Shorter Question Everything
I’ve always thought Obama was a lot tougher than some realized. It took guts to do a lot of the things he’s done. The Dems might fear that he’d cave, and the Reps might be hoping he’s weak and will cave because it will fit in with the weird picture they’ve made of him, but I’ve always thought he was a lot tougher than he’s given credit for.
President Obama’s negotiating stance is a lot firmer than many have given him credit for. Obama has been negotiating from total strength. At one point telling Boehner, ‘You get nothing.’
A behind the scenes Wall Street Journal report confirmed that President Obama has been one step ahead of his Republican opponents all through the fiscal cliff negotiations.
The Wall Street Journal reported (Via Political Wire) the following exchange between Obama and Boehner during the fiscal cliff negotiations,
“Mr. Obama repeatedly lost patience with the speaker as negotiations faltered. In an Oval Office meeting last week, he told Mr. Boehner that if the sides didn’t reach agreement, he would use his inaugural address and his State of the Union speech to tell the country the Republicans were at fault.”
At one point, Boehner told the president, “I put $800 billion [in tax revenue] on the table. What do I get for that?”
Replied Obama: “You get nothing. I get that for free.”
After the CIA reportedly forbid the agent who served as the model for Jessica Chastain’s character in “Zero Dark Thirty,” from speaking to journalists, acting director Michael Morell, has issued a rare public statement disputing the critically lauded film’s accuracy.
On Dec. 21, Morell posted a message on the CIA’s public website addressing the film’s depiction of interrogation methods used during the course of the successful manhunt for Osama Bin Laden, writing that “the film takes significant artistic license, while portraying itself as being historically accurate.”
“What I want you to know is that Zero Dark Thirty is a dramatization, not a realistic portrayal of the facts. CIA interacted with the filmmakers through our Office of Public Affairs but, as is true with any entertainment project with which we interact, we do not control the final product,” Morelle wrote in the letter before going on to highlight a few aspects that “particularly underscore the extent to which the film departs from reality.”
Morell went on to express to employees that torture did not play a role in hunt for the Al Qaeda leader.
“The film creates the strong impression that the enhanced interrogation techniques that were part of our former detention and interrogation program were the key to finding Bin Ladin. That impression is false,” he wrote, adding, “Some [information] came from detainees subjected to enhanced techniques, but there were many other sources as well. And, importantly, whether enhanced interrogation techniques were the only timely and effective way to obtain information from those detainees, as the film suggests, is a matter of debate that cannot and never will be definitively resolved.”
Morell also took issue with the film’s depiction of CIA personnel and their actions, including those who died, and stressed that they “cannot allow a Hollywood film to cloud our memory of them.”
The letter concludes by telling employees that there will be much discussion and commentary about the film in the coming weeks, but that agency employees must remember that “‘Zero Dark Thirty’ is not a documentary.”
• A Message To the NRA From the Four Horsemen Of the Apocalypse. An irreverent look at the NRA’s complete irrelevance.
• Former Republican National Committee chairman and MSNBC commentator Michael Steele: “I don’t even know where to begin,” Steele said. “As a supporter of the Second Amendment and a supporter of the NRA, even though I’m not a member of the NRA, I just found it very haunting and very disturbing that our country now, that are talking about arming our teachers and our principals in classrooms. What does that say about us? And I do not believe that’s where the American people want to go. I do not believe that is the response that should be coming out of the tragedy in Newtown.”
• After months of asking, agents from the FBI questioned the only known suspect in the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that killed four diplomats, the suspect’s Tunisian lawyer told The Associated Press Saturday. Ali Harzi, a Tunisian, was detained in Turkey and extradited to Tunisia in October where authorities have said he is “strongly suspected” of being involved in the attack. His lawyer, Anwar Oued-Ali, added that Harzi was also questioned about an attack on the U.S. embassy in Tunisia, a few days later, suggesting the American authorities are looking into if there is a connection between the two attacks.
• Egypt has adopted a new, Islamist-backed constitution with nearly two-thirds support in a referendum preceded by weeks of sometimes bloody protests, official media said on Sunday. The secular-leaning opposition, which has alleged fraud, was mulling its next move in its campaign against the text, which it says limits the freedoms of religious minorities and women. It was to hold a news conference later Sunday. Official results are due on Monday after the second and final round of voting on Saturday.