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Rubin Reports

Obama has now admitted three very important things.

First, the war on terrorism has not been won.

Second, the war on al-Qaeda has not been won, since its continued campaigning is undeniable and it has even grown in Syria — partly thanks to U.S. policy.

Third, the biggest threat on the American homeland is autonomous terrorists who have been inspired by al-Qaeda but are not technically part of the organization. (That allows Obama to claim to be winning the war on al-Qaeda).

What he has not yet admitted: that the Muslim Brotherhood and other terrorist groups or sponsors controlling Egypt, Tunisia, the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Turkey, Sudan, Syria, and Iran, while terrorists run free in the Palestinian Authority, Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, is not conducive to the protection of America against terrorism. The fact that his policy promotes some of these problems makes things even worse.

Yet the new, expensive, expansive, and time-consuming technological methods are relatively ineffective against the current priorities of anti-American terrorist groups.

Incidentally, Obama policy has been disastrous against radical Islamists. Compared to the time Obama came to office, the Islamists who support violence against America now rule Egypt, Tunisia, the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, and perhaps soon Syria. Offenses have been stepped up in Somalia and Yemen; are being maintained in Iraq; and still rule over Syria and Iran. In Turkey, an Islamist terror-supporting regime has been embraced by Obama.

This represents a massive retreat, even if it is a largely unnoticed one.

So the problem of growing government spying is three-fold.

– It is against the American system and reduces liberty.

– It is a misapplication of resources. Money is being spent and liberty sacrificed for no real gain.

– Since government decision-making and policy about international terrorism is terrible, the threat is increasing.

If you don’t get value or enhanced security while freedom is being reduced and the enemy is getting stronger, $1 trillion certainly isn’t a bargain.


This article is published by PJ Media.

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Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His next book, Nazis, Islamists and the Making of the Modern Middle East, written with Wolfgang G. Schwanitz, will be published by Yale University Press in January 2014. His latest book is Israel: An Introduction, also published by Yale. Thirteen of his books can be read and downloaded for free at the website of the GLORIA Center including The Arab States and the Palestine ConflictThe Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East and The Truth About Syria. His blog is Rubin Reports. His original articles are published at PJMedia.




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Top Rated Comments   
Good analysis, Mr. Rubin. JSenta already nailed it, but my response is: "What a wonderful way to use fear-based marketing to pull the wool over our eyes and institute an 'intelligence' system that's intended to do nothing more than spy on law-abiding Americans, with the intent of slowly and completely stealing our Liberty?" And make the enemy gun owners, returning military veterans, and anybody who still supports the Constitution. Conspiracy theory? No, it's all been said and done already.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What happens if the underlining assumption of collecting metadata on phone calls (to apprehend Islamic terrorists) is false? What if that is not the goal? What if Obama believes his own rhetoric -- that right-wingers and members of the Tea Party and ex-military personnel are as dangerous as certain members of a "religion of peace." So wouldn't finding out who those "enemy" Americans are be worth a trillion dollars to an Obama? Yep, a real "bargain" for the con man in the WH.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Spooks and Peepers scanning systems
Here's my thoughts in case you missed 'em
Building Meta-data Bases
Scooping up our every traces

Director Clapper, you say: "Trust us.
It's for defense, and sometimes justice."
Yes, Mister Clapper, we can see
What a powerful tool, such data could be
But if anything I trust you less
Than I ever did the IRS

And how hard would it really be
For a tactics fan of Alinsky
To morph a track from the wee hours of morn
Into a search for kiddie porn.
So take your Surveillance State Preservers
And shove them up your Secret Servers
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (32)
All Comments   (32)
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This current scandal should have every American wondering if they still live in a free country. How can we claim to be a beacon of freedom and have a constituional right to privacy when the government is spying on every citizen. The stasi, KGB and gestapo were amateurs compared to this administration. I suppose this comment is being monitored and fed to the appropriate agency for punitive action.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Well golly, I guess domestic spying isn't about keeping is safe from terrorist attacks, just like the Affordable Health Care Act is neither affordable nor about health care!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This is what happens when you switch from Humint to Signit as a main source of intelligence gathering. The great state of Isreal still relies heavily on Humint and has good results.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You guys really should join the Democrats, you make about as much sense. Yes, every farm boy who ever fought for American liberty was really just conspiring to take away your guns.

Come next: how have a strong military won't win any wars.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If security was the real issue then the communications of anyone going to a masque would be monitored, including video/audio of everything that goes on there. You don't go looking for KKK members in black churches, so where, would you go to find muslime terrorists?

We have to come to grips with the fact that islam isn't a religion, it's a political movement, and one that is entirely incompatible with any form of democratic government, especially ours.

"If" some say security is worth limited liberty, how then can they not say it is also worth profiling?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment

to which I add:

Barark Obama the biggest and baddest of big government liberal presidents, who's ideologically fixated on bigness (big is beautiful, bigger is better), has applied his blind love for bigness and big government to the NSA's counter terrorism programs- turning the effective fishing pole used by George W. Bush to catch terrorists into a gigantic expensive ever expansive net intrusively gobbling up tons of info from our telephones and internet. And what does Obama have to show for it? 13 dead and 30 injured at Ft. Hood; 4 dead and 280 injured at Boston; 4 dead in Benghazi; 1 dead and 1 injured in Little Rock; and near catastrophes at Times Square and on Christmas Day 2009. Obama's post-9/11 record next to Bush's is abysmal and proves that bigger isn't better when countering jihadist terror.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You nailed it - especially with this sentence:

"There are no technological magic spells: if analysts are incompetent, blocked from understanding the relationship between Islam and terrorism, hindered by political correctness and fear of career costs, and leaders are unwilling to take proper action, who cares how much data was collected?"
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Is anyone going to ask these questions of Dianne Feinstein, Obama, and the other defenders of this dragnet?

While I'm asking depressing questions, is there a Republican presidential prospect who will dare to profile instead of storing my e-mails for eternity?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Fight against Terrorism was never more than a fig leaf. Serious terrorists have known about electronic surveillance for years.

The NSA (hi, guys!) and its backers were always more interested in "business opportunities" and political blackmail. Secretly amassed personal data on regular Americans is of no use in fighting terrorists.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The bottom line is that the fools running our country don't know what to do with info when they have it. They stick their heads in the sand & do nothing. It is a ship of fools with info provided by a ship of fools. Info isn't the problem. The incompetent people we have interpreting it IS the problem! See the 911 terrorists that overstayed their visas. State knew about this, but because they didn't do anything nearly 3,000 people died. Nuff said!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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