The Pentagon rescinded the invitation of evangelist Franklin Graham to speak at its May 6 National Day of Prayer event because of complaints about his previous comments about Islam.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation expressed its concern over Graham's involvement with the event in an April 19 letter sent to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. MRFF's complaint about Graham, the son of Rev. Billy Graham, focused on remarks he made after 9/11 in which he called Islam "wicked" and "evil" and his lack of apology for those words.
Col. Tom Collins, an Army spokesman, told ABC News on April 22, "This Army honors all faiths and tries to inculcate our soldiers and work force with an appreciation of all faiths and his past comments just were not appropriate for this venue."
The Navy plans to allow women into the Submarine Force and ban smoking by submariners. How have those changes been greeted by the rank-and-file? File this under: Which way is it? Two headlines from Thursday, April 22:
While mainstream media reporters are generally pretty supportive of the Obama administration, they bristle, and rightly so, at incidents where the administration is less than transparent or actively seeks to impede journalists from working.
Police chased reporters away from the White House and closed Lafayette Park today in response to a gay rights protest in which several service members in full uniform handcuffed themselves to the White House gate to protest "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
People who have covered the White House for years tell me that's an extremely unusual thing to do in an area that regularly features protests.
A reporter can be seen in the YouTube video above calling the move "outrageous" and "ridiculous."
Marc Thiessen is perhaps the nation's most prominent advocate of enhanced interrogation. He routinely debunks the left's myths regarding detention and interrogation policy, and has done battle with some of the loudest Bush-bashers of the legacy media along the way.
Thiessen, a former Bush speechwriter and author of Courting Disaster, argues that the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques stopped terrorist attacks; saved American lives; and provided our military, intelligence services, and law enforcement officials with vital and actionable intelligence on the enemy.
That is heresy in liberal circles, Old Media chief among them. New Yorker reporter Jane Mayer penned a scathing review of Courting Disaster, in which she accused Thiessen of trying to "rewrite the history of the CIA’s interrogation program." Thiessen responded in National Review, and demonstrated just how desperate the liberal media is to paint Bush-era policies in a negative light.
It's a rare occurrence that the MRC and the typically left-leaning Dana Milbank agree, but this time he is spot on. Indeed, President Obama must have made world leaders feel as if they were transported back to a ‘Soviet-era Moscow' for the media restricted nuclear energy summit instead of arriving in the capitol of the free world."
But are we really surprised? After all, this is the same President who has won lavish praise from some of the world's most brutal dictators including Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Cuba's Fidel Castro."
Peace through strength - that was former President Ronald Reagan's method of achieving sound foreign policy as leader of the free world. Reagan was able to win the Cold War by showing the Soviet Union the United States could have both guns and butter.
However, President Barack Obama has recently declared he would take a different approach to foreign policy, particularly in the area of nuclear proliferation. The President announced earlier this week he has worked out a deal to significantly reduce nuclear weapon stockpiles in an agreement with Russia. This has drawn the ire of many conservatives, but that has MSNBC's Chris Matthews perplexed.
Matthews, the host of "Hardball," complained on his April 7 program about Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., being outspoken on Obama's decision to give into potential adversaries on the nuclear issue and claimed that contrary to what history would suggest about former President Ronald Reagan, Bachmann was going against the ideas of Reagan.
President Obama is staking out "middle ground" on the new Nuclear Posture Review, Newsweek's Liz White insists in a 3-paragraph-long April 6 The Gaggle blog post.
White concludes so because Obama is getting flak from allies on his left and critics on his right.
While it's true that in that sense, Obama is in the middle of criticism from both sides, in a broader historical sense, Obama is forsaking a post-Cold War bipartisan consensus on nuclear policy, hardly a "middle of the road" policy that tinkers around the edges.
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Keith Payne explains the "Disarmament Danger" in the April 22 print edition of National Review (emphases mine):
“The Cold War ended more than two decades ago, and today American nuclear strategy finally caught up with history,” as the Obama administration has recognized “the greatest threat is no longer all-out nuclear war, but the chance that just one weapon will fall into the hands of a terrorist or rogue state,” an effusive David Martin declared on Tuesday’s CBS Evening News.
His story, unlike those on ABC and NBC, assumed the new policy -- that ends the threat of using nuclear weapons against a nation that attacks the U.S. with chemical or biological weapons so long as they don’t develop nuclear weapons – reflects unchallenged wisdom and has no detractors.
“For the first time ever,” Martin trumpeted, “the new policy limits the circumstances under which the U.S. would resort to nuclear weapons, assuring nations which do not have them and do not try to get them they have nothing to worry about.” As if they now have a legitimate fear of the U.S. annihilating them with a nuclear attack.
ABC’s Jake Tapper, in contrast, recognized not all are thrilled with eliminating a threat which has kept America safe for decades as he also noted the new policy contradicts what Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said in 2008:
Ed Schultz rehashed an already-discredited smear of conservative talk show host Sean Hannity on the liberal talker's March 30 "Ed Show" program on MSNBC.
Blustered Schultz as he introduced Melanie Sloan of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW):
Finally tonight on "The Ed Show," it's been 12 days since Sean Hannity hasn't answered the questions about possible fraud and misuse of funds from his charity. He may have to answer to the IRS and Federal Trade Commission.
Williams made this preposterous claim during a panel discussion with the Weekly Standard's Mary Katharine Ham 25 minutes into the 8 pm Eastern hour. O'Reilly asked the NPR analyst about a point made by Fox News's Brit Hume in an earlier segment, that there's double-standard in the mainstream media in the amount of coverage of extremist imagery and language found at tea party rallies has been given versus equivalent imagery and language used at left-wing protests (a point raised by the MRC's Rich Noyes in an August 2009 Media Reality Check): "There's no doubt that the media will seize upon any kind of misbehavior on the right...Whereas if it happens on the left, it will, as Mary Katharine [Ham] said, be de-emphasized or ignored entirely. So that's a corrupt media system, isn't it?"
The guest raised the militia issue at the end of his answer:
WILLIAMS: I think we're out of context here. If we're talking about- you know, somebody going after Ronald Reagan- you know, one guy who's in love with Jodie Foster, okay- if we're talking about that. You know, people who have a lot of hatred- hateful attitudes towards President Bush, and then somebody who is extremist on the fringe, yes. And if that was also to be then the case with the tea party, yes, that's too much and unfair. But, when you start to see militia groups start to associate with the tea party, when you see the flag-
With the recently announced end of Fox's hit series "24," many liberal pundits are parading the show as a false depiction of the notion that "torture works." Contrary to their accusations, the Jack Bauer interrogation methods bear exactly zero resemblance to any actual interrogation techniques used by American military, law enforcement, or intelligence agents.
"On '24,' torture saves lives," the New York Times's Brian Stelter writes, disapprovingly. James Poniewozik, writing on a Time Magazine blog, attributes the show's supposed approval of harsh interrogations to the "conservative politics of co-creator Joel Surnow."
Any American who has serious doubts that our military and intelligence officials would allow interrogators to, say, directly threaten the lives of a terrorist's family (let alone inflict tremendous physical pain) to elicit information has a better grasp of interrogation techniques -- and the integrity of our men and women in uniform -- than most of the liberal media.
How quick is Norah O'Donnell to come to Pres. Obama's defense? When on Morning Joe today fellow O'Donnell Kelly gently ribbed PBO over his wearing of a macho, faux-military leather jacket while addressing US troops in Afghanistan yesterday, Norah immediately piped up to point out that "Sarah Palin wears a leather jacket, too."
Of course, neither O'Donnell described the gaping chasm, discussed here, between PBO's swaggering "America doesn't quit" rhetoric to the troops and his 2007 call for America to immediately quit Iraq, at which time he said "there is no military solution in Iraq and there never was."
"The United States of America does not quit once it starts on something. You don't quit, the American armed services does not quit. We keep at it. We persevere." -- Pres. Obama to US troops in Afghanistan, March 28, 2010
"Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is calling for the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. combat brigades from Iraq, with the pullout being completed by the end of next year. 'Let me be clear: There is no military solution in Iraq and there never was,' Obama said." -- Obama calls for immediate withdrawal from Iraq, AP, Sep. 12, 2007 [emphasis added]
There are lies, damned lies, and then the kind of brazen rewriting of what a man stands for that Barack Obama engaged in yesterday.
Doing work the Associated Press refused to do -- or more specifically, providing context the AP refused to provide -- Sweetness & Light's indefatigable blogger Steve Gilbert gave readers the back story behind the order by U.S. District Judge James Robertson (pictured at right) to release Guantanamo Bay detainee Mohamedou Ould Salahi. Salahi is said to have, in the words of the wire service's Pete Yost, "provided advice to three of the Sept. 11 hijackers."
What's more, nearly an hour and a half before Mak provided readers with his analysis, veteran conservative journalist and American Spectator editor R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., personally penned a retraction to an earlier Spectator blog post entitled "Hannity's Big Rip-Off," in which writer John Tabin linked to Schlussel's incendiary allegations and concluded that "Hannity has a lot of explaining to do":
Is The Washington Post playing favorites with causes that inspire people to exercise their First Amendment rights and take to the streets to protest? When it comes to opposition to Democratic efforts to reform health care versus opposition to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it appears so.
In a March 20 Washington Post story headlined "Obama delivers plea to 'help us fix this system,'" Ben Pershing, Paul Kane and Lori Montgomery suggested House Democrats were gaining momentum in their pursuit of the 216 votes needed to pass health care reform legislation, despite "hundreds" of "tea party" protesters rallying outside the U.S. Capitol. (h/t Amanda Carpenter)
"Outside the Capitol, hundreds of 'tea party' protesters rallied against the legislation, jeering Democratic lawmakers as they passed and holding signs reading 'We'll Remember in November' and 'Revolution,' Pershing, Kane and Montgomery wrote.
On Thursday’s Joy Behar Show on CNN Headline News, host Behar cheered on guest Kathy Griffin as she recounted confronting Representative Michele Bachmann and calling the Minnesota Republican a "bigot" as the left-wing actress and comedian recently lobbied Congress for an end to the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy on gays in the military. After Griffin repeated a story about storming out of a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee while calling Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss "cuckoo pants," Behar brought up Bachmann: "What about Michele Bachmann? She`s a piece of work, that one. What happened with her? I mean, give me a break. She makes Sarah Palin look like a brain trust."
After cracking that Bachmann is "one of the bigger crazies," and that she "makes Sarah Palin look like a genius," Griffin recalled meeting Bachmann: "I said, ‘Congressman Bachmann, are you naturally a bigot or do you just legislate that way?’"
When Behar exclaimed, "Oh!" Griffin asked: "Was that too far?" prompting Behar to effuse, "I love it!"
Griffin finished her story of confronting Bachmann and concluded that "it was sort of a great fun moment for a comedian."
The left-wing actress also recalled the story of her and Levi Johnston traveling to Sarah Palin's home in Wasilla, Alaska, in an unsuccessful attempt to include a sequence with Palin in Griffin's television show on Bravo, "Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D List."
In an interview with Matt Damon near the end of Thursday's CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith helped promote the actor's latest film, 'Green Zone,' which attacks the Bush administration over the Iraq war: "What was it like to make a movie like this? Because it's a little – it's – I'm not sure if this is an apt analogy, but it's a little 'Bourne' meets 'Hurt Locker.'"
Smith alluded to Damon's role as Jason Bourne in the action movie series and the Oscar-winning film 'Hurt Locker,' which chronicles bomb defusing teams in Iraq. Smith introduced the pre-recorded interview by touting Damon's latest film as a "new Iraq war thriller."
Lending credibility to the 'Green Zone' screenplay, Smith noted the movie was: "loosely based on a book that was written by a correspondent for the Washington Post, but the characters in it are fictional." Damon explained the premise of the film: "The guy I play is based on a real guy, he's leading a mobile exploitation team. We had these teams follow the Army....exploiting these sites where we thought the WMD were....they start realizing that there aren't any weapons there." Smith added: "Yeah, and he's a true believer." Damon replied: "Oh, absolutely."
The New York Times published a scathing editorial Sunday condemning Americans who have the audacity to request that attorneys who represented terrorists not set national legal policy. The Times smeared them and their elected representatives as McCarthyites, and criticized them for noting that colossal conflict of interest.
"It is not the first time that the right has tried to distract Americans from the real issues surrounding detention policy by attacking lawyers," the Times states of controversy over Attorney General Eric Holder's reluctance to inform Congress who in the Justice Department has represented alleged terrorists, and in what capacity are they now serving.
But the left has done just that -- use nominees' records as means to block their appointments -- and the Times hasn't complained. So why the sudden outrage? Well, the paper's liberal editorial board doesn't mind when the left attacks. But when conservatives demand answers, they are evil McCarthyites on a political witch hunt.
Over the weekend, Time Magazine published a long, glowing profile of Tom Hanks to help promote his upcoming HBO miniseries “The Pacific.” And as with all things entertainment media, the subject is never challenged or even made to shift uncomfortably in his seat. The push to ascend Hanks to “national treasure” status is clearly on.
Hanks does seem to be a genuinely nice man and the work he’s done to bring American history to life on film is impressive, especially during a time when the singling out of America’s exceptionalism is more and more frowned upon in artistic and academic circles. ”From the Earth to the Moon,” “Band of Brothers,” and “John Adams” are not only artistic achievements, but in this MTV-addled culture, might be the best hope of teaching America’s youth about the unique history and greatness of this nation. And I suspect ”The Pacific,” the 10-part miniseries premiering this Sunday on HBO (which Big Hollywood’s Michael Broderick will cover extensively) will be a worthy addition to what came before.
But when it comes to leftist Hollywood, whenever Tinseltown and America meet, you have to brace yourself for it — and by “it” I mean the leftist sucker punch. Throughout, Hanks sounds perfectly reasonable, intelligent and even patriotic for a couple of thousand words. But of course that’s just the lure to get us on his side before we’re walloped with this left cross: [emphasis mine]
“Despite persistent violence and a critical election coming up, President Obama hardly ever mentions the war in Iraq,” Joseph Curl reports in today’s Washington Times, and the news media are largely aiding in this neglect. Curl discloses that “the last time a White House reporter asked about the Iraq war was June 26,” while ABC, CBS and NBC aired just 80 minutes of coverage in all of 2009.
The near-media blackout means that the success of President Bush’s “surge” policy in 2007 — a policy opposed by President Obama and Vice President Biden when both were presidential candidates and ridiculed by the networks as a "Lost Cause" — has gone virtually unreported in the past year. This week’s Newsweek is an exception, with a big Iraq War cover story declaring “Victory at Last.”
Earlier this afternoon, NB's Tim Graham noted how NPR's Robert Siegel and Pew Research pollster Andrew Kohut spoke approvingly of "Millennials" as being "less 'militaristic' and less religious" than their elders.
At end of his post, Graham noted that Siegel and Kohut "somehow" forgot to discuss the key political finding in the poll, namely that the demographic's 32-point favoritism towards Democrats (62% to 30%) has declined by more than half (to 54% to 40%) in just one year of living in Obamaland. Shoot, if that trend continues for another nine months, it will be almost all even by Election Day in November.
It’s one thing to advocate for the repeal of "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" (DADT). It’s altogether another to maintain that you find the other side of the argument “incomprehensible.” But that’s what Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus did in her Feb. 24 column, “The Inevitable Backlash on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’”
While stating that DADT should be repealed, Marcus professed to be perplexed at why some are hesitant to repeal the military’s policy and frustrated that the top brass chose not to precipitate the change all at once.
On Monday’s NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams updated viewers on possibly the most decorated American war hero of the modern era, Colonel Robert Howard, as the Vietnam War veteran was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetary. Williams had taken a moment on his show in December to commemorate his passing. On Monday, Williams recounted:
Between its January 31 and February 20 reports on developments in the "interrogation memos" saga, the Associated Press may have learned a lesson in basic journalism from a NewsBusters commenter. I'll describe; readers can decide.
The wire service's unbylined report three weeks ago opened with this paragraph:
“I have nightmares sometimes you know. I’m gonna wake up and everyone’s gonna be driving Priuses…living in a condo…we’re all getting health insurance,” musician Kid Rock lamented during an interview with Fox News.
Kid Rock has been a constant presence overseas, offering his talent and support to lift U.S. troops in war.Always loath to discuss or pontificate upon politics publicly, the rock star sat down with Megyn Kelly Wednesday for a short segment on “America Live.”
Citing the recent CBS/New York Times Poll which shows that Americans want a smaller government with fewer services by a wide margin over big government, Kelly asked her guest: “When you’re out there, you’re talking to people, what are they saying to you? What is your reaction to all this government spending?”
The New York Times has apparently discovered its inner patriot. The paper decided after a request from the White House to hold off publishing key information about the war effort in Afghanistan for fear of alerting the enemy to key U.S. intelligence.
The Times and its executive editor Bill Keller, who defended the decision, have left the nation collectively uttering, "It's about time." Now that's change we can believe in.
Keller told WNYC radio today that two Times reporters had a story ready to go on Thursday about the capture of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban's top military commander in Pakistan. The paper decided to hold off on running the story until today, the date the White House requested.
The National Security Council, Keller recalled, "thought it had been a clean snatch and they were afraid once the word got out, other Taliban officials would go deeper underground or take measures to cover their tracks. So they asked us to hold off for a while."
Rather than lie low, Murtha further made himself a target with public comments in the spring of 2006 pressuring the Marine command to investigate allegations of civilian casualties at Haditha, Iraq. This infuriated many Marines, and critics argued that the congressman had become more partisan himself out of loyalty to Pelosi.
But Murtha went beyond pressing for a formal military investigation, which is a legitimate call any congressman could and should make after an incident like Haditha. The former Marine practically declared the Marines at Haditha guilty by saying they have killed "in cold blood."