I've given a lot of thought to the controversial exchange earlier this month between CNN's Jake Tapper and former SEAL Marcus Luttrell. I apologize for posting it in full context, but any discussion requires context:
JAKE TAPPER (voice-over): It's clear for Marcus Luttrell the battle, almost a decade ago, still cuts close to the bone today.
(on camera): One of the emotions I felt while watching the film is, first of all, just the hopelessness of the situation, how horrific it was and also just all that loss of life of these brave American men. And I was torn about the message of the film in the same way that I think I am about the war in Afghanistan itself. I don't want any more senseless American death and at the same time I know that there are dead people there and good people who need help. Was that intentional? more >>
U.S. fugitive Edward Snowden has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. A pair of Norwegian lawmakers announced the news on Wednesday and argued that his whistleblowing "has contributed to a more stable and peaceful world order."
Bard Vegar Solhjell and Snorre Valen of the Socialist Left Party in Norway admitted in a joint statement that Snowden's revelations "may have damaged the security interests of several nations in the short term," and that they do not support all of his actions, but are "convinced" that the public debate on policy changes that has followed has benefited the world.
"His actions have in effect led to the reintroduction of trust and transparency as a leading principle in global security policies. Its value can't be overestimated," the members of the Norwegian Parliament added. more >>
The National Security Agency (NSA) has the capability to access to the personal information of millions of Americans via apps on smartphones, according to documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. A civil liberties expert denounced the misuse of this technology as a violation of the Fourth Amendment.
"Monitoring someone through an app is as valid a means as any other to spy on a legitimate target; monitoring everyone – whether through their apps, their web browsing, or their phone records — is dangerous," Julian Sanchez, research fellow at the Cato Institute, told The Christian Post in a Tuesday statement.
According to reports from The New York Times, the Guardian, and ProPublica, the NSA can discover a person's location, political leanings, and even sexual orientation through mobile mapping, gaming, and social networking apps common to the world's estimated 1 billion smartphones. The documents do not say whether or not NSA has used this capability. more >>
U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, was recently interviewed about Syria. While many of his assertions can be debated, one especially requires a response. Throughout the interview, he repeatedly insisted that, if Bashar Assad would only leave power, everything would go well - especially for all of Syria's minorities.
In his words: "I believe that a peace can protect all of the minorities: Druze, Christian, Isma'ilis, Alawites - all of them can be protected, and you can have a pluralistic Syria, in which minority rights of all people are protected."
Elsewhere in the interview, Kerry declared that "The world would protect the Alawites, Druze, Christians, and all minorities in Syria after the ousting of Assad." more >>
A lawyer who specializes in religious liberty cases has expressed approval of the Defense Department's recently announced new policy on religious grooming for military personnel.
Daniel Blomberg, legal counsel with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, told The Christian Post that the Wednesday announcement by the Pentagon was a "good step."
"We think that it's a very good step in that it incorporates, for instance, much of the language from the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which applies to the federal government," said Blomberg. more >>
To the extent that art really does imitate life, every American owes it to themselves and to our troops to see the blockbuster film, Lone Survivor. Panned by cynical elites as "shameless war-porn," in reality this movie portrays the heroism and sacrifice of four members of Seal Team 10 during a mission gone bad in the mountains of Afghanistan in 2007.
Operation Redwings was designed to track the location and movements of an Afghani terrorist, Ahmad Shah, with the ultimate goal of taking him out. The mission was compromised when a group of goat herders stumbled across the Americans and reported them to the Taliban. The team was subsequently ambushed and virtually wiped out in a vicious gunfight. Seal Team Leader, Lt. Michael Murphy, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, and three others received the Navy Cross. The only member of the team to survive, Marcus Luttrell, chronicled Seal Team 10's heroic story in a book bearing the same name as the film.
For many, Lone Survivor is nothing special – merely another action-packed, blood-drenched diversion to be enjoyed while munching on Milk Duds and popcorn at the local movie house. Its impact will only last as long as it takes for the next blockbuster flick to hit the big screen. For those who've experienced war firsthand, however, the movie provides a glimpse into the horrors and heroism that only those who've worn the uniform can understand. more >>