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The Weekly Roundup: Inhofe Comments on New Pentagon Report On Gitmo

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Inhofe Comments on New Pentagon Report On Gitmo

On Friday, Senator Inhofe, a Senior Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement in response to a New York Times article on a new Pentagon report on Gitmo to be released over the weekend.

"From the looks of what is being reported today in the New York Times, a new Pentagon report on Gitmo states exactly what I have been saying all along," Senator Inhofe said. "From my visits to Gitmo since 9/11, I know that the military detention facilities at GITMO meet the highest international standards and are a fundamental part of protecting the lives of Americans from terrorism. It is the only complex in the world that can safely and humanely hold these individuals who pose such a grave security risk to our nation. It is a secure location away from population centers to protect communities from both potential escapes as well as attacks, provides multiple levels of confinement opportunities based on the compliance of the detainee, and provides medical care not available to a majority of the population of the world. I look forward to reading the full report when it becomes available.

"Several claims have been tossed around over the past few years in regards to the operations at Gitmo. Yet, many of those making the claims have never seen it firsthand. I am pleased, therefore, that Attorney General Eric Holder plans to visit Gitmo on Monday. I remain optimistic that after the Obama Administration considers the facts on the ground they too will appreciate the grave national security threat to the United States if Gitmo were to be shut down. I firmly believe that transferring terrorists to American soil should be completely out of the question and I will continue working with my colleagues to ensure this never happens." Senator Inhofe introduced legislation (S.370) to prevent the detainees at Guantanamo from being relocated anywhere on American soil. Earlier this month, Senator Inhofe led a Congressional Delegation to Guantanamo Bay to see firsthand the state of the prison operations and get the facts out about its critical role in keeping U.S. national security.

What we know:

-As the U.S. engages in the War on Terror, the capture of terrorists is inevitable and they must be held somewhere.

-The detainee complex at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba is the only complex in the world that can safely and humanely hold individuals that pose a high security risk to the US. It is a secure location away from population centers, provides maximum security required to prevent escape, provides multiple levels of confinement opportunities based on compliance of the detainee, and provides medical care not available a majority of the population of the world.

-On 22 Jan, President Obama ordered the closing of the Guantanamo Bay prison within a year, closed CIA facilities, and ordered that all interrogations of suspected terrorists will have to abide by the Army field manual, removing the Bush administration's approval of "enhanced" interrogation techniques, which some believed to be torture.

-President Obama's Executive Order could cause delays in the trials of: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, "mastermind" of the 9/11 attacks; Walid Muhammad Salih Mubarek Bin ‘Attash, trainer of 9/11 operatives and senior al Qaeda figure connected to the USS Cole bombing and 1998 bombings of US Embassies in East Africa; and Ali Abdul Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi, the primary financial and logistical supporters of the 9/11 operatives.

-If GITMO is no longer a prison, some US domestic or overseas prison will have to house these detainees while they await a hearing and trial. Moving these prisoners to the US would increase the risk to national security and complicate the judicial process through which these prisoners are tried.

-The other alternative is the release of these terrorists. If the US released all detainees currently being held at Gitmo, it would threaten not only our national security, but the security of all our allies and our coalition partners around the world.

-Joint Task Force (JTF) GITMO holds approx 245 terrorists from over 30 countries. They are provided better care than the care provided prisoners in US prisons, including health care which provides all medical/dental services and a health care provider to a detainee ratio of 1:2 (one health care professional for every two detainees.)

-Water boarding has never occurred at GITMO. GITMO is operated by the DoD and only interrogation techniques approved by the Secretary of Defense has been used.

-Current treatment and oversight exceed any maximum-security prison in the world. This did not happen overnight and was a deliberate process put in place by DoD and the commanders and personnel at GITMO. One particular program called DIMS (Detainee Incident Management System) tracks all actions and activities for each detainee - meals eaten, recreation time, medical appointments, chaplain visits, interrogations as well as disciplinary actions.

-US Soldiers in the battlefield are putting their lives at risk trying to secure evidence that can one day be used in a court of law to try and convict enemy combatants captured on the battlefield, often in the middle of a firefight.

-GITMO is the single greatest repository of human intelligence in the war on terror. This intelligence has prevented terrorist attacks and saved lives in the past and continues to do so today. New intelligence is being collected from detainees at GITMO is being used to fight terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the globe.

-The Expeditionary Legal Complex (ELC) located at GITMO is the only one of its kind in the world. It provides a secure location to secure and try detainees charged by the US government, full access to

sensitive and classified information, full access to defense lawyers and prosecution, and full media access by the press.

Related Links:

INHOFE-BOREN-FALLIN-COLE -SULLIVAN -LUCAS SAY NO TO TERRORISTS COMING TO OKLAHOMA

WATCH: Inhofe Youtube from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

Inhofe Introduces Legislation Preventing GITMO Prisoner Transfer to U.S.

INHOFE JOINS MOVE AMERICA FORWARD PRESS CONFERENCE ON GITMO

Senator Inhofe Visits Southeast Oklahoma

Inhofe-Franks Introduce 4% Defense Resolution

Link to Oklahoma's News Channel 8

Watch: Tulsa's News on 6

Fort Sill Will Not Be Home to Terrorists, Inhofe Says in Visit to Region

Senator Inhofe traveled to Southwest Oklahoma this week where he stopped in Lawton and met with Fort Sill leadership and was briefed on current and future operations at Fort Sill. While there, Senator Inhofe toured the Regional Correctional Facility (RCF). The RCF at Fort Sill is one of the Department of Defense's prison facilities that is being closed by the 2005 BRAC and has been listed as a possible location where Guantanamo (GTMO) detainees could be relocated. The RCF opened in 1977 and provides correctional treatment for up to 156 male prisoners. The prison is a mere half-mile from Fort Sill's family housing and only two and a half miles from the closest school.

"I want to make absolutely clear to the residents of Lawton and the entire state of Oklahoma that I am doing everything I can to make certain Fort Sill does not become the next home to any of the terrorists now being held at Gitmo," Senator Inhofe said. "The decision to close Gitmo is irresponsible and unwarranted. As a Senior Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I am leading the efforts in the United States Senate to ensure none of the detainees end up in Oklahoma or anywhere on American soil."

On February 4, 2009, Senator Inhofe introduced legislation (S.370) to prevent the detainees at Guantanamo from being relocated anywhere on American soil. The introduction of the bill came just two days after Senator Inhofe led a Congressional Delegation to Guantanamo Bay to see firsthand the state of the prison operations and get the facts out about its critical role in keeping U.S. national security. (Watch Inhofe YouTube Video from Gitmo)

"Many of those in favor of closing Gitmo have never seen it first-hand, so I was glad today to hear that Attorney General Eric Holder plans to visit Gitmo next Monday. I remain optimistic that after the Obama Administration considers the facts on the ground they too will appreciate the grave national security threat to the United States if Gitmo were to be shut down. I firmly believe that transferring terrorists to American soil should be completely out of the question and I will continue working with my colleagues to ensure this never happens."

Also today while at Fort Sill, Senator Inhofe viewed the 1960s era Paladin and watched an artillery demonstration by Soldiers of the 214th Fires Brigade. The Paladin will be undergoing an improvement program called PIM (Paladin Improvement Module), which will increase its effectiveness and lethality. The Paladin is the artillery piece that will ultimately be replaced by the Non-Line of Sight Cannon (NLOS-C). The NLOS-C is being integrated in Elgin, Oklahoma, right outside of Fort Sill.

"The Army's current cannon, the Paladin, is a 40 year old platform," Senator Inhofe said. "I look forward to the day that the NLOS-C, the cannon component of the Army's Future Combat Systems, is integrated at the BAE facility in Elgin and roll-off the line for testing and training right here at Fort Sill."

Senator Inhofe also met with a unit of Soldiers that just returned from deploying in support of the Global War on Terror. The 2nd Battalion, 4th Field Artillery Regiment returned on Sunday from Iraq.

"I was proud to meet the 2nd Battalion, 4th Field Artillery Regiment after they completed their deployment overseas," Senator Inhofe said. "They have bravely and selflessly served our nation abroad, and I could not be more proud of their service.

"As the Army's home for field artillery and the Fires Center of Excellence, Fort Sill remains a great source of pride for Oklahoma and the U.S. Army. Its Soldiers continue to deploy in support of our nation's fight against terrorism as well as train the next generation of our fighting men and women."

Related Links:

INHOFE-BOREN-FALLIN-COLE -SULLIVAN -LUCAS SAY NO TO TERRORISTS COMING TO OKLAHOMA

WATCH: Inhofe Youtube from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

Inhofe Introduces Legislation Preventing GITMO Prisoner Transfer to U.S.

INHOFE JOINS MOVE AMERICA FORWARD PRESS CONFERENCE ON GITMO

Senator Inhofe Visits Southeast Oklahoma

Inhofe-Franks Introduce 4% Defense Resolution

Inhofe Visits Altus

Earlier in the morning, Senator Inhofe visited Altus Air Force Base and was briefed by military leadership on current issues facing the base. Inhofe also met with Altus community and civic leaders.

"I'm always glad to visit Altus and see the progress being made at Altus Air Force Base," Senator Inhofe said. "I had the opportunity to meet with Col. David W. Allvin, Commander of the 97th Air Mobility Wing, as well as Dr. Joe Leverett, Chairman of the Altus Military Affairs Committee and other base and civilian leadership. While at Altus Air Force Base, I was briefed on the status of the Digital Air Surveillance Radar (DASR) updates, the KC-135 Block 40 upgrades, force protection initiatives, community partnerships, and other operations currently taking place at the base or planned for the near future.

"The future looks good for Altus Air Force Base, but we must continue working hard to attain new missions at Altus and improve operations on the base," Senator Inhofe said. "Though the 54th and 55th Air Refueling Squadrons are merging to make the 54th, today I learned that the intent is for the 55th Air Refueling Squadron to re-open as soon as Altus gains the KC-X mission.

"I had the opportunity to visit and fly in both the KC-135R flight and air refueling simulators today and was impressed by how realistic they seemed. The KC-135 Block 40 upgrade recently completed at Altus leverages emerging technologies to improve overall KC-135 training. Altus is migrating to 85% simulator training for the KC-135. This new training will result in better trained students and safer, more reliable equipment usage.

"Altus Air Force Base has also had great success in energy savings, and is currently leading the pack in the Air Force's AETC Energy Initiative Award Program that measures percent energy reduction against a 3-year average consumption. Altus has already reduced their consumption 16.6% in the first five months of the year-long program, and stands to win the $1.5 M prize for quality of life improvements at the base. They have also been very successful in greater fuel savings because of increased teamwork between operations and maintenance on predicting fuel requirements. The base has seen $80,000 savings per day, projecting $2 M in savings over a year.

"I stress to all our military establishments in Oklahoma that community support plays a large role in BRAC decisions, something which our Oklahoma military and communities do better than any other state. Altus Air Force Base continues to greatly benefit from the selfless support of the local community. Several partnerships between the base and community, such as the Eastside Development with the Industrial Airpark, the 'Grow Your Own Mechanic' apprenticeship program for local youth with the Southwest Technology Center, and the Structural Fire Training Facility with Oklahoma State University, that are currently in the works will continue to help both Altus and the Air Force Base. I also had the opportunity to visit with some of Altus' civilian maintainers, who help keep this base and its aircraft running smoothly, efficiently and successfully."

Related Links:

Senator Inhofe Visits Southeast Oklahoma

Inhofe-Franks Introduce 4% Defense Resolution

Inhofe Visits McAlester Army Ammunition Plant

Earlier in the week, Senator Inhofe visited the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant (McAAP). The Senator was briefed on current demilitarization processes of cluster munitions, the beginning of the integration of a ground sensor-fuzed weapon for the Future Combat Systems, as well as an outloading mission sending live and practice ammunition to allies, including Israel. Senator Inhofe today also met with Choctaw Manufacturing Development Group to discuss their work fielding trailers for the Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) for the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. He also met with McAlester civic leaders to discuss current issues important to the community.

"Great things are happening in McAlester today," Senator Inhofe said. "McAlester Army Ammunition Plant, already at the forefront of munitions assembly, will take another step forward next week as it begins the process of integrating pieces of the Intelligent Munition System (IMS), one of the components of the Future Combat System (FCS) being fielded early by the Army. McAAP is also the site of warhead pressing and final integration of the Sensor-Fuzed Weapon, a 'smart' cluster munition currently successfully in use by the Air Force aboard B-52s in support of the Global War on Terror. Beginning next week, similar war-heads will be integrated at McAAP as a ground-munition component of FCS.

"Another important program ongoing at McAlester is the demilitarization of some cluster-munitions not guided by 'smart' technology like that in place for the sensor-fuzed weapons. McAAP is saving the military millions from the cost of procuring new projectile bodies for training by recycling and converting the demilitarized munitions into training weapons, many of which will be used by our Soldiers at Ft. Sill. There is a growing demilitarization requirement for these types of munitions in the military, so processes like that taking place at McAAP will become much more important in the future.

"McAlester's outload mission is the largest in the armed services, as they ship containers of munitions to all of the services as well as to our allies worldwide. The plant has the capability to outload over 400 containers per day. Currently McAAP is outloading small and large munitions, both live and practice, around the globe.

"Community support is a huge factor in future BRAC consideration, so I'm always proud to see the strong relationship between the community of McAlester and the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant. After meeting with both military leadership and civic partners today, I know that their relationship remains strong and mutually beneficial."

Senator Inhofe also visited Emerson Elementary school to congratulate them on their recent honor receiving the "Oklahoma Academic Achievement Award," which recognizes the top sixteen schools in Oklahoma for their improvement in the Academic Performance Index. Emerson Elementary was awarded second place for the 2007-2008 school year.

"I would like to congratulate the students of Emerson Elementary school, Principal Brenda LoPresto and all the faculty on their great academic achievements," Senator Inhofe said. "Emerson Elementary is a wonderful example of the strides being made in Oklahoma's schools, and deserves praise for placing second in the Oklahoma Academic Achievement Award."

Senator Inhofe, also the Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, later traveled to Kiowa to visit the Tenaska Kiamichi Generating Station, a 1,220-megawatt combined-cycle, natural gas-fueled facility. The facility has a long-term electricity production agreement with Shell Energy North America, which markets the electricity produced throughout the regional wholesale power market.

"We need all types of energy to power this machine called America," Senator Inhofe said. "Efforts like those at Tenaska to work on emerging technologies such as clean-coal plants recognize the importance of utilizing all types of energy sources."

In the News...Head Start in Picher to move sooner (Tulsa World)

Tulsa World

Head Start in Picher to move sooner

http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=11&articleid=20090220_11_A1_ThePic907566&archive=yes

by: OMER GILLHAM World Staff Writer

Friday, February 20, 2009

PICHER - Head Start officials are heeding the call by U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe and Gov. Brad Henry to quicken the relocation of Picher Head Start.

Picher Head Start will be moved to Quapaw during spring break and reopen March 23, said Head Start Director Doug Spillman, whose office is in Jay.

The preschool program is in Picher, a former mining town within the Tar Creek Superfund site in Ottawa County in far northeastern Oklahoma. Medical research has shown that Tar Creek children have been poisoned by lead contamination believed to be caused by lead and zinc mining, which ended in the area in 1971.

In a joint statement last week, Henry and Inhofe, R-Okla., called on Spillman to relocate the Picher Head Start program immediately instead of delaying it to the end of the school year. Henry and Inhofe cited health and safety concerns for the children and called for urgent action.

There are now 17 children in the program and all but one live outside of Picher, Spillman said.

The children live outside Picher because in 2005 the state spent $3 million moving out families with young children. This voluntary relocation program decreased the number of preschoolers and first-graders in the town.

Spillman said his office has moved up its deadline to relocate the program to Quapaw, which is a few miles from Picher.

"We hope this to be as smooth a transition as we can do under the circumstances," Spillman said.

Spillman wanted to wait until the end of the school year to move the program so that services to families would not be interrupted. However, his office appears to have developed a quicker move in response to requests by Henry and Inhofe.

"The danger and health issues I must leave up to others," Spillman said. "All I know is that the blood tests of the children were fine. There was none with high blood-lead levels. We test the children at the beginning of each school year. Hopefully Inhofe, the governor and families will understand that we are doing the best that we can."

Inhofe's spokesman, Danny Finnerty, said: "Thanks to Doug Spillman and the entire Northeastern Oklahoma Community Action Agency for their cooperation and quick action. I feel this move is certainly in the best interest of the children."

Paul Sund, a spokesman for Henry, said: "This is a step in the right direction and certainly in the best interest of the children involved.''

The Picher Head Start program has been in existence since 1971, Spillman said.

Picher Head Start leases its building from the Picher Housing Authority, which has faced pressure by Henry and Inhofe to stop renting housing units to families with young children.

The authority's executive director, John Sparkman, has faced questions for allowing families with young children to move to public housing in Tar Creek. The site is listed on the Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund list for polluted areas.

Spillman said that his office recommended shutting down the program during the state buyout.

"When Gov. Henry came out with legislation to move kids out of Tar Creek we recommended to shut it down then but our office said stay open until we receive further information or you cannot maintain enrollment," Spillman said.

Head Start officials in Washington said that Tar Creek families wanted to keep the program going in 2005, so the closing was delayed.

"It is my understanding that the parents wanted to keep it open," said Kenneth Wolfe, spokesman for Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "We believe that the program can now be relocated without disruption of services."

In the News..Fairness Doctrines Other Likely Victim: Christian Radio

Fairness Doctrine's Other Likely Victim: Christian Radio

GOP Congressional leaders warn of dangers; Supreme Court precedent in place for regulation of Christian radio under FCC rule.

By Jeff Poor
Special to the Culture & Media Institute
Published February 17, 2009

Fears of a return to the Fairness Doctrine usually focus on conservative talk radio shows, like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity or Glenn Beck. But, often overlooked is the potential impact the Fairness Doctrine would have on Christian radio, specifically religious speech.

Since the beginning of February, three prominent former and current Democratic politicians have come out and vocally supported reinstituting the Fairness Doctrine. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said it was "absolutely time to pass a standard." Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, came out with a similar message, saying, "We need the Fairness Doctrine back." And former President Bill Clinton said, "You either ought to have the Fairness Doctrine or we ought to have more balance on the other side."

But, the return would also harm religious speech according to a senior Republican senator, James Inhofe, Okla., and the senior vice president of the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB), Craig Parshall. Both are warning religious broadcasting is facing a threat.

According to Parshall, there are about 2400 full power radio stations with a Christian format in the United States. About 40 percent of people who regularly listen do so specifically so they can listen to "teaching, preaching and talk" formats, he said. Christian radio and television have a total reach of 75 million he claimed.

That could be threatened by the Fairness Doctrine, a policy began in 1929 that required broadcasters to balance political content with different points of view. However, in 1987 policy ended after determining other voices were being heard, which gave rise to modern talk radio.

But recently, after bold rhetoric from several Democratic politicians, the threat of a Fairness Doctrine, or a piece of like-minded legislation being signed into law, is becoming viewed as more of a reality. Its revival would not only have an impact on political talk radio, as many have alluded to, but on religious broadcasting as well.

Congressional Republicans Warn of Threat

Those warning shots from the left have raised the possibility of the Fairness Doctrine's reinstitution, one that Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., says Christian radio isn't immune to. According to the senior senator from Oklahoma, if the federal government had to enforce a "Fairness Doctrine," in whatever form it may take in the legislative process, it could open the door to lawsuits by advocacy groups, like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

"Religious messages are, often times, inherently political," Inhofe said to the Culture & Media Institute. "Even when they are not, they could be considered controversial, and under the Fairness Doctrine as it once existed, controversial issues of public importance must be presented in an equitable and balanced manner. I am concerned that the ACLU and other liberal organizations will use this logic to file lawsuits against anyone who presents a message that they deem to be controversial. Though I believe these lawsuits would ultimately fail on First Amendment grounds, the chilling effect that the mere threat of a lawsuit will have on religious broadcasters could be substantial."

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., also warned the Fairness Doctrine would have an effect on Christian radio. She told an audience at a Family Research Council event last fall the reinstitution of the Fairness Doctrine would "potentially really hammer" the format.

"Over the last 20 years, conservative talk radio has done such an incredible job as far as getting out the message," McMorris Rodgers said. "And although, ‘Fairness Doctrine' may sound good, it's just a clever title to say, ‘We're going to shutdown conservative talk radio, and we're going to potentially really hammer Christian radio, Christian television, and it's very important to not allow this to move forward."

She responded to a follow-up question about her remarks that day by citing her support of the Broadcaster Freedom Act of 2009, a piece of legislation introduced by several of her fellow colleagues in the House and Senate in January.

"I staunchly support our First Amendment rights and I will not compromise on the rights guaranteed to us under the Constitution," McMorris Rodgers said to CMI. "I think the Fairness Doctrine effectively, and dangerously, mandates what can and cannot be said. That is why one of the first pieces of legislation I cosponsored this year is the Broadcaster Freedom Act of 2009 which prevents the FCC from enforcing the Fairness Doctrine."

One of the most outspoken members of Congress on this particular issue has been House Republican Conference Chairman Rep. Mike Pence, Ind., who was also a former radio talk show host. In a statement through a spokeswoman, he warned that it represented "an existential threat" to Christian talk radio.

"The American people cherish freedom, that's why President Reagan repealed the so-called ‘Fairness Doctrine' back in 1987," Pence said. "This Depression-era government regulation would actually regulate the content of America's airwaves and represents an existential threat to talk radio—and in particular—Christian talk radio."

The Red Lion Case: Christian Radio and the Fairness Doctrine, a Historical Precedence

If you don't study history, you're doomed to repeat it. That's a message many Fairness Doctrine opponents use when making the case that it is a threat to Christian radio. Christian broadcast was used as a the test case of the Fairness Doctrine that passed muster with the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark 1969 Red Lion Broadcasting v. FCC case.

The Court ruled the FCC had the right to enforce the Fairness Doctrine where channels or frequencies were limited in this case. In the case, the Court ordered a station in Red Lion, Pa., WGCB, to provide "equal time" to an individual that had been attacked by Rev. Billy James Hargis.

An article by John Carmody in the April 2, 1975, Washington Post explained Hargis disparaged Fred Cook, a freelance writer who had been critical of former Republican presidential candidate Sen. Barry Goldwater, R-Ariz., a candidate Hargis supported. Despite claims the decision had some "tainted circumstances" surrounding its origin, Carmody said the case had a "chilling effect."

"The Red Lion decision, upholding the power of the FCC in such matters, "chilled" the broadcast industry, which had long sought the same First Amendment rights of free speech accorded to print journalists, who are not subject to government regulation," Carmody wrote.

That, as Inhofe explained to CMI, is a dangerous precedent that Christian broadcasters should be aware of.

"It deeply concerns me that any revival of the Fairness Doctrine will have a serious detrimental effect, not only on talk radio, but also on the willingness of Christian broadcasters to air political, and perhaps even religious, messages," Inhofe said. "It is well known that the only radio station ever taken off the airwaves was a Christian radio station, WGCB in Red Lion, Pennsylvania. While in that particular instance the supposed ‘offense' was a personal attack against the author of a political publication, the case is instructive for several reasons."

Those reasons the where religious speech and political speech sometimes overlapped, Inhofe explained.

Related:
Fairness Doctrine Update: Making us listen to liberalism (Jenks Journal) In Case You Missed It...
White House: Obama Opposes 'Fairness Doctrine' Revival (FoxNews.com)
Fox News: Democrats Consider Reviving 'Fairness Doctrine'
YouTube: Sen. Inhofe Responds to Democrats' Calls for 'Fairness Doctrine'
Inhofe Introduces Legislation to end the Fairness Doctrine
Fairness Doctrine Press Conference

Editorial: Making us listen to liberalism (Jenks Journal)

Jenks Journal

Making us listen to liberalism
By Don Diehl, Editor Jenks Journal
Published: Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Link to Article
I am sorry to say, I have never met a sharp liberal. They speak globblyglook, nonsensical goofiness at every turn. Honestly, check out the likes of Harry Reed and Nancy Pelosi. I've tried to listen to them, but I cannot for the life of me. Nor can I understand how in the world people this stupid get elected to office.

The only liberal I think that had a handle on things was the one who blogged in 2007, ". . . pathetic beyond belief. It is as if the Democrats are trying to out-stupid Bush."

He was talking about Pelosi and Reed condemning MoveOn.org for something it had published on its website.

Of course, I don't care for "MoveOn" either, but you know what? I don't have to partake. Which is a back-door approach to say that if you don't like right-wing radio talk shows, don't tune in, stupid.

Now Democratic lawmakers are pushing to revive the unfair "Fairness Doctrine" that would force radio stations to increase the number of liberal shows on the airwaves. The reason those shows are not now on the airwaves is because no one listens and free enterprising radio stations can't sell advertising to pay for air space to which no one is tuned. Get it? Besides, we already have all of that fare we want on NPR.

Is there somehow to force the public to listen? Storm troopers, I suppose . . . or next worse thing government forced media. Have we lost our Democracy altogether?

The so-called "fairness" doctrine was an FCC policy that required broadcast stations to provide opposing views on controversial issues of public importance.

Democratic lawmakers who support the doctrine say it will help increase the number of liberal shows in a landscape dominated by conservative talk radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh.

"I absolutely think it's time to be bringing accountability to the airwaves," Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., told liberal radio host Bill Press last week. She said she expects hearings soon on reviving the policy, which was introduced in 1949 and abolished in 1987.

Stabenow's husband, Tom Athans, is and has been an executive at several liberal radio talk groups.

But Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe said radio programming should be based on what brings in listeners and advertisers.

"I can't think of anything worse than to have government in a position to dictate the content of information going over public radio," said Inhofe, a Republican. "The whole idea is that it has to be market driven. We have a lot of progressive or liberal radio shows but nobody listens to them and every time one tries to get on, they are not successful."

Inhofe and other critics believe those pushing to bring back the Fairness Doctrine -- nicknamed the Hush Rush Doctrine -- want to diminish the influence of Limbaugh and other conservative talk show hosts. Supporters insist that's not the case.

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, told Press last week that the Fairness Doctrine is needed not to remove any conservative voices, but to ensure that there are a few liberal shows on the air.

During the presidential campaign, a spokesman said Barack Obama did not favor reinstating the Fairness Doctrine. But his White House spokesman has since left the door open.

"I pledge to you to study up on the 'Fairness Doctrine' so that, one day, I might give you a more fulsome answer," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said.

Inhofe says Democrats and liberal advocacy groups aren't going to let the matter drop.

"They are committed to make this happen," he said. "We got to be ready."

Inhofe introduced a bill this year to prevent reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine, but he said he has not gotten a single Democrat to co-sponsor it.

Related:
White House: Obama Opposes 'Fairness Doctrine' Revival (FoxNews.com)
Fox News: Democrats Consider Reviving 'Fairness Doctrine'
YouTube: Sen. Inhofe Responds to Democrats' Calls for 'Fairness Doctrine'
Inhofe Introduces Legislation to end the Fairness Doctrine
Fairness Doctrine Press Conference

In the News...Inhofe visits Sill, Altus to make case for Gitmo (The Lawton Constitution)

The Lawton Constitution

Inhofe visits Sill, Altus to make case for Gitmo

By Mitch Meador, Staff Writer

Published Thursday, February 19, 2009

Link to Article

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe toured the Regional Correctional Facility at Fort Sill on Wednesday as he builds a case to keep the Guantanamo Bay detention facility open and prevent possible relocation of detainees to U.S. soil.

A list that appeared in March 2007 included Fort Sill as one of 17 potential relocation points for terror suspects held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Forts Riley and Leavenworth in Kansas also made the list, Inhofe said.

"I've taken on the responsibility to keep Gitmo open," he said. "All these people who are saying you have to close this thing, they try to say that there's been torture and abuse of detainees. It's a lie. It's just flat not true.

"We're building our case, to recognize why we have to leave the 245 people there right now. Of the 245 detainees in Gitmo, 170 of them cannot be repatriated. Their countries don't want them back in. Of those, there are 110 who are the really bad guys," Inhofe said.

The senator said closing Gitmo will not stop any kind of activity in the courts or on the tribunals.

"They could end up in our court system," he warned. "They've identified 17 areas of military installations where they could be putting some of these terrorists, or these detainees. I want to make sure that's not Oklahoma. ... I've been on an extensive tour of our facility here on Fort Sill, and I think I've built up a pretty good case to show them that we need to keep that place open down there. And I had very good news just a moment ago. The new attorney general's going down there in the next couple of days. The fact that he's going down there means he's listening and knows that they can't close it.

"The other problem we have is, as we escalate our activity in Afghanistan, there will be that many more detainees, and the Afghans have two major prisons there, Kandahar and Bagram, and they can only take people from Afghanistan," Inhofe said.

There is no place else in the world but Gitmo to take detainees from other countries, he said.

"It's one of the great resources that we have. We've had it since 1903. It's a good bargain, and we only pay $4,000 a year for it. We can't allow that to close," Inhofe said.

In 2005, the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) commission recommended that Fort Sill's Regional Correctional Facility is one of several to be consolidated into the Midwestern Joint Regional Correctional Facility at Fort Leavenworth. Inhofe said he doesn't think there would be a lot of resistance to that here if it did happen, considering that "Fort Sill, of all the installations throughout America, has been the greatest beneficiary of all five BRAC rounds.

"There's not one military establishment anywhere in America that has had greater mission increase and increased functions than Fort Sill," he added.

Fort Sill made clear that the opinions voiced are those of the senator and not anyone at the post. Fort Sill's official position is as follows: "The Regional Correctional Facility is still open, but it's slated to close under the latest BRAC decision, and there is no specific closure date yet. Fort Sill has received no contact from the Army or the Department of Defense about a proposal to transfer Gitmo prisoners to the Fort Sill Regional Correctional Facility."

Inhofe had other reasons to be here. One was to witness a demonstration of the pre-Paladin Integrated Management (PIM) system, which BAE Systems is introducing to keep Paladin howitzers viable in the coming decades. He also got a briefing on the progress of the Non-Line of Sight (NLOS) Cannon to be assembled at Elgin.

"The best thing that I can ever remember happening to the state of Oklahoma was to be successful in getting that site in Elgin, Okla. That's the first of 15 elements in the Future Combat System. If everything goes well there, as it appears to be right now, that could be a site maybe for all the rest of them, or at least some of the rest of them, and that would be a great thing for Southwest Oklahoma," Inhofe said.

The senator said one of the things he's trying to do is put a floor into the amount of military spending.

"During the last 100 years, it's averaged 5.7 percent of our (gross domestic product). And at the end of the Clinton years it got down as low as 2.8 percent. It's now at 3.6 percent, so we're trying to put a floor of 4 percent," he said.

At Altus AFB, Inhofe was briefed by military leadership on current issues facing the base, and he got to see the KC-135R flight and air refueling simulators.

"The future looks good for Altus Air Force Base, but we must continue working hard to attain new missions at Altus and improve operations on the base," he said. "Though the 54th and 55th Air Refueling Squadrons are merging to make the 54th, today I learned that the intent is for the 55th Air Refueling Squadron to reopen as soon as Altus gains the KC-X mission. ...

"Altus Air Force Base has also had great success in energy savings and is currently leading the pack in the Air Force's (Air Education Training Command) Energy Initiative Award Program that measures percent energy reduction against a three-year average consumption. Altus has already reduced their consumption 16.6 percent in the first five months of the year-long program, and stands to win the $1.5 million prize for quality of life improvements at the base. They have also been very successful in greater fuel savings because of increased teamwork between operations and maintenance on predicting fuel requirements. The base has seen $80,000 savings per day, projecting $2 million in savings over a year," Inhofe said.

In the News...Senator Inhofe flies into Miami (Miami News Record)

Miami News Record

Senator Inhofe flies into Miami

From staff reports

Published: Wednesday, February 18, 2009 2:39 PM CST

Link to Article

United States Senator James Inhofe flew into the Miami Municipal Airport Tuesday afternoon, behind the controls of his vintage 1979 Cessna, to pay a visit to a local manufacturing firm.

The senator made his way to Quapaw to have a look at the Omni Corp plant. The manufacturer is a constructor of technologically advanced infrared nightvision devices as well as a host of GPS and satellite materials.

"Most of their work is with the military or NASA," Inhofe said.

As the second-ranking member of the Armed Services Committee Inhofe is dedicated to seeing the company prosper in the Ottawa County area.

"I want to help them all I can," Inhofe said.

The company is planning to open a second plant in the Quapaw area.

"When they get their new plant finished they'll have over 265 good-paying jobs to offer," Inhofe said. "The company has virtually no turnover and they train their own people.

"They are expanding and almost doubling in size. The jobs they provide are really good, high-tech jobs. They train people into them and the company is doing very well," Inhofe said.

Inhofe's duties with the Armed Services Committee have also led him to work toward keeping the GTMO facility open. The senator recently re-visited the facility located at Gauntanamo Bay, Cuba.

"I was there right after 9/11 in January of '02. I was there two weeks ago," Inhofe said.

"They're down to 245 detainees. Of the 245 detainees we have left, 170 of those come from countries that won't let them back in. So what are you going to do with them?"

To that end Inhofe has introduced legislation to prevent any GTMO detainee from being housed anywhere in the United States. Research from the senator's office shows that the Pentagon spends $2.5 million each year on Korans, prayer rugs, and special foods for Muslim prisoners.

Inhofe's visits to the sight and his findings have led him to oppose the closing of the GTMO facility and the senator maintains that the detention center meets the highest international standard for treatment of its detainees.

Inhofe also spoke of the recently passed $789 billion stimulus package passed by Congress.

"If you're going to call it a stimulus bill why does it have all this welfare in it?" Inhofe asked.

"This is the largest spending bill in the history of the world," he added.

The almost science fiction quantity of dollars involved in the bill was brought into focus by the senator with this bit of understanding:

"There are 140 million families who file tax returns in the US," he said. "That's $5,000 a family to pay for this stimulus."

It is Inhofe's view that infrastructure investment, along with defense spending and tax cuts, would have a greater influence on the economy than anything else the government might do.

The senator also takes issue with some of the details of the bill. According to Inhofe the bill allocates only one percent of its total sum for military spending, including veteran care.

Inhofe also takes exception to a provision in the bill that will create a National Coordinator for Health Information- a position that the senator says will cost $1 billion and create an office with too much power over individual health care decisions.

A detail in the package will also prohibit faith-based student groups at colleges and universities from receiving federal funding for building renovations or repairs, according to the senator's research.

"I'm looking at this as a Republican who feels we have better answers than this for the problems in our country," Inhofe said of the spending bill.

Inhofe continues his barn storming tour of his constituency today with visits to Fort Sill and Altus. The senator has been flying for 52 years and once flew a small Cessna around the world.

Inhofe plans to visit the Choctaw Manufacturing Development Group a company that builds trailers for the US Marines.

In the News...Senator says Speaker is Anti-Defense (McAlester News)

McAlester News

Senator says Speaker is ‘Anti-Defense'

NATIONAL DEFENSE | Senior senator worries Pelosi will hinder U.S. military
By James Beaty
Senior Editor

Link to Article

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, says he's not as concerned about how the nation's defense programs will fare under President Barack Obama as he is about the U.S. House and Senate leadership.

"This will be a very anti-defense, anti-military administration - more so in the House and Senate than in the White House," Inhofe said.

"He's very reasonable," Inhofe said of President Obama, who he knew as a fellow member of the Senate before Obama became president.

"I think his major problem is two people - Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid," Inhofe said, referring respectively to the Democratic House speaker from California and the Senate majority leader from Nevada.

Inhofe made the comments during a Tuesday luncheon meeting at Giacomo's Restuarant with community leaders and members of the McAlester Defense Support Association, a private group formed to support the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant and other facilities in the McAlester area.

While in McAlester, Inhofe visited McAAP, met with the Choctaw Manufacturing Development Group and visited Emerson Elementary School to congratulate the faculty and students on the school's Oklahoma Academic Achievement Award.

Inhofe, who is the ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, also visited the Tenaska Kiamichi Generating Station in Kiowa.

In Washington, Inhofe has introduced a bill along with U.S. Rep. Trent Frank, R-Ariz., to commit 4 percent of the nation's gross domestic product to defense.

Inhofe voted against President Obama's stimulus package after two amendments Inhofe tried to add were defeated in the Senate. Inhofe had wanted to add provisions to increase the percentage of the measure that would go for infrastructure and defense spending.

During the luncheon meeting, Inhofe said that McAAP and its workers have already proven their efficiency.

He said McAAP will take another step forward next week when it begins work on integrating pieces of the Intelligent Munition System, a component of the Future Combat System which is being fielded by the U.S. Army.

Inhofe also noted that McAAP is the site of warhead pressing and final integration of the Sensor-Fuzed Weapon, described as a "smart cluster munition" currently being used aboard B-52s by the U.S. Air Force.

Inhofe also noted McAAP's role in demilitarization and converting demilitarized munitions into training weapons.

Inhofe also said the present prison for accused terrorists at Guantanamo Bay should not be closed. With a troop surge expected in Afghanistan, there will likely be many terrorists captured and there will be a need for a place to detain them.

Inhofe said it's only his opinion, but he doesn't expect Obama to close the prison.

"This is a grand gesture toward his liberal base," Inhofe said.

During his stop at Emerson, Inhofe said "I would like to congratulate the students of Emerson Elementary School, Principal Brenda LoPresto and all the faculty on their great academic achievements."

"Emerson Elementary is a wonderful example of the strides being made in Oklahoma's schools and deserves praise for placing second in the Oklahoma Academic Achievement Award."


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