Saturday, March 26, 2011

This Burning Land - Making Sense of the Senseless, the Israeli-Palestinian War

With everything else that is happening in North Africa and the Middle East, why have hostilities resumed between Israel and the Palestinians? Is it a separate issue, or part of something much larger?

What is going on? Do we really know?

We see Palestinian kids throwing rocks at Israeli tanks, and the bloodied bodies of Jewish children torn asunder by incoming rockets. But what does all that really tell us?

We know that the Israelis get bombed by Palestinians who believe they are denied a homeland, and retaliate by bombing them back; and we have varying levels of understanding that this has been going on for decades, or perhaps centuries, or even millennia in one form or another with each side blaming the other.

But how many of us have a firm understanding of why? Finally, that is about to change.

Fox News Pentagon Reporter Jennifer Griffin and her husband NPR editor Greg Myre, both with extensive experience covering international affairs and especially the war torn areas of the world - much of it together - have just released a collaborative book titled "This Burning Land: Lessons from the Front Lines of the Transformed Israeli-Palestinian Conflict."

Reporting from Jerusalem, Myre and Griffin witnessed a decades-old conflict transformed into a completely new war.

An editorial description of This Burning Land states that extremism can become a virtue; moderation a vice. Factions develop within factions. Propaganda becomes an important weapon, and perseverance an essential defense. While the Israelis and the Palestinians have failed to achieve their goals after years of fighting, people on both sides are prepared to make continued sacrifices in the belief that they will eventually emerge triumphant.

They note that while the West has learned a lot about asymmetrical war in the past decade, many strategists have missed that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has become one of them. This Burning Land reveals the importance of applying these hard-won lessons to the longest running, most closely watched occupation and uprising in the world. The entire conflict can seem irrational - and many commentators see it that way.

While raising their own family in Jerusalem at the height of the violence, Myre and Griffin look at the lives of individuals caught up in the struggles to reveal how these actions make perfect sense to the participants.

This book goes straight to the heart of the conflict: into the minds of suicide bombers and inside Israeli tanks. We hear from Palestinian informants who help the Israeli military track down and kill Palestinian militants.

Israeli settlers in isolated outposts discuss why they are there, and we hear the frustrations of a Palestinian farmer who has had his olive grove cut in half by Israel's security barrier. Their book explains how the landscape of the conflict changed and why the traditional approach to peacemaking is no longer valid.

This Burning Land displays the important lessons that can be learned by viewing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as an example of modern, asymmetrical war, while providing a balanced and detailed look at the fighting based on first-hand experience and hundreds of interviews.

Myre and Griffin have been covering international affairs since the day they met in 1989 at an overflowing soccer stadium in Soweto, South Africa, where several of Nelson Mandela’s prison colleagues received a thunderous greeting following their release from decades in jail. At the time, Myre was a reporter with the Associated Press, and Griffin was a college student taking a year off her studies. Several months later, they were present as Mandela himself walked to freedom.

They covered the dramatic final years of apartheid in South Africa before moving to Pakistan in 1993. From their posting in Islamabad, they covered the tumultuous years of Benazir Bhutto's rule. On one memorable day, the man who orchestrated the first bombing of the World Trade Center, Ramzi Yousef, was arrested just a few blocks from their home - and across the street from the bakery where they picked up croissants most mornings.

They traveled regularly to neighboring Afghanistan to witness that country's devastating civil war and more-or-less spent their honeymoon under rocket fire. They were among the very first to interview members of an obscure group that was just emerging and calling itself the Taliban. They landed next in Nicosia, Cyprus, and traveled extensively throughout the Muslim world, covering phony elections in countries from Iran to Iraq to Syria.

They headed north in 1996, spending three years in Moscow, reporting on the final years of Boris Yeltsin and the early days of Vladimir Putin.

They returned to the Middle East in 1999, settling in Jerusalem. It seemed like the calmest place they had been in years, and they decided it would be a good place to start a family. They soon found themselves raising two young daughters and covering the worst fighting ever between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

They covered every major event, from the peace talks of 2000 - to the Palestinian uprising that came later that year - the terrible bloodshed that included frequent Palestinian suicide bombings and Israeli military incursions - the election of Ariel Sharon - the death of Yassar Arafat - the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza - the rise of Hamas - and the Israeli-Hezbollah war of 2006.

During this time, Myre was a reporter for the New York Times and Griffin was the correspondent for Fox News. In their years abroad, they traveled to more than 50 countries and reported on more than a dozen wars and conflicts. But they found none so gripping as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and covered it for nearly eight years.

They now live in Washington, where Greg is a senior editor at NPR's Morning Edition program, and Jennifer is Fox’s national security correspondent, based at the Pentagon. To schedule interviews or learn more about This Burning Land you can conact Greg Myre at; or

You can order "This Burning Land" from these outlets:
Monday, March 21, 2011

Berkeley Council Bans Democrats: Outrage Over "War Monger" Obama's Libyan Strikes Cited

Editor's note: OK, this is obviously a fake headline, and it's going over a couple of paragraphs of a fake news story (in italics). But if America's alleged "anti-war movement" had any credibility at all, I would have been able to write this story for real any time in the last four days.

The Berkeley California City Council, which three years ago attempted to ban United States Marine recruiters from their city to show dissatisfaction with the war in Iraq, today banned all Democrats from the city expressing similar dissatisfaction with President Obama's "Warmongering" in Libya.

The audience at the hastily called emergency meeting was filled with Code Pink members, and notable anti-war celebrities including Jane Fonda, Ed Asner and Cindy Sheehan.

"Obama's unilateral decision to wage war on a sovereign nation without the approval of the US Congress, and only a token vote of some members of the United Nations Security Council does not meet the Smell Test," Sheehan said, with Fonda and Asner nodding in agreement.

They also scoffed at assertions from an administration spokesman on the Bob Schieffer CBS Sunday show Face the Nation that Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi has weapons of mass destruction in the form of tons of mustard gas.

"That's what Bush said in Iraq," was the derisive response.

Also present in the council chambers were representatives from dozens of socialist, communist, extremist Islamic and anarchistic organizations that have joined forces with America's celebrity "anti-war" factions in the past. All denounced the decision to bomb Libya under the guise of protecting civilians – some of whom fought against the US in Iraq - without simultaneously bombing dozens of other countries across the globe whose leaders mercilessly slaughter their citizens even if they don't deserve it.

"Obama lied, Libyans died," they chanted, while outside a contingent of their supporters burned an effigy of the American President. Council Democrats immediately changed their party registration to the Working Families party, with one former Democrat stating, "Hell you can't tell the difference anyway."

Enough. Now here's the real headline:

America's Left Mute on Libya, Displays Reprehensible, Fatuous Hypocrisy

President Obama, without so much as a courtesy notification to the full US Congress, and with only tacit, and apparently misunderstood, approval of a small number of United Nations member states, is bombing the daylights out of Libya day and night in open violation of the US War Powers Resolution of 1973. Exactly why he decided to launch massive air strikes against the Libyan government this past weekend is a question that has a different answer every hour.

What is clear is that America's armed forces have taken sides in an internal conflict that actually seems more like a civil war, and have decided to take out Gaddafi's forces before they achieve a full victory. That may well be a viable goal, but the way it was approached and executed is clearly illegal.

That Gaddafi deserves to go has been a given since the Reagan Administration launched strikes against him a quarter-century ago. But Reagan was dealing with specific threats and attacks against US citizens and military personnel – a requirement of the War Powers Resolution before military force can be employed. However, in recent years Gaddafi's primary threat has been to his own people, some of whom rose up against him recently, and after some initial successes were retreating on all fronts with few if any of their early gains remaining.

Although the attacks on Libya were supposed to be directed and led by an international coalition that included Arab League countries, and were not supposed to include US fighter jets, they actually have been US planned, and US led. The attacks have been carried out by B-2 Stealth bombers based in Nebraska, and American fighter jets using NATO airfields in Europe as well as US Marine Harrier jets.

Many of the attacks were launched from a hastily assembed US "fleet" that more resembles a hodgepodge of ships flying the US flag. The fleet reportedly included the recently launched USS Barack Hussein Obama, pictured here. It is the first US Navy ship with an all-English Motto - Don't Worry He Has A Plan!

Within hours of the first US-launched strikes on Saturday, March 19, 2011, Russia, which abstained from a UN Security Council vote authorizing the strikes, voiced its objections and the Arab League president said the strikes went beyond what he had understood. That left the Obama Administration scrambling to explain why we suddenly are in another war.

Obama, who is on vacation in South America, ordered the White House communications team to issue a statement similar to comments he made before he left on his trip averring that we can't stand idly by while a despot murders his own people. Of course, everyone in the world with more than a single digit IQ wants to know why Libyans are the chosen people when so many millions have been murdered in the last eight decades by Nazis, communists, and dictators of every stripe.

Also, the War Powers Resolution does not give the president the power to commit our armed forces to combat overseas unless America or our military is attacked or under imminent threat of attack. Feeling sorry for people, justifiable as that pity may be, is not included.

While all this is going on the American left, especially the anti-war factions are deathly silent. No press conferences, no denunciations, no planned protest marches, not a damn peep.

This is the most sickening display yet of the fatuous, phony, hypocrisy that drives the alleged "anti-war movement." They crawl out from under their garbage pits when it suits their agenda, and are nowhere to be seen when it doesn’t suit them.

The American left has lost all credibility. They didn’t put up they shut up, and hopefully we won’t be hearing from these superficial, brain-dead, knuckle-dragging Neanderthals ever again.
Sunday, March 20, 2011

Congress Abdicates Authority to UN Committee; Legality of Obama's War in Question

The US military action against Libya, including preemptive strikes against a country that was not an imminent threat to us or our military, was launched under direct orders from President Barack Hussein Obama but was not approved by the United States Congress as is required by the Powers Resolution of 1973 (50 U.S.C. 1541–1548).

The War Powers Resolution allows the president to send U.S. armed forces into action abroad only after authorized by Congress, or if the United States is already under attack or hostilities against us are imminent. Neither case applies in our ongoing actions against Libya which has been ruled for more than 40 years by madman dictator Muammar Qaddafi who has killed US citizens and well as his own people.

Despite his party's long-standing support for the War Powers Resolution Obama has told the media that he hosted a meeting of a small bi-partisan group from the Congress last week which supported military action against Libya, and that's pretty much all the authorization he needs.

His position was supported today on Fox News Sunday by South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who said he didn't vote to authorize Obama to wage war using US forces, but he would if he was asked. Graham gave no indication that Obama would be required to seek retroactive authorization to go to war.

The act requires that Obama, who is vacationing in Brazil as US forces are under fire in a third military theater, officially notify Congress within 48 hours of the onset of hostilities – which gives him until Monday afternoon. The act doesn't say if the president who authorizes military action without Congressional support has to cut short his vacation to deliver the report in person, of if he can just phone it in.

Rhode Island Democratic Senator Jack Reed, who, like Graham, serves on the Senate Armed Services committee, said on Fox News Sunday that a vote of some members of the United Nations Security Council was all he needed to give his blessing to the action. At least two members of the UN Security Council, Russia and China, abstained from that vote, and Russia today voiced objections to the extent of the ongoing operation.

Interestingly, both senators said that Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi should be overthrown as a result of the US led military action, but Admiral Mike Mullen
Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff said that is not our objective and that Qaddafi could well remain after hostilities are ceased. Mullen wasn't very clear as to what our objective actually is, and frankly was pretty evasive when Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace pressed him on the issue.

Obama's unilateral decision to go to war conflicts with the position taken by his predecessor, former President George Bush, who sought and obtained authorization by overwhelming votes of both houses of Congress before he initiated the successful military action against Iraq

Although the War on Libya was portrayed in recent weeks as an effort by an international coalition headed by Western European countries with Arab League approval to impose a non-fly zone so rebel forces attempting to unseat Qaddafi could have a better chance of success, it was revealed Sunday morning that the US is actually doing most of the fighting.

The US launched more than 100 Tomahawk cruise missiles from ships in the Mediterranean Sea Saturday night, aided by additional strikes from Great Britain. The US reportedly also sent Navy and Marine warplanes to bomb Libyan defenses and provide cover for US bombers, including the launch of three B-2 Stealth bombers that flew from a US Air Force base in Nebraska to hit Libyan targets.

Qaddafi responded on Libyan television by threatening both military and terrorist responses against all the countries that attacked him, and claimed that dozens of civilians were killed by the US air strikes. The Arab League now has backed off somewhat from its support for the US action, due to the claims of civilian deaths.

Nonetheless, one League member state, Qatar, is reportedly gearing up to send jet fighters into the fray. Qatar, a tiny emirate on the Persian Gulf, south of Saudi Arabia, has an air force of approximately 1,500 personnel with 12 French Mirage jets operated by the 7th Air Superiority Squadron, four of which will be diverted to fighting in Libya.

It was unclear to say the least exactly how long the Obama's War on Libya is supposed to last, or exactly what it is supposed to accomplish. News organizations have been remarkably unforthcoming on exactly who we are supporting or why.

Some reports claim that all the countries now seeing unrest in the former Ottoman Empire are under pressure to enact Democratic reforms, but many commentators also say the militant Muslim Brotherhood is behind the "spontaneous" demonstrations.

Also of interest, Obama said on television that he feels compelled to overthrown Qaddafi because he is shooting his own countrymen. But while the US has been assertive concerning the actions of some Arab countries where demonstrations and regime changes took place, including Egypt, virtually nothing was said when demonstrations that broke out in Saudi Arabia were met with gunfire and repression.

Also, Obama did not address whether the US would soon be attacking North Korea, China, Myanmar and dozens of other countries where the leaders kill their own people too.

There were some reports that members of his own Democratic party are unhappy with Obama's decision to circumvent the US Congress. However, although Obama appeared at a news conference in Brazil Sunday the media was notified in advance that he wouldn't be talking about the War on Libya.
Saturday, March 19, 2011

United Nations Declares War on Libya; Europe, Beware the Hand that Bites You!

A group of countries claiming to represent the United Nations - minus the United States of America - agreed today to send warplanes against Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi, whose forces are on the verge of victory over rebel troops trying to overthrow him.

After diddling around for weeks, the UN, seeing that Qaddafi wasn't going to be defeated by his own people after all, decided in what easily can be a too little, too late effort, to impose a no fly zone over Libya.

The French already are in the air, so the news says, as are US Tomahawk missiles, and the British will soon be on the way. The problem with this scenario is that neither country has an air base nearby, so they are expected to use NATO bases in Italy.

Also, Spain has gotten in on this, as has Norway, and Canada, but none of these countries is on a war footing and have admitted it will take days, maybe longer to be adequately prepared for what is coming.

The logistics of neutralizing Qaddifi's air force - according to the news - appear to be hinged on the United States using its technology to eliminate Libya's air defenses.

What seems to be missing from this equation is any consideration for what Qaddafi might do in retaliation for other countries attacking his country. I don't like this guy. I sure as hell don't like the fact that he ordered the bombing of PanAm flight 103 that blew up over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing everyone on board and more people on the ground and frankly, back when Ronald Reagan was President I was hoping we were going to bomb him into oblivion.

But we didn't and after weeks of an uprising that seems to be coordinated with similar outbreaks in other North African and Arab countries, Libya's dictator is still in power and his forces have pushed the rebellion to the brink of defeat.

What exactly does this group of nations think it will do by imposing a no-fly zone over Libya, assuming that it can do so successfully? The news says there are at least 13 air bases in Libya, but the only country in the world with the capabilities of taking them out simultaneously is the United States and we don't have a dog - or a ship or a ground contingent - directly in this fight.

What if the few ships we have in the Mediterranean plus the limited European forces, can't completely eliminate Libya's ground defenses and its air force in the next 96-hours or so? They are not capable of taking out vast swatches of the Libyan countryside, nor is the relatively small number of Marines aboard them, although the Tomahawk missiles some of them carry can do damage to land targets.

But Qaddafi already knows the cruise missiles are coming. If he has any sense at all he already is taking precautions to spread his air force out and not leave all the jets, bombers and refuelers in one place where they would be more vulnerable.

More to the point, if history is any teacher regarding this guy, he is already planning to retaliate. The UN has declared war on him, but did anyone ask the citizens of Great Britain or France or Spain or Italy what they think of this idea?

Do the citizens of those countries know that the Libyan air force has Russian made TU-22R bombers that have a range of more than 3,000 miles and the distance from Tripoli to Marseille is about 835 miles? Get the picture?

If I was him, and I knew I was in for a beating from primarily European forces, I'd launch every flyable bomber in my force, loaded with every type of ordnance they can carry, and send them over the Mediterranean, under the radar, to hit any place they can reach in Italy, Spain and the French Riviera. And no, I am not giving this guy any ideas, he already has considered this and I guarantee you that right now he is weighing his options.

One of those options is bombing civilian targets in the Mediterranean countries that have attacked him. We are looking at this from our point of view, but you can bet he is looking at it only from his.

It has been nearly 7 decades since the cities of Western Europe were attacked and civilians were targeted in a conventional war - not to mention terror assaults. I am not insulting the capabilities of the brave men and women who are preparing to face Qaddifi's forces in the least, but what if their homes are attacked while they are away keeping Qaddifi's air force grounded? I am not sure their leaders have thought this through.

Qaddifi is a bad man in all respects, and Europe through NATO and the United Nations is agitating him. But they are in reach too, and he already has shown he has no qualms about killing innocents if he so pleases. This isn't taking place in the remote areas of Iraq or Afghanistan, this is taking place on Europe's back doorstep.

Somehow, I don't think the decision makers at the UN have fully considered this.
Friday, March 18, 2011

Pentagon on International Financial Terrorism – Don't Trust Washington or Wall Street!

On October 11, 2008 in this column I noted that the previous day's 2100-point stock market swing represented purchases and sales of about two trillion dollars, a stunning amount, especially since the market fell more than 400 points – representing an estimated $500 billion – in the last 15 minutes of trading.

At that time I called on then-President Bush to loose the Pentagon's supercomputers on the stock exchange and trace this extraordinarily unusual activity back to its roots, because obviously, someone was trying to destroy the foundation of our nation's finances. I noted that it was impossible for either Mom and Pop investors or even institutional investors for that matter, to move the market that much that quickly.

I speculated that: this appears to be a coordinated assault on a level that requires entire nations, many of them, in concert with each other, to be participants, concluding that the best bet on who was behind this assault on capitalism was China in concert with Muslim nations that want to impose Stone-Age Shariah laws worldwide.

You can read it here:
Scroll down to the Oct. 11 entry.

Well, it turns out the Pentagon did just what I had suggested, (even if someone else suggested it) assigning independent investigator Kevin B. Freeman to the case. The report he issued in June 2009 – Economic Warfare: Risks and Responses, that only now is gaining wider publicity, should have us all down on Constitution Avenue with pitchforks and torches!

The report has been around for two years, but a couple of weeks ago the Washington Times wrote about it, and Glen Beck did part of his show on it. The report's Executive Summary notes that the total global losses in wealth during the 2008 financial crisis amounted to $50 trillion! The report also notes that: At least $15 trillion of that loss was experienced by Americans, as measured by the combined declines in the value of stocks, bonds, real estate, and other assets.

Although the report doesn’t specify exactly which countries did this, meaning, are at war with us, it did outline how this assault was planned and executed.

First, OPEC's oil producing countries artificially inflated the price of oil, up over $140 a barrel for a while, that poured trillions of dollars in excess profits into their coffers. The reports states that at a price of $125 per barrel: the value of OPEC oil in the ground (was) roughly$137 trillion, virtually equal to the value of all other world financial assets, including every share of stock, every bond, every private company, all government and corporate debt, and the entire world's bank deposits. That means that the proven OPEC reserves were valued at almost three times the total market capitalization of every company on the planet traded in all 27 global stock markets.

There has been significant discussion of how the price of oil got so high. Freeman addresses that debate thus:

Starting from a low in January 2007 near $50/barrel, oil prices began a steady and unrelenting rise to almost $150/barrel by June 2008. This virtual tripling of price occurred even as economic growth appeared to be leveling and drilling activity increased. At the time there was a serious debate between those who claimed speculation was the primary cause of higher prices and those who claimed they were caused by natural supply/demand forces. In hindsight, the largest increase in prices without a supply disruption in decades does appear to have been, at least in part, driven by speculation.

Once the funding was in place, the second phase of the attack, raids on American financial institutions, began.

Freeman states that: An initial bear raid against Bear Stearns was successful in forcing the firm to near bankruptcy. It was acquired by JP Morgan Chase and the systemic risk was averted briefly. Similar bear raids were conducted against various other firms during the summer, each ending in an acquisition. The attacks continued until the outright failure of Lehman Brothers in mid-September. This created a system-wide crisis, caused the collapse of the credit markets, and nearly collapsed the global financial system. The bear raids were perpetrated by naked short selling and manipulation of credit default swaps, both of which were virtually unregulated. …

He adds: While substantial, unusual trading activity can be identified, the source of the bear raids has not been traceable to date due to serious transparency gaps for hedge funds, trading pools, sponsored access, and sovereign wealth funds. What can be demonstrated, however, is that two relatively small broker dealers emerged virtually overnight to trade trillions of dollars worth of U.S. blue chip companies. They are the number one traders in all financial companies that collapsed or are now financially supported by the U.S. government. Trading by the firms has grown exponentially while the markets have lost trillions of dollars in value.

The Sovereign Wealth Funds mentioned in the paragraph above are of particular interest since they literally are financial portfolios managed by nations. I would bet that a deeper review of those funds, especially those that were involved in the massive trading activity of 2008 would give us more clues to the identities of our enemies. Also, two phrases pop out of Freeman's report in the section on who was behind this assault: Financial Jihad; and Shariah Compliant Finance. We should be very, very concerned about those phrases.

After leveling America's financial institutions Phase Three – devaluation of the dollar began. By then, we had a new president, Barack Hussein Obama, backed by a Democrat majority Congress who seem only too willing to help in this phase of the financial attack on America.

Giddy from the false glow of unrealistic expectations, the US Congress immediately, with malice aforethought, began to systematically devalue the dollar by passing unaffordable Obama Administration initiatives. Congress further indebted the country through nationalization of much of the US auto industry, and passing the massive, unread, nationalized health insurance law.

Two years into the Obama Administration the national budget deficit and the national debt have grown exponentially – I can use that term when we're talking trillions of dollars – and the dollar is shaky at best. The US debt continues to spiral out of sight thanks to Obama policies, the US Treasury continues to issue bonds to cover that debt, and thus the value of the dollar continues to slide.

So, it would appear that two co-conspirators in this economic war are the Democrats and some of their GOP lackeys in the US Congress, and the Obama Administration which continues to support policies that can only further weaken our economy and our country. Don't take my word for it, look for yourself.

The Arab world where Obama prostrated himself in an effort to ingratiate his administration with the Muslims is erupting in violence and instability. The price of oil once again is on the rise – even as the Fox Business Channel gleefully reports that it is down – but still over $100 a barrel, while defending oil speculators.

Efforts to fully develop alternative energy are sluggish at best and new drilling is still strongly discouraged. China is still manipulating our money, and is pushing us around on the international scene while Obama does nothing. Oh, not nothing, he takes vacations, goes golfing, plays basketball and issues his picks for the National Collegiate Athletic Association March tournament winners.

Look around. Oil is up, the stock market is once again experiencing volatility and wild swings – although not on the level of 2008 – and we must consider that once again we are under attack, or that Obama is getting a message. Either way we still are at the mercy of our enemies, and even though Freeman wrote this report two years ago his Executive Summary warning bears repeating:

Finally, there are legitimate questions about the performance of the regulatory regime and Wall Street institutions. Implications that these parties have been complicit or otherwise co-opted cannot be ruled out. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that this study and any task-force response be conducted outside of traditional Washington and Wall Street circles.

Pitchfork anyone?
Wednesday, March 16, 2011


The Friends of Fisher House in Connecticut have been joined by Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman in their effort to build Connecticut's first Fisher House on the grounds of the Veteran's Administration Medical Center in West Haven.

A press conference to formally acknowledge Gov. Wyman's support will be conducted Thursday, March 17, 2011 in the West Haven VA's Donaldson Education Center, Room A, located on the 2nd floor of Building 2, starting at 11 am.

The Fisher House project is a unique private-public partnership that builds and then donates "comfort homes," on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers. These homes enable family members to be close to a loved one during treatment for combat wounds or unexpected illness, disease, or injury.

Once discharged from active duty, a veteran may also live in a Fisher House while receiving outpatient treatment. There is at least one Fisher House at every major active duty military and VA medical center in America, except in Connecticut. However, patient density has now increased to such a point that Connecticut needs one as soon as possible.

Connecticut's Fisher House volunteers envision a facility that will provide free lodging for up to 20 families, and is expected to cost $6 million. The Friends of Fisher House in Connecticut must raise $3 million, which will be matched by national corporate sponsors. When completed the Fisher House will be donated to the VA.

"The brave men and women veterans who have sacrificed so much for our country deserve not only our gratitude and support when they are serving, but when they return home," Wyman said. "I can't think of a better way to show our support than by helping injured or ill veterans and their families through this wonderful project."

Joining Lt. Governor Wyman on the leadership council are; Attorney Kevin E. Creed, US Army (Ret) & Chairman of the Friends of Fisher House, Connecticut; Retired Appellant Court Judge Anne Dranginis; Retired United States Congressman Jim Maloney; Executive Senior VP of Studio & Event Production for ESPN Norby Williamson; Dr. Hilary Onyiuke, UCONN Medical Center; CPA John Bauer, Accounting Firm of Mahoney, Sabol & Company; Dr. Nicholas Blondin, Yale University; Darlene Clouther, Litchfield; Dr. Jeffrey Steckler, Orthopedic Surgeon, New Britain; Nicholas Creed, Litchfield; Sarah Lasher, Litchfield; Raelene D. Miller, Stratford; Gary Thomas, Knights of Columbus; and Tom Flowers, Milford. Many others are in support of this effort and the council is joined by the American Legion, the Disabled American Veterans, the American Legion Auxiliary, the Knights of Columbus, the Masons, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Connecticut Chapter of the Purple Heart.

The Friends of Fisher House Connecticut is registered with the IRS and the Secretary of State as a 501.c (3) non-profit organization. President Barack Obama donated the proceeds of his children's book and $250,000 of his Nobel Peace Prize to this cause.

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