Today Alan P. Gross’s lawyer and wife have said that the 64 year old man plans to take his own life rather than serve the remaining 11 years of his 15 year sentence in a Cuban prison. Gross was on a hunger strike for 9 days in April when his mother, who recently died of cancer, told him to discontinue it. In a statement on his behalf it was said that he had lost more than 100 pounds (not all due to the hunger strike), is losing vision in one eye, and his hips are failing. Gross is a former U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) contractor who was also a volunteer field organizer in 2008 for President Obama’s campaign.
In 2009 Gross set up an unauthorized Internet network for the Cuban Jewish community while working for the USAID. He brought in satellite phones and computer equipment for the Jewish community in clear violation of Cuban law. He did not identify himself as a representative of the U.S. government but rather as part of a Jewish humanitarian group. Yet when he was arrested he had a high-tech chip that keeps satellite phone transmission from being located within a 250 mile radius. This chip is not easily available but the CIA, the Defense and State Departments (the latter oversees USAID) do have access to them. A USAID spokesman claims that they did not help him acquire the chip – but that is probably not true. It does look very much like Alan Gross did commit a crime under Cuban law and he went there deliberately to do so. Although I cannot help but wonder if his handler at USAID didn’t say something like ‘don’t worry, we will handle all the paper work, all you have to do is . . .’ and made it seem like something irregular, but not illegal.
U.S. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lethinen has referred to his treatment by the Cuban government as an effort to get a prisoner exchange (there are a number of Cuban spies they want back). Although not a threat to Cuba, his actions are considered an affront to Cuban sovereignty and Cuba has laws about ‘crimes against the state.’
Judy Gross, Alan’s wife, suggested there should be a swap, especially in light of the recent swap of five Taliban for Bowe Bergdahl. She said in a statement that "My husband and I need President Obama to do everything in his power to end this nightmare and bring Alan home from Cuba now."
U.S. and Cuban officials did not have immediate comment, but Jay Carney, White House spokesman said last December 3 that he ‘doesn't know whether the president has seen the letter penned by a U.S. government contractor jailed in Cuba, in which he expressed fear that the United States had "abandoned" him.’ But according to JJ ‘Obama is personally engaged in freeing Alan Gross.’ Yeah, right. Could Gross have done a more to help Obama get elected? Yes, but would it have helped? Probably not, after all Gross is white and Jewish. One only needs to remember that Obama threw the white grandmother who raised him under the bus.
As a result of this case it seems to me that 1) it is clear that we do leave our men behind (except traitors), and 2) Alan and Judy Gross may want to reconsider their trust in Obama and their delusional belief in him. It is hard to see how Judy Gross could continue to trust Obama, and it seems unlikely that Alan Gross does anymore, after all, he has already spent four years in a communist prison paradise.
Sexual deviancy is not a protected civil right. Sexual deviancy exists and is noted by clinical psychiatrists. But deviants should not receive hugs at the White House and a welcomed berth in the military. President Barack Obama is the Commander-in-Chief of the combined military forces of the United States of America. He maintains an unusual focus on detrimental policy changes that weaken the traditions and morale of a professional standing army. Why such intense personal interest?
The door was closed the day that my Navy OIC (officer in charge) sat with me and the ten year (mandatory) review of a secret clearance landed on his desk. The officer under review was in my department and under my direct command. He had an incident of public lewdness, an unusual behavior, which had resulted in a civilian arrest. This arrest was now red-flagged. I was asked to pull one of two legal levers. The officer could be recommended for a psychiatric evaluation or processed for discharge. I chose the latter. Performance was not lacking in his duties. But it was time for him to put his uniform up. He had lost the right to wear it.
Things have changed drastically since the designation of Barack Obama as Commander-in-Chief . The man has not served within our ranks nor does he understand the subtle nuances of maintaining good order and discipline. We do have an Activist-in-Chief who believes that members of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community must have unfettered access to oath, uniform, and military benefits.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel states he is open to a review of a military ban on “transgender individuals”. Notice he uses the word “individuals”. He is unable to identify a transgender based on socially acceptable means because this individual, may as of yet, not be fully surgically “reassigned”. Man, woman or bearded lady. Who cares?
These things get tricky. Bradley Manning was the source for a huge cache of WikiLeaks documents. He now considers himself to be “Chelsea Manning”. He remains incarcerated within a male military prison at Leavenworth.
Ignoring the obvious, the Secretary of the Defense-of-Deviancy opines, the transgender issue is “a bit more complicated because it has a medical component to it.” Yep. Bradley may be sporting a blonde wig and lipstick. But until he undergoes multiple facial feminization surgeries and has his penis amputated, testes removed, and tissue used to construct a fake birth canal and labia, he is just plain old “Bradley”.
Barack Obama was SO concerned about the health of healthy looking Bowe Bergdahl, the American soldier of dubious loyalty who claims that he was held hostage by the Taliban. Hence, in violation of a bill Obama had himself signed into law, he negotiated to allow Bergdahl’s release. Yet somehow Obama has apparently shown zero interest in the health of the family of Daniel Wani, a naturalized American citizen. Wani is a Christian, as is his Sudanese wife Dr. Meriam Ibrahim who on May 27th gave birth to a baby girl in the prison hospital at Omdurman Federal Women’s Prison in North Khartoum. According to Human Rights Watch the prison is overcrowded and has poor sanitation, both of which are particularly hard on the many children living there with their mothers.
Meriam’s parents were an Orthodox Christian woman from Ethiopia and a Sudanese Muslim who left them when Meriam was six years old. Raised as a Christian, she refuses to renounce her faith and ‘return’ to Islam, hence she was arrested and placed in prison last February. As all children of Muslim men are automatically considered Muslim, therefore Meriam is considered Muslim under Sudanese law. The punishment in Sudan for apostasy, which she is accused of, is death by hanging. However, as she has just given birth execution will be delayed for two years until the child is weaned.
According to Islamic law upon which Sudanese law is based, a Muslim man may marry a non-Muslim woman, but a Muslim woman cannot marry a non-Muslim. Therefore her marriage is considered void. Sudanese officials say that her 20 month old son Martin, an American thanks to his father, is a Muslim too and therefore cannot be released to the care of his father.
Greta Van Susteren interviewed Daniel Wani see here recently and he revealed that that the American Consulate in Khartoum refused to do anything to help him as early as October, when she was already a few weeks pregnant with their second child. In fact it seems that the British Consulate has been more helpful.
What can you do? Put pressure on the Sudanese government. Sign the Amnesty International petition here to stop her execution, which carries this message to the Sudanese Minister of Justice:
Dear Minister of Justice,
Ensure that Meriam Yehya Ibrahim is released immediately and unconditionally. She is a prisoner of conscience, convicted solely because of her religious beliefs and identity.
But this is not enough, spread the word to everyone you know. While her execution may be two years away, the health of all three of them is in immediate jeopardy. This is no place for an infant or a toddler and it is up to us to do whatever we can assure their prompt release.
Here is the real question. Who benefits from this deal? The United States military does not benefit. This eviscerates morale within the ranks. There are no yellow ribbons tied around the old oak tree, no veterans clamouring to line up and shake Bergdahl’s hand
Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl is in Germany. Rejoice not, America.
A man who deserted his military post in Afghanistan crawled through the bushes into the waiting arms of the enemy. He now emerges from the shadows five years later. The posture he exhibited in the limited-release videos after his capture put the meat on the bone of this matter. Lil’ Bowe preached an anti-West message while filling his belly with a lovely feast. He appeared in a second propaganda video wearing his uniform and practicing karate kicks. The whole thing was surreal and the venue was definitely vaudeville. Lil’ Bowe made a final, brief appearance in a video in which he was not paraded about like prize livestock. The still image from the video is one with which we are all familiar. He looks gaunt, like someone who had fallen out of favour with his captors. When viewing the final video with the stumble-across glimpse of Bowe Bergdahl, I did not feel any sense of empathy. This man is not a kindred spirit. I kept my military oath. Mr Bergdahl walked away from his and toward individuals harbouring intent and will to kill American soldiers and citizens.
In 2010 a Pentagon investigation released their findings. It was incontrovertible that a man who was tasked with the defence of our nation was AWOL (absent without orderly leave) and had deserted his unit. Members of his unit are opening up about his behaviour prior to his desertion. On one forum, the medic from his unit states that five soldiers lost their lives in the pursuit of returning him to his unit, and there was an increase in attacks on American troops in the region after he slithered off into the brush. Enter stage left, with the woman who lied about Benghazi and events preceding the death of an American ambassador. National Security Advisor Susan Rice not only describes Bergdahl as “...an American prisoner of war captured on the battlefield” but also opines on ABC’s This Week that “he served the United States with honour and distinction”.
For those not familiar with the story of Marine reservist Andrew Tahmooressi of Weston, Florida, he was looking for a place to live in San Diego, having recently left South Florida. He got on a freeway and accidentally ended up in Mexico with all of his possessions including 3 guns that he legally owns in the USA. He had not intended to go to Mexico and reported this and his guns immediately, so instead of recognizing this as an innocent mistake, and directing him back over the border into the USA, the Mexican government had him locked up in a Tijuana prison. That was on April 1. Mexico, for those who are geographically challenged, is immediately south of the United States. We are not at war with Mexico, although the Mexican drug cartels are at war with both Mexico and the United States.
Joe Kaufman spoke at a recent rally on behalf of Tahmooressi, where he said that ‘when a troop is stranded on the battlefield, his fellow troops are mandated to do everything in their power to bring him back. It is time for the Obama Administration to do the same, even if it has to cut off Mexican funds or tourism to Mexico to do so.’ Joe Kaufman understands that Andrew Tahmooressi is the responsibility of the American government, and so do members of congress Ileana Ros-Lethinen, Duncan Hunter, and Matt Salmon as well as TV personality Greta Van Susteren who led a petition to the White House on Tahmooressi’s behalf. Yet Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Kaufman’s opponent in the current race to represent Florida’s 23rd district, has responded in the usual limp-wristed manner of an Obama Administration apparatchik.
She has given legitimacy to the Mexican government’s actions – they know it was an innocent mistake and that he is not a criminal, yet they locked him up anyway. Further she has not called out the Mexican government for their abuses and claims that he is being treated well there, yet it is well known that Mexican prisons are controlled by the drug cartels. For the low-information voter, Debbie Wasserman Schultz who is the Democratic Party Chairman, is close to President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry. Yet none of them has been willing to do anything on behalf of Tahmooressi (if, like Bowe Bergdahl, he were anti-American and sided with our enemies it might have helped).
It is time to bring Sgt. Tahmooressi home, and to retire Debbie Wasserman Schultz, his useless Congressman, who is nothing more than a mouthpiece for the Obama Administration and has chosen to ignore justice in this case. She even informed Andrew’s mother that she would write a letter to the State Department, the very state department that permitted four American employees to die in Benghazi. Maybe it is just me, but ever since then I have seriously doubted that the American State Department receives much respect abroad, nor that they have much respect, no matter where they are, for American citizens. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was urged by Joe Kaufman to do the right thing and to stand up for Sargent Tahmooressi – I’m not holding my breath, but I am urging those in Florida’s district 23 to retire her as soon as possible.
Who knew there was an American prisoner of war in Afghanistan? Not me, and I keep up on these things. What is really, really surprising however is there seems to have been only one. Maybe America was finally doing something right, although under the current President the number of members of the military killed or injured has dramatically increased. As of December 13, 2013 under President George W. Bush there had been 575 killed in almost eight years, while under President Barack Obama, in just over five years there were 1,620. Or just maybe there are so few American prisoners of war because since America no longer has a cowboy in the White House the Afghan captors might just be offing them. (Cowboys in the White House can be a very good thing.)
When Bowe Bergdahl, the young American soldier who had disappeared five years ago in Afghanistan, was released last week from captivity there was some rejoicing at the good news, or at least it initially seemed to be good news. The first part of the bad news was that he had been exchanged for five Taliban leaders who were being held in Guantanamo - a very, very bad idea on so many levels. According to the Office of National Intelligence (and possibly not a reliable source these days) of 603 terrorists released 100 are confirmed as returning to terrorism, that’s one in six, however some reports list the number returning to terrorism as much higher.
It wasn’t long before it was discovered that Afghan President Hamid Karzai is not happy because he had not been informed of the exchange. While Karzai is not exactly a good buddy of ours, international diplomatic standards and good manners both require that he is, if not consulted about a decision, at least informed in advance. But he evidently wasn’t even informed and he is not happy. Furthermore this exchange wasn’t legal under American law as the President has no right to do it the way he did, so Congress (at least those who are capable of thinking, i.e. the Republicans) isn’t happy either. But then Obama has a long track record of being, if we may borrow a word from theology, an antinomianist – one who rejects the need for a law, or the law.
Much has been made of the classy, disciplined and cool treatment West Point cadets gave the current POTUS, Barack Obama on Wednesday. And I too salute them, however, unlike the Wall Street Journal that called his speech “consistent with that of every post-Cold War administration’ (it was not), I actually listened to what he had to say. Not only did Obama argue a contradictory foreign policy (relying on NATO and the United Nations and at the same time saying “America must always lead on the world stage”), but some of the things he said were evident of his intellectual immaturity and dishonesty.
What I found most mind-boggling was that Obama said, “I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being. But what makes us exceptional is not our ability to flout international norms and the rule of law; it’s our willingness to affirm them through our actions.” Oh really, he really means that. Perhaps he has ‘evolved,’ as most of us well remember in his April 4, 2009 speech in Prague he said he said that ‘I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect the Brits believe in British exceptionalism . . ..‘ In other words, America was not exceptional, and over the last several years he has put a lot of effort into taking America apart, and making it less exceptional, especially in the area of ‘the rule of law.’
While it is true that we have long had the ability to flout the rule of law, this has not been America’s SOP (standing operating procedure). This is a nation built on the foundation of laws, and keeping the law. Obama has clearly rejected that stance and wants the law to mean whatever he wants it to mean regardless of its plain meaning, and the man he appointed to be Attorney General (the highest law enforcer in the land), Eric Holder, seems to agree with him. I am not saying that America and American politicians of the past have been completely obedient to the law, or that they didn’t try to bend it to their will on certain things. But whereas others, in the past, have generally done this on occasion, with Obama and his Administration, this has been a way of life, a way of ruling.
Interestingly he makes this about international law which he obviously holds to be of greater value than American law, and to claim that he now thinks America is exceptional is amazing – I want to hear more, and when and why he changed his mind. I am reminded of the old adage that being faithful in small things is evidence of being faithful in greater things. Here we have a man who has not been faithful in small things, has not been faithful to American law, yet he was quite willing to chastise his audience on Wednesday about being faithful to international law. Of course he loves to chastise others – but then he is the smartest man ever in the White House (at least in his own mind).
His words at West Point were an insult to the American people, in fact to everyone, everywhere. Does he really think anyone would believe him? Here is a man who is apparently unaware that thanks to the internet and other forms of mass communication anyone with a half functioning brain can soon discovered that although he bears the title ‘Commander-in-Chief,’ in truth ‘Liar-in-Chief’ seems more accurate. This is a lie so outrageous it comes very close to his most famous lie, ‘If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.’
(ANA) - At least seven militants were killed while making improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in eastern Ghazni province of Afghanistan.
The interior ministry following a statement said the incident took place inside a mosque in Deh Yak district on Saturday.
The statement by interior ministry further added that the explosion left seven militants dead and there were no other casualties.
Interior ministry condemned the anti-government militant groups for using religious places for conducting terrorist activities and said such activities show that the militant groups are acting against the principles of Islam.
The anti-government militant groups including the Taliban militants frequently use improvised explosive device (IED) as the weapon of their choice to target Afghan and coalition security forces, however innocent civilians are mostly targeted in such attacks.
For the last 12 years, U.S. Special Operations forces have repeatedly engaged in fierce combat in Afghanistan against ruthless Taliban allies from Chechnya, who have the same pedigree as their terrorist brethren threatening to disrupt the Winter Olympics in Russia, current and former commandos tell ABC News.
"I'd say Chechens were a fair percentage of the overall enemy population early in Operation Enduring Freedom," recalled an active-duty senior Special Operations officer, referring to the Pentagon's name for the Afghan war, in which he was among the first ground operatives.
Since the U.S. war in Afghanistan began after September 11, elite U.S. troops' border battles with Chechen jihadis based in Pakistan's tribal safe havens have mostly stayed hidden in the shadows of a clandestine conflict. Special Operations missions are classified secret by default and rarely publicized.
Chechens joining the Taliban and al Qaeda-aligned militias stood out for their ferocity and refusal to surrender, operators with considerable experience in eastern Afghanistan revealed in recent interviews.
"Chechens are a different breed," a Special Forces soldier who has fought them told ABC News.
"They fight till they die. They have more passion, more discipline and less regard for lives," said the soldier, who did ten tours hunting high-value targets in Afghanistan. "A few of them could have just given up but decided they needed to die."
As recently as two years ago, NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan reported that scores of foreign fighters including Arabs and Chechens were killed in one major battle with U.S. forces along the border with Pakistan.
Even some of Chechnya's infamous "black widows" -- with an ideological kinship to those Russian forces recently searched for in Sochi -- may have gathered in Pakistan in late 2006 for planned suicide bombings in Kabul, according to an ISAF combat report obtained and released by Wikileaks. No evidence exists that any such attacks were ever carried out, however.
Many Chechens, including veterans of the Afghan fight, are waging war now in Syria against Bashar al Assad's troops, according to experts and jihadi statements.
Numerous U.S. intelligence reports released by Wikileaks said Chechens were serving as trainers and combatants crossing from Pakistan into Afghanistan to fight and die, an assessment sometimes based on intercepts from Taliban radio and cell phone chatter. ( continue reading at Yahoo News, also read the comments)
*Editors note: The official news release of the IEA stated that a helicopter was shot down in Kandahar province on 2/14. The image attached to the official news feed cannot be confirmed as related to the news release. I merely post it as a reminder that those who hate us love nothing better than posting images of our wounded and dead.
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