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Obama’s Military Purge


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG.

 

Here is some information and my rules:

 1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

 2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

 3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

 4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives.

 

Thank you for visiting!

 

Reblogged from:http://canadafreepress.com

 

Posted by:Arnold Ahlert 

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Is the Obama administration in the midst of a military purge? This year alone, nine senior commanding generals have been fired by the administration, and retired generals and current commanders who have spoken to TheBlaze believe that political ideology is the primary impetus behind the effort. “I think they’re using the opportunity of the shrinkage of the military to get rid of people that don’t agree with them or not toe the party line,” a senior retired general told website. “Remember, as Rahm Emanuel said, never waste a crisis.” The general spoke on the condition of anonymity because he still provides the government with services and believes this administration would retaliate against him.

The terminations have a distinctly political odor surrounding them in at least three cases. In all three of these cases, Benghazi is at root. U.S. Army Gen. Carter Ham was heading the United States African Command when our consulate came under attack on September 11, 2012. Ham told Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) he was never given a “stand down” order preventing him from securing the consulate. Yet the Washington Times, citing sources in the military, said he was given the order and immediately relieved of command when he decided to defy it. The Times further noted that Ham “retired” less that two years after receiving the command when all other commanders of similar stature have stayed on far longer. Sources told TheBlaze Ham was highly critical of the Obama administration’s decision not to send reinforcements to Benghazi.

Rear Adm. Charles Gaouette, Commander of Carrier Strike Group Three for the Navy, was relieved of duty for allegedly using profanity and making “racially insensitive comments.” Though he was cleared of criminal violations under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, administrative penalties have effectively ended his career. In testimony regarding Benghazi, Gaouette, who was in charge of Air Craft Carriers in the Mediterranean Sea on the night of the attack, told Congress there may not have been time to get flight crews to Libya. But under cross examination, he admitted he could have sent planes to that location.

Major General Baker, a two-star general who served as commander of the Joint Task Force-Horn at Camp Lamar in Djibouti, Africa, was fired for alcohol and sexual misconduct charges. The U.S. reportedly runs counter-terror operations out of Djibouti, and once again, military officials told TheBlaze Baker was involved in some aspect of Benghazi.

The other six were terminated for a variety of alleged offenses. Army Brigadier Gen. Bryan Roberts, commander of Fort Jackson beginning in 2011, was fired for adultery. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Gregg A. Sturdevant, director of Strategic Planning and Policy for the U.S. Pacific Command and commander of the aviation wing at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, was terminated over a successful attack on that facility by the Taliban, resulting in two American deaths and the destruction of eight American planes. Sturdevant claims British forces were responsible for security at the base prior to the attack.

Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Charles M.M. Gurganus was terminated for questioning the “winning hearts and minds” policies that led to “green on blue” murders of American officers by “trusted” Afghan recruits. Other Afghan recruits led a platoon into an enemy ambush. Army Lt. Gen. David Holmes Huntoon Jr was “censored” for “an investigation” into an “improper relationship,” according to the Department of Defense. A blog written by a 26-year-old cadet medically discharged from West Point claims the three-star general was under investigation because a West Point Superintendent “improperly used” his office, and because of an insufficient investigation of a lewd email chain perpetrated by the men’s rugby team. Nothing was officially released by the DoD regarding any of the charges.

The last commanders, three-star Vice Admiral Tim Giardina, and Major General Michael Carey, were fired within 48 hours of each other. Giardina was the deputy commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, an entity that oversees all nuclear-armed missiles, bombers and submarines. He was commander of the Submarine Group Trident, Submarine Groups 9 and 10, which comprise all 18 of our nuclear-armed submarines. He was fired for the alleged use of counterfeit gambling chips at an Iowa casino. Carey, commander of the 20th Air Force, a role that put him in charge of 9,600 people and 450 Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles at three operational wings, was fired “due to a loss of trust and confidence in his leadership and judgment,” said Air Force spokesman Brig. Gen. Les Kodlick. The decision to fire Carey was made by Lt. Gen. James Kowalski, the head of the Air Force Global Strike Command. Obama fired Giardina.

The firing of military leaders goes much further than top generals, however. On its Facebook page, Breitbart.com compiled a list of more than 197 military commanders, mostly at the rank of Colonel or above, who have been purged by the Obama administration since 2009.

According to military.com, allegations of sexual misconduct account for the firing of 30 percent of military commanders over the past eight years. That figure that increases to 40 percent when “ethical lapses” such as sexual assault and harassment, pornography, drugs and drinking are lumped together. But there are other dubious reasons why these commanders have been terminated, ranging from unspecified dereliction of duty, to improper saluting.

One of the largest purges occurred on the last day of November in 2011, when the administration terminated 157 Air Force Majors, a move the Chapman University of Military Law and its associated AMVETS Legal Clinic characterized as illegal. They noted that the Department of Defense specifies that absent extenuating circumstances, service members within six years of retirement would ordinarily be retained, and allowed to retire on time and collect benefits.

The Air force cited budget shortfalls as their primary reason for the terminations. Yet as institute director Maj. Kyndra Rotunda explained, based on the Defense Department’s Instruction 1320.08, “derogatory information” is the only reason officers can be terminated. “The defense department’s own regulation does not authorize what the defense department is doing,” Rotunda contended at the time. “The Airmen relied on the law when they entered service and now the Secretary wants to change that law, without authority.”

Earlier that same month, two-star Major Gen. Peter Fuller was relieved of his command in Afghanistan, after he told Politico that Afghan President Hamid Karzai and other government officials in that country were “isolated from reality.” Ironically, Fuller was fired by Gen. John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, who was himself the subject of an FBI investigation a year later, for his role in the sex scandal that led to the resignation of CIA Director and retired general David Petraeus. Despite the FBI informing the Pentagon it had uncovered thousands of pages of emails between Allen and Florida socialite Jill Kelley, President Obama subsequently expressed “faith” in Allen’s ability to continue doing his job. It is impossible to determine whether Allen’s ideology played a role in maintaining that faith.

2012 also saw several terminations of officers based on questionable rationale. In May, Commander Derick Armstrong, commanding officer of the guided missile destroyer USS The Sullivans, was relieved of duty by Vice Adm. Frank Pandolfe “as a result of an unprofessional command climate that was contrary to good order and discipline,” according to a Navy news release. A week earlier, the Navy relieved Cmdr. Dennis Klein of command of the submarine USS Columbia, citing a loss of confidence in his ability to serve effectively.

Stars and Stripes listed several other Navy commanders relieved of duty in 2012. While some on the list were terminated for seemingly legitimate reasons, a curious lack of specificity applied to others. They include Capt. James CoBell, commanding officer of Oceana Naval Air Station’s Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic, who was let go for “leadership issues”; Cmdr. Franklin Fernandez, commanding officer of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 24, for a “loss of confidence” in his ability to command due to allegedly “driving under the influence”; Capt. Marcia Lyons, commander of Naval Health Clinic New England, for problems with her “command climate”; and Capt. Sean McDonell, commander of Seabee reserve unit Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 14 in Jacksonville, FL, for mismanagement and unspecified “major program deficiencies.” Several others were fired for “inappropriate personal behavior” or “personal misconduct.”

Theories for these purges run the gamut. One posits that anyone associated with Benghazi had to go. Another states that many of these firings are an effort to clean up “operational failures,” most notably a 2007 incident in which six nuclear-tipped missiles went missing for 36 hours. Retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely, who has been an outspoken critic of the Obama administration, believes it is part of the president’s strategy to reduce America’s standing in the world. “[Obama is] intentionally weakening and gutting our military, Pentagon, and reducing us as a superpower, and anyone in the ranks who disagrees or speaks out is being purged,” he contended.

Vallely’s assessment was echoed by a source at the Pentagon who wished to remain anonymous because the source was not authorized to speak on the subject. He or she contended that “young officers, down through the ranks, have been told not to talk about Obama or the politics of the White House. They are purging everyone and if you want to keep your job—just keep your mouth shut.”

This theory finds validation when one considers the Obama administration’s larger assault on the military. The military is the last organized bastion of conservative values, due in large part to the nature of the military itself. Yet, in recent years, the push to embrace progressive values, such as openly gay servicemen, women in combat and diversity worship have been pursued with vigor. Even the aforementioned effort to “win the hearts and minds” of Islamists in Iraq and Afghanistan, as opposed to pursuing victory, marks a sea change from traditional military values.

Not only is the Obama administration apparently on a mission to undermine the integrity of the military in this way, but it has also revealed itself to be entirely intolerant of dissent of any kind. Whether it is reporters or domestic opposition groups such as the Tea Party, Obama has made clear he will aggressively pursue anyone who defies his agenda. Now it seems that chilling message his been sent to the military as well.

 

 

 

Trashing Tricare


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG. Here is some information and my rules:

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

4) I welcome input from all walks of life. However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”. However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives. Thank you for visiting!

This is a Reblogged from http://freebeacon.com 

Posted by Bill Gertz

Obama to cut healthcare benefits for active duty and retired US military

 

The Obama administration’s proposed defense budget calls for military families and retirees to pay sharply more for their healthcare, while leaving unionized civilian defense workers’ benefits untouched. The proposal is causing a major rift within the Pentagon, according to U.S. officials. Several congressional aides suggested the move is designed to increase the enrollment in Obamacare’s state-run insurance exchanges.

The disparity in treatment between civilian and uniformed personnel is causing a backlash within the military that could undermine recruitment and retention.

The proposed increases in health care payments by service members, which must be approved by Congress, are part of the Pentagon’s $487 billion cut in spending. It seeks to save $1.8 billion from the Tricare medical system in the fiscal 2013 budget, and $12.9 billion by 2017.

Many in Congress are opposing the proposed changes, which would require the passage of new legislation before being put in place.

“We shouldn’t ask our military to pay our bills when we aren’t willing to impose a similar hardship on the rest of the population,” Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and a Republican from California, said in a statement to the Washington Free Beacon. “We can’t keep asking those who have given so much to give that much more.”

Administration officials told Congress that one goal of the increased fees is to force military retirees to reduce their involvement in Tricare and eventually opt out of the program in favor of alternatives established by the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.

“When they talked to us, they did mention the option of healthcare exchanges under Obamacare. So it’s in their mind,” said a congressional aide involved in the issue.

Military personnel from several of the armed services voiced their opposition to a means-tested tier system for Tricare, prompting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey to issue a statement Feb. 21.

Dempsey said the military is making tough choices in cutting defense spending. In addition to the $487 billion over 10 years, the Pentagon is facing automatic cuts that could push the total reductions to $1 trillion.

“I want those of you who serve and who have served to know that we’ve heard your concerns, in particular your concern about the tiered enrollment fee structure for Tricare in retirement,” Dempsey said. “You have our commitment that we will continue to review our health care system to make it as responsive, as affordable, and as equitable as possible.”

Under the new plan, the Pentagon would get the bulk of its savings by targeting under-65 and Medicare-eligible military retirees through a tiered increase in annual Tricare premiums that will be based on yearly retirement pay.

Significantly, the plan calls for increases between 30 percent to 78 percent in Tricare annual premiums for the first year. After that, the plan will impose five-year increases ranging from 94 percent to 345 percent—more than 3 times current levels.

According to congressional assessments, a retired Army colonel with a family currently paying $460 a year for health care will pay $2,048.

The new plan hits active duty personnel by increasing co-payments for pharmaceuticals and eliminating incentives for using generic drugs.

The changes are worrying some in the Pentagon who fear it will severely impact efforts to recruit and maintain a high-quality all-volunteer military force. Such benefits have been a key tool for recruiting qualified people and keeping them in uniform.

“Would you stay with a car insurance company that raised your premiums by 345 percent in five years? Probably not,” said the congressional aide. “Would anybody accept their taxes being raised 345 percent in five years? Probably not.”

A second congressional aide said the administration’s approach to the cuts shows a double standard that hurts the military.

“We all recognize that we are in a time of austerity,” this aide said. “But defense has made up to this point 50 percent of deficit reduction cuts that we agreed to, but is only 20 percent of the budget.”

The administration is asking troops to get by without the equipment and force levels needed for global missions. “And now they are going to them again and asking them to pay more for their health care when you’ve held the civilian workforce at DoD and across the federal government virtually harmless in all of these cuts. And it just doesn’t seem fair,” the second aide said.

Spokesmen for the Defense Department and the Joint Chiefs of Staff did not respond to requests for comment on the Tricare increases.

The massive increases beginning next year appear timed to avoid upsetting military voters in a presidential election year, critics of the plan say.

Additionally, the critics said leaving civilian workers’ benefits unchanged while hitting the military reflect the administration’s effort to court labor unions, as government unions are the only segment of organized labor that has increased in recent years.

As part of the increased healthcare costs, the Pentagon also will impose an annual fee for a program called Tricare for Life, a new program that all military retirees automatically must join at age 65. Currently, to enroll in Tricare for Life, retirees pay the equivalent of a monthly Medicare premium.

Under the proposed Pentagon plan, retirees will be hit with an additional annual enrollment fee on top of the monthly premium.

Congressional aides said that despite unanimous support among the military chiefs for the current healthcare changes, some senior officials in the Pentagon are opposing the reforms, in particular the tiered system of healthcare.

“It doesn’t matter what the benefit is, whether it’s commissary, PX, or healthcare, or whatever … under the rationale that if you raise your hand and sign up to serve, you earn a base set of benefits, and it should have nothing to do with your rank when you served, and how much you’re making when you retire,” the first aide said.

Military service organizations are opposing the healthcare changes and say the Pentagon is “means-testing” benefits for service personnel as if they were a social program, and not something earned with 20 or more years of military service.

Retired Navy Capt. Kathryn M. Beasley, of the Military Officers Association of America, said the Military Coalition, 32 military service and veterans groups with an estimated 5 million members, is fighting the proposed healthcare increases, specifically the use of mean-testing for cost increases.

“We think it’s absolutely wrong,” Beasley told the Free Beacon. “This is a breach of faith” for both the active duty and retiree communities.

Congressional hearings are set for next month.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars on Feb. 23 called on all military personnel and the veterans’ community to block the healthcare increases.

“There is no military personnel issue more sacrosanct than pay and benefits,” said Richard L. DeNoyer, head of the 2 million-member VFW. “Any proposal that negatively impacts any quality of life program must be defeated, and that’s why the VFW is asking everyone to join the fight and send a united voice to Congress.”

Senior Air Force leaders are expected to be asked about the health care cost increases during a House Armed Services Committee hearing scheduled for Tuesday.

Congress must pass all the proposed changes into law, as last year’s defense authorization bill preemptively limited how much the Pentagon could increase some Tricare fees, while other fees already were limited in law.

Tricare for Life, Tricare Prime, and Tricare Standard increases must be approved, as well as some of the pharmacy fee increases, congressional aides said.

Current law limits Tricare fee increases to cost of living increases in retirement pay.

 

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