Archive for October 2010
Straight from the Debka File: “debkafile’s military and counter-terror sources confirm the WikiLeaks revelation that Iran developed camera-equipped suicide vests for al Qaeda’s attacks on US troops under the instruction of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Center in Tehran. Our sources have discovered that the Islamic Jihad’s “Jerusalem Brigades” in the Gaza Strip have been equipped with those same SVIED (Suicide Vest Improvised Explosive Devices) and have transferred some to al Qaeda cells at large in the territory.
This sophisticated suicide vest is fitted with miniature cameras which enable the bomber to monitor and relay images of an attack before he reaches his target, our military sources report. The bomber can thus stay in close touch with, and receive instructions, from his handlers every step of the way and also obtain images of the environment he is entering and the obstacles ahead.
An Israeli officer told debkafile that these mini-cameras “make it almost impossible for a suicide bomber to miss his aim. It makes him a human guided missile.”
The presence of these SVIEDs in Islamic Jihad and al Qaeda hands in the Gaza Strip was recently brought to light by the Palestinian Hamas’s intelligence agents as part of their report on the deepening collaboration between the Iranian proxy Islamic Jihad and local Salafi groups which have pledged loyalty to al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden and are a thorn in the sides of the Hamas rulers.
Jihad commanders are training the al Qaeda squads in the use of the novel suicide weapon of exactly the same type as Iran gave al Qaeda in Iraq and are joining them for missions against Israeli targets across the Gaza border. Thus far, Israeli troops have managed to thwart their attempts at encroachment, wiping them out as they crossed the border fence. Most of these incidents are not brought to the public’s knowledge.
Hamas has meanwhile cautioned the Jerusalem Brigades to stop cooperating with al Qaeda in the Gaza Strip or else their training facilities and weapons caches will be destroyed, including their rockets, mortars and suicide belts.
However, the Islamic Jihad, which is not about to succumb to Hamas’s dictates and disobey its masters in Tehran, sent back a two-part reply:
1. Any members carrying out attacks on Israel by firing rockets, planting bombs or using explosive vests without explicit instructions from their commanders will be expelled from the Islamic Jihad and ostracized.
2. Jihad leaders are ready for dialogue with Hamas, provided that its fighters are attached to the Hamas special force known to the IDF as the “Hamas Covert Unit,” which was recently established to keep random missile fire against Israel in check.
Jihad did not refer to Hamas’ primary demand, to terminate its operational collaboration with al Qaeda cells which challenge Hamas authority.
In Iraq, Al Qaeda is described in the ground-level view of the war offered in WikiLeaks 391,831 classified documents covering six years from early 2004 until Jan. 1, 2010 as “the strongest organization among the insurgent groups.”"
Just in case you forgot…
“When Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) gave her inaugural address as speaker of the House in 2007, she vowed there would be “no new deficit spending.” Since that day, the national debt has increased by $5 trillion, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.
“After years of historic deficits, this 110th Congress will commit itself to a higher standard: Pay as you go, no new deficit spending,” Pelosi said in her speech from the speaker’s podium. “Our new America will provide unlimited opportunity for future generations, not burden them with mountains of debt.”
Pelosi has served as speaker in the 110th and 111th Congresses.
At the close of business on Jan. 4, 2007, Pelosi’s first day as speaker, the national debt was $8,670,596,242,973.04 (8.67 trillion), according to the Bureau of the Public Debt, a division of the U.S. Treasury Department. At the close of business on Oct. 22, it stood at $13,667,983,325,978.31 (13.67 trillion), an increase of 4,997,387,083,005.27 (or approximately $5 trillion).
Pelosi, the 60th speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, has added more to the national debt than the first 57 House speakers combined.”
Straight from Gizmodo: “Here’s Roberts’ account:
As I loaded my bags onto the X-ray scanner belt, an agent told me to remove my shoes and send them through as well, which I’ve not normally been required to do when passing through the standard metal detectors in uniform. When I questioned her, she said it was necessary to remove my shoes for the AIT scanner. I explained that I did not wish to participate in the AIT program, so she told me I could keep my shoes and directed me through the metal detector that had been roped off. She then called somewhat urgently to the agents on the other side: “We got an opt-out!” and also reported the “opt-out” into her handheld radio. On the other side I was stopped by another agent and informed that because I had “opted out” of AIT screening, I would have to go through secondary screening. I asked for clarification to be sure he was talking about frisking me, which he confirmed, and I declined. At this point he and another agent explained the TSA’s latest decree, saying I would not be permitted to pass without showing them my naked body, and how my refusal to do so had now given them cause to put their hands on me as I evidently posed a threat to air transportation security (this, of course, is my nutshell synopsis of the exchange). I asked whether they did in fact suspect I was concealing something after I had passed through the metal detector, or whether they believed that I had made any threats or given other indications of malicious designs to warrant treating me, a law-abiding fellow citizen, so rudely. None of that was relevant, I was told. They were just doing their job.
Eventually the airport police were summoned. Several officers showed up and we essentially repeated the conversation above. When it became clear that we had reached an impasse, one of the more sensible officers and I agreed that any further conversation would be pointless at this time. I then asked whether I was free to go. I was not. Another officer wanted to see my driver’s license. When I asked why, he said they needed information for their report on this “incident” – my name, address, phone number, etc. I recited my information for him, until he asked for my supervisor’s name and number at the airline. Why did he need that, I asked. For the report, he answered. I had already given him the primary phone number at my company’s headquarters. When I asked him what the Chief Pilot in Houston had to do with any of this, he either refused or was simply unable to provide a meaningful explanation. I chose not to divulge my supervisor’s name as I preferred to be the first to inform him of the situation myself. In any event, after a brief huddle with several other officers, my interrogator told me I was free to go.
As he turned to leave, Roberts was stopped again, this time to wait for a separate TSA investigator. As he waited, Roberts said he and the airport police official chatted about the ever-increasing security used to spot attempted terrorists such as Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab:
Where, then, would the evolution of these policies lead next?
“Do you want them to board your plane?” he asked.
“No, but I understand there are other, better ways to keep them off. Besides, at this point I’m more concerned with the greater threat to our rights and liberties as a free society.”
“Yeah, I know,” he said. And then, to my amazement, he continued, “But somebody’s already taken those away.”
It was then that the TSA investigator arrived.
He asked for my account of the situation. I explained that the agents weren’t allowing me to pass through the checkpoint. He told me he had been advised that I was refusing security screening, to which I replied that I had willingly walked through the metal detector with no alarms, the same way I always do when commuting to work. He then briefed me on the recent screening policy changes and, apparently confused, asked whether they would be a problem for me. I stated that I did indeed have a problem with the infringement of my civil rights and liberty.
His reply: “That’s irrelevant.”
It wasn’t irrelevant to me.
The TSA investigator went through the same questions again, and Roberts said the investigator scolded him for his behavior:
“I’m not saying you’ve done something wrong. But you have to go through security screening if you want to enter the facility.”
“Understood. I’ve been going through security screening right here in this line for five years and never blown up an airplane, broken any laws, made any threats, or had a government agent call my boss in Houston. And you guys have never tried to touch me or see me naked that whole time. But, if that’s what it’s come to now, I don’t want to enter the facility that badly.”
By the time he’d left the airport, the TSA had already contacted Roberts’ superiors, and he described his job status as now being “on hold.”
His experience, posted on a pilots’ chat board, drew attaboys from several other pilots, but a few questioned Roberts’ approach:
Congratulations, you fell on your sword for nothing. No policy has changed, or will change, and now you’re likely unemployed because of it. Noble? Sure. Stupid? Incredibly…Look, do I agree with you about the intrusiveness of the TSA? Absolutely. However, since 2001, the TSA has been the name of the game in the airline world. You knew you’d be dealing with this hassle every day for the rest of your career, yet you decided to do it instead of fly jumpers, boxes, or VIPs around. That was your decision and now you’re going to have to live with it.
Roberts reply: “If your perspective prevails – and I’m afraid it may – we may all live to find ourselves wishing we had fought in earlier days, when we still had a fighting chance.”"
Straight from Dvorak Uncensored: “When he first saw a video of a Toronto constable threatening to arrest a G20 protester for blowing bubbles, one YouTube user was so livid, he couldn’t stop writing comments.
In fact, the man, who uses the alias “theforcebewithme,” can’t even remember writing the specific comment that now has him defending a $1.2 million defamation lawsuit launched by Toronto’s now notorious “Officer Bubbles.” Const. Adam Josephs seeks to compel the Google-owned YouTube to reveal the identity of the person who created and posted the videos as well as any information it has on the 24 other users who made allegedly defamatory remarks. Josephs’ lawsuit isn’t targeting the video that sparked his infamy, but a collection of eight cartoons posted to the popular video website that show a police officer resembling Josephs engaging in abusive acts of power.
The animations depict an officer named “A. Josephs” arresting a variety of people — from Santa Claus to U.S. President Barack Obama — as well as punching a news photographer. In his statement of claim, Josephs calls the cartoons and several comments “devastatingly defamatory,” alleging they have brought him “ridicule, scandal and contempt both personally and as a member of the (Toronto Police Service).” He claims the animations have also resulted in threats against him and his family.”
Straight from the Debka File: “A top-secret Iranian military installation was struck by a triple blast Tues. Oct. 12 the day before Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in Lebanon. debkafile’s military and intelligence sources report the site held most of the Shehab-3 medium-range missile launchers Iran had stocked for striking US forces in Iraq and Israel in the event of war – some set to deliver triple warheads (tri-conic nosecones).
The 18 soldiers officially reported killed in the blasts and 14 injured belonged to the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) main missile arm, the Al-Hadid Brigades.
The Imam Ali Base where the explosion occurred is situated in lofty Zagros mountain country near the town of Khorramabad in the western Iranian province of Lorestan. This site was selected for an altitude which eases precise targeting and the difficulty of reaching it for air or ground attack. It lies 400 kilometers from Baghdad and primary American bases in central Iraq and 1,250 kilometers from Tel Aviv and central Israel. Both are well within the Shehab-3 missile’s 1,800-2,500-kilometer operational range.
Our Iranian sources report that Tehran spent hundreds of millions to build one of the largest subterranean missile launching facilities of its kind in the Middle East or Europe. Burrowed under the Imam Ali Base is a whole network of wide tunnels deep underground. Somehow, a mysterious hand rigged three blasts in quick succession deep inside those tunnels, destroying a large number of launchers and causing enough damage to render the facility unfit for use.
In its official statement on the incident, Tehran denied it was the result of “a terrorist attack” and claimed the explosion “was caused by a nearby fire that spread to the munitions storage area of the base.” In the same way, the regime went to great lengths to cover up the ravages wrought to their nuclear and military control systems by the Stuxnet virus – which is still at work.
In actual fact, debkafile’s military sources report, Iran’s missile arsenal and the Revolutionary Guards have also suffered a devastating blow. Worst of all, all their experts are a loss to account for the assailants’ ability to penetrate one of Iran’s most closely guarded bases and reach deep underground to blow up the missile launchers.
The number of casualties is believed to be greater than the figure given out by Tehran.
The soldiers’ funerals took place Thursday, Oct. 14, as the same time as Ahmadinejad declared in South Lebanon that Israel was destined to “disappear.” A few later, he ended his contentious two-day visit to Lebanon.
This week, Aviation Week discovered that the new intermediate-range BM-25 Musudan ballistic missile exhibited at the North Korean military parade Sunday Oct. 10 – at which Kim Jong-un also paraded his son and heir – bore a strong resemblance to the Iranian Shehab-3.
It is therefore possible that the explosions at the IRGC base in Lorestan Tuesday also sabotaged secret models of the Iran’s latest road-mobile, liquid-fuel version of the Shehab-3 ballistic missile.”
Straight from the ‘This Is Bush’s Fault’ department via Fox News: “The Obama administration is set to report Friday that the federal budget deficit exceeded $1 trillion for the second straight year, providing critics of government spending with fresh ammunition ahead of the midterm congressional elections.
The Congressional Budget Office is projecting that the deficit for the 2010 budget year that ended Sept. 30 will total $1.29 trillion. That’s down by $125 billion from the $1.4 trillion in 2009 — the highest deficit on record.
Soaring deficits have become a problem for Democrats in an election year focused on the weak economy.
Republicans have tapped into voter angst over the deficits, using the $814 billion economic stimulus and $700 billion Wall Street bailout to paint President Barack Obama and his party as big spenders.
Democrats say the recession would have been worse if the government didn’t step in with those programs to prop up the economy. They also note that most of the bailout, which began during the Bush administration and was supported by many Republicans in Congress, has been repaid.
Both parties have acknowledged that rising deficits will present headaches for policymakers regardless of which party controls Congress after November.
The Obama administration
is projecting that the deficit for the 2011 budget year, which began on Oct. 1, will climb to $1.4 trillion. Over the next decade, it will total $8.47 trillion. Deficits of that size will constrain the administration’s agenda over the next two years and will certainly be an issue in the 2012 presidential race.
Top economists with the National Association for Business Economics forecast this week that the 2011 deficit will total $1.2 trillion, only slightly better than the administration’s estimate. These analysts pinpointed excessive federal debt as their single greatest concern, even more so than high unemployment.
Obama has appointed a bipartisan commission to study the deficit and recommend policy changes. Those recommendations are expected in December, after the elections, and the panel needs the backing of 14 of its 18 members to trigger a congressional vote.
Building that level of consensus will be difficult. Republicans are strongly opposed to a plan that includes tax increases to chip away at the deficit. Democrats are less inclined to move a package that relies solely on spending cuts.
Even if Congress doesn’t vote on a deficit-cutting proposal, it faces the challenge of reaching a consensus on what to do with the Bush-era tax cuts that are set to expire on Dec. 31.
The Republicans are fighting to renew all of the tax cuts. Obama and the Democrats want to extend the tax cuts for every family making less than $250,000, but let them expire for the wealthiest households.
The difference between the two parties amounts to $700 billion that will be added to projected deficits over the next decade if the tax cuts for the wealthy are extended along with the other tax cuts.
So far, the huge deficits have not been a threat to the country. That’s because interest rates have been so low coming out of the recession and the United States has been seen as a safe haven for foreign investors willing to keep buying U.S. Treasury bonds.
But the situation could change once the economy gains more momentum, analysts warn.
“If we get to 2013 and policymakers don’t look like they have a credible plan to deal with the deficit, then interest rates are likely to rise significantly and that will jeopardize the recovery we have under way at that time,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics.”
Straight from Fox News: “A multi-state lawsuit against the federal health care overhaul will go forward, after a Florida federal judge on Thursday rejected the Obama administration’s request to dismiss the case.
District Judge Roger Vinson dismissed four of the six counts in the lawsuit led by Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, who is representing a challenge from 20 states. But he allowed two counts, including one challenging the law’s controversial requirement that Americans buy health insurance, to proceed. Opening arguments are scheduled for mid-December.
McCollum, hailing the decision as a “victory” of sorts, said the move confirms the “significance” of the states’ challenge.
“This ruling is a victory for the states, small businesses and the American people. It is the first step to having the individual mandate declared unconstitutional and upholding state sovereignty in our federal system,” he said in a written statement.
Vinson noted in his decision that he was not weighing in on the constitutionality of the law, but said the plaintiffs at least have a “plausible” argument.
I have not attempted to determine whether the line between constitutional and extraconstitutional government has been crossed,” he wrote, saying that question will be answered after the arguments. “I am only saying that … the plaintiffs have at least stated a plausible claim that the line has been crossed.”
Vinson let stand a count challenging the so-called “individual mandate” as unconstitutional. In his ruling, he cited a government report calling the requirement to buy insurance legally unprecedented and said the issue is worth examination in the court.
“The individual mandate applies across the board. People have no choice and there is no way to avoid it. Those who fall under the individual mandate either comply with it, or they are penalized. It is not based on an activity that they make the choice to undertake. Rather, it is based solely on citizenship and on being alive,” he wrote. “Of course, to say that something is ‘novel’ and ‘unprecedented’ does not necessarily mean that it is ‘unconstitutional’ and ‘improper.’ There may be a first time for anything. But, at this stage of the case, the plaintiffs have most definitely stated a plausible claim with respect to this cause of action.”
He also let stand a count challenging the law’s effect on Medicaid. The states and the administration disagree over whether states should pay additional Medicaid costs not covered by the federal government.
The decision does not necessarily provide guidance as to the final ruling. A federal judge in Michigan dismissed a similar lawsuit last week.
Vinson dismissed counts that claimed the law interfered with state sovereignty, challenged the mandate on “due process” grounds, claimed it violated a constitutional ban on a “direct tax,” and claimed it represented “coercion and commandeering” of health insurance.”
Even with Dong Gate looming in his rear-view mirror, he just never fails to produce in amazing fashion. Not content to be tied with Warren Moon for career fumbles, Favre saw fit to gain yet another record this game, now with a grand total of 162 career fumbles to his name. Just when you thought the game was over, forever the team player, Favre lead his former team (the New York Jets) to yet another victory with an amazing interception TD. That brings his total career interceptions to a staggering 324!
NOTE: The Brett Favre career fumbles record watch page as been added!
Your tax payer funded Obama bailout money made sure these guys had jobs. Aren’t you glad you’re part owner in Chrysler now?
Straight from the Sacramento Bee: “From 1986 until her retirement last year, Master Sgt. Toni Jaffe’s job with the California Army National Guard was to give away money — the federally subsidized student-loan repayments and cash bonuses — paid for by federal taxpayers nationwide — that the Guard is supposed to use to attract new recruits and encourage Guard members to reenlist…
For years, the auditor and other Guard officials alleged in interviews or internal documents obtained by The Sacramento Bee, California’s incentives program was operated as a slush fund that was doled out improperly to hundreds of soldiers with fabricated paperwork, scant supervision and little regard for the law…
Most student loan repayments, the documents show, were drawn from money designated for combat veterans. Yet a large portion of those funds went to Guard members who hadn’t served a day at war. Captains and majors were among those whom auditors think benefited improperly…
The documents show that by recruiters and officers up the chain of command overlooked or ignored her efforts. Some recruiters appear to have benefited personally…
On July 8, the managers who replaced Jaffe briefed Capt. Ronald S. Clark, a federal auditor who oversees funds spent by state Guard organizations, about her alleged lapses. A former police investigator, FBI agent and U.S. Secret Service officer, Clark has fought white-collar crime for years.
Still, he said, the scale and audacity of the corruption he encountered in reviewing the California program shocked him: Excluding $43 million in improper payments recently halted by Jaffe’s replacements, Clark estimated that $100 million was misspent. He called it “war profiteering.””
Staff Sergeant Robert J. Miller
United States Army
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:
Staff Sergeant Robert J. Miller distinguished himself by extraordinary acts of heroism while serving as the Weapons Sergeant in Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 3312, Special Operations Task Force-33, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan during combat operations against an armed enemy in Konar Province, Afghanistan on January 25, 2008. While conducting a combat reconnaissance patrol through the Gowardesh Valley, Staff Sergeant Miller and his small element of U.S. and Afghan National Army soldiers engaged a force of 15 to 20 insurgents occupying prepared fighting positions. Staff Sergeant Miller initiated the assault by engaging the enemy positions with his vehicle’s turret-mounted Mark-19 40 millimeter automatic grenade launcher while simultaneously providing detailed descriptions of the enemy positions to his command, enabling effective, accurate close air support.
Following the engagement, Staff Sergeant Miller led a small squad forward to conduct a battle damage assessment. As the group neared the small, steep, narrow valley that the enemy had inhabited, a large, well-coordinated insurgent force initiated a near ambush, assaulting from elevated positions with ample cover. Exposed and with little available cover, the patrol was totally vulnerable to enemy rocket propelled grenades and automatic weapon fire. As point man, Staff Sergeant Miller was at the front of the patrol, cut off from supporting elements, and less than 20 meters from enemy forces. Nonetheless, with total disregard for his own safety, he called for his men to quickly move back to covered positions as he charged the enemy over exposed ground and under overwhelming enemy fire in order to provide protective fire for his team.
While maneuvering to engage the enemy, Staff Sergeant Miller was shot in his upper torso. Ignoring the wound, he continued to push the fight, moving to draw fire from over one hundred enemy fighters upon himself. He then again charged forward through an open area in order to allow his teammates to safely reach cover. After killing at least 10 insurgents, wounding dozens more, and repeatedly exposing himself to withering enemy fire while moving from position to position, Staff Sergeant Miller was mortally wounded by enemy fire. His extraordinary valor ultimately saved the lives of seven members of his own team and 15 Afghanistan National Army soldiers. Staff Sergeant Miller’s heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty, and at the cost of his own life, are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Army.