Saturday, April 25, 2015



On April 24, 1915 the Ottoman Turkish leaders ordered the arrest of hundreds of notable Armenians in Istanbul and launched the systematic annihilation of Armenian as well as Assyrian Christians within the empire’s borders and throughout the Middle East. This day would become known as “Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day,” and a century later is the center of a persistent geopolitical controversy.

In 2006, then-Senator Barack Obama penned a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urging her to recognize the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians in the early-twentieth century as a “genocide.”
Citing a number of studies, scholars, and eye-witnesses of the massacre in Armenia, Obama wrote, “The occurrence of the Armenian genocide in 1915 is not an ‘allegation,’ a ‘personal opinion,’ or a ‘point of view.’ Supported by an overwhelming amount of historical evidence, it is a widely document fact.”
Though Obama was insistent that the George W. Bush administration use the word “genocide” when referring to this incident, he has failed to keep his word from a pledge he made during his 2008 run for president. Many expected Obama to use the 100th anniversary of the genocide to keep his promise, but the president has decided to refrain from mentioning genocide in his Remembrance Day comments.
President Obama was mostly accurate in stating that there is a great deal of support for the conclusion that genocide was committed on the Armenians. Some Turkish scholars refute that genocide took place and lay the blame of the slaughter at the feet of the Armenians themselves. However, this can largely be attributed the long-standing Turkish tradition of denying the events took place and the increasing belligerence toward individuals and nations who say otherwise. Though the undisputed mass killing of Armenians began during World War I, the conflict between the Armenians and Ottoman Turks had roots in earlier conflicts.
At the outset of World War I, the Ottoman Empire was crumbling and beginning to tear apart on ethnic and religious lines. The Ottomans were also under threat from European imperial powers which had become involved in the Middle East. Nationalist Armenian movements that tried to court European sympathy, and Russian interest heightened the Turkish belief that the Armenians scattered throughout their empire were a disloyal threat.
In the recently-released book, The Fall of the Ottomans: The Great War in the Middle East, historian Eugene Rogan explains in-depth the roots of the Armenian genocide. 
Several Armenian nationalist organizations, the Hunchaks and Dashnaks, made attempts in the 1880s and 1890s to build ties to Great Britain and Russia and push for Armenian independence. This movement was met with repression by the Ottoman authorities, and there were a series of massacres committed against Armenians in 1894 and 1896 in which hundreds of thousands were killed.
“In 1909, many Ottoman Turks suspected the Armenians of being a minority community with a nationalist agenda, intent on seceding from the empire,” Rogan wrote. However, the Armenians would have difficulty coalescing into a separate nation because they were not geographically concentrated. Rogan continued, “Without a critical mass in one geographical location, the Armenians could never hope to achieve statehood—unless of course, they could secure the support of a Great Power for their cause.” 
There was a movement to to compromise between the Turks and Armenians that could have prevented later strife—full citizenship rights granted to Armenian Christians as well as a decentralization of Ottoman authority—but these “hopes were dashed in the aftermath of the 1909 counter-revolution when, between 25 and 29 April 1909, some 20,000 Armenians were killed in a frenzy of bloodletting,” according to Rogan.
The outbreak of World War I was very bad timing for the Ottoman Empire and the Armenians. The war got dragged into the Middle East as Germany tried to bolster its ties to the Ottomans and Great Britain and Russia tried to check their influence.
Armenians served throughout the Ottoman military, but were accused by fellow soldiers of siding with the Russians and enemies of the empire. Adding to the strife was the German-fueled call for global jihad by the Ottomans against their enemies. The result was that many Muslim Turks turned against their Armenian comrades and killed their fellow soldiers en masse with no repercussions. “Increasingly, Armenians were no longer seen as fellow Ottomans,” wrote Rogan.
In April of 1915 conflict between the Turks and Armenians became so great that rebellions broke out in Armenian communities and there was open conflict with Ottoman authorities. This set off a chain of events that lead to the genocide of Armenians. A Venezuela soldier of fortune who had been fighting with the Ottomans saw a brutal massacre of Armenians by Turkish troops. When the Venezuelan asked an Ottoman officer to cease the killing the officer responded acceding to Rogan, “that he was doing nothing more than carry out an unequivocal order emanating from the Governor General of the province [i.e. Cevdet Pasha]… to exterminate all Armenian males twelve years of age or older.”
The Turkish Committee for Union and Progress (CUP) often employed hired gangs and criminals to kill the Armenians and actively encouraged the slaughter, according to Rogan. He wrote about a Turkish captain’s confession, recounted to an Armenian priest, that government officials had sent soldiers to “all the surrounding Turkish villages and in the name of holy jihad invited the Muslim population to participate in the sacred religious obligation” of killing Christian Armenians.
In the years that followed, at least hundreds of thousands and likely over a million Armenians were killed. Some died simply as a result of war, but many others due to direct targeting from their fellow Turks and indirect targeting from Ottoman authorities. And the Turks engaged in more than killing; they systematically tortured the Armenians.
Lloyd Billingsly at FrontPageMag wrote, “Torture squads would apply red-hot irons, tear off flesh with hot pincers, then pour boiled butter into the wounds. The soles of the feet would be beaten, slashed, and laced with salt. Dr. Mehmed Reshid tortured Armenians by nailing horseshoes to their feet and marching them through the streets. He also crucified them on makeshift crosses.”
U.S. ambassador Henry Morgenthau Sr. wrote in his memoir, “Most of us believe that torture has long ceased to be an administrative and judicial measure, yet I do not believe that the darkest ages ever presented scenes more horrible than those which now took place all over Turkey.”
In 2006, Rice and some conservative commentators argued that stirring the pot and officially recognizing the Armenian genocide was not worth undoing the fragile relationship between Turkey and the United States at the height of the Iraq War. For instance, foreign policy analyst Fred Gedrich argued in National Review that if the House voted to recognize the Armenian genocide it could prompt Turkey to use force against U.S.-allied Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq, as well as deny access vital Turkish seaports to American troops and supply ships. But critically, he wrote, “Turkey serves as a bulwark against radical Islamic forces and is one of few Muslim countries having full diplomatic, economic and military relations with Israel.”
The Turkish authorities lashed out in 2007 and recalled their ambassador after the House voted to consider making an official recognition of Armenian genocide. Turkey has repeated this action recently when they recalled their ambassador from the Vatican after Pope Francis called the Armenian massacre the “first genocide of the 20th century.”
The last American president to call the incident in Armenia a genocide was Ronald Reagan, in a 1981 speech memorializing the Holocaust. This followed a long-standing tradition of Americans aiding the Armenian survivors of the massacre. In 1925, a massive rug woven by orphaned Armenian girls was given to President Calvin Coolidge in recognition of American efforts to help their people. Coolidge proudly hung this rug in the White House and took it to his home after he left office.
Though this rug was returned to the White House during the Clinton administration, Obama’s administration initially refused to release it to the Smithsonian for display. 
Dr. Rafael Medoff, the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, wrote in a History News Network article, “President Coolidge had pledged that the rug would have ‘a place of honor in the White House, where it will be a daily symbol of goodwill on earth,’ but instead, in the autumn of 2013, it became a daily symbol of politics taking precedence over recognizing and combating genocide.”
After a great deal of pressure, the Obama administration allowed the rug to appear at the Smithsonian in a generic “gifts to the White House” section.
“The genocide rug was sandwiched in between a Sevres vase presented by France to the United States after World War One, and a cluster of lucite-encased branches sent by Japan after the 2010 tsunami,” Medoff wrote.
Many on the right and left still make the argument that officially recognizing the Armenian genocide is harmful to American national self-interest, a position that Obama’s actions give credence to in light of his failed campaign promise.
However, considering what has taken place in the Middle East since 2007, the United States may want to reconsider the strained attempts to remain in the good graces of a Turkey that has moved much farther in the direction of supporting enemies of the United States and the free world.
The Turks are currently amongst the world’s most anti-American people. A recent Pew survey ranked it as the third most anti-American country after Egypt and Jordan. The November 2014 attack by Turkish nationalists on U.S. Navy sailors was just the most recent prominent example of the level of anti-American sentiments in the country.
Islamist parties have consistently been on the rise in Turkey as has the focus on fundamentalist Islamic teaching in their schools. Turkey’s formerly close ties to Israel have evaporated since 2012. The American Jewish Congress rescinded its Profiles in Courage award given to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2004 after calling him “arguably the most virulent anti-Israel leader in the world.” There have even been accusations that Turkey has been funding the Islamic State and gives medical treatment to ISIS fighters.
The bottom line is that the need to tiptoe around Turkey’s insistence on never mentioning the Armenian genocide is quickly evaporating as the country becomes increasingly hostile to the West and works against American interests. While there may be no need to push for Congressional recognition of the Armenian genocide, a simple mention by the president a century later would have been a powerful statement. A statement would show that the United States will not continue to tolerate the horrendous mass-murder of Christians, Jews, and countless other people that is taking place throughout the Middle East todayNow that opportunity has been entirely missed as American power recedes and even the smallest appeals to moral authority disappear.

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Monday, April 20, 2015

L.A., Houston Nuke Contractors Indicted for Smuggling $24M in Missile Tech to Iran | Pamela Geller, Atlas Shrugs: Islam, Jihad, Israel and the Islamic War on the West

L.A., Houston Nuke Contractors Indicted for Smuggling $24M in Missile Tech to Iran | Pamela Geller, Atlas Shrugs: Islam, Jihad, Israel and the Islamic War on the West

L.A., Houston Nuke Contractors Indicted for Smuggling $24M in Missile Tech to Iran


The enemy among us. Traitors. They should tried for treason, not for “illegally exporting” technology frequently used in military systems such as surface-air and cruise missiles to Iran.
iran-missile-AP-640x480Khosrow Afghahi, who was arrested for suspicion of illegally exporting technology to Iran.
“I saw about eight FBI agents,” said Thomas Swann, a resident in the quiet Orange County neighborhood known for luxury homes with manicured lawns.  “At first, I thought it was police. Then I looked and saw they were FBI!” Swan said.
Local resident Denise Cofey observed, as Afghahi was being hustled into a police car, that “They were wearing the green vests, they had the guns strapped, they had weapons pulled.”
CBS Los Angeles reported that in a 24-page indictment “the Department of Justice charged Afghahi and four others with facilitating the illegal export of high-tech microelectronics, uninterruptible power supplies and other commodities to Iran, in violation of the International Emergency Powers Act.”
The FBI said that Afghahi and the other suspects worked for different corporations some overseas and one in Houston. Cofey said that if the allegations prove true she would not be surprised. She stated that the house “would be vacant for months on end, like three months on end, then people would show up again.”
“L.A., Houston Nuke Contractors Indicted for Smuggling $24M in Missile Tech to Iran,Breitbart, April 17, 2015
Five individuals and four companies, including Iranian government and Centrifuge Technology company contractors, have been indicted for illegally exporting technology frequently used in military systems such as surface-air and cruise missiles to Iran. This technology is “frequently used in a wide range of military systems, including surface-air and cruise missiles,” according to the Department of Justice. $24 million worth of technology was allegedly sent to Iran starting in July 2010.
“The nine defendants charged in the indictment allegedly circumvented U.S. sanctions and illegally exported controlled microelectronics to Iran,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin. The elaborate path detailed in the indictment follows the technology on a route from the U.S. to Taiwan, then to Turkey and finally to Iran.
In a Friday Department of Justice (DOJ) release, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas details the indictment and those charged, which include: Houston-based Smart Power Systems Inc. (SPS); Bahram Mechanic, 69, and Tooraj Faridi, 46, of Houston; Khosrow Afghahi, 71, of Los Angeles; and Faratel Corporation, co-owned by Mechanic and Afghahi in Iran. These individuals are described as “members of an Iranian procurement network operating in the United States.”
Mechanic and Afghahi are described in the indictment as “co-owners of Iran-based Faratel and its Houston-based sister company SPS.” The DOJ release continues: “Faratel designs and builds uninterruptible power supplies for various Iranian entities, including Iranian government agencies such as the Iranian Ministry of Defense, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran and the Iranian Centrifuge Technology Company, according to the charges.”
Today’s unsealed indictment alleges, according to the release:
Between approximately July 2010 and the present, Mechanic and the others engaged in a conspiracy to obtain various commodities, including controlled U.S.-origin microelectronics. They then allegedly exported these to Iran, while carefully evading the government licensing system set up to control such exports. The microelectronics shipped to Iran allegedly included microcontrollers and digital signal processors. According to the indictment, these commodities have various applications, and are frequently used in a wide range of military systems, including surface-air and cruise missiles. Between July 2010 and the present, Mechanic’s network allegedly sent at least $24 million worth of commodities to Iran.
“The proliferation of sensitive U.S. technologies to Iran and the direct support to their military and weapons programs remains a clear threat to U.S. national security,” said Assistant Director of the FBI Counterintelligence Division Randall Coleman.
Seven foreign nationals and companies are also being added to the Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Entity List in conjunction with the indictment. These individuals and companies allegedly “received, transshipped or otherwise facilitated the illegal export of controlled commodities by the defendants,” according to the DOJ release. “Those persons present a greater risk of diversion to weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs, terrorism or other activities contrary to U.S. national security or foreign policy interests.”
Also charged as part of the scheme are Arthur Shyu and the Hosoda Taiwan Limited Corporation in Taiwan; Matin Sadeghi, 54, and Golsad Istanbul Trading Ltd. in Turkey.
Mechanic and Faridi are scheduled for a detention hearing Tuesday, April 21 at 10 a.m. Afghahi was taken into custody Friday and is expected to appear in the Central District of California according to the DOJ release. Sadeghi and Shya remain at large and are believed to be out of the country.
The release states, “Anyone with information is asked to contact the nearest embassy or local office of the FBI. They may also contact the Houston office of the FBI at 713-693-5000.”
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Why is the VA Putting Veterans on Illegal Federal Gun Ban List? - Freedom Outpost

Why is the VA Putting Veterans on Illegal Federal Gun Ban List? - Freedom Outpost

Why is the VA Putting Veterans on Illegal Federal Gun Ban List?

The Obama administration has been trying to advance a gun confiscation agenda since it took office. However, it suffered a tremendous defeat in 2013 following the Sandy Hook incident. Yet, it continues to press to infringe upon the Constitution's Second Amendment protections of the rights of the people, especially our veterans. Now, a US Senator is wanting to know why Veterans Affairs is putting America's veterans on Attorney General Eric Holder's illegal gun ban list.
First, let's just get out of the way the real problem here so we can see clearly. No authority has ever been given to the federal government to restrict any arms in any way. In fact, the Second Amendment is quite clear that "the rights of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." That doesn't mean a little bit and it doesn't mean the federal government can lawfully ban citizens from any arms. It means when they do such things they are traitors to the Constitution and the people and are in violation of the law they are entrusted to uphold.
With that out of the way, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley (R-IA) wrote a letter to Holder expressing his concern that the VA has been classifying our veterans as "mentally defective" and banning them from purchasing guns based on an unconstitutional federal background check.
In the four page letter, Grassley wrote, "The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is effectively a national gun ban list and placement on the list precludes the ownership and possession of firearms. According to the Congressional Research Service, as of June 1, 2012, 99.3% of all names reported to the NICS list's "mental defective" category were provided by the Veterans Administration (VA) even though reporting requirements apply to all federal agencies. 1 And that percentage remained virtually unchanged as of April 2013.2 Given the numbers, it is essential to ensure that the process by which the VA reports names to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for placement on the NICS list recognizes and protects the fundamental nature of veterans' rights under the Second Amendment."
No Senator Grassley, it is essential to make sure the federal government doesn't have a NICS list at all, let alone one that puts men, who fought to defend that our government trained with arms to defend the Second Amendment, in a position where they cannot have the very rights they fought for.
Grassley went on to question the VA's standards for putting veterans on the gun ban list.
"Specifically, once the VA determines that a veteran requires a fiduciary to administer benefit payments, the VA reports that veteran to the gun ban list, consequently denying his or her right to possess and own firearms," writes Grassley. "In the past, the VA has attempted to justify its actions by relying on a single federal regulation, 38 C.F.R. § 3.353, which by its plain language grants limited authority to determine incompetence, but only in the context of financial matters: 'Ratings agencies have sole authority to make official determinations of competency and incompetency for purposes of: insurance and…disbursement of benefits.'"
Grassley also went on to cite varying standards of the unconstitutional Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act.
"In accordance with the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) adopted a regulation that defined a different standard for firearm regulation than that imposed by the VA," Grassley writes. "The standard adopted is a 'mental defective' standard that, at its core, allows regulation only when someone is a danger to themselves and/or others. The regulation itself even states that the standard does not include persons suffering from mental illness but who are not a danger to themselves."
As I've demonstrated already, the ATF is an unconstitutional agency just like every other alphabet agency in the executive branch. They should not even be allowed to exist under law.
Grassley then issues his concerns that other constitutional rights may be violated, including due process.
"…the procedural protections the VA affords to veterans are weak," he writes. "First, the standard of review is particularly low for a fundamental constitutional right: clear and convincing. 7 Hearsay is allowed. 8 And, there are no significant checks and balances in place to ensure that there is any evidence to conclude that a veteran is a risk to the public or themselves. Of particular concern, although VA employees can personally meet with veterans and non-veteran dependents who are receiving VA benefits, only when VA personnel meet with veterans are they directed to consider whether competency is at issue. 9 Thus, it appears that veterans are immediately targeted by VA personnel upon initial contact."
"Furthermore, when a veteran receives a letter stating that the VA believes he is unable to manage his finances, that veteran now has the burden of proving that he is in fact competent to manage his benefit payments and does not need a fiduciary," Grassley added. "However, underlying the hearing is a real possibility that the right to firearms will be infringed. Therefore, in light of the liberty and property interests involved, placing the burden of proof on the veteran is highly suspect. Under similar circumstances, the burden is generally on the government. Further, the hearing that takes place is inside the VA administrative system and composed of VA employees rather than a neutral decision maker."
He then concludes, "Under the current practice, a VA finding that concludes that a veteran requires a fiduciary to administer benefit payments effectively voids his Second Amendment rights—a consequence which is wholly unrelated to and unsupported by the record developed in the VA process."

Senator Grassley thus demands that Holder respond to 12 questions by April 30, 2015. Here are those questions:
  1. Is the primary purpose of the NICS list to preclude firearm ownership and possession by individuals who are a danger to themselves and/or others? If not, what is the primary purpose of the NICS list?
  2. Is the primary purpose of the VA's reporting system to report the names of individuals who are appointed a fiduciary?
  3. Out of all names on the NICS list, what percentage of them have been referred by the VA?
  4. Do you believe that a veteran adjudicated as incompetent to manage finances and appointed a fiduciary is likewise mentally defective under the ATF standard? If so, what is the basis for that conclusion?
  5. Does the standard employed by the VA to report names to the DOJ for subsequent placement on the NICS list comply with the protections of the Second Amendment? If so, please explain how, in light of due process concerns described above.
  6. Given that the VA adjudication process can result in a complete infringement of a person's fundamental Second Amendment right, do you believe that the use of the "clear and convincing" evidentiary standard is proper? If so, why?
  7. Is the DOJ satisfied that all names reported from the VA for placement on the NICS are, in fact and in law, persons who should not own or possess a firearm because they are dangers to themselves and/or others? If so, what evidence supports that conclusion?
  8. Given that 99.3% of all names in the NICS "mental defective" category are reported from the VA, has the DOJ reviewed the VA's reporting standards and procedure? If so, please provide a copy of the review that took place. If no review took place, please explain why not.
  9. What review process does DOJ have in place to ensure that names are properly on the NICS list
  10. How many individuals have appealed their placement on the NICS list? How many individuals were successful in their appeal?
  11. In light of the fact that the Supreme Court has held the Second Amendment to be a fundamental right, has the DOJ changed any processes and procedures relating to the NICS system which were in existence prior to that holding?
  12. Besides the VA, what other federal agencies have reported names to the NICS list since 2005? And how many names were reported by each agency since 2005?
This could all be solved so easily if Senator Grassley merely acknowledged the federal government has no authority restricting arms of any kind from American citizens per the Second Amendment, but he won't do it. Therefore, our veterans are blacklisted by a criminal administration who seeks to disarm the populace to advance a Marxist agenda.