A chilling article this morning from the Wall Street Journal’s Noemie Bisserbe, Benoit Faucon and Stacy Meichtry details the existence and effectiveness of “an underground railroad” for jihandists, linking ISIS-land and Europe. The key finding:
Islamic State’s ability to provide safe harbor to friends and family removes potential obstacles for would-be attackers in the West. They no longer need to be part of a terror group’s rank-and-file to benefit from its resources, according to Western counterterrorism officials and people close to militant networks.
The West has confronted terror networks before, as famously detailed in Claire Sterling’s book with that title of nearly 35 years ago. But then, even in the Carter years, the West was serious about finding and stopping terrorists even as they moved secretly and with the well-financed backing of nation states as large and powerful as the Soviet Union. Courts did not seek to intervene and interfere with investigations into the networks, almost wholly rejected the idea of “terrorist” as “criminal,” as opposed to a combatant wen they were part of a gang or a movement.
Now the senior levels of the Obama Administration seems to spend more time quarreling with Israel than it does alerting the public to the danger that exists and is growing. Indeed, the now infamous “are the Taliban terrorists” exchanges in the White House press room underscore just how confused and adrift the president and his team are on the central issue of the age. Of course another 9/11 is the objective of the newest terror network –and the old one run since 1978 by the Islamic Republic of Iran– and the professionals are doing their best to stop it (them) from happening, but the same underground railroad that gave Hayat Boumeddiene all the assistance she needed can move material of any sort, including the worst things that can be found in all of ISIS occupied Iraq and Syria, Iran has been able to arm Hezbollah to the teeth using its own means of distribution, and don’t forget our new “friends” in Cuba have recently tried to ship arms to the North Koreans.
Networks of bad guys everywhere, and a president who can’t even name the enemy. Tick, tick, tick.
Congressman Mike Pompeo is a member of the House Select Committee on Benghazi and he joined me today to discuss the massive document dump on the Committee by the Department of State and plans for the appearance of former Secretary of State Clinton before the Select Committee:
HH: Joined now by Congressman Mike Pompeo representing Kansas’ 4th Congressional District. You can follow the Congressman @RepMikePompeo on Twitter. Congressman, thank you for joining me. It’s always a pleasure to talk to you.
MP: It’s great to be with you, Hugh. How are you today?
HH: Good. It’s a busy day, I’m sure, on the Intelligence Committee with a massacre in Egypt and I mean, the Hezbollah attacking Israelis and a coup in Yemen. I don’t know if you’ve had any time to spend on the Benghazi Select Committee today. Was that anything going on there today?
MP: So we had a hearing this week where we basically were calling the administration to task for having continued to refuse to provide us documents. And it won’t surprise you, Hugh, a handful of days before the hearing, all of a sudden, they started turning over all kinds of stuff. And so we did get some documents, 15,000 pages of documents that so far as we can tell, no member of Congress has seen before. I don’t know why they were kept from previous committees. We are now plowing through those. But the list is not yet complete. We’ve got lots of witnesses left to talk to, and go over a whole bunch of documents that have not been turned over. Continue Reading
As Marco Rubio collects early support from key supporters, Scott Walker surges in grass roots’ awareness, Chris Christie organizes his fundraising, Jeb Bush wins the Murdoch primary, and Mitt Romney launches Campaign 3.0, the key task for every would be GOP-nominee is to study and understand former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and of course her famous husband. She is going to be the Democratic nominee, and the GOP nominee should be the individual best positioned to beat her, which means first knowing her history and especially her record at State and her time as the architect of Obamacare 1.0 from 1993-1994. It means knowing her endorsement of the president’s immigration executive order and her Twitter applause of the president’s State of the Union including its doomed plan to tax 529 plans.
Yes, it means even reading her ghastly and grindingly dull memoirs. And it means preparing, memorizing and delivering a concise recollection of the Bill Clinton years, one that always ends as his tenure did with the name Marc Rich.
To be the GOP nominee coming out of Cleveland means knowing everything about Hillary and Bill and being able to effortlessly detail her almost unbelievable record of failing upwards over her twenty-five years in the Beltway.
This isn’t opposition research so much as it is cramming for a history final that will be given every day between now and election day 2016. It is a huge advantage for the GOP to know their opponent this far out and for Hillaryworld to be left having to prepare for any of a dozen possible nominees. An “open” convention in Cleveland is the worst scenario for Democrats even though some in the GOP recoil from the prospect, but the barrage that opened on Romney from early 2012 simply won’t be possible with a nominee hidden behind the curtain of a complicated delegate hunt that may not resolve until late in the Cleveland convention.
While Team Hillary scrambles to try and ding a dozen potential opponents, the same set of possible GOP nominees ought to be volleying every day at her, in every speech, as the Cruzs, Jindals, Pauls and the rest of the gang fan out across the country seeking support and momentum. Defining Hillary as a certified failure in the past and a certain failure at 1600 is the task of every GOP candidate and operative.
And the GOP Congressional majority can be of great help in this task. The news that Hillary has agreed to testify before the select committee on Benghazi –she had little choice but could have put up a fight– is the perfect example of how the Republicans in Congress ought to be conducting their oversight with an eye on 2016. From that hearing should come not photo ops and sound bytes for the members of the Committee but a detailed indeed exhaustive timeline of what did she know and do that night and why did she do it. This requires patient, steady questioning and a willingness to take the slings and arrows of the Hillary Defense Club inside the Beltway MSM, but it is a crucial task.
As will be the oversight hearings in both the House and the Senate on Obamacare’s many failures and how their cumulative toll on the American health care system is rooted in the plans basic design which was first crafted by –wait for it– Hillary in 1993. Similarly her rhetoric about the president’s economic plan unveiling in the State of the Union and his executive order in effect suspending enforcement of the country’s immigration laws should come in for thorough review by witnesses under oath. She has a team of surrogates in waiting. The Republican Congress ought to be keeping them busy.
Every great coach –Urban Meyer, Nick Saban, yes, even Belichick– would kill for a year and a half to prepare a game plan for one opponent on whom the tape in the vault is endless. The GOP nomination process is going to be messy and exciting, but the blocking and tackling of the campaign should be directed at Hillary.
Every day, all day, by every participant. As the Kochs and others collect cash and commitments and build out their apparatus for the 2016 race, here’s hoping almost none of it is spent trying to anticipate or influence the will of the GOP primary electorate, and almost all of it goes into assuring the public understands the full measure of the catastrophes Hillary has left in her long wake inside of D.C.’s elite.