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Leslie Munger Illinois State Comptroller Reception

Leslie Munger

Source: Will County News

Obama Blocks 75% of terror targets from bombing and WARN enemy when we come

Obama Blocks 75 Percent of Terror Targets From Bombing
Image: Obama Blocks 75 Percent of Terror Targets From Bombing An airstrike by a U.S.-led coalition warplane explodes on an ISIL position on November 10, 2015 near the town of Hole, Rojava, Syria. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
By Loren Gutentag | Friday, 20 Nov 2015 09:35 AM

Image: Obama Blocks 75 Percent of Terror Targets From Bombing
Due to an Obama administration policy that is aimed to prevent civilian deaths and collateral damage, U.S. military pilots who have returned home from the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq have definitively stated they were unable to obtain clearance to launch strikes and in turn were blocked from dropping 75 percent of their weaponry on terror targets, The Washington Free Beacon reports.

According to the House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., the policy is coming under attack by military leaders who believe it has enabled ISIS to gain strength within the region.

“You went 12 full months while ISIS was on the march without the U.S. using that air power and now as the pilots come back to talk to us they say three-quarters of our ordnance we can’t drop, we can’t get clearance even when we have a clear target in front of us,” Royce said.

“I don’t understand this strategy at all because this is what has allowed ISIS the advantage and ability to recruit.”

While Jack Keane, a retired four-star U.S. general, agreed with Royce’s evaluation of the policy, he noted that it’s not only severely “constricting the U.S.,” but he believes it has “been an absurdity from the beginning.”

“Believe me, the French are in there not using the restrictions we have imposed on our pilots,” Keane added.
Special: Barbara Walters: I am Done With the View and Never Felt Better
And the same goes for Russians, he said, adding, “They don’t care at all about civilians.”
Pentagon officials, however, are sticking to the policy despite the heavy criticism.

“The bottom line is that we will not stoop to the level of our enemy and put civilians more in harm’s way than absolutely necessary,” a Pentagon official told the Washington Free Beacon.

“The fact that aircraft go on missions and don’t strike anything is not out of the norm,” the official said.

“Despite U.S. strikes being the most precise in the history of warfare, conducting strike operations in the heavily populated areas where ISIL hides certainly presents challenges. We are fighting an enemy who goes out of their way to put civilians at risk. However, our pilots understand the need for the tactical patience in this environment. This fight against ISIL is not the kind of fight from previous decades.”

However, despite President Obama’s “zero civilian casualties” policy in the fight against ISIS, a new NBC poll released Thursday found that at least 70 percent of Americans are in favor expanding the fight against the Islamic group.

Syrian Oil Tanker Drivers Warned Before US Bombs Fell

By Patrick Goodenough | November 19, 2015 | 4:47 AM EST

Anti-ISIS coalition aircraft dropped warning leaflets before bombing oil tankers in Syria for the first time this week, urging the truck drivers to flee. (Image: DoD)

(CNSNews.com)  – In a bid to deprive the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL) of vital energy supplies and revenues, U.S. forces have for the first time bombed oil tankers in the Syrian desert, but only after dropping leaflets warning truck drivers – deemed to be non-combatants – to “get out of your trucks now and run away from them.”
A total of 116 tankers, queued up near an oil facility in Al-Bukamal in eastern Syria, were destroyed with 500-pound bombs, U.S. Army Col. Steve Warren told reporters at the Pentagon Wednesday in a teleconference briefing from Baghdad.

The assault by A-10 fighters and AC-130 Hercules gunships, while the first targeting trucks, was part of an ongoing operation aimed at destroying the entire oil distribution chain that benefits the terrorists, including wellheads, pumps and collection points, he said.

About 45 minutes before the strikes, aircraft dropped leaflets carrying simple warning messages.

“Get out of your trucks now, and run away from them,” they read. “Warning: airstrikes are coming. Oil trucks will be destroyed. Get away from your oil trucks immediately. Do not risk your life.”

Warren, who is spokesman for the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition mission Operation Inherent Resolve, said assault aircraft also buzzed the trucks beforehand, to make their intentions clear in what he called “a very powerful message.”

“We assessed that these trucks, while – although they are being used for operations that support ISIL, the truck drivers themselves, are probably not members of ISIL,” he said.

“They’re probably just civilians. So we had to figure out a way around that. We’re not in this business to kill civilians, we’re in this business to stop ISIL, to defeat ISIL”

Bomb on Dollars

Warren said in one case civilians had run away from the trucks and took shelter inside a nearby tent.

Although by dint of their proximity and what they were doing they were “absolutely legitimate military targets,” he said, they had not been targeted.

“In a great sense of what we’re all about here, those pilots made a decision, you know, from the cockpit that they could accomplish their mission without striking that tent and without hurting any of those civilians.”

Warren suggested the experience may make tanker drivers less likely to continue helping ISIS.

“They’re civilians, they’re citizens of Syria. Granted, they’re oil smugglers. But they’re not really members of ISIL. So many of them have got the message that smuggling oil for ISIL is a much more dangerous business now than it was last week.”

Palestinian militants from the Islamic Jihad's armed wing are seen training with arms at an undisclosed location in the Gaza Strip on August 13, 2008. The Hamas rulers of Gaza yesterday bashed out at militants who fire rockets at Israel from the Palestinian territory in violation of a seven-week-old truce, calling them collaborators. In all, 40 rockets and mortar rounds have been fired from Gaza since a truce between Hamas and Israel went into effect in and around Gaza on June 19, according to the Israeli army.  AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD HAMS (Photo credit should read MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)

Palestinian militants from the Islamic Jihad’s armed wing are seen training with arms at an undisclosed location in the Gaza Strip on August 13, 2008. The Hamas rulers of Gaza yesterday bashed out at militants who fire rockets at Israel from the Palestinian territory in violation of a seven-week-old truce, calling them collaborators. In all, 40 rockets and mortar rounds have been fired from Gaza since a truce between Hamas and Israel went into effect in and around Gaza on June 19, according to the Israeli army. AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD HAMS (Photo credit should read MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)

Warren said revenues from stolen oil funds more than half of ISIS’ activities.

“We need to take this away from them so that their operations are more difficult to conduct.”

The mission to target the terrorists’ oil infrastructure is named “Operation Tidal Wave II.”

“This was a tidal wave that swept across these oil fields, and it really crippled them,” Warren said. “So, this was an extraordinarily, we believe, effective operation – Tidal Wave II.”

He said ISIS now faced the problem not of adjusting to the airstrikes, but of “trying to figure out how to fix their broken oil wells.”

The operation is named for a massive bombing raid during World War II in which the U.S. Air Force attacked oil facilities in Romania in a bid to deprive the Nazis of crucial fuel.

The 1943 Operation Tidal Wave came at huge cost, with dozens of B-24 bombers lost, 310 airmen killed, and more than 100 captured. Five Medals of Honor were awarded posthumously.






Source: Will County News

State Department spent $36.5 million polling foreigners’ opinions

Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to media at the State Department in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015, during a news conference with Bahrain's Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Photo by: Carolyn Kaster

Would you spend money to find out what people in Spain think about their medical insurance or what people in Austria think about their government? That’s exactly what the federal government has been doing, using millions of Americans’ tax dollars.

Since 2007 the U.S. State Department has spent over $36.5 million to survey citizens in foreign countries on a wide range of topics, including general public opinion polling on how their own governments — many of them U.S. allies — are performing. And the biggest spike in that spending occurred on Hillary Rodham Clinton’s watch as secretary of state.

The polls included such topics as a “survey of medical insurance in Spain” costing $24,727, an “Elite Survey in Russia” that cost $117,000 and a “Public Opinion Poll Survey to Address Public Attitudes Toward Domestic and International Affairs in Austria,” costing $50,728.

The examples were compiled by federal spending watchdog OpenTheBooks.com in a larger oversight report on federal public opinion polling to be published after Thanksgiving.

Spending watchdogs say these polls, while informative, should be conducted and funded by private research organizations, not the U.S. taxpayer.

“As interesting and as important as foreign attitudes may be, U.S. taxpayers don’t need to subsidize polling operations that should be done by other countries or private organizations,” said Adam Andrzejewski, founder of OpenTheBooks.com and the author of the upcoming oversight report.

“What is the public purpose to spend millions of taxpayer dollars on surveys of the citizens of our allies like Japan, Germany, Poland, Italy, Spain and England?” Mr. Andrzejewski added.

Richard Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government, argued that the U.S.-funded polls could strain relations with foreign governments.

“While the State Department has an obvious interest in having their fingers on the pulse of attitudes around the world, I can’t help but wonder how our government would feel if Putin conducted a series of polls here in America to test American support for the Obama regime and used it as part of his foreign policy decision-making?” Mr. Manning said.

For spending tens of millions of dollars to poll citizens in foreign countries at the expense of the U.S. taxpayer, the State Department wins this week’s Golden Hammer, a weekly distinction awarded by The Washington Times highlighting the most egregious examples of questionable federal spending.

“Polling is big business, and it seems to be a particularly lucrative one when you can get the U.S. taxpayer to foot the bill. While there is an obvious justification for the State Department to be aware of public attitudes around the world, the subjects and breadth of the polling conducted around the world out of Foggy Bottom has the stench of political spoils,” Mr. Manning said.

The vast majority of the vendors being paid to conduct international polls are billed as “miscellaneous foreign contractors.” Of the over $36.5 million that has been spent through FY2014 on polling, over $34 million was paid to unnamed contractors according to the contracts compiled from USASpending.gov.

According to the data, the department spent significantly more on international polling during the years that Mrs. Clinton served as secretary of state. In 2007 the State Department spent just under $2 million on foreign surveys. That number nearly doubled in 2008 to over $3.8 million. The spending continued to increase in 2009, Mrs. Clinton’s first year as secretary, to over $5 million. In FY2012 alone — the height of Mrs. Clinton’s term as secretary and the year of President Obama’s re-election — the State Department spent over $7.5 million on international polls.

And during Mrs. Clinton’s tenure as secretary, the polling contracts became less transparent. Many of the projects were simply described with one word, “survey,” and were billed to “miscellaneous” foreign contractors.

But in 2014, after Mrs. Clinton left the department, international survey spending fell to $2.7 million.

“With the obvious ratcheting up of polling expenditures by the State Department leading up to the 2012 election with immediate, precipitous falloff afterward, it is reasonable to ask whether there was some political motivation behind the spending,” Mr. Manning said.

In an email to The Times, a State Department spokeswoman said many of the vendors were not identified because there is no federal requirement for foreign companies performing overseas to have Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS) number, a nine-digit identification required for U.S. companies bidding on federal contracts.

One of the vendors that was identified was a news agency, The Associated Press.
The State Department disclosed that it paid the AP $36,168 in FY2011 to conduct a survey in Washington, D.C. It was not clear what kind of poll the newspaper company conducted or who was surveyed.

A spokesman for the AP denied that the news agency provides survey services to the federal government, but said the State Department, like many other federal agencies, does subscribe to AP wire services for national and international news.

The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment to clarify the nature of the contract.

“That [the] State Department disclosed polling transaction with The Associated Press is either a major conflict of interest funded by the American taxpayer or, if [a mistake], shows a lack of agency accounting controls,” Mr. Andrzejewski said.

Pete Sepp, president of the National Taxpayers Union, said that the information gleaned from such international polls could be useful to diplomats trying to get a read on political attitudes toward the U.S., “but how can factors like medical insurance abroad matter to their mission? How can the cost be justified by any benefit?”

“Furthermore, private foundations and polling companies have become more widespread around the world in conducting country-specific surveys. In many cases the data they’ve already gathered might be sufficient for states’ needs — or, equally important, might be instructive in showing the limitations of polling in a given area of the world,” Mr. Sepp said.

Source: Will County News