Archive for statement

Vindicated: Tons of banned chemical weapons destroyed. Chickenhawks won't care.

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There's an editorial in today's Los Angeles Times titled, "Destruction of Syrian chemical weapons shows the U.S. may know what it's doing after all." Wait. So President Obama did something-- dun dun dun-n!-- right? Vindicated, at last!

[I]t was a rare bit of good news to hear from the administration on Monday that the United States had "finished neutralizing" hundreds of tons of the most deadly chemical weapons belonging to the regime of President Bashar Assad of Syria. This was a milestone in the diplomatic process that began a year ago this week when the Assad government was accused of using sarin gas to kill more than 1,000 people in a rebel-held suburb near Damascus. [...]

Conservatives assailed the plan as naive and feckless, as a projection of American weakness; Obama's supporters called ita fulfillment of his campaign promise to negotiate with those who were willing to talk in good faith.[...]

[N]egotiation and diplomacy are a better alternative to what would otherwise have been airstrikes followed by likely civilian deaths and a worrisome creep toward war.

"How dare Obama stop and think before he bombs?" Of course, now that the president has succeeded in accomplishing a goal sans war, he had to ruin it all (yes, that was sarcasm) by being all presidential and making a statement about the ghastly beheading of journalist James Foley by those despicable, brutal ISIL animals (sincere apologies to animals) responsible for his execution.

That will mean only one thing: John McCain and his trusty sidekick Li'l Lindsey Graham will appear on every Sunday talk show and be given a platform to call out President Obama's feck and demand that we go to war.

Again. I don't claim to know what the answer is, but our endless wars in the Middle East sure didn't succeed in eradicating terrorism or spreading Exceptional American Democracy across the region. However, BushCo and their pride-and-joy illegal invasion of Iraq did succeed at one thing: Failure. Sending more young Americans into battle is not always the answer, Johnsey (McGraham?).

Here is a partial transcript of the president's remarks via WaPo. Way to rev up the chickenhawks, Pres. O (yes, that was also sarcasm):

Today, the entire world is appalled by the brutal murder of Jim Foley by the terrorist group, ISIL....

He was taken hostage nearly two years ago in Syria, and he was courageously reporting at the time on the conflict there. Jim was taken from us in an act of violence that shocked the conscience of the entire world....

Let’s be clear about ISIL. They have rampaged across cities and villages, killing innocent, unarmed civilians in cowardly acts of violence. They abduct women and children and subject them to torture and rape and slavery. They have murdered Muslims, both Sunni and Shia, by the thousands. They target Christians and religious minorities, driving them from their homes, murdering them when they can, for no other reason than they practice a different religion. They declare their ambition to commit genocide against an ancient people.

So ISIL speaks for no religion. Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents. No just God would stand for what they did yesterday and what they do every single day. ISIL has no ideology of any value to human beings. Their ideology is bankrupt. They may claim, out of expediency, that they are at war with the United States or the West, but the fact is, they terrorize their neighbors and offer them nothing but an endless slavery to their empty vision and the collapse of any definition of civilized behavior...

The United States of America will continue to do what we must do to protect our people. We will be vigilant and we will be relentless. When people harm Americans, anywhere, we do what's necessary to see that justice is done....

From governments and peoples across the Middle East, there has to be a common effort to extract this cancer so that it does not spread. There has to be a clear rejection of these kind of nihilistic ideologies.

One thing we can all agree on is that a group like ISIL has no place in the 21st century.

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Live Streaming Video- President Obama Makes a Statement 10:35a EDT

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Video- President Obama Delivers a Statement On Senate Passing C.R.

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Tomorrow is going to be interesting.

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Video- President Obama Nominates Janet Yellin as Fed Chair 3:10p EDT

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Live Streaming Video- President Obama Makes a Statement and Takes Questions 2:00p EDT

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Live Streaming Video- President Obama Makes a statement 12:25p EDT

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This is the first thing you see when you go to the White House site. It's like a third world country, or a GeoCities page.

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Booz Allen's statement on Edward Snowden and "Reports of Leaked Information"

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edward snowden NSA PRISM whistleblower

Getting this wasn't easy. After several bouts with "BoozAllen.com Is Undergoing Maintenance" during an apparently crashing-under-the-weight-of-inquiring-people-want-to-know moment, I finally made it through to their press release (bolding mine):

Booz Allen Statement on Reports of Leaked Information

June 9, 2013

Booz Allen can confirm that Edward Snowden, 29, has been an employee of our firm for less than 3 months, assigned to a team in Hawaii. News reports that this individual has claimed to have leaked classified information are shocking, and if accurate, this action represents a grave violation of the code of conduct and core values of our firm. We will work closely with our clients and authorities in their investigation of this matter.

Here is Glenn Greenwald's interview at The Guardian: Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations, where there is also video:

The 29-year-old source behind the biggest intelligence leak in the NSA's history explains his motives, his uncertain future and why he never intended on hiding in the shadows [...]

"I don't want public attention because I don't want the story to be about me. I want it to be about what the US government is doing."

Wiki:

Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. (Booz Allen) is an American consulting firm headquartered in Tysons Corner, Fairfax County, Virginia, with 80 other offices throughout the United States. It is recognized as one of the most prestigious technology consulting firms in the world[3] and one of the best consulting firms to work for by Consulting Magazine.[4]Bloomberg Government ranked Booz Allen as 16th in its listing of industry leaders in the government sector in 2013. [5] Founded in 1914 by Edwin G. Booz, the company is one of the oldest management consulting firms in the world.

Booz Allen Hamilton is engaged in providing management and technology consulting services to the United States government and commercial services. Booz Allen’s services include strategic planning, human capital and learning, communications, operational improvement, information technology work, systems engineering, organizational change efforts, modeling and simulation, program management, assurance and resilience, and economic business analysis. [...]

Another controversy, related to some of the senior staff of Booz Allen (past and present) and related to its performance on some specific U.S. intelligence agency contracts, was brought to light on January 12, 2007 in an interview conducted by Democracy Now! with Tim Shorrock,[70] an independent investigative journalist, and separately in an article he wrote for the Salon online magazine. Through investigation of Booz Allen employees, Shorrock asserts that there is a sort of revolving-door conflict of interest between Booz Allen and the U.S. government, and between multiple other contractors and the U.S. government in general. Regarding Booz Allen, Shorrock referred to such people as John M. McConnell, R. James Woolsey, Jr., and James R. Clapper, all of whom have gone back and forth between government and industry (Booz Allen in particular), and who may present the appearance that certain government contractors receive undue or unlawful business from the government, and that certain government contractors may exert undue or unlawful influence on government. Shorrock further relates that Booz Allen was a sub-contractor with two programs at the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), called Trailblazer and Pioneer Groundbreaker.

More at the link.

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