Archive for December, 2015

DHS admits 9,500 terrorists in the US are missing

December 29, 2015

GOP/DEMS are the Grinch that stole the budget

December 21, 2015

The $1.1 trillion, 2,000-page Republican omnibus spending bill demonstrates why the GOP is losing support within the party. When former House Speaker John Boehner took the gavel from big spending Democrat Nancy Pelosi, the Republicans promised the pork barrel spending days were over. They promised legislation would not include special interest projects and promised the “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” days were over. They swore the bills would be posted online and all lawmakers would read the legislation—no more back room deals.

That didn’t last long. The establishment, with new Speaker Paul Ryan, has reneged on most promises and judging by the current establishment presidential hopeful campaign trail – average Americans are showing exactly how much they despise the Republican elites.

The legislation was quietly pushed through both houses of Congress and sent to a grateful president on a Friday afternoon before Christmas.

However, the spending spree didn’t go unnoticed as the GOP frontrunner, Donald Trump, quickly released a statement.

“If anyone needed more evidence of why the American people are suffering at the hands of their own government, look no further than the budget deal announced by Speaker Ryan. In order to avoid a government shutdown, a cowardly threat from an incompetent President, the elected Republicans in Congress threw in the towel and showed absolutely no budget discipline. The American people will have to absorb higher deficits, greater debt, less economic liberty and more corporate welfare. Congress cannot seem to help itself in bending to every whim of special interests. How can they face their constituents when they continue to burden our children and grandchildren with debts they will never be able to repay? Our government is failing us, so we must do something about it. Who knows how bad things will be when the next administration comes in and has to pick up the pieces?”

He continued, “The only special interest not being served by our government is the American people. It is time we imposed budget discipline by holding the line on spending, getting rid of waste, fraud and abuse, and by taking on our debt. To do these things, we need a President who can lead the fight to hold Congress and the rest of government accountable. Together, we can Make America Great Again.”

The special interests weren’t limited to government largesse, but the GOP, perhaps as a slap in the face to Trump’s political incorrectness, gave President Obama what he wanted on immigration.

“The more than 2,000 page year-end funding bill contains a dramatic change to federal immigration law that would increase by as much as four-fold the number of low-wage foreign workers provided to employers under the controversial H-2B visa program (i.e. low skill hotel and construction jobs), beyond what is currently allowed,” Sessions also said in a statement.

“At a time of record immigration – with a full 83 percent of the electorate wanting immigration frozen or reduced – the GOP-led Congress is about to deliver Obama a four-fold (currently 66,000 to around 264,000) increase to one of the most controversial foreign worker programs. The result? Higher unemployment and lower wages for Americans… Wages were stagnant or declining for workers in all of the top 15 H-2B occupations between 2004 and 2014.”

According to the Economic Policy Institute, “Flat and declining wages coupled with such high unemployment rates over such a long period of time suggest a loose labor market—an over-supply of workers rather than an under-supply.”

Plus, earlier this month the Republicans nearly passed a bill that would end sanctuary cities and halt spending to Plan Parenthood, but neither provision made the final omnibus cut.

“They wanted big oil so much that they give away the store,” Minority leader Pelosi said. “I feel almost jubilant about what is in this appropriations bill.”

Despite America suffering its worst terrorist attack on the homeland since 9/11 and the majority of voters wanting to pause the refugee program until a better vetting system is in place, the omnibus bill funded and expanded the refugee program for 38 countries, primarily the Middle East.

Appropriations Committee Vice Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) concluded, “This is a bill that protects America, rebuilds it and invests in the future. I think it’s a great bill; it’s a result of bipartisan effort. Let’s vote for it, and may the Force be with us.”

Conversely, Sessions concluded that the pretty Christmas tree loaded with special interest ornaments, trades taxpayers’ loyalty with betrayal and for a lump of coal.

Merry Christmas Charlie Brown!

Did political correctness miss terror red flags?

December 14, 2015

While the FBI continues its investigation into the San Bernardino terrorist attack, new polling information points to American’s growing concerns about homegrown terrorism.

According to a New York Times poll, 79 percent of Americans’ think another terrorist attack is imminent—those numbers mirror the country’s sentiment one week after 9/11.

As details slowly emerge from the San Bernardino terror attack, US counterterrorism agencies are reporting, now—more than ever—American’s should remain vigilant.

New details released about the killers are chilling. The Director of the FBI James Comey said:  “Our investigation to date shows that they were radicalized before they started courting or dating each other online As early as the end of 2013 [they] were talking to each other about jihad and martyrdom before they became engaged and married and were living in the US.”

Last Sunday President Obama addressed the nation from the Oval Office and confirmed the San Bernardino attack was a terrorist act and predictably renewed his call to restrict gun sales. “Congress should act to make sure no one on a no-fly list is able to buy a gun.  What could possibly be the argument for allowing a terrorist suspect to buy a semi-automatic weapon?  This is a matter of national security.”

Even though there has been no record of someone on a no fly list buying a gun, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest doubled down and said the administration remains committed to more control: “It’s not our view that we should wait till someone is on the no fly list walks into a gun store and legally purchases a gun and kills a bunch of innocent Americans.”

Albeit America suffered a devastating terror attack that killed 14 and wounded another 22 on December 2, President Obama told CBS News: “ISIL will not pose an existential threat to us. They are a dangerous organization like al Qaeda was, but we have hardened our defenses.”

At a press conference, San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan offered a grim assessment, “Wednesday’s bloodbath could have been far worse.” The husband and wife terrorists left three pipe bombs at the scene of the massacre, luckily the remote-control devices failed. The couple’s rented SUV also contained 1,600 rounds of ammunition. “Clearly they were equipped and they could have done another attack,” Chief Burguan said. “We intercepted them before that happened, obviously.”

In addition to that arsenal, federal agents raided their home and found 12 more bombs and a stockpile of ammunition. The FBI investigation also uncovered the couple’s possible links to five terrorists from al Shabab, the al-Nusra Front, ISIS as well as al-Qaeda.

There is a high probability Ms. Malik could have been stopped if the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the State Department had stricter visa requirements in place. Both agencies said they did not monitor or rely on social media postings in their screening process because it could be construed as an invasion of privacy.

According to the New York Times, “None (sic) [DHS or State Dept.] uncovered what Ms. Malik had made little effort to hide — that she talked openly on social media about her views on violent jihad. She said she supported it. And she said she wanted to be a part of it. American law enforcement officials said they recently discovered those old — and previously unreported — postings as they pieced together the lives of Ms. Malik and her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, trying to understand how they pulled off the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil since Sept. 11, 2001.”

Immigration officials admitted they do not review social media as part of their background checks, and 15 years after 9/11, DHS is still debating whether it is even appropriate. “We run people against watch lists and that’s how we decided if they get extra screening,” said C. Stewart Verdery Jr., a senior Homeland Security official during George Bush’s administration. “In cases where those lists don’t hit, there’s nothing that distinguishes them from people we would love to welcome to this country.”

“Ms. Malik faced three extensive national security and criminal background screenings,” the New York Times reported. “First, Homeland Security officials checked her name against American law enforcement and national security databases. Then, her visa application went to the State Department, which checked her fingerprints against other databases. Finally, after coming to the United States and formally marrying Mr. Farook here, she applied for her green card and received another round of criminal and security checks. The State Department and the Department of Homeland Security have said they followed all policies and procedures. The departments declined to provide any documentation or specifics about the process, saying they cannot discuss the case because of the continuing investigation.”

The White House Press Secretary confirmed that Mrs. Malik entered the US on a K-1 visa that allows foreigners to marry Americans, and fast tracking their path to citizenship. “Somebody entered the United States through the K-1 visa program and proceeded to carry out an act of terrorism on American soil. That program is at a minimum worth a very close look.”

Americans are confused by all the mixed signals coming from Washington D.C. Their confusion may be justified, as George C. Scott said in the movie Patton “nobody wants a fair fight” and that is exactly what terrorists look for … gun free zones and soft targets. With gun sales going through the roof, many are asking how can disarming law abiding Americans protect the country from homegrown terrorist threats?

Bombs in Syria speak louder than White House rhetoric

December 7, 2015

In response to the ISIS-inspired terrorist murders in San Bernardino, President Obama took to the airways to assure the American people they are safe and that he is taking action against ISIS to protect us. But, the collective dud emanating from the Oval Office address was in stark contrast to the thud from the US-led coalition bombing campaign against Syrian army forces fighting ISIS.

Senior White House officials made it clear the President had written the speech himself. Here is a notable highlight: “We will continue to provide training and equipment to Iraqi and Syrian forces fighting ISIL (commonly referred to as ISIS) on the ground so that we take away their safe havens. In both countries, we are deploying Special Operations forces who can accelerate that offensive… With American leadership, the international community has established a process and timeline to pursue cease-fires and a political resolution to the Syrian civil war. Doing so will allow the Syrian people and every country to focus on the common goal of destroying ISIL.” Good on the president, right?

But, according to the UK Independent, “An air strike carried out by the US-led coalition in Syria is reported to have targeted regime forces for the first time, killing at least three soldiers and destroying a number of vehicles. The Syrian government said four warplanes bombed its Saega military camp in Deir al-Zor province, describing it as an ‘act of aggression’ by coalition forces.”

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights group confirmed that an additional 13 military personnel were wounded in the allied bombing on Sunday evening. The Syrian Foreign Ministry said: “The Syrian Arab Republic strongly condemns this flagrant aggression by the US-led coalition forces, which blatantly violates the objectives of the UN Charter.”

Meanwhile on the day of the San Bernardino massacre, law enforcement officers who are treating the mass murder as a counterterrorism case said the radicalized husband and wife team began erasing their digital footprint the day before the deadly attack, deleting email accounts, disposing of hard drives and smashing their cellphones.

At an afternoon press conference the FBI said, “we’re still gathering the facts about what happened in San Bernardino, but here is what we know. We have no evidence that the killers were directed by a terrorist organization overseas (like ISIS or al-Qaeda), or that they were part of a broader conspiracy here at home (despite communicating with terror groups and pledging allegiance to ISIS right after the attack). But it is clear that these killers had embraced a perversion of Islam, stockpiled assault weapons (two rifles, two hand guns, 4,500 rounds of ammunition and assembled a dozen bombs), and committed an act of terrorism.”

By Friday the FBI had clearly refocused its investigation because they said, “This is now a federal terrorism investigation, led by the FBI.” On Friday, Director James Comey told reporters, “The reason for that is that the investigation so far has developed indications of radicalization by the killers and of the potential inspiration by foreign terrorist organizations… We are trying to understand the motives of these killers and trying to understand every detail of their lives.”

Apparently the FBI and the White House aren’t communicating because on Sunday President Obama left out many details of what actually transpired in California, a state with some of the toughest gun laws on the books.

After last month’s Paris terror attacks, French President Francois Hollande promptly addressed a joint session of both houses of parliament, informing them that France is committed to destroying ISIS. He also said “the constitution needed to be amended as we need an appropriate tool we can use without having to resort to the state of emergency.”

The socialist president said he will ask for an additional 5,000 police posts in the next two years, no cuts in the defense budget, make it easier to strip dual nationals of their French citizenship if they are convicted of a terrorist offence, (and) speeding up the deportation process of foreigners who pose a “grave threat to the security of the nation.”

Juxtapose that with President George W. Bush who spoke to a joint session of Congress after its worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil: “Our war on terror begins with al-Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.”

While President Obama regularly misses in person daily national security briefings, ISIS is taking note and a statement posted in the Long War Journal read, “Today on Dec. 2 [a] terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif … The English-language version of Al Bayan reads: ‘California; Two soldiers of the Khilāfah executed an attack on the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California on the 20th of Safar. Light weapons were used, which led to the deaths of 14 disbelievers and the injuring of more than 20 others. An exchange of gunfire with American police followed, eventually ending with both attackers being killed in the path of Allah. We ask Allah to accept them both as shuhadā’ [martyrs]. This is the first time the ‘caliphate’ (Khilāfah) has claimed that the San Bernardino terrorists were its ‘soldiers.’”

Mr. Obama’s ended his address to nation with: “Let’s not forget that freedom is more powerful than fear. That we have always met challenges — whether war or depression; natural disasters or terrorist attacks — by coming together around our common ideals. As long as we stay true to who we are, then I have no doubt that America will prevail.” After which he demonstrated his confidence in the security of the homeland by charging off with his security detail to a Kennedy Center party paying homage to his supporters.

Up Next– Did America miss the red flags?

Wanna be Caliph Erdogan underestimates Vladimir Putin

December 1, 2015

Unlike President Obama’s nonresponse to al-Qaeda’s act of war in Benghazi, Libya, it wasn’t a surprise when the Russian President demonstrated steadfast leadership after Turkey shot down a Russian SU-24 jet after claiming it wandered into the disputed Syria/Turkish border. The aggressive Turkish aerial attack shocked NATO allies and shattered hope for a unified front against ISIS and an orderly transition from embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

An analysis of the clash highlights both Putin’s and Turkish President Recep Erdogan’s shared expansionist dreams. If Erdogan’s recent moves to consolidate power are an indicator of true allegiances, then NATO should be reassessing Turkey’s future in the alliance or possibly risk Erdogan sharing the NATO arsenal with its Islamist Sunni playmates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and UAE.

As this reporter wrote in 2013, “There can be little doubt that Syria is the battleground state between the Sunni and Shiite factions of Islam. Iran, the largest Shia nation and the natural threat to Saudi Arabia, is too big and powerful to attack, so the war begins in Syria – the Iranian ally.”

This conclusion was ratified when Erdogan joined the US-led coalition against ISIS, but instead of attacking Sunni-ISIS targets, Erdogan proceeded to mercilessness attack the PKK “Kurds” who are the only militia group successfully fighting ISIS. On the other hand, Russia intervened on the side of Shia-Iran and Syria to fight ISIS, which is reportedly composed of 7,000 Russian jihadis, to keep them from returning to Russia to lead an anti-Russian insurrection. In choosing sides that suit their political objectives, Turkey and Russia further the prospect of a wider regional war between the Sunni and Shia.

Meanwhile, taking a page from Obama’s playbook, the Russian leader wasted no time in implementing financial sanctions, that will not make all Russians happy, but will provide a swift response to Islamist Erdogan’s bold move.

Putin is also preparing a range of retaliatory economic sanctions against Turkey. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Russia would look to the Israelis and promised others would benefit from Moscow’s substitute trading and tourism partners.

“The government has been ordered to work out a system of response measures to this act of aggression in the economic and humanitarian spheres,” Medvedev said at a televised cabinet meeting. He also claimed under Russian law “the broad punitive steps could include halting joint economic projects, restricting financial and trade transactions and changing customs duties. Measures could also target the tourism and transport sectors, labor markets and humanitarian contacts,” he said. But the measures would be directly signed by a Putin decree.

Despite its geographic proximity to the Middle East, Turkey is relatively energy-poor and it imports more than half of its natural gas. After the provocative shoot down of a Russian fighter jet, Putin elucidated that the pipelines may be shut off as they were during the Ukrainian crisis. Plus Moscow committed to building a fuel pipeline under the Black Sea and started building Turkey’s first nuclear power station. Both projects are under Putin’s scrutiny and could be in jeopardy.

Further sanctions involve barring Turkey’s lifeblood – tourism and agricultural imports, which could also undermine Turkey’s fragile economy.

In response to Russia’s planned boycott, Turkish President Erdogan warned Putin “It is playing with fire to go as far as mistreating our citizens who have gone to Russia,” Erdogan said at a speech in Bayburt, Turkey. “We really attach a lot of importance to our relations with Russia … We don’t want these relations to suffer harm in any way.”

And that fire could be the US stockpile of nuclear weapons stored inside Turkey that Russian officials have warned the US about upgrading. According to a report from Federation of American Scientists, a nonprofit group that monitors nuclear activities, the U.S. Air Force appears to be upgrading two of its bases, including Incirlik, only 60 miles from the Turkish/Syrian border, to enhance security of the B61 nuclear weapons purportedly stored there. “Commercial satellite imagery shows the work underway at the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey and Aviano Air Base in Italy, according to the report.

In September, the Defense Department announced it would offer voluntary evacuations to Air Force family members from Incirlik area. The move came after the Turkish government finally agreed to let the US military use the base to launch air strikes against ISIS in Syria a few months ago.

A Defense Department official told San Diego 6 News Monday: “The United States can neither confirm nor deny the presence or absence of U.S. nuclear weapons forward deployed to Europe. The decision to allow for voluntary departure of US dependent personnel from Incirlik Air Base a couple of months ago was taken out of an abundance of caution. The US constantly monitors threats to its military personnel, facilities, and assets overseas and takes appropriate measures to ensure their safety and security. It’s no secret that Turkey and Russia have disagreed about the growing Islamic State situation – both accusing the other of being soft on terrorism.”

Meanwhile back in Russia, Sergi Lavrov, the country’s foreign minister, told reporters “Russia had more and more questions” concerning Ankara’s commitment to ending ISIS terrorism based on reports Turkey is buying Syrian oil on the black market. Erdogan denied Russia’s accusations and called them slanderous.

Nevertheless, on the military front, Russia has deployed long-range S-400 air defense missile systems at its Syrian airbase just 30 miles south of the Turkish/Syria border. So Putin has effectively created a no-fly zone of his own inside Syria.

One final point, the Turkish President is trying to set a referendum vote early next year and if he is successful in consolidating a majority, he will begin the final steps to turn the NATO country into an Islamic State, where he will rule for life.

“NATO is nothing more than a paper tiger upon which its enemies do not take it seriously,” Army Colonel Doug Macgregor (ret) explained. “The Obama administration’s strategy to fight ISIS is lacking any serious effort. It’s comparable to a doctor telling a heart failure patient he needs a haircut and shave.”

Macgregor explained “the bottom line is the Turks aren’t our friends, but neither is Putin and they both know it’s beneficial to drag the US into another fruitless war albeit for different reasons. Turkey wants the US to fight for Turkey and the Sunnis of KSA, Qatar and UAE and Russia wants to humiliate the US by supporting Iran and the Shia Muslims.”

Growing number of refugees tied to terrorism

December 1, 2015

Who supports the SAFE Act? Part three

December 1, 2015