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Hersh: Obama finally ‘taking control’ on Afghanistan

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In the wake of an AP report on Wednesday that President Barack Obama is not satisfied with any of the options on Afghanistan he has received from his national security team and is demanding revisions, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow turned to veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh for insight.

“It could be huge,” Hersh told Maddow, “simply that the president’s finally saying, ‘I’m taking control.'”

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“The one thing that mystified a lot of people,” Hersh explained, “was the decision to let General McChrystal write a report. There’s no general in history that will come back, given that assignment, and say ‘We can’t win.'”

“This is basically a war, at best, that’s going to be a stalemate,” continued Hersh. “And so Obama is just putting his foot down, and that’s great. … He’s grabbing it and he hasn’t been grabbing it until now.”

Hersh also commented on a New York Times story which revealed that the US Ambassador to Afghanistan, former Lieutenant General Karl Eikenberry, had cabled Washington last week to express “his reservations about deploying additional troops to the country,” thereby putting himself “in stark opposition to the current American and NATO commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, who has asked for 40,000 more troops.”

Hersh described Eikenberry’s cable as “big news,” especially because Eikenberry has been one of a group of generals — which also includes McChrystal, Petraeus, and Odierno — who graduated from West Point around 1973-75 and have stuck together over the years as what is seen by other military leaders as a “West Point Mafia.”

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According to Hersh, this has caused “a lot of trauma within the Army, which is very resentful. … The top of the Army … they’ve been very unhappy with the McChrystal appointment and the way things have been going.”

That is why Hersh sees it as significant that Eikenberry is now steering an independent course. “This summer inside the embassy,” he told Maddow, “there was a lot of concerns about the stability — literally the mental stability — of Karzai. And I think Eikenberry probably knows more than most people.”

“Eikenberry is simply, I think, reflecting a huge split,” Hersh concluded, “because he’s now splitting from the McChrystal counter-insurgency wing that’s been dominated by Petraeus.”

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Hersh called his conclusion about Eikenberry a “heuristic guess,” but it is supported by one online analysis which tracks Eikenberry’s statements since 2007 and suggests that “General McChrystal is on a special mission based a specific philosophy of warfare and that General Eikenberry is performing his duty according to his current assignment with an ongoing evaluation of the various players and facts at hand.”

“General Eikenberry is both a soldier and scholar of history and political science,” this analysis concludes. “He knows the history of occupations that fail to deliver for the populace and he’s telling us right now that the U.S. can’t succeed with more military forces in a nation run by an illegitimate president who has been exposed for election fraud. More troops are not the solution.”

This video is from MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, broadcast Nov. 11, 2009.

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Giuliani henchmen caught on tape doing statewide tour for Indiana Republicans during 2018 election

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New images of Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman with prominent Republicans emerged on Wednesday.

"Two associates of Rudy Giuliani who are accused of illegally funneling foreign money into U.S. campaigns attended an Indiana Republican event promoting U.S. Sen. Mike Braun and others just days before the 2018 election," the Indy Star reports.

"The reason remains a mystery," the newspaper noted.

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House Homeland Security chairman directs sergeant at arms to ‘take action’ against Republicans who raided SCIF

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On Wednesday, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) sent a letter to the Congressional sergeant at arms, Paul Irving, asking him to "take action" against the gang of House Republicans who invaded the classified information facility during an impeachment hearing.

"This unprecedented breach of security raises serious concerns for Committee Chairmen, including me, responsible for maintaining SCIFs," wrote Thompson. "As such, I am requesting you take action with respect to the Members involved in the breach. More broadly, I urge you to take House-wide action to remind all Members about the dangers of such reckless action and the potential national security risks of such behavior."

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Trump bizarrely tells supporters he’s going to build a border wall in Colorado

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On Wednesday, at the Shale Insight Conference in Pittsburgh, President Donald Trump once again touted his as-yet-nonexistent border wall. And he strangely claimed that it was getting built in Colorado — a state that is nowhere near the Mexican border.

"You know why we're going to win New Mexico? Because they want safety on our border. And they didn't have it," said Trump. "And we're building a wall on the border of New Mexico. And we're building a wall in Colorado. We're building a beautiful wall, a big one that really works — you can't get over, you can't get under. And we're building a wall in Texas. And we're not building a wall in Kansas, but they get the benefit of the walls that we just mentioned. And Louisiana's incredible."

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