Category: National Politics

‘Jihadi John’: US air strike targets Islamic State militant in Syria

US forces have carried out a drone strike in Syria against the Islamic State militant known as “Jihadi John”.

A US military source said there was a “high degree of certainty” he had been killed in Thursday’s attack in Raqqa.

Mohammed Emwazi, a Kuwaiti-born British militant, appeared in videos of the beheadings of Western hostages.

UK PM David Cameron said although it was not yet certain whether the strike had been successful, targeting Emwazi was “the right thing to do”.

It is believed there was one other person in the vehicle targeted in the strike.

Who is Mohammed Emwazi?

‘Jihadi John’ movement mapped

Emwazi ‘claimed harassment’

Who are Britain’s jihadists?

Speaking outside Downing Street, Mr Cameron said the UK had been working with the United States “literally around the clock” to track Emwazi down.

He said any successful attack would have been “a strike at the heart” of Islamic State (IS), and would demonstrate to those who would harm Britain that “we have a long reach, we have unwavering determination and we never forget about our citizens”.

He described Emwazi as an “ongoing and serious threat” to civilians around the world, particularly in Syria and the UK.

Emwazi appeared in beheading videos of victims including British aid worker David Haines and taxi driver Alan Henning.

Mr Haines’s daughter Bethany said she felt an “instant sense of relief” upon hearing reports of Emwazi’s possible death, “knowing he wouldn’t appear in anymore horrific videos”

“He was only a pawn in Isis’s stupid game, but knowing it’s over, that he’s finally dead, still hasn’t sunk in,” she said in a statement.

“As much as I wanted him dead I also wanted answers as to why he did it, why my dad, how did it make a difference?”

‘Mixed feelings’

The Henning family were informed on Thursday night by a government contact that the strike had taken place, the BBC understands.

Stuart Henning, Mr Henning’s nephew, wrote on Twitter: “Mixed feelings today wanted the coward behind the mask to suffer the way Alan and his friends did but also glad it’s been destroyed.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said it appeared Emwazi had been “held to account for his callous and brutal crimes”.

“However, it would have been far better for us all if he had been held to account in a court of law,” he said.

On Twitter, a group called Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently posted a map claiming to show the location of the drone strike.

It added: “The good thing is #JihadiJohn got killed near Clock tower where #ISIS Execute people.”

A senior US military source said the strike involved two MQ9 Reaper drones and took place at 20:50 GMT.

A formal statement from the Pentagon stopped short of asserting that Emwazi had definitely been killed, adding that it was assessing the operation.


by Frank Gardner, BBC security correspondent

As the militant who sadistically murdered Western aid workers and journalists on camera, Mohammed Emwazi became a top target for US and British intelligence agencies, even though he is thought to have played no military role within Islamic State.

After his identity was revealed in February, Emwazi largely stayed out of sight, taking particular care not to leave a digital trail to his whereabouts.

But GCHQ, the UK government’s communications headquarters, has expended enormous efforts to intercept and decipher any encrypted messages that might reveal his location or those of his associates.

Emwazi is believed to have travelled to Syria in 2013 and later joined IS militants.

He first appeared in a video in August last year, when footage was posted online showing the murder of US journalist James Foley.

He later appeared in videos of the beheadings of US journalist Steven Sotloff,Mr Haines, Mr Henning, as well as American aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig,also known as Peter, and Japanese journalist Kenji Goto.

Another reminder of how the email story is out of Hillary’s control

Our Clowns Our Circus..

Another reminder of how the email story is out of Hillary’s control

Last night’s news that a former Clinton IT staffer who helped set up Hillary Clinton’s private server is invoking the Fifth Amendment and refusing to testify before the House Benghazi committee is yet another reminder how this email story is out of her control. After all, what’s in the best interests of the campaign (Team Clinton released a statement that they wanted the former aide, Bryan Pagliano, to testify) isn’t necessarily in the best interests of everyone involved (Pagliano’s lawyer certainly thought otherwise). And when that dynamic is at play, things are no longer in your hands. The other (and maybe more important) reminder about how this entire story is no longer in Hillary Clinton’s control is the current FBI investigation into whether classified information was mishandled. That FBI investigation could potentially end tomorrow. Or it could end a year from now — which would be politically problematic for the Clinton campaign. Bottom line: In sheer political terms, you have to hand it to House Republicans: They created a fishing expedition with their Benghazi committee. And maybe this email story doesn’t turn out to be a marlin, but it’s sure a nice grouper.

The Clinton campaign responds

Here’s the response from the Clinton campaign on Pagliano invoking the Fifth, per NBC’s Kristen Welker: “We have been confident from the beginning that Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email was allowed and that she did not send or receive anything marked classified, facts confirmed by the State Department and the Inspector General,” the campaign said. “She has made every effort to answer questions and be as helpful as possible, and has encouraged her aides, current and former, to do the same, including Bryan Pagliano.” More: “Bryan is an utter professional and a wonderful young man who does not live in the public eye and understandably may not wish to be drawn into a political spectacle. So his decision is both understandable and yet also disappointing to us, because we believe he has every reason to be transparent about his IT assistance.” Indeed, it is worth noting that former top Clinton aide Cheryl Mills is testifying before the Benghazi committee today (behind closed doors), as NBC’s Alex Moe reports.

Does Biden truly have the stomach to take on Hillary?

Does this invoking-the-Fifth story make Hillary more vulnerable to a Democratic challenge? You bet. But the question that Vice President Joe Biden faces is this: Does he have the stomach to take Clinton on and use this kind of story against her? Remember, a gutsy Barack Obama crafted an entire primary message of “turning the page” and “change” against Clinton in 2007-2008. Is Biden as gutsy? We’re about to find out. By the way, this Labor Day weekend will be fascinating for Biden, who is in Florida and Georgia today selling the Iran deal. Do we get any clues from his Labor Day event in Pittsburgh?

Trump meets with the RNC’s Priebus amid “pledge” talk

Meanwhile, “Donald Trump is set to meet with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus Thursday in New York City, NBC News has confirmed. The meeting comes amid reports that the RNC has asked the GOP candidates to ‘pledge’ not to run as a third-party candidate if unsuccessful at clinching the nomination. Trump’s campaign did not comment on whether the RNC’s pledge is on the meeting’s agenda. After the Priebus meeting, Trump is scheduled to hold a press conference at 2 p.m. ET at Trump Tower in Manhattan.” Our take: It certainly looks like Trump will pledge not to run as a third-party candidate — what he has been hinting at in the past week or so — in return for another media platform (i.e., a news conference in New York).

Jeb acknowledges he needs to “turn it around

On ABC this morning, Jeb Bush was asked how he turns around his campaign. He answered, per NBC’s Jordan: “Turn it around by recognizing it is a long road. I have a well-funded campaign,” he said, adding that he will unveil his tax plan next week. Bush also said in the interview that Trump is “trying to insult his way to the presidency” with comments like suggesting that Bush should speak English.

Walker: “In the last six years under President Obama, we’ve seen a rise in anti-police rhetoric”

Talk about Scott Walker turning up the volume here. “In the last six years under President Obama, we’ve seen a rise in anti-police rhetoric. Instead of hope and change, we’ve seen racial tensions worsen and a tendency to use law enforcement as a scapegoat,” he said in a piece for the conservative site Hot Air. “This kind of attitude has created a culture in which we all too often see demonstrations and chants where people describe police as “pigs” and call for them to be “fried like bacon.” This inflammatory and disgusting rhetoric has real consequences for the safety of officers who put their lives on the line for us and hampers their ability to serve the communities that need their help.” By the way, Unintimidated PAC, the Super PAC supporting Scott Walker, says it will spend $9.25 million in South Carolina, New Hampshire and Nevada leading up to those contests — with $8 million alone going to South Carolina. This is on top of the $7 million campaign that the Super PAC has already reserved time for. The Wall Street Journal first reported the story.

Fiorina: CNN “did the right thing” by changing its debate rules

Meanwhile, in an interview with NBC’s Hallie Jackson, Carly Fiorina said CNN “did the right thing” by changing its debate rules; she claimed she’s been a “frontrunner” since Aug. 6; and she added she’ll be focusing on her bio at the next GOP debate, given all the eyeballs Trump has drawn to previous debate. “We know that a lot of people watch these debates. We also know that I went into last debate with the lowest name ID in field. I still have the lowest name ID in the field. So any opportunity to introduce myself to the American people is an opportunity I’m going to take advantage of,” Fiorina told Jackson.

That Kentucky clerk story becomes a hot 2015/2016 topic

“The county official in rural Kentucky who has become the focal point for resistance to the U.S. Supreme Court’s gay marriage decision will appear this morning before a federal judge to explain why she should not be held in contempt of court,” NBC’s Pete Williams reports. And interestingly, it’s become an issue in this year’s Kentucky gubernatorial race, with Republican Matt Bevin supporting clerk Kim Davis’ decision not to give marriage licenses to gay couples, while Democrat Jack Conway opposes. And NBC’s Alex Jaffe writes how it has become an issue in the 2016 GOP race.

$16 million in TV ad spending so far in ’16 vs. $2 million at this point in ’12: $2 million

Finally, according to our look at the 2016 presidential TV ad spending, roughly $16 million has so far been spent on TV ads — by the campaigns and outside groups. By comparison, at this same point in the 2012 race, just $2 million had been spent, according to the data from NBC’s ad-tracking partner SMG Delta.

The top spenders (as of Sept. 1, 2015):

  • Team Kasich: $3.7 million (all in NH)
  • Team Rubio: $2.6 million (all on national cable)
  • Team Clinton: $2.2 million (in IA, NH)
  • Team Jindal: $1.6 million (all in IA)
  • Team Christie: $1.4 million (all in NH)
  • Team Perry: $1.4 million (all in IA)
  • Team Paul: $470K (in IA, NH)
  • Team Pataki: $314K (in NH)
  • Team Carson: $297K (in IA, NH)

On the trail

Bernie Sanders, Bobby Jindal, and Carly Fiorina campaign in Iowa… Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, and Lindsey Graham are in New Hampshire… Marco Rubio holds a rally with supporters in Chattanooga, TN… Mike Huckabee stumps in South Carolina… And Ted Cruz holds rallies in Texas.

A Strong Middle Class

I just watched President Obama and Vice President Biden telling us that the middle class is the back bone of our economy. Well think we all knew that, but it was nice to be acknowledged.

A new website has been created that is the most amazing site to do with our White House I have ever seen.


They are starting a with VP Biden in charge:

America’s middle class is the economic engine of this nation. Our road to economic recovery begins with restoring the prosperity of working families and small business owners. That is why today, President Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum creating a task force dedicated to raising the living standards of middle class families – and he put the nation’s number two guy in charge, Vice President Joe Biden:

“America’s middle class is hurting. Trillions of dollars in home equity and retirement savings and college savings are gone. And every day, more and more Americans are losing their jobs. President Obama and I are determined to change this. Quite simply, a strong middle class equals a strong America. We can’t have one without the other. This Task Force will be an important vehicle to assess new and existing policies across the board and determine if they are helping or hurting the middle class. It is our charge to get the middle class – the backbone of this country – up and running again.”

After going to the web site you will find an area to submit your task force ideas, again we are being called upon to help our government to make our US a better place to live.

US Raid in Pakistan

Missiles fired by a suspected US drone have killed at least eight militants in a Pakistani tribal region on the Afghan border, local officials say.

The missiles destroyed a house in a remote village, they said.

The attack took place in North Waziristan which is known to be a hub of al-Qaeda and Taleban militants.

In recent weeks, more than 100 people – among them suspected militants and many civilians – have been killed in the tribal areas in attacks by US missiles.

The issue has become extremely sensitive in Pakistan where anti-American sentiment is rising.

Pakistan’s government says such unilateral American operations undermine its own counter-insurgency strategy.

Meanwhile, an Afghan and a Japanese journalist have been shot and wounded in the city of Peshawar, the capital of North West Frontier Province. Earlier this week, an American aid worker was shot dead in Peshawar and an Iranian diplomat was kidnapped.

‘Hearts and minds’

The latest drone attack took place in the early hours of Friday morning in a village near the town of Razmak in North Waziristan not far from the Afghan border.

Archive image of a US “hunter-killer” drone, the MQ-9 Reaper, which has been deployed in Afghanistan
It is the second drone attack reported in the area in recent days

Two missiles fired from a drone struck a house in the village, destroying it completely, reports said.

Local officials say all those killed were militants.

They say they cannot confirm whether any foreigners were among the dead.

The BBC’s Syed Shoaib Hasan in Islamabad says this area is part of territory under the control of local Taleban commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur. It was the target of a similar drone attack last Friday, in which 11 militants were reported killed.

The latest attack comes days after Pakistan’s President Asif Zardari’s appeal to US president-elect Barack Obama to review the strategy of attacking targets in Pakistan’s tribal areas.

“It’s undermining my sovereignty and it’s not helping win the… hearts and minds of people,” Mr Zardari told CBS News.

North Waziristan is known as a haven for Taleban and al-Qaeda fighters who enter Afghanistan and the US administration suspects that senior al-Qaeda leaders, including Osama bin Laden, are hiding there.

The United States has stepped up missile attacks from drones in the region in recent weeks.

There have been nearly 20 strikes in the past three months and, while US officials say al-Qaeda leaders are being successfully targeted, local tribesmen say scores of civilians have been killed.

Most of the missile strikes have taken place in the Waziristan region, where no Pakistani military operation is in progress.

Last week, Pakistan told the visiting head of US Central Command General David Petraeus that the missile strikes were “counter-productive” and detrimental to the so-called “war on terror”.

Is this a case of ‘sore loosers’ ?

Some Republicans to skip inaugural hoopla
WASHINGTON (UPI) — Some Washington Republicans are using President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration to extend their vacations, booking events beyond the Beltway, observers note.

Scores of Republicans — who saw their numbers shrink in Congress and lost their eight-year reign in the White House — have chosen alternative events such as dinners, vacations and NFL playoff games to the swearing-in ceremony Jan. 20, Politico reported Friday.

Republican fundraiser Charlie Spies invited GOP-ers to dinner, saying in an e-mail, “What better way to mark the Obama Inauguration (and his millions of adoring fans that will be in D.C.) than to get out of town to fabulous Las Vegas!” Fifteen people have taken him up on his offer.

Other Republican insiders said they’ll stick around for the quadrennial rite of government, the Washington publication said.

“I’m chasing ball tickets, swearing-in tickets, hotel rooms, reservations, invites — what’s new?” said Robbie Aiken, a GOP lobbyist who has participated in every inauguration since he was on former President Ronald Reagan’s staff in 1981. “That’s what Washington people are supposed to do, and I’m glad to help, with a smile, as usual.”

Undignified Disrespect of a Senator

John McCain, wobbling over the stage acting like an old grandpa. Barely keeping up with his own thoughts, constantly writing down personal memos, onset of Alzheimer’s?

His ‘That one’ statement directed towards Senator Obama. Now, I know when MY Grandpa would refer to me as “that one’ he was about to give me a thrashing! Again, McCain is showing his uncontrollable temper.

Can you just imagine him as our president and one of our various world leaders made him madder than a wet hornet as its said in the sticks, and he refers to them as ‘that one’?  It is a statement created to make another feel demeaned and threatened, we cant have that, for crisis sake!

Senator John McCain has become a babbling old fool and needs to step out of the heroes light, go home, sit down, surrounded by his war medals, and remember the good ole days. We do not need GWBushes, little  Napoleon being our next commander in chief.

One the job training – Now if you were to be able to ask any of the past presidents, they would tell you that NOBODY, oh, including ole Jonny, Nobody knows the job until they sit in that seat. There is no college prep course for that position, too many need to knows, to actually know what your getting into. SO, if Jonny wants to talk the ‘No time for on the job training’ to the mix, then we are all out of luck, as that is what the job perquisite is for all past and present applicants, On the job training.

Again, he makes a fool out of himself.

John McCain: The Manchurian Candidate?

I have been wondering since McCain began running for president about his ‘war hero’ experience. He seems to be constantly bringing it up as of what a wonder boy he was, but he says nothing about it. His struggles, his experience, who else was there with him. Where are the other POW’s?

Well, my curiosity got the best of me and I began to have a look.

I found a website that was organized by Jerry Kiley called ‘Vietnam veterans against John McCain. There I found quite a few answers to my questions. Now, of course this is like most full of hype, but I believe there is some truth in there if you read between the lines.

This is an excerpt from Jerry Kiley’s page:

Vietnam Veterans Against John McCain was formed to dispel the myth of “Straight talkin’, principled, maverick war hero” John McCain. Through more than two decades of investigation of his behavior, through open-source documents, public statements of his colleagues, and personal conversations with other Vietnam POWs, we have come to the unavoidable conclusion that he is unfit by virtue of his temperament, character, dishonesty, and emotional instability to serve as President of the United States or in any other position of public trust.   This article was suspended…hmm wonder by whom…

Here is another interesting thought from the US Veteran Dispatch

McCain was subjected to 5 ½ years of Soviet driven “brain perversion techniques.”
Is he fit to be President and Commander in Chief of the military?

U.S. Veteran Dispatch

McCain said the communists were so effective with their interrogation techniques that he broke on the fourth day after being captured and began cooperating. “Demands for military information were accompanied by threats to terminate my medical treatment if I [McCain] did not cooperate. Eventually, I gave them my ship’s name and squadron number, and confirmed that my target had been the power plant.” Pages 193-194, Faith of My Fathers, by John McCain.

U.S. intelligence agents concluded in the early 1950s that Soviet intelligence (KGB) agents were experimenting on their prisoners with “mind control” techniques and behavior modification drugs

Allen W. Dulles, the newly confirmed CIA director acknowledged the dilemma in April 1953, when he told a gathering of Princeton alumni that “a sinister battle for men’s minds” was underway. The Soviets, Dulles explained “have developed brain perversion techniques, some of which are so subtle and so abhorrent to our way of life that we have recoiled from facing up to them.” article by Ted Sampley.      

I found this all to be very interesting. My brother a two year Vietnam Vet had a few tasks of rescuing POW’s. Although he doesn’t say much about it, he will laugh when McCain stands unscathed by his POW experience. I personally don’t know what happened, but I do believe a human being can not go through such a hanis experience and come out a healthy mind and body to run for the President of the United States.

Abraham Lincoln by James Russell Lowell

Abraham Lincoln
THERE have been many painful crises since the impatient vanity of
South Carolina hurried ten prosperous Commonwealths into a
crime whose assured retribution was to leave them either at the
mercy of the nation they had wronged, or of the anarchy they had
summoned but could not control, when no thoughtful American
opened his morning paper without dreading to find that he had no
longer a country to love and honor.  Whatever the result of the
convulsion whose first shocks were beginning to be felt, there
would still be enough square miles of earth for elbow-room; but
that ineffable sentiment made up of memory and hope, of instinct
and tradition, which swells every man's heart and shapes his
thought, though perhaps never present to his consciousness, would
be gone from it, leaving it common earth and nothing more.  Men
might gather rich crops from it, but that ideal harvest of priceless
associations would be reaped no longer; that fine virtue which sent
up messages of courage and security from every sod of it would
have evaporated beyond recall.  We should be irrevocably cut off
from our past, and be forced to splice the ragged ends of our lives
upon whatever new conditions chance might leave dangling for us.

We confess that we had our doubts at first whether the patriotism
of our people were not too narrowly provincial to embrace the
proportions of national peril.  We felt an only too natural distrust of
immense public meetings and enthusiastic cheers.
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