Hagel grilled, questioned on many fronts as new al Qaeda threat emerges

Editor’s Note – As we watch the confirmation hearings today on Obama’s Nominee, Sen. Chuck Hagel, questions abound, not only on his views, but on the very real threats we now face as a nation. You make the judgement on Hagel’s abilities to do the job, a job so important to the best interests of our nation, but regardless, we have new and continued threats here at home, not just abroad in so many theaters of threat.

Many high ranking officials from all walks of the military and political stripes question his bona fides, previous stances, and general tenets toward national security, our allies, our enemies, and our nation’s best interests. The following article informs us of the latest al Qaeda threats gleaned from jihadi web sites, and the world a new Secretary of Defense will face, and the very real concerns many have.

Inside the Ring: New al Qaeda threat

By Bill Gertz – The Washington Times

A jihadist website posted a new threat by al Qaeda this week that promises to conduct “shocking” attacks on the United States and the West.

The posting appeared on the Ansar al Mujahidin network Sunday and carried the headline, “Map of al Qaeda and its future strikes.”

The message, in Arabic, asks: “Where will the next strike by al Qaeda be?” A translation was obtained by Inside the Ring.

“The answer for it, in short: The coming strikes by al Qaeda, with God’s Might, will be in the heart of the land of nonbelief, America, and in FranceDenmark, other countries in Europe, in the countries that helped and are helping France, and in other places that shall be named by al Qaeda at other times,” the threat states.

The attacks will be “strong, serious, alarming, earth-shattering, shocking and terrifying.”

Under a section of the post on the method of the attacks, the unidentified writer said the strikes would be “group and lone-wolf operations, in addition to the use of booby-trapped vehicles.”

“All operations will be recorded and published in due time,” the message said. “Let France be prepared, and let the helpers of France be prepared, for it is going to be a long war of attrition.”

The reference to France appears linked to the group’s plans for retaliation against the French-led military strikes in northern Mali in operations to oust al Qaeda terrorists from the North African country.

The Ansar al-Mujahidin network is a well-known jihadist forum that in the past has published reliably accurate propaganda messages from al Qaeda and its affiliates.

U.S. counterterrorism actions over the past 10 years have prevented al Qaeda from conducting major attacks. However, U.S. officials warn that the group continues to be dangerous, despite the killing of its top leaders in drone strikes and special operations.

A U.S. official said the threat is being taken seriously by the U.S. government.

“Extremists regularly make threats online,” he told Inside the Ring. “This one is not particularly unusual, but of course should be taken seriously.”

Retired officers on Hagel

Retired senior military officers on the right and left of the political spectrum are squaring off in the confirmation fight for former Sen. Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s nominee for defense secretary who is set to appear before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday.

Conservative former officers say Mr. Hagel is the wrong person to head the Pentagon because of his soft-line views on Iran, hostility toward Israel and support for cuts in U.S. military and nuclear forces.

Liberal retirees say the decorated Vietnam War veteran will be a strong leader who will support “war fighters.”

Fourteen retired flag officers wrote to the committee this week, urging the panel to reject Mr. Hagel.

The group — including retired Pacific Fleet commander Adm. James “Ace” Lyons and former Delta Force commando Army Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin — said they oppose confirming the liberal Nebraska Republican for the Pentagon post because he would further cut U.S. military forces and also because he favors the total elimination of nuclear forces.

“Our nation faces enormous national security challenges as we enter 2013,” said the group linked to the conservative Center for Security Policy.

“Addressing those challenges will require leadership at the Pentagon that recognizes the gravity of the threats we face and understands the requirement for a formidable military capable of deterring and, if necessary, overcoming them. Sen. Hagel’s record on key issues indicates he is not such a leader.”

On the other side, a group of retired generals and admirals issued a statement in December supporting Mr. Hagel. They include retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft, a former national security adviser in the George H.W. Bush administration; retired Adm. William Fallon, a former Pacific command leader; and retired Marine Corps Gen. Anthony Zinni, former head of Central Command.

These 11 generals and admirals said in their statement that they support Mr. Hagel for Pentagon chief because “he has stood up for what he believes are the best interests of the United States.”

Sen. Hagel has been a voice of moderation and balance in an unbalanced time, and we can think of few people better qualified to lead the Department of Defense,” these retired officers stated.

Senate end-run suggested

Newly confirmed Secretary of State-designate John F. Kerry signaled last week that the Obama administration is planning to seek more executive agreements for future arms-control deals.

The use of such agreements would avoid contentious political battles in the Senate but is raising concerns that such accords would circumvent the Senate’s constitutional duty to provided advice and consent for international treaties.

Sen. James E. Risch, Idaho Republican, told Mr. Kerry during a Jan. 24 Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nomination:

“There are a lot of us that are becoming increasingly concerned about all this talk regarding executive agreements, as opposed to treaties that are negotiated by the executive branch, as contemplated by the Founding Fathers and ratified, if appropriate, by this committee and eventually by the full Senate.”

Mr. Kerry was asked about “bypassing” the committee. He replied with a carefully worded answer that did not rule out the use of non-ratified agreements.

“Well, every administration in its history — Republican and Democrat alike — has entered into executive agreements,” Mr. Kerry said.

“I don’t want to be commenting in some prophylactic way one side or the other without the specific situation in front of me,” he said. “But I’m confident the president is committed to upholding the Constitution.”

Mr. Obama, however, already has taken steps to use administrative power as opposed to formal legislative remedies, in seeking tighter controls on guns in the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting.

Mr. Kerry said that if Republicans and Democrats could get along better, then treaties were more likely to be submitted.

“There’s no better way to guarantee that whatever concerns you have about the president’s desire to move on an executive agreement would be greatly, you know, nullified or mollified if we could find a way to cooperate on a treaty or on the broader issues that face the nation,” Mr. Kerry said.

However, he added: “I think there’s a lot of frustration out there that some of the automatic ideological restraint here that prevents the majority from being able to express their voice has restrained people and pushed people in a way where they’ve got to consider some other ways of getting things done.”

Mr. Risch then said: “Well, and that’s exactly what concerns us, Sen. Kerry, is the fact that it’s OK to do this through the regular order if it gets done, but if it’s not going to get done, then the ends justify the means — [that] it’s OK to end-run around the Constitution.”

Mr. Risch said the nation’s founders “didn’t say do this if it’s convenient, and it’s OK to not do it if it’s not convenient. I have real difficulties with that.”

Mr. Obama last year promised unspecified “flexibility” after the election in seeking a missile defense agreement with Russia during an overheard discussion with then-Russian President Dmitri Medvedev.

The administration is also looking to conclude an additional arms-control agreement with Russia on nuclear weapons.

Hagel on Fort Hood

Sen. Chuck Hagel told Senate Armed Services Committee members this week in written responses to questions that he will review a Pentagon panel study that concluded the Defense Department could not identify key indicators of terrorist radicalization among service personnel, as part of efforts to prevent a repeat of the mass terrorist shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, more than three years ago.

However, in response to a question about Muslims in the militaryMr. Hagel said he would seek to prevent the persecution of Muslims in the aftermath of the deadly shooting.

Thirteen people were killed and 29 wounded when a gunmen identified as Maj. Hassan Nidal opened fire on fellow military personnel on Nov. 5, 2009. Reports at the time said the gunman was shouting “Allah Akbhar” — God is great. Maj. Nidal also has been linked to al Qaeda terrorists in Yemen from emails intercepted by the FBI.

After the attack, however, the Pentagon refused to identify the shooting as a terrorist attack and labeled the incident “workplace violence” in what critics said was an example of Obama administration political correctness.

Mr. Hagel said in his written responses that a Defense Science Board was asked by the Pentagon to study ways to identify “behavioral indicators of violence and self-radicalization,” but it “could not determine a specific list of behaviors that would indicate risk of violent/extremist behavior.”

“If I am confirmed, I will review the implementation of the recommendations of the Fort Hood Review,” he said.

“The attack at Fort Hood was a tragedy,” he stated. “It is essential that the circumstances surrounding the attack not compromise the military’s core values regarding the free exercise of religion and treating every service member with dignity and respect.”

Gun debate – prevent tyranny in the USA? It already happened once.

MUST SEE VIDEO – The Battle of Athens

Editor’s Note – Athens, Tennessee, ever heard of the battle there? Most have not, or think it was a Civil War Battle – what it really was is a prime example of government tyranny and how the second amendment was intended to protect the citizen from that tyranny.

In the whole discourse about gun control, gun violence, and the second amendment, the public often is misled, or does not understand that the founders meant for the citizens to be armed to prevent government tyranny. The anti-second amendment apologists always ask if we really believe our government would ever become so tyrannical to be a danger to its citizens.

The answer is – YES – it has already happened, on a smaller, local scale, but now it appears we are heading down that path in a big way. Please read below and watch the video – you will be shocked! If you do not believe this could happen nationally – we suggest you look very closely at the last election and locales like Philadelphia and Cleveland, Ohio to name but just two of many examples.

When Politicians Demand Gun Control, Remember Our Founders

BY  – Western Center for Journalism

Many are asking the question “Why should we allow guns?” Those who want gun control at the levels that Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has put forth have the idea that citizens do not need certain types of weapons. However, those same people will be very quick to say that our government will never turn on the very people they intend on keeping from acquiring these arms. Just by placing the “assault weapons ban” bill on the record, Senator Feinstein has violated the Oath of her office (and as such has committed an act of treason.)

Now back in 1946, a local sheriff had developed a political machine that had taken over the area known as Athens, Tennessee. The political machine had forced people to leave the voting booth, and those who opposed them faced a beating for their opposition. Now had the gun control ideology of present day been in effect in 1946, the people of Athens would not have been able to take back the ballot boxes that were about to be filled with fraudulent ballots by those who had taken over the town of Athens.

There is a plaque showing that a number of World War 2 veterans stood up for their fundamental rights of a fair election; but this was done due to a very powerful part of the United States Constitution, the Second Amendment. An interesting video was made about this action taken by the Citizens of Athens, Tennessee, which displays that the government not only can, but did, go way out of control.

It should not only be watched but shown to all who have the false idea that the government would not go beyond the law.

It has become a very dark day within the United States today when the Senator from California presents a bill that really does nothing at all that would help ensure that another Sandy Hook massacre does not happen (but does infringe on the Second Amendment rights of law abiding citizens.) No one has addressed the root of the problem at all; instead, they go after the legal gun owners. Senator Feinstein has forgotten that Lanza had broken about 20+ laws before even going to the school. She also seems to forget that the man had a very serious mental problem and that if he had been under watch, he would have been stopped from stealing his mother’s guns (not to mention breaking nearly every gun control law on the books in Connecticut.)

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Many people will quickly and wrongly say that the Second Amendment was never meant to allow people to have weapons like those now attempting to be banned, but they are totally wrong. When we look back at many of the statements by the men who started the United States and signed the Constitution, we see the exact opposite of what is being put forth in the legislative process today.

“(The Constitution preserves) the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation… (Where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” –James Madison

“The right of the people to keep and bear…arms shall not be infringed. A well-regulated militia, composed of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country…” 
–James Madison, I Annals of Congress 434 (June 8, 1789)

“A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well-digested plan is requisite; and their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories as tend to render them independent of others for essential, particularly military, supplies.” – George Washington

“What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms.” – Thomas Jefferson

“Those who beat their swords into plowshares usually end up plowing for those who didn’t.
” – Ben Franklin

“When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” – Thomas Jefferson

“The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.” 
– Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers

These great men either wrote, signed, or fought for the Constitution of the United States; and their words show clearly what they had in mind with the Second Amendment. It was with such forethought that they knew that if the people were properly armed, they would “preserve” liberty and freedom. This cannot be denied, and any individual who acts against the Second Amendment acts in a way that should be declared as treason against the very Constitution they took an oath to “support and defend”!

It has come down to “We the People” to preserve the founders’ ideology and not be drawn into the extreme Socialistic views of the far left “progressive” party.

It also must be stated that it is very bad to kill children; but our nation allows the murder of 4,000 children every day through abortion, and very little is done about that. They have heartbeats at 4 days, but our government has legalized their premeditated murder. With this in mind, why is it that our nation seems to take such strong action for 26 people being killed by guns when the very people crying about the innocent children being killed will turn a blind eye to 4,000 being killed each day?

While the issue in Athens, Tennessee was about a ballot box and fraudulent voting, the issue in America today is about much more; and there is far more at stake. However, in the end, the same problem exists; there are lawless men and women who wish to force their ideology on the people by undermining and even directly attacking the United States Constitution.

Military Leaders Oppose Hagel as SecDef – Letter to Senate

By Frank Gaffney – Center for Security Policy

(Washington, D.C.): A distinguished group of fourteen retired generals and admirals, representing all branches of the United States Armed Forces, has signed a letter opposing the nomination of Sen. Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense.

The letter – addressed to Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) and Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), respectively, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee – raises several concerns about the nomination of Sen. Hagel, including:

Sen. Hagel’s support for further cuts to the defense budget. Sen. Hagel stated in late August 2011 that the Pentagon is “bloated” and needs to be “pared down”, contrary to Sec. Panetta’s and Chairman Dempsey’s views that sequestration – the additional hundreds of billions in across-the-board cuts to defense that go well beyond the $787 billion in cuts already sustained by the Department since Sec. Gates’ tenure – would be “disastrous for the defense budget” and “very high risk” to national security;

Former U.S. Senator Hagel walks past U.S. President Obama after being nominated to be Defense Secretary at the White House in Washington

Sen. Hagel’s support for the global elimination of nuclear weapons. Sen. Hagel is a public supporter of the “Global Zero” Initiative, the goal of which is the “elimination of all nuclear weapons.” This stance is ill-advised for any Secretary of Defense, as Russia and China continue to modernize their nuclear capabilities while North Korea and Iran move closer to obtaining them.

Sen. Hagel’s hostility towards Israel. Sen. Hagel has demonstrated an abiding hostility towards Israel, a view that would be detrimental to our national defense and perhaps perilous to our only stable, reliable ally in the Middle East were he to become Secretary.

Sen. Hagel’s outlook towards Iran. Sen. Hagel repeatedly opposed sanctions against Iran while serving in the Senate, and in 2006 stated that “a military strike against Iran, a military option, is not a viable, feasible, responsible option” – an ill-advised statement that undercuts the effectiveness of both diplomatic and military policies to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons capabilities.

The signers of the letter are:

    • Adm. James “Ace” Lyons, USN (Ret.)
    • Lt. Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin, USA (Ret.)
    • Vice Adm. Robert Monroe, USN (Ret.)
    • Lt. Gen. E.G. “Buck” Shuler, Jr., USAF (Ret.)
    • Maj. Gen. Thomas F. Cole, USA (Ret.)
    • Maj. Gen. Vincent E. Falter, USA (Ret.)
    • Rear Adm. H.E. Gerhard, USN (Ret.)
    • Rear Adm. Robert H. Gormley, USN (Ret.)
    • Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Higginbotham, USMC (Ret.)
    • Rear Adm. Don G. Primeau, USN (Ret.)
    • Maj. Gen. Mel Thrash, USA (Ret.)
    • Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely, USA (Ret.)
    • Brig. Gen. William A. Bloomer, USMC (Ret.)
    • Brig. Gen. Ronald K. Kerwood, USA (Ret.)

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., President and CEO of the Center for Security Policy, which facilitated this letter, stated: “These military leaders deserve our profound thanks for once again acting in service to our nation – in this instance, for the purpose of raising awareness of the risks associated with confirming Sen. Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense.

This group knows firsthand that the United States military requires leadership that recognizes the need for a defense budget commensurate with the threats we face; the need for a credible, reliable and effective nuclear deterrent; and the need to support our allies and not accommodate our adversaries. Sen. Hagel lacks these qualities, and hopefully the United States Senate will heed the concerns of these flag and general officers during the course of his confirmation process.”

Read the letter here:

29 January, 2013

Dear Chairman Levin and Ranking Member Inhofe:

As individuals who were privileged to serve our country as flag and general officers in the United States military, we write to you to express our deep concerns about the nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel to serve as Secretary of Defense.

Our nation faces enormous national security challenges as we enter 2013. Addressing those challenges will require leadership at the Pentagon that recognizes the gravity of the threats we face and understands the requirement for a formidable military capable of deterring and, if necessary, overcoming them. Senator Hagel’s record on key issues indicates he is not such a leader.

First, Sen. Hagel stated on 29 August, 2011: “The Defense Department, I think in many ways has been bloated…I think the Pentagon needs to be pared down.” This statement seems to ignore the fact that, the Budget Control Act of 2011 had already cut $487 billion from the defense budget over ten years — let alone that this round of reductions comes on top of the more than $300 billion in cuts that took place under then-Secretary Robert Gates.

Recall that Secretary Leon Panetta on 4 August, 2011 stated that hundreds of billions more in cuts over ten years that sequestration will bring about will be “disastrous to the defense budget.” JCS Chairman General Martin Dempsey has indicated that sequestration poses “very high risk” for national security. Consequently, Sen. Hagel’s assertion that still further cuts are warranted is at odds with the judgment of the Pentagon’s current civilian and military leadership. It suggests a disqualifying lack of understanding of the dire effects such reductions would have on our defense capabilities.

Second, Sen. Hagel is a signatory of the “Global Zero” Initiative, which describes itself as “the “international movement for the elimination of all nuclear weapons.” At a time when Russia and China are increasing and modernizing their nuclear capabilities, North Korea is enhancing its long-range nuclear delivery systems and the weapons they will carry and Iran is moving ever closer to obtaining such arms, we cannot responsibly abandon our deterrent. It would be ill-advised and possibly very dangerous to have as a Secretary of Defense someone who believes otherwise.

Third, Sen. Hagel has demonstrated an abiding hostility towards Israel, a view that would be detrimental to our national defense and perhaps perilous to our ally were he to become Secretary. For example: In 2009, he urged President Obama to undertake direct negotiations with Hamas. In October 2000, he was one of just three Senators to refuse to sign a letter expressing support for Israel during the second Palestinian intifada. In 2002, following several deadly Palestinian suicide-bombing attacks in Israel, he authored a Washington Post op-ed asserting that “Palestinian reformers cannot promote a democratic agenda for change while both the Israeli military occupation and settlement activity continue.”

Israel is our only stable, reliable ally in an increasingly turbulent and hostile Middle East. Given Sen. Hagel’s record of hostility towards the Jewish State, his confirmation could signal to Israel’s enemies and ours that this important bilateral relationship is unraveling. That perception could invite aggression and perhaps another, otherwise avoidable regional war.

Another matter of profound concern is Sen. Hagel’s outlook towards Iran — a country that, among other acts of war against our country, employed its proxy, Hezbollah, to bomb the Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983, resulting in the deaths 241 American servicemen. Sen. Hagel has repeatedly refused to support sanctions against Iran while in the Senate, and in 2006, he stated that “a military strike against Iran, a military option, is not a viable, feasible, responsible option.” This ill-advised statement telegraphs to Tehran that it should not fear a U.S. military response to the continued pursuit of Iranian nuclear weapons. Whichever policies are pursued with the objective of preventing a nuclear Iran can only have hope of success if backed by a credible military deterrent. It would be unwise to confirm a nominee for Secretary of Defense who has already publicly taken that option off the table.

For all of these reasons, it is our professional assessment that confirmation of Sen. Hagel to be Secretary of Defense would be contrary to the United States’ vital national security interests.

Sincerely,

Adm. James “Ace” Lyons, USN (Ret.)
Lt. Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin, USA (Ret.)
Vice Adm. Robert Monroe, USN (Ret.)
Lt. Gen. E.G. “Buck” Shuler, Jr., USAF (Ret.)
Maj. Gen. Thomas F. Cole, USA (Ret.)
Maj. Gen. Vincent E. Falter, USA (Ret.)
Rear Adm. H.E. Gerhard, USN (Ret.)
Rear Adm. Robert H. Gormley, USN (Ret.)
Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Higginbotham, USMC (Ret.)
Rear Adm. Don G. Primeau, USN (Ret.)
Maj. Gen. Mel Thrash, USA (Ret.)
Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely, USA (Ret.)
Brig. Gen. William A. Bloomer, USMC (Ret.)
Brig. Gen. Ronald K. Kerwood, USA (Ret.)

For more information, contact Ben Lerner at (202) 835-9077 or lerner@securefreedom.org<mailto:dreaboi@securefreedom.org

Morsi declares state of emergency in Suez Canal cities

Editor’s Note – Yet another chapter is playing itself out in Egypt – there goes that Obama/Clinton foreign policy thing again, failure. Watch for the 60 Minutes interview with the two of them on Benghazi…

Egypt President Mohamed Morsi declares a state of emergency in Port Said, Suez and Ismailia in the wake of deadly clashes, calls for dialogue with opposition

By Hatem Maher – AhramOnline

Egypt President Mohamed Morsi has on Sunday declared a 30-day state of emergency in Port Said, Suez and Ismailia, the three governorates which have witnessed deadly clashes since the second anniversary of the Egyptian revolution on 25 Jan.

During a speech broadcast on state television, the under-fire Morsi has also said a curfew will be imposed in the three cities from 9 pm to 6 am during the duration of the emergency state in an attempt to curb increasing violence.

Egypt’s Islamist President-elect Mohamed Mursi (R) delivers a speech while surrounded by his body guards in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, June 29, 2012. Mursi took an informal oath of office on Friday before tens of thousands of supporters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, in a slap at the generals trying to limit his power. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh (EGYPT – Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST)

The Islamist president’s decisions take effect from Monday.

“I always said I’m against any exceptional measures, but I also said I might resort to such measures if I had to. I may even do more for the sake of Egypt, it’s my duty,” a glum-looking Morsi added.

Morsi was criticised by his opponents for what they perceived as his poor reaction to nationwide clashes that left dozens dead, including more than 30 in restive city Port Said.

Anger boiled in the coastal city over a court verdict that sentenced 21 football fans to death after they were convicted of killing the supporters of Cairo-based club Ahly in last year’s infamous disaster in Port Said.

Clashes are still ongoing in Port Said, with angry protesters and police forces reportedly firing gunshots at each other. Army was deployed in Port Said and Suez, another city which is a scene of constant confrontations, but it has so far failed to contain the growing violence.

“I instructed interior ministry officials to strictly deal with whoever threatens the people, public and private institutions. Everybody should be aware that Egypt’s institutions are capable of defending the country against any threats,” Morsi added.

Morsi, who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood, also saluted the army and police for “their efforts to protect the country”.

“The recent acts have nothing to do with the revolution, they are against the law and incited by counter revolution. The Egyptian people reject such actions, which are condemned by honorable revolutionaries,” he said.

National Dialogue

Morsi has also reiterated calls for national dialogue, which he described as necessary to overcome the ongoing turmoil that has plunged Egypt into deep economic and political crises.

“We have no option but to engage in a dialogue, this is the only way to pass the current phase and achieve stability,” he stated.

“I decided to invite the political figures for a national dialogue tomorrow.”

The National Salvation front, Egypt’s main opposition, listed five demands that included forming a new government and amending the “distorted constitution”, which was approved by around 64 per cent of Egyptian voters in a national referendum last month.

Opposition says the new constitution does not fulfill the goals of the revolution because it “disregards” the rights of women and the minorities, including Christians who make up about 10% of Egypt’s population.

Morsi supporters believe the new constitution puts Egypt on the right path to democracy.

The Brotherhood, oppressed for decades by military strongmen, propelled Morsi into power in Egypt’s first free elections last year.

Hypocrite Feinstein Introduces Misguided Gun Legislation

Editor’s Note – Senator Diane Feinstein has introduced her bill on gun control and it goes well beyond the original Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, better known as The Federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB), or Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act. She held an elaborate and highly attended press conference:

On one side were pegboard panels mounted with various assault rifles and semi-automatic weapons — including a Bushmaster similar to the one used in last month’s Newtown school massacre.

Behind the stage stood police officers supporting a renewed ban on such firepower. One by one, victims of gun violence told their brief stories and expressed support for a new federal ban being proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein on some assault rifles and semi-automatic weapons.

‘These massacres don’t seem to stop, they continue on,’ Feinstein said Thursday. | M.Scott Mahaskey/POLITICO

The actual text of the new bill can be read in its entirety here. The bill is set to have exemptions of course but goes far beyond previous measures:

Not everyone will have to abide by Senator Dianne Feinstein’s gun control bill. If the proposed legislation becomes law, government officials and others will be exempt.

“Mrs. Feinstein’s measure would exempt more than 2,200 types of hunting and sporting rifles; guns manually operated by bolt, pump, lever or slide action; and weapons used by government officials, law enforcement and retired law enforcement personnel,” the Washington Times reports.

The Huffington Post confirms these exemptions, and adds that guns owned prior to the legislation becoming law will be permissible, too. “[T]he bill includes a number of exemptions: It exempts more than 2,200 hunting and sporting weapons; any gun manually operated by a bolt, pump, lever or slide action; any weapons used by government officials and law enforcement; and any weapons legally owned as of the date of the bill’s enactment.” (Read more at the Weekly Standard.)

Its clear to see that this bill is the just the beginning of her and the left’s real motives to totally disarm citizens over time. Her words were:

“The purpose is to dry up the supply of these weapons over time,” Feinstein said. “Therefore, there is no sunset on this bill.” (More here.)

In response of course, the NRA released their response:

In a statement on Thursday, the NRA said that Feinstein “has been trying to ban guns from law-abiding citizens for decades.”

“The American people know gun bans do not work and we are confident Congress will reject Senator Feinstein’s wrong-headed approach,” the organization added. (Read more here at CNN.)

There is one major problem for her though, besides the fact that the gun grab bill is unconstitutional and the fact that States’ crime rates show scant linkage to gun laws; there aren’t enough votes in the Senate to support it, including many Democrats. From Bloomberg:

A proposed ban on sales of assault weapons would be defeated in the U.S. Senate today unless some members changed their current views, based on a Bloomberg review of recent lawmaker statements and interviews.

At least six of the 55 senators who caucus with Democrats have recently expressed skepticism or outright opposition to a ban, the review found. That means Democrats wouldn’t have a simple 51-vote majority to pass the measure, let alone the 60 votes needed to break a Republican filibuster to bring it to a floor vote.

Of course this press conference brought back many memories of her previous news conferences about gun control where she displayed her amazing lack of understanding gun safety when handling weapons. A quick Google image search produced many instances where she mishandled weapons, all from a woman who has a concealed carry permit, and carries a fire arm.

The response to the introduction of the bill was quick and came from all over the map but here is good summary of that reaction to Feinstein’s ‘overreaction’:

Senator Dianne Feinstein’s Gun Bill: Disingenuous Overreaction

Written by Bob Adelmann – The New American

The reaction to California Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein’s introduction of her bill “The Assault Weapons Ban of 2013” on Thursday was almost immediate. The director of public relations for the National Rifle Association (NRA), Andrew Arulanandam, stated:

Senator Feinstein has been trying to ban guns from law-abiding citizens for decades. It’s disappointing but not surprising that she is once again focused on curtailing the Constitution instead of prosecuting criminals….

The American people know gun bans do not work and we are confident Congress will reject Senator Feinstein’s wrong-headed approach.

In her introduction of the bill on Thursday, Feinstein noted that she and her staff had been working on it for more than a year, waiting for the best time to offer it. The Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, gave her that opportunity:

The bill introduced today is the product of more than a year of work, with input from across the country. Getting this bill signed into law will be an uphill battle, and I recognize that — but it’s a battle worth waging.

We must balance the desire of a few to own military-style assaults weapons with the growing threat to lives across America. If 20 dead children in Newtown wasn’t a wake-up call that these weapons of war don’t belong on our streets, I don’t know what is.

She outlined the principal goals for her bill: It would prohibit “the sale, manufacture, transfer and importation of 157 of the most commonly-owned military-style assault weapons.” In addition, her bill would ban “large-capacity magazines … that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.”

In addition, any transfer such assault weapons would require a background check first, even for private face-to-face sales, and such weapons would be required to be “stored safely using a secure gun storage or safety device in order to keep them away from ‘prohibited’ persons.”

Finally, anyone owning a now-banned high capacity magazine would be prohibited, under federal law, from selling it or giving it away to anyone else.

She said that her bill would reduce greatly the mass shootings that occurred in Newtown, Connecticut, Aurora, Colorado and elsewhere:

I believe this bill is a big step toward ending the mass shootings that have devastated families across the country — from Newtown to Aurora, from Tucson to Virginia Tech, from Columbine to Oak Creek.

And then she took a swing at the makers of such weapons:

It’s time for Americans to stand up and tell the gun manufacturers that the lives of our children are more important than their profits and get these dangerous weapons out of our schools, our workplaces, our malls and our theaters. It’s time to take action, and we’ll get it done, no matter how long it takes.

Cosponsors of her bill predictably included anti-gunners such as Senators Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Carl Levin (D-Mich.), John Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.).

Once enacted, her bill would be just a first step toward total confiscation of guns from the American people. She admitted: “The purpose [of my bill] is to dry up the supply of these weapons over time … [and would be] a significant first step as part of a comprehensive program [of gun confiscation].”

A close look at her bill shows that Feinstein means exactly what she says. Banned would be:

  • All semiautomatic rifles that can accept a detachable magazine and have at least one military feature: pistol grip; forward grip; folding, telescoping, or detachable stock; grenade launcher or rocket launcher; barrel shroud; or threaded barrel.
  • All semiautomatic pistols that can accept a detachable magazine and have at least one military feature: threaded barrel; second pistol grip; barrel shroud; capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside of the pistol grip; or semiautomatic version of an automatic firearm.
  • All semiautomatic rifles and handguns that have a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.
  • All semiautomatic shotguns that have a folding, telescoping, or detachable stock; pistol grip; fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 5 rounds; ability to accept a detachable magazine; forward grip; grenade launcher or rocket launcher; or shotgun with a revolving cylinder.
  • All ammunition feeding devices (magazines, strips, and drums) capable of accepting more than 10 rounds.

Her bill would also require:

  • a background check on all sales or transfers of a grandfathered assault weapon.

This background check can be run through the FBI or, if a state chooses, initiated with a state agency, as with the existing background check system.

It would prohibit:

  • the sale or transfer of large-capacity ammunition feeding devices lawfully possessed on the date of enactment of the bill.

It would impose:

  • a safe storage requirement for grandfathered firearms, to keep them away from prohibited persons.

And it would require that:

  • assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition feeding devices manufactured after the date of the bill’s enactment be engraved with the serial number and date of manufacture of the weapon.

The list of the more than 150 firearms prohibited in her bill includes well-known names such as Rock River Arms, Norinco, Armalite, Beretta, Bushmaster, Remington, Sig-Sauer, Smith & Wesson, and Thompson.

In reviewing this list with Bob Joly, a certified NRA instructor in Peyton, Colorado, Joly said, “She’s banning everything. These are just military ‘lookalikes’ but she doesn’t like the way they look and so she wants to get rid of them. We’ll all be automatic lawbreakers if this thing passes.”

The chances of Feinstein’s bill becoming law are between slim and none. House leaders won’t even consider the bill until it, or something like it, passes the Senate. And Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has acknowledged that Feinstein’s bill “could not pass the Senate,” although he has agreed to bring some milder legislation to the floor.

A graduate of Cornell University and a former investment advisor, Bob is a regular contributor to The New American and blogs frequently at www.LightFromTheRight.com, primarily on economics and politics. He can be reached at badelmann@thenewamerican.com.