Tag: Secretary of Defense

October Surprise: Bin Laden Upgraded to House From Cave For Wikileaks Release

From CNN, Your Most Trusted News Source:  

The October Surprise

Anonymous NATO Spokesperson Upgrades Osama Bin Laden From Cave To House in Pakistan, Getting a Jump on the Latest Wikileaks Which Will Show He’s Working at al- Zawahiri’s International House of Naancakes


Kabul, Afghanistan, CNN, Monday, October 18, 2010

http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/…

Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri are believed to be hiding close to each other in houses in northwest Pakistan, but are not together, a senior NATO official said.

“Nobody in al Qaeda is living in a cave,” said the official, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the intelligence matters involved.

___

The official would not discuss how the coalition has come to know any of this information, but he has access to some of the most sensitive information in the NATO alliance.

Wikileaks Donation Site Shut Down


CNN, Friday October 15, 2010

http://articles.cnn.com/2010-1…

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange claims the U.S. government was behind the decision by Moneybookers to shut down the account, an allegation denied by American officials.

According to e-mails provided to CNN by Assange, Moneybookers informed WikiLeaks of its decision in August, shortly after the Pentagon demanded WikiLeaks return all of the military documents and remove them from its website. WikiLeaks refused to do so and is expected to release hundreds of thousands of additional Pentagon papers later this month.

The first e-mail from Moneybookers that notified WikiLeaks of its decision indicated one of the potential grounds for termination was “to comply with money laundering or other investigations conducted by government authorities, agencies or commissions.”

When Assange asked for a further explanation, he received another e-mail from the company saying the account was initially suspended “due to being accessed from a blacklisted IP address. However following recent publicity and the subsequently addition of the WikiLeaks entity to blacklists in Australia and watch lists in the USA, we have terminated the business relationship.”

DADT Overturned, How Hard Will Obama Admin Defend It ?

Six years after the Log Cabin Republicans filed suit, and 7 weeks after closing arguments on July 23,  Judge Virginia A. Phillips of the US District Court, Central District of CA, issued a landmark ruling yesterday, which overturned “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”   Judge Phillips said in her ruling that it violates servicemembers’ Constitutional rights, and that she would issue an injunction against the government to stop it from being further enforced.

Log Cabin Republicans (LCR)  said DADT violates due process guaranteed by the 5th amendment of the Constitution and their freedom of speech, association, and the ability to petition the government, guaranteed by the 1st amendment.

Is this finally the end of one of President Clinton’s least popular compromises of the last century ?  Or will the Obama administration, who has dawdled on fulfilling a campaign promise to end DADT by refusing to issue an executive order, appeal, and continue to waffle and defer to yet another Pentagon study after Defense Secretary Gates’ latest one is due out on Dec 1 2010 ?

Since the policy was first introduced in 1993, over 13,000 military personnel have been discharged because of DADT, with 619 being discharged in 2008 and 428 being discharged in 2009.  (In the first two years of the Bush administration, it was 1,241 and 1,273 troops discharged, respectively).  Per wikipedia, of the the 26 counties of NATO, more than 22 of those already permit gay people to serve,  all of the countries of the European Union except Greece permit gay people to serve, and of the UN Security Council, 3 countries, Great Britain, France, and Russia permit gays to serve, with only the United States and China still stuck in the past.  


http://www.guardian.co.uk/worl…

The decision puts the White House in a quandary, since it comes as the Obama administration is in the middle of a cautious and drawn-out attempt to lift the ban on homosexuals serving openly in the US military.

But those carefully calibrated plans may now be thrown out the window, after Judge Phillips granted a request for an injunction halting “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” from operating, saying evidence showed that it had a “direct and deleterious effect” on the military.

A pdf of the complete ruling by Judge Phillips is here, Log Cabin Republicans v. United States of America and Robert M Gates, Secretary of Defense:

http://www.cacd.uscourts.gov/C…

excerpt:


Many of the lay witnesses also spoke of the chilling effect the Act had on their ability to bring violations of military policy or codes of conduct to the attention of the proper authorities.

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The Act prevents servicemembers from openly joining organizations such as the plaintiff in this lawsuit that seek to change the military’s policy on gay and lesbian servicemembers; in other words, it prevents them from petitioning the Government for redress of grievances. John Doe, for example, feared retaliation and dismissal if he joined the Log Cabin Republicans under his true name or testified under trial; thus, he was forced to use a pseudonym and to forgo testifying during trial. (Ex. 38 Doc Decl. pp 6- 8; see Trial Tr 88:19- 90:15, July 13, 2010, 708:21- 709:4, July 16, 2010 )

Furthermore, as discussed above, the Act punishes servicemembers with discharge for writing a private letter, in a foreign language, to a person of the same sex with whom they shared an intimate relationship before volunteering for military service. It subjects them to discharge for writing private e- mail messages, in a manner otherwise approved, to friends or family members, if those communications might lead the (unauthorized ) reader to discern the writer’s sexual orientation. These consequences demonstrate that the Act’s restrictions on speech are broader than reasonably necessary to protect the Government’s interest. Moreover, the Act’s restrictions on speech lead to the discharge of servicemembers with qualifications in critically needed occupations, such as foreign language fluency and information technology. The net effect of these discharges, as revealed not only in the testimony of the lay witnesses but also of the experts who testified and Defendants’ own admissions regarding the numbers of servicemembers discharged and the costs of recruiting and maintaining an all volunteer military force, compel the conclusion that the Act restricts speech more than reasonably necessary to protect the Government’s interests.  

Finally, it again must be noted that Defendants called no witnesses, put on no affirmative case, and only entered into evidence the legislative history of the Act. This evidence, discussed in Section IV(C)(1) above, does not suffice to show the Act’s restrictions on speech are “no more than what is reasonably necessary” to achieve the goals of military readiness and unit cohesion. (See supra Section IV (C)(1)

VI. Conclusion

Throughout the consideration and resolution of this controversy, the Court has kept well in mind the overriding principle that “judicial deference to such congressional exercise of authority is at its apogee when legislative action under the congressional authority to raise and support armies and make rules and regulations for their governance is challenged.” Rostker, 453 U.S.at 70.  Nevertheless, as the Supreme Court held in Rostker, “deference does not mean abdication.” Id. at 67,70.  Plaintiff has demonstrated it is entitled to the relief sought on behalf of its members, a judicial declaration that the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Act violates the Fifth and First Amendments, and a permanent injunction barring its enforcement.

“Deference does not mean abdication….”  but since the Obama Dept. of Justice abdicated putting on much of a defense, does this mean they’re finally going to stop deferring to this form of discrimination ?

Monday Humor: Harry Goes Tea Party, Gates Surges Self, Delay, & Other Stories of After the Crash

( Note:My computer and internet connection has been a bastard all weekend, and then it locked up badly on the first thing I wrote this am, and I can’t get @#$%^&*#$%^& effing iphoto to stop crashing everything else, and photobucket sucks, so you’re getting this instead.  Deal with it.  )

1. Reid breaks with Obama, comes out against Ground Zero mosque.

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-…


“The First Amendment protects freedom of religion,” Reid spokesman Jim Manley said in a statement. “Sen. Reid respects that but thinks that the mosque should be built someplace else.”

Reid is the most senior Democrat to come out in opposition to the mosque.

Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.), an Independent who caucuses with Democrats, had questioned the wisdom of building the mosque, too.

We’re all glad that you candidates have so much time on your hands after solving the rest of the nation’s problems, that Sen Reid, via his trusty spokesperson, and Exxon via Shakespalin can get into a pissing match over New York real estate to help get re elected. I know for sure that every am every unemployed Nevadan gets up every am and thinks,  if only the zoning in Manhattan was different, I wouldn’t have lost my house to foreclosure and we’d get more tourists visiting again.  

2.  McChrystal to Teach at Yale in fall of 2010

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-…


The course will be offered in fall 2010 by Yale’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, where McChrystal has been appointed a senior fellow.

teach what ?   A graduate course on leadership ?   You’d think that West Point would be interested. Oh, wait….  

3. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates  to Retire Sometime in 2011


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…

“I think that it would be a mistake to wait until January 2012,” he said. It might be hard to find a good person to take the job so late, with just one year to go in the president’s current term. And, he added, “This is not the kind of job you want to fill in the spring of an election year.”  

It isn’t ?


http://www.foreignpolicy.com/a…

Gates quickly intervened, taking both programs outside normal channels. He added $16 billion to build more MRAPs on a crash schedule. And he fired the Air Force’s chief of staff, Gen T. Michael Moseley, in part for negligence with the nuclear command, but mainly, according to knowledgeable officials, for his sluggishness on the drones.

So, near the end of 2007, Gates called on Gen. David Petraeus, then the U.S. commander in Iraq and the architect of the counterinsurgency strategy there, to chair that year’s Army promotion board, which would advance 40 colonels to the rank of brigadier general. More than a dozen of the Army’s promising colonels, at least one of whom had been passed over twice, got their stars. With this single stroke, the Army’s culture — the signals sent to the troops of what kind of soldiers get promoted and what kind don’t — changed dramatically.

Even before Obama’s term formally began, Gates launched a three-month review of every major line item in the half-trillion-dollar defense budget, drawing the entire building — the highest-level civilian analysts and military officers — into the process. By April 2009, his teams had compiled a list of 50 programs primed for change. Gates decided to kill, slash, or restructure 33 of them, including some of the services’ most cherished weapons systems.

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All told, Congress approved 31 of Gates’s 33 cuts. The other two — the C-17 cargo plane and an alternative engine for the F-35 fighter — Gates has vowed to kill this year.

….  Even before Obama’s term began….  

The article almost doesn’t sound like a puff piece until the part where Gates started waxing eloquent about necon PNAC “military analyst”  Frederick Kagan and the American Enterprise Institute,  Frederick Kagan and his wife  Kimberly Kagan, who runs the “Institute for the Study of War,”   (more links here:  https://docudharma.com/diar…    )

are the two hired right wing think tank hacks the Pentagon trots out now and then to make up excuses to keep doing the same thing over and over.

Gates says we aren’t the Soviets in Afghanistan because we didn’t kill a million and displace 5 million more-  ignoring the fact that is what happened in Iraq under Bush, Cheney, L Paul Bremer, and his predecessor, Def. Sec. Rumsfeld.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R…

The humorous part comes from the fact that Gates is pushing for reforms in weapons contracting at the Pentagon in preparation for selling more armaments and weapons to “allies,”  and that he is “passionate, “revved up” and “stoked” about these military budget economies.   Time to deploy that Golden Parachute as a Military Weapons Procurement Consultant Dude !