Even when “60 Minutes” does a very worthwhile show, it still has to bow at the altar of political correctness. Hence, the program, “Into Dangerous Hands,” about flaws in the security clearance process, was itself flawed in a very strange way. Correspondent Scott Pelley danced around the issue of illegal leaker and former Army analyst Bradley/Chelsea Manning being a sexual pervert.
Pelley focused on three people who had security clearances and either stole and leaked classified documents or committed mass murder. They were Manning, Edward Snowden, and Aaron Alexis. Before getting into some dramatic new information about all three of them, Pelley said, “Some believe Snowden and Manning were right to expose what they saw as government abuses —like the NSA’s domestic surveillance program.”
These “some” are those who condone illegal behavior that benefits America’s enemies, such as Russia and China.
CBS interviewed a number of people who discussed terrible problems in the process of granting security clearances. One of the most significant was former Army specialist Jihrleah Showman, who supervised Bradley/Chelsea Manning in Iraq. Showman “was tasked with controlling security clearances for her unit and keeping secure facilities safe,” CBS noted. She said she had reason to doubt Manning’s loyalty to America and told her superiors she thought he was a spy. She told Pelley that even before the unit deployed to Iraq, she had grave concerns about Manning.
This is from the CBS account: “His behavior was erratic, she says, and he told her he had ‘no allegiance’ to America. But when she tried to alert her superiors, she says, she was told they couldn’t afford to lose someone with a valuable top-secret clearance.”
CBS added, “In Iraq, Manning was prone to fits of rage, Showman says, even punching her at one point. She says she also saw him bring CDs and a camera into a high-security intelligence vault, where classified material was kept. Over eight months, Manning used the CDs to record hundreds of thousands of secrets, delivering them to the website WikiLeaks. In 2013, Manning was convicted of espionage and other charges, and sentenced to 35 years in prison.”
CBS forgot to mention one thing: he was an active homosexual at the time he was in the Army.
Viewers may have gotten a hint of that, since Manning has changed his name from male to female. Pelley noted that he now considered himself a “transgender woman.” But the fact that he was an active homosexual at the time of his treachery is a big part of the story. At the time he was out of the closet and advertising his perversion, a law was still in place banning displays of open homosexuality in the Armed Forces.
Manning had been an active participant in the homosexual subculture, under the noses of his military superiors, and even went to gay bars. He advertised his homosexuality on Facebook.
However, it was known that the Obama administration was moving toward the acceptance of homosexuals in the military at that time.
We noted that Manning was a pervert who should have been booted out of the Army and should never have received a security clearance. We added, “The key question—not pursued by the media—is why Manning was allowed to remain in the Army when he was acting in violation of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ policy.”
In 2010, we asked, “Who in the Obama administration—and the Department of Defense—was aware of his conduct and looked the other way? Was Manning given a pass because his ‘lifestyle’ was considered to be in favor and acceptable under the Obama administration?”
Manning had claimed connections inside the Pentagon and the White House. But our media never followed up.
“60 Minutes” got into some of this, but still ignores the big issue—promotion of homosexuality by the Obama administration. The Department of Defense had a liberal policy about gays in the military, in deference to the wishes of the Commander-in-Chief.
Our conclusion at the time is still valid: the buck stops with President Obama, whose announced desire to overturn the homosexual exclusion policy was undoubtedly a factor in Army officials looking the other way on Manning.
Yet, in reviewing the problems in the security clearance process, Pelley never once put any blame on the President of the United States.
In addition, Pelley never mentioned another critical fact: President Obama, the person ultimately in charge of the security clearance process, did not go through any kind of security clearance background investigation at all.
The title of the piece came from Pelley’s observation that there were “shortcuts” in the security clearance process that had put American security “into dangerous hands.” One of the biggest shortcuts, or loopholes, is the failure to make sure that federal elected officials are loyal to the United States.
Former FBI agent Max Noel told me the Bureau used to investigate candidates for federal employment by analyzing Character, Associates, Reputation, and Loyalty to the United States. The first letters in those words make up the acronym CARL. Noel told me that Obama could not have been elected president if he had been subjected to the CARL test.
One reason for this has been cited by Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson, who has questioned the scrutiny he’s been given over issues in his background that occurred 40 or 50 years ago. “I do not remember this level of scrutiny for one President Barack Obama, when he was running,” Carson said. “In fact, I remember just the opposite, I remember people just said: Oh, we won’t really talk about that. We won’t talk about that relationship; well, Frank Marshall Davis, oh, we don’t want to talk about that. Bernardine Dohrn, Bill Ayers—yeah, well, he didn’t really know him. You know, all the things that Jeremiah Wright was saying—ehh, not a big problem. Goes to Occidental college, doesn’t do all that well, and somehow ends up at Columbia University. Well, I dunno. His records are sealed. Why are his records sealed? Why are you guys not interested in why his records are sealed? Why are you not interested in that? Let me ask that: Can somebody tell me why, please?”
Technically, Obama’s records haven’t been “sealed;” he has just refused to release them.
But Carson’s reference to the media being derelict in regard to investigating Obama’s communist connections, such as his mentor Frank Marshall Davis, is backed up by the evidence.
Our media don’t want to come to grips with this part of Obama’s background for several different reasons, including that it is a factor that would have prevented Obama from getting a security clearance in the government he now heads.
Before Dan Rather disgraced himself as the anchor of the CBS Evening News, there was Walter Cronkite, who paved the way for a communist takeover of South Vietnam and openly despised and attacked President Ronald Reagan’s peace-through-strength policies. Cronkite, who became an advocate of world government and a stooge of Soviet propaganda operations, is now the subject of a campaign to put his likeness on an official U.S. postage stamp.
The terrible truth about Walter Cronkite, as we noted in 2009 after his passing, is that he “symbolized liberal media bias and used that bias with disastrous consequences for our nation and the world.”
This wasn’t just our opinion. The 1974 book by Dr. Ernest W. LeFever, TV and National Defense, examined in meticulous detail how CBS News programs under Cronkite “were frequently critical of U.S. policy,” usually from a perspective that “implied or called for a lesser military commitment and lower defense expenditures.”
The CBS News bias against a strong national defense continued when President Reagan took office, after the policies of Democratic President Jimmy Carter had severely weakened America’s standing in the world.
The push for a Cronkite stamp comes at a time when Robert Redford is playing Cronkite’s successor, Dan Rather, in a movie ironically titled “Truth” and based on a lie. Rather used forged documents to smear Republican President George W. Bush’s military service.
The proposed stamp seems to be a case of the old media longing for the days when a figure like Cronkite, once known as “the most trusted man in America,” could manipulate the public and affect national policy with little, if any, dissent.
The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and the Radio Television Digital News Association are leading the campaign to have the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee, a 12-member group appointed by the postmaster general, issue a stamp in Cronkite’s honor.
As CBS Evening News anchorman, Cronkite campaigned against the American effort to save Vietnam from communism and attacked President Reagan for his anti-communist and anti-Soviet views. What was suspected during his life became known after his death. Cronkite was named in his FBI file as having been targeted in a Soviet “active measures” campaign against President Reagan’s anti-communist foreign policy.
Later in life, as if to confirm his role as an agent of influence against his own government, Cronkite made an appearance before the World Federalist Association, which favors world government financed by global taxes, and called for the U.S. to renounce “some of its sovereignty” and pass a series of United Nations treaties. Then-First Lady Hillary Clinton also appeared, via videotape, to pay tribute to the former CBS Evening News anchorman.
In 1988, Cronkite addressed a left-wing People for the American Way conference and denounced President Reagan for the “unilateral” military actions in Grenada, when the U.S. military evicted a communist gang, and Libya, when Reagan ordered a military strike in retaliation for the acts of terrorism against Americans.
Incredibly, Cronkite said that the smartest president he ever met was Jimmy Carter. The Carter presidency paved the way for the coming to power of the communist Sandinistas in Nicaragua and the Islamic zealots in Iran. Later in life, Carter became an advocate of the interests of the Arab/Muslim world against Israel.
But SPJ at-large board member Bill McCloskey told Accuracy in Media, “In my view, Walter Cronkite deserves to be commemorated by the Postal Service as were a few other prominent journalists. He had a talent for engaging the American public in the important issues of the day in a way that they could understand and digest. His talent showed particularly in his reporting on Watergate and Vietnam, two very complex stories that had great importance to his audience, which was vast. There is a reason he was known as ‘the most trusted man in America.’ Certainly Walter Cronkite fulfills the Postal Service’s goal of commemorating American history better than some of the current crop of stamps featuring stylized eagles, flowers, ducks and bunnies.”
Regarding coverage of the war in Southeast Asia, Cronkite “contributed a great deal to our defeat in Vietnam,” noted Accuracy in Media founder Reed Irvine.
As we have previously pointed out, the bloody result of the Vietnam War was 58,260 U.S. servicemen and nearly one million civilians dead. The South Vietnamese military lost about a quarter of a million, while tens of thousands of South Vietnamese allies of the U.S. were left behind after the American military withdrawal and tortured in communist camps. Thousands of others fled in leaky boats, becoming known as the “boat people.”
Nevertheless, Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication has joined the campaign to honor Cronkite, saying it is encouraging alumni, students, faculty, staff and the journalism community to write a letter of support to the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee.
Cronkite School Dean Christopher Callahan said, “Walter Cronkite is our school’s guiding light…We are rallying our network of students, alumni, faculty and friends to get behind this fantastic proposal by the Society of Professional Journalists and the Radio Television Digital News Association.”
The eagles, flowers, ducks and bunnies that the SPJ’s McCloskey says are featured on stamps are harmless. Cronkite left a legacy of suffering and death and helped destroy objective news reporting in the process. It is shocking that a journalism school is named after him and that the SPJ, which maintains an ethics code, is leading a campaign to honor the disgraced journalist.
However, a stamp in tribute to Cronkite would be on the same level as a movie honoring his disgraced successor.
After honoring Cronkite, can a stamp paying tribute to Brian Williams be far behind? Williams’ lies are penny ante compared to Cronkite’s ability to destroy a free South Vietnam, apologize for Soviet communism, and promote world government.
Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee, 475 L’Enfant Plaza SW, Room 3300, Washington, DC 20260-3501.
“Go back to Univision” is how Donald Trump handled Mexican-American “journalist” Jorge Ramos when he tried to disrupt a Trump news conference. When Hillary Clinton compared Republicans to terrorists, the Republican National Committee asked for an apology. This contrast demonstrates why Trump is doing so well and the Republican Party, in general, is doing so poorly.
On the Megyn Kelly Fox News show on Thursday night, much was made of the fact that Hillary had made her comparison between Republicans and terrorists as she was looking at her notes. In other words, Kelly and her guest concluded, it was a deliberate insult. Of course it was. Why was this a surprise? Mrs. Clinton had returned to her roots as an Alinskyite, someone who demonizes her opponents as a deliberate strategy. Why can’t conservatives get it through their heads that Hillary is a committed leftist who can be just as good as Obama when it comes to poisoning the public discourse for political purposes?
Republican National Committee (RNC) Press Secretary Allison Moore said, “For Hillary Clinton to equate her political opponents to terrorists is a new low for her flailing campaign. She should apologize immediately for her inflammatory rhetoric.”
What is the point of such a statement? Does the RNC seriously believe Hillary will consider apologizing to Republicans? What the RNC should have said is that Hillary was back to using Alinskyite tactics, which she learned about in college, and that the use of such a strategy demonstrated her grounding in a form of Marxism. The RNC could have said that the American people have had enough of these divisive tactics from Obama, who has come close to inciting a race war in the United States, and that the public cannot tolerate another un-American presidency in which a top Democrat equates political opponents to foreign enemies.
As we argued more than two months ago, you have to study Marxism to understand Hillary. It is apparent the RNC hasn’t done its opposition research. Despite her love for money, Hillary is as much of a leftist as Barack Obama. She studied Alinsky in college and went to work as an intern for a law firm that employed communists. The best source of information on this is Hell to Pay, a book on Hillary by Barbara Olson, who told me in an interview in 2000 that she expected Mrs. Clinton to run for president and that her political background made her a “budding Leninist” who understood the concept of acquiring, accumulating and maintaining political power at any cost. In the same vein, she is determined to destroy the Republicans at any cost. Joe Biden has to understand this side of Hillary. It may be one reason why he is reluctant to jump into the presidential race against her. With a history of plagiarism and embarrassing off-the-cuff remarks, Biden could be torn apart.
Hillary Clinton has the blood of four Americans on her hands over her handling of Benghazi. Yet, she compares Republicans to terrorists? And the RNC responds by asking for an apology? This is almost comical.
Trump doesn’t ask for apologies. He fires back any way he can. That’s why, despite questions about his ideology and even religious views, he strikes a chord. The American people have watched their country being destroyed from within for seven years and they are tired of politicians responding with hearings, investigations and requests for apologies. They can’t figure out why Obama hasn’t been impeached by now. They want someone to tell it like it is about the deterioration of our nation and those responsible for its demise.
What Trump has done, on so many occasions it is difficult to count, is to finger the media for their role in the destruction of America. Can you believe he actually accuses liberal reporters of being dishonest? He actually mocks and ridicules them to their faces.
Univision deserves scorn. It is a “news” organization that openly targets Trump and he has the guts to counterattack when one of Univision’s hired guns shows up at a Trump news conference for the purpose of making a spectacle of himself and trying to embarrass Trump. “Go back to Univision” is precisely the comment that Ramos deserved. If anything, one can argue that Trump was too nice for inviting the advocacy journalist back to the press conference.
The Los Angeles Times calls Ramos “the Spanish-language Walter Cronkite,” and suggests that the confrontation could somehow “prove dangerous for Trump, who thus far been something of a Teflon candidate.” This is the obligatory reference to how Trump has opened himself up to the charge of racism for putting the obnoxious Ramos in his place. Later in the article, we read that Ramos’s daughter is working for Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign, but Ramos “has said her job doesn’t affect his work.” Sure. Now we have another example of why Trump calls the media dishonest.
As for the comparison with Cronkite, the long-time CBS Evening News anchorman was as much of a fraud as Ramos. Cronkite undermined the war against communism in Vietnam and used his newscast as a soapbox to argue against President Reagan’s military buildup to counter the Soviets. Cronkite’s FBI file showed he was a dupe of the Soviet intelligence services, who could be counted on to promote Soviet objectives. After he retired, he showed up at a World Federalist meeting to accept an award and endorse world government through the United Nations. Hillary was there via videotape to thank him.
Ramos should ask for an apology from the Los Angeles Times for being compared to Walter Cronkite. I’m joking, of course. They are both disgraces to the journalism profession.
There are 4 Americans in prison in Iran for which there have been countless calls and efforts for their release. Major Garrett of CBS asked Barack Obama during a press conference if he was content with leaving those Americans behind to which Obama responded by shaming Garrett for even asking the question.
It should also be noted that the Palestinian Authority demanded that thousands of terrorists in prison in Israel be released for a scheduled round of peace talks between Israel and the PA. Barack Obama forced Israel to comply for face financial extortion. Israel complied where later many of those terrorists were re-arrested in Qatar. The betrayal continues. The secrets were effective.
Mojtaba Atarodi, arrested in California for attempting to acquire equipment for Iran’s military-nuclear programs, was released in April as part of back channel talks, Times of Israel told. The contacts, mediated in Oman for years by close colleague of the Sultan, have seen a series of US-Iran prisoner releases, and there may be more to come
The secret back channel of negotiations between Iran and the United States, which led to this month’s interim deal in Geneva on Iran’s rogue nuclear program, has also seen a series of prisoner releases by both sides, which have played a central role in bridging the distance between the two nations, the Times of Israel has been told.
In the most dramatic of those releases, the US in April released a top Iranian scientist, Mojtaba Atarodi, who had been arrested in 2011 for attempting to acquire equipment that could be used for Iran’s military-nuclear programs.
American and Iranian officials have been meeting secretly in Oman on and off for years, according to a respected Israeli intelligence analyst, Ronen Solomon. And in the past three years as a consequence of those talks, Iran released three American prisoners, all via Oman, and the US responded in kind. Then, most critically, in April, when the back channel was reactivated in advance of the Geneva P5+1 meetings, the US released a fourth Iranian prisoner, high-ranking Iranian scientist Atarodi, who was arrested in California on charges that remain sealed but relate to his attempt to acquire what are known as dual-use technologies, or equipment that could be used for Iran’s military-nuclear programs. Iran has not reciprocated for that latest release.
Solomon, an independent intelligence analyst (who in 2009 revealed the crucial role played by German Federal Intelligence Service officer Gerhard Conrad in the negotiations that led to the 2011 Gilad Shalit Israel-Hamas prisoner deal), has been following the US-Iran meetings in Oman for years. Detailing what he termed the “unwritten prisoner exchange deals” agreed over the years in Oman by the US and Iran, Solomon told The Times of Israel that “It’s clear what the Iranians got” with the release of top scientist Atarodi in April. “What’s unclear is what the US got.”
The history of these deals, though, he said, would suggest that in the coming months Iran will release at least one of three US citizens who are currently believed to be in Iranian custody. One of these three is former FBI agent Robert Levinson.
Solomon told The Times of Israel that the interlocutor in the Oman talks is a man named Salem Ben Nasser al Ismaily, who is the executive president of the Omani Center for Investment Promotion and Export Development and a close confidant of the Omani leader Sultan Qaboos bin Said.
The latter tells the fictional tale of John Wilkinson, a successful American businessman who fails in all of his business endeavors in the Gulf until he meets Sultan, who explains to him, according to the book’s promotional literature, how to forgo his hard-charging Western style and “surrender to very different values rooted in ancient tribal customs and traditions.” Those mores have been central to the murky prisoner swaps surrounding the nuclear negotiations, Solomon said.
Solomon said he identified Ismaily’s role back in September 2010, when Sarah Shourd, an American who apparently inadvertently crossed into Iran while hiking near the Iraqi border, was released, for what were called humanitarian reasons. She was delivered into Ismaily’s hands in Oman and from there was flown to the US — the first release in the series of deals brokered in Oman. One year later, in September 2011, her fiancé and fellow hiker, Shane Bauer, was set free along with their friend, Josh Fattal. The two men were also received at Muscat’s Seeb military airport by Ismaily before being flown back to the US.
The US began reciprocating in August 2012, Solomon said. It freed Shahrzad Mir Gholikhan, an Iranian convicted on three counts of weapons trafficking. Next Nosratollah Tajik, a former Iranian ambassador to Jordan — who, like Gholikhan, had been initially apprehended abroad trying to buy night-vision goggles from US agents — was freed after the US opted not to follow up an extradition request it had submitted to the British. Then, in January 2013, Amir Hossein Seirafi was released, also via Oman, having been arrested in Frankfurt and convicted in the US of trying to buy specialized vacuum pumps that could be used in the Iranian nuclear program.
Finally, in April, came the release of Mojtaba Atarodi.
The facts of his case are still shrouded. On December 7, 2011, Atarodi, a faculty member at the prestigious Sharif University of Technology (SUT) in Tehran — a US-educated electrical engineer with a heart condition, a green card and a brother living in the US — arrived at LAX and was arrested by US federal officials.
He appeared twice in US federal court in San Francisco and was incarcerated at a federal facility in Dublin, California and then kept under house arrest. The US government cloaked the contents of his indictment and released no statement upon his release. His lawyer, Matthew David Kohn, told The Times of Israel he would like to discuss the case further but that first he had to “make some inquiries” to see what he was allowed to reveal.
In January, shortly after Atarodi’s arrest, his colleagues wrote a letter to the journal Nature, protesting his detention. “We believe holding a distinguished 55-year-old professor in custody is a historical mistake and not commensurate with the image that America strives to extend throughout the world as a bastion of free scientific exchange among schools and academic institutions,” they said.
Solomon, who compiled a profile of Atarodi, believes that the scientist, prior to his arrest, played an important role in Iran’s missile and nuclear programs. Atarodi, he said, has co-authored more than 30 technical articles, mostly related to micro-electric engineering and, in 2011, won the Khwarizmi award for the design of a microchip receiver for digital photos. “That same technology,” he said, “can be used for missile guidance and the analysis of nuclear tests.”
Solomon further noted that the then-Iranian defense minister and former commander of the revolutionary guards, Ahmad Vahidi, attended the prize ceremony and that Professor Massoud Ali-Mahmoudi, an Iranian physics professor who was assassinated in 2010, was an earlier recipient of the prize.
“There is no doubt in my mind that Atarodi came to the US at the behest of the logistics wing of the IRGC [the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps],” Solomon said.
On April 26 Atarodi was flown from the US to Seeb military airbase in Oman, where he met with Ismaily, and onward to Iran. “The release of someone who holds that sort of information and has advanced strategic projects in Iran is a prize,” Solomon said. The US, said Solomon, must have already received something in return or will do so in the future.
Thus far, US-Iran prisoner swaps have been conducted in a manner utterly distinct from the old Cold War rituals, in which, as was the case with Prisoner of Zion Natan Sharansky, spies or prisoners from either side of the Iron Curtain walked across Berlin’s old Glienicke Bridge toward their respective home countries. Instead, with Iran claiming it knows nothing about the whereabouts of former FBI agent Levinson, for instance, and the US eager to show that it will not barter with hostage-takers, the deals have taken the form of a delayed quid pro quo.
There are currently three US nationals — Levinson, Saeed Abedini, and Amir Hekmati — still believed to be held in Iran.
US President Barak Obama raised the issue of the imprisoned Americans in his historic September phone call to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor, Tony Blinken, told CNN that aside from the nuclear program it was the only other issue that was brought up in the call.
The interim deal in Geneva did not include any reference to prisoner dealings. Richard Haas, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, told CNN, “you’ve got to decide how much you’re going to try to accomplish, and just tackling all the dimensions of the nuclear agreement is ambition enough.” A spokeswoman for the National Security Council added that the “talks focused exclusively on nuclear issues.”
The omission prompted the chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, Jay Sekulow, who is representing Pastor Saeed Abedini’s wife Naghmeh, to charge Obama and US Secretary of State John Kerry with turning their backs on an American citizen. On the center’s website, he called the decision “outrageous and a betrayal” and said it sends the message that “Americans are expendable.”
Abedini, who was born in Iran and later converted to Christianity, was arrested earlier this year in Iran for what would seem was strictly Christian charity work and sentenced to eight years in prison. He was recently transferred from Evin Prison, a notorious jail for political prisoners in Tehran, Sukelow wrote in a letter to Kerry, “to the even more notorious and brutal Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj.”
Amir Hekmati, a 31-year-old former Marine from Flint, Michigan, who allegedly obtained permission to visit his grandmother in Iran in 2011, was charged with espionage and sentenced to death in 2012. In September, Hekmati managed to smuggle a letter out of prison. Published in the Guardian, it contended that his filmed admission of guilt had been coerced and that his arrest “is part of a propaganda and hostage-taking effort by Iranian intelligence to secure the release of Iranians abroad being held on security-related charges.”
Levinson, a 65-year-old veteran of the FBI, was last seen on March 9, 2007, on Kish Island, Iran. According to Solomon, Levinson was stationed in Dubai at the time as part of a US task force comprised of former officers operating in the United Arab Emirates, training officials there to combat weapons trafficking, and was tempted to come to Kish for a meeting.
The last person he is known to have had contact with, and with whom he shared a room the night before his abduction, according to a Reuters article from 2007, is Dawud Salahuddin, an American convert to Islam, who is wanted in the US for murder. According to a New Yorker profile of the Long Island-born Salahuddin, he showed up at the home of Ali Akbar Tabatabai’s Bethseda, Maryland door in July 1980, dressed as a mailman, and shot Tabatabai, a Shah supporter, three times in the abdomen, killing him. From there he fled to Canada and on to Switzerland and Iran.
Salahuddin has indicated that Levinson had come to Kish to meet with him.
In September, Rouhani denied any knowledge of Levinson’s whereabouts. In an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, he said that, “We don’t know where he is, who he is. He is an American who has disappeared. We have no news of him.”
This is highly doubtful. In 2010 and 2011 Levinson’s family received a video and photographs respectively of him in captivity. In January of this year the AP reported that “despite years of denials,” many US security officials now believe that “Iran’s intelligence service was almost certainly behind the 54-second video and five photographs of Levinson that were emailed anonymously to his family.” The photos and the videos traced back to different addresses in Afghanistan and Pakistan, suggesting, perhaps, that Levinson, the longest-held hostage in US history, was imprisoned in Balochistan, a desert region spanning the borders of Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
On Tuesday, Levinson’s son Dan wrote a column in the Washington Post calling Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif “well-respected men committed to the goodwill of all human beings, regardless of their nationality.”
Several hours later, White House Spokesman Jay Carney published a statement saying that the US government welcomes the assistance “of our international partners” in attempting to bring Levinson home and, he added, “we respectfully ask the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to assist us in securing Mr. Levinson’s health, welfare, and safe return.”
As was the case with the Geneva negotiations, and as is likely happening with the upcoming round of talks regarding Syria, there is good reason to believe, and in this case to hope, that the movements played out under the spotlights of the international stage have been choreographed well in advance, perhaps in the sea-side city of Muscat, under the careful tutelage of Salem Ben Nasser al Ismaily.
Update: Born in Kuwait, naturalized citizen. Was living in Hixson, TN at the time of the murders. His vehicle had a large cache of small arms.
He apparently worked for the City of Chattanooga as an unarmed security officer in the Stormwater Management Division and wrote a letter to President to GW Bush and that link is here.
Muhammad Youssef Abdulzeez from Arizona where public records show Abdulzeez is approximately 24 years old and a native of Phoenix. Abdulzeez has no prior criminal record, except a 2013 traffic violation.
Rest in Peace
Here’s the new Pentagon statement on the killing of four Marines in Chattanooga:
“We can confirm that four DoD servicemembers were tragically killed and one wounded in two separate shootings in Chattanooga, Tennessee today. The shootings took place at a Network Operations Support Center operated by the U.S. Navy and at an armed forces recruiting center. Names of the deceased will be released following next of kin notification. We are working with local and federal authorities. We will provide additional information as it becomes available.”
The killer was from Phoenix and immediately the FBI and law enforcement in Chattanooga called this an act of domestic terror.
For additional photos of the shooter who is alleged to have had contact with the Garland, Texas shooters, click here.
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — A gunman unleashed a barrage of gunfire at two military facilities Thursday in Tennessee, killing at least four Marines and wounding a soldier and a police officer, officials told CBS News. The suspect also was killed.
Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said five people died in all, including the gunman. Two law enforcement sources told CBS News that the shooting suspect was identified as Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez.
Five people are dead, including the gunman, and three injured in two shootings at military facilities in Chattanooga, Tennessee
U.S. Attorney Bill Killian said officials were treating the attacks as an “act of domestic terrorism,” though FBI Special Agent in Charge Ed Reinhold said authorities were still investigating a motive.
Officials told CBS News correspondent David Marin that four U.S. Marines were among the dead and another was injured. The U.S. Marines released a statement saying that the injured Marine was a recruiter who treated and released after sustaining a wound to the leg.
A police officer also was shot in the ankle and is expected to be ok.
“Lives have been lost from some faithful people who have been serving our country, and I think I join all Tennesseans in being both sickened and saddened by this,” Gov. Bill Haslam said.
A facility 7 miles away on Old Lee Highway also was attacked. Brian Lepley, a spokesman with the U.S. Army Recruiting Command in Fort Knox, Kentucky, said his recruiters there were told by law enforcement that the shooter was in a car, stopped in front of the facility, shot at the building and drove off.
The Army recruiters at the facility told Lepley they were not hurt and had evacuated; Lepley said he had no information about recruiters for the other branches at the facility.
Sgt. 1st Class Robert Dodge, 36, is the center leader for U.S. Army recruiting at the facility on Old Lee Highway. He said four Army personnel were in the office at the time. He said the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and National Guard all have their own offices right next to each other. Around 10:30 or 10:45 a.m., Dodge and the others heard a gunshot, “which kind of sparked our attention,” he said.
“Shortly after that, just a few seconds, the shooter began shooting more rounds. We realized it was an actual shooting,” he said. They then got on the ground and barricaded themselves in a safe place. Dodge estimated there were 30 to 50 shots fired.
He did not see the shooter or a vehicle.
The Army recruiting office was not damaged, but doors and glass were damaged at the neighboring Air Force, Navy and Marine offices.
Reinhold said all the dead were killed at the Navy Operational Support Center and Marine Corps Reserve Center Chattanooga. It sits between Amnicola Highway and a pathway that runs through Tennessee RiverPark, a popular park at a bend in the Tennessee River northeast of downtown Chattanooga. It’s in a light industrial area that includes a Coca-Cola bottling plant and Binswanger Glass.
The two entrances to the fenced facility have unmanned gates and concrete barriers that require approaching cars to slow down to drive around them.
“I couldn’t even begin to tell you how many,” she said. “It was rapid fire, like pow pow pow pow pow, so quickly. The next thing I knew, there were police cars coming from every direction.”
She ran inside, where she remained locked down with other employees and a customer. The gunfire continued with occasional bursts she estimated for 20 minutes.
“We’re apprehensive,” Hutcheson said. “Not knowing what transpired, if it was a grievance or terroristic related, we just don’t know.”
They’ve seen dozens of emergency vehicles rush by: bomb teams, SWAT teams, and state, local and federal authorities.
The Armed Forces Career Center on Lee Highway sits in a short strip between a Cricket Wireless and an Italian restaurant with no apparent additional security.
Near the other shooting location on Lee Highway, Nicholas Donohue heard a blast of gunshots while working at Desktop Solutions. But he had music playing and wasn’t quite sure what the noise had been. He turned off the music and seconds later, a second blast thundered. He took shelter in a back room.
“Even though it knew it was most likely gunfire I heard, you also don’t want to believe it’s happening in the moment,” he said. “Since I didn’t see anything, I couldn’t be sure.”
By the time he emerged, police were cordoning off the area.
What is surprising about the latest George Stephanopoulos controversy is that most of the media are treating it as something unusual rather than an acknowledgement of a problem that’s been plaguing the media for decades. We at Accuracy in Media are happy to see this issue receive the scrutiny it deserves. However, anyone convinced that Stephanopoulos’s ongoing political conflict of interest and failure to disclose it to his viewers is the exception, not the rule, hasn’t been paying attention to a long history of media corruption.
Stephanopoulos interviewedClinton Cash author Peter Schweizer on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos on April 26. But the ABC host, formerly a Senior Advisor on Policy and Strategy, and unofficial hatchet-man, for President Bill Clinton, treated his broadcast as more of an interrogation than an interview in an effort to discredit Schweizer and defend, in turn, the Clintons. A real interview would have endeavored to understand Schweizer’s critique of the Clintons, not demand to see a “smoking gun” or “evidence” of a crime.
Stephanopoulos’s conflict of interest was blown wide open by an excellent outfit, The Washington Free Beacon, which started the ball rolling when it contacted ABC News about Stephanopoulos’s donations to the Clinton Foundation. ABC’s spokeswoman, Heather Riley, said that they would respond, but then turned first to a friendly ally—Politico—to spin the story favorably for the network and its golden boy.
“I thought that my contributions were a matter of public record,” said Stephanopoulos in his apology. “However, in hindsight, I should have taken the extra step of personally disclosing my donations to my employer and to the viewers on air during the recent news stories about the Foundation.”
ABC News initially incorrectly stated that he had given only $50,000 to the Clinton Foundation—an amount he later amended to $75,000 over three years.
But there’s more, much more.
The Washington Free Beacon’s Andrew Stiles reported that Ms. Riley “worked in the White House press office from 1997 to 2000,” including serving “as a press contact for then-First Lady Hillary Clinton.”
But beyond that, Schweizer followed up on the week’s revelations, and found that Stephanopoulos’s ties with the Clinton Foundation were much closer than just cutting checks to the foundation. Schweizer called it “the sort of ‘hidden hand journalism’ that has contributed to America’s news media’s crisis of credibility in particular, and Americans’ distrust of the news media more broadly.”
He pointed out that Stephanopoulos “did not disclose that in 2006 he was a featured attendee and panel moderator at the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI).” Nor did he “disclose that in 2007, he was a featured attendee at the CGI annual meeting, a gathering also attended by several individuals I report on in Clinton Cash, including mega Clinton Foundation donors Lucas Lundin, Frank Giustra, Frank Holmes, and Carlos Slim—individuals whose involvement with the Clintons I assumed he had invited me on his program to discuss.” And on it goes.
Stephanopoulos inadvertently revealed in another setting what donations such as his are all about. “But everybody also knows when those donors give that money—and President Clinton or someone, they get a picture with him—there’s a hope that it’s going to lead to something. And that’s what you have to be careful of,” Stephanopoulos said to Jon Stewart about Schweizer’s theory on April 28. “Even if you don’t get an action, what you get is access and you get the influence that comes with access and that’s got to shape the thinking of politicians. That’s what’s so pernicious about it.”
“Could Stephanopoulos, who is also ABC News’s chief anchor and political correspondent, be hoping for access to and exclusives from Bill and Hillary, giving him a competitive edge during the 2016 presidential campaign?” asks Lloyd Grove for The Daily Beast.
On the May 15 broadcast of Good Morning America Stephanopoulos “apologized” again—while patting himself on the back for supporting children, the environment, and efforts to stop the spread of AIDS. “Those donations were a matter of public record, but I should have made additional disclosures on air when I covered the foundation, and I now believe that directing personal donations to that foundation was a mistake,” he said. “Even though I made them strictly to support work done to stop the spread of AIDS, help children, and protect the environment in poor countries, I should have gone the extra mile to avoid even the appearance of a conflict.”
The extra mile?
This is, basically, the same argument the Clintons and their Foundation have put forth to explain their conflicts of interest or “errors,” after having taken millions of dollars from companies and countries that had business with the U.S. government while Mrs. Clinton served as Secretary of State. Their failure to disclose many of these donations resulted in them refiling their tax returns for five years, once the obvious conflicts of interest came to light.
In reality the Clinton Foundation gives about 10% of what it collects to direct charitable grants, according to a study by The Federalist, as reported in National Review. “It looks like the Foundation—which once did a large amount of direct charitable work—now exists mainly to fund salaries, travel, and conferences,” writes David French. The study pointed out that “Between 2011 and 2013, the organization spent only 9.9 percent of the $252 million it collected on direct charitable grants.” In other words, less than $10,000 of the money that Stephanopoulos paid as tribute to the Clintons went to the causes he claims to care about.
Stephanopoulos has removed himself from the ABC-sponsored Republican presidential primary debate next February. Yet he simultaneously claimed, “I think I’ve shown that I can moderate debates fairly.” His decision to not participate ignores the bigger picture.
As we have pointed out, the incestuous relationships between the Democrats and media are almost endless. It’s not just ABC’s Sunday show, but the two other main broadcast networks that also feature highly partisan Democrats as hosts. NBC’s Meet the Press host Chuck Todd “served as a staffer on Democratic Senator Tom Harkin’s 1992 presidential bid,” according to Politico. John Dickerson, the new host of CBS’s Face the Nation gave the following advice to President Barack Obama in 2013: “The president who came into office speaking in lofty terms about bipartisanship and cooperation can only cement his legacy if he destroys the GOP. If he wants to transform American politics, he must go for the throat.”
Stephanopoulos says he should have announced his conflict of interest. If such announcements become commonplace, which they should, where exactly will that end? Should CBS News announce each and every time it broadcasts news about President Obama’s foreign policy or national security issues that the president of CBS News is actually the brother of White House Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes? Or should ABC News have regularly disclosed that its former ABC News President Ben Sherwood had a sister with the Obama White House? She still works with the Obama administration. And, NBC? That’s the network of Al Sharpton, Brian Williams, Chris Matthews and Rachel Maddow. Need I say more?
Chris Harper, formerly of ABC News, has posted his views, along with those of other mostly liberal former ABC News people, as cited by Kevin Williamson of National Review: “During the 15 years we worked for ABC News,” wrote Harper, “we remember that we had to sign a yearly disclosure of gifts worth more than $25 and contributions. Perhaps these documents no longer exist in the muddled world of TV news.”
Added Harper: “Mr. Stephanopoulos has few defenders among his former colleagues. According to a Facebook page, ABCeniors, the rather liberal bunch of former network staffers discussed the problems with his contributions. ‘That shows either indifference or arrogance. Or a nice cocktail of both,’ wrote one former ABC hand. A former producer noted: ‘He knew what he was doing, and he didn’t want us to know. That’s deceit.’”
Geraldo Rivera recalled that he had been fired from ABC back in 1985 because of a $200 political donation. At least that was the reason given at the time. Rivera wondered why Stephanopoulos was being treated differently: “The point is ABC treated my undisclosed $200 donation harshly because the network wanted me out for that unrelated reason,” Rivera continued. “Now ABC is bending over backward to minimize and forgive George Stephanopoulos’s $75,000 donation to the Clinton Foundation because he is central to the network’s recent success.”
Former ABC News reporter Carole Simpson said Sunday on CNN’s Reliable Sources that she “was dumbfounded.”
“But I wanted to just take him by the neck and say, George, what were you thinking?
“And clearly, he was not thinking. I thought it was outrageous, and I am sorry that, again, the public’s trust in the media is being challenged and frayed because of the actions of some of the top people in the business.”
She added that “there’s a coziness that George cannot escape the association. He was press secretary for President Clinton. That’s pretty close. And while he did try to separate himself from his political background to become a journalist, he really is not a journalist. Yet, ABC has made him the face of ABC News, the chief anchor. And I think they’re really caught in a quandary here.” She believes that ABC, despite their public support for Stephanopoulos, is “hopping mad” at him.
When the left has conflicts of interest involving money, the media allow the perpetrators—including themselves—to portray this as charity and supporting good causes. “[NBC’s Brian] Willams wrapped himself in the flag; Stephanopoulos cloaked himself in charity,” writes Grove. MSNBC identified 143 journalists making political donations between 2004 and the start of the 2008 campaign. “Most of the newsroom checkbooks leaned to the left: 125 journalists gave to Democrats and liberal causes,” according to NBC News.
But when conservatives are shown to have financial conflicts of interest, or even to have accepted legitimate campaign donations, they are generally portrayed as serving the interests of evil, greedy businessmen or lobbyists who are paying off politicians to allow them to pollute, destroy the environment, fatten up defense contractors and avoid paying taxes.
“As you know, the Democrats have said this is—this is an indication of your partisan interest. They say… you used to work for …President Bush as a speechwriter. You’re funded by the Koch brothers,” Stephanopoulos told Schweizer during the interview, casting the author as biased. Stephanopoulos, however, they want us to believe, is just an impartial journalist inquiring after the truth.
This is what happens when you have a corrupt media that don’t play fair, but instead put their thumb on the fairness scale to tilt it towards their partisan interests.
It’s strange that the liberals in the media who always complain about Joe McCarthy once having a list of communists in government are so quick to cite the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of so-called right-wing extremists or “haters.”
With the help of the media, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is setting people up for terrorist attacks inside the United States. Pamela Geller is the latest on the list of the SPLC that has now been targeted for death by the jihadists. ISIS says “…we will send all our Lions to achieve her slaughter.”
ISIS is angry that Geller, an opponent of jihad, has defended the First Amendment right of free speech against Islamic Sharia law.
In response, ISIS tried to massacre people at Geller’s Muhammad cartoon contest in Texas on Sunday. Two terrorists were killed and an unarmed security guard protecting the event was shot in the leg.
It’s an open secret that ISIS can get locations for its targets from the SPLC website. That’s how homosexual militant Floyd Corkins discovered the location of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. and showed up at its headquarters, opening fire on a security guard. He had hoped to conduct a massacre of FRC staff.
Indeed, Corkins told the FBI after the shooting that he intended to “kill as many as possible” and smear the 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches he was carrying in the victims’ faces. Chick-fil-A had been in the news because its CEO had defended traditional marriage.
As we noted in a previous column, “The SPLC targets its critics by name…labeling them ‘hate groups’ and running photographs of officers and employees so they can more easily be identified.”
The SPLC sends its “intelligence reports” around the country, listing people and groups by name with their locations. This puts the leaders of these groups and their families at risk of terrorist attack.
Rather than express disgust with this tactic, the media regard the SPLC as somehow a credible source of information.
This brings a human face to the slogan “if it bleeds, it leads,” and makes the media complicit in the planned jihad on American soil and its victims.
The SPLC exercises what journalist James Simpson calls “partisan tolerance,” which means conservatives and Christians must be demonized and destroyed. On the other hand, anyone on the left is acceptable. That’s why the SPLC hailed the “educational” work of Weather Underground terrorist bomber Bill Ayers.
As the leading spear-carrier in the cultural Marxist war on America, the SPLC is one of the most despicable groups on the political scene these days, and yet it is accepted by the media as somehow authoritative and respectable.
No matter how many times the group is exposed for sloppy research and money-making scams, it is still considered a source of legitimate information by some in the media.
That’s why its apparent role in the targeting for death of Pamela Geller has to be highlighted and exposed. News organizations are helping terrorist groups by giving the SPLC unwarranted sympathy and publicity.
ISIS has figured out that all it has to do in order to identify their critics is go to the SPLC website and search its “hate map” and various “lists” of so-called extremists. The SPLC makes it easy for terrorists to wage jihad on American soil.
Yet, for a time, the Obama/Holder Justice Department and its FBI openly collaborated with the SPLC. For example, Judicial Watch discovered that SPLC head Morris Dees had appeared as the featured speaker at a “Diversity Training Event” on July 31, 2012, at the Department of Justice. The FBI has even listed the SPLC as a credible source of information on “hate crimes.”
The SPLC tends to focus its critical attention on opponents of radical Islam and critics of the homosexual agenda.
The media’s reliance on this organization was disclosed publicly by the hapless Bob Schieffer on a recent “Face the Nation” episode when he interviewed Tony Perkins of the FRC and began by noting, “You and your group have been so strong in coming out…against gay marriage that the Southern Poverty Law Center has branded the Family Research Council an anti-gay hate group. We have been inundated by people who say we should not even let you appear because they, in their view, quote, ‘You don’t speak for Christians.’ Do you think you have taken this too far?”
This comment proves that Schieffer has lost it as a newsman. Did he even bother to investigate the SPLC? Was he aware of the terrorist attack on the FRC offices inspired by the SPLC?
Simply because the homosexuals inundated the CBS switchboard, Schieffer felt compelled to take their objections seriously. This is not the usual way journalism is done. But it’s the way liberals in the media operate. Their ignorance is astounding.
Geller understands what is happening and frames the issue this way: “Truth is the new hate speech.”
The media need to educate themselves quickly about how they are playing into the hands of not only the SPLC but the terrorists who are targeting enemies on American soil.
This assumes, of course, that the media do not want to inspire more violence in America.
Typically, the liberal media describe the SPLC as a “civil rights organization.”
In a report, Simpson defines partisan tolerance as expressing “partisan hatred for everything non-leftist,” noting that it “seeks to actively muzzle the views of the majority.” This lies behind the labeling of conservatives and Christians as extremists or “haters.”
He notes that the concept of partisan tolerance is associated with cultural Marxist Herbert Marcuse and is based on “an extreme arrogance that assumes they are infallible in their utopian fantasies, and have the right to impose their will on us no matter what we think.” The notion that all positions incompatible with leftist designs can and must be suppressed is at “the heart” of their worldview, Simpson points out.
He adds, “The idea was further developed in Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, especially rule 13: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. Alinsky popularized the tactic, but Marcuse invented the concept.”
In the ISIS message targeting Geller for death, the group said, “The next six months will be interesting…May Allah send his peace and blessings upon our prophet Muhammad and all those who follow until the last Day.”
It’s time for the media to stop encouraging the bloodshed.
The reaction among responsible black and white law-abiding citizens to the black thugs rioting in Baltimore was captured by Toya Graham, the black mother who smacked her son around when she found him on the streets joining the attacks on police. Even liberals in the major media applauded her efforts.
“I don’t want him to be a Freddie Gray,” she told CBS News, referring to her son and the black youth who died under mysterious circumstances while in police custody.
CBS reported, “Graham, a single mom with six children, denounced the vandalism and violence against police officers. She said rioting in Baltimore is no way to go about getting justice for Freddie Gray and that she doesn’t want that life for her son.”
Graham then appeared on the CBS This Morning Show to discuss the incident and the struggle to raise her children.
The important teaching moment represented by this dramatic incident, a brief moment of sanity in the media, undercut the left-wing effort to somehow blame the police for the riots. As a result, the “progressives” had to go on the attack against the black mother.
Over at Think Progress, the blog of the pro-Obama Center for American Progress, Graham was attacked as a “misguided” mother who exercised bad judgment in holding her son accountable. Writer Kira Lerner said the issue was alleged police violence, not rioting in the streets by black youth.
She quoted a woman with a group opposed to “police brutality” as saying that “While she doesn’t condone the looting that was highlighted by the media in Baltimore Monday night, she said she understands where the violent protesters are coming from.”
Meanwhile, over at Hot Air, a piece by Noah Rothman ran under the headline, “Don’t let urban unrest derail conservative criminal justice reform.” While the riots were underway, he insisted that “a consensus opinion” had emerged on both the left and the right in favor of getting soft on criminals and letting more of them out of prison.
In the wake of what has happened in Baltimore and Ferguson, the Republican primary electorate might be tempted to embrace a “tough on crime” candidate, but “That would be a mistake,” Rothman informed Hot Air readers.
What’s more, he lectured them, the war on drugs has “failed” and there is no alternative to letting “non-violent offenders” out of prison.
In fact, the war on drugs did not fail. David Evans, a special advisor to the Drug Free America Foundation, notes that marijuana use went down among young people by 25 percent from the advent of the Reagan administration’s “Just Say No” campaign to the inauguration of President Obama. “If we had had a reduction in any other health problem in the U.S. of 25 percent, we would consider it an outstanding success,” he said.
Being “tough on crime” is precisely what many observers, including that courageous Baltimore mom, have concluded needs to be done in the inner cities.
Going soft was precisely what the Baltimore mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, had done, accounting for the weak police response to the riots. Former police officer Michael Tremoglie points out that the Baltimore police knew that the mayor had said she wanted “protesters” protected and room furnished for them to “destroy,” and that “They knew that the DOJ [Department of Justice] was ‘monitoring’ what was occurring during the riots.”
Hot Air, which claims to be the most heavily-trafficked conservative blog on the Internet, has emerged as a forum for pro-marijuana and soft-on-crime viewpoints, most of them articulated by Rothman, a former libertarian writer for Mediaite.
It is certainly true that the Rothman perspective on “criminal justice reform” has been embraced on the left.
As Accuracy in Media noted recently, in an article about a “criminal justice reform” conference held in Washington, D.C., there is a White House-directed effort to enlist conservatives to join with various progressive organizations to weaken laws against a series of violent and non-violent crimes.
Hillary Clinton joined the campaign on Wednesday, saying that “It’s time to end the era of mass incarceration.”
Some readers at Hot Air were astounded by the advice given by Rothman, who cited the Obama Justice Department as a reliable source of information on criminal justice issues, including alleged police violence.
One said, “Isn’t it great when we can come to Hot Air to read some halfwit ‘conservative’ columnist agree with Eric Holder about root causes?”
Another said, “I don’t think this is a very timely post. At least not whilst the animals are burning, looting, robbing, raping, killing each other and forming alliances with opposing gang bangers to destabilize the structure of society.”
Still another called attention to Heather MacDonald’s piece in the New York Post, “The Perilous New Push to Excuse Lawlessness,” as being “a hundred times better than Noah’s.” The writer said, “She’s an actual conservative who lived through the times when ‘law and order’ were questionable values, and conservatives had to fight hard to implement them.”
MacDonald had referred to “a wide-ranging movement [which] is already under way to transform the criminal justice system in order to avoid a disparate impact on blacks.” But since blacks commit a disproportionate amount of the crime, she said that fulfilling this promise “would require gutting murder statutes, and most other criminal laws,” and that the country’s two-decade-long crime drop would be in jeopardy.
Despite cities like Ferguson and Baltimore going up in flames and the rare story of a mother like Toya Graham making a plea for law-and-order, the liberal media are going to make sure that the movement for criminals’ rights that now operates under the goal of achieving “criminal justice reform” will get the lion’s share of the publicity.
Indeed, Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” just ran a favorable story about the “Coalition for Public Safety,” which is trying to make the ACLU sound like a reasonable organization conservatives can work with. Based on what was reported, it looks like some conservative groups are taking the bait.
Their slogan is, “We’re here, we’re queer. We’re on deadline.” But on April 16th, when the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) held their 2015 “Headlines & Headliners” fundraiser in New York City, they were cheering a strip-tease performer from Chippendales.
Chippendales strippers usually perform for sex-starved women. This time the audience consisted of sex-starved gay men.
It was an eye-opening experience that included stars from CNN, MSNBC and Fox News. The emcee was Javier “Javi” Morgado, Executive Producer at CNN’s “New Day” program, who introduced the live auction of two VIP seats at the Las Vegas Chippendales show. He’s a former board member of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association. Tyson Beckford, who has joined Chippendales in Las Vegas as their celebrity guest host, participated in the live auction, encouraging higher bids.
I paid the $150 ticket price to get into the event. This isn’t the first time I had covered and filmed the event, and I never encountered any problems in the past. But this time the group told me to leave. My own video shows the confrontation.
The National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association is financed by all of the major media organizations, from MSNBC and CNN on the left to Fox News on the right. It has issued a “Stylebook” to advise news organizations on how to use “lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender terminology.” For example, you are not supposed to use the term “ex-gay,” even though thousands of former homosexuals do exist. The gay “Stylebook” warns that the term “ex-gay” is “mostly rooted in conservative religions” and has been “generally discredited as therapy in scientific circles.”
That this is complete nonsense can be demonstrated by the well-known case of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray. For years she publicly called herself a lesbian, even writing an essay titled, “I Am a Lesbian.” But she got married to de Blasio and has two kids. The gay “Stylebook” is why you rarely see interviews with ex-gays on the air. They are not supposed to exist.
The National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association event was actually a public event, in the sense that tickets were available to anybody who bought them. That’s how I got in. In addition to the ticket prices and the financial sponsorship from big media organizations, the auction sold special VIP access to such programs as Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN. Other auction items included MSNBC star Rachel Maddow’s book, access to the MSNBC “Morning Joe” program, an “adults only” stay at a hotel and spa, and two tickets to “Late Night with Seth Meyers.”
This year’s event was different because of the inclusion of a live auction of two VIP seats to the Las Vegas performance of Chippendales. The auction price went up and up until, finally, at around $1,500 the vacation was sold.
CNN had a big contingent that included its president, Jeff Zucker, and correspondents Brian Stelter, John Berman, Christine Romans, Richard Quest and Brooke Baldwin.
MSNBC sent Contessa Brewer and Willie Geist. Gerri Willis from Fox News was there.
The mix of attendees shows that, on the matter of gay rights, there’s no competition among the big media. They’re on the same side.
I filmed the strip-tease auction and wanted to film the main speech by Meredith Vieira, the day-time talk show host, but was approached by someone with the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association who said I would have to stop filming. I refused and suggested calling the cops. Then, I was approached by Matthew Berger of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, who was accompanied by the building’s security guard. Berger insisted it was a private event that I couldn’t film. I noted that I had filmed it two years ago with no resistance.
Berger is a former reporter for NBC News and the National Journal who went to work for Dezenhall Resources dealing with “crisis communications.” Berger definitely had a crisis on his hands this time.
It may have been the videos of this event that I had taken in the past which had caused the group a problem. Those videos featured a big media star, Natalie Morales of NBC News, boasting about how they had changed public opinion in favor of gay marriage. Natalie Morales declared, “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.” These comments seem to cast doubt on the idea of a “fair and balanced” media on the gay rights matter.
Not wanting to cause a physical confrontation, I eventually agreed to stop filming. But according to others who covered the event and recorded the remarks, Meredith Vieira described the next phase of the campaign.
“The transgender community continues to make strides to gain greater acceptance with more portrayals in the mainstream media,” she said. “This past year we saw Laverne Cox make history as the first transgender person to grace the cover of Time magazine, the series ‘Transparent’ on Amazon won two Golden Globes and next week Bruce Jenner breaks his silence in an interview with Diane Sawyer about what many expect to be an open conversation about his transitioning…It is because of organizations like NLGJA that push for fair and accurate coverage of the LGBT community that we are where we are today, continuing to educate decision makers in newsrooms to sensitively cover the issues confronting each and every one of us.”
Of course, the group is not promoting “fair and accurate” coverage at all. Their gay “Stylebook” dictates coverage of the issue to benefit the seemingly endless parade of sexual minorities.
The next stop, as Vieira made clear, is the “rights” of the transgendered. “Bruce Jenner: the Interview” is scheduled to air on April 24.
At the same time, CBS’ soap opera, “The Bold & the Beautiful,” has unveiled a transgender story line about what the New York Daily News describes as one of the show’s most popular female characters, fashion model Maya Avant, being born male.
After the transgendered get their rights, what’s next? My bet is on special coverage for members of the “leather community” who practice forms of sexual bondage. There is actually a New York Bondage Club where people can get tied up, punched, wrapped, or tied down on a cross.
I’m sure The Huffington Post, always on top of the latest bizarre sexual trends, will be updating us on the demands for the rights of those engaged in this “alternative lifestyle.” Indeed, the publication has run several stories about this perversion, even one about the show “Ellen” featuring NBC’s Matt Lauer in bondage gear.
As someone “schooled” by Communist Frank Marshall Davis, a pornographer and pedophile, it is possible that President Obama will extend these bondage practitioners special rights before he leaves office.
When the CBS show “Madam Secretary” premiered last September, there was much speculation and hand-wringing about whether or not the title character, Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord played by Tea Leoni, was inspired by Hillary Clinton, and if this show was meant as a long-running political ad humanizing Hillary Clinton. Such an effort might help make her ascension to the White House seem plausible, if not inevitable.
Despite the denials, it seems clear that “Madam Secretary” was just such an effort, and still is. But in the few episodes I’ve watched, I haven’t seen much of what we know of the real Hillary. “If I had the power to fire her, I would have fired her,” commented her long-time critic Jerome Zeifman in 1998, reflecting upon Mrs. Clinton’s political maneuvers during the impeachment of President Richard Nixon.
Mrs. Clinton is a prima donna who travels like a rock star, and who puts herself above the law, presenting herself as a great fighter for women’s rights—yet in her own life she stood by her man, who has cheated on her for decades, and has been credibly accused of forcing himself on women who wanted nothing to do with him. In addition, Mrs. Clinton has, through her foundation, collected money from countries that deprive their women of their basic human rights. “But the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation has accepted tens of millions of dollars in donations from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Algeria and Brunei—all of which the State Department has faulted over their records on sex discrimination and other human-rights issues,” reported The New York Times this month. So besides the hypocrisy issue, her conflicts of interest are quite extraordinary.
Hollywood elites strive not only to shape American culture, but also to promote their left-wing agenda. While CBS is engaging in propaganda to support of Hillary Clinton, it is also attempting to not-so-subtly condition the American people to accept a badly-flawed Iranian nuclear deal crafted in Washington. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry hope to impose this nuclear deal on the world in the name of stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons. But based on what we know about the deal, and the concessions made to the Iranians, it is more likely that the opposite will occur.
The current storyline on the CBS show has the fictional Madam Secretary traveling to Iran to attempt to save the Iranian nuclear deal—just days before the actual deal is about to be foisted on the world. There she met with the “moderate” Iranian foreign minister, Zahed Javani. At the end of the show, she went on CBS’s Face the Nation, and who was the host? None other than Bob Schieffer—playing the role of Bob Schieffer.
And keep in mind, President Obama’s Deputy National Security Adviser is Ben Rhodes, whose brother David Rhodes happens to be president of CBS News. But since “Madam Secretary” is produced by the entertainment division—not news—that couldn’t have been a factor. Could it?
Here was the closing dialogue from last Sunday night’s episode, with Leoni’s character appearing on Face the Nation to discuss what happened on her trip to Iran, and to explain why it was so necessary and so important to the American people:
Bob Schieffer (BS): Madame Secretary, you made an unprecedented trip to Iran to save the nuclear deal between the Iranians and the United States.
Madam Secretary (MS): Yes, I did.
BS: And while you were there, of course, a coup, that was eventually foiled, began. You were in the room when the foreign minister Javani was killed.
(MS): That’s right.
BS: Who else was there and what happened?
(MS): We were at minister Javani’s house when it happened. Several members of my security detail were wounded or killed. And their courage was awe-inspiring. And I deeply mourn their loss, as does the entire country. Minister Javani’s son witnessed his father’s death. As a mother I would have given anything to protect that child. Which is why I am determined as ever to see through the nuclear agreement that his father gave his life for. Because I think that’s our greatest responsibility in this life. To leave a safer and more peaceful world for our children.
BS: Madame Secretary, thank you.
(MS): Thank you Bob.
You can watch most of that scene in this video, in which Schieffer says that if most of the guests he has on his show were “as direct and as honest” as Madam Secretary was, they would be a lot better off. Schieffer is confusing fact with fiction.
Leoni wasn’t being “direct” and “honest” on camera. She was merely repeating a fictional dialogue that she was given to memorize as an actress. This was propaganda, in which Schieffer was an active participant in trying to convince the audience about the wonderful peace dividends we should expect from a successful deal with Iran.
“I may send this around to Capitol Hill and say if you want to be on Face the Nation, this is how you should act,” said Schieffer.
The fictional Foreign Minister Zahed Javani parallels Iran’s current foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, who, apparently, wants a really good deal for all sides—while all those hard-liners are sitting in the background demanding more from the deal, such as an immediate end to sanctions. So, the narrative goes, America should align itself with the Iranians who just want peace like we do, the ones who have our interests at heart.
“Iran’s Supreme leader Ali Khamenei called for ‘Death to America’ on Saturday, a day after President Barack Obama appealed to Iran to seize a ‘historic opportunity’ for a nuclear deal and a better future, and as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry claimed substantial progress toward an accord,” reports the Times of Israel. The Los Angeles Times ran news of this under the title, “As crowd chants ‘Death to America,’ Khamenei backs nuclear talks.”
The Iranians also blew up a replica of a U.S. aircraft carrier last month, and their government regularly conducts cyber attacks against our country. Is this part of their charm offensive to get Americans to support the deal, or is it complete disdain for America and its leaders?
Of course “Madam Secretary” is just fiction, and any resemblance to the real life negotiations is purely coincidental. Who could possibly think otherwise?
Let’s be clear, almost everyone desires a world without Iran developing and threatening to use nuclear weapons on Israel, its regional neighbors, or other targets. But does the best strategy to achieve that goal include lifting sanctions on this rogue regime, while it is in the process of expanding its hegemonic reach across at least five countries in its region? Proponents of this deal—at least what we know of it—suggest that the options are making this deal or going to war. Yet President Obama says he is prepared to walk away if he doesn’t get the right deal. Does his Plan B include going to war?
As I reported earlier, according to Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi member Clare Lopez, the “November 2013 Joint Plan of Action gave Iran just about everything it wanted: the right to enrich, the right to keep uranium, centrifuge research and development, and continued intercontinental ballistic missile development.” And it added sanctions relief onto that long list of concessions.
Iran maintains that their nuclear energy is just for peaceful purposes. Yet they have a secret facility that we’ve recently learned about through a dissident group, the National Council of Resistance of Iran. International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors are also not allowed to visit another known site of unknown activity called Parchin.
Iranians are still sponsors of terror worldwide, and have been responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans. They simply can’t be trusted. But CBS, through “Madam Secretary,” would like America to think otherwise. And Mr. Schieffer has become complicit in such misinformation. Incredibly, as we approach the latest artificial deadline of March 31st for the Iranian nuclear deal, the Obama administration has removed Iran and Hezbollah from the terror threat list.
On top of that, we now we have our President vouching for the character of two of Iran’s top leaders: “Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons, and President Rouhani has said that Iran would never develop a nuclear weapon,” said President Obama in a speech to the Iranian people, that was posted on the Whitehouse.gov website. Does anyone believe that these people are being honest and sincere?
In a just released New York Times article, a source close to Ayatollah Khamenei said that for now, the so-called hard-liners are finally keeping quiet. “Iran speaks with one voice,” he told the Times, and said that “the muzzle would remain in place as long as the negotiations seemed to be progressing.” He said that the “Fact of the matter is that we are seeing positive changes in the U.S. position in the nuclear talk…We are steadfast and the U.S. is compromising. We are not complaining.”
The Associated Press now reports that criticism of Obama’s desire for a legacy-building Iranian deal originates with “GOP hawks.” Yet as CNN is reporting, “A veto-proof, bipartisan majority of House lawmakers have signed an open letter to President Barack Obama warning him that any nuclear deal with Iran will effectively require congressional approval for implementation.” Among the signers of the March 20th letter are Democratic Congressmen Steny Hoyer (MD), Charlie Rangel (NY), Elijah Cummings (MD), John Lewis (GA), Alan Grayson (FL), Nita Lowey (NY), Joseph Kennedy III (MA) and Jan Schakowsky (IL), hardly a group of “GOP Hawks.”
The letter says that “In reviewing such an agreement, Congress must be convinced that its terms foreclose any pathway to a bomb, and only then will Congress be able to consider permanent sanctions relief.”
While the world is waiting to see how this potential Iranian deal might affect the balance of power in the Middle East, it is clear that President Obama is pushing ahead, using all the tools at his disposal to sell this deal. But what’s not so clear is whether his tactics, and those of the Iranian leaders, will prevail.
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