Archive for the ‘Obama administration’ 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.

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.

13 Hours At Benghazi

Posted: September 7, 2014 by ShortTimer in Government, Middle East, Obama administration, terrorism
Tags: ,

HT Jawa Report, via Soopermexican at Right Scoop & Mass Tea Party, from FOX News:

As a reminder, Benghazi has been hushed up since the beginning by the Obama administration, even going so far as to have the CIA was moving personnel and changing names of their people so they couldn’t be found by investigators:

Want to know how folks who work on the border feel about the current illegal alien/amnesty/DACA nonsense and being ordered to by policy from DC to release thousands of illegals into the US who are subsequently treated better than returning US veterans?

The comparison to Iraq and Afghanistan veterans is pretty apt (and a lot of BP agents are vets, too) – because the duty they’ve sworn to uphold for the nation is something the Obama administration has intentionally told them to give up.

They’ve been ordered to lose and every day that illegals are shipped further in country, they’re being forced to participate in the surrender of their nation.

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Just as a reminder of how bad it is, adult illegals in their mid-30s are able to lie and say they’re kids – and be enrolled in schools – because our immigration policy has been made violently, willfully stupid in order to harm the nation – specifically the part of the nation that still wants to be a nation.

From Katie Pavlich:

Thanks to a Freedom of Information Act Lawsuit pursued against the Department of Justice by government watchdog Judicial Watch, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has ruled documents being withheld from Congress under President Obama’s claim of executive privilege must be turned over. Obama made the claim on the same day Attorney General Eric Holder was voted in criminal and civil contempt of Congress in June 2012.

It’s been a very long road to this point, but now there’s an order to comply.

The documentation DOJ is required to now turn over is a “Vaughn index” of “all requested Fast and Furious materials from a June 2012 Judicial Watch FOIA request.”

A Vaughn index must: (1) identify each document withheld; (2) state the statutory exemption claimed; and (3) explain how disclosure would damage the interests protected by the claimed exemption.” In ordering the DOJ to provide Judicial Watch the Vaughn index, the Court ruled, “In this circuit, when an agency is withholding documents under exemption claims, courts require that the agency provide a Vaughn index so that the FOIA requester – at a distinct informational disadvantage – may test the agency’s claims.”

Of course, the problem is going to be that the documents will all be “lost”.  The DOJ will simply have gone through a dozen hard drive crashes and documents will never be returned or found and will all be “accidentally” destroyed somehow.

Lois Lerner

Lois Lerner’s probably already working over at DOJ.

The Obama DOJ has already shown it will murder people and arm narcoterrorist cartels.  The Obama administration has destroyed evidence over much less than an international conspiracy to murder.  Why would they follow a judge’s order?  And why would any incriminating documents still exist?  They’ve had years now to cover up their crimes and destroy evidence because those seeking the truth are limited to legal means, while the criminals in the White House and DOJ are totally free to commit crimes free of all repercussions.

But they’re still the most transparent administration ever.  Sort of like how Michael Moore is the world’s fittest man.

I guess the blacked-out stacks of pages DOJ sent to the House Oversight & Reform committee will be the closest we’ll probably see, but reminds us again of the thugs in the adminstration we’re dealing with:

That's not a print of Malevich's "Black Square".

AJ Delgado over at NRO wrote a piece titled “Black Americans: The True Casualties of Amnesty”, and opens it up like this:

One of the sleeper issues surrounding the debate on amnesty for illegal immigrants – an inconvenient one that no proponent of a widespread amnesty wishes to acknowledge – is the devastating effect so-called immigration reform will have on African Americans.

The black unemployment rate is almost 11 percent, far higher than that of any other group profiled by labor statistics. African Americans are disproportionately employed in lower-skilled jobs – the very same jobs immigrants take. As Steven Camarota asked in a recent column, why double immigration when so many people already aren’t working?

The answer is pretty simple, really.  The Democrats want a new underclass of voters.

Black folks are increasingly wandering off the reservation when it comes to supporting Democrats.  Black Louisiana Senator Elbert Guillory changed party affiliation last year because he saw that the point of the left is control, and that the left’s promises are all betrayals and failures:

Black folks like Bernadette Lancelin may not have thought through and realized that “White House money” comes from taxpayers, but she knows that her community is being betrayed in favor of illegal aliens.

Black folks like Elaine from Baltimore want to know where they can get asylum:

US Civil Rights Commissioner Peter Kirsanow wrote the Congressional Black Caucus warning of the economic issues:

peter kirsanow

“The obvious question is whether there are sufficient jobs in the low-skilled labor market for both African-Americans and illegal immigrants,” Kirsanow wrote. “The answer is no.”

He referenced a 2008 commission hearing in which witnesses testified that illegal immigration “disproportionately impacts the wages and employment opportunities of African-American” males. Scholars noted that 40% of the 18-point decline in the black employment rate from 1960 to 2000 was due to immigration. He noted that illegal immigrants and blacks “often find themselves in competition for the same jobs.”

He pointed out a host of factors (many influenced or caused by progressive policies) that lead to large numbers of black Americans competing for the same jobs that no-skill/low-skill illegal aliens do.  What I didn’t see him mention is that the illegal alien can operate under the table and save their employer compliance costs for things like minimum wages, workman’s comp or social security – thus an employer can pay an illegal in cash, saving the employer resources, and allowing the illegal alien to unfairly compete in yet another way with American citizens.  And as noted, a large percentage of those poor Americans who are forced out of yet another job are black.

Democrats still have a huge number of black folks voting for them as a block, and they expect it to stay the same.  But the Democrats want new guaranteed voters and cheap labor (and many amoral Republicans want cheap labor, too).  A huge influx of teenagers moved around the country to strategic districts who will be voting Democrat not just next election but in every subsequent election – and they will be voting – that’s why Democrats oppose voter ID laws – that demographic change is how Democrats expect to dominate the nation in one party rule forever (flipping Texas is their most public focus).

Not sure if they’ll declare a thousand-year-reich or a people’s collective immediately afterwards.  Could go either way.