Thursday November 19th, 2015

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World & National

House defies Obama, votes to 'pause' Syrian refugees

Distrusting President Obama’s assurances and brushing aside his insults, the House voted Thursday to hit the “pause” button on his plans to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees in the U.S. this year, insisting he step up security checks to make sure terrorists can’t exploit America’s humanitarian heart.

The 289-137 vote saw 47 Democrats join Republicans, defying a veto threat from Mr. Obama, who has grown increasingly strident in accusing his critics of everything from hysteria to Islamophobia.

8 Syrians Caught at Texas Border in Laredo
              Border Patrol Agent on Border

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has confirmed that eight Syrians were taken into custody at the Laredo port of entry.

Two federal agents operating under the umbrella of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are claiming that eight Syrian illegal aliens attempted to enter Texas from Mexico in the Laredo Sector. The federal agents spoke with Breitbart Texas on the condition of anonymity, however, a local president of the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) confirmed that Laredo Border Patrol agents have been officially contacting the organization with concerns over reports from other federal agents about Syrians illegally entering the country in the Laredo Sector. The reports have caused a stir among the sector’s Border Patrol agents.

The sources claimed that eight Syrians were apprehended on Monday, November 16, 2015. According to the sources, the Syrians were in two separate “family units” and were apprehended at the Juarez Lincoln Bridge in Laredo, Texas, also known officially as Port of Entry 1.

ISIS threatens NYC in new propaganda video...
Times Square Attack...
Refugees CANNOT be vetted, get 'real' docs from govt...
Coming for years, 'already at work'...

'Throngs' of illegals crossing TX border...
Al Qaeda used refugee program to smuggle operatives into KY...
Report: 827 Somalis resettled in last 6 weeks, only 1 Christian...
Tennessee GOP leader: Round up Syrian refugees, remove from state...
Va. mayor suggests internment camps...
Messaging app used by Islamic State shuts down channels...
Alert for Men After 'Suspicious Activity' Near Pentagon..

Obama says Syrian refugees no bigger threat to U.S. than 'tourists'?
             U.S. President Barack Obama pauses while answering a reporters question during a meeting with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Manila, Philippines, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Obama said Thursday that Syrian refugees are no more dangerous to the U.S. than tourists, and he accused Republican presidential candidates of stoking fears about the refugees and closing the Guantanamo Bay terrorist detention center to score political points.

Speaking to reporters at a summit in the Philippines, Mr. Obama said the “overwhelming numbers” of Syrians who are applying for entry to the U.S. “are children, women, families — themselves victims of terrorism.” He said they are already subject to rigorous vetting by U.S. security officials.

Ash Carter breaks with Obama: 'We're prepared to change rules of engagement' in fight vs. ISIS
              Defense Secretary Ashton Carter speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) ** FILE **
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter says the U.S. is prepared to change the “rules of engagement” in the fight against the Islamic State terrorist group, pointing to methods like targeting fuel trucks controlled by the terrorist group.

“We’ve reviewed them - we review them all the time,” Mr. Carter said in an interview for MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “Actually, if you look at the data, the thing that most enhances the impact of the air campaign is better and better intelligence. We’re prepared to change rules of engagement. We’ve changed tactics, as we just did in the case of the fuel trucks.”

Nation's largest insurer may drop out of Obamacare, citing losses

The nation’s largest insurer said Thursday it may have to drop out of Obamacare’s exchanges, a particularly gloomy harbinger for the law unless things turn around.

UnitedHealth Group said it will scale back marketing in 2016 and decide whether it’s worth participating in 2017, as it expects to reap $425 million less in the fourth quarter of 2015 than previously thought.

Islamic State to bring guerrilla warfare to Wesetern cities
ISIS morphing into a ‘structured organization’

The Islamic State could be planning to wage guerrilla warfare on European cities, according to a counter-insurgency expert, leading to a terrorist army living and growing in capitals across the continent, destroying the Europe we know today, forever.

AFP reports on comments by David Kilcullen, an Australian army veteran, who became the senior counter-insurgency adviser to U.S. Gen. David Petraeus during the Iraq War. Considered a key architect of the “surge” strategy that helped turn the conflict around, Mr. Kilcullen said, “The Paris attacks showed the Islamic State group (IS) was morphing from a terrorist threat into a ‘structured organization’ like the IRA in Ireland or ETA in Spain during the 20th century.”

John McCain Calls for 10,000 Ground Troops in Syria to Defeat ISIS

Sen. John McCain wants 10,000 U.S. ground troops in Syria to crush the Islamic State — and blames President Barack Obama's lack of leadership and strategy for the "phenomena of ISIS."

In an interview with with France 24 television on Thursday, the Arizona Republican, and 2008 GOP presidential nominee, said the aim of American boots on the ground would be to join soldiers from Arab countries, NATO countries "and even France" to defeat ISIS.

When history and celebrity collidehttp://www.washiWhen history and celebrity collide
George Will and Bill O’Reilly face off over ‘Killing Reagan’

Earlier this month, premier Fox newsman Bill O'Reilly became unhinged on live television. A red-faced Mr. O'Reilly loudly and repeatedly called his invited guest, Washington Post columnist and fellow conservative Fox News journalist George Will, a “hack” and accused him of lying.

It was a surreal moment, with stunned viewers no doubt muttering to themselves, “Is the jig finally up?”

Historian: Obama lacks  maturity of Reagan, acts like 'spoiled little man child'

So how would Ronald Reagan have handled the terrorist attacks on Paris and the grim aftermath?..

“President Reagan would have done everything Barack Obama is not doing. He would have been rational, manly, intellectual and tough. He would not have been a shameful, spoiled little man child, irrationally attacking Americans while on foreign soil,” historian Craig Shirley tells Inside the Beltway.

Knowing when to go to war
Obama retreats from the moral question of when the use of force is just

Apolitical litmus test has required that presidential hopefuls deem the Iraq War a mistake and Afghanistan too expensive. But in light of attacks by the Islamic State, or ISIS, and renewed calls for U.S. escalation, how President Obama and the presidential candidates understand the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and how and when they decide it is just and necessary to use American military power, has very real implications.

France has begun a major escalation in its air campaign against ISIS. Mr. Obama agreed to this “intensification,” but rejects the notion of sending large numbers of American ground troops to Iraq or Syria, fearing “a permanent occupation of these countries.” He continues to avoid the word “war,” insisting our military is simply combating ISIS. He is not prepared to put boots on the ground to take out the Assad regime.

                 Medal of Honor
Army Medal of HonorNavy Medal of HonorAir Force 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.

Rank: Captain
Organization: U.S. Army
Date of Issue: 07/08/2002

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.