Dennis Prager @University-Wisconsin Madison

Widely regarded as one of the most eloquent and powerful speakers of his generation, Dennis Prager has lectured in nearly every one of the 50 states and all seven continents. Every day, he hosts the widely popular and influential nationally syndicated Dennis Prager Show. Prager is a prolific commentator with a weekly column and the author of four books. He has also produced three films. How will students react?

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The Utter Collapse of Trump-Russia Gate

Rush Limbaugh discusses the utter collapse of the conspiracy known as “Russian Collusion.” The latest bombshell is by Rep. Devin Nunes, which I add near the end of this first hour [35-minutes here] of yesterdays show (TRANSCRIPT), destroys the narrative every news org (save one) has been making. B-u-t, people like to be told what to think, and so “group think” looms large on the Left.

Doing the Impossible Motivating Young People to be Responsible

Jordan Peterson is an unlikely Youtube celebrity. The Canadian psychologist lectures about things like responsibility. Yet millions of young people watch his videos and line up to hear his speeches and buy his book 12 Rules for Life. It was number one on the Amazon bestseller list for a month.

L.A. Times Visceral Attack On the Value of Life (Paso Robles)

(JUMP to Added Update)

While on vacation I remembered this reading by Dennis Prager of an LA TIMES article that enrages his sensibilities… why you ask? Exactly because the Left doesn’t use theirs. So a volume caution at around 8:22 to about 9:30 is required.

Here is my Facebook post as I was sitting for breakfast in the Central Coast wine country:

I am in the free breakfast area of the Best Western in Atascadero [Wine Tasting in Paso Robles] and the news item on the TV that caught my attention was the police officer not entering the school, risking his life to save the lives of children and teachers in that very recent school shooting. Instead, he took up a position outside the school… probably thinking that this position will assure his going home to his own family. (Who knows what was going through his mind, but self preservation was most probably the adrenalin enforced decision. All those calling the officer a coward would probably do the same.) And it is this natural “self-preservation” that would be in my mind the best argument for allowing teachers and staff to conceal-carry that would protect the most lives in such a situation. But, like that teacher who raised against the military being the lowest of the low, saying that bankers and scholars do not join the military, the Left seems to have a picture of an educated elite guiding them (an example of this is their belief that science is a consensus — at least in regard to global warming, not gender). They also have Utopian dreams of men in uniform laying aside self preservation in order to save them. Which is why the statement by William F. Buckley will always remain true: “I am obliged to confess I should sooner live in a society governed by the first two thousand names in the Boston telephone directory than in a society governed by the two thousand faculty members of Harvard University.” Which is why the gulf between the base of the GOP (conservative/libertarian roots) and the base of the Dems (socialist/progressives) will always exist. Doing many of life’s struggles oneself versus expecting others to do it for them.

Someone on Facebook wasn’t picking up what I was laying down. She responded thus:

  • While i’ll admit that self preservation is a driving force for many of us, many of us did not go to the academy and swear to an oath “to protect & serve”, which was failed completely. Now we are protecting him from violence? Who protected those children? He’s a cop, let him protect himself like he did those children. Any action he could have & should have taken may have saved even just one life, one less family paying for a funeral.

I expanded my view a bit:

  • I know two people at the elementary my boys attended that would be more than happy to conceal carry. And if their kids and they were to come under fire, their self-preservation would kick in and many children’s lives would be saved. Because of the natural instinct to live another day. That same instinct that stopped four officers from entering a school would have kicked in with armed staff and teachers. It’s Florida for God sakeThere would have been more than a couple armed staff.

Now, more important than my editorial above, are cold hard facts in the face of the mantras. To wit, while in Paso Robles wine tasting, the wine tender at Rocky Creek (FACEBOOK PAGE – great wines BTW) mentioned that the United States has all the mass killings like the one in Florida. This just is not true. John Lott clears this up for us over at IBD:

…..President Obama talked about it a lot, including in June of 2015, after a gunman shot nine people in a Charleston, North Carolina church: “Let’s be clear: At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries,” Obama said. 

Days later, Sen. Harry Reid echoed his comments. “The United States is the only advanced country where this kind of mass violence occurs,” he said.

More recently, the tragic, preventable slaying of 17 students by accused gunman Nikolas Cruz elicited similar sentiments from Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, speaking in the Senate just  last Thursday: “This happens nowhere else other than the United States of America.”

Powerful remarks, and no doubt heartfelt. But a study of global mass-shooting incidents from 2009 to 2015 by the Crime Prevention Research Center, headed by economist John Lott, shows the U.S. doesn’t lead the world in mass shootings. In fact, it doesn’t even make the top 10, when measured by death rate per million population from mass public shootings.

So who’s tops? Surprisingly, Norway is, with an outlier mass shooting death rate of 1.888 per million (high no doubt because of the rifle assault by political extremist Anders Brevik that claimed 77 lives in 2011). No. 2 is Serbia, at just 0.381, followed by France at 0.347, Macedonia at 0.337, and Albania at 0.206. Slovakia, Finland, Belgium, and Czech Republic all follow. Then comes the U.S., at No. 11, with a death rate of 0.089.

That’s not all. There were also 27% more casualties from 2009 to 2015 per mass shooting incident in the European Union than in the U.S.

“There were 16 cases where at least 15 people were killed,” the study said. “Out of those cases, four were in the United States, two in Germany, France, and the United Kingdom.”

“But the U.S. has a population four times greater than Germany’s and five times the U.K.’s, so on a per-capita basis the U.S. ranks low in comparison — actually, those two countries would have had a frequency of attacks 1.96 (Germany) and 2.46 (UK) times higher.”

Yes, the U.S. rate is still high, and nothing to be proud of. But it’s not the highest in the developed world. Not by a long shot…….

Another myth surrounds the AR-15 and the progression of semi-automatics from military to civilian use. The truth is just the opposite, via HOT AIR:

…..The third problem is a historical one. Semi-automatic rifles were originally created for the civilian market, but eventually made their way into the military. The Standard Catalog of Remington Firearms notes the old Model 8 “was the first successful American semi-autom sporting rifle.” It appears the M1 Garand is when semi-automatic rifles became focused on the military use first, before civilian use. One of these reasons is because developer Springfield Armory was owned by the U.S. government. It’s interesting to see how government focus on weapons development increased as the U.S. became more involved in international conflicts. It was really a role reversal with gun manufacturers making arms for the Pentagon, before selling it on the civilian market. Other semi-automatic rifles were still being developed and sold to civilians, but the M16 style was strictly for military.

Richard Mann believes one reason why the AR-15 jumped in popularity was because of the political footballing of the White House, starting after Barack Obama replaced George W. Bush who had replaced Bill Clinton. Mann suggested in GunDigest Shooter’s Guide to the AR-15 people started buying AR-15’s because they expected the Democratically held government to re-pass the Assault Weapons ban……

So much for the mantras I heard on vacation. I will share more in a review of my time in Paso.


UPDATED


Here is part of Prager’s article:

Why does the left oppose allowing a small number of highly trained teachers and other adults who work at schools to arm themselves?

When asked, their response is consistent: “It’s a crazy idea.” And “We need fewer guns, not more guns.”

A New York Times editorial offered the following argument against having any armed teachers: “Nationwide statistics on police shooting accuracy are not to be found. But if New York is typical, analyses show that its officers hit their targets only one-third of the time. And during gunfights, when the adrenaline is really pumping, that accuracy can drop to as low as 13 percent.”

But if that is an argument against armed teachers, why isn’t it an argument against armed police?

And that argument was Aristotelian compared to this one from a Los Angeles Times editorial: “If a pistol-strapping chemistry teacher had grabbed her .45 and unloaded on today’s gunman after he killed, what, one student? Three? Five? That would be good news?”

Of course, no murder is “good news.” But to most of us, one or three or five as compared with 17  murdered is good news. Only those who think it isn’t good news think permitting some teachers and other school staff to be armed is a bad idea.

Beyond such arguments, the left rarely, if ever, explains why allowing some teachers and other adults in a school to be armed is a crazy idea. They merely assert it as a self-evident truth……..

(read it all)

Myth About Trump’s Unilateral Rescinding Obama’s Mental Health Law

Rush Limbaugh dismantles a lie from the Left expressed by Jimmy Kimmel’s monologue regarding Trump’s first few days in office and his rescinding an Obama era bill that was an Executive Order.

If the Left do not like this legal snafu of one President rescinding another’s E.O., pass laws through Congress dammit! U-n-l-e-s-s they just want to u-s-e the controversy to support their wild positions that have no reality in the real world. Here are the organizations who supported Trump’s action (via the WASHINGTON FREE BEACON):

Officials at the American Civil Liberties Union opposed the rule and called for its repeal because the process did not include sufficient due process protections.

  • “The rule includes no meaningful due process protections prior to the SSA’s transmittal of names to the NICS database,” the group said in their letter. “The determination by SSA line staff that a beneficiary needs a representative payee to manage their money benefit is simply not an ‘adjudication’ in any ordinary meaning of the word. Nor is it a determination that the person ‘[l]acks the mental capacity to contract or manage his own affairs’ as required by the NICS. Indeed, the law and the SSA clearly state that representative payees are appointed for many individuals who are legally competent.”

The National Council on DisabilityConsortium for Citizens With Disabilities, and National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery all submitted letters calling for the reversal of the rule during hearings conducted by the Ways and Means Committee….

The WASHINGTON EXAMINER also looks into the pressure from right and left organizations

….This is why America’s new favorite charity, the American Civil Liberties Union (along with many other groups that are not particularly conservative or pertinent to gun rights per se) advocated and wrote in favor of what House Republicans did yesterday. This is from the ACLU’s letter of support:

On behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), we urge members of the House of Representatives to support the resolution disapproving the final rule of the Social Security Administration which implements the National Instant Criminal Background Check System Improvement Amendment Acts of 2007….

In December 2016, the SSA promulgated a final rule that would require the names of all Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit recipients – who, because of a mental impairment, use a representative payee to help manage their benefits – be submitted to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which is used during gun purchases.

We oppose this rule because it advances and reinforces the harmful stereotype that people with mental disabilities, a vast and diverse group of citizens, are violent. There is no data to support a connection between the need for a representative payee to manage one’s Social Security disability benefits and a propensity toward gun violence. The rule further demonstrates the damaging phenomenon of “spread,” or the perception that a disabled individual with one area of impairment automatically has additional, negative and unrelated attributes. Here, the rule automatically conflates one disability-related characteristic, that is, difficulty managing money, with the inability to safely possess a firearm.

The rule includes no meaningful due process protections prior to the SSA’s transmittal of names to the NICS database. The determination by SSA line staff that a beneficiary needs a representative payee to manage their money benefit is simply not an “adjudication” in any ordinary meaning of the word. Nor is it a determination that the person “[l]acks the mental capacity to contract or manage his own affairs” as required by the NICS. Indeed, the law and the SSA clearly state that representative payees are appointed for many individuals who are legally competent

…[R]egulation of firearms and individual gun ownership or use must be consistent with civil liberties principles, such as due process, equal protection, freedom from unlawful searches, and privacy. All individuals have the right to be judged on the basis of their individual capabilities, not the characteristics and capabilities that are sometimes attributed (often mistakenly) to any group or class to which they belong. A disability should not constitute grounds for the automatic per se denial of any right or privilege, including gun ownership.

So, if you donated the ACLU after President Trump’s executive travel ban, congratulations. Yesterday’s vote was your victory, too…..

The WASHINGTON TIMES also brings some historical clarity to the issue:

In recent years, advocates for the mentally ill created more boundaries for law enforcement and healthcare workers to forcibly hospitalize Americans who are suspected of being a danger to both themselves and others. The 1966 Lanterman Petris Short Act (LPS Act) was California legislation designed to reform the antiquated state of mental institutions in the state. 

It should be noted that LPS was signed by Governor Reagan in California but only after pressure from groups like the ACLU stepped in and sued on behalf of patients who were being involuntarily hospitalized. Other states followed suit with their own similar involuntary and voluntary commitment statutes.

According to U.S. Veteran’s Affairs, “Maurice Rodgers, spokesman for the California State Psychological Association, called the plan the “Magna Carta of the Mentally Ill,” while the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), officially in support of the legislation, raised objection to the fact that the patient had to personally petition for a due process hearing at the initial point in the commitment. 

Tying this all together for us is THE CZAR OF MUSCOVY:

….Later, the Carter administration signed into law the Mental Health Systems Act of 1980, which largely promoted the same idea for national facilities. In 1981, when both parties in Congress agreed to the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, President Reagan signed that into law. One of it many provisions was to eliminate federal funding for community services and thereby transfer funding back to individual funding or state-funded efforts. Had Reagan even been aware of that part of the Act, he would have immediately realized the Act was negating the disastrous effects of the LPS he experienced as governor of California.

In other words, the State needs more funding control over mental health facilities, whether local, community, or state. Serious cases could still be funded through Medicaid, creating a virtual federal funding pool of money. This was formalized in the Mental Health Planning Act of 1986.

In effect, bipartisan policies recommended that the Federal government transfer government funding of community mental health facilities back to the states. State-funded facilities as well as privately-funded facilities were not affected by that policy. Reagan signed the bill into law as part of an overall spending cut package. As he would have known, complete state funding of facilities resulted in terrible mental healthcare, but state governments had an obligation to provide for this. However, in 1986, he also signed into a law another bipartisan solution to have Medicaid assist with funding. The laws closed not a single facility.

Ergo, to the liberals, REAGAN CLOSED THE MENTAL HEALTH FACILITIES. The fact that states closed some facilities and let staff go at others due to their own budget issues is unimportant because, of course, liberals hated Reagan. And still do.

[…..]

So when you hear the argument that Reagan closed the mental health facilities, ask the name of one health facility that Reagan actually closed. And when it closed. And how he closed it. And if you hear that Reagan closed it by extenuation of a funding cut, ask which particular bill he signed into law specified that particular facility be closed.

Or is it a case that bipartisan governments at the state and federal levels attempted to improve healthcare treatment and that bipartisan governments within the states screwed things up so badly that individual departments of health closed down less effective facilities? You will have lost the typical liberal at the word bipartisan….

A lifelong Democrat at the DAILY JOURNAL LETTERS ties this all in a neat bow for us:

As a lifelong Democrat (of the Irish-Catholic-Labor variety), I think Reagan did some good things and other things I didn’t support. But one thing Reagan didn’t do was single-handedly “close down” mental hospitals thus triggering 40 years of mental health hell.

Two other forces actually determined the fate of mental health care in this state. You might call them acts with unintended consequences. Here’s the history.

In 1967, the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act (LPS Act) a so-called “bill of rights” for those with mental health problems passed the Democratic-controlled Assembly: 77-1. The Senate approved it by similar margins. Then-Gov. Reagan signed it into law.

It was co-authored by California State Assemblyman Frank Lanterman, a Republican, and California State Senators Nicholas C. Petris and Alan Short, both Democrats. LPS went into full effect on July 1, 1972.

The bipartisan law came about because of concerns about the involuntary civil commitment to mental health institutions in California. At the time, the act was thought by many to be a progressive blueprint for modern mental health commitment procedures, not only in California, but in the United States.

Its main purposes were:

  • To end the inappropriate, indefinite, and involuntary commitment of mentally disordered persons, people with developmental disabilities, and persons impaired by chronic alcoholism, and to eliminate legal disabilities;
  • To provide prompt evaluation and treatment of persons with serious mental disorders or impaired by chronic alcoholism;
  • To guarantee and protect public safety;
  • To safeguard individual rights through judicial review;
  • To provide individualized treatment, supervision, and placement services by a conservatorship program for gravely disabled persons;
  • To encourage the full use of all existing agencies, professional personnel and public funds to accomplish these objectives and to prevent duplication of services and unnecessary expenditures;
  • To protect mentally disordered persons and developmentally disabled persons from criminal acts.

Initially, mental health advocates pushed for community-based mental health facilities that would replace the closed mental hospitals.

But that never happened because even though post-Reagan the legislature was still controlled by Democrats, no major funding for new community-based mental health facilities ever occurred. And that situation basically is still the case today.

The second force at work in the mental health care issue were the courts and what is known as “deinstitutionalization.”

During the 1960s, many people began accusing state mental hospitals of violating the civil rights of patients. Some families did, of course, commit incorrigible teenagers or eccentric relatives to years of involuntary confinement and unspeakable treatment. Nurse Ratched, the sadistic nurse famously portrayed in the book and film “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest,” became a symbol of institutional indifference to the mentally ill.

By the late 1960s, the idea that the mentally ill were not so different from the rest of us, or perhaps were even a little bit more sane, became trendy. Reformers dreamed of taking the mentally ill out of the large institutions and housing them in smaller, community-based residences where they could live more productive and fulfilling lives.

A mental patient could be held for 72 hours only if he or she engaged in an act of serious violence or demonstrated a likelihood of suicide or an inability to provide their own food, shelter or clothing due to mental illness. But 72 hours was rarely enough time to stabilize someone be held another two weeks for evaluation and treatment.

As a practical matter, involuntary commitment was no longer a plausible option…..

Benghazi: Obama vs. Bush (Memes)

Reposted For The Anniversary

below are pieces posted 6-13-2014 but the original date posted was 2012 on FaceBook.

Also note the phone calls that also showed almost immediately that Benghazi was a well-orchestrated terrorist attack. All covered up to ensure reelection.


Here is a portion (large portion, but I recommend reading it all) of Kyle Becker’s article from the Independent Journal Review:

 

One of the best-known versions of this meme is the ridiculous screed at Huffington Post “13 Benghazis That Occurred on Bush’s Watch Without a Peep from Fox News,” which has around 90K shares and likely well over a million views.

The post was nearly replicated on numerous left-wing sites, such as DailyKos, the Daily Banter, and PolicyMic.

Here goes: the “13 Benghazis That Occurred on Bush’s Watch Without a Peep from Fox News” – cases versus reality.

1.  HUFFPO: THIS WAS JUST LIKE BENGHAZI.

January 22, 2002. Calcutta, India. Gunmen associated with Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami attack the U.S. Consulate. Five people are killed.”

REALITY: NONE WERE AMERICAN. (The Tribune)

 2. HUFFPO: THIS WAS JUST LIKE BENGHAZI.

June 14, 2002. Karachi, Pakistan. Suicide bomber connected with al Qaeda attacks the U.S. Consulate, killing 12 and injuring 51.”

REALITY: NONE WERE AMERICAN. (BBC)

3. HUFFPO: THIS WAS JUST LIKE BENGHAZI.

October 12, 2002. Denpasar, Indonesia. U.S. diplomatic offices bombed as part of a string of ‘Bali Bombings.’ No fatalities.”

REALITY: NONE WERE AMERICAN.

You said it, Huffington Post.

4. HUFFPO: THIS WAS JUST LIKE BENGHAZI.

February 28, 2003. Islamabad, Pakistan. Several gunmen fire upon the U.S. Embassy. Two people are killed.”

REALITY: NONE WERE AMERICAN. (Fox News)

5. HUFFPO: THIS WAS JUST LIKE BENGHAZI.

May 12, 2003. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Armed al Qaeda terrorists storm the diplomatic compound, killing 36 people including nine Americans. The assailants committed suicide by detonating a truck bomb.”

REALITY: NINE AMERICAN DEFENSE CONTRACTORS KILLED.

After numerous State Department warnings, and Saudi Arabia investigating al Qaeda for a potential planned attack, three defense compounds were assaulted with car bombs and armed attackers. Nine defense contractors were killed.

Bush immediately called the attack part of the “war on terror,” and two of the attackers that survived the raid were killed by Saudi police forces. You know, just like Benghazi. (CNN)

6. HUFFPO: THIS WAS JUST LIKE BENGHAZI.

July 30, 2004. Tashkent, Uzbekistan. A suicide bomber from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan attacks the U.S. Embassy, killing two people.”

REALITY: NONE WERE AMERICAN. (BBC)

7. HUFFPO: THIS WAS JUST LIKE BENGHAZI.

December 6, 2004. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Al Qaeda terrorists storm the U.S. Consulate and occupy the perimeter wall. Nine people are killed.”

REALITY: NONE WERE AMERICAN. (Guardian)

[….]

13.  HUFFPO: THIS WAS JUST LIKE BENGHAZI.

September 17, 2008. Sana’a, Yemen. Terrorists dressed as military officials attack the U.S. Embassy with an arsenal of weapons including RPGs and detonate two car bombs. Sixteen people are killed, including an American student and her husband (they had been married for three weeks when the attack occurred). This is the second attack on this embassy in seven months.”

REALITY: NONE WERE AMERICAN.

“Attackers used vehicle bombs, rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons to mount a coordinated assault on the U.S. Embassy here Wednesday, leaving 10 guards and civilians dead outside the main gate but failing to breach the walled compound. No Americans were killed.” (Washington Post); (CSM)

(Even if there was misreportage, no embassy officials were killed or missing, and those who were killed were done so in a matter of minutes.)

So of all the Americans killed, only one was a diplomat, and he was killed almost instantly. Nine others were defense contractors.

It is my belief that this “13 Benghazis” post was published with the intention of deceiving the public. It may have been an attempt at persuading Americans to dismiss further inquiry into how the Benghazi terror attack was handled and how it was reported to the public….

…read it all…


I wanted to update this post (5-2013) just a bit with a challenge along similar veins by Bob Beckel on the Five, and Dana Perino’s response to his muddled thinking (the short exchange is HERE if you wish):

Bob Woodward compares to Watergate:

(Original 2012 post)

Back to the older response to an acquaintance:

Media Matters, a Soros funded org, has infected liberal blogs with what they feel is a good argument or response to both Democrats and Republicans wanting to know what the failure was in Benghazi, Libya and how 4-Americans can die when they requested help a month prior. Here is a cut-n-paste of it as it was presented to me on FaceBook:

  • 2002 U.S. consulate-Karachi,Pakistan-Attacked-10 killed,51 injured 2004 U.S. Embassy bombed-Uzbekistan-2 killed,9 injured 2004 Gunmen storm U.S. consulate in Saudi Arabia-8 killed 2006 Armed men attack U.S. Embassy in Syria-1 killed,several injured 2007 Grenade launched into U.S. Embassy in Athens 2008 Bombings at U.S. Embassy in Yemen-10 killed 2012 U.S. Annex in Benghazi, Libya attacked-4 killed. Republicans outraged and suddenly concerned with the safety and security of American’s abroad. Now they demand investigations.

Years of discussing religion and politics has taught me to check out what is presented, so I at least (I do have a life) looked into the first two examples… and a patter emerged.

Here are a couple of my responses to the above via my FaceBook.

The first is this:

Suicide Bomber for your 2002 example (Karachi), not a long, preplanned attack that more boots on the ground (that was both requested and called for earlier than the attack) could have prevented. IF in the 2002 Karachi, Pakistan attack they requested because they saw pre-planning on the terrorists part with additional intelligence an attack was eminent and they requested better fortified positions to stop vehicles (suicide attacks) from coming in [and these requests were denied], then I would be interested. Plus, NOT A SINGLE U.S. person died in the attack. All Pakistani. PLUS, even if U.S. personnel have died in an attack similar to Benghazi… they were most likely Marines protecting sovereign U.S. soil. The expectation of an ambassador is to be protected, not to fight. So your “well aware of the risks” argument is another conflated comparison.

You are creating straw-men arguments through conflation and non-sequiturs, and then comparing the two as if the same. Sloppy thinking Ross. No idea of the requested help a month before and during the attack. Dumb.

Here is the second example examined:

Your 2004 example of the U.S. consulate in Saudi Arabia-8 killed

(BBC — 2004) …A Saudi security source told Reuters news agency that heavy security had prevented the attackers from getting into the Jeddah consulate by car…. All Americans who were at the consulate are reported to be safe…. Correspondents say security around the consulate has been extremely tight since a series of bombings by Islamic militants in Saudi Arabia began in 2003, mainly targeting buildings that house foreigners. They add that the attack must have been very well planned, given the security measures…. The embassy and the mission in Dhahran had been closed as a precaution following the Jeddah attack…. (BBC)

So, a synopsis of your 2004 example:

★ Many Defenses Due To Intel Because of Previous Attacks;
★ No Americans Died;
★ Other Sites Temporarily Closed Due To This Attack.

Libya:

★ No Defenses Even Though Previous Attacks On This Site and Intel and Requests;
★ Security was Decreased;
★ Not Closed Temporarily Even Though Attacked, Intel Was Coming In, And 9/11 Date.

APPLES AND ORANGES ~ Compare to Benghazi:


The U.S. mission in Benghazi, at an “emergency meeting” less than a month before the Sept. 11 attack, drafted a contingency plan to suspend operations as security deteriorated — and in the near-term, recommended that consulate operations be moved to the CIA annex about a mile away, according to a classified cable reviewed by Fox News.

The State Department’s senior representative at the consulate told those at the Aug. 15 meeting that the security situation was “trending negatively” and reported “this daily pattern of violence would be the ‘new normal’ for the foreseeable future, particularly given the minimal capabilities” of the Libyan security forces.

With no apparent reason to believe conditions would improve, the cable notified the office of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that the “Emergency Action Committee” was updating “Post’s tripwires in light of the deteriorating security situation … to include a ‘suspension of operations’ section.”

The term “tripwire” refers to lines in the sand which, if crossed, cover personnel levels, security measures, and in this case, the extreme step of suspending operations.

The cable marked “SECRET” also said, of the possibility of moving the consulate operations: “Mission personnel could co-locate to the Annex (CIA outpost) if the security environment degraded suddenly. … (There was agreement) to formal weekly meetings to discuss the security environment. … In the longer term, we believe formal collocation with the (Annex) will greatly improve our security situation.”
The warnings reflected a grave concern among officials on the ground that the Libyan militia charged with protecting the consulate had been compromised, perhaps even infiltrated by extremists.

Summarizing the Aug. 15 meeting, the cable sent the following day reported that “certain sectors of the 17 February Brigade were very hesitant to share information with the Americans, but as the largest brigade they acted as a buffer for the Mission against some of the more anti-American, Islamist militias in town.” The brigade was charged with protecting the consulate.

Moving the consulate operations to the CIA annex might not have ultimately saved the four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, who died in the Sept. 11 strike. The annex ended up coming under fire and was the site where two of the four Americans were killed.

But the concerns in the cable — which also warned Washington that the consulate could not be protected in the event of a “coordinated attack” and that “approximately ten Islamist militias and AQ training camps” were known to operate within Benghazi — are further evidence that the U.S. mission in eastern Libya repeatedly warned Washington that they were a target.

The reference in the cable to the February 17 Brigade was significant.

This week, new documents recovered from the Benghazi compound by Foreign Policy magazine further support the classified cable’s prescient warning that the Libyan militia was compromised. In the early morning hours of Sept. 11, the consulate staff believed they were under surveillance. A document found by the magazine stated “this person was photographing the inside of the U.S. special mission and furthermore … this person was part of the police unit sent to protect the mission.”

This reporting is consistent with an online post from Sean Smith, an avid gamer, shortly before the consulate was overrun by terrorists and Smith was killed. As reported by Wired magazine shortly after the attack, Smith wrote: “Assuming we don’t die tonight. We saw one of our ‘police’ that guard the compound taking pictures.”

Days after the attack, an intelligence source on the ground in Libya told Fox News: “One thing for sure is that the 17 Brigade was nowhere to be found and the Americans were left on their own in the assault.” On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being very bad, the intelligence source said the consulate security was “A 10 — total security failure. Benghazi was known to be a major area for extremist activities. Militias’ loyalty is easily bought and sold. Deals with militia leaders are worth nothing.”

The cable also shows the consulate staff and CIA leadership in Benghazi agreed to work hand-in-glove, which included reviewing “emergency action plans” and addressing areas of collaboration. ….

Read more: FOX NEWS

Also, there is more info about what the annex was capable of:

Sources who have debriefed the team that was at the CIA annex the night of the attack in Benghazi say that the CIA operators from the Global Response Staff, or GRS, were equipped with Mark 48 machine guns and had two types of laser capability. Each weapon had both a “passive” as well as a “visible” laser that could be used against the Libyan attackers.

The presence of laser capability on the roof of the CIA annex confirms what Fox News sources that night in Benghazi originally said, which is that they had laser capability and for 5 hours and 15 minutes were wondering where the usual overhead air support was, especially since, according to this source, they radioed from the annex beginning as early as midnight asking for it.

The presence of lasers raises more questions about why air support was not sent to Benghazi even protectively once it became clear that the fighting had followed the CIA rescue team back to the annex.

U.S. military officials say they “thought the fighting was over” after the team left the consulate and that there was a lull in the fighting.

Fox News has learned the guns were fitted with PEQ-15 lasers. The “passive” laser is not visible to the naked eye but can help team members identify hostile forces when the shooter is wearing NODS, or Night Observation Device attached to their helmet. The visible laser system places a red dot on the attacker and warns the attacker not to shoot, encouraging them to flee the scene. U.S. troops often use the visible laser to scare children or other civilians who find themselves in the middle of combat activity. When civilians see the laser they often back off in order not to be shot.

The GRS team that was present at the CIA annex provided security for the CIA station, as they do around the world. They are highly trained in countersurveillance, close target reconnaissance and in depth reconnaissance. Enemy fighters have learned in Afghanistan and Iraq to use their cell phones to follow or intercept these “passive” lasers without having night vision or NODS.

The Annex team also had Ground Laser Designators, or GLD. This kind of laser equipment emits code and signal when there is overhead air support, unmanned aerial surveillance, drones or Spectre gunships, for instance.

A source present the night of the attack says that the GRS team that was defending the annex asked where the air support was at midnight. Former SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were killed 5 hours and 15 minutes later.

Read more: FOX NEWS

Political Mantras

JUMP TO: NET NEUTRALITY

NET NEUTRALITY

RPT Posts (newest to oldest)

  • (12/2017) Steven Crowder Explains Net Neutrality | Steven Crowder breaks down Net Neutrality and the ulterior motives behind big corporations like Google and Facebook supporting it!
  • (12/2017) Rush Limbaugh Explains Net Neutrality | Rush does a good job in explaining the countering info to all the scare tactics of the Left about “net neutrality.” At about the 10:15 mark Rush starts talking about ZERO RATING, an important factor in the freedom of the market that Leftists want government to control.
  • (12/2017) Net Neutrality – Ma Bell | Ajit Pai (Chairman of the United States Federal Communications Commission [FCC]) responds to a challenge by Dennis Prager. Various articles and media — but the main article shows Ma Bell to be a monopoly BECAUSE of government regulation!
  • (11/2017) Steven Crowder and Ben Shapiro Discuss “Net Neutrality” | A couple articles and…[Video Description] Back from Thursday night mega show hiatus talking all things Trump Jr./Russia, Net Neutrality, Afghan robotics teams, dating abortionists and more. Special guests Ben Shapiro and Cassie Jaye of “The Red Pill”. Colton Wade makes his debut!
  • (11/2017 – UPDATED older post) Net Neutrality Flashback | Various articles and media
  • (03/2013)  Professor Thomas Hazlett – Net Neutrality | [Video One] “I’m very confident a hundred years from now we won’t have an FCC,” says Thomas Hazlett, Reason contributor and George Mason economics professor. [Video Two] Professor Thomas Hazlett (George Mason University) discusses net neutrality at a lecture given at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford.
  • (05/2011) Steven Crowder Does Net Neutrality | This week, we asked people at South by Southwest how the felt about Net Neutrality. Everyone supported it, until they found out what it actually is…
  • (01/2011) Verizon Suing the FCC-Right On! | Verizon Communications has become the first of what many expect to be many, to sue the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to undo its voting themselves Internet Overlords on December 21st….
  • (01/2011) Net Neutrality (Have You Ever Known the Gov to be Neutral? | Net Neutrality is a proposed set of regulatory powers that would grant the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) the ability to control how Internet service providers (ISPs) package their services. Proponents argue that such rules are necessary to ensure that ISPs treat all data on the Internet equally and don’t slow or even restrict access to various websites and other parts of the Internet. However well-intentioned, the practical effect will be to limit consumer choice and grant the federal government unprecedented power over the Internet, all in the name of fixing a problem that doesn’t exist in any meaningful way. Indeed, examples of the behavior that Net Neutrality will combat are few and far between.
  • (12/2010) What is Net Neutrality? And Why Should Someone Oppose It? | Seton Motley talks about the FCC’s upcoming Net Neutrality regulations, which will affect the way you receive your Internet. In his view – negatively. Here’s why, and what else you should be concerned about. (Marxist connections discussed)

Articles (newest to oldest)

  • (12/2017) California To Bring Back Net Neutrality… But Only For California | HOT AIR
  • (12/2017) Debunking the Left’s Myths on Net Neutrality | HERITAGE FOUNDATION |
  • (10/2017) Millennial Asks for Net Neutrality Explanation | RUSH LIMBAUGH |
  • (07/2017) 7 Reasons Net Neutrality Is Idiotic: The government should keep its grubby hands off the Internet | THE DAILY WIRE
  • (04/2017) Why ‘Net Neutrality’ Is a Problem | CATO INSTITUTE
  • (07/2016) Ma Bell Suppressed Innovation for Thirty Grueling Years: In light of this history, so-called net neutrality should give us pause | FOUNDATION for ECONOMIC EDUCATION (FEE)
  • (03/2015) Opinion: The Fcc’S Net Neutrality Victory Is Anything But | WIRED MAGAZINE |
  • (09/2014)Limbaugh is Right, Net Neutrality Is An Attack On Free Speech — So Why Is Comcast For It? | FORBES
  • (09/2014) Net Neutrality — or Destroying Internet Innovation and Investment? | CATO INSTITUTE |
  • (05/2014) FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules | CATO INSTITUTE
  • (02/2014) Net Neutrality Rules: Still a Threat to Internet Freedom | HERITAGE FOUNDATION
  • (01/2014) Lessons From The AT&T Break Up, 30 Years Later | AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE (AEI) |
  • (07/2013) Don’t Blame Big Cable. It’s Local Governments That Choke Broadband Competition | WIRED MAGAZINE
  • (03/2013) “The FCC did not have the statutory authority to do what it did” On Net Neutrality, Says Departing FCC Commissioner | REASON.ORG  |
  • (08/2012) Thank Goodness We Have Net Neutrality to Save Us From the Threat of People Paying to Video Chat Over Mobile Networks | REASON.ORG |
  • (08/2012) The Free Market Doesn’t Need Government Regulation: Bureaucrats regulate by threat of physical force while the market operates peacefully through millions of cooperating participants | REASON.ORG | 
  • (12/2010) Happy 100th Birthday, Ronald Coase, Nobel-winning Economist & Pathbreaking FCC Critic! | REASON.ORG |
  • (12/2010) John Fund: The Net Neutrality Coup (Marxist connections discussed) | ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER |
  • (05/2010)  The Breakup Of Ma Bell — Let me caveat this article by saying I am NOT a fan of the New American Magazine. They are a John Birch publication, and my understanding of this organization is intimate, and so are my ultimate rejection of many of it’s positions. THAT BEING SAID, I thoroughly enjoyed much of the content (minus the NWO crap!) | NEW AMERICAN MAGAZINE |
  • (07/2007) The Comcast Net Neutrality Controversy: A Discussion | HERITAGE FOUNDATION |
  • (04/2000) Internet Access Should Be Left to the Free Market: Forced Access Legislation Will Not Achieve Its Intended Goals | FOUNDATION for ECONOMIC EDUCATION (FEE) |
  • (04/1984) What Killed Ma Bell? | FOUNDATION for ECONOMIC EDUCATION (FEE) |

Minimum Wage

(I am changing some of my “Pages” to “Posts,” so some of this info is older to my site)

The above video is a good one-two-three punch explanation that is concise and short!


These people must be crazy! When there is near [damn] consensus on a topic… people should know about it, especially when the raising the minimum wage hurts the black community. But the left thinks and rants that not raising minimum wage is hurting the poor and minorities… when it is the exact opposite. What a crock!

Hurting the Poor

Thomas Sowell (left) and Walter Williams (right) explain the negative effects of the minimum wage.

(Minimum wage laws make discrimination on ethnicity and gender easy, via Milton Friedman) Here is Walter Williams referencing some statistics to make his point (including Neumark), followed by the excellent lead-up to the debate between [included as well] between L.A. Times columnist, Michael Hiltzik, and professor of economics at UC Irvine, David Neumark:

….University of California, Irvine economist David Neumark has examined more than 100 major academic studies on the minimum wage. He states that the White House claim “grossly misstates the weight of the evidence.” About 85 percent of the studies “find a negative employment effect on low-skilled workers.” A 1976 American Economic Association survey found that 90 percent of its members agreed that increasing the minimum wage raises unemployment among young and unskilled workers. A 1990 survey found that 80 percent of economists agreed with the statement that increases in the minimum wage cause unemployment among the youth and low-skilled. If you’re looking for a consensus in most fields of study, examine the introductory and intermediate college textbooks in the field. Economics textbooks that mention the minimum wage say that it increases unemployment for the least skilled worker.

As detailed in my recent book “Race and Economics” (2012), during times of gross racial discrimination, black unemployment was lower than white unemployment and blacks were more active in the labor market. For example, in 1948, black teen unemployment was less than white teen unemployment, and black teens were more active in the labor market. Today black teen unemployment is about 40 percent; for whites, it is about 20 percent. The minimum wage law weighs heavily in this devastating picture. Supporters of higher minimum wages want to index it to inflation so as to avoid its periodic examination….

…read more…

From the video description:

Larry Elder has on an L.A. Times columnist Michael Hiltzik on to defend his statements made in the column*, as well as professor David Neumark to debate some of the finer points. I do include the build up to the interview/debate, which includes and evisceration of anything deemed moderate at the L.A. Times — pointing out the bias lays firmly on the political-left.

More by Walter Williams:

How will the forced raising of the minimum wage hurt the poor?

As the #FightFor15 movement get fast food workers to strike in order to get a $15, and they watch businesses in Seattle closing because of the forced raise in wages. Automated cashier options are now an option to be weighed. Of course a business wants a human face to represent it. But the business wants to stay in business, so many are being forced to choose a cheaper, more sustainable option for its budget.

McDonald’s is buying 7,000 automated machines to replace people

Would you like some microchips with that burger? McDonald’s Europe strikes another blow against human interaction by installing 7,000 touch-screen computers to take your order and money.

[….]

McDonalds recently went on a hiring binge in the U.S., adding 62,000 employees to its roster. The hiring picture doesn’t look quite so rosy for Europe, where the fast food chain is drafting 7,000 touch-screen kiosks to handle cashiering duties.

The BELOW is and update to the above story about MceeDee’s in Seattle:

Via BizPic!

While it seems liberals may think that raising the minimum wage will raise living standards for poor Americans, they should have seen this coming.

With Los Angeles joining Seattle in setting a $15 minimum wage (Los Angeles by 2020, and Seattle by 2021), it stands to reason that McDonald’s would find a way around simply paying workers more, as Vox pointed out the obvious fact that “the reality is that McDonald’s just wants to make money.”

In a very real-world example of big business’ response to liberal policies, a conservative Twitter user sent Labor Day wishes from McDonald’s workers whose minimum wage never goes up.

And this real world affect of what politicians can merely raise taxes to meet budgets with (or, on the Federal level just print more money [a dumb move BTW]) is that small business go out of business, thus affecting the poor who want jobs.

But now the option through technology is to replace workers for businesses altogether:

(Washington Policy Center) Everyone is predicting what the real world impact of Seattle’s newly passed $15 minimum wage will be. The truth is there will not be a mass exodus of businesses from the city, nor will the economy crash.

Certainly, some businesses will move or close down, consumers will pay more, some workers will receive fewer benefits and the lowest skilled workers will have a harder time finding a job because they are competing with more experienced workers.

But many businesses will simply figure out how to employ fewer low-wage workers. They will do that by substituting machines and technology for people.

Service industry CEOs have cautioned a higher minimum wage is “encouraging automation,” which can improve efficiency. Even Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates warns that a higher minimum wage would “encourage labor substitution” and incentivize employers to “buy machines and automate things” and ultimately “cause job destruction.”

He’s right. When government increases the cost of labor, employers find other ways to save money.

Just look at how McDonald’s has responded to France’s $12 an hour minimum wage. In 2011, McDonald’s invested in 7,000 touch screen computers in France to reduce the number of workers needed. Restaurants around the country are already exploring automation as a means to cut costs; Applebee’s is installing 100,000 tabletop tablets for ordering and payments.

Many food businesses are considering a machine that can freshly grind, shape and custom grill 360 gourmet burgers per hour, no human labor needed. Alpha, the burger-making robot, can even slice and dice the pickles and tomatoes, put them on the burger, add condiments and wrap it up. The manufacturer makes the point that cashiers or servers aren’t even needed: “Customers could just punch in their order, pay, and wait at a dispensing window.” The maker says Alpha will pay for itself in a year.

…read it all…

See also: Businesses Forced To Hurt The Poor ~ Thanks Dems

  • “I’m hearing from a lot of customers, ‘I voted for that, and I didn’t realize it would affect you.’” (IJ-Review)

Powerline has a great short article about minimum-wage laws pushed by Democrats bumping into the steel reinforced wall of reality:

Via InstaPundit, a lesson in economics for liberals. This time, it’s the minimum wage:

San Francisco’s Proposition J, which 77 percent of voters approved in November, will raise the minimum wage in the city to $15 by 2018. As of today, May 1, [Brian] Hibbs is required by law to pay his employees at Comix Experience, and its sister store, Comix Experience Outpost on Ocean Avenue, $12.25 per hour. That’s just the first of four incremental raises that threaten to put hundreds of such shops out of business. …

Hibbs says that the $15-an-hour minimum wage will require a staggering $80,000 in extra revenue annually. “I was appalled!” he says. “My jaw dropped. Eighty-thousand a year! I didn’t know that. I thought we were talking a small amount of money, something I could absorb.” He runs a tight operation already, he says. Comix Experience is open ten hours a day, seven days a week, with usually just one employee at each store at a time. It’s not viable to cut hours, he says, because his slowest hours are in the middle of the day. And he can’t raise prices, because comic books and graphic novels have their retail prices printed on the cover.

If he can’t stay in business, all of his employees will lose their jobs.

[….]

“Why,” he asks, “can’t two consenting people make arrangements for less than x dollars per hour?”

Exactly. Conservatives should oppose minimum wage laws on fairness grounds. If a person is willing to work for, say, $8 an hour, how dare liberals tell him he must remain unemployed instead? There are many, many people whose best offer of employment will be for less than the $15 an hour that San Francisco will soon mandate. Liberals are, in effect, making it illegal for these people to work, even though they are ready, willing and able to do so.

Minimum wage jobs are overwhelmingly entry level employment. They provide valuable training, experience and opportunity for advancement. Making it illegal for young people, especially, to seek employment at the wage they can command isn’t just economically stupid, it is deeply unfair.

…read more…


Click to Enlarge


MINIMUM WAGE


“Any Econ 101 student can tell you the answer: ‘The higher wage reduces
the quantity of labor demanded, and hence leads to unemployment’.”
(Larry Elder)

Economists aren’t certain about many things, but on the minimum wage, nearly all of them (90 percent, according to one survey) believe that the case is open and shut. All else being equal, if you raise the price of something (for instance, labor), then the demand for it (for instance, by employers) will decline. That’s not just a theory; it’s a law.

James Glassman, “Don’t Raise the Minimum Wage,” Washington Post (Feb 24, 1998).


A majority of professional economists surveyed in Britain, Germany, Canada, Switzerland, and the United States agreed that minimum wage laws increase unemployment among low-skilled workers. Economists in France and Austria did not. However, the majority among Canadian economists was 85 percent and among American economists was 90 percent. Dozens of studies of the effects of minimum wages in the United States and dozens more studies of the effects of minimum wages in various countries in Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, Indonesia, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand were reviewed in 2006 by two economists at the National Bureau of Economic Research. They concluded that, despite the various approaches and methods used in these studies, this literature as a whole was one “largely solidifying the conventional view that minimum wages reduce employment among low-skilled workers.”

Thomas Sowell, Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy, 4th Edition (New York, NY: Basic Books, 2011), 241. [Link to 5th edition]


…percentage of economists who agree…. A minimum wage increases unemployment among young and unskilled workers. (79%)

Robert M. Beren, Professor of Economics at Harvard University ~ (More: Wintery Knight)


Economically, minimum wages may not make sense. But morally, socially, and politically they make every sense…

Jerry Brown (Reason.org)

Military Spending vs. Education and Health-Care Spending

(I am changing some of my “Pages” to “Posts,” so some of this info is older to my site)

Total GDP Expenditures on

★ MILITARY (2014): 3.5%

★ EDUCATION (2014): 4.9%

★ HEALTH (2014): 17.1%

NATIONAL REVIEW has a great article on this:

A few more thoughts on the view from 1957. Relative to the size of the U.S. economy (which is to say, as a share of GDP) we have cut military spending to barely a third of what it was in 1957, from 9.8 percent of GDP then to 3.3 percent of GDP now. Even though we were spending three times as much on national defense in 1957—and even though we had lower taxes (17.2 percent of GDP then vs. 17.7 percent of GDP today) we ran a budget surplus. It’s usually described as a “modest” surplus, but at 3.4 percent of GDP, the budget surplus of 1957 was proportionally larger than military spending is in 2015.

So, where’d the money go?

Feel free to consult the historical data yourself, but the short answer is: welfare spending.

The broadest budget categories are national defense, human resources, physical resources, net interest, other functions, and undistributed offsetting receipts. National defense, net interest, other functions, and undistributed receipts are pretty self-explanatory; human resources includes welfare and health-care programs, entitlements such as Medicare and Social Security, and education spending. Physical resources means things like energy development, transportation, natural resources maintenance, environmental conservation, and community- and regional-development programs, the “infrastructure” we’re always going on about.

[….]

Recap: In GDP terms, we spend about a third on the military today compared to what we spent in the late 1950s. We spend almost exactly the same on interest on the debt. We spend 20 percent less on energy, transportation, the environment, and natural resources. And we spend almost four times as much on welfare. Again, that is in GDP terms, and our economy is a heck of a lot bigger than it was in 1957. As a share of all federal spending, welfare has gone from 23 percent of spending to 73 percent of federal spending. In constant-dollar terms, we spend 17.5 times as much. In nominal-dollar terms, we spend 150 times as much.

(Read It All)


Michael Medved dismantles a callers charge that we (as a country) spend more on the military than education and other social programs (2009).

One General says that 4% on military (GDP) if the floor… very bottom… we should not go below this percentage: Admiral Mike Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has called four percent an “absolute floor” (New York Times). Here Forbes explains a bit:

Bullets vs. Band-aids: Is Health Spending Crowding out Defense?

….But as an empirical matter, the share of GDP absorbed by federal taxes has been astonishingly stable since 1946—averaging less than 18 percent and exceeding 20 percent in only one year (2000).[3] The president’s own budget shows federal receipts going no higher than 19.2 percent of GDP by 2017. But he has put us on a path that his own Department of Treasury has declared is “unsustainable.” Why? Because health entitlements under Obamacare will grow so rapidly that federal spending as a share of GDP will grow by more than 40 percent by the year 2085. Rising health entitlements will account for every penny of that increase!

With projected federal spending topping 34 percent of GDP and the known politically acceptable levels of federal tax revenues falling below 20 percent of GDP, we are between the proverbial rock and a hard place. Being able to afford even 4 percent of GDP for national defense—we’ve averaged 6.4 percent since 1946—will grow increasingly problematic. This is not just some future hypothetical: as it is, we currently are spending $50 billion less on defense in FY2013 than outgoing Secretary of Defense said just two years ago would be needed this year. And remember that Obamacare spending kicks in with a vengeance in 2014.  Thus, the choice between bullets and butter will be harder to make each year we keep kicking the can down the road instead of addressing health entitlements….

While the following video is about Bernie Sanders… the portion starting at about the 4:54 mark:

In another excellent “myth busting” article at The Heritage Foundation, we read some examples of the importance in the GDP metric for healthy ~MILITARY~ spending:

Defending Defense:
Setting the Record Straight on US Military Spending Requirements

(To see references, download PDF)

Myth

Additional defense spending is unnecessary as the United States already spends more on defense than half the world combined.

Fact

No other country in the world has the enduring vital national interests of the United States, and therefore the U.S. military has global reach and responsibilities. Comparing the unique needs of U.S. security and the resources required against those of other countries is misleading. Further, it is not surprising that the richest nation on earth and history’s “sole superpower” should have a first-rate military; the overall dollar cost is mostly a measure of the size of our economy. What is surprising is that we get so much from such a small proportion of our wealth. As Mackenzie Eaglen of the Heritage Foundation writes,

Defense spending is near historic lows… Between 2010 and 2015, total defense spending is set to fall from 4.9 percent to 3.6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), even though the nation has assigned more missions to the military over the past two decades.[1]

A narrow focus on strictly dollar figures is also misleading. Consider China’s military budget, which Beijing claims is $78 billion for this year. The Pentagon estimates that the relative “purchasing power” of the Chinese military is actually closer to $150 billion, in good part because China does not have to pay their soldiers, sailors, and airmen anything comparable to what the United States pays its servicemen and women.[2]  By this yardstick, China moves from fifth place in overall military spending among the nations of the world to second.[3] And more to the point, China’s defense expenditures are focused primarily on gaining military leverage in a distinct region of the world—Asia—while the U.S. military has responsibilities everywhere. The resources the U.S. military can actually deploy “in theater” are not vastly superior to those of the Chinese. Simple comparisons of defense expenditures are deceptive measures of the unique needs of America’s armed forces.

Myth

Pentagon budgets were a “gusher” of new money in the Bush Administration.

Fact

In his recent drive to cut overhead, Defense Secretary Robert Gates indeed described the emergency supplemental appropriations for the costs of Iraq and Afghanistan as a “gusher.”[4] But as AEI’s Gary Schmitt and Tom Donnelly have written,

The budget increases that have occurred…are largely tied to fighting the wars. When Bill Clinton left the White House and Dick Cheney told the military that “help [was] on the way,” the defense burden stood at 3 percent of GDP—a post-World War II low. When George W. Bush headed out the door, the figure for the core defense budget was about 3.5 percent. This is an increase, to be sure, but not one to make the military flush after a decade of declining budgets and deferred procurement.[5]

One of the consistent and correct purposes of the wartime supplementals was to “reset” the force—to return the military to at least pre-war readiness levels. This goal is still a long way off. The backlogs at service repair depots will take years to work through.

More profoundly, very little wartime funding went to increase the number of U.S. ground forces. The strains on soldiers and Marines—reflected in rising suicide rates, for example—have yet to be fully calculated. And despite the withdrawal of combat forces from Iraq and President Obama’s deadline for drawdown in Afghanistan, the Army and Marine Corps will continue to deploy overseas for years, an effort that can only be sustained by a reduced pace of operations, sharing the constant burden across a larger force.

There is a moral obligation not only to bind the wounds and tend to the families of those who have fought so well and so long, but also to give them what they need to continue to answer the call to service. Further, the government’s Constitutional obligation is to “provide for the common defense,” and to “secure the blessings of liberty” now and for future generations. This is the government’s fundamental obligation to its citizens and its cardinal contribution to our liberties.

[….]

Myth

Current levels of defense spending are unaffordable.

Fact

The defense budget is a relatively small slice of the $14-plus-trillion American pie. And it’s a shrinking slice: as a percentage of our economy and as a percentage of the federal budget, the burden of defense is declining. President Obama’s long-term budget projections also reduce Pentagon spending in real dollars.

Moreover, the idea that defense cuts will restore fiscal health simply does not add up: suppose Pentagon spending for 2011—$720 billion—were eliminated entirely.[7] This would only halve this year’s federal deficit of $1.5 trillion. And defense spending is a drop in the ocean of today’s $13.3 trillion of government debt. From the Korean War to the collapse of the Soviet Union, total U.S. defense spending was about $4.7 trillion.[8] So had there been no military spending at all during the Cold War, the savings would not equal even half our current national debt.

Talking about defense spending in isolation while discussing the overall federal budget is also misleading. Defense is not the source of the federal government’s fiscal woes. As Mackenzie Eaglen notes,

The substantial decline in the defense share of the budget largely reflects the dramatic growth of entitlement spending. Entitlements now account for around 65 percent of all federal spending and a record 18 percent of GDP. The three largest entitlements— Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid—eclipsed defense spending in 1976 and have been growing ever since. If future taxes are held at the historical average, these three entitlements will consume all tax revenues by 2052, leaving no money for the government’s primary constitutional obligation: providing for the common defense.[9]

Over the past decade, necessary defense spending increases are responsible for less than 20 percent of all new spending from 2001 to 2009. This does not even include 2009 stimulus spending totaling $787 billion, with almost no money for defense.

Myth

The United States should not be “the world’s policeman.”

Fact

At a cost of less than one nickel of the American taxpayers’ dollar—and only 4.9 percent of U.S. GDP—the United States has fought two wars and provided the essential backbone for a system of global security; by any measurement, it’s an amazing bargain.[10]

The investments made during the Cold War—including the Reagan build-up— continue to pay global dividends. Europe, for the first time in centuries, enjoys a durable peace. East Asia, for millennia a theater of violent competition, is emerging as an economic dynamo, lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty.

Yet this peace and the prosperity it helps to create are not self-generating or selfsustaining. No other nation, or group of nations, is ready, willing or able to take on America’s role. As the Quadrennial Defense Review Independent Panel observed, the future is

…likely to place an increased demand on American “hard power” to preserve regional balances. While diplomacy and development have important roles to play, the world’s first-order problems will continue to be our security concerns….As the last 20 years have shown, America does not have the option of abandoning a leadership role in support of its national interests….Failure to anticipate and manage the conflicts that threaten those interests…will not make those conflicts go away….It will simply lead to an increasingly unstable and unfriendly global climate and, eventually, to conflicts America cannot ignore.[11]

In short, the cost of preserving America’s role in the world is far less than would be the cost of having to fight to recover it or, still greater, the cost of losing it altogether. While many Americans would prefer to see our allies and partners play a larger part in securing the blessings of our common liberty, no president of either political party has backed away from America’s global leadership role —a bipartisan consensus that remains strong evidence that American leadership is still necessary to protect the nation’s vital interests.

The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) makes the continuing point of just-how-much burden is put on the U.S. military around the world (Defense Spending 101 PDF):

We are spending more on our military than half of the rest of the world combined is spending on defense. Do we really need to spend that much?

Questions about what America spends on defense versus what other nations spend on defense should be understood in the context of what we ask our military to do, what our role in the world is, and who our enemies and adversaries are and are likely to be.

From the Cold War to the post-9/11 world, US spending on national defense has given our country a military preeminence that, in turn, has yielded enormous strategic returns by:

  • Protecting the security and prosperity of the United States and its allies;
  • Amplifying America’s diplomatic and economic leadership throughout the globe;
  • Preventing the outbreak of great-power wars that marked previous centuries;
  • Preserving the international order in the face of aggressive, illiberal threats.

As the congressionally mandated, bipartisan Independent Review Panel of the Quadrennial Defense Review spelled out, this has required a military that has four “enduring” tasks:

  • Defense of the homeland
  • Assuring access to the sea, air, space and, now, cyberspace
  • Preserving a favorable balance of power across Eurasia that prevents authoritarian domination of that region
  • Providing for the global common good through such actions as humanitarian aid, development assistance, and disaster relief

These are obviously large tasks, requiring significant military resources. They are also complicated, as the panel also notes, by five global trends:

  • Radical Islamist extremism and the threat of terrorism
  • The rise of new global great powers in Asia
  • Continued struggle for power in the Persian Gulf and the greater Middle East
  • An accelerating global competition for resources
  • Persistent problems from failed and failing states

The strength of this global international order provides America and its allies with real security at a low price while imposing tremendous costs on would-be adversaries. Consider the case of China’s rise. Over the past generation, China’s meteoric economic development has also allowed for a steady, now two-decades-long program of military modernization. Estimates are that Beijing now spends about $170 billion per year on its formal defense program, but that figure would be considerably higher if the Chinese military had to pay its soldiers, airmen, and sailors’ salaries comparable to what their counterparts in the US military earn.

Moreover, China’s expenditures are focused primarily on gaining military leverage in a distinct region of the world—Asia—while, as noted above, the US military has global responsibilities. The tasks in this equation are disproportionate: America seeks to keep the peace in East Asia because it is a vital element in the international system and important to America’s interests. while East Asia seeks to disrupt the regional balance and have no comparable stakes elsewhere.

The fact that we can afford to maintain a military capable of keeping the great powers of the world at peace is a bargain at four cents on the dollar. And the fact that our allies. including former adversaries, have renounced the use of force except in support of American-led coalitions should be thought of as a triumph. The further fact that a potential challenger like China has such a steep hill to climb is an advantage to maintain: it would be preferable to deter China than to fight her.

Dispelling the “CIA Trained-Funded Bin Laden/Taliban” Myth/Mantra

Politicians and leaders from both sides of the aisle make mention of this myth that we funded/created Al Qaeda via weapons, training, and money to the likes of Osama Bin Laden. The Daily Caller in 2013 notes some of the positions:

…in just a one-month span, Sen. Paul has — not once, but twice — advanced a conspiracy theory that says that during the Reagan era, the U.S. funded Osama bin Laden.

During John Kerry’s secretary of state confirmation hearing, Paul said ”We funded bin Laden” — a statement that prompted Foreign Policy magazine’s managing editor, Blake Hounshell, to fire off a tweet saying: “Rand Paul tells a complete falsehood: ‘We funded Bin Laden.’ This man is on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.”

But that didn’t discourage Paul. During a much anticipated foreign policy speech at the Heritage Foundation today, Paul doubled down, saying: “In the 1980’s the war caucus in Congress armed bin Laden and the mujaheddin in their fight with the Soviet Union.”

The only problem is that this is, at best, highly speculative — and, at worst, the perpetuation of an outright myth.

This also puts Paul in the same camp as Michael Moore, who said: ““WE created the monster known as Osama bin Laden! Where did he go to terrorist school? At the CIA!”….

…read it all…

And, this is the crux of the matter: truthers took Michael Moore’s non-evidential presentations and statements and ran with them.

Another example that shows this myth isn’t necessarily one owned by strictly by politicians, as, this conversation on a friends FaceBook shows:

Antony: failed foreign policy means today’s buddies are tomorrows boogiemen.

Hunlsy: I just love the fact they’re fighting us with the weapons and training that we gave them.

Antony: Oh where oh where did Iran get those P3s and F-14 Tomcats?

Antony: it was the US – we used to be buddies with Iranians too. We played both sides of the Iran/Iraq war, which predicated Gulf I.

Hunsly: Likely from the Russians. Regardless, we’re fighting a group, not a country. This group makes all of its IEDs & buys all of their weapons with the money that we gave them.

Here is my short intercept of the above conversation. More info will follow it:

Weapons
This is somewhat of a myth — that we sold the majority of weapons to the Taliban, to Iraq, and the like. For instance, in the following graph you can see that (in the instance of Iraq, which I was told over-and-over-again was weaponized by the U.S.) you have to combine the U.K. and the U.S. to equal 1%.

Iraqi Weapons

Moral Position
Much like us supporting Stalin in defeating Hitler, we were aligned with people whom we didn’t see eye-to-eye with in order to beat the USSR during the Cold War (WWIII)… a war that was fought from 1947–1991.

History
And thirdly, the Taliban didn’t exist when Reagan said this:

Reagan didn’t say that about the Taliban because the Taliban didn’t exist yet. He said that of the Mujahedin, the same men who would later go on to fight the Taliban under the name “Northern Alliance”

The Afghan Northern Alliance, officially known as the United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan (Persian: ‏جبهه متحد اسلامی ملی برای نجات افغانستان‎ Jabha-yi Muttahid-i Islāmi-yi Millī barā-yi Nijāt-i Afghānistān), was a military front that came to formation in late 1996 after the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (Taliban) took over Kabul. The United Front was assembled by key leaders of the Islamic State of Afghanistan, particularly president in exile Burhanuddin Rabbani and former Defense Minister Ahmad Shah Massoud. Initially it included mostly Tajiks but by 2000, leaders of other ethnic groups had joined the Northern Alliance. This included Abdul Rashid Dostum, Mohammad Mohaqiq, Abdul Qadir, Sayed Hussein Anwari and others.

The Northern Alliance fought a defensive war against the Taliban government. They received support from Iran, Russia, India, Tajikistan and others, while the Taliban were backed by al-Qaeda. The Northern Alliance was mostly made up of ethnic Tajiks, but later included Uzbeks, Hazaras, and Pashtuns. The Taliban government was dominated by Pashtuns with other groups being the minority. After the US-led invasion and establishment of the Karzai administration in late 2001, the Northern Alliance broke apart and different political parties were formed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Alliance

The mujaheddin fighters who had previously defeated the communist government and formed the Islamic State of Afghanistan (ISA) came under attack and in 1996 lost the capital to the Taliban. At this juncture the Mujahedin resorted to the creation of UIF because Rashid Dostum and other warlords who belonged to various tribes but to no specific political party did not want to recognize the ISA as a legal entity, so the defeated government devised a military strategy to utilize these forces while not offending their political sensibilities.

In October 1996 in Khinjan, Ahmed Shah Massoud and Dostum came to an agreement to form the anti-Taliban coalition that outside Afghanistan became known as the Northern Alliance.

CNN was doing a special on Afghanistan and Peter Bergen asked for questions from viewers that he would answer. One of the questions is as follows:

  • “If it’s true that bin Laden once worked for the CIA, what makes you so sure that he isn’t still?” ~ Anne Busigin, Toronto, Canada

Peter Bergen responds:

This is one of those things where you cannot put it out of its misery.

The story about bin Laden and the CIA — that the CIA funded bin Laden or trained bin Laden — is simply a folk myth. There’s no evidence of this. In fact, there are very few things that bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and the U.S. government agree on. They all agree that they didn’t have a relationship in the 1980s. And they wouldn’t have needed to. Bin Laden had his own money, he was anti-American and he was operating secretly and independently.

The real story here is the CIA didn’t really have a clue about who this guy was until 1996 when they set up a unit to really start tracking him.

One person in a forum that was similarly challenged pointed out that this surely wasn’t the Taliban because they hated women in any position of authority — look at the pic at the top again.

As you read on, keep in mind Mr. Bergen was not a fan of conservatives, or Republicans. With that in mind, enjoy the rest, it is posted here so it will never disappear on me:

U.S. government officials and a number of other parties maintain that the U.S. supported only the indigenous Afghan mujahideen. They deny that the CIA or other American officials had contact with the Afghan Arabs (foreign mujahideen) or Bin Laden, let alone armed, trained, coached or indoctrinated them. Scholars and reporters have called the idea of CIA-backed Afghan Arabs (foreign mujahideen) “nonsense”,[6] “sheer fantasy”, and “simply a folk myth.”

They argue that:

  • with a quarter of a million local Afghans willing to fight there was no need to recruit foreigners unfamiliar with the local language, customs or lay of the land
  • with several hundred million dollars a year in funding from non-American, Muslim sources, Arab Afghans themselves would have no need for American funds
  • Americans could not train mujahideen because Pakistani officials would not allow more than a handful of U.S. agents to operate in Pakistan and none in Afghanistan;
  • the Afghan Arabs were militant Islamists, reflexively hostile to Westerners, and prone to threaten or attack Westerners even though they knew the Westerners were helping the mujahideen.

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri says much the same thing in his book Knights Under the Prophet’s Banner.

Bin Laden himself once said “the collapse of the Soviet Union … goes to God and the mujahideen in Afghanistan … the US had no mentionable role,” but “collapse made the US more haughty and arrogant.”

According to CNN journalist Peter Bergen, known for conducting the first television interview with Osama bin Laden in 1997,

The story about bin Laden and the CIA — that the CIA funded bin Laden or trained bin Laden — is simply a folk myth. There’s no evidence of this. In fact, there are very few things that bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and the U.S. government agree on. They all agree that they didn’t have a relationship in the 1980s. And they wouldn’t have needed to. Bin Laden had his own money, he was anti-American and he was operating secretly and independently. The real story here is the CIA did not understand who Osama was until 1996, when they set up a unit to really start tracking him.

Bergen quotes Pakistani Brigadier Mohammad Yousaf, who ran the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Afghan operation between 1983 and 1987:

It was always galling to the Americans, and I can understand their point of view, that although they paid the piper they could not call the tune. The CIA supported the mujahideen by spending the taxpayers’ money, billions of dollars of it over the years, on buying arms, ammunition, and equipment. It was their secret arms procurement branch that was kept busy. It was, however, a cardinal rule of Pakistan’s policy that no Americans ever become involved with the distribution of funds or arms once they arrived in the country. No Americans ever trained or had direct contact with the mujahideen, and no American official ever went inside Afghanistan.

Marc Sageman, a Foreign Service Officer who was based in Islamabad from 1987–1989, and worked closely with Afghanistan’s Mujahideen, argues that no American money went to the foreign volunteers.

Sageman also says:

Contemporaneous accounts of the war do not even mention [the Afghan Arabs]. Many were not serious about the war. … Very few were involved in actual fighting. For most of the war, they were scattered among the Afghan groups associated with the four Afghan fundamentalist parties.

No U.S. official ever came in contact with the foreign volunteers. They simply traveled in different circles and never crossed U.S. radar screens. They had their own sources of money and their own contacts with the Pakistanis, official Saudis, and other Muslim supporters, and they made their own deals with the various Afghan resistance leaders.”[14]

Vincent Cannistraro, who led the Reagan administration’s Afghan Working Group from 1985 to 1987, puts it,

The CIA was very reluctant to be involved at all. They thought it would end up with them being blamed, like in Guatemala.” So the Agency tried to avoid direct involvement in the war, … the skittish CIA, Cannistraro estimates, had less than ten operatives acting as America’s eyes and ears in the region. Milton Bearden, the Agency’s chief field operative in the war effort, has insisted that “[T]he CIA had nothing to do with” bin Laden. Cannistraro says that when he coordinated Afghan policy from Washington, he never once heard bin Laden’s name.

Fox News reporter Richard Miniter wrote that in interviews with the two men who “oversaw the disbursement for all American funds to the anti-Soviet resistance, Bill Peikney – CIA station chief in Islamabad from 1984 to 1986 – and Milt Bearden – CIA station chief from 1986 to 1989 – he found,

Both flatly denied that any CIA funds ever went to bin Laden. They felt so strongly about this point that they agreed to go on the record, an unusual move by normally reticent intelligence officers. Mr. Peikney added in an e-mail to me: “I don’t even recall UBL [bin Laden] coming across my screen when I was there.

Other reasons advanced for a lack of a CIA-Afghan Arab connection of “pivotal importance,” (or even any connection at all), was that the Afghan Arabs themselves were not important in the war but were a “curious sideshow to the real fighting.”

One estimate of the number of combatants in the war is that 250,000 Afghans fought 125,000 Soviet troops, but only 2000 Arab Afghans fought “at any one time”.

According to Milton Bearden the CIA did not recruit Arabs because there were hundreds of thousands of Afghans all too willing to fight. The Arab Afghans were not only superfluous but “disruptive,” angering local Afghans with their more-Muslim-than-thou attitude, according to Peter Jouvenal. Veteran Afghan cameraman Peter Jouvenal quotes an Afghan mujahideen as saying “whenever we had a problem with one of them [foreign mujahideen], we just shot them. They thought they were kings.”

Many who traveled in Afghanistan, including Olivier Roy[20] and Peter Jouvenal, reported of the Arab Afghans’ visceral hostility to Westerners in Afghanistan to aid Afghans or report on their plight. BBC reporter John Simpson tells the story of running into Osama bin Laden in 1989, and with neither knowing who the other was, bin Laden attempting to bribe Simpson’s Afghan driver $500 — a large sum in a poor country — to kill the infidel Simpson. When the driver declined, Bin Laden retired to his “camp bed” and wept “in frustration.”

According to Steve Coll, author of “Ghost Wars”, the primary contact for the CIA and ISI in Afghanistan was Ahmed Shah Massoud a poppy farmer and militia leader known as the “Lion of the Panjeer”. During the Afghan Civil War which erupted once the Soviets had left, Massoud’s army was routed by the Taliban (who were being helped by Pakistan’s ISI) and restricted to the northern region of the country. A loose entente was formed with several other native tribal militias which became known as the Northern Alliance who operated in opposition to the Taliban. On September 10, 2001 a camera crew was granted access to Massoud under the premise they were interviewing him for a documentary about the Mujahadeen. The crew members were actually Al Qaeda operatives who detonated a bomb killing themselves and Massoud. The purpose of the assassination was to eliminate a key ally for the US in anticipation of an invasion in retaliation for the 9/11 attacks which were to take place the following day.

(Northern Alliance ~ WIKI)

And here is another great post responding to the non-evidential/conspiratorial [leftists] on the subject:

“Osama bin Laden was trained and funded by the CIA” – you’ll read the claim everywhere, and it’s rarely opposed: everyone just seems to accept that it’s true. But why? How much evidence have you ever seen presented to support this?

The reality is that there are many people who say this is simply a myth. And we’re not just talking about neo-con friendly journalists, either.

Take Jason Burke, for instance, a major contributor to the BBC documentary “The Power of Nightmares”. In his book “Al Qaeda”, he wrote the following:

It is often said that bin Ladin was funded by the CIA. This is not true, and indeed it would have been impossible given the structure of funding that General Zia ul-Haq, who had taken power in Pakistan in 1977, had set up. A condition of Zia’s cooperation with the American plan to turn Afghanistan into the Soviet’s ‘Vietnam’ was that all American funding to the Afghan resistance had to be channeled through the Pakistani government, which effectively meant the Afghan bureau of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), the military spy agency. The American funding, which went exclusively to the Afghan mujahideen groups, not the Arab volunteers [bin Ladin’s groups], was supplemented by Saudi government money and huge funds raised from mosques, non-governmental charitable institutions and private donors throughout the Islamic world. Most of the major Gulf-based charities operating today were founded at this time to raise money or channel government funds to the Afghans, civilians and fighters. In fact, as little as 25 per cent of the monet for the Afghan jihad was actually supplied directly by states.

Page 59, Al Qaeda: The true story of radical Islam, Jason Burke

Steve Coll, former Managing Editor of the Washington Post, also suggests bin Ladin passed largely unnoticed by the CIA, in his book “Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001”:

…According to [Ahemd] Badeeb, on bin Ladin’s first trip to Pakistan he brought donations to the Lahore offices of Jamaat-e-Islami, Zia’s political shock force. Jamaat was the Pakistani offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood; its students had sacked the US embassy in Islamabad in 1979. bin Ladin did not trust the official Pakistan intelligence service, Badeeb recalled, and preferred to fund his initial charity through private religious and political networks.From the beginning of the Afghan jihad, Saudi intelligence used religious charities to support its own unilateral operations. This mainly involved funneling money and equipment to favoured Afghan commanders outisde ISI or CIA control… “The humanitarian aid-that was completely separate from the Americans”, Badeeb recalled. “And we insist[ed] that the Americans will not get to that, get involved–especially in the beginning,” in part because some of the Islamist mujahedin objected to direct contact with Western infidels…

In spy lexicon, each of the major intelligence agencies began working the Afghan jihad–GID [General Intelligence Department, Saudi Arabia], ISI and the CIA– began to “compartment” their work, even as all three collaborated with one another through formal liasons…

bin Ladin moved within Saudi intelligence’s compartmented operations, outside of CIA eyesight…

Page 86/ 87, Ghost Wars, Stevel Coll

In a Q&A session following the release of his book, Coll said:

Wheaton, Md.: There have been accusations from the left that have directly accused the CIA of funding and training bin Laden. Is there any truth to this ? Steve Coll: I did not discover any evidence of direct contact between CIA officers and bin Laden during the 1980s, when they were working more or less in common cause against the Soviets. CIA officials, including Tenet, have denied under oath that such contact took place. The CIA was certainly aware of bin Laden’s activities, beginning in the mid- to late-1980s, and they generally looked favorably on what he was doing at that time. But bin Laden’s direct contacts were with Saudi intelligence and to some extent Pakistani intelligence, not with the Americans.

Missouri EDU

Peter Bergen expanded on the supposed CIA/ bin Ladin links in his book, Holy War Inc:

But were the CIA and the Afghan Arabs in cahoots, as recent studies have suggested? One author charges: “The CIA had funded and trained the Afghan Arabs during the war”. Another refers to “the central role of the CIA’s Muslim mercenaries, including upwards of 2,000 mercenaries in the Afghanistan war”. Both authors present these claims as axioms, but provide no real corroboration.Other commentators have reported that bin Ladin himself was aided by the CIA. A report in the respected British newspaper The Guardian states: “In 1986 the CIA even helped him [bin Ladin] build an underground camp at Khost [Afghanistan] where he was to train recruits from across the Islamic world in the revolutionary art of jihad”…Bin Ladin, meanwhile, had expoused anti-American positions since 1982, and thanks to the fortune derived from his family’s giant construction business had little need of CIA money. In fact, the underground camp at Khost was built in 1982 by an Afghan commander, with Arab funding.

A source familiar with bin Ladin’s organisation explains that bin Ladin “never had any relations with America or American officials… He was saying very early in the 1980’s that the next battle is going to be with America… No aid or training or other support have ever been given to bin Ladin from Americans.” A senior offical unequivocally says that “bin Ladin never met with the CIA.”

While the charges that the CIA was responsible for the rise of the Afghan Arabs might make good copy, they don’t make good history. The truth is more complicated, tinged with varying shades of grey. The United States wanted to be able to deny that the CIA was funding the Afghan war, so its support was funneled through Pakistan’s military intelligence agency, Inter Services Intelligence agency (ISI). ISI in turn made the decisions about which Afghan factions to arm and train, tending to fund the most Islamist and pro-Pakistan. The Afghan Arabs generally fought alongside those factions, which is how the charge arose that they were creatures of the CIA.

Former CIA officer Milt Bearden, who ran the Agency’s Afghan operation in the late 1980’s, says: “The CIA did not recruit Arabs,” as there was no need to do so. There were hundreds of thousands of Afghans all too willing to fight…

Moreover, the Afghan Arabs demonstrated a pathological dislike of Westerners. Jouvenal says: “I always kept away from Arabs [in Afghanistan]. They were very hostile. They would ask, ‘What are you doing in an Islamic country?” The BBC reporter John Simpson had a close call with bin Ladin himself outside Jalalabad in 1989. Travelling with a group of Arab mujahideen, Simpson and his television crew bumped into an Arab man beautifully dressed in spotless white robes; the man began shouting at Simpson’s escorts to kill the infidels, then offered a truck driver the not unreasonable sum of five hundred dollars to do the job. Simpson’s Afghan escort turned down the request, and bin Ladin was to be found later on a camp bed, weeping in frustration. Only when bin Ladin became a public figure, almost a decade later, did Simpson realise who the mysterious Arab was who had wanted him dead.

Page 67/68, Holy War Inc, Peter Bergen

This level of hostility to Westerners doesn’t suggest a warm working relationship with the US, and there’s some confirmation in a story retold by Richard Miniter:

…the handful of Americans who had heard of bin Ladin in the 1980’s knew him mainly for his violently anti-American views. Dana Rohrabacher, now a Republican congressman from Orange County, California, told me about a trip he took with the mujihideen in 1987. At the time, Rohrabacher was a Reagan aide who delighted in taking long overland trips inside Afghanistan with anti-Communist forces. On one such trek, his guide told him not to speak English for the next few hours because they were passing by bin Ladin’s encampment. Rohrabacher was told, “If he hears an American, he will kill you.” 

Page 16, Disinformation, Richard Miniter

Bin Ladin was himself asked about US funding by Robert Fisk:

Fisk: …what of the Arab mujahedin he took to Afghanistan – members of a guerilla army who were also encouraged and armed by the United States – and who were forgotten when that war was over? bin Ladin: “Personally neither I nor my brothers saw evidence of American help…

Fisk interview, 1996

And Ayman al-Zawahiri, second-in-command of al Qaeda, explains more in his text “Knights under the Prophet’s Banner”. Here he claims the “Afghan Arabs” had plenty of funding from various Arab sources, and points to other indications that they never supported the US:

“While the United States backed Pakistan and the mujahidin factions with money and equipment, the young Arab mujahidin’s relationship with the United States was totally different.”Indeed the presence of those young Arab Afghans in Afghanistan and their increasing numbers represented a failure of US policy and new proof of the famous US political stupidity. The financing of the activities of the Arab mujahidin in Afghanistan came from aid sent to Afghanistan by popular organizations. It was substantial aid. “The Arab mujahidin did not confine themselves to financing their own jihad but also carried Muslim donations to the Afghan mujahidin themselves. Usama Bin Ladin has apprised me of the size of the popular Arab support for the Afghan mujahidin that amounted, according to his sources, to $200 million in the form of military aid alone in 10 years.

Imagine how much aid was sent by popular Arab organizations in the non-military fields such as medicine and health, education and vocational training, food, and social assistance (including sponsorship of orphans, widows, and the war handicapped. Add to all this the donations that were sent on special occasions such as Id al-Fitr and Id al-Adha feasts and during the month of Ramadan.”

“Through this unofficial popular support, the Arab mujahidin established training centers and centers for the call to the faith. They formed fronts that trained and equipped thousands of Arab mujahidin and provided them with living expenses, housing, travel, and organization.”

Changing Bin Ladin’s Guard

About the Afghan Arabs’ relationship with the United States, Al-Zawahiri says in his book: “If the Arab mujahidin are mercenaries of the United States who rebelled against it as it alleges, why is it unable to buy them back now? Are they not counted now-with Usama Bin Ladin at their head-as the primary threat to US interests? Is not buying them more economical and less costly that the astronomical budgets that the United States is allotting for security and defense?”

“The Americans, in their usual custom of exaggeration and superficiality, are trying to sell off illusions to the people and are ignoring the most basic facts. Is it possible that Usama Bin Ladin who, in his lectures in the year 1987, called for boycotting US goods as a form of support for the intifadah in Palestine, a US agent in Afghanistan?….

“Furthermore, is it possible that the martyr-as we regard him-Abdallah Azzam was a US collaborator when in fact he never stopped inciting young men against the United States and used to back HAMAS with all the resources at his disposal?

“Is it possible that the jihadist movement in Egypt can be a collaborator movement for the United States when Khalid al-Islambuli and his comrades killed Anwar al-Sadat, even before the phenomenon of the Arab mujahidin in Afghanistan emerged?”

“Is it possible that the jihadist movement in Egypt can be a US collaborator movement when in fact it brought up its children, ever since the movement started, to reject Israel and all the agreements of capitulation to it and to consider making peace with Israel as a contravention of Islamic Shari’ah?”

Book, His Own Words: A Translation of the Writings of Dr. Ayman Al Zawahiri

Richard Miniter has a little more on this in “Dispelling the CIA-Bin Ladin Myth“, and while you may not exactly trust the source, there were further comments worth at least a look on the US State Departments “Identifying Misinformation” site.

(Via 9/11 Myths)

Democratic Strategist Starts Twitter Hashtag: #HuntRepublicans

While the story from BREITBART below notes James Devine apologized… he is actually doubling down on his #HuntRepublicans hashtag via his TWITTER:


BTW, that first Tweet (above) of his is easily disproved, here are a few places to go:

  • No Evidence Sarah Palin’S Pac Incited Shooting Of Rep. Gabby Giffords (POLITIFACT)

According to news reports, Loughner became fixated on Giffords several years before his Jan. 8, 2011, shooting rampage that killed six and injured 14, including the Arizona congresswoman…. According to the Washington Post, there is no evidence Loughner was aware of Palin’s maps. And according to an interview with one of Loughner’s high school friends, the gunman did not watch the news. His rampage was akin to “shooting at the world,” said Loughner’s friend Zach Osler.

Despite the facts which have come out showing that Jared Loughner was not a political person and was motivated by his own delusions rather than politics…. Remember, there is not a shred of evidence that Jared Loughner ever saw the map.  As discussed here numerous times, the connection of the map to the shooting was a complete fiction concocted moments after the shooting by certain left-wing bloggers who spread the connection into the mainstream media.

  • The New York Times Runs The Worst Editorial In Human History, Blames SARAH PALIN For Giffords Shooting AGAIN (DAILY WIRE)

Jared Lee Loughner wasn’t a conservative. He wasn’t a Republican. He wasn’t sane. There is no evidence whatsoever that he ever saw the infamous Palin targeted district map. None. The rumor was discredited within hours of the shooting. But six years later, The Times is still repeating the lie as true — and not just as true, but as the ultimate example of political rhetoric prompting violence.

See more at NEWSBUSTERS and LOUDER WITH CROWDER! Oh, and there are some people late to the Party!

(Via BREITBART) A New Jersey Democratic strategist is capitalizing on the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) by launching the hashtags #HuntRepublicans and #HuntRepublicanCongressmen, and he is showing no signs of backing down, claiming “the chickens are coming home to roost.”

James Devine, a longtime political strategist in the Garden State, tweeted in the wake of the shooting at a Republican baseball practice in Alexandria on Wednesday that “we are in a war with selfish, foolish & narcissistic rich people”…

[….]

He also accused Republicans of starting a “class war.”

“If you want to invite a class war,” he said, “then you have to expect people to fight back at some point.”

On his website, Devine claims to have served in multiple roles in the state, including as the Democratic State Committee political director between 1992-3, where he “authored the coordinated campaign plan that helped Bill Clinton become the first Democratic presidential candidate to win New Jersey since 1964.”

Here is his information and self aggrandizement:

James J. Devine is a masterful Democratic Party campaign strategist, a crusading journalist and an accomplished leader with extensive experience managing large organizations.

Over the past 35 years, Devine accumulated experience in every facet of politics (running campaigns for local school board, city council and mayor to state legislature, governor, congress and the presidency) and government (as a top level legislative staff member and manager of a federal agency with 1,150 employees under his command).

Contact Jim Devine at 908-458-6397 or devine@usa.net

(ABOUT ME)