Monday, November 5, 2012

Are you better off now than you were four years ago? Vote for love of country. Vote for Jobs. Vote for Mitt Romney.

Are you better off now than you were four years ago?
Vote for love of country. Vote for Jobs. Vote for Mitt Romney.

Mitt Romney’s plan is to achieve energy independence on this continent by 2020. America is blessed with extraordinary natural resources, and developing them will create millions of good jobs – not only in the energy industry, but also in industries like manufacturing that will benefit from more energy at lower prices. America’s economy will boom when the billions of dollars we send overseas for our oil are kept here at home instead.

Part two of the plan is trade that works for America. Mitt believes that trade can offer enormous opportunities for American businesses and workers, but only if they are given a level playing field on which they can compete and win. That is why he will work to open new markets for American goods and services, while also confronting nations like China that cheat on trade and steal American jobs.
Part three is to provide Americans with the skills to succeed through better public schools, better access to higher education, and better retraining programs that help to match unemployed workers with real-world job opportunities.

Part four is to cut the deficit, reducing the size of government and getting the national debt under control so that America remains a place where businesses want to open up shop and hire.
Finally, part five of Mitt’s plan is to champion small business. Small businesses are the engine of job creation in this country, but they will struggle to succeed if taxes and regulations are too burdensome or if a government in Washington does its best to stifle them. Mitt will pursue comprehensive tax reform that lowers tax rates for all Americans, and he will cut back on the red tape that drives up costs and discourages hiring.

This election presents a clear choice, and an important one: Will America once again be the best place in the world to start a business, hire a worker, or find a job? Or will it continue down the path that President Obama’s borrowing and taxing and spending has led? America is still waiting for its economic recovery and, as president, Mitt Romney will deliver it.

The official position is that the US has refused to allow heavy weapons into Syria.
But there’s growing evidence that U.S. agents—particularly murdered ambassador Chris Stevens—were at least aware of heavy weapons moving from Libya to jihadist Syrian rebels.

In March 2011 Stevens became the official U.S. liaison to the al-Qaeda-linked Libyan opposition, working directly with Abdelhakim Belhadj of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group—a group that has now disbanded, with some fighters reportedly participating in the attack that took Stevens’ life…

…Last month The Times of London reported that a Libyan ship “carrying the largest consignment of weapons for Syria … has docked in Turkey.” The shipment reportedly weighed 400 tons and included SA-7 surface-to-air anti-craft missiles and rocket-propelled grenades.

Those heavy weapons are most likely from Muammar Gaddafi’s stock of about 20,000 portable heat-seeking missiles—the bulk of them SA-7s—that the Libyan leader obtained from the former Eastern bloc. Reuters reports that Syrian rebels have been using those heavy weapons to shoot down Syrian helicopters and fighter jets.

The ship’s captain was “a Libyan from Benghazi and the head of an organization called the Libyan National Council for Relief and Support,” which was presumably established by the new government.
That means that Ambassador Stevens had only one person—Belhadj—between himself and the Benghazi man who brought heavy weapons to Syria.

Last week The Telegraph reported that a FSA commander called them “Libyans” when he explained that the FSA doesn’t “want these extremist people here.”

And if the new Libyan government was sending seasoned Islamic fighters and 400 tons of heavy weapons to Syria through a port in southern Turkey—a deal brokered by Stevens’ primary Libyan contact during the Libyan revolution—then the governments of Turkey and the U.S. surely knew about it.

Furthermore there was a CIA post in Benghazi, located 1.2 miles from the U.S. consulate, used as “a base for, among other things, collecting information on the proliferation of weaponry looted from Libyan government arsenals, including surface-to-air missiles” … and that its security features “were more advanced than those at rented villa where Stevens died.”

And we know that the CIA has been funneling weapons to the rebels in southern Turkey. The question is whether the CIA has been involved in handing out the heavy weapons from Libya.
In any case, the connection between Benghazi and the rise of jihadists in Syria is stronger than has been officially acknowledged.

By Mark Hosenball
WASHINGTON | Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:16pm EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing covert U.S. government support for rebel forces seeking to oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, government officials told Reuters on Wednesday.

Obama signed the order, known as a presidential "finding", within the last two or three weeks, according to government sources familiar with the matter.

Such findings are a principal form of presidential directive used to authorize secret operations by the Central Intelligence Agency. This is a necessary legal step before such action can take place but does not mean that it will.

As is common practice for this and all administrations, I am not going to comment on intelligence matters," White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement. "I will reiterate what the president said yesterday -- no decision has been made about providing arms to the opposition or to any group in Libya."

The CIA declined comment.

News that Obama had given the authorization surfaced as the President and other U.S. and allied officials spoke openly about the possibility of sending arms supplies to Gaddafi's opponents, who are fighting better-equipped government forces.

The United States is part of a coalition, with NATO members and some Arab states, which is conducting air strikes on Libyan government forces under a U.N. mandate aimed at protecting civilians opposing Gaddafi.

Interviews by U.S. networks on Tuesday, Obama said the objective was for Gaddafi to "ultimately step down" from power. He spoke of applying "steady pressure, not only militarily but also through these other means" to force Gaddafi out.

Obama said the U.S. had not ruled out providing military hardware to rebels. "It's fair to say that if we wanted to get weapons into Libya, we probably could. We're looking at all our options at this point," he told ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer.

In Washington, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton insisted to reporters that no decision had yet been taken.

U.S. officials monitoring events in Libya say neither Gaddafi's forces nor the rebels, who have asked the West for heavy weapons, now appear able to make decisive gains.

While U.S. and allied airstrikes have seriously damaged Gaddafi's military forces and disrupted his chain of command, officials say, rebel forces remain disorganized and unable to take full advantage of western military support.


People familiar with U.S. intelligence procedures said that Presidential covert action "findings" are normally crafted to provide broad authorization for a range of potential U.S. government actions to support a particular covert objective.

In order for specific operations to be carried out under the provisions of such a broad authorization -- for example the delivery of cash or weapons to anti-Gaddafi forces -- the White House also would have to give additional "permission" allowing such activities to proceed.

Former officials say these follow-up authorizations are known in the intelligence world as "'Mother may I' findings."

In 2009 Obama gave a similar authorization for the expansion of covert U.S. counter-terrorism actions by the CIA in Yemen. The White House does not normally confirm such orders have been issued.

Because U.S. and allied intelligence agencies still have many questions about the identities and leadership of anti-Gaddafi forces, any covert U.S. activities are likely to proceed cautiously until more information about the rebels can be collected and analyzed, officials said.

"The whole issue on (providing rebels with) training and equipment requires knowing who the rebels are," said Bruce Riedel, a former senior CIA Middle East expert who has advised the Obama White House.

Riedel said that helping the rebels to organize themselves and training them how use weapons effectively would be more urgent then shipping them arms.


Sending in weapons would arguably violate an arms embargo on Libya by the U.N. Security Council imposed on February 26, although British, U.S. and French officials have suggested there may be a loophole.

Getting a waiver would require the agreement of all 15 council members, which is unlikely at this stage. Diplomats say any countries that decided to arm the rebels would be unlikely to seek formal council approval.

An article in early March on the website of the Voice of America, the U.S. government's broadcasting service, speculated on possible secret operations in Libya and defined a covert action as "any U.S. government effort to change the economic, military, or political situation overseas in a hidden way."

The article, by VOA intelligence correspondent Gary Thomas, said covert action "can encompass many things, including propaganda, covert funding, electoral manipulation, arming and training insurgents, and even encouraging a coup."

U.S. officials also have said that Saudi Arabia and Qatar, whose leaders despise Gaddafi, have indicated a willingness to supply Libyan rebels with weapons.

Members of Congress have expressed anxiety about U.S. government activities in Libya. Some have recalled that weapons provided by the U.S. and Saudis to mujahedeen fighting Soviet occupation forces in Afghanistan in the 1980s later ended up in the hands of anti-American militants.

There are fears that the same thing could happen in Libya unless the U.S. is sure who it is dealing with. The chairman of the House intelligence committee, Rep. Mike Rogers, said on Wednesday he opposed supplying arms to the Libyan rebels fighting Gaddafi "at this time."

"We need to understand more about the opposition before I would support passing out guns and advanced weapons to them," Rogers said in a statement.

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