Archive for December 8th, 2009

Put Your Hope in God

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

Psalm 42:5-6 (New International Version)

“Don’t Court Martial the SEAL Three” by Jed Babbin

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

December 7th is usually a day we remember the brave men who died at Pearl Harbor. Many of them died fighting, responding instantly to the cowardly Japanese attack that came without warning.

This is a day to honor bravery, resolve and sacrifice. But this December 7th is different. Today — because lawyers are far too involved in running this war and commanders are deferring to them far more than they should — two Navy SEALs are being arraigned on charges they abused an Iraqi terrorist after they captured him three months ago. A third will be arraigned at a later date and their courts martial could occur next month.

As Rowan Scarborough reported two weeks ago, the three SEALs — Julio Huertas, Jonathan Keefe and Matthew McCabe — were part of a platoon from SEAL Team 10 that captured one of the most-wanted terrorists in Iraq, Ahmed Hashim Abed, in a nighttime raid on or about September 1. Abed is believed to be the man behind the barbaric March 2004 ambush of Blackwater security guards in which four were murdered, their bodies mutilated and then hung from a bridge in Fallujah.

The facts of the case are a bit muddy. According to a source close to the case who requested anonymity the SEALs captured Abed and transported him to a place where they surrendered him to Iraqi custody. He made no complaint of abuse before being turned over to the Iraqis. At some point after that, the SEALs reclaimed Abed who — though still technically in Iraqi custody — was taken back for further questioning, complaining of mistreatment. There was some blood on his clothing but it’s not clear when it appeared.

There is every reason to believe the SEALs are innocent. Chapter 18 of the Al Qaeda training manual released by the US Justice Department says that members must complain of torture and mistreatment inflicted on them.

American investigators became involved and, from that point, it’s apparent that lawyers were making decisions, and the commander at the top of the local food chain — MGen. Charles T. Cleveland — at first misunderstood his options and then pushed the matter far beyond the point at which it should have ended.

The charges signed by Cleveland accuse McCabe of illegally hitting Abed in the midsection and then denying he did it. Huertas is accused of making false statements that he didn’t see anyone strike Abed and trying to suborn the testimony of another sailor to back his claim. Keefe is also charged with lying to investigators.

As that list of charges makes clear Cleveland — for reasons best known to him and his lawyer — has chosen to throw the book at the three SEALs. These men — if their special courts martial go ahead — can be convicted just as if they were in US District Court. They face a federal conviction that could result in up to one year’s imprisonment, bad conduct discharges, fines and reduction in rank. Those punishments would be grossly disproportionate to the offense of punching a terrorist in the stomach. How did this get so far?

According to my source, Gen. Cleveland first misunderstood the difference between the Army and Navy’s disciplinary systems and then pushed the matter to this point.

Under the Army system, a commander can issue a non-permanent letter of reprimand to anyone he commands. Cleveland was ready to do this to the SEALs before he was told by his lawyer that the Navy demands more due process for its people, and that he could either let it go or push the matter up a notch to “non-judicial punishment” under Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

And this is where Cleveland went wrong. Instead of just telling a lower-level commander to bring the three in for a royal chewing out — the maximum punishment these guys deserve if they deserve any at all — Cleveland went along with the lawyer and ordered that they be brought before a naval “mast”, the equivalent of an Army or Air Force Article 15 hearing. Under the UCMJ, as is their right, the sailors refused to accept that.

You have to understand their rejection of Article 15 punishment. These three — like most SEALs — are the ultimate in elite warriors. They have worked enormously hard to earn SEAL status and are proud to risk their lives in the service of our nation.

My source told me that their ambition is to compete for spots on the most elite of the SEAL teams (the one that has a name, not a number, and whose members call themselves “the Jedi.” Which isn’t much of an exaggeration). They don’t think they did anything wrong and turned down the Article 15 because if they accepted it, their ambition to continue to serve their country — at an even higher level — would be quashed.

The three — all career SEALs, not ticket-punchers — would probably be removed from duty and not permitted to re-enlist as SEALs.

Here again, Cleveland could have brought the matter to an end, but — at the advice of his lawyers — he chose to push the matter to the next step, the “special court martial,” which all three now face unless Cleveland changes his mind or a higher-level commander intervenes.

Which is precisely what should happen. It is entirely legal under the UCMJ for one of Cleveland’s superiors to order the charges dismissed. (This is the opposite of illegal “command influence” in which a commander interferes in a military justice case to insist on charges being brought or elevated to a higher charge.)

Which one will? Which Cleveland’s superiors will have the courage to take a tougher path than to just let the trial play out? Who will disregard his lawyers’ caution to “just let the military justice system work”?

Those superiors’ duty is to exercise the judgment Cleveland didn’t. They have to balance the interests of keeping good order and discipline with the morale and effectiveness of the forces they command, and all the others who will be affected.

Putting these SEALs through a court martial for an offense that deserves — at worst — a good chewing out and a sentence to do a few hundred pushups will send a devastating message throughout all the special forces.

Original Link.

Hamas Terrorists Attack with Russian Anti-Tank Missiles

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

Some new developments in the weapons used by Pali terrorist on innocent Israeli civilians.

(IsraelNN.com) Terrorists in Hamas-controlled Gaza escalated attacks against Israel Sunday and fired Russian-made anti-tank missiles for the first time. The missiles exploded in the fields of Kibbutz Alumim, adjacent to the separation fence, and no injuries or damage was reported.

The advanced missiles were of the type usually fired from helicopters, and they carry a larger payload and have a longer range than anti-tank missiles that previously have been used in attacks against Israel.

The S5K air-to-ground missiles are commonly used by terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq, but they are less accurate when fired from the ground.

The use of the weapons bears out Israeli intelligence warnings that Hamas has stockpiled advanced arms, including anti-aircraft missiles. The firing of the Russian-made missiles is a sharp escalation from the usual homemade Kassam rockets.

The Western Negev has sustained more than 270 mortar shell and rocket assaults since the end of the Operation Cast Lead counterterrorist campaign, which began nearly a year ago. Several rockets previously have hit Kibbutz Alumim, but virtually all of them have exploded in open fields.

Original Link.

See also:
The Qassam Rocket – Pali Terrorist Weapon of Choice, An Overview.
“Qassams Fired on Central California” by Dr. Linda Halderman.

Terrorized Sderot Residents
Israeli Citizens Have the RIGHT to Live Without Terror – Stop Terror Attacks Against the People of Sderot, Israel

Justice Thwarts Black Panther Subpoenas for Election Day Intimidation

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

Could it be that President Obama’s legal team is imploding due to a voter intimidation case involving the New Black Panther Party? So many new developments regarding the Black Panther case occurred in the latter half of last week that it is hard keeping up with them all. But none of them look good for the Obama administration or for Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.’s Justice Department.

The case involves paramilitary-garbed Panthers caught on videotape (which was backed by copious testimony) engaged in what observers say were intimidating and racially charged activities outside a Philadelphia polling booth on presidential Election Day in 2008. Even though a judge was ready to enter a default judgment against the Black Panthers, based on a case brought by career attorneys at the Justice Department, the Obama administration suddenly decided last spring to drop three of the four cases and punish the final one with an incredibly weak injunction.

Controversy, accompanied by continued administration stonewalling, has ensued ever since.

———-

As all of this was going on, Deputy Attorney General David Ogden, the No. 2 man in the whole department, was announcing that very morning that he will resign after less than 10 months in office. Mr. Ogden – whose possible involvement in the Black Panther case had been specifically mentioned in the Civil Rights Commission’s subpoena – became the third high-ranking Obama legal official to announce a resignation in the last month. He was preceded by White House counsel Gregory Craig and deputy White House counsel Cassandra Butts.

“Holder and them have done a terrible job on this,” Mr. Wolf told The Washington Times. “This has just been handled so poorly…. You can’t hide these things. There is something wrong here. There is something very wrong. When it all comes out, I think it will be very bad.”

The congressman is probably right.

Original Link.

Mainstream Media: “ClimateGate” Not a Problem

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

What do liberals and the mainstream media do when the truth about man-made global warming gets a little too inconvenient for them? They pull a “Clinton” (remember “what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is”) and find new meaning for the word “trick”.
Now I never claim to be the sharpest tool in the shed, but I thought I knew what the word “trick” meant. But on the off chance I’ve been wrong all these years, I went to the definitive word on word meanings: Merriam-Webster’s dictionary. They had this to say:

1 a : a crafty procedure or practice meant to deceive or defraud b : a mischievous act : prank c : an indiscreet or childish action d : a deceptive, dexterous, or ingenious feat; especially : one designed to puzzle or amuse <a juggler’s tricks>
2 a : a habitual peculiarity of behavior or manner <a horse with the trick of shying> b : a characteristic and identifying feature <a trick of speech> c : a delusive appearance especially when caused by art or legerdemain : an optical illusion <a mere trick of the light>
3 a (1) : a quick or artful way of getting a result : knack <the trick is to make it look natural> (2) : an instance of getting a desired result <one small adjustment will do the trick> b : a technical device (as of an art or craft) <the tricks of stage technique>
4 : the cards played in one round of a card game often used as a scoring unit
5 a : a turn of duty at the helm usually lasting for two hours b : shift 4b(1) c : a trip taken as part of one’s employment d : a sexual act performed by a prostitute <turning tricks>; also : john 2
6 : an attractive child or woman <a cute little trick>

Well, I’m at a loss as to which definition the press wants us to use. None of these definitions are very attractive when used in conjunction with scientist and scientific method.

I think that any semi-education person can clearly see what the climate scientist were doing with the word “trick”

Near the end of the 2PM ET hour on MSNBC, anchor Contessa Brewer discussed the ClimateGate scandal only to claim there was no scandal in the emails that seemed to show climate scientists manipulating global warming data: “I mean is someone using differences in semantics to try and play up a controversy that’s not really there?”

Brewer spoke with Politico reporter Erica Lovely about the emails in which scientists referred to a “trick” to conceal evidence that contradicted predicted warming trends. Brewer explained: “…there’s a Penn State scientist Michael Mann….He says the word ‘trick’ doesn’t actually refer to any kind of deception, but to a very well-known accepted data technique.” Lovely saw nothing improper in concealing data: “They wanted to keep it out of some of the international reports that the United Nations would be looking at, you know, just to – to move the global talks forward.”

After Brewer suggested the use of the word “trick” as “just semantics,” Lovely agreed: “Sure….They’ll use language that maybe to us would look like, you know, something fishy is going on. But to them this is just everyday speak.” Lovely again defended their actions: “…they’ve been working so many decades trying to get some traction on the global warming science that they really can’t afford to have much detracting science get out.”

Yeah, wouldn’t want the truth to actually be considered.

Original Link.

Also see:
NY Times Public Editor Says ClimateGate Emails ‘Not a Three-Alarm Story’.
Nets Panic: Clock at Zero in ‘Life and Death’ Effort to Avoid ‘Global Catastrophe’.