FIRST TIME IN AMERICAN HISTORY
A United States president negotiates with
kidnappers. In June 27, 1958 Raul Castro
kidnapped ten Americans and two Canadians.
Did Obama set a dangerous precedent with Cuba decision?
Did Obama set a dangerous precedent with Cuba decision?
The historic plan announced by President Obama on Wednesday to normalize relations with Cuba was met with heavy bipartisan resistance on Capitol Hill, raising questions of whether Congress will even consider easing a more than 50-year trade embargo against the communist state -- let alone end it.
Obama said the United States will cease what he called an “outdated approach” with Cuba, and take steps to normalize diplomatic relations -- including opening an embassy in Havana -- after American Alan Gross was released from the country following five years in prison as part of an agreement that also included the release of three Cubans jailed in the U.S.
Obama also called on Congress to have an "honest and serious debate" about lifting the trade embargo, which has been in place since 1962.
But Republicans, and even some Democrats, pushed back strongly, with some GOP heavy hitters calling Obama's plan “another concession to tyranny.”
“These changes will lead to legitimacy for a government that shamelessly continuously abuses human rights but it will not lead to assistance for those whose rights are being abused,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said Wednesday.
"It's absurd and it's part of a long record of coddling dictators and tyrants," Rubio told Fox News, claiming the administration is "constantly giving away unilateral concessions ... in exchange for nothing." Rubio called Obama the "worst negotiator" the U.S. has had as president "since at least Jimmy Carter." He also said Congress would not support lifting the embargo.
Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also criticized the administration’s plan to change the current U.S. relationship with Cuba. McConnell said he defers to Rubio on the matter.
Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., who, like Rubio, is a Cuban-American lawmaker, said this is a moment of "profound relief" for Gross and his family. But he voiced concerns that this constituted a "swap of convicted spies for an innocent American."
"President Obama's actions have vindicated the brutal behavior of the Cuban government," he said in a statement. "Trading Mr. Gross for three convicted criminals sets an extremely dangerous precedent. It invites dictatorial and rogue regimes to use Americans serving overseas as bargaining chips."
Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and John McCain, R-Ariz., said in a joint statement that the move damages American values.
"Unfortunately, we fear the most damaging chapter to America’s national security is still being written. We dread the day President Obama takes to the podium to announce a nuclear deal with the Iranian ayatollahs which does little, if anything, to deter their nuclear ambitions, placing our nation and our closest allies in even deeper peril,” the said in a joint written statement.
Other U.S. lawmakers hailed the agreement, and some even joined Gross on the plane ride to the U.S. -- Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.; Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.; and Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., were on that flight.
U.S. officials said Pope Francis was personally engaged in the process as well and sent separate letters to Obama and Castro this summer urging them to restart relations.
Senior administration officials said Obama spoke with Cuban leader Raul Castro for more than 45 minutes on Tuesday, the first substantive presidential-level discussion between the U.S. and Cuba since 1961.
Obama also plans to take several executive actions, including expanding travel and economic ties to the island. According to a White House document, the U.S. government would raise remittance levels and authorize certain travel to Cuba, as well as start a review of Cuba's designation as a state sponsor of terrorism.
Obama also has formally directed the State Department to launch talks with Cuba to re-establish diplomatic relations, which were cut in 1961. The embassy in Havana would be opened "in the coming months," according to the White House.
Officials said the Cuban government was releasing 53 political prisoners. The announcement comes after Gross was freed, as part of an agreement that included the release of three Cubans jailed in the U.S.
Gross landed in the U.S. shortly before noon on Wednesday.
A senior Obama administration official told Fox News that Gross left Cuba on a U.S. government plane Wednesday morning, and was "released on humanitarian grounds by the Cuban government at the request of the United States."
The three Cubans released are part of the so-called Cuban Five -- a group of men who were part of the "Wasp Network" sent by Cuba's then-President Fidel Castro to spy in South Florida. The men, who are hailed as heroes in Cuba, were convicted in 2001 in Miami on charges including conspiracy and failure to register as foreign agents in the U.S.
Two of the Cuban Five were previously released after finishing their sentences.
Cuba was also releasing a non-American intelligence "asset" along with Gross, according to a U.S. official. Administration officials claimed that Gross was not technically traded for the three Cubans, and that his release was humanitarian.
Obama administration officials had considered Gross' imprisonment an impediment to improving relations with Cuba, and the surprise deal was quickly making way for rapid changes in U.S. policy.
The president has taken some steps to ease U.S. restrictions on Cuba after Raul Castro took over as president in 2010 from his ailing brother. He has sought to ease travel and financial restrictions on Americans with family in Cuba, but had resisted calls to drop the embargo. Obama raised eyebrows when he shook hands with Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela's memorial service last year.
Gross was detained in December 2009 while working to set up Internet access as a subcontractor for the U.S. government's U.S. Agency for International Development, which does work promoting democracy in the communist country. It was his fifth trip to Cuba to work with Jewish communities on setting up Internet access that bypassed local censorship.
Fox News' Jake Gibson, Wes Barrett and The Associated Press contributed to this report
Western Journalism has released a Newly uncovered Muslim
Brotherhood documents that could
get Barack Obama some serious prison time.
Please watch and share this shocking video…
should Obama be put in jail?
Matthew Vadum is an award-winning investigative reporter and the author of the book,
"Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts Are Still Terrorizing and Ripping
Off American Taxpayers."
The FBI is warning that extremist protesters will probably threaten or physically attack police officers or federal agents when a grand jury investigating the death of Michael Brown decides whether to indict the policeman who shot him.
Brown, an 18-year-old black male, was killed in Ferguson, Mo., on Aug. 9 by white police officer Darren Wilson after he beat Wilson and tried to grab his handgun. Brown’s defenders characterize him as a gentle giant even though a few minutes earlier he was captured on video committing a strong-arm robbery at a convenience store, roughing up a much smaller clerk in the process. At autopsy Brown’s height was 6′ 5″ and his weight was 289 lbs. As previously reported, autopsy results were consistent with witness accounts that Brown reached for Wilson’s gun during their fateful altercation.Grand jurors’ decision about whether Wilson will face criminal charges could be handed down at any time. Some activists are not content to wait. A group called RbG Black Rebels is offering a $5,000 reward to anyone who provides the location of Wilson, who has reportedly gone into hiding. Taking a page from Niccolo Machiavelli, the Renaissance era courtier who urged the powerful to kill not only their enemies but also their families of their enemies, the group is also offering $1,000 for information on the whereabouts of Wilson’s close relatives.
Whenever the grand jury acts, loathsome leftists like Al Sharpton will be there to further stir the pot. Mob rule, that is Marxist mobocracy, is the model of governance preferred by Marxist community organizers like Sharpton and Barack Obama. Civil unrest is an opportunity, not a tragedy. The more bodies, the better.
The FBI’s expectation of violence shouldn’t surprise anyone. Radical leftists have long held that terrorizing people leads to change. Violence is part of the Left’s stratagem for sociopolitical change. Just one tool in the box. As one organizer in Ferguson recently said, “We’re not going to get change in this society unless white people are just a little bit afraid.”
The organizer is echoing the words of the late neo-communist activist Richard Cloward. As I explained in my book, Subversion Inc., Cloward and his wife Frances Fox Piven devised a strategy to force change by flooding the nation with welfare recipients.
Cloward wanted the poor to rise up violently against The System. Poor people would benefit more than other groups “from a major upheaval in our society,” he said. The poor only make progress “when the rest of society is afraid of them.”
As tensions rise in Ferguson and other cities across America in anticipation of the grand jury announcement, the FBI reportedly issued an intelligence bulletin to law enforcement agencies all over the country. The FBI is warning that extremist protesters “will likely” threaten and possibly attack police officers or federal agents.
Electrical or water treatment facilities could be targeted and “hacktivists” like the group Anonymous could carry out cyber-attacks against authorities, ABC News reports.
“The announcement of the grand jury’s decision … will likely be exploited by some individuals to justify threats and attacks against law enforcement and critical infrastructure,” the FBI stated in the recent memo. “This also poses a threat to those civilians engaged in lawful or otherwise constitutionally protected activities.” The FBI said it believes “those infiltrating and exploiting otherwise legitimate public demonstrations with the intent to incite and engage in violence could be armed with bladed weapons or firearms, equipped with tactical gear/gas masks, or bulletproof vests to mitigate law enforcement measures.”
Of course the use of the verb infiltrating is curious. These people won’t be hijacking the protests, as the FBI implies. They already run the show.
The union goons, Afrocentrist militants, open-borders advocates, leftover ACORN activists, and Occupy Wall Street thugs are all allies of President Obama and they are already on the ground in Ferguson, as they have been for months. Their violent so-called protests which involve Molotov cocktails and urine are no more legitimate in our constitutional republic than assassinations, thuggery, and bribes.
These terrorists want roughly the same things that Obama wants. It is an open question whether the terrorists in question are pro-Obama or perhaps to the political left of Obama, which is possible but hard to conceptualize given Obama’s radicalism.
Meanwhile, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) declared a statewide state of emergency yesterday and activated his state’s National Guard in anticipation of civil disorder following the grand jury’s decision in the Darren Wilson case. “Regardless of the outcomes of the federal and state criminal investigations, there is the possibility of expanded unrest,” Nixon states in Executive Order 14-14.
While some may applaud Nixon for being proactive, it is important to recall that he is responsible, at least in part, for any unrest that follows because he has engaged in race-baiting and has pandered to the mob that is now screaming for Wilson’s blood.
And let there be no doubt which side the Obama administration is on: rampant chaos, civil unrest, and bloodshed. The Obama administration’s disingenuous disavowals of violence don’t persuade anyone: Obama and his radical colleagues want Ferguson to burn for political reasons. The White House doesn’t give a fig about the outside agitators who have been streaming in to the St. Louis area from Chicagoland and beyond. They are the president’s comrades-in-arms.
If Obama weren’t in the Oval Office, he himself would be in the streets of Ferguson right now doing everything in his power to polarize and demonize Darren Wilson and maximize criminal anarchy.
Remember that Obama’s Attorney General, Eric Holder, sent scores of FBI agents to desperately scour Ferguson for non-existent proof of racial animus by local police. He also sent in the Saul Alinsky Division of the DoJ, the Community Relations Service (CRS), to help disturb the peace. Under Holder, CRS mediators are community organizers paid by taxpayers to facilitate civil unrest.
As Alinsky wrote in Rules for Radicals, a community organizer must stir up disorder. The organizer’s first job is “community disorganization” by manufacturing crises in order to inflame the community. The organizer must “create the issues or problems,” which is exactly what the Obama administration and allies like Al Sharpton have done in Ferguson in the complete absence of evidence that Michael Brown suffered an injustice at the hands of local police.
A community organizer must “rub raw the resentments of the people of the community,” Alinsky wrote, and “fan the latent hostilities of many of the people to the point of overt expression.” Overt expression, of course, is leftist-speak for politically motivated violence.
The organizer must “agitate to the point of conflict” because without friction and controversy “people are not concerned enough to act,” Alinsky wrote. Having harangued the community out of its feelings of complacency, the organizer then directs its rage at specific targets and scapegoats, providing “a channel into which the people can angrily pour their frustrations.”
Even now Holder is trying to ramp up tensions in the black community. Nothing else can explain his outrageous, downright kooky comparison of would-be cop killer Michael Brown to lynching victim Emmett Till.
Till was brutally tortured and murdered on Aug. 24, 1955 in Money, Miss. He reportedly flirted with a white woman in a grocery store. Four days later two white men abducted him, beat him, gouged out an eye, shot him in the head, and dumped his weighted-down body in a river. In a shameful miscarriage of justice, an all-white jury acquitted Till’s killers who later admitted their guilt to Look magazine, knowing that the double jeopardy rule precluded a second prosecution for their crimes.
Although Holder didn’t mention Brown or Ferguson in his prepared remarks yesterday at a tree planting ceremony commemorating Emmett Till, he worked Ferguson in during remarks to MSNBC, echoing his infamous accusation that America is “a nation of cowards” on the topic of race.
“The struggle goes on and it’s not only Ferguson,” Holder told the barely watched cable TV network. He continued:
There are other communities around our country where we are dealing with relationships that are not what they should be, be they officials in their communities that they are supposed to serve. Or really on a more personal level there is an enduring legacy that Emmett Till has left with us that we have to still confront as a nation.
Holder won’t admit that Brown was a vicious 18-year-old thug because his ugly ideology will not allow it. Brown was a victimizer and Till was a victim. Just about the only thing Till and Brown have in common is that they are both dead.
Holder’s bizarre analogy brings into clearer focus why the Department of Justice invited a deranged 27-year-old Islamist named Bassem Masri to share his thoughts on police reform in light of events in Ferguson.
Masri calls police “pigs,” supports the terrorist group Hamas, and said he hoped the recently deceased comedian Joan Rivers would “burn in hell” for siding with Israel in its ongoing conflict with the Palestinians.
During protests in Ferguson, Masri aggressively needled police officers. After VonDerrit Myers, another black teenage male, was shot Oct. 8 by a local cop, Masri baited officers. “Get the f*** out of here with your coward ass boys! Your life is in danger, homie, you gotta go,” he said. “I’m praying for your death, and your death and your death,” Masri told individual officers.
In another cop-baiting episode, Masri compared police to the murderous Islamic State (ISIS). “I see ISIS in front of me,” he said. “Hamas? They’re real men. You go stand with Hamas and see if you’re going to stand a day.”
Masri was in the news when he shut down a live CNN broadcast in Ferguson on Oct. 20. “You’re all run by Zionists,” Masri shouted at a CNN correspondent. “They’re all run by Israel, so they’ve all got to go,” he added.
Masri is Eric Holder’s idea of a model citizen. He’s the kind of person Obama and friends want to be a vital part of the democratic process — whether he votes or not.
Ferguson, St. Louis, and other cities across the country could soon be at the mercy of an army of unbalanced extremists like Bassem Masri. That’s exactly what the Obama administration wants to happen.