It was inevitable the connection would be made. When Penn State’s Jerry Sandusky was arrested on November 4, after years of allegedly molesting boys with the knowledge of superiors who didn’t stop him, everyone knew what was coming. It wouldn’t be long before the media brought up the Catholic Church and its tribulations with homosexual molesters.
Sure enough, as Newsbusters reported on Friday, NBC and the New York Times obliged, linking the two scandals.
In an opinion streaked with black marks of redaction, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit overturned the release order previously entered for Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif.
Latif is a Yemeni national currently imprisoned in the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. In a Summary of Evidence memo prepared by the government, Latif is accused of first, being “an al Qaida fighter; and second, having engaged in hostilities against Americans in Afghanistan."
The ruling by a divided D.C. Court of Appeals reversed an order entered in July 2010 by Judge Henry H. Kennedy, Jr. wherein the Obama Administration was ordered to “take all necessary and appropriate diplomatic steps to facilitate Latif's release forthwith." In his decision, Judge Kennedy wrote that the government of the United States failed to present sufficient evidence that Latif was a member of al-Qaeda or any affiliated group.
Upon successfully achieving the release of his client via a writ of habeas corpus, Latif's attorney, David Remes, said, "This is a mentally disturbed man who has said from the beginning that he went to Afghanistan seeking medical care because he was too poor to pay for it. Finally, a court has recognized that he's been telling the truth, and ordered his release."
The Federal Trade Commission reportedly forwarded a settlement offer last week to social media behemoth Facebook. The FTC began investigating Facebook over claims that the latter was violating the privacy of millions of users by changing the default value of several privacy settings without providing prior notice to subscribers.
According to published accounts of the content of the proposed settlement agreement, Facebook would agree to obtain advance, express consent from users before sharing any material that was posted prior to the new guidelines.
A group of victims and family members of victims of the Ft. Hood shooting carried out by Army Major Nidal Hasan have filed a complaint against the U.S. Army for willful negligence seeking $750 million in damages. The suit filed by 83 co-plaintiffs asserts that the Army was negligent in failing to take appropriate steps to prevent the former psychiatrist from carrying out the armed atrocity that resulted in the death of 13 people and the injury of 32 others on November 5, 2009 at a readiness center where soldiers prepared for deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Specifically, the claim filed last week avers that on several occasions Major Nidal Hasan displayed behavior that should have been a clear and convincing warning to his superiors that he intended to harm his comrades and others.
Except for dissent from Representative Ron Paul of Texas and (to a lesser extent) former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, the Republican presidential candidates blazed their way in a November 12 debate toward foreign policies where the United States would engage in two new Middle Eastern wars against Syria and Iran, re-institute the Bush Administration torture policy, abolish trials for terror suspects, and allow unlimited presidential assassinations.
New Wars Against Iran and Syria
Mitt Romney came out for war against Iran at the beginning of the debate. "If all else fails," Romney told debate moderator and CBS News Anchor Scott Pelley in the South Carolina debate at Wofford College, "then of course you take military action. It is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon." Likewise, Romney sought war against Syria, suggesting "Of course it's time for the Assad dictatorship to end. And we should use covert activity."
Herman Cain told CBS moderator Scott Pelley that he wouldn't invade Syria, but would wage war against the country by funding a bloody insurgency instead: "I would not entertain military opposition. I'm talking about to help the opposition movement within the country."
After voters rejected a measure on November 8 to rein in public-servant unions in Ohio, activists who led the successful campaign to nullify ObamaCare in the state are now trying to end government-mandated membership in labor organizations. The constitutional amendment, known as the “Workplace Freedom Amendment,” would make Ohio one of almost two dozen “right-to-work” states in America. If approved by voters it would allow government and private-sector workers to freely choose whether or not to join a union and pay union dues.
A court martial sitting in Joint Base Lewis-McChord found an Army sergeant guilty of the premeditated murder of three Afghan nationals while serving as squad leader of a unit in the Second Infantry Division. In a series of gruesome attacks, Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs of Billings, Montana, led his “kill team” into conflict with unarmed Afghan civilians, admittedly chopping off fingers and pulling teeth of the dead victims to save as trophies.
Sergeant Gibbs, 26, faced life imprisonment without the possibility of parole following Thursday's verdict handed down by a five-member panel of jurors who deliberated for about five hours, according to the account of the proceeding published by Reuters. The same story relates that the jury of military men then decided that Gibbs could be eligible for parole after eight and one-half years of imprisonment.
Three other soldiers previously entered pleas on charges stemming from the killings and subsequent mutilations committed while serving under Gibbs. These three of the five members of the American armed forces accused of participating in these murders testified against their former leader, describing him as the instigator of raids on civilians in which the troops would construct fake combat scenarios that would justify the killings. A news article describing the court martial reported that Gibbs would bring “drop weapons” to the crime scenes so that it would appear to superiors that the squad was under attack and that the killings were made in self-defense.
In the Republican debate on Wednesday, moderator Maria Bartiromo raised the issue of the sexual-harassment allegations that have plagued Herman Cain. “Why should the American people hire a president if they feel there are character issues?” she asked the GOP hopeful. It’s a question we should pose more often.
That’s not to say I lend credence to the charges leveled against Cain. It’s not uncommon today for well-heeled entities to pay five-figure settlements to put nuisance lawsuits to bed — as Cain’s former employer, the National Restaurant Association, has — and a couple of the candidate’s accusers have questionable backgrounds. It’s also odd that, as Ann Coulter pointed out, the allegations leveled against Cain have a David Axelrod connection. Axelrod has been called Barack Obama’s “hired muscle” by the New YorkTimes, and he has a history of smearing Obama opponents with accusations of sexual misconduct. And what is this Axelrod connection? Among other things, Cain’s latest accuser, Sharon Bialek, once lived in Axelrod’s building, and she admits having met the political hit man. But you can read Coulter’s piece for the rest of that story, because my focus here will be different. After all, character does matter and all prospective leaders deserve scrutiny.
And this brings me to my point. If I’d been a candidate at the debate, I would have loved to have chimed in when my turn came and made this statement:
It is predictable that J. Edgar takes a less than favorable approach to J. Edgar Hoover, founder and director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Hollywood never did embrace anti-communist stalwarts. However, this production’s treatment of Hoover is somewhat surprising seeing as it was directed by Clint Eastwood, typically a more conservative-minded presence in Hollywood. J. Edgar is expectedly an entertaining and engaging film, given the impeccable cast and direction, but its somewhat unfair depiction of Hoover undermines its overall quality.
The film’s intent is clear when one reads its synopsis: “As the face of law enforcement in America for almost 50 years, J. Edgar Hoover was feared and admired, reviled and revered. But behind closed doors, he held secrets that would have destroyed his image, his career and his life.”
The movie examines the public and private life of Hoover, played by the talented Leonardo DiCaprio. Hoover is portrayed as a man who has allowed absolute power to corrupt him. Shifting back and forth between past and present, J. Edgar examines the news behind the news stories.
No matter how many times you beat back a Federal power grab, it is almost impossible to kill the monster. Like the most terrifying villain in the worst horror movie you’ve ever seen, it keeps coming back to life and threatening the townspeople.
Consider the efforts by the Food and Drug Administration to make it impossible for you to buy the vitamins you want. The FDA first tried to make many supplements illegal in the early 1990s. But its overzealous persecution of vitamin makers (I was one of them) caused millions of consumers to demand that Congress block the FDA.
As a result, in 1994 Congress passed the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA). While the law was far from perfect (what federal legislation ever is?), it did protect the right to take the supplements of our choice. The only way the FDA could intrude was if it could prove a supplement was unsafe. I don’t know of a single case in which that happened. So for 17 years, those of us who take vitamins to protect our health were safe from government meddlers.
Unfortunately, there was a dangerous loophole in that 1994 law. While supplements that existed at the time were protected by law, the FDA was given the authority to regulate any new ingredients that were introduced after Oct. 15, 1994.