No Easy Way: Ex-Navy SEAL Learns a $6.6 Million Lesson the Hard Way Over Book On Bin Laden Raid

Former Navy SEAL, Matthew Bissonnette; Osama bin Laden (Photo: Public Domain)

Former Navy SEAL, Matthew Bissonnette; Osama bin Laden (Photo: Public Domain)

August 22, 201

By Lorra B.

Matt Bissonnette, a former navy SEAL, has been ordered to pay the U.S. Government $6.6 million for failing to first get permission from the Department of Defense before writing a book about his experiences during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011.

No Easy Way was published two years ago under the pseudonym Mark Owen and has stirred much controversy and publicity, none of which was lost on the government. An investigation by the Pentagon was opened to decide whether or not any classified information was leaked in the book but no criminal charges against Bisdonnette were ever filed.

The Justice Department released a statement, declaring that the action reinforced service members obligations “to protect classified information after leaving the U.S. military and government in an effort to protect our nation’s national security.”

Not only is Bissonnette ordered to pay all profits and royalties from the book or any movie rights that so far total $6.6 million but he also has just under 30 days to pay an additional $100,000.

According to the settlement, Bissonnette gave presentations using slides that he failed to first get approval from the Defense Department to use.

“As a Navy SEAL, Bissonnette signed a non-disclosure agreement that would prohibit him from releasing sensitive information from his time in the military,” stated RedState. “His book, the Justice Department claimed, contained sensitive and classified material. Under the agreement made, Bissonnette will acknowledge his mistake of not submitting the book for review. Between that and the payments, the U.S. Government will not pursue more liability claims.”

The accuracy of the story itself is not being questioned but simply the way with which Bissonnette went about telling it.

Bissonnette, however, had no problems when his second book detailing his journey as a SEAL Team Six member was published. The Government gave him the nod on No Hero: The Evolution of a Navy SEAL with only a couple of redactions.

No Easy Way was on The New York Times best seller list and sold out of 575,000 copies on its first run.

By Lorra B.

U.S. Air Force in Crisis: Dealing with Oldest Planes in History and Pilot Shortages

The Boneyard at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Ariz. houses more than 300 aircraft, but it lost one recently to a base in Louisiana. (Photo: Public Domain)

The Boneyard at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Ariz. houses more than 300 aircraft, but it lost one recently to a base in Louisiana. (Photo: Public Domain)

August 11, 2016

By Lorra B.

By the end of 2016 the United States Air Force will need to fill over 700 fighter pilot positions and the task won’t be easy.

It was in May that the shortage was first reported to Fox news. If that wasn’t bad enough, the Air Force is also short 4,000 mechanics as well.

The implications of this could be far-reaching and disastrous as we continue to battle ISIS.

The U.S. Air Force’s top officer, Gen. David Goldfein, stated, “It is a crisis. Air superiority is not an American birthright. It’s actually something you have to fight for and maintain.”

The Air Force’s current planes are the oldest in history and are being piecemealed together with parts found in the plane ‘boneyard’ in Arizona and from museums because parts are no longer made for our military planes.

Goldfein is absolutely correct, this is a crisis and it is shameful that the safety of our troops and our nation are at risk because we don’t have proper equipment to protect either properly.

In order to encourage pilots to stay in the service, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James intends to give drone pilots an incentive bonus of $35,000 a year.

It is the contention of the Air Force that bonuses are needed for every pilot to cover this disastrous shortage as the Airline industry seduces them with benefits and higher salaries.

James told Fox News, “The airlines are forecast to be hiring a lot more,” and that the Air Force pilot shortage will continue to increase reaching over 1000 in a few years.

In order to compete with airline companies that are pulling pilots from the Air Force at an increasing rate, bonuses, incentives and a better ‘quality of service’ are being offered.

“If we take a balanced approach, we’re hoping that we can get these folks to stay,” he said.

Plane safety, and ongoing deployments overseas are having a big impact on pilot’s decisions whether to stay in the military or not.

The shortage of pilots, according to Goldfein, have not had any effect on the war against ISIS in Iraq, Syria and Libia as of yet.

The continued military pilot shortage and outdated planes and equipment, on the other hand, could very well be a problem in the near future.

 

Related Video:

 

By Lorra B.

It’s Official, Transgender Recruits Will Be Accepted into the Navy and Marines by 2017

The Pentagon celebrates Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, and Transgender Pride Month. (Photo: Public Domain)

The Pentagon celebrates Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, and Transgender Pride Month.
(Photo: Public Domain)

August 9, 2016

By Lorra B.

In June the Defense Department ended its ban on transgender service members. New policies for the Navy and Marines are now being implemented including a time-frame as to when transgender troops will have full military acceptance, care for medical transition inclusive.

According to Navy Times, “…the Navy Department is preparing to provide medical and administrative support for transitioning sailors and Marines, train personnel on the particulars of serving in a transgender-inclusive force and, by next summer, accept transgender recruits into boot camp.”

A transgender service member is described as anyone diagnosed by military personnel as medically in need gender transition, according to ALNAV 053/16.

Both the Navy and the Marine applicants who meet all standards related to service will be admitted by July 1, 2017. Forced separation from other service members or being denied re-enlistment because of ‘gender identity’ will be strictly prohibited.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus stated, “The gender identity of an otherwise qualified individual will not bar them from joining the Navy or Marine Corps, from admission to the United States Naval Academy, or from participating in Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps or any other accession program.”

“These policies and procedures are premised on the conclusion that open service by transgender Sailors and Marines, while being subject to the same standards and procedures as other members with regard to their medical fitness for duty, physical fitness, uniform and grooming, deployability, and retention, is consistent with military readiness.”

In the works are training handbooks to provide guidance to all involved, from the commanding officers to the rest of the force.

By November 1, instructions outlining procedures, responsibilities and policy will be released that relate to “personnel matters for transgender troops, including retention and accession standards, in-service transition, and medical coverage.”

It’s a new world. Transgender Sailors and Marines who desire to undergo the medical gender change will be able to begin the process by October 1.

By Lorra B.

 

Banning The Patriotic Display of the American Flag, The New Norm? A Terrorist Act? Racist?

Controversies over the American Flag. (Photo: Public Domain)

Controversies over the American Flag. (Photo: Public Domain)

August 4, 2016

By Lorra B.

Over the last few years Americans seem to be receiving a clear message, flying Old Glory could not only be offensive to some people and therefore deemed inappropriate (or even racist) but punishable by law as well.

Most Americans remember a day when patriotically flying the American flag brought the US together with warm feelings for a nation loved. Today, however, Americans are forced to worry if their proud display of loyalty will either offend someone or land them in trouble with the law.

The latest of innumerable flag-flying controversies comes from Henderson, NV, when an Army veteran was told that the flag he had proudly been displaying at his apartment complex couldn’t be displayed the way it had been for the last 3 years.

“You may have seen Ken Jackson’s giant American flag being flown at the Crystal Creek apartment complex, located at Green Valley Parkway and Warm Springs Road,” reportsFox5 News.  The management at Crystal Creek have now decided that Jackson can no longer fly his flag the way he wants to or face a fine of $25 a month until he complies.

By no means is Jackson the first to face opposition when it comes to the American flag. In June Rhode Island Firefighters were compared to ISIS terrorists for flying American flags of their trucks.

“They look like a bunch of yahoos,” Fred Gralinski of the Central Coventry Fire District said at a board meeting. “Like in the paper, like ISIS in Syria going to take over a city. I don’t think they need that big flag on the back of the truck. That’s not America to me. Those are a bunch of terrorists. So, I’m going to ask you to take the flag off that truck.”

Wow, Really?

Let’s not forget the student from Fruita, Colorado, who was told that students could no longer fly any flags from their vehicles, including the American Flag. Even it was banned.

“They said we can’t fly a Mexican flag, Confederate flag, American flag, any flag at all,” senior Paxton Streeter complained to NBC 11. “I feel very disrespected that we cannot fly our country’s flag in our own country.”

This controversy started because a student, senior Colt Chatfield, came to school displaying the Confederate Flag, a flag he had on his vehicle all year. When Chatfield became defiant about removing the flag he was threatened that unless he did so he would lose his graduation rights.

“I don’t see how you can pull someone’s right to walk in graduation because they were being patriotic,” Fruita senior Keegan Bogart said. “My buddy was kicked out for having [a flag] in his truck, and they threatened to expel Colt Chatfield for it, and they told all seniors that they would not walk [in graduation] if we continued to display flags in the school’s parking lot.”

The school denied threatening the students but did say the request was made because some flags are “offensive” to some students, and because they were a “safety” issue.

The American Flag is a safety issue?

In Georgia a man was threatened with jail time and ticketed for refusing to take down a flag he had been proudly flying for more than 30 years outside his automotive repair shop.

“It’s been there for 30 years,” Tom Gieryic told Fox News. “She told me my flag was in the city’s right of way.”

After a few retired Marines came to the auto shop and offered to replace the old flag with a new one, that’s when the trouble started.

A code enforcement officer met Gieryic at his shop and told him to either remove Old Glory or be faced with fines.

“I was shocked, man – a complete loss for words,” he recounted. “I told her I wasn’t going to be moving my flag.”

If he did not comply, Gieryic was told that he could face 60 days in jail and be fined $1000 a day.

 

Harassing, ticketing, threatening jail time, fining and being called terrorists, patriots are bewildered and angry by it all. What once was considered a proud exhibition for Love of Country now seems to be policed, shunned and even being called a racist statement or terrorism by some stretch of the imagination.

 

So, while we still can, FLY’EM IF YOU GOT’EM!

 

Here are the official rules for flying the American Flag, lest you be hit with threats of jail time, large fines or a litany of other accusations:

 

 

Capture

Capture

 

By Lorra B.

Veteran Anger – Has Obama Really Made a Difference In Veteran Care & Homelessness?

End Veteran Homelessness (Photo: Public Domain)

End Veteran Homelessness (Photo: Public Domain)

August 2, 2016

By Lorra B. 

In a speech on Monday, President Obama addressed the many issues facing the veterans health care system. In fact, Obama insisted that long wait times to see doctors had dramatically declined since he took office and that veteran homelessness had been cut nearly in half since 2010.

Out of the nearly 40,000 veterans that are homeless, 13,000 are living on the streets. According to this figure that was released on Monday, there are 56% fewer homeless vets living on the streets, according to HUD and the VA.

Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ affairs, Rep. Jeff Miller, said the cost of the homeless program is increasing dramatically and the program is showing limited results.

The cost of this program is 1.5 billion annually, reports USA Today.

Obama had promised to end veteran homelessness by 2015. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Julian Castro, stated, “The effort has been an unqualified success over the last few years.” But has it really?

Even Obama calls the delays that continue to plague the VA system “inexcusable” and that veterans “remain frustrated by the health care bureaucracy,” according to The New YorkTimes.

“We’ve hired thousands more doctors, nurses, staff,” Mr. Obama said at a conference of the Disabled American Veterans. “When we really put our sweat and tears and put our shoulder to the wheel, we can make things better.”

These are some of the statements by the Obama Administration that completely frustrate Veteran and Fox News affiliate, Pete Hegseth.

“This is exactly why people are frustrated with Washington DC because our ruling class in Washington tell them time and time again that things are getting better, their lives are better,” stated Hegseth. “And then they look at their own lives, and in this case for veterans, their own waits [wait times], [the] care that they are getting and then they say, ‘It’s not better, in fact it’s even worse.’ And the stats they are quoting to people are stats that grow government. More spending, more staffing, more clinicians. If you’re adding so much more on top, why is my life not getting better. Why has my wait time actually increased? Why do I still not have a choice?  Why has no one still been fired?”

“This is why Donald Trump resonates, because elites are lying to us about the reality. And this speech at the VA from…Barack Obama is a perfect example of that.”

Donald Trump supports more privatization of the Department of Veteran Affairs, though Obama adamantly rejects that idea.

The current secretary, Robert McDonald, has been a critic of the Obama administration. In 2014 problems and corruption within the VA surfaced including manipulated waiting lists to see doctors and the compulsory resignation of Eric Shinseki.

According to McDonald, more people need to be held accountable, though he does remain optimistic about putting an end to veteran homelessness.

“I don’t know when we’ll get to zero,” McDonald said. “Zero continues to be the goal.”

The cost to create and maintain the VA programs have skyrocketed and, according to many, the payoff has been tremendous and the programs a huge success. Others believe the programs to be a failure and that the continued wait-times, homelessness and deaths remain unacceptable.

There is one thing all parties can agree on and that is that the VA system needs vast improvement. No veteran should die waiting to see a doctor or remain homeless. No president, past, present or future, should be content with the status quo but do all in their power to protect the very Heroes that have risked it all for this great Nation.

 

By Lorra B. 

While Over a Thousand Veterans Die, Veterans Affairs Spends Millions On Frivolous Items

Devastating: A veteran of the Iraq War becomes emotional while visiting a grave site at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia (May 25, 2014). (Photo: Public Domain)

Devastating: A veteran of the Iraq War becomes emotional while visiting a grave site at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia (May 25, 2014). (Photo: Public Domain)

July 28, 2016

By Lorra B.

Open the Books, a taxpayer watchdog group, and Cox Media partnered to get an oversight report detailing Veterans Affairs spending. What they found may shock you.

While over a thousand veterans died waiting for treatment, The VA administration felt compelled to spent a whopping $20 million on extravagant artwork and sculptures, according to The Washington Free Beacon.

“In the now-infamous VA scandal of 2012-2015, the nation was appalled to learn that 1,000 veterans died while waiting to see a doctor,” wrote Adam Andrzejewski, the founder and CEO of Open the Books, in an editorial for Forbes. “Tragically, many calls to the suicide assistance hotline were answered by voicemail. The health claim appeals process was known as ‘the hamster wheel’ and the appointment books were cooked in seven of every ten clinics.”

“Yet, in the midst of these horrific failings the VA managed to spend $20 million on high-end art over the last ten years—with $16 million spent during the Obama years,” Andrzejewski said.

Some of the items purchased included a $21,000 Christmas Tree, $115,600 “art Consultants” and $32,000 for pictures to cover the walls at the San Francisco VA. Then, of course, there was the $482,960 worth of “rock sculptures” that the veterans couldn’t even see because they were blind.

“In an ironic vignette, at a healthcare facility dedicated to serving blind veterans—the new Palo Alto Polytrauma and Blind Rehabilitation Center—the agency wasted $670,000 on two sculptures no blind veteran can even see,” Andrzejewski said. “The ‘Helmick Sculpture’ cost $385,000 (2014) and a parking garage exterior wall façade by King Ray Studio for the ‘design, fabrication, and installation of the public artwork’ cost $285,000 (2014).”

A gross misappropriation of taxpayer’s money. So, basically, dressing up the walls and halls of the VA was seen as more important that the lives of our Heroes. Wrap your brain around that.

Where is the outrage??

Veteran’s aren’t interested in the fancy décor costing millions of dollars…they want to see a doctor!

 

 

“I’m sinking, I’m sinking, I repeat, I’m sinking I’m sinking!” Cried the Coast Guard Prankster

Helicopter, Coast Guard, Rescue Training, Exercise, Sea. (Photo: Public Domain)

Helicopter, Coast Guard, Rescue Training, Exercise, Sea. (Photo: Public Domain)

July 25, 2016

By Lorra B.

The Coast Guard is seeking a prankster who has been calling for help over the past two years. This colossal waste of manpower that could have been spent looking for people in real distress has cost the Coast Guard a whopping $500,000.

There have been twenty-eight distress calls to the Coast Guard that have sent them searching for boats, people or wreckage off the Maryland coast. Each call originated from the same person and each call was a hoax.

“It could cause the potential loss of life for someone else who really is in harm’s way,” stated Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Sara Wallace. Wallace heads the response sector in Maryland.

“I’m sinking, I’m sinking, I repeat, I’m sinking I’m sinking,” cried the hoaxer.

The most current calls were made on July 21 and made by the same male voice. The calls began in July 2014.

What this prankster may not know is that making false distress calls is not only a felony it is punishable of $250,000 criminal fine and a $10,000 civil fine. The person responsible for these calls could also face a max sentence in prison of six years. The Coast Guard may also go after the individual to seek reimbursement for the money they have spent, according to NBC4 Washington.

If anyone has information about the caller, they are encouraged to email agents at CGIS-Baltimore@uscg.mil or contact the Coast Guard’s regional command center at 410-576-2525.

“A hoax call is a deadly and serious offense,” said Wallace. “Calls like these not only put our crews at risk, but they put the lives of the public at risk.”

Throw the book at them.

Studies: 8 Million People Will Lose Health Care If Supreme Court Decides To Gut Obamacare

dJanuary 12, 2015

ThinkJustice:

If a lawsuit seeking to gut the Affordable Care Act succeeds in the Supreme Court, enrollment in plans purchased through the law’s health exchanges would decline by 9.6 million people and unsubsidized premiums in this market would spike by 47 percent in the states impacted by the ruling, according to a study released last week by the RAND Corporation. Although a footnote to the study explains that 1.6 million of these individuals would be able to find coverage through some other source, that still leaves 8 million people without health insurance.

RAND’s conclusions are largely corroborated by an Urban Institute study, also released last week, which concludes that “a victory for the plaintiff would increase the number of uninsured by 8.2 million people” and that “average nongroup premiums in 34 states would increase by 35 percent, affecting those purchasing inside and outside those Marketplaces.”

Although the RAND study predicts a 47 percent increase in premiums should the Supreme Court side with the plaintiffs in a case known as King v. Burwell, the actual consequences for most people insured through Affordable Care Act plans would be even worse. The law gives states a choice to either set up their own exchange or allow the federal government to do so for them. A single passage of the Affordable Care Act, if read out of context, seems to suggest that tax credits that help most Obamacare customers pay for their insurance are only available in states that run their own health exchange. Although the entire law makes clear that all exchanges, whether run by the federal government or a state, should provide tax credits, a minority of the lower court judges to consider the issue — all of whom are Republicans — have agreed with the plaintiffs’ reading of the law. The Supreme Court has five Republicans and only four Democrats.

RAND’s prediction that premiums will spike 47 percent in states impacted by a hypothetical victory for the plaintiffs in King refers to “[u]nsubisidzed premiums in the ACA-complaint individual market.” In other words, this is the premium spike that consumers will face after accounting for the fact that they’ve already lost a tax credit that dramatically reduces the cost of most exchange consumers’ premiums. Approximately 87 percent of consumers in the exchanges receive some level of tax credit.

According to data from the Department of Health and Human Services, the average Obama consumer who receives a tax credit would face an immediate 322 percent premium hike if they lost that credit — and that’s before accounting for the additional premium spike described by the RAND study. In poorer states, the average hike is likely to be much higher. In Mississippi, according to health reporter Jonathan Cohn, it could be as high as 1,800 percent!

More at ThinkJustice: