Obama On War, Peace and Drones To Kill Radical Islamic Jihad Terrorists — National Defense University Speech, May 23, 2013 — Videos

Posted on May 23, 2013. Filed under: Blogroll, College, Communications, Constitution, Drones, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, IRS, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Terrorism, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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‘There is no justification to Gitmo’: Barack Obama’s speech on counter-terrorism

President Barack Obama has given a speech – justifying and outlining changes to the national defence policies of the United States. The address is seen as an opening up of America’s security policies. Obama has discussed the legality of drone strikes and the future of the Guantanamo prison.

Document: Text of Obama speech on counterterrorism, May 23, 2013

President Barack Obama’s speech on the fight against terrorism at the National Defense University, as provided by the White House:

It’s an honor to return to the National Defense University. Here, at Fort McNair, Americans have served in uniform since 1791– standing guard in the early days of the Republic, and contemplating the future of warfare here in the 21st century.

For over two centuries, the United States has been bound together by founding documents that defined who we are as Americans, and served as our compass through every type of change. Matters of war and peace are no different. Americans are deeply ambivalent about war, but having fought for our independence, we know that a price must be paid for freedom. From the Civil War, to our struggle against fascism, and through the long, twilight struggle of the Cold War, battlefields have changed, and technology has evolved. But our commitment to constitutional principles has weathered every war, and every war has come to an end.

With the collapse of the Berlin Wall, a new dawn of democracy took hold abroad, and a decade of peace and prosperity arrived at home. For a moment, it seemed the 21st century would be a tranquil time. Then, on September 11th, 2001, we were shaken out of complacency. Thousands were taken from us, as clouds of fire, metal and ash descended upon a sun-filled morning. This was a different kind of war. No armies came to our hores, and our military was not the principal target. Instead, a group of terrorists came to kill as many civilians as they could.

And so our nation went to war. We have now been at war for well over a decade. I won’t review the full history. What’s clear is that we quickly drove al-Qaida out of Afghanistan, but then shifted our focus and began a new war in Iraq. This carried grave consequences for our fight against al-Qaida, our standing in the world, and — to this day — our interests in a vital region.

Meanwhile, we strengthened our defenses — hardening targets, tightening transportation security, and giving law enforcement new tools to prevent terror. Most of these changes were sound. Some caused inconvenience. But some, like expanded surveillance, raised difficult questions about the balance we strike between our interests in security and our values of privacy. And in some cases, I believe we compromised our basic values — by using torture to interrogate our enemies, and detaining individuals in a way that ran counter to the rule of law.

After I took office, we stepped up the war against al-Qaida, but also sought to change its course. We relentlessly targeted al-Qaida’s leadership. We ended the war in Iraq, and brought nearly 150,000 troops home. We pursued a new strategy in Afghanistan, and increased our training of Afghan forces. We unequivocally banned torture, affirmed our commitment to civilian courts, worked to align our policies with the rule of law, and expanded our consultations with Congress.

Today, Osama bin Laden is dead, and so are most of his top lieutenants. There have been no large-scale attacks on the United States, and our homeland is more secure. Fewer of our troops are in harm’s way, and over the next 19 months they will continue to come home. Our alliances are strong, and so is our standing in the world. In sum, we are safer because of our efforts.

Now make no mistake: our nation is still threatened by terrorists. From Benghazi to Boston, we have been tragically reminded of that truth. We must recognize, however, that the threat has shifted and evolved from the one that came to our shores on 9/11. With a decade of experience to draw from, now is the time to ask ourselves hard questions — about the nature of today’s threats, and how we should confront them.

These questions matter to every American. For over the last decade, our nation has spent well over a trillion dollars on war, exploding our deficits and constraining our ability to nation build here at home. Our service-members and their families have sacrificed far more on our behalf. Nearly 7,000 Americans have made the ultimate sacrifice. Many more have left a part of themselves on the battlefield, or brought the shadows of battle back home. From our use of drones to the detention of terrorist suspects, the decisions we are making will define the type of nation — and world — that we leave to our children.

So America is at a crossroads. We must define the nature and scope of this struggle, or else it will define us, mindful of James Madison’s warning that “No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.” Neither I, nor any president, can promise the total defeat of terror. We will never erase the evil that lies in the hearts of some human beings, nor stamp out every danger to our open society. What we can do — what we must do — is dismantle networks that pose a direct danger, and make it less likely for new groups to gain a foothold, all while maintaining the freedoms and ideals that we defend. To define that strategy, we must make decisions based not on fear, but hard-earned wisdom. And that begins with understanding the threat we face.

Today, the core of al-Qaida in Afghanistan and Pakistan is on a path to defeat. Their remaining operatives spend more time thinking about their own safety than plotting against us. They did not direct the attacks in Benghazi or Boston. They have not carried out a successful attack on our homeland since 9/11. Instead, what we’ve seen is the emergence of various al-Qaida affiliates. From Yemen to Iraq, from Somalia to North Africa, the threat today is more diffuse, with al-Qaida’s affiliate in the Arabian Peninsula — AQAP — the most active in plotting against our homeland. While none of AQAP’s efforts approach the scale of 9/11 they have continued to plot acts of terror, like the attempt to blow up an airplane on Christmas Day in 2009.

Unrest in the Arab World has also allowed extremists to gain a foothold in countries like Libya and Syria. Here, too, there are differences from 9/11. In some cases, we confront state-sponsored networks like Hezbollah that engage in acts of terror to achieve political goals. Others are simply collections of local militias or extremists interested in seizing territory. While we are vigilant for signs that these groups may pose a transnational threat, most are focused on operating in the countries and regions where they are based. That means we will face more localized threats like those we saw in Benghazi, or at the BP oil facility in Algeria, in which local operatives — in loose affiliation with regional networks — launch periodic attacks against Western diplomats, companies, and other soft targets, or resort to kidnapping and other criminal enterprises to fund their operations.

Finally, we face a real threat from radicalized individuals here in the United States. Whether it’s a shooter at a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin; a plane flying into a building in Texas; or the extremists who killed 168 people at the Federal Building in Oklahoma City — America has confronted many forms of violent extremism in our time. Deranged or alienated individuals — often U.S. citizens or legal residents – can do enormous damage, particularly when inspired by larger notions of violent jihad. That pull towards extremism appears to have led to the shooting at Fort Hood, and the bombing of the Boston Marathon.

Lethal yet less capable al-Qaida affiliates. Threats to diplomatic facilities and businesses abroad. Homegrown extremists. This is the future of terrorism. We must take these threats seriously, and do all that we can to confront them. But as we shape our response, we have to recognize that the scale of this threat closely resembles the types of attacks we faced before 9/11. In the 1980s, we lost Americans to terrorism at our Embassy in Beirut; at our Marine Barracks in Lebanon; on a cruise ship at sea; at a disco in Berlin; and on Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie. In the 1990s, we lost Americans to terrorism at the World Trade Center; at our military facilities in Saudi Arabia; and at our Embassy in Kenya. These attacks were all deadly, and we learned that left unchecked, these threats can grow. But if dealt with smartly and proportionally, these threats need not rise to the level that we saw on the eve of 9/11.

Moreover, we must recognize that these threats don’t arise in a vacuum. Most, though not all, of the terrorism we face is fueled by a common ideology — a belief by some extremists that Islam is in conflict with the United States and the West, and that violence against Western targets, including civilians, is justified in pursuit of a larger cause. Of course, this ideology is based on a lie, for the United States is not at war with Islam; and this ideology is rejected by the vast majority of Muslims, who are the most frequent victims of terrorist acts.

Nevertheless, this ideology persists, and in an age in which ideas and images can travel the globe in an instant, our response to terrorism cannot depend on military or law enforcement alone. We need all elements of national power to win a battle of wills and ideas. So let me discuss the components of such a comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy.

First, we must finish the work of defeating al-Qaida and its associated forces.

In Afghanistan, we will complete our transition to Afghan responsibility for security. Our troops will come home. Our combat mission will come to an end. And we will work with the Afghan government to train security forces, and sustain a counter-terrorism force which ensures that al-Qaida can never again establish a safe-haven to launch attacks against us or our allies.

Beyond Afghanistan, we must define our effort not as a boundless ‘global war on terror’ — but rather as a series of persistent, targeted efforts to dismantle specific networks of violent extremists that threaten America. In many cases, this will involve partnerships with other countries. Thousands of Pakistani soldiers have lost their lives fighting extremists. In Yemen, we are supporting security forces that have reclaimed territory from AQAP. In Somalia, we helped a coalition of African nations push al Shabaab out of its strongholds. In Mali, we are providing military aid to a French-led intervention to push back al-Qaida in the Maghreb, and help the people of Mali reclaim their future.

Much of our best counter-terrorism cooperation results in the gathering and sharing of intelligence; the arrest and prosecution of terrorists. That’s how a Somali terrorist apprehended off the coast of Yemen is now in prison in New York. That’s how we worked with European allies to disrupt plots from Denmark to Germany to the United Kingdom. That’s how intelligence collected with Saudi Arabia helped us stop a cargo plane from being blown up over the Atlantic.

But despite our strong preference for the detention and prosecution of terrorists, sometimes this approach is foreclosed. Al-Qaida and its affiliates try to gain a foothold in some of the most distant and unforgiving places on earth. They take refuge in remote tribal regions. They hide in caves and walled compounds. They train in empty deserts and rugged mountains.

In some of these places — such as parts of Somalia and Yemen — the state has only the most tenuous reach into the territory. In other cases, the state lacks the capacity or will to take action. It is also not possible for America to simply deploy a team of Special Forces to capture every terrorist. And even when such an approach may be possible, there are places where it would pose profound risks to our troops and local civilians– where a terrorist compound cannot be breached without triggering a firefight with surrounding tribal communities that pose no threat to us, or when putting U.S. boots on the ground may trigger a major international crisis.

To put it another way, our operation in Pakistan against Osama bin Laden cannot be the norm. The risks in that case were immense; the likelihood of capture, although our preference, was remote given the certainty of resistance; the fact that we did not find ourselves confronted with civilian casualties, or embroiled in an extended firefight, was a testament to the meticulous planning and professionalism of our Special Forces — but also depended on some luck. And even then, the cost to our relationship with Pakistan — and the backlash among the Pakistani public over encroachment on their territory — was so severe that we are just now beginning to rebuild this important partnership.

It is in this context that the United States has taken lethal, targeted action against al-Qaida and its associated forces, including with remotely piloted aircraft commonly referred to as drones. As was true in previous armed conflicts, this new technology raises profound questions — about who is targeted, and why; about civilian casualties, and the risk of creating new enemies; about the legality of such strikes under U.S. and international law; about accountability and morality.

Let me address these questions. To begin with, our actions are effective. Don’t take my word for it. In the intelligence gathered at bin Laden’s compound, we found that he wrote, “we could lose the reserves to the enemy’s air strikes. We cannot fight air strikes with explosives.” Other communications from al-Qaida operatives confirm this as well. Dozens of highly skilled al-Qaida commanders, trainers, bomb makers, and operatives have been taken off the battlefield. Plots have been disrupted that would have targeted international aviation, U.S. transit systems, European cities and our troops in Afghanistan. Simply put, these strikes have saved lives.

Moreover, America’s actions are legal. We were attacked on 9/11. Within a week, Congress overwhelmingly authorized the use of force. Under domestic law, and international law, the United States is at war with al-Qaida, the Taliban, and their associated forces. We are at war with an organization that right now would kill as many Americans as they could if we did not stop them first. So this is a just war — a war waged proportionally, in last resort, and in self-defense.

And yet as our fight enters a new phase, America’s legitimate claim of self-defense cannot be the end of the discussion. To say a military tactic is legal, or even effective, is not to say it is wise or moral in every instance. For the same human progress that gives us the technology to strike half a world away also demands the discipline to constrain that power — or risk abusing it. That’s why, over the last four years, my administration has worked vigorously to establish a framework that governs our use of force against terrorists — insisting upon clear guidelines, oversight and accountability that is now codified in Presidential Policy Guidance that I signed yesterday.

In the Afghan war theater, we must support our troops until the transition is complete at the end of 2014. That means we will continue to take strikes against high value al-Qaida targets, but also against forces that are massing to support attacks on coalition forces. However, by the end of 2014, we will no longer have the same need for force protection, and the progress we have made against core al-Qaida will reduce the need for unmanned strikes.

Beyond the Afghan theater, we only target al-Qaida and its associated forces. Even then, the use of drones is heavily constrained. America does not take strikes when we have the ability to capture individual terrorists — our preference is always to detain, interrogate, and prosecute them. America cannot take strikes wherever we choose — our actions are bound by consultations with partners, and respect for state sovereignty. America does not take strikes to punish individuals — we act against terrorists who pose a continuing and imminent threat to the American people, and when there are no other governments capable of effectively addressing the threat. And before any strike is taken, there must be near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured — the highest standard we can set.

This last point is critical, because much of the criticism about drone strikes — at home and abroad — understandably centers on reports of civilian casualties. There is a wide gap between U.S. assessments of such casualties, and non-governmental reports. Nevertheless, it is a hard fact that U.S. strikes have resulted in civilian casualties, a risk that exists in all wars. For the families of those civilians, no words or legal construct can justify their loss. For me, and those in my chain of command, these deaths will haunt us as long as we live, just as we are haunted by the civilian casualties that have occurred through conventional fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.

But as Commander-in-Chief, I must weigh these heartbreaking tragedies against the alternatives. To do nothing in the face of terrorist networks would invite far more civilian casualties — not just in our cities at home and facilities abroad, but also in the very places — like Sana’a and Kabul and Mogadishu — where terrorists seek a foothold. Let us remember that the terrorists we are after target civilians, and the death toll from their acts of terrorism against Muslims dwarfs any estimate of civilian casualties from drone strikes.

Where foreign governments cannot or will not effectively stop terrorism in their territory, the primary alternative to targeted, lethal action is the use of conventional military options. As I’ve said, even small Special Operations carry enormous risks. Conventional airpower or missiles are far less precise than drones, and likely to cause more civilian casualties and local outrage. And invasions of these territories lead us to be viewed as occupying armies; unleash a torrent of unintended consequences; are difficult to contain; and ultimately empower those who thrive on violent conflict. So it is false to assert that putting boots on the ground is less likely to result in civilian deaths, or to create enemies in the Muslim world. The result would be more U.S. deaths, more Blackhawks down, more confrontations with local populations, and an inevitable mission creep in support of such raids that could easily escalate into new wars.

So yes, the conflict with al-Qaida, like all armed conflict, invites tragedy. But by narrowly targeting our action against those who want to kill us, and not the people they hide among, we are choosing the course of action least likely to result in the loss of innocent life. Indeed, our efforts must also be measured against the history of putting American troops in distant lands among hostile populations. In Vietnam, hundreds of thousands of civilians died in a war where the boundaries of battle were blurred. In Iraq and Afghanistan, despite the courage and discipline of our troops, thousands of civilians have been killed. So neither conventional military action, nor waiting for attacks to occur, offers moral safe-harbor. Neither does a sole reliance on law enforcement in territories that have no functioning police or security services — and indeed, have no functioning law.

This is not to say that the risks are not real. Any U.S. military action in foreign lands risks creating more enemies, and impacts public opinion overseas. Our laws constrain the power of the president, even during wartime, and I have taken an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States. The very precision of drones strikes, and the necessary secrecy involved in such actions can end up shielding our government from the public scrutiny that a troop deployment invites. It can also lead a president and his team to view drone strikes as a cure-all for terrorism.

For this reason, I’ve insisted on strong oversight of all lethal action. After I took office, my administration began briefing all strikes outside of Iraq and Afghanistan to the appropriate committees of Congress. Let me repeat that — not only did Congress authorize the use of force, it is briefed on every strike that America takes. That includes the one instance when we targeted an American citizen: Anwar Awlaki, the chief of external operations for AQAP.

This week, I authorized the declassification of this action, and the deaths of three other Americans in drone strikes, to facilitate transparency and debate on this issue, and to dismiss some of the more outlandish claims. For the record, I do not believe it would be constitutional for the government to target and kill any U.S. citizen — with a drone, or a shotgun — without due process. Nor should any president deploy armed drones over U.S. soil.

But when a U.S. citizen goes abroad to wage war against America — and is actively plotting to kill U.S. citizens; and when neither the United States, nor our partners are in a position to capture him before he carries out a plot — his citizenship should no more serve as a shield than a sniper shooting down on an innocent crowd should be protected from a swat team

That’s who Anwar Awlaki was — he was continuously trying to kill people. He helped oversee the 2010 plot to detonate explosive devices on two U.S. bound cargo planes. He was involved in planning to blow up an airliner in 2009. When Farouk Abdulmutallab — the Christmas Day bomber — went to Yemen in 2009, Awlaki hosted him, approved his suicide operation, and helped him tape a martyrdom video to be shown after the attack. His last instructions were to blow up the airplane when it was over American soil. I would have detained and prosecuted Awlaki if we captured him before he carried out a plot. But we couldn’t. And as President, I would have been derelict in my duty had I not authorized the strike that took out Awlaki.

Of course, the targeting of any Americans raises constitutional issues that are not present in other strikes — which is why my Administration submitted information about Awlaki to the Department of Justice months before Awlaki was killed, and briefed the Congress before this strike as well. But the high threshold that we have set for taking lethal action applies to all potential terrorist targets, regardless of whether or not they are American citizens. This threshold respects the inherent dignity of every human life. Alongside the decision to put our men and women in uniform in harm’s way, the decision to use force against individuals or groups — even against a sworn enemy of the United States — is the hardest thing I do as president. But these decisions must be made, given my responsibility to protect the American people.

Going forward, I have asked my administration to review proposals to extend oversight of lethal actions outside of warzones that go beyond our reporting to Congress. Each option has virtues in theory, but poses difficulties in practice. For example, the establishment of a special court to evaluate and authorize lethal action has the benefit of bringing a third branch of government into the process, but raises serious constitutional issues about presidential and judicial authority. Another idea that’s been suggested — the establishment of an independent oversight board in the executive branch — avoids those problems, but may introduce a layer of bureaucracy into national-security decision-making, without inspiring additional public confidence in the process. Despite these challenges, I look forward to actively engaging Congress to explore these — and other — options for increased oversight.

I believe, however, that the use of force must be seen as part of a larger discussion about a comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy. Because for all the focus on the use of force, force alone cannot make us safe. We cannot use force everywhere that a radical ideology takes root; and in the absence of a strategy that reduces the well-spring of extremism, a perpetual war — through drones or Special Forces or troop deployments — will prove self-defeating, and alter our country in troubling ways.

So the next element of our strategy involves addressing the underlying grievances and conflicts that feed extremism, from North Africa to South Asia. As we’ve learned this past decade, this is a vast and complex undertaking. We must be humble in our expectation that we can quickly resolve deep rooted problems like poverty and sectarian hatred. Moreover, no two countries are alike, and some will undergo chaotic change before things get better. But our security and values demand that we make the effort.

This means patiently supporting transitions to democracy in places like Egypt, Tunisia and Libya — because the peaceful realization of individual aspirations will serve as a rebuke to violent extremists. We must strengthen the opposition in Syria, while isolating extremist elements — because the end of a tyrant must not give way to the tyranny of terrorism. We are working to promote peace between Israelis and Palestinians – because it is right, and because such a peace could help reshape attitudes in the region. And we must help countries modernize economies, upgrade education, and encourage entrepreneurship — because American leadership has always been elevated by our ability to connect with peoples’ hopes, and not simply their fears.

Success on these fronts requires sustained engagement, but it will also require resources. I know that foreign aid is one of the least popular expenditures — even though it amounts to less than one percent of the federal budget. But foreign assistance cannot be viewed as charity. It is fundamental to our national security, and any sensible long-term strategy to battle extremism. Moreover, foreign assistance is a tiny fraction of what we spend fighting wars that our assistance might ultimately prevent. For what we spent in a month in Iraq at the height of the war, we could be training security forces in Libya, maintaining peace agreements between Israel and its neighbors, feeding the hungry in Yemen, building schools in Pakistan, and creating reservoirs of goodwill that marginalize extremists.

America cannot carry out this work if we do not have diplomats serving in dangerous places. Over the past decade, we have strengthened security at our Embassies, and I am implementing every recommendation of the Accountability Review Board which found unacceptable failures in Benghazi. I have called on Congress to fully fund these efforts to bolster security, harden facilities, improve intelligence, and facilitate a quicker response time from our military if a crisis emerges.

But even after we take these steps, some irreducible risks to our diplomats will remain. This is the price of being the world’s most powerful nation, particularly as a wave of change washes over the Arab World. And in balancing the trade-offs between security and active diplomacy, I firmly believe that any retreat from challenging regions will only increase the dangers we face in the long run.

Targeted action against terrorists. Effective partnerships. Diplomatic engagement and assistance. Through such a comprehensive strategy we can significantly reduce the chances of large scale attacks on the homeland and mitigate threats to Americans overseas. As we guard against dangers from abroad, however, we cannot neglect the daunting challenge of terrorism from within our borders.

As I said earlier, this threat is not new. But technology and the Internet increase its frequency and lethality. Today, a person can consume hateful propaganda, commit themselves to a violent agenda, and learn how to kill without leaving their home. To address this threat, two years ago my administration did a comprehensive review, and engaged with law enforcement. The best way to prevent violent extremism is to work with the Muslim American community — which has consistently rejected terrorism — to identify signs of radicalization, and partner with law enforcement when an individual is drifting towards violence. And these partnerships can only work when we recognize that Muslims are a fundamental part of the American family. Indeed, the success of American Muslims, and our determination to guard against any encroachments on their civil liberties, is the ultimate rebuke to those who say we are at war with Islam.

Indeed, thwarting homegrown plots presents particular challenges in part because of our proud commitment to civil liberties for all who call America home. That’s why, in the years to come, we will have to keep working hard to strike the appropriate balance between our need for security and preserving those freedoms that make us who we are. That means reviewing the authorities of law enforcement, so we can intercept new types of communication, and build in privacy protections to prevent abuse. That means that — even after Boston — we do not deport someone or throw someone in prison in the absence of evidence. That means putting careful constraints on the tools the government uses to protect sensitive information, such as the State Secrets doctrine. And that means finally having a strong Privacy and Civil Liberties Board to review those issues where our counter-terrorism efforts and our values may come into tension.

The Justice Department’s investigation of national security leaks offers a recent example of the challenges involved in striking the right balance between our security and our open society. As Commander-in Chief, I believe we must keep information secret that protects our operations and our people in the field. To do so, we must enforce consequences for those who break the law and breach their commitment to protect classified information. But a free press is also essential for our democracy. I am troubled by the possibility that leak investigations may chill the investigative journalism that holds government accountable.

Journalists should not be at legal risk for doing their jobs. Our focus must be on those who break the law. That is why I have called on Congress to pass a media shield law to guard against government over-reach. I have raised these issues with the Attorney General, who shares my concern. So he has agreed to review existing Department of Justice guidelines governing investigations that involve reporters, and will convene a group of media organizations to hear their concerns as part of that review. And I have directed the Attorney General to report back to me by July 12th.

All these issues remind us that the choices we make about war can impact — in sometimes unintended ways — the openness and freedom on which our way of life depends. And that is why I intend to engage Congress about the existing Authorization to Use Military Force, or AUMF, to determine how we can continue to fight terrorists without keeping America on a perpetual war-time footing.

The AUMF is now nearly twelve years old. The Afghan War is coming to an end. Core al-Qaida is a shell of its former self. Groups like AQAP must be dealt with, but in the years to come, not every collection of thugs that labels themselves al-Qaida will pose a credible threat to the United States. Unless we discipline our thinking and our actions, we may be drawn into more wars we don’t need to fight, or continue to grant presidents unbound powers more suited for traditional armed conflicts between nation states. So I look forward to engaging Congress and the American people in efforts to refine, and ultimately repeal, the AUMF’s mandate. And I will not sign laws designed to expand this mandate further. Our systematic effort to dismantle terrorist organizations must continue. But this war, like all wars, must end. That’s what history advises. That’s what our democracy demands.

And that brings me to my final topic: the detention of terrorist suspects.

To repeat, as a matter of policy, the preference of the United States is to capture terrorist suspects. When we do detain a suspect, we interrogate them. And if the suspect can be prosecuted, we decide whether to try him in a civilian court or a Military Commission. During the past decade, the vast majority of those detained by our military were captured on the battlefield. In Iraq, we turned over thousands of prisoners as we ended the war. In Afghanistan, we have transitioned detention facilities to the Afghans, as part of the process of restoring Afghan sovereignty. So we bring law of war detention to an end, and we are committed to prosecuting terrorists whenever we can.

The glaring exception to this time-tested approach is the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. The original premise for opening GTMO — that detainees would not be able to challenge their detention — was found unconstitutional five years ago. In the meantime, GTMO has become a symbol around the world for an America that flouts the rule of law. Our allies won’t cooperate with us if they think a terrorist will end up at GTMO. During a time of budget cuts, we spend $150 million each year to imprison 166 people — almost $1 million per prisoner. And the Department of Defense estimates that we must spend another $200 million to keep GTMO open at a time when we are cutting investments in education and research here at home.

As president, I have tried to close GTMO. I transferred 67 detainees to other countries before Congress imposed restrictions to effectively prevent us from either transferring detainees to other countries, or imprisoning them in the United States. These restrictions make no sense. After all, under President Bush, some 530 detainees were transferred from GTMO with Congress’s support. When I ran for president the first time, John McCain supported closing GTMO. No person has ever escaped from one of our super-max or military prisons in the United States. Our courts have convicted hundreds of people for terrorism-related offenses, including some who are more dangerous than most GTMO detainees. Given my administration’s relentless pursuit of al-Qaida’s leadership, there is no justification beyond politics for Congress to prevent us from closing a facility that should never have been opened.

Today, I once again call on Congress to lift the restrictions on detainee transfers from GTMO. I have asked the Department of Defense to designate a site in the United States where we can hold military commissions. I am appointing a new, senior envoy at the State Department and Defense Department whose sole responsibility will be to achieve the transfer of detainees to third countries. I am lifting the moratorium on detainee transfers to Yemen, so we can review them on a case by case basis. To the greatest extent possible, we will transfer detainees who have been cleared to go to other countries. Where appropriate, we will bring terrorists to justice in our courts and military justice system. And we will insist that judicial review be available for every detainee.

Even after we take these steps, one issue will remain: how to deal with those GTMO detainees who we know have participated in dangerous plots or attacks, but who cannot be prosecuted — for example because the evidence against them has been compromised or is inadmissible in a court of law. But once we commit to a process of closing GTMO, I am confident that this legacy problem can be resolved, consistent with our commitment to the rule of law.

I know the politics are hard. But history will cast a harsh judgment on this aspect of our fight against terrorism, and those of us who fail to end it. Imagine a future — 10 years from now, or 20 years from now — when the United States of America is still holding people who have been charged with no crime on a piece of land that is not a part of our country. Look at the current situation, where we are force-feeding detainees who are holding a hunger strike. Is that who we are? Is that something that our Founders foresaw? Is that the America we want to leave to our children?

Our sense of justice is stronger than that. We have prosecuted scores of terrorists in our courts. That includes Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried to blow up an airplane over Detroit; and Faisal Shahzad, who put a car bomb in Times Square. It is in a court of law that we will try Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is accused of bombing the Boston Marathon. Richard Reid, the shoe bomber, is as we speak serving a life sentence in a maximum security prison here, in the United States. In sentencing Reid, Judge William Young told him, “the way we treat you.is the measure of our own liberties.” He went on to point to the American flag that flew in the courtroom — “That flag,” he said, “will fly there long after this is all forgotten. That flag still stands for freedom.”

America, we have faced down dangers far greater than al-Qaida. By staying true to the values of our founding, and by using our constitutional compass, we have overcome slavery and Civil War; fascism and communism. In just these last few years as president, I have watched the American people bounce back from painful recession, mass shootings, and natural disasters like the recent tornados that devastated Oklahoma. These events were heartbreaking; they shook our communities to the core. But because of the resilience of the American people, these events could not come close to breaking us.

I think of Lauren Manning, the 9/11 survivor who had severe burns over 80 percent of her body, who said, “That’s my reality. I put a Band-Aid on it, literally, and I move on.”

I think of the New Yorkers who filled Times Square the day after an attempted car bomb as if nothing had happened.

I think of the proud Pakistani parents who, after their daughter was invited to the White House, wrote to us, “we have raised an American Muslim daughter to dream big and never give up because it does pay off.”

I think of the wounded warriors rebuilding their lives, and helping other vets to find jobs.

I think of the runner planning to do the 2014 Boston Marathon, who said, “Next year, you are going to have more people than ever. Determination is not something to be messed with.”

That’s who the American people are. Determined, and not to be messed with.

Now, we need a strategy — and a politics — that reflects this resilient spirit. Our victory against terrorism won’t be measured in a surrender ceremony on a battleship, or a statue being pulled to the ground. Victory will be measured in parents taking their kids to school; immigrants coming to our shores; fans taking in a ballgame; a veteran starting a business; a bustling city street. The quiet determination; that strength of character and bond of fellowship; that refutation of fear — that is both our sword and our shield. And long after the current messengers of hate have faded from the world’s memory, alongside the brutal despots, deranged madmen, and ruthless demagogues who litter history — the flag of the United States will still wave from small-town cemeteries, to national monuments, to distant outposts abroad. And that flag will still stand for freedom.

Thank you. God Bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.

Obama reframes counterterrorism policy with new rules on drones

By Tom Curry, National Affairs Writer, NBC News

In a major address Thursday President Barack Obama sought to reframe the nation’s counterterrorism strategy, saying, “Our systematic effort to dismantle terrorist organizations must continue. But this war, like all wars, must end. That’s what history advises. That’s what our democracy demands.”

He said in a speech at the National Defense University in Washington, “America is at a crossroads. We must define our effort not as a boundless ‘global war on terror’ – but rather as a series of persistent, targeted efforts to dismantle specific networks of violent extremists that threaten America.”

In an attempt to define a new post-Sept. 11 era, Obama outlined new guidelines for the use of drones to kill terrorists overseas and pledged a renewed effort to close the military detention center in Guantanamo Bay.  In the speech, Obama argued that, “In the years to come, not every collection of thugs that labels themselves al Qaeda will pose a credible threat to the United States.” He warned that “unless we discipline our thinking and our actions, we may be drawn into more wars we don’t need to fight.”

With efforts under way in Congress to redefine the 2001 authorization to use military force (AUMF) against al Qaida, Obama said he would work with Congress “in efforts to refine, and ultimately repeal, the AUMF’s mandate. And I will not sign laws designed to expand this mandate further.”

Toward the end of Obama’s address as he discussed the Guantanamo detainees, he was repeatedly interrupted by heckling from Medea Benjamin, founder of the antiwar Code Pink, whose members have frequently been arrested for disrupting hearings on Capitol Hill – but Obama patiently said that Benjamin’s concerns are “something to be passionate about.”

“We must define the nature and scope of this struggle, or else it will define us, mindful of James Madison’s warning that ‘No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.’ Neither I, nor any president, can promise the total defeat of terror,” he declared.

As part of his redefinition of counterterrorism, the president announced several initiatives:

  • Setting narrower parameters for the use of remotely piloted aircraft, or drones, to kill terrorists overseas and to limit collateral casualties;
  • Renewing efforts to persuade Congress to agree to close the Guantanamo detention site in Cuba where 110 terrorist suspects are being held;
  • Appointing a new envoy at the State Department and an official at the Defense Department who will attempt to negotiate transfers of Guantanamo detainees to other countries.
  • Lifting the moratorium he imposed in 2010 on transferring some detainees at Guantanamo to Yemen. Obama imposed that moratorium after it was revealed that Detroit “underwear bomber” Umar Farouq Abdulmuttalab was trained in Yemen.

Obama argued that when compared to the Sept. 11, 2001 attackers, “the threat today is more diffuse, with Al Qaeda’s affiliates in the

Arabian Peninsula – AQAP – the most active in plotting against our homeland. While none of AQAP’s efforts approach the scale of 9/11 they have continued to plot acts of terror, like the attempt to blow up an airplane on Christmas Day in 2009.”

So he said, “As we shape our response, we have to recognize that the scale of this threat closely resembles the types of attacks we faced before 9/11.”

He said that the current threat is often from “deranged or alienated individuals – often U.S. citizens or legal residents – (who) can do enormous damage, particularly when inspired by larger notions of violent jihad. That pull towards extremism appears to have led to the shooting at Fort Hood, and the bombing of the Boston Marathon.”

In discussing his drone strategy he indicated his remorse over the innocent people who had been killed: “it is a hard fact that U.S. strikes have resulted in civilian casualties, a risk that exists in all wars. For the families of those civilians, no words or legal construct can justify their loss. For me, and those in my chain of command, these deaths will haunt us as long as we live, just as we are haunted by the civilian casualties that have occurred through conventional fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

There remains considerable doubt about Obama’s ability to persuade a majority in Congress to change the current law on releasing detainees held there.

The defense spending bill which Obama signed into law last year prohibits any transfers to the United States of any detainee at Guantanamo who was held there on or before Jan. 20, 2009, the day Obama became president.

And the law sets a very high legal bar for Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to transfer a detainee to his country of origin, or to any other foreign country.

Hagel would need to certify to Congress that the detainee will not be transferred to a country that is a designated state sponsor of terrorism. The country must have agreed to take steps to ensure that the detainee cannot take action to threaten the United States, U.S. citizens, or its allies in the future.

The law allows Hagel to use waivers in some cases to transfer detainees.

Speaking a day before Obama’s speech, Ben Wittes, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and co-founder of the Lawfare blog which covers detainee news, said, “I don’t see any significant change in congressional sentiment right now” on closing the Guantanamo site.

“He’s got a lot of domestic pressure from his base to be seen to be doing something and he’s also got a hunger strike there (at Guantanamo) — and I think there’s a lot of genuine sentiment in the administration that they want to do something (about Guantanamo) so they’re committed to another push and trying again – but the question of what they actually could get done is a difficult question. There’s very limited latitude.”

Related Posts On Pronk Palisades

Obama’s Kill List–Drones–Remotely Piloted Aircraft–RPAs–Killing Machines–We Don’t Torture Terrorists–We Kill Americans, Civilians and Children in Undeclared Wars–Obama is Judge, Jury, and Executioner–Hope, Change, and Murder, Inc.–The Mass Murderer In The White House–Videos

NSA–Now Spying on Americans: Big Brother Government Spying On Americans–Progressives Minding Your Business Without Warrants–Remotely Piloted Aircraft a.k.a.Drones–Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)–Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISA)–Videos

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Ron Paul’s Racist Newsletters – An In Depth and Honest Look–James Kirchick–Gay Neoconservative!–The Hit Man Behind The Smear Attack On Ron Paul–Blacks, Jews, and Libertarians For Ron Paul Respond–Videos

Posted on January 5, 2012. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, history, Language, liberty, Life, Links, media, Monetary Policy, Video, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Expanded, Revised and Updated January 20 and 24, 2012

James Kirchick

James Kirchick lied about Ron Paul four years ago as the following report clearly shows.

Ron Paul’s Racist Newsletters – An In Depth and Honest Look

Ron Paul- Full Truth About Newsletter FOLLOW-UP Day 2

Author Of Ron Paul Racist Newsletters Revealed

http://truthsquad.tv/?p=1053

Ron Paul’s “Racist Writings” DEBUNKED. Real Author: James B. Powell exposed by Ben Swann & TMOT

“…Reality Check has done it again!!! Ben Swann does some REAL investigative reporting!!! It turns out that the “most racist” newsletter issued under Ron Paul’s name has a byline that has someone else’s name on it… JAMES B. POWELL

The New Republic magazine that issued the original attack against Paul has apparently kept this fact hidden and is refusing to talk to other media outlets about who exactly penned the newsletter. When they originally released PDF scans of the news letter in question, they left off half of the last page which contained the byline of another author. They attributed the article to Paul, knowing full well that he didn’t write it.

Out of the 240 articles in question, only about 9 contain objectionable material. Of those 9, they appeared in sequence, which lends credence to the claim that the racist commentary did indeed come from an editor other than Paul and that Paul didn’t keep that author around for any great deal of time. …”

Ron Paul revealed

Jamie Kirchick interview on NPR. (see Tucker vid for update)

New Republic Author Exposes Ron Paul’s Past Writings!

CNN asks Ron Paul about racist writings he didn’t author

(2008)

Ron Paul quits CNN interview after being asked about racist newsletters

CNN and Fox Both Gunning for Ron Paul: Conspiracy or Reality?

Ron Paul: Damn It, Don’t Ask Bout My Racist Writings

The Bogus Scandal of the Ron Paul Newsletters

Kirchick wants the viewer to think that for twenty years the newsletter was filled with “racist” content when in fact more than 230 of the 240 plus issues of the monthly newsletter contain absolutely no such content and the one special edition of the newsletter that had the most offensive content was written by someone else under a byline which Kirchick fails to disclose. The writer of the special edition was James B. Powel. Kirchick also fails to disclose that he supports an interventionist neoconservative foreign policy that Paul has repeatly been critical of.

Paul takes full moral responsibility for the newsletter under whose name it was published, as he should.

Paul repeatedly denied he wrote the offensive passages in the  newsletter. He deplored the offensive racist passages that appeared in nine issues of the more than 240 monthly newsletters published from 1976 to 1996. He only became aware of these passages ten years latter when he was running for president.

A Rankled Ron Paul Grapples With Radio Caller’s Newsletter Questions

Kirchick continues his smear attack on Paul on the Foundation for Defense of Democracies website in a Jan. 7 article from The New Republic entitled: What Are Ron Paul’s Liberal Fans Thinking?

“For anyone moderately familiar with Ron Paul’s record, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a litany of racists, anti-Semites, conspiracy-theorists, and militia members back his presidential campaign. Paul, after all, has spent decades cultivating the support of the far-right, not least by publishing for years a newsletter steeped in bigotry. (Read my 2008 article “Angry White Man,” for ample evidence.) Much more disconcerting is the fact that so many prominent liberals have been eagerly lining up behind Paul’s candidacy. Unfortunately, this isn’t an aberration, but a telling indication of the skewed political priorities of many on the left. …”

http://www.defenddemocracy.org/media-hit/what-are-ron-pauls-liberal-fans-thinking/

 Kirchick is now attacking Paul for giving speeches at John Birch Society meetings in an attempt to marginalize him as a member of the radical right.

“…And he continues to speak regularly before the John Birch Society, an organization so reactionary that William F. Buckley Jr. wrote it out of the nascent conservative movement that he was building—in 1962. …”

The John Birch Society is not a reactionary organization but an anti-communist study group. It simply favors a constitutional republic with a non-interventionist foreign policy, opposes foreign aid to all countries, wants all wars to be declared according to the Constitution and wants to get the United Nations out of the United States and the United States out of the United Nations. Paul agrees and supports the John Birch Society.

http://www.jbs.org

Only progressive neoconservatives of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies such as Kirchick would consider the John Birch Society reactionary instead of a patriotic organization.

Why does Kirchick now mention Paul’s long association with the John Birch Society?

The John Birch Society is exposing the neoconservatives for what they really are in their betrayal of the Constitution:

Betrayal of the Constitution  An Exposé of the Neoconservative Agenda

A speech by John McManus of The John Birch Society Monday May 2,  2011 at the Marriott Hotel Albany, NH.

What is The John Birch Society?

Robert Welch, Founder of The John Birch Society

Mind blowing speech by Robert Welch in 1958 predicting Insiders plans to destroy America

“…Robert Welch, Founder of The John Birch Society, predicted today’s problems with uncanny accuracy back in 1958 and prescribed solutions in 1974 that are very similar to Ron Paul’s positions today. …”

A Hard Look at the United Nations

Ron Paul Endorses The John Birch Society

“Dr. Ron Paul, Texas congressman and 2008 Republican presidential candidate, was the featured speaker Saturday evening, October 4 on the final day of the John Birch Society’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. The topic of his keynote address was “Restoring the Republic:  Lessons From a Presidential Campaign,” in which he lectured the audience on how our republic can be restored with groups such as the John Birch Society (JBS) and his own Campaign for Liberty leading the way.’

Stand up for Freedom  Part 5 – Ezra Taft Benson

“Stand up for Freedom – an address by the honorable Ezra Taft Benson shortly after the assassination of President Kennedy.”

Stand up for Freedom – Part 6 – Ezra Taft Benson

“Stand up for Freedom – an address by the honorable Ezra Taft Benson shortly after the assassination of President Kennedy.”

Stand up for Freedom – Part 7 – Ezra Taft Benson

“Stand up for Freedom – an address by the honorable Ezra Taft Benson shortly after the assassination of President Kennedy.”

The History of NAFTA and the Council on Foreign Relations

“John McManus of the John Birch Society gives you a fascinating briefing on the history of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and NAFTA. You may never look at world events the same after you learn some of these facts.”

Council on Foreign Relations Calls for Bombing Iran

“In this weekly news update for January 16-22, 2012, JBS CEO Art Thompson discusses why the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) wants the U.S. to bomb Iran and how Mitt Romney surrounds himself with CFR members while Newt Gingrich himself is a CFR member.”

Bill Buckley was duped by the communists when he attacked the John Birch Society.

Buckley’s National Review is no longer a libertarian conservative or traditional conservative magazine but largely a  progressive neoconservative magazine. Buckley was building a progressive neoconservative movement that libertarian conservatives and traditional conservative now deplore and want no part of.

The neoconservatives including James Kirchick and Jeffrey Lord and many so-called “conservative” talk radio show hosts, commentators, journalists and reporters recently continued the smear attack on Paul by again bringing up the so-called “racist” newsletter issue and implying that Paul is a racist and anti-Semite just before the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary.

The neoconservatives are right-wing progressives that advocate an aggressive foreign policy of intervention abroad.

Neoconservatives want the United States to have an aggressive interventionist foreign policy that includes the U.S being the world’s policeman, engaging in empire or nation building abroad, providing foreign and military aid to Israel,  and starting undeclared  preemptive wars.

Ron Paul advocates  a strong national defense and a non-interventionist foreign policy that includes the elimination of all foreign aid, bringing the troops home and all wars being declared by Congress as set forth in the Constitution.

Ron Paul 2012 – “We now promote preemptive war.”

Armed Chinese Troops in Texas!

Troops say – If Everyone is saying; Support the troops, why is no one listening..

Paul has been one of the leading critics of the neoconservative interventionist foreign policy of both Presidents Bush and Obama.

CIA Chief Endorses Ron Paul

Ron Paul on foreign policy – Tea Party Debate – Analysis by Michael Scheuer

The Neocon Agenda

Bill Moyers on the rise of NeoCons

Pat Buchanan vs Neo-Cons

Neo-cons: Invasion of the Party Snatchers Part 1

Neo-cons: Invasion of the Party Snatchers Part 2

Congressman Ron Paul, MD – We’ve Been NeoConned

G. Edward Griffin – The Collectivist Conspiracy

The neoconservatives and their friends in the mainstream media and talk radio are attempting to smear Ron Paul by trying to label him a racist, anti-Semite and isolationist instead of addressing the costs and benefits of an interventionist foreign policy in comparison with a non-interventionist foreign policy.

Mark Levin – Who Wrote Ron Paul’s Newsletters In The 1990’s They’re Full Of Racist Statements

Mark Levin On “Crackpot” Ron Paul

Mark Levin Interviews Jeffrey Lord On Ron Paul And His Supporters Being Neoliberal

Mike Church, Tom Woods, and Kevin Gutzman Destroy Neocons Mark Levin and Jeffrey Lord –  Part 1

Mike Church, Tom Woods, and Kevin Gutzman Destroy Neocons Mark Levin and Jeffrey Lord –  Part 2

Mike Church, Tom Woods, and Kevin Gutzman Destroy Neocons Mark Levin and Jeffrey Lord –  Part 3 

Ron Paul Newsletter Controversy

Doug Wead Responds to Last-Minute Smear Attacks on Ron Paul

SA@TAC – Ron Paul’s Conservative Foreign Policy

Pro-Israel Lobby  the Media

Illuminating discussion of how Israel is portrayed in the media as sparks fly between Time Magazine political columnist Joe Klein and Assistant Editor of The New Republic James Kirchick. With Jennifer Lazlo Mizrahi and Ori Nir.

Israel and GOP join forces to oust Obama and Marginalize Paul

A favorite tactic of both right-wing Republican progressives and left-wing Democrat progressives is to play the race card and if that fails call the person an anti-Semite.

This is right out of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals playbook.

Alinsky advocated using a personal attack  by identifying a problem, targeting a person, identifying the problem with the person and attacking the targeted person.

The Republican progressive neoconservatives’  problem is a non-interventionist foreign policy.

The Republican progressive neoconservatives’ target is Ron Paul.

The Republican progressive neoconservatives have identified Ron Paul as an isolationist with a non-interventionist foreign policy.

The  Republican progressive neoconservatives are attacking Ron Paul.

From Al Capone to Saul Alinsky to Barack Obama -Methods of Organizing

Rules for Radicals  – Rule #10 

Rules for Radicals – Rule #13 

Mark Levin Compares Ron Paul To A Little Weasel 

SA@TAC – The End of Right-Wing Progressivism? 

Propaganda & Mind Control Report

Mind Control Hate Propaganda, Hate Speech & Crime, Black PR

Against the USA, Naked Communist Conspiracy Theory, NWO, Mind Control Report

The fact that Ron Paul is not a racist, anti-Semite or isolationist is besides the point to these Republican progressive neoconservatives.

Big government progressive neoconservative Republican candidates include Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorium and Rick Perry.

All of the Republican progressive neoconservative candidates support an big government aggressive interventionist foreign policy abroad.

While some of the progressive neoconservatives like to “talk” conservative in their rhetoric, they very much “walk” progressive in their actions for they favor big government budgets at the Federal and state level to support government intervention at home and abroad.

Limited Government Libertarian Conservative Ron Paul vs. Big Government Progressive Neoconservatives Romney, Gingrich, Santorum–Videos

None of the  progressive neoconservative Republican candidates for President are for limited government in terms its size, scope and power that libertarian conservatives such as Paul advocate.

Neocons Shamelessly Attack Ron Paul for Being ‘Anti-Semitic’ 

SA@TheDC – Does Attacking Neoconservatism Reflect Racism or Reality?

SA@TAC – What’s a ‘Neoconservative?’ 

Mark Levin Interviews Jeffrey Lord On Ron Paul And His Supporters Being Neoliberal

Mark Levin Interviews Jeffery Lord On Ron Paul Supporters Using Neo Con As An Anti-Semitic Slur

Experts detail the danger of Israeli lobby in US politics

Mark Levin, Ron Paul Hater, Put in His Place

Mark Levin Avoids the “Empire” Question

SA@TAC – Ron Paul’s Conservative Foreign Policy

TrueLeaks – David Horowitz calls Ron Paul “A little Satan” 

Ron Paul Is A Sick Racist? = AIPAC Spin Machine Tactics

Ron Paul On Iran And Israel 

Ron Paul: Foreign Policy & Israel

Jews for Ron Paul, by Walter Block of Loyola University, New Orleans MIRROR

“Professor Walter Block is proud to be Jewish and proud to be a close friend of Ron Paul.”

Jews for Ron Paul

American Jew for Ron Paul

Ron Paul Supports Israel vs. Ronald Reagan? “Jews for Ron Paul” 

The Compassion of Dr. Ron Paul

James Williams of Matagorda County, Texas recounts a touching true story. Living in a still prejudiced Texas In 1972, his wife had a complication with her pregnancy. No doctors would care for her or deliver their bi-racial child. In fact one of the hospital nurses called the police on James.
Dr. Ron Paul was notified and took her in, delivering their stillborn baby. Because of the compassion of Dr. Ron Paul, the Williams’ never received a hospital bill for the delivery.
Ron Paul views every human being as a unique individual, afforded the rights endowed by our creator and codified in the Bill of Rights.

Ron Paul Ad “Disarms” MSM’s Racist Campaign of Lies: Gary Franchi Reports

12-29-11 Ron Paul reacts to new ad 

Do Black Americans Believe Ron Paul Is Racist? 

Ron Paul is NOT a Racist Walter Williams defends Dr Paul on Rush Limbaugh Show

Chris Rock supports Ron Paul 2012??

BLACKS FOR RON PAUL 2012!!! 

Seems that  James Kirchick, progressive neoconservative, was smearing Ron Paul four years ago and is now  warning liberals that Paul supports the John Birch Society by speaking at some of its meetings. While not a member of the John Birch Society, I will defend Paul’s good judgement in supporting such an organization.

Looks like the media should check out James Kirchick and his association with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

When are the so called objective journalists and reporters going to do their jobs and connect some of the dots and tell the truth?

When hell freezes over.

NY Times, MSM Attacks Ron Paul & Alex Jones For Living in the Real World 3/3

“…Gingrich-linked smear specialist James Kirchick is presumably nonplussed that his attempt to regurgitate the 15-year-old debunked non-story of Ron Paul’s ‘racist’ newsletters has had absolutely no effect on the polls, but he is forging ahead anyway with further attacks, this time in the form of a New York Times editorial that labels Paul a “paranoid conspiracy theorist” for discussing manifestly provable issues.

As we previously documented in our response to Kirchick’s regurgitation of a story he originally pushed four years ago, the New Republic writer is an apologist for Newt Gingrich and other neo-cons of his ilk.

Kirchick is a proud neo-con who serves as a fellow with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington, an influential neo-conservative collective funded by numerous noted billionaires. The group’s list of “distinguished advisors” includes former CIA and FBI heads. The group is virtually a lobbying front for the state of Israel, which explains perfectly why Kirchick is so upset with Paul, who has promised to put a stop to the billions in foreign aid the United States sends to Israel every year.

Sitting on the group’s Leadership Council is none other than Newt Gingrich, one of Ron Paul’s main rivals in the Republican primary. Given that association, it’s unsurprising that Kirchick has chosen to dredge up a series of debunked smears at this key time in the election cycle, with Gingrich’s campaign now imploding and Ron Paul’s popularity surging. …”

The neoconservatives at the Weekly Standard published Kirchick’s article.

I wonder why?

Kirchick is a neoconservative!

He is also a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, where the neoconservatives gather (see background information below).

The Kirchick and Lord smear attack on Ron Paul was amplified and repeated by several so-called “conservative” radio talk show hosts and/or their fill-in hosts prior to and over the Christmas holidays.

This included Bennett, Hewitt, Levin, Gibson, Medved and Limbaugh just to name a few.

All favored one of the remaining Republican big government  progressive neoconservative candidates–Romney, Gingrich, Santorium and Perry.

They repeated Kirchick’s charges in the two to three weeks prior to the Iowa caucus.

At the time Ron Paul was leading in the Iowa polls and it looked like he would be first in Iowa.

The concerted and organized smear attack of Paul on “conservative” talk radio was successful in that Paul came in  third behind Santorium and Romney by less than 3,900 votes.

Mission accomplished by the progressive neoconservatives, the Israeli lobby and the Likud party.

Not a single one of these so-called “conservative” talk radio show hosts support the conservative libertarian advocate of limited government, Ron Paul.

SA@TAC – The Biggest Earmark is Empire

SA@TheDC – ‘Fixing’ Big Government is Not Conservative

SA@TheDC – Russell Kirk and 9/11 

SA@TAC – Identity vs. Philosophy 

I have been a conservative or traditional libertarian since Barry Goldwater ran for President in 1964.

The only truly conservative president that the U.S. has had since then is Ronald Reagan.

Many traditional libertarians that were expecting fiscal responsibility under Reagan with balanced budgets and a smaller Federal government, became very disappointed when Reagan failed to delivery on these promises.

Reagan definitely talked conservative but the economic results were decidedly progressive with growing deficits and increases in the national debt.

Under Reagan the size and scope of the Federal government significantly increased.

http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/120xx/doc12039/HistoricalTables%5B1%5D.pdf

This is why Ron Paul, an early supporter of Ronald Reagan, left the Republican Party and ran for President in 1988 as the Libertarian Party’s candidate.

In 1988 the Republican Party successful elected a Republican big government progressive  George H.W. Bush that now endorses another Republican big government progressive neoconservative, Mitt Romney.

I view Romney, Gingrich, Santorium and Perry as Republican big government progressive neoconservatives.

I will not vote for any progressive of either political party and especially those who identify themselves as neoconservative.

The  progressive neoconservatives in the Republican Party smeared Ron Paul by playing both the race card and anti-Semite card.

Unfortunately, the progressive neoconservatives were partially successful for many of the listeners of talk radio simply do not know the history of the conservative intellectual movement in America since 1945 and the role the progressive neoconservatives played in smearing Paul.

SA@TAC – The Great Neo-Con: Libertarianism Isn’t ‘Conservative’

If I truly thought Ron Paul was either a racist or anti-Semite, I would not support him.

I will support and vote for Ron Paul.

I will not vote for any Republican big government progressive neoconservative.

If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals — if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.

 RONALD REAGAN, Reason Magazine, Jul. 1, 1975

Background Articles and Videos

Foundation for Defense of Democracies

James Kirchick

last updated: December 27, 2011

Please note: IPS Right Web neither represents nor endorses any of the individuals or groups profiled on this site.

“…James (“Jamie”) Kirchick is a Prague-based fellow at the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) and a contributing editor at the New Republic. A former writer-at-large for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Kirchick has also contributed to various rightist outlets like the Weekly Standard and Commentary magazine’s Contentions blog, as well as numerous mainstream publications, including the Los Angeles Times and Politico.[i]

Among Kirchick’s more widely noted articles is his January 2008 New Republic piece about libertarian leader Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX). Titled “Angry White Man,” the article sought to throw light on Paul’s track record as he gained national attention as a Republican Party presidential candidate who opposed the war in Iraq. Reviewing the various newsletters that Paul published over the years, Kirchick wrote that they reveal “decades worth of obsession with conspiracies, sympathy for the right-wing militia movement, and deeply held bigotry against blacks, Jews, and gays. In short, they suggest that Ron Paul is not the plain-speaking antiwar activist his supporters believe they are backing—but rather a member in good standing of some of the oldest and ugliest traditions in American politics.”[2]

In late 2011, as Paul’s campaign to be the Republican Party’s 2012 presidential nominee began to gain momentum as a result of surging poll numbers in some primary states, Kirchick published a follow up piece to his 2008 New Republic article. Kirchcik lamented that despite Paul’s “voluminous record of bigotry and conspiracy theories,” his star remains “undimmed.” He added: “Not only do the latest polls place him as the frontrunner in the Iowa Caucuses, but he still enjoys the support of a certain coterie of professional political commentators who, like Paul himself, identify as libertarians.” Kirchick highlighted support from the likes of blogger Andrew Sullivan as well as numerous other writers. He concluded: “If Paul is responsible for conjuring the apocalyptic atmosphere of a prophet, it’s his supporters who have to answer for submitting to it. Surely, those who agree with Paul would be able to find a better vessel for their ideas than a man who once entertained the notion that AIDS was invented in a government laboratory or who, just last January, alleged that there had been a ‘CIA coup’ against the American government and that the Agency is ‘in drug businesses.’”[3]

Paul responded to the criticism surrounding his association with the newsletter by claiming that at the time he did not read the offending material and that he does not endorse the views espoused therein. His Republican primary opponents attempted to capitalize on the issue. Newt Gingrich said: “These things are really nasty, and he didn’t know about it, wasn’t aware of it. But he’s sufficiently ready to be president? It strikes me it raises some fundamental questions about him.”[4]

Track Record

Kirchick joined the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD) in November 2011, which was announced—together with the hiring of the abrasive “pro-Israel” writer Lee Smith—in a November 2011 press release. Said FDD executive director Cliff May, “Lee and Jamie are two of the most probing, incisive and insightful journalists covering the international scene today. They will add important dimensions to FDD’s national security and foreign policy analysis.”[5] …”

“…Kirchick is an erstwhile liberal who apparently had veered to the right by the time he arrived at Yale, where he graduated in 2006. In a 2007 article for the Boston Globe about dating difficulties as a conservative gay man, Kirchick described himself as a “gay recovering leftist,” adding that “there’s nothing about my homosexuality that dictates a belief about raising the minimum wage, withdrawing immediately from Iraq, and backing teachers’ unions: all liberal causes that I strongly oppose.”[6]

In 2006, as a contributor to the Yale Daily News, Kirchick was named Student Journalist of the Year by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association; in 2007, the association named him Journalist of the Year.[v7]

On foreign policy, Kirchick has proved a steadfast critic of the Barack Obama administration as well as of those who oppose one-sided U.S. support for Israel or other militarist Middle East polices. In November 2011, for example,  Kirchick linked hawkishness toward Iran with criticism of the Obama administration’s “reset” of relations with Russia. When Moscow criticized a 2011 International Atomic Energy Agency report about apparent progress in the Iranian nuclear program, Kirchick took to theWall Street Journal to call it “the latest and most devastating blow to Mr. Obama’s ‘reset’ policy,” which he claimed was promoted as a mechanism to bring Russia into the U.S. fold with respect to Iran. Kirchick also criticized the reset initiative more generally, disapproving of the New START agreement on nuclear disarmament, the Obama administration’s decision to cancel planned missile defense bases in Czech Republic and Poland (although he neglected to mention that the sites were moved to Turkey), Washington’s lapse in arms sales to Georgia, and Russia’s admittance to the World Trade Organization.[8] …”

http://www.rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/kirchick_james

Ron Paul addresses charges of racism on CNN

Ron Paul – I Am The ANTI Racist – Wolf Blitzer Interview 2008

Ron Paul: ‘Human Flaw’ on Newsletter Oversight

Ron Paul Is NOT A Racist! Disgruntled Former Ron Paul Staffer Eric Dondero

Ron Paul On Racism

Ron Paul’s view on Racism

Ron Paul – Back When He Was Proud of the Newsletter, He Now Disavows (1995)

NAACP Nelson Linder speaks on Ron Paul and racism

Ron Paul is a Racist?

Why Don’t Libertarians Care About Ron Paul’s Bigoted Newsletters?

 James Kirchick

“…Nearly four years ago, on the eve of the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary, The New Republic published my expose of newsletters published by Texas Congressman Ron Paul. The contents of these newsletters can best be described as appalling. Blacks were referred to as “animals.” Gays were told to go “back” into the “closet.” The “X-Rated Martin Luther King” was a bisexual pedophile who “seduced underage girls and boys.” Three months before the Oklahoma City bombing, Paul praised right-wing, anti-government militia movements as “one of the most encouraging developments in America.” The voluminous record of bigotry and conspiracy theories speaks for itself.

And yet, four years on, Ron Paul’s star is undimmed. Not only do the latest polls place him as the frontrunner in the Iowa Caucuses, but he still enjoys the support of a certain coterie of professional political commentators who, like Paul himself, identify as libertarians. Most prominent among them is Daily Beast blogger Andrew Sullivan, who gave Paul his endorsement in the GOP primary last week, as he did in 2008. But he is not alone: Tim Carney of The Washington Examiner recently bemoaned the fact that “the principled, antiwar, Constitution-obeying, Fed-hating, libertarian Republican from Texas stands firmly outside the bounds of permissible dissent as drawn by either the Republican establishment or the mainstream media,” while Conor Friedersdorf of The Atlantic argues that Paul’s ideas cannot be ignored, and that, for Tea Party Republicans, “A vote against Paul requires either cognitive dissonance—never in short supply in politics—or a fundamental rethinking of the whole theory of politics that so recently drove the Tea Party movement.”

“…Kirchick is an erstwhile liberal who apparently had veered to the right by the time he arrived at Yale, where he graduated in 2006. In a 2007 article for the Boston Globe about dating difficulties as a conservative gay man, Kirchick described himself as a “gay recovering leftist,” adding that “there’s nothing about my homosexuality that dictates a belief about raising the minimum wage, withdrawing immediately from Iraq, and backing teachers’ unions: all liberal causes that I strongly oppose.”[6]

In 2006, as a contributor to the Yale Daily News, Kirchick was named Student Journalist of the Year by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association; in 2007, the association named him Journalist of the Year.[v7] …”

http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/98811/ron-paul-libertarian-bigotry

The Company Ron Paul Keeps

Dec 26, 2011, Vol. 17, No. 15 • By JAMES KIRCHICK

“…The Republican Jewish Coalition announced this month that congressman Ron Paul would not be among the six guests invited to participate in its Republican Presidential Candidates Forum. “He’s just so far outside of the mainstream of the Republican party and this organization,” said Matt Brooks, executive director of the RJC, adding that the group “rejects his misguided and extreme views.”

Paul’s exclusion caused an uproar, with critics alleging that his stand on Israel had earned the RJC’s ire; an absolutist libertarian, Paul opposes foreign aid to all countries, including the Jewish state. “This seems to me more of an attempt to draw boundaries around acceptable policy discourse than any active concern that President Dr. Ron Paul would be actively anti-Israel or anti-Semitic,” wrote Reason editor Matt Welch. Chris McGreal of the Guardian reported that Paul “was barred because of his views on Israel.” Even Seth Lipsky, editor of the New York Sun and a valiant defender of Israel (and friend and mentor of this writer), opined, “The whole idea of an organization of Jewish Republicans worrying about the mainstream strikes me as a bit contradictory.”

While Paul’s views on Israel certainly place him outside the American, never mind Republican, mainstream, there is an even more elementary reason the RJC was right to exclude him from its event. It is Paul’s lucrative and decades-long promotion of bigotry and conspiracy theories, for which he has yet to account fully, and his continuing espousal of extremist views, that should make him unwelcome at any respectable forum, not only those hosted by Jewish organizations. …”

http://www.weeklystandard.com/author/james-kirchick

James Kirchick

“…James Kirchick (pronounced /ˈkɜrtʃɨk/; born 1983) is a reporter, foreign correspondent and columnist. Having attended Yale University, Kirchick also wrote for the student newspaper on the campus, the Yale Daily News.[1] He is a fellow with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington;[2] prior to this he was writer-at-large for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.[3]

For over three years, Kirchick worked at The New Republic, covering domestic politics, intelligence, and American foreign policy. In 2008, he exposed racist and conspiratorial newsletters published by Texas Congressman and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, a story that gained new prominence in the 2012 presidential election.[4][5] While he remains a contributing editor for TNR, Kirchick’s reportage has appeared in The Weekly Standard,[4] The American Interest, The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Columbia Journalism Review, Prospect, Commentary and World Affairs Journal. He writes frequently for newspapers including The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal,[6] The Los Angeles Times,[7] and Ha’aretz.

Kirchick has worked as a reporter for The New York Sun, the New York Daily News, and The Hill, and has been a columnist for the New York Daily News and the Washington Examiner.

Kirchick is a regular book critic and reviews frequently for Azure,[8] Commentary, the Claremont Review of Books, Policy Review, and World Affairs, among others. A leading voice on gay politics, he is a contributing writer to the Advocate, the nation’s largest gay publication,[9] and a recipient of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association Excellence in Student Journalism Award and the Journalist of the Year Award.[10][11] …”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Kirchick

Foundation for Defense of Democracies

“…The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) describes itself as a non-profit, non-partisan policy institute “working to defend free nations against their enemies”. It was founded shortly after the September 11, 2001, attacks to address what it regards as the “threat facing America, Israel and the West”. Its stated objectives are promoting human rights, defending “free and democratic nations”, and opposing terrorism which it defines as “the deliberate use of violence against civilians to achieve political objectives”.[1]

Overview

It conducts “research and education on international terrorism—the most serious security threat to the United States and other free, democratic nations. It advocates United States military intervention in various muslim majority nations such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Pakistan, and Palestine.

Board of Directors, advisors and fellows

FDD’s chairman is James Woolsey. FDD’s president is Clifford D. May and its executive director is Mark Dubowitz. Its Leadership Council is composed of prominent thinkers and leaders from the defense, intelligence, and policy communities including Paula Dobriansky, Steve Forbes, Bill Kristol, Louis J. Freeh, Joseph Lieberman, Newt Gingrich, Max Kampelman, and Robert McFarlane.

Its Board of Advisors include Gary Bauer, Rep. Eric Cantor, Gene Gately, General P.X. Kelley, Charles Krauthammer, Kathleen Troia “KT” McFarland, Richard Perle, Steven Pomerantz, Oliver “Buck” Revell, Bret Stephens, and Francis J. “Bing” West.[2]

Foundation fellows and senior staff are Jonathan Schanzer, Vice President of Research, Khairi Abaza, Senior Fellow, Tony Badran, Research Fellow, Levant, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Director, Center for Study of Terrorist Radicalization, Reuel Marc Gerecht, Senior Fellow. Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Military Affairs Fellow, Thomas Joscelyn, Senior Fellow and Co-Chair, Center for Law and Counterterrorism, Jonathan Kay, Visiting Fellow, Dr. Michael Ledeen, Freedom Scholar, Andrew C. McCarthy, Co-Chair, Center for Law and Counterterrorism, Dr. Emanuele Ottolenghi, Senior Fellow, Dr. J. Peter Pham, Non-Resident Senior Fellow, David B. Rivkin, Jr., Senior Fellow and Co-Chair, Center for Law and Counterterrorism[3]

Initiatives

The foundation has initiated the following centers, coalitions, committees and ongoing projects:

  • The Iran Energy Project
  • The Center for The Study of Terrorist Radicalization
  • The Center for Law & Counterterrorism
  • The Coalition Against Terrorist Media
  • The Committee on the Present Danger

It engages in investigative reporting.

The Iran Energy Project

The foundation has promoted the utility of energy sanctions as part of a comprehensive economic warfare strategy against the Iranian regime. To this end, it provides leading research and analysis in support of strong, broad-based energy sanctions, including gasoline, natural gas, and oil sanctions, as part of a comprehensive strategy to end the Iranian regime’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, support for terrorism, and abuse of human rights. The foundation also analyzes the prominent role of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Iran’s energy industry.

It will continue to monitor the Iranian energy sector for new entrants into the Iranian energy trade and any signs that companies which have reportedly left the market have resumed their trade.

The focus on energy sanctions has changed the debate in Washington. No longer a discussion over how to achieve a “grand bargain” with the Iranian regime, the debate now focuses on how to use sanctions to deter an aggressive regime dedicated to pursuing nuclear weapons, supporting terrorism, and repressing its own people.[4]

As the foundation’s Mark Dubowitz noted, “the push for broad-based sanctions targeting Iran’s energy sector, including steps taken to make it more difficult for Iran to import gasoline, acquire key energy technology, and attract investment for its energy sector, has already had a major impact. Not only are Iran’s gasoline suppliers exiting the market, but energy investors, banks, technology providers, and insurers now face growing pressure to decide between doing business with the Iranian regime and continuing their business relationships in the lucrative U.S. market … President Obama needs to enforce U.S. law and put these companies to a choice.”[5]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foundation_for_Defense_of_Democracies

Preemptive War Debate (Part 1)

Preemptive War Debate (Part 2)

Preemptive War Debate (Part 3)

Preemptive War Debate (Part 4)

‘Racist newsletter’ timeline: What Ron Paul has said

Ron Paul has had to explain racially charged statements and other controversial comments in newsletters published in his name in the 1980s and 1990s. Here’s what he’s said over the years.

By Mark Trumbull, Staff writer / December 29, 2011

“…It’s the biggest setback to hit Ron Paul’s candidacy for president: publicity about racially charged statements and other controversial comments in newsletters published in Mr. Paul’s name in the 1980s and 1990s.

On Thursday he responded at some length to the concerns during an Iowa radio interview, calling the newsletter statements “terrible” but insisting that he wasn’t the one who wrote them. He added that the offensive comments totaled about “about eight or 10 sentences.”

Some journalists who have researched the newsletters say it was a lot more than 10 sentences, and that the Texas congressman’s response on the issue has changed over the years.

Here, in timeline format, are some prominent Paul statements tied to the issue drawn from transcripts, video clips, and news reports. …”

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Elections/President/2011/1229/Racist-newsletter-timeline-What-Ron-Paul-has-said

Newsletters Fallout – Hardball (see Tucker vid for update) 

James Kirchick interview, part 1

“…interview with James Kirchick, assistant editor at the New Republic, who wrote a piece in the Advocate, criticizing activists and reporters who exposed Congressman Mark Foley, and criticized me for writing about and focusing on the fact that John McCain’s chief of staff, Mark Buse, is gay.”

James Kirchick interview, part 2 

Another boyfriend of Mark Buse, McCain’s top gay

The New Republic

“…The New Republic (TNR) is an American magazine of politics and the arts published continuously since 1914. A weekly for most of its history, it is published twenty times per year as of 2011, at a circulation of approximately 50,000. The editor as of 2011 is Richard Just.

Political views

Domestically, the TNR as of 2011 supports a largely neo-liberal stance on fiscal and social issues, according to former editor Franklin Foer, who stated that it “invented the modern usage of the term ‘liberal’, and it’s one of our historical legacies and obligations to be involved in the ongoing debate over what exactly liberalism means and stands for.”[2] As of 2004, however, some, like Anne Kossedd and Steven Randall, contend that it is not as liberal as it was before 1974.[3] The magazine’s outlook is associated with the Democratic Leadership Council and “New Democrats” such as former President Bill Clinton and Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman, who received the magazine’s endorsement in the 2004 Democratic primary; so did Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton in 2008.[4] Whilst defending federal programs, like Medicare and the EPA, it has advocated some policies that, while seeking to achieve the ends of traditional social welfare programs, often use market solutions as their means, and so are often called “business-friendly.” Typical of some of the policies supported by both TNR and the DLC during the 1990s were increased funding for the Earned Income Tax Credit program and reform of the Federal welfare system. Supply side economics, especially the idea of reducing higher marginal income tax rates, received heavy criticism from senior editor Jonathan Chait.[5] Moreover, TNR is strongly in favor of universal health care. On certain high-profile social issues, such as its support of same-sex marriage, TNR could be considered more progressive than the mainstream of the Democratic Party establishment. In its March 2007 issue, TNR ran an article by Paul Starr (co-founder of the magazine’s main rival, The American Prospect) where he defined the type of modern American liberalism in his article War and Liberalism:

Liberalism wagers that a state… can be strong but constrained – strong because constrained… Rights to education and other requirements for human development and security aim to advance equal opportunity and personal dignity and to promote a creative and productive society. To guarantee those rights, liberals have supported a wider social and economic role for the state, counterbalanced by more robust guarantees of civil liberties and a wider social system of checks and balances anchored in an independent press and pluralistic society. – Paul Starr, volume 236, p. 21-24

Support for Israel has been another strong theme in The New Republic. According to Martin Peretz, owner of TNR, “Support for Israel is deep down an expression of America’s best view of itself.”[6] According to CUNY journalism professor, Eric Alterman, “Nothing has been as consistent about the past 34 years of TNR as the magazine’s devotion to Peretz’s own understanding of what is good for Israel…It is really not too much to say that almost all of Peretz’s political beliefs are subordinate to his commitment to Israel’s best interests, and these interests as Peretz defines them almost always involve more war.”[6]

Unsigned editorials prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq expressed strong support for military action, citing the threat of WMD as well as humanitarian concerns. Since the end of major military operations, unsigned editorials, while critical of the handling of the war, have continued to justify the invasion on humanitarian grounds, but no longer maintain that Iraq’s WMD facilities posed any threat to the United States. In the November 27, 2006 issue, the editors wrote:

At this point, it seems almost beside the point to say this: The New Republic deeply regrets its early support for this war. The past three years have complicated our idealism and reminded us of the limits of American power and our own wisdom.[7]

On June 23, 2006 Martin Peretz, in response to criticism of the magazine from the blog Daily Kos, wrote the following as a summary of TNR’s stances on recent issues

The New Republic is very much against the Bush tax programs, against Bush Social Security ‘reform,’ against cutting the inheritance tax, for radical health care changes, passionate about Gore-type environmentalism, for a woman’s entitlement to an abortion, for gay marriage, for an increase in the minimum wage, for pursuing aggressively alternatives to our present reliance on oil and our present tax preferences for gas-guzzling automobiles. We were against the confirmation of Justice Alito.[8]

The magazine has also published two articles concerning income inequality, largely criticizing conservative economists for their attempts to deny the existence or negative effect increasing income inequality is having on the United States. In its May 2007 issue the magazine ran an editorial pointing to the humanitarian beliefs of liberals as being responsible for the recent plight of the American left. In another article TNR favorably cited the example of Denmark as evidence that an expansive welfare state and high tax burden can be consistent with, and in some ways contribute to, a strong economy.[9] Such editorials and articles exemplify the liberal political orientation of TNR.

History

Early years

The New Republic was founded by Herbert Croly and Walter Lippmann through the financial backing of heiress Dorothy Payne Whitney and her husband, Willard Straight, who maintained majority ownership. The magazine’s first issue was published on November 7, 1914. The magazine’s politics were liberal and progressive, and as such concerned with coping with the great changes brought about by America’s late-19th century industrialization. The magazine is widely considered important in changing the character of liberalism in the direction of governmental interventionism, both foreign and domestic. Among the most important of these was the emergence of the U.S. as a Great Power on the international scene, and in 1917 TNR urged America’s entry into World War I on the side of the Allies.

One consequence of World War I was the Russian Revolution of 1917, and during the inter-war years the magazine was generally positive in its assessment of the Soviet Union and its communist government. This changed with the start of the Cold War and the 1948 departure of leftist editor Henry A. Wallace to run for president on the Progressive ticket. After Wallace, TNR moved towards positions more typical of mainstream American liberalism. During the 1950s it was critical of both Soviet foreign policy and domestic anti-communism, particularly McCarthyism. That said, the magazine was guilty of publishing a 1947 article entitled “The Strange Case of Wilhelm Reich” apparently filled with distortions and innuendos. During the 1960s the magazine opposed the Vietnam War, but was also often critical of the New Left.

Up until the late 1960s, the magazine had a certain “cachet as the voice of re-invigorated liberalism”, in the opinion of Eric Alterman, a commentator who has criticized the magazine’s politics from the left. That cachet, Alterman wrote, “was perhaps best illustrated when the dashing, young President Kennedy had been photographed boarding Air Force One holding a copy”.[6]

Peretz ownership and eventual editorship, 1974–1979

In March 1974, the magazine was purchased for $380,000[6] by Harvard University lecturer Martin Peretz,[10] from Gilbert Harrison.[6] Peretz was a veteran of the New Left who had broken with that movement over its support of various Third World liberationist movements, particularly the Palestine Liberation Organization. Peretz transformed TNR into its current form. Under his ownership, TNR has advocated both strong U.S. support for the Israeli government and a hawkish U.S. foreign policy.[6] On domestic policy, it has advocated a self-critical brand of liberalism, taking positions that range from traditionally liberal to neoliberalism. It has generally supported Democratic candidates for president, although in 1980 it endorsed the moderate Republican John B. Anderson, running as an independent, rather than the Democratic incumbent Jimmy Carter.

Harrison continued editing the magazine, expecting Peretz to let him continue running the magazine for three years. But by 1975, when Peretz became annoyed at having his own articles rejected for publication while he was pouring money into the magazine to cover its losses, he fired Harrison. Much of the staff, including Walter Pincus, Stanley Karnow, and Doris Grumbach, was either fired or quit, being replaced largely by recent Harvard graduates lacking in journalistic experience. Peretz himself became the editor and stayed in that post until 1979. As other editors have been appointed, Peretz has remained editor-in-chief.[6]

Kinsley and Hertzberg editorships, 1979–1991

Michael Kinsley, a neoliberal (in the American sense of the term), was editor (1979–1981; 1985–1989), alternating twice with Hendrik Hertzberg (1981–1985; 1989–1991), who has been called “an old-fashioned social democrat”. Kinsley was only 28 years old when he first became editor and was still studying law[6] at George Washington University.

Writers for the magazine during this era included neoliberals Mickey Kaus and Jacob Weisberg along with Charles Krauthammer, Fred Barnes, Morton Kondracke, Sidney Blumenthal, Robert Kuttner, Ronald Steel, Michael Walzer, and Irving Howe.[6]

During the 1980s the magazine generally supported President Ronald Reagan’s anti-Communist foreign policy, including provision of aid to the Nicaraguan Contras. It has also supported both Gulf Wars and, reflecting its belief in the moral efficacy of American power, intervention in “humanitarian” crises, such as those in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo during the Yugoslav wars.

The magazine also became known for its originality and unpredictability in the 1980s. It was widely considered a “must read” across the political spectrum. An article in Vanity Fair judged TNR “the smartest, most impudent weekly in the country,” and the “most entertaining and intellectually agile magazine in the country.” According to Alterman, the magazine’s prose could sparkle and the contrasting views within its pages were “genuinely exciting”. He added, “The magazine unarguably set the terms of debate for insider political elites during the Reagan era.”[6]

With the less predictable opinions, more of them leaning conservative than before, the magazine won the respect of many conservative opinion leaders and 20 copies were messengered to the Reagan White House each Thursday afternoon. Norman Podhoretz called the magazine “indispensable”, and George Will said it was “currently the nation’s most interesting and most important political journal.” National Review described it as “one of the most interesting magazines in the United States.”[6]

Credit for its quality and popularity was often assigned to Kinsley, whose wit and critical sensibility were seen as enlivening a magazine that had for many years been more conventional in its politics, and Hertzberg, a writer for The New Yorker and speechwriter for Jimmy Carter.

Hertzberg and Kinsley not only alternated as editor but also alternated as the author of the magazine’s lead column, “TRB from Washington”. Its perspective was described as left-of-center in 1988.[11]

A final ingredient that led to the magazine’s increased stature in the 1980s was its “back of the book” or literary, cultural and arts pages, which were edited by Leon Wieseltier. Peretz discovered Wieseltier, then working at Harvard’s Society of Fellows, and put him in charge of the section. Wieseltier reinvented the section along the lines of The New York Review of Books, allowing his critics, many of them academics, to write longer, critical essays instead of mere book reviews. Alterman calls the hire “probably […] Peretz’s single most significant positive achievement” in running the magazine. During other changes of editors, Wieseltier has remained as cultural editor. Under him the section has been “simultaneously erudite and zestful”, according to Alterman, who adds, “Amazingly, a full generation later, it still sings.”[6]

Sullivan editorship, 1991–1996

In 1991, Andrew Sullivan, a 28-year-old gay Catholic from Britain, became editor and took the magazine in a somewhat more conservative direction, though the majority of writers remained liberal or neoliberal. Hertzberg soon left the magazine to return to The New Yorker. Kinsley left the magazine in 1996 to found the online magazine Slate.[6]

Sullivan invited Charles Murray to contribute a controversial 10,000-word article that contended blacks may be, as a whole, less intelligent than whites due to genetics. The magazine also published a very critical article about Hillary Clinton’s health care plan by Elizabeth McCaughey, an article that Alterman called “the single most influential article published in the magazine during the entire Clinton presidency”. However, this article was later shown to be inaccurate and the magazine would later apologize for the story. Sullivan also published a number of pieces by Camille Paglia.[6]

Ruth Shalit, a young writer for the magazine in the Sullivan years, was repeatedly criticized for plagiarism. After the Shalit scandals, the magazine began using fact-checkers during Sullivan’s time as editor. One was Stephen Glass, who would be found to have made up quotes, anecdotes and facts in his own articles, while he served as a reporter years later.[6]

Kelly, Lane, Beinart, Foer, Just editorships, 1996–present

After Sullivan stepped down in 1996, David Greenberg and Peter Beinart served jointly as Acting Editors. After the 1996 election, Michael Kelly served as editor for a year. During his tenure as editor and afterward, Kelly, who also wrote the TRB column, was intensely critical of President Clinton.[6] Writer Stephen Glass had been a major contributor under Kelly’s editorship; Glass was later shown to have falsified and fabricated numerous stories, which was admitted by The New Republic after an investigation by Kelly’s successor, Charles Lane. Kelly had consistently supported Glass during his tenure, including sending scathing letters to those challenging the veracity of Glass’s stories.[12]

Chuck Lane held the position between 1997 and 1999. During Lane’s tenure, the Stephen Glass scandal occurred. Peretz has written that Lane ultimately “put the ship back on its course,” for which Peretz said he was “immensely grateful.” But Peretz later fired Lane, who only got the news when a Washington Post reporter called him for a comment.[6]

Peter Beinart, a third editor who took over when he was 28 years old,[6] followed Lane and served as editor from 1999 to 2006.

Franklin Foer took over from Beinart in March 2006. In the magazine’s first editorial under Foer, it said “We’ve become more liberal … We’ve been encouraging Democrats to dream big again on the environment and economics […]”.[6] Foer is the brother of novelist Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Everything Is Illuminated (2002).

Richard Just took over as editor of the magazine on December 8, 2010.

Other prominent writers who edited or wrote for the magazine in these years include senior editor and TRB columnist Jonathan Chait, Lawrence F. Kaplan, John Judis and Spencer Ackerman.[6]

In 2005, TNR created its blog, called The Plank, which is written by Michael Crowley, Franklin Foer, Jason Zengerle, and other TNR staff. The Plank is meant to be TNR’s primary blog, replacing the magazine’s first three blogs, &c., Iraq’d, and Easterblogg. The Stump, TNR’s blog on the 2008 Presidential Election was created in October 2007.

The magazine remains well known, with references to it occasionally popping up in popular culture. Lisa Simpson was once portrayed as a subscriber to The New Republic for Kids. Matt Groening, The Simpsons’ creator, once drew a cover for TNR.[citation needed] In the pilot episode of the HBO series Entourage, which first aired on July 18, 2004, Ari Gold asks Eric Murphy: “Do you read The New Republic? Well, I do, and it says that you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about.” …”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_Republic

Likud

“…Likud (Hebrew: הַלִּכּוּד‎ HaLikud, lit. The Consolidation) is the major center-right political party in Israel.[3][4][5][6] It was founded in 1973 by Menachem Begin in an alliance with several right-wing and liberal parties. Likud’s victory in the 1977 elections was a major turning point in the country’s political history, marking the first time the left had lost power. However, after ruling the country for most of the 1980s, the party lost the Knesset election in 1992. Nevertheless, Likud’s candidate Benjamin Netanyahu did win the vote for Prime Minister in 1996 and was given the task to form a government after the 2009 elections. After a convincing win in the 2003 elections, Likud saw a major split in 2005, when Likud leader Ariel Sharon left the party to form the new Kadima party. This resulted in Likud slumping to fourth place in 2006 elections. Following the 2009 elections, the party appears to have mostly recovered from its loss, and now leads the Israeli government under Prime Minister Netanyahu.

A member of the party is often called a Likudnik (Hebrew: לִכּוּדְנִיק‎).[7]

Formation and Begin years

The Likud was formed by an alliance of several right wing parties prior to the 1973 elections; Herut and the Liberal Party had been allied since 1965, and were joined by the Free Centre, the National List and the Movement for Greater Israel. It was given the name Likud, meaning “Consolidation”, as it represented the consolidation of the right-wing in Israel.[8] It worked as a coalition of its factions led by Menachem Begin’s Herut until 1988 when the factions formally dissolved and Likud became a unitary political party. From its establishment in 1973, Likud enjoyed great support from blue-collar Sephardim who felt discriminated against by the ruling Alignment.

The first Likud prime minister was Menachem Begin, who had led the party to victory in the 1977 elections, the first time the left-wing had lost power in Israel’s political history. A former leader of the hard-line paramilitary Irgun, Begin helped initiate the peace process with Egypt, which resulted in the Camp David Accords and the 1979 Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty.

Shamir, Netanyahu first term, and Sharon

The second premier was Yitzhak Shamir, who first became PM in October 1983 following Begin’s resignation. Shamir, a former commander of the Lehi underground, was widely seen as a hard-liner with an ideological commitment both to the settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the growth of which he encouraged, and to the idea of aliyah, facilitating the mass immigration of Jews to Israel from Ethiopia and the former Soviet Union.

The third Likud premier was Benjamin Netanyahu, elected in May 1996, following the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. Netanyahu proved to be less hard-line in practice than he made himself out to be rhetorically, and felt pressured by the United States and others to enter negotiations with the Palestine Liberation Organization and Yasser Arafat, despite his harsh criticism of the Oslo accords and hawkish stance in comparison to Labour.

In 1998, Netanyahu reluctantly agreed to cede territory in the Wye River Memorandum. While accepted by many in the Likud, some Likud MKs, led by Benny Begin (Menachem Begin’s son), Michael Kleiner and David Re’em, broke away and formed a new party, named Herut – The National Movement, in protest. Yitzhak Shamir (who had expressed harsh disappointment in Netanyahu’s leadership), gave the new party his support. Less than a year afterward, Netanyahu’s coalition collapsed, resulting in the 1999 election and Labour’s Ehud Barak winning the premiership on a platform of immediate settlement of final status issues. Likud spent 1999-2001 on the opposition benches.

Barak’s “all-or-nothing” strategy failed, however, and new elections were called for March 2001. Surprisingly, Netanyahu declined to be the Likud candidate for Prime Minister, meaning that the fourth Likud premier would be Ariel Sharon. Sharon, unlike past Likud leaders, had been raised in a Labour Zionist environment and had long been seen as something of a maverick. In the face of the Second Intifada, Sharon pursued a varied set of policies, many of which were controversial even within the Likud. The final split came when Sharon announced his policy of unilateral disengagement from Gaza and parts of the West Bank; the idea proved so divisive both on the Likud and the opposition Labour benches that Sharon announced the formation of a new party, Kadima, from the ranks of both Likud and Labour supporters of unilateral disengagement.

Kadima split

Ariel Sharon’s perceived leftward shift to the political center, especially in his execution of the Disengagement Plan, alienated him from some Likud supporters and fragmented the party. He faced several serious challenges to his authority shortly before his departure. The first was in March 2005, when he and Netanyahu proposed a budget plan which met fierce opposition, though it was eventually approved. The second was in September 2005, when Sharon’s critics in Likud forced a vote on a proposal for an early leadership election, which was defeated by 52% to 48%. In October, Sharon’s opponents within the Likud Knesset faction joined with the opposition to prevent the appointment of two of his associates to the Cabinet, demonstrating that Sharon had effectively lost control of the Knesset and that the 2006 budget was unlikely to pass.

The next month, Labor announced its withdrawal from Sharon’s governing coalition following its election of the left wing Amir Peretz as leader. On 21 November 2005, Sharon announced he would be leaving Likud and forming a new centrist party, Kadima, and that elections would take place in early 2006. As of 21 November seven candidates had declared themselves as contenders to replace Sharon as leader: Netanyahu, Uzi Landau, Shaul Mofaz, Yisrael Katz, Silvan Shalom and Moshe Feiglin. Landau and Mofaz later withdrew, the former in favour of Netanyahu and the latter to join Kadima.

Netanyahu second term

Netanyahu went on to win the Likud Party Chairman elections in December, obtaining 44.4% of the vote. Shalom came in a second with 33%, leading Netanyahu to guarantee him second place on the party’s list of Knesset candidates. Shalom’s perceived moderation on social and foreign-policy issues were considered to be an electoral asset. Observers noted that voter turnout in the elections was particularly low in comparison with past primaries, with less than 40 percent of the 128,000 party members casting ballots. There was much media focus on “far-right” candidate Moshe Feiglin achieving 12.4% of votes, who is the only candidate who aims to see Likud actually pursue the policies presented in its own official charter.

The founding of Kadima was a major challenge to the Likud’s generation-long status as one of Israel’s two major parties. Sharon’s perceived centrist policies have drawn considerable popular support as reflected by public opinion polls. The Likud is now led by figures who oppose further unilateral evacuations, and its standing in the polls has suffered. After the founding of Kadima, Likud came to be seen as having more of a right-wing tendency than a moderate centre-right one. However there exist several parties in the knesset which are more right wing than the post-Ariel Sharon Likud.

Prior to the 2006 election the party’s Central Committee relinquished control of selecting the Knesset list to the ‘rank and file’ members at Netanyahu’s behest.[9] The aim was to improve the party’s reputation, as the central committee had gained a reputation for corruption.[10]

In the election, the Likud vote collapsed in the face of the Kadima split. Other right-wing nationalist parties such as Yisrael Beiteinu gained votes, with Likud coming only fourth place in the popular vote, edging out Yisrael Beiteinu by only 116 votes. With only twelve seats, Likud was tied with the Shas for the status of third-largest party.

In the 2009 Israeli legislative election, Likud won 27 seats, a close second place finish to Kadima’s 28 seats, and leading the other parties. After more than a month of coalition negotiations, Benjamin Netanyahu was able to form a government and become Prime Minister.

A leadership election will be held on 31 January 2012 between Benjamin Netanyahu, Moshe Feiglin, and Vladimir Herczberg. …”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Likud

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2012 Republican Presidential Nomination

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The Warfare and Welfare Economy Worsens With 30 Americans Killed and Over 45 Million Americans On Food Stamps–American People Want A Peace and Prosperity Economy–A Paycheck Not Food Stamps–Stop Out Of Control Spending On Government Interventions Abroad and At Home–Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 40:August 10, 2011

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Pronk Pops Show 37:July 20, 2011

Pronk Pops Show 36:July 13, 2011

Pronk Pops Show 35:July 6, 2011

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“Only the dead have seen the end of war.”

~George Santayana

Eve of Destruction

Most Of The Navy Seals Killed Were Part Of SEAL Team Six The Unit That Went After Osama Bin Laden

Navy SEALs Killed (some SEAL TEAM 6) Chinook Helicopter Crash-Afghanistan

“…More than 20 Navy SEALs from the unit that killed Osama bin Laden were among those lost in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan. That’s according to one current and one former U.S. official. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because families are still being notified of the loss of their loved ones.

Source says the team thought to include 22 SEALs, three Air Force air controllers, seven Afghan Army troops, a dog and his handler, and a civilian interpreter, helicopter crew.”

MSNBC – Nightly News – Nearly 46 Million Receive Food Stamps 8-3-2011

Record number of people on food stamps

 

US choosing between World Supremacy and caring for its citizens

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“Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

~George Santayana, Reason in Common Sense, Volume 1

“The primary objects of government, are peace, order, and prosperity of society…”

Oliver Ellsworth, Founding Father and Chief Justice, U.S. Supreme Court

No man is an island

May the thirty Americans and seven Afghans killed in Afghanistan rest in peace and be remembered for their service to their country.

No man is an island, entire of itself
every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main
if a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were,
as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were
any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind
and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls
it tolls for thee.

~John Donne

President Lyndon B. Johnson is remembered primarily for three things–the war in Vietnam, the war on poverty and Medicare.

All three involved massive government intervention abroad and at home costing hundreds of billions of dollars that continues into the future.

Since World War II the United States government has not declared war as set forth in the Constitution.

War results in the loss of life and the lasting scars of the wounded and impacts their families and friends.

Government intervention abroad has become entirely too easy when you do not declare war.

All wars need the continuing support of the American people and should be declared.

Today United States government intervention abroad includes the war on terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya that will soon be expanded to include Yemen and Somali.

The majority of the American people want the troops home from around the world.

At home government intervention into the United States economy includes President Bush’s expansion of the Medicare entitlement program to include coverage for prescription drugs and President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better know as Obamacare.

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Behold: US Debt

U.S. Debt Clock

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

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Background Articles and Videos

US Navy Seals Killed in Afghanistan

59% Want Troops Home from Afghanistan

“…A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 59% of Likely Voters nationwide want the troops to come home either immediately or within a year. Twenty-eight percent (28%) oppose any firm timetable and 13% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

At 59%, support for bring the troops home is up from 51% in June, 52% in March, 43% last September, and 39% in September 2009.

Notably, 43% of Republicans now support bringing the troops home within a year while just 42% oppose a firm timetable. As recently as June, most Republicans opposed any firm timetable.

Just 22% now believe the U.S. has a clearly defined mission in Afghanistan.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on August 9-10, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Seventy-six percent (76%) of Democrats and 58% of unaffiliated voters want the troops home within a year.

Among those aligned with the Tea Party, 47% say it’s time to bring the troops home and 43% oppose any firm timetable.

Support for the U.S. military mission in Libya is down to 24%.

Seventy-five percent (75%) of all voters agree that “the United States should not commit its forces to military action overseas unless the cause is vital to our national interest.”

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/afghanistan/59_want_troops_home_from_afghanistan

 

US helicopter crashed in Taliban trap: Afghan official

By Sabawoon Amarkhail | AFP

“…The Taliban lured US forces into an elaborate trap to shoot down their helicopter, killing 30 American troops in the deadliest such incident of the war, an Afghan official said Monday.

US President Barack Obama pledged that the incident — which killed 38 people — would not keep foreign forces from prevailing in Afghanistan, and the Pentagon called the downing of the Chinook a “one-off” that would not alter US strategy.

The late Friday attack marked the biggest single loss of life for American and NATO forces since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan toppled the Taliban in late 2001, shortly after the September 11 attacks.

The loss of the Chinook during an anti-Taliban operation southwest of Kabul dealt a blow to elite US special forces, which had 25 members on board — 22 US Navy SEAL commandos and three Air Force Special Operations Forces.

Five US Army personnel, seven Afghan commandos and an interpreter also died.

A senior Afghan government official told AFP on condition of anonymity that Taliban commander Qari Tahir lured US forces to the scene by tipping them off that a Taliban meeting was taking place.

He also said four Pakistanis helped Tahir carry out the strike.

“Now it’s confirmed that the helicopter was shot down and it was a trap that was set by a Taliban commander,” said the official, citing intelligence gathered from the area.

“The Taliban knew which route the helicopter would take,” he continued.

“That’s the only route, so they took position on the either side of the valley on mountains and as the helicopter approached, they attacked it with rockets and other modern weapons. It was brought down by multiple shots.” …”

http://news.yahoo.com/us-helicopter-shot-down-taliban-trap-afghan-official-070456126.html

Photos of the Fallen: Americans shot down in Afghanistan

“Insurgents shot down a U.S. military helicopter during fighting in eastern Afghanistan, killing 30 Americans, most of them belonging to the same elite Navy SEALs unit that killed Osama bin Laden.”

http://www.wjla.com/pictures/2011/08/photos-of-the-fallen-30-americans-shot-down-in-afghanistan-/aaron-carson-vaughn-6217-451.html

 

Arlington Navy SEAL Among Those Killed in Attack

Family members say Chief Petty Officer Matt Mills was on his last mission

“…Family members confirmed that an Arlington man was one of 30 service members killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on Saturday.

Chief Petty Officer Matt Mills, 36, was on his last mission when the Chinook helicopter crashed in the restive Wardark province, his family said.

“He’s always loved what he did,” said his sister, Ashley Mills. “He told me he couldn’t believe he could do this for a living because he loved it so much.”

He was a Navy SEAL for 10 years.

“He was very humble about what he did,” said his cousin, J.B. Abbot. “He never bragged about being a Navy SEAL.”

Matt Mills grew up in Arlington and graduated from Martin High School.

He has three children, an 18-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter from a previous marriage.

Mills remarried just a few months prior to his last mission, on April 29. He and his current wife, Keri, who lives in Virginia, have a 1-year-old son together.

Family member said Mills greatly admired his grandfather, a Marine, and when he was younger, often talked about wanting to join the military.

Ashley Mills said she finds comfort in the fact that her brother served in what he saw as his mission in life.

“It would be that he had a lot of love in his heart and he was proud of his country and he was proud to serve,” she said. “He loved his family, his children, and we also loved him very much.”

http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Arlington-Navy-SEAL-Among-Those-Killed-in-Attack-127112738.html?dr

Our Next Wars: Yemen and Somalia

America’s clandestine activities in both nations only provoke the conflicts they are meant to prevent.

By Philip Giraldi

“…The U.S. military’s African command, or AFRICOM, is actually located in Stuttgart, Germany, but its principal operational component is located at the large French military base Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti. The CIA runs its drone operations targeting Somalia and Yemen out of that same location and has been using its assets on the ground in those countries to help direct predator strikes against suspected terrorist targets. CIA and special ops soldiers have been busy placing sensors and electronic surveillance devices throughout the Horn of Africa and in Yemen to permit greatly expanded operations. Both CIA and Army units in Djibouti have recently been beefed up in expectation that fighting will intensify in 2011.

And what is the nature of the threat justifying major military and intelligence operations in two new countries? Well, according to the State Department’s own recently issued report on global terrorism, the only terrorist incident originating in Yemen that directly threatened U.S. interests was the unsuccessful Nigerian underwear bomber in December, an attack that was carried out in retaliation for a deadly CIA drone strike shortly before. And there have been allegations that U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Aulaqi might have influenced Major Malik Nadal Hasan’s shooting rampage at Fort Hood last November. Apart from that, terrorism in Yemen is internally directed with some spillover against neighbor Saudi Arabia. In Somalia, al-Shabaab, which the State Department describes as “a disparate group of armed militias, many of whom do not adhere to the ideology of the group’s leaders,” is the target of Washington’s ire. Foggy Bottom concedes that the group is linked to al-Qaeda only by “mutually supportive rhetoric.” It has not targeted the United States at all, though some government officials have expressed concerns that Somali-Americans who travel back to their country of birth to join al-Shabaab might return to the U.S. to commit terrorist acts.

So we are again talking of secret wars conducted in places where we do not understand the local issues or players very well, all part of a massive overreaction directed against low-level troublemakers who do not actually pose any serious threat against the United States. Where it will all lead is anyone’s guess, but it should be noted that the pattern of new terrorism emerging as the response to misdirected and heavy-handed American intervention has been repeated over and over again during the past ten years.”

http://www.amconmag.com/blog/our-next-wars-yemen-and-somalia/

Bush signs landmark Medicare bill into law

“…It is the largest expansion of Medicare since the program was created in 1965, though most of its provisions won’t take effect for several years. The drug benefit, for example, does not take effect until 2006. Before that, seniors will be able to purchase a discount card that could provide a 10 to 25 percent off prescription drugs.

“Our nation has made a promise, a solemn promise, to America’s seniors,” Bush said. “We have pledged to help our citizens find affordable medical care in the later years of life.”

“These reforms are the act of a vibrant and compassionate government,” Bush said.

In 2006, Medicare recipients will pay $35 per month with a $250 deductible for prescriptions. The plan will pay 75 percent of costs up to $2,250. The prescription drug provision left out a proposed guideline the president had originally sought — requiring seniors to join an HMO to be eligible for the benefit.

The law also allows the importation of drugs from Canada — where many are cheaper — but only if the Food and Drug Administration has approved the drugs.

It also provides subsidies to private insurers to compete with traditional Medicare, giving seniors the opportunity to join managed-care plans, which typically cut costs by restricting patient access to specialists. That provision does not take effect until 2010. …”

http://articles.cnn.com/2003-12-08/politics/elec04.medicare_1_prescription-drug-private-insurers-medicare?_s=PM:ALLPOLITICS

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

“…The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)[1][2] is a United States federal statute that was signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. The law (along with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010) is a product of the health care reform agenda of the 111th United States Congress and the Obama administration. The primary aspects of the law are reform of the private health insurance industry and public health insurance programs, to improve coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, expand access to care for over 30 million Americans, and reduce the long term costs of the United States health care system.[3][4]

The PPACA passed the Senate on December 24, 2009, by a filibuster-proof vote of 60–39 with all Democrats and one Independent voting for, and all Republicans voting against. It passed the House of Representatives on March 21, 2010, by a vote of 219–212, with 178 Republicans and 34 Democrats voting against the bill.[5] The law has received legal challenges regarding its constitutionality. Three cases in federal courts upheld the constitutionality of the bill while two deemed it unconstitutional.[6] Six other challenges were dismissed on grounds such as plaintiffs being unable to demonstrate sufficient standing.[6] The Supreme Court could review this law as early as the end of 2011 or the beginning of 2012.[7]

Overveiw of Provisions

The law includes numerous health-related provisions to take effect over a four-year period beginning in 2010. In order of their assessed impact the primary provisions are as follows:

  • Guaranteed issue and community rating will be implemented nationally so that insurers must offer the same premium to all applicants of the same age, sex, and geographical location regardless of pre-existing conditions.
  • Medicaid eligibility is expanded to include all individuals and families with incomes up to 133% of the poverty level.
  • Health insurance exchanges will commence operation in each state, offering a marketplace where individuals and small businesses can compare policies and premiums, and buy insurance (with a government subsidy if eligible).
  • Firms employing 50 or more people but not offering health insurance will pay a “shared responsibility payment” if the government has had to subsidize an employee’s health care
  • A shared responsibility requirement, also referred to as an individual mandate,[8] requires individuals not covered by Medicaid, Medicare, or other government programs to maintain insurance or pay a penalty. (unless the applicable individual “is a member of a recognized religious sect” exempted by the Internal Revenue Service.)[9]
  • Medicare prescription drug payments are to be increased.
  • Changes are enacted which allow a restructuring of Medicare reimbursement from “fee-for-service” to “bundled payments”.
  • Establishment of a national voluntary insurance program for purchasing community living assistance services and support.
  • Low income persons and families above the Medicaid level and up to 400% of the poverty level will receive subsidies on a sliding scale if they choose to purchase insurance via an exchange (persons at 150% of the poverty level would be subsidized such that their premium cost would be of 2% of income or $50 a month for a family of 4).
  • Very small businesses will be able to get subsidies if they purchase insurance through an exchange.
  • Additional support is provided for medical research and the National Institutes of Health.
  • Enrollment into CHIP and Medicaid is simplified with improvements to both programs.
  • The law will introduce minimum standards for health insurance policies and remove all annual and lifetime coverage caps.
  • The law mandates that some health care insurance benefits will be essential coverage for which there will be no co-pays.
  • Policies issued before the law came into effect are grandfathered in and are mostly not affected by the new rules.

Summary of funding

The Act’s provisions are intended to be funded by a variety of taxes and offsets. Major sources of new revenue include a much-broadened Medicare tax on incomes over $200,000 and $250,000, for individual and joint filers respectively, an annual fee on insurance providers, and a 40% tax on “Cadillac” insurance policies. There are also taxes on pharmaceuticals, high-cost diagnostic equipment, and a federal sales tax on indoor tanning services. Offsets are from intended cost savings such as improved fairness in the Medicare Advantage program relative to traditional Medicare.[10]

Total new tax revenue from the Act will amount to $409.2 billion over the next 10 years. $78 billion will be realized before the end of fiscal 2014.[11] Summary of revenue sources:

  • Broaden Medicare tax base for high-income taxpayers: $210.2 billion
  • Annual fee on health insurance providers: $60 billion
  • 40% excise tax on health coverage in excess of $10,200/$27,500: $32 billion
  • Impose annual fee on manufacturers and importers of branded drugs: $27 billion
  • Impose 2.3% excise tax on manufacturers and importers of certain medical devices: $20 billion
  • Require information reporting on payments to corporations: $17.1 billion
  • Raise 7.5% Adjusted Gross Income floor on medical expenses deduction to 10%: 15.2 billion
  • Limit health flexible spending arrangements in cafeteria plans: $13 billion
  • All other revenue sources: $14.9 billion …”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patient_Protection_and_Affordable_Care_Act

United States public debt

“…The United States public debt is the money borrowed by the federal government of the United States at any one time through the issue of securities by the Treasury and other federal government agencies. The gross public debt comprises two components:

  • Debt held by government accounts, also known as intragovernmental holdings, that is, Treasury securities held in accounts that are administered by the federal government, such as the Social Security Trust Fund
  • Debt held by the public, that is, securities held by investors outside the federal government, including that held by the Federal Reserve System and state and local governments. This is the net public debt.[1]

The net public debt increases or decreases as a result of the annual unified budget deficit or surplus. The federal government budget deficit or surplus is the cash difference between government receipts and spending, ignoring intra-governmental transfers. However, there is certain spending (supplemental appropriations) that add to the gross debt but are excluded from the deficit. The deficit is presented on a cash rather than an accruals basis, although the accrual deficit provides more information on the longer-term implications of the government’s annual operations.[2]

Gross debt has increased by over $500 billion each year since fiscal year (FY) 2003, with increases of $1 trillion in FY2008, $1.9 trillion in FY2009, and $1.7 trillion in FY2010.[3] As of August 3, 2011, the gross debt was $14.34 trillion dollars, of which $9.78 trillion was held by the public and $4.56 trillion was intragovernmental holdings.[4] The annual gross domestic product (GDP) to the end of June 2011 was $15.003 trillion (July 29, 2011 estimate),[5] with gross debt at a ratio of 96% of GDP, and debt held by the public at 65% of GDP.

Together with the budget deficit, the political climate was one of the reasons given by Standard & Poor’s to revise the outlook on the US sovereign credit rating down to negative on April 18, 2011.[6] Standard and Poor’s downgraded the credit rating by one notch from AAA to AA+ on August 5, 2011, for the first time ever. The longterm outlook is negative and it could lower the rating further to AA within the next 2 years.[7][8] The downgrade was met with severe criticism from the Obama administration, commentators, and other political figures.[9][10][11][12] The US still has a AAA rating from other ratings agencies.

The government budget deficit or surplus should not be confused with the trade deficit or surplus, which is the difference between net imports and net exports.

Currently, the date of December 16, 2009 marks the beginning of the only week long period in the history of the debt limit when the debt ceiling ever exceeded the statutory limit enacted by Congress. It was during this time that the treasury department invoked the use of “extraordinary accounting tools” that it could then use to give the government a range of $150 billion that it then used to pay its outstanding obligations.[13]

In the United States Congress there are currently a number of disagreements between Democrats and Republicans regarding the United States debt. On August 2, 2011, President Barack Obama signed into law the Budget Control Act of 2011, averting a possible financial default. …”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_public_debt

Neo-CONNED! by Congressman Ron Paul – Part 1 of 11

Neo-CONNED! by Congressman Ron Paul – Part 2 of 11

Neo-CONNED! by Congressman Ron Paul – Part 3 of 11

Neo-CONNED! by Congressman Ron Paul – Part 4 of 11

Neo-CONNED! by Congressman Ron Paul – Part 5 of 11

Neo-CONNED! by Congressman Ron Paul – Part 6 of 11

Neo-CONNED! by Congressman Ron Paul – Part 7 of 11

Neo-CONNED! by Congressman Ron Paul – Part 8 of 11

Neo-CONNED! by Congressman Ron Paul – Part 9 of 11

Neo-CONNED! by Congressman Ron Paul – Part 10 of 11

Neo-CONNED! by Congressman Ron Paul – Part 11 of 11

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Pronk Pops Show 40, August 10, 2011: Segment 1: More GORE–Great Obama Recession Economy–Government Treasury Securites Downgraded From AAA to AA+ With A Negative Outlook By Standard & Poor’s Rating Agency–Too Little Too Late–The Austrian School of Economics Was Right!–Videos

Pronk Pops Show 40, August 10, 2011: Segment 2: It’s Time For A Permanent, Pervasive and Predictable Stimulus Package–The FairTax–Launching A Peace and Prosperity Economy–Videos

Pronk Pops Show 40, August 10, 2011: Segment 3: United States of America: Problem: A Triple A Country With A Triple F President–Solution: Fire The President And Democratic Senators And Representatives–Vote For Tea Party Candidates–Videos

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