Sunday, August 17, 2014

How Was This Found At A Temple Mount Dig If The Jews Have ‘No Connection To The Land Of Israel’

How Was This Found At A Temple Mount Dig If The Jews Have ‘No Connection To The Land Of Israel’

Posted on 1/12/2014 by


BOMBSHELL: Allen West Comes Forward With Truth About Benghazi

BOMBSHELL: Allen West Comes Forward With Truth About Benghazi

August 17, 2014
For two years, the American people have demanded to know the truth surrounding the events of September 11, 2012, in Benghazi, Libya. That was the night that four Americans were killed in terrorist attacks against a U.S. diplomatic mission and nearby CIA annex, attacks that were initially blamed on an anti-Islam video by an Obama administration in full campaign mode.
Democrats have completely stonewalled attempts to uncover the truth surrounding those attacks. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has insisted that Republican inquiries were a “diversion.” Hillary Clinton said there was “no reason” for the House to investigate them. Even President Barack Obama himself said that the issue was “not serious.”
Now former Florida Congressman Allen West says that the attacks may have derived ultimately from a clandestine CIA mission known as Operation Zero Footprint.
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West provides numerous details about the mission on his website, naming those involved and aware of the operation, including politicians on both sides of the aisle.
The explanation is long and complex, and West advises readers to plan on taking at least 20 minutes to read through and digest the material he presents.
Click here to watch Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid brag that the Senate would not investigate the Benghazi attacks.
The key to the theory is that U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who was killed in the attacks, was facilitating U.S. arms shipments from Libyans the Obama administration had previously armed to Syrian rebels–rebels who would morph into ISIS, or the Islamic State, the brutal terrorists currently murdering Iraqi Christians and other minorities.
Because of the covert–and very possibly illegal–nature of the operation, the Benghazi investigations were discouraged by every Democrat the president could rely on to do so.
To the degree that there is any truth to these claims–and they certainly appear to be thoroughly researched–President Barack Obama, then-Secretary Hillary Clinton, and possibly a large number of others in the Obama administration may very well be guilty of conducting covert operations illegally-that is, without notifying Congress as required.
The truth usually comes out in the end, however, and Congressman Trey Gowdy is both determined and well-qualified to see that happen in this case–no matter what obstacles the Democrats put in his path.
Please share this article on Twitter and Facebook if you support House Republican efforts to uncover the truth about the Benghazi terror attacks.

Op-Ed: The President’s True Colors Finally Revealed

Op-Ed: The President’s True Colors Finally Revealed

Steven Emerson's Opinion on JerusalemOnline's Report

Aug 17, 2014, 08:45PM | Steven Emerson
President Obama
President Obama Reuters/Channel 2 News
When I first glanced at the headline on today’s Jerusalem Online and reports in the Jerusalem Post and other Israeli newspapers, I thought they must have been a satire: “Washington officials have told Egypt that the US will grantee Israel's commitment to any agreement signed.” But it was not a satire. The was deadly serious, confirmed by other Israeli newspapers and sources in Cairo.
The US offering to Hamas to “guarantee” Israeli commitments to any agreement signed? As if anyone needed proof of the Obama Administration’s antipathy to Israel, here it was in black and white. If anyone party needed a commitment to enforce its agreements in any deal,  it would  have been Hamas,  that has been known to break every commitment it ever made. To pick just a few at random:
  • Hamas recently violated 9 cease fire agreements, including two of its own
  •  Hamas  illegally siphoned thousands of tons of   cement and steel shipments it received from international donors and Israel that it had committed to  use the build the civilian infrastructure in Gaza for hospitals, schools and apartment buildings; instead it spent upwards of $500 million of these humanitarian shipments to covertly build numerous tunnels buried deep underground into Israel in order to carry out murderous raids on Israeli civilian communities intended to kill tens of thousands of  Israelis
  • Hamas violated the 2012 Cease Fire negotiated by then State Department Secretary Hillary Clinton together with then Egyptian Muslim President  Mohammed Morsi in which Hamas committed to stop smuggling weapons and missiles into Israel, of which nearly 4000 were recently launched into 80% of Israel’s population centers
  • Hamas violated the commitment to the Palestinian Authority that it would never launch a coup d’état against the PA after Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005. But in 2007, Hamas did exactly that in a bloody takeover of Gaza, kicking out and killing PA officials.
  • Hamas violated a publicly solemn  commitment to its own civilians that it would uphold the rule of law (yea, right) when it took over  Gaza only to subsequently execute hundreds of dissident Gazans, torture and imprison thousands of  political opponents, violently persecute the minority of Christians still living in Gaza and imprison and prosecute suspected gay  Gazans.
  • Violating a commitment it made in the Clinton negotiated 2012 truce that it would cease its missile attacks on Israel.
And at the same time, it should be noted that President Obama personally signed an official letter at the time of the 2012 negotiated cease fire to Prime Minister Netanyahu that the US would provide Israel with the technology to defeat and stop  Hamas smuggling of weapons. But subsequent to that empty promise, Hamas soon received in massive quantities from Iran, Sudan,  and North Korea.  That promise was never carried out.
Israel on the other hand meticulously fulfilled its part of the bargain by severely relaxing the blockade on Gaza, allowing tons of previously restricted cement and steel into Gaza, increasing the number of daily truckloads of food, medical stuff and building equipment through the two Israeli checkpoints into Gaza by more than 250 truckloads a day ( a commitment is still upheld during the Hamas war against Israel, a fact mostly ignored by the mainstream media blindly committed to the Hamas narrative that Israel was the aggressor).
Remember when Obama spoke to the annual AIPAC conference a few years back and ceremoniously declared, “I got your back.” This is the same President who, as the Wall Street Journal disclosed last week, personally held up the Israeli request for additional Hellfire missiles that it had depleted in its war with Hamas.
As far back as 1967, the United States had made a firm promise to Israel that it would never allow the Egyptians to blockade the Straits of Hormuz, considered the lifeline of Israel. But when the Egyptians blockaded the Straights of Hormuz in May 1967, what did the US do? Nothing.
And in the current round of negotiations being held in Cairo now, according to leaked details in Egyptian newspapers reported by today’s Jerusalem Online
Israel agreed to make the following astonishing concessions:
  • “Israel will stop its attacks in Gaza - in land, sea and air. No ground operations will be conducted.”
  • Israel has agreed to the “opening of crossings between Israel and Gaza [in which] Movement of people and merchandise will be allowed, to rebuild Gaza.”
  • “ Eliminating the buffer zone in the North and East of Gaza and deployment of Palestinian military forces starting from January 1, 2015”
  • “Freedom of fishing and action in the territorial waters of the Palestinians in Gaza to a range of 6 miles. The range will gradually be increased, to no less than 12 miles…”
  • “Israeli authorities will assist the Palestinian Authority to restore the foundations in Gaza, as well as help provide the necessary living needs for those who were forced to leave their homes due to the battles. Also, Israel will provide emergency medical attention to the wounded and will supply humanitarian assistance and food to Gaza as soon as possible.”
It should be noted that even during the recent  murderous war waged by Gaza, Israel had opened up its borders to treat wounded Gaza civilians in Israeli hospitals and continued to supply daily more than 500 tons daily of humanitarian assistance and food to Gaza even as the Hamas launched thousands of  rockets   and attempted mass murder of Israeli civilians by attempts, fortunately thwarted by Israel, to infiltrate dozens of fully armed Hamas terrorists into Israel via the tunnels dug by Hamas.
And what did the Hamas   commit to?
  • “All Palestinian factions in Gaza will stop the attacks against Israel, in the land, the sea and the air; also, building tunnels from Gaza to Israeli territory will be stopped.”
That was it.  Virtually the same identical commitments it agreed to in December 2012. Quite interestingly, Hamas insisted—which Israel did not agree to—to the immediate opening of a Gaza seaport and airport. But the party that suggested to Hamas that they insist on these demands was none other than the Qataris, the country—which is the top financial patron in the world today to Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and many of its terrorist offshoots—curiously selected personally by Obama to be the official diplomatic interlocutor in the Cairo talks. The role that Qatar was supposed to play was to convince the group to make concessions. But curiously the opposite happened. Qatar, the country to which that the US just sold $11 billion worth of military weapons, actually sabotaged the negotiations. So far, the President has been studiously silent on this betrayal.
In light of the fact that Hamas has manifestly never upheld any of the commitments it has ever made, the salient question that has to be asked is why Obama did feel compelled to assuage Hamas with an assurance that the US would “guarantee” that Israeli upheld its commitments?  The word “guarantee” has a rather expansive and vague latitude for definition. The most recent demonstration of an American guarantee that Israel would halt its defensive war against Hamas was the suspension of critical military deliveries to Israel during the height of the conflagration instigated by Hamas.
Indeed, for all the public affirmations made last week—after the WSJ expose-- by the Obama Administration that the US was “totally committed to the security of Israel,” Obama suddenly decides to make a promise to Hamas—whose covenant differs not one bit from the fascist radical Islamic doctrine adopted by ISIL—that it would enforce the commitments made by Israel, which in fact have historically been studiously upheld by Israel.
If Obama was truly sincere in his now obviously contrived promises to “watch [Israel’s] back”, he would have offered to guarantee Hamas commitments, a terrorist group that has repeatedly violated its commitments in previous agreements.  But with his statement that he would “guarantee” Israeli commitments and not those made by Hamas, the President has revealed his true colors for everyone to see.
Steven Emerson is Executive Director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism (, a non profit group that investigates the threat of radical Islam, author of 6 book on terrorism and  national security and executive producer of the award winning 2013 documentary “Jihad in America: The Grand Deception” (



Unspeakable horrors in a country on the verge of genocide

Unspeakable horrors in a country on the verge of genocide

Militias in the Central African Republic are slitting children's throats, razing villages and throwing young men to the crocodiles. What needs to happen before the world intervenes?
Bossangoa Central African Republic
Fleeing families arrive at a camp near the cathedral in Bossangoa this month Photograph: Matthieu Alexandre/AFP/Getty Images
A massacre of the innocents is taking place in the heart of Africa as the world looks the other way.
One man describes how his four-year-old son's throat was slit, and how he saw a snake swallowing a baby. A woman explains that she is caring for a young girl because her mother went searching for medicine and was bludgeoned to death with Kalashnikov rifles. A young man tells how he was bound and thrown to the crocodiles, but managed to swim to safety.
This is the world of horrors that the Central African Republic (CAR) has become. Thousands of people are dying at the hands of soldiers and militia gangs or from untreated diseases such as malaria. Boys and girls as young as eight are pressganged into fighting between Christians and Muslims. There are reports of beheadings and public execution-style killings. Villages are razed to the ground.
Never much more than a phantom state, the CAR has sucked in thousands of mercenaries from neighbouring countries and, France warned on Thursday, now stands "on the verge of genocide". Yet many would struggle to find the country on a map, despite the clue in its afterthought name.
Link to video: The Central African Republic: a country abandoned to its fate
The humanitarian emergency in the CAR, a landmass bigger than France where the average male life expectancy is 48, remains a blind spot for most of the international community. Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the UN, noted recently that the situation in the CAR has been referred to as "the worst crisis most people have never heard of".
That is nothing new for a country that stands as one of the most profound indictments of European colonialism, a contrivance that since independence in 1960 has endured five coups, infrastructure run on a shoestring and a self-declared emperor whose lavish coronation was inspired by Napoleon. Rich in gold, diamonds, timber and uranium, the CAR has proved irresistible to warlords such as Joseph Kony, the leader of a cult-like militia who the government claimed this week is finally negotiating surrender.
The latest eruption began in March when the unpopular president, François Bozizé, fled by helicopter with five suitcases after being overthrown by a loose coalition of rebels, bandits and guns for hire known as the Seleka, meaning "alliance" in the local language. One of its leaders, Michel Djotodia, declared himself president — the first Muslim to rule this majority Christian nation of 4.6 million people. What Médecins sans Frontières termed "a crisis on top of a crisis" for the population accelerated considerably in September when Djotodia officially disbanded the Seleka. Many of the rebels refused to disarm and leave the militias as ordered but veered further out of control, killing, looting and burning villages. They also systematically stripped administrative offices down to the light fittings and destroyed public records.
The US estimates that nearly 400,000 people have been displaced – many hiding in the jungle without access to malaria or HIV treatment – and 68,000 have gone to neighbouring countries.
The Seleka are playing judge, jury and executioner without regard even for Djotodia. Last Saturday, when a prominent judge was assassinated by men on motorbikes in the ramshackle capital, Bangui, the Seleka rounded up three suspects and offered his family the chance to kill them; when the family refused, citing the judge's dedication to due process, the Seleka shot the suspects dead outside their front gate. The family still do not know if they were the real culprits.
Murdered judge Sonia Mackotoua, 37, with a photo of her cousin Modeste Martineau Bria, the judge killed by men on motorbikes in Bangui. Photograph: David Smith for the Guardian Two days later and 185 miles away in the town of Bossangoa, Jislain Ngangaguende was among five men accused of plotting against the Seleka who were tied up, beaten with guns and thrown off a bridge into a river with perils including crocodiles and hippos. "I started to drink water so I brought my head up, but a soldier saw me and tried to shoot me," recalls the 24-year-old, multiple sticking plasters on his head. "I stayed down for minutes and when I came up they were gone. I bit on a branch and moved up the river but my hands were still tied behind my back. I thought I was dead but the power of God made me get out."
Fear of the Seleka's brutality can be seen in ghost villages that line a rutted dirt road running north of Bangui through a vast sprawl of lush green African bush. Mudbrick houses with thatched roofs stand empty beneath the trees, raising the question of where the residents have fled. The answer can be found in Bossangoa, where about 34,000 people have sought refuge at the St Antoine de Padoue Cathedral.
Inside, the white-walled church remains immaculately clean. Two delicate chandeliers hang from a wood-beam ceiling and, beyond the rows of empty pews, flowers grace the altar and a fresco depicts the sun, a golden chalice and two angels against a blue sky. But the serenity mocks the monumental human tragedy manifesting itself outside the padlocked gate.
The Catholic mission compound is a melee of men, women and many children, their colourful T-shirts and dresses wearing a layer of grime, some carrying bowls of food or firewood on their heads, some even restarting their lives with barber shops, cooking pots, food stalls, sewing machines and livestock. Washing lines hang between row after row of blue and white tarpaulin tents marked Unicef. It is a sanctuary of sorts, with a constant hubbub of voices, but the cramped conditions leave women sleeping rough in corridors, children playing in the dirt, waste piling up and worries about an outbreak of cholera.
Everyone here has a sad story to tell. Zita Nganamodei, 26, has a baby girl tied to her back who is not her own. Yesterday, she says, her neighbour, Josephine Kolefei, brought the baby for medical treatment without realising she was crossing an arbitrary boundary that the Seleka had just imposed. The 35-year-old was beaten with a Kalashnikov and taken to hospital, where she died. "I went to site and found the baby on the ground," says Nganamodei, who has two children of her own. "I brought her to the hospital to be treated."
Zita Nganamodei Zita Nganamodei with 18-month-old Arethas Demba, whose mother was bludgeoned to death after unknowingly crossing an arbitrary boundary while taking her daughter for medical treatment. Photograph: David Smith for the Guardian She says she will now take care of the girl, 18-month-old Arethas Demba, but will one day have to explain how her mother died. "I do not know why they had to kill her. I ask that justice be done for this killing. I don't know what will happen in the future if these killings continue."
Meanwhile a 35-year-old first aid worker who wants to be known as Papa Romeo claims that, on 8 November in the village of Bombi Te, the Seleka were outrun by motorcyclists carrying weapons and took revenge on the population. "My wife was in the field with our four-year-old, Richide," he says. "The Seleka took her money and gold and told her to leave and not come back.
"They started to attack my son. They tried to shoot him but the gun was not working. So they slit his throat instead. What threat does this child pose to the Seleka? He is just a child. My heart is right here: if Michel Djotodia was here, my heart would destroy him."
Papa Romeo Papa Romeo (not his real name), 35, whose four-year-old son was murdered in Bossangoa. Photograph: David Smith for the Guardian More than 30 people have been killed in the village of around 5,000, situated near a gold mine about 30 miles from Bossangoa, Romeo estimates. "I went to the field where my wife was and found a boa constrictor eating a baby because its mother had been killed. Then I saw a woman shot in the leg with a child whose intestines were falling out."
What started as a political movement against the corrupt and autocratic Bozizé is now taking on an ominously religious character. Nearly all the Seleka are Muslim, including mercenaries from neighbouring Chad and the notorious Janjaweed from Sudan's Darfur region. An "us and them" mentality of mutual distrust and paranoia is taking root, with some Christians taking up arms in vigilante militias known as "anti-balaka" — meaning anti-sword or anti-machete — and committing atrocities of their own, giving the Seleka a pretext for yet more aggression. The spiral of violence has become a recruiting sergeant for thousands of child soldiers.
Everyone at the Catholic mission in Bossangoa is Christian; internally displaced Muslims are gathered in a part of town including about 450 at a school, where wood desks and benches lie abandoned under trees and the blackboards are frozen at 2 August 2013. It is a stark physical separation. Romeo adds: "We have never seen religions tensions like this in the CAR before. The CAR is not a Muslim country; it is a Christian country. We have never seen so many Muslims in the country before. They have come from other countries." Like many in the CAR, he feels it is being ignored and abandoned to its fate. "International leaders should open their eyes to what is going on. Children are sleeping on the floor like goats. Is it because we have black skin?"
The Seleka are also torturing suspected enemies, according to a 47-year-old who gives his name only as Laurent. When they accused him of trying to pass on fake money, he claims, they jailed him and tortured two of his adult sons with a pepper paste rubbed into the armpits and legs to create a burning sensation. "They put it in the ears and nose of one of my sons and forced him to inhale it, then hit him so he almost asphyxiated. He was bleeding from his ears and mouth. I asked them to kill me and let my children go."
Eventually they were released. The son, 24, spent two days in hospital and still has breathing difficulties. Laurent, who has 12 children in all, adds: "The Seleka are criminals. In the beginning, the relations between Christians and Muslims were good here but the Muslims followed the Seleka and now things have changed."
The Catholic mission is presided over by Father Frédéric Tonfio, struggling to cope with the influx and working with a local imam to keep the peace across the sectarian divide. "The Christians feel betrayed by the Muslims and are starting to feel vengeances in their hearts," he warns. "This is a very big challenge for the church."
Tonfio is pleading for global intervention before it is too late. "I have only been able to count on my colleagues in the church. The silence of the international community is like they are accomplices allowing this to happen. It's almost as if the Sekela is stronger than the international community. Everyone knows what is going on here. Every day that we delay, more people die."
The local Seleka commanders, officially now part of the national army, deny responsibility for what Amnesty International has called human rights violations on an "unprecedented scale" and claim Tonfio is being obstructive. A Chadian colonel named Saleh says: "He says one thing and does something else. We said to everyone at the church they can return to their homes but they refused. Civilians need to return home because we will take care of their security.
"We don't say this is Christian or this is Muslim. We work for everybody. Even if someone who's Muslim is wrong, we will put him on the right path."
The atmosphere remains tense and unpredictable here and in other towns. Bouca, to the east, has been destroyed in heavy fighting in recent days, with around 3,000 people – more than half of them children – again seeking sanctuary at the Catholic mission there. Lewis Mudge, a Human Rights Watch researcher, says he witnessed a Seleka colonel telling them: "If there are people here tomorrow at eight o'clock in the morning, we will shoot and burn the mission. If you are still here, you will see what we do."
The arrival of African regional peacekeepers neutralised that threat for the time being, but their 2,500-strong force is still too small and ill-equipped to carry out its mandate of protecting civilians. French armoured vehicles could also be seen patrolling north of Bangui again this week but their contingent of 400 troops can do little more than protect the airport and other assets. The UN security council meets on Monday to discuss a possible peacekeeping mission.
Seleka fighter Central African Republic A Seleka fighter poses with his weapon at the former Bangui firefighters barracks, now a Seleka base. Photograph: Xavier Bourgois/AFP/Getty Images Headline-grabbing claims of mass rapes or infiltration by Islamist militant groups such as Boko Haram from Nigeria or al-Shabaab from Somalia are currently unfounded, according to Mudge and humanitarian sources working in the area. One said of the Seleka: "These guys are not Islamic fundamentalists. They are Muslim-lite. They are here for prosperity and power; they are not here to change anyone's confession."
Nor, says Mudge, should this be called a genocide – yet. It is too chaotic for that, meaning that the international community still has time to prevent another Rwanda. Six thousand peacekeepers would be a start, Mudge says. "The world needs to find the CAR on the map and start paying attention on humanitarian grounds. It's still early enough to avert a crisis in this country. It's not a genocide and it's not a civil war but it's certainly trending in that direction."

The Central African Republic

Population 4.6 million (UN, 2012)
Capital Bangui
Area 622,984 sq km (240,535 sq miles)
Life expectancy 51 years for women 48 years for men (UN)
Religion Christian 50%, Muslim 15%, indigenous beliefs 35%


1894 Area named Ubangi-Chari and set up as a dependency by the French
1910 Integrated in the Federation of French Equatorial Africa
1958 The territory gains self-government within French Equatorial Africa and Barthélemy Boganda becomes PM
1960 David Dacko becomes president of now independent Central African Republic
1962 President makes the country a one-party state. The Movement for the Social Evolution of Black Africa, or Mesan, becomes the only legal party
1965 Army commander Jean-Bédel Bokassa gains power
1976 Bokassa crowns himself emperor in the renamed Central African Empire
1988 Bokassa sentenced to death for embezzlement and murder
1993 Military rule ends with the election of President Ange-Félix Patassé
2003 Patassé is ousted by rebel leader François Bozizé who declares himself president
2007 Three rebel groups ‚ the Union of Democratic Forces for Unity (UFDR), the Union of Republican Forces (UFR) and the Convention of Patriots for Justice and Peace (CPJP)‚ form an alliance called Seleka. After an accord with the government, they join the CAR army
2012 Some rebels take up arms once more and gain control of the north and centre of the country
2013 Seleka rebels seize power in the capital, Bangui, and Bozizé flees. Rebel leader Michel Djotodia becomes president Luc Torres

Photographer: Central African Republic "Falling Apart" in "Horrific Violence" Marcus Bleasdale reports from the front lines of chaos.

Muslims flee the town of Bangui together with Chadian special forces. Over 10,000 peole leave the city for Chad on a huge convoy as the Muslim population is forced out of the country by the population of CAR.
Muslims flee the capital city of Bangui in the Central African Republic, aided by Chadian special forces. Thousands of people have been killed and nearly a million have been displaced by sectarian violence.
Brian Clark Howard
Published February 7, 2014
Widespread violence has erupted again in the Central African Republic, where thousands of people have been killed and nearly a million—20 percent of the population—have been displaced over the past few months.


The conflict began in December 2012 and has seen tit-for-tat exchanges of violence between an alliance of largely Muslim militia groups and Christian "anti-balaka" militias, resulting in thousands of deaths, according to Human Rights Watch.
Violence has escalated since March 2013, when a coup d'état by the loosely organized Muslim alliance, known as Seleka, ousted then President Francois Bozize, a Christian. The Central African Republic has a Christian majority, with a substantial Muslim minority.
The overthrow was followed by the installation of the nation's first Muslim president, Michel Djotodia, who stepped down January 10 amid international pressure over the continued bloodshed.
Last month, Catherine Samba-Panza was sworn in as the Central African Republic's first female president. She had been mayor of the nation's capital city and is seen as a nonpartisan who enjoys support from Christians and Muslims.
A member of the Christian population around PK13, located on the outskirts of Bangui, runs through looted and burning homes of the Muslims who have fled.
A Christian man runs through looted and burning homes of Muslims who have fled from the outskirts of Bangui, after being targeted by Christian militias and mobs in retaliation for months of oppressive rule by a Muslim president.
Samba-Panza has been calling for peace, but British photojournalist Marcus Bleasdale, a National Geographic contributor who has been documenting
Central African Republic's crisis for months, says the violence is spiraling on.
This week, Bleasdale, along with an Associated Press photographer and a Human Rights Watch worker, rescued thousands of photo negatives from the looted home of internationally known photographer Samuel Fasso in Bangui, the capital.
Fasso is famous for his provocative self-portraits that explore issues of African identity, evoking Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., and African chieftains. In one he depicts himself as Muhammad Ali shot full of arrows.
The Cameroon-born photographer recently fled the Central African Republic with his family out of concerns for their safety, leaving thousands of archival negatives behind at his home in Bangui.
Jerome Delay, the AP photographer, had noticed negatives lying in the dirt outside Fasso's home and picked up some prints from inside the looted studio. He, Bleasdale, and Peter Bouckaert of Human Rights Watch returned the next day and rescued thousands of negatives from the house, while looting and shooting swirled around them.
A child's wound is treated while displaced persons seek shelter in the the Multinational Forces of Central Africa (FOMAC) compound in Bossangoa.
A child is treated after being injured by opposing militias in a compound maintained by the Multinational Forces of Central Africa (FOMAC) in Bossangoa on December 6, 2013.
We spoke with Bleasdale about his recent experiences.
What has it been like there the last few days?
It's horrific, actually. You have a country that is essentially falling apart. Neighbor killing neighbor on a daily basis in the most brutal, horrific fashion I have ever seen. Lynchings, people attacked by mobs, people having their arms cut off, people burnt with tires around their necks like we saw in South Africa in the 1990s.
It is a complete catastrophe that no one seems to be paying much attention to. I can count the number of journalists here on my hand.
I just saw today 10,000 Muslims forced to flee from Bangui and surrounding towns north toward Chad, because they are in fear for their lives. They are getting hacked to death, attacked in streets by mobs, the districts they live in and their houses and mosques are being looted and burned, so they have no choice but to leave.
What is the violence stemming from?
This violence and hatred stems from months of Muslim Seleka rule—they quite honestly treated the Christian population horrifically.
Last year I spent time documenting abuses Seleka were inflicting, and many Christians had fled out of Bangui. Many thousands lived in the bush, and over 100,000 moved to a displaced camp in the airport.
Since March 2013 [the country] has been a violent pit of hell.
What has been the impact of 1,600 French and 4,000 African Union troops who are there, trying to keep peace?
Thankfully they're here but there's not enough of them to take care of the problem. They are doing a valiant job but the country is larger than France, so it's not enough troops to control Bangui, let alone towns outside the main city.
I was driving today down a road and a body was lying there who had been lynched. His left hand and left foot had been chopped off, his penis chopped off and his throat had been slit. That happened seven times today.
I've documented seven or eight lynchings like this in three weeks, and a lot more killings. Those are just the ones I have seen.
Has the situation gotten worse?
Yes. The international community and politicians would like you to believe that it hasn't. But it's the most violent and hateful environment I've ever documented in 16 years. And I've covered every conflict in Africa over that time, but I've never documented anything this bad.
There is so much hatred. Yesterday I was in a town that had eight mosques and over 30,000 Muslims, but now the mosques have been burnt and there are only 300 Muslims left there, hiding in a mosque surrounded by French peacekeeping forces who are trying to keep them alive.
Civilians living close to the Seleka Camp Kasai celebrate as the Sleka fighters are moved out towards PK11.
Civilians celebrate as Seleka militia fighters are driven away from their region.
Have there been calls for more UN peacekeeping troops?
There have been calls for at least another 10,000 troops on the ground, because you need many more troops to try to make this work.
What is the current political situation?
There is a new president who was voted by parliament. Her dialogue has been very peaceful and full of hope. She says the violence has to stop.
Just days ago she gave a speech to Christian FACA (The National Army) and told them that the violence must end. But five minutes after she left the FACA lynched a Muslim man, right in front of the international press. It's complete and utter chaos.
View a curated stream of dispatches from recent violence in the Central African Republic, from Marcus Bleasdale and Peter Bouckaert of Human Rights Watch.

Don’t Believe Everything You Read in the Papers: General Amos Edition

Don’t Believe Everything You Read in the Papers: General Amos Edition

Don’t Believe Everything You Read in the Papers: General Amos Edition

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Many of us have experienced occasions where we’ve read about an event in which we were a participant — either as a direct actor or merely an observer — and found ourselves perplexed by the written account. Whether because of an ideological agenda, an inadequate understanding of the topic, or — more commonly — a desire for a juicy headline and a scandal, reporters frequently misrepresent what transpired or was said. Paradoxically, however, we instinctively treat reports about events where we were not present as gospel.
Recently, a collaborator and I fell into this trap. A series of venues reported some remarks by General Jim Amos, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, which seemingly questioned the president’s leadership on issues of international security, blamed the current crisis in Iraq on his fecklessness, and strongly implied that the president had betrayed the sacrifices of American warriors who had died there. As strong advocates for civilian control of the military, we submitted a blistering piece to War on the Rocks outlining the proper limitations for general officers publicly speaking on matters of policy, explaining the rationale for those limitations, and ending with Amos standing at attention in the Oval Office being reminded of his place in the chain of command. It was right on all counts — except for the not so minor detail that Amos hadn’t done what we were criticizing him for doing.
Late last week, several press accounts about the speech Amos delivered at the Brookings Institute began circulating.
Foreign Policy (“Top Marine Commander: Iraq Chaos Shows Costs of U.S. Withdrawal”) seems to have broken the news and set the stage for our reaction. They reported:
Stepping into an intensifying political debate, the head of the Marine Corps said the United States doesn’t have the luxury of isolationism and said Iraq’s deterioration may have been prevented if Washington had maintained a larger U.S. presence there.
We first saw the story via a Fiscal Times report headlined “Top Marine to Obama: Get in the Fight.” The article began with a provocative lede: “It’s highly unusual for a high-ranking soldier, let alone a high-ranking Marine, to publicly question White House and Pentagon policy. Yet that’s exactly what four-star Gen. James Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps, did yesterday in Washington.”
Business Insider (“The Marine Corps’ Top General Slams The Obama Administration Over Iraq”) and the Washington Times (“Top Marine Corps general slams Obama’s handling of Iraq”) followed suit.
There were several troubling quotes in these articles but the most seemingly controversial was Amos’ remark that:
I have a hard time believing that had we been there [in Iraq], and worked with the government, and worked with parliament, and worked with the minister of defense, the minister of interior, I don’t think we’d be in the same shape we’re in today.
He’s quoted as reiterating that point, declaring,
I just I find it hard to believe knowing how Iraq looked when we left in 2010, when we left, the Marines, and then what it looked like when the last U.S. forces left. That we would be in the position we’re in today in Iraq had we had the right forces, the right leadership, the right mentoring, the right government and courage.
In the context of the current political debate in Washington, where Republican critics of the president are blaming the current crisis in Iraq on our 2011 withdrawal, it would have been egregious for the Commandant to utter those remarks in a prepared public speech, much less one open to the press. And, indeed, that’s not quite what happened.
At the time when we wrote the piece, we were relying on press accounts and a partial transcript of the speech supplied by Brookings upon our request. After some pushback from an editor at War on the Rocks to clarify context, we had the opportunity to review a full transcript of the speech. We discovered that the remarks being pieced together in the various press accounts were in responses to questions from the audience, not the general’s prepared remarks, and often not in the context or order in which they were placed in the reports.
For one thing, the actual line from the transcript is more nuanced than that quoted in the press reports: “I have a hard time believing that had we been there and working with the government and working with parliament an working with the minister of defense, the minister of interior, and the governance and the rule of law, I mean, all of that stuff, that I don’t think we’d be in the shape we’re in today.” More importantly, rather than a planned commentary on the ISIS mess, it was in response to a question asking, “Are you concerned that the same thing [that has happened in Iraq] will happen to the Afghan security forces once we leave?”
Further, in the sentence right before the supposedly damning quote, Amos declared flatly that Iraq “didn’t need combat forces when we left. They’d already had, they were trained up.” So, Amos was actually saying exactly the opposite what Ollie North and others are claiming he did. The Commandant wasn’t criticizing the drawdown of American combat forces, but rather lamenting that the Iraqi leadership has failed so spectacularly at governance and arguing that American advisors at the ministerial level might have helped on that front.
Moreover, when asked directly about the ISIS situation much earlier in the dialogue, Amos described the pride his Marines had in what they’d accomplished in Iraq and added, “it was time for us to leave. We’d completed. We’d done what we said we were going to do. And actually we’d done what we were told to do.” Some analysts, myself included, might take issue with that assessment. But it’s hardly the criticism of the decision to pull out that’s being portrayed or the advancement of some sort of dolchstoss narrative.
Similarly, Amos’s remarks that “we as a nation have a role in that world whether we like it or not” and that “we may think we’re done with all these nasty, thorny, tacky little things that are going on around the world . . . but they’re not done with us” is being widely reported as a rebuke of administration leadership and an oblique reference to inaction over Syria. Read in context, however, it’s part of an explanation of the threat environment in a complex world where we claim global interests. While some of us might push back on Amos’ interpretation and see him taking sides in an ongoing policy debate, he’s essentially outlining the president’s National Security Strategy. Until and unless an election intervenes and changes our outlook, that’s settled policy as far as the Joint Chiefs are concerned. Furthermore, even in that part of the speech, Amos put his own role in exactly the right context observing, “And so what is our role? You know, I think that’s something that ought to have, you know, national discussion and dialogue.” And so it should.
While the Commandant was well inside his lane, explaining existing national security policy rather than joining the fray, this controversy nonetheless illustrates the pitfalls of senior officers commenting on matters of public policy: Amos’ words were used to pit the military against the commander-in-chief. Whether through honest error or disregard for the truth, partisans will glom on to juicy quotes from generals to buttress their own position.

James Joyner, a former Army officer and combat veteran, is an associate professor of strategic studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College and the publisher of These views are his own.

War Plans by Obama and the Saudis Against Syria Advance

War Plans by Obama and the Saudis Against Syria Advance
February 20, 2014 • 10:36AM
With President Obama scheduled to visit Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in the middle of March, war plans are being accelerated for regime-change in Syria once again. According to one senior U.S. intelligence official, the Saudis are attempting to create the impression that they are once again "aligned with Washington" to pave the way for King Abdullah to make a strong pitch for regime-change when the U.S. President sits down with him in several weeks. According to the source, the Saudis are promoting the idea of merging the Riyadh-backed "moderate" Islamist fighters with the secularist Free Syrian Army, to be able to wage war on both the Assad regime and the radicals of ISIS and Nusra Front at the same time.
Over the past week, some significant meetings have taken place to advance this agenda. Today, David Ignatius reported in the Washington Post that last week, a number of Middle East spy chiefs were in Washington for secret meetings on the Syria situation with National Security Advisor Susan Rice. The key visitor was Prince Mohammed bin-Nayef, the Saudi Minister of Interior who has now replaced the ailing Prince Bandar bin-Sultan as the chief of the Saudi covert operations program in Syria. Intelligence chiefs from Turkey, Jordan, Qatar, and other regional allies also attended the two days of meetings.
Ignatius reported, "Sources said these countries agreed to coordinate their aid so that it goes directly to moderate fighters rather than leaching away to extremists of the al-Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda affiliate, and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)... The intelligence chiefs discussed whether to supply more advanced weapons to the rebels, such as shoulder- fired anti-aircraft missiles. The Saudis have stockpiles of such weapons and are ready to ship them, but they want support from the Obama administration, which remains reluctant to give a formal okay."
Last weekend, a two-day meeting took place in Gaziantep, Turkey, near the Syrian border, of 30 leaders of the Free Syrian Army who make up the Supreme Military Command. The meeting, coordinated with the events in Washington, reorganized the military command of the FSA, replacing General Salim Idriss with Abdul-Illah al-Bashir. Gen. al-Bashir is based in Quneitra in the south of Syria. He defected from the Syrian Army in 2013. His deputy is Col. Haitham Afiseh, from Idlib province in the north of Syria. The two commanders, according to Ignatius, are working closely with the Syrian Revolutionaries Front, headed by Jamal Maarouf. Maarouf met last week inside Syria with Ahmad al-Jarba, the Saudi-backed head of the Syrian opposition coalition.
According to a report in yesterday's Washington Post, Idriss was ousted because of his close ties to Qatar. Al-Bashir is Saudi- backed, as is the opposition's "Minister of Defense," Assad Mustafa. Mustafa, a former Minister of Agriculture in the Assad government, who retired to Kuwait, joined the opposition last year and is now in charge of coordinating the arms flows to the rebels.
Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reported that, according to "Saudi royal advisers," Prince Bandar bin-Sultan has been replaced as head of the Syria covert war effort by two leading princes, Prince bin-Nayef and Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, the son of King Abdullah and the head of the Saudi National Guard. The Journal reported that Prince bin-Nayef is close to both Secretary of State John Kerry and CIA Director John Brennan, who first met bin-Nayef in 1999 when he was completing his tour as CIA station chief in Saudi Arabia.
To further boost the Saudi-led effort to draw the U.S. back into the regime-change camp, the Syrian Support Group, a U.S.- and Canada-based NGO that has the exclusive State Department license to raise funds and provide non-lethal aid to the FSA, will be lobbying next week for increased U.S. engagement to arm and train the Syrian rebels.

BREAKING: 3,000 "Ebola Martyrs" Ready To Strike America in biggest "Apoc...

Executive Order -- Establishing an Emergency Board to Investigate Disputes Between the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority and Certain of Its Employees Represented by Certain Labor Organizations

Executive Order -- Establishing an Emergency Board to Investigate Disputes Between the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority and Certain of Its Employees Represented by Certain Labor Organizations

     Disputes exist between the Southeastern Pennsylvania
Transportation Authority (SEPTA) and certain of its employees
represented by certain labor organizations.  The labor
organizations involved in these disputes are designated on the
attached list, which is made part of this order.
     The disputes heretofore have not been adjusted under
the provisions of the Railway Labor Act, as amended,
45 U.S.C. 151-188 (RLA).
     A party empowered by the RLA has requested that the
President establish an emergency board pursuant to section 9A of
the RLA (45 U.S.C. 159a).
     Section 9A(c) of the RLA provides that the President, upon
such request, shall appoint an emergency board to investigate and
report on the disputes.
     NOW, THEREFORE, by the authority vested in me as President
by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, including
section 9A of the RLA, it is hereby ordered as follows:
     Section 1.  Establishment of Emergency Board (Board).  There
is established, effective 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on
June 15, 2014, a Board of three members to be appointed by the
President to investigate and report on these disputes.  No member
shall be pecuniarily or otherwise interested in any organization
of railroad employees or any carrier.  The Board shall perform
its functions subject to the availability of funds.
     Sec. 2.  Report.  The Board shall report to the President
with respect to the disputes within 30 days of its creation.
     Sec. 3.  Maintaining Conditions.  As provided by section
9A(c) of the RLA, for 120 days from the date of the creation of
the Board, no change in the conditions out of which the disputes
arose shall be made by the parties to the controversy, except by
agreement of the parties.
     Sec. 4.  Records Maintenance.  The records and files of the
Board are records of the Office of the President and upon the
Board's termination shall be maintained in the physical custody
of the National Mediation Board.

June 14, 2014
     Sec. 5.  Expiration.  The Board shall terminate upon the
submission of the report provided for in section 2 of this order.

Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers


    June 14, 2014.

THIS IS WHAT OBAMA IS DOING Muslim majority population.


Euro-Jihad: Muslims Brutally Attacking Christians in Refugee Centers in Denmark and Germany

Euro-Jihad: Muslims Brutally Attacking Christians in Refugee Centers in Denmark and Germany

asylum center in Avnstrup
“Each month find violent incidents place in Danish asylum centers, and in a majority of cases these are religion-motivated violence perpetrated against Christian refugees. One of the most brutal event took place a few months ago when an Afghan Christian was stabbed by a Muslim in an asylum center in Avnstrup.”
This is happening in Denmark and Germany, too.
Muslims should not be given asylum. Why import the violence and jihad that the real victims are fleeing? But it is the UN, the OIC-driven UN, that determines who is a refugee — not just in Europe, but in the US as well, under the “Refugee Resettlement Program.”
You speak out against this persecution and violence, and you are charged with “hate speech.” Just ask Lars Hedegaard. Stand against this today in Union Square where we are rallying against this vicious supremacism and violence. More here.
Our AFDI 18-point platform for freedom calls for:
– AFDI calls for an immediate halt of immigration by Muslims into nations that do not currently have a Muslim majority population.
– AFDI calls for laws providing that anyone seeking citizenship in the United States should be asked if he or she supports Sharia law, and investigated for ties to pro-Sharia groups. If so, citizenship should not be granted.
– AFDI calls for the cancellation of citizenship or permanent residency status for anyone who leaves the country of his residence to travel for the purpose of engaging in jihad activity, and for the refusal of reentry into his country of residence after that jihad activity. -
Google translate is awkward but you get this gist of this article: (thanks to William)
Plurals will opgøre Christian persecution in the asylum center
Kritik: Asylum Centre should opgøre Christian persecution
Focus on Christian persecution is not a udtryk for double standards
The German asylum center is violence mod Christians flygtninge so udbredt, a German politician will stand flygtningene after faith
Each month finder violent episodes place on Danish asylum center, and in part af tilfældene this will involve religionsmotiveret violence be committed Christians mod flygtninge.
One af the most brutal tilfælde fand place Nogle months ago when an Afghan Christian was stabbed af a Muslim in an asylum center in Avnstrup.
Now have the proprietery German newspaper Die Zeit and bayrisk tv’s nyhedsmagasin report Munich after all common after research unmask, the German asylum center has similar problems. According to the two media are Christian families in particular Syria and Iraq on several asylum center was udsat threats, mobning and violence from the Muslim residents.
In a single tilfælde chose a Christian family endda that traveling Compare the krigshærgede Iraq.
Læs also: Centre charger asylsøgere in the lurch
The family could not keep the mental and physical terror ud, as a Syrian Islamist udsatte it on asylcentret, and now it lives instead of Flugt of war somewhere in Iraq.
Media report Erne get the conservative Kristeligt-sociale politician John Sing Hammer (CSU) to react. He demands that Germany will establish asylum center excludes Christians flygtninge.
“The Christians flygtninge should stay together in a center for the Maad order to avoid we, they Oplev new naughty things here in Germany. There will also be an advantage for them to be together, because many af them have the same traumatic Oplev bag himself, and the Maad they can easily finde people that exchanging experiences, “he victory to report Munich.
Simon James, which is the head af Central Council of Oriental Christians in Germany, supports the politician’s claims.
“It will be good if flygtninge forward OPDEL according to religion and placed in pure Muslim or Christian asylum center,” he victory of Die Zeit.
In Denmark has a small group of Christians flygtninge quite shown estate for himself Without a flygtningecenter on Langeland, but it is not otherwise officiel Danish politics that separate flygtninge according to their faith.
Germans react when well mixed at John Sing Hammers proposal for a purely Christian asylum center. For example, many Egyptian Christians, the Copts, very critical of the politician’s idea.
On the internet since “Copts Without grænser” Ask the several Copts, why politicians instead of udviser the Muslims, where angriber Christians asylum cent pure.
“Could it be rigtigt, that Muslims should abiding residents here and their instructor’s children after these religionsracistiske fjendebilleder?” Ask the one Copt in a comment on the internet page.
Læs also: Every fifth asylansøger is upheld Flygtningenævnet
Ligesom in Denmark Germans have no statistics on where udbredt violence and threats imod Christians on asylum cent pure, but according to the Central Council of Oriental Christians in Germany and in several medarbejdere flygtningecentre the figure is rising.
Where adapters are included endda several examples, that Christians flygtninge must move several walk from center to center, because every time udsætter of persecution.
Asylum Centre in Denmark organized not according to religion, recounts Katrine Syppli Kohl, where as a PhD fellow at the sociological Institut, Copenhagen University researcher flygtninge and asylum center. She does not believe that it is “a particularly nem or good solution always that OPDEL people according to religion.”
“It is not convenient that manage, and there is always an accurate system. So one can said to stand in a situation where there is plads a asylsøger a certain place, “she victory.

Top Marine General Now Risking His Career To Take Down Obama

Top Marine General Now Risking His Career To Take Down Obama

It is no secret that when it comes to foreign policy, President Barack Obama is completely clueless. Now, many are starting to blame the chaos in the Middle East on some of the poor decisions he has been making.
Obama has made several mistakes when it comes to American involvement in the current crisis. First, Obama made the decision to pull American forces out of Iraq prematurely. Then, he made the unilateral decision to release Islamic terrorists from Guantanamo Bay. Now, under the leadership of a terrorist group released by our president, ISIS has turned into a monumental threat.
Recently, General James Amos, a disabled Iraq veteran, decided to go public in his criticisms of the president, taking to Twitter to voice his concerns.
According to Fox News, General Amos claims that things would have been extraordinarily different under another president.
“Had we had the right forces, the right leadership, the right mentoring, the right government, courage…” we might not be in the situation we are in, claims the General. “I find it hard to believe, knowing how Iraq looked when we left in 2010…that we would be in the position we’re in today in Iraq.”
Watch the video below to hear to General’s full commentary

as both the 22nd and the 24th President. Today, the President is limited to two four-year terms, but until the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution,

The Executive Branch

The White House
The power of the Executive Branch is vested in the President of the United States, who also acts as head of state and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. The President is responsible for implementing and enforcing the laws written by Congress and, to that end, appoints the heads of the federal agencies, including the Cabinet. The Vice President is also part of the Executive Branch, ready to assume the Presidency should the need arise.
The Cabinet and independent federal agencies are responsible for the day-to-day enforcement and administration of federal laws. These departments and agencies have missions and responsibilities as widely divergent as those of the Department of Defense and the Environmental Protection Agency, the Social Security Administration and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Including members of the armed forces, the Executive Branch employs more than 4 million Americans.
The President | The Vice President
Executive Office of the President | The Cabinet

The President

The President is both the head of state and head of government of the United States of America, and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.
Under Article II of the Constitution, the President is responsible for the execution and enforcement of the laws created by Congress. Fifteen executive departments — each led by an appointed member of the President's Cabinet — carry out the day-to-day administration of the federal government. They are joined in this by other executive agencies such as the CIA and Environmental Protection Agency, the heads of which are not part of the Cabinet, but who are under the full authority of the President. The President also appoints the heads of more than 50 independent federal commissions, such as the Federal Reserve Board or the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as federal judges, ambassadors, and other federal offices. The Executive Office of the President (EOP) consists of the immediate staff to the President, along with entities such as the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of the United States Trade Representative.
The President has the power either to sign legislation into law or to veto bills enacted by Congress, although Congress may override a veto with a two-thirds vote of both houses. The Executive Branch conducts diplomacy with other nations, and the President has the power to negotiate and sign treaties, which also must be ratified by two-thirds of the Senate. The President can issue executive orders, which direct executive officers or clarify and further existing laws. The President also has unlimited power to extend pardons and clemencies for federal crimes, except in cases of impeachment.
With these powers come several responsibilities, among them a constitutional requirement to "from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient." Although the President may fulfill this requirement in any way he or she chooses, Presidents have traditionally given a State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress each January (except in inaugural years) outlining their agenda for the coming year.
The Constitution lists only three qualifications for the Presidency — the President must be 35 years of age, be a natural born citizen, and must have lived in the United States for at least 14 years. And though millions of Americans vote in a presidential election every four years, the President is not, in fact, directly elected by the people. Instead, on the first Tuesday in November of every fourth year, the people elect the members of the Electoral College. Apportioned by population to the 50 states — one for each member of their congressional delegation (with the District of Columbia receiving 3 votes) — these Electors then cast the votes for President. There are currently 538 electors in the Electoral College.
President Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United States. He is, however, only the 43rd person ever to serve as President; President Grover Cleveland served two nonconsecutive terms, and thus is recognized as both the 22nd and the 24th President. Today, the President is limited to two four-year terms, but until the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, ratified in 1951, a President could serve an unlimited number of terms. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected President four times, serving from 1932 until his death in 1945; he is the only President ever to have served more than two terms.
By tradition, the President and the First Family live in the White House in Washington, D.C., also the location of the President's Oval Office and the offices of the his senior staff. When the President travels by plane, his aircraft is designated Air Force One; he may also use a Marine Corps helicopter, known as Marine One while the President is on board. For ground travel, the President uses an armored Presidential limousine.

The Vice President

The primary responsibility of the Vice President of the United States is to be ready at a moment's notice to assume the Presidency if the President is unable to perform his duties. This can be because of the President's death, resignation, or temporary incapacitation, or if the Vice President and a majority of the Cabinet judge that the President is no longer able to discharge the duties of the presidency.
The Vice President is elected along with the President by the Electoral College — each elector casts one vote for President and another for Vice President. Before the ratification of the 12th Amendment in 1804, electors only voted for President, and the person who received the second greatest number of votes became Vice President.
The Vice President also serves as the President of the United States Senate, where he or she casts the deciding vote in the case of a tie. Except in the case of tiebreaking votes, the Vice President rarely actually presides over the Senate. Instead, the Senate selects one of their own members, usually junior members of the majority party, to preside over the Senate each day.
Joseph R. Biden is the 47th Vice President of the United States. Of the 45 previous Vice Presidents, nine have succeeded to the Presidency, and four have been elected to the Presidency in their own right. The duties of the Vice President, outside of those enumerated in the Constitution, are at the discretion of the current President. Each Vice President approaches the role differently — some take on a specific policy portfolio, others serve simply as a top adviser to the President.
The Vice President has an office in the West Wing of the White House, as well as in the nearby Eisenhower Executive Office Building. Like the President, he also maintains an official residence, at the United States Naval Observatory in Northwest Washington, D.C. This peaceful mansion, has been the official home of the Vice President since 1974 — previously, Vice Presidents had lived in their own private residences. The Vice President also has his own limousine, operated by the United States Secret Service, and flies on the same aircraft the President uses — but when the Vice President is aboard, the craft are referred to as Air Force Two and Marine Two.

Executive Office of the President

Every day, the President of the United States is faced with scores of decisions, each with important consequences for America's future. To provide the President with the support the he or she needs to govern effectively, the Executive Office of the President (EOP) was created in 1939 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The EOP has responsibility for tasks ranging from communicating the President's message to the American people to promoting our trade interests abroad.
The EOP, overseen by the White House Chief of Staff, has traditionally been home to many of the President's closest advisers. While Senate confirmation is required for some advisers, such as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, most are appointed with full Presidential discretion. The individual offices that these advisors oversee have grown in size and number since the EOP was created. Some were formed by Congress, others as the President has needed them — they are constantly shifting as each President identifies his needs and priorities, with the current EOP employing over 1,800 people.
Perhaps the most visible parts of the EOP are the White House Communications Office and Press Secretary's Office. The Press Secretary provides daily briefings for the media on the President's activities and agenda. Less visible to most Americans is the National Security Council, which advises the President on foreign policy, intelligence, and national security.
There are also a number of offices responsible for the practicalities of maintaining the White House and providing logistical support for the President. These include the White House Military Office, which is responsible for services ranging from Air Force One to the dining facilities, and the Office of Presidential Advance, which prepares sites remote from the White House for the President's arrival.
Many senior advisors in the EOP work near the President in the West Wing of the White House. However, the majority of the staff is housed in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, just a few steps away and part of the White House compound.

The Cabinet

The Cabinet is an advisory body made up of the heads of the 15 executive departments. Appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, the members of the Cabinet are often the President's closest confidants. In addition to running major federal agencies, they play an important role in the Presidential line of succession — after the Vice President, Speaker of the House, and Senate President pro tempore, the line of succession continues with the Cabinet offices in the order in which the departments were created. All the members of the Cabinet take the title Secretary, excepting the head of the Justice Department, who is styled Attorney General.

Department of Agriculture

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) develops and executes policy on farming, agriculture, and food. Its aims include meeting the needs of farmers and ranchers, promoting agricultural trade and production, assuring food safety, protecting natural resources, fostering rural communities, and ending hunger in America and abroad.
The USDA employs more than 100,000 employees and has an annual budget of approximately $95 billion. It consists of 17 agencies, including the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the Food and Nutrition Service, and the Forest Service. The bulk of the department's budget goes towards mandatory programs that provide services required by law, such as programs designed to provide nutrition assistance, promote agricultural exports, and conserve our environment. The USDA also plays an important role in overseas aid programs by providing surplus foods to developing countries.
The United States Secretary of Agriculture administers the USDA.

Department of Commerce

The Department of Commerce is the government agency tasked with improving living standards for all Americans by promoting economic development and technological innovation.
The department supports U.S. business and industry through a number of services, including gathering economic and demographic data, issuing patents and trademarks, improving understanding of the environment and oceanic life, and ensuring the effective use of scientific and technical resources. The agency also formulates telecommunications and technology policy, and promotes U.S. exports by assisting and enforcing international trade agreements.
The Secretary of Commerce oversees a $6.5 billion budget and approximately 38,000 employees.

Department of Defense

The mission of the Department of Defense (DOD) is to provide the military forces needed to deter war and to protect the security of our country. The department's headquarters is at the Pentagon.
The DOD consists of the Departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, as well as many agencies, offices, and commands, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency, the National Security Agency, and the Defense Intelligence Agency. The DOD occupies the vast majority of the Pentagon building in Arlington, VA.
The Department of Defense is the largest government agency, with more than 1.3 million men and women on active duty, nearly 700,000 civilian personnel, and 1.1 million citizens who serve in the National Guard and Reserve forces. Together, the military and civilian arms of DOD protect national interests through war-fighting, providing humanitarian aid, and performing peacekeeping and disaster relief services.
Department of Education
The mission of the Department of Education is to promote student achievement and preparation for competition in a global economy by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access to educational opportunity.
The Department administers federal financial aid for education, collects data on America's schools to guide improvements in education quality, and works to complement the efforts of state and local governments, parents, and students.
The U.S. Secretary of Education oversees the Department's 4,200 employees and $68.6 billion budget.

Department of Energy

The mission of the Department of Energy (DOE) is to advance the national, economic, and energy security of the United States.
The DOE promotes America's energy security by encouraging the development of reliable, clean, and affordable energy. It administers federal funding for scientific research to further the goal of discovery and innovation — ensuring American economic competitiveness and improving the quality of life for Americans.
The DOE is also tasked with ensuring America's nuclear security, and with protecting the environment by providing a responsible resolution to the legacy of nuclear weapons production.
The United States Secretary of Energy oversees a budget of approximately $23 billion and more than 100,000 federal and contract employees.

Department of Health and Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the United States government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves. Agencies of HHS conduct health and social science research, work to prevent disease outbreaks, assure food and drug safety, and provide health insurance.
In addition to administering Medicare and Medicaid, which together provide health insurance to one in four Americans, HHS also oversees the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control.
The Secretary of Health and Human Services oversees a budget of approximately $700 billion and approximately 65,000 employees. The Department's programs are administered by 11 operating divisions, including 8 agencies in the U.S. Public Health Service and 3 human services agencies.

Department of Homeland Security

The missions of the Department of Homeland Security are to prevent and disrupt terrorist attacks; protect the American people, our critical infrastructure, and key resources; and respond to and recover from incidents that do occur. The third largest Cabinet department, DHS was established by the Homeland Security Act of 2002, largely in response to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. The new department consolidated 22 executive branch agencies, including the U.S. Customs Service, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Secret Service, the Transportation Security Administration, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
DHS employs 216,000 people in its mission to patrol borders, protect travelers and our transportation infrastructure, enforce immigration laws, and respond to disasters and emergencies. The agency also promotes preparedness and emergency prevention among citizens. Policy is coordinated by the Homeland Security Council at the White House, in cooperation with other defense and intelligence agencies, and led by the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security.

Department of Housing and Urban Development

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is the federal agency responsible for national policies and programs that address America's housing needs, that improve and develop the nation's communities, and that enforce fair housing laws. The Department plays a major role in supporting homeownership for lower- and moderate-income families through its mortgage insurance and rent subsidy programs.
Offices within HUD include the Federal Housing Administration, which provides mortgage and loan insurance; the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, which ensures all Americans equal access to the housing of their choice; and the Community Development Block Grant Program, which helps communities with economic development, job opportunities, and housing rehabilitation. HUD also administers public housing and homeless assistance.
The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development oversees approximately 9,000 employees on a budget of approximately $40 billion.

Department of the Interior

The Department of the Interior (DOI) is the nation's principal conservation agency. Its mission is to protect America's natural resources, offer recreation opportunities, conduct scientific research, conserve and protect fish and wildlife, and honor our trust responsibilities to American Indians, Alaskan Natives, and our responsibilities to island communities.
DOI manages 500 million acres of surface land, or about one-fifth of the land in the United States, and manages hundreds of dams and reservoirs. Agencies within the DOI include the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Minerals Management Service, and the U.S. Geological Survey. The DOI manages the national parks and is tasked with protecting endangered species.
The Secretary of the Interior oversees about 70,000 employees and 200,000 volunteers on a budget of approximately $16 billion. Every year it raises billions in revenue from energy, mineral, grazing, and timber leases, as well as recreational permits and land sales.

Department of Justice

The mission of the Department of Justice (DOJ) is to enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.
The DOJ is comprised of 40 component organizations, including the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Marshals, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The Attorney General is the head of the DOJ and chief law enforcement officer of the federal government. The Attorney General represents the United States in legal matters, advises the President and the heads of the executive departments of the government, and occasionally appears in person before the Supreme Court.
With a budget of approximately $25 billion, the DOJ is the world's largest law office and the central agency for the enforcement of federal laws.

Department of Labor

The Department of Labor oversees federal programs for ensuring a strong American workforce. These programs address job training, safe working conditions, minimum hourly wage and overtime pay, employment discrimination, and unemployment insurance.
The Department of Labor's mission is to foster and promote the welfare of the job seekers, wage earners, and retirees of the United States by improving their working conditions, advancing their opportunities for profitable employment, protecting their retirement and health care benefits, helping employers find workers, strengthening free collective bargaining, and tracking changes in employment, prices, and other national economic measurements.
Offices within the Department of Labor include the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the federal government's principal statistics agency for labor economics, and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, which promotes the safety and health of America's working men and women.
The Secretary of Labor oversees 15,000 employees on a budget of approximately $50 billion.

Department of State

The Department of State plays the lead role in developing and implementing the President's foreign policy. Major responsibilities include United States representation abroad, foreign assistance, foreign military training programs, countering international crime, and a wide assortment of services to U.S. citizens and foreign nationals seeking entrance to the U.S.
The U.S. maintains diplomatic relations with approximately 180 countries — each posted by civilian U.S. Foreign Service employees — as well as with international organizations. At home, more than 5,000 civil employees carry out the mission of the Department.
The Secretary of State serves as the President's top foreign policy adviser, and oversees 30,000 employees and a budget of approximately $35 billion.

Department of Transportation

The mission of the Department of Transportation (DOT) is to ensure a fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people.
Organizations within the DOT include the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Transit Administration, the Federal Railroad Administration and the Maritime Administration.
The U.S. Secretary of Transportation oversees approximately 55,000 employees and a budget of approximately $70 billion.

Department of the Treasury

The Department of the Treasury is responsible for promoting economic prosperity and ensuring the soundness and security of the U.S. and international financial systems.
The Department operates and maintains systems that are critical to the nation's financial infrastructure, such as the production of coin and currency, the disbursement of payments to the American public, the collection of taxes, and the borrowing of funds necessary to run the federal government. The Department works with other federal agencies, foreign governments, and international financial institutions to encourage global economic growth, raise standards of living, and, to the extent possible, predict and prevent economic and financial crises. The Treasury Department also performs a critical and far-reaching role in enhancing national security by improving the safeguards of our financial systems, implementing economic sanctions against foreign threats to the U.S., and identifying and targeting the financial support networks of national security threats.
The Secretary of the Treasury oversees a budget of approximately $13 billion and a staff of more than 100,000 employees.

Department of Veterans Affairs

The Department of Veterans Affairs is responsible for administering benefit programs for veterans, their families, and their survivors. These benefits include pension, education, disability compensation, home loans, life insurance, vocational rehabilitation, survivor support, medical care, and burial benefits. Veterans Affairs became a cabinet-level department in 1989.
Of the 25 million veterans currently alive, nearly three of every four served during a war or an official period of hostility. About a quarter of the nation's population — approximately 70 million people — are potentially eligible for V.A. benefits and services because they are veterans, family members, or survivors of veterans.
The Secretary of Veterans Affairs oversees a budget of approximately $90 billion and a staff of approximately 235,000 employees.