I guess I should post something on Syria. It seems that President Obama has boxed himself in pretty well. If he attacks Syria and doesn’t remove Assad it looks like he’s just attacked because he drew a red line he never thought he’d actually have to act upon. A rocket or two that accomplish nothing won’t improve the status much. If he removes Assad and the rebels take Syria and install an Al-Qaeda regime well that will most likely cause us even more trouble then Assad himself.
Support from other countries for intervention seems to be waning. So, does he go it alone? You know, doing what he formally stated was not constitutional? Not that the Constitution slows this President down much.
In all fairness it’s a no win situation now. He’ll look weak if he does nothing. Which is what I support. But that’s why off the cuff statements must be kept to a minimum.
Perhaps we should just support the rebels for a while then Assad for a while and keep this war going on until the desire for peace reaches every man, women and child. Then perhaps a small spot of order will emerge.
Is Ben Affleck really the next batman. In the upcoming Superman sequel, it’s reported that Ben is the pick for the new Batman. I don’t mind Ben Affleck. I don’t think our political views are a match but most of his movies have been ok. But that’s kind of it, just ok. Batman is a tormented character, that’s why Christian Bale did it so well. Christian seems a bit tormented himself. Batman is angry, brooding, well the latest incarnations anyway and is Ben the guy for that? Batman as the Dark Knight isn’t only about justice but vengeance. He’s big, he’s angry and he’s willing to do what is necessary to remove evil from Gotham. Is Ben? The Batman movies have been on a pretty good roll lately so if true I hope Ben can pull it off.
Why Nobody Cares About the Surveillance State
On their face, Edward Snowden’s revelations about the National Security Agency’s secret mass electronic data surveillance system should have created a political firestorm for the Obama administration and the U.S. Congress.
…In other words, the government outright lied to the public and was caught in its own lies…
…And yet, apart from some voices from the antiwar left and the libertarian right (on foreign policy there is considerable overlap between the Tea Party and the Occupy movement), the reaction from this deceived public for the most part has been strangely muted. It is not just the somewhat contradictory nature of the polls taken this summer, which have shown the public almost evenly split on whether the seemingly unlimited scope of these surveillance programs was doing more harm than good. It is akso that, unlike on issues such as immigration and abortion, much of the public outrage presupposed by news coverage of the scandal does not, in reality, seem to exist…
Interesting article at Foreignpolicy.com
NSA broke privacy rules thousands of times per year, audit finds
The National Security Agency has broken privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since Congress granted the agency broad new powers in 2008, according to an internal audit and other top-secret documents.
There is no reliable way to calculate from the number of recorded compliance issues how many Americans have had their communications improperly collected, stored or distributed by the NSA.
But didn’t everyone in this admin say that’s not possible.
National Security Agency director General Keith Alexander defended the controversial programs disclosed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and said Thursday his agency was taking steps to prevent future leaks by working to reducing the number of system administrators—the same position Snowden held—by 90 percent.
Dammit, more unemployed and competition for jobs.
It’s very interesting that they can cut Sys Admins by 90%. That would indicate a whole lot of waste built in wouldn’t it? That’s why we are still furloughing people and the White House tours are shut down.
Alexander said the agency was transitioning to a cloud structure that would rely on machines instead of people to transfer secure data.
We are being run by the very bestest.
With conditions continuing to deteriorate in Syria, the Obama administration is making a major policy shift by agreeing for the first time to allow thousands of new Syrian refugees into the United States, The Cable has learned.
The numbers are relatively small: just 2,000 refugees, compared to an estimated two million people who have fled Syria during the civil war. But it’s a significant increase from the 90 or so Syrian refugees who have been permanently admitted to the U.S. in the last two years. And it’s not entirely uncontroversial. The refugees, mostly women and children, will be screened for terrorist ties — a process that could take a year or more to complete.
So who’s taking bets the numbers don’t stay at 2000? Open the gates and close your eyes, all is well…..
From Bloomberg Business
Al-Qaeda Backers Found With U.S. Contracts in Afghanistan
Supporters of the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan have been getting U.S. military contracts, and American officials are citing “due process rights” as a reason not to cancel the agreements, according to an independent agency monitoring spending.
The U.S. Army Suspension and Debarment Office has declined to act in 43 such cases, John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, said today in a letter accompanying a quarterly report to Congress.
“I am deeply troubled that the U.S. military can pursue, attack, and even kill terrorists and their supporters, but that some in the U.S. government believe we cannot prevent these same people from receiving a government contract,” Sopko said.
So where are the great Generals raising hell about this? Who are these “ Officials” siting due process rights? Do they know there is a war going on?
If I were running these wars would I stand for BS like this? Would you? What motivates our leadership who’ve seen these reports over and over to continue to operate the same way? Do they want us to fail?
Afghanistan: Taliban backers win £100m in US contracts
The US government has awarded more than $150m (£98m) in contracts to companies and individuals in Afghanistan that are known to support the Taliban, according to a US spending watchdog.
Multimillion dollar contracts have been given over the past five years to 43 companies working in construction, logistics, road building and IT that have links to the insurgents.
This isn’t a surprise which is why I began advocating an Afghan pull out a few years ago. We are not now nor have we been fighting a real war in many years. I honestly don’t know if it’s the “Military Industrial Complex”, or just incompetence and political correctness at the highest levels but we cannot fight and win wars anymore.