Friday July 1st, 2016

"It Is Not A Question of Who Is Right Or Wrong But What Is Right Or Wrong That Counts."
--Geoff Metctalf


Updated  hrs PT                                                       

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Values for a New Millennium: Activating the Natural Law to Reduce Violence, Revitalize Our Schools, and Promote Cross-Cultural Harmony | [Robert Humphrey]



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World & National
 

Navy commander surrendered to Iran to protect Obama's nuclear deal

The Navy commander in charge of a pair of patrol boats captured by Iranian forces in January opted to surrender rather than fight back, citing later fears that a confrontation could endanger the Obama administration’s efforts to lock in a deal with Tehran on its nuclear program.

In an interview with investigators looking into the January incident, the commander said he surrendered the vessels after calculating that his sailors would not be in danger because Iran “wants this nuke deal to go through.”

The interview was one of several stunning revelations in the often scathing 170-page report compiled by Navy investigators, chronicling the chain of events that led to the apprehension and detention of the 10 American sailors by the Iranian military after a pair of U.S. patrol boats drifted into the country’s sovereign waters in the Persian Gulf.



Nearly 1 million immigrants--including more than 170K convicts--ignoring deportation

Nearly 1 million immigrants are ignoring deportation orders to remain in the U.S. — including more than 170,000 convicted criminals, according to a new report Thursday that suggests the government’s deportation efforts are still falling short.

Only a small fraction of the immigrants are even being detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), meaning most of them remain free on the streets, where they can commit crimes and continue living in the shadows, according to the study by Jessica Vaughan, policy studies director at the Center for Immigration Studies.
 


 
US accepts record number of Syrian refugees in June despite terrorist screening worries

The U.S. accepted more than 2,300 Syrian refugees in June alone, sending the fiscal year total soaring past the 5,000 mark and putting the government on track to surpass President Obama’s goal of 10,000 by the end of September, but raising questions about screening out potential terrorists.

June’s numbers set a monthly record for the Homeland Security and State departments, which committed resources received earlier this year to streamline the process — in what critics say amounted to corner-cutting — to get back on track toward Mr. Obama’s political goal.

“I believe we will make the 10,000,” Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson testified to Congress on Thursday, assuaging fears of some Democrats that the administration was going to fall short.


 
Trump begins to right ship as time runs short on #NeverTrump crowd

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump ended June in arguably worse shape than he began it, though there have been some recent signs of improvement as he’s honed a fundraising campaign and delivered a forceful message on issues like trade policy.

He’s still struggling to unify the Republican Party, and with fewer than three weeks to go before the nominating convention, anti-Trump forces are still pressing their case to deny him the nod. But that effort faces a series of obstacles, including the short window of time and a reluctance by many of its own potential supporters to publicly back their effort.

Meanwhile Mr. Trump has ousted his campaign manager and announced a series of new hires, belatedly building the kind of centralized operation other candidates have found necessary to run a national campaign.



'EU Wants an Empire' Brussels hope to expand its influence as far as Asia and Africa

THE EU wants to expand its influence as far and wide as Asia and Africa - with critics fuming it shows Brussels are planning to form “its own empire”.

The latest EU foreign policy document, titled Global Strategy, calls for an extended reach into new spheres as distant as the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa.

It also outlined "gradual synchronisation and mutual adaptation" between different member states' individual defence strategies.

Ukip’s defence spokesman Mike Hookem said: “The EU wants its own Empire as former Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso made clear when he was in charge.



Secret rules make it pretty easy for the FBI to spy on Journalists

SECRET FBI RULES allow agents to obtain journalists’ phone records with approval from two internal officials — far less oversight than under normal judicial procedures.

The classified rules, obtained by The Intercept and dating from 2013, govern the FBI’s use of national security letters, which allow the bureau to obtain information about journalists’ calls without going to a judge or informing the news organization being targeted. They have previously been released only in heavily redacted form.

Media advocates said the documents show that the FBI imposes few constraints on itself when it bypasses the requirement to go to court and obtain subpoenas or search warrants before accessing journalists’ information.



Benghazi Victims' Relatives Blast Hillary Plea to 'Move On'

Hillary Clinton may have weathered House Republicans' Benghazi investigation, but her desire to put the issue to bed came across to some as remarkably tone-deaf.

"I'll leave it to others to characterize the report, but I think it's pretty clear it's time to move on," the former secretary of state said earlier this week in Denver, just after the release of the report on the deadly 2012 incident in Libya.

These remarks earned the ire of Dorothy Woods, widow of former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, who was one of the four Americans slain in the attack.



Trump Says He Turned Down Request to Speat All 3 Convention Nights

The Republican National Convention is just over two weeks away and presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump has yet to finalize plans for his appearance, reports The New York Times.

Trump, who's been reaching out to politicians, athletes, and other well-known figures to deliver speeches, revealed to the Times that he rejected one suggestion from the RNC.

"What they've asked me to do is to speak all three nights. I turned it down," he said. "I don't want people to think I'm grandstanding — which I'm not. But it would get high ratings."
 


Ashamed to be an American?

Towns crack down on American pride?

The Star-Spangled Banner survived the rocket’s red glare and bombs bursting in air – only to face a modern-day threat – silly town ordinances and petty bureaucrats.

I’m not sure if it’s an epidemic of anti-American nincompoopery sweeping across the fruited plain or if it’s a general lack of common sense. Maybe it’s both. I’ll let you be the judge of that.



   Medal of Honor
 Army 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.

VERSACE, HUMBERT R.
'Rocky'
Rank: Captain
Organization: U.S. Army
Date of Issue: 07/08/2002
VERSACE, HUMBERT R. Photo
Citation

Captain Humbert R. Versace distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism during the period of 29 October 1963 to 26 September 1965, while serving as S-2 Advisor, Military Assistance Advisory Group, Detachment 52, Ca Mau, Republic of Vietnam. While accompanying a Civilian Irregular Defense Group patrol engaged in combat operations in Thoi Binh District, An Xuyen Province, Captain Versace and the patrol came under sudden and intense mortar, automatic weapons, and small arms fire from elements of a heavily armed enemy battalion. As the battle raged, Captain Versace, although severely wounded in the knee and back by hostile fire, fought valiantly and continued to engage enemy targets. Weakened by his wounds and fatigued by the fierce firefight, Captain Versace stubbornly resisted capture by the over-powering Viet Cong force with the last full measure of his strength and ammunition. Taken prisoner by the Viet Cong, he exemplified the tenets of the Code of Conduct from the time he entered into Prisoner of War status. Captain Versace assumed command of his fellow American soldiers, scorned the enemy's exhaustive interrogation and indoctrination efforts, and made three unsuccessful attempts to escape, despite his weakened condition which was brought about by his wounds and the extreme privation and hardships he was forced to endure. During his captivity, Captain Versace was segregated in an isolated prisoner of war cage, manacled in irons for prolonged periods of time, and placed on extremely reduced ration. The enemy was unable to break his indomitable will, his faith in God, and his trust in the United States of America. Captain Versace, an American fighting man who epitomized the principles of his country and the Code of Conduct, was executed by the Viet Cong on 26 September 1965. Captain Versace's gallant actions in close contact with an enemy force and unyielding courage and bravery while a prisoner of war are in the highest traditions of the military service and reflect the utmost credit upon himself 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.