One of the staunchest allies Israel has ever had in the Senate was Daniel Inouye of Hawaii. Former chair of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, and, at 88, the most senior member of the Senate, Inouye passed away yesterday. And so I begin with a salute to him.
On learning of the Senator’s death, Israeli Ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, released a statement:
“When he was still a soldier, recovering from the loss of an arm in combat, Senator Inouye learned about the Holocaust and began a lifelong attachment to the Jewish people and, later, to Israel. His dedication to Israel’s security was unswerving.
“Our people owe him an immense historic debt. The Iron Dome system that recently intercepted hundreds of terrorist rockets aimed at our homes stands as enduring proof of his commitment to the defense of the Jewish State.”
Oren told Inouye’s family, “The State of Israel grieves with you.”
And from this, I move to the subject of former Senator Chuck Hagel, who, according to many media reports — starting with Bloomberg — have pegged him as the one most likely to be named by President Obama as the successor to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, who is planning to retire next year. A very troubling possibility.
Abraham Foxman, the Director of ADL, wrote to Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin that,.“His record relating to Israel and the U.S.-Israel relationship is, at best, disturbing, and at worst, very troubling. The sentiments he’s expressed about the Jewish lobby border on anti-Semitism in the genre of professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt and former president Jimmy Carter.”
And a host of commentators have expressed concern about the possibility that Hagel would be pegged for the position:
Bret Stephens, in his piece in the Wall Street Journal, “Chuck Hagel’s Jewish Problem,” observed that:
“Prejudice—like cooking, wine-tasting and other consummations—has an olfactory element. When Chuck Hagel, the former GOP senator from Nebraska who is now a front-runner to be the next secretary of Defense, carries on about how ‘the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here,’ the odor is especially ripe.”
Ed Koch, in an interview with Algemeiner, said:
“I believe it would be a terrible appointment, and so do apparently most of the Jewish leaders who have expressed themselves.
“Such an appointment would give great comfort to the Arab world that would think that President Obama is seeking to put space between Israel and his administration. I hope he doesn’t go forward with that appointment.”
Earlier, ZOA president Mort Klein had told Algemeiner that “There is only a handful of senators that have been openly hostile to Israel and Chuck Hagel is one of them.”
Well, it’s not a done deal yet and perhaps will never happen (see following), but in my book the fact that Hagel is, according to all reports, a front runner on Obama’s list speaks volumes about Obama.
It’s not terribly different from what I said about Mahmoud Abbas: the unity government with Hamas may never become a reality, but as Abbas is willing to consider it, we can learn a good deal about his intentions.
So too with Obama. What can we surmise from the fact that he is seriously considering appointing to his cabinet someone who has been openly hostile to Israel?
A prime reason why I say Hagel’s nomination to the post may never happen is because there seems yet someone else who may be in the serious running: Michele Flournoy, the current deputy defense secretary.
According to Ron Kampeas, in a piece that has just come out on the JTA website, there is enthusiasm for Flournoy because “under Obama [she] has been at the nexus of the U.S.-Israel defense relationship — the area of the relationship where close working relationships have flourished (as opposed to the diplomatic arena, where there have been tensions).”
Kampeas details the enthusiasm of several individuals plus the reasons why she might be a shoo-in.
Hat Tip: BB
By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
Leftist filmmaker Michael Moore’s website proudly features a video of MSNBC’s erratic and unstable commentator Lawrence O’Donnell referring to NRA official Wayne LaPierre as “blood-drenched” because the organization favors the Second Amendment right of self-defense. O’Donnell, one of several commentators on the channel who demonize conservative groups and individuals, was trying to somehow connect the gun rights organization to the mass murder at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. O’Donnell utterly failed to establish any kind of factual link between the NRA and that crime, which was carried out by a madman in violation of numerous “gun control” laws.
But Moore’s opposition to bloody murder in Newtown, Connecticut, was shocking for another reason. It turns out that, on the very day of the massacre, he was appearing in New York City at a concert seeking President Obama’s release of convicted killer Leonard Peltier from prison. Peltier is serving two consecutive life sentences for the execution-style murders of FBI Special Agents Jack Coler and Ronald Williams in 1975.
If anyone is blood-drenched, it is Peltier and those who support him.
Joining Moore at the event, designed to raise money for a propaganda campaign on Peltier’s behalf, was Common, a black “rap artist” known for “A Song for Assata,” in honor of a convicted cop-killer who escaped from prison and is now hiding out in Cuba. Common performed at the White House in 2011.
Common told AP that he researched the Peltier case before deciding to appear on his behalf. “I did my own due diligence,” he claimed. This “research,” if really done, would have determined that Peltier’s conviction has withstood multiple appeals to different courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.
An official FBI summary of the case notes, “Normally, a federal criminal defendant is entitled to a single court-appointed attorney chosen by rotation. Peltier received five lawyers—two as trial attorneys and three as investigators. All were chosen by Peltier, rather than the normal rotation process, and all were paid for by the government. The defense received almost double the normal number of preemptory challenges during jury selection. Peltier’s lawyers were allowed to personally question the jury, which is highly unusual in federal criminal cases. The trial court provided daily transcripts of testimony to the defense, a very expensive measure which is rarely allowed. After his conviction, Peltier was allowed to dismiss four of his five trial attorneys and hire new ones for his appeals. Peltier’s arguments have been presented repeatedly to a U.S. Magistrate, three U.S. District Court Judges, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. The U.S. Supreme Court has twice denied requests to hear the case after reviewing defense arguments.”
AP reporter John Carucci was clearly sympathetic to the cause of getting him released, noting that “Peltier’s advocates say he has been in poor health in recent years,” as if getting old and sick in prison is sufficient to get clemency from Obama. AP also assured its readers that Common affirms, “he’s not soft on crime.”
During the Leonard Peltier concert on December 14 at the Beacon Theatre in New York City, Michael Moore declared, “I like to say that I sort of agree with the NRA when they say, ‘Guns don’t kill people, people kill people,’ except I would just modify that a bit and say, ‘Guns don’t kill people, Americans kill people,’ because that’s what we do.”
He went on, “We invade countries. We send drones in to kill civilians. We’ve got five wars going on right now where our soldiers are killing people—I mean, five that we know of. We are on the short list of illustrious countries who have the death penalty. We believe it’s okay to kill you when you’ve committed a crime.”
He claimed “other forms of violence” include people without health insurance. “All the wrong people are in prison in this country,” he proclaimed.
These comments are even more bizarre in view of the fact that he was appearing specifically on behalf of a convicted murderer.
In official testimony, the FBI has described how their agents were killed during a shootout with Peltier and his associates, all of whom were members of the American Indian Movement. Special Agents Coler and Williams had been wounded but their wounds were not fatal. An FBI official said Peltier “approached these two agents as they lay on the ground, wounded and disabled,” and “then shot both agents at point-blank range.”
Yet, Moore is urging Obama to release this cold-blooded killer from prison.
The “Bring Leonard Peltier Home 2012” concert also featured Harry Belafonte, the Marxist actor who raised money for Democrat Elizabeth Warren in her successful Massachusetts Senate race, Jackson Browne and communist folksinger Pete Seeger.
The left-wing program Democracy Now!, which is being carried by three dozen taxpayer-supported public television stations, hailed Moore’s “poetic plea” to Obama to release the killer from prison. Program host Amy Goodman followed with an interview of Peltier, in which she encouraged him to deliver a message to Obama. He asked Obama to “turn me loose.”
As Accuracy in Media has previously reported, support for Peltier does exist in the “progressive” ranks of the Democratic Party as well as Hollywood. Even Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is on record in favor of executive clemency for him. Actor Robert Redford narrated a 1992 film, “Incident at Ogala,” about the case, and insisted in an interview with Goodman that Peltier was somehow framed by the FBI.
The Moscow-funded propaganda channel Russia Today came to Peltier’s defense as well, calling him an “Indian activist” who opposed racism and injustice.
As part of the propaganda campaign, supporters of Peltier renamed Thanksgiving Day the “Native American Day of Mourning.” Banners proclaiming “Free Leonard Peltier” were on display during the event.
As part of its “Teaching Tolerance” project, the Southern Poverty Law Center runs an “activity” for students called “Thanksgiving Mourning,” which promoted the United American Indians of New England as a resource. Its site also calls for Peltier’s release.
Peltier was denied parole in 2009 and won’t be eligible again until 2024. Their only hope for his freedom from prison now lies with Obama.
For his part, Obama is quoted by a pro-Peltier website as saying, “Get me the political support,” and then he will free the killer.
The Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee is confident, declaring in an email message to supporters, “We believe that President Obama will sign the order that sets Leonard free!”
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected].
Hat Tip: BB
By: Nelson Abdullah
Conscience of a Conservative
If love is the most powerful force in the universe, then sorrow has to be the most powerful emotion. And there are many people of questionable character who will take advantage of these truths and use them to promote their personal agendas. There are other truths that also cannot be denied and one more is that evil has existed in our world since God created Adam and Eve and Satan tempted Eve to eat the forbidden fruit. After Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden, their son Cain was tempted by evil and he killed his brother Able with a rock, the only weapon he had, and mankind has been plagued by murderous urges ever since. And only the choice of weapons has evolved. Evil, has many weaknesses, one of which is that those who are evil are usually cowards. Cowards who prey upon the weak and the defenseless. Those areas of our country where gun laws are less strict and citizens are allowed to carry them for self-defense have far less incidents of violence because would-be attackers never know who might be carrying a gun for protection. Those areas where guns are banned then become the ripe targets for attackers. Schools and college campuses are some of those prime areas. It is as if they all hung out a large sign that proclaimed WE ARE UNARMED. Israel used to be one of those countries that banned guns in schools until they got sick and tired of terrorists attacking their schools and killing their children. After they changed the law and Israeli teachers were taught how to use guns for self-defense and they were authorized to carry them, the terrorist attacks stopped. Texas also has similar laws in their schools but most schools in America follow a culture written by academics who strongly oppose guns to the point of creating a zero tolerance policy for anything that suggests a gun. Schools have become so paranoid over guns that they have suspended children who even drew a picture of a gun. And schools have proudly announced to every would be psychopath that THERE ARE NO GUNS HERE – WE ARE UNARMED.
Right now, following the horrific mass murders of little children at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, there are people who wish to turn this tragedy into a cause to ban certain types of guns called assault weapons as a precursor to outlawing every gun in America. As columnist Jacob Sullum once wrote, “the very term ‘assault weapon’ was invented by the anti-gun lobby as a way of blurring the distinction between semi-automatic firearms, which fire once per trigger pull, and machine guns such as the selective-fire assault rifles carried by soldiers.” The term Assault Weapon is as vague in its definition as the older term used years ago called Saturday Night Specials that supposedly meant cheap handguns but included almost every handgun on the market. The former is supposed to represent military grade weapons but the facts are that military weapons are fully automatic machine guns capable of firing multiple rounds of bullets with one squeeze on the trigger while commercial grade assault rifles are all semi-automatic and only fire one bullet with each squeeze on the trigger and are much slower to operate. Many rifles used for hunting are semi-automatic and differ only in style and capacity. As far as capacity goes, it would make no difference if the shooter had 30-round clips or 10-round clips, because the clips can allow the weapon to be quickly reloaded. Commercial grade assault rifles only appear to look like their military cousins. The real argument is just that they are scary to some people but to others they are just cool. But to tyrants who wish to become dictators, ALL guns in the hands of citizens are their greatest threat to success. And history has proved this fact over and over again.
When the subject of tyrants and dictators enter the equation of gun control then we begin to think about insidious schemes to disarm the people who would oppose them. Schemes planned and committed by people totally devoid of any moral or ethical scruples. And when money is added to the argument, the point of discussion turns to corruption, as we all know that “All power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. And when vast sums of money are involved, Billions of dollars instead of merely Millions of dollars, then you can be assured that something very bad is going on. So now it is worth looking at some information about who the shooters were in the last two mass homicides in America, Aurora, Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut. Some information not widely reported that suggests more of a conspiracy than a coincidence exists between these two events.
Fabian4Liberty web site has discovered these very interesting details.
The father of Newtown Connecticut school shooter Adam Lanza is Peter Lanza who is a VP and Tax Director at GE Financial. The father of Aurora Colorado movie theater shooter James Holmes is Robert Holmes, the lead scientist for the credit score company FICO. Both men were to testify before the US Sentate in the ongoing LIBOR scandal. The London Interbank Offered Rate, known as Libor, is the average interest rate at which banks can borrow from each other. 16 international banks have been implicated in this ongoing scandal, accused of rigging contracts worth trillions of dollars. HSBC has already been fined $1.9 billion and three of their low level traders arrested.
The Libor scandal is a series of fraudulent actions connected to the Libor (London Interbank Offered Rate) and the resulting investigation and reaction. The Libor is an average interest rate calculated through submissions of interest rates by major banks in London. The scandal arose when it was discovered that banks were falsely inflating or deflating their rates so as to profit from trades, or to give the impression that they were more creditworthy than they were. Libor underpins approximately $700 trillion in derivatives. It is controlled by the British Bankers’ Association (BBA). I am of the opinion that exposing this fraud will expose the fraud behind this entire banker run economic paradigm. If they manipulate LIBOR then I am confident they are manipulating everything else in the world of finance.
These are men that are not implicated as perpetrators of the rate manipulations, rather, they are the men who can provide the evidence that these manipulations are taking place. Holmes is the man who literally wrote the algorithm that detects such fraud, he is the leading expert in the world in this subject matter, and Lanza is a man with access to revenue records that will show just how much was gained through the manipulations of credit rates.
What does all of this mean?
Now that we have the facts, what do we do with them? What does all of this mean? Is it just an uncanny coincidence? Is there a more insidious plot behind this? This is where it is up to you to draw your own conclusions based on the facts.
Lanza and Holmes were and still are key witnesses in the LIBOR scandal. They hold critical information that would blow the lid off the biggest banker fraud in the history of the world.
Is it a conspiracy or a coincidence that the recent mass murders in America this year had this connection? The Congressional hearings into the LIBOR banking scandal have been widely reported. I don’t know if it is just a coincidence or not but this is just one aspect of the blizzard of emotional coverage that no one is bothering to mention on the major news programs. No matter if it was a conspiracy or a coincidence, the two men who were planning on testifying before Congress now have other things to think about and that may impact what they say since they now know there is a connection here between themselves. The British banking giant HSBC has been fined $1.9 billion and three of their low level traders arrested. This was one of the stories reported and just this morning another banking giant, UBS, pleaded guilty in the LIBOR scandal. The huge amount of the fines indicate the vast scope of the criminal activities. Another perspective on the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting is that the liberals are in a lather to push gun control once again but other angles are being overlooked or buried. Money is power and power corrupts and when there are billions of dollars involved you can be sure the scope of the corruption is just a big.
Another part of the news reporting from Newtown, Connecticut has been concerned with the sloppy and inaccurate reporting. On the CBS News show, Scott Pelley admitted that the original news reports on the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting contained numerous errors. The killer’s mother, Nancy Lanza, had no connection to the school and the gun used to murder the children was, in fact, a .223 caliber assault rifle. What else isn’t being reported? On our local Cincinnati news more than one law enforcement officer called for schools to have a least one person armed and trained in the use of firearms in the school at all times the classes were in session. In reading the various news coverage from around the country today there were reports from other communities calling for the same thing. So much is the difference between national news coverage from the liberal news media in big cities and local coverage in smaller towns and cities. There are significant comparisons in other countries to gun policies in American schools. Years ago, Islamic terrorists routinely targeted Israeli schools because just as in America they were all gun-free zones until the government began to arm Israeli teachers. After doing this the terrorists stopped trying to kill Jewish school children because they were cowards. Our national news media doesn’t talk about this either just as they seldom mention the successful way that Israel handles airline passenger screening to stop Islamic terrorists.
Israeli teacher carrying a gun to protect her young students.
The phobia surrounding guns in America is as much to blame for the deaths of school children as was the homicidal maniac who pulled the trigger. But it goes against the motives of the gun-control advocates to place the blame where it belongs. Just as the same leftist news media who are reporting the daily cries of grief over the dead children to stir up the emotions, also hid the communist connections and Marxist/Socialist associations of Barack Hussein Obama to enable voters to reelect him. Now some in the media are saying that Obama is not taking a strong enough position to oppose gun ownership but are omitting the fact that he is simply waiting for the moment that the United Nations gun ban treaty comes before the U.S. Senate. Then the true nature and character of our politicians will be seen when they succumb to this emotional crisis. And the final straw will be when Barack Hussein Obama makes a public display of washing his hands of any complicity in the disarming of America just as Pontius Pilate did at the trial of Jesus Christ.
My name is Nelson Abdullah and I am Oldironsides.
The horror! Americans should be so tortured these days.
Per Dan Friedman (who is absolutely right):
It’s hard to believe Israel has forced the Arabs living in the “occupied territories” to endure these horrible conditions. Probably the worst in the Middle East.
Hat Tip: Nancy Jacques
Hat Tip: BB