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Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

Aaron Klein

Aaron Klein

Francis Changes Mind On Opening Secret Archives

Pope Francis nixed a plan to open secret Vatican archive files relevant to the Holocaust following pressure from Germany and France, an informed Western diplomat based in Tel Aviv told this column.

Major Jewish organizations had petitioned Fancis to open the Holocaust-era Vatican archives.

The issue of the Vatican and its relationship with Nazi Germany has long been a point of contention in Jewish-Catholic relations.

The topic is particularly timely since Francis will soon decide whether World War II-era pope, Pius XII, should be canonized.  Pius XII played a private role in discreetly aiding Jews and other Nazi victims, but he did not speak publicly against the German atrocities.

When he came to power, Adolf Hitler signed a compact with the Vatican in which the Catholic Church agreed to accept the Nazi government in exchange for Hitler pledging not to interfere with Vatican affairs.

Historians say Pius XII knew about the concentration camps and mass murders at the beginning of the Holocaust in part from reports from priests in Germany and various occupied countries.

 

Mass Murderer Echoes Warcraft Character

From his eerie laugh to specific quotes in his chilling YouTube diatribe, Santa Barbara mass murderer Elliott Rodger seems to be channeling, perhaps even mimicking, a specific character from the violent Warcraft video game, this reporter has found.

It has been widely reported that Rodger was an avid Warcraft player. His online manifesto states he would retreat deep into the game for hours per day and would dream of Warcraft when he went on family vacations and could not play.

What has been missed is that quotes from his final YouTube video announcing his murderous intentions seem to come from the Warcraft character known as Garrosh Hellscream, whose pursuit of dominance and power lead him to hate the Warcraft races, including his own.

In his last YouTube video, Rodger states in what seems like prepared remarks, “If I had it in my power, I would stop at nothing to reduce every single one of you to mountains of skulls and rivers of blood, and rightfully so.”

The Hellscream character similarly went on a diatribe citing mountains of skulls and rivers of blood.

Official sound files from World of Warcraft’s Mists of Pandaria have Hellscream, voiced by Patrick Seitz, stating, “I have seen mountains of skulls and rivers of blood, and I will have my world.”

Hellscream then goes into a relaxed, manic laugh that Rodger seems to mirror.

The Hellscream character’s pursuit of superiority may have fed Rodger’s YouTube statement, “I am in truth the superior one, the true alpha male.”

Like Hellscream’s hatred for his own race, Rodger stated, “I hate all of you. Humanity is a disgusting, wretched, depraved species.”

Hellscream and Rodger even evince the same speaking pattern. They both begin threats with the word “yes” expressed using similar, threatening intonation.

 

U.S. Secretly Meets With Hamas

The U.S. last week held a clandestine meeting in Egypt with Ghazi Hamad, the deputy foreign minister of Hamas, according to informed Middle Eastern security officials.

The officials would not say whether the meeting was with a current member of the U.S. government or a former diplomat acting as a proxy for the Obama administration.

Messages were exchanged about Hamas’s intentions as part of a newly formed Palestinian unity government with the rival Fatah party, led by Mahmoud Abbas, the officials said.

Last week, Israel’s Haaretz newspaper quoted an unnamed White House official stating the Obama administration is leaning toward cooperating with the Hamas-Fatah Palestinian unity government, even if Hamas does not recognize Israel’s right to exist and despite objections from the Israeli government.

Previously, the Middle East Quartet, made up of the U.S., Russia, European Union, and United Nations, declared it would not deal with Hamas unless the terrorist group renounces violence and recognizes Israel.

The Haaretz article did not mention any U.S.-Hamas meeting.

 

Was Obama Really Unaware?

When he was campaigning for Congress in 2000, President Obama unveiled a sweeping health-care plan that modeled aspects of the Veterans Administration’s medical system.

Eight years later, during his transition into the White House, he proposed in his “Obama-Biden” plan to “make the VA a leader of national health care reform so that veterans get the best care possible.”

His 2000 and 2008 plans are not the only indications he was familiar with the VA medical system early in his career.

Earlier this week, WorldNetDaily reported that documentation and testimony reveals that in 2005, Obama, as a U.S. senator, was briefed on dangerously long wait times for returning veterans to receive health treatment.

Obama was a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. On numerous occasions he publicly chastised President George W. Bush about the wait times, treatment shortages and lack of funding to the Veterans Administration’s medical programs.

On June 28, 2005, for example, Obama complained at a hearing on the VA medical care budget that “somehow it seems that we’re willing to trot in front of flags and take photographs with soldiers, but when it comes to the appropriations process, we’re not there.”

Prior to the Senate hearing, in January 2005, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Obama held an emotional meeting with 500 veterans packed into a Chicago hall. The veterans complained about the way the VA was treating them, including waiting for treatment.

In June 2005, Obama and other senators, including Democrats Harry Reid and Dianne Feinstein, wrote a letter to Bush demanding his administration provide for the health-care needs of America’s veterans.

All this information comes amid a brewing scandal over when Obama was made aware of the VA shortages, alleged secret waitlists, and reports of offering inaccurate waiting times and scheduling failures.

The waitlists kept wounded veterans lingering and may have contributed to as many as 40 veteran deaths in Phoenix alone.

Tuesday, the Washington Times reported the Obama-Biden transition team was briefed in 2008 on a data integrity issue within the VA.

“This is not only a data integrity issue in which [Veterans Health Administration] reports unreliable performance data; it affects quality of care by delaying – and potentially denying – deserving veterans timely care,” wrote VA officials in a briefing obtained by the Times.

Asked about the scandal, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney indicated Obama first learned of it in press reports.

About the Author: Aaron Klein is a New York Times bestselling author and senior reporter for WND.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.


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