Beltway Insider: President Justifies Iraq Action; National Guard Moves on Ferguson; Gov Perry Indicted

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President Obama, on vacation in Martha's Vineyard, has made the unusual decision to interrupt his family holiday and return to the White House as global conflicts and domestic violence has escalated despite calls for calm and sustainable peace treaties. 

According to Gallup, President Obama's job approval, over the past week fell two percentage points to 41% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President increased two percentage point to 53%. 

President Justifies US Iraq Presence

President Obama, prior to his departure for his annual family vacation, announced a new wave military initiative in Iraq to combat the advancing ISIL/ISIS as the terror organization has continued its assault on the Iraqi city of Erbil.

"Over the past few days, American forces have successfully conducted targeted airstrikes to prevent terrorist forces from advancing on the city of Erbil, and to protect American civilians there.  Kurdish forces on the ground continue to defend their city, and we've stepped up military advice and assistance to Iraqi and Kurdish forces as they wage the fight against ISIL," the President said in a released statement.

Obama had long insisted there would be "no boots on the ground" and while he has recently announced the deployment of 130 military personnel to continue to assess the Iraqi ISIS/ISIL insurgence he has reiterated they are not combat troops.

"The President has authorized the deployment of 130, roughly, U.S. military personnel who will assess the situation on Sinjar Mountain and in northern Iraq.  They will make recommendations about how to follow through on an effort to get the people off that mountain into a safe place.  Again, these 130 personnel are not going to be in a combat role in Iraq," said Ben Deputy National Security Advisor, Ben Rhodes

The President's initial strategy included the limited use of airstrikes and humanitarian airdrops of food and fresh water to aid the women and children who escaped the terror regime to hide in Mount SInjar. To date a total of seven airstrikes have been utilized in association with this mission.

At this time objectives for this operation are being assessed and while the humanitarian drops have saved the Erbil people from starving, the protection of U.S. personnel and property are also parts of the objective.

Military engagement with ISIS/ISIL terror troops, through any other means, has not been discussed nor has the White House commented on the possibility of military engagement by ISIS/ISIL ground troops against Air Force pilots.

"We don't believe [the President's objective] involves U.S. troops reentering a combat role in Iraq," Rhodes said.

Ferguson, MO Violence

President Obama, after a week of violence stemming from the police shooting of an unarmed African American male, has announced the involvement of Department of Justice Attorney General Eric Holder who indicated his office will conduct a second, independent, autopsy.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has called in the National Guard to restore order, enforce mandated curfew and stop lawlessness after local law enforcement, civil rights leaders, President Obama and the Department of Justice, have been unable to calm the swelling anger over the unprovoked murder of an African American male, shot six times for failing to move to the sidewalk.

Michael Brown, 18, was shot and killed, August 9, 2014, one week ago, at night, by a local Ferguson Police Officer who has been identified as Darren Wilson, 28, a decorated veteran with six years law enforcement service.

"The death of Michael Brown is heartbreaking, and Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to his family and his community at this very difficult time.  As Attorney General Holder has indicated, the Department of Justice is investigating the situation along with local officials, and they will continue to direct resources to the case as needed," the President said.

Ferguson, MO., a small suburban community of just over 20,000 residents and a police force of 53 officers, is located 12miles outside of St. Louis. Small town, mid-western values and beliefs are clashing against what is seen as a clear, unjustified action and deemed racially motivated by the townspeople who are accustomed to being spectators in the news making area as opposed to participants.

Witnesses from the scene offer accounts which bolster an unprovoked and unjustified police shooting.  Resisting arrest, on any level, by any person, can result in the use of force. Lethal force is not usually considered an acceptable counter measure in handling those situations.

Dorian Johnson, who was walking in the street with Brown at the time of the shooting, admitted the pair refused the officer's order to move to the sidewalk. This defiance escalated into the shooting which was witnessed by several neighbors who have given similar accounts of grappling or wrestling, which has been deemed as a physical assault on the officer.

There are certain elements of the confrontation that have been determined to be genuine and corroborated by both sides. Absent from witness statements are the use of racial slurs by the police before, during or after the killing.

Inappropriate actions by Officer Wilson, at the scene, including failure to report the police involved shooting, as well as not calling for medical help nor attempting any on scene resuscitation are also under investigation.

In the hopes of avoiding an appearance of impropriety the Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson asked Jon Belmar, the Chief of neighboring the St. Louis County Police Department to handle the matter. It immediately became a political firestorm as accusations of poor performance in previous police involved shooting surfaced.

On August 11, a Federal Civil Rights investigation was opened by the Department of Justice, which began at the local level and continued to the regional field offices until U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder intervened and called for a second independent autopsy "due to the extraordinary circumstance."

In the week since the shooting violence has erupted beginning with peaceful protests which escalated as police hoping to cover the shooting demanded the crowds disband, a violation of the right to peaceful protest, and continued the use of excessive force to disperse the crowds with tear gas, imposing curfews and are now being called derelict in duty as they are accused of "standing down" in the face of looters who are taking advantage of this situation.

"There is never an excuse for violence against police, or for those who would use this tragedy as a cover for vandalism or looting.  There's also no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protests, or to throw protestors in jail for lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights.  And here, in the United States of America, police should not be bullying or arresting journalists who are just trying to do their jobs and report to the American people on what they see on the ground.  Put simply, we all need to hold ourselves to a high standard, particularly those of us in positions of authority," the President said.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D), in the wake of continued violence and protests, has issued a state of emergency and issued a mandatory midnight to 5:00am curfew for all residents.

Contrary to published reports of peaceful acceptance and calm there have been seven arrests and one additional police involved shooting.

Vigilantism is not justice, and as the family, and friends of Michael Brown and concerned citizens which include the President of the United States, are troubled the police will cover up the shooting, shade the facts or create a smear campaign, some of which will happen at this time they should heed the call for calm.

Texas Governor Rick Perry Indicted

Texas Governor Rick Perry (R), has been indicted on one count of abuse of power a first degree felony and coercion, a third degree felony.

As the 2016 Presidential contenders have begun to surface and Perry, a fundamentalist Christian, who briefly entered the 2012 GOP candidate pack,  has been mentioned among the possible the

The tough talking Perry, if he beats the charges, can use the scandal as a springboard to further his national platform. His views although right of mainstream are reflected of a national swing especially due to his strong knowledge of immigration, Border Control  and the problems both with Obama's Immigration plan.

It is still too early to talk about a 2016 Perry Presidential run and now, the beleaguered governor will have to deal with the felony charges stemming from attempting to intimate the District Attorney of Travis County, convicted of Drunk Driving whom jailers were forced to restrain after her arrest, who also controlled the Public Integrity Unit. 

Perry announced he would veto the D.A.'s entire budget for two years unless she resigned, which he did and continued to act publically. As an elected position it was assumed Perry would appoint a Republican to ride out the term. In order to stop the GOP from controlling the top office in Travis County, the democratic D.A. refused to resign and the investigation into Perry's abuse of power resulted.

Perry's camp and most others in the political arena understand the pre-primary season scandals are common to weed out the potential hopefuls or viable candidates.

Bridgegate which New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, also a republican, survived and the continued investigation into the Benghazi terror attack that Hillary Clinton, seen as a top contender for the 2016 democratic ticket nod, admitted full responsibility for the entire incident that included the failed embassy security, mishandling of the details and intentional deception of the public and resulted in the murder of Ambassador Christopher J. Stephens and three other American.

Perry may not be the top contender for the 2016 Republican Presidential ticket nod, still his numbers indicate the charges are an attempt to destroy any potential republican candidate as the democrats begin their search for a successor to the Obama White House.

Obama Vacation Interrupted

President Obama and the first family have enjoyed a peaceful week spending their summer vacation on Martha's Vineyard, the island retreat for many wealthy, east coast intellectuals, celebrities and generations of democratic stalwarts.

While the weather has held up allowing the Obama's a week of family time including bicycling, golfing and other outdoor activities, the world has not paused and the President in a rare move is returning to Washington, D.C., Sunday evening.

He is scheduled to return to the White House Sunday evening working through Tuesday and returning to send the remainder of the week through the weekend with his family in Edgartown, Massachusetts.

With violence continuing throughout the world and ongoing domestic issues, the President has made the rare decision to interrupt his family vacation return to command central.

"I think it's fair to say there are, of course, ongoing complicated situations in the world, and that's why you've seen the president stay engaged," White House spokesman Eric Schultz said.

Critics have also weighed in on the President's decision leave the White House with so many on going global conflicts including the recent US-Iraqi Military Operations launch, as well as the ongoing Israeli-Gaza conflict, the Ukraine-Russian struggle and the Ferguson, MO violence.

 

For more information on President Barack Obama: www.whitehouse.gov

Sources: Whitehouse.org, Wikipedia.com

 

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