The Day Before

This is an updated version of an article I posted on September 10, 2008:

Today is September 10, 2018. Seventeen years ago, it was the day before. We were all going about our business, enjoying a beautiful fall, and making plans for the future. I wonder, if we could have seen into the future, is there anything we would have done differently that day.

There was one man who was living in a different world than the rest of us–even on September 10. His name was Rick Rescorla. He was the vice president for security at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, a brokerage house with 2,700 employees in the World Trade Center in the south tower on floors forty-four through seventy-four and 1,000 employees in Building Five across the plaza. Because of the foresight of this man, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter lost only six employees in the bombing of the World Trade Center. His story is told on his website, RickRescorla.com.

Rick felt strongly that the terrorists who had attempted the first World Trade Center bombing would try again. He asked his company executives to move from the towers, but the company’s lease went until 2006. Rick held evacuation drills on a regular basis in spite of the grumbling of his fellow employees. Every few months all 2,700 employees would march down the stairs and out of the building in an evacuation drill. On September 11, 2001, by the time the second airplane hit the second tower, most of the company’s employees were already out of the building. There were three employees missing, and Rick and two other people went back into the building to find them.   All six were killed when the building collapsed.¹

I tell this story today for two reasons. First, Rick Rescorla is a hero whose foresight saved many lives. Second, Rick Rescorla understood that there were terrorists who wanted to destroy America even before there was a “war on terror”. We need to think back to September 10, 2001, and remember what our innocence was like and the price we paid for it. Thank God for a man who chose not to be innocent.

  1. Most of the information in the above two paragraphs is from the book BREAKDOWN by Bill Gertz (subtitled “How America’s Intelligence Failures Led to September 11”).

An Outrageous Policy Toward Our Military Veterans

Bill Gertz at the Washington Free Beacon is reporting today on changes proposed by the Obama Administration to the medical benefits of our military veterans.

The article reports:

The Obama administration’s proposed defense budget calls for military families and retirees to pay sharply more for their healthcare, while leaving unionized civilian defense workers’ benefits untouched. The proposal is causing a major rift within the Pentagon, according to U.S. officials. Several congressional aides suggested the move is designed to increase the enrollment in Obamacare’s state-run insurance exchanges.

The disparity in treatment between civilian and uniformed personnel is causing a backlash within the military that could undermine recruitment and retention.

I have already posted articles showing the difference between government workers pay and benefits and those of the private sector. (See Congressional Budget Office chart). Needless to say, military salaries are considerably lower than both. Why in the world would the President cut military benefits and not cut civilian defense department employees’ benefits?

The article further reports:

“We shouldn’t ask our military to pay our bills when we aren’t willing to impose a similar hardship on the rest of the population,” Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and a Republican from California, said in a statement to the Washington Free Beacon. “We can’t keep asking those who have given so much to give that much more.”

Administration officials told Congress that one goal of the increased fees is to force military retirees to reduce their involvement in Tricare and eventually opt out of the program in favor of alternatives established by the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.

This is an outrage. Additionally the plan calls for large increases in the cost of Tricare for military families.

The article states:

According to congressional assessments, a retired Army colonel with a family currently paying $460 a year for health care will pay $2,048.

This doesn’t sound like much, but consider the sacrifices our servicemen and their families make during their twenty or more years of life in the military. The favoring of civilian union employees over the military is obscene. These changes have to be passed by Congress–any bill proposed needs to be dead on arrival.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Undefending America

The MIRV U.S. Peacekeeper missile, with the re...

Image via Wikipedia

Bill Gertz is well known for his books and articles on national defense. He posted an article yesterday at the Washington Free Beacon yesterday about the impact of President Obama’s policies on national security.

The article states:

President Obama has ordered the Pentagon to consider cutting U.S. strategic nuclear forces to as low as 300 deployed warheads—below the number believed to be in China’s arsenal and far fewer than current Russian strategic warhead stocks.

Pentagon and military planners were asked to develop three force levels for the U.S. arsenal of deployed strategic nuclear warheads: a force of 1,100 to 1,000 warheads; a second scenario of between 700 and 800 warheads; and the lowest level of between 300 and 400 warheads.

A congressional official said no president in the past ever told the Pentagon to conduct a review based on specific numbers of warheads.

This review is not based on world conditions, as in the past, but simply on numbers. According the the article, the drastic cuts have come under fire from senior military leaders, but there have been no public comments.

One retired Air Force General commented:

Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney said even considering such deep strategic cuts is irrational.

“No sane military leader would condone 300 to 400 warheads for an effective nuclear deterrent strategy,” McInerney (Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney) told the Washington Free Beacon.

“Going down to 1000 to 1,100 is risky enough and frankly in today’s world, very risky. The purpose of our nuclear force structure is to deter any adversary from even thinking that they could minimize our attack options. Such thinking is very dangerous and will only encourage our adversaries to make bold decisions.”

A congressional official and former administration official familiar with the ongoing review said the bottom level warhead levels raise serious questions about whether a nuclear force that size would deter adversaries. It also would raise questions about so-called “extended deterrence,” the threat to use nuclear weapons against states like North Korea on behalf of allies like Japan.

The new strategic review reflects the president’s 2009 speech in Prague when he said the United States would pursue peace and security in a world “without nuclear weapons.”

I too would like to see a world without nuclear weapons, but I would also like to see a world where America is ready and able to defend herself and her friends.

The article concludes with the following comment:

Kenneth deGraffenreid, a former Reagan administration National Security Council official, said in an interview that the plans for sharp nuclear cuts are “part of the administration’s purposeful decline of American military power.”

The damage to nuclear forces is compounded by “massive reductions across the board in defense spending on conventional forces,” he said.

“Defense is the only part of government this administration is reducing,” he said. “There wasn’t a single dollar of stimulus money spent on defense.”

It’s time to elect a President who will defend America–both verbally and physically.

Enhanced by Zemanta