Summer of Scandal

Well, it’s the beginning of summer. It’s always a special time in the changes of the season. Unless you are a climate change cultist.

But it is a great season. Some of us have been waiting for months for it, after a winter of discontent. Previously, Biden dubbed it “the summer of recovery’. Then we needed a recovery from the non-recovery.

So I thought thought this year should be labeled “the summer of scandals”. Maybe there could be theme barbecues? You know throw another one on the grill, can’t have enough. Declare it scandal-palooza.

We’re almost up to a scandal a week. There are so many scandals that you could get lost on which is more import, or which one to talk about. Is it Benghazi, NSA, fast and furious, the IRS, Gitmo-gate? Or maybe it’s the outing the CIA chief in Afghanistan?

So many to choose from. Is it the flood of illegal aliens across the borders, and dispersing them around the country? Or will it be the VA scandal, still gathering steam? Maybe its ObamaCare? Obama’s executive rewrite? Is it “I didn’t know”-gate? The executive order Dream Act? Or how about the Dep of Injustice and ever-contemptible Holder? Or the new EPA roll out in the war on energy? Or will it be I got a pen and a phone. Or could it be Obama’s denials that there are any scandals? Or maybe the Muslim Brotherhood insurgency in this administration? Or maybe it’s those recess appointments with no recess. Or administration suits against Christians like Hobby Lobby, or the Catholic nuns? Or everything surrounding his secretive records and election to office, to the non-transparency of now? One thing that you cannot be anymore is shocked .

But it would be pretty hard not to talk about any of them. Which brings us to the lamestream media. I anticipate in the next few weeks Barry has a meeting with the press, you know, to give them a little direction. What is increasingly difficult though is not talking about any of it, which is the predicament the media is in.

Maybe some are so stymied by it all that they can’t talk about any of it. They could be one of those that when mentioned in conversation h/she says: “oh, I don’t follow that stuff.” That’s always a good reply.

We can just call any that disagree deniers. But at some point, we are going to need a recovery from scandal. That seems far away. It all reminds me of Paine’s piece:

“THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” — “The Crisis” by Thomas Paine, 1776

And he said:

There are persons, too, who see not the full extent of the evil which threatens them; they solace themselves with hopes that the enemy, if he succeed, will be merciful. It is the madness of folly, to expect mercy from those who have refused to do justice; and even mercy, where conquest is the object, is only a trick of war; the cunning of the fox is as murderous as the violence of the wolf, and we ought to guard equally against both.

Enjoy the summer of scandal. Don’t get a sunburn.

RightRing | Bullright

Gitmo-gate in full swing

Under Pressure, Hagel Promises to Act on Guantánamo Transfers


By CHARLIE SAVAGE and HELENE COOPER MAY 29, 2014 | NYT

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who is under pressure from within the Obama administration to step up his pace in approving the transfer of low-level Guantánamo Bay detainees, has told reporters that he would decide soon whether to accept a months-old offer to resettle six prisoners in Uruguay.

But Mr. Hagel, in his most expansive public comments about detainee transfers, acknowledged that he has been in no rush to sign off on them. He cited the burden and responsibility of being the one official who, under a legal obligation imposed by Congress, must personally determine that releasing a detainee makes sense.

“My name is going on that document. That’s a big responsibility,” Mr. Hagel said, adding: “What I’m doing is, I am taking my time. I owe that to the American people, to ensure that any decision I make is, in my mind, responsible.”

Mr. Hagel made his remarks in response to questions by a reporter accompanying him on a flight to Alaska late on Wednesday.

They came less than a week after Susan E. Rice, President Obama’s national security adviser, sent a three-page memo to Mr. Hagel requiring him to “provide an update on progress on detainee transfers every two weeks until further notice,” according to an official who read passages of the memo to a reporter.

Mr. Obama has sought to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, since taking office in 2009. Congress gave the secretary of defense the final say over approving transfers. He must determine that a transfer is in the national-security interest and that steps have been taken to “substantially mitigate” the risk that a detainee could pose a future threat to the United States or its allies.

Ms. Rice’s May 24 memo includes a record of Mr. Obama’s guidance on how much risk to accept when transferring detainees, including saying that it is “not a zero-risk standard,” and that the risk must be balanced against the harm to the United States caused by the continued operation of the facility.

The memo is said to define “substantially mitigate” as meaning that “steps have been or will be taken that would materially lessen the risk that detainee, post transfer, will engage or re-engage in any terrorist or other hostile activity that specifically threatens the United States or U.S. persons or interests.”

There were no transfers of low-level detainees under Mr. Hagel’s predecessor, Leon E. Panetta, who ran the Pentagon from July 2011 to February 2013. But Mr. Hagel has approved 11 transfers of low-level detainees, plus another who served out a sentence. Just one of those — an Algerian repatriated in March — came this year. Several officials said that more than a dozen detainees are the subject of proposed deals, and that there are serious talks with specific countries about taking in several dozen more.

In an interview with NPR on Thursday, Mr. Obama reiterated his desire to close Guantánamo. “We cannot in good conscience maintain a system of indefinite detention in which individuals who have not been tried and convicted are held permanently in this legal limbo outside of this country,” he said. He made a similar comment in his speech at West Point the day before.

In one respect, Mr. Obama’s negative portrayal of indefinite detention clashed with a key aspect of the approach to closing Guantánamo that he has advocated: He wants to bring several dozen detainees — who are deemed too difficult to prosecute but too dangerous to release — to a prison inside the United States for continued detention without trial.

Mr. Obama also said he keeps “chipping away” at the problem. /…

More: New York Times

 

The “pressure” he’s under is from Obama, let’s be clear about that. And Susan Rice is right in there. All in an attempt to pander for votes. One might even wonder if the detainees vote or something?

So he’s been hard at work on this release program, demanding reports every 2 weeks, but on the VA he was completely AWOL and ignorant about the corruption or scandal. No wonder, all his attention is on securing the release of terrorists from Gitmo. It is no surprise all his staff are involved, too. ‘All hands on deck’. But the massive VA-gate, not so much.

Concern now is that Obama intends to empty Guatanamo in months. He’s right up to speed and briefed on that. The US is what’s under pressure.

Then, right on the heels of his West Point speech, up pops the trade of one questionable prisoner of the Taliban for 5 upper echelons of the Taliban. (not 3 or 4, but 5) You guessed it, sounds like a deal US couldn’t refuse.

And right on cue, out pops Susan “the video” Rice, talking points in hand, saying Bergdahl “served with honor and distinction.” I wonder what the next deal will be, since we are out of our prisoners held by the enemy to negotiate.

Weasel Zippers

He didn’t tell Congress about the Bergdahl trade beforehand, because he knew some members opposed making a deal which had been on the table for years. As we noted, the regime had previously assured everyone that no deal would go through without Congress being informed beforehand. So that was obviously another lie. At what point does Congress take back their Constitutional obligation, which Obama is eviscerating, right and left?

Part of the deal on the table had also been giving the Taliban a million dollars. Did Obama give them the money too?

RightRing | Bullright