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National Security Crisis and Presidents

Controversy in the actions taken by government during periods of an acknowledged threat to national security traditionally have been seen as a part of the political process when viewed by subsequent administrations and society. We are just now learning the facts about interrogation of terrorists captured by the United States. One thing is clear, there are some who are trying to gain political favor or demean political opponents by maliciously misrepresenting who was really involved and are quite wrongly questioning the motives of a former President to protect his country. There is a historical precedent of reflection and correction rather than criminalization that should apply.

The attempt to criminalize the political process including the application of ex post facto selective prosecution of only political rivals is an unprecedented shock wave to the American tradition. Since the events of 2002 there have been elections, changes in federal law, and court rulings that cannot be considered relevant in application to judging the legal propriety of the decisions collectively made by the executive and legislative branches of the federal government and both political parties as regards interrogation of enemies of the United States in the year following the 9/11 attack.

Following the 9/11/2001 attack on the United States as noted global intelligence expert, George Friedman, wrote recently, the lack of intelligence American officials had on the true terrorism threat lead to great fear among both the public and government officials. There was some evidence that a second round of attacks could occur including the use of some type of weapon of mass destruction. The success of the attack on New York and Washington demonstrated that a status quo reliance on the existing intelligence community was unacceptable. Again as Friedman writes the highest priority for the United States was to “collect intelligence information rapidly.”

The United States has faced a similar situation before, following the attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan in 1941, the Democratic President so heralded today as the model for Obama, passed Executive Order 9066 which resulted in the dislocation of American citizens and legal residents without any due process and labeled them as enemies. The action was widely supported by Democrats including the California Attorney General, Earl Warren, who would later become the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Today, of course, it is widely accepted by all Americans that the actions Roosevelt took where unconstitutional and morally wrong. The injustices that occurred to American citizens who committed no crimes or any wrong doing were never prosecuted as a crime. Neither Roosevelt or anyone involved with this ugly part of American history has ever been substantially judged for this action. Historians look at this action as failure of the collective United States together and thus do not put the blame on the American leaders. Which was a greater wrong giving pain to terrorists or jailing American citizens?

Compare this with the situation facing the Bush administration in 2001-2002. Just like Roosevelt, President Bush did not know what was coming next. There were minimal tools available for him to get information but in his custody was a known planner of the 9/11 attack. Was the pressure he felt any less severe or the responsibility any less than that faced by Roosevelt in 1942? Even assuming his actions were wrong should he be judged any differently than Roosevelt who history has given a unqualified pass?

A Pew Research Study has continually looked at the attitude of Americans towards torture. During the period of 2004 to 2007 when many revelations were surfacing in the press about possible torture by the government of captured terrorists no more than 1/3 of those surveyed said that torture can never be justified to gain information to protect the United States. Certainly by 2007 most of the American public was aware that significant events that could be called torture had occurred to enemies of the U.S. in custody but still a majority of Americans, in fact, 2/3 of those polled still favored the practice.

This was the reality in which the leaders of the American government were functioning. However, the release of a letter from the Attorney Generals’ Office to the Senate Intelligence Committee which declassifies some of the inner workings on the approach of the federal government to the torture issue reveals that knowledge of the actions clearly extended to Democratic leaders of Congress including Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Diane Feinstein in 2002.

One of the most emergent issues deals with the concept that leading Justice Department officials, John Yoo and Attorney General Gonzales, violated their legal responsibilities by supervising lawyers to write legal opinions which justified actions of torture. Those who making these charges cite as precedent the Nuremberg trials of Nazi Jurists following World War II. Of course these trials dealt with wrongful violations of life, liberty, and property of citizens by their own government. This is markedly different than the infliction of temporary pain without evidence of any lasting harm on a known enemy of the United States. Why was there no Nuremberg trial of American Democratic attorneys who supported Japanese internment?

If the Justice Department attorneys were willfully breaking their sacred code of ethics than why is the American Bar Association not taking action against them. The clearly liberal and one would argue most expert authority on legal behavior of attorneys does not say anything until 2004 when they made a political statement asking for banning of torture. William H. Neukom, President, American Bar Association in an Op-Ed on the ABA website waited to call on Congress until August of 2007 to pass “new legislation”. This implies that they felt that the language of existing law regarding torture was inadequate and required new laws and very importantly does not imply that the incumbent justice department officials were wrongly interpreting or enforcing existing law outside the norm of accepted professional behavior.

The American legal system has always held that an attorney who advocates for a particular opinion in good faith is implicitly doing so until a court opinion or change of law occurs. Once either of these events occur then the lawyer’s responsibility is to adapt his counsel to the new reality which is exactly what happened in the Justice Departments opinion. Those on the left would have the system of law in the United States go from one based on precedence and continual clarification by the legislative process to the archaic socialistic Napoleanic system of Europe. The reality is that the definitions of torture which currently exist were not established until the Military Commissions Act of 2006.

In the course of American history there have been times when the American government and the public have been tested during a national crisis. We are not a perfect people or a perfect country and often times political figures have acted in a manner that reflects the will of the population. Transferring all the guilt of the injustice done to Japanese Americans during World War II to President Roosevelt would be wrong. He was acting in manner consistent with the majority of public opinion but gradually over time that opinion changed.This does not excuse or some may say forgive the grave injustice he created. Whether we like it or not the truth is that in times of national crisis more often than not our leaders have reacted in the way the public expected them. This is inherent in a democracy.

The administration of President Bush just as Roosevelt was motivated to protect the United States and clearly acted in concert with the majority of public opinion. The gravity of the offense of President Roosevelt by any reasonable standard would be many times worse than that of President Bush if you believe Bush was wrong. I strongly suspect that evidence will be eventually released that indicates that at least one life, but more likely many more, was saved by the interrogations carried out. Now just as then the best course of action for America is to look ahead not back.

Presidents are human beings who carry an immense responsibility most of us can never imagine. Leon Pannetta wrote in the Washington Monthly a year ago (this is probably the reason Senator Feinstein was unhappy with his appointment) that torture should never be used under any circumstances however now as CIA Director he has clouded his previous opinion and told the New York Times that in a “ticking bomb situation” he would seek “aggressive interrogation methods” approval from the President. This clearly tells us that now even Director Pannetta has a weight on his shoulders that citizen Pannetta could not have imagined. Panetta has said he would follow all laws in his duties (no doubt relying upon his legal counsel to determine those limits).

As this is being written Taliban forces are creeping ever closer to taking control of the nuclear weapons arsenal of Pakistan. What will President Obama do if he captures a terrorist who “may” hold information that a former Pakistani nuclear weapon may be used against the United States? What would you do? What would the majority of Americans think the President’s duty will be? Should we sacrifice New York or Los Angeles for one terrorist?

By Dr. Tony Magana - Friday, April 24, 2009 - Full Story

Earth Goddess Rising

When Dante Aligheri wrote his “Divina Commedia” he mixed many elements of Greco-Roman culture with Medieval Christian thought of his time. For those who do not know (and there should be no one in the West who is not familiar with him) Dante was a 13th-14th century poet from Florence who wrote one of history`s great masterpieces. The Divine Comedy was a set of three works, each dealing with a different aspect of the Christian afterlife.

By Timothy Birdnow - Friday, April 24, 2009 - Full Story

Obama, Polarizing President

As the First 100 Days of the Presidency of Obama come to a close, Barry has achieved a lot more than I expected.

You read that correctly. I attribute Barack Obama with a lot of achievement as President of the United States.

Barack Obama, despite the claims that the polarization crown belonged to George W. Bush, is the most polarizing president in recent history. That is quite an achievement, if I do say so myself. As he works on creating the greatest federal deficit in American history, another wild achievement, while setting his sights on the federal government taking control of private industry, the partisan gap between Republican and Democratic approval ratings for the Leftist messiah stands at 61 points - ten points greater that when the gap was at its worst for Bush.

The great unifier has unified many people, but they are, for the most part, on the Liberal side of politics. Barry, however, has angered everyone else. And he realizes this, which is why he tried so hard to get at least a few Republicans to vote in favor of his Stimulus Package, when in reality, the Democrats could pass it without any help from the Right. Barack Hussein Obama wanted to be able to say he united the parties, and everyone was working together in the Stimulus.

I honestly believe he does not understand why he is not the Great Unifier he thought he would be. Liberals truly do not understand how one of the important factors of liberty is a limited federal government, nor do they understand the Constitutional idea of state’s rights. In a nut shell, power is best controlled when divided.

Some people, as they recognize the movement of the federal government in a tyrannical direction, suggest that some kind of civil war may be on the horizon. That Obama’s Administration, and his Leftist gang of idiots, will take America into a direction so far to the left, and so close to the communistic system the Soviet Union operated under, that there will eventually be fighting in the streets to preserve liberty.

Though I may not subscribe to such a possibility (while not completely discounting the possibility), I do believe a revolution against Obama’s socialism is in the works. Bloodshed is never a desirable end, and armed revolution must always be the last resort when dealing with governmental oppression. There are other ways, however, to conduct a revolution, and the tea parties are the beginnings of that revolution.

One death that may occur during this revolution, should this entity not get its act straight, will be the demise of the Republican Party. The political party, in an attempt to remain competitive in a political battle with rapidly changing rules, and deceptive techniques applied by the Democrats, has determined that moving left is in its best interest. The party leadership is becoming no different than the leadership of the Democratic Party, and as a result, Conservatives are revolting against the GOP. Conservatives do not desire backing a party attempting to become more ideologically uniform with the party currently in power. Despite the idea of “Party First,” the conservative voters believe that policies must mean something - and that to abandon principles and values to win an election is akin to selling one’s soul to the Devil.

The Obama Administration, as these struggles increase on the Right, is taking advantage of the lack of organization of the Right. The Right has no defined leader, no organizational team, and no front runner backed by the majority of Conservatives. So, as a response, Obama and gang are pushing through as many Marxist policies as possible, as quickly as can be done. They know they must be quick. They must turn America into a socialist entity before those that wish to protect liberty can organize and mount a reasonable revolt.

Democrats could care less if their policies are creating a polarizing gap greater than any other in the modern era. All they care about is changing our country into something the founders did not intend, and stifling liberty for anyone that disagrees with them.

When Obama claimed during the campaign that he was going to be the antidote to the poison of partisanship, as with everything else, he was lying. He knows without Republican influence what they can do to this country is nearly limitless.

The success of the tea parties, however, have the Democrats concerned. They did not expect the rallies to be a smashing success, and they don’t understand why they were. However, this kind of organized retaliation by the people can be dangerous to big government socialists, and their attempt to gain complete control of the American way of life. This is why anyone that rejects the Democratic Party’s American version of Marxist socialism are being castigated as right-wing extremists. The right-wing bogeyman poses too much of a challenge to the Marxist plans of the Democrats, and must be stopped. This is why Janet Napolitano, and the Homeland Security Department, are specifically targeting conservatives. Conservatism, in their mind, is a greater threat to their version of America than even the Islamic Jihadists.

The Left is alarmed, which is why conservatives must not let up. The polarization effect is only the beginning. The rallies must continue. The education of the masses must increase. The fraud that is Barack Obama must continue to be exposed. Otherwise, it may get to the point that we will no longer have the freedom to unseat him should the American People finally determine that he is as dangerous as the Right has been saying all along.

Polarization in American politics has always been present, but as the Left moves farther left, and Conservatism stands firm on the original intentions of the writers of the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution, Barack Obama, the candidate of unity, has quickly become just another source of division.

By Douglas V. Gibbs - Friday, April 24, 2009 - Full Story

Obama Lashes Credit Card Execs

Obama has declared war on an enemy he deems to be more vicious than Islamic Jihadism, Venezuela’s socialist dictator Hugo Chavez, Iran, Russia, Red China, Communist Cuba or North Korea. In fact, so far he has done everything he can to sit down and talk nice-nice with each of those enemies, convinced that if we can only convince them to get along with a smile, everyone will be happier in the end for it because surely these enemies simply want a friend to talk to. But there is one enemy so horrid, so dangerous, so unable to be negotiated with - and an enemy so determined to bring down everything Obama and the Democrats love - that they have made their war against this enemy priority number one.

The enemy that the Democrats, led by King Obama, have set their sights on is Free Market Capitalism, a.k.a. The American Dream.

In order to accomplish a takeover of private industry, and to wage war against Capitalism without an uprising by the populace, Obama and gang had to convince America that the Left’s war against Capitalism was not only necessary, but that somehow the free market system that has made this nation the greatest economic power in history for over two hundred years is somehow at fault for the latest dip in the roller coaster ride of the financial world.

I’ve heard that argument before, by the way. The Democrats waging war on Capitalism would have made fantastic party members in the Soviet Union.

Once the populace was convinced of the evils of Capitalism, the Marxists in the Democratic Party (and many of them in the Republican Party when Bush jumped in bed with the Democrats when he proposed his stimulus package) began their manipulation of the market by pumping bailout money into it, and placing controls over any industry that was stupid enough to accept any of the fiat money. Obama and friends dictated parameters to the banking industry, chastising them for handing out retention bonuses, and anything that made it look like they actually made any kind of profit. Of course, the pre-planning worked wonders. After all, convincing Americans that profit equals greed worked well when they began to demonize the oil companies so that people would become more jazzed about the inefficient “clean” energy industry that will inevitably increase energy costs, and drop our economy further into the toilet.

Now that Obama and the Congressional Democrats have sunk their fangs into the financial industry, and the American automobile makers, they have turned their attention to a new enemy: credit card companies. President Obama, today, voiced his support for legislation that would keep banking institutions from imposing higher fees and interest rates on credit card users, as well as demanding that terms be written plainly, as if the notices aren’t plain enough as it is.

The argument, as with the mortgage bankers, is that such practices are predatory, and the actions by the federal government are in the interest of protecting the consumer.

The measure may reach the House floor next week, and swift passage is expected.

Opponents, however, state that not only are the proposals unnecessary because the Federal Reserve has already adopted a series of restrictions expected to go into effect next year, but that also such legislation would reduce the amount of lending in the market at a time when the economy needs it most.

A number of moderate Republicans have broken rank to support the measure.

The danger of price controls are not being taken into consideration. One of the basic principles of microeconomics is that price controls, such as what is being suggested in the measure, leads to shortages in commodities, including credit, and in the long run will harm ordinary consumers.

Rules proposed by Congress go beyond the Federal Reserve’s restrictions, and sharp limits in the availability in credit may be the result. This is not a prudent move when the need to improve the economy partially depends upon getting credit flowing again.

The predatory practices that the Obama Administration and Congressional Democrats are zeroing in on are the raises in rates and fees given to customers that are not paying their payments on time, or at all. The cost of these practices, if the companies must cease their practices due to this legislation, will lead to the credit card companies spreading the cost around to all card holders, resulting in responsible credit card holders paying the price.

Sounds like what is happening in the mortgage bailout strategies, doesn’t it?

Limiting risk-based pricing won’t stop with the credit card companies. By enacting this measure, the responsible credit holders, even those that don’t pay interest charges because they regularly pay off their balances, will lose out on the return of annual fees, as well as lose out on credit card rewards like airline miles, so that the companies can recoup the costs from the proposed bans on risk-based pricing. In the case of the airline miles, the industry will receive less customers for flights, further hurting the already struggling airline industry. Businesses, traveling less to conduct business, will in turn reduce the span of business they conduct, which will force them to downsize to cover the cost of lost productivity.

The credit card holders receiving these fees and increased rates knew what they were getting into, and decided to allow their credit cards to get beyond their control. Foolish consumers do not make lenders predators, nor give the right to the federal government to take control and further weaken an already struggling market. If there is fraud in the system, then the companies should be punished just as would be any fraud in any kind of business. By enacting “Nanny State” laws like what is being proposed by the Democrats, the economy will be further set back due to the lack of innovation in credit.

In the long run, such actions by a strong centralized government destroys individuality, and turns consumers into mindless automatons following the government’s will. As Americans, we are individuals with talents and personal attributes that sometimes cause us to fail. I have the freedom to fail as much as I have the freedom to succeed. If I do something stupid, like allow myself to become a credit risk, it is nobody’s fault but my own, and I will have to learn to be more careful in the future if I wish to survive as an individual. Sometimes the road to wisdom and character hurts. Sometimes, in order to become winners in the long run, we must first be losers for a while. If the government takes away the consequences of poor use of credit, the market will suffer, and the populace will become a gang of unschooled dependents waiting for the government to tell them what to do next.

By allowing the federal government to take control of yet another private industry in this way, eventually, as with other companies the government has gained control of, the White House will begin to dictate terms to the industry. Company leadership will be hired and fired (or forced to resign) as Obama sees fit, and the industry will cease to be a private industry. Then, as the government gains more and more control, they will move on to the next industry. In the end, before it is all over, the private sector will shrink, and opportunity and liberty will die in the hands of big government.

By Douglas V. Gibbs - Friday, April 24, 2009 - Full Story

Which Will It Be? Your Righteous Indignation, or Los Angeles?

Jack Benny, late, great comedian from days gone by, was renowned for being a penny-pinching tightwad. In one of his more memorable gags, Benny was confronted by an armed robber who issued the challenge, “Your money or your life!”

By John Lillpop - Thursday, April 23, 2009 - Full Story

Barry’s Got the Nuke Codes, But No Security Clearance!

Is it possible that as brilliant as our Founding Fathers were, perchance they gave us a little too much credit?  Notwithstanding their sagacity, the Founders likely never envisaged a scenario in which the American people would elect a Commander in Chief who is a national security risk.

By Joy Tiz - Thursday, April 23, 2009 - Full Story

Internationalism/globalism/Obama vs. Sovereignty, the United States and Achievement

For more than just the first 100 days of Obama and his administration we have seen the contorted, manipulative and tyrannical push of global elites, internationalists and environmentalists linked at the hip.

By Dr. Laurie Roth - Thursday, April 23, 2009 - Full Story

‘Extremists’ and ‘Moderates’ and the Future of the Republican Party

For 7 years after 9/11, American concerns about “extremism” were usually preceded by the word, “Muslim”. Today the Dems are back in power and “extremism” is once again preceded by “Right-Wing”. But buying into the notion that our focus should be on “Right-Wing Extremism” means buying into a 9/10 mentality. And for anyone regardless of their political affiliation, who had their eyes opened on 9/11, this cynical attempt to divert attention from the real threat of Islamic Terrorism, in order to scapegoat the political opposition should be easy enough to reject.

By Daniel Greenfield - Thursday, April 23, 2009 - Full Story

Troop supporters call on Obama to fire Napolitano for attacking troops

Move America Forward ( , the nation’s largest grassroots pro-troop organization, has called on President Barack Obama to fire Department of Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano for releasing a report attacking returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

By Guest Column - Thursday, April 23, 2009 - Full Story

Katie Couric’s Curveballs & Softballs

The University of Southern California likes broadcast journalist Katie Couric’s pitches, provided that the CBS anchor lobs hardballs at conservatives and softballs at liberals. Specifically, Couric baited Alaska Governor Sarah Palin on her foreign policy experience when the Republican was John McCain’s running mate in his unsuccessful quest for the U. S. presidency.

By Malcolm Kline - Thursday, April 23, 2009 - Full Story

The Corruption of Card Check: Ohio Union FAKES Member’s Signature Cards

One of the more objectionable features of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) is the card check feature wherein a union can simply gather publicly signed cards by employees agreeing to become unionized, thereby eliminating the secret vote for the workers. Opponents say this process is ripe for union abuse leaving workers open to any sort of intimidation and quashing their vote of conscience.

By Warner Todd Huston - Thursday, April 23, 2009 - Full Story

Just a Tiny Example of Government Waste

On April 22, the Associated Press published a short report about the fact that the Department of Homeland Security has decided to stop paying for employee subscriptions to newspapers and magazines “to save money.”

By Warner Todd Huston - Thursday, April 23, 2009 - Full Story

Another Purported ‘Conservative’ Goes on Attack… on OTHER Conservatives

Apparently Ross Douthat’s buddy Reihan Salam doesn’t like former VP Dick Cheney. Salam’s recent column calls Cheney “America’s surliest pundit,” and moans that the ex-vp hasn’t “graciously kept his mouth shut” in retirement like Bush has. Like many of these circular firing squad leaders (think Douthat, Kathleen Parker, the McCain clan or David Frum) Salam is far more interested in shooting at folks on his own side than in trying to move ahead for the future of the conservative movement. It’s obviously some sick bid to be “liked” by the Old Media establishment.

By Warner Todd Huston - Thursday, April 23, 2009 - Full Story

ACORN Covering Up Its Ties To SEIU?

imageA photo retrieved from SEIU Local 100’s website today. The original photo caption reads: “Organizers from Local 100, ACORN, and SEIU, supporters and attorneys celebrate our victory on February 3, 2002.” The man with the sandy hair to the right of the microphones is Wade Rathke, founder and then-chief organizer of ACORN.

By Matthew Vadum - Thursday, April 23, 2009 - Full Story

Napolitano’s Warped Vision for America: Up With Illegal Aliens, Down With Vets!

How in the world did this great nation deteriorate so rapidly and so profoundly?

By John Lillpop - Thursday, April 23, 2009 - Full Story

Earth Day - Communist Propaganda!

imageTalk about brainwashing, indoctrination and fear mongering!  Some national and international elitists, money changers, power brokers, the United Nations, Europe, socialists, radical environmentalists and the one-world-order crowd, aided and abetted by a news media that has lost any semblance of journalism ethics, have perpetrated one of the greatest frauds in the civilized history of mankind.  But worse, the American government, at every level, who are supposedly constrained by our Constitution and every American politician who espouses, supports or endorses this nonsense, is complicit in this fraud and the propaganda that propagates it.

Little kids are scared to death that the boogie-man of Man-Cause Global Warming is going to flood their homes, kill their parents and leave them destitute, hungry, homeless and all alone.  Disenfranchised and unrepresented rural American landowners have lost virtually all of their property rights, due to draconian environmental land use regulations ..... regulations that are based on another fraud, that we must protect every damn wetland in existence today, even if the wetland was caused by man in the first place.

By Ron Ewart - Thursday, April 23, 2009 - Full Story

Miss USA Contestant Defends Traditional Marriage

The question should not have been asked. But, the answer Miss California Carrie Prejean gave came from her heart, and was simply her speaking her mind freely.

Miss Prejean during the Miss USA pageant believes her answer may have cost her the crown. The question was on gay marriage, and was given by the hateful entertainment blogger Perez Hilton. Her answer sparked controversy, but she says she’s proud she stayed true to her beliefs and wouldn’t change the response. Her response was, “I think it’s great that Americans are able to choose one or the other ... same sex marriage or opposite marriage. I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman ... that’s how I was raised.”

By Douglas V. Gibbs - Thursday, April 23, 2009 - Full Story

The TRUTH about Leftist Weenies and Waterboarding

Torturing the Bush administration, American soldiers and members of the U.S. Intelligence community has long been a favorite pastime of both foreign and domestic enemies of American freedom and power. But the advent of a New Leftist regime in DC, largely funded by foreign anti-American money and elected by domestic anti-American voters, has upped the ante in that dirty little ideological war over political power…

By JB Williams - Wednesday, April 22, 2009 - Full Story

Lessons of the Holocaust for the Obama Generation

Berlin Holocaust MemorialYom HaShoah has come and gone again. A day for looking back at what has happened and a day for looking away from what will happen.

In Skokie, millions of dollars have been spent to build a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, even as Iran is spending its millions on building another kind of memorial to the Holocaust, in the form of nuclear technology that will be used to finish that piece of history that Ahmadinejad claims never took place.

By Daniel Greenfield - Wednesday, April 22, 2009 - Full Story

America’s Tea Parties

imageI had the opportunity of a lifetime to attend one of the many tea parties that were all over the country on April 15, tax day.  For those of you who couldn’t attend one, here is my personal observation of the San Antonio Tea Party held at the Alamo.

I was lucky to find covered parking.  I paid the toll and proceeded to the gathering site.  The estimated crowd there was 20,000 people, Americans from all walks of life.

They were not Republicans, Democrats and independents, or conservative or liberal.  We were all just Americans telling the Pork-a-Saurus government in Washington, D.C., no more spending!  These are the “right wing extremists” that Obama’s Department of Homeland Security is calling us.

By Armand C. Hale - Wednesday, April 22, 2009 - Full Story