We can’t help ourselves: Obama admin celebrates intel success a little too much

To the detriment of future operations. Much like our military successes during this administration. Makes you wonder, no, if the boasting has an ulterior motive? Or if the Obama-infatuated media can’t quite grasp that they arent helping their BFF out by printing the info gleaned? What a tangled web. From the UK Guardian, our friends across the pond have had enough:

Detailed leaks of operational information about the foiled underwear bomb plot are causing growing anger in the US intelligence community, with former agents blaming the Obama administration for undermining national security and compromising the British services,MI6andMI5.

The Guardian has learned from Saudi sources that the agent was not a Saudi national as was widely reported, but a Yemeni. He was born inSaudi Arabia, in the port city of Jeddah, and then studied and worked in the UK, where he acquired a British passport.

Mike Scheur, the former head of theCIA‘s Bin Laden unit, said the leaking about the nuts and bolts of British involvement was despicable and would make a repeat of the operation difficult. “MI6 should be as angry as hell. This is something that the prime minister should raise with the president, if he has the balls. This is really tragic,” Scheur said.

He added: “Any information disclosed is too much information. This does seem to be a tawdry political thing.”

He noted that the leak came on the heels of a series of disclosures over the last 10 days, beginning with a report that the CIA wanted to expand its drone attacks inYemen, Barack Obama making a surprise trip to Afghanistan around the time of the Bin Laden anniversary and “then this inexplicable leak”.

Robert Grenier, former head of the CIA counter-terrorism centre, said: “As for British Intelligence, I suppose, but do not know, that they must be very unhappy. They are often exasperated, quite reasonably, with their American friends, who are far more leak-prone than they.

“In their place, I would think two and three times before sharing with the Americans, and then only do it if I had to. The problem with that dynamic is that you don’t know what you don’t know, and what opportunities you might be missing when you decide not to share. The Americans are doing a very good job of undermining trust, and the problem starts at the top.”

So many of our current woes do.

H/t: memorandum

Thanks, Obama, for another knife in the back of the military (but hey, protect those union BFFs at all costs!)

This gets tiring after a while. Why not just abolish the military and be done with it? (Or would that be too radical even for Barry O.? Probably not. Just wishful thinking on his part.)

Via The Daley Gator, the Washington Free Beacon details how the new Obama budget protects all unionized government workers and their benefits (of course!) but hands another crap sandwich to military families and retirees. Eat up folks:

The Obama administration’s proposed defense budget calls for military families and retirees to pay sharply more for their healthcare, while leaving unionized civilian defense workers’ benefits untouched. The proposal is causing a major rift within the Pentagon, according to U.S. officials. Several congressional aides suggested the move is designed to increase the enrollment in Obamacare’s state-run insurance exchanges.

The disparity in treatment between civilian and uniformed personnel is causing a backlash within the military that could undermine recruitment and retention.

The proposed increases in health care payments by service members, which must be approved by Congress, are part of the Pentagon’s $487 billion cut in spending. It seeks to save $1.8 billion from the Tricare medical system in the fiscal 2013 budget, and $12.9 billion by 2017.

Translation: military will pay more. DOD civilian personnel will not. The retirees would be the ones shifted into the Obamacare exchanges.

 Under the new plan, the Pentagon would get the bulk of its savings by targeting under-65 and Medicare-eligible military retirees through a tiered increase in annual Tricare premiums that will be based on yearly retirement pay.

Significantly, the plan calls for increases between 30 percent to 78 percent in Tricare annual premiums for the first year. After that, the plan will impose five-year increases ranging from 94 percent to 345 percent—more than 3 times current levels.

According to congressional assessments, a retired Army colonel with a family currently paying $460 a year for health care will pay $2,048.

The new plan hits active duty personnel by increasing co-payments for pharmaceuticals and eliminating incentives for using generic drugs.

[One note: using the scenario given, the retired O-5 family would pay $2,048 as an annual enrollment fee NOT as stated for a year of health care. There are still doctor and pharmaceutical co-pays.]

The hardest hit? Senior citizens like my grandfather, a Vietnam vet in his 80s. Via the VFW:

The DOD budget unveiled February 13 recommends 1.7 percent military pay raises for 2013 and 2014, followed by a scant 0.5 percent increase in 2015, and 1 percent in 2016. Also announced were plans to almost quadruple Tricare Prime enrollment fees for some working age military retirees, impose Tricare for Life enrollment fees on those older than 65, and introduce enrollment fees and increased deductibles on Tricare Standard and Extra users. Included in DOD’s healthcare revenue plan are increased pharmaceutical copayments for retirees as well as military dependents.

Emphasis mine. On a fixed income of Social Security and savings, new “enrollment fees” will decimate some folks financially. My grandfather included. Hope and change: how many folks can you ruin financially in one term?

UPDATE: From The Gateway Pundit, I had forgotten about the hazardous duty pay cuts:

They will now only get the $7.50 daily proration for the individual days they are actually serving in harm’s way instead of for the whole month. (DOD)

Barack Obama cut pay for military men and women serving in harm’s way starting this month.

Hopenchange!

 

Why are we still in Afghanistan?

John Hinderacker at Powerline says “Let’s Get Out.”  I’m inclined to agree. After more than a decade of fighting and “nation-building,” we’re left with a country only marginally better than it was before. Yes, the Taliban isn’t in power, terrorizing people. They’re just waiting in the shadows until we leave, terrorizing people. We cannot stay forever.

The Afghan population is less than a quarter literate. It’s a tribal society now inflamed further by the burning of books used to transmit messages among prisoners. We’ve lost soldiers over this nonsense, and we will lose more when our Commander-in-Chief can’t help but issue apology after apology to our enemies. Two officers were murdered execution-style in a protected office. I’m sure we’ll wait in vain for any justice to be served.

An Army Lieutenant Colonel, Daniel L. Davis, published an article in the Armed Forces Journal this month detailing his year of travels in Afghanistan. It’s not a flattering portrait of Afghani reality or of our presence there, and as a military wife, I can say it’s incredibly depressing when we have so many who sacrifice so much in what seems a vain effort. He writes:

Adviser: “No. They are definitely not capable. Already all across this region [many elements of] the security forces have made deals with the Taliban. [The ANSF] won’t shoot at the Taliban, and the Taliban won’t shoot them.

“Also, when a Taliban member is arrested, he is soon released with no action taken against him. So when the Taliban returns [when the Americans leave after 2014], so too go the jobs, especially for everyone like me who has worked with the coalition.

“Recently, I got a cellphone call from a Talib who had captured a friend of mine. While I could hear, he began to beat him, telling me I’d better quit working for the Americans. I could hear my friend crying out in pain. [The Talib] said the next time they would kidnap my sons and do the same to them. Because of the direct threats, I’ve had to take my children out of school just to keep them safe.

“And last night, right on that mountain there [he pointed to a ridge overlooking the U.S. base, about 700 meters distant], a member of the ANP was murdered. The Taliban came and called him out, kidnapped him in front of his parents, and took him away and murdered him. He was a member of the ANP from another province and had come back to visit his parents. He was only 27 years old. The people are not safe anywhere.”

That murder took place within view of the U.S. base, a post nominally responsible for the security of an area of hundreds of square kilometers. Imagine how insecure the population is beyond visual range. And yet that conversation was representative of what I saw in many regions of Afghanistan.

In all of the places I visited, the tactical situation was bad to abysmal. If the events I have described — and many, many more I could mention — had been in the first year of war, or even the third or fourth, one might be willing to believe that Afghanistan was just a hard fight, and we should stick it out. Yet these incidents all happened in the 10th year of war.

We are not helping the Afghans. We are certainly not helping ourselves.  Hinderacker:

It has never been clear why we can’t use drones, air power and troops stationed reasonably nearby to prevent the Taliban or other extremist groups from setting up extensive training centers that can be used for attacks on the U.S., such as those that existed before September 2001. If such measures are feasible, leaving Afghanistan should not damage our security. And, in any event, if our security depends on Afghanistan becoming a decent society within a lifetime or two, God help us.

Indeed.

UPDATE: Linked by Pundette as a “Recommended Read.” Thanks!

State Department cares enough to send the very best to family of American jihadi

Really? A condolence call? Via Hot Air, steel yourselves:

An official from the U.S. State Department has called the Charlotte family of al-Qaida propagandist Samir Khan to offer the government’s condolences on his death in a U.S. drone attack last week in Yemen, according to a family spokesman.

“They were very apologetic (for not calling the family sooner) and offered condolences,” Jibril Hough said about the Thursday call from the State Department to Khan’s father, Zafar.

The phone call came a day after the family released a statement through Hough that condemned the “assassination” of their 25-year-old son – a U.S. citizen – and said they were “appalled” that they had not heard from the U.S. government to discuss their son’s remains or answer questions about why Khan was not afforded due process.

Allahpundit explains the apparent political necessity of such a call, but … but… Khan was a jihadi propagandist who worked for al-Qaida. Period. Live by the treasonous sword, die by it.

 

I’m with her: Lan astaslem

Michelle Malkin attended a memorial service this morning at America the Beautiful Park here in Colorado Springs.

I attended Mass.

She left inspired and with her resolve intact.

I left angry and disillusioned.

My husband and I looked at each other in near disbelief this morning as our priest derided the aftermath of 9/11 much like Paul Krugman did. The priest mentioned revenge and vengeance. Krugman invoked the “false heroes” of Bernie Keric, Rudy Guiliani, and George W. Bush. The priest then offered the ultimate solution: forgiveness.

I can forgive this display:

But I will not forget.

In my heart, I cannot forgive this:

Flight 175 just before impacting the South Tower

Nor do I think I should.

This doesn’t bring to mind revenge and vengeance. Before the turn-the-other-cheek homily this morning, I wrote:

Shame isn’t my first thought of 9/11 and its aftermath. Service, sacrifice and perseverance are. And it shames me to know that there are others–other Krugmans out there–who fail to understand.

What does my priest fail to understand? This isn’t about forgiveness. This isn’t about revenge. This is an epic fight of good and evil. This is survival. There’s no 7 x 70 in survival.

Michelle Malkin writes:

Remembrance is worthless without resolve.

Resolve is useless without action.

But what is it exactly that you resolve?

I will not surrender.

Linked as a “Featured Blog” by Pundette. Thanks!

One more slap

What part of respecting family wishes do you not understand, Mr. President?

If this had been GW, the press would be aghast, agape and agog over the insensitivity. From the AP [emphasis mine]:

A White House photographer was allowed to take and widely distribute a photo from the ceremony Tuesday for the return of the remains of 30 American troops killed in a weekend helicopter crash in Afghanistan despite the Pentagon’s claim that any public depiction of the scene would violate the wishes of bereaved families.

News media coverage of the ceremony had been banned by the Pentagon over the objections of several news organizations.

Pentagon officials had said that because 19 of 30 of the American families of the dead had objected to media coverage of the remains coming off a plane at Dover Air Force Base, no images could be taken. In addition, the Pentagon rejected media requests to take photos that showed officials at the ceremony but did not depict caskets.

It’s bad enough that SEAL Team 6 families felt exposed after Joe Biden stuck his foot in his mouth and couldn’t leave well enough alone with “special operations forces.” It’s bad enough that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs had to address family security concerns. But this, this takes the cake, Mr. President. You epitomize narcissism.

And by the way, that’s a pretty craptastic salute you’ve got there.

 

Dude.

There’s nothing left to say after bumping around in SoCal on terribly patched freeways paid for with some of the highest taxes in the nation. But the unions still get their dues and illegals all have free healthcare or something, so who cares that the endless stretches of bumpy highway remind me of recovering socialist countries in Europe in the 80s. Dude.

Dude: Bachmann overtakes Romney in Iowa polling. No wonder T-Paw’s gettin’ nasty, eh?

Dude: Sarah Palin says she can win. But she’s not the “only” one who can.

Dude: Go hit Stacy’s tip jar. He needs it.

Dude: Boehner actually does have cojones. Hope he keeps ‘em.

Dude: the government intentionally sold guns to Mexican drug lords and criminals to further the claim that our 2nd Amendment right to bear arms is the “real problem” on the border. Using stimulus funds.

Dude: Obama owns the War in Afghanistan. How surprising our friends in the mainstream media haven’t reminded us of the fact daily, no?

UPdate: Linked as a Featured Blog by Pundette. Thanks!

High school dropout convicted of working to war against the country

He wanted to wage jihad against American forces in Afghanistan.

Just a hint: he wasn’t Mormon. Or Methodist, for that matter.

Move along, nothing to see here!

UPDATE: linked as a “Featured Blog” at Pundette‘s. Thanks!

DOD to open PC multiculturalist code-naming department

So no one’s panties get twisted too hard. Onagonda Nation leaders blast ‘Geronimo’ code name for bin Laden. From the story:

Onondaga Nation Territory — Leaders of the Onondaga Nation blasted as “reprehensible” the code name used for Osama bin Laden in the commando assault that killed him: “Geronimo.”

“We’ve ID’d Geronimo,” U.S. forces reported by radio Sunday to the White House. Later, word came that “Geronimo” was dead.

Geronimo was an Apache leader in the 19th century who spent many years fighting the Mexican and U.S. armies until his surrender in 1886.

“Think of the outcry if they had used any other ethnic group’s hero,” the Onondaga Council of Chiefs said in a release Tuesday. “Geronimo bravely and heroically defended his homeland and his people, eventually surrendering and living out the rest of his days peacefully, if in captivity.”

“Geronimo is arguably the most recognized Native American name in the world,” the chiefs said, “and this comparison only serves to perpetuate negative stereotypes about our people.”

Of course. Geronimo out. I’m sure Shaniqua would have been equally defended by the likes of the Rainbow Coalition and vehemently denounced by the honorable Reverend Al Sharpton. Likewise, Horatio was scratched lest Latinos get miffed, especially given Obama’s rapid decline in Hispanic support. Nancy would have been a perfect code name for Osama, except for the fact that he never flip-flopped so publicly. Ditto for John. So where does that leave us? Whitey. They should have code-named Osama Whitey. Because the white man is, after all, the source of all evil and the originator of all Osama’s angst. Can’t offend anyone that way!

White House alters bin Laden account?

 Via Politico, the story changes:

The White House backed away Monday evening from key details in its narrative about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, including claims by senior U.S. officials that the Al Qaeda leader had a weapon and may have fired it during a gun battle with U.S. forces.

Officials also retreated from claims that one of bin Laden’s wives was killed in the raid and that bin Laden was using her as a human shield before she was shot by U.S. forces

At a televised White House briefing Monday afternoon, Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan said bin Laden joined in the fight that several residents of the Abbottabad, Pakistan, compound put up against the Navy SEALs during the 40-minute operation.

“He [bin Laden] was engaged in a firefight with those that entered the area of the house he was in. And whether or not he got off any rounds, I quite frankly don’t know,” Brennan said.

At a Pentagon briefing earlier in the day, a senior defense official said bin Laden used a woman as a human shield so he could fire shots. “He was firing behind her,” the official said.

In another background briefing early Monday morning, a senior administration official also said bin Laden put up a fight. “He did resist the assault force. And he was killed in a firefight,” the official said.

Why release details if not true? Did these folks ever hear “The Little Boy Who Cried Wolf” as kids? Seriously. What parts of this am I supposed to believe if the story changes the next day.

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