Military

By Tom Blumer | February 12, 2013 | 8:19 PM EST

Former Fort Hood police sergeant Kimberly Munley, one of two officers who helped stop Major Nidal Hasan's deadly shooting spree at Fort Hood, Texas in November 2009, and who was a guest at President Obama's 2010 State of the Union address (something the Politico chose to remind everyone of just yesterday), now says, according to ABC News, that "Obama broke the promise he made to her that the victims would be well taken care of."

Excerpts from ABC's web story in anticipation of a Nightline report tonight follow the jump (bolds are mine):

By Tom Blumer | February 12, 2013 | 8:26 AM EST

In a lengthy article in March's Esquire "reported in cooperation with" the leftist-advised Center for Investigative Reporting, CIR Executive Chairman Philip Bronstein told readers that the unnamed Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden on May 1, 2011 was a year ago "wondering how he was going to feed his wife and kids or pay for their medical care." According to Bronstein, the answer is (read these words carefully): "[A]fter sixteen years in the Navy, his body filled with scar tissue, arthritis, tendonitis, eye damage, and blown disks, here is what he gets from his employer and a grateful nation: Nothing. No pension, no health care, and no protection for himself or his family."

The "no health care" portion of that statement is inarguably false. Yet Bronstein, as will be seen shortly, stands by it. On Monday, Megan McCloskey at Stars & Stripes explained something which would be known to any journalist genuinely interested in finding out how the military's pay and benefits arrangements work (link is in original; bolds are mine):

By Cal Thomas | February 11, 2013 | 10:32 AM EST

An unsigned and undated Justice Department white paper, obtained by NBC News, reports The New York Times, "...is the most detailed analysis yet to come into public view regarding the Obama legal team's views about the lawfulness of killing, without a trial, an American citizen who executive branch officials decide is an operational leader of Al Qaeda or one of its allies."

The proviso is they must pose "an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States." If "an informed, high-level official" of the government decides they are a threat, the paper says, and if capture is not feasible, they may be killed.

By Mark Finkelstein | February 10, 2013 | 9:58 AM EST

Suppose our enemies declared war on us—and we didn't show up? In a variation on the pacifist line from the 60s, that's essentially what Chris Hayes has proposed as American policy.

On his MSNBC show this morning, the hopelessly naive Hayes suggested that rather than debating "big war"—boots on ground—versus "small war"—targeted strikes—we go for a third option "no war."  In Hayes's fantasy-land, America declares the war on terror over and "declares itself at peace." View the video after the jump.

By Mark Finkelstein | February 8, 2013 | 9:56 AM EST

Sure, you might be cool with Barack Obama calling up a drone strike on an American citizen.  But don't forget: a Republican [shudder!] could become President!

That was the Washington Post editorialist Jonathan Capehart's warning to Donny Deutsch when the ad-man-turned-pundit proclaimed he had no problem with the president, under desperate circumstances, ordering a drone strike against an American.  View the video after the jump.

By Matthew Balan | February 7, 2013 | 6:31 PM EST

NPR's Ari Shapiro did little to conceal his slant towards same-sex "marriage" on Thursday's Morning Edition, as he reported on the Defense Department granting limited benefits to the same-sex partners of members of the military. Shapiro hyped that supposedly, "as a political move, the Pentagon's action is barely controversial."

The openly-homosexual correspondent later asserted that "it's hard to tell whether President Obama's pro-gay positions are helping to create this wave [of support for homosexuals in the military], or just letting him surf it." He also lined up three left-leaning talking heads during his report, versus only one social conservative pundit.

By Matt Vespa | February 7, 2013 | 5:11 PM EST

With this afternoon's Senate confirmation hearings for CIA director nominee John Brennan in view, the February 7 broadcast of Now with Alex Wagner devoted significant attention to the Obama administration's use of armed drones and the recently-leaked DOJ White Paper defending the legitimacy of drone strikes that explicitly targeted American civilians overseas. 

For her part, host Alex Wagner failed to mention Anwar al-Awlaki’s activities as a terrorist operative affiliated with al-Qaeda.  The Now host merely tagged al-Awlaki as an American-born cleric, even though he served as a talent recruiter within the organization and inspired Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hassan.  Al-Awlaki also had contact with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the terrorist who attempted to blow up a passenger airliner on Christmas Day of 2009.  None of that was mentioned on the show. 

By Matt Vespa | February 6, 2013 | 6:33 PM EST

In the wake of the leaked Department of Justice memo detailing the legality of targeted killings by drones on American citizens, the PBS NewsHour found it fitting to have the ACLU defend its position in why these strikes are troubling, and why American-born al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki should’ve been kept alive to plan acts of terror against the United States.

Of course, this is maddening to the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.  Liberal publications, like The Nation, detail the dark future of drone warfare, and some anti-drone journalists, like Conor Fierdorsdorff of The Atlantic, have compared Obama to Bush.  However, even with the media either criticizing, or ignoring, this development, last night’s broadcast of the PBS NewsHour didn’t take into account the hypocrisy of liberals who were on the warpath a few years prior after release of Bush memos related to enhanced interrogation techniques.

By Walter E. Williams | February 6, 2013 | 6:33 PM EST

A senior Defense Department official said the ban on women in combat should be lifted because the military's goal is "to provide a level, gender-neutral playing field." I'd like to think the goal of the military should be to have the toughest, meanest fighting force possible. But let's look at "gender-neutral playing field."

The Army's physical fitness test in basic training is a three-event physical performance test used to assess endurance. The minimum requirement for 17- to 21-year-old males is 35 pushups, 47 situps and a two-mile run in 16 minutes, 36 seconds or less. For females of the same age, the minimum requirement is 13 pushups, 47 situps and a 19:42 two-mile run. Why the difference in fitness requirements? "USMC Women in the Service Restrictions Review" found that women, on average, have 20 percent lower aerobic power, 40 percent lower muscle strength, 47 percent less lifting strength and 26 percent slower marching speed than men.

By Mark Finkelstein | February 6, 2013 | 7:41 AM EST

Barack The First? Wow: who would have thought that perhaps the strongest statement yet in condemnation of President Obama's self-arrogated right to kill Americans abroad would have come from Jon Meacham?  Yet on today's Morning Joe, historian Meacham—who knows something about the use and abuse of presidential power—criticized Obama for ignoring the "rule of law" and actually described Obama as acting like "an American king."

Joe Scarborough seconded Meacham's surprising statement, adding that had this come to light under George W. Bush, impeachment would be in the air.  View the video after the jump.

By Mark Finkelstein | February 5, 2013 | 7:38 AM EST

Imagine the apoplectic Precious Perfect Special Comment rage Keith Olbermann [remember him?] would have worked himself into had this memo come to light under W . . .

Unusual candor from Mika Brzezinski and Harold Ford, Jr. on the double standard that exists for Republicans and Democrats.  Discussing on today's Morning Joe the Obama administration memo that has been uncovered authorizing the use of drone strikes to kill U.S. citizens abroad, Mika admitted that there would have been a "huge controversy" if such a memo had surfaced during the Bush administration. Ford said that "Democrats have to think now about how they conducted themselves and the questions they raised about Bush administration tactics." Joe Scarborough flatly declared that had the policy come to light under Bush, it would have been "stopped" by the ensuing outcry. View the video after the jump.

By Mark Finkelstein | February 3, 2013 | 9:40 AM EST

Surprised they didn't opt for the auto da fe analogy . . .

On Chris Hayes's MSNBC show this morning, Ali Gharib, editor of the "Open Zion" blog at the Daily Beast, described the questioning of Chuck Hagel at his Senate confirmation hearing as "a Republican purge" and a "Maoist public shaming."  Michael Hastings of the Rolling Stone begged to differ, finding it more reminiscent of "Stalin."  View the video after the jump.