Saturday, January 5, 2013
Verne Strickland Blogmaster / Saturday, January 05, 2013
January 5, 2013 By Daniel Greenfield
Anti-War activists have it rough when there isn’t an actual war on. With US troops out of Iraq and heading toward the exit in Afghanistan, the left has become pathologically obsessed with drone strikes, those vicious machines of the air who kill, kill and kill.
Anti-Drone hysteria is generally limited to the left and the Paultard sphere, backed by bad numbers and hysterical rhetoric. As in Iraq, their weapon of choice are reports full of bad numbers assembled for them by the locals. A typical example of that is the recent “Living Under Drones” study billed as coming from NYU and Stanford.Sticking NYU and Stanford on a report makes it sound impressive, but the fine print shows some interesting things.
In the course of the research, the Stanford and NYU Clinics have exchanged information and logistical support with Reprieve and its partner organization in Pakistan, the Foundation for Fundamental Rights (FFR). The latter organization assisted in contacting many of the potential interviewees, particularly those who reside in North Waziristan, and in the difficult work of arranging interviews. The Stanford and NYU Clinics designed the research project, analyzed information, and drafted and edited the report independently from Reprieve and FFR.As Ali Arqam at Let Us Build Pakistan points out
The report also conveniently excludes crucial facts that only the militants and their minders in North Waziristan have access to that area. As pointed out on more than one occasion by academics and activists like Farhat Taj, the areas being targeted by drone strikes are not controlled by the Pakistani government. They are controlled by the nexus of the Taliban, Al Qaeda and their Jihadi affiliates like LeJ/ASWJ/JM etc. This is why it has been virtually impossible to determine the exact number of civilian casualties.The only way to gain access to the area is to be a unconscious or unconscious collaborator with the terrorists running North Waziristan.
The NYU/Stanford study is not independent, it’s entirely dependent on data gained through the services of the Taliban. It’s independent only to the extent of inserting the data and analyzing it. But when you have no independent way to gain access to the data, then nothing you’re doing is independent.
The Taliban are highly motivated when it comes to ending drone strikes on their commanders. Fake civilian casualties are one way of doing that.
The FFR facebook page features a poster promoting Imran Khan’s “Peace March”. Imran Khan is
pro-Taliban and has said that the Taliban’s war is justified by Islamic law.
Reprieve is a UK NGO run by Clive Stafford Smith, who focuses on helping Gitmo terrorists. Smith joined Imran Khan’s march, along with Lauren Booth, who is an explicit terrorist supporter. Akbar is listed as a legal fellow of Reprieve. FFR and Reprieve have worked together with Khan in North Waziristan.
The Stanford/NYU report was cobbled together using interviews assembled by Reprieve and FFR. Virtually no women were interviewed for the report. Translators and researchers were used for the interviews. The researchers were provided by FFR and Reprieve. There is no mention of where the translators came from.
It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the report is propaganda manufactured by FFR and Reprieve on behalf of the Taliban and Al Qaeda. And if there is really any doubt about that at all, the following should clear it up.That sentence comes from a supposed worried father in North Waziristan, and the section goes on to strongly suggest that children aren’t going to school in North Waziristan because they fear drone attacks.
“I know a lot of people, girls and boys, whose families have stopped them from getting [an] education because of drone attacks.”
Indeed it was claimed that a drone attack was carried out on a school for girls… in Taliban territory. In reality, the Pakistani Taliban have bombed schools themselves and those schools that operate do so only under the authority of their warlords.
As this Washington Post story documents, girls in North Waziristan are educated at home, if at all, because of the Taliban.
All Taliban oppose coeducation, and girls lucky enough to receive any kind of formal instruction typically do so in private homes.What is truly sickening, is that the propaganda report working on behalf of the Taliban who terrorize and murder girls tries to claim with a straight face that girls can’t go to school because of the American drones attacking the Taliban.
Despicable propaganda doesn’t get any more despicable than this.
About Daniel GreenfieldDaniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.
Thursday, January 3, 2013
Verne Strickland Blogmaster / January 3, 2013
A startling Foreign Military Intelligence (GRU) report circulating in the Kremlin today states that President Obama was informed by White House medical personal shortly after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s [photo top right] return to the United States that her health prognosis was “grim” as her likelihood of survival was “diminishing by the hour.”
As we had previously reported in our 30 December report, Clinton Injured, US Navy Seal Killed In Secret US Mission To Iran, Secretary Clinton was severely injured over a fortnight ago when her US military C-12 Huron aircraft [photo 2nd right] crash landed at Iran’s Ahwaz International Airport during a US secret mission to that Persian Gulf nation where she was reported to be “unconscious” and “bleeding profusely.”
US mainstream propaganda news sources have, so far, denied the truth of this incident and as late as 28 December were reporting that Secretary Clinton would be returning to work this past week after her having suffered a bout of the flu and a concussion.
Within hours of the GRU releasing their information on the Iranian air crash of the US military C-12 Huron, however, these same American media propaganda news sources began reporting that Secretary Clinton was hospitalized for what they described as a blood clot on her brain near her skull.
Further confirmation of true facts relating to Secretary Clinton were, also, released by the Israeli MOSSAD linked news site DEBKA, who in their 31 December article titled, Hillary Clinton In Hospital Amid Speculation Of Plane Accident In Iran, wrote:
“…around Tehran and the Gulf Emirates, debkafile was already picking up insistent rumors claiming that Clinton was seriously injured while on a secret mission in the region in the first week of December. Some claimed that in the same incident, Americans in her party – advisers and security personnel – were either injured or killed. Those rumors did not say what her secret mission was. However, the episode described occurred shortly after Dec. 1, when, as debkafile reported at the time, Obama administration officials and senior representatives of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei launched secret talks on Iran’s nuclear program.”Curious to note, GRU analysts say in this report, is that Obama has not acknowledged to the American people the grave nature of Secretary Clinton’s condition, despite his appearing before the American propaganda press establishment at least three times since these events occurred.
Obama’s failure to acknowledge Secretary Clinton’s grave health situation was brought into stark relieve the other day when her daughter, Chelsea, was spotted leaving the hospital where her mother is being cared for and described as “visibly anguished”.
Russian medical experts quoted in this GRU report state that Secretary Clinton has “more than likely” suffered what they call a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) as a result of the plane crash and that they say is the “only reasonable explanation” for a blood clot appearing in the location between the skull and the brain.
Interesting to note is that Obama has already selected Secretary Clinton’s replacement, and who is reported to be the present US Senator to Massachusetts, John Kerry.
Critical to note, Russian medical experts further state in this report, is that the timeline from when Secretary Clinton was first severely injured, to when the news of her true condition was first released, suggest a “planned effort” on the part of the Obama regime to manage the true facts surrounding her health, and here eventual death, or recovery.
Too, if Secretary Clinton is able to fully recover, the GRU says, is “within the realm of possibility” as modern medical advances treating TBI’s has advanced significantly, and no better care for such head injuries exists in the world outside of the US military medical establishment who have treated hundreds of thousands of similar cases over that nations over decade of war.
What remains unknown, and which this report does not speculate upon, is to why the American people are still not allowed to know why Secretary Clinton was sent to Iran to begin with, and why the true state of her health is still being kept secret?
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Verne Strickland Blogmaster / January 4, 2013
Published: Thursday, January 3, 2013
The downtrodden economy has fueled an expansion of criminal street gangs in eastern North Carolina, one law enforcement official said Thursday, a troubling trend that renewed calls among school and law enforcement officials for a multifaceted approach for tackling the problem.
"It's increased just because of the general state of the country," said Greg Steffens, a member of the N.C. Gang Investigators Association and a state highway patrolman. "You have parents working so much now to make ends meet that kids are looking for an outlet."
Steffens spoke during a brief interview following the seventh annual Eastern Carolina Gang Conference in Mount Olive, a daylong event that brought together hundreds of law enforcement officers, social workers, teachers and other officials on the front lines of gang prevention.
The discussion Thursday focused on helping parents strengthen familial bonds so youth are less likely to be recruited by a gang.
If relationships between youth and adults are absent, gangs step in and provide youth with what they seek -- bonding, life skills, meaningful participation, Wayne Sakamoto, a gang prevention expert from California.
Sakamoto said in an interview that federal budget cuts have wiped out or greatly curtailed gang prevention programs.
"Schools have lost a lot of funding for any type of prevention or prevention work. That's why we're getting school systems that say, 'We're retrenching. We're going back to what we do, which is academics," Sakamoto said. "And we've lost focus on school safety and prevention."
Emerging gang problems prompted Wilmington and New Hanover County to form a joint gang task force several years ago. The team of investigators and social workers is charged with not only dismantling gangs but choking off their source of recruitment by finding potential members at an early age.
The task force has documented about 400 active gang members, said Sgt. Curt Stansbury, an officer with the Wilmington Police Department who also serves on the task force. And the city has ramped up programs aimed at dismantling criminal organizations, including one that was recently credited with cleaning up a known drug corner on the North Side.
Despite those efforts, Wilmington is not immune to gang violence.
In January 2011, Corey Guerrero, Taaron Jones and Rashad Williams were stabbed on Market Street during a fight outside the Rhino Club, which authorities forced to shut down following the incident. Jones, a 19-year-old described by investigators as a high-ranking general in the Double II Bloods, died as a result of his injuries.
Police posthumously identified Jones as the gunman responsible for shooting two people in a parking lot on Emory Street in September 2010. One of them, Teshon Lane, 19, was killed.
Gang violence erupted again later that year when a fight between the Bloods and Crips broke out at Club 609, ending with 20-year-old Cornelius Blanks shot dead. Authorities said gang members migrated to Club 609, which the state also shuttered after the episode, following Rhino's closure.
Monday, December 31, 2012
Verne Strickland Blogmaster / December 31, 2012
December 31, 2012 By Daniel Greenfield
Chicago’s murder numbers have hit that magic 500 number. Baltimore’s murder toll has passed 200. In Philly, it’s up to 324, the highest since 2007. In Detroit, it’s approaching 400, another record. In New Orleans, it’s almost at 200. New York City is down to 414 from 508. In Los Angeles, it’s over 500. In St. Louis it’s 113 and 130 in Oakland. It’s 121 in Memphis and 76 in Birmingham.
Washington, D.C., home of the boys and girls who can solve it all, is nearing its own big 100.
These cities are the heartland of America’s real gun culture. It isn’t the bitter gun-and-bible clingers in McCain and Romney territory who are racking up a more horrifying annual kill rate than Al Qaeda; it’s Obama’s own voting base.
Chicago, where Obama delivered his victory speech, has homicide numbers that match all of Japan and are higher than Spain, Poland and pre-war Syria. If Chicago gets any worse, it will find itself passing the number of murders for the entire country of Canada.
Chicago’s murder rate of 15.65 per 100,000 people looks nothing like the American 4.2 rate, the Midwestern 4.5 or the Illinois’ 5.6 rates, but it does look like the murder rates in failed countries like Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe. To achieve Chicago’s murder rate, African countries usually have to experience a bloody genocidal civil war or decades of tyranny.
But Chicago isn’t even all that unique. Or the worst case scenario. That would be New Orleans which at an incredible 72.8 murder rate is ten times higher than the national average. If New Orleans were a country, it would have the 2nd highest murder rate in the world, beating out El Salvador.
Louisiana went red for Romney 58 to 40, but Orleans Parish went blue for Obama 80 to 17.
St. Louis has a murder rate just a little lower than Belize. Baltimore has a worse murder rate than South Africa and Detroit has a worse murder rate than Colombia. Obama won both St. Louis and Baltimore by comfortable margins. He won Detroit’s Wayne County 73 to 26.
Homicide rates like these show that something is broken, but it isn’t broken among the Romney voters rushing to stock up on assault rifles every time Obama begins threatening their right to buy them; it’s broken among Obama’s base.
Voting for Obama does not make people innately homicidal. Just look at Seattle which is agonizing over its 26 murders. That’s about the same number of murders as East St. Louis which has only 27,000 people to Seattle’s 620,000.
So what is happening in Chicago to drive it to the gates of hell ahead of Zimbabwe and Rwanda?
A breakdown of the Chicago killing fields shows that 83% of those murdered in Chicago last year had criminal records. In Philly, it’s 75%. In Milwaukee it’s 77% percent. In New Orleans, it’s 64%. In Baltimore, it’s 91%. Many were felons who had served time. And as many as 80% of the homicides were gang related.
Chicago’s problem isn’t guns; it’s gangs. Gun control efforts in Chicago or any other major city are doomed because gangs represent organized crime networks which stretch down to Mexico, and trying to cut off their gun supply will be as effective as trying to cut off their drug supply.
America’s murder rate isn’t the work of the suburban and rural homeowners who shop for guns at sporting goods stores and at gun shows, and whom news shows profile after every shooting, but by the gangs embedded in the urban areas controlled by the Democratic machine. The gangs who drive up America’s murder rate look nothing like the occasional mentally ill suburban white kid who goes off his medication and decides to shoot up a school. Lanza, like most serial killers, is a media aberration, not the norm.
National murder statistics show that blacks are far more likely to be killers than whites and they are also far more likely to be killed. The single largest cause of homicides is the argument. 4th on the list is juvenile gang activity with 676 murders, which combined with various flavors of gangland killings takes us nearly to the 1,000 mark. America has more gangland murders than Sierra Leone, Eritrea and Puerto Rico have murders.
Our national murder rate is not some incomprehensible mystery that can only be attributed to the inanimate tools, the steel, brass and wood that do the work. It is largely the work of adult males from age 18 to 39 with criminal records killing other males of that same age and criminal past.
If this were going on in Rwanda, El Salvador or Sierra Leone, we would have no trouble knowing what to make of it, and silly pearl-clutching nonsense about gun control would never even come up. But this is Chicago, it’s Baltimore, it’s Philly and NOLA; and so we refuse to see that our major cities are in the same boat as some of the worst trouble spots in the world.
Lanza and Newtown are comforting aberrations. They allow us to take refuge in the fantasy that homicides in America are the work of the occasional serial killer practicing his dark art in one of those perfect small towns that always show up in murder mysteries or Stephen King novels. They fool us into thinking that there is something American about our murder rate that can be traced to hunting season, patriotism and bad mothers.
But go to Chicago or Baltimore. Go where the killings really happen and the illusion comes apart.
There is a war going on in America between gangs of young men who bear an uncanny resemblance to their counterparts in Sierra Leone or El Salvador. They live like them, they fight for control of the streets like them and they kill like them.
America’s horrific murder rate is a result of the transformation of major American cities into Sierra Leone, Somalia, Rwanda and El Salvador. Our murder rate now largely consists of criminals killing criminals.
As David Kennedy, the head of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control, put it, “The majority of homicide victims have extensive criminal histories. This is simply the way that the world of criminal homicide works. It’s a fact.”
America is, on a county by county basis, not a violent country, just as it, on a county by county basis, did not vote for Obama. It is being dragged down by broken cities full of broken families whose mayors would like to trash the Bill of Rights for the entire country in the vain hope that national gun control will save their cities, even though gun control is likely to be as much help to Chicago or New Orleans as the War on Drugs.
Obama’s pretense that there needs to be a national conversation about rural American gun owners is a dishonest and cynical ploy that distracts attention from the real problem that he and politicians like him have sat on for generations.
We do not need to have a conversation about the NRA. We need to have a conversation about Chicago.
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Sunday, December 30, 2012
There was an unexpected bonus. The lavishly descriptive historic document, describing the scientific and social upheaval which surrounded the global 1917-18 influenza mega-event, also exposed the political scandal of the Democrats’ challenge to U.S. Senator Joseph Raymond McCarthy (R-WI) – one Woodrow Wilson, president of the United States.
What a joy it was to read the insane (read “insane”) demagoguery of this strange, callous Wilson, whose misadventures into censorship, fanaticism, domestic spying, scandal-mongering, and intimidation of American citizens, are enough to absolve the patriotic Joseph McCarthy of his so-called “excesses” (so-called by Democrats of the liberal persuasion) in flushing out communists and pseudo-communists during the 1940s to 1950s.
All of those accused of selling out America during the McCarthyite “witch hunts” were, needless to say, not Communists. But, for me, just lighting a fire on the tail feathers of U.S. intellectuals, Hollywood cynics, left-wing radicals, and Communist sympathizers of the time, was cathartic, rewarding, satisfying.
I don’t hate Joseph McCarthy. I never did. While he might have thrown a few wild pitches, he also threw a hell of a lot of strikes, and for that I give him a whole chorus of atta-boys.
What I did hate, and do yet, is treacherous, lying, deceitful, America-hating God-awful communism – scourge of freedom everywhere, and murderer of the masses in the millions. The only things that stopped its excesses at our shores were the so-called “excesses” of patriots like Joe McCarthy. And there were none like him. He did noble work, despite his vociferous detractors.
Senator McCarthy had a lot going against him before he even launched his bid to thwart communist leanings in the United States. For one thing, the man looked evil. That was not his own failing. Everyone is answerable to one’s own DNA, which apportions appearance, temperament, talent, intelligence (or lack thereof), longevity, vulnerability to one disease or another, and preference of a political party. (No, strike that last. It is suspected but not proven.)
Want to spread out the wings of this little flight of fantasy? Many look evil. Maybe I do as well. Dark eyes, black hair (okay, that was 30 years ago), scowling, but with a certain beguiling devil-may-care expression one might even call handsome. Hey, where did all this go off the rails?
But Joe McCarthy? He was easy to dislike. Especially if you were a little sensitive about someone flaring off about communists to begin with. So the intellectuals, “las artistas favoritas”, the union shills, the darlings of Hollywood, the scruffy denizens of the Golden Coast, they really got their butts in a snit over anyone who in the press even suggested that communists weren’t good for Amerika. Me? I was lonely back then, and am even more lonely today. From an idealogical perspective, anyway.
But let’s turn back the clock to the days of Woodrow Wilson’s smothering attack on freedom in the United States, when no excuse could make up for his insufferable assaults on the rights of the average citizens of this country.
You must ask yourself – have you ever read about these despotic campaigns put in motion by President Woodrow Wilson? Not me. I was ignorant of this whole revolting period of executive excesses until I undertook to learn about influenza. Thank God I did. Because I intend to use this chance encounter with truth to hold the heads of the great Democratic liberals of the World War I era underwater until Nancy Pelosi cries, “Will you dammit quit waterboarding already?”
I don’t know all there is to know about this strange interlude of U.S. history, which is buried beneath the shame and treachery of liberal America when the media (as they do now) give a pass to leftist causes.
But I will learn. In the meantime, I will share with you information exposed by John M. Barry of the rampant, rabid despotism of Mr. Woody Wilson, president of the United States 1913-21, who held his own nation captive in his steely, top-hatted, dour, frosty grip for years, then ducked into the history books with not a whimper about his disgraceful antics for which to apologize.
I was born in 1937. Not a year eliciting universal excitement and ardor for its historic importance, would you say? But I can hardly be blamed for that. I couldn’t talk intelligibly at the time, have made some tenuous improvement in that department since, didn’t have a clue about how to write, and political parties were as strange to me as pasteurized milk. But the war to end all wars, while it was kaput, was only a precursor to the wars to end all worlds. So in some sense this was a pivotal time – if not for mankind, at least for me.
Here are some of the thunderclap revelations that John M. Barry, brilliant author of “The Great Influenza”, gives us based on his research into the life and times of Woodrow, who went in a chameleonic transformation from isolationist to liberal internationalist to global interventionalist, forging swords from ploughshares and inserting the United States into the bloody, ravenous, unforgiving trenches of Europe.
In his zeal, Wilson portrayed his fellow Americans as traitors, protestors as enemies, and bewildered citizens as onerous miscreants. In his transformation from spineless caterpillar to flitting butterfly, he left no doubt that he wanted war, and proclaimed that those who disagreed would be ground under his heel.
“The hard line was designed to intimidate those reluctant to support the war into doing so, and to crush or eliminate those would not. Even before entering the war, Wilson had warned Congress, ‘There are citizens of the United States, I blush to admit . . . who have poured the poison of disloyalty into the very arteries of our national life . . . Such creatures of passion, disloyalty and anarchy must be crushed out.’”
Mr. Barry’s stunning revelations continue:
“The government compelled conformity, controlled speech in ways, frightening ways, not known in America before or since. Soon after the declaration of war, Wilson pushed the Espionage Act through a cooperative Congress, which balked only at legalizing outright press censorship – despite Wilson’s calling it “an imperative necessity.”
And this – an outrageous, in-your-face capitulation to federal government thuggery “justified” by presidential fiat:
“Thousands of government posters and advertisements urged people to report to the Justice Department anyone ‘who spreads pessimistic stories, divulges – or seeks – confidential military information, cries for peace, or belittles our effort to win the war.’ Wilson himself began speaking of the ‘sinister intrigue’ in America carried on ‘high and low’ by agents and dupes.”
Not Hitler, not Stalin, not Mussolini exceeded the iron grip of our own homegrown despot, President Woodrow Wilson, in wresting the will of the nation from its own citizens. But this shameful chapter is purged from the history books, hid from prying eyes, and left to fester in the archives of the Democratic Party of yesteryear.
McCarthyism? An instant, iconic catchphrase, capable of evoking visions of sinister clandestine warfare against – what? Innocent, decent Americans? Or scurrilous cells of Communist conspirators?
And Wilsonism? Why what is that? Sounds vaguely familiar, yet benign, and totally innocuous. The difference is that the president, the press and the denizens of the left conspired to demonize the one and market the other.
The story presented here, from the pages of author John M. Barry’s “The Great Influenza”: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History – A New York Times Bestseller—reveals itself to be not only a fearsome tale of pandemic ferocity, but an expose as well of the untold story of the Democratic Party’s scandalous precursor to McCarthyism, which would not emerge on the American scene until almost 20 years later. Truth is stranger than fiction. And sometimes late in arriving. But thank God – here it is.
By Dave Boyer
The Washington Times
Sunday, December 30, 2012
“They say that their biggest priority is making sure that we deal with the deficit in a serious way, but the way they’re behaving is that their only priority is making sure that tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans are protected,” Mr. Obama said of Republicans on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “That seems to be their only overriding, unifying theme.”
Senate leaders are working on a last-ditch package that would prevent tax increases for most Americans on Tuesday and avert automatic spending cuts also set to kick in next week. Mr. Obama has been unable to reach an agreement with House Republicans over his initial proposal to extend tax cuts only for families earning less than $250,000 per year, while the GOP has sought deeper cuts to entitlement programs than the president offered.
In the interview with NBC’s David Gregory, recorded Saturday at the White House, the president said that if Senate talks break down, he expects Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, to bring up a bill Monday that would encompass Mr. Obama’s original proposal only for middle-class tax cuts.
“Republicans will have to decide if they’re going to block it, which will mean that middle-class taxes do go up,” Mr. Obama said. “I don’t think they would want to do that politically, but they may end up doing it. If all else fails, if Republicans do in fact decide to block it so that taxes on middle-class families do in fact go up on Jan. 1, then we’ll come back with a new Congress on Jan. 4, and the first bill that will be introduced on the floor will be to cut taxes on middle-class families. And I don’t think the average person’s going to say, ‘Gosh, you know, that’s a really partisan agenda on the part of either the president or Democrats in Congress.’ I think people will say, ‘That makes sense, because that’s what the economy needs right now.’”“He won,” Mr. Graham said on “Fox News Sunday.” “He’s going to get tax-rate increases.”
Some Republicans say Mr. Obama already has prevailed. Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, said Sunday that Mr. Obama has “stood his ground.”
Although Republicans have said repeatedly that Mr. Obama hasn’t proposed significant deficit reduction, the president again insisted he has tried to meet the GOP halfway.
“The offers that I’ve made to them have been so fair that a lot of Democrats get mad at me,” Mr. Obama said. “I offered to make some significant changes to our entitlement programs. … At a certain point, if folks can’t say ‘yes’ to good offers, then I also have an obligation to the American people to make sure that the entire burden of deficit reduction doesn’t fall on seniors who are relying on Medicare.”
In the interview, the president also addressed his plans for gun control in the wake of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., that took the lives of 20 children and six adults. He reiterated his support for renewing a federal ban on assault-style rifles, implementing a ban on high-capacity magazines and instituting tougher background checks.
“I think anybody who was up in Newtown … understands that something fundamental in America has to change,” he said. “The question is: Are we going to be able to have a national conversation and move something through Congress? I’d like to get it done in the first year. I will put forward a very specific proposal based on the recommendations that Joe Biden’s task force is putting together as we speak. And so this is not something that I will be putting off. … And, yes, it’s going to be hard.”Wayne LaPierre, chief executive officer and executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, said after the slayings that schools should consider arming adults to protect students from violence. Asked by Mr. Gregory if he supported armed guards in schools, Mr. Obama replied, “I am not going to prejudge the recommendations that are given to me. I am skeptical that the only answer is putting more guns in schools.”
The interview also touched on Mr. Obama’s team for his second term. The president said he hasn’t decided whether to nominate former Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, a Republican, to replace Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta. Some on the left have criticized Mr. Hagel for making disparaging comments in 1998 about a gay nominee for a diplomatic post.
“I’ve served with Chuck Hagel,” Mr. Obama said. “I know him. He is a patriot. He is somebody … somebody who served this country with valor in Vietnam and is somebody who’s currently serving on my intelligence advisory board and doing an outstanding job. With respect to the particular comment … he apologized for it. And I think it’s a testimony to what has been a positive change over the last decade in terms of people’s attitudes about gays and lesbians serving our country. And that’s something that I’m very proud to have led.”
Mr. Obama was considering the nomination of U.N. Ambassador Susan E. Rice to replace Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, but Mrs. Rice withdrew her name from consideration after several GOP senators criticized her explanations for the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans. Asked if he let Mrs. Rice “hang out to dry a little bit,” Mr. Obama replied, “No.”
“Why she was targeted individually, for the kind of attacks that she was subjected to … was puzzling to me,” the president said.Mrs. Rice was criticized for telling the public on several Sunday talk shows that the attack grew out of anti-U.S. protests over a film that ridiculed Islam. "She said she was relying on the best available intelligence at the time."