Tuesday May 19th, 2015

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World & National     

New Documents Indicate Key Hillar Claim on Emails Was NOT True
                                               

Emails published by the New York Times Monday indicate that Hillary Clinton used more than one private email address during her time as secretary of state, contradicting previous claims from the Democratic presidential contender’s office.

Multiple emails show Clinton used account “hrod17@clintonemail.com” while serving in the Obama administration as secretary of state.
Image source: Screen grab

Clinton’s attorney, David Kendall, had previously told Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) that that particular address had not “existed during Secretary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State.”


Worst Day of Campaign...
'3-5 business days': Response time for media requests...
NYT: Hillary circulated Sid Blumenthal 'intelligence' memos...
Paid by Foundation, MEDIA MATTERS...
Role Blurs Lines of Politics and Business...
House committee may subpoena...
State Dept won't release Clinton e-mails until 2016...



Hillary hides from reporters as security race across Iowa at 95 MPH to dodge pursuing journalists

For reporters trying to cover the opening months of Hillary Rodham Clinton's second presidential campaign, Waterloo, Iowa might be her Waterloo.

On Monday night the Clinton camp held a private campaign party at the home of a wealthy pharmacist in the central Iowa town – a longtime Democratic Party figure – and Daily Mail Online was the only media outlet to make it to the address.

Other press outlets can't be faulted, however: Clinton's aides kept the existence of the party a secret, leaving it off of the schedule circulated to reporters who cover her events in a rotating 'pool.'

Daily Mail Online only found the location after trailing the candidate's motorcade at a distance for an 85 miles trek, at speeds reaching 95 mph.



ABC's 'secret' $105M gamble on Stephanopoulos
                 

ABC has plenty of reasons to be freaking out over the George Stephanopoulos scandal — 105 million, to be exact.

The “Good Morning America” and “This Week” anchor renewed his contract last year for $105 million, TV industry sources told The Post Monday.

The seven-year deal — which dwarfs the five-year, $50 million contract scored by since-suspended NBC rival Brian Williams — was supposed to keep Stephanopoulos in front of ABC’s cameras through 2021.



GOP Wants Review of Internet Governance Handover

The Obama administration’s plan to relinquish U.S. control of the Internet’s architecture to a group of international stakeholders isn’t going over well on Capitol Hill.

Republicans want to review any handover agreement, while members of both parties are saying the California nonprofit that manages the Internet’s addressing system needs to do a better job protecting American copyrights before President Barack Obama turns over control.

“Who’s going to be there when something goes wrong?” asked Rep. Joe L. Barton, a Texas Republican, at a House Energy and Commerce hearing last week. “I’ve yet to hear this vaunted multi-stakeholder process come up with an enforcement mechanism.”



Israel says Iran violated sanctions by purchasing aircraft


A senior Israeli official took a swipe at the United States on Tuesday over Iran's reported purchase of second-hand civilian aircraft, saying the acquisition violated international sanctions and went ahead despite a tip-off from Israel.

Iranian Transport Minister Abbas Akhoondi was quoted on May 11 by the Iranian Students News Agency as saying Tehran bought 15 used commercial planes in the last three months. He did not say who sold them or how they had been acquired.

A long-standing ban on the export of aircraft spare parts to Iran was eased under an interim nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers in late 2013, but the sanctions regime continues to restrict sales of planes.



Ramadi battle: IS prepares to defend seized Iraqi city

Islamic State militants are preparing to defend the Iraqi city of Ramadi, witnesses say, as Iranian-backed militiamen gather east of the city.

Residents said IS fighters had set up defensive positions and laid landmines after capturing the city on Sunday.

Militants were also going door-to-door looking for government sympathisers and throwing bodies in the Euphrates river, residents were quoted as saying.



Boehner demands Obama do-over on Islamic State war request

House Speaker John A. Boehner said Tuesday that President Obama should withdraw his current war request from Congress and “start over,” coming up with an entirely new strategy to fight the Islamic State after this weekend’s setback in Iraq.

“We don’t have a strategy,” Mr. Boehner said in calling for the do-over.

The Ohio Republican had spent much of last year demanding Mr. Obama send up a request for Congress to authorize the use of military force, known in Capitol-speak as an AUMF. But when Mr. Obama finally did send one up, it left Congress paralyzed, and no major legislative action has occurred in the three months since.



Obama-allied liberal group wants ATF-FBI merger for stricter gun laws

A liberal advocacy group with close ties to the White House is calling for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to be merged with the FBI, saying it would lead to stricter enforcement of gun laws.

The Center for American Progress said its two-year study of the ATF found that the agency can’t keep up with the challenges of enforcing gun laws and regulating the firearms industry.

“Too often, the leadership, management, and resources lag behind the dedication of the agents,” said Arkadi Gerney, CAP senior vice president. “With 33 people murdered with guns in the United States every day, it is time to think big about how best to fulfill ATF’s mission.”



Rand Paul: 'Whatever it takes to stop' Patriot Act reauthorization


Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, said he will do "everything humanly possible" to keep the Senate from reauthorizing the Patriot Act.

The GOP presidential candidate said in an interview with CNN's Alisyn Camerota that aired Tuesday on "New Day" that he will try to filibuster a reauthorization of Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which spawned the National Security Agency's collection of millions of Americans' phone records.

A handful of powerful Senate Republicans are pushing to reauthorize the Patriot Act without any reforms. Others in the Senate are pushing the USA Freedom Act, which would reform the Patriot Act's Section 215 and effectively end bulk data collection. The House quickly passed that bill last week.



Kitzhaber scrapped workable Oregon health exchange for political benefit

Former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber was told in early 2014 that the Obamacare state health care exchange his administration spent $305 million building could be made operational. But his administration chose instead to scrap the project and seek a scapegoat to keep the fiasco from harming his re-election, according to evidence turned over to congressional investigators.

The materials, reviewed by The Washington Times, include emails and memos between state officials and campaign aides as well as a transcript of a conversation from a state official turned whistleblower that suggests federal tax dollars were sacrificed for political convenience.

The memos show Mr. Kitzhaber’s election campaign aides took the unusual step of instructing state officials on how to handle the Cover Oregon exchange project, especially when the project was abandoned just before its launch. The campaign aides even sought to supervise the testimony of a state official appearing before the U.S. Congress.



When Hillary gets an unexpected spanking

The Democrats can run, to paraphrase Muhammad Ali’s rebuke of a timid opponent, but they can’t hide. Hillary Clinton is turning her campaign into a game of hide-and-seek, and the party is terrified. Some leading Democrats are beginning to say out loud what they have said privately for weeks.

What she thought would be a cake walk to Philadelphia and the 2016 nomination is beginning to look like a cornbread walk, and cornbread has no icing.

She took a spanking on the Sunday talk shows, with her party critics focusing on her reluctance to speak up on several key issues, including one or two that have been close to the beating heart of her party.



Re-establishing a consensus on national defense

From al Qaeda to the Islamic State, we have learned to kill enemy leaders but not much else about basic issues of war and peace. Just last week, the media diverted attention from the scandals of Our Lady of Perpetual Ambition Hillary Rodham Clinton by asking Jeb Bush some really hard questions. Would he have done the Iraq War the same way as his brother — or at all?

The subsequent fumbling and tap-dancing recalled an earlier time when Roger Mudd of NBC News asked presumptive White House heir-apparent Edward Kennedy, “Senator, why do you want to be president?” But neither Ted Kennedy nor Jeb Bush were prepared for those painfully obvious questions.

So have we really learned our lessons — or only identified them? A broad hint is contained in “The Water Diviner,” Russell Crowe’s new movie about Gallipoli — a World War I disaster where arrogance outweighed strategy and all common sense. A hard-bitten Turkish sergeant ruefully tells Russell Crowe’s character, “Never invade a country when you don’t even know where it is.”




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.


BENAVIDEZ, ROY P.
Rank: Master Sergeant
Organization: U.S. Army
Company: Detachment B-56
Division: 5th Special Forces Group


 
BENAVIDEZ, ROY P.
 
Citation

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 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.