Archive for US Military

Americans Empathy For The Family Of US Soldier Captain Khan Killed In Iraq; Is Self Evident That America’s CORE DECENCY IS ALIVE!

Posted in 2016 Presidency, Abraham Lincoln, Better Tomorrows, Democrats, Hillary Clinton For POTUS, humility, Killed In Iraq, Michelle Obama, Moslems, Politics, Presidency 2016, President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, United States, US Soldier Captain Khan, Vote Hillary with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 6, 2016 by sheriffali

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[NYT] Six minutes and one second. That was all it took for the 66 years of Khizr Khan’s life to become an American moment.

 

“Donald Trump, What Have You Given? Nothing! No One!” [Khizr Khan Father of Captain Khan]

 

[SGA] “The Respect given to US Soldier Captain Khan’s family is our assurance that Donald Trump’s “Bigotry, Fascism, Racism, Hate And Lies”, shall never succeed in America. The 13 Million people that voted Trump in the Primary that enabled him to become the Republican Nominee, those seeds were sown decades ago by the GOP and are now being harvested in the person of Vermin Donald Trump”.

 

[NYT] It was not something that he could have anticipated. For years, he and his wife, Ghazala, had lived a rather quiet existence of common obscurity in Charlottesville, Va. He was known in circles that dealt with electronic discovery in legal proceedings. Another overlapping sphere was the rotating cast of cadets that passed through the Army R.O.T.C. program at the University of Virginia. His wife was a welcoming face to the customers of a local fabric store.

 

And the last dozen years for the Khans were darkened by their heartbreak over the death of a military son, Humayun, whose body lies in Arlington National Cemetery, his tombstone adorned with an Islamic crescent. Their grief brought them closer to a university and to a young woman in Germany whom their son loved. It also gave them a conviction and expanded the borders of their lives.

 

Some of their neighbors knew Mr. Khan liked to carry a $1 pocket Constitution around with him. In the Khan home, a stack of them always lay at the ready. Guests showed up and they were handed one, in the way other hosts might distribute a party favor. Mr. Khan wanted it to stimulate a conversation about liberty, a cherished topic of his. He liked to point out that he lives nearly in the shadow of Monticello, home of one of his heroes, Thomas Jefferson. Mrs. Khan liked to say, “We need Thomas Jefferson.”

 

And then the Khans stepped into a sports arena in Philadelphia and left as household names. In a passionate speech at the Democratic National Convention, the bespectacled Mr. Khan stingingly criticized Donald J. Trump and his stance on Muslim immigration, scolding him, “You have sacrificed nothing and no one.” Quickly enough, both Khans felt the verbal lashings of Mr. Trump, the Republican presidential candidate.

 

And just like that, they found themselves a pivot point in the twisting drama that is American politics.

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Open Link And Read New York Times Full Article:

 

http://nyti.ms/2aowAti

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Rob O’Neill, The former Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden is slamming Seymour Hersh’s report that challenges the White House’s account of the mission, calling it “garbage.”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 12, 2015 by sheriffali

[WSJ] Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh published an article Sunday about the 2011 raid on Osama Bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan that immediately went viral, crashing the London Review of Books Web site.

Among its striking claims: Bin Laden was a “prisoner” of the Pakistani intelligence service in his Abbottabad compound since 2006; the United States learned of Bin Laden’s whereabouts through a former Pakistani intelligence officer; Saudi Arabia was “financing Bin Laden’s upkeep”; and Pakistan’s military helped Washington plan the raid.

There’s a lot to absorb in Mr. Hersh’s lengthy story. The White House has denied the allegation that Pakistan cooperated on the raid. Here are three reasons to be skeptical of some of the article’s claims:

Sourcing. This article takes the practice of anonymous attribution to a new level. Mr. Hersh’s 10,356-word account is based nearly exclusively on a handful of unnamed sources–which can’t be fact-checked–and mainly one retired U.S. intelligence official. One of the only named sources is Asad Durrani, a former director of Pakistani intelligence in the early 1990s. In an Al Jazeera interview this year, Mr. Durrani insinuated that Pakistani intelligence knew about Bin Laden’s presence in Abbottabad. But Mr. Durrani retired more than 20 years ago. Even in a country where retired security establishment figures retain influence and access, such a long separation from public service suggests that Mr. Durrani is not the most plugged-in source.

Quotations. Mr. Hersh’s account features voluminous, sometimes paragraphs-long quotations. Some are suspect for logical reasons; among theskepticism expressed online, for example, was a point on social media that the way in which a “former Seal commander” reportedly spoke about SEAL missions is unrealistic. Other remarks appear absurd or, at the least, ill-informed. The retired U.S. intelligence official says that Pakistani military officers believe they are the “keepers of the flame against Muslim fundamentalism.” Based on what I’ve observed as an analyst of Pakistan, I would argue that it’s more accurate to say the Pakistani military is a keeper of the flame of fundamentalism, thanks to its associations with militant groups.

U.S.-Pakistan Relations. In early 2011, U.S.-Pakistan relations were in deep crisisthanks in part to Raymond Davis, a CIA contractor who was arrested after killing two people at a crowded intersection in Lahore. According to Mr. Hersh, at that point the CIA and Pakistani intelligence were closely cooperating and jointly planning the raid on the Bin Laden compound. He writes that the retired U.S. intelligence source said that a Pakistani intelligence “liaison officer” flew with the SEALS on the night of the raid. Unless the crisis in relations was an elaborate cover, it beggars belief to assume such close intelligence cooperation.

Mr. Hersh is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who has broken major stories, including the My Lai massacre in Vietnam and Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. This account purports to explain an elaborate conspiracy theory, and–as I have written previously–such stories sometimes contain elements of truth.

Still, the issues of sourcing and substance suggest taking Mr. Hersh’s account with a healthy dose of salt.

Michael Kugelman is senior associate for South Asia at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He is on Twitter: @michaelkugelman.

 

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US Warship Heads To Yemeni Waters; Could block Iran weapons

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 21, 2015 by sheriffali

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a stepped-up response to Iranian backing of Shiite rebels in Yemen, the Navy aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt is steaming toward the waters off Yemen to beef up security and join other American ships that are prepared to intercept any Iranian vessels carrying weapons to the Houthi rebels.

 

The deployment comes after a U.N. Security Council resolution approved last week imposed an arms embargo on leaders of the Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi rebels. The resolution passed in a 14-0 vote with Russia abstaining.

 

Navy officials said Monday that the Roosevelt was moving through the Arabian Sea. A massive ship that carries F/A-18 fighter jets, the Roosevelt is seen more of a deterrent and show of force in the region.

 

The U.S. Navy has been beefing up its presence in the Gulf of Aden and the southern Arabian Sea in response to reports that a convoy of about eight Iranian ships is heading toward Yemen and possibly carrying arms for the Houthis. Navy officials said there are about nine U.S. warships in the region, including cruisers and destroyers carrying teams that can board and search other vessels.

 

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the ship movement on the record.

 

Saudi Arabia and several of its allies, mainly Gulf Arab countries, have been trying to drive back the rebels, who seized the capital of Sanaa in September and have overrun many other northern provinces with the help of security forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The U.S. supports the Saudi campaign.

 

Western governments and Sunni Arab countries say the Houthis get their arms from Iran. Tehran and the rebels deny that, although the Islamic Republic has provided political and humanitarian support to the Shiite group.

The U.S. has been providing logistical and intelligence support to the Saudi coalition launching airstrikes against the Houthis. That air campaign is now in its fourth week, and the U.S. has also begun refueling coalition aircraft involved in the conflict.

 

White House spokesman Josh Earnest would not comment specifically on any Navy movements in Yemeni waters, but said the U.S. has concerns about Iran’s “continued support for the Houthis.

 

“We have seen evidence that the Iranians are supplying weapons and other armed support to the Houthis in Yemen. That support will only contribute to greater violence in that country. These are exactly the kind of destabilizing activities that we have in mind when we raise concerns about Iran’s destabilizing activities in the Middle East.”

 

He said, “The Iranians are acutely aware of our concerns for their continued support of the Houthis by sending them large shipments of weapons.”

 

The expanded U.S. Navy activity in the region comes at a sensitive time, as the U.S. and six world powers have reached a framework deal with Iran to control its nuclear program. Since the preliminary deal with reached on April 2, Iran and the U.S. have been disputing the details of the deal. And on Monday, a lawyer for Tehran-based Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian said Tehran had charged Rezaian with espionage and three other crimes. The Obama administration dismisses the charges as “absurd.”

 

The U.S. Navy generally conducts consensual boardings of ships when needed, including to combat piracy around Africa and the region. So far, however, U.S. naval personnel have not boarded any Iranian vessels since the Yemen conflict began.

 

Officials said it’s too soon to speculate on what the Navy ships may do as the Iranian convoy approaches, including whether Iran would consent to a boarding request, and what actions the Navy would take if its request was refused.

 

Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country, has been pushed to the brink of collapse by ground fighting and the Saudi-led airstrikes in support of current President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who was forced to flee to Saudi Arabia. Observers say the fighting in the strategic Mideast nation is taking on the appearance of a proxy war between Iran, the Shiite powerhouse backing the Houthis, and Sunni-dominated Saudi Arabia.

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Associated Press writers Jim Kuhnhenn in Washington and Ahmed al-Haj in Sanaa, Yemen, contributed to this report.

 

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Republican Budget Cutting Almost Halved The Center For Disease And Control Emergency Preparedness, And Now They Cast Blame On Everyone For Ebola!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2014 by sheriffali

The Republican fetish with starving government has helped land West Africa in an Ebola crisis. The director of the National Institutes of Health made that clear when he told Huffington Post that steep budget cuts by Congress has set back the institute’s work on both prevention and treatment for the disease and that if it hadn’t been for a decade’s worth of cuts, “we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this that would’ve gone through clinical trials and would have been ready.”

 

It’s not just the NIH that’s suffered, and it’s not just in Africa where the cuts are harming people. The Center for Disease Control’s emergency preparedness budget has been nearly cut in half in just the past seven years. That means preparation at home. That means that local health departments in this country don’t have the funding—or the staff—they need to do the necessary preparation and training to deal with any epidemic. Judy Stone, MD is an infectious disease specialist, details the cuts at Scientific American.

 

The CDC’s discretionary funding was cut by $585 million during [2010-14]. Shockingly, annual funding for the CDC’s public health preparedness and response efforts were $1 billion lower for 2013 fiscal year than for 2002. These funding decreases have resulted in more than 45,700 job losses at state and local health departments since 2008. Again, it is not just the Ebola that is a looming threat. We need to worry about vaccine-preventable but neglected infections like influenza, measles, and whooping cough; the serious emerging viral infections in the US like Enterovirus-D68, chikungunya and dengue, as well as overseas MERS and bird flus, and natural disasters.

 

Just let that sink in a bit. $1 billion less for infectious disease control in 2013 than in 2002. The problems in the Texas hospital that led to one of the nursing staff contracting the disease could potentially have been prevented if the local public health infrastructure had the funding and the staff it needs to deal with a serious health public health threat. Meanwhile, Republicans will continue to screech that it’s all Obama’s fault and will do everything they can to terrify Americans about the (highly unlikely) Ebola epidemic at home. [DailyKos]

 

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Pentagon: Climate Change Poses ‘Immediate Risks’ to National Security

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2014 by sheriffali

Pentagon: Climate Change Poses ‘Immediate Risks’ to National Security

 

Climate change poses “immediate risks” to national security and will have broad and costly impacts on the way the U.S. military carries out its missions, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says. In a statement, Hagel called global warming a “threat multiplier,” saying rising seas and increasing numbers of severe weather events could exacerbate the dangers posed by threats ranging from infectious disease to terrorism. Hagel was in Peru on Monday for the Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas, where he planned to discuss a Defense Department report titled “2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap.”

 

“Climate change will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the Nation and poses immediate risks to U.S. national security,” the report says. Hagel said that rising sea levels could flood coastal military bases in the U.S. and around the world, while droughts, wildfires and more extreme temperatures could threaten military training activities. “Our supply chains could be impacted, and we will need to ensure our critical equipment works under more extreme weather conditions,” Hagel said.

 

 The Center for Climate and Security, a policy institute with an advisory board of retired senior military officers and national security experts, said in a statement it concurred with the roadmap’s assessment and urged policymakers to follow the military’s lead.

 

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Secretive X-37B Military Space Plane To Land in California after 22 months in Orbit!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2014 by sheriffali

The U.S. Air Force’s mysterious X-37B space plane will return to Earth this week —possibly as early as Tuesday — after 22 months in orbit on a secret mission.

 

The robotic X-37B space plane, also known as the Orbital Test Vehicle, will land at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, where Air Force officials are gearing up for its return. As of today (Oct. 12), the X-37B mini-shuttle has been in orbit since December 2012 and racked up a record-shattering 671 days in space.

 

“Team Vandenberg stands ready to implement safe landing operations for the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, the third time for this unique mission” said Col. Keith Baits, 30th Space Wing commander, in a statement on Friday (Oct. 10). [See photos from the X-37B mission]

 

 The X-37B landing could occur on Tuesday (Oct. 14), according to several press reports, including Reuters. The spacecraft is designed to fly itself autonomously during landings.

 

The Air Force has two X-37B space planes in its fleet and has been flying them on secret missions since 2010. But the exact purpose of those flights have been shrouded in secrecy. The mission in orbit now, called Orbital Test Vehicle 3 (OTV-3), launched on Dec. 11, 2012 aboard an Atlas 5 rocket.

 

As its name suggests, the OTV-3 mission is the third X-37B flight, but it uses the same space plane that launched on the program’s first mission, OTV-1, in April 2010. That first flight lasted 225 days. The second X-37B space plane launched in March 2011 and returned to Earth in June 2012 after 469 days in orbit.

 

endurance milestones of the earlier missions in the dust. All X-37B missions are overseen by the U.S. Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office. The 3rd Space Experimentation Squadron at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado, serves as mission control.

 

X-37B space planes resemble miniature versions of NASA’s space shuttles, just smaller, with two of the vehicles fitting inside the payload bay of a NASA shuttle. Each X-37B spacecraft is about 29 feet (8.8 meters) long and 9.5 feet (2.9 m). They have a wingspan of about 15 feet (4.6 m), and a small payload bay about the size of a pickup truck bed.

 

Boeing’s Phantom Works division built the X-37B mini-shuttles. The spacecraft are able to stay in orbit for months by using a solar array to generate power.

 

So far, all X-37B missions have landed in California at Vandenberg Air Force Base, but that may not always be the case.

 

Boeing is working to repurpose a retired NASA shuttle hangar at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, near the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station used to launch all X-37B space missions to date. Meanwhile, the U.S. Air Force has been studying the possibility of using a NASA runway previously used by space shuttles for future X-37B landings. [Yahoo News]

 

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