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His primary duty as he explained it was to run Guantanamo Bay, which he did for 38 months. He also worked in Central and South America and has extensive experience and knowledge of the rampant drug trade. Kelly has been chosen by President-elect Trump to head the Department of Homeland Security.
Kelly is the highest ranking military man to have lost a child.in combat. Kelly's youngest son Robert was killed in Afghanistan in 2010.
Kelly himself served three tours in Iraq and says
"I was kinda tired of the war...This war stuff is hard." He adds "There's a lot of things that have happened in the 'war on terror' or whatever we're calling it today," allowing a not-so-subtle cynicism to slip through.
General Kelly led a division of Marines in Southern California during the 1992 Rodney King riots, after President George H. W. Bush ordered the troops in.
Wikipedia notes: :
"Completing duty under instruction and selected for lieutenant colonel, he was assigned as commanding officer, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion (1st LAR), 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, California. During his tenure, 1st LAR was called in to provide augmentation support for police in the city of Long Beach, California during the Los Angeles riots of 1992."
Here are the interesting highlights from his final press conference, which may give some insight into the man. Frankly my assessment is that he seems like a plain spoken, honest, genuine and sincere person.
The official description on C-SPAN read "U.S. Southern Command Briefing with General John Kelly General John Kelly, commander of the U.S. Southern Command, briefed reporters at the Pentagon and responded to their questions on a variety of defense topics, including military relations with Latin America and the Caribbean, Islamic extremism, and Guantanamo Bay prison detainees. This was General Kelly's final briefing before going into retirement."
He discusses The Central America cocaine trade
"As you know I'm about to hang it up ..."
"I was kinda tired of the war."
"I run Guantanamo bay. I had no part in saying if it should stay open, if it should have ever been opened." His "responsibility is to the president to make sure detainees there are treated well, humanely, and we do that."
He's "very, very, very proud" of his soldiers who do that job.
"In my experience the further you get away from Washington the better things work."
"I can not say enough good things about my number one partner and that is Homeland Security and Jeh Johnson."
He said most countries in the fight of the drug war do not need armed drones, they can use reconnivance drones but usually do not buy from America because buying drones fron America is difficult for many reasons, so they usually default to Israel. Then he pauses and adds, or Russia or China.
He has run Gitmo for 38 months
"We look forward to increasing our relationship with Cuba." He tells how Cuban civilian doctors were allowed on Navy ships and in a reciprocal manber, U.S military doctors saw what Cubans did in local hospitals. "Baby steps" as he put it, in forming relationships with Cuba.
At at minute 15 reporter Jennifer begins "your son Robert was killed in Afghanistan in 2010." and asks about the resurgence of Isis.
Kelly says he he did 3 tours in Iraq and points out, "This war stuff is hard. It's not for the untrained and unadvised."
He refers to
"agenda driven people here in Washington."
On the topic of Islamic extremists, he says "the vast majority of people who follow the Islamic faith are good, law abiding folks."
"The FBI and the CIA and the NSA, the tremendous law enforcement people we have in this country. we take that for granted," Kelly says at munute 24.
The "Gitmo budget is 100+ million dollars.. The money I'm given I spend very frugally and they're very well taken care of."
"I would never assume that anyone in this building (the Pentagon) would break the law," he says twice at minute 30.
"I spend about 40 seconds a day contemplating the situation in Venezuela; and that's in prayer for the Venezuelan people."
"Honest men and women can disagree on anything."
"There's a lot of things that have happened in the 'war on terror' or whatever we're calling it today," Kelly says at minute 35, adding that he doesn't want his troops at Gitmo under his watch to be associated with the bad stuff that other people have done in the war. He spent a lot of time reiterating this point throughout the press conference and seems to really care about the righteousness and reputation of both the country and the personnel under his command.
At minute 37, asked about Islamic extremism in Afghanistan he begins by saying that extremists are only "a tiny percentage of people who follow that great religion." He adds that dealing with extremists "this is hard, this is very hard" and involves economic, social and political aspects, and can take a "long time."
At minute 38, another female reporter asks about Kelly's son who was killed in the war. As the "highest ranking gold star parent," she asks him to share his thoughts. He talks about death, the impact of losing a child, and replies in part, "it caught me by surprise the level of emotional impact and it continues every single day." I highly suggest watching this entire segment starting at minute :38.
Upon ending the press conference, Kelly remarks "I will go over to the side now and probably never talk to a press corps again, but I wish you all well."
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Martin Hill is a Catholic paleoconservative and civil rights advocate. His work has been featured in the Los Angeles Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, The Orange County Register, KNBC4 TV Los Angeles, The Press Enterprise, LewRockwell.com, WhatReallyHappened.com, Infowars.com, PrisonPlanet.com, Economic Policy Journal, TargetLiberty.com, FreedomsPhoenix, Haaretz, TMZ, Veterans Today, Jonathan Turley blog, The Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show, National Motorists Association, AmericanFreePress.net, RomanCatholicReport.com, WorldNetDaily, HenryMakow.com, OverdriveOnline.com, Educate-Yourself.org, TexeMarrs.com, Dr. Kevin Barrett's Truth Jihad radio show, Strike-The-Root.com, Pasadena Weekly, ActivistPost.com, Los Angeles Catholic Lay Mission Newspaper, KFI AM 640, IamtheWitness.com, Redlands Daily Facts, SaveTheMales.ca, BlackBoxVoting, The Michael Badnarik Show, The Wayne Madsen Report, Devvy.com, Rense.com, FromTheTrenchesWorldReport.com, BeforeItsNews.com, The Contra Costa Times, Pasadena Star News, Silicon Valley Mercury News, Long Beach Press Telegram, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, L.A. Harbor Daily Breeze, CopBlock.org, DavidIcke.com, Whittier Daily News, KCLA FM Hollywood, The Fullerton Observer, Antiwar.com, From The Trenches World Report, and many others. Archives can be found at LibertyFight.com and DontWakeMeUp.Org.
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