The parents of two Americans killed in the 2012 terrorist attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in federal court Monday against Hillary Clinton.
“The Benghazi attack was directly and proximately caused, at a minimum by defendant Clinton’s ‘extreme carelessness’ in handling confidential and classified information.”
In the suit, Patricia Smith and Charles Woods, the parents of Sean Smith and Tyrone Woods, claim that Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server contributed to the attacks. They also accuse her of defaming them in public statements.
Smith was an information management officer and Woods was a security officer, both stationed in Benghazi.
“The Benghazi attack was directly and proximately caused, at a minimum by defendant Clinton’s ‘extreme carelessness’ in handling confidential and classified information,” such as the location of State Department employees in Libya, the lawsuit said.
While no such connection has ever been established, their lawsuit called it “highly probable” that Clinton sent and received information about the activities of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
Such information, the lawsuit claimed, “easily found its way to foreign powers” and was then obtained by Islamic terrorists. Read the rest of this entry »
Owen Boss writes: The release next week of “13 Hours: the Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” — which tells the true story of the security contractors who responded to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya — may force Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton to wade back into a debate she hoped would be behind her, political watchdogs said.
“This takes an issue that is not good for her out of her control and pushes it out into popular culture, which is much worse for her than having it discussed on cable news.”
— Cornell University law professor William Jacobson
“Anything that keeps the Benghazi issue alive is a negative for Hillary Clinton. Period,” said Cornell University law professor William Jacobson. “Whether it’s a movie, or an event, or a hearing — anything that keeps this alive is not good for her. That’s not what she wants to be talking about.”
The big-budget action-drama, directed by Michael Bay, is focused on the American contractors who valiantly battled the terrorists who overran the compound on Sept. 11, 2012, and killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, U.S. State Department communications expert Sean Smith and former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, a Winchester native.
“Anything that keeps the Benghazi issue alive is a negative for Hillary Clinton. Period. Whether it’s a movie, or an event, or a hearing — anything that keeps this alive is not good for her. That’s not what she wants to be talking about.”
— Cornell University law professor William Jacobson
Clinton, who was U.S. secretary of state at the time of the attack, has been roundly criticized for not doing enough to secure the consulate, and was forced to defend herself against the allegations during a grueling, daylong appearance before the Republican-led Select Committee on Benghazi in October.
The movie, starring Newton native John Krasinski and Toby Stephens, will be released by Paramount Pictures on Jan. 15, less than a month before the Iowa caucus, an inopportune time for Clinton’s campaign, Jacobson said. Read the rest of this entry »
Republican Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan took issue with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‘s comment that protests had erupted in both Cairo, Egypt and Benghazi, Libya, citing evidence from the House Select Committee’s investigation stating that no protest of any kind had occurred in Benghazi. He then went on to quote from various State Department spokespersons who, in the weeks following the Sept. 11, 2012 attack, claimed that the incident in Benghazi was linked to the Cairo-based protest, which was a reaction to an offensive online video.
“I wrote a whole chapter about this in my book, ‘Hard Choices’. I’d be glad to send it to you, congressman.”
— Hillary Clinton, in condescending answer to Jim Jordan’s question
“Where’d the false narrative start? It started with you, Madame Secretary,” said Jordan, adding that a statement released by Clinton the night of the attack suggests as much. “At 10:08, with no evidence. At 10:08, before the attack is over.
Clinton proceeded to emphasize her official statement’s use of the phrase “some have sought,” which described the efforts of a small group to use the video as a means of inciting anti-American sentiments in Egypt, Libya and elsewhere in the region. “I used those words deliberately. Not to ascribe a motive to every attacker, but as a warning to those across the region that there was no justification for further attacks.” Read the rest of this entry »
The mother of Sean Smith, one of the four Americans killed at the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya in 2012, exploded in response to a clip of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‘s prior testimony on the matter.
CNN Newsroom host Carol Costello was taken aback when Patricia Smith revealed in conversation that she actually didn’t know much about what happened to her son — despite the fact that the Benghazi attack occurred three years ago.
Smith responded in kind, claiming that although Clinton promised to “get back to” her following her son’s funeral ceremony in Washington, D.C., no one had since contacted her on the matter.
Inside Job? The post appeared as recently as Thursday morning but has since been taken down.
Merrill Hope reports: Last month, on September 12, Mohamed Elhassen Mohamed, father of Texas ‘Clock Boy’ Ahmed Mohamed, posted on Facebook a photo of the World Trade Center Twin Towers shrouded in raging smoke in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks. The photo appeared on his Sudanese National Reform party page on the day after the 9/11 anniversary.
The post appeared as recently as Thursday morning but has since been taken down. It sourced to the Sudanese Military Establishment and asserts a truther philosophy that 9/11 was an inside job, calling these “so-called” events a “rumor.”
Through the social media site’s Arabic translation, the post also describes 9/11 as “just an American industry media” that “some tried leveled terrorism ‘Islamist.” Conversely, it also alleges America deserved the Al Qaeda perpetrated attack, calling it the “egg that lays golden eggs for America has terrorism” that “came to her on a plate to invade Muslim countries.”
Qatar is Amazing!! https://t.co/alrZZ4195I
— Ahmed Mohamed (@IStandWithAhmed) October 6, 2015
Presently, Mohamed tours the Middle East with his clock-making son, but he is also a Sudanese Reform Party activist and the repeatedly failed Sudanese National Reform party candidate for president of that country, although he and his family reside in Irving, a Dallas suburb.
Two days after the 9/11 truther post, on Sept. 14, son Ahmed Mohamed was arrested for bringing in the unassigned homemade clock-in-a-box that appeared to be a suitcase timepiece hoax bomb to school district officials and local law enforcement, although charges were dropped.
Again, on Sept. 28, Mohamed’s National Reform Party Facebook page posted a 15 minute English language video chockful of 9/11 conspiracy theories insinuating the collapse of the Trade Center’s twin towers was because “explosives were placed in these buildings before the attacks.” Read the rest of this entry »
If it’s almost 100% redacted, does it count as ‘unclassified’?
Amy Miller writes: Another day, another tiny, minuscule, pin-width beam of light shining down on who knew what, when, and how during and in the wake of the 2012 attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
Most recently, we saw Sid Blumenthal, having been dragged before a Congressional committee, providing investigators with a batch of then-Secretary Clinton’s private e-mails that the State Department failed to hand over. The very existence of those e-mails had members of the committee convinced that their much-maligned digging is not only justified, but necessary in the effort to figure out what was in the Administration’s collective hive mind in the wake of the attacks.
We already knew that Clinton and Obama spoke on the night of the Benghazi attacks; what we didn’t know is what they talked about. But finally! A federal court has released a new document, the contents of which have the potential to blow this whole thing wide open.
The problem? The “unclassified” document is almost completely redacted:
READOUT OF PRESIDENT’S CALL TO SECRETARY CLINTON: *crickets*Does it count as “unclassified” if it’s covered in correction tape?
Of course, the Administration has a totally predictable excuse for all the white-out. They’re not arguing that the information contained in the call was classified, but that it “represents internal deliberations” about the 2012 attack.
Via Fox News:
The emails also show that Rhodes, on the night of Sept. 11, 2012, and before the attack was over, endorsed a statement from Clinton that cited an anti-Islam Internet video.
That statement noted some tried to justify the assault “as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet.” Rhodes told Clinton’s aides that “we should let State Department statement be our comment for the night.” Read the rest of this entry »
Governor Abbott Signs Resolution Posthumously Awarding Chris Kyle The Texas Legislative Medal Of HonorPosted: June 18, 2015
Governor Greg Abbott today signed House Concurrent Resolution 85 (Wray, R-Waxahachie; Birdwell, R-Granbury) to posthumously award the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor to Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle, a native Texan and Navy SEAL who served four tours in Iraq and is recognized as the most lethal sniper in United States military history. During the legislative session, Governor Abbott also dedicated a portion of Highway 287 in Midlothian, TX as “Chris Kyle Memorial Highway” and proclaimed February 2nd to be “Chris Kyle Day” in the State of Texas.
“Since its inception, the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor has been awarded to those in the State of Texas who have demonstrated extraordinary heroism as a member of state or federal military forces, and there is no one more deserving of this year’s award than Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle,” said Governor Abbott. “Kyle is one of the legions of valiant warriors who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and served our great nation with unrivaled honor, bravery and heroism. For his remarkable valiancy, it is my honor to posthumously award the 2015 Texas Legislative Medal of Honor to Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle.”
To view the resolution, click here.
The omnipresent power behind the throne some have called the president’s Rasputin had the power to call off three strikes against Osama bin Laden. She may have used that power again the night four Americans died in Benghazi.
The Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack on our diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, came while America failed to mount a rescue mission despite sufficient time and assets.
“The biggest scandal of all, the biggest question is: What was the president doing in those eight hours?”
— Columnist Charles Krauthammer
Included in that disaster were the unaccounted whereabouts of President Obama during eight critical hours, the lack of Situation Room photos, the failure by the president to follow up with subordinates before his trip to Las Vegas and the fabricated story that the whole thing was prompted by an Internet video.
“I think there is a bigger story here … that will in time come out,” Krauthammer said. “The biggest scandal of all, the biggest question is: What was the president doing in those eight hours?”
The columnist noted: “He had a routine meeting at 5 o’clock. He never after, during the eight hours when our guys have their lives in danger, he never called the secretary of defense, he never calls the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, he never calls the CIA director.”
One of the people Obama always talks to is Valerie Jarrett. She emerged from the same Chicago cauldron of radicalism where Obama got his ideological baptism.
The Iranian-born Jarrett (her parents were American-born expatriates) is the only staff member who regularly follows the president home from the West Wing to the residence and one of the few people allowed to call the president by his first name.
Her influence is shown by an account in Richard Miniter‘s book “Leading From Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide for Him.” Read the rest of this entry »
Tribute to the United States Navy in honor for all that have served, and as a tribute to all those currently serving, and those who will soon serve duty in the United States Navy..
[VIDEO] White House Reportedly ‘Hitting Back Hard’ When Forced to Respond to Bin Laden Report Challenging Official NarrativePosted: May 14, 2015
The White House is denying a reporter’s account accusing the Obama administration of lying about the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound.
[VIDEO] Obama’s Poker Skillz: Bad Bet? Double Down! President Barack Obama Doubles Down on Bizarre Refusal to Call Islamic Terrorists Islamic TerroristsPosted: February 19, 2015
Holding a Losing Hand, The President Goes All In
President Barack Obama affirmed on Wednesday his administration’s belief that the religion of violent extremists savaging Iraq and Syria is not relevant and should not matter.
There is ‘no one profile of a violent extremist or terrorist,’ Obama said at the White House’s summit on counter-terror measures. ‘There is no way to predict who will come radicalized.’
‘We are not at war with Islam,’ Obama asserted. ‘We are at war with people who have perverted Islam.’
The White House on Wednesday was blitzed by reporters demanding to know when it believes that religion is meaningful in violent attacks.
The Obama administration has been loathe to refer to ISIS as ‘Islamic radicals,’ arguing that the terrorist group’s religion doesn’t matter.
Furthermore, it has at times failed to mention the religion of victims of barbaric assaults while at other times featuring it front and center.
As foreign officials descended on Washington for the White House summit taking place next door, new life was given to the controversy and it threatened to overshadow the administration’s confab.
A statement sent to reporters on Sunday evening in which White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest condemned the ‘despicable and cowardly murder of twenty-one Egyptian citizens in Libya by ISIL-affiliated terrorists’ jump started the debate.
Notably, Earnest did not mention that the 21 Egyptians were Christians and were killed by terrorist because of their faith.
But two days before, after three, Muslim students were murdered in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, reportedly over an altercation involving a parking space, Obama said in a statement, ‘No one in the United States of America should ever be targeted because of who they are, what they look like, or how they worship.’
The statement implied that the students’ religion and the assault were linked, even though local authorities had not yet come to that conclusion.
At Wednesday’s press briefing Fox News correspondent Ed Henry implored Earnest to explain why he did not say in his statement that the slaughtered Egyptians were also Christians and asked if the White House doesn’t believe that information is ‘relevant’ to the crime.
‘It sure is,’ Earnest replied, ‘because the ISIL extremists who carried out this attack indicated that the reason that they were killing them, wasn’t just because they were Egyptian, but also because they were Christian.’
Then why not say that? pressed Henry.
‘I can’t account for that specific line in the statement,’ Earnest said, but we’ve been clear ‘that we condemn the outrageous murder of these Egyptian citizens because of their Christian faith.’
He pointed to an op-ed from the president that ran in the Los Angeles Times today as proof of the administration’s position.
In it Obama specifically states that ‘the terrorist group we call ISIL has slaughtered innocent civilians and murdered hostages, including Americans, and has spread its barbarism to Libya with the murder of Egyptian Christians.’
But why, Henry asked, did the White House feel it was necessary to immediately invoke religion when it came to the Muslim students even though the case is still under investigation.
The White House has a principle, Earnest said that ‘regardless of the faith of the individual in question, that people should not be targeted because of their religion, and what they look like or what their last name is or how they worship.’
Obama said that last Friday, Earnest said, to articulate its own believes – and one the White House believes ‘the vast majority of Americans should be able to support.’
“It just seems like you’re tiptoeing through the tulips here.”
— CNN’s Jim Acosta
‘I think we’ve been very clear about what we call it and why we approach it in this way,’ he said before moving on.
Obama’s spokesman was forced to revisit the topic of radical Islamism several times throughout the briefing, with CNN’s Jim Acosta at one point saying to him, ‘It just seems like you’re tiptoeing through the tulips here’ during a back and forth about the religious undertones of the White House’s counterterrorism summit. Read the rest of this entry »
Little is known about Routh, except that attorney J. Warren St. John will attempt to make the case that his client is not guilty by reason of insanity
Since being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder in July 2011, her son had been in and out of Veterans Affairs clinics, she said. He showed no progress in two years, and his erratic behavior continued to spiral out of control.
Jodi Routh worked as an aide at the same Midlothian, Texas, elementary school that Chris Kyle’s children attended. Kyle, of course, wrote “American Sniper,” the basis for the blockbuster Clint Eastwood film, and she had heard that The New York Times bestselling author worked with fellow veterans who were having a hard time adjusting to life back home.
“Shortly after his apprehension, Routh confessed to authorities and family members that he killed both men. After becoming aggressive with guards and refusing to give up a spork and dinner tray, he was placed on suicide watch under 24-hour surveillance in the Erath County Jail.”
“She approached Chris Kyle as he was dropping off his children and asked him if he would help her son. At that point, she had been trying to get (her son) care at the VA, and he was only getting worse,” according to Laura Beil, author of the ebook, “The Enemy Within: The Inside Story of Eddie Routh, the Man Accused of Killing Legendary ‘American Sniper’ Chris Kyle.”
After the deaths of Kyle and his friend, Chad Littlefield, Beil, who also is a contributing editor for Men’s Health magazine, spent almost four months with Eddie Routh’s family detailing the Marine’s struggles after serving in Iraq and Haiti.
[Laura Beil’s book “The Enemy Within: The Inside Story of Eddie Routh, the Man Accused of Killing Legendary ‘American Sniper’ Chris Kyle” is available at Amazon]
“At the end of the conversation, (Kyle) said, ‘I’m going to do everything I can to help your son.’ She actually cried at that point because it was the first time in over a year that anyone had said that,” Beil told CNN.
Eddie Ray Routh, 27, grew up in the Dallas suburb of Lancaster, about 20 miles east of Midlothian, Kyle’s hometown. He faces murder charges in the 2013 deaths of Kyle, 38, and Littlefield, 35.
Today marks the 2 year anniversary of Chris Kyle’s death. Rest easy! 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/1uRPUZytGE
— Kickass Military (@KickassMilitary) February 3, 2015
‘I lost track of how many soldiers and Marines told me of their frustration with an American media that so often describes them as either nuts or victims’
Michael J. Totten writes: Clint Eastwood’s new film, American Sniper, is a blisteringly accurate portrayal of the American war in Iraq. Unlike most films in the genre, it sidesteps the politics and focuses on an individual: the late, small-town Texan, Chris Kyle, who joined the Navy SEALs after 9/11 and did four tours of duty in Fallujah, Ramadi, and Baghdad. He is formally recognized as the deadliest sniper in American history, and the film, based on his bestselling memoir, dramatizes the war he felt duty-bound to fight and his emotionally wrenching return home, with post-traumatic stress.
“All psychologically normal people feel at least some hatred for the enemy in a war zone. It’s not humanly possible to like or feel neutral toward people who are trying to kill you. Race hasn’t the faintest thing to do with it.”
The movie has become a flashpoint for liberal critics. Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore dismissed the film out-of-hand because snipers, he says, are “cowards.” “American Sniper kind of reminds me of the movie that’s showing in the third act of Inglorious Basterds,” comic actor Seth Rogen tweeted, referring to a fake Hitler propaganda film about a Nazi sniper, though he backtracked and said he actually liked the film, that it only reminded him of Nazi propaganda. Writing for the Guardian, Lindy West is fair to Eastwood and the film but cruel to its subject. Kyle, she says, was “a hate-filled killer” and “a racist who took pleasure in dehumanizing and killing brown people.”
The Navy confirms that Kyle shot and killed 160 combatants, most of whom indeed had brown skin. While he was alive, he said that he enjoyed his job. In one scene in the movie, Kyle, played by a bulked-up Bradley Cooper, refers to “savages,” and it’s not clear if he means Iraqis in general or just the enemies he’s fighting.
“What would you think of a man who kills a kid with a power drill right in front of you? Would you moderate your language so that no one at a Manhattan dinner party would gasp? Maybe you would, but Kyle wasn’t at a Manhattan dinner party.”
But let’s take a step back and leave the politics aside. All psychologically normal people feel at least some hatred for the enemy in a war zone. This is true whether they’re on the “right” side or the “wrong” side. It’s not humanly possible to like or feel neutral toward people who are trying to kill you. Race hasn’t the faintest thing to do with it.
“Here’s a medical fact: psychopaths don’t suffer from post-traumatic stress or any other kind of anxiety disorder. And cowards don’t volunteer for four tours of duty in war-torn Iraq.”
Does anyone seriously believe Kyle would have felt differently if white Russians or Serbs, rather than “brown” Arabs, were shooting at him? How many residents of New York’s Upper West Side had a sympathetic or nuanced view of al-Qaida on September 11, 2001? Some did—inappropriately, in my view—but how many would have been able to keep it up if bombs exploded in New York City every day, year after year?
Kyle had other reasons to hate his enemies, aside from their desire to kill him. In American Sniper, we see him in Fallujah and Ramadi fighting Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s Al Qaeda in Iraq, the bloody precursor to ISIS. Read the rest of this entry »
Rorke Denver: ‘Liberals’ Criticism of My SEAL Teammate Chris Kyle Has Had the Ironic Effect of Honoring Him’Posted: January 26, 2015
The United States of ‘American Sniper’
Rorke Denver writes: ‘American Sniper,” the new movie about Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, has opened to staggering box-office success and garnered multiple Academy Award nominations. But not all the attention has been positive. The most vocal criticism came in the form of disparaging quotes and tweets from actor-director Seth Rogen and documentary-maker Michael Moore . Both have since attempted to qualify their ugly comments, but similarly nasty observations continue to emanate from the left.
“The very term ‘sniper’ seems to stir passionate reactions on the left. The criticism misses the fundamental value that snipers add to the battlefield. Snipers engage individual threats. Rarely, if ever, do their actions cause collateral damage.”
The bulk of Chris Kyle’s remarkable exploits took place in the Al Anbar province of Iraq in the summer of 2006. He and I were teammates at SEAL Team Three. Chris had always been a large figure in the SEAL teams. He became a legend before our eyes in Ramadi.
My fellow special-operations brothers might be shocked, but I think the comments by Messrs. Rogen and Moore have had the ironic effect of honoring Chris Kyle’s memory. They inadvertently paid Chris a tribute that joins the Texas funeral procession and “American Sniper” book sales and box office in testifying to the power of his story. I’ll get to the punch line shortly, but first please let me lay the groundwork.
“Snipers may be the most humane of weapons in the military arsenal. The job also takes a huge emotional toll on the man behind the scope. The intimate connection between the shooter and the target can be hard to overcome for even the most emotionally mature warrior. The value of a sniper in warfare is beyond calculation.”
The very term “sniper” seems to stir passionate reactions on the left. The criticism misses the fundamental value that snipers add to the battlefield. Snipers engage individual threats. Rarely, if ever, do their actions cause collateral damage. Snipers may be the most humane of weapons in the military arsenal. The job also takes a huge emotional toll on the man behind the scope. The intimate connection between the shooter and the target can be hard to overcome for even the most emotionally mature warrior. The value of a sniper in warfare is beyond calculation.
“My fellow special-operations brothers might be shocked, but I think the comments by Messrs. Rogen and Moore have had the ironic effect of honoring Chris Kyle’s memory. “
I witnessed the exceptional performance of SEAL, Army and Marine snipers on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. They struck psychological fear in our enemies and protected countless lives. Chris Kyle and the sniper teams I led made a habit of infiltrating dangerous areas of enemy-controlled ground, established shooting positions and coordinated security for large conventional-unit movement. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Tuttle: American Sniper Backlash Exposes ‘Bush Derangement’ Syndrome Hasn’t Gone into Remission, Still MalignantPosted: January 22, 2015
Chris Kyle Complicates the Narrative
National Review Buckley fellow Ian Tuttle addressed the seething discontent on the American left over the popular success of American Sniper, saying the backlash against the story of Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle represents continuing “derangement” over the Bush years and the Iraq War.
“One of the reasons that Chris Kyle has garnered so much animus is because there remains a derangement when it comes to Iraq and the Bush years, against which Chris Kyle stood…”
Tuttle spoke with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly on Wednesday about the vitriolic outpouring against Kyle by left-wing bloggers and pundits like Michael Moore and Max Blumenthal, who accused the sniper of being a coward and a mass murderer. Read the rest of this entry »
Obama’s American Sniper
Dan Henninger writes: Barack Obama was 15 minutes into his State of the Union speech when I arrived home to watch it, having just walked back from seeing “American Sniper.”
“Watching a movie about a Navy SEAL who served four tours fighting in Iraq was not the best way to enhance the experience of a Barack Obama speech. As a matter of fact, it was pretty unbearable.”
Because Clint Eastwood directed “American Sniper” the movie is about more than the story of Chris Kyle, the highly skilled rifle marksman from Texas. In 2006, Mr. Eastwood presented two movies about the famous World War II battle of Iwo Jima. “Letters from Iwo Jima” told the story from the perspective of Japanese soldiers, and “Flags of Our Fathers” from the Americans’ side.
“Watching “American Sniper,” it is impossible to separate these catastrophes from seeing what the Marines did and endured to secure northern Iraq. Again, anyone is entitled to hate the Iraq war…”
So “American Sniper” is not a crude paean to “our boys” in the Iraq war. What it does is convey the extraordinary personal, psychological and physical sacrifice of the U.S. Marines who fought al Qaeda i”n Fallujah, Ramadi and the other towns of Iraq’s Anbar province beginning in 2003 and through the period of the Anbar Awakening, which ended with the Marines pacifying the province.
“…But no serious person would want a president to make a decision that would allow so much personal sacrifice to simply evaporate…”
It’s just a movie, so even “American Sniper’s” small slice only hints at the price America paid—some 3,500 combat deaths and another 32,000 wounded—to bring Iraq to a point of relative, if fragile, stability in 2011.
“…Which, in his serene self-confidence, is what Barack Obama did. That absolute drawdown was a decision of fantastic foolishness.”
Opinions will differ, often bitterly, on the war in Iraq and the reasons for it. In the movie, a painful funeral scene captures that ambivalence. But what is just not possible to choke down is President Obama’s decision in 2011 to reduce the U.S.’s residual military presence to virtually zero. It was a decision to waste what the Marines and Army had done. Read the rest of this entry »
Resonating With People in Smaller Cities, Military Film Has Huge $105.3 Million Debut Weekend
“’American Sniper’ garnered better reviews than ‘Lone Survivor’ or ‘Unbroken’ and, unlike the latter two, received multiple Academy Award nominations, including for best picture—helping to ensure it performed well across the country and wasn’t exclusively a ‘red state’ phenomenon.”
Based on the memoir of Chris Kyle, reputed to be the deadliest sniper in the American military during the Iraq war, “American Sniper” opened to a phenomenal $105.3 million in the U.S. and Canada over the four-day holiday weekend, according to an estimate from distributor Warner Bros., owned by Time Warner Inc.
“What these movies share is they’re utterly unironic. They treat American values honorably.”
— Michael Moses, Universal’s co-president of marketing
Its success was driven in large part by moviegoers like Mr. Smith who live in smaller cities and don’t regularly go to the multiplex.
“Chris Kyle was a fellow veteran, a fellow Texan. He’s very much a true legend,” Mr. Smith said while holding hands with his wife, Crystal. “So it was basically a foregone conclusion I’d be here as soon as it opened.”
“When the phone calls started coming in from exhibitors, I realized we had something special happening in the South and in small towns where our movies sometimes find it difficult to resonate.”
— Dan Fellman, president of domestic distribution for Warner Bros.
Such a massive opening for a mid-budget drama was perhaps Hollywood’s biggest surprise since “Avengers” blew away box-office records by opening to $207 million in 2012. “Sniper,” directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Bradley Cooper, enjoyed the largest opening ever for a drama or R-rated film and more than doubled the prior record for Martin Luther King Day weekend.
“Its success is the strongest evidence yet that audiences including veterans and cultural conservatives who are more concentrated in the South and Midwest feel underserved by Hollywood and will turn out in droves for movies that are inspiring, patriotic and sincere.”
Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures also had surprising success last month with the historical military drama “Unbroken” and last year with the Afghan war movie “Lone Survivor.”
“Opening-night audiences gave “Sniper” an average grade of A+, according to market-research firm CinemaScore.”
Eight of the top 10 markets for “American Sniper” were in the South or Midwest, including San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Houston, Nashville and Albuquerque. Typically, major cities like New York and Los Angeles dominate the top theater rankings for a successful film because they have larger concentrations of frequent moviegoers and higher ticket prices.
All five of the top theaters for “Lone Survivor” were in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico, while “Unbroken” performed extremely well in small cities such as Mesa, Ariz., and Lehi, Utah. Meanwhile, all three movies underperformed in the Northeastern U.S. and Canada, compared with the norm. Read the rest of this entry »
“The ideal thing would be if I knew the number of lives I saved, because that’s something I’d love to be known for. But you can’t calculate that.”
Michael Moore called him a “coward.” Peter Mass of Glenn Greenwald’s the Intercept slammed him for calling Iraqis “savages.” Former Daily Beast reporter Max Blumenthal described him as a “mass murderer” — a sentiment later echoed on a defaced billboard that’s advertising the most popular movie in America.
Murdered by a mentally ill veteran he was counseling in February 2013, Kyle is no longer here to defend himself. But a C-SPAN video from April 2012 does a pretty good job of putting the lie to the Left’s portrait of a remorseless sociopathic killer. Read the rest of this entry »
Michael Moore caused a stir on Sunday when he Tweeted his negative opinion of snipers, seemingly in response to the release of American Sniper.
In a Facebook post later that day, the director, 60, defended his statements about snipers – but also attempted to distance the Tweets from the the Oscar-nominated film about real-life Navy SEAL Chris Kyle….(blah blah blah) (read more)
Box office opening weekends: Valley of Elah $133k Rendition $4mm The Green Zone $14mm Lions for Lambs $6.7mm American Sniper $94mm
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) January 18, 2015
PARIS — France’s government urged the nation to remain vigilant Saturday, as thousands of security forces try to thwart new attacks and hunt down a suspected accomplice in a rampage by terrorists linked to al Qaeda in Yemen that scarred the nation and left 20 dead.
Hundreds of thousands of people marched Saturday in cities from Toulouse in the south to Rennes in the west to honor the 17 victims of three attackers, killed by police after three days of bloodshed at the offices of a satirical newspaper, a kosher supermarket and other sites around Paris.
The sense of relief was tinged with sorry and worry. In Paris, security forces guarded places of worship and tourist sites, and prepared for what’s likely to be a huge silent march Sunday to show unity against extremists. Two dozen world leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron, are among the many expected to join.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said authorities will do everything to ensure security at the event. Speaking after an emergency meeting called by French President Francois Hollande on Saturday morning, Cazeneuve called for “extreme vigilance,” saying that “given the context, we are exposed to risks.”
Al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen said it directed Wednesday’s attack against the publication Charlie Hebdo to avenge the honor of the Prophet Muhammad, a frequent target of the weekly’s satire.
In a sign of the tense atmosphere, a security perimeter was briefly imposed at Disneyland Paris on Saturday before being lifted, a spokeswoman said, without elaborating. Movement around the park was back to normal by early afternoon.
Several thousand people walk behind a banner which reads,” Live Together Free, Equal, and United” during a march in Nantes, France.Photo: Reuters
Cazeneuve said the government is maintaining its terror alert system at the highest level in the Paris region, and said investigators are focusing on determining whether the attackers were part of a larger extremist network.
Five other people are in custody as part of the investigation, and family members of the attackers are among several given preliminary charges so far.
“You must consider her as the companion of a dangerous terrorist who needs to be questioned. Since 2010, she has had a relationship with an individual whose ideology translates into violence and the execution of poor people who were just doing their shopping in a supermarket.”
— Christophe Crepin, spokesman for UNSA police union
French radio RTL released audio Saturday of the attacker, Amedy Coulibaly, who seized hostages in the kosher supermarket, in which he lashes out over Western military campaigns against extremists in Syria and Mali. He describes Osama bin Laden as an inspiration. Read the rest of this entry »
“Morale at the CNN Washington Bureau is about as strong as it is inside the Redskins’ locker room–and the management is just as bad,” a CNN staffer told the news site.
“Things have been horrible inside the Washington bureau. On Friday, which was everyone’s last day, people were crying all over the bureau, but managers hid in offices and didn’t go to any of the goodbye office parties.”
The wave of layoffs was an effort to cut eight percent of CNN’s workforce. 50 employees were cut from the Washington, D.C. bureau alone. But at the same time, 20 new positions were created in the bureau’s digital department. Read the rest of this entry »
Clint Eastwood’s Navy SEAL drama, which stars Bradley Cooper, is set to get an Oscar-qualifying run on Dec. 25
Clint Eastwood’s latest film, American Sniper, will get a sneak peek screening at AFI Fest. The drama will be shown at a screening on Tuesday, Nov. 11, at 9 p.m. at the Egyptian Theatre.
“Clint Eastwood is an American icon. His are stories that stand the test of time, and we are proud and honored to unveil his latest masterpiece.”
— A statement from AFI president Bob Gazzale
The Navy SEAL drama, which stars Bradley Cooper, is set to get an Oscar-qualifying run on Dec. 25 in select theaters before expanding Jan. 16. The film, a Warners/Village Roadshow co-production, is based on a 2012 autobiographical book written by Chris Kyle.
Read more 44 Movies Vying for Best Picture Oscar
“Effective today, the president? A photo-op? or something in between?” Susteren asked.
“Photo-op. Complete photo-op. This indicative of a global failure of his foreign policy.”
Higbie explained. “He has toted that he is behind the troops before and he stands in front of these guys, gets a photo-op, everything like that, while saying he’s going to send 3,000 guys to combat Ebola, but I’m not going to send any to combat an actual enemy that’s really threatening America.”
“What do you think they think? I mean, I suppose it’s kind of a mixed bag?” Susteren pressed.
“I’d say most of the troops. Probably over 90 percent, do not support the president.”
Susteren then asked Higbie about his time as a Navy SEAL, “As a Navy SEAL, you have trained foreign troops? Right? How many times? More than one trip to Iraq?”
“Absolutely, we did two deployments,” Higbie said. Read the rest of this entry »
“We’re measuring them by the size of their mistakes, and that is amateur hour.”
From NRO‘s Molly Wharton: Former Navy SEAL and FBI special agent Jonathan Gilliam thinks that the Obama administration has shown it’s not up for the task of effectively and safely overseeing America’s wars, and the recent prisoner exchange of five high-level Taliban generals for American Bowe Bergdahl is just the latest example…
“I just don’t know where their politics end and their legality and their war-fighting start.”
John Nolte writes: Between documentaries and narrative feature films, Hollywood delivered somewhere close to two dozen box office bombs during the Bush Administration — all of them attacking President George W. Bush and various elements of the War on Terror. Not one of these films was anything other than a critical and commercial humiliation. That, however, didn’t stop Hollywood from making them. The entertainment industry’s anti-American agenda will always trump greed. This weekend, though, with “Lone Survivor,” Hollywood finally as a hit war movie on its hands.
According to Deadline, “Lone Survivor” is expected to top the weekend box office with a take of $33 million to $35 million — which is well above industry expectations and double the expectations of its distributor, Universal.
Kyle Smith reports: The night of Sept. 1, 2009, Echo Platoon of Navy SEAL Team 10 headed out into the Fallujah night. Their goal: concluding a five-year search for the al Qaeda killer who had been responsible for the shocking 2004 murders of four American military contractors — one of them an ex-SEAL — whose bodies were then burned, dragged through the streets and hanged from a bridge.
This night the SEALs departed with these words from their commanding officer: “Gents, stay sharp, and expect a firefight.”
In the event, no shots were fired, but the SEALs faced another kind of ambush: a humiliating, baffling, infuriating struggle with the military-justice system that would end with an unsatisfying victory.
Because the man those SEALs captured — Ahmad Hashim Abd Al-Isawi, aka “the Butcher of Fallujah,” a man who lived for mayhem — somehow sustained a bloody lip on the night of his capture.
The contrast between the two instances of violence seems, like many of the details of the case, absurd.
On the one hand, four Blackwater contractors were murdered and beheaded as they pulled security in a convoy that was attempting to deliver food.
MOGADISHU, Somalia) —Abdi Guled reports: A member of the Somali Islamic extremist group al-Shabab and a Somali government intelligence official say a military strike, possibly a drone attack, killed at least two senior al-Shabab rebels.
The al-Shabab member, who gave his name as Abu Mohamed, said one of those killed was al-Shabab’s top explosives expert, known as Anta. He said a drone targeted a car carrying al-Shabab rebels in Somalia’s Middle Juba region.
A Somali intelligence official in Mogadishu said the attack occurred as al-Shabab members went to intervene in a clan dispute. The official insisted on anonymity because he is not authorized to share intelligence.
Earlier this month, United States Navy SEALS attacked a coastal Somali town to take down a Kenyan al-Shabab member. The SEALs withdrew before capturing or killing their target.
DEVELOPING: US Navy SEALS have conducted a raid of the Al Shabaab militant group in Somalia, killing at least one militant, Fox News confirms.
The group is linked to last month’s Kenya mall attack that killed more than 60 people.
In Somalia, officials say international military forces carried out a pre-dawn strike Saturday against foreign fighters in the town of Barawe. Officials say the strike was aimed at “high-profile” targets.
The strike comes two weeks after Al Shabaab militants attacked Nairobi’s Westgate Mall.
The strike was carried out in the hours before morning prayers in Barawe, the same town where Navy SEALs four years ago killed a most-wanted Al Qaeda operative, the officials said. Read the rest of this entry »
Gregory Hicks, the former Deputy Chief of Mission in Libya who testified before Congress about the 9/11 attacks on an American diplomatic facility earlier this year, believes he has been “punished” for speaking out about the Obama administration’s response the night of the attack. He said he believes at least two of the Americans lost that night could have been saved if the United States had responded in time. Read the rest of this entry »
By Radley Balko
Are cops constitutional?
In a 2001 article for the Seton Hall Constitutional Law Journal, the legal scholar and civil liberties activist Roger Roots posed just that question. Roots, a fairly radical libertarian, believes that the U.S. Constitution doesn’t allow for police as they exist today. At the very least, he argues, police departments, powers and practices today violate the document’s spirit and intent. “Under the criminal justice model known to the framers, professional police ofﬁcers were unknown,” Roots writes.
The founders and their contemporaries would probably have seen even the early-19th-century police forces as a standing army, and a particularly odious one at that. Just before the American Revolution, it wasn’t the stationing of British troops in the colonies that irked patriots in Boston and Virginia; it was England’s decision to use the troops for everyday law enforcement. This wariness of standing armies was born of experience and a study of history—early American statesmen like Madison, Washington and Adams were well-versed in the history of such armies in Europe, especially in ancient Rome.
If even the earliest attempts at centralized police forces would have alarmed the founders, today’s policing would have terriﬁed them. Today in America SWAT teams violently smash into private homes more than 100 times per day. The vast majority of these raids are to enforce laws against consensual crimes. In many cities, police departments have given up the traditional blue uniforms for “battle dress uniforms” modeled after soldier attire.
Police departments across the country now sport armored personnel carriers designed for use on a battleﬁeld. Some have helicopters, tanks and Humvees. They carry military-grade weapons. Most of this equipment comes from the military itself. Many SWAT teams today are trained by current and former personnel from special forces units like the Navy SEALs or Army Rangers. National Guard helicopters now routinely swoop through rural areas in search of pot plants and, when they ﬁnd something, send gun-toting troops dressed for battle rappelling down to chop and conﬁscate the contraband. But it isn’t just drugs. Aggressive, SWAT-style tactics are now used to raid neighborhood poker games, doctors’ ofﬁces, bars and restaurants, and head shops—despite the fact that the targets of these raids pose little threat to anyone. This sort of force was once reserved as the last option to defuse a dangerous situation. It’s increasingly used as the ﬁrst option to apprehend people who aren’t dangerous at all.
Click here to read the rest of “How did America’s police become a military force on the streets?” from the July issue of the ABA Journal.
via ABA Journal