Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Intelligence, Law, Military, National Security, The Constitution, The United States | Tags: American Intelligence, national security, The U.S. Constitution.
This beautifully made and powerful video from the SpecialOps and Intelligence (ret.) community is important to let people know the extent to which this administration has betrayed America’s national intelligence, endangered lives, and destroyed relations, just for pure personal political gain. Selling out America and Americans. If enough people watch this, the election is over.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Election 2012, Latin America, Politics | Tags: Border Wars, Illegal Immigration, national security
The argument about legal and illegal immigration is usually heated and extremely confused. A very large percentage of Americans simply want immigration laws that are obeyed and enforced, and they don’t want drug suppliers or terrorists from Latin America entering the country illegally. We want people here on temporary visas to go home when their time is up. That doesn’t seem either too complicated or in any way unfair.
We prize the text on the Statue of Liberty — “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” in recognition of the fact that America is a nation of immigrants, and a lot of tired, poor immigrants have contributed greatly to our country. On the other hand, we want to welcome those who come with big brains and big bank accounts who want the freedom to create wonders. We are troubled when foreign students come to our universities to get advanced degrees in engineering and physics and then we send them home, even if they want to stay. And those who overstay their visas need to go home.
Any child born in the United States is a citizen, yet we have “tourists”who come here specifically to give birth to an American citizen. We are troubled by the idea that all of a citizen’s relatives may get a spot in line before others. The whole immigration thing is impossibly complicated, and enormously political.
Then add in cries of racism, prejudice and ethnic profiling directed at those who want legal limitations on immigration. Many feel empathy for illegal immigrants who have avoided questions about their legal status, settled here and paid taxes, and think they should be offered amnesty. Others see no end to the amnesty because there is a constant influx of illegal immigrants who settle and establish themselves. There are somewhere between 9 million and 11 million illegals here.
Democrats usually favor amnesty and even open borders because they believe that Hispanic immigrants are reliable Democrat voters, and obtaining power is always on the mind of a Democrat politician. Memos from the Department of Homeland Security’s highest ranks show that the Obama administration has tried to form a strategy to achieve amnesty for the illegal population without input from Congress.
The course decided upon seems to be “prosecutorial discretion” in an ICE memo of June 2011, that prevents the enforcement of immigration law, and is effectively worker authorization for much of the current illegal population. Federal lawyers are escalating their crackdown on tough immigration laws, and challenge state laws in court. The Justice Department has sued Arizona and Alabama, and gone after Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio. In January, the administration proposed new hardship rules to make it easier for illegals to apply for legal status if they have a spouse or parent already living here. The Washington Post says “Immigrant-rights groups call the move a “tremendous victory.” Others, who obeyed the rules and came to the country legally are deeply offended.
There are 20.7 million acres of federal land along the U.S.–Mexico border. There are also over 1,000 miles of federal land along the U.S.–Canada border. The number of illegals detained at the border has fallen in recent years— the promise of jobs is down, but there is an increase in violent criminals, drug smugglers and human traffickers. Reports of Iran-sponsored activity in Mexico are increasing.
You’ve got the Coronado National Forest, the Sonoran Desert National Monument, The Organ Pipe National Monument and the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge which is directly adjacent to the border. Oversight of one sort or another is provided by the U.S. Forest Service (Dept. of Agriculture) the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Park Service (NPS) — all Department of Interior Agencies. Then you have the Department of Homeland Security, which supervises customs, immigration and naturalization, transportation security, and — the U.S Border Patrol.
The previous paragraph exposes the problems. Who is in charge of what? Add to that the Sierra Club, Wilderness Society, Greenpeace, Earthjustice, World Wildlife Fund and the Center for Biological Diversity. There are also ranchers who own private land and lease public lands along the border. There’s the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.
For environmental groups, activities that assist in securing the border may do damage to healthy ecosystems. In other words, ecosystems trump security and American safety. DHS has given university researchers a grant of $771,000 to track jaguar wanderings. Since 1996, there have been confirmed sightings of five jaguars in Arizona and New Mexico. Whether these endangered animals are native to Arizona or only visiting from Mexico is unknown. This is a portion of the $6.8 million grant to Interior for environmental projects—to compensate for environmental damage done by illegals and border protection activities including the border fence.
H.R. 1505: The National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act was introduced last April by Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) to protect federal lands from being despoiled and to secure the borders. It would “prohibit the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture from taking action which would impede border security.” In other words, it gives the Border Patrol instead of federal land managers operational control over U.S. borders on public lands. It gives DHS authority over federal lands within 100 miles of the border, and authorization to waive any environmental policies that impede border security.
Turf battle. Enraged Greenies. A serious problem in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, for all the agencies, and for local law enforcement. Obama has directed that only those convicted of serious crimes will be deported. He pushed for the DREAM Act again in the SOTU speech. He has pressured staff to speed up and approve immigrant visa applications, even when fraud is suspected. He has cut back on Border Patrol personnel, and now there’s a new Illegal Alien Czar to make nice with illegals, Latino organizations, the “stakeholder community,” and to fail to remove those who might be potential voters. Andrew Lorenz-Strait is the nation’s first “public advocate” for the U.S. Customs and Enforcement Agency. Obama wants the Latino vote. And he intends to devise any way he can to get around Congress and do what he pleases.
The drug wars in Mexico are spilling over into Arizona. A woman shopping on a downtown street in El Paso a few days ago, was shot by bullets flying across the border from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Bullets have struck a local high school, City Hall and the University of Texas at El Paso. El Paso is generally safe, but Juarez is one of the most dangerous cities in the hemisphere.
Representative Bishop and his committee seem to have drawn up a sensible bill that tries to address the most urgent problems. The current situation is untenable, and the administration attempt to use it as a way to buy votes is shameful. When we do not control the border, that is just the beginning of the problems that result.
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Military, National Security, Russia, The United States | Tags: Economic Freedom, national security, We Are Less Safe
The Heritage Foundation has just released the 18th annual Index of Economic Freedom, released with The Wall Street Journal.
Economic freedom — the ability of individuals to control the fruits of their labor and pursue their dreams — is central to prosperity around the world. Heritage and The Wall Street Journal measure economic freedom by studying its pillars: the rule of law, limited government, regulatory efficiency, and open markets. Things like property rights, freedom from corruption, government spending, free trade, labor policies, and one’s ability to invest in and create businesses all factor in to a country’s economic freedom.
In 2011 economic freedom declined worldwide as many governments attempted to spend their way our of recession, which has never worked. Rapid expansion of government appears to be responsible . Government spending not only failed to halt the economic crisis, but may well be prolonging the trouble. The U.S. economic freedom score has dropped from 81.2 in 2007 to 76.3 in 2012, on a scale of 1-100.
And we are not only less free, but we are less safe as well. The administration has, for three years, followed what they claim to be a strategy of ‘retrenchment.‘ We have withdrawn from Iraq, set a deadline for Afghanistan, called off further expansion of NATO, signed arms-control treaties and now decimated the Pentagon budget.
What they have presented as a strategic vision is seen by the rest of the world as plain old weakness. Osama bin Laden was not the source of all danger in the world, and eliminating him doesn’t mean that “the tide of war is receding.” Our allies have reason to question the strength of our commitments.
Our financial difficulties are not a function of spending on the military, for the cost of being perceived as weak and indecisive can be astronomical. Americans have long believed that the last war was the last one, and that peace is the natural state of the world. Politicians, eager to have more money to spend, believe in peace dividends — money they are entitled to spend now that war is a thing of the past.
The U.S. is the only country in the world without a substantial nuclear modernization program. After Russia signed the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which unilaterally reduced U.S. forces, Moscow announced the largest nuclear modernization program since the end of the Cold War. America, meanwhile, continues on a path of unilateral disarmament now under the guise of budget constraints.
Section 1227 of the 2012 defense authorization bill prohibits spending any funds that would be used to give Russian officials access to sensitive missile-defense technology as part of a cooperation agreement without first reporting to Congress identifying the specific secrets, how they’d be used and what steps will be taken to protect data from compromise. Obama is required to certify that any technology shared will not be passed on to countries such as China, North Korea or Iran, and that Russia will not use transferred secrets to develop countermeasures and that the Russians are reciprocating in sharing.
President Obama issued a signing statement, something he had previously opposed. He said in the statement that:
he would treat these legal restrictions as “non-binding” and that “my administration will also interpret and implement section 1244 (sic) in a manner that does not interfere with the president’s constitutional authority to conduct foreign affairs and avoids the undue disclosure of sensitive diplomatic communications.
He already betrayed Poland and the Czech Republic who were to host ground-based interceptors (Poland) and missile-tracking radar (Czech Republic). Moscow objected so Obama obediently pulled the plug. Obama claimed we had a better approach that called for using three versions of the Navy’s Standard SM-3 interceptor missile that forms the backbone of its Aegis missile-defense system. The fourth phase is a missile scheduled for 2020, still on the drawing board, that would intercept hostile missiles in the “early intercept” phase. The Russians want the SM-3 secrets and Obama appears to be willing to share.
In spite of Obama’s wishful thinking and desire for nuclear disarmament, Russia continues to rearm. Russia just announced the deployment of the new RSM-56 Bluava submarine launched ballistic missile. The administration’s engagement with Russia has been well-represented with Hillary Clinton’s “reset” button. More to the point were Ronald Reagan’s words: “Trust, but Verify.”
Filed under: Economy, Foreign Policy, Middle East, Military, National Security, Politics, Terrorism | Tags: national security, New Defense Strategy, Obama Slashes Militaqry
Oh Gawd, it’s “peace dividend” time again! Obama made a rare trip to the Pentagon, flanked by his four service chiefs and his Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and saying that:
The United States of America is the greatest force for freedom and security that the world has ever known. And in no small measure, that’s because we’ve built the best-trained, best-led, best-equipped military in history — and as Commander-in-Chief, I’m going to keep it that way.
Uh huh, and then he proceeded with a lot of how wonderful our military is, and all the historic investments we’ve made in the military, the usual lovely baritone meaningless words, at which point he bragged on his administration:
And thanks to their extraordinary service, we’ve ended our war in Iraq. We’ve decimated al Qaeda’s leadership. We’ve delivered justice to Osama bin Laden, and we’ve put that terrorist network on the path to defeat. We’ve made important progress in Afghanistan, and we’ve begun to transition so Afghans can assume more responsibility for their own security. We joined allies and partners to protect the Libyan people as they ended the regime of Muammar Qaddafi.
And having congratulated himself, he said “Now we’re turning the page on a decade of war:” His words paint a pretty picture of how our splendid military has done a wonderful job and now we need to slash defense, gut the military, eliminate weapons. The White House settled on $450 billion in cuts in the military budget last year with Congress through 2021, on top of $350 billion in weapons programs killed earlier. Defense spending will fall by 1% next year, and another $500 billion in possible cuts starting next January unless Congress steps in first.
It was left to Defense Secretary Leon Pannetta to deal with “the savings we have been mandated to achieve.” Panetta said in an earlier statement that the ordered cuts would lead to a “hollow” military. The Navy will shrink from today’s 300 vessels to 238 and would lose two carrier battle groups. Strategic bombers will fall from 153 to 101. Air Force fighters would drop by more than half from 3,602 aircraft to 1,512 planes. And apparently our nuclear arsenal will be cut as well.
The military is a huge bureaucracy and of course there are savings that can be made. This is not about that, but about politics. The budget is out of control, and the president refuses to rein in entitlements, the really big problem. He won’t rein in either the energy department or the EPA, not cut back on his subsidies for his clean energy fantasy. He still wants to do infrastructure. Every effort to cut back on spending is met with fierce resistance from the White House, but the Left does not like the military, and does not really grasp the need for one.
Obama has apologized to the world for American power and success, and succeeded only in convincing the world that America is a hollow giant with a weak indecisive leader. The entire Mediterranean is a tinder keg, taken over by the Muslim Brotherhood. Iran is close to developing a nuclear weapon, yet with an increasingly restive population. Syria is aflame and Assad continues slaughtering his people. China is developing a carrier force, and growing its military apace. Obama is surrendering to the Taliban in Afghanistan, and his pullout of troops from Afghanistan and Iraq may well destroy all our accomplishments there. Iran is threatening to close the Straits of Hormuz, and working hard in South America and Mexico to create trouble.
We have a long history of “Peace Dividends,” always disastrous and leaving more young lives destroyed. A weak country invites aggression.
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Liberalism, National Security, Terrorism | Tags: national security, Peace In Our Time, Progressive Platitudes
President Obama’s goal is to show a friendlier face to other countries, and to coax Russia into doing the same. This is intended to be a confidence-building initiative begun last fall when Obama abandoned the U.S. missile-defense system being installed in Eastern Europe that had so upset the Russians.
Even though the system was designed to protect against future missiles from Iran, Obama mistakenly hoped that such a unilateral U.S. forfeiture would encourage Russia to put pressure on Iran to halt its nuclear weapons development.
That didn’t work, and the new START Treaty allows Russia to sell missiles to Iran at will. So to indulge further in such confidence-building, a confidential U.S. note was sent to 128 other countries two weeks ago, according to George Jahn of A.P.
The United States … will provide pre-launch notification of commercial and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) space launches as well as the majority of intercontinental ballistic and submarine-launched ballistic missile launches.
There is something here that I am not quite grasping. This is a “confidential” note from the President to 128 of his closest friends, designed to build confidence because we will tell you whenever we are going to have a secret launch of our secret weapons? And this builds “confidence” in what?
If we so readily blab our own military secrets, then others are going to tell us their secrets? This sounds like grade school — “You tell me your secret and I’ll tell you mine.”
The 129 countries are members of the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation. Four of the world’s nuclear-armed nations belong to the convention —The U.S., Russia, France and Britain. I was really worried about France and Britain’s missiles. Russia has not often told the truth in living memory. And China, North Korea, Pakistan and India and Iran do not belong, and do not provide notice. So as N. Korea and S. Korea are close to war, this effort has helped…?
I have long believed in a tiny, infectious worm that enters the ear canal. When it reaches the brain, it expels a thick, cloud-like substance that gradually surrounds the brain, making thought slow and ineffective. It seems to be especially attracted to urban liberals, and is often contracted in crowded classrooms of Ivy-League colleges and universities.
Filed under: Islam, Law, Military, Terrorism | Tags: Dealing with Terrorists, General Mike Hayden, national security
The problem of treating a terrorist as a common criminal to be tried in open federal court is poorly understood, and confusing.
Andy McCarthy, author of Willful Blindness — an account of the trial of the first World Trade Center bombing in which he was a prosecutor, highly recommends this article by General Mike Hayden, former CIA Director, in Sunday’s Washington Post. General Hayden gets a lot into a short essay.
Filed under: Islam, National Security, Terrorism | Tags: Dealing with Terrorists, national security, Umar Abdulmutallab
Scott Brown’s top strategist, Eric Fernstrom, said that from their own internal polling, “the more potent issue here in Massachusetts was terrorism and the treatment of enemy combatants.”
It’s clear that on a national basis, people were angry about health care reform and Democrats back-room, secret-meeting attempts to push it through. But in Massachusetts, national security resonated with voters. (Probably even more so after Martha Coakley announced that there were no more Taliban or al Qaeda in Afghanistan, and we really should bring our troops home).
There have been a number of Democrats recently pointing out that, as more people die from other causes like traffic accidents, we are putting way too much emphasis on terrorism. An odd theme for — so far — five Democrats to “spontaneously” write about.
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Christmas Day Detroit bomber, told agents when he was apprehended that there were 25 more just like him in Yemen, waiting to attack us. Then the agents gave him his Miranda rights and he stopped talking.
Scott Brown’s best line resonated:
Let me say this, with respect, for those who want to harm us. I believe that our constitution and laws exist to protect this nation — they do not grant rights and privileges to enemies in wartime. In dealing with terrorists, our tax dollars should pay for weapons to stop them, not lawyers to defend them.
Bill Burck said today in the Corner:
A few weeks ago, Dana Perino and I expressed doubt that the White House had given any serious thought to treating Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab as an enemy combatant who could be interrogated without access to a lawyer, without Miranda warnings, and without the right to remain silent.
We were skeptical because of the rapid turnaround of less than 24 hours between Abdulmutallab’s arrest and the Justice Department’s announcement that he would be treated like a common criminal — with all the rights of a U.S. Citizen — provided far too little time to assess his potential value as a source of intelligence about future attacks.
In congressional hearings today, Dennis Blair, director of national intelligence, and Michael Leiter, director of the National Counterterrorism Center confirmed that they were never even consulted about the decision. Nor was FBI Director Mueller consulted. The agents on the ground decided — without input from their superiors — to treat Abdulmutallab as a criminal.
In other words, there is no established protocol to handle these things, even so soon after the Fort Hood Massacre.
That’s what the American people are worried about. And that’s why Scott Brown’s words resonated with the people of Massachusetts. He gets it. The Obama administration doesn’t seem to.
Filed under: Election 2008, Iraq, Military, Terrorism | Tags: Iraq War, national security, U.S. Military
Barack Obama has been campaigning in public for months for a speedy withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. In private, Senator Obama has tried to persuade Iraqi leaders that they should delay any agreement on a draw-down of American troops. Obama, apparently believing that his election is inevitable, is trying to effect his own foreign policy, in direct opposition to the United States Government.
Amir Taheri, has been an authoritative columnist on the Middle East. He was born in Iran, educated in Tehran, and is located in Europe. He writes of this shocking development in today’s New York Post.
According to Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, Obama made his demand for delay a key theme of his discussions with Iraqi leaders in Baghdad in July.
“He asked why we were not prepared to delay an agreement until after the US elections and the formation of a new administration in Washington” Zebari said in an interview.
Obama insisted that Congress should be involved in negotiations on the status of U.S. troops — and that it was in the interests of both sides not to have an agreement negotiated by the Bush administration in its “state of weakness and political confusion.”
Obama’s latest position is that U.S. combat troops should be out by 2010. (Foreign Policy 101, you don’t tell an enemy when you are leaving) His efforts to privately delay an agreement would make that date impossible to meet. Obama’s attempt to surreptitiously damage American foreign policy are disgraceful and completely dishonorable. Amir Taheri continues:
Obama has given Iraqis the impression that he doesn’t want Iraq to appear anything like a success, let alone a victory, for America. The reason “He fears that the perception of U.S. victory there might revive the Bush Doctrine of “pre-emptive” war — that is, removing a threat before it strikes at America.
Despite some usual equivocations on the subject, Obama rejects pre-emption as a legitimate form of self defense. To be credible, his foreign-policy philosophy requires Iraq to be seen as a failure, a disaster, a quagmire, a pig with lipstick or any of the apocalyptic adjectives used by the American defeat industry in the past five years.
Yet Iraq is doing much better than its friends hoped and its enemies feared. The UN mandate will be extended in December, and we may yet get an agreement on the status of forces before President Bush leaves the White House in January.
Amir Taheri has been an excellent source for accurate information on the Middle East because he has so many contacts there. If this is correct, Obama is carrying out his own foreign policy in direct opposition to the foreign policy of the United States of America, and in opposition to his own ‘public’ position on Iraq. His aim is to bring about failure, rather than success, in Iraq.
Please read the whole article linked above. Barack Obama’s record on Iraq has long been disgraceful, but this is really beyond the pale.
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Foreign Policy, Politics, The Constitution | Tags: Conservatism, conservatives, constitution, defense, economic growth, Economy, Election 2008, health care, judges, law enforcement, national security, pro-growth, Rudy Giuliani, Taxes
American Elephants likes Rudy Giuliani! Let us count the ways:
First, remember that Rudy was the mayor of a city larger than the entire state of Massachusetts. When he inherited NYC, the Big Apple had an astronomical crime-rate, declining school performance, oppressive taxation, a suffering economy and a bloated government packed with hostile political adversaries.
Rudy developed a philosophy of government completely at odds with New York’s political culture.
…the former prosecutor had fashioned a philosophy of local government based on two core conservative principles vastly at odds with New York’s political culture: that government should be accountable for delivering basic services well, and that ordinary citizens should be personally responsible for their actions and their destiny and not expect government to take care of them. Giuliani preached the need to reestablish a “civil society,” where citizens adhered to a “social contract.” “If you have a right,” he observed, “there is a duty that goes along with that right.”
He followed through on his conservative principles, no matter how much he upset the elites, no matter how many threats were made against him. Total crime dropped by more than 64 percent and the murder rate dropped by 67 percent. Giuliani proposed cutting the city’s huge budget deficit entirely through spending cuts and savings and even a modest tax cut. As crime dropped, tourism soared. The city gained around 430,000 new jobs, personal income soared and the unemployment rate was cut in half.
He revived the largest city in America when everyone else said it was impossible. And he did it all in the face of bitter opposition. It’s an inspiring story.
Rudy has the only Healthcare plan of any candidate that will actually make healthcare more available and more affordable. It rejects public entitlements and tax hikes and embraces private property and tax incentives to extend health coverage overall — private coverage that people would own, control, and transport throughout their careers like they do with home or life insurance.
His blueprint for homeland security, The Resilient Society, shows that Rudy really understands the problems and issues facing national security. Its a long piece, but worth reading in full.
Rudy has proposed not only the largest tax cut in modern American history, but also a dramatic simplification of the tax code. He would give every tax-payer the option of using a one-page “Fair and Simple Tax Form.” There would be only three rates 10%, 15% and 30%. Deductions for mortgage payments, state and local taxes and child tax-credits would be preserved. Taxpayers who prefer existing forms would be free to do so. It is the best and most pro-growth proposal of any of the candidates.
But, “isn’t Rudy pro-abortion?” you ask. He has said that he, as a man, doesn’t think he has the right to tell a woman that she can’t have an abortion. But he is opposed to partial-birth abortion and is in favor of parental notification. He has pledged to appoint strict constructionist judges, and since he has chosen Ted Olson as one of his advisers, this seems very likely. And it is strict constructionist judges that are precisely what is needed to overturn Roe. Rudy Giuliani is the only candidate we are convinced will appoint true conservatives to the bench.
American Elephant Adds: I would also point out that Rudy has been extremely disturbed how activist liberal judges are endangering the country with their unconstitutional meddling in the war. Unlike John McCain who has talked about “consensus nominees” for far too long to be beleived, and who is unlikely to appoint anyone who would endanger McCain/Feingold, and unlike Mitt who says all the right things, but strikes us as a man who will compromise once he is in office, Rudy Giuliani is the only candidate who will insist on conservative justices, and he will fight Democrats and the press to do it.
Also, there are some who complain about Rudy’s divorces. I would remind them that Ronald Reagan was also a divorcee, and he turned out pretty darn good in my book!