Wednesday July 1st, 2015

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World & National     

Email bombshells from Hillary's secret accounticed-tea.html
               

    State Department published a massive tranche of Hillary Clinton's emails Tuesday night from her days as secretary of state
    Judge ordered the release in response to a Freedom Of Information Act lawsuit
    Tuesday's revelation covers barely 3,000 of the 55,000 pages that must go online by the end of the year; 9:00 p.m. release suggested State Department tried to bury it
    Funny moments (Clinton can't work a fax machine) vied with imperious messages (telling aides to fetch her iced tea) and confusing references to someone on her calendar named 'Santa'

Hillary Clinton's emails have been a subject of partisan finger-pointing and hand-wringing since the revelation in April that she had used a private home-brew server to store her messages during the four years she was secretary of state.

On Tuesday the State Department released the first in a series of document-dumps comprising about 3,000 of the 55,000 pages Clinton turned over to State late last year.

They describe the ordinary and the shocking – everything from ordinary meeting recaps to the involvement in the agency of Sidney Blumenthal, Clinton's 2008 election hatchet-man who had officially been exiled from the administration.


'I heard on radio there is Cabinet mtg this am. Can I go?'
Dozens Now 'Classified'...
IRS FIX-IT LAWYER NOW IN CHARGE...
REVEALED: SIDNEY WAS EVERYWHERE...
White House Officials DID KNOW About Private Server...
Begala asked State Dept how to grade her on CNN...
How Clinton Plays the Media...
Axelrod caught in new lie...


Obama threatens to 'walk away' from Iran nuclear deal as deadlines passes
            President Obama insisted again Tuesday that he was not wedded to an agreement at any cost and threatened outright to "walk away" if Iran reneges on the parameters of an April interim agreement in Lausanne, Switzerland, with the so-called P5+1 negotiating group that also comprises Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany. (Associated Press)

The Obama administration and its negotiating partners blew through Tuesday’s self-imposed deadline for a major nuclear accord with Iran — prolonging for at least another week some 20 months of exhausting and convoluted closed-door talks that have capped more than a decade of brinkmanship between Tehran and the West.

While most analysts say the deal to curtail Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief remains in reach, the last-minute extension triggered fresh speculation that Iran’s leaders may be dragging out the talks for as long as the U.S. and its negotiating partners will allow before ultimately scuttling a final accord.



Obama climate change agenda faces legal, political resistance


With Barack Obama’s legacy on health care seemingly secure after last week’s landmark Supreme Court decision, the president’s ambitious environmental agenda will come into sharper focus — but a host of legal challenges and growing defiance across the country threaten his efforts to fight climate change.

The Supreme Court this week halted the administration’s mercury and air toxin standards, part of Mr. Obama’s broader plan to reduce pollution from U.S. power plants. In its 5-4 decision, the court said the Environmental Protection Agency disregarded the estimated $10 billion cost to utilities to comply with the measure.



ISIS Publishes Map of July 4th FBI Command Centers

FOX News reported Monday evening on Special Report that the FBI is setting up command centers around the country to prepare for possible terror attacks on the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

FOX affiliate WTTG-TV in Washington reported federal agencies have sent out warnings to police departments around the country.

On Tuesday The Gateway Pundit reported that the FBI has canceled all vacations for agents over the 4th of July weekend.

Now this…
ISIS posted a map of July 4th FBI command centers on Wednesday.
The map shows the temporary command posts set up across America for the upcoming Independence Day weekend.
               isis fbi map



FBI investigating 11 attacks on San Francisco-area Internet lines

The FBI is investigating at least 11 physical attacks on high-capacity Internet cables in California's San Francisco Bay Area dating back a year, including one early Tuesday morning.

Agents confirm the latest attack disrupted Internet service for businesses and residential customers in and around Sacramento, the state's capital.

FBI agents declined to specify how significantly the attack affected customers, citing the ongoing investigation. In Tuesday's attack, someone broke into an underground vault and cut three fiber-optic cables belonging to Colorado-based service providers Level 3 and Zayo.



Iran Repatriates 13 Tons of Gold Under Sanctions REelief
Iran to receive $11.9 billion in sanctions relief as nuclear negotiations end

Iranian officials said Monday that the Islamic Republic’s Central Bank has successfully repatriated 13 tons of gold as part of a package of sanctions relief provided to Iran by U.S. and Western powers.

The gold was transferred to Iran by the government of South Africa, which had been holding onto the assets due to harsh sanctions meant to pressure Tehran to reign in its rogue nuclear program.



Greece's bailout expires, country defaults on IMF payment

 Greece slipped deeper into its financial abyss after the bailout program it has relied on for five years expired at midnight Tuesday and the country failed to repay a loan due to the International Monetary Fund.

With its failure to repay the roughly 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion) to the IMF, Greece became the first developed country to fall into arrears on payments to the fund. The last country to do so was Zimbabwe in 2001.



Obama OKs, Expedites Huge $29M Payout to Chareston Victims


The Obama administration is fast-tracking a huge payout to the victims of the Charleston, South Carolina, church shooting, giving the families of those slain millions more than victims from Sandy Hook, Boston, and other mass murders.

The White House will send $29 million to South Carolina in the wake of the June 17 shooting that left nine people dead in a historic black church, according to a Reuters report. All of the victims were black, and it was called a hate crime in the hours following it.

According to Reuters, a chunk of the $29 million — which was allocated as part of the government's national Crime Victim Assistance Formula Grant program — can help provide services to the families of those killed. Among the dead was Pastor Clementa Pinckney, who also served as a South Carolina state senator.



Texas, Other States Resist Complying With Gay Marriage 'Edict'

While a host of state officials across the country have expressed sentiments ranging from disappointment to outrage over the Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing gay marriage — stripping the issue from state control — some officials are not accepting the decision without a fight.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton characterized the decision as "a judge-based edict that is not based in the law," according to CNN.

In a statement on Friday, Paxton said "no court, no law, no rule, and no words will change the simple truth that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Nothing will change the importance of a mother and a father to the raising of a child. And nothing will change our collective resolve that all Americans should be able to exercise their faith in their daily lives without infringement and harassment."



Bernie's surge

If you Google Bernie Sanders, some surprising poll numbers will appear, showing the rumpled, self-described socialist gaining fast on Hillary Clinton in the race for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

It seems unlikely that the little-known Vermont senator can overtake Mrs. Clinton, the most famous Democrat on the planet next to Barack Obama. But recent polls show him narrowing the gap in key primary states, after a campaign that’s only two months old.



Rand Paul's 'fair and flat' tax proposal

Sen. Rand Paul’s flat tax plan is like a decent song in a world full of off-key voices. It hits all the right notes, including greater simplicity, lower rates for everyone, and a more competitive system of corporate taxation. But it has some small details that could use fine tuning.

The plan’s name, “fair and flat,” captures the big selling points of the plan without advancing any rhetoric or agenda. The most significant policy piece of the plan is a broad overhaul of the personal income tax. By collapsing all of the brackets into a single 14.5 percent rate, it is obvious that the plan will make tax filing less complicated. When Americans are spending $400 billion and nearly 6 billion hours on compliance, less complicated means more time and energy spent on more productive activity. All income (wages, capital gains and dividends) is taxed at the same rate, and the wealthy will be less likely to game the system of loopholes to lower their effective burden.



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.