Wednesday August 26, 2015

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World & National     

TV reporter,, photographer killed in shooting during live interview

           Embedded image permalink

A gunman killed a reporter and photographer during a live interview about a local business in Franklin County, Virginia, on Wednesday morning, according to CNN affiliate WDBJ, the two journalists' employers.

Parker was interviewing a woman at approximately 6:45 a.m. when the shots rang out and both women screamed.

As the camera fell to the ground, the audience got the briefest glimpse of a man who appeared to pointing a gun toward the downed cameraman.

Vester Lee Flanagan posted video of Alison Parker, Adam Ward shooting

Police are chasing a suspect named Vester Lee Flanagan who allegedly shot and killed a reporter and cameraman during a live broadcast in Virginia Wednesday morning, according to multiple news reports.

Mr. Flanagan is believed to be the gunman who shot and killed WDBJ7 reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward during a live broadcast from Bridgewater Plaza near Smith Mountain Lake in Moneta.
 


Iran nuke deal erases Obama's red lines

                President Obama said he wanted inspections "anywhere, anytime" of Iran's nuclear facilities to ensure Tehran is adhering to terms of the deal. But the actual agreement? Iran gets 24 days' notice of inspections of suspicious sites. A secret side deal allows Tehran's own inspectors to check a military site where work on nuclear weapons was thought to have been carried out. (Associated Press)

From allowing Iran to keep enriching uranium to abandoning “anywhere, anytime” inspections of Tehran’s nuclear facilities, the Obama administration has crossed many of its own red lines in the nuclear deal that will lift tough economic sanctions on America’s longtime adversary.

In December 2013, Secretary of State John F. Kerry said one of the requirements of a good deal with Iran would be to “help Iran dismantle its nuclear program.” He said it was “the whole point” of the sanctions.

But the actual deal? It doesn’t require Iran to dismantle its nuclear program. Iran gets to keep some of its uranium-enriching centrifuges and other aspects of its infrastructure.



Caroline Kennedy's oversight of Japanese embassy slammed

The State Department’s internal watchdog leveled biting criticism at the management style of U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy in a new audit on Tuesday, citing “confusion among staff” and “major management challenges” in key offices at the Tokyo embassy.

And in an echo of the email woes plaguing former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, the inspection by the department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) specifically faulted Ms. Kennedy, the daughter of President John F. Kennedy and President Obama’s personal pick for the job, and her aides for using “personal email accounts to send and receive messages containing official business.”

The 64-page audit, which included 65 recommendations to improve operations, identified a number of other shortcomings, including a focus by embassy analysts on daily reporting at the expense of developing contacts in the country; an uneven performance from diplomatic satellite offices; and hiring levels in the political, economic and consular sections that were “greater than [the] workload warrants.”



Donald Trump Dust Up With Univision Jorge Ramos
             Miami-based Univision anchor Jorge Ramos, left, asks Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump a question about his immigration proposal during a news conference, Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015, in Dubuque, Iowa. Ramos was later removed from the room. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Wednesday that Univision anchor Jorge Ramos, who was escorted from a Trump press conference in Iowa Tuesday after repeatedly trying to ask a question, was “totally out of line” and “ranting and raving like a madman.”

“I will tell you, he was totally out of line last night. I was asking and being asked a question from another reporter,” Mr. Trumpsaid on NBC’s “Today” show. “I would have gotten to him very quickly, and he stood up and started ranting and raving like a madman, and frankly, he was out of line, and most people, in fact most newspaper reports said I handled it very well.”
 


The many feuds of Donald Trump, diagrammed
                  

In challenging Donald Trump at his press conference in Iowa on Tuesday night, Jorge Ramos became only the latest target of Donald Trump's fury since he's been on the campaign trail. Over the course of the 71 days that Trump has been running, he's picked fights with and picked on his opponents, members of the media, various companies and even NASCAR. Trump has repeatedly claimed to be "the most militaristic person ever." If measured in willingness to start fights, he may actually have a claim to that title.

1. Univision and NBC.

Trump's campaign began in earnest when Univision cut ties with the businessman after his comments about Mexican immigrants during his campaign launch. Shortly after, NBC cut ties with Trump, too -- although Trump claimed that it was he who cut ties with them. Then there was his tiff with Ramos, who works for Univision.

2. Fox News and Megyn Kelly

After Megyn Kelly asked pointed questions of Trump during the first Republican debate, Trump lashed out at her on social media. That started something of a war with Fox News, and prompted Carly Fiorina to come to Kelly's defense. (That war was reignited this week.) When Trump made a comment about Kelly bleeding, conservative activist and blogger Erick Erickson disinvited Trump from his conference.



Pentagon Dodges Whether Intel Was Compromised on Hillary Server

The Pentagon wouldn't say during a press conference on Tuesday whether top-secret intelligence stored on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's private email server, The Washington Free Beacon reports.

Newly tapped Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook, in his first press conference, deflected questions about whether top-secret intelligence, including photographs taken by reconnaissance satellites and aircraft, was compromised while it was stored on Clinton's private email server.

"I think this an issue best left to the State Department," Cook told reporters. "They've had to address this, and also Secretary Clinton. It's not something that I think makes sense for me to get into from right here at this podium."



DoD manual allows journalists to be held as 'belligerents'


New Defense Department guidelines allow commanders to punish journalists and treat them as "unprivileged belligerents" if they believe journalists are sympathizing or cooperating with the enemy.

The Law of War manual, updated to apply for the first time to all branches of the military, contains a vaguely worded provision that military commanders could interpret broadly, experts in military law and journalism say. Commanders could ask journalists to leave military bases or detain journalists for any number of perceived offenses.
   


White House walks back Obama's 'crazies' comment

The White House on Tuesday backed away from President Obama’s assertion that opponents of his agenda are “crazies” standing in the way of progress.

The president made the remarks during a Las Vegas Democratic fundraiser Monday night, and the president also used the occasion to sing the praises of retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat. The “crazies” comment was well received at the party fundraiser, but administration officials Tuesday were forced to concede that the president may have been too careless with his rhetoric.

“After spending a few weeks away from the hustle and bustle of Washington, the president came back from vacation and was remarking with Sen. Reid on the challenges they face this fall. And he may have been a little flip in his language, but we have seen Republicans do wildly irresponsible things in the past,” White House deputy press secretary Eric Schultz told reporters traveling aboard Air Force One.



Draft Biden On Track to Be Up in 50 States By Next Week

As Vice President Joe Biden intensifies his preparations for a potential presidential campaign, the super-PAC urging his run is expanding its staffing and operations and will have a presence in every U.S. state by next week, organizers said.

Draft Biden already has volunteers on the ground in 46 states and the District of Columbia, and volunteer operations will be in place in the remaining states — Idaho, Oregon, South Dakota and Wyoming — by the end of August, according to a Draft Biden aide who spoke on condition of anonymity. The aide, who was not authorized to make a statement, also said more than 250,000 people have signed on to the effort. The organization is seeking endorsements from local officials in key states, as well as from previous donors to the 2008 and 2012 Obama-Biden campaigns and Democrats who have supported Hillary Clinton in the past. The group aims to raise as much as $3 million by the end of September in order to support Biden's efforts if he decides to run. He is expected to announce his plans by Oct. 1.



An authentic alternative to Hillary Clinton
Joe Biden’s shoot-from-the-lip appeal could prevail

“You can observe a lot by just watching” — Yogi Berra or Joe Biden?

The media fixation on the largest Republican field of presidential candidates in history misses the very real crisis Democrats are facing as their slam-dunk nominee’s campaign unravels before their eyes. A year ago virtually everyone agreed that Hillary Rodham Clinton would not only be easily nominated, but was the odds-on favorite to succeed President Obama. Now with the FBI on her tail, a string of less than inspiring appearances and interviews and polls showing her fading, Democrats are faced with the question of what to do if her campaign collapses.
 


A little nuclear help from its friends
Iran’s ‘breakout’ is imminent thanks to a roguish cabal

Since 1979, a cabal of nations has aided and abetted Iran in its efforts to develop a robust nuclear program under the guise of generating a nuclear energy system. This cabal is mainly comprised of Russia, China and North Korea. Since sanctions began being placed on Iran in 1979, with more added since, Iran still had enough free reign to develop its capabilities despite the sanctions regime because of this cabal. All the moving parts are in place, the material is there, and this means they are already nuclear — “breakout” is imminent now.

During this period, North Korea had evaded sanctions, and like Iran, lied, cheated and broke virtually every agreement it ever signed with the United Nations. Now North Korea is a nuclear weapons power, and we believe Iran has already achieved the same end. Each had created hidden facilities, but only North Korea has actually tested weapons fully. Because Iran has to date only detonated trigger devices that does not mean the mullahs do not have weapons capability now — they certainly have enough material.
   


                 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.

VERSACE, HUMBERT R.
'Rocky'
Rank: Captain
Organization: U.S. Army
Date of Issue: 07/08/2002
VERSACE, HUMBERT R. Photo
Citation

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.