Does anyone else think it’s troubling that more than half of Americans think that an extra-judicial, unconstitutional prison camp run by the U.S. government is O.K.?
Jeffrey Dahmer killed man-boys, butchered them, stored their choice cuts in the freezer and made stew with the rest. We put that sick fuck in a U.S. prison. The analysis of this should say, ” 75% of Americans aren’t even thinking this one through …”
(Source: Office of Sen. John McCain)
(Editor’s Note: This speech was given on the floor of the U.S. Senate June 3, 2009)
Mr. President, today we celebrate the unveiling in the Capitol of a statue of Ronald Reagan, one of our country’s great presidents and a personal hero to me throughout my political life. While there are many aspects of President Reagan’s legacy we might reflect on today, I’d like to take the opportunity to discuss just one of them: his dream of a world free of nuclear weapons.
Speaking before the Japanese Diet on November 11, 1983, President Ronald Reagan said, “The only value in possessing nuclear weapons is to make sure they can’t be used ever. I know I speak for people everywhere when I say our dream is to see the day when nuclear weapons will be banished from the face of the Earth.” That is my dream, too, and it is one shared by many of our most distinguished national security practitioners. In 2007, former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Shultz, along with former Secretary of Defense William Perry and Senator Sam Nunn, authored an article titled “A World Free of Nuclear Weapons,” in which they laid out their vision of the globe free of the most dangerous weapons ever known.
In February President Barack Obama directed the National Security Council and the Dept. of Homeland security to assess the nation’s stance in cyberspace with special attention to cybersecurity. The NSC and DHS have recommended:
- The establishment of a national cybersecurity official and office which would review laws and practices and provide leadership tying national, state and local efforts more closely together.
- National focus on a technologically advanced workforce – similar to the nation’s efforts at greater math and science proficiency during the 1960s.
- Calls for expanding the federal government’s own IT workforce and capabilities especially with regard to security and implementing best practices across the government enterprise.
- Expanded partnering among government, private sector and U.S. allies.
- Greater federal incident response focus and better communication and integration of incident response efforts across the federal enterprise.
- Harness the benefits of innovation to address cybersecurity concerns, including work with the private sector to define performance and security objectives for future infrastructure, linking research and development to infrastructure development and expanding coordination of government, industry, and academic research efforts.
- More focus on supply chain and TCOM security.
North Korea fired two additional short-range missiles Monday in an apparent move to threaten U.S. spy planes monitoring a site where the regime is believed to have conducted its second nuclear test, a South Korean official said.
“The launches took place at around 5:03 p.m.,” the official said, speaking on customary condition of anonymity. North Korea had earlier launched a surface-to-air missile around noon, hours after it said it detonated a nuclear device in an underground bunker.
- Scale of N. Korean Test Unclear – New York Times
- N. Korea conducts ‘successful’ nuclear test – Washington Post
- World leaders condemn North Korea, Urge Action – Reuters
- In Quotes: World Leaders React – BBC
- China “resolutely opposes” N. Korean test – Xinhua
On Thursday, President Barack Obama and former Vice President Dick Cheney gave dueling speeches on National Security policy. The man who is trying to re-invent hope versus Darth Cheney is the way this blogger interpreted what was billed by the Washington press as the “Thrilla on The Hilla.”
By early afternoon the results were in. Obama gave a long, thoughtful better angels treatise on the rule of law and maintaining the moral high ground. Cheney, gave a shorter, pithier shout from the undisclosed location.
It was the Constitution versus the red, orange, yellow threat meter.
Filed under: Barack Obama, Foreign Policy, National Security, Politics
As prepared for delivery
Vice President Cheney Remarks at the American Enterprise Institute Thursday, May 21, 2009
Thank you all very much, and Arthur, thank you for that introduction. It’s good to be back at AEI, where we have many friends. Lynne is one of your longtime scholars, and I’m looking forward to spending more time here myself as a returning trustee. What happened was, they were looking for a new member of the board of trustees, and they asked me to head up the search committee.
I first came to AEI after serving at the Pentagon, and departed only after a very interesting job offer came along. I had no expectation of returning to public life, but my career worked out a little differently. Those eight years as vice president were quite a journey, and during a time of big events and great decisions, I don’t think I missed much.
Being the first vice president who had also served as secretary of defense, naturally my duties tended toward national security. I focused on those challenges day to day, mostly free from the usual political distractions. I had the advantage of being a vice president content with the responsibilities I had, and going about my work with no higher ambition. Today, I’m an even freer man. Your kind invitation brings me here as a private citizen – a career in politics behind me, no elections to win or lose, and no favor to seek.
Full Text: President Barack Obama on National Security, Torture, Guantanamo – National Archives – May 21
These are extraordinary times for our country. We are confronting an historic economic crisis. We are fighting two wars. We face a range of challenges that will define the way that Americans will live in the 21st century. There is no shortage of work to be done, or responsibilities to bear.
And we have begun to make progress. Just this week, we have taken steps to protect American consumers and homeowners, and to reform our system of government contracting so that we better protect our people while spending our money more wisely. The engines of our economy are slowly beginning to turn, and we are working toward historic reform of health care and energy. I welcome the hard work that has been done by the Congress on these and other issues.
In the midst of all these challenges, however, my single most important responsibility as President is to keep the American people safe. That is the first thing that I think about when I wake up in the morning. It is the last thing that I think about when I go to sleep at night.
The Politico is reporting that on Thursday, a day former Veep Dick Cheney is scheduled to give a speech titled, “Keeping America Safe,” President Barack Obama will give a major speech outlining the “political and intellectual” framework behind his anti-terror stance and all things related to detainee treatment.
Mr. Cheney, meet Mr. Obama – you might want to talk to Mr. McCain about bringin’ the scary hype against the man who seems to have re-invented hope.
I can see it now. Cheney, talking like Burgess Meredith’s Penguin character from the old Batman TV series, spitting all the worn out Bush era lines about fighting “them” over there so we don’t have to fight “them” here. Through teeth clenched around a cigarette holder he might even throw in a few nasal, conspiratorial giggles as he derides Democrats as soft.
On the other side of the split screen is the man who is steady, unafraid. Barack Obama will use his moment to teach, to inspire. Cheney will undoubtedly use his moment, in front of a partisan crowd at the American Enterprise Institute to stoke the flames that divide us.
America will once again be reminded what a great choice she made in November.
I’ll be the first to say that as an Obama voter, I’m not down with the whole cult of personality thing. I’ve criticized the Administration’s policies of feeding corporate America while middle America is hungry for work. I criticized recently the flip-flop on the release of detainee abuse photos.
But of one thing I’m fairly certain. When President Obama speaks on big issues, he speaks from a carefully considered, thoughtful point of view. His values – some may label them “Left” – go into his positions, but I do believe that all sides of the issues are considered. This pragmatism, something entirely missing from U.S. national politics since Bush 41, leads to decisions like that of using military tribunals to adjudicate some of the Guantanamo detainee cases. When you’re pragmatic and you compromise you rankle the extremes. Since most of us inhabit the space more near the center, that’s O.K.
I’m looking forward to this speech from President Obama on Thursday like no other public appearance he’s made since the address to the Joint Session of Congress. I’ll take in the coverage of Cheney also. I just won’t expect anything of value.
(Source: White House Press Office)
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, everybody. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you. (Applause.) Well, thank you for the extraordinary welcome. And thanks, for those of you who prepared from the CIA gift shop — (laughter) — the t-shirts, the caps, the water bottles. (Laughter.) Michelle and the girls will appreciate that very much. (Laughter.)
It is a great honor to be here with the men and women of the CIA. I’ve been eager to come out here to Langley for some time so I can deliver a simple message to you in person on behalf of the American people: Thank you. Thank you for all the work that you do to protect the American people and the freedom that we all cherish.
The CIA is fundamental to America’s national security. And I want you to know that that’s why I nominated such an outstanding public servant and close friend, Leon Panetta, to lead the agency. He is one of our nation’s finest public servants, he has my complete confidence, and he is a strong voice in my national security team, as well as a strong advocate for the men and women of the CIA.
According to the North Koreans, of course it was:
Changchun, China — Chosun (North Korea) Central No. 3 Broadcast claimed at 1 P.M. today that this morning’s launch successfully put a satellite into orbit.
A source from North Hamkyung Province said in a telephone interview with Daily NK, “At 1 this afternoon, the No. 3 Broadcast announced, ‘Kwangmyungsung-2, which is a declaration of the achievements of a strong and prosperous state to the whole world, entered its orbit successfully.”
The broadcast said that the time of the launch was 11 A.M.
According to the South Koreans and the U.S. – Epic Fail:
The rocket launched by nuclear-armed North Korea on Sunday appears to have fizzled in the Pacific Ocean, but positioned a defiant Kim Jong Il to make demands from an international community worried that it indicates the capacity to fire a long-range missile.
President Barack Obama and other national leaders immediately criticized the Korean leader for threatening peace and stability of nations “near and far.” The U.N. Security Council approved an emergency session for Sunday afternoon in New York, following a request from Japan just minutes after liftoff.
“North Korea broke the rules, once again, by testing a rocket that could be used for long-range missiles,” Obama said in Prague. “It creates instability in their region, around the world. This provocation underscores the need for action, not just this afternoon in the U.N. Security Council, but in our determination to prevent the spread of these weapons.”
Pyongyang claims it launched an experimental communications satellite into orbit Sunday and that it’s transmitting data and patriotic songs. U.S. and South Korean officials claim the entire rocket, including whatever payload it was carrying, ended up in the ocean.
The BBC has an excellent story, video and background on President Barack Obama’s speech today in Prague calling for a nuclear weapon-free world.
(Source: White House Press Office)
London, United Kingdom
1:01 P.M. (Local)
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Let me just make a brief comment. I am very grateful to President Medvedev for taking the time to visit with me today. I’m particularly gratified because prior to the meeting our respective teams had worked together and had developed a series of approaches to areas of common interest that I think present great promise.
Love it when things are badly translated from the Asian languages, hate it when we’re talking about China possibly someday able to take out our carriers. From the U.S. Naval Institute:
With tensions already rising due to the Chinese navy becoming more aggressive in asserting its territorial claims in the South China Sea, the U.S. Navy seems to have yet another reason to be deeply concerned.
After years of conjecture, details have begun to emerge of a “kill weapon” developed by the Chinese to target and destroy U.S. aircraft carriers.
First posted on a Chinese blog viewed as credible by military analysts and then translated by the naval affairs blog Information Dissemination, a recent report provides a description of an anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) that can strike carriers and other U.S. vessels at a range of 2000km.
The range of the modified Dong Feng 21 missile is significant in that it covers the areas that are likely hot zones for future confrontations between U.S. and Chinese surface forces.
President Obama Leaves Door Open for Troops on Mexican Border, CBS’ Face the Nation:
Though he does not believe violence along the U.S. Mexico border poses an “existential threat” to Americans, President Obama says he is considering deploying U.S. troops to the border area.
“Obviously there have been calls to increase National Guard troops on the borders,” Mr. Obama noted in an interview with Bob Schieffer on CBS News’ Face the Nation Sunday.
“That’s something that we are considering,” he said. “But we wanna first see whether some of the steps that we’ve taken can help quell some of the violence.”
The president said it is essential to continue consulting with the Mexican government.
SecDef Gates Says Mexico Not Close to Being ‘Failed State,’ Fox News Sunday:
WALLACE: A couple of more questions for the lightening round. Mexico.
The Pentagon issued a report in November on the growing drug violence there that said this, “An unstable Mexico could represent a homeland security problem of immense proportions to the United States.”
Mr. Secretary, how likely is that scenario that the Mexican government loses control of part of the country?
GATES: I don’t think that’s a likely scenario at this point. I think that a lot of the violence is among or between the cartels as they strive for control of certain areas in Mexico.
I think President Calderon has acted with enormous courage and forcefully in sending troops in to try and get control of that situation. And I think that – as I think Admiral Blair testified just in the last couple of days, I think that the chances of the Mexican government losing control of some part of their country or becoming a failed stated is – are very low.
Without the worldwide recession driving down the price of oil, Americans might still be paying between $4 and $5 for a gallon of gasoline. If you are concerned about Peak Oil, those prices – although painful – hurt so good because for a brief period of time in 2008 the politicians in Washington began to notice that we don’t have a bridge built to the next energy future.
Demand for oil is down. Supplies are plentiful with reports of oil tankers being used for storage rather than delivery. Prices are low once again. Those trying to draw the masses attention to the issues facing industrial societies after the peak feel like we’re wasting more time dithering.
Today, a faint bright spot. In a fairly unremarkable message event at the White House, President Barack Obama said the following:
Finally, building on the Recovery Plan my administration is implementing and the budget I have proposed, we will be pursuing comprehensive legislation to finally end our addiction to foreign oil and prevent the worst consequences of climate change, while creating the incentives to finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy in America.
So what is this legislation going to be all about? Will the U.S. move away from an energy policy which is merely focused on slaking our thirst for the black stuff? Is someone about to make the full court political press that will have neocons (foreign oil = national insecurity) cavorting with Al Gore?
There are certainly thorny issues in the world other than Peak Oil and the current world financial crisis is making many of them worse. Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel famously said during the transition that we shouldn’t waste a good crisis – in other words, while we have your attention we’d like to fix a few things.
It looks as if just when we thought the president may have moved our dependence on oil – foreign or otherwise – down the priority list, he may in fact have a pleasant surprise in store. I’m waiting for the “legislation.”