Thursday February 15th, 2024

"It Is Not A Question of Who Is Right Or Wrong But What Is Right Or Wrong That Counts."
--Geoff Metcalf
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World & Nation

U.S. troops intercept Iranian ship loaded with missiles, drones bound for Yemen’s Houthi rebels

                                                            Houthi supporters attend a protest against the United States-led airstrikes on Friday, Jan 12, 2024, in Sanaa, Yemen. The U.S. and British militaries bombed more than a dozen sites used by the Iranian-backed Houthis. The military targets included air defense and radar sites, drone and missile storage and launching locations. (AP Photo) ** FILE **

U.S. forces on Jan. 28 seized a ship originating in Iran, loaded with missiles and drones, and destined for Yemen‘s Houthi rebels, the Pentagon revealed Thursday as it blamed the regime in Tehran for aiding the Houthis in their continued targeting of commercial ships in the region.

The American mission appears to have been similar to another January operation in which two Navy SEALs died at sea when boarding an Iranian ship in the Arabian Sea. That ship also was destined for Yemen, officials said.

There was no such tragedy this time. U.S. Central Command said that a Navy fast-response cutter identified the vessel in the Red Sea and troops quickly boarded it. They discovered more than 200 packages filled with ballistic missile components, explosives, sea and land drones, communications and network equipment, anti-tank guided missile launcher assemblies, and other weapons and equipment.

Trump: Putin's Biden Preference 'Great Compliment'

Donald Trump said Russian President Vladimir Putin gave him "a great compliment" by saying he preferred President Joe Biden over the former president.

During a Wednesday interview on Russian state television, Putin said Biden defeating Trump in the 2024 presidential election would be "better for us."

"He's more experienced, more predictable, he's a politician of the old formation," Putin said of Biden.

"President Putin of Russia has just given me a great compliment, actually," Trump told the crowd, ABC News reported.

White House Repeatedly Rebuffed House Speaker's Request For Talks With Biden: 'What Is There To Negotiate?'

                                                      White House Repeatedly Rebuffed House Speaker's Request For Talks With Biden: 'What Is There To Negotiate?'

The White House dismissed repeated requests from House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) for a meeting with President Joe Biden, stating that there is no need for negotiations.

What Happened: The White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, on Wednesday, again rebuffed Johnson’s request for a meeting with Biden amid border deal chaos, arguing that there is no need for negotiations.

“What is there to negotiate? Really, truly, what is the one-on-one negotiation about when he's been presented with exactly what he asked for?” Jean-Pierre said.

Johnson on Wednesday told the media that has been seeking a meeting with Biden for several weeks to discuss border and national security issues. However, the White House has not granted the request.

Israeli Forces Storm Main Hospital in Southern Gaza, Searching for Hostages

Israeli forces stormed the main hospital in southern Gaza on Thursday, hours after Israeli fire killed a patient and wounded six others inside the complex. The Israeli army said it was a limited operation seeking the remains of hostages taken by Hamas.

The raid came a day after the army sought to evacuate thousands of displaced people who had taken shelter at Nasser Hospital in the city of Khan Younis, the focus of Israel's offensive against Hamas in recent weeks. The war shows no sign of ending, and the risk of a broader conflict is growing as Israel and Lebanon's Hezbollah step up attacks after a particularly deadly exchange on Wednesday.

The military said it had "credible intelligence" that Hamas had held hostages at the hospital and that the remains of hostages might still be inside. Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the chief military spokesperson, said forces were conducting a "precise and limited" operation there and would not forcibly evacuate medics or patients. Israel accuses Hamas of using hospitals and other civilian structures to shield its fighters.

N.Y. judge OKs March trial date for Trump hush money case

                                                           Former President Donald Trump arrives at Manhattan criminal court, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024, in New York. Trump is expected to be back in a New York court Thursday for a hearing that could decide whether the former president's first criminal trial begins in just 39 days. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

A New York judge on Thursday denied former President Donald Trump’s attempt to dismiss an indictment alleging he falsified records to hide hush money payments and said the trial is set to begin on March 25.

Judge Juan Manuel Merchan said he opted to go ahead after speaking with the judge in Mr. Trump’s now-delayed federal election interference case in Washington.

The decision means Mr. Trump, the GOP front-runner for president, will face a Manhattan jury in the heat of the GOP primary season and could run in November as a convicted felon.

Mr. Trump watched from the courtroom gallery, opting to see the proceeding firsthand instead of heading to Georgia for a pivotal hearing in a separate case that accuses him of racketeering offense for his efforts to overturn President Biden’s 2020 win in the southern state.

House Intel chief calls on Biden to disclose national security threat

House Permanent Select Committee Chairman Mike Turner demanded Wednesday that President Biden go public about a national security threat, issuing a cryptic warning that caught the White House off guard.

Mr. Turner said the committee is making information about the unspecified threat available to all members of Congress, and called on the president to open up about it.

“I am requesting that President Biden declassify all information relating to this threat so that Congress, the administration, and our allies can openly discuss the actions necessary to respond to this threat,” said Mr. Turner, Ohio Republican.

His move appeared to catch White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan off guard. Speaking at the daily White House press briefing, Mr. Sullivan said he had not expected Mr. Turner to go public ahead of a closed meeting they have scheduled for Thursday.

Iran Tests Ballistic Missiles in Preparation for Strike on Israel

Tehran simulates attack on Israeli hangar housing American-made F-35s

Iran test fired advanced ballistic missiles on Tuesday in a series of war drills meant to prepare the Islamic Republic for a strike on Israeli military sites that house American-made F-35 fighter jets, according to the country’s state-controlled media.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which is behind a series of recent strikes on American and Israeli positions across the Middle East, "simulated destroying hangars housing the Israeli regime's United States-procured F-35 warplanes by using ballistic missiles," according to information about the drills published in Tehran’s official media outlets.

During the war simulation, the IRGC fired "enhanced versions of its Emad and Qadr ballistic missiles against the F-35 hangars located inside a mock-up of the Tel Aviv regime's Palmachim Airbase," located just outside of the major Israeli city. Iran claims its missiles are capable of striking deep into Israel and are capable of traveling more than 1,000 miles.

US launches missile-detecting satellites into orbit as concerns about Russia in space grow

The U.S. launched multiple satellites capable of detecting global missile launches into orbit on Thursday, less than a day after new concerns came to light regarding Russia's space-based weapons capability.

The launch, handled by billionaire Elon Musk's SpaceX, includes six satellites in total. Two belong to the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and four others are with the Space Development Agency (SDA).

The MDA's pair of Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor (HBTSS) satellites, coupled with the SDA's Tracking Layer satellites will "detect hypersonic, ballistic, and other advanced threats earlier than terrestrial radars," according to the Pentagon.

"This launch represents a pivotal time for MDA as we enter a new phase of missile warning, tracking and defense," said Lt. Gen. Heath Collins, director of MDA. "These HBTSS satellites are an essential step forward in our efforts to stay ahead of our adversaries."

Gunfire at Chiefs’ Super Bowl celebration kills 1 and wounds nearly two dozen, including children

A historic railway station on the edge of downtown Kansas City became the latest backdrop for a mass shooting as gunfire near the end of the Kansas City Chiefs‘ Super Bowl celebration sent terrified fans scrambling for cover and left 21 people wounded — including at least eight children — and a mother of two dead.

Wednesday’s shooting outside Union Station happened despite the presence of more than 800 police officers who were in the building and nearby, including on top of nearby structures, said Mayor Quinton Lucas, who attended with his wife and mother and ran for safety when the shots rang out.

Three people were detained and firearms were recovered, Police Chief Stacey Graves said at an evening news conference. She said police were still piecing together what happened and did not release details about those who were detained or a possible motive.

How heroic Kansas City Chiefs fans took down alleged gunman who was 'fighting the whole time'

Missing binder at center of new claim that CIA drummed up spy operation on Trump’s 2016 campaign

FBI agents raiding former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in August 2022 may have been hunting for a 10-inch binder of declassified information detailing how former CIA Director John O. Brennan ordered the initial spying operation into Mr. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

A new bombshell report upends the Obama administration’s explanation for how and why it began Crossfire Hurricane, its secret counterintelligence investigation into Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign.

The authors suggest that the FBI may have been trying to keep the information secret in its sweeping search for the binder.

“There has been widespread speculation that this binder was the reason, or a reason, for the FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago,” the report’s co-author Michael Shellenberger told Fox News.

Biden, Schumer and Romney’s foreign aid budget buster adds $1,200 per household to our crushing debt

President Biden, Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, and a handful of left-leaning Republicans (led by Mitt Romney, of course) have just agreed to a nearly $100 billion foreign aid bill for Israel and Ukraine.

Is the spending addiction so severe that there is nothing Congress will not spend and borrow money for?

Not a penny of this aid package is paid for with offsetting spending cuts from a nearly $6 trillion budget. Former President Donald Trump has sensibly suggested that the foreign aid funds — if any — should be in the form of a loan to be paid back by the recipient countries over time. The Democrats wouldn’t go for that.

Judge Refuses To Cancel Hearing On Embattled Trump DA

The Georgia state judge confirmed an evidentiary hearing to address allegations of an improper affair involving District Attorney Fani Willis and special prosecutor Nathan Wade.

The judge emphasized the need for the hearing to establish the facts surrounding the alleged conflict of interest, particularly regarding financial benefits.

“Specifically looking at defendant Roman’s motion, it alleges a personal relationship that resulted in a financial benefit to the district attorney. And that is no longer a matter of complete speculation. The state has admitted a relationship existed. And so, what remains to be proven is the existence and extent of any financial benefit,” a Georgia state judge said.

Willis admitted to a personal relationship with Wade but denied any conflict of interest, arguing that the allegations lack merit and do not impact prosecutorial decisions.

Medal of Honor
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For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as a pilot in Fighter Squadron 32, while attempting to rescue a squadron mate whose plane, struck by antiaircraft fire and trailing smoke, was forced down behind enemy lines. Quickly maneuvering to circle the downed pilot and protect him from enemy troops infesting the area, Lt. (j.g.) Hudner risked his life to save the injured flier who was trapped alive in the burning wreckage. Fully aware of the extreme danger in landing on the rough mountainous terrain, and the scant hope of escape or survival in subzero temperature, he put his plane down skillfully in a deliberate wheels-up landing in the presence of enemy troops. With his bare hands, he packed the fuselage with snow to keep the flames away from the pilot and struggled to pull him free. Unsuccessful in this he returned to his crashed aircraft and radioed other airborne planes, requesting that a helicopter be dispatched with an ax and fire extinguisher. He then remained on the spot despite the continuing danger from enemy action and, with the assistance of the rescue pilot, renewed a desperate but unavailing battle against time, cold, and flames. Lt. (j.g.) Hudner's exceptionally valiant action and selfless devotion to a shipmate sustain and enhance the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

From the Archive....

                 By Geoff Metcalf
                 July 29, 2002

            Two mutually exclusive and under reported stories have been troubling me.

               *   The apparent penchant for political operatives to leak classified information that jeopardizes national security.
               *   The generational control of information dissemination by powerful controllers.

            So we have another ‘Catch-22’.

            The complicity of the mainstream media to spin, cover, and obfuscate government abuse of power under the color of authority was not unique to the Clinton administration.  It may have been more ubiquitous, and at times even clumsy, but it was not unique.

            It has been reported that in June 1991 David Rockefeller allegedly told a Bilderberg meeting in Baden Baden German, "We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years." He went on to explain: "It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supernational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national autodetermination practiced in past centuries."

            Some argue that quote is apocryphal urban legend.  However, although I have never been able to find three corroborating independent sources for it, it IS consistent in content and tone with other Bilderberg quotes I HAVE been able to confirm.

            “If we had been subjected to the light of publicity….” Indicates the one world, globalist, wannabe controllers were/are successful in managing the message.

            Operation ‘Mockingbird’ was a program supposedly conceived by a brilliant Machiavellian State Department official, Frank Wisner.  Wisner selected Philip Graham, then publisher of the Washington Post to manage the program.  According to Deborah Davis, author of ‘Katharine the Great’, "By the early 1950s, Wisner 'owned' respected members of the New York Times, Newsweek, CBS and other communications vehicles, plus stringers, four to six hundred in all, according to a former CIA analyst."

            Over twenty five major newspapers and wire services became willing house organs for the CIA media manipulation.

            Investigators digging into MOCKINGBIRD have been flabbergasted to discover FOIA documents in which agents boast (in CIA office memos) of  pride in having placed "important assets" inside every major news publication in the country.

            I know, this is the stuff of Ludlum novels conspiracy wackos, but not until 1982 did the ‘Company’ finally concede that reporters on the CIA payroll have been case officers to field agents.

            I have too often observed, “Some people don’t like to be confused with facts that contradict their preconceived opinions.”  I have also noted (and struggle to maintain) “It is not WHO is right or wrong…but WHAT is right or wrong.”

            Anyone with almost ‘any’ military experience has no doubt seen the once ubiquitous posters cautioning “Loose Lips Sink Ships”.  It is a left over phrase from WWII and among “lessons learned”.

            In the complex world of intelligence loose lips can and have cost lives.

            Once upon a time, not so long ago, Senator Patrick Leahy (currently the Senate Judiciary committee’s lead obstructionist) used to be the Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee in the mid 80s.  Leahy allegedly ‘inadvertently’ exposed a top-secret intercept of Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak that led to the capture of the Achille Lauro terrorists.  That supposed slip of the tongue “cost the life of at least one Egyptian operative.”

            Loose Lip Leahy was forced to resign in disgrace 14 years ago in the wake of having to acknowledge he leaked secret intelligence to the press.   However today he lords his power over the Senate Judiciary committee.  Congress’ institutional memory must be as short as some of Jennifer Flowers former paramours.

            In our contemporary environment in which whistleblowers have become in many cases heroes it is important to make the distinctions between the appropriateness of corporate and political whistleblowers and the idiot or miscreant who leaks information with genuine national security implications.

            Currently the FBI is investigating national security leaks from specifically the House and Senate Select Intelligence committees.  This is serious stuff.

            Defenders of the indefensible will argue it is a political witch-hunt by politicians in a heavy C.Y.A. mode.  That is not true but a convenient political spin job.

            Sure it is true the white house is p.o.-ed over media reports that the National Security Agency had received but not acted on two early warning messages to 9/11.  Dick Cheney reportedly went ballistic and ripped congressional leaders.  Both House and Senate Select Intelligence committees asked the Attorney General to conduct an investigation (and no doubt quietly prayed it would be botched).

            Justice said in a statement, “…the appropriate department officials will expeditiously review this matter and take any appropriate action.”  Not if congress has anything to say about it.  Don’t expect anything fast.  Remember Leahy resigned in disgrace 14 years ago and today has the chutzpah to pontificate ad nauseum to the Judiciary committee and stall any and all Bush judicial appointments.

            More on Operation Mockingbird



            2002 Geoff Metcalf - All Rights Reserved

            Geoff is a veteran media performer. He has had an eclectic professional background covering a wide spectrum of radio, television, magazine, and newspapers.  A former Green Beret and retired Army officer he is in great demand as a speaker. Metcalf has hosted his radio talk show on the ABC/Disney owned and operated KSFO and in worldwide syndication.