still be speaker after 2010 elections--as a Republican. Her first act would be to turn the water back on in California so America could grow crops again.

So now the White House acknowledges that a 3rd person got through security at the White House. This one, still unidentified, was in the Indian delegation. Are we taking this serious yet? At the same time Obama is said to be giving his full time attention to the Terrorist threat. Last month he gave full time attention to Afghanistan. Or was that November? The Terrorist threat is full time not just a campaign slogan. Hopefully, it will not just become the "issue of the month" for this administration. The reason Obama has to focus on each new monthly issue is because he filled his staff with such inexperienced and socially oriented people. Now, we are being told that the terrorists are being given lawyers and handled in civilian courts so that we can get them to "talk" by offering them plea bargins through their lawyers who have already told them "not to talk". Does it make any sense to you that we are offering plea bargins to suicide mass murderers? The logic of this administration defies belief.

A note of thanks to our classmate Ryan Denny '66 for letting our classmates know of Bill's Blog site in the December CHECKPOINTS Issue. I look forward to their participation and ideas.

Bo I'm glad you addressed this issue this week. There are two differnet thoughts I have on this security issue;

1. What is Obama's actual strategy against terorists? and

2. What is this mess of an administration's real ability to handle the situation?

First let me give Obama the due that I would give any President especially one of such limited intelligence and military experience: it is easy to play critic as Obama did against Bush/Chaney when nothing you say or do is based on anything except your gut feelings and logic. It is another world when you have to make the decisions that matter to the safety of the world based on the actual realities that come when you face the intelligence of the enemies you face and the top secret + look at the operations that are actually going on both militarily and intelligence wise. Obama has grown up pretty fast from the shoot from the hip, I have a solution for everything, poltician who opposed Bush to the President who has just ordered 30,000 more soldiers into Afghanistan, authorized missile strikes into Yemen, allowed Navy Seals to shoot Somalia pirates and gave a pretty impressive defense of using force against terror at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony. So I believe he now knows that the War on Terror is for real and forever. And, while his leftist base moans in pain with every move he makes he is at least aware of the reason GWB was so damn tough minded. I have little doubt that when confronted with threats he will act to counter them. That said, he is in a real jam politically. He is really walking a tight rope with his party as he tries to explain the move in Afghanistan. As he tries to show the Muslim world that we are really not the arrogant GWB/Chaney premept Terror, promote Democracy, torture terrorists, monitor communications, ignore prisoners civil rights, and indefinitly jail terrorists that they feared and despised. However, as he is quickly finding out it was not Bush/Chaney they depised it IS AMERICA. In fact, they probably think even Bush/Chaney tactics are tame in comparison to the brutality they inflict on humanity. Obama can only lose in this game of pretending to show compassion for brutal killers while targeting their leaders throughout the world with Drones, aircraft and special forces. If anyone thinks Bush/Chaney were seen as too reality based with their direct "war on Terror and Axis of evil" rhetoric then they should look at the hypocritical message Obama gives with his policy of bomb em in secret and make sure they are afforded their rights as criminals when we catch them. On the other hand that goes right with his promise of transparency, bipartisanship, and no pork he promised as candidate Obama.

So now for the Administration's ability to keep them at bay. First of all this administration's focus is social--period. It's goal's before the election and after were to restructure America to level the playing field for minorities. This required healthcare for all, a restructured energy industry, laws and policies to renew the power of labor unions, restructuing the tax laws, and the growth of Federal govenment employment to assure more secure jobs for minorities. And, for the first several months of his Presidency Obama and his administrtion did not even address the war on Terror.
Their focus was on the pork bill which came to be called the Stimulus bill. They left the war on terror to Gates--the hold over from the GWB administration. They reached out to Iran and North Korea to begin those "serious dialogues" that GWB had failed to engage in.----How's that going? They began to systematically demonstrate to the world that we are the world's friendliest enemy--doing away with interrogation, offerring lawyers to the enemy, dismanteling our prisoner of war camp--dumping the prisoners back in their hometowns, apologizing for the error of our ways, scheduling public trials of the most brutal of the prisoners, investigating our CIA interrogation procedures, and, in general, trying to convince the world that we are "over" 911 and we now see these pesky Terrorists as just common criminals who likely grew up disadvantaged and in need of some love. While this message was being delivered who was looking at all the weaknesses in our systems that Bo has so well pointed out? Biden?--he was in charge of the stimulus package that worked so well, then he had the jobs creation calculator that fell apart, then he was in charge of Afghanistan/Pakistan strategy. Harry Reid?--No he had healthcare. Congress?--no they were busy at town meetings trying to deal with domestic tea party terrorists. Pelosi?--no she was busy cutting of the water in California to save a fish. The Director of TSA?--no he hadn't been confirmed yet? Obama?--no he was busy using the word "I" as much as possible. So when the Major at FT Hood who held daily discussions on the Muslim cause shot and killed 30 or so of our men and women did anyone jump up and say "what the hell are we doing?" No--we just said some words and buried the dead. Another domestic Muslim driven to kill by our anti muslim policies? Or a recruited Muslim on a mission? When 5 US Muslim boys got visas to visit Pakistan--no one cared? If my sons were to get a visa to go anywhere outside the county I'd care. A guy in Nigeria tells us his son is doing crazy stuff and by the way he's Muslim and no one cares even when we know he has a visa to the US. So he tries to blow up a plane over the US on Christmas day. The only ones who cared that day were the passengers who grabbed him. In the meantime we have a breach of security at the White House and it is treated as a "laughable" wedding crashers type of incident. The Staffers involved are told to be more careful next time--party less with the guests and pay a little more attention to who is coming in the door. Had they been successful bombers then they could have killed Obama and Biden leaving the US Presidency in the capable hands of our first female President: "President Pelosi" a comforting thought.
So the answer is, Bo, this administration is designed for social change and has not an once of motivation, focus or competancy toward security.

What is scariest of all is their total dismisal of the threat: I see their comments and what I read into them is: they are now reduced to a bunch of lone wolf renegades who are basically incompetent. Incompentent? This is Al Queda, led by Osama Bin Laden. This man has organized and funded from the mountains of Pakistan, using human mules and the internet for communication, the most fearsome force the US and the world have ever faced. This threat will confront us, our children and our grandchildren for generations to come. Unfortunately, if there is to be an end to civilation as we know it these are the people who will likely cause it. Forget global warming, forget pollution, forget famine, forget pandemics, forget recessions, forget the Chinese nuclear weapons. It will be the terrorists who will evolve threats, weapons, disruption, political instability from the basic elements of our day to day living. In this generation they have used suicide bombers, airplanes, truck bombs, roadside bombs and video taped beheadings to scare and harm us. But they will evolve. Their sole focus is on ways to strike us and penetrating our security. Osama rivals all the guerrilla leaders of all time in his cunning. He has evaded the world's most powerful nation and it's allies for more than 8 years. His organization conducts war with us in Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, Somalia, Europe, Indonesia and on our own soil. And we think he is reduced to a few rogue agents? His people prowl the internet openly publishing propaganda and recruiting the kids of the world. They have hacked into DOD drone programs. They rob indentites stealing millions. They capture credit card data and turn it into money for their mission. They steal ships and our insurance companies pay them ransom. So what bothers me most is when a man who kills more randomly than Hitler, who exists soley to destroy our way of life, is dismissed as having been reduced to a band of individuals acting alone, who when captured are not interrogated and are treated as criminals instead of warriors then I know we are not paying attention to the primary mission of our governemnt and that is to protect us. This is a war of constant surveillance and ruthless overt and covert operations. It cannot be fought without using every tool we can give ourselves even at the expense of civil liberties. The Isreali's have long fought a battle of this type but in the earlier evolutionary stages. As they look at Iran they see a new escalation on the horizon and hopefully we see it as well. Now Obama sees the real world and here he is with his social focused team and his hidden socialist Czars in place trying to hold off the onslaught of the tea party challenges. Not really ready for this war where one mistake can cost us in ways we cannot imagine. He is growing up but as shown by his behavior in Hawaii not fast enough.

To Louise: I've added you to the list of folks who get an e-mail each week as a reminder of the Friday posting. Thanks for the interest.

Please add me to your e-mailing list. thanks!

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