February 2008

Instapundit links to a UK Times report on the shady deals behind Obama’s purchase of a $1.65 million mansion in Chicago. I noticed that the two principals named in the report have Middle Eastern connections:

The spotlight fell on Mr Rezko’s ties to Mr Auchi last month when the Chicago businessman was thrown in jail for violating his bail terms by failing to declare a different $3.5 million loan from the British billionaire, made in April 2007. Prosecutors feared Mr Rezko, who travels widely in the Middle East, might flee to a country without an extradition treaty such as his birthplace of Syria.

Mr Auchi founded his Luxembourg-based General Mediterranean Holding (GMH) in 1979, a year before he left Iraq. He says that he did business with his native country when it was considered a friend of the West but ceased to trade with the late Saddam Hussein’s regime once sanctions were imposed after the invasion of Kuwait.

Mr Rezko has told a court that Mr Auchi is a “close friend.” Mr Auchi’s lawyer told The Times: “It is untrue that my client and Mr Rezko are ‘close friends’. Mr Auchi first met Mr Rezko after the 2003 Iraq war and they have a business relationship.”


So far, Googling suggests Rezco is a Syrian-born Christian and Nadhmi Auchi is Iraqi-born Muslim.


In his WPO column , Robert Novak writes:

The recess by House Democrats amounts to a judgment that losing the generous support of trial lawyers, the Democratic Party’s most important financial base, would be more dangerous than losing the anti-terrorist issue to Republicans. Dozens of lawsuits have been filed against the phone companies for giving individuals’ personal information to intelligence agencies without a warrant. Mike McConnell, the nonpartisan director of national intelligence, says delay in congressional action deters cooperation in detecting terrorism.

Big money is involved. Amanda Carpenter, a Townhall.com columnist, has prepared a spreadsheet showing that 66 trial lawyers representing plaintiffs in the telecommunications suits have contributed $1.5 million to Democratic senators and causes. Of the 29 Democratic senators who voted against the FISA bill last Tuesday, 24 took money from the trial lawyers (as did two absent senators, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama).

As of now, our intelligence system is flying blind. This is a very dangerous situation. Nancy Pelosi’s good friend in Syria, President Bashar Assad, and his allies, will take revenge on the US and Israel for the assassination of Imad Mughniyeh. At Pajamas Media, Youssef M. Ibrahim writes:

Yet there is something deeply satisfying about the assassination of Islamofascist terror master Imad Mughniyeh before the stroke of midnight the other day in the central command post of Islamofascist movements inside Damascus, Syria.

Whoever planned it scored a blow so hard, so disturbing, it brought the secret services of Iran, Syria, Hamas and Lebanon’s Shiite Hezbollah all together into Syria’s capital where they are now trying to figure out what happened.

In a chaotic eulogy, the man’s boss Hezbollah’s chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, practically promised war on Israel -the presumed doer-, America, and the West. Following nearly 24 hours of silence, the Syrian official media acknowledged the bomb in its bosom; decrying it as a ”flagrant violation of international law” the first time such concern for civility has been demonstrated by a regime steeped in murder.

In short order the man in charge of Hezbollah’s special operations for nearly three decades, wanted in 42 countries, a killer of hundreds of Americans including Marines, CIA folks and diplomats, a man whose reach wrecked a Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires as well an American oil workers’ housing complex in Saudi Arabia, a multinational terrorist born in Lebanon, who resides in Tehran and travels under deepest Syrian cover, was blown away as he stepped out of an intelligence meeting in a plush Damascus residential neighborhood of his mentor state. And no one left a note. [my bold]

In a NY times Op Ed, Ronen Bergman gives us insight into the sort of intelligence the Democrats have willfully shut down:

Mr. Mugniyah’s men blew up the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, killing 29 people and wounding more than 220. Two years later, in July of 1994, a suicide bomber struck at the offices of a Jewish community organization in Buenos Aires, killing 85. A joint investigation by Mossad and the Central Intelligence Agency uncovered clear evidence of Mr. Mugniyah’s involvement in all three bombings. The telephone monitors of the United States National Security Agency turned up “not a smoking gun, but a blazing cannon,” in the words of a Mossad official. A senior Hezbollah operative, Talal Hamiyah, was taped rejoicing with Mr. Mugniyah over “our project in Argentina” and mocking Israeli security services for not preventing it.

We have witnessed huge companies bankrupted by trial lawyers. The asbestos and the silicone breast implant sagas confirm the power of the trial lawyers to wreak havoc. The telecom companies are already under threat from trial lawyers for cooperating with US intelligence services. Without immunity from civil suits filed by the “Democratic Party’s most important financial base”, they are understandably loathe to continue cooperating with US intelligence agencies.

How soon we forget how dangerous our enemies are. How soon we forgot the 241 US serviceman killed by one of Mughniyeh’s operations. In the world of Pelosi, Obama and Clinton, 9/11 never was. So far as the Democrats and their presidential candidates are concerned, spying on our enemies is wrong if it puts the donations from trial lawyers at risk.

The Democrats have left me no choice. I have to support McCain 100%.

Update: The President is holding Pelosi and company to account:

The Senate sent this bill to the House for its approval. It was clear that if given a vote, the bill would have passed the House with a bipartisan majority. I made every effort to work with the House to secure passage of this law. I even offered to delay my trip to Africa if we could come together and enact a good bill. But House leaders refused to let the bill come to a vote. Instead, the House held partisan votes that do nothing to keep our country safer. House leaders chose politics over protecting the country — and our country is at greater risk as a result.

House leaders have no excuse for this failure. They knew all along that this deadline was approaching, because they set it themselves. My administration will take every step within our power to minimize the damage caused by the House’s irresponsible behavior. Yet it is still urgent that Congress act. The Senate has shown the way by approving a good, bipartisan bill. The House must pass that bill as soon as they return to Washington from their latest recess.

At this moment, somewhere in the world, terrorists are planning a new attack on America. And Congress has no higher responsibility than ensuring we have the tools to stop them.

Massachusetts is the bluest of blue states yet Romney won there. So, he governed from the liberal wing of the GOP, rather than the conservative wing. But, what else would you expect? He wasn’t going to get elected if he ran to the right of Barry Goldwater. By most accounts, he did a reasonable job in a liberal state with a Democrat legislature. He has proven executive experience in a hostile environment.