President Barack Obama in a Friday speech addressing his reform proposals for controversial National Security Agency spying programs, announced a plan to let a third party or the phone companies themselves keep metadata on American phone records. Privacy advocates criticized his proposals for not going far enough in protecting privacy.
Under his proposal, a third party, the phone companies themselves or some other entity would keep data on when and where phone calls are placed and to whom the calls are placed. (The content of phone calls is not being collected, nor would be collected under his announced reforms.) In order to look at the data, authorities would need a court order.
There will be a 60-day review used to determine how the phone data will be collected and archived in the future. more >>
Arabic language websites reported earlier this week that the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant-which, throughout the course of the war against the Assad government has committed any number of atrocities, from decapitating "infidels" to burning churches-has successfully "forced" two Armenian Christian families to convert to Islam.
A video accompanies some of these reports. In it, what appears to be an elderly Armenian man stands alongside an Islamic cleric who announces the Christian man's conversion to Islam-to thunderous cries of "Allahu Akbar!" In his exultation, the cleric makes exuberant statements like "You see, we have no honor without Islam-without proclaiming aloud that "There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet!" (Without the religious jargon, this is simply another way of saying, "Only by joining our team can you ever escape dishonor," the lot of all non-Muslim, subhuman "infidels.")
The cleric also adds that, because the man is the head of his household, his Christian wife and children are all now Muslim as well-"all praise to Allah!" Naturally, if they reject their new Islamic identity, they become "apostates," a crime punishable by death. more >>
The takeover of Fallujah by al-Qaida wipes out our costly 2004 victory in which we captured the Iraqi city at the cost of 100 Marines and soldiers killed in action, and hundreds more wounded. Fallujah isn't just an Obama mistake; it's the exemplar of Obama's disastrous foreign and military policies designed to reduce the power and prestige of America on the world stage.
Obama's military policies are not merely based on his incompetence. They are part of his personal philosophy to redistribute power in the world, which is the other side of his Saul Alinsky ideology to reduce our standard of living by drastically limiting our energy use to the level of poorer nations.
When Obama told Joe the Plumber that he wants to "spread the wealth around," this was only a part of his plan. He also wants to spread power around to achieve his "we-are-all-equal" worldview. more >>
Russia is on a high security alert in preparation for the upcoming Olympic Winter Games after six bodies and bombs were discovered in the country's southern Stavropol region on Wednesday.
The six bodies were discovered in four separate vehicles in two districts in the Pyatigorsk area of Stavropol. Each body had gunshot wounds, and unidentified explosive devices were found near three of the vehicles. The Stavropol region sits as a gateway to the country's volatile North Caucasus region where unpredictable Islamic terrorist groups reside.
Vladimir Markin, the spokesman for Russia's main investigative agency, said in a statement Thursday that no motive had been uncovered in the mysterious shootings, and Federal Security Service officers had been added to research the investigation, which is now being described as a counter-terrorist operation. The Associated Press notes that the shootings of the six men, some of whom were taxi drivers, are more typical of criminal or gang activity, but the discovery of the bombs led investigators to think Islamic insurgents may be involved. more >>
The New York Times recently published a 7,500-word cover-up to exculpate the Obama administration in their atrocious dereliction of duty with respect to killing of four Americans at Benghazi in 2012. Like a frightened octopus, the left is exuding a vast cloud of ink, hoping to cover the failures of President Obama and then-Sec. of State Hillary Clinton.
The NYT reporter goes to great length to show that al Qaeda was not part of the murderous attack that claimed the life of the U.S. ambassador, Chris Stevens. He was the first U.S. ambassador killed in the line of duty in thirty years. Their overlong piece also takes pains to try to extricate Hillary Clinton from any blame in this catastrophe. National Review Online and The Weekly Standard both do a most effective job of critiquing the David Kilpatrick "novella." Analysts Andrew McCarthy and Steve Hayes do a most persuasive job of correcting the record and de-bunking the Times' distorted view of reality.
As McCarthy and Hayes note, nowhere do we learn where President Obama was on that fateful night. We know he would fly off that very evening for a mid-campaign fund-raiser in Las Vegas. But the White House has avoided any minute-by-minute accounting of where Mr. Obama was during that fatal attack. more >>
President Barack Obama's former secretary of defense, Robert Gates, accused the president of sending an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan while believing the plan would fail. This was just one of many startling revelations, including comments about Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden that could have consequences for the 2016 presidential race, in Gates' memoir, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, due out next week.
Obama "doesn't believe in his own strategy, and doesn't consider the war to be his. For him, it's all about getting out," Gates wrote.
During the 2008 election, Obama was critical of President George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq and argued that more military resources should have been devoted to Afghanistan instead. Bush "took the eye off the ball" in Afghanistan in order to invade Iraq, Obama accused at the time. more >>