Solyndra: next stop for the FBI — the Department of Energy?

**Posted by Phineas

Not only did the DoE work to get the now-bankrupt solar-power manufacturer sweetheart loans (guaranteed with your money), but Energy representatives sat in on the company’s board meetings during the time it’s business was swirling the drain:

When Harrison came to Washington in July, he said, the company was hoping to land more financing to stay afloat. “When we were there, the circumstances of the company, business was good, we had record shipments. We had momentum in the marketplace,” Miller said.

The Energy Department was keeping a close eye on Solyndra during those crucial months – sitting in on board meetings as an observer as part of the loan restructuring, iWatch News and ABC reported Thursday. That raises key questions: Did DOE miss obvious warning signs of the company’s troubles in the final months before its collapse?

So, um… What happened during the board meetings when the bad news was being discussed? Did someone tap the DoE rep on the shoulder and say “Look! It’s Elvis!” ?

Okay, so the needle on the “stink of corruption” dial has gone from “something smells” to “fish rotting in the sun” Either there was gross incompetence here, or backscratching worthy of Tammany Hall (1).

As usual, Allahpundit gets to the heart of the matter:

And yet, and yet, not only did the White House have access to industry reports, they actually had a seat in Solyndra’s board room while the meltdown was in progress. Question one: How is it that, with the buzzards circling, Solyndra was still allowed to refinance its federal loan earlier this year to extend the term of repayment? And question two: If the White House knew firsthand that the company was in trouble, why’d they let the CEO waltz into Congress two months ago and reassure House members that everything was A-OK with the business?

Good questions. It’s time for some answers.

Footnote:
(1) You know it’s bad when even Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) smells a rat.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Call the Wahmbulance: Think Progress lies, claim Bush “taking credit” for killing OBL

Yes, ladies and gents. Bush hatred is still alive and well.  They won’t let it rest.  Even on the eve eve of a very solemn date in our nation’s history.

Just two days before the 10th anniversary of 9-11, the USA Today has published an interview they recently did with our former President in which he talked about his memories of 9-11, and made no apologies for the counterterrorism decisions he and his administration made in its aftermath.   Here are excerpts and their context (bolded emphasis added by me): 

DALLAS – A decade after the terrorist attacks that defined his presidency, George W. Bush said he doesn’t regret any decisions he made after 9/11, including the war with Iraq and the use of controversial interrogation techniques that some considered torture.

Asked if he believes those polices — including the USA Patriot Act, which widened government access to Americans’ communications and records — prevented another attack, he said, “Yes, I do.”

[…]

Bush said the events that led to the death of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in May began during his administration.

“The work that was done by intelligence communities during my presidency was part of putting together the puzzle that enabled us to see the full picture of how bin Laden was communicating and eventually where he was hiding,” he said. “It began the day after 9/11.”

Of course, to the morons and chronic liars at “Think Progress” and other infamously dishonest liberal blogs, Bush’s comments giving credit to the intelligence community  for beginning to put the pieces of the puzzle together during his administration thanks, in part, to counterterrorism tactics he authorized that would later help lead to the termination of Public Enemy Number One equates to Bush “giving himself a pat on the back” for the taking out of OBL.  Here’s the shamelessly false headline at TP:  Bush Credits ‘The Work That Was Done’ During ‘My Presidency’ For Osama Bin Laden’s Death.    They quoted the same part of the USA Today piece that I did.  The Think Progress response to Bush’s remarks starts out like this:

The reality, of course, is that Bush’s attempts to capture or kill bin Laden were huge failures. While it’s been well documented that the Bush administration missed an opportunity to get bin Laden in Tora Bora in 2001, Bush himself subsequently stated publicly that he wasn’t spending much time thinking about getting him. “I truly am not that concerned about him. I am deeply concerned about Iraq,” Bush said in 2002, “I really just don’t spend that much time on him, to be honest with you.” Bush told reporters in 2006 that hunting the al Qaeda leader was “not a top priority use of American resources.”

They go on a bit more into outer space from that, insinuating that the painstaking research and intelligence gathered during Bush’s tenure played no role whatsoever in the tracking down and eventual killing of OBL on Obama’s watch.   How do they come to this brilliant conclusion? Why, because their savior Rambama  supposedly ordered a “renewed focus” on finding OBL shortly after taking office.  Again, from TP:

Soon after he took office, President Obama steered the U.S. on a course to end the war in Iraq and put resources back into finding bin Laden. “Shortly after I got into office,” Obama said in an interview after bin Laden’s death, “I brought [then-CIA director] Leon Panetta privately into the Oval Office and I said to him, ‘We need to redouble our efforts in hunting bin Laden down. And I want us to start putting more resources, more focus, and more urgency into that mission.’”

Think Progress and other liberals rags are certainly entitled to their own opinions, but they are NOT entitled to their own “facts” – especially not over an issue as important and “controversial” as the aggressive interrogation techniques used during the Bush administration, techniques that they drew and quartered both Bush and our intelligence agencies over, techniques that directly led to our Navy Seals taking out OBL.  As was reported not long after it happened (bolded emphasis added by me):

Oh, how sweet it is:

WASHINGTON – Officials say CIA interrogators in secret overseas prisons developed the first strands of information that ultimately led to the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Current and former U.S. officials say that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, provided the nom de guerre of one of bin Laden’s most trusted aides. The CIA got similar information from Mohammed’s successor, Abu Faraj al-Libi. Both were subjected to harsh interrogation tactics inside CIA prisons in Poland and Romania.

There’s conflicting information on where KSM and al-Libi gave up the information. The AP insinuates above that the information on the courier came as a result of enhanced interrogation tactics used on them by the CIA in Poland and Romania. ABC News’ Brian Ross, however, reports that the info was learned via EITs used on the two of them at Gitmo:

And the trail that ultimately led U.S. forces to Bin Laden may have begun with another 9/11 plotter who is now in U.S. custody, Khalid Sheikh Muhammad.

Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, central to both the 9/11 plot and the murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl, was captured by U.S. forces and taken to Guantanamo. In 2007, U.S. officials who were interrogating Guantanamo detainees finally learned the real name of a former Khalid Sheikh Muhammad protégé who had become an important confidante of Abu Faraj al Libi. Al Libi was captured in 2005 and also taken to Guantanamo.

Guantanamo detainees identified the courier who had worked with both KSM and Al Libi as someone who was probably trusted by Bin Laden. Al Libi had actually lived in Abbottabad in 2003, according to his detainee file.

In 2007, U.S. officials learned the courier’s real name. In 2009, they located his region of operation and began tracking him.

Not only that, but here was Bush’s official statement, issued shortly after he learned of OBL’s demise :

Former President George W. Bush congratulated President Obama and the members of the military after learning that the U.S. has successfully killed Usama bin Laden.

“This momentous achievement marks a victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001,” Bush said in a statement. “The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message:  No matter how long it takes, justice will be done.”

Wow, now that really sounds like arrogant self-backpatting, doesn’t it? /sarc

And the proof of all proof that Bush-era counterterrorism measures helped lead to OBL’s eventual death came once it became clear just how desperately the Obama administration wanted to quickly “move on” from the debate on whether or not the “controversial” tactics did in fact aid those efforts.  To them the debate was, of course, a “distraction“:

The chain of clues that led to the Abbottabad compound where Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. special forces early Monday began with human intelligence. Senior administration officials have said key members of bin Laden’s inner-circle were flagged by post-9/11 detainees under interrogation, and that has raised an inescapable question: Did the chain begin with information gleaned from “enhanced interrogation” or waterboarding, the Bush-era technique President Obama and CIA chief Leon Panetta have decried as torture?

The White House insists that not only is the answer unknowable, but ultimately moot. “It’s impossible to know whether information obtained by [Enhanced Interrogation Techniques] could have been obtained by other forms of interrogation,” White House spokesman Tommy Vietor tells TIME. “I think this is a distraction from the broader picture, which is that this achievement was the result of years of painstaking work by our intelligence community that drew from multiple sources.”

[…]

The Obama administration is steering clear of anything declarative. Attorney General Eric Holder told reporters Tuesday that he simply doesn’t know whether EITs could have yielded vital intelligence. “There was a mosaic of sources that lead to the identification of the people,” he said. And the White House is prepared to press the “mosaic” case aggressively.

“Multiple detainees have given us insights into networks of people who might have been close to Bin Laden. And beyond detainee reporting, solid information derived from other sources over many years ultimately helped solve an incredibly complex puzzle,” Vietor says. “The bottom line is this: If we had some kind of smoking gun intelligence from waterboarding in 2003, we would have taken out Osama bin Laden in 2003. So this argument just doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

Gee, that whole “distraction” argument sounds familiar.  It usually comes up whenever our Dear Leader is facing a question and/or an issue he doesn’t want to talk about.

Facts are fascinating things, aren’t they?  Too bad liberals find them inconvenient to their “Obama is a savior, Bush was a fascist dictator” narrative, isn’t it?

And, I find it terribly amusing that 3 years into Obama’s administration,  diehard liberals – including Obama himself –  are still blaming the failing economy on what was “inherited” from President Bush, yet when it comes to the finding and killing of Osama bin Laden, the exact opposite is “truth” to them:  Nothing, no intelligence gathered, no information eventually gleaned after the use of “controversial” techniques, “secret prisons”, etc during the Bush era was used under the Obama administration.  In other words, Obama did not “inherit” the intelligence information gathered during Bush’s tenure that helped pave the path to OBL’s death.

I’ve discovered, and not recently, that there really is only one thing consistent about liberals: The issue of being consistently inconsistent – and untruthful.  Case in point …

Gunwalker: did the FBI cover up evidence in the Brian Terry killing?

**Posted by Phineas

Brian Terry was a US Border Patrol agent killed last year near the Mexican border in Arizona a gun-battle with what were then described as “bandits.” Two of the guns used to kill Agent Terry were traced to a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATF) operation called “Fast and Furious” (aka “Gunwalker”), which allowed the illegal purchase of weapons at US gun shops by straw buyers for Mexican drug cartels and then allowed them to be “walked” over the border to the real buyers.

No, I have no idea what they were thinking, either.

Now evidence has come out that there was a third Gunwalker firearm at Terry’s killing, and that the FBI may have covered it up to protect a confidential informant planted with the cartels:

Sources say emails support their contention that the FBI concealed evidence to protect a confidential informant. Sources close to the Terry case say the FBI informant works inside a major Mexican cartel and provided the money to obtain the weapons used to kill Terry.

Unlike the two AK-style assault weapons found at the scene, the third weapon could more easily be linked to the informant. To prevent that from happening, sources say, the third gun “disappeared.”

In addition to the emails obtained by Fox News, an audio recording from a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent investigating the Terry case seems to confirm the existence of a third weapon. In that conversation, the agent refers to an “SKS assault rifle out of Texas” found at the Terry murder scene south of Tucson.

The FBI refused to answer a detailed set of questions submitted to officials by Fox News. Instead, agency spokesman Paul Bresson said, “The Brian Terry investigation is still ongoing so I cannot comment.” Bresson referred Fox News to court records that only identify the two possible murder weapons.

However, in the hours after Terry was killed on Dec. 14, 2010, several emails written to top ATF officials suggest otherwise.

In one, an intelligence analyst writes that by 7:45 p.m. — about 21 hours after the shooting — she had successfully traced two weapons at the scene, and is now “researching the trace status of firearms recovered earlier today by the FBI.”

In another email, deputy ATF-Phoenix director George Gillett asks: “Are those two (AK-47s) in addition to the gun already recovered this morning?”

Be sure to read the rest.

Meanwhile, I’d sure like to know the answer to Mr. Gillett’s question, wouldn’t you? And, beyond that, where did the third gun go and who gave the orders not to include it in the evidence recovered from the crime scene?

We’re not just talking about a huge federal scandal involving multiple agencies here. A US Border Patrol agent was killed with weapons allowed purposefully to fall into the hands of the bad guys. Simple justice for Agent Terry and his family (who have been treated shabbily by the US Attorney’s office in Arizona) demands that the truth come out.

It’s time for people to start testifying under oath, both before Congress and a grand jury. And if the Obama administration won’t agree to a special prosecutor, then the attorney general offices in the affected states should open their own investigations. Surely there were multiple state laws broken here, too.

via Nice Deb through Michelle Malkin.

RELATED: Earlier Gunwalker posts.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

9/11 ten years later: F-16 pilots were ready to ram Flight 93

**Posted by Phineas

All I can say is… wow:

As remarkable as it seems now, there were no armed aircraft standing by and no system in place to scramble them over Washington. Before that morning, all eyes were looking outward, still scanning the old Cold War threat paths for planes and missiles coming over the polar ice cap.

“There was no perceived threat at the time, especially one coming from the homeland like that,” says Col. George Degnon, vice commander of the 113th Wing at Andrews. “It was a little bit of a helpless feeling, but we did everything humanly possible to get the aircraft armed and in the air. It was amazing to see people react.”

Things are different today, ­Degnon says. At least two “hot-cocked” planes are ready at all times, their pilots never more than yards from the cockpit.

A third plane hit the Pentagon, and almost at once came word that a fourth plane could be on the way, maybe more. The jets would be armed within an hour, but somebody had to fly now, weapons or no weapons.

“Lucky, you’re coming with me,” barked Col. Marc Sasseville.

They were gearing up in the pre-flight life-support area when Sasseville, struggling into his flight suit, met her eye.

“I’m going to go for the cockpit,” Sasseville said.

She replied without hesitating.

“I’ll take the tail.”

It was a plan. And a pact.

I’ll point out that “Lucky” was Lt. Heather “Lucky” Penney, one of America’s first female combat pilots. She was later part of the fighter escort that guarded Air Force One when Bush returned to Washington. This article is one of the first interviews she’s given since that day.

Historian Victor Davis Hanson has often written of the selfless valor and determination of the free citizen-soldier of a republic, as opposed to the slaves of kings and dictators; the pact made by Col. Sasseville and Lt. Penney on September 11th, 2001, is yet another example

No more commentary is necessary. Just read the whole thing.

via The Jawa Report

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)