Secretary Gates Is Doing His “Duty” (pun intended)

by: the Common Constitutionalist 

The political universe is all a twitter over the former secretary of defense, Robert Gates’s new book, “Duty”.

 

Bret Baier of Fox news described the book as a, “scathing criticism of president Obama”, questioning “the president’s leadership and commitment to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars…”

 

Evidently there are several revelations in the Gates book. One, he recounts as a private meeting between he, Hillary Clinton and Obama, where “Hillary told the president that her opposition to the 2007 surge in Iraq was purely political…” He continued saying, “the president conceded vaguely that his opposition to the Iraq surge had been political”.

 

Gates wrote, “To hear the two of them making the admissions, and in front of me, was a surprising as it was dismaying.”

 

Charles Krauthammer then explained that Obama doesn’t believe in the war, yet sends 30,000 more troops into battle and then immediately announces withdrawal plans. He hates Hamid Karzai, didn’t believe in General Petraeus and thinks the war isn’t his. Krauthammer then asks, “How could a commander-in-chief, in good conscience, do that?” read more

Dumb and Dumber on Fox News Sunday

 

by: the Common Constitutionalist 

I used to watch Fox news on Sunday morning. Not all the time, but when I did tune into Sunday news, it was always Fox. I thought it was the only chance of getting relatively accurate and unbiased reporting.

 

However, as many of us become more educated, I at least find it more and more difficult to watch even Fox News.

 

A case in point was this past Sunday. Chris Wallace had as his guest, Bob Woodward, the fossil of Watergate fame.

 

Has Woodward done anything of significance since the Nixon era? If so, I don’t recall it. It’s like Al Bundy of the comedy “Married with Children”. His life was one failure after another, yet he still regales everyone he meets with the story of scoring four touchdowns in one high school football game, decades earlier.

 

Anyway, Wallace was interviewing Woodward about the Obamacare rollout disaster. He asked Woodward if he had seen anything like it, being that Woodward had been around for so long.

 

Woodward’s answer: “Well, I have to think about what this is. It’s a mess, clearly, but what it isn’t, and I think you have to look at the question of motive. And the president’s motive here, even through their deep problems with implementation, he wants to do something good for 30 million people and get them health insurance. So this isn’t Watergate. This isn’t Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.” read more

Breaking News!

Fox News has learned from sources who were on the ground in Benghazi that an urgent request from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. Consulate and subsequent attack several hours later was denied by U.S. officials — who also told the CIA operators twice to “stand down” rather than help the ambassador’s team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11. 

Former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods was part of a small team who was at the CIA annex about a mile from the U.S. Consulate where Ambassador Chris Stevens and his team came under attack. When he and others heard the shots fired, they informed their higher-ups at the annex to tell them what they were hearing and requested permission to go to the consulate and help out. They were told to “stand down,” according to sources familiar with the exchange. Soon after, they were again told to “stand down.” 

Woods and at least two others ignored those orders and made their way to the Consulate which at that point was on fire. Shots were exchanged. The quick reaction force from the CIA annex evacuated those who remained at the Consulate and Sean Smith, who had been killed in the initial attack. They could not find the ambassador and returned to the CIA annex at about midnight. 

At that point, they called again for military support and help because they were taking fire at the CIA safe house, or annex. The request was denied. There were no communications problems at the annex, according those present at the compound. The team was in constant radio contact with their headquarters. In fact, at least one member of the team was on the roof of the annex manning a heavy machine gun when mortars were fired at the CIA compound. The security officer had a laser on the target that was firing and repeatedly requested back-up support from a Specter gunship, which is commonly used by U.S. Special Operations forces to provide support to Special Operations teams on the ground involved in intense firefights. The fighting at the CIA annex went on for more than four hours — enough time for any planes based in Sigonella Air base, just 480 miles away, to arrive. Fox News has also learned that two separate Tier One Special operations forces were told to wait, among them Delta Force operators. 

A Special Operations team, or CIF which stands for Commanders in Extremis Force, operating in Central Europe had been moved to Sigonella, Italy, but they too were told to stand down. A second force that specializes in counterterrorism rescues was on hand at Sigonella, according to senior military and intelligence sources. According to those sources, they could have flown to Benghazi in less than two hours. They were the same distance to Benghazi as those that were sent from Tripoli. Specter gunships are commonly used by the Special Operations community to provide close air support. 

According to sources on the ground during the attack, the special operator on the roof of the CIA annex had visual contact and a laser pointing at the Libyan mortar team that was targeting the CIA annex. The operators were calling in coordinates of where the Libyan forces were firing from. 

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters at the Pentagon on Thursday that there was not a clear enough picture of what was occurring on the ground in Benghazi to send help. 

“There’s a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking going on here,” Panetta said Thursday. “But the basic principle here … is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on.” 

U.S. officials argue that there was a period of several hours when the fighting stopped before the mortars were fired at the annex, leading officials to believe the attack was over. 

Fox News has learned that there were two military surveillance drones redirected to Benghazi shortly after the attack on the Consulate began. They were already in the vicinity. The second surveillance craft was sent to relieve the first drone, perhaps due to fuel issues. Both were capable of sending real time visuals back to U.S. officials in Washington, D.C. Any U.S. official or agency with the proper clearance, including the White House Situation Room, State Department, CIA, Pentagon and others, could call up that video in real time on their computers. 

Tyrone Woods was later joined at the scene by fellow former Navy SEAL Glen Doherty, who was sent in from Tripoli as part of a Global Response Staff or GRS that provides security to CIA case officers and provides countersurveillance and surveillance protection. They were killed by a mortar shell at 4 a.m. Libyan time, nearly seven hours after the attack on the Consulate began — a window that represented more than enough time for the U.S. military to send back-up from nearby bases in Europe, according to sources familiar with Special Operations. Four mortars were fired at the annex. The first one struck outside the annex. Three more hit the annex. 

A motorcade of dozens of Libyan vehicles, some mounted with 50 caliber machine guns, belonging to the February 17th Brigades, a Libyan militia which is friendly to the U.S., finally showed up at the CIA annex at approximately 3 a.m. An American Quick Reaction Force sent from Tripoli had arrived at the Benghazi airport at 2 a.m. (four hours after the initial attack on the Consulate) and was delayed for 45 minutes at the airport because they could not at first get transportation, allegedly due to confusion among Libyan militias who were supposed to escort them to the annex, according to Benghazi sources. 

The American special operators, Woods, Doherty and at least two others were part of the Global Response Staff, a CIA element, based at the CIA annex and were protecting CIA operators who were part of a mission to track and repurchase arms in Benghazi that had proliferated in the wake of Muammar Qaddafi’s fall. Part of their mission was to find the more than 20,000 missing MANPADS, or shoulder-held missiles capable of bringing down a commercial aircraft. According to a source on the ground at the time of the attack, the team inside the CIA annex had captured three Libyan attackers and was forced to hand them over to the Libyans. U.S. officials do not know what happened to those three attackers and whether they were released by the Libyan forces. 

Fox News has also learned that Stevens was in Benghazi that day to be present at the opening of an English-language school being started by the Libyan farmer who helped save an American pilot who had been shot down by pro-Qaddafi forces during the initial war to overthrow the regime. That farmer saved the life of the American pilot and the Ambassador wanted to be present to launch the Libyan rescuer’s new school.

Attribution: Fox News

Michelle’s Food Gestapo

by: the Common Constitutionalist

A few days ago, it was football. Now it’s food.

Bring out the Nannies!

A Florida school district is considering installing video cameras on cafeteria trash cans so it can monitor what its students are throwing away.

The Lake County School Board is debating the extreme food-salvage method because of, as they claim, the thousands of dollars lost through food wastage, Fox News reported.

Officials claim that more than $75,000 worth of fresh fruit and vegetables have found its way from kids’ plates to the trash can since the Obama Administration (Michelle)launched a policy in January forcing schools to be more healthy. Or what? They send in the Gestapo or the Hall Monitors? “We order you to be more healthy”! And whom did they hire to rummage through the trash cans to obtain this valuable intel?

Actually, I’m sure there would be no end to the amount of liberal busy-bodies that would volunteer their time for such a worthy cause.

“It’s a fairly specific recipe of what they (or she) would like us to serve,” Lake County School Board member Tod Howard told NBC  News. Oh, we’re being served all right; a healthy dose of communism. So which one is it, member Tod? Is it, they would like us to serve, or are forcing us to serve? I’ll go with the latter.

“Unfortunately, much of it has to do with fresh fruit and vegetables and it seems to be going into the trash. And that’s not okay,” added member Tod.

I’ll bet member Tod is not only disappointed, but surprised that children, left to their own devices wouldn’t choose to eat healthy. It’s so unlike the little tikes.

Unlike the government politburo, not everyone is happy about the potential filming, including parents who do not want to see the trash cams adopted.

“So we’re going to spend how many more thousands of dollars to put cameras on trash cans to document the thousands of  dollars in food the kids are throwing away,” one parent wrote on ClickOrlando.com

I might add, many, many more thousands, as the “trash cams” get stolen, pilfered or otherwise tampered with by school yard delinquents. Although, knowing liberals as I do, they have most likely, not acccounted for that reality.

Another parent added, “This is a no brainer, kids are not going to eat the stuff served at school. Has anyone really looked at these lunch trays?”

Among objections are that kids and parents  themselves run the risk of being caught on camera themselves and personally penalized. No! That would never happen. You’ll just have to trust them.

“Because no matter what they say, they are going to try to identify the kids throwing the food away and then social workers  and courts will get involved,” wrote another disgruntled commenter.

Disgruntled continued, “If your child doesn’t eat his school lunch,  you, the parent, will face punishment. Think I’m wrong? There are cities and states that  punish the adults if the children are truant or get in trouble with the law in any manner.”

“Your kid threw away a carrot? Go to jail.  This is what we are coming to.”

But Howard, blinded by his liberal ideology , is adamant that the cameras will serve a quality purpose. What could possibly go wrong member Tod? This isn’t how tyrannical despotism begins or anything.

“If we just can’t get (you mean force) kids to eat broccoli, and 90 percent of it is going in the trash – that’s a waste of taxpayer dollars – and the federal government needs to look at their mandate,” he said. I’m sure member Tod doesn’t means to repeal the mandate, of course, but to strengthen it. One way or the other these kids are going eat healthy! Right member Tod?

“We have no choice in the matter. This is just a tool to help us document he issue.” A  decision has yet to be made.

You’re the tool, member Tod!

Attribution: Daily Caller, Mail Online

Pants On Fire

by: the Common Constitutionalist

I was watching Fox News over the weekend. The host was interviewing the governors of both Iowa and Florida. Rick Scott is the republican governor of Florida and Iowa’s Terry Branstad, also a republican.

Both are considered to be fairly conservative and pro-growth republicans.

They discussed the employment situation in their states as well as the other states that most recently elected republican governors. I believe 7 in all. 

They each gave fairly good, straight forward answers as to why, in all seven states that republicans were elected, the unemployment rate actually went down. The answers weren’t as direct as I’d like but they both did a fair job.

Then the topic turned to the Obamacare Medicaid expansion as it pertains to the states. States would have the opportunity to greatly expand their Medicaid roles, ostensibly paid for, in part or whole, by the feds.

More than a few states, run by republicans say they will refuse the expansion, knowing full-well that, after a few years and just like virtually every other federal program, the states would be left holding the bag, as it were.

In other words the feds would cease to fund the program and the states would therefore be financially responsible for the increased membership. Neat trick. The feds do it all the time. After all, they’re just looking for the sound bite.

Anywho, the host asked both of them, one at a time, if reports were true that they would refuse the expansion of the Medicaid program.

I watched anxiously, or should I say, with great anxiety, for what seemed like a painfully long time, just hoping for a straight answer. Neither provided one.

They both, Branstad more than Scott, pontificated and bloviated about jobs, Obamacare and who knows what else.

I found myself leaning ever forward, on the edge of my chair, straining to keep my composure. It was a losing battle.

I finally just began to yell at the TV. “Why can’t either of you just answer the question?! It’s a simple question, requiring a simple answer! All of these politicians are the same! They just won’t answer a question!”

We don’t curse in our house, but I’ll tell you, I sure wanted to.

Evidently I was so loud, I woke my sons up, whom I allowed to sleep in that morning. They were not appreciative.

This just demonstrated, once again, why politicians don’t appear to be trustworthy.

Is there some sort of class or school they attend to learn how to just talk out their collective butts until the clock runs out? That is how it always ends, does it not? The host will finally say, “ Ok, we’re out of time, thanks for coming on”.

Thanks for what? We didn’t learn a dang thing! I still have no idea whether either Florida or Iowa will or won’t sign on to the expansion. (Florida evidently will not participate. Why couldn’t he just say so?)

Through experience, I know this is not a good sign. More often than not, when a supposedly conservative politician won’t give a straight answer, it means they will be voting or siding against the folks that put them in office.

I’ve heard it many times when calling a politician to see how they will vote on an issue or bill. When it’s 12 hours before the vote and their aids say they haven’t decided yet, you can bet it ain’t gonna be good.

For this reason, despite their lack of conservative bona fides, people love “The Donald” (Trump) and also Chris Christie of New Jersey. They tell it as it is and pull no punches and are all the more popular for it. Why is it that other politicians can’t see this?

I can’t be the only one that feels this way!

Just stop lying, hedging, dodging and generally irritating your constituency and you’ll be loved for it.

I thought I might feel better after that, but I don’t.

The Blame Game

 From: Tim Brown at FrontPorch Politics

According to former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, who appeared on Fox News’ ‘Hannity’ on Friday, Barack Obama drafted a memo to protect himself from blame if the mission to kill or capture Osama Bin Laden would have failed. This would have allowed Obama to then place the blame of the failure of the mission on General William H. McRaven.

Mukasey wrote about this in the Wall Street Journal this week.

He told Sean Hannity,

“That was a highly lawyered memo (designed to protect the president politically)… I think there’s going to be more that’s going to be tumbling out about that escapade but so far that memo is enough.

Michael Mukasey then went on to contrast Barack Obama’s “blame game” with Abraham Lincoln and Dwight Eisenhower. In doing so he contrasted the way Barack Obama calculates to take credit for himself and place blame on others.

 
 

When it came to Lincoln and the failures attributed to General George McClellan and Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, Lincoln took the blame stating, “I stand here, as justice requires me to do, to take upon myself what has been charged upon the Secretary of War.”

Dwight Eisenhower was very similar. In the famous statement penned before the Normandy invasion, in anticipation of failure, Eisenhower wrote, “My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.”

Once the invasion had been successful, Eisenhower didn’t take credit, but rather gave credit where it was due. “One week ago this morning there was established through your coordinated efforts our first foothold in northwestern Europe. High as was my preinvasion confidence in your courage, skill and effectiveness . . . your accomplishments . . . have exceeded my brightest hopes. I truly congratulate you upon a brilliantly successful beginning. . . . Liberty loving people everywhere would today like to join me in saying to you, ‘I am proud of you.”

Look how far we have come from the days when a man took responsibility for his decisions instead of blaming others.