07/31/12

Reid & Schumer’s Democrats Worsen CyberSecurity Bill: Gun Control

By: Arlen Williams
Gulag Bound

The following is an copy in full, from AmericanVisionNews.com. By the way, my personal interpretation of the U.S. Senate gives the nod to Charles Schumer as the hard core Marxist power broker in Harry Reid’s malignant majority.

Dems slip gun control amendment into cybersecurity bill

by Joel McDurmon on Jul 30, 2012

The Hill reports,

Democratic senators have offered an amendment to the cybersecurity bill that would limit the purchase of high capacity gun magazines for some consumers.

Shortly after the Cybersecurity Act gained Senate approval to proceed to filing proposed amendments and a vote next week, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), a sponsor of the gun control amendment, came to the floor to defend the idea of implementing some “reasonable” gun control measures.

The amendment was sponsored by Democratic Sens. Frank Lautenberg (N.J.), Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Jack Reed (R.I.), Bob Menendez (N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Schumer and Dianne Feinstein (Calif.). S.A. 2575 would make it illegal to transfer or possess large capacity feeding devices such as gun magazines, belts, feed stripes and drums of more than 10 rounds of ammunition with the exception of .22 caliber rim fire ammunition.

On the plus side, if this amendment sticks it may be a way of raising enough opposition to shoot down the cybersecurity bill as well.

07/31/12

Where is Huma Abedin’s Security Clearance Form?

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

The head of the Soros-funded Center for American Progress (CAP) is defending controversial State Department official Huma Abedin, a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who is suspected of playing a role in Obama Administration “engagement” with the anti-American Muslim Brotherhood.

Neera Tanden, president and CEO of CAP and Counselor for CAP’s Action Fund, has sent out an email defending Abedin and asking that Rep. Michele Bachmann be thrown off the House Intelligence Committee for asking questions about the vetting process that Abedin was supposed to go through.

“Michele Bachmann has gone from outrageous to dangerous,” Tanden said in her email to CAP supporters.

Tanden is a former Obama Administration official whose previous claim to fame was working for the Obama White House to pass Obamacare. Her work at CAP apparently includes supporting the Obama Administration’s policy to “engage” with the Muslim Brotherhood. It is believed Abedin is right in the middle of that, by virtue of her position as State Department deputy chief of staff.

CAP is the organization that hired Van Jones before he took his job as White House “Green Jobs Czar” and then re-hired him after his communist background came to light and he lost his job in the administration.

Tanden said in her email to CAP supporters that the problem was not Abedin’s access to classified information but Bachmann’s. She urged House Speaker John Boehner to remove Bachmann from the Intelligence Committee. “Rep. Bachmann’s antics have proven that she can’t be trusted to act in our best interests,” said Tanden.

Boehner, as well as Senator John McCain, had criticized Bachmann for merely asking questions about Abedin’s fitness for her position. But they didn’t indicate familiarity with or knowledge of Abedin’s security clearance form, known as Standard Form 86, or the “Questionnaire for National Security Positions.”

Despite the claims of “witch hunt” and “McCarthyism” that are echoed in the liberal media, especially by Anderson Cooper of CNN, Bachmann and other members of Congress simply want to know whether Abedin’s Muslim Brotherhood connections were disclosed and/or examined when she gained access to national security information.

Their letter to the Inspector General of the State Department points out that Abedin “has three family members—her late father, her mother and her brother—connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations,” and that “Her position affords her routine access to the Secretary and to policy-making.”

The matter can be resolved, if the media are truly interested in getting to the bottom of the controversy, by demanding access to Abedin’s Standard Form 86, which she was supposed to fill out before getting her State Department job. House Speaker Boehner could also demand a copy.

Did she disclose her family connections to the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as to Saudi Arabia, where she once lived and was raised?

“It is required that job candidates complete the questionnaire and other required forms thoroughly, honestly, and with candor,” the State Department says.

For its part, the White House says it is committed to transparency and open government. Releasing Abedin’s form is a test case and a way to start resolving the controversy.

The questionnaire for national security positions is a 127-page document which asks for such information as relatives and associates, foreign activities, foreign countries visited, the use of illegal drugs, and involvement in groups dedicated to terrorism or the overthrow of the U.S. government.

The State Department says, “Eligibility for access to classified information, commonly known as a security clearance, is granted only to those for whom an appropriate personnel security background investigation has been completed. It must be determined that the individual’s personal and professional history indicates loyalty to the United States, strength of character, trustworthiness, honesty, reliability, discretion, and sound judgment, as well as freedom from conflicting allegiances and potential for coercion, and a willingness and ability to abide by regulations governing the use, handling, and protection of classified information.”

It is not surprising that CAP would spring to the defense of Abedin. Matt Duss, a policy analyst at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, wrote an article, “Talking to the Muslim Brotherhood (finally),” in which he defended the administration “reaching out to parties and Islamic movements” but at the same time raised concern about “the group’s most prominent affiliated cleric, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, [who] regularly issues the grossest anti-American and anti-Semitic slanders on his Al- Jazeera show.”

AIM has called on Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, to investigate Al-Jazeera, on the grounds that it functions as a mouthpiece for terrorist groups. He has not undertaken such an investigation.

CAP, however, works openly with Al-Jazeera. When CAP released a report that purported to examine a conservative network of people and groups described as “Fear Inc.” and said to be guilty of “Islamophobia” toward Muslims, one of the authors, Wajahat Ali, went on Al-Jazeera to promote the claims.

Wajahat Ali and Matt Duss collaborated on another article that attempted to explain why Sharia, or Islamic religious law, “is not the threat conservatives claim it is.” The authors expressed particular concern that the Center for Security Policy had authored a major report advocating that supporters of Islamic law be barred from holding positions of trust in federal, state, or local governments or the armed forces of the United States.

Last August, CAP sponsored an event designed to counteract the movement to prohibit the adoption of Sharia in the U.S. The group also opposed Rep. Peter King’s hearings on how Muslims in the U.S. are being radicalized to carry out terrorism.

Conservative writer Daniel Greenfield says, “A more accurate name for CAP would be the Center for Islamist Progress.”

Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at cliff.kincaid@aim.org.

07/31/12

Romney Stirs Controversy at Million $ Fundraiser in Jerusalem

By: Fern Sidman

While visiting Israel on the second leg of his overseas tour, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney held a political fundraiser at the storied King David Hotel in Jerusalem on Monday morning, July 30th. The breakfast gathering featured casino magnate, Sheldon Adelson, who has emerged as the most magnanimous of Republican donors; with a reported $10 million contribution to “Restore Our Future,” the Super PAC supporting Romney. Other notable personalities in attendance were New York Jets owner Woody Johnson; Detroit developer John Rakolta and Lisa Spies, who is Romney’s finance chair. The Romney campaign garnered over $1 million in pledges from the 45 donors who paid anywhere from $25,000-$50,000 to attend.

The fundraiser followed a day in which Governor Romney visited Jerusalem’s Western Wall (the Kotel HaMaravi) on the most solemn day of the Jewish calendar, known as the 9th day in the month of Av (Tisha B’Av). Donning a “Kippah” (traditional Jewish male head covering), Romney stood pensively at Judaism’s holiest site and stopped to pray as he placed a note in the cracks of the wall.

Initially, Romney’s campaign had intended to make the lucrative fundraiser off limits to the press; abrogating a generalized agreement with the media on how such events would be covered, however within 24 hours, Romney’s staff reversed that decision and allowed a small pool of reporters to cover his remarks. Romney also took several questions from the donors after reporters left.

Joined by his wife Ann and son, Josh, Romney projected a palpable connection to Israel and the Jewish nation when he said, “I am overwhelmingly impressed with the hand of providence, whenever it chooses to apply itself, and also the greatness of the human spirit, and how individuals who reach for greatness and have purpose above themselves are able to build and accomplish things that could only be done by a species created in the image of God.” He added that, “I come to this place, therefore, with a sense of profound humility, as I look around here at great people who’ve accomplished a great thing, and also a sense of spiritual connection, acknowledging the hand of providence in establishing this place and making it a holy city.”

According to reports from Associated Press, Romney created a firestorm of sorts amongst Palestinian leaders when he attributed the culture in Israel to the Jewish State’s economic successes, in contrast to less than stellar results amongst the Palestinians. “As you come here and you see the GDP per capita, for instance, in Israel which is about $21,000 dollars, and compare that with the GDP per capita just across the areas managed by the Palestinian Authority, which is more like $10,000 per capita, you notice such a dramatically stark difference in economic vitality,” Romney said.

Palestinian leaders were quick to condemn Romney’s remarks as “racist” and “out of touch” and said they could empower extremists and damage the peace process. “Today he referred to us as an inferior culture, when he said that Israelis have double our GDP,” Saeb Erekat, a top Palestinian negotiator with the Israelis, said in an interview with the Boston Globe. “I’ve never heard such a racist statement from any Israeli. Yes, we have a conflict with the Israelis. But we never go down this road of racism,” he added.

Observers say the scathing critiques of the Palestinian leadership were unwarranted as Romney’s remarks were taken out of context. In his address, Romney was referencing the gap between other neighboring countries that also experience economic disparities such as Chile and Ecuador, or Mexico and the United States. Romney campaign staffers also distributed a full transcript of the remarks, something they seldom do for its fundraisers. During the remarks, Romney referenced the book “The Wealth and Poverty of Nations” by David Landes, saying it made points about economic vitality and how “culture makes all the difference.”

“And as I come here and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things,” said Romney at the fundraiser.

Heaping particularly heavy criticism on Romney was Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, who said, “He’s said so many outrageous things that it’s very hard to decide which one to respond to.” She said it was unfair to compare the economies of the Israelis and the Palestinians. “You cannot compare the economy of a people who are in occupation — who don’t control exit points, who don’t control all of our land — to an economy in Israel that gets billions and billions of American dollars,” Ashrawi said in an interview with the media. “If we would get billions from the US, if we get presidential treatment, I’m sure our GDP would be at least 100 times what it is right now,” she added.

Stepping up to the plate for Romney back in the United States was the Anti-Defamation League. It’s national director, Abraham H. Foxman said he does not believe Palestinians are culturally inferior to Israelis and said Romney “was not maligning them.”

“In terms of Jewish culture allowing us to be more successful, there is a real emphasis on education, on hard work and self-reliance. If you read United Nations reports on the Arab world, part of the problem is culture. If there was universal education, if there was less conflict, they’d be more prosperous,” said Foxman. One conclusion of a 2010 UN human development report on the “occupied” Palestinian territory was that “cultural beliefs and practices that lead to the marginalization of women, elderly and young people, the disabled, Bedouin and other minority groups, must be challenged.”

“If they’re upset by what he said, then they should be upset by what the UN has said,” Foxman added. “I don’t think Jews, Israelis, or Palestinians should be offended by what he said. This is political nitpicking.”