Chad’s Morning Brief: Rick Perry’s Lawyers Attempt to Have Indictment Thrown Out, How Big of a Threat is ISIS, and Other Top Stories
Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of August 26, 2014. Give me your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am. Remember, you can listen online at KFYO.com or on your iPhone/Android with the radioPup App.
Perry Wants Indictment Tossed
Lawyers for Governor Rick Perry are attempting to have his indictment thrown out according to the Texas Tribune.
Perry was indicted this month, accused of coercing a public servant and abusing his official capacity of governor when he threatened to veto $7.5 million in state funds to the public corruption unit of the Travis County District Attorney's office if District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg refused to step down after her April 2013 drunken driving arrest.
“Continued prosecution of Governor Perry on the current indictment is unprecedented, insupportable and simply impermissible,” the attorneys wrote in their brief. “This court should not hesitate to dismiss both counts of the indictment and bar the prosecution, immediately if not sooner.”
In the brief signed by David Botsford, one of a half-dozen lawyers hired by the governor, Perry’s team contends the indictments violate constitutional provisions for the separation of powers and protecting free speech, and the brief said that the charges are vague, overbroad and improperly applied.
The governor’s defense team promised a challenge last week; the court said at that time that the prosecutor will have a week to respond.
Should the indictment be thrown out? Yes. Will it? No.
ISIS Threat Level
How big of a threat to the United States is ISIS? According to FOX News, the answer depends on who you talk to.
U.S. military officials gave varying – and at times confusing -- explanations Monday for what, if anything, would trigger U.S. airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria, after the Joint Chiefs chairman dialed back earlier comments that suggested support for such a strike.
On Sunday, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey appeared to tone down remarks he made last week about the growing terror network that’s taken root in Iraq and Syria.
Dempsey, speaking to reporters on board a military plane traveling to Afghanistan, said he believes the Sunni insurgent group formerly known as ISIS is a regional threat, and he would not recommend airstrikes in Syria until they have become a direct threat to the U.S. He said the group is not currently plotting or planning attacks against the U.S. or Europe.
But Dempsey spokesman Col. Ed Thomas clarified to Fox News on Monday that Dempsey “believes that ISIS is a regional threat that will soon become a threat to the United States and Europe.”
Thomas said Dempsey is preparing options to “address” ISIS in both Iraq and Syria “with a variety of military tools including airstrikes,” and believes a coalition of partners is necessary to confront the threat.
But as for what could prompt U.S. airstrikes in Syria, a senior U.S. Defense spokesman told Fox News that the judgment on whether the Islamic State is a threat against the homeland is just one trigger.
"Any threats against U.S. personnel and interests could drive action against ISIL in Syria," the official said.
The overall message appeared to be that the terror group could soon pose such a threat, and the military is preparing its options. Last week, though, Dempsey and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke in dire terms about the threat posed by the Islamic State, with Dempsey saying the organization could not be defeated without some action in Syria.
The senior U.S. Defense spokesman said Monday that the message was the U.S. and its allies need a "long-term strategy" to separate ISIS from the population. "In the meantime, if we see a plot against the homeland, of course we'll attack it," the official said. (White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest reiterated Monday afternoon that there is not an active plot right now by Islamic State militants in Syria to attack the U.S.)
Asked Monday on Fox News whether the White House had pushed back on military officials' statements from last week, Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said no.
“There has been no direction from the White House or anybody else to tone down the way we're speaking about ISIL, and I think we've all been very consistently talking about real and growing threat that ISIL poses,” Kirby said.
ISIS has repeatedly made threats to attack the U.S. through social and conventional media. Earlier this month, in a Vice News documentary, a spokesman for the group vowed to "raise the flag of Allah in the White House." The group took over Iraq's second largest city, Mosul, in June, and has since declared an Islamic state, or caliphate, in a swath of territory covering northeastern Syria and northern and western Iraq. U.S. airstrikes and a new policy of direct military aid to Kurdish Peshmerga fighters have served as a check on a threatened ISIS advance toward Kurdish territory in northern Iraq.
On Sunday, though, Dempsey contrasted ISIS with the Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which has plotted and attempted attacks against the U.S. and Europe. As a result, the U.S. has conducted counterterrorism strikes against the group within Yemen.
Dempsey said that so far, there is no sign that the Islamic State militants are engaged in "active plotting against the homeland, so it's different than that which we see in Yemen."
"I can tell you with great clarity and certainty that if that threat existed inside of Syria that it would certainly be my strong recommendation that we would deal with it," said Dempsey. "I have every confidence that the president of the United States would deal with it."
Dempsey also told reporters that he believes that key allies in the region -- including Jordan, Turkey and Saudi Arabia -- will join the U.S. in quashing the Islamic State group.
So they are a threat and could become even a larger threat? Okay, sounds good enough to me to go over there and defeat them now rather than wait.
Other Top Stories:
These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of The Chad Hasty Show. Tune in mornings 8:30-11am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at kfyo.com, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard online in our podcast section after the show at kfyo.com.