World Affairs Brief February 8, 2013 Commentary and Insights on a Troubled World.
Copyright Joel Skousen. Partial quotations with attribution permitted. Cite source as Joel Skousen's World Affairs Brief (http://www.worldaffairsbrief.com)
THIS WEEKS ANALYSIS:
Drone Memo: Obama as Judge, Jury and Executioner
President Takes up Shooting to Boost Gun Control
Alabama Siege Ends
North Koreans Among 40 Dead at Iran Nuke Plant Explosion
Media Fudging Unemployment Numbers
Price of Obamas Royalty
Geithner to Join CFR
DRONE MEMO: OBAMA AS JUDGE, JURY, AND EXECUTIONER
Even as NBC broke the story of the Obama Administrations memo laying out justification for killing Americans with drone strikes, the most NBCs Erin McClam could say is, A new Justice Department memo on Americans and drone strikes is causing controversy. Thats a serious understatement. What we are witnessing is a written policy memo that is without any constitutional authority whatsoever, and which makes changes so fundamental to our protected rights and the traditional doctrine of separation of powers, that Congress ought to be up in arms and threatening impeachment. Instead, we hear talk of concern but no outrage from our elected officials.
From the NBC article: Legal experts expressed grave reservations Tuesday about an Obama administration memo concluding that the United States can order the killing of American citizens believed to be affiliated with al-Qaida with one saying the White House was acting as judge, jury and executioner.
The experts said that the memo, first obtained by NBC News, threatened constitutional rights and dangerously expanded the definition of national self-defense and of what constitutes an imminent attack. Anyone should be concerned when the president and his lawyers make up their own interpretation of the law or their own rules, said Mary Ellen OConnell, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame and an authority on international law and the use of force. This is a very, very dangerous thing that the president has done, she added [I doubt if well see any concrete rebuttal by establishment scholars just concern].
The memo, made public Monday, provides detail about the administrations controversial expansion of drone strikes against al-Qaida suspects abroad, including those aimed at American citizens. Among them were Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan, who were killed by an American strike in September 2011 in Yemen. Both men were U.S. citizens who had not been charged with a crime.
Attorney General Eric Holder, in a talk at Northwestern University Law School in March, endorsed the constitutionality of targeted killings of Americans provided that the government determines such an individual poses an imminent threat of violent attack.
And yet, Holder cited nothing in the language of the Constitution to justify this massive grant of arbitrary power, including anything remotely near to his imminent threat language. Of course, the courts have long inferred imminent threat as a basis for prior restraint in law, such as arrest of drunk drivers prior to actually causing an accident. And yet, even in those cases, due process takes over after the arrest and the arrest must be justified in great detail before arriving at a conviction.
In no case has anyone been given power to take life except to protect their own life or property from a clear, direct attackand even these defensive actions must be proven after the fact with due process under the law. Therein lies the major difference in what the government is claimingthat there exists some ethereal threat to the nation they can never define, by some presumed association with the mythical, ever-morphing al-Qaeda boogie man that justifies an instant death sentence without trial. This is a very dangerous concept since it attempts to give legal justification to the most arbitrary edicts of tyranny.
When Piers Morgan arrogantly challenged assault weapon defenders to cite where is the tyranny in government? that demands citizens arm themselves with semi-automatic rifles, here is the answer staring us in the face: to act as a deterrent to just this type of government arrogating to itself arbitrary and deadly authority.
NBC: The memo... refers to a broader definition of imminence and specifically says the government is not required to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future.
Glenn Greenwald, a constitutional lawyer who writes about security and liberty for the British newspaper The Guardian, described the memo as fundamentally misleading, with a clinical tone that disguises the radical and dangerous power it purports to authorize.... If you believe the president has the power to order U.S. citizens executed far from any battlefield with no charges or trial, then its truly hard to conceive of any asserted power you would find objectionable, he wrote.
The attorney general told reporters Tuesday that the administrations primary concern is to keep Americans safe [always the excuse] and to do it in a way consistent with American values. He said the administration was confident it was following federal and international law [If he can make this kind of bald-faced lie, he can claim anything as right. This kind of power has virtually no precedence in federal or international law unless you look to Nazi or Soviet laws as an example].
You have to understand that we are talking about ... how we conduct our offensive operations against a clear and present danger [clear and present? Hardly. Virtually every case of terror in America involving a Muslim extremist, except the botched propane bottle bomb in NY, have involved government agent provocateurs goading young malcontents and providing them with the bomb materials and knowhow. Nothing would have happened, including 9/11, without government black operations direction and execution].
White House press secretary Jay Carney said that while the government must take the Constitution into account [lip service only], U.S. citizenship does not make a leader of an enemy force immune from being targeted [for instant death]. I object: none of those targeted were ever proven to be a leader of an enemy force.
Heres a definitive and brilliant response to the Obama memos by constitutional attorneys Herb Titus and William J. Olson, published in The American Thinker: The white paper does not seek to delimit the federal power to kill citizens, but simply sets out a category of targeted killing of American citizens off the battlefield on foreign soil which it deems to be clearly authorized. Moreover, this power is not vested exclusively in the president, or even the secretary of defense, or even officials within the Department of Defense -- rather, it can be relied on by other senior officials of unspecified rank elsewhere in government [thats because the president, always a puppet, doesnt get involved in such decisions].
Mimicking a judicial opinion, the White Paper employs pragmatic tests developed by the courts to supplant the plain meaning of the Fifth Amendment Due Process and Fourth Amendment Search and Seizure texts... the Justice Department lawyers have produced a document worthy of the King Council's Court of Star Chamber -- concluding that the U.S. Constitution would not require the government to provide notice of charges, or a right to be heard, before using lethal force on a U.S. citizen suspected of terrorist activity against his country.
How very convenient. The Obama administration lawyers appear to have forgotten that the Star Chamber was abolished by the English Parliament in 1641 in order to restore the rule of law adjudicated by an independent judiciary, terminating the rule of men administered by the king's courtiers.
Also, conspicuously missing from the Justice Department's constitutional analysis is any recognition that the Founders already balanced the life, liberty, and property interests of an American citizen suspected of levying war against [the United States], or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort, and provided them the specific procedural protections in Article III of the Constitution. When a U.S. citizen is suspected of treason, the constitutional remedy is not to invent new crimes subject to the summary execution at the pleasure of the president and his attorneys. In Federalist No. 43, James Madison proclaimed that the Treason Clause would protect citizens from new-fangled and artificial treasons ... by inserting a constitutional definition of the crime, fixing the proof necessary for conviction of it.
To that end, the Constitution does not permit the Obama lawyers to invent an elastically defined offense of an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States, in substitution for the constitutionally concrete definition of levying war against [the United States], or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.
Moreover, Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution requires trial in open court... proof by the testimony of two witnesses -- not in some secret war room in an undisclosed location. Section 2 requires trial ... by jury on a charge of treason, not trial by some unidentified high-level official of the U.S. government, no matter how well-informed he may be.
In short, the Constitution provides that an American citizen must be tried and punished according to the judicial process provided for the crime of treason, not according to some newfangled and artificial executive process fashioned by [a] nameless collection of lawyers.
The Washington Post reports that the Obama administration memo on executive power to kill is merely part of a White Paper on Drone Activity, and doesnt really reveal any of the actual memos circulating in the White House on this sensitive issue. Now that this policy is being heavily scrutinized, the White House is promising Congress a secret memorandum on the subject [in a classified briefing].
From the Post, The parallels to the Bush administration torture memos are chilling, said Vincent Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights. Warren accused Obama of hypocrisy for ordering George W. Bush administration memos to be released publicly while maintaining secrecy around his own. To deliver on his promises of transparency, Warren said, Obama must release his own legal memos and not just a Cliffs Notes version.
White House press secretary Jay Carney emphasized that the white paper is unclassified and indicated that the administration does not intend to release the classified legal memo on which it is based [so much for the promised transparency in government].
But these classified memos or briefings are only prepared to patronize Congress with disinformation. The false facts and conclusions fed to Congress in these classified briefings can never be scrutinized or talked about because all involved are sworn to secrecy. The sole purpose of a secret memorandum to a Congressional Committee is to cower it into silenceand to goad them into assuring their peers that they are now convinced but we cant tell you why!
This is exactly what happened when the administration showed Senator Scott Brown and other Senate colleagues photographic evidence of the bin Laden death at the hands of Seal Team 6which later turned out to be falsified. Brown and other Senators were outraged that they had be deceived in a classified briefing. Happens all the time!
Looking at the bigger picture, The number of attacks on Americans is minuscule compared to the broader toll of the drone campaign, which has killed more than 3,000 militants and civilians in hundreds of strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia [90% are civiliansnot militants according to Pakistani sources].
A detailed discussion of drone strikes and this Justice Dept. memo are important subjects for Congress to bring up during the nomination review of John Brennan, the White House counterterrorism adviser and architect of the drone campaign, who is slated to lead the CIA. Defenders of Brennan are now claiming he had nothing to do with the drone program. Few are buying those assertions.
The Washington Post summarizes Brennans background and why he is so controversial. Brennan, 57, has presided over a major expansion of the drone campaign, although he is also credited with imposing more rigorous internal reviews on the selection of targets [official propaganda by the Post]. He spent 25 years at the CIA and was considered a likely candidate for the top job in Obamas first term [the establishment was pushing his nomination]. He withdrew [massive opposition forced him tobut I predicted hed be back. The PTB keep pushing their most important evil guys until they get in] amid mounting opposition from civil liberties groups that called attention to his role as a senior CIA executive when the agency began using interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, that were subsequently denounced as akin to torture.
This is why Brennan has been banned from high public office for so longhis rap sheet for secret and illegal black operations is a mile long, and highly protected from public view. Dont expect it to surface in these hearings, however. Rather than express outrage over the drone memo, senators merely asked for more convincing arguments.
From the NBC story: Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, and 10 other senators wrote to President Barack Obama on Monday asking him to release all Justice Department memos on the subject. The senators said that Congress and the public need a full understanding of how the White House views its authority so they can decide whether the presidents power to deliberately kill American citizens is subject to appropriate limitations and safeguards.
This is a weak response begging the administration for token language that will assuage their concerns. You can bet the administration can supply any number of safeguards they will claim are in place. But, in fact, there will be no one who objects to this policy in any position of power to either scrutinize or stop any of these killings. The secret bodies of men who will make these decisions will be secret and all yes-men to government.
Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, described the memo as reckless. He wrote that assuming that the target of a strike is an al-Qaida leader, without court oversight, was like assuming a defendant is guilty and then asking whether a trial would be useful [Its much worse. No one is asking the courts to review anything. They are saying they have the power to kill with or without any later justification].
But John O. McGinnis, a professor of constitutional law at Northwestern University who worked for the White Houses Office of Legal Counsel during the Reagan and H.W. Bush administrations, said he was persuaded by the arguments in the memo, which he described as very cautious [their only caution was in how they presented their weasel words].
If this is someone who has taken up affiliation with an organization attacking the United States, I dont think it matters whether theyre a citizen they seem to me an enemy combatant whom the president can respond to, he said. I think this is not a hard case.
Let me show you, professor, why this is a hard case: Has the government ever defined what it means by affiliation? A donation to a Muslim charity, perhaps? A brief meeting with someone the government claims is linked to al Qaeda, as happened before in a prosecution? These seem pretty unclear compared to your claim that all this gives the president clear authority to respond especially when that response is a deadly drone strike.
This is the kind of petty Republican the liberal media pulls out of their quiver of experts when they want to appear to be presenting both sides!
Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, a Democrat and chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee... appeared to defend the killing of al-Awlaki. She said that al-Awlaki was external operations leader of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula and directed the failed attempt to blow up an airliner on Christmas Day 2009 [all without a shred of evidence except the CIAs wordand that only after protests erupted over al-Awlakis death].
The memo lays out a three-part test for making targeted killings of Americans lawful. The suspect must be deemed an imminent threat, capturing the target must not be feasible, and the strike must be conducted according to law of war principles.
Notice that no evidence has to be presented for the first (and most important) testonly that the government make a determination. Thats as worthless as all the hundreds of other determinations Congress has requested of the president. An egregious example is the determination by our government that the Soviet Union was in compliance with disarmament treaties before we transferred sensitive military technology to them. They never were but that didnt stop the government from declaring it so.
As for the second testevidence that capturing the target is not feasiblethat is equally a squirrelly pig. With all the Special Forces and black operations the CIA has going on in Yemen, I find it hard to believe they could not have captured al-Awlakis 16 year old son, who was killed in a non-hostile environment. He could easily have been captured and brought to trial. But the government had little evidence against him, and so chose to kill him instead to evade a trial. In the end, the government wanted these killings done so that they could have a fait accompli upon which to base these memos and the new doctrine they are trying to foist upon us for approval.
Naureen Shah, who lectures at Columbia Law School, summarizes the effect of these memos well. We should be concerned when the White House is acting as judge, jury and executioner, she said. And theres no one outside of the White House who has real oversight over that process. Whats put forward here is theres no role for the courts, not even after the fact. Indeed.
PRESIDENT TAKES UP SHOOTING TO BOOST GUN CONTROL
As the gun control agenda moves into high gearmostly in the media, the White House dirty tricks gang came up with a new propaganda stunt to make it look like the president is an avid hunter and aficionado of shotguns by taking pictures of Obama at a Camp David range shooting skeet.
Obama immediately got panned for the stunt. As one experienced skeet shooter wrote, I know a thing or two about skeet shooting. In this sport you have beginner shooters who don't really know what they are doing, you have amateurs that are regular shooters who take it seriously, and you have guys and gals that shoot 25 out of 25, again and again. The following is a picture of a person who has not shot skeet before. [Widely published picture of Obama shooting a shotgun from the news] This person doesn't know how to hold the gun properly. This person is going to get a big recoil in the arm that will hurt.
No one has bothered to show this person how to hold a gun. This person has not been taught how to position the body to make a successful shot. This person has no chance of hitting a moving target. This person is not wearing the proper clothing for a skeet range (padded vest that has pockets for 25 shells). This person is pretending to shoot skeet.
Yes, Obama is the pretend president in a lot of ways, but that does not stop the PTB from planning his (and his familys) day around lots of propaganda stunts and photo shoots.
The media is really putting the pressure on to disallow future gun sales in private. NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre warned on Fox News that Closing the federal loophole that allows Americans to buy guns in private transactions without having gone through a background check would be a slippery slope, ...and suggested that President Obama and his administration would insist on taking it a step further with a so-called universal background check. LaPierre said on Fox News Sunday, I think [what] they'll do is they'll turn this universal check on the law-abiding into a universal registry on law-abiding people. 'Obamacare' , for example, wasn't a tax until they needed it to be a tax. I don't think you can trust these people. Indeed.
To illustrate the untrustworthy nature of what the gun grabbers have in mind, Tad Cronn noted in Godfather Politics that The list of specific firearms that would be banned by Sen. Dianne Feinstein's gun-control bill is a smokescreen for a trick of language that could result in a ban on nearly all semiautomatic guns, according to a gun law expert who has reviewed the proposed legislation. Most media reports have focused on the already lengthy list of specific firearms the bill would ban, but Alan Korwin, who has written 10 books on gun laws, says the real meaning of the bill is hidden in the list of banned gun components.
Components like a sear which catches the hammer in the rearward position, ready to fire again is found in virtually every semi-automatic weapon, not just assault weapons bringing them all under the aegis of the ban.
You can bet Sen. Feinstein didnt have anything to do with the writing of this kind of technical trap. --Approve, maybe, if she were capable of understanding what we are talking about, but the key point is that there is a dedicated team of lawyers working for the dark side of government that writes all these anti-liberty poison pills like the PATRIOT ACT, the NDAA provision on indefinite detention and this gun grabbing lawand it is done months and perhaps years before a 9/11 or a Sandy Hook style terror event is pulled off as a trigger to introduce these bills and get them passed into law.
In the current battle for gun control, the most powerful lie in the arsenal of the gun grabbers is that they dont intend to violate the Second Amendment. They claim to recognize the right of self-defense with a handgun, but see no reason why someone needs an assault rifle.
So everyone has to be prepared to counter this argument. The first crucial argument to counter is the assertion that civilian versions of the AR-15 are assault rifles. They are noteven though they look similar. To qualify as an assault rifle, the weapon must have both either full-auto or 3-round burst capability and high-capacity, quick-change magazines. Civilian versions have the high-capacity magazines, but are not fully automatic. Its a big difference.
So now the larger argument comes to bear: Why do civilians need military-style, semi-automatic rifles with high-capacity magazines? Certainly, not for hunting, and there are arguably better weapons for close quarters self defense. But that was never the purpose of the Second Amendment, which was written to make sure citizens had military capable weapons so they could act as a militia to deter or directly counter government tyranny.
Despite liberal commentators like Piers Morgan who refuse to admit to any dangerous or tyrannical tendency by government, that is what this fight for assault-style weapons is all about. The Armed Citizen Network provided perhaps the most complete essay on this argument, and I will include here the significant parts on Why American Citizens Need Assault Weapons by Mark Hayes, J.D.
There are two main reasons and many ancillary ones why a ban on high-capacity, semi-automatic weapons is uncalled for, unnecessary and also unwise. First, we must consider the historical perspective of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Second Amendment was added to the Constitution as an assurance that Americans will never lack the weaponry to fight against their own government, if that government becomes tyrannical.
Remember, in the late 1780s the newly formed United States of America had just fought a bloody war against England and King George IIIs tyrannical government. In order to gain support for the formation of a central government, the individual states required that the language of the Second Amendment be included in the Constitution, or they would not ratify the Constitution. Of course, the citizens of the day needed to arm themselves against tyrants with the very same weaponry used by the tyrants.
Now, fast forward from 1780 to present day. Our current military and law enforcement agencies employ high-capacity semi-automatic handguns and AR-15 style rifles that are the very same weapons as are being targeted for a ban, if the Obama Administration has its way. In fact, most military firearms also have select fire: full auto, three-shot burst or semi-auto. This is how the M-4 rifle, which American citizens cannot own unless first paying a high tax, and in some states citizens cannot own M4s at all.
Nevertheless, the current semi-auto weaponry is similar enough for the arming of the Militia, of which each and every able-bodied armed American is still a part (read the Heller case). We, the citizens of America, need to retain the same weaponry as our military and police to even the playing field, so that in the event of an attempt to enslave the American people, we can resist equally.
Revolting against tyranny is the first reason Americans must retain our rights to own high capacity semi-automatic firearms. The counter-argument goes, Come on, this is the year 2013. Its not 1776. To which I say, So what? Tyranny is not a thing of the past. No one will ever convince me that current day humans do not have the ability to enslave, torture and murder large groups of other humans....
The second reason Americans need high capacity semi-automatic firearms has a more practical, immediate application in our modern society. Citizens must not be stripped of the ability to effectively counter criminal violence. I was a law enforcement officer in the 70s and 80s when the transition to high capacity semi-automatic handguns for law enforcement began. I taught law enforcement officers firearms skills in the 90s, after the move to semi-autos was complete.
The reason law enforcement switched to semi-automatic handguns is twofold. First was the discovery that the ergonomics of the semi-automatic handgun worked better for most officers, than those of the six-shot revolver. Simply put, the officers could shoot better with semi-autos. The most pressing reason for making the shift to the semi-auto was that the criminal element had already gone there and the police were outgunned. Officers were facing dedicated criminals armed with high-capacity weapons [and that wont stop even if you ban all guns from honest civilians as they have done in Britain], while they were still issued six-shot revolvers and pump action shotguns. The playing field had changed and the cops needed to catch up.
When might an armed citizen be attacked under circumstances in which a modern semi-automatic rifle would be necessary for defense? Consider societal break down, as took place during the Los Angeles riots in 1992, and after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. In each of these real life examples of societal breakdown in America, roving gangs of criminals looted stores and private homes throughout those cities. While protecting property is not generally considered a valid reason to use deadly force [it should be in these kinds of cases where mobs threaten], the fact that the resident is present and armed with a modern semi-automatic rifle might just encourage looters to skip over that citizens home or business and take on easier pickings elsewhere. After all, the next easy target is just down the street.
I cannot forget the images of the Korean store owners protecting their businesses with highly visible, armed security during the Los Angeles riots. They were not just protecting property, but also protecting their lives and the lives of their family members. Each of those looters constituted a criminal committing a felony, and a violent person who will burgle and loot is also very likely capable of killing.
It is no secret that it is much easier to effectively shoot a semi-automatic rifle, such as an AR-15 or a Ruger Mini-14, compared to shooting a bolt action, lever action or pump action rifle or shotgun [which kicks like a mule]. As a firearms trainer, I have seen a dramatic shift away from armed citizens obtaining and using shotguns for home defense. They have replaced the shotgun with semi-automatic rifles that are simply easier to shoot.
In conclusion, I believe ownership, possession and use of modern semi-automatic rifles and pistols are necessary for the armed citizen in America. Individually, one is likely never to actually need the ability to fire 20-30 rounds in an encounter. But, if the need does ever arise, circumstances are so dire that having access to that weapon will be vitally important. It will likely be a lifesaver.
The anti-gun establishment is preparing to do battle on any level they can. They know that without ammunition, a gun is not useful. As the Tampa Bay Times writes, As the nation debates competing proposals to reduce gun violence, some law enforcement leaders and elected officials argue it's time to examine an area they say is especially devoid of common sense regulation: the buying and selling of ammunition.
Various lawyers are already crafting bills to require background checks to buy ammowhich is nothing more than building a list of people who have weaponsones they cant get through registration tied to grandfathering their assault weapons. Colorado lawmakers, always at the front line on gun control, want gun owners exposed to civil liability to deter their purchase and use. By making owners, manufacturers and distributors of firearms liable for any deadly consequences, the idea is to cause manufacturers and retailers to stop selling to the public.
Questions on the Murder of Chris Kyle: Chris Kyle was a Marine Sniper who capitalized on his 160 kills in Iraq and elsewhere to write a best-selling book on the subject. He was killed this week after unwisely taking a vet to the shooting range as a form of therapy for supposed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The former soldier turned his weapon on Kyle and a friend and killed them at point blank range.
But now evidence has surfaced questioning whether this soldier was suffering from combat stress or was hired to kill Kyle. A former Marine who knew the killer posted this: After seeing this picture I just remembered this guy lived in the same barracks as me in 2007 in Camp Lejeune, N.C., he was definitely NOT a highly trained Marine he was a mechanic in for only about 4 years. My friend deployed to Iraq with Eddie Routh and this guy never even went outside the wire, so the PTSD from combat as the news is saying is unlikely, and this guy was no highly trained Marine as they are also saying in the news. (Reported by Infowars.com).
Backlash to sheriffs stand on Second Amendment: As I predicted, the establishment politicians are now lashing back at sheriffs who have stated their determination not to allow any federal law banning assault weapons be enforced in their jurisdictions. According to a key Supreme Court ruling, the county sheriff is the highest law enforcement officer in that jurisdiction, and federal officials are not superior to the sheriff. The Supreme Court ruling was specifically addressing a federal vs state gun issue. Then Sheriff Richard Mack had refused to implement mandatory registration under the Brady Law and his refusal was upheld.
OregonFirearms.org wrote that, While numerous Oregon Sheriffs (and actually, rural sheriffs nationwide) have made it clear that they will oppose any attempts by the Obama administration
to ram through dangerous and unconstitutional gun grabs, the Oregon Sheriffs Association (OSA), as a group, has decided to take a dive.
In an email to Oregons sheriffs, the President of the OSA, Jason Myers, of Marion County, said the following about gun rights: After a very robust conversation on this issue it was the consensus of the Sheriffs present that our Association should not take a formal stance on this issue. At this meeting it was also agreed that I should reach out to US Attorney Amanda Marshall to notify her of our Association position and intent by the Sheriffs present to work collaboratively with our Federal partners' agencies.
This is a very troubling and dangerous position. The county sheriffs are the supreme law enforcement officers in their jurisdiction. For Myers to speak for all sheriffs and say they wont take a...stance on this issue and reach out to the Feds who are working overtime to eliminate your rights is nothing short of frightening. The Sheriffs Association, as an organization, has climbed in bed with the tyrants who want to disarm you and your family.
In Utah, Governor Herbert, who was Lt. Gov under liberal Republican governor Jon Huntsman, tried to counter the overwhelming consensus of Utah Sheriffs to defy federal gun mandates, by saying that "Utah Will Adhere to the Law" and Obey Federal Gun Laws.
Herbert, a fairly soft individual, only became governor after Huntsman, an aspiring globalist, became Obamas ambassador to China. Herbert started out fairly conservative but has been steadily compromising under the pressure of establishment Republican community leaders who are hostile to the near-majority of constitutional conservatives in the Utah legislature. Herbert successfully got re-elected and is now going to continue his kowtow to the establishment in his remaining term. Watch for a strong conservative backlash in the next election.
ALABAMA SIEGE ENDS
Well never know the truth about why a disgruntled old loner shot a school bus driver in Midland City, Alabama and took a five year old boy hostage into his bunker, because police used lethal force to kill him rather than end the siege with non-lethal force.
Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65, lived in a camper beside an underground tornado shelterlogical given the number of lethal tornados that have blown through Alabama in the past 3 years. The neighbors all testified that he was ornery and had frequent quarrels with them over dogs, noise and trespassing. Neighbors described him as an anti-social loner who was combative and confrontational. One said Dykes had once beaten his dog to death with a pipe.
I suspect he was a cantankerous codger, but the media chose to characterize him as a crazed survivalist with anti-government tendencies, which conveniently helps the government paint all preppers and survivalists as potentially dangerous.
Its not hard for cantankerous old men to have lots of complaints about government, but it doesnt explain the killing of the driver or the taking of the boy hostage. If the agents were alarmed at the captors mental state, which seemed easy to justify given his sore disposition, there were many means available to them to incapacitate him and end the siege peacefully.
It has some of the aspects of the Waco killing in that all the various state and federal agencies were there using high tech gear to monitor everything going on down in the shelter. They were talking with Dykes for days, and yet saying nothing about the nature of the negotiations. Now there is no need to tell because the media wont ask and, like Sandy Hook, there is no demand for a complete investigation.
Officials were clearly willing to subject the boy hostage to significant danger already by putting a stun grenade down the ventilation pipe, but couldnt seem to bear using tear gas to ensure Dykes couldnt fight back as they broke in. Officers claimed they had to shoot it out with the old guy, which (as in all these cases) eliminates any possible chance of getting to the bottom of what happened. Sad.
NORTH KOREANS AMONG 40 DEAD AT IRAN NUKE PLANT
Often I will delay covering a story waiting for crucial information to emerge. The story of the sabotage and explosion of Irans Fordow nuclear facility was just such a story that needed more time. WND.com had some unique sources that shed light on what happened: The explosions at Iran's Fordow nuclear facility Jan. 21 killed at least 40 people, including two North Koreans... At the time of the explosions, the source said, 203 Iranian scientists and technicians along with 16 North Koreans had been logged in at the site, though the initial report listed 240 people.
The day before the explosions, the North Koreans had brought in new equipment, described by the source as touch-screen monitors the size of TVs that were installed in the monitoring room and some new parts that were installed in the centrifuges before the start of the enrichment process. The explosions were reported exclusively by WND [about] the trapped workers including 16 North Koreans: 14 technicians and two military attaches. The source said many of the centrifuges have been destroyed and rescuers have still not accessed the reserves of the 20 percent stock of enriched uranium to assess the level of radiation.
The importance of this story is twofold: 1) that North Korea is integrally involved in transferring technology to Iran and therefore we can assume that Iran specifically needs their help because they are working toward developing nuclear weapons, just as North Korea is doing. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why the media is not giving any play to this storyto avoid highlighting the obvious hypocrisy with regard to US leniency toward NK compared to Iran. If the US attacks Iran over nuclear weapons, it should attack North Korea just as vigorously because NK is even farther along and a direct threat to US troops in South Korea.
2) The infiltration of explosives was surely an Israeli operation and demonstrates that Israel is still the very best at dirty tricks in the Middle East. But the crippling of the Iranian enrichment facility also sets back the Iranian nuclear plans for a long time and thus denies PM Netanyahu the urgency he is demanding in attacking Iran. Perhaps that is another reason why even the Israeli media does not elaborate on the extensive damage. Certainly Israel does not want the rationale for the attack to go away.
Israel and the other globalist plotters in the West arent just trying to destroy Irans nuclear structure, they really want Irans substantial military capabilities decapitated and Chinas access to gas and oil in Iran cut off. Only a joint Israel/US air war accomplishes that, and it is still coming. Solving the threat by sabotage would neutralize the reason for a larger attack. I can only conclude that the attack on the Fordow facility was to encourage Iran to retaliate and not to solve the Iranian nuclear threat.
Business Insider reinforced that view when it observed, Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel was simply not strong enough to force a halt to Iran's nuclear enrichment program. In order to halt the program, Bibi said, the U.S. would have to strike, and they must do so this year.
The globalists are desperate to move along with their Middle East agenda to take down both Syria and Iran. This week Israel finally admitted that it was responsible for the air incursion and attack near Baghdad claiming they were targeting a truck convoy carrying anti-aircraft weapons bound for the militant group Hezbollah in neighboring Lebanon. As usual, they were lying. Heres the real story.
As Jason Ditz wrote this week, The US Green Lit Israeli Attacks on Syria, and Approves Future Strikes. The White House not only gave the green light to Israels Wednesday attacks on Syria, but they also offered a blanket approval for future strikes. The Wednesday attacks targeted several different sites in Syria, and the Syrian government has shown footage of the aftermath of an attack on a military research facility, one which experts claim was regularly visited by Russian military personnel.
The reports on the weapons convoy heading to Syria have also been revised, with the latest reports saying the Syrian vehicles with weapons on board were actually parked at a military base in Zabadani, not actually on the road heading to Lebanon.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has become the first administration official to go on record about the attacks, saying that the US fully backed Israel in attacking Syria, adding that the US was concerned about possible transfers of anti-aircraft weapons because they might be used against civilian aircraft. [another lie] It is worth noting that the US-backed rebels in Syria have openly talked about attacking civilian planes, but the regime has shown no interest in doing so [Of course. They know the US would love to have that as an excuse to get NATO to intervene].
Reports also suggest that in addition to Israeli attacks on Syria, the US is interested in launching attacks of its own, and that it is planning to attack targets around the northern city of Aleppo if the rebels get too close to chemical weapons depots [In fact, the rebels are heading in that direct specifically to give the US an excuse to intervene].
Which might not suit Turkey too well [who is] cheerfully backing the rebels in Syrias civil war, but blasted Israel for attacking them, and went on to condemn Syria for not retaliating, with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu mocking Assad [goading him to retaliate] for failing to even throw a pebble when Israeli jets were flying over his palace.
The common media position is that Israel has publicly warned that it would take military action to prevent the Syrian regime's chemical weapons falling into the hands of Hezbollah in Lebanon or global jihadists fighting inside Syria. Israeli military intelligence is said to be monitoring the area round the clock via satellite for possible convoys carrying weapons." (source: UK Guardian)
But the hypocrisy of the Israeli and US position in Syria is summed up best by this commentator, at landdestroyer.blogspot.com: In reality, these global jihadists" are in fact armed and funded by the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel since at least as early as 2007. They are also in fact the direct beneficiaries of Israel's recent aggression. The Israeli suspicions of weapon transfers of course, remain unconfirmed, because the purpose of the attack was not to prevent the transfer of chemical weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon, but to provoke a wider conflict aimed not at Israel's defense, but at salvaging the West's floundering proxy terrorist forces inside Syria attempting to subvert and overthrow the Syrian nation.
Im embarrassed to be an American when I see all these deceitful tactics being used to justify globalist intervention in other nations that present no threat to us. Sure, they arent good people but the world is full of problems. Would that our government was actually trying to solve something instead of provoking more wars and conflict, replacing tyrants with jihadists.
MEDIA FUDGING UNEMPLOYMENT NUMBERS
Michael Snyder blows the cover off the falsifying of jobs numbers which continue to be promoted by the media in order to help Obamas claim that the economy is on the mend. The secret to fudging the numbers is found in the number of workers simply no longer counted as looking for work.
Did you know that the percentage of the U.S. labor force that is employed has continually been falling since 2006 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics? Did you know that the increase in the number of Americans not in the labor force during Barack Obama's first four years in the White House was more than three times greater than the increase in the number of Americans not in the labor force during the entire decade of the 1980s?
The mainstream media would have us believe that 157,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy in January. Based on that news, the Dow broke the 14,000 barrier for the first time since October 2007 [fed by infusions of new money by the FEDbuying out bad mortgage backed securities and making whole selected banks and investment houses]. But if you actually look at the non-seasonally adjusted numbers, the number of Americans with a job actually decreased by 1,446,000 between December and January. But nowhere in the mainstream media did you hear that the U.S. economy lost more than 1.4 million jobs between December and January.
It is amazing the things that you can find out when you actually take the time to look at the hard numbers instead of just listening to the media spin. Back in 2007, more than 146 million Americans were employed. Today, only 141.6 million Americans are employed even though our population has grown steadily since then. When the government and the media tell you that we are in a recovery and that unemployment is lower than it was a couple of years ago, I encourage you to dig deeper.
First of all, let's take a look at the percentage of the civilian labor force that has been employed over the past several years. These numbers come directly from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As you can see, this is a number that has been steadily falling since 2006...
In January, only 57.9 percent of the civilian labor force was employed. Do the numbers above represent a positive trend or a negative trend? Even a 2nd grader could answer that question.
The only way that the government has been able to show a declining unemployment rate is by dumping massive numbers of Americans into the not in the labor force category. Just check out how the number of Americans not in the labor force has absolutely skyrocketed in recent years...
In January, there were supposedly 89,868,000 Americans that were at least 16 years of age that were not in the labor force. That number has risen by more than 8 million since Barack Obama first entered the White House, and that is highly unusual, because the number of Americans "not in the labor force" only increased by 2,518,000 during the entire decade of the 1980s.
You sure can get the numbers to look more favorable if you pretend that millions upon millions of American workers simply "don't want a job" any longer. The truth is that if the labor force participation rate was at the same level it was at when Barack Obama was first elected, the official unemployment rate would be well above 10 percent. But that wouldn't do at all, would it? 7.9 percent sounds so much nicer.
According to economist Tim Kane, the following is how the decline in the number of start-up jobs per one thousand Americans breaks down by presidential administration...
Bush Sr.: 11.3
Bush Jr.: 10.8
Is that a good trend or a bad trend? It is almost as if we didn't learn any lessons from 2008. And guess what? The infamous no money down mortgages are back. If we wait long enough, perhaps interest only mortgages will make a comeback as well [that explains why we are already seeing a rising speculative buying in the housing markets, as I detailed last week].
PRICE OF OBAMAS ROYALTY
The taxpayer burden for Obamas travel and recreation each year is $1.4B. What can you buy for $1.4 billion a year? You can buy the most luxurious and costly royal presidency in history.
Taxpayers spent $1.4 billion dollars on everything from staffing, housing, flying and entertaining President Obama and his family last year, according to the author of a new book on taxpayer-funded presidential perks. In comparison, British taxpayers spent just $57.8 million on the royal family, and complain bitterly about the cost.
GEITHNER TO JOIN CFR
The Council on Foreign Relations has just announced that former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will join the Council on Foreign Relations later this month as a distinguished fellow. We are thrilled to welcome Tim back to the Council on Foreign Relations, said CFR President Richard N. Haass. No surprise there. He only quit to appear neutral relative to his role in government, but Tim Geithner has always been a globalist and always will. [END]