04/1/15

Unholy Assault on the Hoosier State

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

I was watching CNBC on Monday for updates on the markets and economic affairs when I suddenly found technology “journalist” Kara Swisher of “Re/code” being “interviewed” by the “Squawk Alley” team about Indiana’s new religious freedom law. She compared opponents of the homosexual agenda to racists and said that Indiana Governor Mike Pence (R), who signed the law, is “shameless.” The interview went on and on, with no opposing views presented.

Although shocked at first by her blatant hostility toward Christian America, a little digging discovered that Swisher is a major player in the gay community and CNBC is a major outlet for homosexual propaganda.

Swisher, who has interviewed President Obama and Hillary Clinton, had been a featured speaker at the “Lesbians Who Tech” summit, where she used the “F” word quite liberally and declared: “I’m often confrontational, so F— you.”

The group “Lesbians Who Tech” describes itself as “a Community of Queer Women in or around tech.” The American people might be interested to know that the sponsors of the “Lesbians Who Tech” event included Google, ebay, Wells Fargo, Intel, Walmart, Target and Amazon, among other corporations.

Not surprisingly, the pro-homosexual Huffington Post ran a glowing profile of the summit by its own correspondent, a self-described “Lesbian-Feminist, Public Intellectual PhD” by the name of Marcie Bianco. This appeared in the on-line publication’s “Gay Voices” section, which has also featured a video of full frontal male nudity.

When I pointed this out recently, I was attacked by the “conservative” Daily Caller for somehow exaggerating what The Huffington Post had done. It’s a sign of the times that even a “conservative” outlet is reluctant to expose the shameless promotion of homosexuality in the media. One of the main funders of The Daily Caller is a Christian by the name of Foster Friess.

At the risk of promoting this kind of repulsive “journalism,” it is important to note that The Huffington Post item, Male Full-Frontal Nudity Supercut: Which Stars Have Bared It All?, which appeared in the “gay voices” section, was exactly as I described it—a form of gay porn.

But when Christians get repulsed by this kind of thing and seek to protect their families and children from it, they are singled out as bigots.

With Google in the news because of its clout and influence with the Obama administration, it is important to note that Swisher has announced on her website that Megan Smith, a former vice president at Google and Swisher’s “longtime spouse from whom I am now separated and have two children,” is now the Chief Technology Officer of the United States, working for President Obama.

Smith’s White House bio also discloses that she previously served as CEO of PlanetOut, a company that targeted lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders. It was then acquired by Here Media Inc., which owns the Alyson Books publishing division.

Do you remember the “children’s books” which carried the titles Heather Has Two Mommies and Daddy’s New Roommate? Those were published by Alyson. Some of its more recent titles include the “S/M classics” Coming to Power and Leatherfolk. The latter is described as a book about a “distinct subculture” known as “the gay and lesbian leather underground.”

But don’t expect any coverage of this “lifestyle” by the major media, except perhaps to promote it.

Swisher’s softball interview was not a surprise. She has a CNBC “profile” on the channel’s website, demonstrating that she is a regular. Indeed, her online “news” service “Re/code” is owned by Revere Digital, whose minority investors and strategic partners include the NBCUniversal News Group. This guarantees Swisher access to such media properties as CNBC, MSNBC, “Today,” and the “NBC Nightly News.”

This helps explain some of the homosexual movement’s clout in the major media.

CNBC won’t advertise the fact, but the channel is itself a big backer of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA). Mandy Drury, Simon Hobbs and Carl Quintanilla of CNBC have appeared at NLGJA fundraisers.

At one NLGJA event, Natalie Morales of the NBC “Today” show described how “Many of us here in this room—the media—we are responsible for opening the world’s eyes to these issues and the stories that have brought about such change.”

Now that they’re on the verge of getting the Supreme Court to declare gay marriage the law of the land in all 50 states, the homosexuals in the media are identifying and demonizing their enemies in the heartland of America. That’s what Indiana is all about.

Swisher and her lesbian and gay allies are saying “F— You” to traditional American values.

03/29/15

Bone Weary

Arlene from Israel

Anyone who is tracking the news these days, and genuinely cares for the security of Israel and the future of the US – not to mention Europe and the Mideast – has got to have an extremely heavy heart.  We are facing some very dark times.

With regard to Israel, serious thinkers are pondering the best way to survive the 22 months until Obama is out of office.  But the problem is actually a great deal bigger than the issue of how Obama is behaving towards Israel – as much as this remains huge for us here.

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Obama.  In addition to his irrational and venomous attacks on Israel, there is his courting of Iran.  One is the flip side of the other: Alienate Israel, buddy up to Iran.

We are now a mere two days away from the presumed deadline on a signed framework deal between Iran and P5 + 1.  (In reality this is a negotiation between Iran and the US, as the other negotiating partners, with the exception of France, have largely pulled back.)  How likely it is that a deal really will take place depends on whom you ask.  What is clear is that Obama – and Kerry, operating in his stead – are doing all they can to achieve this “diplomatic success.”

Because of Obama’s eagerness, what we are seeing is the stuff of nightmares.  Definitely nightmares, as it’s hard to believe this could be happening in the light of day.  The Iranians – recognizing very well with whom they are dealing – have consistently stonewalled on US demands.  Last Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal broke with a story on yet another US pullback, each in turn design to conciliate the Iranians (emphasis added):

Talks over Iran’s nuclear program have hit a stumbling block a week before a key deadline because Tehran has failed to cooperate with a United Nations probe into whether it tried to build atomic weapons in the past, say people close to the negotiations.

“In response, these people say, the U.S. and its diplomatic partners are revising their demands on Iran to address these concerns before they agree to finalize a nuclear deal, which would repeal U.N. sanctions against the country.”

http://www.wsj.com/articles/iran-stalls-u-n-probe-into-its-1427327943

The issue is “possible military dimensions” (PMD).  As Omri Ceren of The Israel Project has explained (emphasis added):

“PMD disclosure is about base-lining all of Iran’s nuclear activities – not just its known civilian parts – as a prerequisite for verifying that those activities have been halted under a nuclear deal. Iran has uranium mines; some are civilian and some are military. It has centrifuges; some are operated by civilians and some by IRGC personnel. It has uranium stockpiles; some are maintained by civilians and some by the military. There’s no way for future inspectors to verify that Iran has shuttered its mines, stopped its centrifuges, and shipped off its stockpile – for instance – unless the IAEA knows where all the mines and stockpiles are.

“No PMDs mean no verification.”

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And there’s more.  On Thursday, AP reported (emphasis added):

The United States is considering letting Tehran run hundreds of centrifuges at a once-secret, fortified underground bunker in exchange for limits on centrifuge work and research and development at other sites…”

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/ap-exclusive-iran-run-centrifuges-fortified-site-29925489

As Ceri explains here (emphasis added):

“Allowing the Iranians to enrich at Fordow means they could kick out inspectors at any time and have a fully-functioning enrichment facility hardened against military intervention. Since sanctions will be unraveled by design at the beginning of a deal, that means the West would have literally zero options to stop a breakout…

“The White House started out promising that Fordow would be shuttered, then that it would be converted into an R&D plant where no enrichment would take place, and now they’ve collapsed.”

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Add to the above the fact that the US is ignoring the violent hegemonic encroachment of Iranian proxies across various areas of the Middle East – as if it were only the issue of nuclear capacity that must be dealt with.

There are, of course, Syrian president Assad, and Iranian proxy Hezbollah in Lebanon (and Syria).  But most recently what we’ve seen is the takeover of Yemen by the Shiite Houthis, also supported by Iran.  Houthi control of Yemen has enormous importance because of its strategic location, adjacent to Saudi Arabia.  From the Yemenite port city of Aden, the straits of Bab el-Mandeb, which are only about 20 miles wide, can be controlled.  The straits constitute a major chokepoint – so the party that controls the area has the capacity to block marine traffic from the Indian Ocean via the Red Sea to the Mediterranean.  Somewhere in the neighborhood of 3.8 million barrels of oil and refined petroleum products pass through the straits daily on their way to destinations in Asia, Europe and the US.

This is before we mention that increased Iranian backed presence in the Middle East is worrisome to Israel.

But the US is not paying a whole lot of attention. US special forces fled Yemen a while ago, and US negotiators are not raising this issue.  There are commentators who believe that the US should have walked out on negotiations until Iran withdrew support for the Houthis.  But that might have jeopardized the deal, which has first priority for Obama – the rest of the world be damned.

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You want to know how crazy it is?  While Obama is promoting diplomatic ties with Iran and “reaching out” to the Iranians, we can see in a MEMRI video that Iranian leader Khamenei cries “Death to America.”

http://www.memri.org/clip/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/4838.htm

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Amir Hossein Motaghi is an Iranian journalist who was supposed to be covering the negotiations, but has defected because he could not longer tolerate Iranian demands that he write his reports according to their specifications.

In a TV interview, he has now said:

The U.S. negotiating team are mainly there to speak on Iran’s behalf with other members of the 5+1 countries and convince them of a deal.”

http://www.algemeiner.com/2015/03/28/iranian-defector-us-negotiating-team-mainly-there-to-speak-on-iran%e2%80%99s-behalf/

If this does not blow your mind, you are not getting it.

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What I really cannot grasp – even beyond the question of how a man such as Obama secured two terms in the White House – is why the other negotiating nations are being so passive, when Iran is a threat to them, or why the American people are not truly up in arms (meant figuratively here).

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There are just a small number of possible recourses with regard to this situation:

The first is the US Congress, many of whose members – Republicans, but a handful of Democrats as well – indeed are grievously distressed by what is going on.  What is required is a sufficient number of votes in the Senate to over-ride a veto by Obama, so that sanctions to weaken Iran can be put in place appropriately. We are seeing signs that this may be possible.

“The U.S. Senate voted unanimously on Thursday for a non-binding amendment to a budget bill intended to make it easier to re-impose sanctions if Iran violates a nuclear deal.

“The vote was 100-0 for the amendment, sponsored by Republican Senator Mark Kirk, which would establish a fund to cover the cost of imposing sanctions if Tehran violated terms of an interim nuclear agreement now in effect, or the final agreement negotiators hope to reach before July.”

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/26/iran-nuclear-congress-idUSL2N0WS30W20150326

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And then there is Israel.

According to Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) there is time between the signing of a framework agreement now and the final agreement in June – at which point details would be factored in – when diplomatic maneuvering can still be done.  This would involve, it seems to me, key communication with France first – as France has the greatest unease about what is taking place.

Beyond this, there is the military option, with the moment of truth advancing rapidly.  We are now probably past the 11th hour, perhaps at about 15 minutes to midnight.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has said, again and again, that he will never permit Iran to become a nuclear power. He has also made it clear that Israel is not bound by the terms of a very bad P5 + 1 deal with Iran.

Just today, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzachi Hanegbi, a close Netanyahu associate, declared on public radio that Israel “will not be bound by an accord concluded by others and will know how to defend itself.” (Emphasis added)

https://news.yahoo.com/dangerous-accord-iran-worse-israel-feared-pm-094154014.html

What our government will do in the end, and what our military is capable of doing, remains to be seen.  Israel cannot take out Iran’s capacity for nuclear development entirely – but can, as I understand it, do considerable damage.

The scuttlebutt is that Netanyahu wants to attack, although I know people who are convinced he never will. (Please, do not write to share opinions on this.)  Some months ago, information was revealed indicating that at one point Defense Minister Ya’alon was opposed to an attack but has now changed his mind.

A key factor here is the readiness of Saudi Arabia, which is absolutely enraged with Obama’s inaction on Iran, to lend passive assistance, at a minimum, should Israel decide to attack. The Saudis would be delighted – make no mistake about this.  This assistance might make a difference in the end.  Because the other piece of the story is that Obama is trying his best to track Israeli intentions and to block us.

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Leon Panetta – former director of the CIA and Secretary of Defense under Obama, gave an interview to Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC three days ago that merits mention here. Put simply, what he said was that he learned at the CIA and Defense that “The Iranians can’t be trusted.”

This is the bottom line.  Said Panetta (emphasis added):

“…the real test is going to be, and the whole world will be looking at it — the test will be have we truly made sure that Iran can be stopped from developing a nuclear weapon. And to do that in my book demands transparency and it demands accessibility so that we have a firm inspection regime that will guarantee they cannot do this.”

http://dailycaller.com/2015/03/26/former-obama-defense-secretary-the-iranians-cant-be-trusted-video/

Precisely! And that is never, ever going to happen.

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I recently encountered an article that asked, in its lead: Which side is Obama on?  That, my friends, is a rhetorical question.  It is clear that he is on Iran’s side.

That being the case, it is inevitable that the president would come down on Netanyahu in every way possible.  He wants to discredit him, and weaken him, and delegitimize his position, for Netanyahu is the key stumbling block to what he is trying to achieve.  There is no way for Bibi to make it “right” with Obama. It’s not really about the negotiations with the Palestinian Arabs or other related issues.

And facing the truth straight on also helps explain why Obama worked so hard behind the scenes to defeat Netanyahu in the elections, and why he is so frustrated now.

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Just a moment here, then, to look at what is happening at home.  I wrote last week about the apparent halting of building scheduled for Har Homa in Jerusalem (and indeed I’ve received no information that it was anything else such as a bureaucratic mix-up).  That did not sit well.  Since I wrote about that, information has surfaced about Israel agreeing to release to the Palestinian Authority tax monies that had been collected – with some held back against money owed to Israel for electricity and other services.  On top of this, there is apparently a deal for Israel to sell gas to Gaza, with Qatar paying the bill.

This did not sound good.  Really not good. Certainly at first blush it looks like a caving to Obama under pressure, because there is so much talk about Israel’s “readiness’ for a “two state” deal.

But that’s at first blush, and I’ve been struggling with this long and hard over the last couple of days. Because there is another way to look at this.  If Netanyahu is making concessions to please Obama it is the height of foolishness, a terrible weakness, as nothing will please Obama where we are concerned.  The only way to respond to him is with strength.  Anything that smacks of weakness will simply invite more pressure.

But suppose Netanyahu is doing this to remove some of the poison spewed by Obama (Netanyahu is a racist, he does not want peace, etc.), in order to deal more placidly with others? Suppose he wants to approach Democrats in Congress conveying the image of someone who is willing to compromise for peace, so that they will hear him on Iran?  Suppose he wants to speak with French leaders – who are eager for “two states” – from a position that will make them more amenable to his message? Or with other European countries?  Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz suggests several nations are uneasy about the deal.

In light of the enormous weight of what our prime minister has to deal with, I prefer to cut him some slack here, for the moment, and see how the situation evolves. Today he told the Cabinet:

“This deal, as it appears to be emerging, bears out all of our fears, and even more than that.”

http://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Netanyahu-says-expected-Iranian-nuclear-deal-even-worse-than-Israel-feared-395468

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I had hoped to discuss some matters related to the formation of the coalition here, but will table this.  Before closing, I want simply to look at a couple of relative bright spots in an otherwise grim picture.

Saudi Arabia, alarmed by the Houthi take-over in Yemen, and absolutely furious at Obama for opting out of involvement, decided to act, in concert with other Sunni allies.  This was promising, as the Iranian takeover by proxy in Yemen is being pushed back as a result of Saudi airstrikes that are being hailed a success. There is further talk of ground forces in Yemen, although my information is that it will not be necessary, as there are tribal groups in Yemen that are ready to act on the ground against the Houthis.

Even further, the Arab League, at the closure of a meeting in Egypt, has announced in principle the creation of a joint Arab rapid response force. Egypt, which would be a prime mover in the establishment of such a force, declared that it would consist of some 40,000 elite troops, backed by jets, warships and light armor.  What this means is that even though the US has totally abdicated its role of confronting Iranian regional aggression, there are Sunni Arab states presumably ready to step up, lest the feared and detested Iran take over the region.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2015/03/29/yemen-rebels-air-bases/70625166/

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Then see this report that says Hezbollah – operating at the behest of Iran – has been stopped by paramilitary rebel forces from establishing a major presence on the Golan directly adjacent to the Israeli border.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/on-the-syrian-golan-unlike-in-yemen-an-iranian-offensive-fails/

03/20/15

The Ferguson Hoax and Media Truth-telling

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

You know the standards of the media have hit rock bottom when a liberal commentator makes news for telling the truth. Jonathan Capehart of The Washington Post and MSNBC has become a media star for his belated recognition of the “Hands up, don’t shoot” lie out of Ferguson, Missouri. Better late than never, except for the fact that this liberal narrative was always in dispute. There was never any legitimate reason to believe that Police Officer Darren Wilson had simply fired on Michael Brown for no reason.

The appropriate reaction to Capehart’s Damascus Road conversion to the truth should be: What took you so long? And what will you do to make sure you never fall for such a vicious lie again?

Don Irvine, the chairman of Accuracy in Media, notes in his blog on the AIM website that Capehart admitted the narrative was wrong after the Department of Justice found Wilson’s side of the story to be true. Capehart said, “What DOJ found made me ill.” Irvine commented, “I would be ill too if I had helped push a false narrative that gave fuel to the riots in Ferguson that have cost businesses and taxpayers millions of dollars, and ruined the career of Officer Wilson.”

The people who should be ill are those who depend on Capehart and others like him for the truth.  Capehart is just trying to recover some of the credibility he never had in the first place.

Those of us who don’t take Capehart and his ilk seriously as arbiters of truth are watching this celebration of his one-time truth-telling as an example of how, for much of the media, lies and distortions are the standard fare. Otherwise, why would telling the truth be so controversial?

But this case is much more than a few liberal commentators like Capehart taking the side of dishonesty and then waking up, months later, to what actually happened.

Colin Flaherty, an award winning reporter and author of Don’t Make the Black Kids Angry: The hoax of black victimization and those who enable it, says that what happened in Ferguson was a carefully orchestrated hoax. He notes how in an amazing turnabout, the false claims about an unprovoked murder of a young black man became complaints about too many traffic tickets for black people.

“We now know the Ferguson riots were all about racist traffic tickets and not the relentless white racism and violence that killed yet another black person,” Flaherty notes. “The greatest bait and switch of our generation and few reporters even seemed to notice. Why would they? They are used to it by now.

“First they told us about ‘hands up, don’t shoot.’ When that turned out to be a lie, they told us about the Gentle Giant. It continued for months, one lie after another, each discarded, replaced and sometimes recycled.” Flaherty reminds us of several of the lies. We were told that Michael Brown was shot in the back, that he was minding his own business, and trying to surrender.

Flaherty adds, “The racial grievance industry and their beards in the press put on and took off each lie like a cheap suit. Cute kids made viral videos with the ‘hands up don’t shoot’ pose, and reminded white people of their relentless racism. Members of Congress followed from the floor of the House.

“The President talked about racists in Ferguson at the United Nations. The parents of Michael Brown were honored guests at the gala dinner of the Congressional Black Caucus. The President greeted them from the podium during his keynote speech to extended applause. Then he talked about Ferguson racism.

“The Attorney General traveled to Ferguson and made [a] ‘personal promise’ that he would stand with the people of Ferguson. As long as those people were not cops.”

Flaherty goes on, “Entire cable networks repeated the lie day after day, guest after guest, promo after promo. Death. Murder. White racism. How could we not see it? Were we so blind, so immersed in white privilege, like a fish unaware of the water?”

It turned out, according to the DOJ, that Ferguson was all about traffic tickets. “Funny: At the time, no one mentioned the traffic tickets that now stand with the firehoses and police dogs of Selma as icons of racist oppression,” Flaherty notes.

The facts were such that the Attorney General had to grudgingly admit what many others had been saying from day one. “The facts of the death and the fairy tale that followed were all concocted, spoon fed to a willing press corps that did nothing but ask for more,” he points out.

Then, suddenly, in another diversion from the essential truth of what happened, the media picked up on another narrative—that blacks were the victims of too many traffic tickets. “The day after the Attorney General’s confession, the manufactured outrage of Chris Cuomo of CNN was on full display as he and the Brown family attorney railed against the injustice of too many traffic tickets,” commented Flaherty.

The media moved on to another issue, without bothering to emphasize how wrong they had been in the months before. This is the performance of a media that promotes and even prefers lies over the truth. The lies, after all, gin up racial controversy and ratings.

Flaherty asks: what about the CNN anchors who were holding the “Hands up, don’t shoot” signs on the air?

That’s a good question indeed. These included what we called a prominent example of the “fake conservatives” in the media, such as when Margaret Hoover joined her fellow CNN panelists in a “Hands up, don’t shoot” display based on the fiction that Brown was surrendering to the police when he was shot.

Hoover has written a book titled, American Individualism: How a New Generation of Conservatives Can Save the Republican Party. This self-described conservative thinks she has the answer to saving the Republican Party. She engaged in that display despite the fact that she said the narrative had been discredited because of witness testimony from the grand jury.

So Hoover engages in something she knows to be untrue, simply because it is the fashionable thing to do. What does this say about her ethical standards? “As a reform Republican, who works for the GOP to broaden its base and reach new constituencies, I see no contradiction between supporting law enforcement and the policy solutions highlighted by these protesters,” Hoover says.

The “protesters” were not highlighting “policy solutions,” but a deadly and false narrative about alleged police violence. She could have told the truth. Instead, she participated on the air in a display of a false narrative.

Why doesn’t she have the decency to apologize? Why doesn’t CNN apologize?

Flaherty also wonders why, after the hoax was exposed, we didn’t hear one apology from the media. It’s because our media have no standards of ethical behavior and conduct. Instead, the media went on with their business, acting as if traffic tickets “justified all the rioting, vandalism, fire-bombing, looting, assaulting, attacks on police, gunfire and other mayhem in and out of Ferguson.”

The praise for Capehart for eventually telling the truth may be one way the media can attempt to atone for their sins in this coverage. But it’s not good enough.

02/20/15

Too Many Lies, Too Much of the Time

By: Alan Caruba
Warning Signs

Lies and Deceit

“He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world’s believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions.”

— THOMAS JEFFERSON, letter to Peter Carr, Aug. 19, 1785

I am beginning to wonder if Americans have grown so accustomed to the lies told by the President, his administration, and others said to be highly regarded, that we are losing a sense of outrage?

To the degree that Brian Williams’ serial lies have evoked a national discussion, it’s good to know that most people think he has lost credibility to the point of not being a news anchor, but one still has to wonder what NBC will do at the end of the six month suspension it has imposed on him. I am cynical enough to think he may be offered a job at MSNBC.

Hillary Clinton and Brian Williams

It is far more significant that, regarding the leading candidate to be the Democratic Party’s choice to run for President in 2016, we know she engaged in similar lies of having been “under fire.”

It’s one thing to expect politicians to lie, but the nation’s future is at stake when we still do not know the truth of Hillary Clinton’s full role in the Benghazi attack that left a U.S. ambassador and three others dead. She was the Secretary of State at the time and we watched her stand at his side as the President attributed the attack to a video no one had ever seen. The fact that the attack occurred on the anniversary of 9/11 was conveniently ignored.

The refusal to identify the Islamic State (ISIS) as an enemy representative of the global jihad is not just politics. It is a lie on the order of the President’s assertion that “The Islamic State is not Islamic.” As we are repeatedly reminded, if you cannot or will not identify an enemy, you are leaving yourself and, in this case, the nation open to attack.

Indeed, many elements of the Obama administration have engaged in lying on a level that goes beyond “politics.” It is a deliberate attack on science itself when the EPA, NOAA and NASA actively engage in distorting data to say that the Earth is warming when it has been in a well-established cooling cycle for 19 years at this point.

How are we expected to maintain any confidence in an administration that lies about employment statistics and other critical data we need to know regarding the economy?

The lie about “income inequality” is the core rational for Communism. There is no such thing as equality when it comes to income because some people enjoy higher pay for higher skills, higher productivity, and higher responsibility. We don’t pay “sanitation engineers” the same as we pay real engineers. And you don’t create new jobs by raising the minimum wage when it will reduce existing and potential new jobs.

Most dramatically, it was a series of lies told by the President that led to the passage of ObamaCare. Its two thousand-plus pages were not read by the exclusively Democratic members of Congress who passed it and, today, we learn that it is a major contributor to the nation’s deficit which is the result of the government spending more than it takes in. For the past six years Obama’s policies have added trillions to our national debt, now $18 trillion and growing. It is going to be a burden on generations to come.

There is no evidence of the tax reforms that Congress knows are needed, nor reforms to the entitlement programs that are just years from becoming insolvent.

Whether it is domestic or foreign affairs, Americans have been at a loss to expect the national press to address the lies because they would have to abandon the protection they have afforded the President for the past six years. Only one news service, Fox News, is credited with providing the truth. Fortunately the Internet has provided access to many other outlets where the truth can be found. And, yes, many that maintain the lies.

It should come as no surprise that the Obama administration wants to regulate the Internet with a program that call “Net neutrality”, but there is nothing neutral about it. The freedom the Internet enjoys is the best example of the value Americans put on an uncensored source of information and communication. The Obama administration wants to control the Internet in the same way that despots around the world want to do.

There is always a far higher price to pay for believing lies than knowing the truth.

We expect our enemies to lie. We should not expect our government to do so in such a routine and obscene fashion.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

02/20/15

No “Major Scandal” in Obama Administration?

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

David Axelrod’s book tour is off to a rollicking start, with perceived attacks on Hillary Clinton’s upcoming presidential run, and an absurd comment about the ethics and integrity of the administration he served so loyally, and continues to do so.

Axelrod, former senior advisor to President Obama, recently asserted something so patently untrue that it demands a response. “And I’m proud of the fact that, basically, you’ve had an administration that’s been in place for six years in which there hasn’t been a major scandal,” he pronounced at a University of Chicago event.

The Washington Post leapt in to defend Axelrod’s claim by pointing to how President Obama’s approval ratings did not shift in the wake of the potential scandals he has faced since taking office. “It could be that scandals don’t have a lot to do with how Americans rate the president,” writes Hunter Schwarz for the Post.

It could also be that the liberal media, along with academia, determine what is classified as a “scandal”—and then refuse to report on scandals which don’t meet their own predetermined criteria. In this case, any lies, corruption, abuses of power, financial payoffs, or associations with unsavory characters or organizations that involve President Obama or anyone in his administration are never to be treated as a scandal.

The ongoing incestuous relationship between the Obama administration and the media often tilts in favor of the administration, leaving many scandals uninvestigated, minimized, or outright ignored. For example, both CBS News president David Rhodes and former ABC News president Ben Sherwood have siblings working for the administration. CNN’s deputy Washington bureau chief, Virginia Moseley, is married to Tom Nides, a former Obama staffer under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. And David Plouffe, Obama’s former campaign manager, joined Bloomberg News, while MSNBC hired Axelrod.

President Obama even joked in 2013 that “… David Axelrod now works for MSNBC, which is a nice change of pace since MSNBC used to work for David Axelrod.”

With so many members of the elite media in bed with the administration, Dartmouth College professor Brendan Nyhan’s 2011 observation that “the current administration has not yet suffered a major scandal, which I define as a widespread elite perception of wrongdoing” becomes essentially meaningless. Nyhan said that a scandal becomes a scandal “once the S-word is used in a reporter’s own voice in a story that runs on the front page of the [Washington] Post.”

If Axelrod is using the same criteria, then, of course, President Obama probably can be considered scandal-free. But a real scandal involves actual administration wrongdoing or lies, regardless of the “perceptions” dished out by the media.

Axelrod’s comments ignore the presence of a number of real scandals which the mainstream media, including The Washington Post, continue to report on as phony—including but not limited to:

Benghazi:

The deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya in 2012 were greeted with a concerted public relations campaign by the Obama administration blaming the attacks on a protest inspired by a YouTube video, as revealed in the smoking gun Ben Rhodes email. (Ben Rhodes, deputy national security advisor to President Obama, is CBS’ President David Rhodes’ brother.) The media, including David Kirkpatrick of The New York Times, continue to dispute key facts of the case such as al Qaeda’s involvement, have championed erroneous Congressional reports, ignore evidence of a cover-up, and have generally covered for the administration by promoting the idea that this is one of many “phony scandals.” The interim report of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi details the various failings and scandals related to Benghazi.

IRS scandal:

The IRS targeted conservative groups applying for non-profit status from 2010 to 2012. In what some see as an attempt to influence elections, the IRS began requesting inappropriate information disproportionately from conservative groups and then delaying their approval, generally chilling free speech throughout the country. Lois Lerner, at the heart of the scandal, has refused to testify before Congress, pleading the Fifth Amendment. The media continue to argue that President Obama is not connected to this scandal, but it can be tied directly to the White House. The President has tried to assert that there isn’t a “smidgeon” of corruption at the IRS.

Fast and Furious

The Obama Justice Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) encouraged gunwalking across the Mexican border of thousands of weapons, resulting, ultimately in the murder of border agent Brian Terry. An ATF whistleblower, John Dodson, spoke out in 2011 about the problems with the ATF’s decision to let guns go to Mexico. As I wrote about in 2011, Fast and Furious was a scandal that no longer could be denied, but the media continued to do so. Sharyl Attkisson recounts in Stonewalled, “But as outrageous and remarkable as the allegations are, most of the media don’t pick up on the story. They’re steering clear.” As I wrote, the scandal “involves some 1,500 guns, about 1,000 of which ended up in Mexico, and a Border agent…who was murdered with weapons found near the scene of the crime in Arizona. The weapons were among 57 linked to Fast and Furious which have been tied to at least 11 violent crimes in the U.S., including the Terry murder.” Like Benghazi, Fast and Furious resulted in real deaths—but the media continue to ignore or downplay this scandal.

Veterans Administration

Following revelations in 2014 that there was widespread Veterans Administration falsification of health care wait times, and that certain locations had created secret waiting lists for veterans, the media finally declared this a scandal. But it’s not Obama’s scandal, it’s a Veterans Affairs scandal. Hunter Schwarz writes for the Post that “It was a very significant scandal, to be sure, but perhaps not one that people laid directly at Obama’s doorstep.” The Washington Post’s Fact Checker Glenn Kessler recently referred to this one as a scandal, noting that only eight people have lost their jobs so far as a result of this veterans care debacle, not 60 as the Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald said last week on Meet the Press. But as I have argued, there were really two scandals at the Veterans Administration at the time: health care wait times and the disability benefits backlog.

Solyndra

Solar panel business Solyndra received more than half a billion dollars as part of the administration’s green energy program, before going bankrupt. Its executives took substantial bonuses before the layoffs began. And, a Solyndra investor was also a major bundler for Obama, demonstrating a conflict of interest when the administration refused to turn over more documents as part of a Congressional investigation. And yes, the Post reported on its front page that the Obama administration had asked the company to “delay announcing it would lay off workers until after the hotly contested November 2010 midterm elections that imperiled Democratic control of Congress.” But NPR ran an article last year victoriously announcing that “Now that the loan program is turning a profit, those critics are silent”—as if that had anything to do with the crony capitalism of the Solyndra scandal.

Obamacare

Obamacare is an ongoing debacle of premium increases and high deductibles coupled with crippling regulations. It leads to less, not more, health care access. While the focus has been on errors made within the “Obamacare rollout,” the media continue to champion exaggerated statistics regarding the alleged 10 million who have received health insurance under President Obama’s signature legislation. In reality, this program marks a rapid increase in Medicaid, and many enrollees are part of a “substitution effect” by which people who previously had insurance have switched to Obamacare. The subsidies, which the media casts as essential to the law, are under dispute in the courts, and increase the burden on the American taxpayer. Even Politifact called President Obama’s false assertion that Americans could keep their health plan if they liked it the 2013 “Lie of the Year.” Meanwhile, the complicit media finds every chance it can to champion this legislation’s “successes.”

This list just scratches the surface. Executive overreach has become standard fare, whether on immigration or environmental regulations. The Obama administration’s penchant for controlling leaks, a lack of transparency, and a war on journalists has been noted by the likes of former Washington Post executive editor Len Downie Jr. who said “The [Obama] administration’s war on leaks and other efforts to control information are the most aggressive I’ve seen since the Nixon administration leaks,” and New York Times reporter David Sanger who said, “This is the most closed, control-freak administration I’ve ever covered.” James Risen of the Times added that the Obama administration has been “the greatest enemy of press freedom that we have encountered in at least a generation.”

The administration’s Middle East policies have been a disaster, if not scandalous. Just look at the growing threat from the Islamic State (ISIS) and other radical jihadist Muslim groups. More than 200,000 have been killed in Syria, Libya has become a jihadist playground, described by former CIA officer Bob Baer as “Mad Max,” and Yemen, as recently as September held up as example of where Obama’s foreign policy is working, has seen a coup by Iranian backed jihadists. And looming over all of this is the unfolding, outright appeasement of an Iran with nuclear aspirations.

What unifies all of these scandals and lies is how our news media have looked past all the administration’s corruption, treating, these occurrences as discrete, minor grievances, gaffes—or even conservative or Republican political maneuvering. This means that the constant lies by the administration, and President Obama himself, can be made with impunity. The media simply will not hold President Obama, or any of his associates who might tarnish his reputation, accountable.

02/17/15

More Hipster Harf: ‘We Can’t Stop ISIS by Killing Them; We Need to Give Them Jobs’

By: Brent Parrish
The Right Planet

Marie-Harf-MSNBC

For many years now I have said the State Department needs to be cleaned out from top to bottom. And I’m not alone in that opinion, either. The U.S. Department of State has a long history of working against the best interests of the United States, consistently shilling for all things socialist. Those who have looked into tax-exempt foundations like the Carnegie Endowment, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Consortium, Guggenheim Fellowship, etc., and the subsequent investigation by the Reece Committee, might know what I’m talking about.

The first U.S. Secretary of Defense, James Forrestal, once said, “Consistency has never been a mark of stupidity. If the diplomats who have mishandled our relations with Russia were merely stupid, they would have occasionally made a mistake in our favor.”

State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf recently told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews ISIS could be stopped if we could just create jobs for them.

At first blush, for those ignorant of Marxist ideology, this sort of thinking seems preposterous. Well, I am strongly inclined to agree. But I digress.

For dyed-in-the-wool Marxists and their fellow travelers (sympathizers), it makes perfect sense. This is why I believe it so important more Americans gain a better understanding of Marxism—since it is lauded and approved of by so many American universities and the liberal media, not to mention those in positions of power within our own government.

Karl Marx believed our view of history needed to be changed (cf. “hope and change”). Cleon Skousen wrote in his book The Naked Communist about the central importance economics plays in the Marxian religion. Marx believed history should be changed to “a fixed, undeviating, pre-determined course of progress which could be charted in the past and predicted for the future on the basis of a single, simple criterion—economics.”

According to Marx and his votaries, if we could only “level the playing field” by making everyone and everything the same (see “equality and fairness”), it would usher in a veritable utopia, i.e., the long hoped for “workers’ paradise.” Interestingly, about 90 percent of what Karl Marx wrote concerned economics (see Das Kapital).

Well, let’s just get something straight: ISIS doesn’t give a damn about economics—quite the contrary.  Their motivations and actions are not influenced by Marxism, per se, but rather the teachings of Muhammad, and a literal interpretation of the Koran and the Hadith.

Although it should be noted that Marxism and Islam have quite a bit in a common.

Radical-Islam-and-Leftists-have-identical-beliefs

Until our government pulls its proverbial head out of its posterior region, and begins to address the Islamic ideology that fuels terrorist groups like ISIS, we will forever be beating our collective heads against the wall wondering why we are not getting anywhere, while the enemy runs roughshod over us and others. If you cannot define the enemy, you cannot defeat the enemy. How many times does it have to be said?

Harf went on to make the patently absurd claim that “we cannot win this war by killing them [ISIS] … we cannot kill our way out of this war.”

So why are we killing them? The whole purpose of war is to kill the enemy until they’re either all dead or they surrender unconditionally. Period.

You just can’t make this stuff up.

Of course this brings us to the all-important question: just whose team is the Obama Administration and the State Department playing for?

Lessons-in-Hipster-Harf

02/13/15

Media’s Lack of Curiosity About Killer of Muslims in North Carolina

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

Was the brutal murder of three Muslims in North Carolina this week a case of “random violence,” or were the three targeted because of their Muslim faith? And why, of all the murders committed across the country this week, did these three grab so much national media attention? The FBI has now joined the investigation.

Perhaps the lessons learned from Jared Lee Loughner’s shooting of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona in January of 2011 could inform the answers to these questions, and serve as a reminder of the dangers of biased reporting on murder cases. But, unfortunately, the mainstream media continue to perpetuate a confusing double standard when it comes to reporting on the deaths of innocents.

Why, for example, did the deaths of three Muslims in Chapel Hill, North Carolina gain traction at The Washington Post, Reuters, and many other media outlets which speculated that it was a possible hate crime, while this black teen murdering a white classmate and taking a selfie with the corpse didn’t receive anywhere near the same treatment? And what about the murders occurring in Chicago every day? Don’t those deserve headlines, and candlelight vigils too?

“However, I do think it’s fair to say that attributing political motives to individual killings is much more of a phenomenon on the left than on the right,” argues Mark Hemingway for The Weekly Standard in a column regarding the recent execution-style shootings of Deah Barakat, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha.

The alleged shooter, Craig Stephen Hicks, liked the “Huffington Post, Rachel Maddow, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), Freedom from Religion Foundation, Bill Nye ‘The Science Guy,’ Neil deGrasse Tyson, Gay Marriage groups and similar progressive pages” on Facebook, notes Hemingway. Maddow didn’t mention any of that on her show when talking about the incident.

Hicks displayed a habit of posting snarky pictures with slogans like, “Democrats aren’t perfect but at least they haven’t been shoving poor Jesus up my c—ch and Ronald Reagan down my throat.” Another picture he promoted reads, “So Rick Santorum thinks that when people get educated they stop believing in God? Best advertisement for Atheism I’ve ever heard.”

And Hicks commented on Ground Zero: “Seems an overwhelming majority of Christians in this country feel that the Muslims are using the Ground Zero Mosque plans to’mark their conquest’ [sic] Bunch of hypocrites, everywhere I’ve been in this country there are churches marking the Christian conquest of this country from the Native Americans. Funny thing is the Christians did that while defying our Constitution, and got away with it!!”

“It was logical for some people to hear about the shootings and wonder if recent news involving the Islamic State—including the deaths of a Jordanian pilot and an American hostage—could lead to some sort of reprisal against Muslims, said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center,” reported the Post regarding the three deaths on February 11.

In 2011 the SPLC’s Richard Cohen blamed the shooting of Rep. Giffords on Sarah Palin’s political rhetoric, citing the work of staffer Potok. The Discovery Channel plans to air a documentary, “Hate in America,” this month with the SPLC as a partner helping “examine the current realities of intolerance in America.”

The SPLC runs a hate crimes racket, and the media—desperate to promote headlines that fit their pre-existing left-wing narratives about race, inequality and religion—are quick to swallow their propaganda.

“I think it’s perfectly natural to guess that this is anti-Islamic,” Potok told the Post in the interview regarding the triple murder. “Not just because the three victims are Muslim, but because there has been so much terrible news in recent days about extremist Muslims.” Potok also appeared on MSNBC on the morning of February 13 with the news anchor Tamron Hall, and there was no mention of Hicks’ political leanings, which appear to be consistent with their own.

It is ironic that Hicks, himself, may have, at least in part, allowed the SPLC to fuel his own brand of hate—if it was hate, and not a longtime dispute over parking—that caused Hicks to allegedly kill three innocent people.

“We don’t have proof yet that this was political, but the odds are that it was…But violent acts are what happen when you create a climate of hate. And it’s long past time for the GOP’s leaders to take a stand against the hate-mongers,” wrote Paul Krugman of The New York Times after the Loughner shooting.

“Keith Olbermann had a special edition of his ‘Countdown’ show on MSNBC the night of the shooting, in which he had a series of guests on who all specu­lated that Loughner was influenced by ‘right-wing extremists’ and that the Right was far more guilty of violent and hateful speech than the Left, creating a climate conducive for this sort of action,” I reported back in 2011.

Have the media learned from their past attempts to politicize violent shootings, or does the marked omission of similar rhetoric regarding the Hicks case simply indicate that the mainstream media hope that the progressive ideology of this alleged killer will not actually be used against them?

If Hicks was a champion of liberal causes such as gay rights and abortion, and one’s ideological background has any bearing on the decision to brutally murder someone, then why isn’t the media likewise exploring in depth Hicks’ motivations—his likes, dislikes, ideology, inspiration, etc.—as they did when they erroneously blamed the right for Loughner’s shooting of Giffords? Instead, the Post published a story on the “particular tensions between Islam and atheism” which allowed atheist groups to denounce and separate themselves from the killer. If Hicks had any deeper motivation rooted in progressivism, you wouldn’t find it there.

On February 11 The Washington Post authors quoted from the SPLC, then linked to Hicks’ Facebook page, and failed to inform their readers of Hicks’ admiration for this group.

And the motivation of the attack remains in dispute, despite the hate crime allegations. “This was not a dispute over a parking space; this was a hate crime,” said the victims’ father Mohammed Abu-Salha. His evidence: “This man had picked on my daughter and her husband a couple of times before, and he talked with them with his gun in his belt.”

More recent news reporting by the Associated Press indicates that when Hicks “talked with them with his gun in his belt,” as the father described, it was likely during a dispute over a visitor’s parking space. According to the AP, a resident of that condo “said Hicks complained about once a month that the two men were parking in a visitor’s space as well as their assigned spot.”

It continued: “He would come over to the door, knock on the door and then have a gun on his hip saying ‘you guys need to not park here,’ said Ahmad, a graduate student in chemistry at UNC-Chapel Hill. ‘He did it again after they got married.’”

The victims in the most recent case appear to be the type of Muslims whom many in America would embrace as fellow patriots, rather than as radical fundamentalists who prompt what some term “Islamophobia.” The murdered couple was active in charity efforts. “Barakat had recently posted about providing free dental supplies and food to dozens of homeless people in Durham, something he had done twice in recent months, buying toothpaste, brushes, floss and mouthwash that he put into individual bags for each homeless person,” reported the Post. And his wife had traveled to the Turkish border last year, not to join the Islamic State but to “deliver dental supplies to a Turkish town…”

But then again, Barakat and his wife met while helping to run North Carolina State’s Muslim Student Association (MSA) chapter. Perhaps they weren’t aware of the origins of that organization. The MSA is a Muslim Brotherhood front group, and the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) is the group that spawned al Qaeda and Hamas. President Obama has embraced the MB at home and abroad, and this is a subject that the media should thoroughly explore, while there is still a chance to diminish their influence. Unfortunately, very few in our media are willing to investigate the MB—or even acknowledge their influence—instead they treat them like some benign, charitable group such as the Kiwanis International.

While it would be convenient for the media, and its allies on the left, to proffer evidence of a violent Muslim backlash when speaking about the culture of hate in a world full of news reports about Islamic State militants beheading their captives, or the Charlie Hebdo murders, not every murder’s newsworthiness should be coldly calculated based on the race, faith, or the known ideology of its participants—or perpetrators. There is an average of about 40 murders a day in this country, most of which we never hear about until the media find one that fits a narrative for them. Or at least they think it does. And then it takes on a life of its own.

02/13/15

Warring Factions Threaten Clinton White House Bid

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

Ongoing rivalries and dissension among Clinton loyalists have percolated up through the mainstream media, even The New York Times—whose own investigative reporting may have set off the latest salvo. It seems despite the president-in-waiting status often accorded to Mrs. Clinton, there might not be enough money to go around, evoking harsh internal criticisms.

David Brock, founder of the far-left Media Matters, “is a cancer,” argued John Morgan, a Florida lawyer connected to both President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton, according to recent reporting by Nicholas Confessore and Amy Chozick at the Times. Brock made headlines earlier this week, when in response to their reporting, he sent out a letter that alleged “current and former Priorities officials were behind this specious and malicious attack on the integrity of these critical organizations” and “resigned from the board of the super PAC Priorities USA Action,” according to Politico’s Kenneth Vogel.

Brock is considering a return to Priorities USA, The Washington Post noted shortly thereafter. “People are starting to worry that Priorities could be a weak link,” one strategist told Vogel for his February 10 story about how this super PAC is “struggling in its early efforts to line up cash toward a fundraising goal of as much as $500 million.”

But one wonders whether the criticisms expressed in the media will sabotage Brock’s and other loyalists’ peacemaking. “If you care about your party and our country, you just do what you are asked,” said Morgan, according to Confessore and Chozick. “If you care about yourself, you take your toys and go home.” Morgan is apparently “close” to the co-chair of Priorities USA Action, Jim Messina. Messina served as President Obama’s campaign manager in 2012.

Confessore, a liberal writer/editor transplanted from Washington Monthly to The New York Times, seems to have access to a considerable circle of influential Democrats connected to the Clintons. After all, he sat down with John Podesta in 2003 and 2005. And his August 2013 exposé on mismanagement at the Clinton Foundation, co-authored with Chozick, included interviews with “more than two dozen former and current foundation employees, donors and advisers to the family”—most unwilling to speak on the record.

Like the 2013 piece, Confessore and Chozick report for the Times on February 10 that “most people interviewed for this article declined to speak on the record for fear of angering either the president or the woman who hopes to replace him.” But these persons are willing to speak to the Times about their frustrations.

“The Hillary people were more in it for themselves,” said Jonathan Alter, MSNBC political analyst, when he appeared on the February 10 Ed Schultz show on MSNBC. Alter was referring to the 2008 Democratic primary campaign against Obama. “If we get a repeat of that this time, she won`t have the passion and a genuine commitment that she needs to go the distance.”

“…what this is about is that is that there was a fundraiser who raised millions of dollars for these different groups including David Brock`s, but she was taking a 12.5 percent commission,” Alter said. Democratic strategist Bob Shrum described Mary Pat Bonner’s reported 12.5% commission as “way over the top.”

Confessore and Chozick cast this Democrat infighting differently. They describe the latest meltdown among Clinton movers and shakers as a conflict between two worlds: former Obama staffers who have been imported as strategists for Clinton, and long-time Clinton loyalists. But these writers aren’t the only ones with conflicted interests. The reality appears to be that many in the liberal media, including some reporters at The Washington Post and New York Times, want to tear Hillary and the Clintons down for being too close to Wall Street. But on the other hand, they realize that Mrs. Clinton is the overwhelming favorite to get the Democratic nomination, meaning they will undoubtedly support her when it comes down to her vying against any Republican candidate.

As I’ve reported in the past, The Washington Post—even amidst Mrs. Clinton’s “worst week in Washington” and her tone-deaf comments about being “dead broke” after leaving the White House—still gave her favorable coverage in order to ensure that a Democrat would retain the presidency. “The Post has issued wall-to-wall coverage of this subject, but most of it is about ensuring Hillary’s chances,” I wrote last July.

But when Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) launched her populist offensive in the Senate, hope sprang anew among die-hard liberals and some in the media that Mrs. Clinton, with all her baggage, might not be a shoo-in. The Post’s Paul Kane practically salivated over Sen. Warren’s presidential chances back during the December revolt. Sen. Warren has said she’s not running, but the Post continues to run articles like this: “Democrats suffering from Clinton fatigue say they’re ready for Warren.” Chozick recently described Sen. Warren as “an effective tool in moving Mrs. Clinton off message” whom Republicans favor as a candidate to create dissension within the Democratic primary.

Accuracy in Media has argued in the past that the Times’ David Kirkpatrick piece on Benghazi was a way of inoculating Mrs. Clinton while trying to make the definitive case supporting the Obama administration’s actions and justifications for Benghazi. But that obviously didn’t work, and revelations confirming the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi’s conclusions continue to break, implicating Mrs. Clinton not only for poor security preceding the 2012 Benghazi attacks, but her blind push to intervene in Libya in the first place. When Mrs. Clinton most likely appears before the Select Committee on Benghazi, an even greater spotlight will shine on her role in these attacks.

It looks like Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is very tempted to run against Mrs. Clinton from the left, and former Virginia Senator James Webb might run more or less from her right. The sharks are circling this establishment candidate; will Mrs. Clinton successfully fend them off?

And clearly others at the Times aren’t so interested in inoculating her. But in the meantime, the left is having a catfight, and it may be that some reporters are interested in stirring the pot for dramatic effect—and to cause some angst for Mrs. Clinton from their end.

Confessore’s bio from the Times states that he covers the “intersection of money, power and influence.” A visit to his Twitter page reveals that he, like many liberals, doesn’t like the Citizens United ruling very much.  His twitter feed recently stated, “Thanks to Citizens United, we can now have campaign infighting without the campaign.” He also has tweeted about the Clinton Foundation’s $81 million received from “clients of HSBC’s controversial Swiss bank.”

He also wrote an article with Chozick in July of last year which stated, “Few political families are closer to Wall Street than the ClintonsAnd the Clintons often interact with the titans of finance on the Manhattan charity circuit and during their vacations in the Hamptons.”

Could it be that at least one New York Times staffer doesn’t favor Mrs. Clinton for her entrenched, big-money establishment ties much, either? Or perhaps it’s just that Confessore, Chozick, and the Times itself want to go around poking sleeping tigers before an election to see what they can stir up.

These aren’t Mrs. Clinton’s only problems. She also has what might become known as a “Brian Williams problem,” meaning she “misremembered” coming under sniper fire on a runway in Bosnia, and she repeated the story on more than one occasion, yet there were plenty of eyewitnesses who knew it was a complete fabrication. It cost Williams his esteemed position, and a lot of money. Will Hillary pay a similar price?

Plus, former President Bill Clinton is becoming a problem again based on his being linked in the media to a sex scandal involving a good friend of his who is a convicted pedophile. It’s certainly never dull when the Clintons are involved.

02/3/15

Benghazi Hearings Provide a Glimmer of Hope

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

Last week, the Democrat Members of the Select Committee on Benghazi virtually declared war on the majority members, criticizing their pace, rules, and committee scope.

Representative Linda Sanchez (D-CA) claimed that the Select Committee was on a wild goose chase for a nonexistent “unicorn” and “nefarious conspiracy,” and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) falsely called the stand down order a “myth.”

But in what may be a turning point for the Select Committee, Republican Chairman Trey Gowdy emphasized at the January 27th hearing that “we’re gonna pick up the pace…. I have no interest in prolonging” the investigation into Benghazi.

“Letters haven’t worked. Southern politeness hasn’t worked. We’re going to ratchet it up,” he said at what members of the mainstream media, such as U.S. News and World Report, characterized as a “partisan grudge match.”

The next day Chairman Gowdy issued a statement that defied Democrats outright, arguing he “will continue to move the investigation forward in a fair and impartial manner, but…will not allow the minority’s political games and unreasonable demands to interfere with the investigation.” Rep. Gowdy said he will continue operating under the scope originally set by the House of Representatives.

This, the media preferred to coin as political failure or “out of control” politics. “The House Select Committee on Benghazi, which began with dignity last year, spun out of control Tuesday as Democrats complained that Republicans were abusing their authority and Republicans threatened to spray the Obama administration with subpoenas,” wrote Dana Milbank for The Washington Post. Milbank specializes in snarky columns criticizing and marginalizing conservatives, and even took aim at the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi for a conference held on Benghazi in 2013.

Regarding the hearing last week, the Associated Press in turn, remarked, “The partisan tone marked a sharp turnaround for a panel that had won praise for a bipartisan approach through its first two public hearings.”

The subject of the first two slow-rolling hearings was the current state of embassy security, a topic suggested by the committee’s Democratic members which had little to do with the administration’s response to the attack—and which conveniently glosses over the security failures of 2012 to emphasize present solutions instead of accountability.

MSNBC focused largely on political angles instead of substance. For Alex Seitz-Wald, it was all about Hillary Clinton. “Gowdy and Republicans had been hoping to preserve and grow the credibility of their inquiry, which is part of the reason for their assiduous avoidance of taking pot shots at Clinton Tuesday,” wrote Seitz-Wald. “But Democrats are seeking to undermine the credibility of the panel, in the hopes that it will be viewed as a partisan witch hunt if it ever demands testimony from Clinton.”

New bombshell reporting by The Washington Times shows that Clinton was the strong voice pushing to intervene in Libya in 2011 in the first place, which set the stage for the attacks. Ultimately, however, President Obama was the “Decider-in-Chief” and bears at least equal culpability.

Chairman Gowdy told Megyn Kelly of Fox News last May that he plans to subpoena Mrs. Clinton, and repeated that in December.  We now learn that the Select Committee has requested Clinton and other top State Department officials’ emails, and that Rep. Gowdy is willing to bring Clinton before the Committee just 30 days after receiving “all the [State Department] documents,” according to CNN.

Select Committee Members would also like to interview 22 persons with firsthand knowledge of Benghazi whom Congress has never spoken to before. The Associated Press reported on January 28, the day after the hearing, that State Department officials said they were ready to “commit” to interview dates for these persons.

But the press doesn’t seem interested in holding the administration accountable for the fact that the State Department waited from the December 4 request until January 28 to issue such a guarantee.

The State Department representative, Joel Rubin, said at the January hearing that a part of the committee’s relationship with the department is indicating priorities for requests—as if more resources could not be allocated to provide such information to the committee more swiftly.

Rubin, formerly of the Ploughshares Fund, also said at the hearing that he was a friend of Ambassador Chris Stevens, who died in 2012 at the U.S. Special Mission Compound in Benghazi. Rubin wrote the following for ThinkProgress that year:

“Instead of getting that support, their deaths are being used as a partisan attack on President Obama, part of a false narrative that the president failed them. What has failed them is our political system. Rather than supporting a serious, nonpartisan investigation into what took place and what went wrong, waiting to get all the facts out, conservatives are trying to affix blame for their deaths for political advantage. This is how some conservatives use terrorist attacks against America.”

Now Rubin helps guard the gates for that same President who would like this simply dismissed as a phony scandal.

Although the media, along with the Democrats, may accuse Chairman Gowdy of partisan politics as he attempts to more aggressively investigate the Benghazi attacks and the resulting cover-up, I am cautiously optimistic about his new tone.

“The letter exchanges between Gowdy and Cummings [prior to the hearing], as well as Tuesday’s hearings, should put to rest forever the fiction that this type of investigation can be conducted in some Nirvana-zone of bipartisan comity,” Kenneth Timmerman astutely wrote for Front Page Magazine.

With this new focus on government stonewalling the Committee brought the possibility of embarrassing the administration to the fore, and the backlash was palpable.

Accuracy in Media and the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi have long been critical of the Mike Rogers’ House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence report, which contains a number of factual errors and glosses over the intelligence failures leading up to the attacks. Apparently the Select Committee asked to examine the HPSCI’s research in October—and had been asking the Central Intelligence Agency for these files ever since. These files were only produced by the agency after learning that a hearing on them was scheduled.

Similarly, the State Department has produced 40,000 pages related to Benghazi, but Rubin wouldn’t answer as to whether the information provided to the Accountability Review Board was provided fully within those documents.

He also refused to say whether he thought the Select Committee was frivolous.

“If Gowdy is proceeding as a good prosecutor should, he is lining up all his ducks before he goes public with anything,” CCB member, and former CIA officer, Clare Lopez told WorldNetDaily’s Jerome Corsi last week as part of a series of articles about the CCB’s own investigations. “I think it’s premature to jump to a condemnation of the process or the committee leadership when the truth is that we don’t know,” she said.

“Delays by Gowdy are unnecessary at this time,” CCB Member and Retired General Paul Valley told Corsi after the Times’ bombshell dropped. “Gowdy can press forward now as he does have sufficient intelligence and documents to call all witnesses and issue subpoenas as necessary.”

“Additional delays will only give the obstructionists in the Obama White House, the State Department and the Democrats in Congress time to thwart the efforts of the select committee,” Vallely said.

While the administration continues to stonewall the Select Committee whenever possible, and Democrats continue to complain that the investigation isn’t bipartisan enough, the CCB will continue to search for the truth in its own citizen-led investigation.

We have already dug up some disturbing facts in our 2014 interim report, such as:

  • the administration decision to dismiss the possibility of truce talks with Moammar Qaddafi;
  • helping arm al-Qaeda-linked rebels in Libya; and
  • the inadequate military response that night.

“I don’t know if the decision came from the White House or from Hillary Clinton at the State Department,” Retired Rear Admiral Chuck Kubic told Corsi about those failed truce talks. However, Admiral Kubic said, “…the advice for me from AFRICOM was to basically just leave everything alone, to simply stand down.” Who, exactly, at the White House decided it was unnecessary to pursue truce talks with Qaddafi?

The CCB and Accuracy in Media are continuing the search for the truth with our own Freedom of Information Act initiative. Currently, the Department of Defense is withholding 12 pages of maps from us regarding the position of military forces during the attacks.

As we await our day in court, we will not stop digging for the truth through whatever means are available to us. I am encouraged by the possibility that the Select Committee might likewise now use all the powers at its disposal to force the administration to reveal what happened that night and in the aftermath, not only to its Congressional investigators, but to the public as well. America deserves answers, not more stonewalling.

01/10/15

Paris—The Latest Example of Islamic Jihadist Terrorism

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

While much of the media are doing contortions trying to explain why the latest terrorist attacks are either home grown, lone wolf, or committed by alienated youth, this misses the point. And yes, we realize that most victims of Islamic jihadists are other Muslims. Just look at the massacre in Pakistan last month of 141 individuals, including children and teachers. Or the one this week by Boko Haram in Nigeria that may have led to the death of at least 2,000.

The Islamic terrorists who attacked the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris this week, brutally murdering 12 people, were killed by authorities today. The situation is still fluid, but reports indicate that at least 15 hostages are now free, and one more terrorist may be on the loose following two hostage situations that ensued during the hunt for the terrorists. One might think that Paris—and France—might be able to breathe a sigh of relief. In reality, however, the attack on Charlie Hebdo and the two ensuing hostage situations were merely a continuation of the latest line of Islam-inspired terror attacks worldwide, be it on the Canadian Parliament; in Sydney, Australia; in Pakistan; on two policemen in New York City; or in Moore, Oklahoma.

The problem is not who these attackers are, or whether they are a card-carrying member of al Qaeda, Boko Haram, or the Islamic State—but that they are conducting such atrocious acts. Just in the U.S. and Canada alone in the last couple of months we’ve had a number of attacks occurring in the name of Allah. To the victims, and most of the rest of us, the rest doesn’t matter.

The Washington Post is reporting that Boko Haram may have executed thousands. “A video recently emerged, Genocide Watch reported, that shows gunmen shooting civilians as they lay face down in a dormitory,” reports Terrence McCoy. “A local leader explains they are ‘infidels,’ even though he admits they’re Muslim: ‘We have made sure the floor of this hall is turned red with blood, and this is how it is going to be in all future attacks and arrests of infidels. From now on, killing, slaughtering, destruction and bombings will be our religious duty anywhere we invade.’”

McCoy notes that Boko Haram’s attacks seem more “wanton” than those perpetrated by other terror groups.

These attacks are coming at such an accelerated pace today that any sort of long term solutions, such as being more responsible and not insulting Islam or the prophet Muhammad, seem futile. Do we really think anyone at the school in Pakistan or in Baga, Nigeria had slandered the prophet?

“The Religion of Peace” website has documented the Islam-motivated terrorist attacks of 2014.

The Washington Post reported on January 7th that the “Paris attack lacked hallmarks of Islamist assaults in the West,” highlighting the possibility that this was an unofficial attack “without any direct ties to groups such as al-Qaeda or the Islamic State.”

The next day, The New York Times reported that one of two attackers “suspected of killing 12 people at a satirical newspaper in Paris traveled to Yemen in 2011 and received terrorist training from Al Qaeda’s affiliate there before returning to France.”

However the media decide to parse the latest Paris attacks, these Islamic jihadis clearly have been drinking from the same toxic stream of violent ideology.

As happened with the Moore, Oklahoma beheading by Alton Nolen, the media and liberal pundits were quick to separate the Charlie Hebdo killers from Islamic ideology—going to great lengths to find a parallel with any other case they could fathom.

One guest on MSNBC’s “Now with Alex Wagner” compared Jerry Falwell’s lawsuit against Hustler Magazine to the violent murder of 12 innocent people at Charlie Hebdo, without any rebuttal coming from Wagner. Jonah Goldberg of National Review condemned this as “The Dumbest 57 Seconds Ever on TV.

I would also point to MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry’s characterization of Nolen’s beheading of a co-worker in Oklahoma as supposedly having as little to do with his alleged “workplace violence” as what he ate for breakfast. The FBI, apparently, swallowed the idea that Nolen’s attack was workplace violence, as well.

And recently, after the Charlie Hebdo attacks, Howard Dean went on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to condemn the attacks, but asserted, “I stopped calling these people Muslim terrorists. They’re about as Muslim as I am. I mean, they have no respect for anybody else’s life. That’s not what the Koran says. Europe has an enormous radical problem. I think ISIS is a cult. Not an Islamic cult. I think it’s a cult.”

“When I watch Americans use words like cowardly, barbaric, murder, outrageous, shocking, etc., to describe a violent extremist organization’s actions, we are playing right into the enemy’s hands,” said Maj. Gen. Michael K. Nagata, U.S. commander of American Special Operations forces in the Middle East, in December regarding ISIS, according to The New York Times. “They want us to become emotional. They revel in being called murderers when the words are coming from an apostate.”

The Daily Caller cited an example of The New York Times removing a section from a previously posted article that told how one of the terrorists at the Charlie Hebdo offices spared the life of a woman who was there during the attack:

“Instead, she told French news media, the man said, ‘I’m not going to kill you because you’re a woman, we don’t kill women, but you must convert to Islam, read the Quran and cover yourself,’ she recalled.”

Later on the Times altered the article, removing “but you must convert to Islam, read the Quran and cover yourself.” This is the type of political correctness that is commonplace in the media. It is not a matter of cowardice, fearful of being attacked like Charle Hebdo was, but rather an ideological, editorial decision to attempt to minimize the link to Islam.

As I asked in my recent column on the underreported and misreported stories of 2014, “What does it take to spark media outrage?… What is it going to take to end this ongoing slaughter by jihadists, acting in the name of Islam?”

In 2011, when Charlie Hebdo was firebombed for “an edition poking fun at Islam,” according to the UK Telegraph, Time Magazine’s Bruce Crumley blamed the publication for the violence perpetrated against it, writing,

“Not only are such Islamophobic antics [as publishing cartoons] futile and childish… but they also openly beg for the very violent responses from extremists their authors claim to proudly defy in the name of common good. What common good is served by creating more division and anger, and by tempting belligerent reaction?”

By such a measure the media should censor itself from publishing or disseminating the inflammatory Charlie Hebdo materials in any outlet at all. And if The Washington Post is any indication, that’s exactly what happened: it used a photograph that cleverly hides the Charlie Hebdo cover from view while featuring a copy of the publication amidst other magazines.

Ironically, a call to combat terrorism came, not from the media, but from Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al Sisi even before the attack in Paris. He made a speech that hopefully will prove to be a turning point, but don’t count on it. In his New Year’s Day address, he urged the Imams to lead a “religious revolution” against extremism. But he has a huge battle on his own turf, as he gained power after millions of Egyptians called for the removal of Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood leader who had been elected president of Egypt after the removal of Hosni Mubarak. This is but a small step forward.

As President Al Sisi said, “I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move… because this umma is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost—and it is being lost by our own hands.”

Why must such bold words come from Egypt’s president, and not our own, and other Western leaders, or from the mainstream media? Steve Emerson, of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, and a member of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi, argued that “Indeed, the responses from our own president, French President Hollande and British Prime Minster David Cameron all spouted the same empty pabulum in asserting that the Paris attack had nothing to do with Islam or any religion for that matter. But the hollow comments coming from our own leaders are steeped in the stench of appeasement and cowardice.”