Barack And The Bad Guys

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Now, Here's A Surprise
Avi Yellin is reporting that Barack Obama has decided to lift a ban preventing Muslim scholar and professor Tariq Ramadan from entering the United States.  Ramadan, an Egyptian currently living in Switzerland, is a leading member of Europe’s Muslim Brotherhood branch and the grandson of the movement’s founder Hassan al-Banna.  The Muslim Brotherhood is the parent organization for Hamas and some of the groups that recently merged into al-Qaeda, including Ayman al Zawahiri’s Egyptian Islamic Jihad.

Ramadan was invited to teach at the University of Notre Dame in 2004 but the George W. Bush administration revoked his visa, citing a statute that applies to those who have "endorsed or espoused" terrorism.  The administration later dropped the terror endorsement claim and linked the ban to $1,336 in donations Ramadan made between 1998 and 2002 to a Swiss charity that was later blacklisted by the US.

Although the White House asked the court last March to uphold the Bush-era entry ban on Ramadan, Obama has now decided to lift the ban and possibly allow both Ramadan and South African Muslim activist Professor Adam Habib onto American soil.  State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters that the government no longer views Ramadan or Habib as representing threats to the United States.  "The next time Professor Ramadan or Professor Habib apply for a visa, they will not be found inadmissible on the basis of the facts that led to denial when they last applied.
Now, Here's A Surprise
Avi Yellin is reporting that Barack Obama has decided to lift a ban preventing Muslim scholar and professor Tariq Ramadan from entering the United States.  Ramadan, an Egyptian currently living in Switzerland, is a leading member of Europe’s Muslim Brotherhood branch and the grandson of the movement’s founder Hassan al-Banna.  The Muslim Brotherhood is the parent organization for Hamas and some of the groups that recently merged into al-Qaeda, including Ayman al Zawahiri’s Egyptian Islamic Jihad.

Ramadan was invited to teach at the University of Notre Dame in 2004 but the George W. Bush administration revoked his visa, citing a statute that applies to those who have "endorsed or espoused" terrorism.  The administration later dropped the terror endorsement claim and linked the ban to $1,336 in donations Ramadan made between 1998 and 2002 to a Swiss charity that was later blacklisted by the US.

Although the White House asked the court last March to uphold the Bush-era entry ban on Ramadan, Obama has now decided to lift the ban and possibly allow both Ramadan and South African Muslim activist Professor Adam Habib onto American soil.  State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters that the government no longer views Ramadan or Habib as representing threats to the United States.  "The next time Professor Ramadan or Professor Habib apply for a visa, they will not be found inadmissible on the basis of the facts that led to denial when they last applied.

Related:  Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood and Revolution

Related:  Muslim Brotherhood Declares War on America.  Will America Notice?

Related:  The Muslim Brotherhood on the March
Obama's Strategic Outreach To Hezbollah
Haaretz Service says Barack Obama is considering reaching out to the political elements in Hezbollah, stressing that the at this stage it was an intelligence effort, not a policymaking one.

In an opinion piece appearing on the Washington Post's online edition, columnist David Ignatius indicated that Washington was considering an effort similar to the one the U.K, implemented "during the 1990s with Sinn Fein, the legal political wing of the terrorist Irish Republican Army."

"That outreach led to breakthrough peace talks and settlement of a conflict that had been raging for more than a century," Ignatius wrote, adding that several U.S. officials were expected to endorse dialogue with political elements of both Hezbollah and the Taliban in an upcoming intelligence report.

Writing of the effect recent Mideast turmoil may have had on Obama's decision to accept these recommendations, the Washington Post writer said that the "political time bomb ticking away in the [intelligence report] is the question of whether the United States should seek some kind of direct or indirect engagement with Hezbollah -- at least with its political wing."

"Officials who support this course argue that the organization is like the IRA or the PLO -- with nonmilitary components that can be drawn into a dialogue," Ignatius added.

Ignatius quotes in his article one intelligence official, John Brennan, known for supporting a move toward dialogue with the Lebanese militant group, as saying that while "Hezbollah started out as purely a terrorist organization back in the early ’80s," it has "evolved significantly over time."

"The bottom line," the Washington Post article concluded, "is that after a decade of American wars in the Middle East, Obama is increasingly looking for ways to talk with adversaries and draw them into a process of dialogue."

"The world is changing, and perhaps so should U.S. policy," he added, referring to the policy of the US not negotiating with terrorists.
    
    
Where have we seen that salute and that "goose step" before?
    
Talk about apples and oranges!

Sinn Fein was not a government organization.  Sinn Fein was not funded by the Republic of Ireland.  Sinn Fein was not meddling in France.  Sinn Fein was not exporting a Catholic revolution.

Hezbollah is
the strategic military arm of the Iranian government, created by the Iranian government, funded by the Iranian government, and is primarily a military organization, not a political one.  Brennan's dissimulation, describing Hezbollah as only a "Lebanese militant group," won't change that.

Negotiating with Hezbollah is a win-lose situation.  Hezbollah wins.  America, and her allies, lose.  The perfect Obama negotiation.

In the end, Obama will try to buy off these guys, who will accept Obama's baksheesh, an outright bribe, and then go about their business -- to propagate the Iranian revolutionaries' theories and the revolution -- and they'll end up using American tax dollars to do it.
Obama Signals Willingness To Arm Libyan Rebels
CNN says that on a day when opposition forces in Libya suffered battlefield losses, Barack Obama made clear in interviews Tuesday with the three major U.S. television networks that he was open to arming the rebel fighters. (video)

"I'm not ruling it out, but I'm also not ruling it in," Obama told NBC in one of the separate interviews he gave the day after a nationally televised speech on the Libya situation.

"I think it's fair to say that if we wanted to get weapons into Libya, we probably could," Obama told ABC.  "We're looking at all our options at this point."

Obama also signaled a willingness to negotiate a settlement to the conflict with Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, but only based on the condition that Gadhafi would relinquish power as called for by the United States and its allies.

Asked about the chances of Gadhafi fleeing or losing vital support from his family and top aides, Obama said that he believes those close to the Libyan leader likely feel what he called a tightening noose.

"I think that Gadhafi's camp, people around him, are starting to recognize that their options are limited and their days are numbered, and so they are probably reaching out to a range of different people," Obama told CBS.  "But that information may not have filtered to Gadhafi yet and I think it's too early for us to start having formal negotiations."

Related:  More than 1,000 "freelance jihadists" join Libyan rebels

Related:  Hillary Clinton says UN Resolution gives US authority to arm Al-Qaeda-linked Libyan rebels
Obama Authorizes Direct Aid To Libyan Rebels
Yochi J. Dreazen and Marc Ambinder are reporting the CIA has sent more than a dozen covert operatives to Libya as part of an escalating U.S. effort to vet the rebels working to oust Libyan strongman Muammar el-Qaddafi and lay the groundwork for funneling American aid to the insurgents, according to a person with direct knowledge of the CIA operations there.

The CIA's deployment to Libya, which is virtually certain to expand in the coming days, comes amid word that Obama has authorized U.S. intelligence agencies to provide direct assistance to the Libyan rebels.  There are no U.S. military personnel on the ground in Libya yet, though the United Kingdom, America's closest battlefield ally, has several dozen Special Air Service commandoes and M16 agents already operating there.  News of the CIA deployments to Libya was first reported by The New York Times and then independently confirmed by National Journal.

The CIA operations inside Libya highlight the delicate balancing act that the Obama administration is facing when it comes to the U.S.-led military intervention there.  Obama has been adamant that there will be no U.S. military "boots on the ground" inside Libya, and U.S. Special Operations personnel in nearby countries have been placed on high-alert but not yet deployed, according to military officials familiar with the matter.

But with the administration openly considering direct assistance to Libya's rebels, the administration appears to have decided that it needed to get CIA operatives into position there to make contact with Libya's disparate insurgents and begin orchestrating the logistics of providing weaponry, money, and other forms of aid to the fighters.

The small teams of CIA operatives are currently clustered primarily in eastern Libya, the de-facto rebel capital, according to the person with knowledge of their activities. Beyond the outreach efforts to Libya's rebels, the U.S. personnel are also meant to gather frontline intelligence about possible targets for future coalition airstrikes, this person said.

The CIA personnel are thought to have deployed to Libya after Obama signed a Presidential Finding authorizing American intelligence agencies to provide aid to the rebels.  It's not known whether the finding covers weaponry and armaments or is limited to money, communication gear, and other forms of non-lethal assistance.  News of the classified authorization was first reported by Reuters.

The CIA declined to comment.

Continue reading here . . .

Related:  Wave of Al-Qaeda Fighters Heading to Libya From Afghanistan
Reagan Confronted "Evil Empire," Obama Retreats From Evil Islamists
Barack Obama won’t warn the American public about the dangers that Islamic extremism poses because he’s afraid of offending Muslims, former Reagan Cabinet member Bill Bennett tells Newsmax.TV.

Bennett, co-author of a new book on Muslim extremism entitled "The Fight of Our Lives," contends that Obama’s strategy against radical Islam is confused and hesitant -- contrasted with President Ronald Reagan’s clear and firm strategy against communism.

"The main responsibility of the president of the United States is to keep the country safe and to identify the threats we have and make plain to the citizenry what we must do to protect ourselves," Bennett said.  "There’s been a failure of this administration to describe the nature of this threat . . . There’s a reluctance to talk about Islamic extremism.

"This is due to an unnecessary sensitivity to people’s religious sensitivities.  We understand that Islam is a religion, a legitimate religion.  Most American Muslims are loyal to America, but there is a problem with radical Islam and it needs to be stated plainly and simply."

Bennett, who was education secretary under Reagan and drug czar for President George H.W. Bush, hosts "Bill Bennett’s Morning in America."  He co-authored the new book with Seth Leibsohn, the producer of Bennett’s nationally syndicated radio show.

There is a clear contrast between Reagan and Obama when it comes to dealing with their respective threats to the United States: communism and radical Islam, Bennett said.

"Reagan was clear and direct and, as he said, his strategy was, 'We win, they lose'" Bennett said.  "Barack Obama’s strategy seems to be so far, we’ll muddle through, we’ll dither, we’ll maybe do the right thing occasionally but maybe too late and we want to be sure no one thinks that we think we’re anything special.  I prefer the Reagan approach."

Obama’s actions in Libya are typical of the bewildering message the administration has sent to the Middle East, where the United States has gone into eight countries in the past 20 years with the sole purpose of liberating Muslims, Bennett said.

"We have been . . . the greatest force for the liberation, freedom of people of the Islamic faith the world has ever seen . . . We are frankly the salvation of many Muslims who are in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere and possibly, maybe, in Libya and who knows what other places.  But I’m afraid that message is confused."

The Obama administration’s reluctance to confront radical Islam publicly has been used against the country.  Leibsohn cited the Fort Hood, Texas, shootings, where Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan is alleged to have killed 13 and wounded dozens of others.  Hasan spoke about "pouring hot oil down the throats of unbelievers . . . about killing infidels and no one wanted to say anything because they were afraid they would be called bigots or they would put at risk their careers," Leibsohn said.

Bennett also commented on the mirror-image hearings on American Muslims that recently took place in the House and the Senate. Rep.  Peter King, R-N.Y., convened a hearing to look at the radicalization of American Muslims, while Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., called one on the protecting the civil right of American Muslims.

"It’s perfectly fine for both of them to have hearings, but you’re not going to hear the charges of McCarthyism made against Dick Durbin as they were made against Peter King," he said.  "Peter King is exactly right to talk about the question of the attempt to radicalize American Muslim youth.

"Right now in the world at large, three of the major leaders of al-Qaida in the world were either born or raised in the United States of America, that’s a frightening thing to hear.  But we nurtured three leaders of al-Qaida international."
Obama Supports Muslim Genocide
In this video, Barack Obama throws his support behind the Muslim Alassane Ouattara in the civil war in the Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire).  Surprise!

Ouattara, a Muslim rebel leader, has been committing genocide against Christians.  The North of the Ivory coast has faced continual invasion from Muslim insurgents and the UN certified elections even though the North, controlled by Muslim rebels, posted huge irregularities which the UN chose to ignore, much as they did in Venezuela with Chavez.  In one case in particular, 94,873 addition votes were granted to Ouattara, even though the balanced tallies showed that the totals did not check back to the original ballot box totals.

The United Nations' human rights office called on Alassane Ouattara to rein in his forces.  "We've had reports of quite serious human rights violations committed by the Forces Republicaines de Cote d'Ivoire, pro-Ouattara forces, particularly in the west," UN spokesman Rupert Colville said.  Asked for details, he replied: "Looting, extortion but more seriously matters such as abduction, arbitrary arrests, ill-treatment of civilians, possibly other acts as well."

The UN human rights office had alarming reports about the pro-Ouattara "Invisible Commando" in Abidjan.  Two civilians were reported to have been burned alive by Gbagbo militia in Gagnoa, and at least three were killed in the Abidjan district of Abobo.

Over a million people (aka mostly Christians who dominate the south) have been forced from their homes and have taken refuge in Liberia, and hundreds of bodies have been found after an Ivory Coast massacre that took place around a Salesian compound in the city of Duékoué.

Large mainstream news organizations such as BBC and CNN refer to the victims as "civilians," while smaller media and Catholic news outlets are reporting that "Catholics" or "Christians" were killed.

According to the statement from the Salesian Info Agency (ANS), "Almost single-handedly the Salesian house is providing refuge and help but the situation seems to be developing into a humanitarian crisis, following attacks (witnessed by the Salesian missionaries) by supporters of Ouattara, who for months has been in contention with Gbagbo for the presidency of the country."

According to the statement, refugees began to flee to the Salesian Missions compound for safety as the Carrefour district was looted and houses set on fire.  Some witnesses report they were told to go to the compound, but by who is unclear at this time.

Exactly what happened also remains unclear.  However, the Herald Scotland is reporting that more than 800 people were killed in a single day around a Salesian Missions compound in Duékoué (300 miles west of Abidjan towards the Liberian border), calling it a "massacre."  The newspaper reports that "the attackers seem to have been largely soldiers descended from Burkina Faso immigrant Muslim families loyal to Ouattara."

According International Committee for the Red Cross, the victims were mainly men who had been shot and left where they fell, either alone or in small groups dotted around the town -- which lies at the heart of Ivory Coast's economically crucial cocoa producing region.  They were killed despite 200 United Nations troops reportedly operating what it said were "robust" patrols from its base on the outskirts to protect civilians in and around the compound.

Caritas Internationalis, the consortium of Catholic relief and development agencies, has condemned the massacre of an estimated 1,000 people in Duékoué, a city in western Côte d'Ivoire.

Bottom line -- the "committed Christian" Obama sides with the Muslims -- again.
Muslim Brotherhood Wants Sharia In Egypt
On February 10, 2011, Obama's Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper said during a House Intelligence Committee hearing that Egypt's branch of the Muslim Brotherhood movement was "a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried al-Qaeda as a perversion of Islam."

Today, the Assyrian International News Agency is reporting that Mahmoud Ezzat, the Muslim Brotherhood's deputy Supreme Guide, said in a forum held in the Cairo district of Imbaba on Thursday that the group wants to establish an Islamic state after it achieves widespread popularity through its Freedom and Justice Party. Meanwhile, Brotherhood leader Saad al-Husseiny, said at the forum that the group aims to apply Islamic legislation and establish Islamic rule.

If you recall Obama invited the Muslim Brotherhood to attend his pandering speech to the Islamic world in Cairo (June, 2009).
  

The Muslim Brotherhood is a global Sunni revivalist movement founded in Egypt in 1928.  It seeks to establish an Islamic Caliphate governed by Shari'ah, or Islamic law.  This is a long-term objective to be realized through a methodical plan that includes preaching, charitable work and a commitment to jihad.  Most major U.S. Muslim organizations have roots in, or links to, the Brotherhood, including the Muslim Students Association, the Muslim American Society, the Islamic Society of North America and the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

 

To read about the Brotherhood's history and ideological development, click here.

 

Related:  Radical Islamist groups gaining stranglehold in Egypt

Abbas:  Obama Promised Us A State By September
YnetNews.com is reporting that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said during a visit in Tunisia that the Palestinian Authority is ready to establish a state.

"We are counting on the words of US President Barack Obama who said his vision is to see a Palestinian state this coming September according to a deadline set by the Quartet."

Abbas added that 130 countries have already recognized a Palestinian state on 1967 borders and that this number could well reach 140 or 150.  He stated that Western European countries have also accepted the fact that a Palestinian state will be established sooner or later, despite not having recognized it yet.

Related:  Hamas: "The Jews Are the Most Despicable and Contemptible Nation to Crawl Upon the Face of the Earth"

I have a flash for Abbas -- Obama is not trustworthy -- he lies -- he tells everybody what they want to hear.
Obama Authorizes $25 Million For Libyan Rebels
Jennifer Epsteing is reporting that the Obama administration plans to send $25 million in assistance to Libyan rebels fighting the regime of longtime leader Muammar Qadhafi, the State Department confirmed Wednesday, though the support will not include arms or other military backing.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has asked Barack Obama to approve the funding.  "This is not a blank check.  This is not $25 million in actual cash or money.  It’s actually in goods and services that would be drawn down from items already in government stocks that correspond with the needs" of the rebel movement.

But who are the "Libyan Rebels?"

Jack Cashill says that the American media are reluctant to report what the French media have made clear: Al-Qaeda has established a beachhead in Libya and fully intends to install Sharia law once government forces are overcome.

An April 19th article in the prominent French daily, Le Figaro, does not shy from chronicling the obvious.  It highlights an interview that Al Qaeda spokesman Saleh Abi Mohammad gave to the Saudi journal Al-Hayyat, which is published in London.

According to Abi Mohammad, Al Qaeda is fighting alongside the Libyan rebels in numerous cities and, in the town of Dernah, has already formed with its allies an Islamic Council, "pour gouverner la ville en vertu de la sharia."  A former leader of an al Qaeda linked group in Libya claims that there are around 1000 fundamentalist Islamic fighters in the country that have joined the uprising.

When asked whether Al-Qaeda welcomed foreign intervention, Abi Mohammad answered, (my translation), "It is always preferable to die like a martyr than to ask the help of the crusaders."  He believes that the rebels could have prevailed without assistance, and he does not consider foreign help as "positive."

The French author of the article accurately sums up the Al Qaeda message as "rather disturbing, one that we err in underestimating."

And speaking of "underestimating," back in February, Obama's Director of National Intelligence, described the Muslim Brotherhood as, "a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried al-Qaeda as a perversion of Islam."

Less than two months later, the Muslim Brotherhood's Guidance Bureau stressed supporting the revolution and adorning Egypt with Islam as the final aim of Muslim Brotherhood -- hardly a "secular" goal.

Muslim Brother Sa'ad el-Husseini said, the "Muslim Brotherhood is trying to lead Egyptian society towards realization of Islamic identity by awakening people."  He added that the realization of Islamic society would be a preface for building Islamic government based on freedom, cooperation and justice.

"Our freedom is dependent on our following Islam and inviting people to this religion," he said.

Obama is facilitating the Islamization of North Africa.
Obama A Great Benefactor To Al-Qaeda
Tara Servatius says no one on Earth has done more to help al-Qaeda in the last six weeks than Barack Obama.  Don’t let the bin Laden assassination thing fool you.  Even with the loss of bin Laden factored in, al-Qaeda’s prospects have improved dramatically in recent weeks, and the group has Obama to thank.

Sure, bin Laden is gone, and that was a bit of a PR hit to the group.  But Obama more than made up for that by setting up al-Qaeda financially for years to come.  One of the first things the U.S.-led coalition did when it invade d Libya in March was to help the radical Islamist led rebels capture the oil fields.  Thanks to Obama, they will no longer need to depend on rich Saudi sheiks to fund jihad because they now control oil fields capable of generating $34 billion worth of black gold a year.

Within a week of the takeover of the oil by the rebels, and while the White House was still promising to send the CIA to Libya to "figure out" who the rebels really were, the U.S. and NATO had brokered a sweet deal for them to control Libya’s oil and sell it to Qatar.  The rebels sent the first shipment, worth about $100 million, by tanker in the beginning of April.

It’s a windfall that the al-Qaeda infiltrated rebels, led by a former Gitmo detainee and two former jihadists fresh from battle in Afghanistan, couldn’t possibly have achieved without the help of US airpower in Libya.  With billions they’ll eventually reap in profits from the oil each year, they could easily wage a multi-front jihad and have plenty of money left over for a bio weapon to wipe out the entire American East Coast.  The thought of what these jihadist thugs could do inside our borders with the kind of money Obama and NATO helped secure for them ought to terrify Americans.

There is little doubt that al-Qaeda and like-minded groups are behind the Libyan efforts.  Regional leaders tried to warn us that the rebel movement in Libya was al Qaeda-backed and affiliated, but the American media largely brushed that off.  This week, as the world sat glued to the TV, taking in the bin Laden assassination story, the Christian Science Monitor reported that al-Qaeda fighters are streaming into Libya to help the Obama-backed rebels.  Despite this, the rebels say they are expecting to receive $2 to $3 billion in aid from the U.S., France, and Italy in the coming week.

According to UPI, bin Laden himself was so ecstatic about these developments that he became almost sloppy in the weeks before his death, breaking cover and traveling between Afghanistan and Pakistan in an effort to "merge al-Qaeda's war against the West with the wave of uprisings across the Arab world."

The pattern by the Obama administration is almost eerie.  First, al Qaeda-led rebels capture part of a country and declare it an Islamic emirate or caliphate.  Then Obama backs the overthrow of that country’s embattled leader, declaring that he must go in the interest of democracy, even when that goes against U.S. interests in the War on Terror.

That’s exactly what happened in Libya.  It’s what happened again in Yemen.  Within a week of al-Qaeda rebels seizing a province there earlier this year, Obama stunned foreign policy experts by suddenly calling for the ouster of Yemen’s president Ali Abdullah Saleh, a critical ally of ours in the war on terror.

Many of the recent attempted attacks on America were planned in Yemen, which has become a base of operation for al-Qaeda.  So it was baffling to many that Saleh was thrown under the jihadist bus by Obama even though his help has been critical to the U.S. in tracking and apprehending the al-Qaeda and jihadist plotters attempting to overthrow Yemen.  This raises a question.  If Obama isn’t for Saleh in Yemen, exactly who is he for?  The options are pretty awful -- unless you are partial to radical jihadist thugs.

The whole pattern is similar to what Obama did in Egypt, where he backed a democracy movement that quickly proved to be a poorly disguised vehicle for those sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood to take over the country.

Which brings us back to bin Laden.  His assassination is the one fact that doesn’t seem to fit Obama’s otherwise perfect pattern of aiding jihadist thugs in the overthrow of relatively stable countries.  That’s because taking out bin Laden wasn’t about hurting al-Qaeda.  It was about helping Obama get reelected.  So far though, al-Qaeda seems to have come out way ahead in the deal.
Obama To Give $1 Billion To Muslim Brotherhood Dominated Egyptian Regime
Jim Hoft says the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood condemned Bin Laden’s death this month.  The Muslim Brotherhood wants to end the peace accord with Israel.  The Muslim Brotherhood is also expected to win a majority of seats in the Egyptian Parliament later this year.
    
    
Egyptian Secretary General of Muslim brotherhood Mahmoud Hussein, center, reads a statement in front of a banner that reads in Arabic, "A press conference for the Muslim Brotherhood about the decisions of the general Shura council," during a press conference in the Muslim brotherhood headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, April 30, 2011.  The once outlawed Muslim Brotherhood says it will contest half of the seats in Egypt’s parliamentary elections in September, revealing plans to become a major force in the country’s post-revolution politics.
    

click image for the Muslim Brotherhood's NAZI connections
     
Of course we have nothing to be concerned with because Obama's Director of National Security has assured us that the Muslim brotherhood is a "non-violent, secular" organization.

Related: 
Morning Examiner: Billions for Egypt’s unemployed, but what about ours?
Germany Mediating US-Taliban Talks
Der Spiegel is reporting that the German government is mediating secret talks between the Obama administration and representatives of the Taliban on German soil.  Berlin is cautiously optimistic that the negotiations will deliver progress, but observers warn that the insurgents' morale remains high.

It's still unknown where exactly in Germany the American and Afghan negotiators met, but when they met can be pinpointed fairly exactly: at the turn of the year and on the second weekend in May.

It's also fairly clear who attends these talks on peace in the Hindu Kush.  On the American side, representatives of the State Department and the CIA are taking part.  At this stage it is mid-ranking officials from the Obama administration who are involved -- a diplomatic ploy to play down the Taliban's importance.

The key figure on the Afghan side is described on the list of negotiators as a "relative" of Taliban leader Mullah Omar.  This appears to refer to Tayyab Agha, a man in his mid-thirties with a long, thin beard, who used to work as office manager for Mullah Omar when he was the so-called emir of Afghanistan.  Today, Agha is something along the lines of Mullah Omar's personal spokesman.  A high-ranking Afghan official in Kabul indicated around a month ago that Agha was in talks with the US on behalf of his boss.  Similarly, the Afghan daily newspaper Weesa reported on direct contact between the Taliban and the US government for the first time a little more than a month ago.

Talks between the two sides, which continue to engage in daily skirmishes in Afghanistan, began last fall.  The Americans chose the Gulf state of Qatar for the first meeting, but by the second session, Germany had become the host country.

Berlin treats these meetings as a top-secret matter.  Only a handful of people in the German Foreign Ministry are aware of the negotiations, as are a number of officials at the Chancellery.  Otherwise, the business is kept hushed up.  Nothing can be allowed to jeopardize the success of this delicate mission.

Continue reading here . . .

Related:  MI6 tells Barack Obama and David Cameron: Taliban won't talk peace

This is so Top Secret that the British intelligence service hasn't gotten the word, but you and I know.
Democrats Break With Obama
Rep. Robert Andrews (D-N.J.) said Tuesday that Obama is "tilting toward Hamas" -- a reference to the Palestinian group the United States and Israel consider a terrorist organization.  He emphasized that Congress would never base its approach to Israeli aid on such a position.

"A majority of the Congress disagrees with him," Andrews said of Obama.

Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.), for one, said Obama "absolutely … made a mistake" with his 1967-borders proposal, and suggested it would harm -- rather than bolster -- the chances of renewed peace talks.

"With all of the political turmoil and unrest in the Middle East, I don’t understand why the president injected himself into that issue right now," he said.

Both Rep. Steny Hoyer (Md.), the House Democratic whip, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) have also rejected Obama's proposal in recent days, telling the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) that preconditions have no place in the negotiations.

"No one should set premature parameters about borders, about building or about anything else," Reid said Monday night to roaring applause.
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