Personally, I would much rather be considered a "domineering power" by an enemy than "passive failure."
Even Ahmadinajad expects the US to CHANGE under Obama.
House Democrats blocked a measure that would have required new roads, bridges and schools funded by the $825 billion economic stimulus to be named after US armed forces members killed in action. Democrats on the House Rules Committee nixed the amendment Tuesday in a party-line 9-3 vote. The same vote also took down four other Republican amendments that would have funded job training for veterans, stopping all the measures from being considered Wednesday by the full House for inclusion in the stimulus.
"For whatever reason, it was not to their liking," said Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, Michigan Republican, sponsor of the amendment that would have honored fallen troops.
I Pledge Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, One Nation Under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.
The chief of the Guantanamo war court Thursday spurned President Barack Obama's request to freeze the military commissions trying war-on-terror captives, and said he would hold a hearing next month for an alleged USS Cole bomber in a capital terror case.
“We’re going to continue to try to encourage the majority here in the Congress to incorporate a number of our ideas,” said Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R) of Kentucky at a briefing on Tuesday. (And if you do enact some of your ideas, this bill will be YOUR FAULT. No matter what the reality is.)
“I’m pleased with the way the Senate has been operating on the floor, pleased that we’re getting amendments offered, laid down, and voted on. And my assumption is that that’s the way we’re going to operate the rest of this Congress,” he added. (See my above about being someone's punk.)
In the end, the outcome in the Senate will likely turn on a few moderate Republican votes. Although moderate GOP ranks were diminished in 2008 elections, they still include Senator Grassley and Maine Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins.
“I’m not sure that we’ve yet achieved the right balance, the right mix between tax relief and spending programs,” said Senator Collins after a Senate GOP meeting with Obama on Tuesday. ( What mix of PORK and DEBT is the right one, Senator?)
“I’m also concerned that some of the provisions in the bill appear to be worthwhile programs but really have nothing to do with creating or preserving jobs or helping to turn the economy around,” she said. ( THEN HOW ARE THEY WORTHWHILE?)
Messrs. Rivkin and Casey are Washington, D.C., lawyers who served in the Justice Department under Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
This week, President Barack Obama signed an executive order to close the terrorist detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay within the year. It was a symbolic repudiation of the Bush administration's policies, but Gitmo is not the crucial issue. The real question is whether Mr. Obama will uphold the legal architecture necessary to continue the war against al Qaeda and its jihadist allies.
What Mr. Obama's national security team will quickly discover is that the civilian criminal-justice system is an inadequate tool to deal with terrorists. President Bush's policies -- particularly treating captured terrorists as unlawful enemy combatants and employing a military court system to try them -- were dictated by the very real need to defend American citizens, not by disdain for the rule of law.
The Bush administration chose the law-of-war paradigm because the international law of armed conflict gives the U.S. maximum flexibility to meet the jihadist threat, including the right to attack and destroy al Qaeda bases and fighters in foreign countries. The alternative legal framework, the civilian criminal-justice system, is unsuitable for several key reasons. Civilian criminal suspects quite obviously cannot be targeted for military attack. They can be subjected only to the minimum force necessary to effect an arrest. They cannot -- consistent with international law -- be pursued across national boundaries. And finally, they are entitled to a speedy trial in a public courtroom. These rules cannot be ignored or altered without constitutional amendment.
In addition, the type and quality of evidence necessary for convictions in civilian courts is simply unavailable for most captured terrorists. One federal district judge recently concluded that although the government's information on one detainee was sufficient for intelligence purposes -- that is, he presumably could have been targeted for deadly attack -- it was insufficient to hold him without trial.
Trying senior al Qaeda leaders for relatively minor offenses ancillary to their major war crimes (like Al Capone for tax evasion) also is not the answer. Even if convictions and punishments could be obtained in this way, the cause of justice and historic closure requires the perpetrators to be charged with their worst offenses. This view informed the Nuremberg prosecutions.
Many have advocated for the creation of a U.S.-based national security court. Such a court would certainly be subject to constitutional challenge, and likely could not handle the sheer number of detained enemy combatants. A few hundred detainees at Guantanamo is one thing, but U.S. forces have captured and processed thousands of prisoners in the war on terror, and still hold upward of a thousand al Qaeda fighters in Iraq and Afghanistan, with many more to come in the years ahead.
Some changes to the Bush policies are obviously inevitable. But what Mr. Obama must keep in mind is that the laws of war form a relatively seamless web. Different elements -- military detention and prosecution, and robust rules of engagement driven by combat necessities -- reinforce each other. So while he may grant detainees additional due process rights (the courts have already established a right to habeas corpus proceedings for those at Guantanamo), he must continue a system of
military detention for most of the captured fighters.
That's because the law of war requires that enemies be "granted quarter" -- meaning prisoners must be taken if they surrender. But if these prisoners cannot be held until hostilities are concluded and must be released only to fight again, the military would be consigned to a deadly game of catch and release. Without a viable detention regime, the U.S. cannot fairly ask its soldiers to risk their lives in combat any more than we can send in troops with defective equipment.
Since routinely prosecuting captured terrorists in the civilian courts is unrealistic, some sort of military court system for the detainees must be retained, regardless of whether they are called military commissions or special courts martial. This renvigorated military court system must be directed to begin prosecuting those captured enemy fighters that have committed war crimes against American troops or civilians. The fact that none of the individuals now held in U.S. custody in Iraq or Afghanistan has been brought to justice, even in situations where there is sufficient evidence to prosecute them, is historically unprecedented and a slap in the face of the U.S. troops fighting this war. Giving de facto immunity to war criminals is also inconsistent with international legal norms.
Republicans like Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), who have criticized some Bush policies, must make their voices heard here.
This system of detention and military trials must also apply here at home. We cannot limit the military legal paradigm to overseas operations. Al Qaeda has already successfully targeted American territory, and may do so again. Foreign fighters entering the U.S. to carry out attacks should not have rights superior to those on distant, more conventional battlefields. Not only does this double standard create exactly the wrong incentives for our enemies, but it is legally unsustainable. The Supreme Court has indicated a willingness to extend constitutional protections to detainees held where the United States exercises a sufficient level of control, and this ruling can easily be extended beyond Gitmo.
Finally, the new administration cannot behave as if the military justice system for detainees is shameful, like some crazy uncle in the attic. These are legitimate laws of war and should be treated as such.
Mr. Bush's opponents have denigrated this system for nearly eight years. Many of them have now assumed power, and with power comes responsibility -- especially when it comes to protecting Americans from their enemies.
Last week, the IDF issued an unprecedented directive. All Israeli media outlets must obscure the faces of soldiers and commanders who fought in Operation Cast Lead. Henceforth, the identities of all IDF soldiers and officers who participated in the operation against the Hamas terror regime in Gaza are classified information. The IDF acted as it did in an effort to protect Israeli soldiers and officers from possible prosecutions for alleged war crimes in Europe. The army's chief concern is England.
In England, private citizens are allowed to file complaints against foreigners whom they claim committed war crimes. Based on these complaints, British courts can issue arrest warrants against such foreigners if they are found on British territory and force them to stand trial.
Over the past few years, a number of active duty and retired IDF senior officers were forced to cancel visits to Britain after such complaints were filed against them in sympathetic local courts. Following the IDF's move, on Sunday the government announced that Israel will provide legal assistance to any IDF veteran prosecuted abroad for actions he performed during his service in Gaza. The legal assistance will include representation, investigation of the allegations made against veterans, attempts to have the charges against them dismissed and defense at trials.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who brought the decision before the full cabinet, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and their colleagues all asserted that by committing the state to defending its warriors, they were fulfilling their sacred duty to protect Israel's protectors. Unfortunately, both the cabinet decision itself and our leaders' statements missed the point.
LAST WEDNESDAY, an appellate court in Amsterdam ruled that the Dutch lawmaker and leader of the anti-jihadist Dutch Freedom Party Geert Wilders must stand trial for the alleged "crime" of inciting hatred against Muslims with his short film "Fitna," released last year. In "Fitna," Wilders juxtaposes verses from the Koran with Islamic terror attacks, mosque sermons inciting believers to murder non-Muslims, and proclamations by Islamic clerics that Muslims must kill all the Jews, conquer the world and subjugate non-believers.
Labels: blackfive, celebration, cspan, house to house, jeff emanuel, jerry coffee, Move America Forward, nikkiusa, pow/mia, protroopevents, redstate, sponsors, victory, warriors the film, Washington DC
|LONDON DAILY MAIL |
editorial: On Obama's victory
A victory for the hysterical Oprah Winfrey, the mad racist preacher Jeremiah Wright, the US mainstream media who abandoned any sense of objectivity long ago, Europeans who despise America largely because they depend on her, comics who claim to be dangerous and fearless but would not dare attack genuinely powerful special interest groups. A victory for Obama-worshippers everywhere. A victory for the cult of the cult. A man who has done little with his life but has written about his achievements as if he had found the cure for cancer in between winning a marathon and building a nuclear reactor with his teeth. Victory for style over substance, hyperbole over history, rabble-raising over reality.
A victory for Hollywood , the most dysfunctional community in the world. Victory for Streisand, Spielberg, Soros, Moore, and Sarandon. Victory for those who prefer welfare to will and interference to independence. For those who settle for group think and herd mentality rather than those who fight for individual initiative and the right to be out of step with meager political fashion.
Victory for a man who is no friend of freedom. He and his people have already stated that media has to be controlled so as to be balanced, without realizing the extraordinary irony within that statement. Like most liberal zealots, the Obama worshippers constantly speak of Fox and Limbaugh, when the vast bulk of television stations and newspapers are drastically liberal and anti-conservative. Senior Democrat Chuck Schumer said that just as pornography should be censored, so should talk radio. In other words, one of the few free and open means of popular expression may well be cornered and b eaten by bullies who even in triumph cannot tolerate any criticism and opposition. A victory for those who believe the state is better qualified to raise children than the family, for those who prefer teachers' unions to teaching and for those who are naively convinced that if the West is sufficiently weak towards its enemies, war and terror will dissolve as quickly as the tears on the face of a leftist celebrity. A victory for social democracy even after most of Europe has come to the painful conclusion that social democracy leads to mediocrity, failure, unemployment, inflation, higher taxes and economic stagnation. A victory for intrusive lawyers, banal sentimentalists, social extremists and urban snobs.
Congratulations America !
Labels: Barack Obama
The "Geneva Protocol" in question is the "Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War." This lays down the "law" for situations where an army finds itself fighting non-conventional forces that themselves operate from within civilian areas: The Fourth Geneva Convention goes into great and elaborate detail about how to assign fault when military activities take place in civilian areas. Those who are actually fighting the war are not considered "protected persons." Only civilians are granted the status of "protected persons" whose rights cannot be violated with impunity.
The Fourth Geneva Convention convicts Hamas, the Jenin terrorists, Al Aqsa, Islamic Jihad, and Fatah, and all of the other terrorist groups that hide among civilian populations, in one sentence: This sentence makes up the entirety of Part 3, Article 1, Section 28.
It reads: "The presence of a protected person may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations."
This sentence appears in the Fourth Geneva Convention precisely to deal with situations like the ones the Israelis faced.
..."the party to the conflict in whose hand protected persons may be, is responsible for the treatment accorded to them by its agents."
...because the terrorists do set up in civilian areas, they are wholly responsible for what happens to their "protected persons" - that is, the civilian population where they hide out.
That's what the very next sentence of the Fourth Geneva Convention says: "the party to the conflict in whose hand protected persons may be, is responsible for the treatment accorded to them by its agents."Let's translate: The "party to the conflict" here is Hamas, Islamic Jihad, al-Aqska, etc.
The secretary said nonchalance was the best response to the Russian ship visits.
"In fact if it hadn't been for the events in Georgia in August, I probably would've tried to persuade the president to invite the Russian ships pay a port call in Miami because I think they would've had a lot better time than they did in Caracas," he said.
"But basically I think at 40-dollar (per barrel) oil, the Russian navy does not bother me very much," Gates added.
"It's important for us to keep perspective about their capabilities," he said.
"When they complained about our escorting their Blackjack bombers to Venezuela, I wanted to say that we just wanted to be along there for search and rescue if they needed it."
AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Gates is 'da man!
“I think that our leadership, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, are taking the right approach,” Gingrey said. “I mean, it’s easy if you’re Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh or even sometimes Newt Gingrich to stand back and throw bricks. You don’t have to try to do what’s best for your people and your party. You know you’re just on these talk shows and you’re living well and plus you stir up a bit of controversy and gin the base and that sort of that thing. But when it comes to true leadership, not that these people couldn’t be or wouldn’t be good leaders, they’re not in that position of John Boehner or Mitch McConnell."
Rush responded to Politico, "I'm sure he is doing his best but it does not appear to be good enough. He may not have noticed that the number of Republican colleagues he has in the House has dwindled. And they will dwindle more if he and his friends don't show more leadership and effectiveness in battling the most left-wing agenda in modern history. And they won't continue to lose because of me, but because of their relationship with the grassroots, which is hurting. Conservatives want leadership from those who claim to represent them. And we'll know it when we see it.”
Perhaps Boehner and Cantor have gotten the message, however. They are urging Republicans to oppose the "stimulus pork, um, package."
Democrats seem nervous about a lack of support from the GOP. There are 56 Democratic Senators and 255 Democratic Representatives. They have no need for GOP support. Why are they seeking GOP support for something that they could take COMPLETE credit for. Unless, of course, some Democrats either won't support their new President or they expect the results of the "stimulus package" to be a failure.
Democrats are warning that Republicans will continue to be pegged as obstructionists and the “party of ‘no’” if they are unwilling to negotiate. (If the Democrats have a full majority, how can the GOP be obstructionists?)
From the House Republican Leader John Boehner comes information that you won't find in the news:
For a taste of just how badly Capitol Hill Democrats have strayed from the vision of a bipartisan plan to get our economy moving again, take a look at these 20 fast facts about their bloated plan:
1. The $825 billion package slated for a House vote later this week will exceed more than $1.1 trillion when adding in the interest ($300 plus billion) between 2009-2019 to pay for it.
2. The Capitol Hill Democrats’ plan includes funding for contraceptives; regardless of where anyone stands on taxpayer funded contraception, there is no question that it has NOTHING to do with the economy.
3. The legislation could open billions of taxpayer dollars to left-wing groups like the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), which has been accused of voter fraud, is reportedly under federal investigation; and played a key role in the housing meltdown.
4. Here are just a few of the programs and projects that have been included in the House Democrats’ proposal:
· $650 million for digital TV coupons.
· $600 million for new cars for the federal government.
· $6 billion for colleges/universities – many which have billion dollar endowments.
· $50 million in funding for the National Endowment of the Arts.
· $44 million for repairs to U.S. Department of Agriculture headquarters.
· $200 million for the National Mall, including $21 million for sod.
5. The plan establishes at least 32 new government programs at a cost of over $136 billion. That means more than a third of this plan’s spending provisions are dedicated to creating new government programs.
6. The plan provides spending in at least 150 different federal programs, ranging from Amtrak to the Transportation Security Administration. Is this the “targeted” plan Democratic leaders promised?
7. Even though the legislation contains at least 152 separate spending proposals, the authors of the plan can only say that 34 have any chance at keeping or growing jobs.
8. Just one in seven dollars of an $18.5 billion expenditure on “energy efficiency” and “renewable energy programs” would be spent within the next 18 months.
9. The total cost of this one piece of legislation is almost as much as the annual discretionary budget for the entire federal government.
10. The House Democrats’ bill will cost each and every household $6,700 in additional debt, paid for by our children and grandchildren.
11. The bill provides enough spending – $825 billion – to give every man, woman, and child in America $2,700. $825 billion is enough to give every person in Ohio $72,000.
12. $825 billion is enough to give every person living in poverty in the United States $22,000.
13. Although the House Democrats’ proposal has been billed as a transportation and infrastructure investment package, in actuality only $30 billion of the bill – or three percent – is for road and highway spending. A recent study from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that only 25 percent of infrastructure dollars can be spent in the first year, making the one year total less than $7 billion.
14. Much of the funding within the House Democrats’ proposal will go to programs that already have large, unexpended balances. For example, the bill provides $1 billion for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) – a program that already has $16 billion on hand. States also are sitting on some $9 billion in unused highway funds – funds that Congress is prepared to rescind later this year.
15. All board members of the “Accountability and Transparency Board” created by this legislation are appointees of the President; none will be appointed by Congress.
16. A scant 2.7 percent, or $22.3 billion of the overall package, is dedicated to small business tax relief.
17. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that the legislation increases by seven million the number of people who get a check back from the IRS that exceeds what they paid in payroll and income taxes.
18. The “Making Work Pay” tax credit at the center of the plan amounts to $1.37 a day, or about the price of a cup of coffee.
19. Almost one-third of the so-called “tax relief” in the House Democrats’ bill is spending in disguise, meaning that true tax relief makes up only 24 percent of the total package – not the 40 percent that President Obama had requested.
20. $825 billion is just the beginning – many Capitol Hill Democrats want to spend even more taxpayer dollars on their “stimulus” plan. In fact, the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. David Obey (D-WI), told Roll Call earlier this month, “I would not be surprised to see us go further on some of these programs down the line.”
What caught my eye on first pass was how embarrassingly miniscule is the spending for Homeland Security items as compared to spending on things related to climate change and the environment, for example, but also the multiple billions in other areas to set up more entitlement programs for Democratic constituencies.200 million for FEMA? Isn't FEMA that agency about which they complain couldn't get the job done? Don't they think that FEMA needs more help? Or could those complaints have just been more hot air added to the hurricanes....
A TOTAL of 1.1 billion is allocated for only 4 Homeland Security areas (starts 1/2 way thru pg. 103, goes to start of 105):
100 million for seaports, non-invasive equipment/salaries
150 million for land border entry ports, repair/construction of facilities
500 million for explosive detection equipment
150 million to remove obstructive bridges, if they have projects ready to go
200 million for emergency food and supply distribution
(total of 1.1 billion)
This is in contrast, for example, to....
650 million allocated for additional digital-to-analog TV converter boxes for the states (BTW, this is on top what the states already allocate themselves for this....Chicago, where I live, has a current program in place, my daughter just got a $40 box for "free"). See page 51.
Or, 400 million for ocean habitat restoration and mitigation (page 52)
Or, 600 million for addl satellites with climate sensors to mitigate climate change (52)
or, 140 million for climate date modeling equipment (52)
(total of ~1.8 billion on pages 51-52 alone)
Small peanuts, I know, compared to the multiple billions being allocated to other depts. but it does give you an idea of the mindset of Democratic House members.... "Let's use the media to lambast Bush on his FEMA debacle, his lack of attention to "our nations port security," etc., but when given the opportunity to actually improve these areas..... no priority spending needed!