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.
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.”
Abandon all hope, ye who happen to park anywhere near geometrically challenged-motorist Eleanor Holmes Norton.
A HOH tipster watched in horror Wednesday as the D.C. delegate, 77, awkwardly forced her way into a wide-open spot in the carefully controlled corridor of New Jersey Avenue Southeast sandwiched between the Longworth and Cannon House Office buildings.
“If she parks like that she should not be a member of Congress anymore,” one mystified observer – who wisely recorded more than a minute of the automotive travesty – said as the video was being captured. The tipster said Norton rubbed the correctly positioned, red sports utility vehicle to her immediate left with her improperly angled silver sedan.
Per our tipster, Norton performed the sub-par squeeze-in around the same time the rest of her colleagues were crowding into the House chamber to hear the joint address by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
At around the 40-second mark, an oblivious U.S. Capitol Police officer appears to zoom by on a motorcycle, right past the textbook parking offense.
Once the aide seen assisting Norton from outside the slow-moving vehicle finishes waving her into clearly disastrous position, Norton emerges from the car, clicks her remote-locking device (better safe than sorry) and starts to walk away.
Then, all of the sudden, she doubles back.
Has her conscience gotten the best of her? Is she going to slide a quickly composed apology onto the now-stuck truck’s windshield? Or perhaps a business card?
Norton simply retrieves some forgotten item from inside the car and then heads on her merry way.
Our spy estimates the entire head-scratching episode lasted about half an hour, including the painful insertion process and her 20-minute jaunt into Cannon.
Once done with her business, the tipster said Norton backed out of the space and rolled out onto the unsuspecting District streets.
“She hit the car next to her and did not leave a note, though I couldn’t see any damage,” was our spy’s takeaway from the mid-day drama.
Norton’s office disputes that anything untoward transpired.
“After the Congresswoman parked her car, we assessed the cars on either side to see if there was any damage. We could not find any,” a Norton aide assured HOH. “But we left a note with a business card so the congresswoman could be contacted in case we missed any.”
According to Team Norton, the congressional staffer who owns the truck that was boxed in by the septuagenarian pol reached out to her office about the videotaped scrape.
“The Congresswoman heard from the owner of the only car she was close enough to damage. The owner reported no damage,” a Norton spokesman said via email.