September 24, 2011

Obama Sent Bunker-Busters to Israel in 2009

As I see it, there are at least five good reasons to support President Obama in his bid for re-election next year. They are: 1. Bachman; 2. Perry; 3. Gingrich; 4. Romney; and 5. Palin (you never know). If pressed, I might be able to think of a few more. However, it's this sort of story that makes me want to sit the whole thing out (or go all-in for Ron Paul or Gary Johnson). According to Eli Lake at The Daily Beast:

U.S. and Israeli officials tell Newsweek that [55] GBU-28 Hard Target Penetrators—potentially useful in any future military strike against Iranian nuclear sites—were delivered to Israel in 2009, just several months after Obama took office.

The military sale was arranged behind the scenes as Obama’s demands for Israel to stop building settlements in disputed territories were fraying political relations between the two countries in public.

The Israelis first requested the bunker busters in 2005, only to be rebuffed by the Bush administration. At the time, the Pentagon had frozen almost all U.S.-Israeli joint defense projects out of concern that Israel was transferring advanced military technology to China.

In 2007, Bush informed Ehud Olmert, then prime minister, that he would order the bunker busters for delivery in 2009 or 2010. The Israelis wanted them in 2007. Obama finally released the weapons in 2009, according to officials familiar with the still-secret decision.

James Cartwright, the Marine Corps general who served until August as the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Newsweek the military chiefs had no objections to the sale. Rather, Cartwright said, there was a concern about “how the Iranians would perceive it,” and “how the Israelis might perceive it.” In other words, would the sale be seen as a green light for Israel to attack Iran’s secret nuclear sites one day? . . .

Obama’s security cooperation extended beyond bunker busters. According to Rep. Steve Rothman (D-NJ), who serves on the committees that fund both the U.S. military and foreign aid, Obama gave “orders to the military to ratchet up the cooperation at every level with Israel.”

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