Center for Security Policy – Experts Reject Brennan for CIA

National Security Experts Warn: Reject Brennan

Press Release from the Center for Security Policy

For immediate release – Contact David Reaboi | dreaboi@securefreedom.org| (202) 835-9077

Scroll down for important video.

Washington, D.C.: With the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence scheduled to vote tomorrow on John Brennan’s nomination to become the next Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, it has become clear that Senators simply do not have all the information necessary for an informed decision on so sensitive an appointment. In an effort to illuminate the nominee’s shortcomings that demand – but have yet to receive – close scrutiny, the Center for Security Policy convened a virtual press conference featuring video-taped comments by six of the country’s preeminent experts on, among other things, the threat of Islamism and Brennan’s blindness to it.

The video includes powerful statements by Steve Emerson, Executive Director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism; Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy; Chris Farrell, Vice President for Investigations and Research for Judicial Watch; Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, USA Ret., former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence; Andrew C. McCarthy, former federal prosecutor and author of The Grand Jihad and Spring Fever; and Stephen Coughlin, Senior Fellow at the Center for Security Policy and author of the forthcoming book, Catastrophic Failure.

The video, National Security Experts Warn: Reject Brennan, compliments the Center’s other efforts to educate the public, media and policymakers about the dangers of a possible Brennan tenure at the CIA, including a collection of Brennan-related resources and several investigative pieces.

Andrew McCarthy–who successfully prosecuted the Blind Sheikh who, twenty years ago yesterday, conspired to blow up the World Trade Center–said:

Making John Brennan the director of the Central Intelligence Agency is the most monumental mismatch of man and mission that I can imagine. The point of having our intelligence agencies is to make sure that we have a coherent, accurate idea of the threats that confront the United States. Unfortunately, Mr. Brennan’s career, and certainly the signature that he has put on the national security component of the Obama administration has been to blind the United States to the threats against us.

Steve Emerson, one of the country’s preeminent counter-terrorism experts added:

John Brennan, CIA director nominee, is uniquely unqualified to be the CIA director as evidenced by him being the architect of the outreach program to the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States as well as in the Middle East. In the course of the investigation conducted by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, we discovered that there were at least four hundred visits in the three years between 2009 and 2012 to the White House of radical Islamic groups, some of whom were unindicted co-conspirators in terrorism trials, but all of whom had been involved in establishing radical Islamic rhetoric, including support for Hamas, Hezbollah, denigrating the US, calling this a war against Islam by the United States.
Zuhdi Jasser, a leader of anti-Islamist Muslims in America, warned that:
…The reports put out from [John Brennan’s] counter-terrorism office at the White House…did not recognize the [Islamist] ideology. They noted a “radical ideology,” but didn’t name what it was — even though the word ‘ideology’ was mentioned twenty times. Our American-Islamic Leadership Coalition, that includes over 20 different reform-based organizations that are anti-Islamist, were not consulted. And, you can see from the report, that it seems to be very similar to things put out by groups like the Muslim Public Affairs Council and the Islamic Society of North America. Unfortunately, John Brennan has had a very cozy relationship to these groups and has often used their talking points when speaking out about Islam, Islamism, jihad, and the threat…. In every position Brennan has been it, he has been more a facilitator of Islamist groups rather than a counterweight to them, in order to oppose them and confront them.

The Center today also released a letter signed by fifteen conservative leaders – many of whom have extensive experience with national security policy making and practice – calling on congressional leaders to launch a bicameral select committee to investigate the Benghazigate scandal. John Brennan’s involvement in the run-up to the murderous attack on September 11, 2012, his conduct during that seven-hour engagement and his role in the subsequent cover-up must be addressed before he is allowed, as Rep. Trent Franks recently put it “anywhere near the CIA, let alone running it.”

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'Sequester' used as excuse to blame Reps and release illegals

Editor’s Note – As the ‘sequester’ deadline approaches, the public is exposed to just how our government works – that is, if they are paying attention. The measly amount that is set to be cut is being blown out of proportion by the President – this by the man who was for the ‘sequester’ before he was against it, even though his administration invented this version.

He blames the House of Representatives for the lack of negotiation because the Republicans control that body, but at last look, they were the only ones ever doing anything as is demonstrated by Speaker Boehner’s remarks today. But that still has not prevented the President, through his DHS Secretary to release illegal immigrants from prison using the ‘sequester’ as the excuse. From Business Insider:

House Speaker John Boehner got a bit unplugged during his weekly press conference today, pointedly telling the Senate to “get off their ass and do something” to find a way to avert the sequester. Boehner pushed a familiar refrain during a nearly 10-minute press conference: The House has twice passed legislation to replace the sequester’s spending cuts. Now, the Senate must act. “We should not have to move a third bill before the Senate gets off their ass and begins to do something,” Boehner said.  “The House has done its job,” Boehner added.

The across-the-board cuts of the sequester are set to begin kicking in at the end of this week. Boehner and other Republicans are locked in a battle with President Barack Obama and Democrats over how to avert those cuts. Obama is set to take his message to Newport News, Va., today to warn about the cutsThe bills passed by the House expired with the end of last Congress. But Boehner said that wasn’t an excuse for the Senate. “It’s time for the Senate to act. We’ve acted,” Boehner said, in a pointed tone. He said that if the Senate acts, the House would be prepared to act “quickly.”

Remember, the ‘sequester’ only reduces the rate of growth on the non-existent budget that was ballooned by TARP and ‘stimulus packages’ – next up – the ‘continuing resolution’ in place of any budget. As the right is demagogued incessantly, and the ‘optics’ focus on them by the MSM, ‘we the people’ get poorer by the second.

Why is the Senate not held accountable? Four plus years – no budgets, wonderful leadership. Scared now?

Illegal immigrants set free from detention centers as sequester approaches

By Stephen Dinan – The Washington Times

The sequester is officially still three days away, but the Obama administration already is making the first cuts, with officials confirming that the Homeland Security Department has begun to release what it deems low-priority illegal immigrants from detention.

The move is proving controversial. Immigrant-rights groups say it shows the administration was detaining folks it never should have gone after in the first place, while Republicans questioned the decision-making.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency that runs the detention facilities, said in a statement that the “current fiscal climate” has forced it to do a review of spending, and part of that is taking a look at who is being detained.

“As a result of this review, a number of detained aliens have been released around the country and placed on an appropriate, more cost-effective form of supervised release,” ICE said in a statement.

While being released from detention, the illegal immigrants are usually still subject to supervision — either by electronic device or by being required to check in with ICE by phone or in person.

The move first was reported by The Huffington Post on Monday.

The sequesters are $85 billion in spending cuts this year, followed by equivalent cuts for the rest of this decade. They were set in motion by the 2011 debt deal and will require across-the-board cuts to all government spending save for entitlements such as Social Security.

The cuts take effect on Friday, and all sides on Capitol Hill say they want to avert them — though they cannot agree on how to do so.

The Obama administration, which wants to see the cuts replaced in large part by new tax increases, has warned that the sequesters will hurt national security.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Monday told reporters at the White House that she would be forced to furlough Border Patrol agents, pulling them from their rounds along the U.S.-Mexico border.

She also hinted at the decision to release illegal immigrants, saying she would not be able to maintain the full slate of 34,000 detention beds mandated by Congress.

“How am I supposed to pay for those? There’s only so much I can do,” she said.

United We Dream, an immigrant-rights group, said the releases show the administration has been keeping folks detained who never should have been there.

“Low-priority individuals — people who pose absolutely no risk or danger to society, but rather are upstanding members of their communities and families — should not have been locked up to begin with,” said Carolina Canizales, coordinator of United We Dream’s End Our Pain program.

Henry Jackson Society releases report today on Al-Qaeda

Most In-Depth Report on Al-Qaeda Terrorism in the U.S. to be Released Feb. 26 by The Henry Jackson Society

Former Director of the CIA and NSA Gen. Michael Hayden and report author Robin Simcox will speak at the event being held 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), 1800 K Street, N.W. The report is the most in-depth study of al-Qaeda terrorism in the United States ever to be published and similar reports from the Henry Jackson Society focused on the U.K. have been used by the British government in formulating national counterterrorism and counter-radicalization strategy.

Originally posted at PR Web– Online Visibility from Vocus

Former CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden

The most in-depth study of al-Qaeda terrorism in the United States ever to be published will be released by the UK-based think tank The Henry Jackson Society at an event on Feb. 26, 2013. Former Director of the CIA and the NSA Gen. Michael Hayden and report author Robin Simcox will speak at the launch event, which is open to the press and being held 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), 1800 K Street, N.W. Both Hayden and Simcox will be available immediately following the event to take questions from the media.

The report, entitled Al-Qaeda in the United States: A Complete Analysis of Terrorism Offenses is a 700-page publication by Henry Jackson Society Research Fellow Robin Simcox, featuring a foreword by General Hayden. The report provides a full analysis of all those convicted of al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda-inspired terrorism in U.S. courts (federal and military) or who committed suicide attacks on U.S. soil between 1997 and 2011.

In addition to profiling all 171 individuals convicted or killed carrying out the attacks, the report includes a comprehensive statistical breakdown and analysis of key trends. The report examines the nationality, age, religious conversion, place of residence and education levels of each perpetrator. It also analyzes the type of charge, the role of each individual offender, connections to terrorist networks and whether the individual had terrorist training and/or combat experience.

Simcox, who specializes in al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda-inspired terrorism, previously authored Islamist Terrorism: The British Connections, the most comprehensive study ever produced on worldwide connections of Islamist terrorism to Britain. The two versions of the report (2010 and 2011) have been used by the British government in formulating national counterterrorism and counter-radicalization strategy. In 2011 alone, Islamist Terrorism: The British Connections was extensively referenced in three major British government reviews of counterterrorism and extremism.

Credentialed journalists interested in attending should R.S.V.P. ahead of time by emailing Ryan Sickles of CSIS at rsickles(at)csis(dot)org.

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Report: Majority of Convicted Terrorists in U.S. Are American Citizens

by Eli Lake – Daily Beast

They’re college-educated, have jobs and were born and raised here. A new study finds the terrorist threat is increasingly in our own backyard. Eli Lake reports.

In 1997, a Sudanese man named Jamal Ahmed al-Fadl became the first person to plead guilty in the United States to offenses related to being part of al Qaeda. Between al-Fadl’s conviction and the end of 2011, 170 other individuals have been convicted by American courts or military commissions for committing crimes on behalf of, or inspired by, the organization responsible for the 9-11 attacks.

A new study finds that a majority of these operatives were American citizens. Nearly a quarter were converts to Islam. More than half had completed some form of college course work.Some of the names are well known, such as John Walker Lindh, the American who was found by U.S. troops in 2001 to be fighting with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Others are described as al Qaeda aspirants, and were arrested and convicted of plotting terrorist acts after an informant or undercover FBI officer lured them into a sting.

While several organizations have examined the trend of Americans joining al Qaeda, the new study from the Henry Jackson Society, a right-leaning think tank in London, goes into specific biographical and demographic detail on the individuals themselves.

The study is especially timely this month as the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has demanded President Obama release Justice Department legal memos spelling out his authority to kill U.S. citizens who have joined al Qaeda overseas. Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, has threatened to hold the nomination of John Brennan to be the next CIA director until he gets a statement from the White House that Obama does not have the authority to use drones against American citizens on American soil.

As for who joins al Qaeda, the report says there aren’t many advance signs. “There needs to be an acknowledgement that the threat can come from any region of the country, from any background or educational status,” said the report’s main author, Robin Simcox. “There is no classic profile for the home grown al Qaeda threat in the United States, the key here is to look at the spread of ideology and not profile for education, race or social status.”

Mike Hayden, the last CIA director under George W. Bush and the author of a preface to the new study, compared it to a baseball encyclopedia. “The way I would view this, this is not about targeting Americans or American groups, this is about being aware that Americans and American groups are being targeted by al Qaeda for recruitment,” he said.

This is a very different picture of the al Qaeda threat top national security officials warned about after 9-11. In that world, the threat was largely from highly trained individuals who infiltrated into the U.S. on fake passports or through other means. The report found that only 47 percent of the individuals convicted of al Qaeda-related offenses attended some kind of training camp. Of those who received training, 68 percent attended a camp in Afghanistan, 29 percent in Pakistan and 5 percent in Somalia.

Of the 171 convicted, 61 were born in the U.S. Of those, 17 are African American and 13 are Caucasian. The rest include Iraqi-, Jordanian-, and Egyptian-Americans.

The study also shows that 89 of 171 individuals convicted have received at least some kind of college education, with 39 individuals earning an advanced degree. At the time of their arrests, 97 of the total either had jobs or were in school.

Al Qaeda-related offenses, as defined by the study, can include anything from providing material support to al Qaeda to participating in attempted mass murder. The vast majority of the data for the report is culled from documents from U.S. federal court cases.

“As shown by many years of real-world experience, our federal courts are fully capable of handling terrorism prosecutions,” said James Benjamin, a lawyer with Akin Gump who authored a report in July 2009 on U.S. prosecutions of terrorism cases for Human Rights First. “Compiling statistics requires judgment calls, but we can all learn a great deal from the extensive factual record of successful terrorism cases in our courts during the past 15 years.”

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Eli Lake is the senior national-security correspondent for Newsweek and the Daily Beast. He previously covered national security and intelligence for the Washington Times. Lake has also been a contributing editor at The New Republic since 2008 and covered diplomacy, intelligence, and the military for the late New York Sun. He has lived in Cairo and traveled to war zones in Sudan, Iraq, and Gaza. He is one of the few journalists to report from all three members of President Bush’s axis of evil: Iraq, Iran, and North Korea.

Guns, Veterans, Competency, and PTSD

By SUA Staff – What is happening to the care of our veterans? Either they have to wait for years for treatment and/or get resolution of claims, or they are being branded as incompetent because of PTSD issues and having the right to bare arms removed for ever. These are just a few of the complex issues facing our warriors and their families.

General Shinseki was appointed as the Secretary for Veterans Affairs four years ago to fix these problems.

Obama appointed Shinseki, the first four-star Asian-American General on Pearl Harbor Day in 2008 and he was applauded as the answer to the VA’s issues.:

“We owe it to all our veterans to honor them as we honored our Greatest Generation,” the President-elect said. “Not just with words, but with deeds.” General Shinseki’s appointment has garnered the support and praise of veterans’ organizations. 

Veterans for Common Sense released a statement in “strong” support of Shinseki.

Four Star General Eric Shinseki, Secretary of Veterans Affairs

The statement read: “In February 2003, General Shinseki honestly and correctly assessed our nation’s military needs before the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. This same level of candor and honesty will serve President-elect Obama well so he can quickly and accurately identify VA’s many challenges and then implement responsible solutions that take into consideration our veterans’ needs and concerns.”

But, four years later, organizations, veterans, and now the Speaker of the House are expressing great concern:

Today, Congressman John Boehner (R-West Chester) released a letter to Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) Eric Shinseki requesting information and calling for action on the alarmingly high backlog of compensation claims in Ohio despite the VA’s announcement of a transformation plan at the Cleveland Veterans Affairs Regional Office (VARO) in the summer of 2012.

As noted in the letter, the Cleveland (VARO), responsible for handling claims from Boehner’s Eighth Congressional District and other areas, is currently processing claims in an average of 334 days – above the national average of 272 days, and well above the VA’s own stated goal of 125 days.  Since the transformation process officially began at the Cleveland VARO in July 2012, the average time to process a claim has increased by 20 percent, or about 56 days.

“I was hopeful the new system would provide a quicker and more efficient claim approval process, but unfortunately I have been disappointed and disheartened by the results,” said Congressman Boehner. “My office is currently handling nearly 100 unresolved claims cases that are awaiting answers from the Cleveland VARO.  From a veteran who has already been waiting more than a year to simply add her newborn daughter as a dependent, to a veteran who submitted his claim more than two years ago and has yet to receive an answer, the examples of systematic failures being reported by my constituents in the Eighth District and across Ohio are shameful. The more than 50,000 veterans currently living in my Congressional District, and all of our nation’s veterans, deserve better, and I will continue to raise concerns until the system works the way it should.” (Read the entire letter here and here.)

Compounding these issues is the high level of PTSD cases suffered by a great many veterans, a high suicide rate, and veterans turning to crime and drugs. It is an embarrassing situation, in fact so embarrassing, there was no public release of a report on the subject by Shinseki and the VA. Fortunately someone did find the report:

The Department of Veterans Affairs has quietly released a new report on post-traumatic stress disorder, showing that since 9/11, nearly 30 percent of the 834,463 Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans treated at V.A. hospitals and clinics have been diagnosed with PTSD.

Veterans advocates say the new V.A. report is the most damning evidence yet of the profound impact multiple deployments have had on American service men and women since 9/11. Troops who’ve been deployed multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan are more than three times as likely as soldiers with no previous deployments to screen positive for PTSD and major depression, according to a 2010 study published by the American Journal for Public Health.

The report, which revealed that 247,243 veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars have been diagnosed with PTSD, was buried on the V.A.’s website without fanfare. “As far as we can tell, V.A. didn’t tell anyone these numbers were made public,” says veterans advocate Paul Sullivan at Bergmann & Moore, a law firm that focuses entirely on veteran disability issues. “No press release. Nothing. I actually found the report while searching for new data. I simply changed the V.A.’s web address from second quarter to third quarter by altering one digit, and the new numbers appeared. Magic, eh?” (Read more here.)

Christopher Scott “Chris” Kyle was a United States Navy SEAL and the most lethal sniper in American military history.

Many sufferers of PTSD are simply being pushed out the door or declared incompetent and if it were not for the recent killing of former SEAL and war hero Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield by former Marine Eddie Ray Routh the subject may still lay hidden from view. Routh was released just two days prior to the shooting. Now the situation does beg the question, how many returning veterans are thrown under the bus with regard to their mental capacity when in fact, they are healthy and completely functional, or are they? Who is making these judgments and why? This very disturbing when it is coupled with what is now happening to our veterans.

Unfortunately, a label has now been attached to returning veterans along with many other citizens over the perceived likelihood that there is a homegrown terror threat in all of us. This has been widely publicized when written directives and training curricula were drafted by the Department of Homeland Security without so much as a whimper or strong reactions from most but the dedicated rational patriotic Americans across the land.

Now many veterans are just kicked out the door, but what is worse is that many are receiving notice that they can no longer own weapons. Just what is the Department of Veteran Affairs using to disarm veterans? Well, there is a well coordinated internal document recently uncovered that address all the steps that Veteran Administrations across the country use to affect veterans competency, and therefore owning firearms. See the lengthy form and instructions here.

In recent days, in has come to our attention that veterans are receiving letters that prohibit veterans from transporting, purchasing, possessing or receiving firearms. This comes without some formal investigation or rationale for these demands by the Department of Veteran Affairs. The actual letter can be read here in its entirety but here is a summary from a column written by Constitutional Attorney Michael Connelly, J.D.:

How would you feel if you received a letter from the U.S. Government informing you that because of a physical or mental condition that the government says you have it is proposing to rule that you are incompetent to handle your own financial affairs? Suppose that letter also stated that the government is going to appoint a stranger to handle your affairs for you at your expense? That would certainly be scary enough but it gets worse.

What if that letter also stated: “A determination of incompetency will prohibit you from purchasing, possessing, receiving, or transporting a firearm or ammunition. If you knowingly violate any of these prohibitions, you may be fined, imprisoned, or both pursuant to the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, Pub.L.No. 103-159, as implemented at 18, United States Code 924(a)(2).”? (Read the rest here.)

In a vacuum, each of the above issues should raise the hair on the backs of every American’s neck, but when you also take into account the recent marquis topic of gun control, things get a bit scary.

Instead of focusing on or economic woes, our interactions in so many problematic lands, or getting America back to work, we have a President who wants to focus gun control, climate change, and women in combat as he spoke in the State of the Union Address and his Inauguration.

He was for the ‘sequester’ before he was against it, even though his administration dreamed it up, now the veterans may be adversely affected even more deeply.

It is time now for all retired military and active soldiers to have their voices heard, perhaps this can be a start of that dialogue. We grieve for those that no longer walk with us because they gave their all in a combat theater and certainly those at home who are victims of deranged gunmen. We must have an active debate on the effective treatment of PTSD and the obscure decisions by the Department of Defense via the Department of Veteran Affairs to disarm veterans.

Lawmakers have enabled agencies to create regulations and procedures but sadly these have become judge and jury on all citizens and they are drunk with the power of the pen and their ideological agendas. Gun related murder is not about the gun, its about the metal state of the shooter. Even those who do such great work for our wounded warriors cannot seem to leave their ideological agendas at the door as was recently revealed.

Now it seems, even the Wounded Warriors Project is getting political with an anti-gun policy. Even so, we still hope you will support them as they do so much good.

 

'Obamaquester' – What it really entails and who thought it up

By Denise Simon – The ‘sequester’ is close to implementation and we may see exactly what happens when political wrangling trumps our security. The President blames the Republicans in the House of Representatives, but it was Obama and Jack Lew who came up with the idea of ‘sequestration’. He can deny it, or obfuscate, or change the focus, but it was done as a political ploy first and foremost.

FactCheck.com tries to sell that it was an agreement by the House, Senate and the President, but it was all done as ploy. The ploy had America’s back to the wall and they know it – it was a pressure tactic that was agreed upon to force Obama to lead in spending cuts, which have not happened.

The White House and its sycophants, apologists, and surrogates want America to believe its the Tea Party and and the entrenched Republicans who are causing the harm. That however is far from the truth. Harry Reid and Jack Lew made it happen at the behest of the Obama team and it was clearly part of reelection efforts.

John Boehner, speaking with Hugh Hewitt lays it out clearly (Read the whole interview here.):

The clock is closer than in the picture, but March 1 is almost upon us.

Having first proposed and demanded the sequester, it would make sense that the president lead the effort to replace it. Unfortunately, he has put forth no detailed plan that can pass Congress, and the Senate—controlled by his Democratic allies—hasn’t even voted on a solution, let alone passed one. By contrast, House Republicans have twice passed plans to replace the sequester with common-sense cuts and reforms that protect national security.

The press is only recently understanding the machinations of the Obama team, albeit, four years late, but we can still hope that America will finally see that the king has no clothes on after all. Meanwhile, upon any level of inspection, Obama is clearly striving to destroy our military, and is scaring people by saying cuts will be severe.

Mark Levin lays out the argument here. This audio by Levin is a must listen piece on waste and big government and why Obama is lying to us. There have been almost zero cuts, yet Obama claims so much has already been done – its all lies.

Much has been mentioned in the last 18 months regarding the far and wide devastation of ‘Sequestration’.

A Super Committee was created to work through the process to avoid Sequestration but that measure also failed. The White House and the lobby groups have been on a loud and vocal quest to blame Republicans and the House of Representatives for what looms as Sequestration takes affect on March 1, 2013. The House has worked diligently to pass laws that stop the devastating cuts, most especially cuts in defense, while none of the measure by the House have been provided attention or vote by the Senate.

Lets take a look at what Sequester impacts on both sides. This is not a complete list and the depth of the cuts are not explained as that can be determined by a review of the associated links here and here.

What gets cut:

TSA, FDA food inspectors ,Head-Start, Defense, Parks Service, National Guard, Border Patrol, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Secret Service, FEMA, Air Federal Marshalls, FAA, Special Education Teachers, Center for Disease Control, NASA, Security and Exchange Commission, Foreign aid with particular emphasis on Israel and Mexico (130 countries affected), and among others, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (nuclear weapons)

What is exempt:

Social Security, Railroad employees retirement, Veteran’s Administration benefits, Unemployment, Tribal and Indian Trust Accounts, Child nutrition, Children’s Heath Insurance, Pell Grants, Medicaid, SNAP, food stamps, Highway Safety Grants, Motor Carrier Safety Operations, Federal pay, Child Support Enforcement, FDIC, Farm Credits, and among others, the Tennessee Valley Authority.

In a snapshot assessment of what stays and what goes, it is clear that programs related to National Security and Foreign Affairs are set to feel the the brunt in ‘Sequester’ while domestic programs geared to funding the indigent remain. In short, the dangerous world will be even more dangerous and education and healthcare remains protected. We have yet to understand the large numbers of those that will be unemployed and what our enemies will take advantage of regarding our homeland. But here is one area that will be effected immediately:

Pentagon informs Congress of plans to furlough 800K civilians

By Jeremy Herb – The Hill

The Pentagon notified Congress on Wednesday it will be furloughing its civilian workforce of 800,000 employees if sequestration goes into effect March 1.

Defense officials have warned lawmakers that sequestration will devastate the military and lead to a hollow force, but the civilian furloughs will be one of the first major impacts felt by the across-the-board cuts.

The Pentagon furloughs will affect civilians across the country. Pentagon officials have said that civilians could face up to 22 days of furloughs, one per week, through the end of the fiscal year in September. The employees would receive 30 days notice before being furloughed.

“We are doing everything possible to limit the worst effects on DOD personnel — but I regret that our flexibility within the law is extremely limited,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta wrote in a message to the department. “The president has used his legal authority to exempt military personnel funding from sequestration, but we have no legal authority to exempt civilian personnel funding from reductions.”

The Joint Chiefs also testified before both the House and Senate last week to lay out the dangers of sequestration, as the Pentagon has taken a much more proactive approach to the cuts than when they were set to hit in January.

The potential for furloughs was one of the few things DOD officials announced before the Jan. 2 deadline, which was delayed two months in the “fiscal-cliff” deal.

President Obama on Tuesday spoke to first responders who he also warned could be furloughed due to sequestration. He urged Republicans to compromise and stop the cuts.

Obama will be on the road again next week with campaign-style events arguing that Republicans are at fault for the cuts, while the GOP blames the White House for the sequester.

“Republicans in Congress face a simple choice,” the president said Tuesday. “Are they willing to compromise to protect vital investments in education and healthcare and national security and all the jobs that depend on them? Or would they rather put hundreds of thousands of jobs and our entire economy at risk just to protect a few special interest tax loopholes that benefit only the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations?”

But Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in response to the Pentagon furloughs that Obama has yet to put forward a plan to stop the across-the-board cuts, while the House has passed an alternative.

“I agree with the secretary of Defense that the impact of the president’s sequester would be devastating to our military,” Boehner said in a statement. “That’s why the House has acted twice to replace the president’s sequester with common-sense cuts and reforms that protect our national security, and it’s why I’ve been calling on the president for more than a year to press his Democratic-controlled Senate to do the same.”

The back-and-forth is part of a blame game between the White House and congressional Republicans as the cuts are less than two weeks out, with no apparent movement to stop them before March 1.

Preparations for cuts from sequestration and the department’s budget uncertainty are continuing in the defense industry.

BAE Systems notified 3,600 employees Tuesday that they could be laid off over a loss of work from the Navy, due primarily to the Pentagon facing a continuing resolution.

Bill Clifford, president of BAE Systems Ship Repair, told Ship Repair employees that the notifications under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act were going out to employees at four BAE locations in Norfolk, Va., Mayport, Fla., San Diego, Calif., and Hawaii.

“We do not take these decisions lightly, and we regret the anxiety it causes our employees and their families. I also recognize this news is unsettling, but rest assured we are working closely with our Navy customer and members of Congress to mitigate the impact of these proposed reductions,” Clifford wrote.

The WARN Act notices were a major political fight between Congress and the Obama administration during the 2012 campaign. After defense contractors threatened sending out mass notices before sequestration, the administration told contractors not to issue them 60 days before the cuts took effect — and also took the step of promising to cover layoff costs if contractors had to immediately fire workers.

In this case, BAE appears to be issuing the notices with enough time that it will follow the WARN law and not incur extra costs.