It is hardly news that the U.S. government routinely doles out aid to tyrannical regimes around the world. Less well known is the fact that many of those regimes recruit or conscript children as young as 11 years old into their armed forces — and that President Barack Obama has more than once thwarted Congress’ attempt to prevent U.S. military aid from going to such countries.
Although it was passed in May by an overwhelming majority by the House of Representatives, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2013 is stalled in the Senate. During 45 minutes of partisan debate late last month, Republican leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) verbally sparred with his Democratic counterpart, Harry Reid (Nev.), the one accusing the other of dragging his feet on bills each sponsored.
On Monday lawyers representing the Obama administration filed an appeal challenging an injunction issued by a federal judge in May barring the enforcement of the indefinite detention provision of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).This was likely a premature response to a ruling expected on a hearing held Tuesday to make the temporary injunction permanent.
Although Senate Republicans rejected cybersecurity legislation last week, President Obama may yet rule on the issue, once again bypassing the legislative branch and the separation of powers set out in the Constitution. According to a report in The Hill, President Obama is mulling the issuing of an executive order to create “law” where Congress failed to do so.
A top advisor to President Obama received $100,000 in speaking fees in 2010 from a company doing business with Iran, the Washington Post reported earlier this week. David Plouffe, who also served as Obama’s 2008 campaign manager, accepted the payment from a firm tied to the Iranian government.
American lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are expressing serious concerns about a bid by the communist dictatorship ruling mainland China to purchase Canadian energy firm Nexen and its vast U.S. oil and natural gas holdings. The deal by the Chinese regime, acting through its state-owned front company China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), also represents a potential national security risk, warned Republican and Democrat members of Congress.
According to reports out of Washington, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) will attempt to stall the confirmation of President Obama’s nominee to fill the ambassador post to Pakistan. Reportedly, Paul will stall the process until Pakistan releases a Pakistani doctor who played a vital role in the manhunt that led to the death of Osama bin Laden.
Former Syrian “Prime Minister” Riad Hijab has reportedly defected to the opposition, dealing what analysts said was a symbolic blow to the regime of dictator Bashar al-Assad in its ongoing battle against Western-backed rebels and Islamist forces. The dictatorship disputed those allegations, however, claiming that the ex-premier had actually been fired.
The Army colonel presiding over the trial of five men accused of participating in the attacks of September 11, 2001 has ruled that attorneys for a consortium of media and civil liberties organizations may argue for increased transparency in the proceedings.