The Complaceny Trap

The Complaceny Trap
Vol: 128 Issue: 31 Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Jerusalem Act, passed by Congress in 1995, has several key provisions that enshrine that commitment as a matter of law, rather than of foreign policy.  It notes that every country designates its own capital, and that Israel has so designated Jerusalem, the spiritual center of Judaism.

It states that since the reunification of Jerusalem in 1967, religious freedom has been guaranteed to all. And it recalls several previous Congressional resolutions calling for the city to remain united.

The Act then states what henceforth will be not Congressional preferences but the official policy of the United States toward Jerusalem: that it should remain a united city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected; that it should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel; and that the U.S. Embassy should be established there no later than May 31, 1999.

The Act gives the President the authority to suspend relocation of the US Embassy to Jerusalem, but only for a period of six months at a time.  To suspend the provisions of the Jerusalem Act, the President must report to Congress that implementing it at this time would not be in the best interests of national security.

The administration has to do more than just invoke national security, the Act requires him to give details explaining how suspending the Act for another six months is in America’s best interests.  The Act had near unanimous support by both Houses and was overwhelming passed by the Senate (93-5) and by the House (374-37).

The United States is one of only three nations in the world that recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Only two nations actually relocated their embassies to Jerusalem — Costa Rica and El Salvador. (The Arab world severed relations with them both.)

The United Nations issued a 1997 report entitled ‘The Status of Jerusalem’ that declares it an ‘international city’ that should remain divided along the armistice lines of the Israel-Jordan Armistice Agreement of April 3, 1949.

As a consequence, the whole world opposes Israel’s possession of Jerusalem, except for the United States.  This is exactly the scenario prophesied twenty-five hundred years ago by the Prophet Zechariah.

The prophet Zechariah lived in the 6th century BC and was among those Babylonian exiles who returned to Judea after the seventy years of captivity prophesied by Jeremiah was completed around 536 BC.

The book bearing his name divides itself into two major portions. Chapters 1-8 deal principally with events contemporary with the prophet, while chapters 9-14 sweep across the centuries, reaching all the way to the second coming of Christ at the end of history.

It is the prophet Zechariah who prophesied that in the last days, the world would be focused on Jerusalem and would be united against Israel’s possession of the Holy City.

The prophet Zechariah also predicted that any nation who ‘burdened themselves’ with Jerusalem would be ‘cut in pieces.’  Portions of Zechariah’s prophecies for the last days are already in the process of being fulfilled in our day.

At the present time, Israel’s only ally is the United States.  The United States, as a matter of national law, is committed to Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem, despite the policies of any sitting administration.

It was US support of Israel that was cited by Osama bin-Laden in his declaration of jihad against America, and it was US support of Israel that Osama claimed was the impetus behind the September 11 attacks and the subsequent war on terror.  

The prophet Zechariah also said that God Himself will stand with Israel, promising that, “he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David’ (Zechariah 12:8) and that,

“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me WHOM THEY HAVE PIERCED, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” (12:10)

Assessment:

That is pretty amazing stuff, when you think about it. Here is a Jewish prophet, living five centuries before the First Christmas, discussing the second coming of the Messiah Whom the prophet acknowledges was ‘pierced’ by His Own people.

But for the most part, Zechariah’s prophecies for the last days remain unfulfilled. But they will be. Zechariah’s track record for specificity is unrivaled. Consider the following prophecy concerning the Lord at His First Advent;

“And I said unto them, If ye think good, give Me My price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for My price thirty pieces of silver. And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.” (Zechariah 11:12-13)

Zechariah, speaking on behalf of the promised Messiah, makes the following points.

Zechariah speaks of haggling over His price;

“If ye think good, give Me My price; and if not, forbear.”

Matthew records Judas haggling over the price for betraying Jesus, saying,

“What will ye give me, and I will deliver Him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.”

The term “covenanted” (suntithemi) means “to work out a mutually agreeable contract” — a negotiated settlement.

Zechariah specified the metallic composition of the coinage by which the transaction would be made.  It was neither gold nor copper, but rather, “silver” and Zechariah predicted the precise number of coins to be paid.

Zechariah’s prophecy indicated that the money would be returned to the Jewish leaders, the custodians of “the house of God.”

Matthew’s record reveals that Judas, in a swoon of regret, brought back the coinage to the chief priests and elders. But they would have none of it.  Instead, they used the money to buy a ‘potter’s field’ to serve as a burial place for strangers.

And, the prophet indicated that in some way the silver coins were to be “cast” (thrown) into the “house of Jehovah.” Zechariah has perfectly depicted the act of the betrayer.

Judas “cast down the pieces of silver into the sanctuary” (Matthew 27:5)

The detail, as already noted, is breathtaking, when one sits down to think about it.  But in our day, so much of Bible prophecy seems to be on the cusp of its ultimate fulfillment that we tend to get a bit complacent about it.

Even among serious Christians with a love for His appearing, there is sometimes a sense of ‘so what’ that replaces our earlier ‘gee whiz’ attitude to the signs of our times.

“Knowing this first, that there shall come IN THE LAST DAYS scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of His coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” (2nd Peter 3:4-5)

Peter goes on, writing;

“For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, BY THE SAME WORD are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” (3:5-7)

The fact is, He IS coming back, and He IS coming back soon. This isn’t a case of wishful thinking, or a hopeful interpretation of the signs of the times.  We are living in the final hours of human history, and we have been given an awesome responsibility.

Every person that we meet in the course of our day-to-day lives has an eternal destiny.  Either it will be spent in unspeakable joy in the presence of Christ, or it will be spent in unspeakable horror in the lake of fire.

And for all any of us know, we may be the only hope they have of learning the truth.  Before it is too late.

Don’t let yourself get complacent.  The Bible is true and the Lord IS coming back — in this generation.

Long Life And Talents

Long Life And Talents
Vol: 128 Issue: 30 Wednesday, May 30, 2012

One of the major dichotomies of the Christian life is that for Christians, to die is gain.  All of us want to go to heaven, this old earth is nothing but sin and misery.  But the dichotomy is that we’ll cling to this life with both hands until the last second, praying for long life even as we eagerly acknowledge our joy at the prospect of going Home.

“Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.” (Ephesians 6:2-3)

It appears hugely contradictory.  The Promise is that we will live long upon the earth as a reward for honoring our parents.  Given our doctrine that to “die is gain” it would seem illogical to reward believers with long life on the earth.

As the old saying goes, “Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.” Atheists are quick to point out the seeming inconsistency to that position as ‘evidence’ that our faith, no matter how staunchly we might defend it, is really just a sham, like whistling past the graveyard.

Everybody dies, notes the atheist, so the whole heaven and hell thing is a fairy tale; the ‘opiate of the masses,’ Marx called it, self-administered to give some sense of eternal meaning to the inevitable.

After all, if heaven was real, wouldn’t we be standing in line at the edge of the cliff waiting for our turn to jump?

It is, of course, a deliberately misleading argument.  Personally, I have no fear of BEING dead.  I know in Whom I have believed, and, like Paul,

“I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

But BEING dead is different than GETTING dead.  To my way of thinking, fear of death is more a fear of GETTING there than it is of BEING there.

So a promise that includes ‘my days being long upon the earth’ is attractive, not because I am not eager to be in heaven, but rather because I am not particularly looking forward to the ‘jumping off’ point.

Dying prematurely means all one’s chances to do right have been used up.  I will stand before the Bema Seat with only those works I accomplished during my lifetime . . . and I know how much time I’ve wasted already.  I can’t afford to spare another second.

While I most assuredly expect to go to heaven when I die, I would hate to show up at the Bema Seat alone, with no fruit to show for my existence.

Jesus told the parable of the three servants to illustrate:

“For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.” (Matthew 25:15-16)

There is an eternal truth contained here that is often overlooked.  He gave his servants ‘talents’ — ‘to every man according to his several ability’.  The nobleman also expected them to USE those abilities to his service.

“Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.” (25:17)

Note also that the servant that was given the most produced the most.  Then our attention is turned to the unprofitable servant:

“But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.” (25:18)

The two servants who invested their lord’s money returned it to him upon his return with interest. The first two servants were rewarded handsomely.

The first two servants were commended:

“His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (25:21,23)

“Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.” (25:24-25)

Saying, “at my coming I should have received mine own with usury,” (25:27) the lord in the parable ordered the lazy servant to be stripped of the one talent he had, and ordered him cast into the outer darkness, ‘where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (25:30)

These verses are often used to ‘prove’ a believer can lose his salvation, but it only works by taking the verses out of context.

In context, Jesus is teaching concerning the fate of the nations on the last day, not that of individual believers, as the next verses make clear.

“And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. . . And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” (Matthew 25:32,46)

But, while the unprofitable servant story is ultimately referring to the separation into the ‘sheep’ and ‘goat’ nations in the last day, it also gives some insight into what the Lord expects us to do with the “talents” He gave each of us.

Assessment:

As believers, we are given certain ‘talents’ by the Lord and He expects us to use them to give Him ‘His own with usury’ — that is to say, He expects us to show up at the Bema seat with more than just ourselves to show for our lives.

The Apostle Paul likens a believer to a building set on the foundation of Jesus Christ and says that it is, from then on, up to us to build upon it.

“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble . . .” (1st Corinthians 3:12)

Note that, although we are free to build upon our Foundation using the building materials of our choosing, our eternal security is based upon this Foundation, not our subsequent construction efforts.

Paul uses the analogy of the Bema Seat to describe the believer’s judgement — which is a different event than the Great White Throne Judgment that ends with the Lake of Fire.

In Paul’s day, the judge at the Olympic games would sit at the finish line.  His job was to determine the position each runner finished, first, second, third, and so on, for the purpose of awarding medals according to placement — just as in the modern Olympics.

This conveys a singularly important truth.  EVERYBODY that makes it past the Bema Seat FINISHED the race.  The Bema Seat is where the Judge awards the medals based on performance.  Keep that in mind as we go on.

“Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.”

A person doesn’t get to the Bema Seat by mere intellectual knowledge alone. Believing is not enough — Satan believes in God, but he isn’t going to heaven.

For clarification purposes, then, those who stand before the Bema Seat are those who, by faith, repented of their sinful condition before God and accepted the free Pardon procured for them at the Cross.

And, as we’ve seen, repentance ALWAYS results in a changed life, but a changed life isn’t the same thing as a life of sinless perfection.

Individuals are redeemed or condemned according to the single criteria of either accepting or rejecting Christ.

The ‘sheep’ nations and ‘goat’ nations aren’t judged according to their perfection, either.  But they ARE judged according to their performance under conviction and are rewarded accordingly.

Paul says of the individual believer who crosses the finish line and stands before the Bema Seat where their works are tried by fire;

“Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but HE HIMSELF SHALL BE SAVED; yet so as by fire.” (1st Corinthians 3:14-15)

Long life is, for the Christian, an opportunity to bear more fruit.  Every morning is a second chance to do the right thing, a second chance to invest our God-given talents so that we might return His Own to the King, with usury.

One day, we will stand before the Bema Seat and our works will be judged.  The only works that are of eternal consequence are those works we do that bear fruit for the King.

Every person we meet will one day stand before the Judge, either at the Bema Seat, to be judged according to one’s works on behalf of the Kingdom and to receive his rewards, or at the Great White Throne, where one will be judged according to the works done on their own behalf, where they will receive their ‘reward’ of their own righteousness.

Where that person stands in this day of judgement depends on whether or not one uses one’s God-given talent or buries it in the ground.

“Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.”

“Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” (Jude: 21-25)

May our God bless us all.  Until He comes.  Maranatha!

The Choom Gang

The Choom Gang
Vol: 128 Issue: 29 Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The First Amendment does something found nowhere else in the Constitution or any of its amendments.  It protects one particular for-profit industry.  In return for this protection, the press was expected to remain separate from the government.  (In much the same way that the press insists on ensuring that church and state remain separate).

The Virginia Declaration of Rights enshrined the press, proclaiming;

“the freedom of the press is one of the greatest bulwarks of liberty and can never be restrained but by despotic governments.”

Benjamin Franklin is often referred to as the father of the uniquely American view of the media.  In his Apology for Printers, he wrote:

“Printers are educated in the Belief, that when Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Public; and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter…”  

Franklin’s assumption that a free press would remain dedicated to the truth was rooted in his faith in America’s free enterprise system. 

Breaking a big story would increase circulation, which would encourage newspaper owners to hire editors that would send out reporters to investigate and report, which in turn would keep the government honest. 

Franklin’s faith that the press would seek the truth was rooted in his faith in the “open marketplace of ideas” concept.  In an open marketplace of ideas, the good arguments prevail while the weak arguments are exposed.

Franklin, like the rest of the Founders, believed that for an individual to use his God-given ability to use reason to distinguish what is good from what is bad, the individual must have unlimited access to the open marketplace of ideas.

The First Amendment was the FIRST Amendment because it enshrined the rights the Founders believed were paramount to American freedom. 

The Founders, revolutionaries having just emerged from a bloody, but successful insurrection, put these five freedoms above the right to bear the arms that won that freedom in the first place.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Freedom of religion, freedom of speech, a free press, the right to assemble and the right to seek redress from the government — without those freedoms, the right to bear arms would guarantee generations of lawlessness and failure.

Without enshrining the freedom of the press in the Constitution, the government could coerce the press into presenting only one side of an issue and deprive the citizen of his ability to reach a reasoned opinion.

What the Founders failed to come up with was a way to guarantee the press wouldn’t voluntarily sell out its Constitutional mandate to the truth and impose its preferred ideology. 

Of course, the Founders could never have imagined that the power of the press could have been concentrated into the hands of so few.  As we reported almost ten years ago:

‘Viacom owns CBS, UPN, MTV, Nickelodeon, Showtime,Sundance Channel, VH-1, King World Productions, Infinity Broadcasting and Comedy Central. Viacom’s holdings also include Blockbuster Video, the world’s largest video rental chain, and Blockbuster Music; book publishing, including Simon & Schuster, Scribners and Macmillan; film, video and television production, including Paramount Pictures; a 50 percent interest in United Cinemas International, one of the world’s largest movie theater companies.’

‘The politics of the big networks is no secret. The companies that own them are equally brazen. Remember who owns them — Viacom, GE, Disney and Newscorp.’

‘The long-term strategists at Disney/GE/ News Corporation/Viacom/AOL Time Warner have a pretty clear vision of how they want their companies to expand and to exploit their synergies, but the public is clueless about this revolution that’s going on largely outside its view.”Partying with the Prez

THAT is how Barack Hussein Obama managed to make it all the way to the White House without anybody outside the realm of connected political junkies ever seeing this picture of Candidate Barack Obama puffing on a joint while giving lessons to fellow potheads about how to obtain “TA” or “total absorption.”

Assessment:

I’ve never seen these pictures.  I didn’t read Barack Obama’s autobiographies, (although it fascinated me that a guy not yet forty would have written not one, but two personal memoirs.)

I consider myself to be pretty well-informed about such political inside information and I confess that I knew that Obama admitted to smoking pot when he was a kid and a somewhat less overt admission he may have ‘tried’ cocaine.

I thought it clever, at the time, for him to inoculate himself against being exposed as a drug abuser by admitting early on that “I inhaled” —   but the press dropped it so quickly that I, like most everybody else, assumed it was because there was no “there” there.

Indeed, when a new book by David Maraniss forced the Los Angeles Times to discuss Obama’s past drug abuse, the first sentence attempted to re-inoculate him, but I don’t think it will work a second time.

“Just in case there are any voters out there who don’t already know that the incumbent president smoked marijuana as a teenager, several websites Friday revealed details from David Maraniss’ soon-to-be-released biography about the young Barry Obama and his “choom gang.”

Like I said, I didn’t know about Obama’s “choom gang” — and I bet a lot of other folks didn’t either.  But instead of crediting David Maraniss for doing the job the press failed to do three years ago, Times columnist David Lauter noted that Obama admitted smoking pot in his memoirs “but left many details unsaid.”Obama's Pot Posse

Actually, the mainstream media left those details uninvestigated and unreported.  In what version of the Constitutional free press model does a presidential candidate get to vett himself?  

Even though forced by circumstances to hold his nose and report some previously unknown facts about the president, the LATimes did its best to minimize the story’s  impact — and even hailed the fact that it would probably remain under-reported because of the story’s timing!

“The marijuana passages are a few pages in a 571-page volume. No word on who leaked the excerpts that first found their way into the blogosphere. From the White House’s standpoint, it’s probably convenient that the news, such as it is, was broken on a Friday afternoon before the long Memorial Day weekend.”

And he was right.  The story is in the media, but it is already being suppressed by the mainstream propagandist press. I was able to Google the story by using keywords, but got only a handful of hits.  There was NO mention on Google’s US News page.

TIME Magazine played the whole story for laughs, but had they run this exact same story in 2008, I doubt that Obama would have been laughing.  Stoned Again!

The point here is not that the President of the United States is a pothead. Instead, I wanted to demonstrate the power of the press to control or change the course of history,  by using a real-world example. 

Had the alleged free press pursued Obama’s drug use with the same passion with which they pursued John McCain’s wife’s ownership of beer distributorships, or George Bush’s 1985 drunk driving conviction, it is unlikely that Obama would have made it to the White House.

Had the alleged free press pursued Obama’s refusal to release his birth records, college transcripts, passport records, baptismal records, his parent’s marriage license, etc., with the same passion that they pursued John McCain’s potential ineligibility because he was born on a US Naval base in Panama, it may have changed history.

According to the Bible, when the antichrist is ready to ascend to power, he will do so through what Paul describes as a strong delusion. (2 Thessalonians 2:11)

The Apostle John says the False Prophet will use the power of deception to advance the worship of the antichrist.  But before all that must first come the conditioning process. 

We had to get used to the fact that, like mushrooms, the public is fed manure and kept in the dark – and then the public had to be conditioned to prefer it that way.  And it demonstrates — in a big, big way, how incredibly easy it is for those that stand for nothing to fall for anything.

It is fair to argue that strong delusion masquerading as news has come of age in this generation.  Indeed, the purveyors of the delusion cheerfully admit it and even chortle about how they pull it off, (like releasing damaging news on the Friday before a holiday.)

It isn’t that Obama is the antichrist — I don’t believe that he is.  But Obama demonstrates beyond any question the power of the mainstream media to shape reality and the willingness of the public to subscribe to any delusion, no matter how obvious, if it is properly packaged.   

Now, to return to the issue of Bible prophecy, Christianity, politics and the last days and whether or not political discussion and opinion is appropriate to the mission of the Omega Letter, the answer is also found in Paul’s second letter charging Timothy with his responsibilities before God.

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.  But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. (2nd Timothy 4:3)

That time has come and gone and all that remains is to “watch in all things, endure afflictions and do the work of an evangelist” until He comes. 

That includes sorting out truth from fables so that we can witness the awesome power of God in action together.  As bad as things look, as scary as they actually are, the fact that God told us this would happen means that everything is going according to plan.

So the rest of the world can worry and fret and panic and cast about for a new messiah to replace the tarnished one invented by the ‘unbiased’ journalists they trust so much. 

We know that our side is winning and God has the enemy right where He wants him. Even if we don’t quite have it all figured out, we know where to put our trust.

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. all thy ways acknowledge him, and He shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

More Than Baseball and Hot Dogs

More Than Baseball and Hot Dogs
Vol: 128 Issue: 28 Monday, May 28, 2012

Tiny Melton was a truck driver from Missouri. Tiny got his nickname in boot camp after his drill instructor took one look at his 6’4″ 220lb frame and said, ”From now on, son, your name is Tiny.”

The name stuck. Tiny looked like a body-builder, but it was just the way he looked, he didn’t work at it. And as big as he was, he was as gentle as a lamb.

Tiny always put me in mind of Clint Walker’s character, “Posey” in the 60’s war movie, “The Dirty Dozen.”

Lynwood Richardson was from Alabama.  Lynn was black, his skin a deep, rich ebony color. He was rechristened by his drill instructor as ‘Snowball’.

Richardson was a great runner, but a lousy athlete.  It was a dirty little secret then, but I suppose it’s safe to admit it now.

In those days, it was fairly common for the drill instructor to cheat a little in order to squeeze somebody by some parts of the physical fitness test.

The tester was a drill instructor from another platoon.  Snowball couldn’t do the requisite number of pull ups — my DI had me wear his sweatshirt and do them for him. (Snowball did the 3 mile run wearing my sweatshirt while I wore Pvt. Brunson’s and did his situps)

Sherman Latchaw was a little bitty guy from Pennsylvania — he didn’t weigh 95 pounds dripping wet.  He wore great big, oversized glasses that made him look like the little kid ‘Sherman’ from the Mr. Peabody cartoons.

But, since his name was ALREADY Sherman, we called him ‘Poindexter.’  Poindexter looked like a stiff wind would knock him over.  But he whipped every guy he was matched up with in hand-to-hand combat training. Poindexter, the little guy with the big glasses, graduated at the top of his boot camp class.

Terry Severance was from Pennsylvania, as well.  For some reason, he and I didn’t hit it off that well at first.  One of the duties shared by each recruit in boot camp was ‘firewatch’ duty.  Each recruit in turn pulled a one-hour patrol of the barracks at night, before waking up the next man.

Terry fell asleep and when he woke me, it was halfway through my turn.  Somehow, we ended up having a fight in the shower room — me barefoot in my skivvies, he in full dungaree uniform and combat boots.

I don’t remember who won, but I remember we were friends from them on.

My drill instructor was a guy named S/Sgt. J. R. James.  When he found out I was Canadian, he nicknamed me ‘Wacky Jack’ — whenever another DI stopped by, Sgt. James would invite him to inspect ‘his pet Canadian’ whereupon I would race to the center of the squadbay to be ‘inspected.’

They’d look me over and say things like, “No wonder the Canadians sent him down here.” and, “they don’t grow ’em too sturdy up there, do they?” and other kind words of encouragement.  (I kept part of the nickname — I dropped the ‘Wacky’ part and only had to put up with it when I ran into somebody from my old platoon)

Mike Tuscan was a decent guy, quiet, steady, and somebody you knew you could count on when the chips were down.  He was a fairly nondescript looking guy, you’d pass him on the street without a second glance.

The last time I saw him, he had made it to S/Sgt in less than three years — quite an accomplishment for a Marine so bland that HIS nickname was ‘Mike’.

Assessment:

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

Memorial Day began as “Decoration Day” shortly after the end of the Civil War.  Prior to that war, veterans and their war service were most frequently honored as part of the annual Independence Day celebrations.

In the aftermath of the Civil War many cities and communities began a tradition of marking the graves of their war dead.  Eventually, the observance became a national phenomenon and began to be observed nationwide on May 30.

With time, the observances came to include the dead of other wars.  In 1967 the observance was officially recognized as a federal holiday — Memorial Day.

Memorial Day was recently marked with controversy as some school districts have taken Memorial Day off their school holiday calendar.  In North Carolina alone, there were twenty school district that held classes on this Memorial Day.

Explained Charlie Wyant, Catawba County Schools Board of Education chairman;

“The legislators have put us in a bind,” Wyant said. “We have only so many days to get 180 instruction days in, plus teacher workdays, plus holidays. People want their Easter vacation and Christmas break, so when we did the calendar for this year, we chose to keep those and take away Memorial Day.”

The two holidays being reconsidered as ordinary school days are Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day.  Why not Martin Luther King Day?  Why not President’s day, (since it no longer honors any particular president?)

Martin Luther King Day celebrates the murder of a great social leader.  President’s Day honors the presidents who led the nation in times of war.

Memorial Day honors those ordinary men and women who volunteered to stand in harm’s way so that the rest of us wouldn’t have to.  They paid the price for freedom with their blood, their sweat, their tears, and, too often, with their lives.

They did so while living on salaries below the federal poverty line, leaving their families to the tender mercies of their self-absorbed countrymen, many of whom were subjected to verbal abuse and insults as a reward for their sacrifices.

Memorial Day is arguably one of America’s most important holidays, since it celebrates the ongoing willingness of young Americans to sacrifice themselves in the name of freedom, on behalf of an increasingly ungrateful nation.

I took this Memorial Day off.  I spent the day remembering.

I remembered Tiny Melton, Lynn Richardson, Terry Severence, Sherman Latchaw and all the rest.  To the many veterans among our membership, I apologize on behalf of the ignorant among us.  And to all the millions before and since, I add my heartfelt thanks.

There is a bumper sticker out there that sums it all up nicely; 

“If you don’t stand behind our troops, feel free to stand in front of them.”

From the Omega Letter Member’s Archives, Vol 56, Issue 30, first published May 30, 2006. Happy Memorial Day!

Sealed and Delivered

Sealed and Delivered
Vol: 128 Issue: 26 Saturday, May 26, 2012

I received an email from a member in Florida this morning who noted the speed with which so much of what the Bible predicted economically for the last days is unfolding.  Her question is one that I receive, in one form, or another, on a fairly regular basis.

“Sweden has already gone to a cashless society and the power brokers here are pushing that here right now. What scares me is that suppose with the “cashless” economy we are required to have an implant or tatoo or however they’re going to do it before the AC takes control? What do we do?? We know it’s one step away from NWO and the AC but if he has NOT assumed power yet?? This has hit me like a ton of bricks and I would like your best answer. This stuff is all coming together so fast now that I’m getting to be very frightened.

After replying to her in an email, I felt led to expand the answer for anybody else out there contemplating the same question, “Can a person take the Mark of the Beast without meaning to?”  First, the short answer.  No.

The reason is because the Mark of the Beast is not merely an economic medium of exchange, like a debit or credit card, although it will surely incorporate those functions.  But if the Mark of the Beast were just about economics, my correspondent’s concern would be valid.

But the Mark of the Beast is first and foremost a worship system.  First, one must pledge worship.  The penalty for refusing to worship the Beast is the withholding of the Mark, which will identify those who otherwise would escape the False Prophet’s attention.

“And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not WORSHIP the image of the beast should be killed.” (Revelation 13:15)

But the Bible makes plain that no man can serve two masters.  Those that agree to worship the Beast are rewarded with the Mark.  The Mark is a symbol of membership in the ‘church’ of antichrist, and among the privileges of membership under his rule is the right to life, a form of liberty and the right to pursue a form of economic happiness.

But in order to accept the Mark, there must first be a False Prophet to demand worship of the Beast.  FIRST comes the demand for worship.  THEN comes the Mark as a “reward” for worship. 

Like a high-tech Star of David in 1940’s Europe, only in reverse.  Those without the Mark will be identified for roundup and extermination.  You CANNOT accept it by accident. 

And for Christians, it is irrelevant in any case, since the antichrist cannot be revealed until AFTER the Restraining Holy Spirit is “taken out of the way” (along with the vessels He indwells.)

The Bible is specific about the Mark of the Beast being an issue of worship, rather than economics.   

“And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.” (Revelation 14:9-11)

Some Christians find it difficult to reconcile the grace of God with such a harsh penalty – something I’ve always found baffling, since those same Christians have no problem with the concept of eternal damnation. 

But what about salvation by grace through faith?  Who are the Tribulation Saints?  And if the Holy Spirit has been withdrawn, how did they get saved?  

During the Tribulation, God’s grace is also withdrawn.  The Age of Grace concludes with the Rapture.  The Tribulation Period is the final, unfulfilled week of the Age of the Law.  

Revelation Chapter 7 describes an event so unique that Jesus devotes an entire chapter to its discussion.  It describes a special ‘sealing’ of “the servants of our God in their foreheads.” (Revelation 7:3)  These ‘servants of God’ are twelve thousand Jewish male virgins chosen from each of the twelve tribes of Israel — 144,000 in all.

The Greek word translated in Revelation 7:3 as “sealed” is sphragizo meaning, “to stamp for security or preservation.”

They are sphragizo in a miraculous manner, by the direct intervention of God, in exactly the same way Church Age believers are, through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  Church Age believers are also sealed.

“. . . in Whom also after that ye believed, ye were sphragizo with that Holy Spirit of promise.” (Ephesians 1:13)

The sealing work of the Holy Spirit is the basis for our eternal security during the Church Age.  The Promise from Jesus is that He would send a Comforter, and that the Comforter would abide with us until He returns for us.

“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” (John 14:16-18)

The Bible says that without the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit, salvation is impossible.

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14)

The doctrine of eternal security is proved by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in all believers during the Age of Grace.  Absent the illuminating power of the Holy Spirit, the Bible says the Gospel is foolishness to the natural man.

Assessment:

There is a prevailing conceit within the Church that God loves the Gentiles best and therefore, His attention will still be focused on the Gentiles after the Church Age concludes at the Rapture.  But the Bible paints an entirely different portrait.

The purpose for the Tribulation is two-fold.  It is set aside as a time of JUDGEMENT for the Christ-rejecting Gentile world, and for the national redemption of Israel.  The Times of the Gentiles is over.  That’s not my opinion — it is the plain teaching of the Scripture.

“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” (Romans 11:25)

That’s pretty clear, isn’t it?  The musterion (mystery; previously unrevealed truth) is that God allowed the Jews to reject the Messiah in order to provide a limited opportunity for the Gentiles to be saved.  It is limited to that period UNTIL the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. 

And then what happens?  God turns His attention back to Israel.  It says so, right here, in black and white.

“And so ALL Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:  For this is My covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father’s sakes.” (Romans 11:26-28)

One either subscribes the doctrine of replacement theology or one does not.  The New Covenant is with the believing Church during the Church Age, not with the unbelieving Gentiles of all ages.  The New Covenant is fulfilled at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb following the Rapture.

The Old Covenant is with the children of Israel.  It is fulfilled at the conclusion of Daniel’s Seventieth Week, when Israel enters into the Millennial Kingdom.

The 144,000 evangelists are sphragizo by the Holy Spirit to empower them as evangelists during the Tribulation Period, because it is only through the conviction of the Holy Spirit that men can be saved.

Those specially-sealed evangelists of Revelation 7 are Jewish male virgins from each of the Twelve Tribes. Their mission field is the whole House of Israel.  That does not preclude the salvation of Gentiles during this time, any more than Jews are precluded from salvation during the Church Age.

This is not dual-Covenant theology.  There is only one Covenant by which men are saved.  They are saved by faith that the shed Blood of Christ is sufficient to cleanse them of all sin.  That does not change during the Tribulation Period.

But the focus of God’s attention after the conclusion of the Age of Grace turns back to the Jews.  During the final Week of the Age of the Law, the universal ministry of the Holy Spirit is withdrawn. (2nd Thessalonians 2:7)

There will be believers in the Tribulation who will succumb to the antichrist’s coercion and accept his mark to save their families.  And Scripture is clear that those who do are forever lost.

Tribulation believers will be saved by faith in Christ and enduring until the end, as in the Church Age, but without the guarantee of eternal security or the automatic indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus described the tribulation as, “such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”

He warned that, “except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” (Matthew 24:21-22)

It is our job on this side of the Tribulation to give the warning of what is to come.  It is coming.  And it is coming soon.

Our blessed hope is found in the Scripture’s promise that Jesus comes for His Church first.  But after that, there is no guarantee of a second chance.

Better a blessed hope than a false one.

Once L.O.S.T., It Is Gone Forever. . .

Once L.O.S.T., It Is Gone Forever. . .
Vol: 128 Issue: 25 Friday, May 25, 2012

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton led a new push to get the Congress to ratify the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, better known by its acronym which is, appropriately enough, L.O.S.T.

Secretary Clinton argued that ratifying the treaty would create jobs, open new paths to oil, gas and other natural resources and bolster national security. 

One could make the identical argument about opening up the Green River federal lands, which the GAO recently testified contains more oil than all the proven reserves of the rest of the world combined.  

And we wouldn’t have to surrender US sovereignty to the United Nations as part of the asking price.

On Wednesday (05/23/12), Secretary Clinton, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made a rare joint appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to make the case for the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Since the days of the Reagan administration, the US has lived within the rules of the L.O.S.T. Convention voluntarily, but no Senate to this point has been willing to vote to ratify it

“One hundred and sixty nations have acceded to it, and we say, `To hell with them, we’re not going to participate in that,'” Panetta said. “Then 160 nations are going to determine what happens” and the U.S. is on the sidelines.”

So, if the L.O.S.T. Treaty will improve national security, provide jobs, open paths to oil, blah, blah, blah, then why won’t the Senate ratify it?   According to the AP report cited above;

Conservative and tea party Republicans say the treaty would undercut U.S. sovereignty, force a redistribution of wealth and stand in for the Kyoto Protocol on climate change that would allow foreign countries to regulate U.S. energy.

Clinton dismissed the opposition as misguided.

“I am well aware that this treaty does have determined opposition, limited but nevertheless quite vociferous,” she said. “And it’s unfortunate because its opposition based in ideology and mythology, not in facts, evidence or the consequences of our continuing failure to accede to the treaty.”

She suggested that opponents who are wary of any U.N.-based treaty are expressing unfounded fears. “That means the black helicopters are on their way,” Clinton said.

Is that true?  Are the opponents of the L.O.S.T.  Treaty all paranoid right-wingers?  You wouldn’t know from the Senate hearing — only those in favor of ratifying L.O.S.T. were allowed to testify. 

Assessment:

In formally rejecting US participation in the L.O.S.T. Treaty, Ronald Reagan declared, “No national interest of the United States can justify handing sovereign control of two-thirds of the Earth’s surface over to the Third World.”

The Nixon administration started the Law of the Sea Treaty negotiations, which continued through the Carter administration.  The Reagan administration refused to sign it, as did the elder Bush administration.

On July 28, 1994, a legally-binding agreement amended the treaty, and allegedly addressing all US concerns regarding deep seabed mining, was unanimously adopted by the General Assembly.

The US signed the agreement the next day and later that year President Clinton submitted the agreement and the treaty as a package to the Senate for its advice and consent. The treaty was so flawed that the Senate refused to even allow the treaty to come to the floor for a vote.

James L. Malone, speaking as Reagan’s special representative for Law of the Sea negotiations, delivered testimony in 1995 – after the so-called “fix” negotiated by Clinton — rejecting L.O.S.T. as badly flawed in concept and detail.

Malone said Reagan’s refusal to sign the treaty was based on eight specific objections:

  • It is “potentially hostile to American interests” and “sets up yet another complex and troublesome U.N. bureaucracy to administer the oceans.”
  • Its provisions give Third World countries “preferential treatment at the expense of American interests and force U.S. mining firms to share their profits and provide free mine sites to a new U.N. agency.”
  • The seabed mining provisions were “inadequately corrected” and the “collectivist ideologies of a new repudiated system of global central planning” are “still imbedded in the treaty…”
  • The “bankrupt” concepts of the New International Economic Order are still “maintained” in the treaty.
  • The U.N. bureaucracy created by the treaty will inevitably “grow” over the years.
  • The designation of international waters as the “common heritage of mankind” reflects the “collectivist structure” of the treaty.
  • The “dispute resolution” provisions of the treaty are defective. The treaty includes tribunals and panels to resolve disputes.
  • Ultimately, it is the U.S. Navy, not a treaty, “that will guarantee American interests.” The U.S. has “protected its navigational interests for over 200 years without a comprehensive law of the sea treaty.”

According to Reagan’s representative, none of these objections had been addressed at the time that President Clinton signed the treaty on behalf of the United States.

Painting in broad strokes, the Law of the Sea Treaty would establish, among other things, a new international legal regime, including an International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and an International Seabed Authority, to govern activities on, over, and under the world’s oceans.

ALL of the world’s oceans — giving the UN governing authority over seven-tenths of the earth’s surface.  It would also have the authority to govern ALL of the ocean’s traffic.

That would put the US Navy at sea under UN command.  L.O.S.T also features environmental provisions that would provide a back door for the UN to impose environmental rules and regulations, both on the oceans and on dry land.

Provisions of the Treaty give the UN the power to impose international rules and regulations governing economic and industrial activities on the remaining land area of the world in order to combat perceived pollution dangers.

Finally, and most importantly, the treaty provides for imposing taxes against nations and international corporations conducting mining operations on the ocean floor, giving the United Nations an independent source of revenue.

That eliminates America’s only real source of influence at the UN.  The United States not only hosts the UN at US expense, but the US pays more than 20% of the UN’s operating budget.

In the past, the Congress has been able to use its control of the purse strings to express its will within the United Nations.  The Law of the Sea Treaty takes all that away and makes the United Nations a truly independent global governing authority. 

The L.O.S.T. Treaty stipulates that the world’s oceans “shall be reserved for peaceful purposes” and that “any threat or use of force, inconsistent with the United Nations Charter, is prohibited.”   What would that mean for the United States Navy?

As written, the Convention would prohibit the US Navy from sending out nuclear submarine patrols, and would limit the surface Navy from operating in international waters without the US’s permission.  Senator Jeff Sessions arguing against L.O.S.T. wrote that,

“Under the treaty, the United States could not board a foreign vessel even if it is suspected of carrying weapons of mass destruction. Our warships couldn’t board “unless there is reasonable ground for suspecting that the ship is engaged in piracy … the slave trade … unauthorized broadcasting” or “being without nationality.”

Under the terms of the L.O.S.T. Treaty, whether or not the US Navy could conduct operations at sea or whether the US could drill at sea would be subject to the approval of 162 other countries.

Funding for the massive international regulatory body it would take to oversee L.O.S.T. would come primarily from the United States in the form of international taxes on offshore drilling operations.  International royalties would be imposed; an international tribunal would be set up to mediate disputes.

There would be no opportunity for appeal to a US court.  We would be forced to abide by the decisions made by our good friends at the UN.  And we all know how much they love America.

The antichrist only has seven years in which to operate — not nearly enough time to set up the necessary infrastructure from scratch.  So much of the advance work is underway right now.

The UN is not the global government of the antichrist, but it is the model upon which the antichrist will build his own powerbase.  And this L.O.S.T. treaty sets a precedent for both the acceptance and expansion of an international governing authority not answerable to the people of the United States.

Why the push to ratify it now?  We’ve honored the terms without making ourselves subjects of the UN, which has to this point, prevented the UN from fully implementing the wealth distribution angle which is so obviously the real purpose of the treaty. 

If the globalists are going to make their move, they have to make it now, while the socialists have control of the US government.  The handwriting on the wall doesn’t look so good for them after November.

Whether they are successful in ratifying this treaty or not, every attempt brings us one step closer to the scenario the Bible predicted for the last days. 

“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21:28)

Maranatha! The Lord is coming!

The REAL Hero of the bin-Laden Raid

The REAL Hero of the bin-Laden Raid
Vol: 128 Issue: 24 Thursday, May 24, 2012

One of the many narratives the Obama administration is floating in the hope of deflecting the administration’s record is the killing of Osama bin-Laden.  According to the liberal media, the decision to get bin-Laden is evidence of the president’s courage and decisiveness.

Indeed, the decision to send in the Navy Seals has been hailed as everything from “gutsy” to “heroic” and President Obama has done everything but pose with a photo of the dead terrorist’s corpse as if it were a nine-point buck. 

(I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if the re-election team realized what an opportunity they had missed and called in their Photoshop experts to rectify their error.)

Yesterday, the news broke that Team Obama had invited two Hollywood producers behind the scenes access to classified information and to the Navy Seals who were involved in the bin-Laden raid so that Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal could produce a movie that properly highlighted the presidential heroics that ultimately took down the world’s most wanted terrorist.

“The filmmakers were shown a classified facility, whose name was redacted in the released documents, and toured CIA vaults. They were also shown the CIA’s replica of Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

Peter King, the Republican chairman of the Congressional Homeland Security committee, said on Wednesday the documents told a “damning story of extremely close, unprecedented, and potentially dangerous collaboration” with filmmakers.

King asked: “If this facility is so secret that the name cannot even be seen by the public, then why in the world would the Obama administration allow filmmakers to tour it?”

To answer Representative King’s rhetorical question: One reason for letting them see the secret stuff was so they would have some concrete background facts that they could use so that the fictional part of the story doesn’t seem so made-up.  

“The documents also show how the filmmakers are attempting to construct a narrative of the years leading up to Bin Laden’s death, including debates among CIA and White House officials and rehearsals of the maneuver in the final weeks of preparation.” (LATimes)

After all, if the filmmakers had ultra-top-secret access and the final product makes President Obama look as if they had to hold him back from leading the raid himself, won’t the “behind the scenes” access make the Hollywood version more believable to the easily-led?

That was the argument pitched to the DoD by the producers, if the LATimes got the story right.

“Part of the challenge for us is to capture how difficult this was because there is a version of it that in hindsight, it just looks like it fell into place,” Boal told Department of Defense officials at a meeting last July, according to a transcript. “That is why I just wanted to ask you hypothetically about what could have happened wrong, because it makes it more dramatic when it all goes right.”

Boal’s commitment to exploit the drama of the raid was echoed by a senior Pentagon official, Michael Vickers.

“Judicial Watch says that it has a June 13, 2011, email in which Vickers advises Douglas Wilson, the Pentagon’s public affairs chief, that the Defense Department “would like to shape the story to prevent any gross inaccuracies,” but it did not “want to make it look like the commanders think it’s okay to talk to the media”.

So they wanted to “shape the story” but didn’t want it to look like that is what they were doing.  So when they were asked point-blank, the White House sent press secretary Jay Carney out to deny the charges.

“At the time, White House spokesman Jay Carney rejected King’s suggestion that security had been compromised as “ridiculous” and denied the White House had disclosed any classified information to the filmmakers.”

A denial that we now know, beyond a shadow of the doubt, was a bald-faced, steely-eyed, unmitigated lie.

Assessment:

A new book by former Navy Seal Chuck Pfarrer calls the White House version of the killing of Osama bin Laden a “fairy-tale” embellished by the administration to help the president’s re-election chances.  Pfarrer said the administration was so eager to take credit for the killing that they compromised national security to do so.

“There was a choice that night,” Pfarrer told TheDC. “There was a choice to keep the mission secret.” America, Pfarrer explained, could have left things alone for “weeks or months … even though there was evidence left on the ground there … and use the intelligence and finish off al-Qaida.”

But Obama’s announcement, he said, “rendered moot all of the intelligence that was gathered from the nexus of al-Qaida. The computer drives, the hard drives, the videocasettes, the CDs, the thumb drives, everything. Before that could even be looked through, the political decision was made to take credit for the operation.”

And if that isn’t embarrassing enough . . .

“And in the days that followed, as politicians sought to thrust their identities into the details of the bin Laden kill, the tale began to grow out of control, said Pfarrer.”

Retired General Jack Keane is a four star general and former Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army.  He is currently a defense analyst serving as Chairman of the Board for the Institute for the Study of War.

General Keane holds the Distinguished Service medal, the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, the Legion of Merit . . . this is a serious soldier whose service is to his whole country, Republican and Democrat alike.

General Keane told Governor Mike Huckabee on his program that Obama knew where Osama was for almost a year, but wouldn’t take a chance until he had absolute, incontrovertible proof that Osama was living there and that he would be home before he would order a raid.

Former Attorney General Michael Mulkasey wrote in the Wall Street Journal  that the Obama administration had drafted a memo aimed at protecting the president from blame if the raid went wrong.

“A recently disclosed memorandum from then-CIA Director Leon Panetta shows that the president’s celebrated derring-do in authorizing the operation included a responsibility-escape clause: “The timing, operational decision making and control are in Admiral McRaven’s hands. The approval is provided on the risk profile presented to the President. Any additional risks are to be brought back to the President for his consideration. The direction is to go in and get bin Laden and if he is not there, to get out.”

“Which is to say, if the mission went wrong, the fault would be Adm. McRaven’s, not the president’s. Moreover, the president does not seem to have addressed at all the possibility of seizing material with intelligence value—which may explain his disclosure immediately following the event not only that bin Laden was killed, but also that a valuable trove of intelligence had been seized, including even the location of al Qaeda safe-houses. That disclosure infuriated the intelligence community because it squandered the opportunity to exploit the intelligence that was the subject of the boast.”

General Mulkasey distilled Obama’s announcement down to its component elements to demonstrate how many times the President credited himself for the operation:

“I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority . . . even as I continued our broader effort. . . . Then, after years of painstaking work by my intelligence community I was briefed . . . I met repeatedly with my national security team . . . And finally last week I determined that I had enough intelligence to take action. . . . Today, at my direction . . .”

And so, now we come to the point of today’s briefing — the real hero of the bin Laden raid.  His name is Dr. Shakeel Afridi. Recall that President Obama knew where Osama was for almost a year, but demanded proof positive.

The CIA recruited Dr. Afridi, a Pakistani national, to help the CIA use a vaccination campaign to collect DNA samples from residents of bin-Laden’s compound. 

There is no doubt that Dr. Afridi was risking his life to work with the CIA in Pakistan.  There is also little doubt the CIA made Dr. Afridi lots of promises of protection in addition to whatever other provisions were made to secure his cooperation.

So, Dr. Afridi was dispatched by Team Obama to confirm Osama bin-Laden’s presence at the compound in Abbotabad — at great risk to his own life.  Then the administration spiked the football and did a victory lap, while the Pakistani ISI went to work on figuring out who helped nail bin-Laden.

Thanks to the administration’s crowing about its own heroics, the ISI was able to identify Dr. Afridi in less than three weeks.  He was arrested and charged with treason.

Yesterday, Dr. Afridi was sentenced to thirty-three years in a Pakistani prison.  The Obama administration expressed “outrage” — and then quickly changed the subject back to what a “gutsy call” it was on Obama’s part.

The doctor that helped us cried as they led him away. . .

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)