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VA Secretary Apologizes for Misstating He Served in Special Forces
Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald apologized today for
mistakenly saying in a videotaped exchange with a homeless man that
he had served in the special forces, though his service was entirely
with the 82nd Airborne Division.
"Secretary McDonald has apologized for the misstatement and noted
that he never intended to misrepresent his military service," a
White House officials told ABC News. "We take him at his word and
expect that this will not impact the important work he's doing to
promote the health and well-being of our nation's veterans."
Team Bibi schools Team Obama in speech boycott showdown
Team Barack started strong, but Team Bibi is showing it knows how to
finish, as supporters of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
pick up steam against those urging a boycott of his speech next week
About 20 House and Senate Democrats announced early on that they
would not attend the March 3 speech, which is being cast as a rebuke
to President Obama, but since then only a handful have joined them
as pro-Netanyahu advocates counter by hinting at political
consequences for the no-shows.
Christians United for Israel, for example, sent out an action alert
a few weeks ago urging its members to contact their representatives
in support of the Netanyahu speech. The result was a blast of more
than 30,000 emails asking lawmakers not to let “partisan politics
and petty excuses keep you from fulfilling the most basic of
responsibilities of your office.”
J.P. Morgan to start charging big clients fees on some deposits
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. is preparing to charge large institutional
customers for some deposits, citing new rules that make holding money
for the clients too costly, according to a memo reviewed by The Wall
Street Journal and people familiar with the plan.
The largest U.S. bank by assets is aiming to reduce the affected
deposits by billions of dollars, with a focus on bringing the number
down this year, these people said. The move is the latest in a series of
steps large global banks have been discussing in recent months to
discourage certain deposits due to new regulations and low interest
Mother Fed: Don't Audit Me!
U.S. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen testified before Congress
on Tuesday after presenting her semiannual monetary policy report.
The Federal Reserve will not hike rates for the next few Federal Open
Market Committee meetings, according to Yellen's prepared remarks.
During the question-and-answer session, Yellen addressed a range of
questions from the committee about the Fed's structure, its inflation
measurement and the movement to "audit the Fed."
Drones Spook Paris at Eiffel Tower and US embassy
Paris is on
alert for a new terror attack after 'at least' five drones were spotted
illegally flying around city landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower,
Bastille Square and the U.S. embassy building.
aircraft were also spotted flying overnight near the French capital's
Place de la Concorde and the Invalides military museum, where Napoleon
Bonaparte is buried.
sources where unable to catch the operators of the drones, which are
typically fitted with video recording equipment and can be used for
surveillance of a terror target to assess security levels and any
spikes in pedestrian football ahead of a planned attack.
Ex-NBC Bureau Chief Backs Up O'Reilly's Account of Falklands Ware Riot
former CBS reporters have strongly disputed Bill O’Reilly‘s accounts of
what happened one night when they covered a riot in Buenos Aires, but
on The Factor tonight, O’Reilly brought on a former NBC News bureau
chief who backed up his story.
Don Browne was
the NBC News Miami bureau chief at the time, and he oversaw the
network’s Falklands coverage. And Browne told O’Reilly his account was
accurate. As opposed to some of the other accounts, which have to some
extent downplayed the danger, Browne said the situation “got
progressively more intense” and there were demonstrations in Buenos
Aires every day.
and Browne recalled a “very intense situation where people got hurt”
and how “this was an extremely violent and volatile situation” where
reporters were in danger.
Islamic State in Syriua abducts at least 90 Christians
militants have abducted at least 90 people from Assyrian Christian
villages in northeastern Syria, a monitoring group tracking violence in
Syria said on Tuesday.
British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said they carried out
dawn raids on rural villages inhabited by the ancient Christian
minority west of Hasaka, a city mainly held by the Kurds.
FCC chief pressed to release net neutrality rules
Republican lawmaker in Congress called for Federal Communications
Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler to make proposed net neutrality
regulations public before a planned Thursday vote on the measure.
In the latest
wrinkle in the Republicans' battle to quash Wheeler's proposals, Rep.
Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who's also the chairman of the House Oversight
Committee, sent a letter today to Wheeler, questioning whether the FCC
has been "independent, fair and transparent" in crafting the rules to
protect content on the Internet.
After U.S. court blames PLO for terror, Israel hails verdict
U.S. jury orders PLO to pay $218 million
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed a controversial U.S. federal court
decision that found the Palestine Liberation Organization and the
Palestinian Authority liable for backing six terrorist attacks more
than a decade ago that left a number of American citizens dead or
office released a statement late Monday after the decision, saying
Israel expected the wider international community “to continue to
punish those who support terrorism just as the US federal court has
done and to back the countries that are fighting terrorism.” The
statement said, however, that there was “no justice that can console”
the families of those who lost their loved ones in the attacks.
A jury in
Manhattan awarded the victims of the 2002 and 2004 attacks $218.5
million in damages Monday — a figure that lawyers said would
automatically be tripled under the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act.
A job too big for Cupid
would shoot Cupid, and not with an arrow dipped in Love Potion No. 9.
He would use a Smith & Wesson .358 with a slug bathed in garlic.
thinks Barack Obama does not love America in the way that most of the
rest of us do. This makes every liberal’s teeth itch and every pimple
break out in acne. All the party hacks demand that His Former Honor be
put against the wall for saying what nearly everybody else thinks is
obvious, that the president never wastes an opportunity to lecture,
knock, slam, snipe and swipe at the object of his love all sublime, and
that’s not what a smitten lover does.
dispenses only tough love. He understands the first article of tough
love, why send a rose when you can send a cactus? But tough is not
always appreciated as a synonym for love. A woman wants an occasional
Valentine, not a bucket and a mop. The president’s country would
appreciate an occasional kind word, too.
Hail the college dropouts
At one time in
American history, “Go West, young man” described the idea that the
frontier was the place to build a new life. For the past few decades,
we’ve settled instead for the far less pioneering “Go to college, young
man.” Not nearly as exciting, is it?
it’s been implied — strongly — that a college degree is necessary to be
successful. After age 18, students are supposed to “continue their
education,” as if an apprenticeship, a career and life itself cannot do
that. The thinking has been that without that college diploma, how can
anyone get a job?
course, they make their own, like Mark Zuckerberg. The billionaire did
attend Harvard but never graduated because he was learning more in his
dorm room starting Facebook than he was sitting in his Ivy League
Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action
enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving
Armed Services of the United States.
to its recipient by the President of the
United States of America in the name of Congress.
first award of the Medal of Honor was made March 25, 1863 to
JACOB PARROTT.The last award of the Medal of Honor was made
September 15, 2011
to Sergeant DAKOTA MEYER.
then there have been: •
3458 recipients of the Medal of Honor.
Today there are 85 Living Recipients of the
Medal of Honor.
BENAVIDEZ, ROY P.
Rank: Master Sergeant
Organization: U.S. Army
Company: Detachment B-56
Division: 5th Special Forces Group
BENAVIDEZ, ROY P.
Master Sergeant (then Staff Sergeant) Roy P. Benavidez
United States Army, who distinguished himself by a series of daring and
extremely valorous actions on 2 May 1968 while assigned to Detachment
B56, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, Republic
of Vietnam. On the morning of 2 May 1968, a 12-man Special Forces
Reconnaissance Team was inserted by helicopters in a dense jungle area
west of Loc Ninh, Vietnam to gather intelligence information about
confirmed large-scale enemy activity. This area was controlled and
routinely patrolled by the North Vietnamese Army. After a short period
of time on the ground, the team met heavy enemy resistance, and
requested emergency extraction. Three helicopters attempted extraction,
but were unable to land due to intense enemy small arms and
anti-aircraft fire. Sergeant Benavidez was at the Forward Operating
Base in Loc Ninh monitoring the operation by radio when these
helicopters returned to off-load wounded crewmembers and to assess
aircraft damage. Sergeant Benavidez voluntarily boarded a returning
aircraft to assist in another extraction attempt. Realizing that all
the team members were either dead or wounded and unable to move to the
pickup zone, he directed the aircraft to a nearby clearing where he
jumped from the hovering helicopter, and ran approximately 75 meters
under withering small arms fire to the crippled team. Prior to reaching
the team's position he was wounded in his right leg, face, and head.
Despite these painful injuries, he took charge, repositioning the team
members and directing their fire to facilitate the landing of an
extraction aircraft, and the loading of wounded and dead team members.
He then threw smoke canisters to direct the aircraft to the team's
position. Despite his severe wounds and under intense enemy fire, he
carried and dragged half of the wounded team members to the awaiting
aircraft. He then provided protective fire by running alongside the
aircraft as it moved to pick up the remaining team members. As the
enemy's fire intensified, he hurried to recover the body and classified
documents on the dead team leader. When he reached the leader's body,
Sergeant Benavidez was severely wounded by small arms fire in the
abdomen and grenade fragments in his back. At nearly the same moment,
the aircraft pilot was mortally wounded, and his helicopter crashed.
Although in extremely critical condition due to his multiple wounds,
Sergeant Benavidez secured the classified documents and made his way
back to the wreckage, where he aided the wounded out of the overturned
aircraft, and gathered the stunned survivors into a defensive
perimeter. Under increasing enemy automatic weapons and grenade fire,
he moved around the perimeter distributing water and ammunition to his
weary men, reinstilling in them a will to live and fight. Facing a
buildup of enemy opposition with a beleaguered team, Sergeant Benavidez
mustered his strength, began calling in tactical air strikes and
directed the fire from supporting gunships to suppress the enemy's fire
and so permit another extraction attempt. He was wounded again in his
thigh by small arms fire while administering first aid to a wounded
team member just before another extraction helicopter was able to land.
His indomitable spirit kept him going as he began to ferry his comrades
to the craft. On his second trip with the wounded, he was clubbed from
additional wounds to his head and arms before killing his adversary. He
then continued under devastating fire to carry the wounded to the
helicopter. Upon reaching the aircraft, he spotted and killed two enemy
soldiers who were rushing the craft from an angle that prevented the
aircraft door gunner from firing upon them. With little strength
remaining, he made one last trip to the perimeter to ensure that all
classified material had been collected or destroyed, and to bring in
the remaining wounded. Only then, in extremely serious condition from
numerous wounds and loss of blood, did he allow himself to be pulled
into the extraction aircraft. Sergeant Benavidez' gallant choice to
join voluntarily his comrades who were in critical straits, to expose
himself constantly to withering enemy fire, and his refusal to be
stopped despite numerous severe wounds, saved the lives of at least
eight men. His fearless personal leadership, tenacious devotion to
duty, and extremely valorous actions in the face of overwhelming odds
were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service,
and reflect the utmost credit on him 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
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
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
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
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
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