Monday, October 28, 2019


Press Conference Announcing the Death of al-Baghdadi Was Peak Trump


Trump's Syria Troop Withdrawal Complicated Plans for al-Baghdadi Raid

President Trump confirms ISIS leader is dead after U.S.-led raid in Syria

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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump knew the Central Intelligence Agency and Special Operations commandos were zeroing in on the location for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State leader, when he ordered U.S. troops to withdraw from northern Syria earlier this month, intelligence, military and counterterrorism officials said Sunday.
For months, intelligence officials had kept Trump apprised of what he had set as a top priority, the hunt for al-Baghdadi, the world’s most wanted terrorist.
But Trump’s abrupt withdrawal order three weeks ago disrupted the meticulous planning underway and forced Pentagon officials to speed up the plan for the risky night raid before their ability to control troops, spies and reconnaissance aircraft disappeared with the pullout, officials said.
Al-Baghdadi’s death in the raid Saturday, they said, occurred largely despite, and not because of, Trump’s actions.
It is unclear how much Trump considered the intelligence on al-Baghdadi’s location when he made the surprise decision to withdraw U.S. troops during a telephone call Oct. 6 with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey. What is clear, military officials said, is that it put commanders on the ground under even more pressure to carry out the complicated operation.
More than a half-dozen Pentagon, military, intelligence and counterterrorism officials — along with Trump, who gave an account during a White House news conference Sunday — provided a chronology of the raid.
The planning for the raid began this past summer, when the CIA first got surprising information about al-Baghdadi’s general location in a village deep inside a part of northwestern Syria controlled by rival al-Qaida groups. The information came after the arrest and interrogation of one of al-Baghdadi’s wives and a courier, two U.S. officials said.
Armed with that initial tip, the CIA worked closely with Iraqi and Kurdish intelligence officials in Iraq and Syria to identify more precisely al-Baghdadi’s whereabouts and to put spies in place to monitor his periodic movements. U.S. officials said the Kurds continued to provide information to the CIA on al-Baghdadi’s location even after Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops left the Syrian Kurds to confront a Turkish offensive alone.
The Syrian and Iraqi Kurds, one official said, provided more intelligence for the raid than any single country.
According to a Syrian engineer who spoke with villagers living near the raid site, al-Baghdadi had sought shelter in the home of Abu Mohammed Salama, a commander of another extremist group, Hurras al-Din. The commander’s fate in that raid and the precise nature of his relationship to al-Baghdadi are not clear.
As the Army’s elite Delta Force commando unit began drawing up and rehearsing plans to conduct the mission to kill or capture the ISIS leader, they knew they faced formidable hurdles. The location was deep inside territory controlled by al-Qaida. The skies over that part of the country were controlled by Syria and Russia.
The military called off missions at least twice at the last minute.
The final planning for the raid came together over two to three days last week. A senior administration official said that al-Baghdadi was “about to move.” Military officials determined that they had to go swiftly. If al-Baghdadi moved again, it would be much harder to track him with the U.S. military pulling out its troops and surveillance assets on the ground in Syria.
By Thursday and then Friday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on ABC’s “This Week,” Trump “gave us the green light to proceed.”
Around midnight Sunday morning in the region — 5 p.m. Saturday in Washington — eight U.S. helicopters, primarily CH-47 Chinooks, took off from a military base near Irbil, Iraq.
Flying low and fast to avoid detection, the helicopters quickly crossed the Syrian border and then flew all the way across Syria itself — a dangerous 70-minute flight in which the helicopters took sporadic groundfire — to the Barisha area just north of Idlib city, in western Syria. Just before landing, the helicopters and other warplanes began firing on a compound of buildings, providing cover for commandos with the Delta Force and their military dogs to descend into a landing zone.
Trump said that with the helicopter gunships firing from above, the commandos had bypassed the front door, fearing a booby trap, before destroying one of the compound’s walls. That allowed them to rush through and confront a group of ISIS fighters.
The president, along with Esper, Vice President Mike Pence and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, watched video of the raid piped into the White House Situation Room from surveillance aircraft orbiting over the battlefield.
The Delta Force commandos, under fire, entered the compound, where they shot and killed a number of people. As the Delta Force team breached the wall with explosives, an Arabic linguist advised children and other noncombatants how to flee, a decision commanders credited with saving 11 of the children al-Baghdadi had in his compound.
Al-Baghdadi ran into an underground tunnel, with U.S. commandos in pursuit. Trump said that the ISIS leader took three children with him, presumably to use as human shields from U.S. fire. Fearing that al-Baghdadi was wearing a suicide vest, commandos dispatched a military dog to subdue al-Baghdadi, Trump said.
It was then that the Islamic State leader set off the explosives, killing the three children, Trump said.
Esper described the climax of the two-hour ground raid on “This Week” this way: “He’s in a compound, that’s right, with a few other men and women with him and a large number of children. Our special operators have tactics and techniques and procedures they go through to try and call them out. At the end of the day, as the president said, he decided to kill himself and took some small children with him, we believe.”
Trump was more descriptive. “I got to watch much of it,” he said. Al-Baghdadi, he said, “died after running into a dead-end tunnel, whimpering and crying and screaming all the way.”
Esper did not repeat the “whimpering” and “crying” assertion made by Trump. “I don’t have those details,” he said. “The president probably had the opportunity to talk to the commanders on the ground.”
At 7:15 p.m. Washington time Saturday, the Special Operations commander on the ground reported that al-Baghdadi had been killed. Five other “enemy combatants” were killed in the compound, White House officials said, and “additional enemies were killed in the vicinity.”
Two U.S. service members were slightly wounded, White House officials said, but have returned to duty. The U.S. military dog was wounded in al-Baghdadi’s suicide-vest explosion and was taken away, Trump said.
After the raid, commandos removed the 11 children from the site and handed them over to a woman in the area. The military then ordered the destruction of the site to ensure it would not in the future become a shrine to ISIS, according to a person familiar with the operation.
Altogether, U.S. troops were on the ground in the compound for around two hours, Trump said, clearing the buildings of fighters and scooping up information that the president said contained important details on ISIS operations. Trump said commandos already had DNA samples from the Islamic State leader, which he said they used to make a quick assessment that they had the right man.
Once all the Americans had piled back into their helicopters and started the return flight to Iraq — using the same route out as they had used coming in, Trump said — U.S. warplanes bombed the compound to ensure it was physically destroyed, Esper said. Just after 9 p.m. Washington time Saturday — four hours after the helicopters had taken off — Trump tweeted, “Something very big has just happened!”
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

LOOMING AMERICAN HEALTH CARE DOOM AS DEMOCRATS PROMISE 40 MILLION ILLEGALS "FREE" HEALTHCARE IF THEY KEEP VOTING DEMOCRAT FOR MORE - "In the next two decades, should the country’s legal immigration policy go unchanged, the U.S. is set to import about 15 million new foreign-born voters. About eight million of these new foreign-born voters will have arrived through the process known as “chain migration,” whereby newly naturalized citizens are allowed to bring an unlimited number of foreign relatives to the country."

Fairfax County, Virginia Presents Dire Warning to America

My home county of Fairfax, Virginia was once a safe suburban area with some of the best performing public schools in the nation.  It's now a blinking warning sign to America as it hangs on the edge of complete disaster thanks to unchecked immigration and Democrat takeover of the government.
Even with the high concentration of government workers, Fairfax County was once a Republican bastion before it became a political battleground.  The Bush/Cheney ticket won the county in a close race in 2000 and then lost it badly in 2004 due to a significant increase in Democrat votes.
Fairfax's descent into its current state started with a wave immigration, much of it illegal, into the area which washed away Republican political viability.
Fairfax County became a nullification (sanctuary) county in 2018 and now puts a significant chunk of money into its budget to defend noncitizens from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, although the problem started long before that.  By 2015, 30% of the county was foreign-born.
MI-13, a brutal criminal gang, is now more active than ever, and the once marquee schools have started what will be a long slide through mediocrity to abysmal.
Fairfax just ranked seventh among the highest-crime sanctuary jurisdictions, ranking just below Chicago and tied with a nearby Maryland county that has had at least nine illegal alien sexual assaults since its sanctuary policy was declared in late July.  That's staggering.  Fairfax County now is on a list of shame with Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, and San Francisco.
Even apart from the rapidly deteriorating safety, the schools are sinking under the fiscal and social costs.  It costs on average $15,283 to educate each of the 188,000 students in the county.  That's an enormous bill, and the cost for limited–English proficiency students is likely about $10,000 higher per student.
Back in 2015, when the problem was nowhere near as acute as today, nearby Alexandria County spent over 45% of its instructional funding on limited English proficiency students.
In this context, flooding the county with noncitizens who are contributing little tax revenue must result in worse schools and far higher taxes.  It's a mathematical certainty.
But the flood of new residents achieved its primary purpose, which was to make the ground here far more hospitable for Democrat politicians.  Nearly 12,000 county residents were in deportation proceedings late last year, which the county is vigorously fighting in the interest of political power.
This once Republican bastion is now a no man's land for Republicans.  On the single greatest day of 2016, Donald Trump was way ahead in Virginia with most of the vote counted.  But anyone who dared to hope that this was still a battleground state was in for a rude awakening when the votes from the northern Virginia counties were added to the tally.
Virginia is gone.  The only difference between Virginia and California is in the shade of blue.  The state will trend ever darker blue barring a significant change in the voting patterns of the newer residents.
The dominoes continue to fall.  Fairfax fell early, even as neighboring Prince William County remained in Republican hands.  But that county is also now in deep trouble, and other dominoes will spread out from there, county by county.  This is the same path that Texas is on, only it is a little farther behind.
The Democrat votes brought a Democrat school board, along with local county leadership.  This meant the adoption of a policy framework called "One Fairfax" in November 2017.
"One Fairfax" is representative of what is happening across the country.  A constellation of groups with backers like George Soros are active across America, subverting local governments and education.  As the Daily Caller noted, these groups are already active in 33 cities and counties, covering 10% of Americans.
The "One Fairfax" name brings to mind Sauron's one ring to rule them all from The Lord of the Rings.  Like that ring, One Fairfax is intended to destroy all dissent or resistance and to force absolute subservience and surrender.  The key buzzword used to squash dissent is "equity," which is intended to shut down debate.
All policies are now looked at through the rubric of race and the liberal conception of social justice with the goal of absolute political power.  Liberals use friendly terms like "equity" to hide their true goal, which is a complete reshaping of the county in a Marxist image, where the only thing that matters is some conception of equality of outcomes.
One can almost envision the superintendent holding a map and redrawing lines, muttering, "My precious."
The social engineering leftists of the school board were secretly plotting to redraw district lines for the express purpose of achieving equal racial balance across the schools, to include reinstituting failed busing schemes of yesteryear.  They were only temporarily thwarted in this agenda when county residents grew wise to their scheme and stormed their meeting.
There is scant attention paid to actually improving the schools and equipping the teachers to deal with the challenges created by failed policies.  My wife is a teacher in the county and brings home horror stories beyond belief.  The teachers, who all must attend equity training, have little authority to discipline increasingly unruly kids, some of whom barely speak English, even as class sizes grow.
Even as the teachers face incredible challenges due to the bad policies that wrecked the schools, the school board recently spent an hour debating "International Menstrual Equity" in the belief that what was really hurting student achievement was that girls had to go all the way to the clinic to get free menstrual products and had to conduct a "walk of shame."  This is apparently a dire problem even in elementary schools.  Lack of discipline or support in overfilled classrooms?  No problem.  The lack of tampon Pez dispensers scattered throughout the hallways?  Major crisis.
The lens of race is now the primary weapon, even at the local level, used to justify the most corrosive and destructive policies, and anyone who objects to their social engineering schemes is automatically branded as a racist.
Their "race lens" is outrageously racist, since it assumes that some races need their social engineering help.  There is little difference between the schools with more resources going to schools in less affluent areas.  So they are tacitly arguing that the difference is in the students themselves.  They would rather move the students great distances to achieve a racial balance than focus on providing education where they live.
In the politicians' quest for power, the kids and teachers are sacrificed as pawns, left to fend for themselves in failing classes that have been social engineered into lunacy.
Fairfax is our country in a microcosm.  What happened here is happening all over America.  If we don't reverse the trends, both at the local and national level, the long-term prognosis on America is not promising.  While the battle will rage on at the local level, Virginia is lost to the Democrats at the national and soon state level.  Other states, to include Texas, aren't far behind.
Fletch Daniels blogs at and can be found on Twitter at @fletchdaniels.

Providing free, American taxpayer-funded healthcare to all illegal aliens is just the latest effort to use mass immigration to turn the United States into the sanctuary state of California, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) says.

Health Care Doom on the Horizon

The relationship between Americans and their health care delivery is about to make a dramatic change for the worse.  Consumers of health care are poised to vote for a federally managed system.  Why would they go down this predictably awful rabbit hole?  They'll do it because they are overwhelmed and frightened in the current system.  They'll do it because this may be the only option that a typical voter understands.  They'll do it because our elected leaders do not have the courage to enact changes that could make things work and don't want to give up power.  And it will happen because the media will demonize and target anyone who isn't on the socialist bandwagon.
Currently, we have a situation in America where the insured among us are utilizing health care less than in the past.  This is because of the financial implications of high-deductible insurance policies, most people's only affordable option.  As a result, it is arguable that the very people who bear the financial burden for our medical care — namely, the minority among us who are insured Americans — are among those getting the worst care in our country.  It is well known that Americans often live on the edge of their finances.  So when it comes to budgeting for our deductible when health issues arise, we are frequently left with hard decisions.  This often results in the insured tolerating illness rather than seeking appropriate, expensive care.
The result of this development will most assuredly result in even conservative voters being swayed toward a federally managed health delivery system.  With the elderly freely using Medicare and Medicaid participants getting treatment with seemingly no debilitating financial consequences, it would be easy to desire something similar for the rest of us.  After all, what could be more messed up than the current system, where a simple visit to the emergency room can lead to bankruptcy?
The federal option for health care delivery will undoubtedly be wretched.  Ask any veteran or doctors who trained at those hospitals about their experience with the V.A., the best example of a federally run health delivery option.  You'll hear stories that will curl your toes.  It is not possible for government to provide quality care in a timely manner affordably, just as equality and liberty can't coexist without one sacrificing itself to the other.  Add on the layers of bureaucracy in a federally run hospital to the inefficiencies and redundancies they mandate, and the results are predictable.
Yet the people may opt for it anyway, because it is hard to imagine relying on the current system creating a more affordable market.  We are not using the economic tools that work to bring down costs.  There is no such thing as capitalism or a free market in health care delivery.  If a group of doctors think they can provide better care at cheaper prices than your community hospital, they cannot easily do so.  Government regulations would not grant them permission, because it is more "in the community's interest" to keep the inefficient and expensive existing hospital afloat than to allow the creative destruction that capitalism provides.  Ending local government's control over "certificate of need" would lower costs, but politics keeps these laws going.
Additionally, hospitals are allowed to charge much more for services than private practitioners of medicine and surgery.  This is because they have convinced local governments that this is justifiable because they have to take care of the indigent.  A lot of the recent dramatic rise in health care costs is a result of the incestuous relationship between hospital corporations and the government.  Doctors are getting absorbed into hospital employment with the lure that their pay will not go down as precipitously if they are paid the higher allowable fees that they can bill through the hospital.
You can add the insurance industry to the hospital corporations and the government as the three players that keep the system unaffordable and non-competitive.  Many competitive options for insurance coverage could decrease cost.  But these are opposed by the industry and are lobbied away.  The laws that could make these legal are unlikely to be enacted because power would shift from government and insurance companies to the individual.
One such idea is insurance pooling.  Suppose that someone who would normally be almost uninsurable, like a 33-year-old waitress with Crohn's disease, could join in with other waitresses and shop as a group for policies across state lines.  This would put market forces to work and necessarily drive down her costs.  This is because most waitresses are young and fairly healthy, and the actuaries in the insurance companies would jump to bid for this business.  For particularly difficult to insure populations, there could even be federally subsidized pools.  This could work for the uninsured and unemployed.
For this concept to work, there would have to be allowances for buying insurance across state lines.  Politicians have too many pet causes to allow this to happen.  Most insurance coverage in New York City mandates coverage for transgender operations.  Years ago in Connecticut, insurance had to cover hair plugs.  As you might suspect, insurance can run much higher in these environments when compared to similar coverage (not including these boondoggles) in the upper Midwest.  If a resident of New York or Connecticut could buy the Midwestern policy for similar coverage without the local mandates, costs would go down.
Another priority would be transferring ownership of insurance to individuals rather than through their employers.  But tax incentives encourage the opposite.  Policies that do not end when changing jobs or crossing into other states would be preferable, but business tax deductions change the game.  If individuals could deduct insurance cost, as businesses have traditionally done, it could work.
Tort reform would remove a lot of dysfunction and wasteful spending.  But most lawmakers are lawyers, so the possibility of goring this cash cow is remote.  (What will happen to this sector if the federal government runs medicine?)  Allowing information technology to evolve naturally rather than instituting top-down, central control to the medical records, billing, and other information systems would result in savings, too.  But I.T. is essential to maintaining power, which makes any change non-negotiable.
Americans may have had enough, egged on by progressive media.  Plots to make medical care more affordable by re-introducing the free market and capitalism through changes in the current laws seem to have died off.  The fawning hero-worship directed toward former president Obama by the media glorified the idea of health care as a human right, with support for this wrong-headed idea achieving his goal of "fundamentally changing America."  Medicare for all is depicted in the press as a desirable idea despite common sense suspecting the contrary.  When it is shown that the cost of administering health care through the existing system proves that insurance companies eat up around a third of the health care dollar, it does seem ridiculous to maintain the status quo.  After all, the cost of administration in the Veterans Administration is far less.  But we know intuitively that care will be worse.  And, as anyone who knows history can tell you, giving them power over our health care decision-making will be the final nail in the coffin of our freedom.
Yet, when the simple idea of a Health Savings Account, a necessary pillar of any health care reform, is above the heads of many voters, we have lost.  Because the media will shoot down any politician brave enough to try anything but a federal option (remember Tom Price, [R-GA]?), it is harder than ever to have any kind of inertia for reasonable change.  With the shortsightedness of insurance companies and hospital corporations essentially pricing themselves out of existence for access to more money today, it looks hopeless.  And when federal debt continues to be viewed as a "so what?" by politicians and citizens alike, we are done. 

It Pays to be Illegal in California

  By JENNIFER G. HICKEY  May 10, 2018 

It certainly is a good time to be an illegal alien in California. Democratic State Sen. Ricardo Lara last week pitched a bill to permit illegal immigrants to serve on all state and local boards and commissions. This week, lawmakers unveiled a $1 billion health care plan that would include spending $250 million to extend health care coverage to all illegal alien adults.
“Currently, undocumented adults are explicitly and unjustly locked out of healthcare due to their immigration status. In a matter of weeks, California legislators will have a decisive opportunity to reverse that cruel and counterproductive fact,” Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula said in Monday’s Sacramento Bee.
His legislation, Assembly Bill 2965, would give as many as 114,000 uninsured illegal aliens access to Medi-Cal programs. A companion bill has been sponsored by State Sen. Richard Lara.
But that could just be a drop in the bucket. The Democrats’ plan covers more than 100,000 illegal aliens with annual incomes bless than $25,000, however an estimated 1.3 million might be eligible based on their earnings.
In addition, it is estimated that 20 percent of those living in California illegally are uninsured – the $250 million covers just 11 percent.
So, will politicians soon be asking California taxpayers once again to dip into their pockets to pay for the remaining 9 percent?
Before they ask for more, Democrats have to win the approval of Gov. Jerry Brown, who cautioned against spending away the state’s surplus when he introduced his $190 billion budget proposal in January.
Given Brown’s openness to expanding Medi-Cal expansions in recent years, not to mention his proclivity for blindly supporting any measure benefitting lawbreaking immigrants, the latest fiscal irresponsibility may win approval.
And if he takes a pass, the two Democrats most likely to succeed Brown – Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa – favor excessive social spending and are actively courting illegal immigrant support.


All that “cheap” labor is staggeringly expensive!

"Most Californians, who have seen their taxes increase while public services deteriorate, already know the impact that mass illegal immigration is having on their communities, but even they may be shocked when they learn just how much of a drain illegal immigration has become." FAIR President Dan Stein.

Californians bear an enormous fiscal burden as a result of an illegal alien population estimated at almost 3 million residents. The annual expenditure of state and local tax dollars on services for that population is $25.3 billion. That total amounts to a yearly burden of about $2,370 for a household headed by a U.S. citizen.


Exclusive–Mo Brooks: Healthcare for Illegal Aliens Latest Democrat Effort to Turn U.S. into California


Providing free, American taxpayer-funded healthcare to all illegal aliens is just the latest effort to use mass immigration to turn the United States into the sanctuary state of California, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) says.

As Breitbart News reported, the majority of 2020 Democrat presidential candidates have endorsed a plan to force taxpayers to pay for free healthcare for all 11 to 22 million illegal aliens living across the country. The plan would cost taxpayers at least $660 billion a decade.
Brooks told SiriusXM Patriot’s Breitbart News Tonight that Democrats’ “primary motivation” behind offering healthcare to illegal aliens is not compassion, but rather an effort to transform the U.S. into the state of California through mass illegal and legal immigration.
Brooks said:
The motivation for all for this is even worse. They don’t have compassion for these illegal aliens. That’s not their primary motivation. Their primary motivation is the desire to acquire raw political power. That’s what it’s all about. [Emphasis added]
If you limit votes to American citizens, Democrats do not fair to well with us. So what they’re trying to do is import people who do not understand the foundational principles that have combined to make America a great nation and who … are much more likely to vote Democrat once Democrats give them voting rights. [Emphasis added]
Brooks detailed how California, the state where former President Ronald Reagan was governor, has been forever changed due to the country’s mass illegal and legal immigration policy that imports about 1.5 million foreign nationals a year.
“Let’s learn from history. California used to be a purple state. Remember, Ronald Reagan came from there … the Democrats have flooded California with noncitizens,” Brooks said. “And why do noncitizens vote Democrat so often? Well, let’s look at illegal aliens. The data shows that 70 percent of households that have an illegal alien in them are on welfare. The data shows that 60 percent of households that have a lawful immigrant in them are on welfare. So, you’ve got three different themes that the Democrat Party now relies on: One is racism, two is sexism, and three is socialism.”
“In California, what used to be a purple state, now out of 53 congressional seats, only seven are Republican … 46 are Democrat and seven are Republican,” Brooks said. “So they have seen how that strategy of importation of foreign voters has worked in California. They’re trying to do it in Texas, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, in every state where they can possibly do it. They want to flood the voting booths with people who are dependent on welfare and who do not understand the principles that have made us a great nation. That’s how they change the voter pool and they’re doing it successfully.”
Health insurance expert Linda Blumberg told the New York Times that any of the Democrats’ plans that offer free health care to illegal aliens is could likely to drive a mass migration of foreigners with “serious health problems to enter the country or remain longer than their visas allow in order to get government-funded care.”
Likely U.S. voters, by a majority, said they oppose being forced to pay for the healthcare of millions of illegal aliens living in the country, as Breitbart News reported. The latest Rasmussen Reports poll found that 55 percent of voters said they opposed such a plan, including 8-in-10 Republican voters, about 6-in-10 swing voters, and 62 percent of middle-class voters.
In the next two decades, should the country’s legal immigration policy go unchanged, the U.S. is set to import about 15 million new foreign-born voters. About eight million of these new foreign-born voters will have arrived through the process known as “chain migration,” whereby newly naturalized citizens are allowed to bring an unlimited number of foreign relatives to the country.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder