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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ron Paul gleefully boards the blame-Bush wagon

And now, turning again to that awful demagogue Ron Paul, he's pandering to the leftist anti-war segment by attacking the Bush administration for all the wrong reasons, claiming it was "gleeful" when 9-11 took place (Hat tip: The Blaze):
Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul said Thursday evening that Bush administration officials were gleeful after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks because it gave them a pretext to invade Iraq.

"Just think of what happened after 9/11. Immediately before there was any assessment there was glee in the administration because now we can invade Iraq," the Texas Republican told a group of mostly young backers in Iowa. He went on to suggest officials are now setting the stage for an invasion of Iran. [...]

Paul's libertarian views - on the foreign policy front, he wants to dramatically reduce the U.S. military presence abroad and end all foreign aid - put him at odds with many Republican voters. A poll from Gallup this week found that 62 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning independent voters see Paul as an unacceptable nominee.
And even if he were the only candidate who allegedly understands economy, he still wouldn't be worth backing with twisted, offensive viewpoints like what he's throwing out. No wonder the MSM is hoping he'll win the Iowa caucus by the chance that sensible voters would stay home in case of snowstorm on January 3. And thus, no wonder the MSM like CBS is so useless.
On “Face the Nation” last month, Paul said that while the average American didn’t cause the Sept. 11 attacks, ” if you have a flawed policy it may influence it.”

“I think there‘s an influence and that’s exactly what the 9/11 commission said that‘s what the DOD has said and that’s also what the CIA has said and that’s what a lot of researchers have said,” said Paul. “…our policies definitely had an influence and you talk to the people who committed it and those individuals who would like to do us harm. They say yes we don‘t like American bombs to be falling on our country and we don’t like the intervention that we do in their nation so to deny this I think is very dangerous. But to argue the case that they want to do us harm because we‘re free and prosperous is very dangerous notion because it’s not true.”

He added: “So I‘m saying policies have an effect but that’s a far cry from blaming America. I mean in America, you‘re supposed to be able to criticize your own government without saying you’re un-American.”
Sorry, but even blaming a government and/or its policy is far too easy. For too long now, Paul has blamed government policy yet failed to make a clear condemnation of al Qaeda and jihadism. He also doesn't seem to clearly understand that even if the west wasn't free and prosperous, they'd still antagonize, because it's part of the Koran to attack infidels. To ignore the ideologies and mindsets of the terrorists is what's dangerous, and come to think of it, so is Paul himself.
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Newt Gingrich acknowledges that "palestinians" are an invention

Specifically, one to delegitimize Israel's existence. From AGI (via Jihad Watch):
(AGI) Washington - The Republican White House candidate Newt Gingrich has accused Obama of taking sides with the Palestinians. The former Speaker and election front-runner also said that the Palestinians are 'an invented people.' Gingrich said that were he to be impartial between a civil law-abiding society and a group of terrorists shooting missiles every day, this would not in fact constitute being impartial but would mean favouring the terrorists. Mr Gingrich does not differentiate between the ANP and Hamas. Interviewed on Israeli TV, Gringrich said 'I believe that the Jewish people have the right to have a state,' while 'we have invented Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs, and were historically part of the Arab community. [That's why] they had a chance to go many places.'
Interestingly enough, the PLO terrorist Zahir Muhsein admitted this in 1977:
The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct "Palestinian people" to oppose Zionism.

For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.
Gingrich's bold statement has not gone over well with Fatah and Hamas. From AP/USA Today (also via Jihad Watch):
JERUSALEM (AP) – A slew of Palestinian officials reacted with dismay Saturday to Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich's statement that the Palestinians are an "invented" people.

The Jewish Channel, a U.S. cable TV network, released excerpts of the interview on Friday in which the former House speaker said Palestinians were not a people because they never had a state and because they were part of the Ottoman Empire before the British mandate and Israel's creation.

"Remember, there was no Palestine as a state — (it was) part of the Ottoman Empire. I think we have an invented Palestinian people who are in fact Arabs and historically part of the Arab community and they had the chance to go many places," Gingrich said, according to a video excerpt posted online.

The Palestinian prime minister, Salam Fayyad, demanded Gingrich "review history."

"From the beginning, our people have been determined to stay on their land," Fayyad said in comments carried by the Palestinian news agency Wafa. "This, certainly, is denying historical truths." [...]

Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi said Gingrich had "lost touch with reality." She said his statements were "a cheap way to win (the) pro-Israel vote."

A spokesman for the militant Hamas rulers of the Palestinian Gaza Strip called Gingrich's statements "shameful and disgraceful."

"These statements … show genuine hostility toward Palestinians," said spokesman Fawzi Barhoum.
No, they are reality, and Gingrich, simply put, has found footing in reality by acknowledging facts. For this, Gingrich deserves a lot of applause.

Update: here's a longer transcript of Gingrich's interview on the Wash. Post.
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Re-arresting a terrorist

Something to be glad about: a terrorist freed in the Gilad Shalit deal has been recollared:
The IDF detained on Thursday one of the prisoners who was released in exchange for Gilad Shalit, the "ministry of prisoners’ affairs" in the Palestinian Authority (PA) told the Bethlehem-based Ma'an news agency.

The ministry said soldiers detained Ayed Muhammad Khalil from the village of Qaffin in Samaria (Shomron) along with his brother and sister in law after they were stopped at a flying checkpoint.

Khalil's name appears on the official Israeli list of prisoners released in the Shalit deal. The document says that he was serving a life sentence for "intentionally causing death."
In that case, he deserves to be re-arrested, but there's no telling if it'll last.
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Obama's Attack Watch Falls Silent?

From this source:
The Twitter feed has been silent now for nearly three weeks, and the website hasn't been updated for the same amount of time.






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Jihad In Hollywood

Pamela of Atlas Shrugs has the story.

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The 12 Days of Obama

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The thinnest skin on appeasement reveals the reality

Flying drones out of Florida while over Waziristan hunting the killers, is THE MINIMUM NECESSARY EFFORT in this war. IT’S A D+ if all goes perfectly.

Obama is performing at THE MINIMUM NECESSARY EFFORT level. It may have been MORE beneficial to capture these genius murderers for the super-being and ask them how their day was going, maybe someplace tropical, but the ideological rigidity of this administration informs us all that killing them is better than trying to justify what “W” thought was compulsory as a minimum level.

But there IS NO WAR. RIGHT? It’s a contingency.

When Nidal Hassan goes on a slaughter spree is - 'workplace violence.'

APPEASEMENT

When 2 recruiters in Arkansas are murdered for their actions, it’s a driveby

APPEASEMENT

When Iranians come out in the street over rigged elections, and rigged choices for the rigged election, we tell the world if we say anything which favors them, it will be counterproductive

APPEASEMENT

When the same thing happens in Egypt we dump our admittedly horrendous guy INSTEAD OF BUTTING OUT, even when it is obvious that the beneficiaries of the process are the guys WHO BIRTHED THE KILLERS, as we cling WITHOUT REASON OR FACT to words of hope for secular Jeffersonian outcomes

APPEASEMENT

When people who insist women go about covered, men wear beards, and demand the Quran be law win election after election proving what’s going on is HORRENDOUS for OUR BILL OF RIGHTS as a model, our Vice President call this process a beauty

APPEASEMENT

When the military is testifying before congress about Islamist murderers infesting the military for the purpose of killing our servicemen HERE, they kowtow to the administration line with “Sir, with great respect, I don’t believe it’s helpful to frame our adversary as ‘Islamic’ with any set of qualifiers that we might add, because we are not at war with Islam”

APPEASEMENT

When it is A HISTORIC REALITY that the Palestinians has refused to EVER give up the right of return for any other considerations the Secretary of Defense tells Israel ~ ‘its too bad you people are isolating yourselves, you better get back to negotiating, and kill these settlements, your biggest negotiating coin’

APPEASEMENT

When our close ally in the Middle East is surrounded by nations who threaten them PROUDLY every single day, and the nation with the peace treaty with them wants to abrogate it amid Islamist electoral victories, our ambassador tells the world that Jews are hated because of Israel rather that RECOGNIZE the historic reality that it is ISRAEL which is hated because it is full of JEWS

APPEASEMENT

When our close ally Britain finally is convinced of Iran's immovable determination to get a nuke and uses their Central Bank to enforce sanctions against Iran’s Central Bank and all its other organs, WE DO NOT.

APPEASEMENT

When we long to talk to the Taliban, protectors of Al Qaeda to frame an exit strategy from the HOME of the attacks of 9/11, even as the Taliban LAUGH in our faces and bomb us…

APPEASEMENT

When we have the 69% of the Pakistani people regard us an enemy (PEW) and cannot tell this truth to the American people even as Pakistan’s ISI and army AID THE TALIBAN…

APPEASEMENT

When the leader of the nation does the minimum in war, words of pablum for those inimical and has hard words of enmity and class warfare and incitement against those who will never really harm him, or deprive him of anything but office… this is the character of…

APPEASEMENT

Barack Obama is the modern ICON of APPEASEMENT. He is the absent, aloof leader of retreat, decline and apologetic regrets. A sad observer of losses. He will be compelled to do only the minimum. You can be sure THAT is how other leaders see him. THAT is the perception. As a result america is ignored, our interests, ignored, our safety not at issue, our ‘allies’ seek other courses, other paths, others allies, other safety for themselves.

Mitt Romney was too right.

Drones and special forces are the war equivalent of studying for 2 hours before the Organic Chem final, and pride in the resultant 67.

This administration cannot even GRASP this reality. They exist somewhere else.

These are the errors which LEAD TO OTHER FAR LARGER AND MORE CONSEQUENTIAL MISTAKES BY OTHER NATIONS.

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Friday, December 09, 2011

Boz Scaggs
Lowdown

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Obama Administration Welcoming The OIC

Figures:
The Obama administration says a meeting in Washington next week seeks to make progress in combating religious intolerance, but critics say the U.S. is pandering to an ideological agenda aimed at restricting speech critical of Islam.

According to the State Department the aim is to find ways to combat religious hate without compromising freedom of expression. Detractors are skeptical that this can be done, and they suspect that free speech will end up the loser.

Among those criticizing the event are GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, the Traditional Values Coalition, and scholars at the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom.

The State Department-hosted meeting is the latest step in a process stemming from a resolution on “combating intolerance based on religion,” adopted by consensus at the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC) last March.

Many rights advocacy groups regard the OIC campaign as an attempt to outlaw valid discussion of Islamic teachings – to extend to democratic societies the type of blasphemy provisions enforced in some Islamic states....

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An apologist for Obama's appeasement babbles to himself

Nasty moonbat Andrew Belonsky has opened his big mouth again to claim that Obama is doing a fully convincing job in the war on terror, which I'm afraid is just exaggerated at best:
Republican presidential candidates shifted their focus from domestic affairs to foreign policy during the Republican Jewish Forum yesterday. And not surprisingly, almost all of them claimed President Obama has been too soft on Islamic militants overseas.

Rick Santorum said Obama’s approach has “has been nothing but appeasement,” while Mitt Romney claimed the president “emboldened Palestinian hard-liners who now are poised to form a unity government with terrorist Hamas and feel they can bypass Israel at the bargaining table.” He also used the word “appeasement” to describe Obama’s positions. And Michele Bachmann declared, boldly, “The Obama Administration de-legitimised Israel.” All warned that Obama allowed Iran to run free.

All of this talk about Israel, Iran and the rest of the embattled region led a member of press corp today to ask Obama what he thinks about all these “appeasement” allegations. The president had a ready-made response: “Ask Osama.”

“Ask Osama bin Laden and the 22 out of 30 top al-Qaida leaders who have been taken off the field whether I engage in appeasement. Or whoever is left out there, ask them about that,” Obama said, setting his supporters up for a collective “Oh, snap!”

The president then went on to defend his foreign policy, saying, “When we came into office, the world was divided; Iran was unified and moving aggressively on its own agenda. Today Iran is isolated, and the world is unified and applying the toughest sanctions that Iran’s ever experienced, and it’s having an impact inside of Iran.”

He also insisted, “This administration has done more in terms of the security of the state of Israel than any previous administration.”
Do tell us about it. Obama's administration has ignored the atrocities of Hamas, and let's consider how they allow their front group CAIR to run around loose in the US too. They've also once again announced "disappointment in new Israeli settlements", which only encourages the Islamists to continue their hostility. And also underscores how they've continued to legitimize Fatah.

And courtesy of Caroline Glick, here's one Democrat whom Belonsky's failed to mention, who counters Obama's - and Belonsky's - claims perfectly: Sen. Robert Menendez:

Howzabout that: a Democrat speaks truth to power here. For more signs of how irresponsible Obama is, Daniel Pipes has what to read, and Caroline Glick's got more too.

Belonsky then pathetically goes on to say:
But Obama barely has to say anything at all: he knows that he has the Osama card in his pocket, and he’s already shown that he’s prepared to use it any way possible. No other president has had the benefit of such a big win, and if Obama plays this victory carefully, he can use it to prove he knows what he’s doing on the foreign stage. If he plays it too often, though, he’ll look bellicose or, worse, blood-thirsty, which may be worse than being called an accommodationist.
Sorry, but bin Laden's termination alone is not enough to win the war on Islamofascism. What about a card for Ahmedinejad, for example? Or for the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists who could bring disaster upon Egypt? Or even the horrific dictatorship in Saudi Arabia, which is just as dangerous? Obama's ignorance of these regimes, and that includes the darkening situation in Egypt, which he's failed to address honestly, is just what the Republicans Belonsky hates so much are concerned about. Maybe that's why the site he's writing for doesn't really get much of an audience at all.

Update: another something Obama's administration is blundering on: they're still allowing arms shipments to continue into Egypt.
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Former FBI agent held prisoner in Iran

I just noticed this news, showing that hostage situations in Iran aren't over:
WASHINGTON (AP) — The family of retired FBI agent Robert Levinson, who vanished years ago in Iran, issued a plea to his kidnappers Friday and, for the first time, released a hostage video they received from his unidentified captors.

The video message released on the family's website publicly transformed the mysterious disappearance into an international hostage standoff. Despite a lengthy investigation, however, the United States government has no evidence of who is holding the 63-year-old father of seven.

"Please tell us your demands so we can work together to bring my father home safely," says Levinson's son David, seated beside his mother, Christine.

The video plea represents a sharp change in strategy in a case that, for years, the U.S. treated as a diplomatic issue rather than a hostage situation. Christine Levinson, who lives in Coral Springs, Florida, has issued many public statements over the years, but she typically directed them to her missing husband or to the government of Iran.

In the hostage video, which the family received in November 2010, Levinson pleaded with the U.S. government to meet the demands of the people holding him, whom he did not identify.
Don't be surprised if his captors are linked to the Iranian dictatorship themselves. This is truly abominable, and worst, it shows that even with the release of the American hikers who foolishly went there, the crisis isn't over.

Update: here's the site for helping Mr. Levinson (via The Jawa Report, which also has a video about the case).
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They tell me life is all about timing

Obama celebrates Hanukkah at White House
President Barack Obama is marking Hanukkah as a story of “faith over doubt.”

Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden convened a Hanukkah celebration at the White House Thursday in an early celebration of the Jewish Festival of Lights.

Obama said the Hanukkah story was about “right over might, faith over doubt.” In the Hanukkah story, a small band of Jews rededicating a Jerusalem temple found that a one-day supply of oil kindled a flame instead for eight.

Why not celebrate Christmas today also, oh I forget, Barry will be in Hawaii.

Last time I checked you also light one candle per night.

Actually, BTW, Hanukah is the story of a successful revolt by a fundamentalist religious group which gained conservative public support quickly over invaders and progressive jewish assimilationists who supported the invaders new ways

Does this man have advisers?

Maybe this was done on advice of Jeremiah Wright.

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Morality and the Way to Peace

Malise Ruthven's book, A Fury for God: The Islamist Attack on America, seeks to understand the forces behind Islam's relentless encroachment. It is a difficult book to read, and yet parts of it clarified and illuminated Islam's prime directive better than anything I've ever read. And A Fury for God: The Islamist Attack on America is one of the very few books I've read that has no obvious ax to grind. Below are some selected quotes from the book:

As almost every account of Islam will explain, the word Islam (self-surrender) derives from the same root as salam (peace). In its self-definition Islam is primarily a "religion of peace." The problem consists not in the idea of peace as a good, but in the means deployed to achieve it. In the Quranic discourse, as in the legal formulations derived from the Quran and the Prophet's traditions, the very notion of peace is conditional on the acknowledgment of the Islamic idea of God.

The Quran implies that the world will be at peace when every person on Earth submits to the will of Allah (by force if necessary). In that sense, Islam is a religion of peace. Another quote from the book:

The jihad was integral to Islamic expansion. Understood as a political-military struggle, it provided the rationale for the Islamic imperium.

...Jihad, as is now widely known, means "struggle:" it has the same root as ijtihad, the interpretative "effort" needed to fathom the law as revealed by God and his Prophet. According to a well-known hadith, jihad is the "monasticism" of faith. "Every nation has its monasticism and the monasticism of this nation is the jihad." Muhammad disapproved of asceticism: there was to be "no monkery" in his community. Jihad held the place occupied by asceticism in early Christianity.

Ever since I read that, I've thought differently of jihad. If you are a devout person, if you want to please Allah and show him how much you worship Him, but you do not have the avenue of expression called asceticism, how can you demonstrate your devotion? Muhammad gave the answer: Jihad. Express it in action. Express it by striving mightily in the name of Allah, not just in your mind, but in the world. Advance Allah's cause by defending Islam, and by trying to make every country on earth follow the law of Allah. Work at it. Put your money where your faith is.

And one final quote from A Fury for God:

Modernity is seductive: Satan is a tempter, not a tyrant. Since Muslim cultures tend to draw boundaries around social behavior, emphasizing external rather than internal moral constraints, governments — or more pervasively "the West" — are blamed for the availability of temptations. Imported American dramas such as Dallas, Knott's Landing and Falcon Crest, showing human behavior in situations dominated by lust, greed, and selfishness, are seen as undermining the Muslim family by introducing aspirations towards materialism and sexual immorality.

I thought that was interesting. In the West, because we hold liberty as a fundamental value, we think of morality as something we exercise personally, from within.

Islam is more oriented toward controlling the environment
essentially to limit temptations in order to impose morality (or strengthen it) from outside. In that sense, then, a free society is incompatible with the strict application of Islam. An Islamic-style moral life would require an Islamic state, or at the very least, the kind of isolated or enclosed community the Amish have. (This may explain, at least in part, why the mosque Nonie Darwish attended encouraged American Muslims to stay isolated from the infidel American culture.)

Islamic fundamentalists see the establishment of Islamic law as a moral duty. It creates an environment where everyone can be moral, and where infidels cannot infect the Muslims with their immoral example. The Islamic vision is very much like the Pleasantville fantasy-perfect world, but the achievement of the vision requires the removal of so many liberties it becomes a repressive totalitarian state.

Anyway, I recommend
Malise Ruthven's book, A Fury for God. It is a valuable contribution to the greater conversation about how to reverse the trend toward global jihad.
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Delaney & Bonnie w/ Duane Allman
Come On In My Kitchen

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Thursday, December 08, 2011

Well, Eric that depends on what your definition of ‘is’ is

RCP

Rep. James Sensenbrenner asked Holder: “Tell me what’s the difference between lying and misleading Congress, in this context?”

Holder’s response is a bit Clintonian. “Well, if you want to have this legal conversation, it all has to do with your state of mind and whether or not you had the requisite intent to come up with something that would be considered perjury or a lie,” Holder said

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This Week On The Gathering Storm

Listen to The Gathering Storm Radio Show, hosted by WC and Always On Watch. The show broadcasts live every Friday beginning at noon, Pacific Time, for 30 minutes.

The call-in number is 646-915-9870.

Our scheduled guest is IQ al Rassooli.

Listen to the December 9, 2011 edition of The Gathering Storm Radio Show, live or later, by CLICKING HERE.

UPCOMING SHOWS:
Read more »

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"I simply do not know where the money is”

Former Senator and Gov of NJ John Corzine on the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars of investors principal.

The iconic statement for democratic use of others moneys?

Jon S. Corzine, the former U.S. senator and New Jersey governor who presided over the collapse of the commodities brokerage MF Global, says he cannot explain what happened to “many hundreds of millions of dollars” that the firm was holding for customers.

In testimony prepared for delivery to Congress on Thursday, Corzine says he was “stunned” to learn shortly before the firm sought bankruptcy protection at the end of October that MF Global could not account for the money.“I simply do not know where the money is, or why the accounts have not been reconciled to date,” the former MF Global chief executive says, according to the testimony.

Regulators pushed MF Global into bankruptcy court on Halloween after an effort to sell the troubled firm unraveled. The firm is now in liquidation.

The firm was required to keep clients’ money separated from its own. But more than $1.2 billion might be missing, the trustee overseeing the firm’s liquidation said last month. An attorney for the trustee reiterates that assessment in testimony submitted for Thursday’s hearing.

The FBI, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and other authorities are investigating and have had difficulty figuring out what happened to the missing funds.

Meanwhile, the firm’s collapse has become a major disruption for customers and others who depended on MF Global.

The House Agriculture Committee, whose jurisdiction includes agricultural commodities and one of the federal agencies that regulates MF Global, subpoenaed Corzine to appear at a hearing Thursday on the firm’s bankruptcy. The committee turned down Corzine’s request to testify voluntarily in January, he says.

In his prepared statement, Corzine says that many people in his situation would invoke their Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. However, as a former senator, Corzine says, he recognizes the importance of congressional oversight and believes “it is appropriate that I attempt to respond to your inquiries.”

Though anything he says could be used against him, Corzine hedges his testimony by saying he had too little time to prepare for the hearing and only limited access to records “essential to my being able to testify accurately.”

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Iran developing Electronic Warfare to kill U.S., Israeli attacks

Gertz:

Iran’s Defense Ministry and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps are overseeing development of electronic warfare equipment and methods to overcome Western military superiority.

“Electronic warfare (EW) could be used to deny the enemy’s knowledge of our combat deployment as well as confuse its assets in the sky,” an Iranian official said.

EW capability was tested in Iran’s latest exercise, Samen Hojaj, which ended Nov. 22. In it, the IRGC and the regular military tested systems intended to jam Israeli and U.S. unmanned aerial vehicles and fixed-wing reconnaissance platforms.

The exercise reportedly marked the first time the Air Defense Command operated in total communications silence. Officials said this was designed to deny Western adversaries the capability to detect and target Iran’s surface-to-air missile batteries.

“The goal was to test the coordination, speed and precision of air defense units working either independently or as part of an integrated command and control network,” said military spokesman Col. Abu Fazel Sepehri.

Infantry combat forces also conducted night operations under radio silence. Results from this and other maneuvers were deemed encouraging and EW countermeasures are expanded to be expanded.

The latest exercise began with a massive air defense maneuver based in Khatam Anbia on Nov. 17. The maneuver included the use of shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles to protect against low-flying enemy helicopters and UAVs.

Officials said IRGC also plans to amass a huge ground force to repel any invasion. The commander of the IRGC-sponsored Basij force, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Reza Naqdi, said his paramilitary unit would recruit up to 100 million Muslims from around the world.

I actually cannot envision any scenario short of an Iranian attack by ground forces on the USA which would result in an American invasion of Iran.

Any direct action which killed americans in america, or damaged our society and way of life would far more likely get the cheap, effective and complete, 20 minute solution, than involve us in a war in which ten of thousands of american casualties would result, a decade would be soaked up, a trillion dollars wasted, and another nation would have to be built.

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Congressional hearing on cause of arrests of CIA people in Lebanon and Iran

Gertz, Geo Strategy Direct:

Members of the House and Senate Select Committees on Intelligence have been briefed on the arrests of at least a dozen CIA operatives in Lebanon. The arrests have badly damaged U.S. monitoring of Iran and its chief proxy, Hizbullah.

It is hard to overestimate the damage,” one official said.

In October, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, flew to Beirut to interview CIA officers. Officials said the visit was meant to determine CIA responsibility for the Hizbullah arrest of key operatives in Iran and Lebanon. Hizbullah members have been appointed to 16 of the 30 ministries in the Lebanese government.

Officials said Hizbullah exploited CIA mistakes to track and identify U.S. operatives in Lebanon. They said that paid Lebanese informants, including Hizbullah members, formed two espionage cells, which were later exposed by double agents. In June, Hizbullah secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah announced the arrest of three suspected CIA informants.

“We were lazy and the CIA is now flying blind against Hizbullah,” a former official told ABC News.

The CIA network in Iran was believed to have been dismantled in May. Congress has been investigating reports that Iranian intelligence discovered CIA communications that conveyed orders to as many as 30 operatives.

[On Nov. 22, a Hizbullah military facility was damaged in an explosion. The facility, located near the southern Lebanese city of Tyre, was said to have been a munitions warehouse.]

The House committee was also examining information that the CIA was warned that its network in Lebanon was likely to have been infiltrated by Hizbullah. Officials said Rogers interviewed the CIA chief in Beirut for details.

Between 2007 and 2009, Hizbullah and the Lebanese government reported the arrests of more than 100 Israeli intelligence agents. Many Mossad operatives reportedly planted devices in communications networks of Hizbullah and the Lebanese military.

The CIA monitored the arrests of the Mossad agents but failed to impose sufficient countermeasures. The House and Senate intelligence committees could recommend the dismissal of those in the CIA responsible for the Lebanese network, officials said.

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