Friday December 12th, 2014
"It Is Not A
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Government Stays Open As Congress Advances Poison-Pill Spending Bill
At least Democrats will have eggnog to wash down the poison pills they
swallowed on Thursday as the House narrowly passed a government funding
bill that will let Congress go home early for Christmas, and give Wall
Street a fresh gift.
The House barely passed the inelegantly named "cromnibus" appropriations
bill after President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner
(R-Ohio) were forced into an unlikely alliance against rebellions from
both parties, primarily led by the "Elizabeth Warren wing" and House
The bill, which passed 219 to 206, will keep the government running
until next September. But only 57 Democrats voted for the bill, and 67
Republicans broke ranks with their party to oppose it.
GOPer accuses leadership of breaking promise to kill bill...
First Lady's Lunch Program Funded...
PALIN: 'Stinks to high heaven'...
Ex-CIA director defends methods
Former CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden on Thursday defended revelations
from Senate Intelligence Committee Democrats that the agency used
rectal rehydration on detainees.
“These were medical procedures,” Hayden said during a tense interview on
CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper." He added that the method was used
because detainees were dehydrated, and that giving them intravenous
fluids with needles would be dangerous.
The Intelligence Committee report, released Tuesday, detailed a slew of
abuses by CIA interrogators on prisoners, including one that involved
detainees' food being blended and “rectally infused.” The report says
the practice was used on at least five detainees, including two of the
most infamous, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah.
'Torture Memo' Author Yoo: I Was Never Asked to Testify
CIA's John Rizzo: Pelosi Briefed Before Bush on Terror Techniques
Leader Nancy Pelosi was briefed early on about the CIA's enhanced
interrogation procedures, despite her claims to the contrary, said
former CIA Acting General Counsel John Rizzo.
Pelosi was in
the group of officials who were told about the program even before
George Tenet, the former director of the CIA, briefed former President
George W. Bush, he said Friday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
Senate Takes Up $1.1T Funding Bill
It's now up to the Senate to pass a huge $1.1 trillion spending bill to
keep the government running, but not before a battle between old school
veterans and new breed freshmen such as tea partier Ted Cruz and
Elizabeth Warren, a liberal with a national following.
The smart money's on old school types such as Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and GOP Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
The measure passed the House on Thursday after a day of drama but by a
relatively comfortable 219-206 vote. The vote came after GOP leaders
sent the House into a seven-hour recess to give the White House time to
lobby Democrats angry that the measure weakens rules on trading risky
financial products known as derivatives and allows wealthy donors to
pour hundreds of thousands of dollars into political parties.
London, many UK flights grounded
A computer outage is affecting air traffic control in London,
threatening to snarl hundreds of flights and tens of thousands of
passengers in one of the world's busiest airspaces.
In a statement issued at 10:49 a.m. ET, British air traffic control
provider NATS said: "Airspace is open. We're restricting traffic volumes
in accordance with capability we currently have in our system."
Maureen Dowd Promised to Show Sony Exec's Husband Column Before Publication
The end result: kudos at the studio and an email to Dowd after it published saying, “you’re amazing.”
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd promised to show Sony Pictures
co-chair Amy Pascal’s husband, Bernard Weinraub, — a former Times
reporter — a version of a column featuring Pascal before publication.
The end result was a column that painted Pascal in such a good light
that she engaged in a round of mutual adulation with Dowd over email
after its publication. It also scored Pascal points back at the studio,
with Sony’s then-communications-chief calling the column “impressive.”
Al Sharpton Was WH Guest 61 Times Since '09
everyone gets to drop in at the presidential residence for a chat with
President Barack Obama, but the White House welcome mat most definitely
has been out for one frequent visitor — the Rev. Al Sharpton.
Sharpton has visited the White House no fewer than 61 times, reports
the National Review, citing the White House visitor log, which
"illustrates the extraordinary access Sharpton has had to the president
and his top advisers."
Many of the
visits were for official events, such as the Celebration of Music from
the Civil Rights Movement and the jobs bill signing in 2010.
Hackers Sent Sony Employees a Terrifying New Message
The hackers might still have access to Sony systems
A hacker group
calling itself the “Guardians of Peace,” or #GOP, sent an ominous new
warning to Sony Pictures Entertainment employees on Thursday, causing
the scary message to flash upon computer screens.
individual familiar with the situation told TheWrap that several Sony
employees received the message and most felt “disturbed.” Another
source said the threat promised to do more damage if the #GOP’s demands
The CIA and the lack of political morality
once a precious American virtue. America is great because America is
good, in the words once credited to Alexis de Tocqueville, and when
America is no longer good it will no longer be great. Whether he
actually said them or not, the words are true.
double for the virtue of efficiency. America is great because it works.
When it becomes as inefficient as much of the rest of the world,
America won’t any longer work. And then what?
Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/dec/11/wes-pruden-indicting-cia-puts-america-at-risk/#ixzz3LhpBfivc
Islamic extremists incapable of understanding or respecting other views
Violence in the
name of religion is a world-wide phenomenon. Extremism fueling
bloodshed is a daily occurrence. And for every act of intolerance and
inhumanity, a new foundation, based on good will to mankind, bubbles to
the surface. The intention is always admirable: “Understanding,”
“interaction” and “mutual respect” are the foundational words of these
is a purpose and, as clearly, the progenitors mean well. These are
invariably good people on a mission that is more than likely doomed to
fail. Why am I a cynic?
Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action
enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving
Armed Services of the United States.
to its recipient by the President of the
United States of America in the name of Congress.
first award of the Medal of Honor was made March 25, 1863 to
JACOB PARROTT.The last award of the Medal of Honor was made
September 15, 2011
to Sergeant DAKOTA MEYER.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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