In the Shadows of Promise - The New American Magazine - 8-31-09.pdf


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In the Shadows of Promise - The New American Magazine - 8-31-09.pdf

  1. 1. No State Sponsors, No Terror • Exposing the Green World Order • Sousa’s March of Greatness August 31, 2009 ThaT Freedom Shall NoT PeriSh $2.95 In the Shadows of Promise Evaluating Obama’s Campaign Pledges
  2. 2. First Ten Amendments to the Constitution Article I. Congress shall make no law respect-ing an property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or taken for public use, without just compensation. abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a Article VI. In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall redress of grievances. enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, Article II. A well-regulated militia being necessary to the which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be shall not be infringed. confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtain-ing witnesses in his favor, and to have the assis- Article III. No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered tance of counsel for his defense. in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law. Article VII. In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury Article IV. The right of the people to be secure in their shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the and seizures shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, rules of the common law. but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirma-tion, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or Article VIII. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor things to be seized. excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. Article V. No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or Article IX. The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the people. the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put Article X. The powers not delegated to the United States by in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or the states respec-tively, or to the people. We at Dean Sellers Ford believe freedom of mobility is as fundamental as our Bill of Rights. See Dean Sellers Ford for your new freedom machine. 2600 Maple Rd., Troy, Michigan • (248) 643-7500•
  3. 3. 10 vol. 25, No. 18 august 31, 2009 Cover Story Politics 10 in the shadows of Promise Design by Joseph W. Kelly by Thomas R. Eddlem — Evaluating Obama’s Campaign Pledges. FeatureS 17 terrorism 17 No state sponsors, No terror by William F. Jasper — For 30 years Iran has been the leading state sponsor of global terror — with Syria, Cuba, and North Korea as helpmates. But behind them have been the terror masters of the Soviet KGB, and its renamed successor, the Russian FSB. NatioNal iD 23 “Your Papers, Please!” by Becky Akers — Though REAL ID implementation stalled, its AP Images twin, PASS ID, seems to be gaining traction because the federal government is poised to fund the mandate. Book review 23 29 29 exposing the Green world order by James Perloff — Steve Milloy, the founder of, makes a case that Americans are on a “green” slide toward authoritarian regulations and pauperism. HistorY — Past aND PersPective 35 sousa’s march of Greatness by John White — John Philip Sousa’s entire life was devoted to music; hence, it is no surprise that his legacy in music lives on. tHe last worD 44 why is “cash for clunkers” called a success? 35 by Gary Benoit DepartmentS Library of Congress 5 letters to the editor 33 the Goodness of america 6 inside track 39 exercising the right 9 QuickQuotes 41 correction, Please! cover Design by Joseph W. Kelly
  4. 4. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Publisher John F. McManus Editor carlin’s report The reader might find it very informative to actually read the well-referenced report. Gary Benoit isn’t science Senior Editor The August 3 issue of The New AmericAN end_comments_7b1.pdf He would see that William F. Jasper claimed that a report, purporting to show Carlin’s purpose was not to prove what Associate Editor that the Earth is not warming because of did or did not cause the Earth to warm in Kurt Williamsen CO2, by EPA research analyst Alan Carlin the 1990s; it was to warn the EPA of the was suppressed. I am very surprised people gross errors in IPCC pronouncements and Contributors think the Carlin report was “suppressed.” I to show that CO2 lagged in third place as Dennis J. Behreandt favor holding career government employ- a possible climate-forcing agent behind Christopher S. Bentley Steven J. DuBord ees to standards. On several other websites, ocean current oscillations and solar irra- Selwyn Duke people have documented that Alan Carlin’s diance. If the reader doesn’t think the re- Jodie Gilmore “report” was lifted, in many cases without port was suppressed, he might explain an Gregory A. Hession, J.D. attribution, from other blogs. He does not e-mail from Carlin’s superiors: “The time Ed Hiserodt rely on peer-reviewed, scientific literature for such discussion of fundamental issues William P. Hoar — something that the Bush OMB (more has passed for this round.” In other words, R. Cort Kirkwood specifically, the Office of Information and let us blindly follow the Gore and Han- Warren Mass Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. Regulatory Affairs under John Graham) sen strategy of decrying that “the debate Alan Scholl codified in guidance to all agencies and still is over.” And by the way, Ph.D. economist Ann Shibler remains in effect today. (See OMB circular (MIT) Carlin also has a degree in physics Liana Stanley A-4 and its guidance on peer review.) In- from arguably the toughest undergraduate Michael E. Telzrow deed, the Sensenbrenner Science Commit- school in the nation, Cal Tech. Joe Wolverton II, J.D. tee also issued a report in 1992 that argued Also, the reader is trying to refute evi- Editorial Assistant that regulatory agencies need to rely on dence of global cooling using temperatures Denise L. Behreandt peer-reviewed science. taken only from the month of June. June was So when an economist writes (or should indeed hot. The Weather Service in Little Art Director Joseph W. Kelly I say lifts) a report from nonpeer-reviewed Rock reported it 2.80oF above normal. July, sources, the EPA manager should just however, was 4.00oF below normal. The real Research let it go forward? Government agencies question is not temperature anomalies such as Bonnie M. Gillis shouldn’t have any scientific standards? that measured in June. Nor even the fact that Marketing Any career government employee should a network of 3,175 bathythermograph buoys Larry Greenley be permitted to write whatever they want have found that the heat content of the ocean and force other agency scientists to spend has been dropping for the last five years. The Public Relations Bill Hahn time (and our tax dollars) responding? You question is, “What is causing the fluctuation do not think career employees should be in global temperatures?” And more specifi- Advertising/Circulation held to standards? I am quite certain that cally, why are atmospheric and surface tem- Julie DuFrane any agency analyst can always find some- peratures going down when CO2 is increasing thing on a blog somewhere that supports at a higher-than-expected rate? — Ed. their point of view. Some comments on the online version of the article imply that fed- eral employees should be free to lift that correctioN: In the history article for blog material, put their office’s imprimatur August 17 entitled “Browning: One Printed in the U.S.A. • ISSN 0885-6540 on it, and then forward it to the work-group Man’s Impact,” we mistakenly said that P.O. Box 8040 • Appleton, WI 54912 920-749-3784 • 920-749-3785 (fax) that is responsible for the regulation (or is John Browning’s A-5 autoloading shot- that just for employees who don’t think cli- gun and a line of semiautomatic pistols mate change is a problem?). That of course created by him were gas-operated. Rates are $39 per year (Hawaii and Canada, would take valuable work time of other They were not. Each of these guns had add $9; foreign, add $27) or $22 for six months (Hawaii and Canada, add $4.50; foreign, add federal employees to respond. Maybe you a singularly unique method of ejecting a $13.50). Copyright ©2009 by American Opin- missed the recent release by the Department spent shell and reloading a new one — ion Publishing, Inc. Periodicals postage paid at of Commerce’s NOAA, but the combined more proof of Browning’s genius. Appleton, WI and additional mailing offices. Post- master: Send any address changes to The New ocean and land temp for this past month is AmericAN, P.O. Box 8040, Appleton, WI 54912. the second hottest on record (since 1880). Ocean temps have never been higher. Send your letters to: The New AmericAN, P.O. The New AmericAN is pub- lished biweekly by Ameri- See Box 8040, Appleton, WI 54912. Or e-mail: can Opinion Publishing ries2009/20090717_juneglobalstats.html. Due to vol- Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of The John Tom wAlls ume received, not all letters can be answered. Birch Society. submitted via e-mail Letters may be edited for space and clarity. Call 1-800-727-TRUE to subscribe today! 5
  5. 5. Inside Track illegal immigrants likely covered Under Democrats’ Healthcare reform A recent study by the Federation for American Immigration Re- Nonetheless, Camarota form determined that healthcare reform would not have any real maintains that, at the very least, barriers against illegal immigrants enrolling in the taxpayer-fund- the healthcare plans now being ed public option, and that there would be no verification system to proposed on Capitol Hill would stop illegals from receiving credits to purchase private plans. almost certainly make things The Center for Immigration Studies has put the number of worse by allowing employers illegal immigrants who do not have health insurance at 7.25 mil- to force taxpayers to foot the lion. More than half of these — about four million — are prob- bill for their illegal employees’ ably employed, said Steven Camarota, a research director with healthcare. “Illegal immigra- the center. Camarota believes that it could cost anywhere from tion kind of looms as the 800- $8 billion to $12 billion annually to provide these illegal immi- pound gorilla,” Camarota said. grants with insurance coverage, but there are many variables in “The impact is really big.” This the equation. is because the reform proposals For one thing, Camarota’s estimate doesn’t include covering fail to admit there is a problem. “The legislation says illegal im- children. It also assumes all four million had no benefits from migrants are not supposed to get this plan, but it also guts any of their employers to begin with, which doesn’t take into account the mechanisms that would leave them out — typical Washington that some would have already received emergency-room treat- kind of thing.” ment at the public’s expense. Some of the four million would It is worth pointing out that while illegal immigrants are not likely be too afraid of being caught to enroll in an insurance plan, supposed to be covered by President Barack Obama’s reform pro- and some would actually be paying taxes, so they wouldn’t be posals, he always includes them when stating how many millions freeloading. of “Americans” are uninsured. Unemployment Up; Unemployment Figures Down The Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics’ official un- The answer can be found in the fact that more and more Ameri- employment rate actually shrunk from 9.5 percent to 9.4 percent, cans are leaving the job market entirely. The BLS explained: “The even though the U.S. economy lost an additional 247,000 jobs civilian labor force participation rate declined by 0.2 percentage in July. point in July to 65.5 percent.” American families are increasingly How can the job market shed nearly a quarter million jobs and deciding to go back to school or trying to make do on a single the jobless rate still be lower? income, according to statistics. clinton wields and Praises the international criminal court Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, speaking at a town It is likely that Secretary Clinton and the Obama administra- hall meeting at the University of Nairobi, Kenya, on August 6, tion are fond of the ICC because it can be used to threaten tin-pot said it was “a great regret but it is a fact” that the United States is dictators who don’t kowtow to Western elites. Even though the not a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC). “But we United States has never ratified the treaty, Clinton held the ICC have supported the court and continue to do so,” Clinton said. threateningly above the heads of Kenya’s leaders when telling The ICC was set them how to run their criminal justice program: “I have urged that up in 2002 as the the Kenyan government find the way forward themselves,” she world’s first per- said. “But if not, then the names turned over to the I.C.C. will be manent war-crimes opened, and an investigation will begin.” court, and claims The New York Times reported that Clinton was referring to a the authority to list of Kenyans that former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan try individuals for handed to the International Criminal Court in a sealed envelope in war crimes, crimes July. In other words, Kenya’s leaders will bow to mandates from against humanity, Westerners or Kenya’s leaders may find themselves before the and genocide. The ICC facing long prison sentences for various crimes. United States, Rus- The fact that Americans enjoy protections as a result of our AP Images Clinton in sia, China, and Israel Constitution does not alter the fact that U.S. ratification of the Nairobi have not ratified it. ICC treaty would threaten those guarantees. 6 THE NEW AMERICAN • AugusT 31, 2009
  6. 6. obama’s “snitch line” violates the Federal Privacy act Earlier this month, the White House un- federal Privacy Act of 1974, which Con- veiled a new section of its website called gress passed in an attempt to avoid another “Reality Check,” which retails stale Nixon-style “enemies list.” Former judge Obama talking points on healthcare and and Fox News Channel commentator An- also included a snitch line for Obama drew Napolitano explained that the White supporters to inform the White House House has put itself into a legal conundrum on opponents of Obamacare. The snitch on this issue. “There’s also a statute that line, also unveiled on the White House requires the White House to retain all com- blog, asked: “Since we can’t keep track munications that it receives. It can’t try to of all of them here at the White House, rewrite history by pretending it didn’t re- we’re asking for your help. If you get an ceive anything,” Napolitano told Fox News email or see something on the web about on August 7. “If the White House deletes health insurance reform that seems fishy, anything, it violates one statute. If the White send it to” House collects data on the free speech, it vio- The obvious concern is that the new lates another statute.” snitch line will enable the Obama administration to build an The White House quietly took down their “enemies list,” just as Richard Nixon did during his stay in the snitch line at “Reality Check” over the August 8-9 weekend, but White House. the original snitch line message on the White House blog has not The problem with Obama’s snitch line is that it violates the been removed as of this writing. Healthcare reform Biased against seniors allocates medical care first to those who have not yet lived a “complete” life — however that is defined — prioritizing those who have the greatest potential to live a complete life in the fu- ture. He notes that “broad consensus favours adolescents over very young infants, and young adults over the very elderly peo- ple,” because “the complete lives system assumes that, although life-years are equally valuable to all, justice requires the fair dis- Obama, at a “town hall” meeting tribution of them.” with the American Association Dr. Goodman points out how this all fits with current reform AP Images of Retired Persons, tries to sell proposals. “Buried somewhere in the 1,000 plus pages” of Capi- seniors on his healthcare plan. tol Hill legislation “is a provision to severely limit what Medicare pays for CT and MRI scans performed in doctors’ offices. This Dr. John Goodman’s Health Policy Blog for July 22 makes would force elderly patients, for example, to go to the hospi- clear the harsh reality that the only way for President Barack tal for their radiology — where there are often lengthy waits.” Obama’s version of healthcare reform “to control health care The elderly, who frequently have difficulty with mobility, will be costs is to get doctors to provide less care — fewer tests, fewer stuck making another long and arduous trip to the hospital when procedures, fewer everything.” And who gets the least health- their needs could have been met in one visit to the doctor’s of- care of all? Senior citizens. fice. Some will put off or outright refuse this hassle that younger What is the basis for these allegations of biased healthcare ra- people are better able to endure. tioning? Dr. Goodman cites none other than White House health- USA Today reported on July 17 that many medical profession- care policy adviser Ezekiel Emanuel. “Allocation by age is not als are issuing stern warnings against a reduction in office-based invidious discrimination,” Emanuel wrote in the January 31 issue imaging. “It’s something that’s going to affect patients dearly, of the British medical journal The Lancet. “Even if 25-year-olds I’m afraid,” said Steven Harms, a radiologist at the Breast Center receive priority over 65-year-olds, everyone who is 65 years now of Northwest Arkansas. “There are a lot of small towns (where was previously 25 years.” So because everyone would get an equal doctors) are doing CTs and MRIs, and I don’t think they’re going chance to be favored when they are young, they would be equally to be able to stay in business.” discriminated against when they are old. “Treating 65-year-olds This is Obama’s vision for healthcare reform. Instead of undo- differently because of stereotypes or falsehoods would be ageist,” ing the managed-care system the government is responsible for Emanuel maintains, but “treating them differently because they and allowing the free market to compete at providing affordable, have already had more life-years is not.” quality care, Obama’s proposals would implement Emanuel’s Emanuel is advocating here the complete-lives system, which model of rationing. n 7
  7. 7. Extended Inside Track obamacare shocker: send in the social workers T he proposed Obama government health- care bill has a government snitch net- work built into it, allowing social workers to gain access to your home under the pretext of checking on your new baby, or soon-to-be- born baby. It will result in many, many more children being taken from families by state Child Protective Services agencies. This is the fulfillment of a long-held dream by child protection Once into your home, they will look around and find some- agencies to gain access to homes, without first getting a report of thing, anything, to call “abuse” or “neglect.” Their jobs depend abuse or neglect, as currently required by law. Mandated visits to on it, and you can be sure that the managers will set quotas, which homes by government agents has been a favorite cause of Hillary will never be acknowledged. Then, they will open a case with a Clinton, and of the radical bureaucrats running the U.S. Admin- child protective services agency, and give you “services,” whether istration of Children and Families. you like it or not. In cases that they judge to be more serious, they This “home invasion” program is found on page 838 of the will likely ask their legal department to bring a court case and lengthy bill, in Section 1904, and it is called the “Home visitation possibly remove the children. programs for families with young children and families expecting This is a backdoor means of obtaining agreement to go around children.” The pretext on which the state agents would enter the the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and similar provi- home would be “to improve the well-being, health, and develop- sions in most state constitutions that prohibit entry into a home ment of children by enabling the establishment and expansion of without a search warrant. If you agree to having social workers high quality programs providing voluntary home visitation for enter your house, then you have waived your right to require a families with young children and families expecting children.” search warrant, which can only be authorized by a magistrate or It sounds pretty innocuous, but based on my 15 years of fighting judge on probable cause that a crime has or is being committed. these bureaucrats in court on behalf of innocent families, it can This part of the Obama healthcare bill is terrifying, and the be predicted that the way it will work in real life will be much numbers of children taken from families, as well as those who more sinister. will have to endure weekly or monthly visits from a social Visits from the bureaucrats are voluntary in theory. (However, so worker, would increase manyfold if this part of the bill were are income taxes.) Here is how it would work: after your first ap- to become law. This conclusion is not speculative, as it is the pointment with your OB/GYN to confirm a pregnancy, the doctor whole reason for mandating these visits to homes in the first would be required to report it to the leviathan healthcare bureaucra- place. If the child-services industry did not expect to kidnap cy. If you somehow fall through the cracks during the pregnancy, more children and to open many more administrative cases, the the birth hospital will do the honors of reporting you to the State. provision would not be there. n Then, chirpy social workers will show up at your house one day, — GreGory A. hessioN and pressure you to allow them to come “voluntarily” into your house. These people are so-called “mandated reporters,” who must The above article is the first installment in an online series by report any abuse or neglect, or potentially face fines and jail. Massachusetts attorney Gregory A. Hession, who specializes in Certain populations will be targeted for this “help,” and this family and constitutional law, examining various fine-print pro- should raise even more concern. Here is what the bill says: “The visions of the proposed 1,017-page Obama healthcare bill that State shall identify and prioritize serving communities that are in would deprive Americans of rights, or are of particular concern high need of such services, especially communities with a high owing to their likely intrusion on personal privacy or family au- proportion of low-income families or a high incidence of child tonomy. Please go to frequently to view maltreatment.” Translated, this means that poor and racial minority these articles, as well as other articles on the general subject of communities will be targeted, since they are more vulnerable and Obama’s healthcare plan. (These articles are grouped together they cannot as readily access legal muscle to repel the invaders. under “U.S. News” in the “Health Care” category.) 8 THE NEW AMERICAN • AugusT 31, 2009
  8. 8. QuickQuotes President Doesn’t like opposition to His Healthcare Proposal “They are filling the airwaves and the Internet with outrageous false- hoods to scare people into opposing change. So we’ve got to get out there, fight lies with truth, and set the record straight.” In his August 5 message sent to supporters via the Internet, Barack Obama aimed some very strong accusations at activists who don’t want his government-mandated healthcare. White House Barack top British Diplomat sees His country in long afghan struggle Obama “We’re going to have a very long commitment. This is not just one year; this is going to be for decades. We’re going to help them get to a state in which they can ward off the return of Al Qaeda and the Taliban.” Speaking in Boston, Britain’s Ambassador to the United States Nigel Steinwald claimed that his coun- trymen were evenly divided about keeping forces in Afghanistan even as casualties mounted. He wants to Break Up the Fed “The Obama administration’s plan to increase the powers of the Federal Reserve, says one critic, is like giving a teenager a bigger, faster car right after he crashed the family station wagon.... What we need now is a debate about how to break up the Fed — and some of the sprawling financial institutions it supervises.” A visiting scholar at Harvard, Columbia University professor Amar Bhide is writing a book about the financial crisis. chinese official sends a warning about U.s. indebtedness “We sincerely hope the U.S. fiscal deficit will be reduced year after year. First and foremost our respon- sibility is the Chinese people, so of course we are concerned about the security of Chinese assets.” Speaking to reporters in Washington, Chinese Assistant Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao registered growing concern about the $801 billion in U.S. debt owned by China. a Black columnist scorches obama for His remark “Those who were shocked at President Obama’s cheap shot at the Cambridge police for being ‘stupid’ in arresting Henry Louis Gates must have been among those who let their wishes prevail over the obvious implications of Obama’s 20 years of association with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Anyone who can believe that Obama did not understand what the racist rants of Jeremiah Wright meant can believe anything.” Thomas Sowell Syndicated columnist Thomas Sowell wasn’t surprised that the president let his racism show in the aftermath of the confrontation. congressional report Blasts acorN “ACORN hides behind a paper wall of nonprofit corporate protec- tions to conceal a criminal conspiracy on the part of its directors, Newscom to launder federal money in order to pursue a political agenda and to manipulate the American electorate.” In a report commissioned by Representative Darrell Issa (R-Ca- lif.), the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform expressed outrage that ACORN could receive $8.5 billion in federal stimulus funds. House accedes to obama’s wish for abortion in D.c. “President Obama’s decision to force American taxpayers to foot the bill for abortions in the District of Columbia will cause the deaths of at least 1,000 more unborn children each year.” After the House acted favorably on the president’s budget request to repeal the Dornan Amendment, which has barred federal funding of abortion in the district for decades, Marjorie Dannenfelser of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List lamented Congress’ callousness toward life and its misuse of taxpayer money. n — compiled by JohN F. mcmANus Call 1-800-727-TRUE to subscribe today! 9
  9. 9. Politics In the Shadows of Promise Evaluating Obama’s Campaign Pledges by Thomas R. Eddlem aid money. But how has he done with House. Here is a review of these domestic the popular campaign promises he made policy promises in the categories of eth- P resident Barack Obama took office to middle America, the promises that got ics, transparency in government, and fiscal with an extraordinary set of prom- him elected? Candidate Obama pledged responsibility, along with an assessment of ises as a candidate. He has fulfilled to cut taxes for the middle class, lower how earnestly they were carried out. many of the promises to the left-wing base overall taxes, cut government spending, of his party, such as his executive order reduce the deficit, cut the cost of health- Thomas R. Eddlem, a freelance writer, served as the three days after he was inaugurated restor- care waste, eliminate most government John Birch Society’s director of research from 1991- ing the funding of abortions with foreign- secrecy, and reform ethics at the White 2000. 10 THE NEW AMERICAN • AugusT 31, 2009
  10. 10. Ethics No lobbyists Funding His campaign the law that governs political activity, both Secretary Donovan also wrote letters to Promise: “I have done more than any because of political incentives not to use Brewer. “It was a thinly veiled threat,” other candidate in this race to take on lob- it and because of inadequate enforcement Kyl told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren. byists — and won. They have not funded mechanisms. As president, Barack Obama “And they combined that with some ads my campaign.” (Barack Obama, Speech in will issue an Executive Order banning the that the Democrat campaign committee Des Moines, Iowa, November 10, 2007) use of public office to further partisan ad- ran on their website, and so on.” Track Record: The independent vantage in political elections.” (“Taking Verdict: Outright Lie watchdog group found Back Our Government” pamphlet on Ba- that lobbyists had funded Obama’s Sen- Political appointees ate campaign, as well as his presidential Track Record: Obama issued an with close ties to industry campaign from the beginning. By the time “ethics” executive order, but it omitted Promise: “No political appointees in an Obama had made the statement above, it mention of banning use of the executive Obama Administration will be permitted was already false. Public Citizen had al- branch for partisan purposes. Partisan to work on regulations or contracts direct- ready listed nine different lobbyists who use of public office begins at the top in ly and substantially related to their prior had contributed to the Obama campaign, the Obama White House. Obama orches- employer for two years. A two-year ban in addition to “bundling” individual con- trated a partisan political pressure ma- will remove the incentive to employers to tributions averaging more than $100,000 neuver using his cabinet secretaries on provide some sort of financial incentive, each to Obama’s presidential campaign July 13, getting four cabinet secretaries such as [a] generous severance package, during 2007. During the 2008 campaign, to write on government stationery to Ari- to an employee leaving for a government Obama accepted bundled contributions zona Governor Janice Brewer to pressure job with an agency that regulates them.” of nearly one million dollars ($997,095) Republican Arizona Senator Jon Kyl to (“Taking Back Our Government” pam- from Goldman Sachs executives, the same stop criticizing Obama’s “stimulus” law. phlet on firm that received tens of billions in bail- Kyl had suggested on nationwide televi- Track Record: Obama broke this out funds through the TARP legislation sion days earlier that the “stimulus” bill promise within three days of taking office. Obama backed in September 2008. didn’t work and that all uncommitted He nominated former Raytheon lobbyist Obama later backtracked, claiming that projects from the “stimulus” bill ought to William Lynn as deputy secretary of de- lobbyists who funded him didn’t impact be stopped in order to prevent increasing fense on January 23. Raytheon is a major his decisions. Of course, this is the same the deficit further. Transportation Sec- military contractor for the Pentagon. Four claim all politicians who take money from retary Ray LaHood sarcastically wrote days later, Obama broke his promise lobbyists make. to Brewer, “If you prefer to forfeit the again. Obama nominated Goldman Sachs Verdict: Outright Lie money we are making available to your lobbyist Mark Patterson as chief of staff state, as Senator Kyl suggests, please let for Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner No more executive Branch me know.” Interior Secretary Ken Sala- on January 27. Goldman Sachs is a major electioneering zar wrote an almost identical line, except Wall Street bank holding company. After Promise: “Remove the use of public of- he omitted Kyl’s name: “If you prefer to that, everyone pretty much stopped keep- fice for partisan advantage: Public office forfeit the money we are making avail- ing count on how many times Obama should not be used to advance political in- able to Arizona, please let me know.” broke this promise. terests. Too often federal workers dismiss Agriculture Secretary Vilsack and HUD Verdict: Outright Lie Political arm twisting: Barack Obama promised he wouldn’t allow the use of political office for partisan political gamesmanship. But when Arizona Senate Republican Jon Kyl (left) publicly criticized Obama’s stimulus package, Obama had four cabinet- level Democrats, including Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood (right), write letters to Arizona’s governor, threatening to cut off stimulus funds to that state AP Images AP Images if the governor didn’t pressure Kyl to shut his mouth. 11
  11. 11. Politics Transparency in Government legislative Five-day online limiting “state secrets” claims tion has invoked the state secrets privilege “sunlight” Pledge Promise: “It is no coincidence that the in three cases: Al Haramain Islamic Foun- Promise: “SUNLIGHT BEFORE SIGN- disastrous policies of the Bush-Cheney dation v. Obama, Mohammed v. Jeppesen ING: Too often bills are rushed through years have been accompanied by unprece- Dataplan, and Jewel v. NSA.” Senator Congress and to the president before the dented secrecy for the American people.... Russ Feingold, a fellow Democrat, gave public has the opportunity to review them. The administration has ignored public dis- Obama a “D” grade on “rule of law” is- As president, Barack Obama will not sign closure rules and has invoked a legal tool sues at that time, specifically mentioning any non-emergency bill without giving the known as the ‘state secrets’ privilege more the state-secrets claims. American public an opportunity to review than any other previous administration to Obama’s pledge to abandon “state se- and comment on the White House website get cases thrown out of civil court.... As crets” claims was not categorical, however, for five days. In addition to ensuring that president, Obama will restore the Ameri- as he noted on the same campaign website: the public has the ability to review legisla- can people’s trust in their government by “The Obama White House would invoke tion, the sunlight will help ensure that ear- making government more open and trans- its executive privilege to protect the confi- marks tucked into appropriations bills are parent.” (“Taking Back Our Government” dentiality of communications concerning exposed. (“Taking Back Our Government” pamphlet on national security and similar traditionally pamphlet on Track Record: Even though the presi- sensitive matters, not to withhold informa- Track Record: Obama hasn’t even tried dent used an executive order to instruct “all tion about private interests’ communica- to keep this promise. The New York Times members of his administration to operate tion on regulatory policy. There are com- observed on June 22, “Five months into under principles of openness, transparency munications that should be kept private his administration, Mr. Obama has signed and of engaging citizens with their govern- because disclosure could endanger the two dozen bills, but he has almost never ment,” President Obama has used “state public.” In each of the above cases, howev- waited five days. On the recent credit card secrets” claims with as much abandon as er, the suppression of evidence was related legislation, which included a controversial the Bush administration, and typically in to the torture of detainees, or the illegal measure to allow guns in national parks, the same kind of cases. and unconstitutional warrantless searches he waited just two.” ABC News reported on April 28 that “in that violated the Fourth Amendment of Verdict: Outright Lie the first 100 days, the Obama administra- the U.S. Constitution. In other words, the cases didn’t involve national se- curity, they involved the coverup of crimes against the U.S. Consti- tution. The “state secrets” claims also perfectly matched the same Bush administration policy Obama the people’s had nominally criticized during the president? Obama campaign. Glenn Greenwald of the promised that he liberal guessed at the would not sign true meaning of Obama’s pledge into law any non- on “state secrets” as early as Febru- emergency bill until constituents had ary 10: “Apparently, the operative five days to give word in that highlighted paragraph him their input. — unbeknownst to most people at (He is shown here the time — was ‘the Bush admin- reading one of istration,’ since the Obama admin- the 10 healthcare istration is now doing exactly that letters he is said to which, during the campaign, it de- read each day.) But fined as ‘The Problem,’ the only dif- President Obama ference being that it is now Obama, has rarely waited and not Bush, doing it.” Because five days. Obama’s promises weren’t categor- ical, they can’t be labeled outright lies. But they were clearly deliber- ately deceptive. Verdict: Deceit 12 THE NEW AMERICAN • AugusT 31, 2009
  12. 12. photos documented rape and torture. Why did both Gibbs and Whitman use the pecu- liar phrase “the photos in question” to deny the allegation that American handlers had raped detainees? Because they needed a lawyerly way of claiming they hadn’t lied if it were exposed that such photos existed. The very next day (May 29) the Internet magazine Salon reported that U.S. Army Major General Antonio Taguba confirmed that the British newspaper’s account of his quote was accurate: “These pictures show torture, abuse, rape and every indecency.” Since Taguba had been the two-star gen- eral in command of the 2004 Abu Ghraib investigation, he was in a position to see AP Images all the suppressed photos. Once the existence of the photos was exposed and confirmed by the same U.S. Familiar fickle fate: Under President George W. Bush, the government had secret prisons, general who had conducted the Abu secretly committed torture, secretly monitored Americans, and more. Obama promised to change all this — to bring transparency to government. Evidence shows that Bush’s Ghraib investigation, all the White House approach of hiding what government does is largely still in effect. had to say was they were suppressing an entirely different set of photos from the public. Indeed, Taguba had told Salon he limiting claims of One of the more public examples was wasn’t sure if the photos he had described “executive Privilege” the suppression of torture photographs were among the set that the Obama admin- Promise: “The American people deserve to showing instances of abuse and rape of istration had been seeking to prevent from know what their government does and why. detainees at Abu Ghraib prison. One of public disclosure. Ours is an open government, and our abil- America’s own generals, recently retired However sneaky the deception was, ity to understand our government at work Major General Antonio Taguba, even ad- none of it involved an outright lie, because — the freedom of information we enjoy — mitted to the May 27 London Daily Tele- the Obama administration had claimed has been copied by other countries around graph that “these pictures show torture, during the campaign that “the Obama the world. The Freedom of Information Act abuse, rape and every indecency.” When White House would invoke its executive is a pillar of our open government. Unfor- America’s own generals confirm that the privilege to protect the confidentiality of tunately, in recent years our government photos document torture and rape, denying communications concerning national se- has failed to keep the American people in- it is a pretty tough task. curity and similar traditionally sensitive formed about what it was doing and why, But the Obama White House did deny matters.... There are communications that and it has refused to provide Americans it, even as they denied the public access should be kept private because disclosure with information they are entitled to by law. to the photographs. White House Press could endanger the public.” After the pho- Turning our tradition of free information Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters at tos were suppressed, Obama argued that upside down, the Bush administration has a press briefing the next day that “the ar- publishing photos documenting what our instructed agencies to presume citizens are ticle is wrong and mischaracterizes the top general had already confirmed would not entitled to information unless they are photos that are in question.... None of have inflamed terrorists against Americans. willing to sue for it. Barack Obama would the photographs in question depict the It was a “national security” issue, Obama restore the tradition of free information by images described in the article. Again, I claimed, even though Islamic extremists issuing an Executive Order that information think if you do an even moderate Google already believed the worst about detention should be released unless an agency reason- search, you’re not going to find many of by Americans. Therefore, Obama’s prom- ably foresees harm to a protected interest.” these newspapers and truth within, say, 25 ises about “executive privilege” were not (“Taking Back Our Government” pamphlet words of each other.” The Pentagon came outright lies, but they were clearly delib- on out with another, almost identical, non- erately deceptive. Track Record: President Obama has categorical denial the same day. “None of Verdict: Deceit denied Americans access to information the photos in question depict the images even when they have sued to get it. And that are described in that article,” Pentagon No “signing statements” his spokesmen conspired to mislead the spokesman Bryan Whitman told the press that Undermine the law public about the nature of secrets with- on May 28. Promise: “Obama will sign legislation in held from the public under the “executive Gibbs and Whitman could instead have the light of day without attaching signing privilege” doctrine. simply issued a categorical denial that no statements that undermine the legislative Call 1-800-727-TRUE to subscribe today! 13
  13. 13. Politics intent.” (“Taking Back Our Government” lations by directing the Executive to take laws resulted in a near-unanimous rebuke pamphlet on certain positions in negotiations or discus- (429-2 vote) by the U.S. House of Repre- Track Record: President Obama issued sions with international organizations and sentatives on July 9. And on July 21, four a signing statement doing just that on June foreign governments.” Therefore, Obama committee chairmen from Obama’s own 26, arguing that a bill that established lim- wrote, “I will not treat these provisions as Democratic Party wrote to the president its on how a $106 billion loan guarantee limiting my ability to engage in foreign saying they were “chagrined” by his sign- to the International Monetary Fund could diplomacy or negotiations.” Obama’s ar- ing statement and urging him to withdraw be issued “would interfere with my con- rogant attack on the legislature’s sole the assertion. stitutional authority to conduct foreign re- authority to appropriate funds and make Verdict: Outright Lie Fiscal Responsibility No middle-class tax increase of two weeks to break this promise, with ing a tax increase to pay for his healthcare Promise: “I can make a firm pledge: his signing of the “Children’s Health Insur- “reform” package. ( Under my plan, no family making less ance Program,” which doubled the taxes on “Fiscal” page) than $250,000 a year will see any form tobacco (which is mostly consumed by the Verdict: Outright Lie of tax increase, not your income tax, not poorer half of American society). Obama your payroll tax, not your capital gains has also pushed an $840 billion energy controlling the National Debt taxes, not any of your taxes.” (Candidate tax increase on all Americans from May Promise: “Under President Bush, the fed- Obama, at a campaign speech in Dover, through July under the American Clean eral debt has increased from $5.7 trillion New Hampshire, on September 11, 2008) Energy and Security Act of 2009. Obama to $8.8 trillion, an increase of more than 50 Track Record: A big part of the reason himself has said that the legislation, infor- percent.... Barack Obama and Joe Biden’s Obama won the election was his prom- mally known as “cap and trade,” would Record [is] … against Raising the Federal ise not to raise the taxes of middle-class necessarily “skyrocket” Americans’ util- Debt Limit: In 2006, Obama voted against Americans. But President Obama took all ity bills. He is also reputed to be consider- misguided Republican efforts to raise the statutory debt limit at the same time the Republicans were pushing through mas- sive debt-financed tax cuts for the wealthy.” (BarackO- “Fiscal” page) Track Record: The stat- utory debt limit under the Bush administration was raised to $11.3 trillion with passage of the TARP (Trou- bled Asset Relief Program) bailout as the Bush adminis- tration waned. Had Obama updated his campaign web- site after the September pas- sage of the TARP legisla- tion, he could have pointed out that the Bush record of fiscal responsibility had ac- tually gotten worse. Perhaps Obama didn’t point that out because he had changed sides on the debt issue and voted in favor of (and lobbied for) the TARP legislation increasing 14 THE NEW AMERICAN • AugusT 31, 2009
  14. 14. Drowning in debt: Obama and Biden campaigned on a platform critical of raising the federal debt limit. This pledge was actually broken by Obama before he became president: he lobbied for Bush’s TARP legislation that raised the federal debt limit to $11.3 trillion. Now Obama plans AP Images large increases in the debt limit. the national debt limit. Once he became rious effort to control pork barrel spend- $800,000 to help keep animals off the run- president, Obama took all of four weeks ing. “While the number of specific proj- way. That’s even though they’ve reported to continue the Bush policy to increase ects declined by 12.5 percent, from 11,610 just one incident: a plane ran over a skunk the statutory debt level with his “stimu- in fiscal year 2008 to 10,160 in fiscal year in 1996. In Alaska, $15 million went to lus” bill, the so-called American Recovery 2009,” Citizens Against Government build a bigger, better airport for the town and Reinvestment Act of 2009. That bill, Waste reported in April, “the total tax dol- of Ouizinkie — population just 165. That’s which he signed February 13, increased lars spent to fund them increased by 14 roughly $90,000 dollars per resident.” the statutory debt limit to $12.1 trillion. percent, from $17.2 billion to $19.6 bil- • The Washington Times reported on Moreover, President Obama’s fiscal 2010 lion.” In Obama’s case, he’s transformed July 9 that “$16.1 million from the stimu- budget proposal calls for increasing the the whole nature of pork by making it an lus program is going to save the San Fran- national debt to $17.4 trillion by the time executive branch distribution. Obama’s cisco Bay area habitat of, among other he finishes his first term in 2013. Obama’s marquis legislation, the $787 billion things, the endangered salt marsh harvest budget calls for $500 billion or larger defi- American Recovery and Reinvestment mouse.” The area just happens to abut the cits every year into the indefinite future. Act (a.k.a. the “stimulus” law), is a prime congressional district of House Speaker In sum, Obama plans to add more to the example. Obama claimed in his June 23 Nancy Pelosi. national debt in four years than was added press conference that the “stimulus” had • Citizens Against Government Waste under Bush’s eight years. Obama clearly worked because “we know for a fact that reported a “stimulus” award in Democratic has no real plan for or interest in stemming states, for example, would have laid off a Senator Robert Byrd’s West Virginia: “Paul the wave of deficit spending the country lot more teachers, a lot more police offi- Turman, West Virginia’s assistant transpor- began under Bush, but his campaign litera- cers, a lot more firefighters, every single tation secretary, said the $21 million in ture wasn’t an explicit lie. He never made one of those individuals whose jobs were stimulus money will connect two unfin- any concrete promises about the debt. saved.” Of course, teacher and govern- ished stretches of the superhighway at the Obama’s language expressing apparent ment employee unions were among the midpoint of the route. The State Division concern about the public debt was mere key contributors to his presidential cam- of Highways said the money will create throw-away lines for a gullible public. paign. What “worked” was the political 60 jobs lasting between 18 and 24 months, Verdict: Deceit payback, and Obama brought pork dollars which works out to $175,000 in taxpayer back to his voters just as local No “Pork” Pledge and stimulus Bill congressmen try to bring pork Promise: “Cut Pork Barrel Spending: dollars back to their voters. A big part of the reason Obama won the Obama introduced and passed bipartisan The “stimulus” is loaded election was his promise not to raise the legislation that would require more disclo- with lots of more-obvious sure and transparency for special-interest pork barrel projects, of which taxes of middle-class Americans. But earmarks. Obama and Biden believe that these are a few of the flagrant President Obama took all of two weeks spending that cannot withstand public examples: scrutiny cannot be justified. Obama and • reported to break this promise, with his signing of Biden will slash earmarks to no greater $1.1 billion in “stimulus” the Children’s Health Insurance Program. than year 1994 levels and ensure all spend- funding for rural airports on ing decisions are open to the public. (Ba- July 13, including ridiculous He also pushed an $840 billion energy “Fiscal” page) appropriations such as: “Pur- tax increase on all Americans. Track Record: Obama has made no se- due University Airport got 15
  15. 15. Politics would be increased costs, not cost savings. That’s several times the meaningless overall cost figure Obama put into his campaign lit- erature. As it stands in Congress right now, Obamacare would in- crease the deficit by at least $219 billion, assuming that the House version with its massive $581 billion tax increase on taxpay- ers is included in the measure. Obama’s “plan” on his campaign website listed no comprehensive numbers, other than the absurd $50-65 billion costs listed above. Currently, there is no healthcare plan from the Obama administra- AP Images tion or congressional Democrats under public discussion that would cut costs to the American a tax by any other name... Despite repeated promises to never raise taxes on any American who makes less than $250,000 a year, Obama doubled taxes on tobacco only two weeks after taking consumer. Every plan would in- office. Tobacco is mainly used by low- and middle-income Americans. crease the cost to the American consumers between $800 billion and $1 trillion through either debt dollars a year for each job created.” Senator budget proposal would increase spending or taxes. That’s an increase in cost to the av- Byrd is known inside the Washington, D.C., by a third and increase taxes by half before erage consumer of about $2,500, the same beltway as the “Prince of Pork” for his bil- the next presidential election. Even assum- figure he promised to cut. lions of dollars in pork earmarks. ing his unrealistically optimistic economic You simply can’t honestly claim to Obama’s pledge to cut pork didn’t come growth projections (already proven too add 47 million people to the government true. But just about every politician pledg- optimistic by the history of the past six healthcare rolls and then state you’ll cut es to cut it and doesn’t. The difference is months), Obama would keep government overall taxpayer costs through cutting that the president really can’t stop a deter- spending in the 22-23 percent range of “waste.” While it’s possible Obama could mined Congress in passing pork. Congress Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Obama have honestly mistaken some figures, will always have the power to slip some never even proposed, let alone fought for, there’s no way he could have honestly of its favorite pork into a must-pass bill. bringing taxes back to Reagan-era levels. promised the cost cuts he did and ended But Obama still wins a mark for “deceit” Verdict: Outright Lie up with the increased-cost plans currently for claiming he could fix it, as well as for under consideration by Congress. expanding it within the executive branch Healthcare-cost Promises Verdict: Outright Lie decision-making process. Promise: “Under the [healthcare] plan, *** Verdict: Deceit if you like your current health insurance, The initial tally of Obama’s honesty in nothing changes, except your costs will fulfilling his campaign promises to middle cut Government spending go down by as much as $2,500 per year.... America is eight outright lies and four in- Promise: “Obama’s plan will cut taxes Barack Obama will pay for his $50-$65 stances of deliberate deceit. That’s hardly overall, reducing revenues to below the billion health care reform effort by roll- an encouraging start for President Obama. levels that prevailed under Ronald Rea- ing back the Bush tax cuts for Americans Americans should remember his pledges gan (less than 18.2 percent of GDP). The earning more than $250,000 per year and and his poor honesty record. As the old Obama tax plan is a net tax cut — his tax retaining the estate tax at its 2009 level.” saying goes, “Fool me once, shame on relief for middle class families is larger ( “Health Care” page) you. Fool me twice, shame on me!” n than the revenue raised by his tax changes Track Record: for families over $250,000. Coupled with Obama’s healthcare his commitment to cut unnecessary spend- package would cost ing, Obama will pay for this tax relief at least $1 trillion in eXtra coPies availaBle while bringing down the budget deficit.” new spending over ➧ Additional copies of this issue of The ( “Taxes” page) 10 years, according New AmericAN are available at quantity- Track Record: While candidate Obama to the Congressional discount prices. To place your order, visit promised overall spending cuts and lower Budget Office. Most or see the card between tax revenues, President Obama’s fiscal 2010 or all of that figure pages 34-35. 16 THE NEW AMERICAN • AugusT 31, 2009
  16. 16. terrorism No State Sponsors, No Terror For 30 years Iran has been the leading state sponsor of global terror — with Syria, Cuba, and North Korea as helpmates. But behind them have been the terror masters of the Soviet KGB, and its renamed successor, the Russian FSB. by William F. Jasper photos, or issue audio or video recordings terrorist acts ranging from the car bomb- to Al Jazeerah media outlets. He rarely ings of the Israeli embassy and the Jewish “All warfare is based on deception.” broke cover, was always on the move, and cultural center in Argentina in the early — The Art of War, by Sun Tzu, reportedly never slept in the same bed two 1990s, to the World Trade Center bomb- Chinese General, military strategist nights in a row. Only a few photographs ing of 1993; the Khobar Towers suicide (sixth century B.C.) of him are known to exist despite his hav- bombing in Saudi Arabia in 1996; the U.S. ing cut an unparalleled swath of terror embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanza- I t was late in the evening of February over the previous 25 years. Yet he was at nia in 1998; the 2000 suicide attack on the 12, 2008 when the bearded, pudgy, the apex of the global terrorist pyramid, USS Cole in Aden, Yemen; and the 9/11 middle-aged man left a meeting at sitting with bin Laden on the super-secret attacks in 2001. The 9/11 Commission an Iranian school in the quiet Kfar Suseh Committee of Three. Report’s references (pages 240-241) to “a neighborhood of Damascus, Syria, and Imad Mugniyeh burst onto the interna- senior Hezbollah operative” shepherding walked to his car, which was parked on the tional terrorist scene in 1983 with a series the future 9/11 hijackers in and out of Iran street. No sooner had he climbed into his of spectacular, deadly bombings aimed at refer to Mugniyeh, say inside sources. Mitsubishi Pajero than the vehicle erupted driving U.S. forces out of Lebanon. At the Osama bin Laden spoke admiringly of in a mighty blast, killing him instantly. A time he was a mere 20 years old, but was Mugniyeh’s lethal handiwork and in 1993 few hours later, consumers of the morning already a veteran of many terrorist actions. met with Mugniyeh in Khartoum, Sudan, news learned the identity of the car-bomb The 1983 Beirut suicide bombings includ- to form a working alliance. That historic victim. It was none other than the elu- ed the April 18 U.S. Embassy (63 killed); meeting was brokered by Ali Mohamed, sive Hezbollah terror master, Imad Fayez the October 23 U.S. Marine barracks (241 bin Laden’s master spy/double agent in- Mugniyeh, one of the most hunted — and killed); and the October 23 French para- side the FBI, whose story is told in rivet- most dangerous — men on the planet. trooper barracks (58 killed). A litany of ing detail in Peter Lance’s newly released Unlike his better-known terrorist col- bombings, hijackings, kidnappings, and Triple Cross (reviewed in The New Amer- leagues, Osama bin Laden and Ayman assassinations followed, with an ever in- icAN, August 17, 2009). al-Zawahiri, Mugniyeh shunned public- creasing body count. He has been credited The question that dominated the news ity. He didn’t give interviews, pose for with masterminding and/or participating in headlines and the blogosphere in the im- Call 1-800-727-TRUE to subscribe today! 17
  17. 17. terrorism mediate aftermath of Mugni- sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, yeh’s assassination was: who Hezbollah’s general secretary, did it? No one claimed credit shown here broadcast on a giant for the deed. The most likely screen in Beirut, with an image suspect, and the one most of slain Hezbollah terrorist Imad often cited, was the Israeli Mugniyeh over his shoulder. Mossad. Some pointed to the CIA (and/or the FBI, which had placed a $5 million boun- and other wanted terrorists. ty on Mugniyeh). Some sug- And Hezbollah, mimicking its gested a joint Mossad/CIA masters, has voiced the same operation. However, some in absurd denials. “For its part, the Islamic world pointed to Hezbollah has consistently intelligence agencies of Arab denied the existence of any nations that had their own relationship with Mugniyeh, reasons for wanting to “take direct or indirect,” notes Judith out” Mugniyeh. Considerable Palmer Harik in her 2005 book suspicion in the Arab-world Hezbollah: The Changing press focused also on Syria Face of Terrorism. “As a mat- as the perpetrator, while some ter of record,” she continues, speculated that Iran might “from the time of the party’s even be responsible. It was inception, all Hezbollah offi- reported in some press and in- cials have emphatically denied telligence blog accounts that ever knowing a person by the on the night of his execution name of Imad Mugniyeh.” But AP Images by car bomb, Mugniyeh had as Harik points out, it is “im- just concluded a meeting with possible for any member of Hamas leaders, Syrian intel- Hezbollah’s present leadership ligence officials, and Iran’s new ambas- though it would seem the preponderance of to deny knowing Mugniyeh, since all of sador to Damascus, on the occasion of the evidence points toward Tel Aviv. But a far them are known to have been intimately in- 29th anniversary of the Iranian revolution more important question than who killed volved with the day-to-day functions of the (February 12, 1979). And the meeting at Imad Mugniyeh is: who was he working Baalbek training camps,” where Mugniyeh the school was but a short distance from for? Terrorism is a form of warfare, the played a major role in preparing terrorist a Syrian intelligence center in Syria’s ultimate in asymmetric, unconventional cadres for their deadly trade. tightly controlled police-state. warfare. And to it, Sun Tzu’s maxim that However, at Mugniyeh’s funeral, all As the most notorious operational leader “all warfare is based on deception” applies those who had been denying connec- of Hezbollah, with whom Israel has battled in spades. Terrorists do not wear uniforms, tions to him for years — Hezbollah, Iran, for decades, Mugniyeh was, understand- carry their banners openly, fight on the Syria — let their masks fall (partially) to ably, a prime target for the Mossad. He open battlefield, or directly confront the claim him as their own and eulogize him has also been a major thorn in the sides military of their adversaries; their entire as a martyr. Iranian President Mahmoud of Jordan, Lebanon, Kuwait, Egypt, and modus operandi is one of secrecy, stealth, Ahmadinejad eulogized him as “an out- Saudi Arabia, all of which had good rea- and deception, especially in this age of standing leader from Hizballah.” Iran’s sons for wanting him dead. But Syria and satellite surveillance, computer data min- Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Iran? They were his longtime sponsors. ing, and pervasive electronic eavesdrop- praised him as “an example for the young Precisely. And as some terrorism experts ping. They are particularly conscious of generation to follow.” Lebanese Hezbol- have argued (Kenneth Timmerman, for protecting their subterranean networks lah’s General Secretary, Sheikh Hassan one), Tehran and Damascus have been anx- and concealing all trails that might lead Nasrallah, used Mugniyeh’s funeral to ious that Mugniyeh’s ties to 9/11 and other back to their state sponsors. And their state threaten a retaliatory all-out war against terror acts may be used by Washington to sponsors, mindful of the global reach of Israel. “With this murder, its timing, loca- justify military attacks on Iran and Syria. assassin teams and GPS-guided precision tion and method — Zionists, if you want missiles, are even more highly motivated this kind of open war, let the whole world whose man was He? to maintain “plausible deniability” by listen: Let this war be open!” So, did Mugniyeh’s death represent a vic- structuring their ties to terrorists through The deception regarding Mugniyeh is tory by Israel, the United States, or an Arab several layers of surrogates. duplicated again with regard to Hezbol- state over a longtime, implacable foe? Or Thus we have witnessed for years an lah’s ties to terror, as well as its crucial was it a clean-up operation by Syria or ongoing charade in which Iran and Syria ties to Damascus and Tehran. According to Iran? This writer does not claim to know, have claimed to have no ties to Mugniyeh its leaders, as well as its many advocates 18 THE NEW AMERICAN • AugusT 31, 2009