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06-30-2013, 05:21 PM #1
Obama's Purge: Military Officers Replaced Under the Commander-in-Chief
Obama's Purge: Military Officers Replaced Under the Commander-in-Chief
High-ranking officers in the United States military are being replaced by the Obama administration and for a number of dubious reasons. The latest is General John Allen, who was embroiled in the Petraeus affair.
The following are the military officers who resigned under or were removed by President Obama:
General David Petraeus is perhaps the most visible military officer removed under President Obama. As Tim Brown of the D.C Clothesline summarized well: “Back in November General David Petraeus resigned as head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), claiming that he was in an adulterous affair, which was discovered by the Federal government snooping through his and his mistress’ emails. This came on the heels of Benghazi being blamed on a YouTube video.”
The timing of the removal of one of the nation’s most honored military minds, on the heels of the Benghazi scandal, is what makes this a most unusual case. Petraeus effectively disappeared from the national scene overnight.
The latest to resign under President Obama is General John Allen. On Tuesday, the president accepted General Allen’s resignation, and ostensibly over Allen’s sexual involvement with Jill Kelly. The Pentagon, however, did not allege misconduct charges against General Allen for an exchange of explicit pictures with Jill Kelly. Allen said his resignation was to “address health issues within his family.”
General Stanley McChrystal resigned in June 2010 after a Rolling Stone article written by mysteriously “disappeared” journalist Michael Hastings caused a controversy. McChrystal had batted down Joe Biden’s “counter-terrorism strategy,” saying it would lead to “Chaos-istan,” which landed McChrystal in hot water with the higher-ups.
On June 17, 2013 Hastings blasted an email “FBI Investigation, re: NSA,” which said that he was onto a “big story” and he needed to “go off the radar for a bit.” He also advised Buzzfeed to retain legal counsel. Less than sixteen hours later, Hastings died in an early morning car crash at a high-rate of speed. (These are the facts and people can make of them what they will.)
As Investor’s Business Daily wrote: “Gen. David McKiernan, the four-star who lead U.S. ground forces during the successful lightning Iraq invasion. He was asked to resign command of allied forces in Afghanistan just four months into Obama’s presidency in 2009. Never fully explained, but the implication was administration dissatisfaction with the war’s progress.”
General Carter Ham was removed from his position as the top general at AFRICOM on October 12, 2012, obviously due to his actions on the night of September 11, 2012 during the Benghazi terrorist raid. General Ham, who was the Commander of the 2011 US-NATO operation to topple Gadhafi in Libya, reportedly disregarded a “stand down” order issued from above and ordered the launch of an in extremis force to rescue the eventually slain servicemen at Benghazi, Libya. Regardless of the exact events that night, he was almost immediately removed from command. General Ham has not been called to testify publicly on Benghazi.
Also involved in the military (non-) response to the 9/11 anniversary attack was Admiral David Gaouette. He was replaced on October 27, 2012, according to Military.com news, “pending the outcome of an internal investigation into undisclosed allegations of inappropriate judgment.” Asreported by J.B. Williams, Gaouette also received, and disobeyed, a stand down order issued from above. As Williams claims, “Gaouette readied vital intelligence and communications operations for an extraction effort to be launched by Ham.” A Navy spokesman, however, declined to comment on the Admiral’s removal. Gaouette has also not been called to testify publicly about Benghazi.
Retired Marine General James “Hoss” Cartwright is currently the focus of a probe for “allegedly leaking classified information about a covert cyberattack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.” The former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who is 63, retired in 2011, after having been cleared of all wrongdoing in yet another sexually suggestive affair.
What is the red thread connecting several of these cases? An NSA whisteblower (Edward Snowden is only one of four major NSA whistleblowers) Russel Tice claims that the domestic spy agency is wiretapping and carrying out surveillance on top military officers. Listen to his interview below:
Whether or not this is true, and it certainly seems the NSA has the capability to do this, it raises several questions about the manner that several high-ranking military officers were removed. Is there any manner of entrapment or blackmail being carried out on military officers, who subsequently refuse to testify openly and honestly over sensitive national security matters?
The deafening silence over who exactly issued the Benghazi “stand down order” that plausibly resulted in the deaths of two CIA servicemen (who also disobeyed stand down orders) and the reprisals against administration whistleblowers suggest that a thorough public investigation into such matters is of utmost importance. If the federal government is being abused to silence critics of the administration, or if it is being wielded against those who refuse to obey illegal and immoral acts, representative government demands not just investigation, but decisive action.
06-30-2013, 05:24 PM #2
3 Former NSA Employees Praise Edward Snowden, Corroborate Key Claims
The men, all whistleblowers, say he succeeded where they failed.
CONOR FRIEDERSDORFJUN 18 2013,
ReutersUSA Today has published an extraordinary interview with three former NSA employees who praise Edward Snowden's leaks, corroborate some of his claims, and warn about unlawful government acts.
Thomas Drake, William Binney, and J. Kirk Wiebe each protested the NSA in their own rights. "For years, the three whistle-blowers had told anyone who would listen that the NSA collects huge swaths of communications data from U.S. citizens," the newspaper reports. "They had spent decades in the top ranks of the agency, designing and managing the very data collection systems they say have been turned against Americans.
When they became convinced that fundamental constitutional rights were being violated, they complained first to their superiors, then to federal investigators, congressional oversight committees and, finally, to the news media."
In other words, they blew the whistle in the way Snowden's critics suggest he should have done. Their method didn't get through to the members of Congress who are saying, in the wake of the Snowden leak, that they had no idea what was going on. But they are nonetheless owed thanks.
And among them, they've now said all of the following:
- His disclosures did not cause grave damage to national security.
- What Snowden discovered is "material evidence of an institutional crime."
- As a system administrator, Snowden "could go on the network or go into any file or any system and change it or add to it or whatever, just to make sure -- because he would be responsible to get it back up and running if, in fact, it failed. So that meant he had access to go in and put anything. That's why he said, I think, 'I can even target the president or a judge.' If he knew their phone numbers or attributes, he could insert them into the target list which would be distributed worldwide. And then it would be collected, yeah, that's right. As a super-user, he could do that."
- "The idea that we have robust checks and balances on this is a myth."
- Congressional overseers "have no real way of seeing into what these agencies are doing. They are totally dependent on the agencies briefing them on programs, telling them what they are doing."
- Lawmakers "don't really don't understand what the NSA does and how it operates. Even when they get briefings, they still don't understand."
- Asked what Edward Snowden should expect to happen to him, one of the men, William Binney, answered, "first tortured, then maybe even rendered and tortured and then incarcerated and then tried and incarcerated or even executed." Interesting that this is what a whistleblower thinks the U.S. government will do to a citizen. The abuse of Bradley Manning worked.
- "There is no path for intelligence-community whistle-blowers who know wrong is being done. There is none. It's a toss of the coin, and the odds are you are going to be hammered."
The fact that former NSA employees have said these things doesn't automatically make them true. All have reason to identify with Snowden (though one thinks he may have crossed a line by talking about surveillance on China). What this interview does mean is that some of Snowden's allegations seem even more credible than they did when he was the only one making them.