Tuesday January 20, 2015
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Islamic State threatens to kill Japanese hostages
On the heels of Japan's pledge to donate $200 million in non-military
aid to countries fighting ISIS, a new video posted online depicts an
Islamic State terrorist threatening the lives of two Japanese hostages.
The Islamic State threatened to kill two Japanese hostages Tuesday
unless the militants receive a $200 million ransom in the next 72 hours.
In a video posted online Tuesday, a black-clad, masked man with a
British accent is shown standing between two hostages in orange
jumpsuits who are identified as Kenji Goto Jogo and Haruna Yukawa.
After Paris attacks, EU leaders call for more hsaring of info, intel
In the wake of this month’s terrorist attacks in Paris,
European leaders are calling for significant changes to what has long
been a paradox of their borderless continent: Their citizens can move
freely, but information about them does not.
There is no European no-fly list, because there is no European database
of air travelers. People inside a 26-nation zone can speed from the tip
of Portugal to the border with Russia without once having their
passports scrutinized. Many E.U. citizens enter and exit Europe without
ever being checked against police databases.
Iran and Hezbollah are planning 'imminent' joint invasion of Israel's northern Galilee region?
Israel carried out airstrike on convoy in Syria on Sunday killing 11 people
Among them were commanders from Iran and Lebanon's Hezbollah
Today Israeli general warns they were likely planning attack on Galilee
Israel moving troops to region after Tehran warned of 'crushing response'
Senior Iranian and Hezbollah figures killed in an
airstrike in Syria this weekend were likely planning an 'imminent'
attack on Israel, security sources have claimed.
Six Iranian army chiefs died alongside five Hezbollah militants after
an Israeli helicopter fired rockets at a convoy in the Golan Heights
region on Sunday.
Among those killed was Iranian General Mohammed Allahdadi, as well as
commander Abu Ali Tabatabai, who is known to have worked with both
Hezbollah and Iran.
Today Major General Eyal Ben Reuven, a former deputy head in the
Israeli Defense Forces, accused the senior military figures of meeting
to plot an attack on Israel.
Snowden documents show UK spies stored journalists' emails...
GCHQ’s bulk surveillance of electronic communications has scooped up
emails to and from journalists working for some of the US and UK’s
largest media organisations, analysis of documents released by
whistleblower Edward Snowden reveals.
Emails from the BBC, Reuters, the Guardian, the New York Times, Le
Monde, the Sun, NBC and the Washington Post were saved by GCHQ and
shared on the agency’s intranet as part of a test exercise by the
signals intelligence agency.
The disclosure comes as the British government faces intense pressure to
protect the confidential communications of reporters, MPs and lawyers
Loretta Lynch's Secret Docket
There are allegations her U.S. Attorney’s Office is keeping cases quiet.
It should go without saying that the U.S. attorney general, as our
nation’s chief law-enforcement officer, is expected to wield the Justice
Department’s full powers to fight for those victimized by crime. It
should also go without saying that federal prosecutors routinely make
deals with criminals to secure convictions for other, larger crimes, or
to save themselves time and the taxpayers’ money — and that those
criminals’ victims sometimes come out the losers in such deals. Yet new
evidence suggests that Loretta Lynch, President Obama’s pick to take
DOJ’s reins from Eric Holder, may have gone beyond the accepted norms of
prosecutorial conduct in her time in charge of the U.S. Attorney’s
Office for the Eastern District of New York. Lynch’s office appears to
have let self-professed criminals walk free in exchange for their
cooperation with her office, watched impassively as they committed
further crimes, and intentionally kept the victims of those crimes in
the dark — denying them their chance to seek tens or hundreds of
millions of dollars in restitution in direct contravention of federal
Orrin Hatch Accuses Obama of 'Class Warfare'
The Senate's top tax law writer accused President Barack Obama
on Tuesday of undertaking "class warfare" with his plan to raise taxes
on wealthier Americans to help the middle class.
Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, chairman of the Senate Finance
Committee, said the proposals Obama is expected to set out in his State
of the Union address on Tuesday evening would violate principles of
simplicity and "revenue neutrality" that Hatch said are key to any real
"This plan that we'll hear about tonight appears to be more about
redistribution, with added complexity, and class warfare, directed at
job-creating small businesses, than about tax reform," Hatch said in
remarks prepared for delivery in a speech to the U.S. Chamber of
At State of the Union...political theater
President Obama speaks to the nation Tuesday night. And few Americans will actually recall what he said.
This is not
Obama’s fault. The president will deliver important, acutely
aspirational rhetoric about income inequality, fiscal policy, education
initiatives, national security and maybe even a few lines about
fighting ISIS. But by Wednesday morning, most of Obama’s remarks will
dissolve into the political brume.
What people will remember is the sideshow.
Obama Plans to Announce Massive Tax Hike
Barack Obama on Tuesday is expected to propose billions of dollars in
tax increases and government spending in his State of the Union
address, igniting the ire of the Republican Party and a debate about
how best to address the needs of the middle class, according to The
Wall Street Journal.
Tax reform has
been a top issue that the new Congress planned to tackle, with
expectations that there would be bipartisan cooperation for an overhaul
to the tax system. But Obama's plan for a hike may have derailed hopes
of a constructive working relationship.
WSJ to Congress: Ignore Obama's Bluster, Pass Iran Sanctions Bill
At the start of
nuclear negotiations with Iran more than a year ago, President Barack
Obama vowed that Iran would not be permitted to play for time while
wringing economic concessions out of the West.
If Iran fails
to meet its commitments, "we will turn off" the promised relief from
Western sanctions and "ratchet up the pressure," Obama said in November
to The Wall Street Journal, Obama has made it clear that he is
determined to loosen sanctions on Tehran regardless of its behavior.
HHS Executives Spent $31M on 7,000 Luxury Flights?
Department of Health and Human Services executives are flying the
friendly skies first class at great cost to the taxpayers.
They spent a
staggering $31 million on 7,000 first class and business class flights
between 2009 and 2013, including 253 trips with a one-way ticket
costing $15,000, according to The Washington Examiner.
obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that although
supervisors could have traveled economy on many of the trips, they
instead preferred to fly in style and luxury.
IMF Cuts Growth Forcasts
International Monetary Fund lowered its forecasts for global growth
over the next two years, warning Tuesday that weakness in most major
economies will trump gains from lower oil prices. The IMF's report was
released as China reported its slowest growth in 24 years.
downgraded projections it issued in October by 0.3 percentage point
each, predicting global growth at 3.5 percent this year and 3.7 percent
But even with
those reductions, the world economy will be growing faster than in
2014, when the IMF estimates it expanded 3.3 percent. Much of the
momentum is coming from an accelerating recovery in the U.S., the
world's largest economy.
Obama's tax riot will make a memorable State of the Union
State of the Union might not be an occasion for the president to preach
to the choir, but it’s an opportunity for the choir to catch 40 winks.
Neither the soprano nor tenor will miss anything.
doesn’t have a choice. The Constitution requires him to “give to
Congress information about the State of the Union and recommend to
their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and
expedient.” The Founders didn’t anticipate Barack Obama. If they had
they would have commanded him to move tonight’s State of the Union to
has been leaking dribs and drabs of this year’s “information” for days,
and some of the dribs and drabs would be enough to frighten ghosts and
scare goblins out of their sepulchers if anyone took any of it
seriously, but no one does.
'American Snoper' hits close to home
Real heroes like Chris Kyle bleed red, white and blue
From the Alamo
to Audie Murphy, Texans revere our war heroes. As the closing credits
for “American Sniper” rolled across the screen last weekend, a packed
audience lingered in the dark silence, reverent and maybe stunned by
what they had just seen. The reason: The movie depiction of Navy SEAL
Chris Kyle’s heroic life of service provided an increasingly rare
glimpse of what were once unquestioned American truths.
It begins with
the bedrock values imparted by a loving, two-parent family who believed
their first obligation was training their young sons to be honorable
men. Raise your children in the way they should go, Proverbs says, and
when they are old, they will not depart from it. That truth holds even
when their country is attacked, and only 1 percent of their countrymen
feel any personal obligation to defend it. Even then, though, America’s
sons will step forward, volunteering to join that increasingly
endangered species of patriots who put themselves in harm’s way.
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