Posts Tagged ‘Admiral’

Media Hits and Misses Covering Benghazi Press Conference

by Roger Aronoff on Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

This is article 542 of 560 in the topic Media

On April 22, the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi (CCB) released a report on the findings of its months-long search for the truth behind the Benghazi attacks of September 11, 2012. It has made its report public on its website.

New revelations in the case of Benghazi, Libya have made their rounds in the conservative media, but the mainstream media have failed to pay attention to this new information. The New York Times and Washington Post were invited to our media roundtable press briefing, but they declined to send reporters. CNN sent a camera and a producer, but failed to cover our revelations. You can now watch the press conference online. Part one is opening comments by the panelists; part two is Q&A.

National Press Club – April 22, 2012
Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi
Press conference comments

National Press Club – April 22, 2012
Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi
Press conference Q&A

But Townhall, Diana West, World Magazine, the Daily Mail, PJ Media, Front Page Magazine, Newsmax, WND, Renew America, LiveTradingNews, the Drudge Report, and, yes, even Russia Today are asking questions about Benghazi that the mainstream media apparently find less compelling. “And yet if you had been watching CNN or your network nightly news, you wouldn’t have the faintest idea,” writes Scottie Hughes for Townhall. “If you were waiting for feckless Republicans on Capitol Hill to comment, let alone do something, you’d still be waiting.”

Among other things, the report found that “Muammar Qaddafi expressed his willingness to abdicate shortly after the beginning of the 2011 Libyan revolt…” and “The U.S. facilitated the delivery of weapons and military support to al Qa’eda-linked rebels in Libya.”

“Thousands of guns and weapons were handed over to the enemy, and now we are supposed to feign surprise and shock that the September 11th, 2012 attacks in which Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other brave Americans were killed,” observes Hughes.

Diana West dug further into this story, interviewing CCB source Rear Admiral Chuck Kubic, who, she writes, “relayed to the U.S. AFRICOM headquarters Qaddafi’s interest in truce talks.” As we’ve reported, these talks were scuttled by someone above AFRICOM at the beginning of the Libyan revolution. “The question becomes, who in the Obama administration scuttled these truce talks that might have resulted in Qaddafi handing over powers without the bloodshed and destruction that left Libya a failed state and led to Benghazi?” West asks.

Despite the favorable reception of some media to our briefing, and the fact that the press does seem interested in demanding answers, we must correct some errors that exist in the record.  Firstly, the CCB objects to the provision of weapons to the Transitional National Council (TNC), the government-in-waiting established in the early days of the Libyan revolution in February 2011. The leadership of the TNC comprised the leadership of the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood, and the al-Qa’eda militias operated under their command.

The TNC had jihadi ties, but the core of the story lies in the fact that half of these weapons were skimmed off the top and sold to Qaddafi’s forces to pay for and extend the war.

And the weapons were sent from Qatar, not the United Arab Emirates. The UAE was the largest financier of these weapons shipments.

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Does Navy Map Alter the Benghazi Narrative?

by Roger Aronoff on Monday, February 17th, 2014

This is article 274 of 302 in the topic US Military

Newly released information about the location of military assets on the night of the terrorist attacks in Benghazi in 2012 has been met with a yawn by the mainstream media, but it has caused quite a stir in the conservative press.

Most of the media are following the lead of the Obama administration, arguing that while the outcome in Benghazi was regrettable, it was merely due to mistakes that have since been addressed and it’s long past time to move on. Any suggestion of this being a scandal, that narrative goes, is the result of Fox News and talk-radio pushing an agenda, combined with thinly disguised racism. We have shown time and again why this is, in fact, a very real and significant scandal, and should be seen as such by the media and Congress.

Several congressional and administration reports consider the military response to Benghazi to have been justifiable. “The interagency response was timely and appropriate, but there simply was not enough time for armed U.S. military assets to have made a difference,” concluded the Accountability Review Board (ARB) back in December 2012. “As the only military member of the ARB, I personally reviewed all of the military assets that were in theater and available,” Admiral Michael Mullen, Vice Chair of the ARB, said in an interview in June of last year. This board was largely handpicked by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to investigate Benghazi, but she was never interviewed by them.

Now, Americans have gotten a glimpse into which naval forces were active on September 11, 2012, and can judge for themselves. A new map has been released by Judicial Watch that details the location of multiple ships in the region. Judicial Watch has done an excellent job in reporting on and analyzing the situation in Benghazi, and their Freedom of Information requests have yielded significant information.

However, the fact that there were many ships in the area does not necessarily mean that they provided the instant military capacity to have affected the outcome. The far-left Mother Jones publication has argued, “This Map Is Not the Benghazi Smoking Gun Conservatives Think It Is.” This is because “Most of the ‘dozens’ of ships were nowhere near Benghazi, and the list includes many vessels that wouldn’t do much good in a rescue situation,” wrote Tim Murphy for MoJo. In this instance, they may have stumbled on the truth.

The Navy noted in a letter to the Freedom of Information Act requester that “ENTERPRISE was approximately 3350 nautical miles from Benghazi. Assuming a 20 knot transit speed and no Suez Canal delays, the transit would take approximately 168 hours or seven days.” And the closest amphibious vessel, IWO JIMA, was “underway in the Gulf of Oman,” wrote Captain B.C. Nickerson for the Navy.

In other words, no naval help was on its way that night and the best help was too far away to make a difference.

But the real story here is not that there were military assets in the immediate area that weren’t used to rescue the Americans under attack in Benghazi. Rather it is that this newly released information underscores the fact that there should have been forces on hand and ready to deal with this kind of situation.

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Adm. James Lyons (Ret.) on Growing Benghazi Scandal

by Roger Aronoff on Friday, February 15th, 2013

This is article 205 of 244 in the topic Congressional Investigations

The nominations of John Brennan for CIA Director and Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense are being held up by Republicans in the Senate largely because of the unwillingness of the Obama administration to come clean on the what the President knew, when he knew it, and what he did during the seven hours that the Temporary Mission and the annex in Benghazi were under attack on September 11th and 12th last year.

AIM recently interviewed Retired Admiral James Lyons. He is the former Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Pacific fleet, and a man not afraid to tell it like it is. We need more men like Admiral Lyons to stand up to the lies, hypocrisy and political correctness that so dominates our national dialogue today.

The interview took place the day after outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s testimony to Congress, which Adm. Lyons discussed in our interview. It was before outgoing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey testified before Congress, which raised questions about how in-the-loop Obama was during the terrorist attack, which killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

I asked Adm. Lyons what he thought of Hillary Clinton’s question to the senators when she was feeling the heat from their questions. “What difference does it make?” she angrily asked, referring to how the men died. The questions asked of Sec. Clinton were trying to get an answer to why the administration had claimed for weeks that the attack was in response to an anti-Islamic video produced in the U.S., when records and testimony made it clear that it was a planned terrorist attack on the 11th anniversary of September 11, 2001, and the intelligence community knew it from the first day.

Adm. Lyons answer to “What difference does it make” was, “Richard Nixon found out what the difference is when you lie to the American public—and in his lie, it was only a bungled burglary attempt; nobody got killed. In this case, we had four Americans murdered. Furthermore, we knew, within a matter of hours, that this was a determined, preplanned terrorist attack. So you have to ask yourself, why perpetuate this lie for almost two weeks?”

During the interview, Adm. Lyons gave his views on what he thinks was going on in Libya at the time; on the “Arab Spring;” on sending F-16s and tanks to the Muslim Brotherhood-controlled Egypt; on President Obama’s new national security team; and on the Law of the Seas Treaty, among other topics. Below are excerpts from the interview. You can listen to the entire interview or read the transcript here. You can read Admiral Lyons’ bio and learn more about his current activities here.

ROGER ARONOFF: You have been a persistent critic of how the [Obama] administration has handled the attack on our special mission compound in Benghazi. We’ve had a couple of reports, including the Accountability Review Board, and then, yesterday, we had Secretary of State [Hillary] Clinton’s testimony. Do you feel we’ve gained a more clear picture of what really happened?

ADMIRAL LYONS: Not in the least: You’re still getting the smokescreen. I must say that, quote, “Independent” Accountability Review Board, from my perspective, was like having the Mafia investigate a crime scene.

ARONOFF: Okay.

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Doh! Svidaniya: DNC apologizes for using photo of Russian ships during convention tribute to US military

by Doug Powers on Thursday, September 13th, 2012

This is article 118 of 142 in the topic Democratic Party

Oops. At their convention, the DNC put a US Navy retired admiral on stage, and at one point behind him during a military tribute there appeared an enormous backdrop of Soviet-era ships — presumably the same fleet assigned to transmit information to Vladimir.

From the Navy Times:

Democratic officials apologized Wednesday for mistakenly displaying an image of the Russian Navy during a tribute to America’s veterans at last week’s Democratic National Convention. But they also used their response to take a swipe at Republican rival Mitt Romney.

The Russian warships, many of Soviet-era origin, were shown on a giant screen Sept. 6 above 50 veterans while retired Adm. John Nathman honored veterans’ contributions to America. The former sailor who spotted the error and notified Navy Times had asked for an apology.

The Democratic National Convention Committee did just that in a statement Wednesday, but also criticized Romney for failing to mention service members during his convention speech in Tampa, Fla.

The DNC blamed it on a “vendor” error. Is that what they’re calling Bush these days? Don’t worry though — I’m sure they’ll be more attentive and thorough when it comes to your health care. If not, just inform your doctor in Siberia.

(h/t Instapundit)

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What ‘Gutsy Call’? Obama Didn’t Make ‘Operational Decision’ to Kill Osama bin Laden

by Donald Douglas on Saturday, April 28th, 2012

This is article 278 of 779 in the topic Terrorism

The Obama campaign is out with this new ad below attacking Mitt Romney, claiming that the presumptive GOP nominee wouldn’t have been “gutsy” enough to make the call on killing bin Laden.

But perhaps Obama’s “decision” to get bin Laden wasn’t so “gutsy” after all.

See Ben Shapiro, at Big Peace, “What ‘Gutsy Call’?: CIA Memo Reveals Admiral Controlled bin Laden Mission” (via Memeorandum). Read it all at the link. In question is the language of the CIA memo obtained by Time Magazine. See, “The Last Days of Osama bin Laden“:

MEMO FOR THE RECORD Apr. 29, 2011, 10:35 a.m.

Received phone call from Tom Donilon who stated that the President made a decision with regard to AC1 [Abbottabad Compound 1]. The decision is to proceed with the assault. The timing, operational decision making and control are in Admiral McRaven’s hands. The approval is provided on the risk profile presented to the President. Any additional risks are to be brought back to the President for his consideration. The direction is to go in and get bin Laden and if he is not there, to get out. Those instructions were conveyed to Admiral McRaven at approximately 10:45 am.

Here’s Shapiro’s take:

…the memo doesn’t show a gutsy call. It doesn’t show a president willing to take the blame for a mission gone wrong. It shows a CYA maneuver by the White House.

The memo puts all control in the hands of Admiral McRaven – the “timing, operational decision making and control” are all up to McRaven. So the notion that Obama and his team were walking through every stage of the operation is incorrect. The hero here was McRaven, not Obama. And had the mission gone wrong, McRaven surely would have been thrown under the bus.

The memo is crystal clear on that point. It says that the decision has been made based solely on the “risk profile presented to the President.” If any other risks – no matter how minute – arose, they were “to be brought back to the President for his consideration.” This is ludicrous. It is wiggle room. It was Obama’s way of carving out space for himself in case the mission went bad. If it did, he’d say that there were additional risks of which he hadn’t been informed; he’d been kept in the dark by his military leaders.

Finally, the memo is unclear on just what the mission is. Was it to capture Bin Laden or to kill him? The White House itself was unable to decide what the mission was in the hours after the Bin Laden kill, and actually switched its language. The memo shows why: McRaven was instructed to “get” Bin Laden, whatever that meant.

President Obama made the right call to give the green light to the mission. But he did it in a way that he could shift the blame if things went wrong. Typical Obama.

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You could have heard a pin drop

by Alan Caruba on Saturday, April 14th, 2012

This is article 158 of 302 in the topic US Military

At a time when our politicians tend to apologize for our country’s prior actions, here’s a refresher on how some of our former patriots handled negative comments about our country. These are good.

JFK’S Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, was in France in the early 60′s when DeGaulle decided to pull out of NATO. DeGaulle said he wanted all US military out of France as soon as possible.

Rusk responded, “Does that include those who are buried here?”

DeGaulle did not respond.

You could have heard a pin drop.

When in England, at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of ‘empire building’ by George Bush.

He answered by saying, “Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return.”

You could have heard a pin drop.

There was a conference in France where a number of international engineers were taking part, including French and American.

During a break, one of the French engineers came back into the room saying, “Have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intend to do, bomb them?”

A Boeing engineer stood up and replied quietly: “Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck. We have eleven such ships; how many does France have?”

You could have heard a pin drop.

A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included Admirals from the U.S., English, Canadian, Australian and French Navies. At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large group of officers that included personnel from most of those countries.

Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks but a French admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English. He then asked, “Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?”

Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied, “Maybe it’s because the Brit’s, Canadians, Aussie’s and Americans arranged it so you wouldn’t have to speak German.”

You could have heard a pin drop.

AND THIS STORY FITS RIGHT IN WITH THE ABOVE…

Robert Whiting, an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane. At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on.

“You have been to France before, monsieur?” the customs officer asked sarcastically.

Mr. Whiting admitted that he had indeed been to France previously.

“Then you should know enough to have your passport ready.”

The American said, “The last time I was here, I didn’t have to show it.”

“Impossible.

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Mimi Alford, You Poor Thing

by Humberto Fontova on Monday, February 20th, 2012

This is article 145 of 302 in the topic US Military

Mimi Alford certainly has cause to regret her handling by President Kennedy. But while fornicating with the U.S. President in the White House and while publicly fellating the U.S. President’s friends in the White House swimming pool, this teen-ager was never deceived by the President who remains the most popular in modern U.S. history.

And Mrs Alford admits as much. “It’s hard to say that it felt really good to be considered special— but it did,” she tells an interviewer. “I was 19 years old. He was just magnetic.”

Many widows living in south Florida feel differently about Kennedy’s magnetism. You’ll often find these ladies, with itchy noses and red-rimmed eyes, ambling amidst the long rows of white crosses at the Cuban Memorial in Miami. It’s a mini-Arlington, in honor of Castro’s murder victims and those who fell trying to free Cuba from the Stalinism he imposed with his Soviet overlords while the “Leader of the Free World” seemed oddly distracted.

But the tombs are symbolic. Most of the bodies still lie in mass graves dug by bulldozers on the orders of Ted Turner’s fishing buddy, Jimmy Carter and George Mc Govern’s “old friend” and Barbara Walter’s and Diane Sawyer’s cuddle-bunny.

Never heard of this Cuban Memorial in the mainstream media? Well, it honors the tens of thousands of Fidel Castro’s and Che Guevara’s victims. Need I say more about the media blackout?…didn’t think so.

Some of these ladies will be kneeling, others walking slowly, looking for a name. You remember a similar scene from the opening frames of Saving Private Ryan. Many clutch rosaries. Many of the ladies will be pressing their faces into the breast of a relative who drove them there, a relative who wraps his arms around her spastically heaving shoulders.

Try as he might not to cry himself, he usually finds that the sobs wracking his mother, grandmother, sister or aunt are contagious. Yet he’s often too young to remember the face of his martyred uncle or cousin – the name they just recognized on the white cross.

“Killed in Action, Bay of Pigs April 18th 1961.”

Another woman will go home after placing flowers under her father’s cross – a father she never knew. “Killed in action, Bay of Pigs, April 18th, 1961″ also reads his cross. She was two at the time.

“Where are the PLANES?” her father’s commander yelled into his radio from the blood-soaked beachhead. “Send planes or we can’t last!” he yelled while Soviet Howitzers decimated his horribly outnumbered men, Soviet tanks closed-in, and his casualties piled up.

Meanwhile “The Leader of the Free World” seemed oddly distracted.

“We must support anti-Castro fighters,” these ladies had heard (candidate) Kennedy implore short months earlier during his debates with Richard Nixon. “So far these freedom fighters have received no help from our government,” (candidate) Kennedy complained.

Short weeks before the debates CIA chief Allen Dulles (on Ike’s orders) had briefed Kennedy about Cuban invasion plans. And since the plans were secret, Kennedy knew Nixon couldn’t rebut. And indeed, Vice President Nixon (the invasion’s main booster, in fact) bit his tongue. He could easily have stomped Kennedy on it. But to some candidates national security trumps debating points.

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Boston Tea Party: 238th anniversary

by Michelle Malkin on Saturday, December 17th, 2011

On December 16, 1773, the taxpayers of Boston had had enough.

The Boston Tea Party Ship & Museum website recounts the story:

On the cold evening of December 16, 1773, a large band of patriots, disguised as Mohawk Indians, burst from the South Meeting House with the spirit of freedom burning in their eyes. The patriots headed towards Griffin’s Wharf and the three ships. Quickly, quietly, and in an orderly manner, the Sons of Liberty boarded each of the tea ships. Once on board, the patriots went to work striking the chests with axes and hatchets. Thousands of spectators watched in silence. Only the sounds of ax blades splitting wood rang out from Boston Harbor. Once the crates were open, the patriots dumped the tea into the sea.

The silence was broken only by the cry of “East Indian” as patriots caught Charles O’Conner filling the lining of his coat with tea. George Hewes removed O’Connor’s coat, threatened him with death if he revealed the identity of any man present, and sent him scurrying out of town. The patriots worked feverishly, fearing an attack by Admiral Montague at any moment. By nine o’clock p.m., the Sons of Liberty had emptied a total of 342 crates of tea into Boston Harbor. Fearing any connection to their treasonous deed, the patriots took off their shoes and shook them overboard. They swept the ships’ decks, and made each ship’s first mate attest that only the tea was damaged.

When all was through, Lendall Pitts led the patriots from the wharf, tomahawks and axes resting on their shoulders. A fife played as they marched past the home where British Admiral Montague had been spying on their work. Montague yelled as they past, “Well boys, you have had a fine, pleasant evening for your Indian caper, haven’t you? But mind, you have got to pay the fiddler yet!”

Montague’s words were to be an omen for the patriots. The party was indeed over for Boston.

Meanwhile, over on Capitol Hill today: GOP leaders: Pipeline stays in payroll tax bill

And last night, another Band-Aid, stop-gap government spending bill passed.

$1 TRILLION for 9 months.

What would the original Tea Partiers think and do?

***

In the spirit of the original Tea Party movement circa 1773 and circa 2009, Gateway Grassroots Initiative has launched — advancing limited government principles through targeted, locally-based action.

Go here for more information. It’s a terrific model for grass-roots conservative activism.

More: The Tea is Brewed: GGI.

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King: Probe allegations Obama aided filmmaker with classified intel

by Jim Kouri on Thursday, August 11th, 2011

This is article 99 of 302 in the topic US Military

A scene from the Bigelow motion picture "The Hurt Locker." Credit: Sony Pictures

Yesterday,  U.S. Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, urged a full investigation be conducted into reports that President Barack Obama’s Administration had granted Sony Pictures and Oscar-winning filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow high-level access for a film on the mission in which U.S. Special Operations Forces killed Osama bin Laden.

The film is reportedly scheduled to be released in October 2012, just a month before the November 2012 elections, a definite boost for Obama’s re-election hopes.

In a letter to Defense Department Inspector General Gordon Heddell and CIA Inspector General David Buckley, King wrote that the “Administration’s first duty in declassifying material is to provide full reporting to Congress and the American people, in an effort to build public trust through transparency of government.  In contrast, this alleged collaboration belies a desire of transparency in favor of a cinematographic view of history.”

Ms. Bigelow won the Academy Award for best motion picture director for the Iraq war adventure “The Hurt Locker,” a film that won high-praise.

She was just about finished with her latest project, a film about the Afghan war, when news came out regarding SEAL Team 6′s killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. This presented Bigelow with a problem for her film’s ending. She then decided to re-shoot scenes for her film.

“Only in a Hollywood movie will you see a failed president whose claim to fame is being a community organizer, being portrayed as a hero Commander-in-Chief,” said former Marine intelligence officer and police detective Mike Snopes.

According to political strategist Donald Peltier, had President George W. Bush helped a filmmaker with classified material, he would have been skewered by the media and his opponents.

In his letter to Gordon S. Heddell, Inspector General of the Department of Defense, and David Buckley
Inspector General of the Central Intelligence Agency, Rep. King pointed out that:

Special Operations Command’s Admiral Eric Olson stated that the May 1st raid “was successful because nobody talked about it before, and if we want to preserve this capability nobody better talk about it after,” and that his operators’ “15 minutes of fame lasted about 14 minutes too long.  They want to get back in the shadows.”  Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen stated that “It is time to stop talking,” as “We have gotten to a point where we are close to jeopardizing the precision capability that we have, and we can’t afford to do that.  This fight isn’t over.” 

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates stated that “Too many people in too many places are talking too much about this operation, and when so much detail is available it makes that both more difficult and riskier” for such missions in the future.

Leaks of classified information regarding the bin Laden raid have already resulted, according to a June 15, 2011 article in the Washington Post, in the arrests of Pakistanis who were believed by local authorities to have assisted the CIA with the May 1st raid.

Further participation by JSOC and the Agency in making a film about the raid is bound to increase such leaks, and undermine these organizations’ hard-won reputations as “quiet professionals” − reputations important for their continued operational success.  And, the success of these organizations is vital to our continued homeland security.

Then King spelled out what information was needed for a Congressional investigation:

• What consultations, if any, occurred between members of the Executive Office of the President, and Department of Defense and/or CIA officials, regarding the advisability of providing Hollywood executives with access to covert military operators and clandestine CIA officers to discuss the [Osama] raid?

• Will a copy of this film be submitted to the military and CIA for pre-publication review, to determine if special operations tactics, techniques and procedures, or Agency intelligence sources and methods, would be revealed by its release?

• How was the attendance of filmmakers at a meeting with special operators and Agency officers at CIA Headquarters balanced against those officers’ duties to maintain their covers?  How will cover concerns be addressed going forward?

• What steps did the Administration take to ensure that no special operations tactics, techniques, and procedures were compromised during those meetings? 

• To the extent possible to determine, how many human intelligence sources and how many Agency intelligence methods have been compromised due to leaks about the May 1st raid?  What effects have these compromises had on the CIA’s collection capabilities?  Will Agency participation in a film about the bin Laden raid add to or exacerbate the effects of these compromises?

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Joint Chiefs Chairman blasted by critics over comments in Afghanistan

by Jim Kouri on Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

This is article 92 of 302 in the topic US Military

“Those men and women in harms way should be able to count on their commanders [such as Admiral Mullen] to look after them. Any commander who is more concerned with a Community Organizer playing at being a Commander in Chief than he is with the lives of men and women on the battlefield is nothing more than a political hack.”

The last thing U.S. fighting men and women need to worry about is getting paid at the whim of politicians. Credit: DoD/American Forces Press Service

With budget cuts — not operational issues –  the main concern of soldiers and Marines deployed in the battlefields of Afghanistan, many soldiers, U.S. Marines and other service members were concerned over the threat of the government being hampered from raising the debt ceiling.

In what later was revealed to be an empty political threat, President Barack Obama said military personnel, their families and others’ paychecks and benefits would be halted for want of raising the debt ceiling by August 2.
“Obama attempted to frighten the elderly, the military and others who depend on the government for social security and pay checks by creating a ‘straw man’ — the threat that government checks would not be distributed in a timely fashion,” said former military officer and law enforcement commander Thomas Spence, now a director of security in the private sector.
“Now we know that Obama was being deceptive; no — let me be straight — he was lying to further his political agenda,” Spence said. “He was trying to scare people into believing a lie. It’s unconscionable!”

When Navy Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, held “troop talks” throughout Afghanistan, he was peppered with questions about the U.S. debt crisis and the future of military benefits, according to Jim Garamone of American Forces Press Service..

Mullen thanked service members in Afghanistan and Iraq for their sacrifices. During the talks he stressed the effects of change and being ready for unexpected change. He also stressed the need for leadership at all levels.

Then he threw the floor open for questions. In both places, soldiers and Marines expressed concern about the debt negotiations. “The discussion really centers on providing by law an increase in the debt ceiling so the United States can pay its bills,” the chairman said. “And the bills really run the full spectrum. I really don’t know the answer to the question to how, if we default, how that will work out.”

The U.S. Treasury delivers service members’ pay checks, and sends them to veterans and Social Security recipients. “That’s something that the government leadership will have to figure out,” he said. “I honestly hope we don’t get there. But I don’t expect it will affect — certainly in the short term — operations here and operations around the world.”

Assuming a solution to the debt crisis is reached, the chairman discussed what the defense budget will look like. He said there is increasing pressure overall on the federal budget to reduce the deficit. This has to be addressed, he said.

“I’ve said for a long time, I believe that the single biggest threat to national security is this growing debt,” he said.

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