Family Security Matters
by LAWRENCE SELLIN, PHD
Major General Michael K. Nagata is commander of U.S. Special Operations forces in the Middle East and is in charge of a Pentagon mission that will train and equip Syrian rebels to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), also known as the Islamic State (IS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Nagata assembled an unofficial group of consultants outside the traditional realms of expertise within the Pentagon, State Department and intelligence agencies, in search of fresh ideas and inspiration to answer the question; what makes the ISIS so dangerous?
“We do not understand the movement, and until we do, we are not going to defeat it,” Nagata said, according to the confidential minutes of a conference call he held with the experts. “We have not defeated the idea. We do not even understand the idea.”
The general said, “They are drawing people to them in droves. There are I.S. T-shirts and mugs” and asked “What makes I.S. so magnetic, inspirational?”
The answer is simple – they have been winning. Few people buy T-shirts and mugs of losing sports teams.
Except it didn’t work.
In a letter to the Pentagon released Wednesday, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R., Calif.) said a payment was made to an Afghan intermediary early this year to help secure the May 31 release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was held for nearly five years by the Haqqani Network in Pakistan, which is classified as a terrorist organization.
Pentagon officials have denied paying cash to secure the release of Sgt. Bergdahl, who was captured in Afghanistan in 2009. A senior defense official reiterated that denial when asked about Mr. Hunter’s letter.
According to Mr. Hunter, the intermediary took the money but disappeared and failed to secure Sgt. Bergdahl’s release. Mr. Hunter didn’t specify how much money was paid to the Afghan intermediary, and didn’t identify the sources of his information.
The Haqqani Network is worse than the Taliban in some ways. It’s a lot closer to Al Qaeda to the extent of nearly being it. It’s also responsible for killing a lot of people.
Funding it is worse than funding the Taliban. But on top of that, the whole thing also fell through which makes the entire operation look more like clown college than ever with the whole thing culminating in the release of top Taliban leaders.
Obama has been on his high horse about the Europeans paying ransoms to ISIS and other Al Qaeda groups. He has a point. That money helped it become a major threat. But his position is going to be significantly undermined if it turns out that the US was paying ransoms.
Furthermore Qatar’s involvement already looks like plausible deniability payments with the Qataris paying the money while getting benefits from their relationship with the administration. If actual money changed hands to HQ or someone associated with them, that means that Obama has come dangerously close to funding Al Qaeda.
This photo shows the interior of a chemical weapons facility in Iraq (AP)
American troops were exposed to chemical weapons multiple times in the years following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, while the Pentagon kept their discoveries of the expired or degraded weapons secret from investigators, fellow soldiers, and military doctors, according to a published report.
The New York Times reported late Tuesday that American troops reported finding approximately 5,000 chemical warheads, shells, or aviation bombs in the years following the 2003 invasion of Iraq. On at least six occasions, soldiers were wounded by those weapons, which had been manufactured before 1991. In all, the paper reported that 17 U.S. soldiers and seven Iraqi police officers were exposed to chemical agents during the war. The U.S. government said its number was slightly higher, but did not release a specific figure.
The paper reported that most of the agents were discovered around the Muthanna State Establishment northwest of Baghdad, which had been a center of chemical weapons production in the 1980s. The complex has been held by Islamic State militants since June. The Iraqi government told the United Nations that approximately 2,500 chemical rockets remained on the grounds of the facility when it had fallen to the militants.
Islamic State fighters sit on a captured 2S1 Gvozdika self-propelled howitzer during a parade in Raqqa, Syria, on June 30, 2014. AP View Enlarged Image
Islamic State: A campaigning president assured us that al-Qaida was in retreat and its Syrian spin-off was just “JV.” Now the Pentagon admits that this al-Qaida spawn is worse. The U.S. never had to allow this situation.
To get an idea of why this White House has placed America in what Senate Armed Services Committee ranking Republican James Inhofe of Oklahoma calls “the most dangerous position we’ve ever been in as a nation,” we turn to one of Obama’s biggest mainstream media devotees.