The Washington Navy Yard murder rampage: Prayers for the victims, their families

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My apologies for not posting this sooner.  Had a crammed full day today.  Via the NYT:

WASHINGTON — At least 13 people, including one gunman, were killed, and the police were looking for other potential suspects, in a shooting Monday morning at a naval office building not far from Capitol Hill and the White House, police officials said.

One police officer was in surgery after being shot in an exchange of fire with a gunman, said Chief Cathy L. Lanier of the Metropolitan Police Department. The shootings took place at the Washington Navy Yard, in the southeast part of the city.

Senior law enforcement officials identified the gunman as Aaron Alexis, 34. He was identified through his fingerprints.

According to the Navy, Mr. Alexis enlisted as a full-time reservist in May 2007 and left the service in January 2011. He served as an aviation electrician, and the highest rank he achieved was mate third class. From February 2008 to January 2011, he was assigned to Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 46, in Fort Worth.

The Navy said Mr. Alexis had been awarded the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

Shortly after 4 p.m., the F.B.I. released a “Seeking Information” bulletin asking for the public’s help in learning more about Mr. Alexis. The bulletin, which had two photographs of Mr. Alexis, said he was 6 feet 1 inch tall, weighed 190 pounds and was born in Queens.

Valerie Parlave, the assistant director of the Washington field office of the F.B.I., urged members of the public to look at pictures of Mr. Alexis on the F.B.I. Web site and to call with any information they might have about him.

“No piece of information is too small,” she said. “We are looking to learn everything we can about his recent movements, his contacts and his associates. We ask the public to look at the photos of the deceased shooter.”

Three weapons were found on the gunman: an AR-15 assault rifle, a shotgun and a semiautomatic pistol, an official said.

“It’s hard to carry that many guns, so there is some thinking that he may have taken some of them from security or whoever else he shot,” the official said.

When loved ones join the military, you expect that if they are injured or killed it will be in the line of action and from the enemy, not deliberately from a fellow soldier, and certainly not on US soil.  While the predictable left and some of their allies in the mainstream media are busy trying to find a link between the now-dead gunman and a Sean Hannity book, please keep the victims and their families in your thoughts and prayers tonight.   Their pain must be unbearable. May God surround them and provide them with a measure of comfort in the agonizing days, weeks, and months ahead.

Photo via Reuters

September 16, 2013: Police block off the M Street, SE,
as they respond to the shooting.
(Photo via Reuters)

#IRS: Going after veterans’ groups?

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**Posted by Phineas

"Thanks for your service?"

“Thanks for your service?”

Well, here’s a surprise (he wrote in sarcasm): while harassing Tea Party and other conservative groups –and interfering with their ability to participate in the 2012 elections, coincidentally enough– our public servants in the IRS decided it would be a good idea to audit veterans organizations, the members of which are largely opposed to the Obama administration.

Coincidentally.

From The Army Times:

A Kansas senator wants the IRS to explain why veterans groups are being asked to prove their members actually served in the military.

Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., said he is “troubled” by an IRS rule that could make veterans service organizations provide DD-214 separation documents “for every member at posts around the country.”

The American Legion, the nation’s largest veterans group, has about 2.4 million members and 14,000 posts. Veterans of Foreign Wars, with 1.5 million members, is the nation’s second largest veterans group. It has more than 7,600 chapters

The policy that has Moran and others excited was published in January 2011 in an Internal Revenue Service Manual chapter covering tax-exempt veterans’ service organizations. Apparently, the policy is just now getting attention from veterans’ groups.

The tax code sets requirements for veterans groups to qualify for exempt status; for example, 75% must be current or former members of the Armed Services. That’s reasonable enough, but what has Moran and others up in arms is the apparent lack of notification to these groups that they have to provide DD-214s and that failure to comply can mean fines of up to $1,000 per day.

As you can imagine, American Legion, VFW, and other groups are pretty upset, and Moran has some questions for IRS Acting Commissioner Werfel that he wants answered. Now.

From Bridget Johnson at PJM:

  • What legal authority does the IRS have in carrying out a mandate for personal, military service records? Was this mandate reviewed by IRS general counsel? Please provide documentation that gives the IRS the authority to collect this information;
  • Under whose leadership was this mandate initiated, for what direct purpose, and who had approving authority for this mandate?;
  • Were veteran service organizations ever specifically notified of the requirement? If so, please provide the documentation that was issued to these organizations. If not, please explain why organizations were not notified; and
  • Is it true that an organization unable or unwilling to provide this information could be charged penalty fees of $1,000 per day? Please provide clarification regarding the penalty for noncompliance.

I can see auditing groups about which there have been reports of fraud. But that would be on an individual, case-by-case basis when there’s been credible reports of a violation. But this kind of blanket “prove to us you’re not doing anything wrong” sweep looks like more of the “We don’t like small-government/conservative types, so we’re going to make their lives miserable” arrogance that we’ve seen plenty of already from our “Lois Lerner” bureaucracy. Rather than a conspiracy, it seems like Leviathan has developed an attitude problem towards their bosses — us.

And it looks like an attitude adjustment is in order.

PS: But I do want to thank the IRS for handing every Republican candidate in veteran-heavy areas even more wonderful material for campaign commercials. You guys are the bestest!

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Good News: Ft. Hood shooter found guilty, eligible for death penalty

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**Posted by Phineas

You wanted to wage jihad fi sabil Allah, Nidal Hasan? Fine. You can also hang for it:

Army Maj. Nidal Hasan was convicted Friday in the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, a shocking assault against American troops at home by one of their own who said he opened fire on fellow soldiers to protect Muslim insurgents abroad.

A jury of 13 high-ranking military officers reached a unanimous guilty verdict on all charges — 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder — in about seven hours. Hasan is now eligible for the death penalty.

Hasan had no visible reaction as the verdict was read. After the jury and Hasan left the courtroom, some victims who survived the shooting and family members began to cry.

There was also a 14th victim: the unborn child being carried by one of the women this brave knight of Allah gunned down.

There have already been travesties aplenty in this case, from the designation of the attack as “workplace violence” to the prohibition by the court against the prosecutors presenting Hasan’s religion as a motive, but they can get one thing right: they can sentence this traitor to death.

Yes, among the ranks of the medieval psychos who’ve chosen to wage war against civilization, he’ll be hailed as a martyr. Well, to Hell with it and them. This jihadi, who broke his oath as a US Army officer, murdered 13 American soldiers and would have killed a lot more, had he not been shot by a brave cop. Anything less than a sentence of death would be a sign of weakness in his comrades’ eyes and an insult to the victims and their survivors. It must be made crystal clear that we will protect our own and, if we fail to protect them, we will exact justice for them.

Hang him.

via Hot Air

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

#Benghazi: And, just like that, the missing colonel is found

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**Posted by Phineas

American blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

American blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

Funny how that works, when Congress controls the appropriations leash:

The U.S. Department of Defense has agreed to make available to Congress a Marine Corps colonel who was in command of U.S. Special Forces in Northern Africa on the night armed terrorists staged a military-style assault on an American diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya.

A series of requests for Marine Col. George Bristol’s testimony from Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, both Republicans, had fallen on deaf ears until Friday. The Pentagon had claimed that since Bristol had retired, it ‘cannot compel’ him to tell congressional panels what he knows about the Benghazi attack.

The Mail was able to locate the colonel’s home in Virginia, but the Pentagon was stumped. That lasted until the Marines Corps Times spilled the beans that he wasn’t really retired, yet.

Here’s why the committee wants to talk with Colonel Bristol:

On that day, Bristol was commander of Joint Special Operations Task Force-Trans Sahara, placing him directly in the chain of command where decisions were made about evaluating and deploying assault teams when American personnel in Northern Africa are in harm’s way.  

Other military officials have testified before Congress, including Gen. Carter Ham, who appeared on June 26 before a closed session of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

Bristol’s LinkedIn profile indicates that he led a task force with authority over military special operations in 12 countries, including forces tasked with countering violent extremist organizations.

During a change of command ceremony in March 2013 that saw him rotated out of command, he said ‘an evil’ had taken hold in Africa, and ‘it is on us to stomp it out.’

‘Africa is not the next ridgeline,’ Bristol told Stars and Stripes. ‘It is where the enemy is going now. And we are going to do something about it.’

The obvious question to ask the colonel, then, is why we didn’t “do something about it” in Benghazi. I’ll be interested in the answers.

So will the survivors of the four Americans who died there.

via The Anchoress

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Mexican Marines capture Los Zetas chief

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**Posted by Phineas

Wow. This is huge news:

One of Mexico’s most wanted drug lords has been captured: Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, also known as “Z-40.”

Trevino Morales, leader of the brutal Los Zetas cartel, was caught Sunday by Mexico Marines in his hometown of Nuevo Laredo, just over the U.S. border, CBS News has learned.

The U.S. State Department had offered a $5 million reward for Trevino Morales.

The Zetas cartel is among Mexico’s most violent drug organizations, notorious for civilian killings and beheadings. Is leaders ordered the killing of 72 undocumented immigrants in 2010 in what is known as the San Fernando massacre. More recently in May, the Mexican army said their leaders ordered underlings to leave 49 mutilated bodies in a northern Mexico town square.

The Mexican drug cartels are a nasty bunch, but the Zetas are the worst of the worst. Founded by former Mexican Special Forces members who first worked as soldiers for the cartels before striking out on their own, they’ve been called the Mexico’s most dangerous drug cartel. Beheadings, bombings, massacres, terrorism… You name it, they’ve been in on it. “Well done” to the Mexican military; this is quite a take-down, and I hope this leads to information that allows the Mexican and US governments to roll up Los Zetas on both sides of the border.

Maybe we’ll even finally see justice for David Hartley, who was murdered at Falcon Lake, and some peace for his widow.

UPDATE: Fixed the headline to give proper credit to the Mexican Marines. Sorry, guys.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

#Benghazi: House Republicans want to talk to key colonel, but the Pentagon can’t find him??

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**Posted by Phineas

US Consulate, Benghazi

They’re still waiting for answers

Oh, this is interesting:

Marine Corps Col. George Bristol was in a key position in the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) chain of command the night of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. As such, he’s high on the list of people that some Republican members of Congress want to interview. But they don’t know where he is and the Pentagon isn’t telling.

Pentagon spokesman Major Robert Firman told CBS News that the Department of Defense “cannot compel retired members to testify before Congress.”

“They say he’s retired and they can’t reach out to him,” Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, told CBS News. “That’s hogwash.”

Bristol, a martial arts master, was commander of Joint Special Operations Task Force-Trans Sahara based in Stuttgart, Germany until he retired last March. In an article in Stars and Stripes, Bristol is quoted at his retirement ceremony as telling his troops that “an evil” has descended on Africa, referring to Islamic militant groups. “It is on us to stomp it out.”

Sure, the Pentagon can’t find him. They have no forwarding address for his mail, no entry for a stateside residence, and no friends who might know how to get in touch with him. Nope. He just retired and walked out that door and vanished, and nobody in the vast US military bureaucracy knows where he is. It’s a real-life case of “Where’s George?”

This is nonsense. At the very least, Col. Bristol has veteran’s benefits, and the VA knows where he lives so they can process those. While Rep. Chaffetz says the DoD has been more forthcoming regarding Benghazi than other government departments, this is a glaring exception. It makes it look very much like the Pentagon (or someone who can give the Pentagon orders) doesn’t want Col. Bristol found, which leads to the question of what he knows about the events of the night of the massacre. Given his position in Africom, if he does know something, it’s likely to do with the failure to send a rescue mission that night, including the orders to the team in Tripoli to stand down. His testimony could be an important piece of the puzzle of what really happened that night. (1) This sounds like a good time for Issa’s committee to subpoena the colonel’s personnel and VA records, so they can look him up.

Passing thought: Bristol has to have known the committee would want to talk to him; he only retired four months ago. So, why hasn’t he come forth on his own, armed with a lawyer, if need be?

Footnote:
(1) Shocking, I know, but I don’t quite trust the White House “official story.”

via Chuck Woolery, who knows how the committee can find the colonel:

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Navy judge: Obama exerted “unlawful command influence” on military sexual assault sentencing

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Stars and Stripes reports on an interesting ruling coming out of a Hawaii military court this week involving two defendants in separate sexual assault cases:

Two defendants in military sexual assault cases cannot be punitively discharged, if found guilty, because of “unlawful command influence” derived from comments made by President Barack Obama, a judge ruled in a Hawaii military court this week.

Navy Judge Cmdr. Marcus Fulton ruled during pretrial hearings in two sexual assault cases — U.S. vs. Johnson and U.S. vs. Fuentes — that comments made by Obama as commander in chief would unduly influence any potential sentencing, according to a court documents obtained by Stars and Stripes.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Fulton approved the pretrial defense motions, which used as evidence comments that Obama made about sexual assault at a May 7 news conference.

“The bottom line is: I have no tolerance for this,” Obama said, according to an NBC News story submitted as evidence by defense attorneys in the sexual assault cases.

‘I expect consequences,” Obama added. “So I don’t just want more speeches or awareness programs or training, but ultimately folks look the other way. If we find out somebody’s engaging in this, they’ve got to be held accountable — prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court martialed, fired, dishonorably discharged. Period.”

The judge’s pretrial ruling means that if either defendant is found guilty, whether by a jury or a military judge, they cannot receive a bad conduct discharge or a dishonorable discharge. Sailors found guilty under the Uniform Code of Military Justice’s Article 120, which covers several sexual crimes including assault and rape, generally receive punitive discharges.

“A member of the public would not hear the President’s statement to be a simple admonition to hold members accountable,” Fulton stated. “A member of the public would draw the connection between the ‘dishonorable discharge’ required by the President and a punitive discharge approved by the convening authority.

“The strain on the system created by asking a convening authority to disregard [Obama’s] statement in this environment would be too much to sustain public confidence.”

The ruling sets the stage for defense attorneys to use the same arguments in sexual assault cases throughout the military.

Should other judges accept the same line of reasoning, commands would have to consider issuing lesser administrative discharges to servicemembers found guilty of sexual assault. In some cases, this could allow servicemembers found guilty of sex crimes to retain veterans benefits, according to Defense Department regulations.

Wow. This is a big deal, especially when you consider the context of today’s raging debate regarding the alleged high number of sexual assaults in the military and an unwritten system of reporting that supposedly punishes the accusers.  I’m sure this was not the intent of President Obama when he made his comments back in May, but nevertheless this is the result.  One would think that someone as well-versed in law as our “Constitutional scholar President” supposedly is would understand that he needs to be very cautious as Commander in Chief in making comments about the punishment defendants in military trials should receive, but apparently not:

As soon as Obama made his off-the-cuff comment, military lawyers began to voice concern that his comments might be detrimental. “I thought of the unlawful command influence issue as soon as he spoke,” said James Mackler, a private attorney and Army reserve lawyer who was involved in sexual assault cases while on active duty.

“The principle behind it is a sound principle, which is that in the military there is a lot of pressure to follow the directives of your commanders, including the president,” he said. “It’s a legitimate problem.”

As a lawyer, Obama knows to be cautious in speaking about specific cases — as he has been for the past week in not speaking out on Edward Snowden — but may not be as familiar with the military justice system, Mackler said, where unlawful command influence creates problems, as it has in these cases and likely many more to come.

PJ Tatler’s Rick Moran chided the President for putting attempts to solidify his appeal to “women’s groups” over the rule of military law:

The president used the press conference to try and score political points with women’s groups who have been agitating for harsher treatment of sexual assault cases. The disposition of sexual assault cases is not at issue here. This is a question of knowledge and competence. In Obama’s eagerness to show women’s groups how tough he is going to be on military personnel convicted of sexual assault crimes, he stupidly handed defense lawyers a gift — and tied the hands of military judges.

[…]

Those convicted of serious sexual assault charges will still go to prison. But being unable to dishonorably discharge the felons means it’s possible one could be convicted of sexual assault and still be eligible for veterans’ benefits.

A president more respectful of military traditions would not have made such a stupid gaffe.

Let’s take a moment and think about how “feminists” and other left wing activists would react to this judge’s ruling if it’s something that happened during the Bush administration … as it stands, their reaction in this case will be quite muted, I assure you. Why? Because Obama is the pro-abortion President they’ve always dreamed of, even more so than Bubba Clinton, and really – when all is said and done with this administration when it comes to left wing women, that is -sadly – all that matters.

President Obama golfing

”Shh” indeed, Mr. President. In the words of the great President Abraham Lincoln, ”Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”
(Photo via Reuters)

D-day: storming the castle — Updated

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**Posted by Phineas

Sixty-nine years ago today, American, British, Canadian, French, and Polish soldiers charged the gates of Hell — and won:

D-Day assault

Black Five put up an excellent roundup of D-Day posts from many blogs a few years ago. It’s still worth reviewing. And have a look at this entry for a photo essay on D-Day.

Photo courtesy of Confederate Yankee.

RELATED: The Daily Mail tells the story of one Medal of Honor winner who still wonders how he survived Normandy.

UPDATE: In today’s newsletter, Real Clear Politics quotes the prayer FDR read when announcing the invasion to the nation:

“Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity,” the president said while the outcome of the battle was still in doubt.

“They will need Thy blessings,” FDR continued. “Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph…”

Imagine a president saying something like that nowadays; the Left would have a fit.

But, forget them. Today’s a day to remember genuine heroes and thank Divine Providence we had such men on our side.

UPDATE 06/06/2012: Obama’s apologists like to compare him to significant presidents of the past, including FDR. Well, here’s another comparison for you: check the President’s schedule for today. See any mention of any commemoration of D-Day — or anything at all to do with one of the most significant moments in our nation’s history? Neither do I. Must be an oversight.

UPDATE 06/06/2013: This is a real president commemorating D-Day:

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

#Benghazi: Obama denied aid to attacked consulate – confirmed?

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**Posted by Phineas

US Consulate, Benghazi

“No help”

Last November, in a post about the Benghazi consulate massacre and the question of military relief, I wrote about the question of “cross-border authority” — that is, who has the power to order our military to enter another country without their permission, per force an act of war. Quoting an article at PJM by Matt Bracken, we learned that only the President -Barack Obama- has that authority. Here’s the relevant information, again:

Once the alarm is sent – in this case, from the consulate in Benghazi — dozens of HQs are notified and are in the planning loop in real time, including AFRICOM and EURCOM, both located in Germany. Without waiting for specific orders from Washington, they begin planning and executing rescue operations, including moving personnel, ships, and aircraft forward toward the location of the crisis. However, there is one thing they can’t do without explicit orders from the president: cross an international border on a hostile mission.

That is the clear “red line” in this type of a crisis situation.

No administration wants to stumble into a war because a jet jockey in hot pursuit (or a mixed-up SEAL squad in a rubber boat) strays into hostile territory. Because of this, only the president can give the order for our military to cross a nation’s border without that nation’s permission. For the Osama bin Laden mission, President Obama granted CBA for our forces to enter Pakistani airspace.

On the other side of the CBA coin: in order to prevent a military rescue in Benghazi, all the POTUS has to do is not grant cross-border authority. If he does not, the entire rescue mission (already in progress) must stop in its tracks.

Emphases added.

Today in an article at Fox News, Adam Housely reports that, because of a “communication breakdown” between the White House, State, and the Department of Defense, the military never received permission to enter Libya:

On the night of the Benghazi terror attack, special operations put out multiple calls for all available military and other assets to be moved into position to help — but the State Department and White House never gave the military permission to cross into Libya, sources told Fox News.

The disconnect was one example of what sources described as a communication breakdown that left those on the ground without outside help.

“When you are on the ground, you depend on each other — we’re gonna get through this situation. But when you look up and then nothing outside of the stratosphere is coming to help you or rescue you, that’s a bad feeling,” one source said.

Multiple sources spoke to Fox News about what they described as a lack of action in Benghazi on Sept. 11 last year, when four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed.

Read the whole thing. It describes a lack of contingency planning, largely centered on Hillary Clinton’s State Department, and surely they (and she) bear a lot of blame for the lack of proper security at Benghazi and the failure to recognize the dangers in that part of Libya. Four Americans died because of it. The Diplomad, a former Foreign Service Officer with direct experience of Clinton, has often described how she seemed utterly uninterested in the job, thus this failure seems all too plausible.

But, if Bracken is right, at the moment of crisis itself, responsibility for a rescue operation that night was not Clinton’s. Nor was it Defense Secretary Panetta’s, nor that of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, nor of anyone else… except President Barack Obama, who, like the dog in “Silver Blaze,” did nothing. The Fox article itself, relying on unnamed albeit multiple sources, looks almost like an effort to either shift the blame to someone no longer there, Clinton, or disperse blame by showing how everyone screwed up, so no one person is responsible.

And yet, when we read:

Sources said that shortly after the attack began around 9:40 p.m., special forces put out the calls for assets to be moved into position.

“What that does is that enacts … every asset, every element to respond and it becomes a global priority,” one source said. “I would tell you that was given and the only reason it was given is because of special operations pack.”

However, the source said, “Assets did not move.”

The key question regarding a rescue effort remains: Who had “cross-border authority” and, if it wasn’t given, why?

Unlike Bob Owens, I’m not ready to say that Obama himself denied a rescue operation is “confirmed,” particularly when sources are unnamed, but it’s awfully plausible if Bracken is right about the president’s sole authority to grant CBA, and if we imagine a diffident Obama, who loves to campaign but hates to govern, voting present by simply not making a decision.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) will be holding hearings next week at which whistle-blowers with direct information about what happened at Benghazi and with our reaction are expected to testify. Maybe then we’ll finally get an answer about why the most powerful military in human history couldn’t couldn’t come to the rescue.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Important Reminder: Harry Reid is despicable

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**Posted by Phineas

Seven Marines were killed in a training accident in Nevada last night. So, how does Senator Harry Reid, Majority Leader, Democrat of Nevada, respond to this tragic accident? Does he offer condolences to the families? Prayers for the dead? Ask for a moment of silence?That’s what any decent human being would do.

But we’re talking about Harry Reid, instead:

As I indicated, it was quite a big explosion. We’ll follow this news very closely. I will do whatever I can going forward to support the United States military and the families of the fallen Marines.

Mr. President, it’s very important we continue training our military, so important. But one of the things in sequester is we cut back in training and maintenance. That’s the way sequester was written. Now, the bill that’s on the floor, we hope to pass today helps that a little bit. At least in the next six months, it allows the military some degree of ability to move things around a little bit. Flexibility, we call it, and that’s good. But we have to be very vigilant. This sequester should go away. We have cut already huge amounts of money in deficit reduction. It’s just not appropriate, Mr. President, that our military can’t train and do the maintenance necessary.

These men and women, our Marines were training there in Hawthorne. And with this sequester, it’s going to cut back this stuff. I just hope everyone understands the sacrifices made by our military. They are significant, being away from home, away from families, away from their country.

Emphasis added. In other words, if we hadn’t had a roughly 2% scale-back in the rate of increase in spending, which is what the sequester is, these Marines wouldn’t be dead. And, following the administration’s political line, those deaths are therefore the fault of the Republicans, even though the sequester was Obama’s idea and Reid opposed a Republican plan to give Obama flexibility in applying the cuts:

“Republicans call the plan ‘flexibility,’” Reid said in February before the Senate killed the bill. “But let’s call it what it really is: a punt. As President Obama said Tuesday, it would simply raise the question: ‘Do I end funding that helps disabled children or poor children? Do I close this Naval Shipyard or that one?’”

He told reporters that he would not change the sequestration law if Republicans didn’t agree to tax hikes. “[U]ntil there’s some agreement on revenue, I believe we should just go ahead with the sequester,” Reid said, per The Hill.

So, using Reid-logic, are he and President Obama then ultimately to blame for these deaths?

Of course not. This is just a tragic accident, something that’s been happening in militaries since time immemorial. The Marines will investigate and find either faulty equipment or procedural errors, and then fix the problem. It has nothing to do with a minimal slowing of the growth in federal spending that’s only just begun.

But that doesn’t stop a petty, weaselly punk like Harry Reid from using dead Americans to score cheap political points.

Like I said: “despicable.”

RELATED: In case you don’t know, Harry makes a habit of putting party ahead of decency. In 2007, as Majority Leader and with the war in Iraq just entering a crucial phase, Harry Reid went before the nation to say America had lost, cutting the legs out from under our troops to depress morale at home, giving aid and comfort to the enemy in order to advance the Democratic Party, before our forces had even entered the battle known as “the Surge.” A battle which, by the way, they won in a brilliant fashion, crushing al Qaeda.

Have I mentioned that Harry Reid is despicable?

UPDATE: The Marines aren’t happy with Reid, either.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)