Paul’s desire to end NSA data collection is something I can agree with 100%, but he doesn’t need to lie about where the program came from to get the job done. That’s being political, and it cheapens what he is trying to achieve.
Category Archives: National Security
Republicans claiming Libyan bombing is ‘unconstitutional’?
GOTP (Grand Old Tea Party) members of Congress are claiming the conflict in Libya is unconstitutional because President Barack Obama failed to ask, “Mother may I”? Strange how the same group – responsible for supporting George Bush’s misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq – is now wanting a President to be responsible, or is it just because it’s President Obama?
The President actually sent a letter concerning the Libya intervention to members of Congress on Monday, well within the guidelines of the War Powers Act.
Not good enough according to the GOTP; which claims that under the U.S. Constitution Congressional approval is required for declarations of war. While that may be true, the United States has not acted militarily under a declaration of war since Franklin Roosevelt addressed the Congress on 8 December 1941. How many American soldiers, sailor, airmen and marines have been placed in harm’s way since then?
Where was the GOTP when Americans were sent off to fight George W’ Bush’s private little war in Iraq? You want an example of unconstitutional misuse of authority, there it was.
Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, yes he’s GOTP, was among members who argued that military action in Libya was unconstitutional. He told the Hill magazine: “The United States does not have a King’s army. President Obama’s unilateral choice to use US military force in Libya is an affront to our constitution.”
No Congressman, you’re an affront to our constitution, and to your office. On 13 March 2004, you were one of the “Congressional Co-Chairs” of a so-called “Host Committee” which provided access to the Dirkson Senate Office Building for a “Messiah” crowning of the Rev Sun Myung Moon, a piece of theatrics the New York Times compared to “an act of the Roman Emperor Caligula.” You also under-reported, according to the Frederick News-Post, property sales by over $1 million since 2004. But of course you defended this as a mere “oversight” and that you were only a “bit player” in the real estate transactions. But wait sir, you also, once again according to the Frederick News-Post, made $299,000 in unreported loans in order to sell your daughter’s home over which you had exercised a power of attorney. So, please, spare us all the “holier than thou” typical GOTP nonsense.
A survey by CNN/Opinion Poll conducted on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and published on Monday, recorded 50% approval for Obama’s handling of the crisis, with 41% disapproving, and support for a no-fly zone climbing from 56% to 70% over the last week.
Those numbers seem familiar? Oh yeah, just around 50% of voters elected the President, and 41% is about the number of individuals glued to FOX PAC and listening to Limbaugh, Hannity, et al … to this 41%, there is nothing this President can ever do that will meet with any level of approval.
Following Roscoe’s example was chief Congressional hypocrite Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, another devout member of the GOTP, who has called on the President to “clearly define for the American people what vital United States security interests he believes are currently at stake in Libya”.
Sometimes Congresswoman we – the United States – have a moral obligation to step into blood baths like what was occurring in Libya, that was “interest”. This tie we’re really part of a U.N. mission, not making it up as we go along, nor lying about why we’re involved. Wow, that’s quite different from the time when you voted to support an unlawful and unconstitutional pre-emptive war in 2002. What exactly were the “vital United States security interests … at stake” in Iraq Congresswoman? Oh yeah, there were none!
Allies finally move in Libya?
Finally the United Nations, Great Britain, France and the United States have pulled their collective heads out of their fourth points of contact and have launched forces into action against the regime of Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi; as the attacks began, President Obama declared from Brazil that the “people of Libya must be protected.”
“In the absence of an immediate end to the violence against civilians, our coalition is prepared to act and act with urgency,” Obama said at a news conference in Brazil’s presidential palace following meetings with the newly elected President Dilma Rousseff.
Of course it’s only taken how long to decide to act with “urgency” Mr. President? You may have decided to move with too little, too late. Where were the United States, Great Britain and France when the revolution was on the very brink of toppling Qaddafi? It’s understood that the Bush/Cheney attitude of bomb and invade, shock and awe, and ask questions later was over kill, but there are times when America needs to use its strength to help those who are fighting to overthrow despots. There are few – if any – members of our military who wouldn’t jump at the chance to help people legitimately fighting for their liberties, as opposed to being used as tools imposing freedom by Presidential whim and edict.
Minutes before he began speaking, officials from the United States, Europe and the Arab world meeting in Paris announced immediate military action to protect civilians amid combat between Qaddafi’s forces and rebel fighters. French warplanes were targeting Qaddafi’s forces. American ships and aircraft were poised for action but weren’t participating in the initial French air missions.
France, Britain and the United States had warned Qaddafi on Friday that they would resort to military means if he ignored the U.N. resolution demanding a cease-fire.
How nice it is to have our forces be part of legitimately enforcing a U.N. resolution instead of pretending that was the reason for our involvement. This time around, our men and women will know they’re fighting with their allies as the enforcement arm of the U.N. and not pretending to enforce U.N. sanctions or simply using the United Nations as an excuse to cover a questionable invasion.
United States involvement at this point is to be limited – according to Administration officials – and its primary objectives will be to helping protect French and other air missions by taking out Libyan air defenses; however, things could intensify depending on the response and the U.S. is prepared to launch additional attacks in support of allied forces.
“This is a broad international effort,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said from Paris. “The world will not sit idly by while more innocent civilians are killed. The United States will support our allies and partners as they move to enforce” the resolution.
The President has already ruled out sending in U.S. ground troops. But the U.S. has a host of forces and ships in the area, including submarines, destroyers, amphibious assault and landing ships. One U.S. official said the Navy was planning a sea-launched missile attack from the Mediterranean against elements of Libya’s coastal air defenses.
And this is precisely how the U.S. should be conducting itself. America never needed to send ground forces into Iraq, and could have easily forced Hussein to yield through multiple, well targeted air strikes, and the use of ground forces to take him out could have been small in scope and supported from the air (i.e. Special Forces, Rangers, SAS, etc.). There was no need then, and there is no need now, to put boots on the ground, and the rebels in Libya have not asked for them. They want air cover, and the allies can certainly supply that.
Congressman Is Going to Examine Islam in the United States?
OK, so let me get this straight, nearly a decade after the 9-11 terrorist attacks Congressman Peter King, yes a far right Republican (GOTP) has decided what the House of Representatives really needs to spend time, and money, on is to conduct hearings on radical Islam in the U.S.
Why stir a pot that most Americans want to move on from?
Why stand and scream, “HEY! LISTEN TO ME! THERE ARE MUSLIMS HERE IN AMERICA AND WE NEED TO PERSECUTE THEM!”
Why hold hearings now? Because Mr. King is – in every sense of the Shakespearean annotation – an ass; as in a jackass; as in a dumb animal braying for everyone to pay attention to him, and because the GOTP is in charge of the House, and King (aka Skippy the talking jackass) now has the power to call attention to the issue as chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, that’s why.
Skippy has told The Associated Press that “radical Islam is a distinct threat that must be investigated regardless of whose sensibilities are offended”.
“You have a violent enemy from overseas which threatens us and which is recruiting people from a community living in our country. That’s … what this hearing’s going to be,” he brayed.
According to the AP, “in the past two years, authorities say there have been more terrorist plots uncovered or attacks foiled than during the final seven years of Bush’s presidency.
Gee, some would probably deduce it’s the result of better law enforcement – and by instances of Islamic community leaders helping the authorities. You see, that’s what happens when you stop torturing people, and suspending habeas corpus, they actually start helping you. They help you with viable, real intelligence, instead of telling you what they think you want to hear.
Unfortunately, when you up the ante and you start persecuting people for their religion you play right into the very hands of the people you’re claiming to be fighting.
On the bright side, House GOTP leaders don’t seem very excited about all this and it’s a pretty fair bet they don’t want anything this inflammatory distracting the country from more important matters, though exactly what those are with this group who can tell? Certainly not jobs; and probably not the economy, but more than likely important issues mean stopping abortion, and overturning the health care law, and reinstating Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, basically anything to do with anything the President is in favor of.
Now, “Radicalized Muslims” have been the centerpiece of at least a dozen congressional hearings on violent extremism since 9-11. The latest push, however, coming from Skippy, a far right wing GOTP type who has repeatedly brayed that America has too many mosques and that as many as 85 percent of Muslim leaders were not cooperating with authorities is unsettling. King is not looking for answers, he’s looking to make a name for himself, and to reignite Islamic phobia in the country. There is no other explanation. One has to wonder, “What’s next, a set of hearings on far left communists’ infiltrators in the State Department?”
Senator Brown Supports Repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’?
Well, this has got to be making the Tea Party crowd go apoplectic now doesn’t it?
It is refreshing to see that at least one GOP Senator has the guts and common sense to do the right thing here. You can think – or believe – what you want about homosexuality, and the gay and lesbian lifestyle; however, gays and lesbians serving openly in the military is not going to affect how our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines perform their sworn duties to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, both foreign and domestic.
One More Thought on Texas Quitting the Union
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Can Texas Secede from the Union?
Even though Texans will shake their fists and declare, “Oh yes we can!” In a word? No. In fact in three words, Texas vs White.
In Texas v. White, (1869) the United States Supreme Court held in a 5–3 decision that Texas, and all the southern states, had remained a state of the United States ever since it first joined the Union, despite its joining the Confederate States of America and its being under military rule at the time of the decision in the case because, in the court’s opinion, the Constitution of the United States did not permit states to secede from the United States, and that the ordinances of secession, and all the acts of the legislatures within seceding states intended to give effect to such ordinances, were “absolutely null”.
Case closed. Texas cannot legally secede from the United States.
Obama Concerned He Ordered Shooting?
C’mon Rush, stop being a bloviating jackass, just for once. I understand you’re a bigoted, white, male, conservative Christian, and thus can’t help yourself. But c’mon, making statements that the President was preoccupied in church on Sunday because, “he was worried about the order he had given to wipe out three teenagers on the high seas. Black Muslim teenagers.”
You, Mr. Limbaugh are a racist. You’re not funny, at least to anyone who doesn’t share your extreme right wing ideologies, and the stations sponsoring you really should consider dropping your raving, bigoted views.
By your statement you’re implying the President of the United States would be concerned by the fact the pirates were killed, because they share his race, and by your half witted commentaries of the past, his religion?
As a 20 year veteran of the United States Army it sickens me when I hear your commentaries, and think about what the world thinks of our country. And it further sickens me when my fellow soldiers hear your bloviations and think they’re funny, or take them as some kind of legitimate commentary. You are not an asset to either your country or to the GOP, and it’s long past time for you to either grow up, or move on.
Obama’s Choice to Use Force No Big Deal?
Isn’t it refreshing to have an American President who doesn’t respond with a sledgehammer to the annoying little pricks of the Somali Pirates? The pirates boarded a United States Flagged vessel. The same pirates were driven from the ship by its crew, taking the ship’s captain hostage.
The United States didn’t respond by paying any ransom, like everyone else dealing with these pirates has done. The President allowed the Navy to move Seals in, and when the opportunity arose, three head shots and a wounded pirate later, American Captain Richard Phillips was free.
We didn’t invade Somalia. We didn’t sink the boat along with the hostage. We acted with common sense and with the appropriate force necessary to end the ordeal.
President Obama has acted quickly and decisively; and he has pledged to end the rise of piracy.
Unfortunately, sending in the Seals, and freeing our fellow American was treated not only lightly, but also derisively, by the head of the GOP, Rush Limbaugh.
During his radio program this morning Limbaugh stated,“President Obama rose to the occasion and saw to it that the Somali merchant marine organizers would not get away with the same tactics that the domestic American organizers get away with.”
Limbaugh further joked about the rescue on Tuesday, April 14th, classifying the Navy Seal’s operation as, “Obama’s “brilliant high seas maneuver” in wiping out “three teenagers on a life raft.”
Not to be outdone, Limbaugh’s faithful sidekick, or butt-boy, Sean Hannity also had to take his swipes at the President over his decision to take out the pirates. During his April 13th Fox News Program, Hannity, he went after reporters who credited President Obama’s decision, “(he) was legally required to sign on to this. There was no great decision here, in other words…So in — so I’m seeing the media praise him or overly praise him for something he legally was told by his team he had to do. So the slobbering love affair continues.”
So, let me get this straight, an American President sends in our military – in this case the United States Navy – to do what no other country to this point has done (taking out the pirates) and El Rushbo thinks it’s amusing? He thinks it should be joked about? And Sean Hannity thinks the President had to do this? That he had no choice? Some how trying to paint the picture that he wouldn’t have done it otherwise? These are the men many conservative Americans listen to and adore?
So, Rush, no matter how decisively President Obama acts; no matter what he does to protect American interests; no matter how effective the operation may be, it will be a joke to you. American sailors did what they were trained to do, as directed by our President, and it was funny?
And Hannity, you really believe the President of the United States, our Commander-in-Chief, had to sign off. That he had no choice in the matter? You are either a bigger fool than anyone has ever thought, or once again, you know what you’re claiming isn’t true. So, you’re either an idiot or a liar.
Wake up ditto-heads. Put down the kool-aid and start really listening to this guy. If you do, you might realize he’s not the person you really want to be shaping your party’s views and opinions.
Enemy Combatants to be Released in America?
Once again the town crier of conservatism, Sean Hannity, gets it wrong. Crying out on his March 27th television show, “[t]he director of national intelligence says Gitmo detainees will be released right here in the U.S.,” and later claiming: “…we’re going to release these enemy combatants on American soil, OK?”
Come on Hannity, you know that isn’t true. And yet you are continuing to spin these lies in hopes of spreading fear and panic among your listening and viewing audiences, many of whom get all their news from you, Rush, O’Rielly and Beck.
“Angels and ministers of grace, defend us!”
Hannity also referred to the detainees that “we’re going to release” as “Gitmo combatants.” However, National Intelligence director Dennis Blair has never proposed that the United States release “enemy combatants on American soil”. Blair has only outlined the “process” by which the government would determine whether, and how, to release detainees into the United States who are not “too dangerous to let out” and have not “committed offenses that merit punishment.” Gee Hannity, that would mean that the United States Government is talking about releasing innocent people from GITMO, not terrorist, nor enemy combatants. What’s this mean? It means Sean that you’re a liar!
Oh, and Hannity, I believe if you’d done your homework – ha! Like that’s ever going to happen! – you’d have discovered that it was the Bush Administration which first proposed releasing the indiviuals in question (detainees belonging to the Uighur ethnic group from western China) testifying before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in September 2008 that the 17 Uighur detainees “will be treated as if they are no longer enemy combatants.”
Hannity also claimed – in the same broadcast – his familiar rant that more than 60 former GITMO detainees have returned to battlefied, “…we actually have from the Pentagon 61 people that we released from Gitmo. Sixty-one have gone back to the battlefield.” Once again, if Hannity had bothered to either check his facts, or report the truth, that this is not true.
Wake up America! Hannity is a liar who wouldn’t know the truth about a subject if it walked up and sat next to him. He, Rush, Beck and all the rest are not reporting facts, they’re making stuff up as they go along. They claim that the current administration is trying to govern using fear and gloom regarding our economy, but these guys just can’t let go of the old Bush/Cheney littany that brouhgt us the Patriot Act and Justice Department Memos that gave President Bush the authority to tear up the Bill of Rights all in the name of security. Remember what Benjamin Franklin once said, “They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Hannity, and his buds, would have us do just that.