Posted tagged ‘Federal Government’

Rep. Chaffetz Subpoenas ATF Agents Involved in Obama’s Fast and Furious Op

March 10, 2017

Rep. Chaffetz Subpoenas ATF Agents Involved in Obama’s Fast and Furious Op, BreitbartBob Price, March 10, 2017

(Here is a clip from an appearance by Sharyl Attkisson before the Senate Judiciary Committee in January of 2015. She mentions Fast and Furious briefly, but devotes most of her time to the Obama administration’s apparent contempt for any media which had the audacity to report truthfully on its misdeeds. 

A comparative analysis of President Obama’s and President Trump’s relationships with the press would be interesting.– DM)

Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz subpoenaed two agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to appear before his committee in connection with the Obama Administration’s gun-running program, Fast and Furious. Firearms from the former president’s scheme were allegedly involved in the 2011 murder of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata in Mexico.

ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata

Chaffetz, who serves as chairman of the House Oversight Committee issued the subpoenas after the two ATF agents failed to appear voluntarily before the committee.

“I’m tired of hearing from just [Justice Department] management, I want to hear from the people that actually are on the front lines doing this,” Chaffetz told Fox News.

Chaffetz wants to hear directly from ATF Agent William Temple, special agent in charge of the Dallas Field Division, and Associate Director Ronald Turk. The hearing marks the first effort by Congress to re-open the investigation into President Obama’s Fast and Furious gun trafficking scheme since he left office in January. ICE Agent Zapata was killed by one of the guns involved in this program, and Special Agent Victor Avila was injured during the attack in Mexico.

Following the attack on the two ICE agents, Breitbart News reported:

Agent Zapata’s partner Victor Avila spoke out about the attack that left Agent Zapata dead and him wounded. His twin sister Magdalena Avila-Villalobos spoke for him in the Univision special on Fast and Furious. Avila is so scared and hurt by the attack he did not speak out until he knew he was in a secure location.

No one knows for sure why Agent Zapata and Agent Avila, assigned to the US Embassy, were asked to travel on road 57, a road controlled by the Zeta Cartel and extremely dangerous. They didn’t even know why they were given the mission to retrieve electronic surveillance equipment. The urgency made it even more suspicious.

Agent Zapata and Agent Avila met with American consulate agents in Monterrey and received 14 boxes of equipment. They did stop for something to eat on road 57 before heading back to Mexico City. About a half hour after leaving the restaurant they noticed two cars closely following them. Within seconds the vehicles surrounded them and 14 heavily armed men formed a circle around their car.

Unfortunately, Agent Zapata put the car in park, which forced the doors to automatically open. Agent Avila said they thought their diplomatic plates would protect them and the screamed they were American agents. The men didn’t care and demanded them to exit the vehicle.

The agents refused to leave their vehicle. They frantically tried to relock the doors, but instead Agent Avila accidentally lowered his window. A rifle and handgun came in through the small opening and the man opened fire. Agent Avila pressed the emergency satellite button, but it did not work. He also tried to place an emergency call to the embassy, the Mexican capital, and the First Post of the Regional Security Command. They told Avila a Mexican Federal Police helicopter would be there in 40 minutes.

90 bullets were fired. Five hit Agent Zapata and three hit Agent Avila in his right leg. Agent Zapata turned to Agent Avila and said, “I am going to die.” Agent Avila responded, “No, you are not going to die. Be strong, help is on the way, you are not going to die.

While in the rescue helicopter Agent Avila was informed Agent Zapata did, in fact, die.

On Thursday, the two ATF officials failed to appear before the committee looking into the assault on the agents. ATF Acting Director Thomas Brandon, an Obama Administration holdover appointed in 2015, claims he did not order the two ATF officials to skip the hearing Fox News reported. However, he said he agreed with their decision to bypass the Oversight Committee’s hearing.

The failure of the two ATF officials to voluntarily appear before Congress sparked the issuance of a subpoena and sharp rebukes from both sides of the aisle.

“That puts us in a kind of awkward position. We got the boss, ‘OK guys, you don’t have to show up.’ And that sends a hell of a message. That’s a problem,” Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the ranking Democrat on the committee, said.

Chaffetz complained that the ATF “continues to insist” that his committee should not speak directly with the two officials.

Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas John Craft also failed to appear. Chaffetz said his committee issued the invitation to Craft late and he would not be issuing a subpoena for him at this time.

Fox News reported on an ATF Inspector General report that was completed in 2012 but not released until March 1, 2016. Fox reported:

The IG said the ATF were aware in 2010 that Osorio and his brother might be trafficking firearms to Mexico, but they did not follow up or further investigate until after Zapata’s death.

Otilio Osorio and Riendfliesh were arrested in late February 2011 after the ATF confirmed weapons used in Zapata’s murder had been purchased by them.

The report faulted ATF for its handling of the case, saying there was “probable cause” to arrest Osorio and his brother “after ATF witnessed the Osorios complete a transfer of 40 firearms on November 9, 2010.”

The IG said: “Overall, we found numerous problems with ATF’s assimilation of information concerning [the suspects] … and the timeliness of ATF’s response to mounting evidence that they were committing firearms offenses.”

The report states that two weapons used in the murder of Agent Zapata and wounding of Agent Avila traced back to a Dallas-area gun show purchase by Otilio Osorio, and a purchase by Robert Riendfliesh at a gun store in Beaumont, Texas. The report continues, stating the ATF suspected the two men were trafficking firearms to Mexico but failed to further investigate the purchases until after the murder of Agent Zapata. ATF agents eventually arrested the two men in connection with the purchases.

Despite the length of time since the incident, the creation of the report, and its issuance, ATF Inspector General told Chaffetz he was not prepared for the hearing. “That’s a bunch of crap,” Chaffetz snapped at the ATF official. Chaffetz responded that he received a draft of the report in December.

Murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry

The murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December 2010 is also connected to the Fast and Furious gun-running scheme. Two guns involved in Fast and Furious were found at the scene of his murder. Terry and other members of his elite Border Patrol BORSTAR team engaged a group of Mexican bandits. The bandits opened fire. Terry was shot in the back and died before reaching the hospital.

Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry

The Terry family met with then-presidential candidate Donald Trump several times during the campaign. In an exclusive interview with Breitbart Texas, the Terry family expressed hope that President Trump would get to the answers their family has been searching for over the past six years.

“I want people to grow a conscious and come clean as to what transpired, what was covered up and what the hell were they thinking,” Terry’s sister, Kelly Terry-Willis told Breitbart Texas.

She said she had heard many promises by many people. “If Mr. Trump can get those skeletons out and expose the truth then my family can finally get closure and justice for Brian,” Kelly explained. “I think there are a lot of people scared that just might happen. It may take time, and we will be patient, but the truth always reveals itself. I hope Trump can make that happen.”

On Friday, Terry’s brother, Kent Terry, spoke out about the new hearing and the subpoena issued to the two ATF officials.

“We have the House, Senate, and the White House now,” Kent Terry said. “There should be absolutely no reason we should fail to get the answers and accountability for the deaths of Agent Zapata and my brother. Their mothers have been put through Hell since these murders occurred. They deserve to know why their sons, who served every day, were killed by criminals armed by our government.”

“Enough time has gone by,” an exasperated Kent Terry explained. “I respect their hands were tied with the Obama Administration’s executive privilege taken on the Fast and Furious documents. But why hasn’t the Oversight Committee gone after the ATF agent who no longer works there? Why hasn’t the committee asked why who has been fired in connection with the program?”

The full report on the hearing held by the committee on March 9 is available on the Oversight Committee’s website. The committee is expected to hear from the two ATF officials under subpoena later this month.

To Die for Chappaqua

August 24, 2016

To Die for Chappaqua, American ThinkerFrank Johnson, August 24, 2016

(Please see also, The Trickle-Down Erosion of Honesty in Obama’s White House. We ain’t seen nothing yet. — DM)

Suppose the Army is making an assault up-country.  There is Route A, which the general has chosen, using his best judgment, to get to the objective.  But now he has a visitor.  It turns out that Route A runs right through the operations of Mr. Oligarch.  Route B is almost as good, and Mr. Oligarch has always wanted one of the potholders made by the general’s wife.  In fact, he is so enthralled by the potholder that $12 million is not too high a price to pay for it!

The general thinks about it, Route B is likely to lead to, say, only 500 more casualties in a force of 40,000 – say, 100 deaths and 400 woundings and maimings.  Acceptable losses (except to the soldiers and their families experiencing them).  The potholder is on the way!

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A few days back, Drudge had a link to some pictures of the Clintons’ estate in Chappaqua, New York to show the 10-foot-high wall they had built around it (ironic, since Democrats know that walls don’t work).

The pictures of the impressive estate opened up a question.  Where did the money for it come from?  We know that both Hillary and Bill have not been gainfully employed in the private sector.  It is not an oil estate, or an automobile estate, or a software estate, or a finance estate.  So what is it?  A government estate!  Government is what the Clintons had to sell, and they have sold it.

This is a new phenomenon for America.  We have heretofore been characterized by the probity of our government institutions.  It is a subject of note when officials are caught selling their office, and they end up in prison for doing so.  The Clintons have found a way around the law by having Hillary on the inside and Bill as bag man on the outside, hauling in the loot under the guise of fees for speeches.

While the numbers are not hard, the press seems comfortable with the Clinton personal fortune being $200 million, so let’s use that figure.  If it is off, Hillary can give us the precise number.  We are talking personal money here.  No confusion with the foundation(s).  These are Hillary’s and Bill’s personal funds.  Hillary and Bill have made a personal fortune of $200 million since leaving the White House, or, to put it differently, during Hillary’s tenure first as senator and then as secretary of state.

If the Clintons’ customers are not buying oil, or automobiles, or software, what are they buying?  Influence.  Influence over the policies, the actions, of the United States.  Foreign oligarchs have paid Hillary as secretary of state to have the United States do things it would not otherwise do.

That is the point of paying her as secretary of state through her husband.  And that is the point of paying her in anticipation of her becoming president and, later, upon the actuality of her being president.  If the Clintons were able to sell Hillary’s Senate seat and her office as secretary of state for $200 million, what is the presidency worth?  One billion dollars sounds about right, at least as a start.  We have to see how things go.

What is Hillary selling?  She is selling you, dear reader – your family, your children, your countrymen, the country itself.

Lincoln tried to capture what it means to be an American in his First Inaugural:

The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

Hillary sees the country in a different way. Rather than “the mystic chords of memory” as the spirit of the country, Hillary sees the mystic chords of money – for herself.  One manifestation of this is the estate at Chappaqua, bought with money gathered from selling out the country.  Enriching herself from high government office is her spiritual foundation.

How will the hearings for the next secretary of state go? “Mr./Ms. Nominee, Secretary Clinton cleared about $100 million (the other $100 million came at other times) during her tenure as secretary of state. How much loot do you expect to get from your tenure?  And from whom do you expect to get paid?  Just so we know.”

Treating the country as a private fief is third-worldism.  It is why third-world countries never advance.  Their wealth is drained off by their political leadership.  If Hillaryism should become the custom of our government, the country as we know it will be destroyed.

Selling out her office is not going to be seen as the privilege of Hillary alone.  What about the secretary of defense?  What about the attorney general?  What about the rest of the cabinet?  And what about under-secretaries, deputy secretaries, and so on down the line?  What about, at the local level, the police and the fire departments?  What about having to pay them personally to do their jobs?

Want to see the future if government officials join Hillaryism?  Brazil.  They can’t even keep the swimming pools clean.  Nothing works.

What about the military, which carries out our foreign policy?

As we ponder the profaning of the nation and of the mission of the nation, one question we must consider is this: are our soldiers going to be willing to die for Chappaqua?

To die for Chappaqua.  That is the value proposition Hillary is offering the soldiers at the sharp end of the spear.  To die so that she can own her Chappaqua estate.

What about military leadership?  Will they go the Chappaqua route?  A theater commander or a ground commander has an enormous amount of responsibility.  Shouldn’t he be rewarded for the burdens he bears?

Suppose the Army is making an assault up-country.  There is Route A, which the general has chosen, using his best judgment, to get to the objective.  But now he has a visitor.  It turns out that Route A runs right through the operations of Mr. Oligarch.  Route B is almost as good, and Mr. Oligarch has always wanted one of the potholders made by the general’s wife.  In fact, he is so enthralled by the potholder that $12 million is not too high a price to pay for it!

The general thinks about it, Route B is likely to lead to, say, only 500 more casualties in a force of 40,000 – say, 100 deaths and 400 woundings and maimings.  Acceptable losses (except to the soldiers and their families experiencing them).  The potholder is on the way!

This isn’t today, thank goodness.  But it is the Hillary future for America.  That estate in Chappaqua.  What are our military leaders – chopped liver?  Don’t they deserve estates?

For soldiers, belief in the mission is critical.  If it should become standard practice for the leadership in Washington to sell our policy for payoffs, then belief in the mission will collapse.  A soldier commanded to take the hill will wonder whether that mission is for the nation or for Chappaqua.  This is why third-world militaries are so weak.

Should belief in the mission ever be lost, it will be virtually impossible to get it back.  This danger – wiping out the Republic – is what Hillary’s actions mean.  It is why the future of the country is at stake in this election.

Nobody in Washington seems upset by the Clintons’ selling out the country to foreigners to create their personal fortune.  Nobody of either party has spoken out about it.  But let’s not leave it only on them.  What about us, the public?  If we let ourselves be sold out, we are going to get more of it.  It is going to become chronic, ubiquitous.  The United States is a great nation.  There is much here to sell.

What is each piece, each policy worth?  Markets are so complex these days that one cannot be precise.  But each amount, each transaction ultimately turns out to be equal to thirty pieces of silver.

 

The Trickle-Down Erosion of Honesty in Obama’s White House

August 12, 2016

The Trickle-Down Erosion of Honesty in Obama’s White House, BreitbartJames Zumwalt, August 12, 2016

obamakerryThe Associated Press

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) conducts fraud prevention training for U.S. businesses. Training focus is both internal and external—preventing fraud against the business as well as fraud by company employees against others.

An important standard taught is the tone set for ethical integrity leadership:

An organization’s leadership creates the tone at the top – an ethical (or unethical) atmosphere in the workplace. Management’s tone has a trickle-down effect on employees. If top managers uphold ethics and integrity so will employees. But if upper management appears unconcerned with ethics and focuses solely on the bottom line, employees will be more prone to commit fraud and feel that ethical conduct isn’t a priority. In short, employees will follow the examples of their bosses.

Obviously, the larger an organization, the more difficult to hold all within it accountable to this standard. However, when numerous examples of a lapse in an organization’s ethical conduct exist, the tone set at the top comes into question.

Next week, a five-month long investigative report will be released finding U.S. Central Command intelligence ISIS and al-Qaeda threat assessments were intentionally downplayed. While offering no definitive evidence President Barack Obama ordered it, determining whether he did or not creates a need to look at the tone set for truth-telling.

Recently, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) ordered more ethics training for its attorneys based on a judge’s findings he was misled by DOJ lawyers in a high-profile lawsuit initiated by 26 states opposed to Obama’s immigration policies.

Apologizing for any confusion, DOJ lawyers deny making intentional misstatements. But their soft-pedaling contrasts significantly with the judge’s finding, “The misconduct in this case was intentional, serious and material.”

A recent Hillary Clinton email release suggests DOJ may also have blocked a Clinton Foundation probe.

For those believing it unfair to pin transgressions of one wayward federal agency as an indictment of the president under whom it serves, let us turn to Obama’s executive branch staff—where he held the most direct influence.

Ben Rhodes is Obama’s foreign policy guru. He is credited with setting the tone for the Iran nuclear deal both via his interactions with the press and Congress. Throughout the process, he maintained a low profile.

However, with the deal concluded, it has been difficult for Rhodes to contain his successful deception of the media and Congress. In a New York Times interview, he boasted about doing exactly that. And, anyone who knows Rhodes, knows he and Obama enjoy a mind-meld mentality.

For Obama defenders still believing DOJ misconduct and one self-admitted lying foreign policy guru do not an unethical president make, we continue.

Concerning the Iran nuclear deal, Secretary of State John Kerry attempted to deceive Congress there were no side deals. We now know there were at least three.

As reported by the Associated Press, under one side deal, restrictions imposed by the known agreement “will ease in slightly more than a decade” rather than the 15 years originally claimed, thus reducing “the time Tehran would need to build a bomb to six months from the present estimates of one year.”

An aspect of the Iran deal making more recent headlines is the $400 million cash payment to Iran—sold to Congress at the time as a release of “Iranian” funds. Disclosures now suggest the fund release was actually a devious way for Obama to pay a ransom for Americans the mullahs held hostage. Senior DOJ officials objecting to the payment were overruled by Kerry.  Obama continues to deny it was ransom money despite evidence strongly suggesting Tehran viewed it as such.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential running mate, Senator Tim Kaine, also denying it was ransom, claims, “We don’t pay for hostages. We don’t negotiate for hostages, absolutely not. We’re a nation of laws…” Yet, the White House, admits some of the money paid Iran could go to fund terrorism—a clear violation of U.S. laws.

Tehran even boasts about Obama’s efforts to deceive Americans on the nuclear deal. The Iranians were told not to discuss their missile tests, conducting them in secret so as not to draw attention to a flawed deal.

Evidence has also come to light that the U.S. State Department manipulated data given to Congress, downplaying anti-Israel bias charges against the UN Human Rights Council.

But, enough about State Department lies. Let us now turn to other federal agencies.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) confirmed this month the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had inappropriately targeted tea party and other conservative groups seeking non-profit status. As IRS targeting became an issue, it tried blaming it on “rogue agents.” However, internal documents reveal the tone was set at the agency’s top level.

Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper also suffered effects of the tone. In June 2013, he apologized to the Senate Intelligence Committee chairman for lying during a hearing. He had responded “No,” when asked specifically if NSA was spying on Americans. Only after Edward Snowden leaked classified documents revealing secretive U.S. government programs monitoring hundreds of millions of Americans did Clapper’s lie come to light.

The tone from the top includes misrepresenting facts tied to our national security and Muslim immigration.

The Senate Judiciary Committee determined in June 2016 the number of refugees arrested for terror in the U.S. was more than three times higher than what State Department reported.

Additionally, concerning criminal aliens in general, it was determined the number reported by Immigration and Customs Enforcement as released in 2014 who then went on to commit additional crimes was under-reported to the House Judiciary Committee by almost 90 percent. This led Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte to say Obama was creating “a sanctuary for tens of thousands of criminal aliens.”

The Secret Service also fell victim to Obama’s unethical tone, releasing a congressman’s personnel file in retribution for his disclosures about agent misconduct.

Obama’s unethical leadership has had a trickle-down effect. While 42 years ago such leadership caught up to a U.S. president, it appears Obama, inexplicably, will be spared a similar fate.

Hillary — Lies, Benghazi, Murders and Consequences

July 7, 2016

Hillary — Lies, Benghazi, Murders and Consequences, Dan Miller’s Blog, July 7, 2016

(The views expressed in this post are mine and are not necessarily those of Warsclerotic or its other editors. — DM)

Hillary Clinton, who if elected would be President Obama Part Two, is a world-class liar. Whenever She considers truth damaging to Herself — as it usually is — She lies. Normally, She gets away with it. She lied about her State Department e-mails: guilty as hell and free as a bird. She lied about the terrorist attack in Benghazi and, thus far, has got away with it. This year, it is up to the American people to do the only thing we can to prevent Her from becoming President Obama Part Two. Our only way to do that will be to deny Her what She considers “Her turn” to continue Obama’s quest to destroy America.

Guilty as Hell and free as a bird

Guilty as Hell and free as a bird

First, a flash-back

She lied misspoke, as She often does.

On July 5th, during FBI Director Comey’s address on his recommendation that She not be indicted, She was revealed as a consummate liar. She then got adverse press, even from the lamebrain media. For her lies evidenced there alone, She should not become “our” president. She will not if we stand firm. Please see The FBI Recommendation Not to Indict Hillary Will Help Trump.

This brings us to The Benghazi Clusterdunk

The following video shows that the Obama-Clinton administration should, and could, have sent American military resources to prevent American deaths in Benghazi. For political reasons, resources were not sent: elections were comings soon, so Islamic terror needed to have been defeated and nation-building had to have been successful in Lybia. Both were lies.

The next video provides what we know about the Clinton-Obama administration refusals to send American military help. There is much that we don’t know, because of the Obama administration chose to provide lies instead of truthful answers.

Hillary lied, Obama lied. Americans died and Obama got a second term in office. Now Hillary wants Her “turn.”

Knowing full well that the attack had nothing to do with a poorly made video — for which the maker was gratuitously jailed — Hillary and Obama lied. Ambassador Rice may also have lied intentionally. Either that or she was given a political spin instead of accurate information and had no reason to believe that she had been lied to.

September 25, 2011

According to the Majority Report on the Benghazi clusterdunk, as summarized by Robert Spencer,

  • Despite President Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s clear orders to deploy military assets, nothing was sent to Benghazi, and nothing was en route to Libya at the time the last two Americans were killed almost 8 hours after the attacks began. [pg. 141]
  • With Ambassador Stevens missing, the White House convened a roughly two-hour meeting at 7:30 PM, which resulted in action items focused on a YouTube video, and others containing the phrases “[i]f any deployment is made,” and “Libya must agree to any deployment,” and “[w]ill not deploy until order comes to go to either Tripoli or Benghazi.” [pg. 115]
  • The Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff typically would have participated in the White House meeting, but did not attend because he went home to host a dinner party for foreign dignitaries. [pg. 107]
  • A Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team (FAST) sat on a plane in Rota, Spain, for three hours, and changed in and out of their uniforms four times. [pg. 154] [to avoid offending the locals by wearing military attire — DM]
  • None of the relevant military forces met their required deployment timelines. [pg. 150]
  • The Libyan forces that evacuated Americans from the CIA Annex to the Benghazi airport was not affiliated with any of the militias the CIA or State Department had developed a relationship with during the prior 18 months. Instead, it was comprised of former Qadhafi loyalists who the U.S. had helped remove from power during the Libyan revolution. [pg. 144]

Part II

  • Five of the 10 action items from the 7:30 PM White House meeting referenced the video, but no direct link or solid evidence existed connecting the attacks in Benghazi and the video at the time the meeting took place. The State Department senior officials at the meeting had access to eyewitness accounts to the attack in real time. The Diplomatic Security Command Center was in direct contact with the Diplomatic Security Agents on the ground in Benghazi and sent out multiple updates about the situation, including a “Terrorism Event Notification.” The State Department Watch Center had also notified Jake Sullivan and Cheryl Mills that it had set up a direct telephone line to Tripoli. There was no mention of the video from the agents on the ground. Greg Hicks—one of the last people to talk to Chris Stevens before he died—said there was virtually no discussion about the video in Libya leading up to the attacks. [pg. 28]
  • The morning after the attacks, the National Security Council’s Deputy Spokesperson sent an email to nearly two dozen people from the White House, Defense Department, State Department, and intelligence community, stating: “Both the President and Secretary Clinton released statements this morning. … Please refer to those for any comments for the time being. To ensure we are all in sync on messaging for the rest of the day, Ben Rhodes will host a conference call for USG communicators on this chain at 9:15 ET today.” [pg. 39]
  • Minutes before the President delivered his speech in the Rose Garden, Jake Sullivan wrote in an email to Ben Rhodes and others: “There was not really much violence in Egypt. And we are not saying that the violence in Libya erupted ‘over inflammatory videos.’” [pg. 44]
  • According to Susan Rice, both Ben Rhodes and David Plouffe prepared her for her appearances on the Sunday morning talk shows following the attacks. Nobody from the FBI, Department of Defense, or CIA participated in her prep call. While Rhodes testified Plouffe would “normally” appear on the Sunday show prep calls, Rice testified she did not recall Plouffe being on prior calls and did not understand why he was on the call in this instance. [pg.98]
  • On the Sunday shows, Susan Rice stated the FBI had “already begun looking at all sorts of evidence” and “FBI has a lead in this investigation.” But on Monday, the Deputy Director, Office of Maghreb Affairs sent an email stating: “McDonough apparently told the SVTS [Secure Video Teleconference] group today that everyone was required to ‘shut their pieholes’ about the Benghazi attack in light of the FBI investigation, due to start tomorrow.” [pg. 135]
  • After Susan Rice’s Sunday show appearances, Jake Sullivan assured the Secretary of the State that Rice “wasn’t asked about whether we had any intel. But she did make clear our view that this started spontaneously and then evolved.” [pg. 128]
  • Susan Rice’s comments on the Sunday talk shows were met with shock and disbelief by State Department employees in Washington. The Senior Libya Desk Officer, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, State Department, wrote: “I think Rice was off the reservation on this one.” The Deputy Director, Office of Press and Public Diplomacy, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, State Department, responded: “Off the reservation on five networks!” The Senior Advisor for Strategic Communications, Bureau of Near East Affairs, State Department, wrote: “WH [White House] very worried about the politics. This was all their doing.” [pg. 132]
  • The CIA’s September 13, 2012, intelligence assessment was rife with errors. On the first page, there is a single mention of “the early stages of the protest” buried in one of the bullet points. The article cited to support the mention of a protest in this instance was actually from September 4. In other words, the analysts used an article from a full week before the attacks to support the premise that a protest had occurred just prior to the attack on September 11. [pg. 47]
  • A headline on the following page of the CIA’s September 13 intelligence assessment stated “Extremists Capitalized on Benghazi Protests,” but nothing in the actual text box supports that title. As it turns out, the title of the text box was supposed to be “Extremists Capitalized on Cairo Protests.” That small but vital difference—from Cairo to Benghazi—had major implications in how people in the administration were able to message the attacks. [pg. 52]

Part III

  • During deliberations within the State Department about whether and how to intervene in Libya in March 2011, Jake Sullivan listed the first goal as “avoid[ing] a failed state, particularly one in which al-Qaeda and other extremists might take safe haven.” [pg. 9]
  • The administration’s policy of no boots on the ground shaped the type of military assistance provided to State Department personnel in Libya. The Executive Secretariats for both the Defense Department and State Department exchanged communications outlining the diplomatic capacity in which the Defense Department SST security team members would serve, which included wearing civilian clothes so as not to offend the Libyans. [pg. 60]
  • When the State Department’s presence in Benghazi was extended in December 2012, senior officials from the Bureau of Diplomatic Security were excluded from the discussion. [pg. 74]
  • In February 2012, the lead Diplomatic Security Agent at Embassy Tripoli informed his counterpart in Benghazi that more DS agents would not be provided by decision makers, because “substantive reporting” was not Benghazi’s purpose. [pg. 77]
  • Emails indicate senior State Department officials, including Cheryl Mills, Jake Sullivan, and Huma Abedin were preparing for a trip by the Secretary of State to Libya in October 2012. According to testimony, Chris Stevens wanted to have a “deliverable” for the Secretary for her trip to Libya, and that “deliverable” would be making the Mission in Benghazi a permanent Consulate. [pg. 96]
  • In August 2012—roughly a month before the Benghazi attacks—security on the ground worsened significantly. Ambassador Stevens initially planned to travel to Benghazi in early August, but cancelled the trip “primarily for Ramadan/security reasons.” [pg. 99]
  • Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta bluntly told the committee “an intelligence failure” occurred with respect to Benghazi. Former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell also acknowledged multiple times an intelligence failure did in fact occur prior to the Benghazi attacks. [pg. 129]

And now, two wrap-ups:

Conclusions

Hillary lied, Obama lied and Islamist al-Qaeda affiliated terrorists murdered Americans because no American military resources were sent, even though available. Their deaths were not only unnecessary, they were and remain a disgrace.

There is now only one action that we can take, and that will be on November 8th. Then, we will vote either for Obama Part Two becoming Obama Part One, thereby affirming their disgraceful actions and inactions or disown them. It’s up to us to disown them both.

The EU-Progressive Paradigm is Falling Apart

June 27, 2016

The EU-Progressive Paradigm is Falling Apart, Front Page MagazineBruce Thornton, June 27, 2016

op_2

In short, millions of ordinary people in America, England, France, and many other Western nations know that the paradigm of transnational hegemony and technocratic rule created not a utopia, but an arrogant privileged class that believes it is superior and thus entitled to boss other people around and lecture them about backward superstitions and bigotry. And it looks like these average citizens have had enough.

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Long-developing cracks in the Western political establishment’s century-old paradigm suddenly widened this year. In the US Donald Trump, a reality television star and real estate developer, improbably became the Republican Party’s nominee for president. Bernie Sanders, a socialist and long-time Senate crank, challenged the Democrats’ pre-anointed nominee Hillary Clinton, who prevailed only by dint of money and un-democratic “super-delegates.” Meanwhile in Europe, the UK voted to leave the European Union, perhaps opening the flood-gates to more defections.

These three events share a common theme: populist and patriotic passions roused by arrogant elites have fueled a rejection of Western establishments and their un-democratic, autocratic, corrupt paradigm.

That political model can be simply defined as technocratic and transnational. Starting in the 19th century, the success of science and the shrinking of the world through technology and trade created the illusion that human nature, society, and politics could be similarly understood, managed, and improved by those trained and practiced in the new “human sciences.” This new “knowledge” said people are the same everywhere, and so all humans want the same things: peace with their neighbors, prosperity, and freedom. The absence of these boons, not a permanently flawed human nature, explains the history of war and conflict. National identities, along with religion and tradition, are impediments to institutionalizing this “harmony of interests.” International organizations and covenants can be created to enforce this harmony, shepherd the people towards the transnational utopia, and leave behind the misery and wars sparked by religious, ethnic, and nationalist passions.

Technocracy, however, is by definition anti-democratic. So how can the foundational belief of Western governments – the sovereignty of free people and their right to be ruled by their own consent–– coexist with an administrative state staffed by “experts” and armed with the coercive power of the state? Quite simply, it can’t. As for the transnational ideal of a “harmony of interests,” it was repudiated by the carnage of World War I, when the Entente and Central Powers sent their young to die under the flags of their nations on behalf of their particular national interests.  Yet the West still codified that transnational ideal in the League of Nations, even as it enshrined the contrary ideal of national self-determination, the right of people to rule themselves free of imperial or colonial overlords.

This gruesome war demonstrated that people are still defined by a particular language, culture, mores, folkways, religions, and landscapes, and that nations have interests that necessarily conflict with those of other nations. That’s why the League failed miserably to stop the aggression of its member states Japan, Italy, and Germany, and could not prevent an apocalyptic second world war that took at least 50 million lives. Yet the Western elites continued to pursue the transnational dream of technocratic rule after World War II, creating the UN as yet another attempt to trump the reality of national differences with some imagined harmony of interests. In reality, the UN has been an instrument used by states to pursue those interests at the expense of other nations.

Still not learning their lesson, the transnationalists created yet another institution that would subordinate the nations of Europe to its control, on the debatable assumption that the carnage of two world wars was wrought by national particularism. They confused genuine patriotism and love of one’s own way of living, with the grotesque political religions of fascism and Nazism, both as much avatars of illiberal tribalism as nationalism grown toxic. Thus was born the supranational EU, which began modestly in 1958 with the European Economic Community, and then relentlessly expanded over the years into today’s intrusive, unaccountable bureaucracy of anonymous technocrats that has concentrated power in Brussels at the expense of national sovereignty.

Similarly, in the US the progressives of the early 20th century began transforming the American Republic based on similar assumptions. They believe that economic, social, and technological progress rendered the Constitution––particularly its separation of powers, checks and balances, and federalist protections of the sovereignty of the states––an anachronism. “The age of enlightened administration had come,” F.D.R. proclaimed, and he set about creating the federal bureaus and agencies that have over the years expanded in scope and power, and increasingly encroached on the rights and autonomy of the states, civil society, and individuals.

But the Eurocrats and progressives forgot one of the most ancient beliefs of the West, and a fundamental assumption behind the structure of the Constitution––that a flawed human nature, vulnerable to corruption by power, is constant across time and space. As Benjamin Franklin wrote during the Constitutional convention, “There are two passions which have a powerful influence on the affairs of men. These are ambition and avarice: the love of power and the love of money,” which when combined have “the most violent of effects.” As much as the democratic mob, any elite, whether of birth, wealth, or education, is subject to power’s corruption and abuse. That’s why our Constitution checked and balanced power: to limit the scope of any part of the government, and thus safeguard the freedom of all citizens no matter their wealth, birth, or education.

In contrast, the conceit of progressives and EU functionaries is that they are somehow immune to the seductions of power. They think their presumed superior knowledge and powers of reason make them more capable and trustworthy than the fickle, ignorant masses and the elected officials accountable to them. History, however, shows that technocrats are as vulnerable to the corruption of power as elites of birth or wealth, and that power is, as the Founders were fond of saying, “of an encroaching nature” and must “ever to be watched and checked.” The expansion of the EU’s tyrannical regulatory and lawmaking power at the expense of national sovereignty is the proof of this ancient wisdom. So too are America’s bloated federal executive agencies aggrandizing and abusing their powers at the expense of the people and the states.

Thus the dominant paradigm that has long organized politics and social life in the West is now under assault, for history has presented this model with challenges it has failed to meet. The resurgence of Islamic jihadism and terror has been met with sermons on Islamophobia and therapeutic multiculturalism. A newly assertive Russia has pursued its national interest with state violence, only to be scolded by our Secretary of State for “behaving in a 19th century fashion.” The financial crisis of 2008 was caused in part by government political and regulatory interference in the market, the same policies that have kept economic growth sluggish for over seven years. Feckless immigration policies have been worsened by a failure to monitor those who get in, and to assimilate those that do. And most important, the redistributionist entitlement regime has weakened the citizens’ character, fostered selfish hedonism, and is on track to bankrupt this country and many in Europe. All these crises have in the main been the offspring of progressives and Eurocrats, whose only solution is to cling to the policies that empower and enrich them, but degrade their own cultures and endanger their own peoples.

Millions of citizens both in the US and in Europe have been watching these developments and living with the baleful consequences that the hypocritical, smug progressive and EU elites seldom encounter in their daily lives. This long-festering anger and resentment of those who smear them as stupid racists, neurotic xenophobes, and fearful “haters,” has now burst to the surface of political life. People can see that the “we are the world,” “global village” cosmopolitanism enriches and empowers the political, cultural, and business elites, but passes on to the people the risks of careless and often deadly immigration policies, and the economic dislocations of a globalized economy. They see that coastal fat cats, who can afford the higher taxes and the costs of environmental regulations, care nothing for the flyover-country working and middle classes pinched by higher electric and gasoline bills. People who live in tony enclaves of white professionals and hipsters support unfettered immigration, while others have to live with the crime and disorder that comes from thrusting into their midst people from very different cultures and mores, including some who have a divine sanction to kill the same people who have welcomed them in.

In short, millions of ordinary people in America, England, France, and many other Western nations know that the paradigm of transnational hegemony and technocratic rule created not a utopia, but an arrogant privileged class that believes it is superior and thus entitled to boss other people around and lecture them about backward superstitions and bigotry. And it looks like these average citizens have had enough.

England has spoken in favor of popular sovereignty and self-government. Soon it will be America’s turn. Our British cousins made the right choice. Let’s hope we do too.

Freedom of Speech is not Free; it is Beyond Price

June 26, 2016

Freedom of Speech is not Free; it is Beyond Price, Dan Miller’s Blog, June 25, 2016

(The views expressed in this article are mine and do not necessarily reflect those of Warsclerotic or its other editors. — DM)

Accurate speech, considered “Islamophobic” or otherwise offensive to some, is now deemed “hateful” and punishable under distorted visions of law or university rules. So, apparently is the mention of God. Sometimes, those who dare to speak are silenced before they even begin.

The First Amendment provides,

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Congress is not permitted to ignore the First Amendment, but the U.S. Airforce and other government entities appear to have done so. Recently, Senior Master Sergeant Oscar Rodriguez, Jr. (ret.) was forcibly removed from a private retirement ceremony at an Air Force base because he was about to deliver his flag folding speech. The retiree had heard the speech previously and had asked Rodriguez to deliver it.

When Roberson’s unit commander discovered that Rodriguez would be delivering the flag-folding speech, which mentions “God,” during the ceremony, he attempted to prevent Rodriguez from attending. After learning that he lacked authority to prevent Rodriguez from attending, the commander then told Roberson that Rodriguez could not give the speech. Rodriguez asked Roberson what he should do, and Roberson responded that it was his personal desire that Rodriguez give the flag-folding speech as planned. . . .

Roberson and Rodriguez tried to clear the speech through higher authorities at Travis Air Force Base, even offering to place notices on the door informing guests that the word “God” would be mentioned. They never received a response from the authorities. As an Air Force veteran himself, Rodriguez stood firm on his commitment to Roberson. [Emphasis added.]

Here is the speech, as Rodriguez had given it previously:

What an offensive word! True, it’s in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, but that’s gotta go. Thought experiment: what if Rodriguez had said “Allah” rather than “God?” Might that have been viewed as sufficiently inclusive to be acceptable? Why not? In its “unredacted” version of the Islamist Orlando shooter’s phone calls, the Department of Justice translated “Allah” into “God.” The DOJ probably didn’t want to hurt Islamists’ feelings by suggesting that the Obama administration thinks that Allah and hence Islamists have anything to do with terrorism.

Are we just beginning to enter a new age of fascism? No, we are already well into it.

Here’s a Bill Whittle segment about Obama, Guns, Islam and Orlando

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas-linked “civil rights” organization, recently published an “Islamophobia” report. In Obama’s America, CAIR and its Islamist affiliates are the Government’s principal “go to” organizations for limiting access to the Muslim community in “countering violent extremism” efforts and during investigations of terror incidents.

According to CAIR, “Islamophobic” utterances are “hate speech;” it has provided a list of “Islamophobes” and their organizations. Below are comments about the list by Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, a reformist Muslim. He, as well as The Clarion Project (also an advocate for Islamic reform), are on CAIR’s list of “Islamophobes.”

Europe and its Western culture, and now to a somewhat lesser extent our own American culture (such as it is) are being surrendered to Islam. Allied with government authorities, our leftist “friends” are in the forefront of the war on free speech.

[I]n recent years, we’ve witnessed an unrelenting assault on free speech with a concerted effort by the regressive Left to curtail thought and restrict the free exchange of ideas. Last week, I wrote about campus terrorism and how conservatives and others who maintain views that are inconsistent with the leftist narrative have been subjected to campaigns of harassment and abuse by campus hooligans.

Often university officials are apathetic, turning a blind eye to these transgressions, while in other universities the administration is complicit by instructing campus police to stand down, allowing the agitators free reign to shut down speaking engagements through use of bullying tactics. In at least two instances, university presidents were forced to issue rather craven apologies to an alliance of leftists and Islamists for having the temerity to defend the right to free speech.

This disturbing trend of muzzling free speech has now substantially broadened to include criminalizing speech that issues challenges to the so-called science of climate change. Some seventeen left-leaning state attorneys general have launched investigative and intrusive probes against Exxon Mobil and conservative groups because of their involvement in debunking alarmist claims of imminent doom issued by hysterical climate change proponents.

The ringleaders of this anti-free speech witch hunt include Eric Schneiderman (D-New York) and Claude Walker (I-Virgin Islands). At a recent speech at the Bloomberg’s Big Law Business Summit, Schneiderman was dismissive of his critics, accusing them of “First Amendment opportunism.” The more he spoke the more he sounded like Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey’s thuggish dictator who utilized the vast resources of the state to silence anyone who disagreed with him. [Emphasis added.]

I wish I could laugh at the next video. It’s funny in a way, but also deadly serious.

As the “best and brightest” from our top universities come of age and control “our” government, will the First Amendment be their principal target for destruction? Or will they also pursue with unabated vigor their war on the Second Amendment? Here is the text of the Second Amendment: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Our British cousins just voted to leave the European Union to restore democracy at home.

For my final broadcast to the nation on the eve of Britain’s Independence Day, the BBC asked me to imagine myself as one of the courtiers to whom Her Majesty had recently asked the question, “In one minute, give three reasons for your opinion on whether my United Kingdom should remain in or leave the European Union.”

My three reasons for departure, in strict order of precedence, were Democracy, Democracy, and Democracy. For the so-called “European Parliament” is no Parliament. It is a mere duma. It lacks even the power to bring forward a bill, and the 28 faceless, unelected, omnipotent Kommissars – the official German name for the shadowy Commissioners who exercise the supreme lawmaking power that was once vested in our elected Parliament – have the power, under the Treaty of Maastricht, to meet behind closed doors to override in secret any decision of that “Parliament” at will, and even to issue “Commission Regulations” that bypass it altogether. [Emphasis added.]

Rather like our own distended Federal and State bureaucracies.

I concluded my one-minute broadcast with these words: “Your Majesty, with my humble duty, I was born in a democracy; I do not live in one; but I am determined to die in one.”  [Emphasis added.]

And now I shall die in one. In the words of William Pitt the Younger after the defeat of Napoleon, “England has saved herself by her exertions, and will, as I trust, save Europe by her example.”

. . . .

The people have spoken. And the democratic spirit that inspired just over half the people of Britain to vote for national independence has its roots in the passionate devotion of the Founding Fathers of the United States to democracy. Our former colony showed us the way. Today, then, an even more heartfelt than usual “God bless America!” [Emphasis added.]

I am less than sanguine that we remain as deserving of the high praise the author offers. In any event, we have another version of Brexit coming up in November. Will we be as brave and as far-sighted as our founding fathers were long ago and as the Brits were a couple of days ago?

Quo vadis?

Media Outlet Funded By Pro-Iran Deal ‘Echo Chamber’ Group Silenced Top Deal Critic

May 23, 2016

Media Outlet Funded By Pro-Iran Deal ‘Echo Chamber’ Group Silenced Top Deal Critic, Washington Free Beacon, May 23, 2016

FILE - In this Oct. 16, 2015, photo, Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kansas, speaks to the media on Capitol Hill in Washington. Pompeo is a member of the House Select Committee on Benghazi. The third-term Kansas congressman is a member of the House Intelligence committee. Before he was appointed to the Benghazi panel, he said he believed the American people were misled by the White House and intelligence was withheld from the public. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

FILE – In this Oct. 16, 2015, photo, Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kansas, speaks to the media on Capitol Hill in Washington.  (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

A prominent media outlet that received money from a White House-backed group of Iran deal advocates refused interviews with a top congressional critic of last summer’s nuclear agreement, deepening accusations that the Obama administration and its allies suppressed voices opposing the deal, according to conversations with sources and a series of emails viewed by the Washington Free Beacon.

The publicly funded National Public Radio declined interviews with Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.), a leading critic of the Iran nuclear deal. NPR had received funding from the liberal Ploughshares Fund, which has been exposed as being a core part of a White House-backed campaign to push lobbyists, policy analysts, and journalists in favor of the deal.

When asked by reporters last week about refusing the interviews, NPR suggested that Pompeo’s office had never reached out to the station. However, multiple emails viewed by the Free Beacon demonstrate that Pompeo’s office had been in two separate talks with NPR producers about scheduling an interview.

These developments threaten to entangle NPR in a growing scandal over the White House’s coordinated efforts to mislead Congress and the American people about the contents of the nuclear accord.

The Ploughshares Fund, which coordinated with the White House to sell the deal, gave NPR hundreds of thousands of dollars, the Free Beacon initially disclosed in 2012. Ploughshares also gave high dollar donations to a range of other media outlets and organizations.

Top White House official Ben Rhodes said in a recent interview that he created a pro-Iran “echo chamber” with “outside groups like Ploughshares” at the center of the spin operation.

Rhodes’ operation, which was staffed by other top officials in the White House National Security Council, ignited a media firestorm and has led to congressional investigations, including calls for President Barack Obama to fire Rhodes.

Emails viewed by the Free Beacon show that NPR—which received $100,000 from Ploughshares in 2015 and has been taking money from the group since at least 2012—cancelled a 2015 interview with Pompeo while featuring others, including Iran deal supporters.

NPR told the Associated Press last week that it “had no record of Pompeo’s requests” for an interview. However, theFree Beacon has viewed two separate email conversations between NPR producers and Pompeo’s office.

NPR said Monday when reached by the Free Beacon that it had in fact been in contact with Pompeo’s office.

“The pieces are coming together on President Obama’s machinations in selling the Iran deal. As Obama administration officials admit to misrepresenting reality on the deal, it is clear that the American people have been played,” Pompeo, a member of the House intelligence committee, told the Free Beacon on Monday. “Specifically, recent statements and financial documents raise serious concerns about the integrity of the Ploughshares Fund, NPR, which is partly tax-payer funded, and the entire nuclear deal debate.”

“Unfortunately,” Pompeo said, “instead of coming clean, groups like NPR continue to distort facts. For example, NPR told the AP that it had ‘no record’ of my multiple interview requests, though it had actually cancelled on me, as it now admits. This comes on top of refusing or ignoring my multiple requests to be on their programs. It is important that the American people continue to look into this questionable relationship.”

An NPR producer contacted Pompeo’s office on Aug. 4, 2015, to schedule an interview with the lawmaker, according to an email viewed by the Free Beacon.

“We’d like to do this but not live tomorrow morning. Can we schedule a tape time for tomorrow morning or Thursday to air in Friday’s show? This will give us more time to figure out better audio options as well,” NPR producer Kenya Young wrote to Pompeo’s office, according to a copy of the email.

“Let’s aim for Thursday morning at 10am Eastern,” Young wrote later in the day. “I’ll assign a producer in the morning who will get in touch with you, confirm a time, and set up an engineer to tape sync the interview in Kansas. Thanks for reaching out. You’ll hear from someone on my team in the morning.”

NPR decided to nix the interview the following morning.

Vince Pearson, a producer with NPR’s Morning Edition, informed Pompeo’s office on Aug. 5, 2015, that the interview was now off the table.

“I’m writing to say that we will have to pass on the interview with Congressman Pompeo,” Pearson wrote. “The show managers have decided that there are already too many interviews in the works this week and that we don’t have the resources to take this one on. Perhaps there will be another opportunity.”

The producer could not say why NPR had featured Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Calif.), a backer of the deal, for multiple interviews about the agreement.

NPR Morning Edition producer Kitty Eisele later declined a Sept. 7, 2015, offer to have Pompeo appear on the program, according to subsequent correspondence viewed by the Free Beacon.

“Morning Edition is a bit full on Iran at the moment. I’m glad to be in touch and hope you’ll check back with us for future conversations,” Eisele wrote to Pompeo’s office.

A NPR spokesman told the Free Beacon on Monday that it had in fact been in contact with Pompeo’s office, despite earlier statements to the AP.

“Rep. Pompeo was booked to discuss the Iran deal in August 2015, but the interview did not take place,” the spokesman said. “In the past year, other prominent Republican officials have appeared on our newsmagazines to discuss the Iran deal or were the focus of related stories about economic sanctions.” This includes Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), John McCain (R., Ariz.), Kelly Ayotte, (R., N.H.), and Ron Johnson (R., Wis.).

“Ploughshares cannot in any way influence how we cover stories or who we interview,” the spokesman maintained. “As with all support NPR receives, we have a rigorous editorial firewall process in place to ensure our coverage is independent and is not influenced by funders or special interests.”

Ploughshares has boasted of its efforts to back the nuclear deal, posting a video and lengthy article describing “How we won.”

NPR did not respond to follow up questions asking why it initially told the AP that it had no contact with Pompeo’s office.