Thursday, October 13, 2011

Primer: Obama/Holder v. Iran

I figured you might like a primer on the new Iranian issue, as it’s all over the headlines and it’s an issue which could actually lead to war if mishandled -- although that’s extremely unlikely. Here’s what’s up:

What Happened: On Tuesday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the DEA and FBI had foiled a plot to murder the Saudi Arabian ambassador and blow up the Saudi and Israeli embassies. This plot was supposedly masterminded by Iran’s “elite” Quds military unit. The Quds are a special unit within Iran’s Revolutionary Guard whose job it is to “export” Iran’s Islamic revolution to other countries.

According to Holder, Manssor Arbabsiar (a Corpus Christi, Texas car salesman) was tasked by the Iranian government with finding someone to carry out the killing and the bombings. Arbabsiar turned to the nastiest of the Mexican drug cartels, Los Zetas, a group of former special forces soldiers who started their own cartel. I wrote about Los Zetas here: LINK. Arbabsiar wanted Los Zetas to do both the killing and the bombings and he wanted them to agree to funnel tons of opium from the Middle East into Mexico.

However, the person Arbabsiar contacted turned out to be a DEA informant. Whoops.

Team Obama’s Response: The administration accuses Iran and describes this as: “a dangerous escalation of Iran's long-scale use of violence.” The reason they claim Iran did this was “the Iranians watch the Saudis roll tanks in Bahrain, and they see a key ally in Syria going down, so they step up the Quds Force.”

Joe Biden has been sent forth from the Idiotorium to take the lead on this. He described this as “really over the top” and said it was “an outrage that violates one of the fundamental premises on which nations deal with one another.” He also said that “no options have been taken off the table” for dealing with this, though the administration has already ruled out military action. Instead, they are considering sanctions, the standard response by liberals when they don’t know what to do.

The Saudi Response: Saudi Arabia and Iran are bitter regional rivals largely because their versions of Islam consider the other to be heretics. The Saudi embassy said this was “a despicable violation of international norms, standards and conventions,” and their former head of intelligence said Iran will have to “pay the price.” They have not been more specific yet. However, Saudi Arabia does not have a military capable of defeating Iran.

The Iranian Response: For its part, Iran denies involvement. They told the UN they are “outraged” and “strongly and categorically reject these fabricated and baseless allegations, based on the suspicious claims by an individual.” Tehran claims Obama has fabricated this to “divert attention from the Wall Street uprising.” Ha ha! They also repeated claims the US has assassinated Iranian nuclear scientists in the past two years.

For the record, the only link so far to Iran is that the car dealer apparently is a cousin of someone in the Qud and he visited Iran right before $100,000 was wired into the informant’s account by the car dealer. The FBI claims this was wired from a Qud bank account.

The World Reaction: The world reaction has been skeptical. Iranian experts say that Arbabsiar does not fit the profile of the typical Iranian agent, who tend to be professionals. And they say it’s unlikely Iran would be behind such a plot. Similarly, an Iranian expert in Berlin said these claims would be viewed with skepticism as “everyone is extremely skeptical about US intelligence revelations” and added, “I don’t regard it as impossible but rather improbable, even if the details of the story presented by the attorney general are essentially true.”

One western diplomat said: “I don't believe Iran's regime was behind the plot. If we assume it was Iran's plot, it would seem like a group of professional gangsters hiring a careless agent for their most important project. It's impossible.”

Even a senior American law enforcement official said (on condition of anonymity) that the US isn’t quite sure what this was and it was likely a “rogue plan. . . so outside their normal track of activity.”

Some Questions: This all leaves us with some odd questions. If we assume Holder is correct, then what will Obama do about it? Even Clinton dropped a few cruise missiles on Sudan after the embassy bombings in Africa. So Obama can’t just pretend this didn’t happen.

But if Holder is wrong, then is he simply wrong or is there more to this?

I never like conspiracies as an answer, especially when there are more likely answers -- such as this guy just being a nut job. But it is extremely coincidental that the day after Darrell Issa starts talking about subpoenaing Holder to answer for what are likely criminal acts related to Fast and Furious, that Holder manages to unveil a huge distraction involving the very elements of Fast and Furious -- DEA, drugs, Mexican cartels and cross border crime. This is one of those coincidences you can’t put in films or people will lose their suspension of disbelief.

My normal response would be to trust professional law enforcement. BUT we’ve already seen how compromised they’ve been by Democratic Justice bosses, such as when Janet Reno ordered the Branch Davidian attack to show that she was tough or the Elian Gonzalez deportation to show Castro goodwill or Holder’s actions in Fast and Furious itself, where potentially hundreds of lives have been taken or destroyed by Holder’s attempt to use the ATF for political purposes. Trust is in short supply here.

So I think we should keep an open mind at this point and not assume anything unless and until strong, verifiable, independent proof is provided.


DUQ said...

Interesting breakdown Andrew! I figured something was up. This sounded really coincidental. Though I hate to think that Iran might be more trustworthy than our own government on something.

Tennessee Jed said...

great post. We simply don't know for sure, but as Don Corleone said (paraphrased) "if some accident were to befall my younger son, I would believe it a coincidence, and I would blame some of the people in this room."

On a slightly related note, did anybody notice the picture of Hillary on Drudge. You know, the one where she is growing her hair long to make her look like Mel Gibson playing William Wallace? Yeah, THAT One. I think she is trying to make herself look fierce to gear up for a challenge to B.O, when his re-elect number dives beneath 30%

Tennessee Jed said...

obviously meant Corleone would NOT believe it was coincidence.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, I wouldn't say that. What I would say is that at this point, what MOST likely happened is that some nut job did this (maybe with some help from Iran, maybe not) and Holder has blown this into a much bigger deal than it is. But we don't know. There just isn't enough to tell us yet what is really going on.

CrispyRice said...

Very interesting, Andrew! I'd only heard about this peripherally and wasn't even aware there was a reason to doubt the story. I agree - I had to put on a tinfoil hat and go all conspiracy, but on the other hand, I don't put anything past our current Banana Republic.

But, I'd also not put anything past countries that want to do evil in the world and know that we certainly aren't going to do anything about it as long as the great O is "leading" us. Hmmm. What a dilemma.

PS - I love "Idiotorium!" I'm so going to start using that.

CrispyRice said...

* I mean - I HATE to put on my tinfoil hat...

Ugh, silly typos.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, That's the correct answer: we simply don't know. We do know that some Iranian car dealer in Texas wanted to do this. Beyond that, we're just guessing until we get some actual evidence.

If it turns out this was something more official from Iran, that's when things could get messy.

If it turns out this is just Holder blowing this out of proportion, then Obama has just given himself a black eye internationally.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Good point out the Don. He is not someone who would believe in coincidence.

So I take it you think Holder is making this up or making it much larger than it is?

(P.S. I saw the Hillary picture. She looks awful!!!)

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, Idiotorium should enter the common usage! :)

Yeah, there's a good reason to doubt everything here. At this point, it's just not clear what is going on.

I know what you mean though about Iran. It's nearly impossible to trust them and they have a history of murderous stupidity, so it's easy to believe they would be behind this -- especially since it involves their three biggest enemies: the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, I got you on the "hate." It made sense! :)

Joel Farnham said...

It sounds kind of like the remake of The Thomas Crown Affair. Where Thomas Crown uses a totally unsuitable gang of thieves to create a diversion to cover up the real theft of a painting.

Ed said...

Excellent post Andrew! I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere. I'll share my thoughts in a moment. First, I need to check out this Hillary picture. ;)

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, It is like a movie isn't it?

At this point, I don't think we have any idea what really happened. It would not surprise me at all that Iran is behind this and just used something that appears to be a phony connection to try to hide their involvement.

Though I wonder why Iran wouldn't be better at contacting Los Zetas? Surely, they could have made direct contact with them in Mexico rather than trying to go through some backdoor channel in the US?

On the other hand, it also wouldn't surprise me if this was Holder trying to create a diversion from a serious scandal that threatens to blow a huge hole right in the middle of their already-sinking administration?!

Unknown said...

Andrew: Another thing that automatically makes me suspicious is how quickly Holder decided to indict in a civilian court. He can stall with "ongoing investigations" and the nature of lengthy civilian trial maneuvers until after the election. If his allegations are true, he did his job. If stretched and twisted to get attention off Fast and Furious, it won't come out soon enough to affect the elections.

Like you, I don't like conspiracy theories. But Holder and Obama have done little to make us think they are ever on the up and up. They've done plenty to make us think they will do anything to win elections and advance their leftist agenda.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. I love the Thomas Crown Affair and I actually like both versions, though I know many people prefer the original with Steve McQueen.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, Shield your eyes.

Ed said...

I'm back. It's not as horrible as I thought.

But, did you see what Perry's wife said? That the GOP is brutalizing Perry because of his faith? I'm sorry, but f@#% you lady. If you're going to paint yourself as a victim, then I want nothing to do with you or your husband. Go back to Texas.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I think the problem here is that they have squandered our trust with a series of abuses and now they hand us this HUGE coincidence. How in the world are we supposed to swallow that from them?

Just thinking about it, much of this makes no sense. I'll wait and see what the evidence is and I will keep in mind that Iran is both clever and crazy, but right now I have little reason to believe Obama.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, I saw that and had the same reaction I had to the "then you don't have a heart" comment. If he is going to say that I'm not supporting him because I'm uncaring or not-religious, then he can kiss my mighty rear end.

Did you see the poll information Rasmussen had: Cain 29%, Romney 29%, Gingrich 10%. Wow!

Ed said...

Andrew, On the Iran issue, that's an interesting comment about Iran trying to reach an important Mexican cartel through a backdoor channel in Texas. That doesn't make sense, does it? They could have met with those people through their embassy in Mexico so why go this approach? I think this is a diversion by Holder.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, It is possible they wanted to do this WAY off the books, so to speak. But you are correct that it seems odd that they would try to contact Los Zetas through some risky backdoor process when they probably could have just called their leader and asked them to send a representative to the Iranian embassy (or some related location).

It's all very strange.

Ed said...

But if they wanted to do this "off the books" then why is the guy blabbing about this being an Iranian operation and why would they transfer money from a Quds account. I would think they could do better than that?

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, I have no answer for you. All I can say that it sounds strange, but it's not outside the realm of possibility. It certainly sounds ham-fisted doesn't it? And when you add in the high coincidence factor (and the many reasons not to trust Holder), that when I say it's time to wait and see what emerges.

But let me also add, if this is true, then Obama MUST respond. To fail to respond would be the same mistake Clinton made with al Qaeda which led to 9/11.

Tennessee Jed said...

In the words of Ed McMahon, "you are correct, sir!!"

rlaWTX said...

Idiotorium! awesome...

Iran more trustworthy than TOTUS's admin: actually kinda makes sense - they're pretty upfront about hating the US, while BO's Socialists 'R Us have tried to keep that quiet.

I think this movie is Clooney & Damon's next pic! Add Stone and it nearly makes itself...
(& I've never noticed what a dumb name Clooney is until I tried to type it!)

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, LOL! I used to watch the Tonight Show when Ed was Carson's sidekick. I stopped watching shortly after Leno took over. He just couldn't hold a candle to Johnny Carson.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Thanks! It sounds like a good place to store Biden until you need him! :)

Yeah, this has all the makings of an Oliver Stone/Clooney/Damon movie -- once you make the President a Republican of course.

In an odd sort of way, it does make sense that Iran is more trustworthy. They are quite open about who they hate and how they want to kill the rest of us. And even when they lie, they lie consistently and always in the same direction. So they're easy to interpret.

Obama on the other hand, seems to lie randomly and you never know what's true with them and what's not.

How odd that I have more trust in Iran than the US. :(

Unknown said...

Andrew: Just for fun, I wanted to see if my initial impression less than an hour after the announcement holds up now after a few days. You've expanded nicely on areas I didn't cover in my initial impression, but my initial impression still holds up and is amplified by your piece.

Here are the comments from that day:

SEMI-RELATED MATTER: Eric Holder just announced the foiling of a major terrorist plot to blow up the Israeli and Saudi embassies and murder the Saudi ambassador. Good for law enforcement. But like the thirteenth strike of the clock, everything Holder has done is called into questions.

First, the Department of Homeland Security is the agency with primary responsibility for protecting Americans and embassies from terrorists attacks. Why is Holder making the announcement instead of Janet Napolitano or President Obama? DHS is a cabinet-level agency, with distinct responsibility. The only person not at the press conference is Janet Napolitano (other than the President himself).

Second: The information and investigation were all completed around the end of September. So why the press conference today? There may be reasonable explanations, but I will never be able to believe anything that Holder or his minions say. Sure--there will be a trial sometime, somewhere, but for now I can think of at least three other luminaries who should have been making this announcement.

Third, Iran's Q'ud Division of the Iranian Republican Army are allegedly deeply-involved in the plot. Where was Hillary Clinton during the press conference?

If the Attorney General were a trustworthy, hard-working, competent chief law enforcement officer, I might not be asking these questions. But just as Rep. Darryl Issa and Sen. Chuck Grassley are preparing to issue subpoenas for Holder's records and further testimony, there's Holder--protecting us from foreign invaders. I find it highly suspicious, but I'll reserve my judgment for a future time.

BevfromNYC said...

First impression - So now even IF this is true and the Iranians sent an agent to kill the Saudi ambassador and blow up the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Washington, how does the Obama Administration have any credibility since we just blew up an enemy of OUR country in a a country in which we are not war (Yemen and Pakistan)? Okay, I'm sorry to have to agree with Rachel Maddow on the Alwalaki killing.

Their moral outrage rings hollow to me, but then it always has.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, Great minds, right!

I think your initial suspicions have been right on point as there is clearly something just wrong with all of this.

As you note, where was the State Department? Where was Homeland Security? If this legitimately involved Iran, then this was an act of war and they should have been there.

I'm thinking Hillary knows the problem with Fast and Furious and wasn't going to put her neck in the noose to help Holder create a cover up.

I find it equally interesting that they've made Biden the point man on this when he's the last person in the administration who should be handling this -- Hillary, Holder, Napolitano and Obama are it. Biden's name doesn't appear, yet he's the guy doing all the ground work?

Something is rotten in Obamaland.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, You raise an interesting and difficult point. Can we really criticize others for doing what we are basically doing ourselves?

Honestly, international relations is packed with hypocrisy. We hold some countries to standards we don't hold other to, we will treat some countries as punching bags, but would never attack countries who do worse, etc.

And that's the problem with Obama trying to turn foreign policy into a morality play -- it isn't moral, it's situational.

And the situation here is that if this is true, then Obama needs to punish Iran if they did this to convince them to never try anything like this again.

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew - I guess that is why the Administration's moral outrage rings hollow. They are doing exactly what they should be doing if the Iranians did this. And getting Alwalaki was exactly right too, BUT and I'm really getting tired of saying this, if Bush had done either of these, he'd be called a warmongering traitor and International War Criminal by...well...Sen. Obama et al.! Obama could very well get us into yet another war and it's just peachy keen-o with the Libs!

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I agree on all counts.

First, the moral outrage seems fake. And part of that is because this is no worse than they've done, hence it is hypocritical, but also part of it feels manufactured to me -- like they don't really care, but they know they need to beat the drum or people will get upset.

In fact, a lot of their comments have a very pro forma sense to them, as if they simply took out a book on "what to say in the event of diplomatic outrage" and now they're reading what they're supposed to say. I don't see any genuine outrage on their parts.

I also think there is a strong hint that they don't have a clue how to respond. I think they don't know if they should do something militarily or sanctions or just ignore it. I think they're trying to cut an awkward middle path of speaking about the outrage and then dumping the issue on the UN without appearing to be doing that.

If Iran really did this, then it is an act of war. Why hasn't Obama addressed the nation? Reagan would have.

The whole response strikes me as strange somehow.

On the Bush point, you are absolutely right. You would have had Pelosi running to Iran for a photo-op with their leaders, Obama and Clinton would be in the Senate cautioning Bush not to do anything stupid and saying we need to listen to Iran's justifications, etc. etc.

But since Obama is in charge, the left has actually become quite blood thirsty -- look at their response to Libya, where they have tried to beat their chests and claim that Obama is a mighty warlord and that the public should bow down before him. I think they would happily see Obama blast Iran -- and they won't protest, like they would have with Bush.

That said, I think the public is very unlikely to want another war.

Unknown said...

Bev: I have to stick with my original belief that Obama acted properly in taking out Al Awlaki. Embassies are sacrosanct in international diplomacy, a recognized protocol among all civilized nations. It really doesn't matter that the embassies (and the one ambassador) are on American soil. The attempt is a violation of international law and centuries of diplomatic relations.

Al Awlaki on the other hand was a terrorist turncoat, plotting mass murder on an international terrorist scale, in a nation which gave us permission in advance to do what was necessary to prevent an attack on Americans either at home or on foreign soil. We could have risked American lives to bring Al Awlaki back to the United States in a boots on the ground raid. Then we could have spent years attempting to bring him to trial (see: Khalid Sheikh Muhammed). Or we could simply take him out and end his plotting against us without the loss or risk of loss of a single American life.

Comparing this terrorist's treatment with that of Al Awlaki's simply ignores international law, American law, and the differences between killing in a war and blowing up embassies. The Obama administration is rife with hypocrisy, but I don't believe that word applies here.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, Those are excellent points. I agree.

But even if you put that aside, I think the fact is that morality simply has never been big in international relations because there are too many factors at play to have an entire relationship between countries be bound by rules that affect only one aspect of the relationship. We deal with the real world as it is, not with the world as we wish it were. And that requires making unpleasant concessions.

Unknown said...

Andrew: I agree. To add to the problem is the fact that all the rules were designed to accommodate nation-states and traditional nation vs. nation warfare. The terrorists hide in spider holes and movable encampments and abide by none of the rules of civilization. They wear no uniforms, they fly no flags, and they use civilians as shields and hide out in nations not their own. We can't declare war on individuals who have declared war on us. They violate and hide behind arcane rules of war, but refuse to fight a real war. The only realistic option is to treat them as enemy combatants (and American citizenship cannot immunize them) and kill them wherever we can find them. And yet, to the extent possible, we will still adhere to international law and the Geneva Conventions. They created this type of warfare. It's up to us to end it.

Libertarian Advocate said...

Andrew: My first post after a long hiatus was on this topic today. here's the link

Libertarian Advocate said...

Sorry bad link in my html coding. Here it is in full:

Tehachapi Tom said...

Act of war Bomb them.
Three MOAB down the chute over their U23* enrichment operations and a note, Naughty naughty
Don't even think of trying any such again. If you do the results will be unspaekably more severe.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, That's true. These rules were not written with the idea of individual terrorists in mind and that requires improvisation. And frankly, any country that harbors a terrorist is essentially making itself into a combatant.

Even the Geneva Convention does not protect terrorists. It only protects soldiers who are fighting under recognized rules.

AndrewPrice said...

Libertarian Advocate, Thanks! I'll check it out. Welcome back to the blogging world!

Here's your link: <a href=">LINK</a>

AndrewPrice said...

Tom, If they did indeed do this, then I would have no problems wiping out those responsible. And I don't believe in unnecessarily endangering US troops just to make it "fair" -- as liberals seem to like. I say bomb them.

But first, I want to see that Iran did this because right now I suspect we're looking at Wag The Dog.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, thanks for writing this up, I hadn't really known what to make of this (I still don't, but this does clear a lot of it up).

To me, the strangest part of this is that Abarbsiar would also want Los Zetas to move opium into Mexico. Um, I thought Muslim terrorists didn't like the West because it had introduced drugs into their "utopia"? Of course, it's not like they would be above such hypocrisy, but still, weird.

Beyond that, I think this proves how necessary it is to rebuild our alliance with Saudi Arabia. I don't like them, but they're our best shot (with Israel) at keeping a lid on that cauldron. Also, assuming Iranians were behind this, I wonder if this can be explained by the behind-the-scenes factions in Tehran. Remember, Ahmanutjob and the Ayatollah were on the verge of an open break earlier this year, so that might factor into it somehow.

T-Rav said...

Also, since the recent poll came up, I wonder if there's an opening developing for Gingrich to really surge upward. There's still so much instability in the party, and so much desire to find a viable "Not-Romney" candidate, I'm starting to think his repeatedly good debate performances are giving him enough momentum to make a play for the top tier in the near future. Is it likely he'll succeed? I don't think so, but he was almost dead in the water over the summer, and now he's consistently doing around 10%. It'll probably depend on how durable Cain's candidacy turns out to be.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, You're welcome. You ask some excellent questions.

First, that's something to remember about Iran -- it is a country on the verge of a civil war and so it's very possible that one hand was doing this without the other one knowing what it was doing. Also we can't ever forget that Ahmanutjob is indeed a nut job. I don't think he's faking at all -- I think he is insane. So anything is possible with him.

Secondly, the whole Los Zetas connection is just really strange.

Opium from the Middle East goes through Europe, why send it to Mexico? They get their drugs from South America.

Why use a failed car salesman as a contact?

Why use them at all as hitmen? Surely a team of 3-4 Iranian professionals would be a much better choice than using a cartel?

None of this makes much sense.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I would interpret his 10% as being dissatisfaction with Cain and Romney. It probably means that by the process of elimination, the public sees him as next in line if Cain trips. I don't know that I would say that's really a "pro-Newt" sentiment, so much as a "don't like the others" sentiment.

The problem with polls like this is that they are noncommittal and thus it's easy to say one thing for any number of reasons without really thinking things through. Better polling involves head to head choices.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, I'm really hoping the administration didn't make this up. Because if they did, that would make them even more corrupt than we've imagined--to the point of being an actual danger to the country. What does it say about the current state of affairs that an assassination attempt by rogue Iranian elements is actually the best-case explanation for this?

I agree, though, the steps taken by these plotters sound really implausible.

On A-jad, someone made the point after one of the debates, when Ron Paul had his God-awful argument about just leaving Iran alone, that the reason that doesn't work is he and the Tehran government are "non-rational actors." That is to say, they're showing behavior which to the rest of us seems wholly irrational, but in their heads seems wholly rational. They believe the return of the 12th Imam will bring about a worldwide Islamic empire or something. They also believe they can do things to speed that up, like start a war. If they desire the realization of the former--and they do--they will pursue the latter.

The sad truth is that's a train of thought you can't really reason with or even divert indefinitely. They're pursuing goals which are 100% incompatible with ours. Unless something changes, I fear this may all hit the fan soon.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, It definitely says something that the best case scenario is a genuine assassination plot.

On Iran, you're right. The problem is that their goals are not rational and they are not consistent with the rest of us continuing to exist. So it's impossible to say what they really would or would not do. In fact, it's very possible that they would do something like this without caring about the consequences.

Not to mention that in the past, there have been very few consequences for their prior actions. So far they've done a lot of very bad things and never once faced a bombing, an invasion, the arrest of their leaders, or political assassinations. In effect, they've been getting away with whatever they've done.

On hoping that Obama isn't making this up, I would agree except that I have no problem seeing them doing something like this. My reasoning is simple -- they've been accusing Republicans of this kind of "wag the dog" scenario for a long time now. The only reason they think such a charge is legitimate is because it's something they would do themselves if they thought it would help. So I have a very easy time believing they would do this, and I can totally see them justifying this to themselves by saying "Republicans did it." Which is of course a total lie.

DUQ said...

Andrew, I am ready to believe the worst about Obama at all times. He's earned my distrust.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, I'm a skeptic. I want proof before I believe anything, but the evidence at this point is that this is nothing more than a lone nutjob and Team Obama has decided to play it up. But I will withhold judgment until we get some facts either way.

StanH said...

If someone doesn’t believe Barry, and other Alinsky disciples in his administration are capable of streeeeetching the truth to move their political agenda forward hasn’t been paying attention. Nothing is out of bounds with this bunch, remember, “if it feels good do it!” “The ends justify the means.” Brother anything goes. So yes, Barry would happily “Wag The Dog,” if it behooves him. And putting B-B-B-Biden in charge means they want confusion, coupled with inaction.

The polling is encouraging for Mr. Cain. Frank Luntz was just on Hannity, and is setting up a focus group in Nevada for next weeks debate, he said something to the effect that he’s having trouble finding people that don’t support Herman Cain, he continued that it was anecdotal, but believes his support runs much deeper than the polls reveal…cool!

Writer X said...

Holder's timing was coincidental. But even if it were true, what would the Obama administration do? Take ImADinnerJacket off the Obamas' Christmas card list? So much for consequences.

Holder and Obama would love nothing more than to take the focus off Fast & Furious, not that anybody but bloggers are paying much attention to it anyway.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, A lot of people I know are coming around to Cain and are supporting him very strongly now - people who even a few weeks ago were firmly in other camps. My biggest concern with Cain is whether he has a strong enough organization to avoid being out-hustled on the ground -- which can make a huge difference in a primary. But we'll see. That's something he should be able to correct. At this point, I really do think it's down to Cain v. Romney and I would bet Cain has the lead.

On Iran, I have no doubt that Obama would do something like "Wag the Dog." And I think a lot of other people are feeling the same -- given the massive amount of skepticism shown in response to these charges. It must drive Obama insane that the public distrusts him this much!

Still, it's a rather disturbing feeling to think that we can't trust our government on an issue like this.

AndrewPrice said...

Writer X, Good points all around. What would they do if this turns out to be true? I honestly can't see Obama having the will (or brains) to really respond with anything worse than a sternly worded letter. The only bad thing that might happen to the Iranians is that they might laugh themselves to death when they read it.

And you're right, the media is ignoring Fast and Furious, but it is building as Issa digs deeper and deeper. Once subpoenas start getting issued, then the MSM will have no choice but to start paying attention. I think that's what Obama is worried about. In fact, by delaying their coverage of this, the MSM is actually just pushing it into the middle of the election campaign and making it worse.

StanH said...

As has been said up-thread, this mistrust has been earned.

AndrewPrice said...

So true Stan.

rlaWTX said...

I think that I am going to hope that they are simply inflating the importance instead of actually making it up...
[although a good reason to bomb Iran back to the stone age is never a bad thing]
inflation would be spin, I can deal with spin better than more malfeasance.

T-Rav said...

Cain did pick up a couple of quasi-endorsements today from Haley Barbour and Paul Ryan. Barbour predicted that Cain would easily sweep the South in a matchup against Obama, and Ryan gave considerable praise to the 9-9-9 plan, though he didn't outright endorse it. That should help.

Also, Cain has said that he has enough money coming in now that he will be putting a lot more into Iowa and NH (I'd focus on South Carolina and not the latter, but whatever), so that's encouraging too.

As an OT, everyone should really check out Drudge, right below the headline. The chances of that photo lineup being a coincidence are about 1 in infinity.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, I think that's actually the most likely.

If I had to guess what is really going on, it would be that this guy is a lone terrorist idiot who wanted to do something and either had his own plan or got one talking to the undercover guy. And then Holder et al. have added the rest about the connection to the Iranian government because they know that no one will believe Iran's denials.

In effect, I think they made a mountain out of a mole hill using flimsy connections to Iran and then tried to sell the mountain.

But we'll see. They might have actual evidence. Who knows?

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, That's funny! You know Drudge picked those pictures to be clever! And clever it is. :)

I hadn't heard that Ryan said anything about Cain. Thanks for the info! I have seen a lot of anger at the 9-9-9 plan suddenly in libertarian ranks -- they're also upset about the Fed thing.

If Cain starts getting legitimate endorsements, that will be suck the wind out of Romney's campaign.

I'm glad to hear he's going to start assembling a ground team. He really needs to hire good people to put those together, because nothing would kill him quicker than getting smoked in the first three states by a better organized opposition.

AndrewPrice said...

Tom, Sorry I missed your comment, the spam filter seems to have gotten it and it just spat it back out.

I agree that this sounds like a diversion.

Writer X said...

Andrew, that is a great point about the MSM's delay. It would be nice if that came back to bite them.

AndrewPrice said...

Writer X, I agree, that would be great! I do think that's what they're doing though. This isn't a scandal that will go away because the Republicans have subpoena power now, so the MSM's best bet is to cover it now and be done with it. If they wait, bad revelations will start coming out right in the middle of 2012 and that's only going to hurt Obama. Good. :)

T-Rav said...

Andrew, I think a lot will depend on the Vegas debate next week. There's supposed to be a lot of foreign policy in this one, and Cain needs to have some concrete statements, because in light of all this and his new frontrunner status, answering with versions of "It's not a topic I know much about, so I can't say" isn't gonna cut it.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, True.

As an aside, let me say that I am stunned when I hear how little our politicians know about foreign affairs. Don't these people read the papers? It's shocking to me.

P.S. Make sure your sockpuppets bone up on their foreign affairs before this debate! :)

AndrewPrice said...

Update: Obama now has declared his intention to seek sanctions officially. Yawn.

Interestingly, all the leftists like the Daily Beast are just completely, uncritically accepting Holder's claims as true. They aren't even mentioning that anyone is casting doubt on this. They really are pathetic.

Ed said...

Andrew, On Cain for a moment, I'm seeing a lot of attacks on his 9-9-9 plan. I think it's fake criticism, no they're comparing it to a videogame as if Cain played some videogame and then came up with the concept. I guess it's mudslinging time.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, Yeah, I've been seeing that too. I think it's an asinine attack as it's clearly not true. But that's what you get when you get noticed -- people attack you.

rlaWTX said...

Andrew, since the 9-9-9 plan came out after your write-up of Cain, you could do an addendum... just a tho't...

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, That's a good idea. I'll put something together for that! :)

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