HISTORIAN: ‘AMERICA NO LONGER ABLE TO WIN WARS’
Author Patrick K. O’Donnell joined Breitbart News Saturday as a guest on the program’s Memorial Day weekend special.
O’Donnell is a combat historian and has written 10 books on American history beginning with the American revolution and ending with modern war and the Battle of Fallujah. O’Donnell explained that he volunteered to go to Iraq as an embed, even though he didn’t have any book deals on the table when he departed to the war torn country.
During the Iraq war, O’Donnell was embedded with military units as the only civilian combat historian and spent three months in Iraq documenting the experiences of troops in battle. O’Donnell went door-to-door with other Marines and was witness to intense urban warfare.
On his second tour in Iraq, O’Donnell served as a war correspondent for Men’s Journaland Fox News, reporting on the conflict in Iraq from the perspective of the Marines on the ground.
“It is still a very painful topic for me, still to this day,” he told the co-hosts of BNS,Breitbart News executive chairman Stephen K Bannon and editor-in-chief Alexander Marlow. Just talking about his experience of being with the soldiers in Fallujah elicited a deep emotional response inside of the acclaimed jounalist.
“I was ambushed by Chechens on one occasion. I pulled out a marine who was mortally wounded, who was shot in the head from a firefight that we were in,” he recounted.
For the past 10 years, O’Donnell stayed in touch with all the veterans and explained that the “pain that many of them have gone through has been tremendous.”
After the war there were two suicides in the platoon in which he was embedded, and many of the men have been racked with PTSD. Read the rest of this entry »
Report: Common Core Lesson Plan Pushes Pro-Palestinian Agenda
May 25, 2015 | Cathy Burke
A Massachusetts program for middle- and high-school students is coming under fire for its political bent and anti-Israel bias.
According to a report in the publication The College Fix, the workshop teaches that Hamas and Fatah — which began as the Palestinian National Liberation Movement founded by Yasser Arafat — promote “more peaceful means than intifada”; that Hamas is a political party, not a terrorist group; that Fatah and Hamas are political parties equivalent to Likud and Labor in Israel; that the use of drones to stop terrorists are like high-tech suicide bombers who kill innocents; that Hamas and Jews have equal claim to Jerusalem; and that the Palestinians have equal claim to land where Israel exists today.
The lesson plan has been approved nationally for the Common Core curriculum, The College Fix reports.
The program, “Whose Jerusalem?” is offered through the nonprofit “Axis of Hope,” which operates out of the Boston University Global Literary Institute, working with some 25 high schools in various states and three foreign schools, according to The College Fix.
And it is Common Core-approved, “despite its bias and serious flaws,” charges Americans for Peace and Tolerance president Charles Jacobs, The College Fix says.
The workshop requires students to play the parts of Arab, Israeli, or American leaders negotiating a “best alternative to a negotiated agreement” for the division of Jerusalem.
Boston University instructor Carl Hobart, who created the program, insists the classes are simple conflict resolution.
But Americans for Peace and Tolerance released a video April 23 aiming to show the program’s anti-Israel slant.
Hobart admitted to Al-Jazeera he hopes the exercises will lead students to “put pressure on our government to create a Palestinian state,” The College Fix reports.
Jacobs is incensed, telling The College Fix: “At a time of growing anti-Semitism on U.S college campuses, it is very disturbing that both Boston University and Weston High School would permit or promote such biased educational materials in the classroom.”
Obama’s Bungled Internet Surrender
The group the White House favors for online oversight is turning into an abusive monopolist.
The administration last year announced its intention to abandon the contract the Commerce Department has held since the beginning of the Web with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or Icann. Congress used its power of the purse to block the move, which had been set for September this year.
But the prospect of escaping U.S. oversight led Icann to deny accountability even for its core duty of keeping its monopoly over Web addresses working smoothly. The House Judiciary Committee last week held a hearing titled “Stakeholder Perspectives on Icann: The .Sucks Domain and Essential Steps to Guarantee Trust and Accountability in the Internet’s Operation.”
The .sucks domain was one of hundreds of new top-level domains Icann added beyond the original .com, .org and .gov. Icann, organized as a nonprofit, collects a fee each time it approves a new top-level domain and gets a cut of the registration charge for individual domain names. The corporation’s total take so far from the new domains is more than $300 million.
The Intellectual Property Constituency, an Icann stakeholder group, calls the .sucks domain “predatory, exploitative and coercive.” Judiciary chairman Bob Goodlatte says trademark holders are “being shaken down”—compelled to buy new addresses defensively to prevent their use. Read the rest of this entry »
Last week, Pope Francis hosted a Vatican summit on global warming where one of his cardinals called for a “full conversion of hearts and minds” to the fight against the “almost unfathomable” effects of fossil fuels on the environment. The pope will soon issue an encyclical on the subject, which—according to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon—will “convey to the world that protecting our environment is an urgent moral imperative and a sacred duty for all people of faith and people of conscience.”
This came shortly after the pope’s seeming endorsement of the proto-Iran deal, saying, “In hope we entrust to the merciful Lord the framework recently agreed to in Lausanne, that it may be a definitive step toward a more secure and fraternal world.”
Late last year, President Obama thanked Pope Francis for his role in the Castro-lifeline Cuba deal; according to a “senior administration official” quoted in Time, “Pope Francis personally issued an appeal in a letter that he sent to President Obama and to President Raul Castro . . . encouraging the United States and Cuba to pursue a closer friendship.”
Each of these forays (and others) into pontifical progressivism has disappointed conservatives, many of whom have been Francis enthusiasts. Each has gotten ample media attention. Another worrying papal maneuver, however, was mostly overlooked.
Last December, not long after the Cuba deal, the pope declined to meet with the Dalai Lama. Tibet’s spiritual leader-in-exile was visiting Rome and had requested an audience; the papal spokesman said the request was denied in light of the “delicate situation” of the Vatican’s relationship with China and China’s with Tibet. Read the rest of this entry »
Ex-Im and Beyond
EXCERPT FROM THIS ARTICLE: And yet, one can only marvel at the struggle over this program. If an agency as questionable as Ex-Im can be eliminated only by a herculean effort, what hope is there of doing away with corporate tax preferences, domestic profits held overseas, onerous regulations that benefit large businesses, farm subsidies, affordable housing payola, rampant overpayments in Medicare, and the like? None of these subsidies will go quietly. All are deeply entrenched in our political economy, not because they are good for the nation, but because the interest groups that benefit from them are the most heavily invested in the political process.
Ex-Im, in other words, is just the weakest link in the regime of interest-group liberalism that has slowly come to dominate Washington. For generations the government has been picking winners and losers in the private sector under the guise of national development. Those who have been winning will not gladly give up their spoils. They will do all they can to keep their benefits flowing, and the fight over Ex-Im shows that they can do quite a bit.
Conservative reformers who have been fighting the Export-Import Bank should be applauded, but this is not a game of dominoes. If Ex-Im falls, farm subsidies will persist. So will corporate welfare in the tax code. So will our absurd housing policies, which somehow withstood an economic calamity they had helped cause.
Politically speaking, the only hope is to get the public involved in the fight against the inappropriate alliance between business and government. Few voters are aware of Washington’s tangled web of crony-capitalism, and this allows it to become entrenched. Thus, Republicans talk a good game about smaller government in their districts, then go to Washington and vote for programs like the farm bill. The folks back home are unaware that this is even under discussion. Interest groups with much at stake win, thanks to public ignorance and apathy.
Conservatives have been disappointed with the track record of Republicans in Congress since their 2010 takeover of the House. There have been a few bright spots—the cuts in domestic discretionary spending brought about by the sequester, for instance—but from Obamacare to Iran to taxes to financial services regulation, President Obama and the left seem to retain the upper hand. Yet there is one issue percolating in Congress that could provide a rare victory. Conservatives are working hard to take down the Export-Import Bank, and they might succeed.
The Export-Import Bank is a New Deal-era relic whose purpose is to facilitate American trade. According to William Becker and William McClenahan, authors of a major study of Ex-Im, the bank has been an “entrepreneurial” institution that has evolved over the years to retain the favor of the nation’s foreign policy establishment and top economic policymakers. Today, its main role is to provide credit to foreign purchasers of American manufactured goods, especially heavy equipment and airplanes. Last year it authorized about $21 billion in government-backed loans. Few of these loans go bad, so Ex-Im has little budgetary impact, but then its critics don’t base their opposition on grounds of budget busting.
So what is their complaint? First, the bank is grossly inefficient. To support American businesses, Ex-Im extends credit to foreign governments and enterprises. Surely there is a less roundabout way to promote domestic business than to subsidize foreign business! The Ex-Im Bank’s defenders retort that foreign governments already do precisely this, so Uncle Sam must respond in kind to protect American jobs. Even if this is true (and many experts raise doubts), it does not justify wasteful inefficiency. While some exporters might be hurt if the Ex-Im Bank were decommissioned, its credit could be redirected in ways that bring more bang for the buck. Read the rest of this entry »
As a career intelligence officer, I learned that there are few things in life of which you can be absolutely certain. But I am positive that a lengthy new article by journalist Seymour Hersh, which is getting widespread attention with a whole new tale about how Osama bin Laden was brought to justice, is wrong in almost every significant respect.
I can be certain because I was deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency when senior officials from our Counterterrorism Center first brought to CIA Director Leon Panettaand me the news that they had trailed an individual whom they believed was a bin Laden courier to a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. And I was there for every meeting that followed as we worked through the evidence that led our analysts to conclude that the most-wanted man in the world was hiding at the compound.
So I had good reason to know that Mr. Hersh’s 10,000-word story in the London Review of Books was filled with falsehoods. But here’s something I got wrong: I was certain that Mr. Hersh’s allegations would be quickly dismissed. After all, there was a public record about the raid in statements by the White House, Pentagon and CIA, and in books by former officials such as Mr. Panetta, Defense SecretaryRobert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and others. Then there were the media appearances by the Navy SEAL who says he personally shot bin Laden. It should have been clear that either Mr. Hersh’s version of the truth was bogus or that we all had participated in one of the most successful and complex conspiracies in modern history.
Despite the many and obvious holes in Mr. Hersh’s story, his allegations gained some traction. A number of respected news organizations ranging from the New York Times to NBC News picked up slivers of information in Mr. Hersh’s account and essentially said, “Yeah, we heard something like that too.” Almost all of these accounts were attributed to anonymous former officials—many of whom admitted having at best secondhand information. Incredibly, these “I know a guy, who knows a guy who swears that . . .” accounts were given credence over on-the-record statements made in the past four years by people who were in the room—or on the scene.
Mr. Hersh has appeared in the media in recent days saying that when I and others asserted that his report was wrong, we were offering “non-denial denials” because our objections lacked specificity. All right, let me specifically address his major allegations. Read the rest of this entry »
A Syrian Kurdish fighter in Kobani, Syria, in January Associated Press
WorldMag.com, By J.C. DERRICK, May 18, 2015:
EXCERPT FROM THIS ARTICLE: Clare Lopez, a member of the Citizens Commission on Benghazi—a group of former intelligence officers, military personnel, and national security experts—told me it comes as no surprise that Benghazi was a retaliatory attack since al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a video had called on the “sons of Libya” to avenge his deputy’s death. Lopez said the Judicial Watch release is “very significant,” because it “begins to peel back a little more of the layers of the onion about what was going on in Benghazi, and why that mission [facility] was there.”
Lopez, a former CIA officer who is now a vice president at the Center for Security Policy, said the commission has confirmed it was not the CIA but the State Department that managed the gun-running operation. According to Lopez, the department put up between $125,000 to $175,000 for each surface-to-air missile it funneled out of Libya to the Syrian battlefield.
WASHINGTON—Documents released today confirm the Obama administration knew weapons were flowing out of Benghazi, Libya, to Syrian rebels in 2012 even though the rebels had well-publicized ties to al-Qaeda and other extremist groups.
Previous reports, including one by WORLD in 2013, have linked U.S. involvement in Libya to arms flowing into Syria, but the new documents provide the first verification that contradicts administration officials and congressional Democrats who maintained there was no evidence to support it. The documents provide further confirmation that the CIA and the State Department—under then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton—received immediate intelligence that the attack was committed by al-Qaeda- and Muslim Brotherhood-linked brigades, even as Clinton and other officials claimed it was the result of rioting against a Muslim-bashing video.
“Weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya, to the Port of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria,” says an October 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) document released with heavy redactions. It notes the activity took place weeks before terrorists attacked the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, killing four Americans in September: “The weapons shipped during late-August 2012 were  sniper rifles,  RPGs, and  125 mm and 155 mm howitzers missiles.”
Judicial Watch, a Washington, D.C., watchdog group, obtained the cache of more than 100 documents after filing a lawsuit in federal court. The judge who ordered the release, Ketanji Brown Jackson, is a 2013 appointee of President Barack Obama.
“These documents are jaw-dropping,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said. “No wonder we had to file more FOIA lawsuits and wait over two years for them.” Read the rest of this entry »