The Movie, “13 Hours.” My Take.

I saw the movie “13 Hours” yesterday.  It deals with the terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound at Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.  I came out of the theater virtually shaking with anger from what our people at the compound had to endure over a 13 hour period because of security failures.  The attack on the compound was well organized, well coordinated, well planned, and supported by not only automatic weapons but mortar fire.    The attack cost the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.  Aside from the fact that the movie was a riveting, compelling,  action- packed true story, well worth seeing from that standpoint alone, the political implications from the lack of security have been and still are enormous.

It’s hard to believe that in this day and age our government was so inept.  It’s easy using 20-20 hindsight to fix blame for the security shortcomings there.  But then again the shortcomings were clearly visible and an attack was predictable.  So, hindsight is  not necessary; foresight was enough.  The trouble is, those responsible for security had none.  They were grossly incompetent.  That includes Obama’s White House and Hillary Clinton as the Secretary of State, among others.

Benghazi had been a hotbed of unrest, gripped by civil war and terrorist activities since Gadhafi had been toppled.  The environment was bad enough to force Britain and France both to close their embassies.   European security officials were worried that weapons and vehicles were being stockpiled in Benghazi, post Gadhafi and that al Quaeda was gaining a foothold.  The U.S. well knew the diplomatic situation there was dangerous, so dangerous in fact that it had to be labeled “critical,” according to the movie.  Yet, we did not pull out.  True we had no embassy but only a diplomatic compound.   Nevertheless, what we had there was grossly under- protected, and the failure to fully protect that compound, given the unstable environment, can only be ascribed to gross incompetence, even criminal negligence.

Wikipedia, while not necessarily the repository of the last word on anything, still is to be regarded as possessing some authority.  It does say that the Secretary of State, among other duties and responsibilities, “ensures the protection of the U.S. Government to American cities, personnel, and interests in foreign countries.”  That duty was flatly abrogated in this instance.

What has really aggravated the situation regarding the lack of protection for the Benghazi compound is the fact that both Obama and Hillary compounded their manifest failures by lying about how the attack originated.  Standing by the caskets of the four Americans killed in the raid, after the remains arrived in the U.S.,  Obama claimed, and Hillary knowingly acquiesced, in the bald-faced lie that the raid had been inspired by a video, when they both had information attesting to the fact that it was a terrorist attack.  Hillary emailed her daughter the night of the attack, telling her the raid was terrorist based, a fact which came out during her testimony at the last hearing.  The lie, repeated on Sunday talk shows by Susan Rice and others, was made in the time before Obama’s election, and undoubtedly helped in that regard quite a bit.

My distain for Hillary as a candidate for any public office, much less the presidency, is hardly a closely guarded national secret.  But after seeing this movie, my feelings have intensified dramatically.   She brings nothing to the table in terms of dealing with tough issues.  She has no proven track record of success at anything.   She is eminently inexperienced, unqualified, and incompetent.  She is also a world-class liar, one whose lies are a matter of record.  The Greek philosopher Aristotle put it nicely: “Liars when they speak the truth are  not believed.”  Serious questions also abound as to her character,  honesty, trustworthiness, temperament,  and judgement.   She is a power-hungry woman who is dangerous for this country.  The country made a terrible mistake by electing the present White House occupant; that mistake must not be repeated.

Copyright© 2016.  Arnold G. Regardie.  All rights reserved.

 

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A Personal Dilemma – Was The Pearl Harbor Attack Foreseeable?

In one of my recent blogs, I mentioned that predictions of the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on Sunday morning, December 7, 1941, came from at least two sources.  But I didn’t mention the sources.  So, here they are.  One was from a Peruvian source known to U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Joseph Grew.  This is discussed on page 118, footnote 7, of my new book, “Prelude to Disaster:  How Imperial Japan’s Diplomatic Treachery Led to America’s Greatest Military Disaster – Pearl Harbor,” available on amazon.com in both Kindle and print.

It is pointed out in that footnote that Ambassador Grew’s testimony before the Joint Congressional Committee which issued the report which forms the essential basis for my book, was that, with the single exception of  information on which his message of January 27, 1941 was based, he had no knowledge or indication from any source prior to the attack which indicated the possibility of such an attack.  The information on which that message was based is explained in footnote 7, as follows:  “My Peruvian colleague told a member of my staff that he had heard from many sources including a Japanese source that the Japanese military forces planned in the event of trouble with the United States to attempt a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor using all of their military facilities.  He added that although the project seemed fantastic the fact he had heard it from many sources prompted him to pass on the information.   Paraphrased copies were promptly sent by the State Department to Military Intelligence Division (Army) and Office of Naval Intelligence (Navy).” (Emphasis added).  Interesting stuff.

The other source came somewhat earlier but was more authoritative.  In 1937, General George Patton was the G-2, i.e., military parlance for Intelligence Officer, for the Hawaiian Islands, in charge of security for the Islands and their vulnerability to attack.  Patton had followed  Japan’s continued aggression 0ver the years, including its invasion and conquest of Manchuria in 1931 and its invasion of China in 1933, and believed that war with Japan was likely.  That year, 1937,  he wrote a paper entitled “Surprise” in which he predicted, with uncanny accuracy, a Japanese attack on Hawaii.  This bit of information comes from an excellent book about General Patton entitled “Patton – A Genius For War,” by Carlo D’Este, page 361.

So, the idea of a Japanese attack against the U.S. itself was likely scoffed at and little, if anything, was done about it.  But, nevertheless, those two straws in the wind, coming from widely disparate sources, did exist.

More disturbing to me was the apparent failure of those directly concerned with the nation’s security to foresee that elimination of the U.S. Pacific Fleet would fit nicely into Japanese plans to push south in the Pacific, towards Malaya, the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), the Philippines, and Australia, among other areas, plans which were undoubtedly anticipated by the U.S.  (See e.g.,  book, pp 41- 42).

This is where my dilemma arose.   To say the attack was therefore foreseeable would fit well into the “In Retrospect” or conclusory part of my book.   However,  on reflection, to add that comment to the book seemed a bit presumptive on my part.  It just didn’t seem right for me, coming along some 74 years later, to say that the attack was foreseeable and, therefore, should have been preventable.  So, I left it out.  There were some very skilled and highly intelligent and competent people in The White House, the State Department, and the armed forces, who arguably failed to see the attack coming so I decided not to second guess them.  Maybe, when and if I do a revised edition of the book, I’ll put it in.  In the meantime you’ll have to read the book yourselves and decide whether I made the right decision.  Please let me know what you think via a comment to this post.

Copyright©2016.  Arnold G. Regardie.  All rights reserved.

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The Misguided Public Media – Part 3

There is one more thought to be added to the last two blogs about having balance in the public media’s coverage of the presidential race, i.e., there must be accountability for irresponsible journalism.   What is  considered irresponsible is more likely to exist in the reader’s eye than anywhere else.  Finding any objective criteria to use  is undoubtedly out of reach.  But the lack of media scrutiny of Hillary’s career achievements, or lack thereof to be more accurate,  is startling.  That she is being given a pass by the liberal media is too obvious to merit serious discussion.   Only her “coronation” remains according to prevailing sentiment among liberals.  This is totally unacceptable, particularly where the stakes are so high as in a presidential race.

While “Freedom of the Press” must be given full rein in a democratic society, media irresponsibility is not an isolated occurrence and should not be tolerated.   The media is not perfect by any means.  One blatant example of media irresponsibility, albeit not in a political context, comes to mind, the publication on December 5, 1941, by the Chicago Tribune,  “practically in full,” of “the most highly secret paper in the possession of the U.S. Government.”   That paper contained the U.S. plans for fighting a global war if one should eventuate.   Secretary of War Frank Knox advised reporters that day that an investigation of the Tribune would be likely.  This episode is mentioned on page 300 of my new book “Prelude to Disaster: How Imperial Japan’s Diplomatic Treachery Led to America’s Greatest Military Disaster – Pearl Harbor,” available on Amazon.com in Kindle and in print.   I am not aware that any such investigation ever took place but no doubt it was considered by many and had it taken place may have been well justified.  Why the Tribune would stoop to such a tactic as revelation of the most closely guarded Government secret at a time when the possibility of war was close at hand was definitely not in the public interest.  Freedom of the press?  This was an abuse of that freedom.  Such an abuse is beyond my understanding and clearly qualifies as irresponsible journalism.

What is going on in today’s presidential race may not be as clear cut as the foregoing example but still qualifies as irresponsible journalism.  I’m talking about the media favoritism that is being accorded Hillary Clinton.  Here is a power hungry woman who brings nothing to the table.  She does not even qualify as a light- weight, she is a no-weight.  But many, far too many, in the media continue to give her a pass so far as her questioning her qualifications is concerned.  Electing a president is serious business.  It’s not a popularity contest.  It runs deeper, much deeper, than partisan politics.  We’re talking about qualifications for running the country.  Where has it been shown that Hillary has the experience to make the difficult, the very difficult decisions that a president must make?  Why doesn’t the media jump on her total and complete lack of a track record so far as success in life is concerned and give that as much coverage as it gives to Trump?  Trump is scrutinized continually.  The imbalance  is  totally unjustified.

No partisanship is intended by singling out Hillary’s lack of performance credentials.  On the Republican side, Carly Fiorina has the same basic flaw as Hillary, i.e., no track record of proven success, nothing to show she has been weighed in the balance and found able to perform.  True she was  once CEO of Hewlett-Packard but she was also fired.  Where is her track record of performance?  There is none to speak of.

The country simply cannot afford to repeat the same mistake it made with Obama, to wit, electing someone as president with no proven experience in making difficult decisions, with no proven qualifications as a leader.  It may well be the right time for a woman president, but it has to be the right woman.  That woman is not Hillary.  Hillary is dangerous for this country, not to mention the free world.   She is incompetent, inexperienced, and totally lacking in the leadership skills, judgement,  and temperament necessary for the chief executive.  She is a world-class liar to boot, and the pending FBI investigation portends possible dishonesty.  In order to strike a fair balance in media coverage of the presidential candidates, those premises all deserve to be and must be fully vetted by the media.

Copyright© 2015.  Arnold G. Regardie.  All rights reserved.

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The Misguided Public Media – Part 2.

This is a supplement to the blog posted on December 15, 2015.

This is a dangerous time for America, not to mention the free world.  Leadership, strong leadership, is vitally needed.  World terrorism is running rampant and must be considered as the number one issue facing the country today.   Isis is not a “JV team”  nor is it “contained” as the White House would have you falsely believe but is strong and growing.   This is no time for someone who embraces the likes of climate change as the major world issue while people are being shot down indiscriminately.  Because this group teaches members and recruits that  it is an honor to die for this cause, the cause must be rooted out and stamped out.  Leadership is needed to lead the campaign against this cause,  leadership with a proven record of accomplishment.  Isis must be confronted head on and therefore choosing the next president, the right president,  is vital to our interests.  That person must possess a proven track record of  success and accomplishment with the necessary temperament and judgment to fill the office.  Mere talk is not enough.

This brings me back to the major premise of this blog – the national interest must be considered by the media in covering all candidates in the presidential race.   Merely playing  partisan politics is not enough.  So, is the media giving the same scrutiny to Hillary that it gives to Donald Trump?   Absolutely not.  Where does the media point up her absence of leadership, her absence of accomplishments, her missing track record of success.   The media coverage is distorted and misguided.  How much media coverage has been given to the ongoing FBI investigation of Hillary’s email  misuse? How many presidential candidates in the past have been the subject of an FBI investigation?  The results of that investigation should be made public, indictment or not.  The public is entitled to know what the investigation shows.  The public is entitled to know if Hillary has broken any laws, whether there has been any criminal conduct, no matter if punished or not,  and to make its own judgment in that regard.  This is not a game – national security is at stake.

My new book, “Prelude to Disaster:  How Imperial Japan’s Diplomatic Treachery Led to America’s Greatest Military Disaster – Pearl Harbor,” (available on Amazon’s Kindle and in print) is instructive in today’s tumultuous world.  It tells the true story of the shortcomings of American diplomacy, why the possibility of an attack on the U.S. mainland was overlooked despite at least two independent sources predicting such an attack.   Using the benefits of 20-20 hindsight, it is easy to say that at a minimum daily reconnaissance flights out of Hawaii  should have been conducted.  If done, the Japanese attack force  surely would have been detected.  And it’s easy to say it should have been foreseen that the U.S. Pacific Fleet would have been an impediment to the  Japanese plans to push south in the Pacific, and so the Japanese would want to eliminate it.   There are lessons applicable today from this experience.  The point is, nothing should be taken for granted, no area, no point should be considered as sacrosanct.  This includes a determination of fitness for the nation’s highest office.

There’s no ro0m today for shortsightedness – the stakes are too high.   No room for obsessing on the likes of climate change as the major threat to free countries everywhere.  This is mere fancy.  Absolute realism is needed in today’s world.  All possibilities of attack by Isis must be considered and appropriate action taken.  A coalition of nations led by American forces is sorely needed.  Boots on the ground are the obvious answer, not just American boots, but those of all nations  in the coalition.   This requires American leadership,  clearly lacking  currently.  Also, all branches of the armed forces must meet and communicate daily on the existence of threats by Isis; there must be full disclosure by all to a knowing Congress and to a President who is capable of taking the required action.   There is no time for excuses, or inter-branch jealousy.

A recent Newsweek story has been published,  in which is a well deserved, scathing denunciation of Barack Obama appears.  Newsweek, as you may recall is a very liberal magazine.  So coming from Newsweek, the story is quite a revelation.  But Newsweek has finally seen the light.  Better late than never, as the saying goes.  The point is, it was a mistake to elect Obama, eminently unqualified, inexperienced, incompetent, and a world-class liar,  a terrible mistake, for which we are still suffering the consequences, a mistake  which must not be repeated.  One way to nail down that this mistake is not repeated is for the media to assume responsibility to the public to assure that ALL presidential candidates are evenly covered, qualifications for office, or lack thereof,  absolutely and completely exposed.   Anything less is a public disgrace.

Copyright 2015.  Arnold G. Regardie.  All rights reserved.

 

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The Misguided Public Media – Missing the Target Again

There has been enormous publicity by the public media, the great bulk of it of it liberal media, given to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s calling for a temporary ban on Muslim immigration.  Without dwelling on the merits of his idea, go0d or bad, the point is that there has been a virtual absence of media attention  given to the so-called candidacy of Hillary Clinton.  The media’s attention has been overly focused on Mr. Trump experience and qualifications for office  with little attention, far too little, being given to Hillary’s experience and qualifications.  This point  clearly deserves to be made because the country is still in the throes of dealing with the worthless and abundantly inept presidency of Barack Obama.  The country has experienced, and is still experiencing,  the consequences of having elected a politician eminently unqualified, inexperienced, and incompetent, who is a world-class liar to boot.  Obama was and is a gifted speaker, that’s what got him elected.  But he lied to the American people, promising hope and change, but delivering disappointment, discouragement, and disillusionment.

The past seven years have been a waste so far as presidential achievements and leadership is concerned.  Obama’s presidency has been a terrible mistake for the country, not to mention the free world.  But now, the liberal media is supporting Hillary, trumpeting the candidacy of a power-hungry woman as the first woman president of the country.  Having a woman president is well and good so long as it’s the right woman.  Hillary is not that woman.  She is dangerous for the country, with no proven track record of accomplishments anywhere.  Where has she been weighed in the balance, put in a position of having to make the difficult decisions that any leader must make? Where has she shown that she has the leadership qualities, the temperament, the judgment, to govern this nation?  The answer is that she has shown none of the necessary qualities for leadership. The liberal media should be harping on  this rather than just touting her blindly.  Not being satisfied with having supported Obama,  a terrible mistake, the liberal media is repeating the mistake by supporting Hillary.  As mentioned above, far too much attention has been given to Donald Trump’s experience and qualifications, far too little to Hillary’s.

On a different point, I would like to mention that my new book, “Prelude to Disaster:  How Imperial Japan’s Diplomatic Treachery Led to America’s Greatest Military Disaster – Pearl Harbor,” now available on Amazon’s Kindle, will soon be available in print.  This book is essentially based on a Congressional report, released in 1946, of the investigation by Congress into the December 7, 1941 attack.  For those readers unfamiliar with the diplomatic background leading up to the attack, the book should be very enlightening.

 

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“Prelude to Infamy” – Now on Amazon’s Kindle

“The Japanese Navy is itching for a fight with the American Navy.”  News item, ascribed to a Japanese Navy official, on or about October 24, 1941.”

To commemorate the  forthcoming 74th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, I have posted a new ebook on Amazon’s Kindle.  It describes the diplomatic exchanges between the United States and Japan in the months leading up to the attack. Here’s the complete title:  “Prelude to Infamy: How Imperial Japan’s Diplomatic Treachery Led To America’s Greatest Military Disaster – Pearl Harbor.”

This book is a true account of Japanese diplomatic deception which led to the surprise attack on the U.S. Pacific Naval Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in the early morning hours of Sunday, December 7, 1941.  It provides an inside look at the virtual day to day diplomatic negotiations, including reports, conversations, communiques, and telegrams, from August to December, 1941, between officials of the U.S. Department of State and diplomats of the Japanese Empire as dark clouds of war continued to loom in the background.  Essentially based on the report of a Congressional investigation into the attack, released in July, 1946, it effectively puts the reader in  position of becoming an eyewitness to history being made as the process of searching for peace is continued.

The book  reveals in depth how the U.S. continued to negotiate for peace but at the same time sought to build up its military and naval forces to counter Japanese aggression in the Far East.  Militaristic Japan,  bent  on expanding its sphere of influence by force and violence to assure, it asserted,  its survival as an empire, had been reaching out to acquire the raw materials and other natural resources needed for its survival.  It  had invaded and subjugated large parts of China in 1937,  occupied  French Indochina in 1940, and was threatening the Dutch East Indies and other countries and areas in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Region.  Peace negotiations faltered as it continued to resist U.S. efforts to pull back its forces.

In February, 1941, unknown to the U.S. and apparently to its own diplomatic corps, the Japanese military began planning an attack on the United States.  In October, 1941, Hideki Tojo, a General in the Japanese Imperial Army and Minister of War under former Prime Minister Prince Konoye, who resigned on October 16, 1941, was appointed Prime Minister by Emperor Hirohito.  Chances for peace dimmed when Tojo, a hard liner, resisted U.S. efforts to have Japan pull its troops out of China, a key point in U.S endeavors, and took a tough stand against continued peace negotiations with the U.S.

On December 6, 1941, Japan began delivery of a 14 point reply to the latest U.S. peace proposal of November 26, 1941.  Due to its own bungling, the 14th point, breaking off talks with the U.S. was not delivered until well after the attack on Pearl Harbor had begun on December 7.  No formal declaration of war by Japan against the United States was received in Washington until 4 p.m. (EST), long after the attack had ended.

The book concludes with  two noteworthy quotes.  One is from the lyric of an old Glenn Miller tune, “You must be vigilant, you must be vigilant, American Patrol…”, and the other is  from a 1790 speech by John Philpot Curran  in Dublin, Ireland, that  “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”  These timeless words still ring true today.

For those readers who may not be aware of the diplomatic background behind the attack, this ebook should prove to be very enlightening.

Arnold G. Regardie

 

 

 

 

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Hillary’s Benghazi Performance – An Abject Failure

After a hiatus of a few months, I’m  back blogging again.  What better topic than Hillary’s Thursday performance.

After much advance media ballyhoo, Hillary Clinton finally made her long-awaited appearance before the House Select Committee on the Benghazi investigation.  As expected, the mainstream media has given her a clearly undeserved whitewash.  The main question remains unanswered –  who was responsible for the clear  lack of security at the Benghazi compound?  Not Hillary – she said it was up to the “security professionals” at the State Department.  And why wasn’t  some help provided to Ambassador Christopher Stevens who pleaded for more security, and did so on more than one occasion.  None was ever  provided.  This was a monumental failure which in and of itself stamps her as  being unqualified for any leadership role!

It was also shocking to me to see that she lied about the origin of the attack on the Benghazi compound, i.e., whether it was a terrorist attack or the reaction to the  online video championed by the Obama folks as being the catalyst.  There was new evidence disclosed at the hearing whereby Hillary admitted in an email to her daughter Chelsea the evening of the attack that it was an Al-Qaeda like, i.e., terrorist, group that was behind it.   Hillary also confirmed this fact in communications to the Egyptian Prime Minister and to the Libyan President that evening or the next day.  Yet she participated in the lie perpetrated on the American public by Obama and his administration when she later supported him and claimed, falsely, that the attack was based on a mob reaction to an online video.

This is yet another example of Hillary’s inability to tell the truth.  Her lack of credibility is a major flaw in her character make up which by itself stamps her as unqualified for any public office, much less the presidency.  As the late William Safire, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, put it some time back, she is a “congenital liar.”  It’s no excuse to argue that all politicians lie – this platitude simply doesn’t justify her continued and ongoing inability to tell the truth.  Her propensity for lying lie whenever and wherever the situation warrants it casts serious doubt on her character  and her judgment.  It goes without saying that if the President has no credibility, how can that person be a leader?

And make no mistake about it.  The Benghazi lie about the origin of the attack was a major- league assist in getting Obama reelected.  Obama, you may recall, was spreading the myth in the days before the election that Al-Qaeda was “on the run.”  Framing the Benghazi attack as having originated from a video, later proven to be a clear lie, only added to his aura of his politically correct judgment.  Hillary participated in this canard, which was not only a major disservice to  the families of the four Americans who died in the attack, but was also a national disgrace.   Joining in this lie by itself marks her as untrustworthy and therefore unqualified for the presidency.

Some politicians, notably from the Democratic Party, have cast the Committee as a political sideshow, one which should be disbanded.  Those people are the ones to blame for any politicizing of the hearing.  Elijah Cummings (D- Md.) is a go0d example.   He had no questions for  witness Hillary but only delivered a political harangue in her favor which had no place at the hearing.  Committee Chairman Trey  Gowdy missed the boat in not shutting him down as being out of order.

The real problem with Hillary’s campaign is that she brings nothing to the table.  She has not demonstrated anywhere, anytime, that she is a capable leader.  She is found wanting in every category to be used in judging a presidential candidate,  experience-wise, qualifications-wise, character-wise, temperament-wise, etc.  The country is now going through the agony of having elected an unqualified, inexperienced, and incompetent president, who is also a world-class liar.  The hearing has demonstrated that this mistake should not be repeated by supporting Hillary.

On a different subject, let me take this occasion to ask my readers to watch for my new book  coming out soon on Amazon.  It is about the diplomatic treachery perpetrated on the U.S. by Imperial Japan, which led to the military disaster at Pearl Harbor.

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