Tag Archives: Susan Rice

Judge Jeanine to Obama: ‘Your Actions Demand Impeachment’

In last night’s Opening Statement, Judge Jeanine slammed President Barack Obama’s decision to trade five Gitmo detainees for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, saying that Obama is not a true commander-in-chief and that his actions demand impeachment. Read the transcript below.

There is a sacred trust between a country and its leader, between a president and the people he leads. When a leader violates that trust, the people from whom he derives his power have the inalienable right to remove him.

You may agree or disagree with what I’m about to say; it’s not meant to be political.

Whatever the context, when you let things slide – one after another – the foundation deteriorates. Even water sliding down a rock begins to wear at it and break it down. And like that rock, our very existence is in jeopardy. Barack Obama has put us in that jeopardy yet again.

The latest: exchanging a man whose own platoon soldiers call a “deserter,” who voluntarily left his unit during combat – in itself a death-eligible crime – for five of the worst Taliban terrorists in Gitmo.

Obama sends out old faithful Susan Rice to say this of Bowe Bergdahl:

“He served the United States with honor and distinction.”

What? Even the White House had to re-spin that.

Now Susan, isn’t English your first language? Weren’t you briefed on what to say? And not for nothing, don’t you know that those Sunday morning talk shows are a danger zone for you? But then again, that despicable video lie got you moved up to national security adviser.

And ironically, the reason for the trade:

“What we did was ensure that as always the United States doesn’t leave a man or a woman on the battlefield.”

Pray tell, Susan, is it OK to leave some behind?

The trade surprised even Congress:

“It comes with some surprise and dismay that the transfers went ahead with no consultation, totally not following the law.”

And that’s a Democrat!

Enter our president:

“We had a prisoner of war whose health had deteriorated, and we were deeply concerned about and we saw an opportunity and we seized it, and I make no apologies for that.”

But when key senators didn’t buy the “ill” excuse, a new narrative emerged: the Taliban would kill Bergdahl if you followed U.S. law and told Congress. Seriously?

Mr. President, my sources tell me you knew Bergdahl’s location for months. Why didn’t you send in SEAL Team 6? It would have made another great photo op. Why didn’t you send in those drones? Could it be, Mr. President, he was your excuse to release 5 Taliban terrorists from Gitmo? Those five men, the worst of the worst. Some wanted by the U.N. for mass murders, killing thousands, al Qaeda-connected, these are the guys who behead their enemies, including children. They hate America and everything we stand for. And you release them – knowing many return to the battlefield – because Arab country Qatar assured you that they do not pose a threat to us? And you’re good with that? You buy it? You think 12 years in Gitmo has softened their resolve to kill us?

Mr. President, you didn’t just release them, you unleashed them, and you and you alone will be responsible for the hell that will be unleashed on us. You have teed us up for death and destruction. And don’t give me this hogwash that they are prisoners of war who have to be freed when we leave Afghanistan. They are not prisoners of war. The Taliban is not a country. They are enemy combatants who can be held indefinitely and should have been tried for their crimes. And as much as you want to take terms like “Islamic extremists” and “jihad” out of our lexicon, the War on Terror is far from over.

You didn’t have to release them. And I don’t give a damn whether you try them at Gitmo, in a military tribunal or in a federal court. United States attorneys have prosecuted these dirt bags and convicted them time and again.

Here’s the bottom line: you negotiated with terrorists. You broke the very law that you signed. You have shown terrorists that they can win concessions by kidnapping Americans. In the history of this country we have never traded mass murderers for a deserter.

My father and grandfather fought in World War II.  Ironically, you go to Normandy 70 years later – where my grandfather was injured – and make like you respect the military.

You call yourself a commander-in-chief. But what commander-in-chief doesn’t support a surge, but sends in 40,000 troops anyway? What commander-in-chief reduces benefits to to those in the military? Closes the Veterans War Memorial? Reduces the army to pre-World War II levels? Knowingly allows veterans to die in our hospitals, while replenishing the enemy in a time of war?

Mr. President: you are destroying this country. You have diminished us on the world stage. You have trampled on the very laws you swore to uphold.  You are not a true commander-in-chief. We’ve impeached a president for lying about sex with an intern. Your actions, far more egregious, demand impeachment.

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NSA spying on foreign embassies helped US ‘develop’ strategy

The National Security Agency in 2010 provided the US ambassador to the United Nations with background information on several governments and their embassies that were undecided on the question of Iranian sanctions.

In May 2010, as the UN Security Council was attempting to win support for sanctions against Iran over its nuclear-energy program, which some say is a front for a nuclear weapons program, several members were undecided as to how they would vote. At this point, the US ambassador to the world body, Susan Rice, asked the NSA for assistance in her efforts to “develop a strategy,” leaked NSA documents reveal.

The NSA swung into action, aiming their powerful surveillance apparatus at the personal communications of diplomats from four non-permanent Security Council members — Bosnia, Gabon, Nigeria and Uganda. This gave Rice an apparent upper-hand in the course of the negotiations.

In June, 12 of the 15-member Security Council voted in favor of new sanctions.

Later, Rice extended her gratitude to the US spy agency, saying its surveillance had helped her to know when diplomats from the other permanent representatives — China, England, France and Russia — “were telling the truth … revealed their real position on sanctions … gave us an upper hand in negotiations … and provided information on various countries’ ‘red lines’.”

The information comes from a new book by journalist Glenn Greenwald, ‘No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the US Surveillance State’, the New York Times reported.

Rice’s request for assistance was discovered in an internal report by the security agency’s Special Source Operations division, which cooperates with US telecommunications companies in the event a request for information is deemed necessary.

Greenwald’s book goes on sale Tuesday.

The book also provides a list of embassies around the world that had been infiltrated by the US spy agency, including those of Brazil, Bulgaria, Colombia, the European Union, France, Georgia, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, Venezuela and Vietnam.

United States Vice President Joe Biden (R) sits with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (L) as U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice stands (C) before the start of the United Nations Security Council High-Level Meeting on Iraq at U.N. headquarters in New York, December 15, 2010

News of the NSA’s vast surveillance network, which targets friends and enemies of the United States with equanimity, were revealed in June when former NSA contractor Edward Snowden provided Greenwald with thousands of files on the program.

Despite promises by President Obama for greater safeguards on the invasive system, which has infuriated people around the world, the NSA seems determined not to let international public opinion block its spying efforts.

“While our intelligence agencies will continue to gather information about the intentions of governments — as opposed to ordinary citizens — around the world, in the same way that the intelligence services of every other nation do, we will not apologize because our services may be more effective,” according to a White House statement.

The latest revelations detailing how the NSA gives American diplomats an unfair advantage raises the question as to how such orders passed legal muster in the first place.

According to the documents, a legal team went to work on May 22 building the case to electronically eavesdrop on diplomats and envoys from Bosnia, Gabon, Nigeria and Uganda whose embassies were apparently not yet covered by the NSA.

A judge from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court approved the request on May 26.

The Obama administration has faced fierce criticism following revelations of the global surveillance program, which was used not simply to identify potential terrorists, but to eavesdrop on the communications of world leaders.

Following revelations that German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s private cell phone communications were being hacked by the NSA, Germany pushed for a ‘no-spy’ agreement with the United States to restore the trust.

The Obama administration, however, rejected the offer.

Now Europe has announced plans to construct a new Internet network that bypasses the United States and the NSA, a move the US Trade Representative labeled “draconian.”

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Obama administration: U.S. and Saudi Arabia ‘very much aligned’

Obama meets with King Abdullah

The United States and Saudi Arabia are “very much aligned” despite recent policy differences over Iran and Syria, a senior U.S. official said following a meeting between President Barack Obama and King Abdullah.

Sitting down face to face with the King at his desert retreat, Rawdat Khuraim, outside the capital, Obama reiterated the United States is determined to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

Abdullah has raised concerns about the U.S.-led diplomatic effort along with major world powers to use negotiations to contain Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.

“There’s nothing like a face-to-face meeting,” a senior administration official told reporters, adding the discussion was “not contentious.” It was Obama’s first trip to Saudi Arabia since 2009.

The two leaders also discussed “tactical” differences with Saudi Arabia over the question of the arming of Syrian rebels.

A senior administration official denied published reports that the United States is considering supplying the opposition to Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad with surface-to-air missiles, also known as MANPADS.

Obama and Abdullah steered clear of international complaints of human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia. But a senior administration official announced Obama would attend a ceremony Saturday to recognize a Saudi woman with a State Department award for her efforts to combat domestic violence.

The 90-year-old King wore a breathing tube during his meeting with Obama. But a senior administration official said Abdullah appeared in good health and sustaining a “serious discussion” of the issues.

Obama, who was joined in the meeting by Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Adviser Susan Rice, returns to Washington on Saturday.

via Obama administration: U.S. and Saudi Arabia ‘very much aligned’ | FOX2now.com.

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Obama Official Warns Russia on Military Action in Ukraine

WASHINGTON, February 23 (RIA Novosti) – A senior US official on Sunday warned Moscow not to send troops into Ukraine amid the political crisis gripping Russia’s ex-Soviet neighbor, saying such a move would constitute a “grave mistake.”

“It’s not in the interests of Ukrainian or of Russia or of Europe or the United States to see the country split. It’s in nobody’s interest to see violence returned and the situation escalate,” White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice said in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Rice’s comments followed a report by the Financial Times last week quoting an unidentified senior Russian official as saying that Moscow could intervene to protect ethnic Russians in Ukraine’s Crimea territory, home to a Russian naval base.

“If Ukraine breaks apart, it will trigger a war. They will lose Crimea first [because] we will go in and protect [it], just as we did in Georgia,” the official was quoted as saying in a reference to Russia’s 2008 war with Georgia over the breakaway republic of South Ossetia.

Rice said in Sunday’s interview that the situation in Ukraine “is not about the US and Russia” and that closer Ukrainian ties with Europe would not come at the expense of the country’s historical links with Russia.

Susan Rice - NBC NewsWire -Handout via Reuters

Susan Rice – NBC NewsWire -Handout via Reuters

“There is not an inherent contradiction … between a Ukraine that has longstanding historic and cultural ties to Russia and a modern Ukraine that wants to integrate more closely with Europe,” she said.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on Saturday abandoned his lavish estate in the wake of bloody street clashes between security forces and anti-government protesters last week that evaporated his authority in the capital Kiev and broad swathes of the country.

Ukrainian lawmakers impeached Yanukovych on Saturday, though he remained defiant in a statement issued the same day from a location in his political stronghold in the east of the country, describing attempts to unseat him as a coup.

Rice said that Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed with a message delivered by his American counterpart, Barack Obama, in a phone call between the two leaders Friday.

“The president’s message was, look, we have a shared interest in a Ukraine that remains unified, whole, independent and is able to exercise the will of its people freely,” she said.

In a telephone call with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Sunday, US Secretary of State John Kerry expressed the United States’ “strong support” for the Ukrainian parliament’s decision to transfer presidential duties to speaker Oleksander Turchinov, the State Department said in a statement.

Kerry also “underscored the United States’ expectation that Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and democratic freedom of choice will be respected by all states,” the State Department said.

Lavrov told Kerry, meanwhile, that the Ukrainian opposition has “effectively seized power,” refuses to lay down arms and “continues to place its stake on violence,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Lavrov emphasized to his US counterpart that an agreement signed Friday between Yanukovych and Ukrainian opposition leaders calling for early presidential elections and constitutional reforms must be enforced, noting that the United States welcomed the deal at the time

Obama Official Warns Russia on Military Action in Ukraine | World | RIA Novosti.

Exclusive: John Kerry Defies the White House on Egypt Policy

6434566The secretary doesn’t agree with Obama’s team, especially Susan Rice, on how to deal with Egypt. Unfortunately for Rice, Kerry is the one on the ground—and he’s doing things his way.

Before Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent trip to Cairo, National Security Adviser Susan Rice told him to make strong statements in public and private about the trial of deposed President Mohamed Morsi. On his own, Kerry decided to disregard the White House’s instructions.

The tension between the national security adviser and the secretary of state spilled over into public view in the past week, when Rice laid out her critical appraisal of the Egyptian government, which contradicted Kerry’s assessment that Egypt was “on the path to democracy.” The now public rift has been simmering behind the scenes for months and illustrates the strikingly divergent Egypt policies the White House and the State Department are pursuing.

The turf battles and internal confusion are hampering the administration’s approach to Egypt, say lawmakers, experts, and officials inside both governments.

“John Kerry doesn’t agree with Susan Rice on big portions of our Egypt policy, and he made a deliberate and conscious decision not to mention Morsi in his Cairo meetings,” an administration official told The Daily Beast. “Susan Rice wasn’t happy about it.”

Two other administration officials confirmed the Kerry-Rice rift over Egypt. The secretary and national security adviser’s disagreement about how to handle the tumultuous and troubled U.S.-Egypt relationship is only the latest example of how the White House has steered America’s approach to Egypt in a way that conflicts with the views and desires of the State Department and the Pentagon, said the two officials.

“The roadmap [to democracy] is being carried out to the best of our perception,” Kerry said November 3 at a press conference during his surprise stop in Cairo, standing alongside the Egyptian foreign minister. “There are questions we have here and there about one thing or another, but Foreign Minister Fahmy has reemphasized to me again and again that they have every intent and they are determined to fulfill that particular decision and that track,” he said.

Never once during his trip did Kerry publicly mention Morsi, whose trial on charges of murder and other alleged crimes began November 4. Administration officials and sources close to the Egyptian government said Kerry also did not raise the Morsi trial in his various private meetings with Egyptian officials.

Rice delivered less praise and more admonishment for the Egyptian government in remarks at The Aspen Institute’s Washington Ideas Forum on November 13.

“We have tried to indicate to the Egyptian people and the Egyptian government that we support them in their transition back to an elected democratic government,” she said. “But that government needs to be inclusive. It needs to be brought about through a process in which all Egyptians can participate, and without violence. So when, in August, in the process of trying to clear the protesters from some of the squares in Cairo, over 1,000 people were killed, the United States, I think quite rightly, said, you know, ‘We have a problem with that. And we can’t pretend to conduct business as usual on the context of a government, however friendly, taking that kind of action against its people.’”

Well before Kerry and Rice disagreed publicly on Egypt, the White House and the State Department clashed privately over the administration’s Egypt policy. During a months-long administration review of U.S. military aid to Egypt, the State Department and Defense Department pushed internally to preserve most of the assistance, while the White House insisted most military aid be suspended, pending more progress by the Egyptian government.

“There are real differences in the fundamental approach to Egypt between Susan Rice and John Kerry,” said one Washington Egypt expert with close ties to the administration. “We wouldn’t have had any aid suspension at all if it had been up to John Kerry and Chuck Hagel.”

Rice, who has spent the bulk of her career dealing with Africa, has a long record of emphasizing human rights and democracy concerns. Kerry leans more toward economic diplomacy and engagement with regimes who may not be on their best behavior. Hagel has close relationships with Egypt’s military leaders and has spoken to Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi more than 20 times since the overthrow of the Morsi government.

But several officials also said the rift stems from the State Department’s institutional bias toward working with governments in power and maintaining important relationships. In Cairo, Kerry followed the recommendation of his own bureaucracy, which was not to mention Morsi’s name. The U.S. Embassy in Cairo, concerned about its own security since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2012, also is wary of making strong statements about the Morsi trial.

The White House maintains that all parts of the Obama administration share the same overall goal: to help Egypt get back on track toward being a functional democracy operating under the rule of law.

“The entire national security team—including Ambassador Rice, Secretary Kerry, and Secretary Hagel—is working in lock step to implement the president’s policy on Egypt: namely, to encourage Egypt’s transition to an inclusive, democratically elected, civilian-led government that respects the rights and freedoms of all Egyptians,” Patrick Ventrell, a spokesman for Rice, told The Daily Beast. “The current interim government has laid out a clear roadmap for Egypt’s return to democratic rule, and across the administration we are working with Egypt’s leaders to strongly encourage them to meet their commitments.”

A senior State Department official told The Daily Beast that Kerry often raised the issue of the Egyptian government’s crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood during his trip, even if he didn’t utter Morsi’s name.

“[Kerry] repeatedly pressed the interim government on politically motivated and arbitrary detentions, arrests, and trials in every meeting he had,” the official said. “He also used the word ‘inclusive’ about a dozen times per meeting, stressing that the Muslim Brotherhood needed to be a part of the process.”

Nevertheless, officials and experts said the administration’s Egypt policy is hampered not only by internal tensions but also by being ad hoc and reactive, without a long-term strategy dictated by President Obama.

“What’s missing from any of the administration’s statements or actions is a clear vision of how they will preserve American interests in Egypt over the long term,” said Tamara Cofman Wittes, director of the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center and a former State Department official. “The president clearly made an analytical judgment that authoritarianism in the Middle East was not stable in the long term. If he still believes that, then he has to have some concerns about Egypt’s trajectory and American interests, and how to address those concerns is missing from American policy today.”

In Egypt, officials are receiving diverging messages from the U.S. government’s various parts, causing confusion as they try to decide how to react to recent U.S. actions. For example, the administration has not told the government of Egypt what exactly it must do to get the partial aid suspension lifted, said a source close to the Egyptian government.

“They are getting different messages from different people in Washington. There is confusion in Egypt as to what is actually U.S. policy,” the source said. “There is a vagueness and an unclear policy.”

Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, the administration is lobbying Congress to pass legislation that would allow for some military aid to Egypt to continue, but the effort is faltering. Lawmakers in both parties are still upset the administration refuses to make a determination that the Morsi overthrow was a coup.

The administration is following a law that would restrict military aid for any country that has a coup, despite its reluctance to use that word. A bill to give the administration specific authorities to continue some aid was pulled from the agenda of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee business meeting last week because various senators could not agree on what restrictions they should put on the administration’s ability to disperse the aid.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), the ranking Republican on the Senate Appropriations State and Foreign Ops subcommittee, told The Daily Beast in an interview that he is opposed to giving the government of Egypt any more aid until it takes major steps toward restoring the rule of law.

“I’m not going to authorize more assistance to Egypt until they march toward a transition to a civilian-controlled government,” he said. “My goal is to not reinforce the coup but to reinforce the transition.”

Asked about the Kerry-Rice split on Egypt policy, Graham said, “I’m in the Susan Rice camp.”

Exclusive: John Kerry Defies the White House on Egypt Policy.