The U.S. military was totally taken by surprise when Saudi Arabia attacked Houthi rebels in Yemen this week.
NBC’s Richard Engel says Arab nations, and former allies, no longer trust the United States due to the Obama administration’s new friendship with Iran.
The damage of Barack Obama’s disastrous foreign policy builds with each new day.
The Washington Free Beacon reported:
NBC’s Richard Engel reported Friday that U.S. officials were stunned they were not given any notice before Saudi Arabia launched attacks against Houthi rebels. According to Engel, military leaders were finding out about the developments on the Yemen border in real time.
Engel said officials from both the military and members of Congress believe they were not given advanced warning because the Arab nations do not trust the Obama administration after they befriended Iran.
“Saudi Arabia and other countries simply don’t trust the United States any more, don’t trust this administration, think the administration is working to befriend Iran to try to make a deal in Switzerland, and therefore didn’t feel the intelligence frankly would be secure. And I think that’s a situation that is quite troubling for U.S. foreign policy,” Engel said.
And, why would any US ally trust the Obama regime?
** The Obama administration intentionally leaked information on Israel’s secret military alliance with Azerbaijan in 2012.
** The Obama administration released a 1987 report on Israel’s top secret nuclear program this week.
The director of the Philadelphia VA regional benefits office was paid $288,000 in “relocation payments” to move the 140 miles from Washington, D.C. to her new home last year.
Diana Rubens was tapped last June to take over the Philadelphia regional benefits office, which is one of many VA hospitals and benefits offices currently being investigated over benefits claims.
Rubens, who previously served as the D.C.-based deputy undersecretary for field operations, where she oversaw 57 regional offices, was brought in to help fix the embattled Philadelphia facility.
A breakdown of Rubens’ “relocation payments” was not immediately available, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, but a VA spokesman said that there was nothing inappropriate with the spending.
Federal regulations allow for the reimbursement of relocation expenses including the “costs of house-hunting, moving, terminating leases, and a per-diem rate for meals and temporary housing for an employee and his or her family,” the spokesman said.
But that hefty repayment is nearly 160 percent of what Rubens earned in base pay all of last year, raising questions over what exactly that money could have gone towards.
Rubens was paid more than $181,000 in 2014, according to the website FedSmith.com, which maintains a database of federal employee compensation.
“The government shouldn’t be in the business of doling out hundreds of thousands in cash to extremely well-compensated executives just to move less than three hours down the road,” Florida Rep. Jeff Miller, the chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, told the Inquirer.
“For VA to pay such an outrageous amount in relocation expenses at a time when the department is continually telling Congress and taxpayers it needs more money raises questions about VA’s commitment to fiscal responsibility, transparency and true reform.”
Rubens has been mentioned before in articles criticizing other money she’s been paid by the VA. According to the Center for Investigative Reporting, in 2011, she received a bonus of more than $23,000 even though patient backlogs – one area Rubens was in charge of managing – increased by 300,000.
The Washington Examiner reported last year that Rubens received more than $97,000 in bonuses between 2007 and 2011 even though the average time to process veterans’ claims doubled to 325 days on her watch. The ratio of backlogged cases nearly doubled as well, from 37 percent in 2009 to 71 percent in 2013.
Man I love this guy.
Ted Cruz completely schooled a journalist who asked him about Climate Change in his Texas Tribune interview, a journalist who was clearly sympathetic to the cause. It was awesome to see.
That was just 3 minutes. Here’s the full Texas Tribune interview:
As Western Journalism reported, U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was recently charged with desertion months after he was released from Taliban captivity in exchange for five suspected terrorists. The pursuit of such charges has been discussed since several of his fellow soldiers described his actions prior to being captured by enemy fighters while stationed in Afghanistan in 2009.
He reportedly announced that he no longer wished to fight for the U.S. and left his platoon, leading to a search mission that cost as many as eight other soldiers their lives.
Nevertheless, the Obama administration approved a deal that would bring Bergdahl home while freeing potentially dangerous prisoners – some of whom have been linked to new terror plots since their release.
For Gary Sinise, an actor, musician, and dedicated military supporter, the executive branch must account for its actions. He took to Twitter this week to insist that the administration “must explain, especially 2 families of those lost attempting 2 find him,” the rationale behind the prisoner swap.
His post quickly gained traction with roughly 1,000 users adding it to their collection of favorite tweets and another 1,250 or so sharing it with their followers as of this writing.
A clear majority of the post’s dozens of responses were supportive.
One user wrote that it is “refreshing” to see “a Hollywood star with the guts to stand up for our veterans!”
Others who echoed Sinise’s frustration, however, were less than optimistic about awaiting any response from the White House.
“It will never happen,” one post predicted. “They never explain anything. It’s all just ‘fake scandals.’”
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid will not be seeking re-election in 2016.
The former majority leader, who has been a top target for Republican ire, released a video message Friday citing his New Year’s Day exercise injuries, saying they provided him “down time.”
“I have had time to ponder and to think,” he explained. “We’ve got to be more concerned about the country, the Senate, the state of Nevada than us. And as a result of that I’m not going to run for re-election.”
While the powerful Nevada Democrat said the accident gave him time to think, he stressed that the decision was not due to the injury.
“The decision that I’ve made has absolutely nothing to do with my injury, it has nothing to do with my being minority leader and it certainly has nothing to do with my ability to be re-elected because the path to re-election is much easier than probably has been any time that I’ve run for re-election,” he said.
Reid’s departure from the Senate in 22 months will end a three decade tenure in the Senate. He was first elected to the Senate in 1986. Before that, he served two terms in the House of Representatives.
His announcement comes the same week a Department of Homeland Security Inspector General report criticized Deputy DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over providing immigration benefits for the politically connected. The report named named Reid as a beneficiary of Mayorkas’ influence.
Following the announcement Friday, the National Republican Senatorial Committee offered an early victory dance, arguing that Reid was set to lose his re-election after losing the majority last cycle.
“Not only does Reid instantly become irrelevant and a lame duck, his retirement signals that there is no hope for the Democrats to regain control of the Senate,” NRSC executive director Ward Baker said.
He added that the Nevada race is now a hot ticket for Republicans.
“With the exception of Reid, every elected statewide official in Nevada is Republican and this race is the top pickup opportunity for the GOP.”
Meanwhile Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Jon Tester (D-MT) praised Reid’s tenure and signaled Democrats would put up a fight in Nevada.
“There is a talented pool of Nevada Democrats who are ready to step up to the plate, and we will recruit a top-notch candidate in Nevada who will be successful in holding this seat in 2016,” he said.
The Pentagon has declassified a document that was once labeled “top-secret,” which goes into sophisticated detail about Israel’s nuclear weapons program. The document was released quietly just prior to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s March 3 speech to a joint session of Congress.
Israel has never officially confirmed or denied the existence of a nuclear weapon’s program within its borders.
The Pentagon declassified sections covering Israel’s nuclear program, but “kept sections on Italy, France, West Germany and other NATO countries classified, with those sections blocked out in the document,” Israel National News reported.
The 386-page top-secret memo, titled, “Critical Technological Assessment in Israel and NATO Nations,” goes into great detail about how Israel turned into a nuclear power in the 1970s and 80s.
“As far as nuclear technology is concerned the Israelis are roughly where the U.S. was in the fission weapon field in about 1955 to 1960,” the report assesses.
The report was written by the Institute for Defense Analysis in 1987, which was federally funded and contracted by the Pentagon.
Israel is “developing the kind of codes which will enable them to make hydrogen bombs. That is, codes which detail fission and fusion processes on a microscopic and macroscopic level,” the report states.
The report commends that the Israelis found “ingeniously clever” solutions to solve its problems in advancing the nuclear program, largely due to the “ingenious Israeli inventions” at a “key research and development laboratory in Israel.”
The Pentagon declassified the document after Grant Smith, an activist who heads a radical anti-Israel group, filed a Freedom of Information Act request, according to reports.
Smith’s Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy organizes an anti-Israel conference each year in Washington, D.C. Last year, the conference featured speakers from anti-Semitic and pro-Islamist publications. During the Q & A session, a speaker openly called for education about the supposed “Zionist-Nazi collaboration” during the Holocaust, while another endorsed the possibility that “Israel had a hand in 9/11.”