Security Cut in Libya While Valerie Jarrett Has 6 Secret Service Agents

 

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.

F-35 Lightning Begins International Sales

 

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.

July 4th is Busiest Day for USS Constitution

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 Bottner: 2012 Winner — The 45 Most Admired Republican Women Under 45

Andrea Bottner

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

Another Bad Idea From Ron Paul: Letters of Marque and Reprisal


“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.

THE PATRIOT ACT: The GOP’s Gregg Hilton Debates Stormy Luttrell Jackson of the Constitution Party

 

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

Ike’s Farewell Address: Liberals Are Wrong About The “Military Industrial Complex”

 

 

1/17/61: President Dwight Eisenhower’s Farewell Address is best known for the phrase “military industrial complex,” but his target was not the Pentagon, it was pork barrel spending by lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

In his 1961 farewell address, President Dwight Eisenhower told the nation “we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.” For  50 years that quote has been used by liberals and libertarians in their attempts to cut the defense budget and to stop national security programs. Eisenhower was planning to use the term “military-industrial-congressional complex,” but in a move he later regretted, was talked out of it by his brother.
Eisenhower was a strong advocate of defense modernization programs, and the real target of his speech was Capitol Hill, not the Pentagon. In those Cold War days, America was spending 9% of its GDP on defense programs, which is almost three times the level of our spending today. National security was ranked as the number one concern of the American people, and everyone was aware of the statement of Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, “We will bury you.”

SPUTNIK AND THE MISSILE GAP

The tone of the farewell address was motivated by Ike’s anger at the Democratic Party. In three days John F. Kennedy would be inaugurated and Eisenhower was still stung by criticism aimed at his defense programs. Democrats had campaigned in 1956, ’58 and ’60 on non-existent gaps in defense programs. During Eisenhower’s 1956 re-election campaign the focus was on the “bomber gap.”
This shifted to a “missile gap” in 1958 when the Democrats won 16 Senate seats, and the charge was repeated with more vehemence during the 1960 presidential campaign. Unfortunately the Republican president did not provide any information to rebut these claims. To do so he thought would reveal closely guarded intelligence secrets.
The missile gap can now be seen as the grand deception of the 1960 campaign. It was fueled by the launch of the Soviet space satellite Sputnik on October 4, 1957. This 184 pound satellite instantly became a symbol of Soviet pre-eminence in outer space. It was a major topic in the U.S. and shattered public confidence in our technological superiority. “The national ego had not been so affronted since Pearl Harbor,” Ben Pearse of the New York Times wrote of the national trauma.
Senator John F. Kennedy (D-MA) frequently mentioned Sputnik during his campaign to “Get America moving again.” Kennedy said Eisenhower was “putting fiscal security ahead of national security. Surely our nation’s security overrides budgetary considerations.” Kennedy said Eisenhower had always made insufficient appropriations for defense.
JFK often repeated the same theme, “The nation is losing the satellite-missile race with the Soviet Union because of complacent miscalculations, penny-pinching, budget cutbacks, incredibly confused mismanagement, and wasteful rivalries and jealousies. . . We are facing a gap on which we are gambling with our survival.”
It was also an effective issue for him during the presidential debate, and he quoted the controversial 1957 Gaither Report of the President’s science advisers on the vulnerability of American defenses. Kennedy claimed the USSR had 50 ICBMs while America only had 10, and just 5 of them were operational at any time. He said the gap would be enormous by 1961 when the Soviets would have hundreds of new missiles.
Nixon later said he could not effectively respond to JFK because the information was classified. Kennedy had no inside information about a missile gap, and his source was right wing syndicated columnist Joseph Alsop. We now know Alsop’s figures were bogus.
Many Americans thought a Soviet attack was only a matter of time. Khrushchev arrived in the United States on September 19, 1959 for an uninvited and unwelcome twenty-five-day visit. He addressed the United Nations General Assembly, taunted UK Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, and pounded a shoe on his desk in the General Assembly.
Senator Stuart Symington (D-MO), the former Secretary of the Air Force and the Democrats leading spokesman on defense said, “A very substantial missile gap does exist and the Eisenhower Administration apparently is going to permit this gap to increase.” President Eisenhower responded “The bomber gap of several years ago was always a fiction, and the missile gap shows every sign of being the same.”
In his book, “Who Ever Believed in the ‘Missile Gap’?”: John F. Kennedy and the Politics of National Security,” Christopher Preble argues that because of the missile gap rhetoric, senior Soviet military figures believed JFK was a dangerous extremist. They thought he was trying to justify a pre-emptive American attack, and this led to the Soviets placing nuclear missiles in Cuba in 1962.

THE BOMBER GAP

Talk of a bomber gap began in 1954 with the first reports of the USSR “Bison” jet bomber. On May 1, 1955, western observers at the annual May Day parade were awestruck as several formations of 10 new Bison’s thundered overhead. We now know these formations were an illusion.
It was the same pack of 10 bombers circling out of sight and then flying over Red Square six times. Americans were told 600 of these bombers existed, but Bison production was halted in 1963 with the construction of 93 aircraft. The Soviets were not pleased with the capabilities of the Bison and most of the planes were converted into refueling tankers.
In April of 1957 the Soviet Union unveiled the Bear bomber, and once again, rhetoric about a gap was intensified. U-2 intelligence flights had begun on July 4, 1956, and President Eisenhower had convincing proof that there was no gap. The same information was relayed to the Congress, but Democrats were not about to abandon an effective campaign issue. They were supported by defense and aerospace companies which wanted to keep production lines open. Their lobbying was successful and the U.S. response to the 93 Bison bombers was the construction of over 2,500 bombers for the U.S. Air Force.

THE BOTTOM LINE

The United States had a huge lead over the Soviet Union in those days, and the balance would not shift until the mid-1970s. It was known from the outset that these gaps were false, but they were effective political tools.
The campaign rhetoric was not necessary after Kennedy won, and at his first press briefing Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara said “The Russians probably have no more intercontinental ballistic missiles than the U.S.” He would later confirm that there never had been a bomber or missile gap. The debate finally ended in October 1961, when members of the Kennedy administration declared that the United States possessed overwhelming military strength in the number of bombers and missiles.

Liberal Glenn Greenwald: “I Genuinely Believe Obama and the Democrats Owe a Heartfelt Public Apology to Bush/Cheney and the GOP”

 

 

In 2002, State Senator Barack Obama (D-South Chicago) thought the war on terror was “A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics.” Now he is supporting all of its major elements.

Obama Has Won the War on Terror Debate — for the American Right

The Obama Administration has maintained, renewed or expanded many of Bush’s War on Terror policies. Now that Obama agrees with Bush on these issues, they are being forgotten by the left. The liberals screamed about these issues from 2002 through 2008, but now there is complete silence and the old slogans have been abandoned.

President Obama’s national security decisions have demonstrated the radical left was wrong, and George W. Bush always had a valid response to America’s global challenges. In just two years Obama has ignored practically all the national security planks in the 2008 Democratic platform.

If there is a difference between Obama and Bush in this area, it is difficult to find. Obama has continued some of Bush’s domestic policy such as the tax cut extension and presidential signing statements, but the major similarities concern a phrase the President refuses to say, “the war on terror.”

“There’s been a powerful continuity between the 43rd and the 44th president.  I don’t think it’s even fair to call it Bush Lite.  It’s Bush.  It’s really, really hard to find a difference that’s meaningful and not atmospheric. . . You’ve got state secrets, targeted killings, indefinite detention, renditions, the opposition to extending the right of habeas corpus to prisoners at Bagram in Afghanistan, and although it is slightly different, Obama has been as aggressive as President Bush in defending prerogatives about who he has to inform in Congress for executive covert action.” – Gen. Michael Hayden, Director of the CIA and the NSA, Bush Administration

Obama’s Afghan surge had overwhelming support from conservative lawmakers, and they are also backing the President’s decision to implement a no fly zone in Libya. Among some of the other notable changes few foresaw in 2008 are:

  • Democrats had super majorities in the House and Senate in 2009, and they could have easily fulfilled their promise to repeal the “unconstitutional” Patriot Act. They not only renewed it, but they enhanced it.
  • Liberals said Bush made end-runs around the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to implement a “lawless” Terrorist Surveillance Program (TSP).  Now the Obama Justice Department says the TSP can be used under the constitutional authority of the commander in chief.
  • Obama has fully implemented Bush’s Iraq Status of Forces Agreement.
  • Liberals claimed the Bush administration was illegally spying on American citizens with the NSA’s “warrantless surveillance” program. The confirmation of former Bush NSA and CIA Director Michael Hayden was opposed by then Sen. Obama because “he had overseen the illegal NSA spying program.”  Now Obama no longer believes the program is illegal.
  • Keeping Open the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility, although he promised to close it on his first full day in office.
  • Treatment of detainees and torture. Both rendition and Enhanced Interrogation Techniques (EIT) are still legal and available for use. The EIT authorization was withdrawn by Bush and Obama formally ended the program, but he can bring it back at any time.
  • Attorney General Eric Holder now says waterboarding is not torture. He pointed out that thousands of American soldiers, during training, received similar water-boarding and other interrogation methods over the past 15 years.
  • Committing U.S. forces to combat without Congressional approval (the left called it cowboy diplomacy).
  • Predator drone attacks on terrorists targets have continued.

Where Are the Liberals Now?

The left never really cared about national security policy, and for them it was always partisan politics. Liberal author Glenn Greenwald makes a similar argument in Salon:

Obama has single-handedly eliminated virtually all mainstream debate over these War on Terror policies.  At least during the Bush years, we had one party which steadfastly supported them but one party which claimed (albeit not very persuasively) to vehemently oppose them.  At least there was a pretense of vigorous debate over their legality, morality, efficacy, and compatibility with our national values.
Those debates are no more.  Even the hardest-core right-wing polemicists — Gen. Hayden, the Heritage Foundation, Dick Cheney — now praise Obama’s actions in these areas.  Opposition from national Democrats has faded away to almost complete nonexistence now that it’s a Democratic President doing these things.
What was once viewed as the signature of Bush/Cheney radicalism is now official, bipartisan Washington consensus: the policies equally of both parties and all serious people.  Thanks to Barack Obama, this architecture is firmly embedded in place and invulnerable to meaningful political challenge. . . I genuinely believe that Obama and the Democratic Party owe a heartfelt, public apology to Bush, Cheney and the GOP for all the harsh insults they spewed about them for years based on policies that they are now themselves aggressively continuing.
Obama has won the War on Terror debate — for the American Right.  And as Dick Cheney’s interview last night demonstrates, they’re every bit as appreciative as they should be.