Thursday, July 11, 2013

Hezbollah: to ban or not to ban? Britain pushes EU to designate military wing as terrorists

Hezbollah: to ban or not to ban? Britain pushes EU to designate military wing as terrorists

Britain pushes EU to ban Hezbollah military wing later this month, as opposition to proscribing Lebanon-based group wanes in wake of Bulgaria bus bomb attack

by The Commentator on 11 July 2013 14:48
The World Jewish Congress (WJC) is reporting Thursday that Britain is pushing the European Union to designate Lebanon-based Hezbollah's military wing as a terrorist organisation at an upcoming European summit on July 22.
The move, which would be a landmark volte-face for Europe, marks a slap in the face by British Prime Minister David Cameron to the British Foreign Office, which has long sought to engage with groups such as Hezbollah and Gaza-based Hamas. Both groups are already designated as terror groups by the Obama administration in the United States.
This all comes in the aftermath of a bus bombing in Bulgaria in July last year which killed five Israeli tourists and one Bulgarian, with dozens wounded.
The WJC, whose European headquarters are in Brussels, said:
"London has asked for the issue to be put on the agenda of the next EU Council of Ministers meeting in Brussels. It is backed by France and Germany and also by the Netherlands, a country which already designates Hezbollah as a whole as a terror organization."
Previously, France in particularly had been ambivalent about calling Hezbollah a terror group because of the organisation's powerful presence in Lebanese politics. France is the former colonial power in Lebanon.
However, the World Jewish Congress reported that there appears to have been a change of heart among many European governments following the Bulgarian attack, and in view of British diplomatic pressure.
The WJC, the leading representative organisation of Jewish communities across the world, said:
"A diplomat from one EU country that had doubts about blacklisting Hezbollah's military wing said Britain had provided more information in support of its request."
"I haven't heard lately that any state - probably a question mark is Prague - is so dead against this that they will prevent a consensus. At the end of the day nobody wants to be the defender of the military wing of Hezbollah," the diplomat was quoted by the WJC as saying.
Even if the British-inspired move is adopted, it will not please everyone. Critics argue that it is futile to distinguish between "political" and "military" wings of Hezbollah. They add that unless the organisation as a whole is outlawed, Hezbollah will still be permitted to raise funds and use bank accounts in Europe.
A source at the WJC in Belgium told The Commentator they understood that the European Union is now almost certain to adopt a legally binding resolution calling Hezbollah's military wing a terror group.
The British Foreign Office's senior staff are said to be conflicted by the move.



This is how it’s always been, know your place as a dhimmi, and hide when the Muslim mob gets moving.


CAIRO (AP) — With a mob of Muslim extremists on their tail, the Christian businessman and his nephew climbed up on the roof and ran for their lives, jumping from building to building in their southern Egyptian village. Finally they ran out of rooftops.
Forced back onto the street, they were overwhelmed by several dozen men. The attackers hacked them with axes and beat them with clubs and tree limbs, killing Emile Naseem, 41. The nephew survived with wounds to his shoulders and head and recounted the chase to The Associated Press.
The mob’s rampage through the village of Nagaa Hassan, burning dozens of Christian houses and stabbing to death three other Christians as well, came two days after the military ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi from power. It was no coincidence the attackers focused on Naseem and his family: He was the village’s most prominent campaigner calling for Morsi’s removal.
Some Christians are paying the price for their activism against Morsi and his Islamist allies in a backlash over his ouster last week.
Since then, there has been a string of attacks on Christians in provinces that are strongholds of hard-liners. In the Sinai Peninsula, where militant groups run rampant, militants gunned down a priest in a drive-by shooting as he walked in a public market.
More here.
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  1. Pingback: Persecución de cristianos en Egípto. Cristianos árabes quieren unirse al IDF | NUEVA EUROPA- Nueva Eurabia



As we promised our readers, despite our health issues that prevent us from daily posts, An Excellent Spirit has carefully followed the various scandals that are plaguing the Obama Administration:
Benghazi- What was Ambassador Stevens really doing and what really happened on September 11, 2012 in Libya. Was there a cover up of what was done or what was not done? Where was the President on that fateful day? Why were our troops told to “stand down” and let four Americans die? What happened to General Jack Ham and Admiral Gaouette on that day/night? Who made these decisions? WHY?

An Excellent Spirit has previously provided extensive coverage of Benghazi. We invite you to review that here.
PJ Media’s Roger L. Simon
The latest stories come from PJ Media and its head man, Roger L. Simon here and here: Then there is the IRS Investigation and actions against Conservative (Christian) groups applying for or having tax exempt status.  Here are a sample of the many stories coming out that indicate this was a conscious strategy of the Obama Administration. Here and here  This story reveals the extent to which the IRS went with its questions.  Who instituted or approved these actions? Clearly, with the “testimony” of Ms. Lerner, we can presume that the activities were criminal and were NOT the independent actions of a few low level employees of the IRS in Cincinnati, Ohio. Why has a total black out of this Cincinnati office occurred?  Moreover, it would seem a systematic attempt was made to insulate the President from these actions. Why? That brings us to that question: What did the President know and when did the President know it?

Perhaps the most glaring is The Associated Press/Fox News illegal investigation by US Justice Department subpoenas. The role of US Attorney General Eric Holder and others in all this is beginning to come out. Holder, we now know, signed the affidavit that was presented to a judge for these illegal subpoenas. This is huge!  Read about it here. But that is not all! This story in PJ Tatler is more than enough reason for the Attorney General to immediately resign and submit himself to the questions of the yet to be appointed Joint Congressional Committee.  Eric Holder, if the facts presented in the PJ Tatler story are true, has committed perjury, lied to Congress while under oath to tell the truth and that is only the beginning.
This is really funny! If we both keep our mouths shut, they will never know the truth! About anything!
Then there is the Fast & Furious Investigation, the intentionally withholding facts and truth due to an upcoming Election (remember Nixon and Watergate?) and the actions of Secretary Sibelius and others in ramming Obamacare down the throats of Americans. There are more issues/scandals that we do and do not know of, but the above recitation is surely enough to get all this off the front pages of the lamestream media that will go to absurd lengths to protect Obama and the “progressive” rule of a Middle/Right America, silent no longer majority and on to the agenda of a Special Congressional Committee!
LIARS are an affront to the American people and to GOD!
It is time for all Americans to become informed! It is time all Americans stood up and speak out on all these atrocities our government has committed against ALL Americans and the US Constitution that protects us from such criminal activities as illegal search and seizure of AP/Fox records, IRS intrusion into the tax exempt status of organizations and the resulting harm to ALL Americans and the rest of the growing litany of excesses of an out of control Obama Administration.

The last time this occurred in America it was during the Right reign of Richard Milhous Nixon. We had a Left/Progressive, anti-Nixon media. They did their job and, despite their obvious relish at Nixon’s fall, they did their job well. They saw to it that the truth came out and people who deserved it went to jail. Sadly, that is NOT the case today! We have a far Left President and a far Left, lamestream media. They have proven that they will not do the job of holding the Obama Administration to the fire and cause the whole truth to come out on even one of these scandals, much less five or more. We cannot trust them or anyone else. We must get the truth and the only way that can happen is if we demand that those who we have elected to represent us, the US Senators and US Representatives, the House and Senate convene a special investigative committee to protect our right to know the whole truth about everything done in our names.
Hillary Clinton at Watergate when she was fired for her actions and Hillary today when she should be fired and indicted for her actions and the cover up!
To everything there is a season. A time for understanding and a time for truth. This is such a time! The time is NOW!
FULL DISCLOSURE: In case it has escaped you, we are unabashed followers of PJ Media, PJ Tatler, Brietbart other sources of information and opinion that comes from a more Right and less Left perspective. That is our “bent” but it is also what we must do to get an even close to balanced viewpoint, with the massive and unsupportable Left, “Progressive” bias of the lamestream media. We have posted previously on these and other sources of information. We highly recommend our readers review that post here.
Stay tuned, America! An Excellent Spirit will keep you informed and up to date. God bless America!

Benghazi Hearings Preview

On September 14, 2012, An Excellent Spirit began our coverage of the events that took place in that Libyan diplomatic outpost with the murders of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Former US Navy Seals Glen Doherty and, Tyrone Woods and USAF Officer Sean Smith. Since that time we have filed fourteen stories covering facts and issues raised by the Obama Administration’s bungled handling of this attack on US soil in Libya, whether the deaths were necessary, the stories and cover up immediately begun by the Obama Administration, including the relieving of two line battle field commanders that were on duty that day and who were allegedly relieved to prevent them from coming to rescue the four dead Americans. Here is a complete round up of all our stories, chronologically.

Today, May 8, 2013, nearly nine months after that fateful day, Americans are no nearer to getting a truthful reckoning of what took place in Benghazi, what America was doing there and what was done to secure the persons before the attack and during the over 7 hours of fighting that led to the four deaths. There were approximately 30 survivors of the Benghazi attacks and most of these people have never been interviewed or reported on by our lamestream media. The almost total silence to date about any of these survivors leads one to conclude that they have been silenced by our government so the American people cannot know what they have to say took place.
Then there is the matter of the central actors in the American government, from President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mike Mullen and the literally hundreds of state department, CIA, Army and Navy personnel that were on duty, deployed or available for deployment on that day. We know too little about what, if anything, almost all of these high officials did on that day. There have been few reports and almost nothing, save the State Department’s review of the events, a whitewash of epic proportions, as are most such covers up.
Finally, there is the truth. The unvarnished facts and statements that some or all of these actors made; the actions that they took or did not take and the activities they and others acting upon their behalves took to cover up their failures and dereliction of duty on that fateful day when four Americans sent into harm’s way by the President and Secretary of State died at the hands of murderers in Libya.
Tomorrow, the House of Representatives, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Chaired by Representative Darrel Issa of California will hold hearings aimed at getting the truth out for the American people to see. Some are predicting a train wreck for the Obama Administration, for Hillary Clinton, even President Obama. Read more  At least three “whistleblowers”, people who were either in Libya or worked for the government agencies on that day and thereafter are expected to testify and the preliminary indications (witnesses are always questioned, under oath, prior to actual testimony, so a good deal of what they will say is known or expected) are that there will be much that contradicts the President’s statements, actions and handling of the issue as well as Sec. Clinton, Sec. Panetta and others. Hold onto your hats.

These hearings are never easy. There are always demands for a “smoking gun” and questions of motive, both of those investigated and those doing the investigation. Since the “I” word, Impeachment has already been variously written about, the matter of “high crimes and misdemeanors” will be bandied about, as that is the standard for any successful impeachment of any Federal Official. We will also most probably hear words like “gross negligence”, dereliction of duty, lying to the American people and it’s criminal counterpart, perjury. We already know that official statements given by one or more individuals, departments or agencies were “scrubbed” or cleansed by people to clean up the language and make it less newsworthy or more palatable for the press. We also know that September 11, 2012 was 56 days prior to the November 5th Presidential Election. What impact did that fact have on the decisions that were taken on September 11th? And, especially what impact did the Election have on those made between September 12th and November 5th and after Election Day?
There have been literally hundreds of reports, stories and accusations flying around for nine months. It is now time to land the squadrons of approbation and, hopefully, also land the air-wing of truth, so the American people can first know what happened to their four sons and what to expect of the hundreds of thousands of sons and daughters deployed around the world at this writing. Next, Americans are entitled to the truth: the whole truth and nothing but the truth, under oath, so help them God! That is the only reasonable standard of a Republic of truth telling men and women and the only way America can remain a free, brave nation!
There are two articles that An Excellent Spirit deems worthy of interest for those who want to prepare for the hearings, to have some context by which to understand better what will be said. The first is by Steve Hayes of The Weekly Standard. It is a comprehensive timeline and review of what is known to date and will be most helpful to anyone interested in the truth. Here it is in three parts.  An Excellent Spirit highly recommends reading the article and paying close attention to the talking points memo that was scrubbed or changed materially to deny the American people even a modicum of truth about what happened.
The second article is by Brian Preston of PJ Tatler, a part of Roger L. Simon’s PJ Media group. This article is part speculation and part attempt to fit the results into a pattern of what is known about the actions taken by the key actors and come to some reasonable conclusion as to what actually took place on September 11th, 2012 and in the months following. It is quite good and less speculation than inference and deduction. Read the whole thing here.  For those who want more information, we recommend they go to Brietbart, PJ Media, PJTV, The Daily Caller, Drudge, The National Review Online and The Weekly Standard online. The lamestream media has, wonder of wonders, abdicated its duty to report the news to Americans if that news does Obama or his narrative harm. These organizations have proven themselves to be faithful and true information sources that are dependable.

Finally, we have a few questions that we are looking to have answered, based upon our research and previous coverage of the Benghazi Scandal and Cover Up. Two current stories assist us in formulating those questions. First by Roger L. Simon the boss man at the PJ Media group and this, by Michael Walsh. We recommend our readers go through each carefully. There are hundreds of stories that apply. Many from the blogs listed above.
For our part, An Excellent Spirit will be paying close attention to testimony dealing with what President Obama was doing that day and night. We know he was briefed at the White House that day by his National Security team and others. He was informed of the attack on Benghazi, real time. We also know that Panetta said he never spoke to the President again that day or night! Where was Obama? What was he doing after being told Americans in a foreign land were under attack and at risk? Who did he speak with and when? Echoes of Tennessee Senator Howard Baker “What did the President know and when did he know it” are beginning to reverberate in our heads.

Again, we know some irrefutable things. President Obama said, in a television interview, a few days after September 11th, “Well, we are finding out exactly what happened,” the president again said. “I can tell you, as I’ve said over the last couple of months since this happened, the minute I found out what was happening, I gave three very clear directives. Number one, make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to. Number two, we’re going to investigate exactly what happened so that it doesn’t happen again. Number three, find out who did this so we can bring them to justice. And I guarantee you that everyone in the state department, our military, the CIA, you name it, had number one priority making sure that people were safe. These were our folks and we’re going to find out exactly what happened, but what we’re also going to do it make sure that we are identifying those who carried out these terrible attacks.” Here is one of but a few videos of President Obama responding to questions about what he did following the Benghazi attack. These videos of the President clearly saying that he gave instructions (orders?) about the Benghazi attack upon learning of it are irrefutable evidence that President Obama’s as President and Commander in Chief of US military forces, gave “very clear directives” to secure our people. “Well, we are finding out exactly what happened,” the president again said. “I can tell you, as I’ve said over the last couple of months since this happened, the minute I found out what was happening, I gave three very clear directives. Number one, make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to. Number two, we’re going to investigate exactly what happened so that it doesn’t happen again. Number three, find out who did this so we can bring them to justice. And I guarantee you that everyone in the state department, our military, the CIA, you name it, had number one priority making sure that people were safe. These were our folks and we’re going to find out exactly what happened, but what we’re also going to do it make sure that we are identifying those who carried out these terrible attacks.” Here is one of but a few videos of President Obama responding to questions about what he did following the Benghazi attack. These videos of the President clearly saying that he gave instructions (orders?) about the Benghazi attack upon learning of it are irrefutable evidence that President Obama’s as President and Commander in Chief of US military forces, gave “very clear directives” to secure our people.”  In another post, we even have a video of Obama saying the same thing. He gave orders to secure our people! That same post, “Benghazi – Did It Ever Happen also deals with three other questions we pray will be answered at tomorrow’s hearings. First there is the question of Cross Border Authority. As former Seal, Matt Bracken clearly set forth, anytime US Forces are ordered by their Commander into another nation, they must get, in advance, Cross Border Authority from the President of the United States! We can be pretty sure that it was never given with respect to Benghazi on September 11-12, 2012. Why? How does that square with Obama’s quote that he “ordered” our men be secured? The more recent speculation about what could have been done and that it might or might not have saved those lives does not change the fact. When your troops are under fire, you go get them. Whether you get there in time or not, that is for after battle review. No man left behind is and must be our Rules of Engagement (ROI)!
Finally there are the cases of two line commanders, in theater that night, both of whom were apparently relieved of duty in the field, during the fight! Gen Jack Ham and Admiral John Gaouette were both relieved of duty that night. Gen Ham has been permitted to retire and we have no current information about the current status of Admiral Gaouette. An Excellent Spirit covered all this in this post 
That is a lot to ask for in one hearing. Let us hope this first one goes on long enough to unearth answers to these and other questions. Let us hope and pray that the Obama Administration has answers and facts that lead away from dereliction of duty and impeachment. That President Obama is one of the least prepared men in our history to be President is established. The whole world, our friends and our enemies know his failings. It would be tragic if there were more to it than plain negligence and lack of understanding. That said, America, in this dangerous world had better begin to get to the bottom of all this and fast! We have been terrorized and threatened with more and increased terror. And we have been threatened with nuclear attack by North Korea and others (IRAN).
It is time America knew the whole truth. How else can America remain the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave?  Stay tuned.

Whole Lot of Shaking Going to Happen!

With God’s help, An Excellent Spirit will post on the Benghazi Hearings beginning tomorrow and the increasing prospects that, unless President Obama begins to come clean and tell America the truth about what he did and did not do and did or did not order on the night of September 11, 2012, he could be impeached! Stories like these are beginning to come out. Here An Excellent Spirit posted at length about Cross Border Authority and how, if Obama ordered “everything be immediately done to secure the lives of the Americans on the ground in Benghazi” on the fateful night when four Americans died, apparently from gross neglect of duty by the President himself and Sec. State Clinton, Sec. Def. Panetta and others, NOTHING WAS DONE AND FOUR BRAVE AMERICANS DIED! Here

The other subject on which we feel led to post is the issue of LIARS and the LIES they tell. What happens to these demonic individuals? What can Americans begin to expect a Holy God to do in support of HIS OWN WORD? His Word is forever settled in Heaven(Ps119:89); It is exalted, even above HIS NAME! (Ps 138:2) His Word does not return to God void(Isaiah 55:11a); it accomplished ALL that God sets it to do!(Isaiah 55:11b) God is NOT a man that HE should LIE, not is God the son of a man that HE should repent` take back His Word! (Numbers 23:19)  Finally, God says, “Have I not said it (MY WORD) and shall I not bring it (My Word) to pass”? (Ezekiel 12:25) What will become of those who are revealed to be LIARS against the TRUTH and God’s Holy admonishment that we are to be Holy because HE, GOD ALMIGHTY, our Creator and Heavenly Father, IS HOLY?  An Excellent Spirit will attempt to set forth a few options and see what our readers think. Stay tuned, Mishpucka! Baruch HaShem!

Benghazi Eruption Next Week

Wow! An Excellent Spirit has not posted in over three months due to our health issues. As promised, we have kept current on all topics and issues beleaguering America and our posts on Benghazi now seem to be coming true. Here is a round up of those previous posts. The last post we did was on our see no evil, hear no evil, know nothing about Benghazi President, the Appeaser in Chief. Today with this WAPO story by the indefatigable Jennifer Rubin, on her WAPO blog, The Right Turn, the bloom is off that rose! Here This one is a must read! Put simply, the blue ribbon panel headed by former Asst US Sec. State Thomas Pickering and former Joint Chief of Staff General Mike Mullen has come in for more than a little public criticism in how they did not do their job to investigate the US government’s role in the Benghazi murders, the resulting cover up and the roles of President Obama, Sec. State Hillary Clinton and others.

According to Rubin’s blog, “Fox News, which broke the story, reports: “The IG’s office is said by well-placed sources to be seeking to determine whether the Accountability Review Board, or ARB — led by former U.N. Ambassador Thomas Pickering and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen — failed to interview key witnesses who had asked to provide their accounts of the Benghazi attacks to the panel.” The report observes, “This disclosure marks a significant turn in the ongoing Benghazi case, as it calls into question the reliability of the blue-ribbon panel that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton convened to review the entire matter. Until the report was concluded, she and all other senior Obama administration officials regularly refused to answer questions about what happened in Benghazi. Now the methodology and final product of the ARB are themselves coming under the scrutiny of the department’s own top auditor.”
As one observer, the veteran, credible John Bolton put it, “This is unprecedented. Or, as a former national security figure critical of the president put it, “Zowie!” Former United Nations ambassador John Bolton wrote in an email to me, “I’ve never heard of anything like it!” He emphasized, “I’ve never heard of an IG investigating an ARB. I don’t think there have been that many ARB’s which is what makes it unusual.”
There is more, “Some Republican lawmakers allege that the review board, led by retired Ambassador Thomas Pickering and former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen, was rigged to protect Clinton, a potential 2016 presidential contender who wasn’t interviewed as part of the probe. Doug Welty, a spokesman for the IG’s office, said the office is responsive to lawmakers’ concerns; he said this is the first time the office will review an ARB process, although it has in the past reviewed how well the State Department has followed through on the recommendations of other review boards formed after security breaches.”
Rubin concludes her post “We will see if the mainstream media cover “the cover-up of the cover-up,” which is what the headlines would surely blast in a Republican administration. I doubt it. Jay Carney had the gall this week to brush off questions about Benghazi, saying it happened a long time ago. That’s akin to the man who kills his parents and throws himself upon the mercy of the court as an orphan. If the administration, including the White House, had come clean on precisely what happened, what Obama and Clinton were up to on the night of the attack, how they missed the threat of al-Qaeda in Libya (now we hear three al-Qaeda operatives ran the attack) and why a false narrative was perpetrated for so long, we wouldn’t, seven months later, still not have answers to basic questions. And if the press had done its job, we would have gotten to the root of this mess before the presidential election.

What difference does it make? Well, that’s a question that no reporter or pol would dare ask about a Republican national security failure and scandal of this magnitude. As with the trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell, the mainstream media have tried to avert their eyes, label it non-news and blame it all on partisan politics; but, as with Gosnell, that trick won’t last forever. All Emphasis ours!
For your information, here are a few recent articles on Benghazi and the upcoming hearings next week.
A review of previous post on An Excellent Spirit will make us look good, but we are reminded of a time past in 1973, when we were at dinner in Jimmy’s Restaurant in Manhattan on 52nd St. For you really old timers, Jimmy’s was the successor to Toot’s Shore’s Restaurant and fabled watering hole in NYC. At that dinner were four nationally known reporters. Three are alive and cannot be named. One has passed, Jack Newfield, of the Village Voice, a man I was privileged to call friend. The other three were a national reporter for Newsweek, a New York Times political reporter/editor and a WAPO political reporter. We were having dinner and the subject was Watergate, which was just starting to heat up. It would be at least a year before it mushroomed into the nuclear devastation that ended Richard Nixon’s Presidency. At that dinner the Newsweek and WAPO reporters told us, “We have got him!” “We know enough to know that he is toast and we will drag this out, revelation by revelation until impeachment. If Nixon does not quit, he will go to jail. Whether he quits or makes a deal, we have Dean spilling his guts and Colson, H.R. Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Stans and Mitchell and many more are going to jail. It is a done deal!” This was months before any of this was known publically, before the Watergate impeachment hearings in Congress, Grand Juries and the like. The media knew then and the media knows now.
The media, now known as our “lamestream media for its obvious, tragic and treasonous desertion of its own guiding principles (which includes our national press) knows what they know and those who know the media are clued in variously. The times however have changed. Today, they do not uncover and unearth the scandalous, illegal behavior of the High and Mighty. Today they cover it up because the leftist, anti-American narrative they have totally bought into demands it. Their editors, unlike Ben Bradley and publishers, unlike Martha Graham, are more interested in their political bona fides than in their journalistic integrity.
And that is the whole truth, America as best as we can determine and bring it to our readers. Stay tuned, health permitting, An Excellent Spirit feels obligated to bring the truth to an America choking on the awful lies told by a gaggle of liars who are supposed to lead America and tell us only truth.

Retired SEALs and Officers Want Benghazi Investigation. Now!

An Excellent Spirit in keeping with its promise to inform our readers about the Benghazi scandal, the murders of four heroes, the government complicity with the lamestream media to keep “us” in the dark, the high level military firings and the outright lies that the Obama Administration has been telling all of “us”, has seen this website of retired “special operations” officers that is calling for the immediate investigation of the President and his administration. The site, Special Operations Speaks, was first noticed back in June by Townhall’s Austin Bay in connection with the Obama Administration’s leaking of documents and details of the bin Laden raid that killed the terrorist in Pakistan. “Which brings us to SOS. A Vietnam vet friend tipped me to its unfinished website, Special Operations The message: A cadre of retired U.S. special operations personnel is fed up with leaks that compromise covert U.S. operations and imprison pro-American sympathizers. Their mission: stop the leaks by firing the leaker-in-chief. A former SEAL and commandant of the SEAL training center, retired U.S. Navy Capt. Larry Bailey, organized the group. I asked him, over the phone, why he formed it. He replied: “I’m pissed.” Bailey knows the leaks put U.S. security and the lives of American spies and SEALS at risk, so he’s fighting a political fight, seeded with his own money. He’ll take donations, you bet. Yes, he expects dirty personal attacks impugning his motives. Bailey and his shoestring SOS are Obama’s worst election year nightmare — special ops guys who publicly question his leadership and judgment. Obama’s most potent campaign tout is “I got bin Laden.” With SOS in the mix, the potent tout suddenly sounds just a tad pathetic.”
Retired Navy Seal Bailey
That was June. Now, in November, the updated site is calling for a full investigation and, if warranted, prosecution and even impeachment. “Special Operations Speaks Demands An Investigation To Uncover Potential High Crimes And Misdemeanors In Benghazigate” The statement by Larry Bailey, Captain (SEAL), USN (Retired), the Co-Founder, Special Operations Speaks and Joe Stringham, BG, USA (Ret), Special Forces/Ranger and Chairman of Special Operations Speaks PAC says, in part that “The President and his administration told outrageous lie after outrageous lie to the American people and at the United Nations for weeks after the 9-11-12 attacks. He will never be trusted again to speak the truth. That is why it is essential to appoint an independent prosecutor to investigate the scope of Obama and his administration’s culpability and total incompetence if not complicity with regard to these grave losses,” said Dick Brauer, Col, USAF (Ret), Air Commando. The statement concludes, “The question remains, do these actions constitute High Crimes and Misdemeanors? SOS PAC believes that an independent investigation with a special prosecutor is the only way Americans will learn the truth. If Obama is guilty of High Crimes and Misdemeanors we implore Congress to take every action in their power to hold this President and his administration accountable – up to impeachment and/or indictments. “No matter how November 6th plays out, Obama must be held responsible for his actions as a failed Commander in Chief,” said Joe Stringham, BG, USA (Ret), Special Forces/Ranger and Chairman of Special Operations Speaks PAC.”
Retired Gen. Joe Stringham
An Excellent Spirit recalls “Swift Boat Veterans For Truth” in 2004 when John Kerry was lambasted by a group of retired “truth tellers” as he ran for President. This is vastly different. This group is apparently much deeper and better funded. That group was led by a few former veterans of Viet Nam and Cambodia who served with Kerry. The SOS group lists over 50 retired officers of high rank (Colonels and Majors). Other information on their site refers to retired Generals. These men and women are asking for investigation into “high crimes and misdemeanors”. That is the legal standard for the impeachment of a President.
The Special Operations Speaks has posted on the story that President Obama may not have given Cross Border Authority as we detailed for our readers. “As more information comes to the light about the Obama administration’s Benghazi cover-up, a former Navy SEAL officer who once took a military detachment to Libya suggests President Barack Obama was either AWOL — essentially an “empty chair” — or deliberately denied Americans under siege in Benghazi the aid they needed by not authorizing “cross-border authority,” without which rescue operations could have taken place. Matt Bracken, the former SEAL, writes “only the president can give the order for our military to cross a nation’s border without that nation’s permission.” He notes that Obama granted “cross-border authority” for Americans to enter Pakistani airspace to take out Osama bin Laden but, “in order to prevent a military rescue in Benghazi,” all Obama had to do was not grant the authority and any rescue missions would not have been able to go forward without the CBA. As soon as terrorists attacked the U.S. consulate in Libya, dozens of headquarters — including AFRICOM  and EUROCOM — are notified so they can begin their planning for rescue operations, but, as Braken writes, “there is one thing they can’t do without explicit orders from the president: cross an international border on a hostile mission.”
An Excellent Spirit has reported many other extraordinary details of the Benghazi mess and we believe that this scandal may well be as bad or worse than Watergate and Iran-Contra combined. The timeline, the relief (arrest?) of front line commanders on the battlefield is unprecedented and demands full disclosure and accountability. The fact that there is an Election in the midst of all this is about to be removed on November 6th. The Obama Administration’s failure or refusal (or both) to recount a true, cogent explanation for all events in Benghazi is the principal reason that the fire is building from the ashes of the murders in Libya to a conflagration of massive size and destruction in the aftermath of tragedy. Stay tuned for more. And more. And more.

Is Benghazi Worse Than Watergate? Did Someone Commit Treason?

An Excellent Spirit has wondered what will happen if President Obama manages to win the Election and the Benghazi lies, liars and immense cover up ever get exposed to the American people. PJ Media’s Roger Simon apparently thinks the same way. In this article today, Simon goes even further. Its title may give a hint: “Beyond Impeachment: Obama Treasonous over Benghazi”. Mr. Simon in his inimitable style asks: “Is it treason when you put your own reelection above the good of your country and the lives of its citizens? If so, Barack Obama committed treason in leaving the four Americans to die in Benghazi. Our Constitution defines it this way: “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.”

Then the purveyor of the Pajamas Media empire really gets down to brass tacks: “When you ascribe an action to the protest of a video when it is actuality a planned terror attack by Ansar al-Shariah, an established offshoot of al-Qaeda (if that’s not your “enemy,” then who) — and you knew that all along, you watched it live without doing anything, and then you told those who wanted to help to “stand down”? Meanwhile, our government may have been conspiring to arm another offshoot of al-Qaeda in Syria. How much more treasonous can you get? Benedict Arnold was a piker.” 
Watergate was really all about the stupendous and unwarranted egos of the President and those who worked for him. Once the scandal got out, they thought they could cover it up through the upcoming Election and forever, so they began the actions that led to the impeachment, then resignation of President Nixon and the jailing of many of his closest associates in the White House.
Nixon leaves after resignation.
Those were crimes. People went to jail and Nixon may have been spared jail by President Ford’s pardon upon assuming the Presidency. No one died and Watergate was not about the military, Nixon’s role as Commander in Chief or what was done in a theater of war during wartime. Benghazi is different in that critical respect. Simon is, therefore, correct in discussing treason because that is the crime that could have been committed here by those in the White House and covered up by “all of this President’s men and women”.
Watergate scandal meeting at White House. Nixon, Erlichman, Halderman and Chapin
Another difference is that in 1972, The Washington Post was led by Editor Ben Bradley who assigned two cub reporters, Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward to the story and let them go where the evidence led. Today, those lamestream media outlets are part of the cover up, choosing not to cover the story because it might lead to President Obama losing the Election.  If Simon is right or anywhere near right, it may turn out that the lamestream media has done America no favor, as the number of high Administration people lining up for jail may exceed Watergate’s awful tally in that respect.Simon notes that the escalation to treason is almost unavoidable. When “left” denizens like Carter pollster Pat Caddell begin to speak out against what the lamestream media is not reporting and against what the President knew and when he knew it, things will probably get worse. “Indeed, the discussion of Benghazi has just begun. And don’t be surprised if the conversation escalates from impeachment to treason very quickly. In fact, if Obama wins reelection you can bet on it. The cries of treason will be unstoppable. Not even if the mainstream media will be able to deny them. As Pat Caddell noted, those same media lapdogs have muzzled themselves in an unprecedented manner in this matter, but our Canadian friends at least have some semblance of honor left, writing: It is undoubtedly worse than Obama simply turned his back on cornered American citizens in a foreign land, knowing undoubtedly they would die. But that Barack did so without any compelling reason—except political—is beyond evil. Only a moral monster would have made that decision when it was within his powers to possibly save them with almost no effort of his own.” 
Then there is this. Whether or not the Senate changes hands, the House will almost certainly remain in Republican control. The House Committee on Government Oversight is chaired by Rep. Daryl Issa (R-Ca), one of the richest, self-made men in Congress. Issa is already on the Fast & Furious Scandal and the likelihood that “gunwalking” was a major part of the Benghazi mess is looming larger by the day. Issa and his Committee have subpoena power, jurisdiction and will certainly hold hearings after Election Day. Whether the press covers them or not, the US Attorney will be forced to monitor those hearings and will have to take action if and when criminal activities are revealed, under oath before Congress. 
Rep. Daryl Issa (R-Ca.) House Oversight Committee Chairman
Roger Simon is no “loose cannon”. He is a veteran journalist, Hollywood writer and thinker. When Simon talks treason, Americans should pay attention. Simon has some facts. Facts that An Excellent Spirit has already begun to develop: “Rumors abound. According to Admiral Lyons writing in the Washington Times, …one of Stevens’ main missions in Libya was to facilitate the transfer of much of Gadhafi’s military equipment, including the deadly SA-7 – portable SAMs – to Islamists and other al Qaeda-affiliated groups fighting the Assad Regime in Syria. In an excellent article, Aaron Klein states that Stevens routinely used our Benghazi consulate (mission) to coordinate the Turkish, Saudi Arabian and Qatari governments’ support for insurgencies throughout the Middle East. Further, according to Egyptian security sources, Stevens played a “central role in recruiting Islamic jihadists to fight the Assad Regime in Syria.” Lyons adds, citing a Clare Lopez article at, …that there were two large warehouse-type buildings associated with our Benghazi mission. During the terrorist attack, the warehouses were probably looted. We do not know what was there and if it was being administrated by our two former Navy SEALs and the CIA operatives who were in Benghazi. Nonetheless, the equipment was going to hardline jihadis. Do we know that for sure? I certainly don’t, although on the face of it sounds like a “Fast & Furious” scandal on a global scale with extraordinary geopolitical implications. But I imagine there are those who do know the truth, or a lot of it, considering the events were being watched in real time. None of this, of course, exonerates our government in not giving support to our four now dead men in the field. Many questions remain to be answered. But I do not think I am being excessive in raising the treason accusation. I would be pleased to withdraw it if proven wrong. 
This Patriot Action Network (Tea Party) Alert, if true could blow the lid off the Pentagon and the Obama Administration. The alert references stories in The Washington Times about Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. “On October 18th, 2012 Sec. of Defense, Leon Panetta announced that President Obama would ill nominate General David Rodriguez to succeed General Carter Ham as commander of U.S. Africa Command.” This came as a surprise to many, since General Ham had only been in the position for a year and a half. The General is a very well regarded officer who made AFRICOM into a true Combatant Command after the ineffective leadership of his predecessor, General William E. “Kip” Ward. Later, word circulated informally that General Ham was scheduled to rotate out in March 2013 anyway, but according to Joint doctrine, ”the tour length for combatant commanders and Defense agency directors is three years.” Some assumed that he was leaving for unspecified personal reasons.” That was over a months after Benghazi and the Obama Administration was in full spin mode about what really took place and what they did. Few people noticed that Ham’s AFRICOM Command included Benghazi.”
The Washington Times was not so blind. This story on October 28th asked if General Ham lost his command over the Benghazi affair. “Is an American General losing his job for trying to save the Americans besieged in Benghazi? This is the latest potential wrinkle in the growing scandal surrounding the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack that left four men dead and President Obama scrambling for a coherent explanation.”
Two days before the Times piece, on October 26th, “Ambassador” posted the following RUMINT on TigerDroppings (h/t Jim Hoft): I heard a story today from someone inside the military that I trust entirely. The story was in reference to General Ham that Panetta referenced in the quote below. ”(The) basic principle is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on; without having some real-time information about what’s taking place,” Panetta told Pentagon reporters. “And as a result of not having that kind of information, the commander who was on the ground in that area, Gen. Ham, Gen. Dempsey and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation.” This quote was widely circulated in the news and on TV clips as the reason that no rescue was ever attempted at Benghazi.
General Carter Ham
Now, it seems, that too was a horrible untruth. The TigerDroppings post continues, “The information I heard today was that General Ham as head of Africom received the same e-mails the White House received requesting help/support as the attack was taking place. General Ham immediately had a rapid response unit ready and communicated to the Pentagon that he had a unit ready. 

General Ham then received the order to stand down. His response was to screw it, he was going to help anyhow. Within 30 seconds to a minute after making the move to respond, his second in command apprehended General Ham and told him that he was now relieved of his command. The Pentagon and all other Obama Administration sources vehemently deny the Times story. General Ham has been silent, although this story says that Ham has decided to retire. “However on Monday October 29 a defense official told The Washington Times that “the decision [to leave AFRICOM] was made by General Ham. He ably served the nation for nearly forty years and retires after a distinguished career.” Previously all that was known was that General Ham would be rotating out of AFRICOM at some future date, but not that he was leaving the service. General Ham is a few years short of the mandatory retirement age of 64, but it is not unusual for someone of that rank to retire after serving in such a significant command. The questions concerning General Ham’s role in the September 11 events continue to percolate. Congressman Jason Chaffetz, Utah Republican, said that General Ham told him during a visit to Libya that he had never been asked to provide military support for the Americans under attack in Benghazi. Former United States Ambassador to the U.N. John R, Bolton also mentioned Mr. Chaffetz’s account, and contrasted it with Mr. Panetta’s statement that General Ham had been part of the team that made the decision not to send in forces. “General Ham has now been characterized in two obviously conflicting ways,” Mr. Bolton concluded. “Somebody ought to find out what he actually was saying on September the eleventh.”
It has become sadly but abundantly clear that much has been systematically and intentionally kept from the American people by the Obama Administration with the avid assistance of their lamestream media lapdogs. It is also becoming clear that many witnesses will be lined up before the House Oversight Committee after Election to testify, under oath, about what really happened. God help those who have lied to “us”. There will be no place they can hide, no matter who they are or how high the office they hide in. Enough said, for now. An Excellent Spirit hopes sincerely that it does not come to treason and criminal action or impeachment, but even if President Obama is defeated a week from today on November 6th, Benghazi promises to be with “us” for some time and will go where those in power have led it, just as Watergate did in 1972-1974. Stay Tuned.

TRANSCRIPT: United States Policy to Counter the Lord's Resistance Army

TRANSCRIPT: United States Policy to Counter the Lord's Resistance Army

US AFRICOM Public Affairs
U.S. AFRICOM Public Affairs

WASHINGTON, D.C., Apr 24, 2012 — Amanda J. Dory, deputy assistant Secretary of Defense for African affairs, joined Donald Yamamoto, principal deputy assistant Secretary of State for African affairs, and Earl Gast, U.S. Agency for International Development assistant administrator for Africa, in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's African Affairs Subcommittee, "United States Policy to Counter the Lord's Resistance Army," April 24, 2012.

The transcript is provided below.

For more information on U.S. policy to counter the Lord's Resistance Army, see video and testimony transcripts at Also see related article, "U.S. Supports Pushback Against Lord's Resistance Army".

Chaired by:

Senator Chris Coons (D-DE)


Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Donald Yamamoto
Earl Gast, Assistant Administrator for Africa, U.S. Agency for International Development;
Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary Amanda Dory

Location: 419 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. Time: 10:00 a.m. EDT Date: Tuesday, April 24, 2012

SENATOR CHRIS COONS (D-DE) (Sounds gavel.) I'm pleased to chair this hearing of the African Affairs Subcommittee examining U.S. policy to counter the Lord's Resistance Army. I'd like to welcome my good friend, Senator Isakson, Senator Inhofe, other members of the committee are expected, as well as our distinguished witnesses today, Principal Deputy Secretary of State for African Affairs Donald Yamamoto, assistant administrator for Africa of USAID Earl Gast and Deputy Assistant, excuse me, Secretary of Defense for African Affairs Amanda Dory. Thank you very much for being with us today and welcome.

And our second panel, Ms. Jolly Okot, Regional Ambassador for Invisible Children, and Mr. Jacob Acaye, a former LRA abductee who will share with us on the second panel their personal experiences of working to help communities in Uganda recover from the LRA and their personal experiences of being victimized by the LRA, which I think will add some strength and breadth to today's hearing.

As we all know, for more than two decades the Lord's Resistance Army has committed brutal attacks against civilians in central Africa that have destabilized the region, resulted in systematic killings, displacement, kidnapping, mutilation and rape. Joseph Kony and his commanders have abducted tens of thousands of children to serve as child soldiers and sex slaves forcing them to commit terrible acts. And today, as I mentioned, we are privileged and humbled to hear from two victims of the LRA, Jacob and Jolly, both about their enduring horrific experiences in Uganda and their courageous efforts to live forward and to make positive change in the world from that experience.

Joseph Kony epitomizes the worst of mankind and evil in the modern day and, as I mentioned, while the LRA has left Uganda in 2006, it continues to burn a path of destruction through the whole region. As you can see from this chart, in the past four months alone, the LRA has committed 132 attacks in three countries -- the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan despite an increased U.S. presence and regional efforts to counter them.

There has been and continues to be broad and bipartisan support for stopping Kony. This was demonstrated in May of 2010 with the overwhelming passage by Congress of the Lord's Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act, which made it U.S. policy to work with regional governments to remove Kony and his top lieutenants from the battlefield and protect civilians.

There was also bipartisan support for the recent deployment of 100 U.S. military advisors which just yesterday President Obama, in his speech at the Holocaust Museum, announced would continue in their mission to train regional militaries.

Bipartisan support for this issue is so strong that six of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, including the two senators with me on the dais at the moment, joined last week in releasing a video about the Senate's longstanding commitment to countering the LRA that I would like to make a part of these proceedings. And with the consent of the other senators I had hoped at this point we would show that video for the benefit of this hearing today.

(Video plays.)

SEN. COONS: That video was in large part motivated by a desire to respond to the millions of young people around the world who have been engaged by and encouraged to be active on this issue by Invisible Children, by Resolve, by the Enough Project and by their joint efforts to publicize this ongoing, decades-long scourge in Central Africa. It really is, I think, a once in a generation moment when we have the attention of millions of folks around the world.

And so I want us to now move to our first panel to hear about the status of the hunt for Joseph Kony, the multilateral effort against the LRA, America's investments in recovery, and I want to thank the two Senators to my left both for their participation in the video and for their long leadership on this issue.

At that, I'd like to ask Senator Isakson for his opening statement before we go to the first panel.

SENATOR JOHNNY ISAKSON (R-GA): Well, I'll be very brief because I want to hear from the panelists, but Assistant Secretary Yamamoto, Administrator Gast and particularly Amanda Dory, I'm delighted that you're here today. You gave me a great briefing before I went to Uganda early in the month of April, and I'm pleased to report coming back from that trip that our United States forces under DOD that are in Uganda and other parts of Central Africa assisting the various armies in the African Union are doing what our troops always do, they're making America proud and they're bringing resources to the use of those armies that would not otherwise be available. And the assets they've deployed and the intelligence that they are gathering is being very, very helpful in terms of the pursuit of Joseph Kony.

And I want to particularly recognize Jolly, who's here today, and Jacob, thank you for being here. We're anxious to hear your story. I'd lots rather hear from you than me, so, Mr. Chairman, I'm going to turn it back to you to conduct the hearing.

SEN. COONS: Thank you, Senator. Senator Inhofe.

SENATOR JAMES INHOFE (R-OK): I'll be very brief. I have another hearing across the hall that I'm going to have to be attending. But I just returned from the East African community and, as Ambassador Yamamoto would tell you, that was my 123rd African country visit in 15 years, and one of the most revealing one was back in 2005.

And I only want to mention this because I think it may have gone kind of unnoticed. My first trip up to Gulu was in 2005, when we heard there was a guy up there named Joseph Kony. When I got up there, there were three guys who I really believe we would not be where we are today if it hadn't been for them. They were the Invisible Children guys -- they had their camera going up there -- Jason Russell, Laren Poole and Bobby Bailey. And when they put together their first thing and went out and engendered the support I can tell you right now we ended up getting 64 co-sponsors to 1067. I did most of that and could not have done it without those kids harassing all the members of the Senate to get them to be interested in this mission.

So I joined them and I'm just glad that, hopefully, this will be the year. We are going to do all of the resources we can. I want to remind people, as I always do, that the amendments that we put on the 2012 national defense authorization language was one that precludes Americans from engaging in combat, and I think that's very important for people to know because we get a lot of criticism for getting places like Libya and other places where perhaps we shouldn't be, but they need the support, they have the support and I will be visiting with President Kabila later this afternoon on a plan that he has. So you have not just five countries but you have included in that the additional five countries of the East African Community, all working together to make this happen. Thanks for all your support on this.

SEN. COONS: Thank you, Senator Inhofe. I'd like to now move to our first panel. Ambassador Yamamoto.

DONALD YAMAMOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, for this great opportunity to speak to you today on our efforts to counter the Lord's Resistance Army. The LRA is a weakened force but its humanitarian impact remains disproportionate. It continues to terrorize and uproot communities across three countries, primarily the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Southern Sudan. And, Senator, let me say that we are all very grateful to you, Senator Coons, Senator Isakson, and Senator Inhofe for everything you have done.

It's very humbling to be here before you and the work that you have done to inspire us in our work here. Consistent with the legislation that you all passed in 2010, we continue to pursue a multifaceted strategy to support regional efforts to end the threat posed by the LRA. Let me stress that the governments of the region are in the lead. Their troops are making the most important sacrifices and their people are confronting the LRA's terror. These governments are the ones that are ultimately responsible for ending this threat and protecting local communities. The United States is trying to help them fulfill these responsibilities.

Mr. Chairman, we continue to look for ways in which we can enhance the capacity of these militaries to succeed. Last October, President Obama authorized the deployment of a small number of U.S. military forces to serve as advisors to the regional forces pursuing the LRA. The president announced yesterday that the United States will continue this deployment.

My colleagues from the Department of Defense will go into more detail on this work of the advisors. We are coordinating closely with the United Nations peacekeeping missions in the region, especially to promote civilian protection. We have encouraged the U.N. to scale up its efforts when possible. We are also working very closely with the African Union to increase its efforts to address the LRA.

Last month, the AU officially launched the Regional Cooperation Initiative for the Elimination of the LRA. These new initiatives, united together, offer real promise. However, as Chairman Kerry wrote earlier this month, ending the LRA threat is not an easy mission. The LRA operates in very small groups across vast territories roughly the size of California and very heavily forested. Mr. Chairman, effectively ending the LRA threat requires simultaneously removing the top leadership from the battlefield and addressing the conditions that leave a community so vulnerable to the predatory troops such as the LRA. That is why the United States is seeking to pursue a multifaceted four-pillar program and that is to increase protection of civilians; the apprehension and removal of Joseph Kony and others; the promotion of defections of the LRA in support of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of remaining LRA fighters and; number four, the provision of continued humanitarian relief to affected areas.

And in partnership with USAID, the State Department is supporting projects to increase civilian protection, to enhance early warning capabilities and strengthen the overall resilience of communities. We also believe that the targeted efforts to encourage the LRA fighters to peacefully surrender can have a great effect on reducing the LRA's number. Mr. Chairman, we believe there is an opportunity for further U.S. support, using the State Department's War Crimes Rewards Program. We welcome legislations that would expand the authority of this program to that end.

In closing, let me reiterate that our partners in the region who are in the lead in countering the LRA threat and its impact, but the United States can provide a critical, capable support to these efforts. Mr. Chairman, I submit a longer version for the record and I also just want to take this, a word just to say thank you to Ben Keesey and the Invisible Children and to Jacob and the others who are here today. Thank you.

SEN. COONS: Thank you so much, Ambassador Yamamoto. Assistant Administrator Gast.

EARL GAST: Good morning, Chairman Coons. Good morning, Ranking Member Isakson. Thank you for inviting me to speak with you today. It's a pleasure to be back here again so soon.

For over two decades the Lord's Resistance Army terrorized communities across huge swathes of Northern Uganda, abducting civilians and forcing children to become soldiers. The LRA was finally driven out of Uganda in 2006, and since then, Northern Uganda has undergone a transformation that is tangible. People can move freely, banks and stores are open, and fields are being cultivated. Poverty declined from 61 percent in 2005 to an estimated 46 percent in 2010, and 95 percent of the more than 1.8 million Ugandans who were displaced by the conflict have returned to their homes.

Working with the government of Uganda and civil society organizations, the United States has done a tremendous amount to solidify this progress by supporting the rebuilding of communities and economies. Today the LRA's numbers are significantly reduced, but it continues to commit atrocities throughout large parts of Central Africa, the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of South Sudan. LRA violence has displaced more than 445,000 persons in an area the size of California that is harsh, remote and underdeveloped. As the threat has shifted from Northern Uganda to the Central African Republic and the Congo and South Sudan, USAID has adjusted its response to address humanitarian needs and increase the protection of civilians in these areas, which is at the core of our strategy.

Our programs, which aim to assist nearly a quarter of a million persons are having a significant impact. Because the LRA preys on vulnerable communities, we are supporting coordinated efforts to reduce the vulnerability of those communities. In the DRC, USAID has engaged 24 villages to form local protection committees that are identifying security threats and assessing what they can do to mitigate those problems. Once these protection plans are in place, the use of high frequency radios will reinforce and extend an existing network of radios managed by the Catholic church as an early warning system.

USAID also supports the reunification and reintegration of formerly abducted children into their families and communities and is helping to meet their significant psychosocial needs with therapy and life skills training. USAID is also helping women purchase sewing machines, fabric and basic accessories. Most of these women are the sole providers for their children, and they can now earn a living through tailoring and producing clothing for clients in and around their communities.

USAID has been heavily engaged in LRA-affected areas of Uganda since the late 1980s and our efforts have shown that development can flourish once stability and security have taken root. As the conflict first began to exact severe economic losses, cause mass displacement and weaken governance in Northern Uganda, USAID focused on providing lifesaving assistance to those affected by the conflict. When the LRA was finally driven out of Northern Uganda, our programs shifted from relief to recovery and then to longer-term development, which is taking place now.

USAID's Northern Uganda Transition Initiative was a critical step in this evolution from relief, humanitarian assistance to development. This flagship program renovated public service buildings throughout war-affected regions including government office buildings, schools and teacher housing, health clinics, markets, police and justice facilities, and at a time of tremendous risk and uncertainty the initiative quickly became a cornerstone of our strategy in Northern Uganda and was highly valued by our Ugandan partners for its speed, for its flexibility and its impact.

By partnering directly with government offices, the initiative not only helped communities begin to rebuild but also increased the visibility of and confidence in all levels of government. This effort sent a clear message that peace had returned to the region and the government of Uganda was now at the helm of the reconstruction process.

In northern Uganda, USAID's strategy has now woven into the government of Uganda's Peace, Recovery and Development Plan, which has ushered in the return of stability to the region and we are working closely with the Departments of State and Defense as well as other donors and regional government and civil society organizations that are on the ground to make this a truly concerted push to help communities cope, recover and rebuild.

Thank you for inviting me to speak with you today and I welcome any questions. Thank you.

SEN. COONS: Thank you. Ms. Dory?

AMANDA DORY: Thank you. (Clears throat) -- excuse me. Thank you and good morning, Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member. I appreciate this opportunity to update the subcommittee on the Department of Defense's role in countering the Lord's Resistance Army. I particularly appreciate the chance to appear before this committee and my first hearing in my new capacity as deputy assistant secretary for African affairs.

Consistent with the legislation passed by Congress in 2010 and signed into law by the president, the United States continues, as you know, to pursue a comprehensive multiyear strategy to help our regional partners mitigate and eliminate the threat posed by the Lord's Resistance Army.

DOD's contribution to this multinational effort is consistent with the new defense strategic guidance which states whenever possible we will develop innovative, low-cost and small-footprint approaches to achieve our security objectives on the African continent, relying on exercises, rotational presence and advisory capabilities. In this operation, U.S. forces are combat equipped for self-defense purposes but do not have an operational role. U.S. advisors are supporting the regional forces in an advisory capacity and seeking to enhance our partners' capabilities to achieve their objectives against the LRA. The militaries of Uganda, the Central African Republic, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in collaboration with the African Union, continue to pursue the LRA and seek to protect local populations. They are leading this effort. As you know, approximately a hundred U.S. military personnel are deployed for Operation Observant Compass across the four LRA-affected countries. There's a command and control element in Uganda that is working to synchronize and oversee DOD's counter-LRA efforts and to coordinate at the headquarters level with Ugandan forces.

Small teams of U.S. military advisors are also now working with the Ugandan military and national military forces in field locations in LRA-affected areas of Central African Republic and South Sudan. In these two countries, U.S. advisors have helped to set up operations fusion centers to enable daily coordination, information sharing and tactical coordination. The U.S. advisors are also integrating local civilian leaders into the work of the partner forces to improve the effectiveness of the civil-military relations.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, U.S. advisors are supporting efforts by MONUSCO, the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission, in the DRC as well as the Congolese military to increase the protection of civilians and address the LRA. Our advisors there are working with MONUSCO's Joint Intelligence Operations Center, which serves as the intelligence fusion hub for these efforts in the DRC. U.S. advisors are connecting the work of the JIOC and that of the operations fusion centers in Central African Republic and South Sudan to increase cross-border analysis and regional coordination on LRA movements.

We believe our support is helping the partner forces to improve their operations. But they continue to face significant challenges in terms of their capabilities to quickly pursue LRA groups across this vast area. DOD appreciates the support provided by the authority in Section 1206 of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year '12 -- 2012, which allows the expenditure of $35 million to provide enhanced logistical support, supplies and services to our regional partners. DOD intends to use this authority to provide enhanced mobility support to the regional forces as well as supplies to upgrade the operations fusion centers.

I'll close for now by saying that we believe the U.S. military advisors have established a good foundation and made initial progress, especially considering the complexity of the operating environment, the number of partners involved and the remoteness of the operational areas. We will continue to monitor the situation closely with our interagency partners to ensure our support is having the intended impact. DOD appreciates Congress' strong commitment to countering the LRA and your support for the efforts of our deployed personnel, and we look forward to working with you in the months ahead. Thank you.

SEN. COONS: Thank you so much, Deputy Assistant Secretary Dory, for your testimony and for appearing before us today. Let me, if I could, start a first round of seven minutes with you, if I could, because I'm very interested in this sort of particular sets of questions. What is the level of cooperation at this point between the four regional governments in terms of sharing information, intelligence, coordination, now that these fusion centers are set up, now that the hundred U.S. advisors are sort of facilitating communication?

Where are they in terms of collaboration and what are the main practical and operational challenges associated with the U.S. mission that we might be aware of and might be engaged in supporting either additional logistical support or intelligence assets that might be needed to strengthen AFRICOM's role and to strengthen cooperation and effectiveness with our regional partners?

MS. DORY: Thank you. On the collaboration question, I can speak at the -- at the tactical operational level and I know the State Department will want to add from the diplomatic and strategic level. I'd say the level of collaboration is growing. The advisors that have gone into these operations centers, engaging with partner forces, arrived, for the most part, in the December and January time frame and the first period of time has been involved in establishing their operations and developing the relationships, building rapport and trust with each of the partner militaries.

As we all know, you can't surge trust. That's something that happens with time, and I think they've made tremendous progress in this initial period of time. I think at the tactical level, the level of communication and cooperation is quite close. We see that in terms of the closing between the provision of information and intelligence and then the connection with the operations that are undertaken by the partner militaries.

So I think we have increasing numbers -- (clears throat) -- excuse me, increasing numbers of tangible incidents to point to where there have been LRA engaged directly, where there have been abductees who have been released as a result of the collaboration and the cooperation at the tactical operational level.

In terms of the challenges, I highlighted a couple already and, as you know, the terrain itself is perhaps challenge number one. Challenge number two is perhaps our collective expectations management on how quickly we'll be able to succeed given the terrain, given the multiplicity of the partner forces and given the challenges associated with gathering actionable information during this operation.

I think in terms of some specific to the Operation Observant Compass logistics and ISR are challenge areas for us. There are logistics support being provided at the present time thanks to the State Department's peacekeeping operations, funding support. That's something that DOD will be taking over via our 1206 counter-LRA authority and we intend to increase the amount of the logistics support provided to the partner forces themselves. When it comes to ISR, as you're well aware, there is not enough ISR to go around for any of our combatant commanders. They are constantly making difficult choices within their areas of responsibility. AFRICOM has dedicated assets to the CLRA mission and is looking at other ways to increase the amount of ISR coverage that could be provided going forward.

SEN. COONS: Thank you very much. If I could, just a follow-on question. Then I'd like to go to Ambassador Yamamoto for the same question. But what are the benchmarks for success that will determine the duration of this deployment? You mention expectation management as one of the major challenges right up there with terrain. What's the timeline? What could you suggest in terms of benchmarks that would determine when you would think it was appropriate for the DOD role to wind down?

MS. DORY: I think I terms of benchmarks of success, when we look across the four pillars of the counter-LRA strategy there are quite a few benchmarks to look at. Some of those relate to the total number of defections over time. Some of them relate to the number of LRA successfully engaged. Some of them relate -- these are specific in the DOD realm -- to the capacity building of the partner forces and their ability to increase the effectiveness of their information and intelligence-gathering operations and then to translate that into operational activities on the ground.

Those are some specific ones to the DOD lane. I think there are also metrics or benchmarks when you look at the level of overall development in the areas in terms of the access for humanitarian assistance and the ability to engage in development activities over time along the lines of what we've heard from USAID.

SEN. COONS: Thank you so much. Ambassador Yamamoto, if you'd just speak to the same basic question -- what sort of progress are we making in terms of getting the regional partners we have to collaborate, to coordinate? To what extent is some ongoing hesitancy or distance between the DRC and Uganda contributing to operational challenges in the field and then to what extent is collaboration, coordination in the development and recovery mission also critical to our long-term success?

MR. YAMAMOTO: Thank you very much, Senator. The -- one of the main issues is that the four governments are committed. So that's really kind of the first step in trying to get them together. You are actually correct -- trying to get all these countries to coordinate and cooperate and to have an integrated military force that can coordinate and cooperate is going to be tough.

We were talking to Defense Minister Bozize last week from the Central African Republic, you know -- and his troops, they need equipment. They need training. They need a lot of logistical support. But then in comparison to the Ugandan UPDF they have a much more advanced operation. And so how to integrate these are going to be a challenge but we are trying to overcome those. I think the Special Forces group has been very good about enhancing coordination and cooperation.

The other issue, too, is, of course -- you're actually correct -- the Ugandan troops have not been in the DRC since the elections last year. That's going to take some time but they are committed. We've talked -- we've spoken to President Kabila and Museveni and they are going to work together to make this happen.

But one thing that's really important is that as long as we are remained committed -- the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and the African Union -- that's going to be important and I think the AU, especially setting up their regional task force in Yambio, South Sudan, is one step. The United Nations' peacekeeping operations contributing, that's another step. And right now as we're building that trust, and I think that trust will continue to expand. One thing -- just going back to what Amanda Dory was saying on the benchmarks is if we can engage the enhanced capabilities, coordination and cooperation, that is one level of success and benchmark.

SEN. COONS: Thank you so much, Ambassador. I'm going to turn to Senator Isakson. Then we can resume.

SEN. ISAKSON: Well, first of all, Administrator Gast, I want to describe what I saw in the Gulu area in northern Uganda because your organization and what the NGOs you're contracting with have made a remarkable turn in coordination with the Ugandan government.

We flew into Gulu by local puddlejumper, I guess is the best way to put it, but we got there from Kampala. But one of the things we saw along the way Museveni and the government, since Kony's been out of northern Uganda, which is about five to six years, have built a better road access between Kampala and Gulu where access is now somewhere between seven and eight hours whereas it used to be nonexistent before, which has kind of connected the north to the capital city.

And in the Gulu area USAID, through its contractor CARE is doing some remarkable village improvements in terms of their savings and loan concept and other things to do microfinance, if you will, at the villages and bring about economic recovery and the Pathfinder group that's in that area is doing the same thing, and then U.S. CDC is doing a great job in terms of PEPFAR and the AIDS problem that is in Uganda.

But I have to say if you -- if you talk about the horror of Joseph Kony in northern Uganda five to six years ago and the savagery and the destruction and the terrible things that were going on, a lot of credit has to be given to the renaissance that's now taking place in the Gulu area and northern Africa and a lot of that credit goes to USAID. You might want to comment on some of those contractors.

MR. GAST: Thank you, Senator, and thank you for your praise. I look forward, actually, to going to Gulu. I've heard about the tremendous impact that we collectively, the U.S. government, have made in partnership with NGOs -- international NGOs, local NGOs and certainly the government of Uganda.

It's -- we programmed more than a hundred million dollars last year into northern Uganda and that was about 50 percent of the resources that went into northern Uganda last year and it's all coordinated under the government's peace and reconstruction development program and AID is a major contributor. Other donors and the government itself is as well.

Before I get into commenting on some of the specific programs of our implementing partners, I do want to say that this is one area where we're being forward leaning, recognizing that there is some good capacity within some of the local governments there.

And so when Administrator Shah was before you and discussed some of the USAID forward reforms this is one area where we're actually piloting the reforms and so we're programming resources directly through the local government so that the local government can build infrastructure projects to support the community and at the same time we have an independent verifier. One of the NGOs, Winrock, provides that oversight to make sure that there's strict accountability of the money that USAID is providing. So that's -- I just wanted to highlight that as one success on the reforms of AID.

In addition to working directly with the local government, we're also working with a wide range of partners, some 20 NGOs, to include CARE, which is doing microfinance. We've had a tremendous impact in economic growth as well as in agricultural growth. So, for example, just the impacts -- just the interventions and loans that we've made in the agricultural sector last year resulted in an increase in $7 million worth of agricultural products last year.

SEN. ISAKSON: Well, you're causing a lot of economic improvement to take place in the lives of those people, which really helps for the political stability in the area. Ms. Dory, I want to comment on ISR for a minute. Intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance is critically important, as we've learned in many battlefields. That is being enhanced now a little bit and I understand will be enhanced a little bit more and that's the real key the United States, I think, can give to the AU and the UN and the other forces that are there.

But it should be underscored for everybody that has an interest in this, this is a very -- where he is believed to be is a very heavily vegetated, very underdeveloped part of the world where even surveillance sometimes is very, very difficult because of the canopy that literally covers the Central African Republic, South Sudan and that area. But you should be -- you'd be -- I'm very proud of what I saw and what our 100 advisors, plus or minus, are doing there and the cooperation and the aid they are giving to the Ugandan people themselves.

One example -- by the way, you talked about the reward program but they're also doing a great flier drop program like we used in a lot of battles all the way back to World War I and World War II. But they're dropping leaflets offering amnesty and recovery to abductees of Joseph Kony, who will come back and they're starting -- and that's starting to bear fruit, which is one of the great programs, and I want to commend the advisors for doing that.

We saw firsthand some of the fliers and some of the inducements to really provide these people with the confidence to leave where they are in terms of in support of Kony and come back and bring us the information necessary, and I'm -- and I also want to say one other thing. I appreciate the president extending the stay of those advisors in Uganda. I think Joseph Kony can be within our reach sooner than we might have thought in the past and in large measure it's because of blending the ISR with the capabilities of the African countries. So any comments you want to add to that and the reward program I'd appreciate.

MS. DORY: Thank you, Senator. The -- your comments about the ISR and some of the challenges there really underscore the need for all forms of information and intelligence to be fused together and, I think, underscore further the importance of the engagements with the local populations, the engagements with the defectors and the kinds of information that comes as a result of the defections. So the defectors are a key part of the information picture that helps the partner forces vector in on the whereabouts of the LRA leadership.

So very complementary to the use of assets -- ISR type assets -- is the human picture, so to speak, derived from the information and intelligence and to that end the rewards program, the proposals to expand the State Department's version of the rewards program, is well supported by the department, by General Ham at AFRICOM, as a way of inducing additional defectors who, in the end, help tighten the net in terms of the whereabouts of Joseph Kony.

SEN. ISAKSON: Just a comment -- I think DOD is very supportive of the resolution of Senator Kerry and Coons, myself and others to expand the information leading to the capture and conviction of Kony -- a rewards program which has been very helpful, as I understand, and your fellows who were deployed over there made it known to me how much they'd appreciate that opportunity. So I hope we can do that soon, Mr. Chairman.

MS. DORY: Thank you.

SEN. COONS: Thank you, Senator Isakson. That is, I think, our next step here legislatively -- not just to pass a resolution continuing to express support for the mission and for the undertakings, express gratitude to the regional armies but also Senator Kerry's legislation that will authorize the Justice rewards program to also include Joseph Kony and his co-indictees at the ICC.

I'd be interested in a series of answers, if I could. Ambassador Yamamoto, the one country we haven't talked about is Sudan. Sudan played a role in arming the LRA and in providing them some support years ago. There have been some reports that suggest Kony might be trying to seek some kind of safe haven in Sudan. What are the -- what's the status of our diplomatic efforts to pressure Khartoum to prevent any efforts by Kony to seek sanctuary in Sudan?

MR. YAMAMOTO: I think now the situation, of course, in Sudan is very fluid because of the situation in Heglig and the other areas. We have been following very closely, you know, the reports, then allegations that the Khartoum government is supporting the LRA for some time. We have not seen the evidence. We are looking. But every information that we receive we are following and if we do find verifiable evidence we are going to act on it immediately.

SEN. COONS: And in your view, what would the consequences be for the International Criminal Court and for its stature going forward were Kony to be captured, taken to The Hague and tried as opposed to removed from the battlefield in a way that prevented his being brought to justice?

MR. YAMAMOTO: I think the legislation by Senator Kerry and by you, sir, is really been -- has been extremely helpful as far as the rewards for justice program because it does limit and isolate Kony -- not only Kony but also the other senior officials, and we are supportive and receptive to how they're going to handle Kony. I know that the Ugandans are very much involved in trying to determine the ICC and other programs for Kony. But getting him off the battlefield is number one.

SEN. COONS: I'd be interested in an answer from the whole panel, if I could, in series to the next set of concerns I had. If you could give me some more detail about the AU -- the African Union's role, how you see their engagement, how sustained it will be, what sort of collaborative role they're going to play and that's both intergovernmental and then in terms of recovery and development and then, most centrally, in terms of the actual deployment. Is this simply rebranding troops who are already in the field with a different command structure? Will there be some additional troops sent to the field? What kinds of capabilities and origin do they have, first.

Second, civilian protection, I think, is a very important part of the long-term strategy. I'd be interested particularly, Assistant Ambassador Gast, to -- some comment about what you've been doing around civilian protection. And then last, how can folks who might be watching this hearing who are concerned, who are interested -- how can they be supportive? How can they be engaged? What difference can they make in America's effort at supporting our regional allies? If you would first, Ambassador.

MR. YAMAMOTO: We commend the African Union's efforts because their involvement is going to be very important not only in coordination and cooperation of these four countries but also in bringing the entire African Union to bear on this issue. As you know, the African Union selected their -- recently, the Mozambique diplomat, Madeira, as the special envoy to the LRA and in -- also in that context they've also established operations -- a task force in southern Sudan.

But what's going to be important, of course, is bringing the other groups together -- the European Union in funding and helping assisting, also the African Union to help coordinate much more and, as you were saying, is it going to bring more troops. And I think what they're going to do is bring a better coordination and cooperation among the four countries and then bring other support from outside. And also the other issue is that the -- our Special Forces unit is working very closely with the African Union. So that involvement is one element of helping to support and to sustain and to close in on Kony and his team.

MR. GAST: With regard to your question on Africa -- on the African Union, they're certainly playing a very valuable role in helping to coordinate on the humanitarian side with the UN organizations, with the host country government and also with the donor countries themselves and also with the EU, which is also a major provider of humanitarian assistance to those four areas, those four countries. With regard to your question on protection, this is something that we've put increased emphasis on over the past couple of years and we appreciate your earmarking of some $5 million in 2012. Most of that assistance will be going into supporting protection programs, mainly in Central African Republic where we feel that there is a gap at this time.

With regard to specific activities that we're doing in enhancing civilian protection, it's certainly on the humanitarian side going in, providing relief services, also providing psycho social health services and then reintegration services to livelihoods. But one of the innovative things that we're doing with the State Department and with the international community and also with the Catholic Church is the early warning system, and State Department will be working with 24 communities.

We will be working with 24 communities in the LRA-affected areas of Orientale province in the DRC, and in those areas there are about 60,000 inhabitants, and the early warning system is one critical component that we found missing -- how do we alert villages that an attack or guerillas may be on the way -- how can they enhance communications between the villages.

So that is something that we're doing. We're also working with Vodafone in a private partnership. Vodafone will provide -- will be providing the retail services and we're going to help with some state- of-the-art low-maintenance cell phone towers that we will be putting out in the eastern DRC to facilitate additional communication so that community protection committees can then get in touch with either UN forces, either with their own government forces or with other villages.

SEN. COONS: Thank you, Assistant Administrator Gast. Deputy Assistant Secretary Dory?

MS. DORY: Senator Coons, on the issue of the growing AU role, I think we can only express our optimism at this point that they are increasing their role, going from declaring the LRA a terrorist organization at the end of last year to now the designation of an envoy, the gradual mobilizing of forces to bring to bear. I think a parallel is interesting to consider when you look at Somalia in the first instance.

The neighbors are the ones who feel the impact and act first. But then over time the full force of the AU is brought to bear, as we've seen with the AMISOM mission. I think we could envision that that is a possibility for the counter-LRA mission as well so that it's not a rebranding exercise. It does become more than the sum of the existing parts.

SEN. COONS: Is it clear yet whether there will be additional troops actually deployed under the AU umbrella or is this still a work in progress? MS. DORY: I think it's still very much a work in progress. We see encouraging signs of shuttle diplomacy happening among all of the different leaders in the region at the political level, at the military level. So I think I would say stay posted.

SEN. COONS: And then if I could, just a closing question to all three of you -- both what could we, as concerned and engaged senators, do to be more supportive of the effort multilaterally and then what could anyone watching or interested do to continue to be supportive. If you would first, Deputy Assistant Secretary Dory.

MS. DORY: Thank you. In the first instance, the continuation of the bipartisan support for this mission is fundamental and this hearing today demonstrates that yet again. So we would just thank you for that support and sustained engagement. The visits to the region that help bring back the personal witness of what you've seen, how you've observed the U.S. government's comprehensive strategy in action -- again, just to encourage that.

We've talked about the expansion of the State Department's rewards program already -- Department of Defense fully supports that expansion -- the sustainment of the Title 22 appropriations that are so key to the efforts for many years now and going forward, and then just the support from your last question, encouraging the role of the UN and the African Union as they increasingly come online going forward.

SEN. COONS: Thank you. Assistant Administrator Gast?

MR. GAST: Very similar. One is continued hearings and speaking out on the issues, as you have done, visits to the regions certainly help and, third, resources.

SEN. COONS: Last, Ambassador Yamamoto.

MR. YAMAMOTO: Yeah. And, again, thank you very much, Senator.

What you've been doing with the legislation on Rewards for Justice -- your videos, your outspoken advocacy is important. And also, the efforts of Mr. Ben Keesey and others at Invisible Children, sir, has been very supportive.

And also, in continuation on your civilian protection. And what we can do is really work with these regional states because they are the ones that are taking the lead, are taking the hits and doing the battles and the fighting and the protection. I know that the Ugandans, for instance, in the last couple of years, have devoted about $50 million reconciliation and protection. And Earl and his group and the U.S. government have done about 500 million (dollars) since 2008, just for protection and humanitarian assistance.

So those are things that are continuing -- in support -- and those are really critical issues. Thank you.

SEN. COONS: Terrific. Thank you very much. I just want to thank our first panel. I'm grateful for your testimony today and for appearing before the committee, both for your thorough and detailed written and prepared testimony and for your availability to answer questions. I very much look forward to continuing to work with you as we sustain this very vital multilateral mission in Central Africa.

Thank you very much.