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Westlake Legal Group > article (Page 124)

NTSB investigating California dive boat fire: ‘This was a terrible tragedy’

Westlake Legal Group Martha-Investigator_FOX NTSB investigating California dive boat fire: 'This was a terrible tragedy' Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox-news/great-outdoors/boating fox news fnc/media fnc bf0e092c-1972-50ad-b042-0946447ae7c8 article

A team from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) arrived in California Tuesday morning to begin investigating a dive boat fire that is believed to have killed 34 people, according to a NTSB board member who said, “This was a terrible tragedy.”

Speaking with Martha MacCallum on “The Story” on Tuesday, NTSB board member Jennifer Homendy said the agency arrived around 10 a.m. PT and “immediately had a very thorough briefing with the Coast Guard to begin to get a lay of the land and really start thinking about our investigative protocols.”

Homendy said NTSB will have an organizational briefing on Tuesday night and “designate parties to the investigation. These are people that will provide technical expertise to help us conduct our safety investigation.”

DEADLY CALIFORNIA BOAT FIRE HAS DIVE COMMUNITY STRUGGLING FOR ANSWERS

“We will also begin to form investigative groups to start to drill down on the issues,” she added.

Homendy said she’s “100 percent confident” investigators will find the cause of the fire that engulfed the vessel Conception. The dive boat caught fire before dawn Monday and sank near Santa Cruz Island off the Southern California coast.

Only five crew members on the boat escaped. One crew member who was sleeping below deck is presumed dead, as well as the 33 passengers who were below deck. On Tuesday, authorities called off a search for other survivors.

She said the crew has been cooperating with investigators and the U.S. Coast Guard.

25 BODIES FOUND AFTER CALIFORNIA SCUBA DIVING BOAT FIRE, COAST GUARD SAYS

“We have put together a list of witnesses and interested persons that we will conduct interviews with, those include the crew and others over the next coming days,” Homendy said.

The NTSB plans to stay at the scene for up to 10 days to conduct those interviews, and will also look into safety measures aboard the boat, including if it was equipped with fire extinguishers.

Homendy told MacCallum she has seen a layout of the Conception on paper and NTSB investigators have also watched a safety briefing video, which allowed them to “generally see the layout of the vessel.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

She said the NTSB plans to go to a sister vessel on Wednesday so that “we can really begin to see an almost identical or near-identical structure to understand where everything was at the time.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Martha-Investigator_FOX NTSB investigating California dive boat fire: 'This was a terrible tragedy' Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox-news/great-outdoors/boating fox news fnc/media fnc bf0e092c-1972-50ad-b042-0946447ae7c8 article   Westlake Legal Group Martha-Investigator_FOX NTSB investigating California dive boat fire: 'This was a terrible tragedy' Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox-news/great-outdoors/boating fox news fnc/media fnc bf0e092c-1972-50ad-b042-0946447ae7c8 article

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

West Point cadet candidate, 20, dies after falling from rock ledge

A 20-year-old West Point cadet candidate died after falling from a rock ledge in upstate New York over the weekend, officials said.

The U.S. Military Academy at West Point said Benjamin Bochtler died Sunday after injuries sustained from a fall on Saturday.

New York State Police responded to a 911 call around 11 a.m. and found the unresponsive man at a cliff-diving spot known as Fawn’s Leap in Hunter, N.Y., Police Capt. Michael Drake said.

Westlake Legal Group Ne-Cadet West Point cadet candidate, 20, dies after falling from rock ledge Melissa Leon fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/military/army fox news fnc/us fnc article 94f64e32-7901-58ef-b3b0-a5c1b7c02f59

West Point cadet candidate Benjamin Bochtler. (Courtesy of Christopher Bochtler)

“Investigation revealed the victim was hanging onto a rock ledge when a portion of the rock broke from the ledge, causing the victim to fall,” Drake said. “Life-saving measures at the scene were unsuccessful.”

25 BODIES FOUND AFTER CALIFORNIA SCUBA DIVING BOAT FIRE, COAST GUARD SAYS

West Point Commandant Col. Joshua Higgins said Bochtler “had an incredible smile and infectious positive attitude. He was everyone’s friend.

He said Bochtler “was a prior-enlisted combat veteran who set a tremendous example and used his experience in the Army to help his fellow cadet candidates. His warm personality and that big smile made a lasting impact on everyone at USMAPS [U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School].

“Our thoughts and prayers are with him, his family, and friends.”

2 SETS OF TWINS SEPARATE TO GO TO DIFFERENT MILITARY ACADEMIES

USMAPS prepares candidates to qualify for, and later graduate from, West Point.

Bochtler served in the Army for three years before coming to USMAPS and deployed to Afghanistan from April 2018 until January 2019, the military academy said.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

He was from Nebraska and played lacrosse at USMAPS.

The town of Hunter is about 75 miles north of the military academy.

Westlake Legal Group Ne-Cadet West Point cadet candidate, 20, dies after falling from rock ledge Melissa Leon fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/military/army fox news fnc/us fnc article 94f64e32-7901-58ef-b3b0-a5c1b7c02f59   Westlake Legal Group Ne-Cadet West Point cadet candidate, 20, dies after falling from rock ledge Melissa Leon fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/military/army fox news fnc/us fnc article 94f64e32-7901-58ef-b3b0-a5c1b7c02f59

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Ocasio-Cortez ties climate change to Hurricane Dorian damage in Bahamas: ‘This is what climate change looks like’

Westlake Legal Group ocasio-cortez-1-AP Ocasio-Cortez ties climate change to Hurricane Dorian damage in Bahamas: 'This is what climate change looks like' Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/bahamas fox-news/science/planet-earth/natural-disasters/hurricane-dorian fox-news/politics fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox news fnc/media fnc article 62440c35-2dca-53ff-9011-460e060bedf0

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said Tuesday that climate change was to blame for Hurricane Dorian‘s devastating impact on the Bahamas.

“This is what climate change looks like: it hits vulnerable communities first,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Tuesday.

Dorian’s punishing winds and torrential rain battered the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama, which have a combined population of about 70,000 and are known for their marinas, golf courses, and all-inclusive resorts.

The Grand Bahama airport was under 6 feet of water and at least five deaths were reported.

HURRICANE DORIAN’S PATH: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

The freshman New Yorker dismissed “climate deniers” who claim the latest hurricane has nothing to do with climate change.

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“I can already hear climate deniers screeching: ‘It’s always been like this! You’re dim,’ etc. No. This is about science & leadership,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote. “We either decarbonize & cut emissions, or we don’t & let people die.”

Westlake Legal Group ocasio-cortez-1-AP Ocasio-Cortez ties climate change to Hurricane Dorian damage in Bahamas: 'This is what climate change looks like' Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/bahamas fox-news/science/planet-earth/natural-disasters/hurricane-dorian fox-news/politics fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox news fnc/media fnc article 62440c35-2dca-53ff-9011-460e060bedf0   Westlake Legal Group ocasio-cortez-1-AP Ocasio-Cortez ties climate change to Hurricane Dorian damage in Bahamas: 'This is what climate change looks like' Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/bahamas fox-news/science/planet-earth/natural-disasters/hurricane-dorian fox-news/politics fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox news fnc/media fnc article 62440c35-2dca-53ff-9011-460e060bedf0

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Illegal immigrant linked to Kate Steinle killing still faces federal gun charges, US attorney says

Westlake Legal Group AP19242851215550 Illegal immigrant linked to Kate Steinle killing still faces federal gun charges, US attorney says Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/immigration/illegal-immigrants fox-news/us/crime/trials fox-news/politics/judiciary/federal-courts fox news fnc/us fnc article 4b2c6e7d-93e7-5302-9242-4ed31d0babd4

A California appeals court ruling overturning the illegal-gun-possession conviction of an illegal immigrant who allegedly killed a woman on a San Francisco pier in 2015 has no effect on federal prosecution against him, officials said Tuesday.

Jose Inez Garcia-Zarate, a Mexican citizen who had been deported five times, was acquitted in November 2017 of first- and second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and assault with a semi-automatic weapon in the death of Kate Steinle. He was convicted of one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The case drew national attention because of Garcia-Zarate’s immigration status; it became a rallying cry for supporters of tougher immigration policies.

KATE STEINLE MURDER CASE EXPLAINED, FROM TRUMP’S COMMENTS TO DOJ ARREST WARRANT

Last Friday, the 1st District Court of Appeal in San Francisco overturned the gun-possession conviction on grounds that the judge failed to instruct the jury that it could acquit Garcia-Zarate on the theory that he briefly possessed the weapon.

“The state court ruling has no legal effect on the federal prosecution, which will continue,” said David Anderson, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of California.  “A repeatedly deported, previously convicted felon has no right to possess a firearm under federal law, even if California extends him sanctuary.”

Prosecutors argued the failure to give the jury instructions was moot since Garcia-Zarate admitted he fired the weapon. The three-judge panel disagreed and overturned the conviction.

Garcia-Zarate, 48, remained in federal custody awaiting trial on the gun possession charge, the Justice Department said.

Steinle, 32, died on July 1, 2015, after she was struck by a bullet while walking with her father and a family friend on Pier 14 off the Embarcadero in San Francisco.

The gun had been stolen from a car belonging to a federal Bureau of Land Management agent. Garcia-Zarate claimed he found the gun and accidentally fired it.

Many activists tied Steinle’s death to San Francisco’s sanctuary-city policies, and the case became a regular talking point during then-presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign rallies.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

Garcia-Zarate was released from police custody three months before the shooting after a drug case against him was dropped.

He faces up to 10 years in prison. His attorney told The Associated Press his trial is expected to begin Jan. 13. The San Francisco district attorney office also has been weighing its options, spokesman Alex Bastian previously told Fox News.

Fox News’ Judson Berger and Samuel Chamberlain contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group AP19242851215550 Illegal immigrant linked to Kate Steinle killing still faces federal gun charges, US attorney says Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/immigration/illegal-immigrants fox-news/us/crime/trials fox-news/politics/judiciary/federal-courts fox news fnc/us fnc article 4b2c6e7d-93e7-5302-9242-4ed31d0babd4   Westlake Legal Group AP19242851215550 Illegal immigrant linked to Kate Steinle killing still faces federal gun charges, US attorney says Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/immigration/illegal-immigrants fox-news/us/crime/trials fox-news/politics/judiciary/federal-courts fox news fnc/us fnc article 4b2c6e7d-93e7-5302-9242-4ed31d0babd4

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

West Point cadet candidate, 20, dies after falling from rock ledge

A 20-year-old West Point cadet candidate died after falling from a rock ledge in upstate New York over the weekend, officials said.

The U.S. Military Academy at West Point said Benjamin Bochtler died Sunday after injuries sustained from a fall on Saturday.

New York State Police responded to a 911 call around 11 a.m. and found the unresponsive man at a cliff-diving spot known as Fawn’s Leap in Hunter, N.Y., Police Capt. Michael Drake said.

Westlake Legal Group Ne-Cadet West Point cadet candidate, 20, dies after falling from rock ledge Melissa Leon fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/military/army fox news fnc/us fnc article 94f64e32-7901-58ef-b3b0-a5c1b7c02f59

West Point cadet candidate Benjamin Bochtler. (Courtesy of Christopher Bochtler)

“Investigation revealed the victim was hanging onto a rock ledge when a portion of the rock broke from the ledge, causing the victim to fall,” Drake said. “Life-saving measures at the scene were unsuccessful.”

25 BODIES FOUND AFTER CALIFORNIA SCUBA DIVING BOAT FIRE, COAST GUARD SAYS

West Point Commandant Col. Joshua Higgins said Bochtler “had an incredible smile and infectious positive attitude. He was everyone’s friend.

He said Bochtler “was a prior-enlisted combat veteran who set a tremendous example and used his experience in the Army to help his fellow cadet candidates. His warm personality and that big smile made a lasting impact on everyone at USMAPS [U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School].

“Our thoughts and prayers are with him, his family, and friends.”

2 SETS OF TWINS SEPARATE TO GO TO DIFFERENT MILITARY ACADEMIES

USMAPS prepares candidates to qualify for, and later graduate from, West Point.

Bochtler served in the Army for three years before coming to USMAPS and deployed to Afghanistan from April 2018 until January 2019, the military academy said.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

He was from Nebraska and played lacrosse at USMAPS.

The town of Hunter is about 75 miles north of the military academy.

Westlake Legal Group Ne-Cadet West Point cadet candidate, 20, dies after falling from rock ledge Melissa Leon fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/military/army fox news fnc/us fnc article 94f64e32-7901-58ef-b3b0-a5c1b7c02f59   Westlake Legal Group Ne-Cadet West Point cadet candidate, 20, dies after falling from rock ledge Melissa Leon fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/military/army fox news fnc/us fnc article 94f64e32-7901-58ef-b3b0-a5c1b7c02f59

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Facebook says Homeland Security can’t make fake accounts

Facebook said on Tuesday that it would be against its rules for the Department of Homeland Security to create fake profiles to monitor the social media of foreigners seeking to enter America.

“Law enforcement authorities, like everyone else, are required to use their real names on Facebook, and we make this policy clear,” Facebook spokeswoman Sarah Pollack told The Associated Press in a statement. “Operating fake accounts is not allowed, and we will act on any violating accounts.”

The company already communicated its concerns and policies to DHS and it will shut down fake accounts, even if they’re run by undercover law enforcement, according to Pollack.

Facebook’s statement came on the heels of a report that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services had reversed a previous ban on the practice of officers creating fake social media profiles.

GOOGLE TARGETED IN NEW ANTITRUST PROBE BY STATE ATTORNEYS GENERAL

Westlake Legal Group facebook-reuters2 Facebook says Homeland Security can't make fake accounts fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox news fnc/tech fnc Christopher Carbone article 5914eb5b-f678-55e1-9078-f019ad7d94fe

Facebook has a strict policy against fake accounts. (Reuters)

YOUTUBE REMOVED 17,000 CHANNELS AND 500 MILLION COMMENTS IN MAJOR HATE SPEECH CRACKDOWN

In a statement on Friday, Homeland Security told AP that fake accounts would make it easier for agents reviewing visa, green card and citizenship applications to search for fraud or security threats.

The DHS effort would also be in violation of Twitter’s rules.

Both platforms have made strides in automatically blocking and shutting down fake accounts on a daily basis.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group facebook-eye Facebook says Homeland Security can't make fake accounts fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox news fnc/tech fnc Christopher Carbone article 5914eb5b-f678-55e1-9078-f019ad7d94fe   Westlake Legal Group facebook-eye Facebook says Homeland Security can't make fake accounts fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox news fnc/tech fnc Christopher Carbone article 5914eb5b-f678-55e1-9078-f019ad7d94fe

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

White House releases video blasting Washington Post after outlet criticized Trump

Westlake Legal Group Trump-WP White House releases video blasting Washington Post after outlet criticized Trump Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 4e173154-e903-585f-ab14-2b112f4f0be5

The White House released a video on Tuesday lashing out at The Washington Post after the venerable news outlet published a report claiming President Trump’s summer was “lost” and that his advisers saw it as “a period of missed opportunity and self-sabotage.”

“Did the Amazon Washington Post take the summer off?” the White House’s video read — referencing Trump’s frequent reminder that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos owns the publication.

Showing The Post’s headline declaring a “lost summer,” the video stamped a giant, red “fake news” sign over it.

TRUMP SLAMS WASHINGTON POST OVER REPORT ON PARDONS

The video includes footage from multiple media outlets — including Fox News and Fox Business Network — reporting on actions taken by the Trump administration. That included things like signing executive orders on veterans’ student loan debt and sanctions on Iran. 

More from Media

It also pointed to, among other things, his decisions on “public charge” criteria for admitting immigrants, meeting with foreign leaders, visiting mass shooting survivors, traveling to North Korea, and putting forth an executive order on the Affordable Care Act.

But The Post asserted that the summer had reinforced critics’ perception of Trump as “incompetent, indecisive, intolerant and ineffective.”

The story, published on Sunday, carried the headline “Trump’s lost summer: Aides claim victory, but others see incompetence and intolerance.” It cited critics like Republican strategist Alex Castellanos, who said Americans would remember the summer for its trade war with China and the resulting economic uncertainty.

“In the final lull before the 2020 campaign starts to intensify this fall, Trump could have worked strategically to solidify his position and broaden his appeal,” The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker and Ashley Parker wrote. “Instead, his words and actions this summer served to further divide the country and to harden public opinion about the ever-polarizing president.”

NEWT GINGRICH: TRUMP VS. THE NY TIMES, WASHINGTON POST — LIBERAL MEDIA NEED TO BRACE FOR A TREMENDOUS SHOCK

Although the White House provided The Post with a list of accomplishments for its report, the paper seemed to discount those when it cited Trump’s critics.

“But some White House aides and outside Trump allies offer a grimmer view, describing an administration in which the president has crashed through the remaining guard rails,” Rucker and Parker wrote.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“The chief of staff is still in an ‘acting’ role and jobs that multiple aides once handled are now being filled by fewer staffers, and the president and his team failed to drive a sustained message or capitalize on what they view as winnable fights on the economy and immigration.”

The Post’s article pointed to controversies between Trump and freshman congresswomen collectively known as “the Squad,” as well as the sharp criticism that Trump had for Baltimore.

Westlake Legal Group Trump-WP White House releases video blasting Washington Post after outlet criticized Trump Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 4e173154-e903-585f-ab14-2b112f4f0be5   Westlake Legal Group Trump-WP White House releases video blasting Washington Post after outlet criticized Trump Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 4e173154-e903-585f-ab14-2b112f4f0be5

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Iranian oil tanker nears coast of Syria as captain refuses to cooperate with delivery, sources say

Westlake Legal Group Adrian-Darya-1-AP Iranian oil tanker nears coast of Syria as captain refuses to cooperate with delivery, sources say Trey Yingst fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox news fnc/world fnc article a96532ee-b9d6-5a5a-8c9f-690744a725b3

The Adrian Darya 1, the Iranian oil tanker that the U.S. has pursued for several days, is now fewer than 10 nautical miles from the shores of Syria, intelligence sources tell Fox News.

The captain of the vessel, Akhilesh Kumar, has been refusing to cooperate with a planned oil delivery and has asked to be dismissed or replaced, the sources added.

The ship, formerly known as the Grace 1, turned off its tracking systems as it sailed toward Syria on Monday afternoon.

By entering Syrian waters, the vessel was defying a commitment to the United Kingdom that allowed its release after it was detained in the Strait of Gibraltar.

The ship has been carrying 2.1 million barrels of Iranian crude oil worth around $130 million. On Friday, the Treasury Department hit the tanker and its captain with sanctions, among the latest punishments targeting Iran’s energy industry.

IRANIAN OIL TANKER SOUGHT BY U.S. TURNS OFF TRACKER

Iranian oil tankers often turn off their Automatic Tracking Systems in attempts to hide cargo.

Tensions are high in the Persian Gulf after a summer filled with attacks by Iran and Iranian proxies on Western oil tankers and infrastructure.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The Iranians have demanded the United States ease sanctions on the Islamic Republic. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Zarif said Tuesday that Iran would break a third commitment in the 2015 nuclear deal if its European signatories — Great Britain, France and Germany — couldn’t salvage the deal by Thursday. Earlier this year, Iran surpassed the uranium enrichment and stockpile limits laid out in the agreement.

The Trump administration Tuesday afternoon imposed still more sanctions on Iran, this time targeting the country’s space agency.

Fox News’ Yonat Friling contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Adrian-Darya-1-AP Iranian oil tanker nears coast of Syria as captain refuses to cooperate with delivery, sources say Trey Yingst fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox news fnc/world fnc article a96532ee-b9d6-5a5a-8c9f-690744a725b3   Westlake Legal Group Adrian-Darya-1-AP Iranian oil tanker nears coast of Syria as captain refuses to cooperate with delivery, sources say Trey Yingst fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox news fnc/world fnc article a96532ee-b9d6-5a5a-8c9f-690744a725b3

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Ted Cruz, Alyssa Milano agree to meet, discuss gun violence after Odessa shooting

Westlake Legal Group Milano-Cruz_Getty Ted Cruz, Alyssa Milano agree to meet, discuss gun violence after Odessa shooting Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/person/ted-cruz fox-news/person/alyssa-milano fox-news/media fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/media fnc article 32f199f8-2d2f-5a53-8a1f-4fe5f3a43cb8

It appears that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz will meet with liberal actress Alyssa Milano to discuss gun violence after the two of them feuded on Twitter following last weekend’s deadly gun rampage in Odessa.

The clash began on Sunday. That’s when Milano responded to state Rep. Matt Shaefer’s suggestion that owning a gun is a “God-given right,” asking the Republican legislator, “Can someone cite which passage of the Bible God states it is a god-given right to own a gun?”

Cruz called it an “excellent” question and began by pointing to the “right to Life & the right to Liberty” and went on to cite a Bible verse.

CHICAGO MAYOR CLASHES WITH CRUZ OVER GUN VIOLENCE: ‘KEEP OUR NAME OUT OF YOUR MOUTH’

“The right to self-defense is recognized repeatedly in the Bible,” Cruz wrote, for example, “Exodus 22:2: ‘If a thief is caught breaking in at night & is struck a fatal blow, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed.’ (Note, though, Verse 3 says it IS murder if during daylight (ie, not self-defense).”

Pointing to the “unalienable rights” of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” within the Declaration of Independence, Cruz said it is “for that reason that the Second Amendment safeguards the right to keep and bear arms.

TED CRUZ, AOC UNITE FOR ‘SUPER-BIZARRE’ LEGISLATIVE ALLIANCE 

“Playing politics w/ these deranged crimes — and trying to use them as an excuse to violate the constl [sic] rights of law-abiding citizens — won’t make anybody safer,” Cruz concluded in a Twitter thread. “Forcible gun confiscation (as some 2020 Dems urge) won’t prevent mass-murders. But it would weaken our self-defense.”

On Monday, Milano floated the idea of meeting with the Texas senator to discuss the “gun issue,” among other topics, noting that she would be in Washington next week.

“I’d love to come in and meet with you on the gun issue and many other issues that include life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness… We can live-stream the meeting so the American people can hear your bulls— 1st hand,” Milano wrote, adding she’d like to talk about 1 Peter 4:8, which says: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

Cruz accepted the offer.

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“I’d be happy to sit down & visit next week about uniting to stop gun violence & about the Constitution,” Cruz responded. “If we can have a civil & positive conversation — in the spirit of 1 Peter 4:8 as you suggest — despite our political differences, that might help resolve the discord in our Nation.”

Fox News’ Caleb Parke contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Milano-Cruz_Getty Ted Cruz, Alyssa Milano agree to meet, discuss gun violence after Odessa shooting Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/person/ted-cruz fox-news/person/alyssa-milano fox-news/media fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/media fnc article 32f199f8-2d2f-5a53-8a1f-4fe5f3a43cb8   Westlake Legal Group Milano-Cruz_Getty Ted Cruz, Alyssa Milano agree to meet, discuss gun violence after Odessa shooting Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/second-amendment fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/person/ted-cruz fox-news/person/alyssa-milano fox-news/media fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/media fnc article 32f199f8-2d2f-5a53-8a1f-4fe5f3a43cb8

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Mattis slams Obama, Biden for ‘ignoring reality’ in Iraq, leading to rise of ISIS

Former Defense Secretary James Mattis, in stark terms, lambasts Barack Obama and Joe Biden for faulty leadership in his new book, and suggests their naivete and ignorance of reality contributed to the rise of ISIS in Iraq, according to excerpts reviewed by The Washington Examiner.

The book, “Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead,” co-written with Bing West, does not delve into Mattis’ discussions with President Trump. Mattis, speaking to “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday, said only that he did not have a “tense” relationship with the president.

“I try not to talk, having parted ways with the administration over matters of policy,” Mattis said. “I don’t want to talk from the cheap seats now and make their job more difficult.” Mattis resigned from the Trump administration last December after clashing with the president over the abrupt withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria and after two years of deep disagreements over America’s role in the world.

But Mattis, in his book, did open up about his tenure as head of U.S. Central Command from 2010 to 2013, and zeroed in on the Obama administration’s desire to wind down the U.S. troop presence in Iraq, no matter the cost.

Mattis wrote that Obama’s tenure “was to be a time when I would witness duty and deceit, courage and cowardice, and, ultimately, strategic frustration.”

ISIS USING BOOBY-TRAPPED BOVINES, DONKEY-BORNE EXPLOSIVES TO TARGET ENEMIES IN IRAQ

“In Washington, the debate swirled throughout 2011 about how many, if any, U.S. troops should remain in Iraq,” Mattis recounted. “Central Command, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the new defense secretary, Leon Panetta, who had replaced Bob Gates, continued to recommend to the White House retaining a residual force, as did Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.”

All of them, Mattis asserted, were “talking to the wind,” as Obama was singularly focused on living up to his public promises to end the war in Iraq. In late 2011, Obama said confidently in a speech to the nation that some 40,000 servicemen and women still in Iraq “will definitely be home for the holidays.”

The administration’s faith in Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Mattis said, was also misplaced.

“Prime Minister Maliki is highly untrustworthy, Mr. Vice President,” Mattis said he warned Biden. “He’s devious when he talks to us. … He looks at our ambassadors and military advisers as impediments to his anti-Sunni agenda. He wants to purge or marginalize Sunnis and Kurds from the government.”

“He exuded the confidence of a man whose mind was made up.”

— Former Defense Secretary James Mattis, on Joe Biden

Mattis wrote that “Vice President Biden and his assistants listened politely. But as we spoke, I sensed I was making no headway in convincing the administration officials not to support Maliki. It was like talking to people who lived in wooden houses but saw no need for a fire department. …  I found him an admirable and amiable man. But he was past the point where he was willing to entertain a ‘good idea.’ He didn’t want to hear more; he wanted our forces out of Iraq. Whatever path led there fastest, he favored.

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“He exuded the confidence of a man whose mind was made up, perhaps even indifferent to considering the consequences were he judging the situation incorrectly,” Mattis concluded.

According to Mattis, Biden countered that “Maliki wants us to stick around, because he does not see a future in Iraq otherwise. I’ll bet you my vice presidency.”

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Dec. 3, 2011: Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Baghdad, Iraq.

Afterward, Mattis said, “Iraq slipped back into escalating violence. It was like watching a car wreck in slow motion. … All of this was predicted — and preventable.”

In 2016, faced with the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS) in the Iraq power vacuum that he had once dismissed as a “junior varsity” effort, Obama sent 5,000 troops back to Iraq. ISIS’ major strongholds fell under the Trump administration, although experts warn that the group remains dangerous.

Nevertheless, Biden — who was nominally in charge of overseeing troop withdrawals from Iraq under the Obama administration — has touted his efforts in that capacity as he runs for president. “I made sure the president turned to me and said, ‘Joe, get our combat troops out of Iraq,'” Biden said in Miami in June. “I was responsible for getting 150,000 combat troops out of Iraq, and my son was one of them.”

In July, Biden claimed, “When I was vice president, the president gave me all the easy jobs, like ‘take care of getting all our troops out of Iraq,’ which we did.”

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The Washington Post’s fact-checker has noted that Biden has preferred not to mention on the campaign trail the troops’ eventual return to Iraq under his watch.

In his book, Mattis also faulted Obama’s failure to enforce his own self-imposed “red line” upon the use of chemical weapons in Syria had weakend the U.S. globally.

“Old friends in NATO and in the Pacific registered dismay and incredulity that America’s reputation had been seriously weakened as a credible security partner,” Mattis wrote. “Within 36 hours, I received a phone call from a friendly Pacific-nation diplomat. ‘Well, Jim,’ he said, ‘I guess we’re on our own with China.’”

He continued: “Over the next several years, Syria totally disintegrated into hell on earth. The consequences included an accelerated refugee flow that changed the political culture of Europe, punctuated by repeated terrorist attacks. And America today lives with the consequences of emboldened adversaries and shaken allies.”

Mattis separately recounted his own ignominious firing by Obama, after months of disagreement over military policy.

“In December 2012, I received an unauthorized phone call telling me that in an hour, the Pentagon would be announcing my relief,” Mattis said. “I was leaving a region aflame and in disarray. The lack of an integrated regional strategy had left us adrift, and our friends confused. We were offering no leadership or direction. I left my post deeply disturbed that we had shaken our friends’ confidence and created vacuums that our adversaries would exploit.”

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Speaking to “Fox & Friends,” Mattis emphasized that his book was not entirely about disagreements over geopolitics and strategy.

“It’s about leadership,” Mattis said. “It’s about allies, it’s about how do you set the vision as a leader so that all your young people, right down to the youngest 18-year-olds, feel a sense of ownership?”

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