Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Afghanistan

An Open Letter to NFL Players

You graduated from high school in 2011.  Your teenage years were a struggle.  You grew up on the wrong side of the tracks.  Your mother was the leader of the family because your father was absent and worked tirelessly to keep a roof over your head and food on your plate..  Academics were a struggle for you and your grades were mediocre at best. The only thing that made you stand out is you weighed 225 lbs and could run 40 yards in 4.2 seconds while carrying a football.   Your best friend was just like you, except he didn’t play football.  Instead of going to football practice after school, he went to work at McDonald’s for minimum wage.  You were recruited by all the big colleges and spent every weekend of your senior year making visits to universities where coaches and boosters tried to convince you their school was the best.  They laid out the red carpet for you. Your best friend worked double shifts at Mickey D’s.  College was not an option for him.  On the day you signed with Big State University, your best friend signed paperwork with his Army recruiter.  You went to summer workouts.  He went to basic training.

You spent the next four years living in the athletic dorm, eating at the training table. You spent your Saturdays on the football field, cheered on by adoring fans.  Tutors attended to your every academic need.  You attended class when you felt like it. Sure, you worked hard. You lifted weights, ran sprints, studied plays, and soon became one of the top football players in the country.
Your best friend was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division. While you were in college, he deployed to Iraq once and Afghanistan twice.  He became a Sergeant and led a squad of 19 year old soldiers who grew up just like he did.  He shed his blood in Afghanistan and watched young American’s give their lives, limbs, and innocence for the USA.
You went to the NFL combine and scored off the charts.  You hired an agent and waited for draft day.  You were drafted in the first round and your agent immediately went to work, ensuring that you received the most money possible. You signed for $16 million although you had never played a single down of professional football.  Your best friend re-enlisted in the Army for four more years. As a combat tested sergeant, he will be paid $32,000 per year.
You will drive a Ferrari on the streets of South Beach.  He will ride in the back of a Blackhawk helicopter with 10 other combat-ready soldiers.  You will sleep at the Ritz.  He will dig a hole in the ground and try to sleep. You will “make it rain” in the club.  He will pray for rain as the temperature reaches 120 degrees.
On Sunday, you will run into a stadium as tens of thousands of fans cheer and yell your name.  For your best friend, there is little difference between Sunday and any other day of the week.  There are no adoring fans.  There are only people trying to kill him and his soldiers. Every now and then, he and his soldiers leave the front lines and “go to the rear” to rest.  He might be lucky enough to catch an NFL game on TV.  When the National Anthem plays and you take a knee, he will jump to his feet and salute the television.  While you protest the unfairness of life in the United States, he will give thanks to God that he has the honor of defending this great country.
To the players of the NFL:  We are the people who buy your tickets, watch you on TV, and wear your jerseys.  We anxiously wait for Sundays so we can cheer for you and marvel at your athleticism. Although we love to watch you play, we care little about your opinions until you offend us. You have the absolute right to express yourselves, but we have the absolute right to boycott you.  We have tolerated your drug use and DUIs, your domestic violence, your vulgar displays of wealth and your wearisome selfish displays in the end zone.  We should be ashamed for putting our admiration of your physical skills before what is morally right.  But now you have gone too far. You have insulted our flag, our country, our soldiers, our police officers, and our veterans. You are living the American dream, yet you disparage our great country.  I am done with NFL football and encourage all like minded Americans to boycott the NFL as well.

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Steve Bannon – Both Friend and Enemy of Freedom – Returns to Breitbart

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, August 21, 2017: 

It didn’t take Steve Bannon – Trump’s chief political strategist – very long to bid adieu and pick up where he left off at Breitbart. On Friday he explained his widely anticipated departure:

On August 7th, I talked to [Chief of Staff John] Kelly and to the President, and I told them that my resignation would be effective the following Monday, on the 14th. I’d always planned on spending one year. General Kelly has brought in a great new system, but I said it would be best [to leave]. I want to get back to Breitbart.

On Friday night, he was back at work as Executive Chairman at Breitbart, saying:

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Bannon’s Ouster as Trump’s Chief Strategist Largely Self-inflicted

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Sunday, August 20, 2017:

Immediately upon his termination as President Trump’s chief political strategist last week, Steve Bannon returned to his former position as executive chairman of Breitbart News. In fact, within hours of his return he chaired an “all-hands” meeting to plan the future.

Bannon said it was all part of a plan: “On August 7th, I talked to [Chief of Staff John] Kelly and to the President, and I told them that my resignation would be effective the following Monday, on the 14th. I’d always planned on spending one year. General Kelly has brought in a great new system, but I said it would be best [to leave]. I want to get back to Breitbart.” Upon his return to Brietbart, Bannon said:

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Questions for President Trump on Venezuela

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, August 16, 2018:

State flag of Venezuela.

State flag of Venezuela.

Inquiring minds are asking: what on earth is the US doing meddling in the affairs of Venezuela? The media has broadcast the rolling and accelerating disaster taking place there, with some even properly blaming it on socialist practices unleased by Marxist Hugo Chavez (they are called “Chavism” and its supporters are called “Chavists”) and his protégé, Nicolas Maduro.

Those policies, enforced with increasing vengeance upon a powerless citizenry, have all but destroyed a country that once was one of the most prosperous in South America.

Grant the point. But does this justify in any way U.S. interference? Does it justify sanctions, freezing of assets of Maduro and his henchmen, and removing the freedom of Americans to do business with him, or them? Notice please that the sanctions only apply to about 30 of Maduro’s people and not to any of the 20 or so American oil refineries currently supporting Maduro’s Marxist regime to the tune of a billion dollars a month.

Here are some other questions:

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Questions for President Trump on Venezuela

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, August 14, 2017:

Português: Brasília - O chanceler da Venezuela...

Nicolas Maduro

Inquiring minds are asking: what on earth is the US doing meddling in the affairs of Venezuela? The media has broadcast the rolling and accelerating disaster taking place there, with some even properly blaming it on socialist practices unleased by Marxist Hugo Chavez (they are called “Chavism” and its supporters are called “Chavists”) and his protégé, Nicolas Maduro.

Those policies, enforced with increasing vengeance upon a powerless citizenry, have all but destroyed a country that once was one of the most prosperous in South America.

Grant the point. But does this justify in any way U.S. interference? Does it justify sanctions, freezing of assets of Maduro and his henchmen, and removing the freedom of Americans to do business with him, or them? Notice please that the sanctions only apply to about 30 of Maduro’s people and not to any of the 20 or so American oil refineries currently supporting Maduro’s Marxist regime to the tune of a billion dollars a month.

Here are some other questions:

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Trump’s Budget: a Mixture of Magic, Hope, Pixie Dust, and Gimmicks

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, May 23, 2017:

Now that the long-awaited Trump budget for Fiscal Year 2018 has been released, it hasn’t failed to deliver what skeptics initially expected: Growth coupled with lower taxes will drive the economy to levels that will balance the budget — by 2027  — much of it based on magic, hope, pixie dust, and gimmicks.

First, the “magic.”

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Sweden Revokes Arrest Warrant for WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, May 19, 2017: 

Little is likely to change for Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, who just learned on Friday that his arrest warrant issued by Swedish authorities back in 2010 has been revoked. Until the British government decides to revoke its own warrant for Assange jumping bail in November of that year, he’ll stay put inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

Sweden’s top prosecutor, Marianne Ny, said she gave up trying to serve him but added that “if he were to return to Sweden before the statute of limitations on this case expires in August 2020, the preliminary investigation could be resumed.”

At issue was a rape charge levied against Assange by two women with whom he had sexual relations while in Sweden to make a speech in 2010. When Interpol issued a Red Notice for his arrest, Assange gave himself up. In December that year he posted bail in London but

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Anti-gun Petraeus Forces Trump to Expand List of Sec’y of State Candidates

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, December 6, 2016:

English: Official photograph of General David ...

Overlooked by many journalists studying the background of General David Petraeus (shown) — on Donald Trump’s “short list” for secretary of state — is Petraeus’ impassioned anti-gun position, evidenced by his support of the new Veterans Coalition for Common Sense sponsored by notorious anti-gun advocates Mark Kelly and his wife, Gabby Giffords.

Kelly and Giffords founded Americans for Responsible Solutions in January 2013 following an assassination attempt on her in 2011. In announcing the formation of the new anti-gun group in June, Kelly said:

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Several Sources Highlight Federal Misspending After “Wastebook” Author Retires

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, December 2, 2015:  

Official portrait of United States Senator (R-OK).

Former Senator Tom Coburn

Before retiring from Congress as Oklahoma’s junior senator, Tom Coburn issued an invitation to others in office to take up where he left off in bringing to light outrageous federal boondoggles. As the editor of Wastebook, Coburn delighted in exposing preposterous examples of government waste, and using them to embarrass the various agencies responsible.

One of those taking up the cudgel is Oklahoma Senator James Langford, who just issued his first edition of Federal Fumbles,

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Behind Chattanooga: Radicalization, Gun-free Zones, and U.S. Foreign Policy

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, July 17, 2015:  

The "black flag of jihad" as used by...

The “black flag of jihad” as used by various Islamic terrorist organizations (since the late 1990s)

Narratives that Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez was a nice, polite, well-behaved, friendly, and funny young man of 24 appeared all across the mainstream media following his murderous attack on a military recruiting center in Chattanooga on Thursday that left four dead and three wounded. According to the media and the president, he was “acting alone” as a “lone wolf.”

Precious little was being said about the possibility of him being influenced by radical elements of his faith calling for Muslims to wage war against unbelievers. The media focused instead on his background:

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Senator Tom Coburn’s “Holier-than-Thou” release of his 2013 “Wastebook”

In Tuesday’s press release Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) announced the publication of his annual “Wastebook” which highlights Congress’ “most egregious spending” while at the same time distancing himself from the big spenders and earmarkers in Congress who provided fodder for his book:

While politicians in Washington spent much of 2013 complaining about sequestration’s impact on domestic programs and our national defense, we still managed to provide benefits to the Fort Hood shooter, study romance novels, help the State Department buy Facebook fans and even help NASA study Congress…

What’s lacking is the common sense and courage in Washington to make those choices – and passage of fiscally-responsible bills – possible.

Coburn then provided some teasers out of the 100 examples in his Wastebook:

The Popular Romance Project has received nearly $1 million from the National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH) since 2010 to “explore the fascinating, often contradictory origins and influences of popular romance as told in novels, films, comics, advice books, songs and internet fan fiction…

The military has destroyed more than 170 million pounds worth of useable vehicles and other military equipment [in Afghanistan] … rather than sell it or ship it back home…

In January, 2013, Congress passed a bill to provide $60.4 billion for [victims of] Hurricane Sandy. However, instead of rushing aid to the people who need it most, state-level officials … spent [$65 million of it] on tourism-related TV ads…

Since NASA is no longer conducting space flights, they have plenty of time and money to fund … the “Green Ninja” in which a man dressed in a Green Ninja costume teaches children about global warming.

While promoting his book recently on CBS News, Coburn tried to distance himself from any responsibility for such “egregious spending” by asking rhetorically: “Where was the adult in the room when this was going on?” Interviewer Nancy Cordes then asked if any of his previous editions of Wastebook had made any impact or had reduced or eliminated any of the more outrageous examples of waste:

Cordes: Have you ever gotten any traction in Congress, where members say “We’re actually going to get rid of this?”

Coburn: No. They don’t pay attention to it. It’s hard work to get rid of junk, it’s hard work to do oversight, it’s hard word to hold agencies accountable. And so what they would rather do is look good at home, get re-elected, and continue to spend money, and that’s Republican and Democrat alike.

What Cordes failed to ask at that moment would have been the perfect follow-on question:

How does your effort, then, and your voting record, separate you from them? Doesn’t this Wastebook of yours cost a lot of taxpayer money? Isn’t this part of your attempt to look good at home while providing cover for your own votes for some of these projects? Isn’t this part of your attempt to continue to get reelected?

Unfortunately there is no record of Cordes asking, or of Coburn’s response. But in July 2007 when Coburn criticized pork-barrel spending by Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson that would benefit Nelson’s son’s employer with millions of dollars of taxpayer money, newspapers in both Nebraska and Oklahoma noted that Coburn himself failed to criticize similar earmarks that he voted for that benefited his own state of Oklahoma.

In May, 2012 Coburn voted for H.R. 2072, to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank with increased lending limits backed by taxpayer monies from $100 billion to $140 billion. According to analysts assessing his vote, the federal government has no constitutional authority to risk taxpayers’ money “to provide loans the private sector considers too risky to provide.” Those analysts added:

Indeed, U.S. government-backed export financing is a form of corporate welfare, and if the Ex-Im Bank goes bust (as happened to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae), the taxpayers will get stuck holding the bag.

Perhaps Coburn can be forgiven for not knowing that such wasteful spending is part of a plan to reduce America’s influence in the world, first clearly laid out when Coburn was just 10 years old, in 1958 in Indianapolis, Indiana. At a meeting in December, candy maker Robert Welch spoke for three days to some friends about the direction the country was headed, claiming it was part of a plan to “surrender American sovereignty, piece-by-piece and step-by-step, to various international organizations…”. Part one of that plan was:

Greatly expanded government spending for every conceivable means of getting rid of ever larger sums of American money as wastefully as possible.

Other parts included:

Higher and then much higher taxes…

An increasingly unbalanced budget despite the higher taxes…

Greatly increased socialistic controls over every operation of our economy and every activity of our daily lives. This is to be accompanied naturally and automatically by a correspondingly huge increase in the size of our bureaucracy and in both the cost and reach of our domestic government.

Coburn’s report illustrates the success of that plan to which he himself is contributing. The man has feet of clay. He not only is the author of Wastebook but a contributor to it as well.

 

 

 

 

 

More Good News: The Failing Syrian Strategy is Weakening the Imperial Presidency

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, September 9th, 2013:

A remarkable change is taking place, and most “conservative” pundits are failing to see it. As Obama stumbles determinedly forward in promoting his Syrian strategy while his supporters bail out along the way, few are seeing any benefits.

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough admitted, after some tough grilling, that

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Spending on Surveillance by US Spy Agencies is Vastly Larger than Previously Thought

Thanks to the efforts of whistleblower Edward Snowden and the reluctant cooperation of the Washington Post, American citizens are now able to see just what their half-trillion dollars have bought them over the last ten years:

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Whistleblower Bradley Manning Sentenced to 35 years

Reactions to the sentence handed down on Wednesday by Military Judge Denise Lind were immediate: “We’ll keep fighting for you, Bradley! You’re our hero!” exclaimed many in the courtroom when the verdict was announced.

Others were less vocal, expressing disappointment that Manning was

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Costs, Frustrations Mount as Fort Hood Shooter Trial Opens

After nearly four years of delays, the military trial of Nidal Malik Hasan, the accused Fort Hood Shooter, begins today with Hasan representing himself against charges of 13 counts of premeditated murder and another 32 counts of attempted murder stemming from the attack on November 5th, 2009.

The costs, estimated to be $5 million and counting, are compounded by the

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Michael Hastings, author of The Runaway General that ended McChrystal’s career, dead at 33

Most obituaries about Hasting’s untimely death in a high-speed fiery single-car crash at 4:30AM on Tuesday morning in Los Angeles dwelled on his primary and most visible contribution to investigative journalism, his authorship of The Runaway General in Rolling Stone magazine which led almost immediately to the

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The Boston Bombers have a very nasty background

I’ve seen precious little about this in the MSM and no wonder. These boys come from Chechnya which has a history of unspeakable violence for years. If I can find out about this, why can’t they?

Last Friday David French exposed the connection and I tracked down his sources just to confirm. Wrote French:

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Rep. Paul Ryan’s New Budget to Repeal Obamacare, Replace Medicare

On Tuesday Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), chairman of the House Budget Committee, will roll out his new plan to balance the budget but, unlike last year’s plan, his new one will likely promise to balance the budget in

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Senator John Kerry to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State

When Susan Rice, the United States’ Ambassador to the United Nations, withdrew her name from consideration for the post of Secretary of State last week, rumors abounded that next in line would be Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.). That rumor was confirmed on Friday, putting in place the first change in President Obama’s second term as Kerry replaces Hillary Clinton as Secretary.

This is a position that Kerry has coveted ever since Obama was elected in 2008. It was Kerry who first

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Obama Spokesman Suggests the End of the War on Terror?

In a speech characterized by The Washington Post as “thoughtful,” Post writer Fareed Zakaria was inordinately hopeful that it signaled the beginning of the end of Washington’s 12-year-old War on Terror. He wrote that:

For the first time since Sept. 11, 2001, an administration official has sketched a possible endpoint…

Phasing out or modifying these emergency powers should be something that would appeal to both left and right.

Zakaria invoked the warning James Madison gave about the dangers of unending eternal warfare:

Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes…

No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.

Zakaria reviewed, perhaps too hastily for complete accuracy, some of the impact the war has had on America: bloated military budgets, new unconstitutional agencies (especially the Department of Homeland Security which now employs a quarter of a million people), the building of 33 new intelligence facilities in the Washington, D.C. area alone (equivalent to three Pentagons), an Afghan war that has cost trillions of dollars and nearly 60,000 American casualties related to the war on terror.

Zakaria was hopeful that Johnson’s speech was a turning point, that it signals the end of the war on terror, and that life in the US can return to normal:

It is a good idea that the United States find a way to conduct its anti-terrorism campaigns within a more normal legal framework, rather than rely on blanket wartime authority granted in a panic after Sept. 11.

That “blanket wartime authority” which was granted 7 days after the September 11 attacks, made passing and twisted reference to the Constitution, and then gave the president virtually unlimited power to prosecute the war. From that Joint Resolution:

Whereas, on September 11, 2001, acts of treacherous violence were committed against the United States and its citizens, and…

Whereas, the President has authority under the Constitution to take action to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States: Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled…

That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

What Zakaria saw in the speech which Jeh Johnson, the General Counsel of the Department of Defense, gave at the Oxford Union, Oxford University on November 30th, was this snippet:

But, now that efforts by the U.S. military against al Qaeda are in their 12th year, we must also ask ourselves: how will this conflict end?…

I do believe that on the present course, there will come a tipping point – a tipping point at which so many of the leaders and operatives of al Qaeda and its affiliates have been killed or captured, and the group is no longer able to attempt or launch a strategic attack against the United States, such that al Qaeda as we know it, the organization that   our Congress authorized the military to pursue in 2001, has been effectively destroyed.

At that point, we must be able to say to ourselves that our efforts should no longer be considered an “armed conflict” against al Qaeda and its associated forces…

And from that Zakaria concluded that this was “the possible endpoint” of the war on terror.

Unfortunately he didn’t read the rest of Johnson’s remarks. The essence of those remarks was that the war on terror was going to continue indefinitely, but without the name. In fact, less than two months after his first inauguration, President Obama ordered the Defense Department to refrain from using the phrase “War on Terror” and instead start calling it the “Overseas Contingency Operation” (COC).

Johnson’s credibility came into question within minutes of his opening remarks when he noted that he favored a quote from the pro-war Brookings Institution that motivates his public service: “The Founding Fathers believed in a democracy…”.(emphasis added)  From there on out his speech was a celebration of the success the military has had in putting into effect that “blanket wartime authority”:

We ended the combat mission in Iraq.

We increased the number of combat forces in Afghanistan and have reversed much of the Taliban’s momentum in the country…

We banned “enhanced interrogation techniques,” consistent with the calls of many in our country, including our own military, that great nations simply do not treat other human beings that way…

And, finally, we have, in a manner consistent with our laws and values, taken the fight directly to the terrorist organization al Qaeda, the result of which is that the core of al Qaeda is today degraded, disorganized and on the run. Osama bin Laden is dead. Many other leaders and terrorist operatives of al Qaeda are dead or captured; those left in al Qaeda’s core struggle to communicate, issue orders, and recruit.

At this point in his speech, Johnson might have suggested that it was time to pack up and go home: Job One is Done.

Not a chance.

There is still danger and there is still much to do.  Al Qaeda’s core has been degraded, leaving al Qaeda more decentralized, and most terrorist activity now conducted by local franchises…

So, therefore, in places like Yemen, and in partnership with that government, we are taking the fight directly to [Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula], and continually disrupting its plans to conduct terrorist attacks against U.S. and Yemeni interests.

We have made clear that we are not at war with an idea, a religion, or a tactic. We are at war with an organized, armed group — a group determined to kill innocent civilians.

The war on terror, or the Overseas Contingency Operation, or whatever Johnson now calls it, will continue:

Al Qaeda’s radical and absurd goals have included global domination through a violent Islamic caliphate, terrorizing the United States and other western nations from retreating from the world stage, and the destruction of Israel. There is no compromise or political bargain that can be struck with those who pursue such aims.

In the current conflict with al Qaeda, I can offer no prediction about when this conflict will end…

It’s too bad that the writer from The Washington Post didn’t read the rest of Johnson’s speech. It was hardly a signal that the war on terror was ending. It was instead a confirmation that it will continue indefinitely into the future.

 

 

 

Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.