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Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

Aaron Klein

Aaron Klein

Israelis Inspect Saudi Arabian Bases

Israeli personnel in recent days were in Saudi Arabia to inspect bases that could be used as a staging ground to launch attacks against Iran, according to informed Egyptian intelligence officials.

The officials said Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, and other Arab and Persian Gulf countries have been discussing the next steps before possibly striking Iran’s nuclear sites.

The officials said the U.S. passed strong messages to Israel and the Saudis that the Americans maintain and control radar capabilities around the skies of Iran and that no strike should be launched without the permission of the Obama administration.

It was unclear whether the visit to Saudi Arabia by Israeli military and intelligence officials signals any real preparation for a strike or if the trip was meant to signal to the West that Israel retains the right to defend itself.

The trip came prior to the announcement of a deal Sunday that purports to halt key parts of Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for a relief in sanctions.

Will We Ever Know What Happened In Benghazi?

Testimony by Benghazi witnesses and victims stating personnel inside the U.S. special mission were not armed directly contradicts the State Department report on the Sept. 11, 2012, attack, KleinOnline has learned.

Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.), chairman of the House Intelligence Subcommittee, told Fox News that State Department employees inside the mission “were not armed, not kitted up and there hadn’t been any shots fired from our side as far as the testimony reveals.”

Westmoreland was commenting on closed-door testimony given to his intelligence committee.

In contrast, the extensive report released by the State Department-sponsored Accountability Review Board, or ARB, specifically states personnel inside the mission protecting the compound and Ambassador Chris Stevens were armed and had their security kits.

The ARB states all assistant regional security officers, or ARSOs, were armed during the attack.

Claims the ARB: “The ARSOs were each armed with their standard issue sidearm pistol; their kits, generally consisting of body armor, radio and an M4 rifle, were in their bedroom/sleeping areas, in accord with Special Mission practice.”

Page 20 of the ARB claims the officer who located Stevens was armed as well.

“ARSO 1 in Villa C swiftly located the Ambassador and IMO Smith, asked them to don body armor, and led them into the safe area in Villa C, which ARSO 1 secured.”

“ARSO 1, armed with an M4 rifle, shotgun and pistol, took up a defensive position inside the Villa C safe area, with line of sight to the safe area gate and out of view of potential intruders.”

The ARB describes the process by which each security officer retrieved kits and guns.

“Following the SMC’s emergency plan, ARSO 1 entered Villa C to secure the Ambassador and IMO in the safe area and to retrieve his kit; ARSOs 2, 3, and 4 moved to retrieve their kits, which were located in Villa B and the TOC.

“From Villa C, ARSO 4 ran to his sleeping quarters in Villa B to retrieve his kit, while ARSOs 2 and 3 ran to the TOC, where ARSO 3 had last seen the Ambassador, and where ARSO 2’s kit was located. (ARSO 2’s sleeping quarters were in the TOC, making him the designated “TOC Officer” in their emergency react plan.)

“At Villa B, ARSO 3 encountered ARSO 4, who was also arming and equipping himself, and the two then attempted to return to Villa C. They turned back, however, after seeing many armed intruders blocking the alley between Villas B and C.”

The new account of unarmed State Department employees may help to explain why no officers reportedly fired any shots or even attempted to engage the intruders. Instead, the officers barricaded themselves in rooms.

The ARB claimed officers did not want to engage the intruders because they were outgunned and because they did not want to compromise their location.

Marketing Obamacare Manual: Perception More Important Than Facts

The lead pollster and main crafter of the marketing campaign for Obamacare once explained that when selling health-care reform to the public “perceptions are more important than facts and reason.”

Progressive pollster Celinda Lake of Lake Research tested Americans for which messaging would work best to market and brand President Obama’s health-care law.

Lake conducted the research for the Herndon Alliance, a little-known group that has been the driving force in selling Obamacare to the country.

Herndon is “the most influential group in the health arena that the public has never heard of,” reported Politico in 2009.

Politico reported that year that when Obama repeatedly announced Americans could maintain their “choice” of doctors and insurance plans, “he [was] using a Herndon strategy for wringing fear out of a system overhaul.”

In 2008, Lake wrote an article in the Health Affairs journal about branding health-care reform.

Lake’s piece was co-authored by Robert Crittenden, the Herndon Alliance executive director.

Lake and Crittenden wrote that rather than presenting a blueprint for health-care reform to the public for discussion, reformers should start “by exploring voters’ own perceptions and the core values that shape their views on health care.”

“Through segmented focus groups and a national telephone survey in 2006, we identified a set of values that drive these swing voters’ perceptions of reform,” wrote Lake and Crittenden.

They asserted that “values” and “perceptions” are more important than “facts” when selling health-care reform.

“Advocates for change in health care would like to think that by using a combination of facts and reason, they could persuade Americans that a progressive, universal health care system would be more effective, efficient, and humane than the current system,” they wrote.

However, they said, “real changes must be enacted in the world of politics and public opinion, where values and perceptions are more important than facts and reason.”

Along with advising the Obama administration, Herndon has been strategizing for Enroll America, the main organization pushing for the uninsured to sign up for Obamacare.

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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