Thursday July 7th, 2016

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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

Comey challenges truthfulness of Hillary's email defenses



FBI Director James Comey confirmed on Thursday that some of Hillary Clinton's statements and explanations about her email server to the House Benghazi Committee last October were not true, as evidenced by the bureau's investigation into whether she mishandled classified information.

During an extended exchange with Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), Comey affirmed that the FBI's investigation found information marked classified on her server even after Clinton had said that she had neither sent nor received any items marked classified.

"That is not true," Comey said. "There were a small number of portion markings on, I think, three of the documents."



Senate push to strip Hillary of security clearance
Image: After FBI Report, Clinton Aides Could Find it Harder to Get Security Clearances

A high-powered group of senators officially petitioned the State Department Thursday to suspend the security clearances of former Secretary Hillary Clinton and her top aides — a move that could effectively kneecap her preparations for the White House.

Sen. Marco Rubio, a member of the intelligence committee, led the push, joined by Sen. John Cornyn, the Senate’s second-ranking Republican and a handful of others.

Mr. Cornyn and Sen. Cory Gardner also introduced a bill that would strip Mrs. Clinton’s access altogether, which would mean she wouldn’t get the top secret briefings that presidential candidates usually get once they claim the nomination.

Ryan sends letter to block Clinton access to classified material




No charges in Hillary email probe

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch formally cleared Hillary Clinton on Wednesday, saying she would not pursue a criminal case against the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee for mishandling classified information through her secret email account when she was secretary of state.

Ms. Lynch said she was following the “unanimous” advice of FBI Director James B. Comey, his agents and career Justice Department prosecutors.

The announcement was made just a day after Mr. Comey laid out a hefty case against Mrs. Clinton, saying she may have violated secrecy laws, did traffic in classified information on her secret server and may well have been hacked by enemy agents. But Mr. Comey said he couldn’t see any other cases in which a successful prosecution was made, so he was recommending against bringing charges.



Hillary email decision seen as lifeline for those facing similar charges

The FBI recommendation not to prosecute Hillary Clinton and her staff on charges of mishandling classified information will give those accused of flouting national security rules a new line of defense even as it highlights a dual standard in how senior government officials are treated, several experts said Wednesday.

FBI Director James Comey recommended Tuesday that no charges be filed against Clinton or her team for their handling of classified information while she was secretary of state, even though she was “extremely careless” in using a private email address and servers. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced Wednesday that she agreed with Comey’s assessment.

Lawyers who specialize in representing government and military officials who’ve had security clearances revoked said Comey’s recommendation offered them a new tactic in seeking to rehabilitate their clients, especially if Clinton is elected president in November.

FBI Director defends outcome of Clinton email probe

Summoned before Congress, FBI Director James Comey on Thursday strongly defended the decision to not prosecute Hillary Clinton over her private email setup. He said there was no evidence that she or any of her aides knew that anything they were doing was against the law or had lied to federal investigators.

Comey's appearance before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee marked his first public statements since an FBI announcement that removed the threat of criminal charges against the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee but also revived public scrutiny of her handling of classified information.

On Tuesday, in a stinging assessment of her email practices as secretary of state, Comey rebuked Clinton and her aides for being "extremely careless" in their handling of classified information and contradicted many of the defenses and explanations she's put forward for months. But he also said there was no evidence anyone willfully or intentionally mishandled classified information and that "no reasonable prosecutor" would pursue such a case.


Democrats' filibuster shield illegal immigrants, sanctuary cities

Senate Democrats launched filibusters Wednesday to protect sanctuary cities and to shield repeat illegal immigrants from mandatory minimum five-year prison sentences, saying Republican lawmakers were following the lead of Donald Trump in attacking immigrants.

The votes were taken slightly more than a year after the slaying of Kate Steinle, whose death at the hands of an illegal immigrant shielded by San Francisco’s sanctuary policy ignited a fierce debate over localities’ laws that limit or ban police from turning over immigrants to federal deportation officers.

Steinle’s death on July 1, 2015, drew attention to victims of illegal immigrant crime — a part of the debate that is often overlooked.


Iran threatens to restart nuclear program

Iran upped the ante recently to pressure the Obama administration to release money to the terrorist regime, proving once again Iran believes it has the upper hand against the White House. Its trump card seems to be the threat of restarting its nuclear weapons program if it doesn’t get the financial resources and support for its economy it desires.

Alaeddin Boroujerdi, chair of the Iranian parliament’s national security and foreign policy commission, warned that the Islamic Republic would “resume large-scale uranium enrichment” if leaders feel the international community is not doing enough for Iran under the nuclear deal.



EMP Attack 'Most Dangerous Short-Term' Threat
 
Arizona Rep. Trent Franks told CircaNews that an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack on our country's electrical grid is "the most dangerous short-term national security threat that we face."

 Franks, a Republican representing the 8th District of Arizona, told Circa in an interview of a secret Iranian document titled "Passive Defense" that framed the optimum strategy to attack a country like the U.S.

"It outlined that the best way to deal with countries like America, a country that was much stronger than them, was an asymmetric strategy of attacking our electric grid," Franks said.



O'Reilly: Obama's 'Deep Emotional Ties' Make Him 'Sympathetic' to Islam
 
Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly said on his show Wednesday that President Barack Obama's families ties to Islam make him unable to use the term "radical Islam" when referring to terrorists.

 It wasn't a new accusation by the "O'Reilly Factor"  host, but on Wednesday, he illustrated his argument by showing photos of Obama reportedly attending his half-brother's wedding in the 1990s dressed in Muslim clothing.



Britain is set to have its second female prime minister
Wider Conservative Party will now choose between Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom

Britain will be led by a woman prime minister through its complicated divorce with the European Union, it was revealed Thursday, as the sole remaining male candidate was knocked out of the race to succeed David Cameron.

The contest to replace the outgoing Cameron as leader of the Conservative Party -- and of the country -- will be fought between MPs Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom, after Michael Gove was eliminated in the second round of voting by their party's MPs Thursday.

May secured 199 votes, Leadsom 84, while Gove won just 46, Graham Brady, chair of the Conservative Private Members' Committee, announced Thursday.



UN's Ban Tells China, Free Media Are Crucial

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told China's leaders on Thursday that a flourishing civil society and free media are key to China's development, on one of his last visits to Beijing as U.N. leader.

Ban spoke while standing next to Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who last month berated a Canadian journalist for asking a question about China's human rights record during a news conference in Canada.

"As China continues along the path of transformation and reform, I encourage China's leaders to create the space needed for the civil society to play its crucial role," Ban said, as Wang looked down at his lectern or stared ahead, expressionless.



Will California ever thrive again?
The wealthy elite escape the regulatory hell they’ve created for the underclass


There was more of the same old, same old California news recently. Some 62 percent of state roads have been rated poor or mediocre. There were more predications of huge cost overruns and yearly losses on high-speed rail — before the first mile of track has been laid. One-third of Bay Area residents were polled as hoping to leave the area soon.

Such pessimism is daily fare, and for good reason.

The basket of California state taxes — sales, income and gasoline — rates among the highest in the United States. Yet California roads and K-12 education rank near the bottom.




A small victory on immigration

The Supreme Court tie is only a small step in long fight


In a rare instance when a tie score was really a win, the 4-4 Supreme Court decision on President Obama’s executive amnesty for illegal immigrants represented a victory for the rule of law. The deadlocked court means the merits will finally be addressed while the president has been blocked from bestowing legal residency upon an entire class of people. Without question, this is good news. But the celebrations should be muted, as there are many other disastrous Obama policies still in place, with many more illegal immigration problems still to be addressed.

What the court has blocked is Mr. Obama’s expansion of his existing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, along with the new Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) policy. Under the DACA expansion announced in 2014, legal presence was granted to illegal immigrants claiming to have been present in the United States since before they turned 16, and who claimed continuous residency since 2010, among other criteria. DACA also included work authorization. Under DAPA, legal presence was granted to people who had lived in the country since 2010 and were parents of citizens or legal residents. Both of these programs were challenged by 26 states in United States v. Texas and are now on hold pending the lower court’s decision.



   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.