Category Archives: War
Judge Jeanine Pirrorips the Obama administration for everything from Benghazi to the AP phone records.
Don’t look now, but the birthday of Kim Jong-un‘s grandfather, Kim Il-Sung, is right around the corner, on Monday, with absurd celebrations and marathons and magic horses all weekend. But nothing would do more poetic justice to North Korea’s warped version of history and its “unacceptable” war-mongering rhetoric than to drown one of its oldest enemies in a sea of nuclear flames. Which absurdity will win out?
“North Korea warned Japan Friday that Tokyo would be the first target in the event of a war on the Korean Peninsula if it continues to maintain its hostile posture,” reports South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency this morning in America, by way of a report from the DPRK’s state-run Korean Central News Agency. “Japan always remains a target of the DPRK’s revolutionary armed forces. Once Japan makes even a slight provocation against the DPRK, the former will be hard hit before any others,” the report adds.
- North Korea: Tokyo will be the first hit in wake of nuclear war (bazaardaily.com)
- Nuclear war ‘unavoidable’… (express.co.uk)
- N. Korea Warns Japan Will Be First Target Hit By Missiles (vineoflife.net)
- North Korea – Tokyo The First To Be Nuked (smilesnotbombs.wordpress.com)
- North Korea to Japan: You’re First (newser.com)
- North Korea warns US and South they are ‘unaware of what miserable fate awaits them’ (express.co.uk)
President Barack Obama has the authority to use an unmanned drone strike to kill US citizens on American soil, his attorney general has said.
Eric Holder argued that using lethal military force against an American in his home country would be legal and justified in an “extraordinary circumstance” comparable to the September 11 terrorist attacks.
“The president could conceivably have no choice but to authorise the military to use such force if necessary to protect the homeland,” Mr Holder said.
His statement was described as “more than frightening” by Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, who had demanded to know the Obama administration’s position on the subject.
“It is an affront the constitutional due process rights of all Americans,” said Mr Paul, a 50-year-old favourite of the anti-government Tea Party movement, who is expected to run for president in 2016.
Mr Holder wrote to Mr Paul after the senator threatened to block the appointment of John Brennan as the director of the CIA unless he received answers to a series of questions on its activities.
Mr Paul on Wednesday evening took to the floor of the Senate to launch an old-fashioned filibuster in an effort to delay a vote on the approval of Mr Brennan for CIA director. “I won’t be able to speak forever, but I’m going to speak as long as I can,” he said, before embarking on several hours of criticism of Mr Obama’s compliance with the US constitution.
Mr Obama has been sharply criticised for the secrecy surrounding his extension of America’s “targeted killing” campaign against al-Qaeda terrorist suspects using missile strikes by unmanned drones.
The secret campaign has killed an estimated 4,700 people in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. A quarter are estimated to have been civilians prompting anger among human rights campaigners.
According to research by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, drone strikes killed between 474 and 881 civilians – including 176 children – in Pakistan between 2004 and last year.
Criticism within the US has focused on the implications for terror suspects who are also US citizens, after Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical cleric born and educated in the US, was killed in Yemen in 2011.
The administration claims it has the legal authority to assassinate Americans provided that they are a senior al-Qaeda operative posing an imminent threat and it would be “infeasible” to capture them.
This justification emerged only last month in a leaked memo from Mr Holder’s department of justice. Mr Obama this week agreed to give Congress his full set of classified legal memos on the targeting of Americans.
Civil liberties campaigners accuse the president and his aides of awarding themselves sweeping powers to deny Americans their constitutional rights without oversight from Congress or the judiciary.
- Eric Holder clarifies policy on drone attacks on U.S. soil (reuters.com)
- Flashback: Obama Says Waterboarding Is Torture …(But He’ll Drop a Drone Bomb On Your Head) (thegatewaypundit.com)
- Sen. Rand Paul: I’ll end filibuster once Obama says no to drone strikes in the U.S. (rawstory.com)
- America is shamed that only Rand Paul is talking about drone executions | Amy Goodman (guardian.co.uk)
Sierra Adamson interviews Chris Hedges at the hearing for the second court of appeals in the Hedges v Obama NDAA lawsuit. Hedges explains what has happened in the lawsuit to date, the next steps and what he sees in America’s upcoming future.
Sen. Rand Paul’s filibuster will inevitably fail at its immediate objective: derailing John Brennan’s nomination to run the CIA. But as it stretches into its sixth hour, it’s already accomplished something far more significant: raising political alarm over the extraordinary breadth of the legal claims that undergird the boundless, 11-plus-year “war on terrorism.”
The Kentucky Republican’s delaying tactic started over one rather narrow slice of that war: the Obama administration’s equivocation on whether it believes it has the legal authority to order a drone strike on an American citizen, in the United States. Paul recognized outright that he would ultimately lose his fight to block Brennan, the White House counterterrorism chief and architect of much of the administration’s targeted-killing efforts.
But as his time on the Senate floor went on, Paul went much further. He called into question aspects of the war on terrorism that a typically bellicose Congress rarely questions, and most often defends, often demagogically so. More astonishingly, Paul’s filibuster became such a spectacle that he got hawkish senators to join him.
“When people talk about a ‘battlefield America’,” Paul said, around hour four, Americans should “realize they’re telling you your Bill of Rights don’t apply.” That is a consequence of the September 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force that did not bound a war against al-Qaida to specific areas of the planet. “We can’t have perpetual war. We can’t have a war with no temporal limits,” Paul said.
This is actually something of a radical proposition. When House Republicans attempted to revisit the far-reaching authorization in 2011, chief Pentagon attorney Jeh Johnson conveyed the Obama administration’s objections. Of course, many, many Republicans have been content with what the Bush administration used to call a “Long War” with no foreseeable or obvious end. And shortly before leaving office in December, Johnson himself objected to a perpetual war, but did so gingerly, and only after arguing that the government had the power to hold detainees from that war even after that war someday ends.
Via Yahoo! News
The White House on Tuesday defended targeted assassinations of Americans thought to consort overseas with terrorists as “necessary,” “ethical” and “wise,” as the Obama administration faced fresh questions about its sharply expanded drone war.
“We conduct those strikes because they are necessary to mitigate ongoing actual threats—to stop plots, prevent future attacks and, again, save American lives,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters. “These strikes are legal, they are ethical, and they are wise.”
Carney’s comments came after NBC News published a Justice Department memo that lays out a broad rationale for targeting individual Americans anywhere outside the U.S. for assassination—without oversight from Congress or the courts, and even if the U.S. citizen in question is not actively plotting a specific terrorist attack.
“Targeting a member of an enemy force who poses an imminent threat of violent attack to the United States is not unlawful. It is a lawful act of self-defense,” the document asserts.
“Imminent threat”? That seems reasonable and is a traditional standard for military action. Except, as NBC investigative reporter Michael Isikoff notes, the memo adds that “the condition that an operational leader present an ‘imminent’ threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future.”
Instead, that previously mentioned “high-level official” can determine that the potential target was “recently” involved in “activities” posing a threat of an attack and that “there is no evidence suggesting that he has renounced or abandoned such activities.”
Isikoff notes the memo does not define “activities” or “recently,” leaving that up to the administration to determine on a case-by-case basis.
- White House: drone strikes are legal, ethical, wise (dailystar.com.lb)
- Do You Agree With White House that Drone Strokes are “Legal,” “Ethical,” and “Wise”? You Shouldn’t. (reason.com)
- DOJ memo justifies drone kills of U.S. citizens abroad (anirrationalviewoftheirrational.wordpress.com)
- Drone Strikes on US Terror Suspects ‘Legal,’ ‘Ethical,’ ‘Wise,’ White House Says (abcnews.go.com)
- White House, Congress square off over Justice Dept. rules for drone strikes (thehill.com)
- ‘Judge, jury and executioner’: Legal experts fear implications of White House drone memo (usnews.nbcnews.com)
- Memo shows how Obama decides to uses drones on Americans (news.yahoo.com)
“Is terror going to raise a white flag?” Exactly. Somebody in our government must define victory in this (undeclared) war on an ideology. What does victory look like? How will we know when we are victorious? Without a definition of victory, this (undeclared) war will continue ad infinitum – an ongoing, never ending justification to infringe on more and more of our rights. Something is seriously wrong.
via Discovery News
The conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza has meant a test of Israel’s missile defenses, a system called the “Iron Dome,” which was built to protect Israel from short-range, unguided rockets on ballistic trajectories. Unlike it’s name implies, the Iron Dome is not an actual dome, but a small, mobile arsenal that consists of a radar unit and typically three launchers capable of deploying missile interceptors and missiles. It was up in running for the first time on March 27, 2011.
It works when radar picks up the signal of an incoming rocket — most of which are unguided — within an approximately 40-mile radius. The information is sent to a control center on a truck and operators check the trajectory of the rocket. If it’s headed to a populated area or a military target, an Iron Dome missile, called a Tamir, is fired. This missile is guided and therefore more accurate than the attacking missile. A solider programs the Tamir with the incoming rocket’s trajectory and then guides it with the help of radar. When the Tamir reaches the rocket, it detonates, destroying it.
There are currently five batteries of Iron Dome missiles deployed. As of this past weekend, the Israeli military reported that they had taken out hundreds of incoming rockets. Those that were headed to unpopulated areas were allowed to strike.
Iron Dome was developed by three Israeli companies: Rafael Advanced Defense Systems built the Tamir missile. Here’s a promotional video that shows how the system works. Elta, an Israel Aerospace Industries subsidiary, designed the radar. Impress developed the command and control systems.
MORE . . .
- How Israel’s Iron Dome Works (news.discovery.com)
- Israeli Fans Adore Rocket Stopper Iron Dome (npr.org)
- What Is Israel’s Iron Dome? (gizmodo.com)
- Iron Dome rocket smasher set to change Gaza conflict (newscientist.com)
Now THIS is how you deal with terrorists! Bada-bing-bada- BOOM!
via JPost – Defense
The IAF struck and killed Hamas armed wing Izzadin Kassam Brigades commander Ahmed Jabari in central Gaza on Wednesday. The strike marked the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense to target Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror organizations in Gaza, IDF spokesman Yoav Mordechai announced.
Jabari was killed when an IAF missile struck the car he was traveling in, in the central Strip. One other person was killed in the attack.
Following the assassination, the IAF struck over 20 underground rocket launchers belonging to Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The airstrikes targeted long-range rockets in the possession of terror organizations, such as the Fajr-5 and other rockets that are capable of striking Tel Aviv from Gaza. Palestinian sources said that six Gazans were killed in the IDF strikes.
The IDF said it believes it has eliminated the majority of the long-range threat.
MORE . . .
- Hits 20 underground rocket sites in Gaza… (jpost.com)
- Hamas military leader Ahmed Jabari assassinated in IAF airstrike (timesofisrael.com)
- Israeli air strike kills (cfcspn.com)
- IDF prepared to broaden operation to protect southern Israel, Netanyahu says (timesofisrael.com)
Every American soldier killed in war, is a fallen hero, and deserves both the nation’s thanks and a ‘Hero’s Welcome’. That’s what the ‘Flagman’ Larry Eckhardt believes, and wait until you see what he does about it. Steve Hartman reports from Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, the home of U.S. Army Pvt. FC, Dustin Gross, who was killed by a roadside bomb earlier this month in Afghanistan.