Syria Deploys Russian Missiles
While the entire Russian contract has yet to be delivered, Syria currently has deployed some fully operational batteries of the advanced S300 anti-aircraft system, a senior Syrian official claimed to this column.
The Syrian official would not say how many launchers or missiles were purportedly operational.
Last week, there were some reports that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in a television interview that the Syrian government already had received a first shipment of S-300 air defense missiles from Russia and was waiting for more.
Citing Arab intelligence sources three weeks ago, this column was first to report that S-300 missile batteries had reached Syria. Israeli security sources said at the time there was no information to support the Arab claim.
Speaking to this reporter last week, the same Arab intelligence sources who first claimed S-300 batteries had been delivered to Syria now say other advanced Russian anti-aircraft missiles arrived in Syria in the last few days.
The sources said a Russian delivery of 9K720 Iskander missiles reached Syria last week. The system is an older version of the S-300.
Asked about the latest report, Israeli security officials did not immediately comment on the matter.
Think Tank President: I Helped Craft Obamacare
The president of a George Soros-funded progressive think tank has boasted about helping write President Obama’s signature healthcare legislation.
Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, or CAP, appeared Friday night on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” when she was asked by another guest, James Poulos of the Huffington Post, whether she read the text of Obamacare.
“Yes,” she replied. “I helped write the bill. So yes, I read the bill. I read all 2,200 pages of the bill.”
Tanden assumed her CAP position in November 2011 after serving as a senior advisor for the U.S. Health and Human Services. She also worked on Obama’s health-reform team in the White House to help pass the Affordable Care Act.
Tanden argued in a February 2012 CAP report reviewed by this column that individual mandates within Obamacare “will be instrumental in achieving near-universal coverage.”
Tanden co-authored the report, entitled, “The Case for the Individual Mandate in Health Care Reform,” with fellow CAP staffer Topher Spiro, who is director of the think tank’s health care policy department. Spiro’s official CAP bio states she was “a member of the team that drafted the Affordable Care Act of 2010.”
The CAP has long been closely tied to the Obama administration. The center’s co-director, John Podesta, was co-director of Obama’s White House transition team.
A Time magazine article profiled the influence of Podesta’s Center for American Progress in the formation of the Obama administration, stating that “not since the Heritage Foundation helped guide Ronald Reagan’s transition in 1981 has a single outside group held so much sway.”
The CAP is funded by billionaire George Soros. Its board includes Van Jones, Obama’s former “green jobs” czar, who resigned in September 2009 after media reports revealed that he had founded a communist revolutionary organization.
Another primary CAP funder is the Tides Foundation. Tides is also a primary funder of such radical groups as MoveOn.org, Media Matters for America, and the now defunct Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN.
Congressional Report On Libya’s Radicalization Was Ignored
A Library of Congress report that received almost no media attention detailed – one month before the deadly Sept. 11 attack in Benghazi – how al Qaeda established a major base of operations in Libya in the aftermath of the U.S.-NATO campaign that deposed Muammar Khaddafi and his secular regime.
According to the report, al Qaeda and affiliated organizations were establishing terrorist training camps and pushing Taliban-style Islamic law in Libya while the new, Western-backed Libyan government incorporated jihadists into its militias.
The document named Benghazi as a new central headquarters for al Qaeda activities.
The report said a terrorist released from the U.S. Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba became the leader of the al Qaeda-affiliate Ansar Al-Sharia in Libya, which espoused anti-Western ideology. The Martyrs of 17 February Brigade, which was hired by the State Department to protect the U.S. facility in Benghazi, operates under the Ansar-Al-Sharia banner.
The document also reported that scores of Islamic extremists were freed from Libyan prison after the U.S.-supported revolution in Libya.