Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Honduras Defending Democracy and Constitution

by Maggie at Maggie's Notebook

In researching the events taking place in Honduras, I see President Obama immediately cited the outster of President Manuel Zeyala as "not legal." Another "gird your loins" moment for the American President. The question is: was this a coup d'etat or a constitutional succession?

Roberto Micheletti

Why did the Supreme Court rule that ousted President Manuel Zelaya was subverting the rule of law in Honduras? Why did Congress rule the same?

Zelaya's term of office ends in 2010. He called for a "controversial referendum" to take place on June 28th. The referendum, if approved, would have made changes to the Honduran Constitution to allow Zelaya to run for office for another term, an action the Supreme Court says is not lawful.
While Honduran law allows for a constitutional rewrite, the power to open that door does not lie with the president. A constituent assembly can only be called through a national referendum approved by its Congress.

But Mr. Zelaya declared the vote on his own and had Mr. Chávez ship him the necessary ballots from Venezuela. The Supreme Court ruled his referendum unconstitutional, and it instructed the military not to carry out the logistics of the vote as it normally would do.
After the Supreme Court declared the referendum not lawful, Zelaya vowed to hold a vote on the referendum anyway. Zelaya dismissed "the military chief," Romeo Vasquez, who opposed Zelaya's position on the referendum. The Supreme Court asked that Vazquez be reinstated. Zelaya refused.
So on Thursday he [Zelaya] led a mob that broke into the military installation where the ballots from Venezuela were being stored and then had his supporters distribute them in defiance of the Supreme Court's order.

The attorney general had already made clear that the referendum was illegal, and he further announced that he would prosecute anyone involved in carrying it out. Yesterday, Mr. Zelaya was arrested by the military and is now in exile in Costa Rica.
The Supreme Court voted to remove Zelaya "to defend the rule of law."
The Honduran Congress later swore in its leader, Roberto Micheletti, as the new head of state after voting to remove Mr. Zelaya for "manifest irreuglar conduct" and "putting in present danger the state of the law."
Micheletti said that the orders carried out as issued by the Supreme Court and the Congress "was not a coup d'etat, but a constitutional succession."

The new government's foreign minister, Enrique Otez Colindres said the new government looks forward to meeting with OAS officials:
...so they can realize that this is a government that respects all laws and the only thing it did was to remove a president for systematically violating the constitution.
Manuel Zelaya was elected as a conservative. He has progressively moved away from that position and cemented relationships with Cuba's Castros, Venezuela's Chavez and Bolivia's Morales. As Wall Street Journal writer, O'Grady said, it is not "about left-right politics."
It is about defending the independence of institutions that keep presidents from becoming dictators.
So how do the Honduran people feel about the ouster? The Latin Business Chronicle says that Honduran business support the Supreme Court and Micheletti's new government:

It is extremely popular,” says Jacqueline Foglia Sandoval, former president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Honduras. “I don’t know of any one who isn’t celebrating."

[The attempted referendum] followed three years of Zelaya policies that were seen as arbitrary and often hurting business, Foglia Sandoval says.

Over the last three years, our ex president had created political and social chaos,” she says. “He [was] very unpredictable and many times [imposed] arbitrary actions that …affected the business climate.
The Latin Business Chronical reports that wage hikes smacked of socialism and resulted in the loss of 150,000 jobs.
[Zeyala] in December to raise the minimum wage by 60 percent despite that unions had demanded 20 to 30 percent and employers had countered with zero to 10 percent.
Not only did he exceed the union demands, but also imposed the new laws as companies already had their 2009 budgets ready, Foglia Sandoval points out. As a results some 150,000 jobs were lost during the past six months, she says.
Another concern was his talk about implementing socialism of the 21st century, modeled on Venezuela. “People associate socialism with ration cards, with lines, with the things we do not want,” Foglia Sandoval says. “It’s a poor country, but we don’t have rationing, or lack of mobility, or have to ask permission for moving.” Further issues raised by the business community is the lack of security, which Sandoval said Zelaya completely ignored. Drug trafficking is growing and people fear for their personal safety. Foreign investment has diminished, and Zelaya's treatment of foreign oil companies was considered "hostile."
In January 2007, Zelaya announced plans to temporarily assume control of oil terminals and restrict imports of oil to one company in an effort to reduce fuel prices. However, after the US Embassy in Honduras warned that the takeover would have serious consequences, the government reversed its position on the terminals.
Fogliz Sandoval said relations with the U.S. were "worsening."

The people of Honduras are standing to protect their Constitution. This is a hallelujah moment for Democracy.

President Obama has said that the ouster of Manuel Zelaya was "not legal." Obama has said the U.S. will "stand on the side of democracy." He has said nothing about the legality of Zelaya subverting the Honduran Constitution. That is the issue. If a democratic election is held, and then the one democratically elected attempts to take over the government illegally - then why are we not talking about that?

Rudi Stettner at Rant Rave looked at the differences in Obama's handling of the Iranian election and the Honduran succession and summed it up this way:
One thing that was established in the Honduran coup. When there is a "progressive" consensus, Obama will quickly find his voice. Since Islamic radicals are the fascists that liberals love, a blind eye will be turned to their sins.

Monday, June 29, 2009

EPA Hushes Dissent: Inconvenient Truths

By Maggie at Maggie Thornton

Repeated lies from a Government to the people is usually the strategy of a third-world country or a dictatorship, but we find it happening in the United States every day. These are big lies, important lies, lies that affect the future of all of us...the future of our children and grandchildren and their children. Just as the media has refused to do much reporting on the Cap and Trade Bill, they also will not tell you of the lies leading up to the vote on the Waxman-Markey Bill. In this case, the EPA silenced and suppressed opposition, and blatantly lied. See a video below.


Here's the opening of an Investor's Business Daily editorial from Friday, June 26th, 2009 - the day of the House vote:
Climate Change: A suppressed EPA study says old U.N. data ignore the decline in global temperatures and other inconvenient truths. Was the report kept under wraps to influence the vote on the cap-and-trade bill?
The Competitive Enterprise Institute released a study that they say was "suppressed" by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The report says that the United Nations uses "outdated research" on climate change and "ignores the latest scientific findings." From the report:
Given the downward trend in temperatures since 1998 (which some think will continue until at least 2030), there is no particular reason to rush into decisions based on a scientific hypothesis that does not appear to explain most of the available data."
As Obama and Pelosi have shoved this legislation down our collective throats, many Americans are gullible enough to think this legislation takes us to nirvana. Many are dreaming of working among the "green" jobs that will save America. Wake up America. Those dreams you are dreaming of, will turn into nightmares.
Little evidence? Outdated U.N. research? No reason to rush? This is not what the Obama administration and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were telling us when they were rushing to force a Friday vote on Waxman-Markey. We were given the impression that unless we passed this cap-and-tax fiasco, polar bears would be extinct by the Fourth of July.
Internal EPA emails show that the Agency knows and understands that their data is wrong, and those emails also show that they were intentionally suppressed. This is the people's EPA. Wake up America. Do you get your news from David Letterman?
The report was the product of Alan Carlin, senior operations research analyst at the EPA's National Center for Environmental Economics (NCEE). He's been with the EPA for 38 years but now has been taken off all climate-related work. He is convinced that actual climate observations do not match climate change theories and that only the politics, not the science, has been settled.

One of the e-mails unearthed by CEI was dated March 12, from Al McGartland, office director at NCEE, forbidding Carlin from speaking to anyone outside NCEE on endangerment issues such as those in his suppressed report.
All this is particularly interesting because of the charges by Al Gore, NASA's James Hansen and others that the Bush administration and energy companies actively suppressed the truth about climate change.
Carlin was told March 17: "The administrator and the administration have decided to move forward on endangerment, and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision. . . . I can only see one impact of your comments given where we are in the process, and that would be a very negative impact on our office."

In other words, the administration and Congress had their collective minds made up and didn't want to be confused with the facts. They certainly didn't want any inconvenient truths coming out of their own Environmental Protection Agency, the one that wants to regulate everything from your lawn mower to bovine emissions and which says the product of your respiration and ours, carbon dioxide, is a dangerous pollutant and not the basis for all life on earth.

Thank you to Investor's Business Daily for making this information available. I hope you will read the entire editorial. Thank you to Senator Jim Inhofe who has led the way to understanding the deception behind global warming/climate change. This video is a bit long, but it's full of useful information.

Media Ignore EPA Suppressing Skeptical Global Warming Report

California Zoning Laws Coming to Your Neighborhood, In Any State - Courtesy Cap and Trade

Senator Jim Inhofe

Iran: Liberal Thought, Liberal Democracy Ends

by Maggie at Maggie's Notebook

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the June 12th elections were "the end of liberal democracy and liberal thoughts."

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

In other words, the next time "Western states" meddle in Iran's affairs, the President has a plan.
President Ahmadinejad said, “From now on, we will bring you to justice at any international meeting.”
He excoriates the West and cannot understand how the U.S., Germany, France and the U.K. can talk about human rights when our own hands are "stained with the blood of innocent people," and then there's our rotten and satanic attempts to "damage Iran's Islamic system...."

Ahmadinejad had something to say about Obama's outreach to Iran - you remember that offer to "talk." After Obama's comments during the Iranian street protests, Ahmadinejad said the U.S. didn't follow "international rules and norms," and besides that, we were just downright "impolite." He advises us to "correct" our "behavior."

You can read the article here or here at Judeopundit who also has some commentary worth reading.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

North Korean Ship Goes Free: US Won't Inspect -- A Response from Radarsite

I have asked Maggie Thornton to cross post the article below to Radarsite because I feel that is important. It is important for us to see what lengths our Chamberlainesque government will go to to avoid any confrontation whatsoever with our avowed enemies. The excuse, as usual, is that we cannot be seen to be acting unilaterally -- so therefore we will not act at all.

There are times in the life of a nation when words just aren't enough. When action, and only action will suffice. This is one of those times. And the whole world is watching us as we disgrace ourselves and bow down before the bully. How on earth are we ever going to contain the escalating threats of proliferation if we are on record for being unwilling to put our lives on the line, and to back up our words with our actions?

Has our once-proud State Department merely become an extension of the corrupt UN, is our Defense Department seemingly at the beck and call of a cowardly pacifist president. For the sake of some pie-in-the-sky concept of Universalism have we bartered away our national identity?

The only military response we have given to North Korean aggressions so far is purely defensive: If you attack us we can shoot down your missiles. Is this a cogent deterrent to a determined enemy? No wonder our great nation is viewed by our adversaries with nothing but well-deserved contempt.

Cowardice must support itself with rationalizations; bravery needs no rationalizations. The road we have chosen is the road of the coward. And I am ashamed. - rg

North Korean Ship Goes Free: U.S. Won't Inspect

by Maggie at Maggie's Notebook

Any U.S. credence given to the authority of the United Nations is not only laughable but dangerous. With all the bluster about U.N. resolutions keeping North Korean ships from delivering nuclear materials on either end - either to another rogue country from North Korea or bringing such materials into North Korea, was just so much talk, and of course, most of us saw the U.N. resolution for what it was...worthless.

North Korea Protests U.S.

The Undersecretary of Defense Michele Flournoy said "that Washington has ruled out use of military force to inspect the North Korean freighter." It is understandable that the U.S. and other free world countries have their hands tied by the ruse of a impotent resolution. What is not understandable is the weak statements released by our Defense Department. I would rather hear nothing than hear this garbage:
The U.N. resolution lays out a regime that has a very clear set of steps," Ms. Flournoy said, according to the Yonhap news agency. "I want to be very clear. ... This is not a resolution that sponsors, that authorizes use of force for interdiction."

Ms. Flournoy said the U.S. still has "incentives and disincentives that will get North Korea to change course."

"Everything remains on the table, but we're focused on implementing the resolution fully, responsibly and with our international partners," she said.

Some 100,000 North Koreans reportedly gathered and threatened the U.S. with "a fire shower of nuclear retaliation" and shouts of "Let's crush them." Our Navy has been shadowing a North Korean ship and wasting manpower and fuel for what? The Kang Nam I is on it's way to Myanmar, and there is speculation about what is aboard: are there nuclear materials aboard, as they know the Kang Nam I has carried in the past - and carried directly to Myanmar? Who knows. Officials are "guessing." Maybe artillery...may other "conventional weaponry." Maybe "missiles." We pay the Defense and State Departments to do what you and I would and could do, for free - come up with answers to thwart the North Korean menace to the world, and our solutions would have nothing to do with the U.N.

Our Defense Department and State Department should be leading the way...berating the United Nations for it uselessness, for its ongoing work to promote dictators and lawless countries. Freedom comes at a price and the price should be the demise of the U.N.

Sderot: Iran and A Cinemateque

by Findalis

Just 2 separate articles on the occurring violence that is happening in Sderot from Gaza:

by Noam Bedein

While the world follows Iranian developments from the grandstands of YouTube, the people of southern Israel have had front row seats for some time now.

When Iran's protege, Hamas, staged a coup in Gaza that placed 1.4 million Palestinians under 'Hamastan' military rule, no one thought of how southern Israelis would be affected. Located less than one mile away from Sderot, Gaza's dramatic developments would come to affect everyone in the region.

Before Israel disengaged the Jewish communities from Gaza in August 2005, the Palestinian Authority had promised vast properties of some of these communities to Hamas. Four months later, in January 2006, Hamas won a stunning victory in the Palestinian Authority legislative elections, which resulted in the Mecca Accord of March 2007, which obligated the PA to share all foreign assistance with the Hamas organization.

All this placed Hamas in a strategic position from where it could launch attacks on Israel, even before the Hamas military coup.

Iranian Hamas terror tactics have dominated the lives of the people of Sderot. A town battered by sustained attacks for eight years, Sderot has become the only city to remain under continuous siege in the 21st century.

Sderot woman overlooks her home, damaged in a Qassam attack during the recent Gaza war.
Photo: Noam Bedein

In 2008 alone, the Hamas-controlled Gaza regime fired over 3,300 rockets, mortars and Grads towards the Western Negev and southern Israel, 50 percent more than the previous year.

Five months after Operation Cast Lead, Hamas has fired over 215 rockets during the Hamas-Israel 'ceasefire.' Is anyone even keeping track of the number of failed ceasefires that Israel has held with Hamas in the past two years?

For Sderot residents, the knowledge that this has been Israel's third failed ceasefire with Hamas is not surprising.

In a June 17 appearance at the Knesset, Israel Security Agency director Yuval Diskin warned that "Hamas is continuing to increase its strength, manufacture longer-range rockets and smuggle rockets of a far superior quality,". In that light,every citizen of southern Israel knows that a massive escalation is around the corner, which will force more than one million Israelis in southern Israel into the seeming safety of protected rooms and bomb shelters.

Shoshana Swissa, a kindergarten teacher in Sderot recently told Sderot Media Center that ”Even today, in these relatively quiet days in Sderot, every single morning we exercise a drill for the 3-year-old children in our kindergarten. The staff teaches them how to run in 15 seconds towards the safe room when the Color Red alert siren sounds. ”

Turning the Gaza Strip into an Iranian military buffer zone

During Israel's second ‘ceasefire’ with Hamas, between June 2008- December 2008, Hamas did not waste any time building up its military capabilities. Israeli intelligence sources confirm that Hamas dug between 400 and 600 smuggling tunnels that connected Sinai and Gaza in order to “import” guns, missiles, explosives, money,and terrorists, along with oil, fuel, metal, cloths, electronics and even a lion for Gazan's zoo - earning the Hamas regime between 30-50 million dollars a month from the digging of the tunnels and the goods smuggled through.

The Iranian influence and involvement with the Gaza Strip peaked during the summer of 2008, when hundreds of Iranian missiles were smuggled in, to be fired massively only a few months later at southern Israelis during Israel's last military operation in Gaza.

Meanwhile, the Hamas regime trained tens of thousands of children and woman in Gaza during summer 2008, in anticipation of an Israeli counterattack to the Hamas reign of missiles.

Accepting Iran, accepting Hamas

Hamas today has become more acceptable as a resistance organization among political sectors worldwide. The most recent acceptance overture was made by the former US president Jimmy Carter, who visited Gaza this June and asked the European Union to take Hamas off the charts as a terrorist organization.

It should come as no surprise that a terrorist organization like Hamas, which has killed and wounded thousands of Israeli by suicide bombings and rocket fire, is now accepted as a legitmate governing body. If Iranian President, Ahmedinejad is invited to open a UN Conference on Human Rights and is then invited to meet with the Swiss President, then Western embrace of Hamas is just around the corner.

In the meantime, Sderot and southern Israel can only gear up for another round of rocket fire in the near future.

If Iranians really want to know where all their money from the sale of oil is going to they only have to look at 3 places: Their nuclear program which IS attempting to build an Nuclear bomb, Hamas and Hezbollah. With poverty in their own land, food prices soaring and violent crackdown on dissent, Iran is more concerned with providing weapons to Hamas and Hezbollah, then anything else. If you ever wondered where the Kassams that Hamas still fires into Sderot and the rest of Israel come from, look no further than Iran.

by Anav Silverman

In a region where rockets have hammered civilian residents for the past eight years, the local Sderot Cinemateque remains a popular pastime for residents looking to enjoy a film. As the only rocket-proof cinema in Israel, the Sderot Cinemateque was built eight years ago, right around the time when the first Qassam slammed into Sderot.

The rocket-proof cinema allows local residents to enjoy a film uninterrupted when the rocket alarm, or Tzeva Adom sounds to warn residents of impending Qassams from Gaza. It remains a popular hangout regardless of rocket fire.

A week ago, I had the opportunity to watch a film at the Cinemateque during the eighth annual Cinema South Festival which was held from June 7-12. The festival features the films of graduate students studying in the Department of Film & TV at the local Sapir College. The festival also screened Israeli films that were awarded top prizes abroad as well as international films from Mexico, Hong Kong, and France.

International festival guests included filmmakers Carlos Reygadas from Mexico, Thierry Michel from Belgium, Osvalde Lewat-Hallade of Cameroon and Abi Feijo from Portugal among many others.

I had the opportunity to watch Ajami, one of the featured films of the festival,along with the hundreds of other area residents and international guests. Ajami, named after the largest Arab neighborhood in Jaffa, was co-directed by Israeli Yaron Shani and Jaffa-born Arab, Scandar Copti. The film tells the story of two Muslim Arab brothers and is set against the background of a revenge murder, gangs, Bedouin revenge squads, a Christian Arab godfather and Israeli police.

Ajami was filmed in Arabic -and most of the actors were from the Ajami neighborhood. The mostly Israeli audience at the Sderot cinemateque, myself included, followed along by reading the Hebrew subtitles below.

The film has won international acclaim and was shown in France’s prestigious Cannes Film Festival this past May.

In an interview with the New York Times, the directors of the film, Copti and Shani described their relationship outside of directing of the film, to which both wrote the script. When Shani’s city, Ashdod, was targeted by Gaza rockets in the recent war, Copti called him and said “Take your daughter and your wife and leave.” According to the NYT article, Shani does the same for Copti. Both the directors and the cast where present at the screening in Sderot.

There was something quite unique about watching Ajami in an Israeli rocket-proof theater on the Gaza border. In area that has been devastated by rockets and trauma, it is cultural events like the Cinema South Festival which brings hope for a normal reality that citizens on both sides of the Gaza border continue to seek.
Strange that a movie theater has to be bomb-proof, isn't it? But that is the reality of life in Sderot. Sderot is a small town that has faced the brunt of rocket attacks for 9 years now. Israel was guaranteed that if they "ethnically cleansed" Gaza of all Jews the rockets attacks would cease. The Israelis did just that in 2005, and the attacks got worse.

Now President Obama is singing the same song: "If you "ethically clean" Judea and Sameria of all Jews, there will be peace!"

Right, and I have a bridge in Brooklyn for those who believe this lie to buy.

Unless the PA is willing to be demilitarilized, there can never be peace. Strange as that sounds, it is not Israel who is anti-peace (regardless of what the Useful Idiots of Free Gaza keep saying), but it is the thugs and murderers of Hamas and the PA who will never accept a Jewish nation, never accept Israel and never stop their attacks.

Yet the world loves Hamas. It cries make peace with Hamas. How can one make peace with them when they have openly stated that their goal is the total destruction of Israel and the death to all Jews world-wide?

Again I ask you, my reader to pray for the people of Sderot, to pray for an permanent end to the rocket attacks, and if you are able to, to donate a few coins to the Sderot Media Center. They do such good work in the city of Sderot. Just click here and follow the instructions. All the funds collected go directly to helping the people of Sderot.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Pulling Out of Iraq: An Exchange of Thoughts

A note from Radarsite: While browsing through my documents file this afternoon I came across this forgotten exchange between myself and another commenter, Ms. Jennifer Solis, from the comments section of one of Dr. Daniel Pipes excellent articles, dated July 2007, "Salvaging the Iraq War". In the article Dr. Pipes puts forward his argument for keeping our troops in Iraq. In support of this view he lists the following reasons:
* Contain or rollback the Iranian and Syrian governments.
* Assure the free flow of oil and gas.
* Fight Al-Qaeda and other international terrorist organizations.
* Provide a benign presence in Iraq.

Considering the approaching deadline for a complete withdrawal of all of our combat troops in Iraq, and the escalating threats we now face from our emboldened Islamic enemies in Iran and Afghanistan, from the Taliban, Al Qaeda, Hezbolla, and Hamas, I feel that this discussion of the issues involved is perhaps even more pertinent today than it was in 2007. I hope that you agree. - rg


The Battle of Iraq and the Clash of Civilizations
Reader comment on article: Salvaging the Iraq War
Submitted by Roger W. Gardner (United States), Jul 29, 2007 at 16:31

What I am about to say is certain to offend a lot of people, but I'm going to say it anyway. Whether we stay in or Iraq or leave, the war that we have had thrust upon us will continue. For it is not just about Iraq, or Afghanistan, it is not just about al Qaeda. Iraq is just one of the battles in this war. This war is not about what we have done or haven't done in the Middle East.

This war we are in is a war against the hate-driven, pride/revenge culture of the Arab world (in which I include Iran) and the violence-prone religion which supports it. This is just the latest attempt of the Arab-Muslim world to fulfill their God-given destiny to conquer the West. Since the seventh century there have been at least a half dozen of these major attacks against the Judeo-Christian West -- some of which came perilously close to succeeding.

Fortunately, their invasions were thwarted and they were driven back across the Mediterranean, where they licked their wounds and plotted revenge and withdrew further into barbarism. Until this backward and hateful culture is thoroughly destroyed or utterly dominated -- as the last vestiges of the brutal warrior code of the Samurai had to be totally destroyed in WWII -- this never-ending war will continue. If there is nothing else that we have learned from our past conflicts with the Arab world, we can be certain of this -- they hate us, they hate our freedoms and they hate our success and they will never give up their attempts to conquer us.

For most Westerners, certainly for most Americans, it is so much easier to believe that what we are dealing with here is a small group of violent fanatics who have "hijacked" a peaceful religion -- like the Nazis "hijacked" Germany -- rather than having to contemplate the awful alternative: that a major world religion could, itself, be violent and that we are, indeed, in the first days of an inevitable and bloody "Clash of Civilizations." I truly wish that it were otherwise, but wishing won't make it so.

ingredient for lasting peace in Iraq
Reader comment on article: Salvaging the Iraq War
Submitted by jennifer solis (United States), Aug 22, 2007 at 14:58

Interesting suggestion to remove to the deserts and borders. I agree; however there's an imperative ingredient I wish Mr. Pipes would comment on; the inevitable civil war and resulting decimation of citizenry. All we're doing now is postponing what is in my estimation (however politically incorrect for me to articulate) the sad but obvious ingredient for a lasting peace in Iraq. Massive decimation.

After the Gulf war, how did Saddam manage to stop the Kurdish uprising? There was lasting peace afterwards; the Sunnis, Shi'te and Kurds knew, respected, feared the "strong horse" after that. He knew the mentality and culture of Irac citizenry better than we do (or admit we do). How did World War II end? We did not fight that war and succeed by having a "politically correct" mentality. We had a P.C. attitude in Viet Nam and we lost. Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the fall of Berlin.......we won.

President Bush is right when he (all too infrequently) says we must stay on the offensive. Wars are won by offensive action, not defensive action. However, the ingrained cultural desire for Theocratical rule (inspite of the 'elections') on the part of the Irac populace has/ will trap them; they are the ones in a "quagmire". Sadly, to the Iracs fear and respect are synonomous; this applies towards whomever eventually brings peace to that country. -JS

Reply to Ms. Solis' comments
Reader comment on article: Salvaging the Iraq War
in response to reader comment: ingredient for lasting peace in Iraq
Submitted by Roger W. Gardner (United States), Aug 22, 2007 at 21:34

Sadly, I find myself in almost total agreement with Ms. Solis' thoughtful and straightfoward comments. We are in a real war and, as she pointed out so well, half-measures just won't do. Culture does matter. And the culture in most of the Middle East isn't quite the same as the culture in Sweden. I remember, back when our troops first entered the city of Baghdad, one of our embedded reporters was interviewing some of the Iraqis on the street, who were dancing and rejoicing over the apparent fall of Saddam Hussein. One of these excited Iraqis spoke English, and when the reporter asked him how he felt about those people who supported Saddam, he answered, "If I catch one I'll slit his throat and drink his blood!" And I remember thinking --Jeez! And this is one of the good guys!

Yes, they actually might continue"decimating each other" and , yes, there might be a civil war. And finally, you're absolutely right about some people seeming to need strong dictators, even if they're brutal and muderous -- some Russians still look back lovingly to the good old days, when their kindly Uncle Joe was in charge.

Yet despite all of these ominous -- indeed, sometimes seemingly inevitable -- scenarios, we still have to stay there and win. Why? Because all of the senior Al-Qaeda leaders have said that the battle for Iraq is absolutely central to their plans to eventually take control of the entire region and turn it into their long-awaited Caliphate. Like it or not, this is the center of focus for our war against Al-Qaeda. We just cannot allow Iraq to turn into another Taliban-like theocracy. We cannot allow Al-Qaeda to win.

Again, I agree with almost everything the observant Ms. Solis has said; but I respectfully disagree with her conclusion.

knowledge vs. opinion
Reader comment on article: Salvaging the Iraq War
in response to reader comment: Reply to Ms. Solis' comments
Submitted by jennifer Solis (United States), Aug 23, 2007 at 18:54

How much does the average American know about the religion of Islam?

Do they know that the Qu'ran is the Islamic "bible"? That Islam is the world's second largest religion? That in the Qu'ran the most assured way of going to "heaven" is to kill a Christian or a Jew? That in the Qu'ran you're commanded to lie? That in the Qu'ran you're instructed to "kill the infidel (anyone not of Islamic faith) wherever you find him"? All this is permitted in "times of jihad" (translated "my struggle, my fight". Ominously, the title of Hitler's book, "mien Kaumpf ", translates the same.).

Since 632 AD, the Qu'ran has been the Muslim's bible. There is no other. I appreciate Mr. Gardner's views in "The Battle of Iraq and the Clash of Civilizations". The truth is sad but the truth is this: a religion, second largest in the world, outrageously and graphically violent since it's inception, was sleeping for a couple of centuries; now, since Munich, it's raised it's ugly head.......Americans know about 9-11. Do they realize the vast majority of "peaceful" Muslims turn a blind eye toward their Muslim brothers planning "jihad"?

I agree that Iraq is the main Theater in the war. Strategically we would be fools to give it up. But trying to introduce a Democracy to a culture that is blind, has been blind for over a thousand years due to a dictatorial, violent religion is truly folly. Muslims born in Afganistan who realize this have left; Muslims born in Irac who realize this have left. Recently the "President" of Iraq and his cabinet announced their intention of going on a three-month vacation. Of course the American advisors quickly "hushed" that idea..........I had a hunch when I heard it that the new heads of the government of Iraq wanted to "get the hell out of dodge" while they could.

I found Mr.Gardner's letter to be observant -- "until this hateful and backward culture is thoughly destroyed or utterly dominated........" Question: how will this culture be dominated? What kind of domination has brought a period of peace to the Middle East before? Therein lies the answer. Removing our troops to the deserts and borders as Mr.Pipes suggests will force the Iraqis to step up. Force is something that is in the Iraqi's mental vocabulary. Whomever rises to power in Iraq, if he doesn't cooperate with American forces, blow him up. Really. Then whomever rises again to power, again, if he does'nt cooperate with American forces, blow him up. The Iraqis aren't mentally retarded; soon they'll catch on that they're being FORCED to cooperate with American forces. Let them have a "Theocracy". And, once again, let us be the "strong horse" in the war. -JS

Note: since the Kurds are the only ones who have proven the ability to self-govern, I would remove our forces also to the north to provide extra protection for the Kurds.

Response to Ms. Solis' comments
Reader comment on article: Salvaging the Iraq War
in response to reader comment: knowledge vs. opinion
Submitted by Roger W. Gardner (United States), Aug 24, 2007 at 17:31

Once again, I must respond to the knowledgable Ms.Solis' well-reasoned statements. I think that she might agree that sometimes -- like in 1941 -- war is the answer, the only answer that will do. And I agree that a strong hand will most likely be necessary for some time to come.

I hold no illusions concerning the difficulties we face in Iraq, and with this whole violent culture; however, if it is any solace to Ms. Solis (no puns intended), when, after Japan's unconditional surrender, we occupied the country and declared our intentions to bring about a democracy there, the wise men here and elsewhere hastened to point out -- quite reasonably -- that for us to attempt to change an alien culture, that had been more or less unchanged in thousands of years, a culture based on a foreign religion and on a national creed of the warrior and centuries of Emperor Worship, was both arrogant and foolhardy, and almost assuredly impossible.

It took about 5 years.

Before the pundits had time to write many books on this subject, Japan already had major league baseball and was quickly beginning to outdistance some of the Western democracies in performing those miracles of capitalism. All this, without losing their essential unique Japanese culture. The same thing happened in South Korea. And the entire Soviet Union fell apart before the CIA had had time for their morning coffee.

Once again, I don't underestimate the difficulties we face, and are going to face in the future in the Middle East and elsewhere. But as the previously examples have proven, there's always room for hope.

On a more personal note, it's been a pleasure talking with you.

And it's also been a pleasure following all of the other thoughtful comments on this subject.


unconditional surrender
Reader comment on article: Salvaging the Iraq War
in response to reader comment: Response to Ms. Solis' comments
Submitted by jennifer solis (United States), Aug 24, 2007 at 18:53

I thank Mr. Gardner for his response and thoughtfull, "dealing with the reality" commentary. The illustration of the situation of Japan, after WW II, is an interesting one. I'd like to ask Mr. Gardner to comment, however, on these points:

There was one confirmed leader of Japan; the United States had one Leader with whom to sign the treaty, and to whom the Japanese populace would in it's entirety acknowledge. Sure, at the time we didn't know for sure what the citizenry would do. But there was the track record of the Japanes' extreme loyalty toward ONE leader (Saddam never had the loyalty of all three tribes).

The Japanese fought wearing uniforms. How can you fight (in Iraq) an invisible army?

Hiroshima and Nagasaki................what an attention getter / way to gain respect (fear).

The Japanese unconditionally surrendered. Turns out that they did. Turning out not the same in Iraq.

Last, but not least, Japan's religion was not the second biggest in the world, their soldiers where not funded by an eternal flow of oil money, and we showed no mercy in this country by having internment camps on our home soil. Not that I desire internment camps for Muslims. There was, I believe, a "tougher mettle" attitude of Americans back then (they lined up around the block to enlist).

What are your thoughts, Mr. Gardner? -JS

Reply to Ms. Solis' comments
Reader comment on article: Salvaging the Iraq War
in response to reader comment: unconditional surrender
Submitted by Roger W. Gardner (United States), Aug 26, 2007 at 18:48

Dear Ms. Solis,

As usual, your comments are right on target. Ironically, although I keep agreeing with you, the disagreement seems to continue. As much as I enjoy this ongoing debate, I'm afraid I' m going to have to bow out at this point. Not because I think this discussion isn't an important one, or that I think your ideas aren't sound -- they are -- but I'm just beginning to wonder if this is the proper place to keep this dialogue going.

However, because of the respectful and serious manner in which you've framed your last questions, I'm not going to just disappear without at least attempting to answer them to the best of my ability.

One of the additional reasons I feel that it's probably a good idea for me to leave this particular discussion at this point is that I feel that -- as interesting as it has become -- it has strayed a little too far from my original intent in posting that first "Battle of Iraq ---" comment. If you recall, far from attempting to minimize the problems we are facing in this volatile region, I was attempting to prove that they were in fact much bigger and more ominous than some people seemed to believe; that, rather than being a comparatively smallish war confined to one relatively small country, it was, in my view, just one battle in a much larger and more dangerous looming worldwide conflict.

Yes, as you point out so clearly, there are many differences between what is currently going on in Iraq and what previously happened in Japan and South Korea. And yes, there are of course further differences between what happened in these two countries after WWII and what transpired with the sudden fall of the Soviet Union in 1989. My purpose in siting these examples was not to presume that what happened in these countries could , or ever would, happen the same way in Iraq, but to show that, what appears at first sight to be absolutely insurmountable problems, sometimes turn out to be otherwise. This thought gives me cause for a little optimism.

If you will recall my previous remarks about the violent culture of the Middle East, in general, and Iraq, in particular, I have no illusions about the grave difficuties we face there in the future. Indeed, it may be necessary for us to maintain a strong military presence in this area for 50 years or more.

I completely agree with your assessment of the need for a powerful and intimidating force there to accomplish our long term goals. In order to do this, however, I believe we need two things -- both of which seem to be in dangerously short supply right now -- manpower and willpower. Hopefully, in the future we can correct these shortfalls.

Once again, Ms. Solis, I've thoroughly enjoyed this discussion and hope to continue it somewhere else at a later time.

Best wishes,

Roger G.

the pleasure is mine
Reader comment on article: Salvaging the Iraq War
in response to reader comment: Reply to Ms. Solis' comments
Submitted by jennifer solis (United States), Aug 28, 2007 at 15:28

Dear Mr. Gardner,

Thank you for your reply. That you replied at all to my somewhat acerbic letter is testimony that you're a gentleman and also to your genuine interest and concern reguarding Iraq.

Thank you for pointing out also that what appears to be at first " absolutely insurmountable problems" sometimes turn out to be otherwise. Correcting the seemingly dangerous short supply of manpower and willpower. I couldn't agree with you more, Mr. Gardner.

I will look forward to any other possible replies of yours towards Mr. Pipes' articles, etc. I too have very much enjoyed the back-and- forth..................very respectfully, -JS

Where is CAIR on Iran?

Cross-posted by Gary Fouse

Mr Awad, Mr Hooper?

I periodically check out the official website of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) to see if they have issued a statement on the happenings in Iran. I have thus far, failed to find any mention of Iran on their site. Of course, it may be that they posted something briefly and I missed it. Or it may be that their national leaders have issued a statement which doesn't appear on the website. Maybe it's all my ineptitude, but I just can't find any mention or statement by CAIR.

Of course, any time you read their website, you will find lots of reports of anti-Muslim bigotry and Islamophobia that they report, as well as reports of all the good works they are doing to promote inter-faith understanding and articles that dispel rumors about the group.

I have found a statement on Iran on the website of the Islamic Society of North America, which calls on the Iranian government to release those arrested during the disturbances, particularly one individual. That's about as far as it goes.

But nothing from CAIR. Can anybody help me out here? Or does CAIR not want to discuss the atrocities and crimes carried out by Islamic governments against their own people? If you want to find CAIR condemnations of Israel when it fights back against terrorists, you will be rewarded. But what about an Islamic government (that's what it calls itself) murdering its own people on the streets of Iranian cities?

So if anyone can illuminate me on any statements by CAIR, it's executive director, Nihad Awad or press spokesman, Ibrahim Hooper, I will be happy to acknowledge them.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson

Cross-posted by Gary Fouse

I never was a fan of Michael Jackson. Maybe I was just a few years too old to be caught up in his music. That is not to deny his talent, which he was obviously born with. As a singer, he was OK. His extraordinary skill was his dancing and choreography. But who am I? Michael Jackson was possibly the biggest music star of all time. Still, with all the monumental problems going on in the world-especially in Iran, it seems incongruous to me that the world has come to a standstill over his death. Better it come to a standstill over the death of Neda, the young Iranian woman shot dead in the streets of Teheran by a hoodlum government.

Like it or not, however, this Michael Jackson thing is not going away any time soon. The whole episode is a mess-far beyond a 50-year-old man-child dying suddenly of cardiac arrest. No, this has all the ingredients of another Anna Nicole Smith drama complete with drugs, pain-killers, questionable conduct by a physician, alleged injections of Demerol, pending autopsy results, prominent pathologists like Cyril Wecht coming out of the woodwork to second-guess, and CPR performed by a cardiologist on a bed. Throw in the custody battle to come over his three kids and fighting over his estate. Add millions of fans lighting candles, holding vigils, crying, and what have you; it's going to be all Michael-all the time-even if the world comes to an end.

As cynical as I am, I was touched yesterday by the account of local ABC reporter Leo Stallworth, as he recounted his meeting with Jackson a few years back during the course of the infamous child-molestation trial. One day, Stallworth was walking across the parking lot of the courthouse when he encountered Jackson, who was sitting in an SUV. Jackson, recognizing him as a reporter, waved him over, introduced himself, and invited him into the vehicle for a chat. He asked Stallworth about his childhood and how he came to be a reporter. He then explained to Stallworth that he himself was a human, but one who had never had the opportunity to have a cherished childhood. There's not much more I can add to that because I can't tell the story in as moving a way as Stallworth did.

From what we all know of Jackson's life, it is a given that he did not have a normal childhood. Nor did he have the opportunity to become a normally-functioning adult. He have heard stories of possible abuse by his father, but I am no more qualified to pass judgement on that than anyone else. Nor can I pass judgement on the charges of pedophilia, of which he was acquitted. I have my own opinion, but that is all it's worth.

For all his talent, Jackson's legacy will always be clouded. There will always be the questions about chemical dependency, his eccentricities, and the eternal question of his relationships with young children. Was it simply a matter of a confused individual trying to capture a childhood he never had for altruistic reasons, or was it something more sinister? Aside from the superstar performer and the million-selling hits, what will be Jackson's legacy as a person and a citizen? It is unfortunate that we may never settle that question once and for all. Yes, he was a tragic figure-like many others who were brought down by their careers and celebrity. Jackson enjoyed many rewards in life for his talent, but it came at a price.

At the end of it all, I can't decide whether I pity him or not. I do feel, however, that there are more important people and issues in the world that we should be crying over.

Catholic Colleges Supporting Abortion Advocates and Gay Marriage

by Barbara W. Sowell

The Cardinal Newman Society has posted an article naming 10 Catholic Colleges and universities that are promoting student internships with organizations that support abortion and/or Gay marriage.

Here's an excerpt from the article, "Ten Catholic Colleges Support Internships with Advocates of Abortion, Gay Marriage"

A national Catholic higher education organization has identified 10 Catholic colleges and universities that are promoting student internships with organizations whose missions or activities are directly opposed to the moral teachings of the Catholic Church, including on fundamental issues such as abortion and marriage.

“This discovery validates the concerns of so many thousands of faithful Catholic parents and students, that public scandals at Catholic colleges are just the tip of the iceberg,” said Patrick J. Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society. “Under what definition of ‘Catholic education’ do students receive academic credit to work for leading pro-abortion organizations?”

Last week, CNS wrote to the presidents of these colleges and universities to inform them of the problems with their internship programs. None have yet indicated that they will take steps to remedy the problems.

The internship programs—along with concerns about theological dissent, weakening academic standards and declining campus culture at many Catholic colleges and universities—help explain why most students and recent graduates of Catholic institutions believe that abortion and gay marriage should be legal, despite the Church’s clear teachings to the contrary. That was one of the disturbing findings of a November 2008 study published by the CNS Center for the Study of Catholic Higher Education and titled “Behaviors and Beliefs of Current and Recent Students at U.S. Catholic Colleges.”

Go to the article here for a listing of the institutions involved.

Message from Focus on the Family Action, Inc.

Congress is considering two bills – the Hate Crimes Act and ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) – that would severely threaten our religious beliefs and our ability to share those beliefs. I invite you to join me in signing a Focus Action petition opposing these bills and asking Congress to stop them now.

Sign the Petition here.

Join Christians Against Leftist Heresy


A Major Shift in Priorites

Michael Jackson is dead. All other current crises will now be put on hold. Sorry Ahmadinejad, sorry Kim Jong Ill, but your audiences have all left the room. No one is paying any attention to you today, current events have pushed you off the stage. Ahmadinejad, you will just have to continue work on your nuclear weapons without comment from the West. And Kim Jong Ill, your threats and provocations have no weight with us today. Your newsworthiness has been usurped by a much more significant story, a much more significant crisis.
Michael Jackson is dead. From Fox News to the BBC, it has already been decided, this is the major issue of the day. Forget about nuclear proliferation. Forget about escalating threats and impending confrontations. Forget about the Global War on Terror. The Western World has spoken, they have made their priorities known. The Western World has decided what is truly important today, and what is not. And you, Ahmadinejad, and you Kim Jong Ill, just don't have what it takes to compete with this current crisis. So, just do whatever you want to do, we're going to be ignoring you for awhile. You see, you're just not as important as you thought you were. - rg

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

3 Years Is Too Long!

by Findalis

June 25, 2009 will be the 3rd anniversary of the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit. 3 years of being a POW. Yet in his case the International Red Cross is not allowed to visit, the world's media (excluding the media in Israel) is silent, and the leaders of the world are more concerned with recognizing Hamas (the kidnappers) and not one lone Israeli soldier.

It was Yelena Bonner, the widow of Andrei Sakharov who brought up Gilad's plight to the public forum in a speech given at the Oslo Freedom Forum:
Why doesn’t the fate of the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit trouble you in the same way as the fate of the Guantanamo prisoners?

You fought for and won the opportunity for the International Committee of the Red Cross, journalists, and lawyers to visit Guantanamo. You know prison conditions, the prisoners’ everyday routine, their food. You have met with prisoners subjected to torture. The result of your efforts has been a ban on torture and a law to close this prison. President Obama signed it in the first days of his coming to the White House…

But during the two years Shalit has been held by terrorists, the world human rights community has done nothing for his release. Why? He is a wounded soldier, and fully falls under the protection of the Geneva Conventions. The Conventions say clearly that hostage-taking is prohibited, that representatives of the Red Cross must be allowed to see prisoners of war, especially wounded prisoners, and there is much else written in the Geneva Conventions about Shalit’s rights.

The fact that representatives of the Quartet conduct negotiations with the people who are holding Shalit in an unknown location, in unknown conditions, vividly demonstrates their scorn of international rights documents and their total legal nihilism. Do human rights activists also fail to recall the fundamental international rights documents?

And yet I still think (and some will find this naive) that the first tiny, but real step toward peace must become the release of Shalit. Release - and not his exchange for 1,000 or 1,500 prisoners who are in Israeli prisons serving court sentences for real crimes.

Returning to my question of why human rights activists are silent, I can find no answer except that Shalit is an Israeli soldier, Shalit is a Jew. So again, it is conscious or unconscious anti-Semitism. Again, it is fascism.
Gilad Shalit is a Jew. That is why the world accepts Hamas' continued captivity of Sgt. Shalit. Dr. Bonner saw the truth, when will the rest of the world see it.

Dhimmi Carter has suggested to President Obama that Hamas be taken off the terror group list. Perhaps President Obama do so when and if Hamas releases Sgt. Shalit first. It would be a gesture on Hamas' part that they are willing to become civilized and follow international law. Until that they must be kept on the terror group list.

Not once during President Obama speech to Muslims that he gave in Egypt did he mention Gilad Shalit. Not once. Isn't it about time that he did.

And isn't it about time you did too. You can. For the next 24 hours go onto Twitter, Facebook and other networking sites and shout out about this injustice. A Soldier's Mother has done just that with:
We MUST get #Gilad to the top on Thursday! Spread it using RT Facebook, LinkedIn – email. Please Thursday remember #Gilad!"
Let us all make Thursday Gilad Shalit Day.

It is time to bring Sgt. Shalit home. Let it be soon!

"From Mumbai to the USA: Are you ready yet?": A Second Look

A note from Radarsite. Interestingly, this article from November 2008 shows up as the most read article on Radarsite for today, June 24, 2009. It has consistently been among the top three Radarsite articles for the past three days. These hits are coming from all over the world. I have no idea why this particular article has garnered so much interest lately, and I would appreciate any thoughts on this subject. - rg
FBI Academy
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How could our enemy make themselves any more obvious? Here is the truth, plain and simple: the enemy is Islam. Their avowed mission is to utterly destroy or totally dominate the West. They have been prosecuting this War against the West for at least five decades now. Since World War Two, they have been responsible for innumerable bloody attacks against our innocent civilians, against our innocent women and children. Every year they grow stronger, and more and more emboldened. Every year they increase the frequency and the severity of their attacks. And what price have they paid for this relentless orgy of mass murder? What real pain have we ever actually inflicted on them? What have we done to them to deter them from further attacks? Anything? Have we ever really hurt them at all?
Are we going to continue relying on the United Nations to admonish them and to dissuade them from their great jihad against the West? Are we going to look for help from this useless multi-national organization, who has repeatedly sanctioned these terrorist attacks by presenting Islam as the victim of Western aggression? Are we going to look to the toothless and morally conflicted EU to help us to win this war? Those cowardly Europeans who cannot even find the will to protect their own nations from this encroaching Muslim menace?
After all this time, do we really not know who the enemy is? Do we really not know who gives them comfort and succor? Are we still determined to close our eyes and ears to this loud and clear message from Mumbai?
Or are we finally ready now to fight this war with brave deeds instead of cowardly words, to finally inflict some real pain on this blood-soaked enemy who is determined to destroy us? Are we ready now?
If we are ready, if we are truly determined to protect ourselves, then we must deter the enemy. Do we really have no weapons in this war? Are we really that helpless? The answer is No. We have the weapons to use, we just have to use them. We just have to get serious. Here is how we could begin.
Number one:
All Muslim immigration to the US must be curtailed immediately.
Number two:
All Muslims here in this country, whether citizens of this country or not, must be treated as enemy aliens, and either rounded up or deported.
Number three:
Islam must be declared to not be considered a religion, but rather an enemy ideology, incompatible with our democratic principles, and the practice of Islam must be declared illegal in the US or any of its territories.
Number four:
We must close all mosques and all Islamic organizations. Anyone promoting or advocating Islam must be declared to be an enemy of the State.
Number five:
Any country that promotes the cause of Islam must henceforth be considered an enemy of the United States.
Number six:
Any threats against the West in general or America in particular must be considered acts of war. And the country from which these threats emerge must be punished in some immediate and meaningful way. In this, we will act ruthlessly and unilaterally, regardless of the interests of other countries or of the corrupt, anti-Western, pro-Islamic UN.
Number seven:
All options must be left on the table. The nuclear option must be made real. If our very existence is to be at stake, then we must be prepared to threaten the very existence of our enemies.
Number eight:
No more words. No more empty diplomatic sanctions. If we are attacked we will react violently and disproportionately and without mercy.
Number nine:
We are ready now to show the world that we truly do have the will to survive and the will to inflict terrible injuries on our enemies. And to our enemies we say this, We have exhausted all other means of deterrence, now we are going to use our awesome might to subjugate you and destroy your will. If you will not respect us then, by God, you will learn to fear us. Know that there will be no limits to our revenge. We will find you and we will kill you. We will kill your families and we will destroy your homes. We will flatten your cities and reduce your countries to ashes before we will submit to your barbaric will. Take a lesson from Imperialist Japan. You have awakened and angered a great beast and now you will pay the terrible consequences of your folly.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

U.S. Attorney Larry Brown and CNCS Displeasure with Walpin

By Maggie at Maggie's Notebook

One of the issues concerning Gerald Walpin's firing that is not being discussed much, is the displeasure of acting U.S. Attorney General Lawrence Brown with Walpin. Another not being discussed at all, is why the CNCS board turned hostile toward an investigation CNCS had tasked Walpin with, via Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Lawrence G. Brown

Acting Attorney General Lawrence G. Brown sent a letter to the "Integrity and Ethics" Counsel of Inspectors General, asking that Walpin be scrutinized for an ethics breach in the investigation of Kevin Johnson, Sacrament0 Mayor, and of course, former NBA "star."

At this point, the investigation had been completed. Here are Brown's concerns about Walpin:

1) Walpin was not authorized to recommend Suspension and Debarment for Kevin Johnson and Dana Gonzalez - overstepping his authority.

2) Walpin's report and his conclusions seemed overstated and not reflective of the investigation

3) Walpin released information to the press that the case was being referred to the U.S. Attorney's office for a decision on whether to prosecute criminally or civilly, before notifying Brown's office. Brown asserts that he learned about it through the Sacramento Bee and not through proper channels.

4) Walpin withheld information from the U.S. Attorney's office.

5) Walpin did not achieve a "settlement agreement" quickly enough to allow Johnson to be released from the Suspension upon becoming Sacramento's Mayor. The Sacramento Bee was calling for a quick resolution because it was believed that the City of Sacramento could not receive federal funds if their Mayor was under suspension.

Brown wrote the letter to the Ethics Committee on April 29, 2009.
You can read Brown's letter here.

Gerald Walpin responded with an 18 page letter [undated from what I can see]. You can read Walpin's letter here. Because he answers every accusation by Brown in detail, I cannot easily put it down in a bulleted list. I've outlined what I see as the pertinent points dispelling Brown's claims.

This is important because after Walpin was fired, reports were everywhere that he mishandled the investigation of Kevin Johnson? But did he? We have an acting U.S. Attorney General making the charge. How does Walpin fight back against that? Maybe his 18-page response "to the complaint" shows another side, and in fact, it does - if the media would just report it.

Here are snippets of Walpin's counter:

About overstepping his authority: Walpin said it is his job to forward an investigation to the U.S. Attorney when he believes it may merit criminal or civil prosecution. He explained to Brown that the difference between "grant fraud" and the "contract fraud" that U.S. Attorney's offices are more familiar with, is an important difference. Walpin said I:
...quoted one of "Mr. Brown's ultimate supervisors, the Deputy Attorney General in emphasizing the importance of prosecuting "grant fraud," and support of "an energized and empowered IG community working in tandem with...Federal prosecutors" to achieve that end.
Walpin pointed out his procedure for submitting the case to the U.S. Attorney General was the same procedure his predecessors used:
I am informed that it has been the custom in my office, before I commenced as IG, to send a referral with such a covering letter. Aside from personally communicating the seriousness of the OIG’s decision to make the referral, it serves as an Executive Summary of the referral, which here was 33 pages long. Most United States Attorney’s offices to which I have forwarded referrals with such an “executive summary” cover letter, always containing my explanation of why I believed the conduct warranted prosecutorial action, have expressed appreciation for such explanations and summaries. Indeed, when I, together with Supervisory Special Agent (“SSA”) Morales and Special Agent Wingers, met with Mr. Brown and several of his fellow Assistant U.S. Attorneys, on August 25, 2008, they complimented us on our referral and the personal interest we took in it by traveling to California to meet with them.
Walpin responded that Mr. Brown's view that an IG has no further role is wrong:
The Senate Report, explaining the purpose of the Inspector General Act of 1978, specifies that the IG has the duty to “[a]ssume a leadership role in any and all activities which he deems useful to promote economy and efficiency in the administration of programs and operations or prevent and detect . . .waste in such programs and operations.” S. Rep. No. 95-1071, at 27 (1978), reprinted in 1978 U.S.C.C.A.N. 2676, 2702 (emphasis added).

Mr. Brown’s misunderstanding of the proper role of the IG is further shown in his
assertion that the IG is the “investigative arm of the CNCS Agency.” The IG is statutorily made independent of the CNCS Agency, with responsibility to oversee and criticize what CNCS is doing if the IG believes that the agency is thereby wasting Federal funds -- including the waste of the right to recovery Federal funds from a grantee that misused Federal funds granted to it.
Of Brown's assertion that the IG "is not intended to act as an advocate for suspension or debarment," Walpin responds:
...the procedure exists to protect all Federal funds by denying new funds to an individual or entity who/which has shown by uncovered facts not to be trustworthy or responsible in the prior use of Federal funds....For the Suspension and Debarment procedure to work to protect Federal funds, the investigative agency, upon determining that the facts it uncovered warrant suspension, must make a recommendation of suspension to the agency's Suspension and Debarment official. That is exactly what OIG did here.
Walpin's response on When and How Mr. Brown Learned of the Suspension Recommendation: Brown not only knew "long before" he says he knew, but "he and his office assisted OIG in its suspension recommendation by submitting a letter, requested by the Suspension and Debarment Official as needed before that official would issue the Suspension order.
Mr. Brown’s assertion of lack of advance knowledge and surprise at the suspension
procedure is clearly without factual basis.
There's far more on Brown's alleged surprise notification in the letter on pages 4-6.

Walpin's response on The Propriety of the OIG Press Release: The Sacramento Bee, on September 24, 2008 and it's morning edition on September 25th, reported "its own discovery of the names of suspended parties" from a list that the General Services Administration (GSA) maintains. He says the OIG issued no press release on that date, as Brown accused.

After The Bee's initial article was published, Walpin says the OIG issued a press release on September 25, 2008. In that press release, Walpin says he "largely repeated the grounds for suspension set out in the Notice of Suspension, issued by the Corporation's Suspension and Debarment Official and publicly posted on the GSA website.

It's important to note that before the idea of firing Gerald Walpin became the thing to do, the corporation, CNCS, issued the Notice of Suspension of Kevin Johnson. Perhaps CSNC didn't know that their soon-to-be-President Obama would not be happy with their actions.

Walpin responds to The OIG Investigators' Alleged Withholding of Information From the U.S. Attorney's Office: Brown said that Walpin held back a letter from an elementary school principal (Herinder Pegany) where the principal claimed that "St. HOPE AmeriCorps members had performed after-school tutoring at his school." Walton said the letter actually said that the principal "knew that members were assigned to his school to conduct tutoring," but "he did not know how many members were assigned to his school...because he did not directly supervise the members." The point, said Walton, was not whether or not AmeriCorps members had been assigned to the school, but if in fact, they had "performed such tutoring." That fact was not established through the Principal's testimony because he said he had "no personal knowledge" of such tutoring.
Simply put, OIG does not provide to U.S. Attorney’s office all documents prepared as memoranda of work done during an investigation (and OIG’s Special Agents so informed Mr. Brown when they met with him), but rather all documents which provide usable evidence, whether probative of guilt or innocence. Particularly given the lack of personal knowledge provided by Mr. Pegany, I fully understand, as I previously told Mr. Brown, the good faith judgment call made by these two experienced Agents not to include that memorandum in the referral to the United States Attorney’s office. That decision certainly does not warrant the charge against them of any intent to conceal.
Brown asserted that Walpin "misled" his office through a heading in OIG's referral letter, titled "AmeriCorps Members Performed No Tutoring." Walpin says below that heading was the explanation that substantiated interviews with staff.

Brown's assertion that in the August 25th meeting he and his staff "expressed [their] concern that the Walpin's report conclusions "seemed overstated...."
What Mr. Brown and his colleagues said was that they would be studying all of the files that OIG had provided to see if criminal intent and knowledge could be established for a criminal prosecution; they never expressed any concern concerning the existence of a viable civil case.
Regarding the charge that Walpin failed to conduct an audit:
OIG then responded that an audit was neither feasible nor needed, and is not used in many investigations. OIG explained that the allegations in this case involved misuse of AmeriCorps members, and not to missing or misused funds, making an audit not warranted.
However, on September 11th, Assistant U.S. Attorney Newman asked OIG to prepare a report on St. HOPE's financial records to determine the extent of St. HOPE's liability to return any or all of the grant funds that it had received." At this time, a subpoena was served on October 1, 2008 on St. HOPE. As late as January 22, 2009 only partial information had been provided. Repeated letters to St. HOPE and St. HOPE's attorney on non-compliance were issued.
Yet, the U.S. Attorney's office took no action to enforce the subpoena.
On February 4, 2009, additional documents were provided, and AUSA Newman advised that OIG auditors "should base their report on the documents" available, "even though a big void in the required documents remained." Missing were:
“Source documentation for costs charged to the grant; complete general ledger (only a partial ledger was produced); reconciliation of costs charged on the Financial Status report to the general ledger, including match funds; explanation of the methodology for allocating costs between match and federal share; [and] identification of the accounting system used.” In other words, there were gaping
holes in the documentation. But to demonstrate OIG’s cooperation with the USA’s office, OIG's audit staff prepared its report.
The conclusion:
The report’s conclusion was straight forward:
None of the costs charged to the grant are allowable, primarily because the
AmeriCorps members’ service activities were not consistent with the grant

Contrary to . . . grant requirements and prohibitions, we found that St. HOPE AmeriCorps members performed little, if any, of the service agreed to and stipulated under the grant. Instead, they were used for non-authorized and prohibited activities, including services that displaced St. HOPE employees, a violation of 42 U.S.C. § 12637 Non duplication and Non displacement. We also found instances where AmeriCorps living allowances and benefits were unlawfully used to supplement the salaries of St. HOPE employees. Another grant requirement is that all allowable cost must be adequately documented. . . . . We found an almost total lack of documentation to support St. HOPE’s performance of the grant, despite our repeated requests to St. HOPE for grant-related documents.
After the U.S. Attorney General's office asked for an audit, and after a subpoena was largely ignored by Kevin Johnson, the Attorney General's office refused to enforce the subpoena. Note also that Executive Director of Kevin Johnson's St. HOPE Academy, Rick Maya, resigned due to misconduct by Kevin Johnson. Maya claims that another board member deleted Kevin Johnson's emails during the federal investigation that Walpin was conducting. This article details 9 reasons for Maya's resignation. It's astounding. I hope you'll read it.

At the time of Walpin's firing he had also completed an investigation into City University of New York (CUNY), AmeriCorps largest program. Walpin said neither the CUNY report or the Kevin Johnson-St. HOPE Academy investigation were "well-received by top CNCS management."

So what changed at CNCS, because after all, the investigation came at the request of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger:
A Sacramento-based nonprofit run by former NBA star and Sacramento mayoral candidate Kevin Johnson is facing scrutiny after a teenager complained of inappropriate touching by Johnson.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s office asked the federal government to investigate because the nonprofit, St. HOPE, has received money in the past from the federal AmeriCorps program.

One thing changed? Barack Obama was elected President and we know he has big plans for AmeriCorp. How can you achieve the huge expansion he has in mind, with millions, probably billions in federal funds funneled to them, with a-Gerald-Walpin reporting some nasty theft of taxpayer dollars?

A new report:
Schwarzenegger Involvement: Kevin Johnson Investigation by Gerald Walpin

Related and Background:

Michelle Malkin has news of The First Lady's coming speech at CNCS

Gerald Walpin Firing Update: AmeriCorp $75 Million Musused: Michelle Obama Hires?

Kevin Johnson - St. Hope Scandal: Rick Maya Resigns, Gerald Walpin Investigates

White House Charges Walpin Confused, Disoriented, Disruptive

Who is Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson - Walpin-Johnson Investigation