Archive for November, 2009

By CALVIN WOODWARD, Associated Press Writer Calvin Woodward, Associated Press Writer Sun Nov 29, 9:00 am ET

WASHINGTON – Osama bin Laden was unquestionably within reach of U.S. troops in the mountains of Tora Bora when American military leaders made the crucial and costly decision not to pursue the terrorist leader with massive force, a Senate report says.

The report asserts that the failure to kill or capture bin Laden at his most vulnerable in December 2001 has had lasting consequences beyond the fate of one man. Bin Laden’s escape laid the foundation for today’s reinvigorated Afghan insurgency and inflamed the internal strife now endangering Pakistan, it says.

Staff members for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Democratic majority prepared the report at the request of the chairman, Sen. John Kerry, as President Barack Obama prepares to boost U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

The Massachusetts senator and 2004 Democratic presidential candidate has long argued the Bush administration missed a chance to get the al-Qaida leader and top deputies when they were holed up in the forbidding mountainous area of eastern Afghanistan only three months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Although limited to a review of military operations eight years old, the report could also be read as a cautionary note for those resisting an increased troop presence there now.

More pointedly, it seeks to affix a measure of blame for the state of the war today on military leaders under former president George W. Bush, specifically Donald H. Rumsfeld as defense secretary and his top military commander, Tommy Franks.

“Removing the al-Qaida leader from the battlefield eight years ago would not have eliminated the worldwide extremist threat,” the report says. “But the decisions that opened the door for his escape to Pakistan allowed bin Laden to emerge as a potent symbolic figure who continues to attract a steady flow of money and inspire fanatics worldwide. The failure to finish the job represents a lost opportunity that forever altered the course of the conflict in Afghanistan and the future of international terrorism.”

The report states categorically that bin Laden was hiding in Tora Bora when the U.S. had the means to mount a rapid assault with several thousand troops at least. It says that a review of existing literature, unclassified government records and interviews with central participants “removes any lingering doubts and makes it clear that Osama bin Laden was within our grasp at Tora Bora.”

On or about Dec. 16, 2001, bin Laden and bodyguards “walked unmolested out of Tora Bora and disappeared into Pakistan’s unregulated tribal area,” where he is still believed to be based, the report says.

Instead of a massive attack, fewer than 100 U.S. commandos, working with Afghan militias, tried to capitalize on air strikes and track down their prey.

“The vast array of American military power, from sniper teams to the most mobile divisions of the Marine Corps and the Army, was kept on the sidelines,” the report said.

At the time, Rumsfeld expressed concern that a large U.S. troop presence might fuel a backlash and he and some others said the evidence was not conclusive about bin Laden’s location.

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My heart goes out to the victims families in this holiday season.  But no doubt the gun control advocates will be calling for stronger laws to make the purchasing of handguns more difficult.  When in reality these laws impede the rights of others to defend themselves.  It is not the fault of the gun for a tragic murder such as this, but the fault of the gunmen.

PARKLAND, Wash. – A gunman walked into a coffee shop and shot and killed four police officers Sunday morning in what sheriff’s officials described as an “execution.”

The officers were sitting in the cafe at a strip mall near the Tacoma suburb of Parkland with their laptop computers, preparing for their day shifts, when a man came in and opened fire, Pierce County Sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.

The officers were obviously targeted because they were in full uniform and no one else was shot at, Troyer said.

“This was more of an execution. He walked in with the mind of shooting police officers,” Troyer said.

It wasn’t immediately known if any of the officers were able to return fire. They were declared dead at the scene.

Troyer said two employees and a few customers were in the Forza Coffee Company shop at the time but no one else was hurt. “As you can imagine they are all traumatized,” Troyer said.

Authorities scoured the area for the gunman, who is believed to have fled on foot or by car. The suspect was described as a “scruffy”-faced black man in his 20s or 30s, 5 feet 7 to 5 feet 10, wearing a black coat ands blue jeans.

“We are in the process of searching multiple locations,” Troyer said.

Nearby McChord Air Force Base was put on alert.

No advance threats
The victims were three males and one female, all officers with the Lakewood Police Department southwest of Tacoma, Troyer said.

There were no specific advance threats against the officers, Troyer said.

A $10,000 reward was being offered for information leading to those responsible.

 

 

With no known suspects, there was no indication of any connection with the Halloween night shooting of a Seattle police officer. The suspect in that shooting remains hospitalized.

The Forza coffee shop, part of a popular local chain, is on a side street near McChord Air Force Base in Tacoma, about 35 miles south of Seattle. The shop is in a small retail center alongside two restaurants, a cigar store and a nail salon.

Brad Carpenter, founder and owner of Forza Coffee, said his staff was OK and being interviewed by police, and that his main concern was with the families of the police officers.

 

“I’m a retired police officer, so this really hits close to home for me,” he said.

Streets around the coffee shop were blocked off late Sunday morning, and a police helicopter hovered over a large crowd of investigators. TV video showed police taking possession of a pickup truck parked in a grocery store in Parkland.

Dave Gabrielson, a clerk at Foot Mart about a block away from the coffee shop, told The News Tribune of Tacoma all was quiet when he opened the store at 8 a.m. About 30 minutes later, “All of a sudden a million cops were zooming up and down the road,” Gabrielson said.

He said he saw officers bring a police dog into a nearby apartment complex.

Seattle police shooting
On Oct. 31, Seattle police officer Timothy Brenton was shot and killed Halloween night as he was sitting in a cruiser with trainee Britt Sweeney. Sweeney was grazed in the neck.

Authorities say the man charged with that shooting also firebombed four police vehicles in October as part of a “one-man war” against law enforcement. Christopher Monfort, 41, was arrested days after the Seattle slaying after being shot by officers surrounding an apartment complex south of Seattle where he was staying. He remains hospitalized and is reportedly paralyzed from the waist down.

By Anthony Gregory

Oakland, Calif. – Many liberals lambasted the Bush administration on detention policy and warrantless surveillance, often arguing that they violated the Constitution. Now the Obama administration is pushing ahead with plans to require every American to purchase health insurance.

Doesn’t that also violate the Constitution?

The Constitution created a federal government limited to its enumerated powers. Everything Congress is allowed to do is spelled out in Article I. The 10th Amendment makes it explicit: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Nothing in the Constitution authorizes any federal involvement in healthcare – yet Congress may soon require everyone in America to buy insurance.

Admittedly, the Supreme Court has ruled that the language empowering Congress to “regulate Commerce … among the several States” applies to an ever-broadening range of activity. The “commerce” clause was originally intended to prohibit interstate tariffs, a supposed problem under the Articles of Confederation.

Ironically, consumers today cannot freely buy health insurance from across state lines. If there’s any legitimate application of the “commerce” clause, it would be to overturn such restrictions. But the framers never gave Congress the general power to regulate industry.

In the 1935 case Schecter v. United States, involving farming regulations, the court unanimously struck down parts of the National Industrial Recovery Act for overstepping Congress’s commerce power. Liberal Justice Louis Brandeis informed one of President Franklin Roosevelt’s aides to “tell the president that we’re not going to let this government centralize everything.”

The next year, the court ruled in Butler v. United States that elements of the Agricultural Adjustment Act, which inflated food prices by restricting supply, violated the 10th Amendment.

After FDR threatened to pack the court with additional judges friendly to the New Deal, the court lost its spine. In 1937, it upheld the National Labor Relations Act – which greatly expanded the power of labor unions and greatly diminished the freedom of contract – under the “commerce” clause.

In Wickard v. Filburn (1942) the justices even upheld the conviction of a man for growing too much wheat on his farm. The court reasoned that even wheat grown solely for private consumption ultimately had an impact on the economy, turning the “commerce” clause into a regulatory rubber stamp.

The “commerce” clause is now interpreted very broadly. Although in United States v. Lopez (1995) the court struck down a firearms law that exceeded Congress’s commerce power, it ruled 10 years later in Gonzales v. Raich that federal drug policy overrode California’s medical marijuana laws, despite the 10th Amendment.

Justice Clarence Thomas dissented: “If the Federal Government can regulate growing a half-dozen cannabis plants for personal consumption (not because it is interstate commerce, but because it is inextricably bound up with interstate commerce), then Congress’ Article I powers … have no meaningful limits.” Indeed, practically nothing is beyond the pale anymore.

Then there is the privacy issue. In Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), Roe v. Wade (1973), and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) the court found reproductive freedom to be guaranteed as an implicit right to privacy. In Casey, the court reasoned that abortion entailed “the most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to personal dignity and autonomy,” and that such choices are “central to the liberty protected by the 14th Amendment.”

Why wouldn’t this apply to the right to decide whether to buy health insurance?

Other constitutional concerns emerge. The mass collection of medical data likely to occur under proposed reforms threatens the Fourth Amendment’s “right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects.” Making it a crime not to buy insurance, and then forcing people to show they have not bought it, arguably clashes with the Fifth Amendment’s protection against self-incrimination.

The Ninth Amendment reserves to individuals all rights not expressly denied by the Constitution. Nothing in the document curtails our right not to purchase health insurance. And being forced to fill out forms to apply for insurance is in tension with the 13th Amendment’s prohibition of “involuntary servitude.”

The quality we could expect from government care may also raise constitutional questions. In early August, a federal panel ordered California to release 40,000 inmates because the health services were so strained, causing one unnecessary prisoner death per week, so as to render the treatment “unconstitutional.” If we all become captive consumers under federal mandate, could we not similarly argue that any shoddiness in our mandated health services is an unconstitutional burden?

Those who find such constitutional arguments unconvincing are often quick to invoke them against policies they oppose. Similarly, some of today’s critics of President Obama and national healthcare brandish the Constitution as a holy document, but were silent when President George W.Bush trampled its many limitations on executive power, and even signed an expansion of Medicare.

A newfound, consistent, and lasting respect for the Constitution, across the ideological spectrum, would renew the health of our republic like nothing else.

Ron Paul CNBC

Posted: November 28, 2009 in News, Politics
Tags: , ,

The New World Order is alive and well and Press for Truth was there to catch it.  In the following video you will see PFT at a “global warming” event just outside the building.  Now what you will see is shortly into shooting, PFT is approached by security and it soon turns into a physical altercation.

Hufftington Post

In the latest video from the Brave New Foundation’s “Rethink Afghanistan” project, former CIA agent Robert Bear says that what the U.S. faces when it comes to the Afghan insurgency isn’t terrorism, but a war of national resistance.

“The people that want their country liberated from the West have nothing to do with Al Qaeda,” Baer says. “They simply want us gone because we’re foreigners, and they’re rallying behind the Taliban because the Taliban are experienced, effective fighters.”

Because these insurgents see the U.S. as a colonial force, Baer says, they are unlikely to ever rally around the Afghan national army the U.S. is looking to establish. “This is an occupying force,” explains Matthew Hoh, a former U.S. official in Afghanistan who resigned last month over the war. “The Afghan National Army is led by Tajiks and Uzbeks and urban Pashtuns, and it is occupying the rural Pashtun South.”

This is why the U.S. should ask itself, Hoh says, “do we want to support one side in a civil war?”