Chris Muir at Day by Day Cartoon
Hat Tip: BB
By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
“For the foreseeable future,” says President Obama, “the most direct threat to America at home and abroad remains terrorism.” Yet his remarks at the United States Military Academy Commencement Ceremony included no acknowledgement that NSA traitor Edward Snowden has made this kind of terrorism more likely. And there were no demands for Moscow to turn him over to U.S. authorities to face espionage charges.
Our intelligence experts are worried that more terrorism is being planned. S. Eugene Poteat, a retired senior CIA Scientific Intelligence Officer and the current President of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, tells the most recent edition of Homeland Security Today that “Terrorists will now find it easy to counter our intelligence capability, which was based on NSA’s metadata, so we can expect more terrorism in the U.S. in the future.”
Asked by editor-at-large Timothy W. Coleman if Snowden received help from a foreign intelligence service, he commented, “[I] have no idea if he [Snowden] was already in Russia’s pocket, but I feel certain he is by now, and they will already have emptied his computers into theirs. The Chinese, I think, cleaned his clock also.” This was a reference to Snowden stopping in Hong Kong before going to Russia.
But some journalists, on the left and right, seem to think they know more than the experts, and that they are better equipped to judge.
Kirsten Powers is supposed to be one of the more level-headed liberals on the Fox News Channel. But her USA Today column on Wednesday praising Edward Snowden mouthpiece Glenn Greenwald is amateurish in its analysis of what happened in this case, and cavalier in dismissing the real possibility that American lives will be lost as a result of this anti-American intelligence operation.
“That Greenwald is not a member of the Washington insider club seems to be the real problem here,” she writes, in regard to some relatively mild criticism of Greenwald’s role. No, the real problem is that Greenwald’s role in publishing Snowden’s classified documents is a clear-cut violation of the Espionage Act. The former gay pornography executive deserves more, not less, media criticism.
Powers, whose bio says she graduated from the University of Maryland (but doesn’t say in what), doesn’t seem familiar with the law. She noted that NBC’s David Gregory asked Greenwald, “To the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden…why shouldn’t you, Mr. Greenwald, be charged with a crime?” She then commented, “This accusation, dressed up as a question, was nonsensical. That it came from a fellow journalist was bizarre. How could reporting news be ‘aiding and abetting’? What crime could Greenwald possibly have committed?”
As we said at the time, “The question is entirely legitimate. Section 798 of the Espionage Act absolutely prohibits the publication of classified information in the area of communications intelligence. That would include programs of the National Security Agency (NSA).”
The “crimes” are clear to anyone who reviews the law. The fact that Greenwald has not been charged is more evidence that the Obama administration is not enforcing the law. This seems to be a habit of this administration.
Powers says journalists who criticize Greenwald “seem to labor under the delusion that it’s their job to protect the government.” No, the government, in this case, is the people who expect the laws to be enforced. Snowden was a government employee who stole the property of the government. That is why he has been charged with theft of government property, in addition to espionage.
She also turns her attention to Michael Kinsley’s observation that “There shouldn’t be a special class of people called ‘journalists’ with privileges like publishing secret government documents.” Powers comments, “Actually, there should be, and there is. Without that protection, The Times could not have published the Pentagon Papers. Take that protection away, and we have zero oversight of the government from outside forces.”
In this case, Powers is horribly confused. The “protection” was given to the paper to publish the documents without prior restraint. The charges against Daniel Ellsberg, who stole the Pentagon Papers and provided them to the Times, were pursued. However, they were eventually dismissed because of allegations of government misconduct.
Finally, Powers writes, “Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg noted that the friendly fire against Greenwald is unusual. Ellsberg told an interviewer last year that though he himself was an enemy of the government for leaking secrets during the Vietnam War, ‘journalists were not turning on journalists.’”
First, Ellsberg was not a journalist. Second, as noted, the legal issue was prior restraint, not prosecution of the leaker. In addition, the Pentagon Papers were a history of the Vietnam War, unrelated to ongoing intelligence and military operations. That makes the Snowden-Greenwald case far different.
Finally, it is not a case of journalists turning on other journalists to question their behavior and point out when they violate the law.
Powers called journalistic criticism of Greenwald “strange fury.” No, it’s strange to promote the view that Greenwald should be above criticism and that questions about his conduct are somehow out of bounds.
Even more bizarre than Powers was a column by Joseph Farah in WorldNetDaily saying that Snowden, living in Moscow, should be given a ticker tape parade in the U.S. and welcomed back as a whistleblower. This was strange because Farah’s publishing house, WND Books, released the blockbuster, Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategies for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion, and Promoting Terrorism, which examines how the Soviet Union/Russia remains a major threat to the U.S. Its co-author, Lt. Gen Ion Mihai Pacepa, the highest-ranking Soviet bloc intelligence official ever to defect to the West, told AIM that Snowden’s arrival in Russia was “the result of a well-prepared Russian intelligence operation” against the United States and that his analysis of the evidence shows that Snowden “is an agent of the Russian foreign intelligence service.”
Farah claims ignorance about Snowden’s motivations, and doesn’t seem to care. He should have consulted the co-author of one of his books. The former spy chief of Romania clearly understands the KGB/FSB.
“Apparently Snowden is willing to face the consequences of his action—which also makes him a conscientious practitioner of civil disobedience in its highest form, just like Martin Luther King Jr.,” Farah writes, in another mind-boggling statement. He quickly goes on to say, “He is willing to face trial if there is a deal that allows him to serve only a modest prison sentence.” So he is NOT prepared to face the consequences after all.
In effect, he wants a form of immunity from prosecution, no matter how many Americans die as a result of his treason.
Rather than encourage this kind of thing, journalists should be asking why the Obama administration is not doing everything possible to get Snowden back on U.S. soil to face espionage charges. As for Greenwald, the law dictates that he should be facing a grand jury himself, rather than hawking a book and flaunting his anti-Americanism.
Contrary to what Powers says, it seems that Greenwald has been admitted to the Washington insider club.
By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media
The Obama administration “mistakenly” revealed the identity of its CIA Chief of Station (COS) in Kabul, Afghanistan, over the Memorial Day weekend, by including his name on a list of senior U.S. officials who were taking part in President Obama’s unannounced visit there with American troops. The “pool report” listing the COS’ name was ultimately passed on by the White House to 6,000 people working for various news organizations. According to The Washington Post, the names on the list were “provided by U.S. military officials.”
The “pool report” had been filed by the Post’s Scott Wilson, who failed to notice this problem until after he sent the list back to the White House. “There were several misunderstanding and mistakes that happened, including my own failure to review the list before including it in my pool report and sending it back to White House press officials for distribution. I wish I had, and I regret not doing so,” wrote Wilson in an email.
It was not Wilson’s responsibility to protect the identity of America’s top intelligence officer in Afghanistan; it was the White House’s responsibility to protect the identities of its people in the clandestine services before sending information onto the press. But informing the press apparently took precedent that day over attention to detail and national security.
Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi (CCB) Member Clare Lopez, a former CIA officer herself, questioned whether an inappropriate mentality exists at the White House and whether this has trickled down to other offices. “Our national security leadership simply doesn’t view the enemy as the enemy….it’s all ‘potential partners,’” she said. “There is no understanding that there are implacable, remorseless enemies in this world who never rest, never sleep, and constantly plot ways to harm and destroy us.”
“Without that defensive mentality, even absent deliberate ill will, these kinds of things will happen over and over again,” continued Lopez.
In their coverage of this alleged “mistake,” both The Washington Post and the UK Telegraph, as well as other news organizations, pointed to the outing of Valerie Plame, blaming Bush officials. “In 2003, aides to George W. Bush leaked the identity of Valerie Plame, a CIA agent, in an attempt to tarnish the reputation of her husband, a former U.S. diplomat who criticized the Iraq war,” states the Telegraph. According to the Post, “The only other recent case came under significantly different circumstances, when former CIA operative Valerie Plame was exposed as officials of the George W. Bush administration sought to discredit her husband, a former ambassador and fierce critic of the decision to invade Iraq.”
Once again, the assertion is made that Plame was exposed by Bush officials who sought to discredit her husband, Joe Wilson. The Telegraph picked up that line almost verbatim. The truth, however, is that the person who leaked that information was Richard Armitage, of the State Department—someone who was opposed to going into Iraq. And in 2007, following the unjust prosecution of Scooter Libby, The Washington Post was the one discrediting Wilson, calling him a “blowhard,” and said that all of the major claims in his famous 2003 op-ed “were false.”
If the media would like to go after someone for leaking identities, they should look closer to home, at the Obama Administration itself. Have they forgotten how Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, then CIA Director, “recognized the unit that conducted the [bin Laden] raid and identified the ground commander by name…” at “a ceremony at CIA headquarters honoring personnel involved in the May 2011 bin Laden raid,” as recounted by the Project on Government Oversight? Panetta’s remarks contained Secret and Top Secret information, yet a Hollywood screenwriter for the movie “Zero Dark Thirty” was in attendance. As for Panetta, he claimed that his disclosure was inadvertent, just like the Obama administration’s recent disclosure of the Chief of Station’s identity has been excused as a “mistake.”
Perhaps this naiveté is just integral to the administration’s leadership. “A number of the new appointees, both senior and junior, seemed to lack an awareness of the world they had just entered,” former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates recounted about the fresh Obama team in his memoir Duty. “Symbolic of that, I noticed at our first meeting in the Situation Room that fully half the participants had their cell phones turned on during the meeting, potentially broadcasting everything that was said to foreign intelligence electronic eavesdroppers.”
“I mentioned it to Jim Jones, the new national security adviser, after the meeting, and the problem did not recur,” wrote Gates. How many other moments like this have the Obama team experienced?
Maybe there’s some sheer naiveté going on here, but the administration has had more than five years to improve on this situation since the day former Secretary Gates just described. For the sake of our nation, they need to learn a little faster.
By: James Simpson — cross-posted with permission from the author
With “same-sex marriage” proponents winning victory after victory, free-speech rights under attack, the Constitution daily ignored by the Obama administration and fearsome agencies like the IRS, NSA and Justice Department turned against the American people, there’s precious little news these days of victories for the common man, for liberty, for fundamental rights.
And yet, there are important legal victories taking place, many under the national news radar but highly significant nevertheless.
Just ask the residents of Carroll County, Maryland.
The First Amendment
In recent decades, atheists have aggressively sought to extinguish all vestiges of Christianity from public life, citing the familiar but incorrect idea that the Constitution calls for the “separation of church and state.” Christmas trees now are “holiday” trees, kids get a “winter” break, and Nativity scenes and other traditional Christian displays have disappeared from the public square.
Among the issues are protests of Christian symbols on public grounds, threats against Christians in the military for publicly expressing their views and anti-Christian crusader Mikey Weinstein‘s pronouncement, “We are at war with a subset of evangelical Christianity … how many? Roughly 12.6 percent of the American public or 38 million people.”
“I think that is an infringement on my First Amendment rights,” she said. “I am not going to give up those rights. … I am willing to go to jail over it.”
She then proceeded to recite a prayer spoken by George Washington that specifically mentioned Jesus Christ twice.
The Supreme Court said she was right. In the landmark May 5 Greece v. Galloway decision, a case pitting the Greece, New York, town board against citizens who protested “sectarian” prayers in public meetings, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority:
To hold that invocations must be nonsectarian would force the legislatures that sponsor prayers and the courts that are asked to decide these cases to act as supervisors and censors of religious speech, a rule that would involve government in religious matters to a far greater degree than is the case under the town’s current practice of neither editing or approving prayers in advance nor criticizing their content after the fact.
Carroll County was among numerous local governments sued for initiating meetings with prayer. The National Center for Life and Liberty filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the Greece case on behalf of Carroll County; Cobb County, Georgia; Rowan County, North Carolina; Lakeland, Florida; Franklin County, Missouri; Forsyth County, North Carolina; Hamilton County, Tennessee; and Franklin, Vermont. There were many more.
In 2013, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley signed into law the Maryland Firearms Safety Act, or MFSA, over the objections of Maryland gun owners. The law requires an exhaustive procedure for handgun purchases and bans some so-called “assault” firearms and high-capacity magazines.
Senate hearings on the bill brought an unprecedented 2,644 people to testify against it, while thousands more rallied outside. A few witnesses hand-picked by the governor testified in favor of the bill. The Democratic Party leadership also stirred outrage when it called for a second vote after a Republican-proposed amendment won with support of some Democrats. After those Democrats were taken aside, they subsequently switched their votes, and the Republican amendment was defeated.
See the action:
Once again, Carroll County stepped in. Commissioner Richard Rothschild, the most outspoken board member, proposed that the board use “nullification” to neutralize the gun law in Carroll County. A law is nullified when a jury or elected officials declare a law to be invalid because it includes provisions reasonably deemed to be unconstitutional. The Maryland Firearms Safety Act is considered by some to be one such law.
Progressives have been practicing their own form of nullification for years, for example, by supporting and promoting illegal immigration. O’Malley has created a de facto “sanctuary state” for illegals in Maryland by not enforcing existing laws, at a cost to Maryland taxpayers of about $1.7 billion annually.
President Obama also defied federal law by halting deportations of illegal aliens, even allowing the release of over 36,000 criminal aliens, including 193 murderers.
Rothschild decided that if the left can defy laws illegally, it was high time conservatives began doing it legally – targeting onerous laws that violate the highest law of the land, the Constitution.
Thus Rothschild and the Carroll County Commissioners passed a “Second Amendment Sanctuary County” Resolution. It declares the MFSA to be unequivocally unconstitutional and hence unenforceable:
The board reasonably believes the MFSA to be “pretended” (unconstitutional) legislation and be it further resolved that the board, in affirmation of the Second Amendment rights of the citizens of Carroll County, herein direct that Carroll County government will not authorize or appropriate government funds, resources, employees, agencies, contractors, buildings, detention centers or offices for the purpose of enforcing any element of the MFSA that infringes on the right of the people to keep and bear arms …
The resolution explains that no county resources will be used to administer or enforce the new law, including the sheriff and state’s attorney, unless it is coincident with other illegal activity. The resolution contains a number of stirring quotes from America’s Founding Fathers, including this from Thomas Jefferson:
Whenever our affairs go obviously wrong, the good sense of the people will interpose and set them to rights. … What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?
Rothschild also made news nationwide three years ago by leading the Carroll County commissioners in the battle to expunge Agenda 21 planning programs from the county.
He explained it in terms everyone could understand: as an existential threat to property rights. He was subsequently asked to speak all across the country. He even joined the stage with outspoken Agenda 21 critic, Lord Christopher Monckton.
Local activists nationwide picked up the baton and ran with it, resulting in widespread rejection of Agenda 21 concepts in many municipalities and even some state legislatures.
Meanwhile, up north, citizens in New York and Connecticut have been demonstrating their own “spirit of resistance” against new gun laws. As many as 90 percent of New York gun owners and tens of thousands of Connecticut gun owners have refused to register firearms as required by recently enacted laws. Connecticut gun rights groups have already gone to court once to challenge the Connecticut law, and are now doing so again.
The state is in turmoil in the face of this resistance.
Then, too, Coloradans threw out of office two of the state senators responsible for Colorado’s restrictive new gun laws. A third, Evie Hudak, resigned rather than face recall. Hudak earned particular ire in Senate gun hearings when she told a rape victim that self-defense with a handgun was futile.
“Chances are that if you would have had a gun, then [the rapist] would have been able to get that from you and possibly use it against you,” she said.
Using the law
Back to Carroll County, which used another little-known method to resist Maryland’s infamous “rain tax.”
Properly called a “storm water runoff fee,” the tax was enacted ostensibly to meet EPA-mandated Chesapeake Bay pollution targets. Maryland already has a “Bay Restoration Fee” that repeatedly has been raided by O’Malley to pay for other priorities, so there is little confidence the new fee will address the problem either.
But many citizens are unaware of a process called “coordination” that requires federal agencies to negotiate and compromise with state and local governments in implementing regulations. Coordination is embedded in the following laws:
- National Environmental Policy Act
- Federal Unfunded Mandates Reform Act
- Federal Land Policy and Management Act
- National Forest Management Act
- Endangered Species Act
- Clean Water Act
- Clean Air Act
In the Maryland case, Carroll County is further protected by a court ruling that the EPA cannot regulate storm water runoff as a pollutant under the Clean Water Act.
When the O’Malley administration proposed the rain tax, Carroll County had already been collecting revenues to pay for storm water management (less than 1 percent of the operating budget). The county objected to the new tax and refused to implement it.
The state backed down. No taxes have been increased. Frederick County, Maryland, reached a similar compromise, agreeing to collect a one-penny tax.
Many of these laws contain provisions that state and local governments use to resist federal overreach. For example, the Federal Unfunded Mandates Reform Act, passed in 1995 under a Republican Congress, was enacted to prevent the federal government from imposing mandates on state and local governments without providing adequate funding. The law applies to all regulations that could “significantly or uniquely affect small governments.”
There are other victories, too.
Judge Roy Moore, who was removed from his position as Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice in 2003 for refusing to remove a Ten Commandments monument from state property, was re-elected as chief justice in 2012.
In February, the Alabama House passed a bill that would put a referendum to the public to decide whether or not to amend Alabama’s Constitution to allow the Ten Commandments to be displayed in public buildings. The bill is now before the state Senate.
And atheists took another hit May 9, when the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance is indeed constitutional.
Today was Yom Yerushalayim – the day marking the reunification of Jerusalem 47 years ago, when, in the course of the Six Day War, we liberated the part of the holy city that had been occupied by the Jordanians.
It is well past sundown here now, so the day of celebration is over in Israel. A frustrating day for me today, because I was so involved in Legal Grounds work – work that could not wait – that I had not time to do the sort of writing I would have wanted to do. And yet, I could not let it pass without a mention.
Jerusalem. This golden city truly is at the center of the world.
Prime Minister Netanyahu, speaking at Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva today, said (emphasis added):
“Those who remember Jerusalem immediately after the Six Day War, it was not a small village nor a large city…and today Jerusalem is a huge city.
“Jerusalem is Yad Vashem, Jerusalem is Herzl’s burial place and the Mount of Olives, where my grandparents are buried, as is Menachem Begin.
“And Jerusalem is also Mount Zion and Mount Moriah [the Temple Mount] and the Western Wall. Jerusalem is Israel’s eternity, it is our heart, and we are guarding our heart – the heart of the nation. We will never divide our heart.”
He spoke well.
Any one who loves Jerusalem, instinctively understands its spiritual importance and knows that it can never be divided. The city is a place of heightened energy. which cannot be described but only felt.
Anyone who grapples with the political and logistical and security issues impinging on this area comprehends as well, at a more pragmatic level, that it must remain ours. When the Arabs do battle, as they are for the Temple Mount, they seek to undercut the very essence of what we are.
We have much hard work to do yet, to truly claim it as ours. It will not be easy, but it is very necessary.
The traditional celebration for Yom Yerushalayim is the Flag Dance Parade. Young people by the thousands wave their flags as they make their way through the designated streets of Jerusalem, ending up at the Kotel. It is a sight that lifts the spirits high. That makes one grateful and glad.
See Myths and Facts for old pictures and an explanation of Jerusalem’s historical/spiritual connection to the Jewish people.
The song “If I forget you, O Jerusalem – Im Eshkachech.”
And I close, as I often do on Yom Yerushalayim, with the magnificent, late Ofra Haza singing Yerushalayim shel Zahav. Jerusalem of Gold.
By: Dick Manasseri
It’s not a laughing matter. It’s as if we live inside our own “Iron Curtain of Lies” drawn tighter and tighter each day by the King, his media, his indoctrinators, his crony capitalists and the collaborating “opposition” (the RINOs), all willing to lie in order to further their AGENDA.
Precisely because Trevor names names and pulls no punches.
Armed only with his “weapons of mass documentation,” he has been fearlessly riding across America, meticulously proclaiming the truth to all who will listen.
Here in Michigan, the outpouring of interest in Trevor’s research is a testament to the growing alarm shared by veterans, union workers and moms regarding the blatant abuse of power by the Obama Administration.
Trevor is reaching large Michigan audiences via the state’s best known talk show hosts including:
Why this rock-star response to a humble patriot from New Zealand?
Trevor is the researcher who made the definitive link between Obama and his Communist mentor, Frank Marshall Davis. His new book, The Enemies Within: Communists, Socialists and Progressives in the U.S. Congress, names 80 members of Congress “who couldn’t pass a national security background check to clean the toilets in the Capitol.”
Gary Peters, candidate for U.S. Senate, targeted by recent AFP ads as a dangerous enemy of the middle class, is highlighted in Trevor’s book for his ties to the Democratic Socialists of America (as is Debbie Stabenow and John Conyers).
Trevor also explores the overwhelming role of Big Labor, which mandates that, in exchange for their generous funding, the Democrat Party promote policies explicitly defined by the Global Left and the Communist Party USA, e.g. Immigration Reform and Obamacare.
the home of the Progressives’ model city for America.
Time will tell if the truth exposed by Trevor Loudon empowers Michiganders and their fellow citizens, to take the actions necessary to reign in the Lyin’ ‘King’ and his devastating regime.
Hat Tip: BB
Start: 4 June 2014 — 4:30 pm EDT
Categories: Radio Interview
Catch acclaimed author and political activist, Trevor Loudon, On The Edge with Thayrone X on WAAM… Wednesday, June 4th at 4:30 pm EDT:
Thayrone sums up his views unapologetically, “I’m very conservative and always have been.” As friend and foe know full well, Thayrone is passionate in his beliefs. “When I start, I’ve got no brakes,” he said. He calls his detractors “background noise… it comes with the territory,” and he takes criticism in stride. “I’m deeply compassionate. I just keep it to myself.”
Thayrone is a man on a mission – several missions actually. One is to “drive a stake through the heart of sanitized, homogenized radio.” Another mission is to tackle controversial topics. On The Edge with Thayrone is a serious wake up call for his listeners concerning issues facing the country, not the least of which is “danger from within as well as without and the constant assault on our American culture always nipping at our heels. Many Americans are asleep at the wheel… like boiling frogs who don’t realize they’re being boiled to death one degree at a time until it’s too late. They just want to know what time the game is on and who got voted off ‘American Idol'”.
Don’t miss a minute of On The Edge with Thayrone… It’s talk radio you can’t turn off!
New Zealander, Trevor Loudon, is back in America. Like a modern-day Paul Revere, he is crossing the country to warn about “The Enemies Within: Communists, Socialists and Progressives in the U.S. Congress” and the continued threat to America’s liberties. Trevor is an internationally known blogger, writer and researcher, noted among other things for exposing the communist background of Obama’s “Green Jobs Czar” Van Jones, which led to his eventual resignation from his White House position. Loudon was also the first to publicize Barack Obama’s ties to Hawaiian Communist Party member Frank Marshall Davis.
Trevor Loudon’s research has been cited by Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, countless articles, blog posts and in books by well known authors such as Paul Kengor, Aaron Klein and Jerome Corsi. He has addressed more than 200 audiences in more than 30 states in his four tours of the United States.
He is also the author of the 2011 book: Barack Obama and the Enemies Within. Get ready to take a wild ride and discuss the enemies within and without with one of the most dynamic speakers you have ever heard!
WAAM Talk 1600
4:30 pm EDT
Wednesday, June 4th
If your TEA Party, 9.12 Project or patriotic group would like to have Trevor Loudon speak, please contact Regina Thomson.
Check Trevor’s TOUR MAP AND SCHEDULE, which is constantly being updated with new events and venues.