Judiciary Committee Hearing on 'Failure to Execute the Laws'

UPDATE – As of 5PM Eastern, the House Judiciary Committee video is now view-able. Testimony begins at approximately minute 37. We have now embedded the video below.

Editor’s Note – Constitutional Crisis? Egregious erosion of the balance of power? Failure of the Judiciary to secure the balance? Failure to faithfully execute the laws? Why is the term ‘elastic power’ so important? What about the ‘guilt in the legal flaw of standing silent?’ Is there ‘Congressional despair because of the political interests’ of the President?

On Wednesday, February 27th, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the subject of Executive Branch usurpation of power and what many believe is a failure of the President and his administration to live up to their oath under the Constitution where they accepted the duty to faithfully execute the laws of the land. Professor Turley had one very important statement: “We will all loathe the day we remained silent on the shift of power.”

Did you see it? Can you see it now? Why not? It may be the most important hearing held in decades – all need to watch. It was a civics lesson extraordinaire! Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and others really probed the waters deeply in a very legal manner that was also very non-politically slanted. But where were the Democrats? Sheila Jackson Leigh did show up, only long enough to rail that the Republicans were using such terms, and John Conyers was there as well, but…you be the judge.

The hearing was chaired by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) with two panels of experts testifying and answering questions. Many of us caught parts of the almost three hour hearing and were riveted by the testimony. What was obvious from the outset was that many Democrats on the Committee did not even show up for this most important discussion about the law, the balance of powers, judicial standing, and how Americans, through their representatives can redress their grievances.

After the hearing, our staff went to the CSpan web site to download the entire video, but sadly, it was not there, nor is it there now. A call to CSpan was completely unproductive and the representative who spoke with us was not even aware that it had occurred. Incidentally, that representative hung up on us despite our very passive demeanor, we just wanted help in locating it.

We then went to the House Judiciary Committee web site and tried to view what they posted. It was there, but when we hit the play arrow, nothing happened.

Several of us, on different browsers, could not get it to work so we called them as well. The person who tried to help us successfully got the video to play on his end, but we still could not. He told us to wait another day; it would likely then be available. [The video is now available below]

Our question is hence, what does CSpan actually do, and why was the representative so callous and unhelpful to the point of hanging up on us? Secondly, why is something so very important, so hard to get to, especially when it was in direct aid by the media to get the content to the public?

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What we do have is a very large Constitutional Crisis underway, and so few are paying attention. We saw some out takes on Fox News, but crickets were heard elsewhere, and we could not get access for some unknown reason. This has never been an issue in the past for our researchers.

Fortunately, others were watching and a great synopsis is posted here from the Washington Free Beacon. If you click on this link over the next day or so, maybe the House Judiciary Committee video will actually play. In the meantime, we also direct you to the opening remarks of Prof. Jonathan Turley here. It is long, both the video and the remarks, but all Americans need to pay very close attention to this crisis now.

‘The Imperial Presidency’

House holds hearing on executive overreach

BY:  – Washington Free Beacon

Members of Congress and constitutional law experts testified before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, warning that the legislative branch is in danger of ceding its power in the face of an “imperial presidency.”

The hearing, “Enforcing the President’s Constitutional Duty to Faithfully Execute the Laws,” focused on the multiple areas President Barack Obama has bypassed Congress, ranging from healthcare and immigration to marriage and welfare rules.

Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee is animated in his opening remarks at the hearing on enforcing the President's duty to faithfully execute the laws on Weds., Feb., 26, 2014.
Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee is animated in his opening remarks at the hearing on enforcing the President’s duty to faithfully execute the laws on Weds., Feb., 26, 2014.

Jonathan Turley, Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University, testified that the expansion of executive power is happening so fast that America is at a “constitutional tipping point.”

“My view [is] that the president, has in fact, exceeded his authority in a way that is creating a destabilizing influence in a three branch system,” he said. “I want to emphasize, of course, this problem didn’t begin with President Obama, I was critical of his predecessor President Bush as well, but the rate at which executive power has been concentrated in our system is accelerating. And frankly, I am very alarmed by the implications of that aggregation of power.”

“What also alarms me, however, is that the two other branches appear not just simply passive, but inert in the face of this concentration of authority,” Turley said.

While Turley agrees with many of Obama’s policy positions, he steadfastly opposes the method he goes about enforcing them.

“The fact that I happen to think the president is right on many of these policies does not alter the fact that I believe the means he is doing [it] is wrong, and that this can be a dangerous change in our system,” he said. “And our system is changing in a very fundamental way. And it’s changing without a whimper of regret or opposition.”

Elizabeth Price Foley, a law professor at Florida International University College of Law, agreed, warning that Congress is in danger of becoming “superfluous.”

“Situations like this, these benevolent suspensions as they get more and more frequent and more and more aggressive, they’re eroding our citizens’ respect for the rule of law,” she said. “We are a country of law and not men. It’s going to render Congress superfluous.”

TurleyFoley said Congress is not able to tackle meaningful legislation out of fear that Obama would “simply benevolently suspend portions of the law he doesn’t like.”

“If you want to stay relevant as an institution, I would suggest that you not stand idly by and let the president take your power away,” she said.

Panelists and members of Congress dismissed the idea of impeachment, and instead focused on lawsuits to challenge the constitutionality of the president’s unilateral moves.

Four House members testified on the first panel during the hearing to highlight legislation they have sponsored to thwart the administration’s executive overreach.

Impeachment would “surely be extremely divisive within the Congress and the nation generally, and would divert the attention of Congress from other important issues of the day,” said Rep. Jim Gerlach (R., Pa.).

Gerlach, who testified before the committee, introduced H.R. 3857, the “Enforce the Take Care Clause Act,” which would expedite the review and injunction process for federal courts to challenge executive actions. Such a challenge would have to pass a supermajority in both chambers in order to be fast-tracked.

“Given the growing number of examples where this President has clearly failed to faithfully execute all laws, I believe it is time for Congress to put in place a procedure for a fast-track, independent review of those executive actions,” he said.

Gerlach said he proposed the bill due to Obama’s repeated alterations to his signature law, the Affordable Care Act.

“The ACA has been revised, altered and effectively rewritten by the president and his administration 23 times since July,” he said.

“When we have these constant changes at the president’s whim think about what that does to businesses’ planning capabilities and hiring capabilities and their expansion capabilities,” Rep. Tom Rice (R., S.C.) said. “We shouldn’t wonder why our economy is struggling.”

Rice has proposed the “Stop This Overreaching Presidency (STOP) Resolution” as a remedy. The resolution, which has 114 cosponsors, would direct the House to file lawsuits against four of the president’s unilateral actions, including the employer mandate delay in Obamacare and deferred action program for illegal immigrants.

Turley said Congress must take action to regain their power as the “thumping heart of our system.”

“The fact is, we’re stuck with each other,” Turley said. “Whether we like it or not in a system of shared powers. For better or worse we may deadlock, we maybe despise each other. The framers foresaw such periods, they lived in such a period.”

El Chapo – In Custody, World Wide Network Exposed

By Denise Simon, Associate Editor, SUA

It appears that the United States worked with the Mexican Marines for many months to affect the capture of “El Chapo” Guzman who was taken without resistance in a condo he owned in Mazatlan, Mexico.

A senior U.S. law enforcement official said Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was taken alive overnight in the beach resort town. The official was not authorized to discuss the arrest and spoke on condition of anonymity.Guzman1

Guzman, 56, faces multiple federal drug trafficking indictments in the U.S. and is on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s most-wanted list. His drug empire stretches throughout North America and reaches as far away as Europe and Australia. His cartel has been heavily involved in the bloody drug war that has torn through parts of Mexico for the last several years.

Known as a legendary outlaw, Mexico’s Osama bin Laden and the world’s most powerful and elusive drug lord, Guzman had been pursued for weeks, the official said. (read the rest at the CSMonitor.)

Now, there are many items that remain quite chilling in this case, not the least of which are his sons who are desperately awaiting further orders to continue to run the cartel and global narcotics network. (From Borderland Beat)

El Chapo HelicopterOn twitter accounts, allegedly belonging to Ivan Achicaldo and Alfredo Guzman, sons of El Chapo, the two expressed their thoughts regarding the apprehension of their father, along with a couple of promises to settle accounts with those who are responsible for his capture.

Both indicate that they are waiting for “orders”.

The Twitter pages found at @ IvanArchivaldo and @ _AlfredoGuzman_ Chapo’s sons express their anger, grief, and their eagerness for revenge. Perhaps an apology from them to their father is in order, since authorities gleaned photographs and information from their social networks pages to assist in the capture.

@ _AlfredoGuzman_ has published the following messages:

“This is not the end”

“My father has not perished, the Guzman era is just beginning”

“I just want to communicate that we are not losers, the cartel is my father’s and will always be. GUZMAN LOERA FOREVER”

“and we are children of the Chapo, not like those fucking accounts that boast, we are humble like my father”

“For my father, whatever will be, will be but no one is going to help as my father helped, I’m going to hold accountable those who should and will pay .”

“The word is always the word, you should learn it because it is worth more than a signature.”

“Do not deny that I cried, also men mourn what we love most, God bless you father.”

‘One does not appreciate what you have until you don’t have it”

@IvanArchivaldo has published the following messages:

“Awaiting orders, a big hug to my father” (retweeted by Alfredo)

“My father’s words… “He who is not brave enough to take risks, is not going to achieve anything in life” (@ElChap0Guzman)

@ElChap0Guzman the twitter page reportedly belonging to Chapo,

On this page there is a mix of tweets, from the romantic, the poetic, animal and child advocacy, he laughs at Miley Cyrus and refers to the hanged alleged Zetas in Nuevo Laredo as “piñatas”.

In one tweet, he posts a graphic foto of a bullfighter as he is having his eye gorged by the bull’s horn, in a complete impalement of the eye socket.

His tweet refers to it as “Karma”.

In another he depicts a foto of a La Tuna “welcome” sign, he writes how “at ease” he is while at his ranch.

One tweet was a photograph of a child “orange vendor”. Chapo’s caption:

“When he was a child he had no limits. He who perseveres, achieves” Chapo himself was an orange vendor as a child. (Read the rest and see the images here.)

To begin to understand how Guzman operated and the major threat he imposed on America, this video must be seen:

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Globally, Guzman operated without any impediment worldwide to the point where the U.S. government (associated agencies including the FBI, DoJ, and DEA) actually provided assistance to the Sinaloa cartels in an effort to create a turf war with rival cartels, where one is supported to take down others. (From Fusion.Net)

GuzmanMap

Joaquín Guzmán Loera or “El Chapo” has taken the Sinaloa Cartel from a regional operation to a worldwide criminal enterprise. Yearly profits for meth, marijuana and cocaine trade are estimated at $3 billion. The success of Chapo’s international business is built on a system of criminal franchises that run different parts of the drug trade. These interactive maps show some of the known routes he uses and the renowned criminals he’s been linked to.

See the interactive maps and a video here.

Add into the U.S. government assistance to the Sinaloa cartels – weapons.

This is hard-headed, cynical law enforcement; let some drugs in to keep more drugs out. But seeking out and negotiating an “arrangement” with these cold blooded monsters is sickening. We’ve seen how totally ruthless and barbaric their methods are and how they don’t care if innocents are caught in the crossfire or not.

This information sheds further light on the Fast and Furious caper.

Apparently, the DEA didn’t care how many guns ended up in the hands of Sinaloa cartel members – didn’t care who they killed, including border agents. They were only concerned about guns that ended up in rival cartel hands. The story validates reports from last August – totally ignored by most media – that Fast and Furious was meant as a program to supply arms to Sinaloa.

While hundreds of thousands have been killed in Mexico by the Sinaloa Cartel, we cannot deny the fact that some on our own soil have either died or gone missing. But sadly, this points to the highest levels within our own Justice Department headed by Eric Holder, who does have blood on his hands.

There are numerous U.S. courts now seeking extradition of Guzman from Mexico, but with the proven confidential secret deals made with the Sinaloa cartel and their operatives for immunity, will Eric Holder even work earnestly for extradition, or will Eric Holder leave office before this case comes to any U.S. court?

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Additional court documents are found here:

Hagel Cuts Pentagon Back to Pre-WWII Levels

Editor’s Note – Prior to World War II, despite FDR’s desires, the nation preferred to stay out of the war raging in Europe, for right or wrong. What we did not know was that Japan was about to make us enter, and FDR had already been supplying England through the Lend/Lease Act to avoid ceding so-called neutrality.

A portion of every purchse from our partners at Lear Capital will be donated to the Scott Vallely Soldiers Memorial Fund
A portion of every purchase from our partners at Lear Capital will be donated to the Scott Vallely Soldiers Memorial Fund – Click Here.

No matter what the tenor of the nation, the war was about to pull us in, and we were not prepared. The signs were there, in broad colors, and in large measure, the signs of World War are present today, some say in starker terms. Fortunately, when Japan unleashed the ‘sleeping giant’, we quickly turned the foremost industrial engine on the Earth into overdrive and we eventually overwhelmed our enemies and saved our allies.

Now, we are decreasing our military, at a time we should be modernizing it and insuring it fits the threat, not just a bottom line number, but we do not have the money allocated by threat priority in other budgets due to waste, fraud and abuse. At a time when our collective intelligence reports read that the threats are greater today than ever, supported by the Intelligence Community congressional testimony, what criteria did Hagel use?

It is also clear that our nation is considered weaker than ever, and now our enemies see us cut further. This emboldens the likes of Iran, Putin in Russia, China in the Pacific, and al Qaeda. Let us also not forget the Taliban threat once we leave Afghanistan.

Of course, past bad fiscal management by all parties has brought us to the brink of financial ruin, the Obama Administration has only deepened the abyss and now Secretary of Defense Hagel announced massive cuts; cuts that will place us right back in the pre-WWII levels. The question is, if World War comes again, we will be able to recover as quickly, and strike our enemies into total submission?

You be the judge, but you also need to ask why, that for at least three generations we have not reined in unreasonable spending in the Pentagon as well – a ‘perfect storm’ appears on the horizon, and we have a ‘paper tiger’ in the White House. Bad management has reduced our national security because of politics, not priorities.

perfectstorm

The Defense Budget vs. History

 – Commentary Magazine

Traditionally, military planners have operated under a worst-case scenario: i.e., what do we need to have in place to respond if nothing goes as planned? The Obama administration and Congress appear to be operating under a best-case scenario: i.e., what is the minimum force we can field on the assumption that nothing will go terribly wrong?

Thus the new defense budget, being unveiled today, which cuts the army’s active-duty force size to the smallest level since before World War II–just 440,000 to 450,000 soldiers. That’s down from a wartime high of 570,000, although even that figure was painfully inadequate to allow the U.S. to respond to two unforeseen wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

defense-budgetAs critics of the Bush administration–including Senator Barack Obama–were once fond of pointing out, Bush never sent enough troops to stabilize Iraq until 2007 and that commitment was only made possible by keeping a ludicrously small force in Afghanistan, once known as the “necessary” war.

The failure to send more troops early on allowed the Taliban to rebound from near-defeat in 2001 and allowed various insurgent groups to sprout all over Iraq.

So if 570,000 troops were not enough to handle such relatively weak foes as al-Qaeda in Iraq and the Taliban, how on earth would 440,000 troops be able to handle more robust contingencies–unlikely but not impossible–such as simultaneous wars with Iran and North Korea and a stabilization mission in, say, Yemen? The answer is that they couldn’t.

Actually the situation is even worse than the news would have you believe. Because the army’s plan to cut down to 440,000 to 450,000 is premised on the assumption that Congress will continue to provide relief from half a trillion dollars in sequestration cuts.

But the budget deal reached by Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray only provides sequestration relief in 2014 and 2015; unless Congress is willing to turn off sequestration in future years, the army will have to go even lower in end-strength.

Moreover, the defense budget includes modest cuts in personnel spending–spending on pay, pensions, and health care–which are long overdue but which are likely to be blocked by Congress, as was the case with a recent attempt to cut cost-of-living adjustments for military retirees by a measly one percent.

"Peace for Our Time" was spoken on 30 September 1938 by British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in his speech concerning the Munich Agreement and the Anglo-German Declaration
“Peace for Our Time” was spoken on 30 September 1938 by British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in his speech concerning the Munich Agreement and the Anglo-German Declaration

Unless Congress goes along with cuts to personnel costs, which now constitute half of the defense budget, other parts of the budget–including, no doubt, the army’s end-strength–will have to endure further scaling back.

That is a responsible decline in military strength only if you assume that we will never fight another major land war, or engage in simultaneous stabilization and counterinsurgency operations. And that, in turn, is a tenable assumption only if you assume that the laws of history have been repealed and a new era is dawning in which the U.S. will be able to protect all of its vital interests through drone strikes and commando raids.

We all hope that’s the case but, as the saying has it, hope isn’t a strategy. Except, it seems, in Washington defense circles today.

If history teaches anything, it is that the era of land wars is not over and that we will pay a heavy price in the future for our unpreparedness–as we have paid in blood at the beginning of every major war in American history.

Our failure to learn from history is stunning and (from a historian’s standpoint) disheartening but not, alas, terribly surprising: Throughout history, supposedly enlightened elites have been able to convince themselves that the era of conflict is over and a new age is dawning.

The fact that they have always been wrong before does not, somehow, lead them to question those assumptions in the present day, because this is such a convenient belief to have.

Today, for both Republicans and Democrats, the president and Congress, these hope-based assumptions about defense spending allow them to put off the truly difficult decisions about cutting entitlement spending. But at what cost? If history is any guide, the cost of unpreparedness will be steep and will be borne by future generations of American troops.

Vallely – The will of the Egyptian people should not be ignored

By Paul E. VallelyWashington Examiner

The U.S. Working Group on Egypt, a Carnegie Endowment for Peace creation, co-chaired by Robert Kagan of the Brookings Institution and Michele Dunne of Carnegie, recently wrote to President Obama expressing their profound concern over Egypt.

If we choose the wrong policies toward this major ally, they write, it will only “exacerbate persistent instability in that country.”

MG Paul E. Vallely, US Army (Ret.)
MG Paul E. Vallely, US Army (Ret.)

“A failed attempt at democratic transition,” they continue, “has given way to intense polarization, frightening repression, and escalating violence” making Egypt an unreliable “security ally” and unfit “peace partner” for Israel, while threatening increased terrorism against American “targets” and “important interests.”

What planet do they live on?

The group thinks the fact that 98.1 percent of Egyptians, or 19.6 million of those who cast ballots, voted to adopt the new constitution is proof-positive the electorate was bullied into it. The same electorate that toppled three presidents of Egypt in the last three years? I don’t think so.

In fact, while conceding the interim government could have done better on the “demonstration law,” Wael Nawara, a columnist for Al-Monitor’s Egypt Pulse, recently wrote that, “The Working Group on Egypt assumes that the Egyptian government is harsh and repressive.

But does it realize that most Egyptians have often accused the interim government and its predecessors of being too soft and indecisive when standing up to those trying to drag their country to chaos and anarchy?”

MG Vallely Dr Patrick Sookhdeo General El Sisi
MG Vallely, Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, and General al Sisi meet in Cairo

Tsk-tsking Egyptian leaders, WGE presents a persnickety list of particulars required to certify the government is “taking steps to support a democratic transition,” or else we should use our leverage — i.e., cease U.S. military discount vouchers totaling less than 0.5 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, which are currently suspended.

Leverage? Egypt simply went to Russia to fill the vacuum in American leadership. Last week, Vladimir Putin endorsed Egyptian Field Marshall Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in his bid for president.

The two countries are nearing a $3-billion arms deal financed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Moscow’s Vedomosti reported Friday.

Quite a Valentine!

Meanwhile, back in Washington, clueless insiders fail to see the tide of Islamic fascism sweeping the Middle East and Egypt’s key role in reversing it, somehow believing if Egypt is forced to play nice, everyone, including the Muslim Brotherhood, will comply.

Truly, they have taken a page from British Prime Minster Neville Chamberlin who famously appeased Hitler with the Munich Agreement in September 1938 in the hopes of averting war, paving the way to the invasion of Poland a year later and declaration of war.

Pacifying terrorists, writes Nawara, “is like giving your arm to a shark hoping it will spare the rest of your body.”

Just as in World War II, the stakes could not be higher. Here’s the Middle East chessboard, which Nawarasuccinctly spells out.

Contrary to WGE’s assertion, Israel thinks the current Egyptian government is a reliable security partner. Meanwhile, Libya is crawling with NATO-armed extremist groups turning that country into a militia state like Afghanistan, all the while it ships arms east to their comrades to do the same in Egypt. There, the Muslim Brotherhood attempts to divide the country into warring factions a la Beirut during its civil war, building on its work to destroy the country while in power, including granting terrorists safe haven in Sinai.

Farther east, Hamas, a Brotherhood affiliate, controls some 1,200 illegal tunnels under the Palestinian-Egyptian borders for smuggling in arms, fuel and goods, the customs for which line Hamas leaders’ pockets. Next is Syria, where “the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups are declaring their own Islamist emirates, Afghan-style.”

And we’re worried about crowd control in Egypt?

Retired Army Major Gen. Paul E. Vallely is chairman of Stand Up America. Thinking of submitting an op-ed to the Washington Examiner? Be sure to read our guidelines on submissions for editorials,available at this link.

Kerry: Climate Change is "Most Fearsome" Weapon – Priorities?

By Scott W. Winchell

At a time when the very fabric of many parts of the globe is being torn apart, what does Obama and John Kerry focus upon? Climate change. In fact, John Kerry, in a speech on Sunday in Indonesia, he called climate change the world’s “most fearsome” destructive weapon and compared deniers as “people who insist the Earth is flat.”

In a speech to Indonesian students, civic leaders and government officials, Kerry tore into climate change skeptics. He accused them of using shoddy science and scientists to delay steps needed to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases at the risk of imperiling the planet.GreatLakesFrozenChart

A day earlier, the U.S. and China announced an agreement to cooperate more closely on combating climate change. American officials hope that will help encourage others, including developing countries like Indonesia and India, to follow suit.

China and the United States are the biggest sources of emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases that cause the atmosphere to trap solar heat and alter the climate. Scientists say such changes are leading to drought, wildfires, rising sea levels, melting polar ice, plant and animal extinctions and other extreme conditions. (Read the rest here at Yahoo.)

Well Mr. Kerry, we have some news for you. The Polar Ice Cap is growing fast, the Great Lakes are frozen, we are getting record snow in many regions globally, especially the Northeast Corridor where you maintain your home and offices along with the 2014 “polar vortex” phenomenon.

We also saw some of your “climate change” religious zealots get stuck in Antarctica in ice where a 35 year record for ice volume was broken in late 2013. Also of high importance is the accusations that your own administration is fudging climate data facts. But, we are the kooks?

Meanwhile, 140,000 plus people have died in Syria, the chemicals weapons there have barely been touched despite agreements, Egypt is being propped up by Saudi Arabia, your Israel/Palestinian efforts were an abject failure, Hamid Karzai says it is of no concern to the US and NATO that terrorists were released at Bagram, and North Korea is of major concern, and that does not even include all the failures here at home.

Climat.Vs.Iran

At the very same time, the Iranians are making new threats to our bases, our allies, Israel and more if attacked. What deal did you actually strike with Iran? What again is your job title, and when did the climate trump the safety, security, economic prosperity, health care and insurance, and jobs/careers of our citizens here in America?

Iran: We’re ready for ‘decisive battle’ with Israel, US

Chief of staff warns Tehran’s enemies and regional states against military action, calling American threats ‘political bluff’

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on stage during a meeting with Iranian air force commanders in Tehran, in a photo released February 8, 2014 (photo credit: AFP /HO/Iranian Supreme Leader's website)
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on stage during a meeting with Iranian air force commanders in Tehran, in a photo released February 8, 2014 (photo credit: AFP /HO/Iranian Supreme Leader’s website)

In the latest in a series of warnings against the US, Iran’s chief of staff Hassan Firouzabadi warned the Islamic republic’s foes that Iran is prepared for a “decisive battle” if attacked.

“We are ready for the decisive battle with America and the Zionist regime (Israel),” Fars news agency quoted Firouzabadi as saying Wednesday. He also warned neighboring nations not to allow any attack to be launched on Iran from their soil.

“We do not have any hostility toward regional states, but if we are ever attacked from the American bases in the region we will strike that area back,” he said.

Washington has many military bases in the region, including in Bahrain, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said late last month that if diplomacy with Iran fails, “the military option of the United States is ready and prepared to do what it would have to do.”

But Firouzabadi accused the US of bluffing.

“Over the past decade, they brought their forces but came to the conclusion that they can’t attack us, and left,” he said, dismissing the US military threat as nothing but a “political bluff.”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday that the West should not have any delusions about using a military option.

“I say explicitly, if some have delusions of having any threats against Iran on their tables, they need to wear new glasses. There is no military option against Iran on any table in the world,” he said.

On Sunday, Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Navy Commander Ali Fadavi said the US knows that its aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf would be sunk if it launched a military strike on Iran.

“The Americans can sense by all means how their warships will be sunk with 5,000 crews and forces in combat against Iran and how they should find its hulk in the depths of the sea,” said Fadavi, according to Fars news agency.

“They cannot hide themselves in the sea since the entire Middle East region, Western Europe, the Persian Gulf, the Sea of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz are monitored by us and there is no place for them to hide.”

Also Sunday, Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan touted the Iranian military’s ability to respond to an American attack, Fars reported.

“The Iranian Armed Forces are an intertwined and coherent complex that can give a decisive response to any threat at any level and any place under the command of the commander-in-chief,” Dehqan said in a ceremony marking the 35th anniversary of the revolution that brought the current Islamic regime to power.

“The enemy can never assess and think of the range of the response given by the powerful and mighty Armed Forces of the Islamic Iran,” he added.

The bellicose rhetoric follows Saturday’s announcement by an Iranian admiral that Iran had dispatched warships to the North Atlantic, while Iran’s spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei denounced the Americans as liars who, while professing to be friends of Tehran, would bring down his regime if they could. He also said it was “amusing” that the US thought Iran would reduce its “defensive capabilities.”

On Friday, Iranian state TV ran a documentary featuring a computerized video of Iran’s drones and missiles bombing Tel Aviv, Haifa, Ben-Gurion Airport and the Dimona nuclear reactor in a simulated retaliation for a hypothetical Israeli or American strike on the Islamic Republic.

Iran is due to resume talks on Monday in Vienna with the P5+1 — Britain, France, the United States, Russia and China plus Germany — aimed at reaching a comprehensive nuclear accord following a landmark interim agreement struck in November.

Western nations have long suspected Iran of covertly pursuing nuclear weapons alongside its civilian program, allegations denied by Tehran, which insists its nuclear activities are entirely peaceful.

Neither the United States nor Israel has ruled out military action to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, if diplomacy fails.