Friday, July 6, 2012

Outside review of massacre at Fort Hood to be filed soon, calling for change at FBI

From Jihad Watch

This will be interesting. This report should, if it is worth anything, focus on the government's refusal to identify Hasan's motives properly, and excoriate its ridiculous classification of Hasan's murders as "workplace violence" rather than Islamic jihad. There do indeed need to be sweeping changes at the FBI and elsewhere, involving particularly the removal of those responsible for this willful blindness and unwillingness to face the reality of the jihad threat, and those who are collaborating with Islamic supremacist groups.

"Exclusive: Outside review of massacre at Fort Hood to be filed soon, calling for change at FBI," by Catherine Herridge for FoxNews.com, July 5 (thanks to David):
The final independent report on the 2009 Fort Hood massacre will include 18 formal recommendations for change at the FBI, Fox News has learned.
In a July 3 letter to Republican Rep. Frank Wolf, chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee that oversees FBI funding, Judge William Webster, who led the independent review, said it would be on FBI Director Robert Mueller's desk no later than July 13.
"The Final Report will exceed 150 single-spaced pages in length and include eighteen (18) formal recommendations for corrective and enhancing measures on matters ranging from FBI policies and operations to information systems infrastructure, review protocols and training."
Mueller tasked the now 88-year-old Webster, a former director of the FBI and CIA, with the review in December 2009. Characterizing his task as a “complex and lengthy assignment,” Webster wrote that his teams focused on the FBI and its more than a hundred Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs) and how they “handled and acted on counterterrorism intelligence before and after the shootings ... and the FBI’s remedial measures in the aftermath of Fort Hood.”
A five-month Fox News investigation, which aired on the ongoing series “Fox Files,” showed that the American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki used more than 60 email accounts while under FBI surveillance to connect with his followers, including the accused Fort Hood shooter, Army Maj. Nidal Hasan. Hasan faces a military trial on charges of murdering 13 and wounding more than 32 when he opened fire on the Texas base Nov. 5, 2009.
The information about Hasan’s contact with al-Awlaki, who was killed Sept. 30, 2011, in a CIA-led operation in Yemen, was never shared by the JTTF in Washington, D.C., with army investigators.
In summer 2009, the FBI's JTTF decided not to interview Hasan's Army supervisors because they were concerned about hurting his career. While Hasan’s performance reviews were positive, Fox News confirmed that Hasan openly saw suicide bombings as justified and cited the writings of Usama bin Laden on at least three occasions.
If there was a single point of failure, Hasan's email contact with a known terrorist was never connected to his radical statements as an Army officer and psychiatrist. Hasan’s statements so alarmed his fellow students at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C., that some fled the classroom.
Coming more than a decade after 9/11, Webster's review of the Fort Hood massacre is expected to be seen as a pivotal, outside assessment of whether the FBI has made the transition from a case-driven law enforcement culture where turf wars raged to an intelligence-driven organization that can more fully utilize analysts and share intelligence with other departments, including the military.
In a June 27 letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller, Wolf formally requested that a copy of the Webster Report, in draft or final form, be made available to Congress by July 15.
“I am deeply concerned that as we approach the third anniversary of the Fort Hood attack, this report has still not been released to the Congress or the American people.”
Wolf strongly suggested in the letter that the independent review, and ultimate release of the report, should not be delayed any longer.
“The independent review of this terrorist attack -- which occurred in the first year of the Obama Administration -- may not be released until near the end of his term. There is no excuse for such an important review to span nearly a full presidential term of office.
Wolf said both the Clinton and Bush administration ignored warnings before 9/11.
“I fear that now, as was then, the government is not doing enough to learn from past threats and attacks to prevent and prepare for future threats. People died in the attack on Fort Hood. We have to learn from this tragedy.”...
To Fix Health Care System, Put Consumers in Charge
By: Scott Rasmussen  / Townhall.com

To Fix Health Care System, Put Consumers in Charge
Democrats were riding high in the polls in 2006 and 2008, and one of their big issues was health care. Then, after passing the president's health care law, the politics shifted, and the issue helped sweep the GOP to victory in the 2010 midterm elections. A few months later, Republicans had a 14-point advantage in terms of voter trust on the health care issue.

Then, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan introduced his health care plan, and the lead disappeared. Neither party has an advantage on the issue now.

President Obama's plan is unpopular, and most want to see it repealed. Ryan's plan is unpopular, and few want to see it enacted. Both plans are unpopular because neither one puts consumers in charge of their own health care decisions. More than anything else, that lack of consumer control is the root cause of the health care problems facing our nation today.

Americans now pay a smaller share of their disposable income on out-of-pocket medical care than they did in 1960. Nearly nine out of every 10 dollars spent on medical care coverage is paid by either an insurance company or the government. Since someone else is paying the bills, someone else ends up making the big decisions about things that affect every individual's health care.

That is precisely what most Americans want to change. No one wants their health care choices being made by government officials, insurance companies or their employer. People want to make those important decisions themselves.

Putting consumers in charge would require pretty radical change, but it's the type of change voters could support. For example, consider a fairly typical situation where a company provides health insurance coverage for its workers. Rather than letting the company choose the plan, 82 percent believe that each worker should be allowed to use that money to pick his or her own insurance plan. If that plan ends up costing less than the official company plan, most believe the worker should be allowed to keep the change.

But giving consumers control of the money doesn't mean much unless they have a variety of competing insurance plans to consider. Three out of four voters think it's time to end the antitrust exemption granted to health insurance companies. Why? By a three-to-one margin, voters believe that increased competition among insurance companies would do more to reduce costs than increased government regulation.

Voters also want to reign in the government bureaucrats. Rather than letting the government define a one-size-fits-all insurance plan, 77 percent think individuals should have the right to choose between plans with a mix of higher deductibles and lower premiums or the reverse. Seventy-eight percent believe everyone should have the choice between more expensive plans that cover every medical procedure and lower cost plans that cover only major medical procedures.

To insure adequate choices, voters overwhelmingly believe that everyone should be allowed to buy insurance policies across state lines and that everyone should be able to purchase the same insurance coverage provided for members of Congress. Recognizing the importance of consumer incentives, most also believe insurance companies should be allowed to offer discounts to those who take care of themselves by exercising, eating well and not smoking.

Putting consumers in charge threatens the status quo in Washington, but it will give Americans a more responsive, less expensive system of medical care.
Global Warming Blame-ologists Play with Fire By: Michelle Malkin / Townhall.com

Global Warming Blame-ologists Play with Fire
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Good news: The Waldo Canyon fire, which forced 32,000 residents (including our family) to flee, claimed two lives and destroyed 347 homes, is now 100 percent contained. Bad news: Radical environmentalists won't stop blowing hot air about this year's infernal season across the West.

Al Gore slithered out of the political morgue to bemoan nationwide heat records and pimp his new "Climate Reality Project," which blames global warming for the wildfire outbreak. NBC meteorologist Doug Kammerer asserted: "If we did not have global warming, we wouldn't see this." Agriculture Department Undersecretary Harris Sherman, who oversees the Forest Service, claimed to the Washington Post: "The climate is changing, and these fires are a very strong indicator of that."

And the Associated Press (or rather, the Activist Press) lit the fear-mongering torch with an eco-propaganda piece titled "U.S. summer is what 'global warming will look like.'"

The problem is that the actual conclusions of scientists included in AP's screed don't back up the apocalyptic headline. As the reporter acknowledges under that panicky banner:

"Scientifically linking individual weather events to climate change takes intensive study, complicated mathematics, computer models and lots of time. Sometimes it isn't caused by global warming. Weather is always variable; freak things happen."

So, this U.S. summer may or may not really look like "what global warming looks like." Kinda. Sorta. Possibly. Possibly not.

Furthermore, the AP reporter concedes, the "global" nature of the warming and its supposed catastrophic events have "been local. Europe, Asia and Africa aren't having similar disasters now, although they've had their own extreme events in recent years."

A more hedging headline would have been journalistically responsible, but Chicken Little-ism better serves the global warming blame-ologists' agenda.

More inconvenient truths: As The Washington Times noted this week, the National Climatic Data Center shows that "Colorado has actually seen its average temperature drop slightly from 1998 to 2011, when data is collected only from rural stations and not those that have been urbanized since 1900."

Radical green efforts to block logging and timber sales in national forests since the 1990s are the real culprits. Wildlife mitigation experts point to incompetent forest management and militant opposition to thinning the timber fuel supply.

Another symptom of green obstructionism: widespread bark beetle infestations. The U.S. Forest Service itself reported last year:

"During the last part of the 20th century, widespread treatments in lodgepole pine stands that would have created age class diversity, enhanced the vigor of remaining trees, and improved stand resiliency to drought or insect attack -- such as timber harvest and thinning -- lacked public acceptance. Proposals for such practices were routinely appealed and litigated, constraining the ability of the Forest Service to manage what had become large expanses of even-aged stands susceptible to a bark beetle outbreak."

Capitulation to lawsuit-happy green thugs, in others, undermined "public acceptance" of common sense, biodiversity-preserving and lifesaving timber harvest and thinning practices.

Local, state and federal officials offered effusive praise for my fellow Colorado Springs residents who engaged in preventive mitigation efforts in their neighborhoods. The government flacks said it made a life-and-death difference. Yet, litigious environmental groups have sabotaged such mitigation efforts at the national level -- in effect, creating an explosive tinderbox out of the West.

Stoking global warming alarms may make for titillating headlines and posh Al Gore confabs. But it's a human blame avoidance strategy rooted in ideological extremism and flaming idiocy.

Space cadets: Obama, Perot to mine asteroids?

Google, Microsoft figures also back scheme to ‘help ensure humanity's prosperity’

120703spacecadetWhat does President Obama have in common with former presidential candidate Ross Perot, film director James Cameron and Google’s Larry Page and Eric Schmidt?

Each one supports a highly costly effort to land spacecraft on asteroids that has experts conflicted about the possibilities of success and whether the ultimate benefits outweigh the expense.

Cameron, Page, Schmidt and Perot are behind a private company, Planetary Resources, that is planning not only to land on an asteroid but mine it for resources.

The company seeks to launch the first in a series of space telescopes into low-Earth orbit in an attempt to find asteroids to potentially mine for profit. Once an asteroid is deemed worthy, the plan is to dispatch a robotic probe to assess the asteroid’s precious metal content and then send yet-to-be-developed robots to mine the asteroid.

The dreamy plan may be aided by Obama’s new directives to NASA. The president has reorganized the country’s space agency with the goal of landing on an asteroid.

In April 2010, Obama outlined NASA’s new path.

“By 2025, we expect new spacecraft designed for long journeys to allow us to begin the first-ever crewed missions beyond the moon into deep space,” he said. “We’ll start by sending astronauts to an asteroid for the first time in history.”

His new directives were immediately slammed by famed astronauts Neil Armstrong and Eugene Cernan, who both told a Senate Commerce Committee hearing that the space plans would harm NASA.

Cernan said Obama’s space budget projects either show extreme naiveté or a willingness to accept a “plan to dismantle America’s leadership in the world of human space exploration.”

Armstrong charged Obama’s space plan was “contrived by a very small group in secret.”

“I believe the president was poorly advised,” Armstrong said.

‘Comprehensive planetary regime’

One of Obama’s key advisers on the asteroid scheme was White House science adviser John Holdren.

Landing on an asteroid, Holdren argued, and giving it a well-timed nudge “would demonstrate once and for all that we’re smarter than the dinosaurs and can avoid what they didn’t.”

Holdren sent letters to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and the House Committee on Science and Technology to assign responsibilities to NASA that go beyond the agency’s mandate of tracking hazardous asteroids.

Holdren’s previous scientific statements have been questioned by some.

FrontPageMag.com noted Holdren has endorsed “surrender of sovereignty” to “a comprehensive Planetary Regime” that would control all the world’s resources, direct global redistribution of wealth, oversee the “de-development” of the West, control a World Army and taxation regime, and enforce world population limits.

Holdren collaborated with conspiracy theorist Paul Ehrlich, author of “The Population Bomb,” in which it was proclaimed: “The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s, the world will undergo famines – hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death.”

WND reported Holdren also predicted 1 billion people will die in “carbon-dioxide-induced famines” in a coming new ice age by 2020.

Holdren based his prediction on a theory that human emissions of carbon dioxide would produce a climate catastrophe causing global cooling, with a consequent reduction in agricultural production resulting in widespread disaster.

But Holdren also argued “global warming” might cancel global cooling. In their 1970s textbook “Ecoscience: Population, Resources and Environment,” last revised in 1977, Holdren, together with co-authors Paul and Anne Ehrlich, argued on page 687 that “a man-made warming trend might cancel out a natural cooling trend.”

Trillions to global GDP or titanic failure?

Meanwhile, the Planetary Resources company has pledged to mine asteroids and “create a new industry and a new definition of ‘natural resources’” and “help ensure humanity’s prosperity.”

The company claims it will “add trillions of dollars to the global GDP.”

Planetary Resources was founded by Peter Diamandis, who is behind the Ansari X-Prize spacecraft competition, and Eric Anderson, a co-founder of space-travel broker Space Adventures. Former NASA Mars program mission manager Chris Lewicki is president and chief engineer.

Cameron serves on the advisory board along with David Vaskevitch, Microsoft’s former chief technology officer.

Investors include Perot and Google’s Page and Schmidt.

NASA estimated it would cost about $2.6 billion to land on an asteroid and send it into Earth’s orbit.

The question is whether the asteroid plan, including NASA’s, can actually succeed.

Japan tried it in 2005, when it sent the spacecraft Hayabusa more than 4 billion kilometers. It twice landed on the asteroid Itokawa, broke down, came back to life after two years and headed home with failed or malfunctioning engines.

Even if a rover lands on an asteroid, it may not find materials profitable for mining.

In a special study on asteroid mining, the University of Utah pointed out that “without a sample returned from an asteroid, the evidence of mineral concentrations remains circumstantial.”

“Detailed asteroid reconnaissance by spacecraft has dramatically improved geologic models,” the study said, “but has only been carried out recently for a handful of asteroids.”

With research by Brenda J. Elliott

Op-ed:
Yet another apology by the Obama administration
By: Diane Sori

‘Aint we so special that yesterday Pakistan reopened the closed ground supply roads into Afghanistan...roads that we used for years until an unfortunate ‘incident’.

And how and why did this happen...it happened because Secretary of State Hillary Clinton APOLOGIZED for America, folks...she APOLOGIZED as if our military did something wrong!

Blackmail...the very word brings to mind images of deceit and deception; blackmail...something the United States of America has never fallen party to before the presidency of Barack Hussein Obama; blackmail...the ruse used by Pakistan to bait us into an apology in order to defame and dishonor our brave men and women in uniform and to get more money from us.

And Barack Hussein Obama and Hillary Clinton took the bait hook, line, and sinker as expected they would.

But let’s go back to the beginning...this past Tuesday, at Obama’s insistence, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton officially apologized to Pakistan for the ‘supposed’ errant airstrikes that resulted in the deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers by US helicopters and fighter jets during a time of war...DURING A TIME OF WAR!

Because of Barack Hussein Obama, America is once again apologizing for ‘enemy’ deaths DURING A TIME OF WAR where it’s kill or be killed.  And let me make it very clear...Pakistan is our ‘enemy’ when it suits them to be, which is most of the time.  This newest apology by the Obama administration turns my stomach and makes my blood boil as this miserable pathetic excuse of a president has chosen yet again NOT to stand by our military’s actions but instead has chosen to grovel before a country that has proven time and again that it’s no friend of ours.

And what did we get for this wonderful apology...we got Islamabad agreeing to re-open ground supply roads running from the Port of Karachi to US and NATO military bases in Afghanistan, roads to be used for the transport of food, fuel, and other non-lethal supplies...as in NO military equipment that might aid our troops will be allowed on these roads.  And to make matters worse, these roads have been used by our suppliers and troops for years, and these were roads that the Pakistani military was supposed to help us guard against attack.

Back on November 26, 2011, US combat helicopters defended our troops by attacking two Pakistani border posts after Pakistani troops opened fire on US troops on the Afghan side of the border.   Pakistani troops knowingly and with deliberate malice and intent killed US troops, yet we were the ones to issue an apology.

Something is very wrong with this picture.

And could it be that these border posts were indeed specifically targeted because not only were they used to fire on our troops, but could it be that through these posts jihadists and terrorists entered and left the country unhindered, taking a body toll on our troops as they did.

“We are sorry for the losses suffered by the Pakistani military” bloviated Hillary Clinton as Obama’s de facto mouthpiece.  What about the losses of our troops, has anyone ever apologized for those...I don’t hear any takers on that one do I Mr. Obama and I never will.  

And now with our apology we get to continue paying $250 per truck for the use of the Pakistani roads just as we had before they shut them down.  And we get to continue to pay ‘coalition support funds’ to reimburse Pakistan for logistical and military support Pakistan gives us against militants.

Now is that a joke or what as the words militants and Pakistan are synonymous in their meaning.  Militants and jihads routinely operate and move in and out of Pakistan as the Pakistani government turns a blind eye. In fact, Pakistan actually encourages and supports them in their actions against us and Obama knows it, yet to them he will grovel and beg.  And through Hillary’s apology he again bows down to those out to kill us.

So, were the airstrikes really an unfortunate mistake as Obama and Hillary claimed and apologized for...I don’t think so.  I think our military knew exactly what they were doing and that it needed to be done. 

Remember, this is war...a war on terror and terror attacks can come from those even ‘supposedly’ on our side, including from our very own White House.