Friday, November 28, 2014

DoD renames 'unlawful combatants' as 'unprivileged enemy belligerents'

American Thinker - I swear, this does not come from The Onion. Via Glenn ReynoldsEd Morrssey, Steven Aftergood and Olivier Knox, we learn that the Federation of American Scientists noticed:
When it comes to Department of Defense doctrine on military treatment of detained persons, “unlawful enemy combatants” are a thing of the past. That term has been retired and replaced by “unprivileged enemy belligerents” in a new revision of Joint Publication 3-13 on Detainee Operations, dated November 13, 2014.

But Ed Morrissey looked into the origin of this change in nomenclature, and discovered the DoD is not to blame:
 If anyone’s to blame for the blandification of nomenclature … it’s Congress. The new revision to the DoD manual brings the terminology in line with 10 U.S. Code § 948a, which provides definitions for detainee policies rewritten by Congress to refine the military-commission process. It provides a very precise definition of the two classes of belligerents:

(6) Privileged belligerent.— The term “privileged belligerent” means an individual belonging to one of the eight categories enumerated in Article 4 of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War.   Read More

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens Official Teaser Trailer #1 (2015)

'16 retirements could complicate Dems' comeback plans

The Hill - Democrats hope to take back control of the Senate in 2016, but their plans could be complicated by potential retirements.

The two Democratic senators most likely to retire are Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who represent both sides of the party’s ideological spectrum. 

Boxer, whose fourth term expires at the end of 2016, has a paltry $149,000 in her campaign account, less than almost every other senator facing election next year.

As the nation’s most populous state, California is expensive to cover with advertising. If Boxer decides to run for reelection, she would face a major fundraising task although she has proven herself capable in the past.

Boxer, whose fourth term expires at the end of 2016, has a paltry $149,000 in her campaign account, less than almost every other senator facing election next year.

As the nation’s most populous state, California is expensive to cover with advertising. If Boxer decides to run for reelection, she would face a major fundraising task although she has proven herself capable in the past.    Read More

Israel Foils Hamas Plans for Major Jerusalem Terror Attacks

Israel announced Thursday that it had discovered and prevented multiple plans by Islamist group Hamas to launch a series of terrorist attacks against Israelis in several locations, including Jerusalem's largest soccer stadium, the city’s light rail, the West Bank, and areas overseas.  As reported by The Jerusalem Post, Israel's Shin Bet domestic security service arrested about 30 members of Hamas in September raids, which also yielded rifles, ammunition, and bomb-making materials.

Hamas officials in Turkey planned the attacks slated for Israeli targets, the Shin Bet added in a statement.

Reuters reports that a Hamas spokesman in Gaza denied the story, saying, "We have no information about these Israeli claims. … It is clear Israel wanted to create a new story to divert the world's attention away from the escalation in Jerusalem."

The spokesman was referring to a surge in terror attacks in and around Jerusalem in recent weeks. Eleven Israelis have been killed, including four rabbis and a policeman who were hacked, stabbed, and shot by Palestinians in a gruesome Jerusalem synagogue attack last week.   Read More

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Have A Happy Thanksgiving!

Why It Doesn’t Matter Who the Next Secretary of Defense Is

The Daily Signal (Brian Slattery) - After news of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s resignation Monday, analysts immediately predicted that Hagel will be made a scapegoat of the administration’s poor leadership on issues such as Islamic State’s rise and the spread of Ebola.

But is that fair? Two of Hagel’s predecessors argue that challenges in implementing sound national security policy have emerged not from the Pentagon, but from the White House.
Last week at the Reagan National Defense Forum, former Defense Secretaries Leon Panetta and Robert Gates each recalled problems they faced when trying to implement the policies they thought would best provide for the defense of the nation. 

Both singled out the National Security Council as a particular obstacle.

The NSC is “the President’s principal forum for considering national security and foreign policy matters.” It includes administration officials such as the secretaries of defense, state and treasury, but also individuals that the president has authority to appoint at his discretion. This should afford the commander-in-chief the ability to discuss security matters frankly with his staff. However, Obama has apparently overloaded the NSC with personnel who both isolate military leadership from decision making while also micromanaging how those officials execute their given missions.

Gates explained his frustration with the NSC bluntly: “It was that micromanagement that drove me crazy… my concern in terms of this relationship between the White House and the military is not on the big issues…it’s in the increasing desire of the White House to control and manage every aspect of military affairs.” He also commented on how the growing size of the NSC was adding to this complexity: “we have an NSC of at least 350 people; it was 50 when Brent [Scowcroft] and I were there in the [George H.W. Bush] administration.”

Panetta agreed, saying that as secretary of defense he felt left out of the national security decision making process on a number of occasions: “By the time you get to the White House, the [NSC] staff has already decided or tried to influence what the direction should be so rather than having a really good give and take you begin to get side tracked.”

Gates’ and Panetta’s frustrations indicate that it won’t matter whom Obama selects as Hagel’s replacement. Indeed, it was the president, not the secretary of defense or other military official, who pushed for sequestration. It was the president who drew red lines in Syria that he had no intention of backing up. It was the president who clearly stated what he wasn’t willing to do in the fight against Islamic State.

Until the commander-in-chief commits to a legitimate national security strategy, trusts his combatant commanders to execute that strategy and advocates for the resources they need to fulfill it, American security will remain in a state of uncertainty–regardless of who is his next secretary of defense.

Rouhani Hails Extension of Talks As A 'Victory' Saying The West Will Fail To Bring His Country To Its Knees

via Arutz Sheva

"We will never compromise on Iran's nuclear rights", declares Iranian President after talks with powers are extended.

Iran’s President, Hassan Rouhani, on Monday welcomed the extension of talks between his country and six world powers, and hailed it as “victorious” for Iranians.

“We have neither compromised over Iran’s nuclear rights, nor will ever do so, and there is no doubt that the Iranian nuclear technology will remain functioning,” he said, according to the IRNA news agency.

Rouhani once again repeated the slogan he used during his presidential campaign that the centrifuges will never cease rotating, while the wheels of the people’s lives, too, will rotate more smoothly.
"Our nation has emerged victorious and will be victorious," emphasized Rouhani.

While world leaders have said that Iran and the West have "never been closer" to an agreement, Israel has warned repeatedly that Rouhani has embarked on a "charm offensive" to buy time to continue building nuclear warheads.    Read More

via Fox News

Iran's Supreme Leader said Tuesday that western powers will not be able to bring the country to its knees in nuclear talks, his website reported.

"On the nuclear issue, the United States and European colonialist countries gathered and applied their entire efforts to bring the Islamic Republic to its knees but they could not and they will not," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said, speaking to a group of clerics.

The remarks were the first by Khamenei, who has final say on all state matters, since Iran and major global powers agreed Monday to decide by March 1 what needs to be done and on what kind of schedule. A final agreement is meant to follow four months later.   Read More

Allen West: The single most frightening consequence of a nuclear Iran no one is discussing

I find it rather perplexing that President Barack Hussein Obama finds it more difficult to negotiate and work with Republicans than concede to Iranians. Furthermore, those who actually believe a nuclear Iran can be contained citing the Soviet Union as an example are in my opinion, delusional. 

The Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) theory that existed with the Soviets is untenable with the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is a theocracy and fully embraces the belief that such a weapon is necessary in the quest to restore Islamic dominance and the return of the 12th — hidden Imam — the Mahdi. Any denial of those truths held by the Iranian Ayatollahs — who are the power brokers — reflects complete naiveté and a dismissal of their religious-based foreign policy.

Even more dangerous is the revelation that President Obama believes a nuclear deal with Iran is an integral part of his legacy — one that would certainly seal the fate of Israel and begin a modern nuclear arms race in the Middle East. And so with all this as the backdrop, America has deployed Secretary of State John Kerry to negotiate — from a position of assured weakness — with Iran.   Read More

Americans Can't Afford Higher Electricity Prices - But, New EPA Regulations Are Driving Prices Higher

Forbes - Electricity is an indispensable necessity of life and Americans can’t afford policies that raise its cost (Figures 1,2). EPA regulations such as the new carbon rule are driving prices higher and the next wave of cost increases looms on the horizon (ozone standards in December could be the most expensive in history). “Energy poverty” mounts as the U.S. population grows by over three million people a year. Stories abound for the ongoing lag in U.S. disposable income (2011, 20122013, 2014), and inequality is the worst its been since the “Great Depression.” The purported health benefits of policies that admittedly increase the cost of prerequisite energy such as electricity are clearly dubious because “wealth is health.” Your instinct is rightthe best and most measurable benefits for American health center on us having more money. As the great F. Scott Fitzgerald once quipped, ”Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me:”
  • “Get Rich, Live Longer: The Ultimate Consequence of Income Inequality,” The Atlantic
  • “Rich People Live Longer Than The Poor, Study Finds,” Huffington Post
  • “Under Similar Stress, Rich Live Longer Than Poor: Study,” MedicineNet
  • “Why the Wealthy are Healthy,” U.S. News & World Report
  • “Wealth Secures Health,” American Psychological Association
Figure 1: We are a Nation in SocioEconomic Distress

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau; LIHEAP; The Wall Street Journal; Annie E. Casey Foundation; CNS News; National Senior Citizens Law Center

Read More

Ben Carson Clarifies Stance on Gun Control: Law-Abiding Citizens Should Be Allowed to Own 'Any Kind of Weapon They Want to Protect Themselves'

Christian Post - Potential Republican presidential candidate and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson reassured potential conservative supporters last week that he opposes any kind of ban on assault weapons and that he would firmly defend the full extent of the Second Amendment if he were to be elected to a political office.

Troubled by the criticism he's received from conservative skeptics over a gun control comment made in a 2013 interview with Fox News' "Glenn Beck," Carson hosted a conference call last week to clarify his stance on gun control before setting off to speak at a fundraising event in Iowa over the weekend.

The 63-year-old conservative's mission in hosting the conference call was to elaborate on a comment he issued while speaking with Beck in February 2013, where he said that he would "rather not have" semi-automatic weapons in the inner cities.   Read More

A Police Officer Was Shot Last Night in U-City After The Michael Brown Decision

Obama to GOP Critics on Immigration: 'Pass a bill'...But, He's On Record Vowing To Veto Any Attempt To Undermine His Immigration Actions

(Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama shrugged off criticism of his executive action on immigration with a challenge to House of Representatives Republicans: if you don't like it, do something.

Obama was asked in an interview broadcast on Sunday about House Speaker John Boehner's assertion that he was acting like an emperor in using executive powers to tackle the issue of the 11 million immigrants living in America without documents.

"Well, my response is pass a bill," Obama said in the interview with ABC's "This Week" taped on Friday. "Congress has a responsibility to deal with these issues and there are some things that I can’t do on my own."

Obama announced on Thursday he was easing the threat of deportation for millions of undocumented immigrants. His measures include allowing some 4.4 million people who are parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents and who have been in the country for five years to remain in the country temporarily, with the right to work.   Read More

SEE ALSO: President threatens immigration veto

Net Neutrality - More Internet Regulation Would Be Harmful

TheNorthwestern.Com - Here we go again. The "net neutrality" fight seems to be another one of those partisan divides that will pitch the regulators against the free-market types, the consumers against the big corporations and the innovators against the anti-innovators.

Now that President Obama has entered the battle, the Democrat-Republican thing will heat things up as well.

The truth of the matter is that the "debate" is not that simple. The idea behind "net neutrality" is that all traffic should be treated equally on the Internet. No special lanes that come at a higher cost. No tiers that have lower-income customers suffering low-speed transmissions while those with the ability to pay have lightning-quick response times and can move all the data they want. Or so the pro-"neutrality" people claim. The other side claims this will kill innovation and will penalize all customers while special interests piggyback off the creativity of the big carriers.

So is the president coming out in favor of the little guy against the big corporations? Not really. In one sense, it is hard to figure what the president is for and why he is for it at this time. In another sense, the president's involvement probably will not mean much. The rule-making decisions at this point are in the hands of the Federal Communications Commission, which is an independent body and is not charged with doing the president's bidding.

The FCC is moving slowly with the issue as it is trying to rewrite rules. It is likely that the next draft of the FCC rules will not come out until deep into 2015. Then, hearings will start, and the whole process will run into 2016. President Obama's term will likely be up before anything goes into effect.   Read More

GPS study tracks grizzlies as they follow hunters

This GPS system is a real bear.

Fox News - Eight Montana grizzly bears have been outfitted with GPS trackers in an ongoing study that could bring some unnerving news to hunters.

The study is aimed at bolstering the theory that grizzlies, which can be as stealthy as they are ferocious, stalk hunters from as close as the length of a football field in order to steal their prey. Already, data has shown at least one grizzly following oblivious elk hunters almost from the moment they left the parking lot, according to the Billings Gazette. Scientists believe the bear may have been following the humans in hopes of getting to a fallen elk before they did.

"Bears opportunistically scavenge carcasses throughout the active season and commonly usurp kills of other predators, such as cougars and, since their reintroduction in 1995, gray wolves,” stated a report last year by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team. “Remains left by hunters also provide grizzly bears with meat, and bears are attracted to areas outside of national parks when these remains become available during the fall.”   Read More

Israel’s 20% non-Jewish population—fifth column?

Larry Hart - Peter Enav filed a story with the AP on Thursday, November 20, “Israel to demolish homes of synagogue attackers” in which he goes into the news story of Israel renewing the policy of home demolitions for terrorists. Of course, opponents call this “collective punishment,” but if you saw the mother of one of the dead attackers the other day handing out candy and praising the martyrdom of her son’s “heroic act” you might be of a different mindset.

However, in the article Mr. Enav sprinkles one piece of misinformation, hidden, almost clandestinely, in the middle of the article saying that “Arab citizens make up about 20 percent of Israel's population of 8 million people.”

Many sources use the 20% figure of Israeli Palestinian citizens. Being cynical I would suggest that this figure is brought up to show as large as possible a fifth column presence in Israel wanting show one more reason why Israel is a mistake and needs to be to destroyed. 

"If you repeat a lie loud enough and often enough it will eventually become truth."

----Joseph Goebbals or Vladimer Lenin, one of those totalitarians. The AP doesn’t seem to distinguish between which monsters they emulate.

Here’s the correction they need to make:

The figure of 20% might be the Arab ethnic number but it doesn’t take into account the Druze, Bedouin, and Christian Arab that amounts to at least four or five percent of the overall population.   Read More

Important: Why Malvertising Is Cybercriminals’ Latest Sweet Spot

Wired - Of all the cyber threats driving headlines, malvertising – seeding malicious code in online advertisements to infect unsuspecting users – might be the most jarring and difficult for many Web surfers to fathom. No one expects to get infected with malware when they visit trusted sites like YouTube or Reuters – hardly the seedy sides of the Web. Yet attackers are preying on users’ implicit trust of these sites to infect them via the third-party ad content quietly displaying on these pages and sometimes burrowing into viewers’ browsers and PCs, before they even click on anything.

Malvertising is a tough problem to solve and its unsettling prevalence requires a concerted defense effort spanning a lot of stakeholders, including Web site operators, ad networks themselves and consumer and business audiences worried about protecting personal information and staving off the next data breach. Before you fire up your browser and jump into your daily bookmarks, it is important to understand why malvertising is a growing “sweet spot” for cyber criminals who easily turn new aspects of the Web to nefarious purposes.

Hacking Us Softly

Malvertising contradicts basic Web safety tips security experts have drilled into our heads – such as “Stay away from ‘sketchy’ Web sites if you don’t want to pick up malware.” This is because mainstream, high-trafficked Web sites today outsource the ad content on their pages to a vast array of third-party ad networks, including household names like Google (DoubleClick) to start-up providers and others well under the radar. As anyone who has used Disconnect’s browser plug-in knows, when you land on any popular Web site, your device is actually connecting to dozens of other URLs, imperceptibly, as Web browsers accept connections to render popup-ups, video files and even stealthier interactions. Most people would never willfully download all this arbitrary code if blindly prompted by a Web site, but this happens unwittingly or for the sake of convenience every time we go online.   Read More

Monday, November 24, 2014

Strong Reactions To Benghazi Report Issued By The House Intelligence Committee


Statement by Chairman Rogers on House Intelligence Committee's Final Benghazi Report

For Immediate Release                     Contact:

November 22, 2014

Statement by Chairman Rogers on House Intelligence Committee's Final Benghazi Report

HPSCI Report Examined Intelligence Aspects of Benghazi Attacks

As the Committee's bipartisan report makes clear, the House Intelligence Committee's investigation into the Benghazi attacks focused on the Intelligence Community's activities before, during, and after the attacks in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11-12, 2012.  The bipartisan panel concluded that there was no stand down order issued by or to intelligence community personnel, and there was no denial of air support to intelligence community officers on the ground.  The officers present testified to that effect.  The Committee did receive evidence about the activities of the Defense Department, State Department, and White House personnel, which are explained in both the report and the additional views.  But the Committee does not make final conclusions about other agencies to the extent they were not the focus of the Committee's investigation.

All members of the Committee were given an opportunity to provide written comments on the Committee's work and the report.  All of the additional views that were submitted are attached to the report.  Several Republican members of the Committee, including Chairman Rogers, wrote additional views to provide further comments on the motivations and actions of some senior officials.  Similarly, the Minority Members provided additional comments.  The Committee urges those commenting on the report to read both the report and the additional views. 

View The Report

Obama's Amnesty - Congress could sue, states might sue & even individuals could sue for damages

Will Americans Go to War With Obama Over Immigration? 

The Lawsuits Have Already Begun (Click Here For More Info)
Charisma - The morning after President Obama announced his sweeping action to overhaul the U.S. immigration system, conservative groups and states were already pulling together legal strategies to dismantle the plan.

Opponents said there will likely be a three-pronged legal approach to stymie Obama's moves: Congress could sue the president for constitutional overreach, states could file lawsuits arguing the action strains local finances, or individuals could try to prove they've been harmed by the order. Just hours after the speech, an Arizona sheriff filed suit arguing the reform is unconstitutional.

"There is going to be massive litigation all over the place because there is tremendous legal confusion about what the administration is doing and what the states' obligations will be," said Dan Stein from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which calls for restrictions on immigration.

While law scholars say the president is on strong legal footing, a flurry of lawsuits will cause headaches for the Obama administration in its final two years and may stir public opinion against a policy meant to be one of his signature triumphs.   Read More

On Sunday A Multi-National Crew Blasted Off For Space Station

Reuters - A Russian Soyuz rocket blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazahkstan on Sunday to deliver three new crew members to the International Space Station, including Italy’s first female astronaut.

A Soyuz capsule holding incoming station commander Terry Virts, with the U.S. space agency NASA, Soyuz commander Anton Shkaplerov, with the Russian Federal Space Agency, and first-time flier Samantha Cristoforetti, with the European Space Agency, lifted off at 4:01 p.m. EST (2101 GMT).

They were slated to reach the station, which flies about 260 miles (418 km) above Earth, less than six hours later.

The station, owned an operated by a partnership of 15 nations, serves an orbiting laboratory for life science, materials research, technology development and other experiments that take advantage of the unique microgravity environment and vantage point of space.    Read More

Nat Geo Wild: Fishing Leopards - Young leopards & their mother discover how to catch live catfish