Do You Feel Safe Yet?

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DHSA few days after the deadly Islamic terrorist attacks in Paris, the Obama Administration vigorously defended its refugee screening process as “rigorous and safe.”

Nothing like this could happen here in the United States, right?

Until it did.

Not even a month later, two terrorists went on a shooting spree in San Bernardino. At the time (and now as well) we blogged that the attack was likely a case of premature detonation – that a bigger attack was planned, and that the two Islamists went on an early shooting spree after the male lost his temper at an office party.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if a bigger attack was planned, although if we were correct, we were lucky in that we avoided a lot more carnage, because Syed Farook couldn’t keep his temper in check. But what does matter is that the Administration’s assertions about its refugee screening process being “rigorous and safe” is apparently nonsense.

On December 16 – a couple of weeks after the San Bernardino attack – the Hill ran a column by a retired Department of Homeland Security explained how that same screening process failed the San Bernardino victims and failed America.

Philip Haney was a targeter at DHS who worked to identify terrorist networks and “connect the dots” between lesser known groups and individuals moving about and operating freely in the United States. He and his colleagues focused on individuals, mosques, Islamic Centers and schools involved in radicalization efforts – mosques such as the Dar Al Uloom Al Islamiyah Mosque in San Bernardino where Farook worshiped and was well-known to the congregation and leadership. And probably mosques such as the infamous Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center, located just a couple of miles from my house, where the thankfully droned into oblivion Anwar al-Awlaki spewed his poison.

Haney had these types of groups in his sights, including the Islamist group al-Huda.

Another focus of my investigation was the Pakistani women’s Islamist group al-Huda, which counted Farook’s wife, Tashfeen Malik, as a student. While the al-Huda International Welfare Foundation distanced themselves from the actions of their former pupil, Malik’s classmates told the Daily Mail she changed significantly while studying at al-Huda, gradually becoming “more serious and strict.” More ominously, the group’s presence in the U.S. and Canada is not without its other ties to ISIS and terrorism. In 2014, three recent former students at al-Huda’s affiliate school in Canada, aged 15 to 18, left their homes to join the Islamic State in Syria.

Haney says between Farook’s involvement with the Dar Al Uloom Al Islamiyah Mosque in San Bernardino and Malik’s involvement with al-Huda, the dots would have been connected, and additional scrutiny would have at the very least been indicated; maybe it would have led to a denial of Malik’s K-1 visa, or even gotten Farook placed on the No Fly list, perhaps in time to stop the attack, but that was not to be.

DHS shut down the investigation at the request of the Department of State and DHS’ own Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Division. They claimed that since the Islamist groups in question were not Specially Designated Terrorist Organizations (SDTOs) tracking individuals related to these groups was a violation of the travelers’ civil liberties.

Islamist groups, who need to be thoroughly investigated before being placed on the list, were barred from investigation because they’re not on the list. Well, that makes all the sense in the world.

Do you feel safe yet?

Worse yet, DHS went back and deleted all the records of Haney’s investigation, and after the latter brought his concern to the Inspector General, as well as several members of Congress, he was subjected to adverse actions and investigations, even though his work was exemplary, as detailed in this letter of commendation he received in June 2012. Thankfully, none of retaliatory investigations found any wrongdoing, and Haney was allowed to honorably retire from government service.

But the story doesn’t end there. Or rather, it doesn’t start there.

Remember the Crotch Bomber? Right before the unhinged jihadist tried to blow up a plane with an explosive packed in his panties, but instead set his own genitals on fire prior to being captured, DHS went on a record and research scrubbing spree.

Just before that Christmas Day attack, in early November 2009, I was ordered by my superiors at the Department of Homeland Security to delete or modify several hundred records of individuals tied to designated Islamist terror groups like Hamas from the important federal database, the Treasury Enforcement Communications System (TECS). These types of records are the basis for any ability to “connect dots.” Every day, DHS Customs and Border Protection officers watch entering and exiting many individuals associated with known terrorist affiliations, then look for patterns. Enforcing a political scrubbing of records of Muslims greatly affected our ability to do that. Even worse, going forward, my colleagues and I were prohibited from entering pertinent information into the database.

A few weeks later, in my office at the Port of Atlanta, the television hummed with the inevitable Congressional hearings that follow any terrorist attack. While members of Congress grilled Obama administration officials, demanding why their subordinates were still failing to understand the intelligence they had gathered, I was being forced to delete and scrub the records. And I was well aware that, as a result, it was going to be vastly more difficult to “connect the dots” in the future—especially before an attack occurs.

Who knows how many attacks could have been prevented had the DHS been allowed to continue its work?

No one does, because political considerations apparently trump national security in our country.

Look, there’s a very fine line between invasion of privacy and infringements on individual rights. The U.S. national security apparatus and the dedicated, committed people who work in our intelligence community and law enforcement walk that line carefully and diligently every day. An untold amount of work is done by the inter-agency before any individual or entity is sanctioned as a terrorist, or gets placed on the Specially Designated Nationals list. Legal review, leadership review, coordination with other agencies in the government. Placing an individual or entity on the SDN list is no joke, unlike some… other lists we’ve seen.

Intelligence professionals have to go through massive amounts of training. They have to learn how to safeguard personal information, whom they are allowed to collect on, what to report and how to report violations, and other agency-specific training to ensure that the rights of the people are balanced with the need to protect our nation. Their analyses are constantly challenged. Did you consider alternatives? Was your assessment based on a variety of corroborative sources? Were these sources credible? Given the fiasco that ensued after the now infamous Iraq WMD National Intelligence Estimate was published in 2002, and the subsequent Iraq invasion, it is no surprise that the Intelligence Community is much more cautious about its tradecraft.

This is all necessary, there’s no doubt. The rights of the people have to be protected.

But at the same time, ordering law enforcement and the intelligence community to scrub years of investigative research into violent extremists with obvious links to savage jihadists whose goal is to launch attacks against the United States, because they might somehow disturb a political narrative or result in some nebulous alleged “violations” of someone’s rights, is a dangerous policy. Fact is that researching a mosque’s, a group’s, or an individual’s links to terrorist organizations violates no one’s rights. If law enforcement is not allowed to do said research, or if said research is nixed due to political considerations, this nation is in danger.

Grave danger.

9-11-attackThis is not an exaggeration.

After the September 11, 2001 attacks, a rigorous review by the 9-11 commission revealed that lack of information sharing was partially responsible for our failure to prevent the attacks, as was not watchlisting future hijackers and not trailing them after they traveled to Bangkok, and not informing the FBI about one future hijacker’s U.S. visa.

But that’s not all the report revealed. The commission’s findings also said we did not discover fraudulent statements made on visa applications and failed to detect fake passports.

The work Haney and his colleagues were doing would likely have been helpful in identifying terrorist links, and if shared with other agencies, would have probably helped prevent future attacks. But instead DHS was ordered by the Administration to toss out its research. It will not be shared with anyone, and that could result in disaster.

Apparently, this administration has learned nothing.

Do you feel safe yet?

Originally posted at The Bull Elephant.

Liberal newspapers love Kasich

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…because he’s one of them, in many ways. These papers practically fawn over Kasich, while slandering conservatives. For starters, the Boston Globe:

He has a record of pragmatic Midwestern conservatism, and has demonstrated an aptitude for the horse-trading and coalition-building that’s so lacking in today’s Washington. (It’s no small irony that one of Kasich’s finest accomplishments as a congressman — joining the bipartisan deal to impose a 10-year ban on assault weapons — is one that he barely mentions now.)

Well, how ’bout that. Then, of course, we have the infamous New York Times:

…he has been capable of compromise and believes in the ability of government to improve lives. He favors a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and he speaks of government’s duty to protect the poor, the mentally ill and others “in the shadows.” While Republicans in Congress tried more than 60 times to kill Obamacare, Mr. Kasich did an end-run around Ohio’s Republican Legislature to secure a $13 billion Medicaid expansion to cover more people in his state.

Lovely… and telling. Moving on to Iowa, here’s the Quad City Times:

John Kasich is the poster-child for all thinking Republicans left behind by a party overrun by an irrational, seething fringe. The Ohio governor is the antithesis of the shrill, bigoted screaming heads dominating the Republican Party field. He should carry the GOP standard heading into November’s presidential election, if re-injecting reason into GOP rhetoric is of any concern.
Kasich won’t wage the dehumanizing ground war against immigrants looking for work. Kasich sees immigrants as human beings, supports bolstering U.S.-Mexico border security, while providing a much-needed pathway to legal status for the 11.5 million people already illegally in the U.S.

And in New Hampshire, the Keene Sentinel:

While in Congress, he voted for an assault weapons ban and favored background checks at gun shows.
In Ohio, he stood out as a Republican governor willing to implement the expansion of Medicaid services through the Affordable Care Act. Criticized by his former tea party supporters for the move, Kasich said two things that are indicative of his leadership style. He noted the program would be paid for mainly by the federal government, including with money Ohioans had sent to Washington and deserved to see return to the state. More to the point, he noted it was simply the right thing to do to help those most in need in his state. While opposing the ACA, he acknowledges that any reworking or replacing of that law needs to include continuing to care for those Americans who have gained coverage through the program.

…and the list goes on. In nearly every editorial supporting him, they laud his ‘pragmatism’ (read: selling out to the left) and trash conservatives at every turn. As I explained a couple of months ago, Kasich is no conservative, as evidenced by his demeanor, debate performances, and rhetoric. The betrayal on the 1993 Clinton ‘assault weapons’ ban is enough to exile him from consideration from the Presidency, no matter what good works he’s done as Governor. His (at best) checkered record on federal mandates, his failure to press for right-to-work legislation, his support for amnesty for illegal aliens (made exponentially worse by how he demonizes anyone interested in enforcing immigration law) and his embrace of Medicaid expansion all make him an absolute non-starter for conservatives. Let’s hope he’s out of the race after New Hampshire, the state he’s placing all his chips on.

Originally posted at The Bull Elephant.

Oh, the ego! (UPDATED)

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Well, quite the shit storm I caused with my last blog post about Trump’s continued arrogance and antics!

Some came to berate me about my language, because apparently I won’t convince anyone if I hurl insults. I will once again remind my readers that I’m not out to convince. I’m not out to cajole. Nor am I out to win hearts and minds. Sorry, guys, but I just don’t give a damn.

This is my blog. I pay for it. I write it, with the help of a couple of great guys. But ultimately, I write it for me. In response to one of the commenters, I wrote the following regarding my posts on Trump.

Larry, I never write to convince anyone. In the “About” section of this blog, I have said this more than once. This blog is catharsis for me, as is writing. Sometimes people read it. Sometimes people like it. Sometimes people link to it. I blog because it’s fun.

The problem with Trumproids is that there’s no convincing them. His little joke about shooting someone in the middle of 5th Ave. has a grain of truth in it. You can show them all the information possible about him supporting Democrats, about him wanting to suppress freedom of speech, about him wanting to use government force against his fellow citizens, etc. etc. etc. ad nauseam. Problem is they don’t listen. So I’ve stopped trying. Now I just ridicule them, because there’s nothing left to do. They will do what they do, and no amount of factual information will stop them.

I stand by that assessment of Trump supporters. They came out in droves today to tell me how disingenuous I am, how I’m lying about him, how I’m perverting the truth about him, you name it. Just read the comments in last nights post! It’s as if they adopted his ever-so-bruised ego.

And what an ego it is!

150810103149-donald-trump-megyn-kelly-780x439I was watching Wolf Blitzer’s interview with Trump this morning, discussing whether or not he was going to skip the next debate, because Megyn Kelly bruised his labia.

“I’m not a big fan of hers at all. I don’t care,” said the candidate. “I mean … I might be the best thing that ever happened to her. Who ever even heard of her before the last debate?”

This is the same tactic Trump uses on other issues to boost his fragile ego. No one talked about immigration reform until he came along.  Ben Carson is a loser, according to a Saturday Night Live promo Trump did a few months ago. Sure it was meant to be funny, I suppose, but it was petty and puerile more than anything. Carly Fiorina is much too ugly to be President, according to Trump. It goes on and on and on…

This particular claim about Megyn Kelly is especially amusing, given the fact that Kelly has been on Fox News Channel since 2004 and was named to Time magazine’s list of 100 Most Influential People in 2014 – all without Trump’s help. She’s been profiled in the New York Times, GQ, Elle Magazine, and others. Yeah, I’m fairly sure, millions of people knew who she was before the Toupee-Clad Narcissist came along.

What’s even more amusing is that Trump is throwing a fit, threatening to boycott the next debate, because tiny little Megyn Kelly is MEAAAAAN to him, and Fox has told him to piss up a rope.

Of course, every time he opens his cock holster, he has to walk something back. Like when he claimed – after his comments about Megyn Kelly bleeding out of her… – that he really meant eyes… Like when he walked back his comments about Carly Fiorina’s looks… Like he walked back comments on Muslim registration… It’s not what he meant. He was taken out of context. Blah, blah, blah.

So he’s walked back his threat to skip Thursday night’s debate.

Too bad. It would have been nice not to see his smirking maw, or see him contort his snatch every time he’s asked a question he doesn’t like.

And by the way, just to show you that the Trumproids really can’t ever tolerate criticism of their dumpster fire of a hero, no matter how accurate said criticism, I give you a smidgen of the comments from one of the reports about his whining about Kelly.

If a man criticizes a woman, no matter the validity of the criticism, it’s sexist. If a non-minority criticizes a minority, no matter the validity, it’s racist. Isn’t it nice for people who may be legitimate targets for criticism to have a Saul Alinsky-type defense, no matter how valid the criticism? That way, they don’t have to defend themselves against the criticism; they need only cry ‘sexist’ or ‘racist’ and, in their minds, end the argument. Pathetic.

Alinsky!

You’d kind of think if you were going to make the charge that Trump is sexist, you’d have at least ONE piece of evidence or even an example. If you took Kelly’s name out of it, there is not one single word said by Trump that would indicate his criticism is aimed at a woman. Even so, criticizing a female is not sexism. I’m not a Trump guy but I am against the absolute insanity that the media has become. Journalism in America is truly dead. This article is absolutely worthless trash.

Nope. No proof that Trump is sexist. Except for the barbs about Fiorina’s looks. Except for the comments about Ariana Huffington’s looks. Except for his comment’s about Katy Tur as a reporter. Except when he made a smarmy comment to former playmate Brande Roderick about being on her knees.

Nope, none at all.

Expect another stampede of Trumproids defending their hero in 3… 2… 1…

UPDATE: Reuters reports that Trump has pulled out of the debate.

Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, told reporters after a combative news conference held by the candidate that Trump would definitely not be participating in the debate scheduled for Thursday in Des Moines, Iowa, and co-hosted by Google .

Bye Felicia!

Still support him, Trumproids?

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We already know Donald Trump is a statist dick weasel. What, with his love for eminent domain that allows him to use the courts to line his own pockets, his desire to control parts of the Internet, his intention to force Apple to move production to the United States, his refusal to rule out registering people based on their religion, and his insistence that Americans can be deprived of their rights without due process, is there really much more proof that’s needed here?

Apparently, yes.

Scrolling through my Twitter feed this weekend, I came across this retweet. Trump thought it would be amusing to give some publicity and retweet a post by a proud white supremacist.

trump neo nazi

Several media outlets found this to be a worthy story, with at least one openly questioning whether this was just a failure to do the research.

“Was it a genuine mistake?” Asks the Inquisitr.

I mean, we’ve all made the mistake of posting something we didn’t properly research, right? It happens. We’re human.

But after quite a few Twitter users responded that “Donald Trumpovitz” (who has since changed his Twitter handle to “Bernie 4 Prez” and completely changed the look of his account to look as if he was a Sanders supporter) was an openly anti-Semitic, white supremacist troll,

The original account before the Internet outrage hit.

The original account before the Internet outrage hit.

Trump said nothing, and didn’t even bother removing the post. A cursory scan of @WhiteGenocideTM’s account would have revealed that this is not something a presidential candidate should be promoting. The fact that the account’s location proudly states “Jewmerica,” the fact that its avatar is a picture of George Lincoln Rockwell – the founder of the American Nazi Party – or the fact that it openly talks about “race mixers,” while posting vile photos of Jews on its Twitter feed, might have given Trump or his Twitter minions a clue about just what kind of account this was.

But Trump doesn’t care.

Trump has tossed out all pretense of having any respect for his voters. He thinks they’re so loyal frothing, nothing could possibly make them abandon him. “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters,” he joked this weekend. “My people stay.”

And you know what? His drooling acolytes may just prove the egomaniacal shit heel right.

Yes, those really are Soviet medals.

Yes, those really are Soviet medals.

The same day he retweeted the neo-nazi filth, his campaign posted a campaign video that mistook Soviets for U.S. military veterans. The campaign replaced the video with one that cut out the Soviets a few hours later, but still… For someone who claims he will take care of our vets and be the Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces, he might want to brush up on what U.S. troops actually look like.

After I posted a link to Trump’s new racist BFF, a Trumproid replied that it was just a “typo,” and then promptly blocked me.

They don’t want to hear it. Trump’s gibbering sycophants don’t care what he does or says. They don’t care about his history. They blindly drool that they support him in order to challenge the establishment, even as he brags that he’s a part of it. They’re showing the same blind devotion to Trump as Obama supporters show the President, and that’s scary. It’s like we haven’t learned anything.

By the way, if you want to see the original video about Trump’s promise to hold the VA accountable, it’s here. Soviet medals and all.

Love of Country

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I went out to dinner with my buddies Kevin and Eileen last night. Prior to gorging on Chinese food, we decided to enjoy a wonderful bottle of red wine (some of which my kitten decided looked best spilled all over the nice beige carpet – THANK YOU OXY CLEAN SPRAY!!!!!). Dinner was accompanied by several Moscow Mules, which may be my new favorite drink of the century and followed by a walk around Arlington, after which we wound up at a hotel bar. The bartender – an older gentleman from Jamaica – kept the drinks coming, and at some point I engaged in a conversation with him.

“America,” he told me. “Jamaica may be nice, the weather is beautiful, but I’ve been living here 17 years, and there’s nothing like this country. There’s nothing like the United States. It really is the best country in the world!”

He continued to extol the virtues of our nation for several minutes as I sipped my drink. He is a U.S. citizen, and his love and awe of this nation has not diminished over the years. So many Americans take this nation for granted, he asserted, and as I sat there and listened to him talk, I realized something many immigrants tend to understand more than those who were born and/or raised here:

We – as a society – have become so spoiled by the opportunities, by the consumerism, and by the freedoms with which we have grown up, we have developed a disdain for ourselves – a blindness formed by our lack of perspective, because we’ve always enjoyed what we have enjoyed.

It comes from both sides of the political aisle.

Conservatives and libertarians rail against the government, with many tossing the words “Marxism” and “socialism” around without truly understanding the meaning of those words. Now, we all use hyperbole every so often, myself included, so I wouldn’t condemn the overall use of those words. I will say, however, that the comparison of even our current climate to the former USSR by those who have never actually lived that horror is uninformed and reactionary.

When libraries are forced by the federal government to manually censor books using black sharpies or take books off the shelves altogether, then you can start comparing this nation to the Soviet Union.

1476711_10151852895872775_95077141_nWhen the federal government forces a uniform curriculum on every school in the country while banning private schools, you can talk to me about the Soviet Unionization of this country.

When your religion precludes you from pursuing your career of choice, you can start making USSR comparisons.

That is not to say there’s nothing wrong with what’s going on in this country today. That is not to say that our government and our country is perfect. The list of some pretty egregious government infringements is long and distinguished – from the secretive, nearly arbitrary “no-fly” list, to continued assaults on our Second Amendment rights after every tragedy, to the EPA, IRS, BLM, and other government abuses.

But here’s something we forget, because we’ve been so spoiled by the freedoms we do have: There are countries out there whose governments punish speech, there are nations out there who have outlawed “gay propaganda,” there are countries out there that still ban women from driving, there are nations that have no independent journalists or media, there are nations out there that have completely banned guns and punish armed self defense. And while we still have a lot of work to do, and by no means should we rest on our laurels, we need to get some perspective.

At the same time, the left grouses about poverty, lack of health care access, the minimum wage, and the alleged “gun violence epidemic.” This is a country where even those who live on government assistance have smart phones, flat screen TVs! This is a country where the homeless have actual resources – shelters, food banks, volunteers to help. This is a country where you do have access to basic medical care – even if you don’t have health insurance! And no, the two are not the same thing. We can have a rational discussion about the quality of medical care poor people receive vice those who are considered rich in this country, but resources are there, and they include charitable care through religiously-affiliated hospitals and other private charities, which by the way, the government is making a lot more difficult with continuing onerous regulations.

This is a country in which, despite a growth in gun ownership, firearms-related violence has been generally on the decline. It’s a nation whose fundamental Law of the Land strives to respect and protect armed self defense – both from violent thugs and from government tyrants. We can rationally discuss whether it is possible for an armed populace to defend itself against a much bigger, better armed state wielding nuclear weapons and drones, but the basic principle is there and undeniable.

And those who have never lived the actual horror of government control of the economy, but merely read books about it…

Those who lack a basic respect for their own labor, as well as the labor of others…

Those sheep, who think that the very politicians who use the public’s ignorance to get elected are more qualified to allocate the fruits of the labor of those whose skills they cannot hope to match than those who actually produce and contribute to economic growth…

They screech about the “injustice” of America, the economic inequalities, and their demands for a “living wage,” without understanding the fundamental economic and policy differences between nations that mandate the type of minimum wage for which they clamor – from the comfy confines of their home offices, their plush armchairs, or their ivory towers – because it assuages their guilt about having better funded, more comfortable lives than others.

One such arrogant redistributionist decided that because I was somehow more “privileged” (read: worked my ass off to get my current job for 20 years, struggled with two jobs to pay for my property and remain current on my bills, raised the rent once – by $50 – during the time the tenants lived there, and was in the red every single month, even after they paid the rent) than the child molester Cooper, who made the conscious choice that destroyed the lives of his family and others around him by having sex with a kid, I deserved to have them steal my home, because – as he put it – “It’s unethical for either you or the state to put a family out on their asses. More unethical than their occupation (but not by much, frankly).” Because as a home owner, I apparently had the responsibility to keep these child molesting thieves squatting in my house. Because it didn’t matter that I was getting ruined financially by these criminals. I’m the homeowner, and I somehow had an obligation to get raped by these repulsive, thieving criminals! And if I refused, I was nearly as bad as the kiddie diddler (better, “but not by much, frankly).

Needless to say, I no longer speak to this creature.

They don’t understand justice. They don’t understand fairness. They don’t respect this country for the opportunities it does afford to those who choose to take them, and they only choose to see what they view as deficiencies. They’ve been so spoiled by what this nation does offer, that complacence and contempt have set in, so they’re only able to focus on the flaws.

The gentleman from Jamaica was right. Many Americans are so spoiled, they have forgotten to appreciate what they have.

We are still America. We still have our rights and freedoms. We still have the voice and the ability to fight like hell to protect them. We still have the ability to educate ourselves, even if public schools do a substandard job of doing so. We have information at our fingertips, friends, neighbors, and countrymen who are generous – more generous than we have ever been – and more opportunities to achieve and succeed than most other nations.

Immigrants understand this. Those of us who remember life in other nations, under truly tyrannical regimes, understand this.

Maybe it’s time for many others to get some perspective.

Remember what you have.

Drooling, cross-eyed retard sets stage for next tranche of SJW butthurt

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I don’t know about you guys, but I’m really sick and tired of sniveling, perpetually-offended social justice warriors foisting their chafed labia on the rest of us via political and social pressure! It seems their entire lives consist of finding outlets for their affronts and offenses – real or imagined. I honestly can’t figure out how people who are so touchy and faint-hearted managed to live to adulthood with that much sand in their collective twats!

Enter this Rick Perlstein thing. I hesitate to call it a man, because no one bearing gonads should be this shrewish and whiny! Frankly, no one with any set of female genitals should be this petulant as well; hence it’s a “thing.”

Just take a look at this hypersensitive hipster wannabe uber douche! If this creature has any testosterone coursing through its body, I’d be shocked.

His latest screed takes on that shocking, racist, pernicious, filled with lying myths, and did I mention RACIST? symbol of white cis male hetero hate – the POW-MIA flag.

Yep, you read that correctly.

Does anyone else smell liberal panty-shitting?

Jonn over at TAH takes down this blubbering cock pickle’s “facts” pretty damn well, so I won’t rehash that here.

I was particularly fond of Jonn’s reply to this slack-jawed twat’s claim that “The number of actual prisoners, was about 550. The number of downed, missing pilots were spoken of, prima facia, as if they were missing, too, although almost all of them were certainly dead.”

Yeah, well, there were 591 POWs released for Operation Homecoming on February 12, 1973. According to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, there are still 1627 Americans missing from the war in Vietnam. Yeah, odds are that they’re dead, but they’re still missing, dimbulb. By the way, there are 83,117 Americans missing from all of our wars back to World War II. Even though the flag was borne out of the Vietnam War, it represents all of our POW and Missing – which is why the DPAA is still recovering World War II remains.

What I will say is this.

I realize all you members of the Covenant of the Chafed Cunt are interested in is finding the racism boogieman around every corner and under every bed. I realize you have no concept of honor, camaraderie, loyalty, or true friendship, because all your relationships are ones of convenience to be relegated to obscurity once they’ve outlived their usefulness. But not all Americans are like you, thank dog!

Those troops are likely deceased, but they have families, lovers, friends, and comrades awaiting closure, hoping to bring their remains home. They have a nation grateful for their service that wants to see its children come home. They have proud service members of yesterday and today, hoping their remains will see the land they loved again. And they will not forget.

We exchange prisoners for all sorts of things, including five Taliban scumbags for one deserter just this past year. Should we not at least afford those who died in the service of this nation the courtesy of making an effort of repatriating their remains? Well, if we are human beings with a shred of decency, we certainly would.

Those of us who claim membership in the human race, but act more like petulant monkeys, tossing shit grenades at everything they may find not to their liking, may think otherwise.

Perlstein is one of the latter.

Appropriating Chris Kyle

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I saw “American Sniper” on its opening weekend. It’s hard to say I enjoyed it.  I’m not sure anyone can enjoy a movie such as this. I can say it was well-acted, well-produced, and well-written. I can say that Bradley Cooper and Clint Eastwood did a fantastic job with a very difficult subject. I can say it was a fascinating, sad, emotional, inspiring, and interesting look into the mind and heart of a man who saved hundreds, if not thousands, of American lives.

Whatever you may think of the Iraq war, the intelligence failures that led us there, the 9-11 Commission report, the Iraqis, or the hundreds of Iraqi threats neutralized by Chris Kyle, he was a warrior – and a very skilled one. He did his job, and he did it superlatively. He saved American lives, and there are warriors out there who are grateful that he was up there with that rifle, protecting them from on high. He was a father and a husband. His view of the war was certainly different than many others’, but having saved so many American lives, he was a hero.

As a friend of mine put it, “the simple fact is, when we deploy, we have a mission and an objective, that’s all. Politics, religion, point of view……don’t factor in. We go, we do the job, some of us write a book about it, and some of us just buy a bottle and move on.”

Some people just don’t understand that. From the first day “American Sniper” hit the theaters, attention-whoring celebutards rushed to condemn the movie, comparing it to Nazi propaganda and calling Chris Kyle a coward (to be fair, Seth Rogen walked back his stupid comment after being widely panned as a moron), while the usual crowd of leftist writers proceeded to use the movie, and Kyle’s life, as fodder for their continued EvilBooshIraqWarBad campaign.

Enter this dude. Now normally, I wouldn’t give Salon the time of day. Even without reading the article, you know this is going to be an EvilBooshIraqWarBad screed, but because this was written by ostensibly an American sniper, who claims to have served in Iraq, I figured I’d give it a read.

Salon describes the writer thusly: “Garett Reppenhagen served as a Cavalry Scout Sniper with the 1st Infantry Division in the US Army and deployed on a peacekeeping mission in Kosovo and a combat tour in the Diyala Province, Iraq in 2004. Garett works as a Regional Director for Vet Voice Foundation and is a veterans advocate and social justice organizer.”

Social justice organizer… This alone sets off all kinds of alarms, but I decided to give it a read anyway. In this essay Reppenhagen describes events much differently from Kyle’s experience.

Unlike Chris Kyle, who claimed his PTSD came from the inability to save more service members, most of the damage to my mental health was what I call “moral injury,” which is becoming a popular term in many veteran circles.

As a sniper I was not usually the victim of a traumatic event, but the perpetrator of violence and death. My actions in combat would have been more acceptable to me if I could cloak myself in the belief that the whole mission was for a greater good. Instead, I watched as the purpose of the mission slowly unraveled.

I served in Iraq from 2004 to 2005. During that time, we started to realize there were no weapons of mass destruction, the 9/11 commission report determined that Iraq was not involved in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, false sovereignty was given to Iraq by Paul Bremer, the atrocities at Abu Ghraib were exposed, and the Battle of Fallujah was waged.

The destruction I took part in suddenly intersected with news that our reasons for waging war were untrue. The despicable conduct of those at Abu Ghraib was made more unforgivable by the honorable interactions I had with Iraqi civilians, and, together, it fueled the post-traumatic stress I struggle with today.

He warns the reader not to take “American Sniper” as the sole view of the Iraq war. OK… he’s correct. Everyone’s experience in the war is different. I was also deployed to Kosovo, and I’m fairly sure that my one-year experience there was much different from Reppenhagen’s. That’s not an unfair warning. Like I said, everyone’s experience is different.

That said, what really bothers me is that the people trying to appropriate Chris Kyle’s story to their own experience. Reppenhagen obviously doesn’t get what “American Sniper” was about. This was Chris Kyle’s story. It was his war. It was his experiences. It was his point of view. This was one man’s account: Chris Kyle’s. And yet, Reppenhagen seems chafed that “American Sniper” didn’t tell his story, didn’t focus on his political views and his doubts, didn’t show his disenchantment with Abu Ghraib, the 9/11 Commission Report, or his view of the Iraqi people.

Guess what! It’s not Reppenhagen’s story. It’s Chris Kyle’s. And Reppenhagen seems to want to appropriate Chris Kyle’s story and apply it to his own experiences.

Know what? When you sell your own memoir and get a movie deal, you can tell your story. But the continued attempts to spew a political message using an American hero as a vehicle, while discounting his experiences or downright smearing him and what he went through is getting old.

Additionally, Jonn mentioned Reppenhagen was a candidate for the board of the Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) in 2010. Interestingly, he was apparently good buddies with Stolen Valor phony Rick Duncan aka Richard Strandloff, and couldn’t tell the guy never served. That’s also interesting. Normally veterans are damn good at weeding crap out of their ranks. This guy… apparently bringing Strandloff into IVAW and “raising a lot of awareness” for his political agenda was important enough to overlook his fraud.

So yes, maintain a 360 point of view when it comes to “American Sniper,” but understand the movie and the book as one man’s point of view, and extend that objective 360 eye to the people who see it fit to criticize the movie.

Their motives aren’t as pure as they may lead you to believe.

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