Approximately, one month ago, President Trump tasked the Pentagon with delivering him a plan to defeat the Islamic State or IS. What Trump failed to understand was the same people he tasked to solve the IS problem, were the same people that in a very large way created it. His trusted circle of advisors not only are all products of an institution with a heavily flawed system of promotion, but collectively failed to deliver a winning strategy when they were in combatant command roles. What kind of “solution” to IS does President Trump honestly think he will get from a group of institutionalized generals? Does anyone want to bet it will be a “solution” that requires more war? President Trump is literally asking “the swamp” to create his war policy and this is a fool’s errand. Based on a 100% failure rate of our Generals this century, this is unfortunately another juncture where it is very easy to assess with high certainty that the “solutions” President Trump will be presented will turn into another policy disaster. Both Presidents Bush and Obama suffered this hard lesson. President Trump needs to trash these recommendations and look at completely different ways of soliciting policy if he is to defeat IS and make America great again. This article is my attempt to speak truth to power and warn President Trump of the mistake he is making before it destroys his presidency. Read more
Tag Archive for NSA
For those not already nauseated by the constant spin surrounding the bought candidates vying to seize power as President of the United States, you may have caught Jeb Bush’s comments he made at the National Security Forum in South Carolina. Jeb Bush clarified for the world a number of key facts about who he is, what he believes, and where he stands on issues. In short, he is not compatible as the leader of a free republic and certainly should be disqualified as anything more than a traitor to freedom and liberty.
To summarize Jeb Bush’s positions, it is worth beginning with the fact he has nothing but contempt for the Fourth Amendment and the Constitution. In fact, it appears he disregards the rule of law completely and believes, like President Obama, that the presidency affords him unlimited power. He utterly dismisses civil liberties arguments respective of governmental overreach and clearly wants a bigger, more powerful police state. Specifically, he stated that NSA’s domestic spying program needs to be expanded and made more powerful. I guess intercepting and storing every single electronic transaction, statement, text, email, and phone call to name just a few areas of focus isn’t Orwellian enough for Jeb. He also stated that he couldn’t find a single example of how NSA’s spying violated the law. Clearly Jeb must be constitutionally illiterate or more likely thinks a president is not subject to the rule of law and checks and balances of our constitutional republic. Read more
-Seismic activity has markedly increased globally over the last few months and 2015 may prove to be an above average year. Major quakes have struck the Pacific Ring to include the disastrous quake in Nepal. Just yesterday evening a large quake struck northern Alaska. Further and I believe most likely related, volcanic activity is spiking globally. Just this week a volcano in Southern Japan literally exploded while volcanoes from Chile to Hawaii are again spewing lava and ash. These events tend to go in cycles as fault lines unzip and pressure is released. One can reasonable expect more events in the coming months and should be on high alert if they live near/on a fault line, near an active volcano, or along a coast vulnerable to tsunamis. Further, sustained volcanic activity will affect weather patterns and could lead to cooler than normal temperatures for months after the eruption. Currently, this is not an issue, but if other major eruptions occur this year and are sustained, this will certainly alter the Earth’s weather because the ash gets swept up into the high atmosphere where it spreads globally and reflects sunlight.
-ISIL still holds Ramadi contrary to US Secretary of State John Kerry’s stupid predictions last week. ISIL has now likely outmaneuvered the Iraqi counter attack claiming to have encircled “on 3 sides” the terrorist army. I am not sure how that translates to “encircled,” but whether or not there was a problem with the Arabic translation, in plain English that means ISIL has a flank wide open to reinforce or retreat through and they likely exploited this gap. The fact that we haven’t seen an outright retreat of ISIL from Ramadi, which the Iraqi government would quickly publicize, tells you everything you need to know about the facts on the ground. Further, as the Iraqi Army bears down on Ramadi, ISIL will no doubt maneuver its main element to attack where the Iraqi Army is not in strength. I would rate it highly likely that Fallujah, Hit, and areas of Baghdad will be attacked whether or not ISIL conducts a tactical withdrawal from Ramadi. This tactic has already demonstrated it is effective against the slow and unwieldy government forces. It wears them down, attrits their forces, and demoralizes the government. The war will only intensify and if ISIL is not dislodged from Ramadi within the next week, it will likely solidify and hold its gains making any future attempts to dislodge them extremely costly for the Iraqi military.
-The US admits Obama’s ISL “strategy” is not working. Reports also are trickling out of major dissent within the Pentagon. Further, as predicted, airstrikes have proved of limited value and now the military is saying it needs to commit more troops. I warned of this predictable escalation back to a full scale war in the Middle East. Humility truly is a virtue so I take no please in saying once again, “I told you so.” In fact, last year, I was so disgusted with even the mere use of the term “strategy,” that I wrote an entire piece blasting the Administration and its completely idiotic, non-strategy, that was predestined to failure. If you truly want to understand why we are failing and Iraq and why it will only get worse as I verbatim described in my analysis, you need to read and share: http://www.blackboxwire.com/2014/10/11/islamic-extremism-and-what-lies-ahead-part-ii-the-war-on-isis-and-syria/. You can then read the short follow-up to the above article at:
The five minutes you spend reading these two articles will serve as one of the best primers to understanding the escalating crisis in Iraq and the greater Middle East and why we are getting it wrong. Rather than just calling out incompetents/incompetence in the government, I am going to simply name key individuals that have legitimate influence and ask them to take notes. Perhaps 99% will never see the article or read it, but if even 1% takes the time to skim the article, progress is being made. Today, I want to challenge @Phil_Gaskin, who most likely finds my anti-leftist statements blasphemy, but I want to give him the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps he is the sole voice of reason in the Administration…I don’t know. What I do know is he is smart enough to read my articles and understand that by adopting what I am recommending would save everyone a lot of heartache and inject some professionalism into what, to date, has been a never ending policy amateur hour of disaster after disaster. So to you Phil Gaskin, I challenge you to have a sit down discussion about what a real ISIL strategy should be.
-The draconian anti-“Patriot Act” is due to sunset this weekend. Americans that still value their civil liberties would celebrate this law expiring, but have little optimism anything will change. In fact, it is likely that President Obama will illegally continue the unconstitutional domestic spy programs with or without faux legal authority. Not only is this extremely hypocritical of a president that ran on returning our civil liberties and ending the spy state, but it will prove just how lawless our nation has become. Even after the courts and anyone with basic sense determined that what the Patriot Act was being used to justify was utterly unconstitutional; (Specifically, total collection of electronic records without probable cause or a search warrant.) power hungry and/or bought politicians still are trying to make a case for why this law is needed. I would immediately point out to anyone to be on guard for the “all or nothing” spin. The Administration is trying to scare people into believing if the illegal data collection is stopped, we will suddenly become vulnerable. This is absurd. First of all, NSA’s domestic collection has to date stopped zero terrorists. Second, if the Administration was actually worried about US security, they would immediately stop importing Muslims to the US from around the world and particularly, from places like Somalia where everyone and their brother seems to be connected to Al Shabaab. Finally, NSA will continue to operate in its legitimate mission to protect Americans by returning to foreign collection. It isn’t as if NSA will cease to function and not have a job if they are no longer targeting Americans. In fact, they may actually become more effective, efficient, and actually gain some victories over foreign enemies of the state.
Recently, there has been talk in political circles entertaining the notion of granting amnesty for Edward Snowden under the condition he doesn’t release anymore secrets respective of the activities of the National Security Administration (NSA). However, although there is significant public support for his amnesty inside the United States and abroad, it is highly unlikely the US Government will grant Snowden amnesty. The reason for this is not because the US is worried about further damage to our national security. This damage was complete shortly after Mr. Snowden arrived in China and certainly by time he was debriefed by Russian intelligence officers. Further, many of the programs and capabilities Snowden purportedly exposed were already known by foreign intelligence and had been leaked in domestic alternate media outlets. No, it is not the fear of what foreign governments may glean from the revelations, but what the American people will learn that is driving the angst at the White House. The bottom line is that controlling elites within the US Government are angry and want revenge for Snowden’s official exposure of some of their most valuable and potent tools to surveil, track, and control the citizens of the US. The real damage Snowden did was to expose and weaken the secret police state that had been quietly built over decades in a dramatic fashion and for that he should be applauded as a hero irrespective of the obvious collateral security damage exposing the programs required, which was unfortunate and no doubt costly. Nonetheless, the need to uphold an oath to the Constitution superseded any in-house whistleblower policies and procedures that are more far more appropriately designed to silence dissent and protect political careers than to ensure freedom and liberty are preserved.
The government is now on the defensive trying to cover up and hide its illegal and unconstitutional surveillance activities that up until now were effectively hidden behind the curtain of secrecy. The President’s inside circle is undoubtable worried that if the full scope of the surveillance activities to include what the President himself has ordered and authorized ever gets out to the public, the Administration would be finished and the President could possibly be impeached. President Obama is feeling so much pressure he was forced to address the nation over the NSA’s spying in a manner intended to be perceived as reigning in the excessive surveillance. However, the President’s statements and actions show he has no intention whatsoever of curtailing the unconstitutional domestic surveillance. Instead of curtailing the domestic spying apparatus, President Obama has hypocritically acted and doubled down to protect the crown jewel of his police state, which he vehemently criticized when it was in its infancy under the control of former President George W. Bush. The White House has forced the NSA (as well as broader intelligence and defense communities) to hide programs even deeper and review the vetting of anyone associated with these programs. It has launched witch hunts for leakers with the intent to not just find and punish anyone willing to uphold their oath to the Constitution, but instill fear in anyone contemplating outing a classified, illegal, government program. It has also launched disinformation campaigns with the collusion of its controlled media to convince people the programs have actually been effective at thwarting domestic terrorism even though reports released from Congress state the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on these programs over the last two decades have not prevented a single attack. Further, the White House has spared no expense pressuring politically appointed judges to throw out lawsuits. President Obama has also used all of his political capital to collude with Congress (not just Democrats) to stifle any hint of legislation that would restrict, defund, and or stop the unwarranted, mass, domestic surveillance of the American public. Make no mistake, if President Obama and the elites have their way, the police state will only grow more powerful.
The notion that the government must know about every detail of every citizen’s life is enemy of freedom and liberty. This power is the holy grail of any police state and the information derived from this wide net of surveillance will be stored, analyzed, and used for near unlimited control of any population. We have written often about the false and dangerous logic behind the oft cited statement, “If you are not doing anything wrong you don’t have anything to worry about.” Simply taking an opposition standpoint to this government has already resulted in a number of people killed by drones and historically speaking, simply being literate was enough for the Soviet “Progressives,” also known as the Bolsheviks, to execute millions. Logic would conclude that if the government was indeed not interested in this information for control, then the programs would have little to no value and it would happily cease these extremely expensive programs. However, the government has doggedly pursued these programs at an immense cost and in secret violation of the law to satisfy what historically has been shown to be any government’s unquenchable desire for more power. Only the most naïve and ignorant citizens could feel comfortable with this type of excessive, unconstitutional violation of one’s privacy. For those supporting these programs from within the government, only through extensive manipulation of reality could one justify these programs for “good” and even then this would require a nearly blind (stupid) belief that those senior policy makers telling them that these programs are “legal” and “authorized” are genuinely, good, honest, trustworthy, and have the public’s best interests at heart. In fact, the mere notion that a person that shuns expansive power would also be the same person that seeks political office is contradictory and the notion of an “honest” politician is plain ridiculous. In fact next to no one would say they “trust” politicians, but yet when one is ordered to conduct an illegal government operation, these employees act as if they are robots carrying out the orders because the system “told them to do it.” Further, although their work may seem to be legitimate on the surface and focus on what they “are told” is a real terrorist target, these programs are so compartmentalized, there is little or no way for those subordinate minions to know the full scope of how the information being collected is being used and to what end it serves. Those of you that believe you are justified because someone with “rank” ordered you to conduct a certain act should remember the lessons of Nuremberg. You cannot hide behind orders and you must answer to a higher law.
If you value your freedom and liberty, you must demand your privacy is respected. You must demand the domestic spy state is permanently dismantled and defunded. Inform your neighbors. Organize and rally the masses to force bought politicians to act. You must bring cases to court and doggedly sue the government for violating your Constitutional Rights. Vote out any and every politician not aggressively acting to stop this spying regardless of party affiliation. If that is too much for you then at least donate money to those organizations and individuals that are working to stop the police state. These groups are numerous and growing such as Campaign for Liberty http://www.campaignforliberty.org/ and the Rutherford Institute https://www.rutherford.org/. Your support to organizations like these is invaluable and does have an impact. Both of the above institutions have already forced legislative debate, bills, and successful suits against the government on behalf of your civil liberties and freedoms.
By Guiles Hendrik
January 21, 2014
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