Thursday August 27th, 2014

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

Updated 1032 PDT                               
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World & National                 
Ukraine heats up Again
        

Declaring that Russian troops had crossed into Ukraine, President Petro O. Poroshenko on Thursday canceled a planned visit to Turkey and convened a meeting of the national security council to focus on the “marked aggravation of the situation” in the southeast of his country.

The meeting of the national security council will focus on shaping a response, and Ukraine will also request a meeting of the United Nations Security Council.
Breach Border...
Begin fighting alongside rebels...
Assaults intensify...



Is Russia Tied to JPMorgan Hacking?


Russian hackers attacked the U.S. financial system in mid-August, infiltrating and stealing data from JPMorgan Chase and at least one other bank, an incident the FBI is investigating as a possible retaliation for government-sponsored sanctions, according to two people familiar with the probe. Trish Regan reports on "Street Smart." (Source: Bloomberg)
   
Russian hackers attacked the U.S. financial system in mid-August, infiltrating and stealing data from JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and at least one other bank, an incident the FBI is investigating as a possible retaliation for government-sponsored sanctions, according to two people familiar with the probe.

The attack resulted in the loss of gigabytes of sensitive data, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the probe is still preliminary. Authorities are investigating whether recent infiltrations of major European banks using a similar vulnerability are also linked to the attack, one of the people said.



Obama crafts legal rationale for immigration ssteps

The White House is crafting a blame-it-on-Congress legal justification to back up President Barack Obama's impending executive actions on immigration.

Facing an expected onslaught of opposition, the administration plans to argue that Congress failed to provide enough resources to fully enforce U.S. laws, thereby ceding wide latitude to White House to prioritize deportations of the 11.5 million people who are in the country illegally, administration officials and legal experts said. But Republicans, too, are exploring their legal options for stopping Obama from what they've deemed egregious presidential overreaching.



Al Qaeda magazine hints of looming attack


A new English-language Al Qaeda magazine features a how-to article on making car bombs and suggests terror targets in the United States, including casinos in Las Vegas, oil tankers and military colleges, and implies that an attack is imminent.

The online publication, called “Palestine-Betrayal of the Guilty Conscience Al-Malahem” and put out by the media arm of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, calls for Muslims around the world to follow “the recipe” provided to set off car bombs in crowded venues. It includes a timeline of "selected jihadi operations" that the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which first flagged the slickly-produced latest edition of the terror publication, finds chilling.



Israeli search Jerusalem forest for missing American student

Israeli police and volunteers searched a forest on the southern edge of Jerusalem on Thursday for a 23-year-old American student who went missing last week while out for a hike.

Aaron Sofer, a Jewish seminary student from New Jersey, vanished on Friday while walking in woods not far from Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust museum, Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

“The timeline concludes with the date 201?’ and blank spaces and question marks for the photo and information of the next attack -- implying that it is coming soon.” said MEMRI Executive Director Steve Stalinsky.



Sister of Boston bombing suspect arrested in NYC

A sister of Boston Marathon bombing suspect was arrested in New York City after authorities say she threatened to "put a bomb" on a woman.

Ailina Tsarnaeva, of North Bergen, N.J., was charged with one count of aggravated harassment and released pending a hearing next month. Tsarnaeva already has been required to check in with Massachusetts probation officers after prosecutors said she refused to cooperate with a 2010 counterfeiting investigatio



Islamic State Atrocities: executes scores of Syrian soldiers

Islamic State fighters executed scores of Syrian soldiers captures when the militants seized an airbase in the province of Raqqa at the weekend, according to a video posted on You Tube on Thursday.

The video, confirmed as genuine by an Islamic State fighter,

showed the bodies of dozens of men lying face down wearing nothing but their underwear. They were stretched out in a line that appeared to be dozens of metres long.



NATO Summit 2014


Military helicopters were spotted over Newport and Cardiff on Thursday ahead of the Nato Summit taking place in just seven days time.

Members of the armed forces are joining the 9,500 police officers that are taking part in the security effort.

It understood that the helicopters were military, although it wasn’t clear yesterday what they were doing.



Travel ban to Ebola affected countries, UK officials say

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office says all travel to Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia should be avoided - unless essential, due to the Ebola outbreak.

British Airways has suspended flights to Sierra Leone and Liberia and other airlines are taking similar measures.

Such flight restrictions may make it increasingly hard for people working in these areas to leave, the FCO warns.

Meanwhile scientists have announced plans to trial an Ebola vaccine on UK volunteers this September.



UN: Armed group detains 43 peacekeepers in Syria, 81 others trapped

An armed group detained 43 U.N. peacekeepers during fighting in Syria early Thursday and another 81 peacekeepers are trapped, the United Nations said.

The peacekeepers were detained on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights during a "period of increased fighting between armed elements and the Syrian Arab Armed Forces," the office of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement.  It said another 81 peacekeepers are "currently being restricted to their positions in the vicinity of Ar Ruwayhinah and Burayqah."



Burger King Move Puts Obama in a Fix

Burger King's flight to Canada to beat huge U.S. corporate taxes raises a thorny predicament fort President Barack Obama, according to renowned economist and CNBC senior contributor Larry Kudlow.

Kudlow noted on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV Thursday that Obama — who strongly opposes American corporations leaving the U.S. so they could pay lower taxes — is close friends with billionaire investor Warren Buffett.

But Buffett, it turns out, is one of the key money men in the deal which would see Burger King buying the Canadian company Tim Horton's and heading north.



On the gold course, Obama avoids the rough
The president takes refuge from the world on the links

Immediately after his telephone call consoling the Foley family on their son’s grisly murder at the hands of Islamofascists, President Obama took a powder. He headed for the golf course. Yes, the golf course. He had golfed eight times in 11 days, as the world was in tumult the likes of which we have not experienced since the late 1930s. There is something very odd about this man. He seems to think he can duck his obligations by lolling on the golf course. Does he think no one is looking?

In his brief life, my guess is, he has been posing all along. He had no role model as a father. He had no lasting role model as an adult. Now he has to produce. No one else can serve as his hidden adviser. He has to lead, and he has not a clue as to what to do. Thus, to the golf course he goes, no matter how his critics complain or how a growing number of journalists express their dismay.



Obama on the hIslamic State Who's on first?
The official line on the terrorist threat switches from day to day

Obama foreign policy has long resembled the old Abbott and Costello “who’s on first” routine: a dazed and confused mush of leftist ideology and demonstrable weakness. The left hand hasn’t known what the far-left hand has been doing. Or the far-left hand has had to take the left one out to the woodshed for not being appropriately apologetic or irresolute.

The result? A world aflame, convulsed in violent chaos.

Witness the latest example of the administration’s lack of unit cohesion.


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.
CARPENTER, WILLIAM KYLE Photo

CARPENTER, WILLIAM KYLE
Rank: Lance Corporal
U.S. Marine Corps
Citation

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as an Automatic Rifleman with Company F, 2d Battalion, 9th Marines, Regimental Combat Team 1, 1st Marine Division (Forward), 1 Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), in Helmand Province, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom on 21 November 2010. Lance Corporal Carpenter was a member of a platoon-sized coalition force, comprised of two reinforced Marine squads partnered with an Afghan National Army squad. The platoon had established Patrol Base Dakota two days earlier in a small village in the Marjah District in order to disrupt enemy activity and provide security for the local Afghan population. Lance Corporal Carpenter and a fellow Marine were manning a rooftop security position on the perimeter of Patrol Base Dakota when the enemy initiated a daylight attack with hand grenades, one of which landed inside their sandbagged position. Without hesitation, and with complete disregard for his own safety, Lance Corporal Carpenter moved toward the grenade in an attempt to shield his fellow Marine from the deadly blast. When the grenade detonated, his body absorbed the brunt of the blast, severely wounding him, but saving the life of his fellow Marine. By his undaunted courage, bold fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of almost certain death, Lance Corporal Carpenter reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.



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.