Monday, June 26, 2017
Blog



Frank Gaffney presents a key primer on the Muslim Brotherhood today at Big Peace:

Suddenly, Washington is consumed with a question too long ignored:  Can we safely do business with the Muslim Brotherhood?

The reason this question has taken on such urgency is, of course, because the Muslim Brotherhood (or MB, also known by its Arabic name, the Ikhwan) is poised to emerge as the big winner from the chaos now sweeping North Africa and increasingly likely to bring down the government of the aging Egyptian dictator, Hosni Mubarak.

In the wake of growing turmoil in Egypt, a retinue of pundits, professors and former government officials has publicly insisted that we have nothing to fear from the Ikhwan since it has eschewed violence and embraced democracy....

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Mark Durie has a must-read article today -- "Aslim Taslam, Three Cups of Tea and Pakistan's Blasphemy Laws" -- which flags the phenomenon of Pakistani Christians converting to Islam to protect themselves and their children from the nation's blasphemy laws. "Blasphemy" -- crossing or critiquing Islam in any way -- is a capital offense in fabulous "ally" Pakistan, as many Americans are now finally learning. So, in paying out billion$ a year to Pakistan, mostly Christian Americans are also in effect subsidizing such blasphemy laws.

Durie writes:

Many incidents have been reported from Pakistan where Muslims have threatened their Christian neighbours with a blasphemy charge out of vindictiveness, or to extort something from them. ... It is not only Christians who are targeted with the blasphemy law.  The  Star article also describe a recent case of a...

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Had to take another crack at the GOP lemmings hurtling by toward Afghanistan ...

This week's column:

Huffington Post reports: "Senate Republicans stand behind President Barack Obama's strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., which will prevent the war from becoming a 'domestic political football' like the war in Iraq."

That's a good thing? What's the point of free speech for a free people if the most urgent order of government business -- a worse-than-pointless bankrupting war that is junking our military capabilities while killing and maiming Americans in uniform -- is seen by a leading elected official as a "domestic political football" to be sidelined and sat on? The story continues: "'The good news about this war -- if there's any good news about any war -- is that it hasn't become a domestic political football like the Iraq war,' McConnell said during a breakfast discussion with Politico's Mike Allen on Tuesday. ... McConnell added that 'virtually' every GOP senator supports Obama's war policy, although he implied that there were a few dissenters."

...

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Outgoing IG Arnold Fields testified today as to why one particular $11.4 billion chunk of nation-building is going up in flames.

One)

“We have no plan for where we are going. We don’t know where we are going,” said Fields, a retired Marine Corps major general. “And so, we will not know when we will get there.”

Two)

His office’s audits and investigations have found numerous examples of facilities being built without consideration for whether the Afghanistan government is able to pay the maintenance bills or train a workforce to keep facilities operational, Fields told the U.S. Commission on Wartime Contracting.

Three)

For example, Afghan security forces are being expanded so fast there are not enough Afghan security barracks built to house them.  A large power plant the U.S. is building outside Kabul is too expensive for the Afghan government to maintain without foreign aid and expertise.

...

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HuffPo reports:

WASHINGTON -- Senate Republicans stand behind President Barack Obama's strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), which will prevent the war from becoming a "domestic political football" like the war in Iraq.

And that's a good thing? I thought praetorian guards went out a long time ago. What's the point of free speech for a free people if the most urgent order of government business -- a bankrupting war and nation-building effort without point that is junking our military capabilities while killing and maiming Americans in uniform -- is seen by a leading elected official as a "domestic political football" to be sidelined and sat on? 

"The good news about this war -- if there's any good news about any war -- is that hasn't become a domestic political football like the Iraq war,"...

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In Denmark today, the state became the deadly and determined enemy of freedom.

At the end of his day in court, Lars Hedegaard responded to the fallen state thus:



My counsel has instructed me that in cases brought under Article 266b, the only thing that determines whether one is convicted or not is a matter of the perceived insult whereas one is barred from proving the truth of the statement.



The article deals with public statements whereby a group of people are "threatened, insulted or degraded". But as my lawyer has already noted, I have made no public statement.



When it comes to Article 266b, there is no equality before the law. I am daily insulted and degraded by something I read or hear and I am sure that most people have the same experience.



For example, I am not only insulted and degraded and threatened,...

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This week's syndicated column:

Politico featured a story this week headlined "Muslim groups nervous about King hearings." It went on to discuss Muslim apprehension regarding upcoming congressional hearings led by Rep. Peter King, R-NY, "on the threat posed by radical Islam in America."

That phrase -- "radical Islam" -- is truly a marvel: a 14-karat, bulletproof, titanium shield for Islam itself, which, sorry guys and gals, is the source of all things we deem "radical" in Islam. "Islam is Islam and that's it," as Turkey's Erdogan so memorably put it. But since we don't want Islam to be "it," we pretend and operate and make policy and even war based on some mythic radicalism of "twisted" or "hijacked" or "perverted" Islam.

If these King hearings turn out to be about the threat posed by "radical Islam" -- and not about the threat posed by what is radical about Islam -- "nervous" Muslim groups have nothing to worry about, and anti-jihad, anti-Shariah citizens have nothing to gain.

...

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Remember that massive and massively expensive expansion of Afghan security forces reported last week?

Looks like it's on hold due to some interesting discord between "coalition officials" in A-stan and just about the rest of the world.

From the WSJ:

The White House has put a hold on a military proposal to raise the ceiling for building up Afghan security forces, with a spokesman saying there have been "no decisions" on army and police manpower growth beyond approved 2011 targets.

European allies and the Afghan government have also expressed concerns about the plan, focusing on its costs and the quality of police and army personnel. The doubts forced the abrupt postponement of a meeting Tuesday intended to formally approve the new ceiling.

...

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Danish justice?

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Lars Hedegaard, the President of the Danish Free Press Society and the International Free Press Society will be tried in Danish court on January 24 for "racism" -- a charge "worthy" of a communist show trial effort to quell dissent. The dissent in this case is speaking out in any form against the dictatorship of the multiculturalists whose goal above all is the subversion of truth and liberty in exchange for stability, for accommodation, for appeasement of  the "peaceful" advance of a new order -- in our time, Islam in the West. Hedegaard, symbolically, stands in its way, and must be punished, literally, to discourage others. What they don't...

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Politico features a story today headlined "Muslim groups nervous about King hearings." It goes on to discuss Muslim apprehension regarding upcoming Congressional hearings led by Rep. Peter King (R-NY) "on the threat posed by radical Islam in America."

That phrase -- "radical Islam" -- is truly a marvel, a 14-ct., bullet-proof, titanium shield for Islam itself, which, sorry guys and gals, is the source of all things we deem "radical" in Islam. "Islam is Islam and that's it," as Turkey's Erdogan so memorably put it.  But since we don't want Islam to be "it," we pretend and operate and make policy and even war based on some mythic radicalism of "twisted" or "hijacked" or "perverted" Islam. 

If these King hearings turn out be about the threat posed by "radical Islam" -- and not about the threat posed by what is radical about Islam -- "nervous" Muslims have nothing to worry about.

Hope I'm wrong, but it looks like any analysis of jihad of sharia is already off the table.

...

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Last week, I had the privilege of sitting down with Frank Gaffney for a nice, long hour of conversation on Secure Freedom Radio. Here is a link to the show.



Here are two stories that should be blended into one:

Story 1, from the New York Times:

The Afghan government and its international partners are set to approve a plan that would expand the nation’s army and police forces to up to 378,000 personnel by October 2012, a 42 percent increase over the current level, Western and Afghan officials say.

The plan, which is pending, reflects growing confidence in a training mission that for years has been hobbled by illiteracy, drug use, corruption and high desertion and resignation rates among the Afghan security forces. At one point in 2009, more Afghan soldiers were abandoning the army than joining it.

Many of those problems remain ....

But who cares? Not Uncle...

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Marine Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins has spent the last eight months free after serving four years at Ft. Leavenworth on an 11-year-sentence for an unpremeditated murder conviction related to the kidnapping and fatal shooting of an Iraqi man in 2006. The military appealed the April 2010 ruling that released Hutchins, and, on Wednesday, won another chance to prove the fairness of Hutchins' initial trial in its efforts to lock him back up.

More about Hutchins' case here and here.

The other six defendants in the case are all free, with none of them having served longer than 18 months in prison.

Hutchins, who had been returned to duty at Camp Pendleton, has been sent back to Ft. Leavenworth pending the next step in case, remains assigned there pending resolution of his case, a tortuous move which surely triggers thoughts of "cruel and unusual punishment."

...

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Just as the Great Society didn't work in our own country on our own people, the Great Society Abroad doesn't work on alien peoples in foreign cultures, either. It didn't work in Vietnam, as discussed here by the late Peter Braestrup, and it doesn't work in Iraq or Afghanistan. This means that it's not a military defeat that faces us on what I wish were imminent withdrawal from the umma (oh, happy day, and good riddance), but rather another costly validation of the fact that social engineering doesn't work, even with guns.

The civilian leadership and the military brass must be held accountable for this travesty.

From the Associated Press:

BAGHDAD — Two U.S. troops were killed Saturday...

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Background here.

Last week, I posted Col. Douglas Macgregor's excellent piece entitled "No Existential Threat to US in Afghanistan; So Why Are We Propping Up a Narco-State?" But now I take issue with the premise, ironically speaking. There is indeed an existential threat to US in Afghanistan, a dire threat to our own nation's heart and soul. Not only are we propping up a backward narco-state of kleptocrats, pederasts and child rapists, we are propping up an Islamic justice system that punishes if not kills converts to Christianity.

This has been going on for a long time, too. And so has this. We're at the wrong rodeo, folks. It's past time to let Afghanistan go.

WorldNetDaily.com reports:

Five countries are appealing to Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai to prevent two Afghan men who converted to Christianity from being sentenced to death for "apostasy" -- their decisions to abandon Islam.

Representatives from the United States, Britain, France, the Netherlands and Italy...

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"Never mind, they'll swallow it," said Stalin, the 20th Century's first successful progenitor of the Big Lie.

---

This week's syndicated column:

The suppression of the facts is by no means the most dangerous aspect of any Big Lie. After all, facts don't go away even amid efforts to suppress them. All sorts of inconsistencies, impossibilities and clues remain behind, and sometimes in plain sight, for anyone who cares to look. The real threat the Big Lie poses to society comes when it is not stopped in its tracks, exposed and trashed for what it is -- a lie -- but rather accepted, accommodated and, indeed, treated as if it were the truth. At that point, a Big Lie is a big success, having created an alternate reality that turns its very targets into hapless accomplices.

Unfortunately, that last bit describes most Republicans'...

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I am posting (below) a letter from the Danish Free Press Society, the parent organization of the International Free Press Society, of which I am vice president. It is of urgent importance. It tells of the terrible turn of events in Denmark, which for years now has bravely spearheaded the West's fights to save free speech, now and seemingly in perpetuity under assault from both the Marxian Left and the press of sharia (Islamic law) -- and with zero support from diplomatic, governmental, or professional institutions in the United States, home and caretaker of the First Amendment. This appalling lack of support, which translates into a lack of courage and vision, is the main reason the assault of free speech continues to be successful.  

But et tu, Denmark?

There have been signs: for example, former Prime MInister Anders Fogh  Rasmussen's gratuitous slap at Pastor Terry Jones' stated intention to burn Korans to mark the jihad attacks of 9/11 in September of this year;...

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This week's syndicated column:

That was fast. Sunday, the Virginian-Pilot posted a montage of lewd, "morale-boosting" videos that Capt. Owen P. Honors starred in, directed and broadcast to the crew of the USS Enterprise dating back to 2006-2007 when he was the ship's executive (number two) officer. Tuesday, the Navy fired Honors, now captain of the ship, citing a "profound lack of good judgment and professionalism."

Not, take note, conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman.

So, now what? With the Navy, the Washington Post reports, set on a "broader investigation into whether senior Navy officials knew about the 4-year-old videos, and why they failed to take disciplinary action against Honors," we once again seem to be embarking, rudderless, into the dangerous waters of the hydra-headed purge, gathering, sharpening, steeling, lusting for suspects. But of what crime? Not the one I would charge the unfortunately named Capt. Honors with.

The post-Tailhook Navy fetish, of course, remains sexually oriented -- or, more accurate, sexual-orientationally oriented. (In the guise of an aviator persona, Honors lets fly some homosexual putdowns in the video, and later encounters same-sex couples in the shower.) As one retired vice admiral put it to the Post, "What bothers me is that Capt. Honors' behavior set a standard that allowed for sexual innuendo."

...

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From decorated combat veteran  Col. Douglas Macgregor (ret.), an excellent column in The Washington Times:

American forces invaded Afghanistan more than nine years ago, and we still don't know whom we're fighting. It's hard to know who did the better job of playing us for fools a few weeks ago - the Afghan who passed himself off as the "moderate" Taliban leader, who was rewarded with American cash for his performance, or Hamid Karzai. All we can know at this point is that 150,000 U.S. and allied troops along with an equal number of civilian contractors are propping up a narco state in Kabul flush with cash from the opium trade and U.S taxpayers.

Naturally, the four-stars in the Pentagon are in no hurry to deliver the bad news; the expensive and open-ended program of nation-building through counterinsurgency is irrelevant to the goal of disrupting, dismantling and defeating what little remains of al Qaeda living in the splendid isolation of northwestern Pakistan. Instead, it's easier to tell...

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If the GOP is serious about waste, fraud and abuse -- and reckless childishness -- Congress needs to ask Gen. Petraeus some questions  about the CERF -- the Commander's Emergency Relief Fund. Two billion dollars, they say, have gone down this particular chute to nowhere in Afghanistan alone. as American soldies have handed out money for 16,000 goody bags -- sorry,  "humanitarian projects" -- over the past six years. That comes to more than seven such projects per day, bribes large and small to make them, please, please, like us & not their Muslim brethren the Taliban and other Koranically-correect jihad groups.

This may seem like small change in a war that costs $350 million a day, but the fallacy of CERF is the same fallacy of COIN: that turning the Afghan peoples into allies is a matter of demonstrating what we "infidels" think of as good intentions, that enough greasing of enough wheels is a strategy, that we can create a functional society from public make-works, that Western ways can be grafted onto Islamic culture, that what egg-heads think of as "nation-building" is Afghanistan is possible in the first place.

...

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David Littman, someone whose essential work on "creeping sharia" I extensively cited in The Death of the Grown-Up, may be fighting a grave illness, but, as Dave Reaboi at Big Peace writes in the introduction below to Littman's recent communique to the UN Human Rights Commission (so-called), this hasn't diminished his zest for the battle royale against the hypocritical claques at the United Nations. Dave writes:

NOTE: David Littman is a hero. As a young man, Littman was at the center of a 1961 clandestine operation (codenamed “Mural”) to evacuate over 500 Jewish children from Morocco to Israel to escape Antisemitism in the Muslim world. From 1986 onward, he has appeared at the United Nations and its various bodies, including the notoriously misnamed Human Rights Commission,...

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From WikiLeaks as netted by Norway's Aftenposten via Islam in Europe: A craven, jihad-appeasing American ambassador to Denmark, Bush appointee James P. Cain, writes home about his "discreet discussions" with Jyllands Posten and the Danish government conveying Uncle Sam's fervent pleadings not to see J-P reprint the Danish Motoons in 2006 on the first anniversary of their original publication. The ambassador's takeaway? "On the negative side, though, this popular center-right government has hardened its views on the absolute primacy of free speech."

Meanwhile, today, five men -- two Swedish residents with Tunisian backgrounds, one Lebanon-born Swede and an Iraqi (gee, what common denominator not mentioned might they share?) -- have been arrested plotting to storm J-P's Copenhagen office. A little American support for "the absolute primacy...

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This year's final column:

I end the year with a question and one last outrage.

The U.N. believes about 1 million Afghans between the ages of 15 and 64 - roughly 8 percent of the population -- are addicted to drugs. The publication Development Asia estimates 2 million Afghan addicts.

Depending on whose figures you read next, some staggering number of these same addicts ends up in the Afghan National Police (ANP). Fully "half of the latest batch" of police recruits tested positive for narcotics, the Independent reported in March, drawing on Foreign Office Papers from late 2009. Also in March 2010, the Government Accounting Office (GAO) reported, depending on the province, 12 to 41 percent of Afghan police recruits tested positive. The GAO added: "A State official noted that this percentage likely understates the number of opium users because opiates leave the system quickly; many recruits who tested negative for drugs have shown opium withdrawal symptoms later in their training."...

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This piece suspects that is the case.

Why would Rove be interested in corralling Julian Assange? To help protect the Bush legacy, our source says. "The very guy who has released the documents that damage the Bushes the most is also the guy that the Bush's number one operative can control by being the Swedish prime minister's brain and intelligence and economic advisor."

Really? Hmm. I have long suspected that "conservative" rage against WikiLeaks is related to conservative exposure on Bush disasters they support(ed) to the hilt (or now blame Obama for), but dunno about this Rove notion. It's diverting, though.



Just for escapist fun and a massive injection of energy, don't miss (below) Doris Day singing "Canadian Capers" from My Dream Is Yours (1949); Carmen Miranda with Banda Luna singing " Chatanooga Choo-Choo" from  Springtime in the Rockies (1942), and The Glenn Miller Orchestra with Tex Beneeke and the Modernaires singing "I've Got a Gal in Kalamazoo" from Orchestra Wives (1942), featuring the dance duo the Nicholas Brother, Fayard and Harold. (Fun fact: Next to my desk, I happen to have a Nicholas Brothers photo signed by Fayard in 2000.)

Merry Christmas to all.







...

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As I wrote in this week's column, Scott and Vicki Behenna went before the Army Clemency Board earlier this month to plead their son's extremely compelling case for clemency.

The Clemency Board has released its decision: No.

In an email they write:

To the thousands of Michael Supporters, God bless each of you.

We have been in this fight together for the past two years and your encouragement and support has been the driving force behind all we have been able to accomplish.  Last year, the Clemency Board gave Michael a reduction of 5 years off his 20 year sentence. 

On December 2nd we again pleaded Michael's case before the Army Clemency Board.  We pointed out to them that Michael's sentence was 50% larger than the highest sentence given to any soldier convicted of unpremeditated murder in a combat zone.  We also addressed Michael's unblemished record in prison for the past two years, his many accomplishments while incarcerated, and his unblemished civilian record.

We...

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Do not miss this video of the Tommy Robinson, counter-jihad virtuoso and leader of the English Defense League laying out the extraoridnary lengths to which the British government is going to try to shut him down. These include attempting to suborn perjury from an old friend currrently facing a 12-year stretch in jail. Echoes of The Informer, the 1935 John Ford movie  based on the Liam O'Flaherty novel in which British police get Gyppo Nolan (Victor McLaghlen) to inform on his friend and IRA leader Frankie McPhillip for 20 pounds...only this is real.

Via Vlad Tepes.

Gates of Vienna comments:

The video [above], which was just released today by English Defence League leader  Tommy Robinson, is very timely, thanks to today’s arrest of Guramit Singh....

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This week's syndicated column is about Lt. Michael Behenna, one of the so-called Leavenworth Ten, all of whom who remain -- SGT Evan Vela Carnahan, PFC Corey Claggett, MSG John E. Hatley, SPC William B. Hunsaker, SGT Michael Leahy, SFC Joseph Mayo, SGT Michael P. Williams -- should be granted clemency immediately, if only to balance the US scales of justice which have offered freedom and clemency to thousands of incarcerated terrorists in Iraq, Guantanamo Bay and Afghanistan.

Here is the latest on Michaels' story.

Earlier this month, I received an e-mail update from Scott and Vicki Behenna, whose son, Army Ranger 1st Lt. Michael Behenna, is serving 15 years in Fort Leavenworth military prison over the May 2008 shooting of a known killer in Iraq -- a terrorist for whom the Army would actually issue a kill/capture order before realizing he was already dead.

By the...

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From: WRAMC [Walter Reed Army Medical Center] Announcements
Sent: Wed 12/8/2010 11:19 AM
To: WRAMC Master Mail List
Subject:  WRHCS [Walter Reed Health Care Service] Commander's Muharram Greeting  (UNCLASSIFIED)

Classification:  UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE


WALTER REED,

Yesterday we began the first day of the Islamic New Year with the month of Muharram, one of four sacred months out of the twelve months of the year. This is a time of fasting, prayer, and reflection. I and the command group wish each of you Muharram Mubarak.

Van Coots, MD


Classification:  UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

---



From CNN last week:

On the eve of the latest White House Afganistan update, the incoming head of the House Armed Services Committee said he wants to hear directly from the commander, Gen. David Petraeus, to determine what progress has been made.

Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon, R-California, who next month will take over as chairman of the defense committee, said Wednesday he will ask Petraeus to testify.

"I want to have General Petraeus come and report to us on what's happening over there. I think that we will find he has made some pretty good progress," McKeon said in a roundtable with journalists.

Then why put Ceasar Petraeus to the trouble of testifying in the first place?

Is...

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In terms of news coverage, the war in Afghanistan is "like a faint heartbeat, accounting for just 4 percent of the nation’s news coverage in major outlets through early December, according to a study by the Project for Excellence in Journalism," the New York Times reports today.

And that's down from 5 percent last year.

“It’s never passed the threshold to be a big story week in, week out for Americans,” said Mark Jurkowitz, the associate director of the project.

One senior foreign correspondent for television, when told of the 4 percent coverage figure, said he was impressed — given the relatively small contingent of foreign journalists in Afghanistan.

“There are like seven of us there,” remarked the correspondent,...

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This week's Washington Examiner column:

Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin didn't rush onto a battleground this week; he walked into a military courtroom. He didn't fire a weapon; he pleaded guilty to disobeying orders related to deployment, and not guilty to the more serious charge of "missing movement."

But Lakin put his life, in the sense of his distinguished 17-year career as an Army surgeon, his income, his pension, and his personal freedom, on the line because of his sworn duty to the U.S. Constitution.

All members of the US military take the following oath:

"I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign...

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While researching this week's column, I came across an extraordinary collection of videos at Kansas Watchdog,  all taken during Labor Weekend's Leavenworth Ten Freedom Ride. They showcase the families of the wrongly incarcerated soldiers whose debt to society, if they ever had one, is long paid. In fact, we owe them our attention at the very least, and, if possible, our assistance in their legal defense. For more information, see United American Patriots and Leavenworth Ten Freedom Ride.

I've written columns and posted about these men both collectively and individually (for example, Sgt. Evan Vela, Lt. Michael Behenna), but it's just not enough. My friend John Work has written compellingly about Sgt. John Hatley here.  

I've never highlighted the details of PFC Corey Claggett's case only because I didn't know them. I do now and they are harrowing. To date, Corey has served more than four years in solitary confinement for following an unlawful order...

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A story to get us all in the ... um, what was that spirit?

From The Telegraph via WND.com:

More than 330,000 copies of the diaries, accompanied by 51 pages of glossy information about the EU, have been delivered to British schools as a "sought after" Christmas gift to pupils from the commission.



But Christians have been angered because the diary section for December 25 is blank and the bottom of the page with Christmas Day is marked only with the secular message: "A true friend is someone who shares your concerns and will double your joy".



...

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From Tom Tamcredo:

Dear Friend, Harry Reid filed for cloture on the DREAM Act Amnesty last night, and the Senate will vote on it on Saturday.  I don't need to tell you just how big a disaster this will be for our country it passes.   This bill will give amnesty to millions of illegal aliens, in state tuition and affirmative action to illegal aliens, and cost the taxpayers 6.2 billion dollars. Call your senator and demand they vote against the DREAM Act. Click here for direct lines or call the Senate operator at (202) 224-3121 247 and ask for your Senator. Target these Senators on the Fence Mary Landrieu (D-LA) Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) Joe Manchin (D-WV) These Senators Have Pledged to Vote No, but we don't know if they made any back-room deals.  Call them and politely ask that they reaffirm their opposition to the DREAM Act Kay Hagan (D-NC) Olympia Snowe (R-ME) Susan Collins (R-ME) Max Baucus (D-MT) Kent Conrad (D-ND) Ben Nelson (D-KS) Remind them that this is not an amnesty...

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The Washington Post reported on December 13:

Russia delivered at least 1,800 shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles to Venezuela in 2009, U.N. arms control data show, despite vigorous U.S. efforts to stop President Hugo Chavez's stridently anti-American government from acquiring the weapons.

Ah, brave new "reset" world. And love those  always impotent yet "vigorous attempts." In virtually every WikiLeaks story that has caught my eye, the US is demonstrated  thwarted again and again.

The United States feared that the missiles could be funneled to Marxist guerrillas fighting Colombia's pro-American government or Mexican drug cartels, concerns expressed in U.S. diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks and first reported in the Spanish newspaper El Pais.

It had been unclear how many of the Russian SA-24 missiles were delivered to Venezuela, though the transfer itself was not secret. Chavez showed off a few dozen at a military parade in April 2009, saying they could "deter whatever...

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Such a sad story, with an even sadder ending: Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin has received a sentence of six months and been ousted from the Army for his decision, which he says he now regrets, to question Barack Obama's eligibility by not following deployment orders.

I wonder how Barack Obama feels about the case. I wonder if anyone in the White House press corps will dare ask him what he thinks about a career Army officer so driven by his duty to uphold the Constitution that he put it all on the line, believing it would be worth it if in the end his action could somehow trigger the release of that well-hidden document in Hawaii, the 1961 Barack Obama birth certificate, which should include such homey points as the birth hospital name and the attending physician.

Why must that mundane information remain the nation's ultra secret? The answer in large...

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Mainly expected, but still a blow. Was hoping he would be acquitted of "missing movement."

From the AP:

FORT MEADE, Md. — A military jury on Wednesday afternoon found an Army doctor who disobeyed orders to deploy to Afghanistan because he questions President Obama's eligibility for office guilty of missing a flight that would have gotten him to his eventual deployment.

The jury returned the verdict against Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin of Greeley, Colo., on the charge of "missing movement" by design. It carries a possible two-year sentence.

Lakin previously pleaded guilty to another charge against him. All told, he now faces a possible 42 months in prison. A military jury will sentence him after a sentencing phase.



The blog Yid with Lid reports this week on the most outrageous intrusion of the Obama administration into free speech in America to date: The IRS's "Israel Special Policy," which kicks in to deny tax-exempt status to non-profits whose policies "espouse or support positions inconsistent with the Obama administration’s Israel policies."

Since when does the "Obama administration" determine tax status according to "correct" political beliefs? Since at least this summer when the pro-Israel non-profit Z-Street was informed by an IRS agent that its non-profit tax status had been delayed if not ultimately denied due to its political beliefs.

What we are witnessing is a massive power grab, chilling effect and abuse of power all rolled up into one.

From the pro-Israel non-profit group Z-Street's suit against the IRS:

...

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Of course, it had to happen -- a WikiLeaks cable about the rise of Geert Wilders in the Netherlands from July 2009.

From the Guardian:

3. (S) The Wilders Factor -- Golden-pompadoured, maverick parliamentarian Geert Wilders' anti-Islam, nationalist Freedom Party remains a thorn in the coalition's side, capitalizing on the social stresses resulting from the failure to fully integrate almost a million Dutch Muslims, mostly of Moroccan or Turkish descent. In existence only since 2006, the Freedom Party, tightly controlled by Wilders, has grown to be the Netherlands second largest, and fastest growing, party. Recent polls suggest it could even replace Balkenende,s Christian Democrats as the top party in 2011 parliamentary elections. Wilders is no friend of the U.S.: he opposes Dutch military involvement in Afghanistan; he believes development assistance is money wasted; he opposes NATO missions outside "allied" territory; he is against most EU initiatives; and, most troubling, he forments...

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Fox News reports:

The U.S. Air Force has blocked access on its network to more than 25 media websites, including the New York Times, that have posted the secret U.S. diplomatic cables obtained and released by the site WikiLeaks. ...Other sites that have been blocked include Germany's Der Spiegel, France's Le Monde, Britain's Guardian and Spain's El Pais, Tones said. ...

Can't find a complete list of blocked sites yet.

The Air Force uses two different systems: a secure site on which classified information can be used and an unclassified site for day-to-day operations, Tones said. The sites will be unblocked "when we determine they are no longer a risk to unclassified Air Force networks," she said, adding that the Air Force reviews the sites almost daily. "We work diligently to use our resources in the most effective and efficient manner possible," she said. "And blocking access to the WikiLeaks' material diminishes our need to go through the labor and resource-intensive process...

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US Army Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin with brother Greg Lakin  outside a military court at Ft. Meade, Md. yesterday.

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Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin didn't rush into a foreign battleground yesterday; he walked into a Ft Meade, Md. military courtroom. He didn't fire a weapon and vanquish the enemy; he pled guilty to disobeying three orders related to deployment, and not guilty to the most serious charge of "missing movement."  But Terry Lakin put his life, in the sense of his distinguished 23-year career as an Army surgeon, his income, his pension, and his freedom, on the line from his devotion to his sworn duty to the US Constitution.

All members of the US military take the following oath:

I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and...

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Seventy-two percent of "southern Afghan males" believe "foreigners are disrespectful of their religion and culture." Why is that percentage so low?

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Don't know what happened to Ann Marlowe, whose astute comments on Afghanistan, as noted in July, include the following:



What we have in Afghanistan is a counterinsurgency strategy of tactics. COIN is a set of tactics: station your troops among the people, conduct a lot of meetings with tribal elders to find out what bribes they want, protect them from the insurgents, connect them with their officials—every private knows the mantra. But COIN is not a strategy.

Or, as I wrote then, COIN is a bad strategy. Marlowe:

Strategy requires a political vision. Throughout history, counterinsurgency has barely worked when conducted by a government with substantial popular support.

Where is the historic model? I asked this question of COIN strategist Frederick Kagan back in March 2009 at a Washington conference...

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Wasn't life great?



STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Two blasts rocked the center of Stockholm on Saturday in a possible attack inspired by Sweden's presence in Afghanistan [i.e., jihad], killing the bomber and wounding two other people, police and media said.



Swedish news agency TT said that 10 minutes before the first blast, when a car exploded near a busy shopping street, it received an email with threats over the Swedish presence in Afghanistan and over a years-old case of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad by a Swedish artist.





Police spokesman Kjell Lindgren said the car exploded at peak shopping hours at 5 p.m. (12 p.m. EST). About 10 to 15 minutes later another explosion took place on a street 300 meters (984 ft) away.



A man was found dead near the second explosion and two people with minor injuries were also found...

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This week's syndicated column:

WikiLeaks is exposing the way our government conducts "business." It is not a pretty process. Sometimes Uncle Sam limps along like a powerless giant, as when secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton vainly plead with China to stop facilitating the military rise of Iran. (But don't let that stop you from buying that made-in-China flat-screen TV for Christmas. Great price.) Sometimes Uncle Sam slimes around like the mob, as when shutting down opposition to the Copenhagen climate accord is his racket and bullying is his game.

The rock-bottom worst of the revelations, however, shows Uncle Sam patronizing the American people, lying to us about fundamental issues that any democracy catastrophically attacked and supporting armies abroad ever since doesn't merely deserve to know, but needs to know. Our democracy...

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Martin Bosma, a Dutch member of parliament for Geert Wilders' PVV, has been invited into the pages of an establishment Dutch (read wild-eyed, left-wing) newspaper, NRC Handelsblad, to contribute a column every three weeks. I sure hope they can take it because I can't wait see more.

Brought to us (English-speakers) courtesy Gates of Vienna and translator VH:

You are tolerant until it gets too crazy for you by Martin Bosma It’s not just that you don’t like me. You even begrudge me my job. If NRC-subscribers were the only ones allowed to have the right to vote (be honest: don’t you dream of that sometimes?), my party would not get beyond four seats [of the 150 in parliament]. With my fifth place on the list of candidates of the Party I could have well dropped out of the boat. Your preferences are somewhere else: You’d assign 51 seats to GreenLeft and D66. (With the 37 seats...

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US Army 1st Lt. Michael Behenna

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Just came back from a tense morning in the Army Court of Criminal Appeals in Arlington, Virginia, where long-awaited oral arguments appealing US Army 1st Lt. Michael Behenna's surreal conviction for "unpremeditated murder" while fighting the war in Iraq were heard. Lt. Behenna, 27, is currently serving 15 years in military prison (reduced from 25 years) for killing a known al Qaeda operative named Ali Mansur  believed to have been responsible for attacks on Behenna's platoon in 2008. Michael is one of the Leavenworth Ten we must not forsake.

Fifteen years is a harsh (insane) sentence, and harsher than other such sentences handed...

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