Retired Command and Flag Staff Remain Quiet on Iran Deal

Editor’s Note – Many recent retirees from our military remain on the sidelines concerning the Iran Deal but the following article does not address the opinions of longer term retirees who have been very vocal in their opposition.

Of the many retired generals, admirals, and other command staff, several stand out in stark opposition to how the Obama administration began the process of talking to Iran, then the lengthy negotiation process, and the resulting agreement now in the hands of Congress.

Some include the founder of SUA, MG Paul Vallely, US Army (Ret.), Kitchen Cabinet member and co-founder of the Citizen’s Commission on Benghazi, Adm. Ace Lyons, USN (Ret.), and close friend and former Congressman, Lt. Col. Allen West, US Army (Ret.).

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In fact, last July, MG Vallely, Adm. Lyons, and Lt. Col. West gave speeches in opposition at the “Stop Iran Rally” in Times Square. Many other notable people joined them in a bi-partisan manner including more active and former politicians and world leaders.

We applaud recent retiree Army Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn for his stance in opposition, and like the article below explains, the Obama administration attempted to down play those in opposition by pushing a cadre of others to support his efforts by signing a letter to that extent.

We saw that move as yet another attempt at skewing the picture for the public and displaying the politicization of the military. If certain other retirees wish to remain silent, so be it, but far more oppose the deal than support it, of that we are certain.

We are also pleased that NY Senator, Chuck Schumer for standing in opposition and invite you to join him as another rally is planned to take place at the office his fellow NY Senator, Kirsten Gillibrand on September first. Kill the deal!

Retired brass avoid firm positions on Iranian nuke deal

By Andrew Tilghman, Staff Writer – Military Times

Many of the most prominent retired U.S. military officers are opting against expressing any firm public endorsement of or opposition to the controversial Iran nuclear deal.

“I have not yet taken a position,” retired Army Gen. David Petraeus said in a recent interview.SchumerIranDeal

“I recognize the benefits, significant benefits in rolling back the Iranian nuclear program for a 10- to 15-year period,” said Petraeus, the former commanding general of the U.S. war in Iraq who later also oversaw U.S. military strategy across the Middle East as the head of U.S. Central Command.

“But I also recognize that these have to be weighed against the downsides of an agreement in terms of additional resources going to [Iran’s] proxy elements that are causing problems in the region and beyond,” Petraeus said.

As the debate about the Iranian nuclear deal grows increasingly politicized, partisan advocates are eager to seize on any strong views from respected military officers. Yet very few military officers are weighing in with public views on the deal. If and when they do, they avoid making sweeping conclusions.

“I would debunk the idea that the deal is it — and you either like it or you hate it, or it’s good or it’s bad. That is a bunch of nonsense,” retired Adm. William Fallon, another former CENTCOM commander, told a room of national security professionals at a think tank event in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 4

The deal struck in July between Iran and the U.S. and other Western countries is a 159-page document that would essentially limit Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon in exchange for lifting the financial and oil sanctions that have constrained the Iranian economy.

Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis declined a Military Times request to talk about the Iran nuclear deal. (Photo: Staff)
Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis declined a Military Times request to talk about the Iran nuclear deal. (Photo: Staff)

Congress will vote in September to potentially block President Obama’s authority to lift the sanctions, which would effectively kill the long-sought deal.

For now Obama appears to have enough support to weather the stiff opposition and retain the authority to execute the deal. But as many Republicans and some Democrats line up to oppose him, the outcome is uncertain.

The White House touted an Aug. 11 letter from three dozen retired generals and admirals offering firm support for the deal and urging Congress not to kill it.

The letter’s signatories include retired Marine Corps Gen. James “Hoss” Cartwright, who oversaw the Pentagon’s nuclear force as head of U.S. Strategic Command, and retired Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Hoar, who headed CENTCOM from 1991 to 1994.

Yet many national security watchers noted numerous names missing from that list, including Marine Corps Gen. James Jones, who served as Obama’s national security adviser during his first term. Jones did not return Military Times’ request for an interview about the nuclear deal.

In fact, none of the CENTCOM chiefs or Joint Staff chairmen from the past 20 years signed the letter.

“I noticed that very few of them are the most senior people,” said Prof. Richard Kohn, who teaches military history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Kohn said the controversial issue is far too politicized.

“The overwhelming majority of retired senior officers recognize they should avoid partisanship and even the appearance of partisanship because it lowers respect among the American people for the loyalty and nonpartisanship of the military profession,” Kohn said in an interview.

Letters like the one signed by the 36 generals and admirals can “give the impression to many people who are not well-informed about the military profession that they are speaking for a large number of retired military or for the military itself.

It looks like a military intervention in politics.”

Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn
Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn

Very few retired military officers have publicly opposed the nuclear deal. Army Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn has criticized it.

And a newly created group called Veterans against the Deal is distributing a video highlighting Iran’s link to hundreds of catastrophic attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq.

The new agreement could empower the anti-American regime, they say.

The Obama administration’s handling of its Iran policy was reportedly a source of tension between the White House and former CENTCOM Commander Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis.

For years he expressed hawkish views about Iran, but Mattis, who retired in 2013, declined a Military Times request to talk about the deal.

Fallon described the deal as a diplomatic breakthrough with Iran and said he believes the U.S. should press ahead with the agreement and bring the appropriate skepticism to the implementation process.

“In my mind it comes down to basically a choice: Do we continue the stalemate (between the U.S. and Iran) with the likelihood that sooner or later a mistake of some magnitude is going to be made. I witnessed several errors in judgment during my time out in the region that could have quite easily escalated into something ugly in terms of military action.

“My perusal of history is that sooner or later virtually every impasse, every stonewalled negotiation, every ‘us-against-them’ reaches a point where there is some sort of dialogue initiated to try to move forward and change the future from the past. I think that is what we really have going on here.”

“In my mind it’s pretty much of a no-brainer; we ought to take the next step and see if we can get this thing implemented. And try to move forward — no illusions either side trusts the other. … It’s all going to be about how it’s implemented,” Fallon said.

Retired Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni, a former CENTCOM commander, recently suggested a similar wait-and-see approach.

“The agreement cannot be judged as good or bad on its own,” said Zinni in an interview with the Virginia Gazette newspaper. “Like all agreements, the judgment will come based on how it is implemented. The quality of the inspections and verification will be key as will Iran’s degree of cooperation. If Iran cooperates and begins to agree to open talks on other issues, the agreement will have been a success.”

Some retired officers are offering views behind closed doors in an effort to aid policymakers facing a complex issue.

Petraeus has worked closely with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and its Iran Study Group, a team of former top government officials who helped examine and clarify the technical details of the legal agreement.

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He said the Obama “administration has engaged us and has addressed some of the reservations that we have expressed. And that dialogue is continuing.”

“Clearly there are benefits from the Iranian nuclear deal in terms of eliminating the 20 percent enriched uranium, reducing the low enriched uranium stockpile by some 95 percent, eliminating the plutonium path to a bomb, reducing significantly the number of centrifuges and providing for increased inspections as well as some other clear benefits,” he said.

Petraeus said he was reassured by one aspect of the deal that clarifies nuclear-related sanctions will be lifted on Iran, but those sanctions imposed for terrorist activity, specifically targeting Qassem Suleimani, the notorious commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s Quds force, can remain intact.

Nevertheless, Petraeus said, “There should be no question that some of the $100 billion, $150 billion in assets that Iran will receive — currently frozen assets — when the sanctions are lifted, some of that will go to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Quds Force and undoubtedly to Iranian-supported elements such as Lebanese Hezbollah, various Shia militias in Iraq, the Houthi forces in Yemen, and Bashar al-Asad’s regime in Syria, and possibly Hamas.”

“The single biggest issue really is assurance, assurance that Iran will not be allowed to enrich weapons-grade uranium.”

"Extortion 17" – Ramp Ceremony – Imam Damns Heroes to Hell

Warriors damned to hell in a ceremony to honor the fallen – Families Speak Out!

By Scott W. Winchell, SUA National Editor-in-Chief

“EXTORTION 17”

In a few minutes from the time of this post, the press conference held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. by the families of our heroic warriors we lost on August 6, 2011 in Afghanistan will have begun. Many of the fallen were members of SEAL Team VI, and the announcement will have revealed new information and an astonishing video of the “Ramp Ceremony” held for members of “Extortion 17”  who were ambushed by the Taliban.

Larry Klayman moderated the press conference and some of the parents gave moving speeches regarding the loss of their sons. Stand Up America’s MG Paul E. Vallely and many others spoke in support of the fallen warriors. Billy and Karen Vaughn with their daughter Tara and their granddaughter Annabelle were in attendance, along with Charlie and Mary Lou Strange, Doug and Shawne Hamburger with their son Jeremy, and Mr. Sidh Douangdara, all family members of some of the fallen heroes of “Extortion 17”.

Also speaking were Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney, Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, Navy SEAL Ben Smith, Capt. Larry Bailey, Adm. “Ace” Lyons, former Congressman Lt. Col Allen West, and Brigitte Gabriel of ACT. Two Representatives from Congress also showed their support by attending for as long as they could, they were Michelle Bachman (MN) and Louie Gomert (TX). Tom Trento of United West recorded the event and provides us with the video below. Billy and Karen Vaughn provided the “Ramp Ceremony” video that was edited and captioned by Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch.

Other family members of our fallen heroes like the Benson Family wished to attend but were unable to be there.

Scroll down for the video of the Ramp Ceremony.

Here is the live recording of the press conference in its entirety:

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The fact that a Muslim ceremony was included is not the point, what is, are the words spoken over members of our lost warrior team by a Muslim in uniform, flown in especially for the event. The Imam’s words were not only insulting, it was undoubtedly an attempt to curry favor with our enemies at the expense of American heroes and their families. It not only denigrates the faith of the fallen, it damns them to hell.

The Commander-in-Chief and his Administration is once again revealed for their true loyalties, and their concerted efforts to denigrate and dismantle our military. Military morale is at an all-time low, we wonder why!

How do you think the families felt hearing a translation of what was said? Their loved ones in flag draped coffins being damned to hell by a Muslim in uniform. Ft. Hood quickly jumps to mind, as does the way Obama and his crew prioritizes its message to the world – damned be the American families and their grief and beliefs.

Then ask yourself why this administration insisted upon this type of funerary “ramp” service. Who thought this up? Who made this happen? Why did the content of the Muslim sermon not get vetted before it was spoken over the souls of our fallen warriors? Did they think we would not eventually know what was said over the souls of our heroes, those who lived up to the ultimate extent of their oaths?

With the hearings on Benghazi restarted yesterday in the House of Representatives, one must seriously question the motives and loyalties of our federal leadership concerning the interaction America has with the Muslim community worldwide and the failed foreign policy of Hillary Clinton and Barrack H. Obama. It is time for all Americans to stand up and take notice.

Hear are the words of the Muslim speaking over the flag draped coffins of our dead heroes in the video:

“Amen, I shelter in Allah the merciful forgiver. The companions of the fire, the sinners and the infidels who are fodder for hell fire are not equal with the companions of heaven. The companions of heaven, Muslims are the winners. Had we sent this Koran to a mountain, you would have seen the mountain prostrated in fear of Allah. (Mocking the God of Moses) Such examples are what we present to the people, to the people so that they would think. (Repent and convert to Islam). Blessing are to your God (Allah) the God of glory of what they describe. And peace be upon the messengers (prophets) and thanks be to Allah the Lord of both universes of mankind and Jinn.”

The video is amazing, and it is reduced in size and augmented by captioning to quickly tell the story of the unconscionable way our deceased warriors were treated upon their arrival. The original version was also redacted only to protect the innocent and the families.

Here is a brief on what was conveyed by the family and our retired military community:

  1. How President Obama and Vice President Biden, having disclosed on May 4, 2011, that Navy SEAL Team VI carried out the successful raid on Bin Laden’s compound resulting in the master terrorist’s death, put a retaliatory target on the backs of the fallen heroes.
  2. How and why high-level military officials sent these Navy SEAL Team VI heroes into battle without special operations aviation and proper air support.
  3. How and why middle-level military brass carries out too many ill-prepared missions to boost their standing with top-level military brass and the Commander-in-Chief in order that they can be promoted.
  4. How the military restricts special operations servicemen and others from engaging in timely return fire when fired upon by the Taliban and other terrorist groups and interests, thus jeopardizing the servicemen’s lives.
  5. How and why the denial of requested pre-assault fire may have contributed to the shoot down of the Navy SEAL Team VI helicopter and the death of these special operations servicemen.
  6. How Afghani forces accompanying the Navy SEAL Team VI servicemen on the helicopter were not properly vetted and how they possibly disclosed classified information to the Taliban about the mission, resulting in the shoot down of the helicopter.
  7. How military brass, while prohibiting any mention of a Judeo-Christian God, invited a Muslim cleric to the funeral for the fallen Navy SEAL Team VI heroes who disparaged in Arabic the memory of these servicemen by damning them as infidels to Allah. A video of the Muslim cleric’s “prayer” will be shown with a certified translation.

The video is just over ten minutes, please watch the entirety and make your own judgment as to the solemnity and content:

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America – this is not who we are, certainly not as depicted by this Imam!

A transcript and video will be produced shortly capturing the news conference and the complete set of words spoken by retired military, Larry Klayman, and the families of our fallen warrior heroes, many of whom were warriors responsible for the demise of Osama bin Laden.

Time to challenge the lies!