Tag Archives: Libya

The Founders’ Worst Fears Coming True

EDITOR’S NOTE: Below is a guest post by Paul R. Hollrah, a resident of Oklahoma who writes from the perspective of a veteran conservative politico who served two terms as a member of the Electoral College. It comes several months after another piece raised hackles among conservatives, in part, because of it’s headline, Ted, Bobby, Marco and Rick Share Something in Common. Even if you disagree with Paul, this piece will make you think long and hard.

INELIGIBLE: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA).

Click on image above to read Paul R. Hollrah’s previous piece on four prominent GOP hopefuls who are ineligible to serve as president of the United States.

As the Founding Fathers met at Independence Hall in Philadelphia in 1778, producing word-for-word the greatest governing document in all of recorded history, they were haunted by a number of major concerns. Among their most critical concerns was the long-term sustainability of the constitutional republic they were creating. How could they prevent it from being subverted?

General George Washington, president of the Constitutional Convention, read a July 25, 1787, letter from John Jay, a member of the Continental Congress, who would later become the first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. It was just five years and eleven months since Lord Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown and Jay was concerned that the administration of our federal government might one day fall into the hands of a man who might find it difficult… because of divided loyalties… to always do what was in the best interests of the country. He was especially concerned over what might happen if command of our Army and Navy should ever fall into the hands of such a man.

In his letter, Jay wrote, “Permit me to hint whether it would be wise and seasonable to provide a strong check to the admission of foreigners into the administration of our national government; and to declare expressly that the commander-in-chief of the American army shall not be given to, nor devolve on, any but a natural born citizen (emphasis added).”

John Jay, National Portrait Gallery.

John Jay, National Portrait Gallery.

In Federalist Paper No. 68, Alexander Hamilton expressed the prevailing concern of foreign influence in the affairs of government. He wrote, “These most deadly adversaries of republican government (cabal, intrigue, etc.) might actually have expected to make their approach from more than one quarter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils. How could they better gratify this than by raising a creature of their own to the Chief Magistracy of the Union?”

Taking into account the concerns expressed by Jay and Madison, it is easy to understand why the Founders produced a constitution under which only two of the 145,400,000 jobs in the United States… public sector and private sector combined… require the incumbents to be “natural born” citizens. Those two jobs are president and vice president of the United States.

So, precisely what was it that the Founders found so worrisome about future presidents… so worrisome that they placed tight restrictions on access to the position?

The Founders rightly understood that the most influential factor in a child’s upbringing is the parenting he/she receives as a child, and that the cultural, philosophical, political, and religious influence of a child’s parents fundamentally establishes the direction of his/her future conduct. Accordingly, what the Founders feared most and what caused them to limit access to the presidency only to the “natural born” was the fear that a future president… during his formative years and during the years in which he was developing intellectually… would be exposed to an environment in which he would learn to reject the values and the principles embodied in the U.S. Constitution. Although they were not alive to see it, their worst fears were realized 221 years later when a usurper named Barack Hussein Obama occupied the White House.

Barack Obama’s mother was a citizen of the United States. However, under the tutelage of her liberal parents she grew up to be a radical leftist, while his father, Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., was a devout Kenyan-born socialist. Obama spent most of his formative years as a citizen of Indonesia, the most populous Muslim nation on Earth, where his name was changed to Barry Soetoro and his school records list his religious preference as Islamic. Then, upon returning to Hawaii at age 10, he was mentored during his teen years by a card-carrying member of the Communist Party,USA, Frank Marshall Davis. It was not the sort of environment conducive to the political and intellectual development of a man who would one day follow in the footsteps of patriots such as Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Ronald Reagan.

Obama went into office promising the most transparent administration in history, and that he would bring an end to the revolving door of lobbyists moving into and out of the White House. Instead, the revolving door at the White House has been set spinning with lobbyists coming and going, while even the most liberal media outlets insist that his is the least transparent, the most secretive, and the least responsive administration in history.

He went into office promising to depolarize American politics and government and to reach across the aisle to work with Republicans. Instead, he pokes his thumb into the eyes of Republicans at every opportunity, and what has always been a healthy mistrust between the major parties now approaches bitter animosity.

He went into office promising to reduce unemployment and to spur economic growth. Instead, he has steadily shrunk the size of the U.S. workforce, increased the ranks of the unemployed, and, with little understanding how the U.S. economy works, he has stymied economic growth.

He promised to provide healthcare insurance for some 30 million uninsured, while improving the quality of healthcare and reducing the cost of healthcare for everyone… and all of that without increasing the number of doctors, nurses, and hospitals. Instead, many workers have lost their insurance, doctors are giving up their practices, and employers are reducing the working hours of employees so as to avoid paying the burgeoning cost of healthcare benefits.

He went into office promising to close the budget deficit and reduce the national debt. Instead, in the six years he’s been in office, he has not produced a single balanced budget and the national debt has increased from $9 trillion to $18 trillion… more than all previous presidents combined.

By David Donar

By David Donar

He went into office promising to reduce poverty and to shrink the income disparity between the rich and the poor. Instead, the number of Americans living below the poverty line has gradually increased, nearly 50 million Americans are on food stamps, and the wage gap between the rich and the poor has steadily widened.

He went into office promising to heal the scars of racism in America and to bring our people together. Instead, he has played the race card at every opportunity and race relations are now more tenuous than at any time since the heyday of the Ku Klux Klan.

He went into office promising to solve the illegal immigration problem by first securing our borders. Instead, millions upon millions of illegals from Mexico and Central America stream across our borders, while he uses every conceivable device to insure that the invaders can stay in the U.S. and that they will one day become reliable Democratic voters.

He went into office promising to improve relations with the Russians; to bring peace to the Middle East; to draw “red lines” in Libya and Syria that radical Islamists would not dare cross; to promote friendship and cooperation throughout the Arab world; and to heal any rifts that may have developed between us and our allies. Instead, relations between the U.S. and Russia are at an all-time low; every nation in the Middle East is either at war or about to be at war; “red lines” were crossed but Obama failed to respond as threatened; our enemies throughout the Middle East are emboldened; the most dangerous purveyor of state-sponsored terror is just weeks or months away from having a nuclear weapon; our Arab allies no longer trust us; and our long-time allies in Israel and in Europe must now face a dangerous world without our leadership.

In short, Barack Obama is precisely what the Founders feared most when they wrote Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution, limiting access to the presidency only to those who are natural born citizens. In just six short years he has become the poster boy for national suicide.

Unfortunately, the intellectually lazy in both major parties, representing the entire ideological spectrum, have failed to satisfy themselves of Obama’s fitness for the presidency. Those on the left were so anxious to recapture the White House, especially with a young attractive black man as their standard bearer, that they paid no attention whatsoever to warnings that he was lacking in qualifications. While on the right, it is all but impossible to find a conservative commentator or a political leader with the courage to challenge the bona fides of a black Democrat… fearing that they may be forced to defend themselves against charges of racism.

What they have done, in fact, is to create a de facto amendment to the U.S. Constitution without going to the trouble of consulting the provisions of Article 1, Section 3; Article II, Section 1; or Article V of the Constitution.

Now, because of the duplicity of the left and the cowardice of the right, we are confronted with a potential constitutional crisis involving the candidacies of Sen. Ted Cruz (D-TX), Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)… all prominently mentioned as potential Republican presidential nominees in 2016, but none of whom are eligible for that office because they fail to meet the “natural born” requirement of Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution.

Will Democrats, knowing that they supported and elected a usurper in 2008 and again in 2012, allow Republicans to do the same in 2016? Are we to simply accept that two wrongs make a right? Anyone who believes that Democrats are not so duplicitous as to glorify Obama’s illegal presidency while crucifying a Republican candidate guilty of the same offense, simply does not know Democrats. The wisest course would be for Cruz, Jindal, and Rubio to do what is best for their party and their country by removing themselves from consideration. The worst fears of the Founders has been realized in Barack Obama. Republicans should not repeat the outrage.

SEE ALSO: The Obama Eligibility Question Revisited Again.

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Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Did Afghan Officials Play Role in ‘Extortion 17′ Deaths?

Could untrustworthy officials at the highest levels of the Afghan government be responsible for the single-largest loss of life in the history of U.S. Naval Special Warfare?  Almost a year after asking that question for the first time, I’m convinced they are. Below, I share information from an article I published Sept. 16, 2013.

Extortion 17 KIAs

Extortion 17 KIAs

On Aug. 6, 2011, a CH-47 “Chinook” — call sign “Extortion 17” — was shot down during the pre-dawn hours while on a mission to capture a bad guy in Afghanistan’s Wardak Province.  Among the dead, 30 Americans, most of whom were members of the U.S. Navy’s elite SEAL TEAM SIX.

Because the deaths of these “quiet professionals” came only weeks after Vice President Joe Biden compromised operational security by disclosing details about their unit’s involvement in a raid on Osama bin Laden‘s compound in Pakistan, some people — including some family members and friends of SEALs killed in the crash — believe the SEALs may have been sacrificed by the Obama Administration to appease followers of bin Laden.  More likely, however, is that they were set up by unvetted or poorly-vetted Afghan officials allowed to work closely with U.S. and Coalition Forces decision-makers.

Is it beyond the realm of possibilities to think Afghan officials are corrupt enough to engage in such activities?  Hardly  According to a report issued last week by the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction, the following is true:

Widespread corruption in Afghanistan is a significant problem and remains a threat to the success of reconstruction and assistance programs. In 2012, Transparency International ranked Afghanistan in a tie with Somalia and North Korea as the most corrupt country in the world.  NOTE:  Here’s the link to the 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index if you want to see it for yourself.

These are likely the same kind of people who, after surviving a supposedly-thorough vetting process, have excelled at waging hundreds of often-deadly “Green-on-Blue” or “Insider” attacks against American and Coalition Forces mentors and advisors while wearing the uniforms of their country’s military, police and security agencies instead of the attire of government officials.

Exactly who are the Afghans officials who likely set up the warriors aboard Extortion 17?  Based on what I read among the more than 1,300 pages that make up the Extortion 17 crash investigation report produced by U.S. Central Command, I’d say its the high-level Afghans who serve on the Operational Coordination Group (OCG).

Early in the report, I found the transcript of a briefing conducted nine days after the crash by an American intelligence officer who, at one point, describes himself as “an SF guy by trade.”  His audience is a group of about 18 people assembled at Bagram Air Base as part of the investigation process that followed the crash.  The topic is the OCG’s participation in the war effort.  NOTE:  Because the copy of the report I received was redacted, the briefing officer’s branch of service and rank remain a mystery.  His words from the transcript, however, appear below:

“We made some real money with the OCG; they are the Operational Coordination Group and they assist us with the planning, and the vetting, and de-confliction of our operation,” said the intelligence officer on page 6 of one 134-page document.  “Likewise, once we are done executing the operation, they are able to send the results report, the result of the operations, up through their various administrates.  They are made up of the Afghan National Army, the National Director of Security, as well as the Afghan National Police Force.  They are here on site, but we also have them down at the regional level in RC-South and, in September, we are going to stand up region site up in RC-North.”

“So they have visibility on every operation?” asked the deputy investigating officer.

“Every operation,” the intel officer replied.

“So they knew about the operations?” the deputy asked, apparently wanting to confirm what he had just heard.

“Oh yea,” the intel officer confirmed.

“And they were briefed on it?” the deputy followed, again seeking confirmation.

“Absolutely,” came the reply.

Further down the same page, the deputy investigating officer asked another OCG-focused question – “So they have the ability, do they have approval authority on that, to cancel an operation?” – and the conversation continued:

“Technically, they do,” the intel officer replied.  “They don’t exercise it, but technically they do have (the) authority.”

“So they either task or approve the operation?” the deputy investigating officer said, seeking confirmation.

The answer:  “Yep.”

More than 50 pages deeper into the document, the investigating officer — then-Brig. Gen. Jeffrey N. Colt before being promoted in 2012 — asked for and received confirmation from the officer representing the Joint Special Operations Task Force Intelligence Directorate (J3) that every mission is vetted through the OCG.  He also received some background knowledge about the group.

“(The Operational Coordination Group),” the J3 representative told him and others in the room, “was formed over two years ago when we said we needed to have really better legitimacy in the eyes of (Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan) in order to maintain our freedom of maneuver. So, these guys are high level officials from Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Interior, and the National Directorate of Security.”

“Really the only thing we keep from them, obviously, is the (Top Secret) level how we got to the target piece of it,” he added a short time later.  “They are briefed on all the targets prior to execution and, you know, technically speaking if they would come to us and say, ‘I don’t want you to execute this mission,’ we wouldn’t do it.”

So, according to transcript, members of the OCG knew about the Extortion 17 mission in advance, were involved in assigning and/or approving the mission and could have vetoed the mission, but did not.

After realizing how deeply involved OCG members are in each mission, I asked myself a question — “Did a failure to properly screen top Afghan government officials before they were allowed to serve on the OCG help bring down Extortion 17?” — and set out to answer it.

SEARCH FOR AN ANSWER

I began by searching online for accurate information about the OCG.  Unfortunately, I found very little information about the group’s existence prior to the crash of Extortion 17. Even the International Security Assistance Force/NATO website contained no mentions of the OCG prior to the crash.

The only online mention of the OCG prior to the crash appeared in a Spring 2007 NATO Review article.  In it, the author, British Army Gen. David Richards, described the introduction of the OCG as a “significant development.”  NOTE:  “Spring 2007″ is a lot earlier than the “two years ago” description (i.e., August 2009) given by the J3 officer as the approximate date of the OCG’s launch.

Eight months after the crash, a DoD news release did mention the OCG, stating that the group had been given the authority to review and approve all special operations missions and to participate in intelligence fusion, monitor mission execution and make notifications to provincial governors.  Two months after that, an ISAF news release confirmed the same.

QUESTIONS ASKED

In addition to searching online, I submitted a list of questions to ISAF public affairs officers via email the morning of Sept. 11.  I wanted to know when and why the OCG was established and who participates in the OCG or comprises its membership.  Most importantly, I wanted to know if non-American and non-NATO individuals are vetted prior to their involvement in OCG and asked for a description of the vetting process if they are.

Two days later, the response I received from Lt. Col. Will Griffin, an Army public affairs officer assigned to ISAF Headquarters, was vague at best:

The OCG was established in 2010 to communicate ISAF Special Operations Forces headquarters’ intentions to our Afghan partners in an expedient and concise manner and likewise provide a means for Afghan National Security Force to convey their concerns and intentions to ISAF SOF HQ.

The OCG is comprised of representatives from coalition forces and Afghan liaison officers.  All Afghan partners are screened and certified by their ministries, as well as completing the same verification process as all liaison officers that work in secure ISAF installations.

Ten minutes after reading Colonel Griffin’s response, I replied by pointing out to the colonel that he had not included a requested description of the vetting process used to screen non-American and non-NATO members of the OCG.   Then I waited for another 15 hours.  Rather than receive a description of the vetting process, however, I received the following message:

The vetting process is a comprehensive look at the individual’s background, associates, personal history, etc.  Operational security considerations prevent me to go into further depth.

After Colonel Griffin offered little in terms of knowledge about the process used — if, in fact, there is one — to vet OCG members, I conducted a less-than-scientific survey of other sources, including friends and acquaintances who’ve spent varying lengths of time in Afghanistan and family members of American “Green-on-Blue” casualties.  The general consensus:  Afghans cannot be trusted.

QUESTIONS REMAIN

Does this information prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that some Afghan members of the OCG are corrupt?  No.

Does it prove that Afghan members of the OCG engaged in an effort to down Extortion 17?  No.

Does it prove the OCG has been comprised by Afghans who may be subject to a vetting process that’s even less stringent than that the one used to screen entry-level policemen, security guards and soldiers?  No.

Do negative answers to the three questions above mean the case is closed?  No!  Instead, they should prompt Americans to demand answers from their elected officials about Extortion 17 in much the same way they’ve demanded answers to questions surrounding the deaths of four Americans at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012.

In addition, I recommend reading, BETRAYED: The Shocking True Story of Extortion 17 as told by a Navy SEAL’s Father, by Billy Vaughn.  Along with his wife, Karen, the author of this book has spent a great deal of time and energy looking into the cause of the crash for one very personal reason:  Extortion 17 was the final mission of their son, Navy SEAL Aaron Carson Vaughn.

As you near the end of Vaughn’s book, you’ll find references to The Clapper Memo, my latest nonfiction book in which I share in-depth details about “Green-on-Blue”/”Insider” Attacks discovered during my four-year investigation into the federal government’s use of credibility assessment technologies, including the polygraph. I hope you’ll order a copy of my book, too.

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.