Monday 11 February 2013

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Photo, above:  North Korea has allegedly been placed under martial law and its ruler Kim Jong-un has ordered the army to “prepare for war”, a South Korean daily claims. The North Korean leader issued a series of orders to his top defense and security officials on Saturday to conclude preparations for a new nuclear test, the Seoul based Korea JoongAng Daily alleges citing an unnamed source. The source reportedly said that Kim Jong-un issued a secret order to “complete preparations for a nuclear weapons test <…>and carry it out soon”.   See: Hour 2, Blocks C & D; Hour 3, Blocks A & B.

JOHN BATCHELOR SHOW

Hour One

Monday 11 Feb 2013  /Hour 1, Block A: Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune executive editor, in re: Gov Perry: ". . . California is looking at our backside."   Economic development is one oft he few things a governor can actually do - grab jobs and crow about the economy.  It's cheaper here – lower wages and no income tax. Fracking has loosed old oil deposits. Also energy in California, but greens adamantly refuse to allow it to be released.

Monday 11 Feb 2013  /Hour 1, Block B:  Tom Joscelyn, Long War Journal executive editor, and Bill Roggio, Long War Journal and FDD, in re: Graham Threatens Hold on Nominations  Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) "threatened to block the confirmations of President Obama's nominees for secretary of defense and head of the Central Intelligence Agency if the administration does not provide more information about its response to the deadly Sept. 11, 2012 attack on a diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya," the Washington Post reports. "Graham said that he would not attempt to filibuster, but nodded yes when asked if he was willing to put holds on the nominees, which essentially means asking for the courtesy of notification before the Senate majority leader moves ahead on a vote."

 

Graham's hold will continue till "there are answers for what happened at Benghazi."  Indications that Benghazi is part of a larger landscape of jihadists, from western Africa to the Hindu Kush.   Libya-Cairo-Tunisia-Turkey: Benghazi activists dispersed across this network very quickly.  Al Nusra Front (AQ in Syria, led by Abu Dhua; 10K fighters) captures a Syrian dam – overrun three Syrian bases, launch complex ops such as aQ in Iraq never had.   Scary!  Secured their lines of comm. into Iraq; expect neg repercussions. Trained by Zarqawi.  Anecdotal evidence the US since fall of Gadaffi has abetted/coddled jihadist fighters who travel into the ummah to bring on shariah.   Petraeus was opposing, but Washington's policy is confused –one of our allies is supposed to be Qatar – which is actively funding [among the worst guys].  US supports the network that travels freely while Brennan is signing drone-strike warrants. "It’s an absolute mess."  Drones on AfPak border: these men are in alQ training camps, flow into the other countries.   We have no strategy to defeat these because we have no method of acknowledging he way they're organized.   The four 9/11 pilots were recruited to fight in Chechnya; the idea that you can separate violence geographically this way is foolish – and that's exactly what we're doing.

Monday 11 Feb 2013  /Hour 1, Block C: . Salena Zito, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review; Lara M Brown, Villanova; David M Drucker, Roll Call, in re: State of the Union speech tomorrow.

Monday 11 Feb 2013  /Hour 1, Block D:  Salena Zito, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review; Lara M Brown, Villanova; David M Drucker, Roll Call, in re: State of the Union speech tomorrow.

Hour Two

Monday 11 Feb 2013  /Hour 2, Block A:  . John Fund, National Review Online, in re: Immigration, guns, sequester.  SOTU; Marco Rubio; cynics in DC think the president is happy to let the immigration issue linger so he can utilize the disaffected voters.  Intensity matters in politics – background checks issue will survive. Currently: 93% of people refused on first check are confirmed the second time through.  Gun-show loophole can be closed to many people's satisfaction. I think even the Pentagon can handle the sequester. 
Voting Twice in Ohio
Fraud allegations in crucial election state.  Every year of his administration, King Canute said something had to be done about the tides.

Monday 11 Feb 2013  /Hour 2, Block B:  John Bolton, AEI, in re: How chilling it was to hear General Dempsey testify he was fully aware of al Qaeda’s threat in Libya while Clinton, the official responsible for official Americans in-country, knew nothing. And equally chilling, neither Clinton nor anyone at State ever requested more assistance from Defense. While responsibility certainly rests primarily with Clinton, Panetta’s and Dempsey’s answers were inexcusably bureaucratic. Libya’s deteriorating security situation and rising terrorist menace threatened America generally, not just our diplomats there. Did not Defense’s top officials think it appropriate to raise this issue with Clinton? Didn’t these people talk to each other?

Thursday’s hearing barely touched on the administration’s post-Benghazi yarn that it was not a terrorist attack but a demonstration against the now-famous Mohammed video that spiraled out of control. Testimony by State officials days after the attack confirmed they knew (although it apparently never reached Clinton) that terrorists were responsible because security personnel under fire during the attack were so reporting by cellphone. Panetta and Dempsey were both clear that they knew on September 11 that Benghazi was the work of terrorists. Once again, therefore, we have no explanation for the administration’s repeated reference to the video.

Sen. Lindsey Graham asked the day’s most telling question: Who was in charge as the attack progressed? Incredibly, Panetta first responded, “What do you mean, ‘in charge’?” Then, perhaps even more incredibly, he said, “It’s not that simple,” pointing to Ambassador Stevens, “the people on the ground,” as being in charge. Pressed further, Panetta said, “We all were [in charge].” Notwithstanding Panetta’s confusion, the answer is obvious: The president was in charge. Or should have been.

It is precisely this failure of leadership by the Obama administration, before, during, and after the Benghazi attack, that should concern us. Benghazi was an unnecessary tragedy, compounded by White House incompetence and indifference, but there are far broader risks and threats that are even more gravely concerning. The failures surrounding our second September 11 were only amplified in the following months as al Qaeda assumed control over an area in Mali larger than Texas, and terrorists attacked a large natural-gas facility in Algeria, killing more than 40 foreign hostages.

Benghazi is thus potentially one of those points in history, like the first attack on the World Trade Center, the bombings of our Kenya and Tanzania embassies, or the attack on the USS Cole, that should have given us warning before September 11, 2001. We can only hope that, contrary to all the evidence to date, Obama and his administration wake up before an even greater disaster befalls us.   To read the article online, click here.

Monday 11 Feb 2013  /Hour 2, Block C:   Gordon Chang, Forbes.com, Bruce Bechtol, San Angelo State, in re: 4.9 tremor in North Korea where previous nuclear tests have taken place. Not confirmed as nuclear test. South Korea calls it a "man-made earthquake."  In 2009, DPRK notified Chinese two hours before their test. This time: check to see if China encouraged it so that Washington would apply to Beijing to help deal with North Koreans; and China demands that the US back off from China-Japan confrontations in East China Sea, where China is trying to claim ownership of multiple islets that clearly are under Japanese jurisdiction. If Kim did not notify China in advance, ten presumably Xi will be highly annoyed. Any Iranians near his test? Unh – usually.  This is the weapon that DPRK will mass-produce and sell to Iran.  Nuclear weapons in the hands of irresponsible predators, easily capable of irrational acts: no exaggeration to say the N Korea is a rogue state

Monday 11 Feb 2013  /Hour 2, Block D:  . Reza Kahlili, author, A Time to Betray,  in re: 4.9 tremor in North Korea where previous nuclear tests have taken place. Not confirmed as nuclear test. South Korea calls it a "man-made earthquake."  Khamenei is a vengeful person, a bully. This North Korean nuclear test takes place a night before the SOTU, shows that the US policy of appeasement is a total failure. DPRK can put a satellite in space, meaning that they can then launch an ICBM. Our intelligence agencies know this well; only the American public is unaware.

Hour Three

Monday 11 Feb 2013  /Hour 3, Block A:  Gordon Chang, Forbes.com, and Evan Ramstad, WSJ Seoul, in re: 4.9 tremor in North Korea where previous nuclear tests have taken place. Not confirmed as nuclear test. South Korea calls it a "man-made earthquake."  Less than 24 hours before the president of the US addresses the nation in State of the Union, North Korea tests its third nuclear weapon.  Seismic activity reports from multiple institutes – US, South Korean.    Seoul spokesman "presumes" it was a nuke test; will be sire after nuclear particles drift down to sensors. Same pattern as 2006 and 2009.   DPRK probably wants to get itself in the SOTU; Feb 16 is DPRK leader's birthday; a triple-play for the little-boy leader in Pyongyang.   That regime needs to have someone to antagonize so they can tell their own people that they're protecting them from hostile states. Also want to rattle Beijing's cage; to continue extortion of energy and financial aid.

Monday 11 Feb 2013  /Hour 3, Block B:  . Bob Collins, free-lance writer on Korea, DOD [ret], in Seoul; Gordon Chang, Forbes.com, in re: 4.9 tremor in North Korea where previous nuclear tests have taken place. Not confirmed as nuclear test. South Korea calls it a "man-made earthquake."  It'll take time to gather and examine gas  samples – plutonium? enriched uranium?  Was "11 times greater than the last test," said Korean presidential office.  Improving their ability at nuclear weapons; conduct tests to improve technology. Size of bomb indicates they've done so. Their last remaining task is miniaturizing this so they can put a warhead on a missile to reach the United States.  Main test reason is R&D advance; ancillary: for audiences – US, UN, et al.   ROK mil needs to increase WatchCon. High likelihood that Dr Bechtol is right on the mark:

Monday 11 Feb 2013  /Hour 3, Block C:  . Greg Tobin, author of The Good Pope: The Making of a Saint and the Remaking of the Church--The Story of John XXIII and Vatican II (Hardcover) , in re: the unexpected retirement of Pope Benedict XVI.  The Bishop of Rome submits a resignation letter not to the other bishops, but to the Church in general.  Previous pope was unable to see the existence of child sexual abuse; Pope Benedict moved swiftly on the issue. Approx 115 Cardinals will hold a conclave to choose the next pope.  Almost certain it'll be a current cardinal, probably someone elevated within the past five years.

The Good Pope: The Making of a Saint and the Remaking of the Church--The Story of John XXIII and Vatican II (Hardcover) offers a first look at the much-anticipated new leader of the Catholic Church Examines what lies ahead for the Catholic Church and its people Special commemorative edition celebrates the life of John Paul II Author is the former editor of The Catholic Advocate The devastating loss of Pope John Paul II touched Catholics and non-Catholics throughout the world. Now the Catholic Church stands at a crossroads. While the world's faithful mourn the loss of the extraordinary John Paul II, all eyes now turn to the new bishop of Rome, Pope Benedict XVI. German-born Joseph Ratzinger must now lead the Church into a new era. Who is this new Holy Father, and what lies ahead for the Catholic Church and its people? In this special commemorative edition, award-winning author Greg Tobin examines the future of the Church under the new Supreme Pontiff. This captivating biography explores: The headline-making conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI His childhood, family, and seminary education His religious career, from ordination as priest through elevation to cardinal The spiritual and political issues facing the Catholic Church today - and how Pope Benedict XVI is likely to respond This fascinating keepsake celebrates the remarkable life of John Paul II and offers a first look at the much-anticipated new leader of the Catholic Church.

Frail Pope, in a Break With Tradition, Says He Will Resign

Pope Benedict XVI, citing his deteriorating health, shocked Roman Catholics on Monday by announcing he would retire after nearly eight years on Feb. 28, becoming the first pope to do so in six centuries.

Monday 11 Feb 2013  /Hour 3, Block D:   David Noonan, Reader’s Digest, in re: High-tech simulators and physical tests are used to measure a soldiers’ readiness for combat. Now, however, researchers are also examining how soldiers’ brains react to fear in order to determine how they will react on the battlefield and subsequently recover when their tour of duty is over. Reader’s Digest delved into the concept of “warrior brains,” minds that assess accurately and act cognitively when faced with risk, and explored how scientists are using this idea to help soldiers recover from and prevent post-traumatic stress disorder.

Reader’s Digest explores how the U.S. military is turning to science to strengthen and protect the minds of armed service members.

Hour Four

Monday 11 Feb 2013  /Hour 4, Block A:  David Sanger, NYT, in re: Obama to Renew Drive for Cuts in Nuclear Arms

Monday 11 Feb 2013  /Hour 4, Block B:  Mark Schroeder, Stratfor.com, in re:

In Mali, a Possible Tuareg Suicide Bomber 

Monday 11 Feb 2013  /Hour 4, Block C:   Gordon Chang, Forbes.com, in re: apparent DPRK nuke test.

Monday 11 Feb 2013  /Hour 4, Block D:   Lloyd Grove, Daily Beast, in re: http://www.thedailybeast.  

com/newsweek/2013/02/11/catsimatidis-disses-bloomberg-in-a-billionaire-battle-royale.html

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Music

Hour 1: Cowboys & Aliens, Assassin's Creed

Hour 2: Knight & Day, Crysis

Hour 3: Crysis, Atonement, Babylon AD

Hour 4: Babylon AD, District 9, Brake