Archive for August, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 123, August 30, 2013, Segment 1: Who Wants World War 3 To Start in Syria? The Warmongers Obama and McCain — Not The American People! — Videos

Posted on August 30, 2013. Filed under: American History, Budgetary Policy, Business, Chemical Explosion, Cruise Missiles, Economics, Energy, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Gangs, Genocide, Government, Government Spending, History, Natural Gas, Nuclear, Oil, Tax Policy, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , |

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Pronk Pops Show 123: August 30, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 122: August 23, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 121: August 16, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 120: August 9, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 119: August 2 and 8, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 118: July 26, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 117: July 19, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 116: July 12, 2013

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 121-123

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Segment 1: Who Wants World War 3 To Start in Syria? The Warmongers Obama and McCain — Not The American People! — Videos

“In war, truth is the first casualty.”

~Aeschylus

It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world…”

~George Washington, 1st President of the United States, Farewell Address

“Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations — entangling alliances with none, I deem [one of] the essential principles of our government, and consequently [one of] those which ought to shape its administration.”

~Thomas Jefferson, 1st Inaugural Address, 1801.

“America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy.”

~John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the United States (1825-29)

Obama Warns Syria’s Assad Chemical Weapons A ‘RED Line’

‘Poison Gas’ Claims in Syria Crossing Obama’s Red Line?

Syria Chemical attack claims reignites Obama’s ‘Red Line’ intervention in Syria Aug 21, 2013

Jon Stewart harnesses of Obama about the Red Line from Syria

Chemical Weapon Use In Syria – Special Report All Star Panel

‘US fixing intelligence around Syria as unsure who’s behind chemical attack’

Too Little Too Late UN Inspectors Allowed to Visit Syria

Did John Kerry Orchestrate The Chemical Weapons Attack in Syria?

Syrian Girl Clears The Air on Chemical Attack in Syria

UPDATE: False Flag! World War 3 is upon us! (Expect more false flags soon!)

WW3 UPDATE – West Hell Bent On War Despite Syria Opening “Chemical Attack” Site To Inspectors

World War 3 : Iran warns of War, threatens U.S. as Warships draw close to Syria (Aug 24, 2013)

URGENT: U.S Green Light For Attack On Syria and World War 3

US strengthens naval force off Syrian coast

Did Syria Use Chemical Weapons on Its People?

Chemical expert breaks down attack in Syria

GRAPHIC VIDEO: Poison Gas Attack In Syria

Syria : Chemical attack claims reignites Obama’s ‘Red Line’ intervention in Syria (Aug 21, 2013)

Ramp Up to Syrian Invasion Hits DEFCON 3

Syria: Obama Admin Tells Congress ‘We’ll Inform You What We Decide’ to Wage War

Toxic Warfare: Rebels caught with sarin gas amid Syria arms supply scandal

TOP SECRET – ( RED-ALERT-WW3) Russia,China, Iran Send 90000 Troops to Syria 12 Warships

Syria Polls Find Most Americans Are Wary Of Intervention

By JENNIFER AGIESTA 08/27/13

As the U.S. weighs a response to Syria, recent polling has shown Americans largely opposed to military action and few paying close attention to the ongoing conflict. But that could change with the Syrian government’s use of what the Obama administration says were chemical weapons.

No polling has been conducted on the public’s views of Syria since that government was accused of using chemical weapons. But the trend lines against military action have been clear:

_ Seventy percent told Pew Research Center pollsters in June that they opposed sending arms and military supplies to anti-government groups in Syria. That poll was conducted around the time the Obama administration announced it would be providing military aid to the anti-government forces.

_ An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released earlier in June showed that two-thirds of Americans preferred that the U.S. provide only humanitarian assistance or take no action, compared with just a quarter who favored either providing arms or taking military action.

_ A Gallup survey in May found 68 percent thought the U.S. should not intervene militarily to end the conflict should economic and diplomatic efforts to end it fail.

Even with that consensus, a Washington Post/ABC News poll in December suggested that the government’s use of chemical weapons against its own people could change public opinion. In that poll, just 17 percent thought the U.S. military should get involved in the conflict as it was at the time, but 63 percent said they would support military intervention if the Syrian government used chemical weapons against its people.

The Pew Research Center has tracked public attention to news about the conflict in Syria since May 2011, and has consistently found most Americans are tuned out. Each time they’ve asked, a majority said they were not following closely.

So far, few have said they think the U.S. has a responsibility to intervene in Syria. A June CBS News/New York Times poll found just 28 percent said the U.S. had a responsibility to do something about the fighting in Syria, while 61 percent said it did not.

While the fighting in Syria has stretched on and escalated, Americans’ views on the U.S. duty to act have changed little. Several news organizations have asked the same question about Syria, and a February 2012 CNN/ORC International poll was the first, finding just 25 percent thought the U.S. had a duty to act. That sense of responsibility peaked in May 2012 at 33 percent.

Since the end of the Cold War, Americans have felt an obligation to get involved in just a few conflicts that did not directly involve the U.S. – about half said the nation had a duty to intervene in Somalia in 1993 and Darfur in the mid-2000s, and most said the U.S. had a responsibility to act in Kosovo in 1999.

The pattern with Syria is similar to the public’s long-standing skepticism about U.S. involvement in the Bosnian war in the mid-1990s. CBS News and The New York Times tracked public opinion on the fighting between Serbs and Bosnians in the former Yugoslavia, and from 1993 through 1995, regardless of the intensity of the conflict, those who felt no responsibility to act outnumbered those who did.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/27/syria-poll_n_3822101.html

As Syria war escalates, Americans cool to U.S. intervention: Reuters/Ipsos poll

Americans strongly oppose U.S. intervention in Syria’s civil war and believe Washington should stay out of the conflict even if reports that Syria’s government used deadly chemicals to attack civilians are confirmed, a Reuters/Ipsos poll says.

About 60 percent of Americans surveyed said the United States should not intervene in Syria’s civil war, while just 9 percent thought President Barack Obama should act.

More Americans would back intervention if it is established that chemical weapons have been used, but even that support has dipped in recent days – just as Syria’s civil war has escalated and the images of hundreds of civilians allegedly killed by chemicals appeared on television screens and the Internet.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll, taken August 19-23, found that 25 percent of Americans would support U.S. intervention if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces used chemicals to attack civilians, while 46 percent would oppose it. That represented a decline in backing for U.S. action since August 13, when Reuters/Ipsos tracking polls found that 30.2 percent of Americans supported intervention in Syria if chemicals had been used, while 41.6 percent did not.

Taken together, the polls suggest that so far, the growing crisis in Syria, and the emotionally wrenching pictures from an alleged chemical attack in a Damascus suburb this week, may actually be hardening many Americans’ resolve not to get involved in another conflict in the Middle East.

The results – and Reuters/Ipsos polling on the use-of-chemicals question since early June – suggest that if Obama decides to undertake military action against Assad’s regime, he will do so in the face of steady opposition from an American public wary after more than a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Some foreign and U.S. officials – notably Republican Senator John McCain, whom Obama defeated for the presidency in 2008 – have called Obama too hesitant in deciding whether to act in Syria. But several Americans surveyed in this week’s poll, including Charles Kohls, 68, a former U.S. military officer from Maryland, praised Obama’s caution.

“The United States has become too much of the world’s policeman and we have become involved in too many places that should be a United Nations realm, not ours,” Kohls said in an interview. “I don’t think we ought to” intervene in Syria.

Kohls said the possibility of a chemical attack did not alter his belief that the United States should stay out of Syria, or any war for that matter.

CROSSING THE ‘RED LINE’

Obama has called the suspected chemical attack near Damascus on Wednesday “an event of great concern” and directed U.S. intelligence agencies to investigate the allegations of chemical use as he weighs potential responses.

The president met with his national security advisers on Saturday but U.S. officials said he has not decided whether to intervene.

U.S. defense officials, meanwhile, have repositioned naval forces in the Mediterranean to give Obama the option for a missile strike on Assad’s regime, which has been backed by Russia and China.

Obama has been reluctant to intervene in the Syria war, where rebel forces opposed to Assad are made up of dozens of militant factions, some not friendly to the United States.

The president warned Syria’s government last year that any attempt to deploy or use chemical or biological weapons would cross a “red line.”

The White House said that Assad’s military appeared to cross such a threshold in June, and responded to reports of Syrian troops using chemical weapons by agreeing to offer military aid to vetted groups of Syrian rebels.

It does not appear that any U.S. weapons have been delivered to rebels so far. As the war has escalated, Obama’s administration has come under increasing pressure from various governments, including those in France and Israel, to respond more forcefully to what many have called an unfolding humanitarian and political crisis.

LIKE OBAMA, AMERICANS CAUTIOUS

However, Obama does not appear to be feeling much pressure over Syria from the American people.

In this week’s Reuters/Ipsos survey of 1,448 people, just 27 percent said they supported his decision to send arms to some Syrian rebels; 47 percent were opposed. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points for each number.

About 11 percent said Obama should do more to intervene in Syria than sending arms to the rebels, while 89 percent said he should not help the rebels.

Obama is considering a range of options. The most popular option among Americans: not intervening in Syria at all. That option is backed by 37 percent of Americans, according to the poll.

Less popular options include air strikes to help the rebels (supported by 12 percent of Americans); imposing a “no-fly” zone over Syria that would ground Assad’s air force (11 percent); funding a multi-national invasion of Syria (9 percent), and invading Syria with U.S. troops (4 percent).

Deborah Powell, 58, of California, said she initially opposed any involvement by the United States but now supports arming the rebels.

“I was against any involvement after watching a (television) program that said if we give (rebels) the weapons they could turn them against us, but I think now we need to give them the weapons,” Powell said.

Asked what changed her mind, she said: “What’s going on over there is terrible.” However, Powell praised Obama’s wariness toward getting the United States involved in another war.

Some Americans believe the use of chemical weapons has changed the game in Syria, and that the United States should get involved as long as other countries did, too.

Jonathan Adams, 56, of California, said that he was “happy that we didn’t get involved from the start and I’m glad Obama was cautious. But I think we have gotten past the point of where we should’ve been involved in some way.”

He said reports of chemical weapons use “went way past the line.”

**To see the Reuters/Ipsos daily tracking poll on whether the U.S. should intervene in Syria if chemical weapons are used there, go to polling.reuters.com/#!response/TM43/type/day/dates/20130531-current

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/25/us-syria-crisis-usa-poll-idUSBRE97O00E20130825

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Pronk Pops Show 123, August 30, 2013, Segment 0: Launching World War 3 with the missiles of September?

Posted on August 30, 2013. Filed under: American History, Bombs, Budgetary Policy, Business, Chemical Explosion, College, Communications, Cruise Missiles, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Government, History, Natural Gas, Nuclear, Oil, Politics, Polls, Resources, Scandals, Tax Policy, Taxes, Terror, Terrorism, Unemployment, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Pronk Pops Show 123: August 30, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 122: August 23, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 121: August 16, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 120: August 9, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 119: August 2 and 8, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 118: July 26, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 117: July 19, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 116: July 12, 2013

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 121-123

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USS_Jason_Dunham_DDG_109

061806-N-8492C-066

Destroyers_Off_Syria

uss-gravely

The Four $1.8 Billion Destroyers Circling Syria

Special Report Online: What Action Will US Take In Syria?

U.S. Navy Forces warships prepare for possible strike on Syria

World War 3 : Russia sends Warships off the coast of Syria as tension rises (Aug 29, 2013)

Tomahawk Cruise Missile

USS Stout Launches Tomahawk Missiles During Operation Odyssey Dawn HD

First Cruise Missles fired at Libya from USS Barry

Uploaded on Mar 20, 2011

Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Barry launches a Tomahawk missile in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn. This was one of approximately 110 cruise missiles fired from U.S. and British ships and submarines that targeted about 20 radar and anti-aircraft sites along Libya’s Mediterranean coast.

Launching World War 3 with the missiles of September?

By Raymond Thomas Pronk

TLAM_Launch

Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) launched from guided missile cruiser USS Cape St. George

Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

In poll after poll the vast majority of the American people have opposed United States intervention in the Syrian civil war by military action and the shipping of arms to the Syrian rebels opposed to the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad.

The Syrian civil war is essentially a religious-based civil war between an Islamic Sunni majority and an Islamic Shia minority that controls the Syrian government.

Sunni Muslims comprise about 60 percent of the population with the Syrian rebels being mostly Arab Sunni Muslims. The Syrian rebels are supported by the United States, Britain, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Arab Shia Muslims (Alawite, Twelvers and Ismailis) comprise about 13 percent of the Syrian population. Hafez al-Assad ruled Syria from 1970-2000 and Bashar al-Assad since July 2000. The Assad family is Alawite and most members of the Syrian government are Arab Shia Muslims. The Assad government is supported by Russia, China, Iran and Hezbollah. The Iranian government is a Persian Shia theocracy of Twelvers that also support the Shia Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The civil war is more than two years old with over 100,000 killed, nearly two million Syrians fleeing to other countries including Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt and several million displaced Syrians moving to other areas within Syria to avoid the violence, according to the United Nations Syrian Refugee Response online report.

“About 60 percent of Americans surveyed said the U.S. should not intervene in Syria’s civil war, while just 9 percent thought President Barack Obama should act,” according to a recent Reuter’s poll. The Reuters/Ipsos tracking poll, taken Aug. 21-26, found that 47.4 percent would oppose, 27.6 percent would support U.S. intervention in Syria, even if Assad’s forces used chemical weapons against civilians, while 25 percent do not know.

After more than a decade of U.S. military intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) military action and Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) covert action in the Libyan civil war to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi, the American people may have become war weary and opposed to further U.S. government intervention in the Middle East.

In the Libyan civil war the submarine USS Florida launched 100 cruise missiles to takeout Libyan air defenses. This opened a cleared corridor for airstrikes by NATO aircraft and the eventual overthrow of Gaddafi, according to John Barry in his Aug. 20, 2011 online story, “America’ Secret Libya War.”

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), in a foreign policy speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention on July 22, said “The Assad regime is no friend to freedom or the United States. But this does not mean the enemy of our enemy is our friend. There are currently 17 different rebel groups in Syria, including the largest group, al-Nusra. Al-Nusra fighters are radical anti-American jihadists that are affiliated with al-Qaeda. Politicians in Washington, who are eager to send these weapons, promise they will not fall into the hands of our enemies. Do you believe that? Does anyone believe that?”

On Aug. 20, 2012 at the White House, Obama said, “We cannot have a situation where chemical or biological weapons are falling into the hands of the wrong people.  We have communicated in no uncertain terms with every player in the region, that that’s a red line for us, and that there would be enormous consequences if we start seeing movement on the chemical weapons front, or the use of chemical weapons. That would change my calculations significantly.”

On Aug. 26 Secretary of State John Kerry accused the Syrian government of crossing Obama’s red line when he said, “Let me be clear: The indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity. By any standard, it is inexcusable and despite the excuses and equivocations that some have manufactured, it is undeniable.”

Kerry pointed out in his statement, “the U.N. investigation will not determine who used these chemical weapons, only whether such weapons were used, a judgment that is already clear to the world.”

The question left unanswered is who actually used the chemical weapons, the Syrian government or the Syrian rebels? As of press time, the Obama administration has not provided concrete proof that the Syrian government ordered the use of chemical weapons.

Obama as much as admitted this in a CNN interview on Aug. 23 when he said, “If the U.S. goes in and attacks another country without a U.N. mandate and without clear evidence that can be presented, then there are questions in terms of whether international law supports it – do we have the coalition to make it work?”

Obama appears determined to order the U.S. navy to launch Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAM). Four destroyers, the USS Barry, the USS Mahan, the USS Ramage and the USS Gravely as well as several submarines armed with TLAMs are at press time in position off the coast of Syria, according to naval officials. These cruise missiles would most likely be used to destroy Syrian air defense, communications and command and control systems. After these have been taken out, cruise missiles and fighter and bomber aircraft could be used to destroy the Syrian air force aircraft and runways and the stockpile of chemical and biological weapons.

According to recent polling however, by Reuters and others, the American people, want no part of the Syrian civil war even if chemical weapons were used, no matter who used them.

The American people may be concerned that given the Syrian government’s allies, the launching of cruise missiles could lead to rapid military escalation and a war with Russia, China and Iran.

Article 1, Section 8, of the Constitution gives Congress the power to declare war, not the president. Congress is not scheduled to reconvene until Monday, Sept. 9 at 2 p.m.. By then an undeclared war may have begun with the launching of the missiles aimed at Syria.

Obama Warns Syria’s Assad Chemical Weapons A ‘RED Line’

Published on Aug 21, 2012

President Obama made a surprise appearance during Jay Carney’s White House briefing. Speaking to a packed press room, he raised a smile as he traded banter with them before launching into the serious issue of Syria and chemical weapons.
He confirmed that the US has said Assad needs to step down.
Obama then tackled the issue of humanitarian aid to Syrians, and those who are fleeing the country to escape the Assad regime ,severely straining the resources of nearby host countries.
And the President ended the briefing on a serious note, by saying that should the US and United Nations be aware of any chemical weapons then they would react accordingly to the threat.
On the same day that Obama made this statement in the US, the Russian Minister and Syrian ally, SERGEI LAVROV speaking at a news conference in Helsinki, said Moscow would not approve any political transition that was forced on Syria. Stating that only the United Nations Security Council alone, can authorise the use of force against Syria, and not just the US.
Written and presented by Ann Salter

Barack Obama lays down red line to Syria over chemical weapons

Published on Dec 4, 2012

President Obama warns “there will be consequences” if the regime of Bashar Al-Assad used chemical weapons amid reports Syrian military forces were readying supplies of deadly nerve gas.

President Barack Obama warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad not to use chemical weapons against opposition forces, saying there would be consequences if he were to do so.

“The world is watching,” he said.

“The use of chemical weapons is and would be totally unacceptable and if you make the tragic mistake of using these weapons there will be consequences and you will be held accountable,” Mr Obama said in remarks to a gathering of nuclear proliferation experts.

The President’s warning came as US officials claimed to have detected signs that Syrian forces were mixing the chemicals needed to produce sarin gas, a nerve agent banned under international rules of war.

Rand Paul Obama’s plan to arm Syrian rebels means siding with terrorists

Rand Paul slams Obama’s plans for Syria involvement

Rand Paul: I’m Not Sure I Want To Give Weapons To People Who Are Anti-Christian and Anti-Israel

[youtub e=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9uAJ96BLIM]

Rand Paul Blasts Stupid Senate for Wanting to Arm Syrian al-Qaeda Fighters

Rand Paul Destroys Hillary Clinton Over Benghazi-Gate During Capitol Hill Press Conference

John Kerry: Syria must be held accountable for chemical weapon attacks

Published on Aug 27, 2013

John Kerry: Syria must be held accountable for chemical weapon attacks.

The US secretary of state, John Kerry, has made a stern speech condemning the use of chemical weapons in Syria to carry out the ‘indiscriminate slaughter of civilians and the killing of women, children and innocent bystanders’. Kerry said it was a moral outrage and the president was assessing how to respond

John Kerry Syria Chemical Weapons FULL Speech. KERRY: SYRIA ATTACK ‘A MORAL OBSCENITY’

What Is the True Objective of a Strike on Syria?

Rand Paul: Syrian rebels have more incentive to use chemical weapons than Assad

Sen. Ted Cruz with Sean Hannity on Syria, Defunding Obamacare, and More

U.S. DESTROYER LAUNCHES TOMAHAWK CRUISE MISSILES!

Syria: Obama Joins Al-Qaeda…

Published on Mar 20, 2012

Tomahawk cruise missiles being launched towards Qadhafi regime forces as a part of JTF Odyssey Dawn.
USS Stout (DDG-55) is a part of Task Force Odyssey Dawn, the U.S.
Africa Command task force established to provide operational and tactical command and control of U.S.
military forces supporting the international response to the unrest in Libya and enforcement
of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973. UNSCR 1973 authorizes all necessary
measures to protect civilians in Libya under threat of attack by Qadhafi regime forces.
JTF Odyssey Dawn is commanded by U.S. Navy Admiral Samuel J. Locklear, III.
Odyssey Dawn, Libya11. Video by Spc. Neil Stanfield. 03.27.2011.

TOMAHAWK Block IV TLAM Test Launched from Submarine

watchout from below

Uploaded on May 31, 2007

first tomahawk launch off the new SSGN, USS Florida

Russia reportedly Supports Syria’s Assad Regime with Advanced ‘Ship Killer’ Missiles

Russia Builds Up Naval Presence Off Syria

Syria crisis: Western military options

By Jonathan Marcus

All the signals from Washington suggest that military action against Syria is a strong possibility. Contingency plans are being drawn up, potential target lists are being reviewed and various military assets are being moved into position.

The US Navy is re-positioning several vessels, including four cruise missile-carrying destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean and probably a missile-firing submarine.

If more firepower is needed, two US aircraft carriers could launch air strikes, and land bases in Turkey and Cyprus might also be used. French air power could also play a part.

syrian_military_operation

But what kind of military action is being proposed ? What risks are involved ? What is the rationale behind such action? And, perhaps most importantly, how might Western military action contribute to a resolution of the Syrian crisis, if at all?

Forces which could be used against Syria:

Four US destroyers – USS Gravely, USS Ramage, USS Barry and USS Mahan – are in the eastern Mediterranean, equipped with cruise missiles. The missiles can also be fired from submarines, but the US Navy does not reveal their locations

Airbases at Incirlik and Izmir in Turkey, and in Jordan, could be used to carry out strikes

Two aircraft carriers – USS Nimitz and USS Harry S Truman are in the wider region

French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle is currently in Toulon in the western Mediterranean

French Raffale and Mirage aircraft can also operate from Al-Dhahra airbase in the UAE

‘Mission-creep’

The military options facing US political leaders are varied, ranging from a short, sharp punitive strike against targets in Syria (perhaps the most likely) to – at the other end of the spectrum – a full-scale intervention, including ground troops, to try to end the country’s civil war.

This is not in any sense on the table at the moment, though it is the “shadow” lurking off-stage.

Those who are sceptical of military entanglement fear that any action could escalate. Western forces might get drawn into a more protracted struggle, “mission-creep”, risking an open-ended military commitment that many fear might be as dangerous as another Iraq or Afghanistan.

So what are the military options?

The US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen Martin Dempsey, gave his most detailed view in a letter to Senator Carl Levin in mid-July.

This is the most authoritative assessment of the military options as seen by the Pentagon that is available in an unclassified form.

Let’s look at each of these, though not necessarily in the order that Gen Dempsey discussed them. Bear in mind that these are not mutually exclusive; combinations of different options could well be employed.

1. Limited stand-off strikes

Some might call these punitive strikes.

The aim would be to get Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s attention and to persuade him not to resort to chemical weapons in the future. Targets could include military sites linked closely to the regime – the headquarters or barracks of elite units, for example.

possible_targets_around_Damascus

Missile production facilities could be hit. Caution would have to be exercised if striking chemical weapons production facilities since leakage of toxic chemicals could lead to significant local damage.

Air defence sites and command centres might also be hit as a warning of Western capabilities should there need to be recourse to military action again in the future.

The attraction of this option is that it could be mounted quickly and with limited risk to the Western forces involved. The weapons of choice would be Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles launched from US Navy warships and submarines.

syrian_targets

This could be scaled up using air-launched weapons, but again these would be “stand-off” in nature (i.e. launched from well outside Syrian airspace). French aircraft could strike targets in Syria while operating from their home bases, as they did during the crisis in Libya and Mali.

2. Stepped up support to the Syrian opposition

Gen Dempsey actually put this as his first option. This would involve non-lethal force to step up the training and advice to elements of the opposition. This would be an extension of some of the work that has already been under way.

However, this approach has already foundered upon the growing divisions within the opposition and the rising fears in the West that some of the most effective fighters on the ground come from groups with links to al-Qaeda-type organisations.

3. Establish a ‘no-fly’ zone

The aim here would be to prevent the Syrian government from using its air power to strike rebels on the ground and to re-supply isolated bases around the country. This would probably require Syria’s air defence system to be dismantled, and forces would have to be available to shoot down Syrian military aircraft that took to the skies.

Such a no-fly zone has been discussed for well over a year and generally rejected. Much has been made of Syria’s air defence system, which before the civil war was extensive and well-integrated. It is made up of large numbers of Soviet-era weapons with a significant sprinkling of much more modern Russian systems.

However, the effectiveness of this system as a whole is in doubt. Territorial losses to the rebels mean that some key sites have been lost to the government, and the Israeli air force has demonstrated that it can hit targets inside Syria with impunity (though some of the strikes may well have been made using stand-off weapons).

What is clear is that establishing a no-fly zone would involve much greater initial risk to US and allied aircraft and it would require the assembling of a significant force – which would have to be maintained over time – not just combat aircraft, but tankers, airborne command (Awacs) aircraft and so on.

4. Establish buffer zones

The idea here would be to establish havens inside Syria – probably close to its borders with Turkey and Jordan – from which rebel forces could operate and within which refugees could be supplied. Again this is an option that has been previously discussed and rejected.

Such safe havens might require the establishment of a limited air exclusion zone, and there would be serious questions as to how they might be defended on the ground. If, for example, the Syrian government fired into the zones, what then?

Another idea that has sometimes been mentioned is a no-drive zone, effectively limiting the use of President Assad’s ground forces. But here, too, air power would be needed and this option begins to look very much like embarking upon a full-scale war in Syria.

5. Control Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal

This was Gen Dempsey’s fourth point with a focus on preventing the use or proliferation of chemical weapons. This could be done by destroying portions of Syria’s stockpiles; hindering its movement or by seizing key installations. This would require a massive US involvement, including troops on the ground, for an indefinite duration.

What comes through clearly in Gen Dempsey’s letter (and indeed in a subsequent text that he recently sent to another US congressman in mid-August) is his extraordinary reluctance to embark upon any military action at all.

What comes through clearly in Gen Dempsey’s letter (and indeed in a subsequent text that he recently sent to another US congressman in mid-August) is his extraordinary reluctance to embark upon any military action at all.

That was, of course, before the suspected use of chemical weapons in Syria, and President Barack Obama being forced by circumstances to confront the “red line” of his own choosing.

The most likely scenario, if force is to be used, is number (1) above – a short, sharp punitive strike to send a message to the Syrian regime. But any decision to act raises all sorts of questions:

  • What degree of further evidence – if any – is required from the UN weapons inspectors before military action is unleashed?
  • What about the legality of such action in terms of international law – especially since Russia and China seem resolutely opposed to backing any idea of military action at the UN Security Council?
  • But perhaps the most important question of all if military action goes ahead – what next? How is this action going to bring Syria any closer to peace? What new policies or combination of policies can do this? In what sense will the dynamics of the Syrian crisis be any different after a US and allied strike than it was before? Could Western military action actually make things in Syria much, much worse?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-23849386

Syria action ‘would involve submarine cruise missiles’

Any UK military action in Syria would involve submarine-launched cruise missiles rather than air strikes, a military expert has predicted.

Nick de Larrinaga of IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly told ITV News: “I’d be very surprised if any military action by the UK didn’t consist of cruise missile strikes.

Reports emerged today that warplanes had arrived in the UK’s Akrotiri airbase in Cyprus, but De Larrinaga does not believe these would be used against Syria.

“The Akrotiti base could play a supporting role to any military action, but it’s highly unlikely that manned aircraft would be involved at this point – although it’s possible the UK could support the US by monitoring airspace.”

De Larrinaga, the magazine’s Europe Editor, said the chances of western military action are increasing and strikes could occur “quickly” after a decision was made.

“The likelihood of small scale, precision strikes using Tomahawk cruise missiles has significantly increased since Britain, France and the US essentially accused Assad of using chemical weapons,” he said.

Submarines would likely be deployed in eastern Mediterranean waters or in the Gulf.

De Larrinaga added that airstrikes could be possible “to a limited degree” within Syria using stand-off weapons, without entering Syrian airspace, but cruise missiles remained “the far most likely option”.

Parliament is being recalled on Thursday for MPs to discuss the issue, although De Larrinaga says military action would not get UN backing.

“UN Security Council-endorsed military action is a no-go because Russia and China would veto it. It could be a US-led coalition, or possibly a NATO-endorsed mission,” he said.

In 2011, the UK carried out strikes on Libya two days before Parliamentary approval was sought, although there had been a UN resolution endorsing a no fly-zone.

http://www.itv.com/news/2013-08-27/syria-action-would-involve-submarine-cruise-missiles/

“Equally, I’d be very surprised if it did involve air strikes. It would be very risky given the strength of Syrian air defences.”

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Pronk Pops Show 122, August 23, 2013, Segment 0: Australian collegiate baseball player, Christopher Lane Murdered By Two Black Teenagers Out of Boredom Using Stolen Weapons In Senseless Thrill Killing — Photos and Videos

Posted on August 23, 2013. Filed under: Baseball, College, Communications, Culture, Drugs, Games, Gangs, Government, Government Spending, Homicide, Law, Media, Movies, Music, Philosophy, Politics, Security, Sports, Violence, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Pronk Pops Show 122: August 23, 2013

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Segment 0: Australian collegiate baseball player, Christopher Lane Murdered By Two Black Teenagers Out of Boredom Using Stolen Weapons In Senseless Thrill Killing — Photos and Videos

Chris_Lane

Christopher Lane

chris_lane_with_girlfriend

Christopher Lane and Sarah Harper

Sarah-Harper-Christopher-Lane-girlfriend-pics

lane-family

Sarah_Harper_Australian-Player-Random-Slaying-Reaction

APTOPIX Australian Player-Random Slaying

theee_teenages_killers

James_Edwards_age_15

James Edwards, 15, charged with first-degree murder.

Chancey Allen Luna

Chancey Luna, 16, charged with first-degree murder.

Michael_Jones_age_17

Michael Jones, 17, charged with being an accessory to the killing.

James-edwards-chauncey-luna-michael-jones-christopher-lane-pics

james_edwards_accused_killer_Christopher_Lane

james_edwards_Chancey_luna_michael_jones

726175-chris-lane-shooting-location-map

Chris Lane’s Murder; Doesn’t fit the Liberal Media’s Narrative, on Race – Duncan Oklahoma

Glenn Beck On Chris Lane Shooting ‘Where’s The Outrage’ [HD]

90% of white ppl are nasty #HATE THEM

Sister of James Edwards doesn’t believe he would post about killing someone

Baseball Player Gunned Down by 3 Oklahoma Teens ‘For the Fun of It’

LISTEN: 911 Call Following Killing Of Chris Lane – 8/21/13

911 call from “thrill killing” of Chris Lane, released.

District Attorney Releases 911 Call in “Thrill Kill” that Left Australian Student Dead

Chris Lane’s parents speak about their son’s murder

Black Teens Who “Thrill Killed” Australian Baseball Player Show Off Guns On Vine!!

Australian Chris Lane Shot, Killed by Oklahoma Teens

Teens Killed College Athlete ‘For the Fun of It’

Bored Teens Shoot Man: Christopher Lane College Allegedly Gunned Down For The Fun Of It

Headline: Oklahoma teens allegedly killed Australian baseball player out of boredom

Black Teens Who “Thrill Killed” Australian Baseball Player Show Off Guns On Vine!!

Parents deny their kids involvement with Chris Lane murder

Australian baseball player remembered

Sarah Harper interview

Full interview with Sarah Harper the girlfriend of Australian baseball player Chris Lane who was killed by a drive-by shooting in Oklahoma

A Color-Blind Media and Benign Neglect of Black Violence?

By Raymond Thomas Pronk

christopher_lane_sarah_harper

Murder victim, Christopher Lane, and girlfriend of four-years, Sarah Harper.

Credit: http://www.abc.net.au

What got my attention was three teenagers allegedly in broad daylight in a residential neighbor shot in the back and killed a complete stranger who was out jogging because they were bored.

I was listening to a newscast on one of the talk radio stations in Dallas when I first learned of the death of Australian collegiate baseball player Christopher Lane, 22, of Melbourne, Australia, by three teenagers in rural Duncan, in south central Oklahoma.

Later that day I was listening to a talk radio show when an Australian called in outraged that the American national media were not mentioning the race of the alleged teenage killers arrested for the murder. The two alleged killers were black and the alleged driver of the car was white. The caller said the homicide was a national news story in Australia where more details of what had happened were being broadcast than in the United States. The caller asked the question, if an Australian Aborigine been shot by three white teenagers, would this not be a national story with the race of the killers disclosed?

Yes, it most certainly would have with the Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson leading the parade of outrage in protest of the murder. The national media would be broadcasting every detail of the teenage white killers’ background as well as the innocent black victim.

Lane was attending East Central University in Ada, Okla. on an athletic scholarship. He was a starting catcher on the baseball team and was entering his senior year. Lane was visiting his girlfriend in Duncan, which is about 85 miles east of Ada.

Lane and his girlfriend of four years, Sarah Harper, had just returned from a vacation in Australia. Harper said in an interview with Australia Broadcasting Company, “I’m really thankful I got to do that before this happened. Spent a lot of time with him and with his family in the place that he really loved being. Him being so proud to show everybody and everything off that he loved.”

The Duncan police have arrested and charged 15-year-old James Edwards Jr. and 16-year old Chancey Luna as adults with first degree felony murder. The police also arrested and charged the driver of the car, 17- year old Michael Jones with use of a vehicle in discharge of a weapon and accessor after the fact to murder in the first degree. Edwards and Chancey are black and Jones is white, according to a police affidavit.

The police said it was Jones who told them, “We were bored and didn’t have anything to do, so we decided to kill somebody.”

Harper said of the killers, “Never met them, never heard of them. And the fact that it was just they saw him running and chose him as a target is just unbearable, that it was just pointless. There was no rhyme or reason to any of it and it’s just not fair.”

The murder in Duncan with a population under 25,000 may be a rare event. However, in black neighborhoods in large cities across the United States, black-on black-crime, including homicides, is a very common event. Blacks are the overwhelming majority of the victims of black gang and drug related violence.

The black economist Walter Williams wrote, “between 1976 and 2005, blacks, while 13 percent of the population, committed over 52 percent of the nation’s homicides and were 46 percent of the homicide victims. Ninety-four percent of black homicide victims had a black person as their murderer.”

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Reports, Crime in the United States 2011, there were 12,664 homicide victims in the U.S. of which 6,329 were black, 5,825 were white, 335 other race and 175 unknown race.

When it comes to black-on-black violent crime, especially homicides, the national media is apparently color-blind and treats such crime with benign neglect.

Fifty years ago on Aug. 28, 1963  the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C., his now famous I Have a Dream speech with its inspiring ending: “…when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:  Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

Short Version of I Have A Dream Speech

Martin Luther King – I Have A Dream Speech – August 28, 1963

I hope the dream comes true. This will first require universal respect for all human life and the honesty to face and confront  the causes of evil in both black and white neighborhoods—gangs and drugs glorified by gangsta rap music, games and movies. Corrupting culture, entertainment, alcohol and drug use can lead to violence and murder of the innocent.

Until then in the words of singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson, sung by his friend and lover, the late Port Arthur born Texas singer-songwriter Janis Joplin, who died at age 27 of a drug overdose of heroin with alcohol in Hollywood:

“…Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose,
Nothin’ don’t mean nothing honey if it ain’t free, no, no.
And feeling good was easy, Lord, when he sang the blues,
You know, feeling good was good enough for me,
Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee. ”

Janis Joplin – Me & Bobby McGee

Raymond Thomas Pronk presents the Pronk Pops Show on KDUX web radio from 3-5 p.m. Fridays and authors the companion blog http://www.pronkpops.wordpress.com.

Janis Joplin – Me & Bobby McGee

Melbourn)’I love you so much’ Girlfriend Sarah Harper’s tribute to slain baseballer Christopher Lane

THE girlfriend of slain Melbourne baseball star Chris Lane has posted an emotional tribute, describing their time together as “the most amazing years of my life”.

Sarah Harper, who was with Lane for four years, added to a raft of tributes for the 23-year-old after he was killed in a random drive-by shooting in Oklahoma.

“The past 4 years have been the most amazing years of my life and that’s all because of you babe,” she wrote on Facebook today.

“I love you so much babe. From 2009 until forever you will always be mine and in a very special and protected place in my heart.”

Ms Harper also posted a photo of a flower memorial erected by locals in the town of Duncan on the corner where he was tragically shot.

It comes after a 16-year-old boy confessed to pulling the trigger and killing Lane, according to police chief Danny Ford.

Chief Ford said the 16-year-old was with two other teens aged 15 and 17 when they killed Lane during a random drive-by shooting in the town of Duncan.
He said the three teenagers had no motive other than to make a name for themselves.

All three are facing the charge of first-degree murder, which carries a maximum sentence of the death penalty.

Chief Ford told 3AW this morning one of the accused has confessed to pulling the trigger, saying he just wanted to kill someone.

“Lately there has been some pretty weak motives, but I don’t know that I’ve had one that they told us they were just going to kill somebody,” he said.

He said the three teens were on a “killing spree” after , leaving a chilling message on Facebook.

Peter Lane said his son had left his mark and his death was just so pointless.
“There’s not going to be any good come out of this because it was just so senseless,” Mr Lane told reporters in Melbourne this morning.

“There wasn’t anything he did or could have done.

“He was an athlete going for a jog, like he would do five or six days a week in terms of his training schedule.

“It’s happened. It’s wrong and we just try and deal with it the best we can.”

Flowers and a baseball were placed on the home plate at Essendon Baseball Club this morning with a message that summed up the senseless shooting. “A wonderful young man taken too soon,” it read. “Why?”

As family and friends grappled with the unthinkable tragedy, the 22-year-old’s parents paid tribute to their boy at the field where his love for the sport began.
Peter Lane said he could not have been more proud of a remarkable young man.

“He did all the things a kid should have done,” Mr Lane said. “He caused us some grief but he caused us so much joy. He achieved a lot for a 22-year-old.

“He gave up a lot to follow his dream. He gave up 18th birthday parties to be at the Victorian Institute of Sport at 8am the next morning, ready to go.

Australian baseball player killed in OK

7News : Tributes for Aussie shot dead in US

Bored Teens Shoot Man: Christopher Lane College Allegedly Gunned Down For The Fun Of It

Christopher Lane Murder: Police Confirm That Teens Have Records

Chris Lane killer holding a shot gun and bragging on Vine

DUNCAN, Okla. — With the simplest of motives — breaking up the boredom of an Oklahoma summer — three teenagers followed an Australian collegiate baseball player who was attending school in the U.S. and killed him with a shot to the back for “the fun of it,” police say.

As authorities prepared to charge the teens with first-degree murder Tuesday, family and friends on two continents mourned Christopher Lane, who gave up pursuit of an Australian football career to pursue his passion for baseball, an American pastime. His girlfriend tearfully laid a cross at a streetside memorial in Duncan, while half a world away, an impromptu memorial grew at the home plate he protected as a catcher on his youth team.

“We just thought we’d leave it,” Sarah Harper said as she visited the memorial on Duncan’s north, well-to-do side. “This is his final spot.”

Flowers, photos and an Australian flag already adorned the roadside in a tribute to the 22-year-old.

“I don’t know anybody who’s left this. It means a lot,” Harper said.

Lane played at East Central University in Ada, 85 miles east of Duncan, and had been visiting Harper and her parents after he and his girlfriend returned to the U.S. from Australia about a week ago.

Police Chief Dan Ford said Lane appeared to have been chosen at random, saying in a variety of media interviews since Friday’s killing that a 17-year-old suspect told officers that he and other boys ages 15 and 16 were bored and that they followed Lane and killed him for “the fun of it.”

A former deputy prime minister in Australia called for a tourism boycott of the United States while Lane’s former clubs sought ways to honor their former teammate.

His old team, Essendon, scheduled a memorial game for Sunday to raise funds for Lane’s parents as they worked to have their boy’s remains sent home. The club said it would deliver notes of condolences sent to its headquarters.

At Essendon Catholic School, Lane will be remembered at a November Mass in which all former students who have died are mourned and celebrated, former school captain David Ireland told The Age newspaper in Melbourne.

“He was the sort of guy at school who everyone knew and knew quite well,” Ireland said of Lane. “He loved his footy (Australian football) and his sport and spent a lot of time with mates.”

Lane had attended St. Bernard’s college, where the principal at the time, Frank Fitzgerald, criticized the violence in Lane’s death.

“I think the rest of the countries around the world just look at that country and shake their head,” FitzGerald told The Age. He said Lane could have had a promising career in his country’s football league “but he already had indicated that baseball was what he would concentrate on.”

Melbourne’s Herald Sun newspaper reported that roses and a baseball were placed Monday on the home plate where Lane played as a youth with the message, “A wonderful young man taken too soon. Why?”

Former deputy prime minister Tim Fischer asked Australians to avoid the U.S. as a way to force its Congress to act on gun control.

“Tourists thinking of going to the USA should think twice,” Fischer told the Herald Sun. “This is the bitter harvest and legacy of the policies of the NRA that even blocked background checks for people buying guns at gunshows. People should take this into account before going to the United States. I am deeply angry about this because of the callous attitude of the three teenagers (but) it’s a sign of the proliferation of guns on the ground in the USA. There is a gun for almost every American.”

Tara Harper, Sarah Harper’s cousin, said her family was working with the Lanes on funeral arrangements.

Lane’s girlfriend had no intention of attending the suspects’ court appearance.

“She wants nothing to do with them. She doesn’t want to see them. She doesn’t want to hear them. She won’t be there. She won’t be there,” Tara Harper said. “I don’t think we’ll ever know why it happened. No answer will ever be satisfying, no matter what it is.”

Police say three bored teens killed an Australian collegiate baseball player

3 teens charged in ‘random’ killing of baseball player Christopher Lane

DUNCAN, Okla. – With a motive that’s both chilling and simple — to break up the boredom of an Oklahoma summer — three teenagers randomly targeted an Australian collegiate baseball player who was attending school in the U.S. and killed him for fun, prosecutors said Tuesday as they charged two of the boys with murder.

Prosecutor Jason Hicks called the boys “thugs” as he described how Christopher Lane, 22, of Melbourne, was shot once in the back and died along a tree-lined road on Duncan’s well-to-do north side. He said the three teens, from the grittier part of town, chose Lane at random and that one of the boys “thinks it’s all a joke.”

Hicks charged Chancey Allen Luna, 16, and James Francis Edwards Jr., 15, of Duncan, with first-degree murder. Under Oklahoma law they will be tried as adults. Michael Dewayne Jones, 17, of Duncan, was charged with using a vehicle in the discharge of a weapon and with accessory to first-degree murder after the fact. He is considered a youthful offender but will be tried in adult court.

Jones wept in the courtroom after he tried to speak about the incident but was cut off by the judge who said it wasn’t the time to sort out the facts of the case. Jones faces anywhere from two years to life in prison if convicted on the counts he faces.

The two younger teens face life in prison without parole if convicted on the murder charge.

“I’m appalled,” Hicks said after the hearing. “This is not supposed to happen in this community.”

In court, Hicks said Luna was sitting in the back seat of a car when he pulled the trigger on a .22 caliber revolver and shot Lane once in the back. Hicks said Jones was driving the vehicle and Edwards was in the passenger seat.

A recording of an emergency 911 call obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press offers a chilling account of the next moments as a woman identifying herself as Joyce Smith tells the operator she saw Lane fall over into a ditch as she drove by.

“He’s got blood on his back,” the woman says.

Later relaying word from another witness on the scene to the 911 operator, the woman says: “He’s turning blue. He’s making a noise.”

Edwards has had prior run-ins with the law and came to court Friday — apparently after the shooting — to sign documents related to his juvenile probation.

“I believe this man is a threat to the community and should not be let out,” Hicks said as he requested he be held without bail. “He thinks it’s all a joke.”

The two younger boys were held without bail, while bail for Jones was set at $1 million.

Before the hearing, Edwards’ father, James Edwards Sr., said he knew where his son was 95 percent of the time. He said his son was involved in wrestling and football, and was trying to forge the same sort of athletic career as Lane. He was heading into his sophomore year in high school.

Edwards Sr. said Luna was also like a son to him.

Luna’s mother, Jennifer Luna, said her son likes to play basketball at a local court and play on his iPhone and Xbox.

“I know my son. He is a good kid,” she said.

Lane played baseball at East Central University in Ada, 85 miles east of Duncan, and had been visiting his girlfriend and her parents in Duncan after he and his girlfriend returned to the U.S. from Australia about a week ago.

Duncan police Chief Dan Ford has said the boys wanted to overcome a boring end to their summer vacation — classes in Duncan resumed Tuesday — and that Jones told officers they were bored and killed Lane for “the fun of it.”

Family and friends on two continents were mourning Lane, who gave up pursuit of an Australian football career to pursue his passion for baseball, an American pastime. His girlfriend, Sarah Harper, tearfully laid a cross at a streetside memorial in Duncan, while half a world away, an impromptu memorial grew at the home plate he protected as a catcher on his youth team.

“We just thought we’d leave it,” Harper said as she visited the memorial in Duncan. “This is his final spot.”

His old baseball team, Essendon, scheduled a memorial game for Sunday to raise funds for Lane’s parents as they worked to have their boy’s remains sent home.

Tony Cornish, president of the Essendon Baseball Club, said Lane played with the club for 12 years.

“He started out as a T-baller, right from the age of 7, ” said Cornish.

Cornish said Lane was part of the club until he left to attend college in the U.S.

“Chris Lane was a good kid, just a great all-around guy,” Cornish said. “We’re still all in shock here.”

Meanwhile, St. Bernard’s College in Essendon, where Lane was a student, is planning a memorial Mass for Lane in November.

Melbourne’s Herald Sun newspaper reported that roses and a baseball were placed Monday on the home plate where Lane played as a youth with the message: “A wonderful young man taken too soon. Why?”

Tim Fischer, former Australia deputy prime minister, criticized the National Rifle Association and asked Australians to avoid the U.S. as a way to put pressure on its Congress to act on gun control.

“Tourists thinking of going to the USA should think twice,” Fischer told the Herald Sun. “I am deeply angry about this because of the callous attitude of the three teenagers, (but) it’s a sign of the proliferation of guns on the ground in the USA. There is a gun for almost every American.”

http://www.newsday.com/news/nation/3-teens-charged-in-random-killing-of-baseball-player-christopher-lane-1.5930352

These Are the Three Teens Charged in the Murder of Student Chris Lane ‘For the Fun of It’ (UPDATED)

Authorities formally charged three teenagers Tuesday afternoon for mercilessly gunning down Australian student Chris Lane Friday night “for the fun of it.”

James Edwards, 15, and Chancey Luna, 16, were reportedly charged with first degree murder and face life in prison if convicted. They are being held without bond.

Michael Jones, 17, was reportedly charged with using a vehicle to facilitate the discharge of a weapon and accessory after the fact of murder in the first degree. He reportedly said in court “I pulled the trigger” but the judge told him to remain silent. The boy cried and his bond was set at $1 million.

The three teens will be tried as adults, the Herald Sun reports.

A social networking page appearing to belong to Edwards reveals a video of Edwards brandishing a gun as well as multiple photos showing piles of cash he claims belong to him.

“B***h we up dem poles, f**k with me,” James can be heard saying in a newly surfaced Vine video, while brandishing a gun. The New York Post and Daily Mail both report this is authentic video of James.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/08/20/these-are-the-three-teens-arrested-and-suspected-of-murdering-student-chris-lane-for-the-fun-of-it/

Chilling 911 call details final moments of Melbourne baseballer Chris Lane’s life

THE harrowing last seconds of murdered Melbourne man Chris Lane’s life has been recorded on a 911 emergency call.

The seven-minute call, released by the District Attorney’s office in Duncan, Oklahoma, begins with local Joyce Smith telling the operator she was driving her Toyota Corolla and spotted a bloodied man at the side of the road.

“There’s a young man,” Ms Smith tells the operator.

“He’s just fell over in a ditch and he’s got blood on him.”

It is 2.57pm on Friday.

Authorities allege Lane, a 22-year-old baseball player who had a scholarship with a Oklahoma college and was visiting his US girlfriend in Duncan, was jogging along Country Club Road when he was shot in the back in a random drive-by shooting.

Ms Smith, unaware Lane has been shot, has no idea what has happened to him.

“I’m afraid to go over to him,” Ms Smith tells the operator.

“I don’t know him.”

Ms Smith tells the operator Mr Lane was standing at the side of the road, but then fell over in a ditch.

“I’m kind of scared to go over by myself,” Ms Smith tells the operator.

At 1:42 into the call, Richard Rhodes, a building contractor who was working on a house in front of where Mr Lane was shot, on the corner of Country Club Rd and Twilight Beach Rd, came out to investigate.

“The man that has come around the corner off Twilight Beach said, ‘He has been shot. Tell them to hurry’,” Ms Smith, panic in her voice, relays to the operator.

“He said, ‘He heard the shot and he knows what the car looks like’.”

Mr Rhodes will become key to the arrest of the three boys who are accused of the drive-by shooting – James Edwards, 15, Chancey Luna, 16, and Michael Jones, 17.

Mr Rhodes said he was working on the house, heard what sounded like a bullet being fired, looked down the street and saw a black car with a white sticker on the windshield.

Edwards, Luna and Jones were arrested four hours later in a black 2003 Ford Focus with a white sticker on the windshield.

At 2:45 into the 911 call, Mr Rhodes has some alarming news that Ms Smith relays to the operator.

“He’s turning blue,” Ms Smith says.

Mr Lane is struggling to breath.

Mr Rhodes said he believed the bullet went through Lane’s back and punctured his lungs.

At 3:19 into the call, the operator alerts authorities.

“We have a male who said he has been shot and is bleeding in the back,” the operator can be heard saying.

At 3:37 she informs Ms Smith help is on the way.

“OK. We have an ambulance and a PD (police) on the way,” the operator says.

At 3:54 the operator asks: “Is he breathing? Is he conscious? Is he talking to you?”

Ms Smith asks Mr Rhodes and the reply is Lane is not conscious and is “barely breathing”.

There’s extra panic in Ms Smith’s voice.

About 20 seconds later Ms Smith relays some promising news from Mr Rhodes: “He just took a breath.”

At 4:26 an urgent Ms Smith complains to the operator she can’t hear any sirens and at 5:53 she again raises her concerns.

“I hear no sirens. I see no lights. Oh my gosh how long is it going to be?” Ms Smith says.

At 6:06 Ms Smith says: “I finally see some lights coming.”

At 6:20 Ms Smith says an unidentified female passerby was performing CPR on Lane, however the woman delivers an ominous warning.

The ambulance is yet to arrive.

“If you don’t hurry, he’s gone,” Ms Smith, relaying the message, tells the operator.

“Ma’am. They’re coming OK. I can’t make them come any faster,” the operator replies.

At 6:47 Ms Smith says: “Finally I see them coming up the street.”

The operator asks if Lane has stopped breathing.

Mr Rhodes can be heard in the background saying: “Yes.”

“Yes, yes they said he has,” an emotional Ms Smith confirms.

At 7:06 the ambulance pulls up at the scene.

“Stop right here fella,” Ms Smith can be heard telling them.

Lane was taken to Duncan Regional Hospital where exactly 50 minutes after Ms Smith called 911, doctors pronounced the young Australian, who had so much life to live, dead.

Luna, the alleged shooter of a .22 calibre revolver, and Edwards, an alleged passenger in the Focus, were charged with first-degree murder and face life in prison without parole if convicted.

Jones, the alleged driver, was charged with using a vehicle to facilitate the discharge of a weapon and accessory after the fact of murder in the first degree.

He faces a maximum 45-year sentence.

The accused teenagers were dobbed in by a local who claims his son was the trio’s next target.

James Johnson, 52, called the police to tell them that the accused killers were hiding in the car park of the Immauel Baptist Church car park at about 5pm, two hours after they allegedly shot Lane.

“My son called me and said, “They’re saying they’re coming to kill me,” so I called the police and they got here within about three minutes,” Johnson told the Herald Sun.

Mr Johnson claimed that Edwards Jr had threatened the life of his own 17-year-old son Christopher on Facebook. His son was at home with his mother and sisters near the church when he received the death threat.

“They threatened to kill my son because they are in a gang, the Crips, and were trying to get my son in it and I wouldn’t let him do it.

“I told him he couldn’t run with those boys. He’s a little terrified.”

Mr Johnson said the Crips, a predominantly African American street gang that began in Los Angeles in 1969 and had been in Duncan for the past few years.

He said the group consisted of teenagers who he called “wannabes.”

“I’ve been living here all my life and we never had this, but in the past few years gangs from Lawton have been coming here,” Johnson said of the Crips.

Johnson’s son also attends Duncan High School, where suspect Luna and Edwards Jr. were students. He said he knew both boys, and described them as “troublemakers” and “bullies” who had “no parental supervision.”

“I’m just glad they found the other gun, because they haven’t found the murder weapon yet,” said Johnson.

Meanwhile, the US government says it is “deeply saddened” by the drive-by shooting murder.

“The United States is deeply saddened to hear the tragic news of the death of an Australian citizen in Oklahoma,” Ms Harf said.

“This is clearly a tragic death, and we extend our condolences to the family and the loved ones. We understand that local authorities are focused on bringing those responsible to justice. Clearly, we would support that.”

The State Department’s comments came after former deputy prime minister Tim Fischer urged Australian tourists to stay away from America to protest the need for stricter gun controls in the US.

Prosecutors have promised that the “thugs” charged over the brutal murder “will pay”.

District Attorney Jason Hicks said outside the first court hearing in the Oklahoma town of Duncan that he was “going to do everything I can to ensure these three thugs pay for what they did to Christopher Lane”.

“To those friends of ours in Australia, we would say to you this is not Duncan, Oklahoma,” Mr Hicks said.

“This is not Stephens County, Oklahoma.”

Stephens County Courthouse heard how one of the boys accused of murdering Lane, 22, danced and laughed as he was taken into a police station to be charged after the killing on Friday.

James Edwards, 15, was treating the murder as a joke, Mr Hicks told the hearing.

Mr Hicks told the court that Edwards has previously been in contact with police, and that he had “an attitude of total disregard for law enforcement” when he was being charged over Lane’s death.

“He thinks it’s funny, and it’s all a joke,” Mr Hicks said.

“I believe he is a threat to the community.”

Mr Hicks said Edwards kept a probation appointment for another matter at the courthouse just minutes after Lane was killed.

“He was cold, callous and that was the demeanour that we saw throughout the course of the investigation,” Mr Hicks said.

Edwards and Chancey Luna, 16, are charged with first-degree murder and face life in prison if convicted.

Mr Hicks said that Luna had refused to co-operate with police.

They were both refused bail.

Michael Jones, 17, was charged with using a vehicle to facilitate the discharge of a weapon and accessory after the fact of murder in the first degree.

Bail for Jones, who is assisting prosecutors and police, was set at $US1 million ($A1.1 million).

The three will be tried as adults.

They were dressed in orange prison jumpsuits and had their legs shackled during the brief appearance.

The court was told that the three boys spotted Lane jogging along a road in an upper-class area of Duncan on Friday.

They got into a car driven by Jones, drove behind Lane and then Luna shot him with .22 calibre revolver in the back, the court was told.

“The information we have was this was the person who pulled the trigger,” the prosecutor said of Luna.

Edwards and Luna did not show any emotion, but Jones broke down in tears after Mr Hicks said he was looking at a “very, very lengthy prison sentence”.

“I didn’t pull the trigger,” Jones said.

The courtroom was packed and divided.

In the front row sat about 20 family and friends of Sarah Harper, Lane’s longtime American girlfriend. Ms Harper, 23, was not in court.

Cindy Harper told the Herald Sun her daughter was at home “trying to relax”.

Another Harper family member said “this is surreal” as they were taken out a side door of the court building by sheriffs.

A few rows behind was a distraught Jennifer Luna, coming to grips with a nightmare 12 months that saw the death of her husband in a motorcycle accident and now the prospect her son could spend the rest of his life in prison.

On the right hand side of the courtroom was James Edwards Sr, refusing to believe his son was a killer.

“Yes, I do,” Mr Edwards replied outside court when asked if he believed his son, who hoped to be an Olympic wrestler, was innocent.

In the back left area of the court was Jones’s parents and supporters, including his pregnant girlfriend.

She sobbed in her seat, eventually leaving the court before Jones came in.

Edwards and Luna did not appear to be fazed during their court appearance.

Even when Ms Luna stood up in court to answer an administrative question from Judge Jerry Herberger, her son didn’t acknowledge her.

Edwards didn’t look for family members.

Asked if she had a message for the Lane family outside court, Ms Luna told the Herald Sun: “I feel sorry for them, my heart goes out to them, it really does, but that’s my baby too.

“My boy was a baby too.”

Luna said there were no guns at her house, and her son was at home playing X-Box with her soon-to-be stepson when she came home from work last Friday after finishing at 3pm.

It comes a day after Duncan Police Chief Danny Ford said he had secured the confession of Jones who had summoned investigators to his jail cell and claimed they were bored “so they decided to kill somebody”.

Chief Ford said the teens had no motive other than to ”make a name for themselves”.

Lane was staying with Ms Harper in Duncan before going back to Oklahoma’s East Central University where he majored in finance and was the catcher on the team’s baseball team.

Ms Harper yesterday revealed her heartbreak at losing her “best friend”, and parents of the accused protested their innocence.

She also told the Herald Sun that she didn’t know what punishment would be appropriate for the three teens.

Lane, who grew up in Oak Park in Melbourne’s north, had only been back in the US for three days after an eight-week break in Australia with Ms Harper.

“I don’t want them to have any future that Chris wasn’t able to have as well,” Ms Harper said of the accused yesterday.

“It’s been pretty rough. It’s been hard knowing he was taken so close to home, let alone taken in the way he was. To be pointed out like that …”

Ms Harper said she and Lane had joked about America’s soft gun laws before he was shot.

“He wasn’t a fan of guns,” she said.

She fondly described Lane as a smart, kind and curious guy who would “do anything for anybody”.

Ms Harper, also a talented sportswoman, said she and Lane just “meshed together” within weeks of meeting at college in Oklahoma in August 2009.

“It was more of a personality (we had in common), not so much interests. He was intellectual, into world news, and I found that quite boring,” she said.

“He really wanted to travel more. He loved the idea of seeing the world.”

Ms Harper said she would come back to Australia to farewell Lane with his family.

“I’m probably going to go back and say goodbye with the people he loved the most,” she said.

“It was a great time getting back there and seeing him in his element with all his favourite friends.

“It’s going to be hard going back but it’s something I need to do.

“Thank you to everyone who supported and loved Chris. I really appreciated it.”

– with Stephen Drill Andy Burns and AAP

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/chilling-911-call-details-final-moments-of-melbourne-baseballer-chris-lane8217s-life/story-fni0fiyv-1226700172461

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Crips

The Crips are a primarily, but not exclusively, African-American gang. They were founded in Los Angeles, California, in 1969 mainly by Raymond Washington and Stanley Williams. What was once a single alliance between two autonomous gangs is now a loosely connected network of individual sets, often engaged in open warfare with one another.

The Crips are one of the largest and most violent associations of street gangs in the United States,[1] with an estimated 30,000 to 35,000 members. The gang is known to be involved in murders, robberies, and drug dealing, among many other criminal pursuits. The gang is known for its gang members’ use of the color blue in their clothing. However, this practice has waned due to police crackdowns on gang members.

Crips are publicly known to have an intense and bitter rivalry with the Bloods. Crips have been documented in the U.S. military, found in bases in the United States and abroad

History

Stanley Tookie Williams met Raymond Lee Washington in 1969, and the two decided to unite their local gang members from the west and east sides of South Central Los Angeles in order to battle neighboring street gangs. Most of the members were 17 years old.[9] Williams discounted the sometimes cited founding date of 1969 in his memoir, Blue Rage, Black Redemption.[9] Gang activity in South Central Los Angeles has its roots in a variety of factors dating back to the 1950s and ’60s, including post-World War II economic decline leading to joblessness and poverty, racial segregation leading to the formation of black “street clubs” by young African American men who were excluded from organizations such as the Boy Scouts, and the waning of black nationalist organizations such as the Black Panther Party and the Black Power Movement.[10][11][12][13]

Etymology

The original name for the alliance was “Cribs,” a name narrowed down from a list of many options, and chosen unanimously from three final choices, which included the Black Overlords, and the Assassins. Cribs was chosen to reflect the young age of the majority of the gang members. The name “Cribs” evolved into the name “Crips” when gang members began carrying around canes to display their “pimp” status. People in the neighborhood then began calling them cripples, or “Crips” for short.[14] A Los Angeles Sentinel article in February 1972 referred to some members as “Crips” (for cripples).[1] The name had no political, organizational, cryptic, or acronymic meaning, though some have suggested it stands for Common Revolution In Progress, a backronym. Williams, in his memoir, further refuted claims that the group was a spin-off of the Black Panther Party or formed for a community agenda, the name “depicted a fighting alliance against street gangs—nothing more, nothing less.”[9] Washington, who attended Fremont High School, was the leader of the East Side Crips, and Williams, who attended Washington High School, led the West Side Crips.

Crip showing a gang signal.

Williams recalled that a blue bandana was first worn by Crips founding member Buddha, as a part of his color-coordinated clothing of blue Levi’s, a blue shirt, and dark blue suspenders. A blue bandana was worn in tribute to Buddha after he was shot and killed on February 23, 1973, which eventually became the color of blue associated with Crips.[9]

Chain of Command

Initially Crips leaders did not occupy leadership positions, but were recognized as leaders because of their personal charisma and influence. These leaders gave priority to expanding the gang’s membership to increase its power. By 1978, there were 45 Crips gangs, called sets, operating in Los Angeles. The gang became increasingly violent as they attempted to expand their turf.

Funding

By the early 1980s the gang was heavily involved with drug trade.[15] Some of these Crips sets began to produce and distribute PCP (phencyclidine) within the city. They also began to distribute marijuana and amphetamine in Los Angeles. In the early 1980s Crips sets began distributing crack cocaine in Los Angeles. The huge profits resulting from crack cocaine distribution induced many Crips members to establish new markets in other cities and states. In addition, many young men in other states adopted the Crips name and lifestyle. As a result of these two factors, Crips membership increased throughout the 1980s, making it one of the largest street gang associations in the country.[1] In 1999, there were at least 600 Crips sets with more than 30,000 members transporting drugs in the United States.[1]

Membership

Crips has over 800 sets with 30,000 to 35,000 members and associate members, including more than 13,000 members in Los Angeles. The states with the highest estimated number of Crips sets are California, Florida and Illinois . Members typically consist of young African-American men, with some members being white, Hispanic and Asian.[1]

Crip on Crip rivalries

The Crips became popular throughout southern Los Angeles as more youth gangs joined; at one point they outnumbered non-Crip gangs by 3 to 1, sparking disputes with non-Crip gangs, including the L.A. Brims, Athens Park Boys, the Bishops, The Drill Company, and the Denver Lanes. By 1971 the gang’s notoriety had spread across Los Angeles.

By 1971, a gang on Piru Street in Compton, California, known as the Piru Street Boys, was formed and associated themselves with the Crips as a set. After two years of peace, a feud began between the Piru Street Boys and the other Crip sets. It would later turn violent as gang warfare ensued between former allies. This battle continued and by 1973, the Piru Street Boys wanted to end the violence and called a meeting with other gangs that were targeted by the Crips. After a long discussion, the Pirus broke all connections to the Crips and started an organization that would later be called the Bloods,[16] a street gang infamous for its rivalry with the Crips.

Since then, other conflicts and feuds were started between many of the remaining sets of the Crips gang. It is a popular misconception that Crips sets feud only with Bloods. In reality, they fight each other—for example, the Rollin’ 60s and 83rd Street Gangster Crips have been rivals since 1979. In Watts, Los Angeles, the Grape Street Watts Crips and the P Jay Crips have feuded so much that the P Jay Crips even teamed up with the local Bloods set, the Bounty Hunter Bloods, to fight against the Grape Street Crips.[17]

Practices

Crip graffiti tag in Olympia, Washington.

Some practices of Crip gang life generally include rapping, graffiti and substitutions and deletions of particular letters of the alphabet. The letter “b” in the word “blood” will be “disrespected” among certain sets and written with a cross inside it because of its association with the enemy. The letters “CK”, which stand for “Crip killer”, will be avoided and substituted with a double “cc”, and the letter “b” will be replaced. The words “kick back” will instead be written as “kicc bkacc”. Many other letters are also altered due to symbolic associations.[18] Crips traditionally refer to each other as “Cuzz”, which itself is sometimes used as a moniker for Crip. “Crab” is the most disrespectful epithet to call a Crip, and can warrant fatal retaliation.[19] Crips in prison modules during the 1970s and 80s would speak in Kiswahili to maintain privacy among guards and rival gangs.[20]

Sets

Like the Bloods, the Crips are made up of gang sets.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j U.S. Department of Justice, Crips.
  2. ^ a b c “Los Angeles-based Gangs — Bloods and Crips”. Florida Department of Corrections. Retrieved 2009-06-21.
  3. ^ “Crips”. Gang Prevention Services. Retrieved 2009-06-21.
  4. ^ “Black Gangster Disciples”. Gang Prevention Services. Retrieved 2009-06-21.
  5. ^ http://info.publicintelligence.net/NGIC-Juggalos.pdf
  6. ^ Gold, Scott (2009-09-18). “A gang feud’s fallout”. The Los Angeles Times.
  7. ^ Audi, Tamara (2011-06-08). “Latino Gang Targeted Blacks, U.S. Says – WSJ.com”. Online.wsj.com. Retrieved 2013-03-15.
  8. ^ “Gangs Increasing in Military, FBI Says”. Military.com. McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. 2008-06-30. Retrieved 2009-06-21.
  9. ^ a b c d Williams, Stanley Tookie; Smiley, Tavis (2007). Blue Rage, Black Redemption. Simon & Schuster. pp. xvii–xix, 91–92, 136. ISBN 1-4165-4449-6.
  10. ^ Washington was murdered August 9, 1979 and Williams was executed December 13, 2005. Stacy Peralta (Director) (2009). Crips and Bloods: Made in America (TV-Documentary). PBS Independent Lens series. Retrieved 2009-05-15. Unknown parameter |producer= ignored (help); Unknown parameter |executive producer= ignored (help)
  11. ^ “Timeline: South Central Los Angeles”. PBS (part of the “Crips and Bloods: Made in America” TV documentary). 2009-04-21. Retrieved 2009-05-15.
  12. ^ Sharkey, Betsy (2009-02-06). “Review: ‘Crips and Bloods: Made in America'”. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-05-16.
  13. ^ Cle Sloan (Director) (2009). Keith Salmon, ed. Bastards of the Party (TV-Documentary). HBO. Retrieved 2009-05-15. Unknown parameter |producer= ignored (help); Unknown parameter |executive producer= ignored (help)
  14. ^ “Los Angeles”. Inside. National Geographic Channel. Retrieved 2009-06-21.
  15. ^ Crip History
  16. ^ Capozzoli, Thomas and McVey, R. Steve (1999). Kids Killing Kids: Managing Violence and Gangs in Schools. St. Lucie Press, Boca Raton, Florida, p. 72. ISBN 1-57444-283-X.
  17. ^ “War and Peace in Watts” (2005-07-14). LA Weekly. Retrieved 2007-05-04.
  18. ^ Smith, Debra; Whitmore, Kathryn F. (2006). Literacy and Advocacy in Adolescent Family, Gang, School, and Juvenile Court Communities. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. ISBN 0-8058-5599-8.
  19. ^ Simpson, Colton (2005). Inside the Crips: Life Inside L.A.’s Most Notorious Gang. St. Martin’s Press. p. 280. ISBN 978-0-312-32930-3.
  20. ^ Simpson, Colton (2005). Inside the Crips: Life Inside L.A.’s Most Notorious Gang. St. Martin’s Press. pp. 122–124. ISBN 978-0-312-32930-3.

References

  • Leon Bing (1991). Do or Die: America’s Most Notorious Gangs Speak for Themselves. Sagebrush. ISBN 0-8335-8499-5
  • Yusuf Jah, Sister Shah’keyah, Ice-T, UPRISING : Crips and Bloods Tell the Story of America’s Youth In The Crossfire, ISBN 0-684-80460-3
  • Capozzoli, Thomas og McVey, R. Steve (1999). Kids Killing Kids: Managing Violence and Gangs in Schools. St. Lucie Press, Boca Raton, Florida, side. 72 ISBN 1-57444-283-X
  • National Drug Intelligence Center (2002). Drugs and Crime: Gang Profile: Crips (PDF). U.S. Department of Justice. Retrieved 2009-06-21. Product no. 2002-M0465-001.
  • Shakur, Sanyika (1993). Monster: The Autobiography of an L.A. Gang Member, Atlantic Monthly Pr, ISBN 0-87113-535-3
  • Colton Simpson, Ann Pearlman, Ice-T (Foreword) (2005). Inside the Crips : Life Inside L.A.’s Most Notorious Gang (HB) ISBN 0-312-32929-6
  • Smith, Debra; Whitmore, Kathryn F. (2006). Literacy and Advocacy in Adolescent Family, Gang, School, and Juvenile Court Communities. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. ISBN 0-8058-5599-8.
  • Stanley Tookie Williams (2005). Blue Rage, Black Redemption: A Memoir (PB) ISBN 0-9753584-0-5

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Crips

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

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Segment 2: All Aboard The Huge Train Wreck Called Obamacare — Whitehouse Fears Americans Will Not Get On Board — Why Should They? — Congress and Staff Not On Board! — Defund Obamacare Now! —  Videos

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Knowing (2009) – Full Subway Crash Scene

ObamaCare Architect Says ObamaCare Heading For “Huge Train Wreck”

Obamacare! – Sen Baucus (D): Health Law Heading For “Train Wreck” – Wake Up America!

Mike Lee On Defunding Obamacare – TheBlazeTV – The Glenn Beck Program – 2013.07.23

Senator Mike Lee On Obamacare – TheBlazeTV – The Glenn Beck Radio Program – 2013.07.25

Jindal Explains Obamacare Train Wreck, False Promises

Obamacare Crippling Job Creation – Unable To Hire Full-Time Where’s My Job?- Huckabee Special

Fight For America: ObamaCare

Obamacare – Reid: More Funding Needed To Prevent Health Care Law From Becoming “Train Wreck”

Reid says Obamacare just a step toward eventual single-payer system

By

In just about seven weeks, people will be able to start buying Obamacare-approved insurance plans through the new health care exchanges.

But already, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is predicting those plans, and the whole system of distributing them, will eventually be moot.

Reid said he thinks the country has to “work our way past” insurance-based health care during a Friday night appearance on Vegas PBS’ program “Nevada Week in Review.”

“What we’ve done with Obamacare is have a step in the right direction, but we’re far from having something that’s going to work forever,” Reid said.

When then asked by panelist Steve Sebelius whether he meant ultimately the country would have to have a health care system that abandoned insurance as the means of accessing it, Reid said: “Yes, yes. Absolutely, yes.”

The idea of introducing a single-payer national health care system to the United States, or even just a public option, sent lawmakers into a tizzy back in 2009, when Reid was negotiating the health care bill.

“We had a real good run at the public option … don’t think we didn’t have a tremendous number of people who wanted a single-payer system,” Reid said on the PBS program, recalling how then-Sen. Joe Lieberman’s opposition to the idea of a public option made them abandon the notion and start from scratch.

Eventually, Reid decided the public option was unworkable.

“We had to get a majority of votes,” Reid said. “In fact, we had to get a little extra in the Senate, we have to get 60.”

Reid cited the post-WWII auto industry labor negotiations that made employer-backed health insurance the norm, remarking that “we’ve never been able to work our way out of that” before predicting that Congress would someday end the insurance-based health care system.

Reid also had some strong words for Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval and Sen. Dean Heller concerning their ongoing dispute with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz over shipments of low-level nuclear waste from Oak Ridge, Tenn., to Nevada.

Sandoval disputes the existence of “many memos” that Moniz said were signed between state and federal officials, permitting the import of the spent fuel rods. Heller has asked Moniz to clarify the existence of the memos, which Moniz first referred to in testimony before the Senate Energy Committee on July 30.

Reid suggested that Sandoval and Heller were “flailing away” with their complaints, before establishing the facts, which Reid said he “just do[es]n’t think we have.”

“If there are these memos flying around then somebody should be able to find them someplace, but this is not the point,” Reid said. “Gov. Sandoval knows his powers are limited. This is interstate commerce … you can’t just say ‘we’re not going to take it.’ It doesn’t work that way.”

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2013/aug/10/reid-says-obamacare-just-step-toward-eventual-sing

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Pronk Pops Show 121, August 16, 2013: Segment 0: Attorney Joe diGenova and wife Victoria Toensing Represent Benghazi CIA and State Department Employee Whistleblowers — Coverup About 400 Surface To Air Missiles Stolen By al qaeda  Terrorists– Missiles Can Shoot Down Airliners As Well As Military Aircraft

Pronk Pops Show 121, August 16, 2013: Segment 1: Ruling Elite To American People–Congress and Staff is Exempt From Obamacare Despite The Fact The Law Clearly States Congress Is Not! — Stop Funding Obamacare Now! — Sign The Petition — Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 121, August 16, 2013: Segment 1: Ruling Elite To American People–Congress and Staff is Exempt From Obamacare Despite The Fact The Law Clearly States Congress Is Not! — Stop Funding Obamacare Now! — Sign The Petition — Videos

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Segment 1: Ruling Elite To American People–Congress and Staff is Exempt From Obamacare Despite The Fact The Law Clearly States Congress Is Not! — Stop Funding Obamacare Now! — Sign The Petition — Videos

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King Obama decrees subsidies for Congress to pay for Obamacare: the ruling class vs. the American people, Part 1

By Raymond Thomas Pronk

capitol_building

United States Capitol Building, Capitol Hill, Washington D.C.       Credit: megoracle.com

Only the ruling class in Washington, both Democrats and Republicans, would cavalierly disregard the wisdom on the proverb, “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010, commonly known as Obamacare, requires members of Congress and their staffs (currently about 11,000 people) to purchase their health insurance plans through new state-based markets known as insurance exchanges.

Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), who originally proposed this requirement as an amendment to the Obamacare bill, said at the time he wanted “members of Congress and congressional staff to get their employer-based health insurance through the same exchanges as our constituents.”

Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) revised the Grassley amendment when the Obamacare bill was rushed to a vote on Christmas Eve in 2009. The resulting 906-page bill still required members of Congress and their staffs to purchase the mandated health insurance plans through the exchanges but failed to include legislative language that would continue premium contributions to them that the federal government makes for its employees.

Currently, members of Congress and their staffs obtain health insurance plans through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). The FEHBP  covers more than 8 million people including government employees and their families, provides dozen of competing plans and is the nation’s largest employer-sponsored health insurance program. By law this should soon end for members of Congress and staff as the state insurance exchanges begin operation on Oct.1.

Individuals without qualified health insurance coverage through their employers or covered by Medicare or Medicaid are required by law to purchase health insurance coverage by Jan. 1, 2014 and may qualify for federal subsidies. Low-income individuals and families above 100 percent and up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level will receive federal subsidies on a sliding scale if they choose to purchase insurance via an insurance exchange. For 2013 the federal poverty guideline level for an individual is $11,390 and for a family of four it’s $23,550 (see Annual Update of the HHS Poverty Guidelines).

Starting in 2014 members of Congress and their staffs by law must purchase their health insurance through the exchanges and no longer through FEHBP. United States senators and representatives earn $174,000 per year. The speaker of the House and the House majority and minority Leaders earn $223,500 per year. Senate majority and minority leaders earn $193,400 as do other House leadership positions. Therefore, members of Congress and their highly paid staff would not be eligible for any subsidies under Obamacare.

Reid has made it very clear that “There are not now, have never been, nor will there be any discussions about exempting members of Congress from Affordable Care Act provisions that apply to any employees of any other public or private employer offering health care.”

However, those who work for Congressional committees and leadership offices, such as Senate Majority Leader Reid’s office, are apparently exempt from requirement to obtain their health insurance coverage through the exchanges and will continue to obtain their subsided health insurance plans through the FEHBP.

Obama’s Office of Personnel Management (OPM) on Aug. 7 issued regulations that members of Congress and their staffs will continue to receive premium contribution subsidies based on the FEHBP’s defined-contribution formula that covers about 75 percent of the cost of the average health insurance plan or about $5,000 for an individual and $11,000 for a family for fiscal year 2014 that begins Oct.1.

“These proposed regulations implement the administrative aspects of switching Members of Congress and congressional staff to their new insurance plans – the same plans available to millions of Americans through the new Exchanges,” said OPM Director of Planning and Policy Jon Foley in an OPM Aug. 7 news release.

The OPM claims that a legal loophole in the Obamacare law, the phrase “notwithstanding any other provision of law,” is legal justification and authority for continuing member of Congress and staff keeping their employee subsidies. This proposed regulation simply ignores the fact a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act under Part II Employer Responsibilities, Sec. 1515. Offering of Exchange-participating qualified health plans through cafeteria plans, “prohibits an employer from providing a qualified health plan through an Exchange as a benefit under its cafeteria plan.”

Furthermore, most Congressional staff employees will most likely remain under FEHBP and not be forced into the mandated health insurance exchanges because the term “official office” of a member of Congress does not have an existing statutory definition under Obamacare.

The ruling class in Washington, both Democrats and Republicans, will continue to be subsided by the American taxpayer.  Obamacare will force more than 30 million Americans to either purchase health insurance that many cannot afford and do not want, or pay a penalty. Those between the ages of 18 and 29, who increasingly cannot find full-time jobs with employers who offer health insurance coverage, are especially affected by this requirement.

Raymond Thomas Pronk presents the Pronk Pops Show on KDUX web radio from 3-5 p.m. Fridays and authors the companion blog http://www.pronkpops.wordpress.com.

King Obama decrees subsidies to Congress to pay for Obamacare: the ruling class vs. the American people, Part 2

[Part 1 of this article appeared in online edition of the Richland Chronicle]

By Raymond Thomas Pronk

 

obamacare

Credit: http://www.bhvcpa.com

One of the unintended consequences of Obamacare is employers attempting to avoid the costs and penalties of the law by hiring mostly part-time employees and cutting the number of hours worked per week to less than 30 hours and per month to less than 120 hours. Businesses are also attempting to avoid the Obamacare employer-mandated health insurance for full-time employees by not hiring their 50th full-time employee.

Under the employer mandate provisions of Obamacare, businesses with more than 50 employees that do not provide a federal government qualified health insurance plan, must pay a penalty of $2,000 per year for each full-time employee minus 30. In the United States, less than 4 percent of businesses have more than 50 employees with less than 0.2 percent of these businesses not offering health insurance, according to a Forbes online article titled “Is The Affordable Care Act Really Bad For Business?”

Under Obamacare colleges are required starting in 2014 to provide health insurance coverage to employees who work more than 30 hours a week.  Most colleges have strict limits on the number of hours part-time instructors can work in a pay period so the college can avoid paying employee-benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans.

Colleges across the nation are reducing the number of full-time faculty and hiring mostly part-time instructors, known as adjunct professors or jokingly as “road scholars”. According to the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), “In 1975, only 30.2 percent of faculty were employed part time; by 2005, according to data compiled by the AAUP from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), part-time faculty represented approximately 48 percent of all faculty members in the United States.” Obamacare will only accelerate this growing trend toward part-time faculty with strict limits on the number of hours worked, especially at community colleges such as Richland College.

Starting in the 2013 fall semester, “an adjunct faculty member may only teach a workload of nine credit hours or less each week (less than 20 clock hours per week) according to Teachers Retirement System guidelines,” as set forth in the online Part-Time Employment Guidelines of the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD).

Furthermore, “part-time hourly, adjunct faculty-credit, adjunct faculty-continuing education (CE) and substitute faculty employees may work a maximum of 1,014 hours per fiscal year (hours include the cumulative total of all positions worked at all District locations),” according to Dallas County Community College District’s online document, Extra-Service Guidelines for Instructional Delivery.

The Department of the Treasury announced on its website on July 2 that the employer mandate would be delayed one year from Jan. 1, 2014 as required under Obamacare until Jan.1, 2015. Now that Obama has delayed implementation of the Obamacare employer mandate, 56 percent of American voters favor delaying for a year the individual mandate as well, with only 26 percent opposed according to the July 13 Rasmussen Reports. While American voters oppose the individual mandate by a 2-to-1 margin, most voters favor the employer mandate for businesses with 50 or more employees by 59 percent in favor and 34 percent oppose, according to Rasmussen Reports.

During the last six months of 2013, about 963,000 more people were employed and about 936,000 were part-time jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Aug. 2, Household Survey. “Over the last six months, of the net job creation, 97 percent of that is part-time work,” said Keith Hall, a senior researcher at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center and former head of the US Bureau of Labor (BLS) Statistics from 2008 to 2012.

The House of Representative controlled by the Republicans, has passed legislation to repeal Obamacare in its entirety 40 times. The Democratic controlled Senate has blocked such legislation from becoming law. However, tea-party aligned Senators led Mike Lee (R-Utah), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Rand Paul (R-Ky) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla) and 10 other Senators and 60 House Republicans have signed a letter urging the Republican leadership to defund Obamacare by passing a continuing resolution that would fund for fiscal year 2014 the federal government in its entirety except for Obamacare.

The only way this tea party initiative can succeed is for the American people to rise up against the ruling class in Washington. Sen. Cruz said, “The most important constitutional check that Congress has on an overreaching president is the power of the purse. If Republicans stand together, we can actually succeed in defunding it.”

During the August congressional recess the tea party aligned senators and representatives will be building an army of grassroots support from the American people to defund Obamacare.

Unlike the ruling class in Washington who receive taxpayer subsidies to pay for their health insurance under Obamacare, the American people are not exempt from both pay and/or employee-benefit cuts resulting from the implementation of Obamacare.

Raymond Thomas Pronk presents the Pronk Pops Show on KDUX web radio from 3-5 p.m. Fridays and authors the companion blog http://www.pronkpops.wordpress.com.

“Shut It Down” – New Tea Party Plan To Defund Obamacare – Jim Demint – On The Record

ObamaCare Exemptions: Sign The Petition!

Congressmen and Staff  Refuse To Face ObamaCare Fees They Voted For

Congress Gets 75% Subsidy For Obamacare: Rush Limbaugh

Greg Gutfeld –  IRS Wants Obamacare Exemption – ‘The Five’ –  Fox News – 7-26-13

Sen Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Stopping Obamacare –

We can prevent the train wreck if we defund Obamacare now

Sen. Ted Cruz Speaks in Support of his Amendment to Defund Obamacare and Stop the Amnesty Tax

Tea party senator Mike Lee would rather shut down the government than implement Obamacare

Mike Lee vows to defund Obamacare; Law not ready to be implemented & will harm average Americans

Rubio Pushes Senate To Defund ObamaCare

Rand Paul stands with Mike Lee on defunding Obamacare

Obamacare Outrage! –  Congress Scores Exemption For Themselves – On The Record

Special Treatment for Congress- Obamacare Exemption

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Congress Members & Hill Staff Fear They Can’t Afford Health Care Under Obamacare! Can America?

Health Care Pass  RPT Congress Tried To Exempt Itself From Law – Obamacare -Lou Dobbs – Megyn Kelly

Obamacare requirement is delayed

Administration will fix huge increase in health care premiums for Congress

The Obama administration detailed  Wednesday how the government can keep contributing to health care premiums of  members of Congress and their staffers even as  they purchase coverage through state exchanges tied to the president’s health  care law.

Guidance from the Office of  Personnel Management follows up an announcement last week that Congress and its staffers won’t face massive increases in their health care premiums next  year, as many feared, because of a clause in the Affordable Care Act  that compels them to buy insurance through the exchanges.


SPECIAL COVERAGE: Health  Care Reform


The decision stirred relief on Capitol Hill and controversy among the public.  Republican opponents of the law could argue that Congress excused itself from a deleterious aspect  of legislation it passed in 2010.

OPM’s new rule says  congressional members and staff should buy coverage through the exchanges in the  states where they reside. For staffers, that likely will mean enrolling through  the District, Maryland or Virginia.

The rule also says members of Congress should  designate, by October each year, which staff members work in their official  offices and “therefore, must choose health plans from the Exchanges.”

The administrative fix was made because Sen.  Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, put a provision into the original  legislation saying members of Congress and their  aides have to be covered by plans “created” by the Affordable Care Act or  “offered through an exchange.”

Even though it may have been symbolic or a political ploy, the provision was  approved.

Under the old system, the federal government contributed to about 75 percent  of premiums; members and staffers are covered through the Federal Employees  Health Benefits Program,  but it was unclear whether the program could subsidize premiums of plans in the  exchanges.

The OPM makes clear  that members and staff still can receive the contribution, although they are not  eligible for tax credits or subsidies on the exchanges.

Sen. David Vitter, Louisiana Republican  and a vocal critic of the administration’s  decision, complained about the developments in a letter to congressional leaders  Wednesday. When Congress reconvenes next month,  the senator will introduce legislation that forces the president, vice  president, political appointees and certain exempted congressional staffers to  buy their health coverage through the exchanges.

“The Obamacare statute states very clearly that all Members of Congress and their staffs are to procure their health insurance through the Obamacare  Exchange,” his letter said. “Just as clearly, it does not reconstitute  government support of their present coverage under the separate Federal  Employees Health Benefits Plan (FEHBP) as payment toward the Exchange. … Until  Obamacare is fully repealed, those elected by the public must abide by the same  law Americans are being forced to live with.”

He said the provision that allows members of Congress “to define what staff is even covered at  all is particularly offensive and obnoxious.”

“It’s obviously intended to allow for a significant portion of congressional  staff, like leadership staff, to  be exempted from even having to deal with the Exchange at all, notwithstanding  the whopping subsidy that the rule creates,” he said in his letter.

Enrollment in the exchanges — marketplaces where consumers can shop for and  buy insurance — is scheduled to begin Oct. 1. Democrats and Republicans are  planning significant public  relations campaigns on the law  during the congressional summer recess.

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/aug/7/opm-fleshes-out-congresss-obamacare-subsidy-rule/#ixzz2bQalPaac

Members, staff will keep health-care subsidies under Obamacare

Members of Congress and Hill staffers will not lose their health-care  subsidies from the government when Obamacare is implemented because of an  exception proposed Wednesday by the Office of Personnel Management.

Under the current system, the government covers most of the cost of  health-care premiums for members and their staffers. But an amendment to the Affordable Care Act —  proposed by Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley — threw those subsidies into  question, saying that members and staff must enter into the exchanges or be  covered by insurance “created” by law.

The potential for staff losing the subsidies led to concerns of “brain drain”  from the Hill if staffers left as a result of the increased costs.

Last week, when President Barack Obama came to the Hill to meet with Senate  Democrats, he informed them that he would personally get  involved to sort out the confusion, and the White House said that OPM would issue guidelines this  week.

The guidelines, released Wednesday, allow for members and staff to retain  their subsidies from the government, an exception in exchange for giving up  “premium tax credits” that they would otherwise be eligible for under  Obamacare.

“The amount of the employer contribution toward their Exchange premiums is no  more than would otherwise be made toward coverage under the [Federal Employee  Health Benefits] Program,”  the OPM release notes.

“These proposed regulations implement the administrative aspects of switching  Members of Congress and congressional staff to their new insurance plans — the  same plans available to millions of Americans through the new Exchanges,” said  Jon Foley, OPM Director of Planning  and Policy, in a statement.

Read more:  http://dailycaller.com/2013/08/07/members-staff-will-keep-healthcare-subsidies-under-obamacare/#ixzz2bQkhJvcp

Congress and an Exemption from ‘Obamacare’?

Q: Is it true that there are bills in Congress that would exempt members and their staffs and families from buying into “Obamacare”?

A: No. Congress members and staffers will be required to buy insurance through the exchanges on Jan. 1.

FULL QUESTION

Is it true that there are bills in the House and Senate that will exempt members and their staff and families from buying into Obamacare?

FULL ANSWER

Several readers have asked us about Congress attempting to exempt itself from the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. A few said that a Facebook post claimed that President Barack Obama, Sen. Harry Reid and Democrats in Congress were trying to “get themselves exempted from Obamacare,” in the words of one reader.

But there is no bill in Congress calling for an exemption from the health care law. In fact, members of Congress and their staffs face additional requirements that most Americans don’t have to meet.

Under the health care law, their insurance coverage will have to switch from the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, the group of private insurance plans that cover 8 million federal employees and retirees, to the exchanges created by the law. Those exchanges are meant for those who buy coverage on their own, the currently uninsured and small businesses. Members of Congress and their staffs would be the only employees of a large employer in the exchanges, which are set to begin offering insurance in January.

So, why is the false “exempt” claim making the Facebook rounds? There is reportedly concern on Capitol Hill that the Office of Personnel Management, which administers the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, won’t be able to smoothly transition members and their staffs into an exchange. The concern, as a Roll Call story explained, was that the government wouldn’t be able to make contributions toward the federal employees’ premiums, at least at the beginning of 2014. That would mean employees would pick up the whole tab for their insurance policies. Right now, the government pays 72 percent of premiums on average.

The “exempt” claims were sparked by a Politico report on April 24 that said secret talks were being held by lawmakers to change the requirement to get insurance through the exchanges because of this concern. The headline on the story said “Lawmakers, aides may get Obamacare exemption.”

After the story was published, a spokesman for Sen. Harry Reid said there hadn’t been any discussions to exempt Congress from “provisions that apply to any employees of any other public or private employer offering health care.” And Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman of California told Politico that lawmakers and their staffs will indeed get insurance through the exchanges. “[T]he federal government will offer them health insurance coverage that they obtained through the exchanges because we want to get the same health care coverage everybody else has available to them,” he said.

We contacted the Office of Personnel Management and received this statement from an administration official: “Members of Congress will not receive anything that is not available to the public. The law doesn’t allow them to get insurance from FEHB, they are going to get insurance on the market place, just like uninsured individuals and small businesses.”

We can’t say what did or didn’t happen in any secret meetings. But we can say that no bill has been introduced to exempt members of Congress from the Affordable Care Act — and they were never exempt in the first place. Even if, hypothetically, Congress were to nullify the provision requiring members and their staffs to get insurance on the exchanges, it still wouldn’t amount to an exemption from the law. Lawmakers and staffers would be subject to the mandate to have health insurance or pay a fine, just as everyone else is.

The law provides a few exemptions from the requirement to have insurance, but only for those who earn too little to file taxes, those with financial hardships, those who can’t find affordable coverage, and some religious groups that qualify for Social Security exemptions, mainly Mennonite or Amish.

An Old Falsehood

Bogus claims about Congress being “exempt” date back to early 2010, when different health care bills were still being debated. Some Republicans claimed that Americans, except for members of Congress, would be forced into the government-run “public option” (which wasn’t part of the final bill that became law) or state-based exchanges (which are part of the law).

As we said previously, members of Congress get private health insurance through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, which actually served as a model for the exchanges. Federal workers pick from among many health plans. The exchanges would operate in the same way — like a marketplace for those shopping for private insurance.

But some Republicans pushed the idea that if the exchanges were good enough for other Americans, they should be good enough for Congress. So, an amendment by Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa was added to the Senate bill requiring that the federal government offer only health plans that were part of an exchange to members of Congress and their staffs. The law’s final language on this, written by Sen. Tom Coburn, says that: “the only health plans that the Federal Government may make available to Members of Congress and congressional staff with respect to their service as a Member of Congress or congressional staff shall be health plans that are — (I) created under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act); or (II) offered through an Exchange established under this Act.”

Congressional “staff” is defined as “all full-time and part-time employees employed by the official office of a Member of Congress, whether in Washington, DC or outside of Washington, DC.” As we reported before, Coburn said the provision wouldn’t apply to those working for committees or leadership staff, and a Congressional Research Service report agreed that could be the case.

In other words, the Affordable Care Act places on lawmakers and their staffs additional requirements that don’t pertain to other Americans with work-based insurance.

Update, Aug. 7, 2013: The Office of Personnel Management issued a proposed rule on Aug. 7 explaining that members of Congress and applicable congressional staff will be required to purchase health insurance coverage through the exchanges created by the law. However, according to the proposed rule, the federal government, as the employer, will still be able to make a contribution to health insurance premiums as it currently does. The contribution will be no greater than that now offered to members and their staffs under the FEHB program, and members and their staffs will not be eligible for premium tax credits made available to other persons purchasing health insurance through the exchanges.

– Lori Robertson

http://www.factcheck.org/2013/05/congress-and-an-exemption-from-obamacare/

Sources

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Public Law 111–148. 111th Congress

The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program. OPM.gov. accessed 3 May 2013.

Ethridge, Emily. “Health Insurance Anxiety on Capitol Hill.” 25 Apr 2013.

Robertson, Lori. “Congress Exempt from Health Bill?” FactCheck.org. 20 Jan 2010.

Jackson, Brooks. “Health Care for Members of Congress?” FactCheck.org. 25 Aug 2009.

Bresnahan, John and Jake Sherman. “Lawmakers, aides may get Obamacare exemption.” Politico. 24 Apr 2013.

Baker, Sam. “Dems won’t seek ObamaCare exemption.” The Hill. 25 Apr 3013.

Henig, Jess. “More Malarkey About Health Care.” FactCheck.org. 19 Apr 2010.

UPDATE 1-U.S. Congress wins relief on Obamacare health plan subsidies

Congress, staff, to keep federal health premium payments

* Ruling aimed at avoiding “brain drain” on Capitol Hill (Adds comments from Republicans, Pelosi, edits)

By David Lawder

WASHINGTON, Aug 7 (Reuters) – Congress has won some partial relief for lawmakers and their staffs from the “Obamacare” health reforms that it passed and subjected itself to three years ago.

In a ruling issued on Wednesday, U.S. lawmakers and their staffs will continue to receive a federal contribution toward the health insurance that they must purchase through soon-to-open exchanges created by President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law.

The decision by the Office of Personnel Management, with Obama’s blessing, will prevent the largely unintended loss of healthcare benefits for 535 members of the Senate and House of Representatives and thousands of Capitol Hill staff.

When Congress passed the health reform law known as Obamacare in 2010, an amendment required that lawmakers and their staff members purchase health insurance through the online exchanges that the law created. They would lose generous coverage under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.

The amendment’s author, Republican Senator Charles Grassley, argued that if Obamacare plans were good enough for the American public, they were good enough for Congress. Democrats, eager to pass the reforms, went along with it.

But it soon became apparent the provision contained no language that allowed federal contributions toward their health plans that cover about 75 percent of the premium costs.

This caused fears that staff would suddenly face sharply higher healthcare costs and leave federal service, causing a “brain drain” on Capitol Hill.

But Wednesday’s proposed rule from the OPM, the federal government’s human resources agency, means that Congress will escape the most onerous impact of law as it was written.

The OPM said the federal contributions will be allowed to continue for exchange-purchased plans for lawmakers and their staffs, ensuring that those working on Capitol Hill will effectively get the same health contributions as millions of other federal workers who keep their current plan.

The problem surrounding the Obamacare language for Capitol Hill staff was the subject of intense negotiations in recent weeks between House and Senate leaders and the Obama administration.

Some Republicans immediately slammed the OPM decision, using it as fuel for their campaign to turn public opinion against Obamacare just as its core provisions are due to go into effect.

“While the administration has handed out waiver after waiver and exemption after exemption for the well-connected in Washington, they have done nothing to lower health care costs for families in Michigan,” said Dave Camp, chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.

Camp said the OPM ruling is the “latest proof” of impending failure for the reforms and pledged that Republicans would keep trying to repeal them.

Last week, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said the language problem would have caused unintended “collateral damage” on congressional staff, causing many to leave for the private sector.

“They are a tremendous intellectual resource, people who could, shall we say, be better compensated financially outside” of government, said Pelosi, who spearheaded passage of the health care law in 2010 as House Speaker.

STILL MUST PURCHASE PLANS

Lawmakers and staff still must purchase plans on the exchanges for coverage that starts in January, OPM said, and they will not be eligible for tax credits to offset premium payments. These credits are the main federal subsidy mechanism for all other health plans purchased through Obamacare exchanges due to open in October. These tax subsidies fall off quickly as income rises.

Tim Jost, a healthcare law expert at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, said it was probably never Congress’ intention to take away federal benefit contributions from Capitol Hill employees, just to push them into them into the exchanges.

“This clarifies what they really intended to do all along,” Jost said. “Congress had subjected itself to a requirement that applied to nobody else in the country.”

Republican Senator David Vitter vowed to reverse the OPM ruling to ensure that no members of Congress, Capitol Hill staff nor Obama administration appointees get any federal subsidies for health insurance purchased on Obamacare health exchanges.

“These recent maneuverings inside the beltway are precisely why the American people rightly despise Congress,” said Vitter, of Louisiana. “Perhaps if White House appointees and Congress have to live under these same Obamacare rules, things would be changed quickly for the better.” (Reporting By David Lawder; Editing by Bill Trott and Cynthia Osterman)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/07/usa-health-congress-idUSL1N0G820F20130807?feedType=RSS&feedName=rbssHealthcareNews&rpc=22

Related Posts On Pronk Pops

Pronk Pops Show 121, August 16, 2013: Segment 0: Attorney Joe diGenova and wife Victoria Toensing Represent Benghazi CIA and State Department Employee Whistleblowers — Coverup About 400 Surface To Air Missiles Stolen By al qaeda  Terrorists– Missiles Can Shoot Down Airliners As Well As Military Aircraft

Pronk Pops Show 121, August 16, 2013: Segment 2: All Aboard The Huge Train Wreck Called Obamacare — Whitehouse Fears Americans Will Not Get On Board — Why Should They? — Congress and Staff Not On Board! — Defund Obamacare Now! —  Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 121, August 16, 2013: Segment 0: Attorney Joe diGenova and wife Victoria Toensing Represent Benghazi CIA and State Department Employee Whistleblowers — Coverup About 400 Surface To Air Missiles Stolen By al qaeda Terrorists– Missiles Can Shoot Down Airliners As Well As Military Aircraft

Posted on August 16, 2013. Filed under: American History, Bombs, Business, Communications, Disasters, Economics, Employment, European History, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Government, Government Spending, History, Media, Networking, Oil, Pistols, Politics, Radio, Resources, Rifles, Scandals, Security, Technology, Terror, Terrorism, Videos, War, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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libya_weapons_depot_CIA

CIAanza-mk-ii-1

MANPAD_MISSILE

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Segment 0: Attorney Joe diGenova and wife Victoria Toensing Represent Benghazi CIA and State Department Whistleblowers — Coverup About 400 Surface To Air Missiles

Libya’s missing missiles- September 2011.

CBS Evening News – Libyan gov’t searching for lost missiles

CBS’s Bob Schieffer: Was There A Clinton State Dept Cover Up On Benghazi?

Oops! Neocon’s Libyan Fiasco: 20, 000 Surface-to-Air Missiles Missing

Barack Obama Gave the Benghazi Stand Down Order

Obama’s Attempt to Cover-Up Benghazi Has Failed

400 surface to air missiles were ‘STOLEN’ from Libya during the Benghazi attack

[youtbe=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Rg6K7KeUeg]

Attorney for Benghazi Whistleblower says 400 missiles stolen during attack

Joe DiGenova & Victoria Toensing on WMAL 5-6-13

Victoria Toensing on WMAL 5-9-13

20,000 Libyan Surface to Air Missiles stolen

Libya’s missing surface to air missiles

20,000 Missiles Stolen From Libyan Armories Used To Attack Israeli Civilians

An attorney for the Benghazi whistleblowers says that some 400 surface to air missles (SAMs) were ‘taken from Libya’ during the terror attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
He added that the U.S. intelligence community is terrified they might be used to shoot down airliners.

Joe diGenova, whose wife Victoria Toensing — a former deputy assistant attorney general — also represents Benghazi witnesses and others with knowledge of the terror attack, told WMAL radio that the loss of those missiles is also one the reasons the U.S. State Department shut down 19 embassies across the Middle East last week.

‘A lot of people have come forward to share information with us,’ he said during the radio station’s ‘Mornings On The Mall’ program Monday morning.

‘We have learned that one of the reasons the administration is so deeply concerned’ is that ‘there were 400 surface-to-air missiles stolen, and that they are … in the hands of many people, and that the biggest fear in the U.S. intelligence community is that one of these missiles will be used to shoot down an airliner. 400 missiles, surface-to-air missiles, taken from Libya.’

Asked if the missiles are now ‘in the hands of al-Qaeda operatives,’ DiGenova replied, ‘That is what these people are telling us.’

DiGenova said his sources are ‘former intelligence officials who stay in constant contact with people in the Special Ops and intelligence community.’

‘And it’s pretty clear that the biggest concern right now are 400 missiles which have been diverted in Libya and have gotten in the hands of some very ugly people.’

diGenova said that while he was uncertain whether the stolen weapons were being kept at the U.S. Consulate’s CIA annex, ‘it is clear that the annex was somehow involved in the process of the distribution of those missiles.’

‘They were afraid that there was going to be a missile attack on one of the embassies. Remember, you can take a shoulder-held missile and shoot it into an embassy. Not just into the sky.’ ‘That’s what this was all about,’ he insisted. ‘That’s why they’re so worried. That’s why they have lied repeatedly about what happened in Benghazi, because they are now responsible for all of the stepchildren of violence that happens as a result of this. This is a very serious matter.’

Benghazi Whistleblower Attorney: Hundreds of Missiles Were Stolen from US Compounds

Guy Benson | Aug 13, 2013

Four hundred American surface-to-air missiles were ‘taken from Libya’ during the terror attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, a former U.S. Attorney who represents whistleblowers claimed on Monday.  He added that the U.S. intelligence community is terrified they might be used to shoot down airliners. Joe diGenova, whose wife Victoria Toensing – a former deputy assistant attorney general – also represents Benghazi witnesses and others with knowledge of the terror attack, told WMAL radio that the loss of those missiles is also one the reason the U.S. State Department shut down 19 embassies across the Middle East last week.  ‘A lot of people have come forward to share information with us,’ he said during the radio station’s ‘Mornings On The Mall’ program Monday morning. ‘We have learned that one of the reasons the administration is so deeply concerned’ is that ‘there were 400 surface-to-air missiles stolen, and that they are … in the hands of many people, and that the biggest fear in the U.S. intelligence community is that one of these missiles will be used to shoot down an airliner. 400 missiles, surface-to-air missiles, taken from Libya.’

Was this the objective of the Benghazi terrorist attacks?  Did the raid and the looting happen simultaneously?  What were the weapons doing at the US diplomatic mission and/or CIA annex in the first place?  When CNN dropped itsbombshell report — about which the president wasn’t questioned at his Friday presser — it included a glancing reference to a rumor that’s been percolating for months; namely, that the US government was using Benghazi as conduit to covertly ship weapons (like SAMs) to Syrian rebels:

Speculation on Capitol Hill has included the possibility the U.S. agencies operating in Benghazi were secretly helping to move surface-to-air missiles out of Libya, through Turkey, and into the hands of Syrian rebels. It is clear that two U.S. agencies were operating in Benghazi, one was the State Department, and the other was the CIA.

Allahpundit points out that the guys at Powerline have been expressing deep skepticism over this theory for some time, perhaps for good reason:

Michael Ledeen speculated in an e-mail to Powerline that Syria had nothing to do with it; what probably happened, he thinks, is that the CIA was trying to collect some of the heavier weapons Libyan rebels had acquired during the war with Qaddafi. That makes more sense. It does seem odd that the CIA would choose a fragile, dangerous place like Benghazi as a base for running missiles to Syria when they could do it from Qatar or Jordan, say, instead.

Let’s throw out the Syria speculation for a moment.  Say our government (understandably) didn’t want serious weapons in the hands of rag-tag bands of jihadis roaming around Northern Africa.  Say the CIA was deployed to surreptitiously collect as many SAMs as they could, and spirit them out of the country, thus denying Al Qaeda-type groups access to weaponry that could easily bring down a commercial airliner.  If our operatives were stockpiling these munitions at various American compounds in Benghazi — which you’ll recall was arebel hotbed during the war to oust Ghaddafi — then the successful 9/11 massacre is an even bigger outrage.  How could it be that the administration didn’t have ample security forces in the city to protect not only our people, but these weapons?  Remember, the State Department rejected multiple requests for a more robust presence.  What makes at least some sense about the clandestine smuggling operation theory is that the US would have had some reason to operate with a very light footprint on the ground.   Such an attempt at misdirection would still have been totally reckless, of course, but it’s something.  But if there were hundreds of SAMs just being “protected” at US government compounds, why on earth did we have sub-minimal security on hand, much of which was outsourced to a lightly-armed (and likely complicitlocal militia?  This is quite a number of troubling questions about a “phony scandal,” wouldn’t you say?

http://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2013/08/13/whistleblower-attorney-hundreds-of-missiles-were-stolen-from-benghazi-n1663362

Almost 7000 SAM-7 anti aircraft missiles have gone missing from Libyan arsenals

Libyan NTC destroys surface to air missiles

libya-missiles

The Libyan military neutralises the guidance and firing systems of 10 of the SAM-7s with the use of a hammers at a symbolic ceremony at a former arms depot in Benghazi. Source: AFP

ALMOST 7,000 SAM-7 anti-aircraft missiles from ousted Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi’s arsenal have gone missing, a military official of the country’s new leadership has said.

“Gaddafi’s Libya bought about 20,000 SAM-7 missiles, Soviet- or Bulgarian-manufactured,” General Mohammed Adia, in charge of armaments at the defence ministry, said at a symbolic ceremony to disable some of the stockpile.

“More than 14,000 of these missiles were used, destroyed or are now out of commission. Most of them were stockpiled in Zintan,” southwest Libya, he said.

“About 5,000 of the SAM-7s are still missing … Unfortunately, some of these missiles could have fallen into the wrong hands … abroad,” the general told reporters at a former arms depot of Gaddafi’s forces in Benghazi.

He said Libya’s National Transitional Council had found around 500 of the portable missiles.

The guidance and firing systems of 10 of the SAM-7s were neutralised with the use of hammers in front of journalists, raising to 170 the number of missiles destroyed to date, said Adia.

The United States has said it is working closely with Libya’s new interim leaders to secure all arms stockpiles, amid concerns over weapons proliferation.

The proliferation of arms raided from Gaddafi’s vast stores has been raising fears for Libya’s future stability and that they could fall into the hands of radical groups like Al-Qaeda.

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/almost-7000-sam-7-anti-aircraft-missiles-have-gone-missing-from-libyan-arsenals/story-e6freuy9-1226155733937

Contractors as a US tool to secure weapons in Libya

– See more at: http://echo-sierra.net/2011/10/16/contractors-as-a-us-tool-to-secure-weapons-in-libya/#sthash.ZQFceTLo.dpuf

In early April, reporters had already found evidence that dozens of SA-7 missiles (and probably Milan missiles too) were moved around in Libya (in French, here, and here).

As the European Union has apparently failed to deploy a CSDP mission that would deal with DDR (disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration), SSR (security sector reform) and border control, due to an opposition by the National Transitional Council, the United State have seemingly been more persuasive. Indeed:

“The State Department is sending dozens of American contractors to Libya to help that country’s fledgling efforts to track down and destroy heat-seeking antiaircraft missiles looted from government stockpiles“

“ The State Department so far has sent 14 unarmed civilian contractors, many with military experience, to be part of teams led by Libya’s Transitional National Council, according to David I. McKeeby, a department spokesman. Mr. McKeeby said that an additional two to three dozen contractors would join the effort over the coming weeks.

The teams have surveyed and secured 20 of the former government’s 36 known ammunition depots, encompassing several hundred bunkers at each site, and have destroyed or disabled hundreds of the shoulder-fired missiles, he said.“ The opposition by the NTC to have foreign troops on Libyan soil is likely to have pushed the United States to send in contractors rather than official members of the armed forces or State Departement.

The US programme is unlikely to be sufficient, as the assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs, Mr. Shapiro, “said he had no estimate as to how many of the roughly 20,000 shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles that had been in Libya were unaccounted for since the fall of Colonel Qaddafi, but added, “In the wrong hands these systems could pose a potential threat to civil aviation”“.

Local and Western Military aerial capabilities deployed in the sahel-sahara zone to fight Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb will have to be very cautious. – See more at: http://echo-sierra.net/2011/10/16/contractors-as-a-us-tool-to-secure-weapons-in-libya/#sthash.ZQFceTLo.dpuf

http://echo-sierra.net/2011/10/16/contractors-as-a-us-tool-to-secure-weapons-in-libya/

Related Posts On Pronk Pops

Pronk Pops Show 121, August 16, 2013: Segment 1: Ruling Elite To American People–Congress and Staff is Exempt From Obamacare Despite The Fact The Law Clearly States Congress Is Not! — Stop Funding Obamacare Now! — Sign The Petition — Videos

Pronk Pops Show 121, August 16, 2013: Segment 2: All Aboard The Huge Train Wreck Called Obamacare — Whitehouse Fears Americans Will Not Get On Board — Why Should They? — Congress and Staff Not On Board! — Defund Obamacare Now! —  Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 120, August 9, 2013, Segment 2: Snowden Forces Obama To Reform Secret Spying Surveillance Program of American People — Americans Do Not Trust Obama and Their Congressional Representatives To Uphold Their Oath of Office To Defend The Constitution and Bill of Rights — Videos

Posted on August 9, 2013. Filed under: American History, Applications, Books, Budgetary Policy, Communications, Computers, Consitutional Law, Crime, Economics, Employment, Energy, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Government, Government Spending, Hardware, History, Law, Media, Monetary Policy, Natural Gas, Oil, Philosophy, Politics, Radio, Resources, Security, Software, Tax Policy, Taxes, Technology, Terror, Terrorism, Videos, Violence, War, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Pronk Pops Show 120: August 9, 2013

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President Obama press news conference at White House – NSA surveillance program FULL 8/9/2013

Obama announces new #NSA surveillance rules America is not interested in spying on ordinary people. announces reforms to Patriot Act at White House news conference, will provide more transparency President Obama announces Justice Dept to declassify legal decisions relating to Sec. 215 of the Patriot Act Obama says US to pause and reassess relations with Russia. President Obama: “No – I don’t think Mr. Snowden was a patriot.”

Rand Paul:Fourth Amendment Restoration Act of 2013

Jun 6, 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. Rand Paul today announced he will introduce the Fourth Amendment Restoration Act of 2013, which ensures the Constitutional protections of the Fourth Amendment are not violated by any government entity.

“The revelation that the NSA has secretly seized the call records of millions of Americans, without probable cause, represents an outrageous abuse of power and a violation of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. I have long argued that Congress must do more to restrict the Executive’s expansive law enforcement powers to seize private records of law-abiding Americans that are held by a third-party,” Sen. Paul said. “When the Senate rushed through a last-minute extension of the FISA Amendments Act late last year, I insisted on a vote on my amendment (SA 3436) to require stronger protections on business records and prohibiting the kind of data-mining this case has revealed. Just last month, I introduced S.1037, the Fourth Amendment Preservation and Protection Act, which would provide exactly the kind of protections that, if enacted, could have prevented these abuses and stopped these increasingly frequent violations of every American’s constitutional rights.

“The bill restores our Constitutional rights and declares that the Fourth Amendment shall not be construed to allow any agency of the United States government to search the phone records of Americans without a warrant based on probable cause.”

English News Today – Are the NSA’s surveillance programs actually legal?

NSA Whistleblowers: “All U.S.Citizens” Targeted By Surveillance Program, Not Just Verizon Customers

Glenn Greenwald: As Obama Makes “False” Spy Claims, Snowden Risks Life to Spark NSA Debate 1/2

Glenn Greenwald: As Obama Makes “False” Spy Claims, Snowden Risks Life to Spark NSA Debate 2/2

PAUL: National security run amok

The feds have concluded Americans would rather be safe than free

By Rand Paul

In March, Sen. Ron Wyden asked Director of National IntelligenceJames R. Clapper if the federal government had “any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans.” Mr. Clapper replied, “Not wittingly.”

In June, we learned that the National Security Agency (NSA) had not only been collecting millions of Americans’ phone data, but every American’s phone data — wittingly.

This astounding level of surveillance that government officials first denied quickly became something they were eager to defend. All of it was essential and necessary, we were told. President Obama and others also assured us that the NSA was only collecting “metadata” and not eavesdropping on our phone calls.

Never mind that you can learn a lot about a person by tracking their private communications, even if you’re not necessarily privy to the nature of those communications. Never mind that we have little reason to trust the government’s claims that it does not listen to our private conversations. Never mind that we have a Fourth Amendment that requires the government to acquire a warrant before it can pry into our private lives — for metadata or any other data. Never mind that we should never simply trust our government’s “good intentions” when it steps beyond its constitutional bounds.

This week, Reuters reported: “A secretive U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration unit is funneling information from intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records to authorities across the nation to help them launch criminal investigations of Americans.”

Reuters continued, “Although these cases rarely involve national security issues, documents reviewed by Reuters show that law enforcement agents have been directed to conceal how such investigations truly begin — not only from defense lawyers, but also sometimes from prosecutors and judges.”

The DEA is supposed to track drug dealers. The NSA is supposed to track terrorists. We already know that the NSA now monitors every American as a potential terrorist, something the director of national intelligence once denied.

We now know that federal agents have been trying to cover up a program that investigates Americans. Is the DEA now operating above or outside the law as well?

And if not, why the cover-up?

Government agencies backtracking their investigations to make it harder for lawyers and judges to know where a case originated do not exactly enhance the public trust. Former federal judge and Harvard Law School professor Nancy Gertner remarked, “I have never heard of anything like this at all . It is one thing to create special rules for national security. Ordinary crime is entirely different.” She concluded, “It sounds like they are phony-ing up investigations.”

Before the Patriot Act, information gained through special national security orders could not be used in regular criminal court. The Patriot Act, for the first time, allowed information gained through extralegal maneuvers to be used in criminal court for crimes unrelated to terrorism. At the time, authors of the Patriot Act said, “Don’t worry. We will never do that.” I asked former Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey precisely that question, and he reassured me, as a parent reassures a child, that we are good people, and will never use illegally obtained information in regular court. This reminds me of President Obama’s promises never to detain American citizens without trial. Only time will tell if that promise is kept.

The more you realize the incestuous relationships between these agencies, the more questions that are raised. Reuters noted, “The unit of the DEA that distributes the information is called the Special Operations Division, or SOD. Two dozen partner agencies comprise the unit, including the FBI, CIA, NSA, Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Homeland Security.”

The New York Times reported last week that NSA officials have been dealing internally with “other federal intelligence agencies that want to use its surveillance tools for their own investigations.”

Each new agency scandal or revelation — whether the IRS, Department of Justice, NSA or now, the DEA — paints a picture of a domestic and national security apparatus run amok. Our long-standing tradition of balancing liberty against security is now threatened by an emerging Washington mentality in which no liberty is protected against the greater need for security.

When it was revealed that the NSA was spying on all of us, Washington simply circled the wagons and defended the program. The Bill of Rights became an afterthought.

If it is discovered that agencies like the DEA are involved in similar government overreach, can we reasonably expect that the wrongdoers will be punished? Or will they be defended and, thus, allowed to continue doing wrong?

Is an unlimited, no-questions-asked police state America’s current trajectory? Is Big Brother now the new norm? Given Washington’s current standards, what are the limits, exactly, of how far the federal government can intrude into the private lives of American citizens?

The simple answer is found in our Constitution. But as with the NSA scandal, we now see a political establishment that treats the document most of them swore to uphold as a dead letter.

James Madison once observed, “If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”

National security is one of government’s most important functions. So is protecting individual liberty. If the Constitution still has any sway, a government that is constantly overreaching on security while completely neglecting liberty is in grave violation of our founding doctrine.

Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Homeland Security committees.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/aug/9/paul-national-security-run-amok/?page=2

Snowden revelations force Obama’s hand on surveillance program

By Chuck Todd, Kelly O’Donnell and Carrie Dann, NBC News

Analysis — NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s revelations have forced President Barack Obama’s hand, leading the president to announce new reforms of the government’s classified surveillance programs, according to White House and congressional sources.

The reforms are aimed creating greater transparency and restoring public confidence in the program the sources said.

After his administration issued repeated defenses of a National Security Agency monitoring program that collects Americans’ phone and Internet data, the president Friday is expected to indicate that more needs to be done to ease concerns and prevent abuse of the agency’s far-reaching intelligence collection abilities.

President Barack Obama will hold his first press conference since April on Friday afternoon. David Axelrod discusses the status of the president’s agenda with MSNBC’S Thomas Roberts.

The reforms, which Obama will announce at a White House press conference this afternoon, come even as Snowden — the defense-contractor-turned-fugitive who released  information to reporters about the NSA’s monitoring programs — has been charged with theft of government property and two offenses under U.S. espionage law.

He continues to evade extradition to the United States under a temporary asylum granted by the Russian government  – an agreement that prompted Obama to cancel a planned meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in protest.

Snowden has generated strong feelings in the wake of disclosures, with many lawmakers decrying him as treasonous for releasing the information while others have used the case to press their concerns about how the government is watching American citizens.

While the president has declined to say whether he considers Snowden a “whistleblower” as supporters of the alleged leaker claim, Snowden’s actions were at the very least a catalyst for the coming reforms, which aides say will establish additional layers of oversight to reign in possible abuses of the NSA practices.

Obama defended the existing program as recently as Tuesday, stating flatly during an interview with comedian Jay Leno that “we don’t have a domestic spying program.”

“But,” he added, “what I’ve said before I want to make sure I repeat, and that is we should be skeptical about the potential encroachments on privacy.  None of the revelations show that government has actually abused these powers, but they’re pretty significant powers.”

Aides say that while the president has confidence in the NSA’s system, it’s important that the public shares that confidence.

And, at the moment, polling shows that’s not the case.

A NBC/WSJ poll last month showed that 56 percent of Americans say they’re worried the United States will go too far in violating privacy rights. That’s a dramatic shift from the national environment after the 9/11 terror attacks, when 55 percent of Americans said they worried that the United States would not go far enough in monitoring potential terrorists who live in the United States.

That poll also showed that only 11 percent of Americans said they viewed Edward Snowden positively, versus 35 percent who said they viewed him negatively.

Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson discusses the tense relationship between President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin, suggesting that the two work together one-on-one.

On Tuesday, Obama declined to comment at length on Snowden’s status, saying it’s important not to “prejudge” the case. But the president said that existing whistleblower protections could have offered Snowden an avenue to report what he believed were inappropriate uses of Americans’ data without jeopardizing national security.

“You can come forward, come to the appropriate individuals and say, look, I’ve got a problem with what’s going on here, I’m not sure whether it’s being done properly,” he said. “If, in fact, the allegations are true, then [Snowden] didn’t do that.   And that is a huge problem because a lot of what we do depends on terrorists networks not knowing that,

in fact, we may be able to access their information.”

But regardless of how Obama, the public or the law view the 30 year old former contractor, Snowden continues to be problematic for the State Department and the rest of the Obama administration.

His asylum in Russia demonstrated the fraying relationship between the United States and Putin’s government, and it remains unclear whether he will release more information that intelligence officials would consider a setback to anti-terrorism efforts.

Somewhere in Russia, Edward Snowden Is Smiling

By

President Obama couldn’t say it—he denied it repeatedly in fact—but Edward Snowden was very much the reason he felt compelled to stand before the national press on a sun-baked Friday August afternoon and attempt to explain why his administration would pursue reforms of its counterterrorism programs even though—and this is the tricky part—he wouldn’t concede that those programs are flawed in any way.

That brings us back to Snowden, the whistleblower/patriot/traitor squirreled away somewhere in Russia after revealing key operational details of the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance programs.  The drip-drip of disclosures was slowly eroding the public’s faith in the system, the president said Friday, and he needed to take steps to reassure the world that it wasn’t being abused. He worried aloud that Americans were increasingly viewing the government as an Orwellian “Big Brother.”

“It’s not enough for me as president to have confidence in these programs,” Obama said before reporters in the White House East Room. “The American people need to have confidence in them, as well.”

For the president, the day marked an attempt to wrest some control of a situation that increasingly threatens to disrupt the national security calculus. Late last month, an attempt by liberals and libertarian Republicans in the House to limit the NSA’s authority fell inches short.  To that end, the president announced that he would work with Congress to rewrite a key section of the Patriot Act, push for more opposing views before the shadowy Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, move to declassify more national security documents, and appoint an outside panel to examine whether the surveillance programs strike the proper balance between security and civil liberties.

Obama, as well as senior administration officials, did their best to paint the new initiatives as a product of a review process the president commenced when he first assumed office, with Obama repeatedly noting Friday that he had criticized some NSA programs as a senator. But just about no one was buying that. And the president ultimately admitted that Snowden’s actions had forced the administration’s hand.

“The leaks triggered a much more rapid and passionate response than would have been the case if I had simply appointed this review board,” Obama said, while adding, “I actually think we would have gotten to the same place—and we would have done so without putting at risk our national security.”

Still, Obama wasn’t ready to revise his assessment of Snowden, who, he reminded the press, has been charged with multiple felonies. “I don’t think he was a patriot,” Obama said.

Even as the president was outlining his plans, he was just as quick to insist that the NSA’s wide latitude to collect data isn’t being abused. “America is not interested in spying on ordinary people,” Obama said. The surveillance programs, he said, were valuable and “should be preserved.” The flaw, if there was one, he said, lay in his assumption that the public would trust that the “checks and balances” in place between the administration, Congress, and the courts was enough to secure personal freedom.  Instead, he said, after Snowden’s revelations, “I think people have questions about this program.”

The independent commission, which will be comprised of experts from the intelligence, civil liberties, privacy and tech sectors and which will release a preliminary report in 60 days, will be tasked with giving the public a more complete picture of NSA operations. “Let’s put the whole elephant out there so people know exactly what they’re looking at,” Obama said.

The NSA will be given a new high-ranking official charged with protecting civil liberties, while there may be some kind of attempt to place a similar civil-liberties advocate before the FISA court, which overwhelmingly approves government applications for surveillance operations.

The late-summer presser may also have been an effort to quell one source of controversy—the NSA programs—even as others threaten to erupt upon his return from a Martha’s Vineyard vacation. He downplayed growing antagonism with Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, over the sheltering of Snowden, saying the two countries would continue to work together where possible. He warned about the threat posed by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula even as he maintained that its capacity to do harm on the level of the Sept. 11 attacks had been decimated—a mixed message that has had the administration struggling of late. And he again urged Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill over House objections.

And, there’s that looming budget showdown with Republicans this fall. Finding surer ground, the president was quick to hammer those in the GOP who have called for a government shutdown if his health care plan isn’t defunded. “I think the really interesting question is why it is my friends in the other party have made preventing these people from getting health care their holy grail,” Obama said. “Their number one priority is making sure 30 million people don’t get health care,” calling the threat a “bad idea.”

That marker thrown, the president heads off for his summer vacation. But as sure as the first day of school, turmoil on just about every front awaits his return.

http://www.nationaljournal.com/whitehouse/somewhere-in-russia-edward-snowden-is-smiling-20130809

Related Posts On Pronk Palisades

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Pronk Pops Show 120, August 9, 2013, Segment 0: Yakety Yak –Don’t Talk Back! — Increased Terrorist Chatter or Increased Obama Distractions To Justify NSA Spying on American People? Congress Goes Home To Face American People and Charges of Invading Their Privacy, Betraying Their Oaths and Destroying the Fourth Amendment — Terrorist Alert or Wag The Dog? — Videos

Pronk Pops Show 120, August 9, 2013, Segment 1: X-KEYSTORE — NSA — Why Shouldn’t I Work for the NSA? — Videos

Pronk Pops Show 115, June 28, 2013: Segment 0: Enemy Of The State: Life Imitating Art –National Security Agency Targets American People — Vidoes

Pronk Pops Show 114, June 21, 2013: Segment 0: National Security Agency (NSA) and Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI) Secret Security Surveillance State (S4) Uses Stellar Wind and PRISM To Create Secret Dossiers On All American Citizen Targets Similar To East Germany Stasi Files–Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 120, August 9, 2013, Segment 0: Yakety Yak –Don’t Talk Back! — Increased Terrorist Chatter or Increased Obama Distractions To Justify NSA Spying on American People? Congress Goes Home To Face American People and Charges of Invading Their Privacy, Betraying Their Oaths and Destroying the Fourth Amendment — Terrorist Alert or Wag The Dog? — Videos

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Project_1

Pronk Pops Show 120: August 9, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 119: August 2 and 8, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 118: July 26, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 117: July 19, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 116: July 12, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 115: June 28, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 114: June 21, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 113: June 14, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 112: June 7, 2013

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 118-120

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Segment 0: Yakety Yak –Don’t Talk Back! — Increased Terrorist Chatter or Increased Obama Distractions To Justify NSA Spying on American People? Congress Goes Home To Face American People and Charges of Invading Their Privacy, Betraying Their Oaths and Destroying the Fourth Amendment — Terrorist Alert or Wag The Dog? — Videos

shuttinb_down_embasies

us embassies_closed

Yakety Yak –Don’t Talk Back!

The Coasters- Yakety Yak

Take out the papers and the trash
Or you don’t get no spendin’ cash
If you don’t scrub that kitchen floor
You ain’t gonna rock and roll no more
Yakety yak (don’t talk back)

Just finish cleanin’ up your room
Let’s see that dust fly with that broom
Get all that garbage out of sight
Or you don’t go out Friday night
Yakety yak (don’t talk back)

You just put on your coat and hat
And walk yourself to the laundromat
And when you finish doin’ that
Bring in the dog and put out the cat
Yakety yak (don’t talk back)

Don’t you give me no dirty looks
Your father’s hip; he knows what cooks
Just tell your hoodlum friend outside
You ain’t got time to take a ride
Yakety yak (don’t talk back)

Yakety yak, yakety yak
Yakety yak, yakety yak
Yakety yak, yakety yak
Yakety yak, yakety yak

ACCOUNTABILITY – Movie Trailer

Wag The Dog

Wag The Dog – War On Terror

Good Ol’ Shoe – Working [from Wag the Dog]

Wag The Dog – Obama’s Admin Script, I Have Seen This Movie Before! – Judge Jeanine Pirro

22 Embassies Closed Due To Al Qaeda Terror Threats! – Gary Berntsen – Judge Jeanine Pirro

Terror Threats Close Embassies, But Why Now?

Glenn Greenwald “FISA Report That Calls NSA Spying Unconstitutional & Illegal Kept From Congress

Greenwald: Is U.S. Exaggerating Threat to Embassies to Silence Critics of NSA Domestic Surveillance?

NSA surveillance programs ‘foiled 50 terror plots’

Terrorist Threat Closes U.S. Embassies in Muslim World

U.S Embassies Closed: ‘Strategically Significant’ Terror Threat Keeps Embassies Closed

Terror Threat! – 22 U.S. Embassies, Consulates Closed Worldwide!! AMB John Bolton

WORLDWIDE TERROR ALERT! (And The Corresponding Blatant BLATANT MSM PROPAGANDA!)

Threat Closing Some US Embassies on Sunday

Terror threat prompts U.S. to close Middle East embassies

TERROR THREAT Forces Closure of EMBASSIES around the World. HIDDEN AGENDA? Possible FALSE FLAG?

Terrorist Threat Causes US Embassies Across Muslim World to Close

Terror Threat ~ U.S. embassies closed 8/4: Worldwide travel alert

Breaking Propaganda Serious Threat shuts down U S Embassies on Obama’s Birthday Aug 01, 2013)

U.S issues travel alert, closes embassies

How the NSA Spies on Americans (Jim Harper)

Obama Issues Global Terror Threat As Benghazi Smokescreen

NSA Spying On Americans – Sen Rand Paul – O’Reilly – Wake Up America!

youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxeNZpJefG8]

U.S. Sees Threat of al Qaeda Attack

State Department Issues Global Travel Alert

By JAY SOLOMON And SIOBHAN GORMAN

Al Qaeda re-emerged as a top global security threat after suspected plots by an affiliate of the terror group led the State Department to issue a world-wide travel alert for the entire month of August.

Senior U.S. officials said they were particularly focused on Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, saying the affiliate was plotting attacks that Washington feared could be executed in the Middle East, Africa or beyond.

These officials cited increased communications, or “chatter,” between terrorist operatives in the field as the primary reason behind the State Department’s alert. The Obama administration said on Thursday that it would close most of its embassies in the Middle East on Sunday because of the threat.

“Current information suggests that al Qaeda and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks both in the region and beyond, and that they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in the period between now and the end of August,” the State Department said in a statement on Friday.

The warning didn’t tell travelers to abandon their journeys, advising caution and recommending that U.S. citizens register their travel plans on the department’s website.

The State Department has issued such alerts and warnings in the recent past, but the threat is the most serious the U.S. has seen in a few years, an administration official said.

While officials across the U.S. government described the threat as serious and imminent, they also said it they didn’t know who would be targeted, where, or how, making it hard to assess. For some officials, the lack of detail has provoked more anxiety. It was possible the alerts themselves were issued to disrupt the planning of what a former U.S. official familiar with the intelligence described as an active AQAP operation.

A senior U.S. official said the threat from AQAP emerged “over the last week.”

Another set of intelligence reports pointed to indications of plots around the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in the coming week, though it wasn’t clear if those indicators were linked to the AQAP chatter, the former official said. On Sunday, Muslims world-wide will celebrate the Night of Power, commemorating the Quran’s presentation to the Prophet Muhammad.

In the wake of the uproar over the Obama administration’s handling of the attack last year on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, the State Department is inclined to issue advance warning when they have any credible information, said Seth Jones, an al Qaeda specialist at the Rand Corp.

“There do appear to be multiple threats against U.S. embassies in North Africa, in the Persian Gulf and in South Asia,” he said. “After the experience in Benghazi, it’s better to get that out beforehand and pre-empt that.”

The latest alert follows an uptick in threats against embassies in North Africa and the Middle East that started a few months ago. U.S. intelligence officials in May saw a spike in threats against U.S. missions and against its embassies in Libya, Yemen and Egypt, which were believed to involve bomb plots by Sunni extremists and perhaps al Qaeda-linked individuals.

Late last year, the State Department released a similarly worded warning stating al Qaeda and its affiliates could seek to strike U.S. interests on or about Sept. 11, 2012. In February, it did so again.

Friday’s alert, though, warning of a heightened risk during all of August, was unusual in that it specifically warned of a terrorist attack, cited such a large area—the Middle East and Africa—and mentioned al Qaeda.

The French Foreign Ministry said Saturday that it would close its embassy in Yemen on Sunday and Monday over security concerns. The decision comes after the U.K. and Germany also decided to close their embassies in Yemen temporarily.

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird warned Friday that Canadian travelers and diplomats in the Middle East face an elevated security risk, and urged “a high degree of caution.”

William Daly, who heads the New York office of Control Risks Group LLC, a global consultancy specializing in political and security risk, said his firm was telling its business clients as of Friday not to cancel trips—but suggested it would be prudent to postpone discretionary travel until fall.

The State Department, in addition to shutting embassies in countries including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Egypt, warned that tourist resorts, bus and rail systems and airlines could be targets, standard language that accompanies such alerts.

AQAP has successfully honed bombing technology that has previously threatened U.S.-bound air travel on passenger and cargo planes, making the organization one of the prime threats facing America and Yemen—and making Yemen of the most frequently targeted sites of the U.S. drone campaign.

The U.S. launched three strikes within the past week in remote areas of Yemen where AQAP operatives were thought to be hiding. It marked the first time in more than a month that America launched such attacks there. Yemeni media reported at least five alleged members of al Qaeda were killed in strikes.

It isn’t known whether the uptick in American strikes is related to the current threat. “The threat is from Yemen but it can’t be confined to Yemen,” a senior U.S. counterterrorism official said. “They always talk big, but you never know.”

Separately, intelligence officials have been tracking a number of other al Qaeda-related threats in Africa and South Asia. In Tunisia, intelligence officials are monitoring possible plots against U.S. or European targets in Tunis by al Qaeda and a local militant group, Ansar al Sharia.

AQAP has risen in importance to the larger al Qaeda organization, U.S. counterterrorism officials believe, because they have seen indications that al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri has appointed the emir of AQAP to be a kind of general manager of the al Qaeda organization.

President Barack Obama met with Yemen’s President Abdo Rabu Mansour Hadi at the White House on Thursday to discuss joint counterterrorism programs against AQAP and other bilateral issues, according to U.S. and Yemeni officials.

U.S. defense officials said there have been no shifts of assets in response to the embassy closures. Defense officials noted that in recent months the Marine Corps has built up quick reaction forces in the region, in large measure to respond to threats against embassies and other diplomatic outposts.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324635904578643890167811634.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_LEFTTopStories

FISC Will Not Object To Release of 2011 Court Opinion That Confirmed NSA’s Illegal Surveillance

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or FISC, ruled Wednesday that it has no objection to the release of a 2011 opinion of the court, which found that some of the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs under the FISA Amendments Act, were unconstitutional.

A 2011 FISC court ruling had concluded that some of the NSA’s surveillance programs had violated sections of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, a law aimed at protecting American citizens from surveillance programs targeted at foreigners.

The nation’s most secretive court, as it has been called in the media, said that the 86-page classified opinion can be made public if a district court orders it.

On Friday, the Department of Justice, or DoJ, had argued that the court’s opinion must remain secret and its release of the opinion would contradict the FISC’s own rules on disclosure of classified documents, according to NBC News.

However, the court’s chief judge, Reggie Walton, rejected the DoJ’s arguments and said that the document, which is in the possession of the department, could be released under the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, NBC News reported.

“It is fundamentally the Executive Branch’s responsibility to safeguard sensitive national security information,” Judge Walton wrote in the order, according to the Huffington Post. “As a general matter, it would be redundant for this Court to impose on the Executive Branch additional restrictions.”

The ruling is significant as the NSA’s PRISM program, which has sparked public outrage over Internet users’ privacy rights, is based on the same sections that the FISC found was circumvented by the security agency.

San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation, or EFF, had filed a lawsuit last year seeking a release of the FISC court’s 2011 opinion.

However, the ruling will not make the opinion immediately available to the public, and EFF will have to pursue the matter in a lower court — where it initially filed its plea — which would then decide whether the document is eligible to be released under FOIA.

EFF attorney Mark Rumold welcomed the court’s ruling and said it is the first victory for a non-governmental party in the FISC.

“It’s important to know that while this is a victory, it is a pretty modest one,” he said. “It’s the FISC realizing that the Department (of Justice) was making crazy arguments, and they quickly got rid of it. Now we have to go right back to the district court.” said Mark Rumold, according to the Huffington Post.

http://www.ibtimes.com/fisc-will-not-object-release-2011-court-opinion-confirmed-nsas-illegal-surveillance-1305023

Related Posts On Pronk Pops

Pronk Pops Show 120, August 9, 2013, Segment 1: X-KEYSTORE — NSA — Why Shouldn’t I Work for the NSA? — Videos

Pronk Pops Show 120, August 9, 2013, Segment 2: Snowden Forces Obama To Reform Secret Spying Surveillance Program of American People — Americans Do Not Trust Obama and Their Congressional Representatives To Uphold Their Oath of Office To Defend The Constitution and Bill of Rights — Videos

Pronk Pops Show 115, June 28, 2013: Segment 0: Enemy Of The State: Life Imitating Art –National Security Agency Targets American People — Vidoes

Pronk Pops Show 114, June 21, 2013: Segment 0: National Security Agency (NSA) and Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI) Secret Security Surveillance State (S4) Uses Stellar Wind and PRISM To Create Secret Dossiers On All American Citizen Targets Similar To East Germany Stasi Files–Videos

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