Friday, November 07, 2008

Strike Two for Obama

Well, I am now starting to get nervous. But, what else did I really expect?

A mere 12 hours after claiming the Democratic presidential nomination, Barack Obama appeared before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee yesterday -- and changed himself into an Israel hard-liner.

He promised $30 billion in military assistance for Israel. He declared that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force has "rightly been labeled a terrorist organization." He used terms such as "false prophets of extremism" and "corrupt" while discussing Palestinians. And he promised that "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided."

Vowing to stop Tehran from getting a nuclear weapon, the newly minted nominee apparent added: "I will always keep the threat of military action on the table to defend our security and our ally, Israel. Do not be confused."




Drunk George Tenet lashed out at Bush’s neocons: ‘The Jews’ who tried to ‘pin the Iraq WMD fiasco on him.’


My Call for former CIA field officer (and Ron Paul's foreign policy advisor) Philip Giraldi which is linked over at NEOCONZIONISTTHREAT.COM and mentioned George Tenet and AIPAC operative Dennis Ross as well:

Listen to the 'Liberty Hour' interview with Philip Giraldi via the 'Hour 1' link at the following URL:

Israel's 'Get Out of Jail Free' Card

Philip Giraldi


Will Obama End Pay-to-Play in MidEast Policy?
by Grant F. Smith

The incoming Obama administration is scrambling to distance
itself from the scandal emanating from the president-elect's
home state. It is still too early to tell how much Illinois Gov.
Rod Blagojevich's alleged attempt to sell the president-elect's
Senate seat in exchange for $1 million may taint Obama
advisers. But we may soon discover the answer to a larger
question. Is pay-to-play going to be the modus operandi for
Obama's Middle East policy appointments?

Two former Clinton administration officials, Dennis Ross and
Martin Indyk, may provide the answer. They have recently been
energized by Hillary Clinton's nomination as secretary of state,
and both are attempting to stage a comeback. Absent any
record of accomplishment--policy or electoral--Ross and
Indyk have always counted on a presidential nod for influence.
When placed alongside Bill Clinton's auctioneering of the
levers of power, Blagojevich's does not seem particularly
corrupt. Blagojevich at least evidenced a modicum of patriotism
by limiting his sale of positions to U.S. nationals. Bill Clinton
and the Democratic National Committee squeezed more
cash out of the Israel lobby for highly sensitive appointments
than Blagojevich would have ever dreamed possible. Clinton
received the highest bid from Israeli-American media
entrepreneur and American Israel Public Affairs Committee
(AIPAC) super-donor Haim Saban.

Saban was famously quoted by the New York Times on
Sept. 5, 2004, saying, "I'm a one-issue guy, and my issue is
Israel." Saban played a decisive role in shaping Clinton policy
through his largesse to AIPAC and the Democratic Party and
his subsidization of a stable of appointees-in-waiting. Saban
hosted a $3.5 million fundraiser for Democrats during Bill
Clinton's presidential campaign against George H.W. Bush.
Saban was so anxious to maintain his lead donor influence
with the Democratic Party that when he learned another donor
had topped his contributions by a quarter-million dollars, he
immediately sent the DNC a $1 bill clipped to a $250,000 check.

Saban served on President Clinton's Export Council advising
the White House. But Saban really made his mark pulling
strings for former AIPAC lobbyist Martin Indyk's installation as
U.S. ambassador to Israel in 1995. This was no easy feat.
As a foreign national, Indyk first had to receive rush preferential
naturalization to become a citizen eligible to serve as a U.S.
ambassador. Indyk's overshadowing accomplishment while
in Israel was having his security clearances revoked for
mishandling classified information.

Indyk's lack of achievements for the American people were
exceeded only by Clinton appointee Dennis Ross' failures
as Middle East envoy during critical peace negotiations.
Ross' biases manifested themselves in his utter failure to
push for a fair and contiguous territory for Palestinians. This
earned the American team a revealing nickname: "Israel's
lawyer." After leaving the Clinton administration, Ross retired
to a think-tank founded by AIPAC board members. Indyk
found a newer and even more influential niche to call home.
In 2002 Haim Saban pledged $13 million to carve the new
Saban Center for Middle East Policy out of the staid old
Brookings Institution. Martin Indyk became its director. In
2003 Brookings was the single most cited think-tank in the
American news media. The Saban Center played a vital public
relations role by creating the illusion of full spectrum political
support for the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Brookings' exhortations
for war, immortalized by Martin Indyk's essay "Lock and Load,"
assured Americans that Saddam Hussein probably possessed
weapons of mass destruction but that in any case Iraq could
only be neutralized by U.S. military force--if the U.S. moved
quickly enough. Was all of this pay-to-play? Probably, though
not necessarily criminally so. One must fast-forward to the
2008 Obama versus Clinton showdown for the Democratic
Party presidential nomination to find a closer resemblance
to Chicago-machine-style patronage for the highest bidder.

Anxiety again overcame Haim Saban when he offered two
superdelegates at the Young Democrats of America a $1
million contribution to their nonprofit in return for throwing
their support to Hillary Clinton. Four independent witnesses
claimed this crude pay-to-play gambit occurred right before
the North Carolina and Indiana primaries, though Saban
denied it and no criminal charges were ever filed. It is hard
to see the substantive difference between Saban and
Blagojevich, beyond one acting as a president purchaser
and the other as a Senate seller. But there is in fact a much
bigger difference: the Israel lobby 's prosecutorial immunity,
which was institutionalized in secret by the U.S. Justice
Department during the 1960s. From this perspective,
Saban's move can be seen along a much larger continuum
of efforts to secure sensitive Middle East policy posts in order
to steer U.S. policy toward Israeli objectives. Though many
appear to violate the law, few are ever even investigated.

Saban and the Middle East--not Blagojevich and Illinois--
are why this sudden and unexpected law enforcement
intrusion into the quiet realm of pay-to-play matters. The
hapless governor of Illinois enjoys neither Saban's finesse
nor prosecutorial immunity. But Blagojevich's gambit does
direct unwanted attention to larger pay-to-play forces in
continuous operation behind the scenes in Washington.
The scandal may take pressure off Obama to acquiesce
to the subtle but omnipresent mandates of the Israel lobby.
After all, Obama, with his decisive, grassroots-powered win,
doesn't appear to owe Saban or AIPAC's team any political
debts for past services rendered. Like Rahm Emanuel and
to some extent Hillary Clinton, they are but opportunistic
latecomers to Obama's movement. If Emanuel was captured
implicating himself on tape with Blagojevich, he could quickly
become dead weight to the new Camelot. Given the current
spotlight on pay-to-play, a Ross and Indyk comeback in light
of Saban's latest tawdry gambit could begin to weigh on
Obama's most valued personal commodities--credibility
and integrity--and not just the already long-tarnished Middle
East political appointee process.

The stakes could not be higher. Ross has already issued
an error-laden, blustering manifesto that is little more than
a roadmap for U.S. military strikes on Iran. Will the crudest
forms of pay-to-play ultimately win out? If we see Dennis
Ross and Martin Indyk join other AIPAC veterans streaming
into sensitive posts, the answer will be clear.


12/18/2008 06:50:00 PM  

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