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Posts tagged ‘Armed Services Committee’

McCain: Jimmy Carter’s Failure ‘Pales in Comparison’ to Obama’s.

The Obama administration’s dearth of leadership has surpassed the failure of Jimmy Carter’s presidency and is helping al-Qaida gain footholds around the globe, laying the foundation for extremist Muslim terror groups to take up residence on U.S. soil, Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain said Tuesday on a Phoenix radio show.

“If you don’t care about Syria, my dear listeners, if you don’t care about Syria, it’s becoming a regional conflict,” he said while a guest on The Mike Broomhead Show.

“It’s spread to Lebanon. It’s spread to Turkey. It’s spread to Jordan. It is spreading throughout the region, and sooner or later it will affect the United States of America if you allow a place to become a base for al-Qaida.”

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McCain fielded listeners’ questions and offered his take on everything from the Super Bowl to Syria. He slammed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for failing to take responsibility for the deaths of a United States ambassador and three others in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012, the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that killed 3,000 people.

McCain railed against Obama, Clinton and Secretary of State John Kerry, who he criticized for negotiating with Russia while that nation supports Syria with arms during the civil war there.

“Eleven thousand people have been tortured to death and killed and beaten and murdered in the custody of [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad,” McCain said, referring to Assad as “a monster” who instructs his soldiers to “rape, torture and murder.”

McCain directed most of his ire at Obama and Clinton. McCain vowed to launch a thorough investigation of the Benghazi incident if the GOP wins control of the Senate in the midterm elections this fall.

“I will be chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and we will not quit until we get the testimony of those survivors, those brave Americans that fought,” he promised.

The senator lauded New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for swiftly acting on the bridge-closing scandal and immediately firing top level aides involved. Hillary Clinton, McCain chided, should learn something from Christie’s accountability.

“What the hell is going on when our secretary of state is not held responsible for the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, nor has anyone ever been held responsible for the deaths of four Americans?” he railed. “There’s a real double standard. Chris Christie held people responsible for what was obviously an abuse of power. Hillary Clinton has never taken responsibility even though the intelligence committee, Republican Party report, mentioned her specifically.”

Obama’s leadership is so deficient that Jimmy Carter’s epic failure as president “pales in comparison,” McCain says.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in my life,” he said. “I thought Jimmy Carter was bad.”

McCain said it’s unfathomable that Obama complains about not being able to accomplish anything because of the gridlock in Washington.

“He’s the president and he’s talking like he’s a bystander, an observer.”

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By Melissa Clyne

Ayotte: Legislation Likely in Military Sexual Assault Scandal.

Image: Ayotte: Legislation Likely in Military Sexual Assault Scandal

By Sandy Fitzgerald

Tough bipartisan legislation is likely coming to help combat sexual abuses in the military, said Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte Sunday, but the military chain of command will still need to be involved in discipline and investigations.

“No problem in the military gets solved without the chain of command,” said the New Hampshire Republican on CBS’Face the Nation” Sunday. “But they need to be held accountable — they can’t be let off the hook.”

Ayotte, a member of the Armed Services Committee, said that as the wife of an Iraq war veteran, she respects the military, but its leaders “need to be fired” if they can’t bring the pervasive problem of sexual assaults under control.

Urgent: Is Obama Telling the Truth on IRS, Benghazi Scandals? 

Democratic New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, also an Armed Services Committee member, said on the show that the military may understand that there is a problem, but “what we have here is a crisis. We have 26,000 unwanted sexual contacts a year. Seventy percent of them are sexual assaults and rape.”

But victims across the board fear retaliation for reporting the incidents, and Gillibrand has put together a legislative proposal to prosecute sexual-assault crimes separately from the typical military chain of command.

“Until you have transparency, you are not going to have accountability,” said Gillibrand.

California Rep. Jackie Speier, who is proposing the STOP Act in the House, which is similar to Gillibrand’s proposal, agreed.

“The military is an enabler,” said the Democratic lawmaker, who said there needs to be a distinction between disciplinary measures and violent crimes.

“They’re enablers because this has been a problem for 25 years,” said Speier. “The scandals keep happening.”

Gillibrand noted that in other countries, such as Israel and the United Kingdom, prosecution of serious crimes has been removed from the chain of command and handed over to trained military prosecutors.

“We believe the same change would make a big difference,” said Gillibrand.

Prosecuting sexual assault crimes are particularly difficult within the chain of command, Speier said, because “typically with the chain of command, you have someone who knows the assailant, or may even be the assailant.”

This often results in non-judicial punishment that leads to the victim losing his or her military career through an honorable discharge, said Speier. But when the decision lies with a military prosecutor, the decision about how to pursue and prosecute sexual assault cases can be made without pressure from the chain of command.

“This not just a women’s issue,” said Gillibrand. “Half the victims are men.”

Urgent: Is Obama Telling the Truth on IRS, Benghazi Scandals? 

If the problem isn’t brought under control, the military could lose strength, and “won’t be as strong as you would be without this in your ranks,” she said.

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