Hat Tip: BB
By: James Simpson
Accuracy in Media
The news was filled last week with breathless headlines: “Scott Walker part of ‘criminal scheme,’” declared The Washington Post. The Milwaukee (Wisconsin) Journal Sentinel, which is intimately familiar with the facts of this case, nonetheless headlined “John Doe prosecutors allege Scott Walker at center of ‘criminal scheme.’” The New York Times, all the networks, CNN, MSNBC, Time.com and all the other usual suspects chimed in with a deafening cacophony of alarm, using the same “Walker at center of criminal scheme” headlines. Even Forbes took the bait.
In a year saturated with false, misleading or downright fraudulent misreporting from the left-wing biased mass media, this disgraceful bit of propaganda vies for first place. The court documents in this formerly secret investigation were not new, and the case has been thrown out of court and declared illegal, not once but twice.
Not only were the same headlines used, but most news outlets used the same dishonest technique to make this old information sound like it was breaking news. Politico’s lead paragraph reads:
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker participated in a “criminal scheme” to coordinate fundraising for Republicans trying to beat back efforts to recall him and state senators from office, local prosecutors argue in court documents released Thursday.
Politico lies. By stating it in the present tense as, “prosecutors argue in court documents released Thursday,” Politico implies the allegations are current. These documents are from last year and have only been unsealed because these same prosecutors are now being sued by their former victims for their rampant abuse of the legal system.
In fact, the whole thing stinks.
We now know that this document dump, authorized by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, was requested by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, a leftwing media advocacy group representing a who’s who of the mainstream media. The prosecutors, who had earlier asked that documents remain sealed, did an about face and sided with the Reporters Committee. Furthermore, it was the prosecutors who cherry picked the documents to be released. So the media are not merely mischaracterizing the release of these documents, it is almost certain that this was a planned ambush.
This so-called “John Doe” secret investigation originally subpoenaed over 100 Wisconsin conservative groups, seeking to uncover illegal campaign coordination between these groups and Governor Walker. This included at least five pre-dawn, SWAT-style raids on the homes of some of the targets last October. Because the investigation was secret, conservative groups were silenced on the eve of an important election year. The Wall Street Journal observed that “the ‘coordination’ prosecutors have decried in Scott Walker’s case is nearly identical to the ‘coordination’ employed during the 2012 presidential campaign on behalf of President Obama.”
Sound familiar? In addition to restraining conservative groups during the 2012 elections, the IRS probe has recently revealed that Lois Lerner conspired with Justice Department officials to explore the possibility of criminally prosecuting conservative groups, just for applying for non-profit status. It appears that the Wisconsin prosecutors were way ahead of them.
But they have been stopped in their tracks, not once but twice. John Doe presiding judge Gregory Peterson ruled in January that prosecutors had found no “criminal scheme,” denied their subpoenas and ordered them to return property seized in the raids. Prosecutors appealed the ruling.
In February, the Wisconsin Club for Growth and its president, Eric O’Keefe, sued the prosecutors in federal court, arguing that the investigation violated their First Amendment rights. Presiding U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Randa agreed. He argued that the prosecutors were attempting to classify free speech as a criminal activity, and that the victims’ lawsuit was “likely to succeed.” He concluded:
The plaintiffs have been shut out of the political process merely by association with conservative politicians. This cannot square with the First Amendment and what it was meant to protect.” He ordered all records sealed and the investigation stopped immediately. Predictably, the prosecutors appealed that too.
Judge Randa also criticized last week’s document release, saying that prosecutors are now seeking “refuge in the Court of Public Opinion, having lost in this Court of law.”
A Litany of Lies
Wisconsin’s unique “John Doe” law allows anyone to make anonymous allegations of criminal activity by public officials, which can then prompt exploratory investigations. Prosecutors are not required to provide any evidence of wrongdoing to pursue investigations, and proceedings are secret. As one Wisconsin law office explains it, “Unlike normal criminal proceedings, which can be initiated if there is probable cause to believe a person has violated the law, John Doe proceedings help law enforcement develop the evidence necessary to establish the very existence of probable cause.”
Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, a prominent Democrat, launched this latest John Doe investigation. Assistant DAs Bruce Landgraf and David Robles were also heavily involved, as was Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board (Wisconsin’s version of a state board of elections). While nominally led by a panel comprised of three Democrat and three Republican appointed judges, the GAB is in fact a staunchly partisan organization run by Democrat Kevin Kennedy. More about that later. After getting a green light from the GAB, district attorneys from four other counties were encouraged to launch their own John Doe investigations.
Walker Initiated First John Doe
However, this was merely a continuation of an earlier investigation initiated by Walker himself in 2010. While still Milwaukee County Executive, Walker learned that members of his staff may have stolen money from a veterans group. He immediately reported it. There were ultimately six convictions in that case.
Ignoring the fact that Walker called for the investigation, Democrats attempted to make it all about him, but Walker was never a target. Still, it dragged on for four years, leading many critics to accuse the Democrats of a partisan witch hunt. Chisholm finally ended the probe in 2013, stating, “After a review of the John Doe evidence, I am satisfied that all charges that are supported by proof beyond a reasonable doubt have now been brought and concluded.”
But Democrats could not let it go. The second probe, launched on the heels of John Doe I, was a sweeping investigation of Walker’s 2010 political campaign, the recall election, and almost anyone who supported him. Chisholm sought to obscure the partisan nature of this probe by finding a Republican to act as an independent prosecutor, writing then presiding judge, Barbara Kluka:
…the partisan political affiliations of the undersigned elected District Attorneys will lead to public allegations of impropriety. Democratic prosecutors will be painted as conducting a partisan witch hunt…An Independent Special Prosecutor having no partisan affiliation addresses the legitimate concerns about the appearance of impropriety.
Kluka appointed former Deputy U.S. Attorney Francis Schmitz. Democrats hasten to point out that Schmitz is a Republican and that two out of the five John Doe county prosecutors are Republicans. But this appears to be window dressing. Schmitz has been described as “a weakling… unlikely to lead an aggressive investigation,” and was selected, despite having no experience in campaign finance law. Finally, although this was supposed to be an independent investigation, Chisholm’s office remained part of the probe, while other counties lost interest. One of the Democrats, Dane County Prosecutor Ismael Ozanne, is also candidate for State Attorney General. No conflict of interest?
Judge Kluka later recused herself from this case for reasons she would not explain, but not before authorizing the pre-dawn raids and multiple subpoenas to seize personal property. Judge Peterson was selected to replace her.
Democrats went after Walker almost from the day he took office. In addition to the John Doe investigations, he faced a massive Astroturf union protest early in his first year and an unprecedented string of recalls in the second. With the exception of the protest, which the mainstream media championed as America’s own “Arab Spring,” the story of Democrats’ unparalleled viciousness was conducted behind a wall of silence from the national media. This author reported the story in full here, and later, in an e-book titled Red Unions. Here are just a few highlights:
- On live radio, a leftist talk show host accused Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch of “pulling trains” and performing “fellatio on all the talk show hosts in Milwaukee” to get elected. Kleefisch, a political neophyte, was diagnosed with cancer during her campaign, underwent surgery and chemo, and won anyway.
- To boisterous cheers, a union activist told a crowd including prominent Democratic congressmen, senators and candidates that they should urinate on Republicans.
- The Attorney General released over 100 pages of documented threats, including emails suggesting Walker or legislators should be shot, hanged, watch their backs, look over their shoulders or resign.
- Early childhood teacher Katherine Windels pled guilty to making death threats to Governor Walker and Republican senators, including statements like: “Please put your things in order because you will be killed and your families will also be killed…“
- A union agitator posted a photo of Governor Walker’s son, asking, “What’s it like having the most hated dad in Wisconsin? This kid knows.”
- Union members disrupted a Special Olympics award ceremony, blocking recipients from getting their awards.
- 2,000 union protesters demonstrated at a Walker fundraiser and took pictures of attendees’ license plates.
- Hundreds of police were required around the clock when protesters occupied the capitol building, increasing the protest cost to over $8 million, and leaving communities vulnerable. One detective testified in court that two robbery suspects were later arrested for a murder he might have otherwise prevented.
- Analysis of recall petitions by Verify the Recall, an independent group assisted by True the Vote, revealed numerous fraudulent petitions.
- During the recall election, the supposedly non-partisan GAB vowed to accept all recall petitions with a valid address, even if signed by Adolf Hitler, and flatly refused to analyze their validity.
- One Democrat activist, Mark Demet, was charged with seven counts of felony ID theft and two counts of vote fraud for signing petitions using the names of family members and neighbors, including one neighbor’s dead husband, without their knowledge or consent. He pled guilty to the election fraud but allegations have surfaced that he submitted fraudulent votes in another county too.
Democrats did not launch the John Doe investigation because Walker was involved in any “criminal schemes.” Indeed, they proved that many of their own schemes warrant prosecution. Walker was targeted because Democrats recognized his effectiveness as a leader and his stated intention to roll back union power as an existential threat to their existence.
Walker’s performance since then has validated the worst of their fears. When Walker took office in 2011, Wisconsin faced a looming $3.6 billion structural deficit, largely as a result of former Democratic Governor Jim Doyle’s constant pandering to unions.
Governor Walker’s modest “Budget Repair Bill,” now known as Act 10, proposed that union members contribute a mere 12.6 percent to their health care premiums (they were paying between 4 and 6 percent), and 5.8 percent toward pensions, where they had previously contributed almost nothing. He also proposed curbs on collective bargaining rights.
These modest changes—accomplished without raising taxes—transformed the budget deficit to a surplus of approximately $89 million by 2012. School districts, whose education bureaucrats almost uniformly opposed Walker’s reforms, nonetheless immediately took advantage of them and quickly recognized savings of $220 million. As of 2014, Walker has signed three major tax cuts into law, totaling $2 billion. The latest, signed in March 2014, reduced both income and property tax rates by a total of $504 million. Walker’s ultimate goal is to eliminate the income tax entirely.
Last week, Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development reported that Wisconsin’s unemployment rate now stands at 5.7 percent, the lowest rate since October 2008 and lower than the national average (6.3 percent). Grasping at straws, Walker’s Democratic opponents point out that Wisconsin has not realized Walker’s goal of seeing 250,000 new private sector jobs created during his first term. However, the Workforce Development report notes that the 116,000 new private sector jobs that have been created, “is the largest three-year December-to-December private sector job growth seen under a single Governor this century, according to actual job counts.” Finally, when Walker took office, Wisconsin’s business climate was rated as one of the worst in the count—41st out of 50 states—by Chief Executive Magazine. It has since zoomed to 14th place.
Ever self-conscious that their ruinous, conspicuously self-serving policies don’t play well with the public who pays for them, Democrats have been burning up printing presses, melting Internet cables, and screaming “criminal scheme” to the heavens in an obvious effort to derail Walker’s reelection prospects this coming November, and destroy any prospects he may have in the 2016 presidential elections.
Always looking out for the little guy, those Democrats.
The days move on, and still no word on recovery of the kidnapped students, Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Shayer and Naftali Frenkel. The IDF continues to operate on the assumption that they are alive and hidden somewhere in Judea and Samaria (most likely but not necessarily in the Hevron area) – although Chief of Staff Benny Gantz confessed yesterday to growing worry. We’ve got hundreds of soldiers combing the area, but what an incredible task it is. I wrote recently about the huge number of hiding places – caves, dry wells, underground tunnels, etc. etc. – that have been discovered and searched. But all it takes is one hidden place that has not been uncovered.
The part of the IDF operation that has focused on weakening Hamas will be slowing down, in accordance with a Security Cabinet decision. This is said to be because the bulk of what could be achieved with this operation has already been “exhausted”: monies confiscated, terrorists taken into custody, weapons factories dismantled, over 60 Hamas institutions in Judea and Samaria shut down, etc.
But I also have the impression, from several media sources, that the fact that Ramadan begins this Saturday has something to do with the slowdown. During this Islamic month, devout Muslims fast from sunup to sundown. There was apparently a feeling in the Cabinet that major disruptions in PA areas during this time would be particularly resented – with spiraling violence that might get out of control, and that it would not play well internationally.
We might have a discussion about whether these factors should be relevant, but we’ll leave this for the moment. One senior IDF official cited by Israel National News insists that Ramadan is not an issue.
No matter the slow down that may be implemented in a couple of days, things were still hopping last night, when 17 more terrorists were apprehended. Two of them were Palestinian Authority parliamentarians, apparently Hamas-associated. There are conflicting reports on their names.
The search for the boys will continue unabated – both in terms of combing the area and on-going intelligence efforts.
Yesterday, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said: “…this continues to be the No. 1 mission, in which we are investing the best of our resources…[it is] only a matter of time until we get to the kidnappers and the kidnapped youth. We are in the right direction. We will eventually solve the mystery…” (Emphasis added)
My own sense of this situation, my friends, tells me that praying for the boys is a matter of greatest importance. Please, don’t stop.
Yesterday, the mothers of the three boys went to Geneva, to testify before the UN Human Rights Council, to plea for action on behalf of their sons and to raise world consciousness about the situation. They were invited by UN Watch, which surrendered time for them. Rachel Frankel – mother of Naftali – spoke, and what a brave woman she is:
“Mr. President, it is wrong to take children, innocent boys or girls, and use them as instruments of any struggle. It is cruel. This council is charged with protecting human rights. I wish to ask: Doesn’t every child have the right to come home safely from school?
“We just want them back in our homes, in their beds. We just want to hug them again. Thank you, Mr. President.”
Iris Yifrach – mother of Eyal, and Bat-Galim Shayar – mother of Gilad, sat with her.
Human Rights Voices has put together a video that begins with Rachel Frankel’s testimony, and then moves to UN attitudes towards the kidnapping and towards Israel. Not an easy thing to see. But watch it, please!
You will note that one individual after another refers to the boys as “settlers.” That somehow justifies crimes against them. But in point of fact – while they study in Judea and were abducted there – they are not “settlers.”
On Monday, the Security Council had discussed, but failed to come to an agreement on, condemning Israel for operations in Judea and Samaria, as had been proposed by Russia. The US balked at language that named Israel directly, while Jordan wanted language stronger than “deploring.”
Jordan: I am very mindful of the exceedingly precarious position of the king, who undoubtedly doesn’t sleep well at night. And I know that he has to demonstrate a tough line against Israel, as radicals are breathing down his neck. Yet, at a purely visceral level, sometimes it’s difficult not to feel impatient with Jordan’s stances.
Compare the Jordanian “tough” position in the UN with this new item:
“Jordanian sources say kingdom’s cooperation with Israel has only increased as situation in Iraq has deteriorated amid ISIS offensive.”
But this, of course, is supposed to be done quietly.
More about ISIS below.
Netanyahu, relying on intelligence that has not been made public, is very certain indeed that Hamas is responsible for the abductions. But there has still been no public declaration of responsibility, and no public demands have been released.
Breaking silence for the first time, Khaled Mashaal, head of the Hamas politburo, gave an interview with Al-Jazeera in Gaza, in which he claimed that he has no information on the boys. He refers to as soldiers, because kidnapping soldiers is presumed to be less reprehensible. He explained that the political and military wings of Hamas are separate, and that the military wing does not wait for word from the politburo before deciding to act. This comment was made in response to Israeli security speculation that a speech he gave recently might have been a coded approval for the kidnapping.
But whether Mashaal and the politburo gave orders or not, it is difficult for me to believe that they have no idea if their people are the ones who acted.
All Mashaal would say was: “…if there will be a confirmation that a Palestinian group is behind the kidnapping – we should applaud and take off our hats to them.” If the kidnappers were listening, they might have interpreted this as praise for their efforts and caution to stay strong.
He “blesses the hands of those who kidnapped them, since the Palestinian prisoners should be released from the Israeli prisons,” he further said – thereby attributing motive to that about which he claims to know nothing.
Just days ago I referred to the fact that over 50 terrorists released from prison in the Gilad Shalit trade have been rearrested in on-going IDF operations. Now it seems this was specifically at the order of Prime Minister Netanyahu. This was his response to the May arrest of Ziad Awad for the terrorist murder of Baruch Mizrachi on the eve of Pesach, outside of Hevron.
Awad’s home is scheduled for demolition (pending court approval) as an additional form of punishment. The government hopes to reinstate this practice as a matter of course, as was done from 2001 to 2004. The goal was not simply reprisals, but deterrence: If terrorists knew their entire family would suffer, it was thought, it might make them think twice before carrying out their attacks.
“One government official explained that Israel ‘hopes to level the playing field’ and provide economic deterrents to counteract the economic inducements the PA has put into place for those carrying out terrorist acts. (Emphasis added)
“’On the Palestinian side you have a whole package of incentives to carry out terrorist attacks, such as if we arrest the terrorist, their families get a generous allowance from the PA.’ the official said.
“He added that this created an absurdity whereby as much as PA President Mahmoud Abbas may have condemned the recent kidnappings of the three teens, if their kidnappers are imprisoned their families will get a generous benefit package form the Palestinian Authority.”
Other actions against Hamas are to be put in place as well, such as limiting visits to Hamas prisoners to the minimum required by international regulations.
Turning back briefly to the situation in Iraq:
The lightning movement of ISIS across large swaths of Iraq has generated some serious concern in the Israeli government. For there are some specific implications:
“Israel’s national security leadership watched as Iraqi security forces, trained over the course of five years by the US military, ‘literally left their shirts on the ground and fled’ when faced with a fight,’” a senior security officer told the JPost.
The Israelis are extrapolating from this situation to offers made by the US last year, to train Arab troops who would replace the IDF in the Jordan Valley. How can we trust this? is the question being asked. If Iraqi troops cannot defend Iraq, how can we expect Arabs to defend Israel against other Arabs. Well, it would be preposterous.
It seems incredible to me that the government should refer to this disastrous situation in order to make the point about the need for us to stay in the Jordan Valley. Our position should be that we are not leaving because it’s ours, and that our policy is that we defend ourselves. Period. Even if the Iraqi forces trained by the US had conducted themselves well, these principles would still adhere.
I’d like to come back to issues of Arab motivations in fighting – a complex issue – at some other time. But I mention here that there are PA security forces that have been trained and armed by the US as part of a most foolish and short-sighted policy. And we here are mindful of the fact that they may yet turn this expertise, and the weapons that were supplied to them (to fight terrorism, you should understand), against us. There are precedents for this.
Reader Robert S. questioned my recent statement that in the current situation in Iraq, as in Syria, there are no good guys. What about the Kurds? he asked. I told him that indeed, the Kurds were good guys, but that they were not competing for the takeover of Iraq, or Syria. They seek, rather, to establish Kurdistan, which requires slicing off one small portion of northern Iraq, as well as sections of Turkey (most substantially), Iran, and Syria.
Kurdistan is going to happen. And it will be good for Israel. See here:
One more issue to return to in greater depth.
By: Lloyd Marcus
I was alone in a Biloxi Mississippi hotel room when a TV reporter named Cochran the winner over Tea Party candidate Chris McDaniel in the extremely close GOP runoff election. http://fxn.ws/1wvgGic Losing is always heartbreaking. And yet, I strangely felt a peace about the situation.
Chris McDaniel was an excellent candidate; good looking, bright, articulate and a bold, strong, rock-solid advocate for conservatism. He has also been blessed with that certain “it factor” which all born leaders possess. McDaniel is only in his early forties. In the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger, he’ll be back! Next time, Chris McDaniel will win!
Patriots, thanks to your support, financial and otherwise, McDaniel had a real shot at winning. The combo of the Tea Party and McDaniel scared the heck out of the GOP which is why they poured tons of money and organizational resources into the race.
After the Dave Brat remarkable upset victory over Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the closeness of this runoff sent a powerful message to the GOP establishment. They MUST deal with us in the Tea Party.
I think one reason for my peace about the situation is knowing that my Conservative Campaign Committee team and I did everything we could possibly do; leaving no cards unturned. We traveled to Biloxi from our various homes across America and set up our war room. We rallied for McDaniel. We produced and ran ads and organized a small army of volunteers to make get-out-the-vote phone calls.
We endured the Mississippi humidity waving McDaniel signs on a street corner. My wife Mary was bitten several times on her feet by ants. So folks, like all of you, we did our part. Beyond that, everything else is in God’s hands.
Cochran and his GOP deep-pocket power brokers won this round. Doing a despicable dance with the devil to win the runoff, Cochran even reached out to Democrat voters. http://n.pr/1moFPYy But, the battle to send conservatives to DC is far from over.
Mary and I will drive home to Florida; pet Sammy our greyhound and maybe spend a day at our favorite beach. Then, we will focus on helping Tea Party candidate Joe Carr for U.S. Senate Tennessee. I hope we visit Nashville!
By: Gerald Loeffers
Hello everyone! Again, I am shying away from the news of the day to bring you another
culture article. I will be talking about the changes in the way war is depicted on the screen over the last 100 years. I remember watching old war movies with John Wayne and others of that era and I also remember watching one of the oldest war movies of all time: “ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT.” It was very realistic at the time and it depicted how there was no fun to be had in a real war. I was born during the last breaths of the Vietnam war, in the early 1970s, so I didn’t learn of it until history class in the later 1980s. The war movies of that time were not supportive of the war, or of the troops who were fighting it. And let’s be honest… the troops were treated like crap and made invisible by both the radical left and traitors like John Kerry and Jane “HANOI” Fonda. But let’s not forget the collusion of Washington and Hollywood in utilizing government-run propaganda to sell recruitment and war bonds. Remember what they did with DAFFY DUCK and the early part of the first CAPTAIN AMERICA, where they turned him into a propaganda salesman.
TURN OF THE CENTURY
When America voted in Woodrow Wilson, he promised a peaceful no war America, but oh… he did it again with a lie and a smile! We had WORLD WAR I — the war to end all wars. Yeah right! The early war movies of this day and age, were a mixed bag with classics such as, THE FOUR FEATHERS and ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT. Both of these were anti-war in nature, but not anti-military and they did cover how unglamorous war is when you see your friends shot or blown up. That’s not good (J.R.R. TOLKIEN can attest to this… he was a WWI VET who saw his friend blown up next to him) and later on down the road, the GARY COOPER’s (I used to live in MISSOULA, MT on a street named after this humble man) classic SARGENT YORK came out. It was about a man who wanted to serve, but didn’t want to do the killing part. He ended up being a legend along with AUDIE MURPHY.
LET ME BE CLEAR
I support the troops period… no matter who their CNC is. I have never been in the military. I have never been to war or in combat. I will never be able to fully understand what current or past veterans have gone through and what they have lost or have suffered in silence or openly. But I do read and I do talk to vets who want someone to hear them out. Reading about it and watching a movie will never replace real experiences or the thoughts of the real deal vets. I can only support and lesson. The thing I do know is that if you talk to any current vet of our current wars, they will tell you the same thing… street to street and door to door gun fighting SUCKS!
LET’S SELL THE WAR!
1941 and America is at war again with Japan and Germany. We as a nation were not ready for the war at first amid a draw down on our military, little to no infrastructure for an all out war and an economy on the skids. FDR went to war with Germany simply to stop Germany. He could of cared less what happened with the Jews. He thought they brought it on themselves. So, fast acting plans were set in motion to get the American industrial complex geared up for war and to force America to buy into sacrificing for the war effort. He wanted to gin up the people onto a war footing. Now, a lot of the war films of that day were collaborative efforts between Hollywood and Washington. People such as ERROL FLYNN and WALT DISNEY worked to promote everything from recruiting, to war bonds. Now don’t get me wrong. We needed to fight Japan and the Nazis and whip their ass. We had plenty of well meaning men who volunteered to do so. Then there were the over dramatized war movies from John Wayne. I have heard some of the older vets express their dislike for these movies for their own reasons. I like his classic: THE SANDS OF IWO JIMA. I understand that without the help of the U.S. MARINE CORPS, they wouldn’t have been able to show the file footage or use parts of the base for filming. So, I get why that was needed.
THE ANTI-WAR WAR MOVIE
The late 1960s through the 1980s saw a whole cultural shift change and a war tired America at certain points went along with this change. With counter culture anti-war, anti-soldier movies like the DEER HUNTER, Apocalypse Now, Full Metal Jacket, Platoon and many others, we saw a shift in how the media and politicians react (who by my standards mismanaged the Vietnam war in the first place and then stretched it out). They shouldn’t whine about the very mess they created. These movies were created by directors who hadn’t had any combat time, but they had plenty of drama time and who believed people like John “football face” Kerry or JANE FONDA were credible sources (don’t get me started on that disgusting woman). In their younger years, these same people were part of the radical anti-war, anti-military hippie left that spit and threw SH%$T at our boys because they believed John Kerry’s lies. The one war-based movie I did love and still do from the 1980s, is CLINT EASTWOOD’s HEARTBREAK RIDGE. An old Gunny Sargent had loads guts and love for the men he was training and a serious distaste for political correctness and office BS. It was a great modern pro-Marine movie.
LET’S GET REALISTIC
The early 21st century saw another shift change in views on the military and warfare reality, with more vets actually writing down or talking about the experience and more film makers wanting to do something different with the war movement. I noticed a shift, a pull back from over the top drama and a focus on historical and warfare accuracy. They started showing the personal side of the troops, no matter the era. Steven Spielberg, with whom I disagree most of the time, impressed me with SCHINDLER’S LIST and SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. Later on, MEL GIBSON’s (Not a fan anymore after finding he has “PROBLEMS.” I can’t watch his stuff anymore.) WE WERE SOLDIERS, showed the bravery of the 107TH and the realities of close combat and even showed the fight on the side of the enemy. BLACK HAWK DOWN was a great historical feature that told of the FUBAR day mission that left RANGERS, DELTA and SEALs stuck in a 72-hour street fire fight and one pilot dead, with another fighting for his life. And a no clue president who almost got his block knocked off. Until LONE SURVIVOR, my favorite SEAL movie was TEARS OF THE SUN, but MARCUS LUTTRELL’s story about his mission, the men he fought with and loved and the loss of his battle brothers, was a personal reflection I won’t even bother to delve into. I have no right or business going there. That fire fight on the mountain is the real tear jerker part for me in the movie and the book. It will get to you – I don’t care how tough you are. I hear they are filming CHRIS KYLE’s AMERICAN SNIPER story as we speak. They better get that one right. MARCUS and CHRIS knew each other – it’s a TEXAS thing.
Let’s be honest… Hollywood in general and people currently in Washington on both sides, don’t get it and have used our boys as political props and photo ops and nothing more. They have been ignored, made invisible and threatened if they speak out. But there a few that care and do something about all this – whether it is MONTEL WILLIAMS or GARY SINISE doing all they can to get our boys what they need in the way of medical help at all levels, moral support or reintegration into society, these are great volunteers. But these later century war movies that have been true to form, have only been the tip of the iceberg. They are a good start and vets need to be assisted through our actions and help. You can lend an ear to talk to, buy them a cold beer or coffee on the house – just be there for them.
By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
President Reagan will be turning over in his grave on November 15 when the second annual “Ronald Reagan Peace Through Strength Award” is given to President Obama’s former CIA director and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.
As we noted when Panetta was nominated by Obama for the Pentagon post, his Congressional career “was dedicated to fighting Reagan’s defense build-up and anti-communist policies.”
He is also a notorious leaker, having disclosed top secret information to Hollywood filmmakers about the Special Forces raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
The “Ronald Reagan Peace Through Strength Award” recognizes “the exemplary dedication and service of individuals in the defense of the United States and its people.”
In our column, “Panetta’s War on Reagan’s Defense Policies,” we noted that at a time in the 1980s when Reagan had said, “In virtually every measure of military power the Soviet Union enjoys a decided advantage,” Panetta was a liberal California congressman who “sought to undermine Reagan’s pro-defense policies at every turn.”
This, of course, is why Obama picked him.
In addition to his anti-defense record, Panetta had a relationship with Communist Party figure Hugh DeLacy, who had ties to Soviet and Chinese intelligence operatives. It was never clear if Senate investigators or the FBI, or both, investigated Panetta’s background.
DeLacy was one of only two congressmen exposed as a member of the Moscow-funded Communist Party.
We reported that Panetta was so far to the left that he praised a pro-Soviet “peace activist,” Lucy Haessler, and had asked President Jimmy Carter for clemency for Leonard Peltier, the radical American Indian activist serving life in prison for killing two FBI agents.
Why the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library is giving Panetta an award is beyond comprehension. The foundation serves as the final resting place of America’s 40th President.
Panetta was Obama’s Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2009 to 2011, and Secretary of Defense from 2011 to 2013.
As Obama’s CIA Director, he was responsible for an egregious leak of classified information, identifying the unit that conducted the raid on Osama bin Laden and the ground commander by name at a ceremony with Hollywood filmmakers working on the film “Zero Dark Thirty” known to be present. This information was classified as top secret.
The film, “Zero Dark Thirty,” was widely perceived as an attempt to make the Obama administration look tough on terror.
John Hayward’s Human Events article referred to Panetta’s “good leak,” as perceived by the Obama administration, versus disclosures about administration wrong-doing that were being punished.
Judicial Watch obtained a CIA internal report confirming that Panetta had revealed classified information at the June 24, 2011 bin Laden assault awards ceremony
A draft copy of a Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General report on the Pentagon’s cooperation with the makers of the film also confirmed that Panetta had disclosed top secret information about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. But the final copy of the report from the Inspector General contained nothing about Panetta’s disclosure.
The Project On Government Oversight had obtained the draft copy of the report.
It said Panetta’s disclosures included “highly classified signals intelligence,” or, as the draft report put it: “Director Panetta also provided DoD information, identified by relevant Original Classification Authorities as TOP SECRET//SI//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL, as well as, SECRET/ACCM.”
The “Ronald Reagan Peace Through Strength Award” is also being given to Senator John McCain (R-AZ), who has a pro-defense record marred by his support of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and its propaganda arm, Al Jazeera.
The awards to Panetta and McCain will follow a “Reagan National Defense Forum” featuring General Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Last July it was disclosed that Panetta was writing a book about his experiences as CIA Director and defense secretary that drew an advance of close to $3 million.
Former CIA officer John Kiriakou wrote a column titled, “I got 30 months in prison. Why does Leon Panetta get a pass?,” about how he was sentenced to prison for disclosing the name of a colleague. He contrasted his case with that of Panetta, who was never prosecuted for his disclosures.
One month before he gets the Reagan award, Panetta is scheduled to receive “one of the nation’s highest honors,” the William J. Donovan Award, which will be presented in October at the annual dinner of The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) Society in Washington, D.C.
Donovan was the founder and director of the OSS, the predecessor to the CIA.
A new book, A Very Principled Boy, by former CIA officer Mark A. Bradley, tells the story of communist Duncan Lee, who infiltrated the OSS for the Soviets and was never prosecuted or convicted. Communist defector Elizabeth Bentley exposed Lee, but he continued to deny serving the communists until his death. He was eventually exposed definitively as a Soviet agent by the Venona intercepts of Soviet messages by the NSA. One of the Venona messages named Lee, who worked directly for OSS director Donovan, by the cover name “Koch.”
Donovan called him a “very principled boy” who would not betray his country.
The NSA intercepts were not used at the time to prosecute Lee because of the need to keep the nature and success of the surveillance a secret from the Soviets.
“The sad truth,” notes Mark LaRochelle, “is that Lee was just one of many identified Soviet agents in the OSS. Others, as we now know from numerous impeccable sources, included Maurice Halperin, Carl Marzani, Franz Neumann, Helen Tenney, Julius and Bella Joseph and Lee’s Oxford classmate, Donald Niven Wheeler.”
In fact, says historian Harvey Klehr, there were at least 16 Soviet agents in the OSS.
The Office of Strategic Services Society says it exists to educate the American public “regarding the continuing importance of strategic intelligence and special operations to the preservation of freedom in this country and around the world.”