U.S. MEDIA BLACKOUT — Obama Knows That Turkey Is Buying Oil From ISIS And He Isn’t Doing Anything To Stop It

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(by Michael Snyder, EOAD) — At this point, is there anyone that still doesn’t know that ISIS is selling hundreds of millions of dollars of stolen oil in Turkey?  As you will see below, this is very much an open secret, but the mainstream media in the United States is being strangely silent about this.  Why?  Well, because if the truth came out Turkey would have to be kicked out of NATO and Barack Obama would probably be facing impeachment proceedings.  He claims to be fighting ISIS, and yet an endless parade of trucks carrying oil that ISIS has stolen goes back and forth over the Turkish border with his full knowledge and approval.  Barack Obama is very much aware that Turkey is buying oil from ISIS and he refuses to do anything about it.  If the Republicans are looking for a scandal which could completely wreck Obama’s presidency and essentially secure the 2016 election for them, this is it.

Do you want to know why the Turkish government ordered the shooting down of a Russian Su-24 bomber on Tuesday?

It is because the Russians have been bombing the trucks that transport oil from ISIS into Turkey.

The Turks claim that the Russian aircraft violated their airspace for approximately 17 seconds.  But as Paul Craig Roberts has pointed out, in order for the SU-24 to fly only 1.15 miles in 17 seconds would mean that it was flying at stall speed the entire time, which is ridiculous.  Clearly there is something very fishy with the official story, and the Russians say that they never violated Turkey’s airspace at any time.

But no matter who was right and who was wrong, normally countries go out of their way to avoid an international incident.  Instead, it appeared that the Turks were quite eager to shoot down the SU-24, and since that time Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has refused to apologize.  In fact, he has warned Russia “not to play with fire” and he insists that it is the Russians that need to apologize

“Those who violated our airspace are the ones who need to apologize. Our pilots and our armed forces, they simply fulfilled their duties, which consisted of responding to … violations of the rules of engagement. I think this is the essence.”

Is he insane?

What in the world would cause Erdogan to behave so irrationally?

Well, the truth is that Erdogan has been very upset these days because the Russians have been interfering with the illegal oil smuggling that his family has been conducting.

One of the ways that Russian President Vladimir Putin has responded to the downing of the SU-24 has been to drop “truth bombs” on Turkey.  Just check out some of the comments that he made this week following a meeting with French President Francois Hollande

Commercial-scale oil smuggling from Islamic State controlled territory into Turkey must be stopped, Putin said after meeting Hollande in Moscow.

Vehicles, carrying oil, lined up in a chain going beyond the horizon,” said Putin, reminding the press that the scale of the issue was discussed at the G20 summit in Antalya earlier this month, where the Russian leaderdemonstrated reconnaissance footage taken by Russian pilots.

The views resemble a living oil pipestretched from ISIS and rebel controlled areas of Syria into Turkey, the Russian President stressed. Day and night they are going to Turkey. Trucks always go there loaded, and back from there – empty.

We are talking about a commercial-scale supply of oil from the occupied Syrian territories seized by terrorists. It is from these areas [that oil comes from], and not with any others. And we can see it from the air, where these vehicles are going,” Putin said.

If the Russians can see this very clearly, do you think that the U.S. military and U.S. intelligence agencies can see this too?

Of course we can.  We have even better surveillance capabilities than the Russians do.

Without a doubt, Obama knows exactly what is going on.

The SU-24 was shot down over an area that is used to transport ISIS oil into Turkey.  This is a point that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has been careful to highlight.  The following comes from Sputnik News

Lavrov also pointed to Turkey’s role in the propping up the terror network through the oil trade.

“The Russian Minister reminded his counterpart about Turkey’s involvement in the ISIS’ illegal trade in oil, which is transported via the area where the Russian plane was shot down, and about the terrorist infrastructure, arms and munitions depots and control centers that are also located there,” the statement read.

“Sergei Lavrov specifically said that this act by Turkey will have serious consequences for Russian-Turkish relations and will not go unanswered.”

It would be one thing if everyone was just finding out now that ISIS is selling oil in Turkey.

But the truth is that this has been known about for quite a long time.

For instance, the U.S. uncovered “undeniable” evidence that Turkey was buying oil from ISIS back in July

Western officials have long harbored suspicions about Turkey’s links to the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh. One official told The Guardian’s Martin Chulov in July that a US-led raid on the compound housing ISIS’ “chief financial officer” produced “undeniable” evidence that Turkish officials directly dealt with ranking ISIS members, mainly by purchasing oil from them.

So why didn’t Barack Obama do anything about it?

Why has he continued to allow oil trucks to go back and forth between ISIS and Turkey “day and night” ever since then?

We have clearly been betrayed by Obama.  Even our top military commanders know what is happening.  Just this week, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander General Wesley Clark went on television and admitted that oil from ISIS is “probably going through Turkey”

Asked whether he agreed with Vladimir Putin that Turkey was aiding ISIS, Clark responded, “All along there’s always been the idea that Turkey was supporting ISIS in some way,” before going on to accuse Ankara of funneling ISIS terrorists through Turkey and buying ISIS’ stolen oil in the black market.

Someone’s buying that oil that ISIS is selling, it’s going through somewhere, it looks to me like it’s probably going through Turkey,” said Clark, before also going on to accuse Putin of supporting terrorists through his allegiance with Bashar Al-Assad.

So why is Barack Obama completely silent about this?

And it isn’t as if the Turkish government is just turning a blind eye to what is going on.

No, the truth is that the Turkish president’s own son is the one buying and exporting the oil.  The following comes from Sputnik News

Turkey downed the Russian Su-24 Fencer bomber over Syria in response to the destruction of hundreds of semi-truck oil tankers sent to Turkey from Syria by the Islamic State, Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi said.

The information minister said that oil smuggled into Turkey was bought by the Turkish president’s son, who owns an oil company.

All of the oil was delivered to a company that belongs to the son of Recep [Tayyip] Erdogan. This is why Turkey became anxious when Russia began delivering airstrikes against the IS infrastructure and destroyed more than 500 trucks with oil already. This really got on Erdogan and his company’s nerves. They’re importing not only oil, but wheat and historic artifacts as well,” al-Zoubi told RIA Novosti in an interview.

It is Bilal Erdogan that is the head of the company that is buying oil from ISIS, and he is shipping much of it to Japan.  BMZ Ltd. is described as a “family business”, and many of President Erdogan’s “close relatives” hold shares in the company.  The following is an excerpt from an excellent article by F. William Engdahl

The prime source of money feeding ISIS these days is sale of Iraqi oil from the Mosul region oilfields where they maintain a stronghold. The son of Erdogan it seems is the man who makes the export sales of ISIS-controlled oil possible.

Bilal Erdogan owns several maritime companies. He has allegedly signed contracts with European operating companies to carry Iraqi stolen oil to different Asian countries. The Turkish government buys Iraqi plundered oil which is being produced from the Iraqi seized oil wells. Bilal Erdogan’s maritime companies own special wharfs in Beirut and Ceyhan ports that are transporting ISIS’ smuggled crude oil in Japan-bound oil tankers.

Gürsel Tekin vice-president of the Turkish Republican Peoples’ Party, CHP, declared in a recent Turkish media interview, “President Erdogan claims that according to international transportation conventions there is no legal infraction concerning Bilal’s illicit activities and his son is doing an ordinary business with the registered Japanese companies, but in fact Bilal Erdo?an is up to his neck in complicity with terrorism, but as long as his father holds office he will be immune from any judicial prosecution.” Tekin adds that Bilal’s maritime company doing the oil trades for ISIS, BMZ Ltd, is “a family business and president Erdogan’s close relatives hold shares in BMZ and they misused public funds and took illicit loans from Turkish banks.”

Does Barack Obama know all of this?

Of course he does.

Our intelligence agencies would have to be blind, deaf and dumb not to have uncovered all of this by now.

The president of Turkey’s own family is working directly with ISIS, and Obama is doing nothing.

In fact, President Erdogan’s own daughter is even helping to provide “extended medical care” for wounded ISIS militants in Turkish hospitals…

A discontented nurse working clandestinely for a covert medical corps in Şanlıurfa—a city in south-eastern Turkey, close to the border with neighboring Syria— divulges information about the alleged role which Sümeyye Erdoğan plays in providing extended medical care for ISIS wounded militants transferred to Turkish hospitals. Living in a dilapidated apartment in Istanbul’s outskirts along with her two children, a 34-year- old emaciated nurse who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution, disclosed her seven-week agonizing ordeal of working in secret military hospital in Şanlıurfa, 150 km (93 miles) east of Gaziantep and 1,300 km (808 miles) southeast of Istanbul. “Almost every day several khaki Turkish military trucks were bringing scores of severely injured, shaggy ISIS rebels to our secret hospital and we had to prepare the operating rooms and help doctors in the following procedures.”

Clearly, the Turkish government is on the same side as ISIS.  It has also been documented that ISIS fighters have trained in Turkey and that the Turkish government has been funneling weapons into Syria.

But desperate attempts have been made to keep this information away from the public.  In fact, two Turkish journalists that were working to expose the funneling of weapons into Syria have just been arrested and could be facing life in prison…

Two journalists from an opposition Turkish newspaper have been arrested, accused of spying by an Istanbul court following reports that Turkey’s intelligence agency sent weapons to Islamist rebel groups in Syria.

In another case of journalists facing criminal charges and censorship, editor-in-chief Can Dundar and Erdem Gul, the newspaper’s Ankara bureau chief, were taken into custody on Thursday night, Turkish media reported.

The two men are accused of spying and “divulging state secrets”, according to reports, as well as being members of a terror organisation. Another charge included the violation of state security after the release of the footage.

Such charges could see the men face life imprisonment.

And the Turkish government even got Joe Biden to apologize for comments that he made that exposed Turkey’s role in supplying the jihadists in Syria.  The following comes from CNN

“They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad. Except that the people who were being supplied were al-Nusra and al-Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world,” Biden told students.

We could not convince our colleagues to stop supplying them,” he said.

On Turkey’s alleged role, Biden said, “President (Recep Tayyip) Erdogan told me, he’s an old friend, said, ‘You were right. We let too many people (including foreign fighters) through.’ Now they are trying to seal their border,” he said, according to transcripts.

Biden later “apologized” for saying those things, but were they true?

Of course what Biden said was true.

The government of Turkey desperately wants to see the Assad regime toppled, and so they are training ISIS militants, funneling weapons to them, buying their oil, and tending to their wounded in Turkish hospitals.

This is being done with the full knowledge and complicity of the Obama administration, and it is a betrayal on a level that is almost unspeakable.

Once again, if the Republicans are looking for a scandal that could destroy Obama’s presidency and deliver the 2016 election into their hands, this is it.

Sadly, just like on so many other occasions, the Republicans will probably find a way to fumble this football too.

But the American people deserve to know the truth.  Please share this information with as many people as you can on Facebook, Twitter and through email.  If we can get enough people screaming bloody murder about this, perhaps we can get someone in the mainstream media to take notice of what potentially could be the scandal of the century.

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Unbelievable: Obama’s VA issues BAN on Christmas trees…this happens IMMEDIATELY

 

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Sadly, we’ve come to expect attempts at “sanitizing” the Christmas holiday to strip it of Christian connotations that might offend the perpetually-offended, just as we’ve come to expect President Obama’s lack of respect both for our Constitution and the men and women who’ve valiantly served to protect it. But when the Obama administration combined these three fouls into one giant hat trick, it didn’t go over so well with veterans who wish to mark one of the biggest Christian holidays of the year.

Via Breitbart:

President Barack Obama’s Department of Veterans Affairs has banned employees at its facility in Salem, Virginia, from saying “Merry Christmas” to veterans.

It started as a broader ban that included Christmas trees. Federal law recognizes Christmas as an official federal holiday (5 U.S.C. § 6103) and provides federal employees with a paid day off to celebrate the Christian belief in the virgin birth of Jesus Christ.

Every year, a White House Christmas Tree and a Capitol Christmas Tree grace those two respective buildings in Washington D.C., and a National Christmas Tree is also officially lighted outdoors for the public to enjoy during that time of year.

Yet the “Executive Leadership Team” at the Salem VA Medical Center banned Christmas trees, as well as other Christian speech and celebrations. As reported by local media, an email sent by senior staff to the center’s employees reads in part:

…Public areas may only be decorated in a manner that is celebratory of the winter season. Displays must not promote any religion. Please note that trees (regardless of the types of ornaments used) have been deemed to promote the Christian religion and will not be permitted in any public areas this year.

Just hours ago, pressure from the center’s employees caused the management team to cave on the Christmas tree ban. Christmas trees are back in at the facility.

So that’s the good news. Good for the employees for voicing their dismay!

However, the VA is maintaining that “private religious expressions can only be uttered in “personal work areas.” That means employees can only speak freely in places where the public usually cannot enter and, even then, only if the recipient would clearly understand that the speaker is speaking in his personal capacity only.

In other words, an employee could be punished for wishing “Merry Christmas” to a veteran in the lobby or any other public area.

In other words, an employee could by punished by the government for exercising their First Amendment right.

Even when those stringent curbs are obeyed, the email directive adds that private religious speech can still be banned if managers decide such speech “interfere[s] with carrying out official duties and responsibilities,” threatening penalties against people who offer religious greetings even behind closed doors.

The email also bars Christmas music, saying that if a supervisor has allowed an employee to have music in his workspace, such music must “be secular (non-religious).”

The message from the center’s top leaders says that VA employees who need further guidance about the removal of religious symbols should “contact the Chaplain Service at ext. 2165.”

Read the full text here:

VA email

Interesting to note that the VA chooses to mention “at this time of year” — hmm, think they issued a similar memo around Ramadan?

“At a time when our VA should be doing everything it can to honor our veterans, it instead denigrates them and their service,” said Michael Berry, senior counsel with Liberty Institute, the largest law firm in the United States that litigates exclusively religious liberty cases.

“Any VA employee—whether they work at the Salem VA Center or elsewhere—who feels that their free-speech or religious-liberty rights are being violated, they should contact us immediately,” he told Breitbart News. The firm’s website is www.libertyinstitute.org.

Make sure to spread the word amongst your veteran friends and family, folks. We must continue to stand vigilant against attacks on our freedoms — first and foremost, against those inflicted by our own government. Fourteen months and counting down for Obama’s America; we can’t afford to snooze for even one minute!

And let me be the first to say a hearty MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and yours!!!

source

US ready to target Russian president’s hidden $40bn stash

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The United States has been preparing to take the lead in enforcing a tougher sanctions regime on the Kremlin, and, according to officials, was ready to target the personal fortune of Vladimir Putin.

The US has made plain that it was preparing to raise substantially the costs of Russian interference in the region, and the warning that more sanctions were being prepared against the highest echelons of the Kremlin, was one of Mr Kerry’s main bargaining chips in the talks in Geneva last night.

“We are actively preparing new sanctions,” Jay Carney, the White House spokesman said.

Read more at the times.co.uk  

This Means War: US To Target Putin’s Personal $40 Billion Stash

While the White House has continually threatened further sanctions against Russia for non-de-escalation (even as it un-de-escalates itself), the specifics of the additional sanctions have been sparse. German CEO warnings over blowback from economic sanctions… the “nonsense” of replacing Russian gas with US gasthe Russian warnings of “interdependence” and “boomerangs”… all reduce the West’s arsenal of financial sanctions. But, as The Times of London reports, perhaps the US has found a crucial pain point for Putin – a sanctions regime that would target Putin’s personal wealth, which includes a reported $40 billion stashed in Swiss bank accounts.

As The Hill reports,

The White House on Friday refused to comment on reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s personal wealth could be targeted if the West were to move ahead with additional sanctions over Ukraine.

I’m not going to get into foreshadowing particular individuals or entities that the United States may target,” national security adviser Susan Rice told reporters at the White House. “But let me just say we’ve been clear that there are additional individuals, officials, close associates of senior leadership, oligarchs and those entities that they are associated with that remain very much potential targets of additional sanctions.”

The Times of London reported Friday that the U.S. was preparing a sanctions regime that would target Putin’s personal wealth, which includes a reported $40 billion stashed in Swiss bank accounts.

Putin’s actual holdings are a tightly held secret, and the extent of his holdings are difficult to estimate. But a threat of trying to freeze the Russian president’s personal assets could have played a role in a deal brokered Thursday by foreign ministers from the U.S., Ukraine, Russia and European Union.

Perhaps it is worth remembering Putin’s response from last week’s Q&A

 Putin was asked why the US can do whatever it wants and no one punishes them, while attempts are being made to punish Russia.

“The US is certainly one of the world’s leaders. At some point it seemed that it was the only leader and a uni-polar system was in place. Today it appears that is not the case. Everything in the world is interdependent and once you try to punish someone, in the end you will cut off your nose to spite your face,” he said.

Though we are sure Obama and his team have considered all the intended and unintended consequences of any such actions.

Zerohedge

Obama: “I Can Do Whatever I Want.”

President Obama “quipped” today during a visit to Monticello with the French president, “That’s the good thing about being president, I can do whatever I want.”

Via the pool report:

Monticello

At 4:45 POTUS and president Hollande walked out from a portico and strolled in Front of your pool with Leslie Bowman, president of the Monticello Foundation. Looking at a terrace she said that Jefferson loved to admire the landscape from there. POTUS said that he’d like to take a look and seemed delighted to “break the protocol”.

“That’s the good thing as a President, I can do whatever I want” he quipped, walking to the terrace with his guest and Ms. Bowman. Pool now in the mansion as the leaders will come and visit Jefferson’s study.

Read more

Obama Runs Interference For Iran Even Though They Kill Americans With Impunity

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Despite the fact that Iran has been killing Americans without meaningful consequence for decades, President Barack Obama is attempting to legitimize the “new” leadership in the theocratic dictatorship.

Iran’s Hassan Rouhani is reaching out to the West, claims Barack Obama

President Barack Obama has revealed Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s reformist new president had “reached out” to the US leader as the West looks to improve ties with the isolated Tehran regime.

This is suicide. There’s no amount of diplomacy that’s going to change the Mullah’s minds about killing every last infidel on the planet. Obama is either ignorant or he’s intentionally helping Iran stall until they can get their hands on the bomb. Either way it will all end badly.

Mr Obama said he believed the successful negotiations over Syria’s chemical weapons should demonstrate to Iran that diplomacy can work even when military intervention is threatened.

“What they should draw from this lesson is that there is the potential of resolving these issues diplomatically,” he said, adding that the pair had exchanged letters after the US leader reached out to the incoming leader.

That’s quaint, but what lesson should we draw from them?

How about this:

Source

 

12 years after 9/11, Obama sends guns to al-Qaeda

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Today the United States is waking up to news that the first publicly acknowledged shipment of lethal aid has made its way to Syria. It comes as part of President Obama’s efforts to support the Syrian Opposition, and punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the alleged use of chemical weapons, which violates a 1925 International Proclamation.

Before the 9/11 terror attacks, the United States was actively engaged in training and arming radical Islamist groups in the Middle East in order to undermine our enemies and supposedly support our national interests. After the Towers fell, the Pentagon was damaged, and Flight 93 was downed, the United States realized that they could not support such extremist groups anymore. Instead, America began a global campaign to combat terrorism, and punish those responsible for the September 11 attacks.

12 years later, we are back to arming radical Muslims, having forgotten, with stunning speed, the lessons of the previous 30 years.

12 years later we have come full circle.

We all understand that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. It served as the basis of our Cold War foreign policy stance towards revolutions and civil wars around the globe.

But when the enemy of my enemy, is also my enemy, it would seem as though choices for options range between “absolutely not” and “this is a terrible idea.”

The fact that this is an option in the first place is appalling. The fact that there is someone in the government with input on national defense strategy who raised his hand during a meeting in between Angry Bird sessions and cat videos on his phone and said ‘What about arming al-Qaeda?’ Those are the kind of moronic, useless DC government yuppies who travel in packs on H Street looking for a bar with a large enough craft beer selection to jolt them out of their almost permanent haze of perceived self-importance.

We understand that action needs to be taken, and that the Opposition forces are currently losing the war. But at the same time, we are actively engaged in combat operations against al-Qaeda and their allies. We are quite literally handing weapons to the enemy. This would be tantamount to the British government sending guns and ammo to the IRA to help them fight a Civil War in Northern Ireland. It is almost like the Union sending arms to the Confederates in order to combat an Indian uprising.

To quote a popular expression, “that dog just don’t hunt.” Except it does hunt because we just gave it automatic weapons, it can hunt a lot.

Does everyone understand what is going on? The United States, one day after the 12 year anniversary of the 9/11 Terror Attacks, has now contributed arms to the cause of those same people who perpetrated them. We are now actively supporting a terrorist network, not just a terrorist network, THE terrorist network. It has taken 12 years for the United States government to forget the names of those responsible for thousands of American dead, it has taken 12 years for the government to decide that those lives, and the sacrifice of thousands of service members do not matter anymore. This should hurt, and it should hurt a lot.

What should be running through everyone’s mind is that while we are arming al-Qaeda in Syria, we are fighting them in many other areas. Those same weapons we supply the rebels with in Syria, could be used against our forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkey, or against our allies in Israel.

The potential benefit of this action is far outweighed by the potential harm it could inflict. During his anti-gun campaign several months ago, President Obama declared that any gun law, no matter how stringent, that could save the life of one child was worth trying. The question should be asked of him now; if not sending weapons to the Syrian Opposition saves the life of one American service member, is that worth trying?

Last year on September 11, al-Qaeda reminded the world it is still a threat capable of coordinating global attacks when it organized an assault in Benghazi which resulted in the death of Ambassador Stevens and three others. But the government said it was probably over a video so we shouldn’t worry about it. No matter that the names of the dead flash across the tv screen on CNN every night. No matter that we have spent over half a trillion dollars fighting these terrorists.

It would seem the only thing that matters now is making sure we don’t let the President lose credibility. Our government as it seems, has a memory like a steel trap. Was that steel? Sorry, perhaps pocket lint is more applicable. A trap made of pocket lint.

One would think that we would have learned our lesson by now. What was that? The American people have learned their lesson? The American people have been crying out against arming Syrian rebels?

12 years later, one day after the anniversary, Americans who can still tell you exactly where they were the moment they heard about the first plane hitting the Towers, Americans who still live with the images of falling bodies and burning buildings, Americans who are still afraid to fly, who still send their sons and daughters to war to make sure that it never happens again, are waking up to hear that the President of the United States of America has decided to arm the very people responsible for the worst terrorist attack on American soil.

12 years later, and we have learned nothing.

Source: washington times

Obama Admits Public Doesn’t Want War, But Says He Knows Whats Best

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Obama recognizes that a war with Syria will be unpopular with the American people, but says that it is not their decision to make.

The popular myth in America and most modern democracies is that the general population decides on important issues that effect their lives.  However the reality is very different from this myth.  In reality the general population has no say at all, their only options are to be persuaded by the politicians and get in line, or shut up and deal with it.

During a press conference at the G20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, Obama admitted that a war in Syria would be unpopular with the public, saying that “It’s conceivable that, at the end of the day, I don’t persuade a majority of the American people that it’s the right thing to do.”

The fierce oposition to the war among the general population will be ignored as it always is, because the politicians believe that they know what is best for everyone.

“Each member of Congress is going to have to decide if [they] think it’s the right thing to do for America’s national security and the world’s national security,”Obama said. “Ultimately, you listen to your constituents, but you’ve got to make some decisions about what you believe is right for America.”

“I was elected to end wars and not start them,” Obama said. “But what I also know is that there are times where we have to make hard choices if we’re going to stand up for the things that we care about. And I believe that this is one of those times.”

Obama also told various blatant lies during the press conference, saying that there was a global consensus that the Assad regime used chemical weapons, when sources in many countries including Russia and China have produced evidence proving that it was the rebels who carried out these attacks.

Source: Intellihub

Fifth US warship deployed to Syria

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The United States is sending a fifth warship towards Syria, defense officials said Thursday, upping the ante as a showdown between the US and President Bashar al-Assad’s regime remains all but declared.

A 505-foot-long guided missile destroyer, the USS Stout, has been sent to the Mediterranean Sea to assist the four US warships already deployed to await potential orders to strike Syria amid an international investigation into Assad’s reported use of chemical weapons to gas innocent civilians outside of Damascus last week.

Should the White House ask for an assault on Assad’s regime, the USS Stout and the rest of the seafaring fleet will join an arsenal of US, UK and French warheads already surrounding Syria in every which direction.

The Stout left its home port in Norfolk, Virginia more than a week ago with hundreds of soldiers on board en route to the Mediterranean. In the days since, however, Obama administration officials have suggested that the president has not taken the possibility of ordering a military strike against Syria off the table. Now should an assault be ordered from Washington, the US will have one more option at its disposal with regards to striking from the sea.

Norfolk’s WAVY News reported Thursday morning that the Stout was already on patrol in the eastern Mediterranean, but is now heading east to relieve one of the ships stationed within striking distance of Syria.

According to Sky News, a US defense official said the ship will replace the USS Mahan, but noted that both vessels may remain in place for the time being.

In an official Navy document, the Stout is said to be “equipped with the world’s most sophisticated weapon system,”

The Stout, said the Pentagon paper, “can guide vertically-launched standard missiles to intercept hostile aircraft and missiles at extended ranges.” It’s equipped to fire anti-ship cruise missiles as far away as 65 nautical miles and can perform a sea-to-land attack with deadly Tomahawk missiles.

Meanwhile, Pres. Obama is meeting with members of Congress on Thursday to discuss what the US intelligence community has discovered about the reported use of chemical gas last week.

Earlier in the week, White House press secretary Jay Carney said the administration had not ruled out a strike, and that evidence linking Assad’s regime to chemical weapon use would merit a response that might include military force.

“[W]e have made clear for a long time, notwithstanding our views about the fact that we don’t envision US boots on the ground in Syria, that we retain—and the president retains—all options available to him in Syria, and that includes military options,” Carney said. “And that is the case here in response to this transgression.”

Broadly speaking,” Carney said during a press briefing Tuesday at the White House, “I think it’s important to note that it is in the clear national security interest of the United States that the use or proliferation of chemical weapons on this scale not go unanswered.  The consequences of a dissolution of that norm would be profoundly not in the interest of the United States or in the international community, in particular in this highly volatile region, but also around the world.”

On Wednesday, the Associated Press quoted two unnamed White House officials who said on condition of anonymity that the administration is struggling to decide what Syrian targets could be hit and what kind of response the US would want as a result.

If there is action taken, it must be clearly defined what the objective is and why” and based on “clear facts,” one of those officials said.

They are looking at what is just enough to mean something, just enough to be more than symbolic,” a second official told the Los Angeles Times on condition of anonymity.

Now with a five ships all outside of Syria, at least for now, any strike against Assad’s regime could call upon more firepower than before.

As RT reported earlier this week, the US and its allies have all-but surrounded Syria. The US has military bases in the neighboring countries of Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, and air-defense Patriot missiles are available to the north and south of Syria in Turkey and Jordan, respectively.

Additionally, at least one British cruise missile-carrying nuclear submarine and one French vessel could be sent towards Syria, and the US, UK and Turkey have airbases in the region that could assist with an air-to-land strike using F-16 fighter jets.

During Tuesday’s briefing, Carney said the president would consult with Congress before a strike but did not say explicitly that Obama would ask for permission. According to Carney, confirmation that Assad ordered the use of chemical weapons would violate international norms and warrant a response that would not be necessitated by congressional approval. Pres. Obama will reportedly make available a declassified intelligence report justifying any response aimed towards Syria should elect to take action.

Source

Obama Ignores Congress on Approval For Syria Attack

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The White House has so far failed to respond to a letter signed by 56 bipartisan members of Congress asking President Obama to get congressional approval for an attack on Syria, despite Obama himself affirming the constitutional necessity of such an authorization during his 2008 campaign.

The letter, written by Virginia Rep. Scott Rigell, strongly urges Obama, “to consult and receive authorization from Congress before ordering the use of U.S. military force in Syria, adding, “Your responsibility to do so is prescribed in the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution of 1973.”

It goes on to stress that launching an offensive act of war when the United States is not directly threatened with a green light from Congress is unconstitutional, citing Obama’s decision to order the use of “221 Tomahawk cruise missiles, 704 Joint Direct Attack Munitions, and 42 Predator Hellfire missiles,” against Libya in 2011 with zero congressional approval.

Rigell is asking Obama to reconvene Congress so that lawmakers can carefully study the evidence and the necessity for the United States to become directly embroiled in the conflict in Syria.

According to Rep. Rigell’s official Twitter page, 56 members of Congress from both parties have signed onto the letter, a number which is growing by the hour.

However, on Sunday, Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., the top Democrat on the House Foreign Relations Committee, told Fox News that Congress would not be consulted on the move and that lawmakers would have to “assent” to it at a later date.

It’s highly unlikely that Obama will adhere to the constitution by seeking congressional approval for any assault on Syria given his attitude under similar circumstances before the 2011 attack on Libya.

When Obama faced criticism from Congress over the 2011 attack, he churlishly dismissed the issue, remarking, “I don’t even have to get to the Constitutional question,” before claiming that his authority came from NATO and the UN.

According to Congressman Walter Jones, this amounted to “an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor under article II, section 4 of the Constitution.”

Obama’s hostility towards getting Congressional approval before launching military attacks in ironic given that both he and Vice President Joe Biden made reference to that very necessity during their 2008 campaign. “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation,” Obama said in 2008.

Passed after the Vietnam War, the War Powers Resolution states that the President’s powers as commander-in-chief should be “exercised only pursuant to a declaration of war, specific statutory authorization from Congress, or a national emergency created by an attack upon the United States.”

Obama’s rebuff of Congress during the attack on Libya was followed by former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s astounding claim that the United Nations and NATO have supreme authority over the actions of the United States military.

During a March 2012 Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Panetta responded to a question about whether the administration would consult Congress before future conflicts by responding, “You know, our goal would be to seek international permission. And we would come to the Congress and inform you and determine how best to approach this, whether or not we would want to get permission from the Congress.”

The difference this time around is that Obama is not even bothering to claim his moral authority from the UN, never mind Congress, with the US indicating that it will launch cruise missile strikes within days without first obtaining a UN Security Council resolution.

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Breaking News: Obama Seeking Third Term!

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Earlier this week President Obama said in a speech to supporters that he wished to seek an unprecedented 3rd term as Commander in Chief. He cited his exemplary work at bringing the country back from the brink of economic catastrophe much like former socially minded, populist leader Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Flanked by a few of his most ardent Democrat supporters in Congress he announced the urgency to repeal a portion of the Constitution which forbids the president from seeking a 3rd term. Democrats are already pushing forth legislation which should accomplish just that.

Obama stated:

“I would put [my administration] up against any prior administration since FDR,” Obama said. “We didn’t ask for the challenges that we face, but we don’t shrink from them either.” He continued, “And the truth is, it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over decades. It will require common effort, shared responsibility, and the kind of bold, persistent experimentation that Franklin Roosevelt pursued during the only crisis worse than this one.”

Obama promised in his speech to finally fully implement vital portions of Obama-care (which has been delayed again until 2015), to ensure Americans understand the importance of sacrificing a small degree of privacy for vital security, and institute major Wall Street reform. Also on his agenda is a high speed rail system to be finished in 2020 and paid for by new stimulus money he will attempt to push through Congress in 2014. Socially Liberal Democrats and Progressives cheered the move as a major step forward to a more generous nation-state. Citing Republican obstructionism as the main culprit in his failure to implement these policies he promised us back in his campaign of 2008, he claimed a 3rd and possibly 4th term would give him more of the time he so desperately deserved.

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