Tag Archives: security

Cause To Worry About The President

6I can vividly remember the assassinations of the 1960s that seemed to take-out everyone intent upon changing the American status quo. People, particularly white American’s, often use the old-adage today much in the same manner they did then, with statements like “what is the problem” when it comes to the issue of race, safety or basic human rights. The short answer is a simple one – “white privilege”! Yes, I know the usual response is “we had nothing to do with the wrongs of our forefathers.” I would accept that; if they did something to correct some of them or were not the beneficiaries of a system their forefathers established to protect their descendants!

We have seen outcomes in recent times where obvious and clear murder of black men in a number of cities around the country and heard the responses from white America; most of which are armed and seem to think it was the fault of the black men or boys killed. They go to great lengths to raise money and showed their support for the murderers, while on the other hand, when the bigot in Nevada and his gang of armed thugs stood down the government law enforcement authorities. They called it “Freedom of Speech”! Yet, the police put forth a militarized response against the peaceful protesters in Ferguson as if it was Bagdad!

This brings me to my concern for and safety of the first African American president to which the president, who has alluded to his own racial experiences. More to the point – in light of the recent and continued missteps from the law enforcement agency whose “job” it is to protect President Obama; we should be very concerned! I cannot remember where a protection force “let” people into White House virtually unimpeded or allow to be close as seen in recent events, as we have seen with this president.

Let’s put this in context historically; “they” killed President Kennedy, Dr. King, Malcolm X, and others. Yet, we learned this week that a man was allowed to stand beside the President Obama with a gun on his person in an elevator. This president, as reported, has received more threats against his life than any other president in history. Why, because he is black!

The republicans in congress have slashed budgets so drastically that has caused unreasonable cuts with regard to the agency assigned to protect Mr. Obama and his family. But they continue to dog him for the Bengasi situation, which was also the result of republican budget cuts. It is very interesting how they complain about the deficit while not providing the monies for the president’s protection.

However, in the interest of “war” the money is found and put forth to execute it immediately. It is reported that the new front in this never ending war costs around two billion dollars a day on top of the trillions spent over the last dozen years or so that we a know about.  Not to mention, these are the same people who involved America in the “so-called war on terror”, meaning the ill-fated invasion into Iraq, Afghanistan, as well as any other conflicts all over the world.

Now, moving to the present, the Secret Service is getting much-deserved chastising for an armed felon roaming free in the White House and the fence jumpers incidents. More serious are the leaks of President Obama’s travel schedule to then GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and a congressional imposter getting into an area where the President was at a Congressional Black Caucus function. The actions of what seems to be a JV-team responsible for these breeches cost the director her job and ignited cries for a total overhaul of the service. This is notwithstanding, a vote of no-confidence in the agency’s proper protection of the president, which might just be only the tip of the iceberg in assessing the peril to Obama.

The Secret Service has other woes on top of the at times sloppy way it has handled Obama’s security; namely staffing and being understaffed and under-resourced. The recent lapses also prompted a spate of complaints from unnamed Secret Service agents of overwork, low morale, and fear of job security; all of which has reportedly come from within. This is a recipe for disaster and it shows from the number of debacles!

If you can recall, there were major errors in the protection of Kennedy that day in Dallas by those charged with guarding his life. Yes, changes were made after the fact. There maybe some, but I do not want this president harmed or killed, nor his beautiful family, for something to be done to correct problems of protection that is so clearly suspect. It is shocking that not only have these incidents occurred but the agency failed to make mention to the president until it was reported in the news.

My prayers are with the president and his family because it appears that he is in great peril. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


The Peril’s Of Justice

We as African Americans understand, as Richard Pryor famously said, when it comes to justice what we find is JUST-US! This statement could not be more profound today as it relates to some of the news stories that involve African Americans, namely the recent murder of the young child Trayvon Martin.

Frankly, this case takes me back nearly sixty-years when another young black child was murdered where the culprits did not receive due justice. I wonder if the story would be different if the victim was white and the shooter was black. I think we know the answer to that!!!

But I read a piece today written by Mr. Jonathan Capehart and like him I had the same questions that he asked in this article. First, he asked, what was Zimmerman’s relationship with the Sanford, Fla., police department? Then he asked why was Zimmerman portrayed as a volunteer neighborhood watch captain when he was not part of a registered neighborhood watch program? Further he asked, did the Sanford Police Department ever warn him about his activities in this unofficial capacity?

When you consider that Zimmerman was known to have placed, as it was reported, 46 calls to that department between Jan. 1, 2011, and the Feb. 26 shooting; did the Sanford police have specific orders on how to deal with him? Did they have a file on him? Did they have him on any kind of special watch list?

To these questions, the Police Chief said, “we don’t have the grounds to arrest him.” Yet, Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense was sufficient justification to not arrest him. My next question was why did Chief Lee accept Zimmerman’s self-defense plea on its face? Did the police run a background check on Zimmerman? Did his previous arrest, for resisting arrest without violence, raise any red flags with police? Did Lee attempt to establish probable cause? How did he go about it? Was Zimmerman tested for drugs or alcohol? If not, why not? Was Zimmerman’s gun confiscated? Was it tested? Where is that gun now?

These are all valid questions that demand answers.

Now, here are a few questions that come to mind with respect to the crime scene. What did police do with Trayvon’s body at the scene? What did police do with Trayvon’s body once taken from the scene? Why was it tested for drugs and alcohol? What did police do with Trayvon’s personal effects? Where is his cell phone? Did police try to contact Trayvon’s 16-year-old girlfriend, who was talking to him during the initial moments of the confrontation with Zimmerman and who tried several times to call him back? Hmmmm!

So as you can see there are many more questions than answers and frankly a thorough investigation would have answered these questions. Thankfully, the Department of Justice has decided to review the case to ensure that some of these questions are answered – maybe. There is such a thing as right and wrong; some things are right and some things are wrong. When you look at the aforementioned questions in this case that are unanswered – it stinks of wrong. Oh, and for sure racism!!!

There are so many more questions than answers and I pray we get them answered, and justice is served. With that said, I would suggest that you compare this to little Emmitt Till and recall the Peril’s Of Justice.

And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective!

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640

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A Day that Will Live in Infamy

It has been ten years since the attacks upon America’s homeland and a day that will live in infamy, which has become known as 9/11. I can remember that day as if it was yesterday. To be honest, I can only come up with two words to describe my feelings – “Shocking and Horrifying”. I would like to take this moment to send my heartfelt sympathy to all who have suffered, still suffer, and died.

A few days ago I watched a documentary that cause me to think about what those terror attacks by Al Qaeda were meant to do, and did to the soul of America. Then I began to wondered if Osama bin Laden realized what those attacks that morning would do to the nation. It brought about George Bush’s immediate response to the attacks that in many ways compromised America’s basic principles, undermined its economy, and weakened its security.

The attack on Afghanistan that followed the 9/11 attacks was understandable, but the subsequent invasion of Iraq was entirely unconnected to Al Qaeda, which has been proven as there has been no evidence that bin Laden ever entered the country. Although the last administration tried to establish such a link. In my opinion it was a war of choice that quickly became very expensive to the order of more than $60 billion, which was claimed at the beginning and a war of incompetence coupled with dishonest misrepresentation.

Some have calculated a conservative tally at more than $3-5 trillion, which I believe to be a low ball figure and another lie. When you consider that it’s been ten years and 50% of returning troops eligible to receive some level of disability payment and more than 600,000 treated so far in veterans’ medical facilities. Adding that some estimate that future disability payments and health-care costs will total $600-900 billion. This is not to forget the human cost of our brave soldiers who die or commit suicides that have topped topped 18 per day in recent years, not to mention family breakups that no one can calculate.

I cannot forgive Bush or anyone in his administration for taking America to war and I’m sure not many sane people can either for this war created on false pretenses and for misrepresenting the cost of the venture. If you really think about it there was no excuse for how those crooks chose to finance it. This was the first war in history paid for entirely on credit while deficits soared as a result of his 2001 tax cut. But they did it anyway and passed yet another round of tax “relief” for the wealthy.

Today as the Republicans who joined him are focused on unemployment and the deficit. The deficit they created as a result of the wars. Both of which are threats to America’s future and has worsened America’s reputation around the world. Let’s be clear, the increased defense spending and the tax cuts is a key reason why America went from a fiscal surplus of 2% of GDP under Clinton to its parlous deficit and debt position today. Direct government spending on those wars so far amounts to roughly $2 trillion – $17,000 for every US household – with bills yet to be received increasing this amount by more than 50%.

Let us also remember that then, as now, disruption in the Middle East led to higher oil prices, forcing Americans to spend money on oil imports that they otherwise could have spent buying goods produced in the US. But then the US Federal Reserve hid these weaknesses by engineering a housing bubble that led to a consumption boom. It will take years to overcome the excessive indebtedness and real-estate overhang that resulted.

Ironically, the wars have undermined America’s security, again in ways that bin Laden could not have imagined. An unpopular war would have made military recruitment difficult in any circumstances. But, as Bush tried to deceive America about the wars’ costs, he underfunded the troops, refusing even basic expenditures. Like, for example, armored and mine-resistant vehicles needed to protect American lives, or for adequate health care for returning veterans. A US court recently ruled that veterans’ rights have been violated. Maybe this is what is meant by “Support the Troops”.

Military overreach has predictably led to nervousness about using military power, and others’ knowledge of this threatens to weaken America’s security as well. But America’s real strength, more than its military and economic power, is its “soft power”. It is moral authority, which has be weakened as the US violated basic human rights like habeas corpus and the right not to be tortured, its longstanding commitment to international law was called into question.

In Afghanistan and Iraq, the US and its allies knew that long-term victory required winning hearts and minds. But just as in the last war America lost mistakes in the early years complicated that already difficult battle. The wars’ collateral damage has been massive and no hearts or minds have been won. There are some who say more than a million Iraqis have died, directly or indirectly, because of this war. According to some studies, at least 137,000 civilians have died violently in Afghanistan and Iraq in the last ten years; among Iraqis alone, there are 1.8 million refugees and 1.7 million internally displaced people.

Not all of the consequences were disastrous. The deficits to which America’s debt-funded wars contributed so mightily are now forcing the US to face the reality of budget constraints. America’s military spending still nearly equals that of the rest of the world combined, two decades after the end of the Cold War. So the idea of a broader Global War on Terrorism was created for only the rich to benefit from and frankly against enemies that don’t exist.

They tell us Al Qaeda is on the run – not conquered. bin Laden is dead and they say many of his cohorts. Are we safer? The argument is that there has not been another attack – very good – but there was no attack before 9/11. The question then that must be asked is; why are we still there? Bring the troops home! That is how you support the troops. The price paid has been enormous and mostly avoidable. The legacy will be with us forever. It is my opinion that if we bring the troops home they can protect us, which is their mission. The best thing all of us can do is say it loud – stop the wars!!!

And that is my THOUGHT PROVOKING PRESECTIVE.

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