Sgt. 1st Class Paula M. Walker ID’d as Soldier Who Committed Suicide at Fort Lee

police sirens3 350x262 Sgt. 1st Class Paula M. Walker IDd as Soldier Who Committed Suicide at Fort Lee

Sgt. 1st Class Paula M. Walker ID’d as Soldier Who Committed Suicide at Fort Lee

Sgt. 1st Class Paula M. Walker, 33, of Yonkers, NY, has been identified as the US soldier who committed suicide at the Army’s Fort Lee base. The shooting led to a temporary shutdown of the base.

Paula M. Walker was a human resource specialist.

BOMBS AWAY: President Obama Authorizes Targeted Air Strikes, Humanitarian Relief in Iraq

president obama 350x235 BOMBS AWAY: President Obama Authorizes Targeted Air Strikes, Humanitarian Relief in Iraq

BOMBS AWAY: President Obama Authorizes Targeted Air Strikes, Humanitarian Relief in Iraq

BOMBS AWAY!!!! AIRSTRIKES AUTHORIZED!!

President Obama has “authorized two operations in Iraq: targeted air strikes and humanitarian relief.”

This comes as Islamic State militants (ISIL) have taken the Mosul Dam, which is the largest dam in Iraq. The Sunni militants have also seized Iraq biggest Christian town, Qaraqosh, which caused many residents to flee. They would face similar demands made by the Sunni militants in other captured areas, that they should convert to Islam or die.

The Islamic State views Iraq’s majority Shi’its and religious minorities such as Christians and Yazidis, as infidels. The Islamic State tweeted that its fighters had captured 15 towns, along with the Mosul Dam, and a military base.

Thousands have become trapped on Sinjar mountain, with children dying of thirst. It is a very dire situation. The U.S. did air drops of food and water on the mountain.

The NY Times reports that “military forces bombed at least two targets in norther Iraq on Thursday night to rout Islamist insurgents who have trapped tens of thousands of religious minorities in Kurdish areas.”

Here’s the text of President Obama’s speech:

Good evening. Today I authorized two operations in Iraq — targeted airstrikes to protect our American personnel, and a humanitarian effort to help save thousands of Iraqi civilians who are trapped on a mountain without food and water and facing almost certain death. Let me explain the actions we’re taking and why.

First, I said in June — as the terrorist group ISIL began an advance across Iraq — that the United States would be prepared to take targeted military action in Iraq if and when we determined that the situation required it. In recent days, these terrorists have continued to move across Iraq, and have neared the city of Erbil, where American diplomats and civilians serve at our consulate and American military personnel advise Iraqi forces.

To stop the advance on Erbil, I’ve directed our military to take targeted strikes against ISIL terrorist convoys should they move toward the city. We intend to stay vigilant, and take action if these terrorist forces threaten our personnel or facilities anywhere in Iraq, including our consulate in Erbil and our embassy in Baghdad. We’re also providing urgent assistance to Iraqi government and Kurdish forces so they can more effectively wage the fight against ISIL.

Second, at the request of the Iraqi government — we’ve begun operations to help save Iraqi civilians stranded on the mountain. As ISIL has marched across Iraq, it has waged a ruthless campaign against innocent Iraqis. And these terrorists have been especially barbaric towards religious minorities, including Christian and Yezidis, a small and ancient religious sect. Countless Iraqis have been displaced. And chilling reports describe ISIL militants rounding up families, conducting mass executions, and enslaving Yezidi women.

In recent days, Yezidi women, men and children from the area of Sinjar have fled for their lives. And thousands — perhaps tens of thousands — are now hiding high up on the mountain, with little but the clothes on their backs. They’re without food, they’re without water. People are starving. And children are dying of thirst. Meanwhile, ISIL forces below have called for the systematic destruction of the entire Yezidi people, which would constitute genocide. So these innocent families are faced with a horrible choice: descend the mountain and be slaughtered, or stay and slowly die of thirst and hunger.

I’ve said before, the United States cannot and should not intervene every time there’s a crisis in the world. So let me be clear about why we must act, and act now. When we face a situation like we do on that mountain — with innocent people facing the prospect of violence on a horrific scale, when we have a mandate to help — in this case, a request from the Iraqi government — and when we have the unique capabilities to help avert a massacre, then I believe the United States of America cannot turn a blind eye. We can act, carefully and responsibly, to prevent a potential act of genocide. That’s what we’re doing on that mountain.

I’ve, therefore, authorized targeted airstrikes, if necessary, to help forces in Iraq as they fight to break the siege of Mount Sinjar and protect the civilians trapped there. Already, American aircraft have begun conducting humanitarian airdrops of food and water to help these desperate men, women and children survive. Earlier this week, one Iraqi in the area cried to the world, “There is no one coming to help.” Well today, America is coming to help. We’re also consulting with other countries — and the United Nations — who have called for action to address this humanitarian crisis.

I know that many of you are rightly concerned about any American military action in Iraq, even limited strikes like these. I understand that. I ran for this office in part to end our war in Iraq and welcome our troops home, and that’s what we’ve done. As Commander-in-Chief, I will not allow the United States to be dragged into fighting another war in Iraq. And so even as we support Iraqis as they take the fight to these terrorists, American combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq, because there’s no American military solution to the larger crisis in Iraq. The only lasting solution is reconciliation among Iraqi communities and stronger Iraqi security forces.

However, we can and should support moderate forces who can bring stability to Iraq. So even as we carry out these two missions, we will continue to pursue a broader strategy that empowers Iraqis to confront this crisis. Iraqi leaders need to come together and forge a new government that represents the legitimate interests of all Iraqis, and that can fight back against the threats like ISIL. Iraqis have named a new President, a new Speaker of Parliament, and are seeking consensus on a new Prime Minister. This is the progress that needs to continue in order to reverse the momentum of the terrorists who prey on Iraq’s divisions.

Once Iraq has a new government, the United States will work with it and other countries in the region to provide increased support to deal with this humanitarian crisis and counterterrorism challenge. None of Iraq’s neighbors have an interest in this terrible suffering or instability.

And so we’ll continue to work with our friends and allies to help refugees get the shelter and food and water they so desperately need, and to help Iraqis push back against ISIL. The several hundred American advisors that I ordered to Iraq will continue to assess what more we can do to help train, advise and support Iraqi forces going forward. And just as I consulted Congress on the decisions I made today, we will continue to do so going forward.

My fellow Americans, the world is confronted by many challenges. And while America has never been able to right every wrong, America has made the world a more secure and prosperous place. And our leadership is necessary to underwrite the global security and prosperity that our children and our grandchildren will depend upon. We do so by adhering to a set of core principles. We do whatever is necessary to protect our people. We support our allies when they’re in danger. We lead coalitions of countries to uphold international norms. And we strive to stay true to the fundamental values — the desire to live with basic freedom and dignity — that is common to human beings wherever they are. That’s why people all over the world look to the United States of America to lead. And that’s why we do it.

So let me close by assuring you that there is no decision that I take more seriously than the use of military force. Over the last several years, we have brought the vast majority of our troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan. And I’ve been careful to resist calls to turn time and again to our military, because America has other tools in our arsenal than our military. We can also lead with the power of our diplomacy, our economy, and our ideals.

But when the lives of American citizens are at risk, we will take action. That’s my responsibility as Commander-in-Chief. And when many thousands of innocent civilians are faced with the danger of being wiped out, and we have the capacity to do something about it, we will take action. That is our responsibility as Americans. That’s a hallmark of American leadership. That’s who we are.

So tonight, we give thanks to our men and women in uniform -— especially our brave pilots and crews over Iraq who are protecting our fellow Americans and saving the lives of so many men, women and children that they will never meet. They represent American leadership at its best. As a nation, we should be proud of them, and of our country’s enduring commitment to uphold our own security and the dignity of our fellow human beings.

God bless our Armed Forces, and God bless the United States of America.

Marine Esteban J. Smith Linked to Deadly Texas Shooting, Body of Woman Found in NC Motel Room

Esteban J. Smith, 23, a Marine who went on a shooting rampage in two Texas counties before being killed in a firefight with law enforcement agents, was also linked to a woman whose body was found in a North Carolina motel room.

Esteban Smith, who was stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, opened fire on a vehicle early Sunday morning in Eden, TX, wounding an unidentified woman. He then made his way to a convenience store in Brady, where he shot and wounded two people as they sat in their vehicles. Smith then turned around and went back to Eden, where he fired at another vehicle, wounding the occupant at about 5:30 a.m. Sheriff’s deputies  responded to a call of shots fired in Eola, where they found Alicia Torres, 41, dead in her car. That was shortly after 6 a.m.

Esteban Smith fired on Concho County Sheriff Richard Doane, wounding him on U.S. Highway 83, just north of Eden. Smith was killed in a shoot-out with a state trooper and a game warden. He was armed with an assault-style rifle, a handgun and had hundreds of rounds of ammunition in his possession.

A few hours later,  the body of a woman was found in a motel room in Jacksonville, NC. It is not clear how she died, but investigators have said her death is connected to the Texas shootings.

 

Lt. Col. Jeff Krusinski, Air Force Sexual Assault Prevention Officer, Charged With Sexual Assault

lt. col. jeff krusinski arrested Lt. Col. Jeff Krusinski, Air Force Sexual Assault Prevention Officer, Charged With Sexual Assault

Lt. Col. Jeff Krusinski, Air Force Sexual Assault Prevention Officer, Charged With Sexual Assault

SHAMEFUL: Lt. Col. Jeff Krusinski, Chief of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response branch of the U.S. Air Force, was arrested and charged with sexual battery in Arlington, Va., last weekend. He is accused of fondlling a woman in a parking lot in Crystal City early Sunday morning.

According to a Arlington County Police Department crime report05/05/13, 500 block of S. 23rd Street. On May 5 at 12:35 am, a drunken male subject approached a female victim in a parking lot and grabbed her breasts and buttocks. The victim fought the suspect off as he attempted to touch her again and alerted police. Jeffrey Krusinski, 41, of Arlington, VA, was arrested and charged with sexual battery. He was held on a $5,000 unsecured bond. ”

Lt. Col. Jeff Krusinski reportedly works at the Pentagon ARLnow.com reports. He has been removed from his position pending the outcome of an investigation. Fancy that, someone charged with overseeing sexual assault prevention and response being accused of the same thing.

Quantico Marine Base Shooting Victims ID’d as Lance Cpl. Sara Castromata, Cpl. Jacob Wooley, Shooter Sgt. Eusebio Lopez

MarinesMemorial2Cropped Quantico Marine Base Shooting Victims IDd as Lance Cpl. Sara Castromata, Cpl. Jacob Wooley, Shooter Sgt. Eusebio Lopez

Quantico Marine Base Shooting Victims ID’d as Lance Cpl. Sara Castromata, Cpl. Jacob Wooley, Shooter Sgt. Eusebio Lopez (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Quantico Marine Base Shooting Victims ID’d:  Marines Corps Base Quantico has released the names of the three killed in the Quantico Marine Base shooting:  Lance Cpl. Sara Castromata, 19; Corporal Jacob Wooley, 23; and Sergeant Eusebio Lopez, 25. All three were assigned to the Officer Candidates School. The alleged shooter was identified as Sgt. Lopez, who was listed as a tactics instructor at the school. His military occupational specialty was disclosed as a machine-gunner.

The authorities were called to the base around 10:30 p.m. Thursday. They found one Marine dead at the barracks, reported as Lance Cpl. Sara Castromata. A second body was later found, with the body of the shooter, Sgt. Eusebio Lopez.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the Quantico Marine base shooting victims.

The Washington Post reports there may have been a love triangle between the three, according to a senior military official at the Pentagon speaking to the on the condition of anonymity.

Washington Times: His Facebook page showed signs of emotional distress.

On Feb. 20, in a status update, he posted, “un f**kin believable!” and joked with friends about dumping a body in the Potomac River.

The day before, on Feb. 19, he posted, “the way down to rock bottom doesnt hurt as much as when u get there …” as well as a picture with the words, “Funny how we try to move on and at the same time hold on.”

On Feb. 18, he posted, “thats it!!! 3 words to sum up life, IT GOES ON!”

 

Here’s an excerpt from the Marines Corps Base Quantico press release:

Lance Cpl. Sara Castromata, 19, of Oakley, Calif., served as a warehouse clerk. She joined the Marine Corps in December 2011, and was promoted to her current rank in February 2013. Castromata’s awards include the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Good Conduct Medal. She had not deployed.

Corporal Jacob Wooley, 23, of Guntown, Miss., was a field radio operator. He joined the Marine Corps in February 2010 and was promoted to his current rank in July 2012. Wooley’s awards include the Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon. He had not deployed.

Sergeant Eusebio Lopez, 25, of Pacifica, Calif., was a tactics instructor at the school, and his military occupational specialty was machine-gunner. He joined the Marine Corps in May 2006 and was promoted to his current rank in July 2011. Lopez’s awards include the Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation 3rd award, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, Good Conduct Medal 2nd award, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon 4th award. He had deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

NCIS has identified Sgt. Lopez as the alleged shooter.

The three Marines were pronounced dead at the scene by law enforcement personnel.

“We send our prayers and condolences to the families, fellow Marines and friends of the Marines who were lost in this tragic incident,” said Col. David W. Maxwell, commander, Marine Corps Base Quantico. “Our priority is to take care of and support all of those who are affected by this loss.”

 

 Quantico Marine Base Shooting Victims IDd as Lance Cpl. Sara Castromata, Cpl. Jacob Wooley, Shooter Sgt. Eusebio Lopez

Former U.S. Marine David Draa Kills Friend Steven Kyle Hickman in Apparent Murder-Suicide in Takoma Park MD

david draa 300x225 Former U.S. Marine David Draa Kills Friend Steven Kyle Hickman in Apparent Murder Suicide in Takoma Park MD

Former U.S. Marine David Draa Kills Friend Steven Kyle Hickman in Apparent Murder-Suicide in Takoma Park MD (Photo Credit: Facebook)

TAKOMA PARK MURDER-SUICIDE:  David Draa, a former U.S. Marine and former San Diego police officer killed his friend, Steven Kyle Hickman, in an apparent murder-suicide in Takoma Park, Md., Sunday morning.  David Draa, who served in the Marines from 1999-2008 as a 1st Lieutenant and platoon commander before becoming a police officer in San Diego, according to media reports.

David Draa, 30, and Kyle Hickman, 30, worked together at High Road School in Washington D.C. The men were found deceased in the driveway of a home in the 7300 block of Flower Avenue around 1:45 a.m.

Police are not sure what the motive in this murder-suicide was as there was no prior hostility between the two prior to the incident. The investigation continues.

Former Rep. Allen West Slams Women in Combat as “Misconceived Lib Vision”

Former Rep. Allen West, who was voted out of office after one term in the U.S. Congress, is giving his two cents on Defense Department’s decision to allow women to serve in combat on the front line, reversing a 1994 policy. West tweet: “Women in combat billets, another misconceived lib vision of fairness and equality.” Other conservatives have voiced similar opinions. Um, this only encourages those women who haven’t ran like crazy from the Republican Party to do so come 2016.

Allen West had more to say after his tweet. Here’s what he had to say during an appearance on Anderson Cooper 360:

“I have to tell you, if this is the case, then why do we have separate hockey leagues? Women should be out there playing ice hockey with the guys in the NHL. We should not have a WNBA. I can’t shoot a three-pointer, but there are ladies who could certainly take me to the hoop. Maybe they should be competing with Kobe Bryant.” Source

No-one can take Allen West serious. His views are the very ones that got the Republicans such as Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock and others, in trouble with women voters.

Obama Inaugural Parade to Feature Tuskegee Airmen Float with P-51 Mustang Model

300px P 51C 18 Obama Inaugural Parade to Feature Tuskegee Airmen Float with P 51 Mustang Model

Obama Inaugural Parade to Feature Tuskegee Airmen Float with P-51 Mustang Model(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

President Barack Obama’s inaugural parade will include a tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen, an Alabama-based unit that broke the color barrier during World War II. The black fliers, who were portrayed in the movie “Red Tails,” trained at Moton Field in Tuskegee in the 1940s and became the nation’s first black pilots during the war. The parade float will feature a model of a P-51 Mustang, which the Tuskegee Airmen are best known for flying.

 Obama Inaugural Parade to Feature Tuskegee Airmen Float with P 51 Mustang Model

President Obama and First Lady Urge Support for Veterans & Military Families in Holiday Address

president obama and michelle obama christmas 300x166 President Obama and First Lady Urge Support for Veterans & Military Families in Holiday Address

President Obama and First Lady Urge Support for Veterans & Military Families in Holiday Address (Photo credit: White House)

President Obama delivered his weekly address, joined by First Lady Michelle Obama, as they wished Americans Happy Holidays. They also thanked our brave troops and their families for their service. They asked Americans to visit JoiningForces.gov to find ways to honor and support our veterans and military families. The First Couple urged all Americans to come together and care for each other during this holiday season.

Watch President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama:

Frederick Humphries Identified as FBI Agent Who Sent Shirtless Picture to Jill Kelley

frederick humphries1 Frederick Humphries Identified as FBI Agent Who Sent Shirtless Picture to Jill Kelley

Frederick Humphries Identified as FBI Agent Who Sent Shirtless Picture to Jill Kelley

Frederick Humphries, 47,  has confirmed that he is the FBI agent who initiated the investigation that brought down ex-CIA boss David Petraeus and also confirmed sending topless photograph years ago.

The New York Times reports Humphries believed that the case was purposefully being stalled for political reasons. In October, he contacted Rep.  Dave Recihert (R-WA), where he had worked before to ask for his help deliberately going over his bosses heads. Reichert directed him to House majority leader, Eric Cantor who eventually passed the message onto the FBI director, Robert S. Mueller, the Daily Mail reports.

Here’s more on Frederick Humphries from Daily Mail:

  • Frederick Humphries, 47, was the agent who initially saw the emails the FBI said Petraeus’ biographer and mistress, Paula Broadwell, sent to Tampa socialite Jill Kelley, a woman she apparently saw as a rival for Petraeus’ affections. 
  • Humphries joined the FBI in 1996 and first came to prominence in 1999 after an Algerian man was arrested by U.S. Customs agents as he tried to enter Washington state from Canada by ferry. Ahmed Ressam had white powder, chemicals and homemade timing devices in the trunk of his car.
  • Ressam claimed to be a French-speaker from Quebec. According to a 2002 Seattle Times story, Humphries, then the only French-speaker assigned to the FBI’s Seattle office, was asked to question him. As soon as Humphries heard Ressam’s accent and phrasing, he knew he wasn’t from Quebec and told his colleagues to arrest him, the story said. It was later learned Ressam was part of an al-Qaida plot to blow up the Los Angeles airport on New Year’s Eve 1999.
  • By 2010, Humphries had been assigned to the FBI’s Tampa office and was its liaison to MacDill, home to the military’s Central Command.
  • On May 19, 2010, 61-year-old Army veteran Ronald J. Bullock, who was camping at the base, got into an altercation with base security.
  • Officials said Bullock sped off on a motorcycle, but was stopped by other security officers and Humphries as he tried to exit a gate. They said he got off the motorcycle and came at Humphries and the officers while brandishing a knife. Humphries fired, killing Bullock. The shooting was later ruled justified.