Accuracy in Media

President Obama has moved the nation toward war with Russia, up to 500,000 are dead in Syria, Libya is a disaster, and Germany is welcoming a Muslim invasion of Europe that threatens the collapse of the European Union and NATO. Two million refugees are leaving the Middle East, some of them destined for the U.S.

Yet, Department of Defense News, an official Pentagon public relations outfit, released a story announcing that “Defense leaders hailed the commitment and accomplishments of departing commander in chief President Barack Obama in a formal military ceremony as he closes out his presidency.”

We were told that “During the ceremony, the president reviewed the troops from the five military branches, and received from [Defense Secretary Ashton] Carter the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service. The event featured a 21-gun salute, and music from the U.S. Army Band ‘Pershing’s Own’ and the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps.”

If we had anything approaching an honest and objective news media, Obama would not even have attempted such a spectacle, out of fear that he would become a laughingstock. He has presided over a humanitarian disaster in Syria, where American troops are now dying, and his no-win war on the Islamic State has never been approved by Congress.

The CIA and the Terrorists

PBS Newshour ran an interview with Obama’s CIA Director, John Brennan, in which he said regarding Syria: “If we had a chance to do it over again, would there have been some adjustments and changes? I can’t speak for policy-makers. I’m not a policy-maker. But when I look back, in light of the way things evolved, I think that there could have been some adjustments to some of the policies, not just by the United States, but by other countries, in order to address this question earlier or, and not allow the ISILs and the Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Qaidas to gain momentum and steam and taking advantage of the destruction of that country.” Brennan went on to say, “…I think the way that the situation unfolded was—is regrettable.”

How does Obama’s CIA director get away with simply saying that the human misery and suffering in Syria spilling over into Europe are “regrettable?” Where is the accountability for this debacle? And on what legal and constitutional basis is America at war in Syria anyway?

Welcome to the world of what can be called media malpractice. Our media have fallen and they can’t get up. These matters of war and peace, life and death, are not significant enough to rise to the level of sustained media interest. After all, they might interfere with Obama’s approval ratings and tarnish his legacy.

It’s not as if the media don’t understand what Obama’s CIA has been doing. The Washington Post reported that a secret CIA operation to train and arm rebels in Syria had cost $1 billion by the middle of 2015. The Post said the program the CIA program set up in 2013 was “to bolster moderate forces.”

But according to Brennan on PBS, more radical groups joined the fight, leading to a “regrettable” situation.

If we had journalists trained in objective news reporting, we would have a media demanding accountability from the Obama administration over a “regrettable” policy that has spun out of control, leading to a human disaster of astounding proportions throughout the Middle East and Europe. Some are calling the Russian/Iranian/Syrian counterattack “genocide.”

On the left, fortunately, the media watchdog Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) has taken note of the fiasco, highlighting the fact that The Washington Post ran a column by Senator John McCain (R-AZ) insisting that the U.S. had “done nothing” in Syria. That’s nothing to the tune of $1 billion by the middle of 2015. FAIR wondered, as did I, whether the editors of the Post considered attaching a note to the McCain column stating that “the CIA has spent up to $1 billion a year on the Syrian opposition, or roughly $1 out of every $15 dollars the agency spends.”

Our Warnings

Back in 2013, this columnist warned that Obama’s Syria policy, which was supported by McCain, threatened to embolden al Qaeda and other terrorist groups in Syria. That is precisely what happened.

When Brian Kilmeade of Fox News objected to “moderate” Syrian rebels yelling “Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar,” McCain shot back: “Would you have a problem with an American or Christians saying ‘Thank God, Thank God?’ That’s what they’re saying. Come on! Of course they’re Muslims, but they’re moderates and I guarantee you they are moderates.”

“Jihad Watch” director Robert Spencer commented that “Allahu akbar” does not mean “Thank God.” Rather, he said, “It is a war cry which means ‘Allah is greater,’” and “is essentially a proclamation of superiority.” Spencer notes that it is the same cry that Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood members shout as they kill Christians and destroy Christian churches.

At the time, however, many different publications, including Politico, The Huffington Post, Business Insider and Mediaite, ran stories about the exchange which claimed that McCain had somehow “shamed” Brian Kilmeade and Fox News, as if McCain knew what he was talking about and that Kilmeade had been exposed as an ignoramus.

Spencer wrote, “McCain’s appalling ignorance and Obama’s ongoing enthusiasm for all things Muslim Brotherhood, including the Syrian opposition, are leading the U.S. into disaster.”

That disaster has come to pass, not because the U.S. did “nothing,” as claimed by McCain, but because the U.S. did “something” to the tune of $1 billion and still failed. Now, McCain wants strong sanctions against Russia, over what he calls a hacking operation that constituted an “act of war” against the United States.

Using dubious “intelligence” reports, including one from the same CIA that engineered the Syrian disaster, Obama has announced sanctions against Russia and expulsions of Russian officials from the U.S.

No Declaration of War

Needless to say, Congress never declared war on Syria, in order to justify CIA funding of the “rebels” there. The Congress has also not declared war on the Islamic State, also known as ISIL or ISIS, and yet we are at war in the Middle East against them, and American troops are dying on the battlefield.

In a matter-of-fact manner, The Washington Post recently reported, “In his first floor speech since he and Hillary Clinton lost the election, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) revived one of his signature issues Wednesday: urging Congress to authorize military force against the Islamic State terrorist group.”

That “signature issue” happens to involve the constitutional requirement that Congress alone can declare war. The term “signature” suggests that Kaine has made it into his own unique cause, and that other members don’t share his enthusiasm. The media certainly don’t care for what he is doing. After all, his analysis undermines the legal and constitutional basis of much of what Obama has been doing in the Middle East.

Is this not an issue about which the media, left and right, can agree: that the Obama administration and Congress should be held accountable when wars are conducted without proper authority? Does a Commander-in-Chief deserve the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service and a 21-gun salute for going to war without the advice and consent of Congress?

In a speech paying tribute to Senior Chief Petty Officer Scott C. Dayton of Woodbridge, Virginia, who was killed in combat in Syria, Kaine highlighted “the costs of two and a half years of war against ISIL.” Kaine said, “I continue to believe, and I will say this in a very personal way as a military dad, that the troops we have deployed overseas deserve to know that Congress is behind this mission. As this war has expanded into two-plus years…more and more of our troops are risking and losing their lives far from home, I am concerned and raise again something I’ve raised often on this floor—that there is a tacit agreement to avoid debating this war in the one place it ought to be debated: in the halls of Congress.”

It has been reported that there are approximately 300 American troops on the ground inside Syria. Senior Chief Petty Officer Scott C. Dayton, 42, was killed in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast in November near Ayn Issa, Syria.

Department of Defense News reported his death in a tiny story which carried the headline, “Department of Defense Identifies Navy Casualty.” He lost his life on Thanksgiving Day, November 24.

Senator Kaine is Right

The war against ISIS is based on the Congressional passage of the authorization for use of military force in September of 2001 to go after al-Qaeda for the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on America. “We see that that authorization has been stretched way beyond what it was intended to do,” Kaine noted.

Demonstrating that he was not willing to get Obama off the hook, Kaine went on to say, “President Obama recently announced that the authorization is now going to be expanded to allow use of military action against al-Shabab, the African terrorist group—a dangerous terrorist group to be sure—but al-Shabab did not begin until 2007. So an original authorization that was very specific by this body to allow action against the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks is now being used all over the globe against organizations that didn’t even exist when the 9/11 attack occurred.”

The New York Times reported Obama’s move in a matter-of-fact way under the headline, “Obama Expands War With Al Qaeda to Include Shabab in Somalia.” The Times explained, “The administration has decided to deem the Shabab, the Islamist militant group in Somalia, to be part of the armed conflict that Congress authorized against the perpetrators of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to senior American officials.”

The paper acknowledged this “stretching of the 2001 war authorization against the original Al Qaeda to cover other Islamist groups in countries far from Afghanistan—even ones, like the Shabab, that did not exist at the time—has prompted recurring objections from some legal and foreign policy experts.” The Times added, “Under the 2001 authorization, the United States is engaged in an armed conflict with a specific organization, not every Islamist militant in the world. But that authority has proved elastic.”

So the Constitution is being disregarded in favor of the “stretching” of an old resolution that has proven to be “elastic.” How can weasel words like these be reported in a paper that is supposed to hold the government accountable?

Senator Kaine noted, “When the new Congress is sworn in in early January, I think 80 percent of the members of Congress were not here when the September 14, 2001 authorization was passed. So the 80 percent of us that were not here in 2001 have never had a meaningful debate or vote upon this war against ISIL.”

Kaine pointed out that when Obama spoke about “the need to go on offense against ISIL” in September of 2014, “it took him six months from the start of hostilities to even deliver to Congress a proposed authorization.”

Congress never acted on it and Obama continued the war anyway. Kaine added, “As my President knows, who not only is a Senator but a historian, the founding documents of this country are so unusual still today in making the initiation of war a legislative rather than an executive function.”

He went on to say that “…it seems to me to be almost the height of public immorality to force people to risk and give their lives in support for a mission we’re unwilling to discuss.”

Obama’s lawless and unconstitutional actions had actually begun earlier, when he waged a war on Libya that ultimately produced the Benghazi massacre of four Americans. My June 2, 2011, column had noted, “In the Senate, McCain, who has turned into an advocate for Al-Jazeera, has been an enthusiastic supporter of the war, conducted with the approval of the Arab League and the United Nations but not Congress. Al-Jazeera, committed to the victory of the Muslim Brotherhood in the region, openly backs the ‘pro-democracy fighters’ in Libya, playing down their links to al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups.”

Syria was a virtual replay of the Benghazi debacle, only on a much larger scale.

What was happening in Libya, as Accuracy in Media’s (AIM) Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi had documented, was that the U.S. under Obama had “switched sides” in the war on terror in favor of the terrorists.

The war in Libya was not only immoral but illegal and unconstitutional. But the media failed to acknowledge the facts. Under the War Powers Act, a president can go to war on his own only if there is an imminent threat to the U.S., and there is a 60-day deadline for the withdrawal of forces. Obama violated both provisions of the law. There was no direct or immediate threat to the U.S. from Libya, and Obama ignored the 60-day deadline for approval from Congress.

Yet in 2007 then-Senator Obama had loudly declared that “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”

Trump’s Challenges

President-elect Donald J. Trump’s detractors claim he is entering the presidency in the midst of a constitutional crisis stemming from alleged Russian hacking into the email systems of Democratic Party politicians.

But we are already in a constitutional crisis caused by Obama’s illegal and unconstitutional actions. The failure of the media to hold Obama accountable for the wars which take the lives of members of the Armed Forces is a dramatic indication of how “media malpractice” goes beyond false facts and fake news.

The facts are not in dispute in regard to Obama’s actions that committed the U.S. to wars in the Middle East without the approval of Congress. The issue is clear-cut.

Obama, the alleged historian and legal scholar, doesn’t want to talk about that. Instead, at the military ceremony in his honor, he said, “Service members can now serve the country they love without hiding who they are or who they love.” In fact, Defense Secretary Carter has opened up the military, under Obama’s direction, even to the transgendered, with the Pentagon paying for their sex change operations.

This is what it has been all about for Obama—social experimentation and diversity, not fighting or winning wars. But his wars have not been without cost—in lives and refugees and more global terrorism.

Senator Kaine has been willing to go beyond political partisanship to demand that the Constitution be obeyed. Let’s hope that he finds a sympathetic ear in President Trump. It would be a way to move forward on a bipartisan basis to confront foreign dangers and threats.

The media’s dereliction of duty in matters of war and peace would then be exposed for all to see.




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Comments

  • DeporableVic

    Has Kincaid missed the fact that its GOPe ‘ilttle’ Marco and McCain with his neocons/neoliberals in BOTH parties who are demanding war with Russia?

    the fact is the Kremlin will have to respond to NATO’s muscle flexing in Eastern Europe and the Baltics because it is intended as a threat. Don’t think anyone in Russia missed the Kabalistic significance of the Washington bringing their war hardware to Germany on the Russian orthodox Christmas day.

    This kind of neocon recklessness is what happens when the Western “experts” don’t even read the speeches of the Russian President Putin. During his joint press conference with Prime Minister of Greece Alexis Tsipras, Putin said that he had given Russia’s last warning to NATO. He said that there will be no further warnings. Putin grave warning to Romania and Poland against installing NATO’s ABM missiles, “no one is listening” he said.

  • Earl

    You are stupid like many who pretend to understand Russian or any nation’s public utterances. But your stupidity is more complete as those who know you know but hesitate to state aloud either out of politeness or fear that you are as psychologically unbalanced as you are intellectually challenged.
    Read AJP Taylor’s “The Struggle For Mastery in Europe” an old text but a good primmer for those who need it which you obviously do.

  • Ted

    The hatemonger Kincaid is calling Obama a warmonger when, IN FACT, the REAL WARMONGERS WHO STARTED ALL THE BU**SH** WE’RE CURRENTLY MIRED WERE BUSH, CHENEY, WOLFOWITZ, RUMSFELD and the rest of the slumdog neocons in that totally failed administration!

    Kincaid generates more “fake news” and more Goebbels-like propaganda than do all the rest of the media combined. He does nothing but perpetuate divisiveness and generate hate.

  • America and Americans first

    Poor dim Ted; international conflict predates anyone alive today, one hundred, ten thousand even one hundred thousand years ago. You liberals bleet like sheep and are only happy when giving away in an elitist binge, everything to foreigners while ignoring your own people, spreading your legs for illegal or potentially dangerous migrants whose belief systems would, if acted upon, lead to the imprisonment, torture and death of you and those like you who foolishly, naively believe that if you are good and kind to your enemies, they will change and learn to love you. Odd and dangerous way to go through life. So put down the pie, get off the couch, grow a pair, ignore George and Meryl and get a life!

  • jug

    You just described yourself, perfectly!

    You are as irrelevant as CNN or BuzzFeed!

  • efred1

    They’re not just Lapdog Press: They’re the Leg-Humping Lapdog Press.

  • SwampHelper

    You are the smartest person I have ever seen comment here.

  • disqus_v5723Mqspa

    If the media were honest and truthful in the first place, soetoro would have been vetted ten years ago and kicked out of our country for being an illegal alien, destructive moslem and evil communist country destroyer. I am so sick to death of him I can’t wait to never see or hear about him again, ever.

  • Martha White

    Don’t forget Kissinger, warmonger extraordinaire! Those you mention espouse Kissinger’s warmonger theories.

  • Mark Midas

    Obama is the Joe Camel of global politics — a nonsensical caricature used to promote the
    Marxist-Muslim alliance. Warmonger Obama has allowed the crescent flag to be
    raised over more than 20 states throughout Europe and North Africa just as Hitler did with the swastika flag. Both men also hated
    Jews.

  • ?? Clarence Spangle

    The U.S. State Dept. has been infested with communists since WW1 and Woodrow Wilson, they tried to steal the Russian elections for their comrades in the Russian Communist Party through non-profit n.g.o.s… just like at home in America… But… Vladimir Putin beat them, so they launched a fággot jihad against the Russian Orthodox church over the punk rock band and the Olympics (something Bítch Romney also stupidly piled onto) Miss neo-kabbalah lesbian Madonna, now rumored to be a Muslim convert, was flown in to agitate while Hillary was on a world-wide gay pride tour.

    The Podesta Group was paying Hosni Mubarak about 1.3 million dollars a year, they also rigged the Egyptian election for the Muslim Brotherhood’s now deposed Mohammed Morsi… Reactions to the Russian and Egyptian crackdowns on non-profit n.g.o.s should have been enough to indict the real election hackers… HINT: they weren’t Russians or Egyptians…

    When the Iron Curtain fell down the Bolshevik Jews all fled to the other side because they knew what Russians would do to them after 100 years of communism… The best thing about Russia getting Crimea back… Catherine the Great took it from the Turks… What happened right after Russia retook Crimea? The FSB searched all the Turks living there… Why? Because NATO sponsors Islamist terrorism when it suits them to.

  • Clarence Spangle ???

    NATO is an illegitimate occupier of the German Fatherland… Are you hoping to fool those dumb white ‘Murkins one more time into sending their sons off to die for God and Country and Goldman Sachs?

    Wer bombardiert Orthodoxen Christlich Serben für die Muslimen? Nördlich Atlantik Terrorist Organisation!

    Jüdischen Bankiers sind überschwemmung Europa mit Muslimen und Amerika mit Dritte Welt Müll.?

    Sie Leute dummerweise denken, dass die Germanen nur in Deutschland zu finden sind… Ich habe Neuigkeiten für Sie! Sobald die NATO Besatzer vertrieben werden wir eine weitere Nacht der langen Messer haben, merk dir meine Worte!

    Russia has real soldiers on their border, and nobody is marching off to war against the great Russian bear with cúm drunk ássholes like you in charge… ISIS = Khazar = Kiev junta = Zíonist IMF

  • Clarence Spangle ??

    Satanism is a Jewish cult… The banksters need a war desperately right now. They’ve tried so hard in Syria and it just hasn’t worked. Now they’ve got crazy Trump actually saying we should stay out of the Middle East and focus on our own problems, and people are listening… what’s a self-respecting globalist financier to do?

    Without the US military killing people and breaking things, there is no future growth path for them. So they send their puppets like Kasich and Romney out to talk up the fight against “evil” and threaten Russia and China, hoping to fool those dumb white ‘Murkins one more time into sending their sons off to die for God and Country and Goldman Sachs.?

    These idiots are always worried about somebody else’s border… this is how you spot the traitors… NATO is hardly defending white Europeans… they are facilitating the invasion.

  • Hitler was right

    You idiots are always worried about somebody else’s border… this is how I spot you traitors… NATO is hardly defending white Europeans… they are facilitating the invasion.

  • Clarence Spangle ??

    You idiots are always worried about somebody else’s border… this is how I spot you lying traitors…

    NATO is not defending white Europeans… they are facilitating the Islamic invasion.

    Syria, Libya, and Ukraine are the same scenario as Serbia… NATO, under the direction of Jews Albright and Clark, bombed Serbia so the IMF Jews could make loans for rebuilding and get control of Serbian iridium assets… while Saudi non-profit n.g.o.s kept the KLA terrorists well fed and well armed… just like ISIS in Syria!

    #Starburka

  • Clarence Spangle ??

    You idiots are always worried about somebody else’s border… this is how I spot you lying traitors…

    NATO is not defending white Europeans… they are facilitating the Islamic invasion.

    “Obama was selected before he was elected. And the people that selected him were rich, powerful members of the Jewish community. They selected him to be their first Jewish president.”–Louis Farrakhan

  • Clarence Spangle ??

    “Now you know I’m going to be lambasted and called anti-Semitic… They’ll say Farrakhan was up to his old canards; he said Jews control Hollywood. Well, they said it themselves! Jews control the media.”–Louis Farrakhan

  • AndRebecca

    Did you miss the fact that McCain was mentioned in this article numerous times? And, you don’t think it’s a threat if Putin gives “his last warning to NATO?” What a full blown commie you are.

  • AndRebecca

    Wasn’t Jimmy Carter the first to destabilize the M.E.? And, the slum-dog neocons are all Lefties using the disguise of being conservatives. How is pointing out the horrible job Obama did on the war front, with the help of other Leftists in his admin., perpetuating divisiveness and hate? It is a Leftist ploy to divide and conquer and cry “fake news” when it isn’t fake at all. The Middle Eastern Wars are fine with the Western European Socialists, including those in the U.S., because they want the mass migration of Muslims into the West in order to destabilize western governments and increase the power of the state and to get rid of liberty. The Socialists are the war-mongers.

  • AndRebecca

    You somehow seem to be unaware of Obama expanding the wars in the M.E. That is quite a trick. When you talk of globalists, are you thinking of George Soros and John Kerry and Al Gore?