General Odierno: U.S. Army Has Not Conducted Any Training For Past Six Months

Shocking Admission On Army Preparedness: No Training The Last 6 Months – Investors Business Daily

While the president of the United States pitched his crumbling healthcare program like a late-night infomercial barker, the Army’s chief of staff made a shocking admission about national defense.

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Gen. Ray Odierno told a Washington conference Monday that the U.S. Army had not conducted any training in the last six months of the fiscal year ending Sept. 30.

And, he said, there currently are only two Army brigades rated combat-ready. That’s a total of between 7,000 to 10,000 troops and less than one-third what the combat veteran regards as necessary for proper national security.

“Right now,” Odierno said, “we have in the Army two brigades that are trained. That’s it. Two.”

Odierno also revealed that troops shipping out to Afghanistan now are prepared only to train and assist Afghan troops, not to conduct combat operations themselves. But, of course, there’s no guarantee the Americans won’t find themselves in combat while accompanying Afghan soldiers.

All this to obey Obama administration orders to drastically cut the Army and military spending and meet cuts under sequestration. Since the Obama Pentagon began the troop draw-down two years ago under the president’s orders, more than 33,000 active duty soldiers have been cut.

Current plans call for additional reductions of 42,000 soldiers in the next 23 months to a total of 490,000, down from 570,000. Those cuts have been accelerated by two years under Pentagon orders and will involve involuntary separations of thousands.

But under directions from Obama Defense Secy. Chuck Hagel last summer, military planners now anticipate administration orders to sever another 70,000 active-duty Army personnel at all levels, most of them unwillingly and after receiving expensive training. The 420,000-level is the absolute minimum Odierno says he can effectively operate, but he warns equipment updating and purchases have already been adversely affected.

“The worst-case scenario,” Odierno said, “is you ask me to deploy thousands of soldiers somewhere and we have not properly trained them to go because we simply don’t have the dollars and money.”

The Obama military draw-downs that hit the Army the hardest come on top of an apparent ongoing purge among some of the nation’s top veteran generals, as we reported here.

Ten days ago, two more generals in charge of the country’s nuclear weapons were fired by this administration, allegedly for personal misconduct.

The ongoing housecleaning of top military brass or whatever it is seems peculiarly meticulous given these disturbing cover-up facts in other scandals:

- Obama has fired not one single person for the inadequate security and response in the deadly Benghazi attack last year that saw four Americans killed;

- No one fired for the lethal Fast and Furious gun-running operation of the Justice Department and the attorney general’s professed ignorance of the activities under his supervision;

- No one fired for the illegal use of the Internal Revenue Service to target and intimidate political opponents of this Democrat administration, preventing their participation in the 2012 campaign.

The No. 2 State Department official in the Libyan Embassy was, however, sidelined and demoted after meeting with a visiting congressman to answer his questions about the deadly night of 9/11/12.

Across town, Obama was forced to make a non-military admission of his own Monday. With a cadre of innocent civilians standing with him in the Rose Garden as living props for ObamaCare, Obama was wading through a 3,600-word defense of his troubled signature legislation.

Behind him, one of the women could take no more. She fainted on national TV, interrupting the president. “No, no, you’re OK,” Obama said wishfully. “This happens when I talk too long. You’ll be OK. Here, why don’t you go?”

Don’t worry though. The commander-in-chief did not let that pregnant woman’s health issue impede his healthcare pitch.

With the stricken woman removed, Obama turned back to the podium. Where he bravely continued his remarks until he’d said everything he came to say.

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Jihad Experts Decry White House Terror Training Guidelines

Jihad Experts Decry White House Terror Training Guidelines – Daily Caller

Experts on Islam and terrorism are decrying the Department of Homeland Security’s recently revealed anti-terrorism training guidelines, which pressure cops to ignore Islamic beliefs when investigating terror crimes.

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The Boston bombings demonstrated the impact of such training, Andrew McCarthy, a former New York prosecutor, told The Daily Caller.

“The Boston Marathon was bombed by a jihadist who had been investigated by the FBI… [and was confirmed in 2011 to be] an Islamist, which would have been hard not to do since he does not appear to have made any secret of it,” said McCarthy, who persuaded a New York jury in 1995 to convict “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel-Rahman for his use of Islamic teaching to spur jihad attacks, including the 1993 attack against the Twin Towers.

But before the bombing, “the FBI closed its file [on Tamerlan Tsarnaev] because it found this did not constitute ‘derogatory information,’” McCarthy said.

McCarthy and other security experts, and even members of the American Islamic community, indicate that a culture of excessive concern for the sensibilities of Muslims supremacists is preventing law enforcement agencies from pursuing jihadists.

The 2011 guidelines unveiled Thursday by The Daily Caller are part of this pattern of deferring to Islamist chauvinism.

Under the federal guidelines, “agents are admonished to discount the possibility that an Islamist’s constitutionally protected abhorrence of the United States might possibly lead to violence,” McCarthy told TheDC.

Even if FBI officials had learned about Tsarnaev’s 2012 trip to a part of southern Russia that is embroiled in a jihadi war, they would not have restarted their 2011 investigation, a government official told the Washington Post in April.

“The FBI investigation into the individual in question had been closed six months prior to his departure from the United States and more than a year before his return. …Since there was no derogatory information, there was no reason to suggest that additional action was warranted,” the official said in April.

On his six-month trip, starting in January 2012, Tsarnaev visited several militant Islamic leaders and mosques in Dagestan, where jihadis are fighting the Russian government, according to several U.S. and Russian media sources.

“The fiasco regarding Boston is a prime example” of how bad training degrades security, said Robert Spencer, an authority on Islamic doctrine who is heavily criticized by Islamic groups in the United States. He noted that even though FBI agents had interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the FBI was unable to identify Tsarnaev in crowd photographs taken before and after the bomb strike.

After the attack, FBI officials also did not ask the main mosque in Boston for help in identifying the suspects, said Nichole Mossalam, a spokeswoman for the Islamic Society of Boston.

“We were the ones who reached out to them… on Friday” once the picture were released, Mossalam told TheDC.

Under the federal guideline, the FBI officials had “no reason to go to the mosque since the [Tsarnaev] brothers don’t show any outward signs in the [street] photos of being Muslims,” said McCarthy.

Because of the guidelines, it would be “a ‘profiling’ scandal to show the pictures at the mosque just because it was a bombing with… no other evidence of connection to Muslims,” he said.

The guidelines, titled “Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Training Do’s and Don’ts,” don’t merely promote respect for free expression but actively promote extremist views by telling officials to sideline experts who “venture too deep into the weeds of [Islamic] religious doctrines and history… [T]hese topics are not necessary in order to understand the [Muslim] community.”

The DHS also actively discourages engagement with moderate Muslims. “Don’t use trainers… who are self-professed ‘Muslim reformers’… [or who] equate radical thought [or] religious expressions… with criminal activity,” say the training guidelines.

The guidelines also advise cops, “Don’t use a trainer or training that has received repeated external negative feedback… don’t use training that treats the American Muslim community as a problem rather than as a partner… don’t use training that relies on fear [for example, by citing convictions that show] mainstream Muslim organizations have terrorist ties.”

The training guidelines go so far as to urge federal officials to rely on a political report by the Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC), a Los Angeles, California-based Islamic advocacy group with extensive ties to jihadists and Islamist groups, including the Egypt-based Muslim Brotherhood.

The group’s spokeswoman, Miriam Baja, declined to comment on the controversy. The group’s leader, Salam Al-Marayati, is on vacation, she said.

TheDC asked whether cops should consider religious observance and dress when considering people’s future behavior. “That doesn’t necessarily mean anything,” Baja replied.

MPAC’s report [pdf], titled “Building Bridges,” downplays Islam’s role in spurring terrorism. “Despite the fact that only 8% of Muslims believe suicide bombing against civilians is ‘often/sometimes’ justified, some biased commentators have voiced doubt over the loyalty of Muslim Americans and argue they constitute a domestic security threat,” the report reads.

Security officials, the report claims, should delegate many anti-terror activities to local Islamist political groups. “This report argues the most effective way to deal with the challenge of radicalization and violent extremism is for law enforcement and Muslim American community leaders to partner together,” the report says.

The report’s recommendations were implemented by an August 2011 White House policy signed by President Barack.

“Communities – especially Muslim American communities whose children, families and neighbors are being targeted for recruitment by al-Qaida – are often best positioned to take the lead because they know their communities best,” said the directive [pdf], titled “Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States.”

McCarthy called MPAC “an Islamist organization whose founders openly admired the Muslim Brotherhood and Hezbollah, and whose director [Salam al-Marayati] suggested that the state of Israel should be a top suspect in the 9/11 attacks. I don’t find any of that particularly trustworthy.”

Marayati, however, claims he offered his services to law enforcement officials after the Boston Marathon attacks. “I then called the FBI to speak with the counterterrorism chief and asked him if there was any information we could share with our community leaders in Boston and what they should do if they had seen anything suspicious leading up to the bombing,” he wrote in an April 23 article for the Washington Post.

“I asked him if there was anything I could do to help. Like all Americans, I did not know the background of the culprits, and it did not matter. I offered my assistance as my civic duty to the country, no matter what others may think,” he wrote.

The article did not say how the FBI reacted to al-Marayati’s offer, or what he offered.

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Homeland Security Grants Went To ‘Zombie Apocalypse’ Training

Homeland Security Grants Went To ‘Zombie Apocalypse’ Training – Daily Caller

Most believe zombies are relegated to the movies and video games, but Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn has highlighted the Department of Homeland Security’s participation in a staged “zombie apocalypse.”

According to Coburn’s most recent oversight report “Safety at Any Price: Assessing the Impact of Homeland Security Spending in U.S. Cities,” first responders were approved grant funds for a $1,000 entry fee to a week-long HALO Counter-Terrorism Summit in San Diego where the “marquee” event was a demonstration of a “zombie apocalypse.”

“[Strategic Operations] performed two shows on Halloween, which featured 40 actors dressed as zombies getting gunned down by a military tactical unit. Conference attendees were invited to watch the shows as part of their education in emergency response training. [HALO president Brad] Barker explained that, ‘the idea is to challenge authorities as they respond to extreme medical situations where people become crazed and violent, creating widespread fear and disorder,’” the report reads.

Coburn was not pleased by the event or much of the waste detailed in his report.

“For instance, paying for first responders to attend a HALO Counterterrorism Summit at a California island spa resort featuring a simulated zombie apocalypse does little to discourage potential terrorists. I hope this report encourages DHS to award funds based on calculated risk, not politics,” Coburn said upon the report’s release. “Congress has a duty to ensure that this grant program does not become a parochial, pork-barrel entitlement program. We need to help the program fulfill its original goal of providing funds for projects in areas most at risk.”

The government has spent over $35 billion on DHS grant programs since 2003, and according to Coburn, there is no measure that Americans are safer today than they were before the multibillion dollar expenditures.

Also highlighted in the report is an underwater robot purchased with a $98,000 grant to look for “sunken treasure,” surveillance at the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres spring training facilities at a price of $90,000, a Bearcat armored vehicles to protect a small town’s pumpkin festival, $41,000 for a Remote-Control Helicopter in Seattle and $6,200 in sno-cone machine purchases.

“We have seen the value of these grants time and again,” said DHS spokesman Matthew Chandler in a statement reported by The Huffington Post. “As envisioned by Congress, these grants have directly supported the development and sustainment of core state and local capabilities identified as national strengths in the 2012 National Preparedness Report – from helping to save lives and minimize damage during the tornadoes in the South and Midwest, Hurricanes Irene and Sandy to building a national network of fusion centers to strengthen critical information sharing and terrorism prevention.”

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