All posts by Chris Miles

Boston Police Confirm Two Dead, 23 Injured In Explosions At Boston Marathon

Boston_marathon_1

UPDATE 6: President Barrack Obama just spoke on the Boston bomb attacks. He avoided using the word ‘terrorism’ but vowed to bring the full weight of justice on the perpetrators of the dastardly act.

UPDATE 5: A third bomb explosion in Boston at the JFK Library, Boston Police Commissioner, Edward Davis, says

UPDATE 4: CBS is quoting security sources as saying explosive devices were behind the explosions. Two other devices were reportedly harvested and defused before they detonated.

UPDATE 3: Security tightened around Boston, New York, Washington DC as wounded now 23, 2 dead

UPDATE 2: Boston Police confirms two dead, 22 injured, according to report by tv network, CBS. The police is yet to  determine the cause of the explosions but officials of the Boston Marathon are saying they were caused by bombs.

UPDATE 1Boston Marathon Statement via Twitter

There were two bombs that exploded near the finish line in today’s Boston Marathon. We are working with law enforcement to understand what exactly has happened.

CBS is reporting that that a third explosion occured a short time ago, as a bomb that was detonated by police after they found the explosive device.

 

According to several unconfirmed reports, two bombs just went off at the Boston Marathon finish line.Boston_Marathon

Media reports in Boston showed two explosions near the finish line of Boston Marathon.

Around 2:45 p.m. (Eastern time) two “big, booming” explosions happened at the Marathon’s finish line, the reports outlined.

Television network, CBS, is reporting that several dozens people have been injured. No death has been reported yet but some of the victims are severely injured.

The two explosions are separated by fifteen seconds, reports say. The cause of the explosion is yet unknown.

Ethiopian runner Lelisa Desisa won the men’s division at this year’s Boston Marathon on Monday, finishing the 26.2 miles in 2 hours, 10 minutes and 22 seconds. It’s the first win at Boston for the 23-year-old.

The Marathon headquarters has been locked down after the explosion was reported near the finish line, a spokesman told Reuters.

This story is developing.

SOURCE: PolicyMic. We have their permission to republish.

In a quiet ceremony, U.S. President, Obama, sworn in for second term

Obama_sworn_in

At 11: 50 a.m. on Sunday, American president, Barack Obama was sworn in for a second term.

Mr. Obama’s Sunday swearing-in went on without a hitch, with the president taking the oath of office in the White House with Chief Justice John Roberts, flanked by his family and with a small contingent of press.

The 35-word presidential oath took only a few seconds to go through and was shown on live TV. Mr. Obama placed his hand on the Robinson family Bible — the first lady’s family — and smoothly recited the oath.

“I did it,” the president said as he hugged his family.

When Mr. Obama first took the oath on Jan. 20 four years ago, he and Chief Justice Roberts tripped up over the wording, raising concerns about whether the constitutional requirements were fulfilled to the letter of the law.  Roberts went to the White House the next day and administered it again in full.

Earlier, at 8:21 a.m. on Sunday, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. took the oath of office as VP for the second time, two miles from the White House at the Naval Observatory, the official vice-presidential residence.

Mr. Biden was sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Maria Sotomayor, who was nominated by President Barack Obama during his first year in office.

Twelve members of Mr. Biden’s tight-knit family formed an arc behind him, and the 120 guests applauded as the vice president and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, walked in at 8:18 a.m. The ceremony began with prayer. Then Dr. Biden held the five-inch-thick Biden family Bible as her husband recited: “I, Joseph R. Biden Jr., do solemnly swear …. “

So why all these big events today, without any huge ceremony?

The Constitution requires the president’s term to start on Jan. 20, but because that falls on a Sunday this year, Obama will have two ceremonies: one on Sunday and a larger, public ceremony on Monday, followed by a parade and inaugural balls.

What did Mr. Biden tell his guests at his ceremony? Classic Biden-isms ….

“I want to explain to you what a wonderful honour it was, and how much out of her way the Justice had to go. She is due in New York. She has to leave right now. So I apologize: We’re gonna walk out. Her car’s waiting so she can catch a train I hope I haven’t caused her to miss. And I am leaving – going and gonna meet the President [for] the traditional laying the wreath at 2 over in Arlington. And we’re having breakfast. I’ll be back, they tell me, in 40 minutes. I hope  some you will still be here. [Laughter] But I thank you very, very, very much for sharing this morning with Jill and me. And Madame Justice, it’s been an honour – a great honour. Thank you! [Applause] Enjoy breakfast!”

A crowd of up to 800,000 people is expected to gather on the National Mall to witness the public inauguration event, which will take place on the Capitol’s red, white and blue bunting-draped west front. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who famously flubbed the oath of office that Mr. Obama took in 2009, was to swear the president in on both days.

SOURCE: POLICYMIC.COM (We have their permission to republish).

America’s CIA chief, David Petraeus, resigns after FBI uncovers extramarital affairs

David Petraeus resigns as CIA chief over extramarital affairs

In a bombshell, General David Petraeus resigned as CIA director Friday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said in a statement.

The resignation was submitted in a letter dated Friday and was accepted by the White House.

In the letter, Mr. Petraeus noted that he had been married for 37 years and had exercised “extremely poor judgment” in conducting an extramarital affair (see full letter below).

Mr. Petraeus had been the acting director of the CIA since September 6, 2011. Prior to his assuming the directorship of the CIA, Petraeus was a four-star general serving over 37 years in the Army. His last assignments in the Army were as commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A) from July 2010 to July 2011.

As a veteran of several wars, Petraeus was called in to salvage the fiascos in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to some extent, his measures worked. Admiral Mike Mullen compared Petraeus to Grant, Eisenhower, Pershing, and Marshall as one of the “great battle captains of American history.”

His other four-star assignments include serving as the 10th Commander, U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) from October 2008, to June 2010, and as Commanding General, Multi-National Force – Iraq from February 2007 to September 2008. As commander of MNF-I, Petraeus oversaw all coalition forces in Iraq. He was best known for drawing up and orchestrating the Iraq “surge” of American troops.

Petraeus published a 14-point Military Review that openly defied former Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld’s strategy to win the war in Iraq with as little troops as possible in 2003. He argued for a more aggressive counterinsurgency strategy, more reconstruction projects, more cultural sensitivity, and more partnerships with the State Department and other civilian agencies.

The general’s field manual on Counterinsurgency now influences the way military operations are being carried out, and it is widely believed that this strategy helped ameliorate the violence in Iraq. Petraeus’ views on nation-building (developed since his doctoral thesis on Vietnam and later military experiences in places like Bosnia and Haiti) have caught on, even though the former Bush administration once disregarded these ideas.

This summer, Petraeus was thought to be a candidate for vice president for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Presidential rumors also swirled around the general, especially after he visited a school known for hosting the presidential debates, New Hampshire’s Saint Anselm College. Petraeus lives in New Hampshire. Despite these accounts, Petraeus has categorically asserted that he has no political ambitions.

He probably won’t after this news, either. An affair typically sinks a rising political star’s career (see Anthony Weiner … John Edwards).

Petraeus was the highest serving conservatives in the Obama administration.

………………………….

MSNBC acquired the full text of Petraeus’ letter:

HEADQUARTERS Central Intelligence Agency

9 November 2012
Yesterday afternoon, I went to the White House and asked the President to be allowed, for personal reasons, to resign from my position as D/CIA.  After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair.  Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours.  This afternoon, the President graciously accepted my resignation.

As I depart Langley, I want you to know that it has been the greatest of privileges to have served with you, the officers of our Nation’s Silent Service, a work force that is truly exceptional in every regard.  Indeed, you did extraordinary work on a host of critical missions during my time as director, and I am deeply grateful to you for that.

Teddy Roosevelt once observed that life’s greatest gift is the opportunity to work hard at work worth doing.  I will always treasure my opportunity to have done that with you and I will always regret the circumstances that brought that work with you to an end.
Thank you for your extraordinary service to our country, and best wishes for continued success in the important endeavors that lie ahead for our country and our Agency.

With admiration and appreciation,
David H. Petraeus

SOURCE: POLICYMIC.COM (We have their permission to republish).