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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Afghanistan: Top al-Qaeda Leader Abu Laith al-Libi Reported Killed

Afghanistan:
Top al-Qaeda Leader
Abu Laith al-Libi

Reported Killed By US Missile Strike
Thursday, January 31, 2008
BBC News brings us this report today and it starts off like this... A senior al-Qaeda leader in Afghanistan, Abu Laith al-Libi, has been killed, Western counter-terrorism officials have told the BBC... News of his death emerged on a website used by Islamist groups. Ekhlaas.org said he had "fallen as a martyr"... There is speculation that he was killed by a US missile strike in the North Waziristan area of Pakistan this week... A dozen militants were reported killed in the attack. US intelligence agencies said they were checking the reports...
Read this good news at link below...
Top al-Qaeda leader reported dead
* BBC News also has this Profile Report on Abu Laith al-Libi

>>> CounterTerrorismBlog.org has this take on the story... He may not be Usama Bin Laden or Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri--and he may not be a household name--but Abu al-Laith al-Liby was certainly among Al-Qaida's most senior military commanders, and his reported death now leaves Al-Qaida and the Taliban with a significant short-term leadership vacuum on the ground in Afghanistan...
Read the rest at link below...
Abu al-Laith al-Liby: Al-Qaida Loses a Guiding Light
DIA Photo/InfoSheet
********
Top Al-Qeada Leader Reported Dead

News Video posted on LiveLeak by: barnesy

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

DoD Identifies Army Casualties

No. 0081-08 January 30, 2008
DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of five soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died from wounds suffered when their unit encountered an improvised explosive device during convoy operations January 28th in Mosul, Iraq. They were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.

Killed were:
Sgt. James E. Craig, 26, of Hollywood, Calif.
Staff Sgt. Gary W. Jeffries, 37, of Roscoe, Texas.
Spc. Evan A. Marshall, 21, of Athens, Ga.
Pfc. Brandon A. Meyer, 20, of Orange, Calif.
Pvt. Joshua A. R. Young, 21, of Riddle, Ore.

For more information media may contact the Fort Carson public affairs office at (719) 526-4143; after hours (719) 526-5500.

And Then John Edwards Drops Out Of Race

John Edwards
Drops Out Of The Democratic
2008 Presidential Race
Wednesday
, January 30, 2008

John Edwards plans to drop out of the presidential race Wednesday afternoon, ending a spirited underdog bid that was watered down by his distant third finish in the South Carolina primary on Saturday... The decision leaves Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to battle it out in the increasingly competitive and bitter Democratic contest...
Read the rest of this report at FOXNews.com

* The SLATE.com website has this take on the Edwards story...
Preacher to the Choir - The fiery John Edwards ends his campaign

* POLITICO.com reports it this way...
Sen. John Edwards ended his quest for the Democratic presidential nomination Wednesday in New Orleans - the same city where he began his campaign 14 months ago and where Edwards' signature issue of poverty is a stark part of everyday life...
In New Orleans, Edwards calls it quits

My take on Edwards dropping out of the race is this...
BYE -- And Good Riddance!!!
AubreyJ.........

Official Senate file photo

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Florida 2008 Republican Primary

Florida 2008 Republican Primary
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
(Turnout was reported very high today)

My man former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani's big gamble in the Florida Republican Primary has sadly failed tonight. You’re a good man Rudy... and we all thank you for a clean, meaningful run.

Now... go and support John McCain Wednesday, as lots of rumors have it tonight, and I will most likely throw my support behind McCain TOO!!!

With that said...
Congratulations go out to
Arizona Senator John McCain
as the WINNER of the
Florida Republican Primary
this Tuesday night.

On to Super Tuesday... one week from today.
(Super Tuesday - Tuesday, Feb. 4th)

Mac is back... Mac is back... Mac is back!!!
AubreyJ.........
One last thought...
Rudy as McCain’s VP!!!?
**************
...
UPDATE:
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
....
Rudy did drop out of the race and threw his chips in behind Arizona Senator John McCain.... And as of today -- so have I.
MSNBC.com has the story on Rudy HERE

House Seizes Rare Moment Of Bipartisanship And Overwhelmingly Approves $146 Billion Economic Stimulus Plan

Tuesday, January 29, 2008
The House, seizing a rare moment of bipartisanship to respond to the economy's slump, overwhelmingly passed a $146 billion aid package Tuesday that would speed rebates of $600-$1,200 to most taxpayers... The plan, approved 385-35 after little debate, would send at least some rebate to anyone with at least $3,000 in income, with more going to families with children and less going to wealthier taxpayers... It faced a murky future in the Senate, though, where Democrats and Republicans backed a larger package that adds billions of dollars for senior citizens and the unemployed, and shrinks the rebate to $500 for individuals and $1,000 for couples...

Read the rest at FOXNews.com

Photo for the Day - January 29, 2008

* Photo for the Day * Images of Innocence
A U.S. Army Soldier from 2nd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment takes photos of Iraqi children during a humanitarian aid mission in Sowachen, Iraq, Jan. 26, 2008.
U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sean Mulligan

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

No. 0076-08 January 29, 2008
DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Sgt. Mikeal W. Miller, 22, of Albany, Ore., died January 27th at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., of wounds suffered in Baghdad, Iraq on July 9, 2007, when the vehicle he was in encountered an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.
For more information media may contact the Fort Carson public affairs office at (719) 526-4143; after hours (719) 526-5500.

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

No. 0074-08 January 29, 2008
DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Maj. Alan G. Rogers, 40, of Hampton, Fla., died January 27th of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated while he was conducting a dismounted patrol in Baghdad, Iraq. He was assigned to the Military Transition Team, 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.
For more information media may contact the Fort Riley public affairs office at (785) 239-3410.

Rudy Giuliani Web Video "Not Endorsed"

“Not Endorsed”


Video posted on YouTube by RudyGiulianiHQ

Rudy... Great job on the video and good luck today in the Republican Florida Primary
AubreyJ.........

Monday, January 28, 2008

Photo for the Day - January 28, 2008

* Photo for the Day *President Bush Delivers State of the Union Address
Monday, January 28, 2008
Read the transcript or watch the video HERE
White House photo by Eric Draper

Interviewing Saddam - FBI Agent Gets to the Truth

* Interviewing Saddam *
FBI Agent Gets to the Truth

Imagine sitting across from Saddam Hussein every day for nearly seven straight months—slowly earning his trust, getting him to spill secrets on everything from whether he gave the order to gas the Kurds (he did) to whether he really did have weapons of mass destruction on the eve of war (he didn’t). All the while gathering information that would ultimately be used to prosecute the deposed dictator in an Iraqi court.

That was the job of FBI Special Agent George Piro, who told his story Sunday, January 27, on the TV news program 60 Minutes.

Soon after U.S. Special Forces pulled Saddam out of a spider hole on December 13, 2003, the CIA—knowing the former dictator would ultimately have to answer for his crimes against the Iraqi people—asked the FBI to debrief Hussein because of our longstanding work in gathering statements for court.

That’s when we turned to Piro, an investigator on our terrorism fly team who was born in Beirut and speaks Arabic fluently. Piro was supported by a team of CIA analysts and FBI agents, intelligence analysts, language specialists, and a behavioral profiler.

Piro knew getting Saddam to talk wouldn’t be easy. He prepped by carefully studying the former dictator’s life so he could better connect with Saddam and more easily determine when he was being honest. It worked: during the first interview on January 13, 2004, Piro talked about Saddam’s four novels and Iraqi history, which impressed Hussein. Saddam asked for Piro to come back.

From that day forward, everything Piro did was designed to build an emotional bond with Saddam and to get him to talk truthfully. To make Hussein dependent on him and him alone, Piro became responsible for virtually every aspect of his life, including his personal needs. He always treated Saddam with respect, knowing he would not respond to threats or tough tactics. As part of his plan, Piro also never told Hussein that he was an FBI field agent, instead letting him believe, for the sake of building credibility, that he was a high-level official who reported directly to the President.

It took time. Piro spent five to seven hours a day with Saddam for months, taking advantage of every small opportunity that presented itself, including listening to Hussein’s poetry. Eventually, Saddam began to open up.
Among Saddam’s revelations:
* Saddam misled the world into believing that he had weapons of mass destruction in the months leading up to the war because he feared another invasion by Iran, but he did fully intend to rebuild his WMD program.

* Piro told 60 Minutes that Saddam considered Usama bin Laden “a fanatic” and a threat who couldn’t be trusted.

* The former dictator admitted “initially miscalculating President Bush and President Bush’s intentions,” Piro said, thinking the war would be more like the shortened air campaign of the Gulf War.

*
Saddam never used look-alikes or body doubles as widely believed, thinking no one could really play his part.

*
Hussein made the decision to invade neighboring Kuwait in 1990 following an insulting comment by one of its emirs.

Piro was so successful at befriending Saddam that the former dictator was visibly moved when they said goodbye. “I saw him tear up,” Piro said during the television interview.

Joe Persichini, Assistant Director in Charge of our Washington office and Piro’s boss, told 60 Minutes that Piro’s expert work in revealing Saddam’s secrets was “probably one of the top accomplishments of the agency in the last 100 years.”

From a news article on the FBI Website
FBI File Photo

To watch or read the full interview of George Piro, visit the 60 Minutes website HERE.

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

No. 0073-08 January 28, 2008
DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Staff Sgt. Robert J. Wilson, 28, of Boynton Beach, Fla., died January 26th of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated while he was conducting a dismounted patrol in Baghdad, Iraq. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.
For more information media may contact the Fort Campbell public affairs office at (270) 798-9966.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Iraq Sees Rise In 2008 Oil Output By As Much As 400,000 Barrels Per Day

Iraq Sees Rise In 2008 Oil Output
By As Much As 400,000 Barrels Per Day
Sunday
, January 27, 2008
.
The Iraqi Oil Minister expects the country's oil production to increase by as much as 400,000 daily in 2008, attributed to better security in the oil sector, Iraq Directory reported...
Read this short report at the Tehran Times website

* Guardian.co.uk has this take on the story...
Iraq's oil minister said on Friday he expected his country's output to rise by as much as 400,000 barrels per day in 2008, reflecting improved security in the oil sector... Hussain al-Shahristani also said Baghdad expected to sign contracts with oil firms to help develop its super giant oilfields that are already producing -- an opening long awaited by the industry -- by the end of the year...
Read the rest at link below...
Iraq sees higher oil output in 2008

Petraeus: Upcoming Troop Reduction Plans 'On Track'

General David H. Petraeus:
Upcoming Troop Reduction Plans 'On Track'

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Plans to withdraw four Army brigade combat teams and two Marine battalions by July are "on track" as the military seeks to draw down the number of troops in Iraq as quickly as ground conditions allow, the top U.S. commander in Iraq said today.


Appearing today on CNN's "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer," Army Gen. David H. Petraeus said the scheduled withdrawal will reduce the number of troops at the height of the surge by one quarter, or roughly 42,500. Further reductions after July will be based on the state of Iraq's security, he added.

"The guidance that (Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates) in fact has given me -- and the president and my chain of command, what all of them have said -- is that reductions after July should be conditions-based," he said.

The general said after the upcoming drawdown, Defense Department and military officials will need time to "let things settle a bit" before making further reduction assessments. Their focus, he said, will be on removing forces expeditiously, but without undercutting progress made during the troop surge that launched this time last year.

Petraeus, commander of Multinational Force Iraq, said drawdowns aim to relieve strains on servicemembers, many of whom have engaged in multiple and extended deployments to support U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Force level reductions also would save money and cut back the flow of resources, he said.

The Army strives to provide soldiers the highest possible amount of "dwell time" -- the period at home stations between deployments -- and reduce deployments from 15 months to 12, the general added.

"But we want to do it, again, in a way that will allow these gains to be maintained. We don't want to jeopardize what we have fought so hard for," he said. "The key is to make the timing of that right and to figure out when that will make sense."

Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan C. Crocker are expected in coming months to give Congress a follow-up to the military and diplomatic progress update they delivered in September.

Asked today about Iraqi security forces' capability, Petraeus said the roughly 550,000-strong force is assuming an increasingly larger role in maintaining the country's security. The overall forces -- composed of some 343,000 police members, 208,000 defense ministry soldiers and 4,000 special operations forces -- suffer nearly three times the number of U.S military casualties, which Petraeus said indicated the Iraqis' devotion to stability in their country.

Earlier this month, more than 2 million religious pilgrims gathered in Iraq to celebrate the Islamic holiday Ashura. In a ceremony that has been marked in recent years by "terrible bloodshed," the Jan. 18 holiday occurred with minimal violence, the general said.

"The Iraqi security forces planned this year the security for that, ... and in fact, in Najaf, Karbala, and Baghdad the celebrations went off virtually without incident," he said, conceding that violence occurred in Basra and Nasiriya. "But Iraqi security forces responded in each of those cases and dealt with the situation."

Officials have stated that reductions of U.S. forces in Iraq depend largely on an Iraqi security force that is capable of tamping down violence in the country. Petraeus today noted that half of Iraq's 18 provinces currently are under provincial control, but pointed out that Iraq's security institutions face challenges in breeding military leaders and in equipping and maintaining the current forces.

"(Leadership) is the area that is probably the most difficult, because you just can't find captains, colonels, and generals out there in the numbers that they need by just going back to those who are willing to serve from the old army -- not all of whom, perhaps, have the qualities that one would want in the leadership of the new Iraq army anyway," Petraeus said.

"It is easy, relatively speaking, to develop infantry battalions; it is very difficult to develop the institutional underpinnings that support those forces, maintain their vehicles, get them paid on time, feed them, and all of the rest of that," he added.

Petraeus said Iraqi security forces are handling the challenges. The handover of responsibility from U.S. to Iraqi forces is occurring not like a light switch, he said, but more like a rheostat, referring to the type of electrical resistor that adjusts to allow the flow of a current to grow in increments.

The Multinational Force Iraq commander said he does not foresee the U.S. maintaining a permanent military presence in Iraq, but rather a smaller number of U.S. troops remaining in Iraq "for some period of years." Citing key pieces of legislation passed by the Iraqi parliament recently, Petraeus said in the future he envisions troops performing a mission that places greater emphasis on empowering Iraq's "reconcilables," those who embrace cooperation over divisiveness.

"I think our soldiers were prepared intellectually for the concept that there were reconcilables whom we needed to reach out to and try to become part of the solution over time, rather than part of the problem," he said. "And you try to minimize the number of irreconcilables, because at the end of the day, they have to be killed, captured, or run out of the country."

From a news article by DoD’s American Forces Press Service - Written by John J. Kruzel
File Photo by MNF-I

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

No. 0069-08 January 27, 2008
DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Ryan Kahler, 29
, of Granite Falls, Minn., died January 26th in FOB Fenty, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained from small arms fire in Waygul, Afghanistan. Possible friendly fire. Afghan guard (ally) possibly mistook the soldier as an enemy combatant and engaged with small arms fire. Incident is under investigation.
He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne), 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Vicenza, Italy.
For more information related to this release, the media may contact the U.S. Army, Europe public affairs office at 011-49-6221-57-5816/8694.

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

No. 0068-07 January 27, 2008
DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Pfc. Duncan Charles Crookston, 19, of Denver, Colo., died January 25th in Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle during combat operations in Baghdad, Iraq. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.
For more information related to this release, the media may contact the Fort Riley public affairs office at (785) 239-3410.

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

No. 0067-08 January 27, 2008
DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Sgt. Tracy Renee Birkman, 41, of New Castle, Va., died January 25th in Owesat, Iraq, from non-combat related injuries. She was assigned to the 626th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.
For more information related to this release, the media may contact the Fort Campbell public affairs office at (270) 793-9966.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Gadhafi’s Son Said To Be Linked To Devastating Iraq Attack

Gadhafi’s Son
Said To Be Linked To
Devastating Iraq Attack
Saturday
, January 26, 2008

AP.Google.com brings us this report and it starts off like this... A devastating explosion in northern Iraq was spearheaded by foreign fighters under the sponsorship of Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, son of the Libyan leader, a security chief for Sunni tribesmen who rose up against al-Qaida in Iraq said Saturday... Col. Jubair Rashid Naief, who also is a police official in Anbar province, said the Anbar Awakening Council had alerted the U.S. military to the possible arrival in the northern city of Mosul of the Seifaddin Regiment, made up of about 150 foreign and Iraqi fighters, as long as three months ago...
Read the rest
HERE

Egypt Soon To Begin Initial Steps In Building Its First Nuclear Reactor

Egypt Soon To Begin Initial Steps
In Building Its First
Nuclear Reactor

Saturday, January 26, 2008

MENA, an Arab-language news agency for the Middle East and North Africa, said that starting in February, the Egyptian government will begin the initial steps to build the country's first-ever nuclear reactor...

Read more at the links below...

* Yahoo News, (AP)...
Egypt takes offers for nuclear project
* EARTHtimes.org...
Egypt eyeing first nuclear reactor
*****************
And now the Nuclear Race in the Middle East begins...
Complements of the feet dragging by Europe in the handlings of the Iranian Nuclear mess!
AubreyJ.........

Senator Barack Obama projected Winner Of South Carolina Democratic Primary

Senator Barack Obama
Projected Winner
Of South Carolina
Democratic Primary
Saturday, January 26, 2007
.
According to most all of those in the MSM, with the help of some exit polls, Senator Barack Obama is projected as the winner of the South Carolina Democratic Primary...
FoxNews.com has the story at link below...
Obama Pulls Big Victory Out of South Carolina
.




* Congratulations go out to Barack! *
AubreyJ.........

U.S. Woman Aid Worker Kidnapped In Southern Afghanistan

U.S. Woman Aid Worker
Kidnapped
In Southern Afghanistan
Saturday, January 26, 2008


A U.S. aid worker has been kidnapped in southern Afghanistan... The governor of Kandahar province, Asadullah Khalid, says gunmen abducted the 49-year-old woman and her driver Saturday while they were traveling near the southern city of Kandahar. The American woman was wearing a burqa and was on her way to work... Khalid says the woman had been living in the province for a while. He says she worked for a non-governmental organization focusing on agriculture and development...
Read this sad report at VOANews.com

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

No. 0066-08 January 26, 2008
DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Staff Sgt. Robert J. Miller, 24, of Iowa City, Iowa, died January 25th in Barikowt, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when he encountered small arms fire while conducting combat operations. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, N.C.
For more information media may contact the U.S. Army Special Operations Command public affairs office at (910) 432-6005.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Photo for the Day - January 25, 2007

* Photo for the Day *

* Talk the Talk *
A local Iraqi man talks with U.S. Army 1st Lt. Josh Jones, from Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division during a visit to his village in Al Ja'ara, Iraq, January 14, 2008.
U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Timothy Kingston

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) Drops Out Of Presidential Race

Dennis Kucinich Drops Out
Of Presidential Race

Thursday, January 24, 2008

All I can say is...
BYE!!!
AubreyJ.........

Official Campaign photo

Congressional Leaders And President Bush Agree In Principle On Bipartisan Economic Growth Package

Congressional Leaders
And
President Bush
Agree In Principle On
Bipartisan Economic Growth Package

Thursday, January 24, 2008
.
* House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement announcing an agreement in principle on an economic growth package with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): Read the rest at link below...
Boehner Praises Agreement on Economic Growth Package

* The White House, Office of the Press Secretary...
President Bush Discusses the Bipartisan Economic Growth Agreement
Has Video and more links to check out too

* CQPolitics.com has this take on the story... Congressional leaders and the Bush administration announced Thursday a compromise economic stimulus package built around rebates for most taxpayers and incentives for business investment... The measure also would make it easier for homeowners to refinance their adjustable rate mortgage loans into fixed-rate mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration...
Read this report in full at link below...
Hill Leaders, White House Strike Deal on Stimulus Package
White House photo by Chris Greenberg

Soldier Missing from Korean War is Identified

No. 0061-08 January 24, 2008
Soldier Missing from Korean War is Identified


The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from the Korean War, have been identified and returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

He is:
Pfc. Billy M. MacLeod, U.S. Army, of Cheboygan, Mich. He was buried Saturday in Cheboygan.

Representatives from the Army met with MacLeod's next-of-kin to explain the recovery and identification process, and to coordinate interment with military honors on behalf of the secretary of the Army.

MacLeod was a member of Company B, 32nd Infantry Regiment, then making up part of the 31st Regimental Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division, operating along the eastern banks of the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea. From November 27-December 1, 1950, the Chinese People's Volunteer Forces overran the U.S. positions, forcing their southward withdrawal. Regimental records compiled after the battle indicate that MacLeod was killed in action on November 28, 1950.

Between 2002 and 2005, three joint U.S.-Democratic People's Republic of Korea teams, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), excavated an area with two mass graves on the eastern shore of the Chosin Reservoir. They were believed to be burial sites of U.S. soldiers from the 31st RCT. The teams found human remains and other material evidence. Analysis of the remains subsequently led to the identifications of eight individuals, including MacLeod.

Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used mitochondrial DNA and dental comparisons in the identification of MacLeod's remains.

For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO Web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1169.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Israel Update: Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Israel Update:
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
* Palestinians Blow Up Border Wall To Egypt *

* In.Reuters.com brings us this news today and it starts off like this... Tens of thousands of Palestinians poured into Egypt from the Gaza Strip on Wednesday through a border wall destroyed by militants, and stocked up on food and fuel in short supply because of an Israeli blockade... "Those people are hungry for freedom, for food and for everything," said an Egyptian shopkeeper...
Read this report in full at link below...
Palestinians blow up border wall, flood into Egypt

* Guardian.co.uk has this take...
Egypt is watching with mounting alarm as the crisis in the Gaza Strip spills over onto its own territory - part of a nightmare Middle Eastern scenario in which the ever-volatile Israeli-Palestinian conflict gets dangerously out of hand...
Read the rest at link below...
(Link has Map/Video/Photos and more)
Alarm for Egypt as Gaza crisis crosses the border

* AP.Google.com reports...
The United States expressed concern Wednesday about tens of thousands of Palestinians pouring into Egypt from the Gaza Strip across a broken security barrier at the border of the small territory run by Hamas militants... "We are concerned about that situation and frankly I know the Egyptians are as well," State Department deputy spokesman Tom Casey said...
US Worried About Gaza Border Breach

* IsraelNationalNews.com...
The United National Security Council convened to discuss the events in Gaza, but failed to reach an agreement on a statement or action... Libya, the current council chair, drafted a statement that would call on Israel to open its borders with Gaza and ensure "unhindered access for humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people," according to the AFP... Israeli ChargĂ© d’Affaires Gilad Cohen delivered a statement responding to the failure to mention the shelling of Sderot on behalf of Israel. The following are excerpts:
Read the rest at link below...
Israel Tells UN Security Council to Condemn Hamas

* DEBKAfile...
Senior military sources told DEBKAfile that the strategic feat achieved by Hamas Tuesday night, in capturing a section of Sinai from Egyptian forces, is irreversible. Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert held tense talks on the crisis Wednesday night, Jan. 23...

Hamas’ seizure of Northern Sinai from Egypt sends Washington, Jerusalem and Cairo into tense consultations

******************************
* Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs *
Here’s a great report on all these rocket attacks that no one in the MSM seems to care to report on...

It starts off like this...
Since the Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in mid-June 2007 until the end of December 2007, 475 missiles and 631 mortar bombs have been fired at Israeli cities...
Following link has lots of info, videos, photos and more...
Missile fire from Gaza on Israeli civilian targets
*********************
Israel Monitors Border Situation

Video News Report posted on LiveLeak by barnesy

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

No. 0058-08 January 23, 2008
DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Sgt. Michael R. Sturdivant, 20, of Conway, Ark., died January 22nd in Kirkuk, Iraq, of injuries sustained in a vehicle accident during convoy operations. He was assigned to the 431st Civil Affairs Battalion, U.S. Army Civil Affairs & Psychological Operations Command (Airborne), Fort Bragg, N.C.
For more information media may contact the U.S. Army Civil Affairs & Psychological Operations Command at (910) 689-3199.

DoD Identifies Marine Casualty

No. 0056-08 January 23, 2008
DoD Identifies Marine Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Lance Cpl. James M. Gluff, 20, of Tunnel Hill, Ga., died January 19th while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Media with questions about this Marine can contact the II MEF public affairs office at (910) 451-7200.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

"IT MATTERS"

"IT MATTERS"

Video posted on YouTube by RudyGiulianiHQ

Fred Thompson Drops Out Of Presidential Race

Fred Thompson Drops Out
Of Presidential Race
Tuesday,
January 22, 2008

(Following from Fred’s Campaign website)
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Statement from Sen. Fred Thompson
McLean, VA - Senator Fred Thompson today issued the following statement about his campaign for President: "Today I have withdrawn my candidacy for President of the United States. I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort. Jeri and I will always be grateful for the encouragement and friendship of so many wonderful people."

********************
ABCNews.com has this report... It's curtains for the presidential campaign of Fred Thompson, whose campaign failed to capitalize on early momentum and never won any presidential contests...
Read this report in full at the...
U.S. Congress File Photo

Monday, January 21, 2008

John Bolton: Israel may have to take military action against Iran


Former US ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said on Monday that Israel may have to take military action to prevent its archfoe Iran from acquiring an atomic bomb... Bolton also said that further UN sanctions against the Islamic republic will be ineffective in stopping Iran's controversial nuclear program...
Read story in full at AFP.Google.com
DoS File Photo
>>> JPost.com has this take on the story and it goes in part like this ... the fact Iran halted its program in 2003 proved that sanctions and other diplomatic efforts were working, "but one must remember that in 2003 the US began its campaign in Iraq, and it's most natural to think that military pressure, that is, the fact that the US went to war in Iraq, is what caused, [Iranian] policy makers to change their mind.
Read the rest at link below...

Bolton: Israel will have to stop Iran

Al Qaeda Sympathizers Seek Answers From Leader Ayman al-Zawahiri Online



Al Qaeda Sympathizers
Seek Answers From Leader
Ayman al-Zawahiri Online

Monday
, January 21, 2008



FOXNews.com brings us this story today an it starts off like this... Sympathizers submitted hundreds of questions to Al Qaeda deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahiri's "on-line interview" before a recent deadline. Among them: Why hasn't Al Qaeda attacked the U.S. again, why isn't it attacking the Israelis and when will it be more active in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Syria? So far, there have been no answers...
Read the rest of this story
HERE

Photos from CENTCOM

Night Air Raid Drops 19,000 Pounds of Bombs, Destroys 35 Targets in Arab Jabour

Night Air Raid Drops 19,000 Pounds of Bombs
Destroys 35 Targets in Arab Jabour
Monday, January 21, 2008

More than 30 targets were hit during a nighttime air raid on suspected al-Qaeda in Iraq safe havens in Arab Jabour Jan. 20. Thirty-five bombs were dropped with a total weight of 19,000 pounds in support of the countrywide Operation Phantom Phoenix.

Col. Terry Ferrell, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division commander, said that improvised explosive devices and weapons caches were targeted in order to reduce AQI resources in the area.

“The strikes that we conducted (Jan. 20) were focused on IEDs and caches that we have targeted, that will allow us to get our ground troops further into the zone,” Ferrell said. “These targets, the IEDs specifically, are designed as part of the defensive belt to prevent our forces from entering into areas that we have not been before.”

The joint operation involved precision air strikes by F-18 fighter jets and B-1 bombers, including Air Force, Navy and Marine aircraft. The Air Force and Soldiers of the 2nd BCT, 3rd Inf. Div. worked in coordination to prevent collateral damage and to prevent use of any area for attacks on Coalition Forces.The raid follows the Jan. 10 and Jan. 16 air strikes in the same region. Including the Jan. 20 strike, a combined total of 99 targets have been hit, with a total weight of 99,000 pounds of bombs.

Ferrell said the intent of the strikes is to reduce the threat to Soldiers and rid the area of AQI, establishing security in the community.

“We’re working to establish the opportunity for the Iraqis in southern Arab Jabour … not to be under the veil and the fear of (AQI) … They need to know they can come out,” Ferrell said. “As we go now to areas that we have not gone before, we need to do these strikes to reduce the risks to our Soldiers.

“So, as we enter in to establish their programs, to work with them to get their governance up and running, to work with them on the Concerned (Local) Citizen programs, we’ve got to allow a path to allow that to happen and that’s what these strikes are allowing us to do,” Ferrell said.

The raid was in support of Operation Phantom Phoenix, the overarching operation that Marne Thunderbolt falls under. Marne Thunderbolt is focused on pursuing the enemy and flushing out remaining extremists operating in southern Arab Jabour.


From Press Release #20080121-06 - Multi-National Corps-Iraq - Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

No. 0052-08 January 21, 2008
DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Spc. Richard B. Burress, 25, of Naples, Fla., died January 19th in Al Jabour, Iraq, of wounds sustained when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.
For more information related to this release, the media may contact the Fort Stewart public affairs office at (912) 767-2479.

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

No. 0051-08 January 21, 2008
DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Spc. Jon M. Schoolcraft, III, 26, of Wapakoneta, Ohio, died January 19th in Taji, Iraq, of wounds sustained when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
For more information related to this release, the media may contact the 25th Infantry Division public affairs office at (808) 655-4815 or (808) 655-8729.

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

No. 0050-08 January 21, 2008
DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Staff Sgt. Justin R. Whiting, 27, of Hancock, N.Y., died January 19th in Mosul, Iraq, of wounds sustained when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Campbell, Ky.
For more information related to this release, please contact U.S. Army Special Operations Command public affairs office at (910) 432-6005.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Israel Update: Sunday, January 20, 2008

Israel Update:
Sunday
, January 20, 2008 Archive Photo by IDF Spokesperson

* Gaza City Goes Into Darkness *

* BBC NEWS...
The only power plant in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip has started to shut down, citing lack of fuel because of Israel's closure of border crossings... The closure, imposed in the wake of continued rocket fire from Gaza, has brought the delivery of almost all supplies to a halt... But Israel, which supplies 60% of Gaza's power directly, has accused the Palestinians of exaggerating...
Israeli closure 'hits Gaza power'

* InTheNews.co.uk...
The only power plant in the Gaza Strip is reportedly a few hours from completely shutting down after an Israeli blockade exasperated fuel shortages...
Gaza power station begins to fail due to Israeli blockade

* AHN...
Gaza Strip's only electricity plant started shutting down on Sunday after Israel sealed the borders to Hamas-run territory, blocking the entry of supplies including fuel that powers the plant... Israel's Defense Ministry had closed all the shipment of basic necessities such as food and fuel into the region on Friday...
Gaza Not Prepared For Fuel Shortage As The Only Power Plant Shuts Down

* YNETNews.com...
Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter expressed a harsh reality to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert Sunday, warning that “without military deterrence in Gaza, Sderot could very well collapse.”
Dichter: We must stop attacks from Gaza at all cost

* JPOST.com...
Several ministers called for the assassination of Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah at the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, one day after the guerilla leader claimed to possess the body parts of IDF soldiers who fought during the Second Lebanon War...
Ministers call to assassinate Hizbullah leader Nasrallah

* Middle East Times, Monday, January 21, 2008
The fourth day of a grueling Israeli blockade on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip Monday is threatening a humanitarian crisis that could expand the military and political conflict beyond an Israeli-Hamas confrontation... As the conflict escalated, Gaza was plunged into darkness on Sunday night after the strip's only power plant shut down when it ran out of fuel, three days after Israel sealed off all crossings and banned the entry of supplies to the territory in retaliation against Palestinians for rockets fired into nearby Israeli communities...
Israeli siege on Gaza provokes Arab rage

* Here's more from BBC News...
Defence Minister Ehud Barak agreed to ease the curbs for one day hours after the territory's sole power plant shut down, plunging Gaza City into darkness... The UN has warned food aid to about 860,000 Gaza people could be halted within days because of the blockade...
Israel to ease blockade of Gaza

> Lots of Photos at link below...
In pictures: Gaza power cuts

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Duncan Hunter (R-CA) Drops Out of Race

Duncan Hunter (R-CA)
Drops Out of Race
Saturday
, January 19, 2008
SignOnSanDiego.com brings us this report... Rep. Duncan Hunter, whose long-shot bid for the Republican presidential nomination never really got off the ground, dropped out of the race Saturday night after a dismal showing in Nevada, which was seen as the last hope to salvage his candidacy... “The failure of our campaign to gain traction is mine and mine alone,” the Alpine Republican said in a statement...
Rep. Duncan Hunter drops out of race for GOP bid

* More info at Hunter’s Campaign website below...
http://www.gohunter08.com/
File Photo from Hunter's Campaign website

Nevada Caucuses / South Carolina Primary Winners

Nevada Caucuses / South Carolina Primary Winners
Saturday
, January 19, 2008

Nevada Caucus Winners
(Both Parties Voted)
* Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R)

* Senator Hillary Clinton (D)

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney picked up a win in Nevada's Republican caucus, and Senator Hillary Clinton edged out rival Senator Barack Obama in the Silver State's Democratic contest Saturday, according to projections across the news media...
Read the story at
MarketWatch.com

South Carolina Primary Winners
(Only Republicans Voted Today)

* Senator John McCain (R) Wins
Mike Huckabee
comes in 2nd
Fred Thompson comes in 3rd

********************
>>> FOXNews.com has this report...
John McCain took the early lead in the South Carolina primary Saturday and never lost it...
McCain Defeats Huckabee, Rest of Pack in South Carolina Republican Primary
Photo Credits:
McCain- File photo from Senate Website
Romney – File photo from his campaign Website
Clinton- File photo from Senate Website

Friday, January 18, 2008

President Bush Calls for $145B Economic Stimulus Growth Package

President Bush Calls for $145B
Economic Stimulus Growth Package
Congress Negotiates Package
Expected To Include Rebate Between
$300 - $800 For Taxpayers
Friday
, January 18, 2008

About Photo: With Vice President Dick Cheney looking on, President George W. Bush delivers a statement in the Roosevelt Room of the White House Friday, January 18, 2008, regarding the economy of the United States.
Transcript/Video and more can be found at links below...
* President Bush Discusses Economy, Growth Package
* Fact Sheet: Taking Action to Keep Our Economy Healthy
White House photo by Joyce N. Boghosian
*******************

>>> FOXBusiness.com has this report...
President Bush, acknowledging the risk of recession, embraced about $145 billion worth of tax relief and other incentives Friday to give the economy a "shot in the arm.” ... Bush said such a growth package must also include tax incentives for business investment and quick tax relief for individuals. And he said that to be effective, an economic stimulus package would need to roughly represent 1 percent of the gross domestic product -- the value of all U.S. goods and services and the best measure of the country's economic standing...

President Calls for $145B Economic Stimulus Package

>>> WashingtonTimes.com reports it this way...
President Bush today said there is "real concern" about the economy and called on Congress to quickly pass an economic relief package that provides tax incentives for small businesses and rebates for individual consumers... Congressional leaders continued to negotiate the details of the package, which is expected to include a rebate of between $300 and $800 for taxpayers...

Bush's relief package offers $800 rebates

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Photo for the Day - January 17, 2007

* PHOTO FOR THE DAY * Utah Army National Guard Sgt. Jill Stevens, who is competing in the Miss America Pageant as Miss Utah, plays with children while serving as a medic in Afghanistan in 2004.
Read the story
HERE
Photo courtesy of Sgt. Jill Stevens
****************
Best of luck to you, Jill!!!
And thank you...
AubreyJ.........

Israel Tests Missile Thursday - Iran not very happy over news

Israel Tests Missile Thursday
Iran not very happy over news
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Reuters.com brings us this report today and it starts off like this... Israel tested a missile on Thursday, prompting speculation about its ability to launch nuclear strikes on Iran following Israeli warnings and accusations about Tehran's atomic ambitions... Prime Minister Ehud Olmert repeated on Monday that he would consider "all options" to prevent Iran developing nuclear weapons, a message he and his team had rammed home to George W. Bush when the U.S. president visited Jerusalem a week ago...
Read this report in full at link below...
Israel tests missile after warnings to Iran

Aljazeera.net reports it this way in part... Israel Radio said the missile tested was capable of carrying an "unconventional payload", suggesting it may be able to carry a nuclear warhead...
Read the rest at link below...
UPDATE: Friday, January 18, 2008

"Everybody can do the math and understand that the significance is that we can reach with a rocket engine to every point in the world"
By Weapons Expert Isaac Ben-Israel, a Retired Army General and Tel Aviv University Professor

* Telegraph.co.uk...
Israel has carried out the successful test launch of a long-range, ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, in what was intended as a clear show of strength to Iran...
Israel test launches nuclear-capable missile

* HAARETZ.com...
First, the facts: A successful test of a new dual-stage missile was carried out at the Palmachim air base at 8:45 A.M. Thursday. Every part of the system, including the launcher and the missile itself, functioned properly, and can thus be considered operational. This success can be credited to Israel Aerospace Industries; to the other firms involved in the project; and to the Israel Air Force...
Missile test / Launched from Palmachim, heard in Tehran
Also...
Missile test 'will improve deterrence'