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Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

Klein-Aaron

When You Arm Rebels…

Questions remain about the Obama administration’s role in supplying arms to Libyan rebels as a United Nations report released this week reveals that weapons are being sent to extremists from Libya at an “alarming rate,” fueling conflicts in Mali, Syria, Gaza, and elsewhere.

During the fight against the Khaddafi regime in 2011, it was widely reported the Obama administration coordinated foreign arms shipments to the Libyan rebels. In December 2012, the New York Times reported that after discussions among members of the National Security Council, the Obama administration backed arms shipments to Libyan rebels from both Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

American officials told the Times that the UAE first approached the Obama administration during the early months of the Libyan uprising, asking for permission to ship American-built weapons that the U.S. had supplied for the emirates’ use. The administration rejected the request to ship U.S. weapons, instead urging the emirates to ship foreign weapons to Libya that could not be traced to the U.S., the Times reported.

“The UAE was asking for clearance to send U.S. weapons,” one former U.S. official told the Times. “We told them it’s O.K. to ship other weapons.”

The Times further reported in 2012 that the White House “secretly gave its blessing to arms shipments to Libyan rebels from Qatar last year, but American officials later grew alarmed as evidence grew that Qatar was turning some of the weapons over to Islamic militants, according to United States officials and foreign diplomats.”

There is more evidence that the Obama administration sent arms to Libyan rebels. In March 2011, Reuters reported that Obama had signed a secret order authorizing covert U.S. government support for rebel forces seeking to oust Khaddafi, quoting U.S. government officials. That same month the U.K. Independent reported that “the Americans have asked Saudi Arabia if it can supply weapons to the rebels in Benghazi.”

Now the United Nations reports that weapons initially sent to Benghazi are spreading from Libya at an “alarming rate,” fueling conflicts in Mali, Syria and beyond. The report by the UN Security Council’s Group of Experts said the North African state has become a key source of weapons transfers in the region, specifically blaming Qatar and the UAE for arming the rebels.

Media (Mis)uses Al Qaeda Video To Promote Gun Control

In an apparently clear push for gun control, CNN and MSNBC this week hyped false claims by an Al Qaeda spokesman that America is awash with easily obtainable, fully automatic “assault rifles.”

The networks played an Al Qaeda propaganda video from June 2011 that until now has received little news media attention. In the video, American Al Qaeda spokesman and operative Adam Gadahn urged jihadists to obtain automatic rifles at U.S. gun shows, wrongly claiming those weapons are sold without background checks.

Stated Gadahn in the video: “America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms. You can go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle without a background check and most likely without having to show an identification card. So what are you waiting for?”

The video was aired by CNN as part of a two-day report on gun background checks. CNN’s Brook Baldwin introduces the video by stating: “Al Qaeda already thinks America’s gun control system is weak. An Al Qaeda spokesman says it is so easy to get guns in America that wannabe terrorists should take advantage of it.” The segment went on to claim that gun legislation being proposed is not strong enough to stop Al Qaeda from obtaining firearms.

The video was also used repeatedly by MSNBC to push for gun control.

When the Al Qaeda video was first released, National Review deputy editor Kevin D. Williamson debunked the claim. He noted that if that civilian is not a federally licensed firearms dealer, “owning a fully automatic weapon manufactured after 1986 is categorically illegal.”

Continued Williamson: “Fully automatic weapons that were legally owned and registered with the federal government before 1986 may be transferred to a qualified buyer with the approval of federal and local law-enforcement authorities, a rigorous background check, and, of course, a sign-off from the U.S. Treasury Department: there’s a couple hundred bucks in fees and taxes involved.”

Williamson warned that selling a fully automatic weapon to an unlicensed party, at a gun show or anywhere else, “is a very excellent way to land yourself in prison for a good long while.”

MSNBC Host Attended Obama’s Controversial Church For Seven Years

MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry worshipped for seven years with President Obama at the controversial Trinity United Church in Chicago, this column has learned.

Harris-Perry was also an associate of Obama’s when both taught at the University of Chicago in the early 2000s, and she eventually became a regular commentator on Obama to the news media. She is on the board of the George Soros-funded Century Foundation, a nonprofit that advises the White House. Century is a partner of the Center for American Progress. CAP has been described as the “idea factory” of the White House.

The MSNBC personality is currently in hot water after the network released a promo video in which she argued Americans must grow beyond the idea that children belong to their parents. Instead, Harris-Perry contended, kids belong to the community.

Harris-Perry declares in the ad: “We have never invested as much in public education as we should have because we’ve always had kind of a private notion of children. Your kid is yours and totally your responsibility,” Harris-Perry said. “We haven’t had a very collective notion of these are our children.

“So part of it is, we have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents, or kids belong to their families, and recognize that kids belong to whole communities. Once it’s everybody’s responsibility and not just the household’s, then we start making better investments.”

The ad prompted criticism from top talk radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck as well as from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

About the Author: Aaron Klein is a New York Times bestselling author and senior reporter for WND.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.


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