Gaza: Le Hamas a délibérément construit ses infrastructures terroristes et militaires au coeur des infrastructures civiles (How much more proof do we need?)

17 novembre, 2012
http://warrantedbelief.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/genocide-image8.jpg?w=267&h=300Le roi de Moab, voyant qu’il avait le dessous dans le combat, (…) prit alors son fils premier-né, qui devait régner à sa place, et il l’offrit en holocauste sur la muraille. Et une grande indignation s’empara d’Israël, qui s’éloigna du roi de Moab et retourna dans son pays. 2 Rois 3: 26-27
Nous avons constaté que le sport était la religion moderne du monde occidental. Nous savions que les publics anglais et américain assis devant leur poste de télévision ne regarderaient pas un programme exposant le sort des Palestiniens s’il y avait une manifestation sportive sur une autre chaîne. Nous avons donc décidé de nous servir des Jeux olympiques, cérémonie la plus sacrée de cette religion, pour obliger le monde à faire attention à nous. Nous avons offert des sacrifices humains à vos dieux du sport et de la télévision et ils ont répondu à nos prières. Terroriste palestinien (Jeux olympiques de Munich, 1972)
Les Israéliens ne savent pas que le peuple palestinien a progressé dans ses recherches sur la mort. Il a développé une industrie de la mort qu’affectionnent toutes nos femmes, tous nos enfants, tous nos vieillards et tous nos combattants. Ainsi, nous avons formé un bouclier humain grâce aux femmes et aux enfants pour dire à l’ennemi sioniste que nous tenons à la mort autant qu’il tient à la vie. Fathi Hammad (responsable du Hamas, mars 2008)
J’espère offrir mon fils unique en martyr, comme son père. Dalal Mouazzi (jeune veuve d’un commandant du Hezbollah mort en 2006 pendant la guerre du Liban, à propos de son gamin de 10 ans)
Nous n’aurons la paix avec les Arabes que lorsqu’ils aimeront leurs enfants plus qu’ils ne nous détestent. Golda Meir
Le PCF exprime son émotion et sa totale condamnation devant l’agression israélienne à Gaza. Il appelle partout en France à des rassemblements et des initiatives de protestation contre cette nouvelle guerre contre le peuple palestinien. (…) Il appartient aux autorités françaises d’intervenir d’urgence auprès du gouvernement israélien afin d’obtenir l’arrêt immédiat de cette offensive militaire meurtrière, et que cessent les assassinats ciblés de responsables palestiniens. En annonçant le doublement du budget national pour la colonisation, en programmant 1200 nouveaux logements essentiellement dans les colonies de Jérusalem-Est, en allant jusqu’à menacer l’Autorité palestinienne de liquidation, le gouvernement israélien a pris une lourde responsabilité. Une fois encore, dans une impunité garantie, il attise les tensions et la violence en s’engageant dans une escalade de la provocation et dans une brutale logique de force. Les populations civiles doivent cesser de payer le prix d’une telle politique. Il est consternant que l’Union européenne, les pays européens et en particulier la France puissent encore tolérer, de la part des autorités de Tel Aviv, un tel mépris du droit et une telle volonté de poursuivre la spoliation du peuple palestinien, l’occupation militaire de la Palestine et le blocus de Gaza. Le PCF appelle à des sanctions françaises et européennes contre Israël jusqu’à ce que cet État accepte de respecter les résolutions de l’ONU. La France devra soutenir la résolution palestinienne présentée le 29 novembre prochain au vote de l’Assemblée générale des Nations-Unies pour que la Palestine voit son statut rehaussé pour accéder à celui d’État observateur. L’Humanité
Les attaques aériennes israéliennes doivent cesser. La société civile de Gaza a été et demeure la première victime des conflits. (…) la communauté internationale ne peut plus se contenter d’appeler à la "retenue" et ou de "déplorer" les affrontements et attaques. (…)  il faut coûte que coûte éviter une nouvelle opération Plomb durc comme en 2008/2009". (…) Les Nations Unies et l’Union Européenne doivent exiger la fin des bombardements et des assassinats ciblés (…) ‘il est crucial de se prononcer favorablement pour que la Palestine soit reconnue comme Etat non membre au sein des Nations Unies le 29 novembre. (…) EELV appelle à joindre le rassemblement du +Collectif national pour une paix juste et durable entre Palestiniens et Israéliens+ à Paris et dans d’autres villes de France. Communiqué Europe Ecologie-Les Verts
Il y a des précédents. En 1996 et en 2009, quelques semaines avant les élections législatives, des opérations massives ont été lancées par des gouvernements sortants israéliens qui, d’ailleurs, n’en ont tiré aucun bénéfice. La thèse du calcul électoral qui expliquerait l’opération en cours est niée avec énergie par les autorités israéliennes. Il n’en reste pas moins que la coïncidence est troublante. Une opération de ce type est toujours à double tranchant. Elle témoigne de l’intérêt des autorités vis-à-vis des populations du sud d’Israël qui ont souffert d’une recrudescence des tirs palestiniens. Mais, en même temps, elle expose le pouvoir en place aux critiques si, malgré sa campagne militaire, les tirs ne cessent pas. Dans un premier temps, le gouvernement peut profiter d’un réflexe d’union nationale, patriotique. Il est cependant mis à l’épreuve si les choses traînent en longueur. (…) Le nombre de victimes palestiniennes est bien moindre que pendant les premiers jours de l’opération "Plomb durci", mais les choses changeraient immanquablement en cas d’incursion terrestre, compte tenu du fait que combattants et civils sont concentrés dans des zones urbaines particulièrement denses. (…) C’est d’ailleurs un paradoxe de l’offensive israélienne. Elle risque de ressouder un camp arabe divisé et elle détourne de la Syrie, alors que le gouvernement israélien a un intérêt stratégique bien supérieur aux enjeux de Gaza à voir chuter sous l’effet d’une pression, notamment arabe (Qatar, Arabie saoudite) le principal régime de la région allié à l’Iran.(…) Dans les phases d’affrontements entre Palestiniens et Israéliens, l’armement utilisé a généralement été conventionnel, à l’exception des attentats-suicides. C’est d’ailleurs le fait que les civils israéliens comme palestiniens soient les victimes principales qui constitue le plus grand problème. D’un côté comme de l’autre des crimes de guerre peuvent être alors signalés. l’essentiel des pertes constatées à Gaza à cette occasion a été le produit d’armes conventionnelles. L’exiguïté de Gaza et la tactique des groupes armés de se fondre dans la population multipliant les risques de pertes colatérales.(…) C’est un paradoxe, la France qui parle désormais ouvertement avec les partis islamistes au pouvoir en Tunisie, en Egypte ou en Libye, continue de boycotter le Hamas en vertu de la position adoptée par les Européens et les parrains occidentaux du "processus de paix" israélo-palestinien après la victoire du Hamas aux élections de janvier 2006. Gilles Paris (Le Monde)
Les tactiques de combat et l’idéologie du Hamas sont, "par excellence, un cas d’école" de violations systématiques du droit international humanitaire. Il n’y a "presqu’aucun exemple comparable" où que ce soit dans le monde d’aujourd’hui d’un groupe qui viole aussi systématiquement les accords internationaux liés aux conflits armés. Irwin Cotler (ancien Ministre de la Justice du Canada, membre du parlement de ce pays et professeur de droit à l’Université McGill de Montreal)
Des tonnes d’explosifs, de roquettes, de lance-grenades, de grenades, de fusils d’assaut et des missiles anti-chars (… ont été stockés dans des maisons de civils des mosquées, des écoles et même des hôpitaux. (…) le Hamas a utilisé les larges espaces ouverts des mosquées pour stocker des armes ce qui est interdit par le droit international et a ainsi transformé ces zones urbaines en zones de combat. L’utilisation de femmes, personnes âgées et enfants fait partie intégrante de la stratégie terroriste du Hamas. Des écoles ont été piégées, mettant la vie des enfants en danger. Des écoles et des centres d’éducation ont été transformés en sites de lancement de roquettes et de mortiers. (…) les terroristes du Hamas ont placé des rampes de lancement de roquettes à proximité de batiments publics tels que des centres médicaux, terrains de football, les bureaux de l’Association palestinienne pour la réhabilitattion des handicapés et des stations d’essence (…) Le Hamas a délibérément construit ses infrastructures terroristes et militaires au coeur des infrastructures civiles. IDF

Jusqu’au retour quasi-archaïque au sacrifice d’enfants !

A l’heure où, après avoir reçu plusieurs centaines de roquettes par jour sur ses villes du sud et à présent jusqu’aux faubourgs mêmes de Tel Aviv et Jérusalem, les autorités israéliennes se voient à nouveau appelées à la retenue ou condamnées par les belles âmes des capitales occidentales pour avoir tenté de réduire la menace sur ses populations civiles …

Pendant qu’au nord, un régime syrien aux abois face à des bandes de jihadistes encore plus sauvages soutenus par les pyromanes professionnels qataris et saoudiens et naturellement occidentaux s’appreterait à lâcher en dernier recours ses armes chimiques sur sa population comme sur les civils israéliens …

Remise des pendules à l’heure, avec une petite vidéo des services de l’armée israélienne détaillant par le menu la véritable stratégie de l’organisation proprement terroriste à l’origine de ces menaces, à savoir le Hamas.

Qui, non content de menacer quotidiennement et depuis des années les populations civiles israéliennes, a littéralement transformé sa propre population en boucliers humains et pousse la barabarie jusqu’à les empêcher même de quitter les zones de combat …

Voir aussi:

Gaza: Le PCF et EELV appellent à manifester samedi à Paris

20 minutes

16.11.12

Le Parti communiste français (PCF) a réclamé ce vendredi «des sanctions contre Israël», appelant à des rassemblements et des «initiatives de protestation» en France, notamment samedi à Paris, «contre cette nouvelle guerre contre le peuple palestinien».

«Le PCF appelle à des sanctions françaises et européennes contre Israël jusqu’à ce que cet État accepte de respecter les résolutions de l’ONU», écrit le PCF dans un communiqué, exprimant «son émotion et sa totale condamnation devant l’agression israélienne à Gaza». «La France devra soutenir la résolution palestinienne présentée le 29 novembre au vote de l’Assemblée générale des Nations unies pour que la Palestine voit son statut rehaussé pour accéder à celui d’Etat observateur», ajoute-t-il.

«Les attaques aériennes israéliennes doivent cesser»

Le parti «appelle partout en France à des rassemblements et des initiatives de protestation contre cette nouvelle guerre contre le peuple palestinien». En particulier, il convie au «rassemblement unitaire de solidarité à l’initiative du "Collectif national pour une paix juste entre palestiniens et israéliens" samedi à 15 heures» à Paris. Selon le PCF, le lieu de rassemblement, prévu à Bastille, est désormais programmé place de l’Opéra.

Dans un communiqué distinct, Europe Ecologie-Les Verts estime que «les attaques aériennes israéliennes doivent cesser». «La société civile de Gaza a été et demeure la première victime des conflits», souligne-t-il. Selon le parti, «la communauté internationale ne peut plus se contenter d’appeler à la "retenue" et ou de "déplorer" les affrontements et attaques. Pour EELV, il faut coûte que coûte éviter une nouvelle opération "plomb durci" comme en 2008/2009».

«Les Nations Unies et l’Union Européenne doivent exiger la fin des bombardements et des assassinats ciblés», dit-il, de même qu’«il est crucial de se prononcer favorablement pour que la Palestine soit reconnue comme "Etat non membre" au sein des Nations Unies le 29 novembre». «EELV appelle à joindre le rassemblement du "Collectif national pour une paix juste et durable entre Palestiniens et Israéliens" à Paris et dans d’autres villes de France».

Voir également:

Gaza: Le PCF appelle à des sanctions contre Israël. Rassemblement de solidarité avec les Palestiniens, samedi 17 novembre à Paris

L’Humanité

16 novembre 2012

Le PCF exprime son émotion et sa totale condamnation devant l’agression israélienne à Gaza. Il appelle partout en France à des rassemblements et des initiatives de protestation contre cette nouvelle guerre contre le peuple palestinien. A Paris, un rassemblement unitaire de solidarité à l’initiative du « Collectif national pour une paix juste entre palestiniens et israéliens », aura lieu samedi 17 novembre à 15 heures, Place de l’Opéra.

Il appartient aux autorités françaises d’intervenir d’urgence auprès du gouvernement israélien afin d’obtenir l’arrêt immédiat de cette offensive militaire meurtrière, et que cessent les assassinats ciblés de responsables palestiniens.

En annonçant le doublement du budget national pour la colonisation, en programmant 1200 nouveaux logements essentiellement dans les colonies de Jérusalem-Est, en allant jusqu’à menacer l’Autorité palestinienne de liquidation, le gouvernement israélien a pris une lourde responsabilité. Une fois encore, dans une impunité garantie, il attise les tensions et la violence en s’engageant dans une escalade de la provocation et dans une brutale logique de force. Les populations civiles doivent cesser de payer le prix d’une telle politique.

Il est consternant que l’Union européenne, les pays européens et en particulier la France puissent encore tolérer, de la part des autorités de Tel Aviv, un tel mépris du droit et une telle volonté de poursuivre la spoliation du peuple palestinien, l’occupation militaire de la Palestine et le blocus de Gaza.

Le PCF appelle à des sanctions françaises et européennes contre Israël jusqu’à ce que cet État accepte de respecter les résolutions de l’ONU. La France devra soutenir la résolution palestinienne présentée le 29 novembre prochain au vote de l’Assemblée générale des Nations-Unies pour que la Palestine voit son statut rehaussé pour accéder à celui d’État observateur.

Rassemblement de solidarité avec le peuple palestinien

Samedi 17 novembre à 15h00

Place de l’Opéra

Voir encore:

Anonymous s’invite dans le conflit israélo-palestinien

Le Monde

| 16.11.2012

"Depuis bien trop longtemps, les Anonymous ont regardé sans espoir et sans rien faire – avec le reste du monde – le traitement barbare, brutal et méprisable du peuple palestinien par les forces de défense d’Israël dans les soi-disant ‘territoires occupés’. Comme tant d’autres sur cette planète, nous nous sommes sentis impuissants face à un mal aussi implacable. Il en était de même jusqu’à aujourd’hui avec l’attaque insensée et la menace d’invasion de Gaza. Mais quand le gouvernement israélien a publiquement menacé de couper Internet et toutes les télécommunications de la bande de Gaza, il a franchi la ligne jaune. Comme l’ancien dictateur égyptien Moubarak l’a appris à ses dépens, nous sommes ANONYMOUS et PERSONNE ne coupe Internet sous notre surveillance."

Par ce communiqué daté de jeudi 15 novembre, le collectif Anonymous répond à une rumeur qui a circulé récemment : Israël envisagerait de couper l’accès à Internet dans la bande de Gaza pour préparer une offensive. "Ne COUPEZ PAS Internet dans les ‘territoires occupés’, cessez de faire régner la terreur sur le peuple innocent de Palestine ou vous connaîtrez la terrible colère des Anonymous", poursuit le communiqué, avant de renvoyer vers un document expliquant comment sécuriser son accès à Internet.

Ce site israélien a été attaqué par Anonymous, qui a remplacé sa page d’accueil.

Le groupe informel a immédiatement joint le geste à la parole. Des dizaines d’attaques ont été lancées jeudi contre des sites officiels israéliens appartenant aux forces de défense israéliennes, au bureau du premier ministre, à des banques israéliennes ou des compagnies aériennes dans le cadre d’une campagne baptisée #OpIsrael sur Twitter, rapporte le New York Times. Le groupe a rapidement revendiqué une quarantaine d’attaques, avant de publier une liste de sites israéliens attaqués

#OpIsrael 40+ Israel’i government & military websites have been taken down in last 3hrs #FreeGaza #Anonymous #FreePalestine V @AnonNewsINT

15 Nov 12

Mais selon Radware, une société de sécurité informatique interrogée par le NYT, "la majorité des attaques a échoué" et la cyberoffensive est menée avec des outils relativement "basiques" visant à submerger les sites visés pour les rendre hors service. Ils ont néanmoins réussi à attaquer un blog appartenant aux forces de défense israéliennes et ont remplacé la page d’accueil d’un site censé appartenir à une société de sécurité israélienne par une photo de Gaza en flammes accompagnée du message : "Arrêtez de bombarder Gaza ! Des millions d’Israéliens et de Palestiniens sont réveillés, mis en danger et terrifiés. Nous, Anonymous, n’allons pas rester assis sans rien faire en regardant un Etat sioniste détruire lâchement la vie d’innocents.")

Voir enfin:

Israël et les paroles des barbares

Aschkel

novembre 16th, 2012

L’Iran a condamné jeudi l’opération israélienne sur Gaza qu’elle qualifie de « terrorisme organisé ». « L’Iran considère l’action criminelle de l’armée israélienne qui tue des civils comme du terrorisme organisé et la condamne fermement », a déclaré le porte-parole du ministère iranien des Affaires étrangères Ramin Mehmanparast qui a également critiqué « le silence des organisations internationales qui prétendent défendre les droits de l’homme ».

Turquie

« Nous condamnons sévèrement l’offensive d’Israël qui doit être arrêtée immédiatement » affirme leur ministère des affaires étrangères. Cela prouve que la politique d’Israël est hostile. »

Qatar

Le Premier ministre du Qatar Hamad Ben Jassem Al-Thani a estimé qu’ »Israël ne devait pas rester dans l’impunité après ses raids meurtriers sur Gaza.Cette agression abjecte ne doit pas rester dans l’impunité.Nous refusons le terrorisme et l’extrémisme, mais ce genre d’agressions irresponsables et injustifiées doivent être dénoncées par le monde entier.

Egypte

Le Caire appelle Washington à « intervenir immédiatement pour mettre un terme à l’agression israélienne à Gaza » Le président égyptien Morsi (frère musulman) qui prie pour l’extermination des Juifs

Soudan génocidaire

le Soudan du nord Génocidaire tout juste élu au conseil des droits de l’homme. « Les ambassadeurs des pays arabes s’étaient concertés après » l’attentat ignoble » dans la bande de Gaza. Ils ont décidé de convoquer et réunir le Conseil de sécurité afin de condamner l’attaque »barbare » ainsi que pour appeler à mettre un terme à la violence. »

Syrie

« Nous appelons la communauté internationale à faire pression sur Israël pour arrêter l’agression animale contre les Palestiniens » !!!!

Les violences en Syrie ont fait plus de 39.000 morts, en majorité des civils, depuis le début de la contestation contre le régime de Bachar el-Assad il y a vingt mois, rapporte l’Observatoire syrien des droits de l’Homme (OSDH le 13.11.2012). Au moins 27.410 civils ont péri depuis le 15 mars 2011, a précisé l’ONG qui considère aussi comme des civils ceux qui ont pris les armes contre les troupes du régime, ainsi que 9.800 soldats et 1.359 déserteurs.

Liban

Le président libanais, Michel Sleiman, a condamné jeudi l’ »agression barbare » lancée mercredi par Israël contre la Bande de Gaza. « Nous condamnons cette agression barbare lancée par Israël qui ne connaît que le langage des assassinats et des destructions »

Ce ne sont évidemment que quelques exemples, nous aurons le reste lors de la réunion de la ligue arabe qui se tiendra samedi 17 novembre.

Dans la même trempe mais plus un plus discrètement dans la série « qui ne dit mot consent »

Nous noterons le silence assourdissant de Catherine Ashton qui ne se réveille que lorsque les Juifs construisent dans leur pays, copine avec l’Iran, qui sournoisement encourage la colonisation arabo-musulmane du pays d’Israël et créer un énième état arabe de facto et qui finance à fonds perdus avec les impôts des européens l’entité terroriste de Ramallah et par son biais Gaza.

Ainsi que celui de La Haut-commissaire Navanethem Pillay pour son mutisme révoltant

La Russie égale à elle-même qui parle de réaction disproportionnée d’Israël

La France hypocrite (qui brade Jérusalem dans le dos d’Israël à l’entité terroriste de Ramallah), qui par la voix de Fabius dénonce à mots cachés le fait qu’Israël défende ses populations civiles et où sur la plus belle avenue du monde on vocifère en toute impunité – égorgez les Juifs

Nous ne parlerons pas ici de l’attitude honteuse des médias, collaborateurs des officines terroristes arabo-palestinienne, qui en cette période tourne à plein régime, qui usent et abusent de désinformation. Noël avant l’heure en quelque sorte !

Et puis toute la clique des indifférents

Heureusement il reste encore quelques pays civilisés tels les Etats-Unis, le Canada, la Grande-Bretagne., qui admettent qu’Israël a tout de même le droit de se défendre. (Comme si il fallait demander la permission)

Ron Prosor, ambassadeur à l’Onu a expliqué très clairement que le manque de condamnation favorise et donne un blanc-seing aux organisations terroristes

« Nous avons démontré la plus grande retenue pendant des années, mais le gouvernement israélien a le droit et le devoir de répondre à ces attaques Israël ne va pas jouer à la roulette russe avec la vie de ses citoyens. »

Pour rappel, l’armée israélienne respectueuse de la vie et de la dingité humaine, prend toutes les précautions pour ne pas atteindre les civils.

Tracts, appels téléphoniques, avertissements enregistrés, frappes ciblées : voici les différents moyens déployés par Tsahal pour réduire la menace sur les civils palestiniens. Tsahal a lancé hier l’Opération Pilier de Défense contre le Hamas, l’organisation terroriste qui contrôle la bande de Gaza. Cette situation a déjà fait des dégâts et des blessés dans la bande de Gaza. Certains civils innocents ont été blessés au cours des frappes menées par Tsahal. Cependant, il s’agit d’accidents, de cas isolés qui ne représentent en rien le mode d’action de l’armée israélienne.

Comment Tsahal minimise les risques ?

1. Avertissements par téléphone: des milliers de coups de téléphone ont été passés aux civils de Gaza se trouvant près d’infrastructures terroristes avant que des frappes ciblées ne soient effectuées.

2. Des tracts sont lâchés au-dessus de Gaza: plus de 2.5 millions de tracts ont été lancés sur plusieurs secteurs où sont dissimulés des sites d’activités terroristes. Ces tracts sont en arabe :

“Aux habitants de cette zone, en raison des activités militaires menées par des agents terroristes contre Israël dans la zone que vous habitez, Tsahal est obligé de répondre et d’agir à l’intérieur dans la zone. Pour votre sécurité, nous vous demandons d’évacuer la zone le plus vite possible”, le Commandant de l’Armée de Défense d’Israël.

3. Les frappes ciblées: ettant une très grande précision de tir afin d’épargner les civils présents dans le périmètre, ajourne des frappes terrestres et aériennes sur des zones densément peuplées voire les annule quand il y a un risque de toucher des civils.

3. «Les frappe avortées»: l’armée de l’air ne frappe pas à tout prix, elle s’efforce au contraire à ne tirer que lorsque la menace se concrétise (déploiement de missile, tirs, etc) et lorsque le risque pour les populations civiles est minimale. Une commission avant chaque frappe donne l’autorisation de tirer, et fera avorter la mission si le risque pris est trop important. Ainsi, à de nombreuses reprises, des frappes ont été annulées au dernier moment, et ce à cause d’un imprévu dont le plus commun est le passage de civils dans les zones depuis lesquelles sont tirées des roquettes.

4) “Frapper sur le toit”: est un nom de code utilisé avant une attaque sur une cache d’armes afin d’avertir les habitants de l’immeuble visé avant que la frappe ne soit effectuée.

Cependant, en dépit de ces précautions, Tsahal a par erreur touché des bâtiments et des civils palestiniens. Ces erreurs sont prises très au sérieux. Toute erreur fera l’objet d’une enquête après l’opération.

A ces mesures, le Hamas oppose la technique du bouclier humain et place ainsi ses civils en première ligne. Les terroristes dissimulent leurs munitions et leurs rampes de lancement dans des quartiers résidentiels.

Le jour où les barbares prendront soin de leurs propres populations et respecterons celles des autres, alors il y aura un espoir de paix !


Election américaine 2012/Affaire Petraeus: Attention, un scandale peut en cacher un autre (The real scandal within the scandal: Obama’s still in the secret detention business)

14 novembre, 2012
Les drones américains ont liquidé plus de monde que le nombre total des détenus de Guantanamo. Pouvons nous être certains qu’il n’y avait parmi eux aucun cas d’erreurs sur la personne ou de morts innocentes ? Les prisonniers de Guantanamo avaient au moins une chance d’établir leur identité, d’être examinés par un Comité de surveillance et, dans la plupart des cas, d’être relâchés. Ceux qui restent à Guantanamo ont été contrôlés et, finalement, devront faire face à une forme quelconque de procédure judiciaire. Ceux qui ont été tués par des frappes de drones, quels qu’ils aient été, ont disparu. Un point c’est tout. Kurt Volker
According to a source on the ground at the time of the attack, the team inside the CIA annex had captured three Libyan attackers and was forced to hand them over to the Libyans. U.S. officials do not know what happened to those three attackers and whether they were released by the Libyan forces. Fox News (October 26, 2012)
Now, I don’t know if a lot of you heard this, but the CIA annex had actually, um, had taken a couple of Libyan militia members prisoner and they think that the attack on the consulate was an effort to try to get these prisoners back. So that’s still being vetted. Paula Broadwell (Oct. 26, 2012)
A well-placed Washington source confirms to Fox News that there were Libyan militiamen being held at the CIA annex in Benghazi and that their presence was being looked at as a possible motive for the staged attack on the consulate and annex that night. According to multiple intelligence sources who have served in Benghazi, there were more than just Libyan militia members who were held and interrogated by CIA contractors at the CIA annex in the days prior to the attack. Other prisoners from additional countries in Africa and the Middle East were brought to this location. The Libya annex was the largest CIA station in North Africa, and two weeks prior to the attack, the CIA was preparing to shut it down. Most prisoners, according to British and American intelligence sources, had been moved two weeks earlier. Fox news (Nov. 12, 2012)
Based on what is known, what is most disturbing about the whole Petraeus scandal is not the sexual activities that it revealed, but the wildly out-of-control government surveillance powers which enabled these revelations. What requires investigation here is not Petraeus and Allen and their various sexual partners but the FBI and the whole sprawling, unaccountable surveillance system that has been built. The Guardian
Les États-Unis sont perçus comme un pays puritain où l’adultère est un problème. L’adultère peut être considéré comme un motif suffisant de démission par les conservateurs, la frange des républicains la plus radicale sur les questions de société, religieuses et morales. Mais si le responsable public fait ses aveux et son mea culpa, y compris devant le public, il peut s’en remettre assez facilement, même si c’est un républicain. Ce n’est que lorsque cela échappe au contrôle des protagonistes, que l’on cache des faits et qu’il y a une enquête que cela devient compliqué. Pour les Américains, ce qui pose problème, c’est plus ce que l’on cache. En outre, le fait pour un responsable public de mentir ou de dissimuler une aventure extraconjugale va focaliser l’attention et être une source de discrédit politique. Même si les individus impliqués n’ont commis aucun délit, ni violé aucune loi, il est difficile de s’en remettre. C’est surtout cela que le général Petraeus a voulu éviter en offrant sa démission qui a été acceptée par Barack Obama. Il s’agit d’abord de ne pas donner aux républicains l’opportunité de créer un embarras politique en lançant des enquêtes, prendre les devants avant que la situation ne devienne ingérable. Le fait que cette démission intervienne après l’élection présidentielle n’est pas anodin. Cette démission passera plus facilement dans le cadre du renouvellement prévu d’une grande partie des responsables de l’administration Obama avant le second mandat présidentiel qui commence en janvier. Olivier Delhomme
L’administration Obama a toujours cherché à contrôler très étroitement sa communication et à éviter les scandales. Les démocrates n’ont pas oublié ce qui s’est passé pendant la présidence de Bill Clinton (NDLR : l’affaire Monica Lewinsky) et ne veulent pas prendre de risque avec ce genre de choses. »Vue depuis la France, où l’on n’imagine pas une seconde le patron des RG démissionner pour une histoire de maîtresse, l’affaire paraît disproportionnée. Mais aux Etats-Unis, on ne plaisante pas avec l’infidélité. Bill Clinton, tout le monde s’en souvient, a frôlé l’impeachment pour ça. L’armée, en particulier, prend l’adultère très au sérieux. Le code militaire en vigueur aux Etats-Unis classe l’adultère comme un crime, car portant «atteinte à l’ordre» et venant jeter le discrédit sur l’ensemble des troupes (cf. l’article 134). Dans le cas de Petraeus, cependant, il ne s’agit pas que de puritanisme. «Semblable comportement est inacceptable à la fois comme époux et comme patron d’une organisation telle que la nôtre», s’est-il excusé. Par ces termes, il place lui-même sa «faute» sur deux plans : celui des mœurs, et celui de la sécurité. A ce niveau de responsabilités, qui dit maîtresse (ou amant) dit fuites possibles. Risque de chantage, aussi. En l’état de l’enquête, rien ne permet de conclure que Petraeus a transmis des infos. Mais pour les Américains, David Petraeus, la tête d’une organisation détenant les informations les plus ultraconfidentielles qui soient, apparaît comme un homme qui a failli. Un homme qui s’est mis en position de faiblesse, et son organisation avec lui. Libération
D’après les éléments collectés par la presse, dont le New York Times, tout a débuté au début de l’été, quand le FBI a ouvert une enquête sur six mails anonymes de menace envoyés à Jill Kelley. Pourquoi l’affaire a-t-elle mis plusieurs mois à sortir ? Ce n’est en effet que le 6 novembre, jour de la réélection de Barack Obama, que le supérieur de David Petraeus, le directeur national du renseignement (DNI), James Clapper, a été mis au courant. La Maison Blanche l’a été le lendemain. Il n’en faut pas plus pour que certains flairent le complot. Mais complot orchestré par qui, pourquoi ? Autre point troublant, que les républicains n’ont pas manqué de relever : la démission de Petraeus est intervenue juste avant l’ouverture, ce mardi, des auditions à huis clos prévues devant le Congrès sur l’attaque contre le consulat américain le 11 septembre à Benghazi, en Libye. La réaction de la CIA dans cette attaque a été mise en cause. A ce titre, David Petraeus devait témoigner. Ce sera finalement le directeur adjoint de l’agence, Michael Morell, qui ira à sa place. Reste que la commission du renseignement du Sénat américain va enquêter pour savoir pourquoi le FBI ne l’a pas informée de l’affaire Petraeus : «Nous aurions dû être informés, il s’agit de quelque chose qui aurait pu avoir un effet sur la sécurité nationale», a souligné sa présidente. Libération

COMPLEMENT:

And that brings us to the ultimate issue, and that is his testimony on September 13. That’s the thing that connects the two scandals, and that’s the only thing that makes the sex scandal relevant. Otherwise it would be an exercise in sensationalism and voyeurism and nothing else. The reason it’s important is here’s a man who knows the administration holds his fate in its hands, and he gives testimony completely at variance with what the Secretary of Defense had said the day before, at variance with what he’d heard from his station chief in Tripoli, and with everything that we had heard. Was he influenced by the fact that he knew his fate was held by people within the administration at that time? Of course it was being held over Petraeus’s head, and the sword was lowered on Election Day. You don’t have to be a cynic to see that as the ultimate in cynicism. As long as they needed him to give the administration line to quote Bill, everybody was silent. And as soon as the election’s over, as soon as he can be dispensed with, the sword drops and he’s destroyed. I mean, can you imagine what it’s like to be on that pressure and to think it didn’t distort or at least in some way unconsciously influence his testimony? That’s hard to believe. Charles Krauthammer

Pour ceux qui n’auraient toujours pas compris que l’intérêt des scandales, c’est ce qu’ils révèlent sur ce qui passait jusque là pour la normalité …

Alors que nos médias s’excitent sur l’Affaire Petraeus (élargie à présent jusqu’au commandant des forces de l’Otan en Afghanistan John Allen) et le cliché habituel du puritanisme américain …

Pendant que, dans l’indifférence générale, les roquettes pleuvent littéralement sur Israël …

Retour, avec Fox news, sur le scandale dans le scandale …

A savoir, inaperçue sur le moment par Fox news elle-même au-delà du premier scandale d’une attaque faussement présentée comme la réponse à une vidéo anti-islam et à moins d’une semaine d’une élection présidentielle cruciale, la confirmation du véritable bilan de celui qui aura liquidé plus de monde avec ses drones que n’en aura incarcéré la prison de Guantanamo qu’il avait pourtant promis de fermer …

Autrement dit, dans le cas précis où l’on apprenait par la bande que l’attaque sur le consulat de Benghazi qui avait tué le premier ambassadeur américain en plus de 30 ans aurait en fait eu pour but de libérer des détenus dans ce qui semble être devenu de fait un lieu secret de détention pour toutes sortes de jihadistes issus d’une bonne partie du continent africain …

La confirmation que, contrairement à tout ce qui avait été dit et répété (et tant critiqué dans l’Administration précédente), la CIA du plus rapide prix Nobel de l’histoire est toujours dans le "secret detention business" …

EXCLUSIVE: CIA operators were denied request for help during Benghazi attack, sources say

Jennifer Griffin

FoxNews.com

October 26, 2012

Fox News has learned from sources who were on the ground in Benghazi that an urgent request from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. consulate and subsequent attack several hours later on the annex itself was denied by the CIA chain of command — who also told the CIA operators twice to "stand down" rather than help the ambassador’s team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11.

Former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods was part of a small team who was at the CIA annex about a mile from the U.S. consulate where Ambassador Chris Stevens and his team came under attack. When he and others heard the shots fired, they informed their higher-ups at the annex to tell them what they were hearing and requested permission to go to the consulate and help out. They were told to "stand down," according to sources familiar with the exchange. Soon after, they were again told to "stand down."

Woods and at least two others ignored those orders and made their way to the consulate which at that point was on fire. Shots were exchanged. The rescue team from the CIA annex evacuated those who remained at the consulate and Sean Smith, who had been killed in the initial attack. They could not find the ambassador and returned to the CIA annex at about midnight.

At that point, they called again for military support and help because they were taking fire at the CIA safe house, or annex. The request was denied. There were no communications problems at the annex, according those present at the compound. The team was in constant radio contact with their headquarters. In fact, at least one member of the team was on the roof of the annex manning a heavy machine gun when mortars were fired at the CIA compound. The security officer had a laser on the target that was firing and repeatedly requested back-up support from a Spectre gunship, which is commonly used by U.S. Special Operations forces to provide support to Special Operations teams on the ground involved in intense firefights.

CIA spokeswoman Jennifer Youngblood, though, denied the claims that requests for support were turned down.

"We can say with confidence that the Agency reacted quickly to aid our colleagues during that terrible evening in Benghazi," she said. "Moreover, no one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate. In fact, it is important to remember how many lives were saved by courageous Americans who put their own safety at risk that night-and that some of those selfless Americans gave their lives in the effort to rescue their comrades."

The fighting at the CIA annex went on for more than four hours — enough time for any planes based in Sigonella Air base, just 480 miles away, to arrive. Fox News has also learned that two separate Tier One Special operations forces were told to wait, among them Delta Force operators.

A Special Operations team, or CIF which stands for Commanders in Extremis Force, operating in Central Europe had been moved to Sigonella, Italy, but they were never told to deploy. In fact, a Pentagon official says there were never any requests to deploy assets from outside the country. A second force that specializes in counterterrorism rescues was on hand at Sigonella, according to senior military and intelligence sources. According to those sources, they could have flown to Benghazi in less than two hours. They were the same distance to Benghazi as those that were sent from Tripoli. Spectre gunships are commonly used by the Special Operations community to provide close air support.

According to sources on the ground during the attack, the special operator on the roof of the CIA annex had visual contact and a laser pointing at the Libyan mortar team that was targeting the CIA annex. The operators were calling in coordinates of where the Libyan forces were firing from.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters at the Pentagon on Thursday that there was not a clear enough picture of what was occurring on the ground in Benghazi to send help.

"There’s a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking going on here," Panetta said Thursday. "But the basic principle here … is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on."

U.S. officials argue that there was a period of several hours when the fighting stopped before the mortars were fired at the annex, leading officials to believe the attack was over.

Fox News has learned that there were two military surveillance drones redirected to Benghazi shortly after the attack on the consulate began. They were already in the vicinity. The second surveillance craft was sent to relieve the first drone, perhaps due to fuel issues. Both were capable of sending real time visuals back to U.S. officials in Washington, D.C. Any U.S. official or agency with the proper clearance, including the White House Situation Room, State Department, CIA, Pentagon and others, could call up that video in real time on their computers.

Tyrone Woods was later joined at the scene by fellow former Navy SEAL Glen Doherty, who was sent in from Tripoli as part of a Global Response Staff or GRS that provides security to CIA case officers and provides countersurveillance and surveillance protection. They were killed by a mortar shell at 4 a.m. Libyan time, nearly seven hours after the attack on the consulate began — a window that represented more than enough time for the U.S. military to send back-up from nearby bases in Europe, according to sources familiar with Special Operations. Four mortars were fired at the annex. The first one struck outside the annex. Three more hit the annex.

A motorcade of dozens of Libyan vehicles, some mounted with 50 caliber machine guns, belonging to the February 17th Brigades, a Libyan militia which is friendly to the U.S., finally showed up at the CIA annex at approximately 3 a.m. An American Quick Reaction Force sent from Tripoli had arrived at the Benghazi airport at 2 a.m. (four hours after the initial attack on the consulate) and was delayed for 45 minutes at the airport because they could not at first get transportation, allegedly due to confusion among Libyan militias who were supposed to escort them to the annex, according to Benghazi sources.

The American special operators, Woods, Doherty and at least two others were part of the Global Response Staff, a CIA element, based at the CIA annex and were protecting CIA operators who were part of a mission to track and repurchase arms in Benghazi that had proliferated in the wake of Muammar Qaddafi’s fall. Part of their mission was to find the more than 20,000 missing MANPADS, or shoulder-held missiles capable of bringing down a commercial aircraft. According to a source on the ground at the time of the attack, the team inside the CIA annex had captured three Libyan attackers and was forced to hand them over to the Libyans. U.S. officials do not know what happened to those three attackers and whether they were released by the Libyan forces.

Fox News has also learned that Stevens was in Benghazi that day to be present at the opening of an English-language school being started by the Libyan farmer who helped save an American pilot who had been shot down by pro-Qaddafi forces during the initial war to overthrow the regime. That farmer saved the life of the American pilot and the ambassador wanted to be present to launch the Libyan rescuer’s new school.

Voir aussi:

EXCLUSIVE: Petraeus mistress may have revealed classified information at Denver speech on real reason for Libya attack

Jennifer Griffin, Adam Housley

FoxNews.com

November 12, 2012

Biographer Paula Broadwell could be facing questions about whether she revealed classified information about the Libya attack that she was privy to due to her relationship with then-CIA Director David Petraeus.

At an Oct. 26 speech at her alma mater, the University of Denver, on the same day that Fox News reported that the rescue team at the CIA annex had been denied help, Broadwell was asked about Petraeus’ handling of the Benghazi situation.

Her response was reported originally by Israel’s Arutz Sheva and Foreign Policy’s Blake Hounshell.

Broadwell quoted the Fox News report when she said: “The facts that came out today were that the ground forces there at the CIA annex, which is different from the consulate, were requesting reinforcements."

Broadwell went on to explain more sensitive details from the Benghazi attacks, particularly concerning what the real cause might have been.

“Now, I don’t know if a lot of you heard this, but the CIA annex had actually, um, had taken a couple of Libyan militia members prisoner and they think that the attack on the consulate was an effort to try to get these prisoners back. So that’s still being vetted.”

In the original Oct. 26 Fox News report, sources at the annex said that the CIA’s Global Response Staff had handed over three Libyan militia members to the Libyan authorities who came to rescue the 30 Americans in the early hours of Sept. 12.

A well-placed Washington source confirms to Fox News that there were Libyan militiamen being held at the CIA annex in Benghazi and that their presence was being looked at as a possible motive for the staged attack on the consulate and annex that night.

According to multiple intelligence sources who have served in Benghazi, there were more than just Libyan militia members who were held and interrogated by CIA contractors at the CIA annex in the days prior to the attack. Other prisoners from additional countries in Africa and the Middle East were brought to this location.

The Libya annex was the largest CIA station in North Africa, and two weeks prior to the attack, the CIA was preparing to shut it down. Most prisoners, according to British and American intelligence sources, had been moved two weeks earlier.

The CIA, though, categorically denied these allegations, saying: “The CIA has not had detention authority since January 2009, when Executive Order 13491 was issued. Any suggestion that the agency is still in the detention business is uninformed and baseless.”

Broadwell’s affair with Petraeus was likely known to Holly Petraeus, according to family friends. The FBI reportedly knew about it months beforehand and White House Counterterrorism adviser John Brennan reportedly was aware that there was a relationship as early as the summer of 2011.

The White House strongly denied that Brennan was aware so early.

“It is irresponsible and flat out wrong for Fox News to run an anonymous, unsubstantiated, and blatantly false accusation, as Mr. Brennan was first made aware of the issue last Wednesday," spokesman Tommy Vietor said.

Broadwell, whose affair with Petraeus reportedly ended earlier this year, continued to serve as an informal spokesman for the CIA director. She suggests in her Denver speech that Petraeus knew almost immediately that the attack was a terror attack — possibly to free militia members.

A few days later, Petraeus testified in a closed session to Congress that the attack was due in large part to an anti-Islam video and a spontaneous uprising, according to reports from the hearing.

Congressional leaders say privately they believe they were lied to by Petraeus when he testified shortly after the attack. Some of these members already considered charging Petraeus with perjury, but said they planned to withhold judgment until he testified this week. After resigning as CIA director, the CIA said Acting Director Mike Morrell would testify in his place

All of this raises the question: What was the CIA really doing in Benghazi in addition to searching for Qaddafi’s stash of more than 22,000 shoulder-held missiles that could bring down commercial airplanes, and who in the White House knew exactly what the CIA was up to?

Voir également:

FBI’s Abuse of the Surveillance State Is the Real Scandal

Glen Greenwald

Guardian UK

13 November 12

That the stars of America’s national security establishment are being devoured by out-of-control surveillance is a form of sweet justice

The Petraeus scandal is receiving intense media scrutiny obviously due to its salacious aspects, leaving one, as always, to fantasize about what a stellar press corps we would have if they devoted a tiny fraction of this energy to dissecting non-sex political scandals (this unintentionally amusing New York Times headline from this morning – "Concern Grows Over Top Military Officers’ Ethics" – illustrates that point: with all the crimes committed by the US military over the last decade and long before, it’s only adultery that causes "concern" over their "ethics"). Nonetheless, several of the emerging revelations are genuinely valuable, particularly those involving the conduct of the FBI and the reach of the US surveillance state.

As is now widely reported, the FBI investigation began when Jill Kelley – a Tampa socialite friendly with Petraeus (and apparently very friendly with Gen. John Allen, the four-star U.S. commander of the war in Afghanistan) – received a half-dozen or so anonymous emails that she found vaguely threatening. She then informed a friend of hers who was an FBI agent, and a major FBI investigation was then launched that set out to determine the identity of the anonymous emailer.

That is the first disturbing fact: it appears that the FBI not only devoted substantial resources, but also engaged in highly invasive surveillance, for no reason other than to do a personal favor for a friend of one of its agents, to find out who was very mildly harassing her by email. The emails Kelley received were, as the Daily Beast reports, quite banal and clearly not an event that warranted an FBI investigation:

"The emails that Jill Kelley showed an FBI friend near the start of last summer were not jealous lover warnings like ‘stay away from my man’, a knowledgeable source tells The Daily Beast. . . .

"‘More like, ‘Who do you think you are? . . .You parade around the base . . . You need to take it down a notch,’" according to the source, who was until recently at the highest levels of the intelligence community and prefers not to be identified by name.

"The source reports that the emails did make one reference to Gen. David Petraeus, but it was oblique and offered no manifest suggestion of a personal relationship or even that he was central to the sender’s spite. . . . v"When the FBI friend showed the emails to the cyber squad in the Tampa field office, her fellow agents noted the absence of any overt threats.

"No, ‘I’ll kill you’ or ‘I’ll burn your house down," the source says. ‘It doesn’t seem really that bad.’

"The squad was not even sure the case was worth pursuing, the source says.

"‘What does this mean? There’s no threat there. This is against the law?’ the agents asked themselves by the source’s account.

"At most the messages were harassing. The cyber squad had to consult the statute books in its effort to determine whether there was adequate legal cause to open a case.

"‘It was a close call,’ the source says.

"What tipped it may have been Kelley’s friendship with the agent."

That this deeply personal motive was what spawned the FBI investigation is bolstered by the fact that the initial investigating agent "was barred from taking part in the case over the summer due to superiors’ concerns that he was personally involved in the case" – indeed, "supervisors soon became concerned that the initial agent might have grown obsessed with the matter" – and was found to have "allegedly sent shirtless photos" to Kelley, and "is now under investigation by the Office of Professional Responsibility, the internal-affairs arm of the FBI".

[The New York Times this morning reports that the FBI claims the emails contained references to parts of Petraeus' schedule that were not publicly disclosed, though as Marcy Wheeler documents, the way the investigation proceeded strongly suggests that at least the initial impetus behind it was a desire to settle personal scores.]

What is most striking is how sweeping, probing and invasive the FBI’s investigation then became, all without any evidence of any actual crime – or the need for any search warrant:

"Because the sender’s account had been registered anonymously, investigators had to use forensic techniques – including a check of what other e-mail accounts had been accessed from the same computer address – to identify who was writing the e-mails.

"Eventually they identified Ms. Broadwell as a prime suspect and obtained access to her regular e-mail account. In its in-box, they discovered intimate and sexually explicit e-mails from another account that also was not immediately identifiable. Investigators eventually ascertained that it belonged to Mr. Petraeus and studied the possibility that someone had hacked into Mr. Petraeus’s account or was posing as him to send the explicit messages."

So all based on a handful of rather unremarkable emails sent to a woman fortunate enough to have a friend at the FBI, the FBI traced all of Broadwell’s physical locations, learned of all the accounts she uses, ended up reading all of her emails, investigated the identity of her anonymous lover (who turned out to be Petraeus), and then possibly read his emails as well. They dug around in all of this without any evidence of any real crime – at most, they had a case of "cyber-harassment" more benign than what regularly appears in my email inbox and that of countless of other people – and, in large part, without the need for any warrant from a court.

But that isn’t all the FBI learned. It was revealed this morning that they also discovered "alleged inappropriate communication" to Kelley from Gen. Allen, who is not only the top commander in Afghanistan but was also just nominated by President Obama to be the Commander of US European Command and Supreme Allied Commander Europe (a nomination now "on hold"). Here, according to Reuters, is what the snooping FBI agents obtained about that [emphasis added]:

"The U.S. official said the FBI uncovered between 20,000 and 30,000 pages of communications – mostly emails spanning from 2010 to 2012 – between Allen and Jill Kelley . . . .

"Asked whether there was concern about the disclosure of classified information, the official said, on condition of anonymity: ‘We are concerned about inappropriate communications. We are not going to speculate as to what is contained in these documents.’"

So not only did the FBI – again, all without any real evidence of a crime – trace the locations and identity of Broadwell and Petreaus, and read through Broadwell’s emails (and possibly Petraeus’), but they also got their hands on and read through 20,000-30,000 pages of emails between Gen. Allen and Kelley.

This is a surveillance state run amok. It also highlights how any remnants of internet anonymity have been all but obliterated by the union between the state and technology companies.

But, as unwarranted and invasive as this all is, there is some sweet justice in having the stars of America’s national security state destroyed by the very surveillance system which they implemented and over which they preside. As Trevor Timm of the Electronic Frontier Foundation put it this morning: "Who knew the key to stopping the Surveillance State was to just wait until it got so big that it ate itself?"

It is usually the case that abuses of state power become a source for concern and opposition only when they begin to subsume the elites who are responsible for those abuses. Recall how former Democratic Rep. Jane Harman – one of the most outspoken defenders of the illegal Bush National Security Agency (NSA) warrantless eavesdropping program – suddenly began sounding like an irate, life-long ACLU privacy activist when it was revealed that the NSA had eavesdropped on her private communications with a suspected Israeli agent over alleged attempts to intervene on behalf of AIPAC officials accused of espionage. Overnight, one of the Surveillance State’s chief assets, the former ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, transformed into a vocal privacy proponent because now it was her activities, rather than those of powerless citizens, which were invaded.

With the private, intimate activities of America’s most revered military and intelligence officials being smeared all over newspapers and televisions for no good reason, perhaps similar conversions are possible. Put another way, having the career of the beloved CIA Director and the commanding general in Afghanistan instantly destroyed due to highly invasive and unwarranted electronic surveillance is almost enough to make one believe not only that there is a god, but that he is an ardent civil libertarian.

The US operates a sprawling, unaccountable Surveillance State that – in violent breach of the core guarantees of the Fourth Amendment – monitors and records virtually everything even the most law-abiding citizens do. Just to get a flavor for how pervasive it is, recall that the Washington Post, in its 2010 three-part "Top Secret America" series, reported: "Every day, collection systems at the National Security Agency intercept and store 1.7 billion e-mails, phone calls and other types of communications."

Equally vivid is this 2007 chart from Privacy International, a group that monitors the surveillance policies of nations around the world. Each color represents the level of the nation’s privacy and surveillance policies, with black being the most invasive and abusive ("Endemic Surveillance Societies") and blue being the least ("Consistently upholds human rights standards"):

And the Obama administration has spent the last four years aggressively seeking to expand that Surveillance State, including by agitating for Congressional action to amend the Patriot Act to include Internet and browsing data among the records obtainable by the FBI without court approval and demanding legislation requiring that all Internet communications contain a government "backdoor" of surveillance.

Based on what is known, what is most disturbing about the whole Petraeus scandal is not the sexual activities that it revealed, but the wildly out-of-control government surveillance powers which enabled these revelations. What requires investigation here is not Petraeus and Allen and their various sexual partners but the FBI and the whole sprawling, unaccountable surveillance system that has been built.

Related Notes

(1) One of the claims made over the last week was that Broadwell, in public comments about the Benghazi attack, referenced non-public information – including that the CIA was holding prisoners in Benghazi and that this motivated the attack – suggesting that someone gave her classified information. About those claims, a national security reporter for Fox reported:

"that a well-placed Washington source confirms that Libyan militiamen were being held at the CIA annex and may have been a possible reason for the attack. Multiple intelligence sources, she also reported, said ‘there were more than just Libyan militia members who were held and interrogated by CIA contractors at the CIA annex in the days prior to the attack. Other prisoners from additional countries in Africa and the Middle East were brought to this location.’"

Though the CIA denies that "the agency is still in the detention business", it certainly should be investigated to determine whether the CIA is maintaining off-the-books detention facilities in Libya.

(2) I’ve long noted that Michael Hastings is one of the nation’s best and most valuable journalists; to see why that is so, please watch the amazing 8-minute clip from last night’s Piers Morgan Show on CNN embedded below, when he appeared with two Petraeus-defending military officials (via the Atlantic’s Adam Clark Estes). When you’re done watching that, contrast that with the remarkably candid confession this week from Wired’s national security reporter Spencer Ackerman on how he, along with so many other journalists, hypnotically joined what he aptly calls the "Cult of David Petraeus".

Voir encore:

Démission du patron de la CIA : les raisons cachées derrière le pretexte de l’affaire de l’adultère

La démission du général David Petraeus laisse la CIA sans chef. Officiellement, il s’agit d’un scandale déclenché par une liaison extra conjugale. Mais le général a sans doute aussi payé le fiasco de l’attaque du consulat américain à Benghazi qui a fait 3 morts américains, dont l’ambassadeur.

La CIA décapitée

12 novembre 2012

La démission surprise du général David Petraeus, héros de l’Irak et de l’Afghanistan, laisse la CIA sans chef. Officiellement, il s’agirait d’un scandale déclenché par une liaison du général avec sa ravissante biographe, après 37 ans de mariage. Selon la tradition américaine, le général David Petraeus s’est frappé la poitrine auprès des medias, maudissant son erreur de jugement, et a même demandé aux membres de la CIA de lui pardonner ses errements.

Bizarrement, cette démission surprise n’avait été précédée d’aucun scandale révélé par les medias américains. On peut donc légitimement se poser la question de savoir si c’est la véritable raison du départ du général Petraeus.

Par contre, cette démission s’inscrit entre deux évènements majeurs : l’attaque du consulat américain à Benghazi qui a fait 3 morts américains, dont l’ambassadeur, et la réélection de Barack Obama. Aussi pense-t-on à Washington que le général Petraeus, qui était un brillant militaire, mais n’avait aucune expérience du renseignement, a été dégagé simplement parce qu’il n’était pas à la hauteur. On sait que Barack Obama avait violemment réagi à l’incident de Benghazi : cela faisait plus de 30 ans qu’un ambassadeur américain n’avait pas été assassiné.

David Petraeus devait être entendu par la commission d’enquête sur l’affaire de Benghazi dans quelques jours et il risquait d’avoir à avouer que la CIA avait failli. Lourdement.

On peut donc penser qu’une combinaison de pressions de la Maison blanche et sa propre réticence à avouer les erreurs de l’Agence ont provoqué cette fausse démission. Personne ne le regrettera à Langley, car il n’avait pas vraiment marqué de son empreinte la grande agence de renseignements.

Voir encore:

Sexe, menaces et documents secrets, les dessous de l’affaire Petraeus

CB

Libération

13 novembre 2012

Apparue sans prévenir vendredi, l’affaire Petraeus tourne à l’imbroglio, sans que l’on comprenne d’ailleurs encore bien où est le scandale. Rappel des faits pour s’y retrouver.

Ce que l’on sait

D’abord, l’affaire Petraeus proprement dite. Elle a éclaté publiquement vendredi, quand David Petraeus, le directeur de la CIA, 60 ans, marié depuis trente-sept ans, général considéré comme un héros national pour son rôle dans la guerre d’Irak, a annoncé sa démission. Motif ? Une «relation extraconjugale». L’Amérique se pince. Le nom de Paula Broadwell (photo Reuters, au côté de David Petraeus), auteure d’une biographie sur lui, apparaît rapidement pour le rôle de la maîtresse. La relation entre Petraeus et Paula Broadwell a débuté deux mois après son arrivée à la tête de la CIA en septembre 2011, et a pris fin il y a quatre mois, précisera Steve Boylanun, ami et ancien porte-parole de Petraeus.

Deuxième étape, deuxième femme. Une certaine Jill Kelley (photo Reuters), 37 ans, domicilée à Tampa, en Floride, apparaît dans l’affaire. C’est une proche de la famille Petraeus. Elle est allée voir le FBI au début de l’été pour se plaindre de courriers électroniques anonymes menaçants. L’enquête a révélé que ces messages étaient envoyés par Paula Broadwell. En remontant le fil, le FBI est ensuite tombé sur des mails entre Paula Broadwell et Petraeus. C’est cette correspondance par mails qui fera éclater le scandale.

Le 22 octobre, Paula Broadwell est entendue par le FBI. Elle remet aux enquêteurs son ordinateur. Ils y découvrent des dossiers classés «secret». Elle affirme que ce n’est pas David Petraeus qui les lui a fournis. Ce dernier, également entendu, soutient de son côté qu’il n’a rien transmis à sa maîtresse. Les enquêteurs concluent qu’il n’y a aucun élément laissant penser que le directeur de la CIA lui a fourni des documents classifiés et a violé la loi.

Troisième étape, ce mardi, avec l’apparition d’une affaire dans l’affaire. Ce nouveau volet met en cause un nouveau protagoniste, John Allen, le commandant des forces de l’Otan en Afghanistan. Cet officier discret bardé de diplômes, qui a gagné ses lettres de noblesse en Irak, est l’objet d’une enquête pour avoir envoyé des courriels «inappropriés» à la fameuse Jill Kelley. Le FBI a découvert 30 000 pages de correspondance entre eux, selon le Pentagone. Une autre histoire de coucheries ? Non, selon un responsable américain proche du général Allen, interrogé par le Washington Post : «Il n’a jamais été seul avec elle. A-t-il eu une laison ? Non.» Par ailleurs, selon lui, la correspondance entre les deux était «loin» d’atteindre le volume décrit. Ils ont échangé «quelques centaines de courriers électroniques au fil des années».

En attendant que l’enquête permette d’y voir plus clair, Barack Obama a suspendu la nomination de John Allen à la tête des forces de l’Otan. A près de 59 ans, le général Allen devait succéder à l’amiral James Stavridis au printemps 2013, sous réserve de confirmation par le Sénat américain.

Où est le problème ?

Vue depuis la France, où l’on n’imagine pas une seconde le patron des RG démissionner pour une histoire de maîtresse, l’affaire paraît disproportionnée. Mais aux Etats-Unis, on ne plaisante pas avec l’infidélité. Bill Clinton, tout le monde s’en souvient, a frôlé l’impeachment pour ça. L’armée, en particulier, prend l’adultère très au sérieux. Le code militaire en vigueur aux Etats-Unis classe l’adultère comme un crime, car portant «atteinte à l’ordre» et venant jeter le discrédit sur l’ensemble des troupes (cf. l’article 134).

Dans le cas de Petraeus, cependant, il ne s’agit pas que de puritanisme. «Semblable comportement est inacceptable à la fois comme époux et comme patron d’une organisation telle que la nôtre», s’est-il excusé. Par ces termes, il place lui-même sa «faute» sur deux plans : celui des mœurs, et celui de la sécurité. A ce niveau de responsabilités, qui dit maîtresse (ou amant) dit fuites possibles. Risque de chantage, aussi. En l’état de l’enquête, rien ne permet de conclure que Petraeus a transmis des infos. Mais pour les Américains, David Petraeus, la tête d’une organisation détenant les informations les plus ultraconfidentielles qui soient, apparaît comme un homme qui a failli. Un homme qui s’est mis en position de faiblesse, et son organisation avec lui.

Leon Panetta, lui-même ancien patron de la CIA et actuel secrétaire à la Défense, a d’ailleurs commenté la démission de son successeur comme étant une «bonne décision» car «il est très important quand vous êtes directeur de la CIA, avec tous les défis que vous devez relever, que vous ayez avant toute chose une intégrité personnelle».

Pourquoi le calendrier pose question

D’après les éléments collectés par la presse, dont le New York Times, tout a débuté au début de l’été, quand le FBI a ouvert une enquête sur six mails anonymes de menace envoyés à Jill Kelley. Pourquoi l’affaire a-t-elle mis plusieurs mois à sortir ? Ce n’est en effet que le 6 novembre, jour de la réélection de Barack Obama, que le supérieur de David Petraeus, le directeur national du renseignement (DNI), James Clapper, a été mis au courant. La Maison Blanche l’a été le lendemain. Il n’en faut pas plus pour que certains flairent le complot. Mais complot orchestré par qui, pourquoi ?

Autre point troublant, que les républicains n’ont pas manqué de relever : la démission de Petraeus est intervenue juste avant l’ouverture, ce mardi, des auditions à huis clos prévues devant le Congrès sur l’attaque contre le consulat américain le 11 septembre à Benghazi, en Libye. La réaction de la CIA dans cette attaque a été mise en cause. A ce titre, David Petraeus devait témoigner. Ce sera finalement le directeur adjoint de l’agence, Michael Morell, qui ira à sa place. Reste que la commission du renseignement du Sénat américain va enquêter pour savoir pourquoi le FBI ne l’a pas informée de l’affaire Petraeus : «Nous aurions dû être informés, il s’agit de quelque chose qui aurait pu avoir un effet sur la sécurité nationale», a souligné sa présidente.

 Voir enfin:

Pourquoi l’adultère est-il un motif de démission aux États-Unis ?

Des responsables du FBI et de la CIA doivent faire le point mardi 13 novembre au Congrès sur l’affaire d’adultère qui a entraîné la démission surprise du patron de la CIA David Petraeus.

Les parlementaires veulent en savoir plus sur le calendrier de l’enquête, ses répercussions ou d’éventuelles atteintes à la sécurité nationale. La présidente de la commission du renseignement du Sénat américain, la démocrate Dianne Feinstein, a assuré que sa commission va enquêter pour savoir pourquoi le FBI n’a pas informé cette dernière de l’affaire Petraeus.

Le FBI a découvert la liaison du général avec Paula Broadwell en enquêtant sur les courriels de celle-ci à Jill Kelley, une amie de longue date de David Petraeus qui, se disant harcelée par Paula Broadwell, a demandé la protection du FBI. Analyse d’Olivier Richomme, maître de conférences en civilisation américaine à l’université Lyon 2.

« Les États-Unis sont perçus comme un pays puritain où l’adultère est un problème. L’adultère peut être considéré comme un motif suffisant de démission par les conservateurs, la frange des républicains la plus radicale sur les questions de société, religieuses et morales.

Mais si le responsable public fait ses aveux et son mea culpa, y compris devant le public, il peut s’en remettre assez facilement, même si c’est un républicain. Ce n’est que lorsque cela échappe au contrôle des protagonistes, que l’on cache des faits et qu’il y a une enquête que cela devient compliqué.

Pour les Américains, ce qui pose problème, c’est plus ce que l’on cache. En outre, le fait pour un responsable public de mentir ou de dissimuler une aventure extraconjugale va focaliser l’attention et être une source de discrédit politique. Même si les individus impliqués n’ont commis aucun délit, ni violé aucune loi, il est difficile de s’en remettre.

L’ombre de l’affaire Monica Lewinsky

C’est surtout cela que le général Petraeus a voulu éviter en offrant sa démission qui a été acceptée par Barack Obama. Il s’agit d’abord de ne pas donner aux républicains l’opportunité de créer un embarras politique en lançant des enquêtes, prendre les devants avant que la situation ne devienne ingérable.

Le fait que cette démission intervienne après l’élection présidentielle n’est pas anodin. Cette démission passera plus facilement dans le cadre du renouvellement prévu d’une grande partie des responsables de l’administration Obama avant le second mandat présidentiel qui commence en janvier.

L’administration Obama a toujours cherché à contrôler très étroitement sa communication et à éviter les scandales. Les démocrates n’ont pas oublié ce qui s’est passé pendant la présidence de Bill Clinton (NDLR : l’affaire Monica Lewinsky) et ne veulent pas prendre de risque avec ce genre de choses. »

RECUEILLI PAR FRANÇOIS D’ALANÇON


Présidentielle américaine/2012: Le père Noël était une ordure et nous le savions ! (In a nation of children, Santa Claus wins)

8 novembre, 2012
Mitt Romney and his family would have been the essence of exactly what this country needs. But what was Romney’s recipe? Romney’s recipe was the old standby: American route to success, hard work. That gets sneered at. I’m sorry. In a country of children where the option is Santa Claus or work, what wins? And say what you want, but Romney did offer a vision of traditional America. In his way, he put forth a great vision of traditional America, and it was rejected. It was rejected in favor of a guy who thinks that those who are working aren’t doing enough to help those who aren’t. And that resonated. The Obama campaign was about small stuff. War on Women, binders, Big Bird, this kind of stuff. The Romney campaign was about big things, was about America. (…) One of the greatest misunderstandings in this country, if you boil all this down, is what creates prosperity. The Romney campaign was essentially about that, and the Romney campaign was devoted to the traditional American view and history — vision, as well — of what creates prosperity. The old capitalism, the old arguments of hard work, stick-to-itiveness, self-reliance, charity, helping out in the community. All of these things that define the traditional institutions that made this country great, that’s what the Romney campaign was about. It was rejected. That way, or that route to prosperity was sneered at. That route to prosperity was rejected. The people who voted for Obama don’t believe in it. They don’t think it’s possible. They think the game’s rigged. They think the deck is stacked against them. They think that the only way they’re gonna have a chance for anything is if somebody comes along and takes from somebody else and gives it to them. Santa Claus! And it’s hard to beat Santa Claus. Especially it’s hard to beat Santa Claus when the alternative is, "You be your own Santa Claus." (…) There is no rising to responsibility. There is no accepting responsibility. There’s just a demand that the gravy train continue, and we have an administration that’s promising an endless gravy train. All you have to do to stay on that gravy train is vote. Rush Limbaugh
We have never quite had the present perfect storm of nearly half not paying federal income taxes, nearly 50 million on food stamps, and almost half the population on some sort of federal largess — and a sophistic elite that promotes it and at the same time finds ways to be exempt from its social and cultural consequences. For an Obama, Biden, Kerry, Pelosi, or Feinstein, the psychological cost for living like 18th-century French royalty is the promotion of the welfare state for millions of others who for now will be kept far away, in places like Bakersfield or Mendota. The solution, I fear, may be near-insolvency along the Wisconsin model, and self-correction after some dark Greek-like years, or, in contrast, in extremis blue politicians having to deal with the consequences of their own policies. In the manner that an Obama can vastly expand drones and renditions without a whimper of liberal angst, so too someone like him will have to deal with bounced Medicare reimbursements or free cell phones that can’t be replaced when they break, or long lines in federal health clinics emptied of doctors who have gone elsewhere. The laws of physics ultimately prevail. In Michigan in September I had a talk with a retired auto worker who did not care that the bailout cost $25 billion, was not sustainable, shorted the legal first-in-line creditors, shorted politically incorrect managerial pensioners, or ensured the Volt debacle. He simply said to me, “Obama saved my son’s job and I don’t care about much else.” That’s the rub in the short term that seems to the norm in at least the past and future few years. It means that the Republicans, without a once-in-a-lifetime Reagan-like perfect candidate — or some sort of national crisis in the manner that Iran once derailed Jimmy Carter, or Ross Perot once caused incumbent George H. W. Bush to implode — can’t quite get that extra 2 to 3 percentage points they need on the national scene to succeed. Victor Davis Hanson
Barack Obama n’avait (…) pas hésité à jouer sur la peur d’un retour au pouvoir d’un parti républicain particulièrement rétrograde sur des questions de société tels que les droits des femmes ou encore le mariage gay. L’enjeu était d’autant plus important que, en plus de l’élection présidentielle, se tenaient les élections législatives ainsi qu’une série de votes par référendum dans plusieurs Etats sur des sujets tels que l’euthanasie, le cannabis ou l’union homosexuelle (qui) de leur côté ont également donné des résultats qui, hors période d’élection présidentielle, auraient fait la une des journaux nationaux. Les militants de la dépénalisation du cannabis ont en effet pu célébrer les résultats des votes dans les Etats du Colorado et l’Etat Washington dont les électeurs ont voté en faveur d’une proposition visant à légaliser l’usage récréatif. Concernant les droits des homosexuels, les électeurs des Etats du Maine, de Washington et du Maryland ont été les premiers à approuver par référendum le principe du mariage, créant ainsi une énorme brèche dans ce débat au niveau national. Autant que la réélection de Barack Obama en elle-même, ces différentes victoires ont contribué à créer un véritable sentiment de renouveau progressiste. Pour le site Buzzfeed, nous pourrions même assister à l’avènement de « l’Amérique libérale ». (…) grâce à ces différentes victoires, Barack Obama pourrait même endosser le rôle historique de leader idéologique d’une nouvelle ère progressiste, comme son prédécesseur Ronald Reagan l’avait fait pour les conservateurs dans les années 80. Le Nouvel observateur
Je rêve que mes quatre petits enfants vivront un jour dans un pays où on ne les jugera pas à la couleur de leur peau mais à la nature de leur caractère. Martin Luther King
Si Obama était blanc, il ne serait pas dans cette position. Et s’il était une femme, il ne serait pas dans cette position. Il a beaucoup de chance d’être ce qu’il est. Et le pays est pris par le concept. Geraldine Ferraro (ex-colistière du candidat démocrate de 1984 Walter Mondale et proche d’Hillary Clinton, Daily Breeze, 07.03.08)
En 1984, si je m’étais appelée Gerard Ferraro au lieu  de Geraldine Ferraro, je n’aurais jamais été choisie comme candidate à la vice-présidence. Cela n’a rien à voir avec mes qualifications. Geraldine Ferraro
Ma propre ville de Chicago a compté parmi les villes à la politique locale la plus corrompue de l’histoire américaine, du népotisme institutionnalisé aux élections douteuses. Barack Obama (Nairobi, Kenya, août 2006)
Though Obama, the son of a Kenyan immigrant, lagged in polls as late as mid-February, he surged to the front of the pack in recent weeks after he began airing television commercials and the black community rallied behind him. He also was the beneficiary of the most inglorious campaign implosion in Illinois political history, when multimillionaire Blair Hull plummeted from front-runner status amid revelations that an ex-wife had alleged in divorce papers that he had physically and verbally abused her. After spending more than $29 million of his own money, Hull, a former securities trader, finished third, garnering about 10 percent of the vote. (…) Obama ascended to front-runner status in early March as Hull’s candidacy went up in flames amid the divorce revelations, as well as Hull’s acknowledgment that he had used cocaine in the 1980s and had been evaluated for alcohol abuse. The Chicago Tribune (17.03.04)
Axelrod is known for operating in this gray area, part idealist, part hired muscle. It is difficult to discuss Axelrod in certain circles in Chicago without the matter of the Blair Hull divorce papers coming up. As the 2004 Senate primary neared, it was clear that it was a contest between two people: the millionaire liberal, Hull, who was leading in the polls, and Obama, who had built an impressive grass-roots campaign. About a month before the vote, The Chicago Tribune revealed, near the bottom of a long profile of Hull, that during a divorce proceeding, Hull’s second wife filed for an order of protection. In the following few days, the matter erupted into a full-fledged scandal that ended up destroying the Hull campaign and handing Obama an easy primary victory. The Tribune reporter who wrote the original piece later acknowledged in print that the Obama camp had  »worked aggressively behind the scenes » to push the story. But there are those in Chicago who believe that Axelrod had an even more significant role — that he leaked the initial story. They note that before signing on with Obama, Axelrod interviewed with Hull. They also point out that Obama’s TV ad campaign started at almost the same time. The NYT (01.04.07)
One lesson, however, has not fully sunk in and awaits final elucidation in the 2012 election: that of the Chicago style of Barack Obama’s politicking. In 2008 few of the true believers accepted that, in his first political race, in 1996, Barack Obama sued successfully to remove his opponents from the ballot. Or that in his race for the US Senate eight years later, sealed divorced records for both his primary- and general-election opponents were mysteriously leaked by unnamed Chicagoans, leading to the implosions of both candidates’ campaigns. Or that Obama was the first presidential candidate in the history of public campaign financing to reject it, or that he was also the largest recipient of cash from Wall Street in general, and from BP and Goldman Sachs in particular. Or that Obama was the first presidential candidate in recent memory not to disclose either undergraduate records or even partial medical. Or that remarks like “typical white person,” the clingers speech, and the spread-the-wealth quip would soon prove to be characteristic rather than anomalous. Few American presidents have dashed so many popular, deeply embedded illusions as has Barack Obama. And for that, we owe him a strange sort of thanks. Victor Davis Hanson
La condamnation de M. Blagojevich met une fois de plus la lumière sur la scène politique corrompue de l’Etat dont la plus grande ville est Chicago. Cinq des neuf gouverneurs précédents de l’Illinois ont été accusés ou arrêtés pour fraude ou corruption. Le prédécesseur de M. Blagojevich, le républicain George Ryan, purge actuellement une peine de six ans et demi de prison pour fraude et racket. M. Blagojevich, qui devra se présenter à la prison le 16 février et verser des amendes de près de 22 000 dollars, détient le triste record de la peine la plus lourde jamais infligée à un ex-gouverneur de l’Illinois. Ses avocats ont imploré le juge de ne pas chercher à faire un exemple avec leur client, notant que ce dernier n’avait pas amassé d’enrichissement personnel et avait seulement tenté d’obtenir des fonds de campagne ainsi que des postes bien rémunérés. En plein scandale, M. Blagojevich était passé outre aux appels à la démission venus de son propre parti et avait nommé procédé à la nomination d’un sénateur avant d’être destitué. Mais le scandale a porté un coup à la réputation des démocrates dans l’Illinois et c’est un républicain qui a été élu l’an dernier pour occuper l’ancien siège de M. Obama. AFP (08.12.11)
C’est un système pourri, une toile d’araignée qui organise sa survie en nommant ses amis à des postes clés de l’administration en échange de leur soutien politique et financier.  Anthony Peraica
Selon le professeur Dick Simpson, chef du département de science politique de l’université d’Illinois, «c’est à la fin du XIXe siècle et au début du XXe que le système prend racine». L’arrivée de larges populations immigrées peinant à faire leur chemin à Chicago pousse les politiciens à «mobiliser le vote des communautés en échange d’avantages substantiels». Dans les années 1930, le Parti démocrate assoit peu à peu sa domination grâce à cette politique «raciale». Le système va se solidifier sous le règne de Richard J. Daley, grande figure qui régnera sur la ville pendant 21 ans. Aujourd’hui, c’est son fils Richard M. Daley qui est aux affaires depuis 18 ans et qui «perpétue le pouvoir du Parti démocrate à Chicago, en accordant emplois d’État, faveurs et contrats, en échange de soutiens politiques et financiers», raconte John McCormick. «Si on vous donne un permis de construction, vous êtes censés “payer en retour”», explique-t-il. «Cela s’appelle payer pour jouer», résume John Kass, un autre éditorialiste. Les initiés affirment que Rod Blagojevich ne serait jamais devenu gouverneur s’il n’avait croisé le chemin de sa future femme, Patricia Mell, fille de Dick Mell, un conseiller municipal très influent, considéré comme un rouage essentiel de la machine. Le Figaro
Dans ce contexte local plus que trouble, Peraica affirme que la montée au firmament d’Obama n’a pu se faire «par miracle».«Il a été aidé par la machine qui l’a adoubé, il est cerné par cette machine qui produit de la corruption et le risque existe qu’elle monte de Chicago vers Washington», va-t-il même jusqu’à prédire. Le conseiller régional républicain cite notamment le nom d’Emil Jones, l’un des piliers du Parti démocrate de l’Illinois, qui a apporté son soutien à Obama lors de son élection au Sénat en 2004. Il évoque aussi les connexions du président élu avec Anthony Rezko, cet homme d’affaires véreux, proche de Blagojevich et condamné pour corruption, qui fut aussi le principal responsable de la levée de fonds privés pour le compte d’Obama pendant sa course au siège de sénateur et qui l’aida à acheter sa maison à Chicago. «La presse a protégé Barack Obama comme un petit bébé. Elle n’a pas sorti les histoires liées à ses liens avec Rezko», s’indigne Peraica, qui cite toutefois un article du Los Angeles Times faisant état d’une affaire de financement d’un tournoi international de ping-pong qui aurait éclaboussé le président élu. (…) L’équipe du président élu «n’en est pas moins très embarrassée par le scandale», affirme le politologue Ola Adeyoje, spécialiste de la politique locale à Chicago. Les écoutes téléphoniques révèlent en effet un gouverneur persuadé d’être en contact et en négociation quasi directe avec Barack Obama pour la désignation d’un successeur au Sénat. Sentant venir la polémique, le nouveau chef de l’État a donc promis de passer au crible les discussions que son entourage aurait pu avoir avec Blagojevich. À ce titre, le directeur de cabinet d’Obama, Rahm Emanuel, est dans la ligne de mire des républicains car il apparaît qu’il a été en contact avec le gouverneur sur ce thème, selon le Chicago Tribune. Lundi, les deux chambres du Parlement de l’Illinois se sont rassemblées pour décider d’une éventuelle procédure de destitution du gouverneur, qui ne se presse pas de démissionner. La plupart des leaders démocrates jugent impensable qu’il puisse rester à son poste et décider de la nomination d’un nouveau sénateur. Mais une procédure de destitution d’un gouverneur, phénomène rarissime dans l’histoire des États-Unis où cela ne s’est produit qu’en Californie et au Dakota du Nord, risque de durer des mois… empoisonnant le climat politique, de Chicago à Washington. Le Figaro (décembre 2008)

Invalidations systématiques, dès son premier casse électoral de Chicago de 1996  pour les sénatoriales d’état, des candidatures de ses rivaux sur les plus subtils points de procédure (la qualité des signatures) jusqu’à se retrouver seul en lice …

Déballages forcés,  quatre ans plus tard aux élections sénatoriales fédérales de 2004, des problèmes de couple (un cas apparemment de violence domestique) ou frasques supposées (des soirées dans des club échangistes) de ses adversaires, que ce soit son propre collègue Blair Hull aux primaires ou le Républicain Jack Ryan à la générale de manière à se retrouver sans opposition devant les électeurs …

Tentative de rebelote, lors des primaires de 2008, contre sa rivale démocrate malheureuse Hillary Clinton …

A l’heure où, quatre ans après le holdup du siècle et devant la remontée de son adversaire républicain et les millions d’Hollywood, l’Imposteur en chef de Chicago nous ressort, après le coup du "mariage homosexuel" et celui de la "surprise d’octobre" sans compter le manque de motivation républicain, le 2e casse du siècle

Comment ne pas repenser, avec Rush Limbaugh (merci sil) et tous les petits mais à terme coûteux cadeaux du nouveau réélu aux minorités, homos et autres amateurs de drogues récréatives, à la stratégie père Noël qui avait permis il y a cinq mois à une « gauche champagne«   alliée avec une extrême gauche ouvertement totalitaire  de faire passer pour victoire l’auto-sabordage d’une droite divisée  par le plus violent des terrorismes intellectuels ?

Mais aussi à la formidable imposture entretenue (comme toutes proportions gardées pour notre François Hollande national) depuis quatre ans par nos journaux et médias de révérence, sur la réalité de la tristement fameuse machine politique de Chicago dont est issu, comme il l’avait une fois reconnu lui-même, l’auteur du 2e casse du siècle et squatter renouvelé de la Maison Blanche ?

Dans les bas-fonds politiques de Chicago

Laure Mandeville, envoyée spéciale à Chicago

16/12/2008

Rod Blagojevich, aujourd’hui accusé de corruption, prête serment lors de sa prise de fonction en tant que gouverneur de l’Illinois en août 2007. Pour la plupart des commentateurs, Barack Obama a su naviguer à travers la politique locale «sans se compromettre».

Le scandale de corruption qui frappe le gouverneur de l’Illinois Rod Blagojevich révèle le système de connivence et de passe-droits niché au cœur du fief politique d’Obama.

Des manches de chemise re­troussées. Une courte barbe grise. Des lunettes qui laissent entrevoir des yeux scrutateurs et malicieux. Voici donc John McCormick, le fameux journaliste dont le gouverneur de l’Illinois, Rod Blagojevich, voulait la tête. Celui qu’il rêvait de faire limoger du comité éditorial du Chicago Tribune. En échange de la mise à l’écart de plusieurs éditorialistes critiques, «Blago» se proposait de donner son feu vert à l’octroi d’une aide financière de 100 millions de dollars au propriétaire du journal, Sam Zell, pour que ce dernier puisse procéder à la vente du terrain de base-ball de Wrigley, et éponger ses dettes. «Je constate surtout que cela n’a pas marché !, précise John, en riant. Je me sens plutôt honoré d’être mis en balance avec 100 millions de dollars. Et surtout reconnaissant à mon employeur, si les allégations portées par le procureur Patrick Fitzgerald sont réelles.»

Dans les étages supérieurs d’une tour néogothique inspirée de Notre-Dame de Paris, qui abrite depuis plus de cent cinquante ans le vénérable journal, «l’enc… de journaliste», dont les éditoriaux irritaient le gouverneur, est en plein travail. Depuis que le scandale a rattrapé Rod Blagojevich, accusé par le procureur des États-Unis Patrick Fitzgerald d’avoir tissé une véritable toile de corruption autour de son poste, le journal est mobilisé vingt-quatre heures sur vingt-quatre. «J’ai sept pages débats à boucler», explique McCormick, chef adjoint du comité éditorial. Il dit avoir reçu un coup de fil d’un ancien professeur de journalisme. «Elle m’a dit :“100 millions ? Je n’aurais pas misé deux dollars sur toi !”», raconte-t-il en riant.

«Je veux faire de l’argent»

Le scandale qui a éclaté mardi dernier a provoqué un véritable séisme aux États-Unis, chassant de la une des journaux les questions liées à la transition Bush-Obama. Il est vrai qu’outre l’affaire des journalistes, dont John McCormick est devenu le héros involontaire, de graves accusations ont été portées par le procureur Fitzgerald sur la manière dont Blagojevich entendait négocier son pouvoir exclusif de désignation du successeur d’Obama au Sénat. Les écoutes téléphoniques menées par le FBI, et consignées dans un rapport de 76 pages dont Le Figaro a obtenu copie, révèlent son obsession d’arracher un poste lucratif pour lui ou son épouse. «Je veux faire de l’argent», lâche-t-il carrément au téléphone. «C’est du p… d’or», insiste-t-il. Le caractère vulgaire et brutal de ses conversations a choqué l’opinion américaine. Dans le bus qui promène les touristes à travers les hauts lieux mafieux de l’époque de la prohibition, un retraité confie sa stupeur devant tant de grossièreté, car «nous aimons à penser que nous sommes dirigés par des gens de haute tenue». «C’est surtout un imbécile, note le guide de l’excursion. Comment a-t-il pu parler de son désir de vendre un siège de sénateur alors qu’il faisait l’objet d’une enquête fédérale ? Al Capone était plus intelligent !»

Mais est-ce vraiment de la stupidité ? Ou ce mode de fonctionnement paraissait-il si naturel à Blagojevich qu’il en est venu à perdre le sens de la réalité ? Ce qui frappe dans le rapport du FBI, c’est qu’il accuse le gouverneur d’avoir usé de telles pratiques dès son arrivée aux affaires, en 2002, alors qu’il s’était fait élire sur une plate-forme de chevalier anticorruption. L’accusation révèle que le gouverneur aurait systématiquement monnayé sa position d’influence, levant des fonds privés pour l’organisation «Les amis de Blagojevich» en échange d’octrois de contrats ou de privilèges. Les multiples témoignages d’hommes véreux, condamnés depuis à la prison ferme, ajoutent au tableau une crédibilité dérangeante. Même si Blagojevich reste présumé innocent, les charges réunies dessinent les contours d’un monde incroyablement obscur et corrompu. «C’est la machine politique de Chicago», résument les journalistes locaux. Dans son édition de dimanche, le Chicago Tribune attaque carrément : «Il y a une raison pour laquelle l’Illinois a une longue histoire de scandale, dénonce le quotidien à la une. La machine politique carbure à l’argent.»

«Cela s’appelle payer pour jouer»

Selon le professeur Dick Simpson, chef du département de science politique de l’université d’Illinois, «c’est à la fin du XIXe siècle et au début du XXe que le système prend racine». L’arrivée de larges populations immigrées peinant à faire leur chemin à Chicago pousse les politiciens à «mobiliser le vote des communautés en échange d’avantages substantiels». Dans les années 1930, le Parti démocrate assoit peu à peu sa domination grâce à cette politique «raciale». Le système va se solidifier sous le règne de Richard J. Daley, grande figure qui régnera sur la ville pendant 21 ans. Aujourd’hui, c’est son fils Richard M. Daley qui est aux affaires depuis 18 ans et qui «perpétue le pouvoir du Parti démocrate à Chicago, en accordant emplois d’État, faveurs et contrats, en échange de soutiens politiques et financiers», raconte John McCormick. «Si on vous donne un permis de construction, vous êtes censés “payer en retour”», explique-t-il. «Cela s’appelle payer pour jouer», résume John Kass, un autre éditorialiste. Les initiés affirment que Rod Blagojevich ne serait jamais devenu gouverneur s’il n’avait croisé le chemin de sa future femme, Patricia Mell, fille de Dick Mell, un conseiller municipal très influent, considéré comme un rouage essentiel de la machine.

Anthony Peraica, un immigrant croate, débarqué aux États-Unis à l’âge de 13 ans, qui a fait de brillantes études de droit avant de se lancer en politique, affirme être bien placé pour raconter le système. Originaire du district de Bridgeport, le cœur de la machine Daley, ce conseiller régional républicain du comté de Chicago dit avoir été lui-même happé par le Parti démocrate avant de le quitter «écœuré» par les passe-droits qu’il y avait découverts. «C’est un système pourri, une toile d’araignée qui organise sa survie en nommant ses amis à des postes clés de l’administration en échange de leur soutien politique et financier», accuse-t-il. Anthony Peraica, qui a raté de peu la présidence du conseil régional du comté, affirme que seule l’intervention d’un syndicat ayant mis des millions de dollars dans la bataille médiatique pour le discréditer l’a empêché de gagner. «Les donateurs privés que je sollicite ont peur de me financer car ils craignent pour leurs avantages», poursuit-il. «Il n’y pas de système bipartisan ici, c’est une autocratie», dit le républicain, qui affirme que des inconnus ont plusieurs fois forcé ses bureaux d’avocat, dans la partie sud de Chicago, «sans doute pour m’intimider». «La seule chose qui pourrait changer le système, c’est un financement public des campagnes à l’européenne, et des temps d’accès aux médias réglementés.»

Dans ce contexte local plus que trouble, Peraica affirme que la montée au firmament d’Obama n’a pu se faire «par miracle».«Il a été aidé par la machine qui l’a adoubé, il est cerné par cette machine qui produit de la corruption et le risque existe qu’elle monte de Chicago vers Washington», va-t-il même jusqu’à prédire. Le conseiller régional républicain cite notamment le nom d’Emil Jones, l’un des piliers du Parti démocrate de l’Illinois, qui a apporté son soutien à Obama lors de son élection au Sénat en 2004. Il évoque aussi les connexions du président élu avec Anthony Rezko, cet homme d’affaires véreux, proche de Blagojevich et condamné pour corruption, qui fut aussi le principal responsable de la levée de fonds privés pour le compte d’Obama pendant sa course au siège de sénateur et qui l’aida à acheter sa maison à Chicago. «La presse a protégé Barack Obama comme un petit bébé. Elle n’a pas sorti les histoires liées à ses liens avec Rezko», s’indigne Peraica, qui cite toutefois un article du Los Angeles Times faisant état d’une affaire de financement d’un tournoi international de ping-pong qui aurait éclaboussé le président élu.

Rahm Emanuel dans la ligne de mire

La plupart des commentateurs, dont John McCormick, ne souscrivent pas à cette analyse. Pour eux, le président élu a su naviguer à travers la politique locale «sans se compromettre». Il s’est dissocié de Rezko avant sa dernière campagne. Il est aussi celui qui a fait passer une législation éthique qui devrait mieux contrôler les donations privées à partir du 1er janvier 2009 dans l’Illinois.

L’équipe du président élu «n’en est pas moins très embarrassée par le scandale», affirme le politologue Ola Adeyoje, spécialiste de la politique locale à Chicago. Les écoutes téléphoniques révèlent en effet un gouverneur persuadé d’être en contact et en négociation quasi directe avec Barack Obama pour la désignation d’un successeur au Sénat. Sentant venir la polémique, le nouveau chef de l’État a donc promis de passer au crible les discussions que son entourage aurait pu avoir avec Blagojevich. À ce titre, le directeur de cabinet d’Obama, Rahm Emanuel, est dans la ligne de mire des républicains car il apparaît qu’il a été en contact avec le gouverneur sur ce thème, selon le Chicago Tribune. Lundi, les deux chambres du Parlement de l’Illinois se sont rassemblées pour décider d’une éventuelle procédure de destitution du gouverneur, qui ne se presse pas de démissionner. La plupart des leaders démocrates jugent impensable qu’il puisse rester à son poste et décider de la nomination d’un nouveau sénateur. Mais une procédure de destitution d’un gouverneur, phénomène rarissime dans l’histoire des États-Unis où cela ne s’est produit qu’en Californie et au Dakota du Nord, risque de durer des mois… empoisonnant le climat politique, de Chicago à Washington.

Voir aussi:

In a Nation of Children, Santa Claus Wins

Rush Limbaugh

November 07, 2012

Listen to it Button

RUSH: Hey, any of you guys in there want to come sit in my chair today? Anybody? Nobody wants to come sit in my chair here? None of you? I mean, I’m giving you a golden opportunity to speak to, what, 50 million people.

(interruption)

I can handle it. Okay, all right. So nobody wants to come sit in my chair today. Greetings, my friends. What happened? That’s what we’re going to try to find out. We’re not gotta be able to explain this away in one day. We’re gonna get close. We are not gonna be able to come up with all the answers and solutions in one day, but I want to try to take you through the night for me last night, various thoughts that I had as things happened, beginning with my getting and receiving the exit polls at five o’clock.

But first, let me tell you, small things beat big things yesterday. Conservatism, in my humble opinion, did not lose last night. It’s just very difficult to beat Santa Claus. It is practically impossible to beat Santa Claus. People are not going to vote against Santa Claus, especially if the alternative is being your own Santa Claus.

Now, everybody is jumping on Romney’s chain today, getting in his chili. Look, he may have not been the most optimal candidate, but he’s a fine man. He would have been great for this country. Mitt Romney and his family would have been the essence of exactly what this country needs. But what was Romney’s recipe? Romney’s recipe was the old standby: American route to success, hard work. That gets sneered at. I’m sorry. In a country of children where the option is Santa Claus or work, what wins? And say what you want, but Romney did offer a vision of traditional America. In his way, he put forth a great vision of traditional America, and it was rejected. It was rejected in favor of a guy who thinks that those who are working aren’t doing enough to help those who aren’t. And that resonated.

The Obama campaign was about small stuff. War on Women, binders, Big Bird, this kind of stuff. The Romney campaign was about big things, was about America. It’s mind-boggling to go through these exit polls. You want to hear a statistic that is somewhat surprising? Romney received two and a half million fewer votes than McCain did. Now, who would have called that? Who in the world would have? I think Obama’s vote tally was down ten million from 2008, and we still lost. We lost 50 to 48 nationally. We were not able to build a turnout model that looked like 2004. Very puzzling.

Something else. Just stream of consciousness here. The usual suspects are out, and they’re saying, "Rush, we gotta reach out now to the Hispanics and reach out to the minorities, blacks." Okay, let me remind you of something. Just ask you a question. And we will be getting your phone calls of course today, you weigh in on this, 800-282-2882 is the number. Let me take you back to the Republican convention. We had Suzanne Martinez, female Hispanic governor, New Mexico. We had Condoleezza Rice, African-American, former secretary of state. Both of those people imminently qualified, terrifically achieved. They have reached the pinnacles of their profession.

We had Marco Rubio. We had a parade of minorities who have become successful Americans. And they all had a common story: up from nothing, hard work, their parents sacrificed for them. Now, why didn’t that work, folks? The answer to that is our future. Why didn’t it work? Some people say, "Well, Rush, we pandered." No, we didn’t pander. Everybody says that we need to reach out to minorities. We have plenty of highly achieved minorities in our party, and they are in prominent positions, and they all have a common story. They all came from nothing. Their parents came from nothing. They worked hard. They told those stories with great pride. Those stories evoked tears. It didn’t work. And don’t tell me that people didn’t watch the convention or people didn’t see it. I mean, there’s a reason it doesn’t work.

I went to bed last night thinking we’re outnumbered. I went to bed last night thinking all this discussion we’d had about this election being the election that will tell us whether or not we’ve lost the country. I went to bed last night thinking we’ve lost the country. I don’t know how else you look at this. The first wave of exit polls came in at 5 p.m. I looked at it, I read the first two pages, and I said to myself, "This is utter BS." And I forwarded the exit poll data that I had to three or four people, and my message to each of them, "This is utter BS, and if it isn’t, then we’ve lost the country." Let me take you through some of it.

Based on early exit polls, Obama is locked in a tight race with Governor Romney. Nationally we believe the race to be as tight as it could be, and to the extent that Obama is running strong and can win, it is because they see him as someone who cares about people like them. They feel he did a very good job in the response to Hurricane Sandy. When I saw that, I thought this thing is starting to read like a Democrat campaign speech, this exit poll data. Hurricane Sandy and the aftermath and the way Obama handled that, what did Obama do? He showed up one day, he bear hugged Chris Christie, and then he left. The situation on the ground is devastating, and yet Obama triumphs in the exit polls with that.

He successfully painted Romney’s policies as caring primarily about the rich. He successfully convinced roughly half the country that his policies will favor the middle class. Now, measure that against reality. The reality is that the economy of this country is crumbling. The unemployment situation is worsening. The debt situation is worsening. Everything for the very people who think Obama’s gonna help them is getting worse, and yet they told the exit poll people that they thought Obama’s the best guy to handle

Obamacare.

A majority of people like Obamacare in the exit poll. That goes against everything we’ve ever heard in any poll. Voters trust him more than Romney in an international crisis. What? How in the world can that be? In a rational, intelligent world, how can that be? "He’s running very strong with African-Americans, Latinos, and women. If he wins, this data will be consistent with stories about the changing nature of US demographics."

And I saw this next one. This is the one that made me think this exit poll was BS. I just, intellectually, had trouble with this one. "More than half the people who voted yesterday said that they still blame Bush for the economy." More than half the people who…? After four years! Well, now, what is the answer to this? How in the world do you deal with this? There are ways, and we didn’t do them. There were too many assumptions made about what the American people thought, about what they knew.

Too many assumptions were made. But look, I don’t want to nitpick the campaign today. That’s not the point. There are larger things here at work. "Roughly half voters want the health care law as it is or expanded, and they are voting for Obama." Really? I haven’t seen a poll like that anywhere. Every poll — every poll! — I have seen on Obamacare features a majority and close to 60% who don’t like it, but this is an exit poll of people who voted.

"People who say they are looking for a strong leader and someone who has more of a vision for the future support Romney. Romney even wins among voters voting for ‘a candidate who shares my values.’ Voters believe the economy’s weak and Romney will be better able to manage the economy." Now, this is for people the exit pollers say, this is the reason if Romney wins. This is why. Well, obviously, those people were vastly outnumbered, which is where we are today.

We’re outnumbered.

One of the greatest misunderstandings in this country, if you boil all this down, is what creates prosperity. The Romney campaign was essentially about that, and the Romney campaign was devoted to the traditional American view and history — vision, as well — of what creates prosperity. The old capitalism, the old arguments of hard work, stick-to-itiveness, self-reliance, charity, helping out in the community.

All of these things that define the traditional institutions that made this country great, that’s what the Romney campaign was about. It was rejected. That way, or that route to prosperity was sneered at. That route to prosperity was rejected. The people who voted for Obama don’t believe in it. They don’t think it’s possible. They think the game’s rigged. They think the deck is stacked against them.

They think that the only way they’re gonna have a chance for anything is if somebody comes along and takes from somebody else and gives it to them. Santa Claus! And it’s hard to beat Santa Claus. Especially it’s hard to beat Santa Claus when the alternative is, "You be your own Santa Claus." "Oh, no! I’m not doing that. What do you mean, I have to be my own Santa Claus? No, no. No, no, no. I want to get up every day and go to the tree. You’re the elves," meaning us.

You throw Hurricane Sandy in here. I must admit, I am genuinely puzzled that Hurricane Sandy and the aftermath helped Obama and hurt Romney. But it did. According to the exit polls. I mean, what they say is what they say. The polls were right on the money, as it turned out. But until people understand why and how big government reduces prosperity for all, they’re gonna continue to be fooled by little things.

By marketing, by smooth talkers, by faux compassion. So we’ll see what happens with the economy as we go forward. Some people think, "Hey, Rush, the economy is resilient in this country, and it’s gonna naturally rebound. No matter what." There are people today scared the economy is going to rebound despite what’s happening in the stock market today and Obama’s policies are gonna get credit for it.

A bunch of libs are salivating over that. They think the economy is gonna come back no matter what, and that Obama’s big government is going to end up being the explanation for the rest of our lives as to how that happened. Just like in Japan, just like in Greece. But look, you bring up Greece and you bring up Europe, and they’re where we’re headed. Their problems are acute.

The difference is that none of those European countries are anywhere near the leading economy of the world like we are. The world depends on what happens here. The world does not depend on what happens in Spain or Greece or Italy. Not to put them down. But regardless, wherever you go… Look at Greece. Whenever necessary austerity measures are proposed, what happens?

"No, you don’t! You’re not taking it away from me!" There is no rising to responsibility. There is no accepting responsibility. There’s just a demand that the gravy train continue, and we have an administration that’s promising an endless gravy train. All you have to do to stay on that gravy train is vote. But it doesn’t matter.

The thing that’s mind-boggling is that there is no new prosperity in America. There is no improved standard of living. It’s all going down. "But Obama cares. He really cares! He cares much more than Romney. He really, really cares. In fact, he cares so much, we’re gonna give him a do-over. We’re gonna give him a second term to do what we know he wanted to do in the first term but wasn’t able to for whatever reason."

Voir également:

Three Ways of Explaining Defeat

Victor Davis Hanson

The National Review online

November 7, 2012

Conservatives are divided, acrimoniously so, over three schools of explaining The Defeat.

1. The Near Fatalists. Some are terrified that we are witnessing the final establishment of the long-feared dependency majority, where half the country is not paying federal income taxes and are on the receiving end of government largess and expect “them” to pay their fair share to pay for it;

2. The Should’ve, Could’ve, Would’ve What If-ers. The disappointed tacticians believe that should/would/could Romney have run differently (e.g., hit harder on Benghazi, mixed it up in the second and third debates, organized a Contract with America as a broad-based conservative crusade, etc.) he could have gotten the necessary 1 to 2 million extra votes in the swing states. Similarly, had the storm not arisen, or had Christie just been civil rather than going gaga over Obama/Springsteen, Romney’s momentum would not have been lost the last week;

3. The Big Tenters. The strategic centrists will now call for compromising on social issues, abortion, illegal immigration, fiscal policies, etc., to widen the tent in order to bring in young women, blacks, Latinos, gays, etc. and build “a new conservative majority.”

Not all these three positions, of course, are mutually exclusive. But I am not convinced by explanation (2): Romney was a good, and good enough, candidate to win. None of the other primary candidates would have done as well, and would have been far more easily Axelrodded. An especially well-informed Romney did well in the debates and spoke better each week. He raised lots of money, and he seemed presidential in comparison with a shrinking, Big Bird Obama. Similarly, while there were lots of Benghazi, Hurricane Sandy, and Chris Christie what-if moments that might have been better massaged, so were there for Obama as well: He blew the first debate; he needlessly lost his cool with stupid comments like bulls**tter, “revenge,” “you didn’t build that business,” etc. Biden was an unhinged disaster on the campaign trail. All these foul-ups would have been cited as what-ifs had Obama gotten 2 million votes less in key places and lost.

The problem with diagnosis (3) is that there were plenty of good minority kingpins in the party –Condoleezza Rice, Marco Rubio, and an entire new generation of Hispanic and Asian governors and senators. Allen West lost despite being black and because he was conservative. An independent, successful Michele Bachman or Sarah Palin is hated more than stay-at-home liberal housewives. Race matters, but not without ideology. For now, voting conservative is considered “acting white” or “docile,” and minorities and young women will only be considered legitimate when they vote for big government, which for many brings logical dividends.

Moreover, if Republicans would deal on illegal immigration, and propose paths to citizenship for the law-abiding who were brought here as children, the Latino leadership would still not, in turn, allow deportation for the felons and those not working and entirely on public assistance, or agree to close the border with finishing the fence, fining employers, and cross-checking federal documents. And why should they? A forever-blue California is their model, and many activists think it soon can be replicated in the American Southwest with sufficient cycles of open borders and cyclical euphemistic amnesties. As far as young unattached women, or the youth vote in general, the argument was made to them on economic terms (e.g., you are unemployed or underemployed and crushed by student loans in an ossified economy), and it went largely nowhere. Moreover, what does one do with a lily-white and well-off place like Washington, or the Connecticut suburbs, or the California coast, where blue counties of upscale yuppie married couples went overwhelmingly for Obama?

Instead, I fear exegesis (1) is, with each year, more telling. We have never quite had the present perfect storm of nearly half not paying federal income taxes, nearly 50 million on food stamps, and almost half the population on some sort of federal largess — and a sophistic elite that promotes it and at the same time finds ways to be exempt from its social and cultural consequences. For an Obama, Biden, Kerry, Pelosi, or Feinstein, the psychological cost for living like 18th-century French royalty is the promotion of the welfare state for millions of others who for now will be kept far away, in places like Bakersfield or Mendota.

The solution, I fear, may be near-insolvency along the Wisconsin model, and self-correction after some dark Greek-like years, or, in contrast, in extremis blue politicians having to deal with the consequences of their own policies. In the manner that an Obama can vastly expand drones and renditions without a whimper of liberal angst, so too someone like him will have to deal with bounced Medicare reimbursements or free cell phones that can’t be replaced when they break, or long lines in federal health clinics emptied of doctors who have gone elsewhere. The laws of physics ultimately prevail.

In Michigan in September I had a talk with a retired auto worker who did not care that the bailout cost $25 billion, was not sustainable, shorted the legal first-in-line creditors, shorted politically incorrect managerial pensioners, or ensured the Volt debacle. He simply said to me, “Obama saved my son’s job and I don’t care about much else.” That’s the rub in the short term that seems to the norm in at least the past and future few years. It means that the Republicans, without a once-in-a-lifetime Reagan-like perfect candidate — or some sort of national crisis in the manner that Iran once derailed Jimmy Carter, or Ross Perot once caused incumbent George H. W. Bush to implode — can’t quite get that extra 2 to 3 percentage points they need on the national scene to succeed.

Voir encore:

Obama played hardball in first Chicago campaign

Story Highlights

Sen. Barack Obama used the rule book to win first race for Illinois state Senate

Democrat challenged opponents’ petitions and forced them off the ballot

Opponent says Obama’s move « wasn’t honorable »

Drew Griffin and Kathleen Johnston

CNN

30.05.08

(CNN) — When the Democratic National Committee meets Saturday on the thorny issue of seating the Florida and Michigan delegations at its August convention, party officials will have to fashion a solution that satisfies supporters of Sen. Hillary Clinton and presidential nominee front-runner Sen. Barack Obama.

It may take a Solomon-like decision to appease both candidates.

Clinton has argued that the primary results of two of the nation’s largest states should count because, otherwise, millions of voters are being disenfranchised. Obama has said he is willing to work out some compromise.

But he is insistent that the primary results are invalid because the two states failed to follow party rules and that the rules are the rules.

The DNC has not seated the Florida and Michigan delegates because the two states violated party edicts in holding their primaries early.

Although neither candidate campaigned in the two states, Clinton won about 50 percent of the Florida vote, compared with 33 percent for Obama. She won 55 percent of the vote in Michigan, where Obama’s name was not on the ballot.

In his first race for office, seeking a state Senate seat on Chicago’s gritty South Side in 1996, Obama effectively used election rules to eliminate his Democratic competition.

As a community organizer, he had helped register thousands of voters. But when it came time to run for office, he employed Chicago rules to invalidate the voting petition signatures of three of his challengers.

The move denied each of them, including incumbent Alice Palmer, a longtime Chicago activist, a place on the ballot. It cleared the way for Obama to run unopposed on the Democratic ticket in a heavily Democrat district.

« That was Chicago politics, » said John Kass, a veteran Chicago Tribune columnist. « Knock out your opposition, challenge their petitions, destroy your enemy, right? It is how Barack Obama destroyed his enemies back in 1996 that conflicts with his message today. He may have gotten his start registering thousands of voters. But in that first race, he made sure voters had just one choice. » Watch how Obama shut out challengers in his first race »

Obama’s challenge was perfectly legal, said Jay Stewart of the Chicago’s Better Government Association. Although records of the challenges are no longer on file for review with the election board, Stewart said Obama is not the only politician to resort to petition challenges to eliminate the competition.

« He came from Chicago politics, » Stewart said. « Politics ain’t beanbag, as they say in Chicago. You play with your elbows up, and you’re pretty tough and ruthless when you have to be. Sen. Obama felt that’s what was necessary at the time, that’s what he did. Does it fit in with the rhetoric now? Perhaps not. »

The Obama campaign called this report « a hit job. » It insisted that CNN talk to a state representative who supports Obama, because, according to an Obama spokesman, she would be objective. But when we called her, she said she can’t recall details of petition challenges, who engineered them for the Obama campaign or why all the candidates were challenged.

But Will Burns does. Now running himself for a seat in the Illinois legislature, Burns was a young Obama volunteer during the presidential candidate’s first race.

Burns was one of the contingents of volunteers and lawyers who had the tedious task of going over each and every petition submitted by the other candidates, including those of Alice Palmer.

« The rules are there for a reason, » Burns said.

He said that challenging petitions is a smart way to avoid having to run a full-blown expensive race.

« One of the first things you do whenever you’re in the middle of a primary race, especially in primaries in Chicago, because if you don’t have signatures to get on the ballot, you save yourself a lot of time and effort from having to raise money and have a full-blown campaign effort against an incumbent, » Burns said.

Burns said he believed that Obama did not enjoy using the tactic to knock off Palmer.

« It was not something he particularly relished, » Burns said. « It was not something that I thought he was happy about doing. » Watch Burns describe how Obama used the rules to his advantage »

But Obama did it anyway, clearing the field of any real competition.

Obama’s staff would not comment on what the senator thinks about that petition challenge now. Instead, they referred CNN to this 2007 comment made by Obama to the Chicago Tribune.

« To my mind, we were just abiding by the rules that had been set up, » the senator is quoted as saying in the Tribune. « My conclusion was that if you couldn’t run a successful petition drive, then that raised questions in terms of how effective a representative you were going to be. »

But in that same newspaper story, Obama praised Palmer.

« I thought she was a good public servant, » he said.

Palmer, who has campaigned for Clinton, told CNN that she did not want to be part of this story.

Obama supporters claim that Palmer has only herself to blame because she indicated she would not run for the 1996 state Senate and instead aimed for Congress. After losing in that bid, she returned to running for the state Senate seat, a move Obama supporters claim amounted to reneging on a promise not to run.

But Palmer supporters, who did not want to be identified, said that she never anointed Obama as her successor and that the retelling of the story by Obama supporters is designed to distract from the fact he muscled his way into office.

One other opponent who Obama eliminated by challenging his petitions, Gha-is Askia, said he has no hard feelings today about the challenge and supports Obama’s presidential aspirations.

But back at the time he was running for state Senate, Askia said, he was dismayed Obama would use such tactics.

« It wasn’t honorable, » he said. « I wouldn’t have done it. »

He said the Obama team challenged every single one of his petitions on « technicalities. »

If names were printed instead of signed in cursive writing, they were declared invalid. If signatures were good but the person gathering the signatures wasn’t properly registered, those petitions also were thrown out.

Askia came up 69 signatures short of the required number to be on the ballot.

Kass, the Chicago Tribune columnist, said the national media are naive when it comes to Chicago politics, which is a serious business.

He said they have bought into a narrative that Obama is strictly a reformer. The truth, Kass says, is that he is a bare-knuckled politician. And using the rules to win his first office is part of who Obama is.

« It’s not the tactics of ‘let’s all people come together and put your best ideas forward and the best ideas win,’  » Kass said. « That’s the spin; that’s in the Kool-Aid. You can have some. Any flavor. But the real deal was, get rid of Alice Palmer.

« There are those who think that registering people to vote and getting them involved in politics and then using this tactic in terms of denying Alice Palmer the right to compete, that these things are inconsistent. And guess what? They are. They are inconsistent. But that’s the politics he plays. »

And this weekend, DNC delegates will have to decide what kind of rules it will invoke in helping choose its next candidate.

 Voir enfin:

Ryan quits race

State GOP scrambles to find replacement to face Obama

Republican Senate nominee cites fixation on divorce files

Liam Ford and Rudolph Bush, Tribune staff reporters. Tribune staff reporters Christi Parsons, Ray Long, John Chase, David Mendell and Rick Pearson contributed to this report

June 26, 2004

Beleaguered Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Jack Ryan ended his campaign Friday, leaving his party scrambling to find a replacement with enough money and magnetism to mount a serious challenge against Democratic candidate Barack Obama.

Ryan had been under attack by a wide range of party leaders for a lack of candor following the release this week of previously sealed records from his divorce from TV actress Jeri Ryan, giving rise to what one prominent Republican called « buyer’s remorse. »

Jack Ryan had fought the release, insisting he was trying only to protect his son and not to hide embarrassing information. But the files showed Jeri Ryan had accused her ex-husband of taking her to sex clubs and trying to pressure her into having sex in front of others.

Ryan met with staff Friday morning to inform them of his decision to quit the race. Later, he issued a statement explaining he was stepping down because a fixation on the divorce charges meant that a « debate between competing visions and philosophies » could not take place in the Senate race.

« What would take place, rather, is a brutal, scorched-earth campaign–the kind of campaign that has turned off so many voters, the kind of politics I refuse to play, » Ryan said.

Republican pressure on Ryan to step aside began Monday with the release of the files, including one document in which Ryan vigorously denied the allegations of his ex-wife.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Schnider released the information as the result of motions filed by the Chicago Tribune and WLS-Ch. 7.

Calls for Ryan’s withdrawal intensified throughout the week as party officials–saying Ryan misled them about the extent of his ex-wife’s allegations–warned of the damage he could do to an already struggling party’s chances in November.

On Thursday, U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert of Plano and state GOP chairwoman Judy Baar Topinka called U.S. Sen. George Allen, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. They asked him to pull the plug on Ryan’s campaign, according to a GOP source who spoke frequently with top Ryan campaign staffers.

Ryan held out until Friday, as U.S. Sen. Peter Fitzgerald, whom Ryan was seeking to replace, and some other GOP senators urged him to fight on. Even before the release of the court files, Ryan had trailed Obama by a wide margin in public opinion polls, and his decision to quit came after his campaign commissioned yet another poll to gauge public response to the growing divorce file controversy, the Republican source said.

The results arrived Friday morning and convinced Ryan that he had been too damaged by the revelations to recover, the source said.

On Friday, Topinka said Ryan’s « decision was a personal one. » She denied that the state Republican Party pressured Ryan to drop out, saying state leaders recently backed off to ensure Ryan felt it was his decision alone.

« He had a lot of great ideas, but they probably would have been overshadowed by this controversy, » Topinka said. « We appreciate what he did for the greater good of the party. »

Meanwhile, Obama, a Democratic state senator, praised the work Ryan has « done as a teacher and as a civic leader throughout the state. »

« What happened to him over the last three days was unfortunate, » Obama said. « It’s not something I certainly would wish on anybody. And having said that, from this point forward, I think we will be continuing to talk about the issues. »

Republicans will move quickly to replace Ryan, Topinka promised. The party’s 19 central committee members should « reach out » to constituents and try to have a replacement candidate within three weeks, she said.

But with its top ranks decimated by scandal and widespread electoral losses in 2002 that handed almost total control of state government to Democrats, the party may have difficulty finding a high-profile candidate with as deep pockets as had Ryan, whose personal fortune is estimated at up to $95 million.

Two former governors mentioned as possible candidates, James R. Thompson and Jim Edgar, have both indicated they will not run, said Topinka, who also ruled out her own candidacy. A leading contender who has not said no is Ron Gidwitz, 59, a wealthy businessman and the former chairman of the state Board of Education, according to several Republican sources.

On Friday, U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo also was making an open pitch for state Sen. Steve Rauschenberger (R-Elgin), one of several candidates who lost to Ryan in the primary.

« Steve entered the primary against three millionaires, and two more weeks [of campaigning] and he would have won it, » Manzullo said.

U.S. Rep. John Shimkus said Ryan’s departure has led to « a sense of relief and a little bit of excitement, » at moving past the scandal.

State Sen. Kirk Dillard, chairman of the DuPage County Republican Party, said calls to his party headquarters were almost unanimously against Ryan staying in the race.

« It wasn’t really over the substance of what he did or did not do with his wife, » Dillard said. « It was, they thought that he deliberately withheld information before the March primary and we had a lot of buyer’s remorse. »

Ryan’s demise came after years of groundwork carefully laid by the Wilmette native, who several years ago began attending Republican party Lincoln Day dinners throughout the state to gauge reaction to his entering the political arena.

Ryan entered the race more than a year ago, weeks after Fitzgerald said he would not seek re-election. A former investment banker who took a job as a teacher at Hales Franciscan High School on the South Side, Ryan had also been courted by the national GOP as a possible opponent for U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin in 2002. Ryan opted not to make that run.

The divorce file issue first surfaced for Ryan during the March primary campaign as an outgrowth of a flap that sank the once front-running campaign in the Democratic Senate primary of millionaire Blair Hull. Under pressure, Hull released sealed divorce files which showed one of his ex-wives had accused him of abusive behavior.

Unlike Hull, Ryan refused to release his files, assuring state party officials that there was nothing embarrassing in them and to do so would only hurt his 9-year-old son.

As he exited the race Friday, Ryan singled out the Tribune for criticism because it went to court to force release of the custody files.

« The media has gotten out of control, » Ryan complained. « The fact that the Chicago Tribune sues for access to sealed custody documents and then takes unto itself the right to publish details of a custody dispute over the objections of two parents who agree that the re-airing of their arguments will hurt their ability to co-parent their child and will hurt their child is truly outrageous. »

Conservative backers, including Fitzgerald, were dismayed by Ryan’s announcement. Fitzgerald lashed out at the state Republican leadership for abandoning Ryan. « The piranhas were circling, » he said. « It was not the Democrats; it was the Illinois party brass. »

But the state’s Republican national committeeman, Robert Kjellander, said Ryan’s departure frees the party to try to focus on election issues–and Obama’s record.

« Yes, it’s certainly a setback, » Kjellander said. « But it’s not one that’s fatal and both the Senate campaign committee and the president’s campaign see Illinois as an opportunity and we’re going to move ahead. »


Présidentielle américaine/2012: Pour la joie d’avoir un président qui ne s’excuse plus d’être américain (Why O should go)

5 novembre, 2012

Et je vais être honnête avec vous, c’est une joie de servir avec un président qui ne s’excuse pas pour les États-Unis d’Amérique. George H. W. Bush (1984)
Son visage sérigraphié était devenu une icône, son slogan «Yes we can» l’énoncé d’une nouvelle Amérique. Candidat courageux, Barack Obama avait choisi de s’adresser à l’intelligence de ses électeurs, et non à leurs tripes. Jeune, noir, il était devenu le président de la jeunesse, des femmes et des minorités. (…) Son rival est pourtant une caricature de républicain milliardaire, blanc et conservateur, sans souffle, ni programme. (…) Mitt Romney représente l’aile dure tendance taliban du Parti républicain, prête à faire régresser leur pays à l’âge de pierre. Mais (…) Obama, pour son pays (mais aussi pour nous autres étrangers), demeure sa meilleure promesse. Libération
Nous vivons dans le pays qui détient le record d’«Obamania», selon une étude d’opinons mondiale faite par la BBC, où il ressort que le président américain sortant recueille l’adhésion de 2 Français sur 3, dont moins de 5% en faveur de Mitt Romney. Les Français, comme les autres Européens, ont raison: nous avons intérêt à la continuité, à la réélection de Barack Obama, et beaucoup à craindre de l’élection de Mitt Romney. Jean-Marie Colombani
Comment imaginer un seul instant que Michelle Obama puisse "nous" quitter le soir du 6 novembre? (…) Alors à la First aux bras nus, la femme noire, la militante, la mère de Malia et Sasha, la femme de Barack, la protectrice des familles de militaires au front, la combattante de l’obésité des ados ,on ne sait même plus à laquelle nous demandons de rester. Allez encore quatre ans… c’est si vite passé pour nous! Le Figaro
 Barack Obama peut être fier de son bilan (…) Je ne regrette pas, pour ma part, d’avoir, dès 2004, soit quatre ans avant sa première élection, pressenti le prodigieux destin de celui que je baptisai aussitôt le « Kennedy noir ». Pas de raisons d’être déçu ! L’espoir est là. Plus que jamais là. Et le combat continue. BHL
Si vous n’aviez pas eu la tempête, la campagne de Romney aurait eu une meilleure chance de parler du déficit, de la dette, de l’économie. Il y a eu un bégaiement dans la campagne. Quand l’attention est détournée vers autre chose, ce n’est pas à son avantage. Karl Rove
The bottom line is this: If Obama wins, we’ll probably get small-bore stasis; if Romney wins, we’re more likely to get bipartisan reform. Romney is more of a flexible flip-flopper than Obama. He has more influence over the most intransigent element in the Washington equation House Republicans. He’s more likely to get big stuff done. David Brooks
Government grows in size and power as the individual shrinks into dependency. Until the tipping point where dependency becomes the new norm — as it is in Europe, where even minor retrenchment of the entitlement state has led to despair and, for the more energetic, rioting. An Obama second term means that the movement toward European-style social democracy continues, in part by legislation, in part by executive decree. The American experiment — the more individualistic, energetic, innovative, risk-taking model of democratic governance — continues to recede, yielding to the supervised life of the entitlement state. If Obama loses, however, his presidency becomes a historical parenthesis, a passing interlude of overreaching hyper-liberalism, rejected by a center-right country that is 80 percent nonliberal. Should they summon the skill and dexterity, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan could guide the country to the restoration of a more austere and modest government with more restrained entitlements and a more equitable and efficient tax code. Those achievements alone would mark a new trajectory — a return to what Reagan started three decades ago. Every four years we are told that the coming election is the most important of one’s life. This time it might actually be true. At stake is the relation between citizen and state, the very nature of the American social contract. Charles Krauthammer
I vote Republican because I support the party’s core message of individualism, patriotism, and respect for tradition, in contrast to the core Democratic message of dependence, self-criticism, and "progress." I am inspired by the original reading of the U.S. Constitution, by ideals of personal freedom and American exceptionalism. I vote for small government, for a return of power to the states, for a strong military, and an assertive pursuit of national interests. Daniel Pipes
Les Américains votent pour une meilleure économie. L’“Obamania” en Europe est étouffante et élude les résultats catastrophiques du président démocrate américain, tant aux niveaux économique que diplomatique. Pendant son mandat, Barack Obama a affaibli la puissance américaine. Avec lui, l’Amérique n’est plus crainte. Les Sud-Coréens, les Japonais ou les Israéliens l’ont compris et le déplorent. Avec Mitt Romney et son colistier Paul Ryan, les États-Unis renoueront avec leur rôle de locomotive du monde. Avec eux, l’État ne sera pas gras mais musclé, concentré sur ses fonctions régaliennes. Le président sortant, lui, défend un projet européen, social-démocrate pour les États-Unis, contraire à ce qui fait l’exception et la grandeur de ce pays. Philippe Karsenty (maire adjoint de Neuilly-sur-Seine, en charge de la politique étrangère au Parti libéral)
Un mois de pillules contraceptives coûte 15 dollars. Est-ce une somme exhorbitante pour 30 jours de liberté sexuelle ? J’emploie ce mot à dessein. Les républicains pensent que l’individu doit être responsable de ses actes et que l’État ou les compagnies d’assurance maladie n’ont pas le devoir de payer la pillule. Ceux qui veulent pratiquer telle ou telle forme de contraception, sont libres de le faire pour un coût dérisoire, dixit les républicains. Être contre la gratuité de la contraception, ne veut pas dire que l’on veut interdire la contraception. Pierre-Yves Dugua
Comment se fait-il qu’une écrasante majorité de Français souhaitent que les solutions qui ont échoué chez eux, soient mises en oeuvre en Amérique ? Pourquoi rejettent-ils François Hollande mais embrassent-ils Barack Obama ? Il y a une explication "psychanalytique" à l’obamania française: le français ferait un transfert sur l’Amérique. Incapable d’élire un jeune noir président dans son pays, le Français se rassurerait en "votant" pour une jeune noir dans un autre pays. Ça ne coûte rien effectivement. Il y a l’explication médiatique: l’écrasante majorité de ce que les Français savent de l’Amérique et de Barack Obama provient de récits caricaturant l’Amérique, glorifiant le parti démocrate et dénigrant les républicains. Il y a aussi l’explication historico-culturelle: le Français n’a jamais été capitaliste. Il n’aime pas le marché. Même à droite en France, il n’y a pas de libéraux. Mitt Romney est pour le Français un extra-terrestre dangereux car il vient du monde de la finance. En outre il a été missionnaire. Pire: il a été missionnaire en France ! Donc c’est un fou. Dire, comme Mitt Romney que l’initiative privée est créatrice de croissance alors que la réglementation, bien intentionnée, aboutit trop souvent à décourager l’embauche, est politiquement incorrect. Barack Obama, au contraire est une homme politique de carrière, un intellectuel, ignorant et surtout méprisant le monde de l’entreprise. Il est donc bien plus "français" dans son profil. That is the problem ! Pierre-Yves Dugua
Les deux seuls instituts de sondage fiables, Gallup et Rasmussen, donnent une avance de deux à six points à Mitt Romney à l’échelle nationale. Comme par hasard, mais ce n’est pas un hasard, les chiffres donnés par Gallup et Rasmussen ne sont à peu près jamais cités en France où les commentateurs se basent sur d’autres sondages, qui reposent sur des critères absurdes destinés à permettre à certains de prendre leurs désirs pour des réalités : gonfler le chiffre d’électeurs démocrates de huit ou neuf points permet de maquiller les chiffres, mais strictement aucune donnée n’indique qu’il y aura huit ou neuf pour cent de démocrates de plus que de républicains qui se rendront aux urnes. Il faudrait pour cela une vague d’enthousiasme irrépressible façon 2008, et cette vague n’existe pas : la motivation est très nettement aujourd’hui du côté républicain. (…) L’élection de Mitt Romney redonnera aux Etats-Unis un Président digne de ce nom. La plupart des Français ne comprendront pas. On n’a pas cessé de leur présenter Obama comme un modéré et comme un homme exemplaire. Seuls ceux qui auront lu mon livre Le désastre Obama sauront qui est Obama et quel est son bilan. On n’a pas cessé de leur présenter Mitt Romney comme un crétin ou comme un rapace. Que des gens qui se prétendent imprégnés de compassion et de préoccupation pour les pauvres mentent à ce degré m’indigne absolument. Obama est un extrémiste et ces gens le savent, tout comme ils savent que pendant la présidence Obama, le nombre de pauvres et de chômeurs s’est considérablement accru, la situation économique des Etats-Unis s’est profondément détériorée, le niveau de vie aux Etats-Unis a baissé. J’ajouterai : l’économie américaine est la locomotive économique du monde et ces gens le savent, tout comme ils savent que la détérioration de l’économie américaine a des conséquences destructrices pour les économies du reste du monde, dont les économies européennes. J’ajouterai aussi : l’abandon du monde à l’islam radical et à divers régimes dictatoriaux signifie un recul de la liberté, et ces gens le savent parfaitement. Guy Millière
L’échec d’Obama serait aussi celui des innombrables commentateurs qui, aux Etats-Unis comme en France, auront voulu juger l’homme en fonction de sa couleur de peau, en l’occurrence de son "métissage", érigé en symbole d’un nouveau monde, globalisé et plat. Les effets de ce raisonnement à courte vue, dénoncés ici dès le début, sont aujourd’hui connus : les Etats-Unis, pour avoir tenté d’imiter l’Europe déclinante, se sont affaiblis. Ivan Rioufol

Ah, la joie d’avoir un président qui ne s’excuse plus d’être américain!

A la veille d’une élection annoncée plus que serrée (sans parler de la "surprise d’octobre" de l’ouragan Sandy) mais aussi cruciale tant pour le pays leader du Monde libre que le reste du monde …

Qui risque de voir réélu pour quatre longues années de plus le calamiteux "candidat des journalistes et de la pensée dominante" ayant, derrière son prix Nobel de la paix, liquidé plus de monde que n’en a incarcéré Guantanamo …

Et surtout face à la désinformation hargneuse de tant de nos médias contre son adversaire républicain …

Pendant que, sous la démagogie socialiste, le Pays autoproclamé des droits de l’homme continue à glisser doucement mais sûrement dans l’anomie et l’insignifiance de la delanoïsation

Retour, avec quelques uns des rares esprits critiques des médias, sur quelques unes des raisons qui ne peuvent que faire souhaiter, avec toutes ses inévitables imperfections, la victoire du candidat de la liberté Mitt Romney …

Barack Obama, symbole déjà épuisé

Ivan Rioufol

22 octobre 2012

Barack Obama, candidat des journalistes et de la pensée dominante, peut perdre la présidentielle du 6 novembre. Les sondages le donnent au coude à coude avec Mitt Romney, qu’il affrontera ce lundi soir aux Etats-Unis pour un troisième et dernier débat consacré à la politique internationale. Le sort du président sortant est entre les mains d’une poignée d’Etats, tentés pour certains de basculer dans le camp républicain. Dès à présent, la désillusion qui entache celui qui était présenté, en 2008, comme le messie annonçant l’homme nouveau, met en lumière la vacuité que dissimulait la propagande médiatique mise à son service. L’échec d’Obama serait aussi celui des innombrables commentateurs qui, aux Etats-Unis comme en France, auront voulu juger l’homme en fonction de sa couleur de peau, en l’occurrence de son "métissage", érigé en symbole d’un nouveau monde, globalisé et plat. Les effets de ce raisonnement à courte vue, dénoncés ici dès le début, sont aujourd’hui connus : les Etats-Unis, pour avoir tenté d’imiter l’Europe déclinante, se sont affaiblis.

Le bilan d’Obama, c’est, pour les Américains, davantage de dettes publiques et de pauvreté. Seul le chômage a légèrement baissé ces derniers jours après avoir aussi augmenté. Au plan international, l’exécution de Ben Laden ne peut faire oublier l’humiliation que fait subir l’islam radical aux Etats-Unis, qui ont voulu jouer l’apaisement et la compréhension (discours du Caire du 4 juin 2009). Jamais l’islamisme ne s’est aussi bien porté que sous la doctrine du "soft power". Voilà pourquoi, pour ma part, j’espère en la victoire de Romney et de son coéquipier Paul Ryan. J’ai découvert, ces derniers temps, que le candidat républicain ne ressemblait pas à la caricature qu’en faisaient les journaux. Romney a visiblement les idées claires. Je le crois capable de redonner toute son autorité à son pays, en insufflant également une politique libérale qui s’imposera aussi à l’Europe étouffée par sa technocratie. En attendant : la délirante obamania d’hier n’a pas volé la nouvelle obamaphobie qui s‘observe aux Etats-Unis. Cela s’appelle un retour de bâton. J’en espère un second, dans quinze jours…

Voir aussi:

Barack Hussein Hollande ?

Pierre-Yves Dugua

26 octobre 2012

Si j’écoute bien Barack Obama, pour résoudre les problèmes de l’Amérique il faut augmenter les impôts des riches, réglementer les prix de la santé, réglementer davantage les banques, punir les spéculateurs, subventionner des technologies nouvelles, embaucher des enseignants, construire des ponts, des routes et des lignes de trains à grande vitesse.

Je connais déjà ce pays. Il s’appelle la France. Et c’est la raison pour laquelle je doute sincèrement que ces solutions social-démocrates réussissent au Amérique, alors qu’en France, et ailleurs en Europe, elles échouent. Leur principal succès est de faire grimper la dette publique. Elles ne créent pas durablement de croissance. Elles découragent la prise de risque et la création d’emplois privés.

L’obsession de la Maison blanche est la redistribution des richesses et la punition des millionnaires. Taxer les riches: c’est la grande proposition explicite de Barack Obama. Ne cherchez pas, il n’y en a pas d’autre aussi détaillée. Mais en Europe la fiscalité redistributive est la norme depuis au moins 40 ans. Quel est le résulat ? L’égalité a-t-elle été atteinte, depuis le temps qu’on redistribue…? En réduisant le nombre de riches, dope-t-on vraiment la classe moyenne ? réduit-on vraiment la pauvreté ? et à quel prix en termes de croissance, d’innovation et de compétitivité perdue ?

Si la France connaissait une croissance forte, si le nombre de pauvres y diminuait, si les classes moyennes s’y sentaient plus riches, si l’innovation – subventionnée par des fonctionnaires qui savent mieux que le secteur privé ce que seront les technologies d’avenir – créeait des emplois, si le chômage y reculait, si les jeunes Français se sentaient heureux optimistes, je dirais: banco ! Le modèle français marche. Il faut le copier.

Hélas, je ne vois pas ces tendances se développer en France. Je vois au contraire le chômage de longue durée s’aggraver. Je vois un système d’enseignement public inréformable qui produit des diplômés qui ne sont pas adaptés au marché du travail. Je vois une marginalisation de millions de jeunes dépendants de subsides publics et sans emploi ou perspective de formation. Je vois une jeune génération écrasée d’impôts pour des années du fait du poids de la dette publique contractée pour financer les "avantages sociaux" des plus âgés. Je vois un Président élu en mai sur des thèmes sociaux-démocrates, dont la cote de popularité tombe en dessous de 40%.

Et je ne comprends pas. Je suis interloqué. Comment se fait-il qu’une écrasante majorité de Français souhaitent que les solutions qui ont échoué chez eux, soient mises en oeuvre en Amérique ? Pourquoi rejettent-ils François Hollande mais embrassent-ils Barack Obama ?

Il y a une explication "psychanalytique" à l’obamania française: le français ferait un transfert sur l’Amérique. Incapable d’élire un jeune noir président dans son pays, le Français se rassurerait en "votant" pour une jeune noir dans un autre pays. Ça ne coûte rien effectivement.

Il y a l’explication médiatique: l’écrasante majorité de ce que les Français savent de l’Amérique et de Barack Obama provient de récits caricaturant l’Amérique, glorifiant le parti démocrate et dénigrant les républicains.

Il y a aussi l’explication historico-culturelle: le Français n’a jamais été capitaliste. Il n’aime pas le marché. Même à droite en France, il n’y a pas de libéraux. Mitt Romney est pour le Français un extra-terrestre dangereux car il vient du monde de la finance. En outre il a été missionnaire. Pire: il a été missionnaire en France ! Donc c’est un fou. Dire, comme Mitt Romney que l’initiative privée est créatrice de croissance alors que la réglementation, bien intentionnée, aboutit trop souvent à décourager l’embauche, est politiquement incorrect.

Barack Obama, au contraire est une homme politique de carrière, un intellectuel, ignorant et surtout méprisant le monde de l’entreprise. Il est donc bien plus "français" dans son profil. That is the problem !

 Voir également:

Pourquoi je pense que Mitt Romney sera élu président

Guy Millière

Dreuz.info

5 novembre 2012

Demain mardi, tard dans la soirée aux Etats-Unis, le nom de celui qui sera élu Président des Etats-Unis sera connu.

En France, les résultats commenceront à se dessiner, vu le décalage horaire, alentour de deux heures du matin, peut-être un peu plus tard.

Je m’en tiens à mes dernières prévisions. Je pense que Mitt Romney sera élu.

Et je pense qu’il ne reste qu’une infime chance à Barack Obama de faire un second mandat. J’ai dit une chance sur cent, et je m’y tiens.

Je me base pour écrire ce que je viens d’écrire sur les sondages : les deux seuls instituts de sondage fiables, Gallup et Rasmussen, donnent une avance de deux à six points à Mitt Romney à l’échelle nationale. Si je devais donner des chiffres en cet instant, je dirais : 51 pour cent pour Romney, 47 pour cent pour Obama, le reste des voix se portant sur des candidats marginaux, tels le candidat libertarien.

Comme par hasard, mais ce n’est pas un hasard, les chiffres donnés par Gallup et Rasmussen ne sont à peu près jamais cités en France où les commentateurs se basent sur d’autres sondages, qui reposent sur des critères absurdes destinés à permettre à certains de prendre leurs désirs pour des réalités : gonfler le chiffre d’électeurs démocrates de huit ou neuf points permet de maquiller les chiffres, mais strictement aucune donnée n’indique qu’il y aura huit ou neuf pour cent de démocrates de plus que de républicains qui se rendront aux urnes. Il faudrait pour cela une vague d’enthousiasme irrépressible façon 2008, et cette vague n’existe pas : la motivation est très nettement aujourd’hui du côté républicain.

Des chiffres de sondage semblant contredire les chiffres nationaux donnés par Gallup et Rasmussen circulent concernant divers Etats décisifs.

Romney remportera la Floride et la Virginie, tout comme il remportera la Caroline du Nord

Il en est même qui donnent Obama vainqueur en Floride et en Virginie : si le ridicule tuait, il y aurait des morts subites bien avant mardi. Romney remportera la Floride et la Virginie, tout comme il remportera la Caroline du Nord, et tous les commentateurs américains le savent, même si certains disent le contraire. En Ohio, les résultats seront plus serrés ; mais les études les plus sérieuses indiquent que Romney l’emportera aussi en Ohio.

Un très mauvais signe pour Barack Obama

Je me base pour écrire ce que j’écris aussi sur d’autres éléments : les votes effectués en avance. Voici une semaine, il se disait que ceux-ci montraient une avance écrasante d’Obama, ce qui aurait été logique au vu de l’intense campagne menée pour le vote effectué en avance par le camp Obama : ce qu’on sait désormais des résultats montre une avance très nette de Romney dans les votes effectués en avance. Et c’est vraiment un très mauvais signe pour Barack Obama.

Le fait que des spots publicitaires soient diffusés dans des Etats tels que le Wisconsin, le Michigan, la Pennsylvanie, le Nevada, montre que ces Etats sont en jeu et ne peuvent pas être placés avec certitude dans la colonne des Etats gagnés par Obama. Les politologues conservateurs les plus pessimistes prévoient une victoire de Romney, comme moi. Les plus optimistes prévoient une victoire très confortable de Romney.

Obama a traité Romney de « fouteur de merde » et de « traître »

Signe qui ne trompe pas, la campagne d’Obama et Obama lui-même ont montré des signes évidents de nervosité, typiques d’une campagne en train de perdre pied. On a montré en France des images d’Obama rendant visite aux sinistrés de la tempête Sandy : non seulement on n’a rien dit de l’affaire Benghazi, qui n’est pas achevé, mais on n’a pas relevé qu’Obama a traité Romney de « fouteur de merde » et de « traître ». On n’a pas relevé non plus l’arrogance colérique montrée par Obama lors de ses réunions publiques.

On n’a pas cité les publicités réalisées en faveur de Barack Obama, qui ont fait bien davantage que toucher le fond ces temps derniers : l’une montre une jeune fille qui parle de l’homme avec qui ce sera la « première fois », et cet homme ressemble à Barack Obama, bien sûr. Une autre montre une chorale d’enfants digne de la Corée du Nord chantant une chanson expliquant qu’en votant républicain, leurs parents seront responsables d’une planète où l’eau sera souillée et l’air irrespirable. Une troisième montre des octogénaires dans un hospice de vieillards menaçant Romney de coups de pieds dans les parties génitales. Heureusement que la campagne se termine, car on peut se demander à quel niveau tout cela pourrait descendre.

L’élection de Mitt Romney redonnera aux Etats-Unis un Président digne de ce nom.

La plupart des Français ne comprendront pas.

On n’a pas cessé de leur présenter Obama comme un modéré et comme un homme exemplaire. Seuls ceux qui auront lu mon livre Le désastre Obama sauront qui est Obama et quel est son bilan.

On n’a pas cessé de leur présenter Mitt Romney comme un crétin ou comme un rapace.

Que des gens qui se prétendent imprégnés de compassion et de préoccupation pour les pauvres mentent à ce degré m’indigne absolument.

Obama est un extrémiste et ces gens le savent, tout comme ils savent que pendant la présidence Obama, le nombre de pauvres et de chômeurs s’est considérablement accru, la situation économique des Etats-Unis s’est profondément détériorée, le niveau de vie aux Etats-Unis a baissé.

J’ajouterai : l’économie américaine est la locomotive économique du monde et ces gens le savent, tout comme ils savent que la détérioration de l’économie américaine a des conséquences destructrices pour les économies du reste du monde, dont les économies européennes.

J’ajouterai aussi : l’abandon du monde à l’islam radical et à divers régimes dictatoriaux signifie un recul de la liberté, et ces gens le savent parfaitement.

La grande majorité des journalistes français ne sont pas des journalistes mais des idéologues.

Le pluralisme n’existe plus en France. Je suis le seul à pouvoir exposer certains faits. J’ai disposé de cinq minutes sur France 3, et de huit minutes sur France 24. L’obamalatrie a disposé de milliers de minutes. Si ce n’est pas du totalitarisme, cela y ressemble.

Romney Président, je l’ai déjà dit et je le sais, sera traité par les médias français comme George Walker Bush l’a été. Ce n’est pas grave. Romney Président fera ce qui doit l’être, pour rétablir la sécurité dans le monde, redonner sa place à la liberté, remettre les Etats-Unis sur la voie de la prospérité.

Romney Président, ce sera le retour de l’Amérique.

Ce qui pourra paraître étonnant rétrospectivement, c’est qu’Obama ait eu une chance de l’emporter. J’ai donné les explications : Romney avait tous les grands médias contre lui. Obama avait des millions d’assistés votant pour celui qui envoie le chèque en fin de mois. Il avait la gauche caviar de Hollywood et de Beverly Hills, ceux dont le cerveau a été essoré par des professeurs gauchistes, les minorités ethniques chez qui on compte un grand nombre d’assistés. Obama va laisser un pays qu’il a profondément divisé. Romney a parlé en rassembleur : il a eu raison.

J’ai laissé une chance sur cent de l’emporter à Obama.

Je l’ai déjà dit : je n’ose imaginer ce qui résulterait d’une victoire éventuelle d’Obama.

Si elle survient, j’aurai la pénible tâche de le faire.

Mais je pense et je veux penser que je n’aurai pas à le faire, et que mardi soir, je pourrai me dire qu’il y a de nouveau un Président des Etats-Unis aux portes de la Maison Blanche.

Voir encore:

 

Why I Am Voting Republican

Daniel Pipes

November 4, 2012

Cross-posted from National Review Online, The Corner

Note the title is not "Why I am voting for Mitt Romney." That’s because the two major American parties, Democratic and Republican, represent contrasting outlooks and you vote for the one or other of them, not for a personality. The presidential candidate is captain of the team but its many other players act autonomously. The past half-century has seen a sharpening of the divide between the parties’ philosophical consistency which I (unlike most observers) see as a positive development; who needs Rockefeller Republicans, wets, or RINOs? And ticket-splitting increases gridlock.

The president as captain of his team: Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner, Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell in the White House, July 14, 2011.

I vote Republican because I support the party’s core message of individualism, patriotism, and respect for tradition, in contrast to the core Democratic message of dependence, self-criticism, and "progress." I am inspired by the original reading of the U.S. Constitution, by ideals of personal freedom and American exceptionalism. I vote for small government, for a return of power to the states, for a strong military, and an assertive pursuit of national interests.

And on my special issues, the Middle East and Islamism, Republicans consistently outperform Democrats. Extensive polling and many congressional actions establish this pattern for the Arab-Israeli conflict and a similar contrast exists also on other foreign policy issues, such as the Iranian nuclear buildup, energy policy, and the Arab upheavals. As for the new totalitarian ideology, Islamism, Democrats show a marked softness, just as they previously did vis-à-vis the communist one.

Finally, I worry that Barack Obama will do far more damage in a second term than he could in his first, that Obamacare will prove just the start of what, before his inauguration, I called the "fundamental restructuring of the relationship between state and society such as occurred under three of his Democratic predecessors of the past century – Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson."

And so I am voting the straight Republican ticket and urge readers to do likewise. (November 4, 2012)

Voir de plus:

The Choice

Charles Krauthammer

The National Review

November 1, 2012 8:00 P.M.

‘Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not.” That was Barack Obama in 2008. And he was right. Reagan was an ideological inflection point, ending a 50-year liberal ascendancy and beginning a 30-year conservative ascendancy.

It is common for one party to take control and enact its ideological agenda. Ascendancy, however, occurs only when the opposition inevitably regains power and then proceeds to accept the basic premises of the preceding revolution.

Thus, Republicans railed for 20 years against the New Deal. Yet when they regained the White House in 1953, they kept the New Deal intact.

And when Nixon followed LBJ’s Great Society — liberalism’s second wave — he didn’t repeal it. He actually expanded it. Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency, gave teeth to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and institutionalized affirmative action — major adornments of contemporary liberalism.

Until Reagan. Ten minutes into his presidency, Reagan declares that “government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.” Having thus rhetorically rejected the very premise of the New Deal/Great Society, he sets about attacking its foundations — with radical tax reduction, major deregulation, a frontal challenge to unionism (breaking the air-traffic controllers’ union for striking illegally), and an (only partially successful) attempt at restraining government growth.

Reaganism’s ascendancy was confirmed when the other guys came to power and their leader, Bill Clinton, declared (in his 1996 State of the Union address) that “the era of big government is over” — and then abolished welfare, the centerpiece “relief” program of modern liberalism.

In Britain, the same phenomenon: Tony Blair did to Thatcherism what Clinton did to Reaganism. He made it the norm.

Obama’s intention has always been to re-normalize, to reverse ideological course, to be the anti-Reagan — the author of a new liberal ascendancy. Nor did he hide his ambition. In his February 2009 address to Congress he declared his intention to transform America. This was no abstraction. He would do it in three areas: health care, education, and energy.

Think about that. Health care is one-sixth of the economy. Education is the future. And energy is the lifeblood of any advanced country — control pricing and production and you’ve controlled the industrial economy.

And it wasn’t just rhetoric. He enacted liberalism’s holy grail: the nationalization of health care. His $830 billion stimulus, by far the largest spending bill in U.S. history, massively injected government into the free market — lavishing immense amounts of tax dollars on favored companies and industries in a naked display of industrial policy.

And what Obama failed to pass through Congress, he enacted unilaterally by executive action. He could not pass cap-and-trade, but his EPA is killing coal. (No new coal-fired power plant would ever be built.) In 2006, liberals failed legislatively to gut welfare’s work requirement. Obama’s new HHS rules does that by fiat. Continued in a second term, his administration would abolish welfare reform as we know it — just as in a second term, natural gas will follow coal, as Obama’s EPA regulates fracking into noncompetitiveness.

Government grows in size and power as the individual shrinks into dependency. Until the tipping point where dependency becomes the new norm — as it is in Europe, where even minor retrenchment of the entitlement state has led to despair and, for the more energetic, rioting.

An Obama second term means that the movement toward European-style social democracy continues, in part by legislation, in part by executive decree. The American experiment — the more individualistic, energetic, innovative, risk-taking model of democratic governance — continues to recede, yielding to the supervised life of the entitlement state.

If Obama loses, however, his presidency becomes a historical parenthesis, a passing interlude of overreaching hyper-liberalism, rejected by a center-right country that is 80 percent nonliberal.

Should they summon the skill and dexterity, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan could guide the country to the restoration of a more austere and modest government with more restrained entitlements and a more equitable and efficient tax code. Those achievements alone would mark a new trajectory — a return to what Reagan started three decades ago.

Every four years we are told that the coming election is the most important of one’s life. This time it might actually be true. At stake is the relation between citizen and state, the very nature of the American social contract.

— Charles Krauthammer is a nationally syndicated columnist. © 2012 the Washington Post Writers Group.

Voir enfin:

For and Against

Jay Nordlinger

The NRO

November 1, 2012

I am voting for Romney and against Obama. (Not that anyone should care, especially. But opinion-giving is part of what I do.) I thought I would list my reasons. I will not list all of them, but some of them — certainly the basics.

I will first say why I will vote for Romney. And then say why I’ll vote against O. Here we go.

I’m voting for Romney because

He’s a good and decent man (as far as I can tell). An exceptionally good and decent man. (Though politics brings out elbows, to be sure. So does business.)

He understands the economy. He’s a free-marketeer. He understands the importance of employers. He has ample business experience — useful in a president, especially now.

When he says, “The economy is in my wheelhouse,” I believe that. I don’t think it’s merely a boast. During the primaries, he often said, “I’ll get that done.” Meaning the solving of some problem. “I’ll get that done.” I believe it.

He is a “turnaround artist,” and this country is in sore need of a turnaround. As my colleague Kevin Williamson says, no one has ever been sorry he hired Mitt Romney to do a job.

He is against abortion. He wasn’t always, apparently. I believe he is now. The testimony of Mary Ann Glendon, about his tenure in Massachusetts, is important. (Glendon is a professor of law at Harvard, and a leading opponent of abortion.)

He would certainly not have taxpayers pay for abortions, as Obama is.

Romney would respect the rule of law, I think. He’s very ambitious: Anyone who runs for president is. But I don’t think he’s power-mad. I think he would respect the rule of law — process; the Constitution.

I believe he’s serious — actually serious — about entitlement reform. (As George W. Bush was. But it’s hard to be as bold as Bush, on Social Security and other matters.)

I like his running mate, Congressman Ryan, a lot.

Romney appreciates the rightful position of America in the world. That is, I think he has a good understanding of what America’s position ought to be. He is not ready to accept American decline, at home or abroad. He certainly would not welcome that decline. He understands America to be a force for good. He appreciates, I think, that decline is a choice, not an inevitability. And he chooses against.

He knows the importance of Israel. He knows its vulnerability. He wants to do something about it.

He would confront Iran. He would not flinch before it. I think he knows the folly of appeasement — the horrible consequences that so often flow from appeasement.

While properly “realistic,” he appreciates democracy and human rights. And knows that America can, and should, be helpful in furthering those things.

At the end of the 1984 vice-presidential debate, George Bush said, “I can’t tell you what a joy it is to serve with a president who will not apologize for the United States of America.” Geraldine Ferraro had the most perplexed look on her face. I knew exactly what Bush meant. I believe Romney would be the same kind of president.

That does not mean he’d be arrogant, about America. We’re not perfect (as I spend almost every day writing). But we do a lot of good in the world

He would cancel Obama’s softness on the Castros — the kinder, gentler approach that has yielded absolutely nothing. (An American aid worker, Alan Gross, has been held hostage in Cuba for three years.)

He would not be pushed around by the U.N. He would not crave the approval of the U.N. He would recognize the Human Rights Council for the sham it is

He would pursue missile defense, which Obama has stalled.

He appreciates the helpfulness of a market — of competitiveness — in health care.

He does not think that transferring certain responsibilities from the federal government to the states is some moral abdication.

He has a sensible view of the environment: He wants to be a good steward, but at the same time is not an earth-worshiper. He does not think that man is automatically a rapist of the earth. I have a feeling he thinks the earth should actually serve man — which is heresy today, of course.

He is willing to unleash American energy — or “legalize American energy,” in Michele Bachmann’s phrase.

He is not beholden to the teachers’ unions. When he thinks of education, he thinks of young people, students — not unions.

He does not go in for divisiveness. He doesn’t hate. He grants the humanity of the other side (even if the other side is unwilling to do the same).

I like that he’s religious. There are plenty of wicked religious people, and plenty of saintly secular people. But I count his religious outlook and devotion as a good.

I love — love — that he was willing to tell a left-wing heckler, “Corporations are people, my friend” — which they are. He calmly explained why. One of the best things I have ever seen in a campaign. (Watch it here.)

I like his occasional goofiness, his squareness. His 1950s language, which the Left loves to mock and revile. Makes me admire Mitt all the more.

In office, he would talk plainly. He would not call the War on Terror “overseas contingency operations,” or terrorism “man-made disaster.”

I think he’s the right man at the right time. A turnaround artist who ought to be hired by us, the people, to turn us around, before it’s too late.

Okay — enough of the positive (!). I’ll now dwell on the negative. I’m voting against Obama because

I think he’s been a lousy president. But also because he acts like we Republicans are bad people: inhumane and unpatriotic. I think he thinks we’re nuisances or threats, not fellow citizens to be engaged with.

I don’t believe that the “stimulus” was really and truly a response to the financial crisis. I think it was a whole mess o’ spending the Democrats had long wanted to do anyway.

Same with what we now call “Obamacare.” This has been the Democrats’ dream for ages. It has nothing to do with good times or bad times.

I don’t believe that Obama has any interest in reforming entitlements. I think he thinks those of us who want reform are motivated by the desire to hurt vulnerable people.

For him, businessmen are bogeymen. He demonizes them all too easily. I sense an underlying hostility to business.

I’m not convinced that President Obama doesn’t think American decline is a good thing — both for America and for the world. The world especially.

He is an abortion extremist: for public funding, for partial-birth abortion. Even unwilling to vote for the Born-Alive Infant-Protection Act.

Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan.

I’m not sure Obama is honest — about matters past and present. To take a present matter: the Benghazi attack. To take a past matter: the New Party. Stanley Kurtz has pretty much proven that Obama belonged to this party, a hard-Left organization. Obama and his camp have denied it up and down.

He has campaigned dirty, campaigned low — “Mitt Romney: Not one of us,” etc.

He is not telling the truth about Romney and taxation, about outsourcing, about Planned Parenthood and mammograms — about many things.

He will not stop caricaturing Republicans. He paints us as a bunch of plutocrats who gladly run over urchins as we’re chauffeured in our Rolls-Royces. This bears no relation to reality.

Bush handed him victory in the Iraq War. Obama just walked away from Iraq, because he couldn’t see any good in that war at all. At least, that is my impression. I believe he is willing to let Iraq go to the dogs, which would raise the question, Were our sacrifices in vain?

In 2008, he talked up Afghanistan as the good war. That was just a campaign trick. As president, Obama has wanted to “end” the war, not win it — big, terrible difference.

The Obama State Department expressed guilt to the Chinese Communists over the Arizona immigration law.

Democracy and human rights have been off the agenda — too George W. Bush-like, apparently. On the streets of Iran, democracy protesters chanted, “Obama, Obama! Either you’re with them [meaning the dictatorship] or you’re with us!” Obama stood silently by.

Sharansky called this “maybe one of the biggest betrayals of people’s freedom in modern history.”

Obama calls Iran “the Islamic Republic of Iran,” just as the mullahs want.

GWB sent Nowruz (New Year’s) greetings to the Iranian people. Obama has sent them to “the people and leaders of Iran.” He told Tehran he wanted “engagement that is honest and grounded in mutual respect.” Mutual respect? The Iranian government, bear in mind, is one that stones girls to death for the “crime” of having been gang-raped.

I’m nervous about the “flexibility” Obama promised in a second term. What does that mean?

With the French president, he griped about the Israeli prime minister.

He told American Jewish leaders that Israelis needed to “engage in some serious self-reflection.” The Israelis, of course, are the most seriously self-reflecting people in the history of peoples.

He had no respect for Honduran democracy. He sided with the Castroites and Chavezistas in that country.

He called Chávez “mi amigo,” his friend. Chávez is not a friend to any true democrat.

He has played nicey-nice with the Castros, and gotten nothing for it. An American aid worker, Alan Gross, has been held hostage in Cuba for three years. (Have I said that?)

Was it really necessary to have the Dalai Lama leave by a back door of the White House, next to piled-up garbage? Those photos sent a strong signal.

All of Obama’s bows have been unseemly. But the one to Chinese party boss Hu Jintao — disgusting.

The sight of American flags intertwined with Chinese Communist ones on Pennsylvania Avenue — disgusting.

Obama yanked missile defense from Poland and the Czech Republic. Worse, he put the program here at home on the back burner, if he didn’t take it off the stove altogether.

He gave the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Mary Robinson, the U.N. official who presided over the Durban Conference, that festival of Jew-hating.

He lent the prestige of the United States to the U.N. Human Rights Council, a body that serves the interests of human-rights abusers.

He called the War on Terror “overseas contingency operations,” and terrorism itself “man-made disaster.” (I’ve mentioned this, I know.)

He stood with the teachers’ unions against D.C. schoolchildren, who depended on vouchers for a decent education.

He has blocked American energy. He is bizarrely hostile to oil and gas, while favoring solar, wind, etc.

He is a central planner, picking winners and losers in an economy — meaning everyone loses, before long.

His vice president, Biden, is a joke, and sometimes a nasty one.

This president’s self-regard is too much: He knows more about Judaism than anyone else who ever held the office. He did more in his first two years than any other president — “with the possible exceptions of Johnson, FDR, and Lincoln.” “Possible”

Enough. I do not think Barack Obama is all bad. I really do not. I know Mitt Romney isn’t perfect. Anyway, you know how I’m voting, and my reasons, many of them. Happy democracy! We’re lucky to live in such a country.

To order Jay Nordlinger’s new book, Peace, They Say: A History of the Nobel Peace Prize, the Most Famous and Controversial Prize in the World, go here. To order his collection Here, There & Everywhere, go here.

Voir par ailleurs:

Hurricane Sandy helped Obama politically, Karl Rove says

Michael Leahy and Sean Sullivan

The Washington Post

November 2, 2012

Hurricane Sandy’s impact on the East Coast this week gave President Obama a political advantage during the final week of the campaign, Republican strategist Karl Rove said in an interview on Friday.

“If you hadn’t had the storm, there would have been more of a chance for the [Mitt] Romney campaign to talk about the deficit, the debt, the economy. There was a stutter in the campaign. When you have attention drawn away to somewhere else, to something else, it is not to his [Romney's] advantage,” Rove told The Washington Post.

Rove, who served as George W. Bush’s deputy White House chief of staff, said that in the wake of the storm, there are “advantages and a minor disadvantage” for the president as well as a “subtle disadvantage to Romney.”

“Obama has temporarily been a bipartisan figure this week. He has been the comforter-in-chief and that helps,” Rove said. The slight disadvantage for Obama, Rove said, “is that people in Eastern coastal communities are going to be preoccupied by issues of getting food to eat and having a roof over their heads; some of them won’t be thinking as much about the election.” But he conceded that those people reside in the Northeast, and not in the battleground states most likely to decide the election.

Hurricane Sandy slammed the Northeast late Monday, prompting the president to scrap his campaign schedule through the middle of the week, in order to monitor the storm. On Wednesday, Obama traveled to New Jersey to survey storm damage with Garden State Gov. Chris Christie (R), one of Romney’s top surrogates. The president resumed his campaign schedule on Thursday.

“It’s the October surprise,” Rove said of Sandy. “For once, the October surprise was a real surprise.”

Rove also opined on the relative importance of states that appear to favor Obama, but have attracted a late push from Romney and his allied groups. Pennsylvania and Minnesota are in play for Romney, Rove said. In those states, Obama has been leading in the polls, but Republicans have been surging. Romney and running mate Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) will campaign in Pennsylvania over the weekend.

Rove co-founded the conservative super PAC American Crossroads, which along with its affiliated non-profit Crossroads GPS has vowed to spend $300 million on the election. He said he thinks Romney will win Ohio, but can win the election even without carrying the Buckeye State – something no Republican has ever done. He also predicted a close national outcome on Tuesday.

“Nationally, it will be a point or two race,” said Rove.

Below is a transcript of the interview:

Question: Are Pennsylvania, Michigan and Michigan in play?

Rove: “I see Pennsylvania and Minnesota in play. Michigan is a little further down.”

Question: There’s a growing perception out there that Hurricane Sandy has had a significant effect on the race. Do you think that’s accurate?

Rove: “That’s absolutely true. There are advantages and a minor disadvantage to the President here — and a subtle disadvantage to Romney. Obama has temporarily been a bipartisan figure this week. He has been the Comforter-in-Chief and that helps. [The slight disadvantage for Obama] is that people in Eastern coastal communities are going to be preoccupied by issues of getting food to eat and having a roof over their heads; some of them won’t be thinking as much about the election…”

“…There’s a subtle disadvantage for Romney [in the wake of the hurricane]. For a five-day period, the country stopped talking about the presidential campaign really and people were talking only of the mega-storm.”

Question: In your view, has Sandy given Obama a chance to win that he otherwise wouldn’t have?

Rove: “Yes. If you hadn’t had the storm, there would have been more of a chance for the Romney campaign to talk about the deficit, the debt, the economy. There was a stutter in the campaign. When you have attention drawn away to somewhere else, to something else, it is not to his [Romney's] advantage.”

Question: Can Romney win without winning Ohio?

Rove: “I think he’s going to win Ohio. …. Yes, he can win without Ohio. … And, nationally, it will be a point or two race.”

Question: Going back to what you said earlier, it sounds like, in your judgment that Sandy has had a significant effect on this race. That is an interesting point. You think it’s had a significant effect. Is that accurate

Rove: “Yeah. It’s the October surprise. For once, the October surprise was a real surprise.”

Question: How does the Allen-Kaine race look to you?

Rove: “It’s tight. How big Romney wins Virginia will probably determine whether [Allen] will win.

Question: What should we make of the Romney campaign trying to put Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Michigan in play? Does that betray a worry that Ohio is slipping away for Romney, as some observers believe?

Rove: “No. We are just following the strategy of the 2008 Obama campaign, when it was going to states like North Carolina, Virginia and Indiana, all of which we’re going to win this year. You try to reach out. It’s the same strategy they used, four years ago. But I think we’re going to win Ohio.”


Bilan Obama: Les drones auront liquidé plus de monde que Guantanamo n’en aura incarcéré (More people have been killed in U.S. drone attacks than were ever incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay)

4 novembre, 2012
Son visage sérigraphié était devenu une icône, son slogan «Yes we can» l’énoncé d’une nouvelle Amérique. Candidat courageux, Barack Obama avait choisi de s’adresser à l’intelligence de ses électeurs, et non à leurs tripes. Jeune, noir, il était devenu le président de la jeunesse, des femmes et des minorités. Emportant en 2008, près de 53% des voix de ses concitoyens, un des meilleurs scores pour un démocrate. Quatre ans plus tard, Obama se bat le dos au mur dans des comtés perdus de l’Ohio qui pourraient faire la différence dans une élection serrée comme jamais. Son rival est pourtant une caricature de républicain milliardaire, blanc et conservateur, sans souffle, ni programme. Ce désamour peut apparaître injuste. Le New York Times de samedi, soutenant «avec enthousiasme un deuxième mandat pour Obama» dans son éditorial, dresse une longue liste des achèvements (sic) du président démocrate. Son plan de santé pour tous, le sauvetage du secteur automobile, la mort de Ben Laden, les droits des étrangers, des sans-papiers et des homosexuels. En face, Mitt Romney représente l’aile dure tendance taliban du Parti républicain, prête à faire régresser leur pays à l’âge de pierre. Mais, comme le montre notre voyage le long de l’Interstate 95, qui délinée l’Atlantique de la frontière canadienne à Miami, il ne faut pas désespérer de l’Amérique. Les Etats-Unis sont certes désunis et déprimés, mais les Américains sortent de leur dépression. Obama, pour son pays (mais aussi pour nous autres étrangers), demeure sa meilleure promesse. Libération
Nous vivons dans le pays qui détient le record d’«Obamania», selon une étude d’opinons mondiale faite par la BBC, où il ressort que le président américain sortant recueille l’adhésion de 2 Français sur 3, dont moins de 5% en faveur de Mitt Romney. Les Français, comme les autres Européens, ont raison: nous avons intérêt à la continuité, à la réélection de Barack Obama, et beaucoup à craindre de l’élection de Mitt Romney. Jean-Marie Colombani
Les Européens n’ont plus les mêmes rêves qu’en 2008 dans cette élection américaine qui oppose Barack Obama à Mitt Romney mais s’ils pouvaient voter, c’est encore Obama qui remporterait le scrutin haut la main ! Selon une enquête menée par le German Marshall Fund, il écraserait son concurrent avec 75% des voix, contre seulement 8% à Mitt Romney. Un score qui frôle même les 90% en France et en Allemagne. Malgré une chute de 12 points entre 2009 et 2012, la cote du président américain reste à un niveau exceptionnellement élevé: 71% des Européens approuvent la façon dont il gère les affaires du monde. Publiquement, les dirigeants européens gardent un silence prudent. A l’exception de la France, qui a clairement affiché sa volonté d’une victoire de Barack Obama, notamment par la voix de son Premier ministre Jean-Marc Ayrault qui la « souhaite totalement". Le Parisien
A BBC World Service opinion poll has found sharply higher overseas approval ratings for US President Barack Obama than Republican challenger Mitt Romney.An average of 50% favoured Mr Obama, with 9% for Mr Romney, in the survey of 21,797 people in 21 countries. Only Pakistan’s respondents said they would prefer to see Mr Romney win November’s election.France was the most strongly pro-Obama (72%). The BBC
En une semaine, il est passé de Jane Fonda à Docteur Folamour. Mitt Romney
On September 30, 2011, a drone flying over Yemen set a new precedent. Without a trial or any public court proceeding, the United States government killed two American citizens, Anwar Al Awlaki and Samir Khan. The target of the attack was Awlaki, a New Mexico-born Yemeni-American whose charismatic preaching inspired terrorist attacks around the world, including the 2009 killing of 13 soldiers in Fort Hood, Texas. Civil liberties groups argued that a dangerous new threshold had been crossed. For the first time in American history, the United States had executed two of its citizens without trial. The Obama Administration cited a secret Justice Department memorandum as justification for the attack. Its authors contended that Awlaki’s killing was legal due to his role in attacks on the United States and his presence in an area where American forces could not easily capture him. David Rohde
After the global outrage over Guantánamo, it’s remarkable that the rest of the world has looked the other way while the Obama administration has conducted hundreds of drone strikes in several different countries, including killing at least some civilians. (…) It is the politically advantageous thing to do — low cost, no U.S. casualties, gives the appearance of toughness. (…) It plays well domestically, and it is unpopular only in other countries. Any damage it does to the national interest only shows up over the long term. Dennis C. Blair (ancien directeur du renseignement)
La popularité de ces aéronefs sans pilote n’est pas compliquée à comprendre. Ils ne sont pas chers, ils maintiennent les Américains hors des zones dangereuses et ils tuent ‘les méchants. Ils peuvent bien tuer des civils ou violer les lois, peu importe aux Américains. [Au contraire, cela] renforce son image d’homme (…) qui n’a pas peur d’utiliser la puissance américaine. Michael A. Cohen (Foreign Policy)
Qu’est donc devenu cet artisan de paix récompensé par un prix Nobel, ce président favorable au désarmement nucléaire, cet homme qui s’était excusé aux yeux du monde des agissements honteux de ces Etats-Unis qui infligeaient des interrogatoires musclés à ces mêmes personnes qu’il n’hésite pas aujourd’hui à liquider ? Il ne s’agit pas de condamner les attaques de drones. Sur le principe, elles sont complètement justifiées. Il n’y a aucune pitié à avoir à l’égard de terroristes qui s’habillent en civils, se cachent parmi les civils et n’hésitent pas à entraîner la mort de civils. Non, le plus répugnant, c’est sans doute cette amnésie morale qui frappe tous ceux dont la délicate sensibilité était mise à mal par les méthodes de Bush et qui aujourd’hui se montrent des plus compréhensifs à l’égard de la campagne d’assassinats téléguidés d’Obama. Charles Krauthammer
Les drones américains ont liquidé plus de monde que le nombre total des détenus de Guantanamo. Pouvons nous être certains qu’il n’y avait parmi eux aucun cas d’erreurs sur la personne ou de morts innocentes ? Les prisonniers de Guantanamo avaient au moins une chance d’établir leur identité, d’être examinés par un Comité de surveillance et, dans la plupart des cas, d’être relâchés. Ceux qui restent à Guantanamo ont été contrôlés et, finalement, devront faire face à une forme quelconque de procédure judiciaire. Ceux qui ont été tués par des frappes de drones, quels qu’ils aient été, ont disparu. Un point c’est tout. Kurt Volker

Le blouson de pilote, ressorti pour l’ouragan Sandy, aura décidément été comme un gant au Commandant-en-chef Obama!

A l’heure où, après avoir en vain diabolisé et qualifié de "faucon" un Mitt Romney en pleine remontée dans les sondages, nos médias nous bassinent de prétendues démonstrations pour prouver pourquoi est importante pour le monde la réélection du plus rapide prix Nobel de la paix de l’histoire et premier candidat à un milliard de dollars  (pardon: le "Kennedy noir") …

Et au lendemain d’un ouragan où, avec son blouson de pilote d’opérette, ce dernier a tenté de faire oublier le fiasco de Benghazi

Nouvelle remise des pendules à l’heure avec la tribune d’un proche du sénateur McCain sur le vrai bilan de celui qui aura liquidé plus de monde avec ses drones que n’en aura incarcéré la prison de Guantanamo qu’il avait pourtant promis de fermer

What the U.S. risks by relying on drones

Kurt Volker

The Washington Post

October 26, 2012

As documented in the recent Post series “The Permanent War,” the United States increasingly relies on drone strikes as a principal and permanent component in fighting global terrorism. This is effective at killing terrorist leadership and is relatively painless politically at home, as it does not require massive military engagements or put U.S. soldiers or pilots at risk. There appear to be no short-term consequences.

Yet as necessary as some drone strikes have been — and will be in the future — over-reliance on drones raises problems. In establishing a long-term approach, a good rule of thumb might be that we should authorize drone strikes only if we would be willing to send in a pilot or soldier to do the job if a drone were not available.

There are four principal issues with excessive reliance on drones.

The first is moral. More people have been killed in U.S. drone attacks than were ever incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay. Can we be certain there were no cases of mistaken identity or innocent deaths? Those detained at Guantanamo at least had a chance to establish their identities, to be reviewed by an oversight panel and, in most cases, to be released. Those who remain at Guantanamo have been vetted and will ultimately face some form of legal proceeding. Those killed in drone strikes, whoever they were, are gone. Period.

The second is consequences. U.S. reliance on drone strikes allows our opponents to cast our country as a distant, high-tech, amoral purveyor of death. It builds resentment, facilitates terrorist recruitment and alienates those we should seek to inspire. Drone strikes may decapitate terrorist organizations, but they do not solve our terrorist problem. In fact, drone use may prolong it. Even though there is no immediate retaliation, in the long run the contributions to radicalization through drone use may put more American lives at risk.

Third, our monopoly on drone warfare will not last. Others, from European allies to Russia, China and Iran, are acquiring and beginning to use drones for surveillance — eventually, they will use them for killing as well. What would we say if others used drones to take out their opponents — whether within their own territory or internationally? Imagine China killing Tibetan separatists that it deemed terrorists or Russia launching drone strikes on Chechens. What would we say? What rules would we urge them to abide by?

Then there is the question of national identity: What do we want to be as a nation? A country with a permanent kill list? A country where people go to the office, launch a few kill shots and get home in time for dinner? A country that instructs workers in high-tech operations centers to kill human beings on the far side of the planet because some government agency determined that those individuals are terrorists? There is a “Brave New World” grotesqueness to this posture that should concern all Americans.

This is not to say that the United States should never use drones for targeted attacks. We should. But we should also be creating standards and practices that are entirely defensible, even — and perhaps especially — if others were to adopt them.

There is no doubt that the United States is under threat from terrorists who would not hesitate to kill innocent Americans. The Sept. 11 attacks in Benghazi should not have surprised us. The American people need to understand that we are in an armed struggle and that we must be prepared to meet and defeat our enemy with whatever force is necessary.

Yet exactly how we conduct this warfare matters considerably. Ultimately, the objective is to bring humanity together on the side of humanity. Our current use of drones does not meet this standard.

Standards such as U.N. approval and adhering to “international law” ring hollow, as they do not deal with the reality we face. Russia is single-handedly blocking U.N. action on Syria. International law — where it exists — is followed by law-abiding countries but used as a shield by those who reject the whole premise.

A more useful standard comes from our country’s basic approach to warfare. For a conventional military engagement, we would take into account the costs and risks of: sending a force to carry out the strike; generating public support; seeking congressional authorization; attracting allies to the cause; the regional effects of military action; and the duration and end of the mission, not just the beginning.

We must be careful not to adopt rote formulas for restricting drone use. But we also must avoid writing blank checks. Applying the general considerations used in launching military operations should be the start of a new doctrine guiding drone warfare as well.

Voir aussi:

Unmanned aerial vehicles

Death from afar

America uses drones a lot, in secret and largely unencumbered by declared rules. Worries about that abound, not least in the administration

The Economist

Nov 3rd 2012

DRONES are hardly synonymous with harmony. But in the last election debate neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney disagreed over what is now America’s main tactic in fighting the long war on terrorism: ever-greater use of armed drones for targeted killings in the tribal areas of Pakistan, the badlands of Yemen and Somalia, and, no doubt before long, north Mali, where an al-Qaeda affiliate has recently taken root. Just a few days before the debate, the CIA’s director, David Petraeus, reportedly asked the White House for a big expansion in the agency’s fleet of missile-carrying drones. It is part of the agency’s decade-long evolution from an intelligence organisation to a paramilitary one.

In Djibouti, an impoverished mini-state on the Gulf of Aden, America has turned a former French Foreign Legion outpost, Camp Lemonnier, into the most important base for drone operations outside the war zone of Afghanistan. According to an investigation by the Washington Post, Predator drones take off round the clock on missions over nearby Somalia and Yemen. Their pilots are in Creech, an air force hub 8,000 miles away in Nevada. The Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) runs Camp Lemonnier; the CIA is believed to have a more secret site elsewhere in the Arabian Peninsula. Aircraft from both bases often work together, as in the attack last year that killed Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen who became an al-Qaeda planner and propagandist.

After Iraq and Afghanistan, Americans do not want to spend blood and treasure in fighting big insurgencies on the ground. So drone strikes seem certain to stay the centrepiece of counter-terrorism efforts for many years to come and may well increase in reach and scale. America will invest $1.4 billion on new construction at Camp Lemonnier alone. Hugely enlarging the scope of drone operations (see chart) has been politically useful for Mr Obama. The ruthlessness of the campaign, plus the killing of Osama bin Laden, blunted Republican charges that he is soft on national security.

Because drones can loiter over potential targets for hours before firing their missiles, they are more discriminating than either fast jets or helicopter-borne special forces. Nor are their pilots put in harm’s way. Yet it is disturbingly unclear how many people the attacks have killed (some estimates suggest more than 3,000). The vast majority appear to have been militants, but some have been unlucky civilians. The distinction may also be blurring. New looser rules allow so-called “signature” attacks on unnamed fighters; that can easily mean any male of fighting age in an insurgent-held area.

It would be surprising if some aspects of the drone programme did not jar the president’s sensibilities. The former law professor has decried “bending the rules” in the fight against terrorism, or thinking that the ends justify the means. He worries about a “slippery slope into a place where we’re not being true to who we are”. The attorney-general, Eric Holder, argued in March that the administration’s counter-terrorism efforts, including the use of “technologically advanced weapons” were rooted in adherence to the law. The Pentagon and the CIA have deployed their general counsels to explain how their drones are always operated legally.

Staying true to America’s principles is one worry. Providing a template for other countries is another. China and Russia have similar technologies but their own ideas about what constitutes terrorism. In April the White House’s counter-terrorism adviser, John Brennan, a former senior CIA officer who opposed both the Iraq war and interrogation techniques such as water-boarding, gave a long and thoughtful speech on Mr Obama’s strategy. Mr Brennan said that the president was always urging his national security team to be as open as possible and went into some detail about the “extraordinary care” that was taken to ensure that attacks were both legal in terms of American and international law, as well as ethical in the wider sense.

In September Mr Obama himself went on television to give an account of his approach. He set out five rules. The target must be “authorised by our laws” and represent a threat that is “serious and not speculative”. The need for attack must be urgent. Planners must be “very careful” about avoiding civilian casualties. And despite the legal justification for stopping American citizens in al-Qaeda’s ranks from carrying out plots, “they are subject to the protections of the constitution and due process”. He did not mention another principle that some lawyers regard as indispensable: the consent of the country where the attack is to take place.

Should Mr Romney win, he will inherit a counter-terrorism “playbook” from Mr Obama—a set of rules that, in effect, institutionalises the use of armed drones—and the prototype of a “disposition matrix”—a database of terrorist suspects and a menu providing options for dealing with them. Mr Brennan is said to want the rules to be better codified and more transparent. The JSOC, which has a clear chain of command and legal accountability, could take the lead on drone attacks from the CIA.

But Kurt Volker, a former American official close to Senator John McCain, sees a bigger problem: drones have made killing too easy. In a recent article he asked: “What do we want to be as a nation? A country with a permanent kill list? A country where people go to the office, launch a few kill shots and get home in time for dinner? A country that instructs workers in high-tech operations centres to kill human beings on the far side of the planet because some government agency determined that those individuals are terrorists?” The debate over drones is only just starting.


Election présidentielle américaine/2012: C’est Romney qui avait raison sur Benghazi (People died, Obama lied)

17 octobre, 2012
Les Etats-Unis condamnent dans les termes les plus énergiques cette attaque scandaleuse et choquante. Nous travaillons en collaboration avec le gouvernement libyen pour garantir la sécurité de nos diplomates. J’ai également demandé à mon administration d’accroître notre sécurité aux postes diplomatiques dans le monde entier. Et ne vous méprenez pas, nous allons travailler avec le gouvernement libyen pour traduire en justice les tueurs qui ont attaqué notre peuple. (…) Depuis notre fondation, les États-Unis ont été une nation qui respecte toutes les croyances. Nous rejetons tous les efforts visant à dénigrer les croyances religieuses d’autrui. Mais il n’y a absolument aucune justification à ce type de violence insensée. Aucune. Le monde doit être solidaire pour rejeter sans équivoque ces actes brutaux… Aucun acte de terreur ne saurait jamais ébranler la détermination de cette grande nation, modifier son caractère ou éclipser la lumière des valeurs que nous défendons. Président Obama (Rose Garden, 12 sept. 2012)
QUESTION: “We have reports that the White House said today that the attacks in Libya were a terrorist attack. Do you have information indicating that it was Iran, or al-Qaeda was behind organizing the protests?”
OBAMA: “Well, we’re still doing an investigation, and there are going to be different circumstances in different countries. And so I don’t want to speak to something until we have all the information. What we do know is that the natural protests that arose because of the outrage over the video were used as an excuse by extremists to see if they can also directly harm U.S. interests.” President Obama (Univision Town Hall, Sept. 20)
QUESTION: “I heard Hillary Clinton say it was an act of terrorism. Is it? What do you say?”
OBAMA: “We are still doing an investigation. There is no doubt that the kind of weapons that were used, the ongoing assault, that it wasn’t just a mob action. Now, we don’t have all the information yet so we are still gathering.” Obama (ABC, Sept. 25)
The State Department said Tuesday it never concluded that the consulate attack in Libya stemmed from protests over an American-made video ridiculing Islam, raising further questions about why President Barack Obama’s administration used that explanation for more than a week after assailants killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans. The revelation came as new documents suggested internal disagreement over appropriate levels of security before the attack, which occurred on the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks on the U.S. The Associated Press (Oct. 10, 2012)
For political reasons, it certainly was in the White House’s interests to not portray the attack as a terrorist incident, especially one that took place on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Instead the administration kept the focus on what was ultimately a red herring — anger in the Arab world over anti-Muslim video posted on You Tube. With key phrases and message discipline, the administration was able to conflate an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Egypt — which apparently was prompted by the video — with the deadly assault in Benghazi. Officials were also able to dismiss pointed questions by referring to an ongoing investigation. Glenn Kessler

Au lendemain d’un deuxième débat présidentiel où, multipliant les attaques verbales gratuites et les contre-vérités, un président sortant en chute libre dans les sondages suite au désastre du premier semble avoir réussi à donner le change

Et où, malgré quelques erreurs tactiques (notamment le pinaillage inutile sur le temps ou l’ordre de parole) et le manque de précision sur certaines de ses propositions, son adversaire républicain a largement tenu sa place et surtout réussi à pointer l’indéfendable bilan du locataire actuel de la Maison Blanche …

Pendant qu’au Pays autoproclamé des Droits de l’homme, les patrons de Jihad-TV et financiers tous azimuth du jihadisme de la Libye au Nord-Mali se voient remercier par une place au sein de l’Organisation internationale de la Francophonie

Retour, avec le site Factchecker, sur l’évidente opération de dissimulation, pour ne pas dire mensonge y compris pendant le débat, de l’Administration Obama sur l’attaque terroriste de Benghazi.

Opération de dissimulation qui commence dès la première déclaration présidentielle du Rose Garden du 12 septembre où son utilisation réelle du terme "acte de terrorisme", mais dans un sens purement général, vient juste après le rappel appuyé de la volonté des Etats-Unis de "respecter toutes les croyances" et de "rejeter tous les efforts visant à dénigrer les croyances religieuses d’autrui", référence on ne peut plus claire à la version "manifestation qui a dégénéré" et donc à la vidéo anti-islamiste censée avoir déclenché l’attaque.

Et qui, jouant sur la confusion avec les autres manifestations du Monde arabe qui ont suivi et balayant les critiques derrière le rideau de fumée de l’enquête en cours, sera de fait maintenue près de deux semaines quand, sans compter les revendications explicites d’Al Qaeda et le fait qu’il n’y eut même pas de manifestation à Benghazi au moment de l’attaque, les déclarations des responsables militaires et de renseignement américains auront démontré que la vidéo n’était qu’un prétexte pour une attaque délibérément terroriste (dont apparemment des jihadistes libérés de prison par le prétendu "Printemps arabe") …

Avec l’évidente volonté de préserver, en cette journée hautement symbolique de l’anniversaire du 11/9 et surtout en pleine campagne électorale (débat d’hier compris!) face à la première mort d’un ambassadeur américain en service depuis Carter il y a 33 ans en Afghanistan,  l’un des rares points forts supposés d’un bilan catastrophique

A savoir celui d’avoir, grâce notamment aux dispositifs mis en place par son prédécesseur (dont Guantanamo qu’il prétendait fermer), tenu tête à Al Qaeda …

From video to terrorist attack: a definitive timeline of administration statements on the Libya attack

Glenn Kessler

The fact checker

09/27/2012

“We are still doing an investigation.”

— President Obama, Sept. 25, 2012

In any kind of confused overseas event, initial reports are often wrong. But the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, in which four Americans were killed, including the ambassador, is a case study of how an administration can carefully keep the focus as long as possible on one storyline — and then turn on a dime when it is no longer tenable.

For political reasons, it certainly was in the White House’s interests to not portray the attack as a terrorist incident, especially one that took place on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Instead the administration kept the focus on what was ultimately a red herring — anger in the Arab world over anti-Muslim video posted on You Tube. With key phrases and message discipline, the administration was able to conflate an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Egypt — which apparently was prompted by the video — with the deadly assault in Benghazi.

Officials were also able to dismiss pointed questions by referring to an ongoing investigation.

Ultimately, when the head of the National Counterterrorism Center was asked pointblank on Capitol Hill whether it was a an act of terror — and he agreed — the administration talking points began to shift. (Tough news reporting — as well as statements by Libya’s president — also played a role.) Yet President Obama himself resisted using the “t” word, even as late as Tuesday, while keeping the focus on the video in his speech to the U.N. General Assembly.

On Wednesday, however, White House spokesman Jay Carney acknowledged also that Obama himself believes the attack was terrorism — and so more than two weeks after the attack the Rubicon finally was crossed.

As a reader service, we have compiled a comprehensive timeline of administration statements, showing the evolution in talking points, with key phrases highlighted in bold. Many readers sent suggestions for this timeline, for which we are deeply grateful.

We will leave it to readers to reach their own conclusions on whether this is merely the result of the fog of war and diplomacy — or a deliberate effort to steer the storyline away from more politically damaging questions. After all, in a competitive election, two weeks is a lifetime.

Initially, ‘an attack’ — and focus on a video

“Yesterday, our U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, was attacked. Heavily armed militants assaulted the compound and set fire to our buildings. American and Libyan security personnel battled the attackers together. Four Americans were killed. They included Sean Smith, a Foreign Service information management officer, and our Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens. We are still making next of kin notifications for the other two individuals.”

— Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, State Department Treaty room, Sept. 12

“The United States condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack. We’re working with the government of Libya to secure our diplomats. I’ve also directed my administration to increase our security at diplomatic posts around the world. And make no mistake, we will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people.

“Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths. We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence. None. The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts…No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.”

— President Obama, Rose Garden statement, Sept. 12

(Note: we added this statement to the timeline after Josh Gerstein of Politico asserted that the phrasing “acts of terror” showed Obama acknowledged “terrorism” was behind the attack. From our many years of covering diplomacy we would say there is a world of difference, but readers can draw their own conclusions.)

“Frankly, we are not in a position to speak any further to the perpetrators of this attack. It was clearly a complex attack. We’re going to have to do a full investigation.”

— Unnamed senior administration official, briefing reporters in a conference call, Sept. 12

“I think it’s important to note with regards to that protest that there are protests taking place in different countries across the world that are responding to the movie that has circulated on the Internet. As Secretary Clinton said today, the United States government had nothing to do with this movie. We reject its message and its contents. We find it disgusting and reprehensible. America has a history of religious tolerance and respect for religious beliefs that goes back to our nation’s founding. We are stronger because we are the home to people of all religions, including millions of Muslims, and we reject the denigration of religion. We also believe that there is no justification at all for responding to this movie with violence.”

— White House spokesman Jay Carney, news briefing, Sept. 13

“This has been a difficult week for the State Department and for our country. We’ve seen the heavy assault on our post in Benghazi that took the lives of those brave men. We’ve seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over n awful Internet video that we had nothing to do with. It is hard for the American people to make sense of that because it is senseless, and it is totally unacceptable.

— Clinton, transfer of remains ceremony, Sept. 14

“I have seen that report, and the story is absolutely wrong. We were not aware of any actionable intelligence indicating that an attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi was planned or imminent. That report is false.”

— Carney, news briefing, Sept. 14

“Based on the best information we have to date … it began spontaneously in Benghazi as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo, where, of course, as you know, there was a violent protest outside of our embassy sparked by this hateful video. But soon after that spontaneous protest began outside of our consulate in Benghazi, we believe that it looks like extremist elements, individuals, joined in that effort with heavy weapons of the sort that are, unfortunately, readily now available in Libya post-revolution. And that it spun from there into something much, much more violent…. We do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned.”

— Susan E. Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Sept. 16

“We had a substantial security presence with our personnel and the consulate in Benghazi. Tragically, two of the four Americans who were killed were there providing security. That was their function. And indeed, there were many other colleagues who were doing the same with them.”

— Rice, on ABC’s “This Week,” Sept. 16

(Note: the U.S. post was not a consulate and its precise role is still a mystery.)

“The way these perpetrators acted and moved, and their choosing the specific date for this so-called demonstration, this leaves us with no doubt that this was preplanned, predetermined.”

— Mohamed Yusuf al-Magariaf, president of Libya’s General National Congress, Sept. 16

QUESTION: “Simply on the basis of what Ambassador Rice has publicly disclosed, does the United States Government regard what happened in Benghazi as an act of terror?”

SPOKESWOMAN VICTORIA NULAND: “Again, I’m not going to put labels on this until we have a complete investigation, okay?”

QUESTION: “You don’t — so you don’t regard it as an act of terrorism?”

NULAND: “I don’t think we know enough. I don’t think we know enough. And we’re going to continue to assess. She gave our preliminary assessment. We’re going to have a full investigation now, and then we’ll be in a better position to put labels on things, okay?”

— exchange at State Department briefing, Sept. 17

“Well, you’re conveniently conflating two things, which is the anniversary of 9/11 and the incidents that took place, which are under investigation and the cause and motivation behind them will be decided by that investigation.”

— Carney, news briefing, Sept. 17

Suddenly, a shift to a ‘terrorist attack’

“I would say yes, they were killed in the course of a terrorist attack on our embassy….The best information we have now, the facts that we have now indicate that this was an opportunistic attack on our embassy. The attack began and evolved and escalated over several hours at our embassy — our diplomatic post in Benghazi. It evolved and escalated over several hours.

“It appears that individuals who were certainly well-armed seized on the opportunity presented as the events unfolded that evening and into the — into the morning hours of September 12th. We do know that a number of militants in the area, as I mentioned, are well-armed and maintain those arms. What we don’t have at this point is specific intelligence that there was a significant advanced planning or coordination for this attack.

“We are focused on who was responsible for this attack. At this point, what I would say is that a number of different elements appear to have been involved in the attack, including individuals connected to militant groups that are prevalent in eastern Libya, particularly in the Benghazi area, as well. We are looking at indications that individuals involved in the attack may have had connections to al-Qaeda or al-Qaeda’s affiliates; in particular, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.”

— Mathew Olsen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, testimony before Congress, Sept. 19, after being asked a direct question.

CNN reports on Sept. 19 that Ambassador Christopher Stevens had been worried by the security threats in Benghazi. CNN later acknowledged the information came from Steven’s journal.

“It is, I think, self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack. Our embassy was attacked violently, and the result was four deaths of American officials. So, again, that’s self- evident.

“He also made clear that at this point, based on the information he has — and he is briefing the Hill on the most up-to-date intelligence — we have no information at this point that suggests that this was a significantly preplanned attack, but this was the result of opportunism, taking advantage of and exploiting what was happening as a result of reaction to the video that was found to be offensive.”

— Carney, news briefing, Sept. 20

CBS News reports there never was anti-American protest.

“Witnesses tell CBS News that there was never an anti-American protest outside of the consulate. Instead they say it came under planned attack. That is in direct contradiction to the administration’s account.”

— Margaret Brennan CBS News correspondent, CBS News report aired Sept. 20

But Obama resists saying the ‘t’ word…

OBAMA: “What we’ve seen over the last week, week and a half, is something that actually we’ve seen in the past, where there is an offensive video or cartoon directed at the prophet Muhammad. And this is obviously something that then is used as an excuse by some to carry out inexcusable violent acts directed at Westerners or Americans.

“And my number-one priority is always to keep our diplomats safe and to keep our embassies safe. And so when the initial events happened in Cairo and all across the region, we worked with Secretary Clinton to redouble our security and to send a message to the leaders of these countries, essentially saying, although we had nothing to do with the video, we find it offensive, it’s not representative of America’s views, how we treat each other with respect when it comes to their religious beliefs, but we will not tolerate violence.”

QUESTION: “We have reports that the White House said today that the attacks in Libya were a terrorist attack. Do you have information indicating that it was Iran, or al-Qaeda was behind organizing the protests?”

OBAMA: “Well, we’re still doing an investigation, and there are going to be different circumstances in different countries. And so I don’t want to speak to something until we have all the information. What we do know is that the natural protests that arose because of the outrage over the video were used as an excuse by extremists to see if they can also directly harm U.S. interests.”

— President Obama, Univision Town Hall, Sept. 20

“What happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack, and we will not rest until we have tracked down and brought to justice the terrorists who murdered four Americans.”

— Clinton, statement at a meeting with Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, Sept. 21, 2012

“As we all know, the United States lost a great ambassador and the Libyan people lost a true friend when Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the terrorist assault on our consulate in Benghazi.”

— Clinton, meeting with Libyan President Magariaf , Sept. 24

QUESTION: “I heard Hillary Clinton say it was an act of terrorism. Is it? What do you say?”

OBAMA: “We are still doing an investigation. There is no doubt that the kind of weapons that were used, the ongoing assault, that it wasn’t just a mob action. Now, we don’t have all the information yet so we are still gathering.”

— Obama, on ABC’s “The View,” Sept. 25

“That is what we saw play out in the last two weeks, as a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world. Now, I have made it clear that the United States government had nothing to do with this video, and I believe its message must be rejected by all who respect our common humanity.”

— Obama, speech to the U.N. General Assembly, Sept. 25

“It was a preplanned act of terrorism directed against American citizens.”

— Magariaf, on NBC’s “Today” show, Sept. 26

“For some time, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and other groups have launched attacks and kidnappings from northern Mali into neighboring countries. Now, with a larger safe haven and increased freedom to maneuver, terrorists are seeking to extend their reach and their networks in multiple directions. And they are working with other violent extremists to undermine the democratic transitions underway in North Africa, as we tragically saw in Benghazi.”

— Clinton, at the United Nations, Sept. 26

QUESTION: “Is there any reason why the President did not — he was asked point-blank in The View interview, is this a terrorist attack, yes or no? Is there any reason why he didn’t say yes?”

CARNEY: “He answered the question that he was asked, and there’s no reason that he chose the words he did beyond trying to provide a full explanation of his views and his assessment that we need to await further information that the investigation will uncover. But it is certainly the case that it is our view as an administration, the President’s view, that it was a terrorist attack.”

— Carney, news briefing, Sept. 26

 Voir aussi:

Romney Missed Opportunity Due To Contamination By Moderator

Real clear politics

October 16, 2012

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: I was interested to hear Megyn that women don’t like the kind of in-your-face fighting that we basically saw in the debate. I can’t speak for her gender, but I can speak on behalf of mine. We love this stuff. This was a boxing match, this was heavyweight. This was Frazier-Ali. Even the stage was sort of like an arena, a ring where they circled each other. At one point I thought they would sort of use their mikes as weapons, and it would turn into the Taiwanese Parliament where you get fantastic fistfights. Look, this was a very tough fight.

I think Romney did about as well as he did last time around, he made his points. Obama clearly had a good night, a much better night than the first night. You know, Woody Allen said showing up is 80% of life, well he was at the 80%. And I think on points, if you were scoring it’s on points, Obama wins on points. He made a lot of counter punches, a lot of accusations. He managed to get under Romney’s skin a little bit by referring to his wealth, ‘if you make $20 million a year,’ trying to make a point about taxes. But it’s a way to say you’re a rich guy, how will you understand the ordinary guy? I thought there is a point where Romney did really well, I think all of us agree, that was on the larger general issue on the failure of this administration.

When Romney went large, he did well. When Romney went small, trying to answer each point here and there, I think Obama got the better of him. But there was one critical issue in this debate. The Libya question. Obama was at sea. He was asked about the security in Libya and Benghazi, he didn’t try to answer because he had no answer. Instead he went on about how we’re going to catch these guys. Romney, I think had a huge opening that he missed. Obama ended by saying, you know, ‘I’m offended by the implication we’d mislead.’ The obvious retort was, ‘Mislead? You sent out your UN ambassador to mislead America on five television shows in one morning implying it’s about a video, talking about a riot. There was none. There wasn’t a video in this issue in Benghazi.’

And then, there was one tactical error that Romney made which was he kept asking the president questions. Every lawyer knows you never ask a question for which you don’t already have the answer in already have the answer in hand. And that gave obama a chance to counterpunch. We’ve got Candy Crowley’s intervention, which is essentially incorrect, supporting Obama on the transcript. He did not call it’s a terror incident. There was a big opening that was missed. I think it was contaminated by the actions of the moderator. But again, on the big issue, that one where I think Romney could really have scored, he missed an opportunity and that’s probably why, I think on points, Obama came out ahead.

BRET BAIER: Charles, we’ve talked about Libya quite a bit on "Special Report." The president said tonight, as soon as he heard that the Benghazi consulate was attacked, he was on the phone with his national security team telling them to find out how it happened, to make sure that security was tightened, and to get to the bottom of it. Now, we hear that the intelligence, weeks later, they’re saying was wrong. And that they blamed this anti-Islam video, including the president saying it six times at the United Nations. Does that answer square and will the fallout from that be a problem for this White House?

KRAUTHAMMER: I think it will be a problem for the White House. They have clearly told untruths, fictions. The president perpetrated them two weeks later on Letterman when he spoke about Libya in the context of the video when everybody knew it was not an issue at the time. So I think on the facts, on explaining Libya, yes, it’s going do be a huge problem, but it will be a huge problem in a few days. Right now, in the context of the debate, I think he got away with it because there was no actual response at the time on the stage and when you had moderator meeting in behalf of Obama, that I think swung it in a way that was basically incorrect and unfair.

Voir également:

U.S. officials deny linking Libya attack, video

Bradley Klapper and Larry Margasak

The Asssociated Press

October 10, 2012

WASHINGTON — The State Department said Tuesday it never concluded that the consulate attack in Libya stemmed from protests over an American-made video ridiculing Islam, raising further questions about why President Barack Obama’s administration used that explanation for more than a week after assailants killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.

The revelation came as new documents suggested internal disagreement over appropriate levels of security before the attack, which occurred on the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks on the U.S.

Briefing reporters ahead of a hotly anticipated congressional hearing today, State Department officials provided their most detailed rundown of how a peaceful day in Benghazi devolved into a sustained attack that involved multiple groups of men armed with weapons such as machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars over an expanse of more than a mile.

But asked about the administration’s initial — and since retracted — explanation linking the violence to protests over an anti-Muslim video circulating on the Internet, one official said, "That was not our conclusion."

He called it a question for "others" to answer, without specifying.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter, and provided no evidence that might suggest a case of spontaneous violence or angry protests that went too far.

The attack has become a major issue in the presidential campaign, featured prominently in Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s latest foreign policy address on Monday. He called it an example of Obama’s weakness in foreign policy matters, noting: "As the administration has finally conceded, these attacks were the deliberate work of terrorists."

The administration counters that it has provided its best intelligence on the attack and that it refined its explanation as more information came to light. But five days after the attack, Obama’s ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, gave a series of interviews saying the administration believed the violence was unplanned and that extremists with heavier weapons "hijacked" the protest and turned it into an outright attack.

She has since denied trying to mislead Congress, and a concurrent CIA memo that was obtained by The Associated Press cited intelligence suggesting the demonstrations in Benghazi "were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo" and "evolved into a direct assault" on the diplomatic posts by "extremists."

Alongside defining the nature of the Benghazi attack, Congress is looking into whether adequate security was in place.

According to an email obtained Tuesday by the AP, the top State Department security official in Libya told a congressional investigator that he had argued unsuccessfully for more security in the weeks before Ambassador Chris Stevens, a State Department computer specialist and two former Navy SEALs were killed. But department officials instead wanted to "normalize operations and reduce security resources," he wrote.

Eric Nordstrom, who was the regional security officer in Libya, also referenced a State Department document detailing 230 security incidents in Libya between June 2011 and July 2012 that demonstrated the danger there to Americans.

Nordstrom is among the witnesses set to testify today before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. According to the panel’s chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and the head of a subcommittee, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, the State Department refused repeated requests to provide more security for U.S. diplomats in Libya.

"You will note that there were a number of incidents that targeted diplomatic missions and underscored the GoL’s (government of Libya) inability to secure and protect diplomatic missions," Nordstrom’s email stated.

"This was a significant part of (the diplomatic) post’s and my argument for maintaining continued DS (diplomatic security) and DOD (Department of Defense) security assets into Sept/Oct. 2012; the GoL was overwhelmed and could not guarantee our protection.

"Sadly, that point was reaffirmed on Sept. 11, 2012, in Benghazi," he added.

Nordstrom said the incidents demonstrated that security in Libya was fragile and could degrade quickly. He added that Libya was "certainly not an environment where (the diplomatic) post would be directed to ‘normalize’ operations and reduce security resources in accordance with an artificial time table."

Nordstrom also said diplomats in Libya were told not to request an extension of a 16-member special operations military team that left in August, according to an official of the Oversight panel. The official was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and thus spoke only on the condition of anonymity.

The State Department has said it never received a request to extend the military team beyond August, and added that its members were replaced with a security team that had the same skills.

Democrats on the Oversight committee were sharply critical of Issa, the chairman, calling his investigation "extremely partisan."

"The chairman and his staff failed to consult with Democratic members prior to issuing public letters with unverified allegations, concealed witnesses and refused to make one hearing witness available to Democratic staff, withheld documents obtained by the committee during the investigation, and effectively excluded Democratic committee members from joining a poorly-planned congressional delegation to Libya," a Democratic memo said.

It said in the previous two years, House Republicans voted to cut the Obama administration’s requests for embassy security by some $459 million.

The Democratic memo said Nordstrom told committee investigators that he sent two cables to State Department headquarters in March and July 2012 requesting additional diplomatic security agents for Benghazi, but that he received no responses.

He stated that Charlene Lamb, the deputy assistant secretary for international programs, wanted to keep the number of U.S. security personnel in Benghazi artificially low and that Lamb believed the Benghazi facilities did not need any diplomatic security special agents because there was a residential safe haven to fall back to in an emergency.

Issa had a phone conversation Monday with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton about the committee’s investigation.

The FBI is still investigating the attack. Clinton also has named a State Department review panel to look into the security arrangements in Libya.

Voir enfin:

Militant Link to Libya Attack

U.S. Tracks Egyptian Operative Freed From Prison in Wake of Arab Spring

Siobhan Gorman and Matt Bradley

The WSJ

October 1, 2012

The revolutions that swept the Middle East and North Africa also emptied prisons of militants, a problem now emerging as a potential new terrorist threat. Matt Bradley has details on The News Hub. Photo: Reuters.

Fighters linked to one freed militant, Muhammad Jamal Abu Ahmad, took part in the Sept. 11 attack on U.S. diplomatic outposts in Libya that killed four Americans, U.S. officials believe based on initial reports. Intelligence reports suggest that some of the attackers trained at camps he established in the Libyan Desert, a former U.S. official said.

Western officials say Mr. Ahmad has petitioned the chief of al Qaeda, to whom he has long ties, for permission to launch an al Qaeda affiliate and has secured financing from al Qaeda’s Yemeni wing.

U.S. spy agencies have been tracking Mr. Ahmad’s activities for several months. The Benghazi attacks gave a major boost to his prominence in their eyes.

Mr. Ahmad, although believed to be one of the most potent of the new militant operatives emerging from the chaos of the Arab Spring, isn’t the only one, according to Western officials. They say others are also trying to exploit weaknesses in newly established governments and develop a capacity for strikes that could go well beyond recent violent protests in Libya, Egypt and elsewhere.

The U.S. and its allies hoped the revolutions of last year would lead to a more stable, more democratic and more U.S.-friendly Middle East. That may still come to pass. But in the near term, they face a growing number of security threats—not only the violence around the release of an anti-Islamic video but also terrorist attacks in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula and gains made in Yemen by al Qaeda’s affiliate there.

"A lot of people were exuberant that the Arab uprisings in countries like Libya would lead to democracy…as well as stability," said Seth Jones, a counterterrorism specialist at the Rand Corp. think tank. But, he said, the resulting weak central governments are leaving room for terrorist leaders to operate.

The new threats are particularly relevant in light of the U.S. Consulate attack Sept. 11 in Benghazi, Libya. For days after the attack, intelligence officials and the Obama administration said it was likely the outgrowth of protests sparked by an anti-Islamic video made in the U.S.

Intelligence officials now believe the attack was carried out by local militants who were in contact with regional members of al Qaeda-affiliated groups, using the eruption of protests elsewhere as an opportunity to mount an assault on U.S. installations. That belated conclusion has raised questions about the adequacy of intelligence and security preparations at U.S. diplomatic posts abroad as they confront both old and newer risks.

Of the new militant operatives, Mr. Ahmad is among the most worrisome to Western officials. Thought to be about 45, he is a native of Cairo’s Shobra district, a densely populated, low-income neighborhood along the Nile that includes many Coptic Christians, said Barak Barfi of the New America Foundation, a Washington think tank, who recently interviewed several of Mr. Ahmad’s associates in Egypt.

According to Mr. Barfi, Mr. Ahmad attended college, studying either literature or commerce, and went to Afghanistan in the late 1980s. There, said his associates, he trained to make bombs.

On returning to Egypt in the 1990s, a former U.S. official said, Mr. Ahmad became head of the operational wing of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, which was then headed by Ayman al-Zawahiri, a physician who is now the chief of al Qaeda. Associates of Mr. Ahmad agree he was part of Egyptian Islamic Jihad but say he wasn’t among its leaders.

Many of that group’s fighters embraced a cease-fire with the government of former President Hosni Mubarak in 1997, but Mr. Ahmad earned a reputation as a hard-liner by rejecting it, according to Mr. Barfi.

"Unlike the organization’s leaders who have reconciled with the state and have eagerly embraced the democratic process, Mr. Ahmad and his cohorts reject any semblance of compromise with the state they have fought for decades," Mr. Barfi said.

Former militants who knew Mr. Ahmad in an Egyptian prison, where he was locked up around 2000, describe a hardened inmate who showed belligerence toward the guards. While most prisoners submitted to random cell searches, Mr. Ahmad often refused to let guards remove items from his cell, the former inmates say.

He would start by preaching to the guards and escalate to shouted insults, said a former jihadi imprisoned with him starting in 2006. That often landed Mr. Ahmad in solitary confinement, in a roofless cell exposed to the elements. The guards sometimes let in dogs or insects to harass him, said the ex-jihadi.

Freed last year, Mr. Ahmad is building his own terror group, say Western officials, who call it the Jamal Network. They say he appears to be trying to tap former fellow inmates such as Murjan Salim, a man who, like Mr. Ahmad, has ties to al Qaeda’s Dr. Zawahiri. Former associates of Mr. Ahmad said Mr. Salim is directing aspiring jihadis to Mr. Ahmad’s camps in Libya.

In an interview in Cairo, Mr. Salim denied any connection to jihad, citing his physical limitations. He uses a wheelchair, a result, he said, of being wounded by U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.

Also freed in Egypt last year was Mohammed al-Zawahiri, a brother of the al Qaeda leader. Mohammed al-Zawahiri backed a protest in Cairo three weeks ago but says he had no role in a later invasion of U.S. Embassy grounds.

U.S. officials believe he has helped Mr. Ahmad connect with the al Qaeda chief. In an interview, Mohammed al-Zawahiri denied that, saying that though imprisoned with Mr. Ahmad, he isn’t helping him. "These are all accusations without proof," he said.

Mr. Zawahiri denied resuming past militant activities. "This is always what they say," he said. "This is meant to scare us away from exercising our political rights."

As for Mr. Ahmad, associates say he now lives in Libya. Western officials believe that besides financing through al Qaeda’s Yemeni wing, he has tapped into its system for smuggling fighters. At his camps, militants are believed to be training future suicide bombers, say current and former U.S. officials, who add that he has established limited links with jihadists in Europe.

U.S. officials working with Libyans to investigate the consulate assault in Benghazi have identified some of the attackers and believe some are associates of Mr. Ahmad. Also believed present were militants affiliated with other groups, including Ansar al Sharia, a local group, and al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, which has origins in Algeria.

The Obama administration on Friday adjusted its assessment. "As we learned more about the attack, we revised our initial assessment to reflect new information indicating that it was a deliberate and organized terrorist attack carried out by extremists," said a spokesman for the Director of National Intelligence. The latest thinking is that militants, after seeing the mayhem in Egypt, decided to use the opportunity to mount attacks they had done general planning for.

Mr. Barfi, based on his contacts with Ahmad associates in Egypt, said Mr. Ahmad has discussed attacking American targets in countries where the U.S. has a military presence. American officials said he doesn’t appear to pose a threat to the U.S. homeland but could be a threat to U.S. interests abroad.

How well he and other militants freed during the Arab Spring can take advantage of the security vacuums left by the overthrow of authoritarian regimes remains unknown, said one U.S. official, who noted that some have struggled to adapt to widespread change in the region.

—Adam Entous and Lara El Gibaly contributed to this article.

Stirrings of Militancy Since the Arab Spring

Feb., March 2011: Egypt frees militant prisoners.

April 2011: Ansar al Sharia in Tunisia is founded.

April 2011: Ansar al Sharia in Yemen, a unit of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, is formed.

Dec. 2011: Ansar al Jihad in the Sinai Peninsula is formed, pledges to "fulfill the oath" of Osama bin Laden.

June 2012: Bomb damages wall of U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Aug. 2012: Militants attack Egyptian security forces in Sinai.

Sept. 2012: Attacks on U.S. diplomatic posts in Benghazi kill ambassador and three other Americans (left). U.S. officials believe some attackers had links to a militant released from prison in Egypt last year.

Voir aussi:


Présidentielle américaine/2012: Vous avez dit postracial? (Racial demagoguery from the seventies to Obama)

11 octobre, 2012
The ironic result is that the election of the first black president may well have moved us further back in removing race from politics than forward. Sherrilyn A. Ifill
It’s often said that those who are unduly bothered by gays are latent homosexuals. Isn’t it possible that people obsessed with racism are themselves racist? Treating blacks like special-needs children, liberals bury them in ludicrously gushy praise. Ann Coulter
 This isn’t a story about black people—it’s a story about the Left’s agenda to patronize blacks and lie to everyone else. Ann Coulter
For decades, the Left has been putting on a play with themselves as heroes in an ongoing civil rights move­ment—which they were mostly absent from at the time. Long after pervasive racial discrimination ended, they kept pretending America was being run by the Klan and that liberals were black America’s only protectors. It took the O. J. Simpson verdict—the race-based acquittal of a spectacularly guilty black celebrity as blacks across America erupted in cheers—to shut down the white guilt bank. But now, fewer than two decades later, our “pos­tracial” president has returned us to the pre-OJ era of nonstop racial posturing. A half-black, half-white Democrat, not descended from American slaves, has brought racial unrest back with a whoop. The Obama candidacy allowed liberals to engage in self-righteousness about race and get a hard-core Leftie in the White House at the same time. In 2008, we were told the only way for the nation to move past race was to elect him as president. And 53 percent of voters fell for it. Now, Ann Coulter fearlessly explains the real his­tory of race relations in this country, including how white liberals twist that history to spring the guilty, accuse the innocent, and engender racial hatreds, all in order to win politically. You’ll learn, for instance, how a U.S. congressman and a New York mayor con­spired to protect cop killers who ambushed four police officers in the Rev. Louis Farrakhan’s mosque, the entire Democratic elite, up to the Carter White House, coddled a black cult in San Francisco as hun­dreds of the cult members marched to their deaths in Guyana, New York City became a maelstrom of racial hatred, with black neighborhoods abandoned to crimi­nals who were ferociously defended by a press that assessed guilt on the basis of race, preposterous hoax hate crimes were always believed, never questioned. And when they turned out to be frauds the stories would simply disappear from the news, liberals quickly switched the focus of civil rights laws from the heirs of slavery and Jim Crow to white feminists, illegal immigrants, and gays, subway vigilante Bernhard Goetz was surprisingly popular in black neighborhoods, despite hysterical denunciations of him by the New York Times, liberals slander Republicans by endlessly repeating a bizarro-world history in which Democrats defended black America and Republicans appealed to segregationists. The truth has always been exactly the opposite. Going where few authors would dare, Coulter explores the racial demagoguery that has mugged America since the early seventies. She shines the light of truth on cases ranging from Tawana Brawley, Lemrick Nelson, and Howard Beach, NY, to the LA riots and the Duke lacrosse scandal. And she shows how the 2012 Obama campaign is going to inspire the greatest racial guilt mongering of all time. Présentation de "Mugged" (Ann Coulter)

Vous avez dit postracial?

Passé réécrit, vidéo d’un tabassage supposé remontée, enregistrement bidonné, fausses accusations de viol contre des policiers ou des étudiants blancs, attaques antisémites, émeutes prétextes 

Alors qu’on apprend que, contrairement à ce qui avait été annoncé par une administration qui n’en est pas à ses premiers "arrangements avec la vérité", il n’y avait pas eu de manifestations devant un consulat américain bien trop peu protégé avant l’attaque d’Al Qaeda qui se termina par le lynchage de l’ambassadeur et la mort de trois de ses adjoints  il y a deux semaines …

Et qu’après son premier et catastrophique débat électoral et des sondages désastreux y compris dans les états importants ou indécis de Floride ou Virginie ou même dans l’Illinois (merci James) tant la notoire arrogance que le refus explicite de préparation d’un président prétendument postracial mais de fait élu sur sa couleur et n’ayant jamais hésité à ressortir la carte raciale ne peuvent toujours pas être critiqués sans voir les critiques accusés immédiatement de racisme …

Pendant que, dans une élection plus que jamais polarisée racialement, le candidat républicain se voit quasiment privé de voix noires qu’une agence de sondage reconnait avoir sous-évalué ses échantillons blancs …

Retour, avec le chroniqueur Thomas Sowell, sur le dernier ouvrage d’Ann Coulter qui revient sur plusieurs décennies de chantage au racisme d’une véritable génération de chasseurs d’ambulances

Race Cards

 Thomas Sowell

Real Clear Politics

October 9, 2012

If you are sick and tired of seeing politicians and others playing the race card, or if you are just disgusted with the grossly dishonest way racial issues in general are portrayed, then you should get a copy of Ann Coulter’s new book, "Mugged." Its subtitle is: "Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obama."

Few things are as rare as an honest book about race. This is one of the very few, and one of the very best.

Many people will learn for the first time from Ann Coulter’s book how a drunken hoodlum and ex-convict, who tried to attack the police, was turned into a victim and a martyr by the media, simply by editing a videotape and broadcasting that edited version, over and over, across the nation.

They will learn how a jury — which saw the whole unedited videotape and acquitted the police officers of wrongdoing — was portrayed as racist, setting off riots that killed innocent people who had nothing to do with the Rodney King episode.

Meanwhile, the people whose slick editing set off this chain of events received a Pulitzer Prize.

Even the Republican President of the United States, George H.W. Bush, expressed surprise at the jury’s verdict, after seeing the edited videotape, while the jury saw the whole unedited videotape. Even Presidents should keep their mouths shut when they don’t know all the facts. Perhaps especially Presidents.

Innumerable other examples of racial events and issues that have been twisted and distorted beyond recognition are untangled and revealed for the frauds that they are in "Mugged."

The whole history of the role of the Democrats and the Republicans in black civil rights issues is taken apart and examined, showing with documented fact after documented fact how the truth turns out repeatedly to be the opposite of what has been portrayed in most of the media.

It has long been a matter of official record that a higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats, in both Houses of Congress, voted for the landmark civil rights legislation of the 1960s. Yet the great legend has come down to us that Democrats created the civil rights revolution, over the opposition of the Republicans.

Since this all happened nearly half a century ago, even many Republicans today seem unaware of the facts, and are defensive about their party’s role on racial issues, while Democrats boldly wrap themselves in the mantle of blacks’ only friends and defenders.

To puff up their role as defenders of blacks, it has been necessary for Democrats and their media supporters to hype the dangers of "racists." This has led to some very creative ways of defining and portraying people as "racists." Ann Coulter has a whole chapter titled "You Racist!" with examples of how extreme and absurd this organized name-calling can become.

No book about race would be complete without an examination of the role of character assassination in racial politics. One of the classic injustices revealed by Ann Coulter’s book is the case of Charles Pickering, a white Republican in Mississippi, who prosecuted the Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1960s.

Back in those days, opposing the Ku Klux Klan meant putting your life, and the lives of your family members, at risk. The FBI had to guard Pickering and his family. Later, Pickering went on to become a federal judge and, in 2001, President George W. Bush nominated him for promotion to the Circuit Court of Appeals.

As a Republican judge, Pickering was opposed by elite liberal Democrats in Congress and in the media who, in Ann Coulter’s words, "sent their children to 99-percent white private schools" while "Pickering sent his kids to overwhelmingly black Mississippi public schools."

Among the charges against Pickering was that he was bad on civil rights issues. Older black leaders in Mississippi, who had known Pickering for years, sprang to his defense. But who cared what they said? Pickering’s nomination was defeated on a smear.

"Mugged" is more than an informative book. It is a whole education about the difference between rhetoric and reality when it comes to racial issues. It is a much needed, and even urgently needed education, with a national election just weeks away.

Voir aussi:

Excerpt of Ann Coulter’s ‘Mugged’: Racial Double Standards at MSNBC

Ann Coulter

September 25, 2012

How about Chris Matthews? He is an aggressive bean counter when it comes to the number of blacks at Tea Parties—as if the Tea Partiers can control who shows up at their rallies.

Blacks as a group are overwhelmingly one-party voters. Jews have more Republicans. As a result, any group that espouses Republican principles obviously isn’t going to have a lot of black people—although probably more than the schools Chris Matthews’s children attended.

While living cheek-by-jowl with the nation’s capital, which happens to be a majority black city, Matthews’s kids managed to go to schools that are probably about 3 percent black. When Matthews had an opportunity to associate with blacks by sending his children to public schools, he chose not to. His obsession with race is all about self-congratulation. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.”

The Tea Parties weren’t as white as Chris Matthews’s office. They weren’t as white as Matthews’s neighborhood or television audience. (It’s doubtful that even Eugene Robinson watches Hardball.)

This is New-York-Times-Charlie-Rose-PBS thinking. We’re not racist, they are. This pompous self-perception allows liberals to be offensively, self-righteously preening in the positions they take, such as demanding school busing for other people but sending their own kids to private schools.

If we attended a party at the Matthews home in Chevy Chase, Maryland, how many blacks would we see? Could we at least wave to the black neighbors? The New York Times write-up of his son’s wedding included a panoramic shot of the church, showing nearly a hundred guests. Not one of them is black. You may check for yourself here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/04/fashion/weddings/04vows.html?pagewanted=all.

A Republican saddled with the facts of Matthews’s life would be convicted of racism in five minutes.

No one is required to be a friend to someone else because it’s good for society, and people should be able to hire anyone they please. But you better have your own house in order if you’re going to run around accusing everyone else of racism based on a dearth of black associates.

Like Matthews, New York Times columnist Tom Wicker made a career of proclaiming that America was a deeply racist country. But he sent his own kids to lily-white private schools and then retired to the whitest state in the nation, Vermont. Wicker being so right-thinking and the scourge of racists, people were curious about why he didn’t send his kids to New York public schools. Did he just screw up? Asked about the hypocrisy of sending his own children to sanitized private schools, Wicker said, “It gives me a lot of intellectual discomfort, but I am not going to disadvantage my children to win more support for my views.”

It’s not a question of winning support for his views, it’s whether he really held those views to begin with. The surest proof of racism is not what people say, but what they do. The only thing in his whole life Wicker could have done that wasn’t just running his mouth was to send his kids to public schools, and he didn’t do it. On what basis did Wicker have a right to self-congratulation on his racial attitudes? Because he worked especially hard to make sure other people’s kids had to go to crime-ridden schools?

It’s often said that those who are unduly bothered by gays are latent homosexuals. Isn’t it possible that people obsessed with racism are themselves racist?

Treating blacks like special-needs children, liberals bury them in ludicrously gushy praise. In a field where the competition is brisk, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow stands out. When not spinning conspiracy theories, Maddow can usually be found patronizing her very, very special black guest, Melissa Harris-Lacewell with fulsome, flowery praise.

Harris-Lacewell (who became Melissa Harris-Perry toward the end of 2010) is professor of being a black woman, which is one of the most demanding, hardest-to-qualify-for positions at any university (you have to be a black woman). She is never treated like some regular nerd guest. Maddow is compelled to tell her she’s “amazing,” “wicked smart” and “one of the smartest people I’ve ever talked to about anything, anytime, anywhere.” (Then again, the smartest person at MSNBC is the guy who replaces the toner, so that last one might not be false praise.)

Excerpted from MUGGED: RACIAL DEMAGOGUERY FROM THE SEVENTIES TO OBAMA by Ann Coulter by arrangement with Sentinel, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA), Inc., Copyright © Ann Coulter, 2012.

 Voir encore:

On Libya Cover Up: Hillary Clinton Told Video Story While Body Of Ambassador Was Next To Her

Charles Krauthammer

Real Clear Politics

It’s beyond a disconnect, it is utterly damning. There are two scandals going on. The first is the coverup. We now know, and they knew earlier there was no mob, there was no demonstration, there was no incentive about the video. It was all a completely false story. This was simply an attack of our men who infiltrated and killed our people.

So everything that Susan Rice said was a confection, it was an invention. And as you showed, it was repeated again and again. You had Hillary Clinton speaking of the video as the body of the ambassador was lying next to her. Then you had Susan Rice spinning the tails. You had the president of the United States addressing the [U.N.] General Assembly more than two weeks later talking about the video, the insult to Islam, et cetera. You have this entire story going all along. They’re trying to sell the video, they’re trying to sell extremism and they’re trying to sell all of this at a time when they know it isn’t true. So that’s number one. That’s a scandal and I think it has to do with the fact that they were spiking the football over the death of bin Laden and al-Qaeda a week earlier in Charlotte and this is a contradiction of it.

The second scandal is the lack of security at the site before. So what happened before? And I think that what happened was the administration, it wasn’t a lack of money that they withdrew all the support and they didn’t put up the required barbed wire and the fences and all of that. It was under the theory which starts with Obama at the beginning; we don’t want to be intruders in the area, we don’t want to be oppositional, we don’t want to have a fortress in America, we don’t want to look imperialist. We want to blend in with the people and help them build. That’s a noble aspiration and that was the motive for having very light security, but it was a catastrophically wrong decision to do it in Benghazi in a no man’s land in Dodge City and it cost us the lives of the Ambassador and three other Americans.

Voir enfin:

The Dividends of Romney’s Debate Victory

More Republicans than Democrats are registering and voting early in several battleground states.

Karl Rove

Real Clear Politics

October 11, 2012

How big an impact did Mitt Romney’s performance in last week’s debate have? Huge. Mr. Romney not only won the night, he changed the arc of the election—and perhaps its outcome. Surveys have him leading the RealClearPolitics average of polls for the first time since securing the GOP nomination in mid-April.

Prior to Oct. 3, Mr. Romney trailed President Barack Obama by an average of 3.1 points in national polls tallied by RealClearPolitics. Since the debate, Mr. Romney now leads Mr. Obama in the RCP average by a point, 48.2% to 47.2%, and the bounce is likely to grow. By comparison, Sen. John Kerry was widely seen to have bested President George W. Bush in the first 2004 debate (held on Sept. 30 of that year), but he never led in the RCP average in October.

OpinionJournal: The Vice-Presidential Debate

The WSJ editorial board’s live commentary and analysis of tonight’s debate begins at 9 p.m. ET.

In seven of the past nine presidential debate series, the challenger has gained more in the polls than the incumbent (or the candidate of the party in power). The first debate generally frames the series and establishes whether the bounce will be large or modest. Mr. Romney’s bounce is significant.

It’s unlikely that Mr. Obama will do as poorly next Tuesday at Hofstra University in New York. His supporters are demanding that he be more aggressive. He will be, telling AM radio’s Tom Joyner on Wednesday that he’d been "too polite" in the first debate.

But if the president is as angry and negative in the Oct. 16 debate as he has been on the campaign trail the past week, he will damage himself again. It’s hard in a town-hall format like next week’s to attack, and too easy to come across as mean and nasty. Also, alleging that Mr. Romney is a serial deceiver—as the president and top advisers are doing—is a hard sell. Mr. Romney came across last week as practical and thoughtful, authentic and a straight shooter.

A record 72% in the Oct. 8 Gallup survey said he won the debate, compared with 20% who thought Mr. Obama did. Voters would not have awarded such a lopsided victory to a liar.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney

An Oct. 7 Pew Research report found that before the debate, Romney voters were four points more likely than Obama voters to give the election "a lot of thought." After it, Romney-voter engagement was 15 points higher than that of Obama voters. This enthusiasm gap already expresses itself in voter registration and is now influencing early voting.

In the eight battleground states that register voters by party, Republicans have maintained their advantage or cut into the Democrats’ in all but one (Nevada). Since September 2008, Republicans have kept their registration advantages in Colorado and New Hampshire. They’ve added more new Republican registrations than Democrats did in Florida, Iowa and North Carolina. And they’ve lost fewer voters from the rolls than Democrats did in New Mexico and Pennsylvania.

About Karl Rove

Karl Rove served as Senior Advisor to President George W. Bush from 2000–2007 and Deputy Chief of Staff from 2004–2007. At the White House he oversaw the Offices of Strategic Initiatives, Political Affairs, Public Liaison, and Intergovernmental Affairs and was Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy, coordinating the White House policy-making process.

Before Karl became known as "The Architect" of President Bush’s 2000 and 2004 campaigns, he was president of Karl Rove + Company, an Austin-based public affairs firm that worked for Republican candidates, nonpartisan causes, and nonprofit groups. His clients included over 75 Republican U.S. Senate, Congressional and gubernatorial candidates in 24 states, as well as the Moderate Party of Sweden.

Karl writes a weekly op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, is a Fox News Contributor and is the author of the book "Courage and Consequence" (Threshold Editions).

Email the author atKarl@Rove.comor visit him on the web atRove.com. Or, you can send a Tweet to @karlrove.

Click here to order his new book,Courage and Consequence.

Republicans are also getting the better of Mr. Obama in early voting. In 2008, Democrats made up 51% of the North Carolina early vote while Republicans were 30%. This year, Republicans have cast 54% of the ballots returned so far, Democrats only 28%, according to state data compiled by George Mason University’s Michael McDonald for his United States Election Project.

In Florida, 46% of absentee ballots returned by September’s end came from Republicans (compared with 37% in 2008) while just 38% came from Democrats (they were 46% of the total in 2008). More Republicans have requested absentee ballots in Colorado, a state where Democrats edged out Republicans in early voting last time.

Republicans have also made up ground in Ohio. For example, in 2008 Democrats requested 5% more absentee ballots in Franklin County (Columbus), 4% more in Greene County (Xenia), and 11% more in Wood County (Bowling Green). This election, Republicans have more ballot requests than Democrats in these counties by 5%, 19% and 1% respectively.

The Romney campaign saw a $12 million surge in online contributions following the debate, and major GOP fundraisers are again opening their checkbooks. True enough, Hollywood stars and rich San Francisco liberals wrote big checks during Mr. Obama’s two-day California swing this week. But it isn’t clear what overall impact the president’s poor debate performance will have on his fundraising. The small Internet donors that produced an eye-popping $181 million fundraising total in September may be disappointed in his debate skills and waiting to see if he improves.

During the GOP primary, one of Mr. Romney’s chief selling points was his skill as a debater. He picked a powerful moment to display this strength. The debate at the University of Denver qualifies as among the most consequential in history. It might end up as the election’s decision point.

Mr. Rove, a former deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush, helped organize the political action committee American Crossroads. He is the author of "Courage and Consequence" (Threshold Editions, 2010).


Obamalâtrie: Vous avez dit poudre de perlimpinpin? (Le Monde’s pathetic efforts at reviving its fallen magical negro)

7 octobre, 2012
Les noirs seront l’égal des blancs le jour où ils auront le droit d’être aussi nuls que certains blancs. D’après Françoise Giroud
L’égalité, c’est la liberté de ne pas devoir être deux fois plus mauvais pour échouer. D’après Touré
Equality is freedom from having to be twice as good to get ahead. Touré
What strikes me about the New Yorker cover is that it not only clearly takes Obama down several pegs, but references the Eastwood moment of the RNC convention, which we were assured by our betters for several weeks was a disaster for the Romney campaign. Think about it: the New Yorker is mocking Barack Obama using an image from a gag from the Republican National Convention. (…) The cover of the New Yorker — one of the tentpoles of respectable liberalism and elite opinion — is a signifier of the scope of Obama’s failure this week. (…) Once the mockery starts, it’s hard to stop. Ask Bill Clinton. Rick Wilson
The problem Mr. Obama poses for Republicans is that there has always been a disconnect between his actual performance and his appeal. If Hurricane Katrina irretrievably stained George W. Bush, the BP oil spill left no lasting mark on this president. Mr. Obama’s utter confusion in the face of the "Arab spring" has nudged his job-approval numbers down, but not his likability numbers, which Gallup has at a respectable 47.6%. In the mainstream media there has been a willingness to forgive this president his mistakes, to see him as an innocent in an impossible world. Why? There have really always been two Barack Obamas: the mortal man and the cultural icon. If the actual man is distinctly ordinary, even a little flat and humorless, the cultural icon is quite extraordinary. The problem for Republicans is that they must run against both the man and the myth. In 2008, few knew the man and Republicans were walloped by the myth. Today the man is much clearer, and yet the myth remains compelling. What gives Mr. Obama a cultural charisma that most Republicans cannot have? First, he represents a truly inspiring American exceptionalism: He is the first black in the entire history of Western civilization to lead a Western nation—and the most powerful nation in the world at that. And so not only is he the most powerful black man in recorded history, but he reached this apex only through the good offices of the great American democracy. Thus his presidency flatters America to a degree that no white Republican can hope to compete with. He literally validates the American democratic experiment, if not the broader Enlightenment that gave birth to it. He is also an extraordinary personification of the American Dream: Even someone from a race associated with slavery can rise to the presidency. Whatever disenchantment may surround the man, there is a distinct national pride in having elected him. All of this adds up to a powerful racial impressionism that works against today’s field of Republican candidates. This is the impressionism that framed Sen. John McCain in 2008 as a political and cultural redundancy—yet another older white male presuming to lead the nation. The point is that anyone who runs against Mr. Obama will be seen through the filter of this racial impressionism, in which white skin is redundant and dark skin is fresh and exceptional. This is the new cultural charisma that the president has introduced into American politics. Today this charisma is not as strong for Mr. Obama. The mere man and the actual president has not lived up to his billing as a historical breakthrough. Still, the Republican field is framed and—as the polls show—diminished by his mere presence in office, which makes America the most socially evolved nation in the world. Moreover, the mainstream media coddle Mr. Obama—the man—out of its identification with his exceptionalism. Conversely, the media hold the president’s exceptionalism against Republicans. Here is Barack Obama, evidence of a new and progressive America. Here are the Republicans, a cast of largely white males, looking peculiarly unevolved. Add to this the Republicans’ quite laudable focus on deficit reduction and spending cuts, and they can be made to look like a gaggle of scolding accountants. How can the GOP combat the president’s cultural charisma? It will have to make vivid the yawning gulf between Obama the flattering icon and Obama the confused and often overwhelmed president. Applaud the exceptionalism he represents, but deny him the right to ride on it as a kind of affirmative action. A president who is both Democratic and black effectively gives the infamous race card to the entire left: Attack our president and you are a racist. To thwart this, Republicans will have to break through the barrier of political correctness. (…) there must be a Republican message of social exceptionalism. America has more social mobility than any heterogeneous society in history. Isn’t there a great Republican opportunity to be had in urging minorities to at last move out of their long era of protest—in which militancy toward the very society they struggled to join was the way ahead? Aren’t Republicans uniquely positioned to offer minorities a liberation from both dependency and militancy? In other words, isn’t there a fresh new social idealism implicit in conservative principles? Why not articulate it and fight with it in the political arena? Such a message would show our president as unevolved in his social thinking—oh so 1965. The theme: Barack Obama believes in government; we believe in you. Shelby Steele
Il y a quatre ans, relativiser l’engouement pour Barack Obama tenait du sacrilège. Ecrire que le candidat de l’espoir et du changement était – aussi – un politicien, avec les compromis que cela suppose, était le signe des esprits chagrins (ou des partisans d’Hillary Clinton, sa rivale lors de la primaire démocrate de 2008). Au mieux, on ne vous croyait pas. Au pire, on vous traitait de "cynique". Les Américains avaient soif de rédemption, les Européens s’extasiaient sur l’élection d’un Noir à la Maison Blanche, quarante ans après la fin de la ségrégation, en contemplant avec désolation leurs politiques d’intégration. Pour avoir dit que l’ascension de Barack Obama tenait du "conte de fées", Bill Clinton s’était fait crucifier. Tout juste si on ne l’accusait pas de racisme. Le sénateur de l’Illinois n’avait pourtant que quatre ans d’expérience à Washington. Comme le rappelle souvent Lynn Sweet, la journaliste du Chicago Sun Times, qui l’a vu arriver un jour de 2000 dans son bureau, son autobiographie à la main (Les rêves de mon père, 1995), il n’avait attaché son nom à aucune réforme d’envergure, aucune initiative qui pourrait laisser penser qu’il parviendrait à transformer un univers aussi divisé que le monde politique de Washington. Quatre ans plus tard, les réserves sont levées. Les chroniqueurs le disent sans crainte : Obama "n’était pas prêt pour la présidence" (…) Pour le chroniqueur et écrivain Touré, la banalisation d’Obama a du bon. (…) Les Américains semblent prêts à élire "un homme noir non magique", se réjouit Touré. Un homme qui fait de la politique politicienne, comme tout le monde. Qui décide, à cinq semaines des élections, de consacrer en Californie un monument à Cesar Chavez, le héros des ouvriers agricoles latinos, après avoir été le président qui a expulsé le plus de sans-papiers, à l’époque où il espérait rallier quelques républicains. C’est la meilleure leçon qui soit. Pour M. Obama, la vraie victoire post-raciale est d’être jugé moins sur le symbole que sur son bilan. Et si les électeurs lui en donnent le loisir, qui sait si, lors d’un second mandat, il ne deviendra pas le magicien que l’Amérique attendait… Corine Lesnes (correspondante américaine du Monde)

La dure chute du mythe Obama finira-t-elle par entrainer celle de ses créateurs médiatiques?

Au lendemain d’un débat où, à l’image de la tant moquée chaise vide prophétique de Clint Eastwood reprise aujourd’hui en couverture par le temple de la bien pensance de gauche (the New Yorker magazine),  l’insigne vacuité de leur poulain vient d’éclater aux yeux de tous …

Et où, à l’instar des évidents signes de panique de l’écurie démocrate, les sismographes des sondeurs ont déjà commencé à enregistrer les premiers signes de la probable onde de choc qui pourrait balayer ce qui reste de la statue que nos médias majoritairement de gauche avait construit de toutes pièces pour un public avide de rédemption …

Retour, côté français, pendant que dans sa version magazine du weekend Le Parisien nous ressort la caricature habituelle du candidat républicain (super-riche, religieux et gaffeur: en gros, "extraterrestre"!) et que le Monde magazine se décide enfin à évoquer  "l’autre Obama" ("perfectionniste, distant, mauvais perdant, sûr de lui, parfois jusqu’à la condescendance, (…) la facette méconnue de celui qu’on a surnommé Mister Cool"…

Sur une ô combien symptomatique revue de presse de la même correspondante américaine du Monde Corine Lesnes …

Qui, toute contrainte qu’elle est de reconnaitre l’évidence de la dimension largement mythique du phénomène Obama il y a quatre ans mais incapable de se résoudre à enterrer son rêve …

Termine son article sur  un pathétique raccrochage aux branches convoquant, juste après l’avoir dénié, non seulement la bonne vieille méthode Coué et l’incantation …

Mais, via la référence à un autre prophétique article du chroniqueur afro-américain de Time Touré,… aux pouvoirs supposés surnaturels du "Noir magique"!

Obama et la poudre de perlimpinpin

Corine Lesnes

Le Monde

04.10.2012

Il y a quatre ans, relativiser l’engouement pour Barack Obama tenait du sacrilège. Ecrire que le candidat de l’espoir et du changement était – aussi – un politicien, avec les compromis que cela suppose, était le signe des esprits chagrins (ou des partisans d’Hillary Clinton, sa rivale lors de la primaire démocrate de 2008). Au mieux, on ne vous croyait pas. Au pire, on vous traitait de "cynique". Les Américains avaient soif de rédemption, les Européens s’extasiaient sur l’élection d’un Noir à la Maison Blanche, quarante ans après la fin de la ségrégation, en contemplant avec désolation leurs politiques d’intégration.

Pour avoir dit que l’ascension de Barack Obama tenait du "conte de fées", Bill Clinton s’était fait crucifier. Tout juste si on ne l’accusait pas de racisme. Le sénateur de l’Illinois n’avait pourtant que quatre ans d’expérience à Washington. Comme le rappelle souvent Lynn Sweet, la journaliste du Chicago Sun Times, qui l’a vu arriver un jour de 2000 dans son bureau, son autobiographie à la main (Les rêves de mon père, 1995), il n’avait attaché son nom à aucune réforme d’envergure, aucune initiative qui pourrait laisser penser qu’il parviendrait à transformer un univers aussi divisé que le monde politique de Washington.

Quatre ans plus tard, les réserves sont levées. Les chroniqueurs le disent sans crainte : Obama "n’était pas prêt pour la présidence", écrit James Fallows, l’un des barons de la presse nationale et ancien speechwriter du président Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), dans le magazine The Atlantic. Son tempérament, ajoute-t-il, "ne s’y prête pas". Bill Clinton, l’ancien rival par association (avec Hillary), a été appelé à la rescousse à la Convention démocrate de Charlotte (Caroline du Nord), le 5 septembre. Mieux que quiconque, il a défendu le bilan du président : réforme de la santé, renforcement de la régulation financière, sauvetage de l’industrie automobile, nomination de deux femmes à la Cour suprême, décapitation d’Al-Qaida.

Un bilan flatteur, mais qui – rançon des attentes excessives – souffre "d’une sous-estimation aussi prononcée que la surestimation" des capacités du candidat démocrate de 2008, observe James Fallows.

Les portraits de l’Obama d’aujourd’hui sont nettement plus réalistes, voire sévères. Le premier président africain-américain ne fait plus rêver. Ce n’est plus le destin de l’Amérique qu’il accomplit, plus de 200 ans après la naissance de Lincoln. Il est décrit comme un pragmatique, qui, comme tous les nouveaux présidents, a "trahi ses partisans". Dans son cas, analyse James Fallows, en pardonnant à Wall Street, en augmentant le contingent en Afghanistan et en reconduisant certaines des mesures antiterroristes de l’ère Bush. " Il était censé affirmer l’unité de l’Amérique mais il n’a fait que souligner ses divisions. Candidat, il incarnait la transformation. Président, il a procédé par petites touches et démontré les limites du changement", juge encore M. Fallows, qui appelle quand même, rassurons-nous, à voter Obama.

Le président-candidat a beau dire qu’il n’avait "pas promis de miracles", il a beau répéter à ses auditeurs que le changement "c’est vous", certains réagissent comme s’ils s’en voulaient d’y avoir cru. Ils ont tort. "Mal préparé, oui. Cool au point d’être glacial, oui, reconnaît James Fallows. Mais le test pour les présidents, ce n’est pas où ils commencent, mais la vitesse à laquelle ils apprennent et l’endroit où ils aboutissent." Et de son point de vue, Barack Obama a vite appris son métier.

Comme le dit Daniella Gibbs-Leger, qui a été l’une des collaboratrices du démocrate à la Maison Blanche, on ne peut "faire l’Histoire qu’une fois". Et c’est tant mieux. Pour le chroniqueur et écrivain Touré, la banalisation d’Obama a du bon. S’il gagnait le scrutin du 6 novembre, sa victoire serait en fait plus significative que celle de 2008, du point de vue des relations raciales, écrit-il dans le magazine Time. A l’époque, il incarnait ce personnage qui revient régulièrement dans la littérature ou le cinéma : le "Nègre magique". Aujourd’hui, les Américains ont dépassé la vision du "Noir super-héros". Ils sont prêts à voter pour un homme qui a fait des erreurs, qui n’a pas tenu toutes ses promesses, qui n’a pas réconcilié républicains et démocrates par la seule vertu de son talent inné pour la synthèse.

De Jim, l’un des personnages majeurs des Aventures d’Huckleberry Finn, de Mark Twain, à Morpheus dans Matrix, le Magical Negro est un caractère doté de pouvoirs surnaturels, empli d’une sagesse innée qu’il utilise pour révéler à son compagnon blanc l’étendue de son potentiel. Pourquoi magique ? "Le concept est né d’un besoin de rectifier l’infériorité supposée des Noirs en prétendant que la sagesse noire est tellement étrange qu’elle ne peut qu’être le produit d’une source surnaturelle", décrit le chroniqueur.

Les Américains semblent prêts à élire "un homme noir non magique", se réjouit Touré. Un homme qui fait de la politique politicienne, comme tout le monde. Qui décide, à cinq semaines des élections, de consacrer en Californie un monument à Cesar Chavez, le héros des ouvriers agricoles latinos, après avoir été le président qui a expulsé le plus de sans-papiers, à l’époque où il espérait rallier quelques républicains. C’est la meilleure leçon qui soit.

Pour M. Obama, la vraie victoire post-raciale est d’être jugé moins sur le symbole que sur son bilan. Et si les électeurs lui en donnent le loisir, qui sait si, lors d’un second mandat, il ne deviendra pas le magicien que l’Amérique attendait…

Voir aussi:

Obama Administration

The Magical Negro Falls to Earth

But victory for Obama in 2012 would signify more racial progress than it did in 2008

Touré

September 26, 2012

If President Obama had to run against Senator Obama of 2008, he’d probably be crushed. Back then, Obama seemed superhuman; today he is merely mortal. His victory in 2008 was historic, breaking the race barrier in the nation’s highest office. But an Obama victory in 2012 would say something even more profound about how far our country has come.

Granted, Obama’s election (or not) is merely one of many factors that will tell us where we are on race in America. But it is a big one. In 2008, Obama had to overcome racial bias that a recent study by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, a Harvard Ph.D. candidate in economics, suggests may have cost him as many as 3 to 5 percentage points in the election.

Obama had to be extraordinary, which reminds me of something my mother told me when I was a boy: that being black meant I had to be twice as good to get ahead. Obama more than just good; in many ways, he was the embodiment of that staple of film and literature, the magical Negro.

The magical Negro is a character full of knowledge and wisdom, sometimes with supernatural powers, whose job is to help a white protagonist reach his full potential. Jim in Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn is the classic example. More recently, there were Will Smith in The Legend of Bagger Vance, Michael Clarke Duncan in The Green Mile and Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus in The Matrix, who offers Keanu Reeves’ Neo a red pill that will change his life.

In 2008, Obama was Morpheus and America was Neo, a nation of great potential that had lost its mojo and did not understand reality. Obama offered America the red pill — the chance to vote for him — and we swallowed it. In The Matrix, the red pill took effect immediately, and it wasn’t long before Neo revealed himself to be the One — the Jesus-like figure Morpheus had thought he was. In the real world, change happens much more slowly. When Obama took office, it felt as if the sky were falling and we were close to a depression. We avoided that fate. But it has been a rough few years marked by problems (not all of his making) that include a historic recession, Washington gridlock, the passage of controversial health care legislation, the failure to close the Guantánamo prison, the Middle East explosion and the rhetorical blunder of “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that,” by which the great orator handed the GOP a gift it could mangle into a slogan. After all that, it’s impossible to view Obama as a superhuman magical-Negro figure anymore.

Obama has been brought down to earth, and he now admits, as he said in his speech at the Democratic National Convention, invoking the words of Abraham Lincoln, “I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had no place else to go.” Yet despite his failings and mortal humility, Obama remains the favorite to win: he leads 48% to 45% in the latest Gallup poll and 48.9% to 44.9% in the Real Clear Politics average of polls.

All incumbents have natural advantages, but for Obama, incumbency is a double-edged sword. Given the super-human expectations placed on him when he took office, it’s not surprising that he has disappointed some of his followers.

So those poll numbers suggest something very interesting about this country in terms of racial progress. They show American voters embracing a non-magical black man. The magical Negro concept arose from a need to rectify supposed black inferiority with the undeniability of black wisdom by suggesting that wisdom is so alien that its origins cannot be explained by normal scientific methods.

While some may think it complimentary to be considered “magical,” it is infantilizing and offensive because it suggests black excellence is so shocking it can only come from a source that is supernatural. To accept a black leader who is extraordinary yet so human that he cannot be magical is an entirely different prospect than electing a black superhero. Anyone would vote for a superhero who lived up to my mom’s standard of having to be twice as good. But for it to embrace a nonmagical black person who cannot promise anything but hope, intelligence, sweat and experience, now that comes closer to equality. Equality is freedom from having to be twice as good to get ahead.

Touré is the author of four books, including Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness? and the co-host of MSNBC’s The Cycle. The views expressed are solely his own.

Voir enfin:

The Shield Cracks

Rick Wilson

Ricochet

Oct 5

When the hermetic, perfect world created in 2008 came into being, the Lightbringer at its center was protected from the moment of his nomination in a kind of numinous cloud of cultural, media and elite opinion protection.

Jokes about Obama, well…they just weren’t funny. “It’s hard to make fun of Obama in general because he’s a cool character," said Jimmy Kimmel. Noah Rothman called it "Obama’s prohibitive coolness."

Criticism of his policies and politics were obviously racist in nature…what other explanation could possibly obtain? Mockery of his pomposity, his flagrant sense of personal grandeur, his Administration-as-personality-cult was a product of Republican sour grapes (and, duh, racism).

Even the mild comedic hits on Obama in popular culture were anodyne, bloodless things and mostly along the themes of his coolness, his intellect, his perfection. He was the straight man to the GOP foil. He was the cool kid in the room full of conservative dorks. One famous incident of self-editing to protect the image of President Cool was a spiked SNL skit.

What strikes me about the New Yorker cover is that it not only clearly takes Obama down several pegs, but references the Eastwood moment of the RNC convention, which we were assured by our betters for several weeks was a disaster for the Romney campaign. Think about it: the New Yorker is mocking Barack Obama using an image from a gag from the Republican National Convention.

It’s a singularity of irony, they just don’t know it.

The cracks in the Acela Corridor’s Barack Protection Protocol are showing because Obama’s most compelling attribute was the belief that his intellectual prowess is unmatched by any President, perhaps any mortal. A cornerstone of their faith in him was always that Barack Obama’s intellectual firepower could be deployed at will, and destroy Mitt Romney at a time and place of the President’s choosing.

What they saw Wednesday night wasn’t the demigod they’ve protected like so many cultural Myrmidons, but a stammering, detached, utterly outclassed man hoisted on the petard of his own laziness and incuriousity. The damage to their perception of him isn’t enough to draw them to Romney, but in their post-modern, super-ironic world, the moment Obama showed weakness, he became a legitimate target.

The cover of the New Yorker — one of the tentpoles of respectable liberalism and elite opinion — is a signifier of the scope of Obama’s failure this week.

As the dozens of snarky articles, brutal editorial cartoons, late night comedy shows taking new and unaccustomed shots at Obama (I’m not counting Chris Matthews and his epic rant) build up a certain cultural momentum, the sense that Obama’s failings are suddenly funny is a deadly virus in the bloodstream of liberal opinion.

Barack Obama is a man of abundantly evident self-regard. The growing sound of mockery and derision must be painful to him, especially coming from the unexpected quarters of his erstwhile allies. Once the mockery starts, it’s hard to stop. Ask Bill Clinton.

The clues of an Obama meltdown in high-, low- and even pop-culture tell me that the next debates for Obama aren’t just consequential: they’re existential.


Présidentielle américaine/2012: Bastiat vs. Big Bird (Let us accustom ourselves to avoid judging of things by what is seen only)

6 octobre, 2012

Quand un fonctionnaire dépense à son profit cent sous de plus, cela implique qu’un contribuable dépense à son profit cent sous de moins. Mais la dépense du fonctionnaire se voit, parce qu’elle se fait; tandis que celle du contribuable ne se voit pas, parce que, hélas! on l’empêche de se faire. Vous comparez la nation à une terre desséchée et l’impôt à une pluie féconde. Soit. Mais vous devriez vous demander aussi où sont les sources de cette pluie, et si ce n’est pas précisément l’impôt qui pompe l’humidité du sol et le dessèche. Vous devriez vous demander encore s’il est possible que le sol reçoive autant de cette eau précieuse par la pluie qu’il en perd par l’évaporation? Ce qu’il y a de très-positif, c’est que, quand Jacques Bonhomme compte cent sous au percepteur, il ne reçoit rien en retour. Quand, ensuite, un fonctionnaire dépensant ces cent sous, les rend à Jacques Bonhomme, c’est contre une valeur égale en blé ou en travail. Le résultat définitif est pour Jacques Bonhomme une perte de cinq francs. Il est très-vrai que souvent, le plus souvent si l’on veut, le fonctionnaire rend à Jacques Bonhomme un service équivalent. En ce cas, il n’y a pas perte de part ni d’autre, il n’y a qu’échange. Aussi, mon argumentation ne s’adresse-t-elle nullement aux fonctions utiles. Je dis ceci: si vous voulez une fonction, prouvez son utilité. Démontrez qu’elle vaut à Jacques Bonhomme, par les services qu’elle lui rend, l’équivalent de ce qu’elle lui coûte. Mais, abstraction faite de cette utilité intrinsèque, n’invoquez pas comme argument l’avantage qu’elle confère au fonctionnaire, à sa famille et à ses fournisseurs; n’alléguez pas qu’elle favorise le travail. Quand Jacques Bonhomme donne cent sous à un fonctionnaire contre un service réellement utile, c’est exactement comme quand il donne cent sous à un cordonnier contre une paire de souliers. Donnant donnant, partant quittes. Mais, quand Jacques Bonhomme livre cent sous à un fonctionnaire pour n’en recevoir aucun service ou même pour en recevoir des vexations, c’est comme s’il les livrait à un voleur. Il ne sert de rien de dire que le fonctionnaire dépensera ces cent sous au grand profit du travail national; autant en eût fait le voleur; autant en ferait Jacques Bonhomme s’il n’eût rencontré sur son chemin ni le parasite extra-légal ni le parasite légal. (…) Habituons-nous donc à ne pas juger des choses seulement par ce qu’on voit, mais encore par ce qu’on ne voit pas. Frédéric Bastiat
L’État, c’est la grande fiction à travers laquelle tout le monde s’efforce de vivre aux dépens de tout le monde. (…) Quant à nous, nous pensons que l’État, ce n’est ou ce ne devrait être autre chose que la force commune instituée, non pour être entre tous les citoyens un instrument d’oppression et de spoliation réciproque, mais, au contraire, pour garantir à chacun le sien, et faire régner la justice et la sécurité. Frédéric Bastiat
On nous accuse, dans le parti démocratique et socialiste, d’être voués au culte des intérêts matériels et de tout ramener à des questions de richesses. J’avoue que lorsqu’il s’agit des masses, je n’ai pas ce dédain stoïque pour la richesse. Ce mot ne veut pas dire quelques écus de plus ; il signifie du pain pour ceux qui ont faim, des vêtements pour ceux qui ont froid, de l’éducation, de l’indépendance, de la dignité. — Mais, après tout, si le résultat du libre-échange devait être uniquement d’accroître la richesse publique, je ne m’en occuperais pas plus que de toute autre question agricole ou industrielle. Ce que je vois surtout dans notre agitation, c’est l’occasion de combattre quelques préjugés et de faire pénétrer dans le public quelques idées justes. C’est là un bien indirect cent fois supérieur aux avantages directs de la liberté commerciale. Bastiat (Lettre à Cobden, le 20 avril 1847)
French free-market economist Frederic Bastiat pointed out in the 19th century that government actions always leave some production "unseen" that could potentially improve a country’s standard of living. Who knows how many media innovations are "unseen" because funding for public broadcasting has tilted the playing field for independent media? Conservative Congress
Le plan de relance du président Obama a échoué parce qu’il a ignoré l’erreur de la vitre cassée, comme le font tous les projets gouvernementaux pour stimuler l’économie en dépensant. Est évidente dans le plan d’Obama l’idée que le gouvernement peut dépenser l’argent mieux et de manière plus efficace que le secteur privé. Ce qu’Obama et les liberals [au sens américain, c’est-à-dire « ceux de la gauche »] ne comprennent pas, c’est que chaque dollar qu’ils dépensent doit venir de quelque part […] En somme, tout dollar dépensé par le gouvernement en est un que le secteur privé ne dépensera pas.  John Stossel
L’impôt sur le revenu en Amérique est depuis longtemps un exemple de ce que l’économiste français Frédéric Bastiat surnommait la ‘spoliation légale.’ Selon Bastiat, la spoliation légale a lieu lorsque le gouvernement prend, par la force, ce qu’un citoyen a légitimement gagné pour le donner à un autre. Lorsqu’un simple citoyen pratique ce que décrit Bastiat, on appelle cela le vol. Quand c’est le gouvernement qui le fait, on l’appelle la redistribution des revenus. Kelly Boggs
Au fur et à mesure que notre pays vieillit, l’État nous dépouille de nos droits au lieu de les garantir. Le gouvernement s’élargit, alors que l’individu se rétrécit. Alors que la loi était censée nous protéger contre la diminution de l’homme, elle est plutôt utilisée comme moyen de le spolier. Site Big Government
Alors que Bastiat disait [dans l’introduction de ses Harmonies économiques ] ‘Tous les intérêts légitimes sont harmoniques,’ les démocrates américains contemporains disent que les intérêts de la communauté sont plus importants que les intérêts de l’individu. Ces deux approches s’opposent. L’un est purement américain, bien que proclamé par un Français, et l’autre est européen, ou du Vieux Monde, bien que proclamé par des Américains. Clay Barham
Dans la rhétorique de Bastiat tout phénomène économique ou social reçoit son doublet moral, voire religieux : la marche du progrès est fatale mais l’homme est libre, la concurrence est un fait indestructible, mais elle n’existe qu’en ‘l’absence d’une autorité arbitraire comme juge des échanges’, etc. C’est le passage constant de l’objectif au subjectif, du descriptif au prescriptif qui fait l’originalité de Bastiat … Lucien Jaume
It is confusing. Whenever there’s a discussion over taxpayer money funding public television, they use us to make their argument. Republicans want to take money away from Elmo. Democrats want to send money to Elmo. But from a financial standpoint, Sesame is completely separate from PBS.  Sherrie Rollins Westin
Sesame Workshop may be financially independent from PBS, but the two organizations are dependent on one another in other ways. Sesame Workshop relies on PBS to distribute its programming to U.S. children, an, especially ones from lower-economic brackets, access to educational programming. (…) At the same time, PBS and Sesame oftentimes find themselves competing for the same public donations. Many parents mistakenly assume that when they give money to their local PBS station, they are supporting Sesame Street, especially because PBS prominently displays Sesame Street in its fundraising drives. While this attention helps to promote and raise awareness for Sesame Street, it also insinuates that the contribution will benefit the series, when it does not. (…) PBS also finds itself on the defensive when opponents point out that it doesn’t need taxpayer money because it receives millions from the licensing of popular Sesame characters. Sesame Workshop receives millions from its Elmo-branded toys, but PBS doesn’t a dime. Larissa Faw
Revendiquant une approche bipartite des grands problèmes, Barack Obama avait créé, en 2010, une commission copilotée par le républicain Alan Simpson, ancien sénateur du Wyoming, et le démocrate Erskine Bowles, ancien secrétaire général du président Clinton, chargée de faire des propositions pour réduire sur le long terme l’endettement du pays. La commission, où siégeaient six représentants et six sénateurs, préconisa une sévère cure d’austérité destinée à ramener le déficit budgétaire à 2 % d’ici à 2015, et à dégager un excédent d’ici à 2037. Elle comprend un mélange de hausses d’impôts (notamment pour les hauts revenus) et de baisses des dépenses publiques. Selon la commission, un tiers des bases militaires à l’étranger devaient être fermées et 10 % des emplois fédéraux supprimés. Pour chaque dollar de recettes nouvelles, les dépenses auraient été diminuées de trois dollars. Les propositions de la commission n’ont pas été adoptées et ses travaux illustrèrent le refus de compromis des républicains, ces derniers accusant le président d’avoir fait capoter des négociations. Paul Ryan, le colistier de Mitt Romney pour la vice-présidence, a siégé à la commission Simpson-Bowles et a refusé d’en signer les conclusions. Les tentatives ultérieures destinées à trouver un compromis sur la réduction de la dette ont échoué jusqu’à présent. Le Monde
Cut funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s primary job is to fund NPR and its member stations (and other public radio stations) and PBS and its member stations. The current CPB funding level is the highest it has ever been. This option would eliminate funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, saving just under $500 million in 2015. Additionally, Congress should end two duplicative public broadcasting programs on President Obama’s termination list: The Public Telecom Facilities Grant Program (PTFP) and USDA’s Public Broadcasting Grants program. In recent years, PTFP has primarily provided funding to help broadcasters transition to digital broadcasts. In FY2010, PTFP received $20 million in appropriations. The President has twice recommended terminating USDA’s Public Broadcast Grants program for the same reason. This program received $5 million in FY10 to provide funding to public broadcast companies to convert to digital transmission as well – an obsolete task. Commission bipartite Simpsons-Bowles (proposition de réduction n° 32, déc. 2010)
Unlike Mitt, I loathe Sesame Street. It bears primary responsibility for what the Canadian blogger Binky calls the de-monsterization of childhood — the idea that there are no evil monsters out there at the edges of the map, just shaggy creatures who look a little funny and can sometimes be a bit grouchy about it because people prejudge them until they learn to celebrate diversity and help Cranky the Friendly Monster go recycling. That is not unrelated to the infantilization of our society. Marinate three generations of Americans in that pabulum and it’s no surprise you wind up with unprotected diplomats dragged to their deaths from their “safe house” in Benghazi. Or as J. Scott Gration, the president’s special envoy to Sudan, said in 2009, in the most explicit Sesamization of American foreign policy: “We’ve got to think about giving out cookies. Kids, countries — they react to gold stars, smiley faces, handshakes . . . ” The butchers of Darfur aren’t blood-drenched machete-wielding genocidal killers but just Cookie Monsters whom we haven’t given enough cookies. (…) The Corporation for Public Broadcasting receives nearly half a billion dollars a year from taxpayers, which it disburses to PBS stations, who in turn disburse it to Big Bird and Jim Lehrer. I don’t know what Big Bird gets, but, according to Senator Jim DeMint, the president of Sesame Workshop, Gary Knell, received in 2008 a salary of $956,513. In that sense, Big Bird and Senator Harry Reid embody the same mystifying phenomenon: They’ve been in “public service” their entire lives and have somehow wound up as multimillionaires. Mitt’s decision to strap Big Bird to the roof of his station wagon and drive him to Canada has prompted two counterarguments from Democrats: (1) Half a billion dollars is a mere rounding error in the great sucking maw of the federal budget, so why bother? (2) Everybody loves Sesame Street, so Mitt is making a catastrophic strategic error. On the latter point, whether or not everybody loves Sesame Street, everybody has seen it, and every American under 50 has been weaned on it. So far this century it’s sold nigh on a billion bucks’ worth of merchandising sales (that’s popular toys such as the Subsidize-Me-Elmo doll). If Sesame Street is not commercially viable, then nothing is, and we should just cut to the chase and bail out everything. Conversely, if this supposed “public” broadcasting brand is capable of standing on its own, then so should it. (…) If Americans can’t muster the will to make Big Bird leave the government nest, they certainly will never reform Medicare. Mark Steyn
Je crois qu’il ne s’agit pas seulement d’une question qui touche à l’économie, c’est une question morale. Je crois qu’il n’est pas moral pour ma génération de continuer de dépenser sans compter, plus que nous avons, tout en sachant que le fardeau portera sur la prochaine génération et qu’elle devra payer intérêt et principal pour le restant de ses jours. La somme de dettes que nous ajoutons, mille milliards par an, n’est simplement pas morale Il y a mathématiquement trois moyens de réduire un déficit : augmenter les impôts, couper dans les dépenses et faire progresser l’économie parce que si plus de personnes travaillent dans une économie qui croît, ils payent des taxes. Le président préférerait augmenter les impôts. Le problème est que cela pèse sur la croissance et on ne pourra donc pas y arriver ainsi. Je veux simultanément baisser les dépenses et favoriser la croissance de l’économie. Qu’est-ce que je couperai ? Tout d’abord tous les programmes qui ne passeront pas le test suivant : est-ce que cela vaut la peine d’emprunter de l’argent à la Chine pour financer cela. Si la réponse est négative, je le supprimerai. Obamacare [le nom donné à la généralisation de l'assurance-maladie] est sur ma liste. Je suis désolé Jim, je stopperai aussi le financement de PBS [Public Broadcasting service.] Ensuite, je confierai aux Etats des programmes qui sont de bons programmes mais qui pourraient mieux gérer à ce niveau. Enfin, je rendrai le gouvernement plus efficace, je diminuerai le nombre d’employés et réaménagerai des agences et des départements. Mitt Romney
Si le gouvernement peut être aussi efficace que le secteur privé et offrir des primes qui sont aussi peu élevées que le secteur privé, les gens seront heureux de prendre l’assurance-maladie traditionnelle ou ils seront en mesure d’obtenir un régime privé. Je sais que personnellement je préfère avoir un régime privé. Je préfererais tout simplement pas que le gouvernement me dise quel genre de soins de santé je dois obtenir. Je prefererais plutôt avoir une compagnie d’assurance. Si elle ne me plait pas, je peux se débarrasser d’elle et en trouver une autre. Mais les gens feront leur propre choix. (…) Et d’ailleurs, l’idée ne venait même pas de Paul Ryan ou du sénateur Wyden, qui est coauteur du projet de loi avec Paul Ryan au Sénat, mais aussi de Bill Clinton, de l’état-major de Bill Clinton. Il s’agit d’une idée qui existe depuis très longtemps, ce qui est dit, Hé, nous allons voir si nous ne pouvons pas introduire de la concurrence dans le monde de l’assurance-maladie afin que les gens puissent avoir le choix des différents plans à moindre coût, de meilleure qualité. Je crois à la concurrence. À mon avis, le gouvernement n’est pas efficace pour faire baisser le coût de presque n’importe quoi. En fait, des citoyens et des entreprises libres essayant de trouver des façons de faire les choses sont mieux en mesure d’être plus efficaces pour faire baisser les coûts que le gouvernement ne le sera jamais. Votre exemple de la clinique de Cleveland est mon cas d’espèce, ainsi que plusieurs autres que je pourrais décrire. Il s’agit du marché privé. Voici les petites — ce sont des entreprises en concurrence entre elles, apprenant à faire mieux et de meilleurs emplois. J’ai utilisé de consultation aux entreprises — Excusez-moi, aux hôpitaux et aux fournisseurs de soins de santé. J’ai été étonné de voir la créativité et l’innovation qui existe dans le peuple américain. Pour réduire le coût des soins de santé, nous n’avez pas besoin d’avoir un Conseil d’administration de 15 personnes qui nous disent quels types de traitements nous devrions avoir. Au lieu de cela, nous devons mettre les régimes d’assurance, de payer des prestataires, hôpitaux, médecins sur des objectifs tels qu’ils ont une incitatition, comme vous le dites, une paie à la performance, pour faire un excellent travail, pour maintenir les coûts bas, et c’est ce qui se passe. (…) Mais la bonne réponse n’est pas que le gouvernement fédéral prenne en charge les soins de santé et de commencer à rendre obligatoire pour les fournisseurs à travers l’Amérique, dire à un patient et à un médecin quel traitement ils peuvent avoir. C’est la mauvaise voie à suivre. Le marché privé et la responsabilité individuelle fonctionnent toujours mieux. Mitt Romney
Comment expliquer ce « retour à Bastiat » américain ? En premier lieu, il s’agit d’une sorte de contrecoup au « retour à Keynes » que l’on a vu à la suite de la crise financière de l’automne 2008, et dont une conséquence politique évidente est le plan de relance adopté peu après l’inauguration de Barack Obama. Pour certains conservateurs, la crise est vécue comme une menace à l’encontre du triomphe aussi bien politique qu’intellectuel du libéralisme et du libre-échangisme depuis les années 1980. Elle est vue comme une opportunité pour les partisans de l’intervention étatique de se réaffirmer. C’est surtout le plan de relance, que les démocrates se mettent à adopter aussitôt après l’inauguration d’Obama le 20 janvier 2009, qui attire la foudre des conservateurs et déclenche la mobilisation anti-gouvernementale qui deviendra le mouvement « Tea Party ». Dès le 22 janvier, l’Investor’s Business Daily (un journal national spécialisant dans les questions économiques, généralement tendant à droite) s’inquiète du fait que la célèbre prophétie de Bill Clinton selon laquelle « l’ère du big government est révolue » est en train de devenir désuète, en citant la définition que propose Bastiat de l’État : « c’est la grande fiction à travers laquelle tout le monde s’efforce de vivre aux dépens de tout le monde » (passage que les amateurs américains de Bastiat citent avec une fréquence particulière). Ensuite, ce que Bastiat permet de dénoncer, ce n’est pas uniquement le principe même de l’intervention étatique, mais le « solipsisme économique » sur laquelle elle se repose. Pour Bastiat, l’étatisme est la conséquence d’un problème épistémologique, voire phénoménologique : la conviction que les seules conséquences importantes d’une action sont celles qui sont accessibles à la vue. C’est la grande idée de son essai sur Ce qu’on voit et ce qu’on ne voit pas. Ainsi, le Pittsburgh Tribune Review (journal régional, plutôt conservateur), commentant le plan de relance, remarque que « l’administration d’Obama est en train d’offrir une leçon préventive de l’incompréhension de principe Bastien du visible et de l’invisible », citant l’exemple des « emplois verts » que le plan propose, mais dont les coûts, selon le journal, risquent à long terme d’être plus importants que les effets stimulateurs, tout en n’étant pas immédiatement perceptibles. Dans la même lignée, beaucoup évoquent l’analyse que fait Bastiat du solipsisme de la « vitre cassée » (qui parait aussi dans Ce qu’on voit et ce qu’on ne voit pas). Bastiat raconte l’anecdote suivante : le « terrible fils » du « bon bourgeois Jacques Bonhomme » lui casse un carreau de vitre. Aussitôt, des assistants au drame le consolent ainsi : « À quelque chose malheur est bon. De tels accidents font aller l’industrie. Il faut que tout le monde vive. Que deviendraient les vitriers, si l’on ne cassait jamais de vitres ? » Toutefois, ce constat se fonde uniquement sur ce qui est visible, soit l’argent que M. Bonhomme verse au vitrier. Ce que l’on ne voit pas, c’est que « s’il n’eût pas eu de vitre à remplacer, il eût remplacé, par exemple, ses souliers éculés ou mis un livre de plus dans sa bibliothèque ». La force de cet argument réside avant tout dans la manière dont Bastiat l’applique : il se trouve que ce que l’on voit est décidément toujours de l’ordre de l’État ou de la puissance publique. L’erreur distinctive de toute politique économique ayant recours aux moyens de l’État est qu’elle privilégie les effets visibles (les dépenses, l’impôt) en négligeant les effets invisibles (le marché, l’initiative individuelle). Michael C. Behrent

A quand une Million Muppet March pour une franchise de plusieurs millions de dollars, au salaire présidentiel à six chiffres et aux revenus de centaines de millions de dollars en jouets et produits dérivés?

A l’heure où, après la nouvelle raclée prise par leur champion au premier débat de la présidentielle américaine mercredi dernier (sur la radio publique sponsorisée par… Exxon!), les soutiens de l’actuel et apparemment de plus en plus précaire locataire de la Maison Blanche, font feu de tout bois pour dénoncer celui qui a osé s’en prendre au Big Bird de Sesame street

Et deux ans après qu’une franchise de plusieurs millions de dollars qui peut s’offrir des présidents à un million de dollars et produire des programmes pour enfants engrangeant dans 140 pays (Afghanistan bientôt compris?) des centaines de millions de dollars en jouets et produits dérivés voyait son distributeur désigné pour des réductions de financement par une commission bipartite nommée par l’actuel président lui-même …

Retour, avec Michael C. Behrent, sur l’un des inspirateurs, modèle type du prophète incompris dans son propre pays, le publiciste libéral français Frédéric Bastiat

Qui, dans ses célèbres et limpidissimes syllogismes avait si bien réussi à montrer les effets invisibles de l’impôt lorsqu’il devient spoliateur et finit par être la source de la sècheresse de la terre qu’il prétend féconder …

Autrement dit, comme l’a si superbement encore expliqué le futur président Romney dans son magistral débat d’il y a quelques jours, que le gouvernement ne dépense pas toujours et nécessairement  l’argent mieux et de manière plus efficace que le secteur privé, que chaque dollar qu’il dépense doit venir de quelque part et que tout dollar dépensé par le gouvernement en est un que le secteur privé ne dépensera pas …

Bastiat, repère intellectuel de la droite américaine

Ironie du sort : alors que beaucoup d’Américains associent spontanément « France » et « socialisme », c’est un auteur français, Frédéric Bastiat, que la droite américaine évoque pour dénoncer l’immoralité des tendances « socialisantes » de leur gouvernement.

Michael C. Behrent

La vie des idées

16-06-2010

La droite américaine n’est pas particulièrement connue, du moins dans sa forme actuelle, pour sa francophilie. Rappelons, par exemple, l’épisode des « freedom fries », conséquence de la vague d’indignation que la politique irakienne du gouvernement français suscite dans l’opinion américaine, surtout lorsque celle-ci est conservatrice. Ou encore la « méchanceté » que certains républicains attribuaient au candidat démocrate aux élections présidentielles de 2004, le sénateur francophone John Kerry, qui disait-on « ressemblait même à un Français ». Plus récemment, lorsque des militants conservateurs accusent Barack Obama d’être « socialiste », ils sous-entendent qu’il épouse une doctrine anti-américaine, européenne, et, sans doute, un petit peu française par-dessus le marché …

Il semblerait ainsi pour le moins surprenant que la droite américaine actuelle (que l’on pourrait caractériser comme l’amalgame du libéralisme économique et du conservatisme proprement dit), notamment dans cette forme particulièrement virulente qu’est le mouvement anti-gouvernemental des « tea partiers », se réfère à un penseur français pour définir son programme et lui donner un fondement philosophique. Pourtant, c’est le cas : les pourfendeurs américains du « tout État » ont trouvé un champion intellectuel dans l’économiste et publiciste français Frédéric Bastiat.

Bastiat et la droite américaine, une vieille histoire

Bastiat ? Plutôt oublié aujourd’hui en France, il fut un des grands défenseurs du principe du libre échange au dix-neuvième siècle. Né en 1801, il ne se fait une renommée, après s’être essayé aux affaires et à l’agriculture, qu’à partir de 1844, en défendant les idées antiprotectionnistes de Richard Cobden dans un article publié par le Journal des économistes intitulé « De l’influence des tarifs anglais et français sur l’avenir des deux peuples ». Il participe à la fondation d’une association ayant les mêmes buts que Cobden dans sa campagne contre les Corn Laws. Bastiat rédige les Sophismes économiques, dans lequel, à coup de petits textes aussi limpides qu’ironiques, il entreprend de détruire les raisonnements des socialistes et des protectionnistes. Après la révolution de février 1848, il est élu député des Landes. À cette époque, il participe à une célèbre polémique avec Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. Mais après quelques années seulement passées dans la vie publique, il succombe, en 1850, à une tuberculose. Le livre qu’il destinait à être son chef d’œuvre, les Harmonies économiques, reste inachevé.

L’engouement actuel de certains secteurs de la droite américaine pour Bastiat a des racines déjà anciennes. La redécouverte de ses écrits, et leur réédition en vue d’en faire des manifestes libertariens, fait partie de la réaction libérale contre la pensée « collectiviste » (mot qui englobe aussi bien le nazisme, le communisme, le keynésianisme, et le « libéralisme » américain du New Deal) dans la foulée de la deuxième guerre mondiale. Un de ces « apôtres » américains du néolibéralisme fut l’homme d’affaires Leonard Read, qui découvre Bastiat en 1935 grâce à Thomas Nixon Carver, professeur à Harvard. À l’époque, Read anime un petit réseau de libéraux (au sens économique), dont 3000 figurent sur sa liste de distribution. En 1943, il envoie à chacun un petit pamphlet de Bastiat surnommé La loi. C’est sans doute à cette date que commence l’étrange carrière de ce texte comme instrument de propagande du mouvement conservateur américain (rappelons que dans le lexique politique américain, l’épithète « conservateur » est couramment utilisée pour se référer à la doctrine économique qui en France sera décrite comme « libéral »). Read créa en 1946 la Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), ayant pour mission de répandre la bonne parole libre-échangiste et de former intellectuellement une avant-garde libérale et individualiste au milieu du « collectivisme » ambiant. Ludwig von Mises (émigré aux États-Unis) en est un adhérent ; Friedrich Hayek y collabore de même (ce dernier fonda, l’année suivante, une association sœur : la Société du Mont-Pèlerin).

Sous la tutelle de la FEE, Read fait retraduire La loi de Bastiat par un universitaire du nom de Dean Russell. La nouvelle traduction parait en 1950, et devient le bestseller de la fondation : en 1971, elle avait déjà vendu 500 000 exemplaires (cette traduction est toujours disponible sur le site web de la FEE) [1]. Un autre personnage important du mouvement libertarien, le journaliste Henry Hazlitt, publie en 1946 une sorte d’abrégé de la théorie économique, intitulé Economics in one lesson (lui aussi distribué par la FEE), dans lequel il reconnaît sa dette intellectuelle à l’égard de Bastiat, plus spécialement envers son essai Ce qu’on voit et ce qu’on ne voit pas. Hazlitt remarque que son propre ouvrage « peut en fait être considéré comme une modernisation, un élargissement et une généralisation de l’approche que l’on trouve dans le pamphlet de Bastiat » [2].

Renouveau de Bastiat sous Obama

Si donc aujourd’hui le nom et les slogans de Bastiat circulent actuellement dans les mouvements de protestations contre le plan de relance du président Obama (en 2009) ainsi que sa réforme du système de santé (en 2010), c’est seulement parce que ses écrits sont depuis longtemps en circulation, et sont comme canonisés par les milieux libertariens et libre-échangistes. Le 15 avril 2009, lors d’une des premières grandes journées d’action nationales des tea partiers (le jour où les Américains doivent déclarer leurs impôts), un professeur d’université prononce un discours à Washington, dans lequel il évoque la mise en garde de Bastiat contre la tendance des gouvernants à pratiquer la « spoliation légale ». Le même jour, en Broward County (Floride), un blogueur raconte avoir vu un manifestant lors d’un « tea party » portant une pancarte étalant le même slogan (« spoliation légale »), expression, rappelle-t-il utilement pour ses lecteurs, « utilisée par Fréderic Bastiat dans son livre de 1849 La loi pour parler des socialistes » (en réalité La Loi fut publiée pour la première fois en 1850).

Plus récemment, sur le site « meetup.com » (qui permet d’organiser en ligne des réunions réelles), un chapitre floridien du « 9-12 Project » (l’association fondée par le journaliste conservateur Glenn Beck qui fait partie de la galaxie des tea partiers) encourage les intéressés à venir discuter de « La loi de Frédéric Bastiat », tout en expliquant que « Bastiat […] fut un des plus éloquents champions du concept du droit à la propriété et de libertés individuels émanant du droit naturel (le même concept qui a servi de fondation à la Constitution américaine) », que La loi est « une réfutation puissante du Manifeste communiste de Karl Marx » (bien que Bastiat ne cite aucunement ce dernier), et que ce livre est « aussi pertinent aujourd’hui qu’il y a 160 ans ».

Comment expliquer ce « retour à Bastiat » américain ? En premier lieu, il s’agit d’une sorte de contrecoup au « retour à Keynes » que l’on a vu à la suite de la crise financière de l’automne 2008, et dont une conséquence politique évidente est le plan de relance adopté peu après l’inauguration de Barack Obama. Pour certains conservateurs, la crise est vécue comme une menace à l’encontre du triomphe aussi bien politique qu’intellectuel du libéralisme et du libre-échangisme depuis les années 1980. Elle est vue comme une opportunité pour les partisans de l’intervention étatique de se réaffirmer. C’est surtout le plan de relance, que les démocrates se mettent à adopter aussitôt après l’inauguration d’Obama le 20 janvier 2009, qui attire la foudre des conservateurs et déclenche la mobilisation anti-gouvernementale qui deviendra le mouvement « Tea Party ». Dès le 22 janvier, l’Investor’s Business Daily (un journal national spécialisant dans les questions économiques, généralement tendant à droite) s’inquiète du fait que la célèbre prophétie de Bill Clinton selon laquelle « l’ère du big government est révolue » est en train de devenir désuète, en citant la définition que propose Bastiat de l’État : « c’est la grande fiction à travers laquelle tout le monde s’efforce de vivre aux dépens de tout le monde » (passage que les amateurs américains de Bastiat citent avec une fréquence particulière) [3].

Ensuite, ce que Bastiat permet de dénoncer, ce n’est pas uniquement le principe même de l’intervention étatique, mais le « solipsisme économique » sur laquelle elle se repose. Pour Bastiat, l’étatisme est la conséquence d’un problème épistémologique, voire phénoménologique : la conviction que les seules conséquences importantes d’une action sont celles qui sont accessibles à la vue. C’est la grande idée de son essai sur Ce qu’on voit et ce qu’on ne voit pas. Ainsi, le Pittsburgh Tribune Review (journal régional, plutôt conservateur), commentant le plan de relance, remarque que « l’administration d’Obama est en train d’offrir une leçon préventive de l’incompréhension de principe Bastien du visible et de l’invisible » [4], citant l’exemple des « emplois verts » que le plan propose, mais dont les coûts, selon le journal, risquent à long terme d’être plus importants que les effets stimulateurs, tout en n’étant pas immédiatement perceptibles.

La Vitre cassée

Dans la même lignée, beaucoup évoquent l’analyse que fait Bastiat du solipsisme de la « vitre cassée » (qui parait aussi dans Ce qu’on voit et ce qu’on ne voit pas). Bastiat raconte l’anecdote suivante : le « terrible fils » du « bon bourgeois Jacques Bonhomme » lui casse un carreau de vitre. Aussitôt, des assistants au drame le consolent ainsi : « À quelque chose malheur est bon. De tels accidents font aller l’industrie. Il faut que tout le monde vive. Que deviendraient les vitriers, si l’on ne cassait jamais de vitres ? » Toutefois, ce constat se fonde uniquement sur ce qui est visible, soit l’argent que M. Bonhomme verse au vitrier. Ce que l’on ne voit pas, c’est que « s’il n’eût pas eu de vitre à remplacer, il eût remplacé, par exemple, ses souliers éculés ou mis un livre de plus dans sa bibliothèque ». La force de cet argument réside avant tout dans la manière dont Bastiat l’applique : il se trouve que ce que l’on voit est décidément toujours de l’ordre de l’État ou de la puissance publique. L’erreur distinctive de toute politique économique ayant recours aux moyens de l’État est qu’elle privilégie les effets visibles (les dépenses, l’impôt) en négligeant les effets invisibles (le marché, l’initiative individuelle). Ainsi, concernant les effets apparemment positifs des impôts, Bastiat constate : « Vous comparez la nation à une terre desséchée et l’impôt à une pluie féconde. Soit. Mais vous devriez vous demander aussi où sont les sources de cette pluie, et si ce n’est pas précisément l’impôt qui pompe l’humidité du sol et le dessèche ».

Le « broken window fallacy » (l’erreur de la vitre cassée) a joué un rôle essentiel dans la réception américaine de Bastiat. Sur YouTube, on trouve une vidéo dans laquelle John Stossel, journaliste de télévision aux opinions libertariennes, explique l’erreur des vitres cassées avec une étonnante littéralité … La parabole de Bastiat peut même être utilisée à des fins explicitement partisanes. Sur un site conservateur, on trouve le commentaire suivant : « Le plan de relance du président Obama a échoué parce qu’il a ignoré l’erreur de la vitre cassée, comme le font tous les projets gouvernementaux pour stimuler l’économie en dépensant. Est évidente dans le plan d’Obama l’idée que le gouvernement peut dépenser l’argent mieux et de manière plus efficace que le secteur privé. Ce qu’Obama et les liberals [au sens américain, c’est-à-dire « ceux de la gauche »] ne comprennent pas, c’est que chaque dollar qu’ils dépensent doit venir de quelque part […] En somme, tout dollar dépensé par le gouvernement en est un que le secteur privé ne dépensera pas ». L’auteur conclut (c’est la raison d’être de son site) que le meilleur disciple actuel de Bastiat n’est autre que… Sarah Palin, l’ancienne colistière de John McCain lors des dernières élections présidentielles, ancien gouverneur de l’Alaska (de 2006 à 2009), et grande héroïne des tea partiers : « Quelque part, Frédéric Bastiat est en train de sourire, tout content qu’il est de savoir que sa philosophie de gouvernement limité est en pleine forme grâce au gouverneur Sarah Palin ».

Procès du « socialisme »

Mais la raison principale pour l’engouement actuel pour Bastiat est à trouver dans sa manière particulière de dénoncer le « socialisme ». Son utilité ne réside pas seulement dans le fait qu’il critique le socialisme, mais dans sa manière même de le définir. Selon Bastiat, l’homme, tout occupé par sa nature à la conservation de son être, est destiné à gagner sa vie de deux façons possibles : grâce à son propre travail, ou grâce au travail d’autrui. Les hommes ont une « disposition à vivre et à se développer, quand ils le peuvent, aux dépens les uns des autres » [5]. Par conséquent, la loi et la politique peuvent s’organiser eux aussi selon deux principes différents : la défense de la liberté individuelle (et donc de la propriété), ou la spoliation (c’est-à-dire, le fait de vivre du travail d’autrui). Le premier est évidemment, aux yeux de Bastiat, le régime le plus juste. Mais une fois que la loi n’est plus que la simple organisation des droits individuels, « chaque classe voudra faire la Loi, soit pour se défendre contre la spoliation, soit pour l’organiser aussi à son profit » [6]. La spoliation devient la norme. Le socialisme est la conséquence logique de cette tendance : il est la spoliation décomplexée, la « spoliation légale ».

La rage des tea partiers contre Obama et le « big government » est donc avant tout un cri de colère, un sursaut d’indignation contre un État qui est, à leur vue, de plus en plus spoliateur. Dans une tribune écrite pour la presse de l’église baptiste, au moment des grandes manifestations du 15 avril 2009, Kelly Boggs remarque : « L’impôt sur le revenu en Amérique est depuis longtemps un exemple de ce que l’économiste français Frédéric Bastiat surnommait la ‘spoliation légale.’ Selon Bastiat, la spoliation légale a lieu lorsque le gouvernement prend, par la force, ce qu’un citoyen a légitimement gagné pour le donner à un autre ». Il continue : « Lorsqu’un simple citoyen pratique ce que décrit Bastiat, on appelle cela le vol. Quand c’est le gouvernement qui le fait, on l’appelle la redistribution des revenus ».

Ainsi, pour les militants de droite, Bastiat est devenu une sorte de père fondateur honoris causa. Le Tea Party de Boston annonce la création d’un « caucus Bastiat » en expliquant que la « philosophie » de l’économiste français « ressemble à celui de Thomas Jefferson ». D’autres le comparent à James Madison. Pour l’historien, de tels rapprochements ne sont pas sans ironie : si ces représentants du républicanisme américain que sont Jefferson et Madison se méfièrent sans doute des tendances tyranniques de tout pouvoir établi, leurs premières luttes politiques après la promulgation de la constitution en 1789 furent contre Alexander Hamilton et les « fédéralistes » – le parti des grands intérêts financiers. Il n’empêche que les tea partiers voient le fil directeur de l’histoire américaine comme étant une trahison progressive des principes de l’individualisme et d’un gouvernement minime. Un blogueur qui a pris le pseudonyme d’Andrew Mellon (grande figure du libéralisme conservateur des années 1920), écrivant pour le site conservateur « Big Government », constate : « Au fur et à mesure que notre pays vieillit, l’État nous dépouille de nos droits au lieu de les garantir. Le gouvernement s’élargit, alors que l’individu se rétrécit. Alors que la loi était censée nous protéger contre la diminution de l’homme, elle est plutôt utilisée comme moyen de le spolier ». Il poursuit en citant La loi de Bastiat sur le socialisme comme la somme sur toute spoliation légale.

La référence à l’économiste français sert finalement, de manière assez paradoxale, à mettre en évidence le caractère étranger (et donc dangereux) des démocrates et autres « collectivistes ». Le bloggeur libertarien Clay Barham le confirme explicitement lorsqu’il écrit : « Alors que Bastiat disait [dans l’introduction de ses Harmonies économiques ] ‘Tous les intérêts légitimes sont harmoniques,’ les démocrates américains contemporains disent que les intérêts de la communauté sont plus importants que les intérêts de l’individu. Ces deux approches s’opposent. L’un est purement américain, bien que proclamé par un Français, et l’autre est européen, ou du Vieux Monde, bien que proclamé par des Américains ».

Ainsi, bien que ses disciples américains le décrivent le plus souvent comme un « économiste », c’est surtout en tant que moraliste que Bastiat exerce sa puissance d’attraction. Il offre moins une démonstration irréfutable des erreurs du « socialisme » et de l’intervention étatique que des objections de principes, ayant au moins le mérite d’une certaine lucidité. Comme le note l’historien du libéralisme Lucien Jaume, « dans la rhétorique de Bastiat tout phénomène économique ou social reçoit son doublet moral, voire religieux : la marche du progrès est fatale mais l’homme est libre, la concurrence est un fait indestructible, mais elle n’existe qu’en ‘l’absence d’une autorité arbitraire comme juge des échanges’, etc. C’est le passage constant de l’objectif au subjectif, du descriptif au prescriptif qui fait l’originalité de Bastiat … » [7]. Ironie du sort : c’est un auteur français, alors même que beaucoup d’américains associent spontanément « France » et « socialisme », que la droite américaine évoque pour dénoncer l’immoralité des tendances « socialisantes » de leur propre gouvernement.

Notes

[1] George H. Nash, The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America since 1945, New York, Basic Books, 1976, chap. 1.

[2] Henry Hazlitt, Economics in one lesson, New York et Londres, Harper and Brothers, 1946, p. ix.

[3] « Where stimulus is not necessary », Investor’s Business Daily, le 22 janvier 2009.

[4] Colin McNickle, « America’s failure to foresee », Pittsburgh Tribune Review, le 1 février 2009.

[5] Frédéric Bastiat, « La loi », in Œuvres complètes de Frédéric Bastiat. Sophismes économiques, P. Paillottet et R. de Fontenay, éditeurs, Paris, Guillaumin, 1862-1864, p. 345-46.

[6] Ibidem, p. 352.

[7] Lucien Jaume, L’individu effacé, ou le paradoxe du libéralisme français, Paris, Fayard, 1997, p. 481.

Voir aussi:

Public Broadcasting Should Go Private

If these outfits can afford to pay lavish salaries to their heads, they don’t need taxpayer help.

Jim Demint

The Wall Street Journal

March 4, 2011

When presidents of government-funded broadcasting are making more than the president of the United States, it’s time to get the government out of public broadcasting.

While executives at the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and National Public Radio (NPR) are raking in massive salaries, the organizations are participating in an aggressive lobbying effort to prevent Congress from saving hundreds of millions of dollars each year by cutting their subsidies. The so-called commercial free public airwaves have been filled with pleas for taxpayer cash. The Association of Public Television Stations has hired lobbyists to fight the cuts. Hundreds of taxpayer-supported TV, radio and Web outlets have partnered with an advocacy campaign to facilitate emails and phone calls to Capitol Hill for the purpose of telling members of Congress, "Public broadcasting funding is too important to eliminate!"

PBS President Paula Kerger even recorded a personal television appeal that told viewers exactly how to contact members of Congress in order to "let your representative know how you feel about the elimination of funding for public broadcasting." But if PBS can pay Ms. Kerger $632,233 in annual compensation—as reported on the 990 tax forms all nonprofits are required to file—surely it can operate without tax dollars.

The executives at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which distributes the taxpayer money allocated for public broadcasting to other stations, are also generously compensated. According to CPB’s 2009 tax forms, President and CEO Patricia de Stacy Harrison received $298,884 in reportable compensation and another $70,630 in other compensation from the organization and related organizations that year. That’s practically a pittance compared to Kevin Klose, president emeritus of NPR, who received more than $1.2 million in compensation, according to the tax forms the nonprofit filed in 2009.

Today’s media landscape is a thriving one with few barriers to entry and many competitors, unlike when CPB was created in 1967. In 2011, Americans have thousands of news, entertainment and educational programs to choose from that are available on countless television, radio and Web outlets.

Despite how accessible media has become to Americans over the years, funding for CPB has grown considerably. In 2001, the federal government appropriated $340 million for CPB. Last year it got $420 million. As Congress considers ways to close the $1.6 trillion deficit, cutting funding for the CPB has even been proposed by President Obama’s bipartisan deficit reduction commission. Instead, Mr. Obama wants to increase CPB’s funding to $451 million in his latest budget.

Meanwhile, highly successful, brand-name public programs like Sesame Street make millions on their own. "Sesame Street," for example, made more than $211 million from toy and consumer product sales from 2003-2006. Sesame Workshop President and CEO Gary Knell received $956,513 in compensation in 2008. With earnings like that, Big Bird doesn’t need the taxpayers to help him compete against the Nickleodeon cable channel’s Dora the Explorer.

Taxpayer-subsidized broadcasting doesn’t only make money from licensing and product sales. It also raises plenty of outside cash.

Last year, for example, the Open Society Foundation, backed by liberal financier George Soros, gave NPR $1.8 million to help support the latter’s plan to hire an additional 100 reporters. When NPR receives million-dollar gifts from Mr. Soros, it is an insult to taxpayers when other organizations, such as MoveOn.org demand that Congress "save NPR and PBS" by guaranteeing "permanent funding and independence from partisan meddling," as the liberal interest group did last month. It was even more insulting when PBS posted a message on Twitter thanking MoveOn.org—the group that once labeled Gen. David Petraeus as "General Betray Us"—for the help.

The best way to stop the "partisan meddling" in public broadcasting that MoveOn.org complains about is by ending the taxpayers’ obligation to pay for it. The politics will be out of public broadcasting as soon as the government gets out of the business of paying for it.

Public broadcasting can pay its presidents half-million and million dollar salaries. Its children’s programs are making hundreds of millions in sales. Liberal financiers are willing to write million-dollar checks to help these organizations. There’s no reason taxpayers need to subsidize them anymore.

Mr. DeMint, a Republican, is a senator from South Carolina.

Voir encore:

Sesame Nation

Mark Steyn

National review on line

October 6, 2012

Apparently, Frank Sinatra served as Mitt Romney’s debate coach. As he put it about halfway through “That’s Life”:

“I’d jump right on a big bird and then I’d fly . . . ”

That’s what Mitt did in Denver. Ten minutes in, he jumped right on Big Bird, and then he took off — and never looked back, while the other fellow, whose name escapes me, never got out of the gate. It takes a certain panache to clobber not just your opponent but also the moderator. Yet that’s what the killer Mormon did when he declared that he wasn’t going to borrow money from China to pay for Jim Lehrer and Big Bird on PBS. It was a terrific alpha-male moment, not just in that it rattled Lehrer, who seemed too preoccupied contemplating a future reading the hog prices on the WZZZ Farm Report to regain his grip on the usual absurd format, but in the sense that it indicated a man entirely at ease with himself — in contrast to wossname, the listless sourpuss staring at his shoes.

Yet, amidst the otherwise total wreckage of their guy’s performance, the Democrats seemed to think that Mitt’s assault on Sesame Street was a misstep from whose tattered and ruined puppet-stuffing some hay is to be made. “WOW!!! No PBS!!! WTF how about cutting congress’s stuff leave big bird alone,” tweeted Whoopi Goldberg. Even the president mocked Romney for “finally getting tough on Big Bird” — not in the debate, of course, where such dazzling twinkle-toed repartee might have helped, but a mere 24 hours later, once the rapid-response team had directed his speechwriters to craft a line, fly it out to a campaign rally, and load it into the prompter, he did deliver it without mishap.

Unlike Mitt, I loathe Sesame Street. It bears primary responsibility for what the Canadian blogger Binky calls the de-monsterization of childhood — the idea that there are no evil monsters out there at the edges of the map, just shaggy creatures who look a little funny and can sometimes be a bit grouchy about it because people prejudge them until they learn to celebrate diversity and help Cranky the Friendly Monster go recycling. That is not unrelated to the infantilization of our society. Marinate three generations of Americans in that pabulum and it’s no surprise you wind up with unprotected diplomats dragged to their deaths from their “safe house” in Benghazi. Or as J. Scott Gration, the president’s special envoy to Sudan, said in 2009, in the most explicit Sesamization of American foreign policy: “We’ve got to think about giving out cookies. Kids, countries — they react to gold stars, smiley faces, handshakes . . . ” The butchers of Darfur aren’t blood-drenched machete-wielding genocidal killers but just Cookie Monsters whom we haven’t given enough cookies. I’m not saying there’s a direct line between Bert & Ernie and Barack & Hillary . . . well, actually I am.

Okay, I may be taking this further than Mitt intended. So let’s go back to his central thrust. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting receives nearly half a billion dollars a year from taxpayers, which it disburses to PBS stations, who in turn disburse it to Big Bird and Jim Lehrer. I don’t know what Big Bird gets, but, according to Senator Jim DeMint, the president of Sesame Workshop, Gary Knell, received in 2008 a salary of $956,513. In that sense, Big Bird and Senator Harry Reid embody the same mystifying phenomenon: They’ve been in “public service” their entire lives and have somehow wound up as multimillionaires.

Mitt’s decision to strap Big Bird to the roof of his station wagon and drive him to Canada has prompted two counterarguments from Democrats: (1) Half a billion dollars is a mere rounding error in the great sucking maw of the federal budget, so why bother? (2) Everybody loves Sesame Street, so Mitt is making a catastrophic strategic error. On the latter point, whether or not everybody loves Sesame Street, everybody has seen it, and every American under 50 has been weaned on it. So far this century it’s sold nigh on a billion bucks’ worth of merchandising sales (that’s popular toys such as the Subsidize-Me-Elmo doll). If Sesame Street is not commercially viable, then nothing is, and we should just cut to the chase and bail out everything.

Conversely, if this supposed “public” broadcasting brand is capable of standing on its own, then so should it. As for the rest of PBS’s output — the eternal replays of the Peter, Paul & Mary reunion concert, twee Brit sitcoms, Lawrence Welk reruns and therapeutic infomercials — whatever their charms, it is difficult to see why the Brokest Nation in History should be borrowing money from the Chinese Politburo to pay for it. A system by which a Communist party official in Beijing enriches British comedy producers by charging it to American taxpayers with interest is not the most obvious economic model. Yet, as Obama would say, the government did build that.

(Full disclosure: Some years ago, I hosted a lavish BBC special, and, at the meeting intended to sell it to PBS, the executive from Great Performances said he could only sign off on the deal if I were digitally edited out and replaced by Angela Lansbury. Murder, he shrieked. Lest I sound bitter, I should say I am in favor of this as a more general operating principle for public broadcasting: for example, A Prairie Home Companion would be greatly improved by having Garrison Keillor digitally replaced by Paul Ryan.) The small things are not unimportant — and not just because, when “small” is defined as anything under eleven figures, “small” is a big part of the problem. If Americans can’t muster the will to make Big Bird leave the government nest, they certainly will never reform Medicare. Just before the debate in Denver, in the general backstage mêlée, a commentator pointed out Valerie Jarrett, who is officially “assistant to the president for public engagement and intergovernmental affairs,” a vital position which certainly stimulates the luxury-length business-card industry. Not one in 100,000 Americans knows what she looks like, but she declines to take the risk of passing among the rude peasantry without the protection of a Secret Service detail. Leon Panetta, the defense secretary, has a private jet to fly him home from Washington every weekend.

The queen of the Netherlands flies commercial, so does the queen of Denmark. Prince William and his lovely bride, whom at least as many people want to get a piece of as Valerie Jarrett or Leon Panetta, flew to Los Angeles on a Royal Canadian Air Force boneshaker. It is profoundly unrepublican when minor public officials assume that private planes and entourages to hold the masses at bay are a standard perk of office. And it is even more disturbing that tens of millions of Americans are accepting of this. The entitlements are complicated, and will take some years and much negotiation. But, in a Romney administration, rolling back the nickel’n’dime stuff — i.e., the million’n’billion stuff — should start on Day One.

Mitt made much of his bipartisan credentials in Denver. So, in that reach-across-the-aisle spirit, if we cannot abolish entirely frivolous spending, might we not at least attempt some economies of scale? Could Elmo, Grover, Oscar, and Cookie Monster not be redeployed as Intergovernmental Engagement Assistant Jarrett’s security detail? Could Leon Panetta not fly home on Big Bird every weekend?

And for the next debate, instead of a candidate slumped at the lectern like a muppet whose puppeteer has gone out for a smoke, maybe Elmo’s guy could shove his arm up the back of the presidential suit.

— Mark Steyn, a National Review columnist, is the author of After America: Get Ready for Armageddon.

Voir enfin:

III. L’impôt

Frédéric Bastiat

Ne vous est-il jamais arrivé d’entendre dire:

« L’impôt, c’est le meilleur placement; c’est une rosée fécondante? Voyez combien de familles il fait vivre, et suivez, par la pensée, ses ricochets sur l’industrie: c’est l’infini, c’est la vie ».

Pour combattre cette doctrine, je suis obligé de reproduire la réfutation précédente. L’économie politique sait bien que ses arguments ne sont pas assez divertissants pour qu’on en puisse dire: Repetita placent . Aussi, comme Basile, elle a arrangé le proverbe à son usage, bien convaincue que dans sa bouche, Repetita docent .

Les avantages que les fonctionnaires trouvent à émarger, c’est ce qu’on voit . Le bien qui en résulte pour leurs fournisseurs, c’est ce qu’on voit encore . Cela crève les yeux du corps.

Mais le désavantage que les contribuables éprouvent à se libérer, c’est ce qu’on ne voit pas , et le dommage qui en résulte pour leurs fournisseurs, c’est ce qu’on ne voit pas davantage , bien que cela dût sauter aux yeux de l’esprit.

Quand un fonctionnaire dépense à son profit cent sous de plus , cela implique qu’un contribuable dépense à son profit cent sous de moins . Mais la dépense du fonctionnaire se voit, parce qu’elle se fait; tandis que celle du contribuable ne se voit pas, parce que, hélas! on l’empêche de se faire.

Vous comparez la nation à une terre desséchée et l’impôt à une pluie féconde. Soit. Mais vous devriez vous demander aussi où sont les sources de cette pluie, et si ce n’est pas précisément l’impôt qui pompe l’humidité du sol et le dessèche.

Vous devriez vous demander encore s’il est possible que le sol reçoive autant de cette eau précieuse par la pluie qu’il en perd par l’évaporation?

Ce qu’il y a de très-positif, c’est que, quand Jacques Bonhomme compte cent sous au percepteur, il ne reçoit rien en retour. Quand, ensuite, un fonctionnaire dépensant ces cent sous, les rend à Jacques Bonhomme, c’est contre une valeur égale en blé ou en travail. Le résultat définitif est pour Jacques Bonhomme une perte de cinq francs.

Il est très-vrai que souvent, le plus souvent si l’on veut, le fonctionnaire rend à Jacques Bonhomme un service équivalent. En ce cas, il n’y a pas perte de part ni d’autre, il n’y a qu’échange. Aussi, mon argumentation ne s’adresse-t-elle nullement aux fonctions utiles. Je dis ceci: si vous voulez une fonction, prouvez son utilité. Démontrez qu’elle vaut à Jacques Bonhomme, par les services qu’elle lui rend, l’équivalent de ce qu’elle lui coûte. Mais, abstraction faite de cette utilité intrinsèque, n’invoquez pas comme argument l’avantage qu’elle confère au fonctionnaire, à sa famille et à ses fournisseurs; n’alléguez pas qu’elle favorise le travail.

Quand Jacques Bonhomme donne cent sous à un fonctionnaire contre un service réellement utile, c’est exactement comme quand il donne cent sous à un cordonnier contre une paire de souliers. Donnant donnant, partant quittes. Mais, quand Jacques Bonhomme livre cent sous à un fonctionnaire pour n’en recevoir aucun service ou même pour en recevoir des vexations, c’est comme s’il les livrait à un voleur. Il ne sert de rien de dire que le fonctionnaire dépensera ces cent sous au grand profit du travail national; autant en eût fait le voleur; autant en ferait Jacques Bonhomme s’il n’eût rencontré sur son chemin ni le parasite extra-légal ni le parasite légal.

Habituons-nous donc à ne pas juger des choses seulement par ce qu’on voit , mais encore par ce qu’on ne voit pas.

L’an passé, j’étais du Comité des finances, car, sous la Constituante, les membres de l’opposition n’étaient pas systématiquement exclus de toutes les Commissions; en cela, la Constituante agissait sagement. Nous avons entendu M. Thiers dire: « J’ai passé ma vie à combattre les hommes du parti légitimiste et du parti prêtre. Depuis que le danger commun nous a rapproché, depuis que je les fréquente, que je les connais, que nous nous parlons cœur à cœur, je me suis aperçu que ce ne sont pas les monstres que je m’étais figurés. »

Oui, les défiances s’exagèrent, les haines s’exaltent entre les partis qui ne se mêlent pas; et si la majorité laissait pénétrer dans le sein des Commissions quelques membres de la minorité, peut-être reconnaîtrait-on, de part et d’autre, que les idées ne sont pas aussi éloignées et surtout les intentions aussi perverses qu’on le suppose.

Quoi qu’il en soit, l’an passé, j’étais du Comité des finances. Chaque fois qu’un de nos collègues parlait de fixer à un chiffre modéré le traitement du Président de la République, des ministres, des ambassadeurs, on lui répondait:

« Pour le bien même du service, il faut entourer certaines fonctions d’éclat et de dignité. C’est le moyen d’y appeler les hommes de mérite. D’innombrables infortunes s’adressent au Président de la République, et ce serait le placer dans une position pénible que de le forcer à toujours refuser. Une certaine représentation dans les salons ministériels et diplomatiques est un des rouages des gouvernements constitutionnels, etc., etc. »

Quoique de tels arguments puissent être controversés, ils méritent certainement un sérieux examen. Ils sont fondés sur l’intérêt public, bien ou mal apprécié; et, quant à moi, j’en fais plus de cas que beaucoup de nos Catons, mus par un esprit étroit de lésinerie ou de jalousie.

Mais ce qui révolte ma conscience d’économiste, ce qui me fait rougir pour la renommée intellectuelle de mon pays, c’est quand on en vient (ce à quoi on ne manque jamais) à cette banalité absurde, et toujours favorablement accueillie:

« D’ailleurs, le luxe des grands fonctionnaires encourage les arts, l’industrie, le travail. Le chef de l’État et ses ministres ne peuvent donner des festins et des soirées sans faire circuler la vie dans toutes les veines du corps social. Réduire leurs traitements, c’est affamer l’industrie parisienne et, par contre-coup, l’industrie nationale. »

De grâce, Messieurs, respectez au moins l’arithmétique et ne venez pas dire, devant l’Assemblée nationale de France, de peur qu’à sa honte elle ne vous approuve, qu’une addition donne une somme différente, selon qu’on la fait de haut en bas ou de bas en haut.

Quoi! je vais m’arranger avec un terrassier pour qu’il fasse une rigole dans mon champ, moyennant cent sous. Au moment de conclure, le percepteur me prend mes cent sous et les fait passer au ministre de l’intérieur; mon marché est rompu mais M. le ministre ajoutera un plat de plus à son dîner. Sur quoi, vous osez affirmer que cette dépense officielle est un surcoût ajouté à l’industrie nationale! Ne comprenez-vous pas qu’il n’y a là qu’un simple déplacement de satisfaction et de travail? Un ministre a sa table mieux garnie, c’est vrai; mais un agriculteur a un champ moins bien desséché, et c’est tout aussi vrai. Un traiteur parisien a gagné cent sous, je vous l’accorde; mais accordez-moi qu’un terrassier provincial a manqué de gagner cinq francs. Tout ce qu’on peut dire, c’est que le plat officiel et le traiteur satisfait, c’est ce qu’on voit ; le champ noyé et le terrassier désœuvré, c’est ce qu’on ne voit pas.

Bon Dieu! que de peine à prouver, en économie politique, que deux et deux font quatre; et, si vous y parvenez, on s’écrie : « c’est si clair, que c’en est ennuyeux. » — Puis on vote comme si vous n’aviez rien prouvé du tout.


Elections américaines/2012: Et si finalement c’était la tortue Romney qui battait le lièvre Obama? (Can statist Obama win against the 54% of Americans who want government “to get out of the way”?)

28 septembre, 2012
L’art du gouvernement consiste à organiser l’idolâtrie. George Bernard Shaw
We loved your vocal performance so much we’d love to invite you on to American Idol this Season for a duet with Al Green. Nigel Lythgoe
If it were an election based on vocal talent @barackobama would beat Romney hands down. Mitt was very flat singing "America the Beautiful".  Lythgoe
Barring any debate debacle, Romney will win by 4 or 5 points and will win Florida, Ohio, Nevada, Virginia and Pennsylvania. Dick Morris (former strategist for Bill Clinton)
After all, polls reveal that 41% of Americans identify themselves as conservative, while only 23% choose liberal. A recent Rasmussen poll found that 66% of likely voters believe the government has too much power. In another poll, 51% of Americans believe the government is more a threat to individual rights rather than a protector of them. In still another poll, 54% of Americans wanted government “to get out of the way” rather than “lend a hand,” the choice of only 35%. As Dick Morris put it, “It was odd to watch a president commit political suicide by so brazen and overt an embrace of the 35% and a repudiation of the 54%.” Bruce Thornton

Effet de sur- ou sous-déclaration des sondés ayant peur de passer pour racistes (dit Bradley aux Etats-Unis, Le Pen en VF), suréchantillonage de sondages prenant comme référence l’année de mobilisation démocrate exceptionnelle de 2008, désaffection de plus en plus claire de nombres d’anciens électeurs démocrates pour leur champion de 2008, basculement toujours plus prononcé  de l’électorat vers le conservatisme et la méfiance vis-à-vis de l’Etat …

Et si, contrairement à ce que nous serinent à longueur de journée nos médias moutonniers, c’était la tortue Romney qui battait sur le fil en novembre le lièvre Obama?

Obama the Hare, Romney the Tortoise

Victor Davis Hanson

Tribune Media Services

September 10, 2012

The 2012 race has turned into one of Aesop’s classic fables. After each new media blitz against the no-frills Mitt Romney, a far cooler President Obama races ahead three or four points in the polls — only to fall back to about even as the attention fades.

Meanwhile, the Romney tortoise, head down on the campaign trail, keeps lumbering along toward the November finish. There is nothing fancy day in and day out — only the steady plod of a good enough convention, workmanlike speeches that pass muster, a Midwestern vice president nominee who is informed and reliable, and the standard conservative correctives offered to liberal excesses.

We have now gone through Obama’s various caricatures of a scary Mitt Romney — the financial buccaneer who outsources his wealth abroad, the misogynist who wages a war on women, the veritable racist whose proposed budget cuts and nativism are aimed mostly at the nonwhite, the ageist bent on dismantling Social Security, and the near killer who cares little when the innocent die in the wreckage of his Bain profit-making. At each juncture, President Obama gains some traction, picks up a few points, and then slowly slides back to even.

How does Romney’s thick tortoise shell withstand these frenetic assaults as he keeps trudging back to even in the polls?

Barack Obama does not do well as Richard Nixon. Four years ago, he ran on a new civility, an end to name-calling and an abhorrence of partisan bickering. And an unknown Obama without a record was largely able to abide by his professed ethos in 2008. After all, it was easy to as donations poured in, the McCain campaign was as polite as it was timid, and the banalities of untried hope and change mesmerized millions.

But now, all the new negative advertising just cloaks Obama in hypocrisy. By the same token, Romney’s challenge has always been that he is blandly and predictably straight-arrow. If that normalcy means he cannot give soaring hope and change speeches, it also ensures that casting him as a multifarious sinner is preposterous, and reflects more poorly on the accuser than the intended target.

Obama cannot run on his record of Obamacare, reset foreign policy, Keynesian deficit priming, and wind and solar power in preference to developing fully vast new finds of oil and gas. What ultimately doomed incumbents Jerry Ford in 1976, Jimmy Carter in 1980 and George H.W. Bush in 1992 was that they likewise did not wish to talk about the economy under their respective watches, but instead alleged that their opponents would be far worse to the point of being unfit. Such tactics usually don’t work.

In Obama’s case, 42 months of 8-percent-plus unemployment, laggard GDP growth, $4-a-gallon gas, a precipitous drop in average family income, record numbers on food stamps, serial $1 trillion budget deficits and $5 trillion in new national debt can no longer be packaged as either a "summer of recovery" or George Bush’s legacy — and so are left unmentioned

The current presidential race remains a seesaw battle because for all the advantages of incumbency and the president’s charisma, the public is not happy with the Obama administration’s record on the economy. And it does not believe — at least at this juncture — that Romney is the villain that the Obama campaign has portrayed.

Yet Romney trudges rather than sprints ahead because he is no glib Ronald Reagan. He is also the first Mormon candidate in the general election and a very rich man at a time when Americans are growing angrier by the day that they are far poorer than they were four years ago.

The country is also not quite ready to confess that it went a little crazy in 2008 and voted for the embarrassing banalities of "hope and change" offered by a little known senator with a thin resume and little national experience. Again, no voter likes to admit that he was led to the polls in a trance by the mellifluous music of a pied piper.

Obama’s present paradox is that the more he goes negative against Romney, the less the slurs seem to stick, and the less presidential the self-avowed ethical reformer appears. Yet because the economy is not going to noticeably improve by November, Obama believes he must continue in hopes of discovering a bona fide Romney scandal, or that he must claim the country is threatened abroad and in need of national unity.

Barring a real recovery or a sudden war, the steady, plodding Romney tortoise is ever so slowly winning the race against the flashier — surging, yet always fading — Obama hare.

 Voir aussi:

Why Is Obama Still Likable?

Bruce Thornton

Frontpage Magazine

September 10, 2012

The Democrats’ convention was the public coming-out bash for the party whose political clock stopped in 1972. Every speaker and speech celebrated the musty left-wing ideology and smug arrogance of those who idolize big government because it gives them the power to tell everybody else what to do and how to live — exactly what most Americans say they don’t like and don’t want. Then why are Obama’s poll numbers still so high?

The Dems’ whole production was an in-your-face spectacle of cobwebbed radical chic, spurious “diversity,” and Nurse Ratched’s totalitarian iron fist wrapped in a therapeutic velvet glove. Speech after speech peddled blatant lies, including Bill Clinton’s folksy, mendacious repudiation of every policy and principle that made his own presidency a success until it went up in intern-scented cigar smoke. God and Jerusalem were booed, and a rabbi Eastwooded thousands of empty chairs with a benediction that was careful not to mention God. In the midst of economic disaster, the heads of abortion lobbies like NARAL and Planned Parenthood, and federal functionaries like abortion fundamentalist Kathleen Sebelius, were given ample time to rant and rave about protecting a “woman’s right” to kill the unborn without any limitations. And of course, plagiarist Joe Biden blustered his way through a whole catalogue of lies, claiming Obama “saved the auto industry” when in fact what he saved was the Auto Workers Union, and pronouncing “America has turned a corner!” almost to the day that the national debt hit $16 trillion and the latest jobs report showed paltry job growth and worsening unemployment.

Such a public show of leftist arrogance, coming on the heels of 4 years of incompetence, monstrous deficits, billions of dollars squandered on pork for political clients and cronies, and scorched-earth partisan attacks, should spell doom for Obama and the Democrats. After all, polls reveal that 41% of Americans identify themselves as conservative, while only 23% choose liberal. A recent Rasmussen poll found that 66% of likely voters believe the government has too much power. In another poll, 51% of Americans believe the government is more a threat to individual rights rather than a protector of them. In still another poll, 54% of Americans wanted government “to get out of the way” rather than “lend a hand,” the choice of only 35%. As Dick Morris put it, “It was odd to watch a president commit political suicide by so brazen and overt an embrace of the 35% and a repudiation of the 54%.”

So we should be expecting a landslide somewhere between Nixon’s 23-point drubbing of George McGovern and Reagan’s 10-point whipping of Jimmy Carter, two other big-government progressive Democrats who believed that the limited government, individual rights, and personal freedom bestowed by the Constitution weren’t as important as creating the brave new world of absolute equality and “social justice.” And yet, Obama and Romney are tied in the polls. That per se is not unusual. In June of 1980, Carter led Reagan 39% to 32%, and Carter was still leading in early September. Much can happen between now and November. Just ask John McCain, who was leading Obama by 5 points in early September, only to have the economy implode later that month. What is more mystifying is Obama’s high personal approval numbers, which were up to 54% immediately after his tedious, vacuous convention speech. This number partly reflects something even more curious: his consistently high “likability” numbers, also at 54% according to Gallup. Only 31% find Mitt Romney likable.

The whole notion of “likability” is dubious on its face. What really is being measured is not the actual personality or character of Obama, but the perceptions of an ever-changing image, which is what most of us encounter. Thus subjectivity and duplicity are built into “likability,” particularly when lapdog media relentlessly accentuate and fabricate the positive, and ignore or cover up the negative, as they have done with Obama.

Even so, based on the image of Obama that comes across in his television appearances and statements, it’s hard to see what anyone can find so likable about him. Yes, he has a nice family, and seems to be a good father and husband, but so what? What has that to do with being President? And anyway, no one would label serial philanderer Bill Clinton a good family man, yet his likability numbers are still high.

Unlike Clinton, however, who seems sincerely to be an affable good-ol’-boy who obviously likes people, Obama comes across as quite different. What the media and even some conservatives laughably call his “cool” is actually an arrogant disdain for other people, particularly those who refuse to worship at his shrine. His narcissism is monumental, as when last month he told a group of NBA players, “It’s very rare that I come to an event where I’m like the fifth- or sixth-most interesting person.” This self-regard is made even more distasteful by the gap between it and his obvious incompetence daily revealed in everything from verbal gaffes to ignorance of basic economics, not to mention his utter failure to turn the economy around. He has arrogant mannerisms, such as lifting his chin when he lectures, his addiction to the first-person pronoun, and his verbal tics like “Let me be perfectly clear,” as though he were speaking to incompetent underlings rather than the citizens he supposedly serves. His claims to be “post-racial” have been belied by his incessant dealing of the race card to deflect criticism, as when he called his grandmother a “typical white person” for fearing the statistically factual probability of being the victim of a black criminal.

His nice-guy persona is also belied by his political minions’ vicious ad hominem attacks on Romney and the Republicans, and by his fondness for using scorched-earth tactics against his political enemies. Witness the coarse, unnecessary attack on the Catholic Church over the contraception mandate, or his last minute demand for another $400 billion of tax increases in his negotiations with John Boehner over raising the debt ceiling last year. And let’s not forget his juvenile penchant for blaming others for his own mistakes, particularly his ungracious treatment of his predecessor, made all the more glaring by George Bush’s classy restraint. Finally, there are the numerous unsavory details from his past, such as palling around with terrorist Bill Ayers, getting his political opponents’ sealed divorces record unsealed, spending 20 years in racist Reverend Wright’s church, and profiting from his association with convicted real estate operator Tony Rezko. What’s so “likable” about all that?

The obvious answer, as Rush Limbaugh has argued, is the “Bradley Effect.” In 1982, Los Angeles’s black mayor Tom Bradley had a significant lead over George Deukmejian in the race for California governor, but ended up losing. Some argued that voters lied to pollsters about their support for Bradley because they feared being seen as racist or prejudiced, thus creating the discrepancy between pre-election polls and the final result. Other elections that seemed to reflect this phenomenon were the 1989 New York mayor’s race between Rudy Giuliani and David Dinkins, and the 1989 Virginia governor’s race between Douglas Wilder and Marshall Coleman. Dinkins and Wilder both won their elections, but by margins much narrower than predicted by pre-election polls.

If the “Bradley Effect” is at work in the polls measuring Obama’s likability, then the dysfunction of America’s race relations is even worse than we thought. Obama has governed not as a centrist like Clinton or even a conventional liberal like Bradley or Wilder, but as a doctrinaire progressive who is way out of touch with the center-right American political majority. Nor does his arrogant public personality soften the extremism of his politics. If a significant number of Americans are telling pollsters that they find someone so out of touch with their political beliefs “likable,” just because they’re afraid of appearing “racist” by criticizing a black man, then the race card remains a powerful trump. Whether it’s powerful enough to return a manifest failure to the White House remains to be seen.

Voir enfin:

Romney Pulls Ahead

Dick Morris

September 25, 2012

The published polling in this year’s presidential race is unusually inaccurate because this is the first election in which who votes determines how they vote. Obama’s massive leads among blacks, Latinos, young people, and single women vie with Romney’s margin among the elderly, married white women, and white men. Tell me your demographic and I’ll tell you who you’re voting for and I’ll be right at least two times out of three!

Most pollsters are weighting their data on the assumption that the 2012 electorate will turn out in the same proportion as the 2008 voters did. But polling indicates a distinct lack of enthusiasm for the president among his core constituency. He’ll still carry them by heavy margins, but the turnout will likely lag behind the 2008 stats. (The 2008 turnout was totally unlike that in other years with all-time historic high turnouts among Obama’s main demographic groups).

Specifically, most pollsters are using 2008 party preferences to weight their 2012 survey samples, reflecting a much larger Democratic preference than is now really the case.

In my own polling, I found a lurch to the Democrats right after their convention, but subsequent research indicates that it has since petered out. Indeed, when one compares party identification in the August and September polls of this year in swing states, the Democratic Party identification is flat while the ranks of Republicans rose by an average of two points per state.

Pollster Scott Rasmussen has the best solution to the party id problem. He weights his polls to reflect the unweighted party identification of the previous three weeks, so he has a dynamic model which adjusts for sampling error but still takes account of gradual changes in the electorate’s partisan preferences.

Finally, with Obama below 50% of the vote in most swing states, he is hitting up against a glass ceiling in the high 40s. He can’t get past it except in heavily Democratic states like New York or California. The first time Obama breaks 50 will not be on Election Day. Either he consistently polls above 50% of the vote or he won’t ever get there in the actual vote.

So here’s where the race really stands today based on Rasmussen’s polling:

• Romney leads decisively in all states McCain carried (173 electoral votes).

• Romney is more than ten points ahead in Indiana – which Obama carried. (11 electoral votes)

• Romney leads Obama in the following states the president carried in 2008: Iowa (44-47) North Carolina (45-51), Colorado (45-47), and New Hampshire (45-48). He’ll probably win them all. (34 electoral votes).

This comes to 218 of the 270 Romney needs. But…

• Obama is below 50% of the vote in a handful of key swing states and leads Romney by razor thin margins in each one. All these states will go for Romney unless and until Obama can show polling support of 50% of the vote:

• Obama leads in Ohio (47-46) and Virginia (49-48) by only 1 point (31 electoral votes)

• Obama leads in Florida (48-46) and Nevada (47-45) by only 2 points (35 electoral votes)

If Romney carries Ohio, Virginia, and Florida, he wins. And other states are in play.

• Obama leads in Wisconsin (49-46) by only 3 points (10 electoral votes)

• Obama’s lead in Michigan is down to four points according to a recent statewide poll

• Obama is only getting 51% of the vote in Pennsylvania and 53% in New Jersey. And don’t count out New Mexico.

It would be accurate to describe the race now as tied. But Romney has the edge because:

• The incumbent is under 50% in key states and nationally. He will probably lose any state where he is below 50% of the vote.

• The Republican enthusiasm and likelihood of voting is higher

• The GOP field organization is better.

That’s the real state of play today


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