PowerLine -> General Kelly sets the record straight + The Comey conundrum + America’s Cultural Divide in One Sentence + The Crash, 30 Years Later + The campus shout-down movement takes its next logical step

Powerline John Hinderaker at HoaxAndChange

PowerLine -> General Kelly sets the record straight + The Comey conundrum + America’s Cultural Divide in One Sentence + The Crash, 30 Years Later + The campus shout-down movement takes its next logical step

 

Transcript added at the bottom of this post, provided by HoaxAndChange.com.

Powerline image at HoaxAndChange

Powerline image at HoaxAndChange

Daily Digest


  • General Kelly speaks
  • America’s Cultural Divide in One Sentence
  • The Crash, 30 Years Later
  • The campus shout-down movement takes its next logical step
  • The Comey conundrum
General Kelly speaks

Posted: 19 Oct 2017 03:00 PM PDT

(Scott Johnson)

General Kelly stepped forward on behalf of President Trump to address the hysteria fomented by Rep. Frederica S. Wilson and her impressionable media friends regarding President Trump’s condolence call to the Gold Star family of Sergeant La David Johnson, one of the four soldiers killed in Niger. The substance of the phone call has become the cause celebre this news cycle. General Kelly’s statement should be a cause of another kind. It should be a cause of introspection and shame on the part of the media.

The video below is about 18 minutes long. General Kelly’s statement runs about 12 minutes. It is followed by questions. The New York Times has posted a transcript here. The New York Post’s Bob Fredericks reports on it here.
https://youtu.be/scWDnXC7w1o?t=2m19s

Given the highly personal nature of General Kelly’s statement and the accompanying emotion, it makes for compelling viewing. As I say, it should shame those who have run to pile on but I am afraid they are incapable of shame.

  

America’s Cultural Divide in One Sentence

Posted: 19 Oct 2017 10:59 AM PDT

(Steven Hayward)

The Los Angeles Times has an article today about the damage feminist attorney Lisa Bloom (Gloria Allred’s daughter) has inflicted upon herself by representing Harvey Weinstein until it became impossible to do so. Not necessary to read the whole thing, but in the middle, there appears the most perfect sentence ever to convey the cultural divide in America:

Yet even as Bloom was still coming to terms with the events of the past month — she attended the post-Burning Man gathering L.A. Decompression over the weekend in an attempt to gain perspective — she seemed focused on some of the smaller details of what went wrong.

I’m going to get months of belly laughs out of this. (For starters, isn’t “Burning Man” a sexist title? Shouldn’t we have a “Smoldering Woman” festival?)

  

The Crash, 30 Years Later

Posted: 19 Oct 2017 08:54 AM PDT

(Steven Hayward)

Hard to believe it has been 30 years since the crash of 1987. It didn’t come entirely out of the blue. Here’s a look back at it, drawn from chapter 13 of my second Age of Reagan books:

Looking back afterward, the harbingers of a stock market breakdown become easier to make out. The stock market could not maintain its level in the face of rising interest rates and extreme valuations; the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index was trading at 22 time trailing earnings at the market top in August, far out of line from its historic range. A study in the Harvard Business Review would later conclude that the market was 17 percent overvalued at its peak. Market volatility started noticeably increasing, with 40 and 50 point swings in the course of a trading day—the equivalent of 200 points nowadays. At the market peak in August, big institutional buyers—mutual and pension funds—were net buyers of about 2.8 million shares a day. But by mid-September, the funds had become net sellers, shedding 300,000 shares a day. By mid-October institutional funds were dumping shares, with daily net sales accelerating to 4.4 million shares.

Right after Labor Day, the New York Stock Exchange’s president Gerald Corrigan said, “the storm clouds were visibly gathering.” A few prescient observers at the time saw the clouds forming and sounded the alarm in real time. Commodities trader Paul Tudor Jones had been saying since late 1986, “There will be some type of decline in the next 10, 20 months, and it will be earth-shaking; it will be saber-rattling.” Robert Prechter, an advocate of the esoteric Elliott Wave hypothesis of market behavior, said on October 5 that “The overvaluation of stocks is more extreme than the 1929 high.” The legendary investor Philip Fisher—Fisher had gone through the Great Crash of ’29, after having famously predicted that stock prices would go still higher—told Forbes magazine that the stock market looked to him like 1927 or 1929. The advance cover date of the Forbes issue where his remarks appeared was October 19. A little-known stock adviser named Elaine Garzarelli advised her clients to sell everything a week before October 19; she would be little known no longer. But as the signs of a market meltdown accumulated, the market would stage robust rallies that lulled investors; on September 22, the Dow rallied for 75 points, a record rise at the time.

During the week of October 5, the Dow fell 150 points, starting off a roller-coaster that set the stage for Black Monday. Volatility increased the following week. On Monday, October 11, the Dow fell 11 points, but it rallied Tuesday by 37 points. Kidder, Peabody reassured its clients: “The long-term bull market remains intact. On an intermediate-term basis, early 1988 should still witness 2900 on the Dow Jones Industrial Average.” On Wednesday, October 13, the trade deficit figure for the previous month was released; it was $1.5 billion higher than expected. Bond yields spiked above 10 percent for the first time in two years. The Dow fell 95 points, at that time the largest one-day drop ever. On Thursday, the market seemed steady until the last half-hour, when a wave of heavy selling drives the Dow down another 57 points. It was the 4th busiest day in market history. The Dow had now declined in eight of the past nine trading days.

Reacting to the trade deficit numbers, Treasury Secretary James Baker had said, late in the day on Thursday, that the U.S. could “accommodate further adjustments” in the value of the dollar, meaning that the U.S. was willing to let the dollar’s value fall further. Baker’s comments reinforced market suspicions that further weakening of the dollar was the unofficial policy of the Reagan administration; a falling dollar would put more upward pressure on interest rates. Friday was another debacle on Wall Street. After trading evenly for most of the morning, at lunchtime, the bottom fell out. The Dow fell 108 points—another new record— dropping the last 50 points in the final half hour of trading. 338 million shares had traded hands—also another new record.

The market turmoil got the attention of the White House. Late in the day, Reagan met with Greenspan, Baker, Treasury Undersecretary Beryl Sprinkel and others to take stock. Reagan expressed his concern that the money supply was too tight. As he recorded in his diary, “Alan [Greenspan] doesn’t agree & believes this is only an overdue correction.” Over the weekend, Baker returned to his dollar-bashing theme, telling “Meet The Press,” “We will not sit back in this country and watch [trade] surplus countries jack up their interest rates and squeeze growth worldwide on the expectation that the United States somehow will follow by raising its interest rates.” On Sunday the 18th, the New York Times ran a story quoting a “senior administration official” (Baker adamantly denied being the source for the story) saying the U.S. would allow the dollar to decline against the West German mark. Unrest in the Persian Gulf added further to Wall Street jitters. Late in the week, Iran had fired on an American oil tanker. Over the weekend the U.S. Navy destroyed two Iranian oil platforms in retaliation (the platforms had been used staging areas for the Iranian attacks on Gulf shipping).

Many individual investors who had flocked to the market during its bull phase panicked and jammed the phone lines at mutual fund companies. Fidelity received 80,000 calls. Joseph Nocera wrote: ‘The people who ran the likes of Fidelity and Schwab and Vanguard knew—absolutely knew—what was going to happen next.”

The turmoil and declines of the previous week left the markets deeply shaken at the open on Monday morning. The Dow fell 68 points in the first half hour of trading; 11 of the Dow 30 stocks were unable to open because of severe imbalances between sell and buy orders. With no buyers, over 200 stocks—one-twelfth of the NYSE’s listings—could not open for trading. At 11 am the market appeared to have stabilized, down “only” 200 points. Then the new chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, David Ruder, blundered. At the completion of a speech in Washington, Ruder, besieged by reporters wanting comment on the market turmoil, mused aloud about halting trading on the NYSE. His comments hit the trading floor shortly after 1 pm. Ruder claimed later to have been misunderstood, and even though the SEC quickly issued a statement saying it was not going to close the markets, the psychological damage was done. (This was not a new idea for Ruder; he had mentioned the idea of a trading halt to combat volatility in a speech on October 6.) The afternoon was a one-way route. The system for handling large orders seized up under the huge volume, and computer screens on the trading floor went blank. Many trades cleared at prices far from the price in effect when the orders were placed. Orders for sales of more than 100 million shares were never completed at all, and the trading tape, which can handle 900 trades a minute, ran two-and-a-half hours behind.

Some evidence suggests that selling by individual investors drove the magnitude of the crash; the volume of large trades (25,000 shares or more) by institutions was only 2 percent higher on October 19 than the average of the preceding 50 trading days. But a larger factor in driving the market over the cliff was an innovation that was supposed to protect investors against this very risk—“portfolio insurance” in the form of index futures options. Starting in 1982 the Chicago Mercantile Exchange began selling a new financial product—futures options on the price of various stock indexes. Index options were thought to be a perfect hedge against losses. Owners of large stock positions with big paper gains could hedge against the prospect of a large decline in price by selling a futures contract on the price level of one of the major stock indexes, such as the S & P 500, and thereby lock in gains. Index option prices would rise and fall with the level of the index itself, naturally. These index options contracts were highly leveraged, and there quickly developed a thriving index arbitrage practice whereby traders would exploit differences implicit in the index option price and the prices of the underlying stocks in the index. Movements in the options index price or the price of the stocks themselves put reciprocal pressure on the other, resulting in increased volatility, especially on what became known as “triple-witching day,” when index options expired and had to be settled. This dynamic was the origin of computerized program trading; computers would shift massive amounts of money from index futures to the underlying stocks, depending on which was cheaper at the moment.

While in theory index options should have helped to smooth the market during ordinary conditions, their highly leveraged nature meant they increased the risk of a market meltdown in any episode of extraordinary volatility or market panic. On October 19 automatic computer trading programs flooded the market with billions of dollars in index option sell orders, but with no buyers, the prices collapsed and pulled down the prices of underlying stocks. It was the financial equivalent of a runaway nuclear war by computer rather than human decision. Reflecting later on the problem of computerized trading, Greenspan would later say: “The market plunge was an accident waiting to happen.” One of the market reforms enacted after the October 19 crash was limits and halts on computer trading in conditions of extraordinary volatility.

When the dust settled at the end of the day the Dow finished down 508 points on 604 million shares of volume, closing at 1739, down from 2516 just 11 days earlier. It was a 22 percent loss in one day, representing a half-trillion dollars in market capitalization. Forty stocks declined for every one that rose; normally a three-to-one ratio is considered a rout. The one-day figure understated the damage: along with the previous Thursday and Friday, the Dow had lost 769 points—a third of its value—in three days. By contrast, the Great Crash of 1929 had taken the market down 13 percent. . . Blue-chips became black-and-blue chips: Westinghouse lost one-third of its value; Exxon one-quarter; IBM one-quarter. The value of Sam Walton’s share of the company he founded, WalMart, fell $1.1 billion. George Soros lost $800 million. Securities firms feared a classic run on the bank from panicky account holders. Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette posted uniformed security guards outside its New York office, fearing violence from customers. . .

The immediate problem at the end of the day Monday and at the market open on Tuesday is that many securities firms and specialists (the firms on the trading floor who perform the all-important function of making a market for individual stocks by buying and selling from their own inventory) were facing margin calls on account of the fallen value of their now-swollen holdings, and, according to market rules, needed to settle their accounts within five business days. Many firms lacked sufficient cash to do so. But banks that normally extended credit to brokers and specialists were reluctant to step into the breach. Specialists and brokers were stunned when their banks said Monday night and early Tuesday morning that they wouldn’t make new loans. Some specialist firms faced immediate insolvency; as a result, a few were forced into “shotgun” mergers with larger firms. One small specialist firm that faced immediate insolvency, A.B. Tompane, merged overnight with Merrill Lynch; the deal was completed at 3 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Despite the Fed’s promise of liquidity, the market opened slowly, with many leading blue chip stocks taking an hour or more to begin trading. Initially, the Dow Jones average was up an encouraging 200 points, but this gain quickly evaporated as specialists and securities firms tried to unload the large unwanted positions built up the day before. As buy orders dried up, blue-chip stocks ceased trading one by one like a row of falling dominoes. Merck stopped trading at 9:52 am; Sears at 11:12; Eastman Kodak at 11:28; Philip Morris at 11:30; Dow Chemical at 11:43. Some blue chips had not opened at all. Stocks that remained open were trading sporadically and in small volumes. With so many stocks closed, the American Stock Exchange and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange halted options trading. By noon the Dow was off 100 points and market watchers feared it was about to drop over the cliff and fall another 200 points.

Rumors swept trading floors nationwide during the lunch hour that the New York Stock Exchange was going to close. In fact, the NYSE’s president and senior executives were meeting to decide whether to take such a dramatic step. Behind the scenes, several securities firms—Goldman Sachs and Salomon Brothers were said to be among them—were calling the SEC in Washington and urging the SEC to close the exchange (the SEC does not have the power to do this, but could presumably ask the president, who does). White House chief of staff Howard Baker encouraged the markets to stay open. The NYSE’s president, John Phelan, recoiled from the thought of closing the market: “If we close it, we would never open it.”

At about 20 minutes before 1 pm, a sudden turnabout occurred that traders later described to the Wall Street Journal as “a miracle.” At the Chicago Board of Trade, buy orders started flooding in for the MMI (Major Markets Index), the only major index option still trading. Within five minutes the prices of the MMI swung from an implicit 60-point discount to the underlying value of the stocks in its index to a 12-point premium. The Wall Street Journal described it as “the equivalent of a lightning-like 360-point rise in the Dow.” As with many market events, where this flood of buy orders came from is not fully known, but circumstantial evidence pointed to a small number of sophisticated buyers acting deliberately to force the market back into positive territory. News of the surge in the MMI reached the trading floors in New York at the same time several major corporations announced major share buybacks. Several banks reversed their earlier position and now agreed to extend credit to specialists and brokers. Shortly after 1 pm, most blue chips stocks reopened for trading; the crisis was over. The Dow ended the day up 102.2 points—a record move at the time, once more on record volume of 608 million shares. Gainers outnumbered decliners 1,398 to 537. Wednesday, October 21 was even better: the Dow rose 186 points; 1,749 stocks posted gains.

  

The campus shout-down movement takes its next logical step

Posted: 19 Oct 2017 08:52 AM PDT

(Paul Mirengoff)

Recently, a friend who is enrolled in a graduate program at a prestigious university asked me whether I would be interested in speaking to a group of students as part of series on public policy the program was holding. She said that all of the speakers so far have been liberal and that I would add a different perspective to the proceedings.

I responded, chidingly, that I might be risking life and limb if I participated. She assured me that I would be in no jeopardy because I am not a white supremacist.

I don’t really believe there would much real risk associated with speaking to a handful of graduate students at this university. However, the shout-down movement is not about preventing “white supremacists” from speaking. It is about enforcing left-wing orthodoxy (which, to be sure, now includes the notion that those who reject that orthodoxy are white supremacists).

Accordingly, the next logical steps in the shout-down movement are (1) to prevent speech by liberals who don’t embrace key tenets of radical leftism and (2) to prevent speech by mainstream conservatives and Republicans.

We discussed an example of the first phenomenon here. The second was on display the other day at UC Santa Cruz. Campus Reform reports:

A College Republicans meeting at the University of California, Santa Cruz was taken over by protesters screaming that the group’s existence is a threat to the safety of students.

Shortly after the CR meeting convened, one student entered the ground floor room of McHenry Library to ask attendees which group was assembling. After being informed that the meeting was a gathering of College Republicans, the student returned about 15-20 minutes later with company.

To muster his group of brownshirts, the student posted this on the official UCSC Student Facebook group:

White Supremacist, fascist sympathizing College Republicans are having a meeting at McHenry library, room 0332. Everybody be aware of this violent racist activity happening everyday on this campus! We need a movement of people on this campus that rejects the ‘right of assembly,’ or ‘right of free speech’ for white supremacists and fascists.

Heeding this call, lefty students disrupted the meeting by banging open the door to the meeting space and shouting accusations that the members were “fascists,” “racists,” and “white supremacists.” The College Republicans say they offered to discuss the concerns of the protesters. The brownshirts replied: “dialogue is violence.”

In these three words, they captured the essence of the shout-down movement, as well as the authoritarian nature of the emerging radical left. Claims that “dialogue is violence” are antithetical to democracy and to academic life in a free society. Those who act on such claims to curb free expression of any kind don’t belong in college. They should promptly be placed on the track to expulsion, e.g. through a “two-strikes and you’re out policy”.

The UC Santa Cruz leftist protesters demanded that the College Republicans leave the library. They even berated library staff members when they refused to shut down the pre-approved meeting.

One staff member eventually asked the Republicans to leave in order to end the disturbance. To their credit, the attendees refused.

Finally, after nearly two hours, school officials called the police. Reportedly, three protesters were arrested. All of the protesters should be disciplined by the college.

Stanley Kurtz, who is leading the charge against the shout-down movement, writes:

This incident is another warning that shout-downs are threatening to morph into generalized warfare. I mean that only partly metaphorically. How long before student groups, nose-to-nose in confrontation, resort to violence? We saw some violence at Middlebury. But if nothing is done to stop these shout-downs, Allison Stanger’s concussion and neck-brace will have been only the beginning.

I reminded the student-friend who invited me to speak to her classmates about Allison Stanger after the student promised, jokingly, to protect me from protesters.

Stanley concludes:

We can see that the campus free-speech crisis is escalating; that the targets of shout-downs are expanding; that the potential for violence is growing; and that the deadly anti-free speech culture purveyed by faculty and administrators alike is metastasizing.

He is right.

  

The Comey conundrum

Posted: 19 Oct 2017 06:52 AM PDT

(Scott Johnson)

Former FBI Director James Comey knows how to play the G-Man as a straight arrow on television, but he’s a cynical Washington operator in real life. His orchestration of the appointment of his friend Robert Mueller as special counsel to take down President Trump in the fictitious Russia collusion scandal (and all its penumbras and radiations) represents a striking case in point. Comey’s hand in it should discredit the Mueller operation all by itself.

Comey is a sort of Rosetta stone for the Russia investigation. Interpreting him and his works might allow one to decipher the hieroglyphics. I’m not saying I’ve done it or that I can do it. Comey is way over my head, but I’m not alone. Few have the requisite background, knowledge, expertise, and motivation to do it. Yet it needs to be done.

It is reported, for example, that Comey insisted on inserting the infamous Fusion GPS Trump Dossier in January’s final intelligence community report on Russian meddling in the election. Its inclusion lent it a credibility that it appears not to deserve, to put it mildly.

As we all know by now, there is something funny about that Trump Dossier. Two knowledgeable witnesses from Fusion GPS asserted their right against self-incrimination before the House Intelligence Committee yesterday.

This week Comey emerged as a player in the bombshell story of the Russian bribery plot behind the sale of Uranium One to the friends of Vladimir Putin. The plot was uncovered by the FBI under Comey’s directorship. Yet the FBI’s informant in the case was barred by Obama’s Department of Justice from testifying to Congress about it.

John Solomon and Allison report today in the Hill: “The information the [FBI informant] possesses includes specific allegations that Russian executives made to him about how they facilitated the Obama administration’s 2010 approval of the Uranium One deal and sent millions of dollars in Russian nuclear funds to the U.S. to an entity assisting Bill Clinton’s foundation. At the time, Hillary Clinton was serving as secretary of State on the government panel that approved the deal, the [informant’s] lawyer [Victoria Toensing] said.” When do we get to hear from James Comey on this story?

This week we learned that an early draft of Comey’s absolution of Hillary Clinton for violating the Espionage Act is dated May 2, 2016. The draft is entirely redacted; the date appears in a related email.

Comey testified to Congress that it was then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton that compelled him to seize control of the prosecutorial decision from the Department of Justice. That meeting took place in Phoenix on June 27, 2016. The timeline undermines Comey’s testimony. It’s almost enough to make you think we’re dealing with a character whose shadiness rivals the Clintons’ own.

NOTE: I had completely forgotten the video of Comey that I clipped for “Comey: ‘I am not a weasel”(below). Ed Driscoll reminded me of it here. As for Comey, the gentleman doth protest too much, methinks.

00:00
good afternoon as you all saw earlier
00:04
today the president met with the
00:05
governor of Puerto Rico this morning to
00:07
discuss the ongoing hurricane recovery
00:09
efforts the administration is working
00:12
tirelessly to help our fellow citizens
00:14
recover and rebuild and we will stand
00:16
with them throughout this process it’s
00:19
been a while since I’ve had the
00:20
opportunity to share a letter to the
00:22
president from the podium and I have one
00:24
today that I think you’ll all enjoy this
00:26
one is from McKenzie of Dalton Georgia
00:29
Mackenzie is seven years old and is in
00:31
the second grade and she wrote dear
00:34
President Trump I’m writing to tell you
00:36
how much I appreciate all you’re doing I
00:38
think you’re an awesome president in
00:39
fact I voted for you in my school
00:41
election my mom is bringing me to DC on
00:44
spring break this year and I’m very
00:45
excited I’ve never been there before and
00:48
I can’t wait to see everything I’m most
00:50
excited to see the White House my mom
00:53
said we have to write someone to ask to
00:55
come in and I hope we can I know you’re
00:58
a busy man but if you could meet me or
01:00
at least see your office it would make
01:02
my day
01:02
and I would love to shake your hand
01:04
you’re our leader a hero and a great man
01:07
and I can’t wait to see you and help
01:09
make America great again sincerely
01:10
Mackenzie your biggest fan PS if you
01:14
would like I can bring something to eat
01:15
when I come I’ve always heard food
01:18
brings people together well my kids he
01:21
had the opportunity to share your letter
01:22
with the president earlier today and he
01:24
said he would love for you to come and
01:26
visit us here at the White House during
01:27
spring bake I’ll give you a tour
01:29
personally and if the president is here
01:31
he’d love to meet you as well
01:32
finally you’re very right about food
01:34
bringing people together and so the
01:36
press staff would like to invite you to
01:38
have lunch here in the Navy mess
01:40
downstairs in the West Wing we look very
01:42
much forward to your visit and hope that
01:45
you’ll be in touch so that we can make
01:46
sure that that happens on a more serious
01:49
note we’ve had a lot of questions come
01:52
in and I certainly addressed quite a few
01:54
of them yesterday and I thought today it
01:57
might be more appropriate to have the
01:59
chief of staff address some of those
02:00
questions specific to outreach to Gold
02:04
Star families he’ll address questions on
02:07
that topic and if you have other
02:08
questions throughout the day the press
02:10
staff will be here and happy to and
02:12
those after the briefing later this
02:13
afternoon thanks guys well thanks what
02:18
and it is a more serious note so I just
02:21
wanted to perhaps make more of a
02:23
statement and an explanation or of an
02:25
explanation than a what amounts to be a
02:28
traditional press interaction most
02:33
Americans don’t know what happens when
02:35
we lose one of our soldiers sailors
02:36
airmen Marines Coast Guardsmen in combat
02:40
so let me tell you what happens their
02:43
buddies wrap them up in whatever passes
02:45
as a shroud puts them on a helicopter as
02:48
a routine and sends them home their
02:53
first stop along the way is when they’re
02:55
packed and ice typically at the at the
02:59
air head and then they’ve flown to use a
03:02
Europe where they’re then packed an ice
03:06
again and flown to Dover Air Force Base
03:10
where Dover takes care of the remains
03:14
and bombs them meticulously dresses them
03:19
in their uniform with the rebel with the
03:21
medals that they’ve earned the emblems
03:23
of their service and then puts them on
03:26
another airplane linked up with the
03:28
casualty officer escort that takes them
03:31
home a very very good movie to watch if
03:34
you haven’t ever seen it is taking
03:35
chance where this is done in a movie HBO
03:40
setting chance Phelps was killed under
03:42
my command right next to me and it’s
03:44
worth seeing that if you’ve never seen
03:46
it so that’s the process well that’s
03:48
happening a casualty officer typically
03:53
goes to the home very early in the
03:55
morning and waits for the first lights
03:57
to come on
03:58
and then he knocks on the door typically
04:01
the mom and dad will answer wife and if
04:04
there is a wife this is happening in two
04:06
different places if the parents are
04:07
divorced three different places and the
04:11
casually casualty officer proceeds to
04:15
break the heart of a family member
04:17
and stays with that family until well
04:22
for a long long time even after the
04:24
internment so that’s what happens who
04:27
are these young men and women they are
04:29
the best 1% this country produces most
04:32
of you as Americans don’t know them many
04:37
of you don’t know anyone who knows any
04:39
of one of them but they are the very
04:41
best of these country producers and they
04:43
volunteer to protect our country when
04:46
there’s nothing in our country anymore
04:47
that seems to suggest that self service
04:51
to the nation is not only appropriate
04:54
but required but that’s alright who
05:00
writes letters to the families typically
05:03
the company commander in my case is a
05:04
Marine the company commander battalion
05:06
commander regimental commander division
05:07
commander secretary defense typically
05:10
the service chief comment on the Marine
05:11
Corps and the president typically writes
05:14
a letter typically the only phone calls
05:17
the family receives are the most
05:18
important phone calls they can imagine
05:20
and that is from their buddies in my
05:21
case hours after my son was killed his
05:24
friends were calling us from Afghanistan
05:28
telling us what a great guy he was was
05:31
it the only phone calls that really
05:34
matter and yeah the the letters count to
05:37
a degree but there’s not much that
05:41
really can take the edge off what the
05:43
family members going through so some
05:48
presidents have elected to call all
05:51
presidents I believe have elected to
05:53
send letters if you elect to call a
05:56
family like this it is about the most
05:58
difficult thing you could imagine
05:59
there’s no perfect way to make that
06:02
phone call when I took this job and
06:08
talked to President Trump about how to
06:12
do it my first recommendation was he not
06:15
do it
06:18
because it’s not the phone call that
06:21
parents family members are looking
06:23
forward to it’s a nice to do in my
06:25
opinion in any event he asked me about
06:29
previous presidents and I said I can
06:31
tell you that President Obama who was my
06:34
commander in chief when I was on active
06:36
duty did not call my family that was not
06:39
a criticism that was just to simply say
06:42
I don’t believe President Obama called
06:44
that’s not a negative thing I don’t
06:48
believe President Bush called in all
06:50
cases I don’t believe any president
06:53
particularly when the casualty rates are
06:55
very very high that presidents call but
06:59
I believe they all right so when I gave
07:02
that explanation to our president three
07:04
days ago he elected to make phone calls
07:09
in the case of the four young men who we
07:11
lost in niger at the earlier part of
07:13
this month but then he said you know
07:16
what how do you make these calls if
07:19
you’re not in the family if you’ve never
07:22
worn the uniform if you’ve never been in
07:25
combat you can’t even imagine how to
07:28
make that call I think he very bravely
07:30
does make those calls the call in
07:35
question that he made yesterday day
07:40
before yesterday now were to four family
07:43
members the four fallen and remember
07:45
there’s a next to kin designated by the
07:48
individual if he’s married that’s
07:50
typically for what the spouse if he’s
07:52
not married that’s typically the parents
07:54
unless the parents are divorced and then
07:56
he selects one of them if you didn’t get
07:58
along with his parents it’ll sit you’ll
08:00
select a sibling but the point is the
08:02
phone call is made to the Mexican only
08:07
if the Mexican agrees to take the phone
08:10
call sometimes they don’t so a pre call
08:13
was made president United States or the
08:15
comment on the Marine Corps if someone
08:17
would like to call will you accept the
08:19
call and typically they all accept the
08:21
call so he called four people the other
08:24
day and expressed his condolences in the
08:27
best way that he could
08:29
and he said to me what do I say I said
08:34
to him sir there’s nothing you can do to
08:36
lighten the burden on these families
08:39
well let me tell you what I told him let
08:43
me tell you what my best friend Joe
08:45
Dunford told me because he was my
08:47
casualty officer he said Kel
08:53
he was doing exactly what he wanted to
08:58
do when he was killed he knew what he
09:02
was getting into by joining the more
09:04
that 1% he know what the possibilities
09:08
were because we’re at war and when he
09:12
died in the four cases were talking
09:15
about and I assured my son’s case in
09:16
Afghanistan when he died he was
09:19
surrounded by the best men on this earth
09:21
his friends that’s what the president
09:25
tried to say to a fact of four families
09:28
the other day I was stunned when I came
09:33
to work yesterday morning and
09:34
brokenhearted at what I saw remember
09:38
Congress doing remember Congress who
09:42
listened in on a phone call from the
09:44
president of States to a young wife and
09:47
in his way tried to express that opinion
09:52
there’s a brave man fallen hero he knew
09:57
what he was getting himself into because
09:58
he enlisted there’s no reason to enlist
10:00
he enlisted and he was where he wanted
10:03
to be exactly where he wanted to be with
10:06
exactly the people he wanted to be with
10:08
when his life was taken that was the
10:11
message that was the message that was
10:13
transmitted it stuns me that a member of
10:17
Congress would have listened in on that
10:18
conversation absolutely stuns me and I
10:23
thought at least that was sacred you
10:27
know when I was a kid growing up a lot
10:29
of things were sacred in our country
10:31
women were sacred
10:34
and looked upon with great honor that’s
10:35
obviously not the case anymore as we see
10:37
from recent cases life that dignity of
10:40
life was sacred that’s gone religion
10:43
that seems to be gone as well gold star
10:47
families I think that left and the
10:50
convention over the summer I just
10:52
thought the selfless devotion that
10:55
brings a man or a woman to die in the
10:57
battlefield I just thought that that
10:59
might be sacred and when I listen to
11:02
this woman and what she was saying and
11:04
what she was doing on TV the only thing
11:09
I could do to collect my thoughts was to
11:12
go and walk among the finest men and
11:15
women on this earth
11:16
and you can always find them because
11:18
they were in Arlington National Cemetery
11:19
went over there for an hour and a half
11:22
walked among the stones some of whom I
11:24
put there because they were doing what I
11:27
told them to do when they were killed
11:32
I’ll end with this in October
11:35
April rather of 2015 I still on active
11:39
duty and I went to the dedication of the
11:42
new FBI field office in Miami and it was
11:49
dedicated to two men who were killed in
11:51
a firefight in Miami with against drug
11:54
traffickers in 1986 got me NEMA Grogan
11:57
in Duke Grogan almost retired 53 years
12:03
old Duke I think less than a year on the
12:05
job anyways I got in a gunfight and they
12:07
were killed three others FBI agents were
12:09
there were wounded now retired so we go
12:13
down Jim Comey did an absolutely
12:15
brilliant memorial speech to those
12:17
fallen men in the in the to all of the
12:21
men and women of the FBI who serve our
12:23
country so well in law enforcement so
12:25
well there were family members there
12:29
some of the children that were there
12:31
were only three or four years old when
12:33
the dads were killed on that Street in
12:35
miami-dade
12:38
three of the men that survived the fight
12:40
were there and gave a rendition of how
12:43
brave those men work and how they gave
12:45
their lives
12:49
and a congresswoman stood up and in the
12:55
long tradition of empty barrels making
12:58
the most noise stood up there and all of
13:00
that and talked about how she was
13:03
instrumental in getting the funding for
13:06
that building now she took care of her
13:09
constituents because she got the money
13:10
and she just called up President Obama
13:12
and on that phone call he gave the money
13:14
the twenty million dollars to build a
13:16
building she sat down and we were
13:19
stunned stunned that she’d done it even
13:23
for someone that is that empty a barrel
13:27
we were stunned but you know none of us
13:29
went to the press and criticized none of
13:33
us stood up and were appalled we just
13:36
said okay fine so I still hope as you
13:41
write your stories and I appeal to
13:44
America that let’s not let this maybe
13:48
last thing that tell sacred in our in
13:51
our society a young man young woman
13:54
going out and giving his or her life for
13:57
our country let’s let’s try to somehow
13:59
keep that keep that sacred but it eroded
14:03
a great deal yesterday by the selfish
14:07
behavior of a member of Congress so I’m
14:11
willing to take a question or two on
14:12
this talk on this topic but let me ask
14:15
you this let me ask you this is anyone
14:17
here a gold star parent or sibling does
14:21
anyone here know a gold star parent or
14:23
sibling okay you get the question Thank
14:25
You general Kelly first of all you Creek
14:27
you’ll respect simplify for everything
14:29
we’re done but if we could take this a
14:32
bit further why were they in Niger what
14:36
was we were told they weren’t in armored
14:38
vehicles and there was no air cover so
14:41
what are the specifics about this
14:43
particular incident and why were we
14:45
there then why are we there
14:46
well I would I would start by saying
14:48
there is an investigation now let me
14:50
back up and say the fact of the matter
14:53
is young men and women that wear our
14:56
uniform are deployed around the world in
14:59
their tens of thousands in near the DMZ
15:03
in North Korea in Okinawa waiting to go
15:08
in South Korea in Okinawa ready to go
15:10
all over the United States training
15:13
ready to go there all over Latin America
15:15
down there they do mostly drug
15:17
interdiction working with our partners
15:19
our great partners the Colombians of
15:21
Central Americans the Mexicans you know
15:23
there’s thousands my own son right now
15:25
in back in the fight for his fifth tour
15:27
in against Isis there’s thousands of
15:33
them in Europe acting as a deterrent in
15:36
their throat Africa and they’re doing
15:39
the nations work there and not making a
15:43
lot of money by the way doing it they
15:44
love what they do so why were they there
15:47
they’re there working with partners
15:50
local Africa all across Africa in this
15:52
case Niger working with partners
15:55
teaching them how to be better soldiers
15:57
teaching them how to respect human
15:59
rights teaching them how to fight Isis
16:02
so that we don’t have to send our
16:04
soldiers and Marines there in their
16:06
thousands that’s what they were doing
16:08
there now there is an investigation
16:10
there’s always an event unless it’s a
16:11
very very conventional death in a you
16:14
know conventional war there’s always an
16:15
investigation of course that operation
16:20
is is conducted by AFRICOM that is of
16:23
course works directly for the secretary
16:25
defence there is a and if I talked to
16:28
Jim mattis this morning I think he made
16:29
statements this afternoon this
16:31
investigation ongoing an investigation
16:33
doesn’t mean anything was wrong an
16:36
investigation doesn’t mean people’s
16:37
heads are going to roll the fact is they
16:41
need to find out what happened and why
16:43
it happened but at the end of the day
16:46
ladies and gentlemen you have to
16:47
understand that these young people and
16:50
sometimes old guys put on the uniform go
16:54
to where we send them to protect our
16:57
country sometimes they go in large
16:59
numbers to invade Iraq and invade
17:01
Afghanistan
17:02
sometimes they’re working in small units
17:04
working with our partners in Africa Asia
17:06
Latin America helping them be better but
17:11
at the end of the day they’re helping
17:13
those partners be better at fighting
17:15
Isis and northern and North Africa to
17:18
protect our country so that we don’t
17:20
have to send large numbers of troops any
17:22
other someone who knows who knows a
17:24
Goldstar fallen person john general
17:29
thank you for being here thank you for
17:30
your service I don’t think there has
17:35
been some talk about the timetable of
17:37
the release of a statement about I think
17:41
at that point was three soldiers who
17:43
were killed in the air can you walk us
17:44
through the timetable of the release of
17:46
that information and what part just did
17:48
the fact that a beacon was pinging
17:50
during that time have to do with the
17:53
release of the statement and were you
17:55
concerned that divulging information
17:57
early might jeopardize a soldier’s
17:59
attempt to DNA yeah first of all that’s
18:02
you know we are at the at the highest
18:05
level of the US government the people
18:07
that will answer those questions will be
18:09
the people at the other end of the
18:12
military pyramid I’m sure they’re the
18:16
special forces group is conducting it I
18:19
know they’re in conducting an
18:21
investigation that investigation of
18:23
course under the auspices of AFRICOM
18:25
ultimately will go to the white go to
18:27
the Pentagon I’ve read the same stories
18:31
you have I actually know a lot more than
18:32
I’m letting on some but I’m not going to
18:35
tell you there is an investigation being
18:36
done but as I say the the men and women
18:41
and women of our country that are
18:42
serving all around the world I mean what
18:45
you know what the hell is my son doing
18:47
back in the fight he’s back in the fight
18:49
because working with Iraqi soldiers
18:53
who are infinitely better than they were
18:55
a few years ago to take Isis on directly
18:58
so that we don’t have to do it small
19:01
numbers of Marines where he is working
19:04
alongside those guys that’s why they’re
19:07
out there whether it’s Nyjah Iraq or
19:08
whatever we don’t want to send tens of
19:10
thousands of American soldiers and
19:12
Marines in particular to go fight I’ll
19:15
take one more but it’s got to be from
19:17
someone who knows all right when you
19:50
walk off the stage understand tens of
19:55
thousands of American kids mostly doing
19:58
the nation’s bidding all around the
20:00
world they don’t have to be in uniform
20:02
you know when I was a kid every man in
20:05
my life who’s a veteran World War two
20:07
Korea and there was the drug these young
20:09
people today they don’t do it for any
20:12
other reasons than their selfless sense
20:15
of selfless devotion to this great
20:17
nation we don’t look down upon those of
20:19
you that haven’t served in fact in a way
20:22
a little bit sorry because you’ll never
20:25
have experienced the wonderful joy you
20:26
get in your heart when you do the kind
20:29
of things our servicemen and women do
20:31
not for any other reason than they love
20:34
this country we just think of that and I
20:36
do appreciate your time
20:51
you
  

Leave a Reply