Thursday, August 29, 2013

Email traffic confirms Hillary Clinton’s leading role in scrubbing the Benghazi talking points Steve Hayes takes a detailed look at the scenario that led to the scrubbing of the CIA’s Benghazi talking points to delete terrorism references and focus on the “non-event” video. Hayes’ rendition is consistent with what we’ve been saying for some time now — the State Department pushed for the talking points to be changed to cover up its pre-Benghazi malfeasance and the White House concurred, presumably to help re-elect Obama. The CIA sent out the original, valid talking points on Friday evening to top Obama administration officials. Forty-five minutes after receiving them, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland expressed concerns about their contents, particularly the likelihood that members of Congress would criticize the State Department for “not paying attention to Agency warnings.” The quick response by a Clinton functionary shows that Clinton and her top advisers had planned ahead and were prepared to push for a revisionist story. CIA officials responded with a new draft, stripped of all references to Ansar al Sharia. But this wasn’t enough for Hillary Clinton’s team. Thus, Nuland responded with an email stating that the changes do not “resolve all my issues or those of my building leadership.” (emphasis added) Team Obama’s high-level national security adviser Ben Rhodes must have recognized that the State Department’s goal of avoiding congressional criticism was consistent with Obama’s political goals. Thus, he told those in the email group that Nuland had raised valid concerns. He added that the issues would be resolved at a meeting of the National Security Council’s Deputies Committee the following morning. The Deputies Committee consists of high-ranking officials at the agencies with responsibility for national security​—​including State, Defense, and the CIA​—​as well as senior White House national security staffers. The State Department representative at the meeting was Jake Sullivan, deputy chief of staff to Hillary Clinton. As we have said, it is virtually inconceivable that Clinton was out of this loop. The outcome of the meeting was that Sullivan, Rhodes, and Mike Morrell, deputy director of the CIA, edited the talking points. The bogus talking points used by Susan Rice were the product of that scrubbing. Morrell’s involvement apparently is the basis for claims by Jay Carney that the CIA “redrafted” the talking points. But, as Hayes points out, the CIA would not have edited its finalized talking points of its own volition. Moreover, Hayes reports that CIA director David Petraeus promptly expressed unhappiness about the scrubbed talking points in an email to his legislative director. He complained (internally only) that the talking points had been stripped of much of the content his agency had provided. The talking points were changed from accurate to inaccurate because (1) the State Department’s “building leadership” pushed for the changes in order to avoid criticism for its failure to respond to warnings about the situation in Libya and (2) it suited Team Obama’s political purposes to accede to the changes. Unless Clinton has compromising photos of President Obama, it’s that simple.

Email traffic confirms Hillary Clinton’s leading role in scrubbing the Benghazi talking points

Steve Hayes takes a detailed look at the scenario that led to the scrubbing of the CIA’s Benghazi talking points to delete terrorism references and focus on the “non-event” video. Hayes’ rendition is consistent with what we’ve been saying for some time now — the State Department pushed for the talking points to be changed to cover up its pre-Benghazi malfeasance and the White House concurred, presumably to help re-elect Obama.
The CIA sent out the original, valid talking points on Friday evening to top Obama administration officials. Forty-five minutes after receiving them, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland expressed concerns about their contents, particularly the likelihood that members of Congress would criticize the State Department for “not paying attention to Agency warnings.”
The quick response by a Clinton functionary shows that Clinton and her top advisers had planned ahead and were prepared to push for a revisionist story.
CIA officials responded with a new draft, stripped of all references to Ansar al Sharia. But this wasn’t enough for Hillary Clinton’s team. Thus, Nuland responded with an email stating that the changes do not “resolve all my issues or those of my building leadership.” (emphasis added)
Team Obama’s high-level national security adviser Ben Rhodes must have recognized that the State Department’s goal of avoiding congressional criticism was consistent with Obama’s political goals. Thus, he told those in the email group that Nuland had raised valid concerns. He added that the issues would be resolved at a meeting of the National Security Council’s Deputies Committee the following morning. The Deputies Committee consists of high-ranking officials at the agencies with responsibility for national security​—​including State, Defense, and the CIA​—​as well as senior White House national security staffers.
The State Department representative at the meeting was Jake Sullivan, deputy chief of staff to Hillary Clinton. As we have said, it is virtually inconceivable that Clinton was out of this loop.
The outcome of the meeting was that Sullivan, Rhodes, and Mike Morrell, deputy director of the CIA, edited the talking points. The bogus talking points used by Susan Rice were the product of that scrubbing.
Morrell’s involvement apparently is the basis for claims by Jay Carney that the CIA “redrafted” the talking points. But, as Hayes points out, the CIA would not have edited its finalized talking points of its own volition. Moreover, Hayes reports that CIA director David Petraeus promptly expressed unhappiness about the scrubbed talking points in an email to his legislative director. He complained (internally only) that the talking points had been stripped of much of the content his agency had provided.
The talking points were changed from accurate to inaccurate because (1) the State Department’s “building leadership” pushed for the changes in order to avoid criticism for its failure to respond to warnings about the situation in Libya and (2) it suited Team Obama’s political purposes to accede to the changes. Unless Clinton has compromising photos of President Obama, it’s that simple.

Hillary Clinton's Docs Prove Obama Overruled Her on Benghazi Security

Author: Hillary Clinton's Docs Prove Obama Overruled Her on Benghazi Security

| On 27, Oct 2012
The best-selling author of The Amateur Ed Klein claims that former president Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are arguing over whether or not to release documents that would exonerate her in the Benghazi scandal. The author suggests that Hillary Clinton has not released any such documents yet because she believes she will escape blame for both Benghazigate and any blowback that could potentially cause Obama to lose the election.
Meanwhile, President Obama refuses to state that he did not call off requests for help in Benghazi during the terrorist raid. General Petraeus has stated that the order for the security assets in Libya to stand down during the Benghazi raid did not come from the CIA.
The current development in the story has shifted to a timeline that shows the president likely called any rescue operation off. The White House was notified within minutes, via email, of the attack on the mission in Benghazi. 90 minutes later the president went to bed with the late Ambassador Christopher Stevens still missing. The protocol would indicate that security assets would be dispatched to conduct a rescue In-extremis operation. Therefore, any such operation had to have been called off by someone high up in the executive branch’s chain-of-command.
H/T BlazeTV

The Reason JFK Jr Was Murdered

The Reason JFK Jr
Was Murdered

From John Hankey

I've been engaging in an email correspondence with a health food store owner in Utah named True Ott, regarding John Kennedy Jr.'s final days. Ott says that John Jr. was murdered because he had come into possession, through Ott, of thorough and conclusive proof of George Bush Sr.'s direct involvement in the assassination of JFK. Ott says John was preparing to publish the information. The story Ott tells is incredible, and I certainly did not believe it the first time I heard it. However,...I've investigated and found that Ott is well known and respected nationally in the health food community. Ott is also listed on the Sierra Club and NRDC websites for the activism he claims brought him to the attention of George magazine. He has an important reputation as a respected environmental and health activist that is not helped by spreading ridiculous stories; and he assures me he wouldn't jeopardize his reputation like this if the story weren't true. You be your own judge as you read, below, what he said.
It has occurred to me, since speaking to Ott, that the day John died, he told his staff that "as long as I am alive, this magazine will publish." When I first read this story, this seemed to me an over-the- top statement from someone who had not shown a life-and-death commitment to the magazine up to that point. Ott's stunning story solves this and other important mysteries. I'll finish this letter with the latest part of my correspondence with him.
Best wishes,
True writes as follows:
I will never forget the phone call on the 4th of July weekend, 1999 - the phone call from John Jr. thanking me profusely for the information and the file. When he told me that a grand jury was to be convened and Bush was going to be indicted for the murder of his father, I tell you, I had goose bumps. For your review, here is an excerpt of what I wrote 3 years ago in my unpublished manuscript "Free at Last" concerning the event.
John, please understand that I appreciate your efforts - more than words can say. You can only imagine how thrilled I was to see your videos - for you were declaring what I had known as facts for many years - it is difficult to know the truth about national politics and power brokers when the majority of people (and the major media) all are complicit by their ignorance and willingness to accept the status quo. As Edmund Burke said: "The only thing needed for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing!"
In addition to the murder of John Sr., keep in mind the file also contained evidence concerning CIA orders for contract murders for witnesses of the event. There were over ten "collateral assassinations", one of which was the Dallas PD detective that was the focus of the DVD I sent you (Two Men in Dallas). Did you get that ok?
The cabal in charge of this nation is so massive and so powerful, that none dare attempt to expose it. As my D.C. attorney has counseled me, the best we can hope for is a sort of "detente" - a live and let live attitude. I don't like it, but it is the reality of life at this time. The cabal is composed of powerful Jewish banking families, with Mormon, Jesuit and Freemason allies. My attorney has flat out told me that publicizing "the file" will greatly shift the balance of "detente" - and more innocents will die. In short, the cabal doesn't give a damn if we know, only if we attempt to do something meaningful about it.
In answer to your question - it was about a week after John's plane went down. I had received about 8 calls from major news publications, (U.S. News and World Report, Time, Wall Street Journal, etc.) asking about reports that I had provided a file to John - "Did I, and what did the file contain?". I denied all, and made no comment. It was at this time that George Magazine called me as well - I think it was the editor Richard, though I am not completely certain. He told me the story was "dead" and the magazine was folding. He also told me that all evidence went with John - and that their offices had been burgled. You are right of course, it doesn't make sense that there were not any backup files - apparently they were taken as well. Again, this was a time of EXTREME CONCERN for me and my family - and I don't remember a lot of the specific details clearly. I don't mind telling you that I indeed feared for my life for at least a month. Please understand that I don't believe I am paranoid - but when one verifies that ones phones have indeed been tapped, it makes one a bit concerned.
All my best to you my friend. Keep searching for all truth. (We need a copy of the Inquirer story.)
True Ott
The " Las Vegas " Files are Examined In 1995, I was going through my safe and file cabinets, and came across the sealed, manila envelope that had been placed in my trust by my financial planning client a decade earlier. I had completely forgotten about it. I called his home to see what he wanted me to do with it. His wife informed me that Mr. C. had suffered a stroke a year earlier, and was confined to a nursing home. He was in his 70's now, and was not doing very well.
In short, she didn't know anything about the "file" and suggested that I could just dispose of it.
I tossed it into the trash bin, but then thought that I should at least see what all the fuss was about. In many ways, I wish I had never opened it. It was a true "Pandora's Box", and I was shocked to read its contents. It was "file #5" of a group of 7 files called the "Gemstone" files. I don't know what the other six files contained, but this one was a literal ball-buster. It was the FULL STORY of the CIA-planned and executed contract "hit" of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, president of the United States . It was full of very complete specifics, including such things as photostats of cancelled checks, travel vouchers, orders on CIA letterhead, personnel "lists" of participants, disposition of witnesses and evidence, etc. The problem was, I recognized the names of many of the key men who participated in the assassination, as well as the massive cover-up that followed.
These were not all Jewish organized crime bosses, some were men linked to my LDS church authorities and some were nationally prominent politicians in my beloved Republican Party! The file was extremely damning towards George HW Bush, who in 1963 was the CIA head in Dallas . The obvious involvement of the FBI and Dallas PD, and their subsequent squelching of information as outlined in the file made me physically sick. There was no person in Federal Law Enforcement that I could trust with this information, that is, IF IT WAS INDEED LEGITIMATE! At first, I refused to believe it could be legitimate at all. My paradigm of perception refused to believe it could possibly be factual. However, I could not understand WHY my "client" would have such a file, and WHY would he want it sent to Beverly Hills CA, as well as a notice sent to Hank Greenspan of the Las Vegas Sun newspaper, if my client happened to "die suspiciously?" Like I said, it was a definite "pandora's box", one that I soon realized was too big for me. I kept thinking I ought to shred its contents, but I couldn't bring myself to do so.
The File Goes Home to John John.
During the summer of 1998, I was involved in actively protesting the expansion of Circle 4 Farm's gigantic hog factory farm into Iron County . My grass-roots citizen's organization CRSA (Citizens for Responsible and Sustainable Agriculture) had received a bit of national notoriety, with a number of AP wire stories circulating the nation. One such story caught the eye of a publication called George Magazine. The editor and staff contacted me and scheduled an appointment to meet and review my story.
The editor of George Magazine flew into Cedar City in his private plane to meet me, and shoot a photo spread. We spent the entire day, a Saturday, together. At the end of the day, at a local steak house, we sat down for a concluding meal.
Over salad, I had to confess to the editor that I had never even heard of, much less read a copy of George Magazine until he had called me. He reached into his briefcase and produced a copy. Looking at it, I was surprised to see that it was owned and founded by John Kennedy Jr.
I asked him about "John, and his politics." I was told that John was a real "champion of the under-dog" and that was why they were producing the story on CRSA and me.
I commented: "I believe that my image of John is like most Americans. The enduring image of little `John-John' courageously stepping forward and giving his best salute as the caisson carrying his father's body slowly rolled by. Tell me, does John accept the `official Warren Commission' account of the assassination, or does he think there was more to it? At this late date, does it even matter?"
The editor nodded and said: "Of course he doesn't accept the Warren Commission, but there is not a lot he, or anyone else can do about it! And I guarantee you, it DOES INDEED matter, at least to him. It is one of his major goals in life to find out the Truth!"
I replied: "Has he ever heard of something called the `Gemstone Files'?" With that, the air became electrified. The editor laid down his salad fork and said: "What do YOU know about the `Gemstone'?"
"Oh, it just might be that I have a copy of file # 5. Does that interest you?" I casually volunteered. "You can't be serious! Are you serious? Don't kid about something like that! Where did you get it?" he almost screamed.
The dinner was immediately over, even though our steaks were just coming in from the kitchen. We had them placed into containers to take with us. The editor had to SEE the infamous Gemstone immediately. He couldn't wait until the meal was finished.
It was late on a Saturday night in Cedar City, Utah. I handed him the file, and he offered to compensate me for it. I refused. I asked him only one thing in return; if the information proved out to be genuine, that I needed to know. I just wanted justice to be served, and the guilty parties prosecuted.
I was awakened the next morning at 5:00. John's editor explained that he had been up all night reading the file. He had called John directly, and he was told to fly it immediately back to John. John had again offered to compensate me up to $10,000 for the lead. He felt it was that good. I politely refused, and gently reminded him of my earlier request. I just wanted to know if the information was genuine. To me, that would be payment enough.
The rest of 1998 went by quickly. The national political stage was being set. It looked like George W. Bush was seeking to secure the nomination to run against Al Gore.
On the 5th of July, 1999, my home phone rang. Joan answered it and said: "True, it's for you." As I answered it, a very polite masculine voice on the other end said: "Hello, True Ott, do you have a moment to speak? This is John Kennedy calling!"
I immediately asked him to hold while I went to the privacy of my home office to take his call. After a few minutes of small talk, he told me: "Well, I understand that you want to know what I think of your file. I want you to know that I have spent over six figures in private investigators to verify its contents. I can say to you without hesitation that its contents are indeed factual. As a matter of fact, because of this file, a federal grand jury will be convening within the next few weeks. It is my opinion, as well as my attorneys, that this federal grand jury will pass down an indictment against George Herbert Walker Bush for conspiracy to commit murder against my father, and will also indict others as the evidence unfolds. If George W. thinks he can run for dogcatcher after this grand jury convenes and his father indicted, he is sorely mistaken."
I was thrilled, yet deeply saddened by John's disclosures to me. I asked him how he felt about what he was about to do. Did he understand that it would shake American politics, especially the Republican Party to its very foundation?
He replied: "Yes, I do realize the gravity of the story and my accusations, but the guilty must be brought to justice."
I pressed: "But Mr. Kennedy, how do YOU feel?"
The phone went silent for a minute or two. Then John replied: "I feel like a mighty weight has been lifted from my shoulders. For the first time in my life, I feel empowered. I feel my Father's spirit beside me on this, and finally, I can exorcise a few demons from my life." He was definitely emotional, and very close to tears. I knew that I was. I was a part of American history. I had helped a brother's search for truth.
I warned him to be careful, that such actions were potentially very dangerous. He agreed, and said that he was "taking every precaution."
Then, in a quiet voice, he asked me for my banking information. He wished to wire $50K to my account. I told him thanks, but no thanks. "Give it to charity," I said, "I don't think it right to accept money for such terrible information. I am totally satisfied knowing that the file went to the very person that needed it the very most! Above all, John, please BE CAREFUL!"
John Kennedy Jr. thanked me profusely, and said that he wished there were more people in America like True Ott. He said that some day, he would somehow return the favor. I liked that. It was good to have made a friend such as John Kennedy.
A little over two weeks later, on July 16, 1999, John Kennedy Jr., along with his wife and her sister, were killed in a plane crash en route to Hyannisport for a family wedding. My new friend was gone, and the guilty involved in BOTH murders have still not been punished. I know the truth, however. There is no doubt whatsoever, why John was killed. It was NOT an accident!
----- Original Message -----
From: John Hankey To: A True Ott PhD Sent: Tuesday, June 19, 2007 5:12 PM Subject: Re: Dr. Steven Jones
Hey True!
I appreciate your willingness to correspond on this difficult stuff. You raised a couple of issues.
I'm not trying to do better than John. I'm not him. I'm not in the same game or the same league. I am trying to do the best I know how. Which for me at this moment is telling the most important truth the best way I know how. Which, among other things, means telling the story as clearly and as persuasively as I can. I think your part of the story is powerful, important, and fascinating. But my experience in telling it to others is that, without the file, it is not credible.
Another issue, it seems to me, is that if John died for trying to tell that story, to avenge his death I would like to give the fullest meaning to his life. That means presenting that file.
I think my video shows that it is not necessary to have the file to tell the story of the murder of JFK Sr. I think it is necessary to tell the final chapter in the death of JFK Jr., because that chapter is not credible without it.
A separate issue, altogether, is that I had no idea you had spoken to anyone from George after the plane went down. I would very very much like to know all the detail there is about that conversation: Who called who? Why? How long after the plane crash? To say "the file went down with John" seems an obvious euphemism. How could they not have multiple copies? that is, how could several investigators and an entire magazine staff be working on it without each having copies of the materials they were investigating?
I'm surprised and grateful that you contacted me at all. I'm surprised and grateful that you gave me permission to discuss the story with others. You can't be surprised that I would try as hard as I can to get all the information necessary to tell the story well.
thanks sincerely
"A. True Ott PhD" wrote:
Yes, the "original" file was/is copies of docs (bank statements, travel vouchers, cancelled checks, letters from Bush on Zapata letterheads, etc.). The mob had targeted Cuba as their gaming "mecca" - following the Bay of Pigs debacle, they moved with plan B - Las Vegas.
It was one of the George office staff who told me the file went down with John - (Don't remember if it was Richard or someone else - only they were da--ed nervous.)
Here's the kicker:
Even with "THE FILE", John Jr. couldn't get it done. What makes you think you or I could do any better??????? All my best,
----- Original Message -----
From: John Hankey To: A True Ott PhD Sent: Friday, June 15, 2007 8:10 AM Subject: Re: Dr. Steven Jones
Dear True
I'm grateful that you called me at all. But it sounds like I'm better off to shut my mouth about what you've told me, since, like many true stories, it's so incredible and the other evidence is there in plain sight anyway. This new book, "Brothers," further corroborates all the CIA-trained Cubans and mafia material in JFK II. But just looking at the face across from me at the table as I'm telling the story, to finish with "oh yeah, the files not available" just rips the carpet out from under any credibility the story had. Oh well. The story stands on the other evidence.
Since you brought it up, I'm very interested to know, please, who told you the original file went down in the plane. I assumed that the "original" was just photocopies of documents in any case. Were there original documents in the file?
"A. True Ott PhD" wrote:
The original file went down with John's plane (at least that is what I was told).
The copied file sent to my D.C. attorney is simply not available - my immediate family is at risk - giving it to others would violate the "detente" agreement - columnist Jack Anderson evidently saw the file 5 or 6 years ago, and even he refused to open pandora's box. Best to let sleeping dogs lie - the truth is that the crime cartel running this country is simply too big and too powerful for the common man to fight.
I reiterate what I told you on the phone ------- You figured it out ----- the "Gemstone" file only gives complete confirmation to what you produced.
(Perhaps you should look at the Inquirer article, and see if you can track down their "sources" for corroboration.)
----- Original Message -----
From: John Hankey To: A True Ott PhD Sent: Wednesday, June 13, 2007 8:53 AM Subject: Re: Dr. Steven Jones
Of course it's the truth, but the truth is often incredible, important truth almost always so. So, I have to find corroboration to make the story credible. I told my closest friend. He's puzzled and incredulous, like this: if the story's true, where's the file? I didn't have a good answer for that.
"A. True Ott PhD" wrote:
Trust me, I have NO REASON to make such a sordid story up. Of course it is the truth.
Jones was a tenured Mormon professor at BYU. When I talked to him two years ago to warn him of the dangers inherent in "speaking out" he assured me he was fine.
Last summer Bush, Cheney, et. al. visited Salt Lake City for the VFW convention.
Bush and Cheney meet privately for over one hour with LDS Church President Hinckley and Counselor Monson as soon as they arrived in
The PRESS is told the subject matter of the meeting was completely private (strange they didn't just make some subject up - i.e. P.R. or just polite protocol conversation).
The following week, Jones is fired from BYU and is now personna non grata among faithful Mormons.
Go figure!
As far as sharing my story - there are no limits except the truth.
Just tell it like it is.
----- Original Message -----
From: John Hankey To: A True Ott PhD Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2007 3:03 AM Subject: Re: Dr. Steven Jones
Hey True
You know they've separated him from BYU. The office number gives and error message. The lab phone just rings. I've sent out emails to the 2 addresses.
By the way, I thought I'd share a couple of thoughts that wandered through my mind.
1) There was never another issue of George. This makes no sense from any point of view. When one issue is on the news stands, the next 3 are well in the works. A tribute issue would have sold millions of copies. Yours is the only plausible explanation for this anomaly.
2) Richard Blow says that on the day he died, he told his staff in a meeting, "As long as I'm alive, you have a job at George magazine." That's an extraordinary statement. What could possibly have moved him to make such a commitment? Again, yours is the only plausible explanation. He set the dangers of the task before them and offered to let anyone leave who wanted to. And then was utterly committed to those who stayed.
So, I believe your story. I'd like to share it with other people. I'd like to invite you to tell me what you'd like me to not say.

Email This Article

i see i have bigger balls then most men

sad that i am only 5 ft 2 and have bigger balls then most men
what is wrong with these people
i cant see how our nation came to not
we were once a great nation
and in one day our nation came to not
just because of racist who wants free food and money
from the working class
now that they is no more working class because obama stole from us
what and how are you cunts going to get free food now
you think your islamic faggot in the white house will give you his food



Spectacular terrorism demands an audience, and there is no better place for it than Live TV. The images of terror must be burned into the collective mind of the masses in order for the terror to have its desired effect.

Due to the the 30-60 second lifespan of an assassination attempt, a sitting TV audience must already be in place prior to the assassination taking place.

The future assassination of U.S. President Barack Obama will be no different, and it is highly likely that his assassination will transpire at some live political or sports function that is being broadcast worldwide on television. 

1. Live TV Obama Assassination Plot Foiled: As the L.A. Times headline from the 2008 Democratic National Convention foreshadowed, "Plot Unfolds To Assassinate Obama On National TV". With history as our guide, it is highly likely that Barack Obama will assassinated on Live TV. 

2. Obama's TV Ratings: Due to Obama's fame and celebrity status, it is highly likely that if Obama is assassinated at a public political event, there will be a massive TV audience ranging somewhere between 75 and 100 million in place to witness the assassination.


As the L.A. Times headline from the 2008 Democratic National Convention foreshadowed, "Plot Unfolds To Assassinate Obama On National TV". With history as our guide, it is highly likely that Barack Obama will assassinated on Live TV.

Plot Unfolds To Assassinate Obama On National TV

August 26, 2008
Source: L.A. Times

More details emerging from Denver as we write this in the predawn hours on the now-suspected plot to assassinate Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama with a high-powered rifle on national television during his outdoor acceptance speech at Invesco Field on Thursday night.

YouTube Video

Authorities have reported a fourth arrest in the unfolding plot that The Ticket first wrote about here a few hours ago at the end of Monday night's Democratic National Convention events at the Pepsi Center.
We knew then that authorities in suburban Aurora had stopped a pickup truck for swerving between lanes early Sunday morning in what they thought was a routine drunk driving incident.
But in the rented vehicle of Tharin Gartrell, a 28-year-old convicted felon (see photo), they found two high-powered scoped rifles, ammunition, sighting scopes, radios, a cellphone, a bulletproof vest, wigs, drugs and fake IDs.
According to Brian Maass of Denver's KCNC Channel 4, under questioning Gartrell implicated two other men -- Nathan Johnson. who is 32, and Shawn Adolph, who is 33 -- and Johnson's girlfriend, Natasha Gromack. Johnson also reportedly confirmed the plot to FBI and Secret Service interrogators. One of the men, Adolph, reportedly wore a ring with the Nazi swastika. He was injured when he jumped out of a hotel window fleeing Secret Service agents. All are now in custody on drug and weapons charges.
U.S. Atty. Troy Eid declined to elaborate on Monday but said there is no credible threat to the party's convention or to the freshman Illinois senator, who was campaigning in Kansas City on Monday and traveling to Montana today.
But the television station reports that under questioning the men admitted there was indeed a plot to kill Obama during his speech before some 70,000 supporters and a nationwide television audience.
More details are expected to emerge later today when Eid holds a news conference at 4 p.m. Denver time (L.A. Times, 2008).


YouTube Video

Due to Obama's fame and celebrity status, it is highly likely that if Obama is assassinated at a public poltical event, there will be a massive TV audience ranging somewhere between 75 and 100 million in place to witness the assassination.
Obama Acceptance Speech Believed To Set TV Record
August 29, 2008

Abstract: Over 38 million Americans tuned in for television coverage of Barack Obama accepting the Democratic nomination for U.S. president on Thursday in what is believed to be the most watched convention speech ever.
Obama's TV audience, reaching nearly a fourth of all U.S. households, was by far the largest of the four-day Democratic National Convention, surpassing the addresses by his running mate, U.S. Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, and his onetime rival for the nomination, Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York.
It also easily eclipsed the acceptance speeches of either of Obama's two immediate Democratic predecessors or the 27.6 million viewers President George W. Bush drew on the fourth night of the Republican National Convention in 2004, when he was nominated for a second term.
Obama's historic address, by the first African American chosen to lead a major political party in the race for the White House, averaged 38.4 million U.S. viewers across all major networks, Nielsen Media Research reported on Friday.
That figure is the highest for any single night of any major party convention going back to 1996, the last election cycle for which Nielsen keeps night-by-night data.
The 1992 conventions as a whole garnered higher household ratings in prime time than this week's Democratic gathering in Denver, meaning a larger percentage of homes were tuned in to those earlier events. The same is true for most conventions held from 1960 to 1984.
But because today's household ratings translate into a larger number of individuals based on population growth, Nielsen analyst Anne Elliot said Obama's audience tally is probably the biggest for any televised convention speech in history.
By comparison, 24.4 million viewers saw the 2004 Democratic nominee, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, give his acceptance speech, and fewer still, 21.8 million, tuned in for the final night of the 2000 convention when then-Vice President Al Gore was nominated as the party's standard bearer.
The robust total for Obama, who delivered his speech in a football stadium packed with 84,000 cheering supporters, was yet another sign of the excitement generated by the Illinois senator's charisma and message of change.
The prime-time TV audience for all four days of the convention, averaging 30.2 million viewers, also easily topped the 24.4 million total for 2004 and 20.6 million from 2000.
Still, comparisons with previous election cycles are not precise matchups due to different Nielsen metrics.
In 2004, for example, Nielsen measured viewership across six networks -- the Big Three broadcasters ABC, CBS and NBC and cable news networks Fox News Channel, CNN and MSNBC -- whereas this year Nielsen added four smaller networks -- BET, TV One, Univision and Telemundo.
Moreover, Nielsen is now including time-shifted viewing by people watching later the same day through digital video recorders -- data not included in previous cycles.
The Republican National Convention kicks off in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Monday. Presumptive Republican nominee, Arizona Sen. John McCain, is hoping his bold pick of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate, will raise the excitement level for his campaign (Reuters, 2008).
Record TVs Tuned To The Obama-Biden Victory Over McCain-Palin
November 5, 2008

L.A. Times
Abstract: With a precision that can only come from the knowledge that none of us are doing our own count, The Nielsen Co. just announced that 71,478,000 of us in 47,508,000 households watched the election returns on TV during normal prime-time hours last night.
This compares with audiences of 59.2 million in 2004 and 61.6 million in 2000, both Bush victories. You remember those numbers, don't you?
As The Times' Matea Gold points out over on the Show Tracker blog, this year's election night viewers far outnumbered previous quadrennial elections. In fact, almost one in four U.S. TV sets were tuned to the results.
Actually, the election reports were very hard to avoid, unless you can stomach Capt. Kirk or country music videos.
The high ratings confirm what any political website, like The Ticket, has known for weeks -- American news consumers were very much into this election cycle, more so with each passing day.
Even on days when online traffic is normally slow, hundreds of thousands clicked their way through virtually anything of interest on the campaign and prospects.
As The Ticket reported earlier today, traffic on set a new one-day record above 3.36 million. And many newspapers including The Times are printing thousands of extra copies of today's editions to meet consumer demand.
As Jay Leno used to say about Doritos, "Eat all you want. We'll make more."
The Nielsen numbers showed that even when the viewing hours were expanded past midnight in the East to include the concession speech by Sen. John McCain and the acceptance speech by President-elect Barack Obama to a joyous Chicago throng, the audience didn't fall off as much as you might expect.
The number of people watching then faded only to 59.2 million in 40.5 million households.
ABC scored the best by claiming 9.1 million of the earlier audience and about 8.8 million of the later audience. NBC, CBS and Fox Broadcast came in next, followed by Univision and Telemundo. On cable, CNN was followed by Fox News, then MSNBC, BET and CNBC and BBC-America, according to the Nielsen Wire blog.
Likely some Fox News viewers called it an early nigh (L.A. Times, 2008).
Title: Barack Obama Inaugural May Set TV Ratings Records
January 16, 2009
L.A. Times
Abstract: To the historic nature of Barack Obama's swearing-in as the 44th president Tuesday, we may add this: The telecast will probably set TV ratings records.
Live coverage will run throughout the day on the broadcast and cable news networks, as well as on CSPAN, BET and even Comedy Central. And the intense interest in the new president virtually guarantees high numbers.
The most-watched presidential inauguration was the 1981 ceremony for Ronald Reagan, which totaled nearly 42 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research.
The lowest audience was the 15.5 million viewers for George W. Bush's second inaugural in 2005. Nielsen says that first inaugurals tend to do better than second ones — which proves that in politics, as in entertainment, viewers gravitate toward the new.
One wild card for the Obama viewership, however, will be online viewing, which is not included in Nielsen's TV measurements (L.A. Times, 2009).
Title: Nearly 37.8 Million Watch President Obama’s Oath And Speech On TV
January 29, 2009

Abstract: Nearly 37.8 million Americans watching at home viewed President Barack Obama’s oath of office and inaugural speech between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. ET on January 20, 2009.  This is the most viewed inauguration since the record of 41.8 million viewers who watched Ronald Reagan’s 1981 inauguration (Nielsen, 2009).


OBAMACSI.COM: Daniel Bongino, a former U.S. Secret Service agent whose recent assignments included a posting to President Obama’s protective detail, has decided to run for the U.S. Senate in Maryland as a Republican. Will Bongino be that voice in Congress stating that the Secret Service did all it could to protect Obama from assassination when they ultimately failed?
Title: Former Obama Secret Service Agent Running For Senate In Maryland
Date: May 31, 2011
Source: National Journal

Abstract: Daniel Bongino, a former U.S. Secret Service agent whose recent assignments included a posting to President Obama’s protective detail, has decided to run for the U.S. Senate in Maryland as a Republican.
At an agency that stresses the silence and political neutrality of its agents, Bongino’s announcement is raising eyebrows. It’s not unusual for federal law-enforcement agents to run for office after they retire, but the Secret Service frowns upon former agents who make sudden turns to politics. The agency has fought to give presidential protective division agents legal standing to keep them from testifying about high-level conversations they overhear, lest they lose the trust of the commander in chief.
Bongino is seeking the Republican nomination to take on freshman Sen.Ben Cardin, D-Md. Bongino's Twitter account calls him a “Conservative Republican Candidate for the U.S. Senate” and directs visitors to a campaign website that is offline.
In a press release announcing his candidacy, Bongino said that he left law enforcement "because of political leaders making decisions which are making America a follower and not a leader in the global economy." 
His campaign chair will be Brian Murphy, who unsuccessfully sought Maryland's Republican gubernatorial nomination in 2010 and was endorsed by the tea party and Sarah Palin. On Murphy’s Facebook page, he writes that Bongino “saw firsthand the impact of well intentioned but fatally flawed government programs” as a “child in New York City."
Bongino has spent most of his career in government. He was a New York City police officer for four years before joining the Secret Service. He spent 12 years protecting presidents, candidates, and world leaders, advancing overseas trips, standing post, and investigating financial fraud. He transferred off Obama’s detail six months ago and spent the past five months working out of the agency’s Baltimore field office. He resigned earlier this month and started his own security consulting company. While an agent, he cofounded a mixed martial arts accessory company called Friction MMA.
 "In my career, I've seen the effects of failed policies on citizens in our inner cities. I've had the honor of traveling to 27 countries with the Secret Service. And the common theme in every country is a line around the block at the US Embassy," Bongino is quoted in his campaign release. "America is an extraordinary place. But our citizens must be given a chance to compete in the world economy. It is an ideas economy, and we know what works and what doesn't. This is an 'open-book' test, but politicians insist on trying systems that either have already failed in other countries, or are in the process of failing."
Americans "are being held back by our government," he says.
Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb is a former Secret Service agent, but he spent five years as an aide to then-Gov. Frank Keating (R), himself a former special agent for the FBI,  before joining the agency, and several years elapsed between his official Secret Service duties and his first successful run for office. 
The Secret Service declined to comment on Bongino's planned candidacy.
CORRECTION: The original version of this report gave an incorrect name for Daniel Bongino's campaign chairman and for Bongino's mixed martial arts accessory company (National Journal, 2011).

Syria Warns U.S. Not To Take Military Action

Syria Warns U.S. Not To Take Military Action

In this photo taken on a government organized media tour, a Syrian army soldier wears a medical mask as stand guard on a street in the Jobar neighborhood of Damascus, Syria, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013.
Updated: 5:14 p.m.
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — The Syrian government accused rebels of using chemical weapons Saturday and warned the United States not to launch any military action against Damascus over an alleged chemical attack last week, saying such a move would set the Middle East ablaze.
The accusations by the regime of President Bashar Assad against opposition forces came as an international aid group said it has tallied 355 deaths from a purported chemical weapons attack on Wednesday in a suburb of the Syrian capital known as Ghouta.

Syria is intertwined in alliances with Iran, Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas and Palestinian militant groups. The country also borders its longtime foe and U.S. ally Israel, making the fallout from military action unpredictable.
Violence in Syria has already spilled over the past year to Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Battle-hardened Hezbollah fighters have joined the combat alongside Assad’s forces.
Meanwhile, U.S. naval units are moving closer to Syria as President Barack Obama considers a military response to the alleged use of chemical weapons by Assad’s government.
U.S. defense officials told The Associated Press that the Navy had sent a fourth warship armed with ballistic missiles into the eastern Mediterranean Sea but without immediate orders for any missile launch into Syria. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss ship movements publicly.
Obama emphasized that a quick intervention in the Syrian civil war was problematic, given the international considerations that should precede a military strike. The White House said the president would meet Saturday with his national security team to consider possible next steps by the United States. Officials say once the facts are clear, Obama will make a decision about how to proceed.
Syria’s Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi dismissed the possibility of an American attack, warning that such a move would risk triggering more violence in the region.
“The basic repercussion would be a ball of fire that would burn not only Syria but the whole Middle East,” al-Zoubi said in an interview with Lebanon-based Al-Mayadeen TV. “An attack on Syria would be no easy trip.”
In Tehran, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Abbas Arakji, warned that an American military intervention in Syria will “complicate matters.”
“Sending warships will not solve the problems but will worsen the situation,” Arakji said in comments carried by Iran’s Arabic-language TV Al-Alam. He added that any such U.S. move does not have international backing and that Iran “rejects military solutions.”
In France, Doctors Without Borders said three hospitals it supports in the eastern Damascus region reported receiving roughly 3,600 patients with “neurotoxic symptoms” over less than three hours on Wednesday morning, when the attack in the eastern Ghouta area took place.
Of those, 355 died, the Paris-based group said.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Saturday that its estimated death toll from the alleged chemical attack had reached 322, including 54 children, 82 women and dozens of fighters. It said the dead included 16 people who have not been identified.
The group said it raised its death toll from an earlier figure of 136, which had been calculated before its activists in the stricken areas met doctors, residents and saw medical reports. It said the dead “fell in the massacre committed by the Syrian regime.”
Death tolls have varied wildly over the alleged attack, with Syrian anti-government activists reporting between 322 and 1,300 killed.
Al-Zoubi blamed the rebels for the chemical attacks in Ghouta, saying that the Syrian government had proof of their responsibility but without giving details. “The rockets were fired from their positions and fell on civilians. They are responsible,” he said.
With the pressure increasing, Syria’s state media accused rebels in the contested district of Jobar near Damascus of using chemical weapons against government troops Saturday.
State TV broadcast images of plastic jugs, gas masks, vials of an unspecified medication, explosives and other items that it said were seized from rebel hideouts Saturday.
One barrel had “made in Saudi Arabia” stamped on it. The TV report also showed medicines said to be produced by a Qatari-German medical supplies company. Qatar and Saudi Arabia are strong supporters of the Syrian rebels. The report could not be immediately verified.
An army statement issued late Saturday said the discovery of the weapons “is clear evidence that these gangs are using chemical weapons against our people and soldiers with help from foreign sides.”
The claims could muddy the debate about who was responsible for Wednesday’s alleged gas attack, which spurred demands for an independent investigation and renewed talk of potential international military action if chemical weapons were used.
Just hours before the state media reports, the U.N. disarmament chief arrived in Damascus to press Assad’s regime to allow U.N. experts to investigate the alleged Wednesday attack. The regime has denied allegations it was responsible, calling them “absolutely baseless” and suggesting they are an attempt to discredit the government.
The U.S., Britain, France and Russia have urged the Assad regime and the rebels fighting to overthrow him to cooperate with the United Nations and allow a team of experts already in Syria to look into the latest purported use of chemical agents. The U.N. secretary-general dispatched Angela Kane, the high representative for disarmament affairs, to push for a speedy investigation into Wednesday’s purported attack. She did not speak to reporters upon her arrival in Damascus Saturday.
The state news agency said several government troops who took part in the Jobar offensive experienced severe trouble breathing or even “suffocation” after “armed terrorist groups used chemical weapons.” It was not clear what was meant by “suffocation,” and the report mentioned no fatalities among the troops.
“The Syrian Army achieved major progress in the past days and for that reason, the terrorist groups used chemical weapons as their last card,” state TV said. The government refers to rebels fighting to topple Assad as “terrorists.”
State TV also broadcast images of a Syrian army officer, wearing a surgical mask, telling reporters wearing similar masks that soldiers were subjected to poisonous attack in Jobar. He spoke inside the depot where the alleged confiscated products were placed.
“Our troops did not suffer body wounds,” the officer said. “I believe terrorist groups used special substances that are poisonous in an attempt to affect this advance.”
Al-Mayadeen aired interviews with two soldiers hospitalized for possible chemical weapons attack. The two appeared unharmed but were undergoing tests.
“We were advancing and heard an explosion that was not very strong,” a soldier said from his bed. “Then there was a strange smell, my eyes and head ached and I struggled to breathe.” The other soldier also said he experienced trouble breathing after the explosion.
Al-Mayadeen TV, which has a reporter embedded with the troops in the area, said some 50 soldiers were rushed to Damascus hospitals for treatment and that it was not yet known what type of gas the troops were subjected too.
In Turkey, top Syrian rebel commander Salim Idris told reporters that opposition forces did not use chemical weapons on Saturday and that “the regime is lying.”
For days, the government has been trying to counter rebel allegations that the regime used chemical weapons on civilians in rebel-held areas of eastern Damascus, arguing that opposition fighters themselves were responsible for that attack.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius dismissed the Syrian government’s claims.
“All the information we have is converging to indicate there was a chemical massacre in Syria, near Damascus, and that Bashar Assad’s regime was behind it,” Fabius told reporters during a visit to the West Bank city of Ramallah. He did not elaborate.
France has suggested that force could be used against Syria if Assad’s regime was proven to have used chemical arms.
The new talk of potential military action in in the country has made an independent investigation by U.N. inspectors critical to determine what exactly transpired.
The U.N. experts already in Syria are tasked with investigating three earlier purported chemical attacks in the country: one in the village of Khan al-Assal outside the northern city of Aleppo in March, as well as two other locations that have been kept secret for security reasons.
It took months of negotiations between the U.N. and Damascus before an agreement was struck to allow the 20-member team into Syria to investigate. Its mandate is limited to those three sites, however, and it is only charged with determining whether chemical weapons were used, not who used them.
Leaders of the main Western-backed Syrian opposition group on Saturday vowed retaliation for the alleged chemical weapons attack.
From Istanbul, the head of the Syrian National Coalition, Ahmad Al-Jarba, also criticized the lack of response to the attack by the United Nations and the international community, saying the UN was discrediting itself.
“It does not reach the ethical and legal response that Syrians expect,” he said. “As a matter of fact we can describe it as a shame.”
Mroue reported from Beirut. Associated Press writers Jamey Keaten in Paris, Desmond Butler in Istanbul and Bradley Klapper in Washington contributed to this report.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Evidence: Syria Gas Attack Work of U.S. Allies

Evidence: Syria Gas Attack Work of U.S. Allies

August 27, 2013
WND reports:
NEW YORK – As the U.S. considers a response to what it calls a chemical weapon attack by Syria’s Bashar al-Assad regime that killed hundreds of civilians, reliable Middle Eastern sources say they have evidence the culprits actually were the rebel forces trying to take over the government.
Secretary of State John Kerry accused the Assad government Monday of covering up the use of chemical weapons in “a cowardly crime” and a “moral obscenity” that shocked the world’s conscience. Kerry claimed the Obama administration had “undeniable” evidence “that the Assad government was culpable in the use of chemical weapons on civilians” in the Aug. 21 attack in Damascus suburbs.
Reports that the Obama administration is considering a military strike against the Assad government continued to circulate Monday. Meanwhile, U.N. weapon inspectors in Syria were fired upon by snipers as they attempted to investigate the site of the Aug. 21 attack.
Assad has rejected charges that his government forces used chemical weapons as “preposterous” and “completely politicized,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
He argues Syrian forces were in the targeted area.
“How is it possible that any country would use chemical weapons, or any weapons of mass destruction, in an area where its own forces are located?” Assad asked in the interview with Izvestia, according to a translation provided by Syria’s official news agency and published by the Los Angeles Times.
“This is preposterous! These accusations are completely politicized and come on the back of the advances made by the Syrian Army against the terrorists.”
Rebel attack?
With the assistance of former PLO member and native Arabic-speaker Walid Shoebat, WND has assembled evidence from various Middle Eastern sources that cast doubt on Obama administration claims the Assad government is responsible for last week’s attack.
A video posted on YouTube, embedded below, shows Free Syrian Army, or FSA, rebel forces launching a Sarin gas attack on a Syrian village.
Another video posted on YouTube shows what appears to be Syrian rebel forces loading a canister of nerve gas on a rocket to fire presumably at civilians and possibly government forces.
As seen below, a screen capture from the video shows rebel civilian forces placing a suspicious blue canister on top of a rocket-launching device.
Continue reading
In related news:
So boys and girls, we now have evidence that it was the rebels who launched the gas attack.
We have evidence that it was the U.S. who supplied the rebels with arms, and possibly the gas too.
And we have evidence that the U.S. is trying to hinder the U.N. investigation of the gas attack.
All signs point to a CIA staged event to start yet another war.
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Department of Defense News

911 Memorial Seal

Today's Headlines

Published: 8/28/2013
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke by phone with German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere to discuss the ongoing violence in Syria, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said.
Hagel is in Brunei, where he is attending a meeting of Association of Southeast Asian Nations defense ministers.
In a statement summarizing the call, Little said Hagel pledged to continue consultations with de Maiziere on the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
“They discussed the need for the international community to consider responses to this tragic development in Syria,” the press secretary said, “and noted that the use of chemical weapons violates core tenets of international law.”
In an interview yesterday with “BBC World News,” Hagel said most U.S. allies, most U.S. partners and most of the international community have little doubt that the most basic international humanitarian standard was violated by the Syrian regime in using chemical weapons against its own people.
“The deeper we get into this, it seems to me it's clearer and clearer that the government of Syria was responsible,” he added.
The secretary also said the Defense Department has complied with President Barack Obama’s request for options.
“We have moved assets in place to be able to fulfill and comply with whatever option the president wishes to take,” he said. “We are ready to go.”
(Cheryl Pellerin of American Forces Press Service contributed to this report.)

Published: 8/29/2013
Eighteen defense ministers from nations throughout the Asia-Pacific region sat together after their meeting here today, each in turn signing a joint declaration that reaffirms their commitment to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and to working together peacefully and cooperatively for a better future.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was among them, having traveled here as part of an Asian trip -- his second in three months -- that also includes stops in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Yesterday, Hagel attended a meeting here of defense ministers from the 10 ASEAN member states of Burma, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. He also held bilateral meetings with counterparts from several other nations.
This morning, he attended the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting-Plus, made up of the 10 ASEAN defense ministers and eight dialogue partners: defense ministers from the United States, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, India, New Zealand and Russia.
This year, Russia’s deputy defense minister, Anatoly Antonov, participated in the ADMM-Plus meeting.
“I see this second ministerial of the ADMM-Plus as a landmark event,” Hagel said in remarks prepared for delivery during the meeting.
“In 2010, when then-Secretary [Robert M.] Gates joined you, our countries committed to making the ADMM-Plus action-oriented,” Hagel said. “Under ASEAN leadership, we are well on our way, with three multinational field exercises this year -– a major accomplishment. I am proud that the United States has been a partner and participant all along the way.”
After the signing of the Bandar Seri Begawan Joint Declaration, Mohammad Yasmin Bin Umar, chairman of this second meeting of the ADMM-Plus, discussed key outcomes. He said the group was pleased with its substantial achievement this year, especially the five ADMM-Plus expert working groups that have forged political cooperation among defense forces.
“This is evident with the first-of-its-kind ADMM-Plus humanitarian assistance/disaster relief and military medicine exercise held in Brunei Darussalam last June,” he said. An upcoming exercise will be held on maritime security, counterterrorism and peacekeeping operations, he added, and the group decided last year that ADMM-Plus would begin meeting every two years rather than every three years.
Yasmin said the group reaffirmed the principle of ASEAN centrality, where ASEAN is the primary driving force in the ADMM-Plus processes.
“We also reaffirmed our relation to be guided by the fundamental principle enshrined in the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation,” he said, “especially reunification of the threat of the use of force and exercise of self-restraint.”
The group recommitted to strengthen defense cooperation in promoting peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, he added, based on the enduring principle of equality, mutual respect, mutual benefit, and respect for international law.
“In doing so,” Yasmin said, “we agreed to promote capacity building through greater engagement and interaction, enhance interoperability through training and joint exercises, and establish mechanisms for effective response.”
He said the defense ministers also agreed to establish practical measures for reducing vulnerability to miscalculation and avoid misunderstanding and undesirable incidents at sea.
“We also agreed on the establishment of the ADMM-Plus Expert Working Group on Humanitarian Mine Action and on the transition process of the ADMM-Plus Expert Working Group on Co-chairmanship,” Yasmin said. “Our senior official will develop a work plan and key milestones for the next cycle that begins in April 2014.”
A new ADMM-Plus initiative will promote capacity building through a humanitarian aid/disaster relief tabletop exercise and mine action workshop, he said. And the group will reaffirm the direction of the ASEAN leader during the association’s summit in May to promote synergy among regional mechanisms, including those of ADMM-Plus and the ASEAN Regional Forum.
The group also extensively discussed international and regional security and defense issues, and plans to meet again in Malaysia in 2015, he said.
In his remarks, Hagel said the ADMM-Plus is setting the right example with coordinated approaches to transnational and nontraditional threats.
“Pirates and terrorists, proliferators, diseases, natural disasters, and cyber criminals are not contained by national borders, and they will jeopardize all of our futures if we fail to act together,” the secretary said.
“Working together develops regional capacity and the habits of cooperation we need to solve today’s complex problems,” he said. “Exercising together builds trust and understanding, and reduces the risk of conflict when disputes arise.”

Published: 8/28/2013
On the first day of Southeast Asia’s most important annual defense ministerial conference, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel met here with his counterparts from the 10 nations that make up the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
On the sidelines, the secretary also took time for bilateral talks on the region and broader topics with his counterparts from Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Brunei, Burma and China.
The ASEAN member states are Burma, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. During lunch today and a meeting afterward, Hagel and the members discussed the need to advance practical cooperation to build trust and lower tensions throughout the region.
When Hagel was in Singapore in June attending the Shangri-La Dialogue meeting, he invited the ASEAN defense ministers to Hawaii in 2014 for an informal meeting -- their first in the United States. During the luncheon, all 10 ministers accepted his invitation.
“I’m obviously very pleased about that,” Hagel said today. “It will give us another opportunity to strengthen and deepen the relationship with our partners here in the Asia-Pacific.”
Hagel noted the need to continue progress toward peacefully resolving territorial disputes, and committed to continued U.S. support for ASEAN, including its Defense Ministers’ Meeting, or ADMM, as a strong organization for achieving shared goals and upholding the common good, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said.
During the meeting, a senior defense official said, each country expressed strong support for the steady U.S. presence in the Asia-Pacific and viewed U.S. engagement in the region as a key contributor to peace and stability.
The representatives also expressed their support for continued active engagement by the United States in this part of the world, he said. “They see it’s essential for a peaceful stable environment and a prosperous environment around them,” the official added.
Brunei has served as chair of ASEAN this year, and yesterday Hagel met with Brunei’s energy minister, Pehin Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Mohammad Yasmin. Little said the secretary recognized Brunei’s strong leadership as ASEAN chair and organizer of the June joint exercise involving humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and military medicine. Burma will take over next year as ASEAN chair.
Tomorrow morning, Hagel will attend the ADMM-Plus ministerial conference, hosted by Yasmin and made up of the 10 ASEAN defense ministers and eight dialogue partners: the United States, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, India, New Zealand and Russia.
Senior defense officials said today that Hagel’s bilateral meetings were positive and productive.
During a meeting this morning with Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, Hagel was pleased to accept an invitation to visit Japan next year, and the two militaries agreed to establish a cyber defense effort together, a senior defense official said today.
“There’s a recognition that with both state and nonstate actors, cyber threats and thefts of intellectual property as well as penetrations of government and industrial networks are an increasing concern and there’s a need to cooperate and share information to deal with that,” the official said.
In other discussions, Little said, Hagel and Onodera exchanged views on the regional security environment, including North Korea's continued nuclear and ballistic missile developments.
Hagel said he looks forward during a visit to Tokyo in October to continued bilateral discussion on strengthening the alliance, and both men reaffirmed the importance of the U.S.-Japan alliance in defending Japan and contributing to regional peace and security, Little added.
Both also expressed interest in continuing to modernize the alliance by enhancing their already strong security cooperation initiatives, the press secretary said.
“The U.S. very much appreciates Japan’s important role as a contributor to peace and stability in this region and the rest of the world,” Hagel told Onodera through a translator as the meeting began, “and I’m very much looking forward to my upcoming visit to Japan.”
Hagel also met today with South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin, thanking him for his friendship and reaffirming the United States’ enduring defense and extended deterrence commitments to South Korea. Little said Hagel told Kim it is a mutual duty to remain vigilant during this time of heightened tension on the Korean Peninsula.
The leaders discussed the importance of recent U.N. Security Council resolutions designed to limit North Korea’s progress on nuclear and missile programs, the press secretary said. The Defense Department is focused on fulfilling security commitments but Hagel said diplomatic efforts are fundamental to encouraging North Korea to pursue the path of peace, Little added.
Hagel will travel to the South Korean capital of Seoul in October to attend the annual Security Consultive Meeting, a senior defense official said, and as part of that trip will be able to help commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Korean War with the country’s leaders.
Later today, during bilateral discussions with Vietnamese Defense Minister Gen. Phung Quang Thanh, Hagel accepted with appreciation an invitation to visit Vietnam in 2014 and through a translator wished the general a happy National Day, which the Vietnamese celebrate on Sept. 2.
Hagel expressed his commitment to growing the bilateral defense relationship with Vietnam and working on issues like maritime security, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and recovering the remains of U.S. personnel missing in action, Little said.
The secretary also conveyed his commitment to continuing to implement the 2011 Memorandum of Understanding for Advancing Bilateral Defense Cooperation, the press secretary added.
On regional security, Little said, the leaders noted the importance of peacefully resolving disputes in the South China Sea and welcomed steps to develop an ASEAN Code of Conduct to guide that process.
This afternoon, Hagel met briefly with Burma’s defense minister, Lt. Gen. Wai Lwin, expressing his support for Burma’s upcoming ASEAN chairmanship and telling the general that the department looks forward to supporting their efforts on ASEAN defense events next year.
A senior defense official noted that such a bilateral meeting at the defense minister level had not happened in more than 20 years with Burma, and that the meeting today is a “a sign of changes and the Obama administration’s very positive engagement with the Burmese, [as well as] recognition of the reforms that have been underway in that country and progress that’s being made on human rights.”
Hagel discussed with the Burmese defense minister the importance of continued progress on reform and said it’s also important that Burma sever military ties to North Korea, Little said.
Hagel applauded the Burmese military’s support for the government's democratic reform efforts and encouraged that the reforms continue.
Hagel also held a bilateral meeting with representatives from China.

Published: 8/29/2013
As a new school year begins, a Department of Veterans Affairs official announced today that VA will nearly triple the number of colleges and universities it partners with to offer on-campus vocational and rehabilitative VA counseling through its “VetSuccess on Campus” program.
Curt Coy, VA’s deputy undersecretary for economic opportunity, told reporters during a conference call that the program, which began in 2009, will expand from its existing 32 campuses to 94. Its primary goal is to provide on-campus counseling and referral services to student veterans as they transition to civilian life, Coy said.
“We put an experienced vocational rehabilitation counselor, full-time, on a college campus to help not just wounded warriors or disabled veterans, bur for all veterans on the campus,” he explained.
Coy said the department looks for schools with veteran and beneficiary enrollment of at least 800 to 1,200 and strives to partner bigger colleges or universities with “feeder schools” such as community colleges, so they can share counseling resources. Officials also seek to ensure the campus is close to a VA regional center or medical facility.
Those regional VA facilities are where on-campus counselors come from, Coy noted, because the department assigns its most experienced people for on-campus work and then backfills their previous positions.
“The school has to ask or volunteer to host a … counselor,” he said. “They provide office space, access to their computers and a telephone.” The VA pays the counselor’s salary, he added.
Some 90 percent of a counselor’s workload may involve answering questions about educational benefits, Coy said, but he noted the program, which offers students veterans the chance for face-to-face conversation with a VA expert, can help to smooth life for former service members in other ways as well.
Every veteran is different in some small way, he said, but VA counselors “can, in many cases, break through any concerns or questions they may have, and help them connect with their benefits.”
He offered as example a student veteran using the Post-9/11 GI Bill who has not yet begun receiving a housing allowance or other benefits.
“[The counselor] can intercede directly on behalf of that veteran, and it works out very, very well,” Coy said. He added that the chance to consult an experienced VA vocational and rehabilitation counselor also offers student veterans a chance to learn about overall benefits they may be entitled to.
“The most important thing is to provide those student veterans with the tools they need to be successful in their academic environment … [and] meaningful employment as they move on,” Coy said.

Published: 8/29/2013
Just concluding the most ambitious Vigilant Eagle exercise yet, senior military officials from the North American Aerospace Defense Command and the Russian Federation told reporters today they’re ready to take the lessons learned to make next year’s exercise even more challenging.
Canadian Maj. Gen. Andre Viens, NORAD’s operations director, and Russian Gen. Maj. Dmitry Gomenkov, commander of the Eastern Military District of Russia’s Air and Space Defense Brigade, declared the Vigilant Eagle 13 exercise a major success.
The exercise kicked off Aug. 26, with scenarios that required the United States, Canada and Russia to respond to simulated terrorist hijackings of commercial aircraft. Both NORAD, a binational command that includes the United States and Canada, and Russia had to scramble fighter jets and track and intercept the “hijacked aircraft.”
Throughout the exercise series, the participants have developed tactics, techniques and procedures to effectively notify, coordinate, and conduct positive handoff of a hijacked aircraft flying through Russian, Canadian and American airspace, Viens told reporters during a teleconference today.
Vigilant Eagle 13 offered the opportunity to take principles proven in a simulated environment during last year’s command post exercise, and to validate them during the third “live-fly” exercise since the exercise series began in 2008, Viens and Gomenkov reported.
This year’s Vigilant Eagle was the first time Canadian fighter jets participated, with Canadian CF-18 Hornets and Russian Federation Su-27 Sukhois aircraft following and intercepting the “hijacked” aircraft, Gomenkov noted.
But the exercise delivered another first, with a visual fighter-to-fighter handoff of escort responsibilities in a live-fly situation as the “track of interest” moved from one country’s airspace to another’s.
“During previous Vigilant Eagle events, Russian or NORAD fighters would escort the simulated aircraft to a point in the sky where airborne or ground sensors would take over the monitoring of the hijacked aircraft,” Viens explained. “Later on the route, the fighters of the other nation would intercept the hijacked aircraft and assume escort responsibilities for that track of interest.
“So at no time in the past did we exercise having the Russian, Canadian or American fighters all joining up together to have a positive handoff of escort responsibility on a track of interest,” he said. “This is what we did for the first time this year.”
That crucial step forward in the Vigilant Eagle series required extensive planning and coordination to ensure a safe, successful transfer, he said.
“We have never done this together in the past, and it went off without a hitch,” Viens said. “What this has enabled us to do is have 100 percent control over an aircraft in trouble that is flying between Russian, American and Canadian airspace. Working together as partners in the air and on the ground, we were able to ensure the safety of the civilians in the aircraft, our collective citizens and the safe landing of the aircraft at its destination.”
Gomenkov praised the professionalism of all three countries’ militaries throughout the exercise planning and said he looks forward to seeing the Vigilant Eagle series continue to build in complexity.
Viens said he, too, sees opportunities to refine the tactics, techniques and procedures being advanced through the exercise, hinting that some new “curve balls” could be introduced in the future.
Planning for Vigilant Eagle 14 is scheduled to begin in November, Gomenkov said, noting that both Russia and NORAD will offer suggestions on how to build on this year’s exercise.
Exercising together builds confidence and understanding that enables the United States, Canada and Russia to operate together more effectively, Viens said. “So clearly from a NORAD perspective, there is a great deal of interest to continue this tradition of Vigilant Eagle exercises to further promote cooperation – especially when it comes to air-space activities that require the attention of both Russia and NORAD,” he said.

Published: 8/29/2013
With wildfires continuing to rage around Yosemite National Park, the California National Guard has deployed a remotely piloted aircraft that improves the incident commander’s ability to monitor conditions on the ground.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel approved the use of an MQ-1 Predator to support firefighters battling the Rim Fire that has expanded to more than 160,000 acres, Air Force Lt. Col. Thomas Keegan, California National Guard public affairs officer, reported.
The California Air National Guard’s 163rd Reconnaissance Wing deployed the Predator yesterday, and it is being flown in direct support of the incident commander under the command and control of Army Maj. Gen. David S. Baldwin, California’s adjutant general, Keegan said.
The aircraft, flying from the Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville for up to 22 hours without landing, will capture and deliver real-time 24/7 information on remote portions of the wildfire.
“The impact of this will be significant,” Keegan said. “It will identify where fire activity is located and how it is moving, as well as where it has been controlled.”
The aircraft also will identify safe routes of retreat for firefighters on the scene and verify new fire created by lightning strikes or floating embers. This, Keegan explained, will help the incident commander stay on top of the changing situation on the ground and make the best use of available resources.
Keegan emphasized that the images will be used only to support firefighting operations.
The aircraft’s pilots, located at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, Calif., will remain in constant contact with Federal Aviation Administration air traffic controllers from takeoff to landing and fly over unpopulated areas whenever possible, he said. The flight path generally will be limited to 30 nautical miles of the Rim Fire area, and whenever it flies outside the restricted airspace for the fire, a manned plane will escort it.
Meanwhile, nearly a dozen aircraft and crews from the California Air and Army National Guard are battling wildfires across Northern California.
California Army Guard helicopter crews and California Air Guard air tanker crews are working in coordination with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and U.S. Forest Service firefighting crews to battle the American, Swedes and Rim fires, Keegan reported.
In addition to two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters supporting operations at the Rim Fire, three Black Hawks are battling the American Fire and two Black Hawks and one CH-47 Chinook helicopter are flying in support of the Swedes Fire, Keegan said.
Another Black Hawk -- with a specialized crew and a hoist for extracting injured personnel from rugged terrain -- is staged in Redding, Calif., on call for medical evacuation support throughout Northern California.
At the Rim Fire alone, the helicopter crews have completed 905 drops, releasing more than 450,000 gallons of water and fire retardant since the crews were activated Aug. 17, Keegan said.
In addition, Air National Guard crews are using two C-130J Hercules air tankers to fight the Rim Fire. Both aircraft are equipped with the Modular Airborne Firefighting Systems II and are capable of discharging 3,000 gallons of water or retardant in less than five seconds. Since their activation Aug. 13, the air tankers have completed 122 drops, releasing more than 333,000 gallons of retardant, Keegan said.
“In times of crisis, it is imperative we pull together as a united front against the threat of wildfires in our state,” Baldwin said, noting that the California Guard regularly trains for the mission.
“Working together in a climate of cooperation with [state officials], our soldiers and airmen are committed to preserving the lives and property of our neighbors who are threatened by this emergency,” he said.
The Rim Fire is not the first in which California has used remotely piloted aircraft technology to support firefighting. In 2007, NASA piloted a similar unmanned aircraft in response to a request from the California Office of Emergency Services and the National Interagency Fire Center.
Those flights were conducted during daytime hours, complemented by nighttime imaging flights from NIFC’s Cessna Citation and an Air Force Global Hawk, both equipped with an earlier-generation infrared camera. Pilots in a ground control station at NASA Dryden controlled the flights via satellite links.
NASA conducted additional remotely piloted aircraft missions in 2008, to monitor wildfires in Southern California, and in 2009, to assess fire damage in Angeles National Forest.
The current mission, officials said, is the longest sustained mission by an unmanned aircraft in California in support of firefighters.

Published: 8/27/2013
While traveling in Southeast Asia today, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke by phone with British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond and French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian about chemical attacks that have killed innocent civilians in Syria.
In a summary of the conversations, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said Hagel conveyed that the United States is committed to working with the international community to respond to the “outrageous” attacks.
The secretary condemned the violence carried out by the Syrian regime and said the United States military is prepared for any contingency involving Syria, Little said, adding that Hagel pledged to continue close coordination with the British and French defense forces.
“Syria used chemical weapons against its own people,” Hagel said during an interview here this afternoon with Jon Sopel of “BBC World News.”
“Now, we'll have more information and more intelligence here vey shortly to present,” the secretary said.
Most U.S. allies, most U.S. partners and most of the international community have little doubt that the most basic international humanitarian standard was violated by the Syrian regime in using chemical weapons against its own people, Hagel said.
“The deeper we get into this, it seems to me it's clearer and clearer that the government of Syria was responsible,” he added. “But we'll wait and determine what the intelligence and the facts bear out.”
The secretary said President Barack Obama has asked the Defense Department for options for all contingencies, and the department has complied.
“We have done that,” Hagel said. “He has seen them, we are prepared, [and] we have moved assets in place to be able to fulfill and comply with whatever option the president wishes to take. We are ready to go.”

Published: 8/28/2013
A new architecture-sharing and modernization agreement among the Air Force, the Army and the Defense Information Systems Agency will increase bandwidth and network security and avoid more than $1 billion in future costs.
“As [the Defense Department] continues to move aggressively towards [the Joint Information Environment], this partnership is an important step forward,” said Teresa M. Takai, DOD’s chief information officer.
Due to force structure changes, the Army was left with excess information technology capacity, said Richard Breakiron, network capacity domain manager for the Army’s chief information office. At the same time, the Air Force was seeking to modernize its IT architecture to meet the requirements of the future joint information environment.
By partnering and taking advantage of the Army’s upgrade to faster multiprotocol label switching routers and regional security stacks, the Air Force was able to identify about $1.2 billion in cost avoidance. The Army expects to reduce its IT budget by $785 million between fiscal years 2015 and 2019 by consolidating hundreds of network security stacks into 15 joint regional security stacks, which the Air Force will also use.
“It’s great to have strong partners as we move toward JIE,” said Gen. William L. Shelton, Air Force Space Command commander. “I especially appreciate the tremendous spirit of cooperation that has emerged between the Army, Air Force, and DISA teams.”
MPLS routers are an industry-standard technology for speeding and managing network traffic flow. The upgraded routers will increase the backbone bandwidth to 100 gigabytes per second, said Mike Krieger, the Army’s deputy chief information officer. At Army installations, network speeds will rise to 10 gigabytes per second, he said. To put that in perspective, Fort Hood, Texas, currently operates at 650 megabytes per second, Krieger said.
Regional security stacks are designed to improve command and control and situational awareness and are essential to enabling a single security architecture in the joint information environment, said Krieger. The move will tremendously increase the network security posture and reduce costs, he added.
“More and more, we’re saying that some of the service-delivery capability can be managed at the enterprise level, greatly improving efficiency, effectiveness and security,” Breakiron said. But, he noted, to perform these enterprise functions off of the local installation, the IT backbone must be much more robust, because users are relying on it for much more service capability.
The new, larger-capacity routers will help the Air Force and Army converge their enterprise network backbones and gain cost savings in other areas, he said.
"As we do our investment in MPLS, it now allows us to do not only [Voice over Internet Protocol], it allows us to do unified capabilities and it allows us to put much more of this capability up at the enterprise level,” Brig Gen Kevin Wooton, Air Force Space Command director of communication, said.

Together, MPLS routers and the regional security stack construct improve performance and security, said Air Force Lt. Gen. Ronnie D. Hawkins Jr., DISA director.
"It creates a network that is fundamentally more defensible and more efficient," Hawkins said. He added that the move is a major step in building the Joint Information Environment architecture.
The Army and DISA plan to implement the joint MPLS transport cloud and JRSS consolidation in fiscal years 2013 and 2014 to support operations in Southwest Asia and the continental United States.
The Air Force and the Army will have access to data from JRSSs that are owned and operated by DISA as a joint capability. Army and Air Force cyber components will continue to execute cyber defense on their networks.
“As we modernize the DOD network, the Army is committed to a joint solution that helps achieve the joint information environment,” said Lt. Gen. Susan S. Lawrence, the Army’s chief information officer.

Published: 8/27/2013
In the short time he had between meetings with national leaders and a news conference in Indonesia’s capital city of Jakarta, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel sat down yesterday with members of the Indonesian armed forces and talked about being a soldier.
After meeting earlier this week with officials in Malaysia and Indonesia, Hagel will continue his current trip with stop-offs in Brunei and the Philippines. This is Hagel’s second official visit to the Asia-Pacific region since taking office.
In Jakarta, Hagel sat at a table at the Defense Ministry alongside Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro, who had invited him to share some of his Army experiences. The secretary told the elite Indonesian soldiers sitting attentively in the audience that he fought as a relatively new soldier alongside his brother in a nearby Southeast Asian country 45 years ago.
“Well, I'm not in the same class or category with these soldiers,” Hagel said. “I did spend two years of my life in the United States Army. I fought in Vietnam in 1968, so I have some appreciation for war and for battle and what your challenges are, and [for] your training.”
A professional soldier -- one who is well trained, well led and well equipped -- is the pride of any country, the former Army sergeant said, praising the Indonesian soldiers’ professionalism.
“I know some of you have graduated and attended some of our military institutions in the United States. And we're very proud of you. We're proud of our graduates,” he said.
Hagel noted that the United States and Indonesia have many such exchanges through military exercises, training and education. People-to-people exchanges, “regardless of your profession, but in particular the military-to-military exchange, is a very solid bridge-building mechanism for countries,” he added.
Yusgiantoro invited questions from the audience, and a captain rose from his chair, describing himself as chief of operations at the 17th Airborne Infantry Brigade of the Indonesian Army Strategic Reserve Command, called Kostrad. His name, he said, is Agus Yudhoyono.
Everyone in the room recognized his last name. Just that morning, Hagel had met with the captain’s father, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
The captain, who said it was an honor to have Hagel in Jakarta, had earned a master of public administration degree in 2010 from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. Then, in 2011, he completed a six-month advanced officers' course, called the Maneuver Captain's Career Course, at Fort Benning, Ga., as part of the State Department’s International Military Education and Training program. IMET awards grants for training and education to students from allied and friendly nations.
“During the six months of rigorous training, I had the opportunity to enrich my military knowledge and experience through engagement with my fellow American officers who had been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Yudhoyono said.
The captain said he engaged with Americans, learned about local traditions and cultures, and found the experience personally and professionally rewarding.
For Hagel, the captain had recommendations for enhancing cooperation between the two militaries by enhancing the education and training portions of the IMET program.
“As for education, it will be very important for us if we can have a greater opportunity to send officers for post-graduate-level education,” Yudhoyono said. “It is critical to produce our very own soldier-scholars, because we want to develop our institution into a more professional, world-class military, including to produce brilliant strategic thinkers and defense practitioners.”
Military courses also are valuable, he added, “to help officers learn to develop doctrines, tactics and procedures so we can be a more developed and a more joint fighting force.”
In terms of training, the captain said, joint exercises conducted in Indonesia and also in the United States at advanced training facilities could help the Indonesians gain experience they might not otherwise have access to.
The secretary thanked Yudhoyono for his articulate summation and added his own words about the IMET program.
“I have always believed -- and I … know President [Barack] Obama and all of the leadership of the Pentagon and the American armed forces believe strongly -- that the IMET program is one of the smartest, best investments the United States can make in relationships around the world, and in particular, for the future. And I think you and many of your colleagues are very clear examples of that,” he said.
The consequences of training and education can hardly be quantified, Hagel added, but they are important.
“[All] of you are role models. … And that comes through a lot of things,” the secretary said. “It comes through education, through training, through the professionalization of your services. IMET does that as well as any one program I think the United States has, so you can be assured that program is going to continue, and we'll continue to enhance it.”
Later, during a joint news conference with Yusgiantoro, Hagel said he fully supports a proposal by the minister to establish a military alumni association for Indonesians who have trained in the United States and participated in joint exercises, and for Americans who have trained in Indonesian schools.
“There are thousands of officers who qualify,” Hagel said, “and this is a great opportunity to continue those people-to-people ties that deeply bind our two nations and militaries.”

Published: 8/27/2013
Defense Department leaders turned out here today to honor Army Staff Sgt. Ty M. Carter, who received the nation’s highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, from President Barack Obama in a White House ceremony yesterday.
Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter led today’s induction ceremony, which formally added the staff sergeant’s name to the list of Medal of Honor recipients featured at the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes. Army Undersecretary Joseph W. Westphal and Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. John F. Campbell also spoke at the ceremony.
On Oct. 3, 2009, the 53 defenders of Combat Outpost Keating, located in the remote areas of eastern Afghanistan’s Nuristan province, woke to some 300 enemy attackers raining down incoming rifle, rocket-propelled grenade, machine-gun and mortar fire from the high ground surrounding the outpost.
Sergeant Carter, assigned that day to support the camp’s guard posts, repeatedly braved withering fire, sprinting again and again over open ground to keep defenders supplied with ammunition, and to aid and evacuate a badly wounded friend and fellow soldier.
“His bold actions that day are emblematic not just of the decisions of fellow soldiers in his unit, but of a generation … of soldiers, Marines, sailors and airmen that have distinguished themselves during 12 hard years of persistent conflict,” the deputy defense secretary said.
Deputy Secretary Carter said regardless of whether or how they have served, Americans see their own highest aspirations reflected in actions like the staff sergeant’s -- and by firefighters rushing into burning skyscrapers, teachers protecting children from gunfire, or rescue swimmers braving dark waters to aid others in danger.
“His actions are the deeds and spirit, in that sense, of thousands of common men and women capable of uncommon valor in the most extraordinary and unexpected circumstances,” he said. “In so many ways, the Medal of Honor Sergeant Carter received represents not just the best of him, but the best of all of us -- all that we hope to be.”
The nation will preserve the hard-earned lessons it has learned over a decade of war, he said, and adapt them for a future in which global threats grow less predictable and more dangerous.
“Amidst these challenges, Sergeant Carter’s induction as a Medal of Honor recipient is a reminder of the strength and endurance, not just of our fighting men and women, but of our national spirit,” Deputy Secretary Carter said. “Ours will always be a country that runs toward the sound of danger, in order to preserve the ideals that we cherish.”
The deputy secretary noted that the staff sergeant, who has spoken publicly about his own struggles with post-traumatic stress, now has another chance to serve the nation -- out of combat.
“You’re joining a prestigious fellowship of warriors, who have exhibited the utmost courage and bravery in battle,” the deputy secretary said to Carter. “With this opportunity comes an opportunity: to continue to inspire not just your brothers and sisters in the military, but the country as a whole.”
The nation counted on Sergeant Carter at COP Keating, the deputy secretary said, “and now we count on you to remind Americans of the best that we all can be. … I have no doubt that your courageous acts in Afghanistan are only the beginning of your service to this country.”

Published: 8/27/2013
Senior military leaders from 22 nations, most in the Asia-Pacific region, are gathered in Mongolia this week to learn about nonlethal weapons and how their forces can more effectively use them, when circumstances require, such as to maintain order during low-intensity conflict or civil unrest.
The two-day leadership seminar, sponsored by U.S. Marine Forces Pacific, began yesterday with demonstrations of nonlethal tactics, techniques and procedures at a training area about 30 miles west of Ulaanbaatar, the Mongolian capital, Marine Corps Col. Brad Bartelt, the senior U.S. seminar representative, told American Forces Press Service.
The session continues through tomorrow in the capital city, with participants discussing how they might apply the principles demonstrated.
The leadership seminar is the second phase of a two-part program conducted to promote awareness of nonlethal weapons and increase interoperability among those that use them, Bartelt said.
The training kicked off Aug. 17 with a bilateral field training exercise between U.S. and Mongolian forces at Mongolia’s Five Hills Training Area. Fifteen 15 nonlethal weapons instructors from the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force’s 3rd Law Enforcement Battalion conducted hands-on training for more than 150 members of the Mongolian armed forces and general police, Bartelt reported.
Together, they rehearsed nonlethal tactics and procedures such as control holds and pressure-point techniques. They also got hands-on training with various nonlethal weapons systems, including oleoresin capsicum, or “pepper spray,” the X26 Taser, 40-millimeter sponge and “stingball” grenades and nonlethal shotgun rounds.
“The extensive, tactical-level training that took place during the FTX greatly increased the nonlethal proficiency of both the U.S. Marines who led the training, as well as the Mongolian personnel who might have been exposed to these nonlethal procedures for the first time,” Bartelt said.
Marine Corps Sgt. Ben Eberle, a combat correspondent who witnessed the training, said he was impressed how quickly the Mongolians absorbed on the information covered. “Show them once, and they had it,” he said. “And it’s all even more impressive since everyone communicated with each other through interpreters.”
Each experienced firsthand how it feels to be hit with a nonlethal weapon, designed to intimidate or inflict pain or discomfort rather than to kill. “No matter what language we speak, everyone runs through the [observer-controller] course in pain, and everyone takes a stun from a Taser the same way,” Eberle said. “Just because it’s nonlethal doesn’t mean it’s pain-free. I think whoever said friends are made through hardship hit the nail right on the head.”
The training could prove valuable for the Mongolian armed forces, a major contributor to peacekeeping operations around the world, Bartelt said. The Mongolians have deployed in support of U.N. peacekeeping missions in South Sudan, Sierra Leon and the Balkans, and continue to augment the coalition in Afghanistan, he noted.
In many instances during these missions, nonlethal weapons can be valuable additions to ground commanders, he said.
“There are times when lethal force is not the best option,” Bartelt said. “For example, the effective use of nonlethal weapons can prove extremely valuable during rescue missions, situations in which civilians are used to mask a military attack, as well as riots and cases of civil disturbance during humanitarian assistance-disaster relief operations.”
Nonlethal weapons are designed to incapacitate equipment and people, minimizing fatalities and permanent injury and collateral property damage, Bartelt said. “Being able to use them effectively greatly increases the options a commander has while operating in the full spectrum of conflict,” he said.
As the Defense Department’s executive agent for nonlethal weapons and devices, the Marine Corps frequently leads related training, not only within the U.S. military, but also with partner nations.
Since 2002, Marine Corps Forces Pacific has sponsored the executive seminar series 12 times with partners throughout the region. This year’s exercise is the third to be hosted by Mongolia, and New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Malaysia have hosted previous sessions.
The training, Bartelt said, promotes closer partnership across the region, a pillar of the U.S. military rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific as nations work together to confront common challenges.
Recognizing that nonlethal capabilities and procedures vary significantly across nations, Bartelt called the exercise an opportunity to increase interoperability with partners “in the event we ever find ourselves side by side in a situation where we need to put this training to use.”

Published: 8/28/2013
The Defense Department has broadened its reach to military spouses looking for jobs through its new Spouse Ambassador Network, an arm of the department’s Spouse Education and Career Opportunities program, the program’s manager said here yesterday.
In its quest to educate, empower and mentor military spouses to encourage their pursuit of careers, the network is a collaboration of SECO’s Military Spouse Employment Partnership and various military support organizations, Meg O’Grady told American Forces Press Service and the Pentagon Channel.
O’Grady called the ambassador effort “a network of networks,” noting that the partnership comprises 200 businesses that pledged to hire military spouses, and that participating organizations include the Military Officers Association of America, the National Military Family Association, Blue Star Families and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
“All of the organizations have chapters and members in communities where military spouses live,” she said. “We’ve brought together the organizations to expand their commitment to military spouses through the partnership.”
O’Grady said network members will meet every three months to discuss ways to further reach out to help guide military spouses in their job searches.
The network was created for military spouses by military spouses, O’Grady said. When it was being developed, she explained, a group of military spouses who were “well-networked” within their communities were brought together and asked what career information and resources would be helpful to them.
“Through a series of working groups, the military spouses developed a mission statement and developed what the Spouse Ambassador Network is today -- a group of organizations that advocates for military spouse career resources and tools, and provides a voice for [them] within their communities,” she said. At the first Spouse Ambassador Network roundtable in July, a toolkit of education and career resources was developed and will be made available to military spouses through the network and the SECO program, she added.
The network helps to prepare military spouses for employment by partnership members, and mentoring military spouses for careers is also an important network feature, O’Grady said.
“The organizations that are part of the network have developed tools, resources [and] mentoring programs for military spouses that complement the tools and resources of DOD’s SECO program,” she said. “The organizations offer a series of online networking for military spouses to talk to other military spouses to find out about opportunities, education and entrepreneurial opportunities.”
One such example that complements DOD’s hiring efforts is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce-sponsored “Hiring Heroes” job fairs for veterans and spouses conducted around the nation, O’Grady said. The job fairs offer opportunities for military spouses to find jobs and to access skill resources such as interviewing techniques and resume preparation and review.
“In partnering with these organizations that already have resources in the communities, we’ve leveraged the ability to reach a larger military spouse population,” she added.
The SECO program provides a career center that’s accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week on the Military OneSource website, O’Grady said.
“Military spouses can receive career counseling and advice from master’s-level certified career counselors [for] advice,” she added.
Adding to those resources, the SECO site offers article links, a variety of skill assessments, and access to the Myers-Briggs personality assessment to determine how a person’s traits might apply to certain careers, O’Grady noted. The SECO site also gives military spouses the ability to create profiles of their education and training, and what their career desires are, much like the business-oriented social networking site LinkedIn, which O’Grady said spouses are encouraged to use.
An upcoming feature will allow military spouses to transfer their LinkedIn profiles into the SECO site, she added.
“We’re very excited about that, because it really does meld an industry-leading tool with the tools we’ve provided through DOD,” she said.
“The Spouse Ambassador Network and the Military Spouse Employment Partnership would not work without the employers and the organizations that have come to the table and really stepped up to hire military spouses,” O’Grady said.
SECO recently met its goal of hiring 50,000 military spouses, she said, noting that’s more than a year ahead of the goal set by the Joining Forces initiative championed by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden.
In the fall, SECO will induct more than 40 new companies and organizations into its Military Spouse Employment Partnership, O’Grady said.
“[The partner companies] recognize the value of military spouses, and that they have the kinds of skills and talent that most employers are looking for in the 21st century,” she added. “They’re resilient, flexible, natural team players, and tend to be very loyal. Our employers have told us that bringing a military spouse into their organization creates a real value for that business.”

Published: 8/28/2013
The U.S. Forest Service, through the National Interagency Fire Center here, has ordered the three MAFFS aircraft operating at the Boise Air Tanker Base moved to McClellan Air Tanker base near Sacramento, Calif., to assist the wildland firefighting effort in the western United States.
In a request made Aug. 26, the Forest Service also extended the military Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System mission through Sept. 30.
Five MAFFS aircraft are activated. Two are from the California Air National Guard’s 146th Airlift Wing, and are operating from their home base at the Channel Islands Air National Guard Station in Port Hueneme, Calif. Three others -- two from Air Force Reserve Command’s 302nd Airlift Wing at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., and one from the North Carolina Air National Guard’s 145th Airlift Wing, based in Charlotte, N.C., have been part of the MAFFS squadron operating from Boise.
Aircraft operations at Boise ended yesterday, but the command element for MAFFS will remain at Gowen Field here to coordinate with the National Interagency Fire Center. The Boise aircraft were expected at McClellan by late afternoon yesterday.
Since their initial activation June 11 to fight forest fires in southern Colorado, MAFFS aircraft have made 479 drops using 1,211,631 gallons of fire retardant. This summer, they have fought fires in Idaho, Oregon, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, California and Nevada.
MAFFS is a self-contained aerial firefighting system owned by the Forest Service. C-130 aircraft with MAFFS modules loaded into their cargo bays follow Forest Service lead planes, and military aircrews can discharge 3,000 gallons of water or fire retardant along the leading edge of a forest fire in less than five seconds, covering an area a quarter of a mile long by 100 feet wide. Once the load is discharged, ground crews at a MAFFS tanker base can refill the modules in less than 12 minutes.

An interagency Defense Department and Forest Service program, MAFFS provides aerial firefighting resources when commercial and private air tankers are no longer able to meet the Forest Service’s needs. A military air expeditionary group exercises control over MAFFS resources at the Forest Service’s direction.

Published: 8/28/2013
Two Navy officers have been appointed to the 2013-2014 class of White House Fellows.
Cmdr. Cara LaPointe and Lt. Cmdr. Robert McFarlin will participate in the program, which was created in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson to give promising American leaders firsthand, high-level experience with the workings of the federal government, and to increase their sense of participation in national affairs.
The fellowship program is designed to encourage active citizenship and a lifelong commitment to service, White House officials said. The fellows take part in an education program designed to broaden their knowledge of leadership, policy formulation, and current affairs. They also participate in service projects in the national capital area.
LaPointe is the deputy technical director of the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship Program, providing government technical oversight to $7 billion of shipbuilding contracts. Previously, she served at the Naval Sea Systems Command working on surface force architecture and unmanned vehicle technology integration.
A patented engineer, LaPointe has deployed to the Persian Gulf and the Pacific in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Noble Eagle. She has served as an advocate for victims of sexual assault, volunteered in rural communities internationally from Honduras to Fiji, and, most recently, founded the Engineering Duty Officer Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Outreach Initiative.
LaPointe earned her doctorate in mechanical and oceanographic engineering jointly from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. She was valedictorian of her U.S. Naval Academy class, graduating with a bachelor of science degree in ocean engineering.
McFarlin is a surface warfare officer who has deployed to more than 30 nations on six continents, most recently as commanding officer of USS Typhoon in the Arabian Gulf supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. While he was in command, his crew earned the Golden Anchor award for outstanding retention and the Battle “E” award as the No. 1 ship in its squadron.
In 2008, he circumnavigated South America on a counternarcotics deployment. He served as an assistant professor at the University of Rochester and co-founded a company dedicated to transforming dilapidated inner-city property into safe, low-income housing.
He volunteers as a Big Brother mentor, with Habitat for Humanity and globally through the Navy’s community relations program. He is a national director of the Surface Navy Association and the recipient of the peer-nominated Navy/Marine Corps Association Leadership Award. He holds a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from the Naval Academy and a master of business administration degree from the University of Rochester’s Simon School of Business.

Published: 8/26/2013
In a first-of-its-kind deal worth about $500 million, the United States has agreed to sell eight new Apache AH-64E attack helicopters and Longbow radars to Indonesia, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said here today.
Hagel announced the deal during a joint news conference with Indonesian Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro after productive meetings this afternoon with Yusgiantoro and earlier today with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
The secretary is visiting Indonesia as part of an eight-day, four-nation trip that has included a stop in Malaysia and will take him this week to Brunei and the Philippines.
“Providing Indonesia these world-class helicopters is an example of our commitment to help build Indonesia’s military capability,” Hagel said.
The U.S. military will train Indonesian pilots and help in developing tactics, techniques and procedures for operating in the Southeast Asian security environment, a senior defense official said, adding that details of the delivery and training timeline are being determined.
The agreement represents a significant advance in military capabilities by a key U.S. partner and is the sort of investment the United States believes is prudent to support security in the Asia-Pacific region, the official said.
The new capability “will help Indonesia respond to a range of contingencies, including counterpiracy operations and maritime awareness,” he added.
“The United States is committed to working with Southeast Asian nations to grow defense capabilities and deepen military-to-military cooperation with all of our partners,” the official said.
During the news conference with Yusgiantoro, Hagel said it has been impressive to watch a democratic Indonesia emerge as one of the most important contributors to peace and prosperity, not only in Asia, but also globally.
“Helping ensure the region’s security and prosperity is a goal the United States strongly shares,” the secretary said. “The strong and enduring security partnership that has been built between the United States and Indonesia is a relationship the United States greatly values.”
Hagel said President Barack Obama looks forward to his October visit to Indonesia and to deepening ties between the two countries.
Progress on security includes increasingly complex exercises between the two militaries, and growing defense, trade and high-level policy engagement, the secretary added.
The two militaries recently launched an initiative to share best practices in defense planning and management to increase Indonesian military capability, Hagel said, and next month the United States and Indonesia will cohost a counterterrorism exercise under the framework of the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting-Plus.
ASEAN is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, whose 10 member states are Burma, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Defense ministers from these nations attend the annual ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting, or ADMM. And the ADMM-Plus is made up of ASEAN members and eight dialogue partners: the United States, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, India, New Zealand and Russia. This year’s ADMM-Plus meeting will be start tomorrow in Brunei.
Hagel said the United States welcomes Indonesia’s leadership in promoting regional security cooperation through ASEAN and regional forums such as the East Asia Summit.
“The United States is committed to further strengthening the U.S.-ASEAN relationship and I look forward to meeting with my counterparts this week at the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting- Plus in Brunei to address the many security challenges we face in this region,” he said.
Developing long-term and enduring solutions to challenges like maritime security, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, counterterrorism, and the peaceful management of disputes in the South China Sea calls for greater cooperation and respect for rules and norms among all parties and the institutions that underpin them, the secretary noted.
“I am also pleased to be able to announce that the U.S. and Indonesia have pledged mutual support and cooperation on the search and recovery of U.S. personnel missing from World War II,” Hagel said.
Several Indonesian ministries have oversight of such requests, including defense, education and culture, and research and technology. All have agreed to process future requests from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, a joint task force within the Defense Department whose mission is to account for Americans listed as prisoners of war, or missing in action, from all past wars and conflicts.
The United States believes that about 1,800 U.S. personnel are still missing in action from World War II in the waters and lands of Indonesia, a senior defense official said, adding that while not all are recoverable, current research indicates that hundreds ultimately may be found and brought home.
“The United States commitment to this effort is important to our personnel serving today,” Hagel said, “to make clear that we stand by our pledge to leave no one behind.”