Fort Campbell command reversed under pressure
12:15 am Eastern
A military commander at Fort Campbell in Kentucky demanded his soldiers give him the registration numbers of any guns they own privately and then reveal where they are stored.
The order was stopped, according to base officials, when it was discovered the commander was not “acting within his authority.”
The original order was issued on the letterhead of Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment and said effective March 11, any soldier with a “privately owned weapon” was required to submit the information, along with any information about any concealed carry permit the soldier may have, and what state issued the permit.
Further, the rule warned, “If any soldier comes into possession of a Privately Owned Weapon following the effective date of this memorandum, he is required to inform the Chain of Command of the above information.”
One soldier who objected to the demands circulated the memo, commenting that he lives off post.
“It just seems a little coincidental to me that within 90 days the most anti-firearm president in history is inaugurated, some of the nastiest anti-firearm laws are put on the table in Washington, and then the Army comes around wanting what amounts to a registration on all firearms, even if they are off post, and doesn’t provide any reason or purpose as to why,” the soldier said.
Base spokeswoman Cathy Gramling told WND the letter apparently was a mistake. She said the base requires anyone bringing a privately owned weapon onto the installation to register it.
“As a response to a number of negligent discharges of privately owned weapons, the command decided to explore how to implement a training program for soldiers with privately owned weapons. Their goal is to identify soldiers with firearms and provide additional safety training to them, much like our motorcycle and driver safety classes,” she said.
“Our soldiers train and operate in combat with M-4 carbines and various other military weapons, but not all who purchase their own weapons are properly trained to handle them. Determining which soldiers possess weapons will allow the command to identify the soldiers who may require additional training on them,” she said.
Gramling said the memo was “from a subordinate unit commander who, at the time, believed he was acting within his authority.” She said requiring the information was halted when it was discovered the commander was not within his authority.
The process has been suspended pending a full review, she said.
“This is not an effort to infringe on soldiers’ rights to own firearms,” Gramling told WND.
Mistake or not, the commander’s order comes on the heels of a Department of Defense policy that limited the supply of ammunition available to the private gun owners by requiring destruction of fired military cartridge brass.
That policy already had been implemented and had taken a bite out of the nation’s stressed ammunition supply before it was reversed this week.
Mark Cunningham, a legislative affairs representative with the Defense Logistics Agency, explained in an e-mail to the office of Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., that the Department of Defense had placed small arms cartridge cases on its list of sensitive munitions items as part of an overall effort to ensure national security is not jeopardized in the sale of any Defense property.
“Upon review, the Defense Logistics Agency has determined the cartridge cases could be appropriately placed in a category of government property allowing for their release for sale,” Cunningham wrote.
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Politics | Tue, Mar 17, 2009 at 11:35:00 am PDT
Here we see the current head of AIG Financial Products and former vice chairman of Morgan Stanley, Gerry Pasciucco, at an event called “Fiesta Cuba,” wearing a Che Guevara T-shirt.
The photo comes from this page at Fairfield County Look, where we learn more about the fun-filled evening:
Family Centers took a trip back in time where the sound of salsa music filled the air, La Tropicana was the place to be and relaxation was a way of life.The sights, sounds and tastes of 1940s-era Havana filled the air on the evening of Friday, June 6 for Family Centers’ 2008 benefit – Fiesta Cuba. The event was held at the Belle Haven home Laurie and Peter Grauer.
Known to attract the likes of Frank Sinatra, Ava Gardner and Gary Cooper, Cuba was dubbed “America’s Playground” during the years following World War II. Laurie Grauer, along with her fellow co-chairs Patti Fast, Julie Graham and Nonie Sullivan, combined a touch of that glitz and glamour with the laid-back feel the Caribbean is known for to create a true paradise under the stars.
Before sitting down to an authentic Cuban feast, guests were treated to mojitos, other tropical drinks and hand-rolled cigars. Meanwhile, roulette, poker and other games of chance were played in the world-famous Riviera Casino. But the party really heated up once the sun went down, as a 13-piece orchestra played a mix of Latin and party tunes sure to keep the dance floor filled all night.The funds raised will benefit Family Centers’ 30 education and human service programs.
Need to raise the price of stamps. Cut back a delivery day to save money
LAKE WATEREE, South Carolina (CNN) — At a time when the U.S. Postal Service says it is experiencing a financial crisis, it purchased a $1.2 million home from an employee so he could relocate, a CNN investigation has found.
The Postal Service bought this 8,400-square-foot South Carolina home so an employee could relocate.
Postal Service spokesman Greg Frey said the home will be resold, as others have been.
“It’s not like we threw away a million dollars,” Frey told CNN. “We are hoping it’s going to go for the appraised value.”
But a real estate agent in the area said the home could be a tough sell in a depressed housing market — and the USPS said it lost an average of more than $58,000 on the 500-plus homes its relocation program bought and sold in 2008.
The 8,400-square-foot, six-bedroom home on Lake Wateree, about 30 miles north of Columbia, is likely to be the last million-dollar home purchased by the Postal Service. A $1 million cap on homes eligible for the relocation program took effect in February, Frey said.
But the program has raised eyebrows among critics and is under scrutiny by the USPS inspector-general’s office in the wake of a CNN investigation.
The South Carolina home belonged to Ronald Hopson, the former postmaster in Lexington, South Carolina, and his wife, Evelyn. The property includes five acres, four bathrooms, two half-baths and an indoor swimming pool. Watch a tour of luxurious home »
Hopson is now the customer service manager for the USPS branch in Carrollton, Texas. He would not discuss the house and referred CNN to the service’s press office for additional questions. But property records show that the house was purchased by the Postal Service’s relocation contractor, Connecticut-based Cartus Relocation, in February.
Just weeks earlier, Postmaster General John Potter told a congressional subcommittee that the post office was considering cutting back mail delivery because of the economy.
“The Postal Service, like the rest of the economy, is experiencing a severe financial crisis, and I’m here today to ask for your help to protect America’s postal system,” Potter said.
He added that the post office has cut travel expenses and frozen executive salaries.
Faced with those cutbacks, Billie Bierer — who owns the lot next door to Hopson’s old home — called the purchase “crazy.”
“I mean, this should not be allowed in any company, and in this economy, things need to change,” Bierer said.
The Postal Service is a semipublic corporation, chartered by the U.S. government but not supported by taxpayer funds. Corporate relocation services are a common executive perk in the corporate world, where companies typically buy a property from an employee who is transferring to another city and resell it later.
Some U.S. government agencies do the same thing, but with limits on how much they will spend. For example, the Food and Drug Administration limits its relocation assistance to homes under $330,000.
Frey said the average cost of the 1,022 homes purchased through the USPS relocation program in 2007 and 2008 was $257,874. Fifteen of those remain on the market, he said.
Of the 1,022, 14 cost between $1 million and $2.8 million. All of those have been sold, Frey said, but typically at a loss once closing costs, attorneys fees and commissions are paid.
In 2007, after the U.S. housing boom peaked, the USPS lost an average of $50,542 on each deal, he said. In 2008, with the market in full retreat, the average loss climbed to $58,397.
And in Lake Wateree, real estate agent David Beckroge said, buyers for million-dollar properties are hard to come by right now.
“That would be very tough,” he said.
The purchase of Hopson’s home drew criticism from Pete Sepp, vice president of the National Taxpayers Union, a Washington-based government watchdog group.
“At a time when the Postal Service is considering cutting back on delivery, raising stamp prices, perhaps even going to the federal government for a taxpayer bailout, this sends the wrong signal. It is likely to make customers very angry,” Sepp said.
“We need to know that the Postal Service is for the patrons of the Postal Service, the people that are buying stamps, the people that are supporting it, that they’re getting their money’s worth,” said Grassley, R-Iowa