Cortney O'Brien - Abortionist Who ‘Dumped Fetuses’ and Faced Rape Charges Finally Arrested
Posted: 12/10/2014 11:00:00 AM EST

Update: Patel has been released from jail on a $2,000 bail, but his facility remains closed.

It’s an arrest that took far too long. After Operation Rescue filed a complaint against him with the Oklahoma Health Department for crimes hard to stomach, police have raided abortionist Nareshkumar Gandalal “Naresh” Patel’s office and sent him to prison.

The list of charges against him seems endless. A USA Today headline from last year read, “Okla. doctor says he dumped fetuses,” recounting how Patel dumped 60 fetuses in a field near Shawnee, Okla., and tried to burn them.

If that wasn’t enough to put him behind bars, the handful of rape and sodomy charges against him certainly was.

In 1993, Patel was charged with one count of “forcible oral sodomy” and one count of sexual battery after a patient alleged that he had sexually assaulted her on an examination table prior to an abortion. She then recorded two phone conversations with him in which she alleged that he asked if she was angry about the assault and apologized for it.

Three victims came forward and told of their encounters with Patel.

These victims’ testimonies are extremely graphic, but you can read about their disturbing encounters with Patel here.

In addition to treating babies like discarded waste and reportedly treating women like tools, Patel is also charged with “obtaining money by false pretenses” and faces a slew of malpractice claims.

It’s cases like this that prove Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell is not an anomaly. Gosnell, for those who don’t recall, was convicted of murdering three babies born alive after failed abortions, as well as involuntary manslaughter of one of his patients. Patel’s crimes might not seem so egregious as Gosnell’s, but they’ve both proven they’re a danger to society.

Gosnell is now where he belongs and his filthy clinic was closed for good. Hopefully Patel and his abortion center face the same fate.

Guy Benson - Bloomberg Poll: Heavy Public Opposition to Obama's Executive Amnesty
Posted: 12/10/2014 10:35:00 AM EST

A new national poll of adults from Bloomberg contains bad news galore for the White House.  A few key details:

President Obama's job approval sits at just 39 percent, his personal low mark in the polling series.  He's been equally weak in other recent surveys.

(2) The GOP's approval rating is at a five-year high (45/47), although the party's image is still slightly more negative than positive.  Democrats are in worse shape, with a bare majority disapproving (41/50).

Obama struggles on every issue polled, performing best on the economy, on which his approval is still 11 points underwater.  Ed Morrissey runs through the rest of the poor marks: "[Obama's] foreign policy approval is 37/51, and health care only gets 41/55. Obama gets a 37/54 on immigration a couple of weeks after his big “I’m gonna act alone” statement.

(4) And how are Americans reacting to that executive fiat, which bypasses Congress to rewrite immigration laws?  Not well:

As for Obama’s decision to take executive action to give some illegal immigrants temporary legal status, 56 percent say they don’t approve, while 39 percent are okay with it and 5 percent aren’t sure. This is partly a partisan issue; 83 percent of Republicans oppose the decisions while two-thirds of Democrats favor them. More ominously, though, a clear majority—57 percent—of independents oppose the actions.

Substantial, majority opposition, with public support for the unprecedented power grab upside-down by 17 points.  Independents side with Republicans on the issue.  As Republicans gear up to fight Obama on this issue in the next Congress, they appear to be persuading the public that Obama has overstepped his authority.  As a reminder, Obama agreed with that assessment until very recently:

(5) I'll leave you with Bloomberg quoting a blue collar Pennsylvania Democrat who may not be in love with Republicans, but who's seen enough of Obama:

Roman Kenenitz, 62, a Democrat from Mount Carmel, Pa., says that "mainly the disgust with Obama" is what's driving his more favorable views of the Republican Party rather than any sense that they are getting things done. His shift in partisan preference was intensified after the president last month announced a reprieve for the undocumented parents of children born in the U.S. and an expansion of permits for high-skilled foreign workers. Kenenitz said that Obama is “too much of a flip-flop type guy" and that "with him pulling this executive power” the president is “like a crybaby—‘it’s my way or no way’—and I just don’t feel he’s doing a good job.” “Right now I feel they’re trying to put the brakes on him,” Kenenitz said of Republicans.

Which is precisely what Americans elected them to do.

Townhall Magazine - America Goes Rogue
Posted: 12/10/2014 9:00:00 AM EST

Once again, the coastal media elites are very disappointed with how fly-over country voted. HotAir's Mary Katharine Ham reports for the December issue of Townhall Magazine. 

America has gone rogue again. In its special way, the electorate has once again confounded its media and coastal leadership by turning right, voting for Republicans, and making its professed intellectual betters very, very disappointed in them, indeed.

As the results of a historic clock-cleaning rolled in this November, the most notable meltdown happened at MSNBC, where hosts despaired for silver linings and time traveled to 2016 to avoid the mess in front of them. Chris Matthews gave voice to their consternation, heightened by a betrayal of various editorial boards across the country, who had the temerity to endorse Republicans in print!

“There’s something weird going on,” he said, “even amongst the educated crowd, that surprises me.” 

He was referencing the endorsement of Republican Senate candidate Cory Gardner in Colorado by the Denver Post and the endorsement by the Chicago Sun-Times of gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner, a Republican running in Illinois. In the first case, incumbent Sen. Mark Udall’s (D) campaign had become so focused on the War on Women that the Post declared it an “obnoxious one-issue campaign,” and “an insult to those he seeks to convince.” Voters agreed. Reporting by the Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney found that Udall’s website mentioned “birth control” 71 times—far more than it referenced “America.”

In Illinois, an endorsement of Rauner as an “extraordinarily capable businessman” who could potentially bring good management and leadership skills to Springfield was enough to cause a mid-level kerfuffle and the resignation of a longtime political reporter from the paper. Because nothing says objec- tivity like quitting your job because the editorial page endorsed a Republican that one time.

And, what about the man who sits atop the world of political commentary, his show a destination for the nation’s most desirable demographic? Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show” was recently approached to helm the Sunday morning staple, “Meet the Press.”

Ten years ago, when he denounced the format and hosts of CNN’s “Crossfire” on “Crossfire,” he was appointed our preening shepherd on the path to political enlightenment.

He didn’t vote, he told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, and he said Big Money was the big winner of the midterms (Stewart later claimed he did vote and was only joking with Amanpour). By the standard of the Left’s frantic VOTE OR DIE campaigns, Stewart is now dead to us all. I don’t ascribe to the notion that if you don’t vote you can’t complain, but if Stewart does, it’s gonna be a long two years on "The Daily Show."

But on the 10-year anniversary of Stewart’s call for honest debate and denunciation of partisan hackery on a CNN set, he reveals himself to be wearing a set of blinders as hacky as anyone he criticized that day.

He can’t bear to imagine that Americans elected a bunch of Republicans on the merits of their campaigns, or because they found some of their ideas to be a palatable alternative, or even just because they were tired of Democratic leadership having resulted in economic stagnation for six years.

Nope, it had to be the money. Well, let’s talk about the money.

The most obvious attempt in recent memory to straight-up purchase a congressional seat went down in flames as Sean Eldridge, the 28-year-old husband of Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, lost by 30 points in New York’s 19th District. It was only the latest in a series of districts that Hughes bought Eldridge a mansion and various “investments” for the townspeople to ensure the young go-getter a seat.

Who knows where they’ll buy property next?

In North Carolina, Sen. Kay Hagan (D) was supposed to be a Democratic firewall, and boy did they spend like it. In the most expensive Senate race of all time, far more money was spent by the losing side. Late-October totals showed Hagan’s campaign had more than doubled Thom Tillis’ spending: $22 million to $9 million. Outside and party spending also favored Hagan, though by less of a margin.

“Our state is not for sale,” was Hagan’s battle cry on the trail. She was right. She lost 49–47.

Mother Jones dubbed 2014 “The Year of the Koch”— using the go-to libertarian businessmen bogeymen of the Left when it comes to money in politics. But Washington Free Beacon reporting reveals seven unions spent more than the Kochs on Super PACs.

Meanwhile liberal, green billionaire Tom Steyer was the single biggest donor of the cycle, putting in about $75 million of his own money, with almost nothing to show for it. There was lots of money spent, but money alone couldn’t win the day.

“Daily Show” creator Lizz Winstead offered her own goofy theory for why Texas didn’t go blue for pink-shoe wearing abortion enthusiast Wendy Davis, who lost the women’s vote resoundingly. The culprit in this state race for governor was... redistricting. “I think part of it is redistricting,” she told Joy Reid on MSNBC. “And Texas, I think, can turn blue.”

Two years from now, the media will get a different electorate in a presidential year, and a shot at understanding this country once again (as long as we all comply by agreeing with them). Until then, cheers to an America that can still surprise them. •

Mary Katharine Ham writes at and is a contributing editor for Townhall Magazine. 

Katie Pavlich - Outgoing Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa Recaps Gruber Hearing
Posted: 12/10/2014 8:45:00 AM EST

In case you missed it yesterday, MIT professor and Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber testified on Capitol Hill about the deception and non-transparency used to push the healthcare legislation through back in 2010. During the hearing, Gruber was hammered by both Democrats and Republicans for comments he's made about "stupid Americans."

Last night outgoing chairman of the House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa made an appearance on Hannity to recap the hearing and to talk about what's next as the new Congress takes their seats in January. 

"They're [tough questions] aren't going away. Trey Gowdy is not going away. Jim Jordan is not going away. The fact is he [Gruber] had a tough day on both sides of the aisle but the Republicans on our Committee are dedicated to make sure we get the truth to the American people and then bring the reforms that come from an honest debate about the real cost of healthcare," Issa said. "That's got to happen and only those who have the courage to say Obamacare was a lie can begin of a truthful heading toward affordable care."

Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz will replace Issa as the chairman of the Oversight Committee in January. 

Christine Rousselle - ICYMI: MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski Hilariously "Lost It" On Air
Posted: 12/9/2014 7:17:00 PM EST

Yesterday, while reporting on a suspected chlorine attack on a "furry" convention in Chicago, MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski got quite confused about the subject she was covering. After being informed that, yes, the term "furry convention" was not a typo, she broke down into giggles upon seeing videos of evacuated attendees wearing "fursuit" costumes. Following the video cutaway, Brzezinski was apparently filled in on what exactly a "furry" was, and fled the set, much to the delight of her coworkers.

The video kind of speaks for itself:

"We just told Mika what the convention was about [...] where ya going?"

Joe Scarborough had a similar giggle fit.

Hey, things like this happen to everyone. On the plus side, Brzezinski definitely learned something new at work yesterday.

Matt Vespa - Should Senate Republicans Restore The Filibuster?
Posted: 12/9/2014 6:15:00 PM EST

Today, Senate Republicans are debating whether to restore filibusters of judicial and executive nominations. Last year, soon-to-be-ex-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid went nuclear; changing the filibuster rules on such nominations to require a simple majority for passage. At the time, conservative columnist George Will said,"It's a sad day for what used to be a great deliberative body." Now, Republicans are split on what to do when they take control of the Senate next year (via the Hill):

“I think it’s rank hypocrisy if we don’t,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said when asked about reversing the rule change.

“If we don’t, then disregard every bit of complaint that we made, not only after they did it but also during the campaign,” he added. “I’m stunned that some people want to keep it.”

But other Republicans say now that Democrats have changed the rules to allow nominations aside from those to the Supreme Court to clear by majority vote, the GOP should go with the flow.

“I’m leaning toward leaving it alone,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the incoming chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Senior Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee see little tactical advantage in restoring the 60-vote threshold for nominees when they control the agenda next year.

They argue that if Obama nominates officials and judges who are too extreme, the Senate Judiciary could simply not report them to the floor, or incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) could decide not to schedule them for votes.

They assert that reversing the nuclear option would not benefit them in the long term because Democrats would likely trigger it once again if they reclaimed the majority while their party controlled the White House.

Republicans on the other side of the debate, however, warn that if the GOP adopts the change, it could lead to further cuts to minority rights in the Senate going forward.

“Any diminution of the right to filibuster a nominee means someday there’s a greater chance of getting rid of the legislative filibusters. Once you go down that road the next step is to get rid of the filibuster for legislation,” said one Senate GOP aide.

Three Republicans angling for the presidency — Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.), Ted Cruz (Texas) and Marco Rubio (Fla.) — who might stand to gain from keeping the nuclear order have kept a low profile on the question. Their offices declined to comment Monday afternoon on the debate.

The conservative groups most active in the judicial confirmation wars, however, firmly support keeping the simple-majority threshold for nominees.

Carrie Severino, chief counsel to the Judicial Crisis Network, said that restoring the 60-vote threshold for nominees would not bind future Democratic majorities to abide by it.

“It’s an untenable situation to have a 60-vote standard for Republicans and a 50-vote standard for Democrats, which is what I think it would turn into,” she said. “I don’t think you can put the genie back into the bottle.”

So far, it seems conservatives and right-leaning media outlets agree that restoring the 60-vote threshold isn't in the best interest of Republicans.

From the WSJ editorial board:

Senate Republicans are debating whether to restore the 60-vote filibuster rule for confirming presidential nominees to the executive branch and lower courts. It’s nice to imagine a Kumbaya moment that would restore Senate comity, but this is a case when the GOP could do more political harm if it tries to undo Harry Reid ’s damage."

From the editorial board of the National Review:

Bringing back the judicial filibuster would be more antiquarian and quixotic than restorative. . . .The 60-vote rule for legislation, thanks to its long history of use and the range of competing interests in the Senate, is likely to survive under either party. It does not owe its survival to the vitality of the judicial filibuster. There are a number of difficult questions that face next year’s Republican Senate majority. This is not one of them.”

Mark Levin:

“It is my contention that if we are going to have fidelity to the constitution then we should not put it [the judicial filibuster] back in place because it violates the constitution.”

Ed Whelan:

“The only real prospect for much-needed improvement in the federal courts requires a good Republican president and a Senate Republican majority that can exercise its majority power to confirm good nominees. It would be a massive folly for Senate Republicans to deprive themselves of that power.”

Quin Hilyer:

“If Republican senators actually try to “denuclearize” the judicial-nomination process — meaning they would undo the “nuclear option” Reid put in place in 2013 and would once again require 60 votes to break a filibuster against judicial nominees — they will catalyze one of the biggest, most brutal civil wars the right-of-center coalition has seen in the past decade. Reinstating the filibuster for judicial nominations is a bad idea on the merits and, on multiple levels, astoundingly foolish on the politics.

Hugh Hewitt:

“No, no, no, no, no to the idea moving around some Senate GOP circles of 'restoring' the judicial filibuster.

First, the GOP senators have to understand that this is not simply an internal matter, a question of the "club's" agreed-upon rules. It is an issue of incredible and obvious importance to all Americans, not just 100 senators, and understood to be such by millions of grassroots voters, and thousands of contributors."

Hewitt wrote another column today telling Senate Republicans that they shouldn't restore the filibuster.

Let's see what happens.

Daniel Doherty - U.N. Expert: In Wake of Intel Report, Let's Prosecute Bush-era Criminals
Posted: 12/9/2014 5:00:00 PM EST

According to skeptics, there are several problems with the Senate Intelligence report released earlier today. First of all, Republicans declined to partake in the investigation. This raises eyebrows right off the bat. Second, the timing of the report's release was influenced by politics. Third, "no CIA officers” were reportedly interviewed about their involvement in extracting information from detainees. And lastly, the report is heavily redacted and therefore the names of CIA operatives allegedly involved in the program are not publicly known.

All that notwithstanding, a “U.N. Human rights expert” wants to see someone in the Bush administration held accountable:

A U.N. human rights expert said a report that the U.S. Senate released on Tuesday revealed a "clear policy orchestrated at a high level within the Bush administration" and called for prosecution of U.S. officials who ordered crimes, including torture, against detainees. Ben Emmerson, United Nations special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, said senior Bush administration officials who planned and authorized crimes must be prosecuted, along with as CIA and other U.S. government officials who committed torture such as waterboarding.

"As a matter of international law, the U.S. is legally obliged to bring those responsible to justice," Emmerson said in a statement issued in Geneva. "The U.S. Attorney General is under a legal duty to bring criminal charges against those responsible." The CIA routinely misled the White House and Congress over its harsh interrogation program for terrorism suspects, and its methods, which included waterboarding, were more brutal than the agency acknowledged, a Senate report said on Tuesday.

Perhaps. But will he? In a word, no:

The release of the Senate report on CIA interrogation techniques prompted the Justice Department to say that it stands by its decision not to bring criminal charges after its own probe five years ago. "That review generated two criminal investigations, but the Department of Justice ultimately declined those cases for prosecution, because the admissible evidence would not be sufficient to obtain and sustain convictions beyond a reasonable doubt," the agency said in a statement Tuesday.

Indeed, before the report was even released, the New York Times reached a similar conclusion:

Q.Will the Senate report lead to the prosecution of anyone for torture or other crimes?

A. Highly unlikely. The Justice Department conducted a limited review of the interrogation program, as well as the C.I.A.'s destruction of video recordings of waterboarding and other interrogation sessions, but brought no criminal charges. Mr. Holder had directed prosecutors to consider charges only against those who engaged in unauthorized activities, since the use of the brutal interrogation methods was approved by C.I.A. leaders and the George W. Bush White House.

But “highly unlikely” doesn't necessarily mean “impossible.” TIME, for instance, did some digging and discovered some lawyers aren't totally convinced all alleged torturers will escape punishment:

the Senate report could be a breakthrough in cases that have dragged on for years in the U.S. and Europe — and could pave the way for fresh legal action against the CIA’s top officials for permitting torture. “The gaps have been between the CIA agents involved and the higher-ups conducting this policy,” says Wolfgang Kaleck, a lawyer and director of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights in Berlin, which has brought criminal cases against the U.S. military and CIA agents in Germany, Switzerland, Spain and France. Kaleck says lawyers will now study the Senate report for signs that the coercive tactics were a policy directed from the agency’s top levels, rather than simply the actions of errant employees. “It would hopefully allow us to argue for command responsibility for torture,” he told TIME on Tuesday. …

[L]awyers say the very fact that the agency’s torture tactics are now written into an official U.S. document could make it far easier for them to argue their case in court. This is especially true in countries that are close allies in the U.S.’s anti-terrorism campaign, and which have tried to block cases from being heard on the grounds of political sensitivities.

Nonetheless, the chances of public trials taking place here in the U.S. or anywhere else are exceedingly improbable, especially because -- as journalist Richard Engel explains -- the whole report is essentially an exercise in redistributing blame and "rewriting history."

Conn Carroll - The Fight for the Senate Budget Committee
Posted: 12/9/2014 4:00:00 PM EST

Conservatives could lose a strong voice on both budget and immigration issues next year if Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) loses his race against Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) for the chairmanship of the Senate Budget Committee.

Both Sessions and Enzi currently serve on the committee and both were elected to the Senate in 1996. But thanks to a random drawing of lots, Enzi is technically senior to Sessions.

However, in 2011 when the opportunity to become the Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee came, Enzi declined. Sessions stepped up to the responsibility and has done the job admirably. In their endorsement of Sessions for chairman, National Review wrote:

He has done an exceptional job on budget issues, explaining complicated fiscal matters to voters and colleagues. In particular, Sessions unremittingly attacked his Democratic counterparts on the Budget Committee for not writing or releasing a budget on their own, as the law required. After more than 1,000 days of lassitude, Senator Patty Murray finally relented: Sessions forced the party of tax increases and debt accumulation to go on record as such by passing a budget resolution. The senator has also made a priority of welfare reform, applying research and rhetoric to push for conservative, work-focused approaches to social spending.

The race between Enzi and Sessions will be decided by a secret ballot vote of the Republican members of the Budget Committee. There are currently 10 Republicans on the committee, including Enzi and Sessions, and only Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has said who he would vote for ("I told Jeff I would be with Jeff").

Senate Republicans will soon negotiate committee membership ratios with Democrats, and the Budget Committee will probably end up getting at least one or two more Republican members starting next year. But Senate sources tell Townhall that there is no guarantee that Republicans will wait until next year before they vote. Republicans could decide the issue by a secret ballot of current members this year. Here are the seven undecided members that will decide if Sessions will be Budget Chairman:

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)

Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID)

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA)

Sen Rob Johnson (R-WI)

Sen Rob Portman (R-OH)

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA)

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS)

Cortney O'Brien - Exclusive: Louie Zamperini’s Daughter Doubts Anyone Today Could Survive What Her Dad Survived
Posted: 12/9/2014 2:00:00 PM EST

New York, NY -- You may have heard of World War Two hero Louie Zamperini, whose story is told beautifully in Laura Hillenbrand’s 2010 New York Times bestseller, “Unbroken.” But, this Christmas, audiences will be able to watch his miraculous life unfold on screen. Director Angelina Jolie broke what some have called the ‘movie curse.’ After Zamperini’s life story was tossed around in Hollywood for years, Jolie finally committed to the project and what resulted is the two-hour heart wrenching epic, “Unbroken.” Zamperini’s daughter, Cynthia Garris, spoke with Townhall at a press junket in New York on Friday, sharing how her dad’s fortitude and faith pulled him through the toughest trials of his life, and how it took an A-list movie star to finally bring his story to the silver screen.

It’s impossible to relate his whole experience here, but here is just a taste of what Zamperini survived: A plane crash in the Pacific Ocean, floating in a life raft with two fellow airmen for 47 days, and being tortured by "the Bird," a POW guard who was ruthlessly obsessed with him, beating him every chance he had. Considering all her dad went through, Garris finds it hard to believe that anyone today who endured what he endured could come out alive today.

The making of this film was a really long process, it took years. That’s kind of a testament to your dad’s life – that patience and endurance really pay off. How did you feel when you learned the film was finally being made?

“I kept thinking it was finally being made for the last maybe five years, they first had Francis Lawrence slated to direct it. I was managing my father’s career so I was there for those meetings and I thought that was going to happen and it was just taking a long time. It was in development still and he left to do another film that was offered to him and then we waited awhile and then a Norwegian directors’ team were slated to direct it and I was very excited about them. It looked like they were going to do it and all of a sudden I got a call from Matt Baer, the film’s producer, saying, ‘You’re not going to believe this, but I just got off the phone with Angelina Jolie. We talked for two hours, she read the book twice, without stopping.’ And I’m thinking, ‘A movie star? Has she ever directed before?’”

In fact, Jolie had directed one film prior to “Unbroken,” called “In the Land of Blood and Honey.” But, her reservations were justified considering she wanted to get her dad’s story right. That’s when Baer assured her Jolie was the right person for the job.

“Matt said, ‘I haven’t spoken to one other director who had the vision that she has. She is brilliant beyond words and her passion. So, his being convinced, since he had been on the film for so many years, trying so hard to get it done, he convinced me. So I relaxed about it and then I thought, ‘Okay, I’ve got to break this to my brother. Now I’m not going to say, ‘Luke, Angelina Jolie is going to direct the movie because that will throw him off, so I called him up and I said, ‘They found their director and it’s a person with a lot of passion and fantastic vision for the whole thing, better by far than any other director’s vision, and my brother’s thinking, ‘Who is it? Who is it?’ I just wanted to kind of build it up to it to say, ‘Angelina Jolie,’ and he just loved the idea. He got behind it 100 percent.”

As for her dad’s relationship with Jolie, Garris said it was an instant connection.

“After we first met with her, we all met her the same time she met Louie and for the two of them love at first sight. She was more in love with Louie first, because he was still reeling from getting a kiss on the lips from Catherine Zeta-Jones, because they were both on the Tonight Show and so he was reeling from that. And you know, he still had it. He was 96 years old at the time, but he still had an eye for the ladies. But, it was love at first sight between them and I could tell it was going to be a fantastic journey.”

I want to ask a couple of questions about your dad’s ordeal. What role do you think his faith played in his survival? Both when he was going through the camps and after, when he was dealing with alcoholism. It seemed like finding Christ in those times got him through those ordeals.

“It’s interesting, he was raised Catholic. He didn’t become a Christian until he came home. So what he did was he noticed that Phil prayed a lot on the raft and what we’ve been told, is if you’ve ever been brought to your knees by something that happened to you in your life, that everybody will turn to God when they have no place else to turn. So, he was terrified at times during horrific storms at sea and he would pray, ‘If you get me through this, I will seek you and serve you for the rest of my life.’ When he got back from the war, he forgot about that promise. The PTSD hit him very hard. Nightmares every single night, he dreamt he was strangling The Bird and that his goal in life, even though he was newlywed, and I was his first child, I was still an infant – his goal in life was to save enough money to go back to Japan, find the Bird and kill him. He felt medicated by drinking a lot, because they didn’t even have a name for what these wonderful warriors what they were going through. Basically, you were on your own to deal with this.”

“My mother was going to leave him – take me and leave him. Then a few friends of theirs invited them to go to hear Billy Graham speak. At the time, he was an unknown evangelist traveling in a tent. And so my father wouldn’t go. My mother went, became a Christian and told my father, ‘I’m not going to leave you because I’m now with the Lord and but I want you to come with me.’ So he grudgingly went. She brought him there – he got up and walked out. He didn’t want to hear about it. She brought him back again. He was on his way out a second time, when he remembered that promise that he’d made, ‘I’ll seek you and serve you if you get me out of this.’ And, it basically humbled him and he accepted Christ that night. He says all the nightmares stopped – he never had another one for the rest of his life. It just filled his heart with what he needed the most. I never heard him swear. I heard him say, ‘damn’ once when I was an adult and I almost fell over. I was in shock. He must be really mad if he said, ‘damn!’ He never drank, he was a wonderful, dutiful father and husband. It had a powerful impact on him and I just think he needed it so desperately and if you were talking to him right now he’d be able to look back on his whole life and think of all the times he almost died but didn’t. From the time he was a little boy, all the way through. He sees it all as a series of miracles. The hand of God was guiding his life to serve a greater purpose. I often envied him and he could see exactly what it was about and knew exactly what he was here to do. It was the most important thing to him.”

There’s a great picture of Louie skateboarding. He took up skateboarding in his seventies. Are there any other adventures he pursued or risks he took that a lot of people might not know about?

“When he got back from the war, it’s in his new book, which is called, “Don’t Give Up, Don’t Give In,” you’d think he’d never want to be on a boat again, or never eat Japanese food again. But, he went right out on an amazing sailing adventure that went from San Pedro, California, all the way down to Acapulco and all of that West Coast of Mexico, it was not developed into the resort type places that it is today. So they were going to little fishing villages, they were caught in white squall and blown out to sea and the headlines said, ‘Zamperini Missing at Sea Again.’ Then, he took up skiing and it became his passion sport because he couldn’t run anymore. He could ski anything – the steepest of mountains. He loved mountain climbing, repelling, whitewater rafting, he started his own boys’ camp because he wanted to give back and he wanted to help other delinquent boys, because he had been one in his youth and he wanted to deliver the gospel to them by taking them out into the wilderness and showing them how to survive, hunt, fish, mountain climb and present his story of salvation and survival. In his last few years, he loved going and speaking on cruise ships and he had a couple of those boys who had grown up and were there.”

Do you think men and women today could have survived what your dad survived?

“No, I don’t. I don’t think during World War Two, they had the kind of training that makes a Navy Seal or a para-rescue person. These are exemplary men and women who put through the most rigorous training and they’re all eliminated until you’ve just got the few who can do anything. But, back in that day, I think my father and a lot of those men were just boys. They grew up really fast, because they grew up in the Depression and then the war came and they had to be men. Whereas these days, our young men sometimes remain boys well into their thirties. They just don’t have the kind of challenges. So, unless you are in an elite part of the military, I don’t think that your average trained military person would survive and have those skills. But, I may be wrong. But, I have a feeling it was just something very special that he had. Because of him, the other two fellows, survived. They both would have drowned. He had the resourcefulness to get the raft, pull them out of the water and keep them alive as long as he could.”

I read the book and each page my jaw dropped open. I think I was on page 300 and it read, ‘After all Louie endured, this was the worst.’

“Once he’s in the prison camp, you think, ‘Oh I wish he were back on the life raft!’ That seemed luxurious, they were free. Listen, I knew him all my life and I thought I knew everything about his story, but I was reading that book was powerfully emotional for me and my brother and we learned, the way she wrote it, it’s just such an intimate and graphic description of what he went through. Louie was not the kind of man who would talk about all his suffering during the war. We knew basically the basics of it. But, he was just too fine a person to belabor the point of all of the excruciating suffering, horrible things that were done to him. So to read that, it was really painful and awakening and enlightening for us. I felt like I was the most privileged person because I could call him up anytime I wanted and say, ‘I love you!’ And ask him more questions about what I just read.”

One of the most powerful quotes in “Unbroken” comes when Hillenbrand writes, ‘The war ended for Louie when he forgave the Bird.’ Is forgiveness something that your dad instilled in you and Luke growing up?

“He loved that saying that, ‘Hating someone is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.’ It only hurts you, they go on with their lives, and there’s all this hatred inside you and it’s just killing you, like it was killing him. He was losing his whole life, he was losing his young bride and his infant daughter. So he lived it. He was the embodiment of it. He was a wonderful role model for us. He would drop anything to help anyone – a stranger in need. He continued to rescue lots of people throughout our life, including me. He saved me from drowning once. I know it feels horrible to have resentment against people, so I always try to let it go. And my father would actually, he would pray for his enemies, or pray for people who had done wrong to him, and that’s a wonderful way to let it out of you. So he taught us that as well.”

“Unbroken” opens nationwide on Christmas Day.

Leah Barkoukis - The Islamic State Claims to Have 'Radioactive Device' in Europe
Posted: 12/9/2014 2:00:00 PM EST

The Islamic State has wreaked enough havoc with conventional weapons over the last several months, so the thought that they may also possess a radiological one is chilling to say the least.

According to SITE, Twitter user Muslim-Al-Britani, an alleged weapons maker for the terrorist group, has claimed on the social media site that a “Radioactive Device has entered somewhere in Europe.”

The account has since been suspended.

“Too often, counterterrorism officials plan to prevent replication of the last terror attack,” former Pentagon adviser Michael Rubin said, reports The Washington Free Beacon. “Terror groups, however, plan to shock with something new.”

Islamic State jihadists recently claimed to have built a “dirty bomb” with 40 kg of radioactive uranium that they reportedly stole from Mosul University when militants overtook the city in June.

“O by the way Islamic State does have a Dirty bomb. We found Radioactive material from Mosul university,” the same Twitter user Muslim al-Britani wrote. “We’ll find out what dirty bombs are and what they do. We’ll also discuss what might happen if one actually went off in a public area.”

He added, “This sort of bomb would be terribly destructive if went off in LONDON becuz it would be more of a disruptive than a destructive weapon.”

Iraq informed the U.N. in July about the missing uranium and warned about this very situation.

“Terrorist groups have seized control of nuclear material at the sites that came out of the control of the state," Iraq’s U.N. ambassador wrote in a letter to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. “These nuclear materials, despite the limited amounts mentioned, can enable terrorist groups, with the availability of the required expertise, to use it separate or in combination with other materials in its terrorist acts.”

In light of the recent claims, Rubin said Western nations need to be prepared—whether or not Britani’s claims are true.

“Maybe Britani is lying, and maybe he’s not. But Western officials would be foolish to assume that just because something hasn’t happened yet, it won’t,” Rubin told the Free Beacon. “The terrorist groups have the motivation and, thanks to post-withdrawal vacuum created in Iraq, the means to strike the West like never before.”