Category: Govenment


WHOA: Congressman Reveals that at Least 10 ISIS Fighters Have Been Caught Crossing the Border into the U.S.
October 8, 2014 By Greg Campbell

ZGretaThough President Obama has simultaneously pretended that ISIS is the “JV team” of terrorism and that maintaining an open, porous border with Mexico is a humane act, the two seemingly unrelated issues are actually quite related and extremely dangerous for hundreds of millions of Americans.

In an interview with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren, California Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter, a member of the House Committee on Armed Services, revealed that at least ten ISIS terrorists have been caught coming over the border in Texas.

In the below clip, Rep. Hunter has the following exchange with Van Susteren:
Greta Van Susteren: You say they’re coming in the southern border which changes the dynamics. Do you have any information or any evidence that they are actually coming in the southern border now?

Rep. Hunter: Yes.

Greta: Tell me what you know?

Rep. Hunter: I know that at least ten ISIS fighters have been caught coming across the Mexican border in Texas. There’s nobody talking about it.
Rep. Hunter revealed that he received the information from the U.S. Border Patrol.

It’s likely that Obama and other Democrats will charge that Republican fears of terrorists coming over the border are blown out of proportion. However, simply because America has not yet been attacked through this method does not mean that we are not in danger and possibly imminent danger.

Though the U.S. has shaped-up in terms of national security since 9/11, it remains simply unbelievable that Democrats and moderate Republicans can so callously endanger the lives of hundreds of millions of Americans in order to gain favor with the Hispanic population and guilty white liberals who feel that it is a human right to immigrate to the U.S. without going through the proper methods.

In August, TPNN reported on Independent journalist James O’Keefe’s ability to easily cross into the United States from Mexico while wearing an Osama Bin Laden rubber mask. Thankfully, it was just a stunt to showcase the security failings of the porous border, but it seems remarkably clear that the U.S. is in real danger from radical Islam, our porous border and liberal insanity.

GAI: Obama Skipped Over Half His Daily Intel Briefs
Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 08:28 PM
By Drew MacKenzie

In the fallout over President Barack Obama blaming the intelligence community for the rise of the Islamic State, a new report has surfaced showing that he attended less than half of his daily intel briefings.

The Government Accountability Institute, an investigative research organization, said the president went to only 42.1 percent of his intelligence meetings, known as the Presidential Daily Brief, or PDB, in the 2,079 days of his presidency through Monday, according to Breitbart.

The GAI report also revealed during his first term he attended 42.4 percent of the briefings, while Obama has even reduced that number in his second term, with just a 41.3 percent attendance record.

During an interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes” on Sunday, the president claimed that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper had failed to warn the Obama administration that the Islamic State terror group, also known as ISIS, was gaining a strong foothold in Iraq and Syria.

“I think our head of the intelligence community, Jim Clapper, has acknowledged that I think they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria,” he said.

The Daily Beast’s Eli Lake alleged on Monday that as long as eight months ago Obama’s senior intelligence officials had alerted the White House that ISIS was growing in power while attempting to create a caliphate in Iraq and Syria.

“In the beginning of 2014, ISIS fighters had defeated Iraqi forces in Fallujah, leading much of the U.S. intelligence community to assess they would try to take more of Iraq,” wrote Lake, adding that members of the Defense department were “flabbergasted” by Obama’s statement.

“Either the president doesn’t read the intelligence he’s getting or he’s (lying),” a former senior Pentagon official who knew of the threat posed by Sunni extremists told the Beast.

Breitbart noted that following his controversial TV comments Obama has been accused by people in the intelligence community of lacking interest in “live” PDBs, which allow the president to ask follow-up questions, demand further information and challenge intel suppositions.

Meanwhile, an Obama national security staffer told the Daily Mail that the PDBs have included threat assessment on ISIS since 2012.

“It’s pretty well-known that the president hasn’t taken in-person intelligence briefings with any regularity since the early days of 2009,” the staffer said. “He gets them in writing.

“Unless someone very senior has been shredding the president’s daily briefings and telling him that the dog ate them, highly accurate predictions about (ISIS) have been showing up in the Oval Office since before the election.”

The White House said that the president prefers to read his intelligence briefings on his iPad instead of having in-person briefings, according to reports.

But Breitbart said, “The question remains whether a 42 percent attendance record on daily intelligence briefings is good enough for most Americans.”

Daily Digest
Sep. 22, 2014

THE FOUNDATION
“With those who wish to think amiss of me, I have learned to be perfectly indifferent; but where I know a mind to be ingenuous, and to need only truth to set it to rights, I cannot be passive.” –Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Abigail Adams, 1804

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
Khorasan: The New Jihadist Threat
There is a brewing threat to the U.S. that may be even greater than ISIL. It’s known as “Khorasan,” and it’s a subgroup of veteran al-Qaida terrorists. According to The Washington Post, “Khorasan hasn’t arrived to overthrow Bashar al-Assad. It’s not interested in laying claim to great swaths of land and resources, as is the Islamic State. Rather, American officials told the Associated Press, its members have come from Pakistan, Yemen and Afghanistan to exploit the flood of Western jihadists who now have skin in the fight – and possess very valuable passports. According to the AP, al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri dispatched this deputy to recruit those Western fighters, who have a better chance of escaping scrutiny at airports and could place bombs onto planes.” James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, confirmed Khorasan’s existence for the first time Thursday. He warns that “in terms of threat[s] to the homeland, Khorasan may pose as much of a danger” as ISIL. More so, perhaps, because while ISIL wants territory in the Middle East, Khorasan wants another 9/11, and they have the homegrown personnel to make that possible. More…1

Lois Lerner Speaks: ‘I Didn’t Do Anything Wrong’
“I’m proud of my career and the job I did for this country,” Lois Lerner said during her two-hour conversation with Politico. The interview paints the former IRS official as a department head who lost control of her division, whose blunt, apolitical actions earned the animosity of the very political Washington theater. The interview is Lerner’s stage. We learn that Nice Lerner rescued animals after Hurricane Katrina, and she struggled at the IRS when she switched careers from a dental hygienist to government work. Politico also tells of her gardening, her supportive husband and the death threats she received. “Regardless of whatever else happens, I know I did the best I could under the circumstances and am not sorry for anything I did,” she said. Two things are clear: First, Lerner has a point of view justifying her political targeting that she has yet to explain ever since she pleaded the Fifth2. Second, her actions and the actions of her department broke the trust America placed in its tax system and we still need an explanation. More…3

Students Banned From Distributing Constitutions
The Young Americans for Freedom’s (YAF) fight for free speech on the campus of Penn State illustrates just how restrictive free expression can be on college campuses. On Constitution Day, the administration told YAF students to take down their table near an entrance to a building because it wasn’t in the right “free speech zone.” YAF was distributing copies of the Constitution and information on the school’s restrictive free speech policies. YAF members protested. In a video4, one student is recorded as saying, “We’ve seen people’s tables out here all the time,” implying the school’s administration selectively enforces the rules. In April, the students stood with signs5 in a zone where speech was not authorized, protesting the policies. According to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, 59% of the colleges6 in the nation clearly and substantially restrict student speech. Administrators need to pick up a copy of the Constitution. More…7

Michelle Obama on ‘How Different Our Country Looks’
In 2008, Michelle Obama declared, “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country.” The reason for her pride was that her husband was polling well and on his way to the presidency. Now, she’s proud of her husband for how much he’s changed our country. “Just think about how different our country looks to children growing up today,” she crowed. “Today, when folks ask me whether I still believe everything we said about change and hope back in 2008, I tell them that I believe it more strongly now than ever before, because, look, I’ve seen it with my own eyes.” Unfortunately, every change her husband has brought has been wrong for our country – we’re more in debt, less free and weaker in the world. No wonder Michelle is proud. More…8

A Retired Soldier on the Dearth of Black Officers
Recently, the political-correctness police noticed there aren’t enough black officers in the Army9. A retired soldier writing as “Petronius Arbiter” says, “This should be a surprise to no one. But don’t go blaming the Army for the inability to solve this issue. This is a multi-faceted problem and one which must be solved involving all aspects of American society: Army, academia, family, and community leadership.” Recruitment of black soldiers isn’t the problem, he argues, and in the end there’s probably not a lot the Army can actually do. “My take on this,” he says, “is that the Army is just going to have to endure with whatever happens. It is highly doubtful anything can be done to produce more black or other minority officers in combat arms. And guess what? The same issue, but probably on a greater scale, is going to occur with women, should the decision be made to go that direction.” Because the politically correct will get there. More…10

For more, visit Right Hooks11.

RIGHT ANALYSIS
Arming ‘Moderate’ Syrian Rebels Is Questionable
Heeding the call to do something about ISIL, Congress passed and Barack Obama signed a measure12 approving weapons and training for “moderate” Syrian rebels. These moderates are ostensibly fighting against the new Islamic upstarts but are also sworn to overthrow Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad. Obama has repeatedly assured Americans that no boots would be on the ground in Syria (or Iraq, for that matter), sending out National Security Advisor Susan Rice to state, “This program will be hosted outside of Syria in partnership with neighboring countries.” Rice added the process would take “many months,” which the administration hopes will be enough time to sort out all of the various regional players.

But there is plenty of skepticism – even from the CIA13 – that we’re training the wrong people. Given the fact that thousands of Iraqi soldiers we previously trained either turned tail or jumped onto the Islamic State locomotive as it steamed its way across northern and western Iraq earlier this summer, can we really expect that the Syrian rebels we choose to train won’t do the same if the tides of war turn against them? Or that they’ll focus on the correct target14?

Meanwhile, top military brass expressed frustration15 with the lack of options being presented by Obama. “Half-hearted or tentative efforts, or airstrikes alone, can backfire on us and actually strengthen our foes’ credibility,” warned retired Marine Gen. James Mattis last week. “We may not wish to reassure our enemies in advance that they will not see American boots on the ground.” Obama’s promise not to put troops back into Iraq or directly expand the Long War to Syria seems to be aimed more at placating his leftist base than advancing America’s strategic interests.

Indeed, Obama doubled down on that promise again in his weekly address16. “Going forward, we won’t hesitate to take action against these terrorists in Iraq or in Syria,” he said. “But this is not America’s fight alone. I won’t commit our troops to fighting another ground war in Iraq, or in Syria. It’s more effective to use our capabilities to help partners on the ground secure their own country’s futures. We will use our air power. We will train and equip our partners. We will advise and we will assist. And we’ll lead a broad coalition of nations who have a stake in this fight. This isn’t America versus ISIL. This is the people of that region versus ISIL. It’s the world versus ISIL.” And he isn’t George W. Bush. Therefore, no ground troops.

Even as Obama tries to walk the fine line between doing what’s necessary and what’s politically expedient in the short term, his fellow leftists aren’t buying into it. Instead, they demand he eschew any military option. Protesters from anti-war radicals Code Pink interrupted Senate testimony17 by Secretary of State John Kerry, prompting him to tell those women, “[Y]ou ought to care about fighting ISIL” because they are “killing and raping and mutilating women.” (Sort of like the American troops did in Vietnam, according to Kerry’s twisted version of history18.) It was yet another reminder of the political calculation that led Obama to abandon Iraq in the first place.

It’s often been said that if you want to have something done right, you have to do it yourself. After five-plus years of feckless foreign policy that alienates our friends and comforts our enemies, we have to realize ISIL isn’t the “JV team” and can’t be eliminated by proxy. As opposed to the asymmetric war posed by al-Qaida, ISIL is fighting by more or less conventional means using weapons which, in some cases, we have provided – either through capture of Iraqi army munitions and equipment, or covertly to Syrian rebels19 through the CIA. As Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) – one of the 22 senators who voted against the Syrians arms and training package – put it, we’re “dependent on unreliable actors in the region.”

Some of those “unreliable actors” will win the lottery of sorts by becoming American-trained, but it’s highly unlikely they’ll be fighting with American interests foremost in mind. In the end, only we can be trusted with that mission.

Don’t Know Much About…
Special commentary by Arnold Ahlert20

Last Wednesday, September 17, was Constitution Day21, marking the 227th anniversary of that wondrous document’s ratification. Unfortunately, a new survey22 released the same day by the Annenberg Public Policy Center reveals an embarrassing but ultimately predictable level of public ignorance regarding its contents.

The numbers are stark. While just 36% of the 1,416 adult respondents could name all three branches of the federal government, another 35% couldn’t name a single one. Only 27% of Americans know it takes a two-thirds vote of the House and Senate to override a presidential veto, and over one-in-five (21%) believes a 5-4 Supreme Court decision will be sent back to Congress for reconsideration.

Even worse, the survey reveals the term “low information voter” is not only distressingly accurate, but may be far more endemic than even an ardent pessimist might have imagined. When asked which party has the most members in the House of Representatives, 38% correctly answered Republicans, while 17% said Democrats, and a whopping 44% admitted they didn’t know. That last number represents a 17 point increase from the 27% who had no idea in 2011.

The numbers were no better with regard to who controls the Senate. While 38% correctly answered Democrats, 27% thought it was Republicans, and another whopping 42% didn’t know, the same 17 point increase from the 27% who didn’t know in 2011.

“Although surveys reflect disapproval of the way Congress, the President and the Supreme Court are conducting their affairs, the Annenberg survey demonstrates that many know surprisingly little about these branches of government,” said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center23 (APPC). “This survey offers dramatic evidence of the need for more and better civics education.”

What’s the likelihood of that occurring? A column24 I read just under two years ago haunts me to this day. In “Education’s Great Divide: My Time in the Trenches,” writer Glenn Fairman speaks of his discovery during a stint as a substitute teacher in a social studies class some 20 years earlier. It relates directly to the subject at hand. “In a dusty corner shelf of the room was a set of thirty-year-old textbooks from the mid-1960s, and although my memory cannot now relinquish their title, their contents burned themselves into my brain,” he writes. “As I flipped through the pages, I was astonished to find what I would now consider an upper-level college textbook under color of what in the high schools used to be termed ‘civics.’ … I spent the rest of the day in slack-jawed amazement, perusing what a student in a working-class town was expected to know before the mavens of education began tinkering with the curricula of our schools.”

This past summer I took the opportunity to fill a hole in my own civics education and picked up a copy of the Federalist Papers25. What struck me above all else was the profound understanding exhibited by authors James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay – not of government, but of the various aspects of human nature that must be recognized and reconciled to produce a viable government. I was fascinated by the brilliance of these men and their spirited arguments in favor of the new Constitution – yet I couldn’t shake the feeling that their eloquence would be incomprehensible to the average American at the present time.

The above survey confirms my worst fears.

Unlike many of my fellow Americans, I don’t believe those who are conspicuously lacking in a fundamental understanding of our government are stupid. I believe they are ignorant, and while I used to believe that ignorance was a direct byproduct of educational establishment’s incompetence, I have changed my mind. I now believe the dumbing down of Americans is being intentionally cultivated. “From elementary school and into the colleges, disciplines of objective knowledge have been either discounted or leveled, and critical thinking has been pushed aside for the subtle indoctrination of a specific worldview,” echoes Fairman.

Unfortunately, it is the progressive worldview, a vapid stew of feel-good “isms,” that has elevated “caring” above the acquisition of critical knowledge far too many Americans lack. A 2006 Zogby poll26 illuminates the same lack of knowledge about the three branches of the federal government – only 42% could identify them eight years ago. But that poll added a dose of cynicism to the mix, revealing nearly three-in-four of those same Americans could name each of the Three Stooges. I’d bet my life Moe, Larry and Curly could name all three branches of government. They were educated in a time before the current wave of mavens and their union collaborators took the best system in the world and tossed it over a cliff.

In a couple of recent columns, I spoke about “Jihad Chic” and what attracts young men and women to a group like ISIL, and its glorification of bloodthirsty depravity. As crazy as it might sound, the Annenberg poll gives a hint. The foundation of our entire culture is the Constitution, and the glaring ignorance demonstrated by the poll respondents suggests a profound cultural rot – one that might be accelerating faster than we know. When our own commander in chief tells us that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant “is not Islamic,” we are in a place where truth itself is apparently optional, which in turn suggests our entire cultural ethos is being stripped of all substance and meaning. ISIL may be a savage organization, but its cultural ethos radiates clarity.

The dire implications? You can’t beat something with nothing. And we have allowed the cultural flagellators, who reduce America to little more than a nation that must atone for its “sins,” to dominate the conversation for far too long. The spectacular theories that formed the basis of our Constitution, our government and our nation have been bastardized beyond recognition, and unless we restore them to their former greatness, a giant darkness will descend. Not just upon us, but everyone who sees this nation for what it truly is: an exceptional beacon of freedom throughout the world.

The good news? During the restoration process, we have nothing to lose but our ignorance.

OPINION IN BRIEF

The Gipper: “Government growing beyond our consent had become a lumbering giant, slamming shut the gates of opportunity, threatening to crush the very roots of our freedom.”

Columnist Jeff Jacoby: “Sam Sutter, the district attorney for Bristol County [Massachusetts], announced [recently] that he would drop the criminal charges pending against two global-warming activists for illegally blocking a shipment of coal to a power plant… He announced, in a manner calculated to attract maximum publicity, that he was letting [the demonstrators] off the hook because he agrees with their political views. … It was an egregious abuse of his authority as a prosecutor: not that he dropped the charges against two lawbreaking protesters, but that he did so because he wants to promote their controversial cause – and to promote his own ‘leadership’ on the issue. … It may be tempting for those who see climate change as a crisis to applaud Sutter’s overtly political decision. Would they feel the same way about an anti-abortion DA who refused to prosecute demonstrators for blockading a Planned Parenthood clinic? Would they cheer a prosecutor whose antipathy to Islam led him to drop the charges against trespassers preventing construction of a mosque, and then to trumpet his ‘leadership’ in doing so? Prosecutors aren’t elected to make public policy – not on fossil fuels, or civil rights, or abortion, or anything else.”

Columnist Peggy Noonan: “[W]e focus on Mr. Obama personality and psychology – he’s weak or arrogant or ambivalent, or all three – and while this is interesting, it’s too fancy. We are overthinking the president. His essential problem is that he has very poor judgment. And we don’t say this because he’s so famously bright – academically credentialed, smooth, facile with words, quick with concepts. (That’s the sort of intelligence the press and popular historians most prize and celebrate, because it’s exactly the sort they possess.) But brightness is not the same as judgment, which has to do with discernment, instinct, the ability to see the big picture, wisdom that is earned or natural. Mr. Obama can see the trees, name their genus and species, judge their age and describe their color. He absorbs data. But he consistently misses the shape, size and density of the forest. His recitations of data are really a faux sophistication that suggests command of the subject but misses the heart of the matter.”

Humorist Frank J. Fleming: “If you told me as a child that in 2014 people would stand hours in line to buy a phone, I would have thought the Soviets had won.”

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform – Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen – standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.

Links

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/09/22/the-elusive-figure-u-s-officials-fear-as-much-as-the-islamic-state/

http://patriotpost.us/digests/18347

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/09/lois-lerner-breaks-silence-irs-scandal-111181.html

http://www.yaf.org/PS-YAF-Protest.aspx

http://dailysignal.com/2014/09/19/go-students-prohibited-passing-constitutions-constitution-day/

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/09/19/Michelle-Obama-Because-of-Barack-Kids-Take-For-Granted-That-A-Black-Person-or-a-Woman-Can-Be-President

http://patriotpost.us/posts/29110

http://ricks.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2014/09/18/dont_blame_my_army_for_the_lack_of_black_officers_in_combat_commands

http://patriotpost.us/

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/obama-signs-bill-to-arm-and-train-syrian-rebels/

http://hotair.com/archives/2014/09/18/congressman-the-cia-thinks-obamas-strategy-of-arming-syrian-moderates-is-doomed-to-failure/

http://hotair.com/archives/2014/09/18/syrian-rebels-openly-admit-were-going-to-use-americas-money-to-fight-assad-not-just-isis/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/rift-widens-between-obama-us-military-over-strategy-to-fight-islamic-state/2014/09/18/ebdb422e-3f5c-11e4-b03f-de718edeb92f_story.html

http://patriotpost.us/posts/29306

http://patriotpost.us/posts/29263

http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC/pacificaviet/kerry.pdf

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/17/cia-syria_n_5834850.html

http://patriotpost.us/columnists/53

http://patriotpost.us/alexander/29208

http://www.annenbergpublicpolicycenter.org/americans-know-surprisingly-little-about-their-government-survey-finds/

http://www.annenbergpublicpolicycenter.org/

http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/12/educations_great_divide_my_time_in_the_trenches.html

http://patriotpost.us/documents/299

http://www.foxnews.com/story/2006/08/15/zogby-poll-most-americans-can-name-three-stooges-but-not-three-branches-govt/

http://patriotpost.us/opinion/29244

http://patriotpost.us/opinion/29294

http://patriotpost.us/opinion/29245

http://patriotpost.us/opinion/29310

http://patriotpost.us/opinion/29312

http://patriotpost.us/opinion

The Patriot Post · http://patriotpost.us/digests/29070
Daily Digest
Sep. 12, 2014

THE FOUNDATION
“[T]his is not an indefinite government deriving its powers from the general terms prefixed to the specified powers – but, a limited government tied down to the specified powers, which explain and define the general terms.” –James Madison, Speech in Congress, 1792

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
Blocking Obama’s ISIL Strategy
In his speech to the nation1 on ISIL Wednesday, Barack Obama declared, “[W]e will conduct a systematic campaign of airstrikes against these terrorists. … [W]e will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are. That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq.” He claimed to be assembling a “broad coalition” in support of his mission so as to not, as he has previously put it, “go it alone” like George W. Bush in Iraq. Bush went with support from 37 countries; Obama has fewer than 10. And one of them is not Turkey, which announced Thursday2 it would not permit U.S. aircraft to conduct airstrikes from its air bases. That limits our options to carriers in the region or other NATO bases further away. Oh, and Great Britain and Germany3 also won’t be helping with airstrikes. Behold, the results of “leading from behind.”

We’re Not at War, Kerry Says
Secretary of State John Kerry insisted Thursday that we are not at war with ISIL – at least not just yet. “What we are doing,” he said, “is engaging in a very significant counter-terrorism operation.” Just to reiterate the point, he said, “If somebody wants to think about it as being a war with ISIL they can do so, but the fact is it’s a major counter-terrorism operation.” We’re glad he cleared that up. It reminds us of Kerry’s comments just over one year ago4, when he was pumping up action against Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. He promised we would counter Assad “without engaging in troops on the ground, or any other prolonged kind of effort, in a very limited, very targeted, very short-term effort,” and that any action would be an “unbelievably small, limited kind of effort.” The administration sure is twisting itself into knots to assure its hard-left base that Barack Obama is not George W. Bush. Kerry’s remarks would be funny if they weren’t so disgraceful.

To Claim Islam Is Like Other Religions ‘Is Just Plain Wrong’
HBO’s Bill Maher is a leftist atheist and no friend of Christianity. But he came to the religion’s defense in addressing Barack Obama’s assertions regarding ISIL and Islam. “Vast numbers of Christians do not believe that if you leave the Christian religion you should be killed for it,” Maher said, objecting to comparisons. “Vast numbers of Christians do not treat women as second class citizens. Vast numbers of Christians do not believe if you draw a picture of Jesus Christ you should get killed for it. So yes, does [ISIL] do Khmer Rouge-like activities where they just kill people indiscriminately who aren’t just like them? Yes. And would most Muslim people in the world do that or condone that? No. But most Muslim people in the world do condone violence just for what you think. … So to claim that this religion is like other religions is just naïve and plain wrong.” For once, Maher is right on the money.

Executive Action on Immigration Possible by Year’s End
The White House promised angry Latino lawmakers Thursday the president would make his move on immigration “reform” before the end of the year. The lawmakers feel Barack Obama betrayed them when he announced delaying his pen from drawing sweeping changes to the immigration system, possibly granting amnesty to five million illegal immigrants. White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said, “The president understands the depth of the broken immigration system that we have and he’s bound and determined to make sure that we fix it because it’s impacting our economy, it’s impacting our job growth and it’s a humanitarian issue that’s impacting families across the country. So we’re going to fix it and we’ll do it before the end of the year.” While the delay helps Democrats running for re-election in November, Hot Air’s Allahpundit5 says the president could wait until next year to act on immigration in order to help his successor win the White House in 2016. More…6

Scientists Say Gov’t Intervention Is Healing Ozone Layer
A new United Nations report praises government intervention for helping heal the ozone layer over Antarctica, a finding made famous by scientists Mario Molina and F. Sherwood Rowland in 1974 – incidentally during the height of the “next ice age” scare. The ozone hole was primarily blamed on chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), prompting a global ban on the compound in 1987. Now, CBS News reports, “For the first time in 35 years, scientists were able to confirm a statistically significant and sustained increase in stratospheric ozone, which shields us from solar radiation that causes skin cancer, crop damage and other problems.” In fact, an older UN study predicted that, had no action been taken, we’d be looking at an additional two million skin cancer cases annually within the next decade and a half. So regardless of whether the ozone is experiencing a natural oscillation (which it most assuredly is), alarmists can now make the unproven assertion that their activism helped prevent a calamity. Molina says the recovering ozone layer is “a victory for diplomacy and for science and for the fact that we were able to work together.” And no doubt, scientists will use this new report to stress the need for a pact to limit greenhouse gases like CO2, which they say will otherwise threaten any long-term ozone recovery. More…7

For more, visit Right Hooks8.

RIGHT ANALYSIS
Boos for Cruz Shouldn’t Overshadow Christian Persecution
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was booed off the stage of a Washington, DC, summit exploring the plight of Christians in the Middle East because he supported the nation of Israel. The whole episode illustrates the complexity of the Middle East – especially when it comes to our understanding of the region’s religious and political tensions.

A video of the event9 shows Cruz standing before the crowd, which was murmuring angrily. “I will say this,” Cruz said. “I am saddened to see that some here – not everyone, but some here – are so consumed with hate.”

The audience grew angry and a man near the camera shouted, “You speak for yourself!”

“If you will not stand with Israel,” Cruz said, “then I will not stand with you,” walking off the stage. The camera follows him, catching the words projected onto the wall: “Solidarity Dinner.”

The summit, put on by In Defense of Christians (IDC), brought together Coptic Christians, Evangelicals, Orthodox Christians and Catholics, as well as Democrats and Republicans alike. All were there to raise awareness of the threats to religious freedom in the Middle East, particularly ISIL’s threat of genocide10 against Christians.

IDC president Toufic Baaklini said11 the goal of the summit was to “empower the Middle Eastern Christian Diaspora and energize the American people to stand in solidarity [with] the ancient Christian communities of the Middle East. Their survival is vital to stability in the region, and their ability to flourish in their countries of origin has national security implications for the United States.”

Unfortunately, that laudable goal will be eclipsed by click-bait headlines focused only on the brief altercation with Cruz. Meanwhile, the intolerant drum of radical Islam beats stronger and stronger in the dissolving states of the Middle East.

While the gathered Christians may have been of one Lord, one faith, one baptism, they were not all one with the state of Israel. Let’s give Cruz the benefit of the doubt on this one, as this misunderstanding is a common problem between Evangelical Americans and some of the Christian communities still living in the land where Jesus walked. Religion News Service points out12:

“The episode highlighted a central tension between U.S. evangelicals, who strongly support Israel, and Middle Eastern Christians – including thousands of Palestinian Christians – who hold Israel responsible for expropriated Arab lands and the death toll in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

However, despite the well-documented brutality of dictators like Saddam Hussein in Iraq and the Assads in Syria Christians in those countries prefer the relative stability of those dictators to the jihadist alternatives. The Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan writes13, “An estimated two-thirds of the Christians of Iraq have fled that country since the 2003 U.S. invasion. They are being driven from their villages in northern Iraq. They are terrorized, brutalized, executed. This week an eyewitness in Mosul, which fell to Islamic State in June, told NBC News the jihadists were committing atrocities. In Syria, too, they have executed Christians for refusing to convert.”

IDC set a lofty goal. In its statement after the disruption14, Baaklini admitted that people in the Church and in the field of foreign policy thought the organization would fail. “For more than 48 hours,” he said, “our initial IDC conference was successfully bridging divides of faith, language, geography and politics.”

The views of the speakers ranged across the spectrum. Rep. Darrel Issa (R-CA) spoke, as well as writer Eric Metaxas, who schooled president Obama15 at the 2012 Presidential Prayer Breakfast. On the other hand, some of the Christian leaders from the Middle East supported groups like Hamas or Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria, The Washington Free Beacon reported16.

Within that spectrum of Christians stood Sen. Cruz. In a statement17 explaining why he left the dinner, Cruz outlined his message on Israel:

“When I spoke in strong support of Israel and the Jewish people, who are being persecuted and murdered by the same vicious terrorists who are also slaughtering Christians, many Christians in the audience applauded. But, sadly, a vocal and angry minority of attendees at the conference tried to shout down my expression of solidarity with Israel.”

Cruz is right to show solidarity with Israel, a key ally of the United States and the only nation in the Middle East where Christians needn’t fear persecution. But Mollie Hemingway of The Federalist argues Cruz is no hero for what he did18, saying he approached the whole speech politically, meeting with The Washington Free Beacon beforehand and using the situation generally to advance his platform.

“When Cruz was supposed to give the keynote address and discuss the deadly serious topic of persecution of Christians,” Hemingway wrote, “he instead insulted a largely immigrant and foreign crowd as a group that didn’t understand their own political situation and stomped out of the room after calling them a bunch of haters.”

Thus was the IDC summit reduced to another sound byte in the Beltway political machine. But its purpose remains paramount: Christians are being threatened10 in the Middle East – Christians with complex and nuanced geopolitical views based on interests sometimes not aligned with the U.S. If they fall, the region – and the world – will be far worse for it.

The Phony Investigation of Scott Walker
It’s not unusual for the Leftmedia to behave corruptly and circle the wagons for Democrats. Aside from becoming an echo chamber for Democrat talking points, the media have a history of dishonesty – from intentionally blowing up GM trucks to “prove” the dangers of owning them, to utterly ignoring Bill Clinton’s one-man War on Women. There isn’t much we haven’t witnessed. Currently, the mainstream media are aligned to smear Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker with lies and disinformation before the November election.

In 2012, Democrat Wisconsin district attorneys, led by Milwaukee County DA John Chisholm, launched a secret probe known as a John Doe investigation of Gov. Walker, alleging he illegally coordinated a conservative group’s fundraising. These Democrats sought to prove Walker received an illegal in-kind campaign contribution in the form of ads Walker approved. Since Democrats never violate campaign finance laws, they are uniquely qualified to pursue those who do. The district attorneys issued more than 100 subpoenas, demanded private information from individuals and conservative groups, and even conducted secret raids. Furthermore, those targeted or privy to the investigation were required to keep it secret.

But prosecutors lost the first round in court as Judge Gregory Peterson quashed their subpoenas, saying they “fail probable cause.”

After the John Doe debacle, the DAs appealed to U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Randa. The judge slammed the prosecutors for seeking “refuge in the Court of Public Opinion, having lost in this Court of law.”

The defendants then asked for the release of reams of the secret documents while leaving out those involving two unnamed, unindicted persons for the sake of their privacy. Randa agreed. The DAs then complained that all records should be made public rather than a select few. Randa shot back saying that the prosecutors’ complaint “smacks of irony.” Their position is “at odds with their duty as prosecutors, which is to see that in any John Doe proceeding the rights of the innocent accused are protected in pursuit of a criminal investigation.”

While that state appeal was pending, Eric O’Keefe of the Wisconsin Club for Growth filed a federal civil rights suit, alleging the DAs’ secret investigation and tactics are an unconstitutional abuse of his civil rights. The civil rights case is currently before three judges from the Seventh Circuit Court, and the media are dutifully touting a big win for the Wisconsin prosecutors.

The story broke last June, and since then the Leftmedia has portrayed Walker as another corrupt conservative politician, hypocritically violating campaign finance laws. Despite the fact that the case was thrown out of a state court and then a federal court for lack of evidence, Democrats continue pursuing Walker as though he were the reincarnation of another Wisconsinite, Sen. Joe McCarthy.

The real in-kind campaign contribution went from prosecutors to Walker’s Democrat challenger Mary Burke. Democrats have handicapped fundraising at many of the most effective conservative independent groups while forcing them to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on lawyers to defend their rights in court. Burke has made the probe a centerpiece of her campaign, which has helped her get close in the polls.

But prosecutors aren’t done yet. They’re asking the Seventh Circuit Court to let them reopen the investigation, despite its nearly two years of failing to nail Walker on any charge. Furthermore, they claim immunity from being sued and that the interests of the public outweigh the interests of the investigated group. Clearly, all they really want is to drag out the constant allegations until the November elections, hoping to rid themselves of Walker. Let’s hope the voters of Wisconsin aren’t fooled by Democrats’ shameful behavior.

For more, visit Right Analysis8.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS
David Harsanyi: Actually, Senators, You’re the Ones Who Threaten the Country19
Jonah Goldberg: Is the Islamic State Really un-Islamic?20
Mona Charen: Presidential Malpractice21
Michelle Malkin: Post-9/11: Protect the Freedom to Warn22
Stephen Moore: In Japan’s Economic Folly, a Lesson for U.S.23
For more, visit Right Opinion24.

OPINION IN BRIEF
Canadian-American chemist and author O. A. Battista (1917-1995): “One of the hardest things to teach a child is that the truth is more important than the consequences.”

Columnist David Harsanyi: “It is true that 16 states and the District of Columbia, along with more than 500 cities and towns, have passed resolutions calling on Congress to reinstitute restriction on free speech. Polls consistently show that the majority of Americans support the abolishment of super PACs. So it’s important to remember that one of the many reasons the Founding Fathers offered us the Constitution was to offer a bulwark against ‘democracy.’ Senators may have an unhealthy obsession with the democratic process, and Supreme Court justices are on the bench for life for that very reason. On Monday, Democrats offered an amendment to repeal the First Amendment in an attempt to protect their own political power. Whiny senators – most of them patrons to corporate power and special interests – engaged in one of the most cynical abuses of their power in recent memory. Those who treat Americans as if they were hapless proles unable to withstand the power of a television commercial are the ones who fear speech. That’s not what the American republic is all about.”

Columnist Jonah Goldberg: “Is the Islamic State ‘not Islamic’? Moreover, is it really ‘clear’ that it’s not Islamic? … [T]he fact that the majority of its victims are Muslim is irrelevant. Lenin and Stalin killed thousands of communists and socialists; that doesn’t mean Lenin and Stalin weren’t communists and socialists. If such terrorists who kill Muslims aren’t Muslims, why do we give them Korans when we imprison them? … [I]t also seems flatly wrong for an American president to be declaring what is or is not Islamic – or Christian or Jewish. Given the First Amendment alone, there’s something un-American in any government official simply declaring what is or is not a religion. … Instead of Americans trying to persuade Muslims of the world that terrorism is un-Islamic, why shouldn’t Muslims be working harder to convince us?”

Comedian Argus Hamilton: “Obama vowed to arm Syrian rebels to fight ISIS. He had a change of heart. Last month he dismissed the rebels as doctors, dentists and pharmacists, but he’s come to realize it’s cheaper to give them the half billion now than pay their bills through ObamaCare.”

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform – Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen – standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.

Links

http://patriotpost.us/alexander/29028

http://www.albawaba.com/news/turkey-u.s.-iraq-603319

http://patriotpost.us/posts/29034

http://patriotpost.us/posts/19926

http://hotair.com/archives/2014/09/11/oh-my-some-senate-democrats-now-want-obamas-executive-amnesty-suspended-indefinitely/

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/09/white-house-immigration-latino-lawmakers-110871.html

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/ozone-layer-begins-to-recover-u-n-panel-says/

http://patriotpost.us/

http://patriotpost.us/articles/27642

http://www.indefenseofchristians.org/idc/release-washington-summit-call-attention-plight-christians-middle-east/

http://www.religionnews.com/2014/09/11/ted-cruz-booed-stage-touts-israel-christian-solidarity/

http://online.wsj.com/articles/the-genocide-of-mideastern-christians-1410474449

http://www.indefenseofchristians.org/idc/statement-idc-president-following-disruption-idc-gala-dinner/

http://freebeacon.com/issues/ted-cruz-stands-up-to-hatred-and-bigotry-at-conference-of-middle-eastern-christians/

http://www.cruz.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1723

http://thefederalist.com/2014/09/11/ted-cruz-is-no-hero-for-insulting-a-room-of-persecuted-christians/

http://patriotpost.us/opinion/29041

http://patriotpost.us/opinion/29042

http://patriotpost.us/opinion/29010

http://patriotpost.us/opinion/29044

http://patriotpost.us/opinion/29049

http://patriotpost.us/opinion

New Book Says C.I.A. Official in Benghazi Held Up Rescue

The American Mission in Benghazi, Libya, during the 2012 attack. Five C.I.A. contractors who were nearby say they were told not to intervene.
ESAM OMRAN AL-FETORI / REUTERS
By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
SEPTEMBER 4, 2014
CAIRO — Five commandos guarding the C.I.A. base in Benghazi, Libya, in September 2012 say that the C.I.A. station chief stopped them from interceding in time to save the lives of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and an American technician during the attack on the diplomatic mission there.

In a new book scheduled for release next week and obtained by The New York Times, the commandos say they protested repeatedly as the station chief ordered them to wait in their vehicles, fully armed, for 20 minutes while the attack on the diplomatic mission was unfolding less than a mile away.

“If you guys do not get here, we are going to die!” a diplomatic security agent then shouted to them over the radio, the commandos say in the book, and they left the base in defiance of the chief’s continuing order to “stand down.”

The book, titled “13 Hours,” is the first public account of the night’s events by any of the American security personnel involved in the attack. The accusation that the station chief, referred to in the book only as “Bob,” held back the rescue opens a new front in a fierce political battle over who is at fault for the American deaths.

Republicans have blamed President Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton, then the secretary of state, for the security failure.

American officials have previously acknowledged that the Central Intelligence Agency security team paused to try to enlist support from Libyan militia allies. But the book is the first detailed account of the extent of the delay, its consequences for the rescue attempt, and who made the decisions.

The commandos’ account — which fits with the publicly known facts and chronology — suggests that the station chief issued the “stand down” orders on his own authority. He hoped to enlist local Libyan militiamen, and the commandos speculate that he hoped the Libyans could carry out the rescue alone to avoid exposing the C.I.A. base.

No meaningful Libyan help ever materialized.

In an emailed statement on Thursday, a senior intelligence official said “a prudent, fast attempt was made to rally local support for the rescue effort and secure heavier weapons.” The official said “there was no second-guessing those decisions being made on the ground” and “there were no orders to anybody to stand down in providing support.”

The commandos were former members of American Special Forces teams hired by the intelligence agency as private contractors. Two of the team, both former Navy Seals, died fighting the attackers at the C.I.A. base later that night. Five others are credited as co-authors of “13 Hours,” which was written with their cooperation by Mitchell Zuckoff, a professor of journalism at Boston University. Mark Geist, Kris Paronto and John Tiegen are credited by name, and two of the authors use pseudonyms.

They say that they learned that the mission’s building had been set on fire during the short drive there, from another plea for help over the radio. The ambassador and the technician, Sean Smith, suffocated in the smoke.

No American fired a weapon of any kind in defense of the mission until the C.I.A. commandos reached the compound, more than 40 minutes after the attack began, the commandos say. The Libyan guards hired to protect the mission quickly retreated. The handful of diplomatic security agents, caught by surprise and outnumbered, withdrew to separate buildings without firing a shot.

One of the commandos fired grenades to help disperse the attackers and clear an entrance to the mission. They later exchanged fire when the attackers returned for a second assault. And the commandos say that after pulling back to the C.I.A. base they fought off-and-on gun battles with fighters lurking in the shadows outside for much of the night.

Although the commandos write of several Libyans who risked their lives to help the Americans, the difficulty of discerning friend from foe is a recurring theme. They write that a supportive militia leader who appeared to be helping them approach the mission also said he was talking on the phone with the attackers, trying to negotiate.

“What’s the difference between how Libyans look when they’re coming to help you versus when they’re coming to kill you?” the commandos joked with the diplomatic security agents. “Not much.”

The contractors say they raced so quickly to arm themselves when they heard the alarm that one failed to put on underwear. Another went into the battle in cargo shorts.

Then, fully armed, they found themselves waiting inside their armored vehicles, making small talk.

“Hey, we gotta go now! We’re losing the initiative!” Mr. Tiegen says he complained to the station chief, who he says replied, “No, stand down, you need to wait.”

“We are going to have the local militia handle it,” the chief added later, according to the commandos.

Game-Changer: Lois Lerner’s IRS Emails Exist; But Will Obama Admin Look for Them?

August 26, 2014 By Greg Campbell

ZObamaLerner  Not a “smidgen” of corruption, eh?

The Obama Administration is purposefully burying their heads in the sand with regards to Lois Lerner’s emails. According to Justice Department attorneys, the “missing” emails from the computer of Lois Lerner actually exist and are backed up and retrievable, but Justice Department officials are unwilling to retrieve them because doing so is an arduous task.

Lerner is the disgraced IRS bureaucrat that, for years, was at the forefront of the IRS harassment of Tea Party and conservative groups. Emails from her time as the head of the tax exempt division of the IRS went missing after she reportedly suffered a computer crash. Her hard drive was, reportedly, salvageable, but was “misplaced” and likely destroyed. Thus, the public has been told that we may never know the content of the emails to and from the woman responsible for carrying out a campaign of harassment against political opponents of the Obama Regime.
However, in a shocking admission to the government watchdog group Judicial Watch, Justice Department attorneys have admitted that the IRS backs-up every email in case of a catastrophe, but that they are unwilling to retrieve the information because it would take a lot of effort to track down the emails.
“A Department of Justice attorney told a Judicial Watch attorney on Friday that it turns out the federal government backs up all computer records in case something terrible happens in Washington and there’s a catastrophe, so the government can continue operating,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton told recently revealed.

“But it would be too hard to go get Lois Lerner’s e-mails from that backup system,” Fitton continued, explaining what the DOJ official told Judicial Watch. “So, everything we’ve been hearing about scratched hard drives, about missing e-mails of Lois Lerner, other IRS officials, other officials in the Obama administration, it’s all been a pack of malarkey. They could get these records, but they don’t want to.”
Fitton also claimed that Judicial Watch will be pursuing legal remedies to get the emails. Fitton stated,
“This is a jaw-dropping revelation. The Obama administration had been lying to the American people about Lois Lerner’s missing emails. There are no ‘missing’ Lois Lerner emails – nor missing emails of any of the other top IRS or other government officials whose emails seem to be disappearing at increasingly alarming rate. All the focus on missing hard drives has been a diversion. The Obama administration has known all along where the email records could be – but dishonestly withheld this information. You can bet we are going to ask the court for immediate assistance in cutting through this massive obstruction of justice.”
Forty years prior, President Nixon’s administration was undone when it was revealed that there was a “back-up” of conversations taking place in the White House. Similarly, if Judicial Watch is successful, we may soon have the smoking gun that shows the orchestrated and politically-motivated effort by the IRS to quell political dissent.

However, unlike the Nixon era that was equipped with a diligent media, hungry for the truth, Americans today are saddled with a complacent, leftist mainstream media unwilling to pursue truths that lead to unfavorable narratives for Obama and his lackeys.

Still, the alternative media is alive and well and willing to shine a light on the regular diet of lies spewing from the Obama Administration and what this revelation details to even a cursory observer of politics is that the Obama Administration is pathologically incapable of telling the truth- something one would not expect from an administration that has repeatedly promised to serve as the model for transparent government.

BEST OF THE WEB TODAY
Formidable Faux?
The pretend climate treaty.
By JAMES TARANTO CONNECT
August 27, 2014
“Pro-Russian rebel forces entered a key town in southeastern Ukraine on Wednesday after three days of heavy shelling, the town’s mayor said, capturing new territory far from most of their battles with government troops,” the Associated Press reports from said town:

Novoazovsk lies in a strategically significant location–on the Azov Sea and on the road linking Russia to the Russian-annexed Crimean Peninsula. It was the first time in the four-month-long conflict that fighting has reached as far south as the seacoast and suggests that the rebels, who Ukraine says are being supported by Russia, are emboldened and reinforced.
The new southeastern front has raised fears the separatists are seeking to create a land link between Russia and Crimea. If so, that could also give the rebels or Russia control over the entire Azov Sea and any oil or mineral riches it contains.
In related news, the New York Times reports that “the Obama administration is working to forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions, but without ratification from Congress.”

How? Even the Times knows that “under the Constitution, a president may enter into a legally binding treaty only if it is approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate.” It would be more accurate to say “the country” rather than “a president,” but hey, close enough for government work.

Anyway, Senate ratification is no more in the cards now than it was in 1997, when the world’s greatest deliberative body voted 95-0 in favor of a nonbinding resolution “expressing the sense of the Senate” that the now-expired Kyoto Protocol was unacceptable. The Clinton administration signed that treaty the following year anyway but never submitted it to the Senate. Incidentally, the 1997 measure was called the Byrd-Hagel Resolution; its top Republican sponsor is now Obama’s defense secretary.

Today, as the Times reports, “lawmakers in both parties on Capitol Hill say there is no chance that the currently gridlocked Senate will ratify a climate change treaty in the near future, especially in a political environment where many Republican lawmakers remain skeptical of the established science of human-caused global warming.”

We’re skeptical of the Times’s claim that “lawmakers in both parties” said that “Republican lawmakers remain skeptical of the established science.” That sounds to us like editorializing on the Democratic side of the argument–although come to think of it, one also doubts there has been a unanimous change in the Democratic position since 1997. But anyway, neither party has had a two-thirds Senate majority since 1967, and neither is likely to achieve one anytime soon. Thus no treaty can be ratified without bipartisan support.

In order to “sidestep” the constitutional requirement that laws be made by lawmakers, the Times continues, “President Obama’s climate negotiators are devising what they call a ‘politically binding’ deal that would ‘name and shame’ countries into cutting their emissions.”

The story notes that Obama has already “bypassed Congress and used his executive authority to order a far-reaching regulation forcing American coal-fired power plants to curb their carbon emissions.” That reg has to go through the standard approval process, which won’t be complete until next year, and it is also being challenged in court. Even if it holds up, a future president could modify it. But if Obama gets his pretend treaty, a successor who undid his policies would risk subjecting America not only to naming but to shaming as well.

Would it work? Let’s consider two examples. First Australia, whose government, then controlled by the Labor Party, in 2012 imposed a “carbon tax.” As The Wall Street Journal reported last month, this year Tony Abbott, the aspiring prime minister from the opposition Liberal Party, “made a pre-election ‘pledge in blood’ to voters and business to prioritize growth above climate shift. The Liberals (who would be considered the conservatives in American parlance) were elected, and Abbott kept his promise.

“Today the tax that you voted to get rid of is finally gone, a useless destructive tax which damaged jobs, which hurt families’ cost of living and which didn’t actually help the environment is finally gone,” a jubilant Mr. Abbott told voters in a news conference after the Senate’s decision.

His opponents tried the name-and-shame technique: “Labor and Green opponents of the government said the repeal would make the country an international ‘pariah’ on efforts to combat climate change.” Not very fearsome a threat, is it?

Enlarge Image

Putin’s carbon footprint in Novoazovsk, Ukraine. Associated Press
The second example is Ukraine. In 1994, the U.S., U.K. and Russia signed a document known as the Budapest Memorandum, offering assurances in exchange for which Kiev gave up the nuclear weapons it had inherited owing to the Soviet Union’s dissolution. The memorandum purports to bind the three signatories “to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine.”

But it isn’t a treaty, and thus has no legal force. Boris Yeltsin, Russia’s president at the time it was signed, acted in accord with the agreement, but Vladimir Putin obviously does not feel bound by it.

And how have the other signatories responded? There have been some economic sanctions, but mostly it’s been naming and shaming. “It’s really 19th-century behavior in the 21st century,” Secretary of State John Kerry in March. “You just don’t invade another country on phony pretexts in order to assert your interests.”

Almost six months later, Putin is unbowed. But maybe Kerry is just the wrong man for the job. In the era of naming and shaming, we need a top diplomat whose insults carry a punch. But who? Don Rickles is probably too old.

Will U.S. Troops Stand By While ISIS Starves Thousands?
The Yazidis, members of an ancient religious sect, fled when the Islamic State overran their homes. Now they’re trapped with no food or water. Will the U.S. step in to help save them?
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with new information.

One week is as long as the average person can survive without water. In extreme temperatures, it may be less. So time is running out for the 10,000 to 40,000 Iraqis, mostly religious minorities, who have been trapped for days in barren mountains without food or water. They face a choice: return to their towns captured by ISIS forces and risk being slaughtered or stay in the mountains and slowly die of thirst.

On Thursday, the White House signaled that U.S. might reverse its current policy by getting directly involved in Iraq to halt the worsening crisis. So far, the American forces stationed nearby have been little more than observers to the conflict.

According to the New York Times, President Obama is considering authorizing emregency airdrops of food and water for the thousands of Iraqis still stranded in the mountains. Additionally, according to the Times’ source, the President could approve airstrikes against ISIS forces that are surrounding the Sinjar mountains.

The slow-motion massacre of the Yazidis, members of a small, ancient religious community who escaped to the mountains along with other groups after ISIS overran their towns, began with a military defeat for the Kurds, one of the closest U.S. allies in the region. The Kurds’ losses, and the subsequent plight of the Yazidis, call into question what role, if any, America is willing to play in Iraq.

Since the disintegration of the Iraqi army in June, the Kurdish military, called the Peshmerga, has been engaged in continuous battle, holding back ISIS’s advances. Until recently the Kurds seemed to be faring well, even expanding their territory. But ISIS has grown stronger even while fighting on multiple fronts across two countries, gaining new recruits and weapons from its victories.

Sometime in the night on August 2, ISIS began its assault on the town of Sinjar, the historical home of the Yazidis that had served as a refuge for other groups, including Christians, Shabak, and Shia. Outgunned and outmanned by ISIS, the Peshmerga say they ran out of ammunition and abandoned the town on August 3. Left unprotected, the Yazidis and others fled into the hills.

Last month, the U.S. sent more than 800 special operations troops to Iraq, including a contingent now stationed in Erbil, within the Kurdish autonomous region. But so far, even as the Kurds have requested assistance repeatedly and launched a new counteroffensive, the United States has been reluctant to move past its advisory role and directly enter the fray.

On Wednesday, Cmdr. Elissa Smith, a U.S. Defense Department spokeswoman, told The Daily Beast: “U.S. troops are not engaged in a combat role in Iraq.” That position could be changing now as the president meets with his security advisors to weigh his options. Currently the military forces in Iraq are acting as “advisors” whose mission is “to assess and to advise [Iraqi security forces] as they confront [ISIS] and the complex security situation on the ground.” What kind of advice is being provided to the embattled Kurdish forces and whether advice is what they need right now are a matter of speculation.

U.S. attention, of course, is stretched thin with Gaza and Ukraine. But the near silence on Iraq is hard to square with the severity of the crisis and the initial decision to send military forces there.

If the American public and political class won’t bear any U.S. military involvement in Iraq, why were troops dispatched to the country? And if ISIS overrunning the Kurds, taking control of key infrastructure, and carrying out a deliberate slaughter of the Yazidis isn’t enough to get the U.S. forces involved, is there anything that would force a U.S. military response?

The situation is dire, but legal constraints may limit U.S. options for direct assistance to the Kurds, said Douglas Ollivant, a former U.S. Army officer who advised Gen. David Petraeus and served in the National Security Council under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

On Wednesday, it was 106 degrees in Mosul. There may be 25,000 children trapped in the mountains, according to the United Nations’ children’s relief agency.
“There might not be a legal way for us to sell arms to the KRG [Kurdistan Regional Government],” Ollivant said. “The Kurds are finding out the hard way that there are huge structural barriers, totally independent of policy, being a sub-state unit.”

Though the Kurds have their own government and operate in a functionally autonomous region of northern Iraq, they still belong to the Iraqi state and are nominally accountable to the government in Baghdad. They have long advocated for full independence and the creation of their own sovereign state, but the U.S. has refused to back those efforts.

To get arms legally to the Kurds now, the U.S. military needs to send them through the central government in Baghdad.

“Foreign Military Sales and Foreign Military Financing must be coordinated with central government authorities,” said Cmdr. Smith, the Defense Department spokeswoman.

The Iraqi government traditionally has been hostile to the Kurds and their calls for independence, and a month ago, military cooperation between the two sides might have seemed impossible. But now, with ISIS advancing, Baghdad may be feeling enough pressure to approve an arms transfer.

On Monday, the Iraqi government announced a strategic alliance between the two groups. Baghdad pledged that it would cooperate militarily with the Kurds and send its air force to assist the Peshmerga in the fighting around Mosul.

And in an op-ed published Tuesday in The Washington Post, former U.S. ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad wrote that the United States is involved in “the direct supply of munitions to the Kurds and, with Baghdad’s agreement, the shipment of some Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program weapons to the Kurds.”

There are other opportunities for U.S. assistance that are more direct but also more fraught. “We could we get involved with drone strikes or air strikes” that would involve “little to no risk” for the U.S. military, said Ollivant, who added that the air strikes could be used to target “strategic targets like ISIS’s rear bases and logistical hubs.”

“We are not conducting air strikes in Iraq,” Cmdr. Smith said on Wednesday. By Thursday afternon that policy could change at any moment, as the White House is expected to announce what new action the U.S. will take in Iraq “imminently” according to the New York Times report.

While U.S. airpower isn’t directly involved yet, Khalilzad wrote Tuesday that the U.S. military is “coordinating Iraqi air attacks against Islamic State targets relevant to the defense of the Kurdish region.”

Whatever degree of American assistance the Kurds are receiving, they have already begun a counteroffensive. Thousands of Kurdish forces from Syria and Turkey have crossed the border, forming a rare alliance with the Peshmerga inside Iraq that has already begun clashing with ISIS to recapture the ground lost over the weekend.

Tens of thousands of Iraqis now stranded in the mountains are awaiting the outcome of those battles. As for the United States, it is “working urgently and directly with officials in Baghdad and Erbil to coordinate Iraqi airdrops to people in need,” the Defense Department said.

On Wednesday, it was 106 degrees in Mosul. There may be 25,000 children trapped in the mountains, according to the United Nations’ children’s relief agency. Forty of them have died already.

On Thursday, United Nations spokespeople and Kurdish government sources reported that rescue operations had begun for the people trapped in the Sinjar mountains. There is no confirmation yet of who is leading those efforts or how many people have been evacuated, but according to Christopher Tidey, a UNICEF official in Geneva, most displaced families are still on the mountain.

The REAL Pandemic Threat: BioBombers
Hope for the Best — Prepare for the Worst
By Mark Alexander · August 6, 2014
“A universal peace, it is to be feared, is in the catalogue of events, which will never exist but in the imaginations of visionary philosophers, or in the breasts of benevolent enthusiasts.” –James Madison (1792)
2014-08-06-e2b67f21.jpg

The 24-hour news recyclers have lately devoted a lot of airtime to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and concerns about its spread to the U.S.

In recent weeks, more than 1,300 Africans have been infected with the deadly virus, and most of them have died. There would likely not be much coverage of this regional epidemic if not for the fact that two “humanitarian workers” (read: heroic Christians), an American doctor and nurse, are infected with the virus and have been transported to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta for treatment.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has assured Americans that, while Ebola is deadly in each of its variant forms — it is much like AIDS or HIV — transmission requires substantial direct contact with an infected person. Of course, given that in the last three months the CDC’s stellar status was tarnished by reports that its personnel were very careless with some deadly pathogens — including anthrax, avian flu and smallpox — it’s understandable many Americans question CDC’s assessment of the Ebola risk.

The fact is, CDC’s risk assessment regarding the threat of an Ebola epidemic in the U.S. is correct. There is, however, right now, a very real pandemic threat posed by what we can call “BioBombers.”

BioBombers are Islamist “martyrs” who, instead of strapping on a bomb and detonating themselves in a crowded urban area, become human hosts for virulent strains of deadly contagions. Once infected, they fly into the U.S. legally and park themselves in major airport hubs around the nation for days, where they can infect others traveling across country whose symptoms may take days to manifest — which is to say others unknowingly become hosts and spread the virus to a much wider circle in their communities and work places.

For historical background, the greatest mortal threat to indigenous American populations when 15th- and 16th-century European explorers arrived was not from armed conflict with other native peoples; it was from European strains of diseases for which they had no immunity. The reverse was also true — many Europeans suffered from American diseases.

In the 19th century, of the estimated 620,000 deaths recorded in the War Between the States, more than 430,000 died from “camp diseases.” When soldiers and support personnel from different regions of the country congregated in camps, those who arrived with a virulent strain of influenza or other contagion quickly passed it on to others, and the consequences were devastating.

In the 20th century, there were 5.1 million combatant deaths in the four years of World War I, but the 1918 H1N1 influenza virus, commonly referred to as the “Spanish Flu,” infected an estimated 500 million people globally, including even those in remote Pacific and Arctic regions. Indeed, as many as 75-100 million people died in that pandemic — up to five percent of the world’s population, in two years.

In World War II, disease in the Pacific campaign claimed far more casualties than combat.

So how have we avoided another devastating Spanish Flu pandemic?

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We’ve learned how to restrain the spread of these diseases because of our notable early detection of outbreaks and well-rehearsed preventive measures to contain and isolate the infected. (Early detection and containment is critical when dealing with bacterial and viral infections.)

We have learned a lot from managing outbreaks. In 1976, a bacterial contagion called Legionnaires’ disease claimed 29 victims in Philadelphia. More recently, a viral SARS outbreak killed 775 people in 37 countries, most of them in Asia. There have also been recurring concerns about “bird flu,” which has been spreading worldwide since 2003 and claimed its first victim two years ago in Canada.

There are also inoculation programs that have helped eliminate the spread of disease, and treatment is much better now than it was in the early part of the 20th century.

But pathogens such as these are decimating if health care providers are slow to recognize the symptoms and correctly diagnose the disease. They can spread quickly if not properly reported to the CDC for entry into its early warning and response protocols. Fortunately, dangerous strains of H5N1 influenza and other flu viruses have not adapted, or mutated, into dramatically more virulent and deadly strains.

But there are plenty of artificially engineered bio-warfare viral strains that, if released into urban population centers, would overwhelm medical facilities and claim millions of casualties. The prospect of bio-terrorism, particularly a simultaneous attack across the nation from a cadre of BioBombers, would quickly overload health care service providers and exhaust pharmaceutical reserves. In the event of such an attack, the CDC’s epidemic early warning detection map would not merely blink with one or two markers — the entire board would light up, and the probability of containment would be lost.

In fact, the possibility of such an attack was the impetus last week for the largest bio-terrorism drill in New York City’s history.

So, how real is the threat?

The primary symmetric deterrent to weapons of mass destruction in warfare between nation states is the doctrine of mutually assured destruction. But in asymmetric warfare, where Islamic martyrs serve as surrogates for states like Iran, the MAD doctrine is of little deterrence.

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The prospect of another catastrophic attack on our homeland by asymmetric terrorist actors is greater now than it was in 2001, and the reason is as plain as it was predictable. But the impact of BioBombers on continuity of government and commerce will be far greater than 9/11.

In his first annual address to the nation in 1790, George Washington wrote, “To be prepared for war, is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.” The eternal truth of those words is plainly evident today.

Indeed, as our nation’s erstwhile “community organizer” leads our nation’s retreat from its post as the world’s sole superpower, the inevitable consequences have been dramatic. Of greatest concern now is the resurgence of the enemies of Liberty, most notably al-Qa’ida jihadists in the wake of the Middle East meltdown (AKA, Arab Spring) in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Jordan, and now the disintegration of Iraq and the conflagration in Gaza.

At present, all eyes are on the unabated rise of the nuclear Islamic Republic of Iran, a major benefactor of worldwide Islamic terror. Iran could eventually put a compact fissile weapon into the hands of Jihad surrogates with the intent of detonating that weapon in a U.S. urban center.

But the scope and consequences of a coordinated attack by Islamic BioBombers is far greater than that of a nuclear attack. The impact on continuity of government and commerce will be far greater than the 9/11 attack.

So if the threat of a catastrophic bio-terrorism attack has increased, and if the CDC and our homeland security apparatus are not properly prepared to respond to such an attack (the response to Hurricane Katrina comes to mind), then what can be done?

Fact is, there is a lot you can do to protect yourself and your family in the event of a biological attack on our nation with a little knowledge, preparation and not much expense — and that preparation will also suffice for other types of emergencies.

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The bedrock foundation of survival is individual preparedness and being prepared is not difficult. The primary means of protection in a pandemic is sheltering in place. But the Web is flooded with all kinds of preparedness and overwhelming advice from doomsday preppers. But your Patriot Post team has prepared a one-stop reliable reference page with basic instructions and advice.

As a resource to communities across the nation, we convened a knowledgeable team of emergency preparedness and response experts in 2012, including federal, state and local emergency management professionals, and specialists from the fields of emergency medicine, urban and wilderness survival, academia, law enforcement and related private sector services. They compiled basic individual preparedness recommendations to sustain you and your family during a short-term crisis. The result is a Two Step Individual Readiness Plan that enables you to shelter in place in the event of a local, regional or national catastrophic event, including a pandemic.

The most likely scenario requiring you to shelter in place would be the short-term need to isolate yourself from chemical, biological or radiological contaminants released accidentally or intentionally into the environment. (This could require sheltering for 1-7 days.)

But in the event of a bio-terrorism attack setting into motion a pandemic or a panic, you must be prepared to isolate yourself and your family from other people in order not to contract an illness. The best location to shelter in place during such an event is in your residence, and the length of time required could be 1-6 weeks.

Be prepared.

Link to our Disaster Preparedness Planning resource page.

Link to our Two Step Individual Readiness Plan

Pro Deo et Constitutione — Libertas aut Mors
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis

Mark Alexander
Publisher, The Patriot Post

» NM governor proposes work requirement for food stamps » News — GOPUSA
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration proposes to re-impose and broaden work-related requirements on low-income New Mexicans to qualify for food stamps.
Starting in October, the state plans to restore a 20-hour-a-week work requirement for an estimated 26,600 childless adults to get food stamps. The mandate was suspended in 2009 because of the national recession. On-the-job training and community service also can help meet the work mandate.

The administration also proposes to implement a new requirement for low-income parents and other caregivers of children age 6 and older. Adults would have to search for a job or participate in community service to obtain the food assistance.

Food stamp-eligible parents or other household members caring for a child — regardless of the child’s age — have been exempt from job search requirements. Pregnant women and some others, including those who are considered physically or mentally unable to work, will continue to be exempt.

About 420,000 New Mexicans receive food stamps averaging $265 a month. Children represent about 46 percent of those receiving assistance.

The Human Services Department says it’s uncertain how many people would be affected by the proposed job search changes.

But social services advocates worry the work requirements will knock poor people off of food stamps. They also contend the proposed requirements are a bad idea when New Mexico has been losing jobs recently and the economy remains weak.

“If we had a glut of jobs in this state it would be one thing to consider making this mandatory, but that’s just not the case,” said Louise Pocock, a lawyer with the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty.

Human Services spokesman Matt Kennicott said the 2009 waiver of the work requirement “was only temporary and was never intended to stay indefinitely.”

“These are the same broad-based job search requirements that have existed for years in most public assistance programs throughout New Mexico,” said Kennicott.

There are work requirements for people in the state’s welfare program, he said.

The department also proposes to broaden who must search for a job to include 16- and 17-year-olds if they’re not attending school or attending a training program and adults from ages 51 to 59.

The state restored the job search requirement last year for low-income adults ages 18 to 50, but continued to exempt those caring for children. The number of food stamp recipients has dropped by about 20,000 since last summer when the changes were approved, according to the agency’s latest enrollment figures through February.

The job search requirement also was suspended during the recession.

Once the new requirements are implemented, Kennicott said, about 59,000 food stamp recipients potentially will be subject to the job search requirement. That figure includes those were covered by it last year.

The department has scheduled an Aug. 29 hearing in Santa Fe to receive public comment on proposed rule changes.

People qualify for food stamps — what the federal government calls the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — based on their income.

An individual can earn up to about $1,580 a month — just under $19,000 a year — and a family of four is eligible with income of up to $3,239 a month or not quite $38,900 a year.

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