Sharyl Attkisson, for those who don’t know of her, is an old-school journalist.  She finds a story and she pursues it, and no amount of political rhetoric and denials will dissuade her if she has a story.

She pursued Fast and Furious, Solyndra, Benghazi, just to name a few – and all because there are stories there that a good reporter would want exposed.  And they’re also stories that the Obama administration does not want exposed, because despite most of the media acting as a propaganda arm of the Democrat party, ultimately some people will hear and listen when they hear the truth – especially in contrast with handwaving and absurd denials.

sharyl attkisson

Her computers were hacked by some shadowy most-likely-government entity a while back.  I remember it coming up last year and writing about it thenTwice last year, in fact.

Now she’s got a book out and she’s elaborating.  The people in her story are mostly written about under pseudonyms for their own safety.

She speculates that the motive was to lay the groundwork for possible charges against her or her sources.

Attkisson says the source, who’s “connected to government three-letter agencies,” told her the computer was hacked into by “a sophisticated entity that used commercial, nonattributable spyware that’s proprietary to a government agency: either the CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency or the National Security Agency.”

That “laying the groundwork for possible charges” is because someone buried classified documents deep in her computer.

Next big moment: Attkisson gets her computer checked out by someone identified as “Number One,” who’s described as a “confidential source inside the government.” A climactic meeting takes place at a McDonald’s outlet at which Attkisson and “Number One” “look around” for possibly suspicious things. Finding nothing, they talk. “First just let me say again I’m shocked. Flabbergasted. All of us are. This is outrageous. Worse than anything Nixon ever did. I wouldn’t have believed something like this could happen in the United States of America.” That’s all coming from “Number One.”

The breaches on Attkisson’s computer, says this source, are coming from a “sophisticated entity that used commercial, nonattributable spyware that’s proprietary to a government agency: either the CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency, or the National Security Agency (NSA).” Attkisson learns from “Number One” that one intrusion was launched from the WiFi at a Ritz Carlton Hotel and the “intruders discovered my Skype account handle, stole the password, activated the audio, and made heavy use of it, presumably as a listening tool.”

To round out the revelations of “Number One,” he informs Attkisson that he’d found three classified documents deep inside her operating system, such that she’d never know they were even there. “Why? To frame me?” Attkisson asks in the book.

Media meta-reporter Erik Wemple (who’s so impressively attuned to everything news about news that he even asked me a few questions once) wrote several pieces on Attkisson’s encounters with electronic surveillance.

The first discusses computer intrusions as “worse than anything Nixon ever did”, and introduces us to “Jeff”, “Number One” and “Jerry Patel”, all of which are pseudonyms for various computer experts.  And in the first and into the second, we’re introduced to Don Allison of KoreLogic, who also diagnosed Attkisson’s computer, and is not protected by a pseudonym, but is behind a nondisclosure agreement for the time being.

And then there’s Wemple’s third piece, which talks about the strange case of a “spare” wire.

…By November 2012, writes Attkisson, disruptions on her home phone line were so frequent as to render it unusable: “I call home from my mobile phone and it rings on my end, but not at the house. Or it rings at home once but when my husband or daughter answers, they just hear a dial tone. At the same time, on my end, it keeps ringing and then connects somewhere, just not at my house. Sometimes, when my call connects to that mystery-place-that’s-not-my-house, I hear an electronic sounding buzz,” reads one passage in “Stonewalled.” She also alleges that her television set “spontaneously jitters, mutes, and freeze-frames.” The home alarm, too, “sounds at a different time every night” and when she checks with the alarm system, it indicates that there’s “trouble with the phone line.”

Phone, TV and computer service chez Attkisson all run on Verizon’s FiOS service. “Jeff” asks to inspect the exterior of the house in a check for anything suspicious. He finds a “stray cable dangling from the FiOS box attached to the brick wall on the outside of my house. It doesn’t belong.” “Jeff” says the cable in question is an “extra” fiber-optic line that could be used to download data and then send it off to another spot.

Attkisson takes a picture of the cable. Then she calls Verizon, which tells her that it’s not something they would have installed; they refer her to law enforcement. Attkisson doesn’t feel its a matter for the cops, and in any case Verizon calls back to say that they want to have a look for themselves as soon as possible — on New Year’s Day, no less. “Yeah, that shouldn’t be there,” the Verizon technician tells Attkisson.

Attkisson is a sensible, common sense reporter who follows leads to write reports of real life events.  She is neither Kolchak nor Mulder.

At one point, Attkisson gets a visit from pseudonymous “Terry,” who has “connections to the three-letter agencies.” “Stonewalled” takes it from here:

Terry tells me of a conversation he’d had with my husband back in 2011. He’d noticed a white utility truck parked up the street by a pond. “I didn’t like that. I didn’t like it at all,” he tells me now, shaking his head. . . . “I didn’t like it because I recognized the type of truck and the type of antennae it had. And if you look” — he points up the street — “there’s a direct line of sight from where it was parked to your house.” My husband, who once worked in law enforcement intelligence, had on several occasions in the past couple of years mentioned the presence of nondescript utility trucks parked in our neighborhood — trucks that were working on no known utility projects. Neighbors noticed, too. Ours is a small community filled with people who pay attention to such things. Some of them worked for the three-letter agencies.”

That’s the kind of thing that would make other reporters at least a tad intimidated, if not a bit paranoid.  Of course, if she lives in a neighborhood full of cops and retired spooks, this might be the amateur hour Obama G-men trainees trying to stake out people whose lives are Tom Clancy novels.

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Jazz Shaw and Mary Katherine Ham have been following the story at HotAir as well, with their own opinions on the hacking and journalistic intimidation, as well as reminding us of James Rosen’s encounter with the Obama administration.

My feelings remain much the same as they did last time.

Maybe it’s as a result of too much X-Files, Shadowrun and Project Twilight in the 90s, but I find this government spying stuff is damn creepy.  From the NSA’s massive computer and phone data mining to electronically targeting reporters, it’s like 90s conspiracy-themed entertainment has become 2009-present reality.

I’m sure there’s a pop-culture scholarly way to compare Nowhere Man and The Net to current events, but it’s less fun than it is disturbing when you think about it for too long – even if Attkisson and her three-letter agency neighbors are precisely the kind of people who are adept at navigating that kind of world.

At first I thought of titling this “Is America too stupid to live?” but decided that’s rather harsh.  And now I’ve sat on it for a few days because it’s just depressing.

Right now, we’re actively infecting American children with enterovirus by introducing illegal alien kids who we “must” educate and shove into our schools.

Enteroviruses commonly circulate in the U.S. during summer and fall. EV-D68 was first identified in California in 1962. Over the past thirty years, only small numbers were reported in the U.S.

The CDC hasn’t suggested reasons for the current uptick or its origin. Without that answer, some question whether the disease is being spread by the presence of tens of thousands of illegal immigrant children from Central America admitted to the U.S. in the past year.

The origin could be entirely unrelated.

However, a study published in Virology Journal, found EV-D68 among some of the 3,375 young, ill people tested in eight Latin American countries, including the Central American nations of El Salvador and Nicaragua, in 2013.  (See Fig. 3)

Though the U.S. government is keeping secret the locations of the illegal immigrant children, there are significant numbers of them in both cities in which the current outbreak was first identified, Kansas City, Missouri and Chicago, Illinois, according to local advocates and press reports.

That story comes from Sharyl Attkisson, who is a professional journalist whose neutral stance and exemplary ethics means that she will explore the question but not make a decision without more data.  Based on my own experience and observations, now coupled with that info, I’m willing to say this time the correlation is showing us the cause.

We’ve already seen how illegal alien populations brought an influx of diseases into the US earlier this year.  It’s not much of a leap to say that introducing those populations into the US population have caused this.

We even have adult illegal aliens who claim to be children who are enrolling with students in some states:

Adult illegal immigrants posing as unaccompanied alien children appear to be attempting to enroll at public high schools, city officials in Lynn, Mass., tell National Review Online.

“Some of them have had gray hair and they’re telling you that they’re 17 years old and they have no documentation,” Jamie Cerulli, the Lynn mayor’s chief of staff, tells NRO. “If my children went to the public schools, I’d be very uncomfortable with all of these unaccompanied minors [that] are placed in the ninth grade.”

DHS already knows they’ve lost thousands of illegal aliens who will never show up for their deportation hearings (especially since no one’s looking for them), and before then, 47,000 illegal alien “children” were already scattered around the US.

Having swarms of illegal aliens brought into US schools who don’t speak the language of the rest of the country (and that includes both english and spanish), don’t care about the nation they’re moving to, whose first steps into the nation were to break the law and whose first words to representatives of the nation were lies – all that only serves one purpose.  It brings in a new voting underclass – because by the time they’re set to be deported years down the road the leftist cry that will go up will be “it’s inhumane and all they know” – and that new voting underclass will naturally vote for the handout-giving Democrats forever.  It’s all a numbers game about cheating the democratic system for power – so they can have it and finally force you to live how they feel the world should live.

Plus the office of refugee resettlement (I forget if that’s the original title) is in no small part being run by one of the Castro brothers (the Democrats, not the Communists), and can be used as a tool to resettle new voters to control key districts and establish illegal alien colonies inside the US.  That’d also be most likely no small part of why the congressman in Oklahoma couldn’t go see what was going on in his district.

Kurdish TV Parodies ISIS

Posted: October 21, 2014 by ShortTimer in Humor, Iraq, Middle East
Tags:

It’s not quite Ahmed and Salim, but it’s still pretty good for a shoestring budget.

Via MEMRI:

It’s good to see the Kurds are fighting a local propaganda campaign by mocking ISIS, and the tune is kind of catchy.

Australia and Illegal Immigration

Posted: October 19, 2014 by ShortTimer in Amnesty, Illegal Immigration
Tags:

Australia has begun a program called “Operation Sovereign Borders” to stop illegal immigration:

australia no way

Pretty cut and dried, huh?

Operation Sovereign Borders (OSB) is a military-led border security initiative to stop the boats, prevent people risking their lives at sea in the hands of criminals, and preserve the integrity of Australia’s immigration program.

Asylum seekers who travel by boat without a visa will not end up in Australia. The rules apply to everyone; families, children, unaccompanied children, educated and skilled. There are no exceptions.

Australia is serious about protecting its borders and will stop anyone who attempts to come illegally by boat.

Seeing as how the only way to get to Australia is either by plane or boat, this is a very, very clear message and clear program.

The US could easily do something similar.  Simply explain that if you come illegally, you will be removed – and then do so.  Of course, that would require parties in power to actually listen to the citizenry, actually want to secure the borders and protect the nation – and then actually do their jobs to secure the borders.

Insanely left or insane lefties at MSNBC are blaming the National Rifle Association for the ebola outbreak.

Actually, that is one of the primary responsibilities of the United States surgeon general. There’s just one problem: Thanks to Senate dysfunction and NRA opposition, we don’t have a surgeon general right now. In fact, we haven’t had a surgeon general for more than a year now — even though the president nominated the eminently qualified Dr. Vivek Murthy back in November 2013.

He’d be one of those people who sees your right to protect yourself as a matter of “public health” requiring him to start regulating your rights – again, in the name of “public health”.  Of course, without the NRA to blame, there’d still be Manbearpig.

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Meanwhile, in California, Governor Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown has signed a bill that allows family members to petition judges to remove their family members’ rights.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California will become the first state that allows family members to ask a judge to remove firearms from a relative who appears to pose a threat, under legislation Gov. Jerry Brown said Tuesday he had signed.

This does nothing to deal with the root causes of maniacal violence – that of the maniac.  Institutionalization is still nigh-impossible, yet removing constitutional rights without a trial, a hearing, or their knowledge from family members who said the wrong thing after Thanksgiving dinner is easier than ever.  Stasi-tastic!

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And in even less fun economic news, the US is churning about $8,000,000,000,000 in debt.

When discussing the national debt, most people tend to only focus on the amount that it increases each 12 months.  And as I wrote about recently, the U.S. national debt has increased by more than a trillion dollars in fiscal year 2014.

But that does not count the huge amounts of U.S. Treasury securities that the federal government must redeem each year.  When these debt instruments hit their maturity date, the U.S. government must pay them off.  This is done by borrowing more money to pay off the previous debts.  In fiscal year 2013, redemptions of U.S. Treasury securities totaled $7,546,726,000,000 and new debt totaling $8,323,949,000,000 was issued.  The final numbers for fiscal year 2014 are likely to be significantly higher than that.

So why does so much government debt come due each year?

Well, in recent years government officials figured out that they could save a lot of money on interest payments by borrowing over shorter time frames.  For example, it costs the government far more to borrow money for 10 years than it does for 1 year.  So a strategy was hatched to borrow money for very short periods of time and to keep “rolling it over” again and again and again.

Blackwater founder Erik Prince made a statement recently that was roundly critical of Obama administration policies, calling Obama out for having destroyed his company that could otherwise have solved the ISIS “boots on the ground” issue.

“It’s a shame the [Obama] administration crushed my old business, because as a private organization, we could’ve solved the boots-on-the-ground issue, we could have had contracts from people that want to go there as contractors; you don’t have the argument of U.S. active duty going back in there,” Prince said in an on-stage discussion featuring retired four-star Gen. James Conway. “[They could have] gone in there and done it, and be done, and not have a long, protracted political mess that I predict will ensue.”

Pretty much.

The left already thinks of US troops as mercenaries (Washington Post writer Bill “American troops are baby-killing mercenary scum who need to shut up and do what I tell them” Arkin is infamous for it) and uses it as an epithet.  And they generally tend to hold Tim Robbin’s opinion on business (that aren’t their own) as well:

The solution to dealing with ISIS might actually be to just agree with the left and actually let corporations go in with mercenary forces to clean up the mess.

If corporations actually had fought a blood war for oil in Iraq (as per the leftist fantasy), then there would be corporate entities with an interest in the final outcome of the conflict.  If Exxon/Shell/BP/Texaco were all invested in the nation as part of their bottom line, they’d be interested in building the place up.

Historically, US companies have built infrastructure in other nations.  The first example that comes to mind is Creole Petroleum Corporation, which built up Venezuela’s oil business (which Venezuela took over by nationalization in 1976).  MST3K riffed one of their short films back in the mid-late 90s.

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I started writing this whole post a few days ago, then life got in the way, and now returning to it, I see it still holds quite true.  The world has started asking questions about this shaky coalition of the unwilling, Iraqi civilians who haven’t fled are left between the Scylla of American airstrikes with no ground support and the Charybdis of ISIS which still controls their lives.

President Obama has declared “war upon war so we can have peace upon peace” which sounds like Woodrow Wilson’s lying promises of noninterventionism coupled with his propaganda that dragged us into WWI now married to Neville Chamberlain’s naivete when it comes to dealing with aggressors.

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Ultimately, a mercenary force on the ground would solve the political quandary of putting American forces into active combat (even though we have troops on the ground… and they are wearing boots, no matter how many times the lie of “no boots on the ground” is repeated).  If Iraq as a nation were run by anyone who cared about the nation – whether decent Iraqis or foreign business interests, they’d have hired mercenaries on their own by now.  If Iraq’s war were privatized and subject to market forces, it would be won and stabilized already.

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The problems of the Iraq war, both under Bush and Obama, are representative of their respective ideologies.  Bush believed in spreading freedom and democracy to people whose capacity to immediately accept freedom and democracy even the Founders would’ve been skeptical of.  Bush’s domestic policy in the US ignored the US borders and ignored sovereignty for domestic business interests, so thinking of the border as something that should be sealed didn’t really occur to him or those around him – hence the foreign fighters who were swarming across in the 2004-2006 timeframe.  The HET team I got to work with briefly near Fallujah in 2005 explained that the entire problem in Iraq stemmed from foreign terrorists that the locals could clearly identify, but who kept coming in because borders were porous.  But Bush’s failures were contrasted with successes, though – the surges worked.  It was a fix to a problem that could’ve been prevented, but it still was a fix.

Obama’s ideology when it comes to problems is to talk about them just enough to say they aren’t important (or to blame Republican partisanship for them while claiming to be nonpartisan), and then handwaving them away.  His problem-solving methods are limited to rhetoric and using the bully pulpit to be dismissive of all criticism, and enjoying a press that willingly obliges his every whim.  His answer to Iraq is that it’s Bush’s fault because of the status-of-forces agreement of 2008, one which Obama did not seek to change with Iraq because he accepted the will of the Iraqi government as being every bit as important as America’s.  The US isn’t exceptional to him, and all countries are equal.

This led the US-Iraq relationship to become one that may as well have been a Maury Povich show with “out of control” children telling their parents off, and the parents sighing that they just can’t do anything about it.  Iraq needed to be leaned on until they accepted.  Obama was unwilling to lean on Iraq and tell them they had to accept in order to prevent a predictable result like ISIS, because Obama didn’t want to be involved.  He’s the absentee parent who doesn’t want the kid, so he lets the kid run wild – and/or blames the kid’s other parent for the problems while absolving himself of responsiblity and saying he never wanted kids in the first place.  None of that solves the problem and all of it contributes to it.

Nonetheless, he uses the 2008 status of forces agreement as an excuse.  When ISIS threatens everyone in the world, he responds with “I will not be intimidated” and some more words.  Now, pushed hard by his staff, he’s barely on board with half-measures that will accomplish little besides aiding Assad against ISIS and give ISIS a rallying cry for more terrorists to join them.  A declaration of “I will put no American boots on the ground” (technically already a lie, but the intent to avoid conflict is clear) is a declaration that thoroughly emboldens the enemy as much as a retreat date in Afghanistan did there, and that declaration of timidity reminds our other geopolitical foes like Russia that we aren’t going to do anything to save the Ukraine.

Eric Holder’s calling it quits.

And congress is still proceeding with looking into Fast and Furious, now years later.

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.

“I don’t think it’s any coincidence he’s resigning as the courts are ruling the Fast and Furious information has to be released,” Mr. Fitton told The Washington Times.

It’s not a coincidence.  He’s quitting so he can dodge criminal charges that would stick.

Last month’s news:

A federal judge has ordered the Justice Department to provide Congress with a list of documents that are at the center of a long-running battle over a failed law enforcement program called Operation Fast and Furious.

In a court proceeding Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson set an Oct. 1 deadline for producing the list to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

He’s quitting so the Democrat-held senate can force a successor through, just in case the Democrats lose the senate in the mid-term elections.

He’s also quitting so that he won’t be in office and thus will be eligible for presidential pardons.

holder fucks

He stonewalled long enough to slither out of office, but no doubt his successor will be a miserable leftist as well and Holder will be back as a consultant or advisor or in some other role where he can continue his schemes.