Archive for the ‘Journalism’ Category

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.

Two days ago there was the report of a DC businessman whose home was raided, family terrorized, and who faces 2 years in prison for a dud shotgun shell and a brass casing.

Today, there’s this, from the Daily Caller:

A veteran Washington D.C. investigative journalist says the Department of Homeland Security confiscated a stack of her confidential files during a raid of her home in August — leading her to fear that a number of her sources inside the federal government have now been exposed.

In an interview with The Daily Caller, journalist Audrey Hudson revealed that the Department of Homeland Security and Maryland State Police were involved in a predawn raid of her Shady Side, Md. home on Aug. 6. Hudson is a former Washington Times reporter and current freelance reporter.

A search warrant obtained by TheDC indicates that the August raid allowed law enforcement to search for firearms inside her home.

A stone’s throw from DC, a twice Pulitzer-nominated reporter had her house raided by the police and DHS back in August, and now she’s revealed some of what they were looking for.

Her journalist files and notes related to confidential sources were seized as the police we looking for guns.  And why were they looking for guns?

The document notes that her husband, Paul Flanagan, was found guilty in 1986 to resisting arrest in Prince George’s County. The warrant called for police to search the residence they share and seize all weapons and ammunition because he is prohibited under the law from possessing firearms.

27 years ago her husband was guilty of resisting arrest.  What was he the actual crime he was arrested for more than a quarter century ago?  Story doesn’t say anything except resisting arrest.  So apparently he was arrested for resisting arrest.  Makes as much sense as anything.  His resisting arrest almost three decades ago, buying a non-functional potato gun from a Scandinavian, and being in pictures with guns on Facebook was apparently enough to warrant a 0-dark-30 night raid by armored law enforcement:

At about 4:30 a.m. on Aug. 6, Hudson said officers dressed in full body armor presented a search warrant to enter the home she shares on the bay with her husband. She estimates that at least seven officers took part in the raid.

Ms. Hudson had her guns taken by the police, of course:

During the raid, the officers also went after Hudson’s three pistols and three long guns, which she obtained legally.

She notes the guns were already known to the local PD due to a holiday happy fire noise complaint, and they didn’t care then.  Also, they belong to her, legally, yet apparently the state can simply seize her arms and her property, and her rights become revokable privileges because… uh… marriage?  Oh, no, wait, “it’s for the children!”

But the gun complaint looks secondary to the real purpose of the raid, to go after notes including names of whistleblowers who were critical of the Air Marshal service lying to congress about knowledge of terrorist and anti-terrorist activities and programs:

“In particular, the files included notes that were used to expose how the Federal Air Marshal Service had lied to Congress about the number of airline flights there were actually protecting against another terrorist attack,” Hudson wrote in a summary about the raid provided to TheDC.  …

She said she asked Bosch (ST: USCG/DHS investigator) why they took the files. He responded that they needed to run them by TSA to make sure it was “legitimate” for her to have them.

“‘Legitimate’ for me to have my own notes?” she said incredulously on Wednesday.

Asked how many sources she thinks may have been exposed, Hudson said: “A lot. More than one. There were a lot of names in those files.”

“This guy basically came in here and took my anonymous sources and turned them over — took my whistleblowers — and turned it over to the agency they were blowing the whistle on,” Hudson said. “And these guys still work there.”

The Most Transparent Administration Ever going after whistleblowersTargeting reporters who might embarrass the administration?  Naaaaw…

Hudson has been a reporter in Washington, D.C. for nearly 15 years and was nominated twice by The Washington Times for the Pulitzer Prize. She is a freelancer for Newsmax and the Colorado Observer.  …

Unlike some other reporters whose sources have been targeted in recent years by the government, Hudson said none of the information she had was classified or given to her by someone who broke the law.

“None of the documents were classified,” she said. “There were no laws broken in me obtaining these files.”

She notes that a lot of the files were “For Official Use Only” or “Law Enforcement Sensitive”.  Neither of these is a legal classification, just policy classifications for individual agencies.  Ms. Hudson says that she obtained the files through Freedom of Information Act requests.  Ultimately her possession of a FOUO or LE sensitive document is not illegal for her – the normal actions that can be taken with regards to those kind of documents are internal and administrative – an agency going after its own personnel for violating policies.  The only enforcement that could probably be used would be if there were some greater criminal conspiracy, which doesn’t seem to be the case – because if it were, they’d go after her for the documents and list her as an unindicted co-conspirator or some such, rather than simply ransack her house “looking for guns” as a pretext to grabbing files.

But it is rather telling to see journalist’s First Amendment rights abused through accepted abuse of Second Amendment rights.

Too bad she didn’t understand that rights are only for those who fully support the Obama administration and all of its decisions unquestioningly.

david gregory real reporter 2-

Fortunately, we here at The Patriot Perspective have no such worries.  I have prepared us for any such run-ins with the authorities by becoming good friends with a paginator from the State Investigating Committee.

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Update: Looks like the Daily Caller story just hit Drudge with this headline:

SWAT team raids investigative journalist’s home, seizes confidential files…

He didn’t include that the cited reason for the search was “guns are bad, m’kay”, but anyone reading it will see it at the third sentence in the story, after all.

Update 2: Ed over at HotAir agrees it looks like something is rotten in the state of Maryland.

Does the Maryland State Police usually troll Facebook to find illegal possession of firearms? Or is it more likely that DHS instigated this as a way to go after a longtime critic and reporter of the agency?  This certainly doesn’t look like a coincidence, and perhaps Congress might want to look into what looks like a gross abuse of power to silence reporters and punish whistleblowers.

The Manic Media Hatred of the AR15 – Part 2

Posted: September 19, 2013 by ShortTimer in Guns, Journalism, Leftists, lies, Media

Emily Miller of the Washington Times was on Cam & Company/NRA News last night, and she discussed the fact that the New York Times went and reported that the DC Naval Yard murderer had an AR15… then he tried to buy one but was turned down by some Virginia state law, both of which are complete fabrications.  They not only got it wrong, they got it wrong over and over, and intentionally.

From the Washington Times:

Aaron Alexis passed Federal Bureau Investigation and Virginia state background checks to purchase a shotgun from Sharpshooters Small Arms Range in Lorton, Va., over the weekend.

Alexis did not attempt to purchase a rifle or handgun from the store, The Washington Times has learned exclusively.

She explained this thoroughly on Cam & Company, where she basically talked about how she called the gun store and asked them what the story was.  (She’s also much more of a journalist than a gun person, because when she mentioned the shotgun Alexis used, she got the designation wrong.)

A little big of journalism can go a long way, as Emily Miller found more of the story and reported it in the Washington Times again:

The liberal media is so obsessed with linking the Navy Yard shooter with the AR-15 rifle that it is making up false tales of Aaron Alexis trying to obtain one.

The New York Times attempts to give the impression that a so-called assault-weapon law stopped Alexis from buying a rifle in Virginia, but that is not true.

It’s important to make yesterday’s point again.  The media is lying in order to create a narrative.  The NYT said Alexis was prohibited from buying an AR due to some VA gun law that doesn’t exist.  The message is AR=bad, gun control=good.  But it’s all a fabrication.

“Virginia law does not prohibit the sale of assault rifles to out-of-state citizens who have proper identification,” Dan Peterson, a Virginia firearms attorney, told me Tuesday night. The required identification is proof of residency in another state and of U.S. citizenship, which can be items like a passport, birth certificate or voter identification card.

That’s the only difference in VA law.  If you want to buy a rifle that can take 20-round magazines or more, or that has a folding stock or threaded barrel, you have to prove you’re a US citizen.

While it is true that Alexis rented and shot an AR-type rifle at Sharpshooters Small Arms Range in Lorton, sources close to the investigation tell me that he did not attempt to buy the rifle.

Instead, he passed both the federal and state background checks and bought a Remington 870 shotgun and 30 shotgun shells (00 buckshot), which he used, tragically, to kill 12 innocent people.

The Times’ mistakes indicate the paper is trying to give the impression only some unexplained “assault weapon” ban in Virginia stopped Alexis from killing more people. The truth is that we have thousands of gun laws on the books, but none of them stopped a homicidal maniac intent on mass murder.

On top of this, there’s the obvious disconnect that someone with a secret security clearance and special access to a naval base has already been background checked by the government with access to very restricted areas.  His prior gun-related offenses and craziness didn’t restrict him from working on a “secure” facility.

He not only bought a shotgun (as endorsed by Joe Biden) and not an evil baby-killing assault death murder rifle, but he’s been passed through enough background checks to be in secure areas.  If the people who are trusted with secret clearance can’t be trusted with guns, who can?  The answer, to the left, of course, is no one (they exempt themselves and their enforcers, of course).  Their goal is an eventual total ban.  Asking why we should trust a government that spies on citizens, spies on journalists, targets political dissidents with the tax system, smuggles weapons to narcoterrorist cartels and mid-east terrorist cells, is responded to with the typical modern liberal/leftist argument.

Consider as well that when the Aurora, CO murderer decided to go on his rampage, he obtained everything he used to make both his incenidary bombs at his apartment and his assorted weaponry used at the theater, not as a madman, but as a neuroscience graduate student.  On paper, he was the promising future doctor or neurosurgeon because nobody reported any erratic behavior – there’s no mechanism to have him taken in for treatment.  On paper, the DC Naval Yard murderer was a man admitted every day into a secure facility with secret clearance and a 10 year record in the Navy that had all its flaws overlooked, and with run-ins with the police that never turned into convictions that would have denied him access to firearms, or more importantly, perhaps gotten him recognized for being a danger to himself & others so he could’ve been treated.

Ultimately, criminals and madmen intent on mayhem will get weapons.  All that’s necessary to make a firebomb is a container and a source of fuel.  It’s a good thing we don’t sell IED firebomb fuel by the gallon on the corner.

gas station

Oh yeah, that’s right.

It might be wise to focus on the actor in these crimes, not the tools.  Fixating on the tools gets grandma strip-searched at the airport for nail clippers while a jihadi sneaks through with a bomb in his underwear.  Fixating on the tools means that when Russia lets us know about a pair of Chechen terrorists and our intelligence and defense agencies do nothing, they’re surprised when terrorists come up with IEDs.  Remember what the I in that stands for – improvised.

But that would require a whole other kind of discussion and solution, and it’ll be one that neither aids those who desire a more powerful government, nor those who want quick solutions.

Via Sipsey Street Irregulars, from Sharyl Attkisson at CBS:

Three more weapons from Fast and Furious have turned up at crime scenes in Mexico, CBS News has learned, as the toll from the controversial federal operation grows.

According to Justice Department tracing documents obtained by CBS News, all three guns are WASR-10 762-caliber Romanian rifles. Two were purchased by Fast and Furious suspect Uriel Patino in May and July of 2010. Sean Steward, who was convicted on gun charges in July 2012, purchased a third. The rifles were traced yesterday to the Lone Wolf gun shop in Glendale, Ariz.

During Fast and Furious and similar operations, federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) encouraged the Lone Wolf and other gun stores to sell massive amounts of weapons to questionable purchasers who allegedly trafficked them Mexican drug cartels.

Patino is said to have purchased 700 guns while under ATF’s watch. Ever since, a steady stream of the guns have been recovered at crime scenes in Mexico and the U.S. But the Justice Department has refused repeated requests from Congress and CBS News to provide a full accounting. An estimated 1,400 guns are still on the street or unaccounted for.

This will be going on for years.  The body count from weapons sent to the cartels by Obama and Eric Holder’s DOJ and ATF will continue to go up.

Operation Facetious and Spurious

For those who’ve missed it, CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson had her computers hacked – and CBS verified this.  She’s been virtually the only journalist in the mainstream media who does her job – and she does it admirably – reporting on stories like Fast and Furious (for which she won an award – even though CBS kept her from receiving it) and Benghazi.

Now, she’s noted more irregularities with the hacking:

“This suspicious activity has been going on for quite some time – both on my CBS computer and my personal computer,” Attkisson said. “CBS then hired its own independent cyber security firm, which has been conducting a thorough forensic exam … they were able to rule out malware, phishing programs, that sort of thing.”

Attkisson described some of the bizarre things that were happening with her computer.

“There were just signs of unusual happenings for many months, odd behavior like the computers just turning themselves on at night and then turning themselves back off again. I was basically able to verify and obtain information from my sources on the suspicious activity and I reported it to CBS News in January because of course it included CBS equipment and systems.”

HotAir notes that she was on Bill “Breathes Heavy At Deborah Norville” O’Reilly the other night and stated she’s pretty sure she knows who did it.

The likely suspect, which when she confirms will be 100%, as the rest of her reporting always is, is probably going to be the US govt.  What branch of the US govt or how is probably the big question – whether it’s Eric Holder’s DOJ or Hillary’s State Department or maybe even the Department of Energy or another agency she offended by reporting the facts.

Regardless, they chose a very poor target for snooping on.

And if those targeting her escalate things, it’s worth noting that her reporting has earned her the respect of some communities of rough men (and women) that provide physical security, and would be willing to do so.

Her reporting on Benghazi got her friends from Little Creek to Coronado, and her reporting on Fast and Furious got her friends from Brownsville to San Diego and Washington state to Maine… state.

Sharyl Attkisson had mentioned a while back that her computer was hacked.

Today it’s confirmedEven by CBS.

CBS News announced Friday that correspondent Sharyl Attkisson’s computer was hacked by “an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasions,” confirming Attkisson’s previous revelation of the hacking.

CBS News spokeswoman Sonya McNair said that a cybersecurity firm hired by CBS News “has determined through forensic analysis” that “Attkisson’s computer was accessed by an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasions in late 2012.”

The timeframe is when she was reporting on Benghazi.  CBS takes the time at the end of the story to cover Obama’s ass for him, since they are, after all, in the tank.  But for those who aren’t Obama-worshipers, it’s well known that Obama targets reporters who aren’t in lockstep with the administration (and that’s even before the James Rosen case).

Attkisson has integrity, and every claim she makes turns out to be the case.  Too bad there are so few people who listen to her, aside from those who want her silenced.

She’s been right on Fast and Furious and Benghazi and a dozen other Obama scandals that her employers at CBS and the Obama administration want her to shut up about.

“Evidence suggests this party performed all access remotely using Attkisson’s accounts. While no malicious code was found, forensic analysis revealed an intruder had executed commands that appeared to involve search and exfiltration of data. This party also used sophisticated methods to remove all possible indications of unauthorized activity, and alter system times to cause further confusion. CBS News is taking steps to identify the responsible party and their method of access.”

Aside from the US government, which actively hates her reporting, the only other people who’ve done this kind of hacking in recent memory are the Russian hackers who snagged the East Anglia Climate Research Unit’s lying Manbearpig data.  Chinese hackers would probably have little interest in a reporter writing about Benghazi, and independent hackers would also have little interest – especially when she’d be publishing info anyway.

Using Occam’s razor, the answer is the US government – the Obama administration.

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For some reason, this song comes to mind:

CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson won the Edward R. Murrow award for Video Investigative Journalism in June 2012 for her reporting on Operation Fast and Furious.

Now, today from Politico, count the references to Fast and Furious.

The Obama administration won’t answer the CBS News correspondent’s questions because her investigations — into Benghazi, Fast and Furious, Solyndra — often reflect negatively on it. Some colleagues at CBS News, where she has worked for two decades and earned multiple Emmy awards, dismiss her work because they perceive a political agenda. And now, she says, someone may have hacked into her computers.

That was the reference.

The bulk of Attkisson’s work over the past five years has focused on the failures or perceived failures of the Obama administration, which has led to an icy relationship with the White House and the Justice Department.

“Perceived” failures.  Because to leftists, Fast and Furious was a success, Benghazi was a success, Solyndra was a success.  All wondrous successes of our glorious leader.

“You ask what makes Sharyl tick: It’s that she’s highly skeptical of people in power, and right now the people in power are Democrats,” one source said. “I don’t see her as an agenda-driven reporter.”

“[Attkisson believes] that public officials and federal officials work for us, and that it’s gotten to the point where they don’t believe that they should be held accountable,” another source said. “That’s not partisan.”

Somehow the reporter has become the story to the media, because she does have integrity, and she does examine the story.  When she wrote about Fast and Furious and the pushback she got from her bosses, she noted that “there’s a story here”, and was perplexed by why her bosses would want to hush up the murders of some 200 Mexican citizens and 2 US federal agents.  Of course, she knows the answer – that the media is horribly biased to the left.  But it is something else to see that’s the case, and another thing to live in that world.

She’s had to watch stories get spiked or ignored just because the Obama administration and the left absolutely loathes the truth – because the truth about them is in direct opposition to their shining rhetoric and the outright lies they’ve pushed for years.  She’s surrounded by leftist true believers who now view her as an obstacle or even outright enemy to the continuation of their glorious revolution of fundamental change.

Good on her for being who she is – an old-school journalist.