A Ridiculous Lawsuit

CNS News posted an article today about the suspension of Jim Acosta from the White House Press Corps.

The article reports:

CNN is suing President Donald Trump and his aides for revoking its White House correspondent Jim Acosta’s hard pass.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., calls for the immediate restoration of Acosta’s White House access.

As CNSNews.com previously reported, his White House press credentials were suspended last week after he refused to give the microphone back to a White House intern during a press conference with Trump when Trump refused to answer any more of Acosta’s questions.

Sanders said at the time that the White House will “never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young women just trying to do her job as a White House intern.” She called his behavior “absolutely unacceptable” and disrespectful to other reporters he refused to allow to ask their questions.

It needs to be pointed out that the White House did not bar CNN–it simply barred a reporter who behaved very rudely.

For those of you with short memories, I would like to highlight a few incidents between the press and the White House during the Obama administration as reported by Breitbart in 2017:

Closing White House events to all but the official photographer. Obama barred the media from events — including, ironically, an award ceremony where he was recognized for “transparency” — and often restricted photographers’ access, only releasing images taken by the official White House photographer.

…Trying to shut out Fox News. The Obama administration targeted Fox News for isolation and marginalization, arguing that it was not a legitimate news organization but “the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party.” That served as a warning to other potentially critical outlets.

…Stonewalling FOIA requests. The Obama administration “set a record” for failing to provide information requested by the press and the public under the Freedom of Information Act. The low point was Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, where tens of thousands of emails were hidden on a private server and deleted.

…Prosecuting journalists and their sources. The Obama administration pursued Fox News reporter James Rosen’s private emails — then misled Congress about it. CNN’s Jake Tapper — to his credit — pointed out that Obama had used the Espionage Act against leakers more than all of his predecessors combined.

…Wiretapping the Associated Press. After the Obama administration’s snooping on the AP was exposed in 2013, a senior NBC correspondent excused President Obama on the grounds that he would not have been nasty enough to alienate “one of the president’s most important constituencies, the press.”

There’s more–please follow the link to the article to read the complete list.

The press has treated President Trump horribly since he became the Republican candidate for President. It is no surprise that he removed one of the more obnoxious reporters from the Press Corps. Until Mr Acosta learns some degree of manners, I don’t believe his access should be reinstated. Again, Jim Acosta was barred–not CNN. The First Amendment was not limited–just the access of someone with bad manners.

Ignoring Government Transparency Rules

The following is a Judicial Watch Press Release dated November 1:

Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed lawsuits regarding the maintenance of text messages as federal records and for records of the audit of communications of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

After the FBI claimed that text messages are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Judicial Watch filed suit to ensure that text messages are being preserved. The new Administrative Procedure Act lawsuit against the FBI challenges the FBI failure to preserve FBI text messages as required by the Federal Records Act. (Judicial Watch v. FBI (No.1:18-cv-02316)).

In its lawsuit Judicial Watch points to a related case in which Michael G. Seidel, the assistant section chief of the Record/Information Dissemination Section in the FBI’s Information Management Division, stated: “text messages on [FBI]-issued devices are not automatically integrated into an FBI records system.” (Danik v. U.S. Department of Justice, (No. 1:17-cv-01792)).

Judicial Watch argued that the FBI “does not have a recordkeeping program in place that provides effective controls over the maintenance of electronic messages, including text messages.” Moreover, “The FBI relies upon its personnel to incorporate their text messages into a recordkeeping system. If FBI personnel do not actively incorporate their text messages into a recordkeeping system, the text messages are not preserved.”

Judicial Watch asked the court to declare the FBI’s failure to have a recordkeeping program for electronic messages to be “not in accordance with law” and that the court order the FBI “to establish and maintain a recordkeeping program that provides effective controls over the maintenance of electronic messages.”

If text messages are not preserved, then they may be deleted and never produced to Congress, criminal investigators, and to the American people under FOIA.

Judicial Watch also filed suit against the Justice Department after the DOJ failed to respond to an August 27, 2018, FOIA request seeking the FBI’s audit records of McCabe’s communications (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-02283)).

In 2015, a political action committee run by Terry McAuliffe, a close friend and political supporter of Bill and Hillary Clinton, donated nearly $500,000 to Andrew McCabe’s wife Jill, who was then running for the Virginia State Senate. Also, the Virginia Democratic Party, over which McAuliffe had significant influence, donated an additional $207,788 to the Jill McCabe campaign. In July 2015, Andrew McCabe was in charge of the FBI’s Washington, DC, field office, which provided personnel resources to the Clinton email probe.

In July 2017, Judicial Watch filed three FOIA lawsuits seeking communications between the FBI and McCabe concerning “ethical issues” involving his wife’s political campaign; McCabe’s communications with McAuliffe; and McCabe’s travel vouchers.

Following an Inspector General Report, a grand jury reportedly was impaneled recently to investigate McCabe’s possible role in leaks to the media “to advance his personal interests.”

The FBI has told Judicial Watch that it is under no legal obligation to produce any of Andrew McCabe’s text messages under FOIA, which has attracted criticism from President Trump.

“This lawsuit exposes a massive FBI cover-up of its text messages, which are government records and are, by the thousands, likely to have been deleted and lost by FBI employees,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “And of course, this cover-up conveniently impacts the production of text messages to Judicial Watch and Congress of disgraced FBI officials Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page and James Comey.”

It is time to uncover the corruption in the FBI during the Obama administration. The FBI should be subject to FOIA requests.

The Truth Is Still Leaking Out

Yesterday Fox News posted an article about the cover-up by the State Department of both information surrounding Hillary Clinton’s private server and information regarding the attack at Benghazi.

The article reports:

In a combative exchange at a hearing Friday in Washington, D.C., a federal judge unabashedly accused career State Department officials of lying and signing “clearly false” affidavits to derail a series of lawsuits seeking information about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server and her handling of the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth also said he was “shocked” and “dumbfounded” when he learned that FBI had granted immunity to former Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills during its investigation into the use of Clinton’s server, according to a court transcript of his remarks.

“I had myself found that Cheryl Mills had committed perjury and lied under oath in a published opinion I had issued in a Judicial Watch case where I found her unworthy of belief, and I was quite shocked to find out she had been given immunity in — by the Justice Department in the Hillary Clinton email case,” Lamberth said during the hearing.

The Department of Justice’s Inspector General (IG), Michael Horowitz, noted in a bombshell report in June that it was “inconsistent with typical investigative strategy” for the FBI to allow Mills to sit in during the agency’s interview of Clinton during the email probe, given that classified information traveled through Mills’ personal email account. “[T]here are serious potential ramifications when one witness attends another witness’ interview,” the IG wrote.

The article notes that the Judge did not know that Cheryl Mills had been granted immunity.

The article continues:

The transparency group Judicial Watch initially sued the State Department in 2014, seeking information about the response to the Benghazi attack after the government didn’t respond to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Other parallel lawsuits by Judicial Watch are probing issues like Clinton’s server, whose existence was revealed during the course of the litigation.

The State Department had immediately moved to dismiss Judicial Watch’s first lawsuit on a motion for summary judgment, saying in an affidavit that it had conducted a search of all potentially relevant emails in its possession and provided them. The affidavit noted that some more documents and emails could be forthcoming.

But Lamberth denied the request to dismiss the lawsuit at the time — and on Friday, he said he was happy he did, charging that State Department officials had intentionally misled him because other key documents, including those on Clinton’s email server, had not in fact been produced.

“It was clear to me that at the time that I ruled initially, that false statements were made to me by career State Department officials, and it became more clear through discovery that the information that I was provided was clearly false regarding the adequacy of the search and this – what we now know turned out to be the Secretary’s email system,” Lamberth said Friday.

Please follow the link to read the entire article, which includes the transcript of the hearing.

This Is Not The America Most Of Us Want

Yesterday Judicial Watch posted the following Press Release:

‘[N]o such hearings were held with respect to the acknowledged FISA applications. Accordingly, no responsive hearing transcripts exist.’

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today announced that in response to a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, the Justice Department (DOJ) admitted in a court filing last night that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court held no hearings on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) spy warrant applications targeting Carter Page, a former Trump campaign part-time advisor who was the subject of four controversial FISA warrants.

In the filing the Justice Department finally revealed that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court held no hearings on the Page FISA spy warrants, first issued in 2016 and subsequently renewed three times:

[National Security Division] FOIA consulted [Office of Intelligence] … to identify and locate records responsive to [Judicial Watch’s] FOIA request…. [Office of Intelligence] determined … that there were no records, electronic or paper, responsive to [Judicial Watch’s] FOIA request with regard to Carter Page. [Office of Intelligence] further confirmed that the [Foreign Surveillance Court] considered the Page warrant applications based upon written submissions and did not hold any hearings.

The Department of Justice previously released to Judicial Watch the heavily redacted Page warrant applications. The initial Page FISA warrant was granted just weeks before the 2016 election.

The DOJ filing is in response to a Judicial Watch lawsuit for the FISA transcripts (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-01050)).

In February, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee released a memo criticizing the FISA targeting of Carter Page. The memo details how the “minimally corroborated” Clinton-DNC dossier was an essential part of the FBI and DOJ’s applications for surveillance warrants to spy on Page.

Judicial Watch recently filed a request with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court seeking the transcripts of all hearings related to the surveillance of Carter Page.

“It is disturbing that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance courts rubber-stamped the Carter Page spy warrants and held not one hearing on these extraordinary requests to spy on the Trump team,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Perhaps the court can now hold hearings on how justice was corrupted by material omissions that Hillary Clinton’s campaign, the DNC, a conflicted Bruce Ohr, a compromised Christopher Steele, and anti-Trumper Peter Strzok were all behind the ‘intelligence’ used to persuade the courts to approve the FISA warrants that targeted the Trump team.”

This is a blatant example of using the apparatus of the government to spy on a political opponent. It is illegal and should result in jail time for those involved. To let this go unpunished means that it will be acceptable behavior in the future. We are in danger of losing our country to a group of elites who have no respect for either the law or the voters.

Are There Any Honest People Left In Washington?

I know that there are some honest people in Washington, but sometimes it just doesn’t seem that way. What is really disturbing to me is that corruption seems to run from top to bottom. We may have to get rid of politicians with questionable ethics, and we may have to get rid of their staffs as well. This does not bode well for America.

Last week The Wall Street Journal posted a story that illustrates the total disregard for ethical behavior now running rampant in Washington. The story has to do with a company named Cadiz, Inc., and their plans to build an underground pipeline along the Arizona & California Railroad’s right-of-way to transport 50,000 acre-feet of water annually to Southern California.

The article reports:

The Department of Interior’s longstanding policy allowed railroads to run power, telephone and fiber optics lines along their rights-of-way without a federal permit, thus expediting environmental review. However, in November 2011, after Cadiz had modified its plan to reduce environmental opposition, Interior at the insistence of California Sen. Dianne Feinstein revised its policy to limit the use of railroad rights-of-way granted in 1875 to “activities that derive from or further a railroad purpose.”

The Cadiz pipeline was the only project subject to the new rules. Cadiz spent several years and $12 million reconfiguring the pipeline to “further a railroad purpose,” proposing the likes of hydro-turbines, power safety systems and automated fire suppression. None of Cadiz’s compromises satisfied regulators.

On Oct. 2, 2015, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) informed congressional staff—who tipped off Cadiz—of an imminent adverse ruling. A letter circulated by the bureau noted that the pipeline “does not derive from or further a railroad purpose” because the fire suppression system was “an uncommon industry practice,” among other complaints. The kicker was that the ruling could not be appealed because it “is not a final agency decision.” Thus the pipeline would have to undergo a formal environmental review. Ms. Feinstein has attached riders to every Interior appropriations bill since 2008 barring a review.

Within a week of the BLM ruling, Cadiz’s stock plummeted 65%. Yet one Cadiz investor had inside information that could have allowed him to make a killing. Emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by Cadiz reveal that BLM realty specialist Erik Pignata (who oversaw the Cadiz review from the Sacramento bureau) shared non-public information with Cadiz investor Thomas McGannon of Whetstone Capital Advisors. Cadiz provided the emails to us.

Thomas McGannon sold short based on the information that Erik Pignata shared and Mr. McGannon profited greatly. Just for the record, there is a 1990 executive order forbidding government employees from improperly using non-public government information to further a private interest. Let’s hope the government chooses to separate Mr. McGannon from his ill-gotten gains.

Just a note–I love the Freedom of Information Act.

One Reason Hillary’s Email Server Matters

The Daily Caller posted an article yesterday about an interview Hugh Hewitt did with former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. If you have wondered why Hillary Clinton’s private server is such a big deal, this might explain it.

The article reports:

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates says, “I think the odds are pretty high” countries like Iran, China, and Russia hacked Hillary Clinton’s email server.

In an interview with Hugh Hewitt on Thursday, the former CIA director said “the Pentagon acknowledges that they get attacked about 100,000 times a day.”
(RELATED: Obama’s Former Defense Sec: Obama ‘Has Centralized Power’ In An ‘Unparalleled’ Way [VIDEO])

Hewitt asked Gates, “[A]re you surprised by the news that continues to come out about the former Secretary of State’s server and the fact that the intelligence community’s inspector general has said there was a lot of very highly classified information on her server?”

“Yeah, that’s a concern for me,” Gates said. “I never used email when I was head of CIA or head of the Department of Defense. As I used to joke, I didn’t want to have some chief of station overseas email me and say he was going to do something if I didn’t get back to him in three hours, and I would get back from a five hour hearing to discover I was two hours too late.

The information on Hilllary Clinton’s server was at a level that a leak would have put intelligence gathering methods and people at risk. Having a private server was foolish at best and dishonest at worst. The goal was probably to protect herself from those pesky Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests which might have revealed some of the monetary deals made while she was Secretary of State. Instead, she put the safety of Americans at risk to hide her dishonesty. She is not the kind of person we want as President.

It Just Gets Uglier

It would be nice to be done with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scandal by now, but new things keep showing up. The latest should be a cause for concern to all Americans, regardless of which political party they belong to.

Judicial Watch released a report today about its latest findings as a result of its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests filed regarding the IRS. The findings are very unsettling to those of us who believe in free speech.

Here are a few highlights:

The newly obtained records also reveal that the Obama DOJ wanted IRS employees who were going to testify to Congress to turn over documents to the DOJ before giving them to Congress. Records also detail how the Obama IRS gave the FBI 21 computer disks, containing 1.25 million pages of confidential IRS returns from 113,000 nonprofit social 501(c)(4) welfare groups  – or nearly every 501(c)(4) in the United States – as part of its prosecution effort. According to a letter from then-House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, “This revelation likely means that the IRS – including possibly Lois Lerner – violated federal tax law by transmitting this information to the Justice Department.”

The documents were produced subsequent to court orders in two Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits: Judicial Watch v. Internal Revenue Service (No. 1:14-cv-1956) and Judicial Watch v. Department of Justice (No. 1:14-cv-1239).

The new IRS documents include a October 11, 2010 “DOJ Recap” memo sent by IRS Exempt Organizations Tax Law Specialist Siri Buller to Lerner and other top IRS officials explaining an October 8 meeting with representatives from the Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and “one representative from the FBI” to discuss the possible criminal prosecution of nonprofit organizations for alleged political activity:

Why was the IRS coordinating with the Justice Department on Congressional testimony?

The article continues:

“These new documents show that the Obama IRS scandal is also an Obama DOJ and FBI scandal,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The FBI and Justice Department worked with Lois Lerner and the IRS to concoct some reason to put President Obama’s opponents in jail before his reelection. And this abuse resulted in the FBI’s illegally obtaining confidential taxpayer information. How can the Justice Department and FBI investigate the very scandal in which they are implicated?”

On April 16, 2014, Judicial Watch forced the IRS to release documents revealing for the first time that Lerner communicated with the DOJ in May 2013 about whether it was possible to launch criminal prosecutions against targeted tax-exempt entities. The documents were obtained due to court order in an October 2013 Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit filed against the IRS.

This sounds like Soviet Russia–not like America. Please follow the link above to Judicial Watch to read the entire article. There is quite a bit there that confirms the much of the Obama Administration was conducting a war on any group that did not agree with them.

Eric Holder Resigns

Eric Holder is expected to resign later this afternoon.

The Washington Times posted a story about his resignation today. The article included the following:

The contempt of Congress case against Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. — the first sitting Cabinet member ever to face such a congressional rebuke — will continue even after his resignation takes effect, but it’s unlikely he will ever face personal punishment, legal analysts said Thursday.

Mr. Holder, is expected to announce his resignation later Thursday, and Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, said the timing is not accidental: A federal judge earlier this week ruled that the Justice Department will have to begin submitting documents next month related to the botched Fast and Furious gun operation in a case brought by Judicial Watch.

Judicial Watch has done an amazing job using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to stop the stonewalling by the Obama Administration on Fast and Furious, the IRS scandal, and the Benghazi attack. Judicial Watch has used FOIA to get documents that the Obama Administration was not releasing to Congressional oversight committees.

The article continues:

Two years ago the House voted 255-67 — with 17 Democrats joining the GOP — to hold Mr. Holder in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over documents from the Fast and Furious operation.

The House oversight committee had sought the documents, saying they would shed light on who knew about the botched operation, which saw federal agents knowingly let guns be sold to traffickers. Hundreds of those guns turned up at crime scenes in Mexico, and two were found at the site where U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in Arizona.

Eric Holder has turned the Justice Department into a political arm of the Democratic party. It is no longer the neutral department it is supposed to be. Unfortunately., his replace will probably continue that policy. Hopefully our next American President will return the Justice Department to its original mission–providing equal justice under the law.

Sharyl Attkisson Continues Her Work As A Good Reporter

I have previously posted articles about the work of Sharyl Attkisson, who left the Washington bureau of CBS News after realizing that they were not interested in actual investigative reporting on the Obama Administration. She is continuing her work as an independent reporter, using the tools often used by Judicial Watch to get information from a less-than-transparent Obama Administration.

The Daily Signal is reporting today that Sharyl Attkisson has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services to obtain information about the rollout of ObamaCare last year.

The article reports:

The former CBS News reporter and Emmy award-winning journalist won’t be going alone; the legal group Judicial Watch will represent her in court.

The lawsuit follows four unsuccessful Freedom of Information Act requests. In October 2013 and again in June of this year, Attkisson requested information from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) concerning the efficiency and security of the HealthCare.gov website.

All four requests went unanswered.

The government’s GSA website explains the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA):

The 1966 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) permits any person to request access to federal agency records or information. Federal agencies are required to disclose records upon receipt of a written request, except for records that are protected from disclosure by nine exemptions or three exclusions in the Act.

Another government website lists the exceptions:

1) classified national defense and foreign relations information,

(2) internal agency rules and practices,

(3) information that is prohibited from disclosure by another law,

(4) trade secrets and other confidential business information,

(5) inter-agency or intra-agency communications that are protected by legal privileges,

(6) information involving matters of personal privacy,

(7) certain information compiled for law enforcement purposes,

(8) information relating to the supervision of financial institutions, and

(9) geological information on wells.

The article in The Daily Signal reports:

Attkisson admits that her lawsuit can never produce these lost documents “out of thin air,” but she said a court might help “get to the bottom of what occurred.”

Unfazed and optimistic, Attkisson wrote on her website that “It doesn’t hurt to try.”

We need more Sharyl Attkissons!

The Internal Revenue Service May Still Be Held Accountable

It’s very frustrating to watch the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) avoid producing any information that might shed light on exactly what happened with the tax exempt requests from conservative groups. The dog-age-my-homework excuse is getting rather lame. First Lois Lerner’s emails from the crucial period disappeared, then six of her co-workers’ emails disappeared, and last week it was discovered that some Environmental Protection Agency emails had disappeared. There seems to be a growing black hole for government emails.

However, yesterday’s Washington Examiner reported that Judicial Watch is pursuing justice in the IRS case.

The article reports:

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Emmett G. Sullivan quickly granted a motion filed earlier today by attorneys for Judicial Watch seeking a courtroom status conference “as soon as possible to discuss the IRS’s failure to fulfill its duties to this court under the law, as well as other ramifications of this lawsuit.”

In its motion, the non-profit watchdog noted that the IRS publicly acknowledged loss of Lerner emails to and from individuals outside of the agency early in February 2014.

Then on Feb. 26, the tax agency provided its first production of documents in response to a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed in October 2013.

No mention was made in that production of the lost Lerner emails, even though the original Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit filed in May 2013 specifically sought them.

Judicial Watch further noted that “although IRS had knowledge of the missing Lois Lerner emails and of the other IRS officials, it materially omitted any mention of the missing records” in an April 30 status update on its document production.

…The tax agency could also face court sanctions or even criminal proceedings if Sullivan is not satisfied with the government’s explanation.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said “the IRS is clearly in full cover-up mode. It is well past time for the Obama administration to answer to a federal court about its cover-up and destruction of records.”

I wish Congress had the backbone to hold the IRS accountable, but since they don’t, Judicial Watch will gladly do it for them!

Stopping The Truth From Leaking Out

On Thursday, Heritage.org posted an article about news coverage of the coming Benghazi hearings. Recently emails obtained by Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) have shown that previous investigations have not had access to the information they needed to investigate the attack at Benghazi.

The article at Heritage reports:

At a dinner with journalists in New York earlier this week, CNN’s president indicated the TV network wouldn’t cover the Benghazi committee unless it was “of real news value.”

“We’re not going to be shamed into it by others who have political beliefs that want to try to have temper tantrums to shame other news organizations into covering something,” CNN’s Jeff Zucker said in response to a question about the Benghazi probe. “If it’s of real news value, we’ll cover it.”

At the dinner, Zucker defended CNN’s non-stop coverage of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet. He also suggested climate change was “one of those stories that deserves more attention.”

I think Mr. Zucker’s statement is one reason CNN is rapidly losing viewers. I’m sorry Mr. Zucker feels that covering the Benghazi hearings is not something he needs to do–the hearings themselves have news value–Americans want to know what happened that night and why we did not come to the aid of those under attack.

The article also reminds us that the Democrats debated whether or not they wanted to be included in an investigation of Benghazi, even after more emails that had been kept from other investigations surfaced. The Democrats really did not seem to want to find out what happened or why emails and other information had been withheld from the investigating committees for so long.

This entire investigation could have ended a year ago if the Obama Administration had simply provided Congress with the information they requested. That would have been so much easier.

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The Information On Benghazi Continues To Drip Out

Sharyl Attkisson continues to investigate the Benghazi cover-up and report on her findings. She is doing the job that CBS News should have been doing when she worked for them. Yesterday she posted an article at sharylattkisson.com with a link to a Department of State email showing that the State Department knew almost immediately that the attack at Benghazi was the work of Islamic militia terrorist group Ansar al Sharia.

This is the link to the email. The email is from Beth E. Jones, then-Assistant Secretary of State to Hillary Clinton.

This is the main part of the email:

BenghaziEmailSharyl Attkisson reports:

There is no uncertainty assigned to the assessment, which does not mention a video or a protest. The State Department provided the email to Congress in Aug. of 2013 under special conditions that it not be publicly released at that time. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) sought and received permission to release it Thursday.

Why is this information coming out now? Because enough people have realized that there has been a cover-up of what actually happened at Benghazi, and many officials (as well as the American people) are tired of being lied to. The Obama Administration has successfully withheld documents and information about the Benghazi attack and the death of Christopher Stevens from Congress and the American people until very recently. It is because the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and those organizations such as Judicial Watch that we are becoming aware of the truth. Hopefully, when you vote in November, you will remember who helped with the cover-up and who helped reveal the truth.

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I Don’t Think We Have Learned The Truth Yet

Yesterday The Blaze posted an article which featured an unclassified map of American military forces in the area of Benghazi. Libya, on September 11, 2012. The map was obtained by Judicial Watch through a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request. I am in no way a military strategist, but after looking at the map, I wonder if more could have been done to defend the embassy annex at Benghazi. Here is the map:

Screengrab via Townhall

The American military does not usually leave men behind. I wonder why they chose to close their ears to the cries for help that were coming from Benghazi that night.  We need to have an honest investigation into what happened. So far that investigation has been blocked. The American people (and the families of those killed that night) have a right to know why the military did not show up.

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What Is Happening To My Country?

Yesterday I posted a story about Audrey Hudson, a former Washington Times reporter and current freelance reporter (rightwinggranny.com). Yesterday the Washington Times posted a story about the incident.

The Washington Times reported:

The Washington Times said Friday it is preparing legal action to fight what it called an unwarranted intrusion on the First Amendment.

“While we appreciate law enforcement’s right to investigate legitimate concerns, there is no reason for agents to use an unrelated gun case to seize the First Amendment protected materials of a reporter,” Times Editor John Solomon said. “This violates the very premise of a free press, and it raises additional concerns when one of the seizing agencies was a frequent target of the reporter’s work.

“Homeland’s conduct in seizing privileged reporters notes and Freedom of Information Act documents raises serious Fourth Amendment issues, and our lawyers are preparing an appropriate legal response,” he said.

Keep that story in mind as you read the rest of this article.

On October 21, I posted an article about the behavior of the Park Police during the government shutdown (rightwinggranny.com). The source of that article was a John Fund article at National Review Online. The question being asked in the article was if the Obama Administration can use the Park Police to fight a political battle, what other federal agencies can they co-opt? Again I ask, when were the shut-down signs and the barricades ordered and who authorized the order?

On October 23, The Blaze reported that a total of nine commanding generals have been fired this year. The article lists the generals and contains a video of an interview with the reporter investigating this.

Where were you when you first heard the expression “shelter in place?” That was mainly added to the American vocabulary after the Boston Marathon Bombing. Think about that for a moment. In the past, when a criminal escaped from jail, we were told to lock our doors and windows and be alert. I don’t ever remember hearing the expression “shelter in place.” Shelter in place implies Martial Law. Is that something that is going to become routine?

I list the above incidents for your consideration. They may mean nothing, they may mean a lot. Think about them the next time you have the opportunity to vote. I don’t like the direction our country seems to be heading in. The only way to change that direction is to change the people running the country. The only way to change the people running the country is to vote the current people out and elect new people. We need to do that.

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Why The Freedom Of Information Act Is Important

PJMedia reported yesterday that documents obtained by Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) show that the Department of Justice played a major behind-the-scenes role in organizing protests against George Zimmerman. George Zimmerman is currently on trial for the murder of Trayvon Martin. The Community Relations Service (CRS), a division of the Justice Department, was sent to Sanford, Florida, to organize rallies against George Zimmerman.

The article shows the timeline:

  • March 25 – 27, 2012, CRS spent $674.14 upon being “deployed to Sanford, FL to work marches, demonstrations, and rallies related to the shooting and death of an African-American teen by a neighborhood watch captain.”
  • March 25 – 28, 2012, CRS spent $1,142.84 “in Sanford, FL to work marches, demonstrations, and rallies related to the shooting and death of an African-American teen by a neighborhood watch captain.”
  • March 30 – April 1, 2012, CRS spent $892.55 in Sanford, FL “to provide support for protest deployment in Florida.”
  • March 30 – April 1, 2012, CRS spent an additional $751.60 in Sanford, FL “to provide technical assistance to the City of Sanford, event organizers, and law enforcement agencies for the march and rally on March 31.”
  • April 3 – 12, 2012, CRS spent $1,307.40 in Sanford, FL “to provide technical assistance, conciliation, and onsite mediation during demonstrations planned in Sanford.”
  • April 11-12, 2012, CRS spent $552.35 in Sanford, FL “to provide technical assistance for the preparation of possible marches and rallies related to the fatal shooting of a 17 year old African American male.” – expenses for employees to travel, eat, sleep?

What in the world were they thinking?

Meanwhile, MYWay News is reporting today the the judge in the Zimmerman case will allow the jury to consider a charge of manslaughter as well as the charge of second-degree murder. Essentially the rules have been changed at the end of the trial. George Zimmerman is facing 25 to 30 years in jail because he defended his life from someone he thought was trying to kill him. That seems a little unfair to me.

The article at MyWay reports:

It is standard for prosecutors in Florida murder cases to ask that the jury be allowed to consider lesser charges that were not actually brought against the defendant. And it is not unusual for judges to grant such requests.

Unfortunately, I suspect we will have riots if George Zimmerman is found innocent. That is unfortunate because the evidence seems to back up his claim that he was simply defending himself after he was attacked. The prosecution (and the media) has tried to paint a very negative picture of George Zimmerman. The media has pretty much ignored the fact that Trayvon Martin’s autopsy showed drugs in his system and that he had a history of aggressive behavior.

It is truly unfortunate that the government didn’t stay out of this trial. What were they thinking by getting involved?

 

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About That Transparency Thing…

Today’s Washington Free Beacon posted an article about the Department of Justice’s handling of Freedom of Information Act requests. The article points out that the Department of Justice has not challenged a single instance of a federal agency withholding records from Freedom of Information (FOIA) requesters since 2009.

The article reports:

The audit (a government-wide audit performed by the National Security Archive in December) prompted a letter to the justice Department from Issa and Cummings.

“Given OIP’s role in in implementing compliance with FOIA, the committee seeks information about a number of issues including what many term as outdated FOIA regulations, exorbitant and possibly illegal fee assessments, FOIA backlogs, the excessive use and abuse of exemptions, and dispute resolution services,” Issa and Cummings wrote in February.

The Justice Department did not respond to oversight’s letter for four months.

The National Security Archive sought the information through a FOIA request in March, but the Justice Department told the NSA the records were exempt from disclosure.

“The fact that this document was blocked from release using a b(5) exemption is a good example of why the DOJ isn’t meeting the president’s instruction on FOIA,” National Security Archive FOIA coordinator Nate Jones told the Free Beacon.

Issa and Cummings wrote to the department again on Monday, saying Justice’s failure to respond “extremely disappointing.”

The Washington Free Beacon has previously reported that the number of FOIA requests has greatly increased during the Obama Administration.

The article further reports:

An August 2012 Washington Post analysis found that early freedom of information progress by the Obama administration “stalled and, in the case of most departments, reversed in direction.”

The number of FOIA requests denied in full due to exemptions rose more than 10 percent last year, to 25,636 from 22,834 the previous year, according to the Post’s analysis.

This really does not sound like transparency to me.

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This Is Not Right–But It’s Not A Surprise

Today’s Daily Caller posted a story about Eric Holder‘s Justice Department collaborating with Media Matters to control press coverage on some of the scandals within the department. The information in the story was obtained through FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests.

The article states:

Dozens of pages of emails between DOJ Office of Public Affairs Director Tracy Schmaler and Media Matters staffers show Schmaler, Holder’s top press defender, working with Media Matters to attack reporters covering DOJ scandals. TheDC obtained the emails through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

Two of the main cases discussed in the article are the New Black Panthers voter intimidation case in Philadelphia and Operation Fast and Furious. In both cases Media Matters was asked to attack the people investigating the scandals or the people attempting to inform the American public. The goal was to make sure the American people never learned the truth in either case.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It is worth reading. This is the kind of story that explains why the mainstream media is dying and the alternative media is growing. It is obvious that there was very little truth in what was reported by the mainstream media.

 

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The Latest Ruling On The New Black Panthers Voter Intimidation Case

Today’s Washington Examiner is reporting that a federal court has determined that some of President Obama’s political appointees interfered with the Department of Justice prosecution of the New Black Panthers voter intimidation case. Judicial Watch had sued the Department of Justice to enforce a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for documents. The documents were eventually obtained. The current lawsuit involved reimbursement for attorneys fees.

The article cites the writing of United States District Court Judge Reggie Walton:

The documents reveal that political appointees within DOJ were conferring about the status and resolution of the New Black Panther Party case in the days preceding the DOJ’s dismissal of claims in that case, which would appear to contradict Assistant Attorney General Perez’s testimony that political leadership was not involved in that decision. Surely the public has an interest in documents that cast doubt on the accuracy of government officials’ representations regarding the possible politicization of agency decision-making.

In sum, the Court concludes that three of the four fee entitlement factors weigh in favor of awarding fees to Judicial Watch. Therefore, Judicial Watch is both eligible and entitled to fees and costs, and the Court must now consider the reasonableness of Judicial Watch’s requested award.

Wow.

The article concludes:

“The Court’s decision is another piece of evidence showing the Obama Justice Department is run by individuals who have a problem telling the truth,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. “The decision shows that we can’t trust the Obama Justice Department to fairly administer our nation’s voting and election laws.”

Incidents like this need to be remembered when all of us vote in November.

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We Need An Honest Election In 2012

 This article has two sources–GoLocalWorcester and Judicial Watch.

The article at GoLocalWorcester lists some basic facts about the integrity of recent elections and the impact of voter ID laws:

A study by the Colorado secretary of state found that nearly 5,000 noncitizens voted in Colorado’s closely contested 2010 Senate race.

According Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, after a photo ID law in 2008, the number of African-American voters has increased more than ten percent. Additionally, all voting demographics have grown at the rate of population growth. Moreover, prior to the passage, they investigated and penalized hundreds of people guilty of election and voter fraud every election cycle.

An article in the in the Pittsburg Post-Gazette tells us that of 1.3 million new registrations ACORN turned in 2008, election officials rejected 400,000. Do you suppose they caught all of the bad ones?

1.8 million deceased individuals are listed as active voters.

And in our City of Worcester, when the Worcester voter census was finally brought in compliance with state law in 2011, some 45% of voters were classified as “inactive”.

Judicial Watch reports:

As the presidential election approaches, the potential for voter fraud is dangerously high nationwide with nearly 2 million dead people still registered to cast ballots, about 3 million eligible to vote in two or more states and millions more that are inaccurate, duplicate or out of date.

The alarming figures were published this week in a report issued by the non-partisan Pew Center on States. It reveals that approximately 24 million active voter registrations in the United States are no longer valid or have significant inaccuracies. The problem, apparently, is an outdated registration system that can’t properly maintain records.

…Preserving the integrity of the election process has been a huge issue for Judicial Watch over the years. Just last week JW launched the 2012 Election Integrity Project to pressure states and localities to clean up voter registration polls in order to comply with Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). A lengthy JW investigation of public records indicates that voter rolls in numerous states have more registered voters than voting-age population.

Among the states that appear to contain names of individuals who are ineligible to vote are Florida, California, Texas, Colorado, Ohio, Mississippi, Iowa, Indiana and West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Missouri. This month JW sent warning letters to election officials in Indiana and Ohio as well as letters of inquiry to Florida and California officials as part of the probe into their problematic voting lists.

Meanwhile, in its February 2012 newsletter, Judicial Watch reported that through records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), they have learned that there has been extensive communication between the Department of Justice and Estelle Rogers, a former ACORN attorney currently serving as Director of Advocacy for Project Vote. This close relationship is not healthy for our democracy or for our next election.

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Problems For The Global Warming People And For The Obama Administration

Aerial view of the Greenland village Qaarsut, ...

Image via Wikipedia

One of the things that is supposed to make our government work is transparency. With the Freedom of Information Act, we the taxpayers can follow the path of a concept as it is discussed and eventually made into some sort of law. That transparency is supposed to be part of the system–except when it is purposely avoided.

Yesterday wattsupwiththat.com posted a story stating that the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) has learned of a UN plan recently put in place to hide official  correspondence on non-governmental accounts, which correspondence a federal inspector general has already confirmed are subject to FOIA. This ‘cloud’ serves as a dead-drop of sorts for discussions by U.S. government employees over the next report being produced by the scandal-plagued IPCC, which is funded with millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars.”

The article at wattsupwiththat states:

CEI reminds OSTP (Office of Science and Technology Policy) that this practice was described as “creat[ing] non-governmental accounts for official business”, “using the nongovernmental accounts specifically to avoid creating a record of the communications”, in a recent analogous situation involving lobbyist Jack Abramoff. CEI expects similar congressional and media outrage at this similar practice to evade the applicable record-keeping laws.

This effort has apparently been conducted with participation — thereby direct assistance and enabling — by the Obama White House which, shortly after taking office, seized for Holdren’s office the lead role on IPCC work from the Department of Commerce. The plan to secretly create a FOIA-free zone was then implemented.

Man-made global warming is a hoax perpetrated by the Obama Administration to pave the way for a government takeover of the energy sector. The government policies that would be enacted in the name of global warming will make all Americans poorer (except those invested in green energy). This is truly a ‘follow the money’ issue. Had the Cap and Trade bill been passed in Congress, the demand for solar panels made by Solyndra would have increased, Solyndra would have raised its prices, and many democrat contributors would have made a profit. Had Cap and Trade passed, the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), which traded carbon credits would still be in business and investors such as Al Gore and many of our leading congressmen would have made a profit. If Cap and Trade can be implemented through federal agencies, it may not be too late to save the portfolios of some of the major Democrat contributors. It really is all about the money.

Please follow the link to wattsupwiththat.com to read the entire article. There is a lot of very good, but very technical information in the article that I did not fully understand. Hopefully it will make sense to you!

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