Tag Archives: Patriotism

Mark Caserta: National security no flippant matter

5 Jun

CIA  obama

Jun. 05, 2014 @ 12:00 AM

Admittedly, every administration leaks its share of classified information. But it seems Team Obama has raised the bar.

Last week, in one of Washington’s “Friday afternoon” information dumps, the White House admitted it had revealed the name of the CIA’s top officer in Kabul, Afghanistan, to some 6,000 journalists on a list provided to news organizations of senior U.S. officials participating in the president’s surprise visit with U.S. troops.

Upon learning of the error, the administration issued a revised list that didn’t include the individual who had been identified on the initial release as the “Chief of Station” in Kabul, a designation used by the CIA for its highest-ranking spy in a country.

“It shouldn’t have happened,” deputy national security advisor Tony Blinken told CNN. “We’re trying to understand why it happened. The chief of staff, Denis McDonough, asked White House counsel to look into it, to figure out what happened and make sure it won’t happen again.”

Now while an internal investigation will likely satisfy Obama supporters, it’s a far cry from the bitter tone used years ago when the Bush administration leaked Valerie Plame’s identity. At that time, words like “traitor” and “treason” were used to describe Bush officials involved in the controversy.

But the leaks from the Obama administration stretch back for years and are some of the more notable in recent history.

Shortly after the successful raid that killed Osama Bin Laden, the Obama administration revealed the classified identity of SEAL Team Six, Special Operations Force behind the raid, placing a target on the backs of the team members as well as their families.

Speaking at an event two days following the raid, Vice President Joe Biden, apparently giddy over the mission’s success, publicly identified the unit that tracked down and killed America’s foremost enemy, giving jihadists a clear target to avenge the death of Bin Laden.

The Obama administration would then go on to “out” the Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA track down Bin Laden. Dr. Shakil Afridi, a Pakistani physician who helped the CIA confirm Osama Bin Laden’s presence in the city, was sentenced to 33 years by the Pakistani government for his role in the attack.

Even allied nation’s secrets apparently aren’t safe with this administration.

In December 2012, the Obama administration “accidentally” revealed extensive details about a top-secret missile base the U.S. planned to build for Israel to host a new ballistic-missile defense system called the Arrow 3. Israeli military officials were shocked when they learned that the U.S. revealed details of the project in documents it published seeking contractor bids.

Now many folks aren’t sure if this administration’s reckless disclosure of our nation’s secrets is for political gain or simply from sheer incompetence. I believe it may be both.

But it’s time for Obama to end his flippant approach to national security — before it results in catastrophic loss of life.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page

Bergdahl release arrangement could threaten the safety of Americans, Republicans say

1 Jun

G BAY

By Karen Tumulty, Published: May 31

Amid jubilation Saturday over the release of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from captivity by the Taliban, senior Republicans on Capitol Hill said they were troubled by the means by which it was accomplished, which was a deal to release five Afghan detainees from the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Top Republicans on the Senate and House armed services committees went so far as to accuse President Obama of having broken the law, which requires the administration to notify Congress before any transfers from Guantanamo are carried out.

“Trading five senior Taliban leaders from detention in Guantanamo Bay for Bergdahl’s release may have consequences for the rest of our forces and all Americans. Our terrorist adversaries now have a strong incentive to capture Americans. That incentive will put our forces in Afghanistan and around the world at even greater risk,” House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. McKeon (R-Calif.) and the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, James M. Inhofe (Okla.), said in a joint statement.

Lawmakers were not notified of the Guantanamo detainees’ transfer until after it occurred.

The law requires the defense secretary to notify relevant congressional committees at least 30 days before making any transfers of prisoners, to explain the reason and to provide assurances that those released would not be in a position to reengage in activities that could threaten the United States or its interests.

Before the current law was enacted at the end of last year, the conditions were even more stringent. However, the administration and some Democrats had pressed for them to be loosened, in part to give them more flexibility to negotiate for Bergdahl’s release.

A senior administration official, agreeing to speak on the condition of anonymity to explain the timing of the congressional notification, acknowledged that the law was not followed. When he signed the law last year, Obama issued a signing statement contending that the notification requirement was an unconstitutional infringement on his powers as commander in chief and that he therefore could override it.

“Due to a near-term opportunity to save Sergeant Bergdahl’s life, we moved as quickly as possible,” the official said. “The administration determined that given these unique and exigent circumstances, such a transfer should go forward notwithstanding the notice requirement.”

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said that the detainees transferred from Guantanamo to Qatar, where they are to stay for at least a year, “are hardened terrorists who have the blood of Americans and countless Afghans on their hands. I am eager to learn what precise steps are being taken to ensure that these vicious and violent Taliban extremists never return to the fight against the United States and our partners or engage in any activities that can threaten the prospects for peace and security in Afghanistan.”

Beyond this individual instance, some raised the larger question of whether it is sound policy for the United States to have, in the words of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), “negotiated with terrorists.”

Rogers said the action marked a “fundamental shift in U.S. policy.”

Mark Caserta: Now is the time to defend Capitalism, not change it.

17 Apr

putin

Note: A column from 2008: Somewhat prophetic in its scope.

These past few weeks have been very disconcerting with regard to the path our government has chosen in these troubling economic times, although often in times of crisis, leaders expose deeply embedded beliefs as they frantically search for solutions to an overwhelming problem. I’m concerned our government may be out of answers and we’re going down a road that could change our economic system as we know it.

Winston Churchill once said, “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent vice of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”

Capitalism is an economic system in which the free enterprise of investment and ownership provides production of a product and/or service, distribution and the exchange of wealth between private individuals or corporations. Its success is directly relative to the productivity of its components. It’s an economic system characterized by a free market for goods and services under the control of private entities.

Capitalism is designed to reward those who work hard; however, it has equal consequences for those who decide not to pull their weight. Although capitalism clearly results in different levels of economic success, it also clearly provides equality in opportunity and promotes the entrepreneurial spirit. The people are in control of their future.

Socialism is the economic theory of “collective ownership” and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods. Socialists believe that capitalism unfairly provides power and wealth to only a small segment of society that controls the major flow of capital. Socialists advocate a system whereby wealth and power are distributed more evenly by the government in an effort to eliminate class warfare. Socialism is designed to balance the economic worth of each citizen and for the government to provide for the needs of the people. The government is in control of your future.

Karl Marx, often referred to as the “father of socialism,” said, “From each according to his abilities; to each according to his needs.” Socialism suppresses the entrepreneurial spirit by eliminating the incentives for productivity, while capitalism rewards productivity and creates consequences for fiscal “slothfulness.”

Or is the equation changing?

The government’s bailout of businesses that knowingly breeched the faith of the people is setting a very dangerous and unjust precedent. Most assuredly, the government has shown its down card, and the fact that these lending institutions were not allowed to suffer any consequences for their actions is unfathomable and unfair to hard-working Americans.

Probably the most tragic result of this “economic nightmare” of a decision made by our government is that it truly showed the will of the American people really doesn’t matter, and our nation’s political leaders, who were elected to represent the people, truly do not.

Is capitalism in danger? Is there a resolve among our nation’s leaders to take the problem out of the hands of the people? Are we headed for a major change to our economic system?

Karl Marx also said, “Democracy is the road to socialism.”

Only if our leaders decide to take that path.

Mark Caserta is a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald- Dispatch editorial page

Mark Caserta: Liberals’ only interest is fundamental change

17 Apr

holder

hillary

lerner

sebelius

Apr. 17, 2014 @ 12:00 AM

Few government entities have the capacity to impact Americans more than the Justice Department, the State Department, the Health and Human Services Department and the Internal Revenue Service. All are led by individuals appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate.

With a combined annual budget approaching $1 trillion of taxpayer money, these agencies shoulder significant responsibility in managing the infrastructure of government and taking care of the people’s business.

Yet despite the substandard performance of each of these government agencies during the Obama administration, liberals seem more focused on advancing their progressive movement than strengthening our nation and seeking justice.

In 2012, Attorney General Eric Holder was held in contempt by the House of Representatives for refusing to turn over documents tied to the botched “Fast and Furious” gun-running operation. Two guns found at the scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s fatal shooting were determined to be linked to the Justice Department operation. While the investigation is ongoing, Holder insists the tragedy is simply being leveraged for political advantage.

On the night of September 11, 2012, a heavily armed group of terrorists attacked the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, killing four brave Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens. In the days following the attack, the State Department would engage in what appeared to be a cover-up of what actually happened during the attack with a fabricated story claiming the uprising was in opposition to an anti-Muslim film that had triggered protests in Egypt and elsewhere.

Recently, shouldering the weight of a miserable Healthcare.gov rollout and feeling the pressure of an upcoming election, Kathleen Sebelius resigned her post as secretary of Health and Human Services. But timing is everything in politics, so it was important for the Obama administration to “accept” her resignation in the wake of the announcement that 7.5 million people already had signed up for Obamacare. Interestingly, the White House will not provide answers to key questions, such as how many enrollees were previously insured and how many have actually paid their first month’s premium.

But this administration has proven it won’t allow facts to get in the way of advancing its agenda. It’s mind-numbing for liberals to be so infatuated with this president it means absolutely nothing to them that he repeatedly and unrepentantly lied to Americans about the Affordable Care Act!

And just last week, The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved a resolution to hold ex-IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify at two of the panel’s hearings. Lerner, who headed an IRS division that reviews applications for tax exemption, invoked her Fifth Amendment right at both hearings when asked about targeting of Tea Party affiliated organizations.

Now, we’ve always had government corruption, but the scope and practice here is unprecedented. Despite the Obama administration’s autocratic, unfettered approach, liberals don’t seem to care.

They simply want fundamental change.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page

Mark Caserta: Americans will not succumb to tyranny

7 Apr

declaration signing

Feb. 05, 2014 @ 10:06 PM

The Herald-Dispatch / 2014

I’ve always honored the word “republic.”

A hallowed term that echoes through the halls of Congress, it embodies the spirit of every man and woman who has given their life to secure our nation’s form of government.

A republic is a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives as compared with a monarchy or a form of government where power rests in a single individual.

But, then there’s the presidential executive order.

An executive order is a remarkable power given to the president of the United States to enact law without the input of our elected representatives. Executive orders can only be given to federal or state agencies, not to citizens.

While it’s true that from the founding of our nation, American presidents have issued various types of executive orders, the practice isn’t without controversy.

The Constitution applies a “broad” brush stroke in defining the president’s power of executive order and there are some legitimate applications. But a chief executive to whom such sweeping power is afforded must be held to the highest possible standard.

If a president is proven to enact law irrespective of the wishes of the American people and their elected officials, it’s my belief such actions threaten our republic and fall under the periphery of Article II, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution, which calls for impeachment for high crimes and misdemeanors.

Last week, during Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, the president unabashedly previewed his intent to circumvent Congressional representatives if they are unwilling to pass legislation aligning with his ideology.

“I’m eager to work with all of you,” Obama told lawmakers. “But America does not stand still, and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that’s what I’m going to do.”

Why does this president perpetually patronize Americans with his insistence that he knows best? In bypassing Congress, he literally eradicates elected representation for individuals or families unable to represent themselves and fundamentally threatens the liberty of every American.

Legislators like Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) believe Obama is clearly “outside the bounds” of his constitutional limitations.

“This threat that the president’s going to run the government with an ink pen and executive orders, we’ve never had a president with that level of audacity and that level of contempt for his own oath of office,” King told CNN last week.

And for Democrat legislators to “cheer” the president as he promised to bypass them in the legislative process in his State of the Union address is symbolic of anemic liberal leadership, and frankly mind-numbing.

The very precept of our republic is being ostentatiously challenged in a manner which threatens our liberty and representative form of government.

Our country did not become the greatest nation in the world on the back of any single individual. For Barack Obama to espouse wisdom transcending the combined counsel of our elected representatives is a quintessential display of tyrannical rule.

And Americans will not succumb to tyranny.

Mark Caserta is a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE

2 Apr

A famous quote I once heard seems apropos to a movement in our nation today.

“Society’s needs come before the individual’s needs.”

For the past 50 years our society has been undergoing a transformation perpetrated by free-spirited liberals describing themselves as “progressives” and who somehow feel this moniker “more expressly” depicts their intellectual capability to adapt to our changing times.

It’s simply “second star to the right, and straight on till morning” for these unbridled Lost Boy liberals whose intent is to fundamentally change the value system of Americans by gradually tipping the scales of morality from right to left.

These self-ordained avant-gardes aspire to carry the torch of liberalism across America and into the lives of each and every family — even if it means redefining the family as we know it.

What liberals refer to as the “progressive movement” is actually the strategic desensitizing of America to the boundless immorality of the left by methodically pushing the limit on our nation’s social value system until resistance begins to waver.

Once the boundary has been destabilized, a subsequent relentless attack ensues designed to eradicate the influence of Christianity from every culpable faction in America.

Christians must also share in the blame.

When Christian conservatives fail to put their faith into action by asserting their belief system with an equal amount of fervor, they’re as guilty for relinquishing their rights as liberals are for pillaging them.

The success of the progressive movement is predicated on the understanding that the elimination of morality cannot be achieved expeditiously, but sequentially.

When Roe v. Wade was passed in 1973, the restrictions on abortion varied with trimesters and the viability of the fetus in the womb. In subsequent years, we saw liberals gradually challenge these restrictions until an infant could be murdered during any period of the pregnancy — or even afterward in the case of a “botched” abortion.

Movies that now air in prime time on the ABC Family Channel, in my youth, would have been rated “R” or restricted. However, via a gradual desensitization to strategically increased levels of violence and promiscuity on television, images which would have created an outrage 20 years ago are now generally accepted.

The ABC Family programming slogan, “a new kind of family,” aptly describes what liberals refer to as “progress.”

Another prerequisite for the progressive approach to be successful is for the liberal flag to be bolstered by those who would outwardly appear as educated, well-spoken, even “spiritual” individuals.

The Gospel of Matthew warns us about these “false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”

Liberals understand their deception and manipulation must be disguised.

The progressive movement thrives on an incessant tenacity which does not perceive defeat as a setback, rather another step toward the metamorphosis of our society.

Liberals value this societal change over an individual’s moral compass.

Oh, the aforementioned quote: Adolf Hitler, April 12, 1921

– Mark Caserta

family

Link

Mark Caserta: Watch and share Red Skelton’s inspiring monologue on America’s flag.

30 Mar

Watch Red’s thoughtful presentation on what the flag means to our great country.  Then consider the protests from the NFL players and support from the owners and the National Football League.  You may see things differently.

How many of these NFL Players protesting by “taking a knee” during the National Anthem would even pledge their allegiance to the flag of the United States?

And remember, their act of taking a knee is not done in the manner we usually think of, such as for prayer, to honor or show respect.  They simply don’t have a chair to place their backsides in!  If they had a chair, they would remain seated.

 

red

RED SKELTON’S PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

An inspiring monologue from a true American Hero

red skelton

Commentary on the Pledge of Allegiance

by Red Skelton

As a schoolboy, one of Red Skelton’s teachers explained the words and meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance to his class. Skelton later wrote down, and eventually recorded, his recollection of this lecture. It is followed by an observation of his own.

I – – Me; an individual; a committee of one.
Pledge – – Dedicate all of my worldly goods to give without self-pity.

Allegiance – – My love and my devotion.

To the Flag – – Our standard; Old Glory ; a symbol of Freedom; wherever she waves there is respect, because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts, Freedom is everybody’s job.

United – – That means that we have all come together.

States – – Individual communities that have united into forty-eight great states. Forty-eight individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose. All divided with imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common purpose, and that is love for country.

And to the Republic – – Republic–a state in which sovereign power is invested in representatives chosen by the people to govern. And government is the people; and it’s from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people.

For which it stands

One Nation – – One Nation–meaning, so blessed by God.

Indivisible – – Incapable of being divided.

With Liberty – – Which is Freedom; the right of power to live one’s own life, without threats, fear, or some sort of retaliation.

And Justice – – The principle, or qualities, of dealing fairly with others.

For All – – For All–which means, boys and girls, it’s as much your country as it is mine.

And now, boys and girls, let me hear you recite the Pledge of Allegiance:
I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic, for which it stands; one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our country, and two words have been added to the Pledge of Allegiance: Under God. Wouldn’t it be a pity if someone said that is a prayer, and that would be eliminated from schools, too?
Red Skelton

Contributed by : David R. Lewis, Nashville, Tennessee. Visit Dave’s Home Page.

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