Pat Robertson is not pleased by the Air Force’s recent decision to make the words “So help me God” optional in the oath of enlistment, a result of the controversy over an airman in Nevada who was not allowed to re-enlist after he omitted the line.
The “700 Club” host reacted to the news today by criticizing the Air Force as cowards for “caving” to the “little Jewish radical” Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, whom he said is “terrorizing” the military:There is a left-wing radical named Mikey Weinstein who has gotten a group about ‘people against religion’ or whatever he calls it and he has just terrorized the Armed Forces. You think you’re supposed to be tough, you’re supposed to defend us, and you’ve got one little Jewish radical who is scaring the pants off of you. You want these guys flying airplanes to defend us when you’ve got one little guy terrorizing them? That’s what it amounts to. We swear oaths, ‘So help me God,’ what does it mean? It mean’s with God’s help. You don’t have to say you believe in God, you just have to say you want some help beside myself with the oath I’m taking. It’s just crazy. What is wrong with the Air Force? How can they fly the bombers to defend us if they cave to one little guy?
h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW
Who Is Kurt Prenzler?
Time for Madison County voters to say adios to Kurt Prenzler!
BREAKING: President Barack Obama has announced airstrikes and airdrops against #ISIS if they strike against US’s interests. #Obama #Iraq
— Justin Gibson (@JGibsonDem)August 8, 2014
Obama says ‘today America is coming to help’ Iraqis targeted by ISIS http://t.co/Min8COZti9— NBC News (@NBCNews)August 8, 2014
Obama: “I will not allow the United States to be dragged into another war in #Iraq.”— T.J. Holmes (@tjholmes)August 8, 2014
President Obama is putting emphasis on “empowering” Iraqi citizens to prevent future situations.— USA TODAY (@USATODAY)August 8, 2014
Obama: “i will not allow” the US “to be dragged into another war in Iraq.” there will be no ground troops, Obama says— E McMorris-Santoro (@EvanMcSan)August 8, 2014
Obama: ‘We support our allies when they are in danger’ http://t.co/wvVteHN4KR— NBC News (@NBCNews)August 8, 2014
"Today, America is coming to help," Obama says of Iraq. Emphasizes no US ground troops. Only targeted strikes/humanitarian aid for Yazidis.— jennifer bendery (@jbendery)August 8, 2014
BREAKING UPDATE: Pres. Obama: Airstrikes authorized against ISIS to prevent genocide, protect American interests: http://t.co/081FkM5NC7— ABC News (@ABC) August 8, 2014
Obama: American combat troops will not be sent back to Iraq.— U.S. News (@usnews) August 8, 2014
Seems important to note: Obama is authorizing targeted air strikes to protect Americans specifically IF ISIS moves toward Irbil.— jennifer bendery (@jbendery) August 8, 2014
Citing the supposed persecution of Christian service members, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council said today that the Obama administration is imposing Islamic law in the military.
After a lengthy hearing in Tijuana for a Marine reservist jailed since April 1 on weapons charges, a judge Wednesday declined to throw out the case as urged by U.S. politicians and instead scheduled another evidentiary hearing.
After a lengthy hearing in Tijuana for a Marine reservist jailed since April 1 on weapons charges, a judge Wednesday declined to throw out the case as urged by U.S. politicians and instead scheduled another evidentiary hearing.
Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, 25, who served two combat tours in Afghanistan, was arrested after crossing the border at San Ysidro with a rifle, shotgun, pistol and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in his pickup truck.
He had recently moved to San Diego to receive treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder at the Veterans Affairs hospital in La Jolla.
Tahmooressi has consistently said he crossed the border by mistake, missing the turnoff to remain in the U.S. That story was challenged by Mexican officials when Tahmooressi’s explanation that he had never before visited Mexico proved to be untrue.
Wednesday’s hearing was the first time that Tahmooressi was able to explain to a judge his version of events that led to his arrest. Mexican customs officials were also set to talk to the judge about what happened the night that Tahmooressi was arrested.
A hearing in May was canceled after Tahmooressi fired his attorney. The next hearing will be set for August. The judge ordered that Tahmooressi remain in jail.
Tahmooressi’s new attorney has cautioned him and his mother, Jill, that the process could take months as multiple hearings are held. Jill Tahmooressi, who lives in Florida, attended Wednesday’s hearing; the media was not allowed to attend.
Some 74 members of U.S. Congress have called on the Obama administration to work with Mexican authorities to gain Tahmooressi’s release.
On the eve of Wednesday’s hearing, Rep. Lee Terry (R-Nebraska) and Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-California) wrote to the Mexican judge, Victor Octavio Luna Escobedo, reminding him that Tahmooressi is “a Marine Corps veteran who risked his life for hisnation and his fellow Marines.”
His case, the two wrote, should be “favorably resolved on the basis that he made a simple mistake at the border.”
Mexican officials have stressed that while the Mexican judicial system is different from the U.S. system, it shares one key characteristic: Cases are not decided by political pressure.
They have also noted that ignorance of the law is no excuse and that there are numerous signs warning that bringing weapons into Mexico is a crime.
As the Army continues to investigate whether Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is guilty of deserting his unit, this afternoon the they said there is no reason to believe that Bergdahl engaged in any misconduct during his five years in captivity.
As the Army continues to investigate whether Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is guilty of deserting his unit, this afternoon they said there is no reason to believe that Bergdahl engaged in any misconduct during his five years in captivity.
In fact, that’s all that the Army said:
We have no reason to believe that he engaged in any misconduct.”
Bergdahl electrified the national discourse last month after he was freed in a prisoner swap involving five members of the Taliban held at Guantanamo Bay. As charges against his character emerged, the narrative quickly shifted from Bergdahl as POW to Bergdahl as despicable deserter, unworthy bargaining chip, unwitting endangerer of America, and worse.
Here’s what else we’re learning about Bergdahl:
— For now, he’s on full Army pay, including $200,000 during his time in captivity, all of which he may ultimately have to return.
— Military investigators have not read Bergdahl his rights.
— Bergdahl has not yet spoken to his parents.
He is currently in an outpatient facility in Texas. The Army investigation is expected to conclude in mid-August. If charged with desertion, Bergdahl could face court-martial, prison, and even the death penalty.
Source: Adam Chandler for The Wire
Fox's Billo The Clown Calls For Boycott Of Mexico: Will It Be As Ineffective As His Boycott Of France?
Fox News host Bill O’Reilly is calling for his viewers to boycott Mexico, though his four-year boycott of France during the Iraq War was a failure despite his false and conflicting claims to the contrary.
On the June 18 edition of The O’Reilly Factor, O’Reilly declared that Mexico “is not our friend” and that Americans “should stop going there” because the country is allegedly allowing human trafficking into the United States and because the Mexican president is “giving us the middle finger” over the case of a U.S. Marine jailed in Mexico for allegedly inadvertently crossing the border. O’Reilly urged viewers to boycott the country, telling them, “Let’s stop rewarding Mexico until they stop hurting us.”
O’Reilly previously threatened a boycott of Mexico in 2006 over its promise to sue the United States if evidence emerged that the National Guard had directly helped to detain Mexican citizens trying to illegally enter the United States. But O’Reilly’s longest-lasting boycott was against France for opposing the Iraq War; he began his boycott in March 2003 and lifted it in May 2007 after the election of Nicolas Sarkozy as French president.
During the boycott period, O’Reilly made numerous claims about its purported success that proved to be either conflicting or completely wrong:
On the April 27, 2004, edition of The O’Reilly Factor, O’Reilly claimed that the Paris Business Review had documented the success of O’Reilly’s boycott against France for not sufficiently supporting the United States in its fight against terrorism and in Iraq. O’Reilly said, “They’ve lost billions of dollars in France according to the Paris Business Review.” A Media Matters search at the time found no evidence of the existence of a publication called the Paris Business Review.
On the July 14, 2004, edition of The O’Reilly Factor, O’Reilly stated: “French exports to the USA have fallen by more than a billion dollars from 2001 to 2003.” But that decline was unrelated to O’Reilly’s purported boycott, which he called for in March 2003. The decline in those years actually occurred between 2001 and 2002. It was a decline of $2.2 billion; French exports in 2003 actually increased $979 million from the previous year. In fact, French exports to the U.S. increased every year during the duration of O’Reilly’s boycott.
O’Reilly also made numerous conflicting claims about the effects of his boycott on the French economy. For instance, on the October 24, 2005, broadcast of his radio show, O’Reilly declared that his boycott effort has “hurt the French economy, not to a tremendous extent, but to an annoying extent. To the extent that they sent the French ambassador to New York to try to talk me out of it.” Previously, O’Reilly had variously claimed that the boycott effort had caused France to lose “billions of dollars,” “more than a billion dollars,” and “$138 million.”
h/t: Terry Krepel at MMFA
Let’s NOT restart the Iraqi War. It was foolish in the 1st place to even invade that nation back in 2003, and will be much more foolish to invade it again now.
President Obama announced today that, while the U.S. is willing to do their part to help deal with a terrorist insurgency, he will not be sending combat troops back to Iraq.
The president said:
Over the last couple of days, we’ve seen significant gains by the ISIL terrorist organization that operates in both Iraq and Syria. In the face of a terrorist offensive, Iraqi security forces have proven unable to defend a number of cities, which has allowed the terrorists to overrun part of Iraq’s territory, and this poses a danger to Iraq and its people and given the nature of these terrorists, it could pose a threat, eventually to American interests as well.
Now, this threat is not brand new. Over the last year, we’ve been steadily ramping up our security assistance to the Iraqi government with increased training, equipping, and intelligence. Now, Iraq needs additional support to break the momentum of extremist groups and bolster the capabilities of Iraqi security forces. We will not be sending U.S. combat troops back into Iraq, but I have asked my national security team to prepare a range of other options that could help support Iraq’s security forces, and I’ll be reviewing those options in the days ahead.
Obama’s position on helping Iraq was summed up with one sentence, “We can’t do it for them.” He added, “The United States will do our part, but understand that ultimately it’s up to the Iraqis as a sovereign nation to solve their problems.”
President Obama was correct. This isn’t something that the United States can do for Iraq. The problems in Iraq are best summed up by a report from The Guardian, “Two divisions of Iraqi soldiers – roughly 30,000 men – simply turned and ran in the face of an assault by an insurgent force of just 800 fighters. Isis extremists roamed freely on Wednesday through the streets of Mosul, openly surprised at the ease with which they took Iraq’s second largest city after three days of sporadic fighting.”
If the Iraqi security forces aren’t willing to fight when they have an overwhelming advantage, there isn’t much that the United States, or anyone else can do for the Iraqi government. The security situation in Iraq that was constructed by the Bush administration was always a house of cards. Since the U.S. invasion, there have always been issues with Iraqi security forces not wanting to fight.
None of this is new. The difference is that Republicans have long held the position that the United States should never have taken our combat troops out. Under a Republican president, U.S. troops would still be fighting and dying for some people who don’t want to take responsibility for their own national security.
Recent events are demonstrating why it was a good idea for the United States to get the combat troops out of Iraq. The Bush doctrine has been a total failure, and Obama is doing the right thing by making the Iraqis stand on their own.
Good call, President Obama.
Fox News’ The Five is usually my pick as worst cable TV news show on television, but “Outnumbered” is quickly rising among the ranks of the worstest and Kimberly Guilfoyle, a frequent guest on both shows proves my point when she said that if Sgt. Bergdahl had been released to his own troops, they would have put him in a body bag. These sickening displays of machismo wingnut fantasies are appalling.
Echoing her fellow conservatives who oppose the prisoner swap that secured Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s release, Fox News personality Kimberly Guilfoyle said Friday that the POW was lucky he wasn’t found by his fellow soldiers before the exchange. Otherwise, Guilfoyle said, Bergdahl may have been brought home “in a body bag.”
And on Friday’s episode of “Outnumbered,” Guilfoyle said that things may not have ended so well for Bergdahl had he been discovered by U.S. soldiers instead of being brought back as part of an exchange.”He’s pretty lucky that he was brought home the way he was because if those special forces had found him and encountered him and they were looking for him, he would have come home either in a body bag or come home and gone straight to jail,” Guilfoyle said.
Fox News provided ample coverage of two separate instances of U.S. Marines imprisoned in Mexico on gun charges, using the stories to criticize the Obama administration for what was deemed an inadequate response to each situation. But Fox paid no attention to a nearly identical case of a jailed U.S. soldier that occurred during the Bush administration.
On March 31, Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi was arrested after he claimed he accidentally crossed into Mexico with personal firearms in his car, and has been held in a Mexican prison on weapons charges since that time.
Fox News heavily covered the story. A Nexis search of the network’s evening programming showed that since March 31, there have been at least 31 segments about Tahmooressi’s detainment, including phone interviews with Tahmooressi, his mother, and his friends. Fox host Greta Van Susteren demanded President Obama take action to free the Marine on the May 20 edition of Fox’s On the Record. Later on the show, Fox contributor Allen West bashed Obama and Secretary of State Kerry as “neutered pajama-boy leaders.”
More recently, Fox ramped up its criticism of the purported lack of action to more absurd levels, conducting polling asking whether the border with Mexico should be closed until Tahmooressi is returned, and one Fox host going so far as to suggest that an exchange of “five jailed illegal immigrants” with Mexico for his return, a reference to the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from Taliban captivity after several years.
And in 2012, after U.S. Marine Jon Hammar was arrested in Mexico for carrying an antique shotgun across the border, Fox devoted at least 35 evening programming segments to Hammar, according to Nexis, often similarly complaining about the Obama administration response.
But when Spc. Richard Torres was arrested after crossing into Mexico in a similar alleged accident in mid-2008, Fox News’ evening shows voiced no such criticism over the failure of the Bush administration to act quickly to secure his release. In fact, a search of Nexis shows that they never covered the story at all, an omission that cannot be explained away by differences in the cases, as the circumstances of are remarkably similar.
From a May 30 CNN report on Tahmooressi’s arrest:
The Marine’s mom said he accidentally crossed into Mexico with three personal firearms — all bought legally in the U.S.
The 25-year-old had intended to drive to meet friends in San Ysidro, California, on March 31.
He was moving from Florida to California in the hope of getting a job and continuing treatment he had just begun for post traumatic stress related to his two combat tours, she said.
With all his possessions in his truck, Tahmooressi accidentally drove across the border, she said.
When he realized his mistake, his mother said, he dialed 911 and asked the operator to help him. No help came, Jill Tahmooressi said. Her son first encountered Mexican customs agents, she said, and he believed they understood that he’d made an innocent error. They seemed to be getting an escort car to help him, she said.
But officers with the Mexican military interfered, she told “New Day,” and her son was arrested.
And from a May 10, 2008, Houston Chronicle report on Torres’ arrest:
When he crossed the U.S.-Mexico border, Spc. Richard Torres was carrying a small arsenal in his car: an AR-15 assault rifle, a .45-caliber handgun, 171 rounds of ammunition, several cartridges and three knives.
At a checkpoint, Torres didn’t try to hide the weapons. But he insisted he hadn’t meant to cross the border with the guns, which in Mexico are restricted for use only by the military. While searching for parking in El Paso, he said, he inadvertently drove onto a bridge leading to Mexico and could not turn around.
Now the Iraq veteran is in a Mexican jail while a judge decides whether to believe his account: that an experienced soldier accidentally ended up in a border town where drug cartels pay top dollar for exactly the kind of high-powered weapons he happened to have.
Torres ultimately spent a little more than a month in jail before he was released.
Methodology: On June 4, Media Matters searched Fox News Network transcriptsseparately for “Andrew Tahmooressi,” “Jon Hammar,” and “Richard Torres” for all available dates. Thirty-one results were found for “Andrew Tahmooressi,” 35 results were found for “Jon Hammar,” and zero results were found for “Richard Torres.”
h/t: Zachary Pleat at RWW
On Tuesday, President Obama defended his administration’s decision to bring home U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from Taliban captivity, pushing back against critics who argue that Bergdahl’s public protest of America’s mission in Afghanistan and possible desertion to Pakistan in 2009 made him unworthy of rescue.
“The United States has always had a pretty sacred rule, and that is: we don’t leave our men or women in uniform behind,” Obama said in Warsaw, Poland. “Regardless of the circumstances, we still get an American soldier back if he’s held in captivity. Period. Full stop.”
Since Obama’s decision to trade Bergdahl for five Taliban-linked militants imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay, Republican lawmakers, conservative commentators, and even some soldiers who served in Bergdahl’s unit have accused the administration of endangering American security by releasing high level Taliban officials into Afghanistan while American soldiers are still in the country. They also argue that Bergdahl’s growing disillusioned with the U.S. Army make his return less than desirable.
“I think the whole transaction represents really bad staff work. I’d be very, very careful before you run the president out to sort of claim victory at having earned the release of somebody who in effect went AWOL apparently, and left his post. So if I were there, I would not have supported the transaction,” former Vice President Dick Cheney told Fox News Monday night. His comments echo similar sentiment expressed on Twitter by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and conservative publications that labeled Bergdahl a traitor.
However, General Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, repudiated the notion that certain prisoners of war or hostages are not patriotic enough to be rescued, writing on Facebook that “the questions about this particular soldier’s conduct are separate from our effort to recover ANY U.S. service member in enemy captivity.” He added that while Bergdahl should be considered “innocent until proven guilty,” the Army’s leaders “will not look away from misconduct if it occurred.”
That sentiment is shared by veterans and POW groups. “We hope the Department of Defense does a complete investigation of the circumstances surrounding Sgt. Bergdahl’s initial disappearance and take whatever steps are warranted by the findings of that investigation,” American Legion National Commander Daniel Dellinger said in a statement.
“It’s totally premature for anyone to be jumping to conclusions until more is known, clearly he is undergoing some medical treatment and evaluation now and until a thorough investigation is done, I just think it’s inappropriate to be speculating on the circumstances that nobody knows much about,” Ann Mills-Griffiths, Chairman of the Board of the National League of POW/MIA Families, told ThinkProgress.
During his remarks, Obama also responded to charges that he circumvented a law requiring Congress to be notified 30 days before prisoners are transferred from Guantanamo Bay. “We have consulted with Congress for quite some time that we might need to execute a prisoner exchange,” Obama claimed, noting that officials acted quickly out of concern for Bergdahl’s declining health. “The process was truncated because we wanted to make sure we did not miss that window,” he said.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI) admitted on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Tuesday that “in 2011 [the administration] did present a plan that included a prisoner transfer.” He claimed the committee hadn’t heard anything since.
President Obama made the right decision to release Bowe Bergdahl home to the USA.
As of this moment, he is innocent until proven guilty, despite the fact that many conservatives and right-wing hacks are already saying that “Bergdahl is a ‘traitor’ or ‘deserter.’”
The former GOP vice presidential nominee and half-term Alaska governor wrote on her Facebook page Monday that President Obama never should have praised the soldier who was released this weekend after five years of captivity in Afghanistan.
"No, Mr. President, a soldier expressing horrid anti-American beliefs – even boldly putting them in writing and unabashedly firing off his messages (http://nypost.com/2014/05/31/the-bizarre-tale-of-americas-last-known-pow/) while in uniform, just three days before he left his unit on foot – is not ‘honorable service.’ Unless that is your standard,” Palin wrote.
She was referring to an email sent by Bergdahl to his parents, which were published in a 2012 Rolling Stone article by the late journalist Michael Hastings. In the message, sent days before he went missing, Bergdahl wrote that he was “ashamed to be an american (sic)” and that “the title of US soldier is just the lie of fools.”
Bergdahl’s disappearance in 2009 and the subsequent manhunt sparked resentment among his fellow soldiers, many of whom consider him a deserter.
Along with her critical assessment of Bergdahl, Palin wrote that Obama “blew it again…by negotiating away any leverage against the bad guys as these bad guys – Osama Bin Laden’s partners in evil crime – joyfully celebrate their ‘win’ in the deal you sealed.”
Read the whole post:Commander-in-Chief’s Definition of “Honorable Service” Includes Anti-American Actions While in Uniform; He Just Destroyed Troop Morale
The Obama administration tells America this soldier served “with honor and distinction.” (http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/susan-rice-bergdahl-served-honor-and-distinction_794066.html)
No, Mr. President, a soldier expressing horrid anti-American beliefs – even boldly putting them in writing and unabashedly firing off his messages (http://nypost.com/2014/05/31/the-bizarre-tale-of-americas-last-known-pow/) while in uniform, just three days before he left his unit on foot – is not “honorable service.” Unless that is your standard.
Please use your White House Rose Garden to praise the truly honorable service of our good U.S. troops who were killed in their search for Sgt. Bergdahl (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/02/we-lost-soldiers-in-the-hunt-for-bergdahl-a-guy-who-walked-off-in-the-dead-of-night.html). Praise the soldiers who fought with everything they had to defeat Islamic terrorists, those whom you just freed from prison. Our men gave all. Our surviving combat vets will forever live with the effects of the missions they willingly engaged in to protect you, our country, and certainly their brothers and sisters who are proud to wear the uniform.
You blew it again, Barack Obama, by negotiating away any leverage against the bad guys as these bad guys – Osama Bin Laden’s partners in evil crime – joyfully celebrate their “win” in the deal you sealed.
- Sarah Palin
h/t: Tom Kludt at TPM
US soldier held by Taliban for 5 years freed from captivity
The Washington Post: The only American soldier held prisoner in Afghanistan has been freed and is in U.S. custody, officials said on Saturday.
Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s release was part of a negotiation that includes the release of five Afghan detainees held at Guantanamo Bay.
Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl (who was captured when he was an E-3, and promoted twice while in captivity) has been released.
In just about every comment section of any article about the release you will find some right wing nuts calling him a “traitor”, “deserter” and “collaborator”. (most of those making these accusations have zero military experience of course)
I think the reasons for this are two fold: first that he was released under Obama’s watch. That irked them to no end. second, he was released due to negotiations and not a massive deadly assault into another nation - like with bin Laden.
These right wing nuts feel they have the Sgt. pegged as a “traitor” because the Taliban said he was helping them. That he is a “deserter” because the Tailban said he had walked away from his post…or gone out drinking…or left the FOB to use a makeshift latrine…or go AWOL for a few days. That he is a “collaborator” because he appeared in several (4) videos produced by the Taliban instead of fighting to the death or escaping.
It seems that the Taliban is a more reliable source of information about a US Soldier than the US Military which has stated:”The Taliban are known for lying and what they are claiming [is] not true” and “I’m glad to see he appears unharmed, but again, this is a Taliban propaganda video. They are exploiting the soldier in violation of international law.”
I for one am just glad he has been released and can come home. I’m looking forward to the day Obama brings home all our troops and stops trying to get the Afghan Gov to agree to keep US troops there for 10 more years.