This morning, Glenn Beck delivered an excoriating rebuke of former Texas congressman Ron Paul. The radio host’s tough words for the former representative were an official response to Paul’s much-publicized tweet about ex-NAVY SEAL Chris Kyle’s death. Beck began his comments by praising Kyle’s bravery and his devotion to America, going on to outline his shock at the politician’s decision to comment so callously.
The host honored Kyle as “one of the brightest, bravest heroes” and praised him for his combat tours. In addition to highlighting this devotion to the military and penchant for saving American lives, Beck also focused upon other important attributes pertaining to Kyle’s faith and family roles.
“A husband, a father, a son, an unquestioned patriot — a man who didn’t talk about Jesus, but lived his Christian belief — was senselessly murdered by a fellow veteran he was just trying to help,” he continued.
After praising the brave ex-SEAL, Beck outlined his surprise by Paul’s Twitter message, which read (in case you missed it), “Chris Kyle’s death seems to confirm that ‘he who lives by the sword dies by the sword.’ Treating PTSD at a firing range doesn’t make sense.” The radio host held little back in his reaction.
“Well, Dr. Paul, he wasn’t treating it. I’m sorry that you listened to the media,” he said “I thought you knew better than that. Aren’t you a guy that just loves to blame the media on coverups — on things like Tower number Seven? Suddenly, you rush to believe the media.”
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A confidential Justice Department memo concludes that the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaida or “an associated force” — even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S.
The 16-page memo, a copy of which was obtained by NBC News, provides new details about the legal reasoning behind one of the Obama administration’s most secretive and controversial polices: its dramatically increased use of drone strikes against al-Qaida suspects abroad, including those aimed at American citizens, such as the September 2011 strike in Yemen that killed alleged al-Qaida operatives Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan. Both were U.S. citizens who had never been indicted by the U.S. government nor charged with any crimes.
The secrecy surrounding such strikes is fast emerging as a central issue in this week’s hearing of White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan, a key architect of the drone campaign, to be CIA director. Brennan was the first administration official to publicly acknowledge drone strikes in a speech last year, calling them “consistent with the inherent right of self-defense.” In a separate talk at the Northwestern University Law School in March, Attorney General Eric Holder specifically endorsed the constitutionality of targeted killings of Americans, saying they could be justified if government officials determine the target poses “an imminent threat of violent attack.”
But the confidential Justice Department “white paper” introduces a more expansive definition of self-defense or imminent attack than described by Brennan or Holder in their public speeches. It refers, for example, to what it calls a “broader concept of imminence” than actual intelligence about any ongoing plot against the U.S. homeland.
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Scientists and victim-advocate groups are calling for immediate congressional reform of the Violence Against Women Act, which is currently up for reauthorization, because of the violence the law itself does.
Its provisions allow “arrest without probable cause” as well as “special protection based on gender sexual orientation, or other group status,” according to a set of “Reform Principles” released this morning by a coalition.
SAVE, Stop Abusive and Violent Environments, along with 15 other advocacy organizations, have come out in support of updating the nearly 20-year-old federal law. The other groups include the Independent Women’s Forum, National Coalition for Men, Washington Civil Rights Council and Able Americans.
Representatives of various organizations, scientists, lawyers and academics signed on to a list of Reform Principles that address a range of documented deficiencies. Proposed reforms include putting greater emphasis on programs to address substance abuse, marital stability and emotional disorders.
The Reform Principles highlight how VAWA has placed too much attention on criminal justice measures such as restraining orders that lack proof of effectiveness.
The reforms also advocate eliminating policies that mandate arrest in the absence of probable cause – a policy that has been found to increase partner homicides by 60 percent, according to a Harvard University study.
The document addresses other shortcomings with current domestic violence programs, including the need for programs to afford priority to victims of physical abuse as well as disseminating accurate abuse-reduction information to the public.
“For far too long, domestic violence programs have been based on gender ideology, resulting in programs that have been ineffective, unresponsive and even dangerous to victims,” explained SAVE spokesperson Sheryle Hutter. “We urge lawmakers to include these reforms in the Violence Against Women Act bills currently being considered in Congress.”
Signatories include Dr. Arnold Robbins, clinical professor of psychiatry at Boston University; Tom Golden, LCSW and author of The Way Men Heal; Stephen Baskerville, Ph.D. and professor at Patrick Henry College; Bill Ronan, author and licensed independent clinical social worker; Phyllis Schlafly, president of Eagle Forum; and Sandy Rios of Family Pac Federal.
The plan addresses the handling of treatment programs, reconciliation, abuse shelters, and non-discrimination.
“VAWA should be refocused to include all victims of domestic violence, rather than singling victims out for special protection based on gender, sexual orientation, or other group status,” it says.
Read more here.