Members of the US Secret Service scan guests arriving at Valerie Jarrett’s house.
Yesterday the House Oversight Committee heard extensive testimony establishing that the Obama administration refused requests for heightened security from Ambassador Christopher Stevens and his aides in Libya. The requests were made just weeks before Stevens and three other Americans were murdered in a terrorist attack timed to coincide with the anniversary of September 11.
House testimony also established beyond any doubt that Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, White House spokesman Jay Carney, and UN Ambassador Susan Rice all made untrue statements when they attributed the attack to angry protests over an anti-Muslim video.
Eric Nordstrom, the man responsible for U.S. Embassy security in Libya, told Congress the Obama Administration decided to “hope everything would” change for the better rather than provide additional security. “So when I requested resources, when I requested assets, instead of supporting those assets, I was criticized,” Nordstrom said. “There was no plan. And it was hope that everything would get better.”
Somehow despite all of the “security funding cuts,” Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett receives full time 24/7 protection from 6 Secret Service agents.
Another F-35 Lightning II flew for the first time today and this week the UK received its first F-35. The UK is the first foreign customer but more than 25 countries have expressed interest in buying the planes.
It is fastest, smartest and most advanced plane to ever fly. Its infrared tracking is so precise, it picks up its own shadow … from 45,000 feet in the air.
The United States plans to buy a total of 2,443 aircraft and they will provide the bulk of the tactical airpower for the Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy over the coming decades. The fighter jet was developed and produced at Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth plant.
This is the busiest day of the year for the USS Constitution. It was authorized in 1794 as one of the original six Navy frigates, and was expected to have a service life of ten to fifteen years. It is still in commission today.
The frigate has 44 guns and was granted its name by President George Washington. Its 1797 launching ceremony was attended by President John Adams.
America’s founders were not isolationists and President Thomas Jefferson dispatched the ship to battle the Barbary pirates (the terrorists of that era) in Tripoli Harbor. President James Madison sent the ship back into battle during the War of 1812.
The British burned the White House and the U.S. Capitol, but the Constitution helped turned the tide. It earned the nickname “Old Ironsides” when it defeated five British ships. It had 13 cannonballs implanted in its hull, but none made it through.
The Constitution’s victory prompted the British Admiralty to order its frigates not to engage the heavier American ships one-on-one. There was a tremendous celebration when the triumphant Constitution returned to Boston where it was built and remains today.
For the United States Bicentennial celebration in 1976, the Constitution led the parade of tall ships in Boston Harbor, firing her guns at one-minute intervals for the first time in a century. She rendered a 21-gun salute to the Royal Yacht Britannia as Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip arrived for a state visit. Her Majesty and His Royal Highness were then piped aboard.
The ship is open to the public and is berthed at Pier 1 of the former Charlestown Navy Yard, at the end of Boston’s Freedom Trail.
Andrea (“Andi”) Bottner, 41, is an attorney and former Deputy Chief of Staff at the Republican National Committee. She also served as a legislative assistant to two GOP Members of Congress. From 2006 to 2009 she was Director of the Office of International Women’s Issues at the State Department, where she was best known for her efforts to promote women’s rights issues in the Middle East and South America.
Prior to her recruitment by the State Department, Bottner served as Acting Director of the Office on Violence Against Women at the Justice Department during the Bush Administration. She managed a budget of $400 million and a staff of 30 attorneys, grant specialists, and policy experts. Bottner’s work is featured in the documentary “Silent Veil: Voices From The Heart of Islam,” which emphasizes what happens to many girls and young women in the Middle East.
Bottner says “The motives of the relatives of the husbands vary: revenge, obsession, jealousy, suspected infidelity, sexual non-cooperation, or simply being told ‘no’. The women are often ostracized by their families after the attacks and are unable to find jobs. They are confined to their homes in social isolation. Gender based violence and horrific examples like honor-killing are common in too many societies that still accept discrimination, exploitation and violence against women. In too many parts of the world women still do not have full protection under the law or equal access to justice. This is unacceptable”.
Bottner’s most powerful speech topic is “Courageous Women in Iraq, Afghanistan and Beyond: A Record of Success in Democratic Transition.” Her law degree is from Boston University and she is mother of one child.
You can read more about the contest rules and background at: The 45 Most Admired Republican Women Under 45
In the May 5th GOP presidential debate in South Carolina, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) addressed several issues related to the war on terrorism. The Congressman said: Continue reading
“The Constitution gives Congress the power to issue Letters of Marque and Reprisal when a precise declaration of war is impossible due to the vagueness of the enemy. . . Pirates were the terrorists in the days of our founders and held no allegiance to any nation – the same as the terrorists of today. Our wise founders left us with the solution where mercenaries could be hired and given the authority to hunt down and bring terrorists to justice.” – Congressman Ron Paul
Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) believes it was wrong to use Navy SEALs to kill Osama bin Laden. He says it was “absolutely not necessary,” and falsely claims it cost $1 trillion to kill the al-Qaeda leader. He arrived at that figure by adding up all military expenses related to terrorism, Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. Paul says his plan would have accomplished the same goal for only $500 million.
The Congressman also does not approve of the war on terrorism and his solution is to stop using the U.S. military because it so expensive.
Paul believes we could capture or kill all of the terrorists by bringing back an ancient custom known as Letters of Marque and Reprisal.
They would offer a cash bounty for every terrorist killed or captured. There is nothing wrong with offering large rewards for prominent individuals such as Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and Mullah Omar.
Rewards should continue to be offered, but no one has collected the bounty for bin Laden. That is not too surprising because private individuals do not have the resources of a government which allows the use of technology such as satellites and drones.
There are many problems with what Congressman Paul is proposing. Letters of Marque and Reprisal have not been used in the U.S. since 1815, and they were outlawed by the 1856 Treaty of Paris which ended the Crimean War.
No government uses these Letters today, but Paul foolishly says allowing their use would save taxpayers enormous amounts of money. Instead of using the U.S. military, he wants to outsource major portions of the war on terror to privateers. Since 2002, Paul has continually introduced legislation calling for the revival of these Letters, but no lawmaker has co-sponsored the legislation.
Were Letters of Marque and Reprisal Successful in Stopping the Pirate Problem?
No. Pirates were a problem during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. These letters authorized privateers but this only made the situation worse. Privateers such as “Captain” William Kidd ended up switching sides and becoming famous pirates. Ample evidence of this is provided in Mercenaries, Pirates and Sovereigns by Janice Thompson. The pirate problem was not solved until governments became involved.
Why Did The U.S. Government Use Letters of Marque and Reprisal?
The U.S. Navy lost 24 ships during the Revolutionary War and at one time it was reduced to just two vessels. When the Navy was restored following the war of 1812, the privateers were no longer necessary.
What Are The Problem Areas?
- What would happen if American privateers were captured or killed by terrorists? Would the U.S. military have to rescue them or avenge their deaths?
- The privateers would be paid only after they turned over evidence which would primarily be dead bodies. The detainees at Guantanamo have proven to be a major headache for the government. With dead bodies being turned over the possibility of innocent people being killed inorder to collect a bounty would be high.
- Privateers backfired on the British in the War of 1812. The final engagement was the Battle of New Orleans. The British privateers switched sides and provided General Andrew Jackson’s forces with the intelligence they needed to secure a stunning victory.
- That was a long time ago but problems remains today. The Blackwater security firm should not be described as privateers. They are civilians who had previously been part of the U.S. special forces. They were not paid a bounty for killing terrorists. They were a private security firm which proved to be an enormous embarrassment for the U.S. government when they were found guilty of killing 17 innocent civilians. The firm was permanently barred by the Iraqi government and the public relations damage for America was huge.
- There are bounty hunters in the United States but they are looking for a specific individual. In the war on terror we do not know the identity of enemy combatants.
Ron Paul wants private citizens to operate as privateers in areas such as Somalia and Kandahar, Afghanistan. It would be similar to vigilantism. There are excellent reasons why the United States abandoned Letters of Marque and Reprisal in 1815, and you can always count on Ron Paul and the libertarians to come up with the worst possible solution to any problem.
Editorial Note: Stormy Luttrell Jackson of Marco Island, Florida is an active member of the isolationist Constitution Party, and a vigorous supporter of Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign. She says “I will defend Ron Paul to the end, this man makes sense. . . The war-mongering George W. Bush wouldn’t negotiate peace. He didn’t want Osama bin Laden. He wanted Afghanistan!”’
Jackson, 47, has been married for 25 years, has two children and is a successful business owner with three locations. She describes herself as “very stubborn and determined. If I believe in something and do not agree with you, I will argue my point to the end.” Continue reading