07/28/15

AIM Editor on FAA’s Air Traffic Control Hiring Scandal [Video]

Accuracy in Media

Accuracy in Media Editor Roger Aronoff recently appeared on The Daily Ledger on the One America News Network to discuss an ongoing scandal at the Federal Aviation Administration which has prompted an investigation by the department’s inspector general.

Prior to 2014, as Aronoff reported in May, the FAA recruited its air traffic controllers from either the military or from the pool of people who had graduated after spending years studying and training at FAA programs called Collegiate Training Initiative, or CTI schools. However, it now uses a walk-in process combined with a biographical questionnaire asking questions such as, “How many sports did you play in high school?”

“And what this is really about is ethnic diversity,” said Aronoff on The Daily Ledger. Peter Kirsanow, of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, also came to the same conclusion.

“A news report quotes [Transportation] Secretary [Anthony] Foxx as telling Congress, ‘The FAA took an opportunity to take a broad opening of the aperture if you will to try to get a larger universe of applicants into the [air traffic control] program,’” wrote Kirsanow, according to Newsmax. “I don’t speak jive, but I am fluent in bureaucratese, and this is easy to translate: the FAA didn’t like the racial and gender composition of the people in its pool of potential air traffic controllers.”

“This is the safety of our planes flying in the air,” Aronoff emphasized. “And I can tell you from what I’ve learned is that there have been a number of very close calls…There have been many who have been thrown out of the system because they were so bad.”

The Fox Business Network (FBN) exposed back in May how a leader of the National Black Coalition of Federal Aviation Employees (NBCFAE) had distributed a recorded message detailing how its members could cheat on the biographical questionnaire. “But they have a recording that they tell you, they walk you through what to fill out so you will be able to pass this and get hired,” said Aronoff.

“This is a scandal that should be looked at constantly by the news media, but they are ignoring this,” Aronoff said. “It’s like Benghazi or the IRS scandal. [The media] consider it not even worthy of being discussed.”

After Aronoff published his initial article noting how The Wall Street Journal had reported on the change in FAA hiring standards, but not the Obama administration scandal itself, the Journal published an opinion article entitled, “Affirmative Action Lands in the Air Traffic Control Tower:”

After the FAA changed its screening process in 2014, thousands of applicants who were already in the pipeline—people who had obtained an FAA-accredited degree, taken the AT-SAT exam and had been designated ‘well-qualified’ to become air-traffic controllers—were told by the government that they would have to start the process again. ‘But this time, when they applied for a job, their college degrees and previous military experience would mean nothing,’ reported Fox Business. ‘They would now compete with thousands of people the agency calls ‘off the street hires’; anyone who wants to, can walk in off the street without any previous training and apply for an air traffic control job.’

In other words, the current policy is to deliberately favor less-qualified applicants over more qualified applicants in the name of obtaining the ‘right’ racial and gender mix among air-traffic controllers. Advocates of ‘diversity’ insist that discounting objective measures of ability and competence is harmless, but history shows that it can be deadly.

The Obama administration isn’t stopping there in its effort to create a progressive utopia of ethnic diversity, whether or not racial discrimination is, in fact, currently happening.

Stanley Kurtz, writing for National Review earlier this month, called it a “scandal that the mainstream press has largely refused to report on the Obama administration’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule:”

AFFH is easily one of President Obama’s most radical initiatives, on a par with Obamacare in its transformative potential. In effect, AFFH gives the federal government a lever to re-engineer nearly every American neighborhood—imposing a preferred racial and ethnic composition, densifying housing, transportation, and business development in suburb and city alike, and weakening or casting aside the authority of local governments over core responsibilities, from zoning to transportation to education. Not only the policy but the political implications are immense—at the presidential, congressional, state, and local levels.

Here is Aronoff on One America News’ “The Daily Ledger,” with Graham Ledger:

06/10/15

The Clinton Record on Libya

By: Kenneth Timmerman
Accuracy in Media

Exclusive to Accuracy in Media
The emails show more than you might think

On August 21, 2011, a top aide to Hillary Clinton penned a memo lauding his boss for steering U.S. policy in Libya, aimed at convincing the media of her accomplishments as Secretary of State.

“HRC has been a critical voice on Libya in administration deliberations, at NATO, and in contact group meetings—as well as the public face of the U.S. effort in Libya. She was instrumental in securing the authorization, building the coalition, and tightening the noose around Qadhafi and his regime,” Clinton aide Jake Sullivan wrote.

Sullivan’s memo to Mrs. Clinton’s inner circle is, of course, embarrassing today, which is one reason you are not reading about it on the front pages of The New York Times or The Washington Post.

But that’s not the only reason.

The memo, as well as other critical State Department correspondence, was withheld from multiple committees in Congress that have been investigating the September 11, 2012 attacks in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, State Department communications officer Sean Smith, and two former Navy Seals then working on contract to the CIA, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods.

It finally surfaced on May 22, 2015, in response to a subpoena from the Select Committee on Benghazi chaired by South Carolina Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy. That was six months after Gowdy’s initial request to the State Department for all documents relating to Benghazi, and more than two-and-a-half years after a similar request from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which initiated its investigation into Benghazi just days after the attacks.

In Sullivan’s memo, Mrs. Clinton was the driving force in getting the Russians to drop opposition to a UN-imposed no fly zone on Qadhafi’s Libya. She alone got Turkey, Qatar and Jordan to join the coalition military operations and to provide critical support to the anti-Qadhafi forces.

To convince skeptical allies to embrace her policies, Sullivan noted that Mrs. Clinton had traveled to Paris, London, Berlin, Rome, Abu Dhabi, Addis Ababa and Istanbul. She visited with “House Democrats and Senate Republicans to persuade them not to de-fund the Libya operation.”

Sullivan’s memo provided background for media appearances by Secretary Clinton in the ensuing months, including a famous encounter with a TV news reporter in Afghanistan, just three days after Mrs. Clinton’s October 2011 visit to Libya to proclaim victory against the then-still-missing Libyan dictator.

In video outtakes, Clinton aide Huma Abedin hands the Secretary a Blackberry, with information that Colonel Qadhafi has been killed, apparently just hours after Mrs. Clinton’s brief visit to the country.

“We came, we saw, he died,” Mrs. Clinton joked.

In short, without Mrs. Clinton’s vigorous intervention, Qadhafi would still be in power, Libya would still be a country, and the jihadis who now own the place would be toast. And, of course, Chris Stevens, Smith, Doherty and Woods would still be alive.

After the attacks, Mrs. Clinton quickly forgot her leading role on Libya, sending a clueless Susan Rice to the Sunday talk shows to be the “public face” of the Obama administration’s Libya policy.

In her only public appearances to address what happened in Benghazi, she portrayed herself as a disengaged onlooker, called upon to pick up the pieces when the hired help failed to get things right. “[It] was very disappointing to me that the [Accountability Review Board (ARB)] concluded there were inadequacies and problems in the responsiveness of our team here in Washington to the security requests that were made by our team in Libya. And I was not aware of that going on. It was not brought to my attention,” she told the House Foreign Affairs committee in January 2013.

She reminded House and Senate panels in January 2013 that the State Department’s ARB, which she appointed, had determined that the failures in Benghazi were entirely the responsibility of lower level officials, even though Libya was among the top ten most dangerous postings in the world at the time of the attacks. The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler busily helped to reinforce that fiction in a “fact-checking” blog aimed to show that there were simply too many cables going in and out of the State Department for a busy Secretary to see all of them.

Interestingly, in the approximately 300 Clinton emails the State Department has released so far, there is no record of Mrs. Clinton’s original request to her staff to draft a memo lauding her achievements in Libya. Did Sullivan simply dream up the idea and forward it up the chain of command to see if it would please his boss? Or was Mrs. Clinton’s request for these talking points one of the 30,000 “personal” emails the former Secretary of State deleted as irrelevant to her official duties?

Mrs. Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills forwarded Sullivan’s August 2011 memo to a second private Hillary email address. Remember how she insisted that she had just one private email account? The memo included a note that said, “Here’s the memo.” That sounds an awful lot like, “Here’s the memo you requested.”

Hillary sent it on to her personal assistant with the instruction, “Pls print for me.”

This type of exchange gets repeated many times in the Clinton emails released so far, suggesting that Mrs. Clinton was not given to making substantive comments via email, or that she deleted material that is relevant to the House Select Committee on Benghazi and is therefore guilty of obstructing justice. The other possibility is that the State Department Freedom of Information office is inexplicably dragging its feet in clearing Mrs. Clinton’s correspondence, even though the delay casts Mrs. Clinton in an embarrassing light.

Judicial Watch and other watchdog organizations—including this author—had been trying to get Mrs. Clinton’s emails and other U.S. government documents relevant to the Benghazi attacks for the past two-and-a-half years without success until the subpoena from the Select Committee on Benghazi compelled a response.

Now, thanks to a federal court order in Washington, DC, compelling the State Department to produce additional documents it previously had said did not exist or were properly categorized as classified, we can now put Mrs. Clinton’s emails into a broader context.

As the first reports of the attacks on Benghazi were whizzing through the State Department Operations Center, bouncing off the computers of lower level employees, one is impressed by their professionalism.

For example, the British security firm that had the contract to guard the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi sent several ungrammatical missives through a State Department contact to update him on what was happening during the attacks.

Dylan Davies, one of the contractors working for the security firm, was apparently holed up in his hotel room (not at the scene of the Compound leading a daring rescue attempt, as he told CBS’ 60 Minutes), with no information at 11:55 p.m. local time—by which time, Ambassador Stevens and Sean Smith were dead, the CIA contractors led by Ty Woods had driven the attackers away from the burning diplomatic compound, and evacuated back to the CIA Annex.

A half hour later, Davies sent a second report, claiming there had been “no casualties,” and relaying a hearsay report from his “Benghazi facilitator,” who claimed that sources on the street were telling him the attack was either a September 11th anniversary attack, or caused by an Internet movie “disrespecting Mohammed.”

In relaying those reports, the State Department’s Command Center cautioned that they should be “taken with a grain of salt as the Employee may not be aware of the extent of the situation.”

And yet, less than four hours later—with no other independent reporting that had been released—Hillary Clinton issued her statement blaming the attacks on an Internet video.

What happened in the meantime? Who pushed the idea of the Internet video?

The short answer is that:we still don’t know. Either Mrs. Clinton destroyed the emails and other documents showing how she latched onto a report her own specialists had rejected as hearsay, or perhaps the Archangel Gabriel whispered in her ear while she had her head in a closet in her 7th floor office suite.

Several emails released to Judicial Watch show the intense involvement of the Bureau of Public Affairs in scouring the Internet for information on the attacks, but nothing to suggest the Secretary of State was asking the intelligence community what they knew.

At 9:30 p.m,—just 40 minutes before Mrs. Clinton issued her official statement blaming the attacks on a YouTube video—Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Dana Shell Smith sent out a request to her reporting officers to find information “in the aftermath of today’s demonstrations at Embassy Cairo.” For whatever reason, her request failed to mention Benghazi.

Rebecca Brown Thompson, head of a State Department media office called the “Rapid Response Unit” (reminiscent of the Clinton campaign “war room”), responded by sending snippets from Facebook postings gleaned by Arabic language media analysts.

“I see a variety of responses spanning from conspiracy theories (that is what the Americans and Israelis are doing on purpose to hurt Arabs and Muslims, they financed the offensive movie), to those who condemn the attacks as ‘UnIslamic and barbaric,’” one analyst reported.

Two hours after Mrs. Clinton issued the statement blaming the attacks on the “inflammatory material posted on the Internet,” a second Arabic media analyst tasked with justifying that statement found a lone tweet about the film, but also reported that “some Twitter users in Libya and Egypt are spreading reports that the attacks in Libya may not be related to the infamous film but to the killing of Al Qaeda’s second in command, who is Libyan.”

The “infamous” film, which was much less well known in Libya than in Egypt, became the subject of a scurrilous account appearing the very next morning that was penned by Max Blumenthal, son of the infamous Sid “Vicious” Blumenthal who was advising Mrs. Clinton. It was picked up and amplified in a second attack blog posted at 6:56 a.m. the same morning, suggesting that the real blame for the attacks in Cairo and Benghazi fell on Mitt Romney and his “extremist” backers who produced this YouTube video in the first place.

Once information from the professionals rose to the level of Jake Sullivan, Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills in Clinton’s office, it just seemed to disappear, replaced with a weird concoction of politics, public relations and outright fantasy, such as the YouTube video concoction or the Sid Blumenthal “intelligence” reports. (When Mrs. Clinton sent those around to the professional diplomats, the comments she received in response were rarely complimentary.)

The 300 recently released Clinton emails give the impression that the 7th floor of the State Department was inhabited by a bunch of grad students, pretending to be government officials.

The most tragic example of the apparent ignorance of how the State Department and the federal government actually worked appeared in Mrs. Clinton’s order to not engage the Foreign Emergency Support Team (FEST), an interagency team on 24/7 stand-by alert, that had been created to respond to just such an emergency as the Benghazi attacks.

Counterterrorism Bureau official Mark Thompson, who helped to establish the FEST after the 1998 Africa embassy attacks, testified at length before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about this on May 8, 2013.

The Judicial Watch emails include a frustrated note he sent to the State Department Operations Center at 9:01 p.m. on the night of the attacks, complaining that Secretary Clinton was trying to get the FBI to send an evidence response team to Libya, when “the State (CT) led Foreign Emergency Support Team (FEST) would include those folks, along with experts from other agencies. We should avoid multiple requests for assistance and rely on the comprehensive FEST approach.”

In his Congressional testimony, Thompson said he had tried to get Mrs. Clinton’s office and the White House to approve activating the FEST as soon as he first learned about the attacks from the State Operations Center, but was told “it was not the right time and it was not the team that needed to go right then.”

The redacted portions of Thompson’s email undoubtedly included a reference to the heavily-armed special operations component of the FEST whose job would be to secure the facility under attack. Had Secretary Clinton not told the FEST to stand down early on, there’s a chance they might have arrived in Benghazi before Woods and Doherty were killed in the 5 a.m. mortar attack the next morning.

At the very least, they would have been able to secure the compounds and gather evidence on the spot, instead of waiting three weeks as the FBI was ultimately forced to do.

Mrs. Clinton’s aversion to any overt U.S. military presence in Libya was well-known at U.S. Africa Command, which had been supplying the ambassador’s security detail up until just weeks before the attacks. “We were not allowed to wear uniforms outside the embassy compound, not even our boots,” the head of Stevens’ U.S. Special Forces security detail told me. “People high up at State resented like Hell us being there and doing what we did.”

And in the end, those same people ordered the Ambassador’s Special Forces security detail to leave Libya—with disastrous consequences.

05/26/15

FAA Hiring Scandal Barely Registers with the Media

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

The Fox Business Network (FBN) should be congratulated for launching a six-month investigation into the Federal Aviation Administration’s hiring practices, an investigation revealing complicity between the FAA and diversity groups such as the National Black Coalition of Federal Aviation Employees (NBCFAE). The findings were revealed on “The Willis Report” last week on FBN.

The investigation resulted in an article by Adam Shapiro, exposing a story of corruption and attempts to stoke favoritism, where an FAA employee and head of an NBCFAE chapter worked to increase the likelihood that minority candidates would succeed under the FAA’s new hiring practices.

Ironically, one minority applicant, Matthew Douglas, a Native American, received “a perfect score, 100, on the FAA’s old screening test called the Air Traffic Selection and Training exam, or AT-SAT,” Shapiro reports. The FAA disregarded Douglas’ scores and the scores and qualifications of about 3,000 other graduates from accredited programs, according to Shapiro.

“Like several other young men and women pursuing air traffic control degrees, Douglas borrowed thousands of dollars, $30,000 in his case, to earn an FAA accredited degree from programs the FAA calls Collegiate Training Initiative or CTI Schools,” writes Shapiro. “The FAA created the CTI program more than 20 years ago to provide the agency with a reliable source of qualified air traffic control applicants.”

Shapiro points out that “It takes several years of study to acquire the complex skills necessary to become an air traffic controller, or ATC.  It’s considered among the highest pressured jobs in America.”

What happened to Douglas is yet another scandal of the Obama administration, though no one in the media is calling it that. It’s one thing to lower standards when you’re filling positions at the Department of Commerce, or adding another bureaucrat at the Department of Transportation, where people’s lives are not at stake on a moment-by-moment basis. But doing so for air traffic controllers is truly an outrage, and a scandal.

“But just as Matthew Douglas prepared for a new year and a new life, the FAA dropped a bomb.  On December 30, 2013 the FAA threw out his AT-SAT score, CTI diploma and recommendations from his CTI program administrators,” reports Shapiro. “In fact, the FAA threw out the AT-SAT scores and CTI qualifications  of an estimated 3,000 CTI graduates and military veterans who were all previously designated ‘well qualified’ to become air traffic controllers. The FAA told them all to start over. But this time, when they applied for a job, their college degrees and previous military experience would mean nothing. They would now compete with thousands of people the agency calls ‘off the street hires;’ anyone who wants to, can walk in off the street without any previous training and apply for an air traffic control job. The FAA’s only requirements, to apply, are be a U.S. citizen, have a high school diploma, speak English and pass the FAA’s new BQ, Biographical Questionnaire. What Douglas and thousands of other CTI graduates didn’t know was that the FAA was planning these changes long before the agency made them public.”

But Moranda Reilly, a woman who scored lower on the same test for which Douglas scored a perfect 100, joined the NBCFAE, and received preferential treatment through the help of air traffic controller Shelton Snow. He sent her and other applicants a recorded message last February instructing them how to fill out the new take-home biographical questionnaire.

“Keep in mind we are trying to maximize your opportunities,” stated Snow, the local NBCFAE chapter president, in the recording, according to Shapiro. “I am going to send it out to each of you and as you progress through the stages refer to those images so you will know which icons you should select…I am about 99 point 99 percent sure that it is exactly how you need to answer each question in order to get through the first phase.”

“Reilly says Snow and other NBCFAE officials conducted workshops showing NBCFAE associate members…the correct answers to select on the [questionnaire] as well as key words to use on their resumés in order to be selected by FAA hiring personnel who were also NBCFAE members,” reports Shapiro.

In addition, according to Shapiro, “Candidates were, and still are, allowed to take the test unsupervised, on their own time and on their home computers over a two week period.”

On Friday, the NBCFAE denied the cheating allegations, though it failed to address any of the specific accusations.

Shapiro’s story outlining how the FAA is both wasting resources and threatening the security of America’s airlines, along with the flying public, received virtually no media attention. While The Wall Street Journal followed up on the story, they left out key details about the FAA’s ongoing corruption—casting the new hiring practices instead as the agency ending “an inside track,” while ignoring the perverse incentives created. But at least they reported on the issue. Most of the media chose to ignore it. AOL News actually carried a good story on it, clearly recognizing the Fox Business News story for uncovering a potential scandal. But in no way did AOL News link it to the policies of the Obama administration.

Shapiro’s story was really about a new inside track at the FAA—one based on diversity and preference instead of skill and merit as the primary criteria.

“Meanwhile, at least 28 controller applicants have brought discrimination claims against the FAA, including one seeking class-action status,” reports Susan Carey for The Wall Street Journal. “A redacted copy of that complaint alleges the FAA eliminated the preferential hiring list to discriminate against the scholastic group to benefit minority applicants even though, the complaint says, the earlier system wasn’t found to have hampered them.”

The widespread nature of this crisis should have indicated to Carey and other reporters that this issue needs to be investigated further.

Congress has shown an interest, as Congressman Randy Hultgren (R-IL) “is cosponsoring the Air Traffic Controllers Hiring Act of 2015 to force the FAA to abandon the BQ and restore preferred hiring status for CTI graduates and military veterans who score high enough on the AT-SAT to be designated ‘well qualified,’” reported Shapiro.

“The biggest objective is to make sure that our air travel is still the safest in the world and air traffic controllers are a big part of that,’” said Hultgren.

But the media are still ignoring the story. So what if our air traffic control centers are not based on merit? The safety of the flying public doesn’t hinge on having the best people in those towers, does it? Apparently some believe the goal of our federal government should be ethnic diversity consistent with the general population, not equal opportunity, regardless of the position being filled.

We wish the FAA would respect the flying public enough to treat its hiring practices like those of the National Basketball Association. The NBA could care less that, as of 2013, over three quarters of its players were African-American, whereas only 13% of all Americans were at that time. Is that because of discrimination, or because the NBA is a pure meritocracy? Only the best basketball players get to play. When it comes to air traffic safety, racially- and demographically-blind hiring standards should be applied across the country as well.

05/20/15

Hillary Clinton’s Hypocritical and Totalitarian War on Free Speech

By: Benjamin Weingarten
TheBlaze

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has suggested that a key litmus test in evaluating prospective Supreme Court appointees would be their willingness to challenge “the right of billionaires to buy elections.”

Presumably, a suitable judge would indicate a desire to overturn the Citizens United decision that struck down a ban on political expenditures by corporations and unions ruled to violate the First Amendment protection of free speech – a case coincidentally centered on Citizen United’s attempt to advertise for and air a film critical of none other than Clinton.


Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to the reporters at United Nations headquarters,
Tuesday, March 10, 2015. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

In light of recent allegations swirling around the presidential favorite, Clinton’s support of such a position is highly ironic.

For while the former secretary of State may oppose the rights of the wealthy to spend money on politics, she seems to have no such concern with the wealthy spending money on the Clinton Foundation and her husband Bill – all while Hillary served in the Obama administration.

Would Clinton seek a Supreme Court justice who would protect the rights of the likes of Carlos Slim and James Murdoch to contribute to the favored cause of a politician and shower the politician’s spouse with millions for speaking engagements?

If so, this apparent hypocrisy can be read in one of two ways:

  1. Clinton believes that money does not have a corrupting influence so long as it is funneled through “indirect” channels
  2. Clinton believes that the wealthy and powerful ought to bypass funding elections and simply pay politicians outright.

Appearances of impropriety aside, there are a few substantive questions around political speech that Clinton should be required to address.

Why does Clinton believe that the government has a compelling interest in stifling the political speech of any American, rich or poor?

How does Clinton square her supposed advocacy of human rights with her belief in inhibiting the right to free speech — which facilitates the robust and vigorous debate essential to a liberal society?

More generally, given a system in which millions of dollars are spent on losing causes each election cycle on both the left and right, what have Americans to fear about spending so long as laws are enforced equally and impartially regarding “pay-to-play” schemes and other politically corrupt activity?

Spending is a symptom of our system, and an all-intrusive government its proximate cause.

This is well known to Clinton, who seeks to raise a record $2.5 billion for her own campaign.

She is aware that people spend money on politics because there is the perception that there is something to be bought.

This perception becomes a reality when government creeps into every aspect of our lives, creating an unfortunate two-way street: Individuals and businesses spend money in order to maintain competitive advantages. Politicians in effect extort individuals and businesses by threatening to take away said competitive advantages, or threatening to mitigate them.

If we want money out of politics, the answer is not to stifle speech, but to shrink government.

***

While Hillary Clinton’s aversion to political speech is well-documented, less scrutinized is her support of limitations on speech of an entirely different kind: Religious speech.

During her time as secretary of State, Clinton championed the Organization of Islamic Conference-backed United Nations Human Rights Commission Resolution 16/18, which calls for “combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence, and violence against persons based on religion or belief.”

Retired Maj. Stephen Coughlin, the Pentagon’s leading adviser on Islamic law as it relates to national security, makes a compelling case in his book “Catastrophic Failure” that the resolution is actually a Shariah-based Trojan Horse meant to stifle all criticism of Islam.

Coughlin writes that the Islamic Conference, through the resolution, seeks to criminalize incitement to violence by imposing a “legal standard designed to facilitate the “shut up before I hit you again” standard associated with the battered wife syndrome.”

He convincingly argues that the Islamic Conference desires that…

the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and all other non-Muslim countries pass laws criminalizing Islamophobia. This is a direct extraterritorial demand that non-Muslim jurisdictions submit to Islamic law and implement shariah-based punishment over time. In other words, the OIC is set on making it an enforceable crime for non-Muslim people anywhere in the world—including the United States—to say anything about Islam that Islam does not permit.

For believers in the sanctity of the First Amendment, Clinton’s support of this policy as secretary of State should be disqualifying.

This is made crystal clear when we consider that Clinton has shown her support for the resolution in practice.

In the wake of the Sept. 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi, then-Secretary of State Clinton and President Barack Obama felt compelled to film an address for the Muslim world. In the video, Clinton and Obama disavowed any link between the U.S. government and the “Innocence of Muslims” movie that critically depicted Muhammad, which the Obama administration infamously argued prompted the jihadist attack.


Hillary Clinton delivers a message to the Arab world disavowing any ties between the U.S. government
and the “Innocence of Muslims” video following the Sept. 11, 2012 Benghazi attack.
(Image Source: YouTube screengrab)

That address we may chalk up to political correctness.

But a related fact we cannot.

In spite of Judicial Watch’s bombshell report indicating that the Obama administration knew about the Benghazi attack 10 days in advance – and knew that it had nothing to do with “Innocence of Muslims” — as revealed in an October 2012 interview with Glenn Beck, Charles Woods, father of slain Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, told Beck that Clinton had personally vowed to “make sure that the person who made that film [“Innocence of Muslims”] is arrested and prosecuted.”

The “Innocence of Muslims” filmmaker and former bank fraudster Nakoula Basseley Nakoula was later arrested and charged with violating the terms of his probation, spending one year in prison.

Consequently, the U.S. government — as promised by Clinton — in effect enforced Shariah compliance concerning blasphemy consistent with the Islamic Conference-backed resolution, and did so knowing that the film had nothing to do with the Benghazi attack.

Of course, even if a jihadist declared explicitly that he killed Americans because of a film, or a Muhammad cartoon or a burned Koran, it is the jihadist and the jihadist alone responsible for such actions. This point is apparently lost on the U.N.’s policy advocates, who in their victomology fail to realize that they are exhibiting the soft bigotry of low expectations when it comes to Muslims.

Hillary Clinton has shown herself to be an ardent opponent of free speech, notably with respect to politics and religion.

Her positions are anathema to an America founded on the basis of protecting political and religious dissent, which requires free expression.

Absent such protections, an America under Clinton will look increasingly like the totalitarian Islamic world that she seeks to protect, rather than the Liberal Judeo-Christian America with which we have been so blessed.

Feature Image: AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

03/19/15

Contempt of Congress by Any Other Name

By: Frank Salvato

Initially I was going to start with the line, “It is stunning to think,” but then I remembered I was opining about the Obama Administration, of which I have come to expect the unexpected, especially when it comes to nefarious doings meant to advance his agenda. To be certain, all of the actions (and inactions) taken (and not taken) by this administration – without exception – have been executed to advance his ideological agenda, chief among them the handling of the IRS’s targeting of the administration’s political adversaries.

TheHill.com reports that Ronald Machen, the US attorney for the District of Columbia –an Obama appointee – has not acted on a Contempt of Congress charge for former IRS official Lois Lerner even though the contempt citation has been in his hands since May of 2014. Manchen is set to step down next month.

Search the mainstream media headlines and you find this item far down the list if, in fact, you find it at all. Yet the issue is no less important than that of the Constitution’s First Amendment guaranteed rights themselves; to both “peaceably assemble” and to “petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

There is now no defense, nor believable denial in ignorance, for the illegal actions taken by the Exempt Organizations Unit of the Internal Revenue Service under Lois Lerner. The facts present as undeniable. Under her direction, applications for organizations with political ideologies antithetical to those of the Obama Administration were treated as politically adversarial, receiving excessive scrutiny and myriad unreasonable demands for discovery; treatment not experienced by organizations whose ideologies were symbiotic with the administration’s. Succinctly, Ms. Lerner executed a political attack on a large faction of the American people for their support of a political ideology anathema to that of the President’s.

Ironically, Ms. Lerner’s claim to have learned of the illegal targeting through the news media failed to afford her the popular cover that has served President Obama well through several sensitive issues; cover that is now beginning to expose the disingenuousness of the claim, much to his chagrin. Ms. Lerner’s refusal to cooperate with the House Oversight Committee in its examination of these events – including her intentional denial of the existence of emails pertaining to her actions – rightfully garnered a Contempt of Congress charge.

But what is the worth of a Contempt of Congress charge if the authority tasked with bringing the weight of that charge to bear abdicates the responsibility of doing so? What punishment is there for transgression in a simple designation?

Citizens in the United States have been guaranteed the right to redress government; to be openly critical of the government’s policies and actions. Further, these defined rights allow them to openly oppose any and all elected officials, regardless of station, in an effort to affect change in political offices under which the people are represented.

So, too, are citizens guaranteed the right to peaceably assemble for political purposes; to create groups and organizations – especially under the banner of educating the public – that enjoy all the rights and privileges afforded under the law, including tax-exempt status, should the qualifying criteria exist.

Ms. Lerner’s action usurped these guaranteed rights, and her refusal to cooperate with the House Judiciary Committee not only aggravated that usurpation, but proved – beyond reasonable doubt – that she holds the value of her politics above the rights of the People, and above the guaranteed Rights in our Constitution. Yet, when tasked with executing a Grand Jury referral mandated by a Contempt of Congress charge, Mr. Machen saw fit to prioritize the routine prosecution of dozens of district court financial fraud and local public corruption cases, as if to intentionally ignore the contempt citation. This leads to this question. If the police officer is corrupt – or intentionally abdicates his sworn duty, who do the innocent turn to for justice?

Article II, Section 1, of the House Judiciary Committee’s Articles of Impeachment against Pres. Richard M. Nixon (R) states:

“He has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, endeavored to…cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigations to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner.”

If the use of the IRS to target political enemies was enough to bring about impeachment charges that would eventually see the first resignation of a sitting President, how does the exact same criminal act not warrant – at the very least – a referral to a Grand Jury for examination?

The Obama Administration claims the mantle of the most transparent in the history of the United States. In the non-execution of the Contempt of Congress charge against Lois Lerner they are transparent in their tyranny against the American people. Case closed…with prejudice.

Frank Salvato is the Executive Director of BasicsProject.org a grassroots, non-partisan, research and education initiative focusing on Constitutional Literacy, and internal and external threats facing Western Civilization. His writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention. His opinion and analysis have been published by The American Enterprise Institute, The Washington Times, The Jewish World Review, Accuracy in Media, Human Events, Townhall.com and are syndicated nationally. Mr. Salvato has appeared on The O’Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel, and is the author of six books examining Islamofascism and Progressivism, including “Understanding the Threat of Radical Islam”. Mr. Salvato’s personal writing can be found at FrankJSalvato.com.

03/11/15

Hillary’s Emailgate Explained

By: Bethany Stotts
Accuracy in Media

Exclusive to Accuracy in Media.

Clinton’s 2016 presidential chances undoubtedly have been harmed by the revelation that she exclusively used a private email address while serving as Secretary of State. But while the media remain mired in calculations about whether Mrs. Clinton can survive this latest crisis, and who the villains are in this unfolding story, additional questions call out for answers.

Mrs. Clinton made many claims at her press conference on Tuesday. The media shouldn’t simply regurgitate them wholesale, as the AP has done, but rather they should approach them with due skepticism.

“Well, the system we used was set up for President Clinton’s office, and it had numerous safeguards,” said Mrs. Clinton. “It was on property guarded by the Secret Service and there were no security breaches. So, I think that the use of that server, which started with my husband, certainly proved to be effective and secure.”

In contrast, Philip Bump reports for The Washington Post that the domain, clintonemail.com, was established “the same day that Clinton’s confirmation hearings began before the Senate.” That is suspicious timing for a system allegedly set up to support her husband’s office.

The professional assessment by security experts quoted in the media seems to be that Mrs. Clinton’s private email was vulnerable to hacking. “The system could have previously been hardened against attack, and left to get weedy and vulnerable after she left government,” writes Sam Biddle for Gawker. “We don’t know. … With Clinton’s off-the-books scheme, there are only questions.”

“We can only go by what Clinton says,” reports USA Today.

Mrs. Clinton told the press that she had set up the account for both private and work-related emails to avoid the inconvenience of having to set up two phones and two separate accounts, but that, in retrospect, she should have thought better about it. She offered few answers about the actual details of her server, and avoided questions about whether she would subject it to independent analysis, asserting that she had done her full duty by turning over 30,490 vetted emails to the State Department.

There were about 60,000 emails in total, she said—but after the private vetting process, controlled by her and her advisors, she has since deleted the private ones. “At the end I chose not to keep my private personal emails—emails about planning Chelsea’s wedding, or my mother’s funeral arrangements, condolence notes to friends, as well as yoga routines, family vacations—the other things you typically find in inboxes,” she said. Yet the Select Committee on Benghazi’s Chair Trey Gowdy indicated that no emails have been turned over to Congress covering the duration of her 2011 trip to Libya.

Mrs. Clinton apparently expects the media to swallow whole the argument that all her emails on that trip regarded personal affairs.

What can be established at this juncture is depressingly disturbing for national security.

“…security experts consulted by Gawker have laid out a litany of potential threats that may have exposed [Mrs. Clinton’s] email conversations to potential interception by hackers and foreign intelligence agencies,” writes Biddle. This, despite Mrs. Clinton’s assertion that there were no breaches.

Problems identified by Biddle’s sources include that the URL log-in was accessible by anyone in the world, and could have been linked to an “administrative console interface to the Windows machine or a backup,” allowing the possibility that Mrs. Clinton’s emails could have been copied in their entirety by hackers. And, as of March, reports Biddle, “the server at sslvpn has an invalid SSL certificate.” Without a valid SSL certificate there is no third-party indicating that the key is still good, and not hacked.

“An exact physical address could not be determined” for the server, but Internet records indicate that it’s in Chappaqua, New York, reported Bloomberg News.

The server, as of March 4, was on “factory default for the security appliance” when it could have been “replaced by a unique certificate purchased for a few hundred dollars,” making it vulnerable to hacking, it reports.

But, the paper hedges, “While Clinton didn’t have a classified e-mail system, she had multiple ways of communicating in a classified manner, including assistants printing documents for her, secure phone calls and secure video conferences.”

Similarly, Mrs. Clinton asserted at the press conference that she never sent classified information through her private email.

It is not necessary to reveal classified information directly to jeopardize national security or the international diplomatic process. As Thomas Patrick Carroll, formerly of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Directorate of Operations, explained in 2001 for the International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, “classification usually has relatively little to do with the information itself, but a lot to do with the protection of sources and methods.” His given example was how a foreign minister’s personal assistant might have a private conversation with that minister and obtain “the minister’s private observations on the matter,” later relaying this to U.S. intelligence for their exploitation. These types of inside observations prove invaluable for all foreign intelligence services.

If Mrs. Clinton’s email was hacked, then foreign governments such as Iran, China, Russia, and others, might have gained access to her private internal musings about diplomatic talks as she worked out the details with her staff—an intelligence treasure trove.

One must also ask, if Mrs. Clinton refused to set up a government email, how high was that refusal relayed? If it wasn’t relayed to the very top by security specialists, then why not?

Mrs. Clinton was sworn in on January 21, 2009. A couple months after she took office, in March of 2009, the University of Toronto and TheSecDevGroup issued their report on Ghostnet, a cyberespionage network established by an unknown party to mine data from the Tibetans. They found “real-time evidence of malware that had penetrated Tibetan computer systems” which was connected to a large network of 1,295 infected computers in 103 countries—almost 30 percent of which were high-value targets such as ministries of foreign affairs.

The authors of the report found “that GhostNet is capable of taking full control of infected computers, including searching and downloading specific files, and covertly operating attached devices, including microphones and web cameras,” and was sent through “contextually relevant emails” that look like real emails.

Granted, the mechanism of action for Ghostnet would not have been the same as that which could have compromised the server that Mrs. Clinton was using. But few can claim ignorance about the degree of threat posed by the use of insecure systems at the time.

The Ghostnet network compromised computers at the “ministries of foreign affairs of Iran, Bangladesh, Latvia, Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei, Barbados and Bhutan; embassies of India, South Korea, Indonesia, Romania, Cyprus, Malta, Thailand, Taiwan, Portugal, Germany and Pakistan.”

Even if the Obama administration’s appointees lacked the know-how to anticipate cyber threats when they took office, they were undoubtedly immediately educated about the dangers by the government’s more knowledgeable members. Bob Gates, the former Director of Central Intelligence, and later Defense Secretary under Obama, commented in his 2014 book, Duty, that “A number of the new appointees, both senior and junior, seemed to lack an awareness of the world they had just entered.” He noticed that “fully half” of those in the Situation Room had their “cell phones turned on during the meeting, potentially broadcasting everything that was said to foreign intelligence electronic eavesdroppers” and he ensured that such behavior stopped.

The Ghostnet story made page A1 of the New York Times in March 2009. Can this administration really claim innocence about the security threats posed by an insecure, private email server when Clinton served as Secretary of State? How much did President Obama know, and when?

It now appears that the Obama administration received questions from Gawker’s John Cook about the ramifications of Clinton’s private email use back in 2013. The Obama administration has likely spent at least those two years—if not much longer—covering for Mrs. Clinton. Her press conference to explain her exclusive use of private email fails to satisfy, and the press should continue demanding answers until this presidential hopeful provides some real ones.

03/8/15

Obama’s Unbelievable Hillary Email Alibi

By: Frank Salvato

President Obama has again extended a jaw-dropped reaction to news of yet another scandal in what has become a parade of scandals scaring his administration. This time the President is trying to convince the American public that he learned of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account during her time as Secretary of State through…wait for it…the news media. It’s curious how every time someone in his administration fails at spinning his or her way out of a career-ending scandal he just happens to find out about it through the news media, as if he were as innocuous as the average American citizen.

When asked by CBS News’ Bill Plante about when he learned about the unethical – and most likely illegal – use of a private email account, complete with home-based servers, for official government correspondence, Mr. Obama replied, “The same time everybody else learned it, through news reports.” He continued, “the policy of my administration is to encourage transparency…and that’s why my emails, the BlackBerry that I carry around, all those records are available and archived.”

Effectively proving that this response was coordinated, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if the President learned about the issue through the newspapers. Valerie Jarrett, Mr. Obama’s “Rasputan-like” senior advisor, made a statement equally as incredulous as the one issued by the President in asserting that she never received an email from Mrs. Clinton’s private email account and was unsure if anyone in the inner-sanctum of the White House ever did either.

All of these alibis are issued in the face of credible reports that Clinton’s personal staff had made the informed decision to suppress the news of the email account after the White House, State Department and Clinton’s personal office learned this past August that House Republicans had been provided information proving that Clinton used a private email account to conduct official government business, including the possible transmission of secret and sensitive documents, to a server that Qualys SSL Labs rates an “F” for security.

Let’s take a breath and consider these alibis; all of the realities that would have to exist for these alibis to be even remotely palatable.

If, in fact, President Obama was unaware that his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, was not using a government issues secure email account, reality would mandate that he never – not once – received an email from her. Is it possible that in an age of instant communication, and in a White House where everyone is connected to their BlackBerries and iPhones, that not one email was sent from the Secretary of State – whose position in presidential succession is fourth in-line – to the President? To borrow a phrase from Mrs. Clinton, one would have to employ a willing suspension of disbelief to even consider the thought.

But, let’s – for the moment – assume that Mr. Obama never did receive an email from his chief diplomatic officer, even as the Arab Spring was exploding, and even as the “reset” with Russia was afoot. Let’s assume that his senior advisors were playing “gatekeeper” with Mrs. Clinton’s correspondence. That would create a reality where Mr. Obama’s senior-most advisor, Valerie Jarrett, was not receiving the Secretary of State’s emails. Further, if we are to believe the picture the White House press secretary is painting we have to believe that no one in the White House was receiving email from the Secretary of State, again, as the Middle East was aflame, Mr. Putin was positioning aggressively toward the Ukraine, North Korea was acquiring nuclear weapons capability, etc.

All that assumed, this would create a reality where the President, the upper-echelons of the White House and everyone attached to it were completely non-communicative with the US Secretary of State during one of the most troubling times the world has ever seen. At best this scenario proves ineptitude heretofore unseen in the Executive Branch of the United States government. At worst, it proves collusion at the highest levels of government to provide political plausible deniability to the President and his senior staff; collusion so debilitating that it corrupted communications between the President and his chief diplomat to the world.

Further, to consider these scenarios is to acquiesce to the truth that someone at the White House knew Mrs. Clinton was using a personal email account and chose not to report the violation of Obama Administration policy to superiors.

But I have drifted too far into the unrealistic. One would have to believe in unicorns and the tooth fairy to believe that the President and his Secretary of State never communicated by email for the total of Mrs. Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State.

Sorry, Mr. President, but I simply don’t believe you. You are now the “boy who cried media.”

Frank Salvato is the Executive Director of BasicsProject.org a grassroots, non-partisan, research and education initiative focusing on Constitutional Literacy, and internal and external threats facing Western Civilization. His writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention. His opinion and analysis have been published by The American Enterprise Institute, The Washington Times, The Jewish World Review, Accuracy in Media, Human Events, Townhall.com and are syndicated nationally. Mr. Salvato has appeared on The O’Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel, and is the author of six books examining Islamofascism and Progressivism, including “Understanding the Threat of Radical Islam”. Mr. Salvato’s personal writing can be found at FrankJSalvato.com.

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.