US Army Military officers stand at the entrance to Camp VI and V at the U.S. military prison for 'enemy combatants' in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on June 25, 2013. Joe Raedle—Getty Images
Pentagon, Intelligence officials used Top Secret intelligence to prevent previous release of Taliban Five, officials tell TIME.
U.S. President Barack Obama stands with Bob Bergdahl (right) and Jami Bergdahl (left) as he delivers a statement about the release of their son, prisoner of war U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, D.C., on May 31, 2014.
To pull off the prisoner swap of five Taliban leaders for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the White House overrode an existing interagency process charged with debating the transfer of Guantanamo Bay prisoners and dismissed long-standing Pentagon and intelligence community concerns based on Top Secret intelligence about the dangers of releasing the five men, sources familiar with the debate tell TIME.
National Security Council officials at the White House decline to describe the work of the ad hoc process they established to trade the prisoners, or to detail the measures they have taken to limit the threat the Taliban officials may pose. They say consensus on the plan was reached by the top officials of Obama’s national security team, including representatives from the Pentagon, State Department, intelligence community and Joint Chiefs of Staff. “These releases were worked extensively through deputies and principals,” says National Security Counsel Deputy for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes. “There was not a dissent on moving forward with this plan.”
But officials in the Pentagon and intelligence communities had successfully fought off release of the five men in the past, officials tell TIME. “This was out of the norm,” says one official familiar with the debate over the dangers of releasing the five Taliban officials. “There was never the conversation.” Obama’s move was an ultimate victory for those at the White House and the State Department who had previously argued the military should “suck it up and salute,” says the official familiar with the debate.
Posted by Southern on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 @ 20:05:30 EST (31 reads)
Some drought-stricken rivers and streams in Northern California's coastal forests are being polluted and sucked dry by water-guzzling medical marijuana farms, wildlife officials say -- an issue that has spurred at least one county to try to outlaw personal grows.
State fish and wildlife officials say much of the marijuana being grown in northern counties under the state's medical pot law is not being used for legal, personal use, but for sale both in California and states where pot is still illegal.
This demand is fueling backyard and larger-scale pot farming, especially in remote Lake, Humboldt and Mendocino counties on the densely forested North Coast, officials said.
"People are coming in, denuding the hillsides, damming the creeks and mixing in fertilizers that are not allowed in the U.S. into our watersheds," said Denise Rushing, a Lake County supervisor who supports an ordinance essentially banning outdoor grows in populated areas.
"When rains come, it flows downstream into the lake and our water supply," she said.
Many affected waterways also contain endangered salmon, steelhead and other creatures protected by state and federal law.
Posted by Southern on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 @ 16:57:40 EST (25 reads)
There is an invidious desire by those on the atheist Left to pretend that Hitler and the Nazis were some sort of rogue Christians and that many devout Christians accepted the Nazis and Hitler as protectors against Bolshevism and Jews.
Those who wish to so this often note that Hitler made references to the Almighty or to Providence in his speeches, invoking the name of God. This had nothing to do with Christianity and everything to do with his own religious beliefs, which were anything but Christian.
A writer at the time noted: “As self-appointed high priest of the German people, Adolph Hitler concluded many of his public addresses with an invocation to Providence. This intercession was usually offered in the form of a thinly-veiled ultimatum to the effect that the Nazi state, in its heroically titanic exertions to establish a New Order, expected the Almighty to do his Germanic duty. It is interesting to note that Hitler, in his last will and testament to the world before his death, left out this lip service.”
Did Nazis have religion? Yes, many Nazis or Nazi sympathizers embraced a sort of Nordic paganism. But aside from oddball, minor religions, Nazism had a very close affinity with one of the major theistic religions of the time, as I describe in my new book by Outskirts Press, The Swastika against the Cross: The Nazi War on Christianity. The Nazi chumminess with world religions was not with Christianity and it was certainly not chumminess with Judaism: It was with an appreciation of and affection for Islam.
Posted by Southern on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 @ 16:49:03 EST (28 reads)
A 2010 Pentagon directive on military support to civilian authorities details what critics say is a troubling policy that envisions the Obama administration’s potential use of military force against Americans.
The directive contains noncontroversial provisions on support to civilian fire and emergency services, special events and the domestic use of the Army Corps of Engineers.
The troubling aspect of the directive outlines presidential authority for the use of military arms and forces, including unarmed drones, in operations against domestic unrest.
“This appears to be the latest step in the administration’s decision to use force within the United States against its citizens,” said a defense official opposed to the directive.
Directive No. 3025.18, “Defense Support of Civil Authorities,” was issued Dec. 29, 2010, and states that U.S. commanders “are provided emergency authority under this directive.”
Posted by Southern on Friday, December 05, 2014 @ 00:10:13 EST (120 reads)
Leaked messages from an internal listserv of university professors involved in the debate surrounding an effort to boycott Israel have revealed a deep bias against the Jewish state and anti-Semitic accusations that Zionists and Jewish people control academia.
The highly charged rhetoric about Israel, revealed last week on a leaked listserv, show that some professors involved in the Modern Language Association’s (MLA) resolution to boycott Israel are motivated by the belief that Jewish people are nefariously pulling the strings in American academia.
The leaked comments have spurred accusations of anti-Semitism in the MLA’s ranks and prompted outrage among Jewish leaders who say that this type of discourse is motivated by a deep seated bias against Jewish people and the state of Israel.
The charges of anti-Semitism were underscored by a controversial Facebook posting by one of the professors involved in the debate questioning the deaths of 6 million Jewish people in the Holocaust.
Other professors involved in the debate referred to colleagues who oppose the boycott measure as “Zionist attack dogs” and claimed that they “control and twist the media.”
The MLA, a 30,000 member-strong organization of academics, is currently considering a resolution to censure the Jewish state. The measure is being viewed as part of the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which is behind multiple efforts to isolate Israel from the halls of academia.
Posted by Southern on Thursday, December 04, 2014 @ 23:56:18 EST (107 reads)