Thursday, March 21, 2013

“HOW DO YOU KNOW THEY’LL PRINT IT?”





In our tradition of publishing timely and relevant journalism by highly respected and credible authors, we are pleased to present this piece by Thomas Lipscomb* in which he argues that the media's allegiance to the Democratic Party is suppressing news.
 

[Click here for link to Lipscomb's blog]

                                                 [desertnews.com]
In one of the most egregious violations of American pretentions to an independent press, John Kerry conspired with the Boston Globe, Associated Press, and the Los Angeles Times organizations to set the ground rules for the long awaited release of his papers after his defeat in 2004.

No one has revealed what the agreement was, but there had been eager anticipation by the public and news media punctuated by lies and promises by Kerry to release them for years before.


When they were finally “released,” the receiving news organizations, none of which had shown any ability or interest in pursuing the numerous discrepancies in Kerry’s claimed war experiences as shown by other records and witnesses, preferring to characterize them as “not proven,” proceeded to put out one to two days brief extract from the papers which contained little of note besides Kerry’s inferior grades to George W. Bush’s in college.

                   [Wellesley College]


When I pressed those news organizations, and others for access, they refused. I reminded them I had run the book publishing company that published “The Pentagon Papers” in their entirety and at considerable expense, and that today with internet publishing, it would cost practically nothing to put them entirely on line in the interest of answering the public’s many questions about Kerry.

And I asked, as with the “Pentagon Papers,” wasn’t it in the public interest to do so?


They still refused to give access to anyone.

It seems highly likely to me, from what I had already learned about the many fraudulent statements in the material I had been able to see, that had they done so, Kerry would never have become our Secretary of State.

 It was the first case I know of showing the press as an outrageously partisan player in American politics, far less interested in its traditional role of informing the public what it wished to know and ought to be aware of than protecting their political allies. And interestingly, circulation and advertising in newspapers and magazines suffered a catastrophic drop about the same time from which it is not recovering.

The strange case of the invisible Hillary Clinton- Sid Blumenthal correspondence might well be in that tradition. Only this time it is worse.

Benghazi
The cover-up on Benghazi is one of the most disgraceful episodes in the history of the American Presidency.

There can be little doubt that the details of that scandal, which may well have affected a Presidential election, were carefully left in doubt by mainstream media, more than 80% of whom were in support of the Obama Administration.



Guccifer's Hack

We don’t know which members of the American Press are refusing to publish or even reveal what they know about the copies of the Clinton-Blumenthal e-mails “Guccifer” claims to have supplied them,

But if there is one thing we do know now it is that we can no longer trust the mainstream media to report in the tradition of Adolph Och’s instruction to his New York Times: “without fear or favor.

Guccifer” should be smart enough to give them directly to “Thesmokinggun” or other investigative internet media, if he wants to get these emails to the public.

As Forbes points out in a fine and well-balanced account, left hanging by their own mainstream media, Americans only access to what is claimed in the “Guccifer” material are Russian sources like Pravda, Moscow Times, and RT. Those are hardly sources without major political spin games of their own.

Three Days of the Condor               [GoneMovie.com]
Some may remember the question hanging in the air at the end of the film of Sydney Pollack’s THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR... A CIA agent challenges whistleblower Robert Redford who has just given classified material on a scandal to the New York Times. "How do you know they’ll print it?" he asked.

It seemed a ridiculous question back in 1975, still a year before America’s Bi-Centennial Celebration. Of course they would publish it.



As Abe Rosenthal said to me one day about some hot manuscript: “If I get my hands on it, it is going in the paper.

Now, it is a valid question. News media are no longer media. They are active partisan players in American politics. And it appears they decide what the “news” is according to what fits their scenario, rather than what’s fit to print.




 *Investigative reporter/editor Tom Lipscomb is a Senior Fellow at the Annenberg Center for the Digital Future (USC) and the founder of Times Books. He broke stories on questions about the military records of both John Kerry and George W. Bush in the 2004 election in the Chicago Sun-Times and the New York Sun.  
His blogpost:
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/03/tom-lipscomb-how-do-you-know-theyll-print-it.php.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spy Release?




Israel's Super-Spy, confident he'll be released because the US is anti-Semitic

 Click here for related story [The Guardian]


We were concerned that Mr Obama's visit to Israel would result in an agreement to release one of the most heinous spies in US history -- as a means to satisfy Israel that Mr Obama is "pro-Israel" and that the US is not anti-Semitic; yea verily, it has come to pass.  All US politicians learn that they must pay obeisance to AIPAC if they value their political careers.
[Note the intense questioning regarding views on Israel surrounding the nomination of candidates for US Secretary of Defense.]

Although the Parole Board has ruled that Pollard must remain in the US for five years following his release, we fully expect him to violate his parole and will be whisked away by private jet to Israel where he will be greeted as a hero.

On several occasions, US Presidents have been pressured to release Mr Pollard as a sign of good-will towards Israel, our "ally".  On those occasions, the US Intelligence and Military Communities have joined together [a highly unusual event] to vehemently oppose Pollard's release; once CIA Director [Tenet] threatened to resign, and other Directors and senior Military officers began going public with disclosures of just how much damage this spy had caused to national security, causing both Mr Clinton and Mr Obama to rethink their inclinations.

The spy is Jonathon Pollard, who claims he got a raw deal and was persecuted because he is a Jew, also claims that his extensive espionage was solely to protect the interests of Israel, and certainly did no harm to the US. 

At least one of those statements is true.  Mr Pollard is, in fact, a Jew.

So, why is Mr Pollard so special in the espionage world, where the US has traditionally exchanged spies with our enemies?


First, Mr Pollard worked primarily for Israel, which has assured us since its inception that it is not our enemy, but in fact, is an ally -- if not our "friend."

So, the espionage aspect is a bit unpalatable -- even though it has continued unabated for many decades, often using US politicians as the means to emplace their operatives into positions with access to sensitive, compartmented intelligence [e.g., NJ governor McGreevey, and Assistant Secretary of Defense Perle]. 

There are some who believe it was Mr Perle and/or Lieutenant General Sidney Weinstein who protected Mr Pollard each time he was fired or investigated -- but there is no conclusive evidence supporting those allegations.

When the US demanded the return of the "tens of thousands" of classified documents Pollard had provided Israel, it received only a few dozen minimally classified documents -- with Israel denying possession of any other documents.  US investigators traveling to Israel came under non-stop harassment from the time they arrived until their [empty-handed] departure.

Mr Netanyahu's arrogance in recent times, during which he demanded the release of Mr Pollard has done more harm than good -- particularly since many in the US Intelligence and Military Communities recall Mr Pollard's activities in detail -- to include the lives of US Intelligence officers lost because of his duplicity and espionage.

Jonathon Pollard was recruited by Israel to spy against the US, worked at Navy's HUMINT program [TF-168] and collected thousands of Top Secret intelligence documents, to include satellite codes, from the Navy, CIA, DIA, NSA, and the NRO, turning them over to Israel, South Africa, Pakistan, Iran, Argentina, Taiwan, and China.  

He also provided information on the location and activities of US intelligence personnel, who were covertly assigned to the US Embassy in Beirut which was blown up in a 1984 false flag "terrorist" incident - attributed to Hezbollah. His assignment to TF-168 had gained him access to highly compartmented HUMINT and Special Operations conducted by TF-157 and all the Military Services, as well as joint operations with the CIA.  The special team of intelligence analysts detailed to the embassy to monitor

It appears that Pollard was recruited as early as 1979 and managed to gain employment in Naval Intelligence in spite of issues such as heavy drug usage and failing his polygraph.  A series of supervisors recommended his immediate dismissal and revocation of his security clearance -- any one of which would have ended the employment and security clearance of the average intelligence officer. 

Pollard on VideoCam stealing docs
Nonetheless, Pollard not only kept his employment, but received a much higher security clearance and an assignment to highly sensitive operations and heavily restricted material.  Within that environment, he was able to obtain "courier status" and carry out tens of thousands of highly classified documents without a challenge.

In retrospect, it is clear Pollard did not act alone, and certainly had a sponsor within Naval Intelligence or DOD protecting him.  Speculation included a flag rank Army Intelligence officer [now deceased]

 His activities undermined and destroyed a large number of clandestine operations, resulting in the death of both US case officers and recruited agents.

In addition, Mr Pollard provided to Israel the 10-volume RASIN [Radio-Signal Notations] manual which detailed the US global surveillance network -- to include SIGINT/COMINT and other sensitive electronic systems.

In addition to passing sensitive intelligence to Israel,  Mr Pollard passed our most sensitive secrets and methods to China, the Soviet Union, and to a number of other countries.

That information included the US Navy's highly sensitive methodology for tracking Soviet submarines -- putting US national security at risk, as well as the lives of US Navy personnel tracking the Soviet subs.

Mr Pollard achieved substantial financial gain by selling classified economic and financial intelligence to investment counselors on Wall Street, and profited from their gain.

Mr Pollard, who claimed he performed his espionage solely through his love of Israel -- and his hatred of the US -- accepted a monthly stipend from Israel of $2,500/month [in that time frame, a sizable sum] plus at least one cash payment of $50,000.  US Prosecutor's estimated his financial gain in the neighborhood of $540,000.  We remain unsure how much profit he derived from the other foreign intelligence agencies he serviced.  

One of his accomplices, Kurt Lohbeck, advised in an interview with syndicated columnist Seymour Hersh that, at no time during their associated activities did Pollard once mention that his motivation was to support Israel.  Lohbeck advised Pollard's sole motivation was "money".

The Israelis were particularly pleased with Pollard's delivery of technical details of US satellite surveillance so they could defeat any US monitoring of Israeli ground movements. 

They mistook the US flag for the Egyptian flag -- all day long

In 1967, they went to the extreme measures of bombing, torpedoing, and strafing an unarmed, clearly identified US Navy electronic surveillance ship in international waters which was monitoring the Six-Day War -- ironically as a stand-by measure to lend Israel assistance in the event the Soviets intervened on the part of Egypt.  US casualties were 34 dead, 171 wounded.

On the anniversary of that attack, US 5th Fleet ships came under attack by unidentified fighters.  There was speculation that the  fighters were Israeli in a "false flag" attack to force the US to attack Iran.

Israel later apologized, advising they misidentified the US ship, which was flying the US flag, which was communicating with IDF headquarters in English and Hebrew, identifying itself as a US Navy ship.  The Israelis claimed they thought it was an Egyptian ship, although the NSA and the US Navy produced recordings of Israeli fighter pilots laughing as they strafed "the stupid Americans"; the Israelis were unable to explain why they were jamming the Liberty's attempted communications with the 6th Fleet.

Although Israel and AIPAC regard the attack on the USS Liberty a minor, and ancient issue -- for which they've apologized, US Intelligence and Military folks give it a higher ranking as a terrorist act than the attack on the USS Cole, and on a par with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor;
the difference in the latter case was that the Japanese attacked the US as an enemy, while Israel attacked the US as an ally.

I make US Middle East policy!!!
But, to return to our original focus, we grow weary of Israel and AIPAC attempting [and often succeeding] to direct our foreign policy.  We invaded Iraq to topple Saddam reportedly on the basis of Israel's intelligence that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction -- and in the process, alienated the US from the Arab world.  Israel and AIPAC routinely threaten our politicians if they do not stridently support Israel -- even if such support is directly in contradiction to US interests.



So we should not succumb to the demands for releasing Mr Pollard whose egregious acts of treason cost the lives of a number of US intelligence officers and seriously threatened our national security.

We urge our Congress, and particularly Mr Obama, to take the appropriate action in this issue, and to deny Israel's pressure to release Mr Pollard.  To this day, we still do not have an accurate damage assessment, and Mr Pollard's accomplices and protector within Naval Intelligence and DOD remain not formally identified.

FOOTNOTE: 
We fully expect to come under attack from AIPAC proxies over this discussion; if they stay true to form, we will be accused of being hateful, anti-Semites -- a charge most of our Jewish supporters will rebut.





Monday, March 18, 2013

Banking Collapse?


Click here for related story {Reuters}

We recall with crystal clarity that moment in 2008 when Senator Schumer [Democrat - NY] announced that he was concerned that Lehman Brothers was "insolvent" and unable to meet its obligations. 

The consequent run on Lehman caused its collapse, creating a domino effect as Bear Stearns and AIG then collapsed, and the rest of Wall Street was faced with massive client account liquidations as morbid fear spread throughout the financial community -- and the investing population. 

That collapse cost the US roughly $22 Trillion, according to the GAO.


As we ease into the New World Order, can we expect the IMF to direct our banks to impose taxes, similar to those to be imposed on Cypriot banks, on US savings accounts?  The official concept is to impose a 3% tax on savings deposits below €100,000 [US$130,000] and to 12.5% for deposits above €100,000. 

That's a fairly massive tax which depositors will go to great lengths to avoid, particularly since they've likely already paid a tax on their earnings which they then deposited into their local banks.


We rank this move as one of the most stupid concepts emanating from the IMF to date.


This move will likely cause a run not only on Cypriot banks, but on all the banks within the European Community as depositors anticipate similar measures in EC banks to "stabilize the economies and reduce debt."

One rationale for this move was that Russians [and other foreigners] were depositing their savings in Cyprus banks to avoid being taxed on those savings at home. 

We suspect that foreigners will no longer make any deposits in Cypriot banks, significantly eroding/destroying the lending capacity of those banks in Cyprus or internationally.





Can we look forward to this process occurring in the US?  It seems the Socialist dominated United Nations, the IMF, and the World Bank all seem to be having a greater sway in US financial policy -- a fairly worrisome situation since those organizations all depend on US contributions to support them.



In years past, we watched Middle Class citizens of Third World countries across the globe pull their savings out of local and national banks when their governments attempted to tax those accounts; governments, such as Argentina and Venezuela restructured and revalued their monetary units, wiping out life savings of their Middle Classes. 




The more astute citizens recognized the warning signs and moved their cash out of the country; efforts to increase taxes on incomes and savings in Venezuela in 1980 caused a run on the Workers' Bank, with a subsequent movement of citizen's deposits out of Venezuela [much of the cash ended up in Miami in the form of condominiums - creating an unprecedented real estate boom] -- and a depletion of Workers' Bank deposits.

Panicked depositors in 1929

We expect this poorly thought-out IMF concept to destabilize the European banking communities in the near term, and to unsettle depositors throughout the globe who will fear for the safety of their savings. 

We also expect to see new investment categories emerge here in the US in which depositors will place their savings, but which will not have the FDIC safety net -- and which will destabilize the US economy once again.

 



Footnote:
The IMF is saturated with posturing, highly paid, and untaxed Socialists and Emerging Nation, self-styled  "economists" who have no grasp of reality, and who view those with savings and real income [excluding themselves, of course] as "greedy capitalists" and subject to unrealistic taxation.



Notably, IMF executives have an average compensation of $181,000 - untaxed, plus living expenses.

More senior executive salaries approach $500,000, plus living expenses [housing, leased-chauffeur-driven limousines, expense accounts, armed guards, etc.].

We doubt if these executives park their savings in banking systems in Europe now, but more likely will find them in off-shore accounts not subject to IMF or World Bank oversight.




DISCLAIMER:
Our expertise in addressing this issue is based on several years conducting international financial analysis at the US State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Drone Medals for Gamers?




This is riskier than a soldier facing Taliban or an actual fighter pilot dodging SAMs?  REALLY?!

We learned today that former Secretary of Defense, Mr Panetta, was not only able to keep this nonsensical medal alive, but that newly minted Secretary of Defense Hagel [see comment below] has apparently endorsed it, and will keep it at a an order-of-merit level above the Bronze Star.

American Military Veterans recall that the Bronze Star and other combat-related medals have been awarded for heroism, valor, and exposure to hostile fire in a combat zone.

Vets immediately recognize those who earned this medal for serving in hostile fire zones where the individual was at physical risk while operational -- no matter what his or her position.  When awarded for Valor, with the "V" device, it meant that the recipient was at "deadly risk" in direct contact with enemy forces.  Though unusual, the "V" device could be added to Commendation Medals as well.


Ranks ABOVE the Bronze Star

The Distinguished Warfare Medal, yet to be awarded, can be given for meritorious service -- in support of combat actions -- but not for being "at risk or hostile exposure IN a combat zone."

Initially, it ranked above the Soldier's Medal, but just below the Distinguished Flying Cross -- both awarded for heroism.



We wrote [below] about this medal back in July 2012, and we thought the ensuing outrage had put this [then] proposed medal completely out of the awards and decorations category. 

Looks like we were wrong, perhaps because we have so many flag-rank officers in our military who have NO combat experience.

---------------------
[Posted July 2012]

We learned today that the Department of Defense, [then] headed by none other than Leon Panetta - ex-budget guy, ex-congressman, ex-CIA chief, wants to create and issue a new combat medal for the heroic pilots flying those life-threatening combat missions via remote control.

Drone pilot flying combat mission         [USAF photo]
That's right: Drone Pilots.

They gut it out in mortal combat in padded chairs using hand controllers, watching monitors to zap the bad guys.  Based on the edge of the combat zone, in Creech Air Force Base a half hour's drive from Las Vegas, these folks live a "white-knuckle" existence.

And, to unwind, they put on a video game.


Sometimes, they're not sure if they're on a real mission or playing a video game.

According to Air Force Major Dave Blair, quoted in the Air & Space Journal:
"... how much difference is there in terms of risk between 10,000 feet and 10,000 miles!" 

In other words, do you have to really be "at risk" to qualify for a combat medal? 


Shot down at 65,000 feet

If you're pushing the red button on a joy stick just outside Las Vegas, versus flying over a combat zone at say 50,000 feet pushing the button, what's the difference in risk since there's no risk to a pilot flying over 10,000 feet.

According to Blair, the combat pilot has nothing to worry about if he's flying above 10,000 feet. 

Same level of danger, no real threat.


But, we seem to recall the Soviet technology of 50 years ago brought down a US U2 spy-plane at 65,000 feet, along with its pilot, Gary Powers.  Gary would likely tell you that he was at risk.



Of course, it was the loss of the U2 that prompted the creation of the drone under Project Red Wagon in 1961.
 
Major Blair advises that the drone pilots are more at risk because they are prime targets for "terrorists".

Why, while a drone pilot plays the slots in Las Vegas, a terrorist could walk right up to him, put a grenade in his daiquiri, and steal his roll of quarters.

The Joy Stick Medal would actually be designated the Distinguished Warfare Medal, and, in the order of merit, would rank between the Soldier's Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross "for exceptional conduct outside a combat zone."  Both the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Soldier's Medal are awarded for "heroism." 


DFC


The Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) is awarded for heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight. 

[It is an interim medal for those who have been recommended for the Medal of Honor.]

Soldiers's Medal

The Soldier's Medal is awarded for those who distinguish themselves by heroism not involving actual conflict with the enemy.

 
Mr Panetta would degrade both medals with his new addition which has no linkage whatever to heroism, but rather, is tied to skill with a joy stick. 

Now operating a gaming joy stick does take some skill, and if the joy stick operator takes out enemy positions or personnel while sitting in a Las Vegas easy chair, then he/she should get a Commendation Medal or even a Meritorious Service Medal.

Come to think of it,
a Bronze Star can be awarded for administrative excellence
-- oops, for service in a hazardous duty zone, which Las Vegas is not, unless you count getting mugged in a back alley.

But, the future is not about heroism; it is about accomplishing the mission without sacrificing pilots -- why, the savings on medals alone would be phenomenal!

Predator; no passenger toilet facilities  [USAF photo]
Now, we do not disdain modern technology.  And there is no question that the drones will likely replace our combat pilots, and eventually, even our transport pilots. 

Risk to our personnel will essentially be eliminated, and G forces will no longer restrict the speed or maneuverability of aircraft -- although the crews did survive the accelleration of the SR-71 at Mach 5. 




But the drones will be far more maneuverable and some can even now stay aloft in a reconnaissance mode for as much as three months, or longer -- exceeding the capacity of the average pilot to control his bladder or bowels..  And speed?  The fastest on record is the Low Earth Orbit drone which flies at around 100 miles up and speeds around 17,000 miles per hour, give or take a Mach or two.

Then again, there IS this possible [probable?] scenario:

"Firebase Tango!
"We acknowledge your report that you are being overrun by enemy forces.
"However --
"Our system has been hacked and has crashed; we're attempting to reboot, which may take several hours. But, in the meantime, be advised the drone is no longer capable of distinguishing between friend or foe, so you may be at risk! 
Firebase Tango, Firebase Tango!  Please acknowledge. 
"Damn!  Looks like comms are out too; let's head over to the Strip for a beer while the system reboots."




Purple Heart for gamer's thumb [Epson]






So, let's not be handing out medals of heroism to some dweeb who is essentially a "gamer" on a slick computer console with a souped up joy stick.  If they do well, and blow up lots of stuff, and cause the enemy to bleed without killing innocent civilians, then we can give them a medal for their skill and accomplishment
-- but not for heroism.


1 comment:

It may be possible we helped influence SecDef Hagel on this issue.
At 1430, Mr Hagel reportedly announced production of this medal would be put on hold pending a full review of its requirements and place in the order of merit.

It is likely to rank between an achievement medal and a Meritorious Service Medal, but will at best, rank below a combat award.

It turns out that ex-Secretary Panetta authorized the medal a few days before he left office; an act of either incompetence or cowardice since he had already received considerable blow=back after he announced the creation of the medal last July.
ReplyDelete

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Al Haig - Unsung Hero





 General Al Haig died three years ago, but his legacy remains.  He took action on March 30, 1981 and ended World War III -- before it started. 


That was the day that President Reagan addressed the AFL-CIO at the Washington Hilton hotel, where he was shot upon exiting the hotel by John Hinkley. 

While President Reagan was rushed to the hospital, the news and video of the assassination attempt flashed around the world, and stopped at the Kremlin.  


Within minutes of the news, the Soviet military had decided that the US was leaderless, since Vice President Bush was in flight, hours away from Washington, and the succession process would be time consuming and a bureaucratic imbroglio.  

Given that situation, President Brezhnev and the Soviet military leadership decided this was an exploitable moment.  



They knew the US military was in a chaotic state following Jimmy Carter’s slash and burn policies, and they firmly believed they could over-run NATO if the Washington leadership was in turmoil.  The Commander of NATO at that moment was General Bernie Rogers, a pleasant political general without the forceful personality of Haig, whom the Soviets felt comfortable they could intimidate.


As soon as Reagan was in the ambulance and headed for surgery, the Soviet Warsaw Pact ground and air forces were mobilized, along with the strategic rocket forces, and last but not least, their nuclear submarine forces were alerted to take up attack positions off the US coasts. 

 



Most notable was the activation of the Soviet Command Train [their mobile command center] which was activated only during times of military crisis – and aggressive action; when the Soviet Command train started rolling, intelligence analysts around the world took note and the world’s military establishment immediately went on the highest alert status.



At the Pentagon, the National Military Command Center [NMCC], responding to the Soviet actions, immediately went to its highest level of alert, activating NATO forces as well as the Strategic Air Command. 

 


Haig, having served as NATO commander under Jimmy Carter -- and a periodic assassination target of Soviet Spetznaz operatives, was Reagan’s Secretary of State and probably the most informed man in Washington when it came to the Soviet military threat; the Soviets also feared Haig more than any US general and were convinced he would annihilate the Soviet Union if given the opportunity; payback, perhaps for their foiled assassination attempts.  

At the time Reagan was shot, Haig was at the White House Situation Room, along with Secretary of Defense Weinberger and National Security Advisor Richard Allen, neither of whom grasped the gravity of the situation with regard to Soviet intentions, and both of whom would later attack Haig’s actions.

Haig recognized from all the indicators that the Soviets were in the process of launching World War III, while neither Weinberger (a politician) nor Allen (an academic) recognized the threat.  In horror, Haig watched a live television monitor as Deputy Press Secretary Larry Speaks fumbled in the Press Room; in answer to Leslie Stahl’s question of  'who was running the government in the absence of President Reagan?', Speaks’ responded that “I cannot answer that question at this time” -- a clear signal to the Soviets that the US government was then incapable of responding to a Soviet attack.

Haig sent a note into Speaks telling him to step away from the dais and to stop answering questions.  Haig then stormed into the Press Room and announced he would answer the question, and stated:
"Constitutionally, gentlemen, you have the President, the Vice President and the Secretary of State, in that order, and should the President decide he wants to transfer the helm to the Vice President, he will do so.


[RobinChapmanNews]

“As of now, I am in control here, in the White House, pending the return of the vice president and in close touch with him. If something came up, I would check with him, of course."



The immediate result of Haig’s appearance in the White House Press Room, announcing on international television that he was “in control” had the desired effect. The last thing the Soviets expected was to see General Haig at the head of the US government, with his finger on the trigger and ready to exercise this opportunity to even the score with the Soviets for their failed assassination attempt on him in Europe.  

Although Haig knew full well what the legal Presidential succession process was, the Soviets did not.  All they knew was that Al Haig appeared to now be running the US, and he was the last guy in the world they wanted in that position.

USSR General Secretary Brezhnev
Brezhnev and his generals immediately recognized that a face-off with Haig would surely bring about the destruction of the Soviet Union, and they ordered the stand-down of the Soviet/Warsaw Pact military forces.  Both the Soviet Union and the US sheathed their swords, and calm settled in – as Brezhnev wiped his brow, cursing his generals for their bad advice; and Haig prepared his report for the President.


The media and the Left immediately seized on only one part of Haig's statement, i.e, “I am in control here” and began the debate of legal Presidential succession, and attacked Haig as a “power-hungry warmonger.”   


What they failed to recognize, or to ever acknowledge, was that Haig had averted World War III; they now had a new target to ridicule, and of course, Weinberger and Allen were only too happy to add fuel to the fire to diminish Haig’s relationship with Reagan and Bush -- and thereby increase their own political base. 

In Washington, it matters not who is right, but who has the friendship and support of the Media.

And that, as Paul Harvey used to say "... is the rest of the story!"

Footnote:
If Al Haig were alive today, he would be shocked to see Russian soldiers, dressed in DHS uniforms, conducting traffic stops near a DHS encampment in Kentucky.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Sequestration






Well, the moment of truth came for the Sequestration event.  Kind of like a Moon Eclipse; the pre-event Administration warnings of doom and gloom were significantly more exiting than the actual event.  As the cartoonist [Stantis] above noted, the catastrophes Mr Obama hysterically predicted failed to occur.  Still another event affecting Mr Obama's credibility -- or lack there-of. 

Just to let Congress know how devastating the Sequestration has been on his budget, Mr Obama has advised that he is cancelling the White House tour program; since those tours are usually conducted by unpaid Interns, this action serves no purpose -- monetary or otherwise -- but is in step with the majority of his other actions.

But, there was a positive in this non-event. 
It caused us to examine the Administration's agency budgets to see if there was any fat that might be trimmed.  And, amazingly enough, it looked like a liposuction clinic.

Generally, if legislatures or government execs are faced with demands to cut the budget, they will first announce cuts to high demand services such as police, the fire department, teachers, and emergency services.

They will avoid sweetheart construction projects on which they get kickbacks, or the massive bureaucracies they've created to employ cronies and relatives and to spin contracts to their henchmen. 

Normal Corruption  [Buzzle.com]



We can live with kickbacks, since they are part and parcel part of the acknowledge political process.  Bribes, kickbacks, "campaign contributions", etc.s are one-time events and rarely tie to long-term feeding at the corruption trough. 






Redundancy is the norm          [Agilecmmi.com]


But, we can't live with bloated bureaucracies which have long term costs of retirement benefits; these bloats have flourished in the past four years with massive increases in the upper half of staffing and management -- with salary scales ranging between $75,000 - $200,000, plus benefits. 

When these folks retire, taxpayers will have to continue to support them until they are buried, and taxpayers will likely pay for that as well.



But, for the moment, let's look at the budgets for these individual agencies -- and try to determine if they are cost effective, or if they can trim their budgets -- or if they should be eliminated altogether!


1) Dept of Education [$66 Billion] [5,000 employees]
[figures below were requested budgets]
Recall for the moment, the emphasis Mr Obama has placed on making our kids competitive in Math, Science, and Technology.





Not a penny for Math/Science



a) Mathematics and Science Partnerships:   $ -0-
b) Educational Technology State Grants:     $ -0-
c) Reading First:                                        $ -0-
d) Teacher Incentive Fund:                         $ -0-





While those Education programs were de-funded, these others have increased exponentially:
a) Office for Civil Rights [?]: $53.6 Million
b) Inspector General [?]: $26 Million
c) OTHER [undefined]: $5.6 BILLION
[That's a lot of money that is "undefined".  Is this another Administration Slush Fund?]
  

2) Dept of Energy [$31 Billion/$27 Billion in Discretionary Funds] [16,000 employees]
 
$13.5 Billion to these scams                          [FBI Photo]

a) $11.5 BILLION:  Maintaining nuclear weapons and Navy nuclear submarine reactors
b) $ 2.5 BILLION: NNSA [National Nuclear Security Administration]; protecting nuclear weapons
c) $ 1.3 BILLION:  Research and Development
d) $12.2 BILLION: Direct Loans for "Advanced Techology" [e.g., Solyndra]
e) $ 1.2 BILLION:  Guaranteed Loans to private lenders [e.g.,  Solyndra default]
f) $   6.3 BILLION:  Undisclosed

3) EPA  [$9 Billion]  [17,000 employees]
a) $ 1.1 BILLION:  Monitoring "Climate Change" and Improving Air Quality
b) $ 3.8 BILLION:  "Protecting" US Waters?
c) $ 1.9 BILLION:  Community Clean-up
d) $ 0.7 BILLION:  Ensuring Safety of Chemicals and Pollution Prevention
e) $ 0.8 BILLION:  Enforcing Environmental Laws.

--- Now here's where it gets really ugly!

2,716 of these DHS Armored Command Centers
4) Department of Homeland Security  
[$60 Billion]  
[240,000 employees]
DHS assesses threats to the US.
"Budget breakout is difficult to define"

Documented DHS threats include:
a) Muslim Lobbyists
b) Pro- and anti-abortion activists
c)  Environmental Activists
d) Tea Party groups
e) Second Amendment ralliers
f)  Ron Paul supporters
g) Third Party voters
h) Historically Black colleges
i)  Returning Combat Vets from Iraq


5) Dept of Agriculture  [$135 Billion]  [105,000 employees]

$30 Billion for NOT growing crops!
a)  $30 BILLION:  Agricultural Subsidies to farmers [for NOT growing crops]
b)  $95 BILLION:  Food subsidies, including food stamps, school lunches, "nutrition program" 
c)  $3 BILLION:  Rural housing, Utilities, Business coop service, "Rural Development"





d)  Slush funds (?)     [$3.5 Billion]
     (1)  $    893,000:   Office of Asst Sec for Civil Rights
     (2)  $    498,000:   Office of Tribal Relations
     (3)  $ 3,576,000:   Congressional Relations?
     (4)  $    848,000:   Marketing & Regulatory Programs
     (5)  $    893,000:   Natural Resources & Environment
        
Going through these budgets is an excruciating exercise, as we are certain it is meant to be -- to dull the sensibilities of the reviewer.  Since we have worked for the government, and prepared and padded budgets, we're quite familiar with what is fluff and puff, and what is real. 

As best we can determine, there is massive redundancy in these agencies, overlapping charters, and duplicated offices.  For example, the Department of Agriculture overlaps with DHS and the Bureau of Indian Affairs in redundant programs for Native Americans; we'll presume there is no benefit to Native Americans from these programs, so they are merely sinecures for friends, family members, and paybacks for political contributions.

Why does the Agriculture spend $3.5 Million on "Congressional Relations"?  We recognized they must brief Congress periodically, but they already have massive administrative budgets in each office for such purposes. 

Why is Agriculture paying out $30 BILLION for subsidies to farmers so they WON'T grow crops?

Our recommendation for Sequestration cuts which will have no impact on effectiveness:

1.  Cut Department of Education by 50%; shift grants to HHS [eliminate Department of Education].
2.  Cut Department of Energy by 50%.  DOD already has responsibility for much of nuclear security.
3.  Cut EPA by 50% with no impact:  Monitoring Climate Change? Have an intern read the
     newspaper.
4)  Cut DHS by 50% with no negative impact.  Good God!  Where do we start? 
     a) What do 240,000 employees do, other than look for US citizens to arrest. 
     b) These people must be jammed together, cheek to jowel, gasping for a reason for existence.
     c) Fire 200,000 of these employees and provide grants to the States to beef up their regional
         security issues.  If they can't find jobs, put them on welfare for a year; it's a lot cheaper than
         paying them salaries and benefits, and retirement!
5) Cut Agriculture by 35% and fire 60,000 employees.  That leaves plenty left over to perform meat inspections and farm advice programs.  Slice the Agriculture IT budget by 75%; that has to be a massive rip-off since it is physically impossible to spend $1Billion on IT equipment and services for a single agency.
                                                              [RollCall]



Why is Agriculture spending billions on IT ? 
----[It's incredibly hard to spend that much money on IT products and services!]






Sequestration?








It's the best idea to have come out of the White House during this entire Administration -- even though Mr Obama now refers to it as a Republican plot to disrupt the country and denies any association with its creation.  Once again, Mr Obama has been caught in a bald-faced lie -- and even the Media is calling him out on it.

As a footnote, even his own Party is calling Mr Obama out on the subject.  Representatives Issa [R] and Waxman [D], both of California, have slammed Mr Obama for ignoring more than 16,000 recommendations from agency Inspectors General which would collectively save $67 BILLION per year.


Neutering these Inspectors General is the fact that Mr Obama has not made such appointments at the State Department, USAID, the Labor Department, and the Interior Department -- which have a collective budget of $900 BILLION.

It would appear that Mr Obama has no interest whatever in stabilizing the budget -- or the economy.  We return to our original hypothesis that his goal is to undermine US Stability.

Congress:  Here's your fatted calf!  Sharpen your carving knives! And keep a close eye on Mr Obama.