With former CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell’s congressional testimony, a new Iranian ambassador to the UN, and a great UN report on global warming, there’s a lot in one week SGO to catalogue and remember. And to do justice to the week, we have to go at it in reverse order
(For those just joining us, “SGO” is the comprehensively useful acronym for “s*** goin’ on” created by my pal and former SEAL Al Clark.)
At week’s end, retiring Cong. Jim Moran (D-of course, VA-unfortunately) told Roll Call that Congress was underpaid. Before we could see clearly through our laughter-teared eyes, he added that “I understand that it’s widely felt that they underperform, but the fact is that this is the board of directors for the largest economic entity in the world.” And he said all that with a straight face.
Someone who is certainly not underperforming and probably isn’t underpaid is Iranian prez Hassan Rouhani. Liberals were so heartened by his election that they proclaimed — or was it President Obama who personally proclaimed? — that the decades of enmity between Iran and America were over. Before Moran’s moronic remarks, the UN and hangers-on including Amnesty International reported that under the Teflon Ayatollah there has been an inexplicable (to them at least) surge in torture, executions, and other such conduct by the keepers of the flame of the Iranian Revolution. Even before that, Rouhani, or some stand-in, appointed a new Iranian ambassador to the United Nations by the name of Hamid Aboutalebi.
Mr. Aboutalebi, we are assured, is an experienced diplomat so there should be no State Department qualms about issuing him a visa to come to America for UN meetings and whatever else he’s up to. But there is one tiny sticking point on the visa: his diplomatic experience was acquired when Aboutalebi was one of the “students” who took the staff of our embassy in Tehran hostage in 1979. Aboutalebi assured the press that he wasn’t part of the violent takeover of the embassy. He just served as a translator for some of the hostages during their 444-day captivity.
This is another test for Mr. Obama, and he will fail. Rouhani, having scored an historic victory in the initial nuclear weapons deal with Obama, is now testing Obama’s eagerness for a final nuclear deal by the appointment of Aboutalebi. If Obama accedes to the visa to let a former hostage-taking terrorist come to the U.S. (and we have no assurance that the “former” is an appropriate addition to his other credential), Rouhani will know that his path to a permanent nuke deal has been cleared and that Iran can use the cover of the deal to achieve nuclear weapons.
The Iranians will calculate — correctly — that if Aboutalebi’s visa is granted that they will be negotiating with an even more conciliatory Obama than they were able to take to the cleaners in the first round. And keep in mind that Rouhani gave no significant concessions in the first round: no commitment to dispose of all their already-enriched uranium, no destruction of centrifuges, no inspections of certain nuclear weapons-related facilities.
By granting a visa to Aboutalebi — and you can bank on the fact that he will — Obama will signal that the coast is clear for Iran to take the final steps and build a nuclear arsenal at its leisure. And keep in mind — as my friend Walid Phares reminds us — that Iran will only build the nuclear weapons at the very last stage of its program. Meanwhile it is developing the missiles to deliver the nuclear warheads, acquiring the other missiles and radar to protect the nuclear weapons program and the regime itself.
The appointment of Aboutalebi managed to push the congressional testimony of former CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell on the Benghazi scandal out of the news. In his Wednesday testimony Morell admitted that he overruled the advice of the senior CIA official on the ground, but said that he didn’t cherry pick the information about the nature of the attack in formulating the infamous talking points that then-UN Amb. Susan Rice delivered on five Sunday talk shows only a few days after the attacks. (Bob Tyrrell and I recount just how the CIA wilfully ignored the information that came directly from Benghazi in our article in last month’s magazine.)
Morell’s testimony should not surprise anyone given his career’s progression. He is now a part of the Beacon Global Strategies team, which is Hillary Clinton’s campaign staff in waiting where he will be neither underpaid nor underperforming. (In addition to Morell, Beacon Strategies lists more of Hillary’s team including Philippe Reins, reportedly her “enforcer.”)
Republicans seem incapable of — or unwilling to — pursue the real story of Benghazi: what was the CIA doing there? We know from various sources that they were gathering MANPADS — shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles — but it’s not clear what became of them. We have seen a letter from the State Department stating that none were transshipped to Syria for use by the rebels. Is that true? Where did they go? And why hasn’t Speaker Boehner allowed the creation of a special select committee to investigate what happened in Benghazi?
Maybe the missiles were melted by the forces of global warming. The week began with a new report from the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change. That particular group of UN grifters and rent-seekers last reported in 2007 that the world would end as soon as their computer models of the weather got fixed. This time they reported not only that the world would end if the Western world — meaning the United States — didn’t dump an undefined but enormous amount of money into prevention of climate change, but that the end of the world would be preceded by a lot of wars.
The new element in last week’s report was the prediction of wars resulting from global warming. There will be civil wars, international wars, food shortages and more, doncha know, if global warming isn’t stopped. The IPCC has clearly taken a cue from the Obama administration, which has already been burdening the defense budget absurdly with the purchase of “biofuels” — at about five times the normal cost of those fuels — and spending lots of other scarce defense bucks on “greening” the forces.
If you combine what the Obama team has already done with the new UN report, you have the formula for a major raid on the defense budget to pay for more global warming prevention. Never mind that the science of “climate change” is a parody of science, disregard the facts that “global warming” stopped (if it ever existed) in 1996 and that we may be at the beginning of a new mini-ice age. The hyperliberal Obama administration will — by next year and probably sooner — order a shift of a big chunk of the defense budget to preventing the wars that the IPCC says will result from global warming.
For a week that began that badly, it’s no surprise how it ended. Cheer up, folks. This week will probably be worse.