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World & National     

Criminal Inquiry Is Sought in Hillary Email Account
          

Two inspectors general have asked the Justice Department to open a criminal investigation into whether sensitive government information was mishandled in connection with the personal email account Hillary Rodham Clinton used as secretary of state, senior government officials said Thursday.

The request follows an assessment in a June 29 memo by the inspectors general for the State Department and the intelligence agencies that Mrs. Clinton's private account contained "hundreds of potentially classified emails." The memo was written to Patrick F. Kennedy, the under secretary of state for management.

NYT Alters Story at Hillary's Request...
FOURNIER: Maybe the Dog Ate Her Email...
Review finds hundreds of messages contain potentially classified info...
Dems see warning signs as polls slip...



Obama faces political minefield during Kenyan 'homecoming'

               

Everyone thought Francis Oduor was dead. In fact the Kenyan international footballer had fled into the bush, walked four miles and gone into hiding after his house was torched. When he resurfaced, people were shocked and ashamed. “I was like the walking dead,” he said. “Everyone recoiled at the sight of me.”

Like many survivors of the post-election violence in 2007-8 that claimed at least 1,100 lives here, Oduor feels that justice has not been done because no senior politician has been held to account. He therefore refuses to join in the state-sponsored euphoria around Barack Obama’s “homecoming” to Kenya, which begins on Friday night when Air Force One lands in east Africa’s biggest economy.



House passes bill to punish sanctuary cities in wake of Steinle killing

The House voted Thursday to punish sanctuary cities that shield illegal immigrants from deportation, moving swiftly to crack down on San Francisco after 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle’s killing this month elevated the issue to the forefront of the immigration debate.

Saying victims such as Steinle deserved justice, and asserting that they could prevent more homicides, Republicans powered the bill through the House on a 241-179 vote, overcoming objections from Democrats who defended sanctuary policies as good policing and who accused Republicans of exploiting tragedy.



Senators slam John Kerry: Obama's Iran deal lackcs details

                Secretary of State John F. Kerry insisted that the Obama administration was clear that any nuclear deal should be viewed separately from overall U.S. criticisms of Iran's record at home and abroad. "This plan was designed to address the nuclear issue alone, not to reform Iran's regime, or end its support for terrorism, or its contributions to sectarian violence in the Middle East," he said. (Associated Press)

Senators from both parties hammered the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran on Thursday, prompting Secretary of State John F. Kerry to launch his fiercest public defense of the accord to date — calling it “fantasy” to think that a better agreement could have been reached and warning that a congressional repudiation of the deal would only increase the chances of a nuclear-armed Tehran.

The exchanges in the long Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing at times got personal. Republicans said the Obama administration had been “fleeced” and “bamboozled” by Iran. Mr. Kerry, a former chairman of the committee, said his critics were demanding a “sort of unicorn arrangement involving Iran’s complete capitulation.”
 
Appearing with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, Mr. Kerry repeatedly warned of the consequences if Congress votes down the deal reached this month by the U.S. and its five international partners with Iran.



Islamic State works to establish functioning, legitimate government

They’re known for the grisly, videotaped mass beheadings of Christians and other enemies, but the jihadis running the Islamic State are doing far more than that.

They collect millions of dollars a day through oil sales, taxes and extortion.

They pave roads, set up medical clinics, pick up trash, operate power stations and offer social welfare programs.

In their stronghold in Syria and Iraq, they have appointed nearly two dozen governors and ministers, including one for finance and another for social services. They pay their soldiers even more than some nations in the Middle East.


   
Obama 'most frustrated' by inability to pass gun control


Just hours before a gunman claimed three lives inside a Louisiana movie theater, President Obama on Thursday said the inability to pass gun-control legislation has been the frustrating aspect of his presidency.

In an interview with the BBC recorded Thursday afternoon, the president vowed to continue trying but seemed resigned to the fact that this Congress is unlikely to approve any significant changes to gun laws.

“That is an area where if you ask me where has been the one area where I feel that I’ve been most frustrated and most stymied, it is the fact that the United States of America is the one advanced nation on earth in which we do not have sufficient common-sense, gun-safety laws, even in the face of repeated mass killings,” Mr. Obama said.



Gun manufacturing skyrockets 140% on Obama's watch

During a time when the Obama administration is trying to prevent some senior citizens from obtaining guns, firearm production in the United States has skyrocketed to an unprecedented level.

A report released Wednesday by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) indicates that gun manufacturing in the United States has seen a 140 percent spike during the Obama administration. According to the 2015 Firearms Commerce in the United States Annual Statistical Update, the number of guns produced in the U.S. has increased from about 4.5 million in 2008 to over 10.8 million in 2013, meaning that the number of firearms manufactured annually has more than doubled since Obama took office.
 
In contrast, gun production increased by only about 20 percent during the George W. Bush administration and decreased by 10 percent during the Clinton administration.



Obama administration restricts investigative powers of inspectors general


The Obama administration formally announced that inspectors general will have to get permission from their agency heads to gain access to grand jury, wiretap and fair credit information — an action that severely limits the watchdogs’ oversight capabilities, independence and power to uncover fraud.

An opinion, issued by the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel, says the Inspector General Act of 1978 — which was written by Congress to create the government watchdogs in order to help maintain integrity within their agencies — does not have the authority to override nondisclosure provisions in other laws, most notably in regard to grand jury, wiretap or fair credit information.



Ted Cruz goes off on GOP leaders
Calls Mitch McConnell a liar on Ex-Im Bank

Sen. Ted Cruz brazenly tore into his own party’s leaders Friday, saying Republican rule in the Senate is hardly different than it was under Democrats, as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tried to appease both parties with a compromise on the highway bill.

Mr. Cruz, Texas Republican who is seeking the GOP presidential nomination, launched into a campaign-style speech from the floor, saying the leader lied to him when he said there wasn’t pact in the works to revive the federal Export-Import Bank, an agency that finances the sale of U.S. goods overseas and lapsed June 30.
 


The mullahs rub some noses in Obama's folly


The Iranians, having hornswoggled Barack Obama and John Kerry, are giddy with euphoria. Ordinarily the parties to an agreement would help each other sell it to the skeptical and the suspicious in their ranks, not least by keeping their traps shut. But not these guys.

Like many Muslims, the Iranians know very little of the world beyond the mosque and figure that if an agreement satisfies the mullahs, it should satisfy everyone (praise be to Allah), even the president of the nation they call “the great Satan.” Why should the president need help selling an agreement that guarantees an Islamic bomb. Rub the noses of the infidels in the grime of Islamic celebration.

Abbas Araghchi, the deputy Iranian foreign minister who led the negotiations for Mr. Obama’s deal, says Iran will continue to buy all the arms it wants, from whomever it wants, and if the rest of the world doesn’t like it the rest of the world knows what it can do about it. Which is nothing, under the prevailing leadership of the West.



Appeasement here and abroad

After years of inaction, NATO is now attempting to develop a strategy to cope with Russian aggression. A State Department report indicates that Iran has not reduced its global terrorist activity despite the accommodative stances of the P5 + 1 on Iranian nuclear weapons acquisition. The elimination of “stop and frisk” preventive policing action has resulted in an increase of gun violence in New York City and in other major cities where lapsed police measures have been imposed.

What do these events have in common? Despite all of the effort to refute them by cultural constructivists, the laws of nature are inevitable. If there is not an inner compulsion to comply with the law or accepted forms of behavior, external compulsion in necessary. When there is neglect to apply external compulsion in the form of policing or resistance to aggression, anarchy will prevail. Aggressors sense when rules can be violated.



Medal of Honor
The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States.
GeneTrerally presented to its recipient by the President of the United States of America in the name of Congress.
The first award of the Medal of Honor was made March 25, 1863 to Private JACOB PARROTT.The last award of the Medal of Honor was made September 15, 2011 to Sergeant DAKOTA MEYER.

Since then there have been:  • 3458 recipients of the Medal of Honor.
    • Today there are 85 Living Recipients of the Medal of Honor.


BENAVIDEZ, ROY P.
Rank: Master Sergeant
Organization: U.S. Army
Company: Detachment B-56
Division: 5th Special Forces Group


 
BENAVIDEZ, ROY P.
 
Citation

Master Sergeant (then Staff Sergeant) Roy P. Benavidez United States Army, who distinguished himself by a series of daring and extremely valorous actions on 2 May 1968 while assigned to Detachment B56, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, Republic of Vietnam. On the morning of 2 May 1968, a 12-man Special Forces Reconnaissance Team was inserted by helicopters in a dense jungle area west of Loc Ninh, Vietnam to gather intelligence information about confirmed large-scale enemy activity. This area was controlled and routinely patrolled by the North Vietnamese Army. After a short period of time on the ground, the team met heavy enemy resistance, and requested emergency extraction. Three helicopters attempted extraction, but were unable to land due to intense enemy small arms and anti-aircraft fire. Sergeant Benavidez was at the Forward Operating Base in Loc Ninh monitoring the operation by radio when these helicopters returned to off-load wounded crewmembers and to assess aircraft damage. Sergeant Benavidez voluntarily boarded a returning aircraft to assist in another extraction attempt. Realizing that all the team members were either dead or wounded and unable to move to the pickup zone, he directed the aircraft to a nearby clearing where he jumped from the hovering helicopter, and ran approximately 75 meters under withering small arms fire to the crippled team. Prior to reaching the team's position he was wounded in his right leg, face, and head. Despite these painful injuries, he took charge, repositioning the team members and directing their fire to facilitate the landing of an extraction aircraft, and the loading of wounded and dead team members. He then threw smoke canisters to direct the aircraft to the team's position. Despite his severe wounds and under intense enemy fire, he carried and dragged half of the wounded team members to the awaiting aircraft. He then provided protective fire by running alongside the aircraft as it moved to pick up the remaining team members. As the enemy's fire intensified, he hurried to recover the body and classified documents on the dead team leader. When he reached the leader's body, Sergeant Benavidez was severely wounded by small arms fire in the abdomen and grenade fragments in his back. At nearly the same moment, the aircraft pilot was mortally wounded, and his helicopter crashed. Although in extremely critical condition due to his multiple wounds, Sergeant Benavidez secured the classified documents and made his way back to the wreckage, where he aided the wounded out of the overturned aircraft, and gathered the stunned survivors into a defensive perimeter. Under increasing enemy automatic weapons and grenade fire, he moved around the perimeter distributing water and ammunition to his weary men, reinstilling in them a will to live and fight. Facing a buildup of enemy opposition with a beleaguered team, Sergeant Benavidez mustered his strength, began calling in tactical air strikes and directed the fire from supporting gunships to suppress the enemy's fire and so permit another extraction attempt. He was wounded again in his thigh by small arms fire while administering first aid to a wounded team member just before another extraction helicopter was able to land. His indomitable spirit kept him going as he began to ferry his comrades to the craft. On his second trip with the wounded, he was clubbed from additional wounds to his head and arms before killing his adversary. He then continued under devastating fire to carry the wounded to the helicopter. Upon reaching the aircraft, he spotted and killed two enemy soldiers who were rushing the craft from an angle that prevented the aircraft door gunner from firing upon them. With little strength remaining, he made one last trip to the perimeter to ensure that all classified material had been collected or destroyed, and to bring in the remaining wounded. Only then, in extremely serious condition from numerous wounds and loss of blood, did he allow himself to be pulled into the extraction aircraft. Sergeant Benavidez' gallant choice to join voluntarily his comrades who were in critical straits, to expose himself constantly to withering enemy fire, and his refusal to be stopped despite numerous severe wounds, saved the lives of at least eight men. His fearless personal leadership, tenacious devotion to duty, and extremely valorous actions in the face of overwhelming odds were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service, and reflect the utmost credit on him and the United States Army.




From the Archives

American Fairness to a Fault — a Deadly One
Tuesday, 10 Nov 2009 02:28 PM

American’s tragic flaw is our unbridled fairness, which has been corrupted ever more by the cancer of political correctness to the point we put ourselves at risk rather than create even the perception of prejudice.

Sometime after the VOLAR (all volunteer) Army, the military veered from the “yes sir, yes sir, three bags full” blind adherence to all orders to the concept of refusing “unlawful orders” and that was ostensibly a good thing.

However, the uniformed services do not set or get to pick and choose foreign policy. The civilian leadership sets foreign policy, and the U.S. military enforces it — with a big, honking combined arms stick.

Retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters has been one of the rare pundits with the courage to target the “culture of political correctness” in leadership of the military. In at least two interviews on Fox, Peters (correctly) blamed the culture of political correctness for the Army’s diffidence in taking action against Nidal Malik Hasan in the wake of knowledge of the problem.

Many mechanisms exist for dealing with matters of deep conscience — all without killing those one might think disagree with in principle.

However, it is not prejudice to discriminate based on threat facts in evidence. Refusal to act judiciously for fear of a tainted perception is just plain dumb.

Notwithstanding the articulated fears of the Army chief of staff and the secretary of Homeland Security, officials made an epic mistake in handling suspicions about Hasan. A mistake founded on political correctness and sustained by diffidence that cost the lives of innocents.

Reportedly, U.S. intelligence agencies were aware (months ago) that Hasan was attempting to make contact with people associated with al-Qaida. He spoke openly to too many people about his angst and misdirected sympathies. He was apparently a poster child for suspicion, and the Army failed bigtime to intervene.

“It is not known whether the intelligence agencies informed the Army that one of its officers was seeking to connect with suspected al-Qaida figures," the officials said.

But you damnbetcha they SHOULD have done so.

Investigators want to know whether Hasan maintained contact with a radical mosque leader from Virginia, Anwar al Awlaki, who now lives in Yemen and runs a Web site that promotes jihad around the world against the United States.

In a recent blog posting titled "Nidal Hassan Did the Right Thing," Awlaki calls Hasan a "hero" and a "man of conscience who could not bear living the contradiction of being a Muslim and serving in an army that is fighting against his own people."

Increasingly we are told people who knew or worked with Hasan say he seemed to become gradually more radical in his condemnation of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Subordinates and superiors had a responsibility to flag the inappropriate rhetoric, and they apparently did not.

The fear to speak out is a symptom of the PC disease fueled by recriminations and implied threats of discrimination — a fear that indirectly resulted in mayhem.

Sen. Joseph Lieberman said, "If Hasan was showing signs, saying to people that he had become an Islamist extremist, the U.S. Army has to have a zero tolerance," and despite the echo of shutting the barn door after the horse got out, he is right.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey Jr. is concerned that speculation about the religious beliefs of Hasan could “cause a backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers.” He’s right, but such a backlash would be a direct result of the failure of command — not prejudice.

When confronted about whether he thought the Army “dropped the ball” in not responding to warning signs, Casey replied that the Army needs to be careful not to jump to conclusions based on early tidbits of information.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R.-S.C., and Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., both of whom are veterans, took pains to say that Muslims have served honorably in the military and at risk to their lives.

“At the end of the day, this is not about his religion — the fact that this man was a Muslim,” Graham said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

But, hey, it is (kinda/sorta) about religion (when the FBI says 10 percent of American Mosques preach jihad) — at least from a risk analysis perspective.