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TODAY
Thursday March 5th, 2015

"It Is Not A Question of Who Is Right Or Wrong But What Is Right Or Wrong That Counts."
--Geoff Metctalf


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World & National     

Democrats Aren't Rushing to Defend Hillary
After e-mail revelations, some Democrats are dodging questions more than offering Clinton cover
               

Everyone in Washington is talking about Hillary Clinton's use of a personal e-mail account during her four years as secretary of State and her homebrew computer server. Everyone, that is, except for many Senate Democrats.

As operatives, strategists and opposition research groups rush to her defense, some Washington Senate Democrats are remaining silent for the moment, saying they've been too busy with the week's packed schedule to be fully briefed on the crisis du jour.

Democrats have a difficult line to walk. They don't want to be seen hitting their strongest contender to keep the White House, but that does not mean they are rushing to shield her from criticism either. For more than a dozen senators, the easiest thing to do was to shrug off questions about Clinton's private e-mail or the fact she was running them through her own server.
Clinton State Dept Ousted Ambassador Using Private Email...
FLASHBACK: Hillary Bashes Bush Officials for Secret Email Accounts...
FOURNIER: 'It's a shameless script'...


U.S. Ambassador Lippert Attacked in South Korea

             Image result for ambassador lippert

How did a knife-wielding attacker manage to slash the U.S. ambassador to South Korea — and what does it say about diplomatic security?

Observers have credited a quick response from security services for subduing the assailant as he took swipes at Ambassador Mark Lippert's face but security officials will now be examining what could be done to prevent an attack in the first place.



Attack on US envoy part of S.Korea's violent protest history

A knife attack Thursday that injured the U.S. ambassador to South Korea is the latest act of political violence in a deeply divided country where some protesters portray their causes as matters of life and death.

The slashing of Ambassador Mark Lippert's face and arm, which left deep gashes and damaged tendons and nerves, was an extreme example, but America infuriates some leftist South Koreans because of its role in Korea's turbulent modern history.

Washington, which backed the South during the 1950-53 Korean War against the communist North, still stations nearly 30,000 troops here and holds annual military drills with Seoul. That's something anti-U.S. activists view as a major obstacle to their goal of an eventual reunification of the rival Koreas.



White US children will be minorities by 2020 after immigrant 'baby boom'
    By year 2020, 50.2percent of children will be minorities
    By year 2033, Americans 65 years and older will outnumber children
    By year 2044, 50.3percent of all Americans will be minorities 

White children will be outnumbered by minority kids in the United States in just five years, new Census Bureau projections reveal.

This is the result of an ongoing trend of declining birth among white Americans and a baby boom among immigrant groups, as well as a surge in immigration.

By the year 2020, 50.2percent of all children in the US are expected to be non-white, according to the Census. By 2044, whites will be outnumbered by minorities.



'White History Month' Sign Sparks Outrage

A sign in a store window is stirring up racial tension in Flemington, New Jersey.

As WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported, the sign in the window of Jimbo’s Deli on Main Street says “Celebrate your white heritage in March. White History Month.”

“The ‘white’ had a cross. It was a cross ‘t,’ which is used by the Klu Klux Klan as a symbol, right,” said Bhakti Curtis.



Dems steadfast in 'witch hunt' of doomsday-denying climate scientists


Democrats may be flustered after a week of being accused of engineering an anti-science “witch hunt,” but they aren’t backing down from their investigations into the financial backing of climate-change researchers who challenge the movement’s doomsday scenarios.

U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona, the ranking Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, told National Journal earlier this week that he may have been guilty of “overreach” even as he defended his probe into the funding sources of seven professors, now known as the “Grijalva seven.”



Draghi Says Essential to Maintain Solvency of Greek Banks

Mario Draghi increased pressure on Greece’s government to make progress on structural economic reforms, insisting his ECB is providing the country with as much liquidity as it can within the rules.

The European Central Bank is already lending 100 billion euros ($110 billion) to Greece’s banks, or 68 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, Draghi said at a press conference in Nicosia on Thursday. The ECB’s Governing Council increased the available pool of Emergency Liquidity Assistance, which comprises the bulk of that lending, by 500 million euros to 68.8 billion euros, he added.



Islamic State Bombs Slow Tikrit Push in Test of Iraqi Forces

Four days into an offensive to oust Islamic State militants from Tikrit, Iraqi security forces and allied militias are yet to enter the city, their advance slowed by tripwires and homemade bombs, according to officials.

The 27,000-man force has encircled Tikrit and retaken some nearby villages, Ali al-Hamdani, spokesman for the Salahuddin provincial council, said by phone. Along the way, it’s encountering “thousands of roadside bombs and booby-trapped houses,” said Ali Mhasin, an officer with the main group of Shiite volunteers backing the Iraqi army.

The operation, announced by Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi on Sunday and being waged with the help of Iran but without U.S. air power, is the sternest test yet for Iraqi security forces which collapsed in the face of last summer’s advance by Islamic State. Success would boost morale before a promised campaign on Mosul, the militant group’s de facto capital in Iraq.



Netanyahu's Iran speech gains tacit support in Saudi Arabia

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's fiery speech this week before the U.S. Congress, in which he argued against an emerging nuclear deal with Iran, has received tacit support from an unlikely quarter -- Saudi Arabia.

The oil-rich Sunni kingdom views Shiite Iran as a regional rival that is perhaps even more menacing than Israel.

That was clear in a string of columns this week published in Saudi state-linked media, which is widely seen as reflecting official views and mainstream thought in the kingdom, and which voiced skepticism of President Barack Obama's efforts to broker a landmark nuclear agreement with Tehran.



Supreme Court tries to make sense of poorly drafted Obamacare language


Supreme Court justices divided sharply Wednesday as they heard a third challenge to Obamacare, grappling with the law’s poorly drafted language and trying to decide how broadly Congress intended for the government to pay subsidies to help Americans buy insurance.

The court’s more liberal justices offered vocal support for the Obama administration’s holistic reading of the Affordable Care Act, saying they believed Congress intended for customers in all of the exchanges to be eligible for tax credits even if their states relied on the federal HealthCare.gov exchange instead.

But a pair of conservative justices said the law — which says subsidies can be paid to customers only on exchanges “established by the state” — is clear.



The audacity of weakness
Obama’s apologies invite chaos

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to Congress on Tuesday to warn Americans of the anti-Western threats from theocratic — and likely to soon be nuclear — Iran.

Mr. Netanyahu came to the United States to outline the Iranian plan to remake the Middle East with a new nuclear arsenal. His warning was delivered over the objections of the Obama administration, which wants to cut a deal with Iran that allows the theocracy to continue to enrich lots of uranium.

Mr. Netanyahu received a standing ovation for stating the obvious. Iran is currently the greatest global sponsor of terrorism. Tehran now has de facto control over four Middle East nations: Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen. Iran has serially ignored all past U.S. deadlines to stop nuclear enrichment. It habitually misled United Nations inspectors. It threatens to spark a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.



Cause of strain U.S./Israel relations: Obama's hostile policies

In an interview on the PBS television ‘Charlie Rose’ program, President Barack Obama’s National Security Adviser, Susan Rice, said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to accept the invitation of House Speaker John Boehner to address Congress on the issue of Iran’s looming nuclear threat had “injected a degree of partisanship, which is not only unfortunate, I think it’s destructive of the fabric of the [U.S./Israeli] relationship.”

Nothing can further from the truth: it’s Mr. Obama’s partisanship which has produced a crisis in relations between the White House and Jerusalem, not Mr. Netanyahu’s –– and the record shows it.

Mr. Obama doesn’t mind foreign leaders speaking to Congressmen –– as long as they support his policy. That’s why he was happy for British Prime Minister David Cameron to do just that. But he deeply objected to Mr. Netanyahu critiquing his Iran policy to Members of Congress. It is not hard to see why: in his address to Congress, Mr. Netanyahu demolished the Obama claim that negotiations with Iran are going to lead to a deal that stops Iran going nuclear.



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.


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