Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Monday, June 17, 2013
The Bugle: PHOENIX -- Saying federal law trumps state, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that Arizona cannot demand proof of citizenship from individuals who use a federal voter registration form.
In an opinion written by Justice Antonin Scalia, the majority rejected arguments by state Attorney General Tom Horne that Arizona is free to demand more than the federal form requires.
It mandates only that those registering to vote sign an affidavit, under penalty of perjury, that they are citizens and eligible. But Horne argued that Arizona is free to reject those forms unless applicants also submit actual proof of citizenship, something mandated by a 2004 voter-approved law.
Monday's ruling specifically requires state and local election officials to accept -- and, more to the point -- to register those individuals who use the form prescribed by the National Voter Registration Act even if they provide no proof of citizenship.
But Horne insisted Monday the ruling was only a setback. He noted the court said Arizona can petition the federal Election Assistance Commission to alter its form to allow Arizona to add that proof-of-citizenship requirement.
But Nina Perales, attorney for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, pointed out Arizona made such a request in 2005 and was rejected by the four-member commission on a 2-2 vote.
ere is no reason to think Arizona would be successful on a second try, particularly because Arizona cannot point to a single instance of a non-citizen registering to vote or trying to register to vote using the federal form,' she told Capitol Media Services. "With no facts on its side, Arizona cannot carry its burden of providing that registrants should include additional paperwork with their applications.'
Secretary of State Ken Bennett acknowledged when the case was argued last year he has no evidence people who are not citizens are registering to vote, either now with the federal form or before the 2004 proof-of-citizenship requirement.
Horne, however, said he intends to try again.
But that is likely to prove fruitless: There are no commissioners as the U.S. Senate has yet to confirm any presidential appointees. Horne said, though, that could lead him back to the Supreme Court.
Monday's ruling does give Arizona a bit of wiggle room. The justices said the state can refuse to register even someone using the federal form -- but only if election officials have "information in their possession establishing the applicant's ineligibility.'
And nothing in Monday's ruling prohibits the state from requiring citizenship proof from those who use state-created forms to register.
Local election officials have said the vast majority of those who do register use that state form. That, however, now could change.
Perales said the decision provides a new tool for groups conducting registration drives to now sign up new voters using that federal form -- and without having to get applicants to submit one of the documents that Arizona considers acceptable. That includes an Arizona driver's license, passport or birth certificate.
The 2004 law requires both proof of citizenship to register and identification to cast a ballot at the polls. Foes challenged both.
The courts sided with the state on the ID at polling places requirement. Foes of the Arizona law never appealed that decision, and it was not an issue in Monday's ruling.
Horne, in his arguments to the high court, did not dispute the National Voting Rights Act requires states to "accept and use' the federal voter registration form. But he argued that does not conflict with Arizona law.
"Because only U.S. citizens are eligible to vote, Proposition 200's evidence-of-citizenship requirement is consistent with the NVRA's express goals,' Horne argued to the high court. "Congress did not intend the NVRA to bar states from properly assessing whether an applicant who registers to vote is eligible to vote.'
And he said Arizona can add its own proof-of-citizenship requirements on top of everything required in the federal form.
Scalia dismissed that argument as nonsensical.
"For example, a government (decree) that 'civil servants shall accept government IOUs for payment of salaries' does not invite the response, 'sure, we'll accept IOUs -- if you pay us a 10 percent down payment in cash,' ' he wrote.
He also pointed out that the federal law says a state shall "ensure that any eligible applicant is registered to vote in an election ... if the valid voter registration form is postmarked' by a certain deadline.
"Yet Arizona reads the phrase 'accept and use' ... as permitting it to reject a completed Federal Form if the applicant does not submit additional information required by state law,' Scalia wrote. "That reading cannot be squared with Arizona's obligation.'
The court said it was not disturbing the requirement that those who use the state-designed form -- the majority of those now registered to vote -- must provide proof of citizenship.
"States retain the flexibility to design and use their own registration forms,' Scalia wrote.
"But the Federal Form provides a backstop: No matter what procedural hurdles a state's own form imposes, the Federal Form guarantees that a simple means of registering to vote in federal elections will be available.'
What states may not do, Scalia wrote, is demand that those who register using the Federal Form provide everything the state registration form requires.
"If that is so, the Federal Form ceases to perform any meaningful function, and would be a feeble means of increasing the number of eligible citizens who register to vote in elections for federal office,' he wrote.
In his dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas said the U.S. Constitution gives states the power to determine the qualifications for voting in federal elections. And Thomas said that "necessarily includes the related power to determine whether those qualifications are satisfied.'
Gov. Jan Brewer, who was secretary of state -- and therefore chief election officer -- during much of the time the 2004 law was being challenge, brushed aside the significance of Monday's decision.
"From what I understand, (it's) a very narrow ruling,' she said, pointing out that Arizona remains free to require proof of citizenship in its own forms. Brewer said it will be up to Horne and Bennett to decide what to do now.
Capitol Media Services
Our weekly wrap… Sunday to Sunday… Please share! Ask Marion
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- Bachmann, Gohmert, & Steve King Appeal Directly To Glenn Beck And Audience: ‘We’re Losing Badly…’
- Must See Commentary: “I Don’t Know What We’re Going To Wake Up To Tomorrow…”
- Hannity Special: Department of InJustice
- Texas Governor Rick Perry signs ‘Merry Christmas’ bill into law
- The Council Has Spoken!! This Week’s Watcher’s Council Results – 06.14.13
- Flag Day Today – Celebrating Old Glory
- Americans’ Confidence in Congress Falls to Lowest on Record
- Sarah Palin Back as Fox News Analyst…
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- US Air Force Academy Commencement 2013 – Quintessential Obama Administration
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- Every Knee Shall Bend…
- People Power Against the Department of Justice
- The Obama IRS Targeting Scandal in Five Minutes – Unbelievable Abuse of Power
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- Autism - Meme as Political Insult
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We are living in amazing times, good and bad, the kind of times that truly try men’s (and women’s) souls and that make or break countries and shape (or reshape) societies. Please get involved, pray for guidance, prepare for the worst (for yourself and to help others), then educate yourself and share what you learn with as many people as you can. All our futures depend on it!!
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Friday, June 14, 2013
History is the witness that testifies to the passing of time; it illumines reality, vitalizes memory, provides guidance in daily life and brings us tidings of antiquity.
CICERO, Pro Publio Sestio
History is philosophy teaching by examples.
THUCYDIDES, The History of the Peloponnesian War
This week’s winner, Joshuapundit’s The Anniversary Of A Miracle – Israel’s Victory In The Six Day War is my attempt to combat a certain strain of revisionism quite popular nowadays in some circles and write about a time not so long ago when a free people fought alone, outnumbered and without allies against tyranny and won an amazing victory. Here’s a slice:
Today is the anniversary of a modern miracle, the Israeli victory of the Six Day War, מלחמת ששת הימים, or Milhemet Sheshet Ha Yamim in Hebrew. It saw an outnumbered Israel beat back an attempt at destruction and genocide, reunite Jerusalem, and bring the strategic Golan and the historic Jewish homelands of Judea and Samaria back under Israeli sovereignty. It’s worth recounting 46 years later, when Israel’s mortal enemies once again gather to attempt to destroy her.
Egyptian leader Gamal Abdul Nasser had formed a military alliance with Syria, the United Arab Republic (UAR) and with the aid of the Soviet Union, both countries had built up a substantial military force, vastly outnumbering Israel in tanks, planes and manpower.
After the 1956 war,the Israelis had agreed to withdraw from Sinai based on President Eisenhower’s guarantees that provided for a UN peacekeeping force to be stationed there to prevent feydayeen terrorist raids on Israel, the main cause (at least from the Israeli standpoint) of the ’56 war.
Another part of the ceasefire agreement that ended the 1956 war concerned the Straits of Tiran, a waterway connecting the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea and Israel’s sole Red Sea outlet for the port of Eilat.
According to the ceasefire ratified by the UN, the Straits of Tiran were to be considered an international waterway with full access to Israeli shipping.
On May 17th, 1967, after a huge amount of rhetoric about annihilating every Jew in Israel, Nasser demanded an immediate withdrawal of the UN peacekeeping troops from the Sinai. Secretary General U Thant immediately complied in less than 24 hours without informing the Israelis until Egyptian forces had already reentered the Sinai.
Nasser subsequently deployed a huge force of troops,tanks and artillery in the Sinai. The Egyptians massed over 100,000 troops in the Sinai, including all of its seven divisions (four infantry, two armored and one mechanized), four independent infantry brigades and four independent armored brigades. At least one third of them were veterans of Egypt’s intervention into the Yemen Civil War, and the Egyptian forces included 950 tanks, 1,100 APCs and more than 1,000 artillery pieces, many of them of the latest Soviet models.
On May 23rd, Nasser announced a blockade of the Straights of Tiran, saying in a speech to his troops in Sinai:
… Yesterday the armed forces [of Egypt] occupied Sharm el-Sheikh. What does this mean? It is an affirmation of our rights, of our sovereignty over the Gulf of Aqaba, which constitutes Egyptian territorial waters. Under no circumstances can we permit the Israeli flag to pass through the Gulf of Aqaba. The Jews threaten war. We say that they are welcome to war, we are ready for war, our armed forces, our people, all of us are ready for war, but under no circumstances shall we abandon our rights. These are our waters …
At the same time, the Syrians began massing 75,000 troops, artillery and armor on the Golan Height to the north of Israel, where they held the high ground and were dug in.
Jordan, to Israel’s east signed a mutual defense pact with the UAR on May 30th and moved 55,000 troops and 300 tanks to the border.
Documents captured by the Israelis from the Jordanians show that contrary to popular belief, the Jordanians always intended to go to war against Israel – it was by no means a last minute decision. The Arab Legion’s Hashemite Brigade had orders to capture the Israeli town of Ramot Burj Bir Mai’in in a night raid, codenamed “Operation Khaled”. This was to be the base of operations for the capture of Lod and Ramle. The “go” codeword to be was “Sa’ek” and end was “Nasser”. The Jordanians also planned for the capture of Motza and Sha’alvim in the strategic Jerusalem Corridor. Motza was the target of Infantry Brigade 27 camped near Ma’ale Adummim: “The reserve brigade will commence a nighttime infiltration onto Motza, will destroy it to the foundation, and won’t leave a remnant or refugee from among its 800 residents”
Along with these forces, at Jordan’s invitation the Iraqi army sent 100 tanks and an infantry division to join in the fighting along with two squadrons of fighter aircraft.
The Israeli troops even with their available reserves were out numbered by more than two to one, and in tanks and combat aircraft by more than three to one.
Efforts to try and resolve the crisis in the UN came to absolutely nothing as the Soviets and the European nations who found Arab oil far more valuable than Jewish blood combined to torpedo any meaningful settlement as Israel’s economy began to falter and the Arabs continued to mass troops and equipment for an obvious coming attack meant to wipe out every Jew in Israel, a goal the Arabs made no secret of.
The final push towards war came when Israel chief arms supplier, President DeGaulle of France abruptly informed the Israelis on June 1st that he would no longer sell them arms or spare parts for French-made equipment like Israel’s Dassault Mirage and Super Mystère jets or even fill existing orders.
Surrounded and outnumbered, the Israelis now also had to contend with the problem of resupply in a combat situation. They literally had no choice but to throw the dice and gamble on a quick and decisive victory before their equipment broke down for lack of spare parts and components.
So the decision was made to launch Operation Focus ( in Hebrew, Moked), a massive attack on the Egyptian Air Force.
In our non-Council category, the winner was Mark Steyn with The All Seeing State submitted by Joshuapundit. It’s Steyn at his best as he examines the effect of a permanent, rooted in place bureaucracy on a free society and its institutions. Do read it.
OK, here are this week’s full results. The Razor, due to a storm and the resulting loss of power was only able to vote for Council Selections, having been unable to read this week’s non-Council selections.Send some thoughts, prayers and good energy his way.
- *First place with 4 2/3 votes! Joshuapundit – The Anniversary of a Miracle – Israel’s Victory In The Six Day War
- Second place with 2 votes – The Right Planet – What Are Some Good ‘Liberal’ Books?
- Second place *t* with 2 votes – Bookworm Room - Game of Thrones and how the things that we watch reveal something about who we are and what we’ve become
- Third place *t* with 1 2/3 vote –VA Right! – NSA Leaker Snowden: Hero or Traitor?
- Third place *t* with 1 2/3 vote –The Noisy Room – Samantha Power: The Hand That Rocks A Nation
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote – TheRazor - The Power of Islamic Propaganda
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Liberty’s Spirit - Autism-Meme as Political Insult
- Sixth place *t* with 2/3 vote – The Mellow Jihadi - My First Fist-Fight in the Navy
- Sixth place *t* with 2/3 vote – The Colossus of Rhodey – Poll Shows Support for Affirmative Action Dwindling
- Sixth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Nice Deb – National Organization for Marriage’s John Eastman RIPS Democrats At IRS Hearing + Proof IRS Leaked Confidential Donor List to Political Rival
- Fifth place *t* with 1/3 vote – Simply Jews – More fun and games with Alice Walker
- First place with 2 1/3 votes! – Mark Steyn - The All Seeing State submitted by Joshuapundit
- Second place with 2 1/3 votes – Sultan Knish – We’ll Keep the Red Flag Flying Here submitted by The Noisy Room
- Third place *t* with 1 2/3 votes – Victor Davis Hanson – Obama is Just Obama submitted by The Razor
- Third place *t* with 1 2/3 votes – Doug Ross@Journal – The Complete IRS Scandal Timeline in Spreadsheet Format [Updated] submitted by Nice Deb
- Fourth place with 1 1/3 votes -Alexis Simendinger/RealClearPolitics - Privacy, Security and Obama’s Uphill Quest for Trust submitted by The Glittering Eye
- Fifth place *t* with 1 vote The Texas Scribbler -Our Creepy President submitted by Simply Jews
- Fifth place *t* with 1 vote- This Ongoing War – Will Appeasing Hezbollah Work Better Now Than it Did With Nazi Germany? submitted by Liberty’s Spirit
- Sixth place *t* with 2/3 vote - Michelle Malkin – Assimilation, Not Amnesty submitted by VA Right!
- Sixth place *t* with 2/3 vote -The National Journal – NSA Spying Scandal: 2006 or 2013? submitted by The Right Planet
- Sixth place *t* with 2/3 vote -The Long War Journal –Iran’s Latin American Terror Network submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD
- Seventh place *t* with 1/3 vote -Israel Thrives – The Nakba Stratagem submitted by Bookworm Room
- Seventh place *t* with 1/3 vote -Reason.Com – Obama’’s Last Gasp at a Legacy submitted by The Colossus of Rhodey
- Seventh place *t* with 1/3 vote -The Chicago Boyz – Peggy Noonan is figuring it out … submitted by The Mellow Jihadi
- Ask Marion – NSA Whistleblower Snowden in Exile as the Obama Scandals List Grows
- Right Truth – Soldier Who Read Conservative Books Faces Charges…
- The Pirate’s Cove – Bummer: NY Times Admits To 15 Year Pause In Global Warming
See you next week! Don’t forget to tune in on Monday AM for this week’s Watcher’s Forum, as the Council and their invited special guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day with short takes and weigh in…don’t you dare miss it. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter…..’cause we’re cool like that!
History Lesson: Poor forgotten Flag Day is like the awkward little brother of July 4, but June 14 marks the anniversary of adoption of the American flag.
Video: Flag Day Today - Celebrating Old Glory United States Adopted American Flag June 14, 1777 - h/t to Fox and Friends
Sarah Palin, 49, said she's "pleased and proud to be rejoining Roger Ailes and the great people at Fox." Fox and Palin parted ways in January 2013 after she had worked there for three years as a contributor but reportedly butted heads with Ailes. Palin was the rarest of Fox News pundits from the beginning, one who refused to march in lockstep with the network's orders… vintage Sarah!
By Marion Algier – AskMarion
Now, less than half a year after they decided to part ways, Sarah Palin has rejoined the Fox News Channel as an analyst.
The former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate has signed on as a contributor to Fox and the Fox Business Network. Her first appearance back will be (was) Monday, 06.17.13 on the morning show "Fox & Friends." (See below)
Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes, who said he has had several conversations with Palin over the past few weeks about her returning said:
"I have great confidence in her and am pleased that she will once again add her commentary to our programming. I hope she continues to speak her mind."
Palin said that "the power of Fox News is unparalleled and that the role of Fox News in the important debates in our world is indispensable."
Palin originally joined Fox with much fanfare in 2010, less than two years after her vice presidential run with McCain, when she was being talked about as a strong 2012 presidential contender, signing for a reported $1 million a year.
In September 2008, Sarah Palin secretly met with Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes during her campaign tour through New York, a stop which included a friendly chit-chat with Henry Kissinger and a not-so-friendly chit-chat with Katie Couric. The private sit-down was a chance for Ailes and Palin to get to know each other. Ailes, who has said, "I never did focus groups on any talent I put on the air. It was all done out of my gut," spotted something early in the former Alaska Governor. "Say what you will, she hit a home run," he told Fox News executives after her electrifying convention speech at the Xcel Energy Center.
Terms of Sarah’s new contract have not been disclosed, but it is unlikely to be quite as lucrative as the first time around. But then again, Fox and Ailes may be hedging their bets. Fox stayed publicly positive when Palin’s departure was announced in January, with network executive Bill Shine officially saying that "we have thoroughly enjoyed our association" with Sarah… even though he had previously called her dumb in an interview with NY Magazine. Those who know Sarah, have heard her speak (especially live) and who follow Palin would say she is, “charismatic and certainly ‘not’ dumb… or perhaps ‘Dumb like a Fox’”… no pun intended.
There were signs of tension in Fox's relationship with Palin all along, but when she announced she would not be a presidential candidate in 2012 on Mark Levin’s radio show instead of on Fox, which was paying her to be a contributor, they were not happy and it only worsened their relationship. Shine placed a call to Palin's rep Bob Barnett and warned him she was at risk of being "benched." After that, Palin was (purposely) overshadowed at Fox during the 2012 campaign by analyst Karl Rove, who was one of Sarah’s biggest critics on the right. Palin’s ‘tea party message’, meaning standing up for the people and the truth, attracted the ire of GOP establishment honchos like Karl Rove, who before the 2010 mid-terms reportedly complained to Ailes that Palin was damaging to the ‘GOP brand’ and was getting too much air time.
Money may have also been a factor leading up to the Palin-Fox split. Palin was signed for the reported $1 million a year when she originally joined Fox less than two years after being McCain's running mate and possible future GOP presidential candidate in 2012, which did not materialize. Having taken herself out of the presidential sweepstakes caused her value to the to network plummet.
However, as time passes and situations change, one never knows what is in Sarah Palin’s future, especially as the negative news of scandals and cover-ups allegedly involving Obama, his administration and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continue to surface. Plus many of the reports, accusations and fabricated mis-steps for which Sarah was doubted and criticized have been proven to be just that… false and ‘fabricated’. Sarah Palin has surfaced as the winner and has been proven to be right and victorious in virtually all of the created contention and mis-information. There could still be a senatorial or presidential run (or both) in her future. Palin’s nickname in political circles is ‘Kingmaker’ and her speeches always rock the house… as did her vice-presidential acceptance speech at the GOP Convention in 2008… See Flashback here of media reviews of Governor Palin’s 2008 RNC Speech. Let us remember that because of Sarah Palin, the McCain-Palin Ticket was leading until McCain foolishly decided to suspend his campaigning for a few days to go back to D.C. to get involved in the bailout talks. Palin is and was golden on the campaign trail and almost every Palin facebook post since instantly goes viral.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has praised Palin for her fearlessness and being instrumental in electing senators such as Rand Paul, Pat Toomey, Jeff Flake, Deb Fischer, Marco Rubio, and himself (Cruz), plus governors like Nikki Haley of South Carolina; the ‘Palin Effect’. Sarah left Fox warning she was Loaded for Bear for the upcoming elections (2014 and 2016) and has vowed to shake up the GOP machine as well as the Progressive left.
One day after the 2012 Election, in a poll taken by Greta Van Susteran, 41.9% of Republicans considered Governor Sarah Palin the leader of their party. No one else came anywhere near that percentage in the polling. And in December 2012, with sparks flying on both sides, Fox News spokesperson Brian Lewis said "we look forward to having a long and beneficial relationship with the Governor." Looks like he knew what he was talking about and everybody just needed a bit of a time out!?! Four months obviously proved long enough…
Palin’s return to Fox on Monday is (was) an attention-getting event that will come during the time slot that CNN is debuting its new morning show with a lot of fanfare. This will be the second time in a year that Palin will be used as ammunition in a television morning show competition.
Last year when NBC's "Today" show was locked in a fierce ratings struggle with ABC's "Good Morning America," Palin was a one-day guest host on the “Today” show which enabled NBC to win that day and week in the ratings. Palin not only won the ratings war for NBC, but WON over her nemesis Katie Couric, on that Day One of the Morning Network ratings war.
Like her or not… Sarah Palin has super star-power and she creates ratings and news, good and bad, whenever she appears. There is a sense of poetic justice to having Palin win the One Day media war over Couric and ultimately help NBC win the morning media war for the week, as well as be part of the media ranks in general after the mainstream media (MSM), beginning with CFR-darling Katie Couric, and other left-wing jour’NO’lists colluded and declared an all out war against her when they all caught Palin Derangement Syndrome that somehow has managed to continue on to this day. But that might be changing… people are waking up, to Obama’s lies and Palin’s honesty and wisdom, plus the media is less enamored with Obama since, after being his lap dogs, it has turned out that Team Obama spied on them just like on average Americans, anyway.
Political activist and Tea Party favorite and soloist Lloyd Marcus said, “The Gladiator Sarah Palin: We Need(ed) You Back in the Arena”
Update: She’s back… Sarah Palin made her return debut on Fox and Friends co-hosting with Steve Doocy, Brian Kilmeade and Megyn Kelly:
Sarah rocked the Fox and Friends house on her first morning back, even though some thought she was a little bit subdued… for Sarah, not to worry; knowing Sarah it won’t be for long before she is inspiring conservatives and scaring liberals every time she appears. Palin was in full swing at the the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s annual conference in Washington, D.C. over the weekend. Palin’s best line came at the start of the Fox and Friends program, when they showed a clip of her speech from over the weekend at the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference (See in full below) reminding us just how much we missed her… and need her!
Congress should “put themselves on Ted Cruz control for a week," said Palin.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), was a phone-in guest, which was how they played that bit, and note her comment that the US should “let Allah sort it out” in Syria, instead of ramping up military aid to Syrian rebels.
Palin talked a bit about her upcoming Christmas book, Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas, which she described as a legal how to primer to “pushing back on the politically correct who would try to take the Christ out of Christmas," but also a “festive and jolly” book with recipes. Seems she and Governor Perry of Texas are both getting an early jump on ‘the war on Christmas’.
Sarah then spent a lot of time conflating the IRS scandal, in which agency officials vetting applications for nonprofit 501(c)(4) status singled out politically and religiously conservative groups for special scrutiny, and recent revelations about the extent to which the National Security Agency (NSA) captures the communications data of Americans.
“This is one big ball of wax of a big, overgrown government that has gotten out of control and the people have had enough”, said the former Alaskan governor.
Palin appeared to agree with fellow tea party favorite Senator Rand Paul, (R-KY) in regard to NSA leaker and self-described whistleblower Edward Snowden, observing at one point that “nothing will ever be the same for this man,” and also saying, “I think that the issue here again is that government is so large and so intrusive in all aspects of life that we need more revelations; we need more truth about what our administration is doing."
She’ll certainly ramp things up in appearances to come with utterances liberals will find outrageous and that Tea Party members and Constitutionalists in general will love… as she did at the Faith and Freedom Coalition Annual Conference!
Thursday, June 13, 2013
A brewing scandal that potentially suggests some degree of State Department mismanagement during Hillary Clinton’s tenure could hurt not only her legacy, but also prospects for a 2016 presidential bid, some say. Others just say prosecution(s) are in order.
Photo: As (obvious) recent face work has been completed, a Twitter account has been opened, and the image rebuilding process is underway for another Hillary Clinton run for the presidency (2016), the State Department and Ms. Hillary’s record continues to implode.
By Marion Algier – AskMarion
The latest scandal and cover-up, which we will call State Dept-gate for now, started with a State Department memo alleging involvement with prostitution and drugs.
The timeline surrounding the allegations in said memo places the incidents during former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's tenure, opening the possibility that a widening scandal might taint both her record and her possible political aspirations. Clinton has also taken heat for the department's response to the September 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, but has managed to avoid intense scrutiny or prosecution, at least thus far.
Hillary Clinton's new Twitter page
Having just opened a Twitter account, Hillary Clinton Tweets the future is 'TBD' Some would respond to that with… “Only if the American people and the Congress are stupid will there be anything to announce but jail time or a private life!
The memo itself, purportedly written by Ambassador Larry Dinger, describes some of the information as coming from office chatter.
Hillary Photo (on a good day): Prior to recent ‘image rebuild’ project
"Sometimes the sources are one or more agents who became aware of the case from colleagues in what, given cubicles, can be a collegial environment," the memo says.
Regarding the latest allegations, supported by documents provided to CNN by a lawyer for a whistle-blower who is a former senior inspector general investigator, they include:
• An active U.S. ambassador "routinely ditched his protective security detail in order to solicit sexual favors from both prostitutes and minor children," the memo says. The ambassador's protective detail and others "were well aware of the behavior," the memo asserts. When a diplomatic security officer tried to investigate, undersecretary of state for management Patrick Kennedy allegedly ordered the investigator "not to open a formal investigation."
On Tuesday, CNN obtained a statement from the ambassador, who vigorously denied the allegations, calling them "baseless."
A source close to the investigation of the ambassador told CNN that the ambassador's security detail reported to the inspector general that the ambassador would leave his house at night without notifying the detail. The detail followed the ambassador and saw the ambassador once go to a park that's known for illegal activity, the source told CNN. The detail said they never witnessed the ambassador engage in any sexual activity, the source said.
The ambassador went to Washington and was asked what he was doing and he denied any wrongdoing, the source told CNN. The ambassador explained that sometimes he fights with his wife, needs air and he goes for a walk in the park because he likes it.
Kennedy also issued a statement Tuesday, saying it is his responsibility "to make sure the department and all of our employees -- no matter their rank -- are held to the highest standard, and I have never once interfered, nor would I condone interfering, in any investigation."
• A State Department security official in Beirut allegedly "engaged in sexual assaults" against foreign nationals working as embassy guards. The security official, the Office of the Inspector General says, was also accused of committing "similar assaults during assignments in Baghdad, and possibly Khartoum and Monrovia." The office's memo says that an inspector general's investigator who went to Beirut to try to conduct an investigation was not given enough time to complete the job.
• A member of Clinton's security detail allegedly "engaged prostitutes while on official trips in foreign countries." The inspector general's agent assigned to investigate "concluded" that the "prostitution problem was endemic."
• In Iraq, an "underground drug ring" may have been operating near the U.S. Embassy and "supplying" drugs to State Department security contractors, but an agent sent to investigate the allegations was prevented from completing the job.
The allegations were first reported Monday by CBS.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki responded Monday.
"We hold all employees to the highest standards," she said. "We take allegations of misconduct seriously and we investigate thoroughly. All cases mentioned in the CBS report were thoroughly investigated and under investigation, and the department continues to take action."
During a Tuesday State briefing with reporters, Psaki reiterated that the memo contains "unsubstantiated allegations" and that some cases are ongoing and some are closed. But she would not, though repeatedly pressed by reporters, specify exactly which ones were open or closed.
"As a matter of policy, I'm not going to talk" about specific cases, she said.
"We take every allegation seriously," Psaki added. "We are seeing through the process."
On Tuesday, Nicholas Merrill, a spokesman for Hillary Clinton, said Clinton was completely unaware of any of the investigations mentioned in the Office of the Inspector General's reports and memos, including the case involving her personal security detail allegedly soliciting prostitutes.
"We learned of it from the media and don't know anything beyond what's been reported," Merrill told CNN in a written statement.
Photos: Hillary during Congressional Benghazi Hearing time frame… Is there any question that Hillary wants to run in 2016?
Clinton officially left her post in February, no doubt hoping to distance herself from her mess at the State Department?!?
Also Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce, R-California, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said he has asked his staff to begin an investigation into the allegations, and sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry demanding an explanation.
"The notion that any or all of these cases would not be investigated thoroughly by the Department is unacceptable," Royce wrote in his letter to Kerry.
CNN obtained a draft, dated December 2012, of a report by the inspector general's office evaluating the performance of the department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security Special Investigations Division.
The report says that the bureau "lacks a firewall" that would preclude higher-ups from "exercising undue influence in particular cases."
The bureau doesn't have a manual with approved guidelines on how to investigate cases, the report also says. Investigators with the inspector general's office "discovered uncertainty" among state agents about how to conduct thorough investigations, and noted that not going through the proper mechanisms can "ruin" a potential criminal investigation.
The report also calls the department's Criminal Investigations Division "unwieldy" and says that "frequent agent turnover" makes it harder for the Bureau of Diplomatic Security to conduct investigations.
The inspector general's office published a February 2013 final report whose key findings are, largely, the same as stated in the December 2012 draft.
The division's current management structure, the report says, does not "foster independence from career pressures and creates significant potential for undue influence, favoritism, and potential retribution.
But things for the State Department just keep getting worse.
Townhall: First we learned from CBS News that Department official covered up and interfered with inspector general investigations of sexual misconduct, including the soliciation of prostitutes by an ambassador. Then we learned those sexual solicitations involved minors. Now, we're learning State Department officials covered up the shooting of four Hondurans.
More from the New York Post:
A top State Department official stymied investigators trying to get to the bottom of four killings in Honduras involving DEA agents and local police — yet another revelation from internal memos leaked by a whistleblower claiming a pattern of cover-ups.
The incident ended in the deaths of two pregnant women and two men last year, after Honduran national police opened fire from a State Department-owned helicopter on a small boat.
Honduran police said drugs were involved, but locals said the boat was full of fishermen. The killings were referenced in a whistleblower memo obtained by The Post.
Two Drug Enforcement Administration agents were involved, an agency spokeswoman said, and they were accompanied by Honduran national police on two State helicopters with contractors as pilots.
According to an internal 2012 document, the DEA agents were under the authority of the State Department chief of mission in Honduras, funded by a counternarcotics program, and were “subject to investigation” by State investigators.
But when those inquiries began, “despite requests by the US ambassador to Honduras and congressional pressure, DEA reportedly [was] not cooperating.”
With everything happening in Washington right now, it is (perhaps) easy to let things like this slip through the cracks. It's more than clear the State Department is operating in a culture without accountability… and is looking more and more like it is a center for all out corruption. But as Hillary would ask, what difference does it make?
You be the judge…
See related background information below:
What does the memo mean for Clinton… and perhaps the bigger question: What should it mean?
Remember those who died in Benghazi attacks… and all the unanswered questions… It does make a difference!! I bet if it were Chelsea left behind in Benghazi it would make a difference to Hillary!!
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
By Marion Algier - AskMarion
Alexis de Tocqueville, the French political thinker and historian who is most famous for his work Democracy in America (paperback), said, “People get the government they deserve.” and there is a similar and well-documented quotation by Joseph de Maistre: "Every country has the government it deserves.”
They are both quotes usually used to explain why our governments (worldwide) are generally pretty awful. The inference is that if people were more careful who they voted for, if they took the time to inform themselves and if more people took the trouble to vote (and get involved in the system) in the first place, we would not have such mediocre or corrupt people in government, and indeed politicians would have to clean up their act and work a lot harder than they do or they would be replaced.
When I was a young student of history, government and politics, I used to think those comments were pretty cynical, but as I have watched and chronicled America’s decline since the Reagan era I have sadly found them to be more true than I ever wanted to believe or admit.
The Great American Experiment, as America is often called, was supposed to prove that the common man could rule himself and America’s Founding Fathers gave us every tool we needed to survive as long as we stayed engaged. But even with those tools the average American is lost, uninformed and disinterested, even now as they watch the one-time greatest country in the world crashing down around them!
The American people as a whole have given the politicians in Washington D.C., and even locally, carte blanche with little oversight or interest for decades. A trend that really began as the so-called ‘Greatest Generation’ returned home from war and the inattention and apathy has grown with each generation thereafter, except by those focused on destroying America. We have allowed ourselves and our children to methodically be dumbed-down, indoctrinated, and manipulated to the point that Pravda, the former propaganda newspaper for the USSR dubbed us Sheeple. We elected and re-elected a president that we still don’t really know and who has ‘always’ surrounded himself with radicals that didn’t like the American system, American ideals or the values of the average American. And we now find ourselves with a president, his administration and a government in general embroiled in scandal, cover-ups, and over-reach. Yet half the people still don’t know about or understand the scandals, that the 2012 election probably was stolen and when asked they just say, “Our president, ‘Obama’, is cool.” The other half are losing or have already lost faith in the government, as well as in their low-informed counterparts.
How many scandals are there now? Benghazi-gate, IRS-gate, NSA-gate, Press-gate… Sebelius-gate (or ObamaCare-gate), EPA-gate, Fast and Furious, voter/election fraud and the list goes on… now State Dept-gate and maybe Islamist-gate. They are spying on us and collecting our data without cause or warrants; using czars and Executive Orders to circumvent the Constitution; they arrogantly promote and defend those involved in the corruption and they investigated and suppressed the activities of anyone or group that opposed them to steal an election. And now courageous whistleblowers and witnesses, who are finally stepping up but are afraid enough that they won’t get a fair trial (or worse), are fleeing the country. Where is the outrage?
FoxNews: NSA whistle-blower who sought to 'inform the public' in surveillance risks decades in jail.
The source of the bombshell leaks about the U.S. government gathering information on billions of phone calls and Internet activities risks decades in jail for the disclosures if the U.S. can extradite him from Hong Kong, where he says he has taken refuge after saying his sole motive was to “inform the public.”
“We have the elements of a Police State here”- Mark Levin
Daniel Ellsberg, the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1971, fully approves of Edward Snowden's leak about a top-secret National Security Agency surveillance program.
"I'm very impressed by what I've heard in the last couple of hours, including Snowden's own video here. I think he's done an enormous service, incalculable service," Ellsberg said Sunday night on CNN.
As for the surveillance program, Ellsberg said, "I have no doubt that this violates the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution and probably other parts of the Bill of Rights and should have been exposed."
"Can it really be a crime to expose crime?" Ellsberg asked.
Photo: AP Edward Snowden, who worked as a contract employee at the National Security Agency, on Sunday, June 9, 2013, in Hong Kong. The Guardian identified Snowden as a source for its reports on intelligence
HONG KONG (AP) — The American intelligence contractor who disclosed the U.S. government surveillance programs fled to Hong Kong because he believed he wouldn't get a fair trial in his home country.
Snowden says he worked as a contractor at the National Security Agency and the CIA. He allowed both the Guardian and The Washington Post newspapers to reveal his identity on Sunday (06.09.13) as the source of a series of top-secret documents outlining two NSA surveillance programs. He told the papers if the DOJ indicts him, which seems almost inevitable, that he doesn't really trust the judicial system in the United States to give him a fair trial". Most would agree that he is right.
One can only ask… wow, has America really fallen that far? It wasn’t so long ago that those would have headlines expected out of the USSR, not the USA.
Infowars.com: Fox News host Neil Cavuto and Democratic strategist Julian Epstein erupted at each other on Saturday morning, when Cavuto demanded Epstein see the NSA subpoena as part of a larger pattern of oppressive behavior on the part of the Obama administration. “You see one incident after another that comes up,” Cavuto said. “It all comes back to the same basic issue: privacy invaded or potentially invaded. Institutions of all sorts doing the same thing. There is a pattern.”
Video: “We have the elements of a Police State here”- A fired up Mark Levin talks to Neil Cavuto
Where are men (and women… the Margaret Thatchers of our day) like Harry Truman and Ronald Reagan, presidents/public servants who knew the buck stopped with them, who would have made the tough decisions and taken responsibility? In Obamaland it is everyone’s fault but his. And when they (present day leaders) do surface… why don’t we recognize them? What has happened to Americans who expected their elected leaders to represent their interests and values and who would have called for the resignations or impeachments of those in power today?
Yet when we look for responsibility and blame we must also add ourselves plus everyone in Congress, government workers and the mainstream media to the list. How many people voted without knowing who or what they were voting for? How many parents and grandparents even have knowledge of the anti-American rhetoric being taught in our schools… about the Common C.O.R.E. educational program? How many informed public servants and media have remained silent? How many have misled or lied under oath? How many are uninformed themselves? Did Congress tell us about the PRISM Project… the data centers (Utah) being built and is Congress asking the right questions now?
We, and globally, have already been so programmed that too many Americans actually believe that spying on and droning American citizens is okay. After all most people voluntarily post all their information on social media for the powers that be, and everyone else, to access. We are being led like sheep(le) to the slaughter. See: Timeline of revelations about surveillance that sweeps up Americans' phone calls, data Founding Father Benjamin Franklin said, “He who gives up freedom for safety deserves neither”, yet in an America who no longer knew (knows) her (or world) history, Americans could not wait for “W” and Congress to ram through the Patriot Act after 9/11, which 12-years later has only become ever more intrusive. People… if the government is watching and monitoring you, it is never good!! We are living in George Orwell’s 1984… Hear Beck’s emotional 1984 monologue HERE.
America… it is the responsibility of each of us to be informed, to vote for integrity and demand it. If the America our Founding Fathers left us is to survive, it is up to all of us to take a stand and get involved… today! Or there won’t be an American tomorrow that you will be comfortable leaving to your children!! Remember the words of Alexis de Tocqueville, “People get the government they deserve.” If you don’t inform yourself and get involved, what will you tell you children and grandchildren you were doing when America and freedom was being stolen?