Archive for the ‘Military’ Category
A decorated soldier who participated in the Somalia battle immortalized by Hollywood blockbuster “Black Hawk Down” was reportedly found dead in his Georgia home earlier this month.
Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Gallagher, 52, died of natural causes as a result of a heart condition, the Army Times reports. He served as the command sergeant major for the Army’s Wounded Warrior Program, but had extensive experience in major combat operations, including Operation Just Cause in Panama and with Task Force Ranger in Mogadishu, Somalia, which was later made famous by the 2001 film.
“You know, I don’t say this lightly, but Bob is probably one of, probably the best soldier I ever served with, retired Col. Greg Gadson told the newspaper. “That man really cared about soldiers.”
Born in Bayonne, N.J., Gallagher joined the Army in 1981 and later earned several awards and decorations, including a Silver Star, two Purple Hearts and two Bronze Stars. He earned the Silver Star in 2002 during Operation Iraqi Freedom as troops advanced from Kuwait to Baghdad, when he suffered a leg wound but continued to direct his men.
“The best day and worst day of my life was when I served in Mogadishu, Somalia, on October 3, 1993, as part of Task Force Ranger,” Gallagher said in 2010. “It was the worst day, because we lost 18 soldiers and 84 others, including myself, were wounded. It was the best day of my life because it showed the incredible performance of our warriors in long-protracted battle under extraordinary circumstances in an urban environment. Throughout it all, the warriors that fought that day performed in a manner that was consistent with the values of our nation, and I was very proud of that.”
There had never been a case of Ebola in the U.S. until a few months ago. Since then, thousands of people have died of the disease in Africa, and millions upon millions of dollars have been spent treating Ebola patients in the U.S. who acquired it there, one of whom has died.
But the Obama administration refuses to impose a travel ban.
This summer, the U.S. government imposed a travel ban on Israel simply to pressure Prime Minister Netanyahu into accepting a ceasefire agreement. But we can’t put a travel restriction on countries where a contagious disease is raging.
It’s becoming increasingly clear this is just another platform for Obama to demonstrate that we are citizens of the world. The entire Ebola issue is being discussed — by our government, not the United Nations — as if Liberians are indistinguishable from Americans, and U.S. taxpayers should be willing to pay whatever it takes to save them.
Maybe we should give them the vote, too! If Ebola was concentrated in Finland and Norway — certainly Israel! — we’d have had a travel ban on Day One.
Naturally, Obama is sending troops from the 101st Airborne, the pride of our Army, to Liberia. Their general should resign in protest.
Quite obviously, the only way to protect Americans is to prevent Ebola from coming here in the first place. The problem isn’t that Ebola will leap across oceans to infect Americans; it’s that Obama doesn’t want to protect Americans.
At least he’s only putting expendable Americans on the frontlines of the Ebola epidemic — doctors, nurses, members of the 101st Airborne.
Rest assured if Tahmooressi were black, ol’ Jesse Jackson have been down there seeking his release…
This past Sunday, President Obama played his 200th round of golf as president of the United States. And tragically, it has been just over 200 days that Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, a decorated U.S. Marine Corps combat veteran, has languished in a Mexican jail.
In April, Tahmooressi crossed the southern border at San Ysidro by mistake after taking a wrong turn; he was stopped by Mexican officials who found three U.S.-registered guns in his truck. Since Mexico has extremely strict firearms laws, he was taken into custody.
The ensuing six months have been a nightmare for 25-year-old Tahmooressi, who has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress (PTS) stemming from his combat service, and his family. In April, Tahmooressi even attempted to take his own life. Mexican authorities have dragged their feet on the case.
In response, several U.S. government authorities have shown diligence and commitment to the cause of securing Tahmooressi’s release. The U.S. State Department has maintained an open line of communication with the Mexican government on the matter, and the House Foreign Affairs Committee has advocated forcefully for the Marine’s release.
Yet missing in action is the voice of Tahmooressi’s commander in chief—President Barack Obama. When will the president weigh in on behalf of this decorated combat veteran held unjustly in foreign captivity?
Six months into Tahmooressi’s captivity, the president has yet to place a phone call to his counterpart in Mexico, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to discuss the matter and to urge the Marine’s release. But from the president, nothing is heard and when asked, the president’s spokesman punts responsibility to the State Department.
Nor has the president even picked up the phone to contact Tahmooressi’s mother, Jill, who has worked tirelessly on her son’s behalf and recently testified before a Congressional subcommittee about her family’s plight (a hearing at which I also testified on Tahmooressi’s behalf, along with talk show host and Marine veteran Montel Williams).
Bowe Bergdahl Desertion Investigation Complete – But With Election Day Looming Report Will Not Be Released
The Army has completed its investigation into Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s 2009 disappearance from his post in Afghanistan that led to his subsequent capture by the Taliban, according to a news report Thursday.
A report by the investigating officer, Brig. Gen. Kenneth Dahl, is now being reviewed by commanders, but will not be released, according to the San Antonio Express-News.
Army spokesman Wayne Hall said the review process likely would be lengthy, and that “the Army’s priority is ensuring that our process is thorough, factually accurate, impartial, and legally correct,” according to the report.
The Army is looking into whether Bergdahl had deserted his post in Afghanistan or was away without leave before he was captured, which would be violations of, and punishable, under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
President Barack Obama has spent more time golfing than he has spent listening to daily intelligence briefings.
The Daily Caller has calculated that he’s spent almost 700 hours in 875 “Presidential Daily Briefings” since 2009.
But he’s also spent roughly 800 hours on almost 200 golf trips since his first inauguration.
Obama’s golf trips typically last four and half hours, including one hour on the road. The longest trip took about six hours, according to regular reports from the media pool that follows the president on trips outside the White House.
In contrast, President George W. Bush largely gave up golfing during the Iraq campaign, from 2003 to 2008.
The daily briefing calculations are based on a new report by the Florida-based Government Accountability Institute, which reported Sept. 30 that Obama has attended 875 Presidential Daily Briefings over the course of his presidency.
Those briefings allow top intelligence officials to share their latest intelligence data on security threats, and also to focus the president’s attention on growing or novel problems.
The formal intelligence briefings usually last 45 minutes, according to the “daily guidance” schedules issued each evening by the White House. That time adds up to about 700 hours, so far.
While the Department of Homeland Security downplays possible U.S. threats from the Islamic State, Army intelligence has issued its own warning to military personnel about the possibility of an attack against them on U.S. soil.
The Army Threat Integration Center (ARTIC) issued a special assessment warning on Islamic State threats against the homeland that was more foreboding than recent comments from Homeland Security officials, even while acknowledging the intelligence community has no specific intelligence of a plot on the American soil.
“Given the continued rhetoric being issued by ISIL’s media services and supporters through various social media platforms the ARTIC is concerned of the possibility of an attack. Soldiers, Government Civilians and Family Members are reminded to be vigilant of their surroundings and report suspicious activities to their respective military or local law enforcement,” the declassified assessment says, using an acronym for the Islamic State.
A new Government Accountability Institute (GAI) report reveals that President Barack Obama has attended only 42.1% of his daily intelligence briefings (known officially as the Presidential Daily Brief, or PDB) in the 2,079 days of his presidency through September 29, 2014.
The GAI report also included a breakdown of Obama’s PDB attendance record between terms; he attended 42.4% of his PDBs in his first term and 41.3% in his second.
The GAI’s alarming findings come on the heels of Obama’s 60 Minutes comments on Sunday, wherein the president laid the blame for the Islamic State’s (ISIS) rapid rise squarely at the feet of his Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.
“I think our head of the intelligence community, Jim Clapper, has acknowledged that I think they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria,” said Obama.
According to Daily Beast reporter Eli Lake, members of the Defense establishment were “flabbergasted” by Obama’s attempt to shift blame.
“Either the president doesn’t read the intelligence he’s getting or he’s bullshitting,” a former senior Pentagon official “who worked closely on the threat posed by Sunni jihadists in Syria and Iraq” told the Daily Beast.
On Monday, others in the intelligence community similarly blasted Obama and said he’s shown longstanding disinterest in receiving live, in-person PDBs that allow the Commander-in-Chief the chance for critical followup, feedback, questions, and the challenging of flawed intelligence assumptions.
“It’s pretty well-known that the president hasn’t taken in-person intelligence briefings with any regularity since the early days of 2009,” an Obama national security staffer told the Daily Mail on Monday. “He gets them in writing.”
The Obama security staffer said the president’s PDBs have contained detailed threat warnings about the Islamic State dating back to before the 2012 presidential election.
Late last week, House Speaker John Boehner endorsed the idea of holding a Congressional vote to authorize the President’s war against the Islamic State, but said that he preferred waiting until the new Congress takes office in January to do so:
With American airstrikes in Syria continuing, Speaker John A. Boehner is increasingly convinced that Congress must hold a full debate on granting President Obama the authority to use military force against terrorists.
“I have made it clear that I think the House and the Congress itself should speak,” the speaker said in an exclusive, wide-ranging interview with First Draft.
But Mr. Boehner believes a post-election, lame-duck session is the wrong time for such a weighty decision.
There’s just one problem with Speaker Boehner’s position, and it has to do with the fact that he could have scheduled a vote before the midterm elections, or even reconvened Congress before Labor Day to give members time to adequately debate this issue, if he wanted to.
So, in some sense, Boehner is right that it should be the 114th Congress that decides this issue at this point, but because of his own failure to bring this matter before Congress sooner that debate will be essentially meaningless anyway.
We’re being had. Again.
For six years, President Obama has endeavored to will the country into accepting two pillars of his alternative national-security reality. First, he claims to have dealt decisively with the terrorist threat, rendering it a disparate series of ragtag jayvees. Second, he asserts that the threat is unrelated to Islam, which is innately peaceful, moderate, and opposed to the wanton “violent extremists” who purport to act in its name.
Now, the president has been compelled to act against a jihad that has neither ended nor been “decimated.” The jihad, in fact, has inevitably intensified under his counterfactual worldview, which holds that empowering Islamic supremacists is the path to security and stability. Yet even as war intensifies in Iraq and Syria — even as jihadists continue advancing, continue killing and capturing hapless opposition forces on the ground despite Obama’s futile air raids — the president won’t let go of the charade.
Hence, Obama gives us the Khorosan Group.
There is a reason that no one had heard of such a group until a nanosecond ago, when the “Khorosan Group” suddenly went from anonymity to the “imminent threat” that became the rationale for an emergency air war there was supposedly no time to ask Congress to authorize.
The “Khorosan Group” is al-Qaeda. It is simply a faction within the global terror network’s Syrian franchise, “Jabhat al-Nusra.”
As these columns have long contended, Obama has not quelled our enemies; he has miniaturized them. The jihad and the sharia supremacism that fuels it form the glue that unites the parts into a whole — a worldwide, ideologically connected movement rooted in Islamic scripture that can project power on the scale of a nation-state and that seeks to conquer the West. The president does not want us to see the threat this way.
On the day Attorney General Eric Holder announced his resignation, President Barack Obama enacted an executive action on Thursday to allow certain DREAMers to serve in the military and be put on an expedited path to citizenship.
Obama vowed to hold off on broad executive amnesty that would also potentially grant temporary work permits to millions of illegal immigrants until after the midterm elections to help Senate Democrats retain the Senate. According to the Military Times, this executive action will expand MAVNI (Military Accessions in the National Interest) “to target foreign nationals with high-demand skills, mostly rare foreign language expertise, or specialized health care training.”
The program, which admits foreigners with specialized medical or language skills, will now be “open to immigrants without a proper visa if they came to the U.S. with their parents before age 16″ and have been approved for Obama’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
The MAVNI program “is capped at 1,500 recruits per year,” and Obama’s executive action “may be the first phase of a broader government-wide effort to ease pressure on immigrants and create new paths to citizenship,” according to the Times, because “after entering military service, foreigners are eligible for expedited U.S. citizenship.” The Times noted that “since 2001, more than 92,000 foreign-born service members have become citizens while serving in uniform.”