Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mike Williams' Obama Watch - May 14, 2009

Obama’s DHS report on “rightwing extremism” has been withdrawn:

“It was not authorized to be distributed. It had not even completed its vetting process within the department. It has been taken off of the intel Web sites and the lexicon that went along with it was similarly withdrawn," she [Secretary Napolitano] said.

"Neither were authorized products, and we have now put in place processes. And it turned out there were really no procedures to govern what went out and what didn't before….”

Ed Morrissey:

Unlike its counterpart report on the left wing, it mentioned no actual threats nor reviewed any specific groups with histories of violent action. Those groups exist, and they do try to recruit people, including but not limited to military veterans. Instead of focusing on the groups, though, the DHS report chose to associate broad policy positions with violence as well as describe returning veterans as a potential national-security threat in and of themselves.

On the excuse that there weren’t any procedures in place for vetting:

…that’s not true either. We already know that civil-liberties lawyers at DHS saw the report before it went out and objected to it. DHS released it over their objections. Obviously, a vetting process does exist; it just got overruled. Who made the decision to send out the report over their objections? Why didn’t the vetting process that apparently took place get taken seriously by senior DHS leadership? Is it because they themselves believe what the report said about conservative positions on federalism and abortion?

Also, Obama has now reversed himself on releasing more detainee abuse photographs. Ed Morrissey, again:

What changed? The decision angered the military, which recalled the hysterics over the Abu Ghraib photos. Even Obama’s allies on the decision admitted that the release would damage security and put American troops in more danger, including John Kerry, who said they made great propaganda for our terrorist enemies. With the CIA already battling the White House after the release of the OLC memos, the last thing Obama needed was a war with the Pentagon.

In the end, it may not make much difference. The Supreme Court could uphold the lower court decision to force their release, and [White House counsel] Craig may not bother to work tirelessly to win this appeal anyway. The initial withdrawal of the White House on this appeal will certainly come under scrutiny by the justices. However, that will then be their problem and not Obama’s, a calculation that one wonders how Obama missed in the first place.

And finally, Obama is now considering yet a third reversal -- detaining terror suspects indefinitely. Do you reckon it’s finally sunk in that he and the Dems – not Bush and the Republicans – now own the War on Terror?

They also own the “torture” memos fiasco:

Barring active intervention by Obama, there will be some further level of document release, Congressional investigations, and public hearings.

This presents a problem mostly for Democrats. Republicans who were briefed on the interrogation methods at least will be consistent, for the most part, in maintaining that the methods were lawful and useful. No Republican is going to be harmed politically by the revelations because most Americans support these methods against people like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. If leaks of a Justice Department
report are to be believed, there will be no prosecutions. Republicans are safe politically and legally.

For Democrats, however, the damage could be significant. Nancy Pelosi already has lost a great deal of credibility from her
changing stories. Dozens of other Democrats, including such senior Senators as Jay Rockefeller, apparently also were briefed on the interrogation methods and either were silent, approved, or encouraged the policy.

The irony is that a full blow investigation and hearings will turn mostly on what the Democrats knew, and when they knew it….

This is a very good read if you have some time.

In other news, it appears that the EPA itself is questioning the putative link between carbon dioxide emissions and global warming. Hopefully this will come up during the Congressional debate on cap-and-trade.

Well, let’s give Ann Coulter the last word for today. She’s weighed in on the Miss California brouhaha. Ann starts off:

Not even Dick Cheney can incite the blood-curdling rage of liberals at the sight of a sexy Evangelical Christian. Paula Jones, Katherine Harris, Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin and, most recently, Miss California, Carrie Prejean, have all come under a frenzy of attacks from liberals.

Christians are supposed to be fat, balding sweaty little men with bad complexions. It's liberals who are supposed to be the sexy ones. (I know that from watching "The West Wing" and all movies starring Julia Roberts.)

But sadly for liberals, in real life, the fat, balding sweaty little guy with the bad complexion is Perez Hilton and the smoking-hot babe is Carrie Prejean.

This apparent contradiction incites violent anger in liberals, triggering their famous "fight or flight" response….

Like the late Jesse Helms, sometimes you just gotta love her.