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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Pentagon doc suggests secret U.S. detention facility

 

Paula Broadwell

Paula Broadwell

TEL AVIV – Information contained in newly declassified Pentagon documents may resurrect questions about claims the U.S. was running an interrogation center or secret prison in Benghazi, Libya, prior to the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks there.

Last week, the Pentagon produced 486 pages in response to a Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act lawsuit asking the Defense Department to release “any and all” records produced by the U.S. Africa Command Operations Center concerning the Benghazi attacks.

One document was entitled, “Commander U.S. Africa Command request for forces.”

It contained Pentagon instructions to all deployed forces as part of what was known as Operation Jukebox Lotus, the codename for the crisis response that worked to secure U.S. interests in the region following the Benghazi attacks.

The operation began on Sept. 12 and was led by U.S. Africa Command. It also involved other forces, including those from the U.S. European Command.

On page No. “AFRICOM 87″ of the released documents, the following order about “detainees” was issued to the forces that deployed as part of the operation: “Transport of non-DOD passengers, detainees, and/or and (sic) cargo on DOD-owned or operated lift is not authorized without review and coordination by the HQ USAFRICOM Deployment and Distribution Center (ADDOC), IAW Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreements (ACSA) and/or other authorities.”

The document did not further mention detainees. It did not specify whether there were any detainees in Libya or to which detainees the order was referring. It was unclear whether this was a general order about the possibility of detainees or was in reference to any specific detainees.

There have been some unsubstantiated reports claiming the CIA was running an interrogation center or secret prison at the Benghazi Annex.

An October 2012 Fox News report quoted a well-placed Washington source confirming “there were Libyan militiamen being held at the CIA annex in Benghazi and that their presence was being looked at as a possible motive for the staged attack on the consulate and annex that night.”

Fox News further cited multiple intelligence sources who served in Benghazi as saying, “There were more than just Libyan militia members who were held and interrogated by CIA contractors at the CIA annex in the days prior to the attack. Other prisoners from additional countries in Africa and the Middle East were brought to this location.”

The same day Fox News originally reported on the alleged CIA prison in Benghazi, Oct. 26, 2012, Paula Broadwell, the alleged mistress of ex-CIA Director David Petraeus, gave a speech in which she claimed the CIA may have operated a secret detention center in Benghazi.

The 41-minute speech, a keynote address at a University of Denver alumni symposium, was removed from the university’s YouTube account after it was publicized in two links on the popular Drudge Report on Nov. 11, 2012.

Following media inquiries, the video was reposted by the university at a different link.

University of Denver spokeswoman Kim Divigil told WND at the time the video “was down for several hours this morning but immediately restored.”

During the session, Broadwell stated, “Now I don’t know if a lot of you heard this, but the CIA annex had actually had taken a couple of Libya militia members prisoner. And they think that the attack on the consulate was an effort to try to get these prisoners back. So that’s still being vetted.”

It wasn’t clear whether Broadwell was simply referring to the Fox News article about prisoners being held in Benghazi.

A CIA spokesman flatly denied Broadwell’s claim of a prison at the Libyan annex.

The spokesman said the CIA “has not had detention authority since January 2009, when Executive Order 13491 was issued.” Suggesting the agency is “still in the detention business is uninformed and baseless,” the spokesman added.

With research by Joshua Klein.

Pentagon doc suggests secret U.S. detention facility
Aaron Klein
Sun, 01 Mar 2015 22:15:28 GMT

Net Neutrality: Obama's gateway to censorship?

 

us_internet_node_map

The Federal Communications Commission voted on Thursday to approve the policy known as Net Neutrality while the language of the agency’s new regulations is still reportedly being drafted.

“As is typical for a final rule and order,” said Kim Hart, an FCC spokeswoman, “the final document is not available until staff makes final edits, which must be cleared by each commissioner.”

In divining the ultimate intent of the FCC’s new regulations, it may be instructive to look at some of the ideology of the personalities involved in crafting and pushing Net Neutrality.

The FCC’s Net Neutrality ruling seems to be the continuation of a plan put in place by the agency’s former chairman, Julius Genachowski. In 2010, FCC’s Genachowski proposed a “third way” to regulate broadband by reclassifying the transmission of data as a telecommunications service to be directly regulated by the agency.

At the time, Genachowski referred to his plan as a regulatory “backstop” for the government to “protect” citizens on the Internet.

“The state of our economy and recent events are reminders both of the need to be cautious and the necessity of a regulatory backstop to protect the American people,” Genachowski said in a statement. “I stand ready to explore all constructive ideas and expect those who engage with us to do so constructively as well.”

Already, some are pointing to concerns the extensive new regulations will include a “general conduct rule” that will leave open the possibility of the FCC determining what is in the public’s “best” interest as far as Internet content.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation noted the FCC’s own “Fact Sheet” proposed the conduct rule “will allow the FCC to review (and presumably punish) non-neutral practices that may ‘harm’ consumers.”

The EFF relates: “Unfortunately, if a recent report from Reuters is correct, the general conduct rule will be anything but clear. The FCC will evaluate ‘harm’ based on consideration of seven factors: impact on competition; impact on innovation; impact on free expression; impact on broadband deployment and investments; whether the actions in question are specific to some applications and not others; whether they comply with industry best standards and practices; and whether they take place without the awareness of the end-user, the Internet subscriber.”

Talk radio enemy

To determine the possible aim of the FCC’s new regulations, consider some of the people behind the movement.

Firstly, there is Genachowski’s then-deputy at the FCC, Mark Lloyd, who was the agency’s diversity officer until 2012. Lloyd has been a principle advocate of Net Neutrality.

Lloyd was also a senior fellow at the heavily influential Center for American Progress, or CAP, and served as a consultant to George Soros’ Open Society Institute.

Lloyd co-authored a 2007 CAP study titled “The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio.”

The 40-page report, reviewed in full by WND, recommended radio station “ownership diversity,” citing data claiming stations “owned by women, minorities, or local owners are statistically less likely to air conservative hosts or shows.”

Lloyd wrote that all radio stations should be required to “provide information on how the station serves the public interest in a variety of areas.”

The CAP report specifically called on the FCC to mandate all radio broadcast licensees “to regularly show that they are operating on behalf of the public interest and provide public documentation and viewing of how they are meeting these obligations.”

Lloyd and co-authors lamented the FCC “renews broadcast licensees with a postcard renewal, and while it once promised random audits of stations it has never conducted a single audit.”

In a follow up to the CAP report, Lloyd penned a 2007 article at CAP’s website titled “Forget the Fairness Doctrine.”

In the piece, Lloyd claimed that Citadel Broadcasting, then the owner of major U.S. radio stations, “refuses” to air the progressive Ed Shultz radio show. Lloyd offered no evidence that Citadel made the decision based on politics rather than Shultz’s low ratings.

Lloyd called for new “ownership rules that we think will create greater local diversity of programming, news, and commentary.”

“And we call for more localism by putting teeth into the licensing rule,” he said.

“Localism” is a reference to the FCC rule that requires radio and TV stations to serve the local community’s interests, one of which, according to the Obama administration, is “diversity of programming.”

In 2009, FoxNews.com reported Lloyd called for “equal opportunity employment practices,” “local engagement” and “license challenges” to rectify what he perceived as an imbalance in talk radio and news coverage.

Government-run media?

Another Net Neutrality proponent has been Obama’s long-time “Internet czar,” Susan P. Crawford. She has been associated with a controversial, Marxist-led outfit calling itself Free Press, which advocates for more government control of the Internet.

Crawford spoke at a Free Press’s May 14, 2009, “Changing Media” summit in Washington, D.C.

Crawford’s pet project, OneWebNow, listed as “participating organizations” Free Press and the controversial Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN.

Crawford and Kevin Werbach, who co-directed the Obama transition team’s Federal Communications Commission Review team, are advisory board members at Public Knowledge, a George Soros-funded public interest group.

A Public Knowledge advisory board member is Timothy Wu, who is also chairman of the board for Free Press.

Like Public Knowledge, Free Press also has received funds from Soros’ Open Society Institute.

WND reported Free Press has urged the Federal Communications Commission to investigate talk radio and cable news for “hate speech.”

The organization claims media companies are engaging in “hate speech” because a disproportionate number of radio and cable-news networks are owned by non-minorities.

WND previously reported Free Press published a study advocating the development of a “world class” government-run media system in the U.S.

The founder of Free Press, Robert W. McChesney, is an avowed Marxist who has recommended capitalism be dismantled.

McChesney is a professor at the University of Illinois and former editor of the Marxist journal Monthly Review.

In February 2009, McChesney recommended capitalism be dismantled.

“In the end, there is no real answer but to remove brick-by-brick the capitalist system itself, rebuilding the entire society on socialist principles,’” wrote McChesney in a column.

There are other Obama administration ties to Free Press. In May 2010, WND reported Free Press Policy Director Ben Scott was named a policy adviser for innovation at the State Department.

The board of Free Press has included a slew of radicals, such as Obama’s former “green jobs” czar” Van Jones, who resigned in 2009 after his founding of a communist organization was exposed.

‘Legal mandate’ to regulate conservative sites

The FCC’s former diversity czar, Lloyd, meanwhile, has worked closely for years with Obama’s former regulatory czar, Cass Sunstein.

Sunstein himself in 2001 once proposed government intervention in the Internet. He called for a “legal mandate” to ensure diversity of content.

His proposal called for “sites of one point of view agree to provide links to other sites, so that if you’re reading a conservative magazine, they would provide a link to a liberal site and vice versa, just to make it easy for people to get access to competing views. Or maybe a pop-up on your screen that would show an advertisement or maybe even a quick argument for a competing view.”

Sunstein advocated that “the best would be for this to be done voluntarily, but the word ‘voluntary’ is a little complicated, and sometimes people don’t do what’s best for our society unless Congress holds hearings or unless the public demands it.”

He maintained his “idea would be to have a legal mandate as the last resort, and to make sure it’s as neutral as possible if we have to get there, but to have that as, you know, an ultimate weapon designed to encourage people to do better.”

In a 2002 book, Sunstein “talks about the idea of the government requiring sites to link to opposing views,” according to a PolitiFact synopsis.

However, in 2007, Sunstein recanted, stating government mandates for Internet “equality” were a “bad idea.”

He wrote in a 2007 book that he instead advocated for the creation of public Internet spaces to share opposing views and ideas.

Still, Sunstein’s other views on government mandates for the Internet have not been reconsidered by the ex-Obama czar.

WND previously reported Sunstein drew up a “First Amendment New Deal” – a new “Fairness Doctrine” that would include the establishment of a panel of “nonpartisan experts” to ensure “diversity of view” on the airwaves.

WND also reported that in a recently released book, “On Rumors,” Sunstein argued websites should be obliged to remove “false rumors” while libel laws should be altered to make it easier to sue for spreading such “rumors.”

In the 2009 book, Sunstein cited as a primary example of “absurd” and “hateful” remarks, reports by “right-wing websites” alleging an association between President Obama and former Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers.

Sunstein also singled out radio talker Sean Hannity for “attacking” Obama regarding the president’s “alleged associations.”

Ayers became a name in the 2008 presidential campaign when it was disclosed he worked closely with Obama for years. Obama also was said to have launched his political career at a 1995 fundraiser in Ayers’ apartment.

Meanwhile, in a lengthy academic paper, Sunstein, argued the U.S. government should ban “conspiracy theorizing,” WND reported.

Among the examples of speech that should be banned, Sustein offered, is advocating that the theory of global warming is a deliberate fraud.

Sunstein also recommended the government send agents to infiltrate “extremists who supply conspiracy theories” and disrupt the efforts of the “extremists” to propagate their theories.

With additional research by Brenda J. Elliott.

Net Neutrality: Obama's gateway to censorship?
Aaron Klein
Sun, 01 Mar 2015 22:06:48 GMT

Netanyahu's 'destructive' visit

 

toon030215

Netanyahu's 'destructive' visit
WND Comics
Sun, 01 Mar 2015 19:51:02 GMT

Jerusalem Post editor blasts Obama on Netanyahu eve

 

President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu have not had the warmest of relationships.

President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu have not had the warmest of relationships.

A deputy editor for the Jerusalem Post has written a scathing editorial accusing the Obama administration of engaging in a concerted effort to enable Israel’s enemies, especially Iran in its drive to obtain nuclear weapons.

The article, “In Israel’s Hour of Need,” by Caroline Glick comes as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prepares to appear Tuesday before a joint session of Congress to discuss the looming Iranian nuclear threat. Netanyahu was invited by House Speaker John Boehner, bypassing the president, which some Democrats said was a breach of protocol. Some even promised to boycott Netanyahu’s speech.

Politics aside, there’s a sense that time is running out for Israel and that Obama’s negotiations with Iran will allow a nuclear arsenal at the fingertips of Iran’s mullahs. That’s the one result Netanyahu has consistently said Israel cannot accept. Glick portrays Netanyahu as a leader who has carefully picked his battles with a hostile U.S. president.

Glick, a U.S. born and educated journalist, immigrated to Israel in 1991 and joined the Israel Defense Forces. She served as an assistant foreign policy adviser to Netanyahu during his first term in the 1990s. As a conservative journalist, she has been an observer of Middle Eastern politics for over two decades and authored several books, including the 2014 tome “The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East.”

Caroline Glick was born and raised in the Chicago area and became an Israeli citizen as a young adult. She is now a noted author and newspaper editor.

Caroline Glick was born and raised in the Chicago area and became an Israeli citizen as a young adult. She is now a noted author and newspaper editor.

In her editorial, she lays out the long track record of anti-Israel positions taken by the Obama administration and how Netanyahu has accommodated Obama at almost every turn.

“In recent years he (Netanyahu) released terrorist murderers from prison. He abrogated Jewish property rights in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria. He agreed to support the establishment of a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River. He agreed to keep giving the Palestinians of Gaza free electricity while they waged war against Israel. He did all of these things in a bid to accommodate U.S. President Barack Obama and win over the media, while keeping the leftist parties in his coalitions happy,” Glick writes.

“For his part, for the past six years Obama has undermined Israel’s national security. He has publicly humiliated Netanyahu repeatedly,” she writes.

“He has delegitimized Israel’s very existence, embracing the jihadist lie that Israel’s existence is the product of post-Holocaust European guilt rather than 4,000 years of Jewish history.

“Last summer, Obama openly colluded with Hamas’s terrorist war against Israel. He tried to coerce Israel into accepting ceasefire terms that would have amounted to an unconditional surrender to Hamas’s demands for open borders and the free flow of funds to the terrorist group. He enacted a partial arms embargo on Israel in the midst of war. He cut off air traffic to Ben-Gurion International Airport under specious and grossly prejudicial terms in an open act of economic warfare against Israel.

And yet, Glick says, despite Obama’s scandalous treatment of Israel, Netanyahu has continued to paper over differences in public and thank Obama for the little his has done on Israel’s behalf.

Obama’s policies that are hostile to Israel are not limited to his unconditional support for the Palestinians in their campaign against Israel. Obama shocked the entire Israeli defense community when he supported the overthrow of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, despite Mubarak’s dependability as a U.S. ally in the war on Islamist terrorism, and as the guardian of both Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel and the safety and freedom of maritime traffic in the Suez Canal.

Obama supported Mubarak’s overthrow despite the fact that the only political force in Egypt capable of replacing him was the Muslim Brotherhood, which seeks the destruction of Israel and is the ideological home and spawning ground of jihadist terrorist groups, including al-Qaida and Hamas. Obama then supported the Muslim Brotherhood’s regime even as then-president Mohamed Morsi took concrete steps to transform Egypt into an Islamist, jihadist state and end Egypt’s peace with Israel.

Israelis were united in our opposition to Obama’s behavior. But Netanyahu said nothing publicly in criticism of Obama’s destructive, dangerous policy.

He held his tongue in the hopes of winning Obama over through quiet diplomacy.

Netanyahu sees all of Obama’s anti-Israel policies as reversible, and so he has taken a position that it’s better to wait him out than make a strong show of opposition, all except for one issue – Iran’s dream of obtaining nuclear arms. Allowing Iran to go nuclear is non-reversible and cannot be tolerated in Netanyahu’s mind.

Iran is not only on the cusp of obtaining nuclear capability but also has advanced missile delivery systems.

Iran is not only on the cusp of obtaining nuclear capability but also has advanced missile delivery systems.

“An Iran in possession of a nuclear arsenal is an Iran that can not only destroy Israel with just one or two warheads. It can make it impossible for Israel to respond to conventional aggression carried out by terrorist forces and others operating under an Iranian nuclear umbrella,” Glick writes.

Glick says Obama’s policies have empowered Iran to take over large portions of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. And the verbal assaults never stop.

“Wednesday National Security Adviser Susan Rice accused Netanyahu of destroying U.S. relations with Israel. Secretary of State John Kerry effectively called him a serial alarmist, liar, and warmonger,” Glick reported.

“Whereas Israel can survive Obama on the Palestinian front by stalling, waiting him out and placating him where possible, and can even survive his support for Hamas by making common cause with the Egyptian military and the government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, the damage Obama’s intended deal with Iran will cause Israel will be irreversible. The moment that Obama grants Iran a path to a nuclear arsenal – and the terms of the agreement that Obama has offered Iran grant Iran an unimpeded path to nuclear power – a future U.S. administration will be hard-pressed to put the genie back in the bottle.”

Yuli Edelstein, speaker of the Israeli Knesset, is also laying the groundwork for Netanyahu’s speech before Congress. Writing an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times this week, Edelstein said the time is now to make a last stand against Iranian nukes. He writes:

We have a historic opportunity to dismantle Iran’s nuclear program; unfortunately, the agreement taking shape falls short of what we can achieve. The proposed deal would place limits on Iran’s nuclear program but will not eliminate it or even, in the long term, contain it. And though Iran would be subject to rigorous international inspections, it has never been forthcoming on its nuclear program — not even during the current round of negotiations, as a recent International Atomic Energy Agency report makes clear.

Netanyahu is not coming to Washington Tuesday to warn Congress against Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran simply because he seeks a fight with Obama, according to Glick.

“Netanyahu has devoted the last six years to avoiding a fight with Obama, often at great cost to Israel’s national security and to his own political position,” she writes. “Netanyahu is coming to Washington next week because Obama has left him no choice. And all decent people of good will should support him, and those who do not, and those who are silent, should be called out for their treachery and cowardice.”

There have been rumors circulating in Washington that the Congressional Black Caucus might get up and walk out in the middle of Netanyahu’s speech Tuesday. Other Democrats, such as Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., and Betty McCollum, D-Minn., have said they won’t show up for Netanyahu’s speech. McCollum penned an op-ed in the Washington Post Thursday accusing the Israeli prime minister of not showing enough respect for Obama by “going behind the back” of a friendly country’s president to schedule the appearance.

But Glick’s article makes the point that it is Obama’s actions that expose his administration as having steered America off the path of being a “friendly country” to Israel.

Edelstein says in his Los Angeles Times column that he has faith that the majority of both Republicans and Democrats in Congress remain strongly supportive of Israel and will want to hear Netanyahu’s perspective on Iran.

“In fact, they view the prime minister’s speech as an opportunity to hear an important viewpoint that can make a positive contribution to a matter of global importance,” he wrote.

“The speech on Tuesday is not just about Iran’s nuclear race and it is not just about Israel. It is about whether we, as free people committed to democratic ideals, are still capable of standing together and resisting the temptation to compromise and appease our foes. With an agreement due within the month, we must rally together now to fight this evil in all its guises.

“Our mutual enemy is still working away,” Edelstein added. “We have an opportunity to stop him. Let’s not squander it.”

Jerusalem Post editor blasts Obama on Netanyahu eve
Leo Hohmann
Sun, 01 Mar 2015 19:52:00 GMT

Report: Obama threatened to shoot down Israeli jets

(ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) — The Bethlehem-based news agency Ma’an has cited a Kuwaiti newspaper report Saturday, that US President Barack Obama thwarted an Israeli military attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities in 2014 by threatening to shoot down Israeli jets before they could reach their targets in Iran.

Following Obama’s threat, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was reportedly forced to abort the planned Iran attack.

According to Al-Jarida, the Netanyahu government took the decision to strike Iran some time in 2014 soon after Israel had discovered the United States and Iran had been involved in secret talks over Iran’s nuclear program and were about to sign an agreement in that regard behind Israel’s back.

The report claimed that an unnamed Israeli minister who has good ties with the US administration revealed the attack plan to Secretary of State John Kerry, and that Obama then threatened to shoot down the Israeli jets before they could reach their targets in Iran.

Report: Obama threatened to shoot down Israeli jets
-NO AUTHOR-
Sun, 01 Mar 2015 17:09:31 GMT

Saturday, February 28, 2015

'Why will no one speak out for us?'

 

Iraq_Christians2

Former Rep. Frank Wolf, the leading voice for religious freedom in Congress for decades, says Christianity is on the verge of extinction in Iraq and the remaining steadfast believers do not see much effort from the U.S. or other Western nations to improve their plight.

Wolf served in the House of Representatives from 1981 to 2015. He is the author of the International Religious Freedom Act, which established the International Religious Freedom Office at the State Department and created an ambassador-at-large position to promote religious freedom around the world. That post has been vacant for some time.

Upon leaving the House, Wolf became the first-ever Wilson chair in religious freedom at Baylor University and co-founded the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative. He co-led a trip to Iraq in January to observe conditions for Christians and other minorities and to speak to people firsthand. The group recently released a report based on that trip titled, “Edge of Extinction: The Eradication of Religious and Ethnic Minorities in Iraq.” He said the conclusions of the visit were obvious.

“Two things. They’re really suffering and they’re really facing extinction,” said Wolf, who added that the people there are mystified at the relative silence in the midst of their suffering, since the Islamic State has very real plans to bring its savagery to the West as well.

“The threat ISIS poses is not only to them but to people in the West and, quite frankly, people in the United States,” Wolf said. “It’s kind of a conglomeration. They kept saying, ‘Why will no one in the West speak out for us? Does anyone care?’

“I think they’re running out of confidence that the West will do much about it, because you know it’s been going on since it started in June, then in August. Now here we are in February of the next year, so they’re not seeing very much assistance.”

Listen to the WND/Radio America interview with former Rep. Frank Wolf:

Wolf said that impression is only intensified after events like the beheading of Coptic Christians in Libya and then the Obama administration only referring to them as Egyptian citizens. He said, instead of reacting to individual atrocities, the U.S. and other Western nations need to understand what’s really happening.

“It is genocide, genocide against Christians and genocide against the Yazidis and other religious minorities,” he said.

The nightmare for Christians started long before the rise of the Islamic State. Wolf said the state of Christianity in Iraq now compared to the days before the Iraq War is staggering.

“In 2001, there were a million-and-a-half Christians in Iraq,” he said. “They’re down now to 300,000, and I think probably under that number. Some say under 225,000.”

He added, “The suffering of the people is not just numbers. We interviewed many, many people there who are suffering. They would like to stay, but if something isn’t done they are going to leave.”

Christians who refuse to convert are either killed or forced to live in subhuman conditions. As cold winter conditions hit the region, thousands of people are sleeping in whatever abandoned buildings they can find, often in 12′x12′ or 15′x15′ sections with just two-inch-thick mattresses as beds and kerosene heaters for warmth. For those allowed to live, there is no opportunity for work or for education. They also have no medical care.

“Many of them are doctors, and many of them are lawyers. They’re educated people, but they don’t have any resources,” said Wolf, who noted that the most substantial relief is coming to believers through a Catholic group called the Dominican Sisters as well as Samaritan’s Purse, the relief organization headed by evangelist Franklin Graham.

All of this is taking place in a region rich in biblical history.

“More biblical activity took place in Iraq than any other country in the whole world, other than Israel,” he said. “Abraham’s from Iraq. Rebekah’s from Iraq. The 12 tribes of Israel lived in Iraq. Ezekiel is buried in Iraq. Jonah, Ninevah, in fact Jonah’s tomb was just blown up in Iraq. Daniel, one of the great men of the Bible, is buried in Iraq.”

Despite the intense persecution, the report from the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative suggests the faith of embattled believers remains strong. It tells stories of people preferring to die than recant their faith in Christ. Another man lost his wife to cancer after the Islamic State refused to allow her to receive treatment in Mosul because she would not convert to Islam. In the report, the widowed husband shared his wife’s last words.

“I am going to hold onto the cross of Christ,” she told him. “I refuse to convert. I prefer death. I prefer death to abandoning my religion and my faith.”

Wolf said faith of Iraqi Christians is the strongest he’s ever seen, but he added that Christians and other religious minorities there have infinitely less faith in Western nations to come to their rescue.

“Their faith is strong,” he said. “Maybe their faith is greater with the persecution than it is in the West, where there’s a lot more materialism and things like that. I think they’re beginning to give up on the West, and many are saying, ‘Help us stay,’ meaning if we don’t stay, we’re going to leave.

“If they leave, we will literally see the end of Christianity in the place where it kind of began,” he said. “In the cradle of Christendom, there’ll be no Christians left and ISIS will have won.”

'Why will no one speak out for us?'
Greg Corombos
Sun, 01 Mar 2015 00:01:58 GMT

Survey: Dems much more likely to talk about their guns

 

handgun_23

A new poll reveals that Democrats are far more likely to be willing to talk about their guns than Republicans or independents.

The revelation comes just as the American Academy of Family Physicians is launching a campaign to emphasize just that – talking about guns. Specifically the doctors say they oppose any restrictions on their discussions about guns with their patients, and they want to take a “public health approach” on the issue of weapons.

The new poll from The O’Leary Report and WND, done by Zogby Analytics, reports that 68 percent of Democrats who responded said they would respond truthfully to a national pollster asking them personal questions about gun ownership.

For independents, only 49 percent would follow that path, and the GOP generated an even lower level of cooperation to such questions, with only 44 percent agreeing to respond to those questions.

The poll asked the question, “If a national pollster asked you if you owned a firearm, would you determine to tell him or her the truth or would you feel it was none of their business?”

Bradley S. O’Leary is president of The O’Leary Report and author of books including “Shut Up, America!,” “The Audacity of Deceit,” “America’s War on Christianity” and others.

The poll was conducted through online interviews between Jan. 16-18 of 890 likely voters in the U.S. Based on a confidence interval of 95 percent, the margin of error is plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.

Nationally, the poll revealed that 55 percent of respondents would talk with a pollster about such personal issues, while 36 percent would not. Nearly nine percent were uncertain.

Responses from men and women aligned closely with the national average, as did the pattern among the age groups and generations.

Among those who identified themselves with different ideologies is where the differences were stark. For those who self-identified as liberal, 75 percent said they would answer such questions, and only 18 percent thought it was private information.

For moderates, the split was 57 percent to 33 percent, and for conservatives more than half said they would refuse to reveal such information.

The physicians’ group, just this week, under the headline “Physician Free Speech,” announced a coalition effort involving a handful of professional organizations “in a call for policies to reduce firearm-related injuries and deaths in the United States and to protect physicians’ free speech rights to discuss gun ownership with patients.”

The campaign, which also involves the American Bar Association, the American Public Health Association and others, cites the incidence of gun deaths in the nation as a “public health crisis.”

The effort also seeks universal background checks, a ban on some weapons, more federal gun-injury research and other components, and says it does not conflict with the Second Amendment.

But it also likens the gun issue to the heavily regulated issues of motor vehicles, tobacco and hazardous materials and described it as a “public health crisis.”

The groups noted that “when public health research guides advocacy,” society is safer.

The issue with doctors’ conversations has included disputes when physicians make revealing such information mandatory, and patients refuse to comply.

More than 53 percent of those who called themselves “conservative on just about every issue” would tell a pollster with such a question “It was none of their business.” Only 15 percent of those who are liberal/progressive lined up in that column.

Regional, age, income and other factors didn’t have a significant impact on the answers to the question.

The poll also had asked whether respondents thought Hillary Clinton’s age – she would be 70 in her first year if elected – is a concern.

In fact, a plurality of Americans – even one in three Democrats – agrees that her age is a worry.

Overall, 46.5 percent of the respondents said the Democrats need to look at someone young. Only 33.4 percent said that was unneeded, and a significant one in five said they were not sure.

Among those ages 18-29, almost exactly half – 48.1 percent, said the Democrats needed to look at Hillary Clinton’s age as a factor. That was 46.8 percent for those ages 30-49 and 42.5 percent for those ages 50-64. For those over 65, it was 49.8 percent.

Another question in the survey was, “Do you agree or disagree that the United States should help certain Arab countries financially and militarily if their countries’ constitutions or laws make being a Christian or atheist a crime punishable by jail or even execution.”

The poll said nearly 63 percent of all respondents disagree with that funding.

Only about 16 percent said that should continue, while 62.6 percent disagreed. About 21 percent weren’t sure.

“According to the poll results Americans are more politically opposed to military and economic aid going to Arab countries that have religious bias,” said O’Leary.

Survey: Dems much more likely to talk about their guns
Bob Unruh
Sat, 28 Feb 2015 21:17:39 GMT

Republican rebels stand fast against Boehner, amnesty

 

House Speaker John Boehner

House Speaker John Boehner

In the contentious voting over a Homeland Security funding bill Friday night, nearly 50 mostly conservative Republicans openly defied House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio – not once, but twice.

Only a last-minute change of heart by Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., spared the Republican speaker from an embarrassing defeat and a possible shutdown of part of the DHS.

At issue was whether the three-week spending bill backed by GOP leadership would be passed with or without funding President Obama’s executive action lifting the threat of deportation from millions of illegal immigrants. Many in Boehner’s party were not willing to pass a bill paying for what they’re calling Obama’s unconstitutional “amnesty” action.

“It does not make any difference whether the funding is for three weeks, three months or a full fiscal year,” argued Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., who voted against the measure. “If it’s illegal, it’s illegal.”

Fifty-one other Republicans joined Brooks in voting against the measure, leading to a 224-203 defeat for Boehner and the GOP leadership.

Join the “Don’t Be Yellow: Dump Boehner Now!” campaign!

Later in the evening, the proposal was put forward to pass a bill funding the DHS for just one week, and this time, 55 Republicans voted against the measure.

Pelosi, however, rallied Democrats to switch their votes and agree to what she called “a 7-day patch.”

“Your vote tonight,” Pelosi wrote in a letter to fellow Democrats, “will assure that we will vote for full funding next week.”

Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., however, continued the resistance from within the Republican Party, voting against the funding for a second time.

“Passing bills that do nothing but kick the can down the road is something that has become commonplace in Washington,” Salmon said. “I pledge to continue this fight in one week, so we can responsibly fund the Department of Homeland Security without funding the president’s unconstitutional actions.”

The Senate immediately passed the one-week funding measure in a voice vote, and President Obama signed the bill just before midnight.

Democrats have been tight-lipped on what brought about the sudden change of heart, and Boehner spokesman Michael Steel firmly denied rumors that a deal was cut between Boehner and Pelosi to get the measure passed.

“We did not make any such ‘deal’ or promise,” Steel said.

Republicans who voted against the three-week measure are listed in alphabetical order below:

  1. Justin Amash, R-Mich.
  2. Brian Babin, R-Texas
  3. Lou Barletta, R-Pa.
  4. Joe Barton, R-Texas
  5. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.
  6. Dave Brat, R-Va.
  7. Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla.
  8. Mo Brooks, R-Ala.
  9. Curt Clawson, R-Fla.
  10. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla.
  11. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn.
  12. Sean Duffy, R-Wis.
  13. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas
  14. Stephen Fincher, R-Tenn.
  15. John Fleming, R-La.
  16. Randy Forbes, R.Va.
  17. Trent Franks, R-Ariz.
  18. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas
  19. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz.
  20. Morgan Griffith, R-Va.
  21. Jody Hice, R-Ga.
  22. Richard Hudson, R-N.C.
  23. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kansas
  24. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif.
  25. Robert Hurt, R-Va.
  26. Sam Johnson, R-Texas
  27. Walter Jones, R-N.C.
  28. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio
  29. Steve King, R-Iowa
  30. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho
  31. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo.
  32. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga.
  33. Thomas Massie, R-Ky.
  34. Mark Meadows, R-N.C.
  35. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C.
  36. Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas
  37. Pete Olson, R-Texas
  38. Steve Pearce, R-N.M.
  39. Scott Perry, R-Pa.
  40. Ted Poe, R-Texas
  41. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas
  42. Tom Rice, R-S.C.
  43. Phil Roe, R-Tenn.
  44. Thomas Rooney, R-Fla.
  45. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz.
  46. Mark Sanford, R-S.C.
  47. Lamar Smith, R-Texas
  48. Mark Walker, R-N.C.
  49. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio
  50. Roger Williams, R-Texas
  51. Rob Wittman, R-Va.
  52. Kevin Yoder, R-Kansas

In the second vote, nine additional Republicans resisted the one-week extension, while six who voted against the three-week funding bill agreed to the one-week “patch.” The roll call on the second vote can be found by clicking here.

Obama has vowed to veto any legislation that undercuts his immigration action.

Recruit your friends, neighbors, and fellow commuters to the “Don’t Be Yellow: Dump Boehner Now” campaign with this exclusive bumper sticker.

Republican rebels stand fast against Boehner, amnesty
Drew Zahn
Sat, 28 Feb 2015 21:29:59 GMT

GOP 'pretty fired up' about blocking ObamaNet

 

ObamaNet

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., is leading the first legislative effort to roll back the federal government’s decision to start regulating the Internet as a utility, calling Thursday’s action by the Federal Communications Commission the start of the “Obamanet” and a guarantee of more taxes for Internet consumers.

On Thursday, by a party line 3-2 vote, the FCC approved a plan commonly known as net neutrality, but which critics like Blackburn see as unnecessary government intrusion into the private sector.

“This is the day the ObamaNet was born,” said Blackburn, who is vice chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “The Internet is not broken. It does not need the FCC’s help and assistance in order to be productive or profitable.”

Coverage and analysis of the FCC’s net neutrality decision has been fairly limited, with both experts and consumers finding the issue very complicated. Blackburn said the impact of this is clear and very significant.

“The FCC will now reclassify broadband services from an information service to a telecommunications service. They will do this under a 1930s-era law, the Telecommunications Act. They will thereby subject the Internet to taxes, regulation, international considerations that are now put on our wire-lined phones. So this is a step backward; it is not a step forward,” said Blackburn, who stresses that the private market was serving consumers just fine.

“It’s a sad day when you see the Federal Communications Commission coming in and preceding your Internet service provider, your ISP, in the governance of the Internet,” she said. “Basically, what you’re going to see is the FCC will now be able to assign priority and value to content because they will be in charge of controlling pricing and fees.”

Blackburn said higher taxes on Americans’ Internet bills are not a possibility but a guarantee. And how much more will Americans be paying?

“You’ve got estimates that run from a few billion dollars in additional taxes to as high as $15 billion,” she said. “So at this point, I think it’s ‘pick a number,’ but everybody agrees the cost is going to go up because of taxes and fees.”

Listen to the WND/Radio America interview with Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.:

In short, Blackburn said the government is stepping in to control something that didn’t need rescuing.

“Whether it is packaging and pricing or the availability of broadband, you now have given the control over this to the FCC to decide what areas of the country get what speeds, what type of businesses get access to what speeds,” Blackburn said. “It allows the FCC to now begin picking winners and losers.”

Blackburn is launching the first piece of legislation aimed at rolling back the FCC plan, joining with Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., to repeal a specific provision that trumps their states’ laws on broadband service. The FCC upheld petitions from Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Wilson, North Carolina, that would allow their broadband rules to be placed on residents outside their jurisdictions.

“Let’s say you have County A that goes in and they work with the FCC and they get a grant that helps them stand up a municipal broadband network. Well, they decide, ‘We need more customers on this network,’ so they go into adjoining counties B, C and D and say, ‘We will provide this service for you. What you have then done is to make counties B, C and D subject to the governing body of County A,” said Blackburn, noting that county would then have the power to set pricing and speed levels for people who do not live within its borders.

Her bill with Sen. Tillis would block that.

“The legislation that Sen. Tillis and I filed [Thursday] would prohibit these municipal broadband networks from going into these other areas and expanding their footprint,” she said, while again slamming the federal government for needlessly trying to trump state law.

“If they want to do it for their own constituents within their own footprint, then fine,” she said. “But it doesn’t take the federal government coming in and pre-empting state law and pre-empting local law to do that. They have no right to do that and they ought not to be doing that.”

The net neutrality controversy comes at the same time members of Congress are fiercely debating whether President Obama had the power to unilaterally approve the legalization of five million adults in the U.S. illegally. Blackburn, who calls the FCC a group of “unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats,” sees a disturbing pattern.

“It is more of this overreach and, quite frankly, I think the American people are growing weary of this,” she said. “They don’t think one city ought to be able to override another and get into the broadband business competing with the private sector.”

While she isn’t sure if the Senate will find the votes to pass her bill or others likely to be drafted in response to the FCC, Blackburn said Republicans are ready to fight over her bill and the larger issues at stake.

“I think they’re pretty fired up, and you’re going to see us move forward with our legislation,” she said. “Of course, I’ve had the bill that would block net neutrality for about three-and-a-half years, so it’s time to move it forward now so we can nip this in the bud before they get a chance to put it on the books.”

GOP 'pretty fired up' about blocking ObamaNet
Greg Corombos
Sat, 28 Feb 2015 00:51:51 GMT

Friday, February 27, 2015

John Bolton: Hillary 'unfit to command'

 

john_bolton

Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton told CPAC that Hillary Clinton was “unfit” to be president, arguing her foreign policy record is indistinguishable from the Obama administration’s record of foreign-policy failures.

“Remember Benghazi? Hillary stuck with the story that the attack was over an Internet video when she had contrary evidence even as the attack was going on,” Bolton said.

“She left her desk at the State Department to go home while the attack at Benghazi was still going on and Americans at U.S. embassies in North Africa and all across the Middle East were at risk,” he said.

“No boss I ever worked for at the State Department would have left their desk while Americans were in danger,” said Bolton. “Every boss I had at the State Department would have been at their State Department desk and on the phone every 15 minutes.”

Bolton summed up his view of Clinton’s handling of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack in which U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stephens and three other Americans were killed.

“Our people at Benghazi were left to die in a terrorist attack,” he said.

“How did we evacuate our people from Libya? By the United States Navy? No, we had to rent a Greek ferry boat to come to Tripoli to get our people out, and even after that lesson, Hillary Clinton failed to take adequate steps to protect embassy personnel in the region from what happened at Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012.”

Bolton said Benghazi must never be forgotten.

“Terrorists around the world have learned from Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton that you can kill an American ambassador and do it with impunity,” he said. “That’s Hillary Clinton’s lesson.”

Bolton charged that Clinton left Americans to die at Benghazi without taking any steps to find out what military means might have been available to save them.

He then turned to the U.S. relationship with Israel and the controversy surrounding the invitation by House Speaker John Boehner to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to a joint session of Congress while Obama has chosen not to meet with him.

“Barack Obama has had the worst relationship with Israel of any American president since the state of Israel was created in 1948,” Bolton said. “I congratulate Speaker Boehner for inviting this ally to speak to a joint session of Congress. Obama’s reaction is reprehensible, and if Hillary Clinton is ever to show any daylight between her foreign policy and Barack Obama’s, she should welcome Netanyahu here and offer to work with him.”

Bolton recalled that he said in 2008, when Obama ran for president for the first time, that Obama was not qualified to be president on matters of national security.

He still believes Obama is unqualified, “and we have two more years to go.”

“This is why foreign policy must be at the center of the 2016 presidential campaign, and I intend to play a role in that discussion,” he said.

Bolton expanded on his assertion that Clinton’s foreign policy record makes her unfit to be president.

He noted that Clinton, as secretary of state, supported Obama’s decision to pull out of Iraq in 2011, calling it “the single most significant decision to explain the chaos in the Middle East, the rise of ISIS, and the creation of a new state out of what used to be Syria and Iraq.”

He also held Clinton responsible for what he characterized as “the consistent mishandling of the Arab Spring, refusing to recognize it was not a new flower of democracy, but the onset of a new wave of international terror, the fruit of which we are now seeing.”

He blamed Clinton for failing to see that “ISIS would rise not only in Iraq and Syria, but also in Libya where Isis has just beheaded 21 Coptic Christians.”

“It is now depressingly clear that Hillary Clinton is likely to be the Democratic Party’s candidate for president in 2016,” Bolton concluded. “I feel I have a civic obligation to escort Hillary and Bill Clinton to the exit door of American politics.”

John Bolton: Hillary 'unfit to command'
Jerome R. Corsi
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 17:05:09 GMT