Monday, October 22, 2012

October 22, 2012

Fort Hood Shooting Still Not Terrorism
by streiff
October 21, 2012

Three years after Major Nidal Hassan opened fire in a personnel center on Fort Hood, Texas, the Obama regime has yet to declare the incident is what it obviously is: an act of terrorism. Rather, according, to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta:
“the department is dealing with the threat of violent Islamist extremism in the context of a broader threat of workplace violence.”
Unfortunately, this is not trivial.
Because the incident is not considered an act of terrorism, the victims do not get combat-related special compensation that provides disability pay for medically retired servicemembers. Manning, who was shot six times, was recently denied such benefits.
The victims are also ineligible for Purple Hearts or medals for valor. 
Stalnaker said her husband, Sgt. Rex Stalnaker, feels diminished by the government denying he suffered through a terrorist attack, and it causes him to doubt the importance of what he did that day. As a medic, Stalnaker treated many of the victims and was one of the last to leave the building. His uniform was soaked in blood. 
The coalition has the support of two Republican congressmen from Texas, who wrote a letter this month to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta asking for the designation.
“Based on all the facts, it is inconceivable to us that the DoD and the Army continue to label this attack ‘workplace violence’ in spite of all the evidence that clearly proves the Fort Hood shooting was an act of terror,” Reps. John Carter and Michael McCaul wrote. 
Should the government classify the shooting as terrorism, the victims and their families could be eligible for compensation and benefits similar to those received by families of 9/11 victims.
When viewed in the context of Obama refusing to call the attack in Benghazi terrorism for about two weeks after the attack one wonders why the reluctance. Unless he is afraid of being held to account for his lackluster record in protecting the United States and US interests.

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Islamist radicals find warm welcome in Obama White House
by Neil Munro
October 22, 2012

White House visitor records show that administration officials have hosted numerous White House meetings with a series of U.S.-based Muslim political groups that have close ties to jihadi groups and push to reduce anti-terrorism investigations.

The visits were discovered by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, which compared the Obama White House’s visitor records with its database of Islamist advocacy groups.

For example, the records show that officials from the Council on American Islamic Relations have visited the White House 20 times, according to the organization’s report.

Members of CAIR were invited to the White House, even though an April 2009 FBI statement said the bureau “does not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner” because of its ties to the Hamas jihadi group.

Administration officials also invited Syrian-born Louay Safi to the White House twice in 2011, even though he had been named an unindicted co-conspirator in two terrorism cases, and had been barred from Fort Hood following the 2009 jihadi attack by a Muslim U.S. Army major.
In contrast, White House officials have not invited Zuhdi Jasser, an Arizona-based, American-born moderate Muslim and former Navy officer.

“We’ve never been invited and nether have any of [the 24 leaders in] our American Islamic Leadership Coalition,” Jasser told The Daily Caller.

The absence of invitations to real Muslim moderates allows White House officials to pretend that members of the well-funded, U.S.-based radical group are moderates, even when they’re linked to the Egypt-based Muslim Brotherhood, he said.

Jasser’s nonpartisan coalition includes left-wing and feminist Muslims who are frequently criticized by the groups invited to the White House, he said.

“The White House has selectively omitted genuine [Muslim] moderates and instead has picked radical Muslims to meet,” said a statement from Steve Emerson, founder of the Investigative Project on Terrorism.

The closed-door White House meetings legitimize the radicals, but do not bring them into the mainstream, Emerson told TheDC.

“The American public has a right to know why the White House is meeting with Hamas front groups,” he added.

The visitor logs show that many of the Muslim advocates met with coalition-building officials in the White House, rather than with national security officials. The officials they met with include Paul Monteiro, the associate director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, and Amanda Brown, assistant to the then-White House director of political affairs Patrick Gaspard.

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Obama Did Not Inherit a Mess, But a Great Opportunity - That He Wasted
by Joel B. Pollak
October 21, 2012

President Barack Obama has often lamented that he “inherited” a mess from George. W. Bush. His opponents acknowledge that, but argue that Obama made the situation worse. “Did they come in and inherit a tough situation? Absolutely. But we’re going in the wrong direction!” Ryan said during the Vice Presidential debate on Oct. 11.

The truth, however, is otherwise: Obama inherited a fantastic set of political circumstances.

The economy was near the trough of the recession, and would likely have rebounded quickly, had Obama not intervened with radical new policies such as Obamacare and Dodd-Frank. Even allowing for the (disputed) argument that financial collapses lead to slower, longer recoveries, it is likely that the economy would have rebounded far more quickly had Obama not created new uncertainty, new business costs, and new debt.

The controversial bailouts--the Troubled Asset Relief Program and the auto bailout--were already under way, with the former passing Congress with bipartisan majorities and the latter initiated by Bush when Congress rejected it. Both of these massive expenditures, which also gave the government unprecedented economic control, could have been fodder for intense opposition under Obama--but he was spared the task.

On the war front, the Bush “surge” in Iraq--which Obama had opposed vigorously--had been a success, enabling Obama to devote more attention and resources to securing gains in Afghanistan. The key intelligence that would later be critical to locating Osama bin Laden had already been gathered, thanks to the capture in Iraq of Hassan Ghul and the waterboarding of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed--which Obama had also opposed.

There was little, in fact, that Obama needed to do, other than that which ought to have come naturally to any new President: focus on the economy, with small adjustments to regulations, perhaps a few interventions (Obama’s original stimulus proposal was $50 billion), and maybe some appropriate prosecutions (which, curiously, never happened).

With the economy on the rebound, Obama would likely have coasted to re-election, and he could have used his second term to attempt more ambitious, transformative plans.

But Obama refused. He and his advisers chose to seize the crisis to implement radical changes, while his Democratic allies helped themselves to massive helpings of pork. The ill-fated stimulus of February 2009 rallied the opposition; the Obamacare push only galvanized it; and the 2010 midterm elections halted Obama’s transformative plans.

President Obama had a second chance--many second chances, in fact. He could have done what Bill Clinton did after his party lost control of Congress in 1994, and moved toward the center. He could have brokered a “grand bargain” with Republicans to cut the deficit and the national debt, much as Clinton had done in 1996 with welfare reform. But Obama refused, doubling down on “change” and causing the debt deal to collapse.

It is all a great waste, especially given the goodwill that surrounded Obama when he first took office.

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