Tuesday November 24th, 2015

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--Geoff Metctalf

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World & National

Pentagon backs Turkey's version of events

With the president of France at his side, President Obama said Tuesday that the Islamic State “must be destroyed” in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris.

“This barbaric terrorist group … and its murderous ideology poses a serious threat to all of us,” Mr. Obama said. “It cannot be tolerated, it must be destroyed.”

Worldwide travel alert issued by State Department over tereror threat

Travel at your own risk.

Just in time for the holidays, the State Department issued a global travel alert to U.S. citizens warning of the increased likelihood of terror attacks by legions of terrorists — including the murderous Islamic State.

The terse warning, posted on the State Department website Monday, said American travelers should use “particular caution” in the coming weeks and through Feb. 24.

Putin: Dowing of Jet A 'Stab In The Back'
The Russian warplane is shot down by Turkey after allegedly violating its airspace, with both pilots on board believed to be dead.

The shooting down of a Russian jet by Turkey is a "stab in the back" committed by "accomplices of terrorists", Vladimir Putin has said.

The Sukhoi Su-24 was warned 10 times before being downed near the Syrian border by two Turkish F16 jets for violating the country's airspace, according to the Turkish military.

A Turkish official said two Russian planes approached the Turkish border and were warned before one of them was shot down, adding their information shows Turkish airspace was repeatedly violated.

Iraq's Sunni decry lack of U.S. help in Islamic State fight...says Russia eager to fill void

Key tribal leaders from Iraq’s Sunni Arab population say U.S. officials have failed to work with them in the fight against the Islamic State and assert that Russia is now increasingly eager to fill the void — even inviting influential sheikhs to visit Moscow and air their grievances.

While the Obama administration admits its push for a “Sunni Awakening 2.0” to break the Islamic State’s hold on Iraq has gone more slowly than hoped, the claims made by five separate Sunni tribal sheikhs in interviews with The Washington Times paint a far bleaker picture, one in which Washington appears to have bungled a chance to recreate an approach that worked against the terrorists in the past.

Fed Chair Defends Fed's Low-Rate Policies

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen says while many savers have been frustrated by years of low interest rates, the rock-bottom rates were needed to boost the economy after the Great Recession.

In a letter to consumer advocate Ralph Nader, Yellen said Monday that the low rates helped create millions of jobs by lowering borrowing costs for businesses and consumers.

U.S. ran out of ammo in attack on ISIS trucks

American forces made one of their most effective hits against the Islamic State on Nov. 15, when U.S. planes destroyed 116 tanker trucks used by the terrorist organization to transport the stolen oil that is its financial lifeblood.

American A-10 and C-130 warplanes targeted a group of about 300 trucks near Abu Kamal, in Syria. Given that the Islamic State is thought to have just over 1,000 trucks in its entire fleet, the group of 300 represented a huge target for U.S. planes.

"There were 300, I think, to begin with, and then you hit 116. Why didn't you go back?" a reporter asked Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman Col. Steve Warren.

"Frankly, the aircraft expended 24 500-pound bombs, and all of their ammunition," Warren answered. "So they — they shot everything they had and then they had to go home."

Hillary and the mystery of the vanishing woman who decided which emails were to be erased

Heather Samuelson was the Clinton aide who was tasked to go through the former secretary of state's emails and then, later on, was to take a job with the 2016 campaign.

But, according to Politico, Samuelson made the move – from Washington, D.C. to New York, as Clinton's campaign is headquartered in Brooklyn –  but never started her campaign job.

'She moved to Brooklyn to work on the campaign, but then things got really complicated,' a friend of Samuelson's told Politico, asking to not be named.

National debt spikes $578 Billion in Three Weeks

The national debt has surged more than half a trillion dollars in the last three weeks, as the suspension of the debt ceiling in late October has allowed the government to borrow as much as it wants.

Before the debt ceiling was suspended, the national debt stood at $18.15 trillion. But over the last 22 days, it soared $578 billion.

As of Friday, total national debt stood at $18.72 trillion.

Gun group to D.C. Chief Lanier: firearms laws make it hard to take down active shooter

D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier’s suggestion that ordinary citizens try to take down an active shooter before officers arrive is drawing criticism from Second Amendment advocates who question how residents of a city with some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation could be expected to defend themselves.

“This is sound advice,” said Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. “But considering the draconian gun laws in the District, it will remain difficult, if not impossible, for most private citizens to do what the chief is suggesting.”

Cruz, Trump in Virtual Tie In Iowa

Ted Cruz on Wednesday edged into a virtual tie with GOP front-runner Donald Trump in a new Quinnipiac University poll released on Wednesday for the state of Iowa, with Trump retaining a narrow lead of 25 percent of the vote, followed by Cruz with 23 percent, doubling his support from four weeks ago.

By the numbers:
Trump, 25 percent;
Cruz, 23 percent;
Dr. Ben Carson, 18 percent;
Sen. Marco Rubio, 13 percent;

How Obama cooks the terrorism numbers

Barack Obama has given an eloquent testimony to a Christian faith, but his sympathies are always with Islam. He insisted from Asia that “99.9 percent of Muslims worldwide reject terrorism,” and that’s good news, if true. But it clearly is not.
It doesn't get much worse than this! Watch what happens when this guy tries to load his new truck.
It is true that in the wake of the attacks on Paris an unusual number of Muslims have decried the terrorism that threatens us all. Even CAIR, the Muslim advocacy outfit that decries as a hate crime every hard look a Muslim gets anywhere, condemns the assault on Paris.

No Christians and persecuted minorities allowed
Obama’s refugee strategy favors Muslims

Standing before the cameras in Turkey, President Obama found his safe place to indict half his countrymen for raising the issue of religion in their concern over his plan to open America’s gates to tens of thousands of Muslim “refugees” from Syria. Subjecting refugees to a religious test runs counter to American values, said Mr. Obama.

The Harvard Law School graduate got it wrong, again. As Andrew McCarthy notes, the immigration law explicitly requires religious considerations. How could it do otherwise? Religion is a prime reason why people are persecuted and expelled from their homelands.

                 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.