Category Archives: Military

Paging Code Pink: Troops from 10th Mountain Division heading to Iraq this summer

Stars and Stripes: Troops from the Army’s 10th Mountain Division will be headed to Iraq later this year, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced Monday.

About 1,250 soldiers from the division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, based at Fort Drum, N.Y., will deploy in August or September to train, advise and assist the Iraqi security forces as they battle the Islamic State. The deployment will last nine months, according to Maj. Josh Jacques, a spokesman for the 10th Mountain Division.

Deploying members of the unit will replace soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division.

DCG

U.S. Marine’s stunning sign reminds us of the costs of Obama’s Bergdahl swap

A United States Marine did something that the phalanxes of America’s military officers are too timid to do.

This is the sign he held up before passing motorists about what his supposed commander in chief did (source):

Marine on Bergdahl swap

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl deserted his post in Afghanistan and was held captive by the Taliban from June 2009 until May 31, 2014 when the Obama administration negotiated his release as part of a prisoner exchange for five high-level Taliban members who were being held at the detention center at Guantanamo Bay.

On June 25, 2014, the U.S. Army stated that there is “no evidence” that Bergdahl had “engaged in any misconduct” during his years in captivity.

Nine months later, on March 25, 2015, the Army announced that Bergdahl had been charged with two counts under the Uniform Code of Military Justice: one count of “desertion with intent to shirk important or hazardous duty” and one count of “misbehavior before the enemy by endangering the safety of a command, unit or place.”

Here’s a reminder of what Obama gave up and what America sacrificed in exchange for this deserter.

1. Five High-Level Taliban Terrorists

Bergdahl prisoner swap

2. Six U.S. Army Soldiers who died looking for Bergdahl

soldiers died looking for Bergdahl

Staff Sergeant Clayton Bowen, 29, of San Antonio, Texas, and Private 1st Class Morris Walker, 23, of Chapel Hill, N.C., were killed by a roadside bomb in Paktika province on Aug. 18, 2009, while trying to find Bergdahl. Like Bergdahl, they were part of the 4th BCT from Fort Richardson, Alaska.

Staff Sergeant Kurt Curtiss, 27, of Murray, Utah, died Aug. 26 in Paktika Province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when he was shot while his unit was supporting Afghan security forces during an enemy attack. Like Bergdahl, Bowen and Walker, he was part of the 4th BCT.

2nd Lieutenant Darryn Andrews, 34, of Dallas, Texas, died Sept. 4 in Paktika Province when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device and a rocket-propelled grenade. Like Bergdahl, Bowen, Walker and Curtiss, Andrews was part of the 4th BCT.

Staff Sergeant Michael Murphrey, 25, of Snyder, Texas, died Sept. 6 in Paktika province after being wounded by an IED. Like Bergdahl, Bowen, Walker, Curtiss and Andrews, Murphrey was part of the 4th BCT.

On Sept. 4, 2009, Private 1st Class Matthew Martinek, 20, of DeKalb, Ill., was seriously wounded in Paktika province when Taliban forces attacked his vehicle with an improvided explosive device, a rocket-propelled grenade and small-arms fire. (Source: Time)

Note: According to The Daily Beast, seven U.S. soldiers were killed looking for Bowe the deserter.

3. Tax payers paid $5 million in ransom to the Taliban

Gateway Pundit reports, Dec. 22, 2014, that Lt. Colonel Shaffer told Bill O’Reilly that the Obama administration paid $5 billion and released five top Taliban Gitmo detainees in exchange for deserter Bowe Bergdahl.

See also:

~Éowyn

Iranian defector says U.S. speaks for Iran at nuclear talks

Dr. Eowyn:

While it is true that Amir Motaghi is an Iranian defector and therefore has an axe to grind, given who he is — a former close aide to Iran’s president — and the gravity of his accusation — that the Obama administration is acting as Iran’s mouthpiece and advocate in the ongoing nuclear negotiation — Motaghi’s assertion should be reported and noted.

Motaghi’s accusation is also consistent with what we already know about Obama and his duplicity. See “US Intel Report Drops Iran From Terror Threat List.”

Originally posted on Consortium of Defense Analysts:

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad JavadAhmed Vahdat and Richard Spencer report for The Telegraph, March 27, 2015, that journalist Amir Hossein Motaghi, who is a close aide to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, defected while he was in Lausanne, Switzerland, covering the nuclear talks between Tehran and the West. The West’s negotiating team is comprised of the five permanent members of the UN security council and Germany.

Motaghi managed public relations for Rouhani during the latter’s election campaign for the presidency in 2013 by using social media successfully to promote the 66-year-old Rouhani to a youthful audience who overwhelmingly elected him to power.

One news website claimed Motaghi had been tipped off that he might be subject to arrest had he returned to Tehran.

Amir Hossein MotaghiAccording to Iranian news agencies, Motaghi quit his job at the Iran Student Correspondents Association (ISCA), then appeared on the opposition Irane Farda television channel based in London.

In his…

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U.S. National Guardsman plotted military attack on Illinois armory in name of ISIS

Foxes are guarding the hen house in Obama’s America. Three days ago, on March 25, 2015, an Illinois National Guardsman and his cousin were arrested for planning a mass terror attack on a military facility in Joliet, Illinois. Hasan and Jonas Edmonds   The Chicago Tribune reports, March 27, 2015, that federal authorities say Hasan and Jonas Edmonds had been aspiring terrorists for months when they arrived at the Joliet Armory on Tuesday to scout out a brazen attack.

Hasan Edmonds, 22, a specialist with the Illinois National Guard who had trained at the Joliet Armory since 2011, talked with his cousin, 29-year-old Jonas Edmonds, and an accomplice about where the soldiers might be stationed inside, which rooms to avoid and the firepower that would be required, according to prosecutors. Hasan then went into the low brick building to pick up a military training schedule for Jonas, who was going to carry out the attack later wearing his cousin’s uniform and carrying AK-47s and grenades.

If all had gone according to plan, the body count could reach 150.

What the cousins didn’t know was that the accomplice was an undercover FBI informant. In fact, federal agents had been tracking them since late last year when Hasan exchanged Facebook messages with an agent posing as a militant about his desire to travel to the Middle East to join the Muslim jihadists Islamic State or ISIS.

The plot unraveled Wednesday evening as FBI agents arrested Hasan Edmonds , at Midway Airport as he prepared to board a flight to Detroit and on to Cairo to join terrorist fighters overseas. Two hours later, Jonas Edmonds was arrested at his home in an Aurora subdivision. Both are charged with conspiring to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization, which carries up to 15 years in prison on conviction.

Meanwhile, news of the charges shocked neighbors and left some acquaintances scratching their heads. Felisha Allen, a onetime stepmother to Hasan Edwards, told the Tribune she was stunned to hear the allegations against the man whom she had raised. Describing the man who was plotting mass murder as “a good person” who was drawn to the unity of the Islamic faith, Allen said, “Something like this is hard to grasp. Is it a dream? I don’t even know what to believe.”

The cousins attended West Aurora High School, according to district spokesman Tony Martinez. Hasan Edmonds graduated in 2011. while Jonas Edmonds left school as a senior in 2004. That same year, Jonas Edmonds and two others were charged in suburban Atlanta in the armed robbery of a McDonald’s restaurant, court records show. He pleaded guilty in 2005, was sentenced to 15 years in prison and released in June 2010.

Court records show Hasan Edmonds’ father, Lieukennye Edmonds, 46, is serving a prison sentence for failing to register as a sex offender stemming from a 1990s conviction for the attempted sexual assault of an Aurora woman.

Lt. Col. Brad Leighton, a spokesman for the Illinois National Guard, said Hasan joined the guard in August 2011 and was a supply specialist — responsible for ordering uniforms and other equipment — with the Joliet-based 634th Brigade Support Battalion. He last drilled with the guard for a weekend this month.

Leighton said federal authorities recently informed the guard that Hasan was under investigation, leading them to take “discrete but concrete steps” to ensure he didn’t have access to equipment or computers and to give Hasan different duties.

According to the 33-page criminal complaint, the FBI began investigating Hasan Edmonds late last year when agents discovered that he and Jonas Edmonds allegedly had devised a plan for Hasan to travel overseas and use his military training to fight for Islamic State. In several online exchanges, Hasan Edmonds said that if he was unable to get to Syria he would stay in the U.S. and “fight and die here in the name of Allah.” In a message Jan. 30, he told the undercover agent that the best way to beat the U.S. and its Army was to “break their will” and that “With the U.S., no matter how many you kill they will keep coming unless the soldiers and the American public no longer have the will to fight. If we can break their spirits we will win.”

On Feb. 2, Hasan Edmonds contacted the undercover agent again and said his cousin was willing to carry out the attack on U.S. soil. “Honestly we would love to do something like the brother in Paris did,” Hasan Edmonds allegedly wrote in a reference to the January terrorist attacks on Charlie Hebdo magazine’s headquarters in France in which 16 people were slain.

Last month, Jonas Edmonds began communicating online with another undercover operative who was posing as someone who could help the cousins in their quest to join Islamic State. The cousins met with that purported accomplice Monday to discuss the planned attack on the Joliet military facility. Jonas told the operative that after his cousin left for the Middle East, he planned to purchase weapons, including AK-47 assault rifles and grenades, and then attack the base. Abdella Ahmad Tounisi & Mohammad Hamzah Khan The charges brought against the Edmondses are the latest in a string of terrorism-related cases stemming from Chicago’s suburbs, including:

  • In 2013, federal authorities charged Abdella Ahmad Tounisi, 18, with providing material support to terrorists after he allegedly pledged on a fake recruitment website — secretly operated by the FBI — to join terrorists in Syria. He was arrested at O’Hare International Airport as he was about to board a flight to Turkey. Tounisi, who was 18 at the time, has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.
  • Last year, Mohammed Hamzah Khan, 19, was charged with plotting to join Islamic State after he was arrested at O’Hare, where authorities alleged he and his two younger siblings were about to board a flight to Istanbul. Khan has pleaded not guilty, and his siblings, who are minors, were not charged.

~Éowyn

VA Official Paid $288K In ‘Relocation Payments’ To Move 140 Miles

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DailyCaller: 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.

Obama-laughs--300x199

See also:

Obama's War on Veterans

DCG

 

Obama administration tracking Muslim candidates for military, Pentagon positions

Special to WorldTribune.com

WASHINGTON — The administration of President Barack Obama has been identifying Muslims in the military in an effort to encourage their presence.

Officials said the Defense Department has been keeping records and tracking Muslims. They said the administration sought to attract Muslims both to the military and to the Pentagon.

Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work on May 22.  /Glenn Fawcett/Office of the Secretary of Defense

“Our nation and our entire military family remain stronger because of
the service and sacrifice of people of all faiths, including the thousands
of patriotic Muslim Americans who have served and still serve in this long
period of war,” Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work said last week.

The U.S. military currently has 4,500 uniformed Muslims, the Pentagon said on
July 3. It was not clear how the Pentagon identified the Muslims. The department
has not given statistics on members of other religious faiths.

In 2009, a U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, shouting “God is great,”
opened fire and killed 13 of his colleagues. Later, authorities acknowledged
that Hasan, a psychiatrist, was linked to Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

Critics have accused the administration of promoting Islam as the
preferential faith in the United States. Over the last year, a senior
adviser to the Homeland Security Department, Mohamed Elibiary, issued a
statement that said the U.S. Constitution was “Islamically compliant” and
that a Muslim caliphate was “inevitable.”

“I said America was an Islamic country not a Muslim country,” Elibiary
said in a Twitter post on June 30.

On July 3, Work attended the annual Pentagon ceremony of Iftar, or the evening dinner after a day-long fast that continues throughout the Muslim month of Ramadan. The Pentagon has been conducting the ceremony since 1998 in commemoration of Islam.

“Tonight is an opportunity for people of different faiths to come
together in the spirit of respect and tolerance to share the richness of our
beliefs and to enjoy the traditions of hospitality that are such an
important part of the Muslim community,” Work said.

The Pentagon, which hired Saudi-sponsored groups to raise awareness, has
reported the employment of 1,000 Muslims. Officials said they included
civilians and contractors for the Defense Department.

In his address, Work quoted Obama as saying that Ramadan reminded Americans of the principles of peace, justice and equality. The deputy
secretary also urged those at the Iftar to remember their responsibility to
the defense of the United States.

“Our country’s founders understood in a visceral way [that] the best way
to honor the place of faith in the lives of all Americans was to fight for
justice and equality as well as liberty and freedom,” Work said. “That is
exactly what the men and women both in and out of uniform who serve in the
Department of Defense do every single day. They are safeguarding the very
ideals deemed so precious by our founding fathers.”

Military investigating threat posed by Islamic State hit list of US troops

The JV team...

The JV team…

Stars and Stripes: The U.S. military on Monday was urging caution on social media while completing notifications of 100 troops who were publicly targeted for execution over the weekend by Islamic State extremists.

Officials said they were still weighing the threat but that it appeared the names, photos and identifying details — mostly of airmen and sailors — released by the “Islamic State Hacking Division” was information gleaned from the Internet, not hacked from government sources.

The group called for followers inside the United States to kill, behead and stab the servicemembers in “lone wolf” attacks, according to media reports. In January, hackers aligned with the Islamic State briefly seized control of CENTCOM’s Twitter and YouTube accounts, posting similar threats and Internet documents that embarrassed the Pentagon but revealed little sensitive data.

The Air Force on Monday had completed notification of its 58 personnel on the list, spokeswoman Lt. Col. Holly Slaughter said.

The terrorist organization may have been attempting to target branches of the military waging the U.S. air offensive on Islamic State forces in Iraq and Syria. The extremists have been adept at using the Internet and social media for propaganda while also waging bloody terrorist attacks, such as the recent killing of tourists in Tunisia and bombings in Yemen.

A division calling itself the Cyber Caliphate threatened troops and released a list of email addresses and phone numbers for top military brass and former officials in January during the CENTCOM social media hacking incident.

Slaughter said the Air Force believes the new list was compiled using social media and was warning airmen and personnel about privacy settings to keep identifying information from public view. A Stars and Stripes analysis of some names on the list found the servicemembers were mentioned in widely distributed news stories about U.S. air strikes and on military media and personnel pages. The Air Force would not say whether airmen based in Europe and Africa were under threat.

“We’re trying to encourage everyone to be vigilant about what they’re putting online and how they’re interacting online, and just to secure their information,” said Maj. Sheryll Klinkel, a spokeswoman for U.S. Air Forces in Europe – U.S. Air Forces Africa.

An anonymous spouse told Fox News that the Naval Criminal Investigative Service called to notify her that her husband was named on the extremists’ kill list but did not provide guidance or an in-person security assessment of their home.

The service branches were working with the FBI on Monday to weigh the threat and additional security measures, though officials would not publicly discuss whether there were moves to secure bases or provide additional security for targeted servicemembers and their families. The FBI did not immediate return a request for comment from Stars and Stripes.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service “is actively evaluating this threat reporting and working with law enforcement and U.S. intelligence partners to address this incident,” Navy spokeswoman Lt. Cmdr. Sarah Flaherty wrote in an email statement. “NCIS has met with almost all named Navy and Marine Corps service members to notify them of this threat and discuss their concerns.”

The Army was trying to “determine the validity of any potential threats” while its Criminal Investigation Division worked with the FBI and local units were notified, spokeswoman Cynthia Smith said in a written statement.

Spokesmen for commands in Europe and Africa said they were aware of the threat but declined to discuss security measures.

“We can’t confirm the validity of the tweet or address list, but as always, the safety and well-being of servicemembers and their families are a top priority, so we’re looking into it,” Navy Capt. Greg Hicks of U.S. European Command wrote in a prepared statement.

Bases overseas often tighten security measures in response to threats or high-profile events, although defense officials rarely discuss the changes or the reasons behind them.

Let this be your security guide...

Let this be your security guide…

DCG