Oregon Senator Warns – The U.S. Government is Dramatically Expanding its Hacking and Surveillance Authority

31057_large_Patriot_Act_Spying_WideBy Michael Krieger at Liberty Blitzkrieg, May 27, 2016 •

The Patriot Act continues to wreak its havoc on civil liberties. Section 213 was included in the Patriot Act over the protests of privacy advocates and granted law enforcement the power to conduct a search while delaying notice to the suspect of the search. Known as a “sneak and peek” warrant, law enforcement was adamant Section 213 was needed to protect against terrorism. But the latest government report detailing the numbers of “sneak and peek” warrants reveals that out of a total of over 11,000 sneak and peek requests, only 51 were used for terrorism. Yet again, terrorism concerns appear to be trampling our civil liberties.

– From the post: More “War on Terror” Abuses – Spying Powers Are Used for Terrorism Only 0.5% of the Time

Ron Wyden, a Senator from Oregon, has been one of the most influential and significant champions of Americans’ embattled 4th Amendment rights in the digital age. Recall that it was Sen. Wyden who caught Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, lying under oath about government surveillance of U.S. citizens.

Mr. Wyden continues to be a courageous voice for the public when it comes to pushing back against Big Brother spying. His latest post at Medium is a perfect example.

Here it is in full:

Shaking My Head

The government will dramatically expand surveillance powers unless Congress acts.

Last month, at the request of the Department of Justice, the Courts approved changes to the obscure Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, which governs search and seizure. By the nature of this obscure bureaucratic process, these rules become law unless Congress rejects the changes before December 1, 2016.

Today I, along with my colleagues Senators Paul from Kentucky, Baldwin from Wisconsin, and Daines and Tester from Montana, am introducing the Stopping Mass Hacking (SMH) Act (billsummary), a bill to protect millions of law-abiding Americans from a massive expansion of government hacking and surveillance. Join the conversation with #SMHact.

What’s the problem here?

For law enforcement to conduct a remote electronic search, they generally need to plant malware in — i.e. hack — a device. These rule changes will allow the government to search millions of computers with the warrant of a single judge. To me, that’s clearly a policy change that’s outside the scope of an “administrative change,” and it is something that Congress should consider. An agency with the record of the Justice Department shouldn’t be able to wave its arms and grant itself entirely new powers.

Let’s get into the details

These changes say that if law enforcement doesn’t know where an electronic device is located, a magistrate judge will now have the the authority to issue a warrant to remotely search the device, anywhere in the world. While it may be appropriate to address the issue of allowing a remote electronic search for a device at an unknown location, Congress needs to consider what protections must be in place to protect Americans’ digital security and privacy. This is a new and uncertain area of law, so there needs to be full and careful debate. The ACLU has a thorough discussion of the Fourth Amendment ramifications and the technological questions at issue with these kinds of searches.

The second part of the change to Rule 41 would give a magistrate judge the authority to issue a single warrant that would authorize the search of an unlimited number — potentially thousands or millions — of devices, located anywhere in the world. These changes would dramatically expand the government’s hacking and surveillance authority. The American public should understand that these changes won’t just affect criminals: computer security experts and civil liberties advocates say the amendments would also dramatically expand the government’s ability to hack the electronic devices of law-abiding Americans if their devices were affected by a computer attack. Devices will be subject to search if their owners were victims of a botnet attack — so the government will be treating victims of hacking the same way they treat the perpetrators.

As the Center on Democracy and Technology has noted, there are approximately 500 million computers that fall under this rule. The public doesn’t know nearly enough about how law enforcement executes these hacks, and what risks these types of searches will pose. By compromising the computer’s system, the search might leave it open to other attackers or damage the computer they are searching.

Don’t take it from me that this will impact your security, read more from security researchers Steven Bellovin, Matt Blaze and Susan Landau.

Finally, these changes to Rule 41 would also give some types of electronic searches different, weaker notification requirements than physical searches. Under this new Rule, they are only required to make “reasonable efforts” to notify people that their computers were searched. This raises the possibility of the FBI hacking into a cyber attack victim’s computer and not telling them about it until afterward, if at all.

A job for Congress — not the Justice Department

These changes are a major policy shift that will impact Americans’ digital security, expand the government’s surveillance powers and pose serious Fourth Amendment questions. Part of the problem is the simple fact that both the American public and security experts know so little about how the government goes about hacking a computer to search it. If a victim’s Fourth Amendment rights are violated, it might not be readily apparent because of the highly technical nature of the methods used to execute the warrant.

It is Congress’ job to make sure we do not let the Executive Branch run roughshod over our constituents’ rights. That is why action is so important: this is a policy question that should be debated by Congress. Although the Department of Justice has tried to describe this rule change as simply a matter of judicial venue, sometimes a difference in scale really is a difference in kind. By allowing so many searches with the order of just a single judge, Congress’s failure to act on this issue would be a disaster for law-abiding Americans.

When the public realizes what is at stake, I think there is going to be a massive outcry: Americans will look at Congress and say, “What were you thinking?”

By failing to act, Congress is once again demonstrating that it is not just useless, it’s also dangerously corrupt and incompetent. #

For related articles, see:

As the Apple vs. FBI Debate Rages, Congress Plots to Mandate Encryption Backdoors

 Congress Guts Anti-NSA Spying Bill Beyond Recognition; Original Cosponsor Justin Amash Votes No

Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Discusses The Constitution, NSA Spying and Torture

It’s Not Just Spying – How the NSA Has Turned Into a Giant Profit Center for Corrupt Insiders

War on Terror Turns Inward – NSA Surveillance Will Be Used Against American Citizens

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Brexit: Welcome, Britain, to Our Revolution

The issue in the Brexit is the same as the one behind the American Revolution: the consent of the governed.

(Photo by Robert Tracinski)

(Photo: Robert Tracinski)

By for The Federalist, June 20, 2016 •

As an American, the Brexit — Britain’s upcoming referendum on whether to exit the European Union — does not directly affect me, nor do I have a vote on it. But from the perspective of American history, I think I can offer some relevant context and advice.

The Brexit is a good opportunity to welcome the mother country to our revolution, because the fundamental issue in the Brexit is exactly the same as the one that impelled us to separate from Britain more than two centuries ago.

I recently took the kids to Colonial Williamsburg, a reconstruction of Virginia’s colonial capital that has been turned into a kind of living museum of revolutionary era America, where you can see re-enactors take the stage in the personae of Patrick Henry, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and the rest of that crowd, and debate the big political issues relating to the Amerexit.

Oh yes, and we also got together in a mob outside Raleigh Tavern and hanged Lord North in effigy. See the photo at the top of this article. Most of you, I suspect, will not know who Lord North was or why we were (symbolically) hanging him. But it’s entirely relevant today.

Lord North was His Majesty’s Prime Minister during the crucial years of the American Revolution, from 1770 to 1782. The specific infractions for which he was subjected to mock trial and hanging in effigy were the Intolerable Acts, a series of punitive measures against Boston that were widely interpreted as a declaration of war against colonial America.

Today, we tend to think of the American Revolution as a war against King George III. But it was just as much a war against the British Parliament and its leadership, which was increasingly regarded by Americans as a “foreign” body that did not represent them. We already had our own, long-established legislatures (Virginia’s General Assembly, for example, will soon celebrate its 400th anniversary and is one of the oldest in the world), and we considered them to be our proper representatives, solely authorized to approve legislation on our behalf.

That was the key issue of the American Revolution: the consent of the governed. The question was whether we were to be subject to laws passed by representatives elected by and accountable to us or whether we were to be subject to the decisions of an institution that was not answerable to the people it governed. So it’s not just about rejecting the sovereignty of a hereditary monarch. It’s also about rejecting control by a distant and unaccountable bureaucracy.

Which, in an interesting historical irony, is precisely the issue Britain faces in its relationship with the European Union.

The Telegraph‘s Ambrose Evans-Pritchard puts the issue succinctly and in terms that are totally recognizable to a student of American history:

Stripped of distractions, it comes down to an elemental choice: whether to restore the full self-government of this nation, or to continue living under a higher supranational regime, ruled by a European Council that we do not elect in any meaningful sense, and that the British people can never remove, even when it persists in error.

The effect of the European Union, as currently organized, is to send the mother of parliaments to a rest home. As Evans-Pritchard has recently pointed out, Britain’s judicial system has already been put into an impossible position, forced to issue a warning to the European Court that it will resist its mandates if they conflict with such ancient guarantees as the Magna Carta and the English Bill of Rights.

The key issue — the breaking point — is the European Union’s practice of seeking to validate its authority through popular referendums then ignoring them when they don’t get the result they wanted.

The EU crossed a fatal line when it smuggled through the Treaty of Lisbon, by executive cabal, after the text had already been rejected by French and Dutch voters in its earlier guise. It is one thing to advance the Project by stealth and the Monnet method, it is another to call a plebiscite and then to override the outcome.

He is referring to the 2005 attempt to push through the European Constitution, which was resoundingly rejected by France and the Netherlands, only to be substantially resurrected as the Lisbon Treaty in 2008.

The whole premise of the EU has become the idea of a bureaucratic clerisy holding power beyond the reach of the people. It’s the great dream of the party of big government here, too. They want to impose their policies on every issue — global warming, immigration, gun control, transgender bathrooms, and on and on — by way of regulatory rulings by an entrenched civil service, without ever having to put anything up for an actual vote by the people’s representatives. The European Union takes that idea farther, placing the bureaucratic aristocracy at an even greater remove from its subjects.
The whole premise of the EU has become the idea of a bureaucratic clerisy holding power beyond the reach of the people.

The pro-EU side of Britain’s debate makes it sound as if the Brexit would be an act of destruction carried out in a fit of irrational anger. But this is not about destroying institutions. It’s about preserving them.

It was no different for America. After I recently defended the idea of the right to depose tyrants, a friend of mine who is an historian sent me an interesting, minor correction. The Founding Fathers, he told me, described the creation of America as a “revolution,” not a “rebellion.” It’s a distinction that has largely been lost today, but they viewed a rebellion as an insurrection against legitimate authority, while a revolution was a legitimate exercise of the people’s right to change their government and its leadership, in this case by firing their “chief magistrate,” the king. But they viewed this as a way of re-establishing and reforming the legitimate authority of their own, long-established colonial legislatures.

And when you think of it, we were just following the British example. Britain had faced its own conflicts between the authority of Parliament and the overreaching ambitions of its kings, and they had already set the example of removing the king to preserve the power of Parliament. Before we did it in the 18th century, they did it in the 17th century — twice. Britain itself had established the precedents of the rule of law and the consent of the governed. I don’t know why they would want to throw that away now.

British citizens shouldn’t fear that leaving the EU will cause Britain to be “isolated.” The American example is instructive. After a little more unpleasantness (let’s not mention that unfortunate incident with the White House in 1814), Britain and America eventually settled down into our “special relationship.” Our common bonds of commerce and culture were too strong and deep to be disrupted permanently. The same will be true of Britain and Europe, only more so, since its departure will be on friendlier terms. There is no reason Britain cannot do as other European nations have done and remain part of a common market without submitting to the authority of the European Union.

That’s the choice Britain faces: to maintain the legitimate authority of its own government or to turn the country into a mere colony of Brussels. If the British want to preserve their ability to govern themselves, they will vote to leave the European Union. #

Follow Robert here on Twitter.

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The Push For Disarmament Begins: “The Globalists Are Waiting in the Wings To Take Down America And Confiscate Firearms”

america-burnsBy Jeremiah Johnson for SHTFplan, June 14, 2016 •

The headlines and news networks are awash with the shooting that occurred on Sunday in Florida – 50 dead and 53 hospitalized in the largest single mass-shooting incident in the history of the U.S.  History in the making, and as Rahm Emmanuel put it, never let a crisis go to waste.  The governor of Florida quickly declared a state of emergency, and as the FBI is labeling it as a “terrorist incident,” undoubtedly the federal presence is going to increase.

All of the machinery is in place and has been in place for quite some time, now.  The harbinger of things to come was already outlined by Obama, on January 14, 2014 in a White House Press Conference:

“…we are not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help they need.  I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone, and I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward…”

— Barack Hussein Obama I

Now in case anyone hasn’t noticed, the tempo of “town hall” meetings has been picked up quite a bit, especially Obama’s push for more gun control.  In between using taxpayer dollars to campaign for Hillary Clinton and vacationing at Martha’s Vineyard, Obama has “resurrected” the push for gun control.  Coincidentally, this mass shooting occurs barely even a week after Obama met with his plants and puppets to “discuss” gun control policies.  This on the heels of the 9th Circuit Court on which on June 9, 2016 struck down the right to carry concealed as a right given under the U.S. Constitution.  Undoubtedly this one will run right up to the Supreme Court for a liberal “reinterpretation” of the Second Amendment.

This latest incident will give him the juice to proceed with an executive order.  We knew that it was inevitable: a pretext would be created to provide “justification” for either some form of gun registration (this always leads to gun confiscation) or the emplacement of martial law.  Remember, the UN and the globalists are just waiting in the wings for the ability to take down the United States and confiscate the firearms.

On September 25, 2013 John Kerry signed the UN Arms Trade Treaty, “On behalf of President Obama and the United States of America.”  Seems to this author that the United States of America didn’t really have much of a say-so on this issue.  There are many who will say, “Well, in order for that treaty to be exercised, it will have to have the Senate approve it.  Even then, it is onerous to the Constitution…Marbury vs. Madison, and all.”

Let us remind ourselves that Obamacare was not able to be rammed through as commerce, so they confirmed that it is a tax.  Only trouble is…it didn’t originate in the House of Representatives, now, did it?  Yet here it is.  This next round is for the firearms, and they’re ramping up for it from every angle: domestic terrorism, and the constant global threat of terrorism. Some catch phrases here that will come into play: “In the interests of national security,” and “in the interests of public safety.”

The bottom line: they can’t take the U.S. down without taking the guns out of the hands of its citizens.

Don’t forget some of the other wonderful agreements, pacts, and statements of understanding Obama has drawn up with countries such as Canada, Russia, and others to bring their forces onto American soil to help “enforce order” if the President of the United States – Obama – is unable to enforce the laws under his administration.  According to the UN, only “authorized state parties” (referring to the governments and their armed forces and police apparatuses) are to have any firearms.

Executive Order 13603 is the one that confiscates all of the resources under an emergency (men and materials, the former being forced labor).  The NDAA provides direction for the inculcation of martial law during an emergency and the indefinite detention of American citizens with neither a writ of Habeas Corpus or a trial.  We are seeing the draconian measures taken in the private sector and the banks in terms of limiting cash withdrawals from the institutions and the ATM’s.

We are seeing the positioning of military equipment throughout the United States, the federalization of National Guard Troops, the federalization of municipal, local, and state police forces, and all of the above coming under the blanket of the federal government and activated by FEMA and the DHS.

They need a war or a false flag to start the whole ball rolling and this shooting is just the beginning.  “Wag the Dog” never really stopped playing…only in the theaters.  The federal government picked up the movie and has been writing the sequels and following them as policy, both foreign and domestic.

They are telegraphing the left hook: they are going to use this incident to come for the guns, starting out with “assault” weapons and high-capacity magazines.  Hillary will use her clout and get behind it, but it is Obama who will make it happen.  Why?

Obama is the outgoing president: he’ll make the gun control happen, so that it isn’t an uphill battle for Hillary.  What can’t be obtained through Congress will be obtained by EO, and “justified” by the false flag incident where he “had to act for the public good.”

This is just the beginning, and it may very well be that it isn’t just the firearms that come under fire with an EO.  One or two more of these type of incidents and they’ll roll out the martial law juggernaut.  They didn’t put all of these measures into place as a hobby, and with 315 million Muppets, the faster they act with a situation such as this, the easier it will be to control the public and inculcate these measures before they even realize what has happened. #

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne).  Mr. Johnson is also a Gunsmith, a Certified Master Herbalist, a Montana Master Food Preserver, and a graduate of the U.S. Army’s SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape).  He lives in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with his wife and three cats. You can follow Jeremiah’s regular writings at SHTFplan.com or contact him here.

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The Klippenstein Interview: Seymour Hersh Dishes on Saudi Oil Money Bribes and the Killing of Osama Bin Laden

Wide-ranging interview tied to new book, “The Killing of Osama Bin Laden.”

By Ken Klippenstein for Alternet, April 20, 2016 •

64633778_2392ef36c0_zSeymour Hersh is an American investigative journalist who is the recipient of many awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for his article exposing the My Lai massacre by the U.S. military in Vietnam. More recently, he exposed the U.S. government’s abuse of detainees in the Abu Ghraib prison facility.

Hersh’s new book, The Killing of Osama Bin Laden, is a corrective to the official account of the war on terror. Drawing from accounts of a number of high-level military officials, Hersh challenges a number of commonly accepted narratives: that Syrian president Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the Sarin gas attack in Ghouta; that the Pakistani government didn’t know Bin Laden was in the country; that the late ambassador J. Christopher Stevens was at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi in a solely diplomatic capacity; and that Assad did not want to give up his chemical weapons until the U.S. called on him to do so.

Ken Klippenstein: In the book you describe Saudi financial support for the compound in which Osama Bin Laden was being kept in Pakistan. Was that Saudi government officials, private individuals or both?

Seymour Hersh: The Saudis bribed the Pakistanis not to tell us [that the Pakistani government had Bin Laden] because they didn’t want us interrogating Bin Laden (that’s my best guess), because he would’ve talked to us, probably. My guess is, we don’t know anything really about 9/11. We just don’t know. We don’t know what role was played by whom.

KK: So you don’t know if the hush money was from the Saudi government or private individuals?

SH: The money was from the government … what the Saudis were doing, so I’ve been told, by reasonable people (I haven’t written this) is that they were also passing along tankers of oil for the Pakistanis to resell. That’s really a lot of money.

KK: For the Bin Laden compound?

SH: Yeah, in exchange for being quiet. The Paks traditionally have done security for both Saudi Arabia and UAE.

KK: Do you have any idea how much Saudi Arabia gave Pakistan in hush money?

SH: I have been given numbers, but I haven’t done the work on it so I’m just relaying. I know it was certainly many—you know, we’re talking about four or five years—hundreds of millions [of dollars]. But I don’t have enough to tell you.

KK: You quote a retired U.S. official as saying the Bin Laden killing was “clearly and absolutely a premeditated murder” and a former SEAL commander as saying “by law we know what we’re doing inside Pakistan is homicide.”

Do you think Bin Laden was deprived of due process?

SH: [Laughs] He was a prisoner of war! The SEALs weren’t proud of that mission; they were so mad it was outed…I know a lot about what they think and what they thought and what they were debriefed, I will tell you that. They were very unhappy about the attention paid to that because they went in and it was just a hit.

Look, they’ve done it before. We do targeted assassinations. That’s what we do. They understood—the SEALs—that if they were captured by the Pakistani police authorities, they could be tried for murder. They understood that.

KK: Why didn’t they apprehend Bin Laden? Can you imagine the intelligence we could have gotten from him?

SH: The Pakistani high command said go kill him, but for chrissake don’t leave a body, don’t arrest him, just tell them a week later that you killed him in Hindu Kush. That was the plan.

Many sections, particularly in the Urdu-speaking sections, were really very positive about Bin Laden. Significant percentages in some areas supported Bin Laden. They [the Pakistani government] would’ve been under great duress if the average person knew that they’d helped us kill him.

KK: How did it hurt U.S./Pakistan relations when, as you point out in your book, Obama violated his promise not to mention Pakistan’s cooperation with the assassination?

SH: We spend a lot of time with [Pakistani] generals Pasha and Kayani, the head of the army and ISI, the intelligence service. Why? Why are we so worried about Pakistan? Because they have [nuclear] bombs. … at least 100, probably more. And we want to think that they’re going to share what they know with us and they’re not hiding it.

We don’t really know everything we think we know and they don’t tell us everything… so when he [Obama] is doing that, he’s really messing around with the devil in a sense.

…. He [Bin Laden] had wives and children there. Did we ever get to them? No. We never got to them. Just think about all the things we didn’t do. We didn’t get to any of the wives, we didn’t do much interrogation, we let it go.

There are people that know much more about this and I wish they would talk, but they don’t.

KK: You write that Obama authorized a ratline wherein CIA funneled arms from Libya into Syria and they ended up in jihadi hands. [According to Hersh, this operation was coordinated via the Benghazi consulate where U.S. ambassador Stevens was killed.] What was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s role in this given her significant role in Libya?

SH: The only thing we know is that she was very close to Petraeus who was the CIA director at the time … she’s not out of the loop, she knows when there’s covert ops. … That ambassador who was killed, he was known as a guy, from what I understand, as somebody who would not get in the way of the CIA. As I wrote, on the day of the mission he was meeting with the CIA base chief and the shipping company. He was certainly involved, aware and witting of everything that was going on. And there’s no way somebody in that sensitive of a position is not talking to the boss, by some channel.

KK: In the book you quote a former intelligence official as saying that the White House rejected 35 target sets provided by the Joint Chiefs as being insufficiently painful to the Assad regime. (You note that the original targets included military sites only—nothing by way of civilian infrastructure.) Later the White House proposed a target list that included civilian infrastructure.

What would the toll to civilians have been if the White House’s proposed strike had been carried out?

SH: Do you really think that at any time this is discussed? You know who’s sanest on this: Dan Ellsberg. When I first met Dan, it was way early—in ’70, ’71, during the Vietnam War. I think I met him before the Pentagon Papers were around. I remember him telling me that he asked that question at a meeting while planning the war [regarding B-52 targets] and nobody had even looked at it.

You really don’t get a very good hard, objective look. You can see a movie in which they seem to do it, but that’s not really so.

I don’t know if [regarding Syria] they looked at collateral damage and noncombatants, but I do know that in wars in the past, that’s never been a big issue. … you’re talking about the country that dropped the second bomb on Nagasaki.

KK: In a recent interview with the Atlantic, Obama characterized his foreign policy as “Don’t do stupid shit.”

SH: I read the Jeff Goldberg piece…and it of course drove me nuts, but that’s something else.

KK: As you point out in your book, Obama originally wanted to remove Assad. Isn’t that the definition of stupid? The power vacuum that would ensue would open Syria up to all kinds of jihadi groups.

SH: God knows I can’t tell you why anybody does anything. I’m not inside their head. I can tell you that the same question was asked by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs—Dempsey—which is why I was able to write that story about their going, indirectly, behind his [Obama’s] back because nobody could figure out why.

I don’t know why we persist on living in the Cold War, but we do. Russia actually did a very good job. They not only did the bombing that was more effective than what we do, I think that’s fair to say. Russia also did stuff that was sort of more subtle and more interesting: they renewed the Syrian army. They took many major units of the Syrian army offline, gave them R&R and re-equipped them. Got new arms, got a couple weeks off, then they came back, got more training and became a much better army.

I think in the beginning, there’s just no question, we wanted to get rid of Bashar. I think they misread the whole resistance. Wikileaks is very good on this…there’s enough State Department documents that show that from 2003 on, we really had a policy—not very subtle, not violent, but millions of dollars given to opposition people. We certainly were not a nonpartisan foreign government inside Syria.

Our policy has always been against him [Assad]. Period.

One of the things that comes across just in the current stories about all the travails we’re having about ISIS allegedly running all these terror teams in Brussels and in the suburbs of Paris… it’s very clear, ironically, that one of the things France and Belgium (and a lot of other countries) did was after the Syrian civil war began, if you wanted to go there and fight there in 2011-2013, ‘Go, go, go… overthrow Bashar!’

So they actually pushed a lot of people to go. I don’t think they were paying for them but they certainly gave visas. And they would spend four or five months, come back and do organized crime and get in jail and next thing you know they’re killing people. There’s a real pattern there.

I do remember when the war began in 2003, our war against Baghdad, I was in Damascus working for The New Yorker then and I saw Bashar and one of the things he told me, he said, ‘Look, we’ve got a bunch of radical kids and if they want to go fight, if they want to leave the mosque here in Damascus and go fight in Baghdad, we said fine! We even gave them buses!’

So there’s always been a tremendous, Why does America do what it does? Why do we not say to the Russians, Let’s work together?

KK: So why don’t we work closer with Russia? It seems so rational.

SH: I don’t know. I would also say, why wasn’t the first door we knocked on after 9/11, Russia’s? They just had a terrible 10-year war with Chechnya. Believe me, the Chechen influence in the Sunni world in terms of jihadism is strong. For example I’ve been told by my friends in the intelligence community that al-Baghdadi (who runs ISIS) is surrounded by a lot of guys with experience in Chechnya. A lot of people involved in that operation did.

So who knows the most about jihadism? You look at it from the Russian point of view—we never like looking at things from other people’s point of view.

KK: In the book you quote a Joint Chiefs of Staff adviser who said that Brennan told the Saudis to stop arming the extremist rebels in Syria and their weapons will dry up—which seems like a rational request—but then, you point out, the Saudis ramped up arms support.

Seymour Hersh: That’s true.

KK: Did the U.S. do anything to punish the Saudis for it?

SH: Nothing. Of course not. No, no. I’ll tell you what’s going on right now … al Nusra, certainly a jihadist group… has new arms. They’ve got some tanks now—I think the Saudis are supplying stuff. They’ve got tanks now, have a lot of arms, and are staging some operations around Aleppo. There’s a ceasefire and even though they’re not part of it, they obviously took advantage of the ceasefire to resupply. It’s going to be bloody.

KK: Just to be clear, the U.S. hasn’t done anything to punish or at least disincentivize the Saudis from arming our enemies in Syria?

SH: Quite the contrary. The Saudis and Qatar and the Turks put money into those arms [sent to Syrian jihadis].

You’re asking the right questions. Do we say anything? No. Turkey’s Erdogan has played a complete double game: for years he supported and accommodated ISIS. The border was wide open—Hatay Province—guys were going back and forth, bad guys. We know Erdogan’s deeply involved. He’s changing his tune slightly but he’s been deeply involved in this.

Let me talk to you about the sarin story [the sarin gas attack in Ghouta, a suburb near Damascus, which the U.S. government attributed to the Assad regime] because it really is in my craw. In this article that [sic] was this long series of interviews [of Obama] by Jeff Goldberg…he says, without citing the source (you have to presume it was the president because he’s talking to him all the time) that the head of National Intelligence, General [James] Clapper, said to him very early after the [sarin] incident took place, “Hey, it’s not a slam dunk.”

You have to understand in the intelligence community—Tenet [Bush-era CIA director who infamously said Iraqi WMD was a “slam dunk”] is the one who said that about the war in Baghdad—that’s a serious comment. That means you’ve got a problem with the intelligence. As you know I wrote a story that said the chairman of the Joint Chiefs told the president that information the same day. I now know more about it.

The president’s explanation for [not bombing Syria] was that the Syrians agreed that night, rather than be bombed, they’d give up their chemical weapons arsenal, which in this article in the Atlantic, Goldberg said they [the Syrians] had never disclosed before. This is ludicrous. Lavrov [Russia’s Foreign Minister] and Kerry had talked about it for a year—getting rid of the arsenal—because it was under threat from the rebels.

The issue was not that they [the Syrians] suddenly caved in. [Before the Ghouta attack] there was a G-20 summit and Putin and Bashar met for an hour. There was an official briefing from Ben Rhodes and he said they talked about the chemical weapons issue and what to do. The issue was that Bashar couldn’t pay for it—it cost more than a billion bucks. The Russians said, ‘Hey, we can’t pay it all. Oil prices are going down and we’re hurt for money.’ And so, all that happened was we agreed to handle it. We took care of a lot of the costs of it.

Guess what? We had a ship, it was called the Cape Maid, it was parked out in the Med. The Syrians would let us destroy this stuff [the chemical weapons]… there was 1,308 tons that was shipped to the port…and we had, guess what, a forensic unit out there. Wouldn’t we like to really prove—here we have all his sarin and we had sarin from what happened in Ghouta, the UN had a team there and got samples—guess what?

It didn’t match. But we didn’t hear that. I now know it, I’m going to write a lot about it.

Guess what else we know from the forensic analysis we have (we had all the missiles in their arsenal). Nothing in their arsenal had anything close to what was on the ground in Ghouta. A lot of people I know, nobody’s going to go on the record, but the people I know said we couldn’t make a connection, there was no connection between what was given to us by Bashar and what was used in Ghouta. That to me is interesting. That doesn’t prove anything, but it opens up a door to further investigation and further questioning.

This interview was lightly edited for readability. #

Ken Klippenstein is an American journalist who can be reached on Twitter @kenklippenstein or email: kenneth.klippenstein@gmail.com.

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Monthly Feature: Apologists for Islam and History

Once again, Obama skips over a few important details.

la_rendicion_de_granada_-_pradillaBy Hugh Fitzgerald for Frontpage Magazine, March 24, 2016 •

Apologists for Islam are a varied bunch – some reveal ignorance, others deploy deliberate taqiyya – but all play fast and loose with history.

Here are three examples:

Karen Armstrong on the Expulsion of the Moors

In 1492, the year that is often said to inaugurate the modern era, three very important events happened in Spain. In January, the Catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella conquered the city of Granada, the last Muslim stronghold in Europe; later, Muslims were given the choice of conversion to Christianity or exile. In March, the Jews of Spain were also forced to choose between baptism and deportation. Finally, in August, Christopher Columbus, a Jewish convert to Catholicism and a protégé of Ferdinand and Isabella, crossed the Atlantic and discovered the West Indies. One of his objectives had been to find a new route to India, where Christians could establish a military base for another crusade against Islam. As they sailed into the new world, western people carried a complex burden of prejudice that was central to their identity.

In 1492, “the Catholic monarchs conquered Granada, the last Muslim stronghold in Europe.” What then should we call all those lands in southern and eastern Europe that the Ottomans were at that very moment busy conquering and seizing, including Constantinople, the richest, most populous, most important city in all of Christendom for 800 years (taken by the Turks on a Tuesday – May 29, 1453), and the Balkans (including the then-vast Serbian lands)? And what are modern-day Albania, Greece, Rumania, Bulgaria? The Ottomans continued to press northward and westward, later seizing much of Hungary and threatening Vienna twice. Were these not parts of Europe, and was not a good deal of Europe, including what had been its most important city for a millennium, Constantinople, firmly in Muslim hands before Granada fell – and after?

But it would not do to remind readers that while the Muslim invaders and conquerors of Spain lost their last “stronghold” in Granada, other Muslim invaders and conquerors were busy at the other end of Europe, seizing lands and subjugating the native populations to the devshirme (the forced levy of Christian children) as well as to the jizya (the tax on non-Muslims) and all the other disabilities that, wherever Muslims conquered, were imposed, as part of a clearly elaborated system, and not merely the whim a ruler, on all non-Muslims.

Now having begun with that year 1492, Armstrong has a bit of a problem. It was that year that Jews were forced to be baptized or to leave. But though Granada had fallen, nothing then happened to the Muslims. In fact, they were treated with the same gentleness that all the Mudejares (Spanish Muslims) who had been defeated, in successive campaigns, were always treated by the Christian victors. Henry Lea, the pioneering historian of the Inquisition, who was hardly looking for ways to exculpate Christianity, describes the generosity with which the defeated Muslims were treated in Granada, and after the prior victories:

It was the Jews against whom was directed the growing intolerance of the fifteenth century and, in the massacres that occurred, there appears to have been no hostility manifested against the Mudéjares. When Alfonso de Borja, Archbishop of Valencia (afterwards Calixtus III), supported by Cardinal Juan de Torquemada, urged their [the Mudejars] expulsion on Juan II of Aragon, although he appointed a term for their exile, he reconsidered the matter and left them undisturbed. So when, in 1480, Isabella ordered the expulsion from Andalusia of all Jews who refused baptism and when, in 1486, Ferdinand did the same in Aragon, they both respected the old capitulations and left the Mudéjares alone. The time-honored policy was followed in the conquest of Granada, and nothing could be more liberal than the terms conceded to the cities and districts that surrendered. The final capitulation of the city of Granada was a solemn agreement, signed November 25, 1491, in which Ferdinand and Isabella, for themselves, for their son the Infante Juan and for all their successors, received the Moors of all places that should come into the agreement as vassals and natural subjects under the royal protection, and as such to be honored and respected. Religion, property, freedom to trade, laws and customs were all guaranteed, and even renegades from Christianity among them were not to be maltreated, while Christian women marrying Moors were free to choose their religion. For three years, those desiring expatriation were to be transported to Barbary at the royal expense, and refugees in Barbary were allowed to return. When, after the execution of this agreement, the Moors, with not unnatural distrust, wanted further guarantees, the sovereigns made a solemn declaration in which they swore by God that all Moors should have full liberty to work on their lands, or to go wherever they desired through the kingdoms, and to maintain their mosques and religious observances as heretofore, while those who desired to emigrate to Barbary could sell their property and depart.

It was not until 1502, after difficulties ensued between Spanish authorities, including the famous Cardinal Ximenes (he of the Complutensian Polyglot), and the Muslims (Mudejares) that they were given the choice of expulsion or conversion. And a great many of them pretended to convert, and remained in Spain – far more Muslims were capable of engaging in dissimulation of their faith than were the hapless Jews, who were expelled, in 1492, virtually overnight. It was much later, not until the late 16th century, under Philip II, that the last of the Muslims (“Moors”) in Spain were finally expelled, having before that risen in revolt more than once, and been subject to several incomplete expulsions.

Armstrong manages to smuggle in that first, rather ineffective expulsion of 1502: “later [i.e. in a different year altogether] Muslims were given the choice of Christianity or exile.” She does not add, and may not know, that Muslims in Spain after the fall of Granada in 1492 were not under any danger of expulsion, and it was only when they showed signs of refusing to integrate as asked (and it was assumed that over time they would share the Christian faith, though at first nothing was done to demand such a sign) that they were presented with the choice of expulsion or conversion. She may not know, either, that Muslims in a Spain now everywhere ruled by Christians, asked members of the ulema in North Africa (in present-day Morocco) to determine whether under Islamic law they might continue to live in Spain under non-Muslim rule. They were told that it was not licit, that it was important for them not to be ruled by non-Muslims, and that they must, therefore, return to the Muslim-ruled lands of North Africa. Such details provide a rather different slant on what Karen Armstrong offers – she takes the real tragedy, the overnight expulsion of the hapless and inoffensive Jews, and attempts to make the reader think that the Muslims were equally inoffensive, equally harmless, and also treated with equal ferocity, as the Jews. But they were not equally inoffensive, not equally harmless, and not treated with equal ferocity. The danger of a military uprising by the Mudejares, possibly helped by Muslims from North Africa, was real, while Jews never were militarily powerful enough to pose a similar threat.

First, in 1492, comes the fall of Granada. Then, second in time, and certainly in Karen Armstrong’s indignation, came the expulsion of the Jews: “In March, the Jews of Spain were also forced to choose between conversion and exile.” Note how that “also” is dropped in, as if the real event, the main event, was the nonexistent (in 1492) expulsion of the Moors, which she had taken care to slip into her discussion of the Fall of Granada, so that she could diminish the significance of the expulsion of the Jews with that afterthoughtish “also.”

But the Muslims were invaders and conquerors, who had been resisted for 700 years of the Reconquista, and when expelled, not all at once as were the Jews, they simple went across the Straits of Gibraltar from whence they had originally come, to live again among fellow Muslims, under Muslim rule. Armstrong never says that. Nor does she point out, as she would if she were trying to compare the quite different treatments of Jews and Muslims, that the Jews of Spain never invaded, never conquered, never represented a threat to the political or social order of Christian Spain. And when they were expelled, they were not to find refuge, like the Muslims, in lands ruled by coreligionists, but again, to be scattered, both to Ottoman domains and to Christian ones, to Salonika or Amsterdam, to be treated indifferently, or kindly, or with contumely, or worse.

Under Muslim rule, despite their sometimes horrendous treatment, as recorded by Maimonides in his “Epistle to the Yemen” (Maimonides fled Islamic Spain and reported to his coreligionists in the Yemen), the Jews managed to make important cultural contributions as translators (along with Christians), as physicians, and as poets (the name Judah Halevi comes to mind). They were perfectly willing to live in Spain under Christian rule. They posed no military or political threat, in contradistinction to the Muslims. They did nothing to deserve their expulsion. But Karen Armstrong has sympathy for the Jews only insofar as that sympathy can be transferred to the real objects of her pity, the Muslims, and she will do nothing to cause readers to recognize the difference in the two cases, that of the Jews one of clear mistreatment, that of the Muslims a matter of geopolitical prudence. It took a full decade for the Spanish rulers and clerics to realize that the Muslims, though conquered, were not, as had been hoped, eventually going to convert to the Christian faith, and the signs they gave of continued insubmission could only disturb the Christian monarchs. It had taken 500 years for the Reconquista. Why should the Spanish Christians, now that they had been militarily victorious everywhere on the Iberian Peninsula, need to worry that the Muslims might rise in revolt when they could remove the problem once and for all?

And such local Muslim revolts did take place in Spain in the sixteenth century, but it was not until the Morisco revolt of the Alpujarras in Granada in 1568 that official attitudes hardened. That war lasted until 1570; at the end of it, Grenadan Moriscos were relocated to the interior, and scattered among “Old Christians,” that is, people who were not descended from Jewish or Muslim converts to Islam, and, it was assumed, were the most trustworthy Christians of them all.

But still there were worries about the failure of hundreds of thousands of Moriscos to assimilate, and the fear that they might be in contact with Barbary pirates or the Ottomans (or even Protestants!) led the Spanish monarch in 1609 to order the expulsion of the last remaining Moriscos.

Both Jews and Moors were expelled from Spain, but not on the same date, and not at all in the same way. However determined Armstrong may be to convince us (most unconvincingly) that these were identical historical events, both prompted in her modish view by the demonization of “the Other” (a phenomenon which apparently results from the peculiar psychic deficiency of Christian Europe), they were not identical. The Moors were treated by Spanish officials much more leniently than the Jews, even though they were a greater geopolitical threat, with powerful coreligionists just across the Strait of Gibraltar in North Africa, than were the Jews, who posed no threat whatsoever. The phrase “the expulsion of the Jews and the Moors in 1492” does violence to the truth, but furthers Armstrong’s desire to win sympathy for Muslims.

Armstrong has been retelling, in her inimitable fashion, the story of European Christendom’s relations with Islam and with Muslims. In her retelling, the Muslims are innocent victims, and as innocent victims, likened misleadingly to the Jews. They are also the only people who provided, in that bright shining moment of European history known as Islamic Spain, the only real tolerance and humanity to be found anywhere in Europe before the modern era, a veritable paradise of convivencia. It is a tough job, but Karen Armstrong proves equal to the task. And her real theme is not history, but to make Europeans feel ashamed of themselves for showing any signs of wariness or suspicion about the millions of Muslims who now live in Europe, having come among the indigenous Infidels to settle, but not, pace Armstrong, to settle down.

Barack Obama on Jefferson’s “Iftar Dinner” and Muslims In America

“The first Muslim ambassador to the United States, from Tunisia, was hosted by President Jefferson, who arranged a sunset dinner for his guest because it was Ramadan — making it the first known iftar at the White House, more than 200 years ago.” — Barack Obama, speaking on August 14, 2010, at the “Annual Iftar Dinner” at the White House

Really? Is that what happened? Was there a “first known Iftar at the White House” given by none other than President Thomas Jefferson for the “first Muslim ambassador to the United States”? That’s what Barack Obama and his dutiful speechwriters told the Muslims in attendance at what was billed as the “Annual Iftar Dinner,” knowing full well that the remarks would be published for all Americans to see. Apparently Obama, and those who helped write this speech for him, and others still who vetted it, found nothing wrong with attempting, as part of the administration’s policy of both trying to win Muslim hearts and Muslim minds and to convince Americans that Islam has always been part of America’s history, to misrepresent that history. For the dinner Jefferson gave was not intended to be an Iftar dinner, and his guest that evening was not “the first Muslim ambassador…. from Tunisia,” but in using such words, Obama was engaged in a little nunc pro tunc backdating, so that the Iftar dinner that he gave in 2010 could be presented as part of a supposed tradition of such presidential Iftar dinners, going all the way back to the time of Jefferson.

But before explaining what that “first Iftar dinner” really was, let’s go back to an earlier but even more egregious example of Obama’s rewriting: the speech he delivered in Cairo on June 4, 2009. In that speech, he described Islam and America sharing basic principles:

I’ve come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition.  Instead, they overlap, and share common principles — principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.

And then for his Muslim guests he segued into a flattering lesson in History. First he described Western Civ., which, he said, owed so much of its development to Islam:

As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam. It was Islam — at places like Al-Azhar — that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe’s Renaissance and Enlightenment. It was innovation in Muslim communities — (applause) — it was innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra; our magnetic compass and tools of navigation; our mastery of pens and printing; our understanding of how disease spreads and how it can be healed. Islamic culture has given us majestic arches and soaring spires; timeless poetry and cherished music; elegant calligraphy and places of peaceful contemplation. And throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality. (Applause.)

And Islam played — according to Obama — a significant role in American history, too:

I also know that Islam has always been a part of America’s story. The first nation to recognize my country was Morocco. In signing the Treaty of Tripoli in 1796, our second President, John Adams, wrote, “The United States has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Muslims.” And since our founding, American Muslims have enriched the United States. They have fought in our wars, they have served in our government, they have stood for civil rights, they have started businesses, they have taught at our universities, they’ve excelled in our sports arenas, they’ve won Nobel Prizes, built our tallest building, and lit the Olympic Torch. And when the first Muslim American was recently elected to Congress, he took the oath to defend our Constitution using the same Holy Koran that one of our Founding Fathers — Thomas Jefferson — kept in his personal library. (Applause.)

We could go through those paragraphs accompanied by such keen students of history as Gibbon, John Quincy Adams, Jacob Burckhardt, and Winston Churchill, all of whom had occasion to study and comment upon Islam, their remarks rebutting proleptically Obama’s vaporings with their much more informed and sober take on the faith — but that is for another occasion. We can note, however, that when Obama in his Cairo speech talks about “the light of learning” being held aloft at places like Al-Azhar, he misstates: some Greek texts were translated into Arabic and thereby “kept alive” instead of being lost to history, but the translators were mostly Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews, not Muslims, and the work of translation went on not at Al-Azhar but at the courts of Cordoba and Baghdad. The word “algebra” is certainly Arab, but algebra itself was a product of Sanskrit mathematicians. The printing press was not a Muslim invention, and its use was accepted in the Muslim East only long after it had been in use in Western Christendom. Indeed, in Islam itself the very notion of innovation, or bida, is frowned upon, and not only, as some Muslim apologists have claimed, in theological matters. And so on.

I also know that Islam has always been a part of America’s story. The first nation to recognize my country was Morocco.

The picture Obama paints by implication, of Muslims being deeply  involved in the grand sweep of American history practically from the time of the Framers (at least he didn’t make the mistake of the State Department flunky who claimed Muslims accompanied Columbus on his voyages) is simply false. The first mosque in North America was a one-room affair in 1929; the second mosque was not built until 1934. The first Muslim to be elected to Congress was Keith Ellison, less than a decade ago. The Muslim appearance in America is very late. As for Morocco being the first country to recognize the United States in a treaty, Morocco also soon violated that very treaty and became the first country to go to war with the young Republic. That is something Obama’s advisers may not have told him.

When Obama quotes that single phrase from John Adams, made at the signing of the Treaty of Tripoli, a treaty designed to free American ships and seaman from the ever-present threat from the marauding Muslim corsairs in the Mediterranean that attacked Christian shipping at will (and when America became independent, it could no longer count on the Royal Navy to protect its ships), he wants us to think that our second president was approving of Islam. But that is to misinterpret his statement, clearly meant to be taken to have this meaning: we in the United States, have a priori nothing against Islam. Rhetoric designed to diplomatically please. But based on his subsequent experiences with the North African Muslims, including his experiences with them after various treaties were made and then broken, Adams came to a different and negative view of Islam, a view that  was shared by all those Americans who, whether diplomats or seized seamen, had any direct dealings  with Muslims. America’s first encounter with Muslims was that with the Barbary Pirates, from Morocco to Algiers to Tunis to Tripoli, and their behavior rendered Adams’s initial “the United States has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Muslims” null and void. And it was not John Adams himself, but his son John Quincy Adams (our most learned President), who studied Islam in depth, and it was he to whom Obama ought to have turned to find out more about Islam. For he would have found, among other piercing and accurate remarks by J. Q. Adams, the following:

The precept of the Koran is, perpetual war against all who deny, that Mahomet is the prophet of God. The vanquished may purchase their lives, by the payment of tribute; the victorious may be appeased by a false and delusive promise of peace; and the faithful follower of the prophet, may submit to the imperious necessities of defeat: but the command to propagate the Moslem creed by the sword is always obligatory, when it can be made effective. The commands of the prophet may be performed alike, by fraud, or by force.

Isn’t it amazing that not a single American official — and not just Obama — has ever alluded to the study of Islam that one of our most illustrious presidents produced?

Again, Obama, with a jumble of Jefferson, Ellison, and Holy Koran:

And when the first Muslim American was recently elected to Congress, he took the oath to defend our Constitution using the same Holy Koran that one of our Founding Fathers — Thomas Jefferson — kept in his personal library.

When Obama notes that Thomas Jefferson had a copy of the Qur’an in his “personal” library, he is subtly implying that Jefferson approved of its contents. Keith Ellison did much the same when he ostentatiously used that very copy of the Qur’an for his own swearing-in as the first Muslim Congressman. But Jefferson, a curious and cultivated man, with a large library, had a copy of the Qur’an for the same reason you or I might possess a copy, that is, simply to find out what was in it. And we might note in passing that it was not the “Holy Koran” that Jefferson possessed and Ellison borrowed, but an English translation by George Sale of the “Koran.” According to Muslims, the epithet “Holy” can only be attached to a Koran written and read in the original Arabic. White House, for the next time, take note.

There is not a single American statesman or traveler or diplomat in the days of the early Republic who had a good word for Islam once he had studied it, or had had dealings with Muslims or had travelled to their countries. Look high, look low, consult whatever records you want in the National Archives or the Library of Congress, and you will not find any such testimony. And the very idea that an American President would someday praise Islam to the skies in Obama’s fulsome manner would have astounded them all.

And throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance.

Also sprach Obama. But Islam is based on an uncompromising division of humanity into Muslims and Non-Muslims, Believers and Unbelievers, and Unbelievers, at best, can be allowed to live in a Muslim polity — be “tolerated” — only if they accept a position of permanent and humiliating inferiority. It would be fascinating if Obama could name even one example of Islam demonstrating through words and deeds “the possibilities of religious tolerance.”

But let’s return to Obama’s assertion about Jefferson’s “Iftar Dinner,” or rather, to that dinner that Barack Obama would have us all believe was the first “Iftar Dinner” at the White House, way back in 1805.

Here is the background to that meal in 1805 which not Jefferson, but Obama, calls an “Iftar Dinner”:

In the Mediterranean, American ships, now deprived of the protection formerly offered by the Royal Navy, suffered constant depredations by Muslim corsairs, who were not so much pirates acting alone but were officially encouraged to prey on Christian shipping, and at times even recorded the areas of the Mediterranean where they planned to go in search of Christian prey. Under Jefferson, America took a more aggressive line:

Soon after the Revolutionary War and the consequent loss of the British navy’s protection, American merchant vessels had become prey for Barbary corsairs. Jefferson was outraged by the demands of ransom for civilians captured from American vessels and the Barbary states’ expectation of annual tribute.

The crisis with Tunis erupted when the USS Constitution captured Tunisian vessels attempting to run the American blockade of Tripoli. The bey of Tunis threatened war and sent Mellimelli [Sidi Soliman Mellimelli] to the United States to negotiate full restitution for the captured vessels and to barter for tribute.

Mellimelli was not, pace Obama, “the first Muslim ambassador to the United States” — there was no official exchange of ambassadors – but a temporary envoy with a single limited task: to get an agreement that would set free the Tunisian vessels and come to an agreement about future payment – if any — of tribute by, or to Tripoli. At the end of six months, that envoy was to return home.

The Muslim envoy made some unexpected personal demands in Washington:

Jefferson balked at paying tribute but accepted the expectation that the host government would cover all expenses for such an emissary. He arranged for Mellimelli and his 11 attendants to be housed at a Washington hotel, and rationalized that the sale of the four horses and other fine gifts sent by the bey of Tunis would cover costs. Mellimelli’s request for “concubines” as a part of his accommodations was left to Secretary of State James Madison. Jefferson assured one senator that obtaining peace with the Barbary powers was important enough to “pass unnoticed the irregular conduct of their ministers.

Some readers will no doubt be reminded by this request for “concubines” of how the State Department has supplied female companions to much more recent Arab visitors, including the late King Hussein of Jordan.

Mellimelli proved to be the exotic cynosure of all eyes, with his American hosts not really understanding some of his reactions, as his “surprise” at the “social freedom women enjoyed in America” and his belief that only Moses, Jesus Christ, and Mohammed were acceptable “prophets” to follow, for they lacked the understanding of Islam that would have explained such reactions:

Despite whispers regarding his conduct, Mellimelli received invitations to numerous dinners and balls, and according to one Washington hostess was “the lion of the season.” At the president’s New Year’s Day levee the Tunisian envoy provided “its most brilliant and splendid spectacle,” and added to his melodramatic image at a later dinner party hosted by the secretary of state. Upon learning that the Madisons were unhappy at being childless, Mellimelli flung his “magical” cloak around Dolley Madison and murmured an incantation that promised she would bear a male child. His conjuring, however, did not work.

Differences in culture and customs stirred interest on both sides. Mellimelli’s generous use of scented rose oil was noted by many of those who met him, and guards had to be posted outside his lodgings to turn away the curious. For his part, the Tunisian was surprised at the social freedom women enjoyed in America and was especially intrigued by several delegations of Native Americans from the western territories then visiting Washington. Mellimelli inquired which prophet the Indians followed: Moses, Jesus Christ or Mohammed. When he was told none of them, that they worshiped “the Great Spirit” alone, he was reported to have pronounced them “vile hereticks.”

So that’s it. Sidi Soliman Mellimelli installed himself for six months at a Washington hotel, for which the American government apparently picked up the tab including, very likely, that for the requested “concubines.” He cut a dashing figure:

The curious were not to be disappointed by the appearance of the first Muslim envoy to the United States – a large figure with a full dark beard dressed in robes of richly embroidered fabrics and a turban of fine white muslin.

Over the next six months, this exotic representative from a distant and unfamiliar culture would add spice to the Washington social season but also test the diplomatic abilities of President Jefferson.

During the time Mellimelli was here, Ramadan occurred. And as it happens, during that Ramadan observed by Mellimelli, President Jefferson invited Sidi Soliman Mellimelli for dinner at the White House. The dinner was not meant to be an “Iftar dinner” but just a dinner, albeit at the White House; it was originally set for three thirty in the afternoon (our founding fathers dined early in the pre-Edison days of their existence). Mellimelli said he could not come at that appointed hour of three thirty p.m., but only after sundown.

Jefferson, a courteous man, simply moved the dinner forward by a few hours. He didn’t change the menu, he didn’t change anything else, he did not see himself as offering an “Iftar Dinner,” and there are no records to hint that he did. Barack Obama, 200 years later, is trying to rewrite American history, with some nunc-pro-tunc backdating, in order to flatter or please his Muslim guests. But he is misrepresenting American history to Americans, including schoolchildren who are now being subject to all kinds of Islamic propaganda, in newly-mandated textbooks, that so favorably depict Islam, and present it as so integral a part of American life.

Now there is a kind of coda to this dismal tale, and it is provided by the New York Times, which likes to put on airs and think of itself as “the newspaper of record,” whatever that means. The Times carried a front-page story on August 14, 2010, written by one Sheryl Gay Stolberg, and no doubt gone over by many vigilant editors. This story contains a predictably glowing account of Barack Obama’s remarks a few days before at the “Annual Iftar Dinner.” Here is the paragraph that caught my eye:

In hosting the iftar, Mr. Obama was following a White House tradition that, while sporadic, dates to Thomas Jefferson, who held a sunset dinner for the first Muslim ambassador to the United States. President George W. Bush hosted iftars annually.

Question for Sheryl Gay Stolberg, and for her editors at The New York Times: You report that there is a “White House tradition that, while sporadic, dates to Thomas Jefferson.” I claim that you are wrong. I claim that there is no White House Tradition of Iftar Dinners. I claim that Thomas Jefferson, in moving forward by a few hours a dinner that changed in no other respect, for Sidi Soliman Mellimelli, did not think he was providing what he thought of as an “Iftar Dinner,” but simply a dinner, at a time his guest requested. And to describe as a “White House tradition” and the first of the “Annual Iftar Dinners” that, the New York Times tells us, has since Jefferson’s non-existent “Iftar Dinner,” have been observed “sporadically,” has absolutely no basis in fact.

When, then, was the next in this long, but “sporadic” series of Iftar dinners? I can find no record of any, for roughly the next two hundred years, until we come to the fall of the year 2001, that is, just after the deadliest attack on American civilians ever recorded, an attack carried out by a novemdectet of Muslims acting according to their orthodox understanding of the very same texts — Qur’an, Hadith, Sira — that all Muslims rely on for authority. It was President George W. Bush who decided that, to win Muslim “trust” or to end Muslim “mistrust” — I forget which — so that we could, non-Muslim and Muslim, collaborate on defeating those “violent extremists” who had “hijacked a great religion,” started this sporadic ball unsporadically rolling. And he did what he set out to do, by golly, he did. He hosted an Iftar Dinner just a month after the attacks on the World Trade Center, on the Pentagon, on a plane’s doomed pilots and passengers over a field in Pennsylvania.

And thus it is that, ever since 2001, we have had Iftar dinner after Iftar dinner. But it was not Jefferson or any other of our learned Presidents who started this “tradition” that has been observed only “sporadically” — unless we were to count as an “Iftar dinner” what was merely seen, by Jefferson, as a dinner given at a time convenient for his exotic guest.

George W. Bush, that profound student of history and of ideas, kept telling us, in those first few months after 9/11/2001, that as far as he was concerned, by gum, Islam was a religion of “peace and tolerance.” He and Obama agree on that. And just to prove it, by golly, he’d put on an Iftar Dinner with all the fixins. And that’s just what he did. And that’s how the long “tradition” that Sheryl Gay Stolberg, and her many vetting editors at the newspaper of comical record, The New York Times, referred to, began. It’s all of fourteen years old now, having survived and thrived through the differently-disastrous presidencies of Bush and of Obama.

Craig Considine on Religious Pluralism and Civic Rights in a “Muslim Nation”: An Analysis of Prophet Muhammad’s Covenants with Christians

According to The Daily Mail article about him, Craig Considine is a “professor,” but of what is not specified. This might lead an unsuspecting reader to conclude that his “professorship” must surely be in the field about which he now publishes in the popular press — to wit, the history of early Islam. How surprising, then, to discover that his doctoral thesis, completed just last year, is not about the history of early Islam, but about Pakistani immigrants in the West: “Family, Religion, and Identity in the Pakistani Diaspora: A Case Study of Young Pakistani Men in Dublin and Boston,” a subject having nothing whatever to do with covenants supposedly entered into by Muhammad with Christians before 632 A.D. And he turns out to be not a professor of Islamic studies, but a lean lecturer in sociology.

Considine promises readers of this “covenants with Christians” paper that he will “share….what I have learned about Muhammad and how his legacy informs my understanding of Islam. Muhammad’s beliefs on how to treat religious minorities make him a universal champion of human rights, particularly as it pertains to freedom of conscience, freedom of worship, and the right for[sic] minorities to have protection during times of strife.” In other words, we are about to discover a Muhammad-we-hardly-knew-ye kind of Muhammad, an interfaith-healing Muhammad, whose fondest desire is to protect freedom of religion and to be a “champion of human rights.”

And then begins his magical-mystery-tour through early Islam. Considine starts by assuming the historical truth of a document which Muhammad purportedly made with the Christian monks at Mount Sinai:

Muhammad initiated many legal covenants with Christians and Jews after establishing his Muslim community. For example, in one covenant with the Christian monks at Mount Sinai, Egypt, Muhammad called on Muslims to respect Christian judges and churches, and for no Muslim to fight against his Christian brother or sister. Through this agreement, Muhammad made it clear that Islam, as a political and philosophical way of life, respected and protected Christians.

All very fine, were there sufficient evidence to support any of it, but as Robert Spencer showed in a devastating review, this “covenant” must surely be a forgery, very likely made by the monks themselves, in order to ensure their good treatment by Muslims on the invoked authority of Muhammad.

Here’s Spencer:

The document to which Considine is referring, the Achtiname, is of even more doubtful authenticity than everything else about Muhammad’s life. Muhammad is supposed to have died in 632; the Muslims conquered Egypt between 639 and 641. The document says of the Christians, “No one shall bear arms against them.” So were the conquerors transgressing against Muhammad’s command for, as Considine puts it, “no Muslim to fight against his Christian brother or sister”? Did Muhammad draw up this document because he foresaw the Muslim invasion of Egypt? There is no mention of this document in any remotely contemporary Islamic sources; among other anomalies, it bears a drawing of a mosque with a minaret, although minarets weren’t put on mosques until long after the time Muhammad is supposed to have lived, which is why Muslim hardliners consider them unacceptable innovation (bid’a).

The Achtiname, in short, bears all the earmarks of being an early medieval Christian forgery, perhaps developed by the monks themselves in order to protect the monastery and Egyptian Christians from the depredations of zealous Muslims.

Considine doesn’t mention any of the questions about the Achtiname’s authenticity. Instead, he just piles on more:

Similarly, in the Constitution of Medina, a key document which laid out a societal vision for Muslims, Muhammad also singled out Jews, who, he wrote, “shall maintain their own religion and the Muslim theirs… The close friends of Jews are as themselves.”


Here again, both the Treaty of Maqnah and the Constitution of Medina are of doubtful authenticity. The Constitution is first mentioned in Ibn Ishaq’s biography of Muhammad, which was written over 125 years after the accepted date for Muhammad’s death. Unfortunately for Considine, Ibn Ishaq also details what happened to three Jewish tribes of Arabia after the Constitution of Medina: Muhammad exiled the Banu Qaynuqa and Banu Nadir, massacred the Banu Qurayza after they (understandably) made a pact with his enemies during the pagan Meccans’ siege of Medina, and then massacred the exiles at the Khaybar oasis, giving Muslims even today a bloodthirsty war chant: “Khaybar, Khaybar, O Jews, the army of Muhammad will return.” Funny how we never hear Muslims chanting, “Relax, relax, O Jews, the Constitution of Medina will return.”

What responsibility did Considine have to his readers? He had at least to recognize that Western scholars of Islam have known for a long time about all four the covenants he dealt with in his paper (Spencer discussed three of them):

Considine said documents have been located in obscure monasteries around the world and books that have been out of print for centuries.

It almost sounds as if he, Craig Considine, lecturer in sociology, had located them himself and been responsible for their recent unearthing.

Considine had a responsibility to present the arguments impugning the authenticity of the documents and to attempt to refute them. He does not have to accept the arguments, but surely he owes readers a duty to discuss thoroughly the issue of authenticity.He does do some of this, but not nearly enough. He surely knew what Spencer wrote, for example, about the problems with the dating of the Achtiname, a document which would have had to have been written before Muhammad’s death in 632 A.D., which makes provisions for the good treatment of Egypt’s Christians by Muslims. Such provisions would only be needed after a Muslim invasion, and the Muslim invasion of Egypt did not take place until 639. That’s only one example of hysteron-proteron, or cart-before-horseness, in Considine’s chronology.

He preens himself on his own learnedness, and presumes to pass judgment on the scholarship of others. Yet he writes about the historian and diplomat Paul Ricaut: “It is also worth pointing out that he [Ricaut] himself used the phrase ‘On dit’, which is Latin for ‘It is alleged’” — thereby unwittingly making us aware that he, Considine, is at home in neither Latin nor French, for “on dit” is not Latin, but one of the commonest of French phrases, meaning “it is said” (the Latin would be “dicitur”), rather than the doubt-casting “it is alleged.”

Considine’s paper is based almost entirely on one source, “The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad” by John Andrew Morrow, and like Morrow, Considine presents not so much an overlooked historical truth as a forlorn hope that Islam could be other than it is, based on these “covenants” of doubtful authenticity. The goal may be laudable – convincing Muslims to be kinder to non-Muslims, and for that both Considine and Morrow know you need to ground your appeal not on human decency but on Muhammad’s authority – but the evidence adduced for such covenants remains unconvincing. As Robert Hunt wrote in a review of Morrow’s book:

these documents [the covenants] represent not the aspirations of the Prophet Muhammad, but of those religious minorities who fell under the rule of his successors.

And, continues Hunt, “what are the chances that any Muslim, including those who endorse this book [or Considine’s paper], will give these documents, completely unattested by proper isnad, the status of even the weakest hadith? None. So they will remain to the Muslim community historical curiosities with no religious authority whatsoever.”

At his website, Craig Considine tells the world about himself: “My passions include thinking, teaching, writing, speaking, traveling, and fostering peace.” Perhaps his thinking has been a bit too wishful, and that peace he fondly fosters too much a peace that passeth understanding. #

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Posted in Enemies of the State, Learn Liberty, Progressivism, Smatterings, The Crisis, The Founders | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Monthly Feature: Apologists for Islam and History

Sheriff David A. Clarke Addresses New York Oath Keepers at 2nd Annual Awards Dinner

Sheriff David A. Clarke, Jr., honored for leadership, gives Keynote Address to the New York Oath Keepers 2nd Annual Awards Dinner in Albany, New York. June 11, 2016

Clarke is a lifelong resident of the City of Milwaukee and in March 2002 was appointed Sheriff by Governor Scott McCallum, and eight months later was elected to his first four-year term, earning 64% of the vote. His later victory margins up to 73% and 74% of the vote.

Clarke graduated summa cum laude from Concordia University Wisconsin with a degree in Criminal Justice Management, and in May 2003, Concordia honored him with their Alumnus of the Year Award. Sheriff Clarke also is a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. This prestigious school trains law enforcement executives from all over the world, and provides management and leadership instruction. In July 2004, he completed the intensive three-week Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government, at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Sheriff Clarke was honored in May 2013, with the Sheriff of the Year Award from the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association for, “demonstrating true leadership and courage. . . staying true to his oath, true to his badge, and true to the people he has promised to serve and protect.”

Sheriff Clarke spoke about Black Lies (Lives) Matter, Baltimore, Ferguson, politics, law enforcement, and the courts.

For more about New York Oath Keepers, please visit: www.NewYorkOathKeepers.com

Here are Sheriff Clarke’s statements:

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The Terrorists Are Here: U.S. Border Patrol Confirms They’ve Been Smuggled in Through Mexico

terrorists-borderBy Mac Salvo for SHTFplan, June 3, 2016 •

For years we’ve warned of the OTM, or Other-Than-Mexican, threat to our southern border. And while suggesting that border security must be reformed during such a politically charged environment has led to accusations of racism for those who support tough border policy and even a wall, the fact is that we now have confirmation from the U.S. government that exactly what we warned would happen has actually happened.

According to the Washington Times, immigration officials have now confirmed that smuggling rings operating from Brazil to Mexico have been moving “migrants” from middle east terror hot beds into the United States via the southern border.

A smuggling network has managed to sneak illegal immigrants from Middle Eastern terrorism hotbeds straight to the doorstep of the U.S., including helping one Afghan who authorities say was part of an attack plot in North America.

Immigration officials have identified at least a dozen Middle Eastern men smuggled into the Western Hemisphere by a Brazilian-based network that connected them with Mexicans who guided them to the U.S. border, according to internal government documents reviewed by The Washington Times.

Those smuggled included Palestinians, Pakistanis and the Afghan man who Homeland Security officials said had family ties to the Taliban and was “involved in a plot to conduct an attack in the U.S. and/or Canada.” He is in custody, but The Times is withholding his name at the request of law enforcement to protect investigations.

In 2014 we reported that terrorists have been captured at our southern border. The report was completely denied by the Department of Homeland Security, which at the time claimed there were “no credible threats.”

It appears that those reports were, in fact, accurate, and that credible threats did exist.

But that’s not even the half of it.  We have repeatedly warned that since terrorists have what amounts to nothing short of unfettered access to America’s soft targets because of the Obama administration’s lax policies, they could well be smuggling weapons of mass destruction into the United States when they are crossing over.

It has been confirmed that gunmen have stolen radioactive materials, including Cesium-37, in Mexico on multiple occasions, a threat that was so serious that the Texas Rangers were dispatched to secure the border.

What’s more, last month we reported that game wardens in Texas have been issued radiation detectors as part of their standard uniform because of fears that terrorists “could try to smuggle radioactive material into the country.”

As further evidence of just how grave the threat really is, the Obama administration in March released a report outlining the four ways terrorists could use a nuclear device to strike targets in the United States.

The most devastating but improbable scenario involves a group stealing a fully functional bomb from a nuclear-armed country. Most nuclear experts point to Pakistan as the likeliest source, though that would require cooperation with someone on the inside of Pakistan’s military.

Easier to pull off would be for IS or another group to obtain fissile material like highly enriched uranium, then turn it into a crude nuclear device delivered by truck or ship.

A third possibility is that extremists could bomb an existing nuclear facility, such as the Belgian waste plant, spreading highly radioactive material over a wide area.

The most likely scenario that security experts fear is that a group could get ahold of radioactive material, such as cesium or cobalt, for a dirty bomb that could be carried in a suitcase. Those materials are widely used in industrial, academic and hospital settings, with no consistent security standards across the globe. Last year, an Associated Press investigation revealed multiple attempts by black market smugglers to sell radioactive material to Middle East extremists.

Curiously, the White House report specifically mentioned Cesium as a possible radioactive material that can be used to manufacture a dirty bomb – the very same material gunmen stole in Mexico.

While many Americans continue to either bury their heads in the sand or marginalize those who warn of the possibility of Chemical, Biological, Radiologicial, or Nuclear (CBRN) attacks against domestic targets, the threat is obviously real. We need look only to Europe as evidence. When terrorists attacked Brussels earlier this year we also learned that a nuclear power plant was targeted, with those involved having gone so far as to track and record the director of that plant in the hopes they could compromise its security and cause a regional and devastating nuclear disaster. Further, European officials have already confirmed that CBRN weapons have been smuggled into Europe.

Does anyone think that America is immune?

In a recent address President Obama encouraged Americans to prepare for a major disaster, suggesting that Americans should have disaster supplies like emergency food on hand to mitigate such a crisis should it ever come to pass.

Given that we know terrorists are now crossing the border into the United States and that their goal is to cause maximum damage in any way possible, perhaps the President should have also suggested to the public that they acquire CBRN-rated protective equipment to prepare for what appears to be an inevitable scenario.

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Left Explicitly Condones Anti-Trump Violence

If you’re fine with riots, then you’re almost certainly not among those people who have had their buildings torched or cars destroyed in the course of a riot.

trumprally-998x669By at The Federalist, June 6, 2016 •

After an anti-Trump protest in San Jose descended into mob violence last week, Emmett Rensin, one of Vox’s crypto-Marxist editors, suggested people should indeed stage riots if Donald Trump comes to their town. “All violence against human lives and bodies is categorically immoral,” he wrote. “Property destruction is vastly more negotiable.” To Ezra Klein’s credit, Rensin was promptly suspended from his position at Vox.

One imagines Rensin might feel differently about property violence if the property in question were his own, but presumably he’s hoping it won’t come to that. Maybe his building’s doorman will be able to turn the mob away.

By claiming that “property destruction” is a “negotiable” aspect of civil society, rather than a purely criminal one, Rensin is engaging in a shallow kind of intellectualization of violence, one as reckless as it is self-serving. It is entirely probable that Rensin has never and would never personally participate in a riot; he is doubtlessly aware that rioters often get arrested, charged, and convicted, something he likely wants nothing to do with. Better to slough the responsibility off on “poor, Latino folks.” They don’t have a busy explainer website to edit.

To look at rioting as anything other than useless cynical mob violence is to look at it from on high: if you’re fine with riots, then you’re almost certainly not among those people who have had their buildings torched or cars destroyed in the course of a riot. Any innocent victim of rioting will surely be aware of the pointlessness of it all. But for a fellow like Rensin, the prospect of a riot must seem dashing, romantic, exciting. His is a case of, in the parlance of my colleague Hans Fiene, “Selma Envy:” the desire of privileged, activist-minded millennials to relive the American civil rights movement of the mid-twentieth century.

It may also include an element of mini Marxism, since a disdain for and attacks on private property fit with the idea that it should ultimately be abolished. Rensin himself has suggested he supports abolishing private property.

Trying to Justify a Riot

But one can’t readily justify putting the torch to the property of innocent bystanders—not without a lot of mental gymnastics, anyway. So Rensin must resort to demonstrable falsehoods in order to make his case: “Destruction is not violence,” he claims. “[P]roperty destruction and seizure…has never been violence,” he writes elsewhere. This would surely be news to the Jews of Kristallnacht who watched their businesses and synagogues go up in flames. If only Vox had been around back then to clue them in!

This kind of sophistic rationalization is not unheard-of on the Left. Violence against innocents is either justified or explained away as often as it arises. During the Baltimore riots, Drexel University professor George Ciccariello-Maher claimed to have found “the real lesson from Baltimore.” What was that lesson? “Riots work,” notwithstanding the “paltry $1 million” in damage that resulted. (Whose $1 million? Not Ciccariello-Maher’s, that’s for sure.)

Ta-Nehisi Coates compared the Baltimore riots to “a forest fire,” as if riots just, you know, happen, without any objective human input. Jamelle Bouie implored us to “[try] to understand what drives riots rather than give cheap moral condemnation.” The director of a burned-down youth center in Baltimore last year said the violence against her establishment was “understandable,” which would make sense if youth centers had anything to do with police brutality.

If Rioting Works, It Will Happen More Often

All of these lofty-sounding explanations miss the point spectacularly. Namely, there is no point. Rioting is never undertaken in an effort to effect systemic change; if rioting served such a purpose (and if it “worked”), it would happen far more often than it does. Mob violence isn’t even “outrage,” properly understood. When one is truly “outraged,” one punches a wall or screams into a pillow. One usually doesn’t throw a trash can through an innocent person’s storefront.

What the soi-disant experts and sympathizers of mob violence know very well is this: rioting is both useless and objectively ruinous. Riots are stupid, needless, pointless destruction of a kind that is almost purely self-serving.

In an almost painfully poignant example of this self-evident reality, a protestor in Baltimore last year complained to a journalist that there were “other people from different cities coming in [to Baltimore] and messing up even more…they’re not doing it for the cause. They’re doing it for themselves!” Do tell.

The Left needs to stop intellectualizing violence and explaining it away with pathetic exculpatory justifications. Rioting is bad. It is never good, and whatever shallow short-term gains it accomplishes come at the expense of innocent people who have done nothing wrong.

We will assuredly have more riots in this country. They are, sadly, a constituent part of American civic and political life. But the least our self-appointed elite thinkers could do is stop encouraging such needless violence. If they’re going to offer their sympathies and their outright encouragement to mob violence, the least they could do is get out there, take part in the whole mess, and get themselves thrown in jail.

Daniel Payne is a senior contributor at The Federalist. He currently runs the blog Trial of the Century, and lives in Virginia.

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Posted in Demise of Liberty, Rise of Tyranny, Enemies of the State, Progressivism, Random Acts of Tyranny, The Crisis | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Left Explicitly Condones Anti-Trump Violence

#NeverTrumpers Offer Only “Corruption as Usual”

This article is not meant to, or intended to be interpreted as a political endorsement, or lack thereof, of any political candidate. Family Security Matters takes no political point of view whatsoever. Likewise, Eye of Vigilance has no skin in the electoral farce.

By Lawrence Sellin, PhD for Family Security Matters, May 31, 2016 •

Charles Murray, the W. H. Brady Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, writing in the National Review, says that Donald Trump “is unfit to be president in ways that apply to no other candidate of the two major political parties throughout American history.”

Wow. I wonder if Murray has been in a vegetative state for the last eight years.

And just who are these Republican establishment “angels” Mr. Murray prefers to Trump?

He doesn’t say, but he seems to favor the hopelessly corrupt Hillary Clinton as a reasonable alternative, who, according to Murray, tells lies within “normal parameters.”

I suppose those “normal parameter” lies include Benghazi, “Clinton Cash,” the potentially felonious email scandal or her Avogadro’s number of other lies.

Since January 20, 2009, the executive branch of the federal government has been composed of people who do not believe that United States should be a strong, sovereign, capitalistic- and Judeo-Christian-based constitutional republic.

If Barack Obama was the perpetrator, the two major political parties have been his willing accomplices, facilitating the most divisive, destructive and deceitful administration in American history.

Both the Democrat and Republican parties comprise what can now only be described as an anti-American establishment, both of whom have fostered policies pernicious to the well-being of the country, one in the pursuit of totalitarianism, the other to become beneficiaries of globalist greed.

If the Democrat Party has adopted an Islamo-Marxist agenda, the Republican Party has eagerly become a wholly-owned subsidiary of corporate lobbyists and international financial interests.

20160531_INSANITYOVERANDOVEREINSTEINThe Democrat Party is controlled by the radical left and Islamic sympathizers, whose messianic goals can only be achieved by attacking the basis of Western Judeo-Christian civilization, which emphasizes the uniqueness and sacredness of the individual. While Islamic radicals seek to impose Sharia by purging the world of heresies and of the infidels who practice them, leftist radicals seek to purge society of the vices allegedly spawned by capitalism — those being racism, sexism, imperialism, and income inequality.

The Republican establishment, by contrast, is simply willing to sell-out the country to the highest international bidder and considers American workers as little more than farm animals.

To maintain control of a timid citizenry, both Democrats and Republicans foster a culture of dependency. Democrats create dependency by expanding federal mandates and increasing entitlements. Republicans promote dependency by limiting voter choice, as Murray recommends.

There is already a long history of Republican collaboration with the Obama Administration, but the political degeneration has reached new depths of absurdity.

Here is the list of 43 Republican members of the US House of Representatives who supported Obama’s transgender edicts and are willing to mandate by law that grown men should be permitted to share dressing rooms, locker rooms, or bathrooms with little girls:

Amash (Mich., third congressional district), Brooks, S. (Ind., 5), Coffman (Colo., 6), Costello (Penn., 6), Curbelo (Fla., ), Davis, R. (Ill., 13), Denham (Calif., 10), Dent (Penn., 15), Diaz-Balart (Fla., 25), Dold (Ill., 10), Donovan (N.Y., 11), Emmer (Minn., 6), Fitzpatrick (Penn., 8), Frelinghuysen (N.J., 11), Gibson (N.Y., 19), Heck (Nev., 3), Hurd (Texas, 23), Issa (Calif., 49), Jolly (Fla., 13), Katko (N.Y., 24), Kinzinger (Ill., 16), Lance (N.J., 7), LoBiondo (N.J., 2), MacArthur (N.J., 3), McSally (Ariz., 2), Meehan (Penn., 7), Messer (Ind., 6), Paulsen (Minn., 3), Poliquin (Maine, 2), Reed, (N.Y., 23), Reichert (Wash., 8), Renacci (Ohio, 16), Rooney (Fla., 17), Ros-Lehtinen (Fla., 27), Shimkus (Ill., 15), Stefanik (N.Y., 21), Upton (Mich., 6), Valadao (Calif., 21), Walden (Ore., 2), Walters (Calif., 45), Young, D. (Iowa, 3), Young, T. (Ind., 9), Zeldin (N.Y., 1).

Those Republican members of Congress, who are apparently eager to disregard privacy, decency, women’s equal protection and even public safety, actively sided with Obama and the Democrats to promote transgenderism.

In essence, the Republican Party thinks it is sensible for transgenders, who are arguably mentally disturbed and representing a miniscule 0.3% of the US population, to determine social policy for the other 99.7% of us.

Unlike the #NeverTrumpers, the American people seem to have concluded, like Albert Einstein, that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. #

20120212_SellinLawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is a retired Colonel with 29 years of service in the US Army Reserve and a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq. Colonel Sellin is the author of “Restoring the Republic: Arguments for a Second American Revolution “. Email  him at lawrence.sellin@gmail.com.

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Posted in Demise of Liberty, Rise of Tyranny, Enemies of the State, Learn Liberty, Random Acts of Tyranny, The Aristocracy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on #NeverTrumpers Offer Only “Corruption as Usual”

Killing Christianity in America

shutterstock_102070597By Fay Voshell for American Thinker, April 3, 2016 •

The secular extremism characterizing much of the contemporary political scene sometimes makes it hard to realize Christianity was once the primary motivating force behind the great human rights movements of America.

Men and women of faith fought for decades to achieve victory over the great human rights issue of the 19th century — freeing the slaves. The issue of slavery had festered from the time of its introduction into the colonies in 1619. It would be Pennsylvanian Quakers, who believed in the inner light of conscience, who filed the first formal protest against slavery in 1688.

Abolitionists fought ferociously because of their unyielding and undying belief that all human beings were made in the image of God and were entitled to equal protection under the law. Bolstered by the constitutionally guaranteed rights stated clearly in the first amendment of the American constitution, they fought to end slavery and to guarantee equality of all human beings before the law.

The roots of that great reform movement as well as many of the continuing reform movements of the 19th and 20th centuries — including the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 60s — were profoundly Christian.

How radically things have changed.

Now, at the inception of the twenty-first century, constitutionally guaranteed rights of the exercise of faith and religious freedoms are jeopardized by a sex cult that has borrowed but completely distorted the underlying principles of the abolitionist movement and its heir, the Civil Rights movement.

The radical fringe of the sexual revolution that began in the 1960s coincided and was parallel with the Civil Rights movement, gradually poisoning and then determining to kill outright the Christian religious conscience that was and still is the backbone of reform in America. The radicals behind the sexual revolution substituted in the place of Christian conscience answerable to God a militant view of self-determination that held to no god but the inner god of human will and power.

In an astonishing perversion of the Quaker idea of the inner voice of conscience answerable to God, the inner voice of the individual human being was determined to be infallible in matters of sex and practice — “If it feels good; do it.” What any individual believed to be his or her inner voice granted unqualified authority to remold the world according to the latest revolutionary fatwa concerning sexual freedom.

Over a period of a few decades, activists for the LGBT movement transitioned steadily from their initial demands for equal protection under the law to demands for gay marriage, to denaturing the very construct of humanity by insisting on a gender free society, to promoting the right to force society at large to accept as infallible an individual’s ability to discern and to declare one’s self to be whatever sex one chooses.

To put it another way, the LGBT agenda will brook no contradiction from the rest of us mere mortals to argue about the inerrant inner light of the gods and goddesses who declare themselves to have divine ability to transform themselves into any sex they wish to be. The “right” to be or not to be man or woman resulted in the fanatical demand that bathrooms must be retrofitted to conform to “gender free” standards, meaning that in practice either sex could use public facilities as they wished, including those who are physically men but believe themselves to be women.

But even victories in the bathroom bill fights have not been enough for radicals. Encouraged by the recent decision of the Supreme Court ratifying a pillar of the LGBT movement; namely, the constitutional “right” of same sex couples to marry, the movement has set its sights on destroying Christianity itself. By insisting that no minister or priest can refuse to marry gay couples, and by asserting no organization or institution, including churches, can refuse to hire people diametrically opposed to Christian beliefs, the LGBT movement reveals itself to be a cult radically and viciously antithetical to Christianity.

And, yes, it is a cult.

A basic definition of a cult is an organization whose beliefs are so far separated from the real world, that if society were to incorporate those beliefs, it too, would go mad. Therefore, insane beliefs completely divorced from the ground of being can only be established by force of law and strategies utilizing persecution aimed at eventual elimination of entities in opposition to those beliefs.

The result is that open war has been declared on Christianity in America.

For proof of that war, we need only to look at the mad consequences we now observe in Georgia, where the governor of that state has vetoed a bill that would have offered absolutely minimal protection to ministers and churches. World Magazine reports:

“Claiming the bill would ‘give rise to state-sanctioned discrimination,’ Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal today vetoed a law that would have provided legal protection for pastors, faith-based organizations, and business owners who, in good conscience, refused to service gay weddings. The veto leaves Georgians with no statewide religious liberty protection and vulnerable to lawsuits over belief in the biblical definition of marriage.”

Apparently completely ignorant of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution’s clear statement of religious protection, the governor added: “In light of our history, I find it ironic that today some in the religious community feel it necessary to ask government to confer upon them certain rights and protections.”

Let that sink in.

In an era in which our Secretary of State has finally admitted genocide is being committed against unprotected Christians in the Middle East, the governor of Georgia says religious communities don’t need the government to confer rights and protections on people of faith.

Irony of ironies, Nathan Deal is a Southern Baptist — a Southern Baptist who just gave over his own denomination to corporations for thirty pieces of silver. That his own church holds such retrograde and discriminatory positions as marriage being a covenant between a man and a woman and that the scriptures hold very pronounced views on sexual behavior seem to come as a surprise to Governor Deal.

But they do not surprise Albert Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Seminary, and stalwart defender of orthodox Christian views on the sexes and marriage. One wonders if Deal — what a perfect name — is prepared to see Dr. Mohler sued and hauled away to jail for advocacy of orthodox Christian doctrine concerning marriage and sexual mores.

Certainly Deal’s capitulation to corporations and the LGBT radicals helps explain why a plurality of Georgian evangelicals, among them Southern Baptists, voted for shameless secularist Donald Trump. Apparently neither Deal nor the plurality of so-called evangelicals think faith and Christian doctrine have anything to say about the character of candidates who wish to lead a nation or about radical policies antithetical to and aimed directly at Christians.

The leftist rage directed at American Christians should come as no particular surprise.

Historically, the Left has always sought to eviscerate and even to eliminate Christianity. The all-out assault on Christians in America by the Left resembles the wars socialism and communism waged against Christianity, the most obvious example being is the attempt of the communist Soviet Union to bury Russian Orthodoxy.

A less noted example, yet a clear provider of an almost exact pattern of what is happening here in the U.S., is the persecution of Mexican Roman Catholics by radical socialists during the Cristero war of the 1920s. During that war, Mexican socialists sought to eliminate Christianity from Mexico, which at the time was 95% Catholic.

For over 70 years, from about 1917 onwards, the Roman Catholic Church was actually outlawed. It was not allowed to own property, run parochial schools or convents or monasteries. Foreign priests were deported, and many native priests killed outright. The Church was not allowed to defend itself publicly or in the courts.

As Catholic Gene writes:

[The Church] was hardly allowed to exist. According to historian Jim Tuck, “This was not separation of church and state: it was complete subordination of church to state”.

“It was not until 1992 that the Church was restored as a legal entity in Mexico. During the period of the strictest enforcement of these draconian laws beginning with the rule of President Calles in the late 1920s, Mexicans were often imprisoned for wearing religious items, saying “Adios” in public (which literally means “with God”), or even questioning the laws. Public worship was a crime punishable by hanging or firing squad.”

The Mexican Constitution of 1917 included the following restrictions on Catholics:

“According to the religious liberties established under article 24, educational services shall be secular and, therefore, free of any religious orientation. The educational services shall be based on scientific progress and shall fight against ignorance, ignorance’s effects, servitudes, fanaticism and prejudice… All religious associations organized according to article 130 and its derived legislation, shall be authorized to acquire, possess or manage just the necessary assets to achieve their objectives… The rules established at this article are guided by the historical principle according to which the State and the churches are separated entities from each other. Churches and religious congregations shall be organized under the law.”

The new constitution obligated the registration of all churches, declared all priests and ministers were ineligible to hold state office; and stated they could not advocate on behalf of any political parties or candidates. The State would regulate the number of priests in designated regions and no priests could wear religious garb in public. Nor could religious ceremonies be conducted outdoors without strict regulation by the State.

One needs only to read the restrictions of the Mexican Constitution of 1917 to recognize a similar pattern of persecution and restrictions against churches and people of faith in the United States, land of the free.

In retrospect Christians, at least partially, have only themselves to blame, as they have yielded time and again to state intrusions and restrictions with only sporadic guerilla warfare. On the whole, Christians have reacted to anti-Christian decrees and restrictions such as the SCOTUS decree on abortion, the elimination of Christianity from public schools, and the muzzling of priests and pastors concerning politics by retreating into a subculture.

As the attacks ratchet up, Christians urgently need to understand continued capitulation to the demands of the radicals who are pushing for the fringe demands of the LGBT movement means the death of religious freedom in America. It also means a cult’s radical doctrines replace Christian mores.

Are Christians in America prepared to see their pastors sued and/or sent to jail, their children continued to be subject to indoctrination in public schools, their state and federal governments continue to kowtow to extremists determined to eradicate the influence of religion; the free exercise of religion in the public square eliminated; Christians consigned to what would essentially be a caste system, with people of faith considered untouchables who are not worthy of public office or even employment?

If they are not prepared to strongly confront a cult’s takeover of America’s governments, churches, and major institutions; if they wish to see Christianity once again regain its status as a major influence for societal reform; if they want to once again see Christianity as salt and light in the society in which they live, they have no choice but to stand and fight.

Otherwise, the Church in America will die. #

Fay Voshell holds a M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, which awarded her its prize for excellence in systematic theology. A frequent contributor to American Thinker, her thoughts have appeared in many online magazines, including RealClearReligion, National Review, CNS, Fox News and Russia Insider. She has discussed matters of church and state and other conservative issues on television and radio talk shows, and is available for speaking engagements. She may be reached at fvoshell@yahoo.com

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Posted in Demise of Liberty, Rise of Tyranny, Enemies of the State, Learn Liberty, Progressivism, Random Acts of Tyranny, Religion, The Crisis | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Killing Christianity in America

Saudi Arabia Forces UN to Remove It from List of Child Killers

By Michael Krieger at Liberty Blitzkrieg, June 8, 2016 •

Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 5.08.40 PM

The United Nations is not just worthless, it is downright dangerous. This is because it maintains an air of humanitarianism while its true purpose is to defend and shield the barbarism and war crimes of its most powerful sponsors.

The true farce of the U.N. was exposed in earnest last year when it named the terrorist state of Saudi Arabia to head up a human rights council. I covered this in several posts, but here’s an excerpt from one of them, Not a Joke – Saudi Arabia Chosen to Head UN Human Rights Panel:

Saudi Arabia is making a bid to head the United Nations’ Human Rights Council (HRC) just days after it posted a slew of new job openings for executioners who would help carry out beheadings amid a massive uptick in state-sanctioned killings in the country.

U.N. Watch, a nonprofit group that monitors the international body, disclosed Saudi Arabia’s intentions in a recent report and urged the United States to fight against it, describing the move as “the final nail in the coffin for the credibility” of the HRC.

Neuer compared the possible ascension of Saudi Arabia to the top slot to electing “a pyromaniac as the town fire chief.”

A week after being named head of this “human rights council,” we saw the following headline:

38 Dead After Saudi Arabia, Head of UN Human Rights Panel, Bombs Wedding in Yemen

Now we learn the following from The Intercept:

Under intense pressure from the Saudi government, the U.N. secretary general removed the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition in Yemen from a blacklist of child killers only 72 hours after the list was made public.

The coalition had been listed in the appendix of the U.N’s annual report on children and armed conflict, under “parties that kill or maim children” and “parties that engage in attacks on schools and/or hospitals.”

According to the report, at least 785 children were killed and 1,168 injured in Yemen last year alone, 60 percent by coalition airstrikes. The report documents dozens of coalition attacks against Yemeni schools and hospitals.

Saudi Arabia is an unlikely but powerful voice in U.N. human rights deliberations. Last year, despite carrying out a record number of beheadings, the kingdom became the chair of the U.N.’s 47-nation Human Rights Council — a decision that met with international outrage, but that the U.S. said it “welcomed.”

In a press conference outside the United Nations Security Council headquarters on Monday, the Saudi ambassador to the U.N. reacted angrily to the child-killing report and requested that it “be corrected immediately so it does not reflect the accusations that have been made against the coalition.”

Since the war started in March 2015, more than 6,400 people have been killed, the majority by coalition bombs. The Saudi-led coalition has also devastated Yemen by imposing a strict naval blockade on the desert nation, which imports 90 percent of its food and 100 percent of its medicine.

The Saudi ambassador, however, announced that the change to the list was “final and unconditional,” and that he had been “vindicated,” the Associated Press reported.

The removal sparked outrage from advocates and monitoring organizations.  “The U.N. itself has extensively documented the Saudi-led coalition’s airstrikes in Yemen that have caused hundreds of children’s deaths and hit many schools and hospitals,” said Philippe Bolopion, deputy director for global advocacy at Human Rights Watch. “As this list gives way to political manipulation, it loses its credibility and taints the secretary general’s legacy on human rights.”

There you have it.

For more on the virtually endless stream of Saudi barbarism and its incestuous ties to Washington D.C. insiders, see:

38 Dead After Saudi Arabia, Head of UN Human Rights Panel, Bombs Wedding in Yemen

Not a Joke – Saudi Arabia Chosen to Head UN Human Rights Panel

“Getting Things Done” – The Brother of Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Chair is a Major Lobbyist for Saudi Arabia

A Look Inside Saudi Arabia’s Elaborate U.S. Propaganda Machine

Another New Low – Saudi Arabia Threatens to Sue Twitter Users Who Compare it to ISIS

Saudi Arabia Sentences Poet to Death for “Renouncing Islam”

In Liberty,
Michael Krieger

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A Warning to the Feds on Incremental Prosecutions of the Liberty Movement

bundy ranch cowboysBy Brandon Smith at Alt-Market, February 24, 2016 •

At the very onset of what would become the Soviet Empire, Vladimir Lenin decreed the creation of a national internal army called the “Cheka.” The Cheka were handed very broad police powers and tasked with the disruption and elimination of any form of dissent within the communist system. Lenin launched what would later be known as the “Red Terror”, in which nearly every Russian population center had an established Cheka office of operations using surveillance, infiltration, nighttime raids, imprisonment, torture and execution to silence opposition to the authority of the state.

Some of these people were active rebels, some were outspoken political opponents and journalists, others were merely average citizens wrongly accused by neighbors or personal enemies. The Cheka created a society of fear and suspicion in which no one could be trusted and little criticism was spoken above a whisper anywhere, even in one’s own home.

It is important to note, however, that the dominance of the Cheka was established incrementally, not all at once.

Agents of the state began their “cleansing” of the Russian population by targeting specific groups at opportune times and worked their way through the citizenry at an exponential pace. The most intelligent, effective and dangerous activists and rebels were slated for destruction first, as they represented a kind of leadership mechanism by which the rest of the population might be mobilized or inspired. More innocuous organizations (like Christian churches and rural farmers) were persecuted as background noise while the political mop-up was underway.

Through this incrementalism, the communists were able to intern or eradicate vast numbers of potential opponents without the rest of Russians raising objections. The general populace was simply thankful that the eye of the Cheka had not been turned upon them, and as long as it was some other group of people unrelated to their daily life that disappeared in the night, they would keep their heads down and their mouths shut.

I would point out that the communists were very careful and deliberate in ensuring that the actions of the internal police were made valid through law and rationalized as a part of “class struggle.” Such laws were left so open to interpretation that literally any evil committed could later be vindicated. Man-made law is often a more powerful weapon than any gun, tank, plane or missile, because it triggers apathy within the masses. For some strange reason, when corrupt governments legalize their criminality through legislation or executive decree, the citizenry suddenly treats that criminality as legitimate and excusable.

Incremental prosecution and oppression is effective when the establishment wishes to avoid outright confrontation with a population. Attempt to snatch up a million people at one time, and you will have an immediate rebellion on your hands. Snatch up a million people one man at a time, or small groups at a time, and people do not know what to think or how to respond. They determine to hope that the authorities never get to them, that it will stop after a few initial arrests, or they hope that if they censor themselves completely, they will never be noticed.

In fact, corrupt governments issue warrants of arrest for a handful of dissenters and initiate imprisonment in a very public manner in the beginning with the express purpose of making examples and inspiring self censorship in the masses so that the authorities do not have to expend large amounts of resources to fight a more complex rebellion.

I bring up the historic example of the Cheka and incrementalism because a trend is brewing within our current establishment by which I believe a similar (if not more sterilized) brand of oppressive action is being planned against the liberty movement.

After the debacle in Burns, Oregon during the refuge standoff, federal officials immediately began a subtle campaign in the media promoting internal police powers that when examined in an honest light, are truly anti-liberty.

It remains my personal position according to the evidence I have seen that the refuge standoff was likely influenced by at least one if not more federal provocateurs and that Ammon Bundy was “encouraged” in his choice of actions and location by this person or persons. The goal? I can only guess that the intent was to trap the liberty movement in a Catch-22 scenario; either we join the poorly planned and executed standoff on some of the worst defensive ground possible and risk everything on one centralized event, or, we refuse to participate in the strategy and watch helplessly as a group of people, many with good intentions but little tactical sense or training, are arrested or killed. Either we gamble everything on the worst possible terms, or, we avoid the gamble and watch as the entire movement is made to look weak or incompetent by association with a few.

The majority of the movement chose the latter action, rightly I feel. Burns was no Bundy Ranch — everything about it felt rigged. And though there were many angry anonymous voices calling us “sunshine patriots” and “keyboard warriors” because we would not participate, apparently none of those loud mouths ever showed up in Burns either, so I am assuming they finally saw the wisdom in our decision.

It would seem as though the feds did not get exactly what they wanted out of the refuge standoff, but they have decided to squeeze as much advantage out of the event as possible.

Cliven Bundy was arrested after arriving by plane in Portland, Oregon, not on any charges relating to the refuge and his son Ammon, but on charges stemming from the Bundy Ranch standoff of 2014.

These charges include a strange and very broad legal measure relating to “interference with the duties of federal officials.” This in particular should be disconcerting to all of us, for “interference” could be any number of activities.

Any duties of federal officials that are not moral or constitutional should be interfered with in a tactically intelligent manner whenever possible. Such charges are a deliberate anathema to civil disobedience designed to counter immoral actions by government authorities. For any opposition could be deemed “interference” given a twisting of precedence, and thus treated as illegal.

In my recent article “Liberty Activists And ISIS Will Soon Be Treated As Identical Threats,” I examined statements made by the Justice Department’s chief of national security, John Carlin, in an article published by Reuters. Carlin and the Justice Department have made it clear that they intend to apply rules of prosecution used for foreign terrorist organizations to “domestic extremists.” The Oregon standoff was specifically mentioned as an example of such extremism.

Carlin claimed that domestic extremists represent a “clear and present danger,” alluding to the “Clear And Present Danger Doctrine” allowing the government in “times of national crisis” to prosecute almost any citizen giving “material support” to enemies of the state. “Material support” in the past has even included verbal opposition to government policies. Meaning, Carlin is testing the waters of material support laws and such tests may target liberty movement speakers and journalists along with anyone involved in physical opposition. As with the Cheka, no one is really safe.

These charges are also being brought in a retroactive manner, long after the supposed crimes have been committed as we have seen with Cliven Bundy. Meaning, the feds plan to retain warrants and prolong charges, only arresting people later when they think they can get away with it. This is where the incrementalism comes in…

Rumors of further indictments have surfaced possibly including dozens of people involved in the Bundy Ranch standoff. And because of the nature of the incremental game the government is playing, verification is difficult until the arrests are activated.

It has come to my attention from personal sources that there may be a lot of truth to the rumors of pending or retroactive indictments, and that the FBI in particular may be biding its time and waiting to bring charges when particular people are at their most vulnerable and when the movement is less likely to react. These sources have indicated that the federal government is seeking to work around the public relations problems of standoff scenarios like Ruby Ridge, Waco, and Bundy Ranch. The feds may claim that they have “seen the light” in terms of avoiding outright mass murder, but I believe they have just found a better way to sneak past public opinion.

If they can manipulate the liberty movement into participation in poorly planned standoffs like Burns, Oregon, they will. Such standoffs are doomed from their inception and can even be controlled from within by agents provocateur. They are not a real threat.

If a standoff occurs organically, as it did at Bundy Ranch in Nevada, and public support is on the side of the liberty movement, then the establishment will simply back off and pluck activists from their homes or at the airport months later.

It is incumbent upon me to offer a warning to federal agencies in the event that incremental prosecution of liberty activists is truly a strategy they are planning to carry out: It is the general consensus of many in the liberty movement that ANY further arrests predicated on activism at Bundy Ranch or similar opposition events in the past to Bureau Of Land Management abuses of power will result in further and expanded engagements by activists. That is to say, such arrests and indictments will not be allowed to continue.

This is not a threat, this is fair warning to government agencies that they are walking a razor’s edge. Incremental prosecutions and dismantling of the liberty movement will not be tolerated; they represent a non-negotiable line in the sand. The feds may or may not care what the consequences will be for crossing this line. They may even think they want such consequences. Regardless, consequences there will be.

While the refuge occupiers essentially handed their heads to the feds on a platter, and the movement was not able to salvage the situation in any viable manner, this does not mean that liberty activists will not take measures during future events depending on the circumstances. Federal agencies may be quick to forget the massive response at Bundy Ranch. This is a mistake. They should probably expect a similar response, if not a more aggressive one, if further arrests are undertaken.

With the ethereal nature of criminal charges like “material support” or “interference with federal officials,” due process becomes a bit of joke. You see, federal agents and agencies, you have to take into account the reality that the liberty movement is well aware of the government push to remove due process altogether. With the AUMF and the NDAA, among other executive actions, we realize that the friendly mask of due process is worn by government today, but not necessarily tomorrow.

If the movement gives ground and does nothing while dozens or more are retroactively imprisoned one case at a time for opposing federal abuse, then how long will it be before the rest of us are imprisoned on even broader charges? How long before the mask comes off and the rendition and indefinite detention provisions of the AUMF and the NDAA come into play? Do you really expect the movement to put faith in due process given the circumstances? Of course you do not.

I would venture to guess that the feds think that any opposition that does arise during the execution of warrants against liberty activists will be “easily managed.” This would be a mistake.

We have seen this all before in the passive sublimation of past societies. We recognize the signs of trespasses to come. And if such trespasses are brought upon the liberty movement or the population at large, then many of us will adopt the attitude that there is not much left to lose.

Personally, I do not look forward to this kind of fight, but I have no illusions that it can be avoided given the course our country has taken. Federal agencies have deemed it a matter of national security to watch us all very closely. They should keep in mind, though, that we are also watching them. #

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Posted in 2030 Agenda, Agenda 21, Bill of Rights, Demise of Liberty, Rise of Tyranny, Down on the Farm, Enemies of the State, Learn Liberty, Police State, Progressivism, Random Acts of Tyranny, Security Industrial Complex, The Constitution, The Crisis, The Czars | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on A Warning to the Feds on Incremental Prosecutions of the Liberty Movement

John Quincy Adams’ Warning Against the Search for “Monsters to Destroy”

John Quincy Adams: Bit she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy.

John Quincy Adams: But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy.

And now, friends and countrymen, if the wise and learned philosophers of the elder world, the first observers of nutation and aberration, the discoverers of maddening ether and invisible planets, the inventors of Congreve rockets and Shrapnel shells, should find their hearts disposed to enquire what has America done for the benefit of mankind? Let our answer be this: America, with the same voice which spoke herself into existence as a nation, proclaimed to mankind the inextinguishable rights of human nature, and the only lawful foundations of government. America, in the assembly of nations, since her admission among them, has invariably, though often fruitlessly, held forth to them the hand of honest friendship, of equal freedom, of generous reciprocity. She has uniformly spoken among them, though often to heedless and often to disdainful ears, the language of equal liberty, of equal justice, and of equal rights. She has, in the lapse of nearly half a century, without a single exception, respected the independence of other nations while asserting and maintaining her own. She has abstained from interference in the concerns of others, even when conflict has been for principles to which she clings, as to the last vital drop that visits the heart. She has seen that probably for centuries to come, all the contests of that Aceldama the European world, will be contests of inveterate power, and emerging right. Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force…. She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit….

[America’s] glory is not dominion, but liberty. Her march is the march of the mind. She has a spear and a shield: but the motto upon her shield is, Freedom, Independence, Peace. This has been her Declaration: this has been, as far as her necessary intercourse with the rest of mankind would permit, her practice.

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Sowell on #BLM Movement: ‘I’m Afraid No Lives Really Matter to Them’

Thomas Sowell offers his take on the destructive Black Lives Matter group.

Thomas Sowell offers his take on the destructive Black Lives Matter group.

“Logic doesn’t mean much to them,” says Dr. Sowell.

By Trey Sanchez for Truth Revolt, September 9, 2015 •

On Tuesday evening [September 6], author and economist Thomas Sowell appeared on Fox News’ Hannity and entered his thoughts into the conversation on the “Black Lives Matter” movement.

Agreeing with host Sean Hannity that all lives do in fact matter, Sowell said the BLM movement is seeking nothing other than “power and prominence.” And because its members and doctrines lack any logic, Sowell concludes that they aren’t all that interested in anyone’s life.

He said, “What’s painfully tragic already, and it’s only going to get worse if it continues, is this notion that only black lives matter; because black lives are the ones that are being lost more so than any other lives in this great crusade against the police.”

To buttress this argument, Sowell notes the out of control murder rates in the cities that have seen the most BLM protests over the last year. It’s also nothing new, he said, pointing to a 2003 book by Heather MacDonald that asked “Are Cops Racist?” The author’s words then are so poignant in today’s anti-cop climate, as Sowell explains:

She points out that after the demagogues come out and they start trashing the police and so on, the police pull back. And the net result is the criminal element then has a freer hand, and more blacks will be killed than there were before. So, I don’t know why you would keep going down that same road when it produces these same results again and again.

Sowell goes on to explain “Black Lives Matter:”

I think this is a movement which has its desire to have power and prominence, and logic doesn’t mean much to them. And I’m afraid that no lives really matter very much to them if they can do this.

As far as President Obama’s role in it all, Sowell believes he has made race relations worse in America in the name of politics. “You’ve got to turn women against men, blacks against whites, workers against their employers… because that’s how you get more votes,” he said.

Sowell continued saying that as long as Obama treats people as victims and vows salvation to them through government assistance, he secures those votes.

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The Danger of the “Black Lives Matter” Movement

By Heather Mac Donald, published at Imprimis of Hillsdale College, April 2016 •

The following is adapted from a speech delivered on April 27, 2016, at Hillsdale College’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C., as part of the AWC Family Foundation Lecture Series.

FOR ALMOST TWO YEARS, a protest movement known as “Black Lives Matter” has convulsed the nation. Triggered by the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014, the Black Lives Matter movement holds that racist police officers are the greatest threat facing young black men today. This belief has triggered riots, “die-ins,” the murder and attempted murder of police officers, a campaign to eliminate traditional grand jury proceedings when police use lethal force, and a presidential task force on policing.

Even though the U.S. Justice Department has resoundingly disproven the lie that a pacific Michael Brown was shot in cold blood while trying to surrender, Brown is still venerated as a martyr. And now police officers are backing off of proactive policing in the face of the relentless venom directed at them on the street and in the media. As a result, violent crime is on the rise.

The need is urgent, therefore, to examine the Black Lives Matter movement’s central thesis—that police pose the greatest threat to young black men. I propose two counter hypotheses: first, that there is no government agency more dedicated to the idea that black lives matter than the police; and second, that we have been talking obsessively about alleged police racism over the last 20 years in order to avoid talking about a far larger problem—black-on-black crime.

Let’s be clear at the outset: police have an indefeasible obligation to treat everyone with courtesy and respect, and to act within the confines of the law. Too often, officers develop a hardened, obnoxious attitude. It is also true that being stopped when you are innocent of any wrongdoing is infuriating, humiliating, and sometimes terrifying. And needless to say, every unjustified police shooting of an unarmed civilian is a stomach-churning tragedy.

Given the history of racism in this country and the complicity of the police in that history, police shootings of black men are particularly and understandably fraught. That history informs how many people view the police. But however intolerable and inexcusable every act of police brutality is, and while we need to make sure that the police are properly trained in the Constitution and in courtesy, there is a larger reality behind the issue of policing, crime, and race that remains a taboo topic. The problem of black-on-black crime is an uncomfortable truth, but unless we acknowledge it, we won’t get very far in understanding patterns of policing.

Every year, approximately 6,000 blacks are murdered. This is a number greater than white and Hispanic homicide victims combined, even though blacks are only 13 percent of the national population. Blacks are killed at six times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined. In Los Angeles, blacks between the ages of 20 and 24 die at a rate 20 to 30 times the national mean. Who is killing them? Not the police, and not white civilians, but other blacks. The astronomical black death-by-homicide rate is a function of the black crime rate. Black males between the ages of 14 and 17 commit homicide at ten times the rate of white and Hispanic male teens combined. Blacks of all ages commit homicide at eight times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined, and at eleven times the rate of whites alone.

The police could end all lethal uses of force tomorrow and it would have at most a trivial effect on the black death-by-homicide rate. The nation’s police killed 987 civilians in 2015, according to a database compiled by The Washington Post. Whites were 50 percent—or 493—of those victims, and blacks were 26 percent—or 258. Most of those victims of police shootings, white and black, were armed or otherwise threatening the officer with potentially lethal force.

The black violent crime rate would actually predict that more than 26 percent of police victims would be black. Officer use of force will occur where the police interact most often with violent criminals, armed suspects, and those resisting arrest, and that is in black neighborhoods. In America’s 75 largest counties in 2009, for example, blacks constituted 62 percent of all robbery defendants, 57 percent of all murder defendants, 45 percent of all assault defendants—but only 15 percent of the population.

Moreover, 40 percent of all cop killers have been black over the last decade. And a larger proportion of white and Hispanic homicide deaths are a result of police killings than black homicide deaths—but don’t expect to hear that from the media or from the political enablers of the Black Lives Matter movement. Twelve percent of all white and Hispanic homicide victims are killed by police officers, compared to four percent of all black homicide victims. If we’re going to have a “Lives Matter” anti-police movement, it would be more appropriately named “White and Hispanic Lives Matter.”

Standard anti-cop ideology, whether emanating from the ACLU or the academy, holds that law enforcement actions are racist if they don’t mirror population data. New York City illustrates why that expectation is so misguided. Blacks make up 23 percent of New York City’s population, but they commit 75 percent of all shootings, 70 percent of all robberies, and 66 percent of all violent crime, according to victims and witnesses. Add Hispanic shootings and you account for 98 percent of all illegal gunfire in the city. Whites are 33 percent of the city’s population, but they commit fewer than two percent of all shootings, four percent of all robberies, and five percent of all violent crime. These disparities mean that virtually every time the police in New York are called out on a gun run—meaning that someone has just been shot—they are being summoned to minority neighborhoods looking for minority suspects.

Officers hope against hope that they will receive descriptions of white shooting suspects, but it almost never happens. This incidence of crime means that innocent black men have a much higher chance than innocent white men of being stopped by the police because they match the description of a suspect. This is not something the police choose. It is a reality forced on them by the facts of crime.

The geographic disparities are also huge. In Brownsville, Brooklyn, the per capita shooting rate is 81 times higher than in nearby Bay Ridge, Brooklyn—the first neighborhood predominantly black, the second neighborhood predominantly white and Asian. As a result, police presence and use of proactive tactics are much higher in Brownsville than in Bay Ridge. Every time there is a shooting, the police will flood the area looking to make stops in order to avert a retaliatory shooting. They are in Brownsville not because of racism, but because they want to provide protection to its many law-abiding residents who deserve safety.

Who are some of the victims of elevated urban crime? On March 11, 2015, as protesters were once again converging on the Ferguson police headquarters demanding the resignation of the entire department, a six-year-old boy named Marcus Johnson was killed a few miles away in a St. Louis park, the victim of a drive-by shooting. No one protested his killing. Al Sharpton did not demand a federal investigation. Few people outside of his immediate community know his name.

Ten children under the age of ten were killed in Baltimore last year. In Cleveland, three children five and younger were killed in September. A seven-year-old boy was killed in Chicago over the Fourth of July weekend by a bullet intended for his father. In November, a nine-year-old in Chicago was lured into an alley and killed by his father’s gang enemies; the father refused to cooperate with the police. In August, a nine-year-old girl was doing her homework on her mother’s bed in Ferguson when a bullet fired into the house killed her. In Cincinnati in July, a four-year-old girl was shot in the head and a six-year-old girl was left paralyzed and partially blind from two separate drive-by shootings. This mindless violence seems almost to be regarded as normal, given the lack of attention it receives from the same people who would be out in droves if any of these had been police shootings. As horrific as such stories are, crime rates were much higher 20 years ago. In New York City in 1990, for example, there were 2,245 homicides. In 2014 there were 333—a decrease of 85 percent. The drop in New York’s crime rate is the steepest in the nation, but crime has fallen at a historic rate nationwide as well—by about 40 percent—since the early 1990s. The greatest beneficiaries of these declining rates have been minorities. Over 10,000 minority males alive today in New York would be dead if the city’s homicide rate had remained at its early 1990s level.

What is behind this historic crime drop? A policing revolution that began in New York and spread nationally, and that is now being threatened. Starting in 1994, the top brass of the NYPD embraced the then-radical idea that the police can actually prevent crime, not just respond to it. They started gathering and analyzing crime data on a daily and then hourly basis. They looked for patterns, and strategized on tactics to try to quell crime outbreaks as they were emerging. Equally important, they held commanders accountable for crime in their jurisdictions. Department leaders started meeting weekly with precinct commanders to grill them on crime patterns on their watch. These weekly accountability sessions came to be known as Compstat. They were ruthless, high tension affairs. If a commander was not fully informed about every local crime outbreak and ready with a strategy to combat it, his career was in jeopardy.

Compstat created a sense of urgency about fighting crime that has never left the NYPD. For decades, the rap against the police was that they ignored crime in minority neighborhoods. Compstat keeps New York commanders focused like a laser beam on where people are being victimized most, and that is in minority communities. Compstat spread nationwide. Departments across the country now send officers to emerging crime hot spots to try to interrupt criminal behavior before it happens.

In terms of economic stimulus alone, no other government program has come close to the success of data-driven policing. In New York City, businesses that had shunned previously drug-infested areas now set up shop there, offering residents a choice in shopping and creating a demand for workers. Senior citizens felt safe to go to the store or to the post office to pick up their Social Security checks. Children could ride their bikes on city sidewalks without their mothers worrying that they would be shot. But the crime victories of the last two decades, and the moral support on which law and order depends, are now in jeopardy thanks to the falsehoods of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Police operating in inner-city neighborhoods now find themselves routinely surrounded by cursing, jeering crowds when they make a pedestrian stop or try to arrest a suspect. Sometimes bottles and rocks are thrown. Bystanders stick cell phones in the officers’ faces, daring them to proceed with their duties. Officers are worried about becoming the next racist cop of the week and possibly losing their livelihood thanks to an incomplete cell phone video that inevitably fails to show the antecedents to their use of force. Officer use of force is never pretty, but the public is clueless about how hard it is to subdue a suspect who is determined to resist arrest.

As a result of the anti-cop campaign of the last two years and the resulting push-back in the streets, officers in urban areas are cutting back on precisely the kind of policing that led to the crime decline of the 1990s and 2000s. Arrests and summons are down, particularly for low-level offenses. Police officers continue to rush to 911 calls when there is already a victim. But when it comes to making discretionary stops—such as getting out of their cars and questioning people hanging out on drug corners at 1:00 a.m.—many cops worry that doing so could put their careers on the line. Police officers are, after all, human. When they are repeatedly called racist for stopping and questioning suspicious individuals in high-crime areas, they will perform less of those stops. That is not only understandable—in a sense, it is how things should work. Policing is political. If a powerful political block has denied the legitimacy of assertive policing, we will get less of it.

On the other hand, the people demanding that the police back off are by no means representative of the entire black community. Go to any police-neighborhood meeting in Harlem, the South Bronx, or South Central Los Angeles, and you will invariably hear variants of the following: “We want the dealers off the corner.” “You arrest them and they’re back the next day.” “There are kids hanging out on my stoop. Why can’t you arrest them for loitering?” “I smell weed in my hallway. Can’t you do something?” I met an elderly cancer amputee in the Mount Hope section of the Bronx who was terrified to go to her lobby mailbox because of the young men trespassing there and selling drugs. The only time she felt safe was when the police were there. “Please, Jesus,” she said to me, “send more police!” The irony is that the police cannot respond to these heartfelt requests for order without generating the racially disproportionate statistics that will be used against them in an ACLU or Justice Department lawsuit.

Unfortunately, when officers back off in high crime neighborhoods, crime shoots through the roof. Our country is in the midst of the first sustained violent crime spike in two decades. Murders rose nearly 17 percent in the nation’s 50 largest cities in 2015, and it was in cities with large black populations where the violence increased the most. Baltimore’s per capita homicide rate last year was the highest in its history. Milwaukee had its deadliest year in a decade, with a 72 percent increase in homicides. Homicides in Cleveland increased 90 percent over the previous year. Murders rose 83 percent in Nashville, 54 percent in Washington, D.C., and 61 percent in Minneapolis. In Chicago, where pedestrian stops are down by 90 percent, shootings were up 80 percent through March 2016.

I first identified the increase in violent crime in May 2015 and dubbed it “the Ferguson effect.” My diagnosis set off a firestorm of controversy on the anti-cop Left and in criminology circles. Despite that furor, FBI Director James Comey confirmed the Ferguson effect in a speech at the University of Chicago Law School last October. Comey decried the “chill wind” that had been blowing through law enforcement over the previous year, and attributed the sharp rise in homicides and shootings to the campaign against cops. Several days later, President Obama had the temerity to rebuke Comey, accusing him (while leaving him unnamed) of “cherry-pick[ing] data” and using “anecdotal evidence to drive policy [and] feed political agendas.” The idea that President Obama knows more about crime and policing than his FBI director is of course ludicrous. But the President thought it necessary to take Comey down, because to recognize the connection between proactive policing and public safety undermines the entire premise of the anti-cop Left: that the police oppress minority communities rather than bring them surcease from disorder.

As crime rates continue to rise, the overwhelming majority of victims are, as usual, black—as are their assailants. But police officers are coming under attack as well. In August 2015, an officer in Birmingham, Alabama, was beaten unconscious by a convicted felon after a car stop. The suspect had grabbed the officer’s gun, as Michael Brown had tried to do in Ferguson, but the officer hesitated to use force against him for fear of being charged with racism. Such incidents will likely multiply as the media continues to amplify the Black Lives Matter activists’ poisonous slander against the nation’s police forces.

The number of police officers killed in shootings more than doubled during the first three months of 2016. In fact, officers are at much greater risk from blacks than unarmed blacks are from the police. Over the last decade, an officer’s chance of getting killed by a black has been 18.5 times higher than the chance of an unarmed black getting killed by a cop.

The favorite conceit of the Black Lives Matter movement is, of course, the racist white officer gunning down a black man. According to available studies, it is a canard. A March 2015 Justice Department report on the Philadelphia Police Department found that black and Hispanic officers were much more likely than white officers to shoot blacks based on “threat misperception,” i.e., the incorrect belief that a civilian is armed. A study by University of Pennsylvania criminologist Greg Ridgeway, formerly acting director of the National Institute of Justice, has found that black officers in the NYPD were 3.3 times more likely to fire their weapons at shooting scenes than other officers present. The April 2015 death of drug dealer Freddie Gray in Baltimore has been slotted into the Black Lives Matter master narrative, even though the three most consequential officers in Gray’s arrest and transport are black. There is no evidence that a white drug dealer in Gray’s circumstances, with a similar history of faking injuries, would have been treated any differently.

We have been here before. In the 1960s and early 1970s, black and white radicals directed hatred and occasional violence against the police. The difference today is that anti-cop ideology is embraced at the highest reaches of the establishment: by the President, by his Attorney General, by college presidents, by foundation heads, and by the press. The presidential candidates of one party are competing to see who can out-demagogue President Obama’s persistent race-based calumnies against the criminal justice system, while those of the other party have not emphasized the issue as they might have.

I don’t know what will end the current frenzy against the police. What I do know is that we are playing with fire, and if it keeps spreading, it will be hard to put out. #

Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal. She earned a B.A. from Yale University, an M.A. in English from Cambridge University, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School. She writes for several newspapers and journals, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The New Criterion, and Public Interest, and is the author of three books, including Are Cops Racist? and The War on Cops: How The New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe (forthcoming June 2016).

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Call to Remember: Memorial Day, 2016

Today we remember the fallen who made the ultimate sacrifice in the Cause of Freedom and Liberty. We pray for their souls, for their loved ones, and for our Country. Amen.

Every Memorial Day the soldiers of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) plant a flag in front of each grave marker in Arlington National Cemetery, Va. The flags represent our thanks for their service to our nation, the sacrifices they made and the blood they shed, regardless of their own backgrounds or faiths. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jose A. Torres Jr.)

Every Memorial Day the soldiers of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) plant a flag in front of each grave marker in Arlington National Cemetery, Va. The flags represent our thanks for their service to our nation, the sacrifices they made and the blood they shed, regardless of their own backgrounds or faiths. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jose A. Torres Jr.)






U.S. Marine Capt. Jill A. Leyden of Easton, Maryland, kneels at the grave of her friend Major Megan M. McClung at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia on Veterans Day, November 11, 2010. McClung was killed during Operation Iraqi Freedom on December 6, 2006. Leyden and McClung served together in Iraq. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters photo)

U.S. Marine Capt. Jill A. Leyden of Easton, Maryland, kneels at the grave of her friend Major Megan M. McClung at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia on Veterans Day, November 11, 2010. McClung was killed during Operation Iraqi Freedom on December 6, 2006. Leyden and McClung served together in Iraq. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters photo)

A bugler plays during burial services for Army Staff Sgt. Scott W. Brunkhorst, Tuesday, April 13, 2010, at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va. According to the Defense Department, Brunkhorst, 25, of Fayetteville, N.C.; died March 30 in the Arghandab river valley, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)

A bugler plays during burial services for Army Staff Sgt. Scott W. Brunkhorst, Tuesday, April 13, 2010, at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va. According to the Defense Department, Brunkhorst, 25, of Fayetteville, N.C.; died March 30 in the Arghandab river valley, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)

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Old Veterans Guard Pens Open Letter to Loretta Lynch

Formal Complaint Filed Against U.S. Attorneys Office in Los Angeles for Corruption and Malice Toward American Military Veterans

proxyBy Robert Rosebrock, posted at Veterans Today, May 28, 2016 •

May 26, 2016

The Honorable Loretta Lynch, Attorney General

Dear Attorney General Lynch:


Yes, enough of the corrupted U.S. Attorneys’ Office in Los Angeles with their malicious and falsified prosecution against the American Flag of the United States and elderly U.S. Military Veterans who display It in honor of the men and women who have defended our Nation’s Colors for nearly two-and-a-half centuries.

This Formal Complaint respectfully requests your forthright and uncompromising investigation into the U.S. Department of Justice / U.S. Attorney’s Office, Central District of California, Los Angeles (DOJ-LA).

This Complaint is filed against the DOJ-LA in general, and specifically against Assistant U.S. Attorney Sharon McCaslin, SBN 7186.

Ms. McCaslin has been issued a “Warning Notice” to cease and desist from her malicious and unlawful prosecution of falsified criminal arrest citations issued “under the color of law” – 18 U.S.C. § 242; 18 U.S.C. § 245; and 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

Over the past six months I personally received 12 falsified criminal arrest citations issued by Los Angeles VA Police Officers under VA Regulation: << C.F.R. 1.218 – Security and law enforcement at VA facilities; a) (9) Distribution of handbills. The distributing of materials such as pamphlets, handbills, and/or flyers, and the displaying of placards or posting of materials on bulletin boards or elsewhere on property is prohibited, except as authorized by the head of the facility or designee or when such distributions or displays are conducted as part of authorized Government activities.>>

For the record, we patriotically display the American Flag at our peaceful Sunday Rallies outside the Los Angeles VA on a public plaza that is a designated Free-Speech area, and adjacent to the open-gated Los Angeles National Veterans Park, which is also a public forum.

Let there be no misunderstanding; we are not displaying hand bills, placards or whatnot of any nature, so we do not need any authorization from anyone to do something that we are not doing.

Loretta_Lynch_official_portraitMoreover, we are displaying the same American Flag to your right in this photo and it’s the same American Flag that stands to the right side of all Judges in all County, State and Federal Courts, so why is your Los Angeles U.S. Attorneys’ Office indicting and prosecuting elderly U.S. Military Veterans for “displaying placards and disbursing hand bills”?

In sum, the American Flag is the American Flag and what’s happening is deliberate and intentional retaliation and harassment against the Old Veterans Guard for “blowing the whistle” on the VA’s crime, corruption and cronyism that created the biggest land-fraud scandal in American history compounded by inhumane neglect and mistreatment of war-injured and impoverished homeless Veterans, thereby forcing Los Angeles into and remaining our nation’s capital for homeless Veterans.

These counterfeit criminal citations were dismissed in Federal Court on May 18, 2016 – without prejudice – and Ms. McCaslin let it be threateningly known to Magistrate Judge Alexander F. MacKinnon that she may reactivate these unlawful charges. Before Judge MacKinnon, Ms. McCaslin even demanded that her “warning” be on the record.

That’s fine with us because a class of pre-schoolers could defend and beat the Government’s unlawful and unpatriotic violation of First Amendment Rights and the vindictive prosecution of fraudulent criminal arrest citations issued by VA Police.

The Government has no case, and they know it!

On the other hand, somebody with unbridled authority at your Department Headquarters needs to inform Ms. McCaslin because her unilateral activity is unlawful, immoral, unconstitutional, and un-American. She is in serious violation of her Oath of Office and is breaching the public trust, which must be dealt with immediately.

The foregoing notwithstanding, Ms. McCaslin continues to string along these falsified charges and unnecessary Court Hearings, and now with her new threats, which is extended retaliation and harassment on behalf of her cronies at the corrupt Los Angeles VA.

Everything Ms. McCaslin does “under the color of law” is unlawful, unconstitutional, unpatriotic and a mockery. She has lied before Magistrate Judges, and the recent “Dismissal” documentation and “Certificate of Service” are deceptive, falsified and in complete violation of the warranty under penalty of perjury guaranteeing that the documentation is true and correct.

There are other serious issues with the Los Angeles U.S. Attorneys’ Office and their selective enforcement of not prosecuting cases with “evidence beyond a reasonable doubt” and then prosecuting other cases with falsified and incredulous evidence.

Accordingly, this is to respectfully request an independent and uncompromising Federal law-enforcement investigation into this matter by entrusted FBI Officers headquartered in Washington D.C.

Let the record reflect that there can be no justice from Federal authorities in Los Angeles when it comes to ending out-of-control crime, corruption and cronyism at the Los Angeles VA, as they are shamefully intertwined.

Correspondingly, retaliation runs rampant by the U.S. Government here in Los Angeles, particularly against whistle-blowing U.S. Military Veterans.

This illegal, immoral and unpatriotic assault against the American Flag and elderly Veterans is traitorous and perfidious, and must cease in its entirety, posthaste.

Urgency is of paramount importance in resolving this egregious misconduct.


Robert L. Rosebrock

Director, Old Veterans Guard

God Bless America and the Veterans Revolution!


U.S. Army Veteran Robert Rosebrock justifiably hung an American Flag on the front fence of the VA’s Los Angeles National Veteran Home and it was unjustly removed and confiscated by armed VA police officers who then cited him for posting materials, such as pamphlets, handbills, and/or flyers.

You may write to Ms. Lynch at the United States Department of Justice

950 Pennsylvania Avenue

Washington D.C. 20530-0001

Re: Formal Complaint Against U.S. Attorneys’ Office in Los Angeles

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Monthly Feature: Divided Justice

By Philip Ahrlich at American Thinker, May 4, 2016 •

If governments are not guided by original principles, they are little more than toys of faction. Every democratic system has created its party of despots. Disrespect for constitutional order is a political disease of the democratic form of government that progressive interests have vigorously encouraged for one hundred years. Its pathogen, now metastasizing fully within the present administration, will lead inevitably to a loss of faith in democracy itself.

President Obama envisions an America ruled by a network of organized minority and special interests whose combined political force represents an illegitimate control over the democratic political process. But there is nothing democratic in the idea of coercion, whether by majority or minority interests — for either lays a burden of prejudice on elected representatives who may enact laws favorable to one part of society at the expense of other parts.

In a republican system of government, the purpose of our rights is to protect individuals and vulnerable minorities from the tyranny of majorities. But how are majorities protected from combined and well-organized minorities that are keen to exact preferential treatment in law from the Obama administration? And how do Supreme Court decisions that favor these special interests not interfere with due process or the guaranteed rights of all persons?

The 2016 Democratic presidential campaign has erected a platform of false promises directly appealing to a social network of “severely wronged and persecuted” groups; but only now have we discovered all that we should have known: that in a cynical and corrupt activist environment, such as that which now threatens absolutism and the very nature of justice itself, those who stand on principle are soon defeated. Mr. Obama’s presidency and the Democratic supermajorities of the 111th Congress (2009 – 2010) confirmed how vulnerable our system is to hijacking and piracy. That was our first enlightenment. Two years of liberal steerage were quite enough to turn America from her founding purpose, well towards the salvage yards of the world. These policies successfully created the industry of grievance and entitlement necessary to divide and weaken society so that the people were no longer a threat to the new political order.

The assertion of “equality” under the new order sounds the very essence of democracy until one understands that the kind of social equality cultivated for political purposes can be achieved only through compulsion in law. Only among undemocratic regimes, as we now see forming under progressive leadership, can we find the assertion that preferential justice for a few represents a political value greater than that of equal justice for all.

Modern liberal doctrine in many ways distinguishes between the lawful and the fair. As an instance, under President Obama’s conception of redistributive justice, his administration can act fairly only if it acts unlawfully, which is to say that the just distribution of social goods can be achieved only if the laws do not apply uniformly to all persons. Justice, in this regard, since the administration seeks to rectify social imbalances through executive orders and selective enforcement of existing laws, rewards only parts of society while penalizing others — an action that clearly promotes class warfare. There can be no question that Obama regards lawfulness as the lesser part of justice, since he deems the nation’s laws as a repression of minority interests — a strictly progressive conceit that suffices to pardon his several attempts on the Separation of Powers.

The liberal gets with force what he cannot get with law. He cannot prove that what he intends to do shall be justly done. He has separated the principles of justice into a scheme of arbitrary authority and he has made a new dictionary of law. If the laws divide and burden society while benefitting those who govern society, then the laws are deviant. We find then, in progressive scripture, not an understanding of justice, but rather the conceit that injustice is stronger than justice. It is an elaborate invention of an ideology that regards justice as the rule of the stronger political faction, which can act unjustly only if it returns some measure of that rule to the common people.

“Progressivism” is merely a new name for a very old crisis of civilization — it is the means by which the beneficial products of human intelligence fall into disorder. The emergent ideology represents the destruction of value. It is an acid that dissolves foundations, customs, laws, civility, knowledge — history itself — anything that falls into its language. Its power is that of negation, working its will through opposition to established social and political institutions — destroying, like an Ebola virus, the capillaries of trust that supply them. Its corruption extends throughout the culture, bringing State interference, dysfunction and regulatory force to the sanctuaries of the private sector, of markets and self-regulating commerce, of respect for property and religious freedom. It creates a deviant system, a pathology — a condition of stasis that resolves fundamentally into a conflict over power.

Force moves the argument. If despotism is the best hope for America that the progressive faction can deliver, then its activists have defined the best by the worst. We have discovered in the folly of the left’s pursuit of power the first cause of political stasis: a radical scheme of divided justice from which there can be no rest from civil strife — a system in which truth opposes truth. Here, then, is our second enlightenment: if we are forced in our election to choose between our democratic longings for the principle of “equality” and its correlative principle of “freedom from government coercion” — due to the ideological separation of political parties — then we are at last a defeated people. The fate of American government will devolve into outrageous sways of parliamentary authority in which succeeding administrations, driven by well-established tribal hatreds and the urgency of revenge, expend their energies and political capital in taking down the accomplishments of their predecessors; and we are left in the end only with a politics of rubble.

Uncompromising differences among political ideologies are the causes of stasis, never of reconciliation. A resolution of these differences should emerge from social consensus, never through the coercive powers invested in the ruling faction. All things that plead for seeding and tending and gathering in our enterprise require us to rid ourselves of government interference. A free society disturbed by the operations of government cannot remain free. Only the people, through their power of election, keep the nation in trust. But if we cannot cancel the left’s attempts on our Constitution now, or if we are unable or unwilling to turn the nation’s distracted culture from its regenerative narcissism and folly, then we shall answer to the children who come after us, to the generations who must bear the burden of our negligence — in whose books we shall be remembered, and in whose curses we shall most certainly deserve the fate that waits on all fools.

Philip Ahlrich can be reached for comment at phahl@icloud.com

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Obama Plan to Cut Refugee Screening Time Raises Legitimate Concerns About Terrorism

Syrians arrive on the beach at Psalidi near Kos Town, Kos, Greece (AP)

Syrians arrive on the beach at Psalidi near Kos Town, Kos, Greece (AP)

By at the Washington Free Beacon, May 3, 2016 •

An Obama administration plan to resettle a greater number of foreign refugees in the United States by expediting the screening process is drawing concern from Capitol Hill, where lawmakers are warning that the administration is not capable of properly screening these individuals for ties to terrorism.

The Obama administration has committed to bring at least 10,000 Syrian refugees onto American soil in fiscal year 2016 by accelerating security screening procedures from 18-24 months to around three months, according to sources who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon.

Obama administration officials told the Free Beacon that they remain committed to the plan, despite warnings from the FBI and other law enforcement officials who say the federal government is not equipped to properly vet these individuals within that timeframe.

The administration is committed to moving forward this year with a plan to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees and 85,000 refugees overall, officials said.

Lawmakers are pressing the State Department and White House to reconsider the plan, arguing that critical security concerns should be addressed before it is implemented.

“We know the 18- to 24-month vetting process for Syrian refugees has severe vulnerabilities after FBI Director James Comey warned about the federal government’s inability to thoroughly screen Syrian refugee applicants for terrorism risk and after the Department of Homeland Security’s investigative arm warned about ISIS’s capability to print fake Syrian passports for terrorist infiltration,” Sen. Mark Kirk (R., Ill.) told the Free Beacon.

The administration has not specified what mechanisms it has put in place to facilitate the screening of a larger number of refugees on a three-month timeline, according to Kirk.

“Given that the administration has not explained to the American people whether and how it fixed these and other known vulnerabilities to terrorist infiltration, it is highly irresponsible for the administration to reduce the 18- to 24-month vetting process for Syrian refugees down to three months to meet its artificial and ideologically-driven goal of bringing 10,000 Syrian refugees onto U.S. soil by September,” said Kirk, who recently introduced legislation to impose enhanced screening measures to prevent terrorists from taking advantage of the U.S. refugee program.

A State Department spokesman told the Free Beacon that the United States is expected to take in around 15,000 more refugees than it has in the past three years.

“The United States remains committed to the president’s plan to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees and 85,000 refugees overall to the United States in fiscal year 2016,” said the official, who was not authorized to speak on record. “This projected increase in arrivals from around the world, from 70,000 in each of the last three fiscal years, will not curtail any aspects of the process, including its robust security screening.”

The official confirmed that the administration is moving to screen these individuals on a swifter timeline in order to facilitate their entry into the United States.

“While this increase in processing capacity and other efforts will decrease the overall processing time for individual families, the average processing time worldwide remains 18-24 months,” the official explained. “As we have said, neither this program nor any of our efforts to expand processing capacity curtail any aspects of the security, medical, or other screening.”

The administration has moved in recent months to boost its processing capacity in order to deal with increased numbers of refugees, the official said. This includes new measures that would help Syrians with relatives already in the United States apply for resettlement.

Additionally, the Department of State and Department of Homeland Security are jointly working to increase their capacity to interview refugee applicants from Jordan.

“From February through April, additional staff were posted to Jordan, where they conducted interviews of over 12,000 [U.N.]-referred refugee applicants,” the official said. “All applicants are still subject to the same stringent security and medical requirements that apply to all applicants for U.S. refugee resettlement.”

Not all of the applicants who were approved will enter the United States in the coming months. Some of those approved will enter after April in fiscal year 2017.

The administration’s reassurances have not soothed concerns among senior congressional insiders working on the issue.

“The administration’s repeated assertions that the vetting process is ‘robust’ doesn’t provide any real assurances about a dangerously flawed vetting process that has allowed terrorists to infiltrate refugee flows from high-risk countries in the Middle East into the United States,” one senior congressional source told the Free Beacon.

“The vetting process clearly wasn’t ‘robust’ when it resettled two terrorists as refugees in Kentucky who were later arrested in 2011 after law enforcement officials learned, belatedly and through no small amount of luck, of the ties and material support of these individuals to ISIS’s precursor, al Qaeda in Iraq,” the source said, noting that U.S. authorities do not have databases capable of identifying potential terrorists.

“While U.S. and coalition forces worked with Iraqi authorities to create databases for identifying terrorists during the Iraq conflict who might be infiltrating refugee flows, FBI Director Comey has made it clear in congressional testimony there is no equivalent capability today for identifying terrorists from the Syrian conflict who might seek to do the same,” the source said.

The Obama administration’s refugee plan has emerged as a flash point in the 2016 election cycle.

Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D., Ill.), who is running to unseat Kirk, has embraced the refugee plan, drawing criticism from the sitting senator’s camp.

“Duckworth’s plan to bring in 200,000 unsafely vetted Syrian refugees wasn’t considered safe when the administration had two years to vet each refugee for terrorist ties—it’s downright dangerous now that the vetting has been cut to just three months,” Kirk’s campaign said in a recent statement.


Adam Kredo is senior writer for the Washington Free Beacon. Formerly an award-winning political reporter for the Washington Jewish Week, where he frequently broke national news, Kredo’s work has been featured in outlets such as the Jerusalem Post, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, and Politico, among others. He lives in Maryland with his comic books. His Twitter handle is @Kredo0. His email address is kredo@freebeacon.com.

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The President of the United States on Socialism vs. Capitalism: “Choose From What Works”

By for The New American, March 25, 2016 •

According to President Obama, there’s no great difference between capitalism and communism, and nations should feel free to “choose from what works.”

The president’s astonishing statement came in response to a question in Buenos Aires about private versus public sources of funding for nonprofit community organizations. In response, Obama waxed eloquent trying to trivialize differences between socialism and capitalism:

So often in the past there has been a division between left and right, between capitalists and communists or socialists, and especially in the Americas, that’s been a big debate…. Those are interesting intellectual arguments, but I think for your generation, you should be practical and just choose from what works. You don’t have to worry about whether it neatly fits into socialist theory or capitalist theory. You should just decide what works.

Obama went on to talk about his recent visit to communist Cuba, praising Cuba’s education and healthcare systems, but noting that the country seemed mired in the mid-20th century economically:

To President Castro, I said you’ve made great progress in educating young people. Every child in Cuba gets a basic education. Medical care, the life expectancy of Cubans is equivalent to the United States despite it being a very poor country because they have access to healthcare. That’s a huge achievement. They should be congratulated. But you drive around Havana and you see the economy is not working. It looks like it did in the 1950s.

The president’s remarks betrayed the profound philosophical differences between America’s liberal elites — who are deeply sympathetic with the aims and methods of socialism — and most of the rest of us. The evils and excesses that socialists like Obama forever ascribe to “capitalism” are in fact the result of mingling socialism and capitalism, producing a hybrid form of government and economy called “corporatism.” Corporatism, though, is inherently unstable; it distorts the workings of the free market and creates political pressure for more socialism as a remedy.

Capitalism is routinely condemned for its alleged amorality, while socialism will furnish the high-minded morality absent from capitalism. As Obama told his Argentine audience:

You have to be practical in asking yourself, How do you achieve the goals of equality and inclusion, but also recognize the market system produces a lot of wealth and goods and services and innovation and it also gives individuals freedom because they have initiative, depending on the social issues you are trying to address, what works? What you’ll find is the most successful societies and economies are the ones that are rooted in a market-based system but also realize a market does not work by itself. It has to have a social and moral and ethical and community basis.

Sadly, President Obama’s misinformed views are not exceptional in 21st-century America. Large numbers of Americans have been persuaded that the free market — i.e., economic freedom — does not work and must be managed by highly-intelligent, omnicompetent overlords. In other words, like the president, they believe in socialism, whether or not they want to call it by that name.

Of course, socialism has accounted for the deaths of tens of millions of people over the last century, from the Soviet Union to Cuba — a fact that its apologists, like Barack Obama, routinely neglect to mention. Nor is it politically correct to point out that the much-maligned Nazism of Hitler and his abhorrent associates in the Third Reich was actually a form of socialism, albeit nationalistic in flavor. The term “Nazi” is short for the German equivalent of “National Socialist” — but because “Nazi” has become a popular smear for anyone on the political Right, few Americans are aware of this.

Still, to put President Obama’s remarks in perspective, imagine the outcry had he told his Argentine audience that it makes little difference whether one chooses capitalism or Nazism, as long as it works.

The Bernie Sanders campaign is striving mightily to rehabilitate socialism, carefully distinguishing between the “bad socialism” of gulags and collective farms and the “good socialism” or “democratic socialism” practiced by the likes of Sweden and most other Western European countries. But the truth is that “good socialism,” if not set aside, will eventually morph into “bad socialism,” as the problems engendered by “a little socialism” create demand for ever-more-extreme and coercive solutions. Nazi Germany was preceded by several generations of what we would now call “democratic socialism,” including government pensions, socialized medicine, and attempts at a state-managed economy.

Cuba, it is worth noting, had personal income levels comparable to those of the United States and Canada prior to the rise of Fidel Castro. It is now one of the poorest, most backward countries in the Western Hemisphere. The fruits of socialism are on display everywhere, yet our liberal intelligentsia never tires of singing its praises, all the while disparaging capitalism — the system that has given us modern medicine, automobiles, the Internet, cell phones, and in general, a level of prosperity never before seen in all of human history.

That an American president could travel to Cuba and heap praise on that country’s repressive communist dictators, and then proceed to Argentina — hardly a shining example of economic and financial progress — and disparage capitalism by implication is an indictment of the deplorable state of American liberty. If we do not soon recommit our country to the liberty and free market system our Founders bequeathed to us, we will end up with the political repression of Cuba and the economy of Argentina.

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